Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Falsified, Again

According to a new paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics by showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

There is a freely available post-print version of the technical paper entitled, ‘Falsifcation Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics’, by Gerhard Gerlich
And Ralf D. Tscheuschner, available from the preprint server of the Cornell University, click here.  

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

Michael Hammer came to a similar conclusion, click here.

213 Responses to Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Falsified, Again

  1. Svend Hendriksen March 18, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    Hmm….what is average temperature about ?

    Africa = + 40 C
    Norway = + 2 C

    Average = + 21 C

    Q: What is the temperature in Paris ?

    A: I don’t know… Go and test it….a cheerful atmosphere !

  2. SJT March 18, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    It’s not a new paper, it’s an old paper that has been floating around the internet for years. The real question is, how did they sneak it in?

    Hammer’s paper has nothing to do with G&T. G&T also falsifies Hammer, since he accepts that there is a GHG effect, while G&T totally deny it.

  3. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    G&T conclude that water vapor is responsible for most of the abosorption of IR in the atmosphere and that such absorption and reemission can lead to cooling of the “illuminated surface’; this is what MH concluded was responsible for the cooling of the tropopause.

  4. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    Because the amen chorus here tunes up with so little discussion of what the objects of praise are actually saying, it leads to jarring consequences. Michael Hammer gave a rational discussion of atmospheric radiation, which in no way denied the physical reality of the greenhouse effect, but disputed some of the numbers in K&T. I didn’t agree with him, but his physics was at least in the real world. I could not see that his argument about tropospheric cooling led to any surprising conclusion – certainly the argument itself was conventional. And when asked explicitly about backwarming, he gave a goodconventional explanation.

    But G&T are having none of that. Their conclusion:

    9. Infrared absorption does not imply “backwarming”. Rather it may lead to a drop of

    the temperature of the illuminated surface.

    10. In radiation transport models with the assumption of local thermal equilibrium, it is
    assumed that the absorbed radiation is transformed into the thermal movement of all
    gas molecules. There is no increased selective re-emission of infrared radiation at the
    low temperatures of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Again, that’s just absurd, and how it got into any scientific journal, even one that is normally devoted to solid state physics, is bizarre. Michael Hammer explained all this correctly. That selective re-emission is routinely measured at all levels of the atmosphere.

  5. Louis Hissink March 18, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    Backwarming?

    The Earth emits IR, heats CO2 moleculesin the atmosphere, with the temperature gradient vector being away from Earth, and then we have the inane idea that these CO2 molecules previously warmed then emit IR 180 degrees to the direction that the initial IR came from.

    Now this is absurd but perhaps the source of the IR measured comes from something else.

  6. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    “previously warmed then emit IR 180 degrees to the direction that the initial IR came from.”
    How do you think CO2 molecules remember what direction the initial IR came from (if they ever knew)?
    “comes from something else” OK, what?

    Again, to quote Michael Hammer:
    “Any object if above absolute zero and with an emissivity above 0 will radiate . It makes no difference is the object it is radiating to is hotter or colder, how wold the radiator know the tejmperature of tyhe object it is radiating to? So yes there will be radiation directed back towards the sruface.”

  7. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Nick, as you know the key is whether there is a 22C/25Wm2 difference between the surface and the immediate atmosphere; if there isn’t as per this;

    “Miskolczi terms the radiation absorbed by the atmosphere as Aa. Because the calculated absorbed radiation, Aa, always equals the measured downwelling radiation, we see that, indeed, the radiation equilibrium extends to the surface. No net IR radiation heat flux reaches the atmosphere from the ground. It is either transmitted through the atmospheric window, or completely compensated by the LWD, or ED, in FM’s terms. The conclusion is that Rob’s Cabauw measurements support Ferenc Miskolczi’s major assumption.

    In fact, the graph illustrates simply that, because the mean free path of the photons that interact with atmospheric components is so short, on the order of meters, no appreciable temperature differences along that path occur. We call this Local Themodynamic Equilibrium. These results are contrary to the prevailing theory, which indicates an imbalance in the radiation, with a net upward component of about 25 watts/m^2. ”

    then G&T are correct because reemissions are either contained within the LTE until ,the LTE parcel of air reaches the CEL where MH’s theory takes over, or they are confined within the extinction coefficient which occurs within an ~ 10 m layer near the surface; the only other reemission pathway is, as MH notes, the atmospheric window; this is where you and the standard model disagree in respect of the width of that window.

  8. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Cohenite, this makes no sense on any level. Where’s the quote from? What graph?. But your first and last para’s are incomprehensible.

  9. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction

    under Fig 4. What makes no sense is the AGW model’s reliance on a 22C temperature gap [derived from the 25 watts/m^2 ‘imbalance] between the surface and the immediate air; and I say that with the utmost respect to Steve Short but to noone or anything else.

  10. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    OK Coho, you’ve got an authorless quote that appeared on a blog. It makes no sense in that context either. AGW models do not rely on a 22C temperature gap. This exists only in the minds of a tiny group of bloggers – which do not seem to include anyone associated with the Cabauw measurements.

  11. Jan Pompe March 18, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Nick “How do you think CO2 molecules remember what direction the initial IR came from (if they ever knew)?”

    I would have never thought that you would take the step of anthropomorphising the climate system.

  12. Jan Pompe March 18, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Nick “AGW models do not rely on a 22C temperature gap. This exists only in the minds of a tiny group of bloggers ”

    Excuse me but that [notion of a] temperature gap is not the invention of a few bloggers, that has been around since Emden wrote his paper in 1916 at the very least. Long before the concept of web loggers even existed.

  13. SJT March 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    “Cohenite, this makes no sense on any level. Where’s the quote from? What graph?. But your first and last para’s are incomprehensible.”

    You get used to it after a while.

  14. SJT March 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    “I would have never thought that you would take the step of anthropomorphising the climate system.”

    He’s not. You people who deny back radiation are the ones that are imbuing the photons or the surfaces they land on with some kind of ability to discern where they come from, and if they come from a cooler body to refuse to accept them. His question is, “how could this possibly happen?”.

  15. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    “authorless quote”? David will be miffed; Nick, the issue is the boundary discontinuity in the Trenberth model of ~25W/m^2, translated to a temperature difference of ~ 22C; I have read Steve’s cogent arguments in support of this which he reckons is the main issue with Miskolczi; but if there is no boundary discontinuity and the window width is 8-14um and not 8-12um then the radiative imbalance required by AGW doesn’t exist.

  16. Jan Pompe March 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    For those of you who have not heard of him you can see a paraphrase of emdens paper here;

    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/044/mwr-044-08-0450.pdf

    He calculates a temperature differential at the surface of 20.2C that is in reality reduced by conduction and evaporation.

  17. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    “miffed”? No, I don’t think David claims authorship – it’s from a local wiki page. There’s no boundary discontinuity in the Trenberth model, unless you mean the amount attributed (reasonably) to convection. I presume you’re referring to the window width issue of Michael Hammer – he’s way oversimplified that, but it doesn’t say no AGW, just (in his view) less.

  18. Luke March 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Dumber and dumber.

    “and then we have the inane idea that these CO2 molecules previously warmed then emit IR 180 degrees to the direction that the initial IR came from.”

    errr nope – 360 degrees – on probability 50% would be downwards. Gawd Sinkers – are you really that bad!

  19. Green Davey March 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    I am worried about the statistical aspects of ‘global mean temperature’. At any time, half the globe is in darkness, and half in light. Further, half is in winter, half in summer. You can certainly add all the temperatures together and divide by N, but what does the result signify? It’s like the old statistical chestnut of a man with his feet in the fire and his head in the refrigerator – on average, he’s quite comfortable. As someone pointed out, you can find the mean of all the numbers in the telephone book, but what does it signify? Can anyone explain how ‘global mean temperature’ can be calculated so it has real meaning? Or is it junk statistics?

  20. Luke March 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Yes if it’s area weighted. Do a thought experiment – do you think you’d get a different number for Pluto or Venus? Do you think you’d get a different number when the Earth was in an Ice Age?

    It’s just “an index” – not “the index” of things.

    zzzzzz

  21. Larry March 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ll “let it all hang out”. I’m an equal-opportunity bah-humbug, and that includes Anthropogenic Global Warming Disasterism (AGWD). That said, I’ll address the first point in the summary. Some of my comments overlap with those previously made by others in this thread.

    “(a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects”

    This is a transparent red herring, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. Point (a) is a variation on a theme that I’ve seen elsewhere in the blogosphere, claiming that there’s no such thing as the Greenhouse Effect. This claim is misleading. Here’s the faulty logic behind the meme.

    •Greenhouses are typically made of glass. The glass decreases convective cooling, thereby keeping the inside temperature warmer than that of the outside.
    •The Earth’s atmosphere is not enclosed in glass.
    •Therefore the Earth is not a greenhouse.
    •Therefore the putative Greenhouse Effect does not exist.

    What’s wrong with this argument? Semantics 101: The map is not the same thing as the territory.

    Some gases are relatively efficient at absorbing certain bands of infrared light. In the process of doing so, they heat up a bit. Some of the radiant energy is transformed into kinetic energy, and some is re-radiated in all directions (including downward). Common examples of such gases: CO2 and methane.

    Thought experiment. Bake two identical pie crusts (to be filled with fresh strawberries at a later time). Immediately after taking them out of the oven, put them in two humongous, ALMOST-identical, glass boxes. The difference? One box is filled with dry desert air. The other box is filled with ethane, a greenhouse gas that’s similar to methane, but with two carbons instead of one. Which pie crust will cool off slightly faster? The one in the air box.

    Wow, that’s fascinating! Question: What do we call our discovery? I can think of three choices.

    Option 1. We could call it the Larry Effect. But that wouldn’t be consistent with my usual modesty.

    Option 2. We could describe the experiment in minute detail, put hyphens between all of the words, and use that as the name. Rats! That’s too cumbersome.

    Option 3. We could be metaphorical. Observation: The effect of the ethane box on the pie is similar to the effect of the greenhouse on the plants. *lightbulb switches on in brain* How about the Greenhouse Effect?

    My point? Jumping to the no-greenhouse conclusion is a language problem, a failure to recognize that most metaphors break down somewhere.

    Some of my fellow AGWD bah-humbugs are shooting themselves in the foot. Why? Because the Alarmists will score a maximum number of rhetoric points if they only respond to the weakest of the bah-humbug arguments, and totally ignore the strong ones!

  22. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Jan
    Yes, Emden does an (almost) grey-gas calculation based on radiation only, which leads to a ground temp of 36C. He then says “The discontinuity in temperature of 20 degrees is in reality greatly diminished by the conduction of heat and by evaporation.” His conduction we would now call convection. That elementary observation is what Miskolczi fans have been missing. No real science is based on this radiation-only model – convection and evaporation are always included. It’s right there in K&T – 16W/m2 and 79W/m2. Big fluxes. Yes, if you left them out, you’d get a hot surface. But no-one does.

  23. Louis Hissink March 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    SJT:
    “I would have never thought that you would take the step of anthropomorphising the climate system.”

    He’s not. You people who deny back radiation are the ones that are imbuing the photons or the surfaces they land on with some kind of ability to discern where they come from, and if they come from a cooler body to refuse to accept them. His question is, “how could this possibly happen?”.

    No one is denying back radiation – it’s just that AGW supporters can only think of one source – CO2.

    And radiation at 180 degree is back radiation since any radiation from a CO2 molecule would be spherical – 50% up to space, 50% downwards, over simplifying things a little.

    The other source of IR is from atmosphere electric currents.

  24. Gordon Robertson March 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    SJT “The real question is, how did they sneak it in”?

    They are both physicists working in the field. Tscheuschner is an expert on heat flow and Gerlich is an expert on the math used in vector fields. The AGW theory is based on simple, one-line drawings which make a mockery of the real movement of heat photons.

    It would appear physics journals don’t suffer from the same stacked peer review found in climate journals. You wont find Michael Mann or Gavin Schmidt doing peer review in physics journals, which raises the question as to their qualifications for reviewing climate papers.

  25. SJT March 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    “No one is denying back radiation – it’s just that AGW supporters can only think of one source – CO2.”

    Amazing the number of people who used to deny this, and suddenly accept it.

    No one ever said CO2 is the only source of back radiation, but it’s a step forward. You now officially disagree with G&T.

  26. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Gordon, the real question is indeed how did they sneak it in, if the published version resembles the version linked to above. Aside from the physics absurdity, there is the style (and length and ramblingness) of the thing. For example, in sec 3.2 they stop to make scattergun accusations of scientific fraud, along with some review of five denialist movies. There’s familiar whinging like this:

    On the other hand, Sir David King, the science advisor of the British government, stated that “global warming is a greater threat to humanity than terrorism” (Singer)12 , other individuals put anthropogenic global warming deniers in the same category as holocaust deniers, and so
    on.

    None of this would normally be seen in the pages of a physics research journal.

  27. Louis Hissink March 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    SJT,

    I totally agree with G & T – except that I consider the back radiation to be from atmospheric electric currents not CO2.

    May I suggest remedial English comprehension classes?

  28. Luke March 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Hilarious SJT – can’t help but notice the usual suspects adapting and changing positions to what they previously denounced !

  29. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Nick; I’m beginning to have my doubts about you; so platitudinous declarations about the egregious nature of AGW reflects badly on G&T, eh; what about these platitudes from lord muck in his peer reviewed paper?

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.1126

  30. Jan Pompe March 18, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Nick “That elementary observation is what Miskolczi fans have been missing.”

    No Nick “Miskolczi fans” have not been missing this at all this is something that you’ve either misunderstood from the beginning or a strawman that you’ve built for yourself.

  31. Alan Siddons March 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    Sunlight is able to heat the earth simply because its energy is greater than what the earth emits on its own, which is virtually nothing. If the two quantities were equal — that is, if the earth were spontaneously glowing by the same amount as the light impinging on it — sunlight would have no effect. Radiative heat transfer follows the same rule as conductive heat transfer: greater energy moves to lesser. Heat moves to a cooler zone; it’s a one-way street. Since the surface heats the air, then, this precludes air from heating the surface (except of course by convective transport of an air mass, in which case heat is still moving to a cooler zone). Heating via back-radiation is a childish fiction. Might as well believe that you can charge a weak battery by using its output as an input.

    “The second law of thermodynamics prohibits carbon dioxide from arresting or reversing the spontaneous downhill flow of energy, putting advocates in the awkward position of insisting that a trace atmospheric component’s innocent participation in a natural heat dissipation process is responsible for warming a planet.” – Tom Kondis

  32. SJT March 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    “Since the surface heats the air, then, this precludes air from heating the surface (except of course by convective transport of an air mass, in which case heat is still moving to a cooler zone). Heating via back-radiation is a childish fiction. Might as well believe that you can charge a weak battery by using its output as an input.”

    Bingo.

  33. Nick Stokes March 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    No, Coho, it isn’t the issue of inclusion of possibly tendentious statements. It’s true that a lot of journals would baulk at Hansen’s statement, and it’s not clear that Open Atmos Sci (started last year, online) is a regular research journal. But the thing with G&T is the digression into complaining about what people say about each other, and into discussion of obscure movies, among other things. And the oddity is that the whole subject is way off topic for the journal.

  34. cohenite March 18, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    G&T are only human; something all scientists are; the oracle nature of pro-AGW scientists just sticks in peoples’ craw and rightly so; I guess G&T just vented; I don’t think you can taint the whole paper on THAT basis.

  35. Lazlo March 18, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    SJT: ‘Bingo’ That’s meant to impress readers of this thread? Oh dear. I confess to being a complete layperson in this having (mea culpa) abondoned physics in school. However the crude notion (my crudity) that this stuff contravenes the 2nd law of thermodynaimics has intuitive appeal. I would much appreciate someone explaining, in simple terms for muggins, why the 2nd law is consistent with radiative forcing of the climate (probably the wrong question, so waiting to get trashed 🙁

  36. SJT March 18, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    “I would much appreciate someone explaining, in simple terms for muggins, why the 2nd law is consistent with radiative forcing of the climate (probably the wrong question, so waiting to get trashed :-(”

    I, too, am but a humble layman.

    The cooler body is not making the hotter body warmer. In the case of the earth, we also have the sun heating it up with energy. The earth is going to be warmed up to a point at which the outgoing energy is equal to the incoming energy. Now imagine you add something to that stops that outgoing energy from going out so easily, like a ‘blanket’. The earth will now get warmer, till the point of balance is reached again. Make that ‘blanket’ thicker, the point of balance will now go higher.

    The ‘blanket’ does not break the laws of physics, it just ‘slows down’ the rate at which they are working.

  37. Alan Siddons March 18, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Not so, SJT. But granted, that’s the prevailing view.

    “It is simple physics. The Earth receives visible and UV radiation from the sun that has the effect of heating the earth’s surface. The greenhouse gas in the atmosphere absorbs this infrared radiation and radiates heat back to the surface of the Earth increasing the global temperature.” — Professor John Meriwether

    But the earth’s own radiation cannot be turned back on itself to raise its temperature. That is no more possible than using the output of a weak battery as an input to recharge it. The mechanism professor Meriwether cites is imaginary physics. It is childishly wishful thinking. Only if the energy of the donor is greater than the recipient’s can energy be transferred.

    “Nature abhors a vacuum,” you’ve heard it said, and in this context it means that thermal energy always moves to fill an absence. Put a spoon in hot coffee. The coffee’s heat will crawl up the spoon and to your fingers precisely because the spoon is colder. The coffee will heat anything that’s colder — but it cannot heat anything that’s hotter. The same principle applies to radiation. If the radiant power of A is greater than B, then A is able to heat B. If the two are equal, however, no heat transfer can occur. This means that even if 100% of the earth’s radiation were radiated back toward the earth, the temperature wouldn’t rise by a single degree. An object’s own radiation cannot be used to raise its temperature.

  38. jae March 19, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    Comment from: Louis Hissink March 18th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    “Backwarming?

    The Earth emits IR, heats CO2 moleculesin the atmosphere, with the temperature gradient vector being away from Earth, and then we have the inane idea that these CO2 molecules previously warmed then emit IR 180 degrees to the direction that the initial IR came from.

    Now this is absurd but perhaps the source of the IR measured comes from something else.”

    The radiation exists, alright, but it doesn’t do anything because of the temperature gradient you mention. Regardless of what the radiation cartoons show, you cannot heat the surface to an average of 15 C with radiation from an atmosphere that is much colder than that. It is not just absurd, it is madness.

  39. jae March 19, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    SJT:

    “The cooler body is not making the hotter body warmer. In the case of the earth, we also have the sun heating it up with energy. The earth is going to be warmed up to a point at which the outgoing energy is equal to the incoming energy. Now imagine you add something to that stops that outgoing energy from going out so easily, like a ‘blanket’. The earth will now get warmer, till the point of balance is reached again. Make that ‘blanket’ thicker, the point of balance will now go higher.

    The ‘blanket’ does not break the laws of physics, it just ’slows down’ the rate at which they are working.”

    FWIW, I think that is an almost correct way of looking at the effect of the atmosphere. However, one doesn’t really need a radiative model to see what is happening (although one can be used). You only have to realize that the atmosphere is storing heat, and that results in a thermal gradient (lapse rate) which slows down the movement of heat toward space. Where the problem lies in your statement is in “making the blanket thicker.” I don’t believe this happens by adding GHGs, or else it would get one hell of a lot hotter in the tropics on a clear day! Convection and latent heat keep “the blanket from getting thicker,” maybe.

  40. jae March 19, 2009 at 3:05 am #

    Comment from: Green Davey March 18th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Re: global average temperature (not), see:

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/globaltemp/globaltemp.html

  41. jae March 19, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    Nick, et. al.:

    Probably more than 85 % of the Earth is either covered by water or is in areas where free water is continually available from the soil or from vegetation (transpiration). In these areas, it is frigging impossible to have a temperature gap between the surface and the layer of air above that surface. The Classius-Clapeyron equation won’t allow this to happen. Go measure the surface temperature of the ocean and tell me that it is hotter than the air above it! Only in arid areas will you see such a gap. K&T’s allowance for convection and latent heat have absolutely nothing to do with an “energy gap.” They are just recognizing that one cannot ignore these mechanisms of heat transfer (I think they greatly underestimate them). Miskolczi is correct about the “energy gap” issue, IMNSHO.

  42. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    jae; speaking of Miskolczi; the Classius-Clapeyron equation which dictates that temperature and energy between the surface and the immediate layer are ‘stable’ also seems to ‘relate’ to the log decline of both CO2 and H2O; does that mean that the optical depth and its maintainence is an intensive or extensive property?

  43. Larry March 19, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    I’ve already commented on the first main point in the summary of the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper (top of page 3 in this thread). Now I’ll move on to the third main point.

    “(c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly”

    Logical perspective from the Law of the Excluded Middle. If the frequently mentioned difference is meaningless, then there it is not possible to calculate it wrongly! And if the frequently mentioned difference is calculated wrongly, then it is not meaningless! Sorry guys, you can’t have it both ways.

    My overall impression is that neither G nor T is playing with a full deck.

  44. Jan Pompe March 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    Larry If the calculations are unphysical then the calculations are are wrongly derived and the results meaningless.

    Don’t you understand plain German English?

  45. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Nick Stokes “Michael Hammer explained all this correctly. That selective re-emission is routinely measured at all levels of the atmosphere”.

    With all due respect to Michael, he’s an engineer, not a physicist working in the field. The problem I had right off with Michael’s analysis was his acceptance of radiative equilibrium as per Trenberth with the provision that Trenberth got some things wrong. When I posed questions to Michael along that line, he ignored my queries just as Arthur Smith ignored my queries on his rebuttal of G&T.

    If your statement above is true, please explain it to me. How are re-emissions of CO2 and H2O ‘routinely’ measured in the atmosphere? Scientists do no such thing. The entire radiative equilibrium theory is based on mathematics, nothing else. To measure the radiation, you would need an instrument that reads each emitting frequency and charts it against the emission of the whole IR spectra. To my knowledge, that is not done. They simply take a background reading of energy across all spectra and infer the rest.

    Even if it is possible to isolate CO2 back-radiation, how do you isolate the anthropogenic CO2 radiation from the rest?

    With respect to greenhouse theory, it’s a stupid assumption. Trenberth et al are trying desperately to explain how a rare gas like CO2, with an even rarer anthropogenic component, can contribute sufficient warming to the atmosphere to be significant. It is G&T’s position that such a warming is absurd. Bohren explains in The Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, that such a radiative component can be derived only through models, such as representing the atmosphere and the surface as two ideal, blackbody surfaces radiating against each other. There’s no way to observe it directly.

    Once again, we’re back to model theory. It would suit me just fine if those pseudo-scientists would pack up their toys and go home.

  46. Green Davey March 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Thanks for the reference jae,
    It is as I thought. I have suspected before, in connection with the Central Limit Theorem, that Luke should enrol in Stats 200. ‘Weighting’ is often a weasel word for ‘fudging’. At least half the trouble with current ‘climate science’ is due to dodgy statistics, which get published because the referees know no better. Rigorous statistical induction is not a game for amateurs, despite easy access to computers and stats packages, and glib explanations, and attempts at ridicule. Confucius he say ‘When great Climate Scientist pass by, wise peasant bow low, and fart discreetly.’

  47. Eli Rabett March 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    wrt CO2 when it absorbs radiation, there is a relationship between the moment of the molecular vibrational transition and the polarization of the photon, however

    a) the molecule is rotating so this polarization gets washed out pdq given that the rotation rate is very fast compared to the emission rate. If this is not the case, eg in a solid or even a liquid or a gas with a fast emission rate you do observe polarization effects (this is used a lot for Raman)

    b) if the rotation don’t get you, the collisions will. Some memory of the original orientation/alignment may be retained after a weak collision, but not much, and after one that changes vibrational levels you can forget it.

  48. Jan Pompe March 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    cohenite: optical depth is an intensive property in fact dimensionless one.

  49. Eli Rabett March 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    FTIR emission monitoring of CO2 and other stuff in the atmosphere.

  50. Marcus March 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    ER,
    “FTIR emission monitoring of CO2 and other stuff in the atmosphere.”

    I take it you actually read this?

    If not, it refers to highly concentrated Co2 and H2O as found in chimney stack emissions, rocket exhausts etc.
    Not exactly to situation where the concentrations are minuscule, like in the atmosphere.

  51. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Nick Stokes “Any object if above absolute zero and with an emissivity above 0 will radiate . It makes no difference is the object it is radiating to is hotter or colder, how wold the radiator know the tejmperature of tyhe object it is radiating to? So yes there will be radiation directed back towards the sruface.”

    Nick…I think you took a few liberties with the quotation marks. I remember Michael making the first statement regarding absolute zero but not the rest. If he did, then I disagree with him, not that he’ll lose sleep over my opinion. Theoretically, a blackbody radiator will radiate at all temperatures according to the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. The problem is that a blackbody radiator is a hypothetical construct and many liberties have been taken by the climate science fraternity with its application. A blackbody radiator, or cavity resonator, is a hypothetical structure with a tiny aperture for collecting photons.

    The only objects that approach a blackbody in the universe are high temperature gases like stars. That’s because they emit a finite, broad-spectrum radiation as required by Planck’s equation. You can apply the Boltzmann equation to lower temperature objects but the point made by G&T is that the spectrums used in climate science are not continuous, as required, and no one has actually proved Boltzmann works at such low temperatures.

    With regard to back-radiation, you make it sound as if radiation is a well-understood phenomenon. In the text, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, they spend two full chapters discussing the emission and absorption of photons. The tendency is for amateurs (like me) to use the term photon as if it’s a defined particle, but it’s not. A photon has no mass, as is required by electromagnetic radiation, but it has momentum. Obviously we’re talking about quantum theory, which Feynman described as something that works with no one knowing why. G&T infer the difficulty with treating photons as particles like electrons and describing them as if they are simply emitted from the surface, collected by a CO2 molecule and fired back.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the theory underlying back-radiation is not fundamentally sound, they are questioning how much of it there is and whether it can affect the radiating surface enought to raise it’s temperature significantly. Also, G&T are questioning the seriousness of the AGW advocates who claim anthropogneic CO2, which accounts for 3% of all atmospheric CO2, could have sufficient impact to raise global temperatures 9% to 25% as claimed. Lindzen, who has studied the atmosphere directly for 40 years claims that water vapour alone accounts for 97% of so-called greenhouse warming.

  52. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    I do so like reading your esoteric little offerings eli; they take me back to my undergraduate days when, sitting in front of the professor, knowing I had accumulated enough marks to pass the course, I could relax because whatever he was saying had no danger or consequence. I could take things on their merits; with this collisional/vibrational business; the near surface CO2 is in a parcel of air which becomes thermalised through your collisional thingees with a discrete and internal temperature differentiated from the surrounding air; lapse rate factors convectionally carry the parcel of air upwards; can the CO2 within the rising parcel of air [LTE] absorb and emit out of the LTE as it rises; or does that attribute only reoccur when the LTE reaches the CEL and its internal temperature is no longer differentiated from the surrounding air?

  53. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Gordon; I’m making slow headway with your references; speaking of Lindzen; I had read somewhere that he observed that the proportion of the 33C greenhouse effect had only about 6C attributable to GHG’s and the rest was due to atmospheric pressure and the ocean with a little bit of internally derived heat; do you know the source of that?

    Jan; that the OD is an intensive property makes sense if it is independent of the quantity or concentration of the total of GHGs as well as their mixture; by that I mean an increase in CO2 has no effect on the OD because water compensates, as Miskolczi supposes; if OD is intensive that is the end [again] of AGW.

  54. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Larry “Jumping to the no-greenhouse conclusion is a language problem…”

    Why is it a language problem when there’s no greenhouse there and there’s nothing there that remotely resembles a greenhouse? The greenhouse is a metaphor for trapped heat, which is a load of nonsense. The atmosphere does not trap heat. In the text, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, they claim that theory is ridiculous. They pay lip-service to the only remaining theory, that of back-radiation, but they make it clear that the theory is nothing more than a mathematical model based on idealized laboratory science.

    If you read G&T on the greenhouse theory you’llfind an actual experiment you can try yourself. You don’t need a thought experiement.

  55. SJT March 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    “Even if it is possible to isolate CO2 back-radiation, how do you isolate the anthropogenic CO2 radiation from the rest?”

    That’s easy, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that has been added since we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale. My guess, that started about 1900. There is now about 30% more CO2 now than there was then, we are on our way to doubling that.

  56. janama March 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    That’s easy, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that has been added since we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale. My guess, that started about 1900. There is now about 30% more CO2 now than there was then, we are on our way to doubling that.

    oh really – care to show us the source of such amazing information and the method used to differentiate the natural CO2 increase from the anthropogenic??

  57. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    SJT “No one ever said CO2 is the only source of back radiation, but it’s a step forward. You now officially disagree with G&T”.

    It would be nice if one day you would actually read a paper and try to understand it. G&T’s problems with back-radiation are exactly the same problems the authors have in The Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation. Radiation has been reduced to ‘Radiation for Dummies’ by the climate science crowd. It’s hardly the fault of G&T that the average climate scientist doesn’t understand the physics behind the theory, and wishes to reduce it to a kindergarten level. The same applies to the theory of thermodynamics, which many climate scientists don’t seem to understand.

    The second law states clearly that heat cannot flow from a cooler surface to a warmer surface without external means. Clausius clarified that. He pointed out that when a warmer body at temperature T1 heats a cooler body, the cooler body cannot warm the warmer body to a temperature greater than T1. Somehow, climate scientists have managed to do it.

    All of your back-radiation theory is there, it’s just that you have been conned into believing you can get something for nothing. I suppose you have a refrigerator that operates without an electric motor and a compressor.

  58. Marcus March 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    Gordon Robertson
    never mind SJT Gordon, he is Luke’s Igor

  59. SJT March 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    “It’s hardly the fault of G&T that the average climate scientist doesn’t understand the physics behind the theory, and wishes to reduce it to a kindergarten level. The same applies to the theory of thermodynamics, which many climate scientists don’t seem to understand. ”

    I know a climate scientist Gordon, and he’s a hell of a lot smarter than you will ever be. You have no idea at all what you are talking about.

  60. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    “That’s easy, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that has been added since we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale. My guess, that started about 1900.”
    Yes, the graph is here. CO2 has gone up at about 2/3 the rate of our fossil fuel burning. We’ve dug up about 330 gigatons of C, burnt it, and for sure, there’s 200+ Gt extra in the atmosphere. Now people can fantasise that volcanoes suddenly decided to belch out that 200 Gt, and simultaneously the sea decided to suck up our 330 Gt, but it really doesn’t matter. If it did, the isotopes would seal the case.

  61. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Gordon “The atmosphere does not trap heat.”
    You guys need to read friend Roy Spencer’s primer on the GE. And what does he say?:
    “Mankind’s burning of fossil fuels creates more atmospheric carbon dioxide. As we add more CO2, more infrared energy is trapped, strengthing the Earth’s greenhouse effect. This causes a warming tendency in the lower atmosphere and at the surface.”

  62. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    Nick Stokes “None of this would normally be seen in the pages of a physics research journal”

    Why would the quote be out of place? It was a quote from Fred Singer that gives background to the problem. And why are you making references to a ‘physics absurdity’ when they are practicing physicists and you are probably not. I presume that because you can’t come up with an argument against them based on physics theory. Then again, neither could Arthur Smith, a physicist. He focused on the greenhouse part of the paper completely failing to address the other issues. When I posed questions to Smith while he was on the blog, outside the focus of his simplified model, he ignored me.

    You have to appreciate that state of the art physicists live in a cloistered environment. No one knows exactly what they’re on about because unless you’re right there into the current theory you can’t possibly understand it. The problem is that people think they do understand and they are only fooling themselves. The thing that comes across to me as totally absurd is people hanging onto every word about climate science by a mathematician like Gavin Schmidt. If he stuck to explaining how computer models work, or the math used in them, that would be one thing. However, he insists on getting into the physics of it and he’s way out of his depth.

    Having worked in a highly theoretical environment like electronics, I have come to appreciate how seriously complex the theory can get. I studied electrical engineering for a couple of years at university and the stuff I was learning at that level was mind boggling. We had a three month course in solid state physics alone. I understand the tendency to think I understand what a photon is with reference to atmospheric radiation but from studying electron theory with regard to solid state physics, I know I’m only fooling myself. Therefore I find it frustrating to hear people talking about back-radiation based on a highly simplified model.

    It must be incredibly frustrating for the authors of this paper to discuss it with know-it-alls like Eli Rabbett, or even modelers like Gavin Schmidt. I know they tried it at deltoid and came away thoroughly disgusted with the ignorance and rudeness displayed toward them. G&T are talking about phenomena they work with every day and I can just barely appreciate how impossible it would be for them to describe that phenomena at a level anyone on this blog would understand.

  63. Lazlo March 19, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Roy Spencer is describing what he calls Global Warming Theory. He is not endorsing it. He is saying that even if GWT held, it would not cause catastrophic climate change.

  64. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    Nick re Roy Spencer…as much as I appreciate Roy for his work in the satellite program, and other revelations about the atmosphere, I think he’s out of his depth when it comes to physics theory. He’s taught that stuff in university. His partner, John Christy, was an undergrad student under Trenberth.

    When Christy got into studying the satellite data, it raised a question between what he’d been taught through his studies with Trenberth and what the instruments were telling him. He had the guts to stand up and say so. He also insists that CO2 ‘should’ warm the atmosphere, and he’s stymied as to why it isn’t warming it. Over to G&T for the physics of why it isn’t warming the atmosphere. Lindzen is far more careful about the notion of a greenhouse effect that traps heat, and Bohren in the Fundamnetals of Atmospheric Radiation calls it nonsense.

    The thing I like about Spencer or Christy, is that if proved wrong, they will laugh in amazement. People like Gavin Schmidt will be in denial for the rest of their lives.

  65. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Lazlo “Roy Spencer is describing what he calls Global Warming Theory. He is not endorsing it. He is saying that even if GWT held, it would not cause catastrophic climate change”.

    thanks for the clarification. I particularly like Spencer’s explanation of heat flow in the atmosphere. He relates it to precipitation systems and that’s what I learned a long time ago. He is also open to ocean current systems like El Nino.

  66. SJT March 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Spencer is quite clear he believes in AGW, he just disagrees with the extent of it.

    “Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)

    BUT…everything this else in the climate system probably WON’T stay the same! For instance, clouds, water vapor, and precipition systems can all be expected to respond to the warming tendency in some way, which could either amplify or reduce the manmade warming. These other changes are called “feedbacks,” and the sum of all the feedbacks in the climate system determines what is called ‘climate sensitivity’. Negative feedbacks (low climate sensitivity) would mean that manmade global warming might not even be measurable, lost in the noise of natural climate variability. But if feedbacks are sufficiently positive (high climate sensitivity), then manmade global warming could be catastrophic.”

    Spencer places his faith in negative feedbacks.

  67. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Larry “(c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly”

    It’s meaningless because we don’t know what temperature the Earth warmed up from. The baseline was set at zero on the assumption the Earth was like a rock in orbit around the Sun with no atmosphere and no oceans. The 33 C does not take into account the temperature of the surface due to volcanic activity of eons ago nor does it specify where we are on the cooling phase. If heat was being emitted from the hot core, or elsewhere, at a much higher rate at one time, it’s obvious that the starting temperature could have been a lot higher.

    Can you not see that? The 33C was worked out using models, not direct observation. As such, many assumptions have been made.

  68. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Fig 7.3, p515 of AR4 shows the total CO2 flux as 218.2 Gt; the human cotribution is 8 Gt or 3.67%; 98.5% of the total CO2 emissions are reabsorbed;

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/FTPROOT/environment/057304.pdf

    Table 3, p26 shows the combined ACO2 and CO2 emissions as 793,100 million ts and the quantity reabsorbed at 781,400 ts; the annual accumulated increase is 1.5%; actually the DOE data shows the ACO2 at 2.91% of the combined total; in anyevent the amount of ACO2 left in the air is either 2.91% or 3.67% of 1.5% or between 0.044% or 0.055%; the idea that ACO2 is entirely responsible for the entire increase in CO2 is bizarre and the isotopic distinction offers no assistance; with, let’s say ~0.05% of the accumulated CO2 being ACO2 and the 1.5% accumulation being an annual increase a molecule of ACO2 in the 0.05% initially accumulated at year 1 would have an atmospheric life as per P=P0e-kt.

  69. SJT March 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    “in anyevent the amount of ACO2 left in the air is either 2.91% or 3.67% of 1.5% or between 0.044% or 0.055%; the idea that ACO2 is entirely responsible for the entire increase in CO2 is bizarre and the isotopic distinction offers no assistance”

    You are subjecting yourself to the old bait in switch. In the space of just two sentences, you mix talking about total CO2, then the increase in CO2 from a base level.

  70. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    cohenite “…speaking of Lindzen; I had read somewhere that he observed that the proportion of the 33C greenhouse effect had only about 6C attributable to GHG’s…”

    Never heard that one. He certainly did not mention it in the greenhouse paper he put out. All I read from him was the following: if all GHG’s were removed from the atmosphere except water vapour, the greenhouse temperature would still be 97% of what it is. If that greenhouse temp is 33 C, then 97% of that is about 32 C, which is only a degree.

    Besides, he describes a far more complex atmosphere than direct radiation. He claimed that without an atmosphere to cool the surface, it would be something like 87 C. That’s something I had never heard before and I found it interesting. In other words, the atmosphere, convection, winds, etc., serve to cool the surface, not warm it.

    I’ll see if I can find those sources for you.

  71. SJT March 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Cohenite

    you might like to read this from Spencer, again.

    ” (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)”

  72. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Gordon and others: the “33C”
    It wasn’t worked out using models. You’ll find it all set out in the 1916 Emden paper which Jan cited above. It doesn’t have anything to do with cooling history or a moonlike surface. All it says is that if we could keep everything as it is, albedo, air, liquid ocean etc, but remove the IR effect of GHG, then the Earth at radiative equilibrium would be 33C cooler. At that temperature, radiation from the surface would balance solar influx. A very simple Stefan-Boltzmann calculation. Of course, that can’t happen exactly. First the seas would freeze, which would change things. Etc. But it does give an idea of the strength of the greenhouse effect, which is all it was ever intended to do.

  73. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    SJT “That’s easy, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that has been added since we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale”.

    We’re talking about measuring radiation directly from the atmosphere with an instrument, not guesstimating a theoretical mixture. Right now, if you had a radiation analyzer that could sweep the incoming radiative energy levels from the atmosphere, per frequency/wavelength, you might be able to say, “OK, that peak at 10 microns is likely CO2”. Of course, it would be a mixture of CO2 and water vapour since their radiation bands overlap. You would need to use theory to claim an amount of CO2 radiation, but how would you separate the anthropogenic radiation from the overall CO2 radiation?

    You might be able to study the line spectra and isolate the CO2, but not the anthropogenic content. Also, I doubt if you could filter out the water vapour radiation from the rest. I’m trying to say that it’s a complex process and from what I’ve read it has not been done. Instead, they have set up models of surfaces radiating against each other, based on the behavior of gases in labs, and infered a whole lot.

    Why do you think G&T find the idea so ridiculous? They’re claiming it has never been done in physics.

  74. Gordon Robertson March 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    SJT “I know a climate scientist Gordon, and he’s a hell of a lot smarter than you will ever be”.

    Wild guess, he’s a modeler, right? No, no…wait. He’s a mathematician passing himself off as a modeler.

    Besides, I’m one step up on him, I already know, and accept, that I’m a dummy. It’s easier that way. When you put your foot in your mouth, you don’t have so far to fall.

    I know how close to the edge I’m treading with my commentary and fully expect to have the carpet pulled out from under me. I have found that the best way to learn, for me, is to put it out there and be laughed at. I belong to another site that has nothing to do with climate science. If you don’t do your research and make a dumb statement, they wont even respond to you. If you show that you have researched a topic, they will respond with helpful information.

    I’m still waiting for an intelligent response from you regarding G&T. I know I ad hom Gavin Schmidt all to heck and I have no problem with you putting down G&T on an ad hom basis. Each time I talk to you about GHG’s in the atmosphere you counter with the heat-trapping theory. Explain how it works, or get your climate science friend to explain it. At least have the brass to put it out there and take your lumps, just as I do with the HIV/AIDS theory.

    If you’re going to respond on how heat-trapping might work, please stay away from simplified models. I may be dumb, but I’m interested in learning it at a molecular level. What I’d really love to see is an attempt to calculate the radiation from CO2 by calculating the number of moles of CO2 in a particular volume and summing the radiation per mole. If that was doable, I’m sure G&T or the author of The Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation would have done it.

    I have never seen anyone do that and I’m wondering why not. According to the authors of TFAR, G&T and NASA, it’s not doable. NASA even admits the numbers they use for radiative equilibrium are not verifiable.

  75. Raven March 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    This back radiation bit sounds like a red herring. If you heat up the troposphere then the temperature gradiant between the surface and the troposphere will decrease. This means that less energy will leave the surface and cause an increase in the average surface temperature.

    However, this is why the lack of warming in the troposphere is an important issue. If the troposphere is not warming faster than the surface then the temperature gradiant is not decreasing which means there should be no increase in surface temperatures due to GHGs.

  76. Jan Pompe March 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    cohenite “Jan; that the OD is an intensive property makes sense if it is independent of the quantity or concentration of the total of GHGs as well as their mixture”

    concentration is an intensive property also. The way to determine whether a property is intensive is if it doesn’t change with quantity (mass). For instance a 1 kg mass of steel has the same density as a .5 kg mass and may have the same temperature cutting it half makes no difference either temperature density or concentration of alloying materials. The internal energy will halve but the radiative flux density (another intensive quantity) remains the same.

    “by that I mean an increase in CO2 has no effect on the OD because water compensates, as Miskolczi supposes”

    and increase in CO2 concentration will increase the optical depth slightly it requires a reduction in H2O concentration to keep the OD constant. Miskolczi has run a check of OD due to CO2 concentration and H2O using NOAA data and found it trendless over the past 61 years.

  77. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Gordon “Right now, if you had a radiation analyzer that could sweep the incoming radiative energy levels from the atmosphere, per frequency/wavelength, you might be able to say, “OK, that peak at 10 microns is likely CO2″. Of course, it would be a mixture of CO2 and water vapour since their radiation bands overlap.”

    OK, at this stage I bore some old hands here by pointing to my post at CA: showing how this is done. If you scroll down to Fig 8.2b, there’s exactly such an observation. It’s one of many – if you google “downwelling infrared” you’ll see hundreds of these, done for various purposes. The plot above shows where the various gas peaks are.

    Of course you can’t separate out an anthropogenic component – all CO2 radiates the same. You just have to go back to those basic figures – we’ve burnt 330 Gt C, and there’s 200+ extra in the air. Where could it have come from?

  78. SJT March 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    ““by that I mean an increase in CO2 has no effect on the OD because water compensates, as Miskolczi supposes””

    Do water and CO2 have a quiet chat and decide how it’s going to work between them?

  79. Birdie March 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Gordon , you must be a very lonely person sitting in front of the computer the whole day , writing BOOOORING posts , and do you really believe that a BLOG is a place where you learn something???

    No , a blog is mostly a place for lonely wackoos and a replacecemnt for comedy books.

    BTW , the unions in Canada must be REALLY good letting people writing long , boring blog posts.

  80. Birdie March 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    And Gordon , are you a Social Democrat , Socialist or a right winger? You’re very inconsistent , we only know that you share this blogs hate for environmentalism ( especially polar bears) and this site envy for Gore’s money ( yourselves are just only a bunch of loosers).

    You have whole the time being wrong that Gore got the Nobel Prize for his scientific merits, no Gore got the Nobel for being a SPOKESMAN for the planet.

  81. Larry March 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Jan Pompe wrote:

    “Larry If the calculations are unphysical then the calculations are are wrongly derived and the results meaningless.
    Don’t you understand plain German English?”

    Sorry, I keep forgetting that the Germans are world-famous for their sense of humor. Sometimes we Merkins are too literal.

  82. gavin March 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    Gordon: “No, no…wait. He’s a mathematician passing himself off as a modeler”

    IMO you should look at this program on our ABC tv tonight “Diamond magic”, a quantum cryptography story. See their models hey

    ‘Dr James Rabeau:

    “Any single photon has the interesting characteristic that you cannot copy it, clone it or reproduce it”

    later-

    “As you pump energy into the diamond, an electron in the impurity jumps from one orbit to another. When it falls back into its original orbit, it emits a photon”

    and so on

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2519671.htm

  83. Lazlo March 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    SJT: “Spencer places his faith in negative feedbacks.”

    Absolutely begs the response: while the IPCC places its faith in positive feedbacks.

    Which means we are in a battle of faiths – to some significant extent we are.

    Spencer does however undertake research, using empirical data to investigate feedbacks. But that is now considered very old-fashioned in the brave new virtual science world. BTW Has there been warming in Second Life?

  84. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Nick; you say;

    “The transport becomes in effect enhanced diffusion. And it is more effective that people expect. This is the Rosseland regime.”

    Since the specific heat of air is small the rate of heat transfer by diffusion is no more than some cm/s; which is dwarfed by convection; so as I say there is no discontinuity at the surface boundary; SU=ED+ST; the parcels of air are convectively uplifted and the CO2 within the parcel only effectively emits at the CEL; or are you saying the DLR/backradiation can come from any height?

  85. SJT March 19, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    “Absolutely begs the response: while the IPCC places its faith in positive feedbacks.”

    They aren’t putting their faith in anything. Already the albedo positive feedback is in progress. It’s also a matter of which risk is greater, if you overestimate, not much, underestimate, disaster.

  86. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Coho, re “Enhanced diffusion” – I think this is from another thread. But the point is that it isn’t diffusion – it’s radiation. It is called enhanced diffusion, because it obeys a diffusion type equation. The flux is proportional to the temperature gradient. But the “conductivity” depends on absorptivity and can be large. See here.

  87. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Nick; a couple of points; are the parcels of air convectively lifted thermalised; that is, the emissions within the parcel are constrained to the speed of movement by convection; if not is the emission from within the parcel isotropic or anisotropic, up or down?

    And what is “albedo positive feedback”?

  88. Nick Stokes March 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    Coho, I’m losing track of the context here – are they referring to things I said? If you’re talking about Rosseland radiation, the motion of the air is not in the model – the process happens at the speed of light. But emission is isotropic; the nett flux is determined by the temperature gradient. If you imagine a horizontal plane, heat flows down the temp gradient because it’s hotter on one side than the other.

    I don’t know the context for “albedo positive feedback” but I presume it refers to the process where warm air melts polar ice, causing less sunlight to be reflected, increasing the amount of radiant heat remaining in the environment, which further warms the air.

  89. Louis Hissink March 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Raven writes:

    “This back radiation bit sounds like a red herring. If you heat up the troposphere then the temperature gradiant between the surface and the troposphere will decrease. This means that less energy will leave the surface and cause an increase in the average surface temperature.

    However, this is why the lack of warming in the troposphere is an important issue. If the troposphere is not warming faster than the surface then the temperature gradiant is not decreasing which means there should be no increase in surface temperatures due to GHGs.”

    Now you are getting to the issue.

    1. Earth is hotter than troposphere, by observation.
    2. Night time, troposphere is more colder than earth, but earth radiates IR which is supposed to warm troposphere, which is does, theoretically. But earth, having lost some heat, H, adds to Troposphere T an amount dH. By the time dH reaches T, T has cooled in the meantime so its temperature when it receives dT cannot be greater than the temperature of the earth by definition, and cannot even with the addition of dH be greater than the earth temperature.

    This interpretation assumes we are dealing with an isotropic gas usually encountered by people living in deserts. (Atmosphere without water).

    Put in a simpler way, the AGW explanation for global warming is that when you stand in front of a fire, become warmed by it from direct radiation, then your body heat will reheat the fire.

  90. Lazlo March 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    And what is “albedo positive feedback”?

    SJT needs to explain this assertion – all ears.

    But I would still like to hear about global warming in Second Life (or would that be China..)

  91. Lazlo March 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    “Put in a simpler way, the AGW explanation for global warming is that when you stand in front of a fire, become warmed by it from direct radiation, then your body heat will reheat the fire.”

    Yes, 2nd law of thermodynamics prevails, and vaguely understood by an idiot like me.

    However the ‘greenhouse effect’ (poor analogy etc, but it sticks) does ensure life on earth, compared to Mars, Venus etc. by making it habitable. So what is the thermodynamic explanation of this? (Not a trick question – I have no idea of the answer)

  92. Louis Hissink March 19, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    JAE writes:

    Comment from: Louis Hissink March 18th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    “Backwarming?

    The Earth emits IR, heats CO2 moleculesin the atmosphere, with the temperature gradient vector being away from Earth, and then we have the inane idea that these CO2 molecules previously warmed then emit IR 180 degrees to the direction that the initial IR came from.

    Now this is absurd but perhaps the source of the IR measured comes from something else.”

    The radiation exists, alright, but it doesn’t do anything because of the temperature gradient you mention. Regardless of what the radiation cartoons show, you cannot heat the surface to an average of 15 C with radiation from an atmosphere that is much colder than that. It is not just absurd, it is madness.”

    So you have noted the madness and the the lack of criticism from the usual suspects. 🙂

  93. SJT March 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    “And what is “albedo positive feedback”?

    SJT needs to explain this assertion – all ears.”

    Like Nick said. It must have taken him all of 1 second to guess what I was getting at. Don’t you people know anything?

  94. SJT March 19, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    ““Put in a simpler way, the AGW explanation for global warming is that when you stand in front of a fire, become warmed by it from direct radiation, then your body heat will reheat the fire.”

    Yes, 2nd law of thermodynamics prevails, and vaguely understood by an idiot like me.”

    Louis explains how he understands nothing. The earth is not a fire, but it is heated by a very large one. When you slow down the rate at which it is cooling, it will reach a higher equilibrium temperature. Don’t worry, it’s taken me years to learn as much as I do. 😉

  95. Louis Hissink March 19, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Lazlo,

    Perceptive.

    Not so much thermodynamics as undertstanding the layering in the atmosphere that is a gas. Gas is mater in a chaotic state – excessive Brownian motion perhaps. This cannot explain “structure” in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Think about it, please.

  96. Louis Hissink March 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    SJT:

    “Louis explains how he understands nothing. The earth is not a fire, but it is heated by a very large one. When you slow down the rate at which it is cooling, it will reach a higher equilibrium temperature. Don’t worry, it’s taken me years to learn as much as I do. 😉

    And welcome back Ender 🙂

  97. SJT March 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    “Think about it, please.”

    Always good for a laugh.

  98. cohenite March 19, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    Nick; “albedo positive feedback” was will’s contribution to the general gaity and pandemonium; if this quaint terminology is, as you say, an increase in warming due to a decrease in albedo reflected LW due to decreasing ice then it doesn’t make sense for 2 reasons; firstly, less ice means more vapor in the atmosphere and more clouds; one of the great ironies of AGW is that its reliance on extra water in the atmosphere, viz a viz enhanced greenhouse, will ultimately create cooling; secondly, as the brouhaha about the Steig paper and Antarctica warming showed, the previously held and contradictory view on the ice-caps was that warming would actually lead to extra ice through increased evaporation and precipitate in the form of snow over the poles.

    But, it’s late, we’re at cross purposes about the issue of at what level[s] does backradiation occur [ie as I suggest, all or just 2; the immediate surface and the CEL] and I shall sleep soundly with will’s amphigory to backwarm me.

  99. SJT March 19, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    “will ultimately create cooling; ”

    Yes, there will be a limit to the warming. That’s always been the case. After the warming.

  100. Luke March 20, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Cohers so mangles the Steig paper as to make any intelligent conversation pointless.

    But la-de-dah and moving right along …

    All this circular discussion on back radiation is fascinating….

    How do pyrgeometers actually work? It’s a complete mystery. The weak emaciated downwelling radiation should be so weak as to not even activate the sensor. Poofy piss-weak photons. Their whole theory of NET radiation is wrong. Oh dear. !

    And why did Eli’s light bulb get hotter. Don’t tell me it was insulation. http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/09/light-dawns-there-are-styles-in-science.html

    And why do the lyrics to Paranoid seem suitable.

    “Finished with my radiation theory cause it couldn’t help me with my mind
    People think Im insane because I am browning all the time
    All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
    Think Ill lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aIhh9nFYv4&feature=related (Play it LOUD Cohers – it will help)

  101. jae March 20, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Comment from: Jan Pompe March 19th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    “Don’t you understand plain German English?”

    LOL. Having been raised in a family, one side of which immigrated from Germany, I can vouch for this statement!

  102. jae March 20, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    Comment from: Gordon Robertson March 19th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    “Besides, he describes a far more complex atmosphere than direct radiation. He claimed that without an atmosphere to cool the surface, it would be something like 87 C. That’s something I had never heard before and I found it interesting. In other words, the atmosphere, convection, winds, etc., serve to cool the surface, not warm it. ”

    Yes. Think for a moment that if it were not for convection, the Earth’s surface would be just like the inside of a greenhouse.

  103. Raven March 20, 2009 at 4:28 am #

    I don’t understand this argument over ‘back radiation’.

    Thermodynamics is a statistical model that describes the net flow of energy.

    The laws of thermodynamics require that the *net* flow of energy go from the hotter to the cooler which means the surface is always heating the troposphere.

    Infrared radiation is simply the mechanism for the energy transfer and it is possible to talk about individual rays that are reflected down by molecules in the atmosphere but this ‘back radiation’ does not change the net flow of energy. It is simply the mechanism that decreases the rate of energy transfer as the temperature gradient decreases.

    IOW – both claims are correct. The troposphere cannot heat the surface but infrared radiation can be reflected from the troposphere towards the surface.

  104. jae March 20, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    Nick says:

    “Gordon and others: the “33C”
    It wasn’t worked out using models. You’ll find it all set out in the 1916 Emden paper which Jan cited above. It doesn’t have anything to do with cooling history or a moonlike surface. All it says is that if we could keep everything as it is, albedo, air, liquid ocean etc, but remove the IR effect of GHG, then the Earth at radiative equilibrium would be 33C cooler. At that temperature, radiation from the surface would balance solar influx. A very simple Stefan-Boltzmann calculation. Of course, that can’t happen exactly. First the seas would freeze, which would change things. Etc. But it does give an idea of the strength of the greenhouse effect, which is all it was ever intended to do.”

    This is absolute, utter nonsense that has been repeated so many times that maybe nobody even thinks about it anymore. If the Earth were a rock, then the calculations apply. Problem is that it is a semi-transparent ball of atmosphere and water. Because of this little detail, the solar radiation can penetrate deeply and energy be FULLY ABSORBED and much of it STORED by these materials. That causes, among other things, the formation of a lapse rate, which resists rapid transfer of energy to space.

    We can argue about how much energy is STORED, but I don’t think there is a legitimate argument that the Earth is not warmer because of such stored solar energy. And I think it’s about 33 C 🙂

  105. jae March 20, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    SJT:

    “Louis explains how he understands nothing. The earth is not a fire, but it is heated by a very large one. When you slow down the rate at which it is cooling, it will reach a higher equilibrium temperature. Don’t worry, it’s taken me years to learn as much as I do. ;)”

    Well, sir, what happened for the last 10-12 years? CO2 is still going up, creating a better “blanket.” So why are temperatures going down?

  106. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    Put in a simpler way, the AGW explanation for global warming is that when you stand in front of a fire, become warmed by it from direct radiation, then your body heat will reheat the fire.

    Yes, and it does. That’s why you put rocks or bricks around a fireplace. They are heated by radiation from the fire, radiate heat back, and the fire burns hotter.

  107. Raven March 20, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    I don’t understand this argument over ‘back radiation’.

    Thermodynamics is a statistical model that describes the net flow of energy.

    The laws of thermodynamics require that the *net* flow of energy go from the hotter to the cooler which means the surface is always heating the troposphere.

    Infrared radiation is simply the mechanism for the energy transfer and it is possible to talk about individual rays that are reflected down by molecules in the atmosphere but this ‘back radiation’ does not change the net flow of energy. It is simply the mechanism that decreases the rate of energy transfer as the temperature gradient decreases.

    IOW – both claims are correct. The troposphere cannot heat the surface but infrared radiation can be reflected from the troposphere towards the surface.
    I don’t understand this argument over ‘back radiation’.

    Thermodynamics is a statistical model that describes the net flow of energy.

    The laws of thermodynamics require that the *net* flow of energy go from the hotter to the cooler which means the surface is always heating the troposphere.

    Infrared radiation is simply the mechanism for the energy transfer and it is possible to talk about individual rays that are reflected down by molecules in the atmosphere but this ‘back radiation’ does not change the net flow of energy. It is simply the mechanism that decreases the rate of energy transfer as the temperature gradient decreases.

    IOW – both claims are correct. The troposphere cannot heat the surface but infrared radiation can be reflected from the troposphere towards the surface.

  108. jae March 20, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Raven:

    I think the way you stated the matter IS correct. I don’t think there are many arguments, until someone suggests that the atmosphere is actually HEATING the surface, like the K&T radiation cartoon seems to imply. If the “average air temperature” is actually 15 C, then it is that temperature because the air is able to OBTAIN sufficient energy from the sun and surroundings to keep it there. It is not kept there by “backradiation” from the sky. Now, the “backradiation” may help the air store the heat a little longer (I doubt it, but maybe), but it does not IN ANY WAY INCREASE the heat content of the air.

    It’s really all about Cp and energy storage, as you can observe directly by tracking the temperature of a swimming pool. It will probably average about 15 C over the year at 45 Latitude. That big swimming hole, the ocean, helps keep the air at that average, also.

  109. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    So, I mangled the Steig paper, eh? Somethings deserve to be mangled;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/28/steigs-antarctic-heartburn/

    And never mind eli’s lightbulb, AGW’s oven is more appropriate;

    http://www.vermonttiger.com/content/images/2008/07/25/toaster.jpg

    Now, who is that in the oven?

  110. Marcus March 20, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    NS
    “Yes, and it does. That’s why you put rocks or bricks around a fireplace. They are heated by radiation from the fire, radiate heat back, and the fire burns hotter.”

    Until this uttering, you appeared to be halfway intelligent.

    Being an amateur-hobby blacksmith I can assure you, that only purer charcoal, but most importantly EXCESS air makes the fire hotter.
    What you said makes no sense at all, and if you think about it you will realise that. (is it late to think clearly at your place?)

  111. Raven March 20, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Jae,

    I think you are still getting into semantics. The earth is rotating so the average temperature a function of the energy acquired during the day minus the energy lost during the night. A decreased temperature gradiant will result in less energy loss over the same period of time which, in turn, increases the average temperature over the entire period. In practice this should mean the night time/winter lows will be more affected than the day time summer highs.

    The bottom line: put GHGs into the air the net heat content will go up due to less heat loss.

  112. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    Marcus “Being an amateur-hobby blacksmith I can assure you, that only purer charcoal, but most importantly EXCESS air makes the fire hotter.”

    So put your pure charcoal out on a flat concrete slab to burn. Plenty of air there. Do you think that will work?

  113. Raven March 20, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Nick,

    The temperature of the fire is only affected by the fuel. Putting bricks around a fire only affects the temperature gradiant as one moves away from the fire source (i.e. the air next to the bricks will be much hotter than it would be if the bricks were not there).

  114. Jan Pompe March 20, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Nick “So put your pure charcoal out on a flat concrete slab to burn. Plenty of air there. Do you think that will work?”

    No Nick “plenty of air” does not equal “excess air” which is delivered under pressure by the bellows ( or the case of the one I had a washing machine water pump).

  115. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Nick’s on fire today!

  116. Louis Hissink March 20, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    Nick Stokes

    “Yes, and it does. That’s why you put rocks or bricks around a fireplace. They are heated by radiation from the fire, radiate heat back, and the fire burns hotter.”

    Something that is cooler than the fire itself, now manages by radiation, to heat the fire further – there is a slight thermal mass balance problem here but convert this into mathematics, add an arbitary constant and it just might work in virtual reality world. I wonder if I could patent it – with a little rejigging Jan and I could form a company – “Stokes Fire Machine”, sell shares and make a Motza before the mob starts looking at it in detail.

    That’s what Al Gore and the CO2 Mafia are doing, no?????

  117. jae March 20, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    raven:

    “The bottom line: put GHGs into the air the net heat content will go up due to less heat loss.”

    Maybe, if you add “ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL.” But they are not. Why is it getting cold, with all the increasing CO2 each year? Why does it not get hotter than 33 C in a tropical paradise, when the GHGs there are at a maximum level. In fact it gets MUCH hotter in Pheonix, where they are at a minimum level.

  118. Raven March 20, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    Jae,

    Saying that the temperature will go up says nothing about the magnitude of the change relative to other effects such as convection. I am just saying that the physics of the basic GHG effect make sense and should not be a topic for debate.

    As far as deserts vs. topics go there are two confounding factors:

    1) The energy from the sun can go into evaporating water instead of heating the land/air. This means the temperature increases in wet climates during the day will be less than dry climates.

    2) Deserts are much colder at night because there are fewer GHGs (i.e. water vapour) which means more energy loss at night. This has an effect on the average temperature even if the day time temperature is hotter.

  119. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Raven; your point 2 really defeats the idea of the enhanced greenhouse through the +ve feedback of water; water is a temperature modifier not an enhancer; a desert is hotter at day than a longitudinally equivalent wetter area, even though the wetter area has a higher enthalpy, because the extra water in the wetter area modifies the temperature trend [upwards]; at night the extra water makes the wetter area warmer than the desert by the same process. AGW is junk.

  120. Raven March 20, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Cohenite,

    The GHG effect from CO2 is mostly likely swamped by other factors. But that does not mean that the basic GHG effect theory is wrong.

  121. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Raven “Putting bricks around a fire only affects the temperature gradiant as one moves away from the fire source (i.e. the air next to the bricks will be much hotter than it would be if the bricks were not there).”
    I thought from your earlier post that you were getting it. It actually doesn’t matter for this argument whether the fire is heated by conduction from air or radiation from bricks – it’s still heat from the fire coming back and making it hotter. But at fire temperatures radiation is by far the dominant mode of heat transfer, except at very short range.
    Here’s an illustration – think of a well- established wood or coals fire in an ordinary fireplace – 2 brick sides and a back. Is it hotter at the front? That’s where there is the best supply of fuel and air. No, it’s hotter up against the back wall. The reason is that in front there’s a big radiant heat loss, while at the back radiant heat out is balanced by radiant heat from the very hot bricks.

    And Jan, you can put a bellows to the coals on the open slab if you like – it still won’t make much of a fire.

    And Louis, you won’t have much luck patenting a fireplace – thousands of years of prior art. But the industrial practice of using the hot off-gases to preheat the incoming air is very well established. And guess what – it makes the furnace burn hotter.

  122. jae March 20, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Raven: Your first point (no 1.) is correct (and BTW, you are supporting my belief that water provides a negative feedback, LOL)). But the rest of your post is so wrong I don’t know where to start:

    “I am just saying that the physics of the basic GHG effect make sense and should not be a topic for debate.”

    Tell this to G&T, and Miskolczi, all of whom certainly know far more physics than either you or me. It is STILL a topic for debate, so stop with the “consensus” bullshit.

    “2) Deserts are much colder at night because there are fewer GHGs (i.e. water vapour) which means more energy loss at night. This has an effect on the average temperature even if the day time temperature is hotter.”

    I have been trying to extinguish this frigging urban myth for three years, but alas, it lives on. The “cold” that you keep associating with deserts is really only ELEVATION. HIGH DESERTS get cold at night; low ones do not. But, gee, HIGH ELEVATIONS, like Alamosa CO (hardly a desert) get cold at night, too! It’s all about elevation, not humidity.

    Now, to explain the difference in diurnal variation between arid and humid areas, you have to look at the lapse rate. There is less cooling at night in humid areas because the lapse rate is about half that in deserts. Plus the frigging fact that water vapor has 4 times the thermal capacity as the rest of the air. Smoke that for awhile 🙂

  123. spangled drongo March 20, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Louis, put me down for a hundred bucks.

    Raven, the GHG theory is OK so far as it goes but as I understand G & T to say, the atmosphere is “turbulent, rotational and chaotic” [or something like that] so, as there is no real “green house”, only a moth eaten blanket, the degree of sensitivity to ACO2 is minimal.

  124. Oliver Ramsay March 20, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Nick Stokes: “Yes, and it does. That’s why you put rocks or bricks around a fireplace. They are heated by radiation from the fire, radiate heat back, and the fire burns hotter.”

    I am trying to imagine why one would build a fireplace just to have a hotter fire. Surely, you build a fire in order to heat something other than itself.
    I burnt an inordinate amount of firewood this winter. On your advice, I’m going to build another wall around my woodstove, then another around that, then another around that until I heat that fire upto just below the melting point of steel. This should save me a couple of cords of wood. Quite counter-intuitive, too.

  125. jae March 20, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Nick:

    “But the industrial practice of using the hot off-gases to preheat the incoming air is very well established. And guess what – it makes the furnace burn hotter.”

    You ARE losing it, man. The practice of using the hot gases (WITH A HEAT EXCHANGER) to preheat the incoming air uses conductive/convective transfers of energy and has no analogywith your silly BACK-RADIATION from the bricks.

  126. Raven March 20, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    Nick,

    “I thought from your earlier post that you were getting it. It actually doesn’t matter for this argument whether the fire is heated by conduction from air or radiation from bricks – it’s still heat from the fire coming back and making it hotter”

    The fire will NOT get hotter. The air 1 cm from the fire will be hotter than it would be without the bricks but it will still be cooler than the fire itself. The reflected radiation only decreases rate of energy flow away from the fire.

  127. SJT March 20, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Alice Springs. Get’s below zero during winter, 15 to 20C during the day. http://www.therocktour.com.au/if_faqs.php
    Elevation 600 meters.

  128. spangled drongo March 20, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    The drier the climate, the wider the temp range.

    If it rains all day, max and min can often be the same [ie no temp variation over 24 hours].

    This never happens on a fine, dry day.

  129. jae March 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    SJT:

    “Alice Springs. Get’s below zero during winter, 15 to 20C during the day. http://www.therocktour.com.au/if_faqs.php
    Elevation 600 meters.”

    LOL.

    Atlanta, Georgia. gets below zero during the winter, 15-20 c during the day. Elevation 315 meters. What is your point, exactly?

  130. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Oliver: “I am trying to imagine why one would build a fireplace just to have a hotter fire.”
    Well, you do. In the open, it’s partly just to get a fire going at all. In an open fire in the house, it’s to increase the proportion of heat that radiates into the room, rather than being convected up the chimney. Also to reduce smoke.
    For an enclosed fire, you still want the highest temperature you can get – again to increase the proportion conducted to the exterior, as opposed to convected up the chimney. And your stove designers will have given a lot of attention to this.

    And JAE: “he practice of using the hot gases (WITH A HEAT EXCHANGER) to preheat the incoming air uses conductive/convective transfers of energy and has no analogywith your silly BACK-RADIATION from the bricks.”
    No, your arguments against are based on 2LOT, where it makes no difference whether the heat transfer occurs through radiation or conduction/convection. And the heat exchanger is certainly transferring heat at a cooler temperature than the furnace, but the furnace gets hotter.

  131. jae March 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Nick: I work in industry, and it is plainly obvious that you do not. You must be a couch potato or shrink. Have you really been around a fire? You, sir, are full of beans (trying to be polite, here).

  132. Oliver Ramsay March 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Does this make sense?
    It’s daytime; the sun is shining. The sun heats the ground.
    The ground heats the air above it, the air does not heat the ground. Even if it delays cooling.
    The ground is warmer than the air; therefore it emits faster than the air. It must be warmer or it wouldn’t be able to heat the air.
    The absorbing bodies in the air are passing on most of their received energy to non-emitting bodies in the air.
    The non emitting bodies are not returning the energy to the GHG’s because the GHG’s are staying more energized than their neighbours from the radiation from the ground that only they can absorb.
    The GHG’s are not emitting as much as they’re absorbing because they’re busy losing energy in collisions.
    The air close to the ground, its heat source, is warmer and less dense than the air above it, so it is displaced upwards by the cooler air. The air column becomes warmer but heat slowly works its way up and out.
    Nightime comes and there’s no more energy coming in, but it keeps on going out.
    There comes a time when the ground is as cool as the air adjacent to it. The day’s heat continues to move away; some of it wandering off to the Pole
    If back-radiation had, during the day, prevented heat from leaving the ground, it would have denied the air exactly that amount of heat, therefore an increase in GHG’s would lower the daytime temperature of the air, whilst increasing the nightime temperature.
    The back-radiation story doesn’t sound like a fact of physics; it sounds like an artefact of an averaged world.
    Day and night, season, latitude, elevation, topography, humidity etc. all blended into the bizarre “Mean Global Surface Temperature”where “Surface”actually means the air a meter and a half above the surface.

  133. Raven March 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    Nick,

    “And the heat exchanger is certainly transferring heat at a cooler temperature than the furnace, but the furnace gets hotter.”

    There is a big difference between the average furnace temperature and the flame. Heating the intake air means energy does not have to be used to heat the air and will show up as heat in the furnace. However, the furnance will never get hotter than then flame unless the intake air is heated so much it becomes a source of energy.

    There will also always be a temperature gradiant that allows heat to flow away from the flame. If you had perfect brick insulators the would heat up to the temperature of the flame and any excess heat would be vented with the waste gases.

  134. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    Oliver “The ground is warmer than the air; therefore it emits faster than the air. ”
    Yes, with some quibbles about emissivity.
    “The non emitting bodies are not returning the energy to the GHG’s because the GHG’s are staying more energized than their neighbours from the radiation from the ground that only they can absorb.”
    No, the fundamental property of local thermodynamic equilibrium says basically that all molecules are, on average, at the same temperature (~KE). Collision exchange is very fast.

    But as I keep wearily insisting, and doubters seem unable to deal with – back-radiation is exceedingly easy to measure – just stand outside with an instrument. Spend a bit more, and you can get a complete IR spectrum, in which you can recognise the emitting GHG’s peaks. It’s just a fact.

  135. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Well Nick, if it’s so damned easy to measure, please tell me at which level/height backradiation comes from; the 10 metre exhaustion level where SU=ED+ST, and/or at the CEL, where the LTE formed at the surface is convectively transported and where the internal temperature of the LTE becomes equal to the surrounding air, or from every level?

  136. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Raven,
    Flames don’t have a firmly fixed temperature. It’s determined by a balance between rate of reaction and rate of heat loss. You have to design well to get a good welding flame, and it isn’t just mixing the gases. When a flame has to heat the oxidant, that energy actually comes out of the combustion energy in the flame. In fact, you would include it in the reaction enthalpy; it’s as if you had a slightly less energetic fuel. So yes, other things being equal, heating the air does raise the flame temperature. (This is very familiar to us here in Victoria lately.)

    You’re right about the need for a temperature gradient (or differential). But remember, radiation is the big heat mover, so at least in a not too smoky furnace, it’s really the differential (flame to whatever is being heated) that counts.

  137. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Coho,
    The instrument just reports what it receives, and doesn’t say where it came from. The effective emission height varies with wavelength. 15μ, say, is a CO2 peak for both absorption and emission. The two go together, by Kirchhoff’s Law. The radiation you see there comes from the first few metres of air. At, say 13μ, the air absorbs less, and you see radiation from a greater height. There’s relatively less, because the source is colder. At 11μ, there’s almost none – you could say you’re seeing the radiation from space (3K). In fact, you probably could see 11μ radiation from the Moon, if it was overhead.

    But 15μ IR doesn’t disappear as you go up. It’s constantly being emitted, very efficiently. It’s just that, looking either up or down, you just see the emission from a few metres away. It’s like being in a cloud.

  138. Raven March 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Flames don’t have a fixed temperature but there is a min and max which is determined by the type of material being combusted. In any case, if the flame is the only source of energy for the system it will always be the hottest place in the system no matter what is done with insulators and air intake.

    Thats said, none of this changes my original point which is IR radiation can be reflected downward by GHGs but the net flow of energy is always up. Any warming due to GHGs is the result of less net energy loss over a period of time and not due to any ‘heating’ caused by reflected IR radiation.

  139. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    Raven “Thats said, none of this changes my original point which is IR radiation can be reflected downward by GHGs but the net flow of energy is always up. Any warming due to GHGs is the result of less net energy loss over a period of time and not due to any ‘heating’ caused by reflected IR radiation.”
    That’s all true, except for the last clause, which seems to contradict its predecessor.

    The arithmetic is thus (K&T). About 235 W/m2 solar energy is absorbed by atmosphere and surface. To simplify, say that it all reaches the surface, and all leaves by IR. Then without GHG’s, 235 W/m2 would be radiated by the surface, and that implies a temperature of 255K. With GHG’s, about 390 W/m2 leaves the surface, (about 288K). 155 W/m2 is emitted back from the atmosphere. Without that, the surface could not reach 288K.

    Now in fact the returning IR is higher, and it balances the latent heat flux and convection as well. But it is still less than 390 W/m2.

    The qn I ask sometimes is, what about your clothes. Don’t they warm you?

  140. FDB March 20, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Jae – have you ever been to a low-altitude desert?

    Well lemme tell you – 70% of Australia IS a low-altitude desert, and you are totally fucking wrong. It gets very cold at night, and the reason is twofold. 1 – deserts tend to be far from the temp-moderating influence of the ocean. 2 – there’s hardly any water vapour.

    I reckon I’ve found the reason you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to dispel the ‘myth’ for so long – it’s your total fucking wrongness! Fix that, and there’s hope folks will listen to you.

  141. Jan Pompe March 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Nick “And Jan, you can put a bellows to the coals on the open slab if you like – it still won’t make much of a fire.”

    Charcoal “fires” seldom are much of a fire do you really think the 2″ retaining ring reflected much of the heat back to the charcoal?

    Really can’t beat a steady diffuse flow of air from below rather than from the side and oh the back pain (not to mention postural hypotension when one gets up to do the forging) from working on the ground. There is usually to be found a ring of charcoal that is NOT alight surrounding the actual fire.

    I would also like to know what sort of idiot would send compressed air at an unconfined charcoal fire. BTW you can talk about back radiation from surrounding material allowing fires to become warmer or heat retention allowing them to become warmer it makes no difference.

    Nick you’re a nice guy but not very practical.

  142. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    jae “Yes. Think for a moment that if it were not for convection, the Earth’s surface would be just like the inside of a greenhouse”.

    Excellent point. And if the atmosphere was not there to attenuate solar energy, the surface should get a lot hotter than a greenhouse. There’s also the effect of hot air rising. Much of the surface heat is removed through evapouration, and the vapour rises automatically, taking the heat with it.

  143. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Nick; “But 15μ IR doesn’t disappear as you go up. It’s constantly being emitted, very efficiently. It’s just that, looking either up or down, you just see the emission from a few metres away. It’s like being in a cloud.”

    Not a cloud but an LTE; as you go up you would enter the LTEs on their way upwards; the point is the surface LTE sends its 15u IR to the surface from a few metres; further up the atmosphere the 15u IR doesn’t necessarily reach the ground; in fact it can’t because if it did we would be seeing higher surface temperatures; temperatures are declining while CO2 is till increasing as is surface water vapor; if the backradiation concept is valid it is limited and has obviously exhausted; unless you accept pipeline energy and hidden temperature.

  144. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Lazlo re greenhouse effect…”So what is the thermodynamic explanation of this? (Not a trick question – I have no idea of the answer)”

    That’s the point, Lazlo, no one seems to know either. So, far, the best explanation I’ve heard is Stephen Wilde’s one about the oceans being a large hot water bottle. Recent work by Tsonis et al and Keenlyside et al seem to indicate global temperatures are in step with ocean oscillations like the AMO, PDO, and ENSO. In fact, the current Arctic warming might be due entirely to the AMO.

  145. SJT March 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    “I would also like to know what sort of idiot would send compressed air at an unconfined charcoal fire. BTW you can talk about back radiation from surrounding material allowing fires to become warmer or heat retention allowing them to become warmer it makes no difference.”

    Different materials have different ability to radiate energy. A good conductor will move the heat away directly rather than radiate it back.

  146. SJT March 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    “Atlanta, Georgia. gets below zero during the winter, 15-20 c during the day. Elevation 315 meters. What is your point, exactly?”

    Alice Springs is in the middle of a desert, at low altitude, with warm days, and tempertures below freezing at night.

  147. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    SJT “When you slow down the rate at which it is cooling, it will reach a higher equilibrium temperature”.

    Still waiting with baited breath for your explanation of how heat is slowed down, or trapped. Perhaps your climate scientist friend could help here.

  148. spangled drongo March 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    “The qn I ask sometimes is, what about your clothes. Don’t they warm you?”

    Nick, clothes don’t warm you, they prevent you from losing heat.

    Food [energy] is what warms you!

  149. Jan Pompe March 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    SJT “Different materials have different ability to radiate energy. A good conductor will move the heat away directly rather than radiate it back.”

    And the steel from which I made the forge was an excellent conductor that made a great heat sink which is precisely why the fire was in the centre of the forge with a ring of non-burning charcoal against the rim. The steel in contact with it kept it too cool to burn.

    Bottom line is that the rim was not there to make the fire hotter but to keep the charcoal in one place.

    Don’t worry Will I don’t think Nick would have picked up that factor either.

  150. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Louis “…when you stand in front of a fire, become warmed by it from direct radiation, then your body heat will reheat the fire”.

    Louis…that’s why we Scots like to stand near the fire, facing away from it, with our kilts up. It not only warms our buns, our hot buns re-radiate to the fire, making it warmer, and saving coal. You can never be too thrifty, laddie.

    Speaking of kilts, did you hear about the old lady who asked a Scotsman what was worn under his kilt? He told he there’s nothing worn under there, it’s all in perfect working condition.

  151. Oliver Ramsay March 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Nick “No, the fundamental property of local thermodynamic equilibrium says basically that all molecules are, on average, at the same temperature (~KE). Collision exchange is very fast. ”

    I appreciate that the temperature reflects the average motion of all the molecules, but at any given time any given molecule can be doing anything, regardless of what type of molecule it is. The GHG’s are special in that, in addition to charging around like all the other molecules, only they can receive the incoming radiation, so, even if there are 100,000 collisions for each photon absorbed, they must, on average, be slightly more energized (during the day) than the average of all the molecules.

  152. Raven March 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Nick,

    “The arithmetic is thus (K&T). About 235 W/m2 solar energy is absorbed by atmosphere and surface. To simplify, say that it all reaches the surface, and all leaves by IR. Then without GHG’s, 235 W/m2 would be radiated by the surface, and that implies a temperature of 255K.”

    The earth is rotating and you calculations do not take that into account. Nor to they take into account that the absorption and re-emission as IR is not instantanous.

    What really happens is the 235 W/m2 solar energy heats up the land and water during the day. Some of the energy is released which does heat the air during the day but by the time the sun sets there is still a lot of energy in the ground and water. During the night some of this energy is lost and some will be remaining at dawn. During the next day additional energy is added by the sun. The total emissions from the earth is the sum of the new energy radiatiated during the day plus the left over energy stored from previous days. When the system is at equilibrium the extra 155 W/m2 comes from ground – not the atmosphere.

    Adding GHGs will increase the amount of energy that is left in the ground and water each down which pushes up the temperature at equilibrium.

  153. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Raven,
    These K&T fluxes are long term averages – basically energy balances. Rotation doesn’t change it. IR is continuously absorbed and re-emitted – there’s no meaningful time delay. Most of the Earth is ocean, with virtually no diurnal temp variation, so IR is steady, 24/7. Even on land it doesn’t change much. Going from, say, 280 to 300K is only about 25% different (^4). I don’t see where you get the 155 comes from the ground.

  154. Nick Stokes March 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    Oliver,
    No, even that doesn’t work. GHG’s are the molecules that absorb, but also the ones that emit. So there’s no real bias for them to be “hot” or “cold”, even imperceptibly.

  155. spangled drongo March 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    Gordon,
    I thought you stood with your backs to the fire for a different reason. Or is that only after the haggis.

  156. Raven March 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Nick,

    The ground and water is the only place the energy could come from.

    If you heat something with radiation it will take time to cool down. The temperature profile over time follows an exponential with a time constant that depends on the material and the temperature gradiant. If a sphere is rotating at a constant rate then the net radiation will be a sum of exponentials which will converge a equilibrium value higher than what you would get if there was no delay (i.e. no heat was left over at dawn).

  157. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Birdie “Gordon , you must be a very lonely person sitting in front of the computer the whole day , writing BOOOORING posts…”

    I had a ladyfriend once who got upset at me, not for the content of the letters I wrote to her, but because they were long. She had the attention span of a gnat. Unless I kept it superficial and to the point, like how’s the weather, you sure have nice nails or have you lost weight, she couldn’t fathom it. You sound a lot like that.

    Sometimes it takes a lot of words to describe a situation, especially in science. If you don’t like reading long posts, there’s a simple solution. I get enough feedback to know if I’m on the right track or not and that’s all I need.

  158. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    birdie “yourselves are just only a bunch of loosers”

    Only a real loser could spell loser wrong.

    Gore can speak for you, he can kiss my butt.

  159. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    cohenite re Lindzen paper

    Here’s the paper in which he claims the greenhouse effect would be 98% intact with water vapour alone. He also claims that the temperature of the surface heated by radiative heat transfer alone would be 77 C due to the greenhouse effect. He claims further that the greenhouse effect is only 25% of what it would be under purely radiative transfer.

    It’s under the chapter titled ‘Greenhouse Effect’, near the beginning.

    http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/153_Regulation.pdf

  160. Oliver Ramsay March 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    Nik,
    Yes, of course they’re the ones that emit, but, during the day, they are absorbing more than they are emitting. If they were not, they couldn’t be thermalizing the non-absorbing bulk of the air.
    So, if we could follow some GHG’s around, we’d see that the ones that introduce the heat into the air are not the ones that send it on its way (radiatively). The energy spreads through the lower troposphere more by collision and convection than radiation. As long as the heat source is the ground the flow is through the GHG’s into the atmosphere, from where it escapes to space, but not at the same rate that it arrives at. When night falls, emission makes up for its slowness by staying on the job. Even then, a fraction of the heat is advected to higher latitudes, where it can (for part of the year) comprise the main source of heat.
    Emission and absorption can only be seen as equal and simultaneous when averaged over considerable time and space.
    The day’s heat is stored either in the ground (or water) or the atmosphere or both. Any heat that is prevented from leaving the ground cannot, at the same time, be warming the air. If it does escape, it will heat the air on its way to space. If it doesn’t escape, it will be supplemented by the ‘trapped ‘fraction of the next day’s insolation and the ground (not the air) will get warmer each day.
    Why is it that we can have back- radiation from a cooler to a hotter that overwhelms “double-back-radiation” from that hotter to the cooler?

  161. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Gordon “Excellent point. And if the atmosphere was not there to attenuate solar energy, the surface should get a lot hotter than a greenhouse”.

    Answering my own post…pretty bad. I was thinking of what Lindzen said about an atmosphere with no convection or conduction, Obviously that would not work without an atmosphere.

  162. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    Thanks Gordon

  163. Gordon Robertson March 20, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Nick Stokes ….why are you focusing so much on radiative transfer? Oxygen and nitrogen, which make up 98% of the atmosphere also heat up from solar radiation, the mechanism is just different. The AMSU units on satellites measure microwave radiation from O2, not CO2 or H2O. Obviously, O2 and N2 are warmed by convection, or some other mechanism.

    If we focus on radiative balance, it cannot possibly reflect the atmosphere because it ignores warming by convection and conduction. Think about that for a minute. Radiative transfer works by changing the energy levels in atoms, but convection does not. By introducing a gas into a warmer environment, it warms simply by having it’s atoms vibrate at a higher energy level. That’s how O2 and N2 warm. Once they are warmed, there’s nothing to stop them emitting heat. Oxygen emits heat in the microwave range of the IR spectrum.

  164. SJT March 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    “Still waiting with baited breath for your explanation of how heat is slowed down, or trapped. Perhaps your climate scientist friend could help here.”

    The same explanation you are given every time. Re-radiation by greenhouse gases in a random direction, which includes straight back towards the surface of the earth.

  165. cohenite March 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Oliver; “double back-radiation”? Shouldn’t that be double reverse back-radiation?

    Gordon; Lindzen says the greenhouse effect due to “pure radiative” effects is only 25% because of convection; 25% of 33C is 8.25C; that sounds about right; maybe Arthur Smith should do a rebuttal of Lindzen as well.

  166. Luke March 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    So if the GHG-effect is falsified – I wonder what happens to the ANTI-greenhouse effect.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/253/5024/1118

  167. SJT March 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    “So if the GHG-effect is falsified – I wonder what happens to the ANTI-greenhouse effect.”

    Unfortunately, just as the Greenhouse effect breaks the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the anti-Greenhouse effect can’t work either, it breaks the 3rd Law.

  168. gavin March 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm #

    I have to say; its been another interesting thread. Reading back as far as page 13 tonight, I reckon we are in dept to several contributors including Nick and Gordon who appreciate the finer detail of physics. IMO they both keep it going and some of it is good revision for me.

    I see Nick picked up on the importance of temperature gradients. Our good old farrier come smithy, taught us apprentices how to anneal steel in the hot coke bed at the cool end of the forge. In those days we hardened and tempered tools freehand so it required a lot of experience with the materials to get it even nearly right. BTW, we got our just rewards if anyone foolishly blew the heart out of the fire with too much air.

    Near that forge there was a wooden cabinet that contained all the open packets of arc welding electrodes. It was heated day and night by a 40w bulb to keep the flux coatings bone dry. Dare I ask at what frequency was the heat mostly emitted? 50>60 hertz?

    My light bulb is an energy transducer. I could use a finger instead of a thermometer, or a P/E cell, even some strands of hair then perhaps a radio receiver to calibrate conditions in the cupboard. Note; I added the receiver because that’s what I ended up doing.

    Mastery in physics is always about knowing what theory to apply in the various circumstances we find our selves in. Measurements in practice are something else. Because energy from space is not on a wire, we have to get it on a wire somehow just for the scientist. Tad easier than worring about spin hey

    I think Gordon missed the ABC link to some high end physics re the uniqueness of photons.

  169. jae March 21, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Comment from: SJT March 20th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Alice Springs is in the middle of a desert, at low altitude, with warm days, and tempertures below freezing at night.

    Comment from: FDB March 20th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    “Well lemme tell you – 70% of Australia IS a low-altitude desert, and you are totally fucking wrong. It gets very cold at night, and the reason is twofold. 1 – deserts tend to be far from the temp-moderating influence of the ocean. 2 – there’s hardly any water vapour.

    I reckon I’ve found the reason you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to dispel the ‘myth’ for so long – it’s your total fucking wrongness! Fix that, and there’s hope folks will listen to you.”

    I try not to stoop to such nasty exchanges, but you are pushing it, dingo.

    OK, here’s the data for the USA Look at the data here and tell me that the great deserts around 30 N latitude get “cold” at night in the summers:

    http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/sum2/state.html

    Let’s look, for example at Phoenix, AZ. 30-year averages for July. Daily max. 41.1 C; daily min. 27.2. Is 27.2 “cold” to you guys??? Shit, it’s way warmer than the minimium in Miami, FL which is 24.6 C !!!! Or Atlanta, which is only 20.8 (brrrrr). You are the ones that are wrong. I said LOW ELEVATION. Alice Springs is 600 m. That is not low elevation. But, let’s look at Las Vegas, NV, which is about the same elevation as Alice Springs at 664 m. Daily max. 41.1, daily min. 24.6. Still warmer at night than Miami or Atlanta.

    I don’t have data for Alice Springs. Please post data or please shut up.

  170. jae March 21, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    Comment from: Oliver Ramsay March 20th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    You got it, Ollie!

  171. jae March 21, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    Nick:

    “But as I keep wearily insisting, and doubters seem unable to deal with – back-radiation is exceedingly easy to measure – just stand outside with an instrument. Spend a bit more, and you can get a complete IR spectrum, in which you can recognise the emitting GHG’s peaks. It’s just a fact.”

    And as I keep insisting, if that backradiation “does anything,” then I should be on fire during the day, because I would have it PLUS the radiation from the sun on my back. Please explain why I don’t have to “add” that backradiation during a sunny day, too.

  172. Jan Pompe March 21, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    Here jae

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_015590.shtml

    Do what you will with it.;-)

  173. jae March 21, 2009 at 2:16 am #

    Thanks, Jan. Almost exactly the same as Las Vegas (but Australia has its summer at the wrong time of year) 🙂

  174. SJT March 21, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    “And as I keep insisting, if that backradiation “does anything,” then I should be on fire during the day, because I would have it PLUS the radiation from the sun on my back. Please explain why I don’t have to “add” that backradiation during a sunny day, too.”

    At last you are realising you don’t understand what you talking about. That’s a start. Here’s a hint, what is the strength of the backradiation?

  175. SJT March 21, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    Perhaps Jennifer could heed some advice from one of her heroes.

    #27. Again I do not want “skeptic” articles cited on this topic. I know that literature. I do not want to discuss Gerlich on this site. I am not interested in expositions why the effect is impossible – it isn’t. Can people simply STOP posting “skeptic” references on this. This site is devoted to auditing and verification of articles being relied on by IPCC for policy purposes. The skeptic literature is not relied on, so I’m not interested in hosting discussions of it. Period.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2123#comment-143414

    😉

  176. Gordon Robertson March 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    SJT “Perhaps Jennifer could heed some advice from one of her heroes”.

    SJT, who learned to cherry-pick from the masters at realclimate.

    You’re quoting a geologist who specializes in statistics. He’s done his work, revealing the crap put out by Michael Mann, and he continues to do so in his domain, which is statistics. But just to clarify matters from you, and right from your quote, McIntyre says:

    “This site is devoted to auditing and verification of articles being relied on by IPCC for policy purposes”.

    That’s all he’s interested in. If you had quoted other things he said you’d have noted that he admits not having the expertise to comment on G&T. At least he admits it, unlike you.

    The jury is out in my mind as to whether you’re a troll or just technologically challenged. You seem to have neither the ability nor the interest to immerse yourself in an argument, prefering to sit back making one-line, snide comments. How old are you anyway, about 14?

  177. cohenite March 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    Gordon; I’m pretty sure SJT is one of these people; I used to think it was little will, but now I’m not so sure;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lost_In_Space.jpg

  178. jae March 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    Gordon said:

    “The jury is out in my mind as to whether you’re a troll or just technologically challenged. You seem to have neither the ability nor the interest to immerse yourself in an argument, prefering to sit back making one-line, snide comments. How old are you anyway, about 14?”

    Damn good comment. If Jenifer wants to limit the discussion on HER site, she can do so, and I would certainly oblige. It is not up to someone with the anon. handle of SJT to do so. LOL.

    BTW, my 14-year old grandson appears to be WAY smarter than SJT, who appears to be just stirring the pot for the hell of it. What say you, SJT?

  179. Gordon Robertson March 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    SJT “The same explanation you are given every time. Re-radiation by greenhouse gases in a random direction, which includes straight back towards the surface of the earth”.

    Water vapour accounts for about 1% of the atmosphere and CO2 about 0.04%. That threadbare blanket, with large holes in it, can back-radiate enough heat to make a difference? What happens to the radiation getting through the holes?

    How about the effect of N2 and O2? The satellites use IR from oxygen to measure the heat of the troposphere. Why don’t they just use CO2 or H2O? Could it be that they’re not uniform throughout the troposhere? Or that where there is sufficient H2O there isn’t enough CO2 to be detected?

  180. Gordon Robertson March 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    gavin “…I reckon we are in dept to several contributors including Nick and Gordon who appreciate the finer detail of physics”.

    I appreciate the vote of confidence but I have forgotten more than I learned. A good physicist could pick me apart in two seconds.

    “I think Gordon missed the ABC link to some high end physics re the uniqueness of photons”.

    I have an excellent book here, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, which spends a great deal of quality and subjective time discussing photons (several chapters). Whereas I’m trying to keep an open mind that one author can’t possibly know everything about them, one of the author’s, Bohren, seems to have it down pretty well.

    He describes electromagnetic radiation quite well. He claims the study of EM is a sawoff between wave theory and particle theory. Photons are supposed to represent particle theory and are defined as such. Unfortunately, since EM has no mass, the photon can have no mass. They do have momentum, and Bohren smartly points out that momentum is NOT mass x velocity. It is a phenomenon described by the human parameters mass and velocity. In other words, anything in motion has momentum as a property, even EM.

    He uses a really good analogy. Sound waves in air are normally described by wave theory but the transmission is actually via air molecules/atoms. He claimed that if particle theory was used, we’d be up all night just doing the math. The same applies to energy in gases. There’s no way to measure the energy in a single atom of gas, so the energies are averaged. In the same way, there’s no way to detect or measure a single photon, whatever it may be. That’s why the model of a single photon leaving the surface and striking a CO2 molecule is far-fetched.

    Bohren is very careful to point out that photons cannot be treated as truant school children being collected by the truant officer represented by GHG’s. That’s exactly what G&T are claiming. A photon represents particle physics but it is not a particle. No one knows what it is and as G&T point out, Feynman diagrams are required to describe their motion. They also claim that is not feasible under the conditions of the atmosphere.

    I am trying to raise questions about such matters rather than come across as an expert, which I certainly am not.

  181. Nick Stokes March 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Gordon, you should check the oxygen IR story. You’re actually talking about microwave attenuation at about 50 GHz. It’s a different frequency range and a different process. Thermal IR is interacting with rotational and vibrational modes of a molecule. Oxygen microwave attenuation is via electron spin. It isn’t significant in atmospheric energy transport.

  182. SJT March 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    “Bohren is very careful to point out that photons cannot be treated as truant school children being collected by the truant officer represented by GHG’s. That’s exactly what G&T are claiming. A photon represents particle physics but it is not a particle. No one knows what it is and as G&T point out, Feynman diagrams are required to describe their motion. They also claim that is not feasible under the conditions of the atmosphere.”

    We don’t know exactly what gravity is, either. We seem to be able to work pretty well with it. We have enough physics and experience with it to know what to expect for most of our needs.

  183. cohenite March 21, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    N2 and O2 are the bulk of the atmosphere; satellite data about temperature is based on microwave emissions from O2; neither N2 or O2 absorb and emit IR except at the far range and at high pressure; their optical depth exceeds the height of the atmosphere; which begs the question; what warms these gases and what contribution do they make to the temperature profile of the atmosphere; Einstein’s coefficient for stimulated emission suggests that the proximate electromagnetic radiation necessary for induced emission comes from the pressure profile of the atmosphere and its effect on individual N2 and O2 molecules; microwave emissions are correlated with the temperature at the respective pressure heights of the atmosphere; N2 and O2 contribute to the temperature of the atmosphere due to their response to the pressure of the atmosphere. This heat isn’t transported anywhere but is a constant feature of the atmosphere.

  184. jae March 21, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    Well, I still think that most people are so hung up on IR radiation that they are ignoring the easy and obvious explanation of the “greenhouse effect.” It also happens because of the ridiculous focus on the”average” situation, which does not happen anywhere. At low latitudes there is ALWAYS a LOT more heat coming in than is going out. That extra heat is either pumped poleward or causes the formation of clouds which keep things from getting much over 33 C (the Claussius-Clapeyron safety valve). In the Summer at 45 Latitude, there is ALSO a lot more heat coming in than is going out. The fate of that extra heat is the same–it goes poleward, causes clouds and t-storms, etc. The “greenhouse effect” is nothing more than the average amount of heat stored by the planet. It has everything to do with SOLAR radiation and radiation at TOA, but absolutely nothing to do with backradiation. The function of the “greenhouse gases,” (mainly water) is to allow thermalization of the other 98% of the atmosphere. The backradiation is nothing but a MEASURE of the temperature of the atmosphere; it is not heating it. Again, I go back to my swimming pool at about 40 N Latitude. It easily averages 15 C over the year, and that has nothing to do with radiation (indeed it is opaque to any backradiation). It just stores heat from day to day. It’s a little warmer in the winter than it “should be,” because of the heat we get from the Southwest on some days. It averages higher than 25 C in the Summer months, due to the “extra heat” caused by the sun in the Summer.

    Color me crazy; I don’t care 🙂

  185. gavin March 22, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Cohenite: “This heat isn’t transported anywhere but is a constant feature of the atmosphere”.

    Let’s say it must be obvious to all us air travellers that Earth with it’s atmosphere is a comfortably warm body in space. What bothers me most is you remain so contrary about the science of warming.

    Jae: “Well, I still think that most people are so hung up on IR radiation that they are ignoring the easy and obvious explanation of the “greenhouse effect.” It also happens because of the ridiculous focus on the”average” situation, which does not happen anywhere”

    Now I still don’t know what your background or current discipline is but I have to say your dismissal of “averages” in our climate estimates is unfortunate.

    And to Gordon; measurement of radiation is a tricky business. Try leaving your thermometer out in the sunshine any day. Capturing photons this way sure would be cheating. IMO most of our conversation about heat transmissions in the gasses using particle physics or what ever tend to be nonsense when we leave the comfortable domains of vision etc.

  186. gavin March 22, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Jae: “I go back to my swimming pool at about 40 N Latitude. It easily averages 15 C over the year, and that has nothing to do with radiation”

    I reckon many of us would be happy with cavity physics as an explanation of your 15 C average

  187. DR March 22, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Maybe Warmologists could use the same prestigious jargon for why reality doesn’t match their pet theories 🙂

    Unfalsifiable hypotheses are great aren’t they?

  188. jae March 22, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    gavin:

    “Now I still don’t know what your background or current discipline is but I have to say your dismissal of “averages” in our climate estimates is unfortunate.”

    Well, I’m just a chemist, so I don’t have to be correct about the physics, and I am allowed to be as “creative” as I want to be.

  189. gavin March 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    Jae; thanks for responding.

    “I am allowed to be as “creative” as I want to be” may apply to artists who don’t need to sell their work. We can be what we want to be, however all creativity comes from our imagination and that requires us developing a few thought channels that reflect paterns that are perhaps derived elsewhere. Also productivity needs some form of standard measure.

    Imo Nick does a good job of that here.

    Steping away from physics, measurements and calibrations is a necessary step in our authorization of systems. Admin and control is sometimes best served when the observer is “flying only by the seat of his pants”. Correctness needs to be a variable thing. We saw that again on ABC yesterday with a repeat of “The Cane Mutiny”.

    “Flexibility” is the best buzz word for today.

    Gordon: With all radiation we only need to see good plumbing, tuned circuits, reflecting surfaces etc to enjoy the show.

  190. Oliver Ramsay March 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    There’s no shortage of jokes and aphorisms about the absurdity of misapplied statistical analysis, but clearly there are still many for whom the utterances of mathematicians are sacrosanct.
    A truism of mine is that intelligence is, at least in part, the ability to generalize from the specific and to specify from the general. Common sense entails the ability to see patterns where they exist and to not see them where they don’t.
    Having just returned from a fine (but much too cold!) afternoon of tennis, I’m led to muse on the number 3,491, which is the number of times a tennis ball goes, on average, over the net in 24 hours. This is also, of course, the same number for the seven hours of playable weather, but if you ignore that fact, and that months go by without any tennis balls, you can come up with an utterly idiotic average for the year.
    So it is, too, for the putative 342Wm-2 of back radiation that I’m told I can go out and measure. Now, I’m pretty sure that readings at the Poles and at the equator are going to diverge, so I don’t think I’ll be much the wiser for my efforts, but hey, what’s a few hundred bucks for a good pyranometer?
    There’s also this confusion in my mind about radiation; I have this notion that any self-respecting black body wannabe, being the recipient of some photons, would toss them right back asap. At least, in an averaged sort of a way.
    Then, maybe the tennis balls will help if I count all the ones that went north and all the ones that went south. The difference won’t give me any clue as to who won, but it might tell me which end of the court I can retrieve the balls at.
    When I googled global energy budget the first three cartoons did not mention back radiation. I have read somewhere that the IPCC has dropped it from their reports, but it’s still in their Historical Overview.
    I would genuinely appreciate being steered to a thorough explanation of this enigma.
    Three statisticians hunting ducks: the first shoots a meter too high, the second shoots a meter too low. The third cries: ” We got ‘im!”

  191. jae March 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Oliver: that is the clearest thing I have read about climate science in years! Thank you!!!

  192. VG March 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Re just posted falsification paper should be
    Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (physics.ao-ph) I think you should recheck origin ect

  193. gavin March 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Oliver Ramsay; “back radiation” seems to exist only in blogsphere

  194. Oliver Ramsay March 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    jae,

    Thank you for your kind words. I have appreciated your posts, patience and perseverance here and at CA

    gavin,

    ….yes, but also at the IPCC and in the famous movie!
    So much of the political aspect of AGW hinges on the credibility of experts. There is considerable hubris in their claim of having settled the science and not much grace when they stumble.

  195. SJT March 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    “When I googled global energy budget the first three cartoons did not mention back radiation. I have read somewhere that the IPCC has dropped it from their reports, but it’s still in their Historical Overview.”

    Does this website have some sort of clown attractor attached to it? Someone read somewhere that the IPCC has dropped references to back radiation. The clear implication, the IPCC realised that one of the fundamental basis of it’s science was wrong, so it just stopped referring to it and hoped no one would notice.

    Why here is a reference to it.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-faqs.pdf

    FAQ 1.1, Figure 1.1. I see “Back Radiation”.

  196. Oliver Ramsay March 23, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    SJT: ” Does this website have some sort of clown attractor attached to it? ”

    Clearly, it does. Please resist the pull.

  197. SJT March 23, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Do you seriously think, or even suspect, Oliver, that the back radiation, which is caused directly by greenhouse gases, has been discarded from the fundamental IPCC science? That is impossible. It is the whole basis of the IPCC case.

  198. Oliver Ramsay March 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    SJT,

    Right there in the quote you included from my post I said that I had seen the back-radiation at a page on the IPCC site, so, clearly, I was aware that they were not disavowing the idea.
    I went and checked the AR4 precisely because I, too, understood an implication that the IPCC was quietly abandoning that particular position. They did not appear to be doing so and that’s what I said. In my subsequent post I also mentioned it.
    I don’t agree that it is the whole basis of the IPCC case and I don’t think that, if they let go of that idea, they would pack up their tents and move to denierville.
    Ironically, I wish it were getting warmer (at least, here). I’ve lived in the coldest part of Canada and I now live in the warmest part, but I could handle a little more heat. That is a very common sentiment here.

  199. gavin March 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Oliver: “I could handle a little more heat”

    Too late, we are closing the bridges!

  200. SJT March 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    “Canada and I now live in the warmest part, but I could handle a little more heat. That is a very common sentiment here.”

    The 47C we had a month ago was far from pleasant.

  201. Louis Hissink March 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    SJT:

    “Do you seriously think, or even suspect, Oliver, that the back radiation, which is caused directly by greenhouse gases, has been discarded from the fundamental IPCC science? That is impossible. It is the whole basis of the IPCC case.”

    Impossible? This is religion, not science.

  202. SJT March 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Read it and weep, Louis.

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner [1] assert that Clausius’ statement of the second law of thermodynamics forbids transfer of energy from a colder atmosphere to a warmer surface. As shown in Section (3.9), the second law requires consideration of all heat flows in a process, so one must also include the transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Ref. 1 does not consider this second part of the process and thus errs. When done properly, there is no contradiction

    The fundamental equations of radiative transfer have the Second Law of Thermodynamics built into them, via Kirchoff’s Law, which can be derived directly from the 2nd Law. Thus when solved numerically the solutions perforce obey the 2nd law. This applies equally well to simple models described below, and to the most elaborate line-by-line calculations. All show that the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere results in a warmer surface than in their absence.

    (As part of Rabett Run’s Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. This first part comes almost completely from >pliny but with contributions, in no particular order Eli (it is Rabett Run and don’t try and push in line), Barton, Joel, Arthur, Jochen, taavi, Robert and others who have all sharpened the arguments. Anyone who wants on or off the list should write to the comments. Admittedly most of what is below belongs to pliny, so the Kopywrong Kops will have to get in touch, but words have been changed to shelter the bunnies in the meantime. Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome)

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner [1] make fundamental mistakes in their arguments about the thermodynamics of the greenhouse effect which are profoundly revealing. They invoke Clausius’ classic statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, no process is possible whose result is the transfer of heat from a cooler to a hotter body, to claim that thermal radiative energy from the colder atmosphere cannot warm the hotter surface (principally section 3.9 of Ref. 1).

    When following how energy moves between the sun, the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, and space, the increases in entropy through every step of the process are simple and obvious, and the net energy flows are always from hotter to colder, as they must be. Estimation of the greenhouse effect contrasts cases when there is no atmosphere, or an atmosphere with no greenhouse gases to cases where there are varying amounts of greenhouse gases. The simplest calculations require significant simplifications but capture the essence of the situation. Radiative transfer models provide detailed information at the cost of complexity. In all cases surface temperatures are found to be higher for higher greenhouse gas concentrations.

    It is important to understand Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s objection. A clear statement can be found in Fig. 32 on page 340

    Fig. 32. A machine which transfers heat from a low temperature reservoir (e.g., stratosphere) to a high temperature reservoir (e.g., atmosphere) without external work applied, cannot exist — even if it is radiatively coupled to an environment, to which it is radiatively balanced. A modern climate model is supposed to be such a variant of a perpetuum mobile of the second kind.

    Their view of the second law is both clear and clearly wrong. The simplest explanation of why it wrong is that the Clausius statement refers to an entire process, not a single part of it. By isolating transfer from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface they are neglecting heat transfer in the reverse direction. Radiative transfer is discussed below using simplified examples to appreciate how the greenhouse effect is a result of basic physics, consistent with all the laws of thermodynamics, and to show how Ref. 1 errs.

    There appears to be confusion about whether the Clausius statement applies to net heat flow or simply any flows of heat. Qualitatively one can make a simple argument about interchange of thermal energy between two bodies. Consider two perfectly absorbing disks in a vacuum at temperatures TA and TB, with TA > TB. If B is isolated, it will emit thermal energy at a rate given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. If the Clausius statement referred to any flow of heat when the two disks were placed opposite each other B would have to stop radiating towards A because if it did not, heat would be transferred between a body at lower temperature to a body at higher temperature. This is obviously absurd. The ability of either disk to radiate does not depend on the presence of another disk that absorbs the emitted radiation. Further it is not necessary to restrict the heat transfer mechanism to radiation, the same argument holds when energy is transferred by molecular motion, or electrons. Thus, the Clausius statement clearly must apply only to net heat flow, and one must consider all heat flows when applying the second law and not just selected flows in isolation from the others.

    Using Fig. 32 and in other places in Ref. 1., Gerlich and Tscheuschner repeatedly apply the second law to the isolated heat flow between the atmosphere and the surface and from this conclude that the greenhouse effect is impossible because it would be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind. We have shown that this is an absurd argument and thus the most basic part of their thesis fails.
    One can illustrate this quantitatively in a simplified manner with an idealized example. Again we use two infinite, flat and parallel plates. In this case we will treat the two plates as infinite heat sinks. For the sake of argument Face A is at 300K, face B at 260 K, somewhat the temperatures of the surface and the level of the atmosphere at which greenhouse gases radiate to space. Using the Stefan- Boltzmann law we can calculate the thermal energy and entropy exchanges between the two plates as shown in Fig. 1 which is similar to that of Fig. 32 of Ref. 1 except that includes heat transfer in both directions, which, as was discussed above, must be the case.

    Only heat is transferred, energy is conserved and, the net entropy increase of the entire system is positive as the second law requires, but equally clearly, the colder body radiates thermal energy that the hotter body absorbs. The argument of Ref. 1, which considers only part of the process is unphysical and wrong. The Clausius statement is about a complete process, not what happens to individual steps. The example makes clear that there is an interchange of heat by radiation between the colder and the warmer surface. Such an interchange occurs because the net entropy change for the process is positive.

    In the idealized example the disks were considered infinite. If they were finite, they would eventually reach a common temperature, however, the argument would be essentially the same for the process with minor changes to account for the changing temperatures of the disks. The point with respect to Ref. 1 is not the details of the process, but the fact that there must be constant heat exchange from the colder to the hotter disk, as well as a larger one from the hotter to the colder.

    These simplest examples can be expanded upon. Consider a spherical body whose temperature is maintained at T. Around it place two concentric shells A and B, each infinitesimally larger than the other. Surrounding all this is empty space at absolute zero . For convenience treat everything as perfect blackbodies.

    First remove shell B. At equilibrium, the amount of thermal radiative energy leaving shell A will balance that impinging on it

    σT4 – 2 σ TA4 = 0 so TA = T/21/4 = 0.84 T

    Next insert shell B. The equilibrium conditions for both shells are

    Shell A: σT4 + σTB4 -2 σTA4 = 0
    Shell B: σTA4 – 2σTB4 = 0

    which can be solved to yield

    TA = (2/3)1/4 T = 0.90 T
    TB = (1/3)1/4 T = 0.76 T

    The net energy flow from A to B is (1/3)σT4 The assumptions that the spheres are perfect blackbodies and the radii of the shells are only slightly larger than the radius of the sphere could be relaxed at the expense of making the solution more complex.

    Thus, the addition of the Shell B has caused the temperature of Shell A to be higher than it would be in the absence of Shell B (~0.90 T instead of ~0.84 T), yet Shell B is at a lower temperature than Shell A. This is exactly the situation that Gerlich and Tscheuschner claim would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., that we have warmed an object (Shell A) to a higher temperature than it would have an the absence of the “back-radiation” from a cooler object (Shell B).

    Of course, as one can see, the net heat flow is from Shell A to Shell B and thus the 2nd law is not in fact violated, just as is true of the earth / atmosphere case where the net flow of heat is from the earth to the atmosphere and yet the presence of the IR-absorbing atmosphere still results in the surface being warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases.

    UPDATE: The next part will probably go in the final version, but I am leaving it in for now for interest. If it is to be included, it has to be made a) obvious and b) bulletproof

    The entropy flux of the Earth is interesting. Suppose the Earth had no greenhouse gases. Ideally, it would, as discussed elsewhere, receive at its surface 235 W/m2 at the surface at 255K, and radiate it back as IR. The influx creates 235/255=0.92 W/m2/K entropy, but exactly the same amount is radiated out. What is not usually noted is that this allows for no creation of negative entropy on Earth except for biologically and chemically driven processes. No winds, no heat conduction. For these to happen, the Earth (which is not an isolated system) export net entropy. In other words having absorbed thermal energy from the sun, some portion of this must be transformed into free energy, capable of creating physical work to drive circulation.

    Since the outflux equals the influx of radiant heat, that means that at least some of the outgoing radiation must be emitted at a temperature lower than that at which the incoming was thermalized (so Q/T is higher). Due to the greenhouse effect, this happens. A substantial part of the IR leaves from the top of the atmosphere (TOA) at a much cooler temperature. In crude terms, if the greenhouse effect raises the surface temp from 255K to 288 K, the net entropy exported is 235/255-235/288 =0.106 W/m2/K. This is the entropy created by the wind. So the greenhouse effect does more than just keep us warm. It excretes our entropy garbage.

    The atmosphere can be treated as a huge heat engine, and the net entropy export is the driver.

  203. Blink March 24, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    “Consider two perfectly absorbing disks in a vacuum at temperatures TA and TB, with TA > TB.”

    I’m no physicist (so, I’m certainly open to argument), but couldn’t you continue to move disks A and B together until they are a single body of mass equal to A + B? In this scenario, the extra mass of B would store more energy, but wouldn’t slow the cooling of the combined object. Since the total mass of ACO2 (the mass of object B) is negligible compared to the mass of the earth, I can’t see how this would affect the overall temperature of the combined mass.

    I will readily admit that it would be inappropriate to visualize A and B as one mass IF B was comprised of reflective material. However, I’ve never heard anyone claim that ACO2 is reflective. Therefore, I don’t see the difference between placing the two disks together and considering them as one system.

  204. Alan D. McIntire March 24, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Note that although the AVERAGE radiation to the earth is about 235 watts/M^2, but during the
    day that works out to 470 watts/ m^2, the high point, at local noon when the sun is directly overhead, works out to 940 watts/m^2, and at a SUNNY point directly below the sun, that would be an instantaneous rate of 1368 watts/m^2. There’s never an issue of breaking the second law of thermodynamics. The earth can get plenty warm directly from the sun. Where the greenhouse effect comes in is in slowing down the rate of cooling.

    THE greenhouse gas is water vapor. It has a high specific heat, over 4 times that of dry air. Also, when it cools to the dewpoint, the temperature at night remains just about constant- condensing water vapor just about makes up for radiation loss.

  205. Eli Rabett March 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Hey, Eli needs the links…..

  206. Dr. Gerhard Loebert March 24, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    Climate Change Cycles, Galactic Vacuum Density Waves, and the Orbital Periods of the Planets

    Dr. Gerhard Löbert, Otterweg 48, 85598 Baldham, Germany. April 4, 2008.
    Physicist. Recipient of The Needle of Honor of German Aeronautics.
    Conveyor of a super-Einsteinian theory of gravitation that not only covers the well-known Einstein effects but also explains, among many other post-Einstein-effects, the Sun-Earth-Connection and the true cause of the global climate changes.

    Abstract: In a previous Note (see Ref.) it was shown that climate change is driven by solar activity which in turn is caused by the action of galactic vacuum density waves on the core of the Sun. Irrefutable proof of the existence of these super-Einsteinian waves is given by the extremely close correlation between the changes in the mean global surface temperature and the small changes in the rotational velocity of the Earth – two physically unrelated geophysical quantities – in the past 150 years (see Fig. 2.2 of http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm or Ref.). In the present Note it is shown that the orbital periods of the planets provide further evidence.

    In an excellent paper by the late Dr. Theodor Landscheidt (see http://www.schulphysik.de/klima/landscheidt/iceage.htm) it was shown that the Sun’s Gleissberg activity cycles are closely correlated with the oscillations of the Sun around the center of mass of the solar system. The first and second space derivatives of the gravitational potential of the planets in the vicinity of the Sun are, however, so minute that it cannot be envisaged how the extremely slow motion of the Sun about the center of mass of the solar system could physically influence the processes within the Sun. It is much more likely that a common external agent is driving both the Gleissberg cycle and the related oscillatory barycentric motion of the Sun.

    The small motion of the Sun is, of course, determined, almost entirely, by the motion of the large planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune that revolve around the Sun with periods of 11.87, 29.63, 84.67, and 165.49 years respectively. Note that the sunspot cycle has a mean period of 11.07 years (see T. Niroma in http://www.personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspot4.html) and in my previous Note “A Compilation of the Arguments that Irrefutably Prove that Climate Change is driven by Solar Activity and not by CO2 Emission” of March 6, 2008 (see Ref.), I pointed out that the mean surface temperature of the Earth is changing in a quasi-periodic manner with a mean period of 70 years, approximately. If we stipulate for the moment that there exists – in addition to the 70-years wave – a galactic vacuum density wave of 11.07 years period that is driving the sunspot cycle, then the addition of both waves leads to a periodic amplitude modulation with a period of 2/(1/11.07 – 1/70) = 26.3 years.

    If two galactic gravitational wave trains of 11.07 and 70 years period were to pass through the solar system, the gravitational action of these waves on the revolving planets would slowly relocate these celestial bodies until the orbital periods were close to 11.07, 26.3, and 70 years, the periods given by the combined wave train. The orbital periods of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus are 7%, 13%, and 20% higher than these values. A cose lock-in cannot be expected because of the gravitational actions of the neighboring planets and because of the large variability of the periods of the vacuum density wave trains (see the large variability of the sunspot and surface temperature cycles).

    If one considers all of the documented sunspot cycles, the mean Gleissberg cycle length increases to 78.5 years (see T. Niroma) which is 7% smaller than the orbital period of Uranus. Note also that the orbital period of Neptune is 5% larger than 2 times the mean Gleissberg period and that of Pluto is 7% larger than 3 times Gleissberg.

    Now to the remaining planets. The following table shows the ratio of the mean sunspot cycle period of 11.07 years to the planet orbital period.

    Mars = 6 – 0.11 Earth = 11 + 0.07
    Venus = 18 – 0.01 Mercury = 46 – 0.04

    With an average error of 6% of an orbital period, the orbital periods are whole-number fractions of the mean sunspot cycle period.

    As can be seen, the 11.07 years and 78.5 years galactic wave trains have brought good order into the Solar System. The degree of order increases with the number of orbital revolutions per million years.

    In my opinion, the orbital periods of the planets provide — in addition to the extremely close temperature-rotation-correlation — further evidence for the existence of galactic vacuum density waves with mean long-term periods of 11.07 and 78.5 years.

    Ref.: http://www.icecap.us/images/uploads/Lobert_on_CO2.pdf

  207. SJT March 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    “Dr. Theodor Landscheidt ”

    Steve McIntyre says, “No astrology”.

  208. SJT March 25, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    My apologies for all Rabetts who want acknowledgement for their efforts. More on the demolition of G&T.

    All objects with a temperature emit energy according to the Planck radiation law. It has been shown above how objects of differing temperatures placed near each other must continue to radiate energy towards each other, and so cooler bodies must emit energy toward hotter ones. Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) believe that this state of affair represents a contradiction to thermodynamics. Above, we have looked at perhaps the simplest example that shows them to be wrong. The same logic can be applied to a simplified atmosphere represented by a number of blackbody layers which radiate energy in all directions.

    This is not too far from how real radiative transfer codes work, with the caveat that here only two “gray” layers are considered. For simplicity, we assume that the atmospheric layers are opaque to infrared radiation, absorbing all terrestrial IR radiation, and emiting like a blackbody at their temperatures. This simplified atmosphere is also fully transparent to incoming solar radiation. An atmosphere with large infrared optical depth can be approximated with two layers centered at 0.5 and 2 km altitude (Goody and Walker 1972).

    In this model, the amount of radiation absorbed on the surface equals the solar flux in W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere, S, less that reflected back to space, the albedo, α, divided by 4, which accounts for the fact that the earth is spherical (for details see, for example Insert Ref). The top layer (Layer 2) emits IR radiation that matches the solar radiation absorbed by the surface. In this simplified model, the temperature of the second layer is the effective temperature of the planet as observed from space. Below, we will consider a more complicated model for a rotating planet, again, reaching different conclusions than Gerlich and Tscheuschner, and will point out why their conclusions are in error. At equilibrium, each level must absorb and emit the same amount of radiation. This leads to three simple equations

    (1) At the surface: S(1-α)/4 + σT14 = σTsur4

    (2) At Layer 1: σT24 + σTsur4 = 2 σT14

    (3) At Layer 2: σT14 = 2 σT24

    Starting with the observed solar flux at the top of the atmosphere, 1364 W/m2, we can solve for

    T2 = 255
    T1 = 303
    Tsur = 335

    Because Tsur in Table 1 is too high, the assumption that only radiation governw the atmospheric thermal equilibrium has to be modified. In reality, evaporation of water from the surface and its condensation in the atmosphere, the latent and sensible heat fluxes, remove substantial amounts of energy from the surface. In the global, annual mean these terms equate to roughly 100 W m-2 of energy removal from the surface and put in the atmosphere (Trenberth et al., 2009). Convection also plays a role

    With or without considering convection and and sensible and latent heats, the clear effect of the atmosphere is to make the surface temperature much higher than the effective temperature at which it radiates to space. These layers introduce another aspect to the supply of energy at the surface, which now is not only heated by the sun, but also by the downward emission of terrestrial radiation from the atmosphere. This term is larger than the incident solar radiation at the surface by a factor of roughly two in the global mean. Most of this terrestrial radiation originates in the lower atmosphere where water vapor is very abundant. This downwelling radiation has been measured directly again contrary to the assertions of Ref. 1. (Need a MEASURED spectrum here)

    Under typical conditions, most of the outgoing longwave radiation originates in the troposphere at altitudes much colder than the surface. Again, this has been measured directly from space (Need a MEASURED spectrum here) When more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, energy can only radiate from higher altitudes where the inflow of energy then becomes greater than the outgoing longwave flux at the top of the atmosphere. The greenhouse warming is thus (Hansen et al. 1981),

    (4) Tsur = Teff + ΓH

    where Gamma (Γ) is the lapse rate and H is the height above the surface. In this way, the increased atmospheric CO2 restricts the outflow of thermal radiation, and the planetary surface temperature can only rise. This situation is illustrated in Figure 2.

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) are correct to conclude that this greenhouse mechanism does not act in the way real greenhouse acts, whereby convection is restricted, however this is a strawman, a strawman that occupies over 20 pages in Ref 1. No serious explanation of the greenhouse effect neglect the role of radiation and how it is suppressed with increased infrared opacity. On Earth, absorption and re-radiation of infrared energy is the reason why the actual surface temperature is much higher than that of the effective temperature. Although scattering of infrared light is not a significant term for the Earth’s atmosphere, it can matter in other planetary cases such as Venus or past conditions on Mars (e.g., Forget and Pierrehumbert 1997).

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) conclude that most of the infrared absorption in the atmosphere is due to water vapor, and that because CO2 only absorbs in a small part of the total infrared spectrum, raising its partial pressure will have little effect. This claim is very misleading and especially if one does not have a working knowledge of the infrared spectrum of both molecules. There is no physical meaning in comparing CO2’s absorption to the “total infrared spectrum” since the boundaries between infrared and other areas of the electromagnetic spectrum are arbitrary. What is important is that CO2 absorbs very strongly near the peak emission at Earth-like temperatures, and renders the atmosphere completely opaque between 14 and 16 microns, and partially absorbing still some distance from those edges (Petty 2006). As CO2 builds up in the atmosphere, there will still be significant absorption away from the line center, in the wings of the absorption area. This is an area of the spectrum in which water vapor is a weak absorber, and because the atmosphere is so dry at the colder, higher altitudes where radiative balance is set, CO2 is not swamped by water vapor’s greenhouse effect.

    Of the 33 K greenhouse effect, roughly 50% of the infrared opacity is due to water vapor, 25% due to clouds, 20% from CO2, and the remaining 5% from other non-condensable greenhouse gases such as ozone, methane, and nitrous oxide (Kiehl and Trenberth 1997). Although this often leads to popular statements such as “water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas,” a more complete picture is that those gases which do not precipitate from the atmosphere under Earth’s current temperature regime (including CO2, ozone, methane) provide the supporting framework for which the condensable substances (water vapor and clouds) can act. As such, if CO2 and the other non-condensable gases were to be removed from the atmosphere, the colder temperature would then result in a substantial reduction of water vapor and clouds, and a collapse of the terrestrial greenhouse effect. On the other hand, as one makes the planet warmer by adding CO2 to the atmosphere, the saturation pressure for water will increase and result in a substantial positive feedback to amplify warming (e.g., Held and Soden 2000).

    Forget, F and Pierrehumbert RT 1997: Warming Early Mars with carbon dioxide clouds that scatter infrared radiation. 1273 – 1276

    Goody, R.M., and J.C.G. Walker, 1972: Atmospheres. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 150 pp.

    Hansen, J., D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, 1981: Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science, 957-966

    Held, M., and B. J. Soden, 2000: Water vapor feedback and global warming. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 441-475.

    Kiehl, J. T., and K. E. Trenberth, 1997: Earth’s annual global mean energy budget. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 78, 197-208

    Petty, G, 2006: A First Course In Atmospheric Radiation 2nd Ed., Sundog Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin

  209. Blink March 25, 2009 at 3:32 am #

    “”The same logic can be applied to a simplified atmosphere represented by a number of blackbody layers which radiate energy in all directions.””

    Again, I don’t see the difference between; 1) a body surrounded by a “re-radiating” body; and b) a single radiating body of combined mass.

    What’s the total mass of all ACO2?

  210. Jan Pompe March 25, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    SJT “My apologies for all Rabetts who want acknowledgement for their efforts.”

    Eli “Hey, Eli needs the links…..”

    SJT please put brain into gear: where are the links?

  211. bananabender July 30, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    The whole Greenhouse Effect is absolute nonsense. A cool body cannot radiate energy to a warmer body. If it could a person sitting next to a heater would make the heater hotter – experiments will show that this never happens.

    Absorption of radiation won’t heat a gas in open spaces such as the atmosphere. Any temperature increase will simply cause the gas to expand and cool. “Greenhouse gases” can only exist in the confines of a sealed container – not in the real world.

    The GE is almost certainly due to entirely to thermal conduction and convection from the surface and energy transfer due to phase changes from the evaporation and condensation of water. A comparison of the temperature of bodies within the solar system show the GE effect is purely a function of atmospheric density not atmospheric composition.

  212. ScienceofDoom April 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Much later than everyone else, some comments on the amazing comedic paper –

    On the Miseducation of the Uninformed by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009)

    at –

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/04/05/on-the-miseducation-of-the-uninformed-by-gerlich-and-scheuschner-2009/

    Including even extracts from basic thermodynamics textbooks demonstrating that yes, radiation from cold bodies is absorbed by warm bodies, and yes radiation from warm bodies is absorbed by cold bodies, the net being from the warmer to the colder. No violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    And the more important criticisms of their paper, like they haven’t read any climate science of the last 50 years. Which they demonstrate by not citing any relevant climate science of the last 50 years. They endorse the equations that climate scientists use (the radiative transfer equations) but don’t comment that this is actually the foundation.

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