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Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics

This is generating many comments, see below for an update!

Behind the scenes some skeptics are suggesting that CO2 can’t warm us because the atmosphere is colder than the planet, and  it would break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (see Postma*, for example, p 6 – 7). I disagree. 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.

Imagine three blocks of metal side by side. They are 11°C, 10°C, and 9°C. Think about what happens to the photons coming off the atoms in the middle of the medium temperature block between the other two. If heat never flows from cooler blocks to warmer blocks, all those photons have to go “right“, and not ever go “left”, because they “know” that way is towards a cooler block? (How would they?!)

The photons go both ways (actually every way, in 3D). There are more coming from the 11°C block to the 10°C block, sure, but the the 10°C block is sending ‘em back to the 11°C block too. So heat is flowing from cold to hot. It happens all the time. Net heat is flowing always hot to cold. But some heat is going the other way, every day, everywhere, bar possibly a black hole.

People are being caught by semantics. 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. It’s a bit like saying a blanket doesn’t warm you in bed. Sure, it’s got no internal heat source, and it won’t add any heat energy that you didn’t already have, but you sure feel cold without one. –  Jo

————————————–

Guest Post by Michael Hammer

CAN A COLD OBJECT PASS HEAT TO A WARMER OBJECT?

I have lost count of the number of people claiming that global warming is impossible because the atmosphere is colder than the surface and thus cannot return heat to the surface since that would contravene the second law of thermodynamics. This is wrong and is based on an incorrect interpretation of the second law. The second law does not say a cold object cannot pass heat to a warmer object, it states that NET heat flow is always from warmer to colder.

As stated in the previous section, any object above absolute zero radiates energy. This energy is radiated in all directions. If such radiated energy strikes another object some or all of it is absorbed depending on the absorptivity of the object struck. The absorption does not depend on whether the object struck is warmer or colder than the object that emitted the energy, it only depends on the absorptivity of the struck object. However that object also emits energy some of which will radiate back to the first object and again be absorbed. Because the warmer object emits more energy there will be more traveling from warmer to cooler than vice versa and hence the NET heat flow will be from warmer to cooler.

Net heat flows from warmer to a cooler body, but some heat flows from a cooler body to a warm one.

Net heat flows from warmer to a cooler body, but some heat still flows from a cooler body to a warm one.

BUT THEN HOW CAN A COOLER ATMOSPHERE HEAT THE WARMER SURFACE?

This apparent paradox is again based on a misunderstanding. Imagine you are standing outside on a cold winters night. It’s really cold and you are soon chilled to the bone so you step inside. Inside it’s a pleasant 20°C and almost immediately you feel warmer. But you are at 37°C and the room is 17°C cooler at 20°C how can it warm you, the second law of thermodynamics forbids it! No it doesn’t. When you were outside, you body was radiating energy to space but because the environment was so cold there was very little radiating back to you so the net loss was substantial. When you step inside your body is still radiating exactly the same amount of energy (remember the amount radiated depends only on the temperature and emissivity) however now the warmer walls of the room radiate more energy back to you than did the cold outside. Since the walls are colder than you are you still radiate more energy than you receive (heat flow is still from you to the room) but the difference between what you radiate and what you receive is less. You lose less net energy when inside than when outside so you feel warmer inside the room and it is easy to feel the room is warming you. In fact it is more accurate to say the room cools you less than did the outside.

Exactly the same situation exists with respect to Earth’s surface. Without the green house gases in the atmosphere the surface would be radiating directly to outer space which is extremely cold (-269°C). The green house gases prevent some of that radiation to space and thus keep the surface warmer than it would otherwise be. They do not do this by reducing the amount of energy the surface emits – doing that would entail changing the surface emissivity. Instead they radiate energy back onto the surface so that the net energy loss is reduced.

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Michael Hammer is an electrical engineer who has spent over 30 years conducting research for a major international spectroscopy company.  In the course of this work he generated around 20 patents which have been registered in multiple countries.  Patents are rarer and more rigorous than peer reviewed papers, only available for economically valuable work, and costing thousands of dollars to process and maintain. Spectroscopy deals with the interaction between electromagnetic energy (light) and matter and it is this interaction which forms the basis of the so called “green house effect” in the atmosphere.

———————

PS from Jo: Just so we’re clear here, I think CO2 molecules absorb Infra Red and have some warming effect, but I think feedbacks from clouds or humidity keep those effects so small that the total effect of adding more CO2 is minor, and not worth taking any action over. (There’s more info on feedbacks in these posts).

*The Postma example correctly shows that two ice cubes at 0°C will not heat one cube above zero, but it’s all about context. If the surrounding air is even colder, being next to an ice cube will keep you warmer longer. Even ice can be a “blanket”.
Being wrapped in ice  would slow heat loss if you happen to be on a rock in outer space.  Eskimoes stay warmer in an igloo. (Yes there are lots of reasons why, but the point remains… if you reduce your heat loss you stay warmer.)

ADDENDUM #1

Joseph Postma himself has replied — see comment #97 (it was caught in the spam filter and delayed)

From Michael Hammer #144
Let me try to put it another way. If you lie in bed without a blanket you lose a lot of energy and feel cold. If you now cover yourself with a blanket, the blanket reduces your energy loss. With a reduced energy loss you get less cold than you otherwise would have. Whether you consider “get less cold” to be semantically equivalent to saying “you will be warmer than you otherwise would have been” is up to you but I point out that general usage would say the blanket warms you. This is despite the fact that the blanket is colder than you are. No the blanket being colder does not transfer NET heat from itself to you, it merely reduces the energy loss allowing your internal heat generation to raise your temperature more. If you put a blanket over a piece of cold steel it does not make the steel warmer.

An exactly analogous situation exists with respect to Earth. There is an external energy input notably the sun. An opaque atmosphere reduces the energy loss from the surface to space which allows the energy input from the sun to raise the temperature slightly. The effect of more CO2 is to very slightly increase the range of wavelengths around 15 microns at which the atmosphere is opaque.

The mechanism by which this energy loss is reduced cannot be by reducing the heat radiated by the surface because the atmosphere cannot influence the emissivity of the surface. Rather it acts by returning some of the energy radiated back to the surface. This is the back radiation.

If you want the analogy with a blanket to be more accurate consider the survival blankets which are simply a silvered sheet of thin plastic. Clearly the thin plastic has negligible impact on conduction. It could act by reducing convection but then again it does not need to be silvered to do that. A transparent sheet of plastic would do that just as well yet a transparent sheet of plastic does not work anywhere near as well as a silvered sheet. The silvered sheet works so well because the shiny surface has very low absorptivity and emissivity so it loses very little energy by radiation. There is still a difference in that the silvered surface reflects the energy back onto your body rather than via an absorption and then emission process but the overall impact is very similar.

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ADDENDUM #2

From Jo
Here’s why talk about whether its convection or conduction vs radiative cooling is irrelevant
The blanket analogy is perfect because we are discussing whether it’s possible for a cooler item to induce (somehow) an increase in temperature of a warmer item. NOTE: The cooler item has no internal heat source, but the warmer item (Earth or body) does have energy added in. The method of heat transfer is irrelevant. (Talk of two ice cubes misses the point unless one cube is heated by the sun, or burns fat. )

The point is that YES, obviously in the real world, blankets keep us warm. Pink batts “lift the temperature of your home in cold weather”. They don’t do it by supplying energy, they do it by blocking energy loss. The cooler item is not supplying a single new joule of energy, but there another mechanism of increasing an objects temperature. It’s called insulation. It’s a reality we all know and use every single day. Why deny it?

Can commenters move on from repeating the truism that a colder object can’t make a warmer one even warmer without supplying energy? We all know that, but it applies to a closed theoretical system with no extra source of energy. In the systems with blankets/people and the sun/earth there IS an extra source of energy at least until you’re dead or the sun burns out.

 

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519 comments to Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics

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    KR

    Michael Hammer – Good post, very clear explanation.

    Those who disagree – I would suggest looking at Roy Spencers Yes, Virginia, Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still (very well written), or for a more in depth discussion, following the Science of Doom series on the Imaginary 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    The energy exchanges of the climate consist of energy coming in from the sun and energy going out to space. By reducing the cooling to space, the greenhouse effect makes energy accumulate until the Earth is warm enough to radiate an equal amount of energy to space.

    Warm some soup on a stove, in an open pot, in a cold room – the soup will reach a certain temperature where the heat leaving matches the heat arriving from the burner. Put the lid on, wrap it in a heavy towel, reducing the rate of heat loss/cooling – the soup will get a lot warmer, to the point where it’s again radiating as much heat through the towel as it’s gaining from the burner, even though you haven’t turned up the stove.


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  • #
    KR

    BLouis79 @ 250

    As an aside, I spent quite a bit of time going through Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s paper. They violate conservation of energy quite clearly in figure 32 of their paper (arxiv version, sorry, I don’t have a direct link to the final paper). I will never recover those lost hours, which I could have spent much more profitably with a microbrew.

    It’s quite simply a ridiculous argument – whether you think the radiative greenhouse effect is of consequence or not, it does not violate thermodynamics! Take it from Jo and from Michael Hammer…


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    Re: Jo #215.

    “In fact, almost no solar radiation makes it to the surface.”

    Most visible light and near infrared makes it to the ground. But a lot is also absorbed at other wavelengths. Diagram here from here, which states:

    Fortunately for us, all of the high energy X-rays and most UV is filtered out long before it reaches the ground. Much of the infrared radiation is also absorbed by our atmosphere far above our heads.

    Anyway, is is not possible to “slow down” heat flow, resulting in a temperature increase of a body, unless you apply work.

    Take your red and blue blocks in the diagram above, called:

    Net heat flows from warmer to a cooler body, but some heat still flows from a cooler body to a warm one.

    If the blue object really were heating the red one then the red one would go to a higher temperature. The red object would then emit more electromagnetic radiation than it did in the first place and so heat the blue object up more than it was. The blue object, now warmer, heats the red one up more, which then, in turn, feeds back…until…..until finally the Universe explodes in infinite heat death. Sorry, but such is the murky world of belief in the greenhouse effect.

    You say:

    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.

    That’s a contradiction. The greenhouse effect says that extra heat energy is added. It is therefore in violation of energy conservation.


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  • #

    I have just posted a new thread on this topic — sorry if it doesn’t flow exactly on from where your comments are at right now — but clearly there is a need for more discussion.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/so-what-is-the-second-darn-law/


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    RJ

    500th post

    I wonder what the record is?


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  • #
    RW

    Paul (RE: 493)

    “So how do CO2 molecules that are spaced at intervals of one for every several thousand molecules of nitrogen or oxygen act as a barrier to the flow of heat through the atmosphere?

    If you say that they do so by radiating some of the long-wave radiation back to the surface and that slows the rate at which it can cool, then I think that your explanation ignores the fact that this will simply increase the radiation from the surface by a similar amount, so that the net radiation from the surface will be restored. The formula for the radiation of a blackbody at a given temperature does not allow for the flow of heat to be reduced by the presence of another body in close proximity, as far as I am aware. It simply expresses the rate at which the body will radiate heat.”

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean here.

    “Besides, if you consider the mass of the material that is in thermal conjunction, the earth’s mass is so much greater than that of the entire atmosphere that the amount of heat that is being radiated in each direction is proportionately greater from the earth to the atmosphere and space than anything being radiated from the atmosphere to the earth.

    Imagine, by way of simplification, that you run a hot bath with the doors and windows of the room closed. You will soon notice a decided increase in the temperature of the air and its moisture burden. On the other hand, if you run a cold bath and turn on a fan heater to blow hot air into the room and wait for the bath to warm up, you will be likely to have a problem with hygiene before you get your hot bath. So, to imagine that the atmosphere contains sufficient heat to radiate back to earth and warm the earth by 33 degrees is a bit lacking in credibility, don’t you think?”

    I don’t see how this is analogous. The energy in the system is not sourced from the atmosphere – the atmosphere is more or less just a ‘filter’ between the surface and space. The SW from the Sun is mostly transparent through the filter and the LW emitted by the surface is largely opaque through the filter, causing energy to ‘back up’ at the surface and accumulate until the surface is emitting enough energy ‘push through’ the same amount of energy that’s arriving from the Sun (about 239 W/m^2 in and out).

    “I can almost imagine your response to that. You will say, no doubt, that the atmosphere doesn’t heat the earth it just slows the rate at which the earth loses heat, raising the temperature on the surface by those magical 33 degrees. Well even a blanket doesn’t do that without itself warming in the process. So far, the evidence from the tropics is that the atmosphere has not warmed at all, especially also it has not increased in its moisture content as was postulated. Hence, without that warming, the whole conjecture falls flat. No warming of the upper atmosphere in the tropics, no Global Warming, no Climate Change, no nothing, just the normal behaviour one would expect to find with a thermostatically controlled climate.

    And, by the way, the place where the radiation is escaping from the atmosphere is about 6 km above the surface of the earth where the temperature is close to that of a black-body exposed to the heat from the sun at that distance. Is that a co-incidence?

    How did the heat energy arrive at that height? By means of air circulation carrying warmer and moisture-laden air to the top of the troposphere [hence its name]. The moisture condenses into droplets, forming clouds and releasing the latent heat of vaporisation, and then the heat is radiated out to space.

    We know that there is negligible water vapour at that height. In fact there is negligible atmosphere at that height. Most of the mass of the atmosphere exists below that height, so the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide that is above that height must be negligible also.

    One has to seriously wonder how most of the educated world has been convinced that atmospheric carbon dioxide is so powerfully bad!”

    Well, I’m not convinced either. In fact, I think the effects of anthropogenic CO2 are – if not infinitesimal, benignly small. However, I do think the physics supports a likelihood of some effect, though I don’t believe this to be definite – just seemingly probable.

    The research of ‘co2isnotevil’ (aka George White) has convinced me there is no physical or logical reason why the effects of CO2 ‘forcing’ would be any larger than solar ‘forcing’. If anything, I’d bet they are probably even less.

    “With regard to your illustration of a car gathering heat in the sun, I do not think that that has any connection with what happens in the open with a real atmosphere. True the sun’s rays penetrate the glass of the car and warm the interior. But take the glass away altogether and see if you do not get the same, if reduced, effect? It is not the one-way penetration of short-wave radiation through the glass coupled with the glass stopping the outgoing long-wave radiation that is heating the car. Rather it is the prevention of movement in the air that is trapping the heat, nothing else.”

    Well yes, most of the prevention of heat loss is by convection rather radiation, but I don’t see how that’s fundamentally any different.


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    RW

    I wrote:

    Well, I’m not convinced either. In fact, I think the effects of anthropogenic CO2 are – if not infinitesimal, benignly small. However, I do think the physics supports a likelihood of some effect, though I don’t believe this to be definite – just seemingly probable.

    By this I mean that the physics supports that the increased CO2 will perturb the climate system. Whether that will result in net increase in temperature is what I think is not definite – just seemingly probable.


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  • #

    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.


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    Roy Hogue

    RJ @500,

    500th post

    I wonder what the record is?

    I’ve never seen a thread this long.

    If I’m even close to a competent observer then it shows me that there’s very little actually (may I say nothing?) nailed down and accepted as “proved” about AGW in accordance with the scientific method of investigation.

    It is tragic that this debate is not happening in the halls of academia and government.


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    Roy Hogue (#508):

    I’d make your point in a slightly different way, for under the scientific method of investigation one cannot prove a theory right but can possibly prove it wrong. The scientific method replaces the idea of “proof” by the idea of “statistical validation.” A theory is “statistically validated” if its predictions are checked against observed events without being falsified by the evidence.

    A widely misunderstood aspect of modern climatology is that the IPCC’s climate models make no predictions. They make “projections” which climatologists confuse with predictions. Unlike a prediction, a projection does not state a falsifiable claim. It follows that none of these models can have been statistically validated and thus that a scientific investigation of the possibility of anthropogenic global warming has not yet taken place. Academia and government have presided over a fiasco which they have represented to be a scientific investigation but which hasn’t been one. The debate that should be taking place but isn’t is about how to recover from this fiasco.


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    Roy Hogue

    I must correct myself about the longest thread. Mark D. calls out 757 comments @502.


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    Roy Hogue

    Terry Oldberg @509,

    I’ll go with that!


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    Mark D.

    Terry Oldberg Re 495, Thanks for the link. I am digesting the material there. In the meantime, my apologies for mistaking your intentions at my first comment to you. Obviously the distinction between “prediction” and “projection” is important and valid but in a practical view on the political front, there is no difference. The average voter wouldn’t be able to argue any difference. It is my opinion that the IPCC very purposely set out to keep the scientists happy AND still be able to push (or cause to push) a political agenda.


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  • #
    Paul

    Mark D.:
    May 20th, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    RJ @ 500 the answer is 757 here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/05/shock-global-temperatures-driven-by-us-postal-charges/

    Thanks for that link. It illustrates the point that there is no hard evidence supporting the CAGW conjecture, only circumstantial evidence.

    A clever lawyer can persuade the jury that an innocent defendant is guilty, especially when the prosecutor has suppressed any contrary evidence, the reputation of the police is on the line and they will manufacture evidence rather than be shown to be incompetent, etc, when there is some circumstantial evidence connecting the defendant to the crime. In the same way clever and authoritative protagonists in the case for CAGW plead for belief in the hypothesis and have convinced a large proportion of the ‘jury’ despite the lack of any hard evidence.

    In taking a quick look at the the thread which holds the record for the most comments I notice one comment which is very relevant to this thread, that at comment 22 : –

    JLKrueger:
    May 4th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    BTW, the two US Air Force weather guys I work with (one of whom has a PhD in atmospheric physics) are still laughing about Boris’ clinging to MODTRAN radiative codes as proof of anything.

    I’ve seen quite a bit of reliance on that piece of software earlier in this thread, though I do not find a software ‘proof’ in any way convincing or a substitute for real experimental evidence myself.

    To my mind, the crux of the issue that is being debated on this thread is whether or not it is permissible to take the results of an experiment in a laboratory, where strict conditions must be maintained in order to get an accurate result, and to extrapolate that to the earth’s atmosphere where all the conditions of the laboratory experiment have been broken.

    No amount of sophistical argument, no amount of modelling, nothing but an experiment in the wider atmosphere that produces verifiable, quantifiable data can answer that question. And that is the sticking point that the earlier thread highlighted: the lack of such experimental data to support the CAGW conjecture persists to this day and always will.

    Paul


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    Paul

    By way of referencing the Global Warming hypothesis on the scale of credibility, I note this quote from Bad Science

    There is good science, there is pathological science, and then there is pseudoscience (which is, simply, a theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation). The several lists below were culled from different sources and are presented as tools for discernment. Though most of the rules apply to experimental sciences, physics in particular, the basic tenets can be generalized without much difficulty to wider applications, including archaeology.

    The term “pathological science” was coined by Nobel-laureate chemist Irving Langmuir in a lecture he gave at General Electric’s Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in 1953. Langmuir offered several examples of pathological science, and concluded that:

    These are cases where there is no dishonesty involved but where people are tricked into false results by a lack of understanding about what human beings can do to themselves in the way of being led astray by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions. These are examples of pathological science. These are things that attracted a great deal of attention. Usually hundreds of papers have been published on them. Sometimes they have lasted for 15 or 20 years and then gradually have died away. Now here are the characteristic rules:

    [1] The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity. For example, you might think that if one onion root would affect another due to ultraviolet light then by putting on an ultraviolet source of light you could get it to work better. Oh no! Oh no! It had to be just the amount of intensity that’s given off by an onion root. Ten onion roots wouldn’t do any better than one and it didn’t make any difference about the distance of the source. It didn’t follow any inverse square law or anything as simple as that. And so on. In other words, the effect is independent of the intensity of the cause. That was true in the mitogenetic rays and it was true in the N rays. Ten bricks didn’t have any more effect than one. It had to be of low intensity. We know why it had to be of low intensity: so that you could fool yourself so easily. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work. Davis-Barnes worked just as well when the filament was turned off. They counted scintillations.

    [2] Another characteristic thing about them all is that these observations are near the threshold of visibility of the eyes. Any other sense, I suppose, would work as well. Or many measurements are necessary many measurements because of the very low statistical significance of the results. With the mitogenetic rays particularly, [people] started out by seeing something that was bent. Later on, they would take a hundred onion roots and expose them to something, and they would get the average position of all of them to see whether the average had been affected a little bit … Statistical measurements of a very small … were thought to be significant if you took large numbers. Now the trouble with that is this. [Most people have a habit, when taking] measurements of low significance, [of finding] a means of rejecting data. They are right at the threshold value and there are many reasons why [they] can discard data. Davis and Barnes were doing that right along. If things were doubtful at all, why, they would discard them or not discard them depending on whether or not they fit the theory. They didn’t know that, but that’s the way it worked out.

    [3] There are claims of great accuracy. Barnes was going to get the Rydberg constant more accurately than the spectroscopists could. Great sensitivity or great specificity we’ll come across that particularly in the Allison effect.

    [4] Fantastic theories contrary to experience. In the Bohr theory, the whole idea of an electron being captured by an alpha particle when the alpha particles aren’t there, just because the waves are there, [isn't] a very sensible theory.

    [5] Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment. They always had an answer always.

    [6] The ratio of the supporters to the critics rises up somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to oblivion. The critics couldn’t reproduce the effects. Only the supporters could do that. In the end, nothing was salvaged. Why should there be? There isn’t anything there. There never was. That’s characteristic of the effect.

    (From I. Langmuir, “Pathological Science: scientific studies based on non-existent phenomena,” Physics Today, 1989 (Oct), 36, 47. Transcribed and edited by R. N. Hall.)

    On the curve of credibility this theory must have peaked some months before the conference at Copenhagen and before the decline phase which began in earnest after the release of the Climate-gate data between the maximum and the conference. At what point on the curve are we at the present?

    Paul


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    Roy Hogue

    Paul,

    I think we’re at the point where the Emperor of CAGW has no cloths on.


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    Paul

    Roy Hogue:
    May 22nd, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Paul,

    I think we’re at the point where the Emperor of CAGW has no cloths on.

    I’ve thought that for a long time. But the ‘Emperor’ is still strutting his stuff as if his illusions were the real McCoy.

    But have you seen any recent Opinion Polls showing the percentage of respondents who are convinced that CAGW is true?

    How long do you give them before they are compelled to concede that their game is up?

    Paul


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    RW

    I agree the Emperor of CAGW has no clothes, but it’s not because the GHE violates the 2nd law.


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    Roy Hogue

    Paul,

    They are sinking of course. But a whole lot of money, power and prestige have been bet on this thing so they’ll fight tooth and nail. We have a long way to go.

    RW,

    Agree! The second law is not violated. The real problem is that the wrong question is being asked. And when you do that you always get the wrong answer. The right question is this: Is there any evidence that the world is getting warmer from increasing CO2 in the atmosphere? The answer is a resounding no! And better than that, there’s plenty of evidence that it isn’t. But the direct no answer is the one that counts.


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    Paul

    To answer my own question re the Opinion Polls, it is interesting to observe that belief in human-caused global warming correlates rather well with other somewhat-unrelated variables, such as the country one lives in, the political party one supports, the occupation one works in, etc.

    Another interesting point is, that even those who support the CAGW conjecture refer to this as a belief. Do you believe in the force of gravity, the heat of fire, the power of an electrical current? Do we not usually refer to those things in terms of either knowledge or ignorance? But it is not so with the all-important matter of CAGW which is universally referred to in terms of belief, as far as I can tell.

    World opinion on global warming: not so hot
    Posted on April 27, 2011 by Anthony Watts

    Results of the latest Gallup poll:

    Worldwide, Blame for Climate Change Falls on Humans
    Americans among least likely to attribute to human causes
    by Julie Ray and Anita Pugliese
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — World residents are more likely to blame human activities than nature for the rise in temperatures associated with climate change. Thirty-five percent of adults in 111 countries in 2010 say global warming results from human activities, while less than half as many (14%) blame nature. Thirteen percent fault both.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/gallup_world.png
    [That image link does not seem to be working - not sure if I've done the link right, but the URL is OK]

    It is also interesting to note that the battle for the hearts and minds of the people has extended itself to the sphere of Opinion Polls itself, since even there the view of which way the polls are moving diverges depending on which side of the divide the commentator stands.

    Global Warming and the Pollsters: Who’s Right?

    And scientists, according to the participants in the Gallup poll, aren’t too sure themselves.

    But that’s contrary to one major study at the University of Illinois at Chicago. That study surveyed 3,146 earth scientists around the world and found overwhelming agreement that the world has been warming over the past 200 years (90 percent) and human activities are a significant factor (82 percent.) Significantly, this survey involved scientists who are closest to the issue. Climate scientists were almost universal (97 percent) in their belief that humans are largely to blame. Meteorologists, who deal primarily with near-term weather conditions, were less convinced (64 percent.) Climate scientists focus on long-term changes, like global climate change, leading Peter Doran, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at Illinois, to conclude:

    “The take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.”

    Emphasis added.

    NB the use of the words “belief” and “believe in”! Speaks volumes to me.

    Paul


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    BLouis79

    @RW #517 “I agree the Emperor of CAGW has no clothes, but it’s not because the GHE violates the 2nd law.”

    Semantically I could agree. Nothing much can break the laws of thermodynamics in reality. So yes the GHE cannot possibly violate the second law. The radiative GHE does not exist. Backradiation photons are measurable but result in zero net heat transfer up a thermal gradient. Other atmospheric gases heated by CO2 molecules rapidly convect to altitude in accordance with the lapse rate (just ask any bird or glider pilot how important thermals are).

    Still waiting for a prediction on how much absorption/scattering/backradiation one could measure from an incident IR laser passed through any percentage of CO2 gas (from 100% to 0.3%) as predicted by the laws of physics.

    If one wants to do some unscientific experiments. An IR thermometer pointed at a gas burner 1m away laterally detects 270degC. My hand detects no heat at 1m from presumably radiation detectable and measurable by the IR thermometer. My hand detects uncomfortable heat laterally at about 3cm from the flame. My hand detects uncomfortable heat 20cm over the bioling water in the pot. I get the distinct impression that as a heat energy transport mechanism, convection >> conduction >> radiation.


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    Smoking Frog

    Paul:

    [Smoking Frog] Even without the greenhouse effect, I don’t think the average temperature would be -18 C. That’s because the earth is rotating, and power is not proportional to temperature. However, this doesn’t contradict the attribution of 33 C. to the greenhouse effect, …

    [Paul] That is totally illogical. You can’t attribute a false figure to anything without the attribution being false also. So why try to defend the indefensible?

    Sorry, I was unclear. L.J. Ryan contends that if the sun supplies 240 w/m^2, the temperature at the surface can’t be greater than -18 C. or whatever the 240 w/m^2 dictates, but he misunderstands the 240 w/m^2. The sun supplies 1366 w/m^2 at top of atmosphere, not 240 w/m^2. The 240 w/m^2 is what’s absorbed at top of atmosphere (or something like that). The rest of it goes deeper. So I meant to say that the temperature at the surface of the earth is necessarily greater than the temperature calculated from 240 w/m^2, and this is not contradicted by whatever low temperature would result from 240 w/m^2 at the surface. It so happens that I don’t see that it would be -18 C. – I think it would be some other low temperature – but that’s beside the point.


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    Smoking Frog

    L.J. Ryan

    [Smoking Frog] Even without the greenhouse effect, I don’t think the average temperature would be -18 C. That’s because the earth is rotating, and power is not proportional to temperature. However, this doesn’t contradict the attribution of 33 C. to the greenhouse effect, because the 240 w/m^2 is at top of atmosphere, while the 15 C. and the -18 C are at the surface.

    [L.J. Ryan] I’m not sure what your saying…but 240 W/m^2 is radiation incident of earths surface.

    Your confusion is because I failed to state explicitly that that you misunderstand the 240 w/m^2. The sun delivers 1366 w/m^2 at top of atmosphere and roughly 1000 w/m^2 at the earth’s surface (when the sun is directly overhead). The 240 w/m^2 is what’s absorbed at top of atmosphere (or something like that). The rest of it goes deeper. Even if the Greenhouse Effect were fictitious, the temperature at the earth’s surface would be greater than whatever 240 w/m^2 would get you.

    [Smoking Frog] Don’t you agree that the exterior of the thermos bottle radiates less per cm^2 than the (all around) surface of the hot liquid radiates per cm^2?

    [L.J. Ryan] Yes the outer surface of a thermos does radiate less then the contents therein. That, however, does not mean the contents increase in temperature the longer enclosed in the thermos. GHG physics will have you believe the contents heat itself. Try this Smoking Frog, place an illuminate chrome flashlight in your thermos, at what point do you have a megawatt therein? Don’t dismiss analogy…GHG physics would have you believe light increases it’s energy by re-radiation and reflection.

    I don’t claim that it means that, and neither does “GHG physics.” You are missing the claim that the temperature in the absence of the Greenhouse Effect would be lower than whatever you calculate for X watts per square meter. In other words, you’re treating this as if it started out at the maximum possible, and “GHG physics” said it could go higher than that. It doesn’t say that.


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    A free-flowing liquid or gas cannot produce an insulating/”greenhouse” effect. The truth, as we all know, is the exact opposite. Free-flowing liquids and gases produce a net cooling effect.

    Insulation is the prevention of conduction, convection and/or radiation. CO2 does not prevent any of these three modes of energy flow. Therefore CO2 cannot produce an insulating/”greenhouse” effect.

    That in a nut shell, is the end of the matter. Or at least should be and indeed would be, if not for those who continue to repeat the meme that goes, “there is no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that it causes warming.”

    It is becoming more and more obvious that those who continue to repeat this mantra are the “self appointed” AGW sceptics who assume the mantle of spokes-person for those of us who are still in possession of reasoned logical thought.

    These key figures in the “sceptic” camp are notable for one thing above all else. The more prominent they are, the louder their proclamation of the existence of the “greenhouse effect” fallacy. Lord Chris Monckton being the prime example here for the purpose of demonstration.

    Such people are the true enablers of AGW fraud. It is they who have kept this debate going when it should have been well and truly laid to rest by now. These people are the gatekeepers of AGW fraud.

    Their last line of defence is an appeal to the authority of John Tyndall. From Tyndall’s “Contribution to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat” we find a statement quoted almost verbatim by such self appointed “sceptics” on this thread.

    Quote:

    As a dam built across a river causes local deepening of the stream, so our atmosphere, thrown as a barrier across the terrestrial rays, produces a local heightening of the temperature at the earth’s surface. This, of course, does not imply indefinite accumulation, any more than the river dam does, the quantity lost by terrestrial radiation being, equal to the quantity received from the sun. The chief intercepting substance is the aqueous vapour of the atmosphere,* the oxygen and nitrogen of which the great mass of the atmosphere is composed being sensibly transparent to the calorific rays. Were the atmosphere cleansed of its vapour, the temperature of space would directly upon us; and could we under present circumstances reach an elevation where the amount of that vapour is insensible, we might determine the temperature of space by direct experiment.

    To anyone who has bothered to actually research and understand Tyndall’s work regarding “Radiant Heat” it is obvious that his experiments did not and could not distinguish between absorption and scattering/reflection.

    At no stage in any of the experiments now referenced by such appeals to authority as, “150 year old established science” and “no one doubts that CO2 is a greenhouse gas”, does Tyndall ever attempt to establish let alone even measure an increase in temperature in any of the particular gasses under examination. He simply claims that the energy missing between the source and the pile must have been absorbed by the gas in question and therefore assumes/implies, this will cause the gas, through which the energy is being directed, to increase in temperature.

    Since it is now well understood in physics that photon absorption and re-emission by molecules does not necessarily equate to an increase in temperature, as in the case of reflection for example, perhaps finally it might be a prudent move to revisit John Tyndall’s “Contribution to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat” to ascertain exactly why, though the “greenhouse effect is well established 150 year old physics, no one has ever been able to physically demonstrated the warming effect of CO2.


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    Will Pratt @ 523,

    The reason the belief still exists in spite of a total failure to demonstrate the so called heating effect of CO2 is similar to the reason for the continued belief in god or gods in spite of a million plus years of total failure to demonstrate their existence.

    They believe “it” (an unidentified, undefined, and unexamined it) has to be “something” (an unidentified, undefined, and unexamined something) and the only thing they can think of that could cause “it” is CO2, god, or other substance with totally magical and mystical properties. After which, they expect all discussion or disagreement to stop – as in “the science is settled” or “god said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” The bottom line is they believe BECAUSE they don’t know and don’t want anyone else to discover that fact. Ignorance is the real thing they worship above all else.

    Some of us, on the other hand, are more than willing to admit we don’t know. We are willing to look at and for evidence to correct our ignorance. We are not satisfied with anything less than actually knowing and being able to provide an unambiguous demonstration of what we do know.

    Ignorance is not something to be worshiped. It is something to be fought as if our lives depend upon it BECAUSE it does. Then, if after a long, earnest effort we find no evidence, we drop the pretense, refuse to believe, clearly state “it” doesn’t exist. We then move on to things far more relevant to living life on earth.


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    Paul

    I must confess that I have been holding onto an erroneous understanding, in part, of the way that a mixture of gasses, including CO2, behaves in the presence of long-wave EM radiation. I was under the impression that some of that energy would be converted into heat.

    Last night I read a paper that puts it into a different perspective, contrary to that which I had been led to believe, showing that none of that radiation is converted into heat in the process. Instead, whenever a molecule of CO2 is energised by absorption of a photon another molecule of CO2 will be energised to emit a photon, keeping the energy state of the pocket of air equivalent.

    If this is the case then the ability of the atmosphere to absorb heat from this process is not even negligible, it is nil. And the passage of energy through the atmosphere by way of radiation cannot be impeded.

    CO2 heats the atmosphere…a counter view

    Again in simple words , it means that if the process (2) happens then the time symmetrical process , namely CO2 + N2⁺ → CO2* + N2 , happens too . Indeed this time reversed process where fast (e.g hot) N2 molecules slow down and excite vibrationally CO2 molecules is what makes an N2/CO2 laser work. Therefore the right way to write the process (2) is the following .

    CO2* + N2 ↔ CO2 + N2⁺ (3)

    Where the use of the double arrow ↔ instad of the simple arrow → is telling us that this process goes in both directions . Now the most important question is “What are the rates of the → and the ← processes ?”

    The LTE conditions with the energy equipartition law give immediately the answer : “These rates are exactly equal .” This means that for every collision where a vibrationally excited CO2* transfers energy to N2 , there is a collision where N2⁺ transfers the same energy to CO2 and excites it vibrationally . There is no net energy transfer from CO2 to N2 through the vibration-translation interaction .

    The fact that it has taken me years of research on this topic to find out such fundamental facts is illustrative of the fact that we have been exposed to an enormous amount of propaganda with an information content of zero!

    It also illustrates why the scientific method is based on actual experiments, not just thought-experiments or models which we have made to approximate reality, due to the propensity we all have to deceive ourselves.

    Paul


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    Paul

    Smoking Frog: @521
    May 22nd, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Sorry, I was unclear. L.J. Ryan contends that if the sun supplies 240 w/m^2, the temperature at the surface can’t be greater than -18 C. or whatever the 240 w/m^2 dictates, but he misunderstands the 240 w/m^2. The sun supplies 1366 w/m^2 at top of atmosphere, not 240 w/m^2. The 240 w/m^2 is what’s absorbed at top of atmosphere (or something like that). The rest of it goes deeper. So I meant to say that the temperature at the surface of the earth is necessarily greater than the temperature calculated from 240 w/m^2, and this is not contradicted by whatever low temperature would result from 240 w/m^2 at the surface. It so happens that I don’t see that it would be -18 C. – I think it would be some other low temperature – but that’

    It would help if you could make your facts/assumptions clear.

    My understanding of the figure of 240 w/m^2 is that it is calculated from the ‘average’ insolation received on the surface of the exposed hemisphere of planet-earth at the ‘average’ distance of earth from the sun which is radiating at an ‘average’ surface temperature of 5,500 C. This total ‘average’ insolation is then reduced by the ‘average’ albedo of the earth-atmosphere system to arrive at a calculated ‘average’ of insolation received, and not reflected, at the surface of the earth.

    The calculated figure of theoretical, surface insolation is then divided by four to represent a flat disk, with a surface area the equivalent of the surface of the globe, being bathed in an equivalent, constant energy flow. This completely ignores the daily rotation of the globe and the effect that this would clearly have on the surface temperatures.

    In other words, there are a slew of assumptions included in that nice round, simple figure of ’240′, enough to require more than simple acceptance of that figure as a ‘given’, in my humble opinion.

    On the other hand, talking about the temperature of a flat disk, so exposed to a quarter of the received energy of the sun per unit of area, calculating the blackbody temperature of this hypothetical entity, comparing this theoretical temperature with the calculated ‘average’ temperature of the near-earth atmosphere and then declaring that the difference represents the warming effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide, amplified by the presence of water vapour [which is somehow controlled by the CO2] and concluding that “we are doomed” because humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere by the use of coal and oil, that I consider to be a nonsense of the highest order.

    Paul


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    Paul,

    …whenever a molecule of CO2 is energised by absorption of a photon another molecule of CO2 will be energised to emit a photon, keeping the energy state of the pocket of air equivalent.

    This is untrue, and the post you linked to is grossly flawed.

    The equipartition of energy is not an ironclad law, but rather a statistical truism. Given a large enough volume of molecules in an isolated system, the net interactions will tend towards an equilibrium state where energy is distributed evenly.

    This is not a law of quantum mechanics which invokes some sort of “action at a distance,” which when you think about it is rather fanciful and magical. Every time one CO2 molecule absorbs, another emits? How do the molecules communicate to coordinate this? How do they decide which one must emit? What happens when there’s only one CO2 molecule in the mass, or the very first which doesn’t have a partner with anything to emit? And of course, too, such a law would have to apply to everything, including emissions from O2 and N2. So how does anything ever heat, if every interaction is always perfectly balanced by a perfectly equal and opposite magical action somewhere else?

    No, the equipartiion of energy is a statistical truism which diverges from the expected when the volume of molecules becomes small enough (as happens with all statistics).


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    BLouis79

    Gas absorption of IR in a tall enough enclosure to permit development of a thermal gradient should be measurable in the laboratory. Surely someone somewhere has done this before?????

    Simply, one would think that if IR passed through an apparently IR transparent gas, then no heating would arise. Passing IR through an IR absorbing gas should be hypothesized to create a thermal gradient – warmer near the IR source and cooler further away. Using a laser should eliminate the confounding inverse square law.


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    Paul

    No, the equipartiion of energy is a statistical truism which diverges from the expected when the volume of molecules becomes small enough (as happens with all statistics).

    And I suppose that when you have two or three molecules in an enclosed space there is a finite but very small probability that they may momentarily end up all in close proximity. However by the time you have added sufficient molecules to represent a measurable quantity of gas the law of large numbers will have kicked in and the probability of all the molecules gravitating to one side of the enclosure is so small as to be discarded. We are, after all, talking not about the behaviour of a few molecules in a vacuum, but about their behaviour in our atmosphere.

    As I mentioned earlier, if you toss a coin once, you may have either a head or a tail, each of which has a probability of 0.5. If you toss it twice you can have either HH, HT, TH or TT, each of which has a probability of 0.25. Hence the probability of two heads or two tails are at the extreme with probability of 0.25 each, with HT and TH being equivalent and having a combined probability of 0.5. By the time the number of throws becomes a large number, the distribution of results conforms to a normal distribution, with values approaching equal numbers of heads and tails predominating, with skewed results becoming the tails, on either side, with probabilities quickly approaching zero.

    Hence, in the macro-world of the earth’s climate, it is not logical to talk about events, with statistical probabilities as near to zero as can be imagined, occurring. No, the actual state of any body of molecules in a gas will approach to the statistically highest point in the probability distribution and the deviations will get smaller as the size of the body increases. At the global extent the deviation will be vanishingly small and may be discarded. Hence these ‘laws’ hold true for any measurable quantity and can only deviate slightly even for small, unmeasurable numbers of molecules. Arguing from the event of one photon and one collision to a macro-result is not permissible.

    Paul


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    Smoking Frog

    Paul

    It would help if you could make your facts/assumptions clear.

    Yes. It would also help if you’d remember what you yourself previously quoted from me. I said that the earth rotates, but now you purport to teach this to me.

    In the same breath, I said that power is not proportional to temperature. My point with the rotation and the non-proportional relationship is that, contrary to what L.J. Ryan seems to suggest, average temperature cannot be derived from average watts per square meter.

    You say it’s “nonsense” to do some calculations and conclude that we’re doomed. I agree! The fact that I accept the Greenhouse Effect and reject L.J. Ryan’s argument does not mean that I believe in catastrophic global warming or even harmful global warming. I consider it to be unlikely but possible. That’s the best I can do without knowing a lot more science. I could argue that it’s extremely unlikely and almost impossible, but I’d be slinging BS.


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    L.J. Ryan

    Smoking Frog:

    Your confusion is because I failed to state explicitly that that you misunderstand the 240 w/m^2. The sun delivers 1366 w/m^2

    No 1366 W/m^2 (1370) is the solar constant.

    Even if the Greenhouse Effect were fictitious, the temperature at the earth’s surface would be greater than whatever 240 w/m^2 would get you.

    No way. GHG absorbing IR terrestrial radiation only assist in cooling. If CO2 absorbs IR,then non-trace gasses can also transport(conduction-convection-radiation) energy away.

    I contend atmospheric pressure better explains the delta T between 255K (via solar input) and 288K actual temps.


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    BLouis79

    Postma has already explained that the mean temperature of earth from space is -18 degC as predicted. Climate scientists seem to like misapplying the StefanBoltzman law. Incoming radiation hits the earth from outside the clouds with albedo of 0.3, so 30% energy is reflected and doesn’t warm the earth. Outgoing radiation comes from the surface with emissivity of 1.0 near perfect blackbody. If clouds are good at blocking outgoing radiation as incoming, then outgoing radiation should be 0.7 times blackbody emission. Measurements of emissivity from satellites appear to suggest emissivity as low as 0.62 (accuracy and reliability unclear).

    Seeing that land and water absorb heat energy in the sun, and that clouds block both incoming and outgoing radiation, it is perfectly feasible that the “warmer” surface could be created with ZERO greenhouse gases. Clouds are constantly moving and the warmed land and water does not emit spontaneously as it absorbs heat energy. So would anyone dare run a GCM allowing for this effect and a ZERO GHG effect (not counting clouds as gases).

    For a more detailed consideration, see http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/03/total-emissivity-of-the-earth-and-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide/


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    L.J. Ryan

    BLouis79:

    Measurements of emissivity from satellites appear to suggest emissivity as low as 0.62 (accuracy and reliability unclear).

    Emissivity of what? And how is it “measured”? Not measured, but calculated and calculated incorrectly by GHG physics enthusiasts…the point Nasif S. Nahle explaining.

    AGWers use effective emissivity as to obfuscate the physics. Simply rearrange

    P=εσT^4 to solve for ε.

    ε=P/(σT^4)

    P = 240 W/m^2 TOA outgoing
    T= 288K surface temp

    run the numbers…ε=~.62

    So the “science” then contorts itself trying to find measurements justifying the calculations…thus satellites accuracy and reliability are unclear.


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    KR

    L.J. Ryan @ 533

    How does one measure effective emissivity of the Earth’s surface to space?

    * Start with the measured temperature of the Earth’s surface – lots of data for that, an average of ~14C.

    * Calculate the Stefan-Bolzman black-body radiation for 14C, which is ~390 W/m^2 or so.

    * Measure the spectra of IR radiation from the Earth’s surface, integrate to find the power emitted, which is ~240 W/m^2.

    * 240 / 390 = ~0.61 to 0.62.

    Alternatively, you can model the atmosphere using known distributions of CO2, water vapor, observed cloud levels, etc., using line-by-line modelling, and once again get a value of 0.62. The fact that these match is an excellent support for the atmospheric models.

    It’s really not hard, L.J., and the accusations of obfuscation and data distortion (aka Ad hominem fallacies) do not present a convincing case on your part.


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    BLouis79

    @KR #534… is exactly the kind of apples to oranges problem I have noticed. Postma says we measure Stefan Boltzman radiation from space, which gives the effective emission temperature, of -18 degrees (as predicted). Climate scientists agree with the method and formula and calculation, using albedo of 0.3 and solar irradiance. No problem so far. Except that the absorption is the “blackbody spectrum at 30% reflectance”.

    Then when climate scientists want to figure out radiation emission, they use the blackbody surface inside the clouds, not atmosphere as seen from space, which from an emission perspective should be a greybody as all that infrared is claimed to be absorbed by the CO2.

    Now given the effective Stefan Boltzman radiator in equilibrium with the sun is the atmosphere visible from space (or perhaps the atmosphere visible from space with an IR camera if one assumes zero visible light emission), then it follows that the surface of earth must be warm enough to emit more radiation that is blocked by clouds on the way out but the outgoing radiation as measured must still be correct. An AGW anti-G&T physicist agreed that this was the “greenhouse effect”. That doesn’t sound anything like a greenhouse and doesn’t even need greenhouse gases to operate as described, only clouds to block outgoing radiation from patches of earth/water warmed by the sun as earth rotates and clouds move about.


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    KR

    BLouis79 @ 535

    The statement “blackbody spectrum at 30% reflectance” doesn’t make much sense. Blackbody (and graybody) emission is just that – emission, not reflectance.

    The effective emission temperature from space is not -18C; it is a very different, notched, emission spectra (much less efficient than a blackbody) with a power equivalent to a blackbody at -18C. Please look at my post @348, where I note the temperature required to emit 240 W/m^2 for various emissivities.

    Glass greenhouses reduce heat loss by blocking convection and reducing conduction. The radiative greenhouse effect of the atmosphere reduces radiation to space. Not just clouds, mind you (although they do have an effect) – water vapor and CO2 alone reduce radiation to space. In both cases, given a relatively fixed input energy and reduced efficiency of cooling, energy accumulates until the area inside the ‘greenhouse’ is hot enough to dump an energy equal to the incoming.


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    BLouis79

    @KR #536 “blackbody spectrum at 30% reflectance” doesn’t make much sense

    Blackbody spectrum is blackbody spectrum. Greybody spectrum is something else. Earth is absorbing blackbody radiation from the sun with 30% reflected and 70% absorbed. If the emission spectrum of earth from space is a greybody spectrum with a power equivalent to a blackbody at -18deg – either way we are comparing apple to apples – absorption by earth’s atmosphere interface in thermal radiative equilibrium with emission by earth’s atmosphere interface.

    One can’t say equilibrium occurs at two different places – absorption as seen from space and emission as seen from under the clouds.

    There is a case for earth (land and water) acting as a heat sink when in the sun (fine daytime) and a heat source when not in the sun (cloudy or night) and clouds blocking both absorption in the sun and emission at any time clouds are overhead. There is no case for a radiative “greenhouse” by “insulation” or “backradiation”.


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    L.J. Ryan

    KR 534

    * Measure the spectra of IR radiation from the Earth’s surface, integrate to find the power emitted, which is ~240 W/m^2.

    1)Does the atmosphere absorb IR?

    2)Does the atmosphere radiated IR isotropically?


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    BobC

    KR:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:23 am

    How does one measure effective emissivity of the Earth’s surface to space?

    The problem with calculating things like climate sensitivity from radiation calculations, estimates of the Earth’s emissivity, assumptions about clouds, water vapor etc. is that there are too many places that one can leave something out, put something wrong in, or just get the physics skewed a little.

    If you want to know what the Earth’s surface response is to increased energy input (whether from the Sun, or the radiative greenhouse effect, there is no better way to do it than by actual measurements. Sherwood Idso has done just that.

    His results indicate that the Climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 should be about 0.5 deg C. That this is a measurement, not a calculation, means that it includes all the known and unknown effects that are operating. As such, it is, to my mind, much more believable than any amount of theoretic calculations. I’m sympathetic with Paul here.


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    KR

    BobC @ 539

    0.5°C?

    Craig Idso has done some interesting things – I don’t know that I would call many of them “science”. And yes, I’ve read a number of his works.

    Here’s a link discussing multiple measures of climate sensitivity. These come from about nine (9) different approaches – paleo evidence, some climate models , responses to recent volcanic eruptions, responses to the 11 year solar cycle, etc. The result is a range of 2-4.5°C for a doubling of CO2, most likely around ~3°C. About half the methods are model based, the other half are based on observations.

    Lindzen calculated (in a number of later debunked papers) that the sensitivity was ~1°C. That’s one of the lowest sensitivities that has been taken seriously, and multiple faults were found in his methodology. A sensitivity of 0.5°C really doesn’t match the evidence.


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    KR

    BLouis79 @ 537

    One can’t say equilibrium occurs at two different places – absorption as seen from space and emission as seen from under the clouds.

    Bullpucky. If the border conditions (the amount of energy entering and leaving) the surface and the top of the atmosphere sum to zero, you can certainly have different temperatures – shaped by the differing conditions in the two locations. All that is required to satisfy thermodynamics is that input = output at equilibrium. And if both locations aren’t at equilibrium, the entire system is off equilibrium, and will change until that condition is met.

    Different locations, different conditions, different temperatures – equal amounts of energy entering and leaving each location. See Trenberth 2009, and add up the inputs and outputs at every level (atmosphere, ground, sun, space). They all add up to zero – equilibrium.


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    KR

    L.J. Ryan @ 538

    Please see post @280 on the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” thread.

    BLouis79 – Likewise.


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    L.J. Ryan

    KR 541

    All that is required to satisfy thermodynamics is that input = output at equilibrium. And if both locations aren’t at equilibrium, the entire system is off equilibrium, and will change until that condition is met.

    Equilibrium is achieved when the surface is radiating 240 W/m^2…entropy increasing. Forcing energy to 390 W/m^2…entropy decreases.


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    L.J. Ryan

    KR 542

    Your post 280 does not answer my questions:

    1)Does the atmosphere absorb IR?

    2)Does the atmosphere radiated IR isotropically?

    I assume yes for 1 and 2.

    3)What is the flux radiated by the atmosphere?


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    co2isnotevil

    Some may be confused by thinking there’s an energy balance difference between an emissivity quantifying uniform attenuation across an emitted spectrum and the planet’s system of warm surface power selectively replaced with cold cloud power, all spectrally filtered by the atmosphere. The math and physics tells us that the later has an equivalence with the former and that given a complex system like the planet, there exists many equivalent systems conforming to the same physical laws, many of which may be simpler. An equivalent system is one whose behavior at the inputs and outputs is indistinguishable from the other. For example, an electrical circuit comprised of 10 strings of ten 10 ohm resistors in parallel has an equivalent representation as a single 10 ohm resistor. This works for both electrical and climate circuits because of conservation laws and that the behavior of both can be quantified by energy fluxes.

    For the planets energy circuit, the simplest equivalent is an emissivity and equivalent temperature, which when assuming the equivalent temperature is that of the surface, you get an emissivity of about 0.62. This includes atmospheric absorption and the effects of the clouds covering 2/3 of the planet.

    A more precise equation is Po = Ae*(Sp*(1-p) + Cp*p), where Po is the power emitted by the planet, Sp and Cp are the power emitted by the surface and clouds, as calculated with SB applied to surface and cloud top temperatures, p is the fraction of the surface covered by clouds and Ae is the fraction of emitted power that escapes the planet after accounting for net atmospheric absorption.

    The ISCCP satellite data tells us that p is 0.66, Sp is about 388 W/m^2 (287.7K) and Cp is about 267 W/m^2 @ 262K. Given that Po must be 240 W/m^2 @ 255K per the solar input and average albedo, we can calculate Ae, which is the component of the emissivity dependent exclusively on GHG absorption, and whose value is 0.78. Warmists don’t like to quote this value because it implies that only 22% of the emitted surface power is retained by all GHG’s, including water vapor. Even the simplified emissivity of 0.62 implies that only 38% of the power that leaves the surface returns to heat the planet, which is still less than CAGW requires. In fact, the 38% value is correct and can be cross checked by adding 38% of the power emitted by the surface to the post albedo 240 W/m^2 arriving and it should be equal to the power leaving the surface.


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    L.J. Ryan

    co2isnotevil: 545

    For example, an electrical circuit comprised of 10 strings of ten 10 ohm resistors in parallel has an equivalent representation as a single 10 ohm resistor.

    Check your math, parallel resistance is added reciprocally 1/Rt = 1/R1 + 1/R2…1/R10= 10(.1)=1

    Rt=1

    Parallel voltage is as you described.


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    Matt b

    LJ Ryan… ten strings in parallel, with each string consisting of ten x 10 ohm resistors (in series). So that’s 10 x 100 ohm resistors in Parallel = 10 ohm.

    You’ve calculated for ten x 10 ohm resistors in parralel.


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    Smoking Frog

    L.J. Ryan.

    [Smoking Frog] Your confusion is because I failed to state explicitly that that you misunderstand the 240 w/m^2. The sun delivers 1366 w/m^2

    [L.J. Ryan] No 1366 W/m^2 (1370) is the solar constant.

    Sure. It’s what the sun delivers at the top of the atmosphere. You’re discounting for albedo and averaging over the entire sphere of the earth, so you get 240 w/m^2, but I’m saying that the -18 C. that we get from applying Stefan-Boltzmann to it is incorrect, because the night side temperature is not absolute zero, and the 4th root of an average is not the average of 4th roots. I know they say it would be -18 C. without the GHE, so probably I’m wrong, but I don’t see how.


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    co2isnotevil

    LJ,

    See how easy it is to misinterpret a problem when there’s only a little complexity? What do you think happens with the ability to parse a problem when the explanation of the system is more complicated than 10 strings of ten 10 ohm resistors in parallel? Don’t feel too bad since I choose the wording of that sentence carefully so that it was unambiguously precise, yet subject to misinterpretation if you’re not paying attention. You should be used to this as CAGW biased climate scientists must do this all the time when they try to explain the science without blatantly destroying their pet hypothesis in the process.

    George


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    Mark D.

    LJ Ryan @ 246, the full quote of George @ 545 is:

    For example, an electrical circuit comprised of 10 strings of ten 10 ohm resistors in parallel has an equivalent representation as a single 10 ohm resistor.

    Ten strings of 10 ohm (series 100ohms ) resistors in parallel In other words ten strings of ten in series, then connected in parallel.

    I’m rather certain that George knows Ohms law to this degree…..


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    L.J. Ryan

    co2isnotevil: 549

    Got it George. Sorry for misread and my subsequent correction error of post 546.


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    BobC

    KR (@540):

    Here’s a link discussing multiple measures of climate sensitivity. These come from about nine (9) different approaches – paleo evidence, some climate models , responses to recent volcanic eruptions, responses to the 11 year solar cycle, etc. The result is a range of 2-4.5°C for a doubling of CO2, most likely around ~3°C. About half the methods are model based, the other half are based on observations.

    The problem with sensitivity calculations that are supposedly “based on observations” is that many of them make unjustified assumptions. For example, Hansen’s calculations based on observations take the paleo-temperatures, compare the paleo records of GHGs and assume that the GHG concentrations are responsible for the temperatures (rather than the other way around, for example). This gives him the high value he wants, but is not very believable.

    While some of Idso’s calculations rely on assumptions, others are as simple as comparing the change of solar energy in vs. the surface temperature response. The arguments that you see in, for instance, RealClimate that these straight-forward measurements don’t actually give you the system response are themselves based on assumptions (many hidden) that are specific to the CAGW faith.

    The whole AGW-government loop is based on ignoring measurements (which can be contrary) and depending instead on easily molded models of reality.

    Susan Soloman’s oft-quoted paper of a few years ago “proving” that anthropogenic CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for “1000s of years” is a case in point: Soloman exclusively referenced other CO2 cycle model papers, and completely ignored the dozens of actual measurements of CO2 lifetimes which have gotten lifetimes from 5 – 15 years.


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    Hans

    This is another thread on the imaginary ‘Second Law of net heat flow’. In attempts to prove that the Second Law doesn’t contradict with GHG theory, the Second Law itself gets amputated by insisting that it must apply to ‘net heat’. Strangely Michael and Jo think this altering of the Second Law can be justified to fit GHG theory. 150 years long scientist were stupid not to see that the Second Law only applies to a net flow.

    At reply #33
    michael hammer:
    May 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    “comment 20 GorkMork you say

    Your third line implies that radiation does not occur and is rubbish. An object in a vacuum can lose heat very rapidly through radiation.”

    This is most crucial in this whole debate, the misinterpretation of heat.
    An object in a vacuum cannot lose heat, it loses energy through radiation. Heat is energy in transfer and never stored, heat itself is not a variable of the object. Heat is energy in transfer between objects.

    As for Jo’s statement “The photons go both ways (actually every way, in 3D). There are more coming from the 11°C block to the 10°C block, sure, but the the 10°C block is sending ‘em back to the 11°C block too. So heat is flowing from cold to hot. It happens all the time.”

    Heat is flowing? No, only radiation might be flowing and this doesn’t make the object gain energy to raise it’s temperature because the gradient is negative (in delta T).

    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.

    Michael and Jo, you both see radiant energy being the same as heat while it is not. This is the reason the Second Law does not fit in your reasoning and the imaginary ‘Second Law of net energy’ emerges.

    It is of course absurd that after 150 years of knowledge and usage of the Second Law in thermodynamics, to say now that it has always been interpreted and used incorrectly and it only applies to “net flows of heat”?
    The net flow is the heat, and the rest is just radiation.

    Now put one and one together and you’ll see that the real Second Law is correct as stated with the use of real heat (forget radiation) as it is meant. In a system both photons and molecules move in all directions back and forth all the time but there is only one direction of heat transfer. So indeed on average no heat (just radiation) flows from the atmosphere to the surface, because the gradient is negative and the surface temperature will not rise.


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    BLouis79

    (sorry mucked up the formatting – Jo could you delete the last one)

    Here’s a link to a paper by Shaviv showing why climate sensitivity is probably low CO2 doubling sensitivity of 1.3+/-0.4 degK and seems quite historically reliable after accounting for cosmic ray flux. http://www.sciencebits.com/OnClimateSensitivity However, even good statistical correlation doesn’t demonstrate causation.

    Please, surely someone has somewhere done an experiment demonstrating that CO2 *can* cause quantifiable warming and present a sound theoretical justification for the observation. I suspect we have more evidence that warming liberates CO2 from the oceans. Anyone who drinks fizzy drinks knows the phenomenon.


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    KR

    BobC @ 552

    The problem with sensitivity calculations that are supposedly “based on observations” is that many of them make unjustified assumptions. For example, Hansen’s calculations based on observations take the paleo-temperatures, compare the paleo records of GHGs and assume that the GHG concentrations are responsible for the temperatures (rather than the other way around, for example). This gives him the high value he wants, but is not very believable.

    Actually, Hansen’s calculations in that paper are based upon known variations in insolation due to Milankovitch cycles (the “forcing”), and the climate sensitivity is calculated based upon the total change in temperature caused by that forcing. As paleo evidence, this includes short term and long term feedback, and is a pretty strong result.

    The GHG records (where CO2 clearly acts as a feedback, lagging initial temperature changes by ~800 years in the rising part of the cycle) are definitely part of the story, as the temperature changes for just the Milankovitch forcings alone would only be a degree or two, not the 5-6C change seen in the records.

    As a feedback, CO2 (and H2O) is a response to the temperature and partially responsible for amplifying the changes. Along with albedo changes, vegetation, etc. – all the feedbacks.

    Now, of course, we’re changing CO2 independently of temperature, making it a forcing, rather than a feedback.

    The Ad hominem remark about “the high value he wants” is, IMO, neither justifiable nor adds anything to the discussion.


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    RW

    KR (RE: 555),

    Actually, Hansen’s calculations in that paper are based upon known variations in insolation due to Milankovitch cycles (the “forcing”), and the climate sensitivity is calculated based upon the total change in temperature caused by that forcing. As paleo evidence, this includes short term and long term feedback, and is a pretty strong result.

    Is this the one where they calculate that an increase in insolation of about 7 W/m^2 turns into about a 5 C rise (from glacial to interglacial), which is proportional to about a 3 C rise from the 3.7 W/m^2 from 2xCO2?

    I think I’ve seen this before. It’s highly misleading and flawed because it ignores the large change in the distribution of the insolation and tries to equate the positive feedback effect from melting ice from maximum ice to that of minimum ice, where the climate is now.


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    RW

    co2isnotevil (RE: 281)

    The law that’s broken by ‘consensus’ climate science is Conservation of Energy, not the second Law. This breaks because the 3.7 W/m^2 of incremental forcing is turned into 16 W/m^2 of incrementally emitted surface power (corresponding to a 3C rise). The ‘positive feedback’ explanation for this is what breaks Conservation. There are only 2 ways that extra energy (the 12.3 W/m^2 in excess of 3.7 W/m^2) can be emitted by the surface. First is if the Sun emits 12.3/.7 more power (.7 is 1 minus the average albedo), second is if the albedo decreases by enough to let 12.7 W/m^2 more power enter the system. On average, the planet reflects about 102 W/m^2. For it to reflect 12.7 W/m^2 less, the albedo must be reduced by 12.5%.

    The 2 mechanisms warmists cite as the source of this energy is either decreased ice causing decreased reflection or water vapor ‘feedback’. First, even if all the ice on the planet melted, the reflectivity would not decrease by enough for this much effect and second, to achieve this much incremental H2O absorption would require increasing the average water content by more than a factor of 2. Neither of these is consistent with observations or theory.”

    Also, it seems even by the warmers’ own numbers there’s been no decrease in the albedo over the satellite record and the ISCCP surface albedo shows no trend over the 1983-2008 data set.

    I see what you mean. It certainly does beg the simple question of where the energy is coming from.


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    co2isnotevil

    KR,

    Hansen also incorrectly treats the change in surface reflectivity owning to glacial ice. During ice ages, the average reflectivity is much higher owing to the ice extending well into the lower latitudes, even during the summer. This further reduces the power received by the planet and amplifies cooling. Instead, he calls this effect ‘feedback’, which he also assumes is only a feedback relative to warming caused by increased CO2 and not warming caused by increased solar power or changing orbital characteristics. As RW points out, he also neglects the relative asymmetry between the N hemisphere and the S hemisphere which amplifies the differences between perihelion and aphelion and increases the effective change in solar insolation. Hansen also ignores the change in the system’s net response that occurs as the Earth’s axis tilts. When the tilt is greatest, a larger portion of the poles is subject to wider insolation variability, seasonal differences are much larger and perihelion differences have a larger effect. There’s a good reason why the ice core temperature reconstructions shows a very strong correlation to the change in the Earth’s axis with a period of about 45K years. Look at this plot of ice core temperatures along with Earth axis and orbital variability.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/domec/orbit.png

    It’s a necessary, but not sufficient, condition that the Earth’s axis to be near its minimum for an ice age to occur and for an interglacial to occur, the Earth’s axis must be near it’s maximum. This signal is so strong it should be used to adjust the time line, as the temporal accuracy of DomeC and Vostok gets much worse the further back in time we go. Note that the temperature data has been smoothed to 22K years to cancel out the perihelion/aphelion signal, which is also quite strong and acts to amplify or attenuate the axial tilt signal, where the coldest glacial and warmist interglacial periods are highly correlated to the relative phase of these 2 signals.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/domec/orbit1.png

    In this plot, it’s clear we’ve always been in a 45K year glaciation cycle, except that the last 2 were suppressed by the relative phase between the precession of perihelion and the axial tilt. This pattern continues through the entire DomeC record as well, going back about 800K years.


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    BLouis79

    Help!

    I’m still looking for experimental verification of the “greenhouse” effect. Then I found this http://fgservices1947.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-greenhouse-gas/ quoting Professor Gert Venter:

    My experiments show that INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS CORRELLATED WITH A DECREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE in my agricultural environments.


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    Baa Humbug

    BLouis79: #559
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Professor Gert Venter: My experiments show that INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS CORRELLATED WITH A DECREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE in my agricultural environments

    That’s exactly what THE NET EFFECT of GHGs are, cooling.


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    BobC

    KR (@555):
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Actually, Hansen’s calculations in that paper are based upon known variations in insolation due to Milankovitch cycles (the “forcing”), and the climate sensitivity is calculated based upon the total change in temperature caused by that forcing. As paleo evidence, this includes short term and long term feedback, and is a pretty strong result.

    Assuming that Milankovitch cycles are the sole forcing is exactly the kind of unprovable assumptions I’m talking about.

    The GHG records (where CO2 clearly acts as a feedback, lagging initial temperature changes by ~800 years in the rising part of the cycle) are definitely part of the story, as the temperature changes for just the Milankovitch forcings alone would only be a degree or two, not the 5-6C change seen in the records.

    Again, a tissue of assumptions, justified only by the desire to indict CO2. Many people might look at the 800 year lag and conclude that CO2 is a consequence of higher temperatures, not construct an elaborate model that makes them the cause. How is this positive feedback supposed to be constrained to avoid thermal runaway?

    As a feedback, CO2 (and H2O) is a response to the temperature and partially responsible for amplifying the changes. Along with albedo changes, vegetation, etc. – all the feedbacks.

    Exactly — all the unknown feedbacks, which empirical evidence (as well as theoretical considerations) show have a net negative effect.

    Now, of course, we’re changing CO2 independently of temperature, making it a forcing, rather than a feedback.

    Agreed. The paleo evidence, however, suggests that it is a rather wimpy forcing (compared to the unknown ones), as temperatures have plummeted while CO2 levels remained high.

    The Ad hominem remark about “the high value he wants” is, IMO, neither justifiable nor adds anything to the discussion.

    I’ll give you that. I’ll try to keep it factual. (It is, however, impossible to observe Hansen’s behavior for long and avoid concluding that he is willing to go beyond logical argument himself to promote his cause.)


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    BobC

    KR:
    If you are going to chide me for snarky comments, you should try to tone them down yourself.

    KR (@540):
    May 24th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Craig Idso has done some interesting things – I don’t know that I would call many of them “science”.


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    KR

    BobC @ 561

    KR (@555):
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Actually, Hansen’s calculations in that paper are based upon known variations in insolation due to Milankovitch cycles (the “forcing”), and the climate sensitivity is calculated based upon the total change in temperature caused by that forcing. As paleo evidence, this includes short term and long term feedback, and is a pretty strong result.

    Assuming that Milankovitch cycles are the sole forcing is exactly the kind of unprovable assumptions I’m talking about.

    You have to work with the evidence available, BobC. We know that there are long term orbital variations, evidence from ice cores indicates that the glacial cycle isn’t driven by insolation changes – the Milankovitch cycles meet the timing and forcings needed to cause the glacial cycle. So – we have a suspect with method and opportunity; do we dismiss that and hunt for another suspect?

    The GHG records (where CO2 clearly acts as a feedback, lagging initial temperature changes by ~800 years in the rising part of the cycle) are definitely part of the story, as the temperature changes for just the Milankovitch forcings alone would only be a degree or two, not the 5-6C change seen in the records.

    Again, a tissue of assumptions, justified only by the desire to indict CO2. Many people might look at the 800 year lag and conclude that CO2 is a consequence of higher temperatures, not construct an elaborate model that makes them the cause. How is this positive feedback supposed to be constrained to avoid thermal runaway?

    Thermal runaway? Please, that cannot happen with a gain < 1.0; diminishing returns sets an upper limit to any amplification. I don't want to side-track on that, see this link for an in-depth discussion on the topic.

    And yes, historically, CO2 increases (and decreases) were a result of temperature change – upon warming, the oceans release CO2 (less soluble at higher temperatures), reverse on cooling.

    BUT – increased CO2 increases the greenhouse effect, warming things further. Warmer air holds more water at the same relative humidity (increased specific humidity), which warms things more. Melting ice lowers the albedo of the poles, increasing sunlight retained. These are feedbacks – if you’ve been doing the electronics you’ve described, you know that feedback amplification cannot be ignored.

    The final temperature changes in the glacial cycles due to Milankovitch forcings give one (of many!) measure of climate sensitivity to forcings. Perhaps that conclusion is inaccurate due to mis-measures or poor assumptions somewhere along the way.

    But please don’t confuse potential uncertainties (stated in Hansen’s paper, I’ll note) with a complete lack of knowledge. That’s the Argument from Uncertainty fallacy, and it is unjustified.


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    co2isnotevil

    KR,

    But please don’t confuse potential uncertainties (stated in Hansen’s paper, I’ll note) with a complete lack of knowledge.

    Please don’t confuse conclusions based on speculative assumptions with those based on facts and supported with logic. The uncertainties in Hansen’s paper (listed and ignored) are so large, that any meaningful conclusion about the forward effect of CO2 on the climate are precluded. The fact that he thinks his work shows that CAGW is important is absurd.


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    KR

    co2isnotevil @ 564

    Hansen listed his uncertainties – that’s how you do science. But claiming that any uncertainty invalidates everything is pure fallacy.

    As I noted earlier, it’s one of about nine different ways that sensitivity has been computed. The majority come in around 3°C temperature change for a doubling of CO2, and if multiple methods reach the same conclusion, it’s a pretty strong conclusion.

    Lindzen’s number (~1°C) is an outlier, and his methods have been widely noted as faulty. Yours (~0.5°C?) is an extreme outlier, and you have been pointed at issues in your derivation before.


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    Brian

    KR “if multiple methods reach the same conclusion, it’s a pretty strong conclusion” You really do science on this basis? Don’t you think it is a political way of thinking?


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    Paul

    Roy Hogue:
    May 22nd, 2011 at 12:10 am

    If I’m even close to a competent observer then it shows me that there’s very little actually (may I say nothing?) nailed down and accepted as “proved” about AGW in accordance with the scientific method of investigation.

    It is tragic that this debate is not happening in the halls of academia and government.

    I have just read a paper that was linked on this site, I think, where the process of the IPCC is demonstrated to be both unscientific and illogical. Which is what you would expect if you begin with the conclusion that you wish to prove and then spend all your effort in trying to convince others of what you believe but can’t really prove about the real world.

    The Principles of Reasoning. Part III: Logic and climatology

    Need for disambiguation

    In reality, the task is not so simple. Ambiguity of reference by terms in the language of climatology to the associated ideas may obscure the truth. Thus, there may be the necessity for disambiguation of this language before the truth is exposed.

    Most of the claims of the IPCC are couched in language that is deliberately chosen so as to lead to one meaning being taken by the policy-makers [and public] while seeming to adhere to the normal requirements of scientific research but not in fact doing so. This deliberate ambiguity lies at the heart of the controversy that is still raging over this issue.

    After systematically removing all the deliberate verbal confusion the article then goes on to examine the IPCC report in each criterion demolishing the IPCC claim to be scientific. Unfortunately I cannot reproduce the table here so you’ll have to go to the URL to see for yourself.

    _______model____________________________________________________modèle

    _______predictive inference_______________________________________NOT predictive inference

    _______predictions_______________________________________________projections

    _______statistical population______________________________________statistical ensemble

    _______statistical validation_______________________________________statistical evaluation

    _______falsifiable claims___________________________________________non-falsifiable claims

    _______satisfies Daubert__________________________________________does not satisfy Daubert

    A remarkable feature of the two lists is that each member of the left-hand list is associated with making a predictive inference while each member of the right-hand list is associated with NOT making a predictive inference. That predictive inferences are made is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the probabilistic logic to come to bear on an inquiry. Thus, I conclude that elements of the left-hand list are traits of an inquiry under a logical methodology while the elements of the right-hand list are traits of an inquiry under an illogical methodology.

    The IPCC report is entirely under the right-hand column, representing an illogical methodology.

    For the benefit of those who mock common sense, it is of note that the IPCC and the grand band of brave ‘scientists’ that support it, are shown to be using ‘heuristics’ to produce ‘modèles’. So these ‘scientists’ are using their ‘common sense’ ideas of how they think things work and basing their ‘modèles’ thereon. But I suppose that because it is scientists that are doing this that makes it legitimate, but for ordinary folks it is not legitimate to apply common sense when evaluating the extravagant claims of the IPCC and their coterie of scientists? “Good for the goose, good for the gander”, I say.

    Paul


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    RW

    KR (RE 565),

    “As I noted earlier, it’s one of about nine different ways that sensitivity has been computed. The majority come in around 3°C temperature change for a doubling of CO2, and if multiple methods reach the same conclusion, it’s a pretty strong conclusion.

    Not if they’re more or less just doing the same things wrong.

    Lindzen’s number (~1°C) is an outlier, and his methods have been widely noted as faulty. Yours (~0.5°C?) is an extreme outlier, and you have been pointed at issues in your derivation before.

    I think co2isnotevil’s method is the most logically sound and probably the most accurate. This is primarily because he makes the fewest assumptions and has kept any heuristics to an absolute bare minimum. It is directly based on the measured response of the climate system to changes in radiative forcing – changes much greater than the measly 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ from 2xCO2.

    Other than the halving of the 3.7 W/m^2, what is your primary objection to his method? I fail to see how the ‘gain’ not being a constant value is an issue, or that the additional 3.7 W/m^2 absorbed by the atmosphere will increase the gain slightly. In fact, that the gain changes as the forcing changes is one of the most crucial aspects of the analysis, because the gain changes in the opposite direction of the temperature changes. BTW, if you didn’t happen to notice, this is the same thing that the results of Lindzen and Choi are showing, yet it’s derived from global data. The biggest criticism of L&C is they were only using the tropics, and since they have corrected all other criticisms in the 2010 revision and still got the same result, what’s the problem?

    I have also noticed that ever since L&C did the revision, it’s gotten very little mention in the pro-AGW press and various pro-AGW sites like Skeptical Science, etc. To me, this is very telling in and of itself.


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    co2isnotevil

    RW,

    Mine certainly is based on global data. The satellite data I use is an aggregation of at least 4 geosynchronous satellites and at least 1 polar orbiter and more often at least 5 geosynchronous and 2 polar orbiters. This results in virtually 100% surface coverage with 3 hour samples going back to 1983. The few times where the coverage is less than this are transient and mostly confined to the poles. I’m not surprised that L&C get the same results for the tropical data they used, since if I constrain my data to the tropics, I see mostly the same results as well. If you look at the hemispheres independently, how the system responds across a wide range of forcing becomes self evident.

    This brings up another second law issue, which is that many warmists think the hemispheres are tightly coupled and respond as a unit to seasonal changes in insolation, rather than independently. The reason they think this is because of the observed, large seasonal changes in the average temperatures of the hemispheres, even including ocean temperatures. If the hemispheres aren’t tightly coupled, the planets thermal mass must respond very quickly to changes in forcing, which is counter to the requirements of CAGW.

    However; the thermal mass must be capable of rapidly adapting to changes in forcing, because very little energy crosses the equator, especially considering how much cross equatorial flux would be required to support the slow response times necessary for CAGW. In both the atmosphere and the oceans, the general circulation patterns run parallel to each other at the equator. This is a consequence of the second law where energy can only flow from hot to cold and the hottest part of the planet circumnavigates the equator.

    What they have wrong is the model for how the ocean stores energy, It’s not the 1 degree C per gram of water in all the oceans. The ocean stores energy as a temperature difference between the deep ocean cold which is thermally connected to the cold at the poles and warmer, equatorial surface waters. The thermocline effectively acts as the dielectric in a thermal capacitor which stores thermal energy in a manner that can be quickly ‘charged’ and ‘discharged’. This effectively isolates all the water below the bottom of the thermocline (most of the oceans) from the thermal mass of the planet.


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    BobC

    KR:
    May 27th, 2011 at 12:00 am

    But please don’t confuse potential uncertainties (stated in Hansen’s paper, I’ll note) with a complete lack of knowledge. That’s the Argument from Uncertainty fallacy, and it is unjustified.

    OK, I’ll agree to avoid that fallacy.

    Now, you agree to avoid the Argument from Ignorance fallacy:

    You have to work with the evidence available, BobC. We know that there are long term orbital variations, evidence from ice cores indicates that the glacial cycle isn’t driven by insolation changes – the Milankovitch cycles meet the timing and forcings needed to cause the glacial cycle. So – we have a suspect with method and opportunity; do we dismiss that and hunt for another suspect?

    Well, you might keep in mind that just because you have a suspect, you haven’t necessarily solved the case.

    For example: Here’s a forcing (albedo changes) for which we have no historical records beyond 25 years ago (and no paleo proxies at all). Since we have been making measurements, the albedo forcing has changed nearly 3 times as much (7 W/m^2) as the CO2 forcing change from 1900 to 2000. The associated temperature changes are far more consistent with a 0.5 deg sensitivity than a 3.7 deg one.

    There is NO justification for assuming such large forcing changes didn’t occur in the past, which is what Hansen does to get his result. Since we have no idea what the state of albedo forcing was before 1985, no historical or paleo method can validly determine sensitivity.

    The idea that you can total up ALL the climate forcings 100,000s of years in the past is absurdly arrogant, anyway. Given our demonstrated ignorance of the significant climate forcings, the only valid (and scientific) way to proceed is to empirically measure the Earth’s temperature response to measured changes in energy input — e.g., Idso’s method.


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    These are all very interesting and quite relevant comments on the “green house” effect. It will be good to see Postma’s response. His paper is very similar conceptually to the much more difficult paper (made harder by the author’schoice of symbols) by Ference Miskolczi. Miskolczi, an ex NASA climate scientist whose approach to the problem of green house gas effects differed from that of many of his colleagues, uses the virial theorem from classical mechanics to demonstrate the same result which Postma has arrived at through thermodynamics. The points made in both these papers are I believe correct in strictly following the laws of physics. However, there may be other aspects of the process of warming which are not included, but from a direct analysis of the atmosphere, it is difficult to see immediately what that might be.

    The basic concept in both, which is remarked upon by Postma but not expicitly stated by Misklsczi, is that the heating of the earth above 255 K and the heating of Venus, arises because of a sort of heat pump in which the energy is converted to a higher temperature state by the thermal movement providing compression and decompression as the air circulates between high and low altitudes. The heating at the ground follows from the temperature lapse rate requirement from “de-compression mechanics” to a lower temperature at which insufficient radiation takes place to cool the earth in balance with the sun, unless the mid-height temperature is sufficiently high. The higher round temperature is maintained by compression of the air parcels as they fall from the higher levels near the tropopause to the ground. The main concept in Arrhenius’ green house is that of the back radiation. There are some misconcetions over this factor which need to be clarified.

    First and simplest is that the idea of an increase in temperature by returning more heat to the ground by additional radiation from increased carbon dioxide radiation is not physically correct. The reason can be shown in terms of the absorption by the green house gas at any frequency within the range of its spectrum including the far wings of any line or band of lines. The amount of absorbed radiation at any point, height “h” in the vertical column, is proportional to the energy density of the infra red field at theat point. This is proportional to the exponentential function exp(-k*h) where k is the absorption cefficient and proportional to Nco2, the density of CO2, or any other green house gas. The energy from this absorbed field being reradiated to the ground also decays by a factor exp(-k*h) so what reaches the ground from height h is dependent on exp(-2*k*h). If we now consider each element dh which absorbs energy proportional to Q* k*dh, where Q is a constant representing the other factors pertaining to the transfer of energy of radiation to the sample of air at h and the re-excitation of molecules which radiate, and sum (integrate) over h from 0 to infinity (or at least a great height H), all the contribution towards the total radiaton W returned to the ground, we find on integration the result for this total power (W) being 1/(2*k)*Q*k*exp(-2*k*h) Int 0 to H = (Q/2)*(1-exp(-2*k*H)) which is independent of k or the density of the green house gas in the atmosphere. This is in contrast to the claims by the IPCC that the return radiation warms the earth.

    Secondly, the IPCC makes the point that the 33 K at which the earth temperature exceeds the radiative balance temperature of 255 K is because of green house gases (100%) blocking the radiation ofrom the surface over water or over land. The fact is that over water, the temperature rise is far too low to allow the water to radiate at the equilibrium rate which effect is maintained ny evaporation which warms the air and produces a secondary field of green house gas with no assistance from carbon dioxide. Over land the air is heated by contact with slightly cooler air and the land is cooled. About half of the heating of the air over land is probably by absorption because of green house gases, mainlty water vapour. The three forms of heating lead to a common result – the warming of the warms the air above it and this warm air is carried aloft by convection. In the upper troposphere, the lapse rate in temperature means that the water vapour condenses, causing warming of the drier air which continues to rise. At heights where little or no water vapour exists, the radiation form the remaining vapour which is never actually zero, allows this air to cool. Carbon dioxide continues to entrap the radiation energy corresponding to its absorption bands until it raches a height above which there is too little CO2 to ratain the radiation which again returns to space cooling the air. Some radiation from this height ofcourse goes side ways and downwards, but for the downwards field it is again absorbed before reaching the earth – see the first point made here. We thus see that the grren house gases in the upper atmosphere radiate heat and cool the air which was originally warmed by (1) Evaporation (2) contact between the land and wind and (3) at heights further above the earth but lower in general than about 100 m, by radiation.

    Let’s now look at an atmosphere with out any green house gases other than water vapour. Radiation from the ground at the frequencies of the green house bands will be able to radiate to space from the earth. The air will still be warmed by contact and water vapour and convection will take this energy to the upper parts of the troposphere as before. The water vapour will radiate as before after most, but not all has condensed, at about 5 km height while at higher and colder regions, there will be little or no radiation from H2O. The other main components of the atmosphere, nitrogen and oxygen, cannot be significantly excited by collisions because their lowest excited states are of too high energy to be reached from energetic collisions at 300 K. Thus no further radiation can take place from here up and the air retains its energy while cooling by gravitational transfer to potential enrgy and by adiabatic expansion. It travels across the top of the troposphere to other higher latitudes witha higher energy contact thanit would had there been some small amout of carbon dioxide in place to allow it to radiate its energy. At the higher, cooler jatitudes it does, as now, fall to ground under its own weighr, warming as it does by the transfer of gravitational energy and adiabatic compression. The mid latitudes are thus made warmer than they would be if carbon dioxide had been present to form a radiation field which could escape to space.

    These are all very interesting and quite relevant comments on the “green house” effect. It will be good to see Postma’s response. His paper is very similar conceptually to the much more difficult paper (made harder by the author’s choice of symbols) by Ferenc Miskolczi. Miskolczi, an ex NASA climate scientist whose approach to the problem of green house gas effects differed from that of many of his colleagues, uses the virial theorem from classical mechanics to demonstrate the same result which Postma has arrived at through thermodynamics. The points made in both these papers are, I believe, correct, in strictly following the laws of physics in the points they make. There may be other aspects of the green house effect which should have been included in their analysis but it is not immediately apparent what this may be.

    The basic concept in both papers, which is remarked upon by Postma but not explicitly stated by Miskolczi, is that the heating of the earth above 255 K and the heating of Venus, arises because of a heat pump mechanism in which the energy is converted to a higher temperature state by the thermal movement providing compression and decompression as the air circulates between high and low altitudes. The heating at the ground follows from the temperature lapse rate requirement from “de-compression mechanics” to a lower temperature at which insufficient radiation takes place to cool the earth in balance with the sun, unless the mid-height temperature is sufficiently high. The higher round temperature is maintained by compression of the air parcels as they fall from the higher levels near the tropopause to the ground. The main concept in Arrhenius’ green house is that of the back radiation. There are some misconcetions over this factor which need to be clarified.

    First and simplest is the idea of an increase in temperature by returning more heat to the ground by additional radiation from increased carbon dioxide diation is not physically correct. The reason can be shown in terms of the absorption by the green house gas at any frequency within the range of its spectrum including the far wings of any line or band of lines. The amount of absorbed radiation at any point, height “h” in the vertical column, is proportional to the energy density of the infra red field at that point. This is proportional to the exponential function exp(-k*h) where k is the absorption coefficient and proportional to Nco2, the density of CO2, or any other green house gas. This will be the case, whether or not the functional dependence of the intensity strictly follows de Beere’s law – which it doesn’t unless one corrects for the changes in density and temperature which is the usual case and is easily achieved in numerical representation.

    The energy from this absorbed field being reradiated to the ground also decays by a factor exp(-k*h), so what reaches the ground from height h is dependent on exp(-2*k*h). We now consider each elemental slab of thickness dh, which absorbs energy proportional to Q* k*dh, where Q is a constant representing the other factors pertaining to the transfer of energy of radiation to the sample of air at h and the re-excitation of molecules which radiate. Summing (integrating) over h from 0 to infinity (or at least a great height H), all the contribution towards the total radiation W returned to the ground, we find on integration the result for this total power (W) being 1/(2*k)*Q*k*exp(-2*k*h) Int 0 to H = (Q/2)*(1-exp(-2*k*H)) which is independent of k or the density of the green house gas in the atmosphere. The last quantity exp(-2*k*H) is of course very small. This result is in contrast to the claims by the IPCC that the returning radiation increases with higher density of CO2 and warms the earth.

    Secondly, the IPCC makes the point that the 33 K at which the earth temperature exceeds the radiative balance temperature of 255 K is because of green house gases (100%) blocking the radiation from the surface over water or over land. The fact is that over water, the temperature rise is far too low to allow the water to radiate excess heat at the equilibrium rate, an effect which is maintained by evaporation, which warms the air and produces a secondary field of green house gas (water vapour) with no assistance from carbon dioxide. About half of the heating of the air over land is probably by absorption in green house gases, mainly water vapour, while it is also warmed by the slightly cooler air being in contact with the heated land surface. Meteorological estimates place the warming of the air at 20% by Green house gases, 20% by wind contact over land, 60% by evaporative cooling of water. The three forms of heating lead to a common result – the warming of the air above the earth and this warm air being carried aloft by convection.

    In the upper troposphere, the lapse rate in temperature means that the water vapour condenses, causing warming of the drier air which continues to rise. At heights where little or no water vapour exists, the radiation from the remaining vapour which is never actually zero, allows this air to cool. Carbon dioxide continues to entrap the radiation energy corresponding to its absorption bands, until it reaches a height above which there is too little CO2 to retain the radiation, which then escapes to space, cooling the air in that vicinity. Some radiation from this height of course goes side ways and downwards, but for the downwards field it is again absorbed before reaching the earth – see the first point made here. We thus see that the green house gases in the upper atmosphere radiate heat and cool the air which was originally warmed by (1) Evaporation (2) contact between the land and wind and (3) at heights further above the earth but lower in general than about 100 m, by the absorption of radiation.

    Let’s now look at an atmosphere without any green house gases other than water vapour. Radiation from the ground at the frequencies of the green house bands will be able to radiate to space from the earth. The approximately 4, 10 and 15 micron bands of CO2 will no longer play any part! The air will still be warmed by contact and water vapour and convection will take this energy to the upper parts of the troposphere as before. The water vapour will radiate as before after most, but not all of it, has condensed, at a height of about 5 km, while at higher, drier and colder regions, there will be little or no radiation from H2O. The other main components of the atmosphere, nitrogen and oxygen, cannot be significantly excited by collisions because their lowest excited states are of too high energy to be reached from energetic collisions at 300 K. Thus no further radiation can take place from here up and the air retains its energy while cooling by gravitational transfer to potential energy and by adiabatic expansion. It then travels across the top of the troposphere to other higher latitudes, driven by the circulation initiated and pumped by warming of the sun in the tropics, but with a higher energy than it would have, if there had been some small amount of carbon dioxide in place to allow it to radiate its energy.

    At the higher, cooler latitudes it does, as now, fall to ground under its own weight, warming as it does by the transfer of gravitational energy and adiabatic compression. The mid latitudes are thus made warmer than they would be if carbon dioxide had been present to form a radiation field escaping to space.

    It should be noted that the absence of any need for a green house gas to cause the full 33 K of global warming above 255 K, is that the basic and most significant effect arises through the redistribution of the energy from the tropics to higher, cooler, latitudes. The circulation and redistribution process induced by dry, “green house free” air, depending only on contact for its heating, is demonstrated every time a vacuum flask loses its valuable vacuum. A large flask of liquid nitrogen, which could be held by a good quality flask for about 16 days to half full, will lose its contests by violent boiling in about 16 minutes or less if the outer wall is punctured – bin there, done that! The air, let into the previously evacuated cavity, and in contact with the cold inner wall, is cooled and falls, producing convection and circulation in the opposite mode from the heating and rising of air in the tropics but following exactly the same principles. Eventually the whole chamber reaches the same temperature as the room, simply because of this circulation. The same thing would happen in a green house free atmosphere and the average temperature of the earth will still rise for a green house free, perfectly dry atmosphere.

    I look forward to others comments and criticisms. John Nicol


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    KR

    BobC @ 570

    Palle 2004 is a very interesting piece of work – the idea of using reflected Earthshine as a measure of albedo is quite nice. I understand that Leonardo Da Vinci first proposed that.

    Note, however, that this is an initial piece of work, and that there is evidence that Palle is greatly overestimating changes, such as in Wielicki et al 2005 – checking Palle’s data against satellite measurements of Earth brightness. Also see Wild 2009; there does appear to be some internal variability in albedo on a decadal level. But there isn’t any evidence for multiple century timescale albedo variability, which would be required for this to act as a long term (10′s of thousands of years) climate forcing such as in the glacial cycles.

    Given the reviews of this particular matter, I expect that the albedo changes are closely tied to indirect aerosol effects. We do have a good paleo record of those – particulates in the ice cores. And they don’t correspond to the glacial cycles.

    There is NO justification for assuming such large forcing changes didn’t occur in the past, which is what Hansen does to get his result. Since we have no idea what the state of albedo forcing was before 1985, no historical or paleo method can validly determine sensitivity.

    You still seem to be claiming “we don’t know enough, so it can’t possibly be the best estimates of what’s happening based upon the physics and data”. I would have to disagree.

    Now, as to reviewing the Earth response to measured changes in energy input, i.e. within the instrumental record period, I would recommend Tung 2007 (statistical analysis on 20th century temperature response to the solar cycle to calculate a range 2.3 to 4.1°C), or perhaps Bender 2010 (looks at the climate response to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption to constrain climate sensitivity to 1.7 to 4.1°C).


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    BobC

    KR: (@572)
    May 28th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    BobC @ 570

    Palle 2004 is a very interesting piece of work – the idea of using reflected Earthshine as a measure of albedo is quite nice. I understand that Leonardo Da Vinci first proposed that.

    Note, however, that this is an initial piece of work, and that there is evidence that Palle is greatly overestimating changes, such as in Wielicki et al 2005 – checking Palle’s data against satellite measurements of Earth brightness. Also see Wild 2009; there does appear to be some internal variability in albedo on a decadal level. But there isn’t any evidence for multiple century timescale albedo variability, which would be required for this to act as a long term (10′s of thousands of years) climate forcing such as in the glacial cycles.

    You are pulling the “Argument from Ignorance” fallacy again. Because we don’t have evidence of albedo changes over a “multiple century timescale” the proper scientific path is to assume they don’t exist and continue to propose massive changes to the world economic system on admitedly incomplete data.

    Here’s a tip from an engineer: Data you are not aware of does not always work out in your favor. Some caution is advised — however, I see no caution in Hansen who is gung-ho on remaking the civilization based on his unsupported assumptions.

    But actually, we DO have evidence of multiple century albedo changes — studies of paintings from the LIA have shown a dearth of depicted sunshine and commonly show overcast skys. Of course, that’s not “scientific” evidence, so you’re free to claim the scientific high ground while proceeding full speed ahead with blinders on.

    (And actually, Palle did compare his measurements with satellite date — check page 10 in his Univ of Colo talk I referenced.)

    Given the reviews of this particular matter, I expect that the albedo changes are closely tied to indirect aerosol effects. We do have a good paleo record of those – particulates in the ice cores. And they don’t correspond to the glacial cycles.

    Don’t you think that we need more than just your “expectation” that this assumption is right before declaring what is fact? Does this “easy standard” of proof also apply to critics, or only to AGW proponents like Hansen (and you)? Is it not possible that albedo is a feedback that responds to climate changes? (The anecdotal evidence from the LIA certainly suggests that.)

    You still seem to be claiming “we don’t know enough, so it can’t possibly be the best estimates of what’s happening based upon the physics and data”. I would have to disagree.

    This is a misstatement of my position: I don’t deny that Hansen may have made a “best estimate” given his assumptions — just that, because of the large uncertainties in what he assumes, his conclusion is basically of no value in determining what happened in the real world. You’re bordering on “Argument from Ignorance” again: ‘Because this is the best we can do, it must be right.’

    Now, as to reviewing the Earth response to measured changes in energy input, i.e. within the instrumental record period, I would recommend Tung 2007 (statistical analysis on 20th century temperature response to the solar cycle to calculate a range 2.3 to 4.1°C)

    And naturally (seems to be the standard position in AGW) they ignore the developing evidence of a strong connection between solar activity and clouds, and just make the assumption that the only effect the Sun can have on climate is due to TSI. Since TSI only changes little during the typical solar cycle, this again gives a satisfactorily high sensitivity.

    I would be willing to consider these people scientists, if they were interested in what effects Svensmark’s work would have on their estimates. What I hear from the pro AGW blogs (and what I expect to hear from you), however, is an attack on this work and attempts to justify ignoring it in favor of the assumptions that result in supporting the alarmist position.

    This is the behavior of political acvocates, not scientists.


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    KR

    BobC @ 573

    I’m quite aware that variations you don’t know about can bite you. But why do you assume that all the “unknowns” would make the climate more stable? If there are hidden relationships or measurement uncertainties, they could just as well be on the nasty side. The climate sensitivity estimates I’ve read about are very solid on the low end – about 1.5°C is a strong limit, anything less contradicts a great deal of the data. But on the high end the limitations are pretty soft – it could be 4°C, it might be > 6°C per doubling of CO2!!

    Is it reasonable to expect everything to go our way? Especially when the costs of mitigation are actually not all that bad? Renewable energy supplies won’t kill us, they’ll take a while to implement, and we can always trim those back if 15-20 years out we find that the warming estimates are overblown. I think it’s only reasonable to act in our best long term interests, with the best knowledge we currently have.

    I’ve been following Svensmark’s work – so far, though, the correlations he’s found are very weak. And quite notably, the timescale for cosmic ray levels (as estimated by various proxies) does not match the temp record anywhere nearly as well as CO2 does (Royer 2004). But I will continue to look at ongoing work on this issue.

    Tung looked at TSI – Bender looked at volcanic aerosols. As to cloud changes, of course there are cloud changes with temperature! Clouds are water, and are expected to respond to changing temperatures and water vapor levels. The measures of climate sensitivity are looking at changes in forcing (initial imbalance) versus temperature, including the feedbacks. That’s what the climate sensitivity numbers are all about.


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    Mark D.

    KR, Spencer has a column on cosmic influence perhaps you haven’t seen yet: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/05/indirect-solar-forcing-of-climate-by-galactic-cosmic-rays-an-observational-estimate/

    Quote: “While I have been skeptical of Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory up until now, it looks like the evidence is becoming too strong for me to ignore.”


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    co2isnotevil

    KR,

    Weather satellite data tells us that the albedo exhibits hemispheric specific seasonal change in excess of 20% of it’s nominal value. This is a consequence of the ebb and flow of surface ice/snow and seasonally variable cloud cover, both of which show similar variability. Why do you think that albedo will be constant as forcing changes, when the data indicates otherwise?

    Moreover, clouds coverage increase as the temperature increases, which except at the poles when the surface and clouds have about the same reflectivity, increasing clouds reflects more power away from the planet than they trap at the surface, causing net cooling. Can you say negative feedback? In the following plot, the term called ‘flux’ is the sensible heat in and out of the planets thermal mass calculated as the difference between the measured power arriving and the measured power leaving the planet. Based on the measured temperature variability, the exact size of the planets thermal mass can be determined.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/plots/wbg/nh/temp.png
    http://www.palisad.com/co2/plots/wbg/nh/refl.png
    http://www.palisad.com/co2/plots/wbg/nh/gain.png

    Note that the albedo is that measured by reflected solar power, as observed from weather satellites and then adjusted to fit a radiative transfer model. It seems a little low, but I can track that to the an error made in the original ISCCP analysis which was inappropriately assuming AU normalized solar power and the use of a primitive atmospheric radiative transfer model for the ISCCP reconstructions. You should also notice that the gain increases when it’s cold and decreases when it’s warm. This quantification of gain is equal 1/e, where e is the average emissivity of the plane and is yet another indication of net negative feedback. If positive feedback was in effect, the net gain would be increasing as the temperature increases.

    The southern hemisphere shows similar results, but it’s easy to be confused about how the planet behaves if you only look at the global data, all of this and more is available from this link.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/plots/wbg/plots.html

    George


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    KR

    Mark D @ 575

    Thanks, I have seen that Spencer posting. I’ve also seen the rather more critical Real Climate take on the data.

    It’s noteworthy that the solar and galactic cosmic ray (GCR) data (see the RC link, figure 5) show no trends over the last 50-70 years, while we’ve had considerable temperature change over that period (which correlates quite well with CO2 changes). I think GCR and insolation variations have an influence (limited in the case of GCR’s), but don’t appear to be the dominant forcing right now.

    But as I said, I’m watching the papers and data to see what comes out.


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    KR

    co2isnotevil @ 576

    George, you’re still focusing on seasonal effects. None of the data you show extends more than a year – short term variation, not enough time for ocean temps (the big flywheel) to change significantly in any direction.

    Climate changes take decades.


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    co2isnotevil

    KR,

    Of course RC would be critical of a paper by a skeptic, it’s their purpose for existing. You have to be careful with Schmidt. He has the ability to mix real science with speculative conclusions in a way that obscures the unsupportable nature of his diatribe. I suspect this is why Hansen gave him the job of RC censor. I don’t think Hansen is stupid, I just think he’s an ideologue with an agenda, or in other words, an idiot who will say and do anything to promote his idiocracy.


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    BobC

    KR (@574):
    As to cloud changes, of course there are cloud changes with temperature! Clouds are water, and are expected to respond to changing temperatures and water vapor levels. The measures of climate sensitivity are looking at changes in forcing (initial imbalance) versus temperature, including the feedbacks. That’s what the climate sensitivity numbers are all about.

    I don’t think you’re getting my point. In the estimates of climate sensitivity you are talking about the feedbacks are assumed. The GCMs that AGW is based upon do not handle clouds or water vapor by calculation from first principles (which we don’t know how to do) but by parameterizations that are adjusted to get a fit with the last 100 years. (Still don’t do too well at postdicting the MWP or LIA, though — that’s why M. Mann’s “hockey stick” is so well accepted — it eliminates both through bogus statistical manipulation of tree ring data. If you think “bogus” is too strong, what do you call a method that gets the same answer if fed random “data”?)

    The only way to include the feedbacks which are poorly understood or even unknown, is to measure the input and output — e.g., Idso’s method again. Like it or not, it is the only believable method of estimating sensitivity.

    Is it reasonable to expect everything to go our way? Especially when the costs of mitigation are actually not all that bad? Renewable energy supplies won’t kill us, they’ll take a while to implement, and we can always trim those back if 15-20 years out we find that the warming estimates are overblown. I think it’s only reasonable to act in our best long term interests, with the best knowledge we currently have.

    This paragraph is so full of unjustified assumptions that it would take an essay to address them. As to “not killing us” — maybe not, but it surely will cause a great many unnecessary deaths in the Third World.

    But the statement that we use “the best knowledge we currently have” — My complaint with the AGW lobby is that they try to suppress anything that would upset the current poitical “consensus”. Not people I want making these kind of life and death decisions.


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    KR

    BobC @ 580

    Well, I’m going to just agree to disagree with you on the costs and risks. Just keep in mind – uncertainty cuts both ways, and climate change may just as well be worse than predicted.

    As to the climate sensitivity measurements, measuring in/out is exactly what Hansen, Tung, Bender, and others have done.

    that’s why M. Mann’s “hockey stick” is so well accepted — it eliminates both through bogus statistical manipulation of tree ring data. If you think “bogus” is too strong, what do you call a method that gets the same answer if fed random “data”?

    M&M’s analysis of Mann’s work has serious problems, not the least of which involves running thousands of random data sets and hand selecting the dozen or so most like the ‘hockey stack’ as examples (including some that they inverted). And Mann’s work isn’t the only one with those results – see Mann 2008 for a listing and figure showing half a dozen independent reconstructions that all agree.

    Idso is chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which does not disclose it’s funding – I’ve read through their materials, and see major reiterations of skeptic myths, disinformation, data manipulation, etc. I’ve also read refutations on Idso’s papers wrt. ocean acidification, aerosol effects, the MWP, etc. – it’s entirely too easy to find the errors in his works, they’re not solid.

    To be quite honest I don’t trust Idso to give a point of view unbiased by ideology. His work reads more like advocacy papers than science.

    So – trust the people running advocacy groups? Or grant funded scientists? People whose poor methodology has been repeatedly (and rightly) criticized? Or people whose works have held up to peer review and ongoing discussions in the scientific literature?

    Take your pick – I’ll take mine.

    At this point we’re miles off topic (2nd law, radiative greenhouse effect). I have limited time for a while, so I’ll just say bye for now.


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    co2isnotevil

    KR,

    The plots are the averages of monthly averages going back to 1983, representing nearly 3 decades of measurements with 100% surface coverage at 3 hour samples. Everything in this plots is what you don’t see when your perspective is limited to anomaly plots, which report differences relative to these longer term monthly averages.

    George


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    BobC

    KR: Just a few quick comments, in case you check back in:

    As to the climate sensitivity measurements, measuring in/out is exactly what Hansen, Tung, Bender, and others have done.

    No, they have assumed the in and measured the out. Their results are only as good as their assumptions. You know my opinion of their assumptions — incomplete and deliberately ignoring current research on solar and albedo effects.

    M&M’s analysis of Mann’s work has serious problems, not the least of which involves running thousands of random data sets and hand selecting the dozen or so most like the ‘hockey stack’ as examples

    The point KR, is that is exactly what Mann does — he selects tree ring histories that match the 20th century (up to ~1980) from many sets of records. The claimed purpose is to find trees which are mostly sensitive to temperature (rather than wind, insolation, exposure, disease, etc.). However, the fact that these tree histories diverge both before (the very large error limits) and after (“hide the decline”) the selection period shows that he wasn’t successful, and might as well been selecting from random sequences. M&M showed that, indeed, if you simply used Mann’s algorithm (selection for 20th century temperature match in the first few principle components), then averaged the selected sequences together, you got the same “hockey stick” graph — complete to the “divergence problem”.

    And Mann’s work isn’t the only one with those results – see Mann 2008 for a listing and figure showing half a dozen independent reconstructions that all agree.

    “Independently” using Mann’s algorithm doesn’t count. And these half-dozen reconstructions may agree with each other, but are in complete disagreement with the hundreds of ice cores, ocean cores, other reconstructions, and historical records that show that the MWP and the LIA did exist, and were global in scope.

    So – trust the people running advocacy groups? Or grant funded scientists? People whose poor methodology has been repeatedly (and rightly) criticized? Or people whose works have held up to peer review and ongoing discussions in the scientific literature?

    Please — I am a “grant funded scientist”; I have participated in peer review (from both ends): I wouldn’t trust some of those people to feed my cat. The main agenda of a “grant funded scientist” is to continue to receive grants — if you fail, you are no longer a member of that class. You are selecting for people who will do whatever it takes to get funding. (This was obvious from the Climategate emails — and more importantly, from the faked data the released computer codes inserted into the record.)

    If you want to see what has happened here, you should read Eisenhower’s Farewell Address:

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.


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    RW

    KR (RE: 572),

    “As to cloud changes, of course there are cloud changes with temperature! Clouds are water, and are expected to respond to changing temperatures and water vapor levels. The measures of climate sensitivity are looking at changes in forcing (initial imbalance) versus temperature, including the feedbacks.”

    Most of the 3 C of warming predicted by the models comes from positive cloud feedback. If you read the fine print in the IPCC 2007 report, they state that if the cloud feedback is neutral, the average sensitivity would come down to 1.9 C. What they don’t say is how low it would be with even a moderately negative cloud feedback (probably less than 1 C). Yet the evidence for net positive cloud feedback is sketchy a best and conflicts with the basic physics of water vapor and clouds.

    I brought this up over at Skeptical Science, and no one seemed to be able to explain how if water vapor is the primary amplifier of warming, what then is controlling the energy balance of the system if not clouds through their ability to reflect sunlight and precipitate out the water vapor from the atmosphere?

    Studies like Dessler 2010 are primarily just looking at TOA net fluxes and temperatures – he’s made little (if any) attempt to carefully discern cause and effect or come up with any physical reasons or mechanisms behind his interpretation of the data. He admits in the paper at the beginning that the net effect of clouds at the current operating point in the climate is to cool by about 20 W/m^2, yet doesn’t seem to ascribe much significance to this or any curiosity as to why this is the case.

    Furthermore, I notice that in Dessler 2010 the SW component is also positive, which seems to be consistent with decreasing clouds causing the warming rather than warming causing decreasing clouds. Even if the claim is warming causes decreasing clouds for positive feedback, how is this consistent with increased water vapor from warming? Does increasing water vapor from warming cause decreasing clouds? That doesn’t make any sense since water vapor concentration drives cloud formation.

    It seems to me that unless Dessler can explain all of this and corroborate it with all the other data and system behavior, he really doesn’t have a case.


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    Blimey

    LOL @ Lionell Griffith 16 !!


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    John Nicol

    “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.”
    I don’t understand the statement that the heat from GHGs to earth “is more than countered” by heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space”?? Could you please explain further? I may not very quick.

    “Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.” I can’t see a situation in an open system such as this where the entropy as a whole would not increase.
    Any natural transfer of heat will increase the entropy and it puts no constraint on the effect of such heating. The total entropy of a closed system cannot be reduced (Maxwell’s Demon) only part of a sytem which is for instance the cooler end of a heat pump – air conditioning, refrigerator, but the entropy of ALL of the system – hot air section plus cold air section is still higher than at the beginning. The energy of the pump goes into the total mix as well.

    Back to the transfer of heat, the confusion arises about ‘Hot to cold but not Cold to Hot’ because of the omission of the word “net” when referring to heat moving between bodies. For radiation between bodies, each will radiate power from its surface at a rate according to Stefan’s Law, Power/area = Sigma*T^4. The hotter body will absorb the power from the colder body and the colder body will absorb power from the hotter. The NET flow then is from the hotter to the colder – always. But photons or if you prefer, EM radiation, go both ways but at different rates or at the same rates but at different energies for photons. Both conduction and radiation function in a somewhat similar way for this analysis. Conduction causes transfer of heat by very close collisions between particles of different enrgy and their total energy tends to divide evenly between them, if you like between molecules, or crystal segments perhaps, of the solid. In each part of the solid there will be a narrow but finite distribution of energy between all these small particles all of which will be microscopically vibrating. The energy of vibration we call heat (and can be represented by a phonon instead of a photon!). At absolute zero, (0 K)the vibration will be reduced almost to zero – except for a bit we will ignore here. All these little moving bits will not in general have exactly the same energy (~kT) or equivalent temperature T – on a macroscopic scale they will, but not on a microscopic examination. Some energy, from more highly energetic particles in the cooler parts may well transfer to the hotter part, just as for the radiation, but on average much more energy will be transferred from the hotter, more energetic particles to those which are vibrating more slowly or with smaller amplitudes.


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    Alistair

    RW: 584. Another thing with clouds is that they may well getter CO2 through dissolution in the water [v. high de facto Henry'a law coefficient].


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    Paul

    John Nicol: @586
    May 28th, 2011 at 10:41 pm
    “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.”
    I don’t understand the statement that the heat from GHGs to earth “is more than countered” by heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space”?? Could you please explain further? I may not very quick.

    Thank you, John, for a readable explanation that adds something to our understanding of the subject under discussion. Your calm tone and logical presentation are a welcome contrast to the heat rather than light that seems to pertain more often than not in comments here.

    I think that much resistance to the concept of ‘back radiation’ comes about because of the hidden assumption that back-radiation causes of a 33 degrees Celsius increase in temperature at the surface. This is then attributed entirely to the back-radiation of Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The level of Greenhouse gases is then said to be controlled by the level of atmospheric CO2 as the driver with atmospheric H2O merely a dependent variable amplifying the effect of CO2. To me that chain of reasoning is a total falsity and nonsense.

    Firstly I object to the value of 33 degrees Celsius. The difference between the earth’s average surface temperature, regarded as a graybody without an atmosphere, and its estimated temperature with our actual atmosphere, is in fact about 8 degrees Celsius. Nor can it be attributed entirely to the presence of Tyndall gasses in the atmosphere, ignoring conduction, convection, advection and latent heat of vaporisation as if they add nothing to atmospheric temperatures.

    Then I object to the use of verbal reasoning to ‘prove’ a qualitative effect, the dimension of which is completely unknown, and then to attribute to that effect the difference between a blackbody and the earth’s known surface temperature.

    The argument is made that Tyndall gases act as an insulating blanket, slowing the rate at which the earth can lose, by long-wave radiation, the heat gained from the sun. Then an increase in surface temperature is argued to occur in order to overcome that resistance to heat-loss. To quantify that resistance and therefore to quantify the necessary temperature increase to overcome it, from first principles, seems to be necessary.

    While pursuing a better understanding of the physics of radiation of energy I have noticed that, where there is no pressure to conform to a consensus of understanding on the contentious issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming, there is a ready acknowledgement that there is a two-way exchange of energy between two bodies that are in a radiative relationship together.

    To take as an analogy the waves and tides in the ocean, although individual waves do exchange energy back and forth, the direction of the tide does not change except under a changed force of gravity. The behaviour at the micro-level, of individual waves, says nothing about the macro-level of the tidal movements. In the same way, my understanding of the exchange of radiation energy is that, while there are two-way interactions occurring at the micro level of particles, the flow of energy is always in the direction of the more energetic to the less energetic body, as measured by relative temperatures.

    There is one thing that needs to be quantified, to my way of thinking, and that is the measure to which the atmosphere is able to absorb increased radiant energy as the proportion of atmospheric CO2 increases. That will increase the number of potential states of particles within the atmosphere, and, since energy will be equipartitioned within those states, it will have a small effect on the total energy ‘contained’ in the atmosphere, as internal vibrational energy, without increasing its temperature significantly. That increase in retained energy would increase the backward pressure of radiation from the atmosphere that is acting against radiation emitted from the surface and would produce a quantifiable effect on the surface temperature.

    Any feed-back in the system would either dampen or amplify any direct change in temperature. Most likely there is a negative feed-back that would offset any increase in temperature, leading to the expectation of a negligibly small change in surface temperatures.

    So my conclusion is that while the back-radiation from atmospheric CO2 does not break the second law of thermodynamics, because it is a trace gas in the atmosphere, it’s radiative effect simply needs to be quantified in order to see that it is of no real significance and would be benign at best and probably imperceptible at worst.

    Paul


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    RW

    co2isnotevil (RE: 576),

    Have you ever plotted the post albedo with the gain plots? I do understand that you’re using the total incident solar power in those graphs because the albedo (particularly the cloud portion) is a big part of the control mechanism. However, it has occurred to me that some warmists might try to argue that the post albedo incident power is more equivalent to GHG ‘forcing’ than total incident solar power.


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    RW

    co2isnotevil (RE: 576),

    Oh, I do see that in the “monthly flux” graphs, the post albedo or ‘power in’ tightly tracks the total solar power in and is still 180 degrees out of phase with the ‘gain’.


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    Graeme Bird

    “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.”

    This is very hard to assess since we have no coherent mainstream view of what light is. There are no photons. But generally speaking most forms of energy are forms of compression. Waves contain areas of compression and de-compression. But in this case we don’t know what the medium is. If it was only to do with one wavelength we would have an easier way to think about it.

    But its all just cold referred light. Not anything to be paying attention to. And this all came about with the astronomers and Carl Sagan, tendentiously trying to prove that Venus wasn’t a new planet.

    Thats the real history to this. The extended back-history isn’t that important. The extended back-history is just a revamped dead end in science.


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    Roy Hogue

    BLouis79 @591,

    Possibly of interest in your discussion: the Air Force has been concerned, among other things with how hard or easy it is for aircraft to be detected by their IR signature…those jets get real hot. How far away can they be seen by IR?

    A lot of work was done and is still ongoing concerning the absorption spectra of gasses. The HITRAN project began investigating this (don’t know when it started) and is still active with a large database available (apparently) to anyone who presents passable credentials.

    My point is that back a couple of years someone tried to use the HITRAN data about CO2 absorption of IR to justify the AGW myth. He was all exercised about it, afraid for his children, etc. I was interested in where he was getting his “proof” but I wasn’t buying anything.

    Anyway, it’s been well established that CO2 does in fact absorb IR. How well laboratory measurements translate to the real world is, of course, another question. And as you ask

    The question remains what proportion of IR emitted by earth is actually absorbed by CO2 (of any concentration from 100% to 0.3%) and to what extent does that cause temperature to rise in the atmosphere. The basic heat absorption can be easily done in the laboratory, so where is the data or is (climate) science so one-eyed that there is none?????

    It seems that there is none.

    CO2 as I understand it is ten times less abundant than 0.3%, something like 0.02x%, whatever x is. I see various numbers but it’s a very small component of the atmosphere. It’s ironic that such a small thing can cause so much trouble.


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    Thomas T S Watson

    I have skipped through these points of interest and have come to the conclusion that your have all missed the basic point of how our climate has been initiated.

    Our climate is totally controlled by the Earth’s orbital position within the Sun’s Heliosphere. It is orbiting within this current position because of the reactions between the Earth’s Magnetosphere to the Sun’s Positive Heliosphere and is controlling our seasons.

    If you doubt it, then ask yourself. What keeps our Earth in its present oscillating orbital position within our Solar system? and secondly, What creates the tilt of the Earth? When you become aware that it is not Gravity but the magnetic reactions between these two volumes of magnetic powers, namely the Earth’s Magnetosphere and the Sun’s Heliosphere. You may begin to realize that Carbon Dioxide has a very small part to play in this process of changing our Earth’s orbital phasing of the Earth’s seasonal changes.

    Have a wonderful day find the truth about Climate Change.

    I have proven this concept and while awaiting to be acknowledged by journals that will not accept my thesis, I am confident to show any one out there that our poles emit their magnetic fields from each pole and they interact to each other near their relative equalized position near to their respective equators. My book: Climate Change-Explained by Magnetism? ISBN9780646477220 is available in your public library. End of commercial.


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    Thomas T S Watson

    Roy Hogue: Australia’s contribution to the world’s CO2 is 0.000871% and I do not totally agree with the claimed statements that CO2 is found in the upper layers of our Atmosphere.

    If CO2 is there, then they are on their way to ground level because CO2 is, as you are aware, a heavy gas (44). That is why the Fire Brigades use it to put out fires. It pushes away the Oxygen and Nitrogen from burning carbon.

    This also is why it is within our atmosphere, CO2 is applied and accepted by all plant life, and applies the Synthesis process. It absorbs the Carbon molecule; to build up it wood texture, and throws out the Oxygen molecules


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    David Wood

    I’m an old PhD chemical engineer and follow the arguments in this blog with some difficulty since I haven’t been active in the field for many years.
    I have read Joe Postma’s papers and found them extremely understandable and plausible. I was particularly impressed by his analysis of the ‘standard’ GHE treatment which seems to assume that the earth is similar to a photosphere both in respect of energy input (which it clearly isn’t – the sun only shines on one hemisphere) and in respect of output ( which it is but in a very dynamic way during the daily cycle from dawn to suceeding dawn). It seems to me that the choice of this simplistic model may have something to do with the obvious difficulty of handling the more realistic model ( insolation of one hemisphere during the day and comple emission during both day and night).
    I’ve seen some comment suggesting that Postma’s analysis contains “simple errors’, although the supposed errors (as usual) were not elaborated. This seems just like ad hominem to me.
    What I haven’t seen is any evidence that the models beloved of the IPCC and warmists generally, take into account the terrestial realities of single hemisphere insolation and night and day heat emission. Perhaps someone who thinks the models accurately reflect terrestial conditions can enlighten me, and not just with a reference to some authority!! I really would like to see some evidence that the models don’t treat the earth as receiving insolation at around 340 W/m2 all around the surface, rather than around 1360W/m2 at the zenith of one hemisphere.


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    David Wood

    Saw that site before and was distinctly unimpressed. The usual sort of argument along the lines He’s wrong (but no evidence given of where) and we who know we are right, cause everybody says so. Also it doesn’t answer the question I posed about the reality , or lack of it of the warmist models which assume a weak sun surrounding the earth!! I think Joe Postma is spot on, the daylight sun obviously causes heat transfer which raises the temperature at the surface, in the tropics at least, to well above 30 degrees most of the time during the ‘heat of the day’. The gases in the atmosphere act to cool the surface air below what it would reach if there was no atmosphere. At night the atmosphere, and particularly its water vapour content, act to slow the rate of heat transfer to less than it would have been without an atmosphere.
    A few illustrative examples; On a summers day when there is little wind, dry sand at the beach gets so hot it’s hard to walk on with bare feet, on a sunny day with little wind in summer the air inside a closed car becomes suffocatingly hot, and the dry air in a desert location becomes extremely cold when the sun goes down at night. These things are real, the mathematically contrived models of the IPCC are not, at least there seems to be no evidence that they are.


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    Paul

    Spot on, David. I struggled all the way through that reference [http://www.skepticalscience.com/postma-disproved-the-greenhouse-effect.htm] and found it all smoke and mirrors.

    They are just trying to keep enough people bamboozled long enough to get their political agenda in place. Once the noose of these carbon regulations is around the necks of the people it will be very hard to get out of it. Observe how the current minority government in Australia is intent on making it impossible for a future government to reverse their current ‘carbon tax’, as evidence. And the bureaucracy that this will put in place will assist the totalitarian objectives of some in high places.

    Some simple, every day observations provide a complete refutation of the absurd ideas of CAGW. I have been recording the temperatures around the house frequently throughout the day for over two years and see a pattern that repeats constantly. As the sun is about to rise the temperature starts to rise, but once this minor increase occurs the Troposphere begins its daily overturning, keeping the near-earth air temperatures from rising quickly. The temperature of the air in the attic rises more quickly but that also levels off as radiation and convection step in to cool the roof. Inside the house insulation slows the rise of temperature even further.

    From my data I can tell with reasonable accuracy whether the day was clear or cloudy. On a heavily overcast day the temperatures remain fairly static all day whereas on a clear day the sunshine continues to heat the atmosphere until a peak in the late afternoon.

    Overnight the rate of cooling is again mostly dependent on the amount of cloud cover, with clear nights losing heat faster, and the loss tapers off to a minimum as the bulk of the atmosphere cools leaving a thin layer of warmer air near the surface. The effect of clouds has to be one of the major factors in determining the daily temperatures, far outweighing any postulated effect of any increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and, as the scientists agree, this is one area that is almost a complete mystery to them.

    Since these observations will be true of most of the earth’s surface, outside the Arctic circles, these simple observations are a complete refutation of the simplistic idea that the near-surface air temperature is controlled by the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It simply never is. And if it never is in any place at any time, then there is simply no way that it can be so ‘on average’.

    In fact, the concept of an average global temperature is totally non-physical and without any scientific value. It is by the postulation of such non-physical ‘values’ that the smoke and mirrors of this conjecture maintains its tenuous credibility in the minds of some who fear to think otherwise, even though common sense should kick in to tell them that they are being spooked by a phantom.

    Paul


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      Tristan

      And the bureaucracy that this will put in place will assist the totalitarian objectives of some in high places

      Spooked by phantoms indeed.


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        Paul

        No, the bureaucracy is real and will become all-pervasive with localised bureaucracies in each individual country and centralised control at the UN. The inital flow of money, instead of helping with reducing emissions, will be funnelled into creating all these bureaucracies. How many billions do they want?

        If you think that that does not produce opportunities for centralised control over other areas than ‘climate control’ then I think that you are not realistic in your thinking.

        The stupid part, though, is that even on their own admission, there will be no measurable change to the climate for a millennium.

        Paul


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      Jose_X

      >> found [criticism of Postma paper by skepticalscience to be] all smoke and mirrors

      I’ll read the Postma paper later. Note the article states that Postma made some simple errors (that cancel out) and criticized, not real climate modelling, but very simple models that are not used in practice. Note also the observation that Postma’s results do not fit measured atmosphere temperatures profiles.

      >> They are just trying to keep enough people bamboozled long enough to get their political agenda in place.

      I disagree with the view that skepticalscience is trying to lie to people.

      I hope you can separate science from politics. I’m not saying you can’t. I’m only bringing this point up since I thought we were talking about science. You seem fairly sure of skepticalscience intentions.

      >> Some simple, every day observations provide a complete refutation of the absurd ideas of CAGW.

      I did not read a single thing from your observations that disproves anything.

      >> Since these observations will be true of most of the earth’s surface, outside the Arctic circles, these simple observations are a complete refutation of the simplistic idea that the near-surface air temperature is controlled by the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

      Who told you that climate scientists attribute our temperature to CO2 and to nothing else? That would make no sense. The scientists have said that a very small amount of change in temp (a few degrees Celsius) will arise in a 100 year period (or so is their best safe guess at this point in time).

      Are you measuring your temperatures for 100 years and then comparing the measurements in the last year to those made in the first to see if there is a noticeable difference? If you aren’t doing that, then you aren’t grabbing the sort of evidence that can possibly help disprove the CO2 effect theories.

      Roy Spencer has been grabbing satellite data (I hear without revealing the details of the software he uses to process the raw data.. or the raw data itself.. but I could be wrong). He is a skeptic and probably wants to show that temperatures are not rising much, yet since satellites have been grabbing data, we have seen almost a one way rise in temps, even as the solar irradiance has been neutral to down. But he is doing the right thing by recording that data over all of these years. Lot’s of people are grabbing data and recording it in order to disprove/verify scientists.

      >> In fact, the concept of an average global temperature is totally non-physical and without any scientific value.

      You have never used average values to say something meaningful about a quantity? Almost every measurement in the world is based on average values. Your grade in school is an average value. Your compensation in work is frequently a near steady value based on average performance. Even bonuses and uneven income/profits are based on various averages. Pricing (eg, based on futures contract hedging and competition pressures) is based on averages to a large degree (despite immediate supply demand concerns). Average is a meaningful way to make a statement about a lot of data points. If the average amount of water you drink every day is 2 cups vs 8 cups, we are making a very real and useful statement of an average with real consequences.

      Please cite a source that says that average climate temp values are not meaningful. [I'm sure there have been some abuses of this average value, of course.]

      You get into problems when you average *too much* and use that to derive results. Basic mathematics can show that is the case (see below). But using average values to summarize results or after careful analysis is more than just acceptable, it is sometimes the only way to avoid the impractical. Further, Postma and many others that don’t like mainstream climate science appear to be the ones using oversimplified models in their work. I have seen various examples — all using averages and simplified models more than mainstream climates scientists (who actually look at time derivative evolution instead of trying to assume future values will remain constant or must be simple lines and curves with very little variability).

      Average done wrong:
      A) The area of a rectangle is side1 * side2. It’s very useful to look at area if we have crops and want to have an idea of how much we’ll be able to sell at the market. If we know we added 100 meters of fencing around our small production, we can’t just take the average value 100/4=25 meters per side and throw away the other information. Knowing the average side length can lead to very wrong estimates of how much crop we have. A square of side 25 has 2500 square meters of area (of crops). This is a problem because if our plot was 40 long by 10 wide (40 + 10 + 40 + 10 = 100), then we have crops on only 400 square meters. And 400 is much less than 2500.

      B) If we have to pay monthly bills, we can’t just focus on earnings/month averages. If most of our income comes from the end of year holiday season, that will prop up the average monthly value and lead to problems when the bills come in January, February, etc.. unless we plan and take out loans or dip into accumulated savings. Cash flows must be managed more carefully than assuming we make average value every month.

      Average done right:
      A) On the other hand, if we know we have a square area (or close to it) for crops, then we can just worry about the average side length and toss out the other information.

      B) If we are going to take out a loan or decide how much of past year earnings to retain, then we can rely on average monthly earnings.

      We must perform analysis to see if averages make sense under the context in which they are used.

      As stated, the simple models are being used by Spencer, Postma (apparently), and a number of other individuals that disclaim climate science results. If you look at actual climate scientists, you will frequently find a lot of detail in their work and will rely on models that have complex details to handle many eventualities.

      They also try to see how a real atmosphere evolves over time. In fact, “time evolution physics” is something significantly missing from most people I see disagreeing with climate science. They use today’s measured values, make a number of unstated assumptions about future values by using pure algebraic equations to derive future results. You frequently won’t find a single time-varying equation in their work. And time-varying differential equations forms the foundation of every modern scientific or engineering problem solving effort. We don’t get modern cars or airplanes or bridges without sophisticated computer processing of differential equations. And the climate is complex relative to these other disciplines.


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    Lars P.

    Jo, what I am missing in the greenhouse graphs is the “other side” of the cool object. As the atmosphere radiates both ways – down and up – and the radiation is not directional, the same w/m2 should flow up from the cool object as it is going down. It is not a ceiling with one way direction.
    When one adds the down+up flow of the cool object as shown on most greenhouse graphs one gets to numbers above the total inflow from warm to cold object. This does not make sense for me. How do you work this out?


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      Jose_X

      I think you should provide an example.

      When you put the details on paper, then we can analyze what you mean.


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi Jose X,

        You comment “I disagree with the view that skepticalscience is trying to lie to people”.

        Really?

        They use the KISS principle based on the fact that most visitors to their site have no real scientific education and will fall for anything that “sounds” good.

        Keep It Simple Stupid.

        If they don’t analyze the science and they refuse to correct the science they put out are they being deliberately nasty or just extremely self interested or perhaps delusional or perhaps in a semi religious fervor?


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    Paul

    “97% climate scientists”

    This figure of “97%” is often quoted in support of the claim that human activities are endangering the climate of our planet. However it represents merely the wishful thinking of one researcher, that he could influence public opinion, and was a foregone conclusion of his study. Read why at climatequotes.com. Study claiming ’97% of climate scientists agree’ is flawed

    Anyone who uses such quotations to support the CAGW ‘consensus’ is using rhetoric that is of zero scientific value.

    To put the whole issue into context, while there has been an increase in the ‘world-wide temperature anomaly’ over the past two centuries, this increase is not in itself sufficient to cause concern. Any concern as to the direction and magnitude of further temperature change is entirely dependent on a postulated multiplier effect which, to date, has been more conspicuous by its absence than by anything else.

    The concept of a ‘temperature anomaly’ is itself non-physical and as such a poor index of whether or not the globe is warming or cooling and by how much. The amount of energy resident in the atmosphere is a tiny fraction of the energy resident in the oceans and the land surface, as simple physics tells us. Which is why we have such concepts as ‘maritime’ and ‘continental’ climates. Leaving aside the question as to whether the ‘temperature anomaly’ has been biased by ‘the heat island effect’ or deliberately manipulated by skewed ‘adjustments’, the choice to use this metric rather than the more useful one of ocean temperature seems to be dependent on matters other than scientific ones.

    Then there is the issue of causation. To link that small ‘anomaly’ to an index of atmospheric carbon dioxide and then postulate that the former is caused by the latter, ignores so many other factors, all of which are potentially many orders of magnitude greater in their effect, as to be simply an empty speculation. This is why, after two decades of research and the spending of billions of dollars, there remains no direct observational data to support the speculation. Reliance on computer models as an alternative to hard data is sufficient proof of this failure. Yet the models cannot predict even the current anomaly, let alone the current temperature, accurately. How much less can they predict the future!

    Nor is it possible to equate the observed increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide with the use of fossil fuels. Other factors, such as changes in land-use and the out-gassing of carbon dioxide from the equatorial oceans accompanying their warming, have first to be quantified and allowed for. Only then can the residual increase be related to the use of fossil fuels and any relationship be examined.

    Since atmospheric carbon dioxide is a small part of the carbon cycle, one needs to look at both the natural sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and what changes may be occurring therein. Clearly, even in the official data of the IPCC, the natural flows of carbon dioxide into and out of the atmosphere are orders of magnitude greater than those caused by the use of fossil fuels. It is astonishing how so much fever of concern has been stirred up by ignoring all the naturally occurring flows and concentrating all the attention on the smallest flow of them all, then attributing to that smallest flow the power to change the global climate – and that, not in a marginal but in a catastrophic way. Some very great powers of persuasion have been in operation here!

    Getting back to the main topic of this thread, the role that atmospheric carbon dioxide plays in conserving the surface temperature on earth and how this relates to the second law of thermodynamics, it seems to me that there is one great miss-match being made. It is claimed that carbon dioxide, and other ‘greenhouse gasses’ such as water vapour, trap energy in the atmosphere and hence keep the surface temperatures warmer than in their absence. The miss-match that I see is to apply the results of experiments in the laboratory, which measured the radiative properties of still air after carefully eliminating all conduction and convection, to the chaotic and turbulent conditions in the troposphere where the laboratory conditions, essential to reproducing the experimental results, are entirely absent and where the radiative relationship therefor does not apply. Then, to support this ‘bait and switch’ argument the claim is made that anyone who doesn’t agree is ‘unscientific’, denies verifiable science and is a ‘denier’!

    Paul


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi Paul

      Your comment about keeping the “surface temperatures warmer” is a comment on the mysterious return energy that warmers use.

      Most of us think the temporarily “trapped” energy is in the atmosphere which is cooler than the surface and therefore cannot heat the surface.

      This energy eventually escapes to that big ole heat sink in the sky.

      Hopefully we wont lose too much or we’ll freeze.

      :)


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        Jose_X

        The sun warms the earth more when the atmosphere makes it harder to dissipate the sun’s continuous raining of heat.

        Put enough layers around you between your body and the outside (including on your face and hands and even inside a room with great insulation, etc), and you will eventually heat up to get a high fever and die (at which point your internal radiation level will cease and you will cool down). This process will be sped up if you first remove your sweat glands (with profuse sweating, you might possibly die of dehydration and mineral loss before you die of a fever).


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          Truthseeker

          Jose_X, this is not a good example because a person generates their own heat. Put more matter in contact with a heat source and more heat is stored. You are not proving anything relating to GHG here …


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            Jose_X

            The analogy matches the sun’s radiation upon the earth as your inside body’s radiation upon your skin.

            [I support these two distinctly located energy sources since theory and evidence seems to support that a lot of the sun's radiation is not blocked on the way down but the earth's IR radiation is blocked on the way up.]


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          Paul

          Jose_X
          January 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm · Reply

          The sun warms the earth more when the atmosphere makes it harder to dissipate the sun’s continuous raining of heat.

          Put enough layers around you between your body and the outside (including on your face and hands and even inside a room with great insulation, etc), and you will eventually heat up to get a high fever and die (at which point your internal radiation level will cease and you will cool down). This process will be sped up if you first remove your sweat glands (with profuse sweating, you might possibly die of dehydration and mineral loss before you die of a fever).

          You imply that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide “makes it harder to dissipate the sun’s continuous raining of heat.” And how does it do that?

          Where the sun is shining the troposphere is also busy ‘overturning’. Incoming radiation is converted to heat at the surface. This surface heat then either warms the air by conduction or evaporates surface water. The warmed, moist air rises and, with height cools and the water vapour re-condenses into water droplets releasing heat and forming clouds which precipitate rain or snow that further cool the surface. In the process heat is transported, quite apart from radiation, towards the top of the troposphere, somewhere about 14000 to 18000 M above the surface where the temperature is about -55° C and water vapour is entirely absent.

          In the presence of the sun’s radiation, temperatures within the troposphere thus result from the interplay of incoming radiation, conduction, latent heat of vaporisation and convection. Radiation has a negligible part in this movement of heat and is certainly not the controlling factor by day.

          With heat being transported away from the surface, uninhibited in any way by the radiative properties of still air, in what way is the atmosphere acting as an insulation blanket?

          Paul


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    Paul

    See my post at #600 above.

    Why was it given that number? Arrh!

    Paul


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    Jose_X

    Paul, I was paraphrasing Harry Huffman. He used that figure as you can see below.

    I agree that the 97% figure is likely abused. Part of the problem with that number is that different “skeptic/deniers” have different views. For some people, there are 97% (or maybe higher) of “climate scientists” who would disagree with their theory or with some important part of it. For other people, maybe less than 20% would comfortably disagree.

    My guess is that it’s probably a fair bet that “97% of climate scientists” accept the main points of the greenhouse effect. A very large percentage also probably accept that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas worth tracking.

    >> Being a competent physicist rather than an incompetent climate scientist (which 97% of them demonstrably are), I was able recently to post an answer on yahoo.com to a question about the greenhouse effect on Venus, an update to which I give here:

    >> Surprisingly to most, there is no greenhouse effect at all, and you can prove it for yourself.


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      Paul

      My guess is that it’s probably a fair bet that “97% of climate scientists” accept the main points of the greenhouse effect. A very large percentage also probably accept that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas worth tracking.

      And I would suggest that it is entirely irrelevant to the discussion whether any percentage of climate scientists accept anything or not!

      Can we agree that a greenhouse is not warmed because of the glass blocking radiation but because the glass [or plastic or rock-salt] prevents the normal circulation of the air inside the greenhouse?

      In which case, I would like to know, at which point in the atmosphere does carbon dioxide prevent air circulation? And if it does not prevent the circulation of air in just what way is it a ‘greenhouse’ gas?

      Just wondering.

      Paul


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        MattB

        Paul – greenhouses make air warmer. Greenhouse gases make the planet warmer. It is a popular term that is not particularly based in the actual science mechanisms of the warming. It will not be the first and it will not be the last. What does that have to do with anything anyway?


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          Dave

          Hey MattyB,

          A Greenhouse description is as follows: at Wiki

          A greenhouse is a structure with different types of covering materials, such as a glass or plastic roof and frequently glass or plastic walls; it heats up because incoming visible solar radiation (for which the glass is transparent) from the sun is absorbed by plants, soil, and other things inside the building. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. In addition, the warmed structures and plants inside the greenhouse re-radiate some of their thermal energy in the infrared spectrum, to which glass is partly opaque, so some of this energy is also trapped inside the glasshouse. However, this latter process is a minor player compared with the former (convective) process. Thus, the primary heating mechanism of a greenhouse is convection. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature drops considerably. This principle is the basis of the autovent automatic cooling system. Thus, the glass used for a greenhouse works as a barrier to air flow, and its effect is to trap energy within the greenhouse. The air that is warmed near the ground is prevented from rising indefinitely and flowing away.

          Amazing for a legend like yourself with knowledge of solar radiation etc. Where is the glass, polycarbonate, plastic etc that makes our planet earth similar to your “Greenhouse, Glasshouse or MATTYHAUS” that implies that CO2 is the driving force of more wet weather, more dry weather, more of everything.

          Is your electoral material stating your glasshouse effect on the world?


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          Paul

          Greenhouse gases make the planet warmer.

          That claim, I suggest, has been disproved.

          What difference does it make? Well people people know that greenhouses are warmer. They are told that it is because they ‘trap heat’. They are told that ‘greenhouse gases’ ‘trap heat’. They are encouraged to believe that both processes are the same. That, to me, is straight deception.

          Paul


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            Jose_X

            It hasn’t been “disproved”. Would you care to explain when it was disproved and who accepted that?

            Perhaps you will contact one of the top physics universities in the world because they didn’t get the memo: http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html

            > We examine in this chapter the role played by atmospheric gases in controlling the temperature of the Earth. The main source of heat to the Earth is solar energy, which is transmitted from the Sun to the Earth by radiation and is converted to heat at the Earth’s surface. To balance this input of solar radiation, the Earth itself emits radiation to space. Some of this terrestrial radiation is trapped by greenhouse gases and radiated back to the Earth, resulting in the warming of the surface known as the greenhouse effect. As we will see, trapping of terrestrial radiation by naturally occurring greenhouse gases is essential for maintaining the Earth’s surface temperature above the freezing point.

            And so you don’t think that is just a crazy rogue professor, look at this: http://green.harvard.edu/greenhousegas


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            Paul

            Jose_X
            January 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm

            It hasn’t been “disproved”. Would you care to explain when it was disproved and who accepted that?

            Do I have to tell you that science is not validated by whether someone in a position of authority accepts it or not?

            Just because activists occupy positions of authority and propaganise that this theory is ‘scientific’ does not make it so. That you should so quote them as if it did shows that you are not arguing from scientific evidence but from belief in a proposition.

            Thank you for clarifying where you stand.

            Paul


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        Jose_X

        >> whether any percentage of climate scientists accept anything or not

        This sounds to me like you don’t have much preference between having a florist help you learn chemistry vs getting advice on chemistry from a chemist.

        OR

        You really have a low opinion of this one particular group of experts (climate scientists).

        >> greenhouse is not warmed because of the glass blocking radiation but because [of convection]

        I agree that shutting off convection is what keeps a greenhouse warm, but what gets it warm in the first place (if convection is kept at bay) is the transparency to higher frequency sunlight. I haven’t carried out the experiment formally with thermometer, but I am of the belief that it gets hotter in a greenhouse with plants than in a large closed dark room with plants.

        The glass allows heat to flow inside while walls block such radiation heat.

        >> carbon dioxide prevent air circulation?

        1a) A greenhouse doesn’t prevent air circulation within itself.
        1b) CO2 doesn’t prevent air circulation within “itself”.

        2a) The convection denied a greenhouse is with the cooler environment outside the greenhouse.
        2b) The earth is also automatically denied convection currents flowing outside its CO2-mixed-in atmosphere into outer space.

        Greenhouses and greenhouse gases work similarly with respect to convection in that the air inside can move but can’t leave to be replaced with cooler air from outside (eg, allowing the earth’s air to be replaced with cooler Martian air).


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          Paul

          Jose_X
          January 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm · Reply

          >> whether any percentage of climate scientists accept anything or not

          This sounds to me like you don’t have much preference between having a florist help you learn chemistry vs getting advice on chemistry from a chemist.

          On the contrary, it means that I accept scientific explanations on their merit not on who offers them. I expect those explanations to be supported by verifiable data. If a chemist is trying to sell me a brand of toothpaste I don’t just accept his assertions as ‘scientific’ because a scientist is saying the words.

          And, true, it does indicate that I have a very low regard for most climate scientists. Shortly “climate science” will be used as a reproach in the same way as we use “tobacco science” today.

          It does not help your cause when you revert to the fallacy of “argument from authority”. Give facts, explain processes, convince by illuminating the issue and leave out who else agrees with you if you wish to enter a scientific argument.


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            Jose_X

            >> On the contrary, it means that I accept scientific explanations on their merit not on who offers them. I expect those explanations to be supported by verifiable data.

            I haven’t seen any evidence from you that finds inconsistencies in greenhouse effect theory. You seem to be against it but without evidence. That sounds to me like faith/bias.

            I do see your claims going against evidence. For example, you appear to say that the ground doesn’t radiate very much, yet measurements indicate otherwise.

            You appear to be picking your side based on something other than evidence.

            When I appeal to “authority”, I am actually appealing to people who rely on evidence.

            Does your theory explain why where ozone lies in the atmosphere the temperature is higher than further below?

            Do you have calculations to suggest why the earth’s average global surface temperatures are around their current figure rather than lower as dictated by simple Stefan Boltzmann derivation? If you don’t believe in average global temperatures, can you give a reason. We use averages all the time in meaningful ways, so please explain why you are against global average temp.

            Do you agree that CO2 absorbs and emits in certain frequency ranges? If not, what explanation do you have for its line spectra, and I am not just talking about physicists, line spectra are used in engineering, forensic science, chemistry, and many other areas to great success. What about other gases like N2 whose line spectra is noticeably missing in the IR range? And what about satellite reception of large quantities of radiation in the spectrum where CO2 has been repeatedly seen and recognized to absorb by scientist after scientist? What about quantum theory that explains such phenomenon, is that theory incorrect?

            Can you explain why some of the top physics students in high school go to Harvard year after year? These are kids who aren’t into climate science but simply understand lower level physics much better than most people ever will. Do you honestly think these university programs are a joke? It’s not just Harvard. Can you find a few programs that deny greenhouse effect? Of course, feel free to ignore this last paragraph, but it would be nice if you had a reply for the other ones.

            I sound a little agitated, I know. Don’t respond if you don’t want, but from my vantage point, I see someone claiming he is for evidence yet rejecting the work of people who do rely on evidence and have fairly consistent explanations for many things.


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            BenAW

            Do you have calculations to suggest why the earth’s average global surface temperatures are around their current figure rather than lower as dictated by simple Stefan Boltzmann derivation?

            That’s a simple one. SB simple gives 255K for averaged radiation spread around the globe.
            70% of he earths area is ocean, kilometers deep, with a temperature around 275K below the thermocline.
            This is already 20K above SB simple.
            Now add solar incoming and all your backradiation etc. to reach our pleasant 288K.
            Just 13K difference.
            Effect solar vs GHE ~100%/~0% in my world.
            Being generous make that 99/1, GHE is 1% of 13K, and most of that is by watervapour.
            Scary.


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            Jose_X

            >> 70% of he earths area is ocean, kilometers deep, with a temperature around 275K below the thermocline. This is already 20K above SB simple.

            The 275 exists in part because of “back radiation”/ghg effect, so it goes above and beyond the simple SB scenario.

            If you don’t want to accept ghg reasoning (which is what I wondered), then what explanation do you have for why 275 would exist if the sun is presumably (via SB) only responsible for about 255 on the surface? In other words, from whence cometh that extra temp if not from ghg?


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            BenAW

            My reply got lost, re-try:

            “The 275 exists in part because of “back radiation”/ghg effect, so it goes above and beyond the simple SB scenario.”

            I specifically stated “below the thermocline”, where solar heating has no influence anymore.
            I assume you’re not suggesting that backradiation can heat the oceans where solar radiation can’t?

            The oceans temperature is just there, probably left over from cooling since earths creation, or the last major meteorite impact.
            Remember earth is in radiative balance with solar radiation at TOA, so no change in total heat content. The oceans are probably in balance with the hot core below, being isolated by the crust, although there is a geothermal gradient of ~20K/km in the continents, ocean beds much higher since the crust there is much thinner.

            Ben Wouters


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      KinkyKeith

      Can you clarify “main points of the greenhouse effect” since people are starting to ascribe new meanings to the greenhouse effect to create confusion.


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    KinkyKeith

    Hi blouis79

    Good analysis.

    One of the problems with using the term “greenhouse effect” is that it has different meanings to different people.

    For warmers it may include the ridiculous second round of radiation from the atmosphere.

    For myself, the meaning I attach to it is this: the energy from ground origin IR is delayed in its journey to deep space and the accumulation of energy in the atmosphere will lead to either increased temperature or increased pressure or both.

    The fact that there are no “walls’ on our greenhouse means that high pressure air pockets will expand and rise, or if overhead clouds exist, simply push air sideways to achieve equilibrium.

    CO2 and especially man made CO2 plays a very minor roll in “my greenhouse” effect.
    It absorbs IR and transmits the energy immediately to other gases unable to absorb at the same frequency.

    Transmission mechanisms (physics – long time no see – be patient) will be either KE via impact of excited CO2 mols with other gases, or radiation (?).

    I notice in the last paragraph that “Bo Nordell has quantified the effect”.

    Without any real assessment I would guess that the sum total of all heat produced by human activity would be insignificant.

    Our Planet is surrounded by a gigantic limitless heat sink, a fact which all “Climate Scientists” either don’t know or want to keep hidden.

    We are not in danger of overheating, heat is easily dissipated, we are in great danger of FREEZING.


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      Jose_X

      >> For warmers it may include the ridiculous second round of radiation from the atmosphere.

      Are you aware that back radiation (downward longwave radiation, DLR) is very real and measured?

      And it is more than just a second round.

      >> the energy from ground origin IR is delayed in its journey to deep space

      But isotropic radiation means that we don’t just have radiation going up and sideways but also down. High up, the earth’s roundness means most radiation won’t hit the earth, but, near the ground, about 50% of the radiation will hit an object on the ground (actually very near the ground more tha 50% of “re-radiation” will hit unless you are talking about a super “flat” ocean or land terrain).

      With mirrors (“mirrors” aren’t a perfect analogy, naturally), you can raise the temperature in a space on earth by a lot. The radiation that would have left to outer space is being focused into an area.

      >> CO2 and especially man made CO2 plays a very minor roll in “my greenhouse” effect. It absorbs IR and transmits the energy immediately to other gases unable to absorb at the same frequency.

      Yes, CO2 does that, but that won’t be the only effect. A gas with a significant amount of vibrational energy that can radiate will do so to match its non zero Kelvin temperature.

      Back radiation is real and very significant in size near the ground.

      What happens, btw, if two already “hotter than average” molecules collide?

      And note that CO2 isn’t the main effect near the ground. H2O radiates more, and there is more H2O in the atmosphere from the extra bit of temperature raise that CO2 would cause alone (so increasing CO2 alone value gets multiplied a fair amount near the ground). [H2O condenses out of the air, so H2O does not play a significant role hither up.]

      >> Our Planet is surrounded by a gigantic limitless heat sink, a fact which all “Climate Scientists” either don’t know or want to keep hidden.

      Are you crazy? Can you point to a single published paper of the many thousands that have been published in climate related journals, or point to a single model used by the IPCC, that ignores space as a sink?

      If models ignored space, they would predict 100000K within a relatively very short time frame.

      If you are talking about the oceans, then climate models certainly consider the oceans. Go to skeptical science to see references to over 95% of the extra absorbed heat taking place in the oceans.

      >> heat is easily dissipated

      You know you can burn up inside an oven that is turned on, even if the oven is left outside in subarctic weather, right? The earth keeps adding energy to the planet. The planet radiates it away or it would have melted a long time ago, but the fact it radiates into a sink doesn’t mean the surface can’t get hot.

      Scientists and engineers use mathematics and models based on evidence just because they want to know if in one example the sink is powerful and leads to cooling but in another example the sink is not as effective and leads to warming.

      A semiconductor is simple in relation to the climate. We engineer devices to simple models. We take great pains to manufacture high quality so we can get quality electronics that meet engineered and useful high demanding specs. But we can’t engineer and mass produce our planet the same way to our liking. We take the complexity given and try to do our best. [BTW, "our" refers to humankind.]


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        KinkyKeith

        Obfuscation,

        Your latest :

        “Yes, CO2 does that, but that won’t be the only effect. A gas with a significant amount of vibrational energy that can radiate will do so to match its non zero Kelvin temperature.

        Back radiation is real and very significant in size near the ground.

        What happens, btw, if two already “hotter than average” molecules collide?”

        You don’t know what you are talking about.

        There is only ONE parcel of energy to assess.

        You cannot add more to create a magical “Back Radiation” effect.


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          Jose_X

          >> There is only ONE parcel of energy to assess.
          >> You cannot add more to create a magical “Back Radiation” effect.

          There is no magic. Instruments measure “back radiation”.. which is just radiation like any other.

          What “one parcel of energy” are you talking about?

          Are you saying that a mirror cannot fire back a photon fired at it? How do you see yourself on a mirror?

          Why is it so hard to believe that a CO2 molecule might fire back (or in some direction) a photon fired at it which it happens to absorb?


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        KinkyKeith

        From Jose

        ‘And note that CO2 isn’t the main effect near the ground. H2O radiates more, and there is more H2O in the atmosphere from the extra bit of temperature raise that CO2 would cause alone (so increasing CO2 alone value gets multiplied a fair amount near the ground). [H2O condenses out of the air, so H2O does not play a significant role hither up.]

        HERE WE HAVE JOSE DESCRIBING THE FAMOUS AMPLIFYING EFFECT OF CO2 ON WATER IN THE AIR.

        Pst .. ask somebody who knows some science what is meant by relative humidity and saturation point of water in air. CO2 amplifies water … ha ha ha .

        Ha Ha Ha.

        Nice try Jose, you lasted what was it, two days here or was it 3 ?


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          Jose_X

          [I'm resubmitting this from yesterday since it didn't post.]

          >> ask somebody who knows some science what is meant by relative humidity and saturation point of water in air. CO2 amplifies water … ha ha ha

          Higher temperatures allow more H2O molecules to dissolve in the air. In other words, warmer air can hold more water vapor.

          I stated this, that the rise in temperature from CO2 would be multiplied as more water would be able to exist in the air.

          See wikipedia: Relative_humidity#Other_important_facts


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            John Brookes

            Hey Jose, you are right.


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            Jose_X

            @BobC, I appreciate his measured discussion, concluding:

            > I am not saying that’s what I necessarily believe. I will admit to having waffled on this issue over the years, but that’s because there is evidence on both sides of the debate.
            > At a minimum, I believe the water vapor feedback issue is more complicated than most mainstream researchers think it is.

            Of course, keep in mind this is one person only, and one whose views are in the minority of climate scientists who study these topics. Barry Bickmore lists some examples of Spencer going a little over the top http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/roy-spencer/ .


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            Jose_X

            @BobC, btw, I generally don’t like to post criticisms of other works people have done as if that were argument against the current writing under the spotlight, but Roy (Spencer) has a number of related theories he is pursuing relating to water/clouds and positive/negative degree of “feedback”.

            Not only did he not take a position in that essay against CO2 warming being multiplied by water (he was rather cautious and mostly wanted to express his doubt on the matter), but at other times, when he has done something similar (eg, arguing for a much lower climate sensitivity, in part because of these issues), he has not been too successful arguing the point to others with know-how.

            Feel free to follow some of the links Barry has posted on that topic since he is one who has shown problems in one or more of Roy’s works.


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            BobC

            Hi Jose_X,

            Here are some experimental results on water vapor in the upper troposphere over a number of decades.

            Here’s the situation:

            1) Radiosondes report (by direct measurement) that WV has been decreasing since 1973.

            2) Some satelite measurements agree with the radiosonde data, some do not.

            3) Climate scientists have been doing “reanalyses” — begining with the assumption that the radiosonde data can’t be trusted, since they are “inconsistent with climate-model calculations” and that “there exists no theoretical support for having a positive short-term water vapor feedback and a negative long-term one” (Refering to the WV following the 1998 El Nino temperature bump, but being decorrelated since then, as shown in this graph ).

            Some of these reanalyses show that maybe water vapor has been rising. (Can we say “Confirmation Bias”?)

            Apparently, engineers are no better at making humidity sensors than they are at making thermometers. (I sense a government grant to develop such sensors that never produce data violating politically-correct theories. I think it could be done, if all such sensors are continuously connected to the Internet and have available the latest politically-correct “data”.)

            As to Spencer’s work, apparently NOAA agrees with him that, even if we knew for sure that WV in the upper toposphere was increasing or decreasing, we still wouldn’t know whether the feedback (from more WV) was positive or negative.

            Bob C also wrote this comment which was later lost:

            Jose_X
            January 23, 2012 at 12:06 am ·

            I stated this, that the rise in temperature from CO2 would be multiplied as more water would be able to exist in the air.

            Now, if only the world would fall in line and comply.

            (Another beautiful theory destroyed by cruel reality.)


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            Jose_X

            @BobC,

            We can probably agree on these three points:

            1: Higher temps allow for more WV in the air

            2: The net effect of more WV (assuming there is more of it in our atmosphere) is something over which there probably is significant amount of uncertainty. NOAA stated in that link that there is much uncertainty. Spencer stated this in that essay. [Note that uncertainty doesn't mean the hypothesis is disproven.] I have heard many state that we really aren’t very sure.

            3: I’m guessing from your comment and from a 2010 Dessler paper that most published research analyzing radiosonde data appear to say that humidity is not going down. [You claim this is confirmation bias. I recognize that it might be, but so can anything whenever you have a few people gathered together believing something.]

            Also, I’d like to say some more things

            4: As concerns the graph you linked covering some 17 years where CO2 is going up fast, temp is going up a little, and humidity is going down a little, I don’t agree that that disproves AGW as that chart states. There are so many variables present and climate science has been clear that the long term direction of the climate (on the 30+ year range), eg, for global average temperature, can contradict the shorter term many times. To use an economics analogy, we can have inflation going up fast even while the price of wheat is going down a little and the amount of currency in circulation is going up a little. The reason is that numerous factors and product prices define inflation (especially in a world economy of imports/exports). Similarly, we might have a DJII component going down and some others going up a little even while the general Dow goes up a fair amount.

            5a: I replied in another blog posting to a thermometer fix example by the BEST project by stating that those fixes for the mid 20th century were focused sort of around the time satellites came into the picture, and they resulted in low error bars from that point forward. The older thermometer values that didn’t get the fixes still maintained their higher level of uncertainty.That transition helps match older data with satellite data. [I am assuming the satellite data was a motivator for making that connection, and I am not saying there aren't potential statistical traps.]

            5b: I haven’t researched this too much, but another motivator, perhaps the main one, might have been to deal with temperature standards. If new thermometers have readings based on a different definition of mercury movement (or whatever), that could be reason to calibrate past values with current definitions. I did find the following after a quick google search: From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_System_of_Units
            > The history of the metric system has seen a number of variations, the use of which has spread around the world, to replace many traditional measurement systems. At the end of World War II, a number of different systems of measurement were still in use throughout the world. Some of these systems were metric-system variations, whereas others were based on customary systems. It was recognised that additional steps were needed to promote a worldwide measurement system. As a result, the 9th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM), in 1948, asked the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) to conduct an international study of the measurement needs of the scientific, technical, and educational communities.
            > Based on the findings of this study, the 10th CGPM in 1954 decided that an international system should be derived from six base units to provide for the measurement of temperature and optical radiation in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic quantities. The six base units that were recommended are the metre, kilogram, second, ampere, degree Kelvin (later renamed kelvin), and candela.

            5c: The fixes might be to account for common past materials and techniques used in manufacturing relative to current techniques/materials. This is actually related to 5a and 5b.

            I don’t know the reasons or details of those changes, but I am suspect of a theory stating that those changes would be done to promote global warming. “Suspect” means I place the burden of proof on such a theory.

            6: I don’t want to downplay your comment about radiosondes. I would like to research more on that or maybe glance at one of the “reanalysis” papers.


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            BobC

            OK Jose_X;

            You seem to be open to investigating the whole “thermometer adjustment” thing, but are skeptical that it could represent fraud.

            Here, then, is an example of “reanalysis” of arctic and world temperature data. Notice that temperature readings over 120 years old are being “adjusted” downwards — just “happening” to show that warming during the last century was significantly larger than had been thought (even by the IPCC, in 1992).

            In case you think there might be something even remotely valid about this, this site demonstrates (by quoting local news articles from the time) that the “new, improved” arctic temperture “history” is inconsistent with reports of ice melt and advance made by people living there.

            The website, http://www.real-science.com archives the flaky manipulations that the AGW crowd of climate “scientists” are doing to the historical record. It’s remarkable that every “adjustment” serves to increase the perception of current warming and erase the evidence of past warming (e.g., during the 1930′s and 40′s), even to the extent of completely contradicting observational evidence from the period. What are the chances of that being accidental and/or done in good faith?

            It is either fraud or massive incompetence.


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            Jose_X

            BobC, anyone who cares about science takes data manipulation (at least when done by others) very seriously.

            Of the many many people with access to this data (I presume many have access if such a website has access), anyone who doubts the integrity and appropriateness of the methods now has to step up and “write a paper” arguing this.

            Without measurement context who can tell if the changes were justified? I can’t judge that from what little I read on that page and what you told me.

            It’s time to step up to the bat if “you” think there is a problem or have significant suspicions. If “you” succeed, others will be less likely to rely on the modified data (or modification algorithms) and instead rely on the older (or existing raw) data.


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        BobC

        Jose_X
        January 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm
        @BobC,

        4: As concerns the graph you linked covering some 17 years where CO2 is going up fast, temp is going up a little, and humidity is going down a little, I don’t agree that that disproves AGW as that chart states.

        I linked the chart to demonstrate the fact that WV followed the 1998 El Nino temperature bump, but has been uncorrelated with temperature since then. Because climate scientists don’t have a theoretical explanation for this, they are using it as evidence that the WV measurements are in error. This is a classic example of confirmation bias.


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    BenAW

    “The 275 exists in part because of “back radiation”/ghg effect, so it goes above and beyond the simple SB scenario.”

    I specifically stated “below the thermocline”, where solar heating has no influence anymore.
    I assume you’re not suggesting that backradiation can heat the oceans where solar radiation can’t?

    The oceans temperature is just there, probably left over from cooling since earths creation, or the last major meteorite impact.
    Remember earth is in radiative balance with solar radiation at TOA, so no change in total heat content. The oceans are probably in balance with the hot core below, being isolated by the crust, although there is a geothermal gradient of ~20K/km in the continents, ocean beds much higher since the crust there is much thinner.

    Ben Wouters


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi BenA

      I was looking for a place to comment on another question by Jose and found you hhad already made my comment.

      Here goes anyway.

      Jose asks: in relation to ocean temperature: “words, from whence cometh that extra temp if not from ghg?”

      Well, as I’ve said before on many occasions the Earths Atmospheric heat balance is very complex. Deep down isde ourselves we are all vaguely aware that the Earth is cooling but don’t factor this cooling into heat balances. For example, I’ve never seen it mentioned in any warmer balance because all they want to do is implicate CO2 as an atmospheric accelerant and stuff the science.

      The problem for warmers is that there is a constant heat flux from ground to air that must be accounted for. I wonder if Jose can quantify this loss. Perhaps use Watts/ m2.

      Perhaps some of this leaking heat can get into the water supply??

      We lose too much heat and we are going to freeze.


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        Jose_X

        >> We lose too much heat and we are going to freeze.

        [Ben,] it’s nice to hear something new (I started looking into global warming last year I think). I hadn’t looked at oceans much (because it hardly comes up), and it’s about time.

        KinkyKeith, the temperature profile suggests to me the oceans are being heated net from the top to the bottom. So the more time passes, the warmer the oceans should get. http://www.onr.navy.mil/focus/ocean/water/temp3.htm [I haven't really studied water and pressure/temp variations.]

        You appear to be saying that the center of the earth (or other phenomenon) would keep the bottom of the ocean at a few degrees above freezing point of water (even at those depths) with the help of ghg atmosphere, but you don’t want to credit ghg effect too much.

        I’ll probably post some more in a while.


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          KinkyKeith

          Jose

          Ever been down a vertical 1300 metre mine shaft.

          20 deg C on the surface and 45 deg C at the bottom.

          Any good scientist can tell you how the ocean picks up heat energy and to what depth – just ask one.


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            Jose_X

            >> Any good scientist can tell you how the ocean picks up heat energy and to what depth

            Yes, but how much does it pick up and from where?

            Did you see the chart of ocean temperatures how it gets colder as you go down? Explain how that means that the earth is releasing more heat than the atmosphere provides? It doesn’t.

            The release of heat from the earth appears to be very slow.

            From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_gradient#Heat_flow
            > Total heat loss from the earth is 44.2 TW … This is approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average, (about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation,) but is much more concentrated in areas where thermal energy is transported toward the crust by convection such as along mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes.[13] The Earth’s crust effectively acts as a thick insulating blanket which must be pierced by fluid conduits (of magma, water or other) in order to release the heat underneath.

            Look at this graph http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/300px-Geothermgradients.png . It suggests the temperature profile changes very slowly near the surface and hardly at all further down.

            So earth is hot inside, but this moves to the surface very slowly. This is consistent with ocean depth being cold.

            Good scientists appear to have concluded based on measurements that the earth cannot keep us warm. The temperature is defined by the sun’s irradiance and how that heat eventually makes its way into cold space.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Jose

            “So earth is hot inside, but this moves to the surface very slowly. This is consistent with ocean depth being cold.

            Good scientists appear to have concluded based on measurements that the earth cannot keep us warm. The temperature is defined by the sun’s irradiance and how that heat eventually makes its way into cold space.”

            “This is approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average”

            Good.


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      Jose_X

      @BenaW

      The temperature of the planet, if there were no atmosphere or white ice (so low albedo), might be closer to 0 C.

      With more reflective surfaces, we end up blocking some sunlight (which promotes colder environment) but ghg bring the temperature up to the 15 C global average range.

      This might be why the ocean depths are near 0C — that this would be the natural temp without atmosphere.

      However, the extra heat absorption off the planet’s IR that ghg give us is countered by the clouds/ice rise in albedo, yet ghg dominate. The difference is the 33C or so people talk about.

      If we use Venus as a model, we might even hypothesize that as CO2 increases many many orders of magnitude, total back radiation increases significantly (maybe 20-fold) to double or triple the temperature (in Kelvin, since fourth root of power multiplier) while the albedo roughly doubles from .3 to .6.

      This description makes sense.

      It’s also not too far from the idea that the deepest parts of the oceans would be around 0C as you guys suggest.

      Now, what I don’t understand is, if we start at this 0 point (why not?) and consider albedo increases that will reduce sun irradiance, how can we conclude that ghg has negligible effect? That doesn’t follow unless you describe an alternate mechanism to come up with the missing heat that leads us to 15 C or so when otherwise the surface temperature (top of water, land, and bottom of air) would be near -15C (because of .3 albedo).

      In other words, it doesn’t matter what we theorize about the ocean depth because at the surface we can see that we would have a driver towards -15C or so but instead experience 15C or so. If ghg doesn’t do that, what does?


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        KinkyKeith

        Totally scientifically incomprehensible.

        Please do carry on. It’s amusing, or if you feel more comfortable go back to skeptical science.

        I have no issue with people who are genuinely searching, but Jose you are not what you claim to be ie. someone who is qualified to tell Harry dale Huffman about science.


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          Jose_X

          KinkyKeith, I left some questions for Huffman that you may want to answer for him.

          If you didn’t read what I wrote or if you don’t understand it, I don’t think you are in a position to judge who is being scientific or not.


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        BenAW

        You’re talking total nonsense now.

        Oceans are 275K (+2C) and assume no heat transfer from hot core to oceans.
        Incoming solar in the tropics can reach ~1000W/m^2 AFTER correcting for 30%
        albedo. This heats the oceans top layer. Google thermocline for more info.
        Warm ocean heats atmosphere from below by conduction and convection.
        GHE is non-existent.

        Ben Wouters


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          KinkyKeith

          Hi BenAW

          I said before, in post to Jose, that : “Any good scientist can tell you how the ocean picks up heat energy and to what depth”.

          I actually didn’t know much about it but wanted to give him a bone to work with: The possibility that core heat did something to the ocean.

          I think it was you who said the oceans are probably the temp they are because of residual heat from an earlier time.

          The basic convection mechanism is that cold water sinks in the polar regions.

          This spreads and pushes up other areas at the equator which are warmer and moves that water towards the poles. Very general.


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          • #
            BenAW

            In the polar regions the thermocline “surfaces” so the surface temp is about the same as the deep temps.
            Seasons make the thermocline layer move north and south, following the sun with 1-2 months delay, allowing freezing of the polar sea where the sun isn’t shining that season. Probably the mechanism for iceages imo.
            Reduced incoming solar (multiple or large vulcano eruptions blocking the sun for quite some time. Thermocline layer “retreats” towards the equator allowing freezing over at both poles. Albedo increases rapidly, a tipping point (finally a real one ;-)


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          Jose_X

          >> Incoming solar in the tropics can reach ~1000W/m^2 AFTER correcting for 30% albedo.

          Yes, you can see graphs of a location in California that approaches the 1000 W/m^2 for downward shortwave radiation during the daylight hours. This comment http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/just-put-the-model-down-roy/#comment-8132 covers that and related graphs.

          >> Warm ocean heats atmosphere from below by conduction and convection.
          GHE is non-existent.

          Graphs showing upward/downward longwave/shortwave radiation can be found from that link just given. The radiation level numbers add up similarly to the popular Trenberth diagrams. There is significant radiation near the ground both upward facing and downward facing.

          Considering water has an emissivity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissivity very near to 1 http://www.infrared-thermography.com/material-1.htm , I think I will place my best with the view that radiation is escaping into the atmosphere in significant quantities.

          CO2 and H2O together can absorb significant amounts in that IR range emitted by the earth+oceans. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png ] That absorbed energy goes somewhere. And the complementary “re-radiation” is isotropic, meaning that near the ground about half is aimed at it. The ground doesn’t discriminate between photons that hit is from the sun or from somewhere else.

          I think I am making the point fairly, but I’ll ask for a little bit of help. Here are lecture notes on greenhouse effect by a Caltech professor http://bicep0.caltech.edu/~ebierman/Teaching/Spring2011_raw/Sukumoto/ranking%20task/GreenhouseEffect.doc . Like with the Harvard professor I linked to, I want to add evidence that the Caltech lecture isn’t controversial as seen by the school (or by the world). Caltech, arguably the top graduate physics institution in the country if not the world, describes their commitment to trying to keep a check on the greenhouse effect. http://sustainability.caltech.edu/climate . From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Institute_of_Technology “Caltech was ranked as the best university in the world in two categories: Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences.” Caltech, like Harvard, teaches a lot more than simply “climate scientists”. If you mock their well accepted teachings, you are mocking physicists and scientists in general. Sure, what do those folks know? But, please, feel free to completely ignore this paragraph and instead focus on the prior ones providing the argument and associated evidence.


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            BenAW

            Graphs showing upward/downward longwave/shortwave radiation can be found from that link just given. The radiation level numbers add up similarly to the popular Trenberth diagrams. There is significant radiation near the ground both upward facing and downward facing.

            I’m not a radiative expert by any stretc of the imagination, so I have to select which theory feels right to me.
            I like to go with radiative engineers who actually work with the stuff.
            They seem to agree that radiation from a colder to a hotter body is possible, but doesn’t change the temp. of the hotter body, because the colder radiation doesn’t have the energy to bring the hotter atoms at a higher vibrational level.

            Another point is all the “radiation” measurements. All these devices seem to measure a TEMPERATURE, and then calculate the amount of radiation using SB.
            So which temperature are you mesauring when looking upward?

            One more thing, not all temperatures are made equal ;-)
            compare a sauna at 90C and a hot bath at 90 at 90C.
            Sauna no problem for me, hot bad? Ask a lobster.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi BenAW

            You’ve got it.

            ALL objects above minus 273.16 deg C radiate energy but do so in the context of moving towards equilibrium with surroundings.

            For example: Two large cubes of ice (temp 0 deg C) with sides 1 metre length are place near each other in a freezer at minus 5 deg C.

            The two cubes will radiate from all 5 exposed faces (ignore the bottom one) and no doubt some of the radiation will be picked up by the neighbouring ice cube.

            The freezer air will be heated by the warmer surface of the cube, small convection cells will be set up and aid heat transfer to the freezer air which is maintained mechanically at – 5 deg.

            Eventually equilibrium will be reached and the ice will be – 5 deg C all the way through.

            At this point we now face our question: do these two blocks now radiate towards each other. maybe but from an engineering point of view it is irrelevant on a macroscopic scale that we live in.

            In the same way discussion of the special “Back-Radiation” used by Climate Scientists is irrelevant at the macroscopic level.

            It is only the net radiation that is important.

            Jose: appeals to authority are POINTLESS in a scientific discussion.


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            Jose_X

            @BenAW
            >> I like to go with radiative engineers who actually work with the stuff.

            For the record, the scientists who work at Harvard and Caltech and many other universities, as well as those from many companies and who believe in the traditional theories that support greenhouse effect, have plenty of experience. [I am countering an existing appeal to authority in likewise manner.]

            >> They seem to agree that radiation from a colder to a hotter body is possible, but doesn’t change the temp. of the hotter body, because the colder radiation doesn’t have the energy to bring the hotter atoms at a higher vibrational level.

            Let me ask this. Isn’t the sun at much higher temperature than the earth’s surface? Although I don’t understand the details of the theory you are talking about, can you clarify how having a very very hot sun (at much over 1000C) providing the initial source of energy to the earth somehow wouldn’t allow the earth to get hotter, say “merely” to 90C, if we were to place a sufficiently powerful ghg blanket over the planet? In other words, doesn’t the sun have sufficient energy for the 90C vibrational level?

            I’d also like to know (in the theory you are talking about) if a mirror somehow dilutes the ability of that radiation to later raise matter to the same vibrational level (temp) as it could do before?

            And can you explain how we can create temperatures in a laboratory or manufacturing plant that are much much much hotter than the earth’s temperature.. or even hotter then the temperature of the surface of the sun? How can it be that engineers can use low temperature items yet create the super high components (photons?) that would allow some substance to get into a super high “vibrational level”?

            >> Another point is all the “radiation” measurements. All these devices seem to measure a TEMPERATURE, and then calculate the amount of radiation using SB. So which temperature are you mesauring when looking upward?

            Why are you assuming the devices are measuring temperature?

            Why is it that at the same exact height, turning the instrument up to face the sky will produce a smaller value (even much smaller, if we go up in altitude enough) than when the instrument is facing down towards the earth? A thermometer will produce the same value no matter how we rotate it because that spot (and all spots nearby) are at the same temperature, but a pyrgeometer and a pyranometer will produce different values.

            >> compare a sauna at 90C and a hot bath at 90 at 90C.
            Sauna no problem for me, hot bad? Ask a lobster.

            Yes, part of the reason has to do with there being more energy packed into the denser water than into the air. Temperature is a measure of averages. [I didn't catch how this helped disprove either the ghg effect or what the article at the top stated.]


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            Jose_X

            @KinkyKeith
            >> but do so in the context of moving towards equilibrium with surroundings.

            The atmosphere and earth have a statistical tendency to move towards equilibrium. One of the main argument here is about what that equilibrium value would be and what can help set it.

            >> the special “Back-Radiation” used by Climate Scientists is irrelevant at the macroscopic level

            I didn’t see how the -5C ice cube example disproves anything about greenhouse effect.

            >> It is only the net radiation that is important.

            Greenhouse gases increase the net radiation level hitting the earth’s surface.

            Also, the atmosphere acquires greater net radiation because the ghg are there to absorb energy that otherwise would quickly make its way towards space.

            As with the oven examples, after equilibrium, we have same energy going in as going out, but this happens at a higher temperature. Also, eventually all heat dissipates when we turn off the oven. There was no creation or destruction of energy.. it merely resided in different forms and in different locations at different times.

            How is it that we can turn on cold gases in a cold laser shell so that it can fire a beam of radiation that would be able to melt steel? How does your theory explain this?

            >> Jose: appeals to authority are POINTLESS in a scientific discussion.

            I argue the case, but every now and then I reply to someone who already has “appealed to authority” or I wonder what the person thinks of all the experiments and writings that have been done in support of what I am talking about. I haven’t seen anyone here give a rebuttal of current theories or explain “gotchas” with the alternative theories. For example, I pose __numerous__ questions that go __unanswered__. You aren’t going to convince me to follow a theory if you can’t defend it against challenges or if you can’t argue that our current accepted theories used to great success by many for many years would be wrong.


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            BenAW

            Jose_X
            January 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            I only stated that imo radiation from a COLDER body can’t warm a WARMER body.
            Of course the opposite is happening. pse read carefully

            “Why are you assuming the devices are measuring temperature?”
            Google pyrgeometer, sensor is a thermocline, google thermocline, find answer.

            How is colder air, with a lower “energy density” than the ground going to warm it?
            Only situation this is possible imo is when a low level inversion exists, and even then the “energy density” difference will make this a minor event.

            For a good read on measuring radiation:
            http://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf


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            Jose_X

            BenAW,
            >> pyrgeometer, sensor is a thermocline

            I found that little remark extremely distracting.

            :-)

            The word is “thermopile”, btw. For some reason I continue to forget it and have to keep looking for its spelling. Go figure.

            This comment comes in 5 sections.

            1. Laser Cooling: Yes, a warm object can further cool a cold object via radiation
            2. Temperature, Thermodynamics, Radiation, Chemical Storage, and the Sun
            3. Mirrors: Helping to achieve power
            4. Pyrgeometer: Does back radiation exist?
            5. The Greenhouse Effect

            Any theory which aims to displace certain properties of our radiation/photon model needs ultimately to be able to explain a whole lot of “modern” technology.

            1. Laser Cooling: Yes, a warm object can further cool a cold object via radiation

            First let’s read a little news, take your pick
            a) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070406171036.htm
            b) http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/23/laser_cooled_semiconductor/

            Next, let’s look at how laser cooling works via a short online learning demo
            http://www.ph.unimelb.edu.au/~scholten/opticshome/lasercool/lasercool.html

            What we see is that there are ways to adjust the frequency of laser light radiation and aim it to slow down some molecules more than others are sped up, eventually leading to an extremely cold surface.

            The moral of the story is that humans can engineer materials and power sources to apparently defy thermodynamics if we don’t look at thermodynamics carefully. Also, we need many theories beyond thermodynamics to understand many details in nature. Arguably the most successful family of theories are quantum mechanics. Radiative transfer and many of the fundamental aspects behind the greenhouse effect are clearly within quantum mechanical predictions. While thermodynamics gives a rough guide to go buy and sets up some bounds, quantum mechanics deals with many low level details.

            2. Temperature, Thermodynamics, Radiation, Chemical Storage, and the Sun

            Quickly, let’s see how the first and second laws of thermodynamics are likely not violated with laser cooling. These laws have roots going back to before we understood radiation well, but the laws still hold.

            From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics , the first law:
            > Increase in internal energy of a system = heat supplied to the system – work done by the system.

            This says nothing about warm objects not being able to cool cold objects. As long as we (aka, the environment) keep adding more heat or doing more work to the system than it releases or does, the temperature will keep increasing.

            And what about thermodynamic equilibrium? or the second law?

            The link above also explains the second law a bit.

            An important idea to understanding laser cooling is that we create an interchange media (aka, the boundary between the target and the environment) that slow down conduction and convection to almost negligible rates in comparison to the rates of radiation energy transfer. Radiation is more easy to guide precisely than conduction or convection and allows us to avoid strong conductive/convective effects since it can work very fast “from a distance”. Also, radiation can interact with matter through reflection and transmittance in addition to absorption, allowing us to potentially guide energy towards places without losing much along the way.

            So is the second law violated? Probably not (if we could measure it accurately to know). The second law allows one system (or one part of the system) to get cold while another gets warm. What it doesn’t allow is for there to be less “disorder” (entropy) after that interaction. This basically means that we can possibly get something to be much hotter or colder than the surroundings, but we must sacrifice something in the process. For example, we must scatter extra energy around to the environment (“waste heat”) as we remove heat from the target. Air conditioners and laser cooling each do this.

            A key ingredient to humans engineering “defying” acts of temperature manipulation has been our mastery of various properties of electromagnetic radiation. Principally among these has been our mastery of generators/motors and of other energy transfer tools (like radiation-emitting lasers). So electromagnetic radiation has played a very important part in conquering heat flows. Naturally, we create disorder in the process, but without radiation we could not achieve such control.

            Note that at the core of all our abilities is the sun’s energy (and eons old potential energy stored in the nucleus of atoms, energy which arguably also originated from the sun). Chemical storage is how “plants” have tapped the sun and allows us to have energy from food and to power machines. The energy of molecules can certainly be transferred around as electromagnetic radiation. Via radiation, the molecular and electronic potential energy changes to provide doses of energy to far away objects. One object cools while another later gains heat. And the radiation doesn’t require that the source be warmer than the destination. We can, as laser cooling shows, have a warmer object, such as the gas heated within the laser via a cooler energy source and mirrors, provide lots of radiation yet manage to cool down the target. As long as we have energy to waste and keep increasing the entropy of the universe, we can heat or cool almost anything to almost any temperature.

            Mother nature too can perform these feats since the same physical laws that guide our products also guide the rest of nature.

            3. Mirrors: Helping to achieve power

            Mirrors allow us to divert radiation from some source to a desired destination. This reflective property is key to enabling various forms of heat concentration. We see a simple example here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power .

            We can also control transmission and use it to guide photons to a destination of choice.

            Reflection and transmission are in fact two powerful ways to keep the radiation on a controlled path instead of being absorbed and later dissipated in random directions (eg, as waste heat). To say that mirrors or lenses cannot be used to redirect radiation energy so that it concentrates and potentially heats a source further is to deny the existence of the magnifying glass that enables us to start fires, the telescope allowing us to see otherwise weakly faint objects, superior cooking techniques, and the laser, to name just a few inescapable tools in our society. Throughout our uses of these tools, entropy is increasing. We increase the rate of heat flow to the heated object to overcome enough of the cooling that would otherwise result. And the source of this energy need not be as hot as the destination. The mirrors surface may not be warm enough to cook a hotdog or boil water, but the radiation focused by the mirror certainly can.

            Let’s wrap up mirrors with the example of the laser.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser#Design
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_pumping#Optical_pumping
            http://www.colorado.edu/physics/PhysicsInitiative/Physics2000/lasers/lasers2.html This one has animation on page 4.

            These links basically show that we can heat up a core heating element (eg, with electricity) so that it releases isotropically as a “blackbody” a fair amount of radiation to its surroundings. Mirrors surrounding this heated element (for example, leveraging our mathematical understanding of the properties of ellipses and various surfaces) reflect much of this radiation to, for example, a glass tube containing CO2. The radiation not absorbed by the gas (because the gas absorbs limited spectra of radiation) is absorbed by the tube itself and “re-radiated” as a blackbody again, providing another dose of the right frequency acceptable to the gas. The electrically excited gas molecule can lose that energy in various ways, including by bumping around, but when enough of the gas is excited from enough doses of radiation it absorbed at the characteristic frequencies, new radiation at those frequencies hitting the excited molecules again leads to two photons leaving alongside each other and a relaxed molecule ready to be excited once again. In essence, rather than having the excited states decay ordinarily and without fanfare, the high frequency of radiation bombardment leads to magnification of characteristic frequency(ies). Eventually, the bouncing photons once aligned and aimed properly can leave through a narrow exit, contributing to the laser beam we see leaving the laser cavity. The laser beam radiation can be designed to be extremely energized and focused to weld, cut, superheat, etc, steel and many other materials. All of this from a normal power source and thanks to mirrors.

            Yes, mirrors can help really heat up a target surface by helping to aim sufficient radiation.

            4. Pyrgeometer: Does back radiation exist?

            Our eyes sense visible light. Our skin reacts to a lot of IR. There are a number of precision instruments which can be used to measure radiation of various frequencies. A quick googling for “spectroscopy instruments” yielded this selection from some firm http://www.newport.com/Spectroscopy-Instruments/995901/1033/content.aspx .

            Let’s focus on a pyrgeometer.

            At its heart we have a device called a thermopile, which consists of numerous thermocouples. A thermocouple is basically two wires each made out of a different metal alloy and joined together to form a circuit. One end of one wire is fused to one end of the other wire and the remaining two ends likewise are joined to each other. This simple instrument will develop a small potential difference between each of these two joints whenever the joints are at different temperatures. Thus, a thermocoupler, and a thermopile by extension, can be used to identify a difference in temperature. Note that a thermocoupler does not identify a temperature, only a difference in temperature between its “hot” joint and its “cold” joint. For standardized pairs of alloys, formulas are provided for converting the voltage values into degrees.

            To understand how we jump from a temperature gradient sensor to a radiation sensor, we can ask, what is temperature, what is radiation, and how do they differ? Intuitively, we know that things tend to move towards the same temperature when they are near each other. We know hot, and we know cold. Without going into precise experiments, we also understand that radiation is something that likely exists and can transmit energy across distances without involving molecules in between to do the work. We are familiar with lasers, televisions, x ray machines, and the sun, to name a few sources of radiation.

            The focus next will be on briefly describing an experiment using a thermocoupler so as to find a measurable relationship between a temperature gradient, which we already know the thermocoupler can identify and quantify, and radiation, which is what we would like to be able to measure. In fact, the experiment will serve as a weak test of the Stefan Boltzmann relationship between temperature and radiation. The motivation for the experiment is the exercise described at the bottom of this page of a thermodynamics course http://mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node136.html

            Thermocoupler Experiment

            The “cold” end of a thermocoupler is kept at a reference temperature. The “hot” end is inserted into a metal cylinder that has its ends missing so that air can circulate. One thermometer measures the temperature of the hot joint. Another thermometer measures the temperature of the air inside. A third thermometer measures the temperature of the cylinder. We place a heating element around the cylindrical shell to heat up the shell significantly. Finally, we press one end of a volt meter to the hot joint and the other against the cold joint to measure the voltage drop once steady state is reached. Then we repeat the measurements (recording the steady state value) after we have added a protective narrower cylindrical radiation shield barrier ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_shield ?) around the hot joint so that it eliminates direct line of path from the hot joint to every part of the hot outside cylinder. Also consider taking measurements at various temperatures of the outside shell if want to test the fourth power relationship between flux and temperature.

            Although this experiment is not tightly controlled, it does show a very interesting effect. [BTW, I have not carried it out.] Without the shield, we should find that the temperature of the air inside the cylinder will be close to room temperature but certainly less than the temperature of the hot joint. The hot joint will be less than the temperature of the outside cylinder. When we put the shield on, we should find that convection cools the hot joint to the same temperature as the inside air.

            Does anyone want to propose an explanation besides the following: direct radiation in sufficient quantities heats up the hot metal joint beyond what the air would otherwise do by itself through convection? In other words, accepted theories stipulate that adding “sufficient extra” radiation can raise the temperature of the target beyond ambient temp, even when convection is working to re-establish equilibrium.

            “Sure, perhaps the radiation from the hot outside cylinder added extra heat to the inside metal joint — yes, I accept that radiation exists and can transfer heat,” you might be thinking, “but we knew the outside cylinder was very hot so it makes sense its radiation can heat things.”

            Pyrgeometer (and Pyranometer)

            Well, the point of the experiment was simply to suggest that a pyrgeometer can in fact measure radiation levels if it knows the ambient temperature and yet senses a temperature gradient when the “hot joint” is exposed to the atmosphere. If this happens, we might have to accept there is “back radiation”.

            So, under the belief (supported by this experiment above and implied by Stefan Boltzmann) that extra net radiation will register as higher temperature, we now want to isolate the hot joint in a way that will be able to register that higher temperature if any such back radiation exists. Let’s add a filter (eg, glass or other covering) around the “hot joint” of the thermopile in order to block out shortwave radiation. This transparent barrier would be subject to being cooled by convection, so it would have the “same” temperature as the outside. The barrier would be separated a little from the thermopile hot joint so as not to cool (or heat it) by conduction. Additionally, the barrier is a full seal so prevents convection from the outside from affecting the any extra temperature that might be registered on the hot joint. We can even test the pyrgeometer inside under a low IR radiation environment (eg, covered with a full infrared shield) to verify that no matter the temperature of the room, the device will register almost no “back radiation”. Of course, we have to add electronics so that we can record the voltage values on the thermopile. We also need a thermometer inside the pyrgeometer next to the “cold joint”. This temperature reading of ambient temperature is needed calculate the proper flux (radiation) values from Stefan Boltsmann (using an emissivity value probably near 1 but which can be measured). Later we can process all of those values via the conversion formulas and S-B to derive W/m^2.

            AND we can construct a similar device but aimed instead at picking up shortwave radiation only. Such a device is called a pyranometer.

            We take our pyrgeometer and pyranometer outside above the level of buildings and see what it records.

            We expect the pyrgeometer will register (in a place like Point Reyes, California) radiation values in the 300 to 400 range both day and night in the Summer and lower values during Winter. We expect the pyranometer to register values approaching 1000 during the middle of the day in Summer, dropping off to zero for the night, and to have lower values in Winter. Clouds and heavy fog will have an impact on the measurements. We might also turn the devices around to record upward radiation levels and compare those as well to theory. [In other comments, I posted links to some graphs.] And we might also record at different altitudes.

            5. Greenhouse effect

            Nature doesn’t use mirrors in our atmosphere, but it does leverage the sun’s constant supply of power, the energy of molecules, and the ability of molecules to transfer energy to each other via radiation. It leverages these things to divert some radiation that would otherwise be on its way into deep outer space back towards the planet. As could be seen in earlier examples, any radiation that is sent to a target, regardless of the source, has the potential to heat the target (although interestingly, it can be used to cool the target under very precise conditions, eg, through laser cooling). With instruments measuring hundreds of W/m^2, we can see that back radiation is a real “source” of heat. That is, the capture and recycling of radiation on its way into space provides a mechanism for the earth to remain at an elevated temperature.

            Well, that is the theory anyway. With confidence that back radiation exists, it is much easier to support such a theory and to reject theories that don’t allow for downward IR radiation or which cannot derive a temperature for the earth’s surface that is consistent with this level of radiation.


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            blouis79

            #604.2.2.2.6@Jose_X

            The demo http://www.ph.unimelb.edu.au/~scholten/opticshome/lasercool/lasercool.html clearly shows what happens to light at the wavelength of atomic resonance – absorption, and emission within 30ns typically in random directions – as I had mentioned in another post #619. So how this causes greenhouse gases to warm is a complete scientific mystery or fallacy. The experiment shows GHGs could cause cooling.


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            Jose_X

            blouis79, you have to hit “next” button numerous times to see the whole segment and explanation.

            The beginning shows what happens when the frequency is tuned exactly to “resonance”: the atom (likely) acquires electrical energy and some motion away from the laser, and then it releases a randomly directly photon by spontaneous emission (if it doesn’t lose the energy first through some other means). While the kicks it gets from the spontaneous emissions “cancel out” to 0 over time, there is a net growth in velocity in the direction of the laser. In this way the atom acquires energy.

            If we detune the laser below resonance, then the photons getting the greatest kick are the ones moving a little towards the laser. The kicks thus slow the atom down and causes them to start moving away from the laser, but as they slow down and change direction, the kick gets weaker and weaker. By adding an opposite directed laser also detuned below resonance (and then adding more sets to cover y and z dimensions), you create a situation where atoms experienc eincreasing force against motion.

            One analogy is that you are surrounded by springs and when you move in any direction, the springs slow you down towards where you came from. You are boxed in. Remember, this happens because the laser the pushes the strongest against you (of the two opposite aligned pairs) is always the one towards which you are moving.

            A second analogy (to explain resonance concept) is seen when pushing a kid on the swings in the park. If you drive the kid at resonance, as you normally do, you give them a little boost each cycle in the direction of their motion when they are most likely to react favorably to that boost (right after they crest and change directions). What laser cooling does instead is to give them a net little push in the opposite direction.

            ..so when you finish reading the frame, hit “next” again to see the next part of the story.


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            Jose_X

            > While the kicks it gets from the spontaneous emissions “cancel out” to 0 over time, there is a net growth in velocity

            Ie, while the kicks the atom gets from every phase of *spontaneous emission* cancel out to 0, the kicks it gets from the phase of *laser photon acquisition* give the atom a net growing velocity away from the laser.

            BTW, if you want, start a new thread and reference the main comment from there.


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          Jose_X

          [The real comment has links and is in moderation. This version is missing the links since maybe that is why it got trapped.. and I added a bit at the end.]

          >> Incoming solar in the tropics can reach ~1000W/m^2 AFTER correcting for 30% albedo.

          Yes, you can see graphs of a location in California that approaches the 1000 W/m^2 for downward shortwave radiation during the daylight hours. This comment -link1- covers that and related graphs.

          >> Warm ocean heats atmosphere from below by conduction and convection.
          GHE is non-existent.

          Graphs showing upward/downward longwave/shortwave radiation can be found from that link just given. The radiation level numbers add up similarly to the popular Trenberth diagrams. There is significant radiation near the ground both upward facing and downward facing.

          Considering water has an emissivity -link2- very near to 1 -link3- , I think I will place my best with the view that radiation is escaping into the atmosphere in significant quantities.

          CO2 and H2O together can absorb significant amounts in that IR range emitted by the earth+oceans. [ -link4- ] That absorbed energy goes somewhere. And the complementary “re-radiation” is isotropic, meaning that near the ground about half is aimed at it. The ground doesn’t discriminate between photons that hit is from the sun or from somewhere else.

          I think I am making the point fairly, but I’ll ask for a little bit of help. Here are lecture notes on greenhouse effect by a Caltech professor -link5- . Like with the Harvard professor I linked to, I want to add evidence that the Caltech lecture isn’t controversial as seen by the school (or by the world). Caltech, arguably the top graduate physics institution in the country if not the world, describes their commitment to trying to keep a check on the greenhouse effect. -link6- . From -link7- “Caltech was ranked as the best university in the world in two categories: Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences.” Caltech, like Harvard, teaches a lot more than simply “climate scientists”. If you mock their well accepted teachings, you are mocking physicists and scientists in general. Sure, what do those folks know? But, please, feel free to completely ignore this paragraph and instead focus on the prior ones providing the argument and associated evidence.

          Really, though, the greenhouse effect has genuine, bona fide, evidence-supported physics behind it. Challenging it is not a high probability shot.


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            KinkyKeith

            Jose

            I agree when you talk about “our current accepted theories used to great success by many for many years”

            They have been very successful and have raked in a a lot of MONEY.


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    KinkyKeith

    Hi Jose

    Checked out your link.

    “:http://green.harvard.edu/greenhousegas

    That’s not science, it’s advocacy. Green Nutter stuff – like religious fanatics wearing a hair shirt in the old days – pointless.

    Sure maybe it sounds good because it comes from Harvard but I don’t think Harvard Lawyers

    have much to contribute to the engineering problem of Global CO2 Warming.


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    blouis79

    For those who think IR radiation is a dominant mode of heat transfer, try this in the kitchen:
    Turn on a stove burner. See how close you can put your hand over the top of it. See how close you can put your hand to the side of it. Put a pot of water on top. See if it makes a difference to how close you can get to the burner top and sides.

    An IR thermometer will measure the burner temperature by IR radiation from some distance away, but the perception of heat will not be the same.

    The surface of earth is warm because it has an atmosphere, but that has nothing to do with a “greenhouse”. According to Postma, the temperature of earth is as it should be without any need for a “greenhouse” effect.


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      Jose_X

      >> Turn on a stove burner. See how close you can put your hand over the top of it

      Energy is conserved, so I’m not sure what is the point beyond risking burning your hand. [There are losses of heat at each boundary.. and radiation is also more isotropic (escaping to the surroundings more easily) than the steam rising (and cooling before it gets to your hand.]


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        blouis79

        The point is simply to demonstrate in the real world the modes of heat transfer – conduction, convection, radiation. Basically, convection dominates over the others, since conduction and radiation are omnidirectional.


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          KinkyKeith

          Well said Blouis79.

          You’ve just got to look at te trees being blown about to know intuitively that convection is the major mechanism of moving heat around the Earth.

          Nobody has ever broken down a rough estimate of energy involved in the various atmospheric processes using up energy ie. radiation vs LHV water (2 metres off oceans pa) vs heat taken to upper atmosphere vertically vs friction (energy/ turbulence) losses of lateral winds.


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            Jose_X

            @blouis79
            >> The point is simply to demonstrate in the real world the modes of heat transfer – conduction, convection, radiation. Basically, convection dominates

            The dominant form between the burner and the pot is radiation if the pot is held off the burner (otherwise conduction perhaps); however, the water in the pot will not acquire more (net) energy than the burner gave the pot.

            If your hand felt otherwise, then perhaps you are “starting” to understand why science is not done with people’s organs for measuring purposes (ie, hands being unreliable was one point I tried to make). You would also have to make sure you don’t let any significant amount of radiation or steam escape.. meaning you would burn yourself trying to perform a careful experiment.

            >> convection dominates over the other, since conduction and radiation are omnidirectional.

            Convection reshuffles particles around. Radiation is the transfer of energy across space so that what was hotter net loses energy and what was colder net gains. They are different phenomena. Sometimes one applies, sometimes the other, or both.

            So I am not sure what you mean by “dominates”.

            Note that radiation can help increase the temperature in a lot of places “at once” while convection generally is associated with higher temperatures in some areas and colder temperatures in others.

            Maybe what you are asking is answered below:

            @KinkyKeith
            >> Nobody has ever broken down a rough estimate of energy involved in the various atmospheric processes using up energy

            Did you intend for that to be a question, or are you really saying you have researched this extensively and found nothing?

            Would you consider the Trenberth diagrams to be an example of such atmosphere accounting? The paper is based on research other scientists have published. Eg, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cgd.ucar.edu%2Fcas%2Fpapers%2FKiehlTrenbBAMS97.pdf&ei=VTIeT7KCMISEtge35NQl&usg=AFQjCNGdRdbgWevsR8NZD0Ov7M7Gsfah9w
            see diagram on page 10.

            >> You’ve just got to look at te trees being blown about to know intuitively that convection is the major mechanism of moving heat around the Earth.

            I think you are confusing concentration of energy vs total energy across a large area.

            Intuitively, the sun doesn’t feel like it is doing very much at all in comparison to hurricanes, tornados, etc, yet it is the source of where the wind events get their energy.

            Goes to show you that science and engineering are not built upon intuition because intuition is frequently biased and incorrect.

            For example, you don’t want to glue airplane wings onto the plane simply using intuition of what will work. Intuition offers you a start or a last resort when you have to guess, but it should not form your primary tool for decision-making in important matters.

            Eg, casinos use math to come out ahead. Gamblers frequently use intuition and frequently lose. And the smart methodical gamblers are kicked out of casinos! Moral of this example: intuition is great for spending dollars for entertainment purposes but not for making money on a reliable basis. The big money makers are studious of their “art”.


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    Jose_X

    [I am resubmitting this comment since it wasn't posted yesterday (maybe I only thought I submitted it). It was in reply to someone (can't remember) saying radiation plays small role.]

    Your claim that radiation plays a small role appears to go against the evidence of radiation measurements taken pointing up as well as pointing down. Warm bodies radiate.

    Advection might play an important role in redistributing heat that is in the air already, but conduction in general is not an efficient way of transferring from the ground to the air molecules. Evaporation is more significant but not as much as radiation.

    Again, radiation levels are very significant as instrument measurements suggest. Remember that we have a huge atmosphere. Radiation is being absorbed and also radiates from many places above, even if each such location is far apart from the others.

    Radiation raining down from ghg is extra photons bombarding the earth in addition to what the sun does. Like the sun transfers heat via radiation, the atmosphere can transfer heat to the earth through radiation. Photon energy that would be flying through outer space if there were no ghg instead spend some extra time near the planet because of absorption and “re-emission”. The total energy near the earth is higher. For a given emissivity, Stefan Boltzmann associates temperature with incident radiation. That is, the earth’s surface temperature correlates strongly to the radiation it gets from the “back radiation” from ghg in addition to what it receives from the sun directly.

    [ghg absorb/emit in a limited range of frequencies.. "shortwave" coming from the sun in large quantities largely pass through the atmosphere (except the higher ranges like uv, which are absorbed by ozone), while a fair quantity of the lower frequency "longwave" radiation originating from the earth can be absorbed by the ghg]

    Photons of a diverse (if partly limited) range of energies have a probability of passing near enough to a CO2 or other ghg molecule and being absorbed. In particular, IR frequencies include the vibration quanta levels of these molecules. So instead of going into outer space, they can energize a ghg molecule. This essentially adds to the average temp of the atmosphere via collisions with other molecules ( nonradiative relaxation ) in a way that is in addition to whatever evaporation or any other heat transfer method would achieve.

    But, just like warm solids radiate in IR range, so too, in more limited ways, do gases with spectral lines in the IR range. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_emission .

    Note that at a given temperature, a gas would have molecules that are more energized and molecules that are less energized than the average temp dictates ( see wikipedia Maxwell Boltzmann distribution ). I think those in the upper range of energies are the ones most likely to emit a photon spontaneously. You can even have a photon radiate away as two molecules are “colliding”.


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi Jose

      Radiation only ??

      Go and stand near the ocean late on a summers afternoon in my home town and you will be blown away by the winds coming up as the “southerly buster” from Sydney and parts further south.

      Now try and assess how many giant wind turbines would be needed to create that blow. Impossible – millions. How much energy ??

      On a cloudy day, look up at the clouds, thousand of tonnes of WATER just hanging in the sky 1000 metres up. How much energy was used to lift at that mass to that height??

      The energy for these natural occurences comes from incoming UV and visible light.

      It has been used up and cannot be re radiated back to space, and yet “climatologists” tell us the incoming and outgoing radiation are in balance??

      What about a total energy audit, long overdue.

      ps. Take no notice of T, you are out of your depth.


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        KinkyKeith

        In all my previous posts I have allowed that the basic greenhouse effect (my definition – no stupid rebound radiation) would allow CO2 to absorb ground IR which could not be absorbed by other gas molecules and pass this on instantly as radiation or KE though impact.

        Not having done any physics for many years I allowed that this might be possible for one reason, to explore the quantification issue of man made CO2 in that scheme.

        I showed that ALL CO2 had pretty much no possibility of increasing world temperature, because water vapour did near all of the work, but that Human Origin CO2 would NEVER be an issue.

        Now after reading G & T I find that even the basic premise I allowed for arguments sake, is not a real mechanism, there being other factors at work.

        The collapse of the AGW scheme is complete.


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          Jose_X

          >> no stupid rebound radiation

          You mean spontaneous isotropic emission, which would include “back radiation” some of the time? Sure, go ahead and ignore the evidence. I’m sure you will come up with a wonderful model of reality. Alice in Wonderland wonderful.

          >> I showed that ALL CO2 had pretty much no possibility of increasing world temperature, because water vapour did near all of the work

          If you have a link to your paper, I would appreciate it, you know, so I could go over the math and proof for myself.

          >> after reading G & T I find that even the basic premise .. is not a real mechanism

          Will try to get to the paper as soon as I find time, but I’m not holding my breath it proves such a thing. BTW, why don’t you use the arguments from that paper here?


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        Jose_X

        I don’t know what you mean by “radiation only” since I said nothing of the sort.

        It’s great that you mention all of this massive power, but don’t forget the following two points.

        1) The sun packs a punch into every square meter on the planet every second.

        2) Energy is conserved. What you might call “waste heat” is just that, heat that warms the environment and adds to what goes into the atmosphere. How much energy is “consumed” by a massive pendulum swinging over and over? Well, a little is surely lost to heat with each cycle (and warms something), but most of it is simply converted from one form of energy potential into kinetic energy and back. Once we tap into that pendulum, we get work out of it, essentially changing the energy into some other form and/or becoming heat right away. There is no escaping this if you want to stick with the laws of physics people have been testing and leveraging for many years.


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    Tristan

    Jose, I admire your calm, thorough approach.


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    Paul

    The point at issue, as far as I am concerned, is not whether the accepted scientific theories of thermal dynamics are ‘true’ or ‘not true’ but whether they apply to our atmosphere in the way that they are being applied within the framework of the accepted ‘greenhouse’ gas theory.

    As an analogy, consider the movement of passengers on a train or bus. Does the movement of the passengers within the vehicle have any appreciable impact on the rate of transfer between stations?

    In just the same way, the properties of still air have very little to say about the transport of heat from the surface of the earth to the top of the troposphere, where the main vehicle for transporting the heat is the convection currents that begin early each day and persist until early evening.

    Overnight the air does become still and the insulating properties of still air keep the side of the earth that is shielded from the solar radiation from cooling more rapidly than it would in the absence of an atmosphere.

    The main fallacies implicit in the accepted theory, are therefor, firstly, ignoring day and night, averaging the solar radiation received as though it were continuously received, and secondly, ignoring that the troposphere acts as a giant air-conditioner by day.

    Postma has done a very good job of showing that, apart from these two fallacies, there is no mystery in the average near-earth atmospheric temperatures and showing that the back-radiation of atmospheric Tindall gasses is a hypothesis posed to answer a non-existent problem.

    All discussion as to whether or not Tindall gasses, that are cooler than the surface can warm the surface, as is alleged, and supporting this contention with word-plays that allude to recognized properties of carbon dioxide molecules, etc, etc, are just semantics. The experiments which established those properties had to eliminate, as far as possible, all other transport of energy, such as conduction and convection, in order to measure the one remaining property, radiation through the gas. Those laboratory conditions would require that the surface of the earth be isolated from the atmosphere by a vacuum gap, to prevent conduction and be kept still to prevent convection! Not very likely.

    Paul


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      Jose_X

      >> As an analogy, consider the movement of passengers on a train or bus. Does the movement of the passengers within the vehicle have any appreciable impact on the rate of transfer between stations?

      I would not be surprised if there is a correlation with what people are doing. For example, there is an increased chance that the person about to leave is moving towards the door or getting up. A person not leaving has a greater chance of moving away from the door or of taking up the seat of someone who has just gotten up.

      >> In just the same way, the properties of still air have very little to say about the transport of heat from the surface of the earth to the top of the troposphere, where the main vehicle for transporting the heat is the convection currents that begin early each day and persist until early evening.

      Radiation is a property of molecules and photons, and all of them are moving all the time regardless.

      Radiation is also closely associated with temperature, and these molecules essentially all have temperature whether there is a tiny net drift in their localized movements (eg, air mass moving up or down) or not.

      Movement of molecules increases the range of photons they have a chance to absorb (eg, doppler shift to widen the absorption/emission band).

      The rules are there to cover many cases.

      Anyway, measurements have to be accounted for. A theory that says radiation levels are small relative to the sun flux will have a problem.

      A theory that says that you can’t “get hot” from your own radiation (eg, as in mirror reflection) will face a lot of potential contradictions. For example, the theory might resolve (a) to tagging photons around, claiming some photons will have the ability to impart or not impart their energy based on where they came from and not just based on their frequency/energy or (b) to creating an artificial distinction between “heat” and “light” or something like that. Any of these views already puts them at odds with quantum mechanics (and QED). And, more importantly, this is fundamental physics being challenged, not just “climate science”.

      You state you are not fighting accepted principles and basic physics theories, just their application, but if you agree with the referenced Postma paper, then you are attacking basic physics.

      If you don’t mind attacking fundamental physics used in numerous disciplines, then you should be clear about that and realize you are going to have to explain a whole lot of things currently explained by the views being dismissed.

      >> The main fallacies implicit in the accepted theory, are therefor, firstly, ignoring day and night.. and secondly, ignoring that the troposphere acts as a giant air-conditioner by day.

      Do you have numbers to show what sort of difference would exist if the current climate models used a different assumption (I’ll assume they do make this assumption of focusing on average radiation from sun).

      I think I read (as I would guess) that some model runs can be more precise but require a huge amount of running time to go far into the future, but the less accurate runs have produced decent results when compared with the more accurately modeled runs. From some sort of analysis they might use the less detailed modeling and try to add error bars.

      The Trenberth diagram has a nonnegligible spot for evaporation and for convection, so these aren’t being ignored. Perhaps you think it is being under-represented. If so, consider providing a link to mathematics+models or “measurements” that produce different numbers. Just thinking something is fishy is not enough. Sometimes approximations are very legitimate (everything is based off some approximation or other) and sometimes they are deceivingly not so. Gut feelings don’t really convince the wider scientific community.

      >> Postma has done a very good job of showing

      I read/skim through large portions of that paper but did skip a few pages in the middle where some calculations are done. I’ll review that.

      However, Postma has stated properties of photons (eg, the mirror issue) that defy Quantum Mechanics, energy conservation (as believed applies to radiation intensity), etc, and I believe contradict lots of measurements (although he may want to provide a reinterpretation of experiments as he is challenged).

      >> Those laboratory conditions would require that the surface of the earth be isolated from the atmosphere …

      That’s generally how theory and experimentation works. There is always an approximation carried out.

      I suspect the problem here is us not knowing exactly what has or hasn’t been tested in a laboratory. I am sure you have never fallen off the 100th floor of building without a parachute or something to gently break your fall, yet you probably are rather convinced that falling off the 100th floor will hurt you and cause you to follow a certain path. You might even come to this belief based on smaller model laboratory experiments (maybe a 4th floor drop). Generalization and extrapolation is a part of being a human and doing science, and we aren’t always right. But I suspect the problem here is that we simply aren’t aware of the details of experiments that have convinced scientists of certain physical rules.

      Do you want to list realistic laboratory requirements that if met might very well convince you the greenhouse effect exists?


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      Jose_X

      I just went back to reading the Postma paper. On page 20 it says:

      > Let’s consider a vertical column of gas, or air, in the atmosphere. In the long-term average, this column of gas will be in thermal equilibrium with the solar input energy, and so will contain a
      finite and constant total energy.

      So right away it seems Postma is violating what you say climate scientists are doing wrong: Postma is also assuming various average conditions, including night+day approximations that discard natural movement of air and temperature variations through every such air column he is modelling.

      So did you realize that Postma’s proof made these assumptions you were so critical of?

      Do you now see this (oooo horrific, evil, inaccurate) assumption as evidence that Postma hasn’t disproved the greenhouse effect? He didn’t even offer an analysis of the assumption/approximation!!!!

      Note also that he used the average day/night approach (and for good reason) to arrive at standard power radiation levels earlier in the paper. He stated right before the above quote:

      >The really nice thing about thermodynamics is that you can use the simplest equations to predict the outcome of complex systems, such as we have seen for the thermodynamic equilibrium temperature of Earth’s
      ground + atmosphere system. The calculation perfectly matched the observation. We can do the exact same thing for the distribution of temperature of a gas in a gravitational field.

      So to criticize “climate scientists” but not Postma weakens your case.


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      Jose_X

      OK, I sort of read pg 21 and I get the feeling this paper makes the same sort of mistake as do 2 other papers I read recently. It gets its values by measurements made today, yet tries to infer those results would apply tomorrow.

      That’s not how it works. You can make measurement today, but then you have to have a way to evolve that system as it might then exist tomorrow, unless you “prove” that the time variation can be assumed to be constant.

      Ignoring other possible flaws with the assumptions made, the lapse rate (eg, because of the specific heat value it depends on) vary with the composition of the atmosphere. Don’t take my word for it, he quoted two values, one for atmospheres with more or less water (“dry” vs “moist”). And the composition of the atmosphere (including its specific heat capacity and its adiabatic lapse rate) vary with time if CO2 (H2O, etc) levels change it and if those CO2 levels were to vary with time (and they are currently varying and are also assumed to vary in calculating 2xCO2).

      An actually useful analysis (for predicting future effects) would model these values as functions of time (or as functions of CO2 levels and/or other things that cause these values to change in the future).

      Note that, mathematically, the assumption of constancy through time was made when solving the simple differential equation of {14} to arrive at {15}. In other words, it was assumed g and Cp were constants for all time or otherwise {15} would have been different (and would have had to depend on CO2, etc).

      BTW, that simplified assumption he made might be fine if those values don’t change much with CO2 level changes, etc. But one has to analyze that.

      Also note that g varies with height. For a few kilometers it’s probably not an issue, but keep in mind we’d have to analyze this as well. Again, such a dependency would lead to a different {15}.

      Anyway, to go from those (likely bad) assumptions to “proving” that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist is beyond me. I mean, I can make a measurement of your height X and then state that the height of people with your name and age and place of birth and favorite color is always X. It’s always easy to make a model that agrees with a limited set of data, but you can’t use that to argue that eating doesn’t help people grow just because you found an equation that works for the selected case and you got that equation without taking into account “eating”.

      Disproving greenhouse effect means seeing what the greenhouse model predicts and then showing significant deviation from what it predicts. However, finding an alternative path (whether such path is silly or insightful) doesn’t disprove some other path doesn’t exist.

      And if two paths exist, I’ll take the one that was designed to make future predictions (to the extent it is correct, of course).


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        KinkyKeith

        Who Cares.

        More Mumbo Jumbo.


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          Jose_X

          >> Who Cares.
          >> More Mumbo Jumbo.

          The gist of the problem I see with the paper.

          It assumes you can’t direct photons back at you in a way to give you a net gain in temperature. I disagree this is impossible or that it violates the second law of thermodynamics. The paper makes the assumption without much explanation.

          The paper then derives a formula for finding the temperature up and down the atmosphere. Due to this formula and the assumption just stated, it deduces greenhouse effect is not necessary for explaining temperature and is actually incorrect.

          The 3 problems with the formula are that:
          (a) it is oversimplified and doesn’t actually deduce the temperature accurately today (but this is fine if we just want an approximation);
          (b) it doesn’t explain why sometimes going up the atmosphere leads to temperature increases (while perhaps related to radiative transfers, some of these changes aren’t related to the “greenhouse effect” so we can give it a partial pass on this point); and
          (c) the formula does not apply years from now when the atmosphere content changes appreciably.

          (c) is why we need greenhouse theory, since it allows us to make a reasonable guess at what the formula would look like in the future. The paper deduces the formula only for today and only by making measurements. We can’t obviously measurements the atmosphere of tomorrow today because it hasn’t yet changed today.

          We want a predictive formula, a formula that tells you want happens as time evolves, so we can plan for tomorrow today (and maybe avoid that tomorrow if the tomorrow would be bad enough).

          Note that the paper solves an equation that takes time evolution into account, but it is insufficient for the purposes of analyzing CO2 since it basically assume outright that no changes would occur.

          If you are out to find the truth of what is going on, then details such as I mention here are important. We don’t build a plane that stays in the sky by carrying out an analysis that assumes the plane will stay up in the sky. You have to be darn confident in something to make that assumption ahead of time.


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            Jose_X

            Two quick clarifications:

            > it deduces greenhouse effect is not necessary for explaining temperature and [it deduces the greenhouse effect] is actually incorrect

            > but it is insufficient for the purposes of analyzing CO2 since it basically assume outright that no changes [related to CO2] would occur [in the equation].


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            Jose_X

            > The paper deduces the formula only for today and only by making measurements. We can’t obviously measurements the atmosphere of tomorrow today because it hasn’t yet changed today.

            The paper swept the greenhouse effect dependency under the rug in those equations.

            If we look at formula {15} on page 21, we will see one unknown value that must be measured, h_0.

            [T_0 can be picked arbitrarily because h_0 and T_0 are dependent variables.. never mind if this statement doesn't make sense.]

            The problem with this derivation is that it assumes h_0 doesn’t depend on CO2. It can pretend that is true because, at the end of the day, to derive h_0, someone is going to go outside with a thermometer to measure some temperatures. The thermometer factors out the greenhouse effect. It doesn’t care if the temperature came from an asteroid collision or from a collapsing sun. It hides that information.

            When we measure today in order to derive this equation only as it stands today, we are able to ignore the causes that lead to those temperatures.

            The problem with this approach, of course, is that if the greenhouse effect does exist, we may have some ugly temperatures in the future. Those who assume there is no effect and don’t model it in the equations, will never figure out tomorrow’s temperature except by measuring it when “tomorrow” arrives (but it might be too late, as they say).

            Let’s see. How do we measure h_0 today if we know T today?

            Well, let’s say the T at ground level today (where h = 0) is about 288 K. This gives us:

            288 = -6.5 * (0 – h_0) + 255

            h_0 = 5.08 which is approximately 5

            The paper stated h_0 was about 5 km, just as we derived. [The paper should have been more forthright and made it clear how we derive h_0.]

            So, let’s review what we just did. We derived this equation that allegedly doesn’t depend on the greenhouse effect by taking measurements outside today. But if the greenhouse effect is real (let’s assume, for argument’s sake), then T is dependent on the greenhouse effect (and on CO2 specifically). When we calculate h_0 in order to get our final complete equation, we had to take a measurement today that depended on the greenhouse effect; thus, our final equation {16}: T = -6.5 (h – 5) – 18 is only accurate for the present moment when we could measure outside in order to derive these values.

            The real equation is

            T = -6.5 (h – GE(t)) – 18,

            where GE(t) is the greenhouse effect’s change over time t. It’s value is 5 today, GE(t=0) = 5, but it will likely be something different “tomorrow”. [Gosh, I wish we had modeled it a bit better.]

            Now, there is an important happenstance that makes it easy to sweep the greenhouse effect under the carpet for a number of years. What does the greenhouse effect modelling used by the IPCC predict 50? years from now at 2xCO2? It predicts a “modest” rise in temp of 3 C. That may or may not be too great news for the planet, but the fact is that its a very small number that fits within the error bars of this equation. Remember the discussion. The lapse rate could be 9.8 but it can also be much lower .. like 6.5 (who knows.. it’s a mystery how much it can vary, they say). There were also a number of assumptions about the air column. There were assumptions of how high to go and what the gravitational constant or the specific heat would be in those cases. Dry air that only rises adiabatically? What happened to significant convection and weather?

            My point is that it’s easy for people to fudge these numbers tomorrow to claim the formula still holds.

            Ex, if we change the 6.5 to 7.1 (hey, we measured it that way in 2060 .. remember, it could be “any” value somewhat less than 9.8) and the average global temperature at ground level does rise by 3 to 291, we get 291 = -7.1 * (0 – h_0) + 255, giving h_0 = … drum roll … 5.07!!!!!

            So, there is enough imprecision in how these numbers are derived so that we can continue to bury our heads in the sand if we really want to. Hey, that’s what we measured outside!!! There is no greenhouse effect because the thermometer and hygrometer and barometer didn’t say anything about no greenhouse effect.

            [Keith, I haven't forgotten you. The executive summary to the re-explanation of the first executive summary is coming right up!!]


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            Jose_X

            Executive Summarizational Report No. 2

            The “there’s no stinking greenhouse effect” paper sweeps the greenhouse effect under the rug because thermometers are oblivious to the greenhouse effect and the lapse rate can be made up on the spot.


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    CHIP

    I agree, to some extent, with what Jose X says in comment 607. I have always thought that back-radiation from atmospheric greenhouse gases increasing the surface temperature was a given and didn’t really need to be debated. For proof one only has to compare the night time temperature in the tropics to the night time temperature in the Sahara Desert – the one major difference between these two environments is water vapour and without the vast amounts of water vapour in the tropics temperatures would plummet like in the Sahara Desert. Of course one could argue that the day time temperature in the Sahara is much more and they cancel each other out, although the surface temperature at night is still higher due to atmospheric greenhouses. Hence a colder atmosphere can increase the surface temperature, not by creating energy, but by simply inhibiting the flow of out-going radiation.

    In Postma’s paper, entitled ‘Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect’, he offers an analogy of an ice-cube to show how the concept of back-radiation from atmospheric greenhouse gases cannot increase the overall planetary temperature. What he fails to take into consideration though, is that the ice-cube does not have a constant, almost inexhaustible supply of energy. Obviously, the Earth does, because it is continuously receiving fresh power in the form of solar radiation from the Sun. Imagine for a second, hypothetically, if the ice-cube has a continuous supply of fresh energy. The consequences would be different. Increasing the temperature of the surroundings would slow the rate at which the ice-cube cooled. Analogously the Earth emits radiation which is re-emitted by atmospheric greenhouses, including CO2 (in the 15 micrometer range) which inhibits the flow of radiation out to space. Since all bodies above -273C emit radiation and they emit radiation multidirectionally (up and down equally) then it follows logically that some of the re-emitted radiation should be re-directed back to the Earth’s surface. The absorptivity/emissivity of the Earth’s surface is 1, and therefore the downward radiation should be absorbed too, and all radiation, to some degress, possesses some energy according to Lambert-Beer law. So in theory, as I see it, there can be no doubt that atmospheric greenhouse back-radiation increases the Earth’s surface temperature by a finite amount. Maybe not as much as CAGW-proponents say, but by some amount nevertheless.

    One moe thing: According to Wikipedia’s page on “black-body” radiation the net radiative-power of a body is the difference between the power emitted and the power absorbed. Hence: Pnet =Pemit – Pabsorb. If the temperature of a body is 288K (the Earth’s average surface temperature) and if the surroundings are 255K (the Earth’s average atmospheric temperature) then according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the net radiative heat-loss amounts to: σε(288^4 – 255^4) = 150.35W/sq.m. If the temperature of the surroundings were to increase from 255K to 260K then the net radiative heat-loss would change accordingly and decrease to: σε(288^4 – 260^4) = 131W/sq.m. We can see then, that increasing the temperature of the surroundings diminishes the body’s overall heat-loss. In other words, the Stefan-Boltzmann law explicitly states that a warmer body absorbs energy from its cooler surroundings. I hope I have interpreted this correctly.

    Perhaps a more appropriate analogy to the one offered by Postma would be that of a saucepan sitting on a heated-stove. The heated-stove represents the Sun and the water within the saucepan represents the Earth. What happens if someone decides to place a lid partly over the saucepan? The temperature of the water increases. Right? No additional energy is required – you have merely slowed the rate at which energy leaves the saucepan. When considering the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which states that heat spontaneously flows from warmer bodies to colder bodies, never the reverse, one should perhaps also take care in understanding the difference between “heat” and “radiation”. Technically a photon is not heat. It is just an undifferentiated blob of electromagnetic radiation. It only becomes heat when it is absorbed by a body where the energy is converted into kinetic energy – heat. The transfer of heat by convection and conduction is not the same as radiation. Convection and conduction requires the movement of particles, radiative heat-transfer does not. And the energy transfer by atmospheric greenhouses back to the Earth’s surface is mainly by means of radiation rather than conduction or convection, so there really is no paradox here, as far as I can see.

    As Joanne has pointed out too, the 2nd law applies to only the net flow of energy, not to individual photons.

    As far as I can tell, the 2nd law remains intact.


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    Jose_X

    AHA! How about *this* support for the greenhouse effect:

    Minutes ago, the President of the UN gave his backing to the idea that …..

    [I'm kidding.]

    Seriously, how about this analogy:

    Throw one 100kg body into deep outer space and what will happen to its temperature? It will cool rather quickly.

    Now, throw 100,000,000 similar 100kg bodies into outer space so that they remain near each other, and what will happen to their temperatures? Most will stay hot for a while while the outer edge of the pack will be the ones losing heat the fastest (although still slower than if those outside bodies where each by themselves).

    This is just what a ghg atmosphere is! It’s a bunch of radiating bodies together so that only the outer edge lose heat significantly. [although note that the outer edge of the exosphere has molecules that are not ghg and these molecules have the equivalent of very very high temperatures]

    On top of that, now spin the group around exposing them to the radiation of a “nearby” sun 24×7!

    Without ghg in the atmosphere, the earth is naked towards outer space. With ghg, it has a layer of many teeny radiating warm bodies protecting it from the direct super cold.


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      Truthseeker

      Jose, that is a poor analogy and shows that you have no understanding of the physics involved. No one is disputing that atmosphere has mass and therefore retains energy including heat, but that does not mean or support the idea that any particular gas is doing more than any other in any significant as far as overall heat is concerned. The fact that the measured ambient temperature at various pressures (more mass = more ability to retain heat) for two planets with completely different atmospheric compositions is in the precise ratio of the distance from the Sun (as far as energy received is concerned) shows that it is the fact that having an atmosphere allows heat to be retained, not the composition of it.


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi truthseeker

        I have given Jose a hard time, in the past, but I kind of liked his analogy – even though, in using radiation as the heat transfer mechanism it only resembles what’s happening in the very upper extremes of our atmosphere, and not where we live.

        Somebody put up a link to a really interesting machine translation of a Russian paper by Sokotin? which basically says at near 1 atm pressure the only things that count are heat capacity of the air (add up all the components)and variations in pressure. Which is what you said I think.

        It makes no difference if you double CO2.


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          Jose_X

          FWIW, I’ve been focusing on describing/debating the greenhouse effect and radiative transfers of heat.

          I agree that the situation as concerns water vapor is trickier. That doesn’t mean I lean towards a low climate sensitivity, think there is a net “negative feedback” for water vapor related processes beyond the albedo changes from some clouds, or have significant doubts against the Trenberth diagram values (eg, for thermals and evaporation), but I do agree there appears to be a significant amount of doubt in this area and I have not thought about it too much personally.


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        Jose_X

        >> poor analogy

        Might as well mention that the sun isn’t shinning at the edge of the bodies but nearer to the center. I’ll cover this later.

        >> does not mean or support the idea that any particular gas is doing more than any other in any significant as far as overall heat is concerned

        I had to run and didn’t keep working with the analogy, but one item that is clearly different and I didn’t clarify is that solid bodies radiate a much wider range of radiation than do gases.

        Evidence says you are wrong. N2 does not radiate like CO2 which itself is not like your hand or almost any other solid.

        What does your theory say about line spectra of atoms and molecules?

        This is old physics you are disputing not “climate science”.

        If you can’t provide an explanation to that or explain how most lasers work or ….

        Really, to say any gas radiates like any other is a slap in the face of physics, and you are going to have an awful lot of explaining to do of a lot of accumulated evidence and engineering.

        We can start with the line spectra: why do different gases block out different part of the “rainbow” that a prism produces?

        Simply, different gases absorb and emit different ranges of radiation from each other. CO2 covers parts of the IR range, eg, because these larger wavelength “fit” the molecule size to enable vibrations of various types, while N2 and O2 do not, covering instead the smaller wavelengths which generally correspond to about the size of a single atom or smaller and tend to involve electron excitation. So while CO2 has lots of radiation it can absorb (IR range) from what the planet radiates, N2 and O2 do not.

        Also, there are other ghg gases besides CO2, but CO2 is the one that humans are releasing in huge amounts beyond what the planet naturally had maintained for at least hundreds of thousands of years.. and we it is still rising quickly. If we were releasing methane in such large quantities, we’d be noticing the effects much more quickly.


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    Lars P.

    The main problem is in equalising “back-radiation” with solar radiation and comparing these two. This does not make sense.

    Is 1 Watt per square meter from greenhouse back-radiation equal with 1 Watt per square meter from solar insulation? Can these 2 be compared as such?

    Once upon a time there was a small rocky planet inhabited by a race called the avians.
    The avians reached a relative advanced civilisation, they learned radiation physics and understood their planet’s radiation budget and were happy to realise the greenhouse gas was warming the planet just at their best confort. Their wise scientists told them to take care and reduce their greenhouse gas production as this will overheat the planet in a runaway greenhouse process, but many citizens ignored them out of simple indolence, greed or ignorance.
    A group of concerned citizens, not happy how their co-planetary citizens were endangering all life on their planet out of sheer greed and stupidity decided to make a planetwide action to raise awareness of what greenhouse means.
    So in one evening using the coming dark they glued a foil over the whole surface of their rocky planet. (It is a very small planet indeed) The foil would not let the planet radiate away any heat. From above, the atmosphere was radiating a tremenduous 350 Watts per square meter downwards.

    Now the first question: how much did the ground heat under that 350 Watts/m2 downwards radiation bombardment in that night knowing that the ground was +15°C warm and the atmosphere -18°C? By how many degrees did the ground warm in that night?

    The night passed and the avians found to their surprise that there has been no warming at all. It even cooled a bit instead of warming with all those 350 Watts per square meter coming down from the atmosphere. But the night was soon over, the sun was going to shine and they were not able to remove the foil as it was glued with superglue.
    So what to do now?
    The concerned citizens gathered now with all the other citizens and they started to think what could they do? “How could you do this to us?” said the other citizens to the concerned citizens.
    We will all boil here when the sun shines if the plannet cannot cool? The concerned citizens were a litle uneasy as their experiment failed and the planet did not warm, but they said, “we are sorry, we really though it will warm and wanted to raise your awareness to it, but don’t worry, we thought at everything, in a couple of days the foil will get absorbed by the soil, it is a natural recyclig foil. Until then we have enough foil to put above everybodies head, one just needs to turn it the other way up and no heat will come down to you, so only wait until the foil decays naturaly and meanwhile we see where the problem is, either our data is wrong or the planet has a heat sink that we do not know about? “
    So everybody put the new foil above their heads and they measured the downwards radiation and saw satisfied that all the downwards radiation was blocked by it. Now at ease they expected the sun to rise trying to solve the problem where the heat leak of the planet was.
    Once the sun rose they saw that a litle bit of light came through the foil. The concern citizens measured with their devices and saw nothing, then finally one of them said – “maybe it is beyond the measurement error of our devices which is about 1%, there is maybe 1% of radiation that passes through”. Now they were eased. If only 1 % of radiation passed through the foil the planet will certainly not warm-up as in the night with 350 Watts radiation it did not warm. (1 % from 1350 W/m2 than must be about 13 Watt passing, so who cares about 13 Watt thought they). Maybe it will be really cold if the heat sink in the night absorbed more then 350 Watt said the concerned scientists so maybe they need to lift the upper foil from time to time to let some light shine on them.
    And yet the citizens started to feel a litle warmer under their foil. Was this only an illusion?
    Slowly it was warmer and warmer, and sweating they asked themselves what went wrong?
    Was their science wrong? How can it be that 13 Watt per square meter warms and 350 Watts per square meters does not? What is the difference between 13 Watt per square meter from the sun and 350 Watt per square meter from the atmosphere?
    Is this an ilusion? Or do they need to rethink their science? No there must be some other explanation, the heat sink by night becomes heat generator by day – said the concerned citizens.

    Can you answer why do the concerned citizens of that planet sweat under their tin foil? Is this story right or has its physics wrong?

    It is not my intention to say here “there is no greenhouse”.
    I want simply to put it there where it belongs: heat transfer through radiation. Heat transfer goes always from warmer to cooler object and not the other way around. If the cooler object gets warmer then less heat will be transferred from the warmer but it will never make the warmer object “sweat”.
    To take one member of Prevost heat transfer and compare it with sun radiation is avian science and it does not give proper results. Radiation has a temperature signal with it and whilst lower temperature radiation “equalises” or “neutralises” or “cancel” each other, lower temperature radiation will not “equalise” or “neutralise” higher temperature values.
    “Backradiation” from -75°C object will “equalise” or “backradiate” only the -75°C radiation of the object with higher temperature, whereas signals with higher values will go from the higher temperature object to the lower one.


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      Jose_X

      I want to talk about avians.

      Lars P., I am not sure what properties the aluminum foil has in your story or if you considered that the sun is always shining on half the planet. Did you also want to account for convection?

      Instead of covering those questions, I want to instead describe how MagicFoil ™ affects avians.

      MagicFoil comes in many varieties. Their premium product line, for example, has 16 different types, with at least one guaranteed to solve any of the Five Generally Accepted Common Types of Potential Planetary Catastrophes.

      Here are the 16 types of MagicFoil Premium ™ foil (side 1 / side 2):

      1) reflective in / reflective out (r/r)
      2) reflective in / transparent in (r/t)
      3) reflective in / absorbent-radiant (r/ar)
      4) reflective in / absorbent-non-radiant (r/anr)
      5) transparent out / reflective out (t/r)
      6) transparent out / transparent in (t/t)
      7) transparent out / absorbent-radiant (t/ar)
      8) transparent out / absorbent-non-radiant (t/anr)
      9) absorbent-radiant / reflective out (ar/r)
      10) absorbent-radiant / transparent in (ar/t)
      11) absorbent-radiant / absorbent-radiant (ar/ar)
      12) absorbent-radiant / absorbent-non-radiant (ar/anr)
      13) absorbent-non-radiant / reflective out (anr/r)
      14) absorbent-non-radiant / transparent in (anr/t)
      15) absorbent-non-radiant / absorbent-radiant (anr/ar)
      16) absorbent-non-radiant / absorbent-non-radiant (anr/anr)

      We have 4 types for a side and 2 sides, giving the above 4×4=16 possibilities.

      Overview: Reflective means that Most’all ™ radiation coming from that side is reflected back. Transparent means that Most’all radiation coming from that side passes straight through. Absorbent-radiant means the radiation hitting from that side is absorbed and then 50% radiates back isotropically and 50% radiates isotropically to the opposite side. Absorbent-non-radiant also absorbs Most’all radiation hitting from that side, but the foil simply rises in temperature as much as necessary radiating Hardly Anything At All ™, instead losing the heat slowly via conduction or convection as applicable.

      Assembly instructions: The foil will be nearly instantaneously wrapped around the planet’s suspiciously flat surface, suspended above numerous strategically placed well-insulated poles each about 3 meters high so that avians can trot along fairly comfortably. Side 1 is the side facing the ground. Side 2 is the side facing up and out towards space.

      Special powers: I will now invoke a special privilege I have as analogy creator and turn off the sun. Let’s see what happens to the temperature of the planet’s surface and atmosphere.

      [As a further simplification, I'll also consider the planet holds more energy than the atmosphere but not necessarily too much more (so unlike Earth since oceans hold much more than atmosphere).]

      P is for planet. A is for atmosphere (lower, middle, and upper). s1 is for side 1. s2 is for side 2.

      A has CO2 and other ghg that absorb in the IR region as provided by P.

      Experiment #1: Off Sun

      1 (r/r): P keeps its temp, losing nothing (s1) and gaining nothing (s2). A cools slowly with lower A staying warmest thanks to side 2 (note that upper, middle A still radiate downward partly through lower A and back up again allowing for extra opportunities to absorb).

      2 (r/t): P keeps energy it had (thanks to side 1) and gains lots extra energy via lower A (thanks to side 2); thus, P rises in temp and holds that level. A cools fast with lower and upper A coldest. MagicFoil #2 essentially acts as if A is surrounded above and below by cold space.

      3 (r/ar): P keeps energy it had (s1) and gains some extra (s2), so temp rises (but less than in r/t case) and holds. A cools at medium speed with lower possibly being colder than middle but not as cold as upper.

      4 (r/anr): P keeps its temp. A cools fast as if it had space above and below. Foil gains in temperature to match energy lost by lower atmosphere in downward direction.

      5 (t/r): P will lose its energy (s1) as if next to cold space (s2). In other words, P no longer feels any back radiation from either itself or from A. Lower A will be warmest and will initially gain in temp as P starts cooling fast. High heat flow from P means A will cool more slowly than the corresponding r/xxx cases above.

      6 (t/t): P can lose energy (s1) but gains “back radiation” from atmosphere (s2) so rate is moderate. Lower A is warmest part of A. This scenario is similar to there being no MagicFoil.

      7 (t/ar): Similar to t/t, but P loses a little faster and A a little slower.

      8 (t/anr): P will lose energy fast like t/r. MagicFoil heats up with back radiation from A. A gets some original energy from P but none from its downward radiation so cools medium speed.

      9 (ar/r): P cools medium speed as it gets some back radiation from self. A cools slowly but not as slowly as with t/r. Lower A is warmest part of A.

      10 (ar/t): P cools slowly as it gains some back radiation from self and back radiation from A. A cools fairly slowly with lower as warmest. Overall cooling is slower than t/t.

      11 (ar/ar): P cools medium to slow. This is almost like ar/t.

      12 (ar/anr): P cools medium speed, getting no back radiation from A. MagicFoil gets hot. A cools medium speed, getting no back radiation from self.

      13 (anr/r): P cools fast (no back radiation). MagicFoil gets rather hot. A cools medium to slow with lower A being warmest part.

      14 (anr/t): P cools medium and MagicFoil gets rather hot. A cools fast from both ends.

      15 (anr/ar): P cools medium to fast (some back radiation from A). MagicFoil hot. A cools medium to fast (some back radiation from self).

      16 (anr/anr): P and A cool fast (no back radiation from either to either). MagicFoil gets very hot, ultimately absorbing all energy from P and some from A.

      To summarize the 16 cases:

      Reflective allows that side to get its own back radiation while the other side won’t gain any of such “back radiation” being reflected on the facing side. r/xxx means (a) P will keep all its energy and keep Avians warm except as MagicFoil degrades over the years and (b) A will cool faster than if MagicFoil weren’t there (and we had simply turned off the sun) since A loses the radiation it would have gotten from P as P otherwise would have cooled through A. xxx/r means lower A will stay warmest, middle A next warmest, and upper A coolest as A loses its energy towards space.

      Transparent allows that side to lose its energy gaining no back radiation from itself. All lost is gained by the other side. t/xxx allows lower A to likely increase in temp (thanks to faster cooling P) before eventually cooling.

      Absorbent-radiative allows that side to keep some energy and lose some to the other side. This 50/50 result lies between transparent 0/100 and reflective 100/0. For A, we would likely see lower A warmer than middle A and followed by upper A as the coolest.

      Absorbent-non-radiative allows that side to lose energy without gaining back radiation from self. None also goes to the other side. MagicFoil gets hot.

      We will note that radiation photons in some sense allows energy to be accounted for in discrete amounts; however, since everything mixes (and photons get annihilated) you can’t really say some “back radiation” comes from self vs. from the other side or differentiate cleanly between “forward radiation” and “back radiation”. However, in some cases you can clearly know that radiation is from self or from the other side of MagicFoil. Conceptually, despite losing their identities, the energy represented by a photon at some point in time can be tracked.

      Special cases.
      a) t/t and t/ar approximate normal conditions as if there were no MagicFoil. A few other cases also come close (eg, ar/ar). Keep in mind in this experiment there was no sun, so “normal” just means what would happen if we could shut off the sun.
      b) r/xxx will have P retain its temp for a long time and perhaps even get a little warmer. If we turn on the sun for this hypothetical case, the temperature of the planet keeps going up as the planet captures and retains a piece of the continual stream of energy given off by the sun.
      c) xxx/xxx: In every case the atmosphere cools to the temp of space.
      d) r/t, r/anr, anr/t, anr/anr are the cases where the atmosphere cools as if it was in contact with space from above and from below. These are the cases where the temp of the middle of the atmosphere stays above the temp of lower and upper. NOTE that the very cold atmosphere would still heat up the very hot planet as long as it kept radiating! This happens because photons can go to the planet but none escape back out through the MagicFoil. It’s a sort of ideal black hole effect.
      e) anr/anr has the greatest cooling effect of all on the combination of P + A because it draws the most heat from that system. This case ties for worst in both rankings below.

      P warmness is promoted by (in order):
      1) r/t
      2) r/ar
      3) r/r, r/anr
      5) ar/t
      6) ar/ar
      7) ar/r, ar/anr
      9) t/t
      10) t/ar
      11) anr/t
      12) anr/ar
      13) t/r, t/anr, anr/r, anr/anr

      A warmness is promoted by (in approximate order):
      1) t/r, t/ar, ar/r, t/t, ar/ar, ar/t (these each have varying effects hard to rank separately)
      7) t/anr, ar/anr
      9) anr/r, r/r
      11) anr/ar, r/ar
      13) r/t, r/anr, anr/t, anr/anr

      Studying all the scenarios together helps in appreciating their effect on temperature and that energy is accounted for when we look at radiation as composed of photons.

      Experiment #2: On Sun

      Now, let’s discuss quickly what would happen if we turn on the sun.

      In the r/xxx cases, the planet will heat up and melt as it keeps acquiring more and more energy from the sun without releasing any back.

      In the r/t, r/anr, anr/t, and anr/anr cases, the atmosphere cools “completely” if we assume this atmosphere can’t absorb sunlight directly but requires the help of the planet to convert into the IR range. The planet covered in these premium MagicFoil types doesn’t help the atmosphere gain heat in these cases, so the atmosphere just loses all of its heat and gains none further despite the steady On Sun.

      In every other case, something in between happens, where the planet and the atmosphere reach some steady state temperature or other that is neither 0K nor too hot. We simply get different degrees of greenhouse effect depending on which of the remaining MagicFoil Premium foil type is used.

      [Disclaimer: Planet internal conductive heat loss is not really considered beyond the surface layer radiation (particularly the mixed ocean layer). There are other approximations made, I'm certain of it. Do not try this at home.]


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        Gee Aye

        Amazing that this thread is still active and all because there are people who think that an emitted photon has some idea about the location of other photon emitters. These photons, instead of heading off in the direction of emission will flee in some other direction if they are heading towards an object that is emitting more photons than the one from which they were emitted.

        They say, “Noooooo I wont add more energy to that other object! It has more than enough already and the poor object I just left did not have so much and since I just left it, it has even less”.

        Then there are those people who don’t understand that molecules floating about in the air have different properties with respect to how they interact with photons. They don’t even realise that these interactions have been intensively studies and verified in different contexts for many years, but that is another story.


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    The Second Law of Thermodynamics has to be valid between any two points at any time.

    The IPCC models assume processes happen 24 hours a day, so they assume that, when the surface is getting hotter on a sunny morning, that radiation from a cooler atmosphere can make it warm even faster – yes, even when net radiation is into the surface. That can only be done by adding thermal energy. So thermal energy has been transferred from a cooler source to a warmer target. That is heat transfers from cool to warm. That violates the Second Law.

    You cannot increase the rate of cooling, such as when evaporation and diffusion transfer thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere, by sending in some radiation from the atmosphere, unless the energy in that radiation is first converted to thermal energy. But it never can be without violating the Second Law. How could radiation itself directly affect evaporation? It can’t. Only thermal energy could.

    Absorptivity measurements are usually done with much higher frequency sources in the visible spectrum. I can find none done with low frequencies such as in the radiation from the atmosphere. The reason is that absorptivity must hit zero (0) when the source temperature becomes lower than the temperature of the target. This is the only way the Second Law can work in all situations, including when there are concentrators of radiation (like a funnel) or special one-way filters.

    For more detail see the Radiation page of my site . . .
    http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html


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      Jose_X

      Doug, those ideas disagree with a lot of established physics.

      Let me ask, how do you define temperature?

      Do you think all molecules in a body move around with exactly the same energy?

      If yes, you contradict a lot of established science. I think we can show some paradoxes or at least violations of conservation of energy and momentum.

      If no (eg, if you believe in Maxwell Boltzmann distribution is a real description of parts of reality), then you have to agree that some CO2 molecules will be going slow enough below the average for the cutoff to be met so that they absorb radiation emitted from the planet. A similar argument means the planet will have molecules that can absorb what the atmosphere emits.

      Maybe start by answering some of the above, so that I know where to go next. BTW, I am reading some of that website link you provided, so you don’t have to repeat something if it is there (just point it out).


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      Jose_X

      Doug, I want to point something else out. A number of “climate skeptics” have taken to refashioning accepted physics. Their goals might be to attack global warming projections, but they are debating in the wrong forum. Climatologists are not experts in radiation physics or thermodynamics, generally. If you can’t convince the experts in those areas nor publish in those journals, why would you be surprised if a climate science forum dismisses your views as fake/false science? Interdisciplinary individuals will take from one field and migrate to others, but most in either field leverage what already exists. Mother nature weens out ideas that don’t hold up. Most scientists are comfortable using work whose details they don’t understand if it is established science. If one can’t win the argument with the experts, then others generally will not listen.

      So, keep that in mind. You really are not attacking climate science. You are attacking core basic physics and you should be debating on specialized forums (perhaps journals) if you really want to seek the truth and have your ideas be tested up and down to gain traction among large numbers of scientists and related engineers.

      Trying to overturn basic stuff is very very very likely to fail. Lots of engineers and scientists have been able to make lots of discoveries and products by leveraging long held physics, so they will keep using accepted ideas unless you make an overwhelming case.


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      BobC

      Doug Cotton
      February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am ·

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics has to be valid between any two points at any time.

      Laws of physics are determined by empirical data, just like all valid theories. They do not determine what is real, they are just our best guess as to what is real.

      That said, I do agree that the atmosphere most likely follows the Second Law.

      …This is the only way the Second Law can work in all situations, including when there are concentrators of radiation (like a funnel) or special one-way filters.

      The existance of the kinds of concentrators and one-way filters that you envision would indeed violate the Second Law. So far, however, no one has successfully constructed any. James Maxwell also considered these kinds of filters and believed that they would violate the laws of thermodynamics. What he concluded, however, is that they can’t be built. In this, you are in conflict with Maxwell — not a place likely to be supported by empirical data (although, many things are possible). (See Maxwell’s Demon)


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    blouis79

    For anyone who thinks the “greenhouse effect” is consistent with conventional physics, please read Gerlich and Tscheuschner.

    For anyone who wants to understand how scientists can make historical mistakes, please read Tyndall’s original works and find the part where he measured warming of IR “absorbing” gases (hint: not).

    For anyone who wants to understand how heat is really moved about the atmosphere, read Claes Johnson.

    For anyone who really thinks atmospheric CO2 absorbs significant heat energy raising atmospheric temperature, please show the results of a proper physics experiment demonstrating same.


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      Jose_X

      G&T has been criticized (scienceofdoom did an informal one and there was mention of formal papers in the pipeline. I haven’t checked). I glanced at parts of it and was ..umm.. not too impressed. I can’t say much more now I suppose since I haven’t really read it.

      You mention scientists making mistakes. Were you referring to G&T?

      You mention C. Johnson. I heard about him today after reading Doug’s comments and some of the webpage he referenced, and I have been skimming some of the the papers/books he wrote. From what I have read so far, I don’t think he tries to hide that he isn’t presenting something that is mainstream. Given he is advocating material that is not mainstream, what makes you think this guy knows how heat moves through the atmosphere while most other physicists don’t? New theories come, and we are supposed to abandon what exists because some guy says so and another guy in an online forum agrees?

      How do you pretend we test CO2 concentrations (with a control) in the full atmosphere? We only have one planet. People have already done laboratory work that supports the greenhouse effect.

      I am going to keep reading Johnson a bit because I am curious, if rather skeptical. [The online book has over 200 pages, so it's certainly not an afternoon's read, but maybe I can capture important points before I move on to something else.] BTW, in the “blackbodyslayer” paper (see link at website Doug listed), section 2.1 is called “Enigma” but none of the four questions are enigmas. Well and long established models of atoms answer these rather cleanly. Of course, he rejects statistical mechanics (probability interpretation of entropy/direction of time) and perhaps doesn’t like probability analysis too much, even though statistics does seem to me like a rather clean interpretation. To substitute it, he mentions finite computations (I think this means approximate computer solutions) as the way to address the ultraviolate catastrophe and perhaps other ugly situations from deficient models. I don’t know the details yet of what he suggests, but alarm bells have been ringing in my head for a while now. He also mentions judging problem solutions a posteriori rather than making predictions and seeing if they come true. More alarm bells are going off, as I fear this may mean that you try to fit your conclusions to the approximate computer math after the fact and deny the physics model if you can’t. So if you don’t like the prediction, you a posteriori say it is a nonsense prediction by picking the data you want and manipulate it how you want. Anyway, I am guessing as to what he might mean since I haven’t read the details yet. I *am* curious, but I would be lying if I told you my medula skepticum organ has not been strained.


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    Bryan

    Jose_X says

    “G&T has been criticized (scienceofdoom did an informal one and there was mention of formal papers in the pipeline. I haven’t checked). I glanced at parts of it and was ..umm.. not too impressed. I can’t say much more now I suppose since I haven’t really read it.”

    Jose your passage above shows an evasive approach.

    You are frightened to engage with a peer reviewed paper from a physics journal yet want to imply you have;

    ” I glanced at parts of it and was ..umm.. not too impressed”

    Well here’s another peer reviewed paper that backs up G&T

    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=9233

    So if you want to be part of a real traditional physics discussion, read the papers and then come back and tell us the bits you agree/disagree with.


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      Mark

      Bryan, you should know that trolls like Jose_X are only good for deflection and rejection of any evidence (even when it has been peer-reviewed) which doesn’t fit their politics.

      If they are asked what it would take for them to change their minds all they do is obfuscate and state something like “we need to wait”…..and in the meantime, keep wasting billions on worthless “green” rorts.

      Jose likes tongive the impression of being open-minded but always comes down on the “warmist” side. I don’t think he’s ever stated his qualifications amidst his discursive dissembling but I could be wrong there.

      Whatever, don’t encourage or engage as he is a recidivist thread-bomber.


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        Jose_X

        blah blah. I’m glad you know so much about me.

        And feel free to list out the evidence that the greenhouse effect is not real.

        .. let me add something here since I forgot to add it in the reply to Bryan.

        @Bryan, I mentioned I was not too impressed. That doesn’t mean I think the authors are clueless. It means the title of the paper suggests the greenhouse effect is shown to be fictitious, yet I got the impression the arguments weren’t very good.

        Let me see… here is the link to a scienceofdoom quick critique: http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/04/05/on-the-miseducation-of-the-uninformed-by-gerlich-and-scheuschner-2009/

        I’m hoping you will read that article, as it is much shorter than the G&T paper and critiques it (meaning I would likely bring up some of those points anyway and you can get a head start on that while I go try to read some of G&T).


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      Jose_X

      >> your passage above shows an evasive approach.

      So you are saying you want me to criticize it? praise it? …without having read it?!

      I skimmed some parts some weeks back and noted a few items I thought were incorrect, but I didn’t take written notes and intended to sit down with it.

      >> You are frightened to engage with a peer reviewed paper from a physics journal yet want to imply you have

      ??

      >> So if you want to be part of a real traditional physics discussion, read the papers and then come back and tell us the bits you agree/disagree with.

      If I sent you off now to read 100 pages of something, you’ll just go and do it and come back..

      I want to at least start reading that paper in earnest. I will consider spending some time on it today, perhaps putting aside Johnson’s paper and other things I might have looked at.

      I hope you have read it since you are asking me to read it and come back here and share my thoughts.


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      Jose_X

      Oh, I refreshed my mind a bit.

      I didn’t bother to read it because I thought I got enough of the paper from the scienceofdoom discussion.

      For starters, what an actual greenhouse has in common or not with the atmosphere may be an interesting point but has nothing to do with the atmosphere “greenhouse effect”. Spending so much time on that point hints that maybe the authors don’t really know what the atmosphere greenhouse effect is or aren’t too interested in getting down to the point, perhaps because they really don’t have a convincing argument.

      Second, the scienceofdoom article also stated that G&T spend a lot of time attacking simplified toy models of the greenhouse effect instead of attacking what is actually used in the computer models. It mentions that the G&T paper, if it was a serious paper, would have gone after Ramanathan and Coakley (1978) instead of after toy models.

      SoD states “It is hard to know where to start with this paper because there is no logical flow.”

      The picture in my mind was that G&T not only weren’t addressing the actual greenhouse effect physics model but were dancing around a lot hoping to distract.

      So, this is why I took a pass on this paper.

      I’ll try to read some of it today though. Hopefully, you will try to read the SoD review and consider defending G&T from it.


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      Jose_X

      2: Page 6 “However, carbon dioxide is a rare trace gas, a very small
      part of the atmosphere found in concentrations as low as 0, 03 Vol %”

      This is probably correct, but this is the first page of actual text (after the table of contents) and they are already pointing out CO2 is in tiny amounts. I have seen a number of skeptics who try to sell the idea that a trace amount of CO2 cannot possibly lead to greenhouse effect.

      So my alarm has been triggered. Are the authors going to try to use this irrelevant point? If they do, they might not be appealing to science but to emotion. Trace amounts of some chemicals can kill humans.. or save lives. Anyway, I smell weak arm waving arguments might be in the works. .. This is a minor point, of course. Nothing technically wrong at this point.

      3: Page 11 “that the relevant mechanism is the atmospheric greenhouse effect, a mechanism heavily relying on the assumption that radiative heat transfer clearly dominates over the other forms of heat transfer such as thermal conductivity, convection, condensation et cetera [23–30].”

      That is probably false, depending on what the authors mean by “dominates”.

      The point of radiative absorption isn’t that this “dominates”, but that it exists and captures radiation that otherwise would go straight into outer space.

      Local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) interactions and convection likely dominate heat transfers in the atmosphere, depending on how you define “dominates”.

      At this point, it appears the authors might be confusing the reader, but since they aren’t using numbers or more descriptive phrases, we can’t tell. Minor point.

      4: Page 12 “In particular, from the viewpoint of theoretical physics the radiative approach, which uses physical laws such as Planck’s law and Stefan-Boltzmann’s law that only have a limited range of validity that definitely does not cover the atmospheric problem, must be highly questioned [31–35].”

      First, let me point out that, despite what Doug said, spectroscopy measurements have been taken in the infrared part of the spectrum. CO2 and many molecules absorb in this range as it overlaps with molecular vibrational states. There are huge “tables” of these values used by scientists and engineers.

      Note the wide range of lines observed

      [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_line ]> Mechanisms other than atom-photon interaction can produce spectral lines. Depending on the exact physical interaction (with molecules, single particles, etc.) the frequency of the involved photons will vary widely, and lines can be observed across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to gamma rays.

      Second, Planck’s law and Stefan-Boltzmann are not used to define how the gases absorb or radiate. These equations are used for the planet.

      The gases effect, seen as absorption and emission lines (referenced a lot when discussing astronomy, chemistry, etc), fall under quantum electrodynamics theory.

      [wikipedia]> Quantum electrodynamics (QED) ..describes how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved. QED mathematically describes all phenomena involving electrically charged particles interacting by means of exchange of photons… Richard Feynman, has called it “the jewel of physics” for its extremely accurate predictions.

      The absorption science and gas-photon interactions have been well studied. The authors might not be too aware of the relevant results. In fact:

      5: The authors continue: “It cannot be overemphasized that a microscopic theory providing the base for a derivation of macroscopic quantities like thermal or electrical transport coefficients must be a highly involved many-body theory. Of course, heat transfer is due to interatomic electromagnetic interactions mediated by the electromagnetic field. But it is misleading to visualize a photon as a simple particle or wave packet travelling from one atom to another for example. Things are pretty much more complex and cannot be understood even in a (one-)particle-wave duality or Feynman graph picture.”

      Then add “On the other hand, the macroscopic thermodynamical quantities contain a lot of information and can be measured directly and accurately in the physics lab.”

      The authors appear not to be aware of the many observations and calculations performed on atom and molecular interactions probably every day all over the world in many laboratories in order to derive important information about the substances. There are extremely accurate measurements.

      I’ll quote Feyman again, quantum electrodynamics is “the jewel of physics.”

      6: Page 12 “About 80 percent of this warming is attributed to water vapor and 20 percent to the 0.03 volume percent CO2 . If such an extreme effect existed [33 K greenhouse effect], it would show up even in a laboratory experiment involving concentrated CO2 as a thermal conductivity anomaly. It would manifest itself as a new kind of ‘superinsulation’ violating the conventional heat conduction equation. However, for CO2 such anomalous heat transport properties never have been observed.”

      The authors appear not to understand the key components of the greenhouse effect and are making statements that are likely incorrect (about the requirement to see a thermal conductivity anomaly). They are barking up the wrong tree (I think.. I’ll have a better idea later) with their overemphasis on thermal conductivity.

      They add, “Therefore, in this paper, the popular greenhouse ideas entertained by the global climatology community are reconsidered within the limits of theoretical and experimental physics.”

      I’ll take this moment to mention that emissivity values have been measured for CO2, H2O, and many other gases. These values take the spectral line evidence a step further. I believe the measurements largely agree with the Beer Lambert law.

      Hottel, Leckner, and others are well cited in the literature. This is work largely done in the 60s 70s period, I think. [I think I provided links earlier.. I'll check] Here is one link to a 1960 thesis from caltech http://thesis.library.caltech.edu/2809/1/Lapp_m_1960.pdf . Just read the beginning to get an idea. Measurements at low temperatures are common (and not what the thesis is about). Hottel is mentioned. Lot’s of engineers use these values.

      I think it is impossible to look at greenhouse effect without looking at this sort of result, so I’ll be watching to see if G&T recognize this since they are giving the impression they think Stefan-Boltzmann is the key equation and that the scales are not realistic for a “cavity” electromagnetic radiation analysis, and that there are might be no further experimental evidence to support the greenhouse effect.

      OK, well this is enough for now. I wanted to post something today. The authors haven’t “proved” anything by this point in the paper (pg 13), but I see many trouble signs. Many of the above points suggest they don’t understand the greenhouse effect; however, the silliness of section 5.1 by itself has to really make one wonder how much experience they have with climate science. They likely have not read much of the literature or taken very many courses is the impression they give.


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      Jose_X

      I want to mention “quickly” a few items that have caught my attention.

      1: This first one was one of the things I had noticed before.

      In section 3.5.1 the authors appear to have confused “short wave” and “long wave” in climate science with the use of those names in the radio range of the spectrum.

      Note the difference for shortwave:
      Short wave in the radio spectrum is in the range of 10,000,000 Hz.
      wiki/Shortwave_radio

      Short wave in climate science is around visible, uv, etc, and is on the scale of 100,000,000,000,000 Hz.
      wiki/Visible_light

      Long wave radio might be 10,000 Hz.
      wiki/Long_wave

      Long wave climate might be 10,000,000,000,000 Hz.
      wiki/Infra-red
      wiki/Pyrgeometer

      Notice I am not making this up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_model
      > All climate models take account of incoming energy from the sun as short wave electromagnetic radiation, chiefly visible and short-wave (near) infrared, as well as outgoing energy as long wave (far) infrared electromagnetic radiation from the earth.

      Besides that these use the same name, the confusion might also come because when we convert the climate frequencies (Hertz) above into wavelength (micrometers) we get values that look like the radio short wave. Compare 1 MHz (radio frequency) to 1 micro-m (near-infrared wavelength). or 10^6 vs 10^-6. They look similar. However, we are not taking the reciprocal only. We also have to multiply (or divide) by the speed of light and that is how 10^14 becomes around 10^-6: you get the reciprocal 10^-14 and then multiply by the speed of light, 3*10^8 m/s, to give order 10^-6.

      OK, this is an easy mistake to make, I agree, but this is one major clue that the authors don’t totally have the ideas behind greenhouse effect under control. They don’t appear to be climate scientists or to have read very much in the field.


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        Bryan

        Jose_X

        “In section 3.5.1 the authors appear to have confused “short wave” and “long wave” in climate science with the use of those names in the radio range of the spectrum.”

        Now who is being silly?

        G&T were writing for professional physicists, so they would use the physics definitions of infra red, microwaves and so on.

        Why climate science has adopted its own definitions of long wave and infra red and so on (that no other science use) is quite odd don’t you think?

        Perhaps its because climate science has developed cut of from a substantial input from the other sciences


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          Jose_X

          Hey, all right!

          After reading your comment, I went googling for that picture online since it’s so difficult to read.

          I came across a presentation of that movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_mr9EqJg18 . In that presentation, the speaker refers to “reflection” to the laymen audience.

          Now, I don’t know what the context is in the movie, but if this speaker is reproducing that context a bit, I can see how G&T were mocking that use of “reflection”. I reread 3.5.1, and this interpretation would be consistent.

          So it appears G&T were in fact referring to real short/long wave!

          I did expect that “mistake” would have been just too silly.

          OK, so point 1 does *not* apply. Scratch it.

          Also, I put 5.1 instead of 3.5.1 in the concluding section (a typo). I see that threw you off (in comment below). I was referring to that 3.5.1 and not to the summary section.


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    blouis79

    Bryan, thanks for the Kramm et al paper.

    I note they have some inside knowledge of the Halpern et al rebuttal of G&T.

    It should be noticed that—based on the reviews re-
    quested by the IJMPB—the manuscript of Halpern et al.
    first submitted in 2009 was rejected. Surprisingly and
    unfortunately, it was eventually published by this journal,
    but none of the authors’ big physical mistakes criticized
    by the reviewers were removed from the manuscript.

    Interesting.


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    blouis79

    Kramm and Dlugi do indeed critique the Ramanthan description, before concluding

    “Based on our findings, we conclude that 1) the so- called atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be proved by the statistical description of fortuitous weather events that took place in past climate periods, 2) the description by AMS and WMO has to be discarded because of physical reasons, 3) energy-flux budgets for the Earth- atmosphere system do not provide tangible evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect does exist. Because of this lack of tangible evidence it is time to acknowledge that the atmospheric greenhouse effect and especially its climatic impact are based on meritless conjectures.”


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    Bryan

    Jose_X says

    “however, the silliness of section 5.1 by itself has to really make one wonder how much experience they have with climate science. They likely have not read much of the literature or taken very many courses is the impression they give.”

    Section 5 is the summary section.

    To say something is “silly” you should have established which earlier part of the paper is in error!

    I don’t want to be too hard on you Jose as many attempts by professional IPCC advocates have been tried to pick holes in the G&T paper without success.

    You have skated round the G&T paper without saying anything of substance.

    Pick any one item and let’s see if you can show its “silly”

    Remember G&T do not consider a lot of what goes on in climate science as Science or Physics hence the title of their paper.

    Mann’s Hockey Stick graph and the 33K greenhouse effect are but too widely discredited items.


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    Paul

    Bryan @ #615.5.1
    February 26, 2012 at 10:17 am ·

    Jose_X

    “In section 3.5.1 the authors appear to have confused “short wave” and “long wave” in climate science with the use of those names in the radio range of the spectrum.”

    Now who is being silly?

    G&T were writing for professional physicists, so they would use the physics definitions of infra red, microwaves and so on.

    Why climate science has adopted its own definitions of long wave and infra red and so on (that no other science use) is quite odd don’t you think?

    Perhaps its because climate science has developed cut of from a substantial input from the other sciences

    Jose_X is all blather and smoke and mirrors. He pretends to be seeking after the truth but constantly takes the side of the advocates of the AGW conjecture.

    I personally do not regard it as useful to reply to him and agree with another poster that he simply spams this thread, preventing any serious discussion of the science or for anyone new to the thread to learn anything new from it.

    His appeal to advocacy sites, such as the Science of Doom and RealClimate, indicates that he has no independent knowledge of the science and buys into the propaganda as his starting point for ‘research’.

    Paul


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    blouis79

    Won’t get any sense out of scienceofdoom, who is wedded to the “greenhouse theory”.


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    BenAW

    Would you all have a look at this post:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/ben-wouters-how-the-earths-surface-maintains-its-temperature/

    I’m looking for a serious discussion.
    If my hypothesis holds, AGW is dead.


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi Ben – what about energy lost as work on the atmosphere?


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      Jose_X

      @BenAW, I am still reading it.

      First point, AGW won’t be dead until a mathematical model that does at least as well a job supplants it. Without math, we could be designing/modeling a fantasy land of dragons and magic and we would not tell otherwise. So keep that in mind if you are serious.

      Second, I have never put a glass of warm water on the counter and felt that the top got hot and the bottom cold. If there is a difference it was very slight. On the other hand, I have added warm water with colder water and they mix together by themselves. This mixing effect is natural and can be seen when two different colored liquids are put into the same container (or a boundary between them is removed). While I understand that the idea that hot rises and cold falls seems like something we have always heard, this only happens a little bit to match certain physical constraints (that is my guess). My guess is that there is a natural gradient that develops based on, eg, pressure and the boundary conditions (eg, bottom of ocean land.. atmosphere.. space). [I have ideas about the physics/math but really am not sure, so I am guessing.] Eg, like if you put one end of a metal rod in ice and the other in fire, every point in between will adjust part of the way towards each end depending on how close it is to that end. Anyway, any variation from this natural gradient will lead to a reshuffling of gas/liquid. This not only seems to follow evidence, it not only makes sense with current physics (eg, brownian motion mixing), but it explains why a lot of sun heating the top of the oceans would eventually lead to some degree of mixing (some warm falls while some cold rises to replace it and approach equilibrium gradient).


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        Jose_X

        >> it explains why a lot of sun heating the top of the oceans would eventually lead to some degree of mixing (some warm falls while some cold rises to replace it and approach equilibrium gradient).

        If you are serious about the science of this, remember that people are measuring the ocean temperatures in many locations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_%28oceanography%29 . They see cold rise and warm fall in various places at times. They see some shifts in temp throughout at times. If you want an accurate model, you should consider getting that data and studying it as you build your model (and make sure you sharpen some relevant math if you want to improve your odds).


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      Jose_X

      >> http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/ben-wouters-how-the-earths-surface-maintains-its-temperature/
      > Reason being that incoming solar and cooling through the atmosphere cancel each other out. So we have radiative balance with the sun, and a temperature at the surface that is at least 275K in the polar regions, and higher at the equator (~300K)

      My question is, why would the balance be some value over another? Why not 1000K or 400K or 280K or 257K?

      What if there already is mathematics with accepted physical models that recognizes (theoretically and experimentally) “downward longwave radiation” to arrive at approximately the temperatures we measure?

      I haven’t done the math, but I believe that fairly good model already exists using DLR.

      So if I am a neutral third party, which model am I likely to adopt or place my trust in? The one with the fancy math, decent consistency, and fairly good answers, or the one with a lot of wand waving?

      I am trying to convey why pretending climate scientists are wrong without understanding their equations and math is an uphill battle and probably foolish (unless you have reasons that make it worthwhile — eg, a learning experience of some sort). It will take you a long time and likely you won’t be successful in reaching a competitive model without a lot of help. And what if when you get there (assuming you do) you then find out your model is about the same model as what already exists?

      So, I am not trying to discourage you from learning and being creative and enjoying yourself or whatever, but keep that in mind.

      If you want a link to a paper that I think is supposed to solve some of these issues, try http://climateknowledge.org/figures/Rood_Climate_Change_AOSS480_Documents/Ramanathan_Coakley_Radiative_Convection_RevGeophys_%201978.pdf . If you can show why that paper is bogus, you will really help your cause. If you can’t show it, you might want to consider learning from it in some way.

      BTW, I haven’t read the paper. I hope I find time enough to read it and understand it.


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        BenAW

        “My question is, why would the balance be some value over another? Why not 1000K or 400K or 280K or 257K?”

        Unless you can change the amount of radiation the sun emits, this is the number we have to work with. To balance incoming solar system earth has to emit the same amount, otherwise it’s cooling or warming.

        “What if there already is mathematics with accepted physical models that recognizes (theoretically and experimentally) “downward longwave radiation” to arrive at approximately the temperatures we measure?”

        What if these models are total nonsense? What is the relevance of the greybody value earth is supposed to have (255K) if the bulk of the oceans are already 20K or more above that number?
        Even if DLR was real, how do you explain the atmosphere heating the earth, if you realise that the heat capacity of the atmosphere is the same as that of 3,2 METER of ocean?


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          Jose_X

          If you decide to do math, the following estimate might be relevant.

          1 cubic meter of water weighs about 1000kg. 100 cubic meters of water covers a column of a square meter of water 100 meters deep and has mass of about 100 000 kg.

          If water at the top of that column is at 275 K and the air temperature is at 255 K there is a net loss of about 85 W = 85 J/s.

          Now, let’s do a very rough approximation. Water loses (or gains) over 4000 J/kg per Kelvin. For a change of 1 Kelvin, this means that the column will have to lose some 400 MJ (megajoules). At 85 J/s, that would take around 4.7 million seconds or around 55 days.

          Basically, I think this suggests (even if the numbers are wrong, but assuming the analysis makes some sense) that within a decade perhaps the oceans should approach equilibrium in a measurable way. In centuries, the ocean should probably be tracking the sun. In a million years, we probably have more than enough time for all the heat to have risen and to reach a balance.

          So, the next question is, if you think that the current temperature of the oceans match the energy received purely from the sun (since excesses would have radiated away by now as just argued). I’d expect your model to quantify that more carefully. [Maybe there is ground energy helping out, but you would have to quantify that too.. and it should make sense across millions of years.]

          Besides equations/math and physical arguments to the above, I would also want to know more about this radiation falling from the sky and why it appears that while the shortwave radiation approximates these calculated values of what the sun should send to the earth (and Planck’s energy distribution), there is probably a lot more radiation energy measured as DLR not accounted for via the Planck/S-B analysis. Keep in mind that we have satellites making measurements towards the sun as well as ground stations, so we should have a clue of what the sun sends our way and then what hits the ground.

          If you do some of the math legwork and present it, then I (for whatever my opinion counts) would consider the model more carefully, but, otherwise, I don’t see any reason to believe it more than the standard models. I would not really believe it, in fact, to whatever degree it would appear to conflict with established models.

          It does seem to me by your own numbers that perhaps you are attributing a lot of heat to the water that should have dissipated by now. Note, I am not making that claim of failure until I see from that model a more comprehensive theory that tries to model the sun’s and the ocean’s radiation (or whatever the model uses for energy transfer); I am not saying that the numbers you give aren’t justified. I am saying there appears to be some inconsistency with the average numbers given by many scientists, the standard equations, and the values you have picked, assuming no ghg effect. So I presume a more detailed explanation of the model would try to more carefully quantify these details in some way. When we have something more concrete, then we could take more steps to see if it is consistent with various observations or experiments we might perform.]

          In summary, I can’t trust the current model you described over anything standard because it lacks too many details and on the surface it appears not to follow standard equations or it fails observation. Of course, you can challenge observations or make your own (or give competing equations/theories or fix errors in the argument above, etc), but all of that has to be carefully detailed, I think, for most any scientist to give it serious consideration. Ask yourself if you would think differently if some random stranger offered you a new model that presumably disagreed with what scientists at large believed? [Perhaps you want to team up with some person/group who already has equations and theories further along and see what math results comes from it. Someone with strong math skills can help. Let me answer the following question, "why would I in general not spend too much time helping someone in your position to develop that theory further?" Because there are a zillion possible alternative models, and unless I have a strong favorite in the race (because I don't have a zillion years of life), I tend to believe that the standard models developed by many people over years is the strongest theory, and I ask that anyone wanting to convince me to support any significant change to the standard models to first clearly point out how the models fail observations and then why a minimal change to the model would not be enough.]


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        Truthseeker

        Jose_X,

        This might answer the question about which average temperature to use …

        http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/true-energy-balance-of-earthatmosphere.html

        If you have any questions, please ask them at the source.


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          Jose_X

          Should I assume your message was addressed at BenAW?

          Taking one part from one model and another from another model and not sure which theory or equation people have is something for BenAW and the other people to settle on. Third parties generally are not going to risk wasting lots of their time chasing unproven models.

          As I said before, you need to show what is wrong with current theories people have invested time learning, fixing, improving, etc, and then how your new cohesive theory fixes a problem or otherwise improves upon it.

          If your theory doesn’t add much except alleged simplicity, then you have to demonstrate that a significant number of results can also be derived from that theory. You have to specify what you are discarding and then how you are replacing that and results that depend on that.

          Of course, you don’t *have* to do anything, but if you want to get people’s attention, you need to do your part. People have investments, so don’t expect anyone to drop major investments unless you make it very easy and appealing. You need to relate your additions or changes to what they know.

          That said, I will consider that page a distinct model and try to find some time to relax and look at it. I’ll also keep in mind the Venus/Earth ratio discussion from before.

          [Right now I am looking at how feedback analysis is used by climate scientists and how that may differ from traditional feedback analysis... All of this takes time for me to do. I always appreciate a summary or anything that will arouse curiosity.. eg, like something it can do that other models can't.]


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          Jose_X

          Truthseeker, I read the beginning of that page you just mentioned, and again it seems the person is finding patterns (the one from venus/earth page being rather intriguing to me based on my limited experiences). Anyone can find ratios or any other math to tie various numbers together. That doesn’t do much except in some cases maybe suggest that we should poke around that idea further.

          For Venus/Earth, I already suggested (but haven’t spent too much more time playing with numbers) that the similarity between the sizes and masses (and g constant) of Venus and Earth might be directly involved with why the two planets have a similar lapse rate at similar pressures.. at least to first order approximation at their “outer” edges of the atmosphere (ie, where the pressures are in the vicinity of 1 atm).

          I haven’t pursued those calculations too much because the simple Postma analysis didn’t derive the correct lapse rate, so, if I have not seen it (or done it) for Earth, I won’t get the Venus results either (the rates look very similar at the 1 atm range). I think the right answer would come from a more precise analysis that also considers radiative heat transfers.. but I have not yet played with that math. This author (Huffman) also didn’t calculate the lapse rate from basic principles. He merely noted that the ratios were almost the same at the 1 atm region, and from that observation stated a more general hypothesis.

          I have not provided a readable analysis of Huffman’s claims, but let me repeat what I said before. A new theory has to find a flaw with an existing theory. There is no evidence that this new theory gets anything right that we don’t already know how to calculate. And worse there is no reuse of more fundamental equations that people already have validated against mother nature. ..none, except the use of S-B.. which itself was used wrongly because it ignores that the sun’s radiation does bounce/reflect off the earth’s and venus’ atmospheres. We see the earth from the moon because of this reflection. Huffman doesn’t account for that and uses the entire S-B result (with 0 albedo) in his fairly simple calculations. Right there he *appears* to be violating conservation of energy (I don’t know enough of this theory to know for sure). Of course, he can try to broaden his theory to answer many questions and address the conservation of energy bit. That is what he should be doing now if he wants a fair number of people to give him serious consideration. I have not done a serious critique yet, but these are the sorts of questions I would explore. [I have been motivated by the Venus Earth example, but I expect after I have learned more things and have had time to play with a computer to solve challenging equations I would not solve otherwise, that I will confirm many of my hunches and be able to write a convincing rebuttal... So Venus/Earth is on "pending" if you want to know.. with the footnote that I think I could detail some flaws now or at least argue that the author is not solving anything we don't already know from more basic and cohesive principles.]

          Concerning this new page, I don’t think I read (in the part I read) where the 2:5 ration comes from (2 parts atmosphere warming to 5 parts “earth” warming). Anyone can look at measured data and figure out a nice ratio that applies. That is not a theory. That doesn’t use simple core principles and equations to derive pieces. At best, it is an alternative, but the author claims climate science is all wrong. If climate science is all wrong, then his theory is probably broken as well because he relies on numbers derived from “climate science”.

          Patterns exist everywhere. This is not astrology. We need a physical explanation that integrates with our body of physics.

          I don’t yet think I can post to his website, so anyone can feel free to copy/paste this comment there or link to it. If I had a question for him, it would be his opinion on conservation of energy implications for using an albedo of 0. You can get around this by saying that S-B doesn’t describe all the energy radiated from body A, that it only covers the part that is also absorbed by body B, but this has implications that may require reinterpretations of photon energies and the speed of light limit since you can’t know (using current accepted theories of nature) from far away how much body B will absorb and reflect at the time you emit your radiation so as to emit an extra amount so that B can absorb the full amount calculated from S-B. [I think I brought this critique up recently.. not sure if it was an initial impression of Johnson or not.] .. I don’t remember all the details of the Venus/Earth, so feel free to correct me.


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    BenAW

    Hi Keith

    Only way system earth can loose energy is by radiating out to space. As long as incoming solar and outgoing radiation match, nothing is lost, just redistributed.

    Ben


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    Jose_X

    I have a question. [And I will also say a few things about what motivates me, so that people (eg, Paul) don't think I am trying to fool anyone.]

    Let’s say you “suspect” skeptic scientists and engineers will come up with something better, and you want to wait around for those results or you want to learn about the details of the work the skeptics are doing (with little interest in that “other” science).

    This sounds reasonable to me if for some reason you don’t want to trust the scientists that have been working on this problem till now (or you don’t trust certain key points).

    Maybe you ordinarily have no reason to distrust but you don’t *like* the conclusions, so you want to make sure no rock has been left unturned in seeking alternative projections, etc.

    Again, this sounds reasonable. [little aside]..I don’t share those views in that I address my doubts without assuming “everything” is wrong. Of course (and this may explain part of the reason why), I have no problem with a degree of imposed moderation and a bit (more) large-scale discipline when it comes to exploitation and consumption of non-renewable resources and also for getting a handle on externalities being passed on to each citizen by various industries. I do see resource problems in the future, and we have way too many people on the planet (not that anyone is more deserving of living here than another.. but we do have too many people for my level of comfort.. and the number is growing at a healthy pace). It makes lots of sense to me that we make sure we are putting focus on renewable technologies and research. This just makes sense. And yes I also value nature in many ways. ..So, to wrap up this little aside, I’ll add that I fully recognize we all have biases and will disagree on methods and particulars.

    Here is my question, in the end, if the greenhouse effect exists, if people are threatening the comfort of future generations (w/ or w/o greenhouse effect), if these things ultimately bear out, wouldn’t you want to “know” that as quickly as possible if in fact this would be the case?

    The default for societies is obviously to do nothing and keep consuming. “Let those who are around when X happens, deal with it.” But I will assume that most people care to some degree about whether they might have been able to really simplify the lives of those of future generations or otherwise complicate their lives.

    So to me it makes sense to study up on what I think are the most accurate ideas, and to me that would include ideas that supposedly have strong mathematical and physical backing. If a theory is integrated into our accepted science in many ways (and there are several), it has legs to stand on and has some minimal guaranteed level of robustness. Odds are that it is right, mostly. Odds are that investigating the details of it would be worthwhile.

    Now, I know there is subjectivity that creeps in all over the place in judging. I know we all accept as near fact many things we don’t “prove” for ourselves, but, regardless of our biases and to whom we give the benefit of the doubt, I think it makes sense ultimately that we’d want to make sure the most likely best ideas were a part of the model we are investing time trying to improve and get to be as accurate as possible.

    I know that there is the alternative of temporarily preferring to bury the proverbial head in the sand at least for a while, but I hope ultimately we all want to be exposed and understand the best science (or have our proxy scientists do so on our behalf). And since we can’t create reality [some may disagree with this statement I suppose], the sooner we utilize accurate components of models of reality the more time we’ll have to deal with threats these may imply. ..If I were eating my own foot, for example, I’d want to know ASAP, even if it would initially mean possibly forgoing something I currently found entirely delicious.

    OK, so I welcome strong criticism on greenhouse effect and am interested in alternative views.. but this doesn’t mean I will be convinced easily. Right now, I feel fairly comfortable with this ghg eff.

    I am not a troll, yet I have no choice but to have biases and bad judgement calls that will surface here and there ..but oh so rarely! :-P

    [FWIW, I don't have money in this race. I do have preferences, but I think I could pick a side and probably make acceptable money with it. If anything, more money seems to be with the skeptical side. Just add up the expenditures and the profits of our traditional energy industry. It's huge. Although there are many interests on the other side as well, eg, almost any business that is not based on fossil fuels but competes with it.]

    [FWIW, I once upon a time did study a fair amount of physics, math, and/or various engineering of one sort or other (no degrees, however, as I bailed out). I also currently return to tech study from time to time (special thanks to Wikipedia and the Internet), but I have never dedicated a career to it and know a lot less than I would like to know.]


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      Jose_X

      In case anyone cares (since I already brought it up), I don’t think we *have* to act now. I don’t favor one policy over another to address CO2 emissions (I probably do but haven’t thought about it much). I do think we have other more important short-term issues. I even imagine future societies possibly wanting to release some CO2 on purpose; however, I think we should be able to control levels, so I really favor research and like the idea of CO2 sequestering. I also think it would be less painful if we begin to manage CO2 sooner than later since we can start off very easily (arguably we already have started to manage it or at least plan/research). Whereas, I don’t think CO2 action is super high priority in the next few years or maybe decade or more (and I could be misjudging this), I do think we need to work to improve our renewables in general, the sooner the better.


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        Truthseeker

        Jose_X,

        CO2 is irrelevant to the climate, especially compared to the elephant in the room that is water vapour. Are you suggesting that we control water now? Maybe we could sequester water in, say something like … a dam perhaps? Yes, then we could release the dammed water to drive turbines to make electricity …


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          Jose_X

          >> CO2 is irrelevant to the climate

          CO2 absorbs and emits radiation, and a great deal of professional research, developed theories, and observation, with key points covered in text books (as well as near consensus among climate scientists) disagree with your claims.

          >> elephant in the room that is water vapour.

          Yes, the warmer it gets, the stronger the GHE from water.

          >> Are you suggesting that we control water now?

          No, controlling CO2 would resolve the problem since keeping the temperature stable keeps the absolute humidity stable. Allowing CO2 to rise and raise the temperatures a little increases the absolute humidity and leads to 2x more warming.

          We can’t keep the water from evaporating, but we should try harder to keep the CO2 under control.


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            Truthseeker

            Jose_X, where is the observable evidence that CO2 affects climate? There is no data to support this assertion. Computer models are not proof of anything other the confirmation bias of the people that wrote/paid for those models. There is no consensus amongst actual scientists on this Jose, none at all.

            Water vapour acts as a negative feedback mechanism. More heat > more evaporation > more clouds > less sunlight > less heat > less evaporation > less clouds > more sunlight > more heat > etc, etc, etc. No catastrophe there ….


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            Jose_X

            Truthseeker, there is plenty of observational data on greenhouse gases absorbing and emitting. Many gases have their specific spectral profiles. The physics describing this is used in engineering and in other sciences to get results.

            So the best theories on the atmosphere are founded by solid physical models (and feel free to point some other atmosphere theory out) and predict the greenhouse effect.

            How would we measure this on the planet? Well, for example, we make predictions and then we see if the temperature rises as predicted. And we repeat the experiment under different stresses and many times until reasonable scientists are convinced.

            Can we pump the earth with CO2 and run many experiments? Not really. We are running one experiment at a time on earth and it takes a while to see the results. If we end up cooking our planet during this experiment, we don’t get to run another.

            Now, there is evidence from ice cores and elsewhere that allows us to have degrees of confidence that the earth behaves a certain way in the past, but those experiments are limited by what happened and by natural events in the past. There is room for doubt.

            a) Question: can we agree on what I have said so far above this point?

            This aside, the current experiment we are running on planet earth has signature effects that adhere to our greenhouse theory predictions. The earth is very complex, so that too leaves room for doubt, but given that we have only one earth, if you can’t come up with a competing theory of worth, risk management dictates we follow our paper theories (which currently are being verified within reasonable error tolerances).

            I don’t have to be able to conduct all the experiments I would like to conduct ideally in order to assess that GHE is likely enough real and we should do something about it. Remember, it is based on the best theories, but we can’t experiment fully on the planet in a large scale without essentially killing the planet and ourselves.. and we can’t even do that at this point because of the size of the experiment and costs. One experiment is being carried out at a time and slowly.

            There is strong evidence that CO2 is being pumped into the environment because of fossil fuel burning. There are many calculations we can make on this and measurements of the type (isotope) of CO2 in the air. We also have strong reasons to believe the current levels are higher than in the last few millions years (but almost certainly since man’s recent ancestors evolved).

            So what do you offer, knowing that we can’t conduct real experiment on the full planet? You offer we take our chances and risk death… even though many laboratory experiments exist. Even though current predictions about how the planet should change have found supporting observations (including steady temperature rise in the atmosphere when we factor out natural cyclical forcing events like the sun and steady and large temperature gains in the oceans.. and lots of ice melts)?

            At this point in time, the reasonable approach is caution because of the great risks that the theories suggest. As time goes on, we keep reevaluating the risks. That is sanity.

            b) What part of the above do you not agree with?

            c) What evidence are you looking for specifically to convince yourself that the risks are significant enough to warrant action?


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            Jose_X

            >> Water vapour acts as a negative feedback mechanism. More heat > more evaporation > more clouds > less sunlight > less heat > less evaporation > less clouds > more sunlight > more heat > etc, etc, etc. No catastrophe there ….

            More heat > more evaporation > more ghg effect by a significant amount. This is a well-supported understanding that is a positive feedback.

            Besides that strong positive feedback from having more water vapor, water evaporation I am guessing has a weak negative feedback imposed on top. [BTW, "feedback" is used to mean a different thing in climate science than is the case in ordinary controls theory. I am more aware of the ordinary meaning.]

            There are also positive feedback cloud effects (eg, more extra absorption into the atmosphere than sunlight reflection) besides the negative feedbacks you mentioned.

            The water evaporation effect is well-supported and positive. The cloud effects (and the direction of their net contributions) are not well-known. These little known effects in total appear to be less than the other known effects.

            This is my current understanding, but I there is much research and text book material I have not read. I’m not a climate scientist or I would know more.


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            Truthseeker

            Jose_X, there is very little about this that I agree with.

            “Truthseeker, there is plenty of observational data on greenhouse gases absorbing and emitting. Many gases have their specific spectral profiles. The physics describing this is used in engineering and in other sciences to get results.”

            This is where the GHG proponents such as yourself come unstuck. You seem to equate radiative energy with thermal energy and say what is true for one is true for the other. I am not a physicist, but even I can see this is nonsense. Radiation may be absorbed and emitted, but heat only increases if work has been done.

            As for the ice cores and elsewhere, there is a large number of completely independent proxies looking at the past in geological timeframes that show the CO2 changes after heating has occurred, not the other way around.

            As for pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere, well we have been doing this for a while now and neither the sattelites or argo buoys can detect any increasing heat trend for the past 15 years. Do not forget that 97% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is naturally occurring. Why should we be concerned about the other 3%? The only thing about CO2 that concerns me is not having enough. At 150 ppm it is all over. No plants > no animals > no humans. We are only at 390 ppm. I would be much happier (as would the biosphere of the planet) if it was up around 600 ppm.


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            Jose_X

            I would like to know what of the following feels wrong to you. I am confident I am not coming unstuck, but please ask (or google) if you don’t understand.

            Photon radiation (which is what we are talking about.. in contrast to radiation of alpha particles and other examples) follows the same basic electromagnetic rules of engagement regardless of the frequency. The frequency of the particular photon does impact if a specific material will absorb it or if it is reflected or transmitted, but the same general laws of motion, energy, etc, apply regardless of frequency.

            Thermal radiation, which is a form of heat transfer, gets the “thermal” adjective from the fact it can lead to temperature increases.

            Radiation at a wide range of frequencies (basically all classified as infrared, aka, IR) can excite molecules into vibrational and other forms of motion that contribute to temperature. [In fact, even radiation that affects mostly electrons has some probability of "relaxing" into an increase in kinetic energy.] Radiation in these IR ranges can be called thermal radiation.

            The technical term “heat” just means a non-zero net transfer of (non-work) energy. Heat can exist via radiation as well as from some form of contact or all together. So thermal radiation, aka, IR radiation, when it results in a net transfer of energy, would be called heat. [Ie, heat just means there was more energy going in one direction as another. We call heat when "non-work" energy is transferred.. regardless of the mechanism of transfer or, if radiation, the frequency.]

            So keep in mind these points:
            1: All radiation, no matter the frequency, would be called heat as long as there was a net transfer into or away from the body being described.
            2: Thermal radiation, aka IR radiation, is a name given to radiation in a certain range of frequencies. Many molecules absorb energy of these frequencies to increase their vibrational energy.

            This absorption and emission of IR/thermal radiation applies to gases as well as to liquids and solids, except that gases have a much more limited range of absorption/emission because (eg) solids have many molecules together and the potential energies associated with any given molecule or set of molecules at any given point varies (in most solids) almost as a continuum. Gases in ordinary pressures are individual particles basically independent of each other and so are limited to a narrow range (ie, narrow absorption band) by the interactions of the few protons and electrons that constitute that individual molecule.

            So some gases can absorb IR to increase vibrating energy. These are greenhouse gases. Most gases are greenhouse gases. A few gases are very homogenous (eg, N-N or O-O), and quantum mechanical analysis reveals that they absorb and emit in very narrow bands and very few bands.. lying essentially above the IR range of frequencies. Our atmosphere is composed largely of N2 and O2, two of the few non-ghg.. meaning that the vast majority of the radiation from the planet cannot be absorbed by the vast majority of molecules in the atmosphere.

            [If you want, I can try to explain blackbody radiation, which is radiation of an ideal "black" body based essentially only on its temperature. This is what the sun and earth release but at different ranges because they are at different temperatures.]

            Essentially having greenhouse gases is like a blanket.. subject to what I just mentioned that a solid cotton blanket absorbs over a wide range and even if “thin”. Gases are very spread out and require much more volume .. and can only absorb a range of the total radiation even if the volume was huge.

            Anyway, radiation form the earth can be called thermal radiation because most of the frequencies are in the IR range. [See blackbody] This radiation, whether absorbed by a solid, liquid, or gas, readily excites motion in the atoms. It adjusts the temperature.

            Let’s get back to the atmosphere. The ghg absorb radiation, but before an emission can occur, the energy is usually transferred to nearby much less excited gas molecules (including non-ghg like N2, O2, etc). So the atmosphere ghg absorb thermal radiation to heat up, but they usually don’t radiate right away and instead share their newly acquired energy with other gas molecules. Periodically, there is emission. The air has a temperature and has ghg that can radiate similar to how liquids and solids radiate, so they will radiate some amount dependent on their temperature. “Back radiation” comes from the same basis as does blackbody radiation, but it is limited in frequency range (depending on the particular gas doing the emission) and comes from all throughout the volume of gas rather than largely at the surface.

            OK, so let’s recap a few more key points:
            3: The earth radiates in the IR range.
            4: Most gases (but notably excluding N2 and O2) absorb in a fraction of this IR range, the particular range depending on the particular ghg.
            5: After such absorptions, the energy is usually shared (eg, with abundant N2 and O2), but every now and then, because of its temperature, a very excited ghg will emit thermal radiation in its particular frequency range.

            Satellites measure the frequency of radiation and they confirm that a very large fraction (I think near 50%) of that radiation received is in the narrow bands of CO2 (ie, in the frequencies where CO2 absorbs and emits). This is confirmation of the ghg effect of CO2 in action. Why near 50%? Well, because water vapor only lies near the ground. There is a lot of CO2 above the topmost layer of H2O. Any natural temperature emission from above this layer will not come from H2O but largely from the ghg that are way up high.. and most of this is dominated by CO2.

            Last summary point:
            6: Evidence of CO2 emission in large quantities exists and is consistent with the spectra of CO2 and our knowledge of which ghg are in the atmosphere and where we believe them to be.

            OK, I’ve said a lot. If you read this all, let me know why you think the infrared radiation from the planet can’t be absorbed by CO2 and heat it up and later have this energy be passed along to other gases bouncing against the CO2.


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            Jose_X

            I have to run, but let me say something about ice cores info and CO2 pumping.

            CO2 historically follows temperature rises. The total quantities of CO2 that ultimately rise afterward is related to the greenhouse effect to some extent: after CO2 increases, temp increases some more, leading to more CO2, etc, up to equilibrium.

            However, regardless of what sets CO2 to increase initially after temp increases (eg, the oceans warming), that does not disprove the greenhouse effect. We can have temp increase CO2 AND CO2 increase temp.

            The ice core data is useful to give insight and help in tuning calculations, but it does not contradict/nullify the greenhouse effect. The ice core data suggests mostly only today is CO2 leading. This is evidence that man is playing a role.

            Man’s role is further enhanced by the large amounts of CO2 we release (say 3% of yearly totals), and the steady accumulation of this amount only partially checked CO2 release, year after year after year, leading to a significant rise in CO2 after decades of release, now to levels not seen in millions of years. The current 3% (but earlier much smaller %) — only partially absorbed by oceans — has added up, and we now have CO2 levels way beyond what the human species has ever “witnessed”.


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            Truthseeker

            Jose_X, of course CO2 and H2O absorb incoming radiation, increase in heat and then pass that on to surrounding molecules via conduction. That is the process by which the atmosphere gets the bulk of the heat that it has. What is not happening is the warmer surface getting more heat from cooler gasses by radiation, conduction or any other method. This is the catastrophic scenario proposed by the alarmists. Also CO2 is going to reflect as much radiation out to space as it is towards the surface so it is not going to have a net warming effect. Water vapour is a better holder of heat because, when it exists, it is much denser than the surrounding gas. It is also not evenly spread. There are large areas of the planet with very little humidity and others with a great deal. This causes temperature differences, which causes air currents and other weather effects. After all every living thing on the planet is affected by the weather. Nothing living is actually affected by climate.

            Also the time lag between temperature increases and CO2 increases is in the order of 800 to 1000 years. This is far too long for any feedback effect to occur and no feedback mechanism is shown with any part of the geological record. CO2 concentration at the moment is the highest in human history but not nearly the highest when you look at the geological record.

            You have nothing useful to contribute to this discussion Jose_X. I’m done with you.


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            Jose_X

            >> What is not happening is the warmer surface getting more heat from cooler gasses by radiation, conduction or any other method.

            If the sun keeps adding heat and the earth dissipates it more slowly at the existing temperature because more ghg have been added so it takes longer for added quantity of thermal energy from the sun to dissipate, then some amount of thermal energy will accumulate. That sounds intuitive, right?

            Why is it so hard to imagine that the temperature would rise as a result?

            How do you explain that the earth is warmer than predicted by Stefan-Boltzmann (and if you have to appeal to Huffman’s ratio, I think you know you are not paying attention to established physics)?

            As H et al pointed out, the S/4 approximation that GT criticized demonstrated a lower bound for the GHE. GT’s more elaborate approach implied the GHE was much larger than 33 K. In any case, GT did not show a calculation or theory that would have explained the current temperature ranges. GT’s math (even ignoring albedo) had the temp lower than Stefan-Boltzmann. Even if you ignore albedo entirely (and this contradicts energy conservation and measurements from up in space) and use the “hotter” S/4 method, you still don’t get to today’s temperature (you get a slightly lower value). So how do we get to the higher temperatures we see today? It has to be something.

            Let me ask, would you be convinced back radiation is radiation like any other and adds thermal radiation (that had left earlier) if a Wood experiment conducted on a high mountain showed higher temperature when the rock salt covering is covered by glass?

            The simplest theory of photon radiation (and the one accepted by physicists) is that when a photon leaves, the molecule lost energy. When a photon is absorbed, energy is increased. So “back radiation” adds energy because it is energy that may have left the planet earlier but instead of flying through space ready to add energy to some space alien far away, that energy was redirected back towards the earth ready to add energy back to the earth.

            >> Also CO2 is going to reflect as much radiation out to space as it is towards the surface so it is not going to have a net warming effect.

            To keep the math simple (and this is an incorrect calculation, btw), that would mean that 50% more radiation is hitting the earth than it otherwise would be getting. Something is something. Every time a photon goes up and gets absorbed, it again has a 50% chance of coming back down.

            >> Also the time lag between temperature increases and CO2 increases is in the order of 800 to 1000 years. This is far too long for any feedback effect to occur and no feedback mechanism is shown with any part of the geological record.

            I haven’t done the analysis myself, so I can’t say for sure, but the models that supposedly hindcast successfully and leverage the greenhouse effect of CO2 would reach those values after “invoking” the greenhouse effect. Anyway, we can pass on this minor point. I was just trying to be a bit more precise when I brought it up.

            >> CO2 concentration at the moment is the highest in human history but not nearly the highest when you look at the geological record.

            Did you see how fast CO2 rose? What natural causes do you give for that? The point is that man has done that.. or at least that and other evidence create a very strong case that we are responsible.. like the many changes we have created to the face of the planet. Humans are very capable and keep getting more so as time passes. Heck, we have the weapons to totally decimate most advanced life on the planet. We deface huge landscapes and could do much worse if we unleashed our weapons. Yes, man has the power to change the earth significantly.

            >> You have nothing useful to contribute to this discussion

            but if I keep you entertained and excited about physics and math, I consider that a victory.


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          Jose_X

          >> we could release the dammed water to drive turbines to make electricity

          One day we’ll probably have large artificial lakes with microorganisms soaking up sun, water, and carbon dioxide to produce oil. In the meantime, over a hundred million years of fossil fuels are disintegrating over a period of a few hundred years. It will probably be close to a 1 million to 1 ratio (creation vs consumption time).

          We need to do better, and I don’t think we’ll ramp up oil generation (still in the early laboratory stages) anywhere near our current consumption rates for a very very long time if ever.

          If we can’t even be bothered today to trim our consumption (and pressure industry to innovate) what kind of life style will our great great grandchildren be forced to have?


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    Jose_X

    Were you really genuine in saying The mirrors surface may not be warm enough to cook a hotdog or boil water, but the radiation focused by the mirror certainly can. ?

    When considering the application of the Second Law (on a macro scale) what on Earth has the temperature of the mirror got to do with the price of eggs when you are reflecting, say, visible light from the Sun?

    Surely you have an understanding of what we mean when we talk about a warmer or cooler source of spontaneous blackbody emission. Surely you know we are talking about the peak frequency (the mode) which is proportional to absolute temperature of the source, as per Wien’s Displacement Law.

    What on Earth have lasers, microwave ovens or any artificially generated radiation got to do with the Second Law? Are you assuming the “temperature of the radiation” has anything to do with the temperature of the machine or mirror?

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics cannot be violated on a macro scale in natural processes when radiation passes frpm a spontaneous emitter to a target, anywhere where there is matter in the Universe. If it could be violated, you would be generating energy out of nothing.

    Radiation spontaneously emitted from a globule of air with mean temperature, say, 220K cannot transfer thermal energy to the Earth’s surface at, say, 294K.

    All it can do is set up a standing wave which does not transfer energy to the surface, but can slow the rate of radiative energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere to a degree dependent upon the temperatures of the source and target and other factors. So it may take a few minutes longer to cool off that night.

    Carbon dioxide molecules will have no significantly greater effect than water molecules when involved in (ie terminating) such standing waves. So their effect is negligible.

    No radiation is going to slow the rate of cooling due to evaporation, chemical processes, conduction, diffusion and subsequent convection. In fact these rates must increase to compensate for the reduced radiation for reasons which are explained on my website (Explanation page.)


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    Jose_X

    A similar argument means the planet will have molecules that can absorb what the atmosphere emits.

    No you won’t be able to observe on a macro scale any absorption and conversion to thermal energy of any of the energy in the standing wave. To an insignificant extent on a macro scale (and only due to unusual weather events) there may be patches of air just above the surface which are warmer than the surface itself, so sure there could be warming then, but the net worldwide mean is certainly not warming of the surface by the atmosphere. And that’s what climate is all about.

    Please read the Radiation pages on my site http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html and also some of the posts by Markus Fitzhenry where he mentions the standing waves.


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    David Wood

    It’s often said that the simplest models are the best. Einstein’s famous equation is a case in point. However the models also need to replicate the real world as closely as possible. If they don’t they probably give outcomes which may be mathematically correct, but which are completely incorrect physically.
    Take the case of the simplistic model of the sun/earth radiation equilibrium, widely used in the pseudoscience of climatology.
    This is a model which assumes the earth is a photosphere like the sun, which it isn’t. A model which assumes the earthy is constantly bathed on all sides by a quarter of the radiation from the sun, which it isn’t. A model which takes no account of the existence of night and day, which is patently absurd. A model which ignores the existence of any other form of heat transfer except radiation A model which assumes a static equilibrium, when it is clearly a dynamic equilibrium. A model which ignores the existence of water vapour, except when convenient! This is the model beloved by the warmistas.
    If it sounds like a crock, looks like a crock, then it probably is!!!
    The warmistas have posited a very simple but physically unrealistic model and then used a mathematical construct to “prove” the earth is 33 degrees warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.
    However this mathematical model is greatly at variance with the real world and while it produces mathematically ‘correct’ results (with the help of the previously unheard of assumption of ‘backradiation’), these are likely to be (IMO certainly are) quite incorrect physically.


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      Jose_X

      photosphere? Where did you get that?

      The models look at the energy coming to the planet. Because of convection, the temperature is relatively stable and the S/4 approximation is presumably a decent one. Do you know of a research paper that addresses this topic and concludes there the climate models use a value that would lead it to very distinct predictions?

      Who told you the models only consider radiation?

      Who told you they assume static conditions.. or rather, can you more precisely define what you mean here? Scientists and engineers assume quasi-static conditions all the time. It depends on what you are looking for if the assumption is reasonable or not. We are not talking about weather models (climate is not weather).

      Can you define what you mean when you say that the models ignore water vapor when it is “convenient”?

      Who told you that scientists claim the earth is 33 C warmer than if it didn’t have an atmosphere? The 33 C is the difference you get if you have an atmosphere with .3 albedo but no greenhouse effect vs if you do have the greenhouse effect. No where is the contrast made to an earth with no atmosphere.

      “Backradiation” is just downward infrared radiation. This exists and is measurable and is accepted independently of climate science.


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    Jose_X

    Doug Cotton, I have been busy with other (related) distractions and unrelated work. I’ll try to find time to read some more of G&T.

    Your rejection of photon radiation is something you should take up with quantum physicists and others before you worry about climate science paying attention. Same goes for the theories of various authors mentioned by blouis79.

    Let me ask because I am curious. (1) What specifically determines the energy transfer among these standing waves? You need to get specific enough so that we can come up with an experiment to test it. (2) Can you use Maxwell’s equation to explain why a standing wave arises and at what point energy is transferred? (3) Can you extend that standing wave theory to cover a laser’s functioning and interaction among the internal components?

    (4) Can you explain the temperature of the planet?

    (5) Can you explain why the temperature rises when you put on a blanket? (6)How do standing waves from the blanket to your body function? (7) Why differs in the physics so that a blanket can make the temperature around you hotter but an atmosphere somehow just can’t possibly do same to the planet’s surface or else thermo laws are violated as you say? In each case, the air is essentially “stuck” from going around the insulation, so I don’t see how we can invoke convection.

    (8) Why can’t chemical energy in the atmosphere, recharged by the sun, not warm the surface of the earth just as chemical energy inside your body warms your skin? (9) How can you categorically claim that atmosphere back radiation (which is constantly under the sun… like solar cells that charge up to allow a laser to shoot off) would violate thermo laws but still believe your body can have chemical reactions that warm you hotter than the environment?

    (10) What makes you think that what man engineers, mother nature can’t engineer also?

    Just saying that there is a standing wave and energy is not transferred doesn’t cut it. If you want to turn physics upside down, you need math and precise rules, and you need to do a better job than current physics. Just because you don’t like the greenhouse effect theory doesn’t mean you can invent physics that only works a certain way for the planet and atmosphere. You won’t convert many physicists if that is what the theory requires.


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    Jose_X

    I pretty much finished G&T [shake head and roll eyes]. If anyone wants to point out something specific, go ahead.

    I haven’t yet read a certain major rebuttal to it (see next link), but the Abstract in that rebuttal suggests the authors focused in on important flaws in the paper. For reference, here is the link to that rebuttal: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2010/05/halpern_etal_2010.pdf

    Let me summarize briefly (the paper did cover lots of items):

    Basically, G&T put up a strawman they could beat the crap out of (a hypothetical 1 dimensional radiative-only model). The authors in the rebuttal above called G&T on it. While G&T appear to think they were beating evil climate science down, the rebuttal (I suspect) de facto (and perhaps very unintentionally) mocks them for arguing using such a primitive construct to argue the physics of the climate.

    If you want to skip to the section that presumably “proves” that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, read section 3.7.5 “Non-existence of the natural greenhouse effect” and the very end of 3.7.6. Of course, reading just this may not make too much sense, but apparently that is the climax of their argument in case anyone is interested in jumping ahead. Also note that chapter 3 is the chapter where they go insane. Earlier in the chapter (3.3.x) they claim to shoot down a long list of candidate explanations (overviews) of the greenhouse effect, for example (frequently appealing to 3.7).

    [Note, I also read over one of the papers mentioned in section 3.2, "CO2 : The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time". It's a personal cry of frustration by someone who makes many claims but offers no proofs. It's author gives the impression, for example, that CO2 measurements have been done for many decades and show no correlation with temperature. Of course, Keeling pointed out a major reason this is the case (eg, hot day measurements of mixed CO2+atmosphere vs night measurements where CO2 given off my many organisms rests near to the ground, sometimes even moving in flows upward). Keeling did make it a point to make precise measurements in Hawaii, using "dry" laser methods of high precision vs "wet" chemical methods used to that point. Many people over the world make such measurements and the results agree. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7jvP7BqVi4 and http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html . I may comment on some of this further later.]

    What did they prove? They made up a model (1D radiative-only) which is so likely to be wrong that it isn’t even the simple “shell” model (also a 1D radiative-only) people usually talk about to introduce climate radiation. G&T’s model comes about by taking a simple shell model and breaking the main assumption of that model, that convection keeps the earth’s temperature very close to some average value. They create this scarecrow in order to unleash a torrent of mathematics and provide a clear path to discrediting those who presumably use it (climate scientists at large) and its use.

    By essentially giving 2 particular examples of a generalized version of the old triangle inequality law. They claim to show that this radiative model can’t possibly give a reasonable calculation of the claimed greenhouse effect: therefore, the greenhouse effect does not exist.

    This logic doesn’t really make sense. I think section 3.7.6 at the end tries to sort of claim that not just the math but the physics has been dispelled, but it’s a complete failure. You can’t prove one model is broken and use that to claim a particular physical effect doesn’t exist. The physical effect exists (or doesn’t) independently of any model we may create to try and understand that effect. Scientists know you don’t really prove something exists. You merely “prove” that our existing models agree or disagree with observations. If you pick a bad model, expect bad results, but you can’t claim that a physical effect can’t exist or that no other model could possibly be created to describe it. We don’t know how much we don’t know. And in any case, we can’t wave our hands to dispel things. The mathematical analysis in this paper was very limited in its scope.

    G&T appear to have a phobia to the idea that some/many gases can absorb and emit thermal (IR) radiation. While G&T pay passing tribute to navier-stokes, quantum electrodynamics, and various other more sophisticated physics (eg, Chapter 4), they avoid any mention of the observations of line spectra and related experiments or uses of the absorption and emission power of gases.

    In briefly acknowledging via Chapter 4 that more advanced physics exists, they try to write all of that off by appealing to chaotic complexity (they make many references to other manuscripts, so potentially those works would back up the claims made by G&T.. I certainly have not read the 200 or so references in the paper, in part, because I don’t expect those papers would prove G&Ts broad-brush claims). In writing off climate science into the complexity trash bin, they give no indication that they understand that complexity has always been managed to give less precise but still useful results. All of physics and science is our attempt (with much success) at managing complexity. For example, I don’t care how hard it is to predict where a volume of water will end up precisely, we can with great confidence say that it won’t end up flowing in the air for miles alongside a flying bird or underground amid lava. Hurricanes aren’t going to fly off into space. The temperature is not going to naturally reach 500 K during ordinary weather events. G&T also do absolutely no analysis to what might be a particular range of time before a system’s chaotic behavior goes beyond some margin of error. They simply state that weather forecasting is good for only a few days at a time (why not only a few seconds or a few centuries.. what is special about a few days?) and that all the supercomputers in the world will not allow climate forecasting to be conquered (whatever climate forecasting might possibly mean). While the details of a chaotic system can be impossible to pin down after some time, we can and do successfully pin down the boundaries of many systems, G&T’s handwaving notwithstanding.

    This general failure to honestly analyze any part of the climate is likely why they picked such a broken model to go after. Arguably, they don’t consider convection and many others things since presumably that is how simplified they think climate science might be, but, despite the excuses that they apparently tried to find the physics explanations of the greenhouse effect, a clear theme throughout is that all hope is lost trying to analyze the weather.. I mean the climate. Abandon ship, says captain G.T.

    One could try to fill in some blanks and come out of this reading with a little insight into the math of global average temperatures (something that could have been taken further if they weren’t so obsessed with their simplified model), but even in this learning/teaching opportunity, they don’t analyze our actual planet’s temperature distribution which is what would have been useful rather than focusing on a clearly broken unphysical and extreme model.


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    blouis79

    Jose_X, suggest reading the Kramm and DLugi paper.
    eg via http://www.gi.alaska.edu/node/1067

    Note my comments in post #616 on Halpern’s “rebuttal” of G&T, which Kramm thinks is patently wrong.

    You may be confused by reading scienceofdoom, since SoD appears not to have a good grasp of physics.

    The entire notion of radiative energy balance in a system (atmosphere) where conduction and convection operate is a violation of the first three laws of thermodynamics.


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    Jose_X

    Radiative balance is something not done in climate science except in toy models.

    If you look at Trenberth diagram you will see that you don’t get balance unless you take into account latent heat and convection. There is no radiative balance. [Trenberth diagram is not a computational model, but it shows the results consistent with computational models.]

    G&T beat up a punching bag they created… or like a voodoo doll that was supposed to represent mainstream climate science.

    One specific critique of G&T: the pot with water (3.8.3). If all you have is a radiative model, then of course that example doesn’t match observations, but the correct model is that water acquires through conduction a lot of energy. The conductive heat flow dominates over the net exchange of radiation between water and the pot. And water will boil away at a temperature which is obviously less than the temperature the pot would have without water. The pot won’t get much hotter than the water (which is capped by 100 C).

    The radiative only model fails, but climate science doesn’t use that. The radiative effect of this water on the pot exists but is dwarfed by the energy flow into the water via conduction.

    If water were suspended somehow so that conduction would be negligible and with enough of an opening so that the air in between could cool through convection, then we would see that the water would not boil so easily, the pot would get very hot again, and “back radiation” would still be modest. There is no disappearing heat. Back radiation is not imaginary; it’s just much lower in effect (for such a small quantity of water) than what we see with conduction during contact.

    If water where not there at all, we still get radiation from the air, ceiling, etc added to the radiation from the burner (minus the radiation coming out of the pot).

    There is no violation of 2nd law. The “isolated” system is of the kitchen with pot and stove. The net flow of heat, likely into the kitchen away from the pot+stove, is a greater entropy gain than the loss by the pot+stove, so there is a net increase in entropy. [dS = dQ/T, where a smaller T of the kitchen produces greater entropy change (positive since into the kitchen).]

    G&T’s thermo discussion in 3.9.3 is wrong. Their critique of the climatologist’s quote makes little sense. [Please, feel free to offer a defense.] The climatologist can refer to energy since this just equals heat if no work is done. And the climatologist was considering the whole system. From what words does G&T claim the climatologist was not looking at the whole system?! G&T is seeing climate apparitions. In fact, the whole system consists of the sun, earth+atmosphere. Here we see that the sun’s loss of entropy is much less than the gain by the earth+atmosphere.

    Let’s look at the earth and atmosphere only. Trenberth’s diagram suggests the earth is giving the atmosphere more energy (the net flow of heat is to the atmosphere, ignoring the sun’s flux, remember). Again, dS=dQ/T shows what we want because the earth is hotter than the atmosphere. The entropy gain by the cooler atmosphere is greater than the entropy loss by the hotter earth. We simply have a blanket placed over a person. With the blanket, the temperature around the skin rises, even though the blanket is cooler than the person — heat flow is still into the cooler blanket where the entropy gained is greater than the entropy lost by the person.

    I agree we need conduction and convection. G&T argued as if climate scientists don’t use conduction or convection. You also claimed now that climate science insists on radiative balance with conduction and convection, but that is not supportable. Trenberth’s popular diagram quickly should dispel that belief.


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    blouis79

    Whenever climate scientists talk about balance of or effect of W/m2 forcing, they are assuming dominant radiation and radiative energy balance. Thus notion is rife. This notion is inconsistent with any sensible principle of physics.

    For a different perspective, try Johnson
    http://claesjohnsonmathscience.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/two-proofs-of-plancks-law-vs-backradiation/


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      Jose_X

      I tried to follow the logic of large parts of the Kramm/Dlugi’11 paper (it takes a while for me to absorb the material.. so this is a quick but focused warm-up run). I get the feeling the paper zooms in on the temperature averages point in order to try and knock down “greenhouse effect” as explained using various models.

      It’s not going to work.

      Finding imperfections does not tear down a model because every model is imperfect. The IPCC’s job is to try and quantify risks (likelihoods). You don’t need a perfect model. People don’t wait to buy insurance until there is certainty of a calamity. That is not how life works. We have only one earth. We can’t prove calamity just as we can’t prove safety. We merely try to quantify risks.

      What they (GT and KG) haven’t done yet is to actually try to model the distribution of temperatures we find on earth and then use that “value”. This is what the computer climate models try to do. The simpler models they are attacking are recognized by their authors as allowing for a “back-of-envolope” approach that is useful to a human trying to understand and develop ideas to later test on more detailed climate models [see Ramanathan quote at end]. Attacking a back-of-envelop calculation is not going to disprove the greenhouse effect.

      I would guess this paper also entirely avoids dealing with the physics/observations that form the foundation of the greenhouse effect: that ghg absorb IR radiation and emit it. Until greenhouse effect “deniers” present a credible explanation of how ghg are supposed to behave and react to radiation that is passing their way, they are not going to convince very many serious scientists. Once they deal with that question, they will likely find that the current models are a decent approach to try and quantify what is a very difficult problem in many ways.

      Claes Johnson is deviating from mainstream science. Whenever someone does that, they don’t get the benefit of the doubt. As concerns climate science, Johnson first needs to gain widespread traction within the community of statistical mechanics experts to show that what he offers is as good as or better than existing science in order for most scientists in other fields to invest in learning those tools (which can rationally be assumed today to be bogus or inferior). If he wants to gain traction at the application level (eg, climate science), then he can start by deriving a model that makes predictions that beat current predictions. I am curious enough that I might read a little more of what he has written, but it’s not a priority (climate science and physics generally is not a long term priority for me.. in the sense of taking up as much time as I currently spend on it) and I don’t have high expectations based on the intro I read into the methods.

      Here is a quote from Ramanathan ’78 conclusion on page 23 (a radiative-convective 1D model):

      > Here we will discuss the future use of radiative-convective models for climate studies. Such models should continue to be used for obtaining first estimates of the potential sensitivity of global surface temperature to perturbations in radiatively active gases for several reasons. First, the global surface temperature changes predicted by the models are in reasonable agreement with those obtainred from the more complex three-dimensional general circulation models (GCM). For example, for a doubling of CO2, Manabe and Wetherald [1967] obtained 2.24 K from a radiative-convective model, while they obtained 3 K from a GCM [Manabe and Wetherald, 1975]. It is important to note that both studies used the same radiation model. Second, because of its simplicity a radiative-convective model is capable of including many details of the radiative processes without overburdening the computer resources, and thereby it can give valuable information on the importance of such processes. Third, for climate change experiments, analysis of radiative-convective model results would be useful for GCM studies, since it is much more difficult to infer cause-effect relationships in a GCM model.
      > The important limitation of the model is tha the model results are mostly of academic interest, since the model does not give any information about regional and latitudinal temperature changes. Furthermore, many of the model parameters (cloud amounts, surface albedo, relative humidity, and critical lapse rate, to name a few) are prescribed on the basis of present-day conditions which may not apply for large departures from present-day conditions. For example, the study by Wetherald and Manabe [1975] indicates that for a 2% increase in solar constant the radiative-convective model results for dTs are within 20% of the GCM results, while for a 4% decrease in solar constant the two models differ by a factor of 2 in the estimated value of dTs. Clearly, radiative-convective models cannot be applied for large perturbations from present conditions.

      And here is a link for anyone curious about how GCMs contrast with weather forecasting models: http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap12/nwp_gcm.html .


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        Bryan

        Jose_X says

        “What they (GT and KG) haven’t done yet is to actually try to model the distribution of temperatures we find on earth and then use that “value”. This is what the computer climate models try to do. The simpler models they are attacking are recognized by their authors as allowing for a “back-of-envolope” approach that is useful to a human trying to understand and develop ideas to later test on more detailed climate models [see Ramanathan quote at end]. Attacking a back-of-envelop calculation is not going to disprove the greenhouse effect.”

        To show that a theory like greenhouse theory is wrong you don’t have to supply a complete new theory of climate of your own.

        All you have to do is point out the fatal flaws in the greenhouse theory.

        Jose you are to be commended for taking time to read these two papers however it would be a better use of your and everybody else’s time to pick on one or two items where you think that G&T and K&D got it wrong.
        Then have an in depth discussion on that particular point.


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          Jose_X

          >> pick on one or two items where you think that G&T and K&D got it wrong.

          [I skimmed KD]

          For GT, let’s start with anything that is covered in the first four pages of the rebuttal http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2010/05/halpern_etal_2010.pdf . What I stated overlaps those pages a fair amount; however, that rebuttal does a good/better job of addressing some points.

          Here is one example from page 4:

          > We find that Gerlich and Tscheuschner obtain an absurd result by using a very unphysical assumption, that each part of the planet’s surface immediately cools or heats to reach an equilibrium with the locally impinging solar radiation, thereby neglecting the thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground and all other heat transfer processes within the atmosphere and surface.

          > It is shown here that a uniform surface temperature model gives a more realistic bound on the greenhouse effect, the commonly quoted 33 K. This value is a lower bound on the magnitude of the greenhouse effect and even Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s result for their unphysical case obeys this bound.


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            Bryan

            Jose X on Halpern et al

            1.Check the units used for irradiance on page 1317.
            2. They proclaim that heat can spontaneously travel from hot to cold objects in the paper.
            Joel Shore one of the authors later said this was a mistake.
            3. They accuse G&T (wrongly) of saying radiation cannot pass from a colder to a hotter surface despite several diagrams and equations in the paper showing just that.
            All their other comments such as…
            “neglecting the thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground ”

            ..come about because of Halpern et al failed to read properly the G&T paper.
            G&T make it clear that the ground flux needs to be included.

            I’m afraid that you will just have to start at the beginning and read the G&T paper properly because you should have found this out for yourself.
            Relying on flawed sources such as Halpern is not a good idea.


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      Jose_X

      >> Whenever climate scientists talk about balance of or effect of W/m2 forcing, they are assuming dominant radiation and radiative energy balance…This notion is inconsistent with any sensible principle of physics.

      Feel free to be more detailed. I have looked over a number of papers in the past few weeks that are rife with bold claims like that, but the papers have not followed up with convincing argumentation.


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        Jose_X

        “Forcing” refers to a driving signal. It’s a way to refer to various terms in equations. This can come potentially from anything (and depends on the equations/models). I think it refers to drivers that are assumed to be independent and not calculated from other values. This is why the sun and CO2 are forcings.


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    Mark

    Oh thank God, Jose is back. Just what I need to counteract my excessive caffeine habit.

    Ahhhhh, beautiful sleeeep…thanks so much Jose…………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


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    Jose_X

    Bryan from #631.1.1.1.1,

    1. I don’t know what page that is. I have the downloadable pdf and haven’t yet read past pg 4 of H et al.
    2. Can you be more specific about this point? I haven’t read the rebuttal yet.
    3. GT says cold can give heat to hot if you add work, I agree. I haven’t read the rebuttal so don’t know what H et al have said. Can you give a specific quote from H et al? I did comment earlier (yesterday, I think) about how GT claimed some climatologist violated the 2nd law, but GT made no sense. I’ll get back to this point if you want.

    >> All their other comments such as… “neglecting the thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground ” ..come about because of Halpern et al failed to read properly the G&T paper. ..G&T make it clear that the ground flux needs to be included.

    Finally, you get to the quote I mentioned. Here I can follow.

    GT do ignore “thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground” in their climactic section 3.7.5 and related sections that critique the 1D radiative-only model.

    Let’s wee what GT09 says on page 63:

    > Such a calculation, though standard in global climatology, is plainly wrong. Namely, if one wants to calculate the average temperature, one has to draw the fourth root first and then determine the average, though

    That calculation they criticize (which precedes this quote above in GT09) is absolutely *not* standard in climatology research. That calculation forms a small part of some introductory texts to students but has nothing to do with the work done by climatologists.

    GT is wrong here and in all the other places in GT09 where they suggest that climatologists use models like this in practice.

    After showing this “wrong” way to calculate effective temperature for an albedo .3 earth (w/o ghe), they go on to show us the “right” way to do it by setting up and processing an integral which calculates the temperature on a sphere that is radiated by a distant sun (parallel radiation). The temperature is defined using Stefan Boltzmann based on the exact radiation hitting that part of the sphere.

    This model they use forms an interesting exercise for first (or even second) semester undergraduate calculus course, but is totally unphysical. The earth does not have the implied fatally high temperatures near the equator at noon nor 0K everywhere it is night time. This model is much worse than the S/4 average temperature model GT just finished attacking.

    GT claims the right way to calculate the temperature was through that integral. That method absolutely does not apply to the Earth with an atmosphere (which is where the -18 C S/4 average temp intro text book number comes from). That method..

    ..most definitely ignores “thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground”, just as H et al stated.

    Let me continue. To “prove” the paper’s primary claim as framed in the paper’s title (and as just stated with the integral above), GT resorted to attacking this made-up 1D radiative-only model that is worse than what beginning students might read their first week as an introduction.

    I return to the quote I provided. H et al stated in that quote: “Gerlich and Tscheuschner obtain an absurd result by using a very unphysical assumption.”

    H et al also stated, on pg 2:
    > The authors [GT] describe “problems” that are not really problems, either being not related to the greenhouse effect, or well known and understood minor issues such as the differences between the mechanisms by which a glass greenhouse warms and that by which the greenhouse effect leads to a warmer surface.

    GT’s criticism of the 1d radiative only model is a contribution fit for the 1950s period. Some may have argued that already even earlier, but at least into the 1960s it would make sense. It doesn’t make much sense in 2012 unless it is meant as a “classroom” type of discussion. To critique climate science at large on this model is a little short-sighted on their part. They seem very out of touch in trying to engage mainstream scientists in this way.

    Let me add a bit about thermal conductivity in the atmosphere:
    H et al page 2:

    > A recurring element in GT09 is the claim that others neglect the thermal conductivity of the atmosphere, presented in the introductory (“Problem background”) section covering the first 4 pages of the paper and also Sec. 3.8, as well as elsewhere in passing. However, they fail to place this in a quantitative context. In fact the heat flows associated with conductivity are tiny, and hardly different from the value of zero they repeatedly criticize in the work of others.

    This comment is long, but let me add something else. GT make a big fuss about how a real greenhouse relies on convection. GT appears almost angry at times that climate scientists would use such an analogy. H et al state the following accurate summary of the GT09 paper. ..page 3:

    > The next 18 pages of GT09 are devoted to showing that the atmospheric green-house effect relies on different physical processes than the warming in a glass green-house. This is a well-known fact that can be found even in popular expositions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect and is mentioned on p. 115 of the 2007 IPCC report.13 The short concluding paragraph in Sec. 2.6 of GT09 would have sufficed. Concisely, greenhouses work by restricting the outward flow of thermal energy to the surrounding atmosphere by convection, while the atmospheric greenhouse effect works by restricting the outward flow of thermal energy to space by radiation. In both cases restricting outward energy flow causes warming, so the analogy is not as irrelevant as GT09 claim.

    Alright. So I provided a lot more meat around that initial quote I took from H et al. I also added a few new quotes. Hopefully, you will address to some extent some of these quotes I have given, but I am also interested in further clarification to the 3 points you listed out in #631.1.1.1.1.


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      Jose_X

      >> I’m afraid that you will just have to start at the beginning and read the G&T paper properly because you should have found this out for yourself.
      Relying on flawed sources such as Halpern is not a good idea.

      In addition to the prior comment, I want to add.

      None of your 3 points you gave dealt with the quote I gave or with the first 4 pages of H et al. I found the quote I gave (and generally the first 4 pages of H et al) to be accurate based on my reading of virtually all of GT09.

      If you think this is not so, then clarify.

      I would also appreciate if you clarify what part of those 4 pages (or anywhere else if you are willing to be specific) is “flawed”.

      I surely have found numerous flaws in GT09, but it is true I read all of that and haven’t read all of H et al.


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      Jose_X

      I said> The earth does not have the implied fatally high temperatures near the equator at noon nor 0K everywhere it is night time.

      More clearly, this is not the real earth we were considering but an earth with atmosphere but without a greenhouse effect having taken place yet (a hypothetical in order to roughly quantify what ghg add to temperatures). Such an earth will not have 0K at night or super high temps during the day because convection still exists.

      I said> GT is wrong here and in all the other places in GT09 where they suggest that climatologists use models like this in practice.

      I am referring to serious research (and the state of the science). Obviously any specific individual may or may not toy around with these primitive models now and then.


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      Bryan

      Jose X

      I am coming to the impression that you are a waste of my time, you say

      “1. I don’t know what page that is. I have the downloadable pdf and haven’t yet read past pg 4 of H et al.”

      You ask us to read a paper that you have not read yourself!

      You flit from point to point like a butterfly.

      Go back and read the paper YOU RECOMMENDED.

      THEN address the points I raised about your wonderful recommendation.


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        Jose_X

        The pdf I have has only 24 pages. I offered a link to it. Where do you get page 1317?

        Second, you asked for me to pick something to discuss and I did, yet you failed to reply and you jumped to something else when I specifically said I have not read that rebuttal yet.

        I read GT and lightly read over KD. I have been very clear about this. It’s a shame you aren’t reading what I write.

        Now, with this clear, I hope you will address at least some of the many points I have raised. I also hope that as a courtesy, when you say something about a paper and the person (who already stated they had not read it) asks for a specific citation like a page number, that you oblige.

        I am very serious about these material, but you are not answering what I propose and so far indicate you haven’t read things very carefully.


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      Bryan

      Jose X says that G&T

      ..most definitely ignores “thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground”, just as H et al stated.

      Jose if you read the second paragraph on page 65 you will find that Halpern et al did not read the G&T paper properly.
      In fact G&T are saying that you cannot determine the temperature from the radiative flux on its own.
      The ground heat flux must also be included.
      Its good that you are trying to understand the thrust of the paper.
      Their first language is not English and you will need to make allowances.
      K&D deal with the more advanced version of the greenhouse effect that you refer to.


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    Jose_X

    Bryan>> 3. They accuse G&T (wrongly) of saying radiation cannot pass from a colder to a hotter surface despite several diagrams and equations in the paper showing just that.

    H et al section 2 (pgs 7-12) appear to be making that claim against GT.

    I would agree with you that GT did not make that claim.

    One of the things I did the past week was to use the Internet (mostly wikipedia) to dig into some basic thermodynamics (and some applications to the atmosphere.. eg, potential temperature). I am slowly getting comfortable with the terminology and some of the basic results.

    One problem I see in section 3.9.3 is a misuse of terms. GT appears to be correct in most of the first paragraph of their reply, but they aren’t attacking the greenhouse effect. Effectively, GT is just chiding someone on a misuse of terms. GT might be taking the literal interpretation and criticizing that, but then that wouldn’t be the greenhouse effect that was described literally.

    The greenhouse effect does get attacked by “skeptics” on this 2nd law issue. H et al gave an explanation to what one can easily erroneously believe GT had said since GT was attacking a climatologist talking about just this issue. If GT had attacked the essence of the quote, they would have been incorrect, but GT appears only to have attacked the literal interpretation of the quote. H et al probably jumped the gun and didn’t realize GT was effectively only doing a literal critique.

    GT, too, appears to have misunderstood and thought the target of their own critique (the climatologist) was referring to one side heat flows.

    GT quoting>> > However, the second law is not violated by the greenhouse effect, of course, since, during the radiative exchange, in both directions the net energy flows from the warmth to the cold.

    GT reply> It is inadmissible to apply the second law for the upward and downward heat separately redefining the thermodynamic system on the fly.

    The ending part of the climatologist’s quote (knowing little else about the context of that argument) might be misunderstood to refer to 2 separate systems if we judge by where the comma was placed here. Who placed that comma at that spot originally? I don’t know. In any case, the quote states “both directions” not each direction, so it is referring to one entity comprising of both pieces. GT appears to be wrong.

    If so, it seems both GT and H et al though the other party was referring to individual directions.

    .. There is another option (which I didn’t notice before writing this comment). GT might have made that last sentence as a simple statement of fact *without* alleging the climatologist was making that mistake; however, nearby context does somewhat suggest he was still criticizing the climatologist.

    I am less confused now about this section than I was before, but I still am not sure exactly what GT is claiming. And, yes, H et al section 2 (pg 7-12) appears to be addressed specifically at claims GT did not make.


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    Jose_X

    GT starts 3.9.3:

    > The use of a perpetuum mobile of the second kind can be found in many modern pseudo-explanations of the CO2-greenhouse effect

    I don’t see that case made with the example quotes given.


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    Jose_X

    Bryan, I am not forcing you to discuss GT.

    GT is flawed in its primary claim and in numerous other instances (despite the truckload of accurate if mostly irrelevant details it provides), and you should not feel pressured to defend it its flaws.

    I also think it is a bit odd you would accuse me of not reading when it has been me who has provided by far the most detail about that paper (as well as H et al), including exact quotes with page numbers and links.


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      Bryan

      Jose X

      Sorry that I was a bit sharp with you in the post above.
      If you look at the Harpern pdf link you gave you will find the page numbers such as page 1317.
      You appear to be more flexible in your outlook than I had given you credit for.


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    Jose_X

    Bryan #633.4,

    I’ll keep the language point in mind (and I certainly don’t claim mastery of English). Normally, I try to figure out what the author(s) means, but in heated and precise discussion inevitably it seems precise words end up getting used against someone.

    My impression on Ch 3 was that they were attacking a particular model and certainly not embracing it, but there are places where their position on some point or other is not always clear.

    GT appears to have some clear and important gaps in knowledge on what they were criticizing. Perhaps out of frustration, they went over the top in accusations. H et al offered a fairly calm response, but they may have not been willing to give the benefit of the doubt, also taking the opportunity to try and clear issues that are generally accepted but which GT raised or appeared to have raised.

    Bryan #636.1,

    On page 9 (1317!), it says:

    > The radiative flux leaving each surface in any defined period, which we take for convenience to be one second, can be calculated from the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

    This is why they use Joules. It’s the energy transferred in one second at the usual power flux.

    From energy (as heat), they calculate the entropy [dS = dQ/T] in order to make their point.

    You probably missed that by skimming. It happens.


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      Bryan

      Jose X

      I have their final draft before publication

      “in any defined period, which we take for convenience to be one second”

      This part is missing

      It looks like they corrected the text without changing the diagram.

      This is why they use Joules. It’s the energy transferred in one second at the usual power flux.

      Power flux is measured in w/m^2

      On page 9 you can find their violation of the second law with heat apparently spontaneously being transferred from colder to hotter surfaces.


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    Jose_X

    ..so even if GT did not claim explicitly that heat always flows from hot to cold, they did create (to a reasonable spectator aware of the issues) some confusion about whether they think the accepted views on greenhouse effect violate thermodynamic laws, eg, whether a colder body can radiate onto a warmer body.

    H et al clarified (on page 9/1317) that point with sample calculations. They use 1st law to balance energies and then the second law to show that each side does radiate onto the other (and is radiated by the other), but the next entropy change is positive.


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      Jose_X

      > eg, whether a colder body can radiate onto a warmer body.

      ..in other words, in the case of no work being performed.

      > next entropy change is positive

      “net” (not “next”)


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    Jose_X

    5 upcoming replies back-to-back-to… include:

    A: a quick review of the J/m^2 and entropy calculation from H et al,
    B: observations on GT’s view of emissivity
    C: explanation of why car gets hot (consistent with GT and GHE)
    D: Gore movie “reflection” redux
    E: infrared facts, and who is really confused, GT or climate scientists?


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      Jose_X

      A: No violation

      Bryan >> On page 9 you can find their violation of the second law with heat apparently spontaneously being transferred from colder to hotter surfaces.

      They draw a diagram and label it “Fig. 4. Heat and entropy exchange between two parallel, infinite plates at temperatures TA = 300 K and Ta = 260 K.”

      The diagram resembles the power flux diagrams we tend to see, but it expresses energy not power. Specifically, it expresses the energy exchanged (work=0) by two bodies during 1 second.

      What one body losses in energy, the other gains. This agrees with 1st law of thermo and is captured in almost trivial equations (1) – (3) on pg 9.

      Then it calculates the entropy lost by the body losing energy (ie, heat) and gained by the body gaining energy (ie, heat). The 2nd law states that this net system entropy change must be >= 0. Since the net heat flow was from hot to cold (analogous to the hotter earth’s surface losing to the cooler atmosphere), the entropy change ds = dQ/T by the higher temp body is negative but smaller magnitude than the positive entropy change of the lower temperature body. The net is positive, just as stipulated by 2nd law.

      We note that the net heat flow was calculated based on this: the cold body *does indeed* send radiation to the hot body but this radiation amount constitutes less thermal radiation than what the hot body sends to the cold body. Entropy changes from this interchange adheres to the 2nd law as just shown.


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        Bryan

        Jose X

        Have you worked through the Carnot Cycle?
        If you did you would find the idea of “net heat” is a false starting point
        There is only heat moving spontaneously from hot to cold object.

        Radiation is a two way transfer
        Energy is a two way transfer
        There is only one way heat transfer spontaneously from hot to cold object.


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          Jose_X

          I didn’t use the term “net heat”.

          I assume you agree with what I wrote. If not please be specific.


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            Jose_X

            Wait, I did use that term.

            Wikipedia says this: “According to some authorities in physics, chemistry, engineering, and thermodynamics, heat can only be energy produced or transferred from one body, region, set of components, or thermodynamic system to another in any way other than as work.”

            My understanding is that heat is the name of the net energy transfer (excluding work). So it is redundant/incorrect to use net heat as I used it near the bottom of my comment.

            In any case, short of pickiness over correct use of terms, is there anything with which you disagree? The claim is that there is no violation of 2nd law. This is the opposite of what you had been saying. I don’t expect you to change your mind that quickly.


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            Jose_X

            BTW, I don’t mind being corrected (“pickiness”) to the extent it helps make things clearer or more accurate. Changing the few instances of “net heat” into “heat” would fix that problem.


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            Bryan

            Jose X

            Its not being picky to refuse to allow misuse of sharply defined thermodynamic terms.

            Someone for instance says

            “radiation from a colder body spontaneously heats a warmer body.”

            You could say what they really mean is ……

            But what if they did really mean exactly what they say?

            They are not children!

            Especially if the statement was made in a physics journal!


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            Bryan

            Jose X

            Heat transfer only occurs spontaneously from a higher to a lower temperature, never the reverse.

            This is a popular way of expressing Clausius second LoT.


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            Jose_X

            I don’t know the context of that quote. I agree with you but not entirely. There is room for lack of precision. In the end, if you dismiss a comment someone makes (or claim to disprove a theory, etc) because of form and not function, you aren’t trying to get at the truth but are more interested in scoring points.

            Regardless, the proper response is to address GT’s argument. Adding precision to language in that case certainly helps the overall scientific conversation.

            As for heat transfer.. you aren’t contradicting anything I said above or from H et al. Heat was defined as a net change. It is fully permissible to have transfers from each side to the other as long as the net change adheres to the laws of thermo (which I pointed out it did).


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          Bryan

          Jose X

          You seem to have a flexible mind and are not pushing a particular agenda.
          I guess your training is in climate science but you have considerable knowledge of Physics.
          I on the other hand have never taken a climate science course and so I tend to comment only where fundamental physics is involved.
          I have a theory that climate science thermodynamic courses miss out on the Carnot Cycle.
          Perhaps they do not think it is relevant to climate studies.
          This would be a mistake as it is the natural introduction to the 2LoT and heat.
          There again maybe I’m wrong about missing out Carnot.
          G&T also say that the radiative effects of a gas are already included by the bulk thermodynamic quantities such as Cp (the heat capacity of a gas at constant pressure).
          For instance for CO2 Cp increases by 13% between 250K and 350K.
          If radiative transport calculations are used there is a chance of double counting energy if care is not taken.
          Best of luck with your further reading.


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            Jose_X

            >> G&T also say that the radiative effects of a gas are already included by the bulk thermodynamic quantities such as Cp (the heat capacity of a gas at constant pressure).
            For instance for CO2 Cp increases by 13% between 250K and 350K.
            If radiative transport calculations are used there is a chance of double counting energy if care is not taken.

            When people really think they are right and others who contradict are likely wrong, we can get very aggressive. This view explains some of the more aggressive moderation we see on some climate websites and explains the tone of GT, who obviously has a strong background in various areas.

            It would be interesting to see if a model of the atmosphere can be developed to help answer some questions and, in the spirit of the Cp comment, do so while bypassing the current usual radiative approach.

            I suppose GT and many others come from an environment where “back radiation” is not accounted for (eg, is hard to quantify or the effects wash out by convection or something else that is modeled or measured). I am not placing the large portion of my bet on GTs side of the table, but lots of science has complementary models and so we might find a new mostly non-radiative model, largely consistent with the greenhouse effect traditional model, to describe also why the earth has a particular temperature.

            My bets are mostly with traditional climate views (while holding out hope for an alternative/complementary view as well) for 3 reasons I can think of now.

            One, I think evolution is more likely than revolution, generally.

            Two, from what I have learned, the current view seems very reasonable to me.

            Three, I have thought about various forms of heat transfer, and in many cases it is difficult to cleanly separate the distinct effects. This might be why radiation can be ignored in a number of fields; however, ultimately the atmosphere is almost unique on earth in (a) interfacing with the vacuum of outer space and (b) in providing an example of effects that might only be seen at the very large scale of the earth climate system. It makes sense numerous scientists and particularly engineers might be used to using other tools and have a distinct intuition that might need a make-over when crossing over into the climate domain.


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        Jose_X

        Let me add this about the example from H et al.

        The assumption of infinite heat sink is so as to ignore that a gain or loss of heat, in a real object, would affect the temperature. It keeps the calculations easier. Carrying through the non-ideal calculations might result in several decimal places of extra math and with little change to the magnitude if the bodies are large and lose a small fraction of their total internal thermal energy. This idealization and others like it are used all the time in engineering and science. We can easily approach it arbitrarily close by looking at arbitrarily small quantities of time. Eg, in 1/100th of a second, approx 1/100th of the amount of heat would leave or enter the body as in the 1 sec case, and this would affect its temperature by 1/100th of the 1 second scenario.

        The assumption that we don’t look at the radiation towards the outside can be justified, for the case of the earth+atmosphere system, because that forms the system boundary in which we are at roughly equilibrium with the external environment. We gain from the sun (and other sources) roughly the same we lose towards outer space. I suppose we could explore this assumption more carefully. If you have an example where you think the entropy change would become negative, please post it.

        Without counterexamples or (decent) explanation of why the math/model is wrong, the conclusion is that the 2nd law is not violated.


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      Jose_X

      B: GT’s emissivity critique is too harsh.

      GT, in the discussion of section 2.1.5 and Fig 4, on page 21, state:

      > The constant σ appearing in the T^4 law is not a universal constant of physics. It strongly depends on the particular geometry of the problem considered.
      > The T^4 -law will no longer hold if one integrates only over a filtered spectrum, appropriate to real world situations. This is illustrated in Figure 4 .

      If we interpret GT in a generous way, we’d say that their claims can be technically correct if we define sigma always as the coefficient in front of T^4. However, in practice (and according to Wikipedia), sigma is considered to be a constant when dealing with colored bodies (ie, not perfect absorbers). When we have colored (realistic) bodies, we simply define another entity called emissivity. This is standard across physics and is the reasonable way to approach this in order that we can have a constant sigma quantity as a reference point.

      If we are not generous, we say GT is wrong and point to lots of examples where sigma is treated as a constant and emissivity is used.

      There is no perfect absorber in reality. That is an idealization that is only ever approached. [Jumping to a new page, for a minute...] GT is technically correct on page 60 when they say, referring to emissivity (aka, “general phenomenological normalization factor”):

      > Rigorously speaking, for real objects Equation (70) is invalid. Therefore all crude approximations relying on T^4 expressions need to be taken with great care. In fact, though popular in global climatology, they prove nothing!

      The goal of science is not to absolutely “prove” things (an impossibility) but to find good explanations for reality which allow us to use models to better mankind. Newton’s laws weren’t proven. They were generally assumed to be true .. until after Einstein. Such is the way of science. If we took a more aggressive approach, we could not find a single system description that would be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is error in every measurement, for starters. QED is among the best theories we have, but it is not applied directly to complex systems. GT’s complexity point might suggest all of science, by its nature, is useless. Yet GT don’t make that bold claim; they aim their qualitative it’s-not-perfect guns only at climate science.

      Emissivity captures our inability to further precisely define all the dependencies in a real-world problem exactly. It is a useful model in many cases, even if a particular body (like the earth) has that emissivity value that would likely dependent in some minor way on temperature (“spoiling the T^4 law”).

      [For anyone reading GT closely, note that their T^5 relationship of section 2.3.3 is for radiation intensity value at the peak (Wien) and not for total power flux (area of whole curve). Power flux does vary with T^4 to a good first approximation.]

      [Also note that GT's allegation of impropriety in the next section (2.3.4) gets called out in H et al on page 6 (1314).]

      To return to the 2.1.5 conclusion section:

      They then explicitly state there, “many pseudo-explanations in the context of global climatology are already falsified by these three fundamental observations of mathematical physics.”

      They offer no argument beyond naming three general points and offer no specifics of which “pseudo-explanations” they are talking about. That is a complete fail.. or at least it is a case where we can’t accept their conclusion based on the evidence provided to that point in the paper.

      I’ll note that the first of the three points (the one I did not quote) has to do with that fact that the preferred mathematical models (of radiation) have changed over time, but no specific connection is drawn from this fact to the greenhouse theory except perhaps to suggest that because greenhouse theory explanations (that GT knows about) use a simplified explanation and not the modern formulations that the greenhouse effect is non-existent (or ill-defined).


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        Bryan

        The critics of G&T who are strong in physics generally concede that G&T are correct here.

        “The constant σ appearing in the T^4 law is not a universal constant of physics. It strongly depends on the particular geometry of the problem considered.”


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          Jose_X

          I actually didn’t intend to keep that part of the quote in there (the second sentence, where “geometry” is mentioned). I wasn’t addressing that portion. I was addressing the claim that sigma is not a constant when dealing with “filtered” spectrum.

          I don’t know why GT claimed sigma was not a constant.

          See this wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_constant

          and see this US NIST reference page http://physics.nist.gov/cgi-bin/cuu/Value?sigma . At least in the US, you don’t get much more authoritative on issues like this than NIST.

          I don’t know German very much, but the German version of the Wikipedia page also refers to the value as a constant and references the NIST page as well.

          The geometry aspect is a red herring. Solving a physics problem of heat transfer (or almost anything else) requires you consider the geometry. Of course.

          I really don’t know what GT is after or why they make such a claim.

          And if you can provide a link to “critics of G&T who are strong in physics” who “generally concede that G&T are correct here”, whatever you were referring to, then I would appreciate it. As is, I don’t really know what you mean.


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            Bryan

            Jose X

            G&T were saying that sigma is not a fundamental constant like the charge on an electron.

            Its is a derived constant that depends on, for instance geometry.
            Gravitational Field Strength 9.81N/Kg is an example of a derived constant.


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            Jose_X

            Gravitational constant depends on the body’s radius. I would agree in that case the geometry matters. Eg, it is the gravitational constant on the earth surface at some hypothetical location.

            Stefan-Boltzmann constant does not depend on the body (the assumption for calculating the constant is “blackbody”). As for the geometry, the definition says per unit area. I’ll quote GT, pg 19:

            > For a perfect black body and a unit area positioned in its proximity we can compute the intensity I …

            We then take that intensity and integrate over all frequencies (remember, we have a blackbody .. filtering is sold separately) to arrive at the unique Stefan-Boltzmann constant.

            That constant does not (and need not) change in any scenario. We use emissivity to denote deviations from that. With that same constant in the formulas, we use geometry to figure out radiation, heat flows, etc, but we still use that constant. [In contrast, see how unnatural and impractical it would be to actually define g = 9.8 m/s^2 or any other specific value.]


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            Bryan

            Jose X you say

            Gravitational constant depends on the body’s radius. I would agree in that case the geometry matters. Eg, it is the gravitational constant on the earth surface at some hypothetical location.

            Stefan-Boltzmann constant does not depend on the body (the assumption for calculating the constant is “blackbody”). As for the geometry, the definition says per unit area.

            Sigma does depend on geometry
            see

            http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/24/planck-stefan-boltzmann-kirchhoff-and-lte/


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            Jose_X

            Thanks for the link. Until I see an example of the terminology used on a material that is not diffuse, I will continue to believe that sigma refers to the integral result from the diffuse derivation done by Planck. If the material has preferences in direction and intensity, then Planck’s calculation may not apply (I don’t know).

            For this diffuse case:

            Every material (your hand, a pin, the sun, a car, yarn) can be seen to have “points” on its surface. At a high resolution, all surfaces are flat. So when trying to model (diffuse) blackbody radiation, we can consider each point to be on a plane and to radiate into a hemisphere.

            This is true for all shapes of surfaces. No matter the shape of the emitter and the locations of the objects and other variables, each emitting point follows this same hemisphere calculation.

            Once we have that hemisphere integrated for the generic point emitter in diffuse radiation material (ie, the steradian variable is gone), what is left are the wavelength (or frequency) and watts per meter squared. There is no more geometry. We integrate over all wavelengths to get the Stefan-Boltzmann equation which has the sigma and the units of W/m^2.

            If the material is not diffuse, then the spectral intensity calculated by Planck probably doesn’t apply and sigma probably doesn’t exist.. at least it might have a different name (and probably would be a tensor). Really, I don’t know, but I now feel a little more confident now that, for the diffuse case, geometry doesn’t matter. [NIST calls it a constant!] .. Anyway, thanks for the link, but it did make me curious about non-diffuse scenarios.


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        Bryan

        G&T say

        “The T^4 -law will no longer hold if one integrates only over a filtered spectrum, appropriate to real world situations. This is illustrated in Figure 4 .”

        This again is true.
        It is unbelievable that the filtered spectrum of CO2 and H2O both comprising less than 1% of atmosphere are claimed to back radiate a flux almost as large as the continuous upwelling radiation from the much denser Earth surface.


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          Jose_X

          Concerning the quote, yes, in real world objects, and especially gases, we deviate from blackbody. This is what emissivity is for.

          As for your remark, I don’t think it is that “unbelievable” when you consider that the earth’s surface (or any other solid’s surface body) where radiation comes from is very thin, while the “back radiation” comes from all throughout the entire volume of atmosphere.

          I’m curious, had you realized what I just pointed out?

          Do you think now it is believable, or do you still think it is unbelievable?


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            Jose_X

            I was sarcastic at the end there on purpose, but that wasn’t very friendly of me. It’s called frustration from reading too much into some of your replies and wondering what it will take to address doubts properly.


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            Bryan

            Jose X

            Its the magnitude that’s unbelievable.
            Upwelling is almost the same as downwelling despite;
            1. the radiation window
            2. random direction emission in 3D.
            3. Filtered as opposed to continuous surface radiation.
            4. radiation from a colder temperature (T^4) effect
            5. and so on……


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            Jose_X

            I agree that the value is not obvious. I am not sure of the details yet.

            1. Window: Keep in mind that we can include the window, but we also have evaporation, convection, and the sun’s radiation. An energy balance equation on the surface, if we assume 0 net absorption (rather than the .9 or .5 or whatever) and know/measure the upwelling IR, evaporation, and convection, produces that very DLR value that appears very large to you. That value is what it takes for energy balance. In other words, energy balance means that if the downwelling were not that high, then evaporation and convection must be significantly different (assuming we are certain about sun’s radiation hitting the surface and the radiation coming upward). However, we can measure DLR and the value is in that range used by Trenberth (it varies significantly by time of year, weather, latitude, and altitude).

            2. random direction: This still boils down to upward half plane (or hemisphere) vs downward half plane. If a photon hits you from “above” it counts whether the angle was 0.1 degrees or 90 degrees. For every photon that flies off to the side, another, from somewhere else, is flying at a similar angle to make up for it. No problem here, even if it is initially unintuitive.

            3. ??

            4. ??

            5. ?? .. I don’t understand what you mean.


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      Jose_X

      C: Car in the sun.

      a: Both, convection within the car and convection within the atmosphere, cool the heated surfaces (of the car and of the atmosphere, respectively); however, a hot car has much lower ratio of *convection air volume* to *sun-exposed area* than does the atmosphere, so the car’s relatively small quantity of air heats up faster.

      b: Additionally, convection in the car brings heated air to the top of the car. Because the car’s cavity surface is next to a warm environment, there is less cooling through it than in the case of the atmosphere, where the air that rises is brought much closer to outer space where it can radiate away without getting significant “back radiation” and not restricted by thermal conduction gradients.

      These above are two factors helping to explain why a car can get much hotter than the environment outside. This explanation is consistent with the greenhouse effect. BTW, I don’t think GT stated anything in 2.4 that was inconsistent with this. Their argument in that section was a criticism of the use of the common analogy between the atmosphere and a greenhouse. As already quoted, H et al on page 3 succinctly explain why an analogy is indeed proper.


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        Bryan

        Jose X

        “These above are two factors helping to explain why a car can get much hotter than the environment outside.”

        If you read about the historic experiment of Wood you will find no need of a greenhouse effect to explain this.


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          Jose_X

          Woods experiment took place on the planet’s surface, which is inundated with radiation from above. Both box interiors got radiation from above (either with a stopover at the glass boundary or straight through from the atmosphere).

          At a very high altitude, the glass would radiate back say 50% of what it absorbs from the box’ interior while the other box interior would get almost no downwelling radiation. In this case, the box with the glass top would noticeably be warmer.

          In any case, I was not contradicting anything specific GT had stated in that section, but I did have some “insight” on that car problem while I was reading GT and wanted to mention it.


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      Jose_X

      D: Gore movie re-reflections.

      GT was rather harsh on its description of the Gore movie “reflection” allegation (I already covered this and initially misinterpreted GT’s discussion). I finally saw the movie and did not catch any claim that “reflection” was intended by Gore. GT likely interpreted the ambiguous animation a particular way, but it isn’t the only way to interpret that animation. The essential effect depicted that animation is correct, is consistent with line spectra observations and theory.. that radiation back to the ground exists.


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        Bryan

        Jose X

        “that radiation back to the ground exists.”
        We are all in agreement including G&T


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          Jose_X

          I cannot remember a point in GT09 where significant amounts of IR radiation “raining” down on us was acknowledged.

          I would like to reread that section or anywhere else where GT may have commented on this.


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            Bryan

            Jose X

            Its true that G&T never used the phrase
            “radiation raining down on us”
            However they do agree with two way radiative transfer.
            Several examples in their paper.

            However have you read the G&T reply to Halpern et al?

            “Reply to ‘Comment on ‘Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics’ by Joshua B. Halpern, Chistopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore, Arthur P. Smith, Jorg Zimmermann” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner, International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 24, No. 10 (2010) pages 1333–1359.
            http://www.skyfall.fr/wp-content/gerlich-reply-to-halpern.pdf


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            Jose_X

            >> However they do agree with two way radiative transfer.

            My question is if they agree a significant amount of DLR reaches the earth’s surface. If so, do you have a link where I can read that. So far I have seen nothing to suggest they accept that.

            >> However have you read the G&T reply to Halpern et al?

            I just skimmed over it (thanks for the link). I am sure I will be able to learn something from it, but it seemed to touch on very little of my criticisms of them. I am curious about the entropy calculations (I think they criticized the modeling of an “infinite” boundary and they complained about a failure to consider reversible processes).

            Since I read it fast, I am not sure how much they left out and how much is reasonable. I already recognized that H et al went too far in attributing the one-side-heat analysis to GT.

            They also mentioned a few other papers I would want to look at.

            I am not sure what I will do next in terms of reading, maybe writing something up a bit more congruous or formal, and working on other unrelated material I want to get to. So much to do.. so little time.


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      Jose_X

      E: Infrared conspiracy or just confusion?

      GT critiques after Table 8 on page 22:

      > In any case, a larger portion of the incoming sunlight lies in the infrared range than in the visible range. In most papers discussing the supposed greenhouse effect this important fact is completely ignored.

      This insinuates that climate scientists are oblivious to important observations or else that maybe the scientists are trying to deceive. Neither of these two potential insinuations depicts the truth.

      GT ignores the concept of gas emission spectra (founded on quantum electrodynamics and heavy with observational confirmation) throughout the entire paper. If they understood it better, they would realize that the visible spectrum range is not a key defining boundary. The key between “shortwave” and “longwave” isn’t whether radiation lies below visible light but whether it lies above a certain infrared range or within it. Near-infrared and visible each falls into the shortwave category. The (middle and far) infrared falling into the longwave category constitutes a very small fraction of sunlight energy, just as climate scientists claim.


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        Bryan

        Jose X

        Climate science has a very odd set of definitions.
        Physics and all the other sciences use UV,IR,microwaves,visible light, gamma rays,X-rays and so on.

        Short wave?
        Shorter than what?
        Long wave likewise.

        If you said short wave to a scientist without contact with climate science they would not know what you were talking about.
        They might hazard a guess that it means shorter than visible light.
        No wonder there is such confusion.

        Why don’t they adopt the same definitions shared by the other sciences?


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          Jose_X

          I also had a problem with feedbacks (plural is not traditional usage). Climate science calls feedbacks the contributions to temp changes from individual factors. Traditional feedback analysis labels pos/neg the direction of influence (and not the alleged individual contribution value). It’s a bit like the difference between positive/neg displacement (climate science) vs positive/neg velocity.

          I hope they change terminology over time, but that is a slow process.

          During the past few weeks, I spent time on various papers and reading some material. Among that I wondered about the Venus temp profile (see quick discussion below). Under that same article, I posted on feedback. It may be hard to make sense of it, but the key understanding I came to can be read here http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=2&t=96&&n=1310#76402 and was already summarized in the first paragraph above.

          As to the Venus issue, I am still not satisfied, but I know the profile has been calculated to close precision by others (I could not get free access to a paper on it). Because of the radius and gravity similarities with earth, the lapse rate is similar to the earth lapse rate. Additionally, doubling CO2, if the 1 C logarithmic rule