### JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).

Think it has been debunked? See here.

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# So what is the Second Darn Law?

With nearly 500 comments on the thread on the Second Law of Thermodynamics there is obviously a need for people to discuss the basic greenhouse theory. Here’s a new thread on that theme.

From NASA:

### But there are variations

As with all these Laws of science there is no exact wording, because There Is No God Who Issues Science Decrees*.  What we have are human efforts to best explain the world around us. Note that the two well known versions of the Second Law both contain the phrase “whose sole result”, meaning that heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one. Voila… whatever heat transfer goes from greenhouse gases to the Earth is more than countered by the heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space. Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.

Clausius statement:

No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of higher temperature.

Kelvin Statement

No process is possible in which the sole result is the absorption of heat from a reservoir and its complete conversion into work.

Behind the scenes I’m still getting many emails from people wondering about this topic. I’m sorry I can’t reply to them all. Joseph Postma kindly replied to my last post on this topic in comment #97, and in reply to him I say this (his comments are in blue):

“The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies to net flows of heat, not to each individual photon, and it does not prevent some heat flowing from a cooler body to a warm one.”

–JoNova

JP: The laws of heat transfer DO forbid a cold body from raising the temperature of a warmer body.  This is a much more physically unambiguous clarification.  “Flows of heat” is ambiguous and confusing.  It is obviously correct to say that a cold body does not raise the temperature of a warmer body.  “Flows of heat” is ambiguous and not important, in terms of what has the ability to raise who’s temperature.

The “ability to raise temperature” is not proscribed by the 2nd law, merely by your interpretation of it. The second law does not mention “abilities” of anything.

“Net heat flows” is not ambiguous. It is the Net heat flow. Are more photons going in one direction? Yes, but the ones coming back the other way affect the NET heat flow.

JP: It is obviously correct to say that a cold body does not raise the temperature of a warmer body.

No it isn’t. It’s obviously correct to say that the heat stored in a cold object can’t raise the temp of a warmer object, but the heat is not coming from a cold object. The heat is coming from the sun. The cold body just stops it leaving the  warmer object at the rate it was previously.

Why do you keep ignoring the sun? There is a continuous input of energy into the Earth?

JP: But there IS a restriction on which body can raise the temperature of its neighbours.  Only the hotter body can raise the temperature of a colder neighbour.

This is preposterous. God doesn’t make rules like “photons can travel in any direction except the way it came”. Atoms radiate photons randomly and some return in the same direction.

“Technically, strictly, greenhouse gases don’t “warm” the planet (as in, they don’t supply additional heat energy), but they slow the cooling, which for all pragmatic purposes leaves the planet warmer that it would have been without them.” – Jo Nova

JP: This statement is fraught with contradiction.  Is it technical or is it real?  I mean this is very important!  If GHG’s, as you correctly point out cannot raise the planets temperature because they are not actually sources of additional energy, then how do we arrange some logic in which they do exactly what we just said they cannot do?

The technical part is the language use, the reality part is the temperature.

The difference between whether we ascribe the raised temperature to the GHG gas or to the SUN is “technical” the reality of the warming is real. Think of the blanket analogy. Technically a blanket on your body does not heat you (if you want to be a pedant) your own body heats you. In reality, you put on a blanket and your temperature goes up.

What if we put it this way: Greenhouse gases don’t  warm^ the planet but they do create a situation where the Sun can warm the world to a temperature above where it previously was without the gases?

That doesn’t break the second law, and it describes reality with a technical accuracy.

^(I don’t like this phrasing at all: the word “warm” here specifically means something other than it’s usual use — here it implies no additional heat energy is supplied that is new to the Earth-atmosphere system. Normally “to warm” means… well you know… . Life doesn’t have to be this complicated.)

In the end this boils down to the energy flows in a whole system, and people who think that the addition of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere won’t warm the planet (due to a conflict with the Second Law) are forgetting that the system includes the sun, and the extra energy flowing in continuously is what drives the system. CO2 may have little effect on Planet Earth, but that’s for other reasons. You can’t just make a comment about “the Earth-Atmosphere” part of the system and ignore the plasma ball that’s 1.4 million kilometers across and 13 million degrees in the middle.

————————————————————

### UPDATE #1 From  Michael Hammer

Michael Hammer has suggested this as a line of reasoning that may help people discuss this.  If you don’t agree with the end conclusion (that greenhouse gases can’t warm earth because they are not hotter than Earth), point out exactly which step in the sequence is the one you think is wrong and explain it so we can understand why.

1. Do you agree that if you stand surrounded by cold objects (say a ring of huge ice blocks) you feel cold?
2. Do you agree that the colder the object you are surrounded by the colder you feel?  eg: if they were blocks of frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of water ice would you feel colder?
3. OK now if you have been standing surrounded by extremely cold objects and then move so that you are now surrounded by merely cool objects does the move make you feel less cold than you were before?
4. In the absence of green house gases the earth is surrounded by an extremely cold object – outer space at 4K (-269C).  Green house gases make the atmosphere opaque at some wavelengths. With these in place the earths surface is in effect surrounded by a merely cool atmosphere instead of the truly frigid outer space.  Because the surface is now surrounded by a less cold object than it was before it is less cold.
5. Since warm and cold are opposites, less cold is the equivalent of warmer.  Surrounding earth’s surface with an opaque cool atmosphere make it warmer than it would be if exposed directly to the ultra frigid outer space.

————————————————————-

*Which doesn’t mean there is No God at all. I’m staying right out of that one.

————————————————————-

### UPDATE#2  Joseph Postma  in  Comment #47

Thanks for posting my comments, Jo.

Firstly, I would like to re-iterate that in my paper, “Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect”, I in fact refer to the Laws of Heat Transfer (i.e. thermodynamics) in total, not just the 2nd Law. You may have an earlier pre-edit copy which had the reference to the 2nd Law specifically.

Secondly, the 2nd Law isn’t even the most important one when it comes to understanding how the atmosphere actually works. Conservation of energy is actually much more important, in terms of the physics. Your diagram from NASA shows just how obscure the 2nd Law can be.

Lastly, the brief mention of the Laws of heat transfer, around page 6-7 of “Understanding…”, is NOT central in any way to the paper! There are MUCH more important issues discussed within.

“heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one.”

This was never disputed…it is unclear why there is so much focus on this issue. What is undisputable is that more heat transfers from the warm body to the cold body and so the warm body has to cool down. That is, a cold body does not raise the temperature of a warmer body.

JN: Exactly – the greenhouse gases don’t warm the sun and the sun gets cooler (albeit slowly).

There is too much ambiguity and invitation to equivocation when using terms like “heat transfer” when what is more important is how the temperature is actually controlled. “Heat” does not equal “higher temperature”. 1 Kelvin has “heat”.

“Voila… whatever heat transfer goes from greenhouse gases to the Earth is more than countered by the heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space.”

And so by extension the GHG’s cannot increase the temperature of the ground. Because the net heat transfer is from the ground (warmest), outward (coolest).

“Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.”

Not without an additional source of energy, could they do this*. GHG’s do not represent an additional source of energy. Re-emitted, or “back-IR” radiation from GHG’s, do not represent additional energy – this is rather the RESULT of the original Solar energy insolated into the system. The Laws of Thermodynamics, in total, tell you that this energy can’t be replicated for further heating. Never mind the 2nd Law all by itself. The IR and back-IR, etc, is a RESULT of what has already happened…they’re not the cause.

JN: *Never once have I said that GHGs are a source of new energy. Have I not explained at length and repeatedly that the heat comes from the sun, and the GHG’s slow the heat loss from Earth? Remember if the Earth didn’t radiate the heat away it’s final equilibrium temperature would be much higher… what would 4 billion years of input do with no heat loss?

“Why do you keep ignoring the sun? There is a continuous input of energy into the Earth?”

This is unfortunate. If my paper would actually be read it can be learned that I spend a GREAT deal of time discussing the Sun and its continuous input into the Earth system. When understood properly, as I qualitatively and partially quantitatively explained, you discover there is no need to postulate a radiative greenhouse theory in the first place because 1) there’s more than enough Solar insolation to explain the ground temperature, and 2) back-IR heat amplification is not supported experimentally – not that we should have ever expected it to be so, if one utilizes all 3 laws of thermo.

JN: This is a whole new point. If you have other reasons to think CO2′s effect is minimal, lets discuss those but the only way to get past the focus on the Second Law is to admit that as a point of reasoning, there is nothing about the second law which precludes GHGs from theoretically causing an increase in the Earths temperature. Then we can move on and discuss the other reasons. And if I can be so bold — people will find your other reasons more compelling if there is no erroneous reference to the Laws of Thermodynamics being broken at the start.

“This is preposterous. God doesn’t make rules like “photons can travel in any direction except the way it came”. Atoms radiate photons randomly and some return in the same direction.”

Obviously I did not say that. [No, but that's the implication of a Law that "stops" this happening.--JN] I said there is a restriction on cold bodies raising the temperature of a warmer body. [Only in a closed system where there is not a third body involved like The Sun --JN] If you surrounded yourself by an entire “death star” of ice – you were placed right in the center of it – ALL of that IR energy from the ice-star, which would be tremendously more energy than you radiate at ~30C (or whatever skin temperature humans are), would not raise your temperature. It could be emitting one-billion times more thermal-IR than you do, and you could be right at the center of the sphere, but it would still not warm you. You would still cool. Even if the “death-star” you were in the center of were 29C, you would still cool.

JN:  People keep warmer in Igloos, not because the heat comes from the ice, but because it comes from burning fat internally, and the ice cuts the heat loss. Why continually ignore the real heat inputs? No one is suggesting that ice or GHG’s raise the temp of a warmer body above what it would have been without another energy source…. I’m stuck in ground-hog day: the sun … the sun … the sun…. ?

“What if we put it this way: Greenhouse gases don’t warm^ the planet but they do create a situation where the Sun can warm the world to a temperature above where it previously was without the gases?”

The Sun can only warm the planet to whatever its insolation temperature is. If a planet surface is warmer it is because of additional physical contributions, such as adiabatic compression and convection, etc. Any IR energy as a result of these processes are just that – the RESULT. They cannot self-amplify the temperature or energies of the system as they are the consequence of what has already happened, not the cause of what has already happened.
Also, the discussion of the actual solar insolation and resulting expected temperature can be read about in “Understanding…”. The input insolation upon the Earth is NOT -18C…it is actually +30C on average with a maximum of around +121C, depending on local effects and extinction. It is only the “effective”, or mathematically and theoretically averaged energy OUTPUT of the entire system, as compared to a Black Body, which equates to -18C. This does not mean this is the actual kinetic temperature you should find, nor does it say where you should actually find it even if it was.

“… it describes reality with a technical accuracy.”

Well, I disagree It isn’t accurate, ENOUGH.

JN: I’m talking about a principle – not an exact number. The principle is right or wrong. Your calculations are a different thing, and accuracy matters there, but if the principles are wrong, there’s no point doing a calculation.

In regard to Hammer’s post, I will just say this:

The effect of an atmosphere on a planet is to modulate the surface temperature from the extremes it would otherwise experience, as is the case on the moon compared to Earth. ANY atmosphere, independent of GHG’s, has a thermal capacity and ability to retain heat, and so it will ALWAYS be the case that the presence of an atmosphere keeps the “bottom-of-atmosphere” average temperature higher than the effective mathematical equivalent (as just discussed). If adiabatic effects are added to this then the “bottom-of-atmosphere” temperature can rise even further – even to well above the original Solar insolation, as is the case on Venus.

So consider then what the strongest GHG, H2O vapour, does in contribution to this effect: it is the best modulator of temperature that we have in our atmosphere. Under the Sun, in the tropics with lots of H20 vapour, the temperature will raise to LESS-than whatever the Solar insolation says it should. For some reason all the H2O doesn’t amplify the temperature. Very telling.

Then at night, comparing a tropic region to a desert, the tropic region cools by only a fraction of what a desert does. They likely have roughly the same “daily-average” temperature.

So the strongest GHG actually kept it cooler under the Sun than it should have been, and cooler than a desert, even with all the extra back-IR “heating”, of which a desert experiences very little.

There’s nothing wrong with being kept warm at night…but there is a significant concern if Solar insolation heating is modulated downwards by GHG’s.

The only extra heating more CO2 could provide is that contribution to increasing the atmospheric depth and density, such as to increase the physical heating effects.

I think we agree that ideally, CO2 concentration should be above at least 1000ppmv, in order to sustain the biosphere and improve its productivity. I am not sure this can be attained via fossil fuel burning…but I DO think we should try! Even if it DID warm the planet…well that would be great. The climate has always changed and it is only the intellectually inept, and the physically lazy, who now try to use other-people’s MONEY to avoid doing the work and economic improvements to adapt to it.

But as it is, the GH postulate is borne out of an incorrect application of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, and worse, an illogical interpretation of its result. Under such a scenario, a logician EXPECTS non-physical postulates and theories to be borne out of an illogical premise. Applying the Laws of Thermodynamics, and trying to figure out how the 2nd Law applies, is secondary to this more fundamental physical mistake. Though, again, we should expect to find an inability to agree on the correct application under such a scenario.

We (the Slayers of the Sky-Dragon) will be publishing a new paper in the coming weeks which quantitatively will put this issue to rest…if logic is allowed back into the paradigm. We will also outline (and carry out) the proper physics experiment which anyone can perform, to actually prove or disprove the thesis on either side – such is the way science actually works.

JN: Joseph, you can’t quantitatively put to a rest an argument of reason which is not based on logic. The reasoning underpins everything. Maybe CO2 doesn’t heat the Earth (for other reasons unrelated to this post), but if that’s the case — it’s not anything to do with “Laws of Thermodynamics”. Can you at least acknowledge that in the Sun-Earth-Atmosphere system it is possible that energy flows which are always going from the hot sun to cold space, could be changed by a colder entity (GHGs) which would allow a warmer entity (Earth) to get even warmer, given that a third source (the Sun) is continually adding energy?

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So what is the Second Darn Law?, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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### 675 comments to So what is the Second Darn Law?

• #
overseasinsider

Do you mean I finally get to be first commenter???

Yet another good post Jo!!! Great description of 2nd Law!!

Keep up the good work!!

• #

[...] So what is the Second Darn Law? [...]

• #
Phillip Bratby

I was brought up on the work of Feynman, whose definition of the second law is:

A process whose only net result is to take heat from a reservoir and convert it to work is impossible.
No heat engine taking Q1 from T1 and delivering heat Q2 at T2 can do more work than a reversible engine for which
W = Q1-Q2 = Q1(T1-T2)/T1

• #
Steeptown

Obviously changing the composition of the atmosphere will affect the heat transfer processes.
The fundamental problem is the crazy statement that the “greenhouse effect” will raise the surface temperature by 30deg due to “back-radiation”. Postma has shown the temperature and lapse rate is just due to radaitive equilibrium and the gravitational compression of the atmosphere.

• #
Craig Thomas

I’m curious – what’s with the americanism? Why is it a “darn” law?

Still, you’re doing everybody a favour by trying to educate the “It violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics!!!11!1!” cranks.
Is it the last we ever hear that recurring lunatic assertion, would you say?

[Err? I didn't realize it was an Americanism. I thought it was a ... word?]

• #
pat

sorry for being O/T but this is why i don’t trust any political party and will vote for none of them. some might like to think the coalition will not touch carbon dioxide, but they are sadly mistaken:

20 May: Australian: James Massola: Malcolm Turnbull costs Tony Abbott’s carbon plan at \$18bn a year
Mr Turnbull also clarified his comments on the extent to which direct action was a market-based scheme, saying there would be some competition between providers of carbon offsets…

• #
Alistair

Frankly, the author has got into an Oozlum Bird situation. Unless we stop him, he’s going to vanish up his own contradiction.

1. The author appears to be confused between the meanings of heat, temperature and heat transfer. Also, in common with most people, he appears to believe the atmosphere is in equilibrium: it’s continuously changing as you get interchange between sensible and latent heat, e.g the cycle of stratus/cumulus in the tropics.

2. To try and push the idea of back radiation is futile; it doesn’t exist because it’s an artefact of Arthur Milne’s choice of an infinite atmosphere when in 1922 he solved the partial differential equation for IR absorption. [See Miskolczi's 2006 paper for the proof, but brush up very well on your physics first.]

• #
bananabender

Clasius and Kelvin predate Bohr Theory relating to the structure of atoms. They both assumed that atoms were solids and that energy was transferred via an invisible aether. Thermodynamics is based on classical Newtonian mechanics and has the same limitations when applied to very large or very small objects – e.g. planets or individual atoms.

Believe it or not science has progressed in the last 150 years.

Simply discussing the totally unscientific Greenhouse Effect simply gives credence to the absurd concept of AGW. The temperature of the Earth is entirely due to EMR output of the Sun – any other factor is irrelevant. The Sun heats the surface and heat is transferred to the atmosphere via conduction, convection and phases changes in water. In turn the pressure and density determine the atmospheric temperature. End of story.

Unconfined gases can’t be heated so the GE is totally impossible. Any heating of the atmosphere simply results in expansion with no net increase in heat. We know this to be fact because the atmosphere temporarirly expands measurably as the Sun passes overhead. This is called the Diurnal Bulge.

• #
Ted Middleton

Just how difficult is this, if a body has energy; that is it is above 0°K it will radiate photons.

If a body at 273°K is surrounded by objects at 200°k it will stay warmer longer that if it was surrounded by objects at 100°K. Simply the result of the net transfer of photons.

If it is surrounded by objects at 373°K it will increase in temperature, for the same reason.

Forget the semantics and accept the science.

• #
Alistair

bananabender: does the diurnal expansion raise the tropopause?

• #
Mark

Methinks you’ve earned a couple of grammatical demerit points Jo.
* Apostrophe used in a plural noun.
* Use of word “darn”.
Penalty: Detention for an indeterminate period, fully suspended in view of previously demonstrated good behaviour and service to the community.

[I plead guilty. I found one stow-away apostrophe, but not the second.-- Jo]

• #
RJ

“JP: It is obviously correct to say that a cold body does not raise the temperature of a warmer body”.

No it isn’t. It’s obviously correct to say that the heat stored in a cold object can’t raise the temp of a warmer object, but the heat is not coming from a cold object. The heat is coming from the sun. The cold body just stops it leaving the warmer object at the rate it was previously.

Why do you keep ignoring the sun? There is a continuous input of energy into the Earth?

The response makes no sense. The Sun is a warmer object so I’m unsure what the author is trying to say.

• #
Bryan

The NASA diagram is correct and similar to others in Physics textbooks.

From; University Physics Young and Freedman

Energy transfer that takes place sole because of a temperature difference is called heat flow or heat flow transfer and energy transferred in this way is called heat page 470

Heat always flows from a hot body to a cooler body never the reverse. pg 559

There a difference between colloquial “heat” and the term heat used in thermodynamic textbooks.
Thermodynamic heat transfer, in the case above, IS the radiative flux difference between the two surfaces and is always from the hotter surface to the colder.

Heat has the property of being changed into useful work in the given situation.
A steam engine can extract heat from the high temperature reservoir do work like moving pistons and dump the unused heat in the colder reservoir.
Now try to see if the reverse can happen.
Can heat be taken from the colder reservoir make the pistons move and then dump unused heat at the higher reservoir?
Obviously not!

This shows that the “heat” moving from the colder reservoir is not HEAT as defined in thermodynamic textbooks.

• #
Bulldust

Sorry to go off topic again, but I have had a gutfull of Canberra. JtI (Jack the Insider) is a Canberra government type who spews the CAGW rubbish at The Australian. His latest diversion is to focus on the Libs agenda here:

He seems oblivious to the fact that the Libs are not serious (under Abbott) about climate change policy and that the “direct action” plan is just insurance to keep a few green-leaning Lib voters on side. He is seriously naive if he thinks otherwise, leave alone the fact that the Libs are not in power right now … a simple concept that seems to elude him. I gave him a blast andf a challenge as follows (fully expecting it to be “moderated”):

So Jack… when are you and the ETS getting married? No doubt Joolya and Bob Brown can be best man and maid of honour, but they will have to figure out who plays what role. Funny how you managed to focus on the insignificant piece of news for the week… like the hole we blasted in your surplus? Do you really think WA will simply lay back and let the Feds molest us through the CGC? Seen the Labor polls lately? In any State or Federally? Seriously mate… you’ve lost the plot.

This has been cross-posted as evidence of your censorship, which is expected. The first ploy of CAGW alarmists. You are the noise around the real debate… do you really think the Libs are serious about action on “climate change” policy? If so you need a dose of reality salts. A big one.

The Labor 5% GHG cut achieves nothing, is a revenue raiser, and a fatuous genuflection to the IPCC. If you had the nads you would debate me honestly on this subject. You have been called out mate. Weighed, measured and very much wanting…

He is a coward and has pulled out a BSc at CSIRO to try and impress me in the past… let’s see how the coward plays this one. I fully expect my comment will not make it up on The Australian. Best case scenario, he will take me on and I rip his feeble treatises to shreds, but I doubt he has the nads. Cowardly Canberra types never do…

• #
RJ

“JP: But there IS a restriction on which body can raise the temperature of its neighbours. Only the hotter body can raise the temperature of a colder neighbour.”

This is preposterous. God doesn’t make rules like “photons can travel in any direction except the way it came”. Atoms radiate photons randomly and some return in the same direction.

Surely the key question is not whether protons can travel in any direction. It is whether they have a warming impact when they arrive.

• #
Lawrie

Pat @ 6,

I understood the costs came about as a result of the “fines” we would have to pay as a result of not meeting our Kyoto obligations plus the costs of the direct action. The latter are put at 3 billion which seems excessive for planting trees and burying biochar. The beauty of Abbotts scheme is that the moment there is a “consensus” that AGW is really and truly crap the scheme can be scrapped.

On the greenhouse I have a feeling it is being made more difficult to understand than necessary. A proper greenhouse or indeed a sunroom utilise the glass to prevent the warm air inside interacting with the cold air outside. Open a door and the greenhouse starts cooling. Open two doors and the temp drops nearly to the outside temp. At night the air inside soon stabilises to the outside temp.The atmosphere is totally different being exposed to convection day and night.

• #
Climate realist number9

This criticism of Joseph Postma’s replies does not clarify or change the argument- it is semantic only.
This glib comment is wrong – try the experiment yourself. You will not be made hotter by the blanket.
In reality, you put on a blanket and your temperature goes up.

• #

Simply discussing the totally unscientific Greenhouse Effect simply gives credence to the absurd concept of AGW.

Making basic errors of reasoning is far worse.
It gives alarmists good reason to mock, laugh and distract us from the science that matters.

• #
RJ

“Technically, strictly, greenhouse gases don’t “warm” the planet (as in, they don’t supply additional heat energy), but they slow the cooling, which for all pragmatic purposes leaves the planet warmer that it would have been without them.” – Jo Nova

JP: This statement is fraught with contradiction. Is it technical or is it real? I mean this is very important! If GHG’s, as you correctly point out cannot raise the planets temperature because they are not actually sources of additional energy, then how do we arrange some logic in which they do exactly what we just said they cannot do?

Regarding Jo’s comment and JP’s response. I could not see why he had an issue with Jo here. Surely GHGs do slow the cooling rate. So they then increase the average temperature

Maybe if Jo had put -leaves the planet warmer on average- but I would have liked some further explanation from JP on this response. But a jersey leaves me warmer (due to reduced cooling) than without one so can not really see a problem with Jo’s comment.

I would say though for a jersey – In reality, you put on a jersey and your temperature decreases less might be more accurate than your temperature goes up.

• #
Matt b

“It gives alarmists good reason to mock, laugh and distract us from the science that matters.”

I’d go further and suggest it exposes many commentators as lacking enough basic science to have any credibility whatsoever when it comes to AGW.

But don’t worry – it is not an exclusive club there are plenty of loons on my side of the fence. Note I somewhat optimistically don’t consider myself a loon but I know I’ve walked in to whatever you want to throw my way guys:)

• #
memoryvault

Bananabender @ 8

Way to go BB.

Now, if we can just get some of these folks to realise that IR light, photons as emitted by a particular substance, and sensible heat (as measured in Joules, for instance) are NOT necessarily the same thing, and certainly not at the same time, we might just get somewhere.

Unfortunately, given the number of folks still struggling with the difference between heat and temperature, I’m not holding my breath.

I fear you are going to spend the the next couple of days trying to explain why unconfined gases cannot be heated to people who never heard the expression “at STP” during their high school years.

• #
Bulldust

O/T but I think it is worth reading anyway… the tax stoush is getting a tad bitchy and Colin Barnett is showing backbone with his riposte to Canberra’s carpetbaggers about the royalty rate increase:

Mr Barnett made light of the stoush today.

“It’s raining; I’m happy; you’re happy; Wayne Swan’s unhappy; bad luck,” he told a Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast in Perth.

Here’s a guy who stands for something… there is no question he represents the State, Joolya take note. I don’t know about you lot, but I like the cut of his jib … for the moment.

• #
memoryvault

For those struggling with the definition of the Second Law, here are all four in simplified form:

FIRST LAW: You can’t win.
SECOND LAW: You can’t break even.
THIRD LAW: You can’t can’t ever quit the game.
ZEROTH LAW: The more things change the more they stay the same.

• #
David

MattyB

I’d go further and suggest it exposes many commentators as lacking enough basic science to have any credibility whatsoever when it comes to AGW.

Self description suits you.

• #
Popeye

Bulldust @ 14

Just checked mate – it’s not up there yet and from the text I doubt VERY much that it will make it.

But you’ve at least got it on record on this blog and 10 to 1 on jti would be trolling all the blogs so hopefully he’ll see it here – who knows? (I also do the same just to let their censors know that even if they don’t allow it WILL end up somewhere else!

BTW – agree with your synopsis that the Libs policy is only there at the moment for appeasment to some right wing AGW believers. As soon as he’s PM he has promised to repeal anything to do with CO2 taxes that these fools introduce.

Cheers,

• #
Bryan

Some people might think it pedantic to distinguish between how heat is used in a colloquial way and its thermodynamic meaning.

So I will give another example.

If you heard two people talking on a bus and one said;
“The whale must be one of the biggest fish in the sea”

You would understand that the person was incorrect but you would also understand what they were meaning to say(colloquial use).
However if the same expression was used in a biology textbook you would think that the textbook was not to be recommended.

So the thermodynamic meaning of heat should be obligatory.

• #
Joe Lalonde

Jo,

I finding more and more evidence that NASA is just a corrupted about science and are using models rather than actual measurements for many areas.

As for the thermodynamic laws, they are based on bad science.
They do not include: Centrifugal force from a rotating planet, density of materials to transfer heat (some are more efficient than others), Forward momentum of the solar system, current evidence that the sun uses magnetic fields to align the rotational speeds, etc.

• #
bananabender

@Joanne Nova:
May 20th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Simply discussing the totally unscientific Greenhouse Effect simply gives credence to the absurd concept of AGW.

Making basic errors of reasoning is far worse.
It gives alarmists good reason to mock, laugh and distract us from the science that matters.

No it just makes us look like morons. Discussing the totally non-existent Greenhouse Effect is as absurd as discussing how many angels can dance on pin with a religious fundamentalist. It only encourages Warmists and gives them credibility.

The Greenhouse Theory is totally discredited 19th nonsense which was exhumed in the 1960s by the environmental movement. By the 1920s meteorologists were fully aware that the climate is primarily controlled by the hydrological cycle.

• #
David

Sorry O/T

JTI is biased!!
Bulldust 14
I just got one through with an answer from (JTI) Jack The Idiot – his reply was quote

Dave
Fri 20 May 11 (07:20pm) JTI – I have been informed you are not publishing all the comments sent to you – some are not happy JACK and you are getting a name on the Blog Game.
P.S. Good article – just your imput has let you down!!!
Dave
Jack the Insider
Fri 20 May 11 (08:20pm) Let me explain this to you, Dave: I’m under no obligation to publish any comment and I certainly won’t publish anything that breaches The Australian’s rules for commenters.</blockquote>

Unbelievable – that attitude would ban MattyB, John Brookes – free debate etc.
I don’t think he will publish your comment.

• #
Bulldust

Popeye:

JtI hasn’t the cahones… he thinks he is so very clever sitting back in his armchair in Canberra, navel-gazing about the Canberra follies. In truth, I used to enjoy his ascerbic wit which smacked of Yes Minister, but when it comes to climate change he is a dyed-in-the-wool warmista.

Unlike MattB and JB he doesn’t have the gumption to take on critical skeptics. Instead he hides behind a wall of censorship. I am happy to take him on any day, anywhere, any time… he has two chances.

• #
michael hammer

It is abundantly clear that the stumbling block for many of the people here is the thought that the cool atmosphere is heating the surface and that contravenes the second law of thermodynamics. For those of you who feel that way may I point out, this and the previous post are not claiming the cool atmosphere directly heats the surface. The sun heats the surface. What the so called green house gases are doing is to reduce Earth’s heat loss to outer space at some wavelengths. They do this by blocking some of the surface emission travelling out through the atmosphere to outer space. To maintain equilibrium, the heat flow at other wavelegnths has to increase a bit and for that to happen the Earth has to get a bit warmer. The sequence is the heat flow to outer space is reduced so an imbalance is created whereby heat inflow from the sun exceeds heat outflow to space so the Earth starts to warm. As it does so the radiation to space at other wavelengths progressively increases until equilibrium is restored.

By the way, as stated before, these posts are not suggesting the mechanism has anything whatever in common with an actual green house. We do know, surprising as this might seem to some, the two mechanisms are completely different. We use the term “green hosue gases” because that is a very commonly used and immediately recognised handle. Thats all it is, don’t read any more into it.

On a third point, I see several comments along the line go “read some physics text books”. Often the content of the comments in which such comments are made makes it abundantly clear the author has little idea of physics themselves. They have read a phrase somewhere, taken it out of context and turned it into an idee fixee. Please consider that the people writing the posts that start these threads have actually studied physics at university level and just maybe they do know what they are talking about. Tell me, would you go to your doctor, listen to his diagnosis and then tell him he is talking rubbish and should go study some medicine? Do you really think that would enhance the consultation?

The issue uder debate in this thread is not contentious CAGW “science”. It is extremely well known and understood physics and was so long before CAGW came on the scene. The are major falacies in the CAGW hypothesis but this is not one of them.

• #
Phillip Bratby

Michael @31

You are forgetting the other processes involved in the transfer of energy from the surface. The restoration of the energy balance is such that the effect on temperature is immeasurably small.

• #
Bryan

michael hammer says

“I see several comments along the line go “read some physics text books”. Often the content of the comments in which such comments are made makes it abundantly clear the author has little idea of physics themselves. They have read a phrase somewhere, taken it out of context and turned it into an idee fixee. Please consider that the people writing the posts that start these threads have actually studied physics at university level and just maybe they do know what they are talking about.”

Several of the posters went to Universities that took great care with the word HEAT.
Take the NASA diagram above.
It is correct

Compare the diagram in your previous post where you have HEAT moving from a cold surface to a hotter surface.
Incorrect.

If I had labelled my diagram like that in a physics test I would have failed.

• #
cohenite

Michael@31: “The sun heats the surface. What the so called green house gases are doing is to reduce Earth’s heat loss to outer space at some wavelengths. They do this by blocking some of the surface emission travelling out through the atmosphere to outer space.”

What is the duration of that ‘blocking’? I have read of the difference in time between excitation and dexcitation of the CO2 molecule; is this the duration so that if the sun ‘switched off’ the “greenhouse effect” would last, theoretically, for only the difference between excitation and dexcitation? In this ‘thought experiment’ please disregard such sinks as the ocean and soil where, according to Hansen and ilk, AGW/greenhouse heat is stored.

• #

I repeat, all this is incompetent theorizing. You refuse to acknowledge that the observed temperatures in the Venus atmosphere, when properly (and very simply) compared to Earth’s atmosphere, show there is no greenhouse effect whatsoever, as promoted in climate science. Fact trumps theory, and the Venus/Earth comparison trumps all of climate theory, and demolishes it. What is inarguable is that CO2 (and every other gas) absorbs infrared radiation, and therefore heats the atmosphere — but it does so by absorbing incident solar radiation, not by absorbing radiation from the planetary surface, and it heats only up to the atmosphere’s ability to hold that heat (as determined by the average molecular specific heat and the density, which increases the deeper you go in the atmosphere — that is why you find the surface temperature decreases with altitude, as you drive into the mountains for example). Always go to the critical, observed facts, rather than waste your time on theory and vain argument that is ignorant of those facts.

• #
Neville

Just another life saving use for that terrible pollutant and at 5% or 128 times the level in the atmosphere.

But at 5% it can actually help these people suffering from hypocapnia or too little co2.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1872042/

• #
KR

“Technically, strictly, greenhouse gases don’t “warm” the planet (as in, they don’t supply additional heat energy), but they slow the cooling, which for all pragmatic purposes leaves the planet warmer that it would have been without them.” – Jo Nova

Very well stated, Jo.

• #
memoryvault

Bananabender @ 28

Congratulations once again on hitting the nail on the head

As I pointed out in a very early post on the previous thread, there never was an “argument” about the physics of the so-called “greenhouse effect” contravening the Second Law of Thermodynamics until someone challenged the “Trenberth Travesty” that the “extra heat” was “hiding” in the “deep oceans”.

This caused a backlash from the sceptical side that the atmosphere “heating the oceans” contravened the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which it does). Rather than argue the point (which is impossible) the warmista cultists turned it into a debate about whether the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” of itself contravened the Second Law.

The tens of thousands of largely meaningless words written here in these two posts are testimony to how successful they were at sidetracking meaningful debate on the subject.

Yes, regrettably, they see us a “morons”.

And perhaps rightly so.

• #
Jeremy

Technically speaking, Phonons are “responsible” for heat transfer. Photons are the particle version of electromagnetic waves, which is something different.

• #

No it just makes us look like morons. Discussing the totally non-existent Greenhouse Effect is as absurd as discussing how many angels can dance on pin with a religious fundamentalist. It only encourages Warmists and gives them credibility.

The Greenhouse Theory is totally discredited 19th nonsense which was exhumed in the 1960s by the environmental movement. By the 1920s meteorologists were fully aware that the climate is primarily controlled by the hydrological cycle.

Righto – these last two posts have shown conclusively and repeatedly that the greenhouse effect doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics. That doesn’t prove the GHG effect is real, but it shows the argument that it can’t exist because of The-2nd-Law, is wrong. Now if you have some other line of argument, evidence or reason, how about we move past the “second law of thermodynamics argument” so we can discuss the other reason. Moving right along would look like this kind of statement: “OK I see your point, since the sun provides energy, and the entropy of the system increases, it would be possible for greenhouse gases theoretically to heat up the atmosphere. For reasons that have nothing to do with the second law I think the greenhouse effect is …. (insert logical reasoning here that doesn’t involve calling people names).

Got it?

• #
BobC

Just my 2c:

1) The clearest statement of the 2nd law here is the one by Feynman (quoted by Phillip Bratby at post #3):

A process whose only net result is to take heat from a reservoir and convert it to work is impossible.

2) It is not a violation of the laws of thermodynamics for a cold object to be instrumental in causing a warmer object to further heat up. Example: A large refrigerated mirror is taken to a sunny beach, where it is positioned to reflect sunlight onto a sunbather. Result: The sunbather heats up due to the extra Solar radiation she is receiving (and therefore radiates more IR herself). The temperature of the mirror is not relevant, only it’s specific interaction with Solar radiation (e.g., it is reflective). (Note that this wouldn’t work if the mirror were a blackbody — then it would have to be warmer than the sunbather to have a similar effect due to it’s own radiation.)

3) CO2 in the upper atmosphere is more like the mirror than the blackbody. CO2 molecules are capable of absorbing IR photons that are of the correct energy to excite one of the internal vibrational states of the molecule. If they do not transfer this energy due to a collision, they will re-emit a photon of the same energy in a very short time. In the thin upper atmosphere, the absorption-emission process is more likely than the energy-partition-collision process. This ability to absorb photons that excite internal vibrational states is independent of the Kinetic Energy (e.g., temperature) of the CO2. Since a CO2 molecule has an equal chance of emitting a photon in any direction, roughly half of the absorbed photons are re-emitted back toward the ground. Thus, the CO2 layer acts essentially as a 50% reflective mirror for those wavelengths.

4) CO2 also scatters ~50% of the incoming Solar radiation (within the narrow resonant bandwidths). However, since the Sun is quite hot, the vast majority of it’s radiant energy is in the visible band, where CO2 is essentially transparent. The Earth, being much cooler than the Sun, radiates most of it’s thermal energy into the longwave IR band, where the CO2 resonances have a discernable effect.

5) Because CO2 “reflects” ~50% of the IR photons (within specific narrow bands) back toward the ground, the ground experiences a higher flux of radiation and hence increases it’s temperature slightly to re-establish equilibrium (equal energy in as out) — just like the sunbather.

This is a weak conversion process being driven by a huge energy source — the Sun. It no more violates the Laws of Thermodynamics than the cooled mirror on the beach, or an electric heater or refridgerator. None of these processes would work without a distant source of energy.

• #
BobC

On the other hand, the funniest statement of the Laws of Thermodynamics are the ones quoted by memoryvault at post # 23:

FIRST LAW: You can’t win.
SECOND LAW: You can’t break even.
THIRD LAW: You can’t ever quit the game.
ZEROTH LAW: The more things change the more they stay the same.

• #
RJ

@ 41

5) Because CO2 “reflects” ~50% of the IR photons (within specific narrow bands) back toward the ground, the ground experiences a higher flux of radiation and hence increases it’s temperature slightly to re-establish equilibrium (equal energy in as out) — just like the sunbather.

Not correct. Backradiation from the earth does not usually increase its temperature slightly. Otherwise a cooler body (the atmosphere) is heating a warmer one (earth). The radiation hits the ground but does not increase the surface temperature

• #
RJ

@38

Yes, regrettably, they see us a “morons”.

And how do you know this? And why does it concern you what they think?

• #
Bryan

BobC says

….” A large refrigerated mirror is taken to a sunny beach, where it is positioned to reflect sunlight onto a sunbather.” …….

Reflection is a different process to absorption and emission

BobC says….”If they do not transfer this energy due to a collision”

The relaxation time is much longer than the chance of losing the energy by collision.
10 to the power of ten collisions per second at STP

Spectrograph’s from satellite looking down show large “bite” around 15um.
This represents the heating of the atmosphere caused by CO2 absorbing 15um radiation and this energy being passed on to N2 and O2 molecules.
For downward radiation the probability shifts to longer wavelengths supplied by H2O rather than 15um CO2 band.
I

• #

### UPDATE #1 From Michael Hammer

Michael Hammer has suggested this as a line of reasoning that may help people discuss this. If you don’t agree with the end conclusion (that greenhouse gases can’t warm earth because they are not hotter than Earth), point out exactly which step in the sequence is the one you think is wrong and explain it so we can understand why.

1. Do you agree that if you stand surrounded by cold objects (say a ring of huge ice blocks) you feel cold?
2. Do you agree that the colder the object you are surrounded by the colder you feel? eg: if they were blocks of frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of water ice would you feel colder?
3. OK now if you have been standing surrounded by extremely cold objects and then move so that you are now surrounded by merely cool objects does the move make you feel less cold than you were before?
4. In the absence of green house gases the earth is surrounded by an extremely cold object – outer space at 4K (-269C). Green house gases make the atmosphere opaque at some wavelengths. With these in place the earths surface is in effect surrounded by a merely cool atmosphere instead of the truly frigid outer space. Because the surface is now surrounded by a less cold object than it was before it is less cold.
5. Since warm and cold are opposites, less cold is the equivalent of warmer. Surrounding earth’s surface with an opaque cool atmosphere make it warmer than it would be if exposed directly to the ultra frigid outer space.

————————————————————-

• #

Sheeesh, thanks for that Jo. Heavans ta Betsy…!!

• #

Thanks for posting my comments, Jo.

Firstly, I would like to re-iterate that in my paper, “Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect”, I in fact refer to the Laws of Heat Transfer (i.e. thermodynamics) in total, not just the 2nd Law. You may have an earlier pre-edit copy which had the reference to the 2nd Law specifically.

Secondly, the 2nd Law isn’t even the most important one when it comes to understanding how the atmosphere actually works. Conservation of energy is actually much more important, in terms of the physics. Your diagram from NASA shows just how obscure the 2nd Law can be.

Lastly, the brief mention of the Laws of heat transfer, around page 6-7 of “Understanding…”, is NOT central in any way to the paper! There are MUCH more important issues discussed within.

“heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one.”

This was never disputed…it is unclear why there is so much focus on this issue. What is undisputable is that more heat transfers from the warm body to the cold body and so the warm body has to cool down. That is, a cold body does not raise the temperature of a warmer body. There is too much ambiguity and invitation to equivocation when using terms like “heat transfer” when what is more important is how the temperature is actually controlled. “Heat” does not equal “higher temperature”. 1 Kelvin has “heat”.

“Voila… whatever heat transfer goes from greenhouse gases to the Earth is more than countered by the heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space.”

And so by extension the GHG’s cannot increase the temperature of the ground. Because the net heat transfer is from the ground (warmest), outward (coolest).

“Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.”

Not without an additional source of energy, could they do this. GHG’s do not represent an additional source of energy. Re-emitted, or “back-IR” radiation from GHG’s, do not represent additional energy – this is rather the RESULT of the original Solar energy insolated into the system. The Laws of Thermodynamics, in total, tell you that this energy can’t be replicated for further heating. Never mind the 2nd Law all by itself. The IR and back-IR, etc, is a RESULT of what has already happened…they’re not the cause.

“Why do you keep ignoring the sun? There is a continuous input of energy into the Earth?”

This is unfortunate. If my paper would actually be read it can be learned that I spend a GREAT deal of time discussing the Sun and its continuous input into the Earth system. When understood properly, as I qualitatively and partially quantitatively explained, you discover there is no need to postulate a radiative greenhouse theory in the first place because 1) there’s more than enough Solar insolation to explain the ground temperature, and 2) back-IR heat amplification is not supported experimentally – not that we should have ever expected it to be so, if one utilizes all 3 laws of thermo.

“This is preposterous. God doesn’t make rules like “photons can travel in any direction except the way it came”. Atoms radiate photons randomly and some return in the same direction.”

Obviously I did not say that. I said there is a restriction on cold bodies raising the temperature of a warmer body. If you surrounded yourself by an entire “death star” of ice – you were placed right in the center of it – ALL of that IR energy from the ice-star, which would be tremendously more energy than you radiate at ~30C (or whatever skin temperature humans are), would not raise your temperature. It could be emitting one-billion times more thermal-IR than you do, and you could be right at the center of the sphere, but it would still not warm you. You would still cool. Even if the “death-star” you were in the center of were 29C, you would still cool.

“What if we put it this way: Greenhouse gases don’t warm^ the planet but they do create a situation where the Sun can warm the world to a temperature above where it previously was without the gases?”

The Sun can only warm the planet to whatever its insolation temperature is. If a planet surface is warmer it is because of additional physical contributions, such as adiabatic compression and convection, etc. Any IR energy as a result of these processes are just that – the RESULT. They cannot self-amplify the temperature or energies of the system as they are the consequence of what has already happened, not the cause of what has already happened.
Also, the discussion of the actual solar insolation and resulting expected temperature can be read about in “Understanding…”. The input insolation upon the Earth is NOT -18C…it is actually +30C on average with a maximum of around +121C, depending on local effects and extinction. It is only the “effective”, or mathematically and theoretically averaged energy OUTPUT of the entire system, as compared to a Black Body, which equates to -18C. This does not mean this is the actual kinetic temperature you should find, nor does it say where you should actually find it even if it was.

“… it describes reality with a technical accuracy.”

Well, I disagree It isn’t accurate, ENOUGH.

In regard to Hammer’s post, I will just say this:

The effect of an atmosphere on a planet is to modulate the surface temperature from the extremes it would otherwise experience, as is the case on the moon compared to Earth. ANY atmosphere, independent of GHG’s, has a thermal capacity and ability to retain heat, and so it will ALWAYS be the case that the presence of an atmosphere keeps the “bottom-of-atmosphere” average temperature higher than the effective mathematical equivalent (as just discussed). If adiabatic effects are added to this then the “bottom-of-atmosphere” temperature can rise even further – even to well above the original Solar insolation, as is the case on Venus.
So consider then what the strongest GHG, H2O vapour, does in contribution to this effect: it is the best modulator of temperature that we have in our atmosphere. Under the Sun, in the tropics with lots of H20 vapour, the temperature will raise to LESS-than whatever the Solar insolation says it should. For some reason all the H2O doesn’t amplify the temperature. Very telling.
Then at night, comparing a tropic region to a desert, the tropic region cools by only a fraction of what a desert does. They likely have roughly the same “daily-average” temperature.
So the strongest GHG actually kept it cooler under the Sun than it should have been, and cooler than a desert, even with all the extra back-IR “heating”, of which a desert experiences very little.
There’s nothing wrong with being kept warm at night…but there is a significant concern if Solar insolation heating is modulated downwards by GHG’s.
The only extra heating more CO2 could provide is that contribution to increasing the atmospheric depth and density, such as to increase the physical heating effects.
I think we agree that ideally, CO2 concentration should be above at least 1000ppmv, in order to sustain the biosphere and improve its productivity. I am not sure this can be attained via fossil fuel burning…but I DO think we should try! Even if it DID warm the planet…well that would be great. The climate has always changed and it is only the intellectually inept, and the physically lazy, who now try to use other-people’s MONEY to avoid doing the work and economic improvements to adapt to it.

But as it is, the GH postulate is borne out of an incorrect application of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, and worse, an illogical interpretation of its result. Under such a scenario, a logician EXPECTS non-physical postulates and theories to be borne out of an illogical premise. Applying the Laws of Thermodynamics, and trying to figure out how the 2nd Law applies, is secondary to this more fundamental physical mistake. Though, again, we should expect to find an inability to agree on the correct application under such a scenario.

We (the Slayers of the Sky-Dragon) will be publishing a new paper in the coming weeks which quantitatively will put this issue to rest…if logic is allowed back into the paradigm. We will also outline (and carry out) the proper physics experiment which anyone can perform, to actually prove or disprove the thesis on either side – such is the way science actually works.

• #
mkelly

“In reality, you put on a blanket and your temperature goes up.”

Nope my body temp is 98.6 F and does not increase unless I have an ailment. The rate at which I lose heat to the surroundings changes. I suspect this is what you meant.

• #
Nullius in Verba

I have a deep pond of clear water with a perfectly black liner at the bottom. It is a sunny day. Sunlight shines through the water and is absorbed by the liner. Being a black body, the liner radiates at a rate dependent on its temperature, but this radiation is absorbed almost immediately by the water – within a few millimetres. The water itself radiates, and this radiation is again almost immediately reabsorbed. If radiation were the only mechanism for heat transfer, and we maintained conditions until it reached steady state, what would be the temperature distribution of the water in the pond?

The top surface of the water – a layer a few millimetres thick – must radiate as much energy upwards as the pond receives from the sun. It radiates the same amount downwards, so is continually losing energy at about twice the rate of solar heating. Where does this energy come from? From the layer below – which must be radiating two units up, to keep the top layer’s temperature constant, and two below, by symmetry. It is losing energy at four times the rate of solar heating. Where does it come from? We know that we’re getting one unit from the layer above, so we must be getting three from the layer below. It is now radiating six times the solar heat, three up and three down. Where does it come from? We only get two units from the layer above, so it must get four from below. And so on.

Radiated power increases linearly with depth, and hence temperature with the fourth root of depth.

A pond of water contains the pure-radiative greenhouse mechanism concentrated into a tiny space. Every layer receives radiation from the cooler layer above – hundreds of stacked ‘greenhouses’ on top of one another. We know warm water radiates – because we can observe it with an IR camera – and we may suppose it continues to do so even when surrounded by more water. (You could try putting a waterproof IR camera under the water to see if it receives anything.) Back-radiation exists.

• #
BobC

Bryan (@45):
May 21st, 2011 at 12:32 am
BobC says

….” A large refrigerated mirror is taken to a sunny beach, where it is positioned to reflect sunlight onto a sunbather.” …….

Reflection is a different process to absorption and emission

Yeah, that was sort of the point of the example. Absorption and re-emission of photons that excite vibrational resonances in CO2 molecules is a different process than blackbody absorption and radiation also. Like the mirror, it is not dependent on temperature.

BobC says….”If they do not transfer this energy due to a collision”

The relaxation time is much longer than the chance of losing the energy by collision. 10 to the power of ten collisions per second at STP

First, we’re not talking about CO2 at ground level (STP), but in the stratosphere. Differential spectroscopy of the atmosphere from satellites shows that line broadening is essentially non-detectable at those altitudes. Hence collisions have negligible effect there.

Second, line broadening due to collisions smears out the resonances, but does not change the total energy absorbed and re-emitted, so my comment about collisions is mostly irrelevant, as the vast majority of collisions are elastic and don’t change the internal energy of the molecules. (If this weren’t so, CO2 would not follow the gas law.)

• #
RJ

@46

5. Since warm and cold are opposites, less cold is the equivalent of warmer. Surrounding earth’s surface with an opaque cool atmosphere make it warmer than it would be if exposed directly to the ultra frigid outer space.

But only due to an reduced cooling rate.

It you say it makes it warmer people might then assume (as many I know do) that GHGs further warm the surface. Even above the maximum from the sun only. Or that backradiation can increase the temperature of an object with a steady heat source. Or that a blanket can increase our temperature (rather than just reduce cooling) or ice can warm use up due to backradiation etc.

If we say for example -the planet average surface temperature is higher because GHGs reduce the surface cooling rate. Don’t use warmer without qualifications.

Its best to be precise otherwise wrong assumptions will be made. Especially by people who want to understand but have little time to understand this topic. I stress now a slower cooling rate at the surface not a warmer surface when I explain the impact of GHGs.

• #
BobC

RJ:
May 21st, 2011 at 12:21 am

The radiation hits the ground but does not increase the surface temperature

Mind elaborating on exactly what happens at the molecular level here? In what way is a photon from a cold object different from a photon with the exact same energy from a hot object?

• #
Bryan

Joanne Michael Hammer at 46

The process you describe is essentially insulation.
Heat can travel by three methods

Lets say Earth surface is at 288K and deep space at 3K
1. Radiation from atmospheric gases(back radiation) can provide radiative insulation by sending back some energy to planet surface.
2. Conduction air molecules leaving Earth surface have RMS speeds of around 500m/s.
If the air molecules left and never came “back” then this energy would be lost from Earth forever.
However the air molecules do come back with a reduced speed thus returning some energy back to the Earth surface.(Backconduction).
3. Convection we would all would agree is the biggest heat transfer mechanism in the atmosphere but as hot air rises so colder air falls.
So we also have back convection returning energy to the surface.
All three methods of heat transfer insulate the Earth surface from a chilly “would otherwise be”.

Now dealing with the “CO2 greenhouse effect”.
If the CO2 partially retards the radiative loss at night then it will retard the IR component of Solar radiation during the day.
The net effect could well be overall cooling of the Earths atmosphere.
Hottel and Schack have made measurements of the radiative properties of CO2 and have concluded that the effects are very small at atmospheric temperatures.
The clouds produce much more radiation than CO2 and H2O in gaseous form.

• #
mkelly

UPDATE #1 From Michael Hammer

All gases absorb heat. Gases are very good dissipaters of heat. N2 and O2 absorb heat at the surface via conduction and rise via convection. So aren’t all gases GHG since we would have a “heated” atmosphere even if it was only N2 and O2.

• #
RJ

@ 48

But does anyone claim it does not. And isn’t backradiation simply radiation given off by a object that is heated by another object. So radiation from the earth that travel towards the sun is backradiation isn’t it. It will not heat the sun though.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“It will not heat the sun though.”

It will slow the rate at which the sun loses heat, and increase its temperature by a tiny amount though.

• #
RJ

Mind elaborating on exactly what happens at the molecular level here? In what way is a photon from a cold object different from a photon with the exact same energy from a hot object?

Not all photons are the same. And photons from a colder object do not warm a warmer one

This was covered on the last thread refer 407 on

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/why-greenhouse-gas-warming-doesnt-break-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#more-14778

• #
Alistair

An awful lot of guff has been written about GHG warming here, including by myself although I have used the usual weasel words and self-questioned so I looked it up to check.

This a good analysis: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/co2-heats-the-atmosphere-a-counter-view/

The requirement for local thermodynamic equilibrium means the following:

1. absorption of IR by CO2 is balanced by equal and opposite emission of IR from all directions, the practical result of Prevost’s Law of Interchanges and Kirchhoff’s Law.

2. there can be no heating of the atmosphere by that transiently absorbed vibrational energy.

4. anyone who claims anything different hasn’t studied the physics.

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 21st, 2011 at 2:23 am

If the CO2 partially retards the radiative loss at night then it will retard the IR component of Solar radiation during the day.
The net effect could well be overall cooling of the Earths atmosphere.

Except for this fact: The peak of the Sun’s output is in the visible where CO2 is transparent. Hence CO2 scatters a very small proportion of the Sun’s energy input to the Earth. However, the peak radiative power from the Earth is in the deep IR, 30 times the wavelength of the visible, due to it’s much cooler temperature than the Sun. Hence CO2 can scatter a significantly larger proportion of the Earth’s total radiated energy than the Sun’s.

• #
RJ

@ 55

and increase its (the suns) temperature by a tiny amount though.

I don’t agree. It will make no difference whatsoever. Photons from a colder body can not heat a warmer one.

post 97

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/why-greenhouse-gas-warming-doesnt-break-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#more-14778

There is no experimental (nor theoretical, in truth) framework which supports the idea of radiative self-amplification of temperature after insolation from another hotter source. I will spare details, but we will be experimentally proving this simple reality in due course. There is no such thing as conductive self-amplification of temperature; nor is there such a things as radiative self-amplification of temperature. Both conduction and radiation are modes of heat transfer and obey said laws of heat transfer. Radiation cannot conveniently get around those laws, as many try to claim.

• #
DavidA

Bryan solar radiation sits in the visible light spectrum so there isn’t any incoming IR from the sun in the day. The frequency of the radiation output by a warm body is a function of its temperature and bodies as hot as stars output visible light.

• #
BobC

Alistair:
May 21st, 2011 at 2:33 am

The requirement for local thermodynamic equilibrium means the following:

1. absorption of IR by CO2 is balanced by equal and opposite emission of IR from all directions, the practical result of Prevost’s Law of Interchanges and Kirchhoff’s Law.

You’re absolutely correct, if you are considering a blackbody. However, there is no requirement for a mirror, for example, to be in thermodynamic equilibrium with the radiation it is reflecting, nor for a CO2 molecule to have any particular kinetic energy before it can absorb or re-emit photons that excite it’s internal resonances.

2. there can be no heating of the atmosphere by that transiently absorbed vibrational energy.

I agree, to first order anyway.

Then, what do you call the photons that CO2 absorbs, then re-emits (due to excitation of vibrational energy states) when they happen to head back toward the Earth?

4. anyone who claims anything different hasn’t studied the physics.

This isn’t a valid argument.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“Photons from a colder body can not heat a warmer one.”

If photons from a cold body are absorbed by a warmer one, they increase its energy. The photons carry energy, the colder body loses energy by emitting them, the warmer body must gain the same energy by absorbing them.

• #
Alistair

BobC: ‘Then, what do you call the photons that CO2 absorbs, then re-emits (due to excitation of vibrational energy states) when they happen to head back toward the Earth?’

The necessary requirement of Kirchhoff’s Law for thermal equilibrium [it applies to all frequency intervals].

‘This isn’t a valid argument.’

Yup, you’re right but it made me feel better!

• #

RJ,

Not all photons are the same. And photons from a colder object do not warm a warmer one.

This is flat out wrong. Photons do not know where they’ve come from. Photons do not pass harmlessly through objects cooler than their source.

You are right in saying that not all photons are the same. They may differ in frequency (i.e. the quantum of energy they represent). This in turn affects which particles, atoms, or molecules will or will not absorb or emit the photon.

But it has nothing whatsoever to do with temperature or heat. Nothing at all.

Now, if you are talking about a huge mass of photons, then you can talk in aggregate. Given two masses of the same substance, so that both will emit and absorb in the same frequency, you can safely say that the warmer mass will emit more and absorb less than the cooler mass, so that the net effect will be the transfer of heat from the warmer mass to the cooler mass, through radiation.

But in that process, there will be photons that are emitted by particles in the cooler mass, and are absorbed by particles in the warmer mass. It will simply happen more often the other way around, so that the net effect is for the warm mass to pass heat to the cooler mass.

• #
RJ

@ 64

But it has nothing whatsoever to do with temperature or heat. Nothing at all.

? This seems a very strange comment

Are you saying for example photons are the same from the sun as from the earth.

• #
RJ

But in that process, there will be photons that are emitted by particles in the cooler mass, and are absorbed by particles in the warmer mass.

But these photons will not having a warming impact. At least according to the slayer book. And others including Postma in the previous thread as noted above (if I understand him correctly).

• #
KR

Alistair @ 57

1. absorption of IR by CO2 is balanced by equal and opposite emission of IR from all directions, the practical result of Prevost’s Law of Interchanges and Kirchhoff’s Law.

In the absence of collisions, which can transfer that energy elsewhere.

2. there can be no heating of the atmosphere by that transiently absorbed vibrational energy.

Absorbed IR increases the vibrational and electron energy levels in the absorbing molecule. Now, relaxation time for CO2 after absorption (before emission) averages 1 millisecond, while at sea level pressure there’s a collision with another molecule ever 1 nanosecond. That means that an excited CO2 molecule collides with ~1000 other molecules before it can emit, raising the average energy of the atmosphere.

This means that energy gets transferred to/from the surrounding O2, N2, argon, etc, warming the atmosphere. The CO2 molecule won’t emit unless it’s at that energy state for a millisecond or more, which means that CO2 emission is proportional to the temperature of the atmosphere, not the amount of IR absorbed.

Your statement is flatly wrong, contrary to observations. And if your hypothesis is contradicted by the observations, it’s time for a new hypothesis.

It’s quite well observed and measured for something that is “impossible”. You are incorrect.

4. anyone who claims anything different hasn’t studied the physics.

It’s statements like these that cause climate scientists to dismiss skeptics – nonsense and, quite frankly, insults. If you push views like this you will be ignored as a crank. You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Jo Nova – Regular posters know that I often disagree with you on various topics. On this one, however, I must applaud your willingness to face off with those skeptics holding fixed opinions contrary to the data.

I really want to see skeptics at the table – presenting opinions and hypotheses supported by facts. A one-sided debate isn’t a good idea. But promoting nonsense means you won’t be taken seriously.

• #
RJ

@ 67

I really want to see skeptics at the table – presenting opinions and hypotheses supported by facts.

But only if they support your beliefs.

• #
Alistair

KR: you have not considered the thermodynamic requirement of the equipartition of energy. That means the proportion of excited CO2 molecules is solely a function of absolute temperature so absorption and re-emission is exactly neutral.

I too was seduced by kinetic arguments until I went back to my fundamental thermodynamics.

Climate Science relies for its justification of ‘back radiation’ the incorrect mathematics of Arthur Milne who used the wrong boundary condition when he solved the PDE for IR absorption in the atmosphere. Miskolczi shows it vanishes when you correct the maths.

• #
KR

RJ @ 66

But in that process, there will be photons that are emitted by particles in the cooler mass, and are absorbed by particles in the warmer mass.

But these photons will not having a warming impact.

Then what, pray tell, happens to the energy carried by those photons? Your statement violates the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy.

The IR absorption spectra of the Earth’s surface is almost that of a blackbody in IR, about a 98% chance of absorbing any IR photon that hits it. The atmosphere radiates in IR, therefore the surface absorbs 98% of the photons striking it from the slightly cooler atmosphere.

Why? Because photons do not carry ID tags.

The second law of thermodynamics is a statistical law – in total, more energy leaves the warmer object than the cooler object. In exchange, net (total) energy moves from warmer to cooler. But the rate of net energy depends on the differences in temperature – and a cool object nearby will cause less net energy transfer away from (slower cooling of) the warm object than a cold object (like outer space).

• #
Nullius in Verba

“But these photons will not having a warming impact.”

Photons are all the same in the sense that they all carry energy. The energy is lost by the originating system – irrespective of its current temperature – and is gained by the absorbing system – again, irrespective of its current temperature.

If a body is at a higher temperature, then more photons will be emitted from it and each one will carry more energy, but they all carry energy away, and that energy ends up in whatever absorbs them, whatever its temperature might be.

“At least according to the slayer book.”

And how about according to reality?

Is the slayer book correct? Sceptics shouldn’t take the answer for granted, just because it argues against AGW. Every photon carries positive energy from the emitter to the absorber. Warm bodies emit photons at a rate and of a size dependent only on their own colour and temperature, and if other bodies absorb those photons the energy they carry ends up in the absorbing body. There’s nowhere else it can go. If the slayer book says otherwise, the slayer book is wrong.

None of this means that the conventional explanation is correct, it just means that this particular claim isn’t the real reason it is wrong. (If you think about my first post above, with the pond, you might be able to see the real problem with it.)

• #
Bryan

Bob says

…..”Except for this fact: The peak of the Sun’s output is in the visible where CO2 is transparent. Hence CO2 scatters a very small proportion of the Sun’s energy input to the Earth. However, the peak radiative power from the Earth is in the deep IR, 30 times the wavelength of the visible, due to it’s much cooler temperature than the Sun. Hence CO2 can scatter a significantly larger proportion of the Earth’s total radiated energy than the Sun’s.”……

Are you still on about reflection?
Most discussion centres around absorption and emission
What type of scattering are you referring to.

• #
KR

Alistair @ 69

Thermal absorption and emission spectra are equivalent when an object is at thermal equilibrium – not changing in temperature.

That doesn’t mean that the same molecule will emit that energy, though, just that in the statistical case as many will be absorbed as emitted. And if you increase the IR into a volume of atmosphere, that atmosphere (all of it, not just CO2) will warm until the emission spectra increases to balance it.

Miskolczi’s work has many issues, all of which are rather off-topic here.

I will note again that “back-radiation”, or rather the thermal radiation from the atmosphere that strikes the surface, is a very well observed phenomena. See this link for an example. Flatly denying facts like these, well, really doesn’t improve your chances of convincing anyone who is well informed about the physics.

• #
KR

Bryan @ 72

Solar radiation below 4 micrometers (what is normally considered longwave radiation) is about 0.5% of the spectra. See the spectra here.

At visible/UV bands Rayleigh scattering is an influence.

• #
KR

RJ @ 68

I really want to see skeptics at the table – presenting opinions and hypotheses supported by facts.

But only if they support your beliefs.

No – only if they match the facts. I’m willing to change my opinions given sufficient evidence. Are you?

I’m not willing to accept any statement that supports my beliefs, not matter how weak, without testing against reality (that’s confirmation bias). What about you?

• #
Alistair

KR: DLR exists but it has to be balanced by ULR for thermal equilibrium.

The principle of equipartition of energy means that when a CO2 molecule absorbs a photon, from any direction, another molecule emits one, also in any direction.

• #
Alistair

PS: an idea just popped in. The reason why clouds warm at night is because when you have liquid water they unlike single phase air can store energy at constant temperature via the latent of heat of evaporation as the temperature of the local air increases slightly in LTE with that water.

But it’s not greenhouse heating!

• #
BobC

RJ:
May 21st, 2011 at 3:06 am
@ 64
This seems a very strange comment
Are you saying for example photons are the same from the sun as from the earth.

That is correct. Photons have no identities, only frequencies (hence, energies) and directions of travel. Both the Sun and the Earth emit photons over an infinite range of wavelengths. Look at this plot of blackbody curves from Wikipedia. (Also see here, for a more analytical description.)

Note that, while the peak wavelength and total power change with temperature, any object above absolute zero will emit photons of every wavelength.

Any two photons with the same wavelength are identical in every respect (except, perhaps, for their direction of travel).

• #
KR

Alistair @ 76

The principle of equipartition of energy means that when a CO2 molecule absorbs a photon, from any direction, another molecule emits one, also in any direction.

Statistically, when a mass at thermal equilibrium receives photons, it emits the same number. But not on an individual photon/photon basis! Not instantly! You don’t get a photon instantly kicked out one side when another comes in. Statistically, conservation of energy requires it.

DLR exists but it has to be balanced by ULR for thermal equilibrium.

No – incoming energy (convection, latent heat, radiation) must be balanced by outgoing energy (convection, latent heat, radiation) if a mass is at thermal equilibrium. There is no requirement that the balance of energy exchange be the same – and it is not, in the general case.

Also note that net energy (heat flow) goes from the sun to the surface to the atmosphere to space (with a side track of sun, atmosphere, space). The surface sends more net energy to the atmosphere than the atmosphere returns.

I suggest you do some reading up on the physics, Alistair.

• #
CHIP

I don’t know that much about physics (hardly anything) but I’d like to offer my thoughts on this subject. I think where some people are getting confused is that they are applying the second law of thermodynamics to a closed-system and, of course, in a thermodynamically closed-system a cold body could obviously never increase the temperature of a warmer body. However the earth is an open-system and is continually receiving new radiant-energy from the sun which is then emitted from the surface into the atmosphere where it is then reradiated multidirectionally by greenhouse gases, upwards and downwards proportionately. Some photons will make it back down to the earth’s surface to heat it further (albeit this heating I imagine would probably be immeasurably small) and the rest will escape harmlessly into space. Where is the conflict with the second law of thermodynamics in that? I see none. The idea that heat cannot flow from a cold body to a warmer one would be correct if we were dealing with a closed-system, but we are not. And as has been noted before, it applies only to net energy flows. All bodies above -273° emit radiation. To increase the temperature of a system surely you just need to either increase the input or slow the output of energy (as Joanne says). Maybe I have this all skew-whiff, in which case, I would welcome correction.

• #
Alistair

PPS: the logical inference is that the gas phase of the atmosphere is almost instantaneously in thermal equilibrium at all points and the only energy storage is via the phase transition of water, usually combined with convection.

What we also have is a percolation problem. Miskolczi is part way there but more needs to be understood.

it seems that back radiation is a primitive belief system of people with too little faith in or too little knowledge of science!

• #

The Greenhouse Effect Simplified Diagram

This is a very simple diagram of energy in and out.

Energy in from the sun (yellow) equals 4 units.

The earth is warmer than it should be (288K instead of 255K in real life, or 5 units instead of 4 units in our simplified case), so it has a temperature of 5 and emits 5 units of energy. Orange represents the energy that escapes unimpeded into space, while red represents the energy intercepted by the atmosphere.

The atmosphere is cool, with a temperature of 2, and emitting 2 in our simple case, but because of its position in the system, it emits both “up” and “down” (or “in” and “out”).

Note that of the 5 units emitted by the earth, 3 make it out into space uninterrupted. The atmosphere is transparent to this radiation. The other 2 are absorbed by the atmosphere, and then radiated back, 1 up, 1 down.

Note that everything balances.

The earth-atmosphere system as a whole received 4 units in and sends 4 units out.
The atmosphere receives 2 units in and sends 2 unites out.
The surface of the earth receives 5 units in and sends 5 units out.

Note also that net heat is passing from the warmer object (the earth) to the cooler object (the atmosphere). The atmosphere is not warming the earth. On the contrary, the earth is warming the atmosphere. Heat flows from warm to cold, but that flow is not uni-direction in part, only in aggregate.

And yet the earth has a temperature of 5 units, not 4.

• #
RJ

@ 70

Then what, pray tell, happens to the energy carried by those photons? Your statement violates the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy.

Here’s my response on the other thread @ 413

OK I think I have found the answer to my question above in the slayers book ch 18 Claus Johnson

An ideal blackbody absorbs all incoming radiation and remits all absorbed energy below cut off.

Conservation of energy requires absorbed frequencies above cut-off to be stored in some form, more precisely as heat energy thus increasing the temperature of the blackbody.

So the radiation would initially be absorbed but this would not raise the temperature of the warmer body.

• #
KR

RJ @ 83 – “the radiation would initially be absorbed but this would not raise the temperature of the warmer body.”

Then where does this energy go? The ninth dimension? Into the Tardis?

Again – your statement violates conservation of energy. The energy absorbed must be somewhere – and that somewhere is in vibrational and orbital energy, also known as increased temperature.

Really, RJ – photons have an energy but no ID cards.

Here’s a couple of questions for you, RJ:

If a 15C object (like the ground) has a 98% change of absorbing a 10 micrometer photon, and is struck by a 10 micrometer photon from an ice cube, what is the probability of absorption – (hint, 98%).

If a 15C object (like the ground) has a 98% change of absorbing a 10 micrometer photon, and is struck by a 10 micrometer photon from a pot of boiling water, what is the probability of absorption – (hint, 98%).

• #
RJ

KR @ 75

I’m willing to change my opinions given sufficient evidence.

Here’s chapter 18 from the slayers book. In PDF format. It expands on my post @ 83. Please read with an open mind though.

• #
BobC

Sphaerica (Bob) @82:
May 21st, 2011 at 4:29 am

The Greenhouse Effect Simplified Diagram

There is nothing unphysical about this at all — energy trapping cavities are extremely common and uncontroversial:

1) All resonant devices, from optical etalons to organ pipes, to kids on a swingset can achieve higher internal energy density than the driving external energy density, by storing the energy temporarily.

2) Your diagram is exactly analogous to the “heater in a blanket” argument we’ve heard here, if you substitute the incoming solar energy for the electrical wires bringing power to the heater, and consider the atmosphere as the insulator.

It is also conceptually similar to keeping warm by wearing a down jacket. The jacket is definitely colder then your body, but keeps you warm nevertheless. Your body has an internal heat source, but the Sun is injecting energy into the Earth through a short-wave transparent window in the atmosphere, so it amounts to the same thing.

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 21st, 2011 at 3:25 am

Are you still on about reflection?
Most discussion centres around absorption and emission
What type of scattering are you referring to.

Absorption of a photon, followed by emission of a photon of the same energy IS a form of scattering.

• #

BobC,

Exactly.

The point is that the diagram clearly shows that the cooler atmosphere is not heating the warmer surface. Energy exchange is taking place in both directions, but the net is always in the right direction (from warm to cool), in keeping with the second law of thermodynamics, and yet the surface of the earth is warmer than it would be without an atmosphere (and specifically one with greenhouse gas properties).

• #
KR

RJ @ 85

Sadly, that did not take long.

A theoretic blackbody, as they state, is such that:

“…all frequencies are being absorbed.” (emphasis added)

The misstatement comes a couple lines later, with:

“Conservation of energy requires absorbed frequencies above cut-off to be stored in some form, more precisely as heat energy thus increasing the temperature of the blackbody.” (emphasis added)

This is incorrect – conservation of energy requires that all absorbed photons of all frequencies be stored in some form, more precisely as heat energy increasing the temperature of the blackbody.

Then:

“A blackbody thus absorbs and emits frequencies below cut-off without getting warmer, while absorbed frequencies above cut-off are not emitted but are instead stored as heat energy increasing the temperature.”

Completely, utterly false.

All photons carry energy. All absorbed photons add to the energy of the blackbody. The blackbody (at equilibrium) will radiate a thermal spectra with a power equal to the total absorbed energy. There is no separation between absorbed/warming and absorbed/radiated – conservation of energy holds, and the total energy absorbed must be emitted – not identical photons, but an amount carrying power equal to what is absorbed at all frequencies. Please read the black body Wiki – it’s a decent overview.

Next, Clas Johnson attempts to supplant quantum mechanics, introducing a function simply to separate energy into coherent waves (emitted) and incoherent (warming) frequencies. Aside from the hubris of supplanting quantum mechanics (the basis of so much, including the computer I’m writing upon) due to a dislike of the results, it is noteworthy to point out that emitted thermal radiation is incoherent, contradicting this mechanism.

Here’s a clear counterexample for you, RJ: CO2 lasers (in the IR) burning through materials – found all through industry. Surely by Clas’s physics all that light would be below the cutoff, each photon too low in frequency, and just re-emitted, rather than burning holes in stuff? Hmm???

The rest is more of the same…

Given this example of Clas Johnson’s physics, I will have to say that I’m quite inclined to dismiss the entire book as bull****. This section certainly is.

• #

RJ,

I glanced at the chapter. I’ve never seen such drivel in my life. You are going to be and stay hopelessly lost as long as you use that book as a source of “knowledge” about science. We’re not even talking climate science here, but just plain, ordinary physics.

• #
KR

RJ

I completely agree with Sphaerica (Bob) on this topic. This book is nonsense, pure and simple. Please – find a textbook or something, and learn some physics from that.

You’re basing your opinions on a physics that Alice in Wonderland would find hallucinatory – you’re not going to get far with that.

• #
RJ

KR

Did you note this section from my post above.

• #
RJ

@ 89

All photons carry energy. All absorbed photons add to the energy of the blackbody.

Only if a cooler body can heat a warmer one. And it can not. Its a false belief that some will not let go. But the tide is turning and quickly.

• #
BobC

Alistair:
May 21st, 2011 at 4:26 am

PPS: the logical inference is that the gas phase of the atmosphere is almost instantaneously in thermal equilibrium at all points and the only energy storage is via the phase transition of water, usually combined with convection.

So, radiation in transit is not stored energy, but heat in transit is? What a surprise to optical physicists who have been utilizing radiation in transit storage (in etalons) for 150 years!

it seems that back radiation is a primitive belief system of people with too little faith in or too little knowledge of science!

(There you go again, with these ‘fun’ non-arguments.)

So, if I had enough “faith” in science, I would not automatically assume that radiation scattered ‘back’ toward the first emitter was ‘back radiation’, but would have a choice of other obfuscatory labels for it.

What would you label the radiation emitted from the atmosphere toward the ground in Sphaerica (Bob)’s model @ 82? And why would any label change the effect it has of increasing the internal flux (and hence internal energy storage)?

• #
Bryan

It seems odd that the only people who seem happy with Michael Hammer two posts are rampant CAGW advocates like KR.
He is having a field pretending he knows some physics.

He is insulting sceptics in every post and now he will decide who are “approved sceptics” whose ideas can be tolerated as long as they dont conflict with IPCC guidelines.

For the record KR admits he knows very little about thermodynamics and there is little reason to doubt him.
A number of sceptic posters from the original thread are missing.
No doubt fed up with the KR tactic of constantly repeating the same nonsense hoping repetition might somehow make readers give up out of sheer boredom.

People who are in any doubt about the real physics should read the earlier thread where Leonard Weinstein, Postma and others made their contribution as there has been very little new insights presented here.

• #
BenAW

UPDATE #1 From Michael Hammer

4. In the absence of green house gases the earth is surrounded by an extremely cold object – outer space at 4K (-269C)

Never been there, but afaik outer space is an allmost perfect vacuum. Don’t think you can assign a temperature to “nothing”. 4K (2,75K?) is probably the Big Bang backgroundradiation?
I understand a big problem for NASA is to shed excess heat from spacecraft, because radiation is the only way, and isn’t very efficient in doing so.

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 21st, 2011 at 8:20 am

It seems odd that the only people who seem happy with Michael Hammer two posts are rampant CAGW advocates like KR.

Bryan, I don’t see anything wrong with Hammer’s posts (based on my degrees on physics, math and optical engineering). On the other hand, I’m not ready to say he is perfectly correct (or, if he is, what he calculates is relevant to the actual climate system of the Earth).

I still think CAGW is BullPuckey, however. CAGW hinges on the existence of never-ever seen positive feedbacks in the climate system — which, if they existed, would have rendered the Earth uninhabitable a billion years ago. It does not rest on the exact physics of GHGs.

• #
Bryan

BobC says

…”Bryan, I don’t see anything wrong with Hammer’s posts (based on my degrees on physics,”..

So which university taught you that heat can flow spontaneously from a colder surface to a warmer surface?

• #
KR

RJ

While its important to keep an open mind, its equally important that it not be open at both ends.

Clear violations of extremely basic physics… That is a sign of a book that isn’t worth reading. In this case, not worth printing.

• #
L.J. Ryan

Claes Johnson?…Is he the one whom claims insulating a -18C radiator will raise it’s temperature to 15C? Claes Johnson?…Is he the one whom makes contradictory statement about the atmosphere forcing only slowing loss, then says 240 W/m^2 solar input is increased to 390 W/m^2 as a result of the various interactions in the system (reflection, absorption, greenhouse effect, etc.).

Oh wait Claes Johnson doesn’t reserve such foolish tripe…ownership of this revolutionary thinking belongs to KR and Sphaerica (Bob). Talk about hubris.

• #
Craig Thomas

Like Venus, Bob?

• #

OOps Posted this to the wrong discussion first

An Interesting Approach here:

http://www.biocab.org/Density-of-Energy-in-Atmosphere.html

Which contains some graphs and calculations which Leads the Author to this conclusion:

“The warmhouse effect, or “greenhouse” effect, is not caused by the gases composing the atmosphere, but by the inversion of the decline of sensible heat flux with respect to the decline of the thermal energy density in the atmosphere. As the sensible heat flux increases as the energy density diminishes, the warmhouse effect happens. Conversely, as the sensible heat flux decreases simultaneously with a decrease of the energy density, the warmhouse effect terminates. Therefore, any increase of the sensible heat flux in the atmosphere follows from an increase in the incident solar energy on the Earth’s surface; consequently, any increase of the incident solar radiation on the Earth’s surface implies an increase of the energy density of any mass of air. Otherwise, the warmhouse effect, or “greenhouse” effect, would be impossible since energy is neither created nor destroyed, but only transformed.”

Obviously you have to have an atmosphere for this to happen. The guy’s first language is not English so the wording of the conclusion is a bit fuzzy and ambiguous. Just excuse this and read the article before commenting on its substance.

Love to see some well reasoned discussion on this one Jo.

• #

And here is another one to ponder:

This is an experiment where the researchers were experimenting to optimize a sun powered cooker but found you could also make it cool by pointing to a different place in the sky. Point it to the sun it cooks point elsewhere it can cool.

http://solarcooking.org/research/McGuire-Jones.mht

Oh boy this can’t be right – lets see, didn’t we learn here: The sun heats the ground, the hot air rises, it radiates back to the ground, the ground gets hotter, the hot air rises, it radiates back to the ground, the ground gets hotter…… MMmm, must be Utah liquor laws.

• #
Kevin

Mr. Hammer, with respect,

You do not have a comprehensive understanding of how heat/radiation flows through any system. Also, if you paid any significant amount of money for your “thermodynamics” training you should immediately seek a full refund of your money.

You wrote;

“What the so called green house gases are doing is to reduce Earth’s heat loss to outer space at some wavelengths”

Any engineer that has actually worked on “thermal management” (yes, this is a real engineering specialty) will tell you that is is IMPOSSIBLE TO REDUCE HEAT LOSS, if they are at all worth their salary they will inform you that it is only possible to SLOW (i.e. insulation) or HASTEN (i.e. substituting steel with copper, or heat pipes) the speed at which heat flows through a system. All heat is eventually LOST, it is only a question of how long it takes to LOSE it, and can it be replaced faster than it is LOST. ONLY if you can replace it faster than you lose it can you maintain a higher temperature.

Sorry to be rough, but you obviously have not designed any system that attempts to maintain a controlled temperature at a location. I have, and your observations are from my experience totally flawed.

Cheers, Kevin.

• #
DavidA

Whacky Physics Experiment # 87

We get 1 million lasers and direct them all at one point on a body who’s initial temperature is above the absorption threshold of the laser’s photons.

Despite having 1 million laser beams focussed on one spot there is no warming because no individual photon exceeds the absorption threshold. We can crank this up to 2,3 10,100 million, 1 trillion, infinity lasers and there is still no warming.

The body is cooling and eventually it cools to a level where photon absorption occurs and then BOOM the energy of 1 million lasers is absorbed all at once.

(or is it? each absorbed photon raises the temperature, when temperature exceeds the threshold absorption is stopped, equilibrium is maintained, maybe. rather than pinpoint we coat a sphere with laser beams… Whacky Physics Experiment # 88)

• #
DavidA

Kevin are you maybe getting just a bit too hung up on semantics?

” reduce Earth’s heat loss ”

If heat loss is slowed then heat loss is reduced over the course of time. For example, over the course of a night overall heat loss is reduced if the atmosphere slows the rate of heat loss.

• #
KR

DavidA @ 105

Thanks for that post – still laughing! I tried the same in @89, but many folks seem not to recognize a reductio when struck over the head with it.

Jo Nova – good luck with this crowd. You may need it…

• #
DavidA

KR amongst this crowd it’s a better to have more thumbs down than up!
\

[I hear you DavidA, but I ticked your #106 up - sorry:-) ! -- JN]

• #
IAmDigitap

It is just as easy as pie to check if there’s any additional heating due to CO2.

CO2 has risen in the past years. If optical telescopy shows no additional, chartable rise in distortion in the atmosphere, all your claims about how entropy blinked, and a well mixed, highly turbulent frigid bath heating a warm rock are where they were when you tried it at first: the waste bin.

HEAT on GAS is DIRECTLY CORRELATED to MOTION of that GAS’s ATOMs.

IF THAT GAS isn’t MORE ENERGETIC there is NO MORE HEAT in the ATMOSPHERE, and since the optical telescopy field hasn’t had people come up with the proof of additional turbulence,

and since the I.R. TELESCOPY FIELD hasn’t come trotting out THEIR proofs of rising I.R. pollution: all that claim about “I HAZ DUN CALCULATED ENTROPY DON’T WORK and a FIFTEEN BELOW BATH warmed a HOT ROCK” is made as evident to those who can’t count, as to those who can.

There can BE no overall heating by the atmosphere, and NO JOANN less cooling is NOT heating, no matter how upset people get, that they can’t make HEAT transfer in REVERSAL of E.N.T.R.O.P.Y.

Here’s how you can check if someone works transmitting, capturing, and analyzing atmospheric electromagnetic radiation: if they work in my field they don’t believe in a G.H.G. Effect because THE EFFECTS of RADIATION are STRAIGHTFORWARD.

No matter HOW many NON RADIATION SPECIALISTS CALCULATE MAGIC GAS,

THERE is a R.E.A.S.O.N. YOU CAN NOT FIND an INSTRUMENT on EARTH to MEASURE said MAGICAL PROPERTY.

Because you have been DECEIVED.

• #
IAmDigitap

You must always ask yourself joann if there are instruments that pick up some magical force claiming to reverse entropy – not to mention, gravity.
Joann are you aware that gravity is the sole driver of photonic energy on gas, climbing upward from the earth, ever higher?
This effect is derived from g.r.a.v.i.t.y.
To make a photon emit downward while it is furiously dragging an entire gas molecule, up
Is bizarre of itself: on it’s face you should have been suspicious, then.
Then when they told you they calculated a frigid cooling bath was heating a rock submerged, you should have been suspicious, then.
Then when they told you there isn’t an instrument in the world that can measure it,
T.h.e.y. L.i.e.d. To y o u joann, because all you have to do, is look at the stars twinkling over your head.
If that twinkling distortion has grown along with g.h.g. In the atmosphere, you’re on.
If not you’re done because heat on gas is motion.
P.e.r.i.o.d.
If there is no more motion there is no more heat and if there is no more heat when there is more g.h.g. Co2
Then you have been deceived by fools who thought their pressure would make you admit to a 15 below fluid bath
Heating
a warm rock.
Ask yourself joann how it is that you got snookered into believing calculations that show you entropy reversed, and instead of thermal energy spreading out to seek equilibrium,
Charges move from less concentrated, to more.
Joann if you want to know if there’s a g.h.g. Effect, ask yourself why this magically unmeasureable effect doesn’t even make the stars twinkle more at night.
You know that heat on gas means motion.
Why aren’t the people who magnify atmospheric heat anomalies thousands of times through optical instruments,
Coming forward with reports of ever more motion?
There’s ever more co2 joann.
So why not ever more motion?
Because : you’ve been conned by people who thought they calculated the end of e.n.t.r.o.p.y. And not just entropy but gravity.
Because if that radiation has turned around those gas atoms and shot downward, it had to have some way to know which way ‘down’ was, and these people have simply gotten away with telling you that
Photons on gas in gravity move down, and that photons on gas in gravity cause z.e.r.o. Motion of that gas.
Wow so now you believe in the magical gas that heats up but doesn’t move more.
Joann never: not ever: side with people who tell you they calculated entropy being reversed.
That’s not ever going to win.
N.ot
o.nce
n.ot
e.ver.
No instrument on earth?
Reversal of gravity?
Reversal of entropy itself??????
Yea right and i’ve got a magic bridge to sell you that you can’t see, can’t measure, but it’s there. The fact your car fell trying to drive on it just shows how little you know about bridges????????????
Oh palease.

• #
L.J. Ryan

Joanne Nova and Michael Hammer 46

4. In the absence of green house gases the earth is surrounded by an extremely cold object – outer space at 4K (-269C). Green house gases make the atmosphere opaque at some wavelengths. With these in place the earths surface is in effect surrounded by a merely cool atmosphere instead of the truly frigid outer space. Because the surface is now surrounded by a less cold object than it was before it is less cold.

5. Since warm and cold are opposites, less cold is the equivalent of warmer. Surrounding earth’s surface with an opaque cool atmosphere make it warmer than it would be if exposed directly to the ultra frigid outer space.

re 4) This assumes no other energy/temperature inputs exists. Pressure has a very well understood, uncontroversial relationship with temperature. To the extent CO2 plays a role in warming the earths surface, it is CO2 additive mass. That aside, you supposition has a larger hurdle to clear.

re 5) If you stand amongst ice blocks, you body struggles to maintain 37 C. The temperature loss surrounded by CO2 blocks will be faster. On this we agree. However, if you were to move from blocks of CO2 to blocks of H2O your body would not increase beyond 37 C. Similarly, the earth input energy 240 W/m^2 confers -18 C. Larger hurdle The earth struggles to maintain -18 C with no GHG…now introduce GHG, the earth struggles less to maintain -18 C, it does not however shoot up to 15 C.

• #

Joseph Postma has replied but it was caught in the spam and only just released at way back at #47. I’ve copied his whole reply to the bottom of the post (Update #2) and replied in line. See the update.

I want to simplify the argument, and isolate one point – the second law – so we can hopefully move on to other points that may be valid.

• #

This is a topic visited on Roy Spencers Blog site.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

I believe the following is the killer argument on this issue, But would someone like to muddy the water, by telling us that vectors have both magnitude and direction and both the emitting gas and the surface would be directionally noisy and suggest a calculus that resolves the potential impulse leakage problem if there is one.

Irwin Hasenwinkle says:
July 30, 2010 at 6:38 AM

Dear Dr. Spencer,

In your post of July 23rd , “Yes Virginia Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still”, you made the following statements: “…radiation flow involves energy flow in both directions. “ and “Can Energy Flow Uphill? In the case of radiation the answer to that question is, yes”. With all due respect, I think these comments are not correct and suggest the following for your consideration:

The Poynting Vector characterizes the power of any electromagnetic wave, including infrared radiation. The Poynting Vector is the cross (or vector) product, ExH, where E and H are the associated electric and magnetic field vectors.

Assume two plane-polarized electromagnetic sinusoidal waves propagating in exactly opposite directions. If each wave is considered separately, the scalar magnitudes of the Poynting Vectors for each at any given point in space is [1]

P1=(E1^2)(cos^2(wt))/n

And

P2=(E2^2)(cos^2(wt))/n

Where:

E1, E2 are the peak magnitudes of each of the two electric fields in Volts per meter.
n is the intrinsic impedance in ohms.
w is the frequency in radians per sec.
t is time in sec
P1, P2 are the values for power in Watts per square meter

The direction of each Poynting Vector can be shown to be in the direction of propagation.

The questions are: If both waves occupy the same space, can one treat these two Poynting Vectors as if they are completely independent so that energy flows both directions? If so, what is the net energy flow? If these waves were truly independent, would not the net energy be the vector sum of the respective Poynting Vectors?

But wait, the electric and magnetic field components of the two waves are also vectors. Hence, the actual value of the electric or magnetic field at any point in space is the vector addition of the individual field values. For electric fields that are exactly opposite, this value is E1 – E2. The scalar value of the Poynting Vector for this resultant field is:

P2=((E1 – E2)^2)(cos^2(wt))/n

This result is clearly not the same as P1 – P2, the vector addition of the individual Poynting Vectors, since E1^2 – E2^2 does not equal (E1 – E2)^2.

Note that the direction of the latter Poynting Vector is based on cross product of E and H, the vector sums of the individual electric and magnetic field vectors. It has but one direction!

Which is correct? In my opinion, the Poynting Vectors (i.e. power flow) calculated from individual electromagnetic waves cannot be treated independently. This is analogous to the superposition theorem in circuit theory where total current flow of a linear circuit is calculated by considering each voltage source in the circuit separately and then by summing the results. One may not, however, sum the losses produced by each of these calculated currents to find the total power dissipated in the circuit since power losses are based on the square of the current. Similarly, Poynting Vectors are based on the square of the electric field.

Thus, in the case where a hot body and a cold body both emit electromagnetic radiation, the direction of electromagnetic energy flow will be from the hot to the cold body since the hot body will produce a stronger electromagnetic field. Energy does not flow both ways. That being the case, energy cannot “flow uphill” and the second law of thermodynamics remains intact.

[1] Skilling, H. H., Fundamentals of Electric Waves, p135, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1948

• #

Re: Jo’s comment #18

It gives alarmists good reason to mock, laugh and distract us from the science that matters.

Hi Jo, in science one must never fear being mocked or ridiculed or going against the “consensus”. In fact progress in science more often than not requires this; surely?

When it comes to electromagnetic radiation the “speed of heat flow” is isn’t slowed down by the presence of other, colder objects or even of warmer ones.

The most that can happen, for example, to change your temperature is to have a warmer object warm you and then you will increase in temperature and emit EMR energy proportional to T^4. Thus, heat loss is never ever slowed down in the case of EMR.

Stuff just mutually radiates to each other. That’s the natural state of the Universe. You can’t get energy from that.

The EMR that is lost from an object occurs at a rate, and transfers heat at a rate, only related to its temperature and not to the temperature of other objects. Period.

• #
RJ

Another great response by Joseph. And I look forward to the next paper.

• #
cohenite

Yes, KR, is on a role, but he ignores the hard tasks; I am still waiting for a proper response to my queries at 402 and 474 in the previous thread:

And at 34 on this thread. More pertinently and following on from CO2ISLIFE @114 I post this excellent explanation of the 2nd Law and heat transfer for KR’s edification.

Microstates and the Outer Space

To properly talk about microstates, we need that any amount of matter is present in a given medium. We cannot talk about microstates if we have not, at least, one Hydron (H+) in a given medium.

A microstate refers to any initial of final configuration of the energy in a given system.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, although initially was derived from the observation of thermal processes, has been proven to be acting on every level of energy exchange between two or more systems.

Initially, the Second Law was described in terms of the directionality in the flow of the energy in transit (a process function), which depends on the states of the systems involved in the exchange of such energy in transit. The Second Law clearly specified that the work only can be done by a higher energy density system on a lower energy density system and not the opposite.

However, with the advent of Quantum Physics, the scientists wondered whether this Law was valid at the quantum level or not. The answer to this question was given heuristically through the calculations of Maxwell, Boltzmann and Gibbs. The heuristic character of the calculations vanished when those hypotheses were later confirmed by experimentation.

In consequence, the definition of the Second Law was amplified to include its influence on the quantum level and not only on those process functions where heat and work were implied.

This shift was important because it defined the real concept of entropy and detached it from contextual derivations. For example, now we know that the fundamental concept of entropy has nothing to do with disorder, movement, complexity or heat “content”, but with the configurations that the energy adopts in a given system and the directionality of the energy exchange.

Entropy is now defined as the natural trend of the energy to flow towards the system or systems with a higher number of available microstates.

Let us say that two systems permit six configurations of the energy. One of them, let us say the system A, has four “occupied” configurations and only two available configurations. The other system, or system B, has only one “occupied” configuration and five available configurations. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the energy will flow spontaneously from the system A to the system B and never the opposite.

Perhaps, you are wondering if the energy could flow from B to A during the process. The answer is no because two systems implied in an energy exchange process cannot adopt the same configuration at once, although any system could adopt any configuration.

To calculate the number of microstates that a system can adopt, we resort to the following formula:

Nms = N! / (n1! * n2! * n3! …)

Where Nms is the number of available microstates (Maxwell-Boltzmann Number), N is the number of particles, and n is the number of particles in a determined occupied microstate. For example, we have a system A that have six particles from which four are in the microstate 0E, one is in the microstate 3E and one is in the microstate 5E. The number of available microstates for system A is:

Nms = 6! / (4! * 1! * 1!) = 720 / 24 = 30

Then, 30 is the number of available microstates for this system.

Let us consider a system B with the same number of particles (six) and the same number of levels of energy, i.e. six, but where each particle is occupying a level of energy, i.e. one particle at level 0E, one particle at level 1E, one particle at level 2E, etc. The solution is as follows:

Nms = 6! / (1! * 1! * 1! *1! * 1! * 1!) = 720 / 1 = 720

This system offers more available microstates, that is, more configurations to be adopted by the energy in a radiation process. Therefore, the radiation will flow from system A, with 30 available microstates, towards system B, with 720 available microstates.

What about the outer space, where there is only one particle per cubic meter? Is it possible that it has more available microstates than the massive Earth?

All the particles in the deep space are in their basic configuration, that is, there are no particles occupying any level of energy, but only high speed protons, therefore:

Nms = 6! / (0!) = 720 / 1 = 720

Consequently, the radiation trajectory will be always from the Earth towards the deep space, the most efficient sink of radiation of any kind. Notice that it has nothing to do with temperature, disorder, complexity, etc.

Kevan Hashemi asked Cohenite if a particle at 300 K will or will not emit photons. Any particle at 300 K is at its fundamental energy state, i.e. its available microstates will be higher than those of any particle with a temperature above 300 K. Such particle won’t radiate, but it will absorb energy.

By Nasif S. Nahle, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet Mexico

• #
Phillip Bratby

I agree entirely with Joseph Postma’s post @47. Physics rules. End of story for the theory of the “greenhouse effect”.

• #
Louis Hissink

I’ll second Phillip Bratby’s summation and the following link adds more to the argument by going back to the times of Fourier and those who subsequently misinterpreted him.

http://greenhouse.geologist-1011.net/

There is no such thing as a greenhouse gas effect. Period.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“The Sun can only warm the planet to whatever its insolation temperature is.”

How about if you use a magnifying glass?

• #
Louis Hissink

Nullius,

A magnifying glass of a scale large enough to affect the thermal state of the earth in toto?

Incidentally your pond analogy above is a bit wet – the black liner doesn’t heat up by radiation but by convection – radiation only warms things up in a vacuum.

Which breakfast weeties brand do you get your science from?

• #
Phillip Bratby

Louis Hissink
Thanks for that link. It gives a good historical summary of where the science behind the “greenhouse effect” all went wrong.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Louis,

I was asking about the physics of magnifying glasses. Postma isn’t claiming it applies to the whole earth either – just the bit out in the sun.

“the black liner doesn’t heat up by radiation but by convection – radiation only warms things up in a vacuum.”

That’s nonsense. Radiation only heats things if they’re in a vacuum?!

Ad hominem comments about expertise in physics or its lack detract from the credibility of your argument. They detract exponentially more if you make basic errors in the same post you use them.

• #
Louis Hissink

Jo,

I missed your concluding paragraph to Joseph’s statement.

“JN: Joseph, you can’t quantitatively put to a rest an argument of reason which is not based on logic. The reasoning underpins everything. Maybe CO2 doesn’t heat the Earth (for other reasons unrelated to this post), but if that’s the case — it’s not anything to do with “Laws of Thermodynamics”. Can you at least acknowledge that in the Sun-Earth-Atmosphere system it is possible that energy flows which are always going from the hot sun to cold space, could be changed by a colder entity (GHGs) which would allow a warmer entity (Earth) to get even warmer, given that a third source (the Sun) is continually adding energy?”

I’m not sure about the idea that a cold space could be changed by an even colder entity (GHG) is valid, let alone logical. The fact is that the GHG’s are warmer than space, so your proposition that they are colder is not supported physically.

The argument is strictly rhetorical, not physical, since physically we know that cool bodies cannot warm hotter ones, but the argument is pursued on the basis that there is measured downwelling IR in the atmosphere, and that this is believed to be solely due to radiating gases.

If I have 2 bodies A and B, A being a hot body, and B being space, then there will exist a temperature profile that decreases from A to B. If I then interpose a third body C between A and B, and make it hotter than B, but cooler than A, then will C affect the temperature of A? More importantly will the presence of C affect the cooling rate of A, meaning A will cool slower than if C were absent?

Only under one circumstance – if C itself is an additional energy source.

As C can be considered to be a GHG, then the thermal profile A to B, and the profile A-C-B will be identical, but not if C adds energy itself.

The principal error made in the GHG idea is that a gas behaves as an electrical capacitor, that it can store energy – no gas can – its thermal state is instantaneously transmitted to its neighbours.

But the crux of your argument seems to rely on the assumption that GHG are sources of additional energy, when in reality they are not.

• #
Louis Hissink

Nullius,

Nonsense? Transfer of energy within solid matter is via Brownian motion – but transfer between the sun and earth is via radiation since there is no matter in between.

And my criticism remains.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Louis,

Brownian motion applies only to fluids (strictly, particles suspended in fluids), not solids.

I agree that energy transfer between the sun and Earth is by radiation, but that doesn’t imply that energy transfer by radiation only occurs in a vacuum. The liner of the pond receives its energy input from radiation. What happens to it then is another matter – and the issues with that were actually the point I intended to make – but given the conditions as stated, that’s what follows.

Your criticism remains – so far as I can see – that “radiation only warms things up in a vacuum”. How is that a criticism? Or did you mean your criticism that because a magnifying glass does not heat the whole Earth, there’s no point in discussing how it can use solar radiation to exceed Postma’s maximum?

• #
Louis Hissink

A slight logical error in the earlier post, but I’ll wait for anyone to pick it up.

• #
Louis Hissink

Nullius,

The pond liner does not warm up from radiation – it is warmed by convection, or if a solid or liquid, conduction. Brownian motion is only applicable to gases. The idea that it warms from the incidence of radiation is an impression of what some believe is occurring.

That the pond ultimately receives its energy input from radiation is strictly correct, but to then use that fact to support a proposed greenhouse mechanism is problematical.

Postamas’ maxium temperature? Haven’t raised that.

• #
RJ

radiation only warms things up in a vacuum.

This statement is a bit misleading though isn’t it. If the earth is in a vacuum what about objects on the earth. Am I in a vaccuum?

• #
Louis Hissink

RJ,

Hardly misleading – you are part of the earth-system, so unless you believe you are a satellite or disembodied in space, you cannot be in a vacuum.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“The pond liner does not warm up from radiation – it is warmed by convection,”

OK, just for the sake of argument – suppose we stop convection by filling the pond with saline solution of varying density – the densest at the bottom, so that normal convection is inhibited. By your argument, the bottom of the pond would not be warmed?

• #
Nullius in Verba

Oh, and Brownian motion applies to liquids as well. Brown was studying pollen suspended in water.

• #
RJ

Hardly misleading – you are part of the earth-system, so unless you believe you are a satellite or disembodied in space, you cannot be in a vacuum.

I’m confused then. If I’m in the sun doesn’t the sun’s radiation warm me up.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba says

“The Sun can only warm the planet to whatever its insolation temperature is.”

How about if you use a magnifying glass?

I say;
Nullis I had always thought that you were a serious thinker.
How can you justify a post like that?

Its the kind of juvenile point scoring that KR indulges in.
It can be easily rebutted but whats the point?
It doesn’t move the topic of the second law along any further forward.

• #
Baa Humbug

Electro Magnetic Radiation travel in WAVES. Interaction of EMR Waves with molecules is nothing like micro marbels (photons) whizzing around at light speed being swallowed up and spat out by molecules.

A molecule ALREADY EXCITED BY SHORT WAVES CANNOT BE FURTHER EXCITED BY LONGER WAVES.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Bryan,

It has a serious point. Postma’s calculation of a maximum temperature is based on solar radiation coming from only one direction. The effect of a magnifying glass is to redirect radiation from a wider range of directions. If one were to extend this to input sunlight from every direction – using parabolic mirrors as well, say – the temperature would rise to the actual theoretical maximum which is the temperature of the surface of the sun – about 6000 C.

The claim that the sun can only warm the planet to whatever its insolation temperature is seems to be a significant part of Postma’s thesis. I had hoped that someone would respond seriously by saying that it works by receiving radiation from a wider part of the sky, that the radiative input is based on the average temperature over the entire 360×180 degree view, from which we could move on to the idea that other radiation from the rest of the sky could also have a warming effect on an object at the surface.

But all I get is that because there isn’t a magnifying glass big enough to fry the entire Earth, the question can be dismissed, and that radiation doesn’t heat things unless they’re in a vacuum. What am I supposed to do with that?

The topic of the second law isn’t going to move forward. You won’t get people to explicitly concede that they were wrong. The best you’ll get is that they’ll start trying to avoid the subject, and distract with spurious nit-picking of other points. But if you want to try to move things forward, please do. Where to next?

• #
Bryan

Nullis

You I and Postma and most readers know that if you collect parallel rays of light over an area a lens will focus them to almost a point and in this case… “temperature would rise to the actual theoretical maximum which is the temperature of the surface of the sun – about 6000 C.”.

But if someone posts a short reply they cannot put in endless caveat’s to cover every obscure interpretation.

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 21st, 2011 at 8:56 am

BobC says

…”Bryan, I don’t see anything wrong with Hammer’s posts (based on my degrees on physics,”..

So which university taught you that heat can flow spontaneously from a colder surface to a warmer surface?

Any two blackbody radiators in view of each other will exchange energy. There is no magical rule that prevents radiation from the cooler one from being absorbed by the warmer one, adding energy to it. The energy flows go both ways. (My university wasn’t Hogwarts, so didn’t teach magical rules.)

Although the energy goes both ways, because of the properties of blackbodies (the warmer they are, the stronger they radiate), the NET energy flow will be from the warmer to the cooler.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Bryan,

None of us can. We put up a short comment, wait for the inevitable queries, and fill in the gaps as required.

I don’t know, though, that Postma or most readers do know – or at least, have thought of it that way. If Postma knows, why did he claim that the maximum temperature achievable with solar radiation was around only 100 C? Given some of the statements being made here, it’s clear that there are many misunderstandings.

I thought that Louis might be on to something, but the way he was expressing it was a bit scrambled. Trying to get him to clarify was an attempt to make progress – by small steps. But it’s quite difficult when he seems more interested in discussing my choice of “breakfast weeties brand” than the physics.

• #

Almost all of this hooha is beside the point. The cusp of the matter is the alarmist claim that added GHG will cause catastrophic warming and, because of that pending catastrophe, we MUST stop the technological revolution by stopping the use of fossil fuels. It is even more significant that the global political class is happily planning a global unaccountable totalitarian governance for which we are to have no choice but to submit.

In face of this, it is irrelevant to show that there might be a slight slowing of cooling or a slight but likely immeasurable increase in temperature caused by blah blah blah…. The issue is the prophesy and plan that must be dealt with.

Fact: the earth, biosphere, atmosphere, sun system is massively complex made up of many interacting process with many of those processes being highly non-linear to chaotic.

Fact: the behavior of any one process in isolation does not represent the behavior of the self same process in context let alone of the entire system.

Fact: we must know each process within the system an the nature of it’s interactions with all other processes in minute detail to be able to compute the the behavior of the system.

Fact: There are process we know and understand, there are process we know and sort of understand, there are process we know about and don’t understand, AND ,most importantly, there are uncounted processes we don’t know about and don’t understand.

Fact: we know even less about the interactions among the processes than we know about the individual processes that make up the system.

Conclusion: we don’t really know what we are talking about. We at best only know bits and pieces of the puzzle and a even less about how they go together. THIS is true for both sides of the argument.

Now what can we really say one way or the other about the alarmist claim?

Fact: The AGW catastrophe has not yet occurred because we are here arguing about it.

Fact: There is massive evidence from the last century that unaccountable totalitarian governance IS a catastrophe and that making it bigger and more pervasive will not make it better.

Question: Is there any credible real world evidence that the proposed AGW catastrophe can happen AND, if it can happen, that we can do anything about it for real?

Question: What can we do about the very real but pending catastrophe of unaccountable totalitarian governance?

If we can’t answer these questions and actually do something about them, there is no point in arguing about anything.

• #
Bryan

BobC

So which university taught you that heat can flow spontaneously from a colder surface to a warmer surface?

You replied

Any two blackbody radiators in view of each other will exchange energy. There is no magical rule that prevents radiation from the cooler one from being absorbed by the warmer one, adding energy to it. The energy flows go both ways. (My university wasn’t Hogwarts, so didn’t teach magical rules.)

I agree with your points above however it says nothing about HEAT!
Heat is the net flux difference between the radiative energy streams.
It is unidirectional
From the higher temperature body to the lower temperature body.

I think that unfortunately Michael Hammer used the word Heat for the radiation from the colder surface.
Although I’m sure he didn’t intend it, it has the implication of contravening the second law of thermodynamics.

If the topic had been more general I would probably have let it pass with a “I know what he means” benefit of the doubt.
However the topic is the Second Law and we should try to get it right.

• #
bananabender

The atmosphere is heated by it’s own gravity according to the Ideal Gas law: PV=nRT.

Gravity acts as piston compressing the air below. As the air is compressed it is heated. This heating is exactly the same as what happens on the compression stroke of diesel engine.

The adiabatic lapse rate is due to decreasing pressure with altitude.

The temperature of the atmosphere at most altitudes can be predicted fairly accurately (+/-5%) in degrees Kelvin just by knowing the pressure. However due to convection and other heat transfer processes between the atmosphere and oceans this doesn’t always work eg in the tropopause.

The Ideal Gas Law also explains the temperatures of every planet in the solar system: Mercury and Mars are cooler than expected due to lack of atmosphere (Mars surface pressure is only 0.006Bar). Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are all warmer than expected due to dense atmospheres.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“Almost all of this hooha is beside the point. The cusp of the matter is the alarmist claim that added GHG will cause catastrophic warming and, because of that pending catastrophe, we MUST stop the technological revolution by stopping the use of fossil fuels.”

I agree. But to achieve any pushback on that, you have to persuade intelligent onlookers that we know what we’re talking about, and the alarmists don’t. We won’t do that if we use the wrong arguments, especially obviously wrong arguments. That’s why it’s important that we do understand the physics, and we don’t make easily refuted claims that certain parts of the theory are wrong when they’re not.

If you make it obvious that the accuracy of the details doesn’t matter, so long as it refutes AGW, it just looks like shut-eyed ‘denial’ rather than scientific scepticism. That’s a big and very dirty stick for the warmists to beat you with.

I’ve already explained several times that the standard “back-radiation” mechanism is wrong, but it isn’t because it breaks any of the laws of thermodynamics, it isn’t because back-radiation doesn’t exist, it isn’t because cold objects can’t emit IR that gets absorbed by warmer objects, or that warm objects can’t absorb it, or that absorbed IR doesn’t cause heating. If we can agree not to keep repeating the “breaks the 2nd law” stuff, or at least come up with an explanation as to why you think it does that accords with real physics (either proposed or actual), then maybe Jo will be able to move on to the real reasons why the back-radiation explanation is wrong.

We’re all on the same side.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“The temperature of the atmosphere at most altitudes can be predicted fairly accurately (+/-5%) in degrees Kelvin just by knowing the pressure.”

You also have to know the average altitude of emission of radiation to space. Otherwise you just get a slope with no intercept.

• #
BobC

DavidA @ 87:

What in the world are you talking about? Do you have a reference for the phenomena you are calling the “absorption threshold?” Such a concept is missing from any analysis of blackbody characteristics I have ever seen. (See Here, for example.)

DavidA:
May 21st, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Whacky Physics Experiment # 87

We get 1 million lasers and direct them all at one point on a body who’s initial temperature is above the absorption threshold of the laser’s photons.

Despite having 1 million laser beams focussed on one spot there is no warming because no individual photon exceeds the absorption threshold. We can crank this up to 2,3 10,100 million, 1 trillion, infinity lasers and there is still no warming.

The body is cooling and eventually it cools to a level where photon absorption occurs and then BOOM the energy of 1 million lasers is absorbed all at once.

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 21st, 2011 at 11:16 pm

If the topic had been more general I would probably have let it pass with a “I know what he means” benefit of the doubt.

That’s a pretty good rule to follow — without it, the argument becomes semantic (this thread: Exhibit #1).

• #

BobC — DavidA is being satirical… not serious.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba says its incorrect to say

……”that absorbed IR doesn’t cause heating.”……..

Could you give reasons why a colder passive object can HEAT warmer radiating surface.

What is your definition of HEAT

• #

Louis, think of it this way:

Energy flows (greatly simplified)

SUN —-> Earth —–> Air —–> Space
Hot —-> Warm —–> Cool —-> Cold

What happens to EARTH if there is a block in the final stage:

SUN —-> Earth —–> Air + GHG –|—> Space

The net flow of energy is still warmer to cold. The break —|— is only partial, a temporary delay, a bottleneck…

How can Earth keep losing heat at the same rate?

• #

Nullius in Verba @ 143: But to achieve any pushback on that, you have to persuade intelligent onlookers that we know what we’re talking about, and the alarmists don’t.

The alarmists pretend they know what they are talking about. Are we simply to pretend harder or do we actually have to know what we are talking about and be able to prove it?

I don’t think it is a simple matter of persuasion or communicating an alternate hypothesis better. I think we actually have to know what is critical to know and be able to demonstrate its truth with obvious clarity. Simply being better at making hand puppets and reading a canned script won’t cut it.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“Could you give reasons why a colder passive object can HEAT warmer radiating surface.”

I’m only talking about half the radiation exchange, and so I’m dividing the exchange of heat in the same way. Emitting radiation cools an object, absorbing radiation heats it. The actual change of temperature will depend on the balance of the two – and a warmer radiating surface will be cooled by emission more than it is heated by absorption, and vice versa for the colder object.

The second law applies only to the net combination of all heat flows, but some people still seem to think that the only way it can happen is if it applies to all the individual components of the balance, and that IR emitted from a cold object can have no effect on a warmer absorbing object.

I agree, it’s difficult to keep terminology both precise and comprehensible, and sometimes I may slip.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“I think we actually have to know what is critical to know and be able to demonstrate its truth with obvious clarity.”

Agreed.

• #
BobC

I totally agree that Poynting vectors (being vectors) can be added, and can add up to zero. I think, however, that parts of your argument are somewhat misleading. Let me give an example:

Imagine two EM wave trains (with identical frequencys) propagating head on at each other, each with equal power. Each has a Poynting vector associated with it describing the quantity and direction of energy flux of the waves. At the point where they intersect, these vectors add to zero (and, you have a standing, not traveling, wave).

Does this mean that an absorber, placed at the intersection point, would not see any energy flux? Obviously not, as it would be heated from both sides. The fact that the two Poynting vectors add to zero (indicating zero net energy flow) is not relevant to the experience of a potential absorber at the intersection.

• #
cementafriend

114 has a good explanation. Others include Jo and Michael Hammer base their arguments on photons but these do not exist see this from Nobel Physics prize winner W E Lamb http://www-3.unipv.it/fis/tamq/Anti-photon.pdf, another physicists expanding Lamb’s idea http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.5119 and an experienced engineer Xavier Borg explaining antennae & focusing http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5711.pdf
The claims of back radiation measurements have been refuted many times by engineers who make the instruments, know how they are programmed (no intrument can directly measure radiant energy) and the errors involved.

• #

Joanne @ 149,

Can you actually demonstrate that the so called break actually exists and that its effect is at all significant in magnitude and duration?

Can you show that its effect is measurable in context of the huge thermal inertia of the rotating earth system and the constantly shifting relative position of the earth with respect to the sun? Especially while taking into account ALL the other natural variations within and outside of the earth atmosphere system.

If it can neither be demonstrated nor measured, how is it important for either side of the argument?

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba says;
“The second law applies only to the net combination of all heat flows, but some people still seem to think that the only way it can happen is if it applies to all the individual components of the balance, and that IR emitted from a cold object can have no effect on a warmer absorbing object.

I agree, it’s difficult to keep terminology both precise and comprehensible, and sometimes I may slip.”

I would rewrite the above as;
The second law applies only to the net combination of all energy flows and this combination is called heat, but some people still seem to think that the only way it can happen is if it applies to all the individual components of the balance, and that IR emitted from a cold object can have no effect on a warmer absorbing object.

The effect of a passive object near an object with a power source is to insulate or reduce the flow of heat from the hotter object

• #
Nullius in Verba

Bryan,

A reasonable summary. I don’t disagree.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba, from previous posts I have the impression that your views on the climate mechanics are pretty similar to those of Leonard Weinstein.
Leonard with some reservations seems to think that Postma paper is sound.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Bryan,

Yes, Leonard and I agree on the mechanism.

Postma’s paper has some good bits in it, and most of the actual mechanism is buried in there, but at the same time there are too many things that are not quite right, ranging from minor details to some of the more important bits. They jar a bit as one reads. It would make a good basis from which to start, but only if we were to go through it systematically and negotiate a significant number of alterations. I don’t think, given the impasse we seem to have reached on even minor components of it, that anything so comprehensive is likely to happen.

I’d say it was probably a document worth people reading at some point in their investigations, for the ideas it introduces, but everything then has to be examined carefully before being included or rejected. It’s not a good summary for a beginner, or as a statement of ‘the’ sceptic position, and I definitely wouldn’t rely on it to persuade physicists to take sceptics more seriously. It’s a worthwhile paper, but it shouldn’t be oversold.

• #
Roy Hogue

Given:

1. A can into which marbles are delivered at the constant rate of 100/minute

2. A hole in the bottom of the can through which marbles can escape at a rate determined by the depth of marbles in the can (they have to squeeze through a rubber diaphragm)

The marbles will increase in depth until they can escape at exactly 100/minute, at which point the depth becomes constant.

Now I throw a monkey wrench into the works by catching some of the escaping marbles and throwing them back into the can. What happens? The depth of the marbles must increase until they can escape at the rate of 100/minute plus whatever rate I’m tossing some of the escaping marbles back into the system.

Have I introduced any new marbles to the system? No. Does the level in the can rise? Yes.

marbles = energy (heat)
source of marbles = the sun
depth of marbles in the can = temperature of the earth
marbles I throw back into the can = energy radiated back at the earth from CO2, H2O, etc.

This is what happens. It’s all that happens. It’s necessary for this to happen as long as there is anything that can send an escaping photon back toward the surface — second law or any other law notwithstanding. Jo has it right.

—————-

Of interest:

If my can has a small diameter it takes only a few marbles to reach the equilibrium depth. But if it has a large diameter it takes many more marbles to get to the same place. I call this out because it illustrates that heat is not temperature and temperature is not heat. I won’t point a finger at the offender but this mistake is made in at least one comment in this thread and I’ve seen it elsewhere.

And now you get to throw darts at me if you want to.

• #
BobC

Roy Hogue @160:

Nice analogy.

• #
Bryan

Roy Hogue

At the point you start feeding the marbles back stop feeding them in(100per minute) for a moment to see what is happening.
We notice that the level(temperature) is now dropping
Now divert some from bottom back in.
The level(temperature) is now dropping more slowly.
Now start the 100 per minute again, the level rises to new equilibrium level(temperature).

Your model shows the effect of insulation.

That is if the power supply continues at a constant rate insulating an object causes its temperature to increase to a new higher equilibrium temperature.

• #
Bryan

Roy Hogue

One problem with your model is that you have to supply WORK to lift marbles to top.
This means that the diverted marbles are now entering at the same “temperature” as the original 100min.

I’m afraid the Second Law strikes again!

The insulation effect is more like slowing down the rate of return of the diverted marbles.

• #
Roy Hogue

Bryan @162,

I agree. So you’ve no argument from me.

However, my analogy dealt only with radiated energy, which, after all, is what this climate catastrophe nonsense has always been about.

• #

Can you actually demonstrate that the so called break actually exists and that its effect is at all significant in magnitude and duration?

Lionell, I’m trying to break this down to one single point. This is about the principle. The absorption spectra have been shown in a lab lots of times. Whether its effect is significant in the atmosphere is another question, and is something I’ve asked myself. But if skeptics are going to say that the greenhouse effect can’t possibly work due to the second law, then as a point of principle I feel we need to discuss it. I can see no legitimacy for the statement. I think the skeptical world is more effective if skeptics don’t put forward lines of reasoning that are incorrect.

• #
Roy Hogue

Bryan @163,

Now you’re distorting my intent. A physical analogy of the process involved is always going to have some shortcoming.

I might as well deal explicitly with the rest of the scenario. At night the sun isn’t delivering marbles to the can. But they’re still escaping at a rate dependent on their depth and the depth will decrease. But if I keep putting some of the escaping marbles back in at the top the rate of decrease will be slower than if I didn’t do that. In the morning the depth will be greater than it would have been if I hadn’t intervened.

• #
BobC

cementafriend:
May 22nd, 2011 at 12:37 am

no intrument can directly measure radiant energy

What is, then, that bolometers and pryometers are measuring?

• #
Bryan

Roy Hogue:

…”Now you’re distorting my intent. A physical analogy of the process involved is always going to have some shortcoming.”…..

To get lower temperature marbles(escaping from bottom back up to higher temperature marbles(top) requires work as the second law predicts.

At night the can(atmosphere) gets no radiation from the Sun.
However it gets radiation(marbles) from the surface and returns some.
The atmospheric understanding of downwelling long wavelength radiation is best studied in night time conditions as there is no solar contribution to complicate things.
Good luck with developing your model to represent the surface temperature and the atmosphere.

• #
Roy Hogue

Good luck with developing your model to represent the surface temperature and the atmosphere.

Best I quit before Jo takes away my marbles.

• #
KR

BobC @ 145

DavidA was being a bit satirical, but both his post and mine at @89 pointed out one of the major flaws of the “Slaying” book. Namely, that photons below a particular temperature dependent frequency are simple re-emitted, and photons above that frequency are absorbed heating the object.

Yes, I’m serious, that’s what the book (in the Clas Johnson chapter 18) claims. In total violation of the behavior of blackbodies both experimental and theoretic.

Industrial CO2 cutting lasers are a perfect counterexample to this foolishness.

• #
KR

cohenite @ 117

I didn’t reply to you on the previous thread because your first post was (to me) a bit incomprehensible – I couldn’t tell what your objection was, and your second listed post is something I agreed with. The lapse rate is a function of both adiabatic expansion/compression and other factors such as convection, UV absorption, radiative effects, etc.

“Kevan Hashemi asked Cohenite if a particle at 300 K will or will not emit photons. Any particle at 300 K is at its fundamental energy state, i.e. its available microstates will be higher than those of any particle with a temperature above 300 K. Such particle won’t radiate, but it will absorb energy.”

That would be, um, incorrect. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Disprove that, and a Nobel prize awaits.

As to thermodynamics, as Jo and Michael Hammer correctly state, there are no violations by the radiative greenhouse effect. All objects above absolute zero emit thermal radiation, but the sun is warmer than the Earth is warmer than the atmosphere is warmer than outer space – net (difference) of energy flow is quite correct. Rates of energy flow are determined by temperature and the (related) ability of each part of this to lose energy – the insulating atmosphere prevents the Earth from cooling as much as it would without such an atmosphere.

• #
KR

Bryan @ 134

I’ve tried to be polite – but you have yet to produce any point supported by evidence, any relevant physics. All you have done is to be insulting. Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy, and proves exactly nothing.

If you do have anything relevant and meaningful to say, I’ve yet to see it.

• #
RJ

DavidA was being a bit satirical, but both his post and mine at @89 pointed out one of the major flaws of the “Slaying” book. Namely, that photons below a particular temperature dependent frequency are simple re-emitted, and photons above that frequency are absorbed heating the object.

I think the authors might know a bit (or a lot) more about this than you KR. And logic is on their side as well

And what do you think about the comment at 154

• #

RJ,

cementafriend’s interpretation of Lamb’s paper is wildly misguided. It doesn’t say what he thinks it says (i.e. that photons don’t exist). Lamb is instead arguing over the nuances of what model to use (conventional photon, which includes a messy wave-particle duality, or the quantum theory of radiation) to use to properly think about and describe photons.

• #
Bryan

KR says

…”Bryan If you do have anything relevant and meaningful to say, I’ve yet to see it.”…

Well I pointed out that you are quite happy about gross errors in measuring instruments.

The CO2 contribution to atmospheric radiation that we should all be worried about you said was around 1.5W/m2.

I pointed out that an official ARM report say that errors of 17W/m2 could be happening with some recorded values in the literature.

I would have thought that should cause you some concern!

• #

RJ,

I think the authors might know a bit (or a lot) more about this than you KR…

Appeal to authority fails.

• #
KR

RJ @ 173

I agree, there are some fascinating references in @154. The first denies quanta in characterizing photons – however, I work with photon counting devices, and that energy is quantized. The last invokes “virtual sources” at arbitrary distances behind the actual radiators in order to maintain quanta packet strength – with the unspoken requirement of supraluminal (faster than light) information transfer to create such a ‘virtual source’.

Fascinating – but I cannot take them seriously. As I said before, I don’t take any source for granted; they must be critically examined for consistency with themselves (which Clas violates) and with known measured physical behavior.

So, for my experiments, RJ:

* Take a heater (with a fixed input power, no thermostat), measure it’s temperature in a cold room. Then insulate it, and measure the heater core temperature again. If it fails to rise, I owe you a decent beer, and the world owes you a Nobel if you can explain it.

* How can CO2 lasers (emitting low frequency photons) manage to cut through multiple materials? By the physics described in Clas Johnson’s chapter, where photons below a critical frequency are re-emitted, and only those above that frequency heat an object, that can not happen. Either Clas is spinning fantasies, or the cutting laser industry is impossible.

Well, RJ? Can you produce results different than I have predicted? Show that cutting IR lasers are not functional, or that insulating a heater core with a fixed input power does not raise it’s temperature by reducing cooling?

• #
RJ

@ 177

* Take a heater (with a fixed input power, no thermostat), measure it’s temperature in a cold room. Then insulate it, and measure the heater core temperature again. If it fails to rise, I owe you a decent beer, and the world owes you a Nobel if you can explain it.

I’m surprised that experiments like this have not been done. Say with a oil fired heater

First compare the oil temperature surrounded by air with a cold then a warmer air temperature. Does the oil temperature change?

Then surround the heater with a vacuum with an outer container filled with air and then with CO2.

I would have thought these experiments would be easy to do. And fairly cheap to set up.

• #
Bryan

KR says

…….”How can CO2 lasers (emitting low frequency photons) manage to cut through multiple materials? By the physics described in Clas Johnson’s chapter, where photons below a critical frequency are re-emitted, and only those above that frequency heat an object, that can not happen. Either Clas is spinning fantasies, or the cutting laser industry is impossible.”….

You must be getting a bit desperate.
The theme is about the second law of thermodynamics and the atmosphere.
Yet the only evidence you bring up to support your IPCC position is the Laser which is a quantum device and works on principles that have nothing to do with equilibrium thermodynamics.

• #
Nullius in Verba

How does food absorb microwaves in a microwave oven?

• #
L.J. Ryan

Nullius in Verba, KR:

How does food absorb microwaves in a microwave oven?

How can CO2 lasers (emitting low frequency photons) manage to cut through multiple materials? By the physics described in Clas Johnson’s chapter, where photons below a critical frequency are re-emitted, and only those above that frequency heat an object, that can not happen. Either Clas is spinning fantasies, or the cutting laser industry is impossible.

Microwave ovens and CO2 laser incorporate atmospheric forcing? Are you two indulging in the beer KR owes Bryan?

Nullius in Verba are the microwave emitted a higher energy then the food contained within the oven?

CO2 laser…KR I doubt you understand how a laser works. Was it the CO2 that suckered you in? Are “photons” emitted via CO2 laser a higher energy then surface being cut? You suggesting CO2 lasers pertain to atmospheric condition has as much validity as CO2 freezer or CO2 fire extinguishers. If you need primer on lasers, let me know.

• #
L.J. Ryan

KR

You insist on this wrapped radiator test as verification of GHG physics. I trust you realize you’re alone with delusion…or maybe not. Others whom agree with KR, please put yourself on record, make a quick affirming KR supposition:

* Take a heater (with a fixed input power, no thermostat), measure it’s temperature in a cold room. Then insulate it, and measure the heater core temperature again. If it fails to rise, I owe you a decent beer, and the world owes you a Nobel if you can explain it.

• #
cohenite

KR; everyone is picking on you but really, your comment at 171 is classic fudging; I gave you that article on microstates and the relative capacities of different surfaces to absorb and emit radiation and you wilfully misinterpret what Nasif said: ie;

“Kevan Hashemi asked Cohenite if a particle at 300 K will or will not emit photons. Any particle at 300 K is at its fundamental energy state, i.e. its available microstates will be higher than those of any particle with a temperature above 300 K. Such particle won’t radiate, but it will absorb energy.”

That would be, um, incorrect. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Disprove that, and a Nobel prize awaits.”

The key points in Nasif’s article are these:

“1 A microstate refers to any initial o[r] final configuration of the energy in a given system.

2 In consequence, the definition of the Second Law was amplified to include its influence on the quantum level and not only on those process functions where heat and work were implied.

This shift was important because it defined the real concept of entropy and detached it from contextual derivations. For example, now we know that the fundamental concept of entropy has nothing to do with disorder, movement, complexity or heat “content”, but with the configurations that the energy adopts in a given system and the directionality of the energy exchange.

Entropy is now defined as the natural trend of the energy to flow towards the system or systems with a higher number of available microstates.”

What Nasif said, although badly worded and English is not his first language, is entirely consistent with his assumptions. Would you care to comment on those?

• #
BobC

Sure, I’ll go on record Ryan. If KR’s experiment didn’t work, then putting on a coat wouldn’t keep you warm in cold weather.

A somewhat safer experiment would be to use one of those immersion heaters you use to brew a single cup of tea. The last one I had had a warning not to plug it in if it wasn’t in water, as it could get hot enough to melt down. Apparently, it couldn’t lose energy fast enough in air to stay at a safe temperature.

Here’s one you should be able to do without anything you can’t find in the house: Use a heating pad as the source and a fever thermometer to read the temperature. Try it just laying on a table with the thermometer on top. After you reach a stable reading, put a heavy coat on top of it and read it again in a few minutes.

L.J. Ryan:
May 22nd, 2011 at 2:45 pm

KR

You insist on this wrapped radiator test as verification of GHG physics. I trust you realize you’re alone with delusion…or maybe not. Others whom agree with KR, please put yourself on record, make a quick affirming KR supposition:

Information is not produced by arguing, Ryan, but by observation — do the experiment.

And if KR is right, so what? The calculations of the radiative GH effect give a 1 deg increase for doubling CO2. Actual measurements in the real world (al la Idso) show that negative feedbacks reduce this to less than 0.5 deg. Measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations show a remarkably steady growth of ~0.5%/year for the last 50 years, despite anthropogenic emissions growing 8-fold in the same time — hence there is no reason to expect this rate to suddenly change.

The net result is that we can expect the world to get about 0.5 deg warmer over the next 140 years, independent of human activity. Oh wow, oh wow — what a crisis.

• #
Paul

Joanne Nova:
May 22nd, 2011 at 12:13 am

Louis, think of it this way:

Energy flows (greatly simplified)

SUN —-> Earth —–> Air —–> Space
Hot —-> Warm —–> Cool —-> Cold

What happens to EARTH if there is a block in the final stage:

SUN —-> Earth —–> Air + GHG –|—> Space

The net flow of energy is still warmer to cold. The break —|— is only partial, a temporary delay, a bottleneck…

How can Earth keep losing heat at the same rate?

Just in case this hasn’t been answered already, I’ll propose an answer myself, though I’m not an expert in the physics of heat transfer just an enquirer after the truth of the matter. I’m a little late to this thread.

We are not talking about insulation materials or the presence of colder ‘bodies’ in conjunction with the surface of the earth. we are talking about the thermal properties of a mixture of gas, with varying proportions of some molecules that, beside the normal thermal properties of molecules in gaseous form, have the additional property of being able to interact with radiation by absorbing a photon of electromagnetic energy, mostly in the long-wave band although some do so in the short-wave band. And, more specifically, we are talking about the possible effect on near-surface-level atmospheric temperatures that might result from a change in the proportion one of those molecules in the atmosphere, namely CO2, that may have resulted from the use of fossil fuels.

“The break –—|—— is only partial, a temporary delay, a bottleneck …”

When an molecule of CO2 is struck by a photon of long-wave EM radiation, the result may be that the photon is absorbed, depending on the direction that the molecule was moving in, its temperature, etc, and if the photon is absorbed the consequent effect is that the two oxygen atoms vibrate around the carbon atom at the ‘centre’. This is a different behaviour from what happens when the photon collides with a molecule of nitrogen or of oxygen since these are not so constructed as to be able to enter this vibrational state.

What happens next, also dependent on a number of factors, is that the photon is re-emitted more or less instantaneously and the molecule returns to its state of lower vibration, or the molecule collides with another molecule and loses some of its energy in the collision, meaning that it is less able to emit a photon. Some energy therefore is imparted to the general body of the atmosphere as heat and some energy is now emitted at lower energy levels and longer wave lengths presumably at a higher altitude.

Without an experiment to ascertain the delay involved in the transmission of EM energy through the atmosphere it is hard to quantify that delay, but, knowing the speed at which photons move I would imagine that it is measured in milliseconds. At any rate, the energy that is ‘delayed’ by the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere by being transformed into heat and then re-emitted at higher altitude, lower temperature and at longer wave lengths would have to be of very insignificant proportion relative to the amounts of incoming and outgoing energy.

One aspect of this question that should settle the matter, to my way of thinking, is that the higher atmosphere should be warming, according to this theory, faster than the temperature at the surface. However the ‘hot spot’ in the tropics has never been found and so the empirical evidence in support of this aspect of CAGW conjecture is missing.

Paul

• #
L.J. Ryan

Correction to 182:

make a quick post affirming KR supposition:

• #

And once the energy leaves the earth, it gets absorbed in the first few feet of the atmosphere. Almost none of this heat can reach the Earth in backscatter. 100% leaves the Earth, reaches say 6 feet and is fully absorbed. Each portion of the 6 feet of atmosphere has essentially the same CO2 content. More radiation is absorbed in the first inch than the second inch and more in the second than the third all the way to extinction. If the one inch of atmosphere can absorb 100 units, 50 units on average get sent back towards earth, but the extinction distance is less for 50 units than it would be for the 100 original units. Now, when it gets scattered, more energy will be absorbed in the first half inch back towards Earth than in the second, leaving nearly no photon energy left by the time it transfers the full inch back. If the one inch of atmosphere can absorb 100 units, 50 units on average get sent back towards earth, but the extinction distance is less for 50 units than it would be for 100 units. This same concept works for the first inch and 6 feet and all the way to the top of the atmosphere.

I was somewhat convinced at someones argument about the silvering of a thermos to prevent heat loss. I was thinking that 50% of the energy could make it back to the Earth, but I no longer think that is possible. The difference here is that in a thermos, the space is a vacuum, and thus there is no backscattering, the silver simply reflects the photons back, they never escape and are never absorbed. In the air, the photons are absorbed and sometimes are re-emitted and other times the energy is converted into physical motion.

• #
Paul

DavidA:
May 21st, 2011 at 2:44 am

Bryan solar radiation sits in the visible light spectrum so there isn’t any incoming IR from the sun in the day. The frequency of the radiation output by a warm body is a function of its temperature and bodies as hot as stars output visible light.

Oh, but the Sun does radiate in the long-wave frequency, just not as much energy as in the shorter frequencies. So the atmosphere is heated from above, during the day, both by the absorption of short-wave radiation by ozone molecules and by the absorbtion of long-wave radiation by CO2, H2o, clouds, dust particles, etc.

Paul

• #
BobC

My last prediction in #184 should have included the caveat: “If nothing else changes”. The Sun is obviously in a different state than it was 50 years ago, leading many to wonder if we are heading into another Little Ice Age. My opinion is that the chance of the CO2 “climate signal” being even detectable over the next 100 years is slim.

• #

Do you agree that if you stand surrounded by cold objects (say a ring of huge ice blocks) you feel cold?
Yes, because the energy of the air around me absorbed into the cold objects near me.
Do you agree that the colder the object you are surrounded by the colder you feel? eg: if they were blocks of frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of water ice would you feel colder?
Yes, because less of the energy of the air around me is absorbed into the cold objects near me.
OK now if you have been standing surrounded by extremely cold objects and then move so that you are now surrounded by merely cool objects does the move make you feel less cold than you were before?
Again, air temperature is lower, if you do not control for physical air temperature at my position, then you are simply saying cold air feels colder. You lose the argument.
In the absence of green house gases the earth is surrounded by an extremely cold object – outer space at 4K (-269C). Green house gases make the atmosphere opaque at some wavelengths. With these in place the earths surface is in effect surrounded by a merely cool atmosphere instead of the truly frigid outer space. Because the surface is now surrounded by a less cold object than it was before it is less cold.
And science already has answers to this question with no need at all of greenhouse gas theories. Adiabatic lapse rate. The air close to the surface will be warmer than the air at the top.
Since warm and cold are opposites, less cold is the equivalent of warmer. Surrounding earth’s surface with an opaque cool atmosphere make it warmer than it would be if exposed directly to the ultra frigid outer space.
Yes, but it does not have to be opaque, just simply capable of absorbing energy physically from the planet surface and transporting it upwards. No magical beans needed, not mysterious gasses required, just simple everyman’s physics.

If you take a room and surround it with containers that have invisible walls to radiation, (|) that looks like this…
|vacuum|liquid nitrogen|vacuum|20 feet of pure CO2|vacuum|room with specific energy production|vacuum|20 feet of pure CO2|vacuum|liquid nitrogen|vacuum|
And
|vacuum|liquid water|vacuum|20 feet of pure CO2|vacuum|room with specific energy production|vacuum|20 feet of pure CO2|vacuum|liquid water|vacuum|
What would be the difference in temperature between the two rooms?
Then do the same thing and replace the 20 feet of pure CO2 with 19 feet then 18 feet … 1 inch, filling the remainder of the 20 feet minus actual width of CO2 with additional vacuum distance.

Record the differences and get back to me.

• #

#153 BobC

Does this mean that an absorber, placed at the intersection point, would not see any energy flux? Obviously not, as it would be heated from both sides. The fact that the two Poynting vectors add to zero (indicating zero net energy flow) is not relevant to the experience of a potential absorber at the intersection.

Assuming that the intersecting object is cooler than the two emanating, background sources the rate of heat loss from the sources is unaltered whether the intersecting object is there or not.

Paradoxical as this seems, there is no heating from other objects that are at or below the critical threshold of equal temperature.

This is because light doesn’t consist of marbles of energy moving from point A to B necessarily raising the temperature of B; imparting momentum. (Thanks #154 cementafriend and #135 Baa Humbug). Light can cancel and interfere, which corpuscles of light “photons” can’t do. (Thanks comment #114, CO2ISLIFE).

If this energy cancellation wasn’t true you could sit in your lounge room and get warmed up to a higher temperature by the TV and the lounge and the walls and the carpet backradiating all of that nasty energy which “must” have some effect. But, you know what? It doesn’t warm you at all!

• #
Alistair

Just had a quick look at new posts. It’s truly amazing that one poster criticised my physics [not my first subject, which is really physical chemistry but from metallurgy] and claimed ‘back radiation’ can be explained like a Fabry-Perot Etalon.

Well, that’s an interferometer whereby energy at particular wavelengths is cancelled out and you can get enhanced reflection. When I was taught physics, it was with always supported with experimental verification. If we do have a FPE above our heads, it has to be from a variation in the composition of the air in a precisely controlled manner and there’s no evidence of it.

Or maybe, it’s the clouds? If it is, it’s nothing to do with GHGs. Indeed, I am now arguing that because gases obey the law of Equipartition of Energy, once a CO2 or other GHG molecule absorbs an IR photon, all that does is to slightly perturb the local thermodynamic equilibrium and another molecule, which was going to emit the same energy photon anyway, restores it.

Think on this: unlike in a solid where you explain refractive index by the slight delay before re-emission, in gas there is no ‘delay’. Thus, the cascade of energy from the Earth’s surface to space has no delays from change in GHG composition. All that happens is that you measure the specific absorption, in reality followed by exchange of that energy with all the other molecules in a totally random manner.

I must admit I’m still unhappy about my understanding of this specific absorption. This is because we are looking at a snapshot in time. However, I am fairly convinced that the only stored energy in the atmosphere has to be in aerosols and in the case of water droplets, the local latent heat energy as humidity changes.

• #
mullumhillbilly

Wow, its going to be hard to stay polite here, but what the hell, this is too important to let the wheat stay mixed with the chaff.

Mike Hammer & Jo, you had it nailed in the previous thread. The 2nd law is not being violated by AGW theory, and I am astonished at the number of posts, (incl I must say from prev heroes of this blog), which continue to miss two simple points about NET flow of energy, and the difference between heat content and temperature.

Mike and Jo, thanks for having the fortitude to bear all these inanities with patience and still fight the good fight, the one where empirical reason and science prevail. Bouquets to BobC, Sphaerica, Nullus in Verbia et al for keeping their wits about them. Its a sad day for this blog when I’m giving X’s to stalwarts such as LionelG and BrianV, and ticks to pro-AGW posters like Mattb and KR, (respect to you KR for staying polite and engaged and on-topic.)

In all 4 parags of Jo’s headline article of this thread, I see J.Postma is talking about TEMPERATURES, whereas Mike and understand that a discussion of 2nd law of Thermodynamics will be about heat (energy) not temperature. Temperature of a sparse gas can be very high, even though little heat is contained.

update: I see Postma@47 has now corrected this misunderstanding of the difference between H and T, but persists in making silly statement like “And so by extension the GHG’s cannot increase the temperature of the ground”. Strawman !…What is so difficult to understand in Mike and Jo’s posts about reduced rate of heat loss, ie that its NOT “heating” per se. ??

Slayers of the sky-dragon are merely tilting at windmills; their hearts might be in the right place, but those quixotic pretensions are setting the skeptic position up for mockery. Yes, they laughed at Einstein, and they laughed at Darwin, but they also laughed at Bozo the clown !! I agree wholeheartedly with Jo @165 “I think the skeptical world is more effective if skeptics don’t put forward lines of reasoning that are incorrect.”

So I agree that CAGW is flawed for a range of reasons, but saying that AGW theory is in violation of the 2nd law is incorrect and will harm the credibility of skeptics.

• #
Bryan

mullumhillbilly says;

…”So I agree that CAGW is flawed for a range of reasons, but saying that AGW theory is in violation of the 2nd law is incorrect and will harm the credibility of skeptics.”…..

But there is no such a thing as a single orthodox AGW theory.
There are several versions of it.
Some make claims that violate the second law, most do not.

Lack of a proper definition of HEAT for instance can lead sceptics to inadvertently violate the second law themselves.
Expressions like ..”the heat from the colder object partly balances…..”implies just such a violation.

Loose use of words like HEAT… will harm the credibility of skeptics.

What is your definition of HEAT?

• #
RJ

mullumhillbilly @ 193

I have been very impressed with the Postma posts and the slayers book. I suggest you read them (again if you have already done so) with a open mind and a clear head.

• #
Bryan

I said at 194
There is no such a thing as a single orthodox AGW theory.
Its equally true that there is no single sceptic position.

The slayers book for instance contains an input from Claes Johnson.

Now Claes is engaged criticising;

1. AGW
2. The existence of photons.

I have a lot of sympathy for the project that Claes is engaged in but I feel that he has much more work to do to convince mainstream physicists of its merits.
For instance I doubt if Gerlich and Tscheuschner would endorse his views.

So its possible to support 1 and not 2, or 2 and not 1, or neither.

• #
RJ

@ 196

I have a lot of sympathy for the project that Claes is engaged in but I feel that he has much more work to do to convince mainstream physicists of its merits.

Merits of what. The existence of protons (or otherwise). And criticising what version of AGW

And G+T would not endorse his views regarding what in particular?

• #
mullumhillbilly

Noting the difference between heat and temperature, it seems possible to me that the JN/Hammer explanation of the 2nd law, GISS/NASA rising “global” surface temp trends, and Trenberth’s “missing heat” may all actually be consistent. Here’s how.

Supposing CO2 intercepts Gaia’s (Earth’s)long wave nocturnal IR at near-ground, briefly slowing the escape of some wavelengths in the first ~50m above ground at night (~saturation height or less). This would mainly happen during the early part of clear evenings.

Slowing the escape of radiant energy is synonymous with lowering the rate of heat loss, and as I understand it, this is the “orthodox” explanation for GHG warming.

NASA/GISS/IPCC AR4 all concur in predicting that the largest component of future temp increases is coming from slight night warming,in winter, at near-polar latitudes.

But what is the actual result? A short duration, early evening, near-ground integral of temperature over time (lets call them degree-seconds) which is higher number compared to when [C02] is lower. (see graph here). That fattened section of the diurnal-T curve and slightly higher overnight minimum can present as an increase in the average temperature for the day, (thence by summation for the year for that location , for the region, and the globe). Temps measured at 9am, daily max or 3pm are unaffected, but consider what would happen with overnight minimums or early evening (eg 9pm) records.(see graph link above).

BUT a slight increase in early evening temperature in near-polar latitudes, mainly in winter, does not constitute “global climate change” !!! Maybe this could change some plants and insect distributions at the margin, but will it change rainfall, drought, hurricanes? Nada, zip, nyetski, and thus no need to invent (or slay) non-existent sky-dragons.

Why not “climate change”? Well,the heat energy gain (as evidence by the delayed temperature reduction in early evening) is only temporary. The warmed near-ground air will move upward due to convection (interestingly this convection itself can also increase recorded night temp as a result greater mixing in otherwise still inversion layers of night air). So convective air movement and NET radiative transfer still carries the delayed/retained heat towards the tropopause, and thence it radiates to space. I haven’t got the calcs, but based on what I’ve read elsewhere on this site from George (“CO2isnotEvil”) I would readily accept that the heat balance is conserved overnight. Therefore the 2nd Law is observed, and there is no “missing heat”. But miraculously and concurrently with energy balance, we have an increase in early evening temperatures, and this (apart from spurious corrections, and badly sited weather stations etc) could be what is scaling the average upward, leading to the reported higher GISS “global” temperatures. The trick is to consider the integral over time; all the average temperatures I’ve seen used are static points, comparing standard times of day eg 9am, 12 noon 6pm etc, and/or daily min/max.

So, again I agree with Jo that some GHG warming will occur from 2x[CO2], but its relatively minor and unimportant in it’s effect on “climate”. But its not zero.

Fortunately satellites and radiosondes have not been confused by the early evening’s warming affect on “global average temperature”. The spectral emission profiles show little or no statistically defensible trend.

Bryan@194,196 “Some make claims that violate the second law,”… well those would be fanciful speculations not deserving of serious consideration, and would probably not be falsifiable by reasonable empirical tests. “Now Claes is engaged criticising; .. 2. The existence of photons.” Well OK, I’m looking forward to the Nobel… I can keep an open mind on that, but Okham’s razor prevails in the meantime.

• #
Nullius in Verba

L.J. Ryan, #181,

Microwave ovens and IR lasers are – obviously – relevant to this question of whether low energy photons can be permanently absorbed by warmer objects. I note that you don’t answer the question, but instead find a (totally spurious) reason not to answer.

“are the microwave emitted a higher energy then the food contained within the oven?”

No. Microwaves are characteristic of temperatures down around 5-10 K. Even frozen food is at temperatures around 250 K. Similarly, IR is characteristic of room temperatures, not the white-hot steel surface being cut. Quite obviously, warm objects can absorb ‘cold’ photons.

#182,
It’s not a full ‘test’ of greenhouse physics, but it does happen.

cohenite, #183,
1. a microstate doesn’t just refer to energy. It can refer to momentum, angular momentum, position, or any other microphysical variable.
2. The 2nd law works just the same for quantum mechanics ass classical – introducing it is an unecessary complication.

Entropy isn’t a trend, it’s a quantity. And even interpreting energy in terms of numbers of microstates, the GHE mechanism still doesn’t violate the second law. Net heat is still flowing from warmer to colder.

Paul, #185,

“Without an experiment to ascertain the delay involved in the transmission of EM energy through the atmosphere”

You’re right that the delay is short, but it’s not relevant because that’s not how they say it works anyway. “Delay” is another of these words with multiple everyday meanings. The reason the interception matters is that the intercepting gas is colder than the surface, so when it re-emits upwards it does so at a lower rate, with lower-energy photons. (Energy balances because it is also emitting down, and in a real atmosphere, convecting.) If the absorbing atmosphere was hotter than the surface, then more greenhouse gases would lower the temperature.

The theorised hot spot is due to the water vapour feedback changing the lapse rate – it’s nothing to do with energy being trapped on the way out.

It’s not easy for me to explain it briefly. See my first post on the previous thread for a link to longer explanation.

• #
Bryan

RJ

To disprove the existence of Photons is much harder than any aspect of the climate science controversy.

Is there some experiment to show that photons don’t exist?
Is there some natural phenomena that photon theory contradicts?

G&T are very much in the mainstream of orthodox physics and in their publications accept and use radiation transmission through photons.

However the point I was making was you can disagree the IPCC advocates and also Claes no photon physics at the same time.

• #
Nullius in Verba

astonerii, #187,

If IR energy got absorbed within the first few feet, IR cameras wouldn’t work.

#190,

“And science already has answers to this question with no need at all of greenhouse gas theories.”

The adiabatic lapse rate – which only applies to an actively convective atmosphere – only tells you what the gradient of the line is, it doesn’t tell you the intercept. To find the intercept, you need to know the average altitude of emission of radiation direct to outer space, because it has to be the right temperature there to radiate all the heat the Earth gets from the sun. The higher that altitude, the warmer the surface. If the atmosphere was entirely transparent to IR, all the heat would be emitted from the surface, at -18 C, and the atmosphere would be even colder than that (at the adiabatic lapse rate) as you went higher.

The ALR is an essential part of the explanation, but is not the whole explanation. GHGs can still play a role.

Stylo, #191,
“But, you know what? It doesn’t warm you at all!”

When you sit there at 37 C = 310 K, you radiate 5.67e-8 *310^4 = 523 W/m^2 into your surroundings – roughly a kilowatt. If you did not get energy back from your living room, you would have to burn food at that rate to maintain your temperature. The actual rate is about 100 W, because you only need to supply the difference between input and output. Be thankful for your walls and furniture – it keeps you alive!

mullumhillbilly, #193,

Thanks for the bouquet!

Bryan, #194,

Using “heat” in an everyday rather than technical sense is wrong, but a forgiveable error, and correcting it distracts from dealing with more serious misunderstandings.

RJ, #195,

You have said that before. As mullumhillbilly has apparently read the thread, he presumably knows. Have you, likewise, read our posts in response with an open mind?

• #
Louis Hissink

Joanne Nova:
May 22nd, 2011 at 12:13 am
Louis, think of it this way:
Energy flows (greatly simplified)
SUN —-> Earth —–> Air —–> Space
Hot —-> Warm —–> Cool —-> Cold
What happens to EARTH if there is a block in the final stage:
SUN —-> Earth —–> Air + GHG –|—> Space
The net flow of energy is still warmer to cold. The break —|— is only partial, a temporary delay, a bottleneck…
How can Earth keep losing heat at the same rate?

Jo

The block that is proposed has to be a different physical phase (like clouds) to slow the energy escaping the earth. If the block is clouds, sure the heat loss slows down. If it is a solid like glass, then that is the mechanism of a greenhouse, and heat loss also slows down.

But if the block is a radiating gas it won’t block the heat leaving the earth, rather it will accelerate the heat loss as it transmits the escaping energy not only via Brownian motion, but also by radiation. As temperature drops so does the energy so radiated and this in itself raises come interesting conundrums. Another error is assuming that the earth is source of energy in this circumstance – it isn’t since it is losing energy while sun, on the hand, continually emits energy.

The interesting remark made by Professor Gert Venter, recounted by Astronomer Hilton Ratcliffe, that injecting CO2 into his various greenhouse experiments causes the atmosphere inside the greenhouse to drop in temperature, (And Venter is a world authority on greenhouse horticulture) seems to be substantiated with other observations that the GMT hasn’t risen in step with CO2. Both of these physical facts falsify the AGW hypothesis.

It also means that the CO2 backward radiating phenomenon is misunderstood. As the solar tap is turned off, neither the earth or its gaseous coating will be receiving energy and both objects will, from a lack of input, drop in temperature. For CO2 to trap heat, something which a gas cannot do by the way, is has to be receiving a source of energy, but the earth is not in this case a source of energy, just as the N2 molecule next to a CO2 molecule cannot be a source of energy either.

This does not mean that I dismiss the measured down welling IR that almost everyone believes comes from atmospheric radiating gases. Rather because the AGW hypothesis has been falsified by measurement and observation, then the scientific conclusion is to then look elsewhere for the source of the down welling IR since it cannot be coming from CO2.

• #
RJ

@ 201,

You have said that before. As mullumhillbilly has apparently read the thread, he presumably knows. Have you, likewise, read our posts in response with an open mind?

If mullumhillbilly has then maybe he could be a little more specific. What are these quixotic pretensions?

And yes I have read this thread. I don’t know and do not pretend to. But for clarity and meeting the common sense test the slayers book and Postma’s paper and posts are impressive. I look forward to the slayers next paper which I’m sure will move this debate forward once again.

• #
RJ

Brian @ 200

To disprove the existence of Photons is much harder than any aspect of the climate science controversy.

Is there some experiment to show that photons don’t exist?
Is there some natural phenomena that photon theory contradicts?

G&T are very much in the mainstream of orthodox physics and in their publications accept and use radiation transmission through photons.

However the point I was making was you can disagree the IPCC advocates and also Claes no photon physics at the same time.

But does it matter. Isn’t the key point whether either photons or whatever further heat a warmer body if the energy comes from a colder body. Is it a net energy factor or is it that photons have no impact whatsoever

I tend to believe radiation from a colder body has no impact whatsoever. They do not arrive and warm up the body. They arrive and have no impact and leave. So a huge flow of photons from ice will not and can not warm us.

Its irrelevant really to the GHG backradiation theory if photons exist or not.

• #
Nullius in Verba

Louis, #202,

“The block that is proposed has to be a different physical phase (like clouds) to slow the energy escaping the earth.”

Why?

“rather it will accelerate the heat loss as it transmits the escaping energy not only via Brownian motion, but also by radiation.”

Why? Do you mean that because there are two mechanisms that it inevitably goes faster? How can the atmosphere transmit energy faster than the surface supplies it?

“Another error is assuming that the earth is source of energy in this circumstance – it isn’t since it is losing energy while sun, on the hand, continually emits energy.”

How does the fact the Earth is losing energy mean it cannot be a source of energy? What sort of source can supply energy without losing it?

“injecting CO2 into his various greenhouse experiments causes the atmosphere inside the greenhouse to drop in temperature”

So? The temperature does not vary significantly from top to bottom of the greenhouse, so the radiation up and down balances and has no effect. All heat lost is via other mechanisms of heat transfer, so messing about with radiative transfer by injecting CO2 likewise has no effect. (This is much like my pond of water example.) Since the greenhouse being filled doesn’t change the average altitude of emission to space noticeably, it doesn’t falsify the atmospheric GHE, either. All it proves is that the mechanism keeping real greenhouses warm is not the radiative GHE.

“is has to be receiving a source of energy, but the earth is not in this case a source of energy,”

You’re using “source” in two different senses, here. It’s not a source in the sense that heat is internally generated, but it is a source in the sense that stored energy is being supplied to its surroundings.

“This does not mean that I dismiss the measured down welling IR that almost everyone believes comes from atmospheric radiating gases.”

Good.

“the scientific conclusion is to then look elsewhere for the source of the down welling IR since it cannot be coming from CO2″

That doesn’t follow from what you said. Even if we take your conclusions as stated, all you’ve said is that the gas in the atmosphere can’t slow the heat loss, you haven’t said anything about why it can’t emit IR downwards. (And don’t forget most of the downwelling radiation comes from water vapour, anyway.)

It is quite possible to reject CAGW and reject the back-radiation mechanism as an explanation for greenhouse warming without asserting that it breaks the 2nd law, or that GHGs don’t radiate, or that the radiation isn’t absorbed, or whatever. You are not being asked to convert to out-and-out warmydoom belief.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba

Lasers
A high enough concentration of photons of any wavelength can cause heating.
It does not follow the path of equilibrium thermodynamics
The heating is achieved through compression (shock waves).

Microwave oven.
Cold matter emits blackbody spectra in the microwave region of the spectrum. The cosmic microwave background radiation is 3K for instance.
How can a microwave oven can heat up a bowl of soup?
It isn’t accomplished by microwave photons but rather by phase variation which causes dialectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase. Friction then (plus choice of resonant frequency) does the actual heating.
The plastic bowl is quite cool.
Microwave radiation can’t raise the temperature of anything that isn’t within a couple degrees of absolute zero.

LED lights
These are readily available with a colour temperature of 5000K.
Yet they are cool to touch.
Once again the device does not take the thermal route for its operation.
It is a quantum device.

All three devices above do not depend on thermionics for their operation.
To try to describe some thermal phenomena thing like the atmosphere through them is a pointless distraction!

• #
Paul

Alistair: @70
May 21st, 2011 at 3:18 am

Climate Science relies for its justification of ‘back radiation’ the incorrect mathematics of Arthur Milne who used the wrong boundary condition when he solved the PDE for IR absorption in the atmosphere. Miskolczi shows it vanishes when you correct the maths.

Thanks for the reference to Miskolczi. I Googled that and found a YouTube with a brief introduction to his ideas. Miskolczi`s New Greenhouse Law if any one is interested in a quick introduction.

Then, following the URL shown near the end of the video I visited his own web site at “http://miskolczi.webs.com/” where you can read his paper : –

THE STABLE STATIONARY VALUE OF THE EARTH’S GLOBAL AVERAGE ATMOSPHERIC PLANCK-WEIGHTED GREENHOUSE-GAS OPTICAL THICKNESS

by Ferenc Miskolczi

Published in: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
SPECIAL ISSUE: PARADIGMS IN CLIMATE RESEARCH
VOLUME 21 No. 4 2010, AUGUST

ABSTRACT

By the line-by-line method, a computer program is used to analyze Earth atmospheric radiosonde data from hundreds of weather balloon observations. In terms of a quasi-all-sky protocol, fundamental infrared atmospheric radiative flux components are calculated: at the top boundary, the outgoing long wave radiation, the surface transmitted radiation, and the upward atmospheric emittance; at the bottom boundary, the downward atmospheric emittance. The partition of the outgoing long wave radiation into upward atmospheric emittance and surface transmitted radiation components is based on the accurate computation of the true greenhouse-gas optical thickness for the radiosonde data. New relationships among the flux components have been found and are used to construct a quasi-all-sky model of the earth’s atmospheric energy transfer process. In the 1948-2008 time period the global average annual mean true greenhouse-gas optical thickness is found to be time-stationary. Simulated radiative no-feedback effects of measured actual CO2 change over the 61 years were calculated and found to be of magnitude easily detectable by the empirical data and analytical methods used. The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for the apparently observed global warming. A hypothesis of significant positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption is also negated by the observed measurements. Apparently major revision of the physics underlying the greenhouse effect is needed.

There is another introduction to his ideas at http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/ at the end of which is a download link for the paper in PDF format.

Basically what he is saying is that the optical depth of the earth’s atmosphere has remained constant over the period of greatest increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, leading to the conclusion that the optical depth is a constant and that the increase in atmospheric CO2 will result only in a corresponding decrease in atmospheric water vapour, cancelling any increase in the ‘Greenhouse effect’.

Maybe Miskolczi’s ideas give credence to what Joanne Nova has been contending for, that the ‘back radiation’ is real. However, at the same time, he shows that it is an irrelevancy to the issue of the temperature near the surface of the earth, which is really what all the fuss is about.

Surely this makes the discussion on this thread entirely academic and beside the point. QED.

Paul

• #
cohenite

Nullius@199; thanks for the comment; the microstate and entropy relationship is the view of Nasif which I refered to @117, the salient bits appear to be:

“This shift was important because it defined the real concept of entropy and detached it from contextual derivations. For example, now we know that the fundamental concept of entropy has nothing to do with disorder, movement, complexity or heat “content”, but with the configurations that the energy adopts in a given system and the directionality of the energy exchange.

Entropy is now defined as the natural trend of the energy to flow towards the system or systems with a higher number of available microstates.”

The end result of this entropy ‘trend’ is expressed by Zeroth’s law. If we assume that the system is governed by maximum entropy production [MEP] then MEP will be governed by the isotopic nature of backradiation, the basis of the GHE, so that a Zeroth’s condition will be achieved, with increasing CO2, as described by a simple limiting sum geometric series: Sn=a/1-r where a=1 and r=0.5; or 1/n^2 for n=1 to infinity is 2. In otherwords, the temperature or heating effect of a state of 2XCO2 will be achieved at infinity.

The point here is that, even accepting the consistency of the GHE with the 2nd law, the actual heating effect is negligible.

• #
cohenite

Paul@207; I have been a fan of Miskolczi; his theory is given a stern critique here:

http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/05/15/the-mystery-of-tau-%e2%80%93-miskolczi-%e2%80%93-part-five-equation-souffle/

The thing with M though is that his theory is based on data; the theory may be an Ansatz which unusally follows the data but even if it fails the data remains; and at this stage M’s predictions have been far more successful than AGW modeling.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“It isn’t accomplished by microwave photons but rather by phase variation which causes dialectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase.”

Calling photon absorption “phase variation” doesn’t make it not photons. Photons come in, they interact with charges applying EM forces to them, the charges move around as a result, and their movement generates a back field that cancels out the original photon. In other words, the photon has been absorbed. That’s just the classical picture of how photon absorption works.

The plastic bowl is cool because it is transparent.

“Microwave radiation can’t raise the temperature of anything that isn’t within a couple degrees of absolute zero.”

Do you seriously propose to stand up and tell the general public this is what climate sceptics believe, and expect them (or other physicists) to regard us as a credible alternative?

• #
Nullius in Verba

“If we assume that the system is governed by maximum entropy production”

Why?

“then MEP will be governed by the isotopic nature of backradiation”

Do you mean “isotropic”?

Iff you want to calculate the heating effect of isotropic radiation from each layer, look up my “water pond” example above, or my “shells” model in the previous thread.

“The point here is that, even accepting the consistency of the GHE with the 2nd law, the actual heating effect is negligible.”

If you accept the basic assumption of the shells model, that radiation is the only significant mode of heat transfer, then the heating effect is not negligible. The surface of the Earth would be at an average of 60 C.

But because we live in a convective atmosphere, the back-radiation effect is overruled by convective transfer. *If* the atmosphere was non-convective, then back-radiation *would* result in a higher surface temperature with no violation of the 2nd law. But because the atmosphere is convective, the mechanism is entirely different, and all the above discussion has absolutely no bearing on it. You can’t prove that the GHE has no effect by arguing against the wrong explanation.

Since you said “even accepting the consistency of the GHE with the 2nd law” we might actually get a chance to move on to that, once everyone else has agreed too. The back-radiation version of the GHE is wrong, but *not* because it violates the 2nd law. It’s wrong because it ignores the effect of convection.

• #
Alistair

207: Miskolczi also calculates that the no amplification climate sensitivity of CO2 is c. 0.5K. There’s a second claim of this in the literature.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba says on microwave cookers which he feels are relevant in climate science discussion.

“Do you seriously propose to stand up and tell the general public this is what climate sceptics believe, and expect them (or other physicists) to regard us as a credible alternative?”…..

I said

Microwave oven.
Cold matter emits blackbody spectra in the microwave region of the spectrum. The cosmic microwave background radiation is 3K for instance.
How can a microwave oven can heat up a bowl of soup?
It isn’t accomplished by microwave photons but rather by phase variation which causes dialectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase. Friction then (plus choice of resonant frequency) does the actual heating.
The plastic bowl is quite cool.
Microwave radiation can’t raise the temperature of anything that isn’t within a couple degrees of absolute zero.

These devices do not depend on thermionics for their operation.
To try to describe some thermal phenomena thing like the atmosphere through them is a pointless distraction!

Well read this and judge for yourself
http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/howcook.html

• #

Nullius in Verba@201 ]

Are you seriously going to argue that there is not an extinction rate for specific wavelength radiation in our atmosphere? Do you seriously think that there are any original CO2 or H2O photons that make it from ground to outer space with no intermediary steps along this path? It has been studied, it has been observed and it has been recorded that in our atmosphere, the radiation wavelengths and quantity that CO2 absorbs is absorbed fully within the first 6 feet of atmosphere. What an IR camera sees is the last bit of radiation re-emitted as well as the radiation wavelengths not absorbed by the atmosphere.

If the atmosphere can absorb (A) units of radiation going upward in any specific distance (Y), when it is re-emitted, assuming a 100% re-emit rate, (A/2) units on average and theory point downward(ish). Those (A/2) units headed downward(ish) now will be absorbed at the same rate as the 1,000,000 units and will be absorbed before they reach the specific distance (Y). This is giving benefit that the direction is specifically downward, which only a tiny part will be, the vast majority of the photons re-emitted will be headed in different vectors requiring far more travel than specific distance (Y). Even playing the greenhouse gas theory 100% with the rules the extremists of the pro AGW theory propose, the net effect at surface is net 0 increase in back radiation energy. ]

This leaves you with the unbelievably difficult task of showing that a low specific heat molecule such as CO2 that is in minute quantities 390ppm or .039% of the atmosphere, can absorb what energy is provided by blackbody Earth radiation and then in turn physically warm the atmosphere by a measurable amount. I do not buy it. At temperatures similar to Earth of today, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was 20 times as high as it is today. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16. If the warming ability then was the same as claimed today, then the minimum higher temperature would have been +5 degrees. But the temperature was essentially the same. Let us not even argue about the ice ages and the fact that during most of them in the past the CO2 level going in, during and coming out was higher than it is today. greenhouse gas theory at every single instance where empirical evidence is used fails. The only place that it succeeds in increasing the temperature of the Earth is in the parallel universes created in computers. Every other place, it fails.

Yes, back radiation from a cold object can increase the energy of warmer object, hurray. Now back to reality, the photons emitted from the Earth in practice essentially none again reach the Earths surface.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“These devices do not depend on thermionics for their operation.”

Did you really mean to say that?
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/waves/magnetron.html

Yes, please do judge for yourselves.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“Are you seriously going to argue that there is not an extinction rate for specific wavelength radiation in our atmosphere?”

I’m going to argue that the extinction length for thermal IR from the surface is longer than 6 feet, yes.

But if you want to know the effect of the radiative GHE in a medium where the extinction length is on the order of millimetres, than see my solar pond example above.

• #
Alistair

216: the practical measure of extinction length for IR in the atmosphere can be seen in the phenomenon of the mirage.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba

“These devices do not depend on thermionics for their operation.”

Did you really mean to say that?

The point I was making was that the thermal route as understood in the atmosphere was not involved.
They incorporate a hot plate to release electrons which are manipulated in an EM field.
We could therefore use an old style TV to tells us something about the atmosphere.
Claes Johnston would also be happy to discuss this area as we need no photons are necessary for the explanation.
We are firmly back in Rayleigh-Jeans formula territory.
Has the discussion on microwave cookers proved a pointless distraction – YES.

• #
Nullius in Verba

#217,

That’s conduction/diffusion.

• #
Nullius in Verba

#218,

A claim has been made that for each temperature there is a threshold photon energy such that warm bodies cannot absorb photons with lower energy than the threshold. The microwave oven is a counter-example to that claim. Microwave photons, which you would claim cannot be absorbed by anything much above absolute zero, are absorbed by food close to room temperature. Claim falsified.

That the photons are emitted by a different mechanism is irrelevant. That the classical approximation is closer for lower frequencies is irrelevant. Radiation corresponding to extremely low temperatures is absorbed very easily by matter at high temperatures, heating it. The claim that they’re not is wrong. The claim that this threshold effect falsifies the radiative GHE is incorrect.

At what point can we move on? The 2nd law objections are invalid. There are far better objections we could be raising. But instead we waste hours and hours going over it again and again. And every time I make some slight progress in persuading other scientists to take a look at climate scepticism more seriously, it takes them about 5 minutes for them to run into this stuff and for all my efforts to get blown out of the water.
I’m tired of it happening.

But it just goes on, and on, and on.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba

You have completely ignored the actual mechanism here.
The laws of thermodynamics were built around equilibrium thermodynamics.
The microwave oven certainly does not fit in here.

The mechanism causes phase variation between the electric and magnetic fields which in turn causes dielectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase. Friction then (plus choice of resonant frequency) does the actual heating.
I have not come across any description such as a steady constant absorption of microwave photons as you seem to imply.
I still say the microwave cooker has nothing in common with atmospheric effects.

You say

…”At what point can we move on? The 2nd law objections are invalid.”….

In what sence are “2nd Law objections” invalid?
This makes no sense.
If any proposed explanation involves 2nd law violation it is the proposal that is invalid.

In the previous thread someone proposed that the atmosphere was like a heat pump extracting heat from the above the troposphere and depositing it at the Earth surface.
Explanations of that type are not unusual and so must be analysed.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“The laws of thermodynamics were built around equilibrium thermodynamics.”

The laws of thermodynamics apply universally, not just at equilibrium. Otherwise we would just have to make sure things were not at equilibrium to be able to break them.

“The mechanism causes phase variation between the electric and magnetic fields which in turn causes dielectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase.”

Yes. And photon absorption by atoms is when an electron spinning around an atom is forced to constantly reorient with the electric field in a higher frequency wave. If the photon frequency matches the natural frequency at which the electron spins around the atom, they can interact. It’s just the classical version of EM absorption. The particle and wave pictures are both approximations to the quantum picture. The wave picture may be more accurate at microwave frequencies, but I can assure you that molecular vibrations are very much at a scale where quantum effects are important, and transitions are still quantised. The universe is entirely run according to quantum physics.

“If any proposed explanation involves 2nd law violation it is the proposal that is invalid.”

And if any proposed explanation does not involve 2nd law violation, then claims that it does are invalid.

“In the previous thread someone proposed that the atmosphere was like a heat pump extracting heat from the above the troposphere and depositing it at the Earth surface.”

Yes, I think that might have been me – although it wasn’t supposed to be an explanation, and isn’t talking about the radiative GHE. Moving on to analyse it would be great, but we can’t get there until we get over this 2nd law/absorption thing for the pure radiative effect.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba says

“The laws of thermodynamics apply universally, not just at equilibrium. Otherwise we would just have to make sure things were not at equilibrium to be able to break them.”

A number of the laws specifically are based on, not only general thermal equilibrium, but also local thermal equilibrium – like Kirchoff’s Law for instance.

Any explanation I have read about microwave ovens specify a friction effect that causes heating.
I think its pretty clear that microwave ovens have nothing in common with the atmosphere.
If you have to extend to such exaggerated examples to make your point I conclude that you have very little evidence to support your opinion.

Nullius in Verba

“And if any proposed explanation does not involve 2nd law violation, then claims that it does are invalid.”

Who is making these invalid claims?

In the previous thread someone proposed that the atmosphere was like a heat pump extracting heat from the above the troposphere and depositing it at the Earth surface.

Nullius in Verba
“Yes, I think that might have been me”

Well I didn’t actually think it was you, however if there is no evidence of a giant pump in the sky then back to the second law or a suitable excuse from you.
Nullius in Verba
“Moving on to analyse it would be great, but we can’t get there until we get over this 2nd law/absorption thing for the pure radiative effect.”

Well you will just have to accept that you have not convinced me of either and you still have the problem of the giant unexplained pump in the sky!

• #
Richard111

Look up Wien’s Law. Peak temperature for a body radiating at 15 microns is 193.2K or -80C. The energy contained in 15 micron photons are equivalent to radiation from a body at -80C.

• #
Alistair

There is no heat pump in the sky. This is because the law of Equipartition of Energy means that all GHGs do is to increase the optical depth of the atmosphere to certain bands of IR energy but with no extra thermalisation [another thermally-excited molecule re-emits the quantum of energy in a random direction to maintain statistical equilibrium].

Heat is stored in clouds directly in droplets and indirectly as you get a bit more evaporation, hence latent heat energy. An increase of CO2 would, because it causes more absorption, lead to an increased probability of that energy capture. That local change in lapse rate has to be compensated for in the upper atmosphere where it is known that water vapour concentration has been decreasing to give constant IR optical depth.

This is Miskolczi’s physics but he doesn’t describe the mechaniism.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“A number of the laws specifically are based on, not only general thermal equilibrium, but also local thermal equilibrium – like Kirchoff’s Law for instance.”

Yes, there are such laws, but they’re only special cases of the more general laws. They’re not given numbers.

“Any explanation I have read about microwave ovens specify a friction effect that causes heating.”

They’re quite right. And when absorption of blackbody radiation leads to heating, that’s caused by ‘friction’ too. The radiation causes the electrons to spin, the spinning electrons interact with electrons in nearby molecules giving both molecules a kick, which sets the whole process off. How did you think blackbody absorption led to heat?

“Who is making these invalid claims?”

Good question. Hands up anyone who still thinks the radiative GHE mechanism violates the second law?

“Well you will just have to accept that you have not convinced me of either and you still have the problem of the giant unexplained pump in the sky!”

Yes, I know. And believe me, it’s not a surprise to me. I did think Jo was being unduly optimistic in thinking that she just had to host a couple of discussions and it would all be sorted out.
The Hadley cell heat pump will have to wait for another day.

• #
Alistair

Ah, the Hadley cell heat pump; that’s different.

Question: do you consider the indirect creation of latent heat energy a form of greenhouse heating?

• #
Reed Coray

“Technically, strictly, greenhouse gases don’t “warm” the planet (as in, they don’t supply additional heat energy), but they slow the cooling, which for all pragmatic purposes leaves the planet warmer that it would have been without them.” – Jo Nova

Jo, they (greenhouse gases) may slow cooling; but if by cooling you mean decreasing the rate that energy is lost to space, the effect is only temporary. Specifically, if the rate of energy input to a system always exceeds the rate of energy output by the system, the difference in energy must be going somewhere. Some of it may assume forms not directly related to temperature–e.g., chemical energy storage as happens in photosynthesis. Some of the energy difference, however, will almost surely manifest itself as a rise in temperature of the system that experiences the net input of energy. As long as the net increase in energy exists, the temperature will rise. By definition, for energy-rate equilibrium to exist, the rate energy is input to a system must equal the rate energy leaves the system. If we restrict energy flow into and out of a system to be radiation (no convection, conduction, or loss of mass), the temperature of the system always has an effect on the rate energy leaves system but may or may not have an affect on the rate energy enters the system–e.g., blackbodies radiate energy proportional to the fourth power of their temperature, but absorb energy independent of their temperature. If a system (say the Earth and its atmosphere) receives energy from an external source (say the sun) in energy-rate equilibrium is changed in such a way that (a) the rate of energy loss is decreased and the ONLY way to increase the rate of energy loss is to raise the system temperature, then the temperature will rise until energy-rate equilibrium is re-established. If the input rate of energy is unchanged, the rate of cooling before the system change will be equal to the rate of cooling after the system change–not immediately, but eventually.

Thus, I agree with you in spirit. By placing a “cooler” object next to a “hotter” object, in the presence of a thermal energy source, the temperature of the “hotter” object can be changed and the change may be to increase the temperature of the “hotter” object. However, I make two comments. First, the minor objection that I don’t like the terminology “an atmosphere slows cooling”–because the “slowing” is transient. Although much more complicated, I like the terminology “an atmosphere may alter the behaviors of both energy absorption and energy loss in such a way that the change in energy absorption is small but the rate of energy loss is affected in a way that requires a temperature increase to re-establish energy-rate equilibrium.”

Second, assuming a fixed input rate of energy, it is not inconceivable that the presence of an atmosphere might result in a decrease in system temperature. Consider for example, a uniform-temperature, isolated, blackbody sphere with an internal thermal energy source of W watts in the vacuum of cold space. The energy-rate equilibrium temperature, TE, of the sphere will be directly proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of (a) “W” to (b) the surface area of the sphere. In the case where the “atmosphere” is the same material as the sphere, by adding an atmosphere the area of the sphere is increased with a resulting decrease in the sphere surface temperature when energy-rate equilibrium is re-established. In the case of the Earth receiving energy from the Sun, you can correctly argue that an increase in the size of a blackbody sphere will result in an increase in “received” energy. However, my point is that the presence of an atmosphere may (likely will) induce thermal affects other than “absorption of electromagnetic bands of outgoing radiation.” For this reason, I am not ready to accept the premise that the presence of “greenhouse gases” in the Earth’s atmosphere must result in a temperature increase of the Earth’s surface. I admit the possibility that the premise is true, but I’m a long way from being convinced.

Thank you for an excellent blog,

• #
KR

Paul @ 207

Basically what he is saying is that the optical depth of the earth’s atmosphere has remained constant over the period of greatest increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, leading to the conclusion that the optical depth is a constant and that the increase in atmospheric CO2 will result only in a corresponding decrease in atmospheric water vapour, cancelling any increase in the ‘Greenhouse effect’.

But – atmospheric water vapor has increased ~4% since 1970, along with the increases in CO2. This does not hold up to reality.

• #
Nullius in Verba

“Question: do you consider the indirect creation of latent heat energy a form of greenhouse heating?”

Mmmm. Tricky. It depends how you choose to define it.

If we choose to define the GHE as anything that moves the lapse rate around – up, down, steeper, or shallower – with a resultant change in surface temperature as “greenhouse heating”, then yes. But latent heat isn’t really a ‘creation’ of energy, and as with GHGs, the mechanism isn’t a simple ‘adding more energy to make it get hotter’ sort of “heating”, so I’d be a bit wary – especially in light of the terminological issues we’ve already seen – in calling it that.

That would be better discussed after properly discussing the lapse rate mechanism, though. And Jo wanted us to get the 2nd law business sorted out first. So I consider it off-topic for now.

• #
Alistair

KR: there’s a recent report of stratospheric water vapour decreasing by 25%, having increased from the 1970s, also Miskolczi showed that 61 years’ radiosonde data showed a decrease of water vapour.

• #
KR

. Alistair @ 231

“…there’s a recent report of stratospheric water vapour decreasing by 25%”

Trenberth 2005 shows 1.3±0.3% per decade over the oceans.

Zhai 1997 – Increases of precipitable water over China.

Nedoluha 1998 – entitled “Increases in middle atmospheric water vapor as observed by the Halogen Occultation Experiment and the ground-based Water Vapor Millimeter-wave Spectrometer from 1991 to 1997″

Can you point me to your reference? That doesn’t match with any of the data I’ve seen.

• #
Paul

It all boils down to whose data you are going to trust.

The CAGW camp have blotted their copy book so many times in regard to making their data and methods easily available for verification, combined with sneaky corruption of the data, invalid statistical analysis of the data along with suppression of the real peer-review process that I take anything that emanates from that camp with a bucket full of salt.

As for me and many others, the recent non-warming period, going on for more than a decade, puts the fear of catastrophic global warming firmly to rest.

It’s instructive that none of the models relied on by the IPCC had any predictive power regarding this stasis although such cyclical patterns are very evident in the past temperature records. It is also instructive that the long-range weather forecasts based on the same modelling have become nothing more than a sick joke and subject to well-deserved derision whereas long-range weather forecasts based upon scientific and historical data, but ignoring the supposed ‘Global Warming’ conjecture, have had a better than 85% accuracy rate, and improving.

Why there are two threads now, discussing the second law of thermodynamics, I don’t understand. On the former thread I have posted my corrected understanding of how the presence of CO2 alters the passage of long-wave radiation through the atmosphere and conclude that it has no effect at all.

Given the above, the amount of hot air on these two threads has probably had more effect on the temperature of the near-earth atmosphere than any increase in ‘carbon’!

Paul

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• #
cohenite

Nullius@211; good of you to pick up the misspelling of isotRopic!

You ask why should MEP apply to all energy and heat transfers; some of this discussion has implied that entropy may have more than one speed; I think it was SoD who suggested that the 2nd law says entropy cannot be reduced but had nothing to do with increases of entropy; with respect to him I think that misses the point that all natural systems are constrained by entropy at one level with no capacity to either increase or decrease the rate; you may have a number of factors or processes operating similtaneously, in the nature of forcings and feedbacks, but all of those have the same ‘rate’ of entropy; perhaps it would help to consider the Constructal Law:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/27/the-unbearable-complexity-of-climate-2/#more-14585

Speaking of SoD I see you participated in the discussion on pressure vs radiative transfer and which establishes the lapse rate:

http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/08/16/convection-venus-thought-experiments-and-tall-rooms-full-of-gas/

The previous discussion also didn’t resolve the issue:

http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/06/22/venusian-mysteries-part-two/

But you are wrong when you say this: “If you accept the basic assumption of the shells model, that radiation is the only significant mode of heat transfer, then the heating effect is not negligible.” The heating effect from radiation in an isotropic model will be governed by the limiting sum geometric series; how could it not?

This doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you about convection dominating radiative transfers; my point is that in a situation where there is no convection the radiative process will not cause excessive heat build-up.

• #
KR

cohenite @ 234

Thanks for the references – I’ll take a look.

cohenite @ 235

I’ve read up on MEP some time back, due to a previous discussion on another blog (Skeptical Science). Maximum Entropy Production appears (still rather an open question) to apply to how fast a system attains a minimum ordered energy (maximum entropy) state, but it does not affect the final state reached.

• #
John Brookes

Nullius in Verba@230 says that discussion of the lapse rate should be another topic.

Yes, please Jo, could we have a post on the lapse rate? I have only a tenuous grasp of this part of the science, and need it put in nice simple terms.

• #
Kevin

David a wrote (@ comment #107)

“For example, over the course of a night overall heat loss is reduced if the atmosphere slows the rate of heat loss.”

EXACTLY my point, ONLY IF THE “GREENHOUSE EFFECT” can slow the rate of heat loss (i.e. the “speed of heat”) in a significant amount relative to the speed of heat arriving (the SUN rising each day) can a higher “equilibrium temperature” exist.

So the “GE” effect slows the speed of heat through the system by a few hundred milliseconds (maybe), but every 86 million milliseconds the “heat batteries “of the Earth get a MASSIVE recharge (i.e. the sunrise).

It all comes down to the speed at which heat flows through the system. Unless the “GE” can change that in a significant way (like a sizeable portion of a day, say 12 hours, or 43 million million milliseconds) the “Greenhouse Effect” is doing nothing but causing us to waste a TON of money studying it, and trying to alleviate it’s alleged affects.

Cheers, Kevin.

• #
Bobc

I keep seeing this stuff about photons:

Bryan: (@200)
2011 at 8:20 pm

RJ

To disprove the existence of Photons is much harder than any aspect of the climate science controversy.

Is there some experiment to show that photons don’t exist?
Is there some natural phenomena that photon theory contradicts?

G&T are very much in the mainstream of orthodox physics and in their publications accept and use radiation transmission through photons.

Thought I might summarize one of my graduate lectures on optics (the ones where I wax philosophical — my students love it, as they don’t have to remember anything)

First, though: I am very much in the mainstream of orthodox optical engineering, and in my publications I have accepted and used radiation transmission through rays of light. There is no need, however, to wonder if rays can be shown to exist — they are blatantly mathematical abstractions used to simplify (greatly!) the calculation of wave propagation through optical systems sufficiently larger than the wavelength of light.

If I ever asked what would happen if a ray of light struck an atom, however, I would have passed “through the looking glass” — a ray, being a mathematical abstraction, cannot ‘hit’ an atom, a real object. This would be a severe logical “catagory error”.

Back to photons: There is a vast body of theory and experiment on the generation, propagation, absorption, and everything about Electromagnetic Waves. This theory (whose crown jewels are Maxwell’s Equations) describe electric and magnetic fields and waves in exquisite detail, allowing us to design and construct the electrical and electronic devices that our civilization is built upon. Although there have been many innovations since then, the theory was relatively mature at the end of the 19th century.

There was just one little problem with it.

Although the spectrum of heated blackbody radiators could easily be measured, all attempts to derive it from EM theory failed. Every attempt resulted in the nonsensical conclusion that any object above absolute zero in temperature would lose all its energy in a devastating burst of gamma radiation. This problem was called the “Ultraviolet Catastrophe”.

Max Planck (whose University advisor told him not to go into physics, as “Everything has already been worked out, except for a few little details”) went into physics anyway, and decided to try to work out this “little detail”. After much trial and error, Planck found that if he made the apparently arbitrary assumption that EM waves could only interact with matter in discrete chunks of energy, the size of which was proportional to the wave’s frequency — and further carefully selected the value of said proportionality constant (now called Planck’s Constant), he could calculate blackbody spectra accurately. Fortunately, peer review was rarely used back then, so this totally bizarre result got published. This is generally accepted as the begining of Quantum Mechanics.

Inspired by Planck’s success, Einstein used these assumed “quanta” to explain the photoelectric effect, for which he received the Nobel Prize. (That’s right, it wasn’t for Relativity.)

After that, things went nuts and no one was heard to say anything like Planck’s advisor said for the next 50 years or so.

Now, we know beyond all doubt that Planck’s assumption is true — we can even see these interactions with our own eyes by using sintillation screens. These interactions look so much like the interactions of particles that we have given the assumed particles a name — “Photons”.

However, as to the “Theory of Photons” — it remains exactly where it was when Planck initiated it — EM waves interact with matter in discrete quanta of energy. Period. Full Stop.

Let me be clear: We have NO theory that can describe a “Photon” — we can’t say what it’s physical size is, where it is, how it propagates, reflects or refracts, how it is created or destroyed. No, the theoretical calculations that do that all deal with waves.

Of course, we all talk about photons propagating. (I also talk about rays propagating, so be warned.) You can even make up rules about photons propagating, etc — as long as you don’t violate any of the actual wave properties. (Just as rules of “ray propagation” through optical systems are devised so as to approximate wave propagation.)

Photons, however, are in our mind. In the real world what you have is: “EM waves interact with matter in discrete chunks of energy”.

• #
BobC

Stylo (@191):
May 22nd, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Paradoxical as this seems, there is no heating from other objects that are at or below the critical threshold of equal temperature.

If this energy cancellation wasn’t true you could sit in your lounge room and get warmed up to a higher temperature by the TV and the lounge and the walls and the carpet backradiating all of that nasty energy which “must” have some effect. But, you know what? It doesn’t warm you at all!

But it does in fact warm you, as is obvious in Montana when it’s -40C outside.

Here is an experiment you can try out for yourself, Stylo, the next time it’s cold enough where you are. Sit next to an insulated outside wall long enough to find the comfortable amount of clothing to wear. Then go sit next to a large window — you will definitely feel colder. Neither the wall nor the window is warmer than your body — but the wall is warmer than the window and hence will radiate more IR.

If you ever have the pleasure of living in a home with radiant floor heating, you will discover that, by heating the floor to a moderate temperature (say 80 degrees F. or so — still well below body heat) you can be very comfortable with a much lower air temperature than possible in a house where only the air is heated. Houses that use this heating method generally are built so that much of the IR emitted by the floor is reflected from the ceiling, increasing the IR flux in the room and hence the comfort level of the occupants.

Hey, does this sound a lot likt the “Radiant Greenhouse Effect” or what? And, you can experience it yourself! Here is a company that sells radiant floor tiles — put them in your bathroom, you’ll like it!

• #
Bryan

Bobc: thanks for the post and you say;

..”Photons, however, are in our mind. In the real world what you have is: “EM waves interact with matter in discrete chunks of energy”.

As Ive said above I would like to see Claes Johnston restore causality but I feel he still has some distance to go.
For the moment photon exchange is the mainstream physics interpretation of radiative transfer.
I was watching a Feynman video recently and he was saying(1960′s) that they could detect a single photon.

• #
Bryan

Nullius in Verba:

I was a bit puzzled yesterday about where you were going with the microwave oven thing.
Its clearly a resonance-friction effect because then you move significantly away from the frequency used the effect disappears.
However the discussion reminded me of an exchange I had with scienceofdoom so Ill put the same question to you.
Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

• #
Alistair

KR 232: Solomon’s paper [ http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.abstract ] shows a fall in stratospheric water of c. 10% since 2000 has contributed a fall in the rate of increase of temperature due to global warming by c. 25%.

Sorry to mix this up.

However, I do not believe any of the theories of GHG warming are valid because they all break fundamental statistical thermodynamic principles and it may be only because IR absorption measurements uses IR absorbing containers that you see warming!

In the container-less atmosphere, what matters is second order intermolecular [Van der Waals] interaction effects and recent work shows CO2 with O2 should actually hav a negative amplification factor for GHG warming [ C R Anderson is involved]. You get to this from experimental observations, not theory, classical physics in action.

This game is not over by any means and the scientific horsepower being exerted to get toe the truth dwarfs the intellectusl back-water which is climate science.

• #
RJ

BobC @ 239 AND 240

Thanks for these posts

Re this point though

Hey, does this sound a lot likt the “Radiant Greenhouse Effect” or what

Would this radiation be at the same wavelength as the backradiation from the atmosphere. Or a higher energy wavelength that can cause warming

So is it more like radiation from the sun (a warmer body). Or radiation from the atmosphere (a colder body).

This is a question BTW as I do not know.

• #

RJ,

Would this radiation be at the same wavelength as the backradiation from the atmosphere. Or a higher energy wavelength that can cause warming

This is a non-sensical statement.

That is to say, any energy can cause warming (except that some radiation has too much energy to cause warming). Radiation doesn’t need to be “high energy” to warm, but rather it needs to be of the correct wavelength to be absorbed by the substance being warmed and translated into vibrational or rotational energy.

For example, X-rays and gamma-rays are very, very high in energy, and yet they don’t tend to warm anything. They pass harmlessly through most objects, with the occasional random and very damaging absorption. I say damaging because these photons are so high in energy that they don’t make the target molecule vibrate or rotate. They instead work at the subatomic level and change the energy level of electrons, perhaps even causing one to be ejected, which damages the stability of chemical bonds and destroys (alters) the molecular state. Gamma rays are so high level they actually can work on the nuclear and particle level, causing nuclear reactions (i.e. changes in the protons and electrons in the nucleus of an atom).

Next up in energy is the ultraviolet, for which many molecules are transparent except a handful of important ones in the atmosphere (O2 being a very important one, since it results in blocking UV). But UV is again so high in energy that it tends to damage the molecules that absorb it (i.e. it works not by making a molecule vibrate or rotate, but instead by exciting or even ejecting electrons, resulting in chemical reactions that change the nature of the substance). This is more likely to happen with more complex molecules (i.e. solid objects), although the common reaction of O2 + UV –> O3 (ozone) daily saves us all from death.

Next up is visible light. Solid objects tend (with rare exceptions) to be opaque to visible light, while the atmosphere is transparent. But the energy in this light is in the range to heat (vibrate the molecules of) the solid objects that absorb it.

Next up in infra red. This is where things get tricky. Solid objects (unless they are very, very hot, like glowing embers) do not tend to emit visible light. They shed their heat (molecular vibrational energy) by emitting in the infrared. This can in turn be absorbed by various molecules in the atmosphere, depending on their chemistry/geometry/physics. This is what we’re discussing.

You can’t break radiation into “warmer” and “cooler”. You can profile the energy emitted by a substance, based on its heat and nature (e.g. the sun is hot, and emits primarily in the visible spectrum), and you can profile how a particular substance will deal with a particular wavelength, but you can’t really profile a particular wavelength as “hot” or “cool”.

In particular, the thought that higher energy wavelengths are the ones that can cause warming is incorrect.

[Note that this discussion is of course abbreviated as much as possible, and as such both leaves information out, or plays a little loose with some details to avoid in getting bogged down in complexities. It's just meant to be a broad overview, to present the concept of the range of energies and their varying effects on the molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels.]

Would this radiation be at the same wavelength as the backradiation from the atmosphere.

If by that, do you mean “is it in the infrared?” then yes. But the range of wavelengths we are talking about for H2O and CO2 are going to be a very specific subset of that full range emitted by the tiles.

• #

Typo in above comment: obviously “protons and electrons in the nucleus” should say “protons and neutrons in the nucleus”.

• #
BobC

Hi RJ;

When I said:

Hey, does this sound a lot likt (sic) the “Radiant Greenhouse Effect” or what?

I was being a little flippant. However, I was talking about IR radiation from a radiantly heated floor being reflected from the ceiling, which will increase the radiant flux in the room and hence the comfort level of the occupants. This is standard arcitectural design methodology for radiantly heated rooms. This does have some similarities to the radiant greenhouse effect being discussed here.

And yes, I’m talking about IR radiation from the heated floor which will be significantly below body temperature. If you heated the floor to body temperature, it would seem uncomfortably hot, as you would not be able to lose heat by radiation (or rather, you would be receiving as much as you lost) and would have to resort to sweating to keep from overheating.

Here’s a thought experiment:

Assume you are floating inside a (distant) spherical shell of some material, and that material is at absolute zero – it is not radiating anything at all. Your body, however, is at a temperature of approximately 37 deg C, so is radiating electromagnetic waves in blackbody spectrum characteristic to that temperature. (Note that all blackbodies radiate — and absorb — in all wavelengths. The intensity and peak wavelength is dependent on the temperature.)

Hence, you are losing energy at a certain rate that your metabolism must make up for in order to maintain your body temperature.

Now suppose that we heat the distant shell to a temperature above absolute zero, but still below your body temperature. It is now radiating as a blackbody, but with a spectrum shifted toward the IR, with respect to your emissions, since it is cooler than your body. Now you are not only radiating energy, but also absorbing it. You are still losing energy, since you are hotter than the shell, but your net loss is slower.

Hence, your metabolism doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your body temperature — you are more comfortable.

Now, suppose we raise the temperature of the shell to that of your body. The shell is now radiating the same spectrum as you are. This is a problem, as you are now absorbing radiant energy as fast as you are emitting it and your net (radiant) heat loss is zero. Since your metabolism can’t go to zero (as long as you’re alive, that is) your body temperature will rise. This could be dangerous, except Humans can also shed heat by exuding water from their skin pores which absorbs energy as it evaporates (e.g., “sweating”).

Note that, in all these scenarios, the direction of net heat flow is from the hotter object to the cooler — the second law is upheld. The rate of heat flow, however, is dependent on the difference in temperatures, going to zero as the difference does.

Note that the distant shell does not have to “heat” you to cause you to be warmer — since you have your own energy source (your metabolism) all it has to do is slow down the rate at which you lose heat.

(Did you know that Humans and Horses are the only animals that sweat? How strange is that? Growing up on a ranch, I always thought horses were the animals most like humans mentally.)

RJ:
May 23rd, 2011 at 6:51 pm

BobC @ 239 AND 240

Thanks for these posts

Re this point though

Hey, does this sound a lot likt the “Radiant Greenhouse Effect” or what

Would this radiation be at the same wavelength as the backradiation from the atmosphere. Or a higher energy wavelength that can cause warming

So is it more like radiation from the sun (a warmer body). Or radiation from the atmosphere (a colder body).

This is a question BTW as I do not know.

• #
KR

cohenite @ 234

Again, thanks for the references.

It looks like stratospheric H2O has decreased over the last decade, after increasing between 1980-2000. The Wentz 2007 reference states that:

“Rather, the observations suggest that precipitation and total atmospheric water have increased at about the same rate over the past two decades.”

In that regard I’d like to point you to this list of water vapor feedback observation papers – there’s about 18 references there, too many to summarize in this post. Water vapor indeed does appear to increase with warming.

So, despite variations in rates, both water vapor and CO2 have increased at various points in the last 30 years (1980-2000 by cohenite’s references, for example). Hence Miskolczi’s claim that increases in CO2 are balanced by a decrease in H2O, maintaining constant optical density of the atmosphere, is false. Cancellation of CO2 effect in this fashion simply does not occur.

• #
RJ

Bob @ 245

This is a non-sensical statement.

That is to say, any energy can cause warming (except that some radiation has too much energy to cause warming). Radiation doesn’t need to be “high energy” to warm, but rather it needs to be of the correct wavelength to be absorbed by the substance being warmed and translated into vibrational or rotational energy.

Any energy can cause warming. OK but is this misleading. Can energy from a cold body heat a warmer one. I know you think it can but others do not agree.

So I still think the statement by BobC is misleading. He is I think saying it is like the GHG greenhouse effect. When it is more like the impact of IR radiation from the sun.

You can’t break radiation into “warmer” and “cooler

But what about for an object break it into has a warming impact or has no impact (warming or cooling). And this impact could vary depending on the objects temperature.

O2 being a very important one, since it results in blocking UV

Is this right. Or is it O3 + UV –> O2+O. This is a question as I thought I read somewhere it was O3 that stopped UV light not O2.

e.g. the sun is hot, and emits primarily in the visible spectrum

Do you mean visible light. I though the % split was around

UV 11%
Visible 40%
Infa-red 49%

Is this right or have I misunderstood.

• #
RJ

Bob

Sorry it is O2 as well as O3. (But then what was the problem with the ozone breakdown. Surely if O3 can be produced from O2 it would simple produce more from O2. Although this is probable not the place to discuss this)

• #
BobC

Bryan:
May 23rd, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I was watching a Feynman video recently and he was saying(1960′s) that they could detect a single photon.

Even your eyes can do this, when they are dark-adapted. Since EM waves interact with matter in discrete units of energy, called “quanta”, when we can detect a single quanta of interaction it is common to say that we have “detected a single photon”.

What we have never done is observe a photon in flight. It is not even certain that that is a meaningful statement, or that photons represent anything real other than the final interaction of a wave with matter.

They certainly are a convenient mental concept, however, as long as you don’t get too carried away and hypothesize properties contrary to the known facts of EM theory.

• #
RJ

BobC @247

Note that, in all these scenarios, the direction of net heat flow is from the hotter object to the cooler — the second law is upheld. The rate of heat flow, however, is dependent on the difference in temperatures, going to zero as the difference does.

Yes. But the question is are you (BobC) and Bob (sphaerica) right. Or is the slayers view the correct one. So the energy flow is from hot to cold. But the energy from cold to hot does not have a warming impact

So when discussing heat flow there is no need for net. Because no heat whatsoever flows from cold to hot. Just potential energy that can not be released in an object with a higher vibrational state.

Hopefully I have expressed the slayers viewpoint correctly.

• #
RJ

Sorry it should be

so the energy flow is from hot to cold and also cold to hot

• #
BobC

RJ @ 252:
So when discussing heat flow there is no need for net. Because no heat whatsoever flows from cold to hot.

Hopefully I have expressed the slayers viewpoint correctly.

This would be true if “heat flow” is defined as “net energy flow”. Then, by definition, no heat flows from cold to hot.

Does it seem reasonable to you that the rate of “heat flow” should be, among other things, a function of temperature difference? That is, if a hot object is losing heat to a cold object, the rate will be faster if the temperature difference is large and slower if the temperature difference is slow. (And zero net energy flow — “heat flow” — if there is no temperature difference.)

Given that condition, it is easy to see that the presence of a cold object may indeed reduce the rate that a hot object loses heat. Consider an object at 100C next to an object at 0 deg C — a 100deg C difference (imagine bricks). There will be a rate of heat flow from the hot brick to the cold one. (The hot brick may be losing heat in other directions as well, but we are going to leave that constant.)

Now, increase the temperature of the cold brick to 50 deg C. The temperature difference between the hot and cold bricks is now only 50 deg C, so the rate of heat flow from the hot brick to the cold brick must decrease. Since the hot brick’s heat loss in all other directions remains constant, it must be true that the presence of the less cold brick has caused the hot brick to lose heat more slowly than when it was next to the more cold brick. If effect, the less cold brick has acted as “insulation” in that it caused the heat loss to be slower, compared to the loss when next to the more cold brick.

BTY: It is not necessary to postulate selective absorption behavior to get this exact behavior from blackbodies:
1) An idealized blackbody will absorb any photon at any energy, gaining energy in the process.
2) A blackbody will emit photons at an intensity and with a spectrum defined by Planck’s distribution. The key property of this spectrum (for our purposes) is that: The hotter the body, the more energy it radiates.

Given these two properties, you can see that any two blackbodies will always be exchanging energy, but the NET energy flow (“heat flow”) will always be from the hotter one to the cooler one.

A “Blackbody” is an idealized object, but many real objects (like a tungsten light filament) come close.

• #
mkelly

BobC:
May 24th, 2011 at 2:11 am

(And zero net energy flow — “heat flow” — if there is no temperature difference.)

BobC if T1-T2 in your statement above leads to a zero on the right side of the equation then there is a zero on the left side. If the left side is W/m^2 or J/sec/m^2 and a joule is a unit of energy there is no energy of any kind being exchanged.

• #
BobC

mkelly:
May 24th, 2011 at 3:04 am

BobC if T1-T2 in your statement above leads to a zero on the right side of the equation then there is a zero on the left side. If the left side is W/m^2 or J/sec/m^2 and a joule is a unit of energy there is no energy of any kind being exchanged.

Let’s take an example: Say the T1 represents the energy flow from object 1 to object 2, and T2 represents the energy flow from object 2 to object 1. (Use whatever units you desire — say Watts).

T1-T2 then represents the net flow of energy. If T1-T2 = 0, that doesn’t imply T1=T2=0, only that T1=T2. They could both be 100 W, for example.

• #
BobC

I think that many of the posters here have been exposed to some controversial material on physics, without a background in standard physics. Without the knowledge of what we know and don’t know (and, particularly, how we know it), it is difficult to analyze new arguments, such as are apparently in the “slayer” book. If these arguments are filling in gaps in our knowledge, that is one thing — if, however, they are making claims that have been falsified by 100 years of experimental science, that is entirely different. Without the general physics background, it is difficult to know which.

I would like to suggest the “Physics for Dummies” series of books as an excellent way to gain the standard background information. Don’t be put off by the name — the books are intelligently written and are for people smart and motivated enough to want to improve their knowledge of the subject. Unlike textbooks, which can assume a daunting amount of knowledge just to be able to follow the first several pages, these books make no assumptions about the reader’s background except general intelligence and motivation.

RJ:
May 24th, 2011 at 12:12 am
BobC @247

Yes. But the question is are you (BobC) and Bob (sphaerica) right. Or is the slayers view the correct one.

• #
KR

BobC @ 257, others

I agree, BobC, it’s hard to judge any argument without sufficient background.

I would actually recommend the “Cartoon Guide To Physics” as well. This series is pretty good, very clear, and well worth reading.

• #

RJ,

On ozone, all atmospheric reactions are more complex than they seem. It’s really closer to O2 + uv –> 2O, then O2 + O –> O3 + heat, but in reality a lot more goes on, because there are other competing reactions, other reactants, etc.

On thermodynamics, you seem to be hung up on the slayer’s book interpretation that there are actual laws at the quantum level that prevent heat from ever flowing from a warm to cool object, in any circumstances.

I must emphasize that this is flat out false, and is contradicted by every single text or piece of published literature except for the slayer’s book. You are giving “equal footing” about predictions of the end of the world to the haggard, unwashed man on the street corner.

Consider what must happen for this to be true. You’ve danced around it. Basically, the target of the radiation must know the source, or perhaps the radiation itself must carry some sort of thermal signature so that the destination knows whether or not to absorb that photon. Quantum theory gives each photon momentum (direction and speed) and an energy quantum (wavelength/frequency), and nothing more. You need another quality, a “thermal origin signature,” but you need it to fit a conceptual model for which there is no observational evidence whatsoever (meaning an experiment that shows that warmer bodies will ruthlessly ignore appropriately energized photons from inappropriately warm sources).

But take a step back. Look at one single molecule in a vacuum. For now, let’s put it way out in space, without another molecule anywhere within miles.

If that single molecule is not rotating or vibrating, it’s rather hard to assign it a temperature (because it doesn’t exist in a “volume”), but you could try to do so based purely on its translational, kinetic energy and some assumed volume.

Now hit it with a photon from a star. The star was obviously hot, so the molecule absorbs the photon and starts vibrating. It’s now hotter. If another photon of the same wavelength comes by, it’s ignored (no matter how hot the source), because the molecule has already absorbed radiation in that quantum. It can’t do so twice.

A little time goes by, and it emits that photon — in effect it cools. It is now free to absorb another photon, from another (or the same star).

Now expand this model. You no longer have one molecule, but untold trillions of them, in a finite space, perhaps trapped there by gravity. Now the volume of molecules has a measurable temperature. Due to equipartition of energy, the energy states are also someone equally divided among the molecules. Some are spinning, some vibrating, some both, some neither. Some have more translational energy, some less. Some have more total kinetic energy (in your terms, those are “warmer”), some less.

But they are constantly colliding with each other. With each collision, they trade energy. Some stop rotating/vibrating, some start, some move faster, some more slowly. The combinations are endless, and it is happening untold gazillions times every second.

On average, each molecule has the same energy, but on an individual basis, each molecule is constantly changing energy levels. On an individual basis, each molecule is getting warmer or colder (if it were really appropriate and possible to measure the temperature of a single molecule). But the temperature of the body is constant.

And yet, in your model, there would have to be a distinction. How do the molecules within the volume behave when they run into each other? If a molecule is going fast (is hotter) than another, does it refuse a photon from a slower, but vibrating molecule? Are there rules within this horde of molecules about which can and cannot accept what from each other? How can you reconcile your (or slayer’s) laws with behavior within such a complex system?

Now enter that photon from that far off, distant, burning star. Some molecules are already vibrating in that frequency, and cannot absorb the photon. Some are not.

It is your position that regardless of this random (but statistically equal) distribution of energy among the molecules in the volume, that if their total temperature is higher than that of the stellar source of this photon, that none of them can absorb this photon. Somehow, the molecules in this particular volume have all agreed that they are a family, and none of them will accept photons from strangers who are “cooler” than they are. This despite the fact that within the volume there are undoubtedly molecules on the extreme “cool” side, not moving particularly fast, not vibrating, not rotating, but part of a larger volume of molecules that are “warmer” than the source of the photon.

Or take another case. Let’s say a molecule absorbs this energy from the star. Is that particular molecule now warmer than another molecule, vibrating with the same energy, that got it’s vibration from a different, cooler star? What temperature will the volume of molecules now use to decide which photons to ignore?

It’s all Alice in Wonderland physics. None of it makes sense.

There are basic, simple, quantum rules. Each photon has an energy level. Each molecule has a limited number of energy levels (states) that permit it to absorb photons of the right wavelengths. On an individual, case by case basis, each molecule follows these rules.

When applied, in aggregate, to a very large number of molecules in a volume, statistically, they will tend towards obeying the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They will not gain more heat from a colder body, because statistically, on average, the warmer body will emit more, and absorb less, than the colder body. This is unchanging and without question. This is not a problem.

But on the molecular level, some molecules emit, and some absorb, and there’s nothing that prevents some radiation from the molecules in the cooler volume from being absorbed by molecules in the warmer volume (as long as the net exchange is warm to cool, which it always will be, by the mere advent of statistics and averages — throw a coin enough times, and you get equal heads and tails).

You need magic and Alice’s looking glass to create a scenario where this is not the case. If the slayer’s book is saying this, then it belongs right next to the other Lewis Carrol books on the shelf.

So, given that on the molecular, quantum level, any molecule can absorb or emit radiation, based on the quantum rules, it is more than possible for a simple mechanism like greenhouse gas theory to take effect.

On the other hand, without such a mechanism, it is impossible for the temperature of the surface of the earth to exceed 255˚K (-18˚C) without violating The First Law of Thermodynamics. That is to say, if the earth is at 288˚K, it is radiating heat appropriate to a body at that temperature (around 390 W/m2). Yet the earth only receives 240 W/m2 from the sun. There’s a 150 W/m2 deficit to be made up.

Greenhouse gas theory says that the deficit is made up by radiation from the cooler atmosphere. The earth warms the atmosphere, but part of that energy is radiated back at the earth itself. The warmer earth warms the cooler atmosphere, so the net change follows the second law of thermodynamics, but some energy returns to earth, maintaining the temperature balance.

Without this… where does the 150 W/m2 of energy come from? How do you avoid violating The First Law of Thermodynamics without greenhouse gas theory?

• #
RJ

@ 259

Consider what must happen for this to be true. You’ve danced around it. Basically, the target of the radiation must know the source, or perhaps the radiation itself must carry some sort of thermal signature so that the destination knows whether or not to absorb that photon.

No. The photon is absorbed but because the photons is from a cooler object (with a lower vibrational state) it has no warming impact and is just emitted a IR.

Hopefully I have got the slayers viewpoint right on this. I do not know the answer but just hold both viewpoints. But logically (I know) I can not see how the slayers viewpoint is not right. Otherwise a colder object is heating a warmer one which I have difficulty accepting even if it is radiation and is claimed to only apply to net transfers of heat.

Without this… where does the 150 W/m2 of energy come from?

Have you read the Postma paper. The energy comes from the sun and only from the sun. To claim that energy can magically leave earth and more can come back seems complete and utter nonsense.

If this is what you are claiming. In this respect I agree with the slaying and Postma viewpoint 100%.

• #
RJ

@ 258

I agree, BobC, it’s hard to judge any argument without sufficient background.

I would actually recommend the “Cartoon Guide To Physics” as well. This series is pretty good, very clear, and well worth reading.

Or flawed background knowledge that someone is strongly attached to and will not let go of.

I’m not saying it applies to you but it might based on you reaction to the slayers chapter. You seem fixed in your viewpoint. I try to stay humble even though it is difficult at times. Even in areas where I think I have a lot more knowledge than on this one.

• #
RJ

And here is another viewpoint from post 114

I did not really understand this post but think this is in a photon do not really exist universe.

Thus, in the case where a hot body and a cold body both emit electromagnetic radiation, the direction of electromagnetic energy flow will be from the hot to the cold body since the hot body will produce a stronger electromagnetic field. Energy does not flow both ways. That being the case, energy cannot “flow uphill” and the second law of thermodynamics remains intact.

• #
KR

RJ @ 261

As I noted earlier in this thread, I’m not willing to take anything as correct without a critical examination. Clas Johnson’s physics statements are simply wrong. His (re)definition of a blackbody does not match anything in physics or reality.

His separation of photons into high frequency warming/low frequency emitted is nonsense. I’ll note that if you warm an object with electricity or a flame, it will radiate the characteristic spectra – that’s a function of temperature, not specific photons striking. And absorptivity (easily measured, incidentally) is a function of the material, not temperature. There is no such separation in reality – absorbed photons add energy in proportion to their wavelength, there is no such cut-off.

And I do have quite a bit of experience in this field – in particular with photon counting cameras.

Given Johnson’s rules, CO2 lasers could not cut (as the photons are of too low a frequency to warm anything, and would be immediately re-radiated), microwave ovens could not cook (as microwaves are characteristic of 3-10K temperatures, which your average kitchen food is much warmer than). And (to put it a bit less politely) all pigs would be fed and ready to fly.

Having an open mind does not mean uncritically accepting nonsense. It means evaluating new ideas based upon the evidence, upon consistency, upon explanatory power, etc. Johnson’s chapter fails all the way around.

Have you tried the electric blanket experiment yet???

• #
RJ

KR @ 263

As I noted earlier in this thread, I’m not willing to take anything as correct without a critical examination. Clas Johnson’s physics statements are simply wrong. His (re)definition of a blackbody does not match anything in physics or reality.

This just illustrates my point re a totally closed mind

I know little on the CO2 laser beam. But here is something on it.

The laser beam discharged by the formerly excited nitrogen atoms is in the infrared part of the spectrum. The laser produced in this method is powerful enough to cut many substances and also destroy many others. Because it’s in the infrared, it has a very high wavelength, around 10.6 micrometers. As a continuous laser, this laser beam is the most powerful in production.

Read more: How Do CO2 Lasers Work? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4899566_co-lasers-work.html#ixzz1NDJPV4dB

• #
Louis Hissink

Hmm, a black body doesn’t actually exist, it’s a mental construct to aid analysis.

• #
Bryan

KR

It seems that you have very little evidence to support your point of view of climate science when you have to rely on contrived claims about machines.
Why not throw in the refrigerator while your at it.
Try to describe the Sun/Earth/atmosphere interactions through the real changes that we can measure.
This is the path taken by Postma and G&T

Lasers
A high enough concentration of photons of any wavelength can cause heating.
It does not follow the path of equilibrium thermodynamics
The heating is achieved through compression (shock waves).

Microwave oven.
Cold matter emits blackbody spectra in the microwave region of the spectrum. The cosmic microwave background radiation is 3K for instance.
How can a microwave oven can heat up a bowl of soup?
It isn’t accomplished by microwave photons but rather by phase variation between the electric and magnetic fields which causes dialectric molecules (primarily water in this case) to constantly re-orient with the magnetic phase. Friction then (plus choice of resonant frequency) does the actual heating.
The plastic bowl is quite cool.
If the frequency changes by any significant amount the effect no longer exists
Microwave radiation can’t raise the temperature of anything that isn’t within a couple degrees of absolute zero.

LED lights
These are readily available with a colour temperature of 5000K.
Yet they are cool to touch.
Once again the device does not take the thermal route for its operation.
It is a quantum device.

All three devices above do not depend on heating matter up by steady absorption for their operation.
To try to describe some thermal phenomena thing like the atmosphere through them is a pointless distraction!

• #
KR

RJ @ 264

From “Slayers”:

“The temperature of the blackbody determines a cut-off frequency for the emission, which increases linearly with the temperature: The warmer the blackbody is, the higher frequencies it can and will emit. Thus only frequencies below cut-off are emitted, while all frequencies are being absorbed.
A blackbody thus can be seen as a system of resonators with different eigen-frequencies which are excited by incoming radiation and then emit radiation. An ideal blackbody absorbs all incoming radiation and remits all absorbed radiation below cut-off.
Conservation of energy requires absorbed frequencies above cut-off to be stored in some form, more precisely as heat energy thus increasing the temperature of the blackbody.”

So – he’s stating that radiation above the thermal cut-off heats the object, below the cut-off just gets re-emitted and has no effect on temperature.

Radiation at 10.6 micrometers is smack in the thermal emission range for something at room temperature. Hot metal, on the other hand, is radiating in the visible range – CO2 radiation thus (by Johnson’s logic) could not heat metal in that fashion, as the CO2 wavelengths are below the mythic “cut-off”.

Exactly the same holds for the microwave oven, which is much easier to observe in the home environment. Microwaves are emitted as thermal radiation from objects between 3-5 Kelvin, whereas even a frozen roast is around 250 Kelvin. By his logic a microwave oven could not warm a frozen roast.

In reality, all absorbed photons add energy. Low frequency photons (or EM quanta, as BobC more exactly noted) add less energy than high frequency photons, but they all have energy, and absorption adds energy to the object. CO2 lasers and microwave ovens pump a lot of low frequency photons into objects (which absorb them), warming them.

Back to the topic of the thread: the rate of cooling for any object is determined by it’s temperature, presence/absence of insulation, and the temperature of it’s surroundings. If an object receives a fixed input power, but the insulation increases, it’s going to warm up until it’s again losing as much energy as it receives – that’s basic conservation of energy.

As I stated before, RJ, it’s important to have an open mind, but not one open at both ends. Please apply some critical thinking – this chapter by Johnson flatly contradicts observed reality. How can you not recognize this?

• #
BobC

RJ; let me give you some examples of energy amplification by storage. Try to keep an open mind, and see the parallels with what we’ve been talking about.

1) A Fabre-Perot optical etalon is two partially reflecting mirrors set parallel to each other. (Here is a discussion on Wikipedia.) In particular, let’s consider an etalon from Research Electro-Optics here in Boulder that uses mirrors that are 0.999 reflective. As the Wiki article describes, at certain resonant wavelengths virtually all the light incident on such a device will (after a short delay) pass through it, seemingly unimpeded.

To make the example specific, let’s assume you point a laser emitting one of these resonant wavelengths at the etalon, and the laser’s power density is 1 mW/mm^2. This is about 1000 W/m^2, or approximately the irradiance of sunlight at high noon on a cloudless day in the desert. After the transient period ends (several microseconds) we arrange to measure the power density before, after, and inside the etalon (between the two mirrors, that is). Here is what you see:

Before the etalon: This is just the laser beam, with an intensity of 1000 W/m^2

After the etalon: This is also nearly the same intensity as the incident beam, minus a few hundredths of a percent scattering loss from the mirrors. (REO’s mirrors are very good.)

Inside the etalon: Here’s the surprise — the light intensity between the two mirrors is ~ 1,000,000 W/m^2, 1000 times the outside intensity (and 1000 times the intensity of noon sunlight).

where does [this] energy come from?

Well, from the laser, of course. During the short transient period I referred to, the light intensity was building up inside the etalon due to multiple reflections back and forth between the mirrors. (Conceptually, this is the same as the time delay it takes to fill a reservoir after you close the spill gates.) If you measure the length of this transient period you will find that it is roughly the time required for light to bounce back and forth between the two mirrors 1000 times.

Now let’s imagine a desert flea wandering over the mirrors. First, the flea walks into the incident beam on the outside of the first mirror. The flea might get a little warm, but this is the same intensity it sees at noon in desert sunshine, so it will be OK.

Then, the flea walks around the edge of the mirror, and continues into the beam inside the etalon. This time the results are not so good. At an intensity of 1,000,000 W/m^2 (1000 times desert sunlight), the flea disappears in a puff of greasy smoke (probably ruining the expensive REO mirrors )

Now, look back at Sphaerica (Bob)’s Simplified Diagram at post # 83, and notice the similarities between the etalon and his diagram of the Earth-Atmosphere system. In particular, the back-radiation from the atmosphere plays the part of the light reflected within the etalon and also increases the intensity bewteen the Earth and atmosphere without affecting the intensity outside.

The etalon I described:
a) Does not violate any laws of physics. (In fact, it is analyzed using the laws of physics.)
b) These devices have been made and used for > 150 years (although not at REO’s level of precision).
c) If the physics in the slayer book doesn’t allow the existence of this device, then the slayer book physics is wrong.

• #
KR

Bryan @ 266

Lasers emit photons – each adds some energy to the target, and the very high number of photons from a laser sums up to adding a large amount of energy.

Microwaves emit photons at low wavelengths. The molecular configuration of water is a good absorber of these wavelengths (much as CO2 as a dipole molecule is a good absorber of IR), and hence heats from the absorption – energy is transformed from EM to vibrational and rotational modes of the water molecules. Plastics are essentially transparent to microwave frequencies, as O2 is transparent to IR, and hence does not get warmed.

LED’s have a ‘color temperature’ related to the peak emission of a thermally radiating filament or bulb. However, as nearly monochrome emitters they are only radiating in the visible frequencies determined by their available electron drops, not a full spectra thermal emission, and are thus radiating a lot less power. And heat.

Your use of these three as ‘counterexamples’ is a clear indication to me that you are not terribly familiar with the physics involved. Photons carry energy, absorbing a photon increases the energy of the absorbing object – it’s really that simple.

And as Jo and Michael have noted, the radiative greenhouse effect does not violate the second law of thermodynamics, no matter how far afield you wish to take discussions of quantum mechanics, dipole moments, etc.

• #
Bryan

KR
You take the biscuit for reversing reality.

I try to drag you back to topics familiar and useful for understanding climate science through the laws of equilibrium thermodynamics.
Your reply about microwaves etc is pointless as well as wrong, but back to the climate science and the second law.

There seems to be a theme in your rambling recent posts concerning the frequency and energy involved in two way radiative interactions.

Your posts reminded me of an exchange I had with scienceofdoom so I will put the same question to you.
Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

• #
Paul

BobC:
May 23rd, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Now, suppose we raise the temperature of the shell to that of your body. The shell is now radiating the same spectrum as you are. This is a problem, as you are now absorbing radiant energy as fast as you are emitting it and your net (radiant) heat loss is zero. Since your metabolism can’t go to zero (as long as you’re alive, that is) your body temperature will rise. This could be dangerous, except Humans can also shed heat by exuding water from their skin pores which absorbs energy as it evaporates (e.g., “sweating”).

Note that, in all these scenarios, the direction of net heat flow is from the hotter object to the cooler — the second law is upheld. The rate of heat flow, however, is dependent on the difference in temperatures, going to zero as the difference does.

Note that the distant shell does not have to “heat” you to cause you to be warmer — since you have your own energy source (your metabolism) all it has to do is slow down the rate at which you lose heat.

So, let me check if I understand this.

1) As the temperature of the ‘shell’ is increased, your body loses heat at a slower rate.

2) When the shell is at the same as or greater temperature than your body, your body will sweat and increase its rate of heat-loss.

3) In every case the flow of heat is from the warmer to the cooler body, upholding the second law of thermodynamics.

My questions are : –

1) If the reduction of the rate at which your body loses heat is caused by the shell radiating at a higher temperature, doesn’t that mean that, applying the analogy, the atmosphere must attain a higher temperature in order for the earth to lose its heat at a slower rate?

2) Since the earth’s surface contains a lot of water, which will be evaporated at a greater rate as the surface increases in temperature, wouldn’t that also tend to keep the surface temperature moderated to below that which would occur without the presence of water?

3) Since the IR absorption effect does not increase the temperature of the atmosphere but increases the internal vibratory and/or rotational energy of the excited molecules rather than their velocity, does this represent an additional electromagnetic energy field with a force that is the equivalent of that which is represented by temperature?

4) What is the capacity of the atmosphere to contain this energy that is absorbed by the IR absorption effect [similar to but differing from its thermal capacity] and by how much would it increase if the proportion of atmospheric carbon dioxide were doubled?

5) What would be the relative quantities of energy flowing between the sun and the earth’s surface, the earth’s surface and the atmosphere and the atmosphere and outer space, before and after the doubling of atmospheric CO2?

6) Once the atmosphere has reached its capacity to absorb IR radiation at what rate would the atmosphere shed energy to space compared with the rate at which the earth is radiating its IR radiation?

In other words, can you quantify the energy flows and provide the basis for setting up an experiment whereby these quantities can be measured and verified or disproved. Failing that this seems to be nothing but metaphysics and not strictly in the field of science.

To clarify the analogy of a blanket keeping us warm at night, my understanding is that this process works by preventing the movement of air around our bodies. This leads to the production of a small layer of still air around our bodies. Now that heat-loss through convection is prevented our bodies will continue to lose heat mainly through radiation. This radiation will be absorbed by the surface of the blanket which will, by conduction, raise the temperature of that small layer of air thus reducing the rate at which our bodies radiate heat.

Question : Do you maintain, in the blanket analogy, that the heat-loss is due only to the ‘back-radiation’ of the surface of the blanket, or does the layer of warmed air contribute also to the reduction in heat-loss?

The reason for asking all these questions is that I understand that, although we are led to expect a warming of the higher levels of the atmosphere in the reported results of all the GCM models, following this AGW conjecture, this ‘signature’ has not been observed in the real atmosphere. Hence, if the causative factors have failed to materialise how can they be ‘causing’ the increase of temperature at the surface?

Paul

• #
cohenite

KR@248; I don’t think you can make your conclusion that Miskolczi’s comments about water decline balancing CO2 increase is incorrect; you focused on the Wentz paper about increased precipitation and ignored the Pierce and Soloman papers.

Of equal interest is the research into evaporation which shows a decline:

And the Franks paper which shows that increased evaporation does not necessarily follow from increased temperature:

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040598.shtml

Franks explains why here:

In respect of your link to the Soden and Dessler page on SH; I’ll stick with Paltridge thank you and did you know that in the overlapping part of the spectrum increased CO2 decreases the emissivity of H2O? So much for water feedback!

• #

RJ,

…because the photons is from a cooler object (with a lower vibrational state)…

But as I explained, at the molecular level, some molecules are vibrating (or rotating, or both), and some aren’t. In fact, in a gas, the main contributor to temperature is translational energy… how fast are the molecules whipping through space. Some are vibrating/rotating because of equipartition of energy, but this is different from a solid where there is no relative motion, and all heat is encapsulated in vibrations.

So… in my case, if a molecule is already vibrating, it can’t absorb another photon at that energy level. In your case, the entire body of gas can’t absorb a photon if some of them are already vibrating. If this is not your position, then what happens to a single molecule that is not vibrating, and is struck by a photon of the right energy, in a volume of gas that is at a higher temperature than the source of the photon? What stops that molecule from absorbing the energy, even though the molecule itself is at a lower temperature (by your definition).

Otherwise a colder object is heating a warmer one…

But as I’ve explained, the 2nd Law is a macroscopic law that cannot be applied, ad infinatum, to every level of existence. This is one of the marvels of quantum mechanics, that classical theory breaks down at the quantum level.

A colder volume of gas will not heat a warmer one, but individual molecules do not strictly have “temperatures,” they have energy, and energy can be imparted from a lower energy object to a higher energy object through radiation. That you cannot accept this does not make it false. It simply represents an area where your experience and conceptual approach is hindered by a “law” that you’ve been taught and are now trying to apply in an inappropriate context.

The energy comes from the sun and only from the sun. To claim that energy can magically leave earth and more can come back seems complete and utter nonsense.

But this is not at all what I said. I said most leaves, and some comes back. Not more. Not even all. The earth heats the atmosphere, because the atmosphere is cooler, but an exchange takes place. 390 up from the surface, 150 back down to the ground. The net is 240 up (what a coincidence!), so the surface is in fact heating the cooler atmosphere. But it’s a two way street. The Second Law of Thermodynamics governs the net exchange. It is not a one way valve.

Okay, so in your case (if mine is magic): 240 W/m2 come from the sun. You’ve said so, you insist on it, and I agree 100%. It is the only source of energy in the system. 390 W/m2 leave the surface of the earth. We know this because the temperature of the earth is 288˚K so theory demands it, but beyond this it is an easily measured quantity. There is no debate about this.

So if 240 W/m2 comes in, and 390 W/m2 leaves, where is the other 150 W/m2 coming from?

I haven’t read all of Postma’s paper, but I cannot find any place where he explains how the earth can heat to 288˚K without greenhouse gas theory. He goes on and on (incorrectly) about why GHG can’t work, but does not explain how one can find an extra 150 W/m2 without magically defying The First Law of Thermodynamics.

As to your comment that energy can “magically leave earth and more can come back,” that’s not what I said, or GHG theory says. You are misrepresenting the situation.

390 W/m2 of energy leave the surface of the earth. 240 W/m2 escape into space, while 150 W/m2 come back to the surface. The 240 that escape into space exactly balance the 240 coming in from the sun, meaning that the temperature of the planet as a whole stays constant. The 150 W/m2 directed back at the surface adds to the 240 W/m2 arriving from the sun, bathing the surface in 390 W/m2 and balancing the 390 W/m2 that is radiated, thus keeping the surface at 288˚K.

Now you show me your math, using any old numbers you want, for how 240 W/m2 arrives from the sun, and 390 W/m2 leave the surface (as it must for an object at 288˚K)… yet the surface of the earth does not cool, and the atmosphere does not boil away, and energy is not created by magic, defying The First Law of Thermodynamics in order to abide by The Second.

• #

Paul,

If BobC doesn’t mind my interjecting:

1) If the reduction of the rate at which your body loses heat is caused by the shell radiating at a higher temperature, doesn’t that mean that, applying the analogy, the atmosphere must attain a higher temperature in order for the earth to lose its heat at a slower rate?

Yes, the atmosphere is warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases. It is not warmer than the surface of the earth, but it is warmer than a world without greenhouse gases (except at the top, where greenhouse gases actually work in reverse to cool the atmosphere, but that is a logical and observationally supported extension of GHG).

2) Since the earth’s surface contains a lot of water, which will be evaporated at a greater rate as the surface increases in temperature, wouldn’t that also tend to keep the surface temperature moderated to below that which would occur without the presence of water?

More water is evaporated, and hence humidity is higher than in a world without GHGs. Heat transport through evapotranspiration/latent is part of the equation, and Trenberth estimated it’s contribution at roughtly 80 W/m2. Another 17 W/m2 is transported up through thermals (convection). This compares with 396 W/m2 that leave the earth through radiation.

So the answer to your question is yes, more evaporation, but not nearly enough to actually moderate temperatures (that particular change in the equation is relatively minimal), especially since once the moisture gets into the atmosphere, it is a positive GHG feedback.

3) Since the IR absorption effect does not increase the temperature of the atmosphere but increases the internal vibratory and/or rotational energy of the excited molecules rather than their velocity, does this represent an additional electromagnetic energy field with a force that is the equivalent of that which is represented by temperature?

The answer is no, but you have a mis-statement in your question. The IR absorption effect does increase the temperature in the troposphere. When a molecule absorbs a photon and begins vibrating/rotating, it is far more likely to pass that energy on in a collision, and the energy can be transferred as vibrational, rotational, kinetic, or some combination there of. The reverse can also happen (i.e. a collision excites a molecule into vibrating, and that molecule could be able to emit a photon before another collision “steals” the vibration).

But we’re talking about net effect, over the course of uncountable molecules, photons and collisions. The energy absorbed through IR is translated into heat in the atmosphere (as well as more radiation, because the atmosphere is higher). The end result is more IR in = more heat, and correspondingly more IR out (until the system is in balance).

4) What is the capacity of the atmosphere to contain this energy that is absorbed by the IR absorption effect [similar to but differing from its thermal capacity] and by how much would it increase if the proportion of atmospheric carbon dioxide were doubled?

I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen anyone break the numbers out, but of course the temperature change will vary at different points in the atmosphere, both by latitude and altitude. There’s no easy answer to this question, and I’m not even sure where to find it.

What is important about GHG is that emissions will always be 240 out, to balance the input of the sun. It will be slightly less as the planet warms, but once equilibrium is reached, it will balance (plus or minus natural variability, of course, day to day and year to year). What will mostly change is the altitude from which that 240 is lost. As the planet warms, it will emit that 240 (or, from another point of view, 240 will escape) from a higher altitude.

5) What would be the relative quantities of energy flowing between the sun and the earth’s surface, the earth’s surface and the atmosphere and the atmosphere and outer space, before and after the doubling of atmospheric CO2?

Always 240 in, 240 out. Generally, for how much more from the surface, the number I’ve seen is 3.7 W/m2 per degree, so if doubling of CO2 by itself raises temperatures 1˚C, then the output from the surface would go from 390 (or 396, depending on what numbers you use) to 393.7. Add more for positive feedbacks. But what’s relevant is that the back radiation will amount to the same, so that it will always be 240 in, 240, and the surface will always emit whatever radiation is appropriate to the temperature of the surface (use the Stefan-Boltzman law to compute this, if you wish), and the atmosphere will radiate back the difference (if not, the system is not in equilibrium, and the temperature of the surface will continue to change in accordance with the imbalance, until equilibrium is achieved).

In fact, thinking about it, you might be able to use this to compute the new temperature of the atmosphere as a whole (using Stefan-Boltzman again) to answer your question #4.

6) Once the atmosphere has reached its capacity to absorb IR radiation at what rate would the atmosphere shed energy to space compared with the rate at which the earth is radiating its IR radiation?

Again, see the answer to 5. The sun always puts 240 in, and in equilibrium (i.e. once the earth reaches the temperature dictated by the mechanics of the system) it will be 240 out at the top of the atmosphere. In between, the amount radiated from the surface to the atmosphere will be set by the equilibrium temperature for the surface, and the Stefan-Boltzman Law. How much is radiated back by the atmosphere is going to be the difference between that and the temperature of the surface (after you factor in evapo-transpiration and convection, and reflection of inbound radiation by both clouds and surface features).

Google Trenberth’s energy diagram for more and more precise numbers for the various and sundry ins/outs.

• #
Paul

It’s all Alice in Wonderland physics. None of it makes sense.

That is because you continue to do what is inadmissible, mixing the micro-quantum state and the macro-observable state contrary to logic and knowledge of even simple statistics.

Here is an example that everyone should be able to understand that will illustrate the fallacy of arguing from the micro to the macro state.

Take a population of people interacting with each other’s neighbours. Give them the rule to live by that they are to share their money with their neighbours equally. Now, whenever they meet, they add their money to a common pool, then divide it equally between themselves. The entire world will tend unidirectionally towards an equal supply of money. While small localities of inequality, in terms of the overall average, will remain while the system is tending towards equilibrium, these equalities will tend to lessen, not increase, with the passage of time. The arrow of time is unidirectional, according to the law of entropy which is closely associated with the second law of thermodynamics.

Now add a perturbation to the system, whether in equilibrium or not, by giving one person a finite additional amount of money from outside the system. The net effect will be that the amount of money available to the entire system has increased, by a finite, measurable amount, and the individual who received that additional money now has more than the average amount of money.

So the next time he meets a neighbour, they share their money and divide it between them. Now both have more than average money but the total amount of money available to the system has not changed, in this subsequent sharing process which will continue until no one has more than the average.

My conclusions are : –

1) No one has to know what the average amount of money in the system is, they only need to pool their money with each neighbour that they meet and divide the sum between themselves equally.

2) The average amount of money is given by the total supply of money divided by the number of people.

3) To argue for an increase in the inequality of money in a localised neighbourhood, when each transaction takes them away from inequality, is to argue a statistical impossibility.

4) If someone travels, by plane, to a distant locality, and the new locality has less money, on average, than the one they left, then the process of sharing will temporarily increase the average money held in the new locality. Conversely, if the new locality has more money, on average, than the one they left, the process of sharing will temporarily decrease the average money held in the new locality.

5) To increase the overall average money held by each person in the system there must be an increase in total money available in the system and that increase has to come from outside the system.

Applying that analogy to the earth’s atmosphere, it is clear that photons have no idea about the average energy levels in the surface of the object from which they came, whether that of the sun, that of the earth or from the atmosphere itself, but that lack of knowledge does not affect the direction of the overall transfer of energy since in every transaction the energy is shared. The arrival of a photon from the surface of the sun to the surface of the earth will increase the amount of energy of the earth-atmosphere system. The sharing of this new energy between molecules in the earth-atmosphere system will not add any energy to the system.

The claim of the CAGW conjecture, it would seem, hinges on the claim that the cooler atmosphere is back-radiating energy to the surface. However, for this to be so, the ‘rule of thumb’ that neighbouring molecules tend to share their energy-levels equally, has to be over-ridden by the power of radiation from upper levels in the atmosphere to the surface of the earth. It is this claim, that energy at low frequencies, can be transmitted from a cooler body to warm a warmer body, that is the central claim that has to be refuted. Without a higher degree in physics I can see enough to throw this claim into doubt even if I do not have the ability to disprove it mathematically.

I would contend that you cannot infer this macro-radiation system from the interaction of individual photons that are being absorbed and re-emitted every few micro-millimetres. If this radiation process can run ‘up-hill’ over the range of several kilometres, against the down-hill localised processes of sharing energy levels equally on contact, then the laws of statistics have had to be suspended!

It is like claiming that you can always expect to throw 100 heads and no tails in a row of 100 throws! The micro-world tells you that you can expect that result once in a few million trials [I'm not sure of the actual probability but it can be calculated]. But to go from claiming that this result can happen in that rare instance to claiming that you can therefore equally expect to throw a billion heads and no tails in a row out of a billion throws is patently fallacious.

In the absence of a valid statistical argument supporting this unexpected flow of energy, there has to be another mechanism by which it could exist. I have seen or read nothing that supports such novel mechanism.

Paul

• #
Kevin

BobC wrote (in comment #268);

“let me give you some examples of energy amplification by storage.”

And then gives a nice little example of an optical Etalon.

However the Etalon is in NO WAY (ALSO NO HOW, NEVER EVER, etc.) an example of energy amplification.

Sorry to break your little bubble, but your explanation of what happens inside an etalon is flawed in too many respects to state them all here. But I will just give you two;

If you reconcile the units (supplied by you) an amplification of “an intensity of 1000 W/m^2” into “~ 1,000,000 W/m^2” is an example of POWER AMPLIFICATION, NOT an example of ENERGY AMPLIFICATION. I know from experience that it is easy to confuse power (Watts) with energy (Joules, BTUs, etc.) But you really need to pay attention to those units, it can totally mix up an analysis or prediction.

Secondly, what happens inside the etalon is that the laser energy constructively interferes at a very small portion of the spacing between the mirrors and the power is indeed amplified by up to 1000x in a good quality etalon. However at all of the other locations between the mirrors the energy is equal to ZERO. So if the distance between the mirror is 1000 units, NO power is present in 999 of those locations, and all of the power is in one location, hence the POWER AMPLIFICATION. Same amount of power in less space = more power/intensity at that location.

This is why etalons are rare optical elements that have very few practical uses. Their main usful purpose is to “lock” the wavelength of a laser because they show very high throuhput at a certain wavelength (the 99.999% you refered to) and reduce the throughput at other wavelengths. If they could amplify energy we could just tune them for the peak wavelength of the Sun and put solar cells inside of them. That way all our energy problems would be solved……

Cheers, Kevin.

• #
Paul

The etalon I described:
a) Does not violate any laws of physics. (In fact, it is analyzed using the laws of physics.)
b) These devices have been made and used for > 150 years (although not at REO’s level of precision).
c) If the physics in the slayer book doesn’t allow the existence of this device, then the slayer book physics is wrong.

There is only one problem that I see with your argument, and that is that you have extrapolated a laboratory experiment, with exceedingly finely tuned conditions, to the atmosphere where none of those conditions exist.

To be precise, the qualities of atmospheric carbon dioxide have been experimentally ascertained and they are so far from approximating a blackbody, they are that of a very poor absorber and emitter of radiation.

Take a look at the figures given in this discussion on Jennifer Marohasy’s blog : –

Total Emissivity of the Earth and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: A Note from Nasif S. Nahle

Conclusions

In the introduction I asked: What is the total emissivity of carbon dioxide?

In this note I have calculated the real total emissivity of the atmospheric carbon dioxide at its current partial pressure and instantaneous temperature to be 0.002.

Clearly carbon dioxide is not a nearly blackbody system as suggested by the IPCC and does not have an emissivity of 1.0. Quite the opposite, given its total absorptivity, which is the same than its total emissivity, the carbon dioxide is a quite inefficient – on absorbing and emitting radiation – making it a gray-body.

Accepting that carbon dioxide is not a black body and that the potential of the carbon dioxide to absorb and emit radiant energy is negligible, I conclude that the AGW hypothesis is based on unreal magnitudes, unreal processes and unreal physics.

Where now is the comparison between mirrors that are 0.999 reflective and the atmosphere of earth?

Surely this proves that the Greenhouse Gas Warming conjecture is just that, with the actual effect being so close to zero that it will never be measurable.

Paul

• #
KR

Bryan @ 270

1000 Joules from a 2 micron centered source, and 1000 Joules from a 20 micron centered source?

I’m going to assume that you mean 1000 Joules/second, or 1000 Watts.

The 2 micron centered source will be at ~1450K, the 20 micron centered source at ~140K.

So, aside from the fact that the 140K source will have to be 11,500 times larger (or take 11,500 times longer) to radiate the same power as the 1450K source, well, Joules are Joules. As to the 1st and 2nd laws, each source must receive 1KW as input in order to radiate 1KW as output, and net energy flows will depend on what else is around them.

And what, pray, is your point?

• #

Paul @277

Exactly right. But something I have been thinking on above and beyond that argument is that for specific wavelengths CO2 absorbs 100% of the radiation available, if even 100% of those photons are re-emitted only 50% at most get pointed back towards the earths surface. Those 50% are not going to make it back the same distance that the 100% made it upwards. Thus, it is not just simply close to 0, it is in fact 0.

• #
KR

Paul @ 277

The point is that you are not understanding the physics. “…that the potential of the carbon dioxide to absorb and emit radiant energy is negligible” It is not, as a realistic view of the numbers would point out. CO2 represents ~25-30% of the total greenhouse effect. It is the only major component that is non-condensing, that doesn’t react to temperature changes by precipitating or evaporating (as water does, hence water acts as a feedback, not a driver). Claiming that it has negligible effect without numbers is rhetoric, not science.

OK, as a matter of personal opinion, I consider this topic to have reached the point of diminishing returns.

This really brings home the point of the original Michael Hammer posts – that if you push a silly idea, you will not be taken seriously. Does your microwave oven work? According to Clas Johnson, it shouldn’t! Cancellation of electromagnetic fields going in opposite directions (@191)? Then if I’m lit by a 100W bulb, and a friend is across the room lit by a 40W bulb, he should be invisible because the higher energy from my side of the room cancels him out?

There have been multiple points of view (not hypotheses, because most included no criteria by which they could be invalidated) pushed in these two threads – the vast majority of which are contradicted by facts, by the behavior of the world around us.

If your neighbor attempts to convince you to trim your bushes in a certain way, shift your walk into a particular pattern, because he is absolutely convinced that the lawn gnomes of the neighborhood will go to war otherwise – would you take his views seriously? By pushing such non-physical hypotheses you are putting yourself in the position of that neighbor.

This is the core of the Common Sense fallacy. To quote from this, one of my favorite sites on the subject:

Common Sense:

unfortunately, there simply isn’t a common-sense answer for many questions. In politics, for example, there are a lot of issues where people disagree. Each side thinks that their answer is common sense. Clearly, some of these people are wrong.

The reason they are wrong is because common sense depends on the context, knowledge and experience of the observer. That is why instruction manuals will often have paragraphs like these:

When boating, use common sense. Have one life preserver for each person in the boat.

When towing a water skier, use common sense. Have one person watching the skier at all times.

If the ideas are so obvious, then why the second sentence ? Why do they have to spell it out ? The answer is that “use common sense” actually meant “pay attention, I am about to tell you something that inexperienced people often get wrong.”

Science has discovered a lot of situations which are far more unfamiliar than water skiing. Not surprisingly, beginners find that much of it violates their common sense. For example, many people can’t imagine how a mountain range would form. But in fact anyone can take good GPS equipment to the Himalayas, and measure for themselves that those mountains are rising today.

- Don Lindsay

Sufficiently complex questions (and climate certainly qualifies) are not amenable to “Common Sense” opinions, because your common sense has not experienced global heat distributions, moist air lapse rates, graybody thermal spectra, and the like.

• #
BobC

Paul:
May 24th, 2011 at 11:57 am

There is only one problem that I see with your argument, and that is that you have extrapolated a laboratory experiment, with exceedingly finely tuned conditions, to the atmosphere where none of those conditions exist.

Don’t weasel Paul: What I was trying to do was answer the dogmatic argument that ANY energy amplification was IN PRINCIPLE impossible. You, and others, were arguing here that it was impossible for the radiant flux between the atmosphere and the Earth to be higher than the radiant flux supplied by the Sun and radiated away at the top of the atmosphere. The etalon example demonstrates that one can get a significantly increased internal flux by storing the energy. In the etalon, it is sent back and forth between mirrors — in the Earth-atmosphere system, some energy is recycled between the atmosphere and the Earth by being absorbed and re-emitted.

If you STILL are going to argue that it’s impossible, you need to explain why the Earth is significantly warmer than a blackbody would be, given the Solar insolation.

If you want to use made-up physical laws to answer this, then you need to explain why the phenomena predicted by these “laws” contradicts 200 years of experimental results.

And CO2 a blackbody? Who here has argued that? Good God man, CO2 exhibits a LINE SPECTRUM. It is absorbing and emitting due to narrow and sparse internal resonances. This is the total antithesis of a black body.

I’m tired of wrestling with jello. Go educate yourself.

Or not. Not my concern.

… with the actual effect being so close to zero that it will never be measurable.

You may be right about that — but you’ll never convince anyone with any knowledge of science with the arguments you’ve been making. Read Idso’s paper to see how it’s done.

And Kevin @ 276: You don’t know Jack about optics. Why don’t you stop pretending and read a book?

• #
L.J. Ryan

BobC: 184 240 247 268

184
A coat can only slow loss to a MAXIMUM of your body temperature. If a body could double in temperature with the aid of a highly reflective, highly insulating jacket, as proposed by GHG physic, imagine the fatalities…do the lawyers know of this cash-cow. Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don’t add as GHG physics requires.

240, 247
GHG physics proposes terrestrial radiation of 240 W/m^2 is “forced” to 390 W/m^2 via the cooler/lower energy atmosphere.

You propose floor radiation of 240 W/m^2 is “forced” to 390 W/m^2 via the cooler/lower, radiatively insulated ceiling.

Five winters, circulating water 85 F, I yet to realize such performance. Maybe you can help me pinpoint the problem? According to GHG physics, 60 F water pumped through the distribution manifold, should confer a sweltering 127 F…what a conundrum. I need to cool the water which warms my home. Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don’t add as GHG physics requires.

268

Inside the etalon: Here’s the surprise — the light intensity between the two mirrors is ~ 1,000,000 W/m^2, 1000 times the outside intensity (and 1000 times the intensity of noon sunlight).

A Photon Capacitor, all you need is a DeLorean and Shazam , you’ve got yourself a time machine.

Seriously though, according to your calculations 1,000,000 W/m^2 bouncing around the inside the etalon means the outside is dissipating 1000 W/m^2…(.001 absorption). These little cavities (with an area << smaller then a m^2) must be white hot if not molten mess. Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don't add as GHG physics requires.

• #

BobC @ 281

in the Earth-atmosphere system, some energy is recycled between the atmosphere and the Earth by being absorbed and re-emitted.

How does it warm the Earth?

And CO2 a blackbody? Who here has argued that? Good God man, CO2 exhibits a LINE SPECTRUM. It is absorbing and emitting due to narrow and sparse internal resonances. This is the total antithesis of a black body.

And these are limited in quantity. Once emitted from the physical surface of the Earth, how do they return? What path allows an even less level of narrow and sparse wavelength energy to penetrate back the physical surface of the Earth? If 100 units goes up, at most 50 units points back down, how do the 50 units get past the same amount of CO2 that absorbed 100 units on the way up? There is no cycle between CO2 and Earth surface.

If you STILL are going to argue that it’s impossible, you need to explain why the Earth is significantly warmer than a blackbody would be, given the Solar insolation.

Because the Earth is a body with an Atmosphere. The point of which the blackbody temperature would be reached would be somewhere higher than the physical surface and the top of the atmosphere. At this point, adiabatic lapse rate controls the temperature at the Earth’s surface along with ocean heat capacity.

• #

Paul, 277,

You are so very, very close to the truth. All you have to do is to stop trying to focus on one answer, and open your mind to the correct answer.

The claim of the CAGW conjecture, it would seem, hinges on the claim that the cooler atmosphere is back-radiating energy to the surface. However, for this to be so, the ‘rule of thumb’ that neighbouring molecules tend to share their energy-levels equally, has to be over-ridden by the power of radiation from upper levels in the atmosphere to the surface of the earth.

No. The greenhouse effect hinges on exactly what you are saying, that neighboring molecules do tend to share their energy levels equally (on average). They do so completely at random, in random directions, with no central control or intelligence whatsoever. They don’t know how hot the source of the photon was, and they don’t care. They don’t know if they’re emitting a photon towards a warmer or cooler object, and they don’t care.

It’s all random. And in this random world, some goes up, some goes down, some gets lost in collision and converted to heat.

It is in RJ’s/slayer/Postma’s world that molecules become disciplined socialists, very carefully following a preordained party rule to only share wealth (heat) with poorer (cooler) molecules. But it doesn’t work that way individually. Any molecule can emit, and any molecule that isn’t already excited can absorb. In a random environment it does work that way in net effect over the entire system. So warm objects always have a net heat exchange to cooler objects, but this does not mean that no energy can ever flow from a cooler object to a warmer one (i.e. less energy must flow from cool to warm than from warm to cool).

By the way, your monetary analogy was absurd, because it began with an impossibility that has no equivalent in our discussion… an infinite supply of money. Your analogy begins by violating the First Law of Thermodynamics, which coincidentally is also violated if you do not accept greenhouse gas theory (see below).

In the absence of a valid statistical argument supporting this unexpected flow of energy,…

But that’s just it, you don’t have a valid statistical argument that supports your case! And you don’t have an explanation for where the missing energy comes from to heat the surface above 255˚K.

Imagine 1,000 rubber balls, all being shot at the Parthenon. One would expect some to go between the columns and get through, some to rattle around and fall to the floor, and some to bounce straight back.

In your world, not a single rubber ball bounces back, because they know that’s where they came from, and it’s not allowed. It violates the Second Law of Rubberdynamics.

Can you not see that your position requires both magic, a complete lack of statistics, and most importantly a violation of the First Law of Thermodynamics.

I will put it to you as I put it to JR. How in the world do you find 150 W/m2 of energy if the surface of the earth, at 288˚K, is emitting 390 W/m2 but the sun is only supplying 240 W/m2.

It’s simple math. 240 in, 240 out at the top of the atmosphere. 390 out from the surface of the planet. Where did that other 150 go? And why hasn’t the planet cooled into a ball of ice with only 240 W/m2 coming in (unless the earth is magically creating energy at the surface to make up the difference)?

• #
Kevin

To BobC who wrote;

“And Kevin @ 276: You don’t know Jack about optics. Why don’t you stop pretending and read a book?”

Bob, with respect, I do in fact know quite a bit more than “jack” about optics, having graduate degrees in both optics and electrical engineering, plus several decades of practical electro-optic engineering experience, including work on imaging satellites that are currently orbiting the Earth and returning images of the surface. There are these little equations known as Maxwell’s equations which do a very good job of describing how electromagnetic radiation flows through a system. I have studied them and mastered them. They apply to everything from Ultraviolet light to the AM radio band.

You are in fact quite free to believe that an optical etalon demonstrates “energy amplification”, but you would look less the fool if you could at least get your units correct, (Hint: Watts are Power, NOT ENERGY).

Cheers, Kevin.

• #

By the way, anyone done a study in the deserts and found out what the change in night time temperatures has been since the rise from the supposed 280ppm CO2 to the new 390ppm CO2 level? I am guessing that deserts no longer are cold at night due to the massive increase in back radiation.

• #

L.J. Ryan,

GHG physics proposes terrestrial radiation of 240 W/m^2 is “forced” to 390 W/m^2 via the cooler/lower energy atmosphere.

Same question to you. 240 in. 390 out. Where are you getting the missing 150 from without a greenhouse gas effect? How are you doing it without violating The First Law of Thermodynamics.

• #

Sphaerica (Bob): @284

In your world, not a single rubber ball bounces back, because they know that’s where they came from, and it’s not allowed. It violates the Second Law of Rubberdynamics.

Actually, you are right and wrong here. Yes, some will bounce back, but they will never again get back to the gun that fired them. There is not enough energy left in the system to allow it. Get rid of gravity, as outside of massive entities near the mass of a star or black hole, photons (balls) are unaffected. What goes up in this case does not need to come back down, ever.

• #

astonerii,

Deserts cold at night due to a lack of moisture (you know, H2O, that other greenhouse gas). Without it, deserts lose heat rapidly at night (due to a lack of the GHG effect), They are also hot during the day because they are unable to lose heat during the day through evaporation.

In addition, the increase in water vapor in the atmosphere of a warming world is not uniform. The same effects of the Hadley Cells that deprive today’s deserts of moisture continue to operate, however the Hadley Cells are growing in size and strength with the warming climate (predicted by theory and observed in fact), and with them the deserts of the world will grow as well… not because of more heat, but because of larger bands north and south of the equator that are starved of moisture.

• #

astonerii,

Really? Are you serious? A photon emitted straight at the ground will not have enough energy to reach the surface of the earth? Every photon emitted from the atmosphere must go up and out because it offends your sensibilities for them to go down?

Do you have any idea how silly you make skeptics look with comments like that?

• #

astonerii,

I’m picturing all of these photons whizzing at the ground at the speed of light (gee, where’d a phrase like that come from). Suddenly, they all turn into Wiley Coyote, pull out Acme rocket packs or “Air Brakes” or “Don’t Break the Second Law of Thermodynamics” signs, then stop in midair, reverse, and shoot up out of the atmosphere.

The world is saved from climate change by Loony Toons Physics.

Hooray.

• #
Matt b

“Actually, you are right and wrong here. Yes, some will bounce back, but they will never again get back to the gun that fired them.”

This is not correct. A ball propelled against a solid object is perfectly able to bounce back further than from where it was propelled. The game of squash/racketball would be quite different if you were correct.

• #

Sphaerica (Bob): @289 @290 @291 and Mattb @292

Process:
1) Energy arrives at the Earth from Sun.
2) Earth Warms
4) Some parts of the radiation are absorbed into CO2 through which they come into contact with.
5) Dependent on the amount of radiation, all the available radiation gets absorbed in a finite distance from the Earth’s surface.
6) Some of this radiation absorbed can be re-emitted, lets just call it 100% just to make you idiots look better.
7) Randomly half of this radiation will be emitted towards the surface of the Earth, now fully 50% less total radiation available, but the exact same level of CO2 and the exact same distance to reach the Earth, here gravity has no impact on speeding or forcing these (balls) back down to the ground, (are you feeling a bit wiley e coyote ridiculous at the moment?). Thus, less photons, same obstacle course, failure to penetrate to depth.
8) Of that 50% half will again be sent towards the Earth and again fail to penetrate the distance, this will continue until there are 0 photons left. Out of all the photons sent by Earth towards outer space, essentially 0 will make it back to the Earths surface, and then only those that got blown off course through convection currents down closer to the surface. Sans outside force (wind) (reflective surface) (absorbed in the absolute first distance from the Surface of the Earth) radiation absorbed by CO2 never again has opportunity to warm the surface.
9) Now, educate me on the physics I am missing that allows those photons I have shown do not reach the Earth do in fact reach the Earth.

• #

astonerii,

So if the photons can’t make it back through the oh-so-thick atmosphere, how did they make it out to begin with?

Also… I note that you do everything with hand-waving and broad, unquantified statements. Ever tried doing any math? Ever tried putting actual substance behind your thought experiments, or do you figure that science is so easy, you can just eyeball things and you’re sure you’ll come up with the right answer?

Hint: If you do the math, you don’t get the answer you were looking for (which, I suspect, is part of the reason you don’t do the math).

• #
L.J. Ryan

Sphaerica (Bob): 287

GHG physics proposes terrestrial radiation of 240 W/m^2 is “forced” to 390 W/m^2 via the cooler/lower energy atmosphere. is not a question

Sphaerica (Bob), aside from your question do otherwise agree with my overarching point i.e. Maybe just maybe radiative quantities don’t add as GHG physics requires.

• #

Sphaerica (Bob): 294

Do it, your the one trying to prove a theory.

1) CO2 absorbs certain wavelength photons and re-emits those same wavelength photons.
2) Half gets sent back towards Earth.
3) The photon hit the Earth’s surface, the surface warms.
4) Global warming.

I think my theory stacks much better than yours does. As your theory states that the radiation is only absorbed when heading towards space, but when headed towards the Earth’s surface, they transform Wiley E Coyote style such that they are invisible to the CO2.
Radiation in the wavelengths that CO2 absorbs has an extinction rate (a distance in which 100% of available specific wavelength radiation is absorbed.)
Once absorbed, in order for global warming to occur the radiation has to make it back to the Earth’s Surface.
Because only half get sent back towards the Earth, and that the distance to extinction has been reduced due to less total energy, they cannot penetrate back to the surface.
No global warming.

So, prove to me that photons are so attracted to the Earth’s surface than they are to the CO2 molecules between them and the Earth’s surface that they looneytoons alter reality to by pass the CO2 in their path.

• #

Silver lined Thermos. The inner lining radiates energy at x temperature, the radiated energy is reflected by the silver lining, has x temperature, but because the inner lining just sent y energy, its new temperature is <x, photon temperature x can replace lost energy of item with <x temperature.

Silver lined thermos has a vacuum between silver lining and blackbody inner lining. Thus there will be no loss of temperature as happens in the atmosphere through a myriad of different mechanisms.

I was nearly convinced of the thermos argument, but upon closer examination, it does not prove the idea that cooler objects can heat warmer ones, or slow the speed of energy loss. I still think the photons will be absorbed from cooler bodies into warmer bodies, but the silver lined thermos is not evidence of this.

• #

Why are multi-pane windows vacuum sealed when it would be far easier to seal them with CO2 to reduce heat loss? Questions, questions. I think someone could make a mint by taking this idea to fruition. Or better yet, maybe this would be a good place to get rid of those new refrigerant by products that are orders of magnitude more effective than CO2.

• #
CO2ISLIFE

This article from Australian Physicist John Nicol is a really important early work in the understanding of the effects of atmospheric CO2.

Here John derives from first principles just how CO2 gets and deals with captured energy, and just how quickly it unloads its molecular excitation to surrounding atmospheric gasses.

Here he shows us that all an increasing CO2 content will do is to lower the height above the ground where what CO2 there is transfers its captured heat energy to surrounding gas molecules which immediately adiabatically rise in height and are replaced by colder molecules.

The total amount of energy available for division between capture, distribution and re-radiation is set by the available energy from the sun radiating from the earth’s surface and aportionment has little to do with increasing atmospheric CO2 content:

http://www.middlebury.net/nicol-08.doc

You will note this model allows Back Radiation but this becomes an invariant with rising CO2 levels and equates to a fixed part of the initial radiation.

If one disregards the back radiation feedback in equations 26,27,28 of this model due to the overwhelming electromagnetic pressure of ground radiation this paper is still an intellectually stimulating discussion of the quantum processes useful to both camps of opinion on back radiation reality.

Having lit blue touch paper exit stage right…….

• #
Alistair

299: an interesting analysis somewhat mirroring my own. Let’s consider this thought experiment again: I’m on the beach, the air temperature is 25°C and as it’s windy, the sand temperature is 30°C. I then erect a windbreak and because I reduce local convection, the sand temperature rises to 45°C so the sum of convection and radiation remains constant. If ‘back radiation’, defined as extra heating of the Earth’s surface as part of that IR is absorbed by GHGs were true, I will have increased global warming without having to go through the GHG route, and that’s impossible.

‘The frightening warnings that alarmists offer about the effects of doubling CO2 are based on computer models that assume that the direct warming effect of CO2 is multiplied by a large “feedback factor” from CO2-induced changes in water vapor and clouds, which supposedly contribute much more to the greenhouse warming of the earth than CO2. But there is observational evidence that the feedback factor is small and may even be negative……..

Indeed, the computer programs that produce climate change models have been “tuned” to get the desired answer. The values of various parameters like clouds and the concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols are adjusted to get the best fit to observations. And—perhaps partly because of that—they have been unsuccessful in predicting future climate, even over periods as short as fifteen years…….In my judgment, and in that of many other scientists familiar with the issues, the main problem with models has been their treatment of clouds, changes of which probably have a much bigger effect on the temperature of the earth than changing levels of CO2.’

My view is that the direct GHG effect is much smaller than claimed because if it existed at the claimed level, it would violate the law of Equipartition of Energy [the basis of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics]: thermalisation is a red herring; any slight direct GHG effect, which in the case of CO2 interacting with O2 means a negative feedback, has to come from Van der Waals’ issues.

The problem is that climate science is full of people who haven’t had a good enough education to realise that the experimental data of over a century enshrined in standard texts on Thermodynamics, have within them the data which, when put together by properly trained scientists, disprove some basic tenets of climate science. That the fake science has survived in the literature is because of the broken peer review process. The way out is to set up a supervisory management team for the IPCC of properly qualified scientists so the junk can be ejected.

• #
Bryan

KR says “And what, pray, is your point?”

I said

1000 Joules from a 2 micron centered source, and 1000 Joules from a 20 micron centered source?

KR cannot handle Joules so he changes my question to

…….”I’m going to assume that you mean 1000 Joules/second, or 1000 Watts.

NO – I meant Joules!!!!!!!

So here is MY question again

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

KR says “And what, pray, is your point?”

My point is that you peddle pseudoscience.

You had a number of posts (involving bizarrely microwave ovens) about frequency and energy of radiant energy absorption in the atmosphere, yet you avoid answering my question.

The question I put can be answered within the frame of equilibrium thermodynamics which is an area microwave ovens most certainly cannot.

I know its a bit unkind of me to ask you a question on thermodynamics since you have admitted you know very little about the subject.
However thinking about the answer might afford a learning opportunity for you!

My guess is however you will once again evade the question.

• #
Bryan

Sphaerica (Bob) says

…..”I haven’t read all of Postma’s paper, but I cannot find any place where he explains how the earth can heat to 288˚K without greenhouse gas theory. He goes on and on (incorrectly) about why GHG can’t work, but does not explain how one can find an extra 150 W/m2 without magically defying The First Law of Thermodynamics..”……

It appears that you haven’t read ANY of his paper.

Page 13 Maximum possible blackbody Sun facing Earth point = 121C
Realistic value Sun facing Earth point after albedo and extinction(equator) = 50C (page 14)
Average Earth System at 5Km = -18C page 11
Thermodynamic calculation involving lapse rate with full equation derivation = 14.5 C for average Earth surface Page 21.

• #
Bryan

KR says to Paul

…….”The point is that you are not understanding the physics. “…that the potential of the carbon dioxide to absorb and emit radiant energy is negligible” It is not, as a realistic view of the numbers would point out. CO2 represents ~25-30% of the total greenhouse effect. It is the only major component that is non-condensing, that doesn’t react to temperature changes by precipitating or evaporating (as water does, hence water acts as a feedback, not a driver). Claiming that it has negligible effect without numbers is rhetoric, not science.”…….

Well KR nows your chance to use the numbers you claim to know so well.

What heating effect would you find inside a volume of air the size of a large greenhouse say 30cubic metres on a KT average day?

Note just the volume of air in the greenhouse size (just a size no greenhouse there).

I would say its almost zero.

Get your calculator to work out what 25% of almost zero is!!!

• #
BobC

Kevin:
May 24th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

To BobC who wrote;

“And Kevin @ 276: You don’t know Jack about optics. Why don’t you stop pretending and read a book?”

Bob, with respect, I do in fact know quite a bit more than “jack” about optics, having graduate degrees in both optics and electrical engineering, plus several decades of practical electro-optic engineering experience, including work on imaging satellites that are currently orbiting the Earth and returning images of the surface.

Well then, if you are all that experienced, I withdraw my statement about “not knowing Jack”. However, it is blindingly evident that you don’t have a clue about etalons.

Then, here’s a little review for you on how etalons work. Your explanation of the interior fields was both incoherent and totally wrong. (Hint, a single frequency standing wave cannot add up to an impulse function — obvious if you remember anything about Fourier Transforms.)

And drop the red herring about units: What I wanted to show was the the intensity inside the etalon was multiple times larger than the intensity outside (Intensity = W/m^2 = J/s/m^2), which is what was being claimed here as impossible IN PRINCIPLE.

• #
Mark D.

KR says @ 280 (to Paul)

The point is that you are not understanding the physics. “…that the potential of the carbon dioxide to absorb and emit radiant energy is negligible” It is not, as a realistic view of the numbers would point out. CO2 represents ~25-30% of the total greenhouse effect. It is the only major component that is non-condensing, that doesn’t react to temperature changes by precipitating or evaporating (as water does, hence water acts as a feedback, not a driver).

KR with all due respect, I’m perfectly willing to read your posts about the “Second Darn Law” because you have mostly stayed on subject with the “well understood” physics. With respect to the above paragraph though, NO FREE RIDE! You haven’t yet had perfect success explaining how carbon dioxide COULD cause warming you don’t get to say “CO2 represents ~25-30% of the total greenhouse effect. There is lots more ground to cover in the warming theory for example what about saturation? The molecules of CO2 at the puny .039% of the atmosphere will all will have absorbed photons and become excited. After that has happened all other photons will pretty much have a free ride.

Beyond that, you have a lot of explaining on how any potential effect CO2 has on nearby warming isn’t completely negated by convection and water vapor.

While you are at it explain how all your confidence in the power of CO2 isn’t meeting any of the warmist global temperature projections.

Claiming that it [CO2] has negligible any effect without numbers is rhetoric, not science. INDEED!

PS a few of you here are new enough that you might not know that BobC is very much a skeptic of AGW. Just because the “well understood” isn’t so well understood doesn’t mean it’s wise to attack an ally.

• #

L.J. Ryan,

Sidestep, because you can’t answer the question. It’s a huge hole in your position, and you can’t fill it. Point to the posts that answer the question.

Do it, your the one trying to prove a theory.

Sidestep, because you can’t answer the question. You are the one who is defying modern science with a better theory — in this case, those who believe in modern science include the host of the site, Jo Nova, as well as climate scientists like Dr. Spencer, Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Choi, Dr. Christy, Dr. Pielke Sr., Dr. Muller, Dr. Curry, and many more. They all ascribe to greenhouse gas theory. You don’t.

I’ve clearly explained how GHG works, and does not violate the 2nd law. The only response has been vague sort-of hand waving.

I’ve also explained how without GHG, you must violate the 12 law for the earth to be as warm as it clearly is. No one ever replies. The silence is deafening.

Bryan,

Page 13 Maximum possible blackbody Sun facing Earth point = 121C
Realistic value Sun facing Earth point after albedo and extinction(equator) = 50C (page 14)
Average Earth System at 5Km = -18C page 11
Thermodynamic calculation involving lapse rate with full equation derivation = 14.5 C for average Earth surface Page 21.

While his explanations and derivations are bizzare, those equations are standard, basic fare in climate science. None of the equations on those pages explains why the temperature of the earth is 288˚K. To get that, you have to move on to page 21, where does something very simple.

He creates an equation to compute temperature based on altitude, since for obvious physical reasons the earth is warmer at the surface, and temperature drops as you get higher into less dense air.

He then uses the known temperature of the earth, 288˚K, and says that since that is the average temperature of the earth, it must also be the average for the equation of height vs. temperature. Okay, we’ll accept that. With this he computes the midpoint, and says everything above is cooler, everything below is hotter.

When you get to the surface, he gets 14.5˚C. Perfect!

Did you see what he did? He ran you through a complex serious of equations and explanations, from page 1 to page 21, to get to a point where he computed the earth’s temperature at 14.5˚C.

But all he did there was to take the tables for adiabatic lapse rate, turn them into an equation, and work backwards. His argument amounts to the observation that temperature decreases with altitude (surprise!) and to use that to compute the temperature of the surface of the earth by using the observed temperature of the surface of the earth.

But he didn’t need pages 1 to 20. He only needed page 21.

Look at it another way.

Gases are not simply hotter because they are more dense. Yes, if you compress a volume of gas, the temperature will rise. But you can’t keep compressing it forever. Once you stop compressing it, it’s going to cool. But the earth isn’t cooling. So how does that much energy keep getting further down, to the surface, to keep the temperature from dropping?

Gravity isn’t magic, but Postma is a great illusionist. Postma used sleight of hand to focus you on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, to distract you from the fact he was violating the First Law of Thermodynamics. He used pages and pages of equations, to reach the point where he slipped in the clincher, a simple calculation of a reasonable temperature for the earth’s surface, but one which is merely based on taking the existing observed values of the system without actually deriving anything.

He never explains how this magic works. That’s the hallmark of a great illusionist. Create enough distractions that the mark never notices the obvious, the fact that nothing really happened at all.

Magic!

But where did the energy come from? No matter what he calculates, 240 W/m2 will only generate a temperature of 255˚K (-18˚C). Period. If you want a higher temperature, you have to get the energy from somewhere.

Where is it coming from? Explain it! Stop dodging and state how Postma or the rest of you can live on a planet at 288˚K without violating The First Law of Thermodynamics.

• #
BobC

And Kevin: An etalon stores energy — it doesn’t create it. I think that should be obvious to anyone who read my post, as I explicitly state that several times.

• #
BobC

L.J. Ryan (@ 282):
May 24th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Seriously though, according to your calculations 1,000,000 W/m^2 bouncing around the inside the etalon means the outside is dissipating 1000 W/m^2…(.001 absorption). These little cavities (with an area << smaller then a m^2) must be white hot if not molten mess. Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don't add as GHG physics requires.

Wow Ryan! You’ve just “proven” that etalons with Q’s of 10^3 – 10^6 are physically impossible! You better inform REO quickly — they have been selling them for 20 years.

But of course, with egotistical solipsists, flacky mental “analysis” trumps the real world everytime.

Follow me carefully here: The input to the device is 1000 W/m^2. If 1000 W/m2 was being dissipated, there would be nothing coming out.

Oh, and since 1000 W/m^2 is approximately the intensity of the noon sun in the dessert (as I stated in the post you didn’t quite read), totally absorbing this input would be similar to putting a piece of black painted glass in noon sunshine. Maybe your experience is different (chemically enhanced?), but I haven’t noticed such things turning into a “molten mess”.

• #
Bryan

Sphaerica (Bob) says

“Gases are not simply hotter because they are more dense.”

Quite correct
I agree some posters seem to have a simplistic Charles Law mistake.

They are hotter because of the Sun heating the Earth system which is mainly the surface.
The way I looked at it prior to the Postma article was a bottom up approach (and probably not that different to your view).

Earth surface heats atmospheric layer => convection => clouds + radiation to space(highly simplified)

An analysis of the kinetic theory of gases in a gravitational field and the adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas gives the same temperature profile.
A single gas particle going vertically up tells most of the story KE (hence kT) changing to gravitational PE
The other route was a thermodynamical derivation such as Postma page 21
Both these routes are compatible and give the same results

The IPCC advocates derived the -18C and then contrasted this with bare rock Earth to get their 33K “greenhouse effect”.

Postma said the average effective emission height is 5km for the (Earth+atmosphere) system.
The bottom up approach matches the top down approach.

Where the Postma analysis would break down is if someone proved that the average effective emission height is NOT 5km for the Earth system.

But no Postma critic has contested this point.
What I can’t see is any significant greenhouse heating.

• #
L.J. Ryan

Bob C 308

You claim 1,000,000 W/m^2 is internal to etalon. You claim the surface is .999% reflective.

Follow me here Bob: 1-.999=.001. .001 X 1,000,000 W/m^2 = 1000 W/m^2…if not dissipated as heat what happens to the 1000 W/m^2?

2)Are you saying the reflective inefficiency (.001) is the intentional…it’s the output?

3)Wouldn’t the RD department REO like to increase etalon efficiency to .9999% or better yet .99999%?

If the loss is not intentional and is dissipated as heat, a need to know variable is surface area.
4)Being the rep for REO, what is the surface area of your etalon?

In reference to my other point on 282: Should I not expect your “expertise” on getting 60 F radiant floor to warm my house to 127 F? Will we see trial lawyers soliciting cases for those injured by garment malpractices? Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don’t add as GHG physics requires.

• #
BobC

L.J. Ryan:
May 25th, 2011 at 12:41 am

Bob C 308

You claim 1,000,000 W/m^2 is internal to etalon. You claim the surface is .999% reflective.
Follow me here Bob: 1-.999=.001. .001 X 1,000,000 W/m^2 = 1000 W/m^2…if not dissipated as heat what happens to the 1000 W/m^2?

2)Are you saying the reflective inefficiency (.001) is the intentional…it’s the output?

Ryan, do you have trouble reading, or are you just a little dumb?

1) I postulated a reflectivity of 0.999 A reflectivity of .999% would be just under 1% reflection.

2) There are 3 things that happen to light striking a partially reflective mirror: part of the light is reflected, part is transmitted and part is scattered/absorbed.

You are making the mindless assumption that the light that is not reflected is absorbed, and hence there is no transmitted light. How, then, is any light supposed to get into the cavity?

These, and the rest of your questions show 1) A lack of reading ability, 2) Unwillingness (or inability) to follow reference links and educate yourself, and 3) Plain stupidity (intentional or congenital).

If you can manage to come up with an intelligent question, then I might answer it (assuming I even check in on this nuthouse again).

• #
KR

L.J., RJ, Bryan, MarkD, etc.

I would suggest taking a look at The Discovery of Global Warming. This is an excellent reference documenting the historic development of the radiative greenhouse gas theory, starting with the summary.

At this point the discussion has really circled – repeated statements of current theories versus repeated “Just So Stories” (Physics that don’t allow microwave ovens to work? Lasers heating via ‘shock waves’? Claiming minimum energy/microstates for objects well above 0K? The whole ‘greenhouse effect violates 2nd law’ nonsense?). No progress…

I’ve spent quite a bit of time here attempting to convey what I know of the observations and theories, but it’s not my job to teach Atmospheric Physics 001. I would encourage everyone to look further into the topic, and learn a bit – “common sense” only applies where you have actual experience, and will lead you astray if you extend it into areas you don’t know very well.

Finally – as has been stated before by Jo, Michael Hammer, myself, and others – pushing hypotheses that are just plain wrong leads to your opinions being discounted as nonsense. If you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to step up your game.

• #

Bryan,

An analysis of the kinetic theory of gases in a gravitational field and the adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas gives the same temperature profile.

No, you’ve fallen into a trap.

Consider this. We start with a gas at a given, homogeneous temperature around a planet. Gravity sucks the gas down, compressing it closer to the surface. That part of the gas closer to the surface is warmer than the cooler, higher gas that is less dense. The gas hasn’t actually gained energy, though, it has simply been forced into a smaller volume/higher pressure near the surface, so the temperature there goes up. Correspondingly, the temperature in the area that is now less dense, higher up, goes down.

Think of it, for simplicity, in two layers, a cool, rarefied top layer, and a warm, dense lower layer. Both of these must emit and cool, but the lower layer must emit faster because it is warmer.

But we have a system that approximates the earth, in a similar state (warm lower atmosphere at 288˚K, cool upper atmosphere at some temp below 255˚K).

Now turn on the sun to keep things at that temperature. But for that lower atmosphere to maintain its temperature, it must receive at least enough radiation to balance the 390 W/m2 that it is emitting. If not, it is going to cool. You got it to 288˚K to start with by compressing it with gravity, but that only works once.

As I said, Postma created an equation which matches our observations (i.e. adiabatic lapse rate), but then left it there with the presumption that mere density raises temperature and keeps it there without any further input of the energy required to maintain it.

If these two masses, dense, warm low and rarefied, cool high, do not equalize their temperature, then you are violating the second law of thermodynamics. You’re basically saying that gravity traps heat.

He’s tricked you by making it seem like this is the way things are supposed to be, but by leaving out some very important considerations, like explaining how mere gravity can maintain that temperature gradient.

Both these routes are compatible and give the same results.

But they don’t. Postma’s equations simply describe the environment, without in any way explaining it. And if you try to explain it, you have to find 390 W/m2 at the surface to maintain the temperature. There is no getting around that.

Postma is either violating the First Law of Thermodynamics, and creating energy from nothing, or else he is violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics, by trapping heat at the surface and refusing to allow it to cool… for no reason other than the fact that observations show that the surface is warmer.

• #
Mark D.

Sphaerica (Bob): @313

Postma is either violating the First Law of Thermodynamics, and creating energy from nothing, or else he is violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics, by trapping heat at the surface and refusing to allow it to cool… for no reason other than the fact that observations show that the surface is warmer.

Or is he talking about the real world where there is a dynamic process with continual uplifting of moist air masses, together with compression as this air is replaced with dry (after moisture is condensed at altitude) air masses? A nearly continual Moist Adiabatic change upon rising and a nearly continual Dry Adiabatic change upon the falling of air masses. Thus mimicking (or is it accounting for) all the heat you have decided is cause by CO2?

• #
Bryan

KR

Your weazle way out fooled nobody.
You started a discussion and got pinned down on several topics.
You give a very bad account of the type of person that advocated “settled consensus science”.
No wonder the “team” avoid any contradictory viewpoints.
Their theories don’t stand up to scrutiny.

• #
Mark D.

Sphaerica (Bob):

To elaborate on the above; the Sun supplies the energy to cause uplift, gravity operates the return stroke of this “engine”.

When the cooled (on average drier) air is pulled by gravity down to lower elevation, the Dry Adiabatic lapse rate will warm at a rather large rate. I invite you to provide any actual measurements worldwide that account for and quantify this very large heat movement.

• #
Mark D.

KR, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the amount of effort you’ve put in here. I don’t necessarily agree with all your points but some of what you have typed is interesting if not helpful. Other times you have visited Jo’s site haven’t been anywhere near this productive and you shouldn’t leave without at least the impression that there can be discussion.

• #
L.J. Ryan

BobC: 311

Personal insults Bob, sounds as if I’m insulting your relgion not your bull**** physics.

You claimed radiative quantities are additive. You said a ceiling acts like the atmosphere warming a room beyond input. You said a jacket, by means of back radiation warms a body. You claimed the etalon you sell, store 1,000,000 W/m^2. When pressed for clarification, you insult and dodge.

1)If not dissipated as heat what happens to the 1000 W/m^2?

2)Are you saying the reflective inefficiency (.001) is the intentional…that is,it’s the output?

3)Wouldn’t the RD department REO like to increase etalon efficiency to .9999% 99.99% or better yet .99999%? 99.999% or best yet 100%?

If the loss is not intentional and is dissipated as heat, a need to know variable is surface area.
4)What is the surface area of your etalon?

5)With 20 years at REO, maybe you can save me the calculation and let us all know the exterior temperature of an etalon containing 1,000,000 W/m^2?

6)A floor radiating 240 W/m^2 with a well insulated, highly reflective ceiling should, according to GHG physics, begin radiating 390 W/m^2. Or maybe the ceiling need be matte black…emulating blackbody. Does 390 W/m^2 happen instantaneously or should I get one of those GHG physic jackets? If they still legal?

Or maybe just maybe radiative quantities don’t add as GHG physics requires.

• #
Mark D.

KR, with links at 312 says

L.J., RJ, Bryan, MarkD, etc.

I would suggest taking a look at The Discovery of Global Warming. This is an excellent reference documenting the historic development of the radiative greenhouse gas theory, starting with the summary.

Thank you for the links, I’ll take a look.
In the meantime how about you take a look here:
http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/climategate-30-year-timeline/
for a little insight about what the skeptic sees.

• #
Bryan

Sphaerica (Bob)
2. Air molecules hitting the surface leave with the characteristic temperature of the surface.
3. Pick one air molecule moving vertically without colliding.
4. Convert air molecules KE(3kT/2) into PE as it works against gravity also involving PV expansion of gas formula.
5. This gives you the adiabatic lapse rate.
6. Exactly the same result is found by thermodynamics = -g/Cp or – 9.8K/km This formula and its thermodynamic calculation is an accepted part of serious climate science.
All the energy comes from the Sun.(bottom up approach)
All energy accounted for.
All this I knew before reading Postma

Now Postma contribution is to say that measured from space it appears that the effective radiating temperature is -18C and the effective average radiating altitude is 5km.
By picking the existing well known average lapse rate figure you arrive back at 1.

All Postma says is that the space calculations match up with the observed surface temperature of 15C.

• #

MarkD,

First, Postma didn’t say how. He just threw out some equations, and expected everyone to just accept it. He does not discuss how the gradient is maintained, he just says it’s there, and because it’s there, no greenhouse effect is needed. This translates into “because the results of the greenhouse effect exist, and I can quantify that with an equation that doesn’t use the word greenhouse, then the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist.” It’s silliness.

I also don’t understand your mechanism. You’re moving warmer air up. Doesn’t that warm the upper atmosphere? And why would sinking air heat more than rising air cools, when it’s just the same mechanism in reverse? Sounds like a perpetual motion machine to me. Then you add the idea of moisture. So the moist air goes up, and the dry air goes down. But this transports heat upwards, not downwards (see evapotranspiration and latent heat).

I’d warn against “thought experiments” without hard numbers. It’s too easy to presume one thing happens as much (or as little) as you’d like it to to make your theory work.

…the Sun supplies the energy to cause uplift, gravity operates the return stroke of this “engine”.

Gravity is not a perpetual motion machine. The only source of energy is the sun. And no matter how you try to use it, you have 240 W/m2 to use. You need some mechanism that transports heat from the upper atmosphere to the lower, to maintain the gradient.

Postma’s paper is about the premise that any such mechanism violates the Second Law of Thermodynmics. Now you’re proposing exactly such a mechanism, but one which uses convection instead of radiation. So how does that validate Postma’s paper?

If you don’t mind my saying so, you’re grasping at straws, using vague concepts, trying to conjure any way that greenhouse theory would not be valid. Does that strike you as a “skeptical” approach to science?

…the heat you have decided is cause by CO2?

First, the heat isn’t “caused” by CO2. Second, I haven’t decided it. Modern science has, and you and those who refuse to accept it are far, far outside of the mainstream.

• #
KR

Mark D. @ 317

Thanks, I’ve been trying to stay reasonable and on topic.

However, when posters earnestly espouse ‘physics’ that would invalidate microwave ovens, or state that “lasers heat via shock waves”, and then these very same posters sincerely tell me amidst insults that I don’t understand the physics (insert sound of me slapping my forehead), well, there’s not much of a discussion going on.

At that point those posters are discussing beliefs, not science, and I make a point not to argue beliefs – it’s just annoying all around.

• #

I only check about 1 in 20 comment replies to my email…the comment at 313 (Sphaerica (Bob)) finally made me write back in:

“Sphaerica (Bob): As I said, Postma created an equation which matches our observations (i.e. adiabatic lapse rate), but then left it there with the presumption that mere density raises temperature and keeps it there without any further input of the energy required to maintain it.

He’s tricked you by making it seem like this is the way things are supposed to be, but by leaving out some very important considerations, like explaining how mere gravity can maintain that temperature gradient.”

For Goodness’ sake. No tricks intended.

It is the LAWS of physics, and thermodynamics, as represented IN that adiabatic equation, which specifies that there HAS to be a temperature gradient in a gravitational field. The equation isn’t “created to match that”. It comes straight out of basic physical principles! I mean come on man…you might as well ask how does gravity maintain a constant acceleration near Earth’s surface.

I can’t answer your last question for you if you don’t even know or understand highschool physics.

The sunlight comes in and heats the ground surface, at an average of +30C (303K) and potential maximum of +121C; the air convects and rises to great heights, expands and cools, then comes back down and compresses and heats. If convection is strong enough and the atmosphere is deep/dense enough and given a thermal capacity, by the time the air gets back down to the ground it can be heated to an even higher temperature..

“Sphaerica (Bob): But they don’t. Postma’s equations simply describe the environment, without in any way explaining it.”

What do you THINK equations are for, and do? They describe the environment because they describe what’s real – which is basic physics. What you’re saying is that d = v*t only “describes” the distance traveled by an object on velocity “v” over time “t”, but doesn’t “explain” it. THAT’S how basic the adiabatic equation is. The equivocation you present is priceless sophistry.

“Sphaerica (Bob): And if you try to explain it, you have to find 390 W/m2 at the surface to maintain the temperature. There is no getting around that.”

See above. +30C solar input, ~+121C max input, resulting convection effects, QED.

How do YOU propose to explain it? By NOT specifying any actual physical mechanism supported by basic physics equations, and just stating a desire that radiative energy can spontaneously amplify itself in an atmosphere? That’s not just NOT a better explanation, it is fictional.

“Sphaerica (Bob): Postma is either violating the First Law of Thermodynamics, and creating energy from nothing”

Alright…I’ll keep this brief. The GH effect creates energy from nothing and violates ALL the laws of thermodynamics. The adiabatic equation and ACTUAL physical solar insolation are fundamental basic physics equations and reality, and provide all the physical mechanisms necessary. Add in additional energy from Coriolis forces and possible geothermal contributions and there’s more than enough energy to explain the ground temperature…not that basic thermo and physics doesn’t do it already.

“Sphaerica (Bob): or else he is violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics, by trapping heat at the surface and refusing to allow it to cool… for no reason other than the fact that observations show that the surface is warmer.”

I thought it was the GH Effect that “TRAPS” heat at the surface and keeps it from cooling? LOL! You’re saying this is impossible now? The adiabatic distribution allows it to cool just fine…there’s NO restriction on the ability to cool!
And it’s not just observations that confirm the adiabatic distribution effect, it is fundamental physics and basic logic that the bottom of the atmosphere should be warmer than the ensemble system average.

• #
RJ

Joseph Postma @ 323

How do YOU propose to explain it? By NOT specifying any actual physical mechanism supported by basic physics equations, and just stating a desire that radiative energy can spontaneously amplify itself in an atmosphere? That’s not just NOT a better explanation, it is fictional.

Thanks Joseph for the great work. People like Sphaerica will find it hard to let this belief go (radiation energy can amplify itself) but it is such a silly belief as well as being completely unscientific that it will happen.

How did a belief like this continue unchallenged for so long? I guess many or maybe even the majority of scientists are not great scientific thinkers after all but just accept what they are told.

• #

I know, you’re right Hans! I know. In any case, here is another:

“First, Postma didn’t say how. He just threw out some equations, and expected everyone to just accept it. He does not discuss how the gradient is maintained…”

I don’t know if you actually have ANY physics training whatsoever…certainly not even high-school physics. The gradient does not need to be “maintained” – that’s a completely senseless way of stating the physics. The gradient is the natural, expected distribution of temperature of a compressible gas in a gravitational field. Asking why gravity maintains a denser atmosphere near the surface than at altitude is the same question you’re asking. Can you answer that?

“He does not discuss how the gradient is maintained, he just says it’s there, and because it’s there, no greenhouse effect is needed.”

Actually, the physics DOES explain why there is a gradient, and yes you are correct, it explains why no greenhouse effect is needed, especially when you also add in the actual average insolation of +30C with a maximum of up to +121C.

“This translates into “because the results of the greenhouse effect exist, and I can quantify that with an equation that doesn’t use the word greenhouse, then the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist.” It’s silliness.”

Sophistry…thanks for the example. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sophistry

“I also don’t understand your mechanism.”

Finally some actual science out of you…admitting you don’t know something. That’s the first step to knowledge…if your ego can handle it.

“You’re moving warmer air up. Doesn’t that warm the upper atmosphere?”

Yes, it is called convection. This is exactly what it does.

“And why would sinking air heat more than rising air cools, when it’s just the same mechanism in reverse? Sounds like a perpetual motion machine to me.”

This is a very good question, and must have a physical answer. Energy and temperature can’t just create more and more of itself without some physical mechanism introducing the additional energy. (Reflected/re-emitted IR is NOT additional energy by the way.) But the problem isn’t on Earth anyway, as the ground-air temperature (+15C average) is LESS than the solar insolation average of +30C. The question is more interesting for Venus. However, the adiabatic distribution is still a fundamental and expected property of its atmosphere, like on Earth, and so is the likely cause. Obviously, at Earth and Venus, there is enough solar insolation to maintain a gaseous atmosphere. Once that atmosphere is maintained, more things can start to happen.
Move Venus to Pluto and it would have hardly any atmosphere at all, and all the gases would be frozen out on the surface. But move Venus back to where it should be, and it will “re-grow” its atmosphere to the same depth and density it has today. The ENERGY is supplied by the Sun, but the temperature at the surface of Venus naturally develops due to the crushing density and adiabatic distribution. Once Venus’ atmosphere is “full grown”, as it is now, it doesn’t even absorb enough radiation IN THE FIRST PLACE to explain its surface temperature…therefore there needs to be a physical explanation for it, such as the adiabatic distribution – a result of basic and fundamental physics – rather than inventing some silly postulate that radiation can amplify itself passively without additional energy input.

“The only source of energy is the sun. And no matter how you try to use it, you have 240 W/m2 to use.”

This is incorrect. You have +30C to use (478 W/m2), on average, but a maximum average of about +87C (952 W/m2) over an area 33% larger than North America, about 45% of the diameter of the Earth. The whole error starts with thinking that 240W/m2 is the input…it is NOT. The input is MUCH more intense than this. Please read the ENTIRE paper at the link.

“You need some mechanism that transports heat from the upper atmosphere to the lower, to maintain the gradient.”

You’re mixing things up. The gradient is natural and would exist without ANY vertical mixing whatsoever. Vertical mixing actually slows the gradient as heat is transported from the surface UPWARDS, by convection. If air from altitude comes down to WARM the surface, it can’t if it is COLD! It can only if it has been compressed and heated to a higher temperature.

“Postma’s paper is about the premise that any such mechanism violates the Second Law of Thermodynmics.”

No, it isn’t, and the paper is NOT about the 2nd Law. This is a completely incorrect summary. Please read the entire thing, and get the copy at the link above which is the correct version.

“Now you’re proposing exactly such a mechanism, but one which uses convection instead of radiation. So how does that validate Postma’s paper?”

Because one is supported by basic physics and is real, and is observed, and the other satisfies neither.

“If you don’t mind my saying so, you’re grasping at straws, using vague concepts, trying to conjure any way that greenhouse theory would not be valid. Does that strike you as a “skeptical” approach to science?”

I have already exposed your sophistry in this and my previous post. Ta-ta…
It is PERFECTLY skeptical to pursue the flaws of AGW, consider the possibility that the GHE might be incorrect, study it for while, then conclude that it likely is. That’s called science and skepticism.

“First, the heat isn’t “caused” by CO2. Second, I haven’t decided it. Modern science has, and you and those who refuse to accept it are far, far outside of the mainstream.”

Ahhhh aaaand HERE we have it…the collectivist social-network peer-pressure junior-high approach to science. What happened to your “skeptical approach to science”? We see it was only a facade.
We DO NOT CARE how many friends you have on Facebook, we DO NOT CARE what all your friends think. We DO NOT CARE for the mainstream. That we are outside of all that indicates our success and our leadership.

Back to infrequent attention from me…I see that the situation is being handled by true skeptics and scientists very well. Thank you all for the support and filling in the gaps while I am busy doing other work.

• #

Oops, my comment to “Hans” won’t make sense at all at 325. Just ignore it.

• #
BobC

L.J. Ryan:
May 25th, 2011 at 3:57 am

BobC: 311

Personal insults Bob, sounds as if I’m insulting your relgion not your bull**** physics.

OK Ryan, just this once.

1)If not dissipated as heat what happens to the 1000 W/m^2?

If it’s not dissipated as heat, then it just passes through the etalon. (Duh!)

2)Are you saying the reflective inefficiency (.001) is the intentional…that is,it’s the output?

Had you bothered to check the Wiki page I linked you would have known that Fabry-Perot etalons are made with partially reflective mirrors. I specified the reflectivity; The difference between that and 1.0 is the transmission (less a very very small amount of scatter/absorption loss. I said REO’s mirrors were good.)

But, of course, you couldn’t be bothered to spend 1 minute reading about a device you had obviously never heard of before. Instead, you just made a bunch of ignorant assumptions. Part of intelligence, L.J., is knowing what you don’t know.

3)Wouldn’t the RD department REO like to increase etalon efficiency to .9999% 99.99% or better yet .99999%? 99.999% or best yet 100%?

Beats the hell out of me, L.J. Maybe you should ask them — give them the benefit of your keen insight.

If the loss is not intentional and is dissipated as heat, a need to know variable is surface area.

Well, no. I gave the intensity, which is power/area. Since heat dissipation also goes as the area, the area cancels out of any calculation about heating.

4)What is the surface area of your etalon?

I don’t own one. Check with REO’s sales department.

5)With 20 years at REO, maybe you can save me the calculation and let us all know the exterior temperature of an etalon containing 1,000,000 W/m^2?

There you go with ignorant assumptions again. I have never worked for REO, but I can give you the answer off the top of my head: Room temperature, plus a small fraction of a degree.

6)A floor radiating 240 W/m^2 with a well insulated, highly reflective ceiling should, according to GHG physics, begin radiating 390 W/m^2. Or maybe the ceiling need be matte black…emulating blackbody. Does 390 W/m^2 happen instantaneously or should I get one of those GHG physic jackets? If they still legal?

Do I really need to tell you why this is stupid?

• #
mkelly

313Sphaerica (Bob):
May 25th, 2011 at 3:07 a
“You’re basically saying that gravity traps heat.”

No, persons like myself say gravity creates heat via pressure. How do you think stars are born?

Some amount of the “natural temperture” of earth is caused by the mass of the atmosphere and gravity.

• #
Mark D.

Sphaerica (Bob): @ 321

I also don’t understand your mechanism. You’re moving warmer air up. Doesn’t that warm the upper atmosphere? And why would sinking air heat more than rising air cools, when it’s just the same mechanism in reverse? Sounds like a perpetual motion machine to me. Then you add the idea of moisture. So the moist air goes up, and the dry air goes down. But this transports heat upwards, not downwards (see evapotranspiration and latent heat).

OK so who is in denial here?
You do believe in warm moist rising air masses. (as you’ve stated)
and you admit to them cooling drying and then falling back to earth.
Where does the adiabatic lapse rate kick in?

Do you not believe these air masses have momentum and inertia?
That once they start moving down they just stop because of warming and begin to rise again? If you are correct then the night time temperature should go how cold?

I’d warn against “thought experiments” without hard numbers.

That sounds like where models come in huh?

OK so you deny the easily demonstrable adiabatic lapse rate and call it more of a “thought experiment” hmmmmmmm…..

I know it’s complicated but remember since your theory doesn’t meet with observations then I have to make some assumptions. There is more going on in the atmosphere than you or anyone else can measure.

• #
CO2ISLIFE

Now since we’re all agreed that Poynting clinched it and big pressures overcome small pressures when it comes to low down radiation.

We’ve another argument to settle on why the electromagnetic pressure from sun does not prevent outgoing radiation to space from earth’s atmosphere.

The escape hatch is thusly made:

A bit of this:……..

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

Stuffed into here:……….

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

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

http://www.mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF3.htm

And Ze the Vindow, she opens.

• #
Paul

Back to infrequent attention from me…I see that the situation is being handled by true skeptics and scientists very well. Thank you all for the support and filling in the gaps while I am busy doing other work.

Thanks for popping in and contributing some sanity and objectivity to this ‘discussion’.

I have started to read again your paper and notice early in the paper you write : –

“If the source of light is constant, meaning it shines with the same unchanging brightness all the time, then the blackbody absorbing that light will warm up to some maximum temperature corresponding to the energy in the light, and then warm up no further. When this state is reached it is called “radiative thermal equilibrium”, which means that the object has reached a stable and constant temperature equilibrated with the amount of radiation it is absorbing from the source of light. This is distinct from regular “thermal equilibrium”, which is when two objects which are in physical contact eventually come to the same temperature, if they started out at different temperatures. In radiative thermal equilibrium, the object absorbing the light will not come to the same temperature as the source emitting the light, but actually will always be cooler than it because the distance between the two objects reduces the energy flux density of the radiation from the source.”

Isn’t it just here that the confounding assumption that leads to the nonsense of CAGW comes in, when it is assumed that all the energy absorbed at the surface of the earth is emitted from the surface by means of radiation only?

The earth’s thermal behaviour is treated as if it were not in physical contact with the atmosphere!

I think that the proponents of the CAGW theory do not see the fallacy of that assumption because they have already ‘believed’ that, without any Tindall gasses in the atmosphere, the earth would necessarily have to lose all its energy by means of radiation. Where is the proof of that assumption? Where is that assumption even acknowledged by those who make it as their starting point?

Hence, having made this unjustified and unacknowledged assumption, they calculate the warming effect of Tindall gasses on the near-earth surface air temperature as the difference between the temperature of a planet without any atmosphere and the current temperature near the surface of the earth and attribute it entirely to the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.

Everything else, with billions of dollars of research applied, is simply to try to justify that assumption and to confirm that belief [and try to persuade us sceptics that we have it all wrong.]

No account is ever taken by the CAGW Team of the obvious fact that huge chunks of energy are transported from the surface by means of conduction, convection and latent heat of vaporisation, either in their diagrams or their equations. And then they expect us just to ‘believe’ their conclusions because it is based on ‘settled science’ and that there is a consensus in main-stream science about the conclusion! As you so rightly pointed out above, that is post-modern science, not experimental science and thinking that way will produce no improvements to the human condition but will be disastrous on a global scale if allowed to hold sway.

In radiative thermal equilibrium, the object absorbing the light will not come to the same temperature as the source emitting the light, but actually will always be cooler than it because the distance between the two objects reduces the energy flux density of the radiation from the source.”

I suppose that applying that to the ‘back radiation’ from the atmosphere, which is at a lower temperature than the surface of the earth, will still apply, meaning that such radiation will not warm the surface at all. This would be in accordance with the well-known law of thermodynamics that a cooler body does not warm a warmer body. Since the CAGW theory claims the opposite, the rule ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’ applies.

Paul

• #
Kevin

to BobC;

So per your posts an eatlon both;

“Demonstrates Energy Amplfication”

and;

“Stores Energy”

Thusly, I should be able place my eatlon in front of a 1 watt laser and “fill” it with 1000 watts of “energy” because it amplifies energy. Then I can walk across town with my eatlon in my pocket with my 1000 watts of stored “energy” and give to you,

Is that about how an eatlon works Bob ?

Do you purchase your eatlons at the unicorn store, Bob ?

Cheers, Kevin.

• #
Kevin

Whoops, the spell checker got setup to replace etalon with eatlon, but at least it spelled unicorn correctly.

Cheers, Kevin

• #
Paul

Thinking about my post just above, I am reminded of a game we played as children.

1) Think of a number between 1 and 10 [any number will do but this keeps is simple enough for children to play the game]

2) Now double it. [this adds a distraction to hide the crucial next step, the introduction of a hidden 'assumption' that contains the 'answer']

4) Now halve what you have.

5) Take away the figure you first thought of. [This removes whatever the person thought of and leaves only half of what was added at step 3]

“How did you read my mind”, is the astonished question of the child, the first time this trick is played on them, but they soon wise up once they start trying out the new trick on some other innocent acquaintance.

This illustrates just how an initial assumption can skew the end result, especially if and when that assumption is not acknowledged and taken properly into account, no matter how sophisticated and complicated the calculations that intervene between the assumption and the conclusion.

I would call this, “The fallacy of the hidden assumption”. It is very common in so-called science unfortunately.

Paul

• #

Postma,

…the collectivist social-network peer-pressure junior-high approach to science…

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, meet the Dunning-Kruger with a Galileo complex, who has written a single unpublished paper, and in so doing has, with nore than a touch of arrogance, overturned the work of all of the professional climate scientists around the world… except, of course, he’s only convinced five die-hards on a comments thread.

Even the host of the site, along with every reputable climate scientist (including Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, and more) dismisses at your work.

Hint: You have taken some very simple concepts, and cling to them like a tree in a storm. When you are faced with difficulties, you dismiss them with a wave of the hand. When the math gets tough, you fudge and use vague terms (convection! gravity! lapse rate!) instead of working out the details and presenting the numbers. Your paper is noticeably lacking in that regard.

Second hint: Gravity increases temperature by increasing pressure, but it does not add energy, and it does not stop a warm body from radiating. You still haven’t explained (except in the most vague and impossible to test terms) how your system keeps from radiating away all of its excess heat and cooling to 255˚K.

But I’ll give you a chance. I’ll come back in a year or two, when you’re famous from having published your work in a reputable science journal. I’m sure that you’re so confident in your theories that you’ll have no trouble at all putting it in proper form, submitting it, and seeing it published.

[And none of that "ooh, they won't publish skeptical work" nonsense. That's a cop out. Submit it to E&ESceptical science OOPS that slipped [ed]. They’ll publish anything. [snip] I think Sonja will be very receptive to your work. How about a reference? [ed}

• #
Paul

Sphaerica (Bob):
May 25th, 2011 at 10:20 am

Postma,

…the collectivist social-network peer-pressure junior-high approach to science…

Fallacy: Ad Hominem . Dismissed as irrelevant.

Paul

• #
Paul

All the talk about “a cooler body warming a warmer body” I find merely a distraction.

Here is an experiment that would settle the argument empirically with measured values.

Take a spherical body, contained in a vacuum and surrounded by a blackened surface that is near to absolute zero. You can approximate this by cooling the container outside with liquid nitrogen.

Allow an aperture through which light of a given intensity is admitted and allow sufficient time for the internal spherical body to attain its blackbody temperature. This aperture needs to be one which allows the passage equally of short and long wave radiation so that what is measured in the experiment is the effect on the enclosed sphere of the reflection of its long-wave radiation back onto itself.

Repeat this experiment with similar apparatus but have the interior of the containing vessel coated with a reflective surface. Allow sufficient time for both the reflective surface to reach equilibrium and the contained sphere to attain is new black-body temperature.

Now compare the temperature of the contained blackbody with and without the surrounding reflective surface.

What do you think the respective temperatures will be?

Comment : The internal sphere will absorb energy from the impinging radiation and will warm until it is radiating the same quantity of energy, at a lower energy level, as an approximate theoretical blackbody.

In the first scenario the long-wave radiation will be from the entire surface of the sphere and there will be nothing to prevent that radiation from escaping.

In the second scenario, there will be radiation from the entire surface of the sphere, but in every direction other than that of the small aperture where light is admitted that radiation will be reflected back at the sphere. Thus this represents the same kind of situation hypothesised with the Greenhouse Gas Effect on earth.

In other words, with a reduced ‘aperture’ out of which the earth can radiate its absorbed energy from the sun its surface temperature is postulated to rise.

Talking about this second situation in terms of photons, one can imagine any photon bouncing around inside the containing, reflective sphere until its trajectory takes it to the small aperture where light is being admitted and only then making its escape.

My question is, therefore, will the number of photons making their escape through that small aperture be any less than the number of photos that were originally being emitted from the enclosed sphere? My guess would be ‘no’.

The second question, the important one, is then, will the temperature of the sphere that is surrounded by a reflective surface be greater than that which is surrounded by the blackened surface? My guess, again, would be ‘no’.

Paul

• #
BobC

Kevin @333:

Was my critique a little too sharp for you?

Yours is just dumb.

I think I’ll have to re-reconsider my opinion of your knowledge.

Cheers, Bob

• #

Repeat this experiment with similar apparatus but have the interior of the containing vessel coated with a reflective surface. Allow sufficient time for both the reflective surface to reach equilibrium and the contained sphere to attain is new black-body temperature.

much of the reflected energy from the blackbody will be based on a slightly higher temperature than blackbody itself will possess on average when it is returned to the blackbody. Thus, a colder object warming a warming one is not occurring. You should probably think your ideas out a bit longer. Some atoms of the blackbody will be vibrating at higher frequency than others, thus a higher temperature radiation from those atoms or molecules. The mirror simply reflects the radiation, it does not stop it, absorb it and then miraculously send it back at a 180 degree angle from whence it came.

• #
BobC

Paul @338:

Your experiment seems hard to set up. Also, I didn’t see that you considered the effect of continuing to cool the outer surface with liquid N2 — It won’t be allowed to warm up any, so most of the energy leaving the chamber will do so in the liquid N2 coolant.

How about a much easier experiment (one I tried 30+ years ago): Sit outside with light clothing on a cold, calm evening after the sun is down until you get chilled. Then loosely wrap yourself in a “space blanket” (aluminumized mylar film). I guarantee you will, almost instantly, feel much more comfortable.

The mylar film provides negligible insulation value for conduction, but it is quite good at reflecting the IR your body emits back at you.

If you want to model the rest of your experiment, you can try the same thing with a sheet of black plastic, and compare the experiences.

• #

In the second scenario, there will be radiation from the entire surface of the sphere, but in every direction other than that of the small aperture where light is admitted that radiation will be reflected back at the sphere. Thus this represents the same kind of situation hypothesised with the Greenhouse Gas Effect on earth.

Except the fact that in the green house theory those little reflective mirrors point in all directions at the same time. Thus, the light that passes outward that gets reflected back can just as easily be rereflected back outward again.

People like you love to argue about how us peons have no idea the complexity of the work they are doing is.

1) energy from sun penetrates to the Earth’s surface.
2) Earth’s surface warms up.
3) Atmosphere absorbs heat from the Earth’s surface while the Earth’s surface radiates energy outward.
4) Some select parts of the radiation are absorbed by “green house gasses” and are re-emitted in a random direction, sometimes towards the Earths surface.
5) Your idiocy on display, Radiation headed towards space is always 100% intercepted by “green house gasses” but energy heading back towards the Earth’s surface are always allowed to pass freely back to warm the Planet and cause the world to end.

Here is mine:
1) energy from sun penetrates to the Earth’s surface.
2) Earth’s surface warms up.
3) Atmosphere absorbs heat from the Earth’s surface while the Earth’s surface radiates energy outward.
4) Some select parts of the radiation are absorbed by “green house gasses” and are re-emitted in a random direction, sometimes towards the Earths surface.
5) The radiation heading back towards the Earth who were completely stopped and absorbed by the “green house gasses” in a specific distance, say z, is at about half the total amount as it took to penetrate to distance x with no energy left to warm anything beyond distance x. Therefore, even if half the energy amount of radiation penetrates the full distance x back towards Earth’s surface, the net amount of energy available at Earth’s surface is precisely the same as is available at distance x, 0.

• #

The mylar film provides negligible insulation value for conduction, but it is quite good at reflecting the IR your body emits back at you.

And is awesome at stopping nearly 100% of convection. Not enough variables controlled. Maybe a mylar woven mesh with plenty of ventilation to be similar to clothing convective abilities.

• #
Kevin

To Bobc, just once more for the h—l of it;

“Was my critique a little too sharp for you?
Yours is just dumb.
I think I’ll have to re-reconsider my opinion of your knowledge.”

Enjoy your little unicorn ride there Bob.

• #
Hans

Jo, you stated “Note that the two well known versions of the Second Law both contain the phrase “whose sole result”, meaning that heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one.”

I wonder, did you ever take notice of the Second Law before this post because your quick deduction seems just guessing and interpreting it the way that fits you the best.

Neither Clausius nor Kelvin had heat compensation in mind at all, what in earth would be the use of this. These men are talking about work, that’s what steam engines were used for. Not for compensating heat.

The Clausius statement like Kelvin’s refers to work, and forbids spontaneous heat flow from cold to hot. Work has to be performed to transfer energy from colder to hotter. Now you want to say that the Clausius statement means that in that case even more heat has to be moved to the cold? So refridgerators always get warmer then?

The Kelvin statement refers to dissymmetry between work and heat, and work results in an amount of lower quality heat and this means lower temperature.
Both describe the opposite of what you think it means, and that is that heat transfer has one direction and at the cost of something else (work or entropy). It flows from hot to cold and high to low quality.

Definitions of heat:

- The energy transferred from a high-temperature system to a lower-temperature system is called heat.
- Any spontaneous flow of energy from one system to another caused by a difference in temperature between the systems is called heat.

And look at the NASA figure you used. Do you see another arrow for the heat transfer in the reverse direction? Don’t you think that molecules from the cold reservoir will hit the left wall and transfer energy to the warm resevoir? Just like photons they don’t know which way to go, so by the same reasoning we should have ‘heat’ going from cold to hot. But have we ever heard of the fact that we can only use a net heat conduction in thermodynamics do we? (nor did we for radiation before GHG theorists invented net heat)

No, there is just the gradient delta T that tells us the amount of heat being transferred and these two give us delta S and this S is what the Second Law is about.

• #
Paul

BobC: @ 340

The experiment that I proposed has the effect of isolating all but the issue of interest, the effect of increasing the reflection of outgoing IR radiation back on the emitting object. Having the object enclosed in a sphere cooled to near absolute zero is to simulate the earth suspended in space at 3 degrees, and irradiated by the sun. Adding a reflective surface to the inside of the enclosing sphere is to test the theory that reflected long-wave radiation from the enclosed body back thereon will increase its temperature.

I know that this experiment is not one that you or I can set up, but in terms of the expenditure so far on an untested and unfalsifiable theory and the reliance on that theory for the restructuring of the global economy, this seems to be a simple way for the theory to be tested, quantified and validated.

I’ll make a prediction, though, that nobody will perform the experiment, least of all those who want us to believe that we are close to incinerating the world because of our use of cheap fossil fuels.

As for your alternative experiment I fail to see how it addresses the issue of black-body warming from reflected radiation, all other things being kept unchanged. It is just not sufficiently isolated from other effects to be of any use in teasing out one effect from another, just as in the real world atmosphere.

Paul

• #
Reed Coray

Construct a sphere of uniform material whose surface area is “A” and whose surface properties approximate an ideal blackbody–i.e., the surface absorbs all incident electromagnetic energy and radiates electromagnetic energy in accordance with Planck’s blackbody radiation law.

In the exact center of the sphere, hollow out a small spherical region.

Fill the hollowed out region with radioactive material whose radiation (electromagnetic and/or particulate) is entirely absorbed by the sphere and converted into thermal energy at an assumed rate of “W” Watts for all time. By symmetry arguments, all properties of the sphere are only a function of radial distance from the sphere center. As such, all properties of the sphere surface are the same everywhere on the sphere surface.

Scenario 1

Place the sphere with radioactive material in the vacuum of cold space–i.e., space at 0 Kelvin and isolate the sphere from all other matter/energy.

Wait until the surface temperature of the sphere achieves “steady state” (i.e., quits changing).

Question: What is the Scenario 1 surface temperature, T_isolation, of the sphere in “steady state”?

Answer: When the surface temperature ceases changing with time, the difference between the rate thermal energy enters the sphere and the rate thermal energy leaves the sphere must be zero. For a blackbody object in a large enclosed cavity whose walls are maintained at a uniform temperature less than the temperature of the object, the rate of object cooling (i.e., the net rate of object thermal energy loss — “http://www.goiit.com/posts/show/813430/heat-transfer-stefans-law-of-radiation-804248.htm”) is equal to “sigma” times “the object surface area” times “the difference between (i) the fourth power of the “object surface temperature” in Kelvins and (ii) the fourth power of the “wall surface temperature” in Kelvins. In the case of our sphere, the rate energy enters the sphere is “W”. Since in the case of an isolated sphere, there are no “cavity walls” (or equivalently, the “cavity walls” are at zero Kelvin), the steady-state surface temperature, T_isolation, of the sphere in isolation is given by

T_isolation = [W/(sigma*A)]^0.25

Scenario 2

Once the sphere in isolation has achieved steady state, surround the sphere with a spherical shell of blackbody material whose inner surface is everywhere maintained at “T_shell” Kelvins, where T_shell is less than T_isolation; and wait until the surface temperature of the sphere achieves steady state.

Question: What is the Scenario 2 surface temperature, “T_surrounded”, of the sphere in steady state?

Answer: For the sphere of temperature T_surrounded enclosed in a cavity whose walls are at a uniform temperature T_shell, the sphere rate of cooling (i.e., the net rate of sphere thermal energy loss) is equal to sigma times A times (T_surrounded^4 minus T_shell^4). The rate energy enters the sphere remains unchanged at W. In steady-state these two energy rates must be equal. Solving for T_surrounded gives

T_surrounded = [W/(sigma*A) + T_shell^4}^0.25 = [T_isolation^4 + T_shell^4]^0.25.

The only difference between the two scenarios is the addition of matter at a temperature less than the temperature of the sphere in isolation. Yet the steady-state sphere temperature in the presence of the added “matter” is higher than the steady-state sphere temperature in the absence of that “matter”.

Anyone who argues that T_surrounded is equal to (or less than) T_isolation must either (a) show an error in the above logic, or (b) question the “Law of Cooling” as stated in the reference.

If “warming” implies a temperature rise and a temperature rise implies “warming”, since the only change between scenario 1 and scenario 2 was the adding of material at a temperature less than the isolated sphere temperature, it’s hard to argue that the added “cooler” material didn’t “cause” a temperature rise in the “warmer” sphere. If the added material didn’t “cause the temperature rise”, what did? Note: At no time during the transition from scenario 1 steady state to scenario 2 steady state was the net energy flow from the colder “shell surface” to the warmer “sphere surface”. However, it is true that the sphere surface temperature increases.

• #
RJ

Hans at 344

Just like photons they don’t know which way to go, so by the same reasoning we should have ‘heat’ going from cold to hot. But have we ever heard of the fact that we can only use a net heat conduction in thermodynamics do we? (nor did we for radiation before GHG theorists invented net heat)

An excellent point. Is saying net energy transfer also incorrect or just net heat transfer.

Although based on the viewpoint at post 114 (co2islife)

Energy does not flow both ways. That being the case, energy cannot “flow uphill” and the second law of thermodynamics remains intact.

Although isn’t this viewpoint based on a no photon world. If photons do exist I assume net energy flow would not be an incorrect expression.

• #
Paul

Reed Coray: @346

Surrounding a body with solid material is different from surrounding it with a gas.

The process of interest is not conduction, it is radiation and more particularly the effect of reflecting radiation from the body back to itself, or the supposed ‘back radiation’, on the temperature of the radiating surface.

I am not much interested in thought experiments. Experience tells me that thought experiments can easily leave things out or otherwise conform to pre-conceived ideas, but the real world of physical experiments does not leave out or distort anything and is the only arbiter of reality.

If anyone can think of how to set up an experiment to test this back-radiation theory more simply then I am interested, but not really in alternative experiments in other areas.

Paul

• #
Paul

RJ:
May 25th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hans at 344

Just like photons they don’t know which way to go, so by the same reasoning we should have ‘heat’ going from cold to hot. But have we ever heard of the fact that we can only use a net heat conduction in thermodynamics do we? (nor did we for radiation before GHG theorists invented net heat)

An excellent point. Is saying net energy transfer also incorrect or just net heat transfer.

Although based on the viewpoint at post 114 (co2islife)

Energy does not flow both ways. That being the case, energy cannot “flow uphill” and the second law of thermodynamics remains intact.

Although isn’t this viewpoint based on a no photon world. If photons do exist I assume net energy flow would not be an incorrect expression.

I don’t think that the issue is whether or not photons exist. The idea of a photon is, as has been pointed out, an aid to thinking, but it is really only an electromagnetic field that propagates in quantised manner – you only get discrete, if small, additions. The discrete field of energy interacts with other fields according to its wave properties, as far as I understand it.

I have argued extensively that the error being made by some is to talk about the behaviour of a single ‘photon’, as if it could exist independently of the electromagnetic field of which it is part, and then draw conclusions about the entire field based on that supposed behaviour of the single ‘photon’. It is simply inadmissible, from a mathematical perspective, to argue from the micro, quantised sphere of the atom to the macro, observable world of the surface of the earth. I don’t know how else to say it than I already have. A drop of water in a waterfall may splash upwards, against the force of gravity, but the macro flow of water will never be changed or reversed because of that micro event.

That said, the thought that it is ‘net energy flow’ with some going one way and more going the other way, with a net flow resulting, that whole concept depends upon thinking in terms of photons that don’t ‘know’ what is going on. If, instead, you think in terms of an electromagnetic field of a measurable force, then the greater force overcomes the lessor force and there is a consequent flow of energy from the matter with the higher to that with lower energy levels. There is less opportunity for confusion when looked at this way, I think. Yes, it is still a ‘net’ flow, but there is no confusion about energy flowing from the cold to the hot body, it is always one way, as specified in the second law of thermodynamics.

Paul

• #
RJ

paul @ 349

Thanks. Very clear. (I think) I understand now although the term net energy flow maybe should not be used then as it can just confuses. Like saying a jersey or blanket warms the body rather than reduces the rate of cooling.

• #
Paul

RJ:
May 25th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

paul @ 349

Thanks. Very clear. (I think) I understand now …

I think that the whole strategy behind the Global Warming scare hinges on the ability to confuse almost the entire population!

You will notice the heated discussion on even this thread about one distinct aspect of the matter with little ‘consensus’ even amongst ‘experts’ [myself not included in that category]. Imagine how little the man in the street really knows about ‘the settled science’ and how easily he can be persuaded that our profligate use of fossil fuels has damaged the atmosphere already for our grand children, great grand children and even more remote generations!

I was reading one of the official documents on Global Warming from BOM last night [GreenhouseEffectandClimateChange.pdf] and marvel at the clever way they have ‘simplified’ the matter so as to ensure that the message is clear that ‘we done it’ and ‘no cost is too great for the good of the future survival of the species’ but without saying anything that can be tested by the scientific method. Propaganda at its best [or worst].

By the way, have you notice how the emphasis has now moved, from ‘Global Warming’, to ‘Climate Change’, to ‘Climate Disruption’ and now to ‘Climate Heritage for our great grand children’. We had James Hansen in New Zealand recently and he was emphasising that it is not the current generation that will ‘bear the cost of’ Global Warming, so now they are using our future generations as hostages to force us into the direction that they wish us to take on the use of fossil fuels. They are getting more and more desperate, methinks. [Mind you, some of the more extreme among that crowd would like the world population to drop to less than one billion souls, so it is a bit hypocritical of them to use our grand children this way!]

Paul

• #
RJ

Paul

I was reading one of the official documents on Global Warming from BOM last night [GreenhouseEffectandClimateChange.pdf] and marvel at the clever way they have ‘simplified’ the matter so as to ensure that the message is clear that ‘we done it’ and ‘no cost is too great for the good of the future survival of the species’ but without saying anything that can be tested by the scientific method. Propaganda at its best [or worst].

Its why I now mainly focus on the uselessness of the proposed remedies not the science. I have meet people who just do not want to know about the science but believe we must be harming the planet (the we are sinners reply although they do not directly say this).

So my argument is the warming is exaggerated but even if it is not the carbon tax (or cap and trade) is useless because it will have no almost impact reducing GW even if the highest IPCC projection is correct.

So its all now about money nothing more. Money for Govts. Money for traders. Money for land owners. Money for the EU and UN etc that we will all pay for.

This often works better than a science based discussions.

• #
Bryan

Paul says

..”[Mind you, some of the more extreme among that crowd would like the world population to drop to less than one billion souls, so it is a bit hypocritical of them to use our grand children this way!]”

This is the unspoken rational behind the demonisation of CO2.
Its the people are rubbish syndrome.
The “elite” only need enough workers to maintain their lifestyles and any excess just get in the way.

• #
Alistair

RJ: 350. Just don’t buy into the ‘back radiation’ as a heat source argument: it’s simply normal radiative interchange that doesn’t do any useful work. After all, you didn’t seriously think your pullover actually produced its own heat?

['Climate science' does, apparently choosing to accept Arthur Milne's 1922 mistake as Holy Writ because it fitted the political mantra despite it being wrong. Add in Sagan and Chandrasekar's later mistakes which predicted, wrongly, that imaginary cooling from polluted clouds hid the imaginary heating and you can truly understand that the name has been mis-spelt. It should be h o r s e s h i t.]

• #
astonerii

How do infared camera sensors work? They are able to see temperatures below their own temperature are they not? If this is the case, what is the mechanism that allows this? It is purely the magnetic feild of the radiation going through the sensor, or does the sensor absorb the radiation and get something from it?

• #
Alistair

Infrared sensors work by having an IR window and behind that a transducer sensitive to IR, e.g. a pyroelectric substance, or a thermopile.

The key issue is that they are shielded from radiation coming from the opposite direction. If you want to know the net signal, turn the sensor around by 180° and subtract the second reading from the first.

• #
Baa Humbug

Paul:#349
May 25th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I don’t think that the issue is whether or not photons exist. The idea of a photon is, as has been pointed out, an aid to thinking, but it is really only an electromagnetic field that propagates in quantised manner –

Quite correct. However, as an aid to thinking, the “visualization” of photons speeding around in straight lines creates it’s own problems when trying to understand radiation.
Rather like the kindergarden level graphics used by Al Gore in his movie (little black angry CO2 molecules shooting rays of heat back to earth) the use of photons in explaining radiation leads to misunderstanding of the process.

When used by those who “should know”, it’s downright misleading and a tool to con layman by way of over simplifying.
Backradiation does not and cannot warm the surface (and that includes slowing down cooling) except in very very isolated circumstances in a very very minor way to a point where it’s just not worth considering.
Climate science would serve better if it spent it’s time and resources studying the properties of water and convection and conduction.

• #
KR

astonerii @ 355

“How do infared camera sensors work?”

There are a number of different designs – one interesting one is an array of micromachined bolometers. These have an absorbing element (such as silicon or vanadium oxide) attached to a heat sink. Photons absorbed by the element change the temperature and thus the electric resistance of the absorber, which gets measured to return an intensity at that pixel.

Note: while bolometers can be cooled for more sensitivity, they absorb photons with thermal energies well below the temperature of the camera (they are often used uncooled), with each photon absorbed adding energy to the detector and raising it’s temperature.

• #
Reed Coray

Paul (#348)

Surrounding a body with solid material is different from surrounding it with a gas.

The process of interest is not conduction, it is radiation and more particularly the effect of reflecting radiation from the body back to itself, or the supposed ‘back radiation’, on the temperature of the radiating surface.

I agree surrounding a body with solid material is different from surrounding it with a gas.

You brought up the issue of conduction. In my thought experiment no conduction exists because the small sphere is placed in the vacuum of a cavity (interior of a spherical shell)–i.e., no part of the interior surface of the spherical shell touches any part of the small sphere; and with the exception of the small sphere, no matter exists in the interior of the shell. On the other hand, if the small sphere is surrounded by a gas, thermal conduction (and if a gravitational field exists, thermal convection) will exist between the small sphere and the gas. So the issue of conduction isn’t relative to my thought experiment, but is relevant to a solid material surrounded by a gas.

Regarding a real-world experiment. Construct a cryostat cabable of providing liquid helium temperatures. Remove all gas from the interior of the cryostat using a vacuum pump. Cool the walls of the cryostat to liquid helium temperature. At this point the quality of the vacuum will make a sudden jump because any non-helium gas (and possibly non-hydorogen gas) in the interior to the cryostat will liquify or solidify onto the interior walls of the cryostate. I’ve seen this happen many times. Inside the cryostat place a small resistor and pass a current through the resistor. Measure the electrical resistance and the temperature of the resistor. Be careful because the electrical resistance of many materials is a function of temperature. If need be, adjust the voltage across the resistor to maintain a constant power dissapation, P (Voltage squared divided by resistance). Monitor the temperature of the resistor until it settles at an unchanging value. Record that temperature. Now raise the temperature of the cryostat walls to liquid nitrogen temperatures. If necessary, adjust the voltage across the resistor to establish the same power dissapation, P. Monitor the temperature of the resistor until it stops changing and record that temperature. I believe you will find the temperature of the resistor will be higher in the “liquid nitrogen cryostat” than in the “liquid helium cryostat.”

• #
Reed Coray

Paul, I forgot to mention that I am a confirmed AGW skeptic. I believe the CAGW premise is a bunch of bunk promoted by many people for various reasons, almost none of which have scientific validity. I’m also a skeptic of the GHG theory not because I don’t believe in “backradiation”, I do; but because the atmosphere and its thermal behavior are complex phenomena, for which radiation is not the whole story. For example, I believe an atmosphere devoid of all “greenhouse” gases will have an impact on the temperature of a solid object orbiting the sun. If true, a “greenhouse effect” will exist in the absence of all “greenhouse gases.” The closest I’ve ever encounted to the definition of the “greenhouse effect” is the statement: “The temperature of the Earth in the absence of an atmosphere will be different than the temperature of the earth in the presence of an atmosphere. That temperature difference is the greenhouse effect.” Using this definition, the “greenhouse effect” has nothing to do with “greenhouse gases,” and therefore why should I be concerned about “greenhouse gases?” Concerned about the atmosphere, maybe; but not specifically greenhouse gases. If someone wanted to make the definition of the “greenhouse effect” to address greenhouse gases, then we can go forward from there. Something like: “The greenhouse effect is the temperature difference between (a) the surface of an object with a non-greenhouse atmosphere, and (b) the surface of the object with the same atmosphere augmented with greenhouse gases.”

I deplore the issue that a generic atmosphere may alter the temperature of the object’s surface, and for this reason we should be worried about greenhouse gases. It might be logical to conclude we should be worried about the atmosphere in general, but why pick on “greenhouse gases?”

• #
astonerii

KR @358

That would almost be enough to show that low temp radiation can heat higher temp black bodies. I would nearly say, case closed.

• #
BobC

Paul: (@345)
May 25th, 2011 at 4:26 pm
BobC: @ 340
As for your alternative experiment I fail to see how it addresses the issue of black-body warming from reflected radiation, all other things being kept unchanged. It is just not sufficiently isolated from other effects to be of any use in teasing out one effect from another, just as in the real world atmosphere.

Well, 2 mil clear mylar does have an R-value of 1 (US units = 1/6 SI units). This is quite low, but not low enough to ignore. One way to improve the experiment would be to do it with both aluminumized and clear mylar sheeting. That way, the insulation factor due to thermal conduction would be the same and the only difference would have to be due to the reflectivity.

I haven’t done this comparison, but I’ll look for some uncoated mylar sheet (I already have several coated sheets). I think I saw some for home-made storm windows in the local hardware store, but may have to wait for fall for them to stock it again.

To eliminate the subjective aspect, you could use two boxes with mylar windows — one coated, one uncoated — and measure the temperature inside with a small light bulb as a source. Doing the experiment multiple times, while switching which box has the coated window would remove the effects of differences in box construction and materials.

If both boxes are set on an insulated pad outside on a clear night, they should both experience a fairly effective blackbody (the sky). Not space, but good enough, especially if both boxes have the same exposure, as that would remove any heat absorbed from the sky as a cause of different temperatures between the boxes.

My expectation is that you would see a significant temperature difference between the boxes — that it won’t be a subtle effect.

Commercially, reflective mylar sheet is claimed to be quite effective at reducing heat loss from the home.

On another note: It’s hard to believe that none of you have experienced the dramatic difference between sitting near a wall vs. sitting near a window when it is very cold outside (-40C). Maybe it just doesn’t get cold enough where you are.

And despite people’s attempts to ridicule it (ignorantly, since they haven’t experienced it) there is also a dramatic difference in what the comfortable air temperature is between rooms with heated and unheated floors. Baseboard heaters won’t do this, as the heated surface must subtend a fairly large solid angle (4-5 steradians) w.r.t. your body to really show the effect. The heated floor does this with a much lower temperature than baseboard heaters. (Has to be much lower, to prevent overheating the occupants of the room.)

There is the fact that both IR radiant heating and IR reflective insulation are techniques used in buildings for >50 years and are routinely calculated by HVAC engineers designing building heating systems. Additionally, there are large industries supplying components for these methods. Is all of this fantasy or a fraud? I would hesitate to write off standard industial engineering practices that have meet the test of time and economics because you don’t understand them.

• #
Bryan

KR

If as usual the IR detector is held at ground level to detect the cold night air there will be more radiation leaving the detector than entering it.
Would you agree?

• #
KR

Bryan @ 363

If the detector is warmer than the night air (depending on the emissivity of the detector, of course), you are quite correct, more radiation will be leaving the detector than arriving.

However, as an imaging system, the absorptive section of each bolometer is facing the aperture, the heat sink is not, and the difference in temperature between the absorber and heat sink is what is monitored. Each IR photon striking the absorber adds energy, raising it’s temperature, changing it’s resistance relative to the unheated portion of the pixel. The absorber can be read if you’re quick – the heat sink is intended to return the pixel to neutral (basically no temperature difference between absorber and heat sink) at a rate close to the frame time, so that the camera can detect motion.

astonerii @ 361

Another item in this category is the microwave oven. Microwaves are characteristic of thermal emission of objects around 2-5K, whereas even a deep frozen roast is at ~250K. Low temp radiation can certainly heat warmer bodies.

• #
Bryan

KR says

……”If the detector is warmer than the night air (depending on the emissivity of the detector, of course), you are quite correct, more radiation will be leaving the detector than arriving.”….

I think its a fair assumption that the detector at say 10C will be warmer than the cold night sky <-20C

KR says

……."However, as an imaging system, the absorptive section of each bolometer is facing the aperture, the heat sink is not, and the difference in temperature between the absorber and heat sink is what is monitored."…..

How on Earth will a Detector at 10C contain a heat sink at less than -20C?
Your knowledge of heat transfer needs serious revision.

KR returns to microwaves ovens which he thinks are particulaly relevent to the atmosphere

……"Another item in this category is the microwave oven. Microwaves are characteristic of thermal emission of objects around 2-5K, whereas even a deep frozen roast is at ~250K. Low temp radiation can certainly heat warmer bodies."……..

It has been pointed out to KR before that microwave ovens work because of a resonance/friction effect.
If microwaveovens worked on a simple absorption effect then they would not require any particular frequency of microwave.
Once the microwave frequency is changed significantly the microwave oven effect dissappears.

The other objection to this example is that classical thermodynamics is concerned with equilibrium or near equilibrium situations which the oven is most certainly not.

The other thing to notice is how little evedence an IPCC advocate has when a contrived interpretation of a machine is required to support an atmospheric theory.

Have a read at a descrition of how a microwave oven realy works

http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/howcook.html

• #
KR

Bryan @ 365

Absorption is absorption, transferring energy into the absorbing object. That’s how microwaves heat: water molecules absorb the microwave energy, converting EM energy into electron level/rotational/vibrational energy, as do silicon/vanadium oxide bolometer materials with IR energy. There is simply no difference in how absorption works at different frequencies other than the energies transferred.

An IR camera does not need a heat sink at -20C, one at 15C is just fine. That in fact is one of the advantages of the microbolometer cameras – they are capable of imaging IR at room temperature.

The actual measurement is made between a bit of material at 15C and one that – due to the absorption of IR photons – is currently slightly warmer than 15C, and hence has a different resistance. The heat sink is there simply to remove that energy difference, resetting the pixel, for the next frame of the camera image.

Image detection is done by detecting the energy of IR photons. If they were incapable of transferring energy to the detector, such detectors could not work – yet they do. This provides a simple Reductio ad absurdum proof that low energy photons do indeed add energy to warmer objects.

Bryan, it’s clear to me from your comments that you do not understand electromagnetic absorption by materials – I suggest you read up a bit. Unless you demonstrate some actual knowledge in this field, I’m going to consider your posts rather meaningless.

• #
KR

Bryan @ 365

A small excerpt from the reference you provided:

“Microwaves penetrate and are absorbed by some substances, primarily food products. As the energy penetrates the food, its power is gradually absorbed, or lost, to each successive layer of molecules.” (emphasis added)

Microwave energy is absorbed by the molecules of the absorbing object, transferring power (energy) to it. Isn’t that exactly what I said earlier?

Low energy photons transfer energy to warmer objects. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is a statistical rule – given thermal energy transfer between two objects, the warmer object will transfer more energy than the cooler, and net energy flow will be from warmer to cooler object.

A microwave oven electrically generates large numbers of low energy photons (not thermal emission, mind you) – and these low energy photons warm the food.

• #
Bryan

KR

You obviously did not read the description below from the article

……”Now, consider that the actual frequency of the RF energy used in microwave ovens is 2450 million cycles per second! Moreover, consider that within the course of one of those cycles, the molecules would actually change their direction (polarity) twice – once for the positive half-cycle and once for the negative half-cycle. This red-hot rate of vibration causes tremendous friction within the food, and – just as rubbing your hands together makes them warm – this friction produces heat.”……..

Friction plus the resonance effect causes the microwave cooker to function just as I said.
Not a simple absorption effect as you seem to imply otherwise it would not have to select a very particular frequency.

Do you understand what resonance is if not, I will give you some references to look up.

• #
Bryan

KR

Now that we have pointlessly examined lasers and microwave overs perhaps we can return to the topic of this thread atmospheric thermodynamics and the second law

So here is MY question again

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The question I put can be answered within the frame of equilibrium thermodynamics which is an area microwave ovens most certainly cannot.

My guess is however you will once again evade the question.

• #
KR

Bryan @368

The “resonance” explanation for microwaves is incorrect, although sadly often (mis)used. See this article on how a microwave works.

The molecular configuration of an absorber affects what wavelengths it interacts with – water is a good absorber (non-resonant) of 2.45 GHz microwaves, CO2 is a good absorber of 6 micron and 15 micron IR, etc. A dipole moment is very important in this absorption – providing what is essentially an antenna that matches the incoming EM wavelengths.

Absorbed energy then raises electron levels, inducing vibrational and rotational motion (i.e., heat).

More specific examples include fluorescent molecules (which I work with on a daily basis), where a very specific bandwidth of EM is absorbed, raising electron orbitals, partially dissipated as heat, and re-radiated as a band drop to a lower orbital of a particular energy difference (quanta). You have to carefully control energy levels to avoid overheating your samples.

Again – it’s clear to me that you need to read up more on electromagnetic absorption by materials. Your statements on this subject have been, sorry to say, nonsense.

• #
KR

Bryan

Joules are Joules -> 1000 = 1000.

I will note that the wavelengths of thermal radiation are important, both from a concentration factor (10^4 more concentrated at 2um than 20um, a big influence on rate of energy transfer per area) and due to the absorptivity of whatever object they impact. But Joules are Joules; they need to be conserved (1st law), and net energy flow between pools of energy (objects) will be from high/warm to low/cold (2nd law).

Now – kindly get to the “gotcha” you obviously have in mind.

• #
Bryan

KR says

…..”Again – it’s clear to me that you need to read up more on electromagnetic absorption by materials. Your statements on this subject have been, sorry to say, nonsense.”

Readers will note that he has danced around but not answered a very straightforward question which I will remind you is

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The question I put can be answered within the frame of equilibrium thermodynamics which is an area microwave ovens most certainly cannot.

My guess is however you will once again evade the question.

• #
Bryan

KR

Its obvious that an IPCC proponent like yourself is obsessed with radiative transfer at the expense of the other methods of heat transfer.
However you dont even get that right.

Notice how KR describes the sensor on an IR camera.

…..”The actual measurement is made between a” bit of material at 15C” and one that – due to the absorption of IR photons – is currently slightly warmer than 15C, and hence has a different resistance. The heat sink is there simply to remove that energy difference, resetting the pixel, for the next frame of the camera image.”…..

Notice the breathtaking stupidity of his understanding

The sensor is a “bit of material at 15C” it is detecting the cold sky at -10C.

Now most educated people would say that the ” bit of material at 15C” would radiate more radiation than it receives from the -10C sky.
That is it would get slightly cooler!!

But no according to KR the sensor is now

“is currently slightly warmer than 15C”

Its almost unbelievable but KR once again proposes a violation of the second law!!!!!

Then wallowing in his own ignorance KR ends the post by

……..”Bryan, it’s clear to me from your comments that you do not understand electromagnetic absorption by materials – I suggest you read up a bit. Unless you demonstrate some actual knowledge in this field, I’m going to consider your posts rather meaningless”….

• #
BobC

365Bryan: (@365)
May 26th, 2011 at 5:02 am

How on Earth will a Detector at 10C contain a heat sink at less than -20C?
Your knowledge of heat transfer needs serious revision.

Bryan, you’re just amazing.

You don’t understand how something can be done, so instead of doing some research on it, you just pronounce that it’s impossible and furthermore, anyone who knows that it can be done is ignorant.

Here’s a little video of a BMW’s thermal imaging camera (optional on M5 and 7-class) imaging 10-12 micron IR as it heads into Las Vegas at 80 mph. I’ve designed lenses (germanium & silicon) for these cameras. The detectors have microbolometers for pixels and can easily image things significantly colder than the camera. They work just like KR explained: The heat sink doesn’t need to be colder than what is being imaged (impossible to arrange on the front of a car in the desert, anyway), they just have to be at a fixed temperature.

I’ve also worked on single-pixel sensors for the Air Force that were designed to “image” the air temperature outside of the slipstream of a super-sonic jet at very high altitude. (That’s the only way you can read the true air temperature (< -40C oftentimes) because the shock wave heats up all the air near the jet.)

The fact that you can't understand how these devices work doesn't mean they don't exist. (Heard of Solipsism?)

You not only need to upgrade your general knowledge, you need to learn how to do it.

• #
Bryan

BobC

It appears that you and KR would rather talk about anything other than the atmosphere and the second law.

Here is a more technical description of the operation of the microwave oven

http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/microwave.html

It is clearly not about simple absorption of microwaves.

It adds nothing to our understanding of the atmosphere.

You can buy into that rubbish if you like.

• #
Bryan

BobC

It appears to me that your powers of comprehension are rather limited.

You had to be told several times about how the lapse rate works before it “sunk in”.
Perhaps even yet your not quite “with it”.

Now pyrgeometers pyrometers IR thermometers and IR cameras of course they will give an indication of what they are pointing at.

Read again any post I have made on the topic with a bit more care.

These devices may have different sensors such as thermistors in a balanced wheatstone bridge, thermocouples, thermopiles or whatever.

But if the object is at a higher temperature than the sensor the detection current or voltage will be reversed if the object was at a lower temperature than the sensor.

• #
Paul

Reading up on the Stefan-Boltzmann law I am interested to read the following : –

Temperature of the Earth

Similarly we can calculate the effective temperature of the Earth TE by equating the energy received from the Sun and the energy transmitted by the Earth, under the black-body approximation:

\begin{align} T_E & = T_S \sqrt{r_S\over 2 a_0 } \\ & = 5780 \; {\rm K} \times \sqrt{696 \times 10^{6} \; {\rm m} \over 2 \times 149.598 \times 10^{9} \; {\rm m} } \\ & \approx 279 \; {\rm K} \end{align}

where TS is the temperature of the Sun, rS the radius of the Sun, and a0 is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Thus resulting in an effective temperature of 6°C on the surface of the Earth.

The above derivation is a rough approximation only, as it ignores any temperature differences and changes on the planet and also the greenhouse effect. However, the result does not change if the Earth is a grey body rather than a black body because any change in both the absorption and the emission will cancel each-other out.

The IPCC[3] and other sources[4] present an effective temperature of 255 K (−18 °C), which can be found by considering that the Earth’s albedo is 0.3, meaning that 30 % of the solar radiation that hits the planet gets scattered back into space without absorption. The energy from the Sun is thus multiplied by 0.7 to account for this reduction in absorption. Even though the absorption is reduced, perfect blackbody emission is assumed, leading to this lower equilibrium temperature.

However, compared to the 30% reflection of the Sun’s energy, a much larger fraction of long-wave radiation from the surface of the earth is absorbed or reflected in the atmosphere instead of being radiated away, by greenhouse gases, namely water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane.[5][6] Since the emissivity (weighted more in the longer wavelengths where the Earth radiates) is reduced more than the absorptivity (weighted more in the shorter wavelengths of the Sun’s radiation), the equilibrium temperature is higher than the simple black-body calculation estimates. As a result, the Earth’s actual average surface temperature is about 288 K (14 °C), rather than 279 K.

Did you get the classic ‘bait and switch’ deception technique that the IPCC are using here?

So, going by main-stream science, not disputing the back-radiation, but merely applying the Stefan-Boltzmann law appropriately, gives a difference of 8 °C in the estimated average surface temperature of the earth, with and without the presence of Greenhouse gasses. The IPCC estimate of 33 °C is therefore four times greater than an the estimate should be according to the assumptions given.

Absent the flaunted 33 °C, where now is the correct estimate of a small increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide even according to their assumptions?

If the ‘Establishment’ cannot get even that most basic and simple calculation right, how much should we rely on their models?

This is just one more piece of evidence that we should expect the increase in near-earth atmospheric temperatures to increase by a vanishingly small amount for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from any source. Never mind that even using all the available reserves of coal, oil and gas would not result in such doubling.

Paul

• #
L.J. Ryan

Bob C. 327

You said the REO etalon is 99.9% reflective. You said 1,000,000 W/m^2 are store within the cavities. I assumed the 0.1% not reflected was absorbed and therefore dissipated as heat. You said 0.1% was transmitted as the output…but then hedged your answer by saying If it’s not dissipated as heat, then it just passes through the etalon. (Duh!). I then asked if the tenth percent inefficiency was intentional. You never answered.

1) So is the .001 of 1,000,000 W/m^2…1000 W/m^2 the output (transmitted) or is it loss (absorbed)?

If the loss is not intentional and is dissipated as heat, a need to know variable is surface area. If area is unknown and loss is heat, then you can make no prediction of surface temperature. Since you can not provide the you assumption. You said, Well, no. I gave the intensity, which is power/area. Since heat dissipation also goes as the area, the area cancels out of any calculation about heating. Bob this last statement, is nonsensical.

2)How long does take for the etalon to accumulate a 1,000,000 W/m^2?

3)Can the output be closed as to store the 1,000,000 W/m^2 flux within the etalon?

• #
L.J. Ryan

Bob 327

I asked:A floor radiating 240 W/m^2 with a well insulated, highly reflective ceiling should, according to GHG physics, begin radiating 390 W/m^2. Or maybe the ceiling need be matte black…emulating blackbody. Does 390 W/m^2 happen instantaneously or should I get one of those GHG physic jackets? If they still legal?

You replied:

Do I really need to tell you why this is stupid?

I agree, my question is stupid, idiotic shows a complete lack understanding of radiant physics…and Bob C it is a scenario you conceived (240) to describe GHG physics. It is much like the endorsement(184) of KRs wrapped radiator test. For those following along, KR and Bob C believe a radiator (say cast iron-hydronic) filled with 65 C water, will warm itself do to own reflection…assuming it’s wrapped in a IR reflective insulation.

So yes Bob C, please tell me why my bolded question/scenario is stupid.

• #
astonerii

Well, I learned alot on this thread.

As for Jo Nova’s question on if greenhouse gases can warm the Earth radiation, the answer is yes, as respect to back radiation the answer is no. With the qualification that the energy input has to come from a place other than the Earth’s Surface. Once it starts the journey outward, the opportunity for the energy from the Earth to return is just not there. It leaves, and half always continues moving outward, as it tries to return back to Earth, only continually diminishing amounts remain, until extinction just above the surface of the Earth.

• #
KR

Bryan @ 372 – Re: 1000 Joules

Now kindly either get to the “gotcha” you’ve been apparently sitting on, waiting for me to answer, or stop wasting folks time with bad physics.

You clearly do not understand photon/matter interactions, despite being pointed to some references on the question multiple times; you continue to espouse ‘physics’ that directly leads to blatant contradictions with facts, and insult people with more knowledge (such as BobC) when corrected. I would suggest using some of your time and learning something about the subjects you wish to discuss.

• #
Bryan

KR

Readers will note that you have danced around, but not answered a very straightforward question which I will remind you is.

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No

See, I have made it even easier for you.

My guess is however you will once again evade the question.

• #
Bryan

KR

Nullis in Verba doubted that any IPCC proponent would actually propose to defy the second law of thermodynamics.

Its good to have you as an example of the dangers of sloppy interpretation of the radiative properties of CO2 and H2O.

What would we do without you!!!!!!

• #
KR

Bryan @ 382

I did answer your question, quite clearly, in @371. 1K Joules is 1K Joules. As energy, they follow the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, conservation and net energy flow – yes and yes.

I also pointed out that thermal radiation centered at 2um and 20um will have some differences in terms of concentration (I try not to ignore factors of 10^4, I would consider that sloppy).

So – energy is energy, although in terms of rates and concentrations blackbody thermal radiation at those two peaks differ.

You’ve yet to make a point – I’m going to ignore any other postings on this particular side-track until and unless you do. I won’t be holding my breath…

Bryan @ 383

Your reply on @373 demonstrates to everyone reading that you do not understand the physics. Your “Just So Stories” attempting to explain the function of basic EM devices like microwaves and cameras are simply, and completely, wrong.

End of discussion on that matter for me, Bryan. Not only are you wrong, you fail to recognize it, and refuse to learn. It’s not my job to pound reality into your head.

• #
KR

L.J. Ryan @ 379

I will ask again – have you tried the heating pad experiment BobC recommended? It’s quite easy.

* Turn on a heating pad, set it on a table with a fever thermometer under the edge, wait a while, read the thermometer.

* Put a blanket over it (doesn’t have to be a thick one), wait a while until the blanket warms up.

* Check the thermometer. It will be warmer.

Constant energy comes in, the rate of energy loss/temperature declines, and the only thing that can change is the accumulation of energy in the heating pad until the rate of energy loss equals the rate of energy gain.

For those following along, KR and Bob C believe a radiator (say cast iron-hydronic) filled with 65 C water, will warm itself do to own reflection…assuming it’s wrapped in a IR reflective insulation.

And there’s the misstatement, L.J. – you’re describing a fixed system. I described one with constant energy coming in, not your strawman

The heating pad experiment is a simple reality check, L.J.; ante up.

• #
Alistair

Bryan and KR [383, 373, 366]]

This is how a bolometer works: http://www.evilprofessor.co.uk/bolometer-theory/

The sensor loses heat by radiation until the exchange of radiative energy with the [generally] cooler sky equals the conductive heat transfer from the heat sink to the sensor. The resistance of the strip then gives its temperature and through calibration this is then converted to the temperature of the radiation source [the sky].

To imagine that what happens is that ‘back radiation’ heats up the bolometer strip illustrates very well the fundamental lack of physics in some who espouse the failed CAGW hypothesis.

• #
Bryan

Alistair

Thanks for the extensive note on the bolometer.
My version is from a text book…. Thermal Physics by C J Adkins page 91.
The semiconductor detector forming the fourth resistance in an in balance Wheatstone bridge.
When the detectors resistance changes(down for higher object temperature, up for lower object temperature) a current is created which is scaled as desired.
Obviously the current changes direction depending on the object temperature being above or below the detectors initial temperature.

• #
Bryan

My question to KR was;

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No

KR replies at last

“I did answer your question, quite clearly, in @371. 1K Joules is 1K Joules. As energy, they follow the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, conservation and net energy flow – yes and yes.”

Its just as I feared poor KR has no idea about the second law.

The correct answer is Yes for the first law but NO for the second.

The radiation from the 2um BBCentred 1000J is of a much higher QUALITY.
That is in a given situation it will be capable of being turned into useful work with a much higher efficiency.

KR did you ever study the Carnot cycle?
If you work through the appropriate section in a physics textbook all will be clear.
We are here to help you if you find it a bit of a struggle.

• #
L.J. Ryan

KR 385

Assuming you can maintain constant current input and constant resistance, temperature will remain constant. Heating pads have “sloppy” control circuitry…low accuracy and wide hysteresis. That is, “HI” temperature will very from day to day.

On the other hand KR, supplying a hydronic radiator with a constant water temperature, has less control feedback issues. So no KR, the rapped radiator, as you proposed (177), is not a fixed system and is not a strawman. What you GHG physics champions don’t like is reconciling a low beginning temperature with adding radiative quantities. IR within a freezer set to -18 C should quickly accumulate, boiling your ice cubes posthaste. So contrary to reality, a lower temperature freezer, according to GHG physic, will actually cook it’s contents where a freezer set to 0 C will merely warm it’s contents…see a lower set temp means more run time, more run time means more introduced IR. Dammed freezer industry.

• #
Alistair

Bryan: 387.

You must realise that a Wheatstone bridge simply sets the current measurement side. the real calibration is the temperature difference between the heat sink [constant temperature presumably by a Peltier cooler] and the sensor through the known thermal conductance. It is that which is the calibrated part of the system.

• #
Bryan

Alistair

I agree with your points but I was more interested in indicating a real physical difference in the sensor when a colder object or warmer object was being detected.

• #
KR

L.J. Ryan @ 389

So – no, you’re not going to run the experiment. Sorry to hear that.

Now, if your radiator has continuous flow of 65C water through it, in a cold room the surface of the radiator will be somewhat below 65C (cooled by the room). The radiator if insulated won’t get warmer than 65C – because if it did the water from the boiler would act as a refrigerant.

Try the experiment with the heating pad. Or get one of those ‘tea warmer’ coils, and run it in air instead of water (I suggest outside on a sidewalk). See what happens when the rate of cooling changes.

Your “Slayers” physics violates conservation of energy; these simple experiments will demonstrate what actually happens.

Bryan @ 388

You conveniently ignored my second paragraph:

“I also pointed out that thermal radiation centered at 2um and 20um will have some differences in terms of concentration (I try not to ignore factors of 10^4, I would consider that sloppy). “

So you’ve distorted what I’ve said. Fail.

Alistair @ 390

Actually, in most microbolometer cameras there is no active cooling, and the detector is around room temperature – the heat sink only provides conduction to the case, and air cooling from there. Absorption of photons on the detector changes the temperature of that leg of the bridge relative to the other (reference) side, and that difference is what is detected.

Many of these cameras aren’t calibrated, incidentally, other than zeroing out any differences on a per-pixel basis between the detector and reference sides of the bridge.

Over, and out – I have other things that require my attention. Enjoy, folks.

• #
Bryan

KR or “indiarubber” man now backtracks!

Do you think that 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 2um is thermodynamically equivalent to 1000Joules of blackbody radiant energy centred around say 20um

a) In terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No
b) In terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics…….. Yes or No

KR replies at last

“I did answer your question, quite clearly, in @371. 1K Joules is 1K Joules. As energy, they follow the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, conservation and net energy flow – yes and yes.”

When he said “yes” to point (b) he didnt really mean “yes” or did he?

Who knows?
He can change his opinion every half hour.

When KR cannot honestly stick to a point and debate it to a rational conclusion there is no hope that he will leave the darkness of self imposed ignorance.

• #
L.J. Ryan

KR 329

Now, if your radiator has continuous flow of 65C water through it, in a cold room the surface of the radiator will be somewhat below 65C (cooled by the room). The radiator if insulated won’t get warmer than 65C – because if it did the water from the boiler would act as a refrigerant.

I agree KR! Unfortunately, your newly found insight contradicts that other poster…ah whats his name…oh yeah, KR.

See KR the water supplies the radiator (earths surface) with a constant power input. The IR emitted by the radiator to the room (atmosphere), can not be re-radiated or reflected (insulation) to increase temperature of radiator (earths surface).

Lets make it more obvious KR. Add glycol to water allowing our radiator to function at a more obvious temperature. Given the following conditions lets re-examine our agreed upon scenario:

room temp -273C (atmosphere prior to turning on radiator)

The IR emitted by the radiator (earths surface) to the room (atmosphere), can not be re-radiated or reflected (insulation) to increase temperature of radiator (earths surface).

• #
IAmDigitap

KR’s sure he’s going to calculate the vanishing of entropy, because he owns a calculator. Well, I W.O.R.K. in the ATMOSPHERIC ELECTROMAGNETIC TRANSMISSION, CAPTURE, & ANALYSIS business, and

IF THERE was any G.H.G. EFFECT, then WHEN THAT HEAT: HIT THOSE GAS ATOMS: T.H.E.R.E. W.O.U.L.D. HAVE TO BE MORE A.N.G.U.L.A.R. M.O.M.E.N.T.U.M. called M. O. T. I. O. N.

and there’s N.O.T.

So: THANK YOU, all those of you who DO NOT, HAVE NOT EVER, AND NEVER WILL, PARTICIPATE in the DISTRIBUTION, CAPTURE & ANALYSIS of ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION through the ATMOSPHERE

for trying to tell us HOW WE CAN SPEAK of W.H.A.T. I.T. IS W.E.

not YOU

do for a LIVING…

but WE’LL STICK with the LAWS that HELPED US CREATE this ELECTRONIC SPACE AGE we BUILT,
U.S.I.N.G. those D.E.F.I.N.I.T.I.O.N.S.
and it might not seem like we KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING

but THERE’S a REASON YOU CAN’T FIND A.N.Y. RECORD ANYWHERE of ANY ELECTRONIC ENGINEERS, INSTRUMENT ENGINEERS, or A.N.Y. KIND of COMMUNICATIONS FIELDS, ENDORSING this V.O.O.D.O.O.

IF THAT HEAT IS THERE
as there MUST BE since CO2 is RISING

THERE MUST BE MORE MOTION in THAT GAS

and OPTICAL & INFRA-RED TELESCOPY would have been S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G.
FOR

Y.E.A.R.S.

They’re N.O.T.

Because there I.S. no such THING as A.N.Y: watch my words:

A.N.Y.

“G.H.G. EFFECT”

of A.N.Y. kind WHATEVER.

If there WAS, we in the ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION BUSINESS would have POINTED it OUT to you in the INSTRUMENTS we BUILD to MEASURE A.L.L. THINGS, more than less.

I’m not ASKING, I’m TELLING: the DEFINITION of HEAT on GAS is MOTION

and SINCE the OPTICAL TELESCOPY and INFRA RED TELESCOPY FIELDS have NOT REPORTED RISING MOTION

having that motion MAGNIFIED HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of TIMES

then IT’S not THERE.

And the reason we knew it didn’t exist when HANSEN LIED to CONGRESS, is that WE KNEW ALREADY HE WAS LYING ABOUT THE SENSITIVITY of INSTRUMENTATION AT THE TIME:

and as I said: IF THERE WAS ANYTHING THERE,

it COULD NOT HIDE:

HEAT
on GAS
is
MOTION.

NO INCREASING MOTION hence DISTORTION in OPTICAL TELESCOPY
then
NO
HEAT.

That means NO
EFFECT

because FOR SURE, the FALSELY NAMED G.H. Gases H.A.V.E. BEEN G.R.O.W.I.N.G.

bu

• #
Mark

IAmDigitap:

For heaven’s sake, go and buy a new keyboard.

• #
Mark D.

• #
Steve

If anyone can think of an experiment wherein an equal mass of CO2 replaces N2 in an IR spectrometer, but the replacement doesn’t show an increased absorption of IR radiation, let me know.

If anyone can think of an experiment wherein an increase in absorbed IR radiation per unit time doesn’t result in an increase in the temperature of the gas, let me know.

If anyone can think of an experiment wherein a 15 degree surface beneath a 5 C atmosphere (at equilibrium) doesn’t increase in temperature if that atmosphere’s temperature rises to 7 C, let me know.

The sun radiates energy on any point on the earth for approximately half of the day. The atmosphere radiates energy on any point on the earth for 24 hours of the day. The surface of the earth must either radiate or reflect the sum total of radiation received in that 24 hour period, otherwise it will rise in temperature forever. Therefore, one would expect that, eventually, the total radiation/reflection of the surface within a 24 hour period would exceed the solar radiation directly upon the surface within that 24 hour period. At equilibrium, surface radiation emitted = (absorbed solar radiation) + (absorbed atmospheric radiation).

There is one way to increase the atmospheric temp without increasing the surface temp. This involves switching solar radiation that was previously heating the surface directly (visible light) to heating the atmosphere instead. Dark aerosols, such as soot, do the trick. Total solar radiation incident upon the earth system remains the same, but the absorption occurs higher up. The atmosphere must still emit just as much as it absorbed, but now only half of that blocked solar energy, in the form of IR radiation, is directed towards the surface (atmosphere radiates up and down). Net effect on surface = cooler.

• #
BobC

IAmDigitap fails the Turing Test.

• #
Paul

Steve:
May 28th, 2011 at 4:52 am
If anyone can think of an experiment wherein an equal mass of CO2 replaces N2 in an IR spectrometer, but the replacement doesn’t show an increased absorption of IR radiation, let me know.
If anyone can think of an experiment wherein an increase in absorbed IR radiation per unit time doesn’t result in an increase in the temperature of the gas, let me know.
If anyone can think of an experiment wherein a 15 degree surface beneath a 5 C atmosphere (at equilibrium) doesn’t increase in temperature if that atmosphere’s temperature rises to 7 C, let me know.

And if anyone can demonstrate that the earth-atmosphere system can be modeled by such laboratory experiments, let me know. This is at the crux of the controversy – extrapolation from small laboratory experiments, where conditions are closely confined so as to isolate the one effect under observation, to the atmosphere where conditions are free to change in an almost infinite number of ways – and then saying “the science is settled”.

The sun radiates energy on any point on the earth for approximately half of the day. The atmosphere radiates energy on any point on the earth for 24 hours of the day. The surface of the earth must either radiate or reflect the sum total of radiation received in that 24 hour period, otherwise it will rise in temperature forever. Therefore, one would expect that,