## Time for the Slayers to Put Up or Shut Up

May 10th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I have allowed the Sky Dragon Slayers to post hundreds of comments here containing their views of how the climate system works (or maybe I should say how they think it doesn’t work).

As far as I can tell, their central non-traditional view seems to be that the atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases” that emit thermal infrared radiation downward. A variation on this theme is that even if those gases exist, they emit energy at the same rate they absorb, and so have no net effect on temperature.

I have repeatedly addressed these views and why they are false.

As far as the Slayer’s alternative explanations go, I have addressed why atmospheric pressure cannot explain surface temperature. The atmospheric adiabatic lapse rate describes how temperature *changes* with height for an air parcel displaced vertically, it does not tell you what the temperature, per se, will be.

If it was just a matter of air pressure, why is the stratosphere virtually the same temperature over its entire depth, despite spanning a factor of 100x in pressure, from about ~2 mb to ~200 mb?

For the adiabatic lapse rate to exist in the real atmosphere, there must be “convective instability”, which requires BOTH lower atmospheric heating AND upper atmospheric cooling. But the upper atmosphere cannot cool unless greenhouse gases are present! Without greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would slowly approach an isothermal state through thermal conduction with a temperature close to the surface temperature, and convection would then be impossible.

In other words, without the “greenhouse effect”, there would be no decrease in atmospheric temperature with height, and no convection. The existence of weather thus depends upon the greenhouse effect to destabilize the atmosphere.

Put Up…

The Slayers have had ample opportunity to answer my challenge: take your ideas, put them into an alternative time-dependent model for surface temperature, and run it from any initial state and see if it ends up with a realistic temperature.

Determining the actual temperature at any altitude requires computing rates of energy gain and energy loss. I spent only an hour to provide a simple version of such a model based upon traditional physics, which produces the observed average surface temperature of the Earth. It is the same physics used in many weather prediction models every day, physics which if not included would cause those models forecasts to quickly diverge away from how the real atmosphere behaves on average.

Surely, of the 200 scientists and meteorologists the Slayers claim to have at their disposal, they can produce something similar.

Here’s the equation I used for surface temperature change with time, and it assumes a single atmospheric layer with an average infrared effective emissivity of 0.9, based upon the Kiehl-Trenberth global average energy budget diagram.

I also have a version of the model which adds the time rate of change of the bulk atmospheric temperature, too, based upon the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram. These are very simple models…usually in modeling the atmosphere and ocean are divided up into many mutually interacting layers, but I’m trying to keep it simple here.

…or Shut Up

The Slayers have ample opportunity to post comments here outlining their views, often dominating the bandwidth, and those comments will remain for posterity.

But my blog is no longer going to provide them a platform for their unsupported pseudo-scientific claims…they can post their cult science on their own blog. They have taken far too much of my time, which would be better spent thinking about the more obvious shortcomings of global warming theory.

If and when they answer my challenge to provide a quantitative model of surface temperature change, I might change my mind. But they must first provide a time-dependent model like that above which involves energy gain and energy loss terms, which is the only way to compute the temperature of something from theory. Those energy gain and loss terms must be consistent with experimental observations, and (of course) the physical units of the terms must all be consistent.

But I don’t see how they can ever do that, because they will ignore the hundreds of watts of downward emitted IR radiation from the sky, an energy flux which is routinely observed with a variety of instrumentation, and explained with well-established theories of radiative transfer and laboratory evidence of the infrared absorption characteristics of various gases.

If anyone challenges me to provide justification for anything I’ve stated above, well, I assume you know how to use Google. There is abundant information out there…go educate yourself.

### 611 Responses to “Time for the Slayers to Put Up or Shut Up”

1. Like me, you’ve reached a GHG tipping point with these folks. Good for you for taking a stand. I await them addressing your model challenge.

• jae says:

• jae says:

Tony: your hypocrisy is at it’s finest here. You often strongly object to the “consensus” arguments among “climate scientists,” but then you can’t stand for a disagreement from “these folks” that don’t accept your (unproven) dogma. I have to put you in Al Gore’s camp!

• jae says:

BTW, Tony: You are a meterologist, as I recall, and not a physicist or even a scientist. So your comments about the physics of AGW and the lack of physical understanding by the “slayers” are not beyond reproach (I’m being kind here, as you must know). I would shut up, if I were you.

• JayKay4 says:

A meteorologist isn’t a scientist? What planet are you from?

• TonyB says:

If he was thinking of a weather presenter on TV/radio then he is right.

I briefed these people and they are not employed for their knowledge of meteorology. Rather their presenting skills.

“these folks”. Anthony that would be your problem right there. The “slayers” tactic has worked on you too. You can now group any who challenge the radiative GHE as slayer crazies and dismiss their arguments.

Dr. Spencer likes the slayers as much as CAGW believers do. They prevent other challengers to the radiative GHE hypothesis being taken seriously.

There is a hole in the radiative GHE hypothesis. A hole so big that you could drive a B-Double full of polar bears through it. A mistake so simple high school students could understand it. It is inevitable that it will become common knowledge. The only people who will be more embarrassed than AGW believers will be sceptics.

• Noperoynope says:

Konrad says: ““these folks”. Anthony that would be your problem right there. The “slayers” tactic has worked on you too. You can now group any who challenge the radiative GHE as slayer crazies and dismiss their arguments.”
——————————————–

I do not know about Anthony, but Roy banns people from posting their arguments. This is not a scientific debate any more, this is a sort of a propaganda war.

Of course, the banned people can still post under fake names, but it is not what a scientific debate should be.

• CC Squid says:

Anthony,
As a non-scientist I have struggled to understand the Greenhouse effect as it was presented by Dr. Spenser. I then read this article, “http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-effectiveness-of-co2-as-a-greenhouse-gas-becomes-ever-more-marginal-with-greater-concentration/”. At this point, I UNDERSTAND, and I will now going back to read Dr. Spenser’s articles on the GHG phenomena. The problem that “common people” have is we do not understand the scientific language. There is a comment in the article that I have referenced which uses a woolen blanket analogy to explain the effect of the different GHGs. The author is obviously a teacher who remembers his roots!

• Noperoynope says:

CC Squid says: “As a non-scientist I have struggled to understand the Greenhouse effect … I then read this article …At this point, I UNDERSTAND … a woolen blanket analogy to explain the effect of the different GHGs.
==============================================

There is no analogy between a blanket and so-called “greenhouse gases”.

It is a pure propaganda effect, when they draw your attention to something real beyond the alleged “greenhouse effect”, then give you a false explanation of what is really happening in this real case, and then they say “hey, “greenhouse gases” warm like a blanket!”.

In other words, one can “prove” that elephants can fly like that, by an “analogy”: “look at those birds! They fly! So do elephants”

2. Had to be done. I could not come up with a climate forecast if I thought a ghg effect did not exist. It would destroy everything I thought about the earth-climate-sun relationships.

There is a GHG effect, you have shown and proven this to be the case so many times.

3. John W. Garrett says:

Dr. Spencer,
Your efforts to do good, honest science do not go unappreciated.

J.W. Garrett

4. KR says:

Thumbs up.

I do not expect the ‘Slayers’ to produce such a model – their arguments are primarily via twisting semantic ambiguities and arguments of incredulity, not math.

5. Kasuha says:

Dr Spencer,
It’s a while since I have learned that it’s not just the warmist side which has its deluded fanatics who replaced science by belief and are only willing to spew their “truth” without ever listening, let alone accepting arguments of others.
You have my highest appreciation for keeping up with them and trying to educate them for such a long time, but I also appreciate that you finally decided to move on.
Your site was always one of my best sources of reference for matters of climate and climate change and while I did not always agree with all your conclusions, I have learned a lot here. Please, keep up the good work. I’m looking forward more interesting information on your blog.

6. Guenter Hess says:

Excellent idea Dr. Spencer.

I am curious what model the “slayers” bring forward. I am waiting on their “Excel-File”.

7. Tim Folkerts says:

“I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science …”
William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)

Dr. Spencer obviously can express his thinking in numbers …

8. Scott Supak says:

I’m not a climate scientist, so this is above my pay grade. But I do find it interesting that when challenged with the same “put up or shut up” statement in regards to betting on a warmer planet (at Intrade in the past, and hopefully in the future when we get a new version), I was threatened by both you and Watts with cutting me off from your comments.

So, now that you’ve taken to the put up or shut up theme, and you are threatening to ban the voices with which you disagree (so convenient for someone who peddles the fossil fuel snake oil) I challenge you Dr. Spencer, Mr. Watts, and all your readers to watch for a new version of Intrade coming to America soon where we can all bet on a warmer planet, less ice, more storms, and the like.

Because, frankly, I’m sick of arguing with you people. If you think the world is not getting hotter, then bet on it. I will be betting on a warmer world with much less ice.

Got it?

Put up or shut up, but not with words. With cash.

• I don’t recall advocating for a significantly warmer world, Scott. Are you willing to bet a substantial sum on a cooler world?

• Scott Basinger says:

Dear Mr. Supak,

In real science, observations trump your theories, no matter how elegant they may seem.

For the last 16 years, climate model predictions are diverging from observations. In ‘normal’ science, this tells us that the models are wrong or incomplete in some way, and there’s more work to do.

Real scientists such as Dr. Spencer point out the problems and gaps with current theory with the intention of making the science better.

Other ‘scientists’, with a more political agenda, distort the truth and vilify those who would point out that the emperor is indeed naked. They spin excuses and dance, grasping at any straw possible to avoid admitting that they were WRONG and that most of their predictions based upon these models represents a vast wasted effort. To this end, they offer up improbable reasons for the divergence – such as blaming deep ocean heat without even having a mechanism for this to occur, blaming aerosols without considering affects on cloud cover, etc.

I’ll be charitable in saying that not all of it is wrong – it’s extremely likely there is at least some AGW occurring (for obvious scientific reasons like the fact that we’ve changed the land for our uses and are emitting airborne chemicals as a result of our industry) despite the 16 year “Pause”, but it’s looking more and more likely to any neutral scientific observer that it’s probably much less than 2C per doubling of CO2.

The implications of this are that engineered adaption becomes a better, more cost-effective strategy than some ridiculously expensive globalist austerity measures and (frankly, from an engineering perspective) unworkable fantasies on how we should generate electrical power.

Anyways, good luck to you if you’re going to hitch your life savings into Intrade using climate model predictions. I’ll likely bet against you and I’ll probably use the winnings to take a comfortable transcontinental vacation, emitting tons and tons of CO2 along the way and loving every minute of it.

• David L. Hagen says:

Scott Supack
Before you wager your \$, I recommend you evaluate the Armstrong-Gore bet at The Global Warming Challenge

After spiking in January, temperatures in April were again well below the 2007 average that is Scott Armstrong’s forecast. (See the updated chart to the right for the state of the bet.) Over the duration of the 64 months to date of the bet, temperatures have been greater than Mr Gore’s IPCC-based warming forecast for 15 months or less than 23% of the time. In contrast, temperatures have been less than Professor Armstrong’s evidence-based forecasts for 36 months or more than 56% of the time. None of the forecasts was exactly equal to the actual temperature. The results support the contention that Mr Gore and the IPCC’s dangerous warming forecasts are insufficiently conservative given the state of knowledge about climate, and that the Green, Armstrong, and Soon (2009) no-change model provides a better representation of the considerable uncertainty that exists.

Current “climate science” models projecting alarming warming seriously breach the established principles of scientific forecasting. See Green & Armstrong’s paper “Global Warming: Forecasts By Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts,” Energy & Environment 18 (2007), 995-1019.

• david aronstein says:

Very much looking forward to that. Are you willing to put money up at the IPCC current forcast of .2 degrees C per decade which is surface so that lower troposphere should go up faster?
I am happy to offer that number. What kind of size are you talking about and for how long?

9. Josik says:

This is a sad moment for the sceptical movement. You guys (Spencer / Watts) are now showing who you really are, and that you are in fact no better than the CAGW-fanatics.

I myself is a layman in this debate. But even for me it’s easier to understand and accept the science behind “the Slayers” argument, than the dogmatic viewpoints from the “backradiation” supporters.

But of course. When you meet someone smarter than yourself, someone with arguments you don’t understand and therefore are unable to argue against, throw them out and shut the door.

Hopefully you are really satisfied with yourselves. Because we don’t need any debate, do we?

• Tim Folkerts says:

Josik sarcastically asks “Because we don’t need any debate, do we?

And what do you think a scientific debate looks like? People bring their best data. They present competing theories to try to explain the data. They discuss which theories fit better, and which agree with broader theories and data, and which are mathematically more elegant.

Dr. Spencer has opened the debate — how can we most simply explain the ~ 290 K “average” temperature of the earth’s surface? He has presented a proposal that is mathematically simple and agrees with the laws of thermodynamics. He has invited others to enter the debate as well. If others cannot present a coherent, mathematical explanation that works as well or better that his — well, that is hardly his fault.

Scientists DON’T sit around and rehash the same topic over and over unless someone introduces a better theory or new data. And they certainly don’t base their decisions on which version will be easier for lay-people to understand.

• Scott Supak says:

If Dr. Spencer wants to open the debate, he should submit a paper for peer review on this subject. Has he?

• Scott, are you unaware that the Slayers are disputing science which has been published literally hundreds of times in the peer-reviewed literature? I’m not saying that necessarily makes it true, only that the Slayers have yet to offer the same physical rigor in advancing their arguments…starting with a surface energy balance model. If they cannot take that simple step, they should be ignored.

• Rosco says:

Haven’t you read the 2 papers Joe Postma has written – The Model Atmosphere and The Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect ?

The second includes everything you claim to demand, includes real data and stacks of graphic interpretations and computer code.

There is real time variation in insolation – not a constant 161 W/sq m value.

The developed theory is compared to data – both measured radiation and temperature.

Really – what is wrong with their approach ?

I believe there is real value in what is presented in The Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect !!

If you disagree why not highlight where it is wrong AND PROVE IT ???

• we already debated, and it was a long one. They lost.

• Obelix the Norse says:

A party in a discussion can’t claim the role as a judge. Dr. Spencer is representing one part (of many) in the discussion. So he can’t claim victory in a debate that other people regard differently. I noticed in a separate tread here that Ned Nikolov wrote this interesting text: “The atmosphere does NOT slow down the surface IR cooling as claimed by the current GH theory. The atmosphere ENHANCES (augments) the near-surface kinetic energy (and temperature) through the FORCE of pressure … So, there is no ‘trapping’ of radiative heat by ‘greenhouse gases’. Instead, there is an enhancement of the surface kinetic energy due to atmospheric pressure! THIS IS A FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT MECHANISM THAT RENDERS THE SURFACE TEMPERATURE COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT OF ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION!!

CO2 has never impacted Earth’s climate in the past! The only ‘evidence’ for the CO2 effect on temperature is found in climate models that algorithmically misrepresent the radiative-convective heat exchange. This is why the CO2-temperature relationship is so elusive in empirical data series, a fact that is being increasingly acknowledged in the science literature lately. Such relationship is simply non-existent in the physical reality”

That said, I have great respect for Dr. Spencer and I have learned much from him. But in this particularly case I think that the Dragon Slayers don’t have to do anyting, it’s the opposite. It’s the people who claim the notion that we have a greenhouse effect caused by re-emitted LWIR from CO2, that has the responsibility to explain how that can be, with regard to the 2. law of thermodynamics. I cant’t grasp the idea that re-emitted LWIR from a colder object can warm up an object with higher temperature. But I dont’ have to come up with any model, I just wait for explanation that says it’s so -and don’t violate the 2. law of thermodynamics.

• Obelix, have you not read anything I have written? Pressure cannot explain why surface temperatures are what they are. You do agree there is convective heat transport from the surface to the upper troposphere, right? Well, how does the air up there ever cool if not for greenhouse gases? Those same greenhouse gases emit IR downward as well. The net effect of all of the IR emission and absorption is that the greenhouse effect destabilizes the atmosphere, creates convection, and that leads to the moist adiabatic lapse rate. Without the greenhouse effect, heat transported upward from the surface would never be lost, the atmosphere would become isothermal,there would be no convection, and there would be no moist adiabatic lapse rate. It’s NOT a pressure effect! This is basic stuff.

• Obelix the Norse says:

Yes, Dr. Spencer, I have read much of your articles, and I will start out with a statement in general. I think you have many great point ðŸ™‚ But in this particular case, people who think that an explanasion must not violate the 2. law of thermodynamics have no obligation to come up with any competing explanations. Its the AGW’ers of the world who has the burden of proof. Not us others waiting for one single piece of proof that confirms the AGW’s claims.

With regard to the upper atmosphere, quote: “You do agree there is convective heat transport from the surface to the upper troposphere, right?” – Yes, of couse, I agree with that. That is not my point, what I cant’ grasp is the notion that re-emitted LWIR from a cooler object can heat up an object with higher temperatures.

In the Great debate, it is not the other “greenhose gases”, apart from CO2, that is of my concern. Politicians tax CO2-emissions, not H2O-emissions. So I ask for a proof (not from you, of couse) that says that the CO2-dogma IPCC claim, is correct. And in the ‘Dragon’-debate, I have not yet seen any falsification of J. Postma’s and C. Johnson’s ideas. What if the climate sensitivity-figues is 0,0 C for a doubling of the CO2-level in the atmosphere? I have’nt seen proof of the greenhouse effect, only conjunctures. But I don’t feel that I have to prove any thing. It’s the “climate researchers” that has the burden of proof.

• Ian W says:

“Well, how does the air up there ever cool if not for greenhouse gases?”

Indeed. This is a question that raises another. Given an atmosphere at say 280K of just Oxygen and Nitrogen and no IR from the surface. If CO2 is added to that mixture it will be heated by collisions and start radiating infrared in all directions. I don’t see that term of CO2 cooling the non-radiative troposphere by allowing O2 and N2 to cool. It is only ever shown as CO2 warming O2 and N2 by being excited by infrared from the surface then having a collision before it re-emits.

So your budget diagram is missing an arrow showing CO2 cooling the troposphere by emitting energy gained from collision with the molecules of the non-radiative gases. Upward radiation being far less likely to be reabsorbed than downward this would lead to cooling – as you agree it does higher in the atmosphere.

• TonyB says:

Obelix

You say..
” That is not my point, what I cant’ grasp is the notion that re-emitted LWIR from a cooler object can heat up an object with higher temperatures.”

Why do you ( amongst others ) continue to say “cooler object can heat up an object with higher temp”

They DONT and it doesn’t. They ( GHG’s ) just re-radiate energy – as do all things above 2.7K. Energy ultimately on Earth received from the Sun.

This re-radiated energy in the atmosphere is IR and because it is sent in all directions some returns to the ground.
There the same thing happens ( ad nausem ) until escape to space.

At NO TIME does the warmer object get hotter. It just is SLOWED in its emitting ( cooling ) by absorbing IR from the back radiating object ( clouds, WV, Methane, CO2 etc )..

sheesh

• Phillip Bratby says:

You are confusing a “greenhouse gas” with the “greenhouse effect”. Yes a “greenhouse gas” emits IR to space and cools the atmosphere, but that doesn’t imply that there is a “greenhouse effect”.

• “I myself is a layman in this debate. But even for me it’s easier to understand and accept the science behind “the Slayers” argument, than the dogmatic viewpoints from the “backradiation” supporters.”
~ ~ ~

Maybe that ought to tell you something.
Perhaps there’s a reason climate experts spend so many years studying and learning about their science – you think?

In other words, ever consider that being under-educated and being able to “appreciate” Slayers arguments better than what working experts have to say – should be a warning sign to you.

10. Jane Lennon says:

Quote: “I have allowed the Sky Dragon Slayers to post hundreds of comments here containing their views of how the climate system works (or maybe I should say how they think it doesn’t work).

As far as I can tell, their central non-traditional view seems to be that the atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases” that emit thermal infrared radiation downward. A variation on this theme is that even if those gases exist, they emit energy at the same rate they absorb, and so have no net effect on temperature.”

I never heard of anyone including any “Slayers” saying that.

“The atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases””? This is a finest example of classical straw man argumentation.

The problem with the so-called “greenhouse gases” is that they can not warm, Dr. Spencer, it is not that they do not exist. They can not warm, they can not keep warmer than otherwise, they can not trap heat.

This is the point you should try arguing against. Scientifically, not by distorting the opponents points and shutting them up…

• Scott Scarborough says:

Can a blanket over you at night not “trap” heat and make you warmer? You probably understand that because your body generates heat. The rate that the heat leaves your body is most certainly dependent on things that are colder than your body i.e. the blanket. The earth does not generate heat like you body. The heat comes from the sun which provides energy at frequencies that the earth’s atmosphere is transparent to. the earth absorbs this energy and re-emits it at frequencies that greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere absorb and radiate. This part of the process is more complicated than the blanket analogy, maybe that is where you are not “getting it.” The net transfer of heat through the atmosphere is always away from the earth. The rate of transfer varies though depending on many many things, greenhouse gases being one of them. And CO2 being one small part of those greenhouse gasses.

• Reg Ouse says:

Scott Scarborough says: “The rate that the heat leaves your body is most certainly dependent on things that are colder than your body i.e. the blanket.”

I am sorry, but you have a real problem with the basics, apparently.

If a cold blanket touches your warm body, the blanket starts cooling your body. If it dies not touche your warm body, it prevents the outside air from reaching your body. This can have either cooling or warming effect, depending on the air temperature outside the blanket.

All this does not say anything about possibility or impossibility of the so-called “greenhouse effect”, because “greenhouse effect” as the IPCC put it “works” by sending back radiation from the “greenhouse gases”.

The point is that this back radiation can not warm the surface. Make an effort here, please.

Some things warm, other things do not. Birds fly, elephants do not. That’s life.

• steveta_uk says:

I was so cold in bed last night that I had to throw off all the blankets, as they were even colder than me!

• hmmm. I like that one. May I use it?

• steveta_uk says:

Of course.

11. Jane Lennon says:

Dr. Spencer said: In other words, without the “greenhouse effect”, there would be no decrease in atmospheric temperature with height, and no convection.”

Please, do not mislead the readers on what the so-called “greenhouse effect” is supposed to do according to the IPCC and some supporters who for whatever reason call themselves skeptics. It is supposed to additionally warm the surface of the earth by “trapping” IR and sending it back to the surface. Physically this is absolutely ridiculous.

“Trapped” IR has already left the surface and back radiation (“greenhouse effect”) can not have any warming effect.

• More semantic obfuscation, Jane. If a greenhouse gas emits IR, it must warm the surface compared to if it didn’t exist. Take it elsewhere, and tell John I miss him.

• Smoking Frog says:

“If a greenhouse gas emits IR, it must warm the surface compared to if it didn’t exist.”

Those words are crucial – they can’t be emphasized enough. The “Second Law” people confuse (A) heating that occurs as the CO2 level increases (and once the increase is halted, until equilibrium is reached), with (B) heating which they imagine scientists claim occurs at equilibrium at a constant CO2 level.

This is hardly a scientific problem at all – it’s a conceptual problem. People who confuse the two can’t be very bright. Unfortunately, quite a few scientifically highly-informed people respond to my A/B analysis by saying that heating is heating, there are no two kinds. This prevents the confusion from being exposed to the light of day. I find myself wondering how bright they are.

• Reed Coray says:

Dr. Spencer. In your statement: “If a greenhouse gas emits IR, it must warm the surface compared to if it didn’t exist.” My question is: What does the pronoun “it” in your statement refer to? Does the word “it” refer to “greenhouse gas” or to “IR” radiation emitted from the greenhouse gas?

Removing all pronouns from your statement, we have two possible rewrites:

(a) If a greenhouse gas emits IR, the greenhouse gas must warm the surface compared to if the greenhouse gas didn’t exist.

(b) If a greenhouse gas emits IR, the emitted IR must warm the surface compared to if the emitted IR didn’t exist.

If your meaning is (b), then I agree. However, agreement with your statement doesn’t imply that the presence of a greenhouse gas can’t have a net cooling effect on the surface of the earth. On a previous post I described the analogy of a water-cooled engine. Specifically, it is nonsensical to say: “If the radiator of a water-cooled engine emits IR in the direction of the engine housing, the radiator must warm the engine housing compared to if the radiator didn’t exist.

If your meaning is (a), then I disagree. The automobile engine is just one example that illustrates my point. A better example is that of a vacuum thermos bottle holding material at a temperature greater than the environment in which the thermos bottle is placed. If you inject into the vacuum space of the thermos bottle a greenhouse gas, not only will the greenhouse gas not warm the surface of the chamber holding the hot material, the presence of the greenhouse gas will increase the rate of cooling–i.e., the hot material in the “greenhouse gas thermos” will reach room temperature in a shorter time than the hot material in the vacuum thermos.

As I have noted before, the presence of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere may increase/decrease/leave unchanged the surface temperature of the Earth. The thermodynamic nature of the earth/earth-atmosphere system is too complex for me to arrive at an informed opinion. However, although some of the arguments made by people who have been called “slayers” may not be true, they should be addressed. For example, the Ian W May 10, 2013 6:26 pm comment.

On a closing note. Most skeptics don’t like being called “deniers” because of the association that word has with the Holocaust. Skeptics who argue against the “greenhouse effect” in some of its connotations don’t like being called “slayers” because in part it implies slaying non-existent dragons. I’m not a “slayer” because (a) I believe greenhouse gases radiate in the IR and some of that radiation is directed towards the surface of the earth,(b)such radiation may at some time and for some locations increase the surface temperature of the earth, and (c) the “average earth surface temperature (whatever that means)” may be increased by the presence of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Still, the term “slayer” is offensive to me. If you’re going to be critical of warmists because they use the word “denier”, then please don’t use the word “slayer”.

• RW says:

Jane,

The use of the word ‘trap’ is a misnomer, IMO, and shouldn’t be used. What GHGs do is delay the release of surface energy back out to space by re-directing (i.e. re-radiating) some of it back toward the surface. No energy in the system is ‘trapped’. It’s exit from the system is only delayed, and the delay is fairly short lived otherwise there would little difference in temperature between night and day.

• Reg Ouse says:

RW says: “What GHGs do is delay the release of surface energy back out to space by re-directing (i.e. re-radiating) some of it back toward the surface. No energy in the system is ‘trapped’.”

The point is that this re-directing can not have any warming effect on the surface. This is exactly the IPCC “greenhouse effect” and it is impossible.

• “Back radiation can not warm”? Reg, you are merely repeating the same old misconceptions which are demonstrably false. Take your silly science someplace else. I’m sure PSI has a place for you.

• simon abingdon says:

Roy, I have long felt that the problem is the word “warm” which has two subtly different meanings each morphing imperceptibly into the other when we’re not looking.

While you CAN’T WARM a corpse with a blanket (prevent it from cooling) you CAN WARM a corpse with a blanket (slow its rate of cooling).

Or, while you CAN’T keep coffee WARM in a thermos (prevent it from cooling) you CAN keep coffee WARM in a thermos (slow its rate of cooling).

So saying something has a WARMING effect is fatally ambiguous in terms of clarity of expression.

But supposing you replaced the second sort of “warm” with (for example) “upcool” coined to avoid the ambiguity and meaning “slow the cooling or raise the warming of” (verb) or “not as cool or warmer than it would be otherwise” (adjective) perhaps much of the confusion might disappear.

So you can’t warm a corpse with a blanket but you can upcool a corpse with a blanket.

Or you can’t keep coffee warm in a thermos but you can upcool coffee in a thermos.

Easily understood. Meaning clear. No arguments. OK?

UPCOOL. Today’s new word. It’s cool Jim (sorry Roy) but not as we know it.

• Noperoynope says:

simon abingdon says: “the problem is the word “warm” which has two subtly different meanings … saying something has a WARMING effect is fatally ambiguous in terms of clarity of expression. But supposing you replaced the second sort of “warm” with (for example) “upcool” coined to avoid the ambiguity and meaning “slow the cooling or raise the warming of” (verb) …”
————————————–

This semantic trick can not save the “greenhouse effect”.

The assumption that slowing the cooling by back/trapped radiation is possible leads to a physically absurd impossible consequence, therefore this assumption is equally absurd. It has already been demonstrated here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-77996 .

12. ilma630 says:

The fatal flaw in the argument here is the word “average”. This is an artificial construct that doesn’t exist in reality. Where on Earth do you find ‘average’ in any sort steady state? Nowhere!

You also mischaracterise the slayers when you say that the atmosphere needs GHGs to cool. They don’t dispute that, in fact fully support it – in that ONLY IR responsive gases cool the atmosphere by radiation to space, which is the ONLY cooling (heat shedding) mechanism Earth has, they also know that IR responsive gases radiate (in all directions). The point they make is that there is no way a cooler atmosphere can make a warmer surface even warmer. It’s impossible; even a school kid can understand that (try the simple dimmer torch shining at a brighter torch test). Note too that the concept of ‘making warmer’ is very different to ‘reducing rate of cooling’.

• ilma630, this is more of the same. Already been addressed. Bye.

• Rick says:

There is a fatal flaw in your understanding of radiation and temperature and it has to do with the word “average”.

The temperature of a gas is equal to the average kinetic energy (1/2 mass x velocity^2) of the molecules that make up the gas. The velocity of the molecules in the gas ranges from zero to several times the average velocity following the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution. In the same way a solid surface’s temperature (average kinetic energy) is the result of an average of a distribution of individual molecule kinetic energies that range from zero to several times the average. That’s why it’s called an average.

Because half of the molecules in the surface have less kinetic energy (are “cooler”) then the average they can be “heated” by radiation from an atmosphere that is cooler than the surface.

A simple example: You can increase a classes average if you just increase the 50% performers to 60% even if the smarter than average people don’t improve their scores.

13. Tim Folkerts says:

Jane, your strawman objection is itself a straw-man! The statement was specifically “that the atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases” that emit thermal infrared radiation downward.

By leaving off that second phrase, you are distorting the original; position. It does indeed seem to be the position of various “slayers” (and you, too, apparently) that there is not downward radiation (or that this downward radiation somehow knows not to be absorbed by the surface).

Jane also says ““Trapped” IR has already left the surface and back radiation (“greenhouse effect”) can not have any warming effect.”

I keep hearing this idea repeated almost as a mantra. What specific law of physics do you think it is that stops the energy of IR photons from affecting the energy (and hence temperature) of the atoms that it hits? (HINT: it is not the 1st or 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. If you disagree, then (in keeping with the spirit of the top post) show a calculation of how the exchange of photons between the surface and the atmosphere causes energy not to be conserved or causes the entropy of the universe to decrease.)

14. ilma630 says:

The phrase “If a greenhouse gas emits IR, it must warm the surface compared to if it didnâ€™t exist.” Is so obviously wrong, it amazes me how anyone can claim that. An ice cube has a temperature, so emits IR, but put it next to an oven at a higher tempersture and it WON’T heat it further! This us such basic stuff! As I said, do the dimmer torch shining at a brighter torch test. By this logic, the dimmer torch will make the brighter torch even brighter! It does NOT. It CANNOT.

• TonyB says:

Ilma…
“This us such basic stuff!”

Precisely. Then why do you not understand it?

It amazes me how anyone – especially posting on a climate science site – cannot conceive of absorption/re-admittance without realising the concept of slowing the flow of a store of energy. NOT ADDING to the store.

ALL things radiate and therefore cool. All things absorb and therefore warm. If you put the two together you do NOT warm the hot with the cold. Neither do you cool the cold with the warm. What you do is equalise the energy between the two a little before that energy flows away to space. Via two-way flow of photons ( energy proportional to the temperature of the emitting body ).
Even though the cooler body has a temperature below that of the warmer IT STILL RADIATES ENERGY and the warmer body ( if in range ) still absorbs that energy WITHOUT RAISING ITS temperature. The photon flow has been SLOWED in the warmer body.

Of course the ice-cube does not heat the oven. But it does ( infinitesimally and very likely unmeasurably ) SLOW the rate of cooling of the oven – THIS ONLY IN A BACKGROUND OF SPACE.

In your analogy the battery would not make the torch brighter — but it would make the light last a very little longer.

You are not alone in being unable to grasp this concept – however despite your amazingly sharp and perceptive intellect the world’s scientists have not had it wrong for 150 odd years.
I also have observed its effects on the atmosphere during my professional career, which I have documented on these threads.

Err… with the shoe on the other foot and me talking to experts, I would not presume to contradict the expert because “this is basic stuff” he did not know about. How does that work in a sane world? I’m sorry but the idiots have not taken over the Asylum – and wont while I’m able to deny ignorance.

PS: retired Meteorologist, with the UKMO for 32 years.

• UzUrBrain says:

The above does not make sense. It appears illogical. If you put two light bulbs in a closed box with only one turned on, will the light or the IR energy (electromagnetic energy)from the one that is on decrease when you turn the other on (ignoring any effects of change in temperature on conductivity of the filament)? If you have 100 in the box and 99 or off and only one on and then turn on the other 999 does the light output, energy output decrease from the one that is on? Please explain to me how with a constant current being pumped into the lamp it will now decrease its energy output.

Another question: Please explain to me how if what you said above is true HOW can they tell how bright a supernova (or even a star) is? Wouldn’t all of the light go to the darkest portion of the universe rather than being spread equally around the universe? Or have you just described a new law of physics?

• Jochen Ebel says:

A heat flow can always be associated with temperature and entropy. Willy Wien 1894 (http://www.physik.uni-augsburg.de/annalen/history/historic-papers/1894_288_132-165.pdf)
“Temperature and entropy of radiation [Temperatur und Entropie der Strahlung]” Sun exports a low entropy and therefore can heat the Earth’s surface. With the radiation of the ice cube a high entropy is connected, so it can not warm up.

Sincerely yours

15. Ronald says:

Dr.Spencer

Your hypothesis of no GHG will be almost true in a few billion years when the Sun is half way to become a Red Giant. Water vapor will be lost first in space due to its low molecular weight.

We wont be around then, but day and night, high and low latitudes, and sunny side slopes of mountains, valleys, hot desert bubbles, will make some thermal overturning of the atmosphere. Hot air will rise and cooler will come down in another place.

Why don’t put it as that the stratosphere will begin a few thousand feet over the local heights.

16. Jenny Green says:

Roy, your “If a greenhouse gas emits IR, it must warm the surface compared to if it didn’t exist” is beyond science.

A warming effect of back radiation is never possible under natural circumstances. Your “cold warm hot by back radiation” is impossible, in any semantic form, you have been told that many times, it was demonstrated clearly. You never presented anything reasonable in response.

You can not hold this line forever. It is time to retreat and start telling people the truth, even if it is painful.

• TonyB says:

See my reply to Ilma above.

Same applies to you

• GrzeTor says:

An example of colder bodies warming hotter bodies may be” “Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.”

Lenses/mirrors – cold body.
A point of concentration – a very hot body

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

• Jochen Ebel says:

Which temperature can be achieved by bundling the determined entropy of the radiation.

Sincerely yours

17. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. I suppose here there will be less rants about the physical impossibility of a greenhouse effect.
The Slayer’s conjecture is appealing to those skeptics of CAGW that know just the basics of thermodynamics. I know this too well, from my own experience with them.
They don’t want to see that in a planetary system around a star, the star is the source at higher temperature and the planet is is the cooler body. Hence no violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

• Josik says:

But there are several other problems to address here.

– What exactly is “the greenhouse effect”?
– Where do you find empirical evidence for “backradiation” heating a warmer object and thereby cooling the colder object?

Let’s start here. Any suggestions?

• Josik,

Just go outside on a sunny, freezing winter day wrapped in a blanket and wearing nothing but your underwear.
The blanket will keep you warmer than just your skin by delaying your heat loss, not by “trapping” it. If you stop eating, you’ll be frozen before you starve. And I know you will not trow away the blanket.
The Earth “eats” the Sun’s energy on the sunlit side, but the night side doesn’t freeze like the Moon’s far side because Earth has an atmospheric blanket with plenty of water in it.
No new energy from the blanket/atmosphere, just a delay in energy loss.

• Reg Ouse says:

Andres Valencia says: “The blanket will keep you warmer than just your skin by delaying your heat loss, not by “trapping” it. If you stop eating, you’ll be frozen before you starve. And I know you will not trow away the blanket.
The Earth “eats” the Sun’s energy on the sunlit side, but the night side doesn’t freeze like the Moon’s far side because Earth has an atmospheric blanket with plenty of water in it.”

Mr. Valencia, blanket cools or warms depending on the air temperature outside the blanket.

The Earth has nothing that acts like a blanket. Blanket, if warming, prevents the colder air outside the blanket from contact with the body. Atmosphere IS the colder air. No blanket.

“Greenhouse gases” can not prevent the Earth surface from radiating and cooling by this process.

Sending “back radiation” by the “greenhouse gases” back towards the surface can not affect the temperature of the surface at all. Such a process is physically impossible, because otherwise it would lead to an absurd endless mutual warming in some cases.

The dark side of the Moon surface cools very slowly by radiation, this lasts however 28x longer then on Earth, therefore the temperature is so low there. Much more time to cool.

• Reg,
Greenhouse gases delay cooling by returning a fraction of long-wave infrared radiation to the ground. This was the Sun’s radiation originally, it has been modified by the surface of the Earth; incoming short-wave infrared is now outgoing long-wave infrared. Water vapor, mainly, sends back a fraction that is now long-wave that does not penetrate oceans and lakes beyond the surface but promotes evaporation. The land warms somewhat.
With no water vapor or other greenhouse gases the Earth would be colder. Without CO2 and water vapor, it would be a dead planet.

• Reg Ouse says:

Andres Valencia says: “Reg,
Greenhouse gases delay cooling by returning a fraction of long-wave infrared radiation to the ground.”

Returned/back radiation can not have any warming effect, physically impossible, that’s the point.

• provoter says:

“The Earth has nothing that acts like a blanket. Blanket, if warming, prevents the colder air outside the blanket from contact with the body. Atmosphere IS the colder air. No blanket.”

———————

Aaaahhhh! (scratching my eyeballs out in exasperation) – no! The upper atmosphere and empty space are the “colder air outside the blanket,” and the lower atmosphere is “the blanket.”

18. Chesshire Cat says:

Thanks Dr. Spencer,

I have been a reader for several years and
am looking forward to not having to wade through
endless posts by the slayer crowd.

19. Doug MacIver says:

this reminds me of the Pythons “HOLY GRAIL”. Looks like we are at the bridge and they really don’t know they’re favorite color is. Way beyond my science with your question but understand your thought. thank you for your work to keep it sane.

20. digidean says:

I’m not a slayer but I am disturbed by the stance that you take. It appears that you too are of the belief that if someone doesn’t have a better theory to explain than yours then, you must be correct. Isn’t that the line the warmist take? I doesn’t matter if they can prove their thought experiment… one simple question still remains does radiation from a cooler object incident upon a “warmer” body raise its temperature or not? Does the earth warm the sun with back radiation?

• fair questions. After YEARS of the same arguments, they have still failed to provide the most basic energy balance equation for the surface temperature. They post numerous, repetitive, and lengthy comments that others must wade through. And, yes, of course, cooler objects keep heated objects warmer still…it happens all around you all the time. I have addressed this MANY times.

And strictly speaking, yes, I suspect that the Earth does keep the surface of the Sun an infinitesimal bit warmer with the IR radiation it emits…imagine if the Sun was surrounded by a solid shell at a distance of 93,000,000 miles.

21. Josik says:

Dear Dr. Spencer.

Before you forbid me further access to write on your blog, I want you to know that I have so far been one of your biggest supporters. And I also read WUWT on daily basis, appreciating the effort both of you contribute with against pseudo-science.

But that said I also live in a country where even drawings of “The Prophet” is allowed to be printed in the newspapers, and where we are willing to take the heat that follows. Not because we agree about everything, but because we want to fight openly if or when there is a fight to fight.

That’s why you lost all my respect by writing this article. I’m not a “Slayer”, whatever that is. But I’m interested in science, and most of all in science where there is some different points of view.

If you and Anthony want to change your blogs to some kind of one-sided propaganda where “Slayers” or “AGW’ers” or whatever are not allowed to comment, it’s your choice.

But I hope you rethink that decision.

Because what more can I actually learn from listening to myself, or to others with identical viewpoints that I already have?

• I have already stated my dilemma, Josik. These people are an infinite sink for my time and energy. Time spent justifying my views to them is time I can’t spend on real (rather than imaginary) problems with global warming theory.

All they have to do is provide an energy budget equation that produces the observed average surface temperature of the Earth, and support the values for the energy fluxes with observational evidence. They have not done this. In fact, they cannot do it because they would need to find an extra 300+ W/m2 of energy somewhere, otherwise they cannot explain observed surface temperatures.

• Ivan says:

Agree 100%.

22. CoRev says:

Those of you disappoint5ed in Dr Spencer have completely missed the point. He has asked the “Slayers” to go the next step and model their beliefs/theory. Then show the results compared with reality. That’s what most modelers do, and that should be the next step in proving their theories.

Instead what we have seen is the same semantical argumentation without the proof(s). Why? Do the work to prove the theory(s) is all Dr. Spencer asks.

23. Josik says:

CoRev; In science there is no demand that one have to show/prove another and/or better theory, while falcifying an existing theory.

Let’s start with the “greenhouse-effect” and the “backradiation” that apparently can further cool a cold object and thereby warm a warmer object.

Can you give me some empirical evidence of this effect? If no, you may better listen to some who can explain why this “effect” is impossible.

On the other hand, if someone can explain to me, and show how this apparet effect is possible, I am very interested. I live in a cold place and can make millions if someone can explain how a cold environment can heat my house without the use of a heatpump.

• Josik, you can indeed add cold insulation to your heated house and make the inside even warmer, right?

The empirical evidence you seek is upward viewing radiometers measuring downwelling IR radiation from the sky…AND satellite-borne radiometers measuring much lower levels of IR radiation from the Earth.

Since you, like the Slayers, persist in this nonsense, you can now take your cult science elsewhere.

• Jochen Ebel says:

Satellite is measured spectral infrared intensity – and the temperature, which leads to this intensity. is given by Planck. And Einstein hat 1916 postuliert (and the development of laser confirmed his theory), the molecules emit in all directions equally. Upward emission is undisputed, then why deny downward?

Sincerely yours

24. coturnix19 says:

2josik:

there is a difference between commenting and godless flooding i guess, don’t u think?

As for islam caricatures comparison, it is completely out of hand; question of caricatures is a question of private property. The ownrs or journalists don’t have to print or not-print anything. The muslims protesting the caricatures wanted to subdue the publisher’s will and right to property to their own beliefs. By saying that dr spencer should allow repetetive flood messages of “2+2=5” merit on HIS blog u actually position yourself towards those fanatics who wanted to make others do with their property what they wanted, except that u do not use violence.

25. jae says:

Wow! Fair enough, if you honestly address the opposition.

26. Guenter Hess says:

Some folks claim that „backradiation“ does not exist.

The following 2 papers show experimental evidence that backradiation is measuered in multiple places aroud the earth.

http://tinyurl.com/d8ggo28

http://tinyurl.com/6kgzhjk

Dr. Spencer’s model is therefore based on sound experimental evidence.

In ordert o refute Dr. Spencer’s claim with a scientific argument needs therefore to provide a counter model that explains this experimental evidence.

• Reg Ouse says:

Guenter Hess says: “Some folks claim that „backradiation“ does not exist.
The following 2 papers show experimental evidence that backradiation is measuered in multiple places aroud the earth.”

It dies not matter, because other folks demonstrate that back radiation can not have a warming effect on the source.

• Guenter Hess says:

This is pure semantics. In order to describe the radiative heat transfer between two bodies the so called „backradiation“ is used as a parameter.
So you claim, there are folks that describe the radiative heat transfer beetween 2 bodies without using „backradiation“. I doubt it. Show me how they do it?

• Reg Ouse says:

Guenter Hess says: “So you claim, there are folks that describe the radiative heat transfer beetween 2 bodies without using „backradiation“. I doubt it. Show me how they do it?”

I only sad 1 sentence “It dies not matter, because other folks demonstrate that back radiation can not have a warming effect on the source” and it was obviously not what you claimed I said.

• Guenter Hess says:

I ask you how other folks demonstrated that?
Can you show it?

• Jochen Ebel says:

What about an isothermal gas? Nothing Radiation is about? Is not it rather that just as much is emitted as absorbed? Were it otherwise, would form of itself temperature differences, which would contradict the second law of thermodynamics.

Sincerely yours

27. Reg Ouse says:

Roy Spencer said: “Without greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would slowly approach an isothermal state through thermal conduction with a temperature close to the surface temperature, and convection would then be impossible.
In other words, without the “greenhouse effect”, there would be no decrease in atmospheric temperature with height, and no convection. The existence of weather thus depends upon the greenhouse effect to destabilize the atmosphere.”

Suppressed for whatever reason convection would lead to less cooling of the surface and a higher surface temperature. No “greenhouse gas warming” here.

• Guenter Hess says:

Higher compared to what?

With suppressed convection(no clouds) and without greenhouse gases, a transparent atmosphere in the infrared, the maximum surface temperature can only be equal to the effective radiation temperature.

• Guenter Hess says:

Correction:
I meant Maximum mean surface temperature

28. Robert Austin says:

I say to you “disappointed” posters that still want to argue the back radiation thing with Dr. Spencer, the man simply has had enough of this subject. It has become just the same old rehash of the arguments, hence the “Already been addressed. Bye.” So he asks you to take it somewhere else or develop a scientifically correct model that reproduces the atmospheric temperature structure.

29. jae says:

BTW, Roy, your post makes NO sense to me at all. Just one example: You say:

“The Slayers have had ample opportunity to answer my challenge: take your ideas, put them into an alternative time-dependent model for surface temperature, and run it from any initial state and see if it ends up with a realistic temperature.”

WHAT? Do we need a “model” to understand our world now??? Empirical evidence doesn’t cut it anymore? Just what the hell are you talking about? You seem to be on the same planet as James H.

• To “model” is just taking what you think you know conceptually and show it works with real numbers and units. This is standard physics, Jae, and it is unfortunate that you have been led to believe that “models” are somehow bad. Without them, we don’t really know anything quantitatively with any level of confidence.

30. Guenter Hess says:

@ Reg Ouse May 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM

In your link and your argument above, you use the wrong boundary conditions at the source. You use constant temperature dT/dt = 0 boundary conditions at the source.
This is wrong. You need to use the boundary conditions dq/dt = 0 at the source. Then you immediately see that back radiation from the second body does have an effect on the stationary temperature of the source, by plotting the temperature versus time solutions of the two bodies.

• Reg Ouse says:

Guenter Hess says: “@ Reg Ouse May 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM
In your link and your argument above, you use the wrong boundary conditions at the source. You use constant temperature dT/dt = 0 boundary conditions at the source.
This is wrong. You need to use the boundary conditions dq/dt = 0 at the source.”

I did not use any equations in my linked explanation. I did not use any dT/dt or whatever.

Could you please when making your point refrain from lying about what the opponent said? It would be nice.

• Guenter Hess says:

Oh yes you did implicitly use the boundary condition dT/dt =0.
You said: “You have initially a body kept at a certain temperature by it’s internal source of energy.“

and you explain:

„Then, according to the “back radiation warming” concept, the back radiation from the colder body will increase the temperature of the warmer body. Actually, already on this stage we should start screaming and crying “how come?”“

And
„This is the mutual endless warming without any additional input of energy“

These argument of yours need implicitly the boundary conditions dT/dt = 0, since you claim that the source does not warm.

Without specifying boundary condition your line of arguments is useless. Therefore I deducted your boundary condition from the context. If I was wrong please specify the bondary conditions you used for your argument, otherwise you omitted a crucial detail in your argument.

Because if you would have used the correct boundary condition dq/dt = 0. Both your bodies will indeed warm. This can be measured and easily be calculated.

The boundary condition dq/dt = 0 ensures that there is a steady supply of energy.

• Reg Ouse says:

Guenter Hess says: “… boundary condition dT/dt =0. …These argument of yours need implicitly the boundary conditions dT/dt = 0, … Without specifying boundary condition … I deducted your boundary condition … please specify the bondary conditions … correct boundary condition … The boundary condition dq/dt = 0 ensures that there is a steady supply…

OK, you can hope that someone will be impressed by your scientific-like talk, no problem with that.

31. don penman says:

I don’t agree with the “slayers” that there is no back radiation and that it does not cause the surface to warm by reducing the rate that heat is lost.I don’t think that it is wrong for the “slayers” to put forward an alternative view on this subject but it has been explained why they are wrong many times and Roy Spencer should be able to put his views on his own blog and not have to be constantly proving that the “slayers” are wrong.

32. John K says:

Hi Roy,

On a previous blog thread you wrote:

“Nevertheless, the surface is still warmer than if the greenhouse effect did not exist: the Earth’s surface emits an average of around 390 W/m2 in the thermal infrared even though the Earth absorbs only 240 W/m2 of solar energy.”

Do you claim the Earth surface absorbs on average 240 W/m2? Or do you claim the Earth’s atmosphere and surface combine to absorb this amount on average?

Please note Roy, I do not dispute anything you’ve written regarding any climate issue. I simply seek clarity as to what you understand to have been measured. Does the 240 W/m2 represent all solar radiation, of every bandwidth, directed to the Earth prior to impinging the Earth’s atmosphere and electromagnetic field? Or does it simply reflect all solar radiation directly impinging the Earth’s surface? Please let us know how scientists arrived at these measurements. Thanks Roy for any help you can provide.

I apologize if you have provided this information before, but I simply don’t recall how anyone came by these measurements. Thanks again for any help you can provide.

• the surface and atmosphere absorb a total of 240. The satellite radiative budget instruments ERBE and CERES provide the primary observational evidence for this number…although it is somewhat uncertain by maybe 10 W/m2 or so, as the CERES scientists admit. Something close to 240 is their best estimate.

• Nope Roy says:

Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says: “the surface and atmosphere absorb a total of 240. The satellite radiative budget instruments ERBE and CERES provide the primary observational evidence for this number…”
—————————————

This can not be true.

Satellites do not measure absorption on the surface.

The 240 number is a result of an absolutely false theoretical calculation, referring to the “Earth without atmosphere”.

• Curt says:

The theoretical calculation is taking the measured shortwave flux from the sun and subtracting the measured shortwave reflection from the earth.

33. Cees de Valk says:

Is there an easy way to move ‘Slayer’ comments to a separate section rather than deleting them? In that way, they could be preserved for posterity.

• Not that I’m aware of.

34. Doug.C says:

Roy

As a key member, climate researcher and author for PSI I would suggest that we have “put up” very effectively, accurately and in accord with the laws of physics a sound explanation of the physics involved in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” in the PROM menu at PSI.

On many occasions I have implicitly invited you to discuss the physics in my paper of that name, but the record on your various threads indicates that you ignore me. Personally I am confident that you have no valid counter arguments, but by all means give it a go Roy.

Let me start by pointing out that I discussed back radiation, and how it slows that surface cooling which is itself by radiation well over a year ago in my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” easily found on several websites.

You say that “their central non-traditional view seems to be that the atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases” that emit thermal infrared radiation downward.” This is not correct Roy. Of course there is plenty of back radiation coming down from the atmosphere to the surface. But “thermal energy” in physics is basically kinetic energy in atoms and molecules. It is not electro-magnetic energy in radiation. That electro-magnetic energy has to be converted to thermal energy in a target before we can observe a transfer of heat. So thermal energy in the source is converted to electromagnetic energy in the radiation, and then back to thermal energy if and only if the target is cooler than the source of spontaneous emission. That’s physics Roy.

If you believe otherwise, then I ask you one simple question: How does the low frequency radiation in a microwave oven pass through plastic and heat water on the other side, without heating the plastic? The plastic is not transparent in the usual sense wherein radiation such as x-rays pass through objects in straight lines so that x-ray images can be formed.

The main thrust of my argument in the paper about planetary core and surface temperature is that, as a direct corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, there must be an autonomous thermal gradient in a gravitational field, and that evolves at the molecular level, and has nothing to do with pressure.

So your comment about “air pressure” is way off track, Roy. If you want to know why the stratosphere is hotter that is covered in my paper. So too are all supposed counter arguments to the gravity gradient.

If you truly understand how Solar energy can be distributed by non-radiative processes even up the thermal gradient towards the surface, as explained in my paper, then you would be able to explain how 2.5W/m^2 reaching Uranus maintains temperatures of 320K at the base of its troposphere, and far hotter further down. But you can’t explain this any other way, now can you Roy? The high temperatures are not due to pressure, either on Uranus or Venus.

In fact, I have discussed why temperature is not related to pressure right at the start of my article “The Old Wives Tales of Climatology” recently published and easily found with a search on the PSI website.

In a nutshell, we have “put up” in published papers on our website, but you have not read or understood them, Roy. It is the autonomous thermal gradient due to gravity which sets up the “supported” surface temperature. Radiative imbalance has nothing to do with mean planetary surface temperatures.

I am happy to help you understand the explanations in my papers if there is anything you honestly cannot follow or accept. But please don’t accuse us of saying things quite contrary to what we do say.

• Doug:
I have read your simple-minded explanation of Venus. Are you not aware of the number of people who have spent their careers actually modeling the temperature profile of Venus, using the same physics you choose to ignore? Stop harassing me, Doug. You keep changing e-mail addresses so you can post here, and I want you to take it someplace else. Try actually learning something about infrared radiative transfer.
-Roy

• TonyB says:

Well said

• GhoulHunter says:

=====================================
Doug wrote
“But “thermal energy” in physics is basically kinetic energy in atoms and molecules.”
=====================================

No, you are neglecting the contribution from potentially stored energy. That part can not be considered small and must be included.

=====================================
Doug wrote
“How does the low frequency radiation in a microwave oven pass through plastic and heat water on the other side, without heating the plastic?”
=====================================

You seem to be confused about the basic definitions in thermodynamics here.

Technically, the water isn’t heated. The microwave performs work on the water molecules by resonating with the water molecules. This can never be called heating in the technical sense. It’s unfortunate that everyday use of wording call this “heating the water”, confusing the layperson.

• Curt says:

Doug uses the example of a microwave oven passing radiation through plastic to heat water as evidence for this theory when in fact it is a horrible problem for it.

The radiation from a microwave oven has a 2.45 GHz frequency and a 12 cm wavelength. This frequency/wavelength corresponds to the peak frequency/wavelength of thermal radiation from an object with a temperature well under 1 K (yes, less than one Kelvin), well below the cosmic background radiation temperature, which is about 3K. And yet it can boil water!

Since he doesn’t have the slightest understanding of the mechanisms that make different substance reflect, absorb, or pass through different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, he invents incredibly convoluted mechanisms that often don’t explain real phenomena, or do no better than the standard mechanisms, or require bizarre underlying mechanisms, and are often self-contradictory.

The slayers’ inability to handle what are the really very simple explanations of the standard theory, what I call the “blind emission/absorption” model (because objects do not know what they are radiating towards or where they are getting radiation from), and their substitution of bizarre elaborate and complex explanations reminds me of this classic YouTube video:

Yes, Skydragon slayers, this is how people who really understand the physics and use it every day successfully view you!

• Jochen Ebel says:

Why are similar the temperatures and pressures of the columns of the CO2 at the tropopause in Earth, Venus, Mars? Because same physics.

Sincerely yours

35. Obelix the Norse says:

Quote from Ian W (May 10, 2013 at 6:26 PM): “So your budget diagram is missing an arrow showing CO2 cooling the troposphere by emitting energy gained from collision with the molecules of the non-radiative gases” – I have thought that collisions between 2 objects (in general) deplet the energy (normally the kinetic energy, in this case the radiative energy) to convective heat. Am I wrong?

And with regard to TOA, were the ambient temperature is freezing cold, how can the very little heat generated to convective heat, from collisions between molecules – have any effect on the temperature over all. Will not the freezing cold temperatures in matter of seconds “win” over the very small amount of heat generated by the collisions? – And so will the presence of CO2 in the upper parts of the atmosphere just be amplifying the speed of heat-loss out of our atmosphere?

36. JackThePhysicist says:

I’m a theoretical physicist well versed in thermodynamics with 15 year post doc research, perhaps I can help…

Their argument boils down to “back radiation from a cold object cannot warm a warmer object”

This it true, by the laws of thermodynamics the balance of heat must always be transfer to the cooler object, else we could build a potential motion machine.

The way I see it is that are just arguing over a silly schematics over the above sentence.

They should say THE BALANCE of radiation transfer between two objects cannot warm a warmer object – which is TRUE

But you can and should say – the radiation impinging from the cooler object results in a warmer being warmer, even though the balance of radiation is to the cooler object.

Without the existence of the cooler object reflecting at least some radiation back the warmer object should be cooler.

Hope that clears it up

• Jack, I’ve tried explaining it that way in a number of blog posts. But it will not clear it up because the Slayers are 100% committed to their cult-like cause.

• Nope Roy says:

JackThePhysicist says: “But you can and should say – the radiation impinging from the cooler object results in a warmer being warmer, even though the balance of radiation is to the cooler object.”
Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says: “Jack, I’ve tried explaining it that way in a number of blog posts.”

_____________________________________

This is absolutely absurd physically and impossible.

It has already been explained to you recently, Roy, on your blog, how this notion of yours would have as a consequence a mutual endless warming of 2 bodies without additional supply of energy: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-77996 .

Remarkably, you did not even try disputing the point, instead you started banning people a few days later.

The issue will not go away, Roy. You can not ban physics and common sense.

• Harry_W says:

Clue: it is *not* Dr. Spencer who has “ban(ned) physics and common sense.” He’s dead-right on this, as are the tens of thousands of others, ever sine the late 1800s, who have it right. You do not.

• JackThePhysicist says:

“This is absolutely absurd physically and impossible.”

Actually it’s exceedingly simple to show that this must be the case – if you indulge in a simple thought experiment as follows…

Imagine two objects at 1000DegC in outerspace, second object is surrounded by a third shell-like object at 0DegC. After 1 hour which of the first two objects is warmer?

• KR says:

Sadly, Jack, much of the Slayers argument boils down to a simple Fallacy of Division (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_division), assuming that because heat, as a net statistical quantity, flows from warmer to cooler, that individual photons and thermal interactions must likewise be uni-directional.

Said fallacy, I’ll note, being repeated over and over again at increasing volumes in the absence of any numbers…

37. Mack says:

Dear Roy,
I’m putting up and will now shut up for you. I’m sorry I cannot answer your “challenge to provide a quantitative model of surface temp. change” because I don’t do models. I live in the real world and deal with reality.
Firstly I would like to say that I’m not a member of PSI and secondly,although CO2 has reached 400ppm today, it doesn’t worry me in the least, nor will my 2 grandchildren worry.
Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory
1)Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) first became news in NZ in 1972 when a smallish item in my local newspaper, about page 3 or 4, announced that scientists say that man is warming the planet with “greenhouse gases”. The impact on me was such that I can remember where I was sitting in the hotel room reading this..Whoa,! heavy stuff man! So I began to look for further items in the newspapers…but hang on, they quickly didn’t bother to put quote marks around the words “greenhouse gas” any more converting a theory into “fact”. I thought the scientists were going to have their work cut out to keep this a theory, or just succumb to the “fact”. Succumb they did. Media generated science.
So I went on with my life accepting the “fact”. Then the internet came along and I read many years ago that in 1980 Al Gore convened and chaired the first meeting of US scientists latching on to the old Tyndall,Arrhenius theory. Corruption of science by a politician. I read that Jimmy Hansen was a mate of Al Gore. (probably present at the meeting)
2)The AGW science began as a sort of colouring-book level of science inside glass tubes, the results of which were just simply directly extrapolated to the Earth’s atmosphere. The question is, what in reality was inside those glass tubes. Arrhenius might have had good reason for calling it “carbonic acid”. (Is that just an archaic term?) He was not forgetting the difficulty of generating, transporting (through the glass tubes) and collecting of CO2 without it coming in contact with air and its attendant water vapour. Not forgetting the equation of acid + marble chips gives CO2 + WATER. So in the glass tubes?…is it what the teacher, drawing little circles of carbon and oxygen on the blackboard says it is..ie. carbon dioxide? Or is it “carbonic acid” , “carbonic acid gas”?
3)Today, here is the brainwashing of NZ school pupils at the hands of the NZ govt….
4)The “experts” promulgating this quack “greenhouse” theory advance 2 stunningly stupid concepts…
a)That a trace gas wafts around in the air above the ocean waves and by means of “back radiaton” warms the water beneath it more than it would be otherwise by the sun.
b)That the atmosphere is stopping the oceans from becoming one FROZEN ball.
5)Central to the issue is the science presented in 2011 by Nasif Nahle at Jennifer Marohasy’s site. From which I/they conclude that that the Earth’s temp. is purely hydrological and has nothing to do with CO2.
6)From Nasif Nahle we learn that…
a)Under the current partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere the absorptivity/emissivity of CO2 is 0.0017(rounded up to 0.002), not an assumed value by the AGWers of 1. This adheres to the real world, not hypothetical black-bodies.
b)The absorptivity/emissivity of the Earth’s lithosphere,hydrosphere,biosphere and cryosphere has been carefully measured and is 0.82, The AGWers just fudge around with guesswork numbers for this. Again not the real world.
7)Thus we learn that CO2 behaves no differently from any other gas in the atmosphere. Gases don’t add energy but disperse it. All gases dissipate heat. In reality CO2 behaves as a mild coolant. (used as a refrigerant back in the 1920s,30s)
8)Because there is only a minute quantity of atmospheric CO2, the AGW people rely on a positive water vapour feedback to give credence or make believable some supposed warming from this trace gas. However CO2 has a lower absorptivity/emissivity than water vapour thus lowering the total absorptivity/emissivity of the atmospheric gases, ie a cooling effect with no positive water vapour feedback.
9)Nothing, however , matches the the unreal cloud-cookoo land thinking of the AGWers than in their production of Earth Energy Budget diagrams. In all science books,encyclopedias and science literature of any kind you pick off the shelf pertaining to this quack AGW greenhouse theory you will see that the incoming solar radiation is always about 340w/sq.m….
http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/faq-1-1-fig-1.jpg
This 342w/sq.m. figure is CALCULATED by the AGWers by taking the real MEASURED (measured since 1902 by waterflow and now up to date and accurately by sattelite) figure of 1360w/sq.m.,the “solar constant”, and like all true academics they go to the blackboard and draw little circles of the sun and earth. Then by means of geometrical angles and area calculations figure out what they think is the incoming solar radiation. A sort of buggerising of a real measurement. A sort of one foot in reality and the other in a model of AGW fantasy. These academic AGW teaching twats (metaphorical)fail to realise they are already modeling. They fail to realise they are in a classroom and not in the real world making real observations and taking real measurements.
None of the figures you see in that cartoon produced by lead IPCC author Kevin Trenberth and the younger Jeffrey Keihl are actual measurements but are derived from the wrong incoming 342w/sq.m. which then transforms into figures tearing around in their hysterical imaginations.
The reality is 1360 odd w/sq.m. is the incoming solar radiation. It is a yearly global average which is a bulk load that cannot be divided. It must remain simply as that,and that then simply “attenuates down” (my choice of wording) to a real global average measured(land based measured and reflected back to the sattelites)amount of about 340w/sq.m at the Earth’s surface.
The AGWers show an average of about 161w/sq.m.or 168w/sq.m. at the Earth’s surface with backradiation from the atmosphere making up the shortfall to prevent the oceans from freezing! But this is the real world. The real world in which a 1 sq.m. metal plate,inches thick,in equatorial regions will get hot enough to fry eggs on. Consider the equivalent electrical wattage required to achieve this. To the AGWers who would believe that backradiation would heat that plate I say…it’s the sun stupid.
So it is 340w/sq.m. at the Earth’s surface, NOT 161w/sq.m. This is not just a typo, this is unbelievably wrong.
Just as wrong as all the naive, gullible, brainwashed “intellectuals” who keep feeding this fear-mongering crap science to our children.
Mack.

• Mack:
While I agree with some of your comments about indoctrination of our children, I suggest you learn a little more about the 340 vs. 161 W/m2 issue. Your 340 would assume that clouds do not reflect sunlight back to space, in which case we would not see them in satellite images. It also assumes that the atmosphere does not absorb some of the sunlight…but it does (e.g. water vapor, ozone, some aerosols).

Besides, the 161 global average value is more in accord with a variety of surface-based measurements…you do realize that we can measure the intensity of sunlight at the surface, do you not?

• Curt says:

Mack: If you “don’t do models”, you don’t do real science. You cannot make predictions without models. You cannot get understanding of aspects of a system without simplified models. You cannot decide what experiments to perform without them either.

38. AlecM says:

I’m not a ‘Slayer’ but we agree on most points. To claim GHGs radiate energy in all directions is incorrect unless you qualify the argument by stating that the volumetric heat transfer rate to matter is the negative of the integral over all wavelengths of the gradient of the monochromatic radiative flux density gradient at a point.

This gets a scalar from a vector. It is the basis of using the S-B equation at a plane optical heterogeneity as S-B hot – S-B cold. Unfortunately, Climate Alchemy mistakenly believes S-B cold is a real energy flow. It is not and never can be.

For this reason, you can’t use the two-stream approximation at the Earth’s surface. Therefore IRsfc = 23 W/m^2, 40 W/m^2 going to space via the atmospheric window.

Hence the claim that the ‘clear sky atmospheric greenhouse factor’ = 157.5 W/m^2 is the product of incorrect boundary conditions. It is 6.85 times too high. There is no significant positive feedback because there is no significant CO2-AGW. Another mechanism controls the ‘OLR bite’ effect.

In short, the Earth’s atmosphere operates at the null point of a control system which maintains net SW IN = OLR. We are stable and that mechanism can stand wide variation of CO2 concentration and some insolation. However, there is still ice age bistability, the presence or absence of biofeedback via phytoplankton.

• yes, GHG’s *do* radiate IR in all directions…and they absorb IR from all directions. How could they not?

Of course, SW IN = OLR…but only at the top of the atmosphere, where there can only be radiative flows of energy. Within the atmosphere and at the surface it becomes much more complex.

• AlecM says:

My point is that SW IN = OLR is the null point of the negative feedback control system which keeps average surface temperature constant independent of [CO2].

The CO2 is the working fluid of a heat engine. Therefore by definition it cannot affect climate directly. There are second order effects but minor.

Earth’s atmosphere is remarkably resilient with many negative feedback processes able to cope with the ‘Faint Sun’, the 12 times rise of CO2 in the past and present CO2 change.

This is exactly what a grizzled old engineer anticipated but unfortunately, few academic scientists have the experience to comprehend the interactions of the control loops.

PS did you realise that in the paper which apparently started off the climate scare, the ludicrous claim that the GHE = lapse rate heating, was based on a big ‘mistake’? 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf.

‘Carbon dioxide absorbs in the atmospheric “window” from 7 to 14 micrometers which transmits thermal radiation
emitted by the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere. Increased atmospheric CO2 tends to close this window and cause outgoing radiation to emerge from higher,colder levels, thus warming the surface and lower atmosphere by the so called greenhouse mechanism’

Thus they believed CO2 ‘traps energy’ over most of the IR spectrum, not just he ‘OLR bite at ~15 µm. Was this a mistake or was it deliberate? There is no ‘trapped energy’ because there’s a radiative bypass mechanism.

• Your first sentence is a non sequitur, as is your second paragraph.

I agree with the main theme of your third paragraph…negative feedbacks control the climate system. But did you know that all climate models *also* exhibit net negative feedback (in an engineering sense), despite quite different levels of predicted warming? Just because the system is stabilized by negative feedback says *nothing* about how much warming will occur.

I really don’t care whether a paper by Jim Hansen from 30 years ago was poorly worded.

39. Quondam says:

One small step for physical science. I’ve long felt that climate blogs are flooded by trollish pettifogging disputing the greenhouse effect or arguing the adiabatic lapse rate is a “Convective Equilibrium”. The latter, disguised as the “Convective Adjustment”, is the Achilles heel common to all climate models.

Alas, blog formats are not compatible with mathematic analyses. For example, I may offer

http://pdquondam.webng.com/Files/Thermal_Profiles.pdf

a basic Thermo 101 problem. For extra credit, it’s not difficult to evaluate the integrals and find the entropy difference between the isothermal and adiabatic profiles for atmospheric parameters. Then, if in a steady state dissipating 240 W/m2, find the initial relaxation time for relaxation from an adiabatic to an isothermal profile when the energy input sustaining the steady state is turned off. Old school PChem, “O tempora o mores!”

Incidentally, the expression “Convective Equilibrium” is attributed to Lord Kelvin. Lord K has also provided Plan B for fossil fuel antagonists should their current efforts falter.

http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/end_of_free_oxygen.html

40. Stephen Wilde says:

Well I declined an invitation to join the Slayers because there clearly is a Greenhouse Effect (from the mass of the entire atmosphere rather than just from GHGs) but I see problems with some of Roy’s assertions too.

41. Stephen Wilde says:

Roy said:

“Of course, SW IN = OLR…but only at the top of the atmosphere, where there can only be radiative flows of energy. Within the atmosphere and at the surface it becomes much more complex.”

Actually it is very simple.

The ‘excess’ energy over and above SW in and OLR out is being constantly exchanged between atmosphere and surface by non radiative mechanisms.

It matters not whether one says the energy moving from atmosphere to surface is effected by downward radiation as Roy contends or by descending air adiabatically returning PE back to KE to warm the surface as I contend.

Events WITHIN the atmosphere are indeed very complex and that complexity is what allows variation in energy flows to maintain SW IN = OLR OUT over time.

I agree that pressure in itself has no thermal effect but pressure is intimately linked to density and density varies according to atmospheric mass and gravity.

More mass or more gravity give a greater density and a higher temperature with higher pressure being a side effect.

Less mass or less gravity give a reduced density and a lower temperature with lower pressure being a side effect.

The system energy content and equilibrium temperature is set only by mass gravity and ToA insolation.

Any other factor only affects circulation.

I see that point as the most important of all because it shows exactly why and how the system stays stable enough for atmospheres to be common in the universe and why GHGs do not need to have any significant net effect after the negative system response via circulation changes has been taken into account.

Note that my proposition accepts a climate effect from GHGs and therefore is consistent with the science of Arrhenius and basic AGW theory because GHGs do result in a changed circulation and climate zone shifts.

It is just that since the entire mass of the atmosphere is involved and since solar and oceanic effects are so large the GHG effect is so miniscule as to be indistinguishable from zero.

There would still be a convective circulation with a radiatively inert atmosphere.

The decline in pressure, density and temperature with height would ensure a lapse rate and uneven surface heating would cause convection.

Excess incoming energy in the atmosphere on the day side would be raised higher via convection and then sink on the night side warming adiabatically as it does so thereby returning energy to the night time surface for radiation out to space.

At equilibrium the excess incoming to the surface on the day side would be offset by excess outgoing from the surface on the night side.

The more mass in the atmosphere the higher the system energy content becomes and the higher the average surface temperature.

Likewise, if one increases the strength of the gravitational field which compresses the atmosphere thereby increasing density which allows it to retain solar energy for longer.

Likewise increasing ToA insolation which means that more energy is flowing through at any given moment.

The effect of an atmosphere is to lower the peak temperature on the day side and increase the lowest temperature on the night side for an increase in average temperature overall.

The more mass the greater the effect.

Changes in any other factors only result in circulation changes so as to adjust energy throughput so that radiative balance at ToA is maintained.

42. After all this time, everyone still clings to their own pet statement of a “greenhouse effect”, when the only valid statement–promulgated to the public for over 20 years — is “an increase in global mean surface temperature with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide”.

But a simple comparison of temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth, at points of equal pressure over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, shows that the Venus/Earth temperature ratio is a constant (there is no ADDED temperature on Venus due to its much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration), and in fact a constant that is PRECISELY explained by Venus’s smaller distance from the Sun, and nothing else (except within Venus’s cloud layer, between about 650 and 200 mb pressure, where the Venus temp. is about 5K LOWER–in other words, a minor ADDITIVE effect within the clouds themselves–than that calculated, simply, from the Standard Atmosphere model here on Earth and the ratio of solar distances of the two planets).

“Lukewarmers” like Spencer and Watts are stymied by their unswerving belief in the radiative transfer theory, My Venus/Earth demonstration of the absolute absence of a greenhouse effect–as I define it, and as it is sold to the public–implies the radiative transfer theory is also wrong, physically; but I am not about arguing theories, and I don’t feel any need to put forward a better one to replace theirs. I only insist that the Venus/Earth temperature ratio is the definitive evidence that denies their theory. Contrary to Spencer’s insistence heretofore, the onus is on defenders of the consensus greenhouse theory to demonstrate quantitatively, that the observed Venus/Earth constant temperature ratio–needing nothing but the ratio of their solar distances to explain–arises naturally from their theories. I have already demanded you put up or shut up, many times over the last two and a half years. Instead, you go on about how you “observe” the greenhouse effect (but not the one that counts), without confronting the definitive evidence that denies that effect’s existence (specifically, in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth). How lukewarmers can fight against the alarmists, and often give evidence that the global warming “greenhouse effect” must be very small, nevertheless are dogmatically set against admitting that effect is zero, is all that separates you from the “Slayers”, in the end. (And no, I am not one of them; they like to say carbon dioxide is a coolant, but my Venus/Earth comparison says that is no more correct than that it is a heater. It is a “heat lubricant”, whose increase only speeds up heat transfer–by radiation–within the atmosphere, without changing either the lapse rate or the surface mean temperature; it neither traps nor slows down).

• All points which have been addressed before, Harry. Your comparison to Venus doesn’t work because the albedo of Venus is so much higher than on Earth. But even if temperatures were similar over the same range of pressure altitudes, it proves nothing…Actual, quantitative temperatures at all altitudes have only been produced from physical first principles with the inclusion of greenhouse gases, for instance see Fig. 4.10 on p. 55 here:
http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2012-03-08/2_mendonca_pdf_13574.pdf

All you offer is qualitative hand-waving. Take it someplace else. Bye.

• TonyB says:

Roy,

Thank you for your efforts and patience on this site.

I have long felt, talking do “Deniers” of all degrees on various forums, that nothing one says, either as a recognised scientific concept, or even of observation ( professionally on my part by forecasting for and observing the atmosphere in my time as a Meteorologist with the UKMO ) can even scratch the surface of the beliefs of this type of person. An interesting and maddeningly frustrating psychological conundrum they present.
Whether they are incapable of accepting reality, perhaps because they mistrust being “told” anything – or even just that they are “sure” via their basic internet learned knowledge that they “of course” know this or that is wrong, the “it’s just basic” sort of judgement/comment we see exemplified above. For those not aware of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome, I suggest you Google.
Then of course the politicisation of the subject of AGW comes into it – well there’s no rationality there is there?

I’m now off to tell my doctor that I don’t need chemotherapy on my pancreatic cancer as I’ve discovered from the internet a wizard way of curing it. And, well, the guy on there and I know more about it than the Oncologist. Stands to reason.

• Jochen Ebel says:

Why are similar the temperatures and pressures of the columns of the CO2 at the tropopause in Earth, Venus, Mars? Because same physics.

Sincerely yours

43. SkepticGoneWild says:

Roy,

I have seen a lot of “thought” experiments, or models created to explain you contention that “Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still” (From the “Yes, Virginia…” thread). I am all for the scientific method, whereby if one has an hypothesis, real experiments or tests are conducted in order to confirm the hypothesis. Have you or anyone conducted a controlled scientific experiment that would confirm your hypothesis? Seems that would be the best way to shut the debate up.

• TonyB says:

Not an experiment – as in a lab but i numerous times observed the following. Real-world not instruments 9 other than a thermometer or two and giving a demonstrable effect on a meteorological parameter. And If you were there the effect would become obvious.

To those on here denying the existence of a GHE, a question.
Have you ever experienced a situation in winter where the formation of freezing fog has caused the ground surface, path/road to rise above zero. It was obviously below zero before as that is how the fog formed in the first place. Then frost/ice melts whilst the freezing fog deposits rime on surfaces not subject to ground heat flux. If you have not, no matter. It happens – the GHE. Back-radiation from the ground to the fog and back to the ground. NO not heating the ground, but allowing the heat flux lower down to re-balance and giving a warmer surface temp. SLOWING radiative transfer.
BTW: meanwhile the top of the fog layer continues to radiate to space ( in the absence of cloud/wind aloft ). radiated energy is RESTRICTED in the fog layer ( WV a GHG ) THEN proceeds to space above it. This is no myth or lies. I have seen it countless times in my career, not to mention forecast it, for instance, night-time flying operations at an RAF airfield.

Another example of the GHE, perhaps (certainly) harder for some to believe ( lost in thread above ) is that of high Cirrus cloud ( at a temp ~ MS30C and 6 miles up ) – causing a road surface temp to rise as it spread overhead. I observed this commonly during ice monitoring. SO we have a relatively shallow layer of WV in crystal form 6 miles up BACK-RADIATING IR from the emitting surface and causing a REDUCTION IN COOLING ( not a warming – as the heat comes from that stored in the body of the ground ).
The first example is a practical, real-world effect that can be noticed by an observant person. My example of high ice-cloud, would not be noticeable unless specifically closely monitoring RST’s and the sky. I routinely did this during one stage of my professional life as a Meteorologist with the UKMO. Again it happens. The GHE.

• SkepticGoneWild says:

TonyB,

Do you know of any examples in a radiative physics books or thermo book? I’ve been pondering this ever since Roy’s “Yes Virginia” post.

I think it would be fair to say the natural reaction of anyone who has a physics background would be of a skeptical nature. I am a professional civil engineer, and our university course work was mostly physics. So my initial reaction was, “Hey, wait just a minute. Doesn’t the Second Law say…?”. I mean, that is what we are taught in physics.

I’ll have to read back over Roy’s comments again. But the scientific method was drilled into me during my university education. The problem with so much of climate science is that they skip the “experiment” or “testing” part (Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. complains about this too). So I am more comfortable when real live experiments are conducted. I remember having fun in some of my lab courses breaking concrete beams to confirm reinforced concrete design theories.

I’ll have to peruse the U.C. Davis library next time I’m there. That’s where my son attends.

• It’s good to be skeptical. But the science underpinning the GHE is so widespread in the published literature that, and so well tested (e.g. it is the basis for satellite infrared retrievals of the vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere) that the only reason you question it is that others who do not understand it have polluted your mind the technobabble.

Now, the GHE is NOT easy to grasp intuitively, because unlike sunlight, every layer of the atmosphere is a source of IR, and also absorbs some of the IR falling upon it. Only with a radiative transfer model and the relevant physics do we find that greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere and cool the upper atmosphere, compared to if they did not exist.

• kuhnkat says:

“But the science underpinning the GHE is so widespread in the published literature that, and so well tested (e.g. it is the basis for satellite infrared retrievals of the vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere) that the only reason you question it is that others who do not understand it have polluted your mind the technobabble.”

Where are the experiments giving reasonable support to the theory? All the arm waving about satellite observations and the rest is tiresome. That is all many of us want. At one time you were doing what you said was a somewhat long term experiment to measure the effect of DLR with an insulated container with exposure to the sky. What ever happened to that and the data gathered? It would not be definitive, but, may be indicative.

• TonyB says:

skeptic….

I don’t know of examples in print form I’m afraid – all you seem to get is bald statements of what happens in the macro, not the interesting micro bits that illuminate a sweeping process such as the GHE, which is ( it seems ) difficult for some people to comprehend. The key is not to look upon it as “temperature” exchange. Just an exchange of energy ( discrete parcels of ), that is continualy flowing to/fro all things. irrespective of temperature.

I too, initially trained to be an engineer and remember experiments done in a lab for tension/compression etc. The most vivid experiment I remember actually was of the demonstration of atmospheric pressure. The science teacher heated up a large tin container boiling a little water inside then screwed on the top and we waited for it to cool. of course it ( to 12 year olds ) was amazing to see the can proceed to crush itself inwards with no visible external force.

I have tried here to explain here with my own observations – that the GHE is real and of course in the scientific process experiment/observation trumps all theory. I have observed the GHE at work many times ( at least with cloud/WV ) and surprisingly subtly too ( the ice-cloud example ). You can do little experiments yourself by using temperature sensors on a ground surface and at normal screen height – this in the sort of conditions I outlined – however, of course they don’t come along too frequently. It can be observed – just needs application … and NOT having a closed mind.

• simon abingdon says:

At first we (12 year olds) were sure it was the vacuum. Only when assured that our milk couldn’t be sucked from the roof of the school through even the sturdiest of straws did we reluctantly accept. (Even then some thought they just needed stronger lungs).

• Curt says:

SGW: These kinds of lab experiments (e.g. parallel plates at different temperatures in a vacuum radiating toward each other) were done so long ago that they are not even considered interesting anymore. The formulas confirmed by these experiments have been presented in engineering heat transfer texts for well over half a century now. They also form the basis for industrial design codes for the same period.

If you believe the version of radiative heat transfer that Roy presents is fundamentally wrong, you shouldn’t be wasting your time commenting on blogs. You should be out doing whatever is needed to shut down any high-temperature industrial plant, including fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants, oil refineries etc. Because if this analysis is fundamentally wrong, all of these plants have been designed based on completely mistaken assumptions.

• kuhnkat says:

Curt,

I read the climate blogs incessantly and have only seen vague references, like yours, to the supporting basic physics that alledgedly supports Climatologists contentions. Tell you what. How about you post links to those basic physics experiments for those of us who have never seen them. All us ignorant types get are insults that we haven’t had the education. You are absolutely right. We have not. So educate us with those experiments!!!

• Curt says:

Kuhnkat,

Google “parallel plate radiation” and you will see all sorts of textbook examples and problems for engineers. This stuff is considered part of the established knowledge base for engineers in the thermosciences. The problems are considered to have a correct answer, and you will not get far arguing for an alternate physics.

Generations of engineers have come out of universities and used this paradigm of radiative heat exchange to build stuff that really works.

I haven’t found any research papers on the web on this stuff, but I also haven’t found any papers that describe what happens to an apple when it is detached from the tree…

• kuhnkat says:

Let me give you an example Curt. Over at Curry’s a gentleman was telling us all about an experiment in thermostat control and measurement of temperatures in test firs for design of sensors. He assured us that the experiment was conclusive. He would NOT link the paper. He did slip enough information about it that I was able to search and find papers in the field. The empirical work did NOT unequivocally support his contentions. In my uneducated opinion they disagreed. Eventually I found the paper he was referring to and it was a MODEL!!! Do you understand circular logic where the “physics” you put into the model “PROVES” your contentions?!?!?!

Show us the empirical experiments so we can evaluate them ourselves rather than being TOLD what to think.

• Jochen Ebel says:

That’s the beauty of physics, that the “laws of physics still apply and apply even if no additional attempts are made, or even can not be made (size, ethics, etc.).

“To educate us with Those experiments!”

Experiments are all done, the physics has secure basics.

Sincerely yours

kuhnkat, here are some computed textbook problems:

http://www.belgeler.com/blg/1k20/heat-chap-12-088

Peruse some of the other examples, and note the consistent dependence of radiative transfer calculations on the temps of all objects involved, regardless of which is warmer than the other(s).

Now these are “just” textbook examples, but real scientists and engineers learn from these texts, and they design/build real systems based on what they’ve learned. You can, for example, search the Web for radiation shielded thermocouples.

44. Roy Spencer says:

Nope Roy? How clever. Satellites measure reflected sunlight, difference that from incoming (basically the solar constant/4) and you have absorbed. Please learn before posting.

45. Roy Spencer says:

SkepticGoneWild, go back and read my recent posts about how the temperature of any heated object is partly determined by the cooler objects surrounding it. It’s basic thermodynamics. The clothes you wear, the insulation in a house. Examples are everywhere and the principles are used every day by engineers designing all kinds of things.

• Nowayroy says:

Roy Spencer says: “SkepticGoneWild, go back and read my recent posts about how the temperature of any heated object is partly determined by the cooler objects surrounding it. It’s basic thermodynamics. The clothes you wear, the insulation in a house.”
——————————————-

Roy, this is absurd and demonstrates your deep misunderstanding of basic physics on the junior high school level.

Isolation does not work through temperature of things used as insulation in the first place. Insulation colder than your body touching your warm body will immediately START COOLING it, Roy. Put you clothes in the freezer first and then put it on. You will start freezing immediately, Roy. This is the most basic science stuff.

You see, you need to desperately refer to other absurd notions, logically, to somehow back up your central absurd notion of “greenhouse effect”.

• TonyB says:

“Roy, this is absurd and demonstrates your deep misunderstanding of basic physics on the junior high school level.”

I’m sorry this is ^&%*^&
And…
“You see, you need to desperately refer to other absurd notions, logically, to somehow back up your central absurd notion of “greenhouse effect”.”

Is it me or are some people just on another planet?

Putting clothes on that have come from a freezer will not instantly freeze anyone. As even a child could tell you.

Where is the source of heat? You, your body. What is the thermal capacity of the clothes you will be putting on, in comparison with your body. Err – next to nothing.
Result – when you put on the ( cold ) clothes they will initially slightly chill your body but the massive thermal capacity of your body in comparison with the clothes, very quickly overwhelm this and the thermal shielding kicks in to warm your body back to and above the *naked* state.

Really, I do wonder! have you not ever put on clothes after getting out of bed of a freezing morn ( in an unheated house ) – if your explanation was true ( in an alternative universe perhaps ) then you would be far better staying naked.
Do I need to say that is patently absurd. Actually, thinking about it, I do.

The GHE is as plain as the nose on your face if you had the wit to think about it. it works around you all the time.

It is not a transference of temperature. It is the constant emission, absorption, an re-emission of energy that is the way the Universe works. Go away and read some basic thermo-dynamics. I you still choose to deny the obvious then can I ask you to concentrate on religion, because there your imagined friend is no better of worse than my imagined friend. In the world I wish to inhabit and the one enlightenment has struggled to achieve over many centuries ignorance will be denied.

Who’s the expert here?
Clue: Not you.

“demonstrates your deep misunderstanding of basic physics” indeed – demonstrates your deep and ignorant arrogance.

The Idiots haven’t taken over the Asylum quite yet, and I will fight my corner to help prevent it happening.

46. Lars P. says:

Let’s forget for a moment the earth surface and the oceans and do the calculation only for the atmosphere as if the rest would not exist.
We know that the atmosphere gets 20% of the solar radiation directly.
The heat gets distributed inside the atmosphere using the formula pV=RT.
The atmosphere is losing heat only at the top of the atmosphere and would come to an equilibrium with the solar input.
We have automatically a temperature distribution inside the atmosphere it does not matter if there are greenhouse gases or not.
If the atmosphere would be much larger – like the example of Venus, of course the lower level will achieve a higher temperature, according to the gas law.
So if the Earth would be only a baloon of atmosphere it would get really hot in the interior, even with only 20% of the suns radiation. No greenhouse needed for this.

Btw, I do not qualify as “dragon slayer”, however some of the points the “dragon slayers” are raising do have value.
To my understanding one such point is the lapse rate. If the models get to a different calculated lapse rate, then the models got the energy budget wrong. Simple as that.

47. jim2 says:

Thank you, Dr. Spencer. Dragon Slayers are lumped into the skeptics category and that just makes all climate skeptics look bad. They need to be explicitly and consistently called Dragon Slayers to set them apart from other skeptics.

48. Dr. Spencer, your stance on this issue is so correct. You have shown through examples, through experimentation, through observational data, that the ghg effect is real and does exist.

As I said I could not address the climate issue or have any understanding of the earth/climate system if I did not think the ghg effect was real.

In the absence of a GHG effect it would be next to impossible to explain anything when it comes to the climate and atmosphere. Such as the atmospheric temp. profile,the various lapse rates, the temp. of the globe being what it is given the amounts of solar radiation coming into /leaving the earth, climatic system.

FOR EXAMPLE : As you have said the STRATOSPHERE and the characteristics of it go a very very long way in proving the GHG effect is real and operates in the manner you have suggested.

SO2 from volcanic eruptions would be another example.

Some of the questions going forward are ,if the sun does stays in this prolong minimum phase how much does that, along with all the secondary effects associated with a prolong solar minimum ( one example an increase in cosmic rays more clouds) counteract the current ghg effect?

An even better question is does a prolong solar minimum and the secondary effects associated with it, resulting in less energy in the earth/climate system have the effect of causing the ghg effect to be less effective,for lack of a better word going forward?

I am thinking yes, and some reasons but not all of my reasons ,are evaporation from the oceans would be less therefore water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere would lower,the colder oceans themselves would be able to absorb more co2 from the atmosphere both in my opinion making the ghg effect, less going forward.

In addition the OLR(IR) emitted from an earth that is cooling would shift to longer wave lengths where CO2 would not be as efficient in absorbing those longer wavelengths, in contrast to the shorter wavelengths a warmer earth now emits.

The near saturation level that CO2 absorbs some of the IR from the earth must come into play at some level.

The fact that no lower tropospheric hot spot near the equator has transpired as a result of a CO2/water vapor positive feedback to me is very telling ,and puts a very big dent in what the global warming models are trying to say about the climate going forward.

To look at this climate situation from the other side ,that being solar i have the following thoughts.

I will start with the solar conditions I feel must be meant in order to get the cooling effects from low solar conditions and limit the ghg effect gong forward. These solar effects must be sustained for a long period of time.

THEY ARE SOLAR FLUX 72 OR LESS

SOLAR WND 350 KM/SEC OR LESS

AP INDEX 5.0 OR LESS 98+ % OF THE TIME

SOLAR IRRADIANCE .015% OFF OR MORE

These solar conditions have been met since 2005 at times ,but the catch in my opinion is when they were met, three factors were coming into play which did not allow the temperatures to respond the way they should going forward to those solar conditions mentioned in the above.

These three factors are the current max. of solar cycle 24 ,(although weak it is still a max. and holding up the solar values stated above), the limited number of sub-solar years(this started oct 2005 in earnest) following over 100+years of active solar conditions, and the ocean heat content that accumulated over the last 100 years in response to the strong solar conditions which is very slow to subside.

Never the less as this decade proceeds these factors will be becoming less of a factor when it comes to keeping the temperatures higher then would otherwise be the case.

I will end this but I just to mention other important secondary effects I feel will come into play with a very quiet long prolong solar minimum period.

They are 1. increase in volcanic activity(response to cosmic rays(earth magnetic field being disturbed)

2. a more meridional atmospheric circulation (in response to ozone changes)

3. a mostly cold PDO /AMO ( Less El Ninos)

4. Greater snow cover,clouds,precip. in response to a more -AO.

5. 4 in the above, results in an albedo increase

6. increase in cosmic rays contributes to more clouds and point 1

Finally the earth’s magnetic field is weakening and will serve to magnify the effects a prolong solar minimum will exert on the earth/climate system in my opinion.

49. pochas says:

Lets give ’em two things, Harry. First, by restricting the clear window, the wings on the Co2 radiation bands will intensify radiation at the surface slightly but the result will be more window radiation, not more LW radiation at TOA.
Second, the more intense surface IR radiation will elevate surface temperatures slightly, enough to raise window radiation to compensate. Its a very small effect, especially when you take convection into account.

But classic thermodynamics says two things. The lapse rate is specified by g/Cp. But you must specify a temperature to get the complete curve. Some prefer to specify a surface temperature but that leaves the TOA temperature wild since you must follow the lapse rate to get to TOA. Others prefer to specify the TOA temperature to equal the Planck temperature (-18C) then follow the lapse rate down to the surface. This gets mixed up with radiation theory because now one must figure out what altitude to associate with the Planck temperature. But the surface temperature does depend on the mass of the atmosphere, viz:

Tp/Ts = (Pp/Ps)^((𝛶- 1)/𝛶)

Where:
Tp = Planck temperature
Ts = Surface temperature
Pp = Planck pressure as defined above
Ps = Surface pressure

Please note that the surface pressure is simply the mass of atmosphere above a unit of surface area, or 14.7 lb/in².

The second thing that thermodynamics says is that a spontaneous process operating in a closed system must result in increased entropy. Entropy will reach its maximum when the universe is all at the same temperature, cold and dead.
To reach this, the earth must radiate to space and any spontaneous process operating on the earth must act to assist this. This requires that the spontaneous process of moist convection must act to cool the earth, therefore, any representation that the water cycle warms the earth is an egregious error, feedbacks from moist convection are necessarily negative (as Roy has clearly shown) and overall climate sensitivities are lower than the Planck sensitivity.

Greenhouse theory provides at most a minor perturbation to surface temperature which washes out as soon as convection becomes effective, and certainly at altitudes well below those visible to the tlt temperature measurements you (Roy) report.

So, don’t worry about the greenhouse effect, Roy. You can’t see it.

50. The future temperature forecast comes down to the following:

Is is the ghg effect going to get stronger or weaker going forward?

Is the prolong solar minimum going to persist and become stronger?

Does the prolong solar minimum limit the ghg effect?

Are the associated secondary effects with a prolong solar minimum real?

I say the ghg effect will be weaker going forward,the prolong solar minimum will persist/ become stronger,the prolong solar minimum will limit the ghg effect further,and the secondary effects with a prolong solar minimum are real.

Hence I expect colder temp. going forward not warmer, and for this to become more apparent once the solar maximum of solar cycle 24 ends ,which should be within the next year.

51. Pochas, you are deceiving yourself when you say:

“But you must specify a temperature to get the complete curve. Some prefer to specify a surface temperature but that leaves the TOA temperature wild since you must follow the lapse rate to get to TOA. Others prefer to specify the TOA temperature to equal the Planck temperature (-18C) then follow the lapse rate down to the surface.”

But how exactly did you come up with that temperature, and from what altitude? You are cheating by assuming an existing temperature, without explaining from first principles why that temperature is what it is. That’s what GHG gas theory provides…start a simple 1D model at any initial temperature profile and it will converge close to what is observed.

All you are saying is, start with this observed temperature at some altitude and assume a quasi-adiabatic lapse rate. Well, duh. You have explained nothing.

• Kristian says:

Spencer,

I’m sorry, but you’re accusing Pochas of doing exactly what you’re doing and exactly what Trenberth is doing in his budget diagram: You start out with already knowing the surface temperature: 288K. You then convert this temperature, through the S-B equation, into a radiative blackbody flux: 390 W/m^2. And use this as your point of departure, the figure that all the others must eventually confirm.

Trenberth then has 168 W/m^2 coming in from the Sun and 102 W/m^2 going out as convective heat loss. He’s then left with 66 W/m^2 of surface radiative heat loss. But none of these heat fluxes can account for the already prepared S-B figure of 390. So he ADDS 324 W/m^2 worth of atmospheric radiative flux (the famous ‘back radiation’) to the solar heat flux. And voilà! The surface budget balances AND the already known surface temperature is apparently well accounted for. We got from a 66 W/m^2 radiative surface (too cold!) to a 390 W/m^2 one (just right!) by simply adding 324 to the incoming. Clever indeed!

But this is completely circular and proves absolutely diddly squat.

You can’t start out with the 288K and the 390 W/m^2. The surface temperature is what you want to determine in the first place.

Look, you need to use the known HEAT fluxes coming in and going out from the surface to do this accounting correctly and properly. You don’t know the 288K. And hence you cannot calculate the 390 W/m^2. This is what every device giving figures for these inferred one-way fluxes do, and to do it, they need to know the temperatures. HEAT fluxes are all they ever actually detect, they are the only ‘real’ ones in the sense of being actually directly measurable without knowing any temperatures.

So what have we? We have 168 W/m^2 coming down from the Sun. This is the ONLY incoming heat flux. The ONLY heat absorbed by the surface. Then we have 102 W/m^2 worth of convective heat loss and 66 W/m^2 worth of radiative heat loss.

102 + 66 = 168 W/m^2

We have surface balance between heat gain and loss: 168 IN, 168 OUT.

NOW you can try estimating the surface temperature. S-B-calculations will give you 233K, -40 degrees (C and F)!

But the actual temperature is 55K higher … Why this major discrepancy?

Because you cannot find the surface temperature of an object surrounded by and in thermal contact with a dynamic medium simply by adding and subtracting energy fluxes at will using equations that only apply to radiative heat transfer. You’re ignoring that the atmosphere is a massive body in a gravity field governed by gas laws.

Determining the surface temperature of the Earth from first principles is a complex undertaking. It is NOT just 2+2=4.

• RW says:

Kristian,

At 288K, the surface radiates about 390 W/m^2 if the emssivity of the surface is about 1 (which it is). To sustain this temperature, the surface must gain about 390 W/m^2. It’s perfectly valid for Trenberth to make this assumption or use this as an approximate starting point, as this is as basic as basic gets.

Do you even agree that the surface is ultimately supplied with 390 W/m^2, yet only about 240 W/m^2 enters the system from the Sun?

• Kristian says:

RW says, May 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM:

“At 288K, the surface radiates about 390 W/m^2 if the emssivity of the surface is about 1 (which it is).”

Sigh. NO, IT DOES NOT! This is the radiative flux it would emit if it were a blackbody in a vacuum radiating to surroundings at 0 K. This is the situation the Stefan-Boltzmann equation applies to. This is what it was made from and for.

“It’s perfectly valid for Trenberth to make this assumption or use this as an approximate starting point (…)”

Of course it isn’t. It is what makes the whole operation invalid from the start, not to say the least, the whole argument totally circular.

“Do you even agree that the surface is ultimately supplied with 390 W/m^2, yet only about 240 W/m^2 enters the system from the Sun?”

Of course I don’t. The surface is ‘ultimately supplied’ with 168 W/m^2 worth of heat from the Sun. As 168 W/m^2 worth of heat escapes the surface. There is no 150 W/m^2 making temperatures higher both up and down on its way out. 70 W/m^2 of HEAT is rather gained on the way from surface to TOA, picked up from the troposphere itself (originally absorbed solar heat).

The 390 and 324 fluxes are what sustains the whole AGW myth. If people only realise they’re based on faulty assumptions, misapplication of a purely radiative law and on that basis pretty much just ‘made’ to suit the dogma, then the whole thing will (hopefully) come crashing down …

The ‘real’ radiative flux from the surface is 66 W/m^2 (T&K97). This comes in addition to the convective flux of 102 W/m^2. Together they balance the incoming heat from the Sun, 168 W/m^2.

ADDING a flux to create A HIGHER TEMPERATURE is turning that flux into a HEAT FLUX. We all agree (I hope) that the atmosphere is in no position to transfer HEAT to the surface.

• RW says:

Kristian,

The surface temperature of about 288K is from direct measurement and not assumption. Do you understand that?

Stefan-Boltzmann law says that at this temperature (assuming an emissivity very near 1), the surface will radiate about 390 W/m^2. Do you disagree with this?

• RW says:

The 66 W/m^2 is the net radiative loss from the surface to the atmosphere – not the power directly radiated from the surface. The 102 W/m^2 is the net non-radiative loss from the surface to the atmosphere.

Might I ask: Are you aware that Trenberth’s diagram is not a model of the GHE, but rather just depicting global average energy flows?

• Kristian says:

RW says, May 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM:

“The surface temperature of about 288K is from direct measurement and not assumption. Do you understand that?”

These are my last words to you, because you’re clearly not reading what I’m writing. So further ‘discussion’ is pointless.

The 288K is derived from real measurements, of course. Where did I suggest anything else? But Roy asks us to ‘find’ this temperature using other means than through pure measurement. To determine it from first principles.

The 390 W/m^2 however is NOT measured. It is inferred.

“Stefan-Boltzmann law says that at this temperature (assuming an emissivity very near 1), the surface will radiate about 390 W/m^2. Do you disagree with this?”

Read my previous post. You shouldn’t need to ask me this question. The S-B law applies only to blackbodies in vacuums, not to the surface of the Earth. Earth’s surface DOES NOT need to radiate 390 W/m^2 at a temperature of 288K.

• RW says:

Kristian,

There is no requirement that the Stefan-Boltzmann law only applies to black bodies in a vacuum (where are you getting that?) It’s true the surface of the Earth is not a perfect black body (nothing actually is) – it’s only very close to one having an emissivity very near 1 (roughly 0.98 on global average). The S-B applies just the same to grey and near black bodies. At 288K with an emissivity of 0.98, the surface would radiate about 382 W/m^2 instead of 390 W/m^2 -not a significant difference.

• Kristian says:

You can also try to determine the tropopause temperature by just measuring fluxes in and out. 240 W/m^2 go in, 240 W/m^2 flow out. Are we then correct in assuming (from S-B calculation) that the mean temperature up there is 255K? Of course not. The real average global temperature at the tropopause is more like 210K. So how could we ever know from just looking at the fluxes?

• RW says:

Yes, 255K is only the ‘effective’ radiating temperature of the tropopause (or TOA) but this is because the 240 W/m^2 flux exiting to space originates from multiple layers in the atmosphere, including some which is directly radiated from the surface itself. The 390 W/m^2 directly radiated from the surface all originates from surface itself (not multiple layers below the surface).

• RW says:

That’s what makes the surface an independent near black body, where as the tropopause or any layer in the atmosphere (save for perhaps dense low clouds) is more a grey body in that a significant amount of incoming radiation is transmitted through the layer.

The bottom line is to sustain 288K, the surface must be supplied (i.e. gain) about 390 W/m^2, and this is entirely independent of how the joules are supplied to the surface. There is no getting around this, as it is one of the most basic of all physical laws.

• Kristian says:

RW says, May 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM:

“Yes, 255K is only the ‘effective’ radiating temperature of the tropopause (or TOA) but this is because the 240 W/m^2 flux exiting to space originates from multiple layers in the atmosphere, including some which is directly radiated from the surface itself.”

Agreed. But the same thing goes for the effective radiating level, RW. It is postulated to be situated 5 kilometres up in the troposphere, because that’s where the real temperature is at an average of 255K. That’s how you get to the 33K ‘GHE’ after all, counting down from here by the lapse rate. So at this level it’s somehow OK to equate temperature (255K) to a specific radiative flux (240 W/m^2), in the middle of the convective troposphere. But not at the TOA, where the full 240 W/m^2 of purely radiative flux is actually leaving the Earth system for space (being above the convection top). There is no 240 W/m^2 of outgoing radiative flux at the ERL. That’s not where it’s measured. It couldn’t.

• Nowayroy says:

Kristian says: “Spencer,
You start out with already knowing the surface temperature: 288K. […] But this is completely circular and proves absolutely diddly squat. […] You can’t start out with the 288K and the 390 W/m^2. The surface temperature is what you want to determine in the first place. …”
__________________________________________

Looks like a heavy blow to me.

The question is now, will Roy ban you or just ignore your point.

• pochas says:

To repeat the reply I left at WUWT,

“But how exactly did you come up with that temperature, and from what altitude?”

This is the radiating temperature of the earth as seen from space, including an albedo of 0.7.

T = (0.7 * 1365/( 4 * 5.67E-8))^0.25 = 255 ºK = -18 ºC

If this reply shows up I will be greatly relieved not to have been considered a “slayer.”

52. Andre Bijkerk says:

I’m not a slayer but I think a case can be made that the atmospheric cooling of radiative gasses may exceed the warming effect of the atmosphere. That would probably effectively be the same as that ‘greenhouse’ effect would not exist.

I’ve put up the “real null hypothesis” many times on the net and I think only a hand full of people told that they understood my lousy explanation, an all others were most happy to vilify me, but please let me try once more.

In order to understand the greenhouse effect, you’d have to try to imagine what would happen hypothetically, if there was no greenhouse effect, hence the atmosphere would be unable to both absorb and emit photon energy. So we hypothetically remove all CO2 and all water from the earth atmosphere, imagining the earth barren like a moon but with an ‘inert’ atmosphere and spinning at one revolution each 24 hours. That’s the real set up of the null hypothesis. Not a black/grey body that gets uniform solar radiation divided by four to account for the surface of the disc versus the sphere. That’s highly unrealistic.

Now at any one moment there is aways one spot on the earth where the sun is in zenith. This dynamic rotating spot would tend to heat up to the Stefan Bolzmann equilibrium temperature which is around 80-90 degrees celsius undivided by four, depending on albedo. This warmest point on earth would be the center of convection (dry adiabatic – there is no water), heating up the atmosphere while cooling the earth surface.

Now we let this zenith continue to spin around the earth, but we look at the place that has been zenith, while the sun sets. Obviously the earth radiates out and cools, and fast since there is no back radiation, no greenhouse effect. So it’s on it’s way to -273 celsius, which it probably won’t reach before sunrise.

So what happens to the atmosphere over this area, due to that cooling? Essentially nothing, since there is no downward convection. Sure the boundary layer of the atmosphere, in contact with the earth, will cool by conduction, but that also makes it stable and won’t give way to the warmer air aloft. It stays put and as air is a good insolator the conductive cooling will be restricted to the very lowest layers.

Also since the atmosphere doesn’t radiate, it can’t cool itself by outward radiation. So without any effective cooling mechanism, it just has to stays warm.

Now obviously we have created an unbalance. At daytime the earth heats the atmosphere with convection at night time there is nothing that cools it, except a negliglible conduction at the boundary layer. So the atmophere will continue to heat up until convection can’t happen anymore. It doesn’t matter how strong that convection is. It’s enough that there is unbalance. It may take a few weeks or millions of years but the atmosphere will continue to heat up until equilibrium

I have no idea at what temperature lapse rate that atmosphere will end up but the main forcing factor is what temperature the zenith point can reach and that’s surely a lot more than 15 degrees C at the surface.

Oh the earth itself may stay a perfect average black body temperature of -18C, no problem with that, but if you have ever spent the night in an igloo, you know that the temperature diffence inside can be something like 20-30 degrees between the snow of the cold hole in the entrance and the top of the dome. So the “surface” temperature, as in the temperature of the atmosphere at 1.5 meters height where the thermometers are, can be totally different from the surface temperature as in barren rock temperature.

Conclusion: without greenhouse effect, an atmosphere of a planet will get hotter than with greenhouse effect, that permits the atmosphere to cool down again in the night what the sun puts up at daytime.

I’m still waiting for that version to be debunked.

• Guenter Hess says:

Yes, the average surface temperatures gets to – 18°C or below. We get an inversion layer between surface and a mostly isothermal atmosphere that takes on in the stationary state about the subsolar point temperature.

But this has nothing to do with Dr. Spencers challenge and the effect of increasing CO2 levels on the surface temperature.

Increasing CO2 levels in your atmosphere will cool the atmosphere and lead to an increase in surface temperature.

• TonyB says:

Andre,

You can have no GHE in the sense of hypothetically removing all GHG’s – but the atmosphere will still radiate it’s energy no matter what is left is composed of. Oxygen and Nitrogen ( and other non GH gases ) will have specific absorption/emission spectra – frequencies at which they gain/lose energy. All things radiate/cool in the absence of energy input ( this case the hypothetical Sun ). A GHG just absorbs/emits more strongly the Earth’s most efficient emitted radiation at terrestrial temperatures, namely IR.

The atmospheric radiation wavelength emitted will not be in the IR, and so not correspond to the best absorption of the Earth but it will still radiate to space, which will accept all frequencies ( emitted above 2.7K ).

Therefore the Earth’s atmosphere will cool overnight as will the surface ( more strongly by absence of a GHE ). There will become a balance whereby the Earth’s atmospheric temperature will become stable. Ie heating up to x by day and cooling to y by night. This if the radiative input and albedo do not change.

I do not accept that the atmospheric LR is caused by GHG’s – I was taught that the hydrostatic and gas law equations explain the DALR and latent heat release explains the SALR. The atmosphere taking up a profile between the two on average. Therefore a lapse rate will exist that transports surface heat via convection and mixes it through this hypothetical atmosphere by day.
By night, heat would be lost via escape to space of radiation corresponding to the emission spectra of this non-GHG ( transparent ) atmosphere.

As you say, cooling via conduction at the surface would be very slow and over the night-time period not have any meaningful contribution.

Oh, and this planet should be flat and windless. Flat, as any gradient would cause cooled surface air to flow downhill ( katabatic wind ) and hence cause mixing of stratified layers. But this planet cannot be windless as there would inevitably be a temp differential between polar and equatorial regions – this would create atmospheric turbulence in the form of thermal winds – effectively jet-streams ( aided by Coriolis force deflection due spin of planet ) – This all then going on to produce Lows/Highs at the surface to give winds and mixing lower in the atmosphere. All this serving to even out this planets temperature.

Hope that’s clear. Gist – radiation still occurs to space from atmosphere and ground – just that the IR spectrum is not retained a little longer before escape. And this planet would still find away to mix out its heat differentials in the absence of convection overnight.

So this the hypothetical Earth will still cool – and without calculation it have no idea of the balance point – but suffice to say it most certainly would not be hotter without a GHE.

• Nick Stokes says:

“Hope that’s clear.”
Indeed it is. Very good analysis.

Without GHG’s it’s the surface rather than the atmosphere that radiates. But the heat does get out.

• Andre Bijkerk says:

But if nitrogen and oxygen do radiate and absorp radiation just as the normal greenhouse gasses, why make a difference? I understand that both gasses have only very few spectral lines in the frequency band that corresponds to the temperature range we are looking at, so they don’t contribute effectively to the radiation energy balance in the atmosphere.

So yes, if you cannot accept a thought experiment that elimates all atmospheric radiation I have to concede that some energy will be outradiated in a O2/N2 atmosphere only, but would it be more than the loss of engergy at the surface due to conduction?

Also, of course there is the wind that distributes the energy, but rule number one for meteorolists is that due to density, the cold air moves the warm air, not the other way around. So you need a lot of force from the less dense warm air aloft to remove the nocturnal icy cold boundary layer (inversion) and exchange energy with the surface.

Conclusion, I cannot find anything here that negates an inert non-radiating atmsphere to accumulate more energy than a radiating amosphere.

53. Norman says:

Here are some articles that at least give some potential to the Slayer group. It is possible I am not reading correctly.

In this article the claim is made “By the use of the emissivity path length relationship for carbon dioxide given by Elsasser (1942), it is
possible to compute directly the net flux due to carbon dioxide radiation at each level in the troposphere.
This was done for the temperature-pressure distribution of Table 4 and the carbon dioxide distribution of
Table 5. The net flux in the lower layers is positive but very small, and increases very slowly with height.
Through the troposphere, the average cooling due to carbon dioxide is of the order of 0.10C day – ‘.”

Then in this article the authors explain how small ice crystals in the polar air act like black bodies (better radiators than either water vapor or carbon dioxide) and actually accelerate the cooling of air by radiation. The effect of the crystals is a strong cooling one.
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0450(1965)004%3C0446%3ATEOSIC%3E2.0.CO%3B2

54. Stephen Wilde says:

Andre Bijkerk says:
May 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

The flaw in that narrative is that as air rises the Kinetic Energy (heat) gets converted to Potential Energy (not heat) so the higher air does NOT remain warm.

It cools in accordance with the lapse rate determined by the strength of the gravitational field.

However whilst rising it remains proportionately warmer than the surrounding air at each level until it encounters an inversion such as the tropopause and the rising continues only up to that point without addition of any more energy (adiabatically).

Since the warmed air has cooled and become more dense it is pushed aside and then descends in another location and warms adiabatically in a reversal of the same process.

That is why the atmosphere is comprised of regions of ascending warm air in low pressure cells and descending cold air in high pressure cells.

The atmosphere constantly recycles energy between KE and PE and back again and that is what keeps the surface warm not back radiation.

Back radiation exists but has no effect on temperature because it is a consequence of the temperature set by mass, gravity and insolation and causative of nothing in itself.

Such back radiation as reaches a surface is generated by the temperature of the air molecules at the surface since the temperature of those molecules has already incorporated the thermal influence of all the molecules above them.

You can call it back radiation but it is there solely because of atmospheric mass constrained by gravity.

It is more accurate to see it as PE being returned as KE by descending air.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen: As has been explained to you many times, your claims here don’t satisfy energy conservation, which is why nobody can come up with any simple mathematical model using known physics to demonstrate that your prose is anything other than nonsense. The temperature at the surface of the Earth simply can’t be such that the surface emits 390 W/m^2 of radiation when it is only absorbing 240 W/m^2 unless the atmosphere absorbs some of the terrestrial radiation emitted. Having a lapse rate in the atmosphere doesn’t change that simple fact.

And, the fact that there is a lapse rate in the atmosphere does not allow you to determine what the surface temperature is: If I give you the slope m of a line y = m*x + b, you can’t tell me what y (Temperature) is when x=0: You also need to know b, or equivalently, the temperature at some height. In practice, that constraint is provided by radiative balance: The temperature at the effective radiating level must be such (255 K) that the Earth emits back out into space the same amount of energy as it receives from the sun. The temperature at the surface is then determined by extrapolating down from the effective radiating level to the Earth’s surface using the known lapse rate.

Since the effective radiating level increases as the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, the temperature at the Earth’s surface has to increase.

And, in the larger scheme of things, what is going on is this: The radiative greenhouse effect is causing the surface to be warmer than it would otherwise be. If there were no convection in the atmosphere, the lapse rate would be larger than it is now and hence the greenhouse effect would be larger. However, because a lapse rate steeper than the (appropriate) adiabatic lapse rate is unstable to convection, convection drives the lapse rates back down to the adiabatic lapse rate. If convection were able to drive the lapse rate all the way down to zero, then it would neutralize the radiative greenhouse effect entirely…but it can’t precisely because convection can only drive the lapse rate down as far as the adiabatic lapse rate, hence only partly offsetting the radiative greenhouse effect.

• Stephen Wilde says:

“The temperature at the surface of the Earth simply can’t be such that the surface emits 390 W/m^2 of radiation when it is only absorbing 240 W/m^2 unless the atmosphere absorbs some of the terrestrial radiation emitted.”

The atmosphere does just that via conduction resulting in convection which causes air to rise whereupon KE is converted to PE with a fall in temperature.

“convection drives the lapse rates back down to the adiabatic lapse rate”

That is all it needs to do to maintain equilibrium because the dry adiabatic lapse rate is the one set by mass and gravity which must be met to maintain equilibrium and retain the atmosphere. There is no need for it to be driven down to zero. If it were to go below the adiabatic rate the atmosphere could not be retained.

Note that the dry adiabatic lapse rate need be met on average overall for the entire planet but there are huge complex internal variations in the rate within atmospheres and it is those internal variations that give rise to circulation and climate zones.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen,

The problem with you and the others who talk this nonsense over at Tallbloke’s is that you don’t even understand the question that you are trying to answer. If you did, it would be obvious that your meaningless prose does not address the question.

You think the question is one about energy balance at the surface of the Earth and hence you can answer it by explaining how energy gets transferred in the atmosphere down to the Earth’s surface (in violation of the 2nd Law, but never mind!)

The actual question is one about energy balance at the top of the top of the atmosphere: That is, energy balance between the Earth + atmosphere and space. The point is that having the surface emitting 390 W/m^2 when the Earth + atmosphere is only absorbing 240 W/m^2 is an impossible situation unless there are elements of the atmosphere that absorb some of the radiative emissions from the Earth’s surface.

It is really embarrassing that you guys go on and on with this nonsense, and is aided by the fact that none of you can do any calculations if your life depended on it. So, you can never see how your arguments don’t even obey conservation of energy.

• Max™ says:

^This from the guy who thinks solid objects have an “extra” pool of energy for when they need to conduct/evaporate without affecting how much they radiate at all.

For the record, potential energy transfers down into a gravity well don’t violate the 2nd law, if you think they do, please explain why collapsing gas clouds turn into stars.

• Stephen Wilde says:

If we are obsessing about surface temperatures then of course one needs to explain how the surface stays warmer than predicted from the S-B equation.

ToA is always in balance over time so that is clearly the wrong place to look.

My contentions are entirely different from the Slayer position which is why I declined an invitation to join them.

There is a greenhouse effect but it is a function of the entire atmospheric mass and not radiative characteristics.

The established meteorological principle of adiabatic warming of descending air (half the atmosphere at any given moment) clearly explains how energy is transferred back to the surface from the atmosphere with no input needed from downward radiation.

• Joel Shore says:

Max: Are you saying that our atmosphere is undergoing gravitational collapse? That is certainly a novel conjecture!

Stephen says: “ToA is always in balance over time so that is clearly the wrong place to look.” So is the surface. The reason the ToA is the right place to look is that the only significant way that the Earth system exchanges energy with the rest of the universe is by radiation. It makes life a lot simpler than running yourself in circles regarding the the surface energy balance like you do. Of course, if your goal is to confuse yourself and others, the surface energy balance is what you should consider, which is why you do.

• Andre Bijkerk says:

Notice that I mentioned “dry adiabatic lapse rate” but again, thinking in terms of energy, convection tends to add energy to the atmosphere, we’re not interested in potential and kinetic energy tables, we only need to find the mechanism that removes the energy again, if we cancel long wave out radiation. I proposed that the only other means, conduction at the surface is minimized due to stability. Hence the energy is transported to the atmosphere one way only and is accumulating until the atmosphere is warm enough (including adiabatic lapse rate) to suppress convection.

Again, it’s about energy, not what temperature exactly at what altitude, depending on density and gravity.

55. Bucky Cochrane says:

You ALL are missing the point!
GHG absorption and emission is LINE radiation, NOT THERMAL radiation. Therefore, the whole “cool objects can’t warm up warm objects”, while true, is irrelevant to GHG emission warming the earth.
Similarly, Dr. Roy, atmospheric gases can most certainly cool via radiation like every other warm body. Are you saying a volume of nitrogen cannot radiatively cool? Surely, you are not, because it most certainly can! (Stephan’s Law does not discriminate)
Also, the “top’ of a IR transparent atmosphere will border space, near absolute zero, and the “bottom” will border the surface, at about 255K. Such boundary conditions demand heat flow, and heat flow in a gas will cause convection! Isothermal atmosphere, non GHG gases not allowed to radiate as do all other non absolute zero warm bodies, I think not!
GHG absorption and reemission does most certainly heat the surface, but this is LINE radiation corresponding to molecular excited states. GHG absorption neither measurably heats nor cools the absorbing molecule. Conservation of momentum and quantum selection rules easily prove that statement. Absorption of a 15 micron photon increases the 400 m/sec room temperature velocity of a CO2 molecule by .00006 m/sec via conservation of momentum. Argue with Einstein on this subject, not me. He won the Nobel Prize for this concept (light as photons with momentum=Planck’s constant/wavelength) published in his 1905 paper.
Radiative balance model that calculates the actual surface temperature of the earth and tropopause, you bet, just not here, not now.

56. Nick Stokes says:

“Without greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would slowly approach an isothermal state through thermal conduction with a temperature close to the surface temperature, and convection would then be impossible.”
I agree that the Slayers are wrong. But what is said here about the lapse rate is wrong too. You can see it from the formula for DALR – -g/cp. There’s no mention of any GHG properties.

I’ve explained here what sustains the lapse rate. Whenever air moves vertically in an atmosphere with temp gradient lower than the DALR (closer to zero), it pumps heat downward. When it rises, adiabatic cooling is faster than the lapse rate, so the air rises against a bouyant force (taking KE from the air, because it is denser) and has to be warmed by the environment. When it descends, it warms faster than the lapse rate, and has to be cooled by the environment. Both ways, heat moves downward.

It is a heat pump, driving heat down and enhancing a temperature gradient until equilibrium. KE is taken from the air. Equilibrium must be reached, because at the DALR the pump becomes ineffective. It is no longer true that rising air cools faster than the lapse rate.

So you don’t need to have a radiative flux (or GHG) for lapse rate.

• Guenter Hess says:

You need a mechanism that radiates to space from a certain height within the atmosphere in order to maintain a well-mixed troposphere.
This is provided either through greenhouse gases or clouds.

A atmospheric layer that is not well-mixed will not exhibit a lapse rate with decreasing temperature with increasing height as you can see within the stratosphere

• Nick Stokes says:

You just need a source of kinetic energy, which is created whenever there are temperature differences. Latitude effects (Hadley cells etc) are sufficient. Then you have motion for mixing, and also to maintain the lapse rate heat pump.

• Guenter Hess says:

Without an cooling agent above it would stop when the whole atmospheric temperature reaches the subsolar point temperature.

• Guenter Hess says:

Nick,

actually I am not convinced yet, since I haven’t seen a simulation with nitrogen only,
but I can’t refute your arguments either.

In my textbook by Murray L. Salby the heat pump mechanism requires a mechanism that decreases the potential temperature of the parcel that rose adiabatically in the height per example by emission of long wave radiation during horizontal movement.

Best regards
Guenter

• Nick Stokes says:

“a mechanism that decreases the potential temperature of the parcel that rose adiabatically in the height per example by emission of long wave radiation during horizontal movement”

Mixing or diffusion is enough. The parcel that rose adiabatically kept its potential temperature while adiabatic, but then exchanges with ambient, so that the other gas at that level cools, while the parcel warms, but only to ambient.

Imagine 2 1kg parcels, one at 500m altitude, one at 600 m, at ambient temperature, isothermal atmosphere. They change places. The one that rises arrives cooler than ambient; the one that descends arrives warmer. Heat has been transferred down. Work against buoyancy was done.

• Bucky Cochrane says:

You are forgetting the warming effect of the ozone producing process in the lower stratosphere. This is a heat input that apparently equals that of the otherwise cooling that would certainly occur w/o heat into a radiating body.

• Guenter Hess says:

How would the stratosphere cool without a radiating gas?

• Nick Stokes says:

“How would the stratosphere cool without a radiating gas?”

There wouldn’t be a tropopause. Upper levels would cool by the heat pump mechanism. Air cools as it rises, warms as it descends.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Nick,
I don’t know if your are completely right, but your explanation seems logical to me.

I agree

Massimo

• Jochen Ebel says:

“Air cools as it rises, warms as it descends.”

But without the greenhouse effect neither rises nor descends the air.

Sincerely yours

• TonyB says:

Nick,

Agreed – that is the accepted, classical explanation for the LR. And is what I was taught. No need for the GHE or another extremely stupid theory someone on here expounds.
However A GHE still exists.

57. The Greenhouse Gas Effect is real and it operates by increasing the temp. in the lower atmosphere and cooling the temp. in the upper atmosphere .

Without believing in a GHG effect, one can’t account for the atmospheric temperature profiles, can’t account for the wet versus the dry adiabatic lapse rate differences, can’t account for a desert cooling much more rapidly at night in contrast to a tropical jungle, can’t account for why it is shown in experimentation, that these various greenhouse gases due indeed absorb certain wavelengths of IR emitted from earth, and that this IR radiation when emitted by the surface of the earth causes the earth surface to cool, while keeping the temp. of the earth surface higher then would be otherwise if the IR can’t flow freely from the earth surface to space.

Those of you who don’t believe in the GHG effect can’t understand or make a climate prediction, because all of you are CLUELESS in the basics of how the atmosphere operates the way it does.

It is ridiculous and really is a waste of time to those of us who are concentrating on the real important issue, which is how or if the climate will change going forward, and why it may change, and how it will change.

This GHG EFFECT, has been settled for many years the only question is how much of effect or lack of an effect will it have going forward.

Those of you who want to do away with the GHG gas effect DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

DR. SPENCER, they need to be eliminated from the discussion board in my opinion.

58. I think those of us who agree in a GHG EFFECT all agree with what Nick Stokes has to say in regards to the atmosphere operating like a heat pump.

I see no problem with what he says, while still believing in the GHG effect.

59. NZ Willy says:

I’m not acquainted with the “slayers”, but the term “albedo” is nifty shorthand for cumulative reflective effect. Albedo can similarly be an alias for net atmospheric forcing as seen from the ground. Either way it’s an overall measure of opacity. In this way, a “slayer” energy budget should be the same as any other but with a very low CO2 albedo.

This presupposes a measure of “slayer” rationality which I have no idea of, not having read the exchanges on this board. Cheers.

60. convection is a key in the transportation of heat throughout the atmosphere and the GHG effect supports this process.

• Bucky Cochrane says:

i think the GHG effect is in a sense irrelevant to this process in that it does not heat or cool the air directly. It contributes to surface heating which then drives convection more strongly so that your statement is technically true, but open to an incorrect interpretation.. See my post above.

61. all of you that don’t believe in the GHG EFFECT please explain why the STRATOSPHERE has the temp. profile that is has.

62. UzUrBrain says:

Ok, so there is a “greenhouse effect.” How much of it is caused by CO2, and how much is caused by H2O? If the majority is caused by H2O which the AGW crowd says is, then how much will a doubling of CO2 cause? How can something that has 1/20th the effect of something else acting in the opposite direction overcome the larger effect? NEVER WILL HAPPEN. Where is the “smoking gun” report that definitively attributes the 1 degree rise in temperature over the last 150 years (conveniently AFTER the end of the Little Ice Age, NOT before) to nothing more than the increase in CO2? There may be a “Consensus” among 97% of the “believers,” but there is not enough to convict CO2 of the crime.

Now how much of this “trapped heat” is caused by “surface tension” of the atmosphere surrounding the earth, regardless of amount of CO2 (or whatever GHG you believe in) in that atmosphere? You know, the way a rapidly moving ball has surface tension and creates a thin film of air around the ball. That is why they have dimples in golf balls and the reason that a baseball can be thrown with a curve. (Look it up. It is on the internet.) This “surface tension” will provide properties/symptoms similar to a “greenhouse effect” just like a REAL glass greenhouse does. The fur coat on a dog provides its insulation by preventing the movement of air close to its body. That is insulation, NOT “greenhouse effect”, The stuff in your attic that prevents you from wasting heat is insulation, it keeps the exchange of heat to a minimum, it is NOT “greenhouse effect.”
I once rented a house that had no insulation in the attic. The heating bill was atrocious. As I still had all of the moving boxes left, I took them up to the attic and placed the flattened boxes across the rafters, TRAPPING the air between the ceiling and the cardboard boxes. This simple act cut my heating bill in half. This is insulation caused by trapped air – NOT “greenhouse effect.” In the same way “surface tension” preventing the movement of air close to the surface of the Earth will insulate the Earth by trapping air, preventing its rapid movement and be called “greenhouse effect” by the AGW believers.

• TonyB says:

“The fur coat on a dog provides its insulation by preventing the movement of air close to its body. That is insulation, NOT “greenhouse effect”, The stuff in your attic that prevents you from wasting heat is insulation, it keeps the exchange of heat to a minimum, it is NOT “greenhouse effect.””

Yes an animals fur coat does trap air near its skin – it has an enclosing effect. The atmosphere does not – it has convection and turbulence caused by differential temperatures over the planet. Turbulent air is trapped for a while near the surface, especially in regions of high roughness – but it is a small effect and not necessary in weather/climate modelling.

CO2 has risen 40% since the onset of industrialisation from 270ppm to 400ppm and given what we know about its IR absorption/emission properties then that ratio in the atmosphere crunches out to give the observed global average temperature rises we’ve seen. We know it’s anthropogenic CO2 due it’s isotopic analysis and we can see it move away from the NH where most industrialisation is. If you do not believe that, there are stacks of papers available giving you details of same, at the twitch of a Google page.

Given the Earth has a heat budget – in must equal out ( bar the slowing that causes the excess GH heating effect ) – then there are few things that can impinge on climate. The Earth’s albedo and the Sun basically. We know there is barely 0.1% variation in the Sun’s output between solar max and min – so it’s not that and it would be cyclic. Albedo ( disregarding Roy’s cloud theory ) is not thought to be the culprit either. The only thing that mirrors the temperature rise is the rise in CO2. And the science clearly points to this as the culprit. Take out the climate systems natural cycles, ENSO PDO etc and you are left with the AGW signal.

• UzUrBrain says:

“The only thing that mirrors the temperature rise is the rise in CO2.” This is not in fact TRUE” the slope is not the same, the percentage of change is not the same and the starting point is not the same. I do not call a 95% confidence level of within 75% a correlation. Would you bet your life savings on one spin of the roulette wheel with a prediction like that? So how does it “mirror” anthropogenic CO2????? There are many papers that show a far greater correlation (e.g., 95%/95%) to the changes in emission’s from the Sun – including the things you ignore (like magnetic flux, etc.), or haven’t you noticed the fact that the temperature has not increased during this low in solar activity? Like some nut said on a recent AGW fest on TV “The amount of energy actually increases with fewer sunspots.” If that were true it should be getting warmer. Further that statement is directly opposite to the fact that there is a proven correlation (which goes back hundreds of years) to the periodic change in temperature of the Earth to the number of sunspots. YET, as you say, “there is barely 0.1% variation in the Sun’s output between solar max and min.” Then why is this correlation to sunspots, that is many time better than the change in CO2 correlation you spoke of, IGNORED by the AGW crowd? Hint – it does not fit their agenda. If CO2 is the cause for this 1 degree warming, then what was the cause for the Little Ice Age? Hint – it has to do with Sun spots.

• TonyB says:

“Hint – it does not fit their agenda. If CO2 is the cause for this 1 degree warming, then what was the cause for the Little Ice Age? Hint – it has to do with Sun spots”

I couldn’t disagree more. The Earth is not cooling. Take out the known causes ( cool ENSO and PDO cycle ) then the rise continues. The quiet Sun at the moment will likely last a few decades and this will no doubt slow warming, but it will strengthen, as it will when El Nino returns. The little Ice Age went away and the correlation is there, yes, with cooling – but there is no correlation with a hotter sun – unless you want to witter on about the MWP, which caused more regional effects and can be explained quite adequately by ocean current variations ( Medieval Europe does not equal a global effect ). In short the Sun can be eliminated from any warming phenomenon – but it can be implicated in cooling especially winters in Europe – whereby a -ve AO ( Arctic Oscillation ) is caused – though recent ones are thought to be initiated by the more open/warm Arctic Seas in late Autumn and early winter. This in turn caused by GW ( do you want to dispute that? ). Also the weak sun in the NH winters has more a Stratospheric effect whereby a warming takes place there first and disrupts the tropospheric vortex thereafter. Look up online animations of the effect from satellite. Cold air then spills south from the Arctic. BUT the Arctic becomes warmer as a result. The cold + the warmer bits still average out at a bit warmer, Look up NOAA’s site to see the numbers.

Oh – re betting – thanks for being prepared to take a bet that GW is not anthropogenic. Good of you. Being as you probably wont be here to experience the disruption. Would you allow a family member to fly if the pilot told you the plane had a 10% chance of crashing ( hypothetically )? Of course not. It’s called the precautionary principle. Sorry if it hits your pocket. Life can be a shit sometimes.

• UzUrBrain says:

Then why are you against Nuclear Power? More people have died because of windmills than from all commercial utilization of nuclear power combined since its inception. This is not a 10% chance, it is not a 1% chance, Like the deaths from the new “savior” NG, this is less than 0.01% probably closer to 0.001%) chance. Nuclear Power is safer than flying a plane let alone riding in a commercial plane. If CO2 is the cause then why isn’t the AGW crowd SCREAMING for nuclear power? No demand for nuclear power (from all that claim CO2 is the cause) equals SCAM! If the USA had spent what they have on Wind/Solar we would have cut or production of CO2 from electrical generation by over 1/3, not the measly 5-10% they are bragging about now. When I hear all of the big blow-hards pushing the CO2-AGW theory demanding that Nuclear Power Plants be built, that they are the solution, then I will believe the rest of their B/S. I know I will never, NEVER, have to start believing this CO2 SCAM as they will NEVER, NEVER, ever demand nuclear power. Yes their are a few now that CLAIM they want NPP, but when you look into their motives, history, that too is part of the scam. Oh, Yes, I do believe that it is a part of a degree warmer now than 150 years ago. It is that there is still no, NO, NONE, ZERO definitive proof that that 1 degree is caused by CO2.

As to your “precautionary principle” Why aren’t you applying it to NPP? It also reminds me of its application to DDT and the Millions, multi-millions, that have died, are still dying, because DDT was NOT, is not, used. How many are now dying because ENERGY is to expensive because of the CO2 SCAM? Without a doubt, the numbers in the third world countries exceed those that would be saved by COMPLETELY eliminating all production of CO2. Or is that part of the “precautionary principle?” Is it ok to cause the poor further suffering, no heat, no cooked food, no refrigeration, etc. so that we that can afford it live our life of luxury? The “precautionary principle” is another liberal left-wing-nut principle that has always caused more harm than good. There is a listing of the major (most expensive) “precautionary principle” endeavors on the internet (find it yourself) and all but one made things worse, and the one that didn’t ended up breakeven.

• Arfur Bryant says:

UzUrBrain,

Stick with it. You are on the right track.

Your original question “How much of the GHE is caused by CO2…?” is the most important question in the entire debate. I have asked it several times over the years and nobody can give a sensible answer. Everything else is window-dressing. Until either side can answer your question, they will forever be arguing from an assumption. Until we know (reasonably accurately) exactly how much CO2 contributes, we can never figure what the ‘climate sensitivity’ is likely to be. There is too much hand-waving and not enough reasoning.

There is no proven correlation between CO2 and temperature since 1850 [IPCC chosen date].

The follow-on question is “How much of the 0.8C warming since 1850 is due to CO2?” Again, nobody knows. But equally, there is no valid argument that it is ALL due to CO2. It could be anything from 0.01C to 0.79C. It could be as close to zero as makes no difference but it can’t be 0.8C because that would deny natural variability.

People need to start arguing from evidence, not theory. Theory needs to be validated by evidence, particularly when evidence is available.

Strawman arguments abound in threads like this. Honest objectivity does not. The precautionary principle only applies if the threat is real.

Regards,

• UzUrBrain says:

“Turbulent air is trapped for a while near the surface, especially in regions of high roughness – but it is a small effect and not necessary in weather/climate modeling.” More useless facts to confuse the uninformed. Proven FACT. If the smoothest, most highly polished crystal ball were scaled up to the size of the Earth, the mountains and valleys on the crystal ball would be hundreds of times higher/deeper than that of the Earth. The “skin effect” or “surface tension” is playing a role in the temperature of the Earth – regardless of, in addition to, in spite of any greenhouse gas you want to give credit for.

• TonyB says:

“Turbulent air is trapped for a while near the surface, especially in regions of high roughness – but it is a small effect and not necessary in weather/climate modeling.” More useless facts to confuse the uninformed.”

You said it – and they are not useless. Look up “Dunning-Kruger syndrome” BTW.

You’d better tell your little gem to the Weather and Climate NWP modelers as they don’t seem to have that in there ( bar that modeled for normal roughness and surface turbulence ) You are not telling me, a Meteorologist, otherwise.

• UzUrBrain says:

And weather modeling has what to do with proving the effects of a change in CO2? As the little old lady said “Where is the BEEF?” Where is the PROOF? THERE IS NO CORELATION! Do they teach math to Meteorologist’s? There is better than a “6 sigma” correlation of the probabilities of the number on a throw of dice – and the DEALER still wins most to the time. Occasional a sucker will win, which is why the play the game. But with the numbers they spout for CO2 caused AGW. WE will lose every time, every hand from now until they release they are WRONG. The “correlation” that the AGW crowd claims for CO2 causing the 1 degree of AGW is closer to a random occurrence than a correlation of any measurable magnitude.

You may be a “Meteorologist,” however, my degrees are in Applied Mathematics, and the AGW math is not there – There is no BEEF in the CO2 propaganda. The AGW disciples speak the mathematical terms, but they use them incorrectly, they use them to make people THINK they know what they are talking about, to add a air of credence to their philosophy, and without real knowledge of what they are talking about. We used to call these kind of people B/S artists, now I guess we call them Climate Scientists!

Look at it another way, in less than ten years they went from the concept of a nuclear device to several actual working devices. The AGW crowd has spent 30-40+ years rehashing the same old propaganda about CO2-AGW and has NO DEFINITIVE PROOF! (And has spent many times more!)

• TonyB says:

Uz…

Try perusing this graph, re the connection between CO2 concentration with temperature. There is plenty more proof out there if you look in the right places ………..

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temperature-change.html

And yes there are fluid dynamical and radiative mathematics required to be a Meteorologist.
I have also observed the behaviour of the atmosphere in real time as a Forecaster in a variety posts. A permanent experiment if you like and I know as well as anyone how it behaves.

I’m sorry if me saying I’m a Meteorologist and implying that I know more than you about the atmosphere annoys. Logic however says that I should. At least in the world I inhabit.

Oh, and you seem to be exhibiting the classic Denialist syndrome in railing about “BS artists” – really you disqualify yourself from the discussion right there.

• UzUrBrain says:

And how does that graph PROVE the temperature increase is due to CO2 WHEN TEMPERATUREE INCREASE LAGS, IS AFTER, follows by 800-1000 years? (Scientific American says the LAG is as much as 1400 years!) That PROVES to me that TEMPERATURE increase causes CO2 to increase, not the opposite as you claim. Even those that obtained those ice cores have “corrected” their dates. Perhaps if you looked at more web pages you would get a broader perspective. When it is COLD vegetation does not rot/decay and thus does not release CO2. When the ice age is over, vegetation rots/decays and releases CO2. Coincidently 150 years ago the Little Ice Age ended. The higher temperatures caused an increase in decay and higher amounts of CO2. There are as many that make your claim as mine.

Also, if a Meteorologist can’t even predict tomorrow’s temperature, or design a computer that will, how are they predicting what will happen in 100 years. The weekly Weather report for my area changes daily. The Farmers Almanac has a higher accuracy than the average Meteorologist. Even those on the West Coast don’t have that good of a record, and all they have to do is watch the weather move in,

Please NOTE: I am NOT denying that CO2 is a GHG or has NO GHE, I know it does. I am saying that there are MANY other things, that are being ignored by the AGW crowd. Like you claiming that the Sun has no effect! And again – IF you truly believe that CO2 is the major culprit, THEN WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME HERE AND NOT FIGHTING FOR, DEMANDING MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS? If you are not for NPP, then you are part of the problem. Demand that your congressman, Senator support more nuclear power plants. Windmills and/or Solar is NOT, NEVER WILL, decrease CO2.

• kuhnkat says:

Tony B,

I am sure Piers Corbyn will disagree with you if you ever discuss it with him!! 8>)

• Arfur Bryant says:

TonyB

[“I know as well as anyone how it (the atmosphere) behaves.”]

Great. Then you will be able to answer UzUrBrain’s initial question:

How much of the GHE is caused by CO2?

Thanks,

I have a further question:

How much of the GHE in 1850 was caused by CO2?

Lets see if facts (evidence) support your ‘authoritative’ conjecture.

63. fjodor says:

Fair play to you, Dr Spencer.

Bad science can not be defeated by even worse science.

64. Massimo PORZIO says:

One more time, what I would finally like to know is:
Does anybody out of here know if there is at least one satellite which sees the whole outgoing LWIR at the TOA?

All the instruments I seen until today don’t do it (except for the AQUA CERES2 which scans from one horizon to the other perpendicularly its orbits, but it’s a radiometer and not a spectrometer, and IMHO it completely misses the polars GHGs emissions).
I’ve no doubts that as Dr. Spencer says climatologists can run a 1D model and it works.
Yes it does with our current GHGs concentrations.
But IMHO 1D models can’t work for predict changes in GHGs concentrations, if they simulate only the nadir view of the satellites. Because that direction is the one where GHGs are highly absorbing the ground radiation. While the more the outgoing radiation became tangent the atmosphere, the more GHGs became emitters of outgoing LWIR a paths where the ground radiation became negligible. In those outgoing path the increment of the GHGs outgoing radiation is directly, not inversely proportional to their concentration.

I know, I’m just an engineer and maybe I miss something important that which debunks what I’m saying above, but I’m still waiting for that important thing.

Have a nice day.

Massimo

65. Obelix the Norse says:

TonyB wrote this May 11, 2013 at 8:50 AM: “They DONT and it doesn’t.” – I know. I wrote that I can’t understand how people can argue that LWIR from a cooler object can make a hotter object even more hotter. I find this idea to be in violation with the 2. law of thermodynamics.

I see that I still havn’t yet get an explanation that confirm the belief that it is possible for LWIR from a cooler object to cause varmer objects to be even more warmer, and that the explanation is not in violation with the 2. law of thermodynamics.

66. Obelix the Norse says:

Phillip Bratby says:
May 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM

You are confusing a “greenhouse gas” with the “greenhouse effect”. Yes a “greenhouse gas” emits IR to space and cools the atmosphere, but that doesn’t imply that there is a “greenhouse effect”.

******

I’m not sure if Phillip Bratby was adressing me or maybe Ian W?
Well, if he was adressing me, I will have to say the following: I agree with him (Bratby). I know of cause the that “greenhouse gases” can emitt and re-emitt LWIR. But I have trouble with the idea that LWIR from a cooler object (greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) can heat up hotter objects (other gases) either lower down in the atmosphere or something here on the Earht. I can’t make this idea work together with the 2. law of thermodynamics. And still I haven’t seen an argument that explains that this can happen without a violation of “T2”.

• Joel Shore says:

Obelix: The sun is heating the Earth. What the LWIR is doing is preventing the Earth from cooling as fast as it would if all the radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface went directly into space (without being absorbed and re-emitted by the atmosphere). Since the temperature of the Earth is determined by there having to be a balance between the rate it receives energy from the sun and the rate it emits it back out into space, the Earth has to be warmer as a result.

You might want to understand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and where it comes from before thinking that you are capable of judging whether or not there is a violation of it. The 2nd Law is not magic and it is not enforced by arbitrary and capricious rules like claiming that objects don’t absorb energy incident on them from a colder object or that there is some magical cutoff.

Rather, the 2nd Law is rooted in statistical physics and comes about from the statistics of large numbers of particles. What makes the 2nd Law so important and interesting and deep is exactly the fact that it explains how on the microscopic level the laws of nature are reversible but on the macroscopic level we end up with irreversibility. So, it is this transition from the microscopic to the macroscopic level that gives a direction to time…that says that the future is different than the past (because entropy increases as we go to the future).

People who try to come up with arbitrary rules governing how photons behave when they travel from colder to hotter are, in addition to making claims that are provably wrong, are also robbing the 2nd Law of its beauty. It is not necessary to have such arbitrary and capricious rules for the 2nd Law to hold.

The 2nd Law does not say that energy does not get transferred from colder to hotter. Rather, it says that the energy transfer from colder to hotter is always overwhelmed by a larger transfer from hotter to colder and so the net macroscopic flow of energy (what we call “heat”) goes from hotter to colder. In the case of radiative transfers, the fact that the heat goes from hotter to colder and hence that the 2nd Law is obeyed is guaranteed by the fact that the emission of radiation (even at a particular wavelength) is an increasing function of temperature and that the emissivity and absorptivity at any given wavelength are equal (Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation). Nature neither needs nor has any further enforcement mechanisms.

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “The 2nd Law … says that the energy transfer from colder to hotter is always overwhelmed by a larger transfer from hotter to colder and so the net macroscopic flow of energy (what we call “heat”) goes from hotter to colder.”
====================================================

This is absolutely not true. No historical formulation says that. “Climate scientists” fake the 2nd Law to justify their absurd “greenhouse effect”.

It has been already explained, why from cold to warm is physically absurd: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-77996

There is no scientific way around it. OK, right, by faking the “greenhouse effect” the public still can be mislead. Come on, Joel, tell us another absurd story you like so much about ERL. Other people are clever and talk about absorption only, which is ridiculous, but not physically absurd.

But the fact is that the IPCC “greenhouse effect” is “warming effect of back radiation” and exactly that is physically absurd.

• Joel Shore says:

Please, go read a physics textbook (for example, Knight, Jones, and Field, “College Physics: A Strategic Approach” and actually learn something new about what the laws of physics really say rather than just polluting these discussions with your ignorance.

It is sad the extent to which people like you will deny basic physics in order to believe what you want to believe.

• Joel Shore says:

By the way, for those who are open to gaining a better appreciation for the basic physics that I was talking about above and don’t feel like looking in a physics textbook, here are a couple of at least half-decent presentations of this whole idea regarding microscopic reversibility, macroscopic irreversibility, and the arrow of time:

The sad part of the world that people like Noperoynope and the Slayers imagine (and apparently will continue to inhabit since they seem to have no desire to fight their own ignorance) is that it is so unimaginative, arbitrary, and capricious compared to the real physical world that we actually inhabit.

• Obelix the Norse says:

Joel Shore says:
May 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Obelix: The sun is heating the Earth. What the LWIR is doing is preventing the Earth from cooling as fast as it would if all the radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface went directly into space
***************
The above sited text I do agree with.(with regard to the lower part of the atmosphere) But not the next step in the thought process that Joel Shore makes.. There is a different meaning saying that the heat-loss is slowed down, than to state that the LWIR re-emitted is heating up the earth (atmosphere + landmasses +water).
2. law of thermodynamics (T2) is not stating what Joel Shore claim, but this is not the whole story. Since the earth-system is not a closes circuit, an assumption that we must have an energy balance between incoming radiation and outgoing radiation is wrong. So we can forget the “T1”. So back to what re-emitting LWIR actually does. It’s “only” slow down the heat-loss (in the lower part of the atmosphere), it’s not adding any additional more heat to the earth. An analogy; Let’s say we are sipping drinks, we feel it’s rather weak, around 22 % abv. So we want to spike it up with some 40% abv vodka. But we take the wrong vodka-bottle and pour some “kids-vodka” of just 20 % abv in the drinks. What happens? The drinks is of course NOT getting stronger (analogue to getting hotter), but we got more drink in the glasses, which will take us longer time to finish the drinks. (analogue to slowing the heat-loss)

• Joel Shore says:

“Since the earth-system is not a closes circuit, an assumption that we must have an energy balance between incoming radiation and outgoing radiation is wrong.”

The point is that if the Earth is receiving more energy from the sun than it emits back out into space, it must warm, i.e., its temperature must rise. If it is receiving less energy from the sun than it emits back out into space, its temperature must fall. So, yes, the system will always be driven toward a state where the incoming and outgoing radiation are in balance.

“An analogy; Let’s say we are sipping drinks, we feel it’s rather weak, around 22 % abv. So we want to spike it up with some 40% abv vodka. But we take the wrong vodka-bottle and pour some “kids-vodka” of just 20 % abv in the drinks. What happens? The drinks is of course NOT getting stronger (analogue to getting hotter), but we got more drink in the glasses, which will take us longer time to finish the drinks. (analogue to slowing the heat-loss)”

Analogies are only useful if they are compatible with the underlying physics (and mathematics) of the real system. Yours is not. The Earth is receiving an incredibly large energy from the sun, so it indeed can get much much hotter if you reduce its ability to (at any given temperature) radiate that energy back into space….In fact, the only thing guaranteed by the Second Law is that the Earth can’t get hotter than the sun itself.

A better analogy would be this: Let’s say that you have a pump that pumps a constant volume of water through a hose. If you make the hose narrower, then in order for the pump to continue to pump the same volume through, the pressure difference between the pump and the outlet of the hose would have to rise. So, a higher pressure is required to move the same amount of water through the hose just like a higher surface temperature is required on the Earth to push the same amount of energy back out into space when we reduce the ability of Earth to radiate that energy back out into space.

• Obelix the Norse says:

”Joel Shore says:
May 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM
The point is that if the Earth is receiving more energy from the sun than it emits back out into space, it must warm, i.e., its temperature must rise.”
***********
The Earth receives much more radiative energy from the Sun than the Earth is radiating out of our atmosphere. There is a no such thing as an energy-balance concerning the radiative energy. The Earth is not a closed circuit and therefore the assumption that we need to adhere to the 1. Law of thermodynamics is flawed. A lot of the radiative energy is “lost” to convective energy.
My analogy is correct with comparison with the fact that re-emitted LWIR from at cooler object can’t heat up a warmer object(T2). It can only slow down the rate of heat-loss. And that is something completely different than the wrong idea that radiation from a cooler object can heat up a warmer object. This is not possible.

• Joel Shore says:

“The Earth receives much more radiative energy from the Sun than the Earth is radiating out of our atmosphere.”

Really? That is fascinating. Why is it not warming then? Why do the satellites that look at the outgoing and incoming energy not see a huge discrepancy?

“A lot of the radiative energy is “lost” to convective energy.”

Really? It’s lost? It just disappears? We are just constantly getting more and more convective energy? Where does this energy go?

“It can only slow down the rate of heat-loss.”

Do you understand the basic point that the temperature of an object is determined by the balance between the rate of heat-gain and the rate of heat-loss? What do you think will happen if we reduce the rate of heat loss?

Obelix, I suggest you quit while you are behind.

• Kristian says:

Joel Shore says, May 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM:

“The 2nd Law does not say that energy does not get transferred from colder to hotter. Rather, it says that the energy transfer from colder to hotter is always overwhelmed by a larger transfer from hotter to colder and so the net macroscopic flow of energy (what we call “heat”) goes from hotter to colder.”

So, if this is only about the individual size of the fluxes (the amount of ‘particles’) radiated by two opposing objects, how do you resolve the following situation?

We have two plates facing each other and separated by a vacuum. The one plate has a temperature of 300K and an emissivity of 0.5. The other one has a temperature of 260K and an emissivity of 1. So they both radiate toward the opposing plate. Well, the warmer plate (by 40K) gives off an S-B flux of 229.7 W/m^2 while the cooler plate emits a flux of 259.1 W/m^2.

This would produce a NET flux between the two of 29.4 W/m^2 going from the cool plate to the warm. Granted, the warm plate has an emissivity of 0.5, which means it also has an absorptivity of 0.5. So it can only absorb half the flux from the cool plate. This does not change the fact, however, that more ‘particles’ initially travel from the cool to the warm plate than the other way around. Is this then ‘heat’ from cold to hot?

What will happen? Which plate warms? Both? None? Which plate cools? Both? None?

And what about reemission upon absorption? About reflected (or scattered) radiation? Does it all add to the original fluxes? Giving new and higher temperatures on both sides?

67. coturnix19 says:

2Obelix:

That’s because 2nd Law applies to the net transfer, not one-way transfers. Think this way: whenever the cold-radiation hits the hotter body, that same body at the very same time by means of its emissivity being equal to its absorptivity MUST emit radiation at the rate that is higher than it absorbs. Hence, the cool-body-originating radiation can not warm the hot body to a temperature higher than it had been before the radiation exchange took place. It only slows down its cooling rate. And that is what happens in greenhouse effect. The actual ‘heating’ , e.g. increase in heat contents/temperature is only done by the Sun.

• Obelix the Norse says:

coturnix19 –> Quote:”Hence, the cool-body-originating radiation can not warm the hot body to a temperature higher than it had been before the radiation exchange took place. It only slows down its cooling rate.”
I agree!

Claes Johnson writes something similar; that the “cut off”-frequency of a cooler object is lower than the “cut off”-frequency in a warmer object that is suposed to be the target. And that mean of course that a radiation from the cooler object will not be emitted in the designated target. Only radiation from objects with higher temperatures/ higher “cut off” frequency than the target will be emitted.

coturnix19, a new quote: “The actual ‘heating’ , e.g. increase in heat contents/temperature is only done by the Sun.” – Again, I agree.

But were is the explanation that can tell us that we have a “greenhouse effect” and not an “atmospheric effect” – AND don’t violate “T2”? That question is put forward not to people that I agree with, but to people who think they have an explanation that tells us how LWIR re-emitted from CO2 can heat up targets that is hotter than the CO2-gases the LWIR comes from?

68. Ian Turnbull says:

Thank you Dr. Spencer for finally being fed-up with these pseudo-scientists who have no hard evidence to back up their outlandish and often completely incorrect claims. I look forward to your blog continuing to be a place where real scientific evidence is presented and analyzed. I think your work is a great contribution to the progress of our understanding of the global climate.

-Ian

69. IanC says:

Dear Dr. Spencer- even in a non-GHG scenario is there not ‘back radiation’ from simple temperature dependent atmospheric black or greybody emission?

70. Bebben says:

I believe this kind of dicussion to be a perpetuum mobile of the Klimate Kind.

Any assertion about how the atmosphere works will automatically be countered by a couple of more assertions on how the atmosphere works, and so on and on.

Which leads more or less to nowhere – but the debate will continue, for the simple reason that the science is not settled.

Those were my to cents – now I’m broke. ðŸ™‚

71. _Jim says:

Hmmm … no practitioners of IR Spectroscopy with examples how LWIR is utilized by that practice nor reference to CO2 or H2O (but not N2 or O2) which possess something called a “net dipole moment” which gives it the property of being able to accept and also radiate EM energy (otherwise known as ‘photons’ which comprise ‘energy’ … just to keep things simple).

Seems the ‘slayers’ would like to address this aspect, and also consider the energy which is stored (actually, “energy in transit” might be a better way to think of it) by virtue of the fact that CO2 and H2O molecules re-radiate LWIR bound for space back to the earth’s surface (as well as some percentage onward to space) as they vibrate and, quite literally, re-radiate said energy in *all* directions owing, again, to their dipole (two opposite poles, positive and negatively charged) ‘moment’ (or, restated, the permanent ‘static charge’ which presents a static electric field as well, until the molecule begins to vibrate – and radiate-, as it will if not at a temperature of absolute zero).

_Jim

72. _Jim says:

Bucky Cochrane says May 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM
“…
Are you saying a volume of nitrogen cannot radiatively cool? ”

You got it. No ‘dipole moment’ in an N2 molecule, therefore, no EM interaction when it vibrates, rotates, oscillates, bunches up or expands (think: spring-coupled masses), unlike H2O or CO2 which *have* dipole moments (literally: meaning “two poles” one charged “+” (positively) and one charged “-” (negatively)).

Pretty simple really …

_Jim

• Bucky Cochrane says:

And what about van der Waals forces?? (induced dipole effects) All warm objects radiate.

• _Jim says:

Is that a majority effect or a minority effect, what band (or wavelength, e.g. uWave, LW, SW, Vis or UV) would they/that be effective in? … as not all forces/factors weigh-in equally energy-emission wise … your statement is not completely true (as a blanket statement) as applied to molecular ‘gas’ molecules … perhaps you can show how van der Waals forces within a molecule translates into EM (‘photon’ for those not recognizing the term EM for Electro Magnetic) emission in the LWIR band? (Since the net charge exposed to the ‘outside world’ on say an N2 molecule is zero.)

At this stage, is it safe to assume you have studied, or been taught, about the ‘dipole moments’ that exist for some atoms, and some molecules (based on internal ‘nominal’ molecule atom orientation)? Furthermore, would that familiarity extend to Maxwell’s equations regarding EM (wave) generation (‘radiation’, a propagating EM wave) as it ‘enters’ the picture for the movement of charges (charged particles, including ‘dipole moment’ molecules as H2O and CO2 and not N2 or O2)?

• Bucky Cochrane says:

van der Waals is a weak effect, yet it is what allows liquid nitrogen to exist. Since it is a molecular induced dipole effect, the oscillating dipoles formed in a (dense enough) gas will have a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution relative to acceleration and concomitant radiation. This is all that is needed for derivation of a black body emission spectrum.

Dr. Spencer,
I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE

I am NOT a slayer. I believe the PSI science is junk and will not try to defend it. However I feel you may be using slayers as an excuse to avoid all other challenges to the radiative greenhouse hypothesis.

I challenge your radiative GHE on the basis of empirical experiments. The radiative GHE hypothesis depends on committing the “do nots” of atmospheric modelling –

A. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
B. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
C. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
D. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
E. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
F. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity
G. Do not model the surface as a combined land/ocean “thingy”

How many of the “do nots” would the energy budget diagram you placed at the top of your post be committing? Almost all. Linear flux equations cannot model the role of radiative gases in our atmosphere unless they are applied iteratively to multiple discrete moving air masses.

The slayers argument is that radiative gases effect on atmosphere temperatures is neutral. They have gotten both the radiative physics and the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere wrong. Your radiative GHE hypothesis proposes that these gases warm the atmosphere. The radiative physics is correct, yet you have the fluid dynamics wrong.

The net effect of radiative gases in our moving atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Radiative gases are critical for strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation. This is what the energy budget diagram for the role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation should look like –
http://i45.tinypic.com/29koww6.jpg

The first panel shows a desert planet with radiative gases driving convective circulation. The second panel shows what would happen shortly after the radiative ability of that atmosphere was switched off. (Temperatures shown are for illustrative purposes only).

Convective circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells depends on radiative energy loss at altitude. Without this our atmosphere would heat dramatically. The experiment to demonstrate this is simple. This does not involve IR radiation, but rather runs on convection and conduction. To get the best results the gas columns should be built as tall as possible to reduce scale effects of gas conduction. The gas column with energy loss at altitude has both convective circulation an lower average temperatures.
Here is a diagram of the set up –
http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg
Here is what is happening inside the gas columns –
http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6
Here is a version I built which allows the height of energy loss to be varied in the one column –
http://tinypic.com/r/15n0xuf/6

Essentially the radiative GHE hypothesis fails for an atmosphere in which the gases are free to move. The radiative GHE hypothesis depends on ignoring the role of radiative gases in driving vertical circulation and the cooling effect of this at the surface. Radiative cooling at altitude drives convective circulation in the troposphere. There is no other mechanism in our atmosphere with the same power to do this.

Dr. Spencer, I challenge. Will you hide behind the slayers? The slayers have stated that radiative gases are not critical to tropospheric convective circulation. Do you support their position?

• Joel Shore says:

Konrad says: “The radiative GHE hypothesis depends on committing the ‘do nots’ of atmospheric modelling…”

The more sophisticated models do not commit those “do nots” and hence your critique is not relevant. The effect of convection is understood by the scientific community. Alas, it is not understood by you (in particular, how the heat transfer via convection is limited by the fact that convection can only drive the lapse rate down as far as the adiabatic lapse rate and the implications of this) and it is this misunderstanding (and a complete inability to consider the wealth of empirical data that should show you that you are wrong) that leads you to erroneous conclusions.

Joel,
Dr. Spencer needs AGW believers to defend him?
No radiative gases would mean no vertical convective circulation below the topopause.
No vertical convective circulation below the tropopause means no lapse rate.

The lapse rate observed below the topopause is a product of a moving atmosphere with strong vertical circulation. I have already shown you how to run the empirical experiment for that.

There is no way out, tropospheric convective circulation requires radiative gases providing energy loss at altitude. Without this our atmosphere would heat dramatically.

You can try evoking alternate means for vertical circulation in the absence of radiative gases, just like Tim Folkerts and Nick Stokes. It won’t work. The empirical evidence from the atmosphere above the tropopause largely devoid of radiative gases does not support this. No strong vertical circulation is occurring there. The lapse rate is reversed and super heating is occurring.

The net effect of radiative gases is to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

• Nick Stokes says:

“You can try evoking alternate means for vertical circulation in the absence of radiative gases, just like Tim Folkerts and Nick Stokes. It won’t work. The empirical evidence from the atmosphere above the tropopause largely devoid of radiative gases does not support this. No strong vertical circulation is occurring there.”

There will always be circulation when there are warm heat source regions and cold sinks. Equator and polar surfaces at least will have that property, regardless of GHG. The stratosphere lacks such source/sinks.

• TonyB says:

The Stratosphere also has O3 present, transported there from Tropical convection via the Brewer-Dobson circulation. This is broken down by UV to create heat – Hence a temperature inversion through the layer – and of course no convection.

“There is no way out, tropospheric convective circulation requires radiative gases providing energy loss at altitude. Without this our atmosphere would heat dramatically.”

Yes there is – the classical and accepted one of a LR being a natural consequence of reducing density with height. Arrived at via the hydrostatic equation, Gas laws and latent heat release. There is no need to have a GHE to create a LR it is comes about naturally.

“You can try evoking alternate means for vertical circulation in the absence of radiative gases, just like Tim Folkerts and Nick Stokes. It won’t work”

Excuse me – try telling that to the worlds NWP modelers – as they have obviously been on the wrong track for decades. Yet amazingly the basic ( above ) equations work. Now could that be because it is you that are wrong – Actually that is rhetorical so I removed the question mark.

Nick,
now you are just making things up. What do we call this mysterious circulation the would be as powerful as convective circulation driven by radiative gases? “Stokesian Circulation”?

Here are 5 very simple experiments demonstrating the critical flaws in the radiative GHE hypothesis that other blog readers can try –
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

Experiment 3 shows how to drive convective circulation by removing energy from the top of a fluid in a gravity field.

Experiment 4 clearly demonstrates that heating and cooling a gas column at disparate locations at the base does not drive strong vertical circulation. “Stokesian circulation” is not observed. In the gas column with heating at the base and cooling at the top, strong vertical circulation is observed and average gas temperatures are lower.

Experiment 5 demonstrates that conductive flux between the surface and a moving atmosphere is biased by gravity. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.

Nick, in dismissing the critical role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation you are supporting the slayers position. I will ask you directly. Can you please give me a YES or NO answer to the following question –
“Are radiative gases critical to strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation?”

Tony,
The lapse rate below the tropopause is a function of strong vertical circulation across a pressure gradient. Strong vertical circulation below the tropopause is dependant on radiative energy loss at altitude.

Tony, I will ask you directly. Can you please give me simple a YES or NO answer to the following question –
“Are radiative gases critical to strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation?”

• Jochen Ebel says:

“Air cools as it rises, warms as it descends.”

But without the greenhouse effect neither rises, circulated nor descends the air.

Sincerely yours

74. BillB says:

Does your IR thermometer have a warning to not point at the sun? Does it read higher when you do? Would those same molecules that reflect IR back to earth at night also reflect into space during the day?

At a lower azimuth I would expect more IR reading because there is more dust suspended.

75. BillB says:

One wonders if your IR thermometer gives the same readings when pointed at different thicknesses of, say, water held at uniform temperature?

76. Max says:

Hmmm, so the put up part only applies if you already approved the individual posting?

http://www.spectralcalc.com/spectral_browser/db_intensity.php

Play around with it.

• _Jim says:

Great, Max:

• _Jim says:

You do note that is a log scale on the ordinate (Y) axis?

What then is the respective ‘intensity’ difference between the four molecules selected at 2.75, 4.3 and 6 um expressed as a simple numerical ratio?

Are you going to now re-classify N2 as a “greenhouse gas” given your ‘discovery’?

• Max™ says:

What the heck are you going on about now?

I don’t consider any of them “greenhouse gases”, it just annoys me seeing people talk about N2 and O2 as if they don’t radiate because it is literally impossible, that’s all.

You asked for some data on Nitrogen emissions, there it is, make of it what you will.

77. Max says:

Oh, to add, I can provide an alternative energy budget diagram.

http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/daynightbudget_zps55e9bde5.png

I’d suggest rather than trying to balance the Trenberth budget (which directly assumes something like a GHE must exist), starting from a budget which, say, accounts for the difference between day and night, might help.

• Joel Shore says:

Your diagram makes the bizarre assumption that temperature determines the total pool of energy available for all forms of heat transfer, including conduction and convection. (E.g., that the 390 W/m^2 includes that conduction and convection from the surface.)

The way the world actually works is that the 390 W/m^2 represents the radiative emission given that the Earth is a nearly-blackbody object at an average temperature of 288 K. Any conduction or convection is on top of this.

So, in other words, Trenberth understands the laws of physics and you don’t.

• Max™ says:

Bizarre assumption that the internal energy of a solid determines the internal energy available for various forms of heat transfer?

Temperature of a solid is the internal energy in vibrational molecular states.

Do those molecular vibrations not take part in the emission of infrared radiation, conductive heating, and evaporation of liquids on the surface of said solid?

Take two surfaces at a given temperature with different emissivities, say .95 and .1, run a thin sheet of water over half of both, and have air in contact with the other half.

Both surfaces will be losing heat by evaporating water and warming the air, the surface with much lower emissivity will not emit anywhere near as much IR as the other surface, so total heat loss will be much lower it.

Similarly, raise the temperature of the air, neither surface will cool as effectively through conduction or radiation now, but again, the blacker surface loses more energy through radiation and cools quicker.

Now take the same two materials, with the same emissivities, and place them in a vacuum receiving nothing but the CMBR.

Will they cool as quickly as they did when they could undergo evaporative/conductive-convective cooling?

Will the total energy lost by the surfaces change when they are only radiating into a vacuum compared to when they are radiating/evaporating/convection heat away?

If so, and I assume you’re going to say they radiate the same amount always, where does the “extra” energy lost through evaporative/convective cooling come from?

Do some of the molecular vibrations “know” when they would be emitting photons and only take part if they can bump into another molecule instead?

When a surface molecule transfers heat to an air molecule through contact, it vibrates less rapidly, right?

If that same molecule instead shot a photon at that same air molecule, it would still vibrate less rapidly, right?

Can the same molecule transfer the same energy to the same molecule through both forms at the same time?

No?

Perhaps you don’t understand physics as well as you thought?

• Joel Shore says:

Max: Your main confusion seems to be between energy and power.

Let’s take a concrete example: Two objects initial at, say, 600 K that cool down to some final temperature, say, 300 K. Assume both objects have the same emissivity and that one cools only by radiation and the other by radiation plus conduction / convection (and that the materials responsible for the conduction / convection are radiatively inactive, so they don’t change the radiation part of the problem).

You would presumably say: How could they both possibly lose the same amount of energy via radiation since the one that also has conduction and convection going on will lose some of the energy through those processes? And, you are correct. However, the reason that the object would lose less via radiation is not because the power radiated is any lower at any given temperature but rather because the total energy lost is the integral of power with respect to time and the object will be losing energy more rapidly in total and hence cooling down more quickly. So, at any give time (other than t=0), it will be at a lower temperature than the other body and hence will be radiating less power.

Now, consider the case of two bodies but with an external heat source that operates with a thermostat and keeps the bodies fixed at 600 K. In this case, what will happen? The answer is simply that the body losing heat by radiation + conduction/convection will lose heat at a faster rate (because both bodies will have the same power radiated, but one will have the additional heat loss mechanisms) and hence will need to be supplied with more power from the heat source to keep it at a constant temperature.

Alternatively, if the external heat source does not operate via a thermostat but is just a constant heat source (the same for each body), then the two bodies would equilibrate to different temperatures so that the total rate of heat loss (from all processes) from each is the same.

This is the correct description of what would happen using the known laws of physics that have been well-verified.

• Max™ says:

The energy transfer is the net radiative exchange and the transfer by free convection. It is equal to the flux q1 that must be added to [the surface] to maintain it at its specified temperature. Since T1 and T2 are given, the hjc must be computed from free-convection correlations and the net energy transfer is, by use of (6-20a),

This is a correct description from a textbook written by individuals more educated than you or I.

Again, temperature of a solid is the internal energy, yes?

Internal energy of a solid is molecular vibrations, which are involved in radiation, conduction, and evaporation.

Unless you know where a special store of radiation-only vibrations is located, you can feel free to change your claim at any time.

• Joel Shore says:

Max,

I don’t see anything in that equation that magically adjusts the first term (radiative emission) in response to how much energy is lost to the conduction / convection processes so that the total power leaving the body by both processes is constant. Hence, that equation supports my correct interpretation of the physics and shows yours to be incorrect.

• Max™ says:

I never said it adjusts it to be constant, I said the total losses are calculated as radiative+convective, as it shows.

Now, in a vacuum we have radiative losses at temperature t1 as x_v, total energy lost as q, and the cold sink t2 is functionally 0.

In an atmosphere t1 is the same, but t2 is nonzero, right?

So if x_v is the same as x_a, then for some reason the surface is losing more energy at the same temperature (t1) simply because it is in an atmosphere?

If q is the same, convective losses are k, and q=x_a+k, then couldn’t you take a surface, put half in a vacuum, half in an atmosphere, collect the “extra” energy from the atmosphere half, and use it to power the vacuum half?

As that is absurd, I think x_a =/= x_v, and the obvious reason is because the atmosphere emits radiation which, yep, reduces the energy lost by the surface through radiation.

So no, the surface isn’t always radiating at 390 W/m^2 and convecting/evaporating away 97 W/m^2.

Using Trenberth numbers, it would be: (390-333)+97, or q=(t1^4 – t2^4)+(t1 – t2).

• Joel Shore says:

Max,

You are just playing games at this point. There are two ways that one can look at it that are completely equivalent: You can either say that the surface is radiating 390 W/m^2 and absorbing 333 W/m^2 or you can say that it is in net radiating away (390 – 333) W/m^2.

However, at this point, either way, you have admitted that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is there. If it weren’t, the Earth would be emitting 390 W/m^2 (none of which would be absorbed by the atmosphere) and would not be receiving any emission back from the atmosphere.

• Max™ says:

Here’s the difference between what we’re saying:

You have the energy from the atmosphere being added to the energy pool of the surface, increasing the total available.

I have the energy from the atmosphere being subtracted from the energy radiated by the surface, reducing the total lost through radiation.

You have a process where one can wiggle their way to claiming the atmosphere supplies as much or more energy than the Sun does.

I have a process where one can not mistake the atmosphere for being a source of energy for the surface, as it is by and large warmed directly by the surface (with a portion of direct solar heating as well), while the surface receives more than enough energy from the Sun to reach the observed temperatures without any need to postulate extra energy pools of any sort.

78. provoter says:

I haven’t read the entire thread, so to the extent I repeat others, I apologize.

What the slayers seem not to be properly & sufficiently factoring into the equation are the effects of the fact that the earth is constantly being heated by the sun. Greenhouse gases do not heat the earth and its atmosphere; the sun does, and no knowledgeable person is suggesting otherwise. This point is key, and it seems to be lost on them. It is true that relatively cool greenhouse gases do not make a relatively warm surface (or lower atmosphere) even warmer. In fact, they make it cooler, as the slayers say. But they make it cooler MORE SLOWLY than would be the case without their presence – exactly the “blanket effect” that so many others have argued.

The sun heats the earth, the earth tries to cool itself by radiating and conducting away this heat, but the greenhouse gases lower the rate of escape of this heat; the greenhouse gases do cool the earth as the slayers say, just not as efficiently as a ghg-free atmosphere would. Why is this so difficult to grasp?

I know none of what I am saying is original or close to it, but it’s difficult listening to all this mindless, utterly anti-intellectual drivel without throwing in my own two cents.

If you can’t (or more likely, WON’T) get your arms around the numbingly-simple concepts that:

1) blankets do not heat you – they just cool you more slowly (igloos, people – igloos!), and
2) gases can be blankets (they can insulate) just like solids,

then reasoning with you truly is a lost cause, and Dr. Spencer has suffered you well beyond what fairness, open-mindedness and the genuine pursuit of truth have dictated. There are those of us who are actually trying to increase our knowledge here, and forcing Dr. Spencer to divert scarce resources teaching down to you benefits none of us.

Blogs are cheap. Why not start your own?

• BillB says:

Blankets also make great pot holders.

• provoter says:

PS: My best guess on CO2-doubling climate sensitivity is 0.5 – 1.5 C, and the many negative feedbacks that appear to exist make me lean toward the lower end of that. In other words, I am anything but a warmist, FWIW.

• Joel Shore says:

provoter: You’ve explained it well.

“Why is this so difficult to grasp?”

I think one of the reasons is that the Slayers are actively spreading misinformation. Two pieces of misinformation that seem to be particularly potent are:

(1) Misrepresenting what the 2nd Law actually says (so that it becomes a statement that cold objects can’t in any way influence the temperature of warmer objects).

(2) Coming up with the fiction that one can figure out the maximum temperature that a body like the Earth can have by looking at only “one side of the ledger”…i.e., that the sun does not have enough energy to raise the Earth beyond a certain temperature. What is really true is that the sun is providing an incredible amount of energy and that the limitation on how warm the Earth gets as a result is a matter of how easily it can get rid of that energy (i.e., what temperature the surface has to get up to in order that the emission of energy back out into space matches the 240 W/m^2 that the Earth system (including atmosphere) absorb from the sun.

There are some people, unfortunately, who don’t have the knowledge to see through this active misinformation campaign, particularly when this misinformation tells them something that they very badly want to believe.

• provoter says:

“What is really true is that the sun is providing an incredible amount of energy and that the limitation on how warm the Earth gets as a result is a matter of how easily it can get rid of that energy (i.e., what temperature the surface has to get up to in order that the emission of energy back out into space matches the ~240 W/m^2 that the Earth system (including atmosphere) absorbs from the sun.”

———————-

Bingo.

Genius is not required to get this, but a not-closed mind is.

Not sure how the Good Doctor has suffered this all so gladly so long. Many props to him for the considerable forebearance, but he’s right that the returns on that forebearance have for some time been clearly negative.

It’s his site, and he has every right to focus on whatever he chooses. Isn’t this sort of basic?

79. Stephen Wilde says:

“gases can be blankets (they can insulate) just like solids, ”

Agreed, so why limit the effect to radiative gases ?

As soon as one extends the principle to all gases the effect of our additional CO2 becomes too small to measure.

A radiatively inert atmosphere will still have a convective circulation due to the density induced decline in temperature with height and uneven surface heating.

It is the density reduction with height whereby molecules move further apart that allows conversion of KE to PE with a consequent fall in temperature.

The greenhouse effect arises from atmospheric mass and not radiative characteristics of constituent molecules.

80. Guenter Hess says:

Dear Dr. Spencer,

I do have the following question.

Now a nitrogen parcel at the surface is warmed by the sun to a temperature higher than the surface air temperature. Therefore its potential temperature increases and the parcel begins to rise adiabatically to the upper boundary.

What happens to the parcel at the upper boundary, because the parcel still has an higher potential temperature compared to its environment?

Best regards
Guenter Hess

81. Stephen Wilde says:

“a nitrogen parcel at the surface is warmed by the sun to a temperature higher than the surface air temperature. Therefore its potential temperature increases and the parcel begins to rise adiabatically to the upper boundary.

What happens to the parcel at the upper boundary, because the parcel still has an higher potential temperature compared to its environment?”

The warmed nitrogen parcel increases kinetic energy NOT potential energy.

Kinetic energy represents heat so the parcel expands, becomes less dense than adjoining parcels and rises.

As it rises the reducing pressure with height allows the molecules to move apart which converts KE to PE for a cooling effect.

However, the surroundings are cooling with height at the same rate so the density difference remains and the parcel keeps rising adiabatically.

The higher it rises the less dense it gets and the more of the initial KE gets converted to PE for continued cooling.

It is the reduction in density with height converting KE to PE that produces the lapse rate and NOT radiative emissions to space from ToA.

The only things that can stop the rising are arrival at ToA OR reaching an inversion layer where temperature starts to rise with height so that the densities get a chance to equalise.

On Earth that height is the tropopause where layers of ozone are heated directly by solar shortwave to reverse the lapse rate slope in that particular layer.

Once rising stops the parcel finds itself colder and denser than the new warmer less dense air pushing up behind it from below. It gets pushed aside and begins to descend elsewhere.

That is the origin of high and low pressure cells in the troposphere.

As the cold dense air falls the process is reversed. PE is converted back to KE all the way down to the surface.

THAT is what keeps the surface warm, NOT downward radiation.

The surface can then radiate out to space.

If one adds GHGs to the nitrogen atmosphere they allow a radiative route to space that the nitrogen did not provide. That radiative energy loss cools the rising air IN ADDITION to the cooling effect of reducing density with height so the speed of the adiabatic uplft (and subsequent) descent slows down.

ToA radiative equilibrium is maintained long term by that balancing interaction between the speed of adiabatic uplift and descent and the radiative characteristics of constituent molecules.

The only net effect of radiative characteristics is a circulation change too small to measure due to the small proportion of atmospheric mass comprised of GHGs.

With an atmosphere of entirely GHGs the speed of atmospheric circulation would be very slow since energy loss can be achieved much more from the atmosphere than from the surface.

The big mistake of both Slayers and Lukewarmers and AGW proponents is to not consider the transition of KE to PE and back again within the atmosphere and the consequent effect on the exchange of energy between surface and atmosphere.

ALL the ‘extra’ heat at the surface is accounted for by that surface / atmosphere exchange whilst solar input effectively gets a free pass straight through so as to ensure ToA radiative balance.

• Guenter Hess says:

Stephen,

you write:
“The only things that can stop the rising are arrival at ToA OR reaching an inversion layer where temperature starts to rise with height so that the densities get a chance to equalise.”

Doesn’t this mean that the inversion layer gets pushed downward with each cycle if there is no radiation to space?

• Stephen Wilde says:

The inversion layer boundary (the tropopause on Earth) gets pushed up a little in one place where rising warm air impacts it but descends a little in another place above regions of descending air.

You can see that above vigorous uplifts from thunderstorms when the tropopause bulges up a little above the cloud column then descends a little around it.

Apply the same principle globally to regions of high and low surface pressure. It all happens with or without radiative gases in the atmosphere because of uneven surface heating and the temperature decline with height.

The ascending and descending processes balance out at equilibrium so no change in the height of the inversion layer.

Things are different if the net global balance between ascent and descent changes when the height of the inversion can change up or down.

In fact that changing in height of the inversion layer is part of the negative system response to forcing elements other than mass, gravity and insolation at ToA.

• Guenter Hess says:

I don’t understand. The assumption was no clouds, no GHG, no water, just a N2 atmosphere.

• Stephen Wilde says:

“I don’t understand. The assumption was no clouds, no GHG, no water, just a N2 atmosphere.”

Quite so.

I only mentioned clouds because they make the air movements visible.

In a Nitrogen atmosphere it would be just the same but you wouldn’t be able to see it in action.

There would still be uneven surface heating, a reduction in temperature with height due to reducing density converting KE to PE and therefore upward convection and corresponding descent elsewhere.

The great oversight has been a failure to realise that all uplift of air is matched by descent of air, that the descending air warms adiabatically and that the adiabatically warmed air raises surface temperature wherever uplift is not occurring.

There are local exceptions of course such as local or regional inversion layers above ground at night or in winter when there is little or no wind but averaged globally I have it right.

• Guenter Hess says:

Stephen,

82. Stephen Wilde says:

With no GHGs all energy taken upward by convective uplift must be returned to the surface by descending air and then radiated directly to space. Otherwise it cannot be removed.

With nothing but GHGs most solar energy can be radiated out to space from the atmosphere so relatively little needs to be radiated directly from the surface to space and there will be much reduced convective uplift and descent. In that case the surface radiates directly to GHGs which then allow a portion out without it needing to be returned to the surface first by non radiative processes. The non radiative processes can therefore slow down.

Earths’ atmosphere lies between the two extremes with the additional factor of the hydrological cycle to consider. That has the capability of enhancing the efficiency of non radiative energy transfer mechanisms and so additionally reduces the need for a rapid circulation.

The amount of ‘extra’ heat that the system will develop from possession of an atmosphere (whether radiative or not) depends on the length of time energy remains in the system being converted from KE to PE and back again by non radiative mechanisms.

• Norman says:

Stephen Wilde

I find your posts interesting reading. Does your current understanding explain why the polar region is warming at a much faster rate than the tropics (as measured). Would the sinking air produce this enhanced warming? A good hypothesis needs to answer all the empirical data in order to be accepted as a theory.

I do think I have a way to prove the GHG backradiation. You would have two identical near blackbody one meter square plates with temperature measuring devices attached. One is exposed to the night atmosphere so diffuse backradiation can strike it an be absorbed. The other is under a highly IR reflective mirror (I think even glass may work) so no back radiation can hit its surface. The difference in temperature measurements should then be obvious and give a direct empirical measure of the heating effect of backradiation.

83. Guenter Hess says:

Stephen,

you write:
“The great oversight has been a failure to realise that all uplift of air is matched by descent of air, that the descending air warms adiabatically and that the adiabatically warmed air raises surface temperature wherever uplift is not occurring.”

But in my thought experiment you exchange two parcels with different potential temperature. The rising parcel has a higher potential temperature than the descending parcel just underneath the inversion layer that is exchanged for the rising parcel. So you increase the potential temperature gradient between surface and inversion layer.

If the excess energy of the rising parcel is radiated to space the potential temperature gradient remains unchanged.

Where does the excess energy go if it cannot be be radiated to space and how does this effect the potential temperature gradient?

84. Stephen Wilde says:

“But in my thought experiment you exchange two parcels with different potential temperature.”

What is potential temperature ?

All molecules have the same total energy (KE + PE) whether at the surface or at ToA.

Only KE contributes to heat and it is the amount of KE that determines temperature.

Rising and falling of air parcels occurs when adjoining parcels have different amounts of KE so that they are at different temperatures and densities.

When that happens (as it must on a surface with uneven heating) the warmer less dense air will rise, expand, become less dense and cool by conversion of KE to PE.

When it reaches the inversion layer the rising parcel meets air at its own temperature and density so it stops rising but at that point the KE / PE balance is the same for the parcel that has risen and the parcel that it encounters.

We are talking about a nitrogen atmosphere so there can be no radiation to space at any height from within the atmosphere.

During the rising process that warmed parcel of air had to displace air that was in its way. That air is displaced horizontally at the inversion layer.

The displaced air then has more PE than the air beneath it which makes it colder and denser than the surrounding air so it starts to sink and it will sink all the way back to the surface (in a high pressure cell) warming adiabatically all the way down.

By the time it reaches the surface it will be at the maximum temperature permitted by the particular atmosphere of a given mass in a given strength of gravitational field and subjected to a given amount of ToA insolation.

The upward radiative flux is then a consequence of the portion of ToA insolation that reaches the ground PLUS the amount of KE returned to the surface (from PE) by the descending air.

BUT the surface / atmosphere energy exchange (KE to PE and back again) is balanced at equilibrium for a zero net effect on energy throughput which leaves SW IN at ToA equalling OLR OUT exactly as observed.What goes up must come down.

If one then adds GHGs then more energy is radiated out to space from within the atmosphere and the rate of circulation slows down so that ToA radiative balance remains in equilibrium.

The cost of GHGs is indeed a climate change via circulation changes but because the entire mass of the atmosphere is involved it would be too small to measure.

It boils down to this:

i) Solar energy in equals OLR out at equilibrium.

ii) All excess energy acquired by the system over and above the S-B expectation is in the surface/atmosphere energy exchange.

iii) GHGs allow energy out from within the atmosphere leaving a smaller or slower surface/atmosphere energy exchange.

iv) The climate effect is no change in system temperature merely a compensating adjustment to the atmospheric circulation.

v) The ability of the hydrological cycle to enhance the efficiency of non radiative energy transfer mechanisms further reduces the scale of circulation adjustment needed.

The Slayers are wrong but so is Roy and the entire AGW establishment.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen,

Why do you go on and on with this nonsense? I am not going to repeat why it is nonsense. I’ll just refer people upthread: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-78952

You are another one in the put-up or shut-up category: Either write down a mathematical model explicitly incorporating the known laws of physics involving radiation, conservation of energy, etc. or admit that your prose is just meaningless nonsense which can’t be translated into mathematics because it is not mathematically consistent with the known laws of physics.

• Stephen Wilde says:

It is entirely consistent with the Ideal Gas Laws.

I’m not going to ‘reinvent the wheel’ when I rely on established science and observations.

My position is not that of the Slayers. There is a greenhouse effect but it is due to the mass of the entire atmosphere rather than radiative gases alone.

• Joel Shore says:

You don’t even understand the ideal gas law. You wrote an entire post on it at tallbloke’s, only to have it revealed in the comments section that you didn’t even understand what the symbol “n” stood for! Talk about embarrassing! It is completely hopeless to make you understand anything more complicated about the ideal gas law, like the mathematical reason why it doesn’t constrain the surface temperature: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/joel-shore-the-radiative-greenhouse-effect/comment-page-1/#comment-18180

“My position is not that of the Slayers. There is a greenhouse effect but it is due to the mass of the entire atmosphere rather than radiative gases alone.”

And, your position is wrong for some of the same reasons theirs is wrong. It doesn’t even satisfy conservation of energy. [I will say that the other elements of the atmosphere do have an effect on the greenhouse effect: The pressure caused by the non-radiative components does broaden the absorption lines of the greenhouse gases and convection does reduce the radiative greenhouse effect from what it would be in the absence of convection. However, the only way for the Earth’s surface to be at a temperature where it radiates ~390 W/m^2 while the Earth as seen from space radiates only ~240 W/m^2 (as required by energy conservation) is to have elements in the atmosphere that absorb some of the terrestrial radiation.

• Joel Shore says:

Actually, it is not only “n” in the ideal gas law that Stephen Wilde doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand “R” either. Even though he starts out by correctly saying, “R is the ideal, or universal, gas constant, equal to the product of Boltzmann’s constant and Avogadro’s constant,” he later says, “R – the gas constant which is related to the strength of the gravitational field”. And, just in case we think that’s just a typo, here he waxes more eloquent about it, “It turns out that R, the Gas Constant is not really constant at all except in clearly defined circumstances unique to each planet. R is only a constant for a fixed gravitational field, a fixed amount of atmospheric mass and a fixed height of atmosphere. Change any of those features and the amount of work required will also change and the value of R will rise or fall.”

I am sure scientists will be fascinated to learn about the theory where the value of Boltzmann’s Constant times Avogadro’s constant depends on the gravitational field, the atmospheric mass, and the height of the atmosphere!

How anybody who says things like this thinks he has a shred of credibility when he says, “I’m not going to ‘reinvent the wheel’ when I rely on established science and observations” as an excuse for not going beyond his prose and writing down an actual mathematical model is amusing. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

• Curt says:

If the mass of the atmosphere could make up the ~150 W/m2 average”deficit” between outgoing longwave and incoming shortwave radiation at the earth’s surface, then I could generate 1 MW of free power in an area the size of a football field. I wonder why no one has done this…

Just because the atmosphere has mass and therefore exerts pressure on the earth’s surface does not mean you can get any power from it. When we generate hydroelectric power, we use falling water and convert the potential energy of its height into kinetic energy of its velocity into electrical energy. But with the atmosphere, the air has already fallen as far as it can go, so there is no more potential energy to exploit.

• Guenter Hess says:

Stephen,

you write:
“During the rising process that warmed parcel of air had to displace air that was in its way. That air is displaced horizontally at the inversion layer.The displaced air then has more PE than the air beneath it which makes it colder and denser than the surrounding air so it starts to sink and it will sink all the way back to the surface (in a high pressure cell) warming adiabatically all the way down.”

Why is the horizontally displaced air at the inversion layer colder than its surroundings. It is at the same temperature as the surrounding. The horizontally displaced air is colder than the the rising parcel, but it is at the temperature of its surrounding air.

Again the rising parcel has a higher potential temperature and it replace a parcel with lower potential temperature. So the rising parcel warms the air just underneath the inversion layer and increases the potential temperature gradient if the excess energy cannot be radiated to space. The inversion layer starts at a lower height now.

• Stephen Wilde says:

“Why is the horizontally displaced air at the inversion layer colder than its surroundings”

It isn’t.

It is colder and denser that the air beneath it so it falls.

Are you not aware that high pressure cells are comprised of descending air and low pressure cells of ascending air ?

What goes up must come down.

I explained to you that there is no such thing as potential temperature so I don’t understand what you are saying as regards that.

The rising parcel does not warm the air just beneath the inversion layer because it has itself cooled from expansion and reduced density.

Sorry, but you don’t understand the meteorological principles of adiabatic uplift and descent.

85. DougS says:

I’m still struggling to understand why the mechanical work that the water and atmospheric gasses of earth is not accounted for in energy balance equations. Isn’t is valid to consider the energy input to the earth by solar radiation is accounted for at the surface of the earth in temperature plus mechanical work done e.g. jet stream, ocean currents, hurricanes, tornado’s.

A valid model of earths energy balance might be similar to a Stirling engine. I’m hoping someone more adapt at the physics can help me out with a comment or two. Thanks in advance.

• Max™ says:

That falls under evaporative transfers of latent heat and convective transfers of sensible heat.

Hurricanes and thunderstorms are big heat engines.

Modeling them is still something climate models need better methods for approximating Navier-Stokes solutions (good luck!) and/or higher resolution in order to handle.

Upping the resolution enough to resolve individual clouds and having enough power to solve 3D fluid dynamics equations in real time would require such powerful computers that they would probably dump enough waste heat to make anything anyone worries about today look trivial.

• Joel Shore says:

Doug,

The basic point is that the energy that goes into work is eventually dissipated into thermal energy. Or, to put it another way, the kinetic energy of the winds and such are not continually increasing…For any increase in kinetic energy of the winds somewhere, there is a reduction in kinetic energy somewhere else. So, this doesn’t play any significant role in the long term energy balance of the Earth system.

Max is correct (even a broken watch is right twice a day!) that a hurricane is a big heat engine. The hot reservoir is the ocean, the cold reservoir is the upper atmosphere, and the heat is transported between the hot and cold reservoir mainly by the evaporation-condensation mechanism. This is why a hurricane’s intensity decreases so quickly once it is deprived of warm ocean waters.

86. coturnix19 says:

2max tm:

Indeed,but ualso must look at the intensities The nitrogen line is 10**8 times weaker on the chart than the corresponding co2. Even factoring in nitrogen’s abundance of 2000 higher than co2 on earth – it is still way too weak. Honestly, I thought nitrogen absorption was stronger than that.

87. coturnix19 says:

2 max tm:

Collapsing star indeed do heat up when they form. The gravity heats tham up but how? By doing work on gas by moving it from diffusecloud into a compact object. On earth, the air doesnt move close to earth in general, and if some piece of it does descend there is always some piece elsewhere that simultaneously ascends.

• Max™ says:

>.>

Gravity gives the collapsing cloud of gas the peculiar state of having negative specific heat, so as it loses energy the temperature increases, while the entropy of the cloud itself decreases as it emits photons which increase the entropy of the environment around the cloud by more than the local reduction.

The end result is higher pressure and higher temperature because lifting an object out of a gravity well requires work to be performed, so an object lowered into a gravity well exchanges potential for kinetic energy as it accelerates.

If it accelerates into a dense medium it can do work on the medium/have worked performed on it, and thus heat up.

As for the ascend/descend statement, there is actually a rather constant bulge to the atmosphere, it is caused by the solar heating over the equator, and offset somewhat by the rotation of the planet itself, but it is always there, satellites have to take it into account in various orbits, as a given altitude on the night side won’t have the same amount of drag if it passes through the upper parts of the heated day side atmosphere.

Roy is of course familiar with that.

88. Eilert says:

The ‘Greenhouse Theory’ is actually only describing part of the physical process that govern radiation on a planet with an atmosphere.

Electromagnetic radiation i.e. photons, are both particles and waves.

The ‘Greenhouse Theory’ only addresses the particle side of this. If you look only at the problem this way, then naturally you would come to the conclusion, that these particles must somehow be impeded if you put an insolation layer in the path of a continues emitting surface (something like greenhouse gasses who actually emit back to the emitting surface). This would necessary increase the temperature, since energy cannot be destroyed (First Law).
However the Second Law states that energy can only flow from a high state to a low state i.e. heat can only flow from high to low temperature. (Back radiation would be emitted from elevation in the atmosphere which has a lower temperature than the surface and this back radiation needs to warm that surface more according to the theory) Now you actually have a paradox here. Some argue that this paradox is solved because it only applies to net radiation. But how can this be proven? You could put any number in the equation, as long as the outcome is the net effect. You than could always claim that your parameters describe the process. That is actually exactly what the Trenberth diagrams do.

The real way to solve this paradox is to realize that photons are also waves. Thus they will interfere with each other (this is necessary so, since the back radiation will be of the same species as that coming from the surface) and we need to apply Quantum Mechanics like super positioning to our problem. This means that the outgoing and back radiated emission will be in creative and destructive superposition. For all practical purposes it means that the back radiation energy cannot be used for further heating. It is as if this energy has disappeared, which is however not so, it only became transparent to the system. If you put a different detector in the path of the back radiation, like a pyrometer, this radiation would be detectable, since it has not yet been interfered with by the surface radiation.

The same thing actually happens when you look in a mirror, where you can see your own reflection (reflection or back radiation are, from the point of the surface, actually the same). This reflection cannot illuminate you face more, because outgoing and reflected radiation interfere with each other. But your eye is a different detector that is why you can see yourself.

This means, for the surface of rotating planet, like earth, which gets its heat energy from the sun, it would only be able to reach black body temperatures and not higher by radiation only. This however is not necessary the average black body temperature, if the rotating planet can actually utilize heat sinks (more accurately described as energy sinks), by which it is able to hold on part of the energy for longer than one rotation cycle. It will then be able to equilibrate at some temperature above the average black body temperature. The maximum it will be able to reach (if the heat sink is able to hold onto 100% of the heat) is the maximum that part of the planet is actually exposed to. In the case of Earth that will be around 120 degrees Celsius.

Without heat sinks the surface will instantly lose its temperature the moment the incoming emission stops. It would in that case be completely irrelevant how long and intense the incoming radiation is. It thus would not matter whether the planet has a period of 24 hrs like Earth or 28 days like the moon.

• Joel Shore says:

Sometimes this all seems hopeless…People like Eilert can create nonsense faster than we can debunk it. I think I’ll let someone else have first dibs on this pseudoscientific nonsense.

• Max™ says:

Good idea, instead you can let me know why my “assumption” that the temperature of a solid is a measure of the molecular vibrations, or, internal energy possessed by said solid, is “bizarre”?

If a molecule on the surface of a solid is vibrating and an air molecule collides with it, it can transfer energy to the air, speeding it up, and it then vibrates slower, yes?

Similarly said surface molecule can emit a photon at that same air molecule and it will end up vibrating slower afterwards, yes?

Can that molecule emit the same energy it lost through collision to the same molecule at the same time?

• Eilert says:

Hi Joel

Will you really dispute the fact that radiation of the same species radiating towards each other will not interfere with each other? And if that happens you can ignore Quantum Mechanical effects?

Or do you really want to dispute that you do not need a heat (energy) sink to actually overcome the fact that when no incoming radiation exist the surface will stay warm enough to radiate?

Are these arguments really so pseudoscientific nonsense?

Or is it you who do not understand or do not want to understand these scientific arguments, because you do not like the challenge to your pet theory? Is that why you act like a troll on numerous blogs I came across, some of which you have been banned from.

• Joel Shore says:

Eilert,

(1) In practice, it is quite difficult to get interference effects with light. It has to be at the same wavelength, and coherent, … And, besides, the effect of interference is just to redistribute the light spatially.

(2) Quantum interference / superposition effects are even more complicated to get especially on some macroscopic scale. You are just grasping at straws, throwing out some physics that you have no understanding of in order to desperately re-enforce what you want to believe. By contrast, what the 2nd Law really says and the underlying statistical physics that underlies it is well-understood and does not lead to the nonsensical claims that you are making.

(3) The maximum temperature that the Earth can reach by heating from the sun is the temperature of the surface of the sun (~5800 K). These other ideas of a much lower maximum temperature are based on the assumption that the Earth’s surface emits radiation back out into space unimpeded by any radiative absorption in the atmosphere, i.e., they assume the absence of a radiative greenhouse effect.

(4) The reason that I frequent various blogs is (at least in part) to try to stop people from using pseudoscientific arguments masquerading as physics, as you have done. The only blog that I was banned from was Tallbloke’s because I correctly noted, as anybody who understood enough physics (Roy Spencer, Robert Brown, Willis Eschenbach, …) also noted, that the nonsense arguments of Nikolov and Zeller that Tallbloke embraced didn’t even satisfy energy conservation. If Tallbloke wants to create a site where pseudoscientific nonsense can flourish without being challenged, then that is his prerogative.

• Max™ says:

(3) The maximum temperature that the Earth can reach by heating from the sun is the temperature of the surface of the sun (~5800 K).

>.>

Uh, we’re pretty far from the Sun, and the inverse-square law still applies.

The temperature of a black body exposed to constant sunlight at this distance will peak at around 390 K.

You need to hit up the books some more, seems like.

• Joel Shore says:

Max,

Temperature is not determined only by the amount of energy coming in. It is determined by the balance between energy in and energy out. Your calculation (which is wrong anyway, as it should be 255 K) is based on the assumption that the Earth’s surface radiates all of its energy back out into space without any of it being absorbed by the atmosphere. In other words, it assumes the absence of a greenhouse effect.

In the more general case, as I noted, the only fundamental limit set by the laws of physics on the surface temperature due to heating from the sun is that it cannot be hotter than the sun itself. This is because these arguments involving radiation involve the selectivity of the atmosphere…i.e., that it is selectively absorbing terrestrial rather than solar radiation. Such selectivity becomes impossible when the terrestrial source gets to the same temperature as the sun since the emission spectra will then be the same.

• Jochen Ebel says:

“Uh, we’re pretty far from the Sun, and the inverse-square law Applies silent.”

But the sun’s rays are almost parallel, so they can be bundled to almost 6000K. The 390 K occur when the sun’s almost parallen rays are absorbed – but are then radiated into a hemisphere.

Sincerely yours

• Max™ says:

Either way you’re still wrong, if you’re talking about using lenses/mirrors of some sort to concentrate the sunlight then the limiting temperature is still only ~3000 K, at which point the surface is radiating away as much energy as it receives.

89. Stephen Wilde says:

This is getting silly.

Energy from the sun arrives and the same amount goes out.

Some of that energy was slowed down at the outset of planetary formation as it passed through the atmosphere and has since been constantly recycled between atmosphere and surface.

The surface became warmer than the S-B equation predicts.

The amount of warming is a function of the entire atmospheric mass.

All the extra warmth is from energy being recycled between surface and atmosphere.

Radiative characteristics are dealt with via circulation changes.

All else is chaff.

90. Stephen Wilde says:

Joel Shore said:

“The point is that having the surface emitting 390 W/m^2 when the Earth + atmosphere is only absorbing 240 W/m^2 is an impossible situation unless there are elements of the atmosphere that absorb some of the radiative emissions from the Earth’s surface.”

240 in and 240 out at ToA.

150 from surface to atmosphere via non radiative means.

150 from atmosphere to surface by non radiative means.

Books balanced.

The balancing energy is that which is converted from KE to PE and back again by adiabatic uplift and descent.

The temperature rise is determined by how long KE remains in PE form before it is returned to the surface and that is determined by the mass of the entire atmosphere.

• Joel Shore says:

No…You are ignoring the fact that a surface at 288 K is emitting 390 W/m^2 of radiation. In the absence of an atmosphere to absorb this radiation, 390 W/m^2 would be radiated out into space and the Earth + atmosphere system would cool rapidly until the Earth’s surface was only emitting 240 W/m^2. The only way for the surface to sustainably emit 390 W/m^2 of radiation is if the atmosphere absorbs some of this radiation, which is, by definition, happening by radiative means.

• Stephen Wilde says:

“The only way for the surface to sustainably emit 390 W/m^2 of radiation is if the atmosphere absorbs some of this radiation, which is, by definition, happening by radiative means.”

Why by definition radiative means ?

Radiation is a consequence not a cause.

Lets look at the non GHG atmosphere as a ‘pure’ example.

At the formation of the planet 240 comes in but 150 gets diverted into the atmosphere by non radiative processes.

The surface initially radiates at 90 but after a while the 150 removed gets returned to the surface by non radiative processes and new energy is still coming in at 240 so you get a surface temperature that should radiate at 390 but the atmosphere is still taking 150 by non radiative means so ToA still only allows 240 out.

From that point on, 240 comes in and 240 goes out but 150 keeps getting recirculated between surface and atmosphere by non radiative means.

What is the problem with that?

For an atmosphere with GHGs the numbers change a bit from the non GHG scenario but the principle still applies.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen,

You are talking nonsense that is similar to the nonsense that Max was talking and I took on here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-78995 Energy cannot get diverted into nonradiative processes. A blackbody at 288 K will emit 390 W/m^2 of radiation independent of other ways in which it is losing energy (and, at these far IR wavelengths, the Earth’s surface is very nearly a blackbody, with emissivities within a couple percent of 1).

There is no known physics mechanism by which some of the 390 W/m^2 can get diverted. Besides which, we have spectra of the Earth’s emission from space, which are in excellent agreement with radiative transfer calculations that use the known laws of physics and the known absorption bands of the various greenhouse gases. They do not agree with your made-up physics.

• Stephen Wilde says:

“Energy cannot get diverted into nonradiative processes. A blackbody at 288 K will emit 390 ”

It wouldn’t have been at 288K whilst the energy was being diverted to non radiative processes.

It would have been at a temperature that radiated 90 with the other 150 being absorbed by the mass of the atmosphere by non radiative means.

That was a temporary scenario.

Now that the surface temperature has caught up we have a surface hot enough to radiate 390 if it were not for the atmoosphere but the atmosphere is adding 150 to the surface and taking 150 from the surface to leave only 240 outgoing at ToA.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen,

You are clearly too wedded to your beliefs for me to reach you. You are now writing sentences that are impossible to parse. I think that any reasonable person will see that what you are talking about is simply made-up nonsense to justify your beliefs and is not based on any known physics. Furthermore, as I noted, the empirical data is in excellent agreement with the known physics.

• Gordon Robertson says:

Joel Shore….”Energy cannot get diverted into nonradiative processes. A blackbody at 288 K will emit 390 W/m^2 of radiation independent…”

You have blackbody on the brain, Joel. According to Lindzen, radiative processes are not the major way of transporting heat in the atmosphere. He further estimates an upper bounds of a fraction of a degree C for a doubling of CO2. Let’s not forget that the CO2 in question is 96% from natural sources.

According to your reasoning, a room heated with radiant electric energy heats because CO2 in the room’s air absorbs IR and back-radiates it to the heater, making it warmer. It in fact heats because the majority molecules of nitrogen and oxygen respond to the heater elements directly through conduction and the room warms by convection.

Having read Stephen’s theories on the ocean being the cause of atmospheric warming, I think he is correct. In the Canadian winter, the Pacific Ocean keeps the lower west coast of Canada up to 40 C warmer than the interior of Canada, which is cooled by convective currents from the Arctic.

If CO2 has such an effect on temperatures, and it becomes the predominant GHG as water vapour becomes scarce in the low humidity of a prairie winter, why do the Canadian prairies get so cold in winter? According to the AGW theory, over the millenia, the GHGs should have warmed the surface to such a high temperature that the Earth would be ice free.

It is equally obvious that any warming we are experiencing today are nothing more than weather anomalies. Climate change is totally overblown.

• Joel Shore says:

“You have blackbody on the brain, Joel. According to Lindzen, radiative processes are not the major way of transporting heat in the atmosphere.”

That fact doesn’t get around having to satisfy energy conservation and energy conservation between the entire Earth + atmosphere system and the rest of the universe is simplified by the fact that the only significant communication of energy between them is via radiation.

“He further estimates an upper bounds of a fraction of a degree C for a doubling of CO2.”

Good for Lindzen. And, nearly every other climate and atmospheric scientist in the field disagrees with him.

“Let’s not forget that the CO2 in question is 96% from natural sources.”

And, this ignores the fact that there are natural sinks that are in fact slightly larger than the natural sources, so that essentially the entire rise in CO2 since the industrial revolution began is due to our emissions…and the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations would have in fact been about twice as large were it not for some of the anthropogenic CO2 segregating into these natural sinks.

“According to your reasoning, a room heated with radiant electric energy heats because CO2 in the room’s air absorbs IR and back-radiates it to the heater, making it warmer. It in fact heats because the majority molecules of nitrogen and oxygen respond to the heater elements directly through conduction and the room warms by convection.”

No…That is according to your misunderstanding of the physics.

“Having read Stephen’s theories on the ocean being the cause of atmospheric warming, I think he is correct. In the Canadian winter, the Pacific Ocean keeps the lower west coast of Canada up to 40 C warmer than the interior of Canada, which is cooled by convective currents from the Arctic.”

Wow…That certainly proves Stephen’s theories correct. I am sure no climate models can reproduce this. :0

“If CO2 has such an effect on temperatures, and it becomes the predominant GHG as water vapour becomes scarce in the low humidity of a prairie winter, why do the Canadian prairies get so cold in winter? According to the AGW theory, over the millenia, the GHGs should have warmed the surface to such a high temperature that the Earth would be ice free.”

I am fascinated to learn that you have done so much climate modeling using the correct physics of the greenhouse effect. Where did you publish these results? Or are you just making them up?

91. Gordon Robertson says:

Roy….I support your views on warming based on your satellite data but it’s tough to listen to you produce thought experiments to back your theory that heat can be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body.

Your theory on heat transfer contradicts the 2nd law as well as the work of Clausius, who wrote the law. If you read his treatise on heat, he states clearly that infrared can travel between bodies of different temperatures but that heat can only be transferred between the same bodies from warm to cold.

You are confusing infrared with heat. Infrared is electromagnetic energy whereas heat is a measure of the potential for work done by atoms and molecules in a substance as it’s temperature increases. The warmer they get, the more average kinetic energy they acquire and the more potential they have for work.

That is heat and you cannot pick it up and move it. You can blow atoms and molecules around in a gas and move the heat as excited atoms and molecules, but their higher energy states wont do anything till they contact your skin and affect it’s atoms and molecules.

You can only transfer heat and one way is through infrared radiation. In the article above you talk about energy, and you are talking about infrared energy, not heat. When a GHG molecule intercepts IR, it’s energy level is increased and it begins to vibrate, causing a tiny amount of heat. However, that molecule must remain in thermal equilibrium with its surroundings and cannot hold onto the heat for long.

If it’s acquired heat causes it to radiate IR, it will do so at a lower energy and in a restricted frequency band due to the atmosphere being cooler. Only some of that energy will radiate downward. There is no way there is enough IR to cause any appreciable warming, and although Lindzen talks about the greenhouse effect he agrees that the max warming from a doubling of CO2 will be a fraction of a degree C.

A very complex problem involving infrared transmission through the atmosphere, that would require Feynman diagrams, has been reduced to Boltzmann’s equations. They were designed for stellar atmospheres, which approximate the blackbodies they were meant to emulate, not the sparsely populated GHGs in our atmosphere.

It is simply not possible for heat to be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface that warmed it. Any IR reaching the surface from GHGs, cloud, or water vapour, does not have the intensity to affect the atoms/molecules that make up the surface since they are already at a higher energy level than the incoming IR.

It is also not possible for a rare gas like ACO2 to intercept enough IR, and re-transmit it to the surface, so as to create the positive feedback programmed into models. You have admitted that most surface energy escapes to space, bypassing the GHGs.

I have no interest in models and theories, give me hard data. Show me how the humungous flux field radiated from the surface is intercepted by ACO2, which accounts for 0.0001% of atmospheric gases (IPCC), and back-radiated in sufficient quantity to raise the surface temperature through a positive feedback mechanism.

You talk about Trenberth-Kiehle. They have as much back-radiation as outgoing IR, a ludicrous assumption.

Please…put away your calculator, your models and your thought experiments. Thermodynamics has been established since the 1850s and it is in no danger from your thought experiments and models.

• Joel Shore says:

“There is no way there is enough IR to cause any appreciable warming, and although Lindzen talks about the greenhouse effect he agrees that the max warming from a doubling of CO2 will be a fraction of a degree C.”

Lindzen does not disagree with the basic radiative physics of the greenhouse effect or even what the radiative forcing is due to, say, a doubling of CO2 levels (~4 W/m^2). What he is pinning his hopes on, as is Roy Spencer, is that cloud feedbacks are strongly negative causing the climate system to only have to warm a little bit to restore radiative balance. (In other words, he is saying that as the Earth warms, the cloudiness changes in a way that helps to restore the radiative balance with a smaller temperature change.)

Most scientists disagree with Spencer and Lindzen for various reasons involving the weight of the current evidence about the climate system, but what Spencer and Lindzen advocate does not violate basic physics; the arguments of people like you who misrepresent the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics do violate basic physics.

“Your theory on heat transfer contradicts the 2nd law as well as the work of Clausius, who wrote the law. If you read his treatise on heat, he states clearly that infrared can travel between bodies of different temperatures but that heat can only be transferred between the same bodies from warm to cold.

It is simply not possible for heat to be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface that warmed it. Any IR reaching the surface from GHGs, cloud, or water vapour, does not have the intensity to affect the atoms/molecules that make up the surface since they are already at a higher energy level than the incoming IR. ”

Heat is the net macroscopic flow of energy. It is from the warmer surface to the cooler atmosphere in reality and in ALL models of the greenhouse effect, whether they be “toy” shell models or full radiative-convective models. However, this isn’t due to any magical ways that atoms/molecules/photons behave at the microscopic level. It is due to the statistics of large number of microscopic processes that transfer energy in both directions. Please read this to understood the modern (meaning post-~1900) understanding of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-78859

The cooler atmosphere does not heat the Earth. The sun heats the Earth but the Earth’s surface temperature is determined by having to balance what it receives from the sun and what it re-radiates back into space. By making it more difficult for the Earth to cool, greenhouse gases result in the Earth’s surface temperature having to be hotter in order to achieve this balance.

“I have no interest in models and theories, give me hard data. Show me how the humungous flux field radiated from the surface is intercepted by ACO2, …”

There is overwhelming empirical evidence for the greenhouse effect: The Earth’s surface is at a temperature where it emits ~390 W/m^2 of radiation, far more than the 240 W/m^2 Earth + atmosphere absorb from the sun. The only way this can happen is if the atmosphere absorbs enough of this radiative emission that only 240 W/m^2 is emitted back out into space. And, in fact, emission spectra taken from satellites ( http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/userimages/Iraq2.jpg ) show that indeed, this is what happens, with the spectra showing excellent agreement with the theoretical radiative transfer calculations, with dips in the emission spectra at the absorption lines of the various greenhouse gases, including CO2.

• Gordon Robertson says:

Joel Shore “Heat is the net macroscopic flow of energy. It is from the warmer surface to the cooler atmosphere in reality…this isn’t due to any magical ways that atoms/molecules/photons behave at the microscopic level. It is due to the statistics of large number of microscopic processes that transfer energy in both directions”.

Joel…are you listening to yourself? You are claiming mathematics is the reality and that the behavior of atoms and molecules are not important. Photons are not real, they were developed as a concept to particalize electromagnetic energy. No one knows if EM is a wave or a front of particles.

This is basically the problem with modern science, especially climate science. Alarmist have gotten themselves caught up in a mathematical illusion, ignoring reality and calculating how it is, despite evidence from reality that they are wrong. David Bohm referred to mathematics without the reality as garbage.

No…heat is not a macroscopic flow of energy for the simple reason that heat does not flow. Heat is the state of a system comprised of atoms and molecules, as is entropy. The energy to which you refer is electromagnetic energy in infrared frequencies. The 2nd law is not about IR but about heat. It was designed by Clausius to rebut claims by Carnot that no losses existed in a heat engine.

In essence, the 2nd law is about heat losses. You cannot have a warm surface radiating a mammoth IR flux, having a small portion of it intercepted by an extremely rare gas, and claim that rare gas can radiate enough energy back to not only make up for surface losses but to increase surface temperature through positive feedback.

I am talking about IR as a product of heat and as a source of heat, but not heat itself. It is a means of transferring heat between remote bodies. However, you cannot calculate the net IR exchange and claim it is a change in heat. Net IR is not a measure of heat, and Clausius said as much.

There is a reason heat can only be transferred from a warmer surface to a cooler surface and it has everything to do with atomic energy levels. When the atoms in a warmer body are at a certain energy level, they are not affected by IR at a lower energy intensity.

We have to account for independent sources of IR as opposed to dependent sources. Obviously, if you brought another star closer to the Earth, it would become a lot warmer. However, GHGs as sources of IR are highly dependent on surface radiation, and since the overall mass of ACO2 in the atmosphere is tiny compared to the emitting surface mass, you cannot have a positive feedback, as in Hansen’s tipping point.

You cannot recycle IR in a dependent system to increase heat. It would represent perpetual motion and contravene the 2nd law.

92. Leonard Weinstein says:

The following is for the slayer folks. It explains how back radiation can result in a hotter surface than without back radiation. Please note what is actually said, not what you claim is said. You can read or not the comments, but the basic points are clear.
http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/07/23/how-the-greenhouse-effect-works-a-guest-post-and-discussion/

• Gordon Robertson says:

Leonard..from your article at SOD, “… heat (which is the net transfer of energy, not the individual transfers) is only transferred down if the ground is cooler than the atmosphere, and this applies to all forms of heat transfer”.

With all due respect, you are confusing the transfer of infrared, which is electromagnet energy, with heat, which is thermal energy. They have different derivations.

EM is the product of energy transitions within atoms and molecules. EM contains no heat, just as it contains no colour in the light spectrum. Colour is a product of the eye reacting to various EM frequencies while heat (as in radiation) is a product of EM reacting with atoms and molecules in a body, like human skin.

The IR can change the energy level of atoms and their raised energy level makes them hotter, which is a relative term like temperature. However, the transfer of heat can happen in one direction only, under normal conditions, therefore you cannot claim that heat is a net transfer of energy (IR).

Adding IR components of radiation is meaningless with respect to heat transfer simply because there is a phenomena inherent with heat causing it to be transferred in one direction only, UNLESS external power is available, as in a refrigerator, to reverse the direction, using compressors and refrigerants.

I don’t fully understand the mechanism that causes the one-way flow but I think it is related to the inability of lower intensity IR to affect the energy state of atoms and molecules which are at a higher energy level in a warmer body.

When Clausius developed his theories on heat, he talked a lot about atoms. In fact, he defined entropy as the state of disgregation of atoms in a substance. Many scientists in later times interpreted that to mean the universe is headed for a state of chaos, but I did not read that into the words of Clausius.

The meaning I got from Clausius was that heating a solid causes the atoms to vibrate further from their mean path, a term he called disgregation. Of course, when the solid cools, the atoms return to their original state of equilibrium. With gases, and products in a chemical reaction, that might not happen.

Clausius equated heat to the state of excitement of atoms in a gas, a liquid, or a solid. That concept has been entirely lost on alarmists climate scientists who regard heat as IR. They use equations of Boltzmann and Planck to calculate exchanges of IR and claim it is heat transfer. That is obviously wrong.

93. DougS says:

Many thanks Max and Joel Shore!

As a graduated C student of 4yr. physics, the math gives me fits so I struggle to keep up with the calculations. Still, I feel there is a fundamental misconception of the energy balance model. I certainly have been wrong many times before and this may be yet again a situation where I haven’t devoted the time necessary to understand all the fundamental physics.

Is it not valid for us to consider the kinetic energy state of the earth system at a given point in time. The earth at any given point in time has a value of kinetic energy in total. At other points in time, the kinetic energy value is different. I suggest that there is a periodic change in this value and that it is related to the temperature of the system. If we assume the energy into the system must be accounted for in the total system energy, we should be able to say there are times with the kinetic value is “high” or above some kind of average and thus the thermal energy is down, below the running long term trend value.

This point continues to poke at me. I can’t understand why the kinetic energy is not included in the conceptual model of the climate system.

• Joel Shore says:

Doug: One can make estimates of the change in kinetic energy of the entire system over the time…and the result would be that such changes are very small compared to the energy flows in and out. Certainly, over any reasonable timescale like 1 year, the net change in kinetic energy is such that only a small imbalance in radiative balance is possible. For example, the oceans are heating over time…so increasing their thermal energy (which is a measure of molecular kinetic energy) and this can be used to figure out the radiative imbalance understood by most as being due to the increase in greenhouse gases. However, this imbalance is very small, less than 1 W/m^2.

94. Max™ says:

Kinetic energy is part of the temperature of a gas, translation/rotational/vibrational, while vibrational only applies in a solid, besides chemical, or tossing the solid and giving it kinetic energy.

It is taken into account, you’re just not used to reading the right meanings from the terms used.

Temperature=internal energy.

95. DougS says:

Thanks again Joel and Max, I’ll let it rest here and go back to the drawing board. I do continue to believe the sterling engine holds clues for me in this pursuit. Have a good day, here in the San Francisco bay area it is absolutely beautiful. Time to do some yard work!

96. steveta_uk says:

Just walking along on a sunny Sunday morning in San Jose, and the recently surfaced pavement was very black and getting hot.

So I imagined a nice hot molecule in the surface cooling itself just a little by emitting an IR photon.

A meter or so above the surface was this wee molecule of CO2. It was having a quite period, since it hadn’t been hit by one of those N2 molecules for a couple of nanoseconds.

The along comes that IR photon from the surface. The CO2 happened to be in the right place at the right time and it absorbed it. By chance, nothing collided with it before it managed to cool itself again by emitting a photon of the same energy. By change, it sent of back down to the surface.

Now, since the surface has a continuous absorption spectrum, is was able to capture the photon. Perhaps it was another molecule that had recently lost some energy by emitting a photon so it was quite happy so take on a new one. In any case, this wasn’t some molecule much hotter that the CO2 that emitted it, so there is no reason the invoke 2LoTD to say it can’t happen.

Thus that molecule on the surface has a slightly higher energy state that it would have done had the original photon not been captured and sent back down again.

Note this doesn’t require some “cold” CO2 high up in the sky to be “warming” the surface. This all occurred within a short distance of the surface, where the air and the surface had pretty similar temperatures, and would not have occurred if there was no greenhouse gas.

This evening of course the sun will set. Then the surface will stop warming from the sun, and start emitting much more than it receives. Fortunately, those nice greenhouse gasses near the surface, not the freezing ones up above the clouds, can continue to emit IR back to the surface to stop it freezing instantly like the moon does (kind of).

Don’t forget that the CO2 at 2 meters high can help keep the CO2 1 meter high warmer than it would otherwise be. And so on all the way up to the stratosphere.

This story does not require that the air up where the airplanes fly, at -80F, should emit IR directly to the surface at 60F, and make it warmer. It does do that, but the effect is negligible. What the slayers always ignore is that IR has a fairly short free path in air. The effect that keeps the surface warmer happens very close to the surface, not way up in the freezing air.

• Mack says:

So the blanket keeps your tootsies warm?

97. Thierry says:

The GHG theory has never been proven by any simple experiment. It has been even disproved by Wood in 1909. In “Falsi cation Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse E ffects Within The Frame Of Physics”, Gerlich & Tscheuschner have explained it all.

400 PPM is a 4 meter thick layer of CO2 for a 10 km of atmosphere. It could be easy to show in a lab that it backradiates and warms the surface temperature. Why has not any GHG believer done this experiment ? The reason is simple : there is no backradiation, and as Gerlich & Tscheuschner explained. CO2 will more likely acts has a sun IR filter inducing a cooling effect. The only atmosphere layer that reflect energy is the ionosphere with the shortwaves.

GHG theory can not been disproved because it never has been a theory properly defined in the frame of physics.

• Joel Shore says:

…And, yet, you can’t find a physicist around here who will endorse the nonsense of the Slayers or G&T. Not myself, not Robert G Brown, not Robert Austin (assuming the person posting here under that name is this person: http://austingroup.princeton.edu/ ), not S. Fred Singer…even though the people who I have mentioned other than myself proclaim themselves AGW skeptics.

And, you will find discussions of the greenhouse effect in many of the major introductory physics textbooks, as well as textbooks such as Kittel and Kroemer that are used to teach upper-level undergraduate physics ( http://books.google.com/books?id=c0R79nyOoNMC&pg=115#v=onepage&q&f=false ).

You are just repeating the same nonsense (like that Wood falsified the atmospheric greenhouse effect) and ignoring the detailed empirical evidence provided by the spectral emission from the Earth as seen by satellites (and its comparison to radiative transfer theory upon which the whole field of remote sensing is based) that proclaims to the world that you are scientifically ignorant, and apparently proud to remain that way.

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “…And, yet, you can’t find a physicist around here who will endorse the nonsense of the Slayers or G&T. Not myself, not Robert G Brown, not Robert Austin …”
==============================================

Yeah, physicists…

I have very little doubt that you guys do understand very well indeed what you have been doing around here and there.

• Thierry says:

Obviously you haven’t read G&T paper. They do make laugh of the greenhouse effect definition that you find in books, sites, dictionaries. They explain that there is not a unique and real physical definition the the greenhouse that can the frames of physics.

• Jochen Ebel says:

“It has been even disproved by Wood in 1909”

Bei Wood tritt auch der Treibhauseffekt auf – seine Größe ist bei der Apparatur unter 1 mK. So genau kann das gar nicht gemessen werden.

zu dem nonsense of G&T see: http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1142/S021797921005555X

Sincerely yours

98. RW says:

I think until everyone agrees that so-called ‘back radiation’ (i.e. downward LW incident on the surface from the atmosphere) has little if anything to do with the fundamental physics of the GHE, confusion, misunderstanding, and stubborn dissent will forever persist.

The fundamental mechanism of the GHE is one of radiative resistance to cooling. Much of the upwelling radiation from the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is absorbed by the atmosphere and subsequently re-radiated back in the direction of the surface (i.e. back downward). While certainly some of the initially downward re-emitted/re-directed energy can pass directly to surface, most of it is absorbed prior to reaching the surface and subsequently re-radiated again. And so forth and so on until all the energy going into the atmosphere either finds its way radiated to space or to the surface in some form.

The actual quantity of dowwnard LW at the surface (about 324 W/m^2 accoring to Trenberth) has multiple input sources. They are: direct radiative power from the surface absorbed by the atmosphere and directly re-radiated back to the surface, non-radiative power moved from the surface into the atmosphere that subsequently radiates downward, and post albedo solar power absorbed by the atmosphere that’s subsequently radiated downward. I still maintain that massive confusion regarding the GHE arises because of these fundamental misunderstandings.

• RW says:

Moreover, much of the direct LW radiative power from the atmosphere to the surface is indeed not adding energy to the surface – a large amount of it is replacing non-radiative power leaving the surface, but not returned (making it net zero energy flux entering the surface, or only energy that is circulating withing the surface and TOA boundaries).

• RW says:

My two cents on the issue and Roy’s many efforts over the years on it.

• Noperoynope says:

RW says: “I think until everyone agrees that so-called ‘back radiation’ (i.e. downward LW incident on the surface from the atmosphere) has little if anything to do with the fundamental physics of the GHE, confusion, misunderstanding, and stubborn dissent will forever persist.”
==================================================

Sorry, but you have just provided “confusion, misunderstanding, and stubborn dissent” by your statement.

The “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC is exactly about warming effect of back radiation and exactly this “effect” is physically absurd and impossible.

If have other effects, fine, but who cares? The governments agreed to cut CO2 emissions referring to the IPCC “greenhouse effect”. Other private fictitious “CO2 effects” are politically irrelevant.

We do not need to discuss every possible fiction.

99. Sigmund says:

266 comments, at least 50% pro-slayer and not a single proposed model among them.

That sums up the status of this debate and underscores Dr. Spencers points. The Slayers provide a long line of deductive reasoning that ends up with “proving ” the impossibility of a “greenhouse” effect. No step is necessarily terribly wrong but the accumulated lapses of reasoning leads to a false conclusion. Working back from the conclusion the Slayers handwave against all arguments. But they fail the critical litmus test: Provide a physical model and show us it works.
Dr. Spencers does it, the AGW alarmist do it and it’s about time the Slayers do it to.

I’ve always found this blog educating and pedagogic with a very open comments policy but after the last posts going over how the GHGs work and how the effect can be observed it is not unfair to ask any Slayer holdout to put up or go somewhere else.

100. Paul Murphy says:

hi:

I came here after reading the article and comments at wattsupwiththat – nice article, lovely challenge, but mostly. I think, rather dumb comments.

In particular it seems most people assume that showing Slayer et al to be pretentious idiots proves the CO2 hypothesis. Provided only that other alternatives exist, it does nothing of the kind – it’s perfectly true, for example, that 2 + 2 does not make 5, but that fact doesn’t mean the sum is 3.

Boil away the fluff and the argument comes down to whether or not specified gases, particularly CO2, have magical properties enabling them to function as one way thermal valves in the atmosphere.

If I understand things correctly they deny the magic and then invoke magical hand waves to explain away the observations that say something is happening – and you explain what is happening by imagining the ability to measure the earth’s radiative balance from space, comparing those results to surface measurements, and attributing the difference to a kind of bounce back mechanism mediated by the magical properties of gases like CO2.

I’m not a big fan of magic – and believe that there are lots of alternative explanations I can’t easily dismiss because I don’t know enough about them. For example, the earth is a loosely coupled system from its core to the outer atmosphere – and friction between and across layers gives heat transfer and energy use estimates that seem (at the table napkin level of science) roughly of the right order and roughly predictive of the temperature layering we see in the troposphere/stratosphere.

I’ve no idea whether looking at the thermal effects of relative motion among the layers makes more sense that what you’re doing, but my point here is that alternatives exist and therefore that disproving the idiot doesn’t prove the savant.

101. Noperoynope says:

Sigmund says: “The Slayers provide a long line of deductive reasoning that ends up with “proving ” the impossibility of a “greenhouse” effect. … But they fail the critical litmus test: Provide a physical model and show us it works.
Dr. Spencers does it, the AGW alarmist do it and it’s about time the Slayers do it to.”

===============================================

Well, isn’t it obvious that if the physical impossibility of a “greenhouse effect” is proven, the it means that all the models based on this impossible effect are automatically wrong?

Right, it is. So, I suggest warmists either admit it and quit warmism, or prove that the impossibility argumentation is wrong. But not by faking the notion of the “greenhouse effect”, of course.

• Joel Shore says:

I think his point is that you don’t prove something by frantically waving your hands around and misinterpreting laws of physics, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics to say things that it doesn’t say.

• Joel Shore says:

…And, furthermore, it can be explicitly shown that the models of the greenhouse effect satisfy the laws of thermodynamics because

(1) Energy conservation is explicitly enforced. [1st Law]

(2) The heat (net macroscopic energy flows) is from hotter to colder. [2nd Law] (Furthermore, the models are based on laws of radiation that we know explicitly obey the 2nd Law.)

The Slayers (and pseudos-Slayers like Konrad and Stephen Wilde) never write down a model using known equations of physics and hence it is impossible to demonstrate that their notions obey the laws of thermodynamics and other known laws of physics. (In fact, it is often easy to show even without such a model that it is impossible for them to obey said laws.)

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “… waving your hands around and misinterpreting laws of physics, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics … The heat (net macroscopic energy flows) is from hotter to colder. [2nd Law]”
==============================================

This is an unfortunate example, again, of faking thermodynamics, which warmists do so often.

Linguistically, the “net” word is not a part of the known historical formulation of the 2nd Law. Physically, the”net” word is absurd, because the assumption “in both directions” leads to an impossible and absurd consequence, as demonstrated here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-77996 .

So far I have seen the IPCC concept of the “greenhouse effect” only “proven” by faking/misrepresenting the notion of the “greenhouse effect” or by faking/misrepresenting physics or by combination of both. Banning opponents (from using their real names anyway) helps too, of course.

• Joel Shore says:

Historically, there was very little understanding of microscopics period in the early-mid 1800s when the law was formulated, so it was necessarily formulated on a macroscopic level. Electrons weren’t discovered until around 1900 and the existence of photons postulated in the early 1900s, for heaven’s sake! Physics has made some advances in the past 200 years, despite the attempts by Slayers to take our understanding back at least 2 centuries.

You have no clue about the “modern” (meaning, probably, now close to 1 century old) understanding of the Second Law in terms of statistical physics and yet you have no problem talking about people faking and misrepresenting things. Ignorance is a curable condition but people who want to remain ignorant and spread their ignorance around are exactly the type of people who are those advancing science constantly have to fight against.

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “You have no clue about the “modern” (meaning, probably, now close to 1 century old) understanding of the Second Law in terms of statistical physics and yet you have no problem talking about people faking and misrepresenting things.”
===========================================

Your faking/misinterpreting basic physics is “modern” in some perverted sense indeed. This does not change the unfortunate fact.

102. Roger Clague says:

….model like that above which involves energy gain and energy loss terms

The energy terms are in a diagram which shows energy flows Wm-2 reaching and leaving the earth’s surface.

In the Trenberth diagram the material below the surface is not included in the budget.

Applying Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation, based on Law of Conservation of Energy the top surface

Surface energy budget

Wm-2 in = Wm-2 out
solar in = convection out + IR out
161Wm-2 = 97Wm-2 + 64m-2

Note
IR ( sfc ) – IR ( atm ) = IRnet
= 396wm-2 – 333Wm-2
= 63Wm-2
almost = IRout

396Wm-2 is black body emission. Black body emission is when radiation is the only way energy is lost. The earth’s surface also loses energy by convection ( and conduction ).

The surface temperature of the earth is calculated by applying the Law of Conservation Energy to a vertical column of air. This gives the lapse rate, -g/cp. This applied from the average emission height gives surface temperature.

103. Iansview says:

A little thought exercise like Roy’s plates;

Which cools slower? A steel ball heated to 1000C and then cooled in air @ 15C, or the same steel ball heated to 1000C and then immersed in water at 15C?

In the world of the GHE the ball immersed in water should cool slower due to the back radiation (from the IR absorbing (heat trapping) water) being reabsorbed by the ball.

Of course in the real world, the ball immersed in air will cool slower and the one immersed in water will cool quicker. Why?…because back radiation, whilst it exists, has no effect on a warmer object and the greater density and rate of heat transfer of water enhances conduction and convection.

The conclusion is that more ‘heat trapping’ gasses in the atmosphere mean greater density and increased heat transfer rate and that equals more effective cooling, not warming of the surface.

• Joel Shore says:

Your example has essentially nothing to do with the atmosphere. For one thing, the greenhouse effect relies crucially on there being a lapse rate so that the temperature at which emission can successfully escape to space is lower than the surface temperature.

For another thing, you have created a situation where the heat transfer is dominated by conduction and convection (probably mainly convection). However, the Earth as a system (earth + atmosphere) can only transfer energy back and forth from space via radiation.

• Iansview says:

“Your example has essentially nothing to do with the atmosphere. For one thing, the greenhouse effect relies crucially on there being a lapse rate so that the temperature at which emission can successfully escape to space is lower than the surface temperature.” Ok…lets make it very deep water relative to the size of ball….there will be a lapse rate but it will have nil effect on the cooling of the steel ball.

“For another thing, you have created a situation where the heat transfer is dominated by conduction and convection (probably mainly convection)” The reality is that earths heat transfer is dominated by conduction and convection (mainly convection) and increased GHG’s will enhance this effect.

“However, the Earth as a system (earth + atmosphere) can only transfer energy back and forth from space via radiation.” But the whole atmosphere can do this as all the molecules emit IR not just the GHG ones. This is no different to the water surface in my example.

Far from warming the surface, the atmosphere cools the surface but by slowing the passage of heat keeps that heat close (relative to the expanse of outer space) to the surface. Where the atmosphere is warmer than the surface (highs moving over a cold zone) then heat transfer back to the surface will take place by conduction and radiation but this will be localised.

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “Your example has essentially nothing to do with the atmosphere. For one thing, the greenhouse effect relies crucially on there being a lapse rate …”
==================================================

This is a further example of faking/misinterpreting the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC.

Again, as presented by the IPCC “greenhouse effect” is warming by back radiation coming from the so-called “greenhouse gases”. Hence it has nothing to do with any lapse rate, it has only to do with certain real gases and the physically absurd warming effect of back radiation.

If you want to talk about a different effect, real or not, then, please, find another name for it, otherwise you mislead people.

• Joel Shore says:

The point is that convection can in principle offset the radiative effects because the greenhouse effect works because the effective radiating level is colder than the surface; if it is not colder than the surface then that means 2 equivalent things are true, depending on what point-of-view you adopt:

(1) From a top-of-the-atmosphere point-of view, the same amount of energy is being radiated to space as without the greenhouse effect with the temperature at the surface being no warmer than the temperature at the effective radiating level; hence, there is no greenhouse warming.

(2) From a surface energy balance point-of-view, the only way the temperatures can be equal is if convection is balancing the radiative effect of the back-radiation.

However, the reason that convection is unable to completely offset the radiative effects in the atmosphere is because convection can’t drive the lapse rate down to zero. The atmosphere is only unstable to convection down to the adiabatic lapse rate, so that is as far as convection is able to drive it.

So, the point is that it is a two-stage issue: There is the radiative greenhouse effect and then there is the question of what part of it can be offset by increased convection.

• Noperoynope says:

Joel Shore says: “The point is that convection can in principle offset the radiative effects because the greenhouse effect works because the effective radiating level is colder than the surface; …”
=============================================

The point is that you repeatedly have faked/misinterpreted the “greenhouse effect” as it was presented by the IPCC. This statement of yours is another example of that.

The “greenhouse effect” does not really work, see here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-77996 . But it is supposed to “work” by back radiation heating the surface.

Convection has nothing to do with that, it is another different effect. Your “effective radiating level” is a different story, equally absurd, as I told you a few times, and anyway has nothing to do with the alleged additional warming of the surface by the “greenhouse gases”.

• Curt says:

I showed you several times on that thread what was wrong with your argument. You argued that if two objects at the same temperature really did radiate to each other, they would both continually increase in temperature.

I pointed out that a body emitting radiation lost as much energy as a body absorbing that same amount of radiation would gain. You amazingly then said that my comments about energy loss and energy gain had nothing to do with temperature…

Be that as it may, by your logic, if you and I continually exchange pennies, we will quickly both be rich!

• Noperoynope says:

Curt says: “I showed you several times on that thread what was wrong with your argument. You argued that if two objects at the same temperature really did radiate to each other, they would both continually increase in temperature.”
=================================================

I never said that.

I remember me answering on that thread to you “You have just apparently lied 3 times in one single sentence”. Still you keep doing the same thing.

Could you please choose a different form of debating, without putting your words in my mouth?

• Iansview says:

Joel,

You’re ignoring the reality and compensating with theoretical calculations which because they don’t add up in your understanding you compensate by inventing a greenhouse effect. The lapse rate simply reflects a physical reality which is gravity. This is in play in my example, and in the atmosphere, and allows convection to operate…..no other explanations needed. Gravity also provides the mechanism by which the temperature at the TOA reduces simply by reduction in density (and number of collisions/absorption), and this reduction in density also provides a mechanism by which radiation can escape as it provides a reducing barrier to passage with altitude. Like I maintain; increase in atmospheric density will enhance cooling of the surface whilst retaining the heat captured from the surface in the atmosphere for a little longer. Hence, as a general principle, surface temperature is the driver of atmospheric temperature and not the other way around.

• Joel Shore says:

Iansview: It must be interesting to be able to decide how the world works unconstrained by the Laws of Physics.

• Iansview says:

Joel,

Read Richards somewhat extended explanation of how the atmosphere works. You might learn something;

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-79218

• Joel Shore says:

Like I said, it must be interesting to be able to decide how the world works unconstrained by the Laws of Physics.

• Curt says:

Noperoynope: You said on that thread, and I quote:

“The warmer body will start warming the colder body immediately. Then, according to the “back radiation warming” concept, the back radiation from the colder body will increase the temperature of the warmer body. Actually, already on this stage we should start screaming and crying “how come?”, but let us proceed. So, the now even warmer warm body will warm the colder body even stronger, and the colder body will repay by sending even more back radiation to the warmer body, thus increasing it’s temperature even further. The warmer body will get warmer again. So will the colder body in turn. And so on.

This is the mutual endless warming without any additional input of energy I meant previously, and I hope it is easy to understand how physically absurd it is.”

In my first response to you, I assumed you understood that you had the basic intellectual competence to understand that for a body to get warmer (i.e. increase in temperature), its internal energy must increase and that energy must come from somewhere. I was obviously mistaken in that assumption. I apologize. I realize now that you do not have that basic intellectual competence.

As I look over your post again, I realize more how deep your confusion runs. The previous paragraph states:

“You have initially a body kept at a certain temperature by it’s internal source of energy. Now you put another colder body at the absolute zero temperature, let us say, in vacuum close to the warm body.”

Now, you don’t state whether that internal source of energy continues through the thought experiment or not. If it does not, your assessment of what the standard theory predicts is completely wrong. Without a separate source of energy, the warmer body will lose more energy radiating to the cooler body than it gains from the cooler body, and the two bodies will eventually reach the same temperature, with roughly exponential temperature profiles as both bodies approach the same intermediate temperature.

However, if the source of energy is maintained through the thought experiment, then there is an “additional input of energy” and the first body will end up at a higher temperature than if the second body had not been there (and the first body had just been radiating to space at ~0K). But the fundamental source of the energy that heats the first body is this “additional input of energy”.

Your inability to keep a consistent scenario in mind and present a coherent argument is what is getting you banned. Until you can educate yourself in the most basic aspects of the subject, you are just wasting everyone’s time, including your own.

• Noperoynope says:

Curt says: “Now, you don’t state whether that internal source of energy continues through the thought experiment or not. If it does not, … However, if the source of energy is maintained through the thought experiment, then there is an “additional input of energy” “
=============================================

It is clear out of the context that the internal source of energy is there all the time and no additional source of energy is there.

Therefore the endless mutual warming there (without any additional source of energy) is impossible and absurd. However, this endless mutual warming without any additional source of energy is a logical consequence of the “greenhouse effect”, therefore the “greenhouse effect” is physically impossible and absurd as well.

Here is the link to the explanation again: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-78470

• Curt says:

Noperoynope: Every time I think you can’t get more ridiculous, you do. It is now obvious that you have absolutely no idea how to define a thermodynamic system for analysis that tells you anything meaningful at all.

If you have an energy input into your system, “additional” or not, of course the temperature can keep increasing, as long as the power from that source is greater than the losses from the system. (In your case, I cannot tell what you are defining the system as, and how it might lose energy to the rest of the universe.)

If you have an energy input into your system that is modulated to keep one part of the system at constant temperature, then it will keep that part of the system at constant temperature, regardless of how it does or does not lose energy to other parts of the system or to the rest of the universe. This is trivially true.

But in your thought experiment, your source of energy is “external” to the radiative exchange between the two surfaces, so it must be accounted for in any energy balance among the subsystems and between the system and the rest of the universe. You have not defined things well enough to reach any conclusions. Until you understand basic thermodynamic analysis at an undergraduate level, you are wasting everybody’s time.

104. Quondam says:

Those who have suggested in this thread that an adiabatic lapse rate can exist without the presence of GHGs, might wish to consider the possibility that temperature is Galilean invariant, i.e. the relevant molecular velocities determining temperature (or kinetic energy) are not those wrt an external observer but to the center of mass of the molecular ensemble. If, in a closed container, all molecules feel the same external force, their accelerations will be uniform and equal that of their center of mass. The issue becomes more interesting when gravitational gradients are in play, but our planet has yet to reach that state.

105. Morten M. says:

Joel Shore says:

May 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

“The Earth receives much more radiative energy from the Sun than the Earth is radiating out of our atmosphere.”

Really? That is fascinating. Why is it not warming then? Why do the satellites that look at the outgoing and incoming energy not see a huge discrepancy?
____________________________________________

The incoming value is 1370 W/m2 at TOA. Outgoing is 230 W/m2. Not a huge discrepancy?

Shore wonders were the “lost” SW-radiation goes? Well, if he doesnt know this already, then he should shut up and start reading “Climate 101”!

Its remarkable that Dr. Roy Spencer is comfortable with SKS-“arguments” in his blog.

• Joel Shore says:

This comment is a perfect illustration of the combination of ignorance and arrogance that we scientists have to deal with from people like yourself.

The 1370 W/m^2 and 230 W/m^2 are two different things. For one thing, the “per meter squared” represents two different things. The 230 (really 240 W/m^2) is measured per m^2 of the Earth’s surface, which is a surface area of 4*pi*R^2. The 1370 W/m^2 is measured per m^2 of a surface perpendicular to the sun’s rays (or, if you will, an imaginary sphere centered about the sun and having a radius of the Earth’s distance from the sun). The Earth’s projected area ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projected_area ) is only pi*R^2. Hence, if you want to compute the average power received over each m^2 of the Earth’s surface, you have to divide by 4.

A second point is that the 240 W/m^2 represents the longwave emission from the Earth (& its atmosphere). Hence, it has to be compared to the shortwave absorption by the Earth (& its atmosphere). That is to say, the Earth has an albedo of ~0.3 meaning that 30% of solar radiation is never absorbed by the system…It is simply reflected.

(1370 W/m^2)*(1-0.3)/4 = 240 W/m^2.

• Morten M. says:

The 1370 W/m2 at TOA is the figure we must use. Not figures derived from conjectures and a ton of assumptions. To pretend that we have an Earth without rotation is a bogus assumtion. Get real Shore! You’re like a outcast from the SKS-mafia.

• Joel Shore says:

…Yeah, conjectures and assumptions like basic geometry.

But, hey, if you want “AGW skeptics” to look as stupid and scientifically-ignorant as possible, you are doing a great job. Please don’t let me (or Roy or all the other scientifically-mind AGW skeptics who are now cringing) stop you!

• Morten M. says:

Joel, I’m not stopping you. I love that U make a fool of your self and drag other AGW’ers with you down the hole of shame! You have infestet this blogthread with pseudoscience, worthy a place at the table at scienceofdoom – AKA the new spin from “the Team”. As we know that SKS and John Cook is running on empty…

Start reading some ‘old stuff elementary books’ – then we can start talking, kid.

• Curt says:

Morten: It’s nighttime in my location as as I write this. It’s very dark out and it’s cooling off rapidly. You claim that my location is still receiving that 1370 W/m2 from the sun. Where is it?

• Tim Folkerts says:

Morten,

Joel carefully explained the meaning of each number and where it came from. He & I & others know that 1370 W/m^2 is one of the numbers that ‘we must use’. If fact, Joel did use it! Right there in his post!

If you want to make a more useful contribution, tell us how you think this number must be used. Tell us what calculations should be done with this number. Tell us how you think Joel’s use is wrong.

• Morten M. says:

Tim Folkerts: A model asuming a flat Earth without rotation is of course a bogus model.The real contributing to the Earth will be masked out. A silly operation by the AGW’ers doesnt get less silly just by repeating the silliness!

“The 1370 W/m2 at TOA is the figure we must use. Not figures derived from conjectures and a ton of assumptions. To pretend that we have an Earth without rotation is a bogus assumtion.” Did U notice the words: “without rotation” by any chance?

• Curt says:

Morten: You don’t even realize the implications of your own arguments. Start with the 1370 W/m^2 that you say we must use. It seems that you realize that this 1370 W/m^2 is only striking half of the earth at a time — the half that is “day” and not “night”. So we are down to 1370/2 = 685 W/m^2 averaged over a day.

The surface area of the hemisphere in daylight — 2*Pi*R^2 — is twice the area (Pi*R*2) of the cross-section of the cone of light from the sun at the earth’s distance from the sun. This reduces the average insolation by a factor of 2 again, down to 685/2 = 342 W/m^2, averaged over the earth’s surface.

Next we know that the earth’s albedo to solar radiation is about 0.3 (30%). That is, the earth reflects about 30% of incoming solar radiation back into space, absorbing the other 70%. This takes us down to 342*0.7 = 240 W/m2 of average absorbed solar radiation.

Your grasp of math and geometry is so shaky that you don’t realize you are arguing against yourself!

106. Eli.W says:

Funny stuff.

But with the current development of this blog, I will probably find more “science” at SkS than here. Some seems to understand that current physics don’t allow an object to warm itself, some don’t.

The earth of course don’t heat itself.

I’m sorry to say, but with all respect; Roy Spencer you’re wrong about this particular subject. Slay the “Slayers”, build straw-men and ridicule them, whatever.

I’m no longer that impressed…..

• Joel Shore says:

This article will help you understand http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect (except for the irony that the people like you who can most benefit from reading it lack the meta-cognitive ability to recognize themselves as described by it).

• Tim Folkerts says:

Some seems to understand that current physics don’t allow an object to warm itself, some don’t.”

And some, like you, seem to stuck on semantics (and incorrect semantics at that), rather than trying to understand the physics.

* No one is claiming the surface (or any other part of the earth) “warms itself”. That would indeed go against “current physics”.

* No one is claiming the surface (or any other part of the earth) heats itself. “Heat” (in the technical sense) by definition is energy moving from one “system” to another “system”, so by definition no object (= system) can “heat itself”.

* Some (including me (and Joel and Roy pretty clearly)) claim that two objects working together (the sun and the atmosphere) can cause a third (distinct, separate) object (the surface) to have a higher temperature than either of the two objects by itself could cause.

Nothing is “heating itself” or “warming itself”. The flows of energy when there four systems (sun, surface, atmosphere, space) will be different than when there are only three systems (sun, surface, atmosphere, space). Why should it be any surprise that the surface would be a different temperature when the energy flows are different?

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

It is critical in these discussions for everyone to be clear about what is meant by the terms they use. For example, every …
* does “earth” mean only the solid/liquid parts, or does it mean the atmosphere as well?
* does “heat” mean “to raise the temperature of” or “the net flow of thermal energy” or “the internal (thermal) energy” or “any flow of thermal energy” or something else?

• Noperoynope says:

Tim Folkerts says: “No one is claiming the surface (or any other part of the earth) “warms itself”. That would indeed go against “current physics”.”
===========================================

Wrong, the IPCC “greenhouse effect” is exactly about the Earth surface being additionally warmed by the “greenhouse gases” that re-radiate back what they receive from the surface, which is by it’s own heat. Right, this “effect” goes against physics.

Now you can admit it or alternatively start obfuscating the matter by playing with the words “warm” and “heat”. Or by replacing the IPCC notion of “greenhouse gases” with a different narrative.

• Morten M. says:

Eli W – I agree with U’r statement! Strawmen and sks-trolls should not be seen in a blog like this. Really strange that Dr. Roy prefer the companionship with the morons from sks????

107. Daren Cleary says:

“..why is the stratosphere virtually the same temperature over its entire depth, despite spanning a factor of 100x in pressure, from about ~2 mb to ~200 mb?”

It’s not, at the stratopause some 20km above the ozone layer, it is >40C hotter: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/atmos/images/atmprofile.jpg
At least a third of that warming is known to be due to co2 absorption of solar NIR.

108. Rosco says:

There is a simple problem with your proposition.

The insolation is simply NOT 161 W /sq metre.

To claim so is to deny reality !

161 W/sq metre is the radiation emitted by an object with a temperature of about 230 K or minus 43 degrees C according to Stefan-Boltzmann.

The 161 W/sq metre is obtained by dividing the insolation by 4 and adjusting for albedo.

How does this in any shape or form represent reality ??

Simply multiply 161 by 4 to arrive at 644 W/sq metre and this is the radiation from an object with a temperature of about 326 K or about 53 degrees C.

As there are temperature records of 53 degrees C recorded in arid tropical and sub tropical locations whilst minus 43 degrees C is reserved for the coldest parts of the Earth and exclusively when the Sun doesn’t shine for months I will never believe it is valid to average the solar radiation over the whole globe.

The other piece of evidence I have for this is my solar panels.

They require about 650 W/sq metre to generate the amount of power they generate.

I have 4 years of generating records, I have the panel areas, I have the rated efficiency – quoted at 1000 W/sq metre by the way.

I also note they do not function in response to infra-red radiation and they do not work at night.

Using 161 W/sq metre as the “insolation” power of the Sun’s radiation is absurd beyond belief when there is so much evidence against it!

If one wants an average value it may have some little value but it is wrong to claim it is representative of the heating power of the Solar radiation – it is equivalent to temperatures that are a factor of 1.414 times less – the square root of 4 – as simply demonstrated.

I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can deny that the Sun can heat the Earth’s surfaces much much higher than that claimed by this hypothesis – I am simply astounded.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Roscoe … here is the line of thinking:

1) *IF* you average the sunlight at the surface of the earth (taking into account albedo), you get 161 W/m^2. Everyone knows that this is not correct, but it is easy. ðŸ™‚

2) *IF* you assume that the earth’s surface is a blackbody (which is pretty close), then at the surface, the 161 W/m^2 would result in a temperature of 231 K — which clearly is an average of 231 K.

3) ANY OTHER distribution of sunlight will result in a LOWER average temperature. This is “easily” proven with calculus. For example 2*161 W/m^2 on one side and 0 W/m^2 on the other side would be 275 K on the sunny side and 3 K on the other side, for an average of 139 K. No matter how you spin the earth or arrange the sunlight or conduct energy from one place to another, the average temperature at the surface will be less than or equal to 231 K.

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

Normally people start with 240 W/m^2 absorbed by the atmosphere and surface combined, which pushes the numbers up to 255 K as a MAXIMUM average temperature.

If all the IR came from the surface, then the MAXIMUM average temperature would be 255 K at the surface. But since there are GHGs (and clouds and aerosols) radiating IR from high up in the cold atmosphere, then the surface can be warmer than 255 K without violating conservation of energy.

109. Joel Shore says:

Rosco says: “I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can deny that the Sun can heat the Earth’s surfaces much much higher than that claimed by this hypothesis – I am simply astounded.”

Nobody says the sun cannot heat surfaces higher. However, the average temperature (or really the average of T^4) can’t be higher if the atmosphere is transparent to terrestrial radiation because the amount of radiant energy from the sun absorbed by the Earth and atmosphere is about

(1370 W/m^2)*(1-0.3)*pi*R^2

where R = radius of Earth and the amount leaving the Earth’s surface when it is

sigma**4*pi*R^2

where is the average of the fourth power of the absolute temperature, sigma = 5.67 x 10^8 W/[m^2 * K^4], and we have assumed the Earth is a blackbody (an assumption good to within about 2% over the far infrared wavelengths that it emits in).

Then, setting these equal to each other (since they must be equal for the Earth to neither be gaining or losing energy…and hence warming or cooling) and using simple arithmetic tells us that the 4th root of is 255 K. A mathematical theorem called Holder’s Inequality then tells us that the average value of the temperature, must be less than or equal to this value.

It’s not a particularly complicated calculation.

• Joel Shore says:

Urgh…I forgot that the HTML coding doesn’t like the use of less than or greater than signs (as I used for averages). So, the equation for the rate of energy leaving the Earth’s surface should be

sigma*ave(T^4)*4*pi*R^2

where ave(T^4) is the average of T^4.

And the phrase “the 4th root of is 255 K” should be “the 4th root of ave(T^4) is 255 K”

• Rosco says:

“Then, setting these equal to each other (since they must be equal for the Earth to neither be gaining or losing energy…and hence warming or cooling)”

This is obviously arrant nonsense – there is no accounting for mass in any of your calculations.

Plants, algae, cyanobacteria etc all use considerable solar energy to convert sinple CO2 and other basic elements into complex organic compounds which are the basis of all life on Earth.

Organic mass contains vast quantities of energy that can be readily released by oxidation.

There are vast quantities of energy walking around the Earth in far greater numbers than a few decades ago.

Even my few hundred sq metres of lawn produces a few kilograms of lawn clippings per week in summer.

I think a chap has developed some relationship relating energy and mass showing mass contains enormous energy – but I could be wrong on that !

• Tim Folkerts says:

Rosco,

Yes there are plant and animals. However, if you listen to yourself closely, you will find the answer. The key ideas are right there in what you said …
* “… considerable solar energy to convert simple CO2 and other basic elements into complex organic compounds …”
* “vast quantities of energy that can be readily released by oxidation.”

There is a constant exchange of energy through biological processes. But the net result is nearly a wash. Plants use photosynthesis to absorb energy; animals (and bacteria) release that same energy when they digest the plants. Only a NET change in biological mass is important. This was, for example, important when vast quantities of organic matter were “taken out of circulation” and buried to create oil and coal.

Give us the numbers. I am sure you will find that the net impact of all these processes is insignificant on an annual basis.

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

And the part about Einstein just made me laugh. Unless nuclear reactions are occurring regularly in the atmosphere and surface layer (and in large quantities), then E=mc^2 is completely irrelevant here. Even the energy released by a nuclear weapon explosion is insignificant in terms of global energy balance.

• Max™ says:

When you set the values equal to each other you took a surface absorbing across 2.55×10^14 m^2 and equated it to a surface emitting across 5.11×10^14 m^2 as though this was sensible.

The total value has to be the same, but there is no law of conservation for power.

Input of 476 W/m^2 is balanced by output of 239 W/m^2 for a rotating planet like ours, it’s the same 1.22×10^17 Watts in and out.

———————————————-

As for Holder’s Inequalities: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/HoeldersInequalities.html

Curious what you mean by that.

• Joel Shore says:

“When you set the values equal to each other you took a surface absorbing across 2.55×10^14 m^2 and equated it to a surface emitting across 5.11×10^14 m^2 as though this was sensible.”

I simply equated the total energy per second in to the total energy per second out.

“The total value has to be the same, but there is no law of conservation for power.”

Energy = Power*time. If you don’t like me looking at power, multiply both sides of the equation by your favorite interval of time and you will get the same result.

“Input of 476 W/m^2 is balanced by output of 239 W/m^2 for a rotating planet like ours, it’s the same 1.22×10^17 Watts in and out.”

It is pretty silly to talk about average intensities referenced to two different areas, like you are. But, if it makes you happier to do it that way, one still gets the same result if one multiplies by the appropriate area, which is that in the absence of absorption of terrestrial radiation by the atmosphere, the average value of the fourth root of T^4 over the Earth’s surface has to be 255 K in steady-state.

“As for Holder’s Inequalities: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/HoeldersInequalities.html

Curious what you mean by that.”

Take g(x) = 1, f(x) = T(x), p = 4. Then Holder’s Inequality says that if you have some temperature T that has some distribution over x satisfying T>0 everywhere then the average value of T (which is the integral of T with respect to x divided by the integral of 1 with respect to x) is less than or equal to the 4th root of the average value of T^4.

• Max™ says:

Ah, the Holder’s use is something I had seen somewhere before but wasn’t quite clicking where.

I simply equated the total energy per second in to the total energy per second out.

Yes, you did, and you did it in a manner that loses important information.

The energy densities are not the same, but you presented it as though they were.

Energy = Power*time. If you don’t like me looking at power, multiply both sides of the equation by your favorite interval of time and you will get the same result.

The point remains, the density of the input and output does not have to be the same, but you are acting as though it does.

As long as the total energy in equals the total energy out, everything is hunky-dory.

It is pretty silly to talk about average intensities referenced to two different areas, like you are. But, if it makes you happier to do it that way, one still gets the same result if one multiplies by the appropriate area, which is that in the absence of absorption of terrestrial radiation by the atmosphere, the average value of the fourth root of T^4 over the Earth’s surface has to be 255 K in steady-state.

Talk about silly referencing, the average of the fourth root of T^4 only applies to the output, not the input. It also only applies to the radiation leaving the atmosphere, not the surface radiation field.

You keep doing that though, is it a nervous tic or something?

110. Rosco says:

You only have to look at some of the planetary fact sheets to see the flaw in the so-called blackbody temperature and how little value it has.

I am quoting from NASA and Universetoday.com.

Mercury

BB temp ~440 K – extremes ~730 K to ~90 K.

period ~176 Earth days – 730 K may be a bit high – SB says ~624 K.

Venus

BB temp ~184 K – extremes ~730 K to ~730 K

period ~117 Earth days –

How the heck can 132 W/sq metre insolation – source -www.atmos.ucla.edu/~liougst/Lecture/Lecture_3.pdf –
produce a radiative flux of ~16,100 W/sq metre – ~730 K ?

Moon

BB temp ~270 K – extremes ~390 K to ~100 K maybe less

period ~29.5 Earth days.

But it is when you consider the outer planets that the greenhouse effect becomes unrealistic.

Jupiter

BB temp ~110 K – extremes ~24000 K to ~128 K

period ~9.9 Earth hours.

Saturn

BB temp ~89 K – extremes not quoted but probably very high due to mass to ~98 K

period ~10.6 Earth hours

Uranus

BB temp ~58.2 K – extremes ~4800 K to about ~50 K

period ~17 Earth hours

Neptune

BB temp ~46.6 K – extremes ~7300 K to ~55 K

period ~16 Earth hours.

What the heck does the theoretical BB temp or the greenhouse effect have to do with anything ???

The outer planets receive little solar radiation and have no greenhouse effect whilst having extreme temperatures deep in the atmosphere and no greenhouse gases !

111. Rosco says, on May 12, 2013 at 8:07 PM:

“You only have to look at some of the planetary fact sheets to see the flaw in the so-called blackbody temperature and how little value it has.”

(Planet blackbody temp, actual temp range, other data)

“What the heck does the theoretical BB temp or the greenhouse effect have to do with anything ???
The outer planets receive little solar radiation and have no greenhouse effect whilst having extreme temperatures deep in the atmosphere and no greenhouse gases!”

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have lots of methane.

• Rosco says:

So you are saying that for :-

1. Jupiter – 50.5 W/sq metres Solar radiation penetrates the dense atmosphere and heats the planetary surface to levels where the temperature approaches 24,000 K – a radiative flux approaching 18,811,699,200 W/sq metre calculated by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation because the Jovian atmosphere contains 89.8 % Hydrogen, Helium 10.2 % and a staggering 3000 ppm of “heat trapping” Methane ???

2. Saturn – 14.9 W/sq metres Solar radiation penetrates the dense atmosphere and heats the planetary surface to levels where the temperature approaches – well it is not quoted.

But Saturn is 96.3 % hydrogen, 3.25 % Helium with 4500 ppm of “heat trapping” Methane.

3. Uranus – 3.71 W/sq metre Solar radiation penetrates the dense atmosphere and heats the planetary surface to levels where the temperature approaches ~4800 K – a radiative flux approaching 30,098,718 W/sq metre calculated by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation because Uranus’s atmosphere contains 82.5 % Hydrogen, Helium 15.2 % and a staggering 2.3 %
of “heat trapping” Methane ???

4. Neptune – 1.51 W/sq metre Solar radiation penetrates the dense atmosphere and heats the planetary surface to levels where the temperature approaches ~7300 K – a radiative flux approaching 161,018,026 W/sq metre calculated by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation because Neptune’s atmosphere contains about 80 % Hydrogen, Helium 19 % and a staggering 1.5 %of “heat trapping” Methane ???

If you think I believe that the percentage of Methane on these planets has any effect on their temperature by “trapping” the solar radiation you are gravely insulting not only your intelligence but mine and – in fact – everyone in the world !

• Rosco says at May 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM, largely:

( Watts/m^2 of incoming solar radiation for the
“gas giant” planets, and PPM of their atmospheres
being methane.)

I would say keep in mind that these planets
have atmospheres much denser and greater in depth/
thickness than those of earth’s atmosphere.

For that matter, where are the surfaces of
planets that many astronomers consider being
mainly or entirely gas? Can Jupiter have a
surface at 24,000 K?

• gallopingcamel says:

You will drive yourself crazy trying to calculate tempertures within the atmosphere of gas giants using radiative heat transer alone. Forget that nonsense and use the physics we all learned in high school.

For example, the observed temperature gradient in Jupiter’s atmosphere was within 0.1 K/km of the theoretical Adiabatic Lapse Rate all the way down to -125 km when the probe stopped transmitting. You can find the references and much more here:
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/unified-theory-of-climate/

While I don’t believe N&K’s “Unified Theory of Climate” it is a major step in the right direction by which I mean it is time to abandon failed theories based on “Trace Gases” in favor of ones based on total atmospheric pressure.

The problem with the IPCC and its “Useful Idiots” is that they trust models more than they trust observations.

• Joel Shore says:

“While I don’t believe N&K’s “Unified Theory of Climate” it is a major step in the right direction by which I mean it is time to abandon failed theories based on “Trace Gases” in favor of ones based on total atmospheric pressure.”

You don’t take a major step in the right direction by coming up with an idea that doesn’t even satisfy the First Law of Thermodynamics (i.e., energy conservation) and that treats convection in a way that drives the atmosphere to an isothermal state, and does a many-parameter fit to data that is devoid of any meaningful interpretation.

N&K is nonsense that you choose to believe has some merit because it gives you a result that better agrees with what you want to believe.

“The problem with the IPCC and its ‘Useful Idiots’ is that they trust models more than they trust observations.”

The problem with people like yourself is:

(1) You ignore observations that show that your objections to the greenhouse effect are nonsensical (such as the spectral emissions from the Earth as viewed by satellites and their comparison to radiative transfer calculations.

(2) You don’t understand how to use models correctly in science, i.e., you come up with “models” that are just a bunch of nonsense prose…and you dismiss REAL models that are mathematical representations of the known laws of physics and give results in very good agreement with empirical data.

Out of curiosity, Dr. Spencer, why not challenge the so-called “slayers” to do an actual experiment, e.g. your “Yes, Virginia” thought experiment, or one like it? They’re on record–at some length–claiming the experiment wouldn’t work as advertised. So why not subject their “revolutionary” theories to a relatively simple test and PROVE their brilliance to the world? Is it because they don’t really believe their own claims?

• Rosco says:

They have actually done several experiments where they have measured temperatures and radiation and compared them to theoretical values.

You can accept or reject the veracity of their attempts – that is real science – testing hypothesis and publishing your results !

Really? They did the “Yes, Virginia” experiment? Reference, please.

The advantage of the “Yes, Virginia” thought experiment is that it’s a controlled laboratory test, the outcome has already been predicted by the “slayers”, and the results would be unambiguous.

• Rosco says:

I never said they did that ridiculous thought postulation.

I said they have performed a couple of experiments measuring temperatures and radiation.

The experiments and results are documented on their web site – you can read them yourself.

Experiments include recreating Professor Wood’s 1909 experiment, an attempt to measure the greenhouse effect and measuring back radiation.

You can accept or reject the veracity of their attempts – that is real science – testing hypothesis through experiment and publishing your results – not simply making unsupported claims !

I think we do not understand much about radiation. Some of the claims I have seen as thought experiments are simply unbelievable.

The classic is the steel greenhouse which proposes you can increase energy to infinite amounts by simply surrounding radiating objects with close fitting shells.

How engineers missed this obvious scientific miracle, which could improve thermal efficiency, in designing machines like power stations for example is beyond me – they are either incompetent or employed by big oil.

R W Wood himself didn’t claim any great result from his one-off backyard experiment, and never followed up it up. You also don’t understand the “steel greenhouse” if you think it would create energy from nothing. Do you also think insulation increases energy “to infinite amounts” from nothing?

BTW, the “steel greenhouse” thought experiment could (in the minds of the “slayers”) be disproved by doing the “Yes, Virginia” experiment for real, but for some strange reason nobody has done so. You don’t find that strange?

• Rosco says:

I also have to say –

Why doesn’t Dr Roy do it ??

1) Dr. Spencer has nothing to gain from doing the experiment. He would only prove (again) what he, the textbooks, and (almost) every other physicist knows. The “slayers”, on the other hand, have everything to gain by performing the experiment. They would (supposedly) overturn established physics, reveal the “global warming” threat as groundless (it is, but for other reasons), win a Nobel Prize, and–perhaps most important–be allowed to comment at Dr. Spencer’s blog and WUWT. ðŸ™‚ That they haven’t done the experiment is, to put it delicately, quite puzzling.

2) If Dr. Spencer or one of his “warmist” colleagues does the experiment, the “slayers” would only dismiss the inevitable result as they have every other real world example that contradicts their…beliefs. To be convincing, it must be done by one or more of “their own”, people who sincerely expect a different result than the one they’ll get. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “legit”, so to speak.

So the “slayers”, the minority who are mocked by real scientists on BOTH sides of the global warming issue, have everything to gain and nothing to lose by doing the experiment. Yet they haven’t? Huh?

• Rosco says:

It is simply amazing you can sprout drivel like this.

There are several experiments with results published on their site.

You are simply ignorant.

Read their attempts and – as I said before –

You can accept or reject the veracity of their attempts – that is real science – testing hypothesis through experiment and publishing your results – not simply making unsupported claims !

There has never been a single documented experiment that establishes the effects claimed YET there are several that show results disproving what you claim –

The experiments are there in black and white – not thought bubbles !

Again –

You can accept or reject the veracity of their attempts – that is real science – testing hypothesis through experiment and publishing your results – not simply making unsupported claims !

If the “slayers” have disproved the so-called “greenhouse effect”, or the physics behind it, where’s their Nobel Prize? Why are they still a tiny minority laughed at by real scientists when they could (supposedly) settle the issue with a relatively simple yet definitive experiment? Instead of trying to answer Dr. Spencer’s challenge with a handwaving model, why not (supposedly) prove him wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt with the controlled laboratory experiment that he himself conceived? Wouldn’t that be deliciously ironic?

I really, really have to wonder how much these guys believe in their own theories. I mean, they’re content to be a voice in the wilderness, the crackpots of physics, the laughingstocks of the playground, when they could do some actual work and (supposedly) be heroes? What are they waiting for?

113. Jochen Ebel says:

Spencer says: “Without greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would slowly approach to isothermal state through thermal conduction with a temperature close to the surface temperature, and convection would then be impossible.”

There is still something missing.

The atmosphere would be nearly isothermal with the hottest part of the earth’s surface – but the temperatures of the Earth’s surface are the same as without atmosphere (otherwise the radiation balance does not agree). Between the warm atmosphere and the cooler surface is an inversion layer with motionless air – and motionless air is a poor conductor of heat.

Sincerely yours

• Rosco says:

There is evidence that is wrong !!

The atmospheres of the outer planets which are totally devoid of any greenhouse effect due to the insignificant quantities of Solar radiation and insignificant quantities of any IR absorbing gases.

There is no isothermal state observed – no matter how anyone tries to spin it.

• Jochen Ebel says:

“There is no isothermal state-observed – no matter how anyone tries to spin it.”

Pure isothermal there is only either without greenhouse gases and / or no heat flow. But you write yourself: “insignificant quantities of any IR absorbing gas.” Whether the heat flux from the Sun comes or from the planet’s interior is insignificant.

Sincerely yours

• Max™ says:

Isothermal is not a stable state when gravity is involved, isentropic is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium for atmospheres of all sorts, planetary, stellar, pretty sure even cometary atmospheres follow this behavior.

Heck, globular clusters can’t be approximated with isothermal gas clouds either, the density of the members of the cluster is higher towards the center, and the only way for the cloud to relax is by ejecting faster moving members.

114. Jochen Ebel says:

Obelix the Norse Says (May 10, 2013 at 6:02 PM) “That is not my point, what I cant ‘grasp is the notion did LWIR re-Emitted from a cooler object can heat up to object with higher temperatures.”

The Earth’s surface is not heated by the earth, but from the sun. The obstruction of heat from the surface leads to a higher surface temperature. Whether you are dealing with this fact of disability with thermodynamics before Einstein (1916) or with the photon consideration (including down welling radiation) describes, is immaterial for the facts.

Sincerely yours

115. Rosco says:

Also Roy Spencer is always claiming “space is cold” with the obvious intent of causing people to believe the whole atmosphere is like a blanket keeping us warm thing.

Well space is not homogenous and has an infinite amount of states related to the amount of radiation passing through.

The real fact that is important to the greenhouse/global warming debate is that the Earth is NOT in deep space where there is little radiation – it is relatively close to a moderate star and the radiation TOA is of the order of 1367 W/sq. metre.

Now no-one could claim that is cold by any stretch of the imagination – even though I reject as absurd the idea of applying physical concepts like hot or cold to something that has little or no substance at all – vacuum space !!

Anyone who wants to argue with this should contact NASA and tell them they need not be concerned with the loss of ammonia from the cooling systems on the International space station – obviously cooling systems are not needed in the cold of space !!

• Jochen Ebel says:

The greenhouse effect follows from very simple causes that really no one can deny:

1 The earth emitted off as much heat as it absorbs from the sun plus heat from the Earth’s interior.

2 For Heat transfer to a temperature difference in the transport direction is required (second law of Thermodynamics):

3 A part of the radiation of the earth is emitted from great heights ..

From these three facts, the greenhouse effect follows:

Let’s start with an earth without greenhouse effect. Then has the surface temperature at each location has a particular value, and it is emitted only from the surface. Now we mix in greenhouse gases. So that is a part of the radiation from a great height and the heat must be transported to the local of emission, which is a temperature difference between surface and requires Abstrahlort (see 2).

How then distributes the temperature difference? On local of emission can not remain the old surface temperature, because then the temperature would rise to the surface and thus the radiation performance. The temperature at the surface can not remain the same, because then the local of emission to be colder and colder means less radiation (Planck law). So there is a middle way: higher temperature at the Earth’s surface and lower temperature at high of the local of emission.

Sincerely yours

• Rosco says:

No matter how you try to spin this the facts do not support you.

Either with almost a total “greenhouse gas” atmosphere or with atmospheres almost devoid of anything except hydrogen and helium there is not a single planet that has an isothermal atmosphere – none – and especially the ones where you might expect this – the planets with almost no Solar radiation.

Also there is undeniable evidence that planetary atmospheres generate temperatures significantly higher than the calculated blackbody temperatures even at pressures as low as 0.1 of a bar. At 1 bar the difference between atmospheric temperatures and calculated blackbody are even greater.

Given the extremely low levels of Solar radiation received by the outer planets a “greenhouse effect” is an absurd proposition for these planets but they all display similar traits – increasing temperatures as you venture down into the atmosphere.

Again the advocates simply ignore facts.

116. Dikran Marsupial says:

FWIW I support Dr Spencer’s decision; the “Sky Dragons Slayers” are suffering from a bad mixture of hubris and Dunning-Kruger syndrome, and have repeatedly demonstrated that they are fundamentally incapable of seeing the error in their reasoning. The fact that they create their own journal in which to “publish” their work and think that this gives them some legitimacy shows just how out of touch with reality they really are (surely nobody is going to fall for that!?).

I would be very happy for climate change to be demonstrated to be a problem of no great significance for this and later generations, so I am keen to see skeptic put forward their strongest arguments so we can make some progress. The “Sky Dragon Slayers” merely distract from the areas of the climate debate where there is genuine uncertainty, and they are doing the skeptics no favours at all.

Believe it or not, there has been progress in themrodynamics since Clausius. The second law of thermodynamics is still true, it is just that it is now considered to apply to the NET flow of heat energy, rather than simply the flow. This is a clarification of the law, rather than a change, much as Netwons’ law of gravity has since been clarified/refined (this is just normal science). It is hard to see how the “Sky Dragon Slayers” have a problem with this, as a bidirectional flow of photons is a much more simple and elegant conceptual framework than one in which a body is required to know in which direction it can safely emit a photon without it hitting a warmer body, or to know whether a photon was emitted by a cooler body and choose not to absorb it!

• Rosco says:

Are you the guy who suppresses all dissent to your views on SKS ??

I think that says all that needs to be said about your veracity.

At least free discussion is allowed here !

117. Dr. Spencer we are back to the same old conversation again about a GHG effect.

I have a suggestion ,can you have two posting boards operate at the same time, one for those who want to waste their time about a GHG effect being present or not and another one dedicated for how/why we think the climate will change in the face of a GHG effect.

Again there is GHG effect but it is limited and trumped by solar activity in my opinion but never the less the GHG effect is real.

• Rosco says:

On Earth the “greenhouse effect” is claimed to raise the temperature about 33 K – from the calculated blackbody temperature of 255 K (239 W/sq m) to about 288 K (390 W/sq m).

(I’m not making this stuff up – this is real data primarily from NASA’s planetary fact sheets and other sources.)

So on Jupiter WHAT raises the calculated blackbody temperature of 110 K (~8.3 W/sq m) to the claimed levels of about 24,000 K (18811699200 W/sq m) ???

Oh – of course – it’s the “greenhouse effect” in an atmosphere of almost 100 % hydrogen and helium powered by a staggering 50.5 W/sq metre solar radiation !

Pull the other one !

The problems I see people having with the concept of gases that warm the earth are a collection of problems, and it’s the sheer, staggering breadth, and depth of problems, that tell people there’s nothing to what Dr. Spencer says.

There’s the fact that in the first place the planet is presented to most people, BY most people, as having an atmosphere which warms the earth.

What kind of scientific credence can people give to you when you take a cooling fin strapped to an object and declare it warms people?

That’s not going to wind up at the end of this century, being in any science books. Oh no it is not, and if you’re going around claiming I’m too stupid to understand why is it, non scientists all over the world point this out, as I am?

===
The earth/atmosphere situation is so much like a computer chip with an aluminum heat sink on it, there’s nowhere the two sets of physics meander apart. Even the fact one’s a gas/one’s solid.

Watch and be aware: we’re not even going to crack a book here, okay? NASA and NOAA and whomever else,

vs someone who isn’t going to crack a book.

===
The atmosphere isn’t warmed much by the sun. Mostly the heat coming to the atmosphere is a combination of the light trapped by earth and converted to heat.

So the atmosphere is always relative to the surface pretty cold because the sun simply goes by it mostly.

But the earth traps some at least of almost every color that gets to it; it turns this all into a redder, averaged color, and then the earth seems like a warm solid with the colder gas, sitting on it.

The gas is sucked down against the surface of the earth by gravity and “this gas” is mostly nitrogen/oxygen.

They are also impinged on from the side by the earth spinning a thousand miles an hour so you have typical gravitational traction and a little more from the spin of the earth, impinging on things and stirring the very lower levels and creating a little better mixing of what’s been warmed and what hasn’t.

===
The earth is identical to a hot computer chip. The earth has it’s own internal heat generated for whatever reason internally, and then there’s the converted light that all becomes heat, from the sun.

The earth grows hot. Now if you had no aluminum fin on a chip, it would get hotter and hotter.

If you had an earth surface without any atmosphere on it at all, there would be no conduction and no convection, so the thing would literally be holding a lot of internal energy that the atmosphere allows a method for removal of.

The earth, overall, would get hotter as conduction spread that energy throughout the material of the earth.

So the earth without an atmosphere would be hotter.

The surface of the moon has a thin layer of dust on it that limits conduction of light down into the interior as much as there would be, when it’s converted to what becomes, heat.
Because that dust doesn’t have a good connection to the inner surface, the dust itself gets really hot: but even if the dust were all a connected mass with the moon proper, the energy on the dust, would simply be conducted through the moon proper, and the final, total heat, in the moon, would be more.

As it is the dust on the surface of the moon gets some exorbitantly high temperature, *because of the fact there’s no body of oxygen and nitrogen being pulled down against it and warmed, through conduction of heat into those gas molecules when they’re touching*

Also there’s a pretty well known phenomena associated with the space suits designed for the moon. The temperature of the dust on the moon gets very high. And even a THIN SHEEN of dust on the highly reflective suits (remember how everything in space has to be wrapped in insulation to keep heat OUT or THINGS overHEAT?)

– even a thin layer of dust that setled on the highly reflective suits MADE the SUITS tend to run too warm, because the DUST would COLLECT HEAT from the SUN but it WOULDN’T be ABLE to DUMP it ONTO a GAS ATMOSPHERE.

So, the astronauts had to continously wipe the suits off, or the air conditioning units in them had problems. The dust got very hot without an atmosphere to radiate into.

So this makes the fact the earth’s atmosphere: a cold, frigid really, bath of fluid gases, a conductive COOLING element relative to the face of the earth –

this makes the fact one I think everyone remembers when reminded.

The earth’s atmosphere removes most of it’s heat conductively, identically to the way an aluminum heat fin cools a point-source heater.

The earth is a point source heater, the atmosphere is the lower temperature object physically connected to it.

===
There’s a further qualifier that really creates a problem for someone selling GHE/CO2 temperature control theory.

The water? Well, in computer chip cooling, they take big aluminum fins and strap them to point source heaters, chips.

When the aluminum fin isn’t able to be big enough do you know what they use?

They use an object called a heat pipe.

Do you know how that works?

They take a fin, and in that fin, they embed a hollow space. And inside that hollow space, they put a liquid, that when it gets hot, will turn to a gas, and rise. When it rises, do you know what it does?

It rises up inside the aluminum fin, in that cavity, until it comes into contact, with the colder aluminum, out, away from the heat source.

Know what it does then? It WAS a hot rising gas that evaporated off the metal right at the surface of the chip:

it dumps the heat into the fin up there and then TURNS to LIQUID and FALLS BACK DOWN, to CYCLE AGAIN.
And AGAIN.
aND A.G.A.I.N.

Know what that’s called? Phase-change refrigeration. The “phase” or condition of the matter changes: from liquid to gas, (and ultimately, when it cools, back to liquid again)

and in doing this PHASE CHANGE REFRIGERATION CYCLE it augments the cooling.

===
Watch carefully: know what does that in our atmosphere?
Water.
The main “GHE” gas.

It’s a phase change refrigerant that evaporates right at the surface of the heater,

rises upward until it dumps the heat it contains, into atmosphere up away from the heater, closer to space,

and then it condenses and TURNS to ICE – and then falls back toward the surface of the earth to do it again. And again, and again.

Now Roy Spencer has got the prodigious problem of conveying that action to you as “warming.”

Actually not just Roy, because he’ll claim it’s irrelevant.

But see it can’t be irrelevant because there’s the additional problem that with the
FIRST major heat removal being CONDUCTION

SECOND is CONVECTION: that “PHASE CHANGE REFRIGERATION” thing is CONVECTION. And it’s the MAJOR GREENHOUSE GAS.

What Roy Spencer wants is for you, to glance away from all that because “it’s an irrelevant part of this story” to him. It distracts from the dialog.

Roy wants to tell you that he admits the atmosphere is a giant conductive cooling fin augmented by a convective heat-pipe contained within the larger conductive one.

But he then wants to point to you that while it’s MOSTLY cooling done by the water,

there’s SOME warming because there’s some deflection/emission of heat.

Roy wants to claim to you that those gases which have anything to do with infrared emission at all, with infrared opacity, ARE heating.

He wants you to believe that any infrared light in the atmosphere at all, that’s being kicked back at the earth, IS a form of warming.

It’s a semantical trick, is what it is. Because it’s really irrelevant whether the earth is being warmed or not, the question is,
is your thermometer being warmed by the presence of those gases.

We’ve determined one thing, already: initially, the water conductively picks up heat. It touches an object as a gas and in touching it, just like nitrogen and oxygen, it picks up heat.

In fact, water, the MAJOR greenhouse gas, has a quality no other substance in nature has: it can collect more energy, per degree of temperature rise, than any other.

So not only is water initially cooling the surface through conduction, when it’s a gas, it holds more energy – absorbs more energy than – any other natural substance, before it
gives off

That’s going to reduce that ‘heating.’
Right? OR NO? The initial contact is a COOLING.

Then it wafts around and eventually it turns to ice and falls back to the ground. On the way down, it absorbs MORE heat, and this is why worldwide, we have what’s called RAIN.

Because the ICE falling out of the sky which was previously – when it left the surface of the earth after that first pass, picking up some heat?

it picked up heat and was about say… 75 degrees fahrenheit then it came back from the sky above at 32 degrees fahrenheit or LESS: maybe 20 BELOW.

So – when you see it again – as RAIN?

It’s ALREADY PICKED up a HUGE amount of heat JUST FALLING BACK down through the ATMOSPHERE of NITROGEN/OXYGEN: cooling THEM, but WARMING the WATER.
So it’s no longer ice.

But it pinged off a few infrared photons.

Hey – there’s an additional element to this, which puts GHE people in even MORE jeopardy of ever being found right.

You know how water can accept more photonic energy before giving any off, is the most heat-absorptive substance in nature, while it’s doing all this cooling?

The infrared light it is opaque to is so near to the end of the spectrum having no energy at all worth speaking of, that the 20u mark is the point where modern science can’t build a sensor that will detect the tiny energy in it.
20u.
Water picks up around the 8ish region somewhere.
And of course blue light is about ten times or whatever, more intense.

Remember I’m just pointing out how, a person doesn’t have to be exactly talking in terms of splitting a hair.

Those irrelevances about a “point, zero-whatever” aren’t needed to figure out whether these gases can actually be doing any warming.

We have the fact the atmosphere’s a giant cold conductive heat sink for a point source entity like a chip,

we have the fact that aside from the convective process there’s the sheer conductance of water and CO2 as they touch the earth.
===
Then we have the convective process which involves water as the phase change refrigerant: identical to the phase-change coolant (refrigerant) in a computer chip.

Then we have the fact that in nature, as water falls having become ice, it’s water again by the time it hits the ground again: at least most places, most times. That’s FURTHER cooling of the
nitrogen and oxgen
as the water falls back down through them starting as ice and getting melted to land again as water.

At that point, when it started falling as ice and became water, THAT was cooling.

Wasn’t it. Of COURSE it was.

===
So now the water’s back on the ground.
If infrared light lands on water do you know what happens? the infrared light can’t get past just a short distance in the water before it’s stopped.

So the fact is that 70% of the earth being covered with water means NONE of that, is ‘warmable’ by ‘back radiation.’

THAT’s a way of cooling the earth. Deep water looks blue from space so we know it’s rejecting a LOT more BLUE LIGHT than the LAND is.

That’s effective COOLING of a surface to make it reject, kick out, blue light like that. The color, blue, is ASSOCIATED in your MIND with ‘COOL’ and the color RED is ASSOCIATED in your MIND with ‘WARM’ because
BLUE things are REJECTING the higher energy LIGHT.
Is there any LAND which KICKS OUT HIGHER ENERGY BLUE LIGHT?

Nope.

So ONCE again: we have just the PRESENCE of the water lying in liquid form in the oceanic basins, being COOLANT of that surface they cover. Independent of the conductive cooling that comes with touching that surface and evaporation.

Just BEING THERE and MAKING the REGION KICK BACK MORE BLUE LIGHT – is COOLING.

===
Wow. ‘Warming’ just can’t get much of a break when you ask yourself just exactly what warmers are talking about.

Now. We’ve got the WATER on the ground again.

What is next?

Well we started with the water as a gas touching the earth picking up MORE HEAT than ANY SUBSTANCE in NATURE that’s a gas before it rises in temperature.

Then we had it rising swiftly – much more swiftly than nitrogen or oxygen – and convectively, lifting it’s CONDUCTIVELY ABSORBED THERMAL LOAD far faster than those other two.
So relative to the other gases, that’s COOLING.

Then we have the WATER suddenly belching that heat out into the upper atmosphere at the point where it becomes ice. It dumps that heat in an act of COOLING

Then we have it falling as ice but becoming WATER by the time it’s back down, RAIN which means on the way down, in bypassing all that nitrogen/oxygen, it CONDUCTIVELY PICKED UP heat from THEM – not the surface of the earth like the start of our description of the cycle – you can start anywhere, that’s where I did, but you know we’re talking about a repetitive cycle.

So during that FALL there is more COOLING

Then when you have the water as oceans, it’s kicking back FAR more BLUE, HIGH ENERGY LIGHT than land ever did, because it actually can be SEEN doing so: it looks BLUE.
***At this point the elementary schoolers will erroneously tell you water doesn’t have a blue tint. It does. Go look it up.***
So by JUST BEING THERE and kicking back more BLUE light than the LAND, the PRESENCE of the WATER is more
C.O.O.L.I.N.G.

So now the water is on the ground, it’s the ocean. Guess what happens, wherever the water splashes up onto the BLACK ROCKS and other colored ROCKS that are HEATED by the SUN?

Well, then we have the effect called, “evaporation”.

You know that statement where I reminded you water can contain more energy before it gets any warmer, than ANY other SUBSTANCE.

Well, when that evaporation takes place, you’re on the way to being back where we started.

The water when it evaporates, cools whatever it evaporates off so well that in all of mankinds’ endeavors, we’ve never found a natural substance that we consider competitive.

Those refrigerants in your air conditioner and the – well in the…refrigerator?

Well, see the problem is, water solidifies. So it’s not acceptable as the refrigerant in machines.

Now I just described to you water picking up all this energy and handling it at the surface and REJECTING energy.

If there is a greenhouse gas WARMING effect, the water has to overcome the fact that the MAIN GREENHOUSE GAS EFFECT is
not just one
not just two
not just three

different methods it CONTRIBUTES to COOLING.

Oh – there’s an additional area of COOLING.

Remember how you’re told that those clouds up in the sky, are contributing to WARMING?

Well, that’s a legitimate claim, and as we all know, whenever you have clouds overhead in the DAY time, for instance if you ever worked outside: you know, that on VERY cloudy days, it’s COOLER under those clouds.
No it’s not a ‘misconception’. If you shade sunlight with water clouds it’s DARKER beneath them, you can photographically check it, they do some COOLING.

They stop heat from getting IN.

So that’s yet another COOLING FUNCTION: we’re up to about FOUR DIFFERENT – COMPLETE DIFFERENT – C.O.O.L.I.N.G. mechanisms.
=========
But now we have to face something about all that cooling. It has to stop somewhere so what about those CLOUDS
that trap HEAT before it can ESCAPE?

CERTAINLY THAT is a greenhouse gas effect that leads to WARMING.

Right?

Well, YES it IS a warming effect. It’s stopping heat that WOULD have gotten out to space.

But how much is there of it? If it’s over an ocean, then it’s an effect that’s readily demonstrable as tiny, since the ocean’s always kicking back heat, of all spectrums from blue to green to red, in greater amounts than solid ground could.
In ways the non greenhouse gas, MINERAL, solid rock of the EARTH could.

Ok but still there’s an effect of warming there. Keep going.

Explore it a little more, find other ways this warming might be DEMONSTRABLE.

Well there’s the cloud thing. You just can’t escape that clouds, particularly at night, stop heat from getting out.

There’s also little doubt – I mean is there any doubt ? – that the vertical aspect of storm clouds: sunlight coming in from the side, as the earth turns away, is deflected to the ground, or we wouldn’t be able to see the white color of clouds, FROM the ground.

Surely there’s some light getting to the ground there, that wouldn’t have gotten to the ground, if those water clouds weren’t there.

So let’s be reasonable people and accept that in a very real way, there’s a lot of light that hits the ground, that never would have, if there wasn’t a cloud there, to light up and *bling* – flash you those gorgeous whites, oranges, yellows, golds, salmon pinks, all those colors.

But if the cloud is flashing YOU some white color light – heat- when it hits the ground it’ll become heat, so if it’s sunlight then shortly it’s going to be heat if it makes it to the surface –

if it flashes YOU and ME some white light from it’s sides, of course that colored light isn’t all making it to the ground. Since the sun’s ALWAYS shining on the TOP of clouds you see it hitting the BOTTOM of,

you’ve still got the problem that, the vertical face the cloud presents the sun, is kicking out – UP –

what’s most likely, MORE than you ever get to SEE. Because, just interrupting the trip the sunlight was making across the atmosphere
while there’s GOT to be warming from the white light off the cloud hitting the ground being turned to red light and be re-emitted, as infrared,

there’s also going to be a component of THAT total reflectance that, because it was STOPPED: and kicked out, UPWARD.

So MY conclusion because I’m being brief here is that if you can see a cloud and that cloud’s lit by the sun:

then you can bet, that the top of that cloud, is white. That means it’s kicking light back out, upward, NOT JUST of the LOW ENERGY RED COLOR but of M.O.S.T. colors.

So whatever light you see coming from a cloud to the ground, I think there’s very little leeway, to deny that, because that water was there, you have a cloud; no water, no clouds right? Effectively, that’s right – so – I’m going to go out on a limb – not too far because it’s kind of obvious when you realize you never saw the TOP of a cloud photographed that WASN’T white, by and large –

I’m going to go so far as to say that I think if the cloud is in sunlight, then by virtue of the fact sunlight is much more intense than earth-released infrared,

if it’s in sunlight, then from below, it’s going to be a little darker on the bottom than from above: from above, it’s going to be brighter than below.

This means by definition that any cloud has a more intense radiation field ABOVE it than BELOW it.

So how can it be warming the earth, if it’s got a shadow under it where the light from the sun: obviously MUCH more intense, coming in for the first time, than it will be when reflected off the bottom of that cloud –

doesn’t that really mean that, overall, the cloud has to be COOLING if there’s sunlight on top, and earth shine/bypassed partially absorbed sunlight trying to get out, below?

I mean reasonably speaking: cutting the superlative bullshoot, if you have a very STRONG light on TOP of something and you have it between the light and the surface below,

even if the surface below has it’s own internal element, like say a mat for keeping a reptile warm: the ground has some heat internally, plus there’s the sun’s light that it’s absorbed –

if you had a gauzy white veil, just some white gauze, and you were shining a bright light down through that gauze, onto the bottom of your terrestrial reptile tank,
and even if you had a heat mat below the floor of the cage –

if you had this terrestrial reptile cage outside, because instead of being a 52 year old electronic engineer like me, specializing in the generation, radiation, capture and analysis of electromagnetic radiation through the atmosphere and space, and the industrial compounds you need to make that happen ,

if instead of being that, or whoever you happen to be, and we were both boys, or girls, and your mother wouldn’t let you keep your pet turtle in the house because she said it might give us both Salmonella –

if you had that reptile terrarium out on the porch and it was sort of cold out – to the point where, you had this bright white light on, shining down – AND, you had a heat mat under the bottom – but you had this white gauze between the light, and the bottom of that cage,

if it was too COOL outside, would you put MORE GAUZE between the bright light and the bottom?

Because we can both see the gauze blocks some of the bright light, but it also, traps some of what gets in.

If you wanted that cage floor to get WARMER would you add MORE gauze to diffuse that bright heat lamp,

*OR WOULD YOU REMOVE THE GAUZE and LET MORE LIGHT IMPINGE on the CAGE BOTTOM, DIRECTLY?*

This is at the level of a 12 year old boy, keeping a TURTLE on his porch, Mr Spencer.

And I can tell you if I was that little boy, I’d probably remove that gauze.

So again – my gut guess is that if the cloud can be hit by sunlight, then the cloud cools.

But like I said: I do acknowledge SOME visible light is seen coming off clouds, by people standing on the earth. So in that sense, I do see clouds not having a TOTAL cooling impact in daytime.

—–

So there’s obviously some light coming off clouds that might have just shot through the atmosphere, and out the other side. But what about at night?

—–
Let’s check with young S.R.V. and Roy Spencer there, on the porch, one evening with Roy or more likely, S.R.V.’s pet turtle. I’d have had to let Roy keep it at his house because my mom wouldn’t want me keeping a Salmonella trap around.

Roy and I have my turtle in this cage. The gauze we had between the bright light and the floor of the cage seemed to be pinging off quite a bit of light, so to check things out, we put our hands OVER the gauze, and UNDER and – it seems cooler under, so we took off the gauze and the ground seemed to get warmer. The turtle was warmer down there.

—–
But what about when the timer makes the light go off? The heat mat doesn’t go off, the earth never stops emitting heat internally derived, through the surface. It’s why plumbers can leave pipes exposed under a house, in places you’d think it’s far too cold: the ground is always emitting heat. And if you can keep the wind off totally and keep the heat loss slow, with say, an insulated skirting around your house, you can leave pipes uninsulated under there where the wind never blows, BECAUSE that heat, is continuously seeping out of the ground.
(I had a friend who was a Navy Seal who later became a plumber. He told me it was a test question to get his certification.)
—–
Well when the light goes off, now THERE, if we had that GAUZE in PLACE, then we would be holding some of that heat seeping out of the surface of the earth, IN.

Our GAUZE would be helping Salmonella the Turtle, stay WARMer. Right?

Well, I think so. I know that leaf litter and gauze are both elements that stop air movement from pulling the heat off a turtle when it burrows into the stuff. The leaf litter of course is decaying. The gauze… hopefully not so much right? LoL.

So let’s turn that gauze into say… three inches of fiberglass insulation on top of Salmonella the Turtle.

That is exactly what you do when you want to insulate a house. Does insulation help things stay warm, longer? Yeah it does.

So those CLOUDS overhead: at night, there’s no stronger source of light being blocked, it might very well, be stopping heat from escaping. Not radiatively.

Remember the cloud, doesn’t have to just stop radiative heat escape. It can stop the heat escaping any way it wants to.

Like the clouds. They don’t stop the escape of heat through trapping radiation that would otherwise be shooting out into space, predominately. The clouds, just like the gauze, stop the convective rise, of air that came into contact with the Turtle and the pet store sand on the bottom of the cage.

So at this point, I’m going to stop with THIS SPECIFIC discussion. Because I think the clouds at night, definitely help the ground stay warmer.

And, I’ll state I don’t really think it’s so much a matter of stopping radiation from getting out as I do, thinking it’s a matter of stopping the heated air from RISING and pulling in COOLER air from the sides to lift heat off through initially conduction then convection as the warmed air molecules sort themselves out, coldest, least energetic air falling, warmer air, skittering to the top of the pack.

===
My point to you, Roy, is that while you might be able to make some obscure point about some VERY questionable amount of actually keeping the earth warm

-about infrared-opaque gases doing that –

I just ticked off another four or five ways, water COOLS.
BIG ways.

And that means any argument YOU make about the ‘GUARANTEE’ there’s WARMING
has to overcome a lot of C.O.O.L.I.N.G. to GET there.
And that alone is reason to question whether you can make an instrumental proof of your hypothetical claim that if there was no water the world would be COOLER.

If there was no ATMOSPHERE the earth’s surface would be much closer to the temperature of the moon. Not maybe. A vacuum is a tough place to lose energy into and you,
and I both know, Roy,

that the MAIN reason for cooling the earth is CONDUCTION.
Then the SECOND means of cooling the earth is CONVECTION.

With no atmosphere, both these VANISH.

that the ATMOSPHERE C.O.O.L.S. the EARTH.
===

It must also admit the main COOLANTS are nitrogen and oxygen

but because of WATER the PHASE CHANGE REFRIGERANT, that cooling is AMPLIFIED: MAGNIFIED: MULTIPLIED;

even though the water’s a TINY amount of the GAS in the ATMOSPHERE.

Because the WATER
COOLS the NITROGEN and the OXYGEN, *AND* the SURFACE. DIRECTLY through CONTACT with them.

AND the water’s got a heat REJECTION component that is, the tops of clouds.

AND the water’s got a heat REJECTION component that is, the WHITE color of frozen water, kicking out LOTS more energy than the brown rock/soil below snow.

AND the water’s presence ON the ground in deep basins like oceans, means a LOT more B.L.U.E. – high energy –
light,
gets kicked back out into space. You can SEE the oceans being blue, FROM space. It’s one reason we live in a BLUE planet. It’s not just the bluish haze from oxygen in the air.

It’s those deep ocean basins kicking back a whole lot more HIGHER ENERGY BLUE light, than the exposed rocks of terra firma.

Anyway Roy I’m not writing this, in these terms, so you or I can understand. I’m writing this, because I’m telling you, that when others go around trying to sort this out,

this kind of thing makes them wonder how you, and others, can claim there’s “overall, guaranteed warming” by refrigerant comprising the phase-change heat-pipe
in an aluminum heat sink
cooling a point source heater like a chip.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Go back to the beginning and redo your analysis starting with:

“The earth/atmosphere situation is so much like a computer chip with an aluminum heat sink on it a layer of insulation wrapped around it … “

and you will be MUCH closer to a good analogy. Not perfect, but much better.

• Iansview says:

Tim,

You miss the point. The atmosphere cools the planet and in so doing keeps the heat close to the surface for a while, making a habitable environment. The heat is essentially all flowing one way….out to space!

• Jochen Ebel says:

“So the earth to atmosphere would be hotter without.”

Inaccurate. Without an atmosphere (or GHG-free atmosphere), the radiation would of the Earth’s surface not be obstructed. So the Erdoberflächer would be cooler. The transport resistance to the place of radiation hinders the radiation.

Sincerely yours

• Richard Vada said on May 13, 2013 at 6:15 AM,
in short and in part:

That the atmosphere cools rather than warms the world. And that one piece of evidence for this is very high temperatures being present on the moon.

There are 2 problems here. One is that an atmosphere transfers heat from warmer parts of a planet to cooler parts, evening the temperature out. Another is that the moon rotates a lot more slowly than Earth does, so the sun is up for 14 days. Astronauts only walk on the moon when sunlight is present.

Although temperatures on the moon get as hot as 390K, they also get as cold as 70K. The equatorial mean is 220K, compared to ~295-300 K for Earth. The 85 degree north latitude mean is 130K, while the Earth surface record low
measurement is 184K. On average, the moon is a lot colder than Earth, even though astronauts walked where it was hot.

• Rosco says:

You highlight an important problem for climate science but you have misrepresented the facts somewhat.

Firstly the blackbody temperature of the Moon is higher than Earth’s ?

I am sure data from the Moon could resolve many of the questions of climate science because it represents something we cannot replicate – a heated surface radiating to space.

But there cannot be any argument that the Moon only reaches the low temperatures it does because of the long periods of darkness.

I have seen data that suggest the Moon cools from ~390 K to ~220 K from lunar noon to lunar sunset – once the sun passes the zenith the Solar radiation power incident begins to fall below the radiation power from the heated surface.

That is a staggering drop of ~170 K – BUT it occurs in about 177 Earth hours.

What is missing is how fast the surface heats from ~70 K to ~390 K !!

BUT – WE KNOW this must be no more than ~6 lunar “hours” or ~177 Earth hours and probably significantly less.

And why wouldn’t we expect the heating time to be much less – the power of the Solar radiation is much higher than the radiation of the heated lunar surfaces – pi x r squared versus 4 x pi x r squared is the fundamental relationship in climate science after all.

Once heated to ~390 K the Moon will never heat up any more – it is the maximum the radiation is capable of and it wouldn’t matter if the sun never set it would still never exceed what the power of the radiation determines.

So the missing data is the time the Sun heats the Moon over 320 K from ~70 K to 390 K.

I cannot find this. All I know is that on Earth the Sun can heat surfaces quite quickly.

Why would Earth’s atmosphere radiating to space ever lose enough energy to cause dramatic temperature changes in 12 hours ? After all gases have a low radiating capacity !

119. Roy is correct you are wrong.

120. Iansview says:

Richard,

Not so sure about the higher energy blue light but I agree 110% with the remainder. The atmosphere is a cooling mechanism which has the added bonus of keeping the heat it has extracted near the surface for a while to make for a comfortable living environment. Increasing CO2 is likely to enhance cooling not reduce it but in the overall scale of things it’s not likely to do much of either.

121. Jochen Ebel says:

“Increasing CO2 is likely to Enhance cooling not reduce it but in the overall scale of things it’s not likely to do much of either.”

Unfounded. Increasing CO2 increases the transport resistance of the surface to the point of emission and reduced the emission from the surface. So the Erdoberflächer is wärmerr.

Sincerely yours

• Iansview says:

It’s likely to reduce (cool) the temperature of the SURFACE by enhancing conduction and convection but at the same time increase the temperature of the ATMOSPHERE by preventing momentarily the passage of IR to space. By distribution of the heat via the atmosphere this means colder zones of the Earth getting warmer due to conduction and radiative warming (where the atmosphere is warmer than the surface). Although this does not mean additional warming by a colder atmosphere of a warmer surface by back radiation as this doesn’t happen (back radiation does but it don’t warm a warmer object – sorry). As mentioned in my previous comment, in the grand scheme of things any additional CO2 is not going to have any effect in the current proportions.

• Rosco says:

Really – at less than 0.04 % of an atmosphere which has a mass density of less than one thousandth of water (smaller cf soils) the capability to transfer heat away from the surface is always going to be low no matter what mechanism you choose to believe in.

Let’s assume the atmosphere “transfers” heat to the surfaces of the Earth.

Consider a square metre of surface ocean with some “unit” depth – small unit. The square metre of air in contact with this has a mass density of ~1.2 kg per cubic metre while water has a mass density of ~100 kg per cubic metre.

The fundamental thermodynamic equation of heat transfer is Q = m xCp x delta T.

Sea water has a heat capacity of 4187 kilojoules of energy to raise the temperature of 1 cubic metre by 1 degree C at 20 degrees C.

A cubic metre of air has a heat capacity of about 1.329 kilojoules.

Surely you can see the difficulty with asserting the atmosphere heats the ocean even ignoring the obvious fact that generally the atmosphere is cooler ??

The disparity between energy required and energy available is greater than 3000 : 1 !

To transfer the energy required to warm a cubic metre of the ocean by 1 degree C – 4187 kJ – from the available 1.329 kJ – well it ain’t gonna happen – and the extra 33 degrees of the “greenhouse effect” ??.

• Rosco says:

Er water has a mass density of 1000 not 100 – typo alert.

122. gallopingcamel says:

The moderator daemon ate one of my comments yesterday so I tried again today. Same result!

Was I “Off Topic” or was my rhetoric offensive?

123. UzUrBrain says:

Dr. Roy

Why is there NEVER a value for the heat from the core of the earth shown in any of the “heat balance” graphs/equations, like the one in your main article. Surely this source of heat is not ZERO. Six inches of snow above a pipe laying on the ground (The water is NOT MOVING) will keep water from freezing in northern Vermont, ten miles from Canada. Is CO2 doing that? Is it the CO2 in the Snow? I lived in a house there and the only time it froze was when it got below freezing BEFORE the first snow fall. Had to carry water to the watering trough then. But as soon as we got 5-6 inches of snow, it would be running within 3-4 days.

You do not have to go that deep in a mine to exceed 100 Degrees F. Where is that heat going? Is it being stopped by the Higher temperature of the atmosphere? Why do all references to the Day/Night temperatures on the Moon IGNORE that the Moon has no furnace in its core? Why do the AGW proponents ignore this massive heat source?

• Joel Shore says:

The heat flux from the Earth’s interior is about 0.080 W/m^2 (see e.g. http://www.geol.ucsb.edu/faculty/hacker/geo264/lecture2.pdf ) Compared to the sun’s hundreds of W/m^2, the heat flux from the Earth’s interior is negligible.

I am skeptical that the heat you observe when there is snow on the ground is from the Earth’s interior. More likely, it is thermal energy that originally came from the sun and warmed up the ground during the warmer months of the year.

At any rate, what is relevant is that the contribution of the heat from the interior to the total amount of energy received at the surface is negligible.

• Joel Shore says:

“You do not have to go that deep in a mine to exceed 100 Degrees F. Where is that heat going?”

By the way, we can answer this question by a simple calculation. Apparently, a typical geothermal gradient in the Earth’s crust is 25 K per km ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_gradient So, that means that when you go a km or so down, then temperatures will indeed be 100deg F. And, a typical thermal conductivity for the Earth’s crust is 3 W/[m*K].

We can then use the formula that the rate of heat flow will be equal to k*A*delta_T/L where A is the area and delta_T/L is the thermal gradient. Putting in the numbers gives a rate of heat flow if ~0.075 W for an area of 1 m^2, in good agreement with the number I cited before.

So, the answer to your question about where the heat is going: It is being conducted out to the surface but conduction is a very slow process. [Heck, even if the Earth were made of a highly-heat-conductive metal like aluminum and had the same thermal gradient, the rate of heat flow to the surface would only be ~5 W/m^2…not insignificant, but still not nearly enough to explain the deficit of 150 W/m^2 between what the Earth’s surface emits and what the Earth + atmosphere absorb from the sun.]

• Max™ says:

http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/8985/AAUS_2000_25.pdf?sequence=1

It sits in the middle of a McMurdo Dry Valley desert in Antarctica, air temperatures range around 260 to 281 K, and the bottom of the lake has a region that sits around 295~298 K year round.

• Max™ says:

Oh, and to add, no, there is no geothermal effect going on, the lake is actually heating the material beneath the lake bed.

• Max™ says:

I’ll let the cat out of the bag:

1. The ice is meters thick but incredibly clear due to sublimation on top and long crystal growth periods underneath.

2. The water is incredibly clear.

3. The lake is stratified into chemically distinct layers, with no convective mixing below about 15 meters (as I recall) due to the positive density gradient as you descend towards the bottom.

4. Sunlight passes straight through the ice layer into the depths, but the warmed water is unable to transfer heat upwards by convection, leaving conduction as the only method available.

5. Water has low thermal conductivity, thus this is a water analogue of a glass greenhouse, both of which are real things which really lead to temperature increases by preventing… yep, convection.

You and I just saw what I think is a fairly straight forward approach to this.

The atmosphere is a large cold heat sink,
The earth is a large point-source heater,
The water is a phase change refrigerant,
augmenting cooling through convective, heat-pipe action.

Basically identical to the cooling of a computer chip by a large heat sink with a heat-pipe built in.

Nitrogen/Oxygen conductively warm, as they touch the earth cooling it, water cools them both.

There’s a large blocking component BY the atmosphere and in particular BY the infrared opaque gases, which stop a lot of infrared from ever getting TO the planet.

Since the energy being blocked from ever getting in to the earth is an enormous amount, and ALL that blocking, is the blocking of infrared radiation, from a MUCH more intense field of it,

there’s not much way the amount being kept from leaving, can be as much, as is stopped, from getting in.

=====
But there’s a way to check whether the claims you and I make, are valid: looking at INSTRUMENTAL RECORDS where if the infrared you claim is there,
correlated to infrared-opaque gases, they won’t be able to hide it.

=====

I know personally of several of these fields. You see it’s impossible to have a giant heater in the sky, that isn’t visible to anyone on earth except just a few people.

Heat in the sky – that’s what this is about.
Infrared light in the sky – that’s what this is about.

Right?

=====
Why hasn’t

* * *the infrared astronomy field* * *

come forward,

with that series of graphs showing there being

ever more earth generated infrared light in the sky?

Because if there was more atmospheric infrared, down welling onto the surface of the earth,

they wouldn’t be able to stop talking about it.

Careers would take off; scientists would be asked to show their findings to Congress, publishers would want to relate the story of how the GHG effect was FINALLY CAPTURED on INSTRUMENTS.

If there was an effect having to do with infrared light in the atmosphere, they have the tools and means, to measure the increase in that earth generated infrared.

If it was there, someone would be the new hero of the environmental movement. Whenever you’re checking for claims of mechanisms at work, the first thing you do is, check with those who measure that mechanism as a daily matter.

You can’t tell me there are people graduating school with degrees in astronomy, and infrared astronomy particularly, who don’t know what the average concentration of atmospheric earth-generated infrared light is,
and whether it’s growing.

That’s pretty straight forward. There’s no WAY it could hide from them. Somebody looking for that EASY A, or that BLOCK BUSTER THESIS, or that REPUTATION SEALING DISCOVERY,

would have noticed. People study these things because they’re interested in them.

Infrared light in the sky at night is the hottest topic in science for the past ten, to twenty years.

So: I’m telling you if it were there, like you say, EVERYBODY would be chipping in, “Yep, we see it when we put the filters on OUR equipment, TOO.”

Not a word.
Pin Drop
For 20 years
To save HUMANITY.

But it’s there, oh yeah. It sure is.
Well maybe it is. Maybe every infrared telescope viewer for the past 15 years has been blinded magically by the power of big oil, and disbelief. It’s there,
but like James Hansen, they’re afraid to tell the full story, because the news is too big for N.A.S.A. or for anybody, so “they’re” just sitting on it.
=====
Then there’s the optical astronomy field.

The optical astronomy field is interesting because there are SEVERAL ways they can check on your story of back radiation.

The optical astronomy field are the guys who helped cement Einstein’s General Relativity by measuring for him, the deflection of a beam of star light,
by the gravitational field of the SUN as it went by,
on it’s way here, to earth.

And atmospheric turbulence, created by * * *THE PRECISE FREQUENCY LIGHT YOU’RE CLAIMING is THERE and in EVER HIGHER CONCENTRATION* * *

is the BANE of their field.

The rise of EARTH GENERATED INFRA RED
is the mechanical action that everyone knows as the
*TWINKLING of the STARS* overhead at night.

And since the DEFINITION of HEAT
on a GAS
is MOTION

the MORE earth generated ATMOSPHERIC INFRARED there is,

the more TURBULENCE there is in the night sky; negatively impacting astronomical viewing.

Why do you think it is, Roy, that after all these years, not ONE student, not ONE professor, not ONE amateur astronomer, not ONE SINGLE SOUL,

has trotted out the photographs of the sky for the past 75, 50, 25, 10 years, and the present,

showing the average turbulence of the sky due to EARTH GENERATED ATMOSPHERIC INFRARED,

just growing and growing, as you claim it should be, and IS?

You think they just forgot? They forgot to mention that?

=====
The Optical Astronomy Field has an ANSWER to atmospheric scintillation.

In the 1980s multi million dollar optical astronomy operations were at their limits. The magnification of the night sky from the ground is limited to just a FEW HUNDRED times, DUE to this “atmospheric scintillation” – the twinkling of the stars.

They invented a way around ATMOSPHERIC SCINTILLATION due to the VERY LIGHT YOU TELL ME is IN the ATMOSPHERE in ever greater amount.

They learned to use a computer-controlled assembly
to warp the mirrors of telescopes, neutralizing the INITIAL warping of IMAGES they took through the lenses of their scopes.

It works very well. For those not familiar with optical astronomy’s battle with the effect of
“HEAT on GAS being MOTION” I can recommend the visually stunning and technically revealing PBS Family Movie called

“400 Years of the Telescope.”

I have known about this for a long time, but recently my wife put the movie on – it’s free on the internet and VERY good – and there was a section on how the stars twinkle due to the LIGHT GIVEN OFF BY THE EARTH AT NIGHT and how they were up against a wall over it.

In fact HUBBLE was CONCEIVED BECAUSE of it.

And since the 1980s the optical astronomy field has been using the mirror flexing assemblies – COMPUTER CONTROLLED –

to precisely – p.r.e.c.i.s.e.l.y. – offset, that heat’s distortion.

Now these images are magnified of course several hundred times, which means the twinkling of the STARS is – magnified several hundred times, TOO.

WHY haven’t they come forward with the exciting and technically interesting story about how they have had to flex the mirrors, MORE, and MORE, as YOUR CLAIMED EARTH GENERATED INFRARED
fills the sky?

They forgot too? They just can’t be bothered to seal up their field as the one that finally proved the presence of a correlation between atmospheric gas composition,
and atmospheric infrared light-driven, turbulence?

No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just not there. Because if it WERE there, either the NON mirror-flexing astronomers,

would come up with a series of photos decades/years apart,

or the mirror-flexing teams who use these *computer controlled* assemblies

would have noted: “We need more MONEY. We have to build BIGGER machines, MORE FLEXIBLE MIRRORS…look, we CRACKED one due to the
and shown in the PHOTOS by OTHER optical astronomers,
and as shown to you by the INFRARED astronomy field,

we have to OFFSET and ADJUST our capabilities due to all this rising, atmospheric infrared at night.”
===

But naw, Roy, they’re keeping quiet, because it might lead to some disaster for everyone to find out that James Hansen, and Gavin Schmidt, and Kevin Trenberth, and you, were right all along.

No – I’ll tell you why not one, – not ONE – of all those HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people who’ve passed through those fields, as students or professionals, or amateurs,
have ever noted ONE IOTA of additional earth generated infrared.

Because it’s not there. Certainly not like you say it is.

That’s what I think; and I am CERTAIN I know how to check, because like I told you already: I’m an electronic engineer. My specialty is the generation, radiation, capture, and analysis, of electromagnetic energy.

I know how to check for the giant infrared light on, in the sky.

=====

There’s yet ANOTHER group of people checking on this story you’re telling: how the “earth generated, reflected-downward, long wave infrared” is “down welling” and how it’s “correlated to infrared-opaque gas in the atmosphere.

You know who the people are, who checked on the story that you’re telling me?

The people who told it to you. N.O.A.A.

They started a study in 1996 and it ran FOURTEEN YEARS.

THEY of ALL PEOPLE: the people who are SPAMMING this STORY, should KNOW how to CHECK their OWN STORY.

So they did.

They laid out radiation sensors, basically infrared light sensors, for f.o.u.r.t.e.e.n. y.e.a.r.s on the plains of the North American Continent: ground zero for your back radiation GHE story.

At the end of fourteen years, they found that not only was the amount of atmospheric down welling radiation not significantly larger, but that there is LESS today

than when they started in 1996.
How is that possible, if you’re right, Roy, about the down welling radiation?

Well the answer is, it’s not possible.

The PEOPLE who are some of the ORIGINAL INVENTORS and SPAMMERS of THIS STORY in the 1990s,

checked, THEMSELVES, to see if their story – and by extension yours,
is true.

Turns out it’s not. Don’t you think after three quarters of a million readings and fourteen years, the PEOPLE who are among the PRIMARY AUTHORS of this CLAIM, would KNOW HOW to CHECK their OWN CLAIM?

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI4210.1?journalCode=clim

=====

Well I purport to you, they do know.

See Roy since they don’t see it
and then since the infrared astronomy field doesn’t see it,
and the optical astronomy people don’t see it through photo
and the optical astronomy people don’t see it reflected in need for additional mirror flex at the high end,

that means that until you can show something that looks like evidence of your claim, and that demolishes what I’m saying to you here,

there’s AMPLE indication, there’s no correlation at all between GHG concentration and atmospheric infrared light.
===

How can that be possible?

Well, you can be wrong, that’s one way.

Or, the entire infrared, and optical astronomy fields are utterly devoid of grasp of what they’re doing,

AND the people whose STORY this is: N.O.A.A. don’t know what THEY’RE doing,

when they check for the giant infrared light in the sky.

=====
And what about the OTHER MAJOR PLAYER in all this: the PRIVATE infrared sensing fields?

How is it that this effect you swear on your career is there, but that we/I/they ‘just don’t want to believe in’

are COMPLETELY UNABLE to find a GIANT INFRARED LIGHT in the sky,

whose intensity YOU claim, is on the order of some several hundred watts/square meter

how is it, that the ENTIRE SENSING FIELD of the MODERN ELECTRONIC SPACE AGE,

is UTTERLY UNAWARE there is a GIANT LIGHT in the sky?

What’s your reason the people who make infrared sensors, aren’t selling ‘back radiation sensors’ on Amazon, to school teachers,
on the bid system to universities,
and to private organizations who are interested in atmospheric energy and dynamics –

how is it the entire infrared sensing field, is simply TO a MAN, REFUSING to sell people back radiation sensors, so they can help man kind understand atmospheric radiation?

Schools could own them, Universities, the military, aviation, anyone interested should be able to buy one –

after all, my television remote, dispenses power at rate of about a thousandth of a watt per square meter.

My television picks that up, just fine.
=====

YOU claim, there’s a giant infrared light that puts out several THOUSAND TIMES more INTENSITY than that,

but not one single infrared sensing company can manufacture and sell one, as advertised.

They just don’t want to touch all those millions’ dollars’ income, because it’s tainted with Carbon Sin?

They just don’t want to offend ‘Big Oil?’

=====
I know the reason.

But see my paycheck doesn’t depend on me saying something that would make me ashamed to show my face in public, like yours does.

My paycheck depends on that atmospheric electromagnetic energy being right there where I say it’s going to be.
=====

I know you claimed to have pointed an infrared thermometer at the sky, and seen evidence of the giant infrared light in the sky. You said it was direct evidence of what you claim.

Then the Mikron corporation put out a statement saying, “Oh, no, you didn’t, because we put in notch filters to ensure that water and CO2 don’t impact readings.”

You THEN told THEM, “Oh, yes, I did.”

These are the people who told you they put notch filters on their instrumentsto take out, PRECISELY WHAT YOU CLAIMED to be MEASURING.

The author, and the paper: “Author and Presenter: John Merchant, Sales Manager, Mikron Instrument Company Inc.”

=====
You’re claiming you know better than the people who BUILT that instrument, Roy.

Nobody can tell you “no.”

Not NOAA, with their 14 year study: and it’s THEIR STORY.
Not the Infrared Astronomy field’s pin-drop silence
Not the Optical Astronomy field’s pin-drop silence
Not the Optical Astronomy field’s mirror flexing specialists’ pin-drop silence,

Not even the people who build and sell the Mikron brand infrared thermometer you tried to claim could measure Backerd’s Radiation.

Why can’t ANYONE tell you that maybe you’re just wrong?

Because you are a government employee whose job performance is in no way related to you having a job at all.

That’s why.

Because I told people there was a magical
200 watt/square-meter Bakkerdism,
“On,”
in the sky,

and that Bakkerdism didn’t show up on every instrument able to detect it,

or it’s unmistakable signatures as detected peripherally, on the equipment that, while not designed for it, couldn’t hide it –

I’d be asking my NEXT clients, if they wanted their infrared-heated particles emitted, with extra cheese, or supersized.

125. What is actual IRatm measuring saying ? says:

The “IR atm” component can be measured by simply pointing an IR sensor upward during a clear night.
You can even measure its spectrum. And its obviously NOT the spectrum of the dark cold outer space, as experienced on the moon. Atmosphere DO send back some heat.
Surely nobody discuss this experimental thing, or ?
So what’s all this fuss about ???
Looks to me like a pointless lexicographical argument : whether this effect can/should/may, or not, be called a “greenhouse effect”.
Pointless, because molecules just radiate the same regardless of where their energy come from : another radiation (from bottom, top, or the atmosphere) or kinetic energy from another molecule/atom.
So the climate question is : does adding GHG in the atmosphere (which implies : substracting something else : O2 ? H2O ?) change the amount of energy that the atmosphere — as a whole and not just by some its components — absorbes ? Whatever the lexicon, greenhouse or not, the question remains the same.

• Rosco says:

126. Noperoynope says:

What is actual IRatm measuring saying ? says: “The “IR atm” component can be measured by simply pointing an IR sensor upward during a clear night. … Atmosphere DO send back some heat. … Looks to me like a pointless lexicographical argument : whether this effect can/should/may, or not, be called a “greenhouse effect”.”
================================================

No, it is not lexicographical.

The point is that back radiation from the atmosphere can not have a warming effect on the surface: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/imaging-the-greenhouse-effect-with-a-flir-i7-thermal-imager/#comment-78470

“Greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC is exactly about this physically impossible warming effect on the surface.

• TonyB says:

Noperoynope….

I await the award of your Nobel prize ..!

Either you have not read my comments on the thread you link, or you do not believe I observed what I observed. Perhaps I am a complete fraud. A Troll?

Explain to me what caused what I observed multiple times during my career with the UKMO? – if it was not the GHE.

Observation/experiment trumps all theory. The way the atmosphere works as regards radiative balance is as the models say and as the science has said since way back. And your hand-waving arguments do not make it otherwise.

I await your explanations for my observations and the observations of many others who work in the field of Meteorology.

• UzUrBrain says:

Please show me where you saw this or something like this. — “In your analogy the battery would not make the torch brighter — but it would make the light last a very little longer.” Where in the meteorological world is there this kind of an effect? As I asked before, please provide the data that a lamp will draw less current when in the presence of another lamp. If this were true there would be no need to dim my light for an oncoming car as you Nobel prize winning principle would have caused the head-lamp to dim auto-magically. How does the photon (of IR energy) know before it is emitted, that there is another source of energy around, and thus does not have to be emitted? In all of my advanced courses in Nuclear Physics, I have never, NEVER, heard, or read of this effect. If it does not happen with the energy being emitted by a fisioning atom, how, why,does it happen in a slightly excited (heated) atom? Again, another chance to be awarded the Nobel prize.

The only possible answer is that what you are calling this phenomenon(whatever it is) is actually a slowing down, or increased transport time, of this energy. You know, like light is slowed down at different rates in different material. Or, electrons slow down, have different speeds, in different electrical conductors.

And where do they teach photon transport theory in metrology?

• TonyB says:

It happens – get over it – or you are telling me I am a liar.

Oh BTW It’s METEOROLOGY as in the study of the Atmosphere – which I did for 32 years.

• UzUrBrain says:

Where did I call you a liar? Link please. Confused – Possibly.
Where is the page showing that a torch lasts longer when another is nearby? Or shining at it? Link Please.
Where is the proof that a lamp draws less current when another lamp is placed next to it? Link Please.
Where is the proof that a warmer molecule will not radiate energy and “store,” “release slower” its energy because another source of energy is present? Link Please.

• TonyB says:

“Where is the proof that a lamp draws less current when another lamp is placed next to it? Link Please.”

Irrelevant as current flow is not radiative flow.

If the heat returned to the ground surface on formation of freezing fog was due to that released via latent heat of fusion then the air would warm too and so slow cooling. This it indeed does but there is no reason for the ground to warm more than the air. The ground goes from being colder than the air – causing cooling of adjacent air layers – fog forms – ground warms to above that of the air above. This is not caused by transference of latent heat. Why would you think that latent heat release would warm the ground more than the air in which there are these trillions of WV molecules that convert to crystal.
BTW the freezing fog example I give is just one that is easiest to observe – in the melting of ice/frost on roads/paths. A road temp rise occurs in ordinary fog. Aside from that as ice/frost melts on the ground then latent heat would be taken in and the road surface cool, not warm!

“HEAT IS RELEASED FROM A LIQUID WHEN IT FREEZES.”

Err – I am a (retired) a Meteorologist and I DO know that, surprising as it may seem.

As I read through your “examples” on this page, they all seem to be supported by what is really nothing more than “heat of fusion” and/or “heat of condensation” and not any magical “back radiation” or “Slowing Radiative Transfer.” “

Then you will have to read again, wont you?

How can a road surface that has dry air above it rising from a temp of ( say –3C to –2C ) as thin Cirrus cloud 6 miles up, cause the road temp to rise slightly as it spreads overhead by latent heat release? The ice cloud would be at a temperature of the order of –30C. The road is still below freezing and no ice/frost has melted – therefore there has been no release of LH. It is back radiation ( allowing ground heat flux to raise the RST ).

Look, please give me credit for my professional expertise – all your Wiki Googling will not elicit any knowledge that I am not aware of and I REPEAT I know what I observed and know well what caused it. I used algorithms that predicted it when forecasting a graph of road surface temperatures for a particular site and monitored these graphs against reality overnight. And guess what? If I modeled in 6/8ths of sky of high cloud then the road temp would rise on the forecast graph – as it does in reality. Back radiation – known about and incorporated in climate/weather physics that models reality.
Sorry if that destroys your paradigm – though my experience with Denialists is that exposure to reality will make not one jot of difference to their thinking.

• What is actual IRatm measuring saying ? says:

Ohhh. Kayyyyy…
IR are photons. Pure energy. Energy is Heat. So, unless they get reflected back, and they usually do not, IR DO warms the surface (but of course, because of 2nd law, usually not as much as the hotter surface lose radiative energy to the colder atmosphere). If this seems strange to you, you’d better, either go back to school, or make real mega bucks with your edge in understanding physical heat transfers.

127. Tim Folkerts says:

“Basically identical to the cooling of a computer chip by a large heat sink with a heat-pipe built in. “

No, the analogy would be a chip (the earth) that has a heat sink attached (3K outer space). The atmosphere is like adding bits of thermal insulation BETWEEN the heat sink and the chip. Anyone who works with such things knows a good thermal epoxy is very important. Adding “atmosphere” (= air bubbles) between the chip and the heat sink will cause the chip to run hotter.

“Why hasn’t * * *the infrared astronomy field* * * come forward … “

Because they try specifically NOT to see the thermal IR from the atmosphere.
* Often they go to the tops of mountains, or airplanes, or satellites so as to minimize the effects of the atmosphere.
* The thermal IR telescopes not in orbit need to operate in the “atmospheric windows”. Eg “MIRSI offers a large field of view (85 x 64 arcsec), diffraction-limited spatial resolution (0.8” @ 10 microns at IRTF ), complete spectral coverage over the 8-14 microns and 17-26 microns atmospheric windows …” http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/mirsi/mirsi_spec.html

“The rise of EARTH GENERATED INFRA RED
is the mechanical action that everyone knows as the
*TWINKLING of the STARS* overhead at night.”

No, the “twinkle” is due to turbulence & variations in temperature. Convection and simple winds are more responsible than thermal IR. Besides, the difference in temperature is on the order of 1 K out of 250 K, or a fraction of a percent. That is a small change for the telescopes — hardly “front page news”.

“And since the DEFINITION of HEAT on a GAS is MOTION”
The definition of “heat” is “energy in transit between two different systems due to a temperature difference”.

” How is that possible [that down-welling IR is decreasing in the paper cited], if you’re right, Roy, about the down welling radiation? “
Changes in cloudiness are cited in the paper. You see, it is possible for two DIFFERENT things to happen at once (more IR from GHGs; less IR from clouds).

“after all, my television remote, dispenses power at rate of about a thousandth of a watt per square meter. “
No, a typical LED puts out ~ 10 mW, and it comes from maybe 10 mm^2. That would be about 1000 W/m^2. (and since you apparently do not realize it, this is from a completely different part of the IR spectrum than the thermal IR from the atmosphere).

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

I could go on, but this is plenty for now. At every turn, you seem to have SOME good info, but it is overshadowed by significant misunderstandings.

• Tim Folkerts says:

That comment was for Richard Vada @ May 13, 2013 at 8:57 AM.

And I left out a tag in the middle that should have ended the bold. Hopefully people can figure out where that was.

• Daren Cleary says:

“No, the analogy would be a chip (the earth) that has a heat sink attached (3K outer space). The atmosphere is like adding bits of thermal insulation BETWEEN the heat sink and the chip.”

Space is the environment not the heat sink, and show me a desert that gets hotter than the Lunar surface and I’ll believe in your insulation.

• Joel Shore says:

The lunar surface gets so hot because there is quite small thermal inertia on the moon and a lunar day is a lot longer. What is relevant in determining the emission of an object to space is the average of the temperature to the 4th power. So, considerations of radiative balance affect this…and, in particular, it is this quantity that exceeds what is possible in the absence of an IR-absorbing atmosphere when there is a greenhouse effect.

To consider temperature extremes, you have to consider additional considerations like the thermal inertia (effective heat capacity) and the rate of rotation (diurnal cycle).

• Daren Cleary says:

If you could make the Moon do a 180 in a moment and expose the dark side immediately to full solar insolation, the center of the disk would rapidly heat to ~ 121C. The Moon takes ~ 7.4 days to reach maximum temperature at the equator from dawn because it takes that long to be directly facing the Sun, not because it takes that long for the surface to warm up. The couple of inches of highly insulating dust on the surface has very little thermal inertia.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Daren,

As I said, the analogy is not great to begin with. A heat sink for a chip acts primarily by increasing the surface area so that more air circulates around the fins. To make this analogy for earth, you would need “fins” that are significantly BIGGER than the earth to radiate energy to space more efficiently. But since we do not have aluminum fins sticking 1000’s of km up from the surface, we can’t use this analogy. (And then you would have to worry about the fins absorbing more energy from the sun, which would be like having separate heaters mounted on the heat sink!)

Either …
1) space is analogous to the air around the chip, in which case there is no “finned heat sink” for earth. The atmosphere does not add significantly to the earth’s surface area.

2) space is analogous to the heat sink, and the atmosphere is between the two.

3) we pick a better analogy. ðŸ™‚

• Daren Cleary says:

Maybe it’s not the best analogy but Earth’s atmosphere still reduces the potential peak equatorial surface temperature purely by direct absorption of solar radiation. These losses greatly outweigh any gains from DWIR.

• Tim Folkerts says:

When the sun is straight overhead with no atmosphere (eg the moon), peak absorption would be ~ 1370 W/m^2.

When the sun is straight overhead with a clear atmosphere (eg earth), the direct sunlight would be ~ 1000 W/m^2 and the “back radiation” would be ~ 300 W/m^2. So it would appear that at noon, there is indeed more heating for the moon.

As you move away from having the sun straight overhead, the sunlight will decrease for both the earth and the moon. at some point, the earth will start “winning”. Certainly at night the earth will “win” (several 100 W/m^2 for the earth vs 0 W/m^2 for the moon).

So a tiny fraction of the moon is heated better than the earth; most of the earth is heated better than most of the moon. Net effect: The eath is much warmer on average than the moon (even with the earth having a higher albedo).

P.S. The OTHER bigger effect of the atmosphere is to conduct/convect heat away during the day, and conduct/convect heat back at night. This also helps keep deserts cooler at noon on the earth than the moon, and warmer than the moon at night.

• Max™ says:

When the sun is straight overhead with a clear atmosphere (eg earth), the direct sunlight would be ~ 1000 W/m^2 and the “back radiation” would be ~ 300 W/m^2. So it would appear that at noon, there is indeed more heating for the moon. ~Tim

What?

You don’t add the DWIR to the energy supply of the surface, the surface is losing more than it can gain in this fashion.

• Jochen Ebel says:

The heatsink with his ribs increases the heat radiating surface – the improved cooling. At the surface of the earth changes, the radiating surface only slightly, ie cooling can not improve. On the contrary, with more CO2, the temperature of the tropopause decreases, so the cooling deteriorates. To compensate for the decreased radiation must be greater through the atmospheric windows, ie. the surface temperature is higher.

Sincerely yours

• Tim Folkerts says:

Precisely!

I support *unequivocally* your continued struggle
for literacy, and for aided but Independent Living – for you and also for the rest of the Developmentally Disabled Community. Today.
Not just In Time.
In Our Time.

No matter what.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Richard

QUOTE ONE SPECIFIC, IMPORTANT THING I SAID (anywhere in this thread) that you think is incorrect, and what you think the correct science should be.

I pointed out what I think are specific, multiple, serious errors in your post. Rather than lame attempts at humor, try addressing what I said. Explain where you think I am wrong and you are right.

Keep the discussion on the science!

128. Max™ says:

Most tv remotes put out less than 9 mW/sr, just to note, and I assume they did not mean an old ultrasonic “clicker” version.

129. Stephen Wilde says:

Tim Folkerts said:

“P.S. The OTHER bigger effect of the atmosphere is to conduct/convect heat away during the day, and conduct/convect heat back at night”

Well yes. I’ve been telling you that for ages but that involves the ENTIRE mass of the gaseous atmosphere as providing the true greenhouse effect so on Earth with our trivial proportion of GHGs there would be no measurable effect from our CO2 emissions.

Then include our oceans as part of our ‘atmosphere’ since it is partially transparent to solar shortwave and the influence of GHGs completely disappears.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Stephen,

I think everyone who studies this stuff agrees with you that the “thermal inertia effect” of the atmosphere is significant in smoothing out the day/night temperature variations, as well as the equator/pole temperature variations. (The oceans also play significant roles there). And it turns out that anything that smooths out the temperature raises the average temperature.

This “thermal inertia” by itself could bring earth’s average temperature UP TO — but no higher than — 255 K (given the current albedo and emissivity of 1).

To get warmer than this requires radiative effects of the atmosphere.

• Daren Cleary says:

“And it turns out that anything that smooths out the temperature raises the average temperature.”

That’s called heat capacity, it’s the elephant in the room.

“This “thermal inertia” by itself could bring earth’s average temperature UP TO — but no higher than — 255 K (given the current albedo and emissivity of 1).”

The big heat sink is the oceans, at around 17C global average, I don’t see how DWIR can raise their surface temperatures by ~35C.

• Daren Cleary says:

Tim Folkerts said:

“…convect heat back at night”

Pardon, where from?

• Tim Folkerts says:

Air warmed by the ground can rise by convection, cooling as it rises. Somewhere else, a similar amount of air must be descending. which will warm that air.

Foehn winds are an example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind

I am not a meteorologist, so I will not try to speak authoritatively on exactly when and where that descending air will cause warming, but the physics of such heating is clear.

• Joel Shore says:

“The big heat sink is the oceans, at around 17C global average, I don’t see how DWIR can raise their surface temperatures by ~35C.”

I agree, you don’t see how it can happen. That’s not a very convincing argument that it doesn’t happen though. There is apparently a lot of physics that you don’t understand.

• Max™ says:

How does DWIR raise the temperature of that lake I was asking about above?

Lake Vanda, Antarctica, air temperatures: 260~282 K, lake bottom temperatures: ~298 K, no geothermal heating taking place (the lake actually warms the material below the lakebed), but by all means, show how this 20~40 K rise above the air temperatures is related in any way to the DWIR.

• “298 K, no geothermal heating”…..SAYS WHO ? ? ?

This is part of the Transantarctic Mountain range, a result of of the volcanic,

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

which includes the continents most recent VOLCANIC eruptions. This super salt laded lake is, per Wiki, unexplored for fear of contamination. Any bore temps you refer to are from perimeter, or remote from the thermal feed source. The Russians recently drilled into fresh water Lake Vostok and hope to launch remotes for better analysis into this ice covered liquid lake. There are VAST amounts of geothermal energy within the mantle, some disguised in phase changes at ocean floor vent outlets. Visit the “Geo-nuclear” tab at my website, review “Earth’s Missing Geothermal Flux” and the other articles related to this most UNDER REPORTED and highly variable Earth “changing” forces.

130. Daren Cleary says:

“There is apparently a lot of physics that you don’t understand.”

That’s not a very convincing argument either.

131. Rosco says:

Where exactly is the downwelling IR coming from ?

If it is as K & T et al claim of the order 324 W /sq metre – which is about 275 K temperature – is it coming from a few grams per cubic metre of water vapour per cubic metre of air plus less than 1 gram CO2 ?

I really do not understand how people can quote figures without considering mass.

The heat capacity of water versus the heat capacity of the atmosphere is 3000:1 against the atmosphere.

I cannot understand how people can simply claim energy can transfer from the atmosphere to water against that kind of disparity by completely ignoring mass.

No matter what – mass and energy are linked !!

And mass contains enormous quantities of energy.

Who are the real deniers in this debate anyway ?

• Jochen Ebel says:

“I can not understand how people can simply claimsoft energy can transfer from the atmosphere to water against that kind of disparity by completely ignoring mass.”

The mass of the CO2 is included in the absorption length and the absorption length is a parameter for the effectiveness of the absorption. How much mass is in kg belongs to a specific absorption length in this connection immaterial – it depends on the effectiveness of. Even if the amount of alcohol in the blood is very low, ensures the effectiveness of alcohol for driving impairment.

The small amount of CO2 compared to O2 and N2 is only responsible for how quickly affect radiation changes – also to be quite similar to alcohol, which takes account of the small amount of hours fully effective.

132. Daren Cleary says:

Tim Folkerts says:

“So a tiny fraction of the moon is heated better than the earth; most of the earth is heated better than most of the moon.”

It’s so annoying when people just “winging it” for the sake of their argument without referring to the real data:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/image38.png

• Tim Folkerts says:

Daren,

It was a “back-of-the-envelope” estimate … and it was not that far off (although “tiny” was a bit strong — it looks like (eyeball estimate) it should be 20%-40% of the surface based on the graph you linked to). I suspect that I did not fully take into account the difference in albedo. The darker surface & lack of clouds of the moon enhances the region where it is “better illuminated” (by sunlight + DWIR) — taking it from “tiny” to “significant but still well under half”.

The ultimate results still hold:
* Certainly more than half of the earth is much better “illuminated” (by sunlight + DWIR) than the moon (ie the night side of each).
* Certainly the mean temperature of the moon is less than the mean temperature of the earth (below 200 K for the moon; above 280 K for the earth) despite the moon having a lower albedo.

• Daren Cleary says:

With an equatorial ocean figure of 303K for Earth, I measure from that graph that the Lunar equator is hotter for 78% of it’s daytime.

• Daren Cleary says:

Or for rough land figure of 315K it’s still 72%.

• Daren Cleary says:

“The darker surface & lack of clouds of the moon enhances the region where it is “better illuminated” (by sunlight + DWIR..”

There is no DWIR on the Moon.

• Rosco says:

What significance does the average temperature of the Moon have at all ?

Actual data from the Moon establishes 2 simple facts –

1. The solar radiation CAN heat planetary surfaces way higher than that calculated by standard blackbody calculations involving reducing the radiative power by 4 to account for geometrical considerations – this is unequivocal.

The average obtained by accounting for geometrical considerations does not define the temperature that can be induced on a planetary surface – period. It will always be a factor of 1.414 lower than the maximum temperature if dealing with a sphere – 1.414 is the fourth root of 4.

2. Starting from a temperature of ~381 K the lunar surfaces are radiating at significantly higher power than any surfaces or the atmosphere of Earth – 1203 W/sq metre.

As the sun “moves” past the local zenith the incident power is reducing as the sine of the angle. For example at 45 degrees the incident power is about 0.707 of the zenith power.

On the Moon this takes about 6/2 lunar hours (45 degrees is halfway to sunset) which is about 89 Earth hours.

The rate of temperature reduction would be a balance – hot surfaces radiating at higher rates mitigated by ever decreasing Solar input incident on the surface reducing the temperature with the cooling rate decreasing with time and temperature.

By the time the sun reaches 30 degrees the incident radiation would be about half of the zenith value.

If we say the Moon albedo is 0.12 – a figure I’ve seen quoted then the zenith power is 1367 x 0.88 = ~1203.

Using SB eqn this gives a maximum temperature of ~381 K.

At 3 pm lunar time this radiative input will have dropped to ~850 W/sq m. The maximum temperature associated with this is ~349 K.

At 4 pm lunar time this radiative input will have dropped to ~601 W/sq m. The maximum temperature associated with this is ~321 K.

From 4 pm lunar time to dawn the temperature drops to about ~100 K with some extremes of ~70 K.

Say that is a decrease of 250 K in 14 lunar hours during which the Solar radiation rapidly decreases to zero and hence its heating capacity rapidly drops to zero.

14 lunar hours is roughly 413 Earth hours.

Therefore – despite starting from significantly higher temperatures than the radiating surfaces of the Earth (which obviously means a higher rate of energy loss), especially the atmospheric layer 5 km in the troposphere at 255 K (after all 321 K is pretty close to the maximum air temperature ever recorded on Earth) – The Moon cools at a snail pace rate of about 250 K / 413 hours = ~0.61 K per hour – obviously this is a logarithmically decreasing rate as the temperature decreases.

There is no valid scientific expectation that our gaseous atmosphere would radiate more powerfully than the heated lunar surface.

Accordingly there is real data to suggest that in a 12 hour night there is NO scientifically valid reason to suggest the Earth has any chance of losing the quantities of energy necessary to cause anything like a tiny fraction of the temperature swings observed on the Moon.

That is my take on why I find the concept of a “greenhouse effect” unlikely.

• Joel Shore says:

Rosco says: “1. The solar radiation CAN heat planetary surfaces way higher than that calculated by standard blackbody calculations involving reducing the radiative power by 4 to account for geometrical considerations – this is unequivocal.”

Can you provide the reference to where anybody has claimed that solar radiation can’t do this? (Hint: There is a difference between AVERAGE and MAXIMUM temperature.)

• Jochen Ebel says:

“obviously this is a logarithmically Decreasing rate as the temperature Decreases.”

This is not a logarithmic function, but the inverse of the 6. root of time. It is not only the fourth Root, because from the depth of heat is re-stocked.

For the maximum temperature is the 1.414, but the rest of the surface is cooler. The average temperature is therefore well below the uniform temperature (Hölder’s inequality).

• Daren Cleary says:

If we take the Lunar equatorial midday maximum temp (390K) and the equatorial dusk temp (~120K) the average is 255K, the same as the average Lunar equatorial sub soil.

133. KevinK says:

Dr. Spencer wrote;

“I have repeatedly addressed these views and why they are false.”

With respect, Dr. Spencer; you have never addressed why the “backradiation” effect is any different than an optical delay line; or an anti-reflection multilayer optical interference filter (without the interference). Both of these well known (and understood) effects merely delay the flow of energy (alternating between visible light, absorbed thermal energy, emitted IR energy, etc. etc.) by a very short estimated time interval of tens of milliseconds (or perhaps a few seconds at most).

A comment from some of the believers like “It’s merely a delay is NONSENSE” without further explanation does not bode well for your case.

I for one feel no need to PROVE the null hypothesis; i.e. the climate is very complex and we do not fully (at this time) understand why the temperature at the surface is what it.

It is STILL NOT WARMING (a factual observation), and you have a responsibility to PROVE your case (with factual observations of actual WARMING, not just poorly understood measurements on your part), the rest of will just move on ASSUMING CORRECTLY that the null hypothesis is the correct one.

I have presented point by point logical explanations of how energy flows though the complex system of interest, and you have not refuted any single one of my points to date.

“When the facts change I modify my opinion, what do you do Sir ?”

If you would like to learn more about Optical Delay Lines, or anti-reflection filters I would be glad to provide you with some “peer” (in the engineering world this means IT WORKS AND SOMEBODY WANTS TO BUY IT) reviewed references.

Cheers, Kevin.

• Joel Shore says:

Using your logic, I have just managed to disprove the Pouiseuille Equation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagen%E2%80%93Poiseuille_equation ) So-called “scientists” have tried to claim that if I use a smaller-radius pipe to run water through then I will need a larger pressure differential to push the same amount of fluid through! This is nothing but socialist dogma.

In fact, all that using a smaller-radius pipe does is delay the flow of water a little bit! How could that possibly cause the pressure a the intake to be higher?

Oh…and another thing (care of Alan Siddons): When I used the original pipe, I ran it at a gallon per minute and with the new pipe, I was also able to run it at a gallon per minute. This proves that there is no “pressure effect”. How could the diameter of my pipe possibly have any effect on the pressure when I still get the same amount of water out as I did before. (And, it is exactly the same amount of water going into the pipe, further proving my point!)

These scientists who claim there is a so called “Poiseuille pressure effect” are idiots!

• SkepticGoneWild says:

Joel Shore says:

“So-called “scientists” have tried to claim that if I use a smaller-radius pipe to run water through then I will need a larger pressure differential to push the same amount of fluid through! This is nothing but socialist dogma.”

Am I missing something, maybe missed a post? (I can’t tell if you accept or do not accept your above quoted statement) And what does this have to do with climate? Anyway, a smaller pipe diameter will give you less flow given the same pressure. Why do you think public agencies install 12-inch diameter water mains in residential neighborhoods, and not say a 2 inch pipe which would be cheaper to install? The pressure losses in a 2 inch pipe versus a 12 inch pipe are astronomically higher because for a given Q (flow), the 2 inch pipe has a much higher velocity (use continuity equation), and pressure losses are proportional the the velocity squared. (see Darcy Weisbach equation for pressure losses) You would need a much larger pump to provide the same flow in a 2-inch dia. pipe compared to a 12-inch pipe. This is basic fluid hydraulics which one can find anywhere on the internet. Samples:

http://www.efunda.com/formulae/fluids/calc_pipe_friction.cfm

• Joel Shore says:

I think you are missing the first sentence of my post. It was parody.

There is actually an extremely close analogy between fluid flow on the basis of pressure differences and heat flow on the basis of temperature differences. I was trying to explain that people (KevinK in particular, although Alan Siddons is another notable example) are making arguments against the greenhouse effect that one can clearly realize are ridiculous if you translate it over into the realm of fluid flow.

134. Tim Folkerts says:

Kevin says: “I for one feel no need to PROVE the null hypothesis; i.e. the climate is very complex and we do not fully (at this time) understand why the temperature at the surface is what it.”

You (and many others) are conflating two quite different hypotheses.
1) GHGs have some warming effect (vs GHGs have no warming effect)
2) Changing CO2 levels are the most significant factor in recent climate change (vs changing CO2 levels are not the most significant factor).

#2 is quite open for discussion. The extent to which changing the CO2 levels will change the climate is actively being explored (ie what is the climate sensitivity?). The extent to which other factors matter is also being explored (affects of the sun, ocean currents, etc).

But the fact that #2 is open for discussion does NOT mean that #1 is unsure. Deciding if the next 400 PPM will be important is very different than deciding if the first 400 PPM were important. The experimental and theoretical basis for the existence of and warming effect of the IR from the atmosphere has been confirmed for 100+ years.

135. Daren Cleary says:

“But the fact that #2 is open for discussion does NOT mean that #1 is unsure.”

But it’s about context. If one balanced out the GHE gains against the solar absorption losses of GHG’s, that would give a better idea of how much average global temperature is due to heat capacity.

136. Jochen Ebel says:

How is the transport resistance for heat transport? This take the photon picture – Einstein is possible since 1916.

The single molecule “know” nothing of radiative transfer. Even the single molecule “know” anything about the gas temperature. But the proportion of the emitting molecules is given by the Boltzmann distribution and strongly temperature-dependent in the infrared range. The absorption is carried out by the rest of the molecules, which is almost independent of temperature in the infrared range.

As long as the temperature is uniform in all places, the absorption is everywhere equal to the emission and there is no heat transfer in the sum instead. This writes Alfred Schack, the even Gerlich and Tscheuschner on page 71 cite as witnesses (“a paper in Physical leaves Entitled” The inuence of the carbon dioxide content of the air on the world’s climate “) – Alfred Schack: The influence of carbon dioxide on the world’s climate [Der Einfluß des Kohlendioxidgehalts auf das Klima der Welt]. Physikalische Blätter. 28(1972), H. 1, S. 26 – 28:: “The absorption of a gas passing through heat radiation is in steady state exactly equal to the heat radiation of this gas. Because if this stocks deviations are met in a cavity of the gas itself would make differences in temperature, which is not possible according to the second law of thermodynamics. ”

As it looks now, if a temperature gradient exists. Absorption and emission can not be equal, because the absorption is almost independent of temperature, but the emission strongly temperature dependent. The shorter the absorption length, the faster the strong point of the emission by the high temperature is absorbed and it remains at point of the low temperature the low emission. But heat flow due to temperature difference is a transport resistance.

Therefore, – the shorter the absorption length is, the greater the transfer resistance. If the heat flux is specified, the temperature gradient increases with increasing transfer resistance. Since the density of the molecules down increases, increasing the transport downwardly resistance – and thus also the temperature gradient. However, with the rise of the temperature circuit when the air stratification is unstable, ie the adiabatic limit is reached (1906 Schwarzschild criterion http://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/dms/load/img/?PPN=PPN252457811_1906&DMDID=DMDLOG_0009).

137. TonyB says:

Arfur Bryant

“How much of the GHE is caused by CO2?
I have a further question:
How much of the GHE in 1850 was caused by CO2?
Lets see if facts (evidence) support your ‘authoritative’ conjecture.”

I have no idea. You are able to get those numbers just as well as me via Google. I did not say I was a research meteorologist. I was a practising Forecaster, observing the weather as I forecast it at varies locations with the UKMO.
The question is about whether there is a GHE or not. I have observed it. It is incorporated into weather models and it is real. Sorry. You will have to find another aspect of Denial to concentrate on.

Kuhnkat

“I am sure Piers Corbyn will disagree with you if you ever discuss it with him!!

Ah Mr Corbyn … now there’s a “character”

I have met him and in my opinion he is a complete wing-nut, but you lot seem to like that – vis “Lord” Monckton.
The day he reveals to the Climate/weather community how he does what he does then we may give him some credibility. Otherwise he is what he is and may just as well as be looking at tea-leaves in a cup as “analysing sun-spots”
I ask you, how is it ( in a sane world ) that detailed forecasts can be given months ahead on the basis of that?

But you’d rather believe, because of course it is against the establishment – against whom you so vehemently disagree.

PS: my apologies if you were being”ironic”.

• Arfur Bryant says:

TonyB,

Don’t change the goalposts and pretend you don’t have to prove your assertions.

You said:
[“CO2 has risen 40% since the onset of industrialisation from 270ppm to 400ppm and given what we know about its IR absorption/emission properties then that ratio in the atmosphere crunches out to give the observed global average temperature rises we’ve seen.”]

I am just trying to get you to be objective about these ‘crunched numbers’. You have directly attributed the warming since ‘industrialisation’ to CO2. I disagree and I want you to provide real (not modelled) proof to support your assertion. Mine (and UzUrBrain’s) was a simple but valid question. If you want to claim that CO2 plays a significant part in the GHE (and I never said there wasn’t a GHE), you should at least have some idea what part it plays in forming the GHE.

What I see is a 40% increase in CO2 (and similar increases in other nGHGs) since 1850 and a total temperature rise of appx 0.8C. Where is the proof that this 0.8C is due to CO2? There was a rise of 0.7C between 1910 and 1945 (HadCRUt) with hardly any increase in CO2. This demonstrates that other factors can lead to warming. Do you disagree with this?

You claim some form of ‘authority’ because you are a UKMO forecaster. I don’t care about that. I have met dozens of UKMO forecasters and not one of them claims to know how CO2 increase can lead to significant warming in the real world. With its recent history of climate prediction, I wouldn’t be too quick to ‘big up’ the UKMO or, for that matter, try to ridicule other forecasters. Would you be so quick to disparage Paul Hudson? He at least seems to be objective about this subject. But this sideshow of your antipathy toward other members of your profession is not important to the real question of the veracity of the radiative GHE theory…

If you or anyone else wants to claim that the GHE is caused (to any significant degree) by radiative factors from non-condensing GHGs, then you all have to show some evidence. That would be objective.

And you can quit throwing ‘Denier’ quips as well. It is pointless, puerile and demonstrates your inability to engage in reasoned debate. Either the radiative effects of nGHGs make a significant difference, or they don’t. If they do, the (radiative) GHE might be correct. If they don’t, the Slayers may have a point. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an element of both but I am not going to say with any conviction which is the more significant until I can find evidence to support each theory. At the moment, the evidence of CO2 influence is difficult to find.

You – or anyone else – answering the question “What portion of the GHE is contributed to by CO2” would certainly be a start.

• TonyB says:

“Don’t change the goalposts and pretend you don’t have to prove your assertions.”

Really, I don’t. Unless you would like to accompany me on a visit the UKMO Exeter headquaters on a radiation night in winter when areas of Cirrus cloud are coming/going – How can I prove that “assertion”. I just would have thought that someone in the unique position to relate this too you would be believed? But I again discount the enormous denial that some bring to the discussion.

“I wouldn’t be too quick to ‘big up’ the UKMO or, for that matter, try to ridicule other forecasters. Would you be so quick to disparage Paul Hudson? He at least seems to be objective about this subject. But this sideshow of your antipathy toward other members of your profession is not important to the real question of the veracity of the radiative GHE theory…”

Excuse me – where have I shown any “antipathy toward other members of your profession” ??

Oh – the pennies dropped. Mr Corbyn. I actually take it as an insult that you consider him “one of my profession”. He certainly is not ( NOT UKMO trained and, in his terms an “astrophysicist” ).

There is no place in short/mid range weather forecasting for solar affects ( yet anyway ). They are unknown at those time-scales and certainly would not allow a prediction to the levels of detail that Mr Corbyn states he can achieve ( in whatever way he does it – no one knows – hence my disparagement of the man ). I would, at the least, regard enormous data fields requiring a super-computer to integrate, as being necessary.

I’m not bigging up the UKMO, and I only disparage those that deny accepted science, that works, I have been educated in, forecast for, and seen to work. Would you not do the same in your line of work? Why do I have to be different? You do not have to believe me of course and I can do no other than relate my experience. I just have to deny ignorance ( where my knowledge allows ).

“You claim some form of ‘authority’ because you are a UKMO forecaster. I don’t care about that. I have met dozens of UKMO forecasters and not one of them claims to know how CO2 increase can lead to significant warming in the real world.”

Crikey “met dozens” eh – that may well be more than I have. Did you ask them about the GHE?

Of course I am “some sort of authority”. They do exist you know. Can you enlighten me to someone who would qualify more? Let’s see. Qualifications in maths, physics, statistics, computing. Trained Forecaster in UKMO working with the RAF, and in Commercial fields. Total 32 years. Spent countless hours observing weather, whilst forecasting and relaying data/info to customers in real time. Why wouldn’t I be an authority?

Paul Hudson, who I have met BTW, as far as I am aware has not had the same career path as mine. Ie RAF airfield forecasting and then Weather Centre work – and specifically relating to road danger forcasting/monitoring. He is a weather presenter ( but one who is a trained UKMO Forecaster, and as such has my respect – many on UK TV are not ). He is not now a UKMO Forecaster BTW, but an employee of the BBC. Their Climate correspondent and as such must take a more pragmatic view. I doubt very much that he denies the existence of a GHE. In fact I would be gob-smacked if he did.

“And you can quit throwing ‘Denier’ quips as well. It is pointless, puerile and demonstrates your inability to engage in reasoned debate.”

I will actually include it again, you are a Denier. How else would you describe someone that questions established science, that works. If that is your only beef ( GHE ) then you are unusual I suspect.

Reasoned debate? How can there be reasoned debate – when you deny what is so basic – radiative transfer. There are masses of scientific papers out there describing it, just a Google away. It’s not my job to prove that to you. You are the one denying accepted science.
I have given you my observations, and I’m doing no other.

BTW: You could, fairly easily prove the GHE exists to yourself by placing a thermometer on the ground ( firmly fixed too ) and having a remote readout. Choose a night when good radiation conditions are available. Now observe for the passage of cloud and the thermometer readout. It doesn’t have to be CI it can be any sort of cloud. The temperature will drop when exposed to clear sky and rise when cloud comes overhead NOT because it’s somehow magically warming warm by cold, but because it slows radiative transfer to space and allows heat flux up from the ground to achieve a new balance. The GHE, caused by WV, a GHG, as is CO2. Whatever the climate sensitivity to it is I leave to research scientists.

• Tim Folkerts says:

“You could, fairly easily prove the GHE exists to yourself by placing a thermometer on the ground…

I might suggest adding a second control thermometer nearby, but with a cover over it that still allows the free flow of air around the thermometer. This thermometer should NOT change as the clouds pass over head.

I may have to do this … I have some data loggers and thermometers handy.

• Stephen Wilde says:

I don’t think the cloud itself is causing any additional reduction in energy flow to space.

A cloud forms where there are air masses at different temperatures and humidities so one cools the other to its dew point and a cloud forms.

What causes the reduction in energy flow to space is the arrival of a layer of warmer air aloft.

The fact that a cloud is present at the same time is neither here nor there.

So when you see clouds coming and going with corresponding changes in the rate of energy loss to space what you are actually seeing is short term changes in the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere as air mass changes occur aloft.

Clouds are at the same temperature as the air in which they float and it is that air temperature which affects the rate of radiative loss and not the cloud.

Incidentally that also tells us why the results from pyrgeometers are meaningless in terms of measuring downward energy flux but I’ll leave that for Roy’s other thread.

• Daren Cleary says:

Sure there is a GHE and a radiative transfer of DWIR at the surface, but what is it worth? In a humid tropical location, the atmospheric water vapour inhibits isolation to the surface by scattering and absorption, and reduces potential daytime surface temperature despite the DWIR gains. What absorbed heat in the WV that remains overnight is going to lose half its LWIR upwards, That’s a lose lose situation, the only claw-back will be from WV/clouds heat capacity. The upper latitudes in longer winter nights would see a net gain though, which is where and when we see the global warming phase signal most.

• Daren Cleary says:

inhibits *insolation*

• Arfur Bryant says:

TonyB,

I notice, in your long and fairly specious response, that you did not, at any point, include any evidence of CO2 being a significant player in the GHE.

Where have I denied the GHE? I have simply asked you to provide evidence to support your assertion that:

[“CO2 has risen 40% since the onset of industrialisation from 270ppm to 400ppm and given what we know about its IR absorption/emission properties then that ratio in the atmosphere crunches out to give the observed global average temperature rises we’ve seen.”]

I am not impressed at you trying to deflect the discussion onto me denying the GHE. It is quite simple. Provide evidence to back your assertion up, or retract it. I have not once denied the GHE, I merely question the part CO2 plays in it. I have also stated that it may well be possible that the ‘Atmosphere Effect’ can be made up of both radiative and ‘Slayer’ arguments. That is not the point, however much you might want to make it so.

Yes, I have met dozens of forecasters from the UKMO and, yes, I have discussed the evidence for the role CO2 plays with many of them. Most will initially state your party line but, when pressed, they fail to provide evidence (and I do not include model output as evidence). Others will honestly admit they don’t know and they keep an open mind.

I am not impressed by your continued reliance on your self-importance. Qualifications and CV resumes don’t impress me either. Logic and evidence impresses me. You may have some of the former but you have so far failed to produce any of the latter.

I’d be happy to accompany you to Exeter. However, demonstrating the effect of Cirrus clouds on radiative cooling at night in winter IN NO WAY supports your assertion that CO2 is responsible for the warming since industrialisation. Are you serious?

I ask you again (and I appeal to your obvious experience with the boys [and girls] in light blue) to provide a direct answer to the direct question “What portion of the GHE is contributed by CO2″ It really is a simple question. How can you – or any supporter of the CO2 = AGW theory – not even have asked yourself this question? You cannot have any idea of the ‘real world’ climate sensitivity unless you have quantified the initial effect of CO2 prior to the industrial era? It is so basic a concept that I am amazed that you don’t give it a priority in your list of things to do before you assert that CO2 has any significance at all!

[“I’m not bigging up the UKMO, and I only disparage those that deny accepted science, that works, I have been educated in, forecast for, and seen to work.”]

Where have you seen the accepted science work to prove the effect of an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere? Don’t just tell me how many RAF stations you’ve worked on – I’m not impressed (seriously!); provide some evidence or stop making unsupported assertions!

Finally, I have at no point denied radiative transfer (how could I?). Stop misrepresenting me. I have no doubt that CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’. I have no doubt that GHGs have the ability to emit and absorb radiation. What I want from you is ANY evidence that the 0.04% of the atmosphere has the demonstrable ability to provide a significant contribution to global temperature. Please remember that there was an ‘Atmosphere Effect’ before 1850. How much of that effect was due to the 0.028% of CO2 in the atmosphere? Basic stuff. Stuff upon which valid theories are based.

You have made the classic mistake of basing your argument on an assumption. Then, when called out on your ‘appeals to your own authority’, you have simply continued to spout rhetoric while utterly failing to prove your assertion. My question was about the contribution of CO2, not whether or not the GHE exists. Are we clear on that, MetO?

• SkepticGoneWild says:

TonyB,

I could care less if the GHE is “accepted science” (whatever that means) or even if it is the consensus viewpoint. Scientific discovery proceeds by the rigorous protocol of the scientific method, and has nothing to do with consensus.

There is no Unified Theory of the GHE. There are so many versions of the GHE, I need a database to keep track of them. As Gerlich and Tscheuschner pointed out, “Unfortunately, there is no source in the literature, where the greenhouse effect is introduced in harmony with the scientific standards of theoretical physics” And then the physical models used have no basis in reality.

And you suggest the GHE can be proved by sticking a thermometer in the ground? Your “observations” simply do not rise to the standards of a scientific experiments. All these “thought experiments” are meaningless. I have yet to see one scientific experiment confirming the notion that a cooler body and cause a warmer body to become even warmer.

You can wave your hands, repeat your mantra, and continue to sling your ad hominem insults, but true science will move forward with or without you.

(For most meteorology degrees, there are only two 1 semester courses in physics, and no requirement for thermodynamics. Kinda light on the physics)

• Joel Shore says:

There are not different theories of GHG. There are different levels of description…and, maybe some different interpretations of the mathematical calculations back into English, which is not uncommon. There are many things that can be calculated better than they can be explained, with quantum mechanics being one of the most notable examples.

“(For most meteorology degrees, there are only two 1 semester courses in physics, and no requirement for thermodynamics. Kinda light on the physics)”

And yet, amongst the most vociferous advocates for the reality of the greenhouse effect are people here whose background is not at all light on physics. I have a PhD in physics and have written papers in some of the top journals (like Physical Review Letters) in the field of statistical physics, which is the underpinning of thermodynamics. TJ Folkerts is another physics PhD, I believe. Even amongst AGW skeptics, you find that the PhD physicists such as Robert G Brown, S Fred Singer, and the like do not dispute the greenhouse effect in any way, and in fact, have little tolerance for those who do.

The greenhouse effect (and AGW more generally) are discussed in both of the major undergraduate intro physics textbooks that we use at RIT. It is in Kittel and Kroemer, “Thermal Physics”, one of the major texts that is used for a first upper-level undergraduate course in thermal and statistical physics by physics majors.

It is completely accepted and understood in the physics community. You simply don’t realize how far out of the scientific mainstream these arguments against the greenhouse effect are.

• SkepticGoneWild says:

Joel,

I am not impressed by arguments from authority. I do not care how many letters you have behind your name. The current science behind the GHE simply does not meet the standards of the scientific method. It is not even a theory. Show me one scientific experiment that confirms this notion that a cooler body can indeed make a warmer body even warmer. So far, nada, zip, goose egg. Just thought experiments ad nauseam.

So if you agree with the notion (Spencer) that the earth warms the sun, well, I am happy in your expanded views of the laws of thermodynamics. That is the definition of “fringe”. So far in all my extensive study, I have not run across that phenomenon. I’ll stick to Second Law that has not changed since day one, and does not contain the term “net” whatsoever. This notion that a body can somehow warm itself to a higher energy state needs to be engineered to solve our energy crisis.

• Joel Shore says:

You are the one who brought up the issue of physics background by making the argument that meteorologists don’t get a good grounding in physics and thermo. So, I was just pointing out that the people who have the best grounding around here in those subjects are the ones who are saying the GHE is real.

But, no doubt you will continue to believe your incorrect view of the 2nd Law and how it applies to this situation because that is what you want to believe. And, your incorrect views on basic physics will continue to heap embarrassment upon the AGW skeptic community.

And, the Earth doesn’t warm the sun but that is not because of some magical rules involving photons not being allowed to do certain things that you don’t want them to do but simply because there are many more photons that are emitted by the sun and absorbed by the Earth than there are photons emitted by the Earth and absorbed by the sun.

• UzUrBrain says:

Joel – “There are not different theories of GHG. There are different levels of description…and, maybe some different interpretations of the mathematical calculations back into English, which is not uncommon. There are many things that can be calculated better than they can be explained, …. ”
Please provide me with the name of the text, any text, and publisher, e.g., McGraw Hill, Simon Schuster, etc. (Hardbound text, not webpage garbage, even I can put garbage on a web page, and Wikipedia is as useless as … on a boar hog. It STILL claims the Wright Bros were the first to fly.) IPCC, and other UN published documents are NOT acceptable. At least Quantum Physics is published by reputable publishers whether you believe, accept it, or not.

Not only are the goalposts being moved, the rules and even the game is changed on each of the different proponents of this theory. and I mean theory in the literal sense. We know nothing about the universe but we know more about it than the GHE theory.

Going back to the premise of Dr. Spencer’s posting this blog topic – How can you falsify a changing argument?

• Joel Shore says:

UzUrBrain:

Both texts that we use to teach introductory physics at RIT have a discussion of the greenhouse effect and climate change:

Knight, Jones, and Field, “College Physics: A Strategic Approach”, 2nd edition (Addison Wesley / Pearson) has a whole page discussing the greenhouse effect and global warming in which they say, among other things: “Because it’s easier for visible radiant energy to get in than for infrared to get out, the earth is warmer than it would be without the atmosphere. The additional warming of the earth’s surface because of the atmosphere is called the greenhouse effect…Carbon dioxide is a powerful absorber of infrared radiation. Adding more carbon dioxide makes it even harder for emitted thermal radiation to escape, increasing the average temperature of the earth. The net result is global warming…Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing scientists, engineers, and all citizens in the 21st century.”

Young and Freedman, University Physics, 13th edition (Addison Wesley / Pearson) has a discussion of the greenhouse effect and global warming in which they say among other things: “Molecules of CO2 in our atmosphere have the property that they absorb some of the infrared radiation coming upward from the surface. They then re-radiate some of the absorbed energy but some of the re-radiated energy is directed back down toward the surface instead of escaping into space. In order to maintain thermal equilibrium, the earth’s surface must compensate for this by increasing its temperature T and hence its total rate of radiating energy (which is proportional to T^4).”? It then goes on to discuss the increase in CO2 so far and the projected increase and resulting warming expected and the consequences of this, concluding with the statement, “Coping with these threats is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st-century civilization.”

“Thermal Physics” by Kittel and Kroemer ( W H Freeman & Co.) has a simple discussion of a shell model of the greenhouse effect here: http://books.google.com/books?id=c0R79nyOoNMC&pg=115#v=onepage&q&f=false This is one of the most popular books to use for a first upper-level undergraduate course in thermal & statistical physics for physics majors.

• Joel Shore says:

And, I have said, it is not a changing argument. In science, it is common to have models at different levels of detail for a phenomenon. The simpler models are useful for gaining qualitative understanding and the more complex models are useful for seeing what happens when more realism is included (e.g., convection) and for doing quantitative calculations.

• UzUrBrain says:

Joel Shore –

RIT was one of the universities I was considering back in 1960 when I graduated from HS. RIT had an excellent reputation back then, and as I ranked 10th in the state on the ACT I wanted to go to a good school. I have degrees in Applied Mathematics, Computer Science minor (as that is where CS was back then an I wanted Computers) and Nuclear Engineering. I have designed computer models of nuclear reactors as used in the training simulators. I have learned doing this that 90% of the time/effort is in verifying that the model does what the real thing does. This took over two years for the program I helped develop for the analysis and cause determination of the TMI-II accident. There we had supporting data valid to 3 decimal points (and better in some cases) and still we would spend weeks getting just one instrument loop operating within the required parameter’s. ALL parameters were known and proven. We had a REAL reactor their to copy. We could even, occasionally, get the operators to “tweak” parameters to get answers to our problem or needed input for loop gains, etc. But each day was basically, review the data the computer generated over night, find the problem(s), determine why there was a difference, correct the code, and run it again. I see none of this taking place in what I am being told are “Models” of the GWG, GHE, etc., what is going to happen, etc., and yet they claim that they now for certain that it is the FACT. If I tried to sell that to my boss back then or the NRC, I would have been escorted out the door. How can they claim that whatever temperature there is that has increased is due to CO2. They don’t even know the parameters, factors, magnitudes involved let alone how many there are. My models had to factor in the time of day to account for the heating effect of the containment building! But they can’t even run a trial case from historical data and get valid results. Therein lies the reason I am skeptical that these models have proven anything. Yet they swear by them! Is there a GHE effect? YES. That is all that they have proven, nothing more.

• UzUrBrain says:

TonyB – Was it your “back radiation” and “Slowing Radiative Transfer” that caused the 50 mm of snow over Britain? I would have thought it would have prevented it. Perhaps there was not enough upwelling of heat from the Earth. Or maybe once CO2 exceeds 400 ppm the effect decreases INSTEAD OF INCREASING.

• SkepticGoneWild says:

Joel,

You list 3 textbooks.

The first textbook, “College Physics: A Strategic Approach”, 2nd edition (Addison Wesley / Pearson), “has a whole page” discussing the GHE. A whole page!! Wow! Not a half page. No. A whole page.

The second textbook, University Physics, has a GHE “discussion”. One page? Perhaps two?

And the third text, Thermal Physics, has a supplement. A four paragraph GHE supplement.

Do you realize how ridiculous this looks? We are supposed to be impressed with the caliber of physics presented in 1/2 to 1 page discussions of the GHE?

• Joel Shore says:

The question (at least as I understood it) was not for detailed analysis of the greenhouse effect but for evidence from respectable textbooks. If you want a book with lots of details, try “Principles of Planetary Climate” by Raymond Pierrehumbert (Cambridge University Press).

• Daren Cleary says:

“Ah Mr Corbyn … now there’s a “character”

I have met him and in my opinion he is a complete wing-nut,”

Oh come off it, that must be a projection, he could only be a Moonbat…

Sorry,
That last one was just for the screen shot ðŸ˜‰

Buk, Buk, Backaaaw!

Ok, lets try getting it posted this way ðŸ˜‰

http://i40.tinypic.com/30mthxi.jpg

140. Jim Hendricks says:

Missing Source of Heat?
How do the models handle the heat generated internally in the earth; presumably eighty percent is from radioactive decay?
In the figure showing heat balance, I did not see an arrow indicating heat from the earth. I vaguely recall that the geothermal gradient is one degree Farenheit per seventy feet.
Is the rate of heat production in the earth decreasing with time?

• Tim Folkerts says:

You can look for more authoritative info, but geothermal power flows are estimated to be around 0.1 W/m^2 (give or take a bit). This would have SOME impact, but it will mostly be “lost in the noise” compared to 100’s of W/m^2 overall.

• Joel Shore says:

Just to add to what Tim said, it is actually not hard to do a calculation showing the magnitude of the heat flow using the basic equation for heat conduction, the observed geothermal temperature gradient in the Earth’s crust of ~25 C per km, and a rough value of the thermal conductivity of the crustal material (~3 W/[m*K]). And, indeed the number you get is about 0.1 W/m^2 or less.

It is also worth noting that the idea that the difference between the known absorption of ~240 W/m^2 by the Earth and its atmosphere and the radiative emission of ~390 W/m^2 by the surface can be attributed to some missing heat source is known to be wrong: We can see that the Earth as seen by satellites from space is only emitting about 240 W/m^2…And, it is doing so with a spectrum in excellent agreement with that is predicted by radiative transfer calculations through the atmosphere.

• Jim Hendricks says:

If I understand your heat flow equation it gives:
0.003 W/(m*K) * 25 K = 0.075 W/m^2
That leaves the second question, does this decrease with time; or conversely increase as you go backwards in time?
If radioactive decay decreases exponentially, what was the geothermal heat contribution a million years ago?

• Jim Hendricks says:

Sorry, I meant
0.003 W/(K*m^2) *25 K = 0.075 W/m^2

• Joel Shore says:

Good question that I don’t know the answer to but you can research this as well as I. It would have to increase quite a bit before it becomes very significant: A factor of ~50 to be equivalent to a doubling of CO2, for example.

141. Max™ says:

298 K, no geothermal heating”…..SAYS WHO ? ? ? ~FauxScienceSlayer

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288306.1977.10420695

The present water temperature measurements were made in a deeper part of the Lake than those of Wilson & Wellman (1962), and the drilling programme enabled temperature measurements to be extended through 12 m of sediment of the bottom of the lake and 5 m into the underlying rock. An interesting observation is that the entire temperature-depth profile has changed little in 11 years

I don’t just randomly say things.

Oh, Joel, above you said something about the Sun being able to heat the Earth up to the same temperature as it is, ~5800 K or thereabouts, I said the temperature expected due to the inverse-square law would be ~390 K, and someone else suggested concentrating the sunlight to perform this heating.

Assuming the light rays arriving are parallel (they aren’t) and assuming you can have a perfectly reflective mirror (you can’t) and assuming you could focus photons from a source subtending half a degree down to a point (you can’t) then you could still only just achieve the temperature at the “surface” of the sun; if this were not the case your target would be radiating more energy than it received.

Realistically you hit an upper limit around 3500 K for a solar furnace, which could go up to 4700~4800 K if you had perfect mirrors.

Technically if you built a massive mirror by rotating an ellipse wrapped around the earth and sun until it enclosed both, there would be an image of the sun which was the same size as the sun that would reach the surface temperature of the sun, but of course you couldn’t focus that down to anything nearly as small as the earth is.

• Joel Shore says:

I never said that heating up to the same temperature as the sun is practical or easy to achieve. I said that this is the fundamental limit set by thermodynamics. I believe many practical things, such as automobile engines don’t come particularly close to the fundamental limits set by thermodynamics and, clearly, in our solar system, neither do the temperatures of any of the planets, including Venus.

However, the point is that there is no magical limit (other than the one that I mentioned) that is true by considering the energy coming in and ignoring the energy going out.

• Max™ says:

Sorry, was busy with a test and a firefox reset/reinstall.

No, the 390 K limit is the default state, without setting up massive arrays of mirrors, lenses, and finding somewhere else to dump your waste heat, that is the temperature an object warmed by the sun will reach.

142. Thierry says:

Simple question : if we assume that back-radiations do exist, i.e. the atmosphere with trace amount of CO2 can warm the surface (which “real” physicists can not believe), why does not everybody work to invent an energy storage on the surface to trap the 342 W/m² back-radiations to warm the whole thing up ? What an energy source !

• Jochen Ebel says:

“What an energy source!”

390 W / m² to go to up, “342 W / m² back radiations” come back. So a loss of 50 W / m² is a magnificent source of energy!!!

• Tim Folkerts says:

All of the “real physicists” in this discussion can and do believe that the IR from anywhere (such as trace amounts of CO2 or CH4 or aerosols or H2O), in conjunction with sunlight, can warm the surface to higher temperatures than either source of energy could alone. I don’t see what is so difficult about understanding that TWO sources of photons will provide more total energy than either source by itself.

As to why that IR is not effective as an energy source, that is more subtle. I fear that a “convincing” argument would be difficult here (in large part because a “convincing argument” will depend greatly on each person’s knowledge and background). Basically it comes down to the idea that all the objects are already radiating similar energy away themselves, so all you can do with this energy is limit the rate of cooling of these warm objects (although you could certainly warm up very cold objects with this energy).

• Guenter Hess says:

@Tim Folkerts

For the whole earth system, from a thermodynamic point of view, „back radiation“ does not have an energy source, it is rather a parameter that is used to describe heat transfer from the surface to the atmosphere together with „forward radiation“ if one defines surface and atmosphere as subsystems. From the surface point of view, or a surface observer, „back radiation“ is observed in an energy balance as it would have an energy source.
For an external observer it is obvious that the sun is the only energy source for the earth system (except some minor cactivity in the core) and therefore the „back radiation“ as well.
This is indeed a little bit subtle and cause for confusion in the blogosphere.

• Joel Shore says:

Thierry: This brings us back to what is the most fundamental points I’ve been trying to make in this discussion, which is that we are not saying that the Second Law does not hold. Rather, what we are saying that the Second Law is not something that nature enforces by making arbitrary and capricious laws on the microscopic level like “colder objects can’t radiate toward warmer objects” or “warmer objects can’t absorb the radiation from colder objects” or “the radiation absorbed by colder objects can’t have any effect on warmer objects” [which clearly violates the First Law of Thermodynamics, but never mind].

The Second Law is something that arises at the macroscopic level out of laws at the microscopic level that are completely reversible (and hence ought not to discriminate between energy going from hot to cold or cold to hot). That’s what makes it so deep and beautiful … and apparently beyond the imaginations of people who really want to invent arbitrary and capricious laws at the microscopic (photon) level to enforce it.

What they don’t understand is it is already being enforced naturally by the known laws of physics. In the case of radiation, the fact that thermal radiation emitted by an object is an increasing function of temperature and that absorptivity and emissivity of an object at each wavelength are equal is alone sufficient to guarantee that in any radiative exchange between two objects, the net macroscopic flow of energy (what we call “heat”) will be from the warmer object to the colder object. No ridiculous rules are required.

• Joel Shore says:

I characterized one incorrect argument as “the radiation absorbed by colder objects can’t have any effect on warmer objects” when I meant to say “the radiation from colder objects that is absorbed by warmer objects can’t have any effect on warmer objects”.

The great thing about the GHE is the people who claim it’s their belief. They just keep talking, and you just keep pointing to them saying, “This person believes in it. Look at what HE says.”

Things about “energy entering into an entity from a colder object can’t have any effect on that entity.”

Presumably because the thermometer checks out which photons are from the colder unit and refuse to register that energy within the entity claimed by the GHE believer to be warmed.

Note none of these people can sound like anything you’ve heard in your physics work all your life.

My degree’s in Electronic Engineering. My WORK daily is the generation, radiation, capture and analysis of electromagnetic energy through the atmosphere; through the vacuum of space, and through the semiconductor, conductor, capacitive & inductive industrial compounds necessary to make that happen.

Note the person you just SAW say “the RADIATION from COLDER OBJECTS that is ABSORBED by WARMER objects, ***CAN’T HAVE ANY EFFECT ON WARMER OBJECTS.***

Incredible admission to think energy enters into an entity but “can’t have any effect.”

That’s the problem with GHE believers’ situation. They have to eventually describe their beliefs and when they do, you always notice, that – not a long way in there: but SHORTLY they begin describing utterly fantasy physics.

Ask one of the how he thinks broadband energy enters into an atom or molecule.

For most of us there’s the same old story about how, when blue light or more blue, light

gets absorbed, there’s an immediate conduction pressure that starts leaking the energy out, fraction by fraction: because the electrons on that atom are held so closely in place, their passage by the more intense photonic reservoir causes inductive, photonic fractioning:

and, the amount of photonic energy fractioned off, is established by the energy level that particular electron’s place in the orbital stack, permits.

Not to a Magic Gasser. There’s no conductive pressure from within, and they can’t really explain to you what it is they think makes objects radiate redder light than they take in.

The incident radiation that impinges, at a lower intensity, from the outside,

*isn’t faced with the fact all lower energy orbital resonances are ALREADY being conductively filled, FROM WITHIN* – as the process known as CONDUCTIVE AVERAGING occurs within the entity which absorbed that bluer, more intense light.

Ask a magic gasser to explain the process of blue light capture, and subsequent fractional, redder light, radiation.

“I haz PhDs in physics! I haz rote buhfore!”

Along with ““the radiation from colder objects that is absorbed by warmer objects can’t have any effect on warmer objects”.

On the same page.

As though you forgot what he said earlier. Since it’s inconvenient, HE forgot, because it “gets in the way of the dialog to talk too much about what actually happens in the atom when it absorbs blue light, then distributes that energy throughout the entity.

===
Another thing you’ll note with A.L.L. BELIEVERS of the GHE as spouted – there’s actually 63 different versions,

unlike real physics, which has one…

They will go manic-magpie and go ON and ON, digging themselves DEEPER and DEEPER until they’re FLAT ADMITTING:

they FIRMLY BELIEVE that “”“the radiation from colder objects that is absorbed by warmer objects can’t have any effect on warmer objects”.

===
This article from American Thinker which recently did one on Roy Spencer,

is one explanation of the bizarre things people teach when they believe in trace gas GHE temperature control.

A good quote from down toward the end is, “Accordingly, any heated gas emits infrared. There’s nothing unique about CO2. Otherwise, substances like nitrogen and oxygen would truly be miracles of physics: Heat ’em as much as you wish, but they’d never radiate in response.

Yet this amounts to a double-whammy. For meteorologists acknowledge that our atmosphere is principally heated by surface contact and convective circulation. Surrounded by the vacuum of space, moreover, the earth can only dissipate this energy by radiation. On one hand, then, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do not radiate the thermal energy they acquire, they rob the earth of a means of cooling off — which makes them “greenhouse gases” by definition. On the other hand, though, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do radiate infrared, then they are also “greenhouse gases,” which defeats the premise that only radiation from the infrared-absorbers raises the Earth’s temperature. Either way, therefore, the convoluted theory we’ve been going by is wrong.

An idea has been drummed into our heads for decades: that roughly 1% of the atmosphere’s content is responsible for shifting the earth’s surface temperature from inimical to benign. This conjecture has mistakenly focused on specifically light-absorbing gases, however, ignoring heat-absorbing gases altogether. Any heated atmospheric gas radiates infrared energy back toward the earth, meaning that the dreadful power we’ve attributed to light-absorbing molecules up to now has been wildly exaggerated and must be radically adjusted — indeed, pared down perhaps a hundred times. Because all gases radiate the heat they acquire, trace-gas heating theory is an untenable concept, a long-held illusion we’d be wise to abandon. ”

===
All you’ve really got to do to find out if YOU believe in GHE global temperature control is read what the BELIEVERS say.

The real version of the planet’s physics is within the books that you find anywhere that proportionate, charge-driven physics is in operation, keeping the universe (and their bizarre claims) from running amok and claiming the gases that COOL the atmosphere: water cooling the lower, CO2 cooling the upper,

are the main source of warming of it.

It’s just crazy.

• Tim Folkerts says:

I really don’t know here to start with this! It leaves me more confused every time I read it.

[People who believe in the GHE say] Things about “energy entering into an entity from a colder object can’t have any effect on that entity.”

No, that is what the “slayers” say — people tho DON’T accept the standard physics explanation. ‘Belivers say that the energy entering the cold object DOES matter. The first ~ 8 paragraphs are describing ‘slayers’, not ‘believers’!

For most of us there’s the same old story about how, when blue light or more blue, light
gets absorbed, there’s an immediate conduction pressure that starts leaking the energy out, fraction by fraction: because the electrons on that atom are held so closely in place, their passage by the more intense photonic reservoir causes inductive, photonic fractioning:

and, the amount of photonic energy fractioned off, is established by the energy level that particular electron’s place in the orbital stack, permits.

Not to a Magic Gasser. There’s no conductive pressure from within, and they can’t really explain to you what it is they think mak

“conduction pressure” gets about 8000 Google hits (none of which seem to be related to this topic).
“photonic reservoir” gets about 2000 Google hits (none of which seem to be related to this topic).
“photonic fractioning” gets no hits).
“conductive pressure” gets about 17000 Google hits (none of which seem to be related to this topic).

In other words, you are inventing your own jargon that no one (neither ‘slayers’ nor ‘beleivers’ nor the whole of the internet) uses or understands.

A good quote from down toward the end is, “Accordingly, any heated gas emits infrared. There’s nothing unique about CO2. Otherwise, substances like nitrogen and oxygen would truly be miracles of physics: Heat ‘em as much as you wish, but they’d never radiate in response….

There IS something special about GHG … they all have at least 3 atoms per molecule. This allows them to bend and vibrate in ways that a diatomic molecule can’t. This allows them to absorb (and emit) IR light quite well.

Different materials have different emissivities. This mean that — at the same temperature — they can emit different amounts of IR radiation. That is not any sort of miracle.

The emissivity of a parcel of N2 happens to be very low — many orders of magnitude lower than the same amount of CO2. This means that for all practical purposes, we can ignore the absorption and emission of IR by the N2 & O2. (Certainly there is SOME IR emission from the N2; you are welcome to prove to yourself that it is well under 1% of the IR coming to the surface from the atmosphere.)

I just went back and checked that again; he didn’t say that, he was claiming others say it.

The problem he has is, others don’t say that. They tell him that radiation can’t BE absorbed.

So here’s the way it goes: he said that there are people saying “energy absorbed by an entity that is warmer can’t affect it.”

As far as I know, no one says that. He’s trying to claim there was an admission, that absorption occurs.

It can’t occur if the amount of energy in that warmer object is indeed there.

It can’b BE absorbed, and that’s what all the “I haz PhD in Physics” people have a hard time understanding.

The very ONE WAY CONDITION of CONDUCTION *FORBIDS ABSORPTION of LOWER INTENSITY ENERGY because a HIGHER intensity energy being absorbed, starts DRIVING ENERGY OFF the LOWER ENERGY ORBITALS’ ELECTRONS.

Have a Back Radiation believer draw how he thinks broad band photonic energy enters into,

then emits off of,

an object.

===
The Grammar Nazis who’ll undoubtedly try to change the subject to ANYTHING but giving you a step by step explanation of how they think BLUE light absorption affects internal conduction process – and, subsequent lower intensity radiation out: a ONE way deal –

but when you want to see one get furious YET AGAIN that they’re trapped with their story,

have him explain, EXACTLY what the guy above was talking about:

HIS PERCEPTION of the LIGHT ABSORPTION, internal DISTRIBUTION, and SUBSEQUENT (mandatory more red) radiation.

===

The reason I quoted it as though the J Shore poster had said it is that, it’s the claim they make:

that “COLDER OBJECTS can RADIATE INTO the ELECTRONIC ORBITALS that are ALREADY HAVING ENERGY FROM a HIGHER INTENSITY drive photons OFF through those VERY electrons’ resonance spaces.

Every time you find someone saying they “believe” in back radiative heating

ask that person to describe to you the MECHANISM by which incident radiation REVERSES CONDUCTION and drives energy I.N.T.O. the ATOMS HE CLAIMS are BEING HEATED.

Watch how long it is until he asks you to blink and pretend you saw a Backerdism in charge driven, one-way conductive averaging and distribution,

and the subsequent, ALWAYS fractional-radiation process from that object that takes place.

Sorry again, we have guests, here’s the link

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_hidden_flaw_in_greenhouse.html

This is from the same magazine that recently did the excellent article on Dr. Roy Spencer, whose blog this is.

It’s a magazine called “American Thinker.”

Sorry for not putting in the link the first time.

A link to the “American Thinker” article on Roy Spencer:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/is_roy_spencer_the_worlds_most_important_scientist.html

148. Rosco says:

What do the supporters of cool heating warm – AKA back radiation – think about Pictet’s experiment which scientists of the time believe demonstrated the reflection of cold ?

Two concave mirrors were placed about 26 feet apart.

A temperature measuring device was placed at the focus of one mirror.

When it had achieved thermal equilibrium with the room temperature a container of snow, ice and water was placed at the other mirror’s focus.

Almost immediately there was a dramatic reduction in temperature of the thermometer. The effect was either absent or far less dramatic if the objects were even slightly off the focal points.

Surely this suggests back radiation is either non-existent or has no measurable effect on warmer objects ??

• Tim Folkerts says:

In fact, this shows very clearly that “back radiation” DOES exist!

The “target” object receives energy from 3 sources.
1) conduction from the air in the room
2) IR radiation from a “cold object” (focused by mirrors in this case to enhance the effect)
3) Stray IR radiation from other surfaces in the room.

#1 & #3 will not change in this experiment.

So start with a “very cold” object as the source of the IR at the focus of the far mirror (perhaps a block of dry ice). The target will come to equilibrium at some cool temperature.

Now replace the “very cold” source with a “kind of cold” source (perhaps a block of regular H2O ice). The target will get warmer.

Let me repeat — the presence of a “kind of cold” object causes the target to get warmer than it was — even though the target was already warmer then the ice.

Of course, the energy flow from the air in the room is ALSO indispensable. But the only thing that was changed was the temperature of the cold surroundings, and that changed the temperature of the warmer target.

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

The big point that people seem to miss here is that there is no “room temperature” surroundings for the earth. We are so use to assuming that the surroundings are 300 K +/- 50 K that we forget that the ambient temperature of the universe is only 2.7 K.

Compared to the radiation from “very cold” 2.7 K, the radiation from the “kind of cold” atmosphere is much warmer.

• TonyB says:

Pictet’s experiment can be explained simply by realising that the cold source shielded a warmer source ( the room ) and the thermometer registered a fall as it radiated away to the cold source to compensate. Balancing out net energy in its influence.

The mirrors would be reflective rather than absorptive/emissive. And so the radiation away from the thermometer would be concentrated via focus to the cold source.

• Joel Shore says:

Just for everybody’s edification, here is an American Journal of Physics article from 1985 on Pictet’s late 1800th century experiment: http://www2.ups.edu/faculty/jcevans/Pictet%27s%20experiment.pdf Most of it is historical, but there is a brief discussion of the modern understanding of it in Part IV.

It is indeed a compelling demonstration of the fact that the temperature of a cold object can influence the temperature of a warm object. It was just done in reverse: Rather than making the cold object warmer, they made the cold object colder and saw that the warm object got colder.

So, Rosco, this is indeed a nice demo that those who deny the greenhouse effect on the basis of misunderstanding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics are wrong. What did you think it demonstrated?

• Kristian says:

Joel,

The temperature measuring device was equilibrated to the room temperature before the experiment started. Hence, if you wanted to make it warmer than this starting temperature, you would actually need to place an object WARMER than the thermometer next to it. And then we would have REAL heat transfer from the warmer object to the cooler thermometer. In Pictet’s experiment we had heat transfer from the thermometer to the slush bowl. The thermometer was in no way powered to maintain a certain temperature.

If your (bizarre) interpretation of the second law were right, then the thermometer would be slightly warmer from placing the bowl beside it. The bowl would simply be more warmer. The bowl is an extra source of energy introduced after all, isn’t it?

This is akin to you putting one hundred 300K heaters in a room and thinking they could ever make an internally heated object at 350K in that same room warmer still. After all, imagine all that energy emitted from 100 (!) heaters. It doesn’t matter what temperature they’re at, does it? It’s their energy flux that counts.

• Kristian says:

Joel Shore says, May 15, 2013 at 8:53 PM:

“It is indeed a compelling demonstration of the fact that the temperature of a cold object can influence the temperature of a warm object. It was just done in reverse: Rather than making the cold object warmer, they made the cold object colder and saw that the warm object got colder.

So, Rosco, this is indeed a nice demo that those who deny the greenhouse effect on the basis of misunderstanding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics are wrong. What did you think it demonstrated?”

My response:
“The temperature measuring device was equilibrated to the room temperature before the experiment started. Hence, if you wanted to make it warmer than this starting temperature, you would actually need to place an object WARMER than the thermometer next to it. And then we would have REAL heat transfer from the warmer object to the cooler thermometer. In Pictet’s experiment we had heat transfer from the thermometer to the slush bowl. The thermometer was in no way powered to maintain a certain temperature.”

I know you’re not, as a working physicist, stupid, Joel. I know you understand what Pictet’s experiment demonstrates and (just as important) does not demonstrate. So why do you consciously choose to blatantly misrepresent it?

• Joel Shore says:

Kristian,

Your post betrays so much confusion that it is hard to know where to begin.

Are you saying that if he had done the experiment in reverse order…i.e., he had initially had the ice there and then taken it away, then the thermometer wouldn’t have warmed up? Do you believe that you can’t time reverse things: Once he has put the ice there, the thermometer will never warm up again even if he takes the ice away, unless he puts something back that is warmer than the thermometer itself?

Even if you want to try to claim that the “no ice” is warmer than the thermometer itself, that won’t help you because if you read the paper that I linked to, you will find that Pictet specifically investigated first putting ice there and then putting something even colder (by pouring nitric acid on the ice) and he saw the temperature of the thermometer drop even further. So, turning that around, if he had just done this in reverse order, he would have warmed the thermometer by replacing the ice + nitric acid with just ice. Hence, the colder ice would have been able to increase the temperature of the warmer thermometer.

Just face the facts, suck it up, and admit that you were wrong rather than continuing to defend utter nonsense.

149. Daren Cleary says:

Tim Folkerts says:
May 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

“All of the “real physicists” in this discussion can and do believe that the IR from anywhere (such as trace amounts of CO2 or CH4 or aerosols or H2O), in conjunction with sunlight, can warm the surface to higher temperatures than either source of energy could alone. I don’t see what is so difficult about understanding that TWO sources of photons will provide more total energy than either source by itself.”

You forgot the losses again. The surface will be heated to a higher temperature by the Sun without all that water vapour in the way.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Daren,

Yes, there are indeed two competing processes:
* the atmosphere blocks some of incoming sunlight (by a variety of mechanisms). This reduced the sun’s energy input to the surface.
* the atmosphere produces thermal IR, creating a separate energy input to the surface.

The net effect is warming of the surface.

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

Those who bring up clouds have a very valid point. There are multiple competing influences on the climate. A change in cloud cover will change the incoming energy from the sun, cooling the climate.

I agree that clouds are a major player. But it is one thing to debate the relative importance of clouds vs “back-radiation” for changes in current climate. It is another thing all together to say (as many seem to try) that back radiation cannot exist at all because it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

• Daren Cleary says:

Tim Folkerts says:
“* the atmosphere blocks some of incoming sunlight (by a variety of mechanisms). This reduced the sun’s energy input to the surface.
* the atmosphere produces thermal IR, creating a separate energy input to the surface.
The net effect is warming of the surface.”

No it isn’t, again: The surface will be heated to a higher temperature by the Sun alone without all that water vapour in the way. The net warming is through the night, and in the higher latitude winters, meaning that the GHE effect is a diurnal and latitudinal heat redistribution mechanism working through heat capacity, and not an instant radiative advantage.

“It is another thing all together to say (as many seem to try) that back radiation cannot exist at all because it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.”

Fair enough, and that’s where the Slayer’s shot themselves in the foot for sure, but it’s just as bad insisting on a net warming effect from the Sun+DWIR when direct local meteorological observations show the opposite.

• Joel Shore says:

Daren,

Not sure where you are getting your impressions about water vapor’s net radiative effect…but it doesn’t have all that strong absorptions in the near infrared (it has some)…and the same well-verified radiative transfer calculations that bring you the entire field of remote sensing (Roy Spencer’s temperature measurements in particular) say that you are wrong about the net radiative effect. [Note also that the solar energy absorbed by water vapor is not all lost to the system. It warms the atmosphere and while some of it will be re-radiated down into space, some of it will be re-radiated down or will cause there to be less convection necessary in order to drive the lapse rate down to the adiabatic lapse rate.]

Joel

• Daren Cleary says:

Joel Shore says:
“(Roy Spencer’s temperature measurements in particular) say that you are wrong about the net radiative effect. ”

What, measurements from the base of clouds?
I’m talking about real surface temperatures measurements.

• Daren Cleary says:

Joel says:
“Note also that the solar energy absorbed by water vapor is not all lost to the system. It warms the atmosphere and while some of it will be re-radiated down into space, some of it will be re-radiated down..”

Up to space, yes I mentioned that here:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-79498

• TonyB says:

“I’m talking about real surface temperatures measurements.”

If you don’t believe me – then that is your prerogative.

I think the main point I started out saying’s made.

When the believers in GHE hypothesis – remember to be a theory, it really has to be experiment-provable, because it has to be verifiable.

“Well Al Gore’s Alternative Energy Stocks are way to big to be experimented on” has it’s point – Al Gore’s protected by privacy laws.

The thing about physics laws is there’s no privacy law.

I admit my photonic action description in a solid doesn’t cover all things, but there’s a real straightforward reason I just sat down and, off the top of my head, described the act of a blue photon striking a solid object:

then, that blue photon being subject to a rapid splitting up and migration out through the solid.

Then, when the photonic reservoir was all spread out through the electrons in the solid,

the superficial electrons, emitting some red photons.

====
Now: we all know this, by heart. It doesn’t matter to you, if you are a car mechanic, an industrial equipment welder, it doesn’t matter: a waitress, the girl at the 7-11 – if they went to school,

they know that things absorb light in a higher intensity, and given the nature of things, emit a red one.

Now I told you that AFTER I GOT DONE TALKING and RIGHT THERE YOU SAW IT,

after discussing N.A.S.A. SCIENCE and telling you what a crock it is,

all you had to do was watch the FIRST belief-based science addict come in: and start complaining about GRAMMAR.

Now I’ve made the point several times, I think, maybe not, but I meant to, that I have to talk to people ALL the TIME about things that are somewhat over their pay grade but still, not impossible to convey in average terms, and *that it’s clear upon checking what the differences are in the analogy I make and the known facts.

I mentioned tiny spaces that are rigidized through solid substances’ formation mechanics: where orbitals and protons slip into a condition where the electrons that capture a blue photon will split that energy up and ‘rout’ it out through the object: meaning of course that due to some ‘drive’, some force, the photonic energy would spread far and wide through the object until we reach: what?

Well, what we all know: the lowest average temperature that amount of photonic energy going in, can translate to, given the number of atoms total in the pile. We all know the story, you can tell it to a 15 year old and if he’s been watching some, he’ll be nodding like, “oh yea I think I might have heard of that,”

and you know the story yourself.

===
And here’s the point: I just took that off the top of my head as an analogy I tell clients if they pass the time of day with me about something, and people I associate with at the coffee shop or gym. People ask, I talk, I try to not go totally over the top. I learned to speak electronic engineer, not forgot how to speak car mechanic.

If you learn how to be an electronic engineer but you forget to speak all those other languages, the OTHER guys are using, you’re kind of sunk, as far as checking on yourself, or others, goes: because when what comes out of your mouth sounds like what people can’t ever remember having heard before, they immediately lose the granular feel of things; and the people who answer to their employers who deal with me aren’t really trying to seem like they give people a floatie feeling like they’re sleepy, when they convey the jists of things to them.

So the analogy’s made by me, it’s not that bad, because you can use it to do a little take-off on the things they like to hear about: spin (coil springs to bolts to screws are heard being talked about)

charge averaging being driven by something that makes photons migrate through the substance (the movement of the electrons themselves bringing photonic fractions off the original captured RESERVOIR of photonic energy –

===
And I’ve got some guy claiming that – I’ll paraphrasically quote, “I’ve never HEARD of a PHOTONIC PACKAGE of QUANTA called a RESERVOIR before. That aint evun siyuntsie!

===

Now the reason I put up the first post was to make the point that – these guys say the most OUTLANDISH stuff: can you imagine talking to people on the street, in offices, – wherever – for YEARS about the actual movements of photons – and NOT referring to one as a RESERVOIR of photonic energy?

Can you imagine, being somehow highly skilled at intuitively understanding the elemental functions of something that – you know, gets SPLIT UP into FRACTIONS as the photonic energy migrates through a solid: say, you hit the front side of a slab of iron with some heat, the photons migrate through:

Can you imagine – being an AUTHORITY on PHOTONIC MIGRATION but NOT having ever HEARD the term FRACTION when related to the concept of the energy DIVIDING ITSELF among many atoms?

I don’t need to go on, because I WANT YOU to study T.H.E.I.R. science.

I’ve already proved my bona fides by working with photonic energy for the better part, of 20 years. I drive it and I pull it and I push it, and I send it into space, and I capture it, and I check it to many, many places beyond zero.

===
*That’s WHY, see, I don’t have to be ‘EXTUR KAIRFULL I SOWND SIYUNTSIE’ – because when I lift up my holy hand and utter forth my immutable precepts,

that spectrum analyzer shows that every single GROUP of photons at least, is EXACTLY where I SAID it had better be,

or Roy Spencer’s satellite won’t be beaming home the good news about it not being hot in the sky like he, and everybody else who says CO2 controls the temperature, say.

Well.. I don’t actually work on those radios but I do work on satellite uplinks, cell sites, and a lot of two way communications equipment that costs a pretty penny.

And, I assure you right now, there’s a darn good idea where those photons are going and where they’re not.

===
Do I think there’s got to be some energy associated with those infrared gases?

Yeah, but it’s extremely tiny, and – TO BOOT, THOSE GASES, COMPRISE

the SOLE method of cooling enhancement over other gases in the lower troposphere: water’s the ATMOSPHERIC REFRIGERANT that covers 70% of the globe with a LIGHT REFLECTIVE SHEET so EFFECTIVE you can hardly find a picture of a sailor nowadays without dark glasses on. It’ll BLIND ya more or less, with it’s dazzle.

Have ya ever looked out on a landscape that was that dazzling?

No you haven’t. Because that big ocean of BLUE LIGHT REJECTING, LIQUID, ATMOSPHERIC REFRIGERANT,

DOESN’T HEAT UP LIKE SOLIDS DO. Solids, turn a LOT more energy to heat than an ocean.

Then there’s the REFRIGERATIVE POWER of water.

But the geniuses at Magic Laight country are going to tell us that – “the warming may be unmeasurable but it’s most definitely thair.”

Excuse me – WHAT did you say about that two mile deep puddle of refrigerant that kicks back blue light to the point it’s blue looking from space?

===

Then for them, it’s a race for the “heating caused by clouds.”

Like I said, ever cloud that’s up in daylight, is kicking energy back from both sides: and that sunlight’s a LOT more intense than anything you see groundside. Remember: YOU ALWAYS SEE the SHADOWED side of ALL clouds, practically.

So that by definition means that if sunlight hits that cloud, there might be a ‘shadow’ up ABOVE that cloud where the light from the earth, didn’t get out, but there’s DARN SURE a ‘SHADOW’ BELOW it, because the LOAD up there is SO much GREATER. Ever look up and see a cloud bottom kind of shadowed looking, shaded by it’s own top?

Ever fly over a bunch of clouds and see shadowed ones up there? Not so much. Matter of fact it’s always down inside them you ever see any gray, the sunlight’s kicking back white, off the top of nearly every
single
one. Not always. But then again I can speak to you, whoever you are, because you’re probably not the kind of person who’d come onto the internet,

and claim you never in your life heard of a photonic package being a reservoir. It’s too unsiyuntsie, I know.

Pfft.

As I said, I think you should REALLY, just look at THEIR story. You’re going to read the real story many ways, and according to what industry you’re in, your version of the story’s going to emphasize the aspects of photonic travel that you work with. I happen to work with radiation of electromagnetic energy and, the conduction of them: the several energy types: light, then the lower and lower frequencies typically called radio.

Whenever some guy tells you he’s got some kind of magical transponder that’s too complicated for you to understand? Maybe. But not really, once somebody shows you the ropes, and you watch things work. It’s still a radio, and the very digital properties that are made possible conductively and radiatively on any particular instrument,

aren’t designed in by people who don’t have any idea about the others. Electronics is the field you see that puts every single light, bell, whistle, knob, handle, needle, readout, and often even the probes, to TAKE the readings,

on
every
single piece of equipment these people used

to come to the conclusion they come to – that N.A.S.A. comes to – to teach the stuff in that article up above there – the ‘American Thinker’ article.

I listed two, this is the one I mean. Read it. Then ask yourself – how can a person think these things?

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_hidden_flaw_in_greenhouse.html

It’s called, ‘belief’ based science. Where if you buhLiEEvE hard enough, those instruments are all broken.

Like Trenberth said: “Our observation (methods) are OBVIOUSLY INADEQUATE.”

As though it’s the SATELLITE’s fault, HE’S WRONG.

===

See, I can’t give you the links to tell you this, because the Grammaratti will insist that somehow, by steering you to THEIR SCIENCE SITES, I’m doing you a disservice.

So I’ll tell you what you can do.

Just go google the phrase (or something like it, you’ll for sure see the point I’m making) “carbon dioxide cools the upper atmosphere”.

===

YOU SAY what you see.

===

Know something else? There are people in the belief based system – you see them here, chatting on like manic magpies, about how they claim they can’t quite imagine the earth as a point source of heat,

the nitrogen an oxygen and water atmosphere as an cooling fin,

with the water, the atmospheric phase change refrigerant – acting as a phase change refrigerant.

Like in a heat pipe for a chip.

http://www.frostytech.com/articleimages/200706/coolageF0Z924al_bot2.jpg

Like that one. See how the copper base picks up the heat, and those pipes? Those are for the phase change refrigerant that takes the heat up to the aluminum fins.

You have a man here arguing with me about the atmosphere – several – who say… this sounds foreign to them.

===
Explain to your local believer about water the deep blue-light rejecting puddle of coolant over more than half the earth:

and the part about it also operating as a phase-change refrigerant:
EVAPORATING on the HOTTEST SURFACE (like on the chip cooler above)
RISING to EMIT it’s ENERGY at the TOP of the CYCLE, dumping it UP, AWAY from the surface (like on the chip cooler above)
to fall back down, – and unlike the chip cooler above,

the water ALSO cools the nitrogen and oxygen on the way DOWN.

UNLIKE the chip cooler above, it cools going TWO ways. Up, AND down.

That’s why it’s rain, when it gets back to you on the ground. It’s ice when it contracts and dumps heat at the top of the REFRIGERATIVE CYCLING it does.

the REFRIGERATIVE CYCLE like the chip cooler above.

===

So you can see that, the very BEST weapon is to just compare, what you know about the atmosphere – that it’s a largely transparent, cold gas bath around the earth, the earth spins in it and contact warms it, the water aids that..

have one of them explain to you how they think the tiny amount of infrared light energy – after they STOP a lot from ever getting IN: REMEMBER that’s a BIG element of these gases: Everytime sunlight’s there, the energy load they block coming in, is WAY more than they could ever block going out –

have one of them show you between the CO2 COOLING the UPPER atmosphere

and between them BOTH cooling the ENTIRE atmosphere, reflecting infrared light away from earth –

and then the WATER, being the ATMOSPHERIC REFRIGERANT

ask him to explain to you how he’s so sure these gases have SO MUCH HEATING that they OVERRIDE:

(A)All the sunlight they block coming in, together. The bottoms of clouds being typically shadowed by the tops when the sun’s on them, and anytime one of them’s a gas, it’s always assailed by much more infrared from above, when the sun’s on them

The cooling of the upper atmosphere by CO2 is there for you to see yourself. I just told you go ahead and look it up. They know CO2 cools the upper atmsophere, always have. It took SABER to remind us of it.

(B)The BLUE LIGHT REJECTION of OCEANS means they give back a LOT more light than the land. The land gives off RED light and ABSORBS the more energetic blue.

The oceans, reject the blue light: kick it back: which is what MAKES them BLUE.

(C)The REFRIGERATION CYCLE of WATER.

===
These people are telling you they think it’s “crazy talk” to imagine the

COOLANT of the upper atmosphere
COOLANT of the lower atmosphere
COOLANT of the SURFACE ITSELF through KICKING BACK ENORMOUS VOLUMES OF HIGHER ENERGY BLUE LIGHT sent back that WOULD BE WARMING LAND.

===

It’s CRAZY talk to think these gases aren’t COOLING.

As a matter of fact it’s WORSE than BEING one of the SCAMMERS who TOLD them the story of the HOCKEY STICK
the TREEMOMITURS that measured the temperature of the earth to within a tenth of a degree from some trees in Norway: turned into TREEMOMITURS using a HOCKEY STICK generator.

The GLEICK criminal enterprises

The PHIL JONES criminal hiding that he knew it wasn’t warming

The JAMES HANSEN criminal hiding that he knew it wasn’t warming

The KEVIN TRENBERTH: embarrassed admitting HE couldn’t explain why it wasn’t warming, but he was in to ruin a guy’s reporting career for TELLING people about THAT.

He never objected one whit.

That’s the Trenberth responsible for that energy budget that has them in so much hot water because every estimate taken from it comes up wrong. They fudge it and claim they believe in it.

Go look up “Kevin Trenberth climate gate Where is global warming, we’re asking that here. Our observation methods are inadequate” on Google.

How these very people here, DON’T EVEN WANT to TALK to people who don’t say – oh yeah, it’s heating, heating, heating.

And that they never heard of the earth as a cold gas bath, cooling the planet.

And that they never heard of other gases even being able to RECEIVE heat.

* * *GO to T.H.E.I.R. “accepted science” NASA’s site and check it for yourself. * * *

===
Now: WHO sounds like they’re telling – yep that’s right – there are SIXTY THREE DIFFERENT VERSIONS of this CO2/Water heating the WHOLE atmosphere thing-

WHO sounds like they’re telling stories you wouldn’t dare tell a child because it’s just plain lying?

===

What I’d really prefer is for you to take the WORDS of the BELIEVERS THEMSELVES

and ask yourself when the heck you ever heard, of science you had to ‘believe’ in.

That’s a religious tenet like Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Satanism. You believe, because life’s a test, and the bad guys have scrambled the story, so you have to sort out for yourself, the best way to be: and it’s supposed to be a good test for young eternal spirits who are being trained up to handle power. Kind of like one of those military camps where they tie you up, drop you off in the sticks, and then monitor you for whether you turn into an advantage taking, lying, manipulating wheedler and a sand bagger of your fellows.

Those camps are for testing a person’s faithfulness to good practice, even when there’s no real instrument that can show you if you’re on track.

But science of whether there’s a giant heater in the sky shouldn’t have that. After all: this is a heater.

You’ve already seen what happens when you try to remind them that no matter how much they say it’s not,

the atmosphere’s a cold bath stuck to the earth through physical contact and conduction drains off most of the heat for 90%+ of the atmosphere.

Only two percent don’t heat that way. CO2 is difficult to heat at all, and water’s the most efficient heat carrier in the naturally occurring world.

===
Who’s having rigid, strangely fixate thinking about an OBVIOUSLY easy to demonstrate, TINY past TRIVIAL pseudo-effect?

You can decide that for yourself.

You don’t need to let me tell you, you can let them tell you, theirselves.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_hidden_flaw_in_greenhouse.html

• TonyB says:

Have you ever heard the saying “brevity is the soul of wit” ( Hamlet )

Because you seem to like long, long winded posts.
Couldn’t be bothered to read I’m afraid!

151. gallopingcamel says:

tonyb,
Given your considerable expertise reviewing IPCC WG1 drafts I would value your thoughts on this question:

Can anyone calculate the GHE for Earth or Venus using the Arrhenius (1896) conjecture?
QUOTE
“The selective absorption of the atmosphere is……………..not exerted by the chief mass of the air, but in a high degree by aqueous vapor and carbonic acid, which are present in the air in small quantities.”
UNQUOTE

• TonyB says:

I actually think it can all be explained by…..

It’s Turtles all the way down!

So am I really the one to ask?

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

• gallopingcamel says:

Nice one! Are you are telling me it is more a matter of faith than science? I can’t disagree.

I feel a bit like Diogenes looking for something that may not exist. Here, is the nearest thing to a scientific derivation of the surface temperature of rocky planets based on Radiative Transfer that I have found to date:

This looks great until you realize that the model does not derive “t” from first principles but by calculating backwards from the observed Ts values. Neat but meaningless.

Nice charts, but he got the ALR for Venus wrong by overlooking the effect of high surface pressure on Cp.

152. Dr. Strangelove says:

I’m glad Roy finally got rid of crackpot Cottonball. Frankly I don’t know why he tolerated that lunatic for so long. If this were a high school physics class, Cottonball would flunk and get kicked out of the room for disrupting the class with his nonsense.

• TonyB says:

Certain, scientific ideas away from the mainstream can/should see some light of day and be discussed. But when they are plainly ridiculous they ( in the normal scientific discourse ) are easily/rapidly dismissed. To have the same crackpot ideas presented ad nauseum by sheer weight of stubbornness borders on allowing the lunatics to take over the asylum. At some point common sense should prevail.

• gallopingcamel says:

I am hoping that the lunatics you are talking about are the Hockey Team and their useful idiots.

153. Daren Cleary says:

TonyB says:
May 16, 2013 at 1:51 AM

If you don’t believe me – then that is your prerogative.”

Well I don’t believe all you say, but I do believe DWIR from clouds maintains a higher surface temperature, particularly low cloud, at night. But I wasn’t discussing the night, I was talking about daytime highs. Any cloud will block more solar insolation reaching the surface than even water vapour will.

• TonyB says:

Daren:

The GHE still works during the day. The only thing that would mitigate against it ( assuming no change in albedo ) – is the presence of clouds. The thicker/brighter the cloud then, yes, the more reflected SW. This is of course reflected in a lower daytime max. But if that cloud lingers into the night then a higher min will occur.
WV present without cloud will still absorb LW from the sun and warm the atmosphere during the day, and it is absorbing upcoming IR from the surface all the time.
The question is if the overall global cloud-scape favours (daytime) heating, near neutral, or possibly cooling.
After 9/11 the grounding of aircraft over the US caused an increase in diurnal temp range ….

“They compared those data with the average range in day-night temperatures for the period 1971-2000, again across the contiguous 48 states. Travis’s team discovered that from roughly midday September 11 to midday September 14, the days had become warmer and the nights cooler, with the overall range greater by about two degrees Fahrenheit.”
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/contrail-effect.html

The GHE effect at night is easily observed, and frankly to anyone with an interest in the weather, ought to be obvious. My examples (freezing fog, High CI cloud ) where a rise in surface temperature occurs when a layer of WV is present above may take some effort, but not to notice that cloud prevents frost/fog form overnight – by cooling of the surface layers ( in absence of wind ), takes some believing ( not you ).

• Daren Cleary says:

TonyB says:
“But if that cloud lingers into the night then a higher min will occur.”

Obviously, though the net result from clouds is cooling. NASA global average figures are -12C for daytime and +5C for night.

“WV present without cloud will still absorb LW from the sun and warm the atmosphere during the day, and it is absorbing upcoming IR from the surface all the time.”

Water vapour absorbs SW near infra-red from the Sun and scatters some visible SW. With no water vapour present, daytime high surface temperatures will be greater, meaning the losses are larger than the gains from the DWIR.

• gallopingcamel says:

Nir Shaviv sees clouds as a net cooling because they reject more heat on the day side than they can possibly retain on the night side.

I can’t fault that logic except in the case of “Iceball Earth” where the sunny side is going to reject most of the heat with or without cloud cover.

• Daren Cleary says:

I fear we are in the same position with atmospheric water vapour. It provides no radiative advantage for the surface for most of the daytime, so higher temperatures would result from stored heat left over from the previous days heating cycle, and not instant amplification of the energy of sunlight. It doesn’t really qualify as a greenhouse effect.
The question with co2 is whether the losses from solar NIR absorption are greater than any DWIR gains. Its heat capacity is less than dry air so it is useless as a heat sink.

• Joel Shore says:

“The question is if the overall global cloud-scape favours (daytime) heating, near neutral, or possibly cooling.”

Actually, I don’t think there is particular debate about this: Overall, the albedo effect of clouds is somewhat larger than the greenhouse effect and hence the net radiative effect of clouds is cooling, although the cancellation between the albedo and greenhouse effects is pretty significant…so, the net cooling effect is only a small fraction (maybe on the order of 20% or so, I forget) of what the cooling effect would be based on albedo alone.

Note that this is NOT the same thing as saying that the cloud feedback is negative. To figure out the sign of the cloud feedback, you have to figure out how cloudiness changes as the climate warms from the current state. That is non-trivial to do.

Also, while the net radiative effect of clouds is cooling, it varies with type of cloud: High clouds, at least if not too thick, cause more warming than cooling (greenhouse effect trumps albedo effect) whereas low clouds cause more cooling them warming (albedo effect trumps greenhouse effect).

• Daren Cleary says:

@Joel

Typically for daytime, thin high level cloud reduces potential surface temp’ a little, while thick low level cloud reduces it much more. For night, thin high level cloud gives a tiny warming, and thick low level cloud gives a lot of warming. Though at high latitudes in winter, low thick cloud can readily raise surface temperatures higher than sunlight alone during the daytime.

154. UzUrBrain says:

Why do I continually get thrown the fact that John Tyndall, proved that CO2 was a greenhouse gas eons ago, accept it. Has anyone read, and studied that experiment for full comprehension. Of course Oxygen and Nitrogen will not be shown as a GHG (or at least there effect greatly minimized) in his experiment because the experiment was performed in the natural atmosphere. You know, 20% oxygen and 80% Nitrogen. That is equivalent of “Zeroing” out a toxic gas detector in an atmosphere that is highly toxic from the gas you want to detect/avoid.

Face the FACTS: 1) the earth is covered with a layer of atmosphere. Proven, accepted, and if it were not we would not be here. 2) It takes time for energy to travel through objects. Again Proven, accepted, and known for most materials know to man. You know, the speed of light; the speed of sound; the speed of radiowaves through space, through air; the speed of HEAT through an object. You know, that is why chefs prefer pots/pans made of a certain material for certain applications, the reason you can poke around in a fire with a “poker.”

Well sit down, I have news for you! HEAT does not travel QUICKLY, at the speed of light, at the speed of radiowaves, through the atmosphere. PERIOD. Can’t happen, never will happen. Oh, so you claim it is ENERGY. Same answer. IR (pick a color) ENERGY does not travel QUICKLY, at the speed of light, at the speed of radiowaves, through the atmosphere. PERIOD. Can’t happen, never will happen. It moves like electrons move through a wire. Jumping from one atom to the next. For example, it takes Millions of years for the photons of light generated in the Sun to reach the surface of the Sun. It is this slow escape of heat from the heated surface of the Earth through the atmosphere (regardless of what that atmosphere is, that INSULATES ther Earth!!!! There is no magic “Backwelling” or “radiative Transfer” or any other thing that only happens because of just and only CO2 GHE. It is just latency! It is not going to bounce back-and-forth causing an amplifying effect. It can not create energy. Just slow the loss down. If you can not comprehend this fact then give up trying to understand why CO2 has an effect because it is just part of the WHOLE, not the driver, not a “forcer,” just 0.04% of the atmosphere.

I contend that the a planet similar to the Earth (size, distance from the Sun, rotation, orbit, etc.) would be within 10 degrees (WAG, I have no foundation for a true guess) if the atmosphere consisted entirely of a gas (100%) that had 0.000000% of any gas you chose that had any of this so called “backradiation” effect that readers on here claim CO2 has. The film of atmosphere ALONE will hold the heat/radiation for a period of time keeping it warmer till the shown again 12 hours later. Take that Latency effect, through in the BIGGIE WV, H20, Clouds, water in PURE vapor form which is many times worse [and as some other AGWr said on here a triple molecule, and triple atoms have a much higher backradiation.] – Then why don’t we read about water vapor as a GHG!!!!! WHY does the temperature drop much more rapidly as the sun sets in a desert than in a rain forest? Hint WV. Why does the temperature climb much faster in a desert when the sun rises in the desert that in a rain forest? Hint WV. Why does the temperature stay relatively the same in the rain forest day to night? Hint WV. WHY do they ignore Water, clouds, WV????? (Hint – There is more GREEN (money) in CO2 that WV)

Home work – Going back to the Sun, – How much of a GHE, Back-radiation effect, Fill in the blank AGW-B/S effect, does the transport time of the photons of light have on the SUN? Do not forget to include the effect of ALL other forms of energy and particles generated, by the Sun and expelled and magnetic effects.

If there is 1/1,000th of what there is from CO2, back of the envelope calculations tell me the Sun should have vaporized long ago (before the earth was formed) from all of the backradiation.

• Joel Shore says:

Your post is hopelessly confused. Air has an index of refraction very close to 1, which means that electromagnetic radiation hardly travels any more slowly through air than through a vacuum. And, by the way, infrared radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation … It just differs from light and radiowaves in its wavelength and frequency, which actually lies between light and radiowaves (i.e., light has a shorter wavelength / higher frequency and infrared radiation has a longer wavelength / lower frequency than infrared radiation.

Your slow “random walk” description for radiation is hence only relevant if the infrared radiation is constantly being absorbed and subsequently re-emitted…but that only happens when there are IR-absorbing elements in the atmosphere. And, indeed the issue with photons in the sun is just this sort of constant absorption and re-emission process, so that you get into the limit where the photons are basically diffusing.

• gallopingcamel says:

UzUrBrain,
Joel Shore is correct.

Radio waves, heat, light, X-rays and gamma rays are all part of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Heat (thermal Infra-Red radiation) propagates at the speed of light in a vacuum.

When matter is present the speed of propagation is reduced. For example it has been estimated that heat generated by nuclear reactions in our sun’s core can take 10,000 years to reach the sun’s surface (photo-sphere).

• Dr. Strangelove says:

Because you don’t read science books. It is common knowledge that water vapor is the most abundant GHG on earth. This may be astonishing news to you but even middle school children know this.

“If there is 1/1,000th of what there is from CO2, back of the envelope calculations tell me the Sun should have vaporized long ago (before the earth was formed) from all of the backradiation.”

The sun is already vaporized. It is a hot plasma ball. Do you really believe it is liquid or solid? The heat from nuclear fusion is many orders of magnitude greater than GHE from any GHG in its atmosphere. Hence GHE is negligible.

• gallopingcamel says:

Dr. Strangelove,

We have been hearing that since Arrhenius (1896) stated:
“The selective absorption of the atmosphere is……………..not exerted by the chief mass of the air, but in a high degree by aqueous vapor and carbonic acid, which are present in the air in small quantities.”

I think of the GHE as the difference between Earth’s average temperature and what it would be if the atmosphere were magically removed. It seems reasonable to suppose that an airless Earth would have an average temperature similar to the Moon.

Thanks to the Diviner LRE we know that the Moon’s average temperature is ~190 K, implying a GHE of 288 – 190 = 98 K. You say the GHE is zero so how on Earth (or Moon) can you explain that?

• Dr. Strangelove says:

“You say the GHE is zero so how on Earth (or Moon) can you explain that?”

I was talking about the sun and it’s not zero, it’s negligible compared to heat from nuclear fusion. Didn’t you understand what I said? Basic reading comprehension.

• Joel Shore says:

gallopingcamel: As has been explained in a hundred times to Ned Nikolov and the rest of the nonsense-perveyors, there is a concept in math and science called in “inequality”. What that means is that one thing is constrained to be less than or equal to something else.

In the absence of IR-absorbing elements in the atmosphere (or an internal source of thermal energy), the average temperature of a (black)body is constrained to be less than the temperature one calculates using the S-B equation. That is because the S-B equation constrains the average of T^4 over the surface and it can be shown that the average temperature is always less than the fourth root of the average of T^4.

For a body like the moon where the temperature distribution is quite extreme, the average temperature compatible with radiative balance can be significantly less than the temperature calculated from the S-B equation. However, it can’t be greater than that…unless there are IR-absorbing elements in the atmosphere.

• gallopingcamel says:

The Diviner LRE measurements are observations so all that stuff about Stefan-Boltzman is irrelevant.

You seem to think that I believe N&K’s “General Theory of Climate”. That is not the case as I have made abundantly clear elsewhere.

Can you explain the GHE in terms of the Arrhenius theory or radiative transfer?

• Joel Shore says:

“The Diviner LRE measurements are observations so all that stuff about Stefan-Boltzman is irrelevant.”

Well, then what is the problem then? The average temperature of the moon is 98 K colder than the Earth. There is nothing wrong with that.

You quoted an observation. I explained why the observation is completely compatible with our scientific understanding.

155. gallopingcamel says:

Roy Spencer said:
“Without the greenhouse effect, heat transported upward from the surface would never be lost, the atmosphere would become isothermal,there would be no convection, and there would be no moist adiabatic lapse rate. It’s NOT a pressure effect! This is basic stuff.”

Can you provide a mathematical derivation of the “greenhouse effect” that you refer to above? I keep asking this question in all humility but nobody has been able to answer in terms of Radiative Transfer. In my opinion the GHE for Earth is ~98 K. You may have some other number in mind so can you say how you arrived at your figure?

This is the third time I have asked this question here.

156. gallopingcamel says:

Joel Shore,
This is a great blog. Most of the folks who hang out here come across as smart and well informed. There is little juvenile name calling or “ad hom”.

“Well, then what is the problem then? The average temperature of the moon is 98 K colder than the Earth. There is nothing wrong with that.”

The idea that CO2 somehow controls “Global Warming” is based on the Arrhenius (1896) theory. If this theory has any validity it should be possible to derive at least two quantities using mathematics and knowledge of a planet’s atmosphere:

1. The “greenhouse effect” in Kelvin.
2. The “sensitivity” in Kelvin/doubling of each “greenhouse gas”.

When I ask “Climate Scientists” to show me their calculations for “Item 1” above they tend to get quite hostile and that makes me all the more determined to keep using my flashlight even though what I am looking for may not exist. (Diogenes metaphor)

“Item 2” gets plenty of discussion but it is all about finding a number that best fits observations. That is not science. It is at best curve fitting that can give almost any answer according to one’s choice of start and finish dates.

After billions of dollars spent the IPCC (AR4) tells us that the sensitivity is 1.5 to 4.5 K/doubling of CO2. Nobody should be surprised that models based on such non-science have no predictive skills.

I have spent some time looking at pressure based theories which do a great job on “Item 1” but have nothing useful to say on “Item 2”.

While it is clear that the Arrhenius theory is false, I don’t have anything to offer in its place other than the physics we all learned in high school. It served Carl Sagan well when he derived “Item 1” for Venus in 1968:
Click on the “Send PDF” button at this URL:

• RW says:

“2. The “sensitivity” in Kelvin/doubling of each “greenhouse gas”

It’s much better (and technically correct) to refer to sensitivity as dimensionless power densities (between the surface and the TOA), because the T^4 relationship between temperature and power is non-linear. The IPCC’s metric of expressing sensitivity as degrees K per W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ incorrectly assumes sensitivity is linear. Moreover, doing so effectively hides its applicability to solar forcing (in W/m^2), which only has a dimensionless surface power gain of about 1.6 (i.e. 390/240 = 1.625), where as a 3K rise requires a gain of 4.5 (+3K = +16.6 W/m^2 from a baseline of 288K, and 16.6/3.7 = 4.5).

• RW says:

In other words, the 1.6 to 1 power densities ratio between the surface and the TOA is already giving a measure of sensitivity to incremental forcing (via solar or via GHGs). The physical meaning of the dimentionless ratio is it takes about 1.6 W/m^2 of surface power gain to allow 1 W/m^2 to leave at the TOA, offsetting each 1 W/m^2 entering the system from the Sun. This ratio is the result of all the phyiscal processes and feedbacks acting in the system, including especially those from water vapor and clouds as the two are the most dynamic components of the whole atmosphere.

• Joel Shore says:

I’m not up on the literature enough to know exactly where to point you in terms of modeling of the natural greenhouse effect. There is the recent paper by Lacis et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.short ) where they did the modeling experiment of taking the non-condensing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and seeing how much the temperature dropped. This likely removed much of the greenhouse effect (since a lot of the water vapor condensed out) but it did not necessarily keep albedo constant…and there was still some greenhouse effect from clouds too.

As for what is and what is not science, thanks for your opinions on that matter but I think they may have as much to do with what you do and don’t want to believe than anything else. (Not to take anything away from the fact that nailing down the climate sensitivity is, no doubt, a challenging problem.)

• gallopingcamel says:

Joel Shore,
Thanks for at least trying to answer my question.

That Lacis et al. paper is a fine example of the corrupt state of peer-reviewed climate science. You folks rightly find fault with the Slayers, N&K, Postma and several others. All those theories have significant problems.

Yet you make no criticism of the even crazier stuff that appears regularly in peer reviewed journals. No wonder these “Scientists” can’t participate in open debates. No wonder the IPCC Working Groups have to operate in secret while employing Thomas Stocker and Phil Jones to defy FOI laws and the Aarhus convention.

McIntyre and McKittrick are doing a great job exposing the sloppy record keeping, faulty statistical analysis, inverted data sets and the many other failings of the Hockey Team. Instead of ‘fessing up, Michael Mann and his cohorts hide behind lawyers.

However, there is a much greater problem with climate science. Its scientific basis is false. Arrhenius was wrong. For example, the radiative properties of CO2 have zero relevance to the surface temperature of Venus. It is the Cp of CO2 and “g” that matters.
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/unified-theory-of-climate-revisited/#comment-4699

• Joel Shore says: