Unified Theory of Climate: Objections and replies so far

Posted: February 16, 2012 by tallbloke in Blog, flames, Kindness, methodology

Due to the high volume of the comments in threads related to Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller’s ‘Unified theory of Climate’, a lot of the key replies to objections raised have become somewhat submerged in the flow. This thread is a crowdsourcing exercise to gather together the most important (and funniest :) ) objections and replies. Please use the comments section to cut and paste what you remember as the most plausible challenges to the theory, along with the response from Karl or Ned. If you think there has been an objection they haven’t addressed, flag it up with a bolded [UNANSWERED] tag at the top of your comment, and by all means have a go at answering it yourselves. Hopefully Ned or Karl will be able to find time to look in and add clarification comments where required

Below the break I’ll add the URL’s of the threads here at the Talkshop and those at WUWT. Please right click and copy/paste the timestamp URL form the comments you are quoting. This will enable this thread to become a useful resource index in the future. – Thanks for your help!

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/2012/01/17/nikolov-and-zeller-reply-to-comments-on-the-utc-part-1/

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/23/the-mystery-of-equation-8/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/

Comments
  1. Brian H says:

    I think you need a blog page with at least one more dimension …

    >:)

  2. Nick Stokes says:

    Is the data source for their P and T values for the various satellites described in detail anywhere? I’m still very curious about Europa.

  3. Doug Cotton says:

    If your bath tub is filling as fast as it can with the hot tap turned on fully it will indeed fill faster if you also turn the cold tap on.

    If the Earth’s surface is filling with thermal energy (ie it is warming) as fast as it can on a sunny morning with the Sun shining fully it will indeed fill (warm) faster if you also radiate extra thermal energy from a colder atmosphere if and only if you violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  4. davidmhoffer says:

    Doug Cotton;
    Your comment is wrong, and completely off topic, not to mention wrong. I asked several questions in the short circuit thread, which you have studiously avoided answering. There’s little value in bombing every thread you can with your silliness if you cannot answer questions such as those posed to you. It just makes you look silly in more threads. Either come up with credible answers, or stop thread bombing and wasting people’s time.

  5. Doug Cotton says:

    One more question for davidmhoffer – and if he answers I will look for his question which I must have overlooked – or perhaps he will repeat it below. I also await his explanation of just exactly what he thinks is wrong, as the above post is far from clear about that. I believe what I have said has to be applied in any “Unified Theory of Climate.” Yes I know I post on several forums, but I am keen to see if anyone can genuinely point to any error and explain such with standard physics (rather than IPCC-type conjectures) before I release my book for publication.

    So please respond to this one …

    Suppose you pass radiation from a slightly cooler object (surface area 5 sq.m, 300 K) through a reflective funnel which concentrates the radiation onto a slightly warmer object (310 K) with the same emissivity of, say, 0.9 but surface area only 0.5 sq.m..

    Please explain with suitable calculations how the Second Law of Thermodynamics would actually apply to ensure thermal energy only transferred from the warmer to the cooler object.

    I will also post this on several other forums to see if anyone has a correct solution other than mine, which you should know by now if you’ve read my posts.

  6. davidmhoffer says:

    Doug Cotton;
    One more question for davidmhoffer – and if he answers I will look for his question which I must have overlooked>>>>

    Really? REALLY?

    I told you what thread to look for it in, I repeat the first question for a second time, which tallbloke admonishes you for not answering the first time, followed by several more questions which you did not answer, posted in the very next comment after yours. You must have “missed it”?

    And now, you will condescend to “look” for it, pretending you didn’t see it already, pretending that you didn’t respond to issues from the exact same comment the question was in while avoiding the question itself (and prompting tallbloke’s admonishment), if, and only if, I answer your question first?

    The 2nd Law applies to the NET xfer from warmer to colder.

    Question answered. Now go “find” mine. In the short circuit thread. Search for your own name. Ain’t hard. and answer. tx.

  7. Doug Cotton says:

    David;

    No the Second Law does not apply to net heat transfer all over the world. It applies from any one point to any other point at any given time. So it also has to apply when the Sun is warming the surface and the surface is getting hotter (and net radiation is thus into the surface) every sunny morning.

    I’m sorry if I don’t always keep reading older threads on some of the many forums I post on.

    But here’s the answer to your second question which I feel you should have been able to work out from my first answer to your irrelevant cold room example. As I said, I am not here to give free tuition in physics. I charge $80 per hour for tutoring university physics, but this is secondary stuff anyway..

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/david-hoffer-short-circuiting-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-17602

  8. davidmhoffer says:

    As I said, I am not here to give free tuition in physics. I charge $80 per hour for tutoring university physics, but this is secondary stuff anyway..

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/david-hoffer-short-circuiting-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-17602>>>

    I feel sorry for any student that forks out $80/hr for tutoring by someone who is contradicted by a few million engineers by just doing their jobs every day. The fact that you cannot remember what you wrote and where because you are in so many threads is a tacit admission of thread bombing, exactly as you have been accused. I read you answer and it is ridiculous. You are claiming that radiance plus conductance has a combined “cooling” of less than radiance alone. Really? You’ve found a publisher for this? Do you also sell swamp land? I’ve already responded to your nonsense in the thread itself as anyone who bother to follow the link can see.

    Conductance + radiance = less cooling than radiance alone. It would be funny if world economies were not involved.

  9. davidmhoffer says:

    Doug Cotton;
    As I said, I am not here to give free tuition in physics. I charge $80 per hour for tutoring university physics, but this is secondary stuff anyway..>>>

    No… you’re hear to spout nonsense theories, and when challenged on them, you gripe that you’re not hear to give free tuition in physics. Oddly, you will give free tuition to no end when it comes to promoting your theory, which appears to be integral to promoting your book, but when asked to defend your theory, up goes the nose in the air and a pefunctory “I’m not here to give free tuition in physics”.

  10. Bob_FJ says:

    Doug Cotton @ February 17, 6:21 am
    Whilst I see some of your comments around here as interesting, I find your following assertions to be difficult to reconcile with the price of cheese.

    Suppose you pass radiation from a slightly cooler object (surface area 5 sq.m, 300 K) through a reflective funnel which concentrates the radiation onto a slightly warmer object (310 K) with the same emissivity of, say, 0.9 but surface area only 0.5 sq.m.. Please explain with suitable calculations how the Second Law of Thermodynamics would actually apply to ensure thermal energy only transferred from the warmer to the cooler object.

    Doug, are you trying to negate the issue of field of view between two objects and the fact that radiation from a flat surface is hemispherically isotropic?

    Doug, please elaborate.

  11. Chris M says:

    Tallbloke, this is a good idea of yours, a kind of N&Z wiki. I imagine it will accrete fairly slowly, particularly if people are motivated to provide links from forthcoming topics. It will only be a useful resource if is almost entirely on topic, unlike most of the posts above. DNFTT is good advice, which seems to be applicable here, David and Bob. Time for some major pruning, TB?

    [Reply] I’ll get to it when I’m back from my trip.

  12. davidmhoffer says:

    Chris M;
    DNFTT is good advice, which seems to be applicable here, David and Bob. Time for some major pruning, TB?>>>

    I’m good with the pruning in cases like this. What I’m not good with is, in the absence of pruning, no one rebutting blather like Cotton’s. For every informed reader who knows blather when they see it, there are many, Many, MANY lurkers or casual readers who are new to the topic and just getting their feet wet. If no one rebutts the trolls, it makes it look like the rest of us are accepting of their position. That’s how the IPCC brain rot got started in the first place.

  13. Richard M says:

    Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal. Even if you can figure out a way for non-radiating gases to radiate a tiny amount of energy, it won’t be near enough change the situation more than a trifle. You still can’t create a planet that is warmer at the surface as we see in our solar system. The surface would be the only radiating point and would be required to be in equilibrium with the incoming solar energy or it would violate the 2nd law.

    Now, add some radiating gases and now you’re in business. The radiating gases DO NOT, I repeat do not heat the system. What they do is maintain the lapse rate as they pump heat out of the system through the atmosphere. This allows the atmosphere to warm. Yes, they are required but it is the lapse rate itself (which is determined by the very things N&Z found to be consistent across planetary bodies), that warms the surface above the S-B temperature.

    Finally, the amount of radiating gases in not that important. What will happen with more radiating gases is the lapse rate becomes more stable. With less radiating gases the lapse rate varies much more which adds turbulence. The radiating gases do not change the temperature over and above the value defined by equation 8.

  14. steveta_uk says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I’m sorry if I don’t always keep reading older threads on some of the many forums I post on.

    Really? What, REALLY? You’ve streched a thread at Jeff’s Air Vent to WELL OVER 700 entries, by refusing to answer anything, and by pushing your absurb ideas, your insane book proposal, and your worship of Claes Johnson.

    But you “don’t always keep reading older threads”?

    Actually, I kind of beleive you – I suspect you can’t really read.

  15. steveta_uk says:

    I see that Doug Cotton, after becoming one of the very few people to ever get moderated on The Air Vent, has now twice changed his handle to avoid being bounced, and is approaching the 800 entry mark on the “older thread” that he doesn’t always keep reading.

    What a total plonker.

  16. davidmhoffer says:

    steveta_uk;
    Really? What, REALLY? You’ve streched a thread at Jeff’s Air Vent to WELL OVER 700 entries, by refusing to answer anything, and by pushing your absurb ideas, your insane book proposal,>>>

    Interesting is it not? For years we’ve seen science twisted out of recognition to support the warmist meme in the pursuit of monetary gains. Now we’re seeing science twisted out of recognition to support the skeptic meme in pursuit of monetary gains.

  17. gallopingcamel says:

    Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.”

    The above statement is false. Radiating gases dominate in the stratosphere but are only minor players in the troposphere. In the troposphere, convection is the dominant heat transfer process. There is plenty of mixing going on thanks to planetary rotation and Coriolis forces.

    If you doubt me, I recommend you read:
    Rodrigo Caballero (University College, Dublin):

    http://maths.ucd.ie/met/msc/PhysMet/PhysMetLectNotes.pdf

  18. Tenuc says:

    Right, before trying to get back on topic it’s worth pointing out that the theoretical effects of radiation from a cool body to a warm body can never raise the temperature of the warm body. A body at a particular temp will only radiate an amount of energy as per its emission spectrum at most. You can only impose an extra ‘spike’ on top of this if an incident photon spectrum includes higher frequency photons from a higher temp body.

    This is the shell game that the IPCC CAGW climatologists employ to play with you’re mind – input 161W/m^2 of photons and get 333 W/m^2 of photons back, even though energy is also being lost from the surface by conduction, convection and evaporation. This is a massive violation of the laws of physics and shows just how poor the quality of the science has become!

    As real world radiative physics is so poorly understood, the paragraph that switched me on to N&Z theory while reading the original thread was this…

    “Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.”

    Harry Huffman’s observation that ‘the long term mean temperature of Venus at any given atmospheric pressure depends only on it’s average distance from the sun’, is also compelling as is that both ideas are able to give a calculated result which matches actual observed temperatures on Venus!

  19. Richard M says:

    {gallopingcamel says:

    [Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.”]

    The above statement is false. Radiating gases dominate in the stratosphere but are only minor players in the troposphere. In the troposphere, convection is the dominant heat transfer process. There is plenty of mixing going on thanks to planetary rotation and Coriolis forces.}

    Remember, I’m talking about a planet with NO radiating gases.

    You can only get convection when the air above is cooler and more dense (heavier), it is the weight of this cooler air leads to convection. If the air is isothermal (which would be the case for an atmosphere without radiating gases) this is not the case. Hence, no convection. You would have energy movement but it would be of an entirely different nature. At night time the surface would start cooling. The heat from above would start conducting downward but no reverse convection would occur since the cooler, heavier air is below the warmer air. You would have Coriolis movement and orographic movement but that is all. And, when the sun did reappear the heat lost from the night by downward conduction would allow the surface to warm slightly above the higher altitudes leading to a small amount of convection. However, the amount would be trivial compared to what we see on real planets.

  20. davidmhoffer says:

    Tenuc says:
    February 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm
    Right, before trying to get back on topic it’s worth pointing out that the theoretical effects of radiation from a cool body to a warm body can never raise the temperature of the warm body>>>>

    Gawd, why is such a simple issue so complicated? Photons don’t affect each other when they cross paths travelling in opposite directions. Remember that they are waves as much as they are particles, and that they have no mass. Two rocks thrown into a pond each set up ripples that, if you watch carefully, pass right through each other. Nor does an absorbing surface know what temperature the photon hitting it was emitted from, and the photon couldn’t care less what the temperature of the surface it is headed towards is.

    You can set this matter to rest by taking a large object and heating it to a steady state temperature. Let’s say for sake of argument that it is radiating at 400 w/m2. Now shine a 100 w/m2 heat source upon it while monitoring the surface radiance of the object. You will get two effects that are easy to measure.

    1. You will get an instantaneous increase in the radiance coming from the object. Let’s say for sake of argument you get an instant increase to 450 w/m2. Since it is instant, that is an extra 50 w/m2 that is being REFLECTED.

    2. Over some period of time, the radiance of the object will increase to 500 w/m2. It takes time because the object has a heat capacity, and the temperature cannot rise instantly. But it will rise and it will hit an equilibrium at 500 w/m2. 50 w/m2 of that will be reflected energy flux and 450 w/m2 will be radiance based on the increased temperature of the object.

    Sorry folks, but this experiment and variants of it have been done, and there is no getting around it. That 100 w/m2 from the cooler source has to go somewhere in order to maintain energy balance. Some gets reflected and some gets absorbed. The temperature of the warmer object rises accordingly with the energy flux absorbed. Cooler CAN cause a temperature change in hotter, if it DIDN’T we’d have some of those w/m2 disappearing and not being accounted for, in contravention of the laws of thermodynamics.

  21. Richard M says:

    Here’s a little more information to explain what I’m thinking.

    We’ve all been told the GHE is caused by GHGs absorbing radiation and sending it back to the surface. However, this is not really what happens. Yes, GHGs (what I call radiating gases) do absorb radiation. However, the radiation gets absorbed and re-radiated many times as it makes its way to space. The radiation is often first absorbed within a couple of meters of the surface. The radiation is then randomly radiated in all directions. At very low altitudes some of it does go back to the surface where it generally is just radiated back towards space again.

    This is where probability comes into play. The radiation moves upward on average because of the differences in density at various heights in the atmosphere. Any radiation emitted upward will travel further (on average) than radiation emitted toward the surface. There are simply more molecules of radiating gases lower in the atmosphere. I think I’ve seen mentioned that the average number of absorption/emission pairs is around 20. Each time one of these occurs the average radiation moves closer to space.

    What this means mathematically is we can ignore all these steps and model the effect as one single outward radiation at a slower speed. Since radiation moves at the speed of light. It would now move at C/20. I think we all know that is still quite fast. There is no “average” back radiation. And, it cannot warm the surface by the so-called GHE.

    So far I have mentioned that we still need radiating gases to warm the atmosphere. And, I just said that back radiation can’t warm the planet. So, what happens that leads to warming? The key once again relates to K&Z’s findings. The density change (that led to an effective upward radiation) also defines a change in the amount of energy the atmosphere will hold at any given altitude. The solar energy that is radiating outward has some leaks. These leaks occur when an energized molecule transfers energy to a non-radiating gas like N2/O2. This allows the air to heat up, but the amount is related to the density. Due to Kirchhoff’s Law we have emission = absorption. If the air warms up too much we get extra emission. If the air gets cooler than the density derived value, we get extra absorption. We end up with sort of a default value based on the density and the amount of solar radiation being passed through the gases. You can think of the gases as kind of a structure from moving heat to space. This structure supports the lapse rate

    In essence, it is this density derived default energy level (DDDEL) that becomes the lapse rate. When you add more radiating gases the process simply becomes more efficient. Think of the DDDEL as an attractor state of the chaotic atmosphere. The rate of radiation (ROR) is always changing in an attempt to restore the DDDEL. And, as I said before, adding more radiators just makes the process more efficient.

    I hope this explanation is not too cryptic. I’m not the greatest at transferring my thoughts to words so I’m open to any questions and if someone can explain why my conjecture is faulty I want to hear about it.

  22. Tenuc says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    “Gawd, why is such a simple issue so complicated?……The temperature of the warmer object rises accordingly with the energy flux absorbed. Cooler CAN cause a temperature change in hotter, if it DIDN’T we’d have some of those w/m2 disappearing and not being accounted for, in contravention of the laws of thermodynamics.

    It’s not complicated at all, David, it’s simple really, unless the IPCC’s strange brand of physics is applied… :-)

    The temperature of the warmer object cannot be increased by the cooler object simply because the net heat flux is always from warmer to cold. So the hot body warms the cold body and the smaller radiative flux from the cold body merely delays its rate of cooling a bit. If you add in conduction, convection, reflectance and evaporation, then the cooling rate change very little.

    If combining the radiation from a cold body and a hot body could be additive and increase the temperature of the hot body, common sense tells us that we have the possibility of designing a perpetual motion machine, which the laws of thermodynamics precludes.

    We know the real world doesn’t operate like this, otherwise N&Z and Harry Huffman wouldn’t get the correct numbers for the temperature of Venus! The theory is simply wrong, as are current measuring methods which assume a black body which doesn’t exist.

  23. Paul Bahlin says:

    Tenuc says:

    “So the hot body warms the cold body and the smaller radiative flux from the cold body merely delays its rate of cooling a bit”

    You open the door here to admitting that the cool body slows the rate of cooling of the warm body, right?

    Now just go one step further and introduce a constant source of input energy to the warm body. Let’s call it the Sun. Your admitted reduction in cooling, in the presence of an energy supply means that the recipient warm body will increase its energy content.

    It’s a straw man to argue that cool bodies can’t heat warm bodies. That ain’t what’s happenin’.

    The mechanism, properly stated is; warm bodies (in equilibrium if you like), being fed radiant energy, will have their energy content increase if you reduce the amount of energy being lost from it by supplying another stream of photons at it. The energy will increase until such time as a new equilibrium point is reached that restores the radiation balance.

    With less wordiness…. It gets hotter in there.

  24. tallbloke says:

    steveta, hoff and everyone. I found time out on my birthday walkabout to put Doug Cotton and his new alter ego on moderation. I will be vetting his contributions closely when I get home in a couple of days, so please rest easy and feel free to get this topic back on track. I’ll be doing some pruning once I’m home.

    Cheers – TB.

  25. Chris M says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Yes, but it’s a mistake to conflate correct physical processes with the much more complex real world situation. The point you and others have made is also ably explained by Roy Spencer in a post on his site, using a two-plate enclosed chamber model. But, importantly, this process relies on a CONTINUOUS energy input, akin to the sun shining unimpeded on the earth’s surface 24 hours per day. In the real world the energy absorbed by the surface is very much intermittent and variable – nighttime, cloud cover – which gives plenty of opportunity for surface cooling, mainly via convection. And convection is more vigorous from a warmer surface, so the net effect of “back radiation” is?

  26. davidmhoffer says:

    Tenuc…

    What Paul Bahlin said.

  27. Tenuc says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    “…You open the door here to admitting that the cool body slows the rate of cooling of the warm body, right?…

    Never denied it, Paul, is is basic physics I learned too many years ago than I care to remember. However, the most any radiation from a cold body to a warm body can do is cause a slight reduction in the heat loss from the warmer body. Other mechanisms come into play regarding real planetary atmospheres such as horizontal winds, conduction, convection, reflectance and evaporation e.t.c. which mostly negate this theoretical radiative effect at the surface of a real planet during the day and slow it a fraction during the night along with conduction, convection and ensuing reduced evaporation.

    It is time the IPCC cabal of cargo-cult climate scientists realised that their radiative CO2 theory is in tatters and N&Z and Harry Huffman being able to prove that the temperature of Venus, even with it’s 98% CO2 atmosphere, depends only on it’s distance from the sun and atmospheric pressure is the final nail in the coffin of their ridiculous conjectures.

  28. davidmhoffer says:

    Tenuc;
    It is time the IPCC cabal of cargo-cult climate scientists realised that their radiative CO2 theory is in tatters and N&Z and Harry Huffman being able to prove that the temperature of Venus, even with it’s 98% CO2 atmosphere, depends only on it’s distance from the sun and atmospheric pressure is the final nail in the coffin of their ridiculous conjectures.>>>

    Yes, the IPCC endorsed CAGW theory is, in fact, in tatters. Not because the poorly named “backradiation” doesn’t exist, but because it is insignificant compared to other processes and it triggers negative feedback that cancels itself out. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  29. Tenuc says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm
    “Yes, the IPCC endorsed CAGW theory is, in fact, in tatters. Not because the poorly named “backradiation” doesn’t exist, but because it is insignificant compared to other processes and it triggers negative feedback that cancels itself out. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Sounds like we’re in violent agreement, David… :-)

    Here’s what I said in my first comment above…

    “Right, before trying to get back on topic it’s worth pointing out that the theoretical effects of radiation from a cool body to a warm body can never raise the temperature of the warm body. A body at a particular temp will only radiate an amount of energy as per its emission spectrum at most. You can only impose an extra ‘spike’ on top of this if an incident photon spectrum includes higher frequency photons from a higher temp body.

    This is the shell game that the IPCC CAGW climatologists employ to play with you’re mind – input 161W/m^2 of photons and get 333 W/m^2 of photons back, even though energy is also being lost from the surface by conduction, convection and evaporation. This is a massive violation of the laws of physics and shows just how poor the quality of the science has become!”

    The supposed massive heating from the effect of GHG is, quite simply, a myth!

  30. Paul Bahlin says:

    Tenuc:

    I’ve not said a thing about the ultimate effect of the radiation in question. I agree a bit on your assessment of its relative importance. I’m not smart enough to say how big that is in the grand scheme of things so I’m not willing to consign back radiation to a dustbin just yet.

    I only want to make sure that nobody tries to make a case for a larger conclusion, what ever it might be, by misapplication of all the minutia that build to a conclusion. Sometimes people get blind sided by language and communication misses. Sometimes people latch onto a mysterious paper that supports their favorite belief system. Sometimes people are just wrong. The problem is that you can lose an easy war by fighting for the wrong hill. There are skeptics who are riding the ‘back radiation doesn’t exist’ meme too hard, in my opinion, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.

    It only takes one bad note to ruin a beautiful chord.

  31. Chris M says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    “Tenuc…

    What Paul Bahlin said.”

    dmh: What Tenuc (and I) said.

  32. On the wiki, I’ve actually set up a first-attempt to set up and format a FAQ for Nikolov & Zeller in the special section I’m attempting to design. If anyone is interested to contribute in this still-under-wraps project, please email me.

    When I saw this thread I thought great, TT’s moving towards the FAQ. But then comes the plonker(s). And the thread is not enough on top of pruning like Steve McIntyre.

    Perhaps it will come. It’s important. I’ll look in later. :)

    [co-mod: You are getting lost Lucy. I'm struggling to keep up and I resigned to wait and see, is no big rush. I'll do what I can to help in due course. ]

  33. Chris M says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    “The problem is that you can lose an easy war by fighting for the wrong hill. There are skeptics who are riding the ‘back radiation doesn’t exist’ meme too hard, in my opinion, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.”

    Perhaps yes again, but most skeptics just want the scientific truth to prevail. By continually fretting over atmospheric radiative effects, which the warmists consider their territory, we risk playing into their hands. N&Z’s theory provides a much broader perspective. That is its appeal and its promise.

  34. Greg Elliott says:

    Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.

    If that is the case, then GHG is cooling the planet. In the absence of GHG, the isothermal atmosphere would be warmer and contain more energy than with GHG. This would have a net warming effect on the surface, as the temperature difference between the surface and the atmosphere would be reduced. This would reduce conductive and convective losses from the surface to the atmosphere during daytime and towards the equator. It would also return more energy to the surface via convection and conduction at night and towards the poles, from the warmer, isothermal atmosphere. So, rather than being a net warming force, GHG would be a net cooling force. This is confirmed from the absence of the predicted atmospheric hot spot, which is a necessary condition for net GHG warming.

  35. Greg Elliott says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm
    “The problem is that you can lose an easy war by fighting for the wrong hill. There are skeptics who are riding the ‘back radiation doesn’t exist’ meme too hard, in my opinion, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.”

    Of course back radiation exists. My flow analysis showed that some of the back radiation (C/2) was an indication of net warming, and some of the back radiation (B/2 and F/2) was an indication of net cooling.

    Whether GHG is warming or cooling the planet depends on whether

    C/2 > B/2 + F./2

    If C/2 is greater, then we should an atmospheric hot spot with increasing CO2 and a net warming. If we don’t see the hot spot, then it can’t be happening under the GHG theory. It may be happening by some other mechanism, but not via the mechanism detailed in GHG theory

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/greg-elliott-use-of-flow-diagrams-in-understanding-energy-balance/

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/greg-elliott-use-of-flow-diagrams-in-understanding-energy-balance-part-2/

  36. wayne says:

    Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    “Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.”

    No… it will be isentropic always… and with a lapse rate since there is always a gravitational field on any astronomical body.

  37. davidmhoffer says:

    Chris M;
    By continually fretting over atmospheric radiative effects, which the warmists consider their territory, we risk playing into their hands. N&Z’s theory provides a much broader perspective. That is its appeal and its promise.>>>

    Actually, was thinking the same thing. It doesn’t matter exactly how back radiation does or doesn’t work. N&Z works. Proving out N&Z is worth thousands of times what disproving the minutia of back radiation.

    GO GO N&Z. and Huffman. and there’s a couple others out there as well whose names I don’t recall but who look at things from a similar perspective. Showing them to be right ends the war.

  38. <>
    Thanks. Was tired and posted too fast.

  39. gbaikie says:

    Richard M says
    “Sorry folks, but this experiment and variants of it have been done, and there is no getting around it. That 100 w/m2 from the cooler source has to go somewhere in order to maintain energy balance. Some gets reflected and some gets absorbed. The temperature of the warmer object rises accordingly with the energy flux absorbed. Cooler CAN cause a temperature change in hotter, if it DIDN’T we’d have some of those w/m2 disappearing and not being accounted for, in contravention of the laws of thermodynamics.”

    How much?
    I assume you would agree that sunlight at a certain distance can only heat something to a certain temperature. E.g, A area of lunar surface is exposed constantly to sunlight for days of time and it has limit to how warm the surface would get.
    Or same is with light bulb, put front of surface at some distance and the surface will reach a certain temperature- a light bulb filament is very hot [over 2000 C] but at certain distance will never light paper in fire- even after 1000 hours. Whereas if wrap the lightbulb in paper, you could have different situation- one reason being it’s closer to filament.
    So on the Moon the hottest the surface gets is about 120 C. So sunlight at around earth distance has limit or max temperature. Or take 120 C convert to 393 K times it by itself 4 times then multiple by .0000000567 and you get 1352.5 watts per square- roughly the flux of sunlight at that distance.

    If do 300 K we get 459 watts per square meter- if solar flux was at distance where it was 459 watts per square meter, might expect the highest temperature it will warm a surface is 300 K

    At mars distance when closest the solar flux is 717 watts per square furthest it’s 493 watts/sq.
    So 330 k is 672 watts per square meter [330 K is 56.8 C] so I would not expect mars or it’s moons surface to get much higher that 56.8 C. And highest temperature surface temperature is recorded is around 80 F [26.6 C]. Actually this says: “Temperature: The lowest surface temperature on Mars is –190° F (–123° C), while the hottest temperature is 90° F (32° C).”

    http://www.astronomy.com/en/News-Observing/Astronomy%20Kids/2008/03/Mars.aspx

    But I would not be surprised if at some point they find as much as 40 C- when Mars is closest.

    But anyhow, my question what is the limit to greenhouse gases can increase temperature. Or do you think there is not a limit to how warm CO2 and/or other greenhouse increase the temperature- due to radiation.
    And is there any relation to distance and the size of molecule? If not, why would a light bulb or the sun be affected by distance and greenhouse gases aren’t?

  40. Richard M says:

    {Greg Elliott says:

    February 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

    [Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.]

    If that is the case, then GHG is cooling the planet. In the absence of GHG, the isothermal atmosphere would be warmer and contain more energy than with GHG.}

    Thanks for responding.

    The temperature at the surface would be equal to the incoming radiation because the only possible equilibrium point is the surface. Hence, the surface would be cooler than one with GHGs. However, at higher altitudes there would be a cross-over point where the temperature would be higher. I’m not sure what the average would be so you could be correct.

    Generally, the GHGs don’t warm or cool, they maintain the lapse rate which makes it warmer at the surface than it would be without them. Interestingly, if extra heat is injected into the system the GHGs would help cool the planet and if heat is removed the GHGs would help warm the planet. The GHGs help maintain the attractor state of an atmosphere which is based on the ideal gas law.

  41. Richard M says:

    {wayne says:

    February 18, 2012 at 2:28 am

    [Richard M says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    “Without radiating gases (high emissivity) you cannot establish a lapse rate. The atmosphere will eventually be isothermal.”]

    No… it will be isentropic always… and with a lapse rate since there is always a gravitational field on any astronomical body.}

    The problem is that does not help K&Z even if it was true. You’re still left with the fact that the surface cannot warm about the S-B temperature. So, without GHGs we are still left without a theory that describes real planets.

    If you want to claim that O2/N2 radiate enough to change this situation you still have two problems. 1) Satellites have empirical measurements that support GHGs are the radiating gases. 2) Radiative physics does not allow those substances to radiate enough to make a difference (even if you subscribe to some of wilder theories).

    Now, with my conjecture you have it all. Radiation physics is unchanged. The planetary temperatures are still determined by the ideal gas law as N&Z and others have found. Adding more GHGs have no impact on temperatures which is not surprising since there is no historic correlation.

    And, best of all, it appears to match thermodynamic laws better than the GHE.

  42. Richard M says:

    {gbaikie says:
    February 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    [Richard M says

    ...]}

    I never said any of the stuff you quoted.

    {But anyhow, my question what is the limit to greenhouse gases can increase temperature. Or do you think there is not a limit to how warm CO2 and/or other greenhouse increase the temperature- due to radiation.}

    In my opinion GHGs can only establish the lapse rate. The lapse rate leads to the amount of increase in surface temperature. It will be based on the ideal gas law which relates to the mass of the atmosphere, gravity and insolation (i.e. equation 8) just as many have found observationally.

  43. BenAW says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 5:29 am
    “Chris M;
    By continually fretting over atmospheric radiative effects, which the warmists consider their territory, we risk playing into their hands. N&Z’s theory provides a much broader perspective. That is its appeal and its promise.>>>

    Actually, was thinking the same thing. It doesn’t matter exactly how back radiation does or doesn’t work.”

    Reading your posts above I actually did get a different impression.
    Perhaps some apologies to Doug Cotton are in order?

    You may want to read this post again, and actually follow the links I provided:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/david-hoffer-short-circuiting-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-17420

  44. davidmhoffer says:

    BenAW;
    Reading your posts above I actually did get a different impression.
    Perhaps some apologies to Doug Cotton are in order>>>

    Perhaps some apologies FROM Doug Cotton are in order.

    Fixed it for you.

  45. RKS says:

    As this thread is for the discussion of N&Z’s work, why on earth is everyone wittering on about ‘back radiation, which is surely off topic.

    If you agree with N&Z, then why waste time discussing back radiation voodoo science.

    If you agree with back radiation, offer a sceptical critique of N&Z.

  46. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    If you agree with N&Z, then why waste time discussing back radiation voodoo science.
    If you agree with back radiation, offer a sceptical critique of N&Z.>>>

    I think for the purists amongst us, understanding both is required for completeness. N&Z clearly have merit, as do Huffman, Jelbring, and Miskolczi. At the same time, back radiation does in fact exist. I agree that for us skeptics, showing that N&Z are correct is a massive win. Showing how back radiation exists and is folded into the results of N&Z, Jelbring, Huffman and Miskolczi is a super duper slammer dunker win.

    Of course with the determination of the warmists, even a super duper slammer dunker win won’t finish them off.

  47. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm
    RKS;

    I think for the purists amongst us, understanding both is required for completeness. N&Z clearly have merit, as do Huffman, Jelbring, and Miskolczi. At the same time, back radiation does in fact exist. I agree that for us skeptics, showing that N&Z are correct is a massive win. Showing how back radiation exists and is folded into the results of N&Z, Jelbring, Huffman and Miskolczi is a super duper slammer dunker win.

    Of course with the determination of the warmists, even a super duper slammer dunker win won’t finish them off.

    Do you imply, as with Trenberth, that back radiation is responsible for an increase in climate temperature.

    I find it hard to conflate the fact that with an insoolation of 324 W/m^2 that the surface of the planet radiates at the rate of 390 W/m^2. i.e something for nothing and yet the contents of my back radiating thermos flask never gets warmer.

    I think until someone publishes a new law of thermodynamics ( perhaps entitled ‘quantum thermodynamics for dummies’ ), no amount of mental gymnastics will convince me this is anything other than voodoo science.

    Of course, your understanding of back radiation might be totally different than Trenberth’s, in which case I’d be very interested in your take on the subject.

    regards,

  48. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    I find it hard to conflate the fact that with an insoolation of 324 W/m^2 that the surface of the planet radiates at the rate of 390 W/m^2. i.e something for nothing and yet the contents of my back radiating thermos flask never gets warmer.>>>

    Sigh.

    Facts:

    1. Insolation in fact *IS* 240 w/m2 “on average”.
    2. Surface radiance in fact *IS* 390 w/m2 “on average”.
    3. The EFFECTIVE blackbody temperature of earth equates to 240 w/m2, but this temperature “on average” occurrs at an altitude of 14,000 feet.

    So… twist it anyway you want, the surface temperature of the earth DOES exceed the blackbody temperature of earth. You can argue till your face turns blue that the surface radiating more out than insolation sends in is “getting something for nothing” but what you can’t argue with is that it is in fact the case.

    N&Z provide a theory for predicting the surface temperature of a planet for a given insolation and a given surface pressure. What they do not provide for is an explanation as to why or how that surface temperature exceeds the effective blackbody temperature of the self same planet while remaining in energy balance.

    Do I know the answer? NO! That doesn’t change the fact that N&Z are onto something and it doesn’t change the fact that back radiation is an every day calculation that millions of engineers do on a daily basis and it doesn’t change the fact that the surface temperature of earth radiates at a higher energy flux than the incoming insolation. N&Z can be perfectly right without ever having an explanation for all those facts, and back radiation can exist without discrediting N&Z. There’s no “something for nothing” in the observed temperatures, only a failure to fully explain why they exists in the way that they do.

    I’ve made the observation before, and I will make it again, that when observing the energy flux exiting the earth system at TOA, it is only 240 w/m2, which ought to explain how the system as a whole remains in energy balance. Further, the exiting energy flux doesn’t originate from one spot. It originates from the entire continuum of the system as a whole, some portion of it originating from the surface, some from low altitudes, some from mid altitudes, and so on. What we see exiting at TOA is all of the upward LW combined from all the altitudes less that LW which was intercepted and sent back down.

    If you think about this for a moment, you will realize that there is no other way for the system to work. 390 w/m2 left earth surface, only 240 w/m2 exited at TOA. Where did the rest go? There can be no other answer than some of it was absorbed en route and re-radiated back down.

  49. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm
    RKS;
    I find it hard to conflate the fact that with an insoolation of 324 W/m^2 that the surface of the planet radiates at the rate of 390 W/m^2. i.e something for nothing and yet the contents of my back radiating thermos flask never gets warmer.>>>

    Sigh.

    Facts:

    1. Insolation in fact *IS* 240 w/m2 “on average”.
    2. Surface radiance in fact *IS* 390 w/m2 “on average”.
    3. The EFFECTIVE blackbody temperature of earth equates to 240 w/m2, but this temperature “on average” occurrs at an altitude of 14,000 feet.

    Interesting but leave out the silly sighs.

    So, from your post:-

    Fact – insolation (from Sun) = 240W/m^2 ( I thought Trenberth rated this at 324W/m^2 in his famous cartoon)

    Fact – energy leaving TOA = 240W/m^2

    Fact – Surface radiance = 390W/m2

    It just doesn’t add up.

    Either someone’s measurements are screwed up or we are witnessing a brand new branch of science (no matter how much we sigh at others we think we are superior to)

    Your ideas of back radiation are a hypothesis.

    When they become a fully falsified theory feel free to deride scepticism.

    And remember, N&Z did not regard the planets as black bodies in their theory, and have in fact regarded such approaches to their work as distracting mind games.

  50. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Either someone’s measurements are screwed up or we are witnessing a brand new branch of science (no matter how much we sigh at others we think we are superior to)>>>

    All the physics required to show that both the options you present are wrong is contained in clear explanations in my various comments. You have left out a third option which is that you do not understand them.

  51. Richard M says:

    {davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Showing how back radiation exists and is folded into the results of N&Z, Jelbring, Huffman and Miskolczi is a super duper slammer dunker win.}

    David, have you read my thoughts above. If I’m right, it is exactly what you just stated here. It factors in the radiation physics while still coming to the same result as N&Z.

  52. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    RKS;
    Either someone’s measurements are screwed up or we are witnessing a brand new branch of science (no matter how much we sigh at others we think we are superior to)>>>

    All the physics required to show that both the options you present are wrong is contained in clear explanations in my various comments. You have left out a third option which is that you do not understand them.

    If you say so, but if my scepticism of this hypothesis is unfounded, I’m in some highly qualified company who also feel similarly.

    As you said earlier, “you don’t know” so just play at mental gymnastics to confirm your personal prejudice.

    The gap between us will obviously remain wide open so I’ll bother you no more on this subject.

    regards,

  53. Consider a planet with an entirely transparent atmosphere: the incoming and outgoing radiation will be absorbed and radiated at its surface. In equilibrium, the average value of the outgoing radiation will be one quarter of the incoming due to the ratio of a disc to a sphere. The average temperature will therefore be only a function of the distance of the planet from its sun.

    Change the chemical composition of the atmosphere by adding a gas that is not transparent to radiation. The result will be an average absorption/radiation height at some distance above the surface. In equilibrium, as the surface area has now increased, its average temperature has to decrease.

    Inside the planet/atmosphere system there is no additional energy after change in atmospheric composition but there is a change in energy distribution between surface and air – the surface is cooler and the air warmer – all other things being equal.

    The average outgoing W/m^2 at the effective radiating height is always 1/4 of the W/m^2 incoming at TOA.

    Now what happens within the planet/atmosphere system is *another subject* but that subject cannot include consideration of ‘trapped heat’ as energy content has not varied.

    Observed remotely from space, the change in atmospheric composition would be observed as a red shift to longer wavelengths. It would be concluded by that observer that the albedo had increased. That observation would be entirely correct because the composition change has changed the reflectivity just as it changed the effective radiating height. The energy entering the system has not changed and remains entirely dependent of the distance between planet and sun. Albedo change is merely a function of energy distribution within the system.

    N&Z have pointed out that it is illumination that is important and not absorption after albedo reflection. I believe that to be entirely true and current GHE theory, in ignoring that, comes to an exactly wrong conclusion on atmospheric composition change effects.

  54. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    If you say so, but if my scepticism of this hypothesis is unfounded, I’m in some highly qualified company who also feel similarly.
    As you said earlier, “you don’t know” so just play at mental gymnastics to confirm your personal prejudice.>>>

    I said I don’t know about one specific issue.

    As for this highly qualified company you keep, name them. Neither the leading scientists from the warmist or skeptic sides agree with you, so who are these highly qualified companions of yours?

  55. Paul Bahlin says:

    For the folks who feel that 240 watts per square meter of insolation is incompatible with the 390 watts per square meter leaving the surface, voodoo math I believe it was called, consider this little thought exercise….

    Consider a nice symmetrical coil of wire carrying 1 amp of current. Let’s say it has 1000 turns. Now erect an imaginary plane that cuts the axis of the coil into two halves and count all the current flows through the plane. You’ll have 1000 amps going through the plane, correct? Actually two thousand if you count both directions.

    Now this looks like vodoo math doesn’t it? I’m inserting 1 amp into a wire and I’ve created 1000 amps of flow from it.

    It’s the frame of reference that is wrong headed, not the math, when you think there is vodoo going on.

    Take two little vacuum thermos if you’d like to make it really simple. Heat each of them at the bottom with 100 W/m2. Pretend one of them was made by cheap skates with a grey coating on the walls so that it has an emissivity of .5. The other was made by spend thrifts with an emissivity of .01.

    Which one will boil your coffee first?

    If you go swimming in the good flask you’ll feel the heat from the bottom and you’ll feel the heat reflected from the walls. It’s like you’re that imaginary plane and you’re getting hit with the same thing twice (or more). It’s not a violation of any laws of thermo it’s just that you shouldn’t be swimming in there.

  56. Paul Bahlin says:
    February 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    “For the folks who feel that 240 watts per square meter of insolation is incompatible with the 390 watts per square meter leaving the surface, voodoo math I believe it was called, consider this little thought exercise….”

    or;

    Sunshine = xW/m^2
    Planetshine = xW/m^2 X [Pi X r^2 / 4Pi X r^2]

    For a planet in equilibrium, if sunshine is not 4 X planetshine, the measurements per unit area are incorrect.

  57. RKS and DMH
    fantastic. We have a mystery.

    Now I don’t know about which instruments measured this “back-radiation” or its directionality or its gradual disappearance with altitude or the dogmatic biases and instrumental adjusting capabilities of the instrument users :)

    What I do know is that when I stand under the sky, I don’t feel I’m under a heat-ray device except the sun itself, when it’s shining unobstructed. When I descend from Jerusalem to Jericho, I feel the temperature rise though I feel nothing else really different.

    Now how can we frame this into a useful FAQ?

    I’ve drafted a set of FAQ’s for the wiki – precisely because the wiki is a medium where it’s impossible to wander from the subject, so the wisdom can be collected, distilled, intensified. Here are my twelve FAQ’s so far – with no text – and anyone who would like to start knocking them into shape, renaming, expanding, please email me.

    1 This contradicts Conservation of Energy
    2 Surely the IPCC use of Stephan-Boltzman’s equation is correct?
    3 How can you ignore albedo?
    4 This upsets Trenberth’s diagrams
    5 I can’t follow the maths
    6 The gas laws have always been known
    7 It’s easy to curve-fit those planets
    8 The effective temperature of the earth must occur within the troposphere
    9 Huffman’s figures are just coincidental
    10 Lunar figures don’t match calculations
    11 There’s a century of evidence of greenhouse gases
    12 There’s no evidence that sustained warmth depends on pressure

  58. Chris M says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    “Tenuc:

    I’ve not said a thing about the ultimate effect of the radiation in question. I agree a bit on your assessment of its relative importance. I’m not smart enough to say how big that is in the grand scheme of things so I’m not willing to consign back radiation to a dustbin just yet.”

    But you’re still going on about it, almost obsessively. If you’re a warmist, declare it openly and debate robustly. If not, you need to take a wider view which includes consideration of conduction, convection and evaporation. Otherwise you are just sidetracking this thread into a blind alley.

    Exasperatedly,

    Chris

  59. RKS says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    For the folks who feel that 240 watts per square meter of insolation is incompatible with the 390 watts per square meter leaving the surface, voodoo math I believe it was called, consider this little thought exercise….

    Consider a nice symmetrical coil of wire carrying 1 amp of current. Let’s say it has 1000 turns. Now erect an imaginary plane that cuts the axis of the coil into two halves and count all the current flows through the plane. You’ll have 1000 amps going through the plane, correct? Actually two thousand if you count both directions.

    Now this looks like vodoo math doesn’t it? I’m inserting 1 amp into a wire and I’ve created 1000 amps of flow from it.

    Nothing voodoo about it, your example is just plain sophistry.

    A current flows through the wire, whether it be straight or wound, because of the potential difference between the two ends.

    Any plane cutting through the coil, imaginary or otherwise, merely results in a current flow of zero.

    Mind games that ignore known physics are absolutely pointless as allegories for physical processes.

  60. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Any plane cutting through the coil, imaginary or otherwise, merely results in a current flow of zero>>>

    An imaginary plane cuts the current? Are you being deliberately obtuse?

  61. davidmhoffer says:

    I’m going to take one more stab at this and them I’m done.

    240 w/m2 enters the system from insolation
    240 w/m2 exits the system from earth radiance.

    The 240 w/m2 exiting is the average of the upward bound w/m2 emitted at any given altitude from TOA to surface less the downward bound LW from those same altitudes.

    Everything is balanced and the fact that the surface is warmer than 240 w/m2 is off set by the bulk of the atmosphere being colder than 240 w/m2.

  62. gbaikie says:

    “[Richard M says

    ...]}

    I never said any of the stuff you quoted.”

    Sorry, it was a quote from davidmhoffer.

    I said: “{But anyhow, my question what is the limit to greenhouse gases can increase temperature. Or do you think there is not a limit to how warm CO2 and/or other greenhouse increase the temperature- due to radiation.}

    Richard M says: “In my opinion GHGs can only establish the lapse rate. The lapse rate leads to the amount of increase in surface temperature. It will be based on the ideal gas law which relates to the mass of the atmosphere, gravity and insolation (i.e. equation 8) just as many have found observationally.”

    I think it’s clear that GHG- or at least water vapor strongly affect lapse rate. Or that H2O isn’t an ideal gas. particularly in earth’s lower atmosphere- it becomes a liquid.
    And when water is liquid it obviously isn’t a gas and certainly isn’t an ideal gas. I suppose any liquid or solid suspended in the atmosphere has similar affect- though what is somewhat unique to water is it has a lot energy involved in it’s phase change and water has significantly high heat capacity.

    The difference between dryer and wetter air is significant with wetter air lowering the temperature difference per 1000 meters in elevation.

    But this different than “GHGs can only establish the lapse rate”
    Water vapor control a lapse rate, but would not say it establishes it.

  63. RKS says:
    February 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm
    “Mind games that ignore known physics are absolutely pointless as allegories for physical processes.”

    And the Trenberth diagram IS a mind game. The 340W/m^2 illumination at TOA MUST become 85W/m^2 outgoing for equilibrium (disc/sphere ratio). The fact that he shows the system in equilibrium with an outgoing of 340W/m^2 is a geometric impossibility. From that impossibility he divides flows into reflective, absorbed and radiated to one decimal point!

    If this is the standard of ClimateScience mathematics then N&Z have won already.

  64. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    RKS;
    Any plane cutting through the coil, imaginary or otherwise, merely results in a current flow of zero>>>

    An imaginary plane cuts the current? Are you being deliberately obtuse?

    We’re discussing an imaginary coil, with imaginary current dissected by an imaginary plane, with imaginary currents supposedly flowing in each dissected imaginary section.

    Whether you want to imagine dissecting the imaginary coil, or whether you dissect an actual coil the result is the same – zero current.

    In other words the silly mind game does not reflect reality and as such is merely pointless sophistry.

    Are you really that obtuse you do not understand the response to a mind game, or are you just peeved because I find your Hypothesis of atmospheric back radiation to be nonsensical?

    As I said earlier, we have to agree to differ on that subject and waste no more effort discussing it.

  65. davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    I’m going to take one more stab at this and them I’m done.

    “240 w/m2 enters the system from insolation
    240 w/m2 exits the system from earth radiance.”

    I respectfully suggest that you are out by a factor of 4 on the difference.

  66. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS, simpleseekeraftertruth;

    I surrender. It is an intellectual challenge clearly beyond my intellectual capacity to overcome the objections of the intellectualy challenged. The failure is mine, and I apologise.

  67. gbaikie says:

    simpleseekeraftertruth says:
    February 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    “Consider a planet with an entirely transparent atmosphere: the incoming and outgoing radiation will be absorbed and radiated at its surface. In equilibrium, the average value of the outgoing radiation will be one quarter of the incoming due to the ratio of a disc to a sphere. The average temperature will therefore be only a function of the distance of the planet from its sun.”

    No atmosphere is entirely transparent. If you live on planet with a far more transparent atmosphere than earth, the sky would not be blue- you would see sky more like you see the sky on the Moon- black and with stars and with sun blazing overhead.
    So entirely transparent atmosphere is a vacuum, or less atmosphere would be more transparent.

    If the surface of any planet adsorbed all sunlight and convert it to heat and radiated that heat- the human can not see this wavelength, and therefore could not see the planet.

    As it is, the sunlit side of earth is much brighter than the unlit side of the planet. If our planet had a more transparent atmosphere it would be considerable brighter on the sun lit side than it is.

    The Moon is comprised of quite dark material- and the Moon is quite bright on the sun lit side, if you in a lunar orbit. Even on the earth surface, the Moon looks quite bright. Look through telescope and it’s even brighter.

    Now get 2 million miles away from the earth and what do you see? You would see both the earth and the Moon. And of course, you could see the sun- without shades it is quite blinding.
    Looking at the earth and the Moon one see quite difference in their brightness. And you would notice a big difference sizes of Earth and the Moon. By comparing the brightness and color, you see that indeed the Moon is made of much darker material. Earth will be much brighter. It size at this distance will around the size of the Moon as seen from Earth or the same size as the sun as seen from Earth. Though the Earth and Sun appear to about the same size, with human eyes you can’t compare the brightness between them- the Sun is dazzling search light and earth is lit match.

    In low earth orbit you see the bright lights of modern civilization when fly over the night side, at 2 million miles, you will not see these lights on the night side of Earth- the night side will appear dark.
    Earth is shining it’s reflected light for millions of miles into space- you can see Earth from Mars, tens millions of miles away. It would bigger light bulb than earthlings have every concieved to be able to see it’s light millions miles away.

    Now, the sun isn’t lighting the entire earth, it’s lighting half of it. Suppose you had mirror which was a disc and the size of the Earth. Now have Mars in the right position [near as possible- at angle that one can reflect the sunlight from Earth size mirror to Mars] From Mars one see something similar to the Sun- a bit dimmer because the sunlight is traveling a further distance.
    Now instead disc have mirrored hemiphere [same dimensions as earth]. Firstly, you can’t point it like you could a flat disc [and if you didn't accurately point the flat disc, a martian can't see the reflected sunlight].
    So the question is what earth look like from Mars if it’s surface reflected sunlight as if it’s surface was a mirror?
    I don’t it’s an easy question to answer. If instead a mirror, the earth entirely covered fresh white snow, then one say from Mars it would look significant brighter, not mistakable for the sun itself. But with a mirror surface, it’s possible from Mars that it could dimmer than it is now.

    It depends where you looking at Earth, from Venus you would see earth at some points in it’s year [orbit] as being bright as the sun.

    In short, the earth reflects a fair amount visible light in various directions. But Earth is also vaguely similar to a mirror- at the right angle it can be dazzling. And people who make satellite aren’t interested in purposely having instruments dazzled.

  68. davidmhoffer says:
    February 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm
    “I surrender…. and I apologise.”

    Not necessary, this intellectually challenged commenter simply cannot reconcile how incoming solar radiation on a hemisphere, when integrated over its area and averaged retains the same power per square meter when averaged over the greater area of the radiating sphere. You see, my (admittedly non ClimateScience) mathematics results in a ratio of 1:4 for their respective areas. Using unit areas for both, the result is that average radiating power is 1/4 of average insolation power. Your 240 in must therefore become 60 out. However, if I bow to your superiority in this matter, I can then clearly understand that the remainder of AGW gobbledegook is probably correct when using the same kind of thought processes.

  69. davidmhoffer says:

    simpletonafterthetruth;
    Your 240 in must therefore become 60 out. However, if I bow to your superiority in this matter, I can then clearly understand that the remainder of AGW gobbledegook is probably correct when using the same kind of thought processes.>>>

    Insolation is 1370 w/m2 with 30% reflected/scattered.

    1370 * 0.7 = 959

    To account for spherical shape plus rotation of eartt divide by 4

    959/4 = 239.8 w/2

    Your problem is you didn’t ask if the 240 w/m2 value had already been adjusted for the curvature of the earth and the day/night cycle or not. It was. Insolation at top of atmosphere is 1370 w/m2, not 240 w/mw, and if you had bothered to actually read what I wrote you would notice that I said ABSORBED insolation.

    I’m nor trying to educate you BTW, I’m just setting the record straight for any casual readers who might be mislead by your “expertise”.

  70. davidmhoffer says:

    sorry seeker. I should not have been so harsh. My ire was already up with RKS’ deliberate obfuscation and you caught some of it. In retrospect I should have seen that you were adjusting a number not knowing that it was already adjusted and just simply explained.

  71. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Whether you want to imagine dissecting the imaginary coil, or whether you dissect an actual coil the result is the same – zero current.>>>

    This is deliberate obfuscation. The point of the exercise was to observe that there was 1000 times as much current passing through the coil’s cross section versus passing through the wire. If you have to twist the problem into nonsense in order to avoid the point being made then why bother at all?

  72. tchannon says:

    This seems to be the problem. Click for larger.

  73. davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 12:43 am
    “…you would notice that I said ABSORBED insolation.”

    Actually you said;
    “240 w/m2 enters the system from insolation
    240 w/m2 exits the system from earth radiance.
    The 240 w/m2 existing is the average of the upward bound w/m2 emitted at any given altitude from TOA to surface less the downward bound LW from those same altitudes. Everything is balanced and the fact that the surface is warmer than 240 w/m2 is off set by the bulk of the atmosphere being colder than 240 w/m2.”

    Excuse my misinterpretation.

    However, my broader point, made at 6:58pm is that albedo reflection is part of Earthshine. If we take the solar constant figure of ~1370W/m^2 then the earthshine constant (at TOA) is ~340W/m^2. N&Z caution us not to confuse (in their words) illumination with absorption. To neglect the fact that additional CO2 will increase albedo – the difference between the 340 and the 240 numbers – is to misrepresent what is occurring. Or do I have that wrong also?

  74. davidmhoffer says:

    simple;
    To neglect the fact that additional CO2 will increase albedo – the difference between the 340 and the 240 numbers – is to misrepresent what is occurring. Or do I have that wrong also?>>>

    Yes you do.

    340 * 0.7 = 238.

    CO2 doesn’t alter albedo. CO2 has some absorption lines that lie at the lower end of the Sun’s output spectra, meaning that it can absorb some of the incoming insolation before it gets to earth surface. But that is below TOA so the watts absorbed are already in the system as a whole, all CO2 does from an asborption perspective is change the altitude that some of the insolation is aborbed at.

  75. tchannon says:

    Albedo is reflectivity regardless of wavelength. Or is that human eye only? If so whos?

    Al* absorption lines are within the solar spectrum. This is critical and seems widely ignored.

  76. DMH

    I am talking about additional CO2. As you say, it can absorb some of the incoming insolation before it gets to earth surface. According to GHE theory, CO2 radiates omnidirectionally and therefore half, having done no work, is reflected to space. Albedo is reflection to space of solar radiation that has done no work within the system, no?

  77. davidmhoffer says:

    seeker;
    Aborption followed by re-emission is NOT the same as reflection. Reflection angle of incidence = angle of refraction. Aborption/emission is omni-driectional.

    But as I said in previous comment, all additional CO2 does is change WHERE in the system the energy is absorbed. It still comes out to:

    240 w/m2 in.
    240 w/m2 out.

    All that changes is the altitiude some of the insolation gets absorbed at, and it changes the altitude at which some of the LW gets radiated out.

  78. DMH

    But additional CO2 does have an effect on incoming;

    Add one molecule to the atmosphere (on the sunny side for simplicity), it intercepts one incoming photon – 50% chance of reflection, 50% chance of admittance. Result is, on average, a decrease in system energy. Now on the night side (again for simplicity) our additional molecule has a 50% chance of reflection of an outgoing photon back into the system or the same chance of letting it pass out. Result is, on average, system energy increase. Over day/night cycle – net change zero.

    This would support N&Z (and others). As tchannon says; “This is critical and seems widely ignored.”

  79. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 1:20 am
    RKS;
    Whether you want to imagine dissecting the imaginary coil, or whether you dissect an actual coil the result is the same – zero current.>>>

    This is deliberate obfuscation. The point of the exercise was to observe that there was 1000 times as much current passing through the coil’s cross section versus passing through the wire. If you have to twist the problem into nonsense in order to avoid the point being made then why bother at all.

    The object of the mind game was to somehow explain atmospheric back radiation.

    The point being made was complete nonsense.

    For a coil of 1000 turns the voltage across each turn is equal to the voltage across the coil divided by 1000. (ever used a rheostat?)

    To follow through the mind game:-

    The voltage across the coil causes a current of 1A to flow

    Therefore the current through one isolated turn caused by 1/1000 th of the voltage across the 1000 turn coil would be 1mA.

    Again, to try to suggest a current of 1A through each turn somehow adding up to 1000A is simple platonic sophistry.

    It does not illustrate real world physics, which makes it useless as a way to describe real world processes.

    No obfuscation, just simple basic physics.

    Surely that’s not too obscure for you, even from such an intellectually challenged person as myself.

    I might add that I see many posts, by some very scientifically literate contributors, which describe in sound scientific terms how atmospheric back radiation is an unsound (unproven) hypothesis.

    As far as I’m concerned, those people’s opinions have equal validity as your own.

    If you want to rubbish sceptical views about what some might regard as your irrational views on the subject, why not do something no other scientist has been able to do, and publish a theory which will stand up to rigorous falsification.

    Until then your viewpoint is just one among many equally relevant opinions.

  80. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Until then your viewpoint is just one among many equally relevant opinions.>>>

    To which I reply with the same question I asked earlier to which you have not yet responded:

    As for this highly qualified company you keep, name them. Neither the leading scientists from the warmist or skeptic sides agree with you, so who are these highly qualified companions of yours?

    As I pointed out earlier, the company I keep includes a few million engineers whose designs work as designed on the basis of exactly the physics I’ve laid out. You keep blathering on about “theory” when in fact it isn’t theory at all. That is what ticks me off most about your total nonsense. It is proven wrong so many times per day that nobody bothers to keep track. I’ve done my best to explain WHY things are the way they are, and you continue to pretend that they are otherwise, that there is come theory that is debatable on the matter.

    The only thing debatable is how many people you can fool with your mind games which waste the time of the rest of of us who are interested in getting to the facts that are relevant. you want to muddy the waters with total BS, someone is stuck with the job of pointing out that it is BS, else it turns into a weed that grows out of control.

    But make no mistake.

    You are full of it.

  81. RKS says:

    simpleseekeraftertruth says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:33 am
    DMH

    But additional CO2 does have an effect on incoming;

    Add one molecule to the atmosphere (on the sunny side for simplicity), it intercepts one incoming photon – 50% chance of reflection, 50% chance of admittance. Result is, on average, a decrease in system energy. Now on the night side (again for simplicity) our additional molecule has a 50% chance of reflection of an outgoing photon back into the system or the same chance of letting it pass out. Result is, on average, system energy increase. Over day/night cycle – net change zero.

    This would support N&Z (and others). As tchannon says; “This is critical and seems widely ignored.”

    To paraphrase what N&Z have repeated several times:-

    If their theory describes the cause of planetary surface temperature, then all the mental gymnastics surrounding atmospheric back radiation is completely superfluous.

    They show the temperature of Venus, with a 98% CO2 atmosphere, to be entirely due to atmospheric pressure, and no higher. Supposed back radiation from all that CO2 causes no increase in temperature as some would like us to think.

    Some have shown sound reasons why CO2 might be regarded as aiding heat to flow more easily through the atmosphere. ( but that is as yet a hypothesis).

    And it’s the surface temperature that counts for us feeble humans.

    N&Z and back radiation just don’t mix.

  82. Paul Bahlin says:

    Actually, I thought the coil was a pretty good analog to what is going on in the atmosphere with radiation flux. Perhaps it’s too simple.

    What if you had two perfectly reflective plane surfaces and you inject a bit of radiation between them at an angle so that it bounces along until it comes out somewhere never to be seen again. Lets say 1000 reflections should do it. Add up all the flux at each surface it will be a thousand times larger than what you put in.

    No laws broken. The output equals the input too. Yet someone could claim that one of those surfaces is spewing out 500 times what you put in on the input, violating all manner of established science. This is not credible and the Sophist is the one who makes such a claim, not the one who poses the analogy.

    If you chose a reference frame that is isolated from the total picture you get a ‘cropped’ image. When one says the planet surface can’t emit more than the incoming solar insolation that ignores other energy inputs to the surface. It ignores physical measurements of same.

    And BTW, I’m not a warmist at all, just someone who is highly skeptical of all bad science. What I’m reading here is not refuting my claim in a credible way and I’m not going to go away with name calling. If I’m wrong then explain it to me. I’m listening.

  83. Paul Bahlin says:

    RKS:

    Except that incoming photon is short wave radiation and won’t get absorbed at all until it hits the surface.

  84. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    If their theory describes the cause of planetary surface temperature, then all the mental gymnastics surrounding atmospheric back radiation is completely superfluous.>>>

    BUT IT DOESN’T

    Their theory predicts what the surface temperature of a planet will be for a given atmospheric mass and a given insolation. Predicting what the end result is doesn’t equate to explaining the cause.

  85. Paul Bahlin says:

    RKS:

    Please don’t do any home wiring. Just sayin’

  86. davidmhoffer says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:37 am
    Actually, I thought the coil was a pretty good analog to what is going on in the atmosphere with radiation flux. Perhaps it’s too simple.>>>

    I thought it was an excellent analog. It isn’t too simple if your goal is to understand. If your goal is to obfuscate (aka RKS) then the simplicity and accuracy of same are immaterial. RKS has evidence that the sun circles the earth and no amount of perspective will cure him of his belief system.

    For the record, I’m not a warmist either. In fact, raging skeptic might be a better description.

  87. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:27 am
    RKS;
    Until then your viewpoint is just one among many equally relevant opinions.>>>

    To which I reply with the same question I asked earlier to which you have not yet responded:

    As for this highly qualified company you keep, name them. Neither the leading scientists from the warmist or skeptic sides agree with you, so who are these highly qualified companions of yours?

    So N&Z and Harry Huffman don’t count.

    And what on earth Are all these engineers saying about atmospheric back radiation?

    And you must exist in an exceedingly small bubble to think that no scientists disagree with your ideas.

    As I said before, atmospheric back radiation, as plugged by Trenberth and the IPCC, remains an unproven hypothesis as a description of the atmosphere.

    You can be as rude and offensively pompous as you like, but you most certainly cannot claim it to be proven.

    By the way, it’s not me playing mind games, I was merely responding to Paul Bahlins post of 8:13pm, which he has not yet replied to but to which you butted in with your wittering about “obfuscation”.

    So please check before you try to put words into the mouths of others, as you seem to have difficulties with basic comprehension.

    You really can’t handle your opinions being challenged can you?

    And please stop playing that silly troll’s game of demanding to see other people’s sources. Perhaps I might request that you give me all the names of the “millions” of engineers and scientists who support your views. But there again, this isn’t a playground and I never play those childish games.

    Lastly, I only challenge your ideas. It’s you who plays mind games to somehow ‘prove’ atmospheric back radiation. Be as rude and offensive to your opponents as you like but please remember, nobody likes a sore loser.

  88. Paul Bahlin says:

    I would also submit that the radiation ‘issue’ is far from irrelevant. If, as N&Z say, their mechanism simply swamps any radiation effects (and I’m not placing a judgement on the efficacy of that position), then it is imperative to know what it is, else you can’t make the claim.

    You can not make it go away with hand waving. You have to say “this is what it is, from first principles, and oh BTW we’ve just proven how tiny it is relative to the pressure induced thermal enhancement.” Then it goes away, or not. You can’t make it go away as a factor by ignoring its unpleasantries.

  89. Paul Bahlin says:

    One more thing that is coming through in this thread is the heavy breathing about CO2 in the discussion of IR. This is a trap laid by the AGW theorists. It is water vapor that is the 800 pound gorilla in the atmosphere not CO2. The AGW hypotheses is that CO2 triggers an irrevocable instability that sends us all to hell.

    So when you get your knickers all twisted about the amount of ‘back radiation’ from CO2 and how it can’t do anything, please remember that the first order physics is about the water vapor and if you think it isn’t radiating like all get out then you are beyond redemption.

    You need to understand the water vapor; radiating, cooling, heating, moving, condensing, evaporating, and bumping into things too. If you say to hell with understanding the radiation, that’s a warmist thing, then you are consigning the most important motor in the climate to an irrelevance.

  90. Paul Bahlin says:

    Still waiting on this one….

    “Take two little vacuum thermos if you’d like to make it really simple. Heat each of them at the bottom with 100 W/m2. Pretend one of them was made by cheap skates with a grey coating on the walls so that it has an emissivity of .5. The other was made by spend thrifts with an emissivity of .01.

    Which one will boil your coffee first?”

    Crickets!!!!!!

  91. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;

    A fire built from logs arranged in a “teepee” shape will burn hottest between the opposing faces of the logs, not on the outer faces which have the best access to oxygen. Explain.

    In a cold room, I pick up a sweater, which is at the same temperature as the room and put it on. I warm up. Explain.

    A blast furnace doesn’t work unless it is surrounded by the walls of the furnace which are at a lower temperature than the blast area. Explain.

    If I go to sleep at -30, on a windless night, outside, I will probably freeze to death. If I pile up a mound of snow, hollow it out, and sleep inside, I’ll most likely have to open my jacket a bit to keep from overheating. Explain.

    I pump energy into a freezer, and it gets colder inside. Explain.

    Fuel in a combustion engine burns at a temperature higher than the melting point of the cylinder walls, yet they don’t melt. Explain.

    Snow piled up against the sides of a house will cut the heating bill substantially. Explain.

    Water can be boiled over an open fire in a paper bag. Explain.

    Coal fired boilers are most efficient when the coal is burned inside a constrained space which substantially raises the temperature of the fire. Explain.

    Two beakers with the exact same volume of water in them, but one is hot water and the other is cold water, are placed in a freezer. The hot water freezes first. Explain.

  92. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    So N&Z and Harry Huffman don’t count.>>>

    As I have been trying to explain to you, they do count. Their theories suggest that in the planetary system, back radiation from GHG’s cancels itself out due to negative feedbacks. That is what they say NOT that it doesn’t exist.

    Anymore names that you think agree with you but don’t?

  93. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    As I said before, atmospheric back radiation, as plugged by Trenberth and the IPCC, remains an unproven hypothesis as a description of the atmosphere.
    You can be as rude and offensively pompous as you like, but you most certainly cannot claim it to be proven>>>

    Not once did I endorse the explanation of Trenberth and the IPCC. I was very specific that they have left negative feedbacks out of their model and estimated effects orders of magnitude larger than they are. What you cannot seem to understand is that I am HIGHLY critical of Trenberth and the IPCC, but not because they model radiative physics that do not exist. I’m highly critical of them for modeling radiative physics that do exist, but doing so incorrectly.

  94. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Lastly, I only challenge your ideas. It’s you who plays mind games to somehow ‘prove’ atmospheric back radiation. Be as rude and offensive to your opponents as you like but please remember, nobody likes a sore loser.>>>

    And thus, having failed to engage on any of the substantive issues raised by myself and others, RKS rides, triumphant, off into the sunset, mumbling to himself, “the sun circles the earth, anyone can see that”

  95. davidmhoffer says:

    Paul Bahlin;
    Which one will boil your coffee first?”
    Crickets!!!!!!>>>

    Excellent! (Although why one would boil crickets in one’s coffee is beyond me).

    But that reminds me:

    RKS,

    An incandescent light bulb burns hotter and more efficiently than an inandescent filament with no glass bulb. Explain.

  96. RKS says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:42 am
    RKS:

    Please don’t do any home wiring. Just sayin’

    Well spotted the 1mA bit of sophistry on my part.

    Obviously the voltage across 1 turn is 1000th of the total voltage across the 1000 turn coil. The resistance across the one turn is 1000th of the total resistance of the coil. ergo the current through the turn is equal to the current through the 1000 turn coil.

    But this is where your rather surreal analogy breaks down. By summing the currents we are no longer describing the coil, merely summing the currents from 1000 parallel circuits.We could have got the same result by connecting 1000 coils in parallel.

    I’m sorry but engineers don’t play unrealistic mind games much,as the distortion of basic physical properties grates a bit with our rather practical mindset.

    As with your refecting mirrors analogy, it doesn’t describe the real world so appears to be a little superfluous to requirement.

    Still, a good talking point even if it did get up certain people’s noses.

    By the way, I don’t think N&Z claim their theory simply swamps radiative effects, they simply say that surface temperature is due to atmospheric pressure and insolation due to distance from the Sun and nothing else. Their theory is not “predictive”, as one other poster claims, but is based on sound empirical data. Accordingly they also claim the temperature of Venus, at atmospheric 98% CO2, Is also due to atmospheric pressure and insolation alone, the atmospheric content having no effect whatsoever. ie. no radiative effects!

    As N&Z state, their theory requires a whole new mind set. To understand the Unified Theory of Climate you must first discard the comfort blanket of CO2 back radiation.

    This is hard for those who have tried to adopt a sceptic stance whilst still singing from Trenberth’s song sheet. How can you challenge AGW whilst still extolling the virtues of it’s supporting hypothesis.

    I just noticed your silly comment that I believe the Sun revolves around the Earth because I found your analogy to be a bit of a pointless unscientific mental excercise.

    Please don’t fall into into the trap of assuming you are somehow bound to be right and opposing arguments must be from ignorant people. This particular thread does seem to have more than it’s fair share intellectual arrogance. Not a very good way to conduct a debate.

  97. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 5:01 am
    RKS;
    Lastly, I only challenge your ideas. It’s you who plays mind games to somehow ‘prove’ atmospheric back radiation. Be as rude and offensive to your opponents as you like but please remember, nobody likes a sore loser.>>>

    And thus, having failed to engage on any of the substantive issues raised by myself and others, RKS rides, triumphant, off into the sunset, mumbling to himself, “the sun circles the earth, anyone can see that”

    What an absolute idiot full of pointless questions and nonsensical hypotheses.

    When you raise some sensible “substantive” issues I might engage with them. So far your posts seem to be complete scientific nonsense.

    I disagree with the self proclaimed great man and am therefore scientifically illiterate. What a pompous pr@tt

    Most definitely full of it.

    Perhaps he’ll answer his questions for us and give us all a good laugh, because for me he remains a scientific nonentity.

  98. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 5:11 am

    But that reminds me:

    RKS,

    An incandescent light bulb burns hotter and more efficiently than an inandescent filament with no glass bulb. Explain

    Err, now don’t give me any clues. It wouldn’t be back radiation would it, as opposed to burning hotter in an enclosed vacuum or inert gas, ’cause I can’t see how that helps.

  99. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 4:52 am
    RKS;
    So N&Z and Harry Huffman don’t count.>>>

    As I have been trying to explain to you, they do count. Their theories suggest that in the planetary system, back radiation from GHG’s cancels itself out due to negative feedbacks. >>>

    Their theories might suggest that to you, although Harry Huffman does not regard his collation of empirical data as a theory, But I have yet to read either of them agreeing with what you think they suggest.

    Admit it, you make it up as you go along don’t you?

  100. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 4:49 am
    RKS;

    A fire built from logs arranged in a “teepee” shape will burn hottest between the opposing faces of the logs, not on the outer faces which have the best access to oxygen. Explain.

    In a cold room, I pick up a sweater, which is at the same temperature as the room and put it on. I warm up. Explain.

    A blast furnace doesn’t work unless it is surrounded by the walls of the furnace which are at a lower temperature than the blast area. Explain.

    If I go to sleep at -30, on a windless night, outside, I will probably freeze to death. If I pile up a mound of snow, hollow it out, and sleep inside, I’ll most likely have to open my jacket a bit to keep from overheating. Explain.

    I pump energy into a freezer, and it gets colder inside. Explain.

    Fuel in a combustion engine burns at a temperature higher than the melting point of the cylinder walls, yet they don’t melt. Explain.

    Snow piled up against the sides of a house will cut the heating bill substantially. Explain.

    Water can be boiled over an open fire in a paper bag. Explain.

    Coal fired boilers are most efficient when the coal is burned inside a constrained space which substantially raises the temperature of the fire. Explain.

    Two beakers with the exact same volume of water in them, but one is hot water and the other is cold water, are placed in a freezer. The hot water freezes first. Explain.>>>

    Please, please don’t tell me your answer to all these is ‘back radiation’

  101. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Please, please don’t tell me your answer to all these is ‘back radiation’>>>

    Since according to you, I haven’t a clue, I’ll leave it up to you to explain the driving factors that make these real world observations work the way they do.

    Explain.

  102. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Admit it, you make it up as you go along don’t you?>>>

    I have provided you with a series of real world observations and await your explanation as to how they can exist without back radiation.

    Please explain.

  103. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Err, now don’t give me any clues.>>>

    Your request to remain clueless is granted.

  104. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    As with your refecting mirrors analogy, it doesn’t describe the real world so appears to be a little superfluous to requirement.>>>

    Confronted with a model that illustrates an important aspect of the debate for which RKS has no rebuttal, he sticks his nose in the air and declares it irrelevant.

  105. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 6:03 am
    RKS;
    Admit it, you make it up as you go along don’t you?>>>

    I have provided you with a series of real world observations and await your explanation as to how they can exist without back radiation.

    Please explain.

    Hang on a minute and I’ll go and get a few questions off of Wiki for you then we can all play silly games.

    By the way, since when have the firebrick walls of a blast furnace been colder than the liquid metal contained in them? Have you actually measured that?

    And I’ve yet to try freezing hot and cold water at the same time.

    Paper bags don’t burn because the water inside conducts the heat away. Which is why the base of a saucepan full of water does not burn.

    My sweater not only insulates me from the outside air, but also provides small air pockets which warm up by conduction from my body.

    If you think back radiation has anything to do with the above, then you’re even more self deluded than I thought.

  106. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 6:07 am
    RKS;
    As with your refecting mirrors analogy, it doesn’t describe the real world so appears to be a little superfluous to requirement.>>>

    Confronted with a model that illustrates an important aspect of the debate for which RKS has no rebuttal, he sticks his nose in the air and declares it irrelevant.>>>

    Butt out of other peoples discussions. See below what Paul Bahlin himself says about the mirror analogy.

    Why don’t you research the thread before putting your foot in your mouth and looking like an even bigger fool

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:37 am
    Actually, I thought the coil was a pretty good analog to what is going on in the atmosphere with radiation flux. Perhaps it’s too simple.

    What if you had two perfectly reflective plane surfaces and you inject a bit of radiation between them at an angle so that it bounces along until it comes out somewhere never to be seen again. Lets say 1000 reflections should do it. Add up all the flux at each surface it will be a thousand times larger than what you put in.

    No laws broken. The output equals the input too. Yet someone could claim that one of those surfaces is spewing out 500 times what you put in on the input, violating all manner of established science. This is not credible and the Sophist is the one who makes such a claim, not the one who poses the analogy.

  107. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 6:04 am
    RKS;
    Err, now don’t give me any clues.>>>

    Your request to remain clueless is granted.>>

    A bit of a tame insult for you to make isn’t it.

    If Trenberth’s idea of back radiation if too excessive, what is just the right amount to suit you?

    Noticeable? Infinitesimal? and how does it affect Venus’ surface temperature considering it has so much more CO2, and atmospheric vapour come to that?

  108. RKS says:

    To put things straight regarding N&Z’s opinions on back radiation and it’s relevance I paste a paragraph from their paper below:-

    A) Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
    back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
    maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase
    of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate
    of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.>>>

    So, playing mind games to try to understand back radiation, whilst perhaps being a consuming pastime, is totally irrelevant to the atmospheric mechanisms described by N&Z.

    If it exists, it has absolutely no effect on surface temperature.

  109. Paul-in-UK says:

    Richard M says:

    “Satellites have empirical measurements that support GHGs are the radiating gases”

    I tried googling that and got linked to Skeptical Science – nice graphics showing infra red emission at the top of the atmosphere(water vapour is filtered out) and little to do with thermal radiation =Gamma+X-RAYS+ UV+VISIBLE+INFRA RED.

    As the satellite/ Earth based data is apparently there could you, or someone knowlegable enough, please supply the actual percentages of thermal radiation (W/m2) reaching the ground from each molecular component of the atmosphere.

    I’m just wondering what would happen if we placed a equal mass of nitrogen, oxygen and Hydrogen, CO2 gas at 20c into deep space, allowed them to form into balls under gravity and measured how long each one would take to cool down. Would it follow that Non-GHG’s nitrogen etc would take years/days/ minutes to cool down whereas CO2 would cool almost instantaneously?

  110. RKS says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:33 am
    “N&Z and back radiation just don’t mix”

    My point is that if GHE theory is falsified then that in itself supports N&Z (and others).

    tchannon says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:02 am
    “Albedo is reflectivity regardless of wavelength. Or is that human eye only? If so whos?
    Al* absorption lines are within the solar spectrum. This is critical and seems widely ignored.”

    If you look at any solar spectral plot (at least any that I can find) you will see the very long tail of the distribution curve truncated at around 2500 to 3000 nm. If you continue that tail on past 15000 nm it will encompass all absorption bands of ‘greenhouse’ gases. That tail cannot intersect the base line because, as you say, all absorption lines are within the solar spectrum.

    It therefore follows that CO2, acting as it does on an outgoing photon as in GHE theory (dare I say back radiation), also does so on an incoming photon from the sun. It has been pointed out above that albedo remains unaffected as it is a measure of only full reflection. So my (perhaps rhetorical) question is: where in GHE theory is the partial reflection of insolation considered? The commonly used 240W/m^2 incoming must be reduced.

  111. RKS says:

    simpleseekeraftertruth says:
    February 19, 2012 at 10:09 am
    RKS says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:33 am
    “N&Z and back radiation just don’t mix”

    My point is that if GHE theory is falsified then that in itself supports N&Z (and others).>>>

    Hi there fellow intellectually challenged person.

    To add a bit more precision to my rather blunt statement, I’ve posted an extract from N&Z’s paper at 7:07 am, dealing with the relationship between back radiation and their theory.

    It’s not so much that back radiation and N&Z don’t mix, but rather that back radiation is of no relevance to surface temperature.

    regards,

  112. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS doth pontificate:
    RKS says:
    February 19, 2012 at 7:07 am
    To put things straight regarding N&Z’s opinions on back radiation and it’s relevance I paste a paragraph from their paper below:-
    A) Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
    back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
    maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase
    of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate
    of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.>>>
    So, playing mind games to try to understand back radiation, whilst perhaps being a consuming pastime, is totally irrelevant to the atmospheric mechanisms described by N&Z.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Thankyou for posting a comment from N&Z that backs me up. Your position has been that back radiation doesn’t exist and is incompatible with N&Z. My position has been that back radiation exists, but is cancelled out by negative feedbacks, and is completely consistant with N&Z. What does the excerpt you yourself posted say? Allow me to quote:

    “Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate of surface convective cooling…”

    Just to get you up to speed, “cancelled out” would be a negative feedback.

    And how did you end your piece de resistance?

    RKS;
    If it exists, it has absolutely no effect on surface temperature>>>

    So… having posted a comment from N&Z which states that back radiation gets cancelled out by negative feedback, you now allow that “if it exists” it has no effect on surface temperature. Which, if you read my multiple comments on the matter, is exactly what I said every step of the way. You compound your folly in your response to simpleseekerforthetruth:

    RKS;
    It’s not so much that back radiation and N&Z don’t mix, but rather that back radiation is of no relevance to surface temperature>>>

    So, having called out the competance of myself and others on the existance of back radiation, having complained of mind games, argued that example after example are irrelevant, been abusive, insulting, and frankly, exasperatingly silly, you’ve now come full circle, statin exactly my position at the very beginning of the discussion, and posting evidence from N&Z to support my position after claiming that they supported yours.

    Your apology is accepted.

  113. davidmhoffer says:

    seeker;
    So my (perhaps rhetorical) question is: where in GHE theory is the partial reflection of insolation considered? The commonly used 240W/m^2 incoming must be reduced.>>>

    It is in one of my responses to you.

    Insolation = 1370w/m2 -30% for albedo and then divided by 4 to arrive at 240w/m2. Of the 240w/m2, about 16% is absorbed in the atmosphere before it reaches earth surface.

  114. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    If Trenberth’s idea of back radiation if too excessive, what is just the right amount to suit you?>>>

    Somewhere between zero and inconsequential, exactly like I said upthread.

    RKS;
    Noticeable? Infinitesimal? and how does it affect Venus’ surface temperature considering it has so much more CO2, and atmospheric vapour come to that?>>>

    Somewhere between zero and inconsequential, exactly like I said upthread.

  115. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Butt out of other peoples discussions. See below what Paul Bahlin himself says about the mirror analogy.
    Why don’t you research the thread before putting your foot in your mouth and looking like an even bigger fool>>>

    This from the guy who posted a comment from N&Z rebutting himself.

  116. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    By the way, since when have the firebrick walls of a blast furnace been colder than the liquid metal contained in them? Have you actually measured that?>>>

    Yes, actually, I have.

    RKS;
    And I’ve yet to try freezing hot and cold water at the same time.>>>

    So try it. Note that I said TWO beakers, one with warm water and one with cold water, so drop your silly pretention otherwise.

    RKS;
    Paper bags don’t burn because the water inside conducts the heat away. Which is why the base of a saucepan full of water does not burn.>>>

    RKS gets one right! Thunderous applaus.

    RKS;
    My sweater not only insulates me from the outside air, but also provides small air pockets which warm up by conduction from my body.>>>

    The sweater provides a means of removing heat from your body via conduction, which is actually more efficient than radiance, yet you warm up. Those small air pockets indeed warm up too. But the question was not in regard to how the air pockets warm up, the question was in regard to how the sweater warms YOU up.

    RKS;
    If you think back radiation has anything to do with the above, then you’re even more self deluded than I thought.>>>

    I asked you a series of question to make you think and to assist in illustrating a point. The answers are not the same answer for each question, but each of them serves to explain part of the larger picture. Back radiation indeed is the reason your sweater warms you up. I note that you skipped several questions completely. For someone that accuses me of failing to research the thread, your own failure to do so, and your selective responses to various facts and arguments, is becoming glaringly obviously contrived.

  117. Paul Bahlin says:

    RKS:

    After a good night’s sleep it dawned on me (get it) that your insistence that 390 watts per meter squared leaving the earth’s surface is voodoo math might be a symptom that you are confusing energy flow with energy content. Let me explain what I mean …..

    To keep it very simple consider a mass with a black body surface with no internal energy. Switch on a constant flux of 100 Joules per meter squared per second and shoot it all at the surface. When I first turn on the flux, the mass emits no radiation at all. It acts like a big energy reservoir. It will begin to radiate as it fills but outgoing radiation will not equal incoming until such time as the mass has sufficient energy CONTENT to radiate an amount equal to what is coming in.

    When it CONTAINS enough energy, balance is achieved and at that instant in time the reservoir can’t accept anymore energy CONTENT. It’s filled with some constant value of Joules and it emits 100 Joules per meter squared per second.

    Now surround the mass with some radiation permeable barrier that has an emissivity of, say 60%. 60% of the outgoing black body radiation can no longer get out of the system. The incoming flux is still there but now the system is out of balance. The size of the energy reservoir has been increased by this barrier and as a result it can CONTAIN more energy so the incoming flux fills the reservoir to a new level of energy CONTENT.

    Now some simple math will show that to balance the system radiation budget the new value of Joules in the mass has to increase to a value sufficient to cause a radiation of 167 Joules per square meter per second from the surface. 60% of that penetrates the barrier and escapes the system, balancing the energy budget.

    At this point you may be thinking, aha the voodoo is back. 167 is bigger than what is coming in. But remember that I’ve increased the system energy CONTENT to encompass a barrier. The 167 amounts to internal book keeping doesn’t it? The bigger energy content is what provides the energy potential to drive a FLUX that is larger than the incoming flux.

    I’ll leave it to you to ponder what happens at the barrier to the additional 67 Joules per meter squared per second.

  118. Paul Bahlin says:

    BTW:

    My previous post leads me to another thought. It doesn’t matter whether my permeable barrier with a long wave emissivity is an artifact of N&Z theory, back radiation, billiard balls in space, or unicorn dust. Each mechanism MUST display this emissivity nature or we all become statues in an ice world.

  119. Paul Bahlin says:

    And another point to ponder in case there is a remnant skepticism about.

    What will be the long wave radiation from the surface of the earth be when or if the N&Z theory is proven correct?

  120. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 11:46 am>>

    Tell me sunshine, who was who used Trenberth’s stats, including the 390W/m^2 to win their arguement, thus appearing to back Trenberth’s claims vis a vis CO2 led AGW, and then said about 20 posts later that he did not, after all, agree with Trenberth’s take on AGW as it was too excessive, without actually telling us what level was within the Goldilocks zone.

    You’re all over the place, first you act like a warmist zealot arguing Trenberth’s stats for him, and get repudiated for your use of those ridiculous figures.

    Trenberth is pure and simple, something for nothing voodoo science, and by using his stats you leave yourself wide open to criticism.

    Behave like Trenberth then expect to be treated like him. That was the argument I opposed and you did nothing to show you thought different.

    I said back radiation was not relevant to N&Z and you simply replied with abuse.

    I’ve never doubted a small level of multi directional emission from aerosols and trace gasses, but as I said at the very start, It’s completely pointless to discuss it on this thread because it is totally irrelevant to N&Z’s climate model.

    And where on earth did you study thermodynamics to come up with that ridiculous bunch of examples to discuss back radiation?

    And don’t forget that you started with the abuse and insults, thus setting yourself up as a Aunt Sally with your narcissistic need to get the last word in.

    Are we to continue with the playground antics, or are you going to go back quietly to try to somehow make back radiation an integral and necessary part of N&Z’s model as you said you wanted to do, because before you do I’d appreciate it if you have any links to the work of Jelbring and Miskolczi you mentioned earlier.

  121. RKS says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    February 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    RKS:

    After a good night’s sleep it dawned on me (get it) that your insistence that 390 watts per meter squared leaving the earth’s surface is voodoo math might be a symptom that you are confusing energy flow with energy content. Let me explain what I mean …..>>>

    Hi,

    thanks for the input but as I said previously, on this thread in particular I think it’s completely pointless to discuss back radiation, and Trenberths stats, as they have no relevance whatsoever to N&Z’s climate model.

    As it’s obviously of no significance to the climate, I think it might perhaps be better left as minority pursuit for purists.

    My own concern is with the effect of N&Z on AGW hypothesis that’s pushing up power bills, and causing the aged and infirm to die of hypothermia because they can’t afford to heat their homes.

    As an engineer, what if’s and guessing the number of angels on a pinhead really doesn’t interest me. Neither does insignificant back radiation which has absolutely no effect on climate. It’s a distraction which really doesn’t matter, other than being a really tiny redundant cog in a rather big machine.

    I came to the thread to discuss N&Z, not the private, and irrelevant, projects of some other contributors.

    Now I’ve had a bit of entertainment, I’m finished with the tit for tat playground antics and will return to lurk mode.

    But it would be nice if contributors used the thread to discuss the pro’s and con’s of N&Z’s work, rather than going off topic with their own pet irrelevances.

  122. Paul Bahlin says:
    February 19, 2012 at 3:39 am
    “Except that incoming photon is short wave radiation and won’t get absorbed at all until it hits the surface.”

    I think that that may have been addressed to my comment at 2:33 am. However, solar radiation is full spectrum and includes all the absorbing bands of the greenhouse gases. So if that photon is at one of the absorbing frequencies it has just the same chance of suffering the slings and arrows of *back radiation* as a similar photon within the planet system on its way out. This is true whether the effect is (using this thread’s terms) zero, inconsequential or an 800lb gorilla.

    Basically, whatever a greenhouse gas does to outgoing flux it also does to incoming. It is only the magnitude of those effects that can be argued over.

    My initial purpose in posting on this thread was to support N&Z by pointing out what I see (and still do) to be a flaw in current GHE theory.

  123. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    Are we to continue with the playground antics, or are you going to go back quietly to try to somehow make back radiation an integral and necessary part of N&Z’s model as you said you wanted to do, because before you do I’d appreciate it if you have any links to the work of Jelbring and Miskolczi you mentioned earlier.>>>

    Why would I bother? The person who dragged this thing completely off topic was you, the person who ridiculed my position and then proved it was you, the person who cited N&Z as contradicting me and then proved the opposite was you, the person who claims an engineering degree but clearly doesn’t have one (unless they’re giving out engineering degrees in buffoonery now) was you. Now you want help finding those links? LOL.

    RKS;
    My initial purpose in posting on this thread was to support N&Z by pointing out what I see (and still do) to be a flaw in current GHE theory.>>>

    And you’ve now managed to prove exactly what I said in the first place. The flaw you claimed to see was that back radiation doesn’t exist and N&Z proved it. You’ve now shown that N&Z agree (with me) that back radiation exists, you’ve now shown that N&Z agree (with me) that it is cancelled out by negative feedbacks, and you’ve now shown that you understand neither back radiation nor N&Z.

    N&Z is a tremendous stride forward in understanding what the driving factors in climate in general and surface temperature in particular are. Claiming that back radiation doesn’t exists as a means of supporting them is akin to claiming that the sun circles the earth as a means of supporting them,. If you truly support them, then stick to science that supports them. By claiming things that aren’t true and citing those things as supporting evidence for N&Z, you harm their cause instead of helping it.

  124. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    RKS;
    My initial purpose in posting on this thread was to support N&Z by pointing out what I see (and still do) to be a flaw in current GHE theory.>>>

    I think you’re responding to the wrong post, again, little man.

    Try simpleseekeraftertruth, the other contributor you referred to as “intellectually challenged”.

    Perhaps it’s just senility catching up with you but do, please, continue with your thermodynamics studies, perhaps you’ll discover how a container of water – paper, glass or metal, really boils without overheating the base.

    Don’t tell me – is it back radiation?

    I’m sorry but by those silly examples alone, you’ve shown yourself to be virtually scientifically illiterate.

    Now go away my sad little friend and let others lurk in peace.

  125. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    thanks for the input but as I said previously, on this thread in particular I think it’s completely pointless to discuss back radiation, and Trenberths stats, as they have no relevance whatsoever to N&Z’s climate model.>>>

    Trenberth aside, they DO have relevance. In fact, they are integral to N&Z’s model.

    The earth surface really is 390 w/m2 “on average”. Insolation really is 240 w/m2 “on average”.

    A major part of N&Z’s position rests on the understanding of Holder’s Inequality which, when one considers that P(w/m2) varies with T^4 (deg K), shows that the BB temperature of earth is well below the calculation given by simply converting an “average” insolation to T. Doing so gives us the maximum value for T, which in turn can only occurr on an earth where temperature is completely uniform. A realistic BB temperature for earth considering a very high insolation at the equator which tapers off to zero at the poles and which is round and which spins, is more like 135K than 255K (that’s not me speaking, read N&Z where they explain that). N&Z’s theory relies on processes of back radiation, conduction, and convection to move energy flux around such that the planet’s temperature is more uniform, raising it to a number higher than 135K. What they say rather clearly, is that if there is more back radiation, there will be a negative feedback from conduction to compensate, but you have to break this down into two pieces. Piece one is that the negative feedback maintains the energy balance. Piece two is that the process still moves energy from hot parts of earth to cold parts of earth resulting in a more uniform temperature and thus, via Holder’s Inequality, a higher “average” temperature.

    But all of that doesn’t explain how the earth surface arrives at a temperature above the Holder’s Inequality limit of 255K. (and it does, 390 w/m2 equates to 288K). In order to reconcile this apparent conundrum, there must be processes that do not alter N&Z’s results, yet still explain the higher surface temperature.

    Paul Bahlin has posited one possible (and rather sensible) explanation, which you poo poo as immaterial, when in fact it is central to supporting N&Z. Paul has suggested that back radiation re-circulates energy flux in such a manner that is gets “counted” more often than it should in the context of an energy balance, but still raises the effective surface temperature. This has merit, but is incomplete. There have to be other processes at play.

  126. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    RKS;
    My initial purpose in posting on this thread was to support N&Z by pointing out what I see (and still do) to be a flaw in current GHE theory.>>>

    I think you’re responding to the wrong post, again, little man.>>>

    I did indeed respond to the wrong post, and you seem to be projecting.

  127. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    I’m sorry but by those silly examples alone, you’ve shown yourself to be virtually scientifically illiterate.
    Now go away my sad little friend and let others lurk in peace.>>>

    I shall let the generally astute readership of this blog arrive at their own conclusions as to who is scientifically illterate. If you would actually lurk, I would actually leave you in peace. But since you instead insist on loudlyinserting yourself into the discussion, making all manner of remarks which you then contradict without realising your folly, nor how ridiculous it makes you look, I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.

  128. davidmhoffer says:

    Paul Bahlin,

    I was thinking about your coil of wire analogy, and I can see where it applies to LW which is essentially recirculated by back radiation. Do you think your analogy could be extended to cover other processes?

    I’m thinking about the hydrological cycle in particular. Yes, it happens in slow motion in comparison to radiance, but it isn’t about speed, it is about order of magnitude. Insolation is absorbed by water, promoting evaporation. But that gives us a temperature even lower than BB, and we’re looking for a higher one.

    The other end of the cycle however has all that water vapour returning to earth surface. The formation of the rain drops occurs at altitude, releasing energy there. The rain drops fall however, and they convert potential energy to kinetic energy as they do, and that kinetic energy gets released upon impact with earth surface. I’ve not done any back of the envelope calcs to see if this would be of a magnitude sufficient to be significant, but it seems to me it would have the same end result as your coil of wire, causing the flux to be counted more than once.

  129. RKS says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    RKS;
    thanks for the input but as I said previously, on this thread in particular I think it’s completely pointless to discuss back radiation, and Trenberths stats, as they have no relevance whatsoever to N&Z’s climate model.>>>

    Trenberth aside, they DO have relevance. In fact, they are integral to N&Z’s model.

    The earth surface really is 390 w/m2 “on average”. Insolation really is 240 w/m2 “on average”.

    A major part of N&Z’s position rests on the understanding of Holder’s Inequality which, when one considers that P(w/m2) varies with T^4 (deg K), shows that the BB temperature of earth is well below the calculation given by simply converting an “average” insolation to T. Doing so gives us the maximum value for T, which in turn can only occurr on an earth where temperature is completely uniform. A realistic BB temperature for earth considering a very high insolation at the equator which tapers off to zero at the poles and which is round and which spins, is more like 135K than 255K (that’s not me speaking, read N&Z where they explain that). N&Z’s theory relies on processes of back radiation, conduction, and convection to move energy flux around such that the planet’s temperature is more uniform, raising it to a number higher than 135K. What they say rather clearly, is that if there is more back radiation, there will be a negative feedback from conduction to compensate, but you have to break this down into two pieces. Piece one is that the negative feedback maintains the energy balance. Piece two is that the process still moves energy from hot parts of earth to cold parts of earth resulting in a more uniform temperature and thus, via Holder’s Inequality, a higher “average” temperature.

    But all of that doesn’t explain how the earth surface arrives at a temperature above the Holder’s Inequality limit of 255K. (and it does, 390 w/m2 equates to 288K). In order to reconcile this apparent conundrum, there must be processes that do not alter N&Z’s results, yet still explain the higher surface temperature.

    Paul Bahlin has posited one possible (and rather sensible) explanation, which you poo poo as immaterial, when in fact it is central to supporting N&Z. Paul has suggested that back radiation re-circulates energy flux in such a manner that is gets “counted” more often than it should in the context of an energy balance, but still raises the effective surface temperature. This has merit, but is incomplete. There have to be other processes at play.>>>>

    Wow, I really have to respond to this little gem.

    What part of N&Z’s discussion on back radiation (below) did you manage to get all that info from.

    So when they state “Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
    back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
    maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase” they mean something totally different?

    When they state that surface temperature is totally independent of atmospheric content, including CO2, aerosols and uncle Tom Cobbley, that they really meant to include back radiation from trace gasses.

    You do seem to read a massive amount between the lines when most English speaking people would stupidly only read what is actually written.

    They state quite clearly that surface temperature has nothing to do with atmospheric content or back radiation.

    Their calculations are based on insolation and atmospheric pressure alone, the question of back radiation is not covered at all in their calculations for surface temperature.

    Now stop making it up as you go along and try sticking rigidly to what they actually say, as opposed to the voices between your ears.

    A) Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
    back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
    maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase
    of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate
    of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.>>>
    So, playing mind games to try to understand back radiation, whilst perhaps being a consuming pastime, is totally irrelevant to the atmospheric mechanisms described by N&Z.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  130. tchannon says:

    Co-mod writes: Cool it a little please folks. RKS is trying to call it a day and pointing out this is not really the place to discuss a detail. I don’t see that as capitulation, just stopping.

    The subject of back radiation is for some reason contentious yet what is going on is very simple.
    There is both forward and reverse flux, where figuring out which is which can be impossible.

    Too much going on this side of the fence to take part properly.

    I have in mind posting an article which will involve this, then there can be argument.

  131. RKS says:

    tchannon says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    Co-mod writes: Cool it a little please folks. RKS is trying to call it a day and pointing out this is not really the place to discuss a detail. I don’t see that as capitulation, just stopping.

    The subject of back radiation is for some reason contentious yet what is going on is very simple.
    There is both forward and reverse flux, where figuring out which is which can be impossible.

    Too much going on this side of the fence to take part properly.

    I have in mind posting an article which will involve this, then there can be argument.>>>

    Many thanks. I’ll have a nap and then continue lurking and learning, with a bit of Bishop Hill on the side.

  132. Paul Bahlin says:

    David:

    I think there’s a lot of merit to analyzing each and every flow. I’ve never seen it done and even the N&Z paper simply hand waves the cancellation of flows from radiation and convection.

    While I don’t disagree (at least vehemently) with their conclusion, I’ve not seen them do the calcs to prove their supposition. Perhaps they’ve been done somewhere I’m not aware of.

    I really believe the first order model required is to treat the atmosphere as something like a leaky diode that discriminates between incoming shortwave and outgoing longwave. At the highest level of modeling it really doesn’t matter what mechanisms create the diodes forward and reverse impedances.

    The fact is the impedances exist because we can measure them, and they’ll exist with the AGW folks, the N&Z folks, the billiard ball guy, the molten core is heating the ocean folks, and the ones that think unicorn dust, coal dust, and pollen are causing stuff to happen.

    Any mechanism anyone comes up with has to deal with this because the stark evidence no one can deny is that we aren’t all frozen to death and life as we know it has been around and mostly thriving for something like 4 billion years because SOMETHING is making the atmosphere have a long wave emissivity that is around 60%.

    For people to deny that this is significant, well they’re just not serious.

    per the mods request; over and out.

  133. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    You do seem to read a massive amount between the lines when most English speaking people would stupidly only read what is actually written>>>

    I’ve read every thread and every commment on every thread regarding their work both here and at WUWT. I’ve read everything they’ve written, every answer to every question. I made some remarks from having read ALL of their work that expand the discussion based on ALL their work [snip]

  134. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    So, playing mind games to try to understand back radiation, whilst perhaps being a consuming pastime, is totally irrelevant to the atmospheric mechanisms described by N&Z.>>>

    MODS
    What I said in the FIRST place was that back radiation did not affect surface temperature AS PER N&Z. What I also said is that N&Z does not provide a COMPLETE explanation of the surface temperature we see, only a method of predicting it. What I said in the FIRST place is that back radiation exists and is an important element to understand in getting to a complete picture. In return [snip][RKS] has made any number of accusations against me personally, made some of the most ignorant and blatantly wrong pronouncements regarding science that I have ever seen, argues in circles that contradict his own position, and you’re asking me to allow him to bow out gracefully? [snip]

  135. davidmhoffer says:

    Paul Bahlin;

    AHA! AHA! AHA!

    (Aha moment to follow)

    You gave me an idea from your last response. Yes we can model (roughly) SW as being one way due to a diode and LW being one way due to a diode in the opposite direction. We can model a capacitor that gets charged by this circuit as charging to a voltage which has a lower limit governed by Holder’s Inequality and the relative resistance of the charge and discharge circuits, and an upper limit defined by the peak voltage.

    But given that LW originates from multiple layers of the atmosphere as well as earth surface, and each is at a different temperature, we cannot model the system as a SINGLE capacitor, we have to model it as multiple capacitors in series. So here comes the conundrum and the Aha! moment.

    Let’s say I have a series of capacitors. I measure the “voltage” across all of them combined, and I get 240. Then I measure the voltage across the one on the bottom and it measures 390. What conclusion would I draw?

    The conclusion I would draw is that some of the capacitors are charged in reverse. There are additional wires and diodes in the circuit that result in some of the capacitors charging with the opposite polarity to the rest of the capacitors. The voltage across the stack is 240 but it is the fact that some of them are negative and some of them are positive that result in one big one at the bottom being 390 and the total across the stack being 240.

    I’ll cross post this in the “short circuit” thread as it seems more appropriate there, but you gave me the idea here.

  136. RKS says:

    MODS.

    I’ve had another chat with Ned Nikolov and asked him to clarify the effect of back radiation on his theory.

    He’s usually pretty thorough in his replies and leaves few stones unturned.

    I’m sorry davidmhoffer feels so aggrieved, but if you look back through the posts you will see I was on the receiving end of snide remarks and insults long before I grabbed the bull by the horns and gave as good as I got.

    [snip]

    [Reply] In future, please draw any objection to another another’s comments to the mod’s attention rather than wading in with a counterblast. Thanks.

  137. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS: [snip] You started out with a position that you yourself proved was incorrect via evidence that you yourself presented. Remember when I apologised to seeker? I did so because I was wrong.

    You dismissed with sarcasm and obfuscation the ligitimate explanations of simple matters by multiple people rather than engage in any meaningful scientific discussion, and so you caught a broadside or two [snip]

    [Reply] OK, everyone has had their say (albeit shortened to fit site policy). So now, back to polite debate! ;)

  138. RKS says:

    MODS

    I’ll admit I did perhaps go over the top a with davidmhoffer in response to his condescending digs at me, and did rather bait him a bit with a few silly posts, some of which were indeed factually incorrect. I apologise to you and him for stringing out the discussion in that way, but must also remind him to remember several posts where he completely got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

    I won’t respond to him personally as I’m really quite fed up with the tit for tat nonsense that’s gone on to date.

    Subject over, I won’t jump in on his posts if he doesn’t jump in on mine, and we can coexist perfectly well.

  139. tallbloke says:

    Hi all, Kath and I just back from my birthday treat: a late winter walkabout in the Yorkshire Dales. We’re pretty tired and stiff from climbing a couple of hills today and the drive home, so it’s hot bath and a relax with a dram or two in front of the woodburner for us. I gather from looking at the ‘pending comments’ admin page that tempers got a bit hot in the heat of debate here. I’ll have a read through and in the meantime, if you good folks would like to make life easier for me, please resubmit your main points in non-inflammatory fashion as mini position statements, and we can then move on from the radiative stuff to consider other important aspects of the N&Z theory.

    Thanks for your co-operation.

    Rog

  140. Richard M says:

    Well, I see this blog is not the place for me. I will take my ideas elsewhere since no one appears to be interested.

    I will leave you with one additional thought. N&Z got lots of flack for their free parameters in equation 8. They ended up with this problem because all they really did was a fit. The reason it came close and the reason it looks a lot like the ideal gas law is because the right answer is based on the ideal gas law. However, various gases have slightly different attributes which is why the equation appears strange. The right answer is exactly the ideal gas law with modifications for the various molecules found in the atmosphere. Since Earth has so much water vapor it will necessarily be different than the others.

  141. davidmhoffer says:

    Richard M says:
    February 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm
    Well, I see this blog is not the place for me. I will take my ideas elsewhere since no one appears to be interested.>>>

    You had several relevant comments, some of which I managed to respond to, but I would encourage you not to judge the blog in general by the descent of this thread into madness. Your comments simply got buried in a louder debate, doesn’t mean they weren’t noted.

  142. Tenuc says:

    tchannon says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    “…The subject of back radiation is for some reason contentious yet what is going on is very simple.

    There is both forward and reverse flux, where figuring out which is which can be impossible.

    Too much going on this side of the fence to take part properly.

    I have in mind posting an article which will involve this, then there can be argument.”

    Thanks, Tim, looking forward to it. Lots of confusion and bad science regarding the roll of radiation in climate ‘science’ – too many assumptions and thought experiments, not enough hard scientific evidence… :-)

  143. Stephen Wilde says:

    Richard M said:

    “The right answer is exactly the ideal gas law with modifications for the various molecules found in the atmosphere.”

    I am inclined to agree with that.

    Composition being relevant to internal system energy distribution and the rates of energy flow through the different components but not to the total system energy content.

    ————————————————–.

    RKS referred to N & Z as saying this:

    “A) Global surface temperature is independent of the down-welling LW flux known as greenhouse or
    back radiation, because both quantities derive from the same pool of atmospheric kinetic energy
    maintained by solar heating and air pressure. Variations in the downward LW flux (caused by an increase
    of tropospheric emissivity, for example) are completely counterbalanced (offset) by changes in the rate
    of surface convective cooling, for this is how the system conserves its internal energy.>>>”

    I think there is some confusion in the earlier parts of this thread as to what that means.

    N & Z are not accepting the presence of backradiation in the form proposed by AGW theory.

    What they are saying and the way I understand it is that ATE places maximum kinetic energy in the air at or just above the surface and it is that energy at or just above the surface that is interacting with the surface and not some form of more distant energy source higher up in the atmosphere.

    On that basis the surface temperature is indeed set by ATE (or the Gas Laws) without any additional contribution from whatever is going on higher up in the atmosphere.

    So, if anything happening higher up tries to alter that ATE induced surface temperature it will simply be offset by a change in convective and other non radiative processes to leave the surface temperature unchanged.

    However I do think their wording is open to the confusion that has arisen and would be best clarified in Part 2.

    In the meantime I have submitted a post to Rog for consideration regarding the whole issue of backradiation which I consider to be a myth. Better to regard the energy held by the air as scattering rather than downwelling, upwelling, sidewelling or whatever. Doug Cotton made that very point in one of his comments.

  144. RKS says:

    MODS

    In my first post on this thread I said that it was pointless to discuss back radiation (on this thread) as that is irrelevant to N&Z’s theory.

    That seemed too controversial for some and led to a rather heated exchange of posts, of which I hold myself partly to blame because of my fight or flight reactions to the conceived idea of being bullied, which I’m afraid lowered the tone of the blog, and achieved nothing by way of clarifying the issue.

    I decided the best approach was to was to appeal to the umpire and emailed Nick Nikolov for an up to date definitive answer to an aspect of his theory which many seem to difficult to grasp.

    I obtained his permission to make public my email to him and his reply.

    The only editing done is to replace my name with the pseudonym I use to keep cranks out of my private life.

    The email chain, with my name and address edited is pasted below:-

    [RKS],

    Your comprehension ability is fine, which cannot be said unfortunately for a number of other folks on the blog … :-)

    Section 3.3 in our fist paper is quite clear that the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ as defined by us is NOT a radiative phenomenon …

    Yes, you may use my reply below. I misspelled the word ‘force’ in one sentence in my previous email, so use the paragraph below.

    If I may ask – what is your professional background?

    – Ned

    On 2/19/2012 2:06 PM, [RKS] wrote:
    .Many thanks Nick, I’m really grateful for your prompt and detailed response. It’s nice to know I haven’t completely lost my powers of comprehension yet.

    May I use your reply to put the matter straight with the other party?

    Best regards,

    [RKS].

    From: Ned Nikolov
    To: [RKS]>
    Cc: Karl Zeller
    Sent: Sunday, 19 February 2012, 18:26
    Subject: Re: United Theory of Climate

    Hi [RKS],

    You understood it correctly – back radiation is totally irrelevant, since it contributes nothing to raising the surface temperature. The warming effect of back radiation on surface temperature is COMPLETELY offset (neutralized) in the real system by the convective cooling. This neutralizing effect is not simulated correctly by climate models, because they solve radiative transfer decoupled from convection! The relative enhancement factor (NTE = Ts/Tgb), which we use as new and more appropriate definition of the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, is ENTIRELY a pressure phenomenon and it has no dependence on radiation! Pressure provides thermal enhancement through its physical characteristic of FORCE. Kinetic energy of the atmosphere (determining its temperature) is a product of FORCE per unit area * VOLUME of the atmosphere. The force is provided by pressure, while the volume is determined by solar heating… I hope this answers your question.

    – Ned

    On 2/19/2012 9:35 AM, [RKS] wrote:
    Hello again.

    Having read your paper several times, I have been under the opinion that surface temperature is independent of back radiation.

    However discussion on Tallbloke by one party insists that back radiation is an integral part of your theory, which leaves me confused as to whether I should regard back radiation as relevant to surface temperature or not.

    I attach a copy of the post below and would appreciate it if you could spare the time to put me straight regarding this subject:-

    davidmhoffer says:
    February 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    RKS;
    thanks for the input but as I said previously, on this thread in particular I think it’s completely pointless to discuss back radiation, and Trenberths stats, as they have no relevance whatsoever to N&Z’s climate model.>>>
    Trenberth aside, they DO have relevance. In fact, they are integral to N&Z’s model.
    The earth surface really is 390 w/m2 “on average”. Insolation really is 240 w/m2 “on average”.
    A major part of N&Z’s position rests on the understanding of Holder’s Inequality which, when one considers that P(w/m2) varies with T^4 (deg K), shows that the BB temperature of earth is well below the calculation given by simply converting an “average” insolation to T. Doing so gives us the maximum value for T, which in turn can only occurr on an earth where temperature is completely uniform. A realistic BB temperature for earth considering a very high insolation at the equator which tapers off to zero at the poles and which is round and which spins, is more like 135K than 255K (that’s not me speaking, read N&Z where they explain that). N&Z’s theory relies on processes of back radiation, conduction, and convection to move energy flux around such that the planet’s temperature is more uniform, raising it to a number higher than 135K. What they say rather clearly, is that if there is more back radiation, there will be a negative
    feedback from
    conduction to compensate, but you have to break this down into two pieces. Piece one is that the negative feedback maintains the energy balance. Piece two is that the process still moves energy from hot parts of earth to cold parts of earth resulting in a more uniform temperature and thus, via Holder’s Inequality, a higher “average” temperature.
    But all of that doesn’t explain how the earth surface arrives at a temperature above the Holder’s Inequality limit of 255K. (and it does, 390 w/m2 equates to 288K). In order to reconcile this apparent conundrum, there must be processes that do not alter N&Z’s results, yet still explain the higher surface temperature.
    Paul Bahlin has posited one possible (and rather sensible) explanation, which you poo poo as immaterial, when in fact it is central to supporting N&Z. Paul has suggested that back radiation re-circulates energy flux in such a manner that is gets “counted” more often than it should in the context of an energy balance, but still raises the effective surface temperature. This has merit, but is incomplete. There have to be other processes at play.>>>>

    Best regards,
    [RKS]
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I hope this helps to make N&Z’s position crystal clear for those who might have been confused by [authoritative sounding] misinformation stating otherwise.

    I’m now looking forward to N&Z part 2.

    Regards,

    RKS

  145. Terry says:

    Jumping back to Tallbloke’s original question, here are my suggestions for the areas that N&Z need address in more (or less) detail that will solidify their arguments. (1) My origninal hobby-horse — the fact that it is claimed that convection dominates radiation as a mechanism of moving the “excess” heat from the earth’s surface (solid and liquid) to the upper atmosphere where it can be radiated to space. Inspection of their equations (4) and using the values quoted therein does indeed show that convection terms are larger than the radiation terms. However, the convection terms are surely a linearization of the process with just a simple heat transfer coefficient times a delta T. So how are the nonlinear process associated with latent heat associated with evaporation, transpiration, sublimation, condensation, etc. handled by such a simple term? (2) Let’s assume that is all handled by the simple linearization and N&Z are on the right track. Then it appears that it follows from the claim in (1) above that the lapse rate then results to maintain said convective processes and hence a system with a denser and or thicker atmoshpere will have a higher surface temperature. I had great difficulty in following their arguments to support this. It seems to me that they jumped too quickly into the micro-mechanics of an ideal gas to explain the phenomena. It was only after reading and barely and perhaps dangerously understanding simple meteorological descriptions of lapse rates did I come to accept their arguments as being plausible.

    So my suggestions are that they provide better support for their claim that convection is the dominant heat transfer mechanism and that they work out a clearer explaination that if the former is true that the lapse rate follows.

    I certainly hope so and to me their correlation of surface temps versus atmospheric pressure supports their claim.

  146. davidmhoffer says:

    I hope this helps to make N&Z’s position crystal clear for those who might have been confused by [authoritative sounding] misinformation stating otherwise.>>>

    The argument sir, was in regard to the existance of back radiation, which you said did not exist. the argument sir, was in regard to the possibility that back radiation could exist without negating N&Z. The excerpt you sent N&Z sir, is out of context of the thread as a whole.

    Ned;
    You understood it correctly – back radiation is totally irrelevant, since it contributes nothing to raising the surface temperature.>>>

    Which is exactly what I said. That N&Z predict the surface temperature regardless of back radiation, but that doesn’t mean that back radiation doesn’t exist or that it is incompatible with N&Z.

  147. davidmhoffer says:

    Ned;
    You understood it correctly – back radiation is totally irrelevant, since it contributes nothing to raising the surface temperature>>>

    Ned,
    I am in agreement that back radiation doesn’t seem to influence surface temperature. But that doesn’t mean that it can be dismissed out of hand. PV=nRT provides a mechanism by which the surface temperature can be predicted, and also provides a means by which it may be shown that a change in the composition of the atmosphere while mass remains the same dictates that T cannot change as a result.

    This is all well and fine, but it doesn’t provide an explanation for the physical processes which result in the temperature profile we see. There are clearly processes at work that move energy about the system as a whole, and if we have more of one (increased GHG’s for example) then we must have less of another (conduction or convection perhaps). At day’s end however, a physical process must exist to explain a surface temperature radiating at a higher energy flux than incoming insolation. Your theory is elegant,profound, and indeed a paradigm shift.

    As I said in another thread, when asked to determine the weight of gravel in a bucket, one can go to great lengths to determine from a representative sample what the grains size distribution is, what the compaction factor is, what the settling factor is, and come up with an estimate. Or, one can weight the bucket with the gravel in it, pour the gravel out, weigh the empty bucket, and subtract. This is essentially what you have done with your equations that predict surface temperature. You’ve put the physical processes aside and arrived at the weight of the gravel.

    But at days end, if we were to discover that the gravel at the bottom of the pail was twice as dense as the gravel at the top of the pail, and we wanted to know why, we’d have no choice but to go back to sifting through the gravel to understand grain size distribution, compaction and settling factors, and other physical processes that may be present that we haven’t understood or quanitied.

    I’m fine with your position that back radiation doesn’t affect surface temperature. I’m not fine with anyone who says it doesn’t exist. And until you or someone else provides an explanation of the physical processes by which your predicted surface temperatures become true, your detractors will continue to attack you on that point.

  148. Richard M says:

    On the issue of back-radiation. If you review my earlier comment you will see that an atmosphere like the Earth’s is mathematically equivalent to one with no back-radiation and a short delay (microseconds) in radiating the heat to space.

    So, if one can prove that a short delay would not lead to anything but an inconsequential warming of the planet, then the entire question of back-radiation becomes moot. It can’t be the cause of the warming. This is simple math. Any folks with physics backgrounds willing to do the analysis?

    This is why I believe that radiating gases end up warming the atmosphere because they allow the heat from the surface to pass through the atmosphere and still get radiated to space (conduction can’t do this and neither can anything N&Z propose). This ends up creating the lapse rate.

    Convection modifies the lapse rate. Water vapor latent heat also allows heat to bypass the flow of heat through the radiating gases. Hence, these variables modify the basic ideal gas law lapse rate but are not the cause of a warmer surface.

    Interestingly, these variations of the lapse rate allow for planets to maintain a temperature ideal for life. A planet closer to the star has more convection while one further away would have less convection. Planets can exist within a range of distances from a star. Another example of a Universe designed for life.

  149. Richard M says:

    Davidmhoffer: “There are clearly processes at work that move energy about the system as a whole, and if we have more of one (increased GHG’s for example) then we must have less of another (conduction or convection perhaps). At day’s end however, a physical process must exist to explain a surface temperature radiating at a higher energy flux than incoming insolation.”

    Once again this is exactly what I have proposed. The energy flows through the radiating gases as it leaves the system. The ideal temperature at any elevation is based on the IGL. Hence, these radiating gases work to maintain that temperature. If the space they occupy gets a little warmer they radiate more energy. If it gets a little cool they absorb more energy.

    If you add more of these gases you just make the process more efficient due to Kirchhoff’s law. While they would clearly absorb more radiation coming from the surface, they would also emit more radiation that exists in the space they occupy. The so-called GHGs don’t control the temperature, but they do provide the structure that builds the lapse rate.

  150. davidmhoffer says:

    Richard M;
    Once again this is exactly what I have proposed. The energy flows through the radiating gases as it leaves the system. The ideal temperature at any elevation is based on the IGL. Hence, these radiating gases work to maintain that temperature. If the space they occupy gets a little warmer they radiate more energy. If it gets a little cool they absorb more energy.>>>

    We’re on the same basic page. A mechanism at day’s end is still required to understand WHY the surface temperature can be at 390 w/m2 while the input insolation is only 240 w/m2. N&Z predict that the surface will be at 390 for earth’s combination of atmospheric mass (which relates to surface pressure) and 240 w/m2, what they don’t have an explanation for is the physical processes that result in this being so.

    If you’ll check out the Short Circuit thread, you’ll find some pretty good discussion as to how that may be happening.

  151. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The so-called GHGs don’t control the temperature, but they do provide the structure that builds the lapse rate.”

    I agree with that. Their characteristics help the atmosphere to efficiently modify the throughput of energy so as to maintain the lapse rate set by pressure and insolation.

    However, it would also be nice to demonstrate that it also works without GHGs which appears to be the motivation behind Tim’s efforts at model construction stage by stage in the other thread.

    In practice, I am not aware of any planet that lacks GHGs AND still has a gaseous atmosphere so perhaps that is an irrelevant wild goose chase anyway.

    The simple distribution of matter in the universe may preclude the existence of a GHG free atmosphere.

    If one could exist, the atmospheric contortions needed to maintain it might look unlikely from our perspective but that would not make it impossible.

    Anyhow, whatever the ultimate answer, we have a pretty sound real world mechanism for the necessary energy budget adjustments in the form of vertically moveable atmospheric heights and latitudinally shifting climate zones and/or jetstream patterns.

    “At day’s end however, a physical process must exist to explain a surface temperature radiating at a higher energy flux than incoming insolation.”

    It isn’t doing that at the top of the atmosphere though is it ?

    The solution is simply to apply SB beyond the atmosphere, putting the ‘surface’ beyond the atmosphere so that all is radiation. We know that out there the SB equations are satisfied.

    What goes on within the atmosphere is then adequately dealt with by the Gas Laws.

    Taking the internal system interface between a planet and its atmosphere as the ‘surface’ for SB purposes cannot be right.

  152. Richard M says:

    {Stephen Wilde says:
    February 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    [“The so-called GHGs don’t control the temperature, but they do provide the structure that builds the lapse rate.”]

    I agree with that. Their characteristics help the atmosphere to efficiently modify the throughput of energy so as to maintain the lapse rate set by pressure and insolation.

    However, it would also be nice to demonstrate that it also works without GHGs which appears to be the motivation behind Tim’s efforts at model construction stage by stage in the other thread.}

    I have a problem with that. I don’t think it works without GHGs. They provide the means for the radiation to leak into the atmosphere and get extracted from the atmosphere. They provide the means to maintain the lapse rate. This allows the heat energy to be distributed unevenly which is why the surface is warmer.

    Sorry, but I don’t believe N&Z have it completely right. They found the relationship to the IGL but when they tried to develop a mechanism they got it wrong. The mechanism I describe follows all the accepted laws of physics. No need to claim anything special. It takes the best of N&Z and eliminates everything controversial.

  153. davidmhoffer says:

    Stephen Wilde;
    “At day’s end however, a physical process must exist to explain a surface temperature radiating at a higher energy flux than incoming insolation.”

    It isn’t doing that at the top of the atmosphere though is it?>>>

    No it isn’t. At TOA, it is 240 w/m2 in, and 240 w/m2 out.

    Which leads to the obvious conclusion that the exiting flux orginates from multiple altitudes, from surface to TOA, and that the exiting flux is REPRESENTATIVE of a 255K temperature over all, but that the source of it is a MIX of surface through to TOA, some of which is at a temperature HIGHER than 255K and some of which is at a temperature LOWER than 255K.

    If the above is correct, then we have an additional matter to resolve. If there is upward bound flux from the surface that is HIGHER than 240 w/m2, and the net at TOA is still only 240 w/m2 (which it is) then there must be a mechanism by which some of the upward bound flux is recirculated back down. If such a mechanism doesn’t exist, then the TOA would be radiating at 390, not 240.

    This downward bound flux, BTW, need not be radiative. It need only be a mechanism by which energy is removed from the atmosphere and sent back downward, cancelling out the “extra” upgoing watts from the surface.

    390 w/m2 are exiting earth surface. IGL and N&Z may well be the means to predict what the surface temperature is. But at day’s end, 390 w/m2 are going up from earth surface and only 240 w/m2 are exiting at TOA. The extra 150 w/m2 didn’t simply disappear into (dare I say it?) thin air.

  154. davidmhoffer says:

    Richard M;
    Sorry, but I don’t believe N&Z have it completely right. They found the relationship to the IGL but when they tried to develop a mechanism they got it wrong.>>>

    I second that.

    Also, I think we’ve lost a bit of perpective by not keeping BOTH ends of Holder’s Inequality in mind. There is a “bottom” end, and a “top” end.

    N&Z used a realistic evaluation of earth’s “average” BB temperature to show that it should be closer to 135K than the commonly accepted 255K. This is due to Holder’s Inequality and the extreme fluctuations that occur between peak and minimum insolation. The more uniform the insolation, the closer to 255K the temperature will be. GHG’s, conduction and convection all server to “spread out” the insolation from tropics to poles and from day to night which is PART of why the temperature of the earth is higher than 135K “on average” But the HIGHEST temperature that we can achieve “on average” is still 255K. That is the “bottom” end.

    The top end actually goes in the opposite direction. For the bottom end, we’re “averaging” insolation and converting to T. At the top end, we’re averaging T and converting to w/m2. The more uniform the temperature across earth, the LOWER an average value we will arrive at for T converted to P.

    So, as temperature becomes more uniform, regardless of the mechanism by which this is achieved, the blackbody temperature of earth will rise, approaching 255K. The observed temperature will FALL…approaching some value we can predict via N&Z, but which is higher than 255K and for which we need an explanation of how that is accomplished whilst still maintaining energy balance.

  155. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The extra 150 w/m2 didn’t simply disappear into (dare I say it?) thin air.”

    I have previously suggested a ‘dynamic exchange’ between surface and atmosphere.

    That 150 might be lost from surface to air but it is matched by the energy flow from air to surface in a constant recycling process.

    The interchange would be a mix of radiative and non radiative processes but as regards the radiative portion the temperature of the air at or just above the surface would be radiating back to the surface and not air molecules higher up. Hence my lack of enthusiasm for the backradiation concept.

    There is backradiation but only from the ATE warmed molecules at or just above the surface and not from the sky as AGW proposes. ATE remains as the sole cause of the warmth at the surface.

    So,

    240 in from the sun plus 150 from air to surface = 390

    150 from surface that is retained by the air with 240 lost to space =390

    Where is the problem ?

    If one increases GHGs the dynamic interchange at the surface remains at 150 but there is more going on in the air. I have always said that the effects of GHGs are restricted to the atmosphere and cannot enter the oceans to alter total system energy content.

    Simply put, if the extra GHGs hold back say 10 units from exiting to space by sending energy downward through the atmospheric column (though that is debateable given that they are facilitating upward radiation out of the system at the same time ) then other processes in the air accelerate those 10 units upward and outward to negate the effect. Hence the importance of the water cycle and convection.

  156. RKS says:

    I have criticised Trenberths use of his statistics, to show that global warming is caused by the tiny amount of multi directional emissions from ‘greenhouse gases’ referred to by him as ‘back radiation’ impinging on the earth’s surface, and referred to it, as many others have, as voodoo science.

    Some, who’s hobby seems to be the study of emissions moving between objects, and which they also like to refer to as ‘back radiation, misreported the above to state that I refuted ‘back radiation’ per se.

    Although I don’t really like the term ‘back radiation’ when used with emissivity and emissions, I have by no means disputed the laws of thermodynamic, although I think Trenberth might regard them as a bit of a nuisance.

    Ned Nikolov, whilst reinforcing his message that ‘back radiation’ was irrelevant to his theory also dismissed the personal opinion, proposed as fact, that ‘back radiation’ was INTEGRAL to N&Z’s theory (my caps), contained in the post attacking my assertion of Ned Nikolov’s explanation above, and which I asked his opinion of.

    It doesn’t matter how one refers to ‘context, in order to muddy the waters.

    IRRELEVANT to the N&Z’s model is different in every sense from –
    INTEGRAL to N&Z’s model.

    One is a scientific assertion after a long period of work developing a theory. The other is a personal opinion wrongly ascribed to N&Z’s model.

    I hope this clears matter up.

    Emissions between object, whether described as ‘back radiation’ or not, are, of course, fact.

    Trenberth, in my opinion, is ‘voodoo science’ and anyone who throws Trenberth’s stats from his infamous cartoon at me’ without qualifying their use of them outside the term ‘global warming’, will of course get that response from me.

    These points needed clearing up, and I suggest if anyone disagrees with Ned Nikolov on this subject that they direct their thoughts to him.

  157. davidmhoffer says:

    Ooops, forgot the point I was trying to make regarding the “top” temperature above.

    If there are no GHG’s, no conduction, no convection, then we arrive at a VERY hot tropics and VERY cold high latitudes. If we average those temperatures, we arrive at a much higher number than is the average temperature was uniform.

    So, Holder’s Inequality dictates that the larger the insolation swings, the lower the “average” temperature, while the higher the temperature swings, the higher the “average” temperature.

    Any mechanism that serves to move energy from hot areas to cold areas, any heat capacity that “charges up” during a warming cycle and “discharges” during a cooling cycle, serve to make the earth’s temperature more uniform. This in turn drives the two ends toward the middle.

    This is why N&Z say that GHG’s don’t matter. They DO matter in terms of how uniform earth’s temperature is, and how that gets expressed as an “average”. They DON’t matter in terms of calculating the earth’s energy balance, which must use the 4th root of T averaged rather than the commonly used average of T.

    There is a substantive difference between the two concepts. When N&Z say that GHG’s don’t matter, they are correct in terms of changing the energy balance of the planet. They are correct in terms of changing the average of the 4th root of T. This does NOT change the fact however that redistribution of energy about the planet via GHG’s, conduction and convection, while they don’t change the average of the 4th root of T, they DO in fact change the average of T.

    So, when the claim is made that GHG’s do not affect surface temperature according to N&Z, this is true only if we apply a condition. That condition is that we calculate surface temperature by taking the observed temperatures, taking their 4th root, averaging them, and then converting back to T. If that is what is meant by GHG’s do not affect surface temperature, then the statemewnt is correct. If, however, the condition is that we are taking the observed temperatures across the planet and simply averaging them, then GHG’s do in fact have an affect on the resulting surface temperature that we calculate.

  158. davidmhoffer says:

    Summary of above:

    If one defines surface temperature via the average of the 4th root of T, then GHG’s and back radiation are immaterial.

    If one defines surface temperature as simply the average of T, then GHG’s and back radiation have a substantive effect on the calculation of T.

  159. Richard M says:

    I also think Trenberth’s cartoon is wrong. As I showed earlier the Earth can be viewed as a system with no back radiation and a longer delay of radiating energy at the surface. This alone puts Trenberth’s claim in doubt.

    I think what really happens is the atmosphere warms via the lapse rate and the surface then warms up primarily from conduction with the warmer atmosphere. This happened billions of years ago. While there is a some back radiation to the surface in the real world, it’s effect on temperatures is minimal due to the surface immediately radiating the energy back out.

  160. davidmhoffer says:

    RKS;
    After insisting that you would not engage in further tit for tat, you have tatted multiple times. After insisting that you would no longer engage with me and my comments, you continue to do so. That being the case, here is your assertion that started the whole ball of grabage rolling down the hill in the first place, excerpted from your own comment above:

    ************
    I find it hard to conflate the fact that with an insoolation of 324 W/m^2 that the surface of the planet radiates at the rate of 390 W/m^2. i.e something for nothing and yet the contents of my back radiating thermos flask never gets warmer.

    I think until someone publishes a new law of thermodynamics ( perhaps entitled ‘quantum thermodynamics for dummies’ ), no amount of mental gymnastics will convince me this is anything other than voodoo science
    *************

    Sir, with all the respect you are due, these are your words. You claim that the surface cannot be radiating out at a higher amount than the incoming insolation. Those are your words. You go on to claim that anyone who suggests otherwise is subscribing to voodoo science. You go on to suggest that anyone who accepts this is entitled to their own special version of thermodynamics called “quantum thermodynamics for dummies”. These are your words.

    Unfortunately for you, insolation really is 240 w/m2 (not 324) and surface temperature really radiates at 390 w/m2. N&Z predict what the surface temperature is. They do not require an evaluation of GHG’s to accomplish this. This does NOT mean that GHG’s do not exist, this does NOT mean that back radiation does not exist, this does NOT mean that measuring and quantifying it is “voodoo science” and this does NOT mean that there is any conflict between the existance of back radiation and N&Z.

    BACK RADIATION IS INTEGRAL TO THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE THAT N&Z DESCRIBE. IT IS NOT, REPEAT NOT, REPEAT NOT! INTEGRAL TO THEIR EQUATIONS.

  161. tallbloke says:

    Hoff and RKS, thank you both for the ‘mini position statements’ I requested. We will now move to the main purpose of the thread, and further argumentation about ‘back radiation’ from either side will be unapproved along with a request to repost it to a more appropriate thread. e.g. David or Tim’s.

    Thanks – TB.

  162. RKS says:

    Over on Bishop Hill, which tend to concentrate more on the politics and philosophy of the AGW brigade, as opposed the informative scientific discussions conducted here, they have,on numerous occasions, exposed problems with the siteing of the much reduced number of global temperature measurement stations, and their accuracy due to the amount of these stations now located in urban hot spots.

    There seems to be a lot of scepticism regarding the present estimate of global surface temperature.

    I’m not sure how this might affect the discussion on this thread, but it might be worth keeping it in mind.

  163. RKS says:

    tallbloke says:
    February 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    Hoff and RKS, thank you both for the ‘mini position statements’ I requested. We will now move to the main purpose of the thread, and further argumentation about ‘back radiation’ from either side will be unapproved along with a request to repost it to a more appropriate thread. e.g. David or Tim’s.

    Thanks – TB.>>>>>>>>

    Many thanks, I’m pleased to be shot of the subject.

  164. davidmhoffer says:

    tallbloke;
    There are so many threads and so many comments that overlap in those threads that singling out the best one for each issue is tough, and time consuming. I think also that the earlu discussion was mostly over at WUWT, and a lot of the foundation that was laid there is missing from the experience of those who have followed it only from your blog. That said, here is my nomination list for the topics that should be addressed by the consolidation you are after. What I’m suggesting is that you crowd source a list of the most important points, and then crowd source the best comment to address each point.

    1. Holder’s Inequality and how it makes averaging of either T or P an exercise incapable of arriving at a meaningful number due to P varying with T^4

    2. How the above arrives at a BB calculation for earth surface temps of about 135K instead of the oft quoted 255K.

    3. How the above arrives at a measured average T for earth surface a few degrees higher than the oft quoted 288K.

    4. How N&Z avoid the folly of the above by averaging the 4th root of T instead of T.

    5. How any process (conduction, GHG’s, convection, etc) result in a more uniform temperature that, due to Holder’s Inequality, dictates that the average of the 4th root of T does NOT change, but that the average of T DOES change.

    6. A discussion of IGL (PV=nRT) and how it should be applied to an atmosphere (where V can change) versus a closed container (where V cannot change).

    7 How an understanding of PV=nRT should be interpreted in the context of a given number of molecules of O2 being exchanged for a given number of molecules of CO2.

    8. Perhaps a rat hole to be avoided, but given the volumes that Willis Eschenback has written attempting to discredit N&Z, perhaps a quick summary of how far of his criticisms are (Ts=Ts).

    9. I think the back and forth between Ned Nikolov and Robert Brown is instructive. Brown has some legitimate (as opposed to Eschenbach) criticism of N&Z, and the discussion between them exposes misunderstandings on both their parts that seem to be gradually being sorted out, though neither has budged in their position.

  165. davidmhoffer says:

    10. There are remarkable similarities in the work of Jelbring, Huffman and Miskolczi. It has been a long time since I read Miskolczi, and I only know about Huffman and Jelbring from the discussions in the various N&Z threads. I think a list of their central points and how they mirror/conflct would be revealing. I suspect that they are in violent agreement on many points and do not realise it.

    11. There is a very important paper http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/14/new-paper-on/ from two economists named Beenstock and Reingewertz that is a statistical analysis of the temperature records that I believe is supportive of N&Z. What B&R were able to show is that a change in CO2 concentrations perterbs the system, but causes no long term effects. This is part of what N&Z seem to be showing. Changing the concentration of CO2 doesn’t affect the average of the 4th root of T. But, it does cause changes to the average of T. So a change in CO2 concentration in fact causes the system as a whole to reconfigure itself, supplying negative feedbacks that cancel out the effects of changing CO2 concentrations. As Holder’s Inequality and PV=nRT suggest, this is exactly what we should expect. A ripple effect that runs through the system, and is then cancelled out by the net of all the changes.

    12. Somewhere in there should be Stephen Wilde’s explanation of the temperate zones moving poleward as a dampening response to changes in the tropics.

    13. BenAW’s explanation of why 60 degrees latitude is the “break even” point for energy flux from the tropics being moved to the poles plus the ERBE graphics to back up his theory with real world observations.

    14. Paul Bahlin had some excellent points but I cannot recall at this point what they were, just that I thought they did an excellent job of explaining whatever issue I was on about at the time.

    [Reply] Great contribution, thanks David. TB.

  166. Stephen Wilde says:

    “the temperate zones moving poleward as a dampening response to changes in the tropics. ”

    And as a dampening response to changes in the vertical temperature profile from tropopause upward as a result of changes in the mix of wavelengths and particles from the sun.

  167. Chris M says:

    imo there is too much tl;dr stuff in the drawn out and often far too personalized to’ing and fro’ing above. Thanks tallbloke for calling a halt to it – it’s a relief! For what it’s worth I believe that RKS deserved far more respect than he got. Could I suggest that it might be worthwhile asking knowledgeable people from varying scientific and engineering backgrounds (mydogsgotnonose springs immediately to mind) to each offer a concise summary of what N&Z means to them, from their professional perspective.

  168. David Hoffer
    Now that you’ve produced a very interesting list, I want to work with it. I produced my own suggestions of FAQ upthread, which I’ve put in (always provisionally) on the wiki. It looked at the time as if everyone was too busy spitting and simply passed it by. But perhaps you did see it :)

    I wrote my list from implicit or explicit criticisms I remember seeing though I don’t always know where. The first is Anthony Watts, 5 and 7 are Willis, 2,8,10,11 are Monckton at least, probably others too. Often I just felt drowned in the hubbub – as I did upthread. That’s also why I want an FAQ, helps me cope.

    Right now I’m going to copy your points, do some wiki-style “merciless editing” on it, and try to splice it together with my FAQ’s. How does that sound?

  169. davidmhoffer says:

    Lucy,
    I did see your list upthread. I think there’s a lot of points raised in your list that are in fact recurring themes in the N&Z discussion. I’m not certain what you are asking though. To confirm your list? Or to help provide answers to the list? Or pointers to responses that I think are good ones?

  170. davidmhoffer says:

    Lucy,
    I regard to:

    1 This contradicts Conservation of Energy

    Which is Anthony Watts position, and I think Willis’ also, I just realized there’s a rather simple response.

    N&Z’s equations predict surface temperature based only upon insolation and atmospheric mass. As the equations themselves do not calculate the flow of energy in the system, they ony predict the steady state temperature, there is nothing about them that contradicts Conservation of Energy.

  171. davidmhoffer says:

    1 This contradicts Conservation of Energy

    The equations predict surface temperature based only on insolation and surface pressure. Since they don’t calculate energy flows at all, they cannot contradict Conservation of Energy anymore than a thermometer does.

    2 Surely the IPCC use of Stephan-Boltzman’s equation is correct?

    In regard to calculating….?

    3 How can you ignore albedo?

    N&Z don’t ignore albedo as much as they presume that albedo is also a function of insolation and pressure just like temperature is.

    4 This upsets Trenberth’s diagrams

    Diagrams are inanimate objects, and cannot become emotional. Trenberth is another matter. Many things upset Trenberth. Satellite data that contradicts his models for example, academic journal editors that publish the satellite data that contradicts his models, argo bouy data that contradicts his models, missing heat that contradicts his models, leaked emails where he laments the missing heat…

    5 I can’t follow the maths

    Neither can Willis.

    6 The gas laws have always been known

    Well for a very long time, though not nearly as long as “always”. That said, while the gas laws indeed are well known, they have not been applied to the earth climate system until N&Z.

    7 It’s easy to curve-fit those planets

    If it is easy to curve fit the planets, then that suggests that there is a curve to fit! The planetary temperatures don’t wind up on a nice smooth curve by coincidence (or a rather massive coincidence if they do). Since they line up on a curve, is it not sensible to try and calculate the curve and to theorize as to what physical processes drive the planets to have a temperature profile that fits the curve?

    8 The effective temperature of the earth must occur within the troposphere

    As it happens, on earth, the effective black body temperature occurs at 14,000 feet. It has to occurr somewhere between TOA and surface for the simple reason that surface is warmer than effective BB temperature and most of the atmosphere is colder, so the equilibrium point must be somewhere in between.

    9 Huffman’s figures are just coincidental

    Rather massive coincidence. Like winning the lottery AND getting hit by lightning on the same day. Twice in a row. And you didn’t even buy a ticket.

    10 Lunar figures don’t match calculations

    The figures showing on NASA’s web site for moon temperatures were out of date. N&Z have pointed this out and that calculation of lunar temperatures from up to date data is very close to their calculations.

    11 There’s a century of evidence of greenhouse gases

    Darn right there is. And the evidence is that they don’t seem to do much.

    12 There’s no evidence that sustained warmth depends on pressure

    Well, if one were to say that correlation is not proof of causation, that would be correct. But the fact that there IS correlation is EVIDENCE of causation. Not proof, but very strong circumstantial evidence. But N&Z don’t make this claim in the first place. They claim sustained warmth is a function of insolation. No insolation, no warmth.

  172. Tenuc says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm
    “…The solution is simply to apply SB beyond the atmosphere, putting the ‘surface’ beyond the atmosphere so that all is radiation. We know that out there the SB equations are satisfied.

    What goes on within the atmosphere is then adequately dealt with by the Gas Laws.

    Taking the internal system interface between a planet and its atmosphere as the ‘surface’ for SB purposes cannot be right.”

    Thanks, Stephen, for an excellent point which is confirmed by Harry Huffman’s calculation of the temperature of Venus. By applying SB equation at the boundary between atmosphere and space all confusion caused by albedo, composition of atmosphere and radiative physics can be ignored and, perhaps, the observed variations about the long term mean surface temperature can be understood just by monitoring insolation at TOA, as atmospheric mass/weight only changes on very long time scales.

    This graph is interesting, but stops at 2005…

  173. RKS says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    February 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm>>>>

    Lucy,

    I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier, your proposed FAQ seems like an excellent way to clear up misunderstandings about N&Z’s work.

    Although I only post here and at BH, I like to watch and learn on a few other blogs to get as wide a spectrum of opinion as possible. One particular subject, which N&Z deal with in a clean concise way which seems to tick all the boxes, seems to exercise the minds of a lot of people, the answer to which requires the inquirer to be prepared to put aside ingrained preconceptions, and be prepared to think out of the box.

    Q: Why do Observations show that the lower troposphere emits 44% more radiation toward the surface than the total solar flux absorbed by the entire Earth-Atmosphere System.

    A: The large difference between insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 ] and lower troposphere emissions [ 343 W m^2 ] (Pavlakis et al. 2003) , is caused by lower tropospheric kinetic energy due to Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]

    This is covered by N&Z on pages 3 and 9 of their original paper 24 Oct. 2011.

    If we take this at face value, we can take Trenberth’s rather troublesome perpetual motion machine and throw it into the dustbin of history.

    One question that might crop up is that neither Huffman or N&Z can get Titan to sit neatly on the distribution curve. Ned Nikolov’s take on this is that the surface temperature has been directly measured on Titan at only at one location, and it’s likely that the reported 93.7K is not representative of the whole planet.

    Obviously feel free to check the QA on N&Z’s paper before you use it, and the best of luck with your project.

  174. Stephen Wilde says:

    RKS says:

    “A: The large difference between insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 ] and lower troposphere emissions [ 343 W m^2 ] (Pavlakis et al. 2003) , is caused by lower tropospheric kinetic energy due to Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]”

    which fits nicely with this earlier comment from above:

    “There is backradiation but only from the ATE warmed molecules at or just above the surface and not from the sky as AGW proposes. ATE remains as the sole cause of the warmth at the surface.”

    Looks like a consensus could be developing here :)

  175. Davidmhoffer, no dispute with most of your points but your point 8 is wrong. By definition a black body has a surface – here is the definition “The characteristic properties of a blackbody are that it absorbs all the radiation incident on its surface and that the quality and intensity of the radiation it emits are completely determined by its temperature.”. There is no known blackbody. Look at the spectrum of the sun it does not match the Planck distribution. Also, no one knows what occurs inside the sun or how large is the sun’s internal surface (if there is one -which seems likely from Prof Manuel’s research). Using the visible diameter of the sun is an assumption which brings in errors. The Stefan-Boltzman equation only works for radiation between grey surfaces in a vacuum.when the emissivity of the grey bodies has been fully determined by experimentation and measurement. The earth’s surface is not a black body and the surface is not in a vacuum. Some of the radiation from the sun is reflected or scattered by clouds, Some is absorbed by gases (mainly ozone) and clouds. Different parts of the earth’s surface reflect different amounts of incoming radiation. In some areas there are seasonal changes. An average emissivity is not a useful assumption to determine temperatures (or climate) in any part of the world such as the arctic or in a small island near the equator in the Pacific ocean.
    So called climate scientists and most physicists do not understand the basic technical details of heat transfer because they have not studied this engineering subject and have no actual experience in measurement and design of equipment. The hypotheses they come up with have no validity if they do not understand what they are doing.

  176. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    RKS says:

    “A: The large difference between insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 ] and lower troposphere emissions [ 343 W m^2 ] (Pavlakis et al. 2003) , is caused by lower tropospheric kinetic energy due to Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]”

    which fits nicely with this earlier comment from above:

    “There is backradiation but only from the ATE warmed molecules at or just above the surface and not from the sky as AGW proposes. ATE remains as the sole cause of the warmth at the surface.”

    Looks like a consensus could be developing here>>>>You may well be right.

    N&Z allow for some degree of backradiation, which they say is nullified by convective cooling.

    See an extract from their email below:-

    “back radiation is totally irrelevant, since it contributes nothing to raising the surface temperature. The warming effect of back radiation on surface temperature is COMPLETELY offset (neutralized) in the real system by the convective cooling”

    Thanks, that appears to square the circle quite well.

  177. davidmhoffer says:

    [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]”
    ******************

    And exactly how does that work?

  178. davidmhoffer says:

    cementafriend says:
    February 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    Davidmhoffer, no dispute with most of your points but your point 8 is wrong. By definition a black body has a surface>>>>

    And hence the widespread adoption of the term “effective blackbody temperature” which is the term that I used.

  179. davidmhoffer says:

    [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]”
    ******************
    And exactly how does that work?
    >>>>>>>>>>

    An amplifier has three principal components:

    1. Input signal (which is small)
    2. Output signal (which is large)
    3. Power source

    The power source must be of sufficient magnitude to supply the difference in power between the input signal and the output signal.

    Where is the power source?

    N&Z predict what the sruface temperature will be. They do NOT provide a means of understanding the amplification process. Saying it is caused by atmospheric mass is just hand waving. Atmospheric mass doesn’t “cause” anything. It creates the conditions by which the amplification occurrs. But N&Z is incomplete because they do not provide an explanation regarding the source of the power that drives the amplification.

    This is the flaw that N&Z’s critics exploit to accuse them of failing to meet Conservation of Energy. Their formulas have nothing to do with the power source, they only predict the output signal. So, their formulas cannot violate Conservation of Energy. But at the same time, neither their formulas nor their explanations provide the source of power that explains the output signal they correctly predict.

  180. Stephen Wilde says:

    ” a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass – and nothing else ”

    “And exactly how does that work?”

    Add gravity ?

    Greater numbers of molecules placed at the surface by gravity such that more interactions occur under insolation thereby generating more heat where molecules are most numerous leading to the Adiabatic Lapse Rate in accordance with the Standard Atmosphere and the Gas Laws.

    As regards SB I think point 8 does need a little more thought. David said:

    “8 The effective temperature of the earth must occur within the troposphere
    As it happens, on earth, the effective black body temperature occurs at 14,000 feet. It has to occurr somewhere between TOA and surface for the simple reason that surface is warmer than effective BB temperature and most of the atmosphere is colder, so the equilibrium point must be somewhere in between. ”

    To truly neutralise all the confounding factors in a given atmosphere one really needs the SB surface to be outside the atmosphere.

    The effective radiating temperature is achieved around 5.5km apparently but that is only an average for the entire height of the atmosphere, as David says.

    So, I don’t think it is right to regard that height of the effective radiating height as the surface for SB purposes.

  181. tallbloke says:

    I think part of the reply to Joel I made might help here:

    For myself, I think the ocean has a lot to do with the reason surface T (and consequently marine surface air temp) is what it is. This is because the Sun heats it faster with shortwave radiation which penetrates it than it can cool overnight by evaporation, convection, conduction and long wave radiation (which has a tough time escaping). That is, until it gets up to a temperature where those processes removing heat from it (and all of them do on the average) can work at a rate which sets a rough equilibrium. That temperature seems to be around 275K judging by the bulk of the ocean. This also depends on near surface air temperature to a small extent ( but only small, since on average the ocean is warmer than the air, and ‘back radiation’ can’t penetrate the surface anyway) but I think N&Z are right in the wider sense that if the mass of the atmosphere wasn’t exerting pressure on it, the ocean would have boiled off into space.

    Now you might ask how this would hold good for Venus. I think it could be that the ‘supercritical’ lower atmosphere acts as Venus’ ‘ocean’.

    There is much still to work out, but with David’s capacitance – discharge rate idea, inspired by Ben AW’s ocean idea, and Stephen Wilde’s ‘hot water bottle’ effect, and other insights provided by contributors here at the talkshop, we have a better thought out and more cohesive and complete conception of climate coming together.

    I see N&Z’s overarching theory as the bridge between our understanding of terrestrial climate and the solar system dynamics work this blog had been mainly dedicated to prior to the police raid on my home in mid December last year.

  182. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    RKS says:

    “A: The large difference between insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 ] and lower troposphere emissions [ 343 W m^2 ] (Pavlakis et al. 2003) , is caused by lower tropospheric kinetic energy due to Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement [ a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass - and nothing else ]”

    which fits nicely with this earlier comment from above:

    “There is backradiation but only from the ATE warmed molecules at or just above the surface and not from the sky as AGW proposes. ATE remains as the sole cause of the warmth at the surface.”

    Looks like a consensus could be developing here >>>>

    [snip]

    To Enhance – to augment – to make greater.

    To Amplify – To render larger – more intense.

    Insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 is enhanced [ amplified ] by 40% to 343 W m^2 at the lower troposphere by pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement. [ see N&Z pages 3 and 9 ].

    Hope that helps!

  183. davidmhoffer says:

    Insolation at TOA [ 239 W m^2 is enhanced [ amplified ] by 40% to 343 W m^2 at the lower troposphere by pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement. [ see N&Z pages 3 and 9 ].>>>

    Repeat: What is the power source?

  184. davidmhoffer says:

    tallbloke;
    This is because the Sun heats it faster with shortwave radiation which penetrates it than it can cool overnight by evaporation, convection, conduction and long wave radiation (which has a tough time escaping). >>>

    Agreed. The net effect is to push the temperature of the oceans toward the peak insolation value rather than the “average” insolation value, thus exceeding the limit that Holder’s Inequality would set on surface temperature were the energy paths in and out of equal “resistance”.

  185. davidmhoffer says:

    “And exactly how does that work?”
    Add gravity ?
    >>>>>>>

    adding gravity provides for a one time boost in temperature due to compression and ideal gas law. But since the atmosphere continues to radiate energy at an increased w/m2, there must be a source of power to maintain it. Otherwise it just falls back to its original temperature before compression.

  186. tallbloke says:

    David, the power source is the Sun. Enhancement is due to a combination of oceanic thermal inertia as I outlined above, coupled with a pressure/density profile in the troposphere which arranges energy distribution such that the near surface atmosphere has higher heat content per unit volume than that found at higher altitude. This better retains the heat leaving the ocean surface and so the air temperature near the surface is relatively high (though on average cooler than the ocean surface).

  187. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    ” a sort of insolation thermal amplifier caused by atmospheric mass – and nothing else ”

    “And exactly how does that work?”

    Add gravity ?>>>>

    I think it’s a bit sad that you make this remark after after including the above, in your apparently friendly post at 12:23 pm. without question.

    I used the amplifier analogy in the hope of simplifying the description of the process for any engineers who might be reading Lucy’s FAQ.

    Whichever way you look at it, insolation at TOA is enhanced, augmented or amplified to be 40% greater at the lower troposphere.

    I do hope there isn’t some sort clique forming, trying to dominate the thread by challenging every post by those they regard as ‘incomers’.

    It wouldn’t stop me making my contribution, but it would almost certainly damage the blog in the eyes of those who just want to watch and learn.

    [Reply] As you can see below, you misinterpreted the sequence of who was quoting who. You’ve just joined in with a group of people who have been conversing intensely for the last month – and you percieve them as a clique. That’s just perfectly normal paranoia, don’t worry about it. :)

  188. davidmhoffer says:

    Stephen Wilde;
    To truly neutralise all the confounding factors in a given atmosphere one really needs the SB surface to be outside the atmosphere.>>>

    Actually, what one needs in my opinion, is a mathematical representation of the upward LW from surface to TOA that accounts for which w/m2 from which altitudes escape and which don’t. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, but until we have an understanding of that (which we don’t, we’re only guessing) and a mathematical way of describing it (which we cannot achieve until we understand it) all we can do is come up with techniques that are approximations which may have value, but will always at days end be inaccurate to some degree.

  189. davidmhoffer says:

    tallbloke;
    David, the power source is the Sun.>>>

    Provided that we have an “unbalanced” circuit, that is, the path in is low resistance and the path out is high resistance, then indeed we have an explanation for an observed surface (or lower atmosphere) radiance that approaches peak insolation rather than “average” insolation.

    As you know, this is my theory. But it is a theory only. It provides for an explanation (in part) as to how the surface exhibits an average w/m2 higher than the input (which is from the Sun). But without proof that this is indeed the case, it is just a possible mechanism to explain how the process might work.

    Simply stating that the process is the result of pressure plus insolation gets us right back to the beginning of the circle. Those factors predict the temperature. They don’t account for the observed power imbalance. The higher temperature must be supported by a power input large enough to account for the discrepancy between input and output.

  190. davidmhoffer says:

    Whichever way you look at it, insolation at TOA is enhanced, augmented or amplified to be 40% greater at the lower troposphere>>>

    Yes it is.
    What is the power source?

  191. Stephen Wilde says:

    RKS says:
    February 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I think you misread my post, RKS.

    I quoted David asking the question then added my suggestion regarding gravity as a serious reply to David.

    What happens is that the sun excites the molecules which then move about more with kinetic vibrational energy. Gravity tries to hold them down against the excitation from the sun so work is being done constantly as long as there is input from the sun.

    It isn’t a one off compression. It is the force of gravity constantly restraining the kinetic energy placed in the molecules by insolation.

    In the absence of gravity all the molecules would drift off into space. In the absence of the sun they would freeze to the surface.

    It is that balance between the two forces that gives rise to a delay in energy passing through the system, an accumulation of energy nearest the surface and a higher temperature with a gradient to space.

  192. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    RKS says:
    February 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I think you misread my post, RKS.

    I quoted David asking the question then added my suggestion regarding gravity as a serious reply to David.

    What happens is that the sun excites the molecules which then move about more with kinetic vibrational energy. Gravity tries to hold them down against the excitation from the sun so work is being done constantly as long as there is input from the sun.

    It isn’t a one off compression. It is the force of gravity constantly restraining the kinetic energy placed in the molecules by insolation.

    In the absence of gravity all the molecules would drift off into space. In the absence of the sun they would freeze to the surface.

    It is that balance between the two forces that gives rise to a delay in energy passing through the system, an accumulation of energy nearest the surface and a higher temperature with a gradient to space.>>>>>>>>>>>

    Begging your pardon, I must be getting a little paranoid [snip] I don’t often deal with gas laws, but here’s my take on N&Z’s process as plainly as I can describe it.

    Without gravity there would be no atmospheric pressure at the surface.

    However, the driving force behind thermal enhancement is lower tropospheric kinetic energy, resulting as a product of atmospheric pressure and volume.

    As I said earlier to Lucy, their theory explains this in such a clean, uncluttered manner that it ticks all the boxes for simplistic beauty for me.

    I’m not interested in jumping through mental hoops to impress N&Z into accepting my personal hobby horse.

    I simply want to promote this theory as far and wide as possible in the hope of helping to topple AGW. Possibly an even greater threat to the continuance of western civilization that either world war.

    Again, my apologies for the confusion.

    [Reply] To help avoid confusion, it’s a good idea to mark who said what somehow. Use quotemarks, or italics or initials or something. And stop winding up regulars please, I’ve also asked them to quit getting at you.

  193. Stephen Wilde says:

    No probs RKS, it is hard to communicate accurately at a distance (and even harder close up).

    Your words are covered by my description:

    “What happens is that the sun excites the molecules which then move about more with kinetic vibrational energy. Gravity tries to hold them down against the excitation from the sun so work is being done constantly as long as there is input from the sun.”

    I tried to explain that to Robert Brown over at WUWT that but he missed the point and went ff at a tangent.

    To my mind that description was common knowledge 40 years ago and is widely accepted outside climate science.

    Every time a photon adds energy to a molecule such that it vibrates to any degree in the vertical plane then the force of gravity resists that movement and work is done in the process.

  194. Stephen Wilde says:

    http://www.astronomynotes.com/solarsys/s3.htm

    “The effects of gravity and temperature work opposite to each other. A higher temperature tries to dissipate an atmosphere while higher gravity tries to retain an atmosphere.”

  195. davidmhoffer says:

    Stephen Wilde;
    It is that balance between the two forces that gives rise to a delay in energy passing through the system, an accumulation of energy nearest the surface and a higher temperature with a gradient to space.>>>

    Agreed. But…
    This explains the existance of a lapse rate. It explains how the cumulative upward LW that escapes is a product of the lapse rate that at TOA equals incoming insolation even though the escaping LW doesn’t originate at any given altitude, but at ALL altitudes.

    Further, for there to be a lapse rate, and for the cumulative effect of upward LW to balance incoming insolation, the radiance at the bottom of the atmosphere MUST be higher than the “average”. If it wasn’t, then the only way for a balance to be achieved that on “average” delivered LW out that balanced insolation would be for there to be no lapse rate in the first place. Since there IS a lapse rate, and insolation DOES balance LW escaping, there is no other possibility than the surface and lower atmosphere being at a higher temperature that the “average” or effective BB temperature.

    Round the circle we go, and back to square one. For the surface to be taking in 240 w/m2 from insolation and spitting 390 w/m2 back out, there must be a source for the extra 150 w/m2. The only logical explanation I can think of is that some of the 240 w/m2 is re-circulated. If N&Z are correct, then in the absence of any GHG’s, this recirculation must occur via conduction and convection. If GHG’s are added to the system, the w/m2 they re-circulate serve as a negative feedback to the processes of conduction and convection, resulting in no, or nearly no, change to the total watts/m2 being recirculated.

    But what does change is distribution of the surface temperature profile from tropics to poles. The addition of GHG’s doesn’t change the total number of w/m2 that are recirculated, but it does change WHERE they are recirculated TO. This is why the temperate zones move toward the poles, is it not?

  196. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    No probs RKS, it is hard to communicate accurately at a distance (and even harder close up).

    Your words are covered by my description:

    “What happens is that the sun excites the molecules which then move about more with kinetic vibrational energy. Gravity tries to hold them down against the excitation from the sun so work is being done constantly as long as there is input from the sun.”

    I tried to explain that to Robert Brown over at WUWT that but he missed the point and went ff at a tangent.

    To my mind that description was common knowledge 40 years ago and is widely accepted outside climate science.

    Every time a photon adds energy to a molecule such that it vibrates to any degree in the vertical plane then the force of gravity resists that movement and work is done in the process.>>>>

    I can see how this agrees with k = pv where p is dependant on gravity and the concentration of gas molecules is dependant on p and v, but it’s an interesting way of describing the process at a more fundamental level.

    I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’ve grasped the wrong end of the stick.

  197. Stephen Wilde says:

    davidmhoffer said:

    “But what does change is distribution of the surface temperature profile from tropics to poles. The addition of GHG’s doesn’t change the total number of w/m2 that are recirculated, but it does change WHERE they are recirculated TO. This is why the temperate zones move toward the poles, is it not?”

    Yes, and we can go further.

    I think that what GHGs do is hold and redistribute more energy in the air that would otherwise have reached the surface (and would have been 70% likely to enter the oceans).

    That energy is scattered all around by radiation to other GHGs and by conduction to non GHGs. On the face of it that should raise the air temperature but it cannot because the oceans control the air temperature. What happens instead is that the air circulation changes to maintain the existing sea surface/surface air temperature differential. That differential is dependent on the ocean/land mass distribution.

    If more energy tries to accumulate in the air then the water cycle speeds up to eject it faster to space. The excess energy is converted to latent heat in the tropics which causes the ITCZ to intensify. The extra rising air comes down in the form of intensified subtropical high pressure cells which then push poleward.

    The height of the tropopause at the equator rises but not the height at the pole so the equator/pole gradient in the tropopause steepens. The entire surface pressure distribution shifts poleward.

    The effect is a redistribution of energy and an acceleration of throughput equal to any deceleration caused by the GHGs.

    BUT that effect is miniscule compared to what the sun and oceans achieve routinely over decades and centuries as per MWP to LIA to date.

    Note that the system response is the same for ANY changes other than a stronger gravitational field, greater atmospheric mass or higher solar input.

    The top down solar effect is however a different mechanism which I deal with separately.

    “there must be a source for the extra 150 w/m2″

    There is. A dynamic constant interchange between surface and air. It involves both radiative and non radiative processes. Crucially the radiative interchange is right at the surface where the ATE places most molecules. The back radiation is not from the sky. It is from the lowest layer of atmospheric molecules at or just above the surface. ATE sets the energy content of those low down molecules and they share radiative and non radiative energy with the ground.

    That way you can have back radiation without offending ATE and also without any need for the existence of back radiation from higher up.

    That is why N & Z say that the energy in ATE is from the same ‘pool’ as the so called back radiation. It is all there on the ground as part of a single pressure and insolation induced phenomenon.

  198. Stephen Wilde says:
    February 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm “Taking the internal system interface between a planet and its atmosphere as the ‘surface’ for SB purposes cannot be right.”

    In the response to HDH, N&Z cautioned about confusing illumination with absorption. I propose the term ‘earthshine’ can help here as it the balancing part of illumination (sunshine) and on average, encapsulates day/night/albedo/GHG reflection etc. Earthshine would be, like illumination, measured at TOA. What would be useful would be FULL spectrum measurement of illumination and earthshine from the visible to the far infra red so that absorption frequencies of all GHG are covered in both directions. If Stephen Wilde is correct, the S-B calcs work as the system is in balance then TOA is the logical system boundary. Albedo could be a red herring (or white elephant).

  199. davidmhoffer says:

    Three weary travellers show up at an inn. The innkeeper advises that he has one room left and it is $30. They pay him $10 each and go on up to the room. The inkeeper realises he has made a mistake, the room is only $25. He takes $5 out of the till, gives it to the bell boy, and tells him to take the cash up to their room.

    On the way up the stairs, the bell boy starts thinking. The three travellers are going to want to split the $5, and $5 doesn’t divide by 3 very well, he’ll have to mess with change, which he doesn’t have on him. He could keep the $5, but he knows the first question the innkeeper will ask in the morning when they check out is “did you get your change?” He decides to compromise.

    He tells the three travellers that there was a mistake, and gives them each $1 back, keeping $2 for himself. Now when the innkeeper asks if they got their change, they will say yes, he doesn’t have to mess with coming up with $1.33 for each of them, and he’s up $2.

    So… each of the three travellers paid $10 and got $1 back, so that’s $9 each times 3 = $27.

    The bell boy kept $2.

    That’s $29.

    Where’s the extra $1?

    What does this have to do with N&Z? Everytime I go all the way around the circle with the energy flows I feel like I’ve missed the obvious. I keep adding up the numbers, and wind up missing some watts, and I know they aren’t really missing, I’m just not adding them up right.

    Besides, it was time for some comic relief.

  200. Stephen Wilde says:

    $30 from travellers to Innkeeper.

    Innkeeper retains $25
    Guests have $3
    Boy has $2

    Total $30

    Referring to N & Z:

    240 comes in at top of atmosphere from sun and 150 is added from atmosphere to surface because ATE has warmed the air just above the surface. The surface receives a total of 390 but that is because of ATE warming the air at the surface and not downward radiation from the entire atmospheric column.

    390 goes up from the surface of which 240 goes out to space from top of atmosphere and the other 150 gets absorbed by the atmosphere so maintaining equilibrium between surface and atmosphere.

    As you say, you have to add it up right.

    Gas Laws apply within the atmosphere. S-B equations apply from top of atmosphere outward.

    The Gas Laws involve every molecule in the atmosphere and not just GHGs so trying to balance the books using GHGs alone is a mugs game which involves inventing a radiative flow from the atmospheric column to the ground.

    N & Z realise that both the true warming from the ATE and the imagined warming from the whole atmospheric column must in fact be provided from the same ‘pool’ of available solar energy so they rightly point out that you cannot have both.

    Since the Gas Laws adequately explain the surface warmth under pressure and insolation the concept of back radiation from the entire atmospheric column becomes redundant and an obvious fantasy.

  201. Earthshine here courtesy CERES, 2012.

  202. davidmhoffer says:

    Stephen Wilde,
    Wah. I usually get three or four wrong answers before someone posts the right one.

    I’m still working through the 150 w/m2. Yes, it leaves the surface and goes into the atmosphere. But it cannot do that forever. The atmosphere must also have an equilibrium temperature, even if the only way energy can move in and out of the atmosphere is via conduction (ie no GHG’s).

    That being the case, the atmosphere would eventually warm to the point where it is at the same temperature as the surface, at which point there would be no net heat exchange. Where does the 150 w/m2 go then?

    This is that Holder guy messing up the math again. The atmosphere doesn’t absorb an extra 150 w/m2 across the board. It absorbs two or more times that…in the tropics… via conduction. It then gives what it absorbed back in the higher latitudes, which then radiate it away.

    I need to find some envelopes (I’m running out, N&Z has prompted a lof of back of envelope math) and fiddle with the numbers.

  203. RKS says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm…………………………………

    Since the Gas Laws adequately explain the surface warmth under pressure and insolation the concept of back radiation from the entire atmospheric column becomes redundant and an obvious fantasy.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As I tried to say earlier but seem to have been misunderstood, Trenberth’s description of the climate model is, for want of a more appropriate description, just plain voodoo science.

    It wasn’t an attempt to ruffle anyone’s feathers, simply my take on what I regard as an impossibility.

    The diode/capacitor climate model you discussed earlier may well have real uses in modelling local climate.

    Diode pumps, of whatever arrangement, require transitional [pumped] inputs to compensate for loading, not only at the module output, but also within every stage within the circuit. It might also be a little difficult to find a suitable [perfect] diode in the library of most simulation programmes, even pin diodes have a noticeable junction voltage. If that can be overcome by adding a suitable device to the library, the next stage must be to find a way to simulate real world inputs to the model suitable to drive it to allow for loading, for which you may need to add a few suitable resistances, especially across the output.

    It might take a little more legwork, but I think once you’ve incorporated them into your model you might be onto something of real use.

    These are just the musings of a retired electronics engineer. If they’re of help I’m glad to have contributed, if not, simply discard them onto your pile of thrown away what if’s.. I’ve no personal axe to grind where climate study is concerned other than my interest in the work of N&Z.

    Regards,