Joseph E. Postma: Copernicus Meets the Greenhouse Effect

Posted: April 4, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in Astronomy, Astrophysics, atmosphere, climate, Energy, methodology, Politics, solar system dynamics

In the rush to condemn  all things associated with ‘the Dragonslayers‘ some babies may have been thrown out with the bathwater. A lot of baggage comes along with discussion of ‘slayer politics’, and this has coloured people’s perceptions. However, because this is a site which sticks to discussing the science, and ‘censors’ off topic and inflammatory comment, we can dispassionately examine the scientific content without having discussion degenerate into a ruckus of noisy invective and insult. Last year on Judith Curry’s site ‘Climate Etc‘, this fate befell Joseph Postma’s paper on the greenhouse effect. It was a long, technical paper, and argument over its more controversial aspects and ‘slayer politics’ submerged its central point, as I noted at the time. Ulric Lyons has drawn my attention to this  shorter ‘easy access’ paper by Joseph reiterating this central point which I think merits discussion. Discussion I might add, which will be moderated to ensure house rules are observed.

Copernicus Meets the Greenhouse Effect
Joseph E. Postma
(M.Sc. Astrophysics)
Sept. 10, 2011

The Earth-Centered Solar System
Ptolemy’s epicyclic, nested-spheres, model of the solar system worked wonderfully for
predicting the movements and positions of the planets. It was a model which, for the time-period,
could correctly predict the broad observables, but it accomplished this with, as we now know,
completely unrealistic internal physics and boundary conditions.

By “broad observables”, we refer to the actually observable and measureable characteristics
of the system. In the case of Ptolemy’s model of the solar system, these ‘observables’ were the
positions and movements of the planets. The meaning of this term is therefore generally self-
explanatory.

How one interprets the meaning of the term “boundary condition” is a somewhat more
philosophically and scientifically interesting concept. The idea of a “boundary condition” can be
understood to apply to the physical conditions of a system, but also, to the cognitive domain which
is created, and then bounded, by the assumptions which go in to establish what are believed to be the
aforementioned physical conditions of that system. However, the assumed physical conditions of the
system, which establish what type of mathematics and physics are created by the human mind in the
attempt to characterize the system and understand its observables, can be incorrect, even though we
might still succeed in creating a physics which satisfies the relevant observables. In this case, the
internal physics would not necessarily correspond to reality, even if they might make successful
predictions of the external observables.

The Ptolemaic solar system is the pertinent example: for 1400 years we assumed that the
Earth is at the center of the solar system, because this seemed to be a perfectly reasonable
assumption given that we observe the Sun, stars, and wandering planets circling about us, every day.
But there are slight variations in the observed “tracks” of the Sun and planets relative to the fixed
firmament, and so a physics of ‘epicycles’ was created to explain and describe those variations.
Given the time-period and its associated technology, this model of the heavens was believed, by the
vast majority of Natural Philosophers, to explain the universe quite well-enough indeed.
So in this model we had a cognitive-physical boundary condition: the implicit assumption
that the Earth was at the center of all the heavens and that all the heavens circle about it. Looking back with the advantage of our knowledge today, we understand that the Ptolemaic model was
actually only a cognitive boundary condition, and not an actually physical one corresponding with
reality. With the assumption of an Earth-centered universe comes a defined cognitive domain, or
phase-space, or boundary condition, into which research and thought on the nature of the universe
is conducted. This is also called a paradigm. And once a paradigm becomes firmly entrenched, it
can take thousands of years before someone thinks of questioning the primary assumptions of said
paradigm in the face of unexplainable observables, as had been the case for the Ptolemaic Model.
The difficulty becomes nearly insurmountable in consideration of the fates of some of the first
individuals to do so, to the wrong people. The existing Ptolemaic physics could always incorporate
new and more precise observations, simply by extending the existing physics to include more and
more epicycles upon the celestial spheres.

Copernicus & the Greenhouse Effect
Fast forward to 1543 and the publication of “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”
by Nicolaus Copernicus. The Copernican “revolution” wasn’t merely just a change in the assumed
physical conditions of the system; it presented an entirely new phase-space, an entirely unique
boundary condition, in which the human mind could explore permutations of a new axiomatic field.
It was a qualitative and quantitative shift in cognition, where essentially none of the previous physics
any longer had any relevance or meaning. The observed facts, or broad observables, remained
entirely the same of course, but the new underlying assumptions directed an entirely new and unique
physics. The Copernican paradigm created an entirely new cognitive phase-space which minds
could explore, leading directly to the created thoughts and physics of such as Kepler, Newton,
Einstein, etc. It is very easy to conclude that the success of the Copernican Model in the history of
science is due to the logically valid fusion of both cognitive and physical boundary conditions; that is,
the way we started thinking about the system is the way the system actually does behave – the Sun
really is at the center of the solar system and the planets really do circle about it.

In my July 2011 paper, ‘The Model Atmosphere’, I reviewed the standard model and
associated boundary conditions of the radiative atmospheric greenhouse effect (GHE), which is
postulated to explain the surface-air temperature on the Earth. The paper cited sixty-three major
references to the model of the GHE, which included academic sources such as Harvard’s
Atmospheric Chemistry modeling group, Pennsylvania State University, the University of
Washington’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, etc., and a multitude of websites from NASA,
governmental and international institutions, and various general scientific public outreach
organizations. I clearly recall my own undergraduate astrophysics training at the University of
Western Ontario, where in the first year, the physics classroom was taught this very same model as
well. The model discussed in the July paper is the standard model of the postulated greenhouse effect
in Earth’s atmosphere; it is reproduced below in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The standard model of the greenhouse effect. This model contains all of the boundary conditions and basic physics which characterize the system under the GHE.

Readers can examine the full mathematical breakdown of this model in the July paper. Here,
let us simply examine it in terms of the concepts we have already introduced here: observables,
boundary condition, paradigm, and internal physics. The observable is slightly more technical than
its analogue in the solar system models. The observable here is related to the Law of Conservation
of Energy, i.e., that the energy coming in from the Sun must equal the energy being output from the
Earth. This observable is captured under the label in the figure of “Incoming Solar Flux” and its
related mathematical expression; it has a value of about 240 Watts per square meter (240 W/m2).
This term is balanced by the “Outgoing Terrestrial Radiation”, which has the same numerical value.
These two observables also represent the boundary conditions of the model, both physically and
cognitively. The “internal physics” is then everything else that happens within the guise of this
boundary condition, and is represented by all the other terms and arrows in the diagram.
Let us more closely examine the boundary condition and associated paradigm of this model.
It uses two horizontal lines, one to represent the ground, and one to represent the atmosphere. This
is called a plane-parallel model because the ground and atmosphere are treated as “planes” and they
are “parallel” to each other. The incoming solar flux is divided by a factor of “4” (this is the
numeral “4” you see in the diagram) so as to average the Solar energy over the entire globe, because
the globe is actually a sphere but here we draw it as a horizontal line, for convenience. But at the
expense of a larger diagram we can just as easily use the same averaged values and draw the model as
a circle, more intuitively representing the Earth, as shown here in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The standard model greenhouse effect re-drawn as a circle, to represent the shape of the Earth. The averaged incoming solar flux comes in from every direction and the internal physics also occurs everywhere, with the arrowed-line pointing into them and circling about the model reminding us of that.

A Neo-Copernican Paradigm Shift
In the above figure it is much simpler to observe that this standard model GHE treats the
solar insolation as coming in to all sides of the Earth, and it justifies this boundary condition by
using what is said to be the “average value” of the solar power. All well and good… However, does
the light from the Sun actually come in to all sides of the Earth at once? Obviously, sunlight actually
comes in to only one side, or hemisphere, of the Earth, ever. This is assumed to not be a problem
in the standard GHE model because we’re using the average value of the intensity of sunlight
anyway, and so it all works out to be equal in the end.

But, are we sure about that? In this standard model, what are the physical units used in
quantifying the solar power? This was already cited and was listed as 240 W/m2. A Watt is a Joule
per second, so the explicit units of this power is Joules, per second, per square meter (J/s/m2 ). It is
an amount of energy (J), spread over one-second of time (s), spread over one square meter of space
(m2). Such a quantification of energy is known as energy flux density, or more loosely called power.
What this value of solar power represents is therefore a one-second average ‘snapshot’ of radiation
coming into, and going out from, the Earth over its entire surface area, according to the standard
model.

Are we sure this adequately describes the real physical system? The standard model
effectively treats the Earth as having sunlight coming in over all parts of the Earth at once, with no
day-time and no night-time, and with one-quarter the value of the incoming energy flux density of
the actual solar power to account for this, which makes it equal to the average terrestrial output
power. This boundary condition is justified because it is claimed to satisfy the broad requirement of
conservation of total energy, i.e., that the solar input must equal the energy of the terrestrial output.

However, there is a physical error in this. The model equates the energy flux density of the
incoming power, to that of the outgoing power. This is not a requirement of the Law of
Conservation of Energy (LCE). The LCE pertains to total energy, i.e., the total number of Joules
only, but not to the flux density of those Joules of energy. This is a fundamental error in the primary
boundary condition of the model, and it sets up a cognitive phase-space which therefore may not
necessarily correspond with reality. So the error is two-fold: one, in treating the Earth as if it has no
day-time and night-time; two, in equating energy flux densities for the LCE as opposed to the
specific total energy.

The reason this is an error is the Stefan-Boltzmann Law of radiation, which can be used to
convert radiative energy flux density into an equivalent temperature. The model “average” solar
input power of 240 J/s/m2 has an equivalent temperature of about -180C (255K or -0.40F). With the
cognitive boundary condition that the Sunlight only provides -180C worth of temperature in any
given second over the entire surface area of the globe at once, you must postulate a scheme of
physics to raise the temperature on the Earth to something much warmer than this. This scheme of
“physics” is called the greenhouse effect. The average daily temperature found near the ground-
surface is +150C so it seems apparent that the Solar sunlight cannot directly account for it.

In a physically-real one-second snapshot of the input and output energies, however, Solar
power actually only comes in to one side of the Earth. This means that there is no possible way that
the energy flux density of input vs. output could ever be the same in numerical value – the input
comes in over the surface area of one hemisphere, but the output comes out of the surface area of
the entire sphere. And since a hemisphere has half of the surface area of an entire sphere, the
average input energy flux density must have a value twice as large as that of the output. The total
energy balance between input and output is still exactly the same, satisfying and in-line with the meaning of the Law of Conservation of Energy, but the energy flux density, or power temperature
of the radiation, is not and never needed to be, the same in numerical value.
What Would Copernicus Think?

The standard model greenhouse effect makes a simple but critical mistake in not
differentiating between the concepts of energy flux density and total energy, in the context of the
Law of Conservation of Energy. Along with this comes the un-realistic model of a dim, cool Sun,
simultaneously shining on both sides of the Earth at once. This establishes a cognitive boundary
condition, or paradigm, which does not conform to reality. In reality, an actual per-second, per-
square meter snapshot has the sunlight shining upon one side of the Earth in any moment, and the
Earth returning energy to space over both the light and dark sides. This was all formally explained and
proven mathematically in the July paper. A model which incorporates the actually physical boundary
conditions as they really exist was presented in that paper, and is reproduced below in Figure 3.

Figure 3: [Although total energy out equals total energy in], Earth is in fact, on average, cooler than the solar radiative input temperature. With this single physical reality, the need to postulate a radiative greenhouse effect evaporates.

And so in fact, the temperature forcing into the climate system from the Solar energy has a
linearly-distributed average value of 480 W/m2, or +300C. At maximum intensity directly under the
Solar-noon, this input forcing is potentially as high as +1210C! But the day-time hemisphere of the
Earth doesn’t actually achieve +300C, even though we know it absorbs all the energy required to
potentially reach this temperature. But then where does the energy go if it doesn’t show up as
temperature? That’s very simple: it goes into other degrees of freedom within the system, such as
latent heat, evaporation, convection, etc., and it also goes into warming up the ground surface from
the cooled-temperature it went down to over the previous night. This new model directly achieves
the Law of Conservation of Energy, but it does it with correct internal physics.

Copernicus’ Bachelorhood and Frozen Dinners
Does it really make that much of a difference to use the actual value of the energy density
input vs. simply equating that parameter to the output density of energy? Well, yes it does. Imagine
you start the Earth-system off from absolute zero temperature, completely frozen, and then begin
inputting energy as per the standard model greenhouse: -180C worth of temperature forcing coming
in to all sides of the planet from an omnipresent, dim and cool Sun. Would you expect -180C worth
of temperature forcing from sunlight to be able to melt the copious quantities of ice in the now-
frozen oceans? I certainly wouldn’t. On the other hand, what if you had +300C worth of
temperature forcing, on average over half of the Earth, with a continuous maximum of up to +1210C
under the solar-noon? Indeed, we should certainly expect this actual power level of solar energy to
easily melt the ice into water and to cause its evaporation and generate a climate cycle.

Most human beings on this planet are familiar with cooking their own food, and so there is a
very simple and direct analogy to understand how this thermal physics works. Take the example of
a frozen “TV-dinner”. Typically these might list a cooking recipe of, say, 4250F (2180C or 495K),
for 60 minutes. Could you substitute for one-quarter of the power, but cook it for four-times
longer, and expect to achieve the same result? Could you substitute for four-times the power, and
cook it for one-quarter the time period? Could you imagine attempting either of those scenarios
with a twenty-five pound turkey at your next Thanksgiving dinner? The total energy spent would be
exactly the same in all scenarios, but the physical response in each is entirely unique.

There are valuable, actual, and real-world differences between the standard model
greenhouse paradigm and the physically correct paradigm explained above. I submit that, just as
there are such between the solar-system models of Ptolemy and Copernicus, there are also such
between the standard GHE model and the “Reality Model” reviewed here and presented in the July
2011 paper. This new model has boundary conditions which are both cognitive and physical, in a
logically valid fusion, just like the Copernican model, as opposed to the Ptolemaic. We have
adherence to the exact same external observables, but completely different internal physics, and a
completely different paradigm and thought-process which describes it. The atmospheric greenhouse
effect is really just an artefact of a fictional boundary condition, and its associated aberrant cognitive
domain.

This short paper is available here.

The full technical paper is here.

Comments
  1. tallbloke says:

    Anyone wanting to make argument by assertion, ad hom comment, remarks they don’t intend to respond to criticism of, off topic rants, or repetitive thread filling nitpickery shouldn’t bother, because it goes in the bin. People posting such comment are of course at liberty to use their right to whine about the deletion of their stuff elsewhere.

    I anticipate that given these stipulations, the warmista (and lukewarmers) will ignore this post rather than be forced to engage with the physical reality that the Sun only illuminates half of the Earth. :)

  2. Phil says:

    Nailed it completely.

  3. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’m happy to see the ‘Slayer’ points properly disentangled.

    Their position doesn’t appeal to me because they seem to deny basic physics by saying that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all but they do make some good points concerning the so called radiative greenhouse effect.

    I take the view that the radiative features of greenhouse gases exist but the net effect is at or near zero in the real world but we still have to explain why atmospheres raise the average temperature of planets subject to external irradiation.

    The pressure based effect is the one which prevailed and was the consensus position until about 30 years ago.

    The importance of our efforts here is to return to that ‘lost’ knowledge and expand it to incorporate the observable climate changes that we now have the sensors to record which was something sadly lacking 30 years ago.

    If that involves extracting the valid points from the Slayer position then so be it.

    We don’t have to go along with Harry Dale Huffman’s broader propositions to accept that he has a point about pressure and the standard atmosphere.

    We don’t have to go along with the radiative greenhouse effect because we can accept that there is a greenhouse effect for other reasons.

  4. Phil says:

    Can be stated as simply as energy in does not = energy out..warmists are literally ‘flat-earthers’ because their GCMs treat the Earth as if it were flat.

    Next paradigm shift needed involves the electric nature of the Sun, the nuclear fusion theory needs to go, it is surface charge.

    [Reply] Heh, we’ll save that for a different day thanks. :)

  5. Phil says:

    No doubt that the radiative GHE exists, predominately over land..at night, but it should be called the atmosphere effect. At best 0.3% of the atmosphere is emitting backradiation..99.7% of the atmosphere can only attain/shed ‘heat’ via conduction, that has quite the nighttime insulation effect. Calm nights see good radiational cooling, windy nights do not..much higher conductive activity on windy nights.

  6. Brian H says:

    Thanks; addresses virtually all of the “Unreal!” reactions I’ve had to the Trenberth cartoon/paradigm.

    Are there any numbers for the night-side output patterns?

  7. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Can be stated as simply as energy in does not = energy out.”

    It does at equilibrium but only from a point outside the atmosphere.

    At any given point within the atmosphere energy in does not = energy out because the terms in and out have no meaning at such a point.

    Within the atmosphere all one observes is constantly varying redistribution of energy.

  8. Harriet Harridan says:

    Another great post on the Talkshop!

    I was wondering if these kind of arguments, this one, N&K’s, etc, about the amount of solar energy received and emitted, over a sphere could not be determined empirically? I was thinking of a, say tennis ball, or other type of sphere, with holes drilled in an exact grid all over it and fiber optic cable sticking through each hole, sort of like this, or this. Fill the sphere with resin, and when set, trim the fibers down so that they are flush with the surface. Then, with the sphere fixed the same proportional distance as the earth to the sun, fire known wavelengths at known powers at the sphere and record the result for each fibre? If the sphere heated to a known temperature by the incident light, the IR emitted on the night-time of the sphere could also be recorded.

    Thinking aloud; Maybe you could enclose the sphere in a balloon transparent to the wavelength in question filled with gasses? If we all chipped in a few quid to get it built…?

    Or, am I completely missing the point?
    Again. :-)

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    “No doubt that the radiative GHE exists, predominately over land, at night, but it should be called the atmosphere effect”

    The theoretical potential for a radiative GHE exists but it is negated by internal negative system responses. The atmosphere effect is pressure induced and nothing can negate or even affect it other than more pressure or more top of atmosphere input.

    Do not conflate the two.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Stephen: please download the full technical paper and read from near the bottom of page 15 to the top of page 18.

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/the_model_atmosphere.pdf

    Thanks.

    BTW it’s inevitable that during a phase of paradigm shift, there will be confusion over the meaning of terms as different people grapple with the concepts and make choices over terminology independently of each other. This venue is where it will get ironed out, with goodwill.

  11. tallbloke says:

    Harriet: love your physical experiment plan. The proportional distance thing will put the tennis ball in New York and the Sun covering England. :)

  12. Tenuk says:

    Treating a non-linear complex system, like climate, dynamically is the only way forward when fitting the physical underpinnings to the observed effects. This paper is a huge step in the right direction as it clearly shows the failure of the current paradigm of climatology – averaging and statistics is the correct method to use to understand climate. We live on rotisserie world!

    BTW, some of the temperatures above seem strange and something may have been lost in translation from the .pdf file.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Tenuc, I think I fixed all the temperature formatting, but reload and check for me please.

  14. Phil says:

    Mr Wilde,

    Regarding the radiative GHE, are you speaking on a global scale? Clouds demonstrate this ‘potential’ in action, at night. Of course, on the daytime side this is more than made up for.

    I said ‘atmosphere effect’ because all molecules work to insulate the surface at night, for the most part this isn’t ‘radiative’ though, but still categorial.

    I do agree that atmospheric pressure and the total energy budget account for the Earth’s surface temp and profile with height. When you take into account total kinetic, electric, raw magnetic, and thermal energy contained within the system, you get quite a lofty number. I firmly believe that maintaining a kinetic perturbation against gravity requires energy in of itself.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Phil says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    No doubt that the radiative GHE exists, predominately over land..at night, but it should be called the atmosphere effect. At best 0.3% of the atmosphere is emitting backradiation..99.7% of the atmosphere can only attain/shed ‘heat’ via conduction,

    Not so. ~1% is water vapour, and all gases are radiatively active to some degree, although the ~78% of the atmosphere which is Nitrogen only theoretically has about the same radiative power as the 0.039% co2.

  16. Harriet Harridan says:

    “Harriet: love your physical experiment plan. The proportional distance thing will put the tennis ball in New York and the Sun covering England. :)”

    TB – I do the *big* ideas. I leave the *details* like that to the little people. :-)

  17. Stephen Wilde says:

    Having made some generally supportive points I’m not sure that this article from Joseph is really valid.

    He correctly points out that solar irradiation is only coming in on one half of the sphere at any given time.

    He correctly points out that outgoing energy is going out in all directions from the entire sphere all the time.

    However, the fact is that outgoing energy is at maximum on the irradiated side and at minimum on the non irradiated side so there is no reason why the AVERAGE of the outgoing radiation from BOTH sides should not be capable of equalling the incoming energy on the irradiated half alone. Indeed for equilibrium to be attained that must be so.

    It is true that within the atmosphere a lot of lateral and vertical energy shifting occurs but on average the outgoing from both halves does equal the incoming on one half once equilibrium is attained.

    For example:

    240 Wm2 comes in at top of atmosphere.

    180 Wm2 gets radiated straight out from the sunlit side.

    60 Wm2 gets retained and spread around the globe by air and oceans.

    60 Wm2 gets radiated out to space from the unlit side.

    The upshot is that 240 out = 240 in despite only half being lit at anyone time.

    It is that lateral and vertical shifting of energy within an atmosphere that makes equilibrium possible at all.

    So, unless I’ve missed something, I think this is another straw man.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Phil says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    No doubt that the radiative GHE exists, predominately over land..at night, but it should be called the atmosphere effect.

    I think including the word radiative in whatever name is chosen is wise, because it identifies the fundamental thermodynamical mechanism involved.

    So, we might have a scheme which discusses distinct effects under a general heading such as N&Z’s

    Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement

    Such as

    Radiative thermal effect
    Gravito-thermal effect
    Condensing thermal effect

    etc.

    I understand N&Z chose the ATE is a ‘value free’ description. The problem is, they say pressure is the only operative effect, so it becomes identified with the general idea of ATE.

    Taxonomy, a dull but important subject… :)

  19. tallbloke says:

    Stephen:
    “there is no reason why the AVERAGE of the outgoing radiation from BOTH sides should not be capable of equalling the incoming energy on the irradiated half alone.”

    Where does he say it doesn’t?

    Did you read pp15-18 of the full paper yet?

  20. Stephen Wilde says:

    I agree that we must distinguish between the radiative GHE and the pressure induced GHE.

    I think I can take this a step further.

    The increase in temperature arising from the presence of an atmosphere is directly related to the proportion of incoming energy that the atmosphere absorbs on the irradiated side and the TIME it takes for that absorbed energy to be transferred to the dark side and radiated from the dark side to space.

    The greater the mass of the atmosphere the greater the proportion that will be absorbed by a mix of radiative and conductive means and the longer it will take for that absorbed energy to be transferred to the dark side ready for outward radiation.

    A denser, more viscous atmosphere (including any liquid oceans) at the surface will transfer the absobed energy to the dark side more slowly leading to a higher equilibrium temperature. Surface pressure dictates the surface density/viscosity and so directly influences the length of delay.

    I think that neatly squares the circle.

    Simply, the thicker an atmosphere the longer it holds on to incoming energy and the higher the equilibrium temperature rises before energy in = energy out at top of atmosphere.

    GHGs do not appear to increase atmospheric mass or atmospheric viscosity or even system energy content but they do affect motion within the atmosphere so as to cancel out their radiative effects on the energy content of the air alone leaving pressure and insolation in control of the equilibrium temperature.

  21. tchannon says:

    Phil says:

    ” Calm nights see good radiational cooling, windy nights do not..much higher conductive activity on windy nights.”

    I suggest the opposite.

    Radiative cooling of the atmosphere is most noticeable (to a human) on clear sky windless nights as a local effect.

    Wind is able to bring in new heat from higher up for radiating away, including maintaining a higher ground temperature for greater radiative flux upwards.

    In addition the so called greenhouse gases also breach the barrier and lead to cooling. This is most marked with water vapour, hence both the desert effect and winter effect, in both cases when there is low absolute humidity.

  22. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “Did you read pp15-18 of the full paper yet?”

    I hadn’t but I have now. On those pages he correctly disposes of the back radiation concept and correctly describes the energy redistribution effect of an atmosphere and of GHGs within it.

    So why do you think it significant that the sun only heats half the Earth ?

  23. tallbloke says:

    “So why do you think it significant that the sun only heats half the Earth ?”

    The glib answer is because the Sun really does only heat half the Earth and so our conceptualization should match that reality.

    But you don’t have to go too much further to realize that whilst glib, it is important.
    Postma gives the example that warmists say that without GHG’s the Earth would be at -18C and that would turn it into a snowball which would cool further due to high albedo.

    With the half lit model in mind and the appreciation that dayside would be well above freezing, which would melt and evaporate water and so reduce albedo (black ocean) and trap night-time heat (fluffy clouds).

    Now You, and I and N&Z and Hans and Postma and many here know know the lapse rate effect will raise surface temp further. However, Postma is doing in this cut down version of his full paper what I did in a couple of recent articles I wrote. He’s avoiding heaping to much in at once, and getting the fundamentals across.

    And the fact that the Earth is heated differentially rather than evenly is fundamental for all sorts of reasons. As I said to Postma in July last year on Judith’s site:

    “Joseph’s method is more realistic. I always said smearing differentiated energy flows into averages was a bad way to try to understand a system which lives and breathes on differentials pumping the bellows of the climate.”

  24. tallbloke says:

    There is an ongoing discussion of Postma’s paper at SkS

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/postma-disproved-the-greenhouse-effect.htm

    Tom Curtis has got halfway there.

  25. Wayne Job says:

    I am impressed by the ever increasing realist logic that is putting a blow torch to those that promote fairy science. Mr Postma well done.

  26. So, to summarize, Joseph is saying is that the standard model greenhouse paradigm is a bit of turkey, really. :)

  27. adolfogiurfa says:

    Is life on earth (remember the UHI+ etc) the “Frozen TV dinner”?, If so, it should be considered all transformations energy (not only LWR) from the Sun suffers. Life transforms energy and energy is transformed for the purpose of life. (e.g.: formation of soil by volcanoes,etc.)

  28. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “Postma gives the example that warmists say that without GHG’s the Earth would be at -18C and that would turn it into a snowball which would cool further due to high albedo.

    With the half lit model in mind and the appreciation that dayside would be well above freezing, which would melt and evaporate water and so reduce albedo (black ocean) and trap night-time heat (fluffy clouds).”

    Ok, got that. The uneven heating would cause temperature differentials that would prevent the snowball outcome due to the oceans being kept liquid. The same principle applies to the equator/poles temperature differential.

    However the oceans would only be kept liquid at a sufficiently high atmospheric pressure so even Joseph’s narrative wouldn’t work without adequate such pressure.

    Too little pressure and the total energy drawn out by evaporation (plus radiation and conduction) would increase and the oceans would then freeze despite energy coming in on the sunny side.

    Indeed, low enough pressure just allows incoming irradiation to blow constituents of an atmosphere (including water) off into space.

    It is pressure and only pressure (gravity plus mass) that allows an irradiated atmosphere whether of air or water or any other fluids to resist the tendency for incoming radiation to lift it off the surface and send it off into space.

    Then it is pressure and only pressure that determines the density and viscosity of any such atmosphere so as to set the time delay between incoming energy, absorption, transfer to the night side and finally radiation to space from the night side.

    That time delay sets the equilibrium temperature of the planet.

    Isn’t that a neat and pretty much complete explanation of the GHE and entirely consistent with N & Z ?

    It goes a beyond the Ideal Gas Law too because in this description we are merging the different pressure effects on air and oceans which we previously discussed.

    The whole thing comes down to the following:

    i) Surface pressure (from gravity and atmospheric mass) holding atmospheric molecules near the surface and incoming irradiation adding energy to those molecules thereby attempting to lift them off the surface.

    ii) Atmospheric viscosity (from pressure compacting the molecules) influencing the speed of redistribution of energy around the planet.

    iii) That speed of redistribution affecting the time delay between energy arrival and energy departure.

    iv) That time delay determines equilibrium temperature because incoming exceeds outgoing during the interval.

    Game over ?

  29. tallbloke says:

    “However the oceans would only be kept liquid at a sufficiently high atmospheric pressure so even Joseph’s narrative wouldn’t work without adequate such pressure.”

    This much is obvious to us. How to communicate it in an irrefutable and irrestistable way?

    “Game over?”

    Not by a long chalk. Keep working on making the formulation, good as it is, tighter and stronger. I’m doing the same. We have experimental evidence from Graeff and Konrad. We have theoretical backup from N&Z, Loschmidt, Hans, Postma. We need a bunch of empirical examples showing how theory is applied to thought experiment, which produces results consistent with physical experiment and observation of the real climate system. Postma suggests some experiments in his 45 page epic full paper.

    Plenty to keep us busy. 8-)

    Meantime, I’d like to steer back towards the content of Jo Postma’s short paper. Where else does it have shortcomings, besides not explaining everything in 4 pages? :)

  30. Terry says:

    Do the current models used by NASA, etc. incorporate the “flat earth” physics as described here? If so, I am astounded. Assuming that is true, it seems like using simple linear averages of energy fluxes in a (highly?) nonlinear system could lead to large errors. That seems to be the main argument.

    Hasn’t someone developed a simple 3-D model as presented here but with terms for energy storage in the oceans and land and some sort of latent energy change terms to get a handle on the size of errors that might occur in the “standard” model? Haven’t NZ done so, but have essentially assumed convective processes are so dominant that nothing else needs to be considered.

  31. Stephen Wilde says:

    The key is to realise that it takes time for an atmosphere to redistribute incoming solar energy around the planet and through the atmosphere before it can be released back to space.

    The temperature of the planet is set by the length of that delay and by the level of insolation.

    Density induced by gravity and mass determines the speed of redistribution and thus the length of delay.

    That is all there is to it and ALL the mass and ALL the energy transfer mechanisms are involved, not just GHGs and radiation.

    Energy that is in the process of being moved around by non radiative means within the atmosphere or within the ocean is simply not then available to be radiated out.

    The missing link is TIME.

    That is the Greenhouse Effect.

  32. Ron C. says:

    I am a frequent reader of this and other climate blogs, and trying to make sense of all this discussion. I am also aware of Postma’s post on 3 paradoxes http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9392&linkbox=true&position=1

    For my warmist friends who haven’t done their homework, I need to express these ideas in their language. I am thinking to put it this way (my attempted elevator speech):

    In order to believe that the climate is warmed dangerously by human C02 emissions, a person must deny five contradictions:
    1. Ice cores from glaciers show that throughout history, changes in C02 follow changes in temperature, and not the other way around.
    2. The warmer surface (land and oceans) heats up the cooler atmosphere, and not the other way around.
    3. The earth is warmed to an average temperature of 15C because solar energy is retained in the oceans and released slowly upward against the pressure of the atmosphere, and not because of any heat trapped by gases in the atmosphere.
    4. Forty years of satellite data show that outgoing infrared radiation (IR) from the top of the atmosphere has been constant, and not decreased with higher CO2 levels.
    5. In the last 15 years there has been no additional surface warming, while CO2 has continued to rise.

  33. Joseph says:

    Hi All,

    The one central theme, ignoring the myriad of other arguments I make dissecting the various logical and physical problems of standard theory, is that the entire edifice of greenhouse effect climatism rests on the approximation of the Earth being flat which makes the Sunshine approximate as very cold.

    John O’Sullivan wrote an article with some recent philosophical perspectives I was discussing with the team:

    http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/136-the-three-hyper-real-paradoxes-of-global-warming

    The gist of that article should go along with everything else.

    Most of the comments here “got” the message of the “Copernicus” paper. In the formulation of the GHE, the Earth is approximated as flat, which makes the Sunshine become approximated as cold (-18C).

    What is happening in that is they are “power averaging” the input to a non-linear system. The system (Earth) is non-linear – because of H20. It has phase changes in thermal capacity plus it also has latent heat – latent heat is a huge amount of energy, there’s almost as much energy in the latent heat of fusion (melting of ice) as there is to get the ice from 0K to 273K in the first place. So there is a tremendous degree of non-linearity in the temperature response, i.e., the response to power input.

    Below 0C, the system responds in a basically linear way. So with sunshine “power averaging” and approximated as -18C, the Earth should have never been able to create or sustain liquid oceans. The tiny mass and tiny total heat content of the atmosphere in regards to the ocean simply can not be responsible for keeping the oceans liquid. Plus, the oceans are warmer than the average atmospheric temperature (-18C) in any case.

    So then, if you use a non-power averaged value for sunlight – its real-time value – suddenly you breach the non-linear threshold of naturally being able to melt ice, sustain the oceans, and create vapor.

    You get, and I mean this in the most intense of philosophical, logical, and scientific definitions, an entirely different qualitative and quantitative response in the system. There can be NO scientifically valid simple relationship between a power-averaged input model and a real-time power input model, because the system has a non-linear response to power input.

    A power-averaged input of -18C over the entire planet at once will not produce the same response as a cosine distribution over half the planet with +121C at the zenith. In the former case there can only be ice, in the latter there is liquid and vapor and ice. And of course the heated liquid can circulate over the entire planet.

    In regard to the comment on the ocean freezing due to lack of atmospheric pressure – this is quite delightful actually….you missed something important. The water vapor from the ocean would create its own atmosphere! It is so easy to forget that the sun is melting and evaporating water vapor in the first place every single day, or some place on the earth 24/7. That’s doesn’t stop. If there were some evaporative cooling, well the Sun comes right back and warms it back up. The latent heat of condensation is even greater than than for fusion…the Sun would sustain the vapor H20 atmosphere, naturally. Also, you already have the existence of an atmosphere in any case due to the initial conditions of this system, i.e., volcanoes, out-gassing, gas from the primordial cloud collected to the surface, etc. But the system wouldn’t be able to recover from the ice-ball if sunlight were -18C…once it cooled that low, it wouldn’t have reason to breach back above 0C without sufficient external input.

    And so, what’s the idea here. The idea here is to create a real-time input model and see what need, if any, there is for self-heat amplification after that. The spherical model I presented is a sort of “mind object” to queue you into looking at the model in real time and as it actually behaves in reality, not in false approximation. The equations at the heart of this model are very, very well known in engineering and math. I spent much time reading textbooks which describe this equation, which models heat-flow, and never anywhere is the equation shown or is it discussed in regards to a self-feedback factor which amplifies its own temperature.

    Such an important possibility and reality would be one of the first things discussed in the solution and formulation of these equations. It would be exploitable. It would also be one of the simplest things to mathematically incorporate…it would be just a slight change in the form of the equation and just as easy to solve.

    There are two main different ways to solve the problem, with the simpler one essentially matching the equation for voltage in an RC circuit with a time-dependent voltage input – it’s thermodynamically equivalent to mass and thermal resistance with energy input. Some of you reading might be electrical engineers…I am not. Can an RC circuit amplify its own voltage with feedback that might come from either the capacitor or the resistor (the equivalent of mass and thermal resistance)? I asked my office-mate this question, who is the best electrical engineer I have met in my life, and he laughed his head off. To quote “The nature of such a system can only be damping.” “There would have to be an amplifier and a source of power for it.”

    In climatism, the amplifier is the GHE and its source of power is LWIR radiation from the surface. You can DO that with the math, sure, but, is it physically and logically valid? Does it violate conservation of energy or laws of thermo? Could you arrange such a scheme in an RC circuit? The REASON why it is done in the first place is due to that error of power averaging, so that’s no justification. I want to see what a REAL heat-flow equation in real-time has to say about the temperature distribution.

    Indeed, we see that the atmosphere damps the thermal response if you compare to the moon, for example. The equation replicates the daily phase lag and also the seasonal phase-lag of temperature to solar input. This is something that is ignored in the GHE model.

    What would you fellows like me to do? I can finish the paper describing the simple solution and its coded results in Matlab, and I can also write out all the equations for the full solution but I haven’t actually solved them yet or coded them. I could publish that paper relatively soon. If you want me to solve the full equations and code it, that’s another 6 months or a year…I do this in my spare time.

    Regards,

    Joe Postma

  34. tallbloke says:

    Joe, many thanks for taking the time to call by here. There’s a lot to digest in your additional thoughts, but I wondered if I could get us started with a question in regard to this statement:

    “The idea here is to create a real-time input model and see what need, if any, there is for self-heat amplification after that. The spherical model I presented is a sort of “mind object” to queue [cue] you into looking at the model in real time and as it actually behaves in reality, not in false approximation.”

    Since, according to your fig3 above, you agree the basic energy budget leads to emission of 240W/m^2 (255K), I’m not understanding what you mean by “self-heat amplification”. There can be no creation of energy if conservation is to be satisfied, so do you actually mean “redistribution” of some kind which concentrates warmth at the surface?

  35. Joseph says:

    Well I am happy to answer a question or two tallbloke, but I’m not sure I want to “get started” as you put it, as that implies something which can go on for ages! ;-)

    By “self-heat-amplification” I refer to the greenhouse effect, such that -18C input to the surface is “amplified” to +15C at the surface. I meant it in the context of: “Let us see if there is a need for a GHE after that”.

    The actual insolation input can be completely arbitrary in the GHE model – as cold as you want it – because this model allows you to generate infinite temperature with arbitrarily cold input. It’s called pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and it is tautologous, and hence wrong. I did try to explain that illogic in the lengthy “Model” paper.

    I do agree that there is no such thing as self-heat-amplification. I postulate that a real heat flow equation based on real physics and math in a real-time system should be able to replicate what is the observed ground, surface, and atmospheric temperatures, with no self-amplification of temperature required. This is a perfectly valid and superior postulate because the one of the GHE model makes absurd approximations and assumptions. Indeed, with +121C at the zenith, there must be a great degree of redistribution of energy going on since that temperature is not actually generated at the surface (even after factoring albedo etc).

    A heat flow equation WILL describe how that heat gets distributed. There’s only one source of energy to the system (well, two if you include geothermal, and this is important because deep-soil temperature is not 0K). Fourier’s physical heat-flow equation is the only thing we have which can describe how that energy will get redistributed.

    Ron C.: Don’t forget you also need to think the earth is flat and that sunshine is uniformly cold, there is no day & night etc.

  36. Joseph says:

    tallbloke says:
    April 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm
    There can be no creation of energy if conservation is to be satisfied, so do you actually mean “redistribution” of some kind which concentrates warmth at the surface?

    Right. But consider, the temperature is generated at the surface in the first place. Naturally there is a higher concentration of energy and warmth at the surface since that is where it is deposited. The rest of the system, described by standard thermal capacities, then redistributes that energy around, but always the surface will be warmer than the rest because it is the surface where the heat is being generated (at night, that surface also cools of course).

    You also have the natural distribution of temperature of a gas in a gravity field, which is sometimes called the “adiabatic gradient”. It’s really just conservation of energy between kinetic (thermal) and gravity. Some people have argued this isn’t true, yet, the equation which derives this, results in what is actually observed, so that’d be quite a random coincidence. Plus it is such a simple equation of conservation of energy, it would be interesting to see how someone could actually refute it.

    So two things: sunlight is deposited on the surface and so this is where the heat is generated; as such the rest of the system responds to this but generally will not exceed this (aside from warm air blowing in etc but that a different scenario). Also, the natural distribution of energy of a gas column implies the bottom should be warmest. This is what the heat-flow equation will all naturally describe.

  37. tallbloke says:

    The actual insolation input can be completely arbitrary in the GHE model – as cold as you want it – because this model allows you to generate infinite temperature with arbitrarily cold input.

    It’s worth considering the very high temperatures in the lower atmospheres of the outer planets, which only get a few W/m^2 from the Sun. They radiate more than they get. so there must be some internal heat source, but still, the differentials are striking.

    I want to see what a REAL heat-flow equation in real-time has to say about the temperature distribution.

    A worthy aim, and we want to see that too. lets go with -g/cp and see what happens. We can argue over the Loschmidt paradox in the meantime.

  38. Phil says:

    TB:

    Isn’t Nitrogen/Oxygen = ~ 99% of the atmosphere? http://www.sdm.scot.nhs.uk/gas_laws/ At least that is what I was educated to believe :p

    tchannon:

    That was essentially what I was saying, windy days are cooler, windy nights are warmer…higher conductive rates at the surface…a higher ground temp at night should = a higher low atmospheric temp?

  39. edcaryl says:

    Joseph,
    Get with Tim Channon.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/a-model-of-lunar-temperature/#more-5647

    Between the two of you, this problem can be solved.

    Tim,
    If you see this. The difference between your model and Diviner data is simply the lunar surface non-uniformity. If you plug in the varying albedo, I’ll bet most of the error disappears.

    Both of you are doing exceptional work here. I am much impressed. Hats off to Roger for publishing this stuff.

  40. Joseph says:

    @edcarl

    Wow, yes, for goodness’ sake. He’s doing the exact same things I am doing with my math. Everything he’s modeled there I can justify theoretically via the math and physics, Tim Channon is not just making something up, he’s modelling the real situation, intelligently. I should get the new paper out asap which might help what he’s doing there.

  41. tallbloke says:

    Good call Ed, I see a very productive meeting of minds shaping up here. Tim self publishes here by the way. I gave him a set of keys long ago. :)

    Joe, have you seen Nikolov and Zeller’s work yet?

  42. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joseph said:

    “In regard to the comment on the ocean freezing due to lack of atmospheric pressure – this is quite delightful actually….you missed something important. The water vapor from the ocean would create its own atmosphere! It is so easy to forget that the sun is melting and evaporating water vapor in the first place every single day, or some place on the earth 24/7. That’s doesn’t stop. If there were some evaporative cooling, well the Sun comes right back and warms it back up.”

    Yes indeed, the ocean would create its own atmosphere but only if there had been enough atmospheric pressure from other gases to allow the ocean to develop in liquid form in the first place.

    If there had never been any gases other than water vapour then the molecules of water vapour would have been driven off into space as fast as they were created and the oceans would never have formed.

    Even today, if we suddenly drive off all gases other than water vapour there is no guarantee that a pure water vapour atmosphere would be dense enough to provide enough surface pressure to prevent the residual oceans from freezing solid and thereafter sublimating their molecules to space in pretty short order.

    So I didn’t miss something important after all.

    I’d be interested in your comment on my point that the real (non radiative, pressure induced) GHE is in fact simply a consequence of the non radiative processes within an atmosphere shifting a proportion of solar input about for a specific period of time thus denying that energy for that period of time to the outgoing radiation budget for a consequential rise in system temperature.

    The larger (more mass) the planet and the more mass in the atmosphere the longer the incoming energy can be shifted around before it is released back to space and the higher the temperature will become at a given level of solar input.

    I think it really could be that simple.

  43. Joseph says:

    Is the N&Z paper the one which postulates atmospheric pressure is what causes higher surface temperature?

    If so, I did briefly look at it but I disagree with the premise. I agree with it in so far as the idea of the adiabatic gradient predicting a warmer bottom-of-atmosphere, but I disagree that the mechanism of such is due to pressure. I think that it opens itself to the idea of back-pressure heating – if a bottle is heated from outside, then the inside will heat even more due to the increase in pressure of the internal gas contents.

    I could be wrong on their premise entirely, I did not go into it in detail. I would prefer to finish the analysis of a standard heat flow equation.

    If they’re doing good honest work than I wish for them to continue.

  44. tallbloke says:

    Joe, On the unbounded atmosphere, volume can vary. We and N&Z understand that. Empirical experimental work has been done by a contributor here who finds a temperature increase with pressure even when the higher bottle pressure is controlled to a constant. So it’s not heat of compression, but due to the interaction of sunlight with a higher density.

    See Konrad’s experiment here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/konrad-hartmann-experiment-to-determine-the-effect-of-pressure-on-temperature-in-earths-atmosphere/

    and the followup critique and improvements to the method:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/roy-martin-critique-of-konrad-hartmanns-pressure-temperature-experiment/

  45. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joseph said:

    “I could be wrong on their (N&Z) premise entirely”

    If it helps, the premise seems to be that pressure places more molecules per unit volume at the surface so when solar irradiation is applied there are more interactions per unit volume where molecules are densest so that the temperature becomes highest where the gas is densest namely at the surface..

    I find that to be an adequate description capable of explaning a lot and I don’t think it is inconsistent with what you say, is it ?

    The bottle analogy is inappropriate because that relies on increased pressure from the sides of the bottle constraining expansion. A different idea altogether.

  46. wayne says:

    I will take a small portion of credit on this very topic. TB, that’s my “light-bulb”. It took nearly 6 to 8000 hours of studying ‘climate science’ to find exactly where they had all gone so wrong. You can’t ignore the spherical geometry, you can’t ignore the pressure, the gravitational potential energy. The sun beats down on a hemisphere 12 hours a day, 365 ¼ days a year with a power of 1362 W/m2 and with the realization, thanks to Hans, that only a rather small ~60-70 W/m2 leaves during the nighttime, THAT IS YOUR “GREENHOUSE EFFECT”. Nikolov and Zeller, in not so many words, also lead me to this very conclusion.

    Do the spherical math people! That is where the answer lies. Great PDF Postma!

    Now I’ll read the rest in detail to see if there is anything where he and I might disagree, but his overall thrust is correct. Stop averaging!!! Integrate, by latitude, and solar angle, with the fact that ½ is always lit but the energy doesn’t flow out on the dark-side at some huge amount…. look into the nighttime data.

  47. Joseph says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “Yes indeed, the ocean would create its own atmosphere but only if there had been enough atmospheric pressure from other gases to allow the ocean to develop in liquid form in the first place.”

    Well you would have sublimation until an atmosphere formed. But it is not really possible to know if the pressure would eventually get high enough to sustain liquid.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “If there had never been any gases other than water vapour then the molecules of water vapour would have been driven off into space as fast as they were created and the oceans would never have formed.

    Even today, if we suddenly drive off all gases other than water vapour there is no guarantee that a pure water vapour atmosphere would be dense enough to provide enough surface pressure to prevent the residual oceans from freezing solid and thereafter sublimating their molecules to space in pretty short order.”

    Why would they be driven off into space immediately? That depends on their velocity, i.e. temperature, and even now it’s not hot enough to drive them out into space. The presence of atmospheric pressure doesn’t stop things from being driven off into space – its whether or not the thermal velocity profile of the gas exceeds the escape velocity. For helium and hydrogen, very light particles, they do, that’s why they aren’t found down here (aside from He outgassing from the planet). Just because the ocean might sublimate doesn’t mean the gas escapes the gravity well…H20 is a fairly heavy molecule.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “So I didn’t miss something important after all.”

    Yes but you’re making assumptions which we can’t actually know. Who knows how the system would respond. Sublimated heavy particles certainly would not suddenly escape the gravity well. What’s pertinent to this post, of course, is what the real degree of energy power input is. Given the initial conditions of the existence of an atmosphere somewhere around the current mass, -18C can not melt ice.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “I’d be interested in your comment on my point that the real (non radiative, pressure induced) GHE is in fact simply a consequence of the non radiative processes within an atmosphere shifting a proportion of solar input about for a specific period of time thus denying that energy for that period of time to the outgoing radiation budget for a consequential rise in system temperature.”

    Well, first, there’s no reason to assume that the process of “radiative energy delay” you described would be caused by pressure. You said it is a non-radiative process, but the pressure induces a radiative consequence. This isn’t much different then from GHG back-radiation or delayed energy output.
    Secondly, even if the energy was delayed so, by whatever process, that can’t mean that it disappears. If it gets delayed in output then it still eventually comes out, on top of what already should be coming out instantaneously. For example, if the delayed energy shows up in temperature, then that higher temperature must be seen by the outside. It isn’t seen by the oustide though, only 255K is seen.
    In whatever mechanism, the idea is easily modellable by a heat flow equation with feedback, or delay, the math is the same for either interpretation. It results in the same scheme as for the flat-earth GHE, and allows infinite temperature for aribrary input, and so this is why I hold on this for now. I will show all this in the next paper. First, I want to develop the standard equation and maaths etc…then we’ll see what needs added if we need higher temperature. If Tim Channon can model the theory, we’ll have infinitely more answers and ability to understand it than the current models.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “The larger (more mass) the planet and the more mass in the atmosphere the longer the incoming energy can be shifted around before it is released back to space and the higher the temperature will become at a given level of solar input.

    I think it really could be that simple.”

    Yes I see that, and I do like what you’re trying to develop here, so I would encourage you to continue even though I must remain on my course of what I’ve been trying to develop myself. We already have the adiabatic gradient which describes what you’re talking about, but you postulate a different mechanism. But continue on, it is vital we all do our part. If my method doesn’t work out, then I’ll have to go looking again.

  48. tallbloke says:

    Joe, don’t worry, we won’t try to sway you from your own course. This is a ‘peers exchanging notes and ideas session’ not evangelism. :)

  49. Stephen Wilde says:

    wayne said:

    “with the realization, thanks to Hans, that only a rather small ~60-70 W/m2 leaves during the nighttime”

    As I said:

    “240 Wm2 comes in at top of atmosphere.

    180 Wm2 gets radiated straight out from the sunlit side.

    60 Wm2 gets retained and spread around the globe by air and oceans.

    60 Wm2 gets radiated out to space from the night side.

    The upshot is that 240 out = 240 in despite only half being lit at any one time.

    It is that lateral and vertical shifting of energy within an atmosphere (the mass of which interferes with radiative energy flows) that makes equilibrium possible at all.”

    Always bear in mind that the irradiated side is losing heat to space faster than the unlit side just as the equator loses heat to space faster than the poles.

    And, crucially, that lateral and vertical energy shifting takes TIME.

    The greenhouse effect is the rise in planetary temperature that arises as a result of the TIME taken to effect the unavoidable lateral and vertical energy shifting on any given spherical rotating planet with an atmosphere.

    That TIME is directly related to planetary mass (gravity) and atmospheric viscosity (rises with density) both of which increase the TIME required for the process of lateral and vertical energy shifting to be completed.

    Whilst the process is ongoing, energy in exceeds energy out and the temperature rises until radiative equilibrium is achieved.

  50. Joseph says:

    “tallbloke says:
    April 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Joe, don’t worry, we won’t try to sway you from your own course. This is a ‘peers exchanging notes and ideas session’ not evangelism. :)

    Yes indeed and this is a much more pleasant and entirely lovely way to conduct science! The alarmists have nothing on us. We’re creating a new paradigm of science, opening rational thought and debate to anyone who wishes to develop the skill to participate, no matter what tenure someone might hide behind. Science is going open-source.

    Cheers!

  51. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joseph said:

    “Well, first, there’s no reason to assume that the process of “radiative energy delay” you described would be caused by pressure”

    It isn’t caused by pressure.

    It is caused by the mass of the atmosphere obstructing the immediate in/out energy flow on the sunlit side which would otherwise occur on a planet without an atmosphere (ignoring rigoleth effects for the moment).

    You have accepted that the presence of an atmosphere whether containing GHGs or not would redistribute energy around a rotating planet and presumably also vertically in the atmosphere but with differing profiles on the day and night sides (and above equator and poles) leading to lots of convective turbulence.

    Equilibrium in the face of such disturbances to the incoming and outgoing flows is only achieved at the point where the nightside gets warm enough to radiate at exactly the rate of any net absorption on the day side. Apparently about 60 – 70 W/m2 on Earth.

    Getting to that point takes time because the redistribution of energy is achieved mainly by conduction and convection through atmosphere and oceans. Those are non radiative processes and they are slower than direct in/out radiation and so they introduce a time delay.

    The more mass in planet (gravity) and atmosphere (pressure) the longer it takes and the higher the equilibrium temperature rises for a given level of solar input.

  52. Joseph says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “crucially, that lateral and vertical energy shifting takes TIME.

    The greenhouse effect is the rise in planetary temperature that arises as a result of the TIME taken to effect the unavoidable lateral and vertical energy shifting on any given spherical rotating planet with an atmosphere.

    That TIME is directly related to planetary mass (gravity) and atmospheric viscosity (rises with density) both of which increase the TIME required for the process of lateral and vertical energy shifting to be completed.

    Whilst the process is ongoing, energy in exceeds energy out and the temperature rises until radiative equilibrium is achieved.”

    This is close to what the heat flow equation will naturally describe, but the mechanisms would be different I think. You get heat being generated at the surface itself, and some within the atmosphere due to extinction…but most at the surface. How this spreads about is certainly a function of time, which is governed by local material properties as referenced.

    The radiation from the heated surface doesn’t actually take that long to escape the atmosphere though…you’d need a delay of ~390/240 = 63%, or 0.63 seconds, of the entire output.

    But only about, what, say even 50%, which would be a very high estimate, of the output radiation might be delayed (by looking at the spectrum). With only half of the radiation being intercepted, it needs to be delayed twice as long to get to the same 390W/m2 concentrated for the surface, or 1.26 seconds, etc.

    However, others have calculated that output radiation escapes in much less than a second, even with scattering/absorption factored in. The atmosphere is quite negligible compared to the speed of light.

    Also, I just used 390/240 implying 240W/m2 is a valid average input, which I don’t actually agree with. So this model, too, would need to be better-described by a real-time input formula.

    I still think it is worthwhile what you fellows are looking into. All possibilities need to be explored.

  53. tallbloke says:

    Joe, you probably don’t remember our exchange on Climate Etc last August (it was a busy day for you) but after it, we got a retort from two of the noisier warmacists, and I responded thusly:

    tallbloke | August 17, 2011 at 4:01 am |

    Heh, an astrophysicist turns up to lend us the benefit of his expertise in calculating the delivery of energy from a star to a planet, and the computer weenies are aghast at the idea that energy from a star only falls on one side of a planet. But instead of considering carefully whether their previous habit of simply smearing the energy as an average planetwide, instantaneously may not yield a realistic result, they simply start the ad hominem attacks.
    ==========================

    Nobody’s gets to learn anything in the noise, which is of course, the whole point of the exercise for those who want to keep their current paradigm and diss anything ‘open source’ which challenges it.

    I’m trying to maintain the Talkshop as a calm oasis of clear and reasonable debate and co-operative theory development amid the hubbub. People who disagree with our analysis are free to come here and criticise it, so long as they mind their manners while they do it. It’s a better way to knowledge.

  54. Joseph says:

    Great stuff tallbloke!

    BTW I am 6’6″ myself :-)

  55. Stephen Richards says:

    Joe

    Bloody great. Your cogent, detailed arguments are simple, concise and precise. This is how science should be done. I had assumed that the GCMs contained the necessary equations (differentials) to cope with the sun’s energy falling on a rotating surface but perhaps not. This is obviously not a simple thing to model as heat will only increase with distance from the terminator and will peak at the equator and mean longitude at any instant.

    It is just great to see a proposition such as this given the light of blogsphere. Thanks TB and Joe.

    Now I’m going to ruin my comment.

    Stephen Wilde says:

    April 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I’m happy to see the ‘Slayer’ points properly disentangled.

    Their position doesn’t appeal to me because they seem to deny basic physics by saying that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all but they do make some good points concerning the so called radiative greenhouse effect

    It has not yet been satifactorily proven that the GHE really does exist. I’m a physicist and while I know that energy can be absorped by all molecules and re-emited at the same energy this does not necessarily mean that a warming effect of surrounding molecules is effected.

    Picture yourself at the end of a tunnel with an energy source at 15µ at the other end. Now fill the tunnel with CO² and H²O Gases. How much of that energy will there be reaching you. Will you be feeling it as warmth, cold or tepid?

  56. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    GHG molecules are more efficient at absorbing the IR radiation from the earth’s surface. The IR raises their energy and collisions with all the other atmospheric gases raises the average kinetic energy (temperature) of the atmosphere. This is more likely to happen close to the ground where the air is more compressed and the molecular concentration is greatest. The kinetic energy is soon distributed to all the other molecules in that parcel of air – the majority of which are not GH gases. This effectively neutralises the IR emission by the GHG.

    If energy transfer by collision is dominant (as opposed to downward radiative transfer to the surface) then how does this play out? It becomes more of a Gas Law effect than a radiative one.

  57. tallbloke says:

    Stephen R: Welcome, and now you’ve lit the blue touch paper, we’ll await the fireworks. :)

    Joe: Well in that case the next generation of theorists really will be able to stand on the shoulders of giants, I’m 6′ 8″. :)

  58. Joseph says:

    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    “GHG molecules are more efficient at absorbing the IR radiation from the earth’s surface. The IR raises their energy and collisions with all the other atmospheric gases raises the average kinetic energy (temperature) of the atmosphere. This is more likely to happen close to the ground where the air is more compressed and the molecular concentration is greatest. The kinetic energy is soon distributed to all the other molecules in that parcel of air – the majority of which are not GH gases. This effectively neutralises the IR emission by the GHG.

    If energy transfer by collision is dominant (as opposed to downward radiative transfer to the surface) then how does this play out? It becomes more of a Gas Law effect than a radiative one.”

    .
    Collision is dominant in most of the atmosphere, particularly at the surface. That means that all molecules are already collisionally excited in all vibratory modes. So when a photon of the proper wavelength passes over the vibrating molecule, it isn’t absorbed, it is scattered. Because collisions are dominant and random, there will be a very wide range of vibratory behavior centered around the preferred mode of 15um (for CO2). That means the photon scattering cross-section will be wide, while not being saturated. If photons were being absorbed into cold CO2, the spectrum would become saturated (flux down to zero at 15um) before the absorption line got so wide. But the CO2 is already “warm”, i.e. vibrating, due to collisional excitation and conduction.

    Since only a fraction of the entire spectrum is scattered, this can not induce higher temperature than the source spectrum of the source it might scatter back onto. In fact all you need to describe he heat-flow process is the measured thermal capacity of air, which will govern the rate at which energy is conducted into the rest of the system. Of course, convection speeds the cooling process up.

  59. Stephen Wilde says:

    Stephen R said:

    “Picture yourself at the end of a tunnel with an energy source at 15µ at the other end. Now fill the tunnel with CO² and H²O Gases. How much of that energy will there be reaching you.

    Not a rotating sphere with an open sky and an expandable volume for the atmosphere so that analogy doesn’t work.

    and:

    “It has not yet been satisfactorily proven that the GHE really does exist.”

    Well it has been shown that the average surface temperature of a planet with an atmosphere is higher than the median temperature on the irradiated half of a planet without an atmosphere.

    What would you call it ?

    and:

    “Now I’m going to ruin my comment.”

    No problem, that is what we are here for if you are logical and polite.

    Joseph said:

    “However, others have calculated that output radiation escapes in much less than a second, even with scattering/absorption factored in. The atmosphere is quite negligible compared to the speed of light.”

    Well the ocean thermohaline circulation takes 1000 years and the water cycle some 48 hours. I’m quite sure that they can have the required effect. As you say:

    “How this spreads about is certainly a function of time, which is governed by local material properties as referenced.”

    I’m sure that all planets with atmospheres have similar processes for example Venus has dense sulphuric acxid clouds and Mars has phase changes for carbon dioxide compareable to our water cycle.

    But we then have to consider another role of pressure involving the lapse rate which effectively smooths out variations once equilibrium has been reached by forcing a negative system response via changes in the global air circulation and the positions of the permanent climate zones.

    I am not aware of any other way that a planet can raise its median temperature without a time delay in the flow of energy through it. Can you suggest one ?

    I’m only 5’7″ and so closer to reality at the ground :)

  60. wayne says:

    Joe, when you say “This is a perfectly valid and superior postulate because the one of the GHE model makes absurd approximations and assumptions. Indeed, with +121C at the zenith, there must be a great degree of redistribution of energy going on since that temperature is not actually generated at the surface (even after factoring albedo etc).”, I have had the same problem accounting for the massive energy transfer from the zenith point all directions outward, like a bulls-eye target, but most of the transfer is pole-ward.

    I have come to realize that the Hadley cycle is much stronger in this respect. The cold, energy deficient air moved to the equator and falls is one very large answer. This cold air absorbs the equatorial heat at the surface vertically. I had always viewed the Hadley cycle run in the opposite direction. Rising at the equator, flowing high in the atmosphere where it falls and then d own to surface to move back to the equator. I now see the opposite. However, in Oklahoma anyway, we always have, every single day, a strong southerly wind bringing warmth from the equator northward so something is amiss. That seems to infer that the air from the equator moves northward at the surface to the pole where the cold is forced upward, making it even colder, then flowing at altitude southward to the equator where is drops.

    Have you ever looked into this aspect, that most of this redistribution you speak of is in the winds and not so much the ocean currents. Horizontal radiation might also have a larger influence than most give it (usually totally ignored). If do realize I just ignored the tri-cycle aspect but am just looking it here as one single cycle.

  61. wayne says:

    “That means the photon scattering cross-section will be wide, while not being saturated. If photons were being absorbed into cold CO2, the spectrum would become saturated (flux down to zero at 15um) before the absorption line got so wide. But the CO2 is already “warm”, i.e. vibrating, due to collisional excitation and conduction.

    Since only a fraction of the entire spectrum is scattered, this can not induce higher temperature than the source spectrum of the source it might scatter back onto. ”

    Exactly Joe. Thanks for pointing that out once again. This is the main ingredient in the “climate science green Kool-Aid”. Look at the label (IPCC has a copy for free). :-)

  62. Joseph says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “I am not aware of any other way that a planet can raise its median temperature without a time delay in the flow of energy through it. Can you suggest one ?”

    Well, one point I did make is that the planetary temperature IS the mean temperature. The surface temperature is just a very small parcel of the entire ensemble, and we already have good reason to understand that this parcel should be higher in temperature than the mean (I prefer mean to median, the mean is easier to mathematically and physically define).

    That is, the planetary temperature IS -18C, because that’s what it measures as when you look at it from a distance. The small parcel of the ensemble which represents the near-surface is supposed to be warmer than the mean due to the natural adiabatic gradient, which exists solely due to the combination of gravity and thermal capacity, i.e., conservation of energy in an air column. The TOA is likewise cooler than the mean. All combined, you get the mean. No temperatures are found different than what standard material thermodynamics says they already should be.

    In my mind, THAT is how simple it really all is.

    A mean is composed of both higher and lower values. They’ve focused on the higher values only, and said that they violate the mean and gotten very upset about it all. But the higher values are supposed to be there in the first place. Nature sorts them out via pressure and gravity to make the warmer values near the surface, that’s it.

  63. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joe,

    Not mean, median.

    The mean surface temperature is the average across the entire surface day and night taking into account varying angles of incidence. The mean temperature for the whole planet adds height to the mix.

    The median is the middle point between the very highest temperature on the day side and the very lowest on the night side.

    The thing is that the average (or mean) temperature of a planet with an atmosphere is always higher than that median temperature for a planet without an atmosphere and the bigger the planet or the more mass in the atmosphere the higher above the median the mean temperature becomes.

    You correctly say:

    “Nature sorts them out via pressure and gravity to make the warmer values near the surface,”

    But pressure and gravity achieve their thermal effects via atmospheric circulation which involves a delay because such circulation operates via conduction and convection.

    It is the length of time the system takes to ‘sort them out’ which results in the mean temperature of a planet with an atmosphere being higher than the median temperature for a planet without one.

    That is the true GHE.

  64. tallbloke says:

    “The small parcel of the ensemble which represents the near-surface is supposed to be warmer than the mean due to the natural adiabatic gradient, which exists solely due to the combination of gravity and thermal capacity, i.e., conservation of energy in an air column.”

    Joe, you and we are on the side of Loschmidt, Laplace and Lagrange in this. however, Maxwell and Boltzmann are against the idea of a non-isothermal column. There have been a couple of long fierce arguments on WUWT over this too. The camps are divided.

    Roderich Graeff did the empirical experiments and found the expected gradient. He was very careful and used good methodology. He is ignored as a crank, because his result allegedly defies the second law. Papers have been written to resolve the Loschmidt paradox. There is still controversy. You should review the thread I ran here when you have time, there were some distinguished visitors and a lot of good resources pulled together in one place

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-loschmidt-gravito-thermal-effect-old-controversy-new-relevance/

    The radiative greenhouse theorist maintain that convection drives the lapse rate down to the environmental value due to the power of back radiation – I think. Their argument never seems to make much sense to me. See what you can make of this from Joel Shore. These are his latest thoughts on the issue:

    “in reality, convection only drives the temperature difference down as far as the adiabatic lapse rate. It is no surprise that a difference in temperature between the surface and the emitting level is necessary to have a radiative greenhouse effect. For example, in Ray Pierrehumbert’s textbook, he states on p. 148, “The key insight taken from this discussion is that the greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere is colder at the radiating level than it is at the ground.”

    So what is the unwritten assumption here? That the warm near surface air is heated by colder radiation from 5000m?? Whenever I challenge Shore about this he retreats to saying that the effective height of radiation to space moving up to a higher colder place when extra GHG’s re added means “surface temperature must rise”. he never tells me how though. It’s as if his imaginary skyhook hoists the temperature upwards from on high. No mechanism is offered. It just ‘must happen’.

  65. Stephen Wilde says:

    At its simplest an atmosphere will lower the highest temperature and raise the lowest temperature and the mean will always end up higher than the median.

    The more massive the planet and/or atmosphere the bigger the difference between median and mean becomes at a given level of solar input because it takes longer for the circulation to arrive at the mean.

  66. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Joseph – I do like your comment about the mean. May I ask what arguments are used against this and how you answer them?

  67. Joseph says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “Not mean, median.
    The mean surface temperature is the average across the entire surface day and night taking into account varying angles of incidence. The mean temperature for the whole planet adds height to the mix.
    The median is the middle point between the very highest temperature on the day side and the very lowest on the night side.”

    Why would you use that as a metric? It isn’t meaningful. The mean takes into account all relevant positions in space including & above the surface. That’s mathematically and physically meaningful. The middle point between day high and night low is much more arbitrary – for Venus, there’s said to be no difference at all. For the Moon, a huge difference. The balance of energy corresponding with its conservation and the usual application of energy balance via the S-B Law, refers to mean temperature, not median. The median as you define it has nothing to do with calculating conservation of energy or emission etc. If you want to compare the day-high vs the night-low, that’s another consideration entirely within whatever metric you might try to define it in, and doesn’t have much relevance to my work or statements.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “The thing is that the average (or mean) temperature of a planet with an atmosphere is always higher than that median temperature for a planet without an atmosphere and the bigger the planet or the more mass in the atmosphere the higher above the median the mean temperature becomes.”

    Well here you’re mixing up mean and median temperatures, which is therefore convoluted mathematics and physics. Alright, I can see that you can pull a metric of some sort out of that comparison…it is certainly new to me. I am not sure this is that meaningful of a metric as compared to simply comparing means, which is what is usually done. The usual statement is that the mean temperature of a planet with an atmosphere is higher than the mean temperature without atmosphere. THAT is the reason I point out that the mean temperature refers to the entire ensemble, not just the surface temperature.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “But pressure and gravity achieve their thermal effects via atmospheric circulation which involves a delay because such circulation operates via conduction and convection.”

    It is the length of time the system takes to ‘sort them out’ which results in the mean temperature of a planet with an atmosphere being higher than the median temperature for a planet without one.

    That is the true GHE.”

    No this is not what the equation for conservation of energy in a gas column says. And this still makes the mistake of comparing mean surface temperature to mean aggregate temperature. The mean aggregate temperature IS the temperature of “THE PLANET”. The mean surface temperature is the small parcel of the entire aggregate (ensemble) which is expected to be warmer than the aggregate mean.

  68. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “Whenever I challenge Shore about this he retreats to saying that the effective height of radiation to space moving up to a higher colder place when extra GHG’s re added means “surface temperature must rise”. he never tells me how though”

    The assumption behind that is that the actual lapse rate stays the same when the atmosphere expands and the effective radiating height increases. That is a simple backward extrapolation of the S-B Law but being from a point within the atmosphere it does not hold.

    An atmosphere varies the slope of the lapse rate within layers that have different compositions and thus differing combinations of energy transfer mechanisms within them. As witness the vast difference between the lapse rates in troposphere and stratosphere where the actual signs are reversed.

    For the atmosphere as a whole the average slope of the adiabatic (or whatever the right term should be) lapse rate remains as dictated by pressure and insolation but the slopes within each layer are highly variable. A change in one layer is compensated by a change in another.

    In fact what happens is that when the troposphere expands and the effective radiating height rises the total amount of energy in the air within that layer rises but the surface temperature drops because of reduced density at the surface as per N & Z’s proposition about surface density in conjunction with incoming irradiation controlling the ATE at the surface.

    The outcome is in fact a change in the slope of the lapse rate between surface and effective radiating height which invalidates any attempt to apply the S-B Law.

    There will be a corresponding adjustment in the slopes of the other various lapse rates from tropopause upward to maintain system equilibrium such that the S-B Law continues to be complied with from a perspective outside the atmosphere.

  69. Joseph says:

    tallbloke says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm
    ….

    Thanks for the link. I don’t listen to anything Shore says…he’s full of sophistry and obfuscation.

  70. Joseph says:

    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm
    “Joseph – I do like your comment about the mean. May I ask what arguments are used against this and how you answer them?”

    None have been used against it, actually.

    I suppose the closest thing is Joel Shore, who says that the radiative GHE is what causes the temperature distribution (adiabatic gradient), thus it would be the GHE which makes the parcel near the surface to be higher than the mean. Of course they must say something like this.

    But that simply isn’t true because the equation which derives this result is based only on material thermodynamics and conservation of energy.

    Any mean temperature is composed of parcel values both higher and lower, obviously as defined. A “mean” does not mean everything must be the exact same value. Conservation of energy and basic thermo would seem to indicate the warmer parcel must be at the bottom of the column, the actual value of mean around the middle, lower than the mean above that.

  71. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joseph said:

    “The middle point between day high and night low is much more arbitrary – for Venus, there’s said to be no difference at all. For the Moon, a huge difference”

    Well there you make my point for me. The Moon has no atmosphere so the range is large and Venus has a dense atmosphere so the range is far smaller but the mean temperature of Venus is higher than the median temperature for the Moon.

    The middle point between day high and night low is not at all arbitrary. It is a consequence of the relationship between the temperature of space and the power of solar input. It represents the maximum and minimun achievable on a planetary surface in the absence of interference from an atmosphere.

    As soon as one introduces an atmosphere interference begins, delays in energy transmission time are introduced and always the mean temperature becomes higher than the previous median temperature. A little for a thin atmosphere and more for a denser atmosphere.

  72. tallbloke says:

    “the mean temperature of Venus is higher than the median temperature for the Moon.”

    Not that it’ll change your outcome but It’s much closer to the Sun too. Did you factor that in?

  73. Joseph says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “Well there you make my point for me. The Moon has no atmosphere so the range is large and Venus has a dense atmosphere so the range is far smaller but the mean temperature of Venus is higher than the median temperature for the Moon.”

    Yes I got that, but it is all much more convoluted than I am used to. Why compare the mean of one thing to the median of another? That’s totally convoluting of mathematical and physical metrics.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “The middle point between day high and night low is not at all arbitrary. It is a consequence of the relationship between the temperature of space and the power of solar input. It represents the maximum and minimun achievable on a planetary surface in the absence of interference from an atmosphere.”

    Between the temperature of space and solar input? I don’t get it. Not sure I want to. The middle point indicates the maximum and minimum? I don’t get that either.
    The day-mean and the night-mean indicate the day and night differences. The day-mean and the night-mean indicate what is achievable for either. I do agree that they both depend on how much damping of the input is happening due to the presence of atmosphere, but it also depends on rotation rate etc, it’s not solely an atmospheric & pressure effect.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    As soon as one introduces an atmosphere interference begins, delays in energy transmission time are introduced and always the mean temperature becomes higher than the previous median temperature. A little for a thin atmosphere and more for a denser atmosphere.”

    Why not just compare the new mean to the previous mean, rather than the new mean to the old median?

    I am not sure I am following you any more…means vs medians, how they relate to one another, median of day & night vs. mean of day & night. I don’t feel it is that relevant to my approach of a heat flow equation. That being said, the heat flow equation will describe any of these material physical effects you are referencing.

    Allow me to percolate…end of day now and am spent.

    Cheers.

  74. tallbloke says:

    Cheers Joe, and thanks for spending a good part of your day with us.

  75. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Why not just compare the new mean to the previous mean, rather than the new mean to the old median?”

    If I did would you accept that for a planet with an atmosphere the mean temperature is higher than the mean temperature of a planet without one ?

    Using the term ‘median’ for a planet without an atmosphere helps to reinforce the point that an atmosphere reduces maximum possible highs and raises minimum possible lows. Furthermore such a planet doesn’t really have a ‘mean’ or ‘average’ temperature because energy goes straight in and out with no interference apart from the regolith. The mid point between two localised short term extremes is very different to a global mean and the mean can be skewed by topography more severely when there is no atmosphere.

    I should have said the median is a product of the maximum and minimum rather than ‘indicates’. I was getting tired too.

    Using the term ‘mean’ for a planet with an atmosphere helps to recognise that an atmosphere introduces a wide range of variability laterally and vertically.The term ‘median’ has little significance on such a planet.

    Time for bed.

    Cheers.

    New formulations do take a while to percoilate :)

    Of course I could be wrong but I doubt it. Whatever faults there may be in the formulation I’m sure the concepts are right.

  76. tallbloke says:

    “I should have said the median is a product of the maximum and minimum rather than ‘indicates’. I was getting tired too.”

    And there was me thinking the median was half the difference plus the minimum. You learn something new every day. ;)

  77. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    ““the mean temperature of Venus is higher than the median temperature for the Moon.”

    Not that it’ll change your outcome but It’s much closer to the Sun too. Did you factor that in?”

    I was trying to keep it brief. Thought it would be obvious that the atmospheric effect would be superimposed on the proximity effect.

    As regards the ‘mean’ and ‘median’ aspect it is necessary to distinguish between them because an atmosphere increases total energy content for a planet/atmosphere system by raising the minimum possible low temperature more than it reduces the maximum possible high temperature for a net gain overall. Hence the mean being higher than the median.

    If I used ‘mean’ for both planets that would not be apparent.

  78. Stephen Wilde says:

    http://www.investorwords.com/3030/median.html

    “One type of average, found by arranging the values in order and then selecting the one in the middle. If the total number of values in the sample is even, then the median is the mean of the two middle numbers. The median is a useful number in cases where the distribution has very large extreme values which would otherwise skew the data.”

    and:

    “The middle number (in a sorted list of numbers).

    To find the Median, place the numbers you are given in value order and find the middle number.

    Example: find the Median of {13, 23, 11, 16, 15, 10, 26}.

    Put them in order: {10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26}

    The middle number is 15, so the median is 15″

    You had me worried for a moment :)

  79. Truthseeker says:

    I have a problem with the whole energy in = energy out thing. Regardless of whether or not you factor in Earth as a sphere and day vs night, there is a very real reason why total incoming energy (averaged or not) is greater than total outgoing energy (by whatever mechanism). It is called the biosphere. What do you think all those plants, algae and plankton do with the energy they receive? They convert it into biomass which stays on the planet. You are trying to balance a budget which has a huge hole in it. Biology seems to be the massive blind spot for physicists.

    Just sayin …

  80. wayne says:

    “It is called the biosphere. What do you think all those plants, algae and plankton do with the energy they receive?”

    But just remember Truthseeker there is also about the same amount of old or ancient plants, algae and plankton being decompose in exothermal chemical reactions or eaten by other organisms creating warmth that returns a great amount of that energy back to the energy of the biosphere. Is there a net deficit, I don’t know, but I bet it is relatively small.

  81. Joseph says:

    Home now…

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “If I did would you accept that for a planet with an atmosphere the mean temperature is higher than the mean temperature of a planet without one ?”

    No I wouldn’t agree with that for the reasons stated. And in the other comparison, I don’t see how it is that useful of a metric. Changing mean out for median doesn’t change the physics.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “Using the term ‘median’ for a planet without an atmosphere helps to reinforce the point that an atmosphere reduces maximum possible highs and raises minimum possible lows.”

    The term “median” refers in no such way to such things. A simple acknowledgement of measured values indicates differences between high and lows.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “New formulations do take a while to percoilate

    Of course I could be wrong but I doubt it. Whatever faults there may be in the formulation I’m sure the concepts are right.”

    Well don’t get ahead of yourself there Stephen. So far you’ve not actually said anything that I can recognize as being mathematically or physically meaningful. Respectfully, I don’t know what it is you could be “right” about, and I haven’t seen you describe how what you’re saying can be described by mathematical model. You should never doubt that you are wrong…only then can real science proceed because you question your own theory constantly.

    However, I do recognize the underlying drive here from all corners, which is very important, so let me discuss it. Because of the way we’ve all been previously taught GHE flat-earth physics, we all (not me anymore, though I had been) are looking for additional energy to put into the system to make it warmer. Everyone does this because they still have that “-18C/240W/m2″ paradigm stuck in their head. My description of ” aggregate means” vs. “parcel means” is meant to help correct that; it is false a comparison, to compare the hottest parcel mean to the aggregate mean and then conclude there is a problem, or a required mechanism – no mechanism is actually required to explain the difference, the difference is entirely expected WITHOUT a radiative GHE or GHE of any kind for that matter.

    It seems like Stephen is trying to achieve a similar aim…to be having energy emission delayed and so appear in the system as additional warming. That basically is equivalent to the meme of a GHE, but with a different mechanism, and without any mathematical description of how it would work out that way.

    My, and the Slayer’s, proposition has been to do away entirely with the ad-hoc assumption that we require more energy than the system actually collects in the first place. That assumption is “ad-hoc” because it is philosophically arbitrary once you realize the error of averaging the power input down to -18C. There is no a-priori justification, in fact, for a GHE at all, in the current state of things, despite the pretenses. The article on my discussion of “hyper-reality” has significance here.

    Therefore, what is required is a real-time input model, and of course in the interest of sanity, to use known heat-flow equations to do so, so that we’re not actually inventing anything new. We’re just doing better physics. Until that’s done, we recognize no a-priori justification for the need for additional heat input, or any scheme which effects such an outcome. This is especially, crucially important, when you realize that the additional heat required of the standard paradigm, doesn’t actually come from anywhere else, but is in fact only modeled as recycled internal heat! And that just plainly has to be a violation of thermo laws. And because such a real-time input model has never actually been shown to any of us before, with the work shown that it didn’t work out, I have every reason to proceed.

    The atmosphere, nor anything else which responds to the initial solar heat input, generates more energy for the system. The whole system is passive after it has collected the energy. Geothermal sources could validly be considered as additional energy, though this is always approximated as negligible, and it might be. However, that might not be the final say in the matter. Deep-soil temperature does not actually correspond to the said average of 0.04W/m2 flux of geo-energy; i.e. 30 Kelvin.(!) Soil temperature is much warmer than this. It isn’t because of delayed warming or delayed energy emission, it is simply because of large thermal capacity & large mass, and low conductivity, and an “infinite heat bath” from below. You can see here an infinitesimal point of convergence from Stephen’s comments, if you can follow the logic.

    There might not be much energy coming out from the soil on average, but there is certainly a temperature plateau within it and this HAS to have an effect on the resultant topology of the heat flow equation and average surface temperature. I’m just stating that as a fact for now, not depending on it. Whatever the actual effect is, will be shown by the model equations; there’s no reason to assume anything, only to correctly model the physics.

    Already though, we have the distribution of temperature in the gas column via conservation of energy with thermodynamics, which matches what is observed, and which was standard theory before this GHE meme tried to replace it. (Of course, this is why they now try to say that the gradient is due to the GHE.) It could easily be said that this already dispenses with the GHE postulate. The last figure of my “Model” paper (fig. 8, pg. 38) is meant to more accurately and more properly physically describe that.

  82. davidmhoffer says:

    I have to admit when I read the intro, I thought to myself, here we go with another round of nonsense. Happily, I was wrong. I couldn’t find a single thing in this article to disagree with, and believe me, I was looking.

    BTW Joseph, in regard to your comment regarding your doubts about N&Z, I would suggest that you have another look at their stuff. Half of what they are saying is identical to what you said in this article, but going even deeper than you have. In fact, had I not known it wasn’t N&Z, I might have guessed that your article was an early version of their base premise.

  83. Robert says:

    Just an observation while reading through the comments.

    Joseph states: “Of course I could be wrong but I doubt it.”

    Yet in the following paragraph he states:

    “You should never doubt that you are wrong…only then can real science proceed because you question your own theory constantly.”

    There appears to be a contradiction there.

    As I stated, I am just making an observation on what appears to be contradictory advice. Take it as you will.

    [Reply] Hi Robert: Read it again and check carefully where the opening and closing quote marks are. It was a characteristic Wildean flourish.
    :)

  84. Truthseeker says:

    Wayne, you say;

    “But just remember Truthseeker there is also about the same amount of old or ancient plants, algae and plankton being decompose in exothermal chemical reactions or eaten by other organisms creating warmth that returns a great amount of that energy back to the energy of the biosphere.”

    While you are correct about dead (and living) organisms giving off heat, there is still a level of energy to biomass conversion that is going on. Dead organisms ultimately become soil, rock, coal, etc so there is a constant drain of energy that the planet receives that is not cycling back out.

  85. davidmhoffer says:

    Truthseeker;
    While you are correct about dead (and living) organisms giving off heat, there is still a level of energy to biomass conversion that is going on>>>

    I was once of the same opinion. then I started digging into the numbers and it turns out that photosynthesis absorbs about 0.02% of the solar power. Subtract from that what gets lost due to biomass decomposing and giving the energy back…. and we’re into rounding errors.

  86. gallopingcamel says:

    I used to think that David Appell was one of the good guys who would resist “Big Brother”. Recently he has shown his true colors by attacking Tallbloke using arguments that are based on bad science:

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2012/04/norfolk-constabulary-made-wrong-charges.html

  87. Truthseeker says:

    David,

    Thank you for that. At least I have some idea of the relatively small scale of the numbers involved.

  88. davidmhoffer says:

    @gallopingcamel;

    Just read it. What a load of tripe. He starts the article by attacking TB for presenting bad science, but rather than any discussion of the science on the blog in general, launches into a full scale attack on N&Z as the sole example. He does this (in part) by quoting N&Z out of context, making misleading and sarcastic statements based on deceptive presentation of their work, and in general demonstrating that his intent is to discredit N&Z and he really couldn’t be bothered doing so with facts. Not quite as insanely obvious for being a contrived rather than genuine critique as say…. Ts=Ts…..but cleary a pile of rubbish published for his own purposes which clearly have nothing to do with science.

  89. tallbloke says:

    GC and Hoff: David Appell came here and presented repetitive and spurious argument until I told him to write an article and submit it because I wasn’t going to allow him to disrupt Sweger’s thread further. He then used that as an excuse to say he had been ‘banned’ and wrote his attack piece for his own blog. Anthony Watts had him taped a long time ago:

    Lately Mr. Appell has been hitting WUWT comments with his favorite M.O., which is to write baiting missives and demand attention to his viewpoint, demand we agree with his viewpoint, and when we don’t, to keep pushing the same premise again and again, ignoring what anyone else says about it. Finally when he doesn’t get his way, he’ll run off to his blog and make a blog in the vein of faux outrage, telling the world how terrible we here at WUWT are. He’s done this about half a dozen times.

    Dave Springer has been badmouthing me on David’s site, saying I banned him because he told me Appel was right. That’s a lie. I banned him for being unresponsive to repeated requests to deal with the comment where he called people here “science cranks”.

    This from a guy who thinks Venus’ surface is hot because the leakage of the internal heat of formation is being ‘trapped’ by co2, for millions of years!

    Now he keeps spamming my spam tray with some bollocks about Apollo data showing the Moon’s subsurface regolith has an average temperature of 250K. He ought to click on the link to Vavasada’s 1999 paper David Appell linked and have a good look at fig5. It doesn’t seem to have sunk into either of their skulls that Vavasada and Nikolov are currently co-authoring. :)

  90. tallbloke says:

    Stephen says:
    As regards the ‘mean’ and ‘median’ aspect it is necessary to distinguish between them because an atmosphere increases total energy content for a planet/atmosphere system by raising the minimum possible low temperature more than it reduces the maximum possible high temperature for a net gain overall.

    It’s an interesting observation but I think you need to be careful in mixing discussion of temperature and energy content. The 95K temperature on the night side of the Moon represents a power of only ~6 W/m^2 coming out if the regolith.

    An atmosphere also raises total energy content purely by virtue of the fact that it has heat capacity. And if Loschmidt was right, also skews the temperature profile by virtue of the gravitational effect on its mass, generating the lapse rate. And whether ot not Loschmidt and Hans Jelbring are right, the greater air density near the surface caused by gravity acting on atmospheric mass will have a greater heat capacity than thin high altitude air and this will hold more of the Sun’s energy.

    But the principle reason the atmosphere raises Earth’s total energy content is, I believe, due to the pressure it applies to the surface of the ocean by virtue of the gravity acting on its mass, as I’ve been emphasising in my recent articles. The limitation this places on evaporation causes the ocean to continue absorbing solar energy until its surface is warm enough to shed energy as fast as it arrives from the Sun. This is the ‘delay’ you are telling us causes the GHE. But once the ocean is up to that temperature, there is no ‘delay’ any more, and energy enters and leaves it more or less in equal amounts in equal times.

    I think that consideration of that should clear up the difference between your position and Joe’s.

    The point I really want to hammer home is that the ocean has a far higher heat capacity than the atmosphere. So this effect I have outlined is much bigger in energy content terms than the temperature enhancing effect on the near surface air which results from the organisation of the atmospheric density profile which in turn results from higher near surface pressure due to gravity acting on the atmospheric mass. (long sentence – sorry).

    Both effects are operative, but the pressure effect on the ocean is the daddy. And it results in sea surface temperature being 3C higher on average than near surface air temperature, with all the thermodynamic implications that go with that fact.

    So my energy scheme is very simple in outlining the major flows, and I’ve been saying it for four years:

    “The Sun heats the ocean, the oceans heat the atmosphere, and the atmosphere does it’s best to heat space.”

    Then we can add in the buoyancy and pressure and convection effects to explain the distribution of energy which causes the ocean surface to be warmer relative to the ocean depths, and the surface air to be warmer relative to a cooler high atmosphere.

    After that, it is obvious that the radiation profile is merely a symptom of the state of the system, rather than a cause of that state, other than by virtue of the cooling effect of emission to space.

  91. Hans says:

    Dear Joe and all,

    Many thanks for your post and its clear and simple langueage. I had never thought of the “PPCC standard model” as telling incoming solar flux being constant. This is your key observation and it was very revelation for me becuse it certainly contain one massive argument againse CAGW. Besides you point out that physics is only real in real time. Thanks for that. i think your paper can be and shoud be a bases for disentangling all the physical processes at hand which creats the observed “Greenhouse Effect” of 33 K if defined as the difference between OBSERVED average surface temperature and OBSERVED IR emision temperature of earth as seen from space.

    Another key question which has to be settled is that temperature is not energy. Your paper deals with that fact and so does the discussion of lunar temperature caclulated by N&Z. The consequences ot this fact has to be examined in detail. I do appose your statement “The atmospheric greenhouse effect is really just an artifact of a fictional boundary condition, and its associated aberrant cognitiv domian” if I have understood this sentence correctly. In my opinion the greenhouse effect is a fact based on observations regardless if we understand its causes or not.

    I havn´t read your full paper and just scanned some comments in this thread and especially yours and will comment on some below:

    Joe: “And so, what’s the idea here. The idea here is to create a real-time input model and see what need, if any, there is for self-heat amplification after that. The spherical model I presented is a sort of “mind object” to queue you into looking at the model in real time and as it actually behaves in reality, not in false approximation. The equations at the heart of this model are very, very well known in engineering and math. I spent much time reading textbooks which describe this equation, which models heat-flow, and never anywhere is the equation shown or is it discussed in regards to a self-feedback factor which amplifies its own temperature.”

    I agree that real time situations have to be treated and don´t think you will find the most important answer in any texbook yet.

    Joe: “If so, I did briefly look at it but I disagree with the premise. I agree with it in so far as the idea of the adiabatic gradient predicting a warmer bottom-of-atmosphere, but I disagree that the mechanism of such is due to pressure. I think that it opens itself to the idea of back-pressure heating – if a bottle is heated from outside, then the inside will heat even more due to the increase in pressure of the internal gas contents.”

    Agree with you about pressure. it is not enogh to consider. What has to be considered is energy per mass unit. That one will tend to get constant as a result of energy disipation (according to the 2nd law of themodynamics). This happens more or less for a number of physical reasons in our troposphere and much more in the Venusian troposphere where convective energy mixing is dominating the energy dissipation.

    Joe: “A heat flow equation WILL describe how that heat gets distributed. There’s only one source of energy to the system (well, two if you include geothermal, and this is important because deep-soil temperature is not 0K). Fourier’s physical heat-flow equation is the only thing we have which can describe how that energy will get redistributed.”

    Your first sentence is a mental hung up. The approximate energy steady state gives the boundary condition of making an atmosphere possible at all. Any atmosphere contain a certain amount of total energy at any given moment. This energy content has to be distributed in some way. My E&E paper shows that a dry adiabatic temperature laps rate has to evole if any atmosphere gets insolated when energy dissipation has done its work. The lapse rate that evolves has to become -g/Cp in a STATIC situation. You don´t need an energy flow description to describe that part of the greenhouse effect which however also is a function of other physical prcesses. According to my opinion this is the dominating physical process creating the earth´s greenhouse effect of 33 K. There are other reasons why the lunar average surface temperature is about 205K and earth´s is 288 K. 83K is more than 33K.
    Your paper highlight the reason for this fact. The impact of a daily solar energy impuls is, indeed, as you say very important to consider.

  92. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “This is the ‘delay’ you are telling us causes the GHE. But once the ocean is up to that temperature, there is no ‘delay’ any more, and energy enters and leaves it more or less in equal amounts in equal times.”

    Yes, precisely.

    Pressure causes greater heat accumulation at the surface over land AND within the oceans and that accumulation represents a delay of that radiation exiting to space.

    Temperature then rises until equilibrium is regained between energy in and energy out but meanwhile the system has acquired and retains greater energy content and permanently shows a higher temperature unless something speeds up the flow rate again thus reducing or removing the delay.

    And the ocean is indeed ‘the daddy’ as far as Earth is concerned.

    However, pressure is a two edged process and works differently in oceans and air. Once the ocean temperature has been set by surface pressure the ocean will seek to control the air temperatures above but the extent to which it can do so is also limited, this time by surface air pressure.

    As soon as the oceans try to heat or cool the air it expands or contracts and the additional energy is ejected to space faster or slower because surface air pressure controls the amount of energy from any source that the air is capable of retaining.

    So whatever seeks to alter the thermal equilibrium set by pressure the system response is always negative and operates via a change in circulation.

    That is what leads to climate shifts whilst the system temperature remains approximately steady.

    As regards GHGs any additional delay they introduce is offset by their ability to radiate directly out to space for a zero net effect.

  93. tallbloke says:

    Stephen: “Once the ocean temperature has been set by surface pressure the ocean will seek to control the air temperatures above but the extent to which it can do so is also limited, this time by surface air pressure.”

    “Surface pressure” as contrasted with “surface air pressure”? I’m uncertain of the distinction you are drawing, please elaborate. As far as I can see they are boh determined by the same atmospheric mass, plus the gravitational constant.

    “As regards GHGs any additional delay they introduce is offset by their ability to radiate directly out to space for a zero net effect.”

    Careful, this would depend on distribution and different radiative properties having different relative strength at different altitudes. Complex subject. However, as you have previously postulated, the effect of a change in concentration could easily be offset by a minor shift in latitudinal circulation.

  94. Stephen Wilde says:

    Joseph said:

    “It seems like Stephen is trying to achieve a similar aim…to be having energy emission delayed and so appear in the system as additional warming. That basically is equivalent to the meme of a GHE, but with a different mechanism, and without any mathematical description of how it would work out that way.”

    That is a fair summary and I don’t see why it causes a problem or needs independent mathematical proof from me.

    It is implicit in the maths of the Ideal Gas Law and the Standard Atmosphere.

    It is also consistent with all observations that I know of.

    Joseph asked:

    “Why would they (water vapour molecules) be driven off into space immediately? That depends on their velocity, i.e. temperature, and even now it’s not hot enough to drive them out into space”

    The thinner an atmosphere the less molecules available to share the available incoming energy, the hotter the individual molecules become, the higher they rise and the closer they get to escape velocity. Think of the Earth’s Thermosphere.

    Then add solar wind pressure plus solar and cosmic ray particle impacts at top of atmosphere and molecules get stripped away constantly despite gravity.

    Every planet has a trail of lost atmospheric molecules behind it as it moves through space and over geological timescales planets slowly lose their atmospheres unless replenished from the interior. Think of the higher atmospheric density required on Earth to let huge creatures fly in the Era of Dinosaurs.

    Now, we were considering a scenario with no gases other than water vapour sublimating directly to vapour from a frozen surface.

    The atmosphere would be extremely thin and shallow and the individual molecules would get very hot and would be blown off into space by the solar wind and particle impacts.

  95. tallbloke says:

    I’d like to second Hans Jelbring in congratulating Joe on the clarity of his presentation in this short paper.

    One criticism I have seen from the warmista is that although the simple radiative model Joe criticises has a constant solar input spread planet-wide, these are just simplified text book summaries and the GCM’s do properly represent the night/day situation.

    I wonder if this is true or not. I also wonder how we would find out, because the modelers seem keen to guard ‘the intellectual property’ they have developed using large amounts of public money.

    So does anyone know which models are open to inspection and whether they do model day/night properly or not? If they do I further wonder if they model the complex annual insolation pattern brought about by Earth’s axial tilt.

  96. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “Surface pressure” as contrasted with “surface air pressure”? I’m uncertain of the distinction you are drawing, please elaborate. As far as I can see they are boh determined by the same atmospheric mass, plus the gravitational constant”

    Yes it is a fine distinction but it is necessary because oceans and air respond differently to the same atmospheric mass and gravitational constant.

    The same air pressure via different mechanisms controls the energy retention capabilities of both air and water simultaneously with the result that neither water nor air can upset the equilibrium for the system as a whole because both are controlled by the same feature of the environment namely the pressure of air at the surface of the planet.

    We need to explain why, if the ocean is the daddy, does it not add more significantly to globally averaged surface temperatures when it heats the air during a cyclical ‘warm’ phase such as El Nino. The reason is that the energy content of the air is also controlled by the same surface pressure so any extra energy added to the air by the oceans has to have an immediate (or nearly immediate) exit route.

    I aver that the exit route is a change in air circulation adjusting the flow rates.

    and:

    “Careful, this would depend on distribution and different radiative properties having different relative strength at different altitudes. Complex subject. However, as you have previously postulated, the effect of a change in concentration could easily be offset by a minor shift in latitudinal circulation.”

    Yes, I was a bit sloppy there. I should have added that if the net radiative effect of GHGs were to turn out NOT to be zero then the latitudinal shifting would deal with it in the same way as such shifting deals with all other processes that seek to disturb the pressure induced equilibrium.

  97. davidmhoffer says:

    Tallbloke;
    So does anyone know which models are open to inspection and whether they do model day/night properly or not? If they do I further wonder if they model the complex annual insolation pattern brought about by Earth’s axial tilt>>>>

    Roger, that’s not how it works. You are envisioning a system in which models take data as input, perform a mathematical analysis, and output conclusions. Your question assumes this to be the case, and focuses on the manner in which the mathematical analysis is done.

    Carefull observation of the behaviour patterns evident in IPCC reports and other climawarmalarmist documents shows conclusively that the conclusions are arrived at first, and THEN the climate models are tuned to provide confirmation.

    Your mistake is in failing to understand that the input is conclusions not data. Once you’ve got that figured out the actual math they use to arrive at confirmation is really immaterial.

  98. Hans says:

    davidmhoffer says: April 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

    “Your mistake is in failing to understand that the input is conclusions not data. Once you’ve got that figured out the actual math they use to arrive at confirmation is really immaterial.”

    A lovely conclusion that might be confirmed in the future. I used to say: “rubbish in rubbish out” regardless how many fast (expensive) cumputers there are involved (because of inappropriate modelling for a number of reasons).

  99. tallbloke says:

    Stephen: “We need to explain why, if the ocean is the daddy, does it not add more significantly to globally averaged surface temperatures when it heats the air during a cyclical ‘warm’ phase such as El Nino. The reason is that the energy content of the air is also controlled by the same surface pressure so any extra energy added to the air by the oceans has to have an immediate (or nearly immediate) exit route.

    I aver that the exit route is a change in air circulation adjusting the flow rates.”

    Well, not so fast. Not only do we get the change in circulation evidenced by the latitudinal position of the jet streams, but we also get expansion of the atmosphere lowering the surface density and reducing air temperature increase due to additional ocean heating, as you’ve pointed out elsewhere. If that didn’t happen, air temperature would shoot up much more than the ~1.5 times the size of the change in SST during el nino, due to the disparity in heat capacity between oceann and air. This atmospheric expansion is also evidenced by the drag on satellites changing with global temperature and solar cycles.

    It’s all plugging together quite neatly. Good. :)

  100. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    I’m a layman trying to summarise my thoughts so forgive me if I’ve got this all wrong.

    The energy received by the earth equates to a temperature of 255k once albedo is taken into account. The observed mean surface temperature is 33k higher and this difference is attributed to the GH effect.

    However, the atmosphere has a temperature gradient or lapse rate due to the mass of air and gravity producing a gradient of kinetic energy. This means that the highest temperature is at the surface and the lowest temperature is at the top of the atmosphere.

    The mean temperature (blackbody temperature) of the surface plus column of air must be –18c since by definition the earth radiates the same amount of energy as it receives.

    The mean surface temperature is higher due to the KE and temperature gradient within the column. This should not be confused with the mean blackbody temperature.

    The so-called GHG effect (33k) can be explained by the lapse rate alone. The radiative properties of IR active gases do exist, but we should regard them alongside other forms of energy distribution such as conduction, convection, evaporation, condensation, etc.

    The GHG effect is therefore not required to explain average surface temperature and this suggests that it does not contribute to global warming either. It probably does have a role in energy distribution within the earth/atmosphere system.

  101. steveta_uk says:

    Gavin et al came up with the “Earth’s Thermostat” analogy for CO2 a couple of years back.

    The main point of the analogy was that without CO2, the average temp would drop to the calculated -18C value as water vapour cannot be an effective GHG below 0C – it would all drop out over time, or alternatively would never have become vapour without CO2 first warming the surface to 0C or higher.

    If nothing else, I think that Joseph’s Figure 3 effectively debunks that theory.

    The -18C is not a real value at any point in the system (except as a transient). Even with no CO2, the incident overhead solar power can generate water vapour, which itself “traps” more heat and raises the average.

    So it’s quite possible, even with standard GHG theory, to acheive a nice warm Earth without needing the relatively small effect from C02.

  102. tallbloke says:

    SC: I think you got nearly all of it, except the main cause of warmer surface temps being the atmosphere’s ‘pressure effect’ on the ocean rather than the ‘pressure effect’ on itself, in my opinion.

    See this comment for more

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/joseph-postma/#comment-22160

    Steve: yes, the radiative flux, while still there, is seen to be more a symptom of the climate system’s state than a cause of it. As I said at the end of the comment I linked for SC.

  103. Hans says:

    Schrodinger’s Cat says: April 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

    You are doing much better than many professionals. Let me comment in your text for clarity.

    I’m a layman trying to summarise my thoughts so forgive me if I’ve got this all wrong.
    The energy received by the earth equates to a temperature of 255k once albedo is taken into account. The observed mean surface temperature is 33k higher and this difference is attributed to the GH effect. (IMO this is the definition of the Greenhouse Effect regardless of its cause and it has been applied by NASA and Phil Jones/HJ)

    However, the atmosphere has a temperature gradient or lapse rate due to the mass of air and gravity producing a gradient of kinetic energy. This means that the highest temperature is at the surface and the lowest temperature is at the top of the atmosphere. (This is a first approximation valid only in the TROPOSPHERE very convective mixing dominate over radiation processes. The physical meaning of DALR is that there is an equal TOTAL energy per mass unit. That total energy consists of A) potential gravitational energy, B) kinetic energy (proportional to temperature) and PV energy keeping the volume of the gas inact at any altitude (wind energy is omitted in the first approximation)/HJ)

    The mean temperature (blackbody temperature) of the surface plus column of air must be –18c since by definition the earth radiates the same amount of energy as it receives.
    (Not really. The -18C has to be at an (average) altitude in relation to the real average surface temperature which is +15C and it also assumes that IR radiation to space is equal and symmetric in all directions. That altitude is around 4000 m asl. A blackbody surface temperature of earth would be far from -18K. See Diviner data about lunar average equatorial temperature which is about 212 K or -61 C. An earth equator without an atmosphere would get a similar temperature/HJ)

    The mean surface temperature is higher due to the KE and temperature gradient within the column. This should not be confused with the mean blackbody temperature. (I would like to phrase it: The surface temperature is higher than the temperature where the bulk IR radiation is leaving earth. See above/HJ)

    The so-called GHG effect (33k) can be explained by the lapse rate alone. The radiative properties of IR active gases do exist, but we should regard them alongside other forms of energy distribution such as conduction, convection, evaporation, condensation, etc.
    (Not really since there are many physical processes at hand in a real atmosphere and all of them has to be accounted for. The theoretical DALR is -9.8 K/km and the real one in earth`s troposphere is -6.5 K/km. That is a measure telling how such processes change the STATIC situation to a dynamic one. On Venus that difference is much smaller for a number of reasons/HJ)

    The GHG effect is therefore not required to explain average surface temperature and this suggests that it does not contribute to global warming either. It probably does have a role in energy distribution within the earth/atmosphere system.
    (It would be better to consider regional GE which is possible to calculate today. Your statement is correct about carbon dioxide but water vapour does have an effect on the observed regional surface temperature minus the observed regional outgoing IR temperature over the same region/HJ)

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  104. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Hans – Thank you for the very helpful clarification.

  105. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB:

    ” If that didn’t happen, air temperature would shoot up much more than the ~1.5 times the size of the change in SST during el nino, due to the disparity in heat capacity between ocean and air”

    Yes, exactly, which is why I have proposed both mechanisms acting in unison to create a very efficient and very flexible regulatory process which always presents a negative system response to ANY forcing other than more pressure or more insolation at top of atmosphere.

    I didn’t mention both individually because it is the expansion that results in both reduced ATE at the surface and the changed circulation patterns.

    Its nice to see it fitting together in your mind as well as in mine. Hopefully it will percolate outward from this blog. Certainly various contributors here are getting ever closer.

    As you say, the radiative flux within the atmosphere is not a cause of anything. It is a consequence of the netted out interactions between all the various non radiative forces and processes within the atmosphere.

    As for those various non radiative processes they are all dependent for their scale and effectiveness on the mass of the planet (gravity), the mass of the atmosphere ( producing pressure and thus increased density at the surface ) and top of atmosphere insolation.

    One can only apply S-B from outside the atmosphere and so long as energy in = energy out with consequent equilibrium as perceived from outside the atmosphere then the S-B Law will apply but only if one takes the ‘surface’ as located at the top of the atmosphere.

    The temperature of a planet (with an atmosphere) at the actual ground surface is inevitably higher than the S-B Law predicts for the top of atmosphere temperature because of the delay in energy transmission from actual ground surface to top of atmosphere caused by the shuffling around of energy within the atmosphere via non radiative processes.

    Applying the S-B Law backwards from effective radiating height to the ground is the error that has been made.

    It must be applied from a point outside the atmosphere to top of atmosphere and no lower because of the confounding effects of the atmosphere itself.

    When one does that the Earth is no warmer than it ‘should’ be.

  106. The talk shop keeps churning out the real progress in climate science, my interests are OT for this thread. Just how the moon helps move the meridional flows of the equatorial heat toward the poles.

  107. tjfolkerts says:

    There is a fundamental physics error in Figure 1. The emissivity of an object must always equal the absorptivity (at least for the same wavelengths of light).

    The atmosphere has an emissivity of 1 since it is emitting (σT^4), so it is a perfect black body. However, it is only absorbing f σT^4, so it has an emissivity ε = f and it is not a black body.

    An object can’t simultaneously be a black body and NOT be a black body!

    [Reply] Thanks Tim, I’ll alert the authorities immediately
    :)

  108. Brian H says:

    tallbloke: ““The Sun heats the ocean, the oceans heat the atmosphere, and the atmosphere does it’s best to heat space.”
    Obviously wrong. Step away from the apostrophe key! It’s “its”. Again. ;) :D
    ;p

  109. tjfolkerts says:

    “However, there is a physical error in this. The model equates the energy flux density of the
    incoming power, to that of the outgoing power. This is not a requirement of the Law of
    Conservation of Energy (LCE). The LCE pertains to total energy, i.e., the total number of Joules
    only, but not to the flux density of those Joules of energy. “

    Conservation of energy says
    (energy in of a system) = (energy out to a system) + (change in system’s energy)

    If we assume that the only energy in or out is EM radiation, and if we assume earth is neither gaining nor loosing energy in the long term then conservation of energy becomes
    (EM energy in to earth as a whole) = (EM energy out from earth as a whole)
    or
    E_in = E_out

    One of the most basic concepts in math say you can divide both sides of an equation by any constant (except zero, of course) and the equation still holds true.So
    E_in / A = E_out / A

    Let “A” be “the total area of a sphere enclosing the earth and its atmosphere”. But energy/area = average flux, so
    (average Flux_in) = (average flux out).

    So conservation of energy DOES mean average flux in equals the average flux out. I’m not sure how this could be any more basic.

    [Reply] Pedantic and incorrect nitpickery Tim F :) Conservation of energy DOES CAN mean average flux in equals the average flux out. Joe is saying the flux densities in and out are not necessarily the same for LCE to be satisfied. Given that the Sun is 93M miles over there —> and Earth spins you’d be pretty surprised if they were though. I’m not sure how THAT could be any more basic. Are you warmies afraid to go outside for a look in case you might get fried to a crisp or something? ;)

  110. tjfolkerts says:

    “Thanks Tim, what should the correct emissivity be as a matter of interest?”

    “The emissivity” of a diffuse, gaseous object like the atmosphere is a bit tough to define. For clouds, with a fairly well-defined surface, the emissivity is close to 1.0. For sufficiently “thick” CO2 by itself, emissivity is ~ 0.2. Gaseous water absorbs over broader bands, so the number would be higher than 0.2 (but I don’t recall seeing that number). Other GHGs would have contributions as well.

    Another challenge is that the emissivity will change slightly depending on the temperature involved.

    One estimate of the “effective emissivity of the atmosphere as a whole” would be
    emissivity = absorptivity = 350W/m^2 / 390 W/m^2 = 0.9

    [Reply] Wiki takes a guess with 0.78. Nobody knows. The radiative scheme is a nebulous numbers game which doesn’t correspond to anything really measurable.

  111. tjfolkerts says:

    There is an old quote: “All models are wrong; some models are useful”

    The “simple model” that is being critiqued is certainly wrong in many ways. But it is still useful for understanding that GHGs provide SOME warming. It can even get the right order of magnitude of warming (from ~ 255K to ~ 288K). It fails utterly in explaining variations from day to night or winter to summer, but it was not intended to do that. On the other hand, the model does NOT violate Conservation of Energy or 2nd Law of thermodynamics.

    This model provides some improvements — it tries to deal more specifically with day/night. This model is ALSO wrong in many ways. There are plenty of climate models that are ahead of both of these models.

    In the end, this paper seems to simply be saying “A model that was not intended to account for variations of day and night does not account for variations of day and night”.

    INTERESTING NOTE 1: Copernicus was wrong, too. He assumed the orbits were circles, when in fact they are much closer to being ellipses. Claiming Postma’s model is “a logically valid fusion, just like the Copernican model” is to admit that the model is not yet correct. ;-) After all, Ptolemy’s model predicted the motions of he planets in the sky just as well as Copernicus’ model did.

    INTERESTING NOTE 2: Many ovens and stoves DO cook with twice the power for 1/2 the time. My stove achieves medium heat my being full power for a few seconds, then turning off for a few seconds. This works just fine, because the pan spreads out the energy and the food cooks the same over 30 minutes. Similarly, both the “half-on/half-off Postma model” and the “always on simplified model” work remarkably well when averaged over months or years, even though the models are 1) quite different and 2) over-simplified.

  112. tallbloke says:

    Tim F says:
    The “simple model” that is being critiqued is certainly wrong in many ways. But it is still useful for understanding that GHGs provide SOME warming. It can even get the right order of magnitude of warming (from ~ 255K to ~ 288K).

    Can’t see a viable mechanism for it myself.

    On the other hand, the model does NOT violate Conservation of Energy or 2nd Law of thermodynamics.

    Nor does ours.

    There are plenty of climate models that are ahead of both of these models.

    And plenty of nonsense about snowball Earth being spouted by people who think in terms of the ‘simple model’. Including ‘top climatologists’ who, presumably, should know better.

    In the end, this paper seems to simply be saying…

    Well if that’s all it’s saying to you Tim, then that’s all you’ll get from it.

    Copernicus was wrong, too. He assumed the orbits were circles, when in fact they are much closer to being ellipses. Claiming Postma’s model is “a logically valid fusion, just like the Copernican model” is to admit that the model is not yet correct.

    There’s always more to do to improve knowledge and perfect our own being.

    both the “half-on/half-off Postma model” and the “always on simplified model” work remarkably well when averaged over months or years,

    Averaging is a mania which needs treatment. IMO Postma’s model is excellent medecine for people who are complacently settling for averagely good/bad/indifferent models and failing to develop better ways of understanding our planet’s climate systems and their natural variability. Considering the vast amounts of our money they’ve been spending to no effect, we need better approaches, and are developing them ourselves, since the radiatively fixated have run out of ideas.

  113. Stephen Wilde says:

    Oh dear.

    We are being carpet bombed by a true AGW believer seeking to distract from the essential points at all costs.

  114. mkelly says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm
    There is an old quote: “All models are wrong; some models are useful”

    “…But it is still useful for understanding that GHGs provide SOME warming. ”

    Mr. Folkerts would please provide a radiative heat transfer equation that would show how “SOME warming” takes place.

  115. tallbloke says:

    C’mon Stephen, 4 comments is hardly ‘carpet bombing’. Ease up and lets have a pleasant chat with our guest.

  116. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ok,TB, I’m game.

    tjfolkerts,

    Rather than nitpicking around the periphery could you please provide logic or data to suggest that any of the main components of the climate description being developed here are incorrect, inadequate or impossible ?

    Over to you.

    If we are barking up the wrong tree I’d like to know sooner rather than later so that I can do something more useful. :)

  117. tjfolkerts says:

    “… could you please provide logic or data to suggest that any of the main components of the climate description being developed here are incorrect, inadequate or impossible ?”

    Postma’s model is interesting. I applaud the effort to understand the effects of day/night. Much of it is quite good.

    My main objection is the assumption that the “1 layer of atmosphere, uniform insolation” is the “standard model” used to understand the way the world actually work. It is a common model. It is a useful model. It is an extremely simplified modeled that glosses over myriad details. But simple models are often very valuable for beginners to start to understand a topic. Criticizing it for not doing things it is not designed to do is a strawman approach.

    It is sort of like modelling projectiles with “g=9.8 m/s^2″. It is a useful approximation for many situations, but wholly inadequate for satellites, where “g=GM/r^2″ would be more appropriate. And for GPS satellites, even this is not sufficient, and relativity needs to be taken into account. If advanced calculations indeed used the “1 layer of atmosphere, uniform insolation” model, that would be inappropriate. Are there examples of this simple model being used for actual advanced modeling of the earth’s atmosphere and earth’s temperatures?

    The model should fit the needs. The simplified GHE model does what it is designed to do.

    ******************
    As for specific criticisms here are a couple:
    “The standard model greenhouse effect makes a simple but critical mistake in not
    differentiating between the concepts of energy flux density and total energy…”

    This is called a “critical mistake”. In fact, there is NO mistake. As I pointed out before, the “standard model” deals perfectly well with EITHER flux or energy, as long as you average over times and areas appropriate for the model.

    “Imagine you start the Earth-system off from absolute zero temperature, completely frozen, and then begin inputting energy as per the standard model greenhouse: -18 C worth of temperature forcing coming in to all sides of the planet from an omnipresent, dim and cool Sun. Would you expect -18 C worth of temperature forcing from sunlight to be able to melt the copious quantities of ice in the now-frozen oceans? I certainly wouldn’t. On the other hand, what if you had +30 C worth of temperature forcing, on average over half of the Earth, with a continuous maximum of up to +121 C under the solar-noon? Indeed, we should certainly expect this actual power level of solar energy to
    easily melt the ice into water and to cause its evaporation and generate a climate cycle.”

    Postma’s intuition and mine differ considerably. If you took a world at absolute zero and heated it with 480 W/m^2 for 12 hours, I wouldn’t expect too much effect. Oh, you might get a thin layer of water to melt. But then that area swings to the night side, with no sun light, and starts cooling back toward 3 K.

    As has been discussed various times in various places, the HIGHEST possible average temperature is achieved when the insolation is uniform. Rather than “easily melting the ice into water”, the average temperature with the half-lit model will be LOWER than the -18 C achieved with uniform light. Only small, temporary pools of water would result, refreezing quickly when night fell.

  118. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thank you, tjfolkerts.

    That is a more accessible narrative.

    Your comments are directed at Joseph’s work rather than the general climate description being developed here so I’ll leave Joseph to respond in detail.

    Personally, I’m not sure that his work impinges significantly on mine as may be apparent from my earlier postings on this thread.

    We don’t all accept each others work uncritically but we agree to differ where necessary in the process of arriving eventually at a better climate solution than that of the so called consensus.

    For my part, as regards Joseph’s points I would never start with a frozen world because planets originally formed from a gas cloud irradiated by any nearby sun so heat content was present from the beginning and increased as mass was added. Only later on was further mass added by impacts from solid debris.

    Consequently the issue is not how you get the snowball Earth to melt in the first place but how you would get the oceans to freeze in the first place.

    Thus we should invert your proposals. Instead of a thin layer of meltwater one would actually only see a thin layer of ice forming each night which would be easily melted each day.

    Due to the energy store in the oceans constantly having been replenished by sunlight from the very beginning and stored and retained as a result of pressure at the surface the average temperature with the half lit model would not ever have been as low as the -18C supposedly achieved with uniform light.

    So, you see, I don’t think either of you are right but the pressure based scenario suits my propositions perfectly because that alone explains the permanent underlying warmth which is incorporated into any planetary body with an atmosphere irradiated by sunlight and which formed from gases rather than solids.

    The Ideal Gas Law applies instead of the S-B Law from any point within a gaseous atmosphere and the Ideal Gas Law is valid simply because of the physical properties of gases swirling about in space within the range of solar irradiation and subjected to increasing pressure as the gas molecules aggregate and eventually form a solid body surrounded by an atmosphere of residual gases.

    Get the starting setup right and the rest falls into place.

  119. davidmhoffer says:

    TimF;

    You’ve managed to present a thought process that demonstrates the exact fallacy that Postma was trying to point out. That N&Z have also pointed out. Simply averaging power flux doesn’t tell us diddly squat in terms of understanding temperature. Your math is valid for averaging power flux, the problem being that we are trying to understand TEMPERATURE in the CONTEXT of power flux, and for this, average power flux is meaningless. Following is a simple illustration.

    Consider two points, one at a temperature of 200K and the other at 400K. The “average” temperature of these two points would be 300K. Using SB Law which is P=5.67*10^-8*T^4 to calculate the power flux, we get 90.72 and 1451.52 w/m2 respectively, for an average of 771.12 w/m2.

    Now let us consider two points, one at a temperature of 201K and the other at 299K. The “average” temperature of these two points would be exactly the same as above, 300K. Using SB Law, this gives power flux of 92.54 and 1437.06 w/m2 respectively, for an average of 764.80 w/m2.

    So Tim, which is the right “average” watts/m2 to quote for a system at an “average” temperature of 300K? 771? Or 765?

    I know how to settle it. Let’s just convert the “average” by plugging 300 into SB Law. That yields….459.27 w/m2. So now which is the right “average” w/m2? 771? 765? or 459?

    I could have gone the other way and calculated “T” from various amounts of P, the same conundrum would result. Power fluxes that have the exact same “average” would yield completely different average temperatures.

    Which is why your argument that flux in = flux out and that both sides of the equation can be divided by a constant has no merit. It isn’t about average flux. It is about the temperature arrived at for a given MIX of flux, and no amount of averaging one will provide you anything meaningful about the average of the other.

  120. Stephen Wilde says:

    To summarise my earlier post:

    The ‘extra’ warmth of a planet with an atmosphere is simply residual energy left over from the formation when sunlight warmed a gas cloud and pressure within the gas cloud caused the temperature of its interior to rise.

    That initial rise in temperature was caused solely by pressure and insolation as per the Ideal Gas Law.

    Despite the formation of a solid planetary body within the gas cloud that initial energy has not all been lost because there is a residual atmosphere around the planet keeping it in and solar input is continuing.

    The remaining pressure of that atmosphere plus continuing solar irradiation is what keeps the surface of the solid body beneath the gases above the temperature of space. (ignoring geothermal energy).

    In the case of the Earth the oceans are part of the atmosphere since, being a liquid which is partially transparent to sunlight, they possess energy storing capabilities just like gases.

    Because of the density of water and its consequent heat capacity most of the Earth’s residual energy from formation is stored permanently in the oceans and the pressure of the atmosphere at the surface determines the amount of energy remaining in storage.

    Unless the atmosphere becomes thinner with less mass or solar input declines that residual energy from formation remains trapped in the system and the ground / water surface will remain warmer than the temperature that one would expect from an irradiated blackbody.

    Thus the ‘extra’ warmth was created by pressure and insolation and remains held within the system by pressure and insolation.

    The radiative features of the system are therefore a consequence and not a cause. Changes in the radiative features of one part of the system will always be negated by changes in another part of the system. In practice that means circulatory changes in air and oceans.

    That will result in climate zone shifting but the evidence is that solar variability and internal ocean variability cause vastly greater climate zone shifting than anything that could result from human emissions of GHGs.

    Any questions ?

  121. tjfolkerts says:

    David,

    I don’t know that it is so much about “fallacies” as it is about limiting cases. I don’t really think I disagree with much of what you said. I even explicitly said that the same power can give two different global average temperatures,

    In the “best case”, 240 W/m^2 will get the earth NO HOTTER than 255K on average. The “uniform insolation” model gives this best case. No matter what other flaws this model might have, it can give this result. The average temperature is indeed higher than this, no matter how you want to average flux or power or temperature. This says that SOMETHING else must be playing a role in the flux calculations.

  122. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen,

    I don;t want to get into critiquing every post, but I do want to respond to a couple things.

    “The ‘extra’ warmth of a planet with an atmosphere is simply residual energy left over from the formation when sunlight warmed a gas cloud and pressure within the gas cloud caused the temperature of its interior to rise.”

    1) The interior was warmed by the kinetic energy of in-falling rocks traveling at thousands of miles per hour, along with radioactive decay. Heating from an over lying atmosphere would have been minimal.
    2) Energy “left over from the formation” would have long since mostly dissipated. You seem to be implying that the 288 – 255 = 33 K warming is still “left over heat”, which doesn’t seem remotely plausible, especially since the atmosphere has been colder in the past than now. But perhaps I am misunderstanding you.

    “Because of the density of water and its consequent heat capacity most of the Earth’s residual energy from formation is stored permanently in the oceans and the pressure of the atmosphere at the surface determines the amount of energy remaining in storage.

    Most of the ‘residual energy” is stored deep in the interior, leaking out at a rate generally acknowledged to be less than 1 Wm^2. There is simply not enough energy in the oceans or leaking up from the interior to make a long-term impact sufficient to raise the temperature more than a minor amount.

    “Thus the ‘extra’ warmth was created by pressure … “
    This thermal energy was only “created” once, when the gas initially formed into the atmosphere. It cannot provide a continuing source of energy to continue to keep the atmosphere warm.

    “The radiative features of the system are therefore a consequence and not a cause. “
    Clearly it woks both ways. Changes in climate can change cloud cover, which changes radiative features: climate is cause of radiative changes. But volcanoes change the radiative features leading to cooling: climate is a consequence of this radiative feature. CO2 is more like volcanoes; it is changing due to some extra-climatic reason, and the earth will change as a consequence. (Certainly other feedbacks can occur as a result of the CO2 forcing, but that is a separate issue.

    And now it is much too late. Good night.

  123. Hans says:

    davidmhoffer says: April 6, 2012 at 4:22

    “You’ve managed to present a thought process that demonstrates the exact fallacy that Postma was trying to point out. That N&Z have also pointed out. Simply averaging power flux doesn’t tell us diddly squat in terms of understanding temperature. Your math is valid for averaging power flux, the problem being that we are trying to understand TEMPERATURE in the CONTEXT of power flux, and for this, average power flux is meaningless. Following is a simple illustration.”

    Agree, and you could hardly have shown it better than you have did. The problem is that energy and power is what matters most. The 1:st and 2:nd laws are dealing with energy and not temperature. The temperature concept is very ambiguous since it is some times used as an improper equivalent to energy when relating to these laws. It is also used as a mean to express energy flux between different forms of matter (gas/liquid, gas/solid, liquid/solid) in an array of formulas.
    The use of the SB law is an example of the latter. We as humans are accustomed to relate to temperatures as a mental concept but what we feel with our skin and see with our eyes is actually power/unit area (W/m^2 or Joule/s/m^2).
    Everybody know that we freeze more when the wind is blowing at equal outdoor (low) temperatures than when it is not.

  124. tallbloke says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:14 am
    In the “best case”, 240 W/m^2 will get the earth NO HOTTER than 255K on average.

    The Earth is much much hotter than 255K on average since you are including the interior of it in your statement by failing to differentiate its different zones. What you mean is that including all limiting factors such as the insulative barrier the Earth’s crust presents to the escape of heat from the core, You can’t see a way that average insolation of 255K will get the SURFACE of the Earth hotter than 255K. But this is because there are factors you have failed to take into account which affect the DISTRIBUTION of that average 255K’s worth of heat within the zone which lies between that insulative crust and space.

    The average temperature is indeed higher than this, no matter how you want to average flux or power or temperature. This says that SOMETHING else must be playing a role in the flux calculations.

    Yes, the ‘something else’ is the natural forces which organise the DISTRIBUTION of the energy supplied by the Sun such that the temperature profile of the zone between seabed and space goes from 2C on seabed, to 14C (on average) at the SURFACE, to around -80C at the tropopause and various other temperatures up from there to the exosphere.

    The mainstream models, even the best of them, have failed to account for important, everpresent effects due to gravity/pressure, buoyancy and density, and that is why they are at a loss to explain SURFACE temperature and are proposing a mechanism whereby a cold upper atmosphere warms a warmer surface via ‘back radiation’. How it is supposed to do this I’d like you to explain, in words we can all understand.

    Over to you. I do expect a response.

  125. Hans says:

    tjfolkerts says: April 6, 2012 at 12:58 am

    “As has been discussed various times in various places, the HIGHEST possible average temperature is achieved when the insolation is uniform.”

    The exact opposite is true regardless of a pointless reference to what has been “discussed various times in various places”.

    See the above statement in the context of moon´s average temperature. The Orbital Diviner has shown it to be around 212K. The cause is the absorbed solar irradiation of 1366×0.11 which is equal to 305 W/m^2. The maximum temperature is 389k and the minimum is around 90K according to observations (based on the SB law and 9 bolometers)

    Now imagine that the same power is distributed to the lunar surface from four suns placed in the orbital plane of earth at 90 degrees separation. 326 W/m^2 will be absorbed from each sun.
    The maximum temperature will then be be 275K according to the SB law. The point is that the minimum temperature of 90K will never be reached. An estimated minimum temperature will now be about 240K since the lunar surface will never be in darkness. It follows that the average temperature of the equatorial lunar surface would be around (270+235)/2 = 252K. Please, include the Diviner temperature curve here if it is considered to be important for the understanding.

    This means that the DISTRIBUTION ALONE of the energy sources as such MATTERS. The same amount of absorbed solar power would increase the equatorial lunar surface by about 40K. This is equivalent to an 19% temperature increase. The reasoning here is not exact but it can be calculated quite well by assuming 1,2,3,4,5 …..suns instead of four delivering the same power as our sun is doing now.

    To me the major importance of the Postma paper is to highlight the very important consequences that “pulsed” solar power has on a planetary surface temperature in relation to a solar power evenly distributed to earth´s surface.

    Hans

  126. wayne says:

    “This says that SOMETHING else must be playing a role in the flux calculations.”

    Yes Tim, look at the Koorin nighttime data. The Earth only loses about 65 W/m2 during the nighttime. That is why it is warmer than what your averaging of average fluxes shows.

  127. perransounds says:

    TB, from this recent reply from Richard Betts, UK Mett Office, perhaps he could be persuaded to expand on the GCM definition, he is generally very helpful in the interest of science and it is certainly an area that I would like to understand.

    “Mar 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM | Lord Beaverbrook
    One of the aspects of climate modeling that has caused me some concern in the past is the representation of the Earth as a flat disc with an average solar energy input applied across the surface.’

    Mar 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Richard Betts
    Where did you hear that? That would be quite unusual, and as you say, quite unrealistic. We model the atmosphere as a fluid moving on an oblate spheroid rotating about an axis which is offset from the perpendicular to the plane of its orbit about the sun….

    Cheers

    Richard

    BTW excellant blog well worth the award.

  128. Stephen Wilde says:

    tjfolkerts says:

    “The interior was warmed by the kinetic energy of in-falling rocks traveling at thousands of miles per hour, along with radioactive decay. Heating from an over lying atmosphere would have been minimal.”

    What do you think caused rocks to fall in ?

    The planet started as one of many more intense balls of gas within a larger more diffuse cloud of gas heated by pressure and irradiation as per the Ideal Gas Law. At that point there were no rocks.

    Over time, the centre got ever denser until solids formed under pressure and only then did debris from elsewhere fall in. That debris came from unsuccessful planetary bodies that had collided with one another within the larger cloud of gas and rock and been broken up.

    The warmth of the gas surrounding the planet predates the acquisition of kinetic energy from incoming material. It is derived from the initial swirling cloud of gas as it slowly heated up under the combined effects of pressure and insolation before the solids condensed out under pressure.

    I am not considering interior generated heat. That is now created by internal pressure,friction from internal convection and radioactive decay but the amount coming out of the surface as geothermal energy is insignificant.

    Nor am I suggesting that the overlying atmosphere heats anything. It is merely prevented from cooling further from the initial state by continuing surface pressure and insolation.

    That is why the Earth is currently warmer than the temperature that would be observed on an irradiated blackbody.

    The ‘extra’ warmth of the oceans and air is from pressure and continuing insolation and is a residue left over from the initial ball of gas (not from the interior) which cannot cool any further unless atmospheric mass is lost or the sun gets weaker.

    Continuing pressure and insolation prevents further dissipation of heat to space until one or both are reduced further.

  129. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “The mainstream models, even the best of them, have failed to account for important, everpresent effects due to gravity/pressure, buoyancy and density, and that is why they are at a loss to explain SURFACE temperature and are proposing a mechanism whereby a cold upper atmosphere warms a warmer surface via ‘back radiation’”

    Quite so.

    Unless pressure or insolation declines the temperature of the planet’s surface cannot fall further towards the blackbody temperature.

    Likewise, until pressure or insolation increases the temperature cannot rise any further above the blackbody temperature.

    Altering the balance of differently generated radiative transfers within a gas affected by a gravitational field and externally irradiated can only alter energy distribution and not energy content.

    Warmists can have their climate consequences by virtue of shifting climate zones but the equilibrium temperature doesn’t change.

    They then have to compare the size of climate zone shifting from human emissions of CO2 against that from solar and opceanic variability.

    I currently estimate that sun and ocean shift the zones more than 1000 times as far going by the changes observed from MWP to LIA to date.

    Even more at the ice age / interglacial transitions.

    And even that is on the basis of the unproved assumption that the net radiative effect of more GHGs is to keep energy in the system a little longer so as to require any climate zone shift at all. After all ,one must balance the facilitating of outward radiation against the restraining of upward energy flow from the surface to get the net effect and I haven’t yet seen that done correctly.

  130. tallbloke says:

    Hi Perransounds and welcome. Thanks for that snippet. I agree it would be very helpful if we could get some dialogue going with Richard Betts. I’ll try to find his email address.

  131. Doug Cotton says:

     
    Stephen

    (If I could just butt in with only one post on this thread, please TB – I promise that will be all) ..

    You said one must balance the facilitating of outward radiation against the restraining of upward energy flow from the surface to get the net effect and I haven’t yet seen that done correctly.

    I believe there are cogent reasons for deducing that evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer will accelerate and fully compensate for any slowing of the cooling related to that component of radiation which does not get through the atmospheric window. Thus trace gases will have absolutely no overall effect on the rate of cooling of the surface.

    Please read this comment and discuss in response to it on that thread if you wish.
     

  132. tjfolkerts says:

    Hans says:
    April 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

    tjfolkerts claims: April 6, 2012 at 12:58 am
    “the HIGHEST possible average temperature is achieved when the insolation is uniform.”

    Hans counters:
    “The exact opposite is true…”

    With 240 W/m^2 entering uniformly (and exiting uniformly) from a non-rotating object with emissivity =1 (one of those “wrong, but useful models”), the temperature everywhere is 255 K.

    With 480 W/m^2 entering (and exiting) over 1/2 of the world, and 0 over the other half, the temperature is 304 K on the one half, and 0 K on the other half, for an average of 152 K.

    With 960 W/m^2 over 1/4 of the world, the numbers are 361 & 0, for an average of 90 K.

    All of theses have the same total solar energy to the earth. An infinite number of other’s are possible.

    The more uniform the distribution of energy, the more uniform the temperature.
    The more uniform the temperature, the higher the average temperature.

    “See the above statement in the context of moon´s average temperature…. The cause is the absorbed solar irradiation of 1366×0.11″ …
    Where did you get 0.11? The bond albedo of the moon is about 0.12 (which is what I am assuming you are referring to), meaning 12% of energy is reflected, leaving (1-0.12)*1366 = 1202 W/m^2 to be absorbed. If this shined uniformly to/from the moon, the average would be ~ 270 K, which is clearly too high.
    “The maximum temperature will then be be 275K according to the SB law” It looks like we may have rounded a bit differently, but your calculation is not the MAXIMUM temperature, but rather the uniform temperature = the AVERAGE temperuture.

    You provide a reference that the average is truly more like 212 K, ie the non-uniform distribution of energy leads to a COOLER average temperature. (The rotation and heat capacity also play significant rolls in the final average temperature, but these effects are in addition to the insolation issue. They don’t negate the insolation issue.)

    ————————————————————————

    ” … regardlless of a pointless reference to what has been “discussed various times in various places”.”

    I would have thought this earlier discussion right here at TBTS (or at WUWT) would have been more familiar to readers here. My bad. There are the links:

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

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/22/unified-theory-of-climate-reply-to-comments/

  133. Stephen Wilde says:

    Doug said:

    “I believe there are cogent reasons for deducing that evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer will accelerate and fully compensate for any slowing of the cooling related to that component of radiation which does not get through the atmospheric window”

    Yes Doug, that has been my position for over 4 years. I was just making the point that even if there were a net non zero radiative effect it would be dealt with by a shift in the air circulation that would be too small to measure.

    I have never seen any evidence from the AGW camp that after taking into account the negative system responses there is any net warming. Of course they say that the system response would be positive but they haven’t demonstrated that either.

  134. Bryan says:

    Joseph Postma says:
    April 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    “There are two main different ways to solve the problem, with the simpler one essentially matching the equation for voltage in an RC circuit with a time-dependent voltage input – it’s thermodynamically equivalent to mass and thermal resistance with energy input. Some of you reading might be electrical engineers…I am not. Can an RC circuit amplify its own voltage with feedback that might come from either the capacitor or the resistor (the equivalent of mass and thermal resistance)? ”

    Joseph you stressed in your post the importance of the Latent Heat of Evaporation of Water and I think that this is where the answer to your question might come from.

    The climate model you describe is very like an AC supply feeding a diode and capacitor circuit.

    The diode gives night/day analogue.
    The capacitor gives a thermal energy storage.
    This circuit will not on its own produce a voltage amplification.

    HOWEVER

    Add an inductor (symbol L) and you can have voltage amplification.

    You might ask is it physically realistic to do so?
    An electrical inductor opposes the CHANGE in current passes through it.
    That is it opposes a rising current and also tries to stop a current from falling.
    An thermal inductor (analogue) opposes the CHANGE in rising temperature from day solar isolation by evaporation.
    That is thermal energy stored in form of latent heat with no rise in temperature by evaporation of water.
    In night conditions the thermal inductor opposes a falling temperature by releasing latent heat as condensation occurs.
    As you have pointed out (above) the energy stored as latent heat is very large and is certainly able to smooth out diurnal variations.

    The KT energy balance diagram shows the energy circulating in the atmospheric system as being much larger than the make up energy from the sun.

    Is this possible?

    While I agree with your comments about the unrealistic basis of this diagram this particular aspect is not impossible.

    KT model;
    energy in atmospheric system/make up solar energy = 396/239 = 1.66.

    This they say is solely due to the “greenhouse effect”

    Alternatively this can be achieved by storage of energy in the system by thermal inertia and latent heat with a reset period of 24 hours without any greenhouse effect.

    A mechanical equivalent is pushing a child on a swing .
    There a typical energy ratio might be;
    Gravitational energy stored at max/periodic push = 600J/30J = 20.

    This link gives a description of a tuned LCR circuit and a note on voltage amplification.

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

  135. davidmhoffer says:

    Joseph Postma;
    Can an RC circuit amplify its own voltage with feedback that might come from either the capacitor or the resistor >>>

    A simple RC circuit no. Add some diodes to the mix and absolutely. There are standard circuits used in things like camera flashes that arrive at output voltages many times the input voltage. The key however is the use of diodes that permit current flow in only one direction.

    Is there a “diode” in the earth system that accomplishes the same thing? Perhaps. Sunlight being mostly shortwave penetrates the atmosphere pretty much unimpeded, and about 100 meters of ocean on top of that. That’s a diode in forward mode, very low resistance. But the SW gets converted to LW, and LW doesn’t get out so easily, resistance to the LW leaving is high, like a diode in reverse mode.

  136. tjfolkerts says:

    Tallbloke states: “The Earth is much much hotter than 255K on average since you are including the interior of it in your statement by failing to differentiate its different zones. “

    No. Since I was specifically discussing thermal radiation, I was specifically discussing the SURFACE temperature. Certainly if you add the interior (which does NOT radiate to space) then the average would indeed be higher.

    “The mainstream models, even the best of them, have failed to account for important, everpresent effects due to gravity/pressure, buoyancy and density ”
    That would the lapse rate. The adiabatic lapse rate is given by g/Cp, so there is gravity. The thick the atmosphere, the farther that lapse rate can go (which is one of the key reasons that Venus is very hot and mars is very cold), so there is “pressure”. The lapse rate is determined by rising/falling parcels of air, so there is “buoyancy”. The simplified models (like Figure 1 above) do indeed ignore all these factors. But I am sure that any moderately sophisticated model will include lapse rate and hence include at least some of the major impacts of the variables you named.

    ” [The mainstream models are] proposing a mechanism whereby a cold upper atmosphere warms a warmer surface via ‘back radiation’. How it is supposed to do this I’d like you to explain, in words we can all understand.

    Well, I tried recently over in the other thread on “Stealing the Steel Greenhouse: Cause and Effect in Earth’s Energy Flow”. You can look there. Hopefully it is understandable. But remember the quite from Einstein “Make every thing as simple as possible, but no simpler.” There is no way to explain thermodynamics without getting a bit complex.

  137. mkelly says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    April 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I would think a DC circuit best describes the flow of heat from the surface of the earth to space. Heat only flows in one direction with the difference of potential being the difference in temperatures from surface up. Heat transfer analysis is often done using only resistance to heat flow there are no amplifiers.

  138. perransounds says:

    Sorry TB, wordpress is insisting I post as perransands, an old account, instead of allowing Lord BeaverBrook.

    I have left a message for Richard over at Bishop Hill’s blog.

    Lord Beaverbrook

  139. tallbloke says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    April 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    The mainstream models, even the best of them, have failed to account for important, everpresent effects due to gravity/pressure, buoyancy and density ”

    That would the lapse rate. The adiabatic lapse rate is given by g/Cp, so there is gravity.

    So you agree that the lapse rate is due to gravity acting on atmospheric mass? If so, this is excellent progress.

    Then there is the issue of the ocean, which we think is acting as a ‘greenhouse fluid’ which has much more effect than any atmospheric greenhouse can, since it is much more opaque to the long wave radiation which is trying to escape from it than the atmosphere is, whilst at the same time being releatively transparent to incoming solar energy wavelengths.

    I’d be grateful if you’d consider that and offer some thoughts in response.

    Thanks

    Added: “Well, I tried recently over in the other thread on “Stealing the Steel Greenhouse: Cause and Effect in Earth’s Energy Flow”. You can look there. Hopefully it is understandable.”

    I’ve replied.

  140. tjfolkerts says:

    mkelly says “I would think a DC circuit best describes the flow of heat from the surface of the earth to space. Heat only flows in one direction with the difference of potential being the difference in temperatures from surface up. Heat transfer analysis is often done using only resistance to heat flow there are no amplifiers.”

    Actually, that is a better example than you realize. The actual “drift speed” of conduction electrons in a wire is typically on the order of 1 cm/s. On the other hand, electrons themselves have an average speeds on the order of 10^6 m/s (google “Fermi velocity” if you want to know more). So electrons are, in fact, moving BOTH directions at very high speeds in a wire — even in a DC circuit! It is only a tiny imbalance in the distribution that leads to a net flow in one direction.

    If you could watch the electrons passing a specific cross-section of a wire in a tiny fraction of a second, you might see 1,000,000 heading “against” the flow, and 1,000,010 heading “with” the flow.

    Just like there are electrons going “both ways”, there are also photons “going both ways”. Of course, in both cases, the net flow is always in the expected direction.

  141. Stephen Wilde says:

    tjfolkerts said:

    “any moderately sophisticated model will include lapse rate and hence include at least some of the major impacts of the variables you named”

    They apply the lapse rate incorrectly.

    They start from the effective radiating height then apply the dry adiabatic lapse rate back to the surface. As a result any rise in the effective radiating height is assumed to be accompanied by a warmer surface.

    That is incorrect because a rise in the effective radiating height reduces density at the surface and weakens ATE. The extra heat in the air is then offset by less heat at the surface and any extra heat in the air would change the air circulation for a faster energy exit to space which offsets any slower exit to space caused by downward radiation from GHGs (not that I accept that there is a net warming efect from GHGs because they facilitate outward radiation to space as well as radiating downward).

    Instead of warming the surface the actual lapse rate changes between surface and effective radiating height.

    Meanwhile I’m looking forward to your reply to TB’s question about the oceans :)

  142. davidmhoffer says:

    mkelly;
    I would think a DC circuit best describes the flow of heat from the surface of the earth to space. Heat only flows in one direction with the difference of potential being the difference in temperatures from surface up. Heat transfer analysis is often done using only resistance to heat flow there are no amplifiers.>>>>

    Where to start?

    1. We’re trying to model the system. The surface of earth to space is only half the system.
    2. The other half is the input from the sun. This is “zero” for night time, and the positive portion of a sine wave during the day time.
    3. Resistance to energy input and resistance to energy output are completely and totaly different.
    4. Output is also not a “DC” model. Output varies with temperature modulated by time of day, latitude, and season.
    5. Simple heat transfer cannot even BEGIN to model the above, let alone throwing in additional processes like convection, evaporation/condensation, and heat transport mechanisms like air and ocean currents.
    6. Heat doesn’t flow. Energy flows.
    7. Heat transfer models are predicated on bounded systems with known parameters. Using heat transfer models to design a boiler in a power generation plant is about 0.01% of the complexity of modelling the earth’s input/output characteristics.
    8. Energy flows in all directions at all times. The magnitude and direction must always be net positive from hot object to cold object to satisfy the laws of thermodynamics. Note I said energy, not heat.

  143. tjfolkerts says:

    Tallbloke asks: “So you agree that the lapse rate is due to gravity acting on atmospheric mass?”

    Yes, gravity is a key component in the adiabatic lapse rate. You can follow the derivation at Wikipedia. And the adiabatic lapse rate is a key component underlying the actual lapse rate.

    “Then there is the issue of the ocean … “
    I have not looked carefully at the ocean, but the lapse rate there seems more complex.
    1) The derivation in Wikipedia involves ideal gases, which does not apply here.
    2) Salinity will change the density, potentially limiting (or enhancing) convection.
    3) To set up convection, you have to have heating from the bottom. The oceans are primarily heated from the top (via solar radiation).

    The key idea related to lapse rate is that convection will be initiated if you exceed the adiabatic lapse rate. If the atmosphere has an actual lapse rate less than the adiabatic lapse rate, then the atmosphere is stable. Only when there is sufficient heating at the bottom/cooling at the top, does convection occur. This convection “fights” to prevent the actual lapse rate from rising above the adiabatic lapse rate. (The adiabatic lapse rate it NOT some universal temperature profile that an unheated/uncooled atmosphere will “try” to obtain, but that is a huge discussion of its own).

    Since the oceans are heated from above primarily (with only limited heating from below from geothermal energy), there is really no reason for the oceans to tend toward any sort of “water adiabatic lapse rate”, what ever value that might be.

  144. tallbloke says:

    “I have not looked carefully at the ocean, but the lapse rate there seems more complex.”

    Hi Tim, I actually want you to comment on the idea of whether or not the ocean acts as a ‘greenhouse fluid’ as I described it above. So can we leave lapse rate for a bit and address this?

    “Then there is the issue of the ocean, which we think is acting as a ‘greenhouse fluid’ which has much more effect than any atmospheric greenhouse can, since it is much more opaque to the long wave radiation which is trying to escape from it than the atmosphere is, whilst at the same time being relatively transparent to incoming solar energy wavelengths.

    I’d be grateful if you’d consider that and offer some thoughts in response.”

    Thanks.

  145. davidmhoffer says:

    TB;
    3) To set up convection, you have to have heating from the bottom. The oceans are primarily heated from the top (via solar radiation).>>>>

    Not strictly correct. Cooling processes can initiate the inverse of convection called downwelling. There are specific areas of the ocean where massive downwelling occurs.

  146. tallbloke says:

    Tim Says:
    The adiabatic lapse rate it NOT some universal temperature profile that an unheated/uncooled atmosphere will “try” to obtain, but that is a huge discussion of its own

    I’m sure you can see that higher near surface pressure leads to higher near surface air density which has a higher heat capacity per unit volume than air at high altitude without getting into theoretical argument about the correct solution to the Loschmidt paradox. Yes?

  147. tjfolkerts says:

    David says “Cooling processes can initiate the inverse of convection called downwelling.”

    Quite right. I could have been more precise. Convection is set up by any sufficient thermal gradient — either warming at the bottom or cooling at the top.

  148. tjfolkerts says:

    ” .. to comment on the idea of whether or not the ocean acts as a ‘greenhouse fluid’ “

    Hmm .. I haven’t thought too much about this.
    1) I think ScienceOfDoom did a good job discussing the basics

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/

    2) The “greenhouse effect” requires an IR absorbing “shell” between a warm region and a cool region. For the atmosphere, this is “GHGs between the surface and outer space”.

    For the oceans, this would be “the top layer of water between the warmer lower layers of water and the cooler atmosphere/space”. To the extend that there is indeed a thin skin on the surface of water that cools near the top, I suppose at least part of this could be called a “greenhouse effect”.

    * If the atmosphere could be removed, the surface below the atmosphere would cool
    * If the top layer of water could be removed, the next layer down would cool.

    I would have to think more before saying too much more, but I think there is at least a small “ocean greenhouse effect”. The coexistance of conduction and evaporation at the surface makes it difficult to theoretically or intuitively decide how important each effect is.

    [co-mod guessed the correct close italics and edited]

  149. tjfolkerts says:

    “I’m sure you can see that higher near surface pressure leads to higher near surface air density which has a higher heat capacity per unit volume “

    c_p in the equations is the specific heat capacity, J/K per KILOGRAM (not per m^3). As such, density makes no difference.

  150. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Tim. My intuition is that since sunlight penetrates 100m or so into clear equatorial waters, heating the ocean instataneously in ‘3D’ to considerable depth, but the sensible heat generated and the slow rate of the escape of long wave due to the opacity of water at those wavelengths means the oceans cools slower than it heats, not least because it can only cool in ‘2D’ from its surface.

    Also, the pressure of air pressing down on its surface limits the rate of evaporation. All this will mean the ocean has to be at the temperature it is in order for the surface to get warm enough to overcome the limitation imposed by surface pressure and enable it to get rid of heat at the rate it gains it.

    So we’re not talking about a small greenhouse effect on the top few millimetres. We’re talking about the top 100m, which has a heat capacity around 30-40 times higher than the entire atmosphere above it.

    Food for your thought.

  151. tchannon says:

    tkf
    “But I am sure that any moderately sophisticated model will include lapse rate and hence include at least some of the major impacts of the variables you named.”

    Have a read http://declineeffect.com/?page_id=189

  152. tchannon says:

    What drives downwelling?

  153. Stephen Wilde says:

    Cold water at the top becomes more dense than the warmer water below it and sinks. The degree of salinity is involved too.

    “In these polar regions, seawater at the surface of the ocean is intensely cooled by the wind. Wind moving over the water also produces a great deal of evaporation, leading to a decrease in temperature, called evaporative cooling. Evaporation removes only water molecules, resulting in an increase in the salinity of the seawater left behind, and thus an increase in the density of the water mass. In the Norwegian Sea evaporative cooling is predominant, and the sinking water mass, the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW), fills the basin and spills southwards through crevasses in the submarine sills that connect Greenland, Iceland and Great Britain. It then flows very slowly into the deep abyssal plains of the Atlantic, always in a southerly direction. Flow from the Arctic Ocean Basin into the Pacific, however, is blocked by the narrow shallows of the Bering Strait.”

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

    A greatly underestimated influence on climate on a timescale of 1000 to 1600 years which just happens to be pretty close to observed climate shifts such as MWP, LIA and the current warm period and also the so called ‘Bond Events every 1500 years or so plus or minus 500 years.

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

    In theory current CO2 rises could be a consequence of outgassing from waters that were warmed during the MWP and are only now surfacing.

    Joseph’s paper and pretty much all climate change papers cover only part of the story.

  154. davidmhoffer says:

    tchannon says:
    April 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    What drives downwelling?
    >>>>>>>>>>

    Fresh water has a maximum density at +4 degrees C. So, water that is warmer than +4 and cooling, or water that is cooler than +4 and warming, is gaining density. Since temperature fluctuation happens mostly at the surface, any movement in temperature toward +4 results in higher density water at surface and hence downwelling.

    Saltwater is more complicated. Salt content lowers the temperature at which maximum density and freezing point occurr. So…as ice forms at surface, the salt if forced out of the ice into the water below. This further reduces both freezing point AND density. That water must then downwell, bringing less salty water up. This process occurrs until the temperature is at the freezing point from top to bottom. Only then can the ice “thicken”. In sea water, the formation of ice at the surface signals a MASSIVE change in energy content to the water below, driven by desalination of ice and subsequent downwelling.

  155. davidmhoffer says:

    This further reduces both freezing point AND density.>>>

    Poor wording on my part. Freezing point is reduced. Temperature at which maximum density occurs is reduced. Density of the water just below the ice continued to increase (not decrease) as the water cools, resulting in downwelling.

  156. Stephen Wilde says:

    If we are to start talking about the ocean skin effect see my contribution here:

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/01/06/does-back-radiation-%e2%80%9cheat%e2%80%9d-the-ocean-%e2%80%93-part-four/

    Scroll to the bottom and work up a few posts or as far as interest takes you.

  157. Stephen Wilde says:

    A relevant extract:

    “You are right to want to introduce the matter of air pressure because in the real world it is the atmospheric pressure that dictates the amount of energy required to provoke evaporation. That amount of energy is pressure dependent but the enthalpy of vaporisation is a constant so the lower the pressure the more energy evaporation pulls out of the local surroundings as compared to the amount of energy required to provoke it.”

  158. tallbloke says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    April 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “I’m sure you can see that higher near surface pressure leads to higher near surface air density which has a higher heat capacity per unit volume “

    c_p in the equations is the specific heat capacity, J/K per KILOGRAM (not per m^3). As such, density makes no difference.

    Hi Tim. Yes, I’m aware of that, and aware that higher heat capacity doesn’t confer higher temperature to the mass. But this doesn’t change the fact that in a dynamic situation where solar energy is passing through and being partially absorbed by the atmosphere, the near surface higher density atmosphere is going to end up with the lions share of the heat, and this can be transferred to the cooler objects placed in it without the gas itself being cooled as much as a lower density parcel at the same temperature but with lower heat capacity will be.

    By the way, Loschmidt originally wrote the equation with Cv rather than Cp but Trupp says it should be Cp. Go figure.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-loschmidt-gravito-thermal-effect-old-controversy-new-relevance/

  159. davidmhoffer says:

    c_p in the equations is the specific heat capacity, J/K per KILOGRAM (not per m^3). As such, density makes no difference.>>>>

    Really? If density goes up, then mass per volume goes up, and hence heat capacity on a VOLUME basis goes up. So, the heat capacity of the upper layer of the ocean in fact does increase with density.

  160. tallbloke says:

    Hoff: Tim F and I weere discussing the atmosphere at that point. Water is fairly incompressible so pressure not density is key in the ocean. Which open the question of how energy does propagate down and whether there is a Loschmidt effect there. Graeff’s experimental data says yes. Loschmidt’s theory says yes.

    It needs time and thought. Project ### on my list. :)

  161. davidmhoffer says:

    TB;
    being incompressable has what to do with density? They are two different issues.

  162. tallbloke says:

    Well, the majority of differences in the density of seawater are due to temperature and salinity, rather than pressure, although pressure does funny things to the electrical properties of seawateer, due to compression at the interstices of the bonds between the metallic ions of dissolved salts and water molecules… I think. I don’t know much about this to be honest.

    More for the reading list.

  163. mkelly says:

    Davidmhoffer please note I said HEAT not energy. Please respond to what was said not what you wish.

  164. davidmhoffer says:

    TB;
    Let me be more exact. Water’s density is sensitive to temperature and insensitive to pressure. Air’s density is less sensitive to temperature and highly sensitive to pressure.

    I was disagreeing with the statement that the heat capacity of water doesn’t change with density because it is measured in j/k. While that is true, in the context of the ocean’s interaction with air, we have to think about the area and depth of water that efficiently exchanges energy with the air. The higher the density, the higher the heat capacity in immediate exposure to the air.

  165. wayne says:

    Mr. Postma, thoroughly enjoyed your paper, especially the expanded one. Here is one thing to investigate, in your Figure 3 you say “Decreasing Cooling Rate” near the bottom. After looking at the data from Koorin measurements in Australia of the nighttime energy loss, I was very surprised that 1) the amount being leaked from the surface (and this is in the SH summer) is much, much less than I ever assumed, and 2) the rate over the night-time hours was basically flat, it dropped only a few W/m2 from just after sunset to just before sunrise. the large decrease was missing, another flaw in my long-term assumptions, always 60-65 W/m2.

    Go look at some data of nighttime energy transfers, I know, it is hard to come by, in fact, nearly non-existent on the web.

    That fact, that the sunlit side gets a huge amount of radiation coupled with the small radiative loss during the nighttime basically numerically explains why the Earth’s mean is about 288 K. Might also explain why there is so little to none nighttime data on the web. Do you know where I can get some… I have thought of maybe Dr. Spencer for global nighttime coverage.

  166. tchannon says:

    You might find this useful, describes the measurements and data processing.
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/sds/cdr/docs/MLT_v05r04_CATBD.pdf

  167. Doug Cotton says:

    Wayne

    You asked where there might be night observations of radiation. See Observations on Backradiation During Nighttime and Daytime.
     

  168. wayne says:

    Thanks Tim. I have read all about those data files and the (A)MSU’s before. I was hoping somewhere I could just get the already processed per latitude and time averages on a specific date, such as one or both of the equinoxes. You know, a rough overview.

    If I every getting into that detailed data that is what I will be computing. Sure wish it already existed, but a lot of times my questions are miles from most people’s questions.

  169. Hans says:

    tchannon says: April 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    “What drives downwelling?”

    Tim,
    An unspecified question that I will interpret in my own way. Originally downwelling was used as a concept for describing mechanical motion of water or air downwards which is simple and easy to understand in the realm of climatology.

    It has also been used to describe energy flux downwards by air or water which is equivalent with convective heat transfer.

    This concept has also been used for describing the infamous model IR back radiation (+300 W/m^2)
    as “IR downwelling”. Unfortunately semantics has been often been a toll tool to spread confusion within climatology.

    Now I will describe the most important form of (energy flux) downwelling that exists on earth and it happens in the polar areas.
    Polar air prefers to get cold at the surface and much of the IR radiation goes directly to space. Huge cold air masses can be created at some times beside the ordinatry cooling that creates the prevailing northernly winds over Stockholm, especially during winter time.

    These massive cold air masses are called Mobile Polar Highs by professor Marcel Leroux. They get accelerated southward by the centrifugal force and might not stop until reaching the equator.
    The cold air masses have to be replaced which they are from above in the polar areas. High altitude air from equatorial areas are “sucked down” at polar areas and these air masses are carrying energy to all polar areas. This is especially true during times when there is no solar irradiation at all reaching polar areas.

    So Tim, this is just one answer of what drives downwelling in the atmosphere but it is probably the most important one but there are more.

    Much “downwelling” in the oceans are simply mixing caused by winds. The atomic bomb 14C provided excellent data of how that happens down to 1000 m depths. The most important type of sea downwelling is caused by surface cooling in polar areas during wintertime. The coldest area is in the North Atlantic before it gets ice covered, an area which is often called the GIN Sea. The coldest bottom water that passes the equator from north to south is generated in that area.

    The Koorin dataset clearly shows how downwelling occurs during each night meaning the atmosphere descended about 500 meter during night time above 1500 altitude. During that descent the air warmed adiabatically at the same time it was cooled by IR radiation to space.

    Finally, last but not least downwelling and upwelling in both atmosphere and oceans can, are and will always be caused by tidal action (extraterrestrial influences) which have generally been ignored by climatologists today and yesterday.

  170. Hans says:

    Wayne,

    You are a free thinker and the Kooring dataset is among the best there is and it has been almost totally ignored ince its (delayed) publication in 1978. They did know what they mesured about 30 years ago before the invention of the imaginary “back radiation” of +300 W/m^2

  171. Phil says:

    tjfolkerts:

    Why would the surface be warmest with an evenly distributed 240W/m^2 rather than an oscillating 480W/m^2? Your assertion is incorrect..temps would not be “0” on one half because only ~64.7W/m^2 of daily attained heat is lost at night.

    Climate models assuming that the planetary surface would follow the S-B Constant without GHGes are assuming a physically impossible condition at which the oceans/atmosphere do not exist.

  172. wayne says:

    Thanks Tim. I try. I also sit outside when it’s warm quite a bit, and all summer you just can’t ignore the fact that this Earth just doesn’t loose that much heat over the nighttime, even when it’s hot. The Koorin data was a huge help. And I was just looking at the graphic on SST the tjf just posted above. That bowing in and out, once a day, can be viewed as ol’ Mother Earth breathing in that energy all day, the inhale, and the graph collapses all night pushing that energy back out, once a day, exactly, she’s very regular breather!

    But I just wrote a program last week that takes any image and counts the pixels just for such times. I am going to use that very rough graphic to see how much energy is held, assuming the +2.4 K expansion is correct by measuring, by counting pixels, between the two charts. Only problem is the Y axis is log and I didn’t write that option in so I have some adjusting to do. Stay tuned. See, each pixel is a certain number of joules and that can be set to one meter squared, we know water’s heat capacity and that of the air above the surface. That might be a neat way to gather some insight, though very rough. Things like that give you a better feel for the scales we are speaking of. Maybe it can then be carried to how much the soil stores each day and releases each night.

  173. tjfolkerts says:

    Phil asks: “Why would the surface be warmest with an evenly distributed 240W/m^2 rather than an oscillating 480W/m^2? Your assertion is incorrect..temps would not be “0″ on one half because only ~64.7W/m^2 of daily attained heat is lost at night.”

    We need to start with “all models are wrong; but some models are useful”.

    Start with a very simple model — non-rotating, solid, poor thermal conductivity, no atmosphere. Let the 480 W/m^2 fall only on one side 24/7 (or 960 on 1/4). Then the numbers I gave are the correct ones. (Actually the cold side would be closer to 3 K since there is still some cosmic background radiation falling on the dark side)

    You can go to more complicated models of insolation patterns and rotation and heat capacity. But the simple fact is that the effective radiating temperature does not change — the effective black body temperature of the earth is still 255 K to radiate 240 W/m^2 on average. Because power depends on T^2, it turns out that ANY distribution of temperature that is not uniform, but radiates 240 W//m^2, MUST have an average temperature < 255 K. This is a provable mathematical fact.

    The ONE exception I can think of is feedback that changes OTHER things. For instance, a uniform 240 W/m^2 could perhaps lead to heavier cloud cover and higher albedo than you would get with a 480/0 split, reducing the 240 W/m^2 that actually gets absorbed. But then we no longer have an average of 240 W/m^2, so we are now comparing apples to oranges.

  174. tallbloke says:

    Welcome back Tim, I’m glad you’re here to push us on describing our theory, it aids development to have constructive criticism from an opposite perspective, so keep it coming.

    I disagree with your assertion that:
    “it turns out that ANY distribution of temperature that is not uniform, but radiates 240 W//m^2, MUST have an average temperature < 255 K. This is a provable mathematical fact."

    I'm sure you'll be able to prove it mathematically within the constraints you set for the calculations, but our argument is that those constraints are incompletely specified as regards application to the real physical situation, and that this invalidates the proof so far as applicability to the Earth’s climate system is concerned.

    But I'd be interested to see the proof so we can try to modify it for our constraints and demonstrate our theory mathematically, so please go ahead and show us. I promise not to snip your maths this time. :)

    Thanks

  175. davidmhoffer says:

    TimF;
    “it turns out that ANY distribution of temperature that is not uniform, but radiates 240 W//m^2, MUST have an average temperature >>>>>>>>>>

    Tim,
    You are correct provided that the discussion is in regards to a system with a balanced resistance to energy flow. This is not the case for planet earth. Input resistance is low, as SW cuts right through the atmosphere and a few dozen meters of ocean relatively unimpeded. The resistance to output is high because the output is in LW which meets with multiple barriers to escape to space. The concept can be demonstrated with an electronic circuit using a variable input voltage plus a diode to simulate low incoming resistance and high outgoing resistance that in turn charges a capacitor. The charge across the capacitor would approach the peak value of the input, rather than the average.

    This is the same error that I pointed out to you earlier in the thread, which is to look at the system as a whole as balanced. For the same reason that you cannot average P to come up with something meaningful in regard to T, you also cannot apply an average input to an average output when the mechanisms to conduct the energy (input versus output) are completely different. The result you get is mathematically sound…. and irrelevant.

  176. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The ONE exception I can think of is feedback that changes OTHER things. For instance, a uniform 240 W/m^2 could perhaps lead to heavier cloud cover and higher albedo than you would get with a 480/0 split, reducing the 240 W/m^2 that actually gets absorbed.”

    Isn’t that the point ?

    Everything about an atmosphere is feedback that changes other things. Even a non GHG atmosphere with no clouds at all absorbs energy by conduction from the ground on the 24/7 sunlit side and has to return it via atmospheric circulation to the ground on the 24/7 dark side before it can be radiated back out to space.

    The speed of lateral circulation and vertical convection and descent will ramp up until balance is restored and the dark side becomes warm enough to radiate out as fast as the sunlit side fails to radiate the incoming energy back out.

    With an atmosphere, any atmosphere, if more energy comes in on the day side than is radiated out on the day side then the temperature of the dark side rises until it can radiate out the excess that was received on the day side.

    The S-B equation becomes completely invalid from any point within the atmosphere such that one simply cannot take the effective radiating height, back calculate what the surface temperature ‘should be’ at the dry adiabatic lapse rate as per S-B and then pronounce that the resultant temperature is not high enough.

    The actual lapse rate will never be the adiabatic lapse rate unless one averages ALL the diverse lapse rates up through the vertical column between the surface and some point in space where the molecular density of the atmosphere becomes zero or near zero.

    With any atmosphere whether GHGs or not the surface temperature will always be higher than would be derived from backcalculating from the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

    The reason is that it takes time for the atmosphere to deal with the excess coming in on the day side over and above that which the day side radiates out. The more time it takes the hotter the surface gets.

    And the failure of the day side to radiate it all straight out again is because some of the incoming is conducted (non GHGs) or radiated (with GHGs) to the bulk atmosphere which spreads the energy around the whole planet due to its fluid nature.

  177. davidmhoffer says:

    TimF,

    Here’s a thought experiment for you.

    Think of a long stretch of highway. At the entrance, the speed limit is 60 km/hr. Every 60 seconds, a car enters the highway at that speed. 100 km away, the speed limit changes from 60 km/hr to 30 km/hr. At some point after that, the highway ends.

    What is the spacing in time between the cars?
    At entrance, they are coming in every 60 seconds. At the exit… exactly the same, every 60 seconds.

    But… what is the DENSITY of cars on the highway on a “per kilometer” basis?

    From entrance to the point where the speed limit changes, we would see one car per kilometer. After the speed limit change, we would see two cars per kilometer.

    So despite the “average” cars per hour being precisely the same at both ends of the highway, the cars per kilometer are completely different. The same is true of the density of the energy flux as Joseph has pointed out in this article. If you focus on only one element of input compared to one element of output, you get a mathematically sound result. It tells you nothing though about what is going on INSIDE the system which may be significantly different.

  178. Hans says:

    davidmhoffer says: April 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    “So despite the “average” cars per hour being precisely the same at both ends of the highway, the cars per kilometer are completely different. The same is true of the density of the energy flux as Joseph has pointed out in this article. If you focus on only one element of input compared to one element of output, you get a mathematically sound result.”

    If you have trouble with a one variable problem you have to add a second variable. In this case it is quite easy. What is causing the “car per kilometer difference” is of course carbon dioxide emitted by humans. It has nothing to do with any speed limit signs. At least that´smy opinion of what authorative sources claim.

  179. wayne says:

    Doug Cotton, thank for the link on nighttime observations! Now that is highlighting what I’ve speaking of, little escaping during the night. Seems Nahle has done the experiment correct and observations like that always trump theory. Climate science has been living in a fantasy land. Now if I can just get it in a global view, all latitudes, with every hour accounted for laterally.

  180. tjfolkerts says:

    David H, I have no idea how your car analogy relates.

    Actually, there is a similar analogy that IS appropriate — the average KE of a bunch of cars. You could have 99 parked cars and one that is moving at speed v_0. Or you could have 100 cars moving at 1/10 v_0 and have the same KE, but 10 times the average speed.

    With the same KE, the highest possible average speed is for all the cars to be the same speed.

  181. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen Wilde asks “Isn’t that the point ?”

    There are an infinite number of points that could be made. It is important to focus on the specific point.

    My specific point here dealt with the average surface temperature as a function of distribution of outgoing thermal IR.
    * if the outgoing radiation is uniform, you get some temperature (255 K for the earth).
    * If the outgoing radiation is NOT uniform (but has the same average), then the temperature is lower.

    You simply cannot raise the temperature (as Joe proposed) by merely concentrating the light on one side to “melt the ice” without having the temperature drop EVEN MORE on the dark side (freezing the water to even lower temperatures overall). His proposal will LOWER the average surface temperature.

  182. Stephen Wilde says:

    tjfolkerts

    You missed my earlier point.

    Given that enough energy is already in the system to give us liquid oceans and that air pressure on the surface prevents it escaping we couldn’t get frozen solid oceans in the first place.

    The reality is opposite to your proposition.

    There will just be a thin layer of ice on the dark side readily melted on the day side with no prospect of a true snowball Earth.

  183. davidmhoffer says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    April 8, 2012 at 1:47 am
    David H, I have no idea how your car analogy relates
    >>>>>>>>

    Ask yourself what temperature is. For a blackbody, temperature defines the energy flux emitted by the surface of the body. But inside the body, it is a different story. Conduction dominates. Think of the cars a joules of energy. Can you see that the energy density at one end of the highway is different from the energy density at the other end of the highway? Despite which the energy flux is the same? Energy incoming to the ocean for example penetrates at the speed of light. Then it does a u-turn and starts coming back out. At what speed? Almost zero. Not even a meter per second. The energy density on the way out is far higher than the energy density on the way in. The joules are packed much closer together because they are travelling very slowly.

    You can put your hand very very close to something that is hot without burning yourself, but touch it and burning is near instantaneous. Why? Because in one scenario you are relying on radiance only to transfer heat to your hand, in the other radiance plus conduction. The “temperature” of a body relates to the number of joules of energy it has compared to its mass, does it not? Yet in one scenario your hand just gets hot and in the other scenaro it gets instantly burnt. In the second scenario, the w/m2 transferred to your hand is much, much, much higher. But the temperature hasn’t changed.

    We’ve already discussed the fallacy of trying to average w/m2 and get anything meaningful as regards average degrees.

    Now take it a step further and keep in mind that we keep trying to assign not only average temperatures to the earth surface and to the atmosphere and that we try and model the atmosphere as a “shell” between the earth and space. We even estimate an average temperature for the “shell” by which we can calculate “back radiation” via SB Law. Nonsense! Averaging temperature is nonsense! And the atmosphere is NOT a blackbody, IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A SURFACE!

    The bottom of the atmosphere is in CONTACT with the earth surface, and so exchanges energy by both radiance AND conductance. Modeling earth surface radiating energy as per SB Law alone into a shell called the atmosphere is, therefore, ludicrous. Add evaporation and condensation to the equation and call is triple ludicrous.

    Then there’s the notion of trying to calculate the amount of energy radiated to space from the atmosphere. Lotsa data out there measuring how much energy at what wavelengths and trying to draw conclusions about energy balance. Excuse me but quadruple, extra, total, ludicrous.

    We detect a photon of a given wavelength exiting the atmosphere. Could someone please tell me how we know where THAT photon came from? Was it emitted by earth surface and got to space by some miracle unimpeded? Or was it emitted by a molecule of CO2 one meter up? Or 100 meters up? Or 10,000 meters up? The fact is we can measure the “temperature” of the atmosphere at various altitudes, and we can measure the outgoing energy flux at TOA. But we have very little idea how the energy flux flows between earth surface and TOA. We have cars (joules) going INTO the system at the speed of light, and we have cars (joules) exiting the system at the speed of light, but that tells us nothing, absolutely nothing, about the speed and course taken by, the cars (joules) in between.

    Yet we insist on making a determination based on average power flux and average temperature and SB Law when we can prove mathematically that average temperature and average power flux CANNOT be compared, SB Law CANNOT be applied in such a fashion, and we do so while disregarding the fact that the energy transfers between earth surface and atmosphere are governed by processes that make radiance a minor player, and then we triple confound things by trying to use SB Law to describe earth/atmosphere radiance to space when we know damn well that the atmosphere isn’t a “body” in the first place and that SB Law doesn’t apply.

  184. davidmhoffer says:

    TimF
    His proposal will LOWER the average surface temperature.>>>

    Same mistake. There is no average surface temperature which is of any value in trying to understand an energy balance.

  185. Markington says:

    Davidmhoffer, thanks for your treatise. I completely agree.

    I was about to use this thread to ask a question that has been bugging me for ages. What is the earth surface temperature when discussing greenhouse effect? As far as I can see, the observed surface temperature refers to the air a metre above the surface (except when measuring sea temps), now forgive me but if a Doctor wanted to take my body temperature by checking the temperature of my duvet I’d probably summon the energy to throw him out of the house.

    Keep up the “far out” (grow up willis) science blog Tall Bloke from a long term pistonhead.

  186. davidmhoffer says:

    Markington;
    As far as I can see, the observed surface temperature refers to the air a metre above the surface (except when measuring sea temps), >>>

    I’ve been following the climate debate for years and that little gem only recently dawned on me. It believe it is a major issue as well. In the spring, it is sometimes hot enough to take your shirt off and get a burn but you’re walking around in winter boots while doing it because there is still snow on the ground. So what is the surface “temperature” in that case? The temperature that gets reported is the air temperature about a meter or so off the ground, and on a day like that might be 16 C or more. But there is snow on the ground!

    The more I learn about climate, the more problems I find with the data and the methodologies. Even if the alarmists were honestly analyzing the data, they don’t HAVE the data to make an analysis with!

  187. Doug Cotton says:

    Official climate measurements are made 1.5 to 2 metres above the ground in an enclosure. This article is interesting. The fact that thermometers are “in an enclosure” leads to higher readings because radiative cooling is of course rectricted by the enclosure.

  188. davidmhoffer says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    April 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    Official climate measurements are made 1.5 to 2 metres above the ground in an enclosure. This article is interesting. The fact that thermometers are “in an enclosure” leads to higher readings because radiative cooling is of course rectricted by the enclosure.
    >>>>>>>>>>

    My understanding is that these enclosures are not completely enclosed, but even if I’m wrong on that point, then you are still only half right. If the enclosure is restricted in terms of radiative cooling then it is also restricted in terms of radiative warming, resulting in errors in both directions, not just one.

  189. Doug Cotton says:

     
    David, the only radiative warming would be Solar radiation, and obviously they didn’t put thermometers in the Sun even in the 19th century. But they may have used open shade with plenty of exposure to the sky. As to be expected, I just read the temperature in the shade of my house and got 13.0 deg.C. However, at a similar height in locations under tables etc which were not exposed to the sky (and thus experiencing slower rates of radiative cooling) I measured 13.4 deg.C.
     

  190. davidmhoffer says:

    Yes Doug. When it cools it is impeded but when it warms it is unimpeded. Got it. Any other complete failures of the laws of physics to regale us with?

  191. Doug Cotton says:

     
    David: I am certainly not talking about violating any laws of physics. (I leave that to the IPCC to try to do.) Even when the Sun is warming the surface, there is still a simultaneous transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere which continues throughout the day and night. I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear that this is the “cooling” process to which I was referring. It may be broken down into (1) evaporative and chemical cooling, (2) sensible “heat” (thermal energy) transfer from surface to atmosphere (3) radiative cooling direct to space and (4) radiative cooling to the atmosphere. It is the last two of these (3 & 4) which are affected and slow the rate of cooling of the air inside the enclosure. Obviously (3) is not possible because of the roof of the enclosure, and (4) will be slower because the roof is warmer than the atmosphere.

  192. davidmhoffer says:

    Sadly, CAGW is infused with a brand of “scientist” who has discovered that there is much commercial gain to be had by writing the conclusions desired by those willing to fund them, and disguising them as “science” with a bit of arm waving and rhetoric. Sadder still that there is appearing on the skeptic side a similar brand of “scientist” who seeks commercial gain simply by articulating an opposing view constructed of similar arm waving and rhetoric and calling it “science” in the hopes that it will be funded by those who desire an opposite conclusion.

    It matters not which side of the debate these “scientists” are on. They are shameless self promoters who do harm to science and to humanity.

  193. Doug Cotton says:

     
    Well said, David Those skeptics who still lean on the incorrect physics propagated by the IPCC about how low frequency radiation from the atmosphere can be absorbed by a warmer surface are just as much spreading this travesty of physics as IPCC & Co. Right in their own homes they have microwave ovens also producing low frequency radiation which (even though it has far greater intensity) cannot be absorbed by the atoms of any matter.

    I’m certainly glad that I don’t have any financial interest in this climate business, for it’s so obvious that those who have vested interests are doing their best to maintain the status quo at the expense of science.
     

  194. Tim Folkerts says:

    I don’t have a lot of time to respond to this thread this week, but I do want to make a few comments.

    In general there is a challenge balancing the basic physics vs the complex real world. It is easy to look too much at one and not the other. I admit that I tend to start from the basic physics because that is my training. Basic physics can cause people to overlook some big picture issues. On the other hand, basic physics can never be ignored, becasue there are fundamental laws (like the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or conservation of energy) that are so well established that you simply must craft any discussion so that these principles are upheld.

    It really bugs me to see basic physics ignored, misapplied, or abused.

    Now that I have that off my chest …

    David says “There is no average surface temperature which is of any value in trying to understand an energy balance.”

    “Average temperature” is certainly a concept that can be abused. There are many ways to find an average temperature, and they tell you different things. And some of those things are indeed useful and valuable. The “effective black body temperature” of 255 K for an albedo of 0.3 is one such number. If the entire collection of atoms radiating to space was at this temperature, this would be the temperature of those atoms. Is some part of those atoms are warmer, then some part of those atoms must be cooler. Any average of such atoms’ temperatures will be less than 255 K.

    “The “temperature” of a body relates to the number of joules of energy it has compared to its mass, does it not?”
    More precisely, temperature relates to the _kinetic_ energy per _degree of freedom_. Comparing energy to mass is only a poor description of temperature. Comparing energy to moles is a bit better. Comparing energy to degrees of freedom is best.

    “Modeling earth surface radiating energy as per SB Law alone into a shell called the atmosphere is, therefore, ludicrous.”
    Again, all models are wrong, some are useful. This model is useful to show that the IR properties of the atmosphere will have some effect on the surface temperature. It is not intended by anyone to be a complete model. Similarly, I could label any model that is “frictionless” as ludicrous, but that doesn’t stop people from using such model in freshman physics to learn concepts of Newtonian mechanics. The “single shell atmosphere” is indented to show the principle of IR warming — nothing more, and nothing less. Anyone who claims this model is predictive of actual temperatures is a fool — as is anyone who claims that such a model is violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    “We detect a photon of a given wavelength exiting the atmosphere. Could someone please tell me how we know where THAT photon came from? “
    Individual photons are, of course, untrackable. But collections of photons DO have a signature that tells something about the source. If the collection of photons follows precisely the Planck distribution for a black body at 300 K, then we can reasonably surmise that they did indeed come from such a source (especially if you can find a BB radiator around at that temperature). A gray body at 400 K might emit the same total energy, but the distribution would be different, so we can tell the two sources apart. So if we see a collection of photons with “bites” in the CO2 bands (as is indeed seen from satellites), we can surmise that there is cool CO2 in front of a warmer material.

  195. Doug Cotton says:

     
    I have written a detailed comment on Tim’s last sentence here. Please post any replies on that thread
     

  196. grizzlygovfan says:

    I was just wondering about the CO2 to cloud cover relationship. Does CO2 tend to hang out below that 2000 to 3000 foot, low level cloud layer, because it’s a heavier gas? I understand there tends to be 65% to 70% cloud cover and at that height it is said to be “moisture rich” and potentially very solar reflective. I have been on flights over the oceans and saw just endless miles of those clouds. If someone stuck venetian blinds up above their green house it might not get so warm when the blinds are closed a lot.

  197. tchannon says:

    grizzlygovfan,

    Like the handle. The answer is probably there is more unknown than known but broadly, no, it mixes: diffusion and air movement. This question, mixing, has been addressed by many people.
    On the other hand there is hot dispute on whether it is so and how much so.

    You’d be better off on a more recent thread. Consider reposting there.

  198. Joseph Postma says:

    For those still subscribed to this thread…my newest paper:

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Absence_Measureable_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    Unfortunately I won’t be available, right away, for engagement in blog commentary. So I hope you enjoy this in the meantime.

  199. Brian H says:

    Joseph;
    Thanks; partway thru, very cogent and careful. “Immeasureably small GHE” has long been my core conclusion.

  200. Doug Cotton says:

    On 22 October 2012 Joseph Postma published here what must be one of the most comprehensive papers ever peer-reviewed on the topic.

    Prof Claes Johnson was the first to put forward computations supporting the now-established fact that not all radiation striking a target actually transfers heat to that target. Radiation is not a bombardment of photons that explode like hand grenades and heat anything they collide with. If the radiation comes from a cooler source it is merely scattered and, energy-wise, the result is similar to reflection.

    In my own paper published on TB in March 2012 I discussed Johnson’s work and the quantification of heat transfer by radiation. Postma has cited my paper and included a detailed summary I wrote – see pp 47 to 49.

    The main effect of backradiation comes from water vapour – perhaps 100 times more effective than carbon dioxide in slowing the radiative rate of surface cooling. However, this radiative cooling makes up less than 30% of all heat transfer from the surface to the atmosphere. The important point is that the rates of non-radiative cooling can accelerate to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling, thus leaving no net change in the overall rate of cooling.

    Climate change follows natural cycles, most notably 1000 and 60 year ones. Recent research has established that there were world wide temperatures similar to this period about 900 to 1000 years ago. So it appears the world will reach a 1000 year maximum in the coming 100 years or so, if not already. The superimposed 60 year cycle has been declining since about 1998, but did cause alarm in the 30 years before that. The cycles were not so well recognised then, so the IPCC et al made the huge mistake of assuming that 30 year trend should be extrapolated upwards for ever.

    In a nutshell, carbon dioxide does not, and never will have any effect on world temperatures.

    [Reply] That heat doesn’t pass from cooler to hotter was well established 140 years ago. However, your ‘scattering’ hypothesis is not established.

  201. Doug Cotton says:

    Addendum:

    If we look at Trenberth’s energy budget diagram on page 314 here we see 333 W/m^2 backradiation and only 396 W/m^2 for radiation from the surface to the atmosphere or direct to space. I would argue that 333 of the 396 is merely scattered backradiation which, as explained in my earlier posts, does not transfer any (new) heat from the surface. So only 396 – 333 = 63 W/m^2 is transferring heat. Sensible heat transfer is shown as 80 + 17 = 97 W/m^2. Hence we have a total of 63 + 97 = 160 W/m^2 transferring heat from the surface. Of this, 97 / 160 = ~61% is transferred by sensible heat transfer. However, of the 63 W/m^2 of radiation we see that 40 W/m^2 goes straight to space. Hence carbon dioxide can have no effect on that cooling. That leaves only 23 W/m^2 being absorbed by the atmosphere.

    So, we have 23 / 160 = only 14% of heat transfer from the surface can possibly be affected by water vapour, carbon dioxide and their colleagues, (whom I refuse to call GHG’s) and it is not too hard to imagine other cooling processes accelerating to compensate for any slowing of this 14% of all heat transfer from the surface..

  202. Doug Cotton says:


    TB: If you consider that the scattering hypothesis is not established, then you throw out all that Prof Claes Johnson and Joseph Postma have said on this topic. You also can have no explanation as to why plastic and many materials are not warmed by all the photons in a microwave oven – just for starters. For example, if any photon striking a target transfers heat then the plastic should get hot. What is not established is the IPCC claim that all photons transfer heat – quite contrary to this observed fact in your kitchen!

     

  203. JWR says:

    The numbers you give for the K&T corrected figures are about right.
    I have made an update from an earlier paper:

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

    In this paper I make the analysis of the one-way heat flow, inspired by Claes Johnson.

  204. tallbloke says:

    Doug: The wavelengths that microwave ovens work at have very little to do with what is going on in the climate system. The net flow of longwave radiation is predominantly upwards in the real world, but in certain circumstances it can be the other way, and it does have a warming effect. Hans Jelbring witnessed this at first hand under cloudy skies in the north of Scandinavia.

    And measured it.

    “The Karesuando temperature time series show temperature swings within a week between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. That is a lot. They can be observed in late January, Late March and late November. All the maximum temperature swings occur during calm conditions when there was no or little wind in Karesuando for days. It tells a simple truth. The cold air is (partially) produced locally at the surface of Karesuando during these 2-3 days periods. This can only happen by strong IR radiation from the ground when there are no or little clouds in the sky. On the other hand it can be observed that the temperature in Karesuando always are warmer when there is a full cloud cover during periods with large solar energy deficits as there were in January, March and November.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/hans-jelbring-back-radiation-and-observational-meteorologial-evidence/

  205. Doug Cotton says:

     
    Climate is of course based on world-wide weather events averaged over long periods. So if unusual events occur perhaps less than 1% of the time, then they are insignificant. As TB mentioned in the first paragraph (8:53am) there can be situations where the air just above the surface is warmer than the surface. For example, air warmed by the Sun on one side of a mountain can flow over the mountain and end up above a cooler surface on the shady side of that mountain. In such a situation the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that there will indeed be heat flow by both radiative and non-radiative processes from the warmer air to the adjoining surface. If that warm air is actually in contact with the surface, approximately a third of the heat transfer will be by radiation and two thirds by sensible heat transfer processes, mostly involving molecular collisions.

    There is thus nothing surprising about any of this, and nor is there regarding the slower radiative cooling of the surface when there is low cloud cover – as explained in my earlier post today. But all this is talking about local weather conditions, not climate.
     

  206. Joseph E. Postma explains the failures well. I have never liked the GHE theory because of 2nd law violations. Later papers explain this as well.

  207. David C. Greene says:

    I only got to April 4, 2012 posts before posting this. So I don’t know if my comment is covered. My question: How does the fact that our Earth has an internal source of (radiothermal?) energy affect the discussion. The heat that is conducted or flows (via lava) to the Earth’s surface is certainly part of the energy radiated to space. Nowhere have I seen this taken into account.

    [Reply] Mainstream says 0.1W/m^2, but may be more. See http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/tim-cullen-what-a-wonderful-water-world/

  208. That’s a good question David, but even with a very low “flow” rate the ground temperature is still sustained from beneath at above-freezing temperatures, easily as high as 10 – 20C. It doesn’t contribute to the radiative balance but that’s not important – the radiation is known to be balanced. What the subsurface does do is store a heck of a lot of thermal energy, much more than the atmosphere, and this must be a form of “support” for the top-surface temperature.

  209. tallbloke says:

    That’s interesting Joe. The snow lay on the ground here all last week. ;)

  210. Yes that was unclear; was referring to subsurface…go down 10 feet and see what it is, probably above freezing.

  211. tchannon says:

    Ground temperature is a subject I expect to be covering… or is that ground cover?

    I will be using unpublished data. It quite fun with I am quite sure some surprises for quite a few.

    The fundamental answer is that for most places ground heat from the earth core is negligible.

    The temperature is the mean temperature for that location. Go very deep and yes there is upwards heat flow.

    Globally the ground temperature is moot, ocean floor.

    My primary interest is to do with how this influences air temperature measurements, there is a disconnect.

    Hopefully thsi will be a starting point for others to try the same thing at locations with different conditions. Gaining the data is the main obstacle.

    Aside: Little while ago I had a dig around Svalgard information, where there are coal mines in permafrost. Some mines go right through to a dry dusty regime but with melt breakthroughs.
    A question was does permafrost extend under the sea? No.

    A point here is that heat from the earth core is dominated by surface conditions, confirming negligible.

  212. Joseph says:

    Hi Joe!

    I saw a chart showing solar activity or warmth from the sun become weaker as earth temperatures rise. Could you explain to me in simple terms how the sun could still cause temps to rise even if its weaker during that period? Thanks.

  213. tallbloke says:

    Hi Joseph. The Earth’s oceans have a huge heat capacity, so if the sun gets stronger in 1930’s the ocean starts to warm, slowly. The peak of solar activity was in the 1960’s but as it slowly declined it was still well above the very long term average of 40 sunspots/month. So the oceans continued to warm even though the activity in 2000 was a bit lower than in 1960. Then the Sun dropped below the long term average in 2004 and hasn’t recovered much since. Which is why the ARGO data showed a fall in the upper 700m ocean heat content from 2004, until it was ‘adjusted’ in 2011. These days Sid Levitus quietly drops the ARGO buoys that show strong cooling from the dataset becuase he believe like Kevin Trenberth that “the data are surely wrong”. It’s actually their theory that’s up shit creek, the data is the data.

    Hope that helps.

  214. There are any number of reasons why the Earth can change in temperature independently of what the Sun is doing. Albedo being the most obvious. Your question is also unclear and there’s no link to the graph.
    So I assume the scenario is that the solar flux has reduced, but the temperature of the Earth is increasing. There are any number of things which can cause this. What is the solar magnetic activity doing? Has the albedo of the Earth changed? Has the emissivity of the atmosphere changed? Etc.

  215. Chaeremon says:

    tchannon wrote: A question was does permafrost extend under the sea? No.

    And how was the absence of frost under the sea observed, or was this just a pal-reviewed assertion “scientists didn’t find it”?

    B.t.w. the video defies climastrology: warm water is going up but cold water (watch the video) is going down.

  216. Joe says:

    Hi Joe!

    Thank you very much. The chart is here.

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

    They argue since the sun was getting weaker, how could it cause temperatures to rise. Now I understand how it could.