David Cosserat: Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement Part I – The Great Debate Begins

Posted: February 4, 2013 by David Socrates in Analysis, atmosphere, general circulation, Measurement

My thanks to David Cosserat for the effort he has put into this guest post. It takes stamina to debate the subject matter, and while we have made progress here at the talkshop on the issues around energy in the atmosphere, it has become spread over a lot of disparate threads. Here, David pulls it all together, rationalises it and flags up the areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties. this is a thorough basis from which we can move forward to discussing the thermodynamic and gravitational aspects which will be elucidated in part 2.

Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement

Part I – The Great Debate Begins
David Cosserat – Feb 4 2013

Two threads have been running at the Talkshop recently. One was a posting on 06 Dec 2012 by Tim Folkerts. He is a mainstream supporter of the AGW theory and frequent blogger. He bravely agreed with TB to write an article entitled:  Tim Folkerts: Simple argument supporting a radiative greenhouse effect. The other thread was initiated on 14 Dec 2012 by TB himself entitled: Emissivity puzzle: energy exchange in non-vacuums.

These articles have between them generated hundreds of responses, indicating that they cover subjects of great significance to Talkshop readers. In the end the first thread ran dry in favour of the Emissivity thread but not before Tim and I and several others had engaged in a very lengthy dialogue where, surprisingly, we made quite good progress towards a common understanding on several issues relating to the ‘greenhouse effect’, particularly on things that we agreed were not part of the effect.

That discussion then continued in the Emissivity thread. Eventually the thread got so long that TB’s laptop started to groan. At this point it seemed sensible to take stock of the situation and do a re-start. This posting, which simply reviews what we discussed and where we agreed and disagreed, will establish the groundwork needed to take us forward to resolving what I believe is just one remaining significant outstanding difference of opinion.

To summarise, Tim and I (and a few others) agreed that:

  • GHGs are essential for inputting short wave (SW) radiant energy from the Sun.
  • GHGs are essential for outputting long wave (LW) radiant energy to space.
  • The warming in the bulk of the atmosphere is due to its FIXED FUND of Kinetic Energy.
  • The accompanying ‘fog’ of radiation is a consequence, not a cause of that warmth.
  • Downward radiation between atmosphere and surface is not a myth. Acceptance of this fact is an essential prerequisite to a proper understanding of the thermodynamics of the atmosphere.

There were plenty of minor disagreements over terminology which we managed to paper over as being inessential to the main discussion. Tim for example doesn’t much like my emphasis of the term Kinetic Energy that I use all over the place, a practice that I am afraid he will see continued here. And Steven Wilde reminded me about the significance of Potential Energy as an additional internal energy storage mechanism. Meanwhile we both had an entertaining and friendly standoff with one commentator, Max, who repeatedly challenged our explanations about why the energy flowing through a system that includes back radiation and non-radiant flows will always obey both the 1st law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law simultaneously. He’s still arguing, but that’s what a blog trail is all about.

And, of course, we had the statutory assertion, without which no blog trail is complete, that the atmospheric column has a larger cross-sectional area at the top than at the surface; and that this fact might just possibly completely mess up all our conclusions. Thanks, Entropic Man, for politely pointing out that the surface area at the tropopause is less than 1% larger than at the surface.  J

Although our models of energy flows and energy storage in the atmosphere turned out to be in broad scientific agreement, nevertheless I, a climate skeptic, and Tim, a mainstream warmist, have polarised views on whether or not it is the so-called greenhouse gases (GHGs) that control the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. In the end, the anticipated disagreements melted away with the exception of  just one: although we agreed that some kind of energy flow restriction mechanism must be operating to achieve the enhancement of today’s world mean temperature of 288K (15degC) over the much lower mean surface temperature it would have if it had no atmosphere, we couldn’t agree on the exact mechanism that causes the Kinetic Energy to accumulate in the bulk of the atmosphere, thereby producing the consequential boost in atmospheric temperature:

  • Tim believes that the atmosphere’s warming is caused by a controlling effect at the Top of the Atmosphere (ToA) where the GHGs convert the Kinetic Energy (KE) to radiative energy that is then output to space. He asserts that the throttling effect would increase as the concentration of GHGs increases. Consequently the Earth’s mean surface temperature would increase.I call this OUTPUT THROTTLING, a bit like screwing down the safety valve on a pressure cooker.
  • I (and others) suspect that the atmosphere’s warming is caused by a throttling effect in the bulk of the atmospheric column, due to the fact that convection is a slow process that physically impedes the rate at which the Kinetic Energy can be delivered up the column to the ToA and thence to space. This mechanism would be independent of the level of GHGs in the atmosphere, assuming their concentration is already more than enough – which it is – to fulfill its two vital roles: (a) converting incoming SW radiant energy from the Sun to Kinetic Energy; and (b) converting Kinetic Energy back to LW radiant energy that is lost to space at the Top of the Atmosphere.I call this THROUGHPUT THROTTLING, a bit like the increasing restriction on the rate at which a fluid flows through a long narrow pipe as the pressure increases.

THE CHOSEN EARTH-ATMOSPHERE MODEL

Before we go into the details of energy flow, let’s briefly review what Tim and I (and some others) agreed was a suitable model of the earth-atmosphere system on which to base further discussions. Here’s the diagram:

Fig. 1 - Energy Flow Model for the Earth-Atmosphere

The figures shown in square brackets are flux density values for the energy flows between space, atmosphere, and surface. These figures are taken from the Earth’s Energy Balance diagram published in the 2009 paper by Trenberth, Fasullo & Kiehl.  I do not endorse these figures as being perfectly correct but they are very helpful as an indication of the approximate proportions of the various energy flow channels. But what is important from the point of view of producing a coherent steady state model is that the input and output energy flows should balance exactly, as follows:

Earth System External Flows

In from Sun: 341Wm-2
Out to Space: 102+199+40 = 341Wm-2

Surface flows

Into surface: 161+ 333 = 494Wm-2
Out of surface: 17+80+356+40 = 493Wm-2

Atmosphere Flows

Into atmosphere: 78+17+80+356 = 531Wm-2
Out of atmosphere: 199+333 = 532Wm-2

Well they almost balance! Trenberth kept back 1Wm-2 for global warming and there is also another 1Wm-2 math error. But most of their flow estimates are subject to quite large unknown errors and so a watt or two per square metre here or there is simply ‘lost in the noise’. From our point of view that won’t matter, unless any of the Trenberth figures turn out to be grossly incorrect, which I doubt. As far as I know, nobody has come forward with any major corrections since 2009. So these are the figures that I will use below as the basis for making the discussion a little more concrete.

DOWNWELLING RADIATION

However, before we can proceed there is one thing that is essential for the credibility of the above model: agreement that long wave (LW) radiation really does flow in both directions across the surface-atmosphere interface.

Some climate skeptics use the appearance of ‘down-welling’ radiation in the Trenberth Earth’s Energy Balance diagram as a sign of the devil. They say: energy is being magically created in a loop, so how can we take these people seriously when what they are proposing is against the 1st law of thermodynamics? They ask how Trenberth’s flow of 333Wm-2 back to the surface, and 356Wm-2 from surface to atmosphere can be feasible if the source of energy, the incoming flow from the Sun to the earth’s surface, is only 161Wm-2. At first glance it does look a bit like extra energy is being created from nowhere – and that would certainly be in conflict with the 1st law.

It is a deeply engrained view that some people cannot shake off. Yet it is utterly misguided for the following reasons:

  1. The temperatures of the earth’s surface and the earth’s atmosphere close to the surface are about the same. (They touch, after all!)
  2. The rates at which the earth’s surface and the earth’s atmosphere near the surface radiate energy at one another, are a function of temperature  (Stefan-Boltzmann law, 1879), and so must also be about the same (varying also a little because the surface and the atmosphere have different emissivities).
  3. These radiant energy flow rates are dependent on the FUNDS of Kinetic Energy stored in the atmosphere and surface. They are NOT directly related to the rate at which energy is flowing into the earth’s surface from the Sun and out again to space.

Most people have no difficulty with steps 1 and 2. After all the numbers are verified by the empirical data in the above energy diagram: 333Wm-2 down and 356Wm-2 up. But some people are still uncomfortable about step 3. This is because they fail to understand the distinction between the rate at which energy flows through a system and the quantity of energy stored inside that system.

Fig. 2 -Thought ExperimentA simple thought experiment may help.

Fig. 2 shows an insulated box containing two bodies X and Y separated by a vacuum. The area of their exposed  surfaces is fixed at 1m2 (although this is arbitrary). The bodies are both perfect conductors of heat and both have emissivity of 1. The insulation material of the base and sides is perfect. But the insulation material of the top is slightly imperfect.

By some unspecified means, for example a small embedded electrical heating element, exactly 10 watts of power is applied continuously to the underside 1m2 surface of body X. Consequently body X begins to heat up.  But as it heats up it begins to radiate towards body Y which also heats up…and begins to radiate back towards body X.

As the temperatures of body X and body Y continue to rise, the temperature differences between the inside and outside of the insulating walls increases. This results in an increasing flow of energy through the imperfectly insulated top wall to the ambient environment. The heat inside continues to build up until at some stage the heat flow through the top insulating wall reaches exactly 10 watts. When this happens the temperature of bodies X and Y will stop rising and the system will have reached steady state equilibrium. Let us suppose that at this point the steady state temperature T of body X happens to be 500K. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation…

I = ԑ σ T4

…where I [Wm-2] is the radiative flux, ԑ=1 is the body’s emissivity and σ = 5.670373×10−8Wm−2K−4 is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, we find that body X is now radiating 3544Wm-2 towards body Y.

But at steady state, Body Y is losing exactly 10Wm-2 through the top surface. So it must be radiating 3544 – 10 = 3534Wm-2 back towards body X. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation again, we find that this corresponds to a temperature of 499.65K. And as long as the 10 watt energy flow rate continues, the temperature of each of the bodies X and Y will remain constant at 500K and 499.65K respectively.

So now we have a system where the through-flow power is a miniscule 10 watts yet the bodies inside the chamber are extremely hot and are radiating thousands of watts back and forth to each other.

It should be obvious what is going on: with a through-flow of only 10 watts, the FUND of energy held in bodies X and Y must have taken a very long time to build up to the point where those two bodies reached their equilibrium temperatures of 500K and 499.65K. This huge fund of energy wasn’t created by magic at all – it was all extracted from the 10 watt input stream as X and Y very slowly heated up. But once the bodies reached their equilibrium temperatures, they were able to maintain them forever – just so long as that small 10 watt rate of energy flow through the system was maintained, exactly making up for the 10 watts of losses through the top wall of the container.

This thought experiment incidentally also illustrates another very important point. The net flow of energy through the system creates a small downward temperature gradient in the direction of flow, exactly as the 2nd law of thermodynamics requires. So it does not violate that law either. So no perpetual motion machines; and no possibility of building free power stations…

Hopefully this thought experiment demonstrates in a suitably dramatic way that there is no reason why a system that receives a very small amount of energy flow-through cannot reach a very high internal temperature. It all depends on the level of insulation – that is on the resistance to the flow of energy through it.

In the case of the Earth, using the figures shown in Fig. 1, the difference between the energy through-flow from the Sun to surface (161Wm-2) and the radiation that passes between the surface and the atmosphere in both directions (356Wm-2 up; 355Wm-2 down) isn’t quite as dramatic as in our thought experiment. But the difference is there and it is real and it is important.

Those climate skeptics who still don’t believe that the up-and-down radiative transfers actually occur are simply not addressing the physics (or the empirical evidence) correctly.

NON-RADIATIVE ENERGY TRANSFERS

Having hopefully cleared up why Trenberth’s two-way flows of radiant energy between surface and atmosphere are essential conceptually, and are significantly larger than the Sun’s energy flowing into the earth’s surface, we can now introduce the additional complication of non-radiant energy flows that also occur between surface and atmosphere.

So how do we deal correctly with bodies that have a mix of radiant and non-radiant inputs and outputs? Well the answer is that we deal with them in exactly the same way as we have done in our thought experiment. That experiment obeys three laws (in particular) simultaneously:

  • The 1st law of thermodynamics insists that, at steady state, the energy entering the system must be exactly equal to the energy leaving the system. As an extension of that requirement, all internal flows in and out of subsystems within the system (such as each of the two bodies X and Y in our thought experiment) must of course balance as well.
  • The 2nd law of thermodynamics insists that, at steady state, there must be a temperature drop between input and output flows (or, at the very least, no temperature rise).
  • The Stefan-Boltzmann law insists that if we heat a body to temperature T [K], whether by radiation or by non-radiation or by a combination of the two, it will radiate energy at a rate I [Wm-2] as determined by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation.

Both our thought experiment and the Trenberth diagram conform to the above constraints. And it doesn’t matter that in the diagram (as in the real world) there happen to be three types of energy flow from surface to atmosphere: sensible heat, latent heat and Long Wave (LW) radiation. If the energy flows all balance and the laws are satisfied then the model is thermodynamically correct (even, if Trenberth’s empirically determined numbers may well need revision in the future as knowledge advances).

REAL WORLD THROUGH-FLOWS AND TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS

In our thought experiment the two bodies X and Y that radiate towards one another each are depicted as having homogeneous temperatures at steady state: body X at 500K and body Y at 499.65K. That is because these bodies were defined as being perfect conductors of heat, so there could be no Fig. 3 - Energy Through-flow Modelvariations in temperature within them. Yet there is necessarily a temperature gradient, of just 0.65K, between the two bodies by virtue of the 10 watt flow difference through one body and out of the other.

The real world of the earth-atmosphere system consists of physical entities such as water, land, ice, air, clouds, particulates, and so on, that are not perfect conductors and do not have emissivities of 1. So in practice there will be many internal temperature gradients. In Fig. 1 we see the surface is at Trenberth’s 289K which corresponds to a radiant outflow of 390Wm-2 assuming emissivity ԑ = 1; and the base of the atmosphere next to the surface is shown as 287K which corresponds to a radiant flow of 333Wm-2 assuming an emissivity ԑ = 0.86 . The 287K temperature figure is not critical to our discussion here but does conform to empirical evidence for a 2K difference between ocean surface and the atmosphere. In any case, both temperature values are close to the empirically determined 288K value commonly in use. See also the US Standard Atmosphere 1976 which specifies an atmospheric temperature at the surface of 288.15K . This is where the discussions on the second thread, Emissivity puzzle: energy exchange in non-vacuums, become important. What, exactly, is the emissivity of the atmosphere? But for the moment, we will stay with my ‘plausible’ values for the purpose of continuing the discussion of the atmospheric model without getting side-tracked into delusions of accuracy.

The atmosphere varies in temperature from 289K at the surface to around 210K at the tropopause. So it is about as far as possible from being a body with perfect ‘conductivity’ as you can get. In fact the conductivity of still air is effectively nil. Fortunately the atmosphere is able to use convection to transfer the energy in air molecules from the surface to space.

In Fig. 3, I have re-formulated the details from the Trenberth energy flow diagram of Fig. 1 to emphasise the regions where temperature gradients occur.

For discussion purposes, I have divided it into 4 regions as follows:

  • SURFACE
  • BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE
  • BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE
  • TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE

As the diagram shows, of the incoming energy from the Sun, roughly 2/3 is absorbed into the SURFACE (land and ocean) and 1/3 into the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE. In both cases the Sun’s radiant energy is annihilated as it is converted to Kinetic Energy (heat).

In the case of the atmospheric absorption, this conversion from radiant energy is principally due to the presence of water droplets and (to a lesser extent) water vapour, mainly at cloud level in the middle heights. The molecules absorb (annihilate) photons and gain Kinetic Energy (sensible heat) accordingly. This energy is then immediately shared by kinetic molecular diffusion with the adjacent molecules (principally nitrogen and oxygen that account for about 99% of the dry atmosphere).

In the case of the surface absorption of the remaining Sun’s radiation, the surface acts like a black body, absorbing all the wavelengths of the Sun’s incoming radiation that were not absorbed on the way down through the atmosphere. The incoming photon stream is annihilated and the surface gains Kinetic Energy (heat) accordingly.

THE SURFACE AND THE BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE

Assuming a steady-state situation, the SURFACE must lose energy at the same rate at which it receives it. It does this in three ways:

  1. RADIATION: The surface, being a warm object at a temperature of 289K, radiates 396Wm-2 of energy in the long wave infra-red according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, thus consuming an equivalent amount of surface kinetic energy. Part of this outgoing long wave radiation (40Wm-2) is of wavelengths that pass straight through the atmosphere to space (the so-called ‘atmospheric window’).  The remainder (356Wm-2) is absorbed by GHGs in the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE. In exactly the same way as for the absorption of the Sun’s SW infrared radiation directly into the atmosphere, this energy is then immediately shared by kinetic molecular diffusion with the adjacent molecules (principally nitrogen and oxygen) all of which gain Kinetic Energy accordingly.
  1. CONDUCTION/CONVECTION: Because the surface is in physical contact with the base of the atmosphere, some of its Kinetic Energy (17Wm-2) is transferred by conduction/convection to the air molecules. Although air is intrinsically an extremely bad conductor, there are three mechanisms that improve this energy flow: (i) the horizontal flow of air across the surface due to wind; (ii) the turbulent mixing of air and water due to ocean waves; and (iii) the immediate upward transport of the warmed air by convection. These all combine to achieve an effective energy flow rate.
  1. EVAPORATION: Thirdly, and most significantly, the largest fraction of the surface’s Kinetic Energy (80Wm-2) is transferred to Latent Heat as it warms and vaporises surface water molecules, mainly ocean and other water surfaces but also moist land surfaces. The water vapour thus created rises up the atmospheric column until it cools sufficiently to condense to water droplets, forming clouds. At this point the Latent Heat (of condensation) is released and transferred to the adjacent air molecules which thereby gain Kinetic Energy accordingly.

The Kinetic Energy from the SURFACE is transferred to the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE within the first few centimetres by the conduction/convection and evaporation processes. Radiation from the SURFACE is also absorbed fairly quickly, certainly less than 1km (and that’s being generous – some people say the first 100 metres). This rapid absorption is assisted by the fact that the air pressure here is highest – so the probability is very high that a photon from the surface will encounter a GHG molecule within a few tens of metres and be absorbed. As we ascend the atmospheric column, the negative environmental lapse rate (to be discussed in Part II) means that the air density progressively reduces until, at the least-dense TOP OF THE ATMOPHERE (see below) exactly the opposite régime prevails and it gets more and more probable that photons emitted by GHG molecules will exit to space and be lost forever.

Consequently, the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE is a very thin layer, compared with the total height from surface to the tropopause. (Readers should appreciate that, for discussion purposes, its upper boundary is purely conceptual, as are the lower and upper boundaries of the TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE. Hence all three boundaries are shown by dashed lines.)

Due to the above transfers of energy, the air at the lower boundary of the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE is at a temperature that is similar to, but slightly lower than, the temperature of the surface. It is similar because, just as in our thought experiment, it is in contact with the surface and net energy is flowing between them. It is lower because, again just like in our thought experiment, the direction of the net energy flow is upwards from the surface to the atmosphere.

But, like all bodies at a temperature above absolute zero, the atmosphere must radiate energy back to the surface according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, in this case 333Wm-2. To a large extent this balances the energy flow needed by the surface to maintain the upward radiation (390Wm-2). So the surface only has to contribute the relatively small difference (57Wm-2). It obtains this from the in-flowing KE derived from the Sun’s radiation absorbed at the surface.

THE BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE

You may notice that within the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE the diagram shows no sign of the retention of incoming radiative energy. This is because it has all been converted either to Kinetic Energy (sensible heat) or to Latent Heat (which eventually gets converted to Kinetic Energy higher up). The point that I believe needs to be emphasised over and over and over is this:

The atmosphere has a big FUND of Kinetic Energy. And that’s what keeps it warm.

So where is all the accumulated radiation that (in some warmist mantras) ‘keeps the atmosphere heated’? Well, the bulk of the atmosphere has a temperature profile from ~282K at its base to ~223K at its upper end. Like all heated bodies, it radiates energy. And because it is a gas, as opposed to a solid or a liquid, this radiation exists everywhere within is volume. That is, individual GHG molecules that are sufficiently kinetically energised spontaneously emit photons in all directions. Each photon that is emitted by a GHG molecule results in a miniscule compensating reduction in the atmosphere’s FUND of Kinetic Energy. But this situation is very quickly reversed when the photon is absorbed by another GHG molecule in its path, which thereby returns the quantum of KE that was lost by the emitting molecule. These interactions are occurring countless billions of times per second. So the conclusion is that the photons buzzing around in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE aren’t doing anything to disturb the FUND of KE held there. This is because, for every photon created, it is annihilated within an average distance of about 50 metres. This is a zero-sum game.

So we come to an inevitable conclusion:

The ‘fog’ of photons that exists in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE does nothing useful at all.

In short, the radiation there is a consequence of the FUND of Kinetic Energy – not its cause – and that is why it is quite reasonably missing from my diagram. In the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE we need to concentrate on Kinetic Energy, the only source of sensible heat, which is the only form of energy measured as temperature.

THE TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE

At the top, things are different. As we get further towards space the probability of an emitted photon being re-absorbed by another GHG molecule reduces, simply because the lower the density, the lower the chances of absorption. Increasingly, the Kinetic Energy that is converted to radiation is not returned to the atmospheric FUND but is instead lost to space for ever.

If you like, this is the inverse of what happens at the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE where radiation entering from the SURFACE gets converted to Kinetic Energy – the difference being that the BASE OF THE ATMOSPHERE radiates back towards the SURFACE, whereas the vacuum of space definitely does not radiate back towards the ToA!

TAKING STOCK

So where does this all get us?

My purpose here has simply been to help clear away a number of misconceptions that arose in the aforementioned blog trails and that I have found are also widely prevalent on both sides of the climate debate. These misconceptions introduce confusions into the important dialogue that ought to be taking place between climate warmists and climate skeptics. They hinder real progress. So what I have written above does not really break new ground. It is just an attempt to establish a few fundamental agreed principles – a common ‘communication language’ if you like – so that ongoing discussions can take place unencumbered by linguistic confusions such as “GHGs in the bulk of the atmosphere keep the atmosphere heated” (no they don’t), or “back radiation is a myth invented by the devil” (no it isn’t).

Maybe some readers will disagree with the ‘language’ or even the conclusions. Maybe worse, people will be entirely unconvinced by my whole approach, thinking that I, as a confirmed climate skeptic, should not be supping with the devil.  Maybe, conversely, Tim Folkerts, as a confirmed warmist, will be similarly admonished by his supporters for daring to enter the Tallbloke portals. But for me, and hopefully for some others, this has been an essential ‘ground clearing operation’ before (in Part II) we get on to the really serious stuff: who’s for OUTPUT THROTTLING and who’s for THROUGHPUT THROTTLING?

And what could be more exciting than that?

In the meantime I invite readers to comment on whether they think the ground rules I have attempted to establish above are helpful or not.

 

Comments
  1. Konrad says:

    David,
    I would be in agreement with almost all of what you have consolidated here. I would suggest you skim through this thread – http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/stephen-wilde-the-ignoring-of-adiabatic-processes-big-mistake/
    While I do not fully support Stephens position, the exchange between “Trick” and myself may be of interest.

    At over 600 comments it is very painful and drawn out however a great deal of ground gets covered. The concept of “throughput throttling” and the limit to the cooling power of radiative gases does get a look in (briefly). However in an extended exchange with “Trick” the role of radiative gases in convective circulation and atmospheric cooling is fully explored with multiple empirical experiments and diagrams. The consensus position of the “radiative GHE” gets totally destroyed.

  2. Roger Andrews says:

    A dumb question. Is the “surface” shown in the Figures the land surface or the ocean surface, or doesn’t it make any difference to the argument?

  3. tjfolkerts says:

    Overall, I would call this an excellent introduction to the topics involved.

    My only comments are with magnitudes, not principles. Some of these comments much helpe shape the thinking haeding into David’s next post.

    1) ” …due to its FIXED FUND of Kinetic Energy.”
    The fund it large. The fund is nearly constant. But it can and does change as the global temperatures change.

    2) “Radiation from the SURFACE is also absorbed fairly quickly, certainly less than 1km (and that’s being generous – some people say the first 100 metres).”
    There are bands of IR that pass through farther than 100 m. Some of this is the “atmospheric window” and some is absorbed by clouds. A significant amount of IR travels from surface to clouds, and from clouds to space. So the IR through the atmosphere is significantly more than just the 40 through the window.

    3) There can’t be 199 W/m^2 LW radiation coming from 10-12 km high. That would correspond to a blackbody at 244K — the TOA is colder than 244 K and is is not a BB. The IR from 10-12 km up would be less than 100 W/m^2, so at least 100 W/m^2 would be coming from lower

    Taken together, (2) & (3) would suggest that a significant amount of energy DOES travel up as IR through the bulk of the atmosphere. This, in turn, may modify your thinking as you head into the NEXT post.

  4. Eric Barnes says:

    Thanks David! :)

  5. Max™ says:

    “Meanwhile we both had an entertaining and friendly standoff with one commentator, Max, who repeatedly challenged our explanations about why the energy flowing through a system that includes back radiation and non-radiant flows will always obey both the 1st law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law simultaneously. He’s still arguing, but that’s what a blog trail is all about.”

    I was not saying the system won’t obey 1st law and SB law.

    I was saying this equation should be used: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴) for the surface and atmosphere radiation.

    This version: P = εσA(Tsurface⁴) and P = εσA(Tatmosphere⁴) gives a different amount of energy being absorbed by the surface than this version does: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴).

    Both can’t be right.

    Instead of using the values arranged as they are in the Trenberth diagram:

    240 in for 24 hours, 160 to ground, 80 to atmosphere
    240 out for 24 hours, 97+356 ground to atmosphere, 333 atmosphere to ground, 160+40+40 from the atmosphere and ground to space
    ________

    It seems like these would work just as well with the surface-ambient emission equation:

    480 in for 12 hours, 320 to ground, 160 to atmosphere
    240 out for 24 hours, 97+63 ground to atmosphere, 160+80 from the atmosphere to space

  6. Phillip Bratby says:

    How can you possibly start with a model which assumes a (fictitious) average surface temperature? There is no such thing as an average surface temperature – it is meaningless. Everything that flows from that is wrong.

  7. Konrad says, February 5, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Konrad, Thanks for the support. Yes I did read it. But skimming through all 600 comments in Stephen’s article may not be everybody’s idea of fun. That’s why I am trying to write stuff that is more accessible to a wider audience (including me!)

  8. Roger Andrews says, February 5, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Roger I have described a model which averages over space and time so as to factor out all short term events such as weather, volcanoes, etc. So the surface is a composite land+sea as in Trenberth’s original analysis.

  9. tallbloke says:

    Phil B: Thanks for dropping by.
    So do you think trying to work out any sort of energy budget is doomed? Recognising our instruments aren’t able to resolve TOA energy balance accurately enough to settle any argument about the effect of additional co2, I don’t think it prevents us from considering the thermodynamics of the atmosphere. Having some numbers in our discussion provides pegs for discussion to hang on.

    This is more about understanding the ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement’ (a mechanism neutral name we are using to replace ‘greenhouse effect’ – thanks to Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller for coining it). Rather than concerning ourselves with the quantification of any ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ resulting from a change in the level of co2, we are discussing whether or not it is reasonable to expect one anyway, given the way the atmosphere and ocean work to make Earth’s surface warmer than the Moon’s.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Max: “I was saying this equation should be used: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴) for the surface and atmosphere radiation.”

    For the purpose of this discussion, we need to consider the magnitudes of the flux vector components at various altitudes.

  11. tjfolkerts says, February 5, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Tim, Thanks for the positive support. A good start!

    You say: 1) ” …due to its FIXED FUND of Kinetic Energy.” The fund it large. The fund is nearly constant. But it can and does change as the global temperatures change.

    Nope. Not in my model it can’t. It’s a steady state model, just like Trenberth’s. By definition. We then use such a model to judge how a new steady-state global average temperature would be achieved if we were to change one of the fixed model parameters, such as the concentration of CO2. We must have a fixed reference model from which to have a sane discussion.

    On your points 2) and 3), there is always a risk of creating artificial boundaries for explanatory purposes. Perhaps we should change the boundary figures I supplied to those heights in the atmosphere within which, say, 95% of the effect occurs so that we can get on with our broad discussion without tripping up over this statistical problem all the time. Do you have the necessary data to do this? I don’t.

  12. tallbloke says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 5, 2013 at 2:40 am
    Overall, I would call this an excellent introduction to the topics involved.

    My only comments are with magnitudes, not principles. Some of these comments much helped shape the thinking heading into David’s next post.

    1) ” …due to its FIXED FUND of Kinetic Energy.”
    The fund it large. The fund is nearly constant. But it can and does change as the global temperatures change.

    Since temperature is a proxy for kinetic energy, this is unsurprising, and back to front, and irelevant to discussion of an equilibrium model, as David points out. Stick to the point – I’ll moderate obfuscation from here on.

    2) “Radiation from the SURFACE is also absorbed fairly quickly, certainly less than 1km (and that’s being generous – some people say the first 100 metres).”
    There are bands of IR that pass through farther than 100 m. Some of this is the “atmospheric window” and some is absorbed by clouds. A significant amount of IR travels from surface to clouds, and from clouds to space. So the IR through the atmosphere is significantly more than just the 40 through the window.

    I recall that Willis had determined that apart from what goes through the window, something like 95% of OLR from the surface is absorbed within 1km. You wanted to concentrate on magnitudes, give us a figure if you disagree.

    3) There can’t be 199 W/m^2 LW radiation coming from 10-12 km high. That would correspond to a blackbody at 244K — the TOA is colder than 244 K and is is not a BB. The IR from 10-12 km up would be less than 100 W/m^2, so at least 100 W/m^2 would be coming from lower

    Empirical measurement says clouds absorb ~25W/m^2 incoming Sunlight and OLR more than theory says they should. They’ll therefore be warmer than theory says they should be.
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/cess.pdf

    Taken together, (2) & (3) would suggest that a significant amount of energy DOES travel up as IR through the bulk of the atmosphere. This, in turn, may modify your thinking as you head into the NEXT post.

    Numbers man, numbers! Write them down.

  13. Phillip Bratby says:

    Tallbloke:

    Yes, I’ll go along with all of what you say and what you are doing. As long as it is clear that nobody is hanging any hats on an average temperature.

  14. Max™ says, February 5, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Hi Max,

    Sorry but you are pursuing your old approach of ignoring other people’s energy balance arguments and introducing your own. I have laid out as clearly as I can why a body at steady state energy flow and temperature can both receive and emit mixtures of radiative and non-radiative energy flows without violating any laws. Either you agree with that or you don’t. We must move on…

  15. Max™ says:

    I wasn’t posting to argue that point, just to clarify that my argument wasn’t merely because I didn’t understand thermodynamics.

    I do in fact understand thermodynamics and physics very well, we just fundamentally disagree on whether or not steady state budgets are sensible, and we disagree on whether or not it makes any sense to average insolation across the surface.

    You don’t have to agree with me, but don’t misrepresent my position at least.

  16. tallbloke says:

    Max, fair comment, and in a more complex model we would have insolation day/night included. One step at a time. The clarity and simplicity of David’s analysis makes it possible to have progress on some fundamentals, before we develop things further. OK?

  17. Max™ says:

    Yeah, I’m staying out for the most part on this one for the abovementioned reasons, I don’t have much to contribute beyond “throw the whole thing out and start from scratch”, just wanted to clarify the bit about my reasons for disagreement.

  18. Phillip Bratby says, February 5, 2013 at 7:41 am How can you possibly start with a model which assumes a (fictitious) average surface temperature? There is no such thing as an average surface temperature – it is meaningless. Everything that flows from that is wrong. and February 5, 2013 at 8:49 am TB … I’ll go along with all of what you say and what you are doing. As long as it is clear that nobody is hanging any hats on an average temperature.

    An average surface temperature may be hard to measure empirically (especially if you come from the University of East Anglia and tend to ‘lose’ much of your data and tweak the rest according to mysterious unpublished rules) but I would challenge your implication that the concept is meaningless.

    I think the best way of thinking of a world mean temperature is as a kind of stock exchange index – an objectively determined number for people and organisations owning shares who need to measure general market trends. Yet you can’t go out and buy a FTSE share!

    We have to measure world temperature trends somehow – otherwise the very thing we are all trying to quantify – global warming/cooling, whether natural or man-made or both, and its impact on human beings – would certainly be unmeasurable.

    Or would you prefer to ‘hang you hat’ on deriving metrics for polar bears, ice flows, hurricanes and tsunamis? :-)

  19. tallbloke says:

    The important point contained in Phil’s objection is that internal spacial redistribution of energy skews the global metrics because a small change in energy content near the poles increases temperature there more than the same amount of energy would if redistributed to the equator. So because the temperature change isn’t weighted for location in proportion to the energy change, an error arises when temperatures are averaged before working back from temperature to energy when calculating changing energy balance. It’s a stupid warmist trick.

    But we will be leaving all that alone while we concentrate on the fundamental dynamics of the ‘at equilibrium’ system David has so carefully outlined.

    That’s not a hope, it’s an instruction. :)

  20. TB, agreed! Another post, another time, huh?

  21. tallbloke says:

    Good idea david. Maybe if we posted an article on correctly integrating solar input over the Sun facing Terrestrial Hemisphere first? ;)

  22. TB: Splendid idea. I’ll dust one down.

  23. oldbrew says:

    These data support the idea that temperature is independent of the level of GHGs.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_99K-sArn07w/TPedH4f2BlI/AAAAAAAAADg/QvonOeJ4w0o/s1600/venus%2Bblog%2B112210%2Bb.JPG

    [Moderation note] Please state sources. These look like Huffman’s figures – yes? Anyway, I agree that given the difference in composition Earth 0.039% co2 : Venus ~95% Co2, there is a strong case here, given that the 1.176 figure accurately represents the difference in distance to the Sun of the two planets.

  24. Tim Cullen says:

    The BIG problem with this discussion is that simply ignores so many atmospheric processes and flows.

    The first big problem is the “Reflected SW Radiation [102 Wm2]” (in your first diagram) because this “energy flux” enters the atmosphere.

    In fact, reflection of light may occur whenever light travels from a medium of a given refractive index into a medium with a different refractive index.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflection_%28physics%29

    The “energy flux” has to enter the atmosphere before is can be “reflected” – just like a mirror:

    A mirror provides the most common model for specular light reflection, and typically consists of a glass sheet with a metallic coating where the reflection actually occurs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflection_%28physics%29

    Just like a mirror the atmosphere is not 100% efficient when it come to “reflection.

    Technical mirrors may use a silver, aluminium, or gold coating (the latter typically for infrared mirrors), and achieve reflectivities of 90–95% when new.

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

    Unlike a mirror the solar “energy flux” entering the atmosphere [78 + 102 Wm2] drives many other processes in the atmosphere which are not energy neutral.

    Photoexcitation
    Photoexcitation is the mechanism of electron excitation by photon absorption, when the energy of the photon is too low to cause photoionization.

    Photoionization
    Photoionization is the physical process in which an incident photon ejects one or more electrons from an atom, ion or molecule. This is essentially the same process that occurs with the photoelectric effect with metals. In the case of a gas, the term photoionization is more common.

    Photodissociation
    Photodissociation, photolysis, or photodecomposition is a chemical reaction in which a chemical compound is broken down by photons. It is defined as the interaction of one or more photons with one target molecule.

    Recombination
    The opposite of photodissociation – where the “broken down” particles recombine to form other compounds – like ozone.

    Electromagnetic Scattering
    Major forms of elastic light scattering (involving negligible energy transfer) are Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering. Inelastic scattering includes Brillouin scattering, Raman scattering, inelastic X-ray scattering and Compton scattering.

    The second big problem is that the atmosphere doesn’t just output long wave radiation:

    Airglow (also called nightglow) is the very weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. In the case of Earth’s atmosphere, this optical phenomenon causes the night sky to never be completely dark (even after the effects of starlight and diffused sunlight from the far side are removed).

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

    The third big problem is that the atmosphere doesn’t just output radiation – it also outputs electrons, ions and neutral particles [along with their “energy”].

    Polar wind or plasma fountain is the permanent outflow of ionized gas (plasma) from the polar regions of the magnetosphere,[2] caused by the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s atmosphere. The solar wind ionizes gas molecules in the upper atmosphere to such high energy that some of them reach escape velocity and pour into space. A considerable percentage of these ions remain bound inside Earth’s magnetic field where they form part of the radiation belts.

    The term was coined in 1968 in a pair of articles by Banks and Holzer[3] and by Ian Axford.[4] Since the process by which the ionospheric plasma flows away from the Earth along magnetic field lines is similar to the flow of solar plasma away from the sun’s corona (the solar wind), Axford suggested the term “polar wind.”

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

    The main gases within the Earth’s exosphere are the lightest atmospheric gases, mainly hydrogen, with some helium, carbon dioxide, and atomic oxygen near the base of the exosphere.

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

    Overall, these energy driven processes and flows are totally ignored in the mainstream “energy budgets”. When pushed the mainstream states these factors are “trivial” before they have even accurately quantified the processes – let alone the associated flows. Regardless of these mainstream claims the presence [and composition] of the plasmasphere, magnetosphere and exosphere [extending to at least 100,000 km] is clear observational evidence that these flows and processes are non-trivial and must be included in any meaningful analysis [or discussion] of the “energy budget”.

    Please “wake me up” when this “energy budget” discussion starts to get meaningful.

  25. tallbloke says:

    Tim Cullen: You can wake us up when you have some ballpark estimates for the energy flow quantities. Good info, though I think the effects of the energies you are considering will be more chemical than kinetic. Having said that, cloud microphysics definitely needs ‘more work’ ;)
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/cess.pdf

  26. tallbloke says:

    On Fig 3: LW from base of atmosphere into bulk of atmosphere seems to be missing a magnitude label of 23, being the different of 333 and 356 near surface LW flux. When that is added to the 17 thermals and 80 latent heat and 78 Solar we get a total of 198. But there is 199 going into top of atmosphere.

    So where’s the missing Watt? :)

    Input to surface is 333 LW from base of atmosphere plus 161 Solar = 494

    Output from surface is 80 Latent plus 17 thermals plus 356 LW to base of atmosphere plus 40 through the window = 493

    It’s been raining a lot here so lets bump latent up to 81.

    Heh.

  27. Tim Cullen says:

    tallbloke says: February 5, 2013 at 10:44 am
    I think the effects of the energies you are considering will be more chemical than kinetic

    A corotating atmosphere [including the ionosphere and plasmasphere] has a lot of kinetic energy that has to come from somewhere… especially if this “kinetic energy” is being driven up through the atmosphere [from the surface] as stated by the mainstream ;-)

    My perspective is that we are only just beginning to “scratch the surface” of all the flows, processes and transformations that occur in the “atmosphere”….

    My other perspective is that “surface dwellers” are really only interested in the first six feet of the atmosphere… but lets stretch that to 369 feet high to accommodate the “tree dwellers” and “tree huggers”… so why do the mainstream climatologists make their “flat earth energy budgets” so complicated, intangible and unquantifiable?

    It seems about time the “energy budget” discussion was brought down to Earth [with a bump] by initially quantifying the flows and processes in the first six feet of the atmosphere where humans [and I think that includes climatologists] have a realistic opportunity to actually observe and measure whatever is happening… this might help keep the climatologists’ “feet on the ground” and their heads “out of the clouds” [or do I mean somewhere else]… the atmosphere is layered and complicated… start at the bottom and then work up… seems like a sensible approach to me… “walk before you try to run” has also been good advice in my experience…

  28. Roger Clague says:

    I agree this is a good starting point for discussion.

    You post as David Cosserat and comment as David Socrates. Why not use only one name?

    Suggestion to improve fig. 3

    Have the input from the sun entering, as it does, at TOA
    Remove the gray columns, they are not necessary.
    Remove the white space between the surface and the base of atmosphere. It is not necessary and is confusing.
    Have the 4 labels for the parts of the system all in the body of the diagram or all at the side.

  29. tallbloke says:

    Tim C: Fair enough, but sorting out the layers from the bottom up just as far as the tropopause is exactly what this post is about. We’re following your advice better than you are. ;)

    Granted it makes assumptions and disregards the upper atmosphere at this stage, but we’re trying to sort out the thermodynamics of the bit of the atmosphere we live and fly planes in before doing battle with the demons in the higher reaches. OK?

  30. tjfolkerts says:

    David says: “Nope. Not in my model it can’t. It’s a steady state model, just like Trenberth’s. By definition.
    If you want to define your model that way, then that is fine. But as Tallbloke pointed out “Since temperature is a proxy for kinetic energy… “, then you are defining your model as not allowing for global warming. This is a perfectly valid model, as long as you realize it has this rather severe limitation built in to it.

    Also, Trenberth’s numbers DO allow for a net imbalance — in fact the model specifically says that 341.3 W/m^2 enters and (238.5 + 101.9) = 340.4 W/m^2 leaves. Energy is building up in his model, which he relates to global warming. If he wanted to force it to be steady-state, he would have forced the numbers to balance. It is a quasi-steady state model (because the earth happens to be quasi-steady state) that can be treated as steady state if you look at specific moments.

    “Do you have the necessary data to do this? I don’t.
    Ah .. a bit of a Catch-22. Neither of us has handy access to the data and equations to find an exact number, yet you are still sure that you are mostly right and I am mostly wrong. Well, I did get an estimate that about half (give or take large error bars) of the IR must be from well below the 10-12 km altitude. You suggest that the number is 0% give or take small error bars.

    Tallbloke enters the conversation: “I recall that Willis had determined that apart from what goes through the window, something like 95% of OLR from the surface is absorbed within 1km.
    1) The “window” is about 100 W/m^2. It is reduced to about 40 W/m^2 because clouds “shut” the window in many areas at many times. But below the clouds and above the clouds, the ~ 100 W/m^2 of IR photons can still travel long distances (ie from ground to clod bottom or from cloud tip to space). That mean that from ground to cloud bottom, there is ~ 60 W/m^2 (give or take significant error bars) of IR thru the atmosphere IN ADDITION TO the 40 W/m^2 that is counted as the “window”. From cloud top to space there would be a similar flux (but smaller because the cloud tops are cooler than the surface).

    2) Near the surface, if all the photons went 1 km, then there would be an upward IR flux of about 50 W/m^2. If they went 100 m, there would be a net flux of ~ 5 W/m^2. If they went 1 m, the net would be ~ 0.5 W/m^2.
    We know that some of the photons go MORE than 1 km (through the window to/from clouds), and we know that some go less than 10 m. So the true flux would be some sort of average of these numbers Getting more accurate than that would require analysis at each wavelength (and averaged of the surface of the earth). A flux of a few 10′s of W/m^2 would be a perfectly reasonable estimate. And 10′s of W/m^2 out of 240 is not negligible.

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

    Basically, I am trying to point out that it would be a significant error in any model to ignore the IR transfers within the atmosphere. Simple estimates suggest that IR is still an important player — along with latent heat and convection — in the flux of heat at all layers of the atmosphere.

  31. paulinuk says:

    Tallbloke David C: “But, like all bodies at a temperature above absolute zero, the atmosphere must radiate energy back to the surface according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, in this case 333Wm-2″
    Then you seem to contradict that statement by implying that N2, O2 don’t play a part in radiating and all the radiatings done by GHG’s
    ” Each photon that is emitted by a GHG molecule results in a miniscule compensating reduction in the atmosphere’s FUND of Kinetic Energy”
    thereby implying that not all gases radiate.

    Kirchoff’s 1st law clearly states that all dense gases emit radiation at all wavelengths (“a continuous spectrum of radiation”). Where the atmoshere is dense, near the surface, the atmospheric gases radiate nearer to the blackbody emission curve at 10.1um and less nearer to spectral line emission. When CO2 absorbs a photon at 15um near the surface it holds onto that energy long enough for inter molecular collisions to occur, ie warm up the gas around it, hence the surrounding gas gets a temperature which is the average KE of the gas. The CO2 molecule has less of a chance to re-emit spectrally at 15um as it loses energy through collisions much quicker.

    At the top of the atmosphere, where the air is less dense, then spectral line emmission plays a greater part, as CO2 now has longer to hold on to its’ quantum of energy, hence a greater chance of emiting at 15um to space. This is an example of Kirchoff’s 2nd law. “A thin hot gas in front of a cooler background emits radiation at a discrete set of isolated wavelengths” . This makes sense as the molecules of are far apart and the inverse square law of radiating electric fields applies and thermal BB radiation is the result of electric charges in motion. The molecules of air contain electric charge in the form of electrons and protons inside the atoms.

    In an atmoshere devoid of GHG the atmosphere would still get hot through conduction and convection (ie intermolecular collisions). Hence a dense atmosphere of just 79% N2, 21%O2 may have a similar temperature gradient and same surface temperature to ours made up of 1% H2O, 0.03% CO2 and 78% N2, 21% O2.
    Since dense atmosperes emit BB radiation then this implies that the denser the atmosphere, the higher the surface temperature. The more gravity there is, the denser the atmosphere and the greater the amount of radiation emitted, which must increase the surface temperature according to the SB equation.

    Kirchoff’s Laws

    http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/~matilsky/documents/kirchoff.html

  32. tjfolkerts says:

    Tim C.

    A corotating atmosphere … in motion will stay in motion unless acted on my a net external force. There is no need for continued energy to keep it moving. Once the atmosphere gets up to speed with the planet (which would happens early on in the planet’s evolution) then there is no need to push it to keep it moving.

  33. tallbloke says, February 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

    TB,

    (1) Yes, the 23 figure is missing and I will re-insert it for completeness in due course. (Note that it is not LW but KE by then.)

    (2) Re. your other points about Trenberth’s figures not always adding to the nearest Wm-2, I do comment on this in the paragraph just above the heading ‘DOWNWELLING RADIATION. I thought it best to leave this (trifling) anomaly rather than have people pointing out that I had fiddled with Trenberth’s figures. :-)

  34. tallbloke says:

    Thanks for that Tim F, that’s making it all more interesting. The 100W is in line with Hans Jelbring’s empirical measurements. So you’re now suggesting thermally effective radiative energy flow is around a similar magnitude to latent heat plus thermals. Hmmm. It’s a step in the right direction over Trenberth’s misleading graphic.

    You’re wrong about atmospheres when you say “there is no need to push it to keep it moving.” Coriolis force introduces eddies, and they cause friction. Lots of it.

  35. Konrad says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:22 am
    ———————————————————————–
    David,
    agreed not everyone’s idea of fun. The knights of consensus are now under standing orders “do not engage” However I’m having a ball!

  36. Tim Cullen says:

    tallbloke says: February 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    We’re following your advice better than you are. ;)

    Unfortunately, “consumers” have to “work” with what the “mainstream” publishes…
    Unfortunately, the “mainstream” ignores many flows, processes and transformations.
    Unfortunately, this means the mainstream “energy budget” is GIGO…
    For me that means: “end of story”.
    I wish it was otherwise… and “good luck” to anyone who chooses to proceed further.

  37. tallbloke says:

    Tim Cullen. You’ve misunderstood the purpose of the thread. we are not trying to ‘close’ an energy budget. We are trying to establish how much WORK the various modes of energy transport do at various levels in the atmosphere. We are doing that because we need to know whether making the atmosphere optically thicker will in theory cause warming enough to be of any concern, or even measureable interest.

    Tim Folkerts has already admitted Trenberth put some built in warming into his diagram, and assumed it was internally generated. The Sun is currently telling us something else. I type this as the snow falls outside my window, and my plane leaves in two and a half hours. I hope.

  38. Roger Clague says:

    David Cossarat says

    “The ‘fog’ of photons that exists in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE does nothing useful at all”

    Tim Folkerts says

    “Simple estimates suggest that IR is still an important player”

    David and Tim please support your convicting assertions with evidence.

    Tim please explain what ” a quasi-steady state is”. Its seems to me you mean a state that is whatever suits your ever changing arguments.

    For example you say that a difference of 0.9W/m^2 in Trenberth’s model explains warming. And later say “a flux of a few 10′s of W/m^2 would be a perfectly reasonable estimate.”

    How can 0.9W/m^2 explain anything in an energy balance which also including estimates of 10′s of W/m^2.

    Except in a “quasi-steady balance.”

    The purpose a simple steady state model is to see if it is near to reality and then add to it as necessary

  39. tjfolkerts says, February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Tim,

    (1) The model behaviour (e.g. the resultant surface temperature) is only fixed by the numbers inserted. The numbers shown are intended to represent, as best as we can, today’s conditions. If CO2 doubles over the next 100 years, and you are right that the throttling mechanism is due to GHGs at the ToA, then the numbers will change but not the model as presented. On the other hand if I and others are correct and the throttling mechanism is not due to GHGs, then doubling CO2 over the next hundred years will NOT change the numbers (i.e. the surface temperature will remain the same).

    So the model is certainly not uselessly static in the sense you imply. We have got to start with an agreed model that can broadly accomodate both possibilities. By arguing with that approach you are making it difficult to move forward constructively.

    (2) I am happy to change the heights at which my arbitrary boundaries in the diagram between Base, Bulk, and Top of Atmosophere regions are positioned just as soon as I receive back from you, or from other commentators, some reliably sourced altitude figures, based on 95% absorption of radiation within the Base and 95% emission to space within the Top. This issue of boundaries mustn’t be allowed to become a diversion from the essential point which is that ALL the radiation (other than that which passes straight through the atmospheric window) ends up as KE eventually, and thereafter contributes to the temperature profile of the atmosphere.

  40. Trick says:

    David top post – “..readers…comment on whether they think the ground rules…above are helpful or not.”

    Good 1st course text book science based summary work David, well done. Give or take as you note on the numbers. Fig. 3 is a very helpful control volume picture, more helpful than TFK09 cartoon for example. My view is to understand this basic atm. physics well before move on to more complex 2nd course physics.

    • Curious as to where you get ground rule atm. emissivity = 0.86. TFK09 simple model computes out to atm. emissivity = 0.793 and some texts round to 0.8 which is at least in between dry arctic ~0.7 and humid tropics ~0.95.

    • It is not helpful to use a ground rule of only KE in the atm. bulk m^2. More helpful to use gas enthalpy total internal energy (TE). The molecules have mass & photons have momentum. There is more internal energy stored & conserved than just translational KE of each molecule & the system since the polyatomic molecules in Fig. 3 also have rotational KE and vibrational (KE+PE), Eelectronic all plus PE = mgh.

    For example, as a ground rule, does David think it is a better, more helpful to trace up on Fig. 3 the bottom KE – 17 – 17 – KE with begin&end showing TE of each molecule in the bulk of the atmosphere. True, only the mean molecular KE translational measures sensible T in Kelvin but all molecular energy storage “bins” are important in 1st law as they trade off KE translation with momentum and PE et. al. energy “bins” keeping control volume total internal energy (TE) constant for 1st law in collisions et. al. energy transfer.

    • Top dotted line and bottom solid lines/surfaces have earth radius of curvature which is not at all important in each 1 m^2 patch of flux density for ground rules in this simple 1st course text model, a helpful ground rule showing Fig. 3 as is.

    • The Standard Atm. T=288.15 is not strictly defined a ground rule “at the surface”. More helpful strict ground rule defn. is atm. air temp. in Kelvin at an altitude of 0 m, p=1013.25hPa, density 1.225 kg/m^3. Sort of a neutral ground rule, adds some preciseness when discussing Temp. “at the surface”.

    • The 199 plus 40 LW to space ground rules are measured at height of orbit of CERES and earlier probes. Atm. physics above that altitude aren’t included in control volume flow, a helpful ground rule.

    • Plus, geez, using “GHG” term ground rule for this great summary? How about more helpful scientific ground rule using “IR active gas”? Can live with GHG term b/c so many MSM uses but my physics Prof. would hit my hand (hard!) with his ruler if I as a physics student ever used MSM “GHG” term (and I’d get a red mark on exams too).

    • Interesting to add the ground rule for M-B distrib. most probable translational speed of the N2 at h= 0km, T=287K ~ 412 m/sec and at 12km, 210K ~ 352 m/sec with escape velocity ~ 22,300 m/sec. Gives a ground rule for how much the N2 translation speed slows due to climbing against gravity et. al. effects and how much more N2 speed needed to get to space. Added helpful ground rule.

    • The 333 is equal 17 + 80 + 78 + 158; the 158 W/m^2 being an atm. emission plug (including the 1 absorbed by earth) from which the heat equation is a helpful added system ground rule which can be used to balance energy in – energy out = m*Cp*DT/dt or = 0 when DT/dt = 0 over eons of LTE (m=constant total atm. mass, Cp the well mixed gases).

    • Helpful suggestion to show the ~0.1 W/m^2 coming in from the earth internal processes to show its relative magnitude in the m^2 system control volume of Fig. 3.

    ******

    tallbloke 2/5 11:00am: “So where’s the missing Watt?”

    LOL. Yeah, that Trenberthian 0.9 W/m^2 being shown earth absorbed into the Fig. 3 bottom surface slab would be a helpful improvement consistent w/TFK09 – esp. to add discussion.

  41. Roger Clague says, February 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm: David Cossarat says “The ‘fog’ of photons that exists in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE does nothing useful at all”. Tim Folkerts says “Simple estimates suggest that IR is still an important player”. David and Tim please support your convicting [conflicting?] assertions with evidence.

    Roger,

    This Part I posting is only intended to clear the air by agreeing common ground between those two counter views. But at this rate it looks like we are going to have a tough time getting to the starting line. :-)

  42. michael hart says:

    Tallbloke, Tim C.
    Starting to write a comment I notice that the first link above to Tim Folkerts leads to the article, but only has comments forward from Dec 18th 2012, whereas I think I commented on Dec 7th 2012

    If, as David Cosserat asserts,…

    -”And, of course, we had the statutory assertion, without which no blog trail is complete, that the atmospheric column has a larger cross-sectional area at the top than at the surface; and that this fact might just possibly completely mess up all our conclusions. Thanks, Entropic Man, for politely pointing out that the surface area at the tropopause is less than 1% larger than at the surface.”

    ….then I think I was that statutory person. (You’re welcome, David, unless you’ve thanked entropic man again elsewhere without my prompting.)

    But it would be good to have all the comments in full view before posting.

  43. Trick,

    I don’t usually reply to your comments, not because I intend to be deliberately rude but because I rarely understand them. In this case, you have been usefully clear and structured in your comments and I thank you for that.

    (1) If we were to put all the additional criteria you correctly suggest into the model, I agree it would become a much more scientifically sound ‘product’. But at the same time it would become incomprehensible to the wider readership that must surely get engaged in this important debate.

    (2) I tend to agree with you that the use of the term GHG should be deprecated. But unfortunately it is the shorthand term in common use for IR radiating gases. So, since I don’t have a Physics Professor breathing down my neck, I think I shall stick with it. :-)

    When we get to Part II, I suspect the whole discussion will descend quickly to particle level where I hope you will be able to contribute your statistical knowledge and ideas both constructively and (please!) lucidly, bearing in mind that wider audience (which by the way includes me).

  44. michael hart says, February 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Michael,

    The earlier comments in the Tim Folkerts and Emissivity articles that I referred to are obtainable by clicking on <<older comments right down at the bottom of the respective comments trails.

    This is a new feature which came about because the comments trails got so long that TB’s laptop overheated. Obviously our fault for talking too much!

  45. Tim Folkerts says:

    I don’t have much time, now but …

    “Tim Folkerts has already admitted Trenberth put some built in warming into his diagram, and assumed it was internally generated.
    1) I am not sure if he “built in” the imbalance because he thinks the earth is warming, or if his best estimates of the heat flows told him there was an imbalance which should lead to warming. That would take more research.
    2) I am not sure what you mean by “internally generated”. The imbalance is presumably caused by the changing conditions of the atmosphere. If that is “internally generated” then I agree with you.

    “You’re wrong about atmospheres when you say “there is no need to push it to keep it moving.”
    Let me rephrase that. No NET work needs to be done. The atmosphere, on average, is not speeding up or slowing down. Some regions are sometimes speeding up; some regions are sometimes slowing down. Local forces push the atmosphere north/south/east/west to create local variations from perfect co-rotation. But no (significant) force is need to maintain the co-rotation per se, because there is no (significant) friction between earth and space.

    (In contrast, tidal forces from the moon DO cause some net work on the earth & the atmosphere, slowing the rotation.)

    *************************************
    David,

    I really don’t have a problem with the idea that the total KE can be treated as a ‘fixed fund” within this model. I do have a slight problem when you say it is a “FIXED FUND” (the only words in that section that you emphasize). By adding this emphasis, you seem to be saying that it is especially important in your model to think of the KE as truly fixed and unvarying.

    At one level, the value is so close to fixed and so large compared to the energies flowing through it that it can (for many purposes) be treated as fixed. On the other hand, this fund of KE must, in principle, be allowed to change, or the atmosphere could never change in temperature.

  46. Bryan says:

    I think that Davids ‘throttling’ atmospheric model has merits and thanks for his clear description of its mechanism.

    The KT 97 diagram with numbers given to 3 significant figures is pure fiction.
    It has no such level of accuracy as even the notes supplied with the diagram make clear.
    It is a mark of pseudo science to present a picture implying more accuracy than can be justified.

    So trying to discuss whether to add or subtract the odd single W/m2 to these quantities is pointless.

    Tim Cullen made an excellent contribution pointing out that diagrams such as KT97 ignore photochemistry, photosynthesis and the biosphere for instance.

    On equations Max says

    “Tim was saying this equation should be used: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴) for the surface and atmosphere radiation.

    This version: P = εσA(Tsurface⁴) and P = εσA(Tatmosphere⁴) gives a different amount of energy being absorbed by the surface than this version does: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴).”

    My comment is that the most variants of such equations are in error

    1. The emissivities of each radiating body or surface must have an individual value ε1,ε2,ε3,ε4 …etc
    2. The area of each radiating body or surface must have an individual value A1,A2,A3,A4….etc
    3.The temperature of each radiating body or surface must have an individual value T1,T2,T3,T4….etc
    4. Filtered radiators such as atmospheric gases do not follow SB T^4 law as part of the Planck distribution is missing .

    So while a general discussion about ‘throttling’ or Postma’s emphasis on the role of Latent Heat has merit , trying to pin down the odd unit of W/m2 in a KT type diagram is futile.

  47. Roger Andrews says:

    At the risk of making myself unpopular, an atmospheric model that considers only external radiative forcings and which doesn’t take ocean-air heat transfer into account is incomplete. It’s like analyzing air temperatures in a bathroom allowing for heat transfer through the walls and from the electric light bulb in the ceiling while ignoring the warm water in the bathtub.

  48. Trick says:

    David 2/5 12:37pm: “(2) I am happy to change the heights…(to) some reliably sourced altitude figures…”

    Consider exactly matching points on the standard atm. linked in top post. Then you have a standard lapse curve to discuss. Along with standard densities. Would accomplish a Fig. 3 model standard before test flying the model in all weather conditions.

    That standard lapse curve can be seen plotted in the Verkley et. al. paper.

  49. Tim Folkerts says:

    Further backing for my conclusion that thermal IR is important all the way through the atmosphere.

    1) Go to MODTRAN http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html
    2) Run the calculations for midlatitude summer, no clouds, looking down from 70 km
    2A) Note that a good bit of radiation (~800-1000 cm-1) travels all the way from the ground where it is ~ 295 K. This is more than 40 W/m^2.
    2B) Note that only a bit of the radiation (mostly from ~650 – 750 cm-1 due to CO2) comes from the cold top of the troposphere @ ~ 225 K.
    3) Remove water vapor by setting Water Vapor Scale to 0. Observe the effects of water vapor. IN particular, WITH water vapor, much of the thermal radiation (~100-500 cm-1) comes from water vapor @ 240-280 K, which would be well below 10-12 km. So this IR must have been generated several km below the 10-12 km band.
    4) Add cumulus clouds (and put the water vapor back). Note that the “envelope” for the curve is now ~ 275 K = temperature of the top of the clouds. With clouds, much of the radiation escaping earth comes from the top of the clouds, ie from 2.7 km up with these cumulus clouds. This again confirms that much of the outgoing radiation was generated in the first few km and traveled through the bulk of the atmosphere as IR (and NOT as KE) before escaping.

    5) Play around with other settings for MODTRAN to understand where various features come from (in terms of both altitude and the material responsible for the radiation)

    I’m not sure how important this will be in your subsequent posts, but if your conclusions require that the IR through the bulk of the atmosphere be unimportant (other than the 40 W/m^2 atmospheric window), then you may be heading for trouble.

  50. Tim Folkerts says, February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Tim,

    My capitalising of FIXED FUND is nothing to do with the idea that it cannot change to a different fixed level if conditions change. It is meant to distinguish it from the ever-flowing energy through the system and out again to space.

    Repeating essentially the same point as I made earlier, the model is just a very broad brush energy flow model, nothing more. It fits today’s surface temperature and today’s fixed fund of KE and it will fit the circumstances in 100 years’ time when, with a doubling of CO2, the fixed fund of KE according to your theory will have gone up to a higher fixed value; whereas, according to my theory, the fixed fund won’t have changed.

    I will happily drop the capitalisation if that will help. Oh, I just did. :-)

  51. tchannon says:

    TKF, I recently came across a paper which aside stated those models are in large error because of incompleteness, is ongoing change to the known water lines, which are far more extensive than older works state and also do not follow the simplistic assumed laws.

    Some of this included work on solar water which can be seen via sunspot etc. spectra.

    Unfortunately I did not note the location of the paper (from a different field, it is their business)
    I’ve tried but failed to relocate this from history.

    A work which might help is this (which does include aside mention of atmosphetic absorbsion)
    http://www.chem.uni-wuppertal.de/quasaar/grenoble/files/tennyson4.pdf

    Perhaps you already know of this.

    This suggests caution.

  52. clivebest says:

    In KT97 there is a table comparing OLR fluxes for clear skies with those for cloudy skies. The term “cloudy skies” really corresponds to the average global cloud cover that is observed i.e. 62% cloud cover. The table is here. The results are also hopefully formatted below

    Level     Clear           Cloudy
    W/m2   Fd  Fu   Net    Fd  Fu   Net
    ------------------------------------
    TOA    0   265  265     0  235   235
    SRF   278  390  112    324 390    66
    

    The first thing to note here is that clouds reduce the OLR by 30 W/m2 ( 265-235) – a radiative forcing. For comparison a doubling of CO2 produces a radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m2.

    Trenberth’s energy balance diagram shows IR window as 40 W/m2. However it is simply an estimate based on 62% cloud cover. Outgoing Longwave Radiation due to Directly Transmitted Surface Emission, Costa & Shine (2012) – thanks to scienceofdoom :

    KT97 estimate this component to be 40 W/m² compared to the total outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) of 235 W/m²; however, KT97 make clear that their estimate is ‘‘somewhat ad hoc’’ rather than the product of detailed calculations. The estimate was based on their calculation of the clear-sky OLR in the 8–12 μm wavelength region of 99 W/m² and an assumption that no such radiation can directly exit the atmosphere from the surface when clouds are present. Taking the observed global-mean cloudiness to be 62%, their value of 40 W/m² follows from rounding 99 x (1 – 0.62).

    Clouds are droplets of liquid water and as such behave like a black body – more like the ocean than a greenhouse gas – water vapour. They absorb across all wavelengths and emit across all wavelengths. CO2 and H2O only absorb and emit in quantum lines, except for the water continuum. Inside the clud they are opaque to IR.

    However the tops of clouds then emit as a blackbody corresponding to the temperature of that altitide. About 25% of that radiation falls within the IR window and is not absorbed by greenhouse gases above the cloud. Those photons emitted by the top of the cloud in the range 8-12μm continue to escape directly to space. So the top of the cloud now acts exactly like the surface but shifted up in altitude. Therefore a cloud whose ceiling is at say 2000m is to all intents and purposes the same as a point on the Earth’s surface somewhere in the Alps also at 2000m elevation. In this sense the IR window is still active but merely shifted upwards in altitude. So viewed from space we have one “surface” emitting IR through the window but whose topology is continuously changing. In general though this could can still be considered as some average Earth surface with 60% cloud cover.

    For clear skies most(~80%) of surface radiation in the 8-12μm region reaches the top of the atmosphere. Trenberth calcualtes the average total flux for the IR window in clear skies to be 99 watts/m2. Now lets put a cloud in the way. Photons from the surface are now scattered and absorbed by water droplets at the base of the cloud. However the top of the cloud also emits IR photons as a black body corresponding to the local temperature. Those photons emitted by the top of the cloud in the range 8-12μm continue to escape directly to space. So the top of the cloud now acts exactly like the surface but shifted up in altitude. Therefore a cloud whose ceiling is at say 2000m is to all intents and purposes the same as a surface say in the Alps also at 2000m elevation. In this sense the IR window is still active but merely shifted upwards in altitude. So viewed from space we have one “surface” emitting IR through the window but whose topology is continuously changing. In general though this could can still be considered as some average Earth surface with 60% cloud cover. Therefore I think the IR (surface) window flux is more than 40 W/m2 because low clouds can be condsidered as part of the Earth’s surface. The tops of clouds are in the UK for example are far warmer than the Himalayas !

    Clouds have a huge effect on climate. To quote from Trenberth again

    “The emissions to space occur either from the tops of clouds at different atmospheric levels (which are almost always colder than the surface), or by greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere which absorb and emit infrared radiation. Most of the atmosphere consists of nitrogen and oxygen (99% of dry air), which are transparent to infrared radiation. In the current climate, for clear skies the natural greenhouse effect is accounted for by water vapour ∼60%, carbon dioxide 26%, ozone 8% and other gases 6% (Kiehl and Trenberth 1997).
    Clouds also absorb and emit thermal radiation, and have a greenhouse effect, but clouds are also bright reflectors of solar radiation and thus also act to cool the surface. While on average there is strong cancellation between the two opposing effects of short-wave and long-wave cloud heating, the net global effect of clouds in our current climate, as determined by space-based measurements, is a small cooling of the surface. A key issue of how clouds will change as climate changes is complicated by the strong influence of particulate pollution, which can be independent of climate change (see below). If cloud tops get higher, the radiation to space from clouds is at a lower temperature and so this produces a warming. However, more extensive low clouds would be likely to produce cooling because of the greater influence on solar radiation.

    In February 2012 a GRL paper seemingly found that the gloabl average cloud height had fallen from 2000 – 2010 by about 40 meters, which corresponds to a negative climate feedback.

    The NASA – NVAP data also shows evidence that the water vapour content in the upper atmosphere is decreasing. This effectively lowers the effective height for H20 OLR, thereby increasing radiation losses and cooling the planet.

  53. Bryan says, February 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Bryan,

    You make some interesting points.

    (1) You are quite right to point out that the KT diagram figures are not accurate to 3 significant figures. My reading of the linked-to Trenberth paper is that the authors made an honest attempt to gather together all the evidence from the literature and came up with an energy balance diagram to match what they found. A lot of the data is down to fairly accurate empirical measurements (satellite data) and a lot of the rest to guesswork, no doubt. But as far as I can see it is the best we have. Do you have a better set of energy-balancing figures you would like to propose instead? And maybe Tim Cullen has some adjustments he would also like to make to the figures to include the effects photochemistry, photosynthesis and the biosphere. Unless and until you or Tim Cullen or anyone else does so, I can do nothing else except stick with the only available published figures that appear to have any credibility.

    (2) The other point is that the purpose of this thread is not to solve all the very many outstanding problems of climate science. It is to try to focus down onto what I consider is the main outstanding issue between warmists and skeptics, characterised here as a debate between two mechanisms: Throughput Throttling and Output Throttling. And I certainly don’t believe having the energy flow figures correct to 3 sig. figs. will be at all necessary for that. In fact, to have a sensible conversation all we need is a rough energy balance diagram that can make our otherwise very fluid ideas and arguments a little more conversationally concrete.

    (3) You talk about emissivities, areas and temperatures all being different for different radiating bodies. Can’t disagree with that. But the model being discussed here is so simple and ‘broad brush’ that it only has a small number of ‘radiating bodies’ all of which by definition have the same area (essentially the earth’s surface area) and a correspondingly limited number of emissivities (surface emissivity = ~1; base of atmosphere emissivity ~0.86; and so on). Yes, these particular numbers are all ‘guesses’ and maybe we can improve on them. But we have to have some assumptions made in order to move forward.

    (4) You say: Filtered radiators such as atmospheric gases do not follow SB T^4 law as part of the Planck distribution is missing . So can you quantify the percentage discrepancy resulting from that observation? If you can we can factor it in. If you can’t, we can’t. We are taking a broad brush ‘systems’ approach here: it is a fact that the lower surface of the atmosphere does radiate downwards at a measured rate of 333Wm-2 so, using S-B we find that its effective emissivity is around 0.85. This is what it would really be if the atmosphere were a solid grey body at that same temperature. I’m more than happy to have these particular figures challenged if you have better ones (do you?), but surely the systems concept of an effective emissivity would still be an appropriate one, whatever the actual figures.

    Phew! None of this is easy is it? Anyway, thanks for your contribution!

  54. Trick says:

    Spotted another needed ground rule (T*dS greater than delta Q) to add in this bullet in top post:

    The 2nd law of thermodynamics insists that, at steady state, there must be a temperature drop between input and output flows (or, at the very least, no temperature rise).

    David top post: “Each photon that is emitted by a GHG molecule results in a miniscule compensating reduction in the atmosphere’s FUND of Kinetic Energy. But this situation is very quickly reversed when the photon is absorbed by another GHG molecule in its path, which thereby returns the quantum of KE that was lost by the emitting molecule.”

    Not completely reversed in nature. The photon emitted & absorbed internal to Fig. 3 can momentarily affect FUND of KE but never changes the atm. FUND of total energy in the control volume (can’t create or destroy energy in there only transform energy).

    This process does increase the atm. FUND of entropy though by that change in KE. Some KE information has changed in Fig. 3 but no KE information lost to Fig. 3. There are now at least two molecules with different energy states meaning the information did not stay the same, entropy increased.

    Top post continues: “This is a zero-sum game. The ‘fog’ of photons that exists in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE does nothing useful at all.”

    No. Just a zero sum game for total energy but not for total entropy. The Fig. 3 KE information changed with the photon emission, increasing entropy. If atm. FUND of entropy increases due KE change even with no increase in FUND of total energy, something useful was done somewhere. This is a basic defn. of entropy, needs to be a ground rule in top post.

    Now, if the photon was emitted/absorbed by same molecule (reversible process) KE unchanged then, entropy stays the same doing nothing useful. However a perfect reversible process has not been observed in nature only in thought experiments. To allow the reversible thought processes they put an equal sign in:

    T*dS greater than or equal delta Q

    ******

    David 2/5 7:17pm: “Phew! None of this is easy is it?”

    Agreed. But it is fun.

  55. Clive Best says:

    Simplified version of what I wrote above.

    ~ 70 watts/m2 of the Earth’s heat radiates directly to space without interacting with greenhouse gases, some 40 w/m2 from the surface and ~ 30 w/m2 from tops of clouds. All this is very sensitive to cloud cover and to cloud height. Any increase in low clouds increases albedo shading the Earth. Any small decrease in cloud height, or/and any small decrease in water vapour in the upper atmosphere reduces OLR.

  56. Stephen Wilde says:

    A great starting point for a very important discussion.

    I’m looking forward to the forthcoming parts and do appreciate the work that David has been putting in.

    Due to time constraints and having been tuckered out by my contributions in other threads I’ll keep quiet for a bit and see how it goes.

    Fingers crossed that my earlier contributions might turn out to have been helpful.

    Just note though that if we can confirm the involvement of the entire atmospheric mass in the atmospheric thermal enhancement then CO2 and radiative characteristics in general are relegated to insignificance.

    I think I said previously that the radiative flux within an atmosphere is just what is left over after all other non radiative processes have done their work.

    If the non radiative processes fail to get enough energy to TOA to effect radiative balance then temperature rises until energy in equals energy out and if the non radiative processes are too effective then temperature falls until energy out equals energy in.

    Likewise if more radiation is coming in than going out or more going out than coming in then the non radiative processes change gear to equalise TOA balance without affecting total system energy content except perhaps for a short term imbalance whilst the negative system response does its work.

    In any event the system adjusts to maintain TOA energy balance with the only factors determining total energy content being mass, gravity and insolation.

    So throughput throttling it must be.

    As regards output throttling I see that as a sort of Ponzi scheme involving an infinite positive feedback because if output is throttled to prevent energy going out as fast as it comes in then the additional energy held in the system must constantly feed back on itself rather than simply giving a higher equilibrium temperature.

    If there is output throttling then if equilibrium temperature rises above that required for TOA balance the higher temperature will enhance the effect of the throttling mechanism in an ever increasing spiral.

    That is implicit in the proposal that more non condensing GHGs cause more evaporation which gives more GHGs in the form of humidity which cause more evaporation and so on indefinitely.

    One would soon end up with all the oceans floating as vapour in a vastly expanded atmosphere that would be stripped away by the solar wind.

  57. Bryan says:

    David Socrates

    You say that the KT 97 diagram is a mixture of accurate numbers and guesses.

    Later on you say

    “the atmosphere does radiate downwards at a measured rate of 333Wm-2″

    How confident are you with even this measurement ?

    The ‘backradiation’ figure of 333W/m2 implies a resolution to the last ± one watt/m2

    If you examine the evidence for this level of claimed accuracy you wont find it.

    Nor do I have to supply a better number all I have to do is point out how inaccurate the standard greenhouse theory is!

    The doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere is said to produce a direct effect of only one watt/m2.

    So the greenhouse theory must attain this level of resolution to support their conjecture.

    However the uncertainty in (for instance) the window figure is from the 40W/m2 (claimed) to perhaps 66W/m2.

    In normal science this would be written as 5×10^1 ±20% this uncertainty swamps the doubling co2 figure.

    I think that your throttling mechanism is worth teasing out, but very much with a ‘order of magnitude’ broad brush approach.

    The climate system is essentially chaotic and will defy accurate modelling.

  58. Max™ says:

    If you recall I went through the data for the upward and downward IR and compared them with the net IR from the NOAA site and the data given doesn’t match up with the data plotted, instead it looks like parts are just calculated, not measured.

  59. Clive Best says, February 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm: ~ 70 watts/m2 of the Earth’s heat radiates directly to space without interacting with greenhouse gases, some 40 w/m2 from the surface and ~ 30 w/m2 from tops of clouds.

    Clive,

    I have a problem with this statement. From my analysis you will have seen that the general point I am making is that all radiative energy entering the surface and the atmosphere ends up as KE. Then on the output side, all KE ends up as radiation to space. So in that general sense I agree that the KE accumulating in the cloud tops could be converted to radiative energy which could be emitted straight through the upper atmosphere to space. But have you considered that:

    (1) the KE in the water droplets in the cloud tops could alternatively be exchanged with the air molecules that the cloud tops are in contact with and therefore could be convected away as KE in the rising air; and…

    (2) If a proportion of the KE in the cloud tops is indeed radiated, it is most likely to be more-or-less immediately absorbed by GHGs as KE again and then transferred by diffusion to non-GHGs, in a very similar scenario to that occurring just above the earth’s surface.

    In other words, do you have quantitative empirical data to back up your scenario as opposed to the scenario I have painted?

  60. Stephen Wilde says, February 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm: A great starting point for a very important discussion.

    Stephen,

    Thanks for that.

    To return the complement, the rest of your comment is a great opener for Part II. Meanwhile, we have to establish the ground rules in this Part I. Judging by today’s conversations, there’s still some hard work ahead, I fear.

  61. wayne says:

    At the top, things are different. As we get further towards space the probability of an emitted photon being re-absorbed by another GHG molecule reduces, simply because the lower the density, the lower the chances of absorption. Increasingly, the Kinetic Energy that is converted to radiation is not returned to the atmospheric FUND but is instead lost to space for ever.

    Thank you David for, in a way, highlighting the fact that the amount, the Joules of energy emitted by radiation, is actually related to the local density, though the POWER stays temperature dependent. This is the point that Tallbloke keeps pointing out, following your example, that down-welling radiation has an easier transfer to space when high in the atmosphere than low and near the surface.

    It’s much like saying that upward radiation goes 60 meters per average transfer of a quanta but downward it only has an average transfer of 40 meters downward (and 50 meters/transfer laterally). This gives the inter-atmosphere radiation in GHG bands a directional pattern with an upward advantage.

    The ‘fog’ of photons that exists in the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE does nothing useful at all.

    In short, the radiation there is a consequence of the FUND of Kinetic Energy – not its cause – and that is why it is quite reasonably missing from my diagram. In the BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE we need to concentrate on Kinetic Energy, the only source of sensible heat, which is the only form of energy measured as temperature.

    You cut it’s influence short here. You say “The ‘fog’ of photons in the bulk does nothing useful at all” and I have to completely disagree, it has a big and useful act to perform in the bulk air. Simple conduction can only transfer energy in a particle-to-particle manner and the particles are very close together, a small conductivity, we all know that. But transfer by radiation is jumping in many, many meters per “bump” or transfer and that increases the air’s energy conduction-like movement by magnitudes in this manner, always in a net manner instantaneously from warmer areas to cooler areas. This also depends on the local mean path length, longer jumps upward and shorter downward, much like the advantage of a gradient in the density. View it as giving the inter-atmosphere radiation in GHG bands a directional upward pattern.

    But wasn’t this all covered by Fourier’s explanation of energy transfer or was it Prevost’s. The gravitational gradient seems to have a huge implication always weighted for upward. So how do you ever “trap” energy when space is always 2.7‹K› and the surface temperature is dependent on the incoming solar radiation. All I see is linear relations graded upward and set by the incoming, not by the outgoing energy, hinged at the surface unlike Tim’s insistence.

    Let me read your article one more time.

  62. Max™ says, February 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm: If you recall I went through the data for the upward and downward IR and compared them with the net IR from the NOAA site and the data given doesn’t match up with the data plotted, instead it looks like parts are just calculated, not measured.

    Max,

    OK . Fine. So in what particular way would you propose modifying the Trenberth figures?

  63. Stephen Wilde says:

    David.

    I agree about the hard work ahead point.

    In my mind the physics and observations mesh well but however clearly I state something or however I support it with links or observations there is then a plethora of comments that show that the point is simply not understood.

    Amazingly that is the case with contributors who are seasoned scientific professionals but interestingly they are often from narrow specialisms and it shows.

    Something has gone very wrong with science education in the past 50 years such that many know a lot about very little and are completely adrift with the practical implications of counterintuitve phenomena such as the phase changes of water or the adiabatic process both of which were fundamentals of my mid 20th century scientific education.

    Hardly anyone who comments on climate is any sort of specialist in climate. They have all been imported from other narrow disciplines yet they claim to be able to pronounce as experts on climate.

    Peope like Carl Sagan, Hanson, Schneider et al really never had any idea about weather and climate within an atmosphere when they imported their radiative theories from astrophysics as if nothing else was relevant.

    All we can do is press on and ignore the politics as best we can.

  64. oldbrew says:

    Mod: sorry, yes they were Huffmann’s figures.

    [re - oldbrew says: February 5, 2013 at 10:14 am]

    NB the 1.176 figure is a calculation using a formula based on physical laws, rather than a direct proportion of the relative distances from the sun.

  65. wayne says, February 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm: But transfer by radiation is jumping in many, many meters per “bump” or transfer and that increases the air’s energy conduction-like movement by magnitudes in this manner, always in a net manner instantaneously from warmer areas to cooler areas. This also depends on the local mean path length, longer jumps upward and shorter downward, much like the advantage of a gradient in the density. View it as giving the inter-atmosphere radiation in GHG bands a directional upward pattern.

    That’s an interesting interpretation of the behaviour of the ‘fog of radiation’ in the bulk of the atmosphere. Do you have any evidence to back it up? Photons are absorbed within 50 to 100 metres so it is difficult to sustain an argument that the upward jumps are significantly longer than the equally probable downward jumps (sideways jumps are not relevant) which is what you would have to do to prove your thesis that radiation is a significant facilitator of the upward flow of energy. We are tallking about very small temperature (and pressure) differences over those kind of vertical intervals. At the International Standard Atmosphere’s Environmental Lapse rate of 6.5K per km, the temperature difference over a 200 metre vertical interval is only 1.3K.

    And, as an interesting side observation, if the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere were to go up, that putatative imbalance would if anything go down, leading to a reduction in mean atmospheric temperature rather than an increase. In which case ‘bring on the GHGs’!

  66. tjfolkerts says:

    David, I disagree with much of your reply to Clive @ February 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm. IN particular:

    If a proportion of the KE in the cloud tops is indeed radiated …

    Water droplets are nearly black bodies for IR radiation.
    The water droplets at the tops of clouds have a temperature (typically in the range of ~ 240-290 K).
    There is no question of “if” a black body will radiate! The cloud tops will be radiating ~ 200-400 W/m^2.

    … it is most likely to be more-or-less immediately absorbed by GHGs as KE again and then transferred by diffusion to non-GHGs, in a very similar scenario to that occurring just above the earth’s surface.

    Only the IR in specific bands will bet absorbed. So IR in the 14-16 um band will get absorbed by CO2. Some IR will get absorbed by CH4 & O3. Some will get absorbed by water (but remember that above the cloud tops the temperature will be fairly cool (and I suspect it will usually be fairly low relative humid), so there is not much water above here to absorb IR. In other words, there is still a fairly wide “atmospheric window” — and that window is even wider than at the surface.

    “From my analysis you will have seen that the general point I am making is that all radiative energy entering the surface and the atmosphere ends up as KE.”

    I would agree with this when it is cloudy. All of the IR emitted by the surface will get absorbed and thermalized by the atmosphere (some in a few meters by GHG; some when it hits the clouds. Similarly, all of the outgoing IR will have been generated within the atmosphere from the store of KE in the atmosphere (some near the top of the atmosphere by GHGs; the rest from the tops of the clouds).

    Within the clouds, then your hypothesis about radiation being a “fog” that has little effect on overall upward energy transfer would be true.

    But outside of clouds (including cloudless days), the IR will be carrying a significant fraction of the net ~ 240 W/m^2 of upward heat flow from the bottom to the top.

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

    Again, look at the MODTRAN results (vhttp://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html) looking down on a cloudy sky. The black body radiation curve due to the top of the clouds is clearly discernible. I strongly suggest that everyone in this thread play with this resource — looking up and down from different altitudes; with and without clouds; removing or increasing various IR active gases — until you can understand and predict the curves.

    “With over a 30 year heritage, MODTRAN® has been extensively validated, and it serves as the community standard atmospheric band model. “

  67. Max™ says:

    OK . Fine. So in what particular way would you propose modifying the Trenberth figures?

    Eh, like I said, I favor a nuke it to dust, lock the dust in a vault, sink the vault in an ocean, and hurl the ocean into the sun method.

    I was just noting that the NOAA site has data for down/up/net IR and charts for down/up/net IR, and the down value in the charts appears to just be calculated from the temperature, because it doesn’t seem to match the data in that there are points where it should be a net downward flow due to inversions, yet it doesn’t show up.

    Not sure where I wrote it all out atm, I was trying to explain to someone on another site that no, in fact you can’t just “use a pv panel and extract work from back radiation”, apparently Carnot efficiency isn’t taught anymore?

  68. wayne says:

    “… you would have to do to prove your thesis that radiation is a significant facilitator of the upward flow of energy. We are tallking about very small temperature (and pressure) differences over those kind of vertical intervals. “

    No thesis needed David, it is just the density, and that is in every physics book dealing with radiation. That has ties directly to coefficients of extinction or attenuation (per length travelled) and absorption is ruled right there, by the optical depth that has the terms for density and length. It is just that most books don’t describe the various ways you can visualize that effect in a gradient atmosphere. Don’t you see that?

    But, yes, the differences are smaller, more like one meter (my bad;), I exaggerated) or less but that factor happens each and every bounce so that factor multiplies by the average number of jumps just like can be seen in the derivations of optical depth. There are many visualizations when you look up “optical depth”on the web, just be sure to also visualize density with a gradient, most don’t go to that depth.

    And, as an interesting side observation, if the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere were to go up, that putatative imbalance would if anything go down, leading to a reduction in mean atmospheric temperature rather than an increase. In which case ‘bring on the GHGs’!

    I often think of it this way: what would better insulate my home from radiative loss through windows? Triple panes with argon between, or plain air, or pure carbon dioxide? I think definitely not carbon dioxide. How about water vapor inside? I can see no difference in our atmosphere (our window to space), there is a certain “insulation” factor in every atmosphere deemd by the mass and that is exactly what I have been exploring the other atmospheres looking at it from a simple “insulation” viewpoint.

  69. I love this blog. I have been preparing a post but you folks have ruined it by getting there first!

    I think I can prove what y’all are saying but I don’t trust my failing mental faculties. So I have sent my post to a bunch of smart people including N&K. If you don’t hear from me again it will be because they shot me down.

  70. wayne says:

    gallopingcamel: “if you don’t hear from me …” ?? WTF.
    Don’t you dare stay away! To hell with faculties, I’m sure we all notice our growing rough edges as time ticks. ;)

    I have to say your lack of presence of late has been noticeable. You will never realize how much I have personally learned from your words here, new and better thoughts. Much of what I write has roots in things you have said in the past. Everyone has the leeway to be a bit off the mark every now and then, and that’s okay here, that is why the TalkShop is such a great place to feel free to open your mind up to all of the other factors and possibilities in climate and atmospheric science. It is so far from “settled” science. As for the TalkShop, I love it too, my cup of tea.

    So how about it? Throw out what you see on this subject, even if it is simply where you agree, that is so important, would love to see your confirmations on some of these subjects and any possible disagreements likewise.

  71. Max™ says:

    Yeah, I like the fact that there are lots of people who disagree yet remain civil, kudos to everyone, and kudos to tallbloke and tim and the rest for keeping a nice interesting little piece of internet going.

  72. Wayne,
    Thanks for that! This is a place where one can test ideas without being showered with abuse. I am happy that WUWT no longer dsirespects this site as a “Trancendant Rant” or “Unreliable”!

    David Cosserac writes about “The Great Debate” and presents an analysis of energy transfer that looks pretty good to me. I have been comparing the teachings of “Climate Scientists” like Michael Mann and Scott Denning with what physicists like Robert G. Brown, Ned Nikolov, Karl Zeller and Nicola Scafetta are saying.

    The consensus scientists say that CO2 modifies Earth’s energy balance by changing the emissivity of the atmosphere and I believe that is true. My BS detector is triggered when they quantify the effect. They say that temperatures will rise by 1.2 Kelvin per “Doubling” in CO2 concentration and there is positive feedback to multiply the effect still further.

    My calculations show that the maximum warming CO2 can deliver is 3.1 Kelvin rather than the 33 Kelvin (288K – 255 K) claimed by consensus scientists.

    Given that the average temperature on the Moon is 154.3 Kelvin (Diviner LRE), the real GHE is around 130 Kelvin, so how can any sane person imagine that is caused by a trace gas?
    http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml

  73. Wayne,
    I am writing a book about the reform of K-12 education and that is why I have not done much blogging lately.

  74. clivebest says:

    David,

    A line by line calculation of radiative transfer (such as MODTRAN) for the US standard atmosphere in clear skies results in 99 W/m2 passing directly from the surface to space. This is the IR window and none of it ends up as kinetic energy in the atmosphere.

    However if there is 100% cloud cover then all of that energy is absorbed by clouds. For IR photons clouds are a thick fog. The cloud behaves as a black body like the surface. The bottom of the cloud radiates downwards. The top of the cloud is at a lower temperature and radiates upwards. Energy passes through the IR window from the top of space directly to space and none of this ends up as kinetic energy in the atmosphere.

    Clouds are much more complicated than this. They absorb solar radiation. They reflect solar radiation. They change the lapse rate. But for now lets just concentrate on radiation loss to space.

    Some numbers:

    Surface IR Window: Globally cloud coverage is ~ 62%. So the global average for the IR window from the surface STI (99% for clear skies, 0% for clouds) is (1-0.62)*99
    = ~ 40 W/m2

    Radiative Forcing by cloudy skies: 30 W/m2 (difference in OLR at TOA)

    Mean height of clouds : 4 km ?
    Mean temperature of Top of clouds = 250
    Ratio black body Clouds/Surface = 250^4/288^4 = 0.57

    If we simply assume the window for clear skies is the same as the window above clouds then we find for the net radiation loss through the window. 0.62 x 0.57 x 99 = 35

    40 + 35 = 75 W/m2

    So couds play a huge role in the Earth’s energy balance, and any small change in cloudiness, or cloud height or water vapour above clouds potentially has a far bigger impact than changes in CO2. The evidence is that cloud heights have reduced by ~ 40 meters since 2000 and water vapour too has fallen slightly above 500mb since 1988.

    A small increase in low cloud results in a net cooling of the planet. There is a play off between the “greenhouse effect” of clouds ( stays warm at night) and the increase in albedo of couds (lousy day at the beach).

  75. clivebest says:

    sentence above should read: Energy passes through the IR window from the top of clouds directly to space and none of this ends up as kinetic energy in the atmosphere.

  76. Konrad says:

    David,
    I am concerned that you are still committing some of the critical “Do Not’s” of atmospheric modelling. The list of Do Not’s generally includes -

    1. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    2. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    3. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    4. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    5. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    6. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

    While you are not committing 1. You have committed 3 to 4. The true role of radiative gases in our atmosphere cannot be modelled correctly like this. Without knowing the true role of radiative gases in the atmosphere the effect of adding more cannot be modelled. Because the gases in our atmosphere move, multiple flux equations need to be run iteratively on discrete moving air masses. Convective energy transfer cannot be modelled with by direct linear flux equations in the manner AGW pseudo scientist try. Do not be fooled by the small value given to the linear convective flux in Trenbertian energy budget cartoons.

    Convection is everything. Without convective circulation under the tropopause our atmosphere heats. Without radiative gases in the troposphere, convective circulation ceases. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    This image http://tinypic.com/r/6zy1ky/6 shows an atmosphere with moving gases and what happens shortly after its radiative ability is switched off. The atmosphere would go isothermal shortly after this and then we all bake.

    Your diagrams do not show moving gases. You cannot get the right answer without moving gases. There is no simplified linear flux equation or parametrisation that will help.

    David, I strongly urge you to read that painful 600 post thread. Questions answered include -
    Why is convective circulation critical to atmospheric temperatures?
    Why are radiative gases critical to convective circulation?
    Why is the surface better at conductively heating than conductively cooling the atmosphere?
    Why will adding radiative gases not reduce the radiative cooling ability of the atmosphere?
    And
    Why do radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm?

  77. Stephen Wilde says:

    Konrad.

    If there is always a pressure and temperature gradient with height how could a non GHG atmosphere fail to convect ?

    I don’t think you answered that point in my thread. I seem to recall that we just agreed to differ.

    Your possible confusion may lie in the split between KE and PE at different heights because only KE affects temperature.

    Thus the energy content is the same all the way up but KE and temperature increases towards the bottom.

  78. Tim,

    (1) I don’t think we are in disagreement re. clouds. In my reply to Clive I should not have said “If a proportion of the KE in the cloud tops is indeed radiated …” The use of the conditional was wrong. I should have said “To the extent that …”

    Yes of course you are correct that clouds, being composed of liquid water droplets, absorb and radiate well as a near-black body in the IR. In this respect a cloud does indeed behave as a ‘lake of water’ at a higher elevation than the surface. And its KE will be transferred from its upper surface both as radiation and as conduction/convection in some proportion, just as occurs from the earth’s surface.

    In the non-absorbing bands, that radiation will indeed pass directly to space, adding to the atmospheric window. And the rest will be absorbed as KE by the air above under exactly the same scenario that I described for the earth’s surface, namely: (i) the air immediately above the cloud will radiate downwards, thus significantly offsetting the cloud’s upward radiation; and (ii) the net upward balance of radiation will be absorbed as KE in the air above anyway. It will not just ‘sit around being radiation’ any more than the net upward balance of radiation at the surface does.

    (2) You say: Within the clouds, then your hypothesis about radiation being a “fog” that has little effect on overall upward energy transfer would be true. But outside of clouds (including cloudless days), the IR will be carrying a significant fraction of the net ~ 240 W/m^2 of upward heat flow from the bottom to the top.

    That is not a what you have asserted in our previous threads where you appeared to agree that the ATE effect that you claim GHGs have is due only to a throttling effect at the ToA (due to greater concentration of GHGs leading to a higher average level of radiation to space, where it is colder – hence the throttling effect at output). Are you slowly dismantling what I understood from previous discussions was an agreed basis for going forward with our discussion about Throughput Throttling versus Output Throttling – if, at this rate, we ever get to it? :-)

  79. wayne says, February 6, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Wayne,

    I hear what you say which (I think) is that there IS a flow of radiation all the way up through an opaque gaseous medium (opacity due to GHGs) that reduces in density.

    So please put some figures on it for the case of the earth’s atmosphere. Trenberth’s figures show a net energy flow of 33Wm-2 upwards. I say that the net amount of available energy flow (whatever the figure) is absorbed very rapidly as additional KE – so the net effect of radiation on the flow of energy upwards through the bulk of the atmosphere is zilch.

    Please prove me wrong. Let’s have the figures!

  80. Konrad says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    February 6, 2013 at 9:24 am
    “If there is always a pressure and temperature gradient with height how could a non GHG atmosphere fail to convect ?”
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Stephen,
    there is a world of difference between convection and convective circulation. Without radiative gases heated air would still rise to altitude, it just cannot lose energy or buoyancy and descend. Further rising hot air masses cannot overturn air that has already risen and simply layers up beneath. If you try the original two box experiment http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg http://tinypic.com/r/15n0xuf/6 you will see how this works. Box 2 always runs hotter. Energy loss at altitude is critical to continued deep vertical convective circulation below the tropopause. It should be noted that cooling by expansion on ascent and conversion of KE to PE do not represent actual energy loss from an air mass.

    To see this at work in the real atmosphere you only need contrast what is happening in the troposphere with the stratosphere. Almost all the vertical convection happens in the troposphere. Almost all the radiative gases also exist within the troposphere. In the stratosphere there are few radiative gases and there is little vertical convective circulation. It is notable that the lapse rate reverses above the troposphere, however the importance of radiative gases in generating the lapse rate below the tropopause is a complex discussion for another post.

    Quite simply the AGW pseudo scientists never modelled the effects gravity or convective circulation properly. The evidence from empirical experiment and the actual atmosphere is very clear, vertical convective circulation below the tropopause depends on radiative gases. Without these gases convective circulation stalls and we toast.

  81. gallopingcamel says, February 6, 2013 at 7:39 am

    gallopingcamel,

    Thanks for your support and I agree with your comments.

    You say: Given that the average temperature on the Moon is 154.3 Kelvin (Diviner LRE), the real GHE is around 130 Kelvin, so how can any sane person imagine that is caused by a trace gas?

    Just on a point of detail, it would appear that the empirically determined Diviner mean surface temperature of the Moon is more like 200K. Nikolov & Zeller’s original theoretically derived 154K figure was revised to include the effect of regolith heat retention and also came out at around 200K, so experiment and theory do still concur.

    However even at 200K, your point is a very pertinent one because the real GHE (or ATE as we prefer to call it!) is still a collossal 88K or so.

    But here on this blog we are pursuing a different line of enquiry so please (everyone!) save that one for a later discussion.

  82. Stephen Wilde says:

    [deleted on request of author, see correction --Tim]

  83. clivebest says, February 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

    clivebest,

    I agree wholeheartedly that clouds are a very important moderator of surface temperature. Probably they will turn out to be the most important moderator of the climate. But for the purposes of this blog trail the effects of clouds are constant (averaged of course over the longer term, as Trenerth’s model is).

    The purpose of the model is to have a sensible basis, with rough energy transfer figures, so that we can move forward to discuss whether doubling CO2 over the next 100 years will, or will not, cause significant warming of the earth’s surface.

    We are definitely not trying to solve all the intricasies of atmospheric physics here. So my question to you (and others) is: do clouds affect significantly the Trenberth figures? If so, what changes to the figures do you propose?

  84. Konrad says, February 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Konrad,

    Thanks for your comments. However…

    (1) My model simply isn’t aiming to do any of the things you would aim to do with the model you describe that would avoid your 6 ‘do nots’. My model is a high-level overall energy flow model that follows the Trenberth energy balancing approach.

    I believe it is fit for my purposes here. That is, I think it provides enough detail to enable interested parties in an up-coming Part II to have a debate about which precise mechanism warms the atmosphere: Throughput Throttling or Output Throttling (derived as useful shorthand phrases in the two previous blog articles that led to this one).

    (2) You say: Convection is everything. But surely that is exactly what I am saying in my article above. I suggest that the incoming radiation all converts to KE (apart from the fraction that flows straight to space through the atmospheric window) and the KE flows upwards by slow convection (slow compared to the speed of light). That flow tops up the losses from the fund of KE that is retained in the atmosphere at an elevated temperature. I really can’t see where we are in disagreement.

    (3) You say: David, I strongly urge you to read that painful 600 post thread. All credit for you for managing to stay the course! Very few people here will have had the time, patience, or aptitude to trawl though such a long, confusing, and highly technical discussion. Time for you, perhaps, to provide TB with a lucid summary blog article that we can all understand?

  85. Konrad says, February 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Konrad,

    In your follow-on comment to Stephen Wilde you confirm another point I agree wholeheartedly with and that I have emphasised in my article above: GHGs are indeed essential to the earth’s atmospheric temperature profile.

    Without GHGs there would be no radiation to space from the Top of the Atmosphere so all balancing radiation to space would be directly from the surface and the mean surface temperature would be like that of the Moon.

    So GHGs are indeed essential to the generation of Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement (ATE) but their function at the ToA is as cooling agents!

  86. Roger Clague says:

    Steven Wilde says

    “The reduction in KE higher up means that density increases with height because it is KE that determines density and KE is at its maximum at the surface creating lowest density at the surface”

    Lowest density at the surface? Of air?

    Surely a mistake. Please explain.

  87. tchannon says:

    “Without GHGs there would be no radiation to space from the Top of the Atmosphere so all balancing radiation to space would be directly from the surface and the mean surface temperature would be like that of the Moon.”

    I strongly disagree. Reasons have been given but is off the context of this blog post.

  88. tchannon says:

    I am concerned about the usage of a static earth because rotation causes fundamental difference.

    This includes cloud cover, which varies day and night for the same locations but the data on clouds is poor at night. Similarly the profiles change.

    It is very likely many or all of the factors are subject to higher dimensionality, Hurst-Kolmogorov. A consequence is blowing out the almost universal usage of Gaussian in statistics, a factor where the AGW community and most in climatic are in denial (widens natural variability). You cannot simply average on assumption about unknowns, time is involved.

    I go further, Hurst is proven in earth systems involved with climate, the very origin is rainfall.

    The above is probably outside of the intent of the blog article.

  89. Stephen Wilde says:

    Sorry, should have expressed that more clearly. I’d already realised it was wrong and have been formulating the clarification. It is difficult focusing whilst doing the day job at the same time.

    Perhaps TB could delete my post at 12.09. [ Done, copy retained. --Tim]

    It is a matter of relative densities and pressures at a given height. The density and pressure at a given height is primarily governed by atmospheric mass and the gravitational field but individual air parcels at that height can vary in density depending on how much of their energy is PE or KE which is related to whether they are rising or falling.

    More KE for a low density relative to pressure at a given height because KE forces molecules apart against the pressure field for expansion and a lower density.

    Less KE for a high density relative to pressure at a given height because less KE allows the air parcel to contract within the pressure field.

    At the surface, parcels of air that are heated more than adjoining parcels or acquire more water vapour than adjoining parcels acquire more KE, become less dense than those adjoining parcels and rise.

    Water vapour is a special case because it is lighter than air of the same KE content. Latent heat can be regarded as a form of PE.

    At the top of a convective column parcels of air that have cooled by converting KE to PE become more dense than parcels that are still rising upwards (and still contain more KE relative to PE) at the same height.

    When those denser parcels descend they are constantly denser than the parcels already at the lower heights as they pass through so they continue to descend to the surface where they can be reheated or acquire more water vapour and will then rise again.

    CORRECTED POST:

    Konrad said:

    “Without radiative gases heated air would still rise to altitude, it just cannot lose energy or buoyancy and descend.”

    I see what you are getting at now but I don’t think it would work like that because the decreasing pressure with height converts KE to PE so that a temperature profile remains present.

    The reduction in KE higher up means that density relative to pressure increases with height because it is KE that determines density by forcing molecules apart.

    KE is at its maximum at the surface creating the lowest density relative to pressure at the surface.

    At some point the air higher up will begin to fall back to the surface as it becomes more dense relative to the less dense parcels flowing up to the same height.

    That is how buoyancy still changes even if no energy is lost to space from molecules in the air.

    You don’t need any loss or gain of energy at height, merely conversion of KE to PE.

    It is the density differentials that then set up a circulation. The conversion of KE to PE or back again is what changes density and that is a consequence of movement within the gravitational field rather than the addidtion or removal of energy.

    Surface heating starts the process but once an air parcel detaches from the surface its movement up and fdown is entirely adiabatic.

    In the stratosphere the proportion of radiative gases is high due to the presence of ozone. That ozone reacts with incoming solar energy to reverse the lapse rate.

    It is that reversal of the lapse rate that puts a lid on tropospheric convection and not the presence or absence of radiative gases.

    It may be different in a box with contraints but not on a rotating sphere open to space.

    Note too that the temperature differentials between day and night side will also generate density differentials to encourage a horizontal flow of gases.

    You would actually have a more vigorous convective circulation in the absence of GHGs because the system would be wholly reliant on surface to space energy loss to maintain equilibrium and so energy in the atmosphere would need to be returned to the surface faster by adiabatic compression.

    It is the speed of the adiabatic loop that provides the overall regulatory mechanism via the timing of conversion of energy to and from PE and KE.

    More GHGs a slower adiabatic loop and less GHGs a faster adiabatic loop

  90. Stephen Wilde says:

    I said:

    “You would actually have a more vigorous convective circulation in the absence of GHGs because the system would be wholly reliant on surface to space energy loss to maintain equilibrium and so energy in the atmosphere would need to be returned to the surface faster by adiabatic compression.”

    Should really have referred to a radiatively inert atmosphere because all mass including non GHGs has some radiative capability.

    A higher radiative capability just means the circulation has to work less hard to maintain equilibrium.

    Is this going too far off topic ?

    [Yup. Please desist. :-)]

  91. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Socrates said:

    “Without GHGs there would be no radiation to space from the Top of the Atmosphere so all balancing radiation to space would be directly from the surface and the mean surface temperature would be like that of the Moon.

    So GHGs are indeed essential to the generation of Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement (ATE) but their function at the ToA is as cooling agents!”

    I agree that they must act as cooling agents but not that they are essential to the ATE.

    The ATE is a function of mass, gravity and insolation so there would be an ATE even with a radiatively inert atmosphere.

    Any atmosphere with any mass even if radiatively inert will acquire energy from the surface by conduction and it will still circulate via convection up and down and from day side to night side.

    All radiation would still be from the surface but the mass of the atmosphere will still carry a store of energy in its adiabatic loop.

    The mean surface temperature would not be like that of the Moon.

    [Suggest this is a topic for another blog. We need to concentrate here on the actual atmosphere.]

  92. Tim Folkerts says:

    David Says: “So GHGs are indeed essential to the generation of Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement (ATE) but their function at the ToA is as cooling agents!

    I understand, but I think this statement has a great potential to be misunderstood.

    Yes, GHG cool the ToA by allowing energy to radiate away to space.

    But the GHGs at the cold ToA radiate very poorly (because they are so cold). The cold CO2 at the ToA radiates much LESS energy to space in the 14-16 um band than the warmer surface would.

    This means that the ground must warm up until it emits more energy OUTSIDE the 14-16 um band to make up the difference. (And of course, other GHGs like CH4 and and H2O come into play as well).

    *************************************************
    The function of GHGs at the ToA is as a cooling agent FOR THE ToA.
    The function of GHGs at the ToA is as a warming agents FOR THE SURFACE.
    > Since most people are concerned about SURFACE temperatures, in this context GHGs are indeed a warming agent!
    *************************************************

    The higher above the surface those ToA GHGs are, the greater the warming effect they have on the surface. This is the primary reason that Venus has a huge warming effect at the surface (the ToA is very high) and that Mars has a small warming effect (the ToA is rather low). The concentration of CO2 plays only a relatively small role. (But even a relatively small role can change the surface temperature a few K).

    I suspect that a lot of moderately well-informed people do not fully appreciate this concept.
    I suspect that most well-informed scientists (who study the greenhouse effect) are quite aware of the key role that the lapse rate and the thickness of the atmosphere play.

    ————————————————–
    Maybe this is a little off-topic, but it all relates back to the top post.
    > The bulk of the atmosphere is important, because there is a lapse rate due to a “throttling” of energy flow through the bulk of the atmosphere. (although I think a “governor” is a better analogy here than a “throttle”).
    > The ToA is important because it “throttles” the energy out to space.

  93. wayne says:

    “… the reform of K-12 education …”

    Now your talking! Power to you gallopingcamel…. that is what is needed. Your excused. Just got through two hours with a grandchild who went quickly dropped two letter grades in math in one single month when taking a first taste of algebra. We speak daily. And here I write math and physics calculator compilers, I was a bit embarrassed to say the least. It’s the “new way to teach math”. To find out, they had not even been taught what a term is, what a a factor is, even what an equal sign really means. No wonder they are lost.

    Seems the teachers are making it so complex that all simple logic gets lost, no excuse there. So many teachers no longer know how to teach, simply that is… so I’m taking over on this local front this next weekend… a mandatory four hour cram course on “back to the basics”, for two kids that is, this time simple and clear.

    Back to David post.

    My calculations show that the maximum warming CO2 can deliver is 3.1 Kelvin rather than the 33 Kelvin (288K – 255 K) claimed by consensus scientists.
    Given that the average temperature on the Moon is 154.3 Kelvin (Diviner LRE), the real GHE is around 130 Kelvin, so how can any sane person imagine that is caused by a trace gas?

    That is what I keep coming up with too, two ways show about 0.05°C for a doubling and the other is about 0.1°C. This seems in line with your 3.1°C instead of the incorrect 33°C. You are correct there, you need something that boosts the temperature over 100°C and this is even after allowing for the surface thermal inertia! I agree, this must be good old physical factors in action dealing with the huge amount of mass and the energies, thermo, not merely radiation.

  94. tjfolkerts says:

    gallopingcamel says: “My calculations show that the maximum warming CO2 can deliver is 3.1 Kelvin rather than the 33 Kelvin (288K – 255 K) claimed by consensus scientists.

    1) The claim is that ALL GHGs combined provide ~33 K of warming. CO2 is only part of that warming.

    2) Modelling the surface as a blockbody @ 288 K and CO2 @ 220 K absorbing/emitting all radiation in the 14-16 um, I get a net drop of ~ 18 W/m^2 due to CO2′s presence. That is about 12% of the 33K = 4 K warming (slightly higher but similar to what you got). CO2 also absorbs beyond these sharp limits, as well as near 4 um, so all together, I can easily see CO2 contributing 5-8 K of warming.

  95. No one has mentioned Claes Johnson’s calculations, historical investigations of derivations and logic here http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/ There is a recent series concerning radiative heat transfer from surfaces. Instead of making unphysical assumptions, incorrect thought bubbles and, calculations which do not agree with empirical findings prove that Claes Johnson is wrong.
    I am not saying his findings are perfectly correct but they are thoughtful explanations.
    I have made measurements of heat loss from pipes and ducts in the open, I have made measurements around heat exchangers, I have made measurements of CO2 in processes and in the atmosphere. I know that many of the assumptions of AGW believers and so-called lukewarmers are wrong particularly around the Stefan-Bolltzman equation and radiative heat transfer.
    Just like electric current only flows when there is voltage difference, heat only flows when there is a temperature difference. Surfaces do not radiate all the time. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is clear that a body in its surrounds at the same temperature has no heat transfer. or change in entropy. If the temperature of the atmosphere or a cloud in the atmosphere is a lower temperature than an object on the surface then there will be no transfer of energy towards the object from the atmosphere or the cloud. You can make measurements with water flowing in a pipe in various exposed conditions. Prove to yourself if the pipe gains or loses energy under the various conditions.

  96. wayne says:

    David “Socrates”… Wayne “Newton” here. :lol: ROTF!

    You know, I was testing my newly written physics calculator/language compiler and Blog nifty editor, just playing around, and I came across the most beautiful coincidence you could ever imagine if you’ve been skeptical of this so called “ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING”. That’s right, it all seems to narrowed down to what I like to call AGW.HELL.

    So what is AGW.HELL anyway? Or in other words, what would be hell for the AGW believers to swallow if verified. I’ll just let you ponder on this sequence of amazing calculations and relationships. I have always thought it was the mass, the mass, the mass.

    Here’s are the ABC’s of what just might lie at the base of the real climate science.

    The script:

    precision(6)
    //! Volumes of each
    //! (see: NASA planetary fact sheets)
    
    a.V =  928.43E+18‹m³›
    a.E = 1083.21E+18‹m³›
    
    //! Mean radius of each
    
    b.V = root(a.V / (4/3•π), 3)‹m›
    b.E = root(a.E / (4/3•π), 3)‹m›
    
    //! Mass of the atmosphere of each
    //! (see: NASA planetary fact sheets)
    
    c.V = 480.0E+18‹kg›
    c.E =   5.1E+18‹kg›
    
    //! Mass per column of each
    
    d.V = c.V / (4•π•b.V²)‹kg›
    d.E = c.E / (4•π•b.E²)‹kg›
    
    //! Mass ratio of Venus col.mass to Earth's col.mass
    
    e = d.V / d.E
    
    //! Flux retained per equiv. Earth atm. col.mass
    //! 16555 is surface power (ε=1) at 735.1‹K› (VIRA std atm)
    //! 131 is OLR on Venus (2614*(1-.90)/2), lit side OLR
    //! 131 verified by satellite spectrum radiances, or very close
    
    f = (16555‹W/m²› - 131‹W/m²›) / e
    
    precision(4)
    //! Earth's estimated lit side OLR per Venus profile
    //! 396 is surface power (ε=1) at 289.1‹K› (TFK09 energy budget)
    //! 238.5 verified by satellite spectrum radiances, or very close
    
    g = 396‹W/m²› - f‹W/m²›
    
    precision(7)
    //! Mass extinction or impedance per mass for each planet (the same)
    
    AGW.HELL = (f‹W/m²› / d.E‹kg›)‹W/m² / kg›
    
    precision(4)
    //! Test Venus's OLR
    
    i = ( 16555‹W/m²› - AGW.HELL‹W/m² / kg› •  d.V‹kg› )‹W/m²›
    
    //! Test Earth's OLR
    
    j = ( 396‹W/m²› - AGW.HELL‹W/m² / kg› •  d.E‹kg› )‹W/m²›
    

    The output:

    //! Volumes of each
    //! (see: NASA planetary fact sheets)
    
    a.V =  928.43E+18‹m³›
    9.284300e+020
    ----------------
    a.E = 1083.21E+18‹m³›
    1.083210e+021
    ----------------
    //! Mean radius of each
    
    b.V = root(a.V / (4/3•π), 3)‹m›
    6.051832e+006
    ----------------
    b.E = root(a.E / (4/3•π), 3)‹m›
    6.371006e+006
    ----------------
    //! Mass of the atmosphere of each
    //! (see: NASA planetary fact sheets)
    
    c.V = 480.0E+18‹kg›
    4.800000e+020
    ----------------
    c.E =   5.1E+18‹kg›
    5.100000e+018
    ----------------
    //! Mass per column of each
    
    d.V = c.V / (4•π•b.V²)‹kg›
    1.042936e+006
    ----------------
    d.E = c.E / (4•π•b.E²)‹kg›
    9998.72
    ----------------
    //! Mass ratio of Venus col.mass to Earth's col.mass
    
    e = d.V / d.E
    104.307
    ----------------
    //! Flux retained per equiv. Earth atm. col.mass
    //! 16555 is surface power (ε=1) at 735.1‹K› (VIRA std atm)
    //! 131 is OLR on Venus (2614*(1-.90)/2), lit side OLR
    //! 131 verified by satellite spectrum radiances, or very close
    
    f = (16555‹W/m²› - 131‹W/m²›) / e
    157.458
    ----------------
    //! Earth's estimated lit side OLR per Venus profile
    //! 396 is surface power (ε=1) at 289.1‹K› (TFK09 energy budget)
    //! 238.5 verified by satellite spectrum radiances, or very close
    
    g = 396‹W/m²› - f‹W/m²›
    238.5
    ----------------
    //! Mass extinction or impedance per mass for each planet (the same)
    
    AGW.HELL = (f‹W/m²› / d.E‹kg›)‹W/m² / kg›
    0.01574785
    ----------------
    //! Test Venus's OLR
    
    i = ( 16555‹W/m²› - AGW.HELL‹W/m² / kg› •  d.V‹kg› )‹W/m²›
    131
    ----------------
    //! Test Earth's OLR
    
    j = ( 396‹W/m²› - AGW.HELL‹W/m² / kg› •  d.E‹kg› )‹W/m²›
    238.5
    ----------------
    

    Hmm… 238.5‹W/m²›, it’s so very close !!! Can I ignore it? No. Right Dr. Trenberth?

    So Venus is Earth’s sister planet after all, they do have a commonality.

    Some might say the 131 is a bit off, OK, change it, re-calc the sequence. Doesn’t change the calculated Earth’s OLR by about a watt per column area.

    You might tell by my loose words, I’ve had a few beers while enjoying my newly created programs, celebrating a long haul, so maybe my fellow TalkShop companions might tell me where I have gone so far astray. I do do that regularly. If so, it was a good dream, I can dream can’t I?

    Your friend of all of those at Tallbloke’s TalkShop,
    -Wayne

    ( I just might regret posting this tomorrow morning but thought best to post this while numb before second thoughts of the implications set in ;) )

  97. Tim Folkerts says, February 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Tim,

    Please save your Output Throttling pitch for Part II. By the way in Part II we will be expecting a lot more quantitative proofs rather than just endless qualitative waffling – not just from warmists but from skeptics as well. :-)

  98. wayne says, February 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    wayne says, February 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Wayne,

    It all looks like existing and challenging stuff but not really appropriate for this topic which is establishing ground rules (in this Part I) before having a sensible discussion about two postulated mechanisms that could cause ATE that we have dubbed Throughput Throttling and Output Throttling (in up-coming Part II).

    So please reserve your excitement and enthusiasm for later. Think of it this way: even if Tim Folkerts manages to persuade us on theoretical grounds that it is all down to Output Throttling and not to Throughput Throttling, the issue will hardly be over – if only because the empirical grounds for extremely low sensitivity to CO2 are so strong.

    But that is for another day. The purpose here is to discover what is and is not reasonable as a theoretical argument for the ATE warming mechanism. Nothing more.

    Thanks for your cooperation. :-)

  99. Konrad says:

    David,
    Moving gases and a diurnal cycle. I cannot overstress how critical these are. The shell game leads nowhere. No moving gases and no diurnal cycle and you will simply end up with a result that says warming up to 50ppm and cooling thereafter. The correct result is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    Moving gases and a diurnal cycle. You need to model a realistic atmosphere. What’s the point otherwise?

  100. cementafriend says, February 7, 2013 at 12:30 am: Surfaces do not radiate all the time. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is clear that a body in its surrounds at the same temperature has no heat transfer. or change in entropy. If the temperature of the atmosphere or a cloud in the atmosphere is a lower temperature than an object on the surface then there will be no transfer of energy towards the object from the atmosphere or the cloud. You can make measurements with water flowing in a pipe in various exposed conditions. Prove to yourself if the pipe gains or loses energy under the various conditions.

    Hi cementafriend,

    Gadzooks! Nobody around here, and certainly nowhere in my article above, says that heat transfer occurs between two bodies that are at the same temperature. Nor that heat transfer occurs between a colder body and a hotter body. That would indeed be a 2LT violation. But radiation is not sensible heat. It an energy transport mechanism working at the molecular level that can and does travel in all directions and over all distances, large and small.

    How can a molecule ‘know’ that the photon it is about to emit in an arbitrary direction through the vacuum of space will reach a body (maybe 50 metres away or maybe a million miles away) that is at a higher temperature than the emitting body? And how can it therefore decide not to emit that photon? For that matter how can it ‘know’ what its own body’s temperature is, temperature being a macrocopic phenomenon of averages? That is clearly a logical nonsense.

    No, it is the net radiation between two bodies that defines the rate and direction of heat transfer (Prevost’s Theory of Exchanges – 1792). And if the net radiation is non-zero, the resulting heat transfer that does take place is always accompanied by a temperature difference between the two bodies, and the direction of transfer is always from the hotter to the colder body, thus complying with 2LT.

    Did you not read my thought experiment in my article above? Body X radiates 3544Wm-2 towards (slightly cooler) body Y? At the same time body Y radiates 3534Wm-2 towards body X. The net difference in radiation (a piddling 10Wm-2) establishes the heat transferred between them and therefore the temperature difference (also piddling, at 0.35K) between them. The whole point of that particular thought experiment was to illustrate how it is possible for bodies to reach very high temperatures even though the heat flowing through the system containing them is miniscule. But the principle is the same whatever the numbers.

    If you don’t agree with that analysis, then by all means explain where you think it is wrong.

    In the case of the atmosphere-surface interface, the radiation from atmosphere to surface does not come from the molecules of air that actually touch the surface. This is because it is not a solid radiating from a surface, but a gas, i.e. mostly an empty vacuum with the occasional GHG molecule every ~50M or so. At the molecular level, individual GHG gas molecules near the surface (say the first 200m) are radiating in all directions simply as a result of the atmosphere near the surface being at a temperature, on average, of around 287K.

    So, whether you like it or not, downward LW radiation from the atmosphere exists. It is expected to occur from theory (hot gases do radiate). It can be easily measured experimentally with instruments. And (this is the real take-home message) it is no threat at all to us AGW skeptics. In fact it is just an obstacle to having discussions with agreeable warmists like Tim Folkerts who will just laugh us out of court if we go on and on and on about it.

    A bit like I am :-)

  101. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Socrates said:

    “individual GHG gas molecules near the surface (say the first 200m) are radiating in all directions simply as a result of the atmosphere near the surface being at a temperature, on average, of around 287K.”

    So that is just a consequence of the pressure and insolation induced temperature of the gases just above the surface and not downward IR from the entire atmosphere as proposed by AGW proponents ?

    [Yes, exactly. That is why it is not a threat (more of a strength) to the skeptical position]

  102. Clivebest says:

    The purpose of the model is to have a sensible basis, with rough energy transfer figures, so that we can move forward to discuss whether doubling CO2 over the next 100 years will, or will not, cause significant warming of the earth’s surface.

    David,
    If the objective is to accept Trenberth’s energy balance figures and assume that nothing else changes except for a doubling of CO2 over the next hundred years then the answer is simple.

    A doubling CO2 for a fixed surface temperature will result in a reduction of outgoing radiation from the top of the atmosphere of about 3.7 W/m2.

    The Earth-Atmosphere system must then react to restore energy balance (1st law thermodynamics). There is one strong negative feedback to any change in energy balance – Stefan Boltzman. S = sigmaT^4. Taking the first derivative we get DS/DT = 4sigmaT^3 = 3.75 Wm-2K-1

    So a temperature rise of 1 degree of the Earth’s surface restores the OLR by 3.75 watts/m2 to return to the initial energy balance.

    If your goal is instead to disprove AGW, then you need to propose another stronger negative feedback mechanism that maintains energy balance without changing surface temperature.

    [The goal is to prove or disprove AGW by debating Throughput Throttling as opposed to Output Throttling, as I have now said many times]

  103. michael hart says:

    David, I for one, certainly don’t disagree with the concept of downward LW radiation from the atmosphere.

    But if the apostolic-consensus puts that forward as a cause, rather than effect, of a warmer atmosphere, then it’s not my fault.

    What I don’t see so often, is that in places and times where the atmosphere transfers net heat to the ground, the putative effects of CO2 should be reversed. Which prompts my question where and when are the predicted ‘cold-spots’? Stephen?

  104. Stephen Wilde says:

    michael hart asked:

    “where the atmosphere transfers net heat to the ground, the putative effects of CO2 should be reversed. Which prompts my question where and when are the predicted ‘cold-spots’? Stephen?”

    Why should there be either hot or cold spots if the influence of CO2 is not as described in the first place ?

    The surface temperature is set by mass gravity and insolation as is the upward pressure and temperature gradient.

    The circulation simply shifts around to ensure that the effect of any other forcing element is neutralised.

    Thus neither hot spot nor cold spot but simply a miniscule shift in the circulation pattern which is vanishingly small compared to shifts caused by sun and oceans.

  105. Trick says:

    David in top post – another ground rule – maybe a small deal. The word annihilate is used 4 times in top post. This implies energy is destroyed so a more precise physical ground rule is use either energy “transformed” or photon “absorbed” in context.

    [Have to disagree. I like anihilate because it makes people sit up and think!]

  106. michael hart says, February 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm: David, I for one, certainly don’t disagree with the concept of downward LW radiation from the atmosphere. But if the apostolic-consensus puts that forward as a cause, rather than effect, of a warmer atmosphere, then it’s not my fault.

    Michael,

    It certainly isn’t your fault, nor mine!

    There is a lot of sloppy thinking in climate change discussion circles, as we have seen amongst skeptics as well as warmists. That is why I am trying to clear up a lot of this detritus before we proceed to debate the precise mechanism that throttles the throughput of energy from Sun to earth-atmosphere system to space, thus elevating the temperature of the atmosphere in the process. Otherwise we will be endlessly tripping over all these outworn issues.

  107. michael hart says:

    Stephen,
    My question was whether you knew of such claims, predictions or measurements, not an assertion that you would agree with them.

  108. michael hart says:

    …And not an assertion that I would agree with them either. I merely wish to locate such, and examine them, if they exist.

  109. wayne says:

    “That is why I am trying to clear up a lot of this detritus before we proceed to debate the precise mechanism that throttles the throughput of energy from Sun to earth-atmosphere system to space, thus elevating the temperature of the atmosphere in the process. ”

    I just gave you one very real and precise mechanism that throttles the LW output… did you just miss that? Didn’t like the tone? Sorry. I was a bit overboard last night. Am I just getting ahead of you throttling the comments?

    0.01575 ‹(W/m²)/kg› is the throttle. Now why both planets, the Earth and Venus, are so precisely the same, I do not know yet. Still trying to answer why myself. It fell in my lap last night. Why? Don’t know. Fate?

    As for whether there is a like overlying process, also mass governed, that also throttles SW in the opposite direction, into the climate systems, and also explains the elevation of the surface above the theoretical very cold state of about 154‹°C›, that is a good next step to take later.

    Will you even address what I found? Maybe later?

  110. tjfolkerts says:

    We seem to be wrapping up this conversion (but I could be wrong!). Let me recap some of my key observations

    1) Overall, I agree with the top post.

    2) I have some concerns about ” * The warming in the bulk of the atmosphere is due to its FIXED FUND of Kinetic Energy.”
    * I can accept that “Kinetic Energy” is short for “thermal energy = KE of the individual molecules”
    * The KE is large and provides a great deal of “thermal inertia” but it is not truly “fixed” (although it can be treated as “fixed” for a steady-state situation, which may be all we are really worrying about here).
    * I am not quite sure what is meant by “the warming”. Does this simply mean “the temperature”? Does it mean some warming above 255 K? Something else?

    3) The most important difference between me & David is that I think that radiation plays a much bigger role in the transport of energy through the bulk of the atmosphere. David seems to limit the role of IR to the 40 W/m^2 “Atmospheric window”, with the rest of the transport being conduction/convection/latent heat. I would attribute ~ 50 more W/m^2 upward energy transport to IR within the bulk of the atmosphere (with the exception being WITHIN clouds).

    If (3) is a key point in the NEXT post, then we may be disagreeing from the outset. If this is only a secondary issue, then it should not matter much.

  111. Stephen Wilde says:

    wayne said:

    “I have always thought it was the mass, the mass, the mass.”

    I always thought that was the settled science that I learned in the 60s.

    Mass restrained by gravity with energy added, nothing else.

    TOA radiative equilibrium is a result of the variable internal atmospheric circulation operating via non radiative mechanisms.

    I have the impression that we can pursue that in more detail in the next part having mostly agreed here that we are dealing with throughput throttling rather than output throttling.

    Is anyone going to propose output throttling and explain how it avoids creating an unstable positive feedback ?

    Throughput throttling means that the throughput can be varied to provide a negative system response that keeps the TOA balance stable over time.

    Output throttling is an inherently unstable and potentially catastrophic process as recognised by the AGW theory in terms of ever increasing water vapour in a positive feedback response to an initial increase in non condensing GHGs.

    Is anyone going to go for that ?

  112. wayne says, February 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Wayne,

    I took another look at your comment of February 7, 2013 at 6:47 am.

    Sorry but I find it incomprehensible. This is not a criticism of your scientific abilities but of your commmunication skills. Who do you think is going to spend the time deciphering 2 pages of pseudocode or whatever it is? I have been in the IT business for decades and in my day have programmed for Britain. Yes, I have the skills to spend a whole day trying to guess at what you are getting at. But code (like mathematics) is not the way to communicate. I suspect many other people would not be prepared to put in the effort either.

    I am as excited as you about any comparisons to do with earth versus Venus. Huffman’s amazing empirical discovery is the best example I know of any definitive advance in climate science. If you have corroborated his work or advanced beyond it then do let us all know in a blog that I am sure TB would want to be the first to publish.

    All the best and I look forward to studying your work further when I understand it. If it contributes to a resolution to Part II of this blog trail then that’s all to the good. But please think of your general audience when writing your comments.

  113. Trick says:

    Tim F. 7:12pm: “The KE is large and provides a great deal of “thermal inertia” but it is not truly “fixed” (although it can be treated as “fixed” for a steady-state situation, which may be all we are really worrying about here).”

    Another ground rule for David’s Fig. 3. Gravity (g) arrow should be shown pointing straight down.

    KE can’t even be treated as ground rule fixed here in Fig. 3 – the ground rule should be what is conserved by 1st law in steady state: total energy fund is conserved constant in Fig. 3.

    The specific fund of temp. related translational KE is not fixed – KE varies with time; can be transformed by collision into molecular rotational energy (cons. of angular momentum), vibrational energy, or KE decrease with altitude increase of PE=mgh.

    In David’s preferred term some rising molecule KE is annihilated into PE in Fig. 3. To keep people sitting up and thinking.

    I prefer my annihilations to be between massive particles like positrons and electrons annihilating each other into photons ala the Feynman diagram.

  114. tjfolkerts says, February 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Tim,

    Thanks very much for that summary. I also think we are coming to a close soon on Part I. I shall need some time to reconsider Part II in the light of the very useful comments and insights provided by all who have contributed here.

    Thanks to everyone for the generally positive, polite and constructive tone. Do feel free to carry on commenting here, although I may not be quite so attentive while I am preparing Part II.

  115. wayne says:

    Sorry David, I tend to think everyone here knows basic physics and all basic equations and can just read along with the comments at each step. Each step was explained. But hey, let me decipher it for you.

    My first objective was to make sure all data had proper references, not hidden data:

    V is for Venus
    E is fro Earth

    The steps progress from (a) to (j).

    a) Get the planet’s volume for each

    b) By the volume get the mean radius for each

    c) Get planets mass for each

    d) From the mass and radius get the mass of one square meter column for each

    e) Get the number of equivalent Earth column masses in one of Venus’s column masses.
    104.3

    Not 92 per NASA, that is pressure ratio and has gravity included.

    Not 53 per NASA, that is the density ratio at the surfaces.

    f) Taking the radiative power at Venus’s surface and ToA divided by the ratio in (e).
    This is the amount of flux that DOES NOT get passed to the Earth equivalent layer above.
    There are 104.3 layers for Venus, one for Earth’s atmosphere.

    g) Taking (f), find what Earth’s OLR should be according to Venus’s data.
    238.5. Whoa, can this be correct?

    h) Get the impedance to LW radiation that Venus’s atmosphere is indicating.
    0.01574785‹W/m² per kg of mass›

    This is the loss of ~0.01575‹W/m²› for every kilogram in a column vertically.

    i) Try this on Venus just taking Venus’s radiative brightness at the surface (SB using 735.1K, per VIRA) and see what the OLR for Venus should be, it was 131‹W/m²› as expected. This just double checked the math above.

    j) NOW, let’s try this for Earth again but this time just using TFK’s 396‹W/m²› power at the surface and Earth’s column’s mass with this “impedance”.
    OLR should be 238.5‹W/m²› by TFK… and it is, by Venus’s atmosphere’s impedance.

    They both have exactly the same impedance to LW or inner energy moving upward from the surface to the ToA even though both atmospheres are so different, but, they both are gas molecules, that is common.

    Instead of power you could use surface temperature and convert to the radiative power. I am super surprised that Earth’s water vapor and heat capacities seems to have no influence at all looking strictly at the mass, really surprised, but there it is.

    If you don’t understand this yet and have not already said to yourself, …….!! , some exclamation of choice, maybe someone else with better “communication skills”, as you put it, can help you understand. I too am a professional systems analyst for four decades, one of the best in this area anyway, and I have never have had anyone say such a thing to me. But hey, in science equations tends to be what is clearly spoken and is what most want to see.

    I sure don’t want to fight you David, I thought you would be elated at the news.

  116. Wayne,

    Thanks for that. No fighting involved – just plain speaking. And nobody here, least of all me, doubts your professional skills.

    Now I have an enticing english-language introduction, I shall feel motivated to ponder on your discovery with great interest.

    All the best. :-)

  117. Clivebest says:

    Stephen writes:

    TOA radiative equilibrium is a result of the variable internal atmospheric circulation operating via non radiative mechanisms.

    This statement is certainly true.

    I have just read a fascinating article by Richard Lindzen written about 8 years ago which addresses these issues directly. In the absence of circulation (convection, evaporation) the equilibrium surface temperature calculated by radiative transfer models would need to be ~350K to cool the surface radiatively. An atmosphere in pure radiative equilibrium has a very steep lapse rate. This is highly unstable and convective overturning and water evaporation keeps the atmosphere stable to moist convection – the moist lapse rate. The Earth’s surface then loses ~ 2/3 of its heat by evaporation and convection and 1/3 by radiation warming the atmosphere.

    So “throughput throttling” indeed dominates “output throttling” but it is not the whole story. If lapse rates don’t change, tropospheric and surface temperature are still sensitive to changes in radiative gases and clouds in the upper atmosphere – “output throttling”. This is because if concentrations increase IR radiates at slightly higher altitudes.

    My gut feeling however is that any increases in CO2 at these levels will be partially offset by decreases in water vapour/clouds in the upper atmosphere. In other words “output throttling” has built in stabilization. Maybe also “throughput throttling” reduces the lapse rate so there is no change in surface temperatures.

    Satellite measurements should be able to determine this within another 10 years.

  118. Clivebest says, February 8, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Clive,

    What you say here is important and helpful as I prepare Part II.

    Do you have a link to the Lindzen article?

    You say: In the absence of circulation (convection, evaporation) the equilibrium surface temperature calculated by radiative transfer models would need to be ~350K to cool the surface radiatively.

    Of course, that is only if the models, based on radiative transfer theory, are correct.

    You say: If lapse rates don’t change, tropospheric and surface temperature are still sensitive to changes in radiative gases and clouds in the upper atmosphere – “output throttling”. This is because if concentrations increase IR radiates at slightly higher altitudes.

    Yes, this is Tim Folkert’s throttling argument which we need to explore very thoroughly in Part II. As a qualitative argument it kind of makes sense (well, sort of!) but we do need to support this by quantitative explanations to show how significant an effect it really is. We are not going to get very far just with more hand waving (on either side of this debate).

  119. Stephen Wilde says:

    Clivebest said:

    “So “throughput throttling” indeed dominates “output throttling” but it is not the whole story.”

    I seem to recall that when David first mentioned output throttling and throughput throttling I said that both were involved.

    In the first instance there are changes other than in mass gravity and energy input that do seek to destabilise the system. Radiative characteristics being one such but there are many others.

    I have come to the view that such forcing elements do not in themselves change the lapse rate slope. They are part of the diabatic loop whereby incoming solar energy provokes a thermal response.

    However that then has the potential to upset the TOA radiative balance and that cannot be permitted to continue for long if the atmosphere is to be retained in gaseous form.

    So the outcome is that the TOA imbalance itself provokes a negative system response in the adiabatic loop that does change the lapse rate thus:

    i) Too much energy going out results in system cooling which rebalances energy in with energy out.

    ii) Too much energy in results in system heating which rebalances energy out with energy in.

    The mechanism whereby the potential imbalance is stabilised is the adiabatic loop swapping energy between PE and KE as necessary to keep the system temperature at a level which gives energy out equalling energy in no more and no less. Those changes in the proportions of KE and PE in the vertical column do alter the lapse rate because it is the amount of KE available at any given level which determines the temperature at that level,

    That swapping is a result of a fixed amount of total energy (PE +KE) being changed from KE to PE or vice versa by contraction or expansion of the atmosphere as a whole or by expansion and contraction of layers within the atmosphere.

    A higher atmosphere (or layer) converts more KE to PE for net cooling and a lower atmosphere (or layer) converts more PE to KE for a net warming.

    In each case the sign of the throughput throttling being equal and opposite to the attempt at output throttling.

    Any attempt at destabilisation by output throttling in the diabatic loop is offset by throughput throttling in the adiabatic loop.

  120. Stephen Wilde says:

    To clarify as regards CO2 specifically:

    i) If CO2 has a net warmig effect due to slowing down energy loss to space then the atmosphere expands converting more KE to PE for a cooling effect since PE does not register as heat on sensors.

    ii) If CO2 has a net cooling effect due to facilitating energy loss to space then the atmosphere contracts converting more PE to KE for a warming effect because KE does register as heat on sensors.

    In each case the expansion or contraction has prevented CO2 from affecting TOA radiative balance.

    Note that the total fund of energy (KE + PE) is set by mass, gravity and energy input.

    wayne’s neat equations show that the principle works on both Earth and Venus despite the vastly different radiative characteristics of their atmospheres.

    It is indeed all about mass, mass, mass.

    Since CO2 is such a trivial portion of total mass on Earth its thermal effects as regards the atmospheric thermal enhancement are negligible.

    Interestingly I was able to follow the gist of wayne’s presentation despite my own inexperience with equations.

  121. wayne says:

    “Wayne’s neat equations show that the principle works on both Earth and Venus despite the vastly different radiative characteristics of their atmospheres.

    It is indeed all about mass, mass, mass.

    Since CO2 is such a trivial portion of total mass on Earth its thermal effects as regards the atmospheric thermal enhancement are negligible.

    Interestingly I was able to follow the gist of Wayne’s presentation despite my own inexperience with equations.”

    Thank for that kind comment Stephen. How about a bit deeper look in English (or close) instead of equations. This comment is primarily for you Stephen, for you are one of the one’s here that have followed my search through step-by-step, with the ups and downs, sometimes upside down or even backwards, it happens on a quest, and I’m grateful, seriously. There is more following this side-track topic so I’ll get back on David’s thrust in a moment. But I do think this is right on topic, deeply related here, so all can read if you are interested.

    To you comment Stephen, yes, now everyone should realize that this does point strongly at pure mass being one of the ruling parameters in energy transfer in an atmosphere, gases. I still keep finding me saying to myself, is this accurate, is this real and complete? But this does have all of it’s underpins in the set of equations on mass attenuation, so right now, I have to believe it is both accurate and real.

    Here’s a bit on why the way I see it. More than mass it has to do with ‘n’, the number of moles radiation and all energy differences have to pass through to force an equilibrium, or, break that down further to ‘N’ the number of atoms and molecules themselves. Those are what cause the attenuation or impedance to the flow of energy through that mass. I’m just having a bit of a problem right now going back through all of the texts to find a more elegant set of equations that properly lay this factor out in our context and why Earth and Venus and I assume right now all atmospheres.

    (just to be perfectly clear the ²² is in fact the fourth power, square of a square, and √√ is the fourth root, sqrt or a square root and HTML usually doesn’t accept the real symbols… bummer, anyway that trick works great on simple calculators and so much easier)

    Radiation, conduction, advection, and mass convection are all ways to move energy through a medium, like an atmosphere, that has a continuous and linear temperature gradient. I’ve taken the time to go through the Stefan-Boltzmann relation I = σ·(Ta²² – Tb²²)/(1/εa + 1/εb – 1) one more time to try to draw radiations linear influence in line with the other three for by the each atmosphere’s profiles it seems not to matter, it is core non-linear, or, perhaps radiation is being totally negated and is showing, or it’s effect is totally cancelling, in the bulk. But I am looking it without length involved, the height of an atmosphere. You can never cancel quanta of energy, that break the law, but you can cancel energy’s effects through symmetry (qm level, think e/m waves Stephen, there is a duality, waves are a certainty though quantitized (single Hz), photons are just a concept) and that is one of the facts that is usually ignored and should not be, a big mistake there in your mind.

    That does make some real sense to me and David seems to have taken that same view leading him to focus near the ToA and radiation there (and at the surface boundary level where radiation also has a hand).

    Each of the other three modes have terms in length, mass and gravity (and time of course). Advection and convection also have ties into inertia that is involved. I have not found, and no one else as of yet (books, papers and courses included) has been able to explain at core first principles to me, why all atmospheres have such an averaged linear lapse across space (length). That thought keeps haunting me and will until I see it in equations (a bit deeper than merely g/Cp). This linearality is exactly what that stream of calculations above also shows, but not quite, the amount of particles per area (density) is also a log gradient across space (length). Frustrating.

    The reason those calculations above have a perfect linearality is it is looking across an atmosphere as parcel levels of equal mass, not of pressure, not of density, nor of temperature, of N particles irregardless of any length involved, a pure mass gradient and it doesn’t matter how thick or thin the atmosphere is, or shouldn’t (maybe van-der-Waals-like effects a bit here). That might be one area we were thinking not parallel to nature getting too many parameters mixed together at once and never being able to separate them all.

    One last comment you might have not performed and will find interesting:

    Take that new factor and look at each planet’s atmospheres from the top downward to the surface this time. Start with what the satellites are reading OLR (outgoing long radiation) to be:

    Earth surface brightness temperature = 238.5 W/m² + 0.015748 W/m²/kg × 9999 kg
    Earth surface brightness temperature = 395.96 W/m²
    Earth surface temperature (ε=1) = √√(395.96/σ)
    Earth surface temperature = 289.07 K

    Venus surface brightness temperature = 131 W/m² + 0.015748 W/m²/kg × 1042936 kg
    Venus surface brightness temperature = 16555 W/m²
    Venus surface temperature (ε=1) = √√(16555/σ)
    Venus surface temperature = 735.07 K

    Yep, those are the right values according to the data available.
    I find it hard to ignore or to just cover up this relation, have someone apply a sleight of hand to it … seems to be a dynamite understanding in this area, to me anyway and I bet my other’s if they care or are not part of the ongoing industry.

    What are the core units of this mysterious new factor that can directly convert OLR to surface temperatures ?
    Expand then simplify a bit:
    W/m²/kg
    J/s/m²/kg
    kg·m²/s²/s/m²/kg
    kg·m²/s³/m²/kg
    m²/s³/m²
    1/s³

    The units of this new factor or parameter are “inversed (seconds ^ the number of dimensions)”, very interesting !!

    Well, then what are the core units of W/m² which we are converting to temperature? They are just:
    J/s/m²
    kg·m²/s²/s/m²
    kg·m²/s³/m²
    kg/s³
    Kilograms per second per second per second units… and kilograms are the one commonality in all of this relation. But then mass is energy so don’t carry that to far Stephen. Are you pretty familiar with base dimension analysis or maybe Planck constants and their deeper derivations across all units? if not, read a bit on it. Maybe see S-T that is an attempt to break all units down to just space and time, m & s, and does a pretty good stab at it.

    I may have solved one aspect of my original reason why I got involved in climate “science” fiasco a few years back, couldn’t equate it upstairs when someone said it’s about “trapped heat energy in our atmosphere”. Maybe payback time, I’ve wasted so much time and money disproving I.P.C.C.’s “science”.

    Stephen, you you see what this is also saying, seems important in the track the TalkShop has followed over the last year or so, this works in the solar input side too, not just the LW output, for TSI × (1-α) has to equal 4 × OLR, input equals output over time, right?. If you know the distance from the sun and the albedo, you also have the OLR. By OLR and a planet’s radius and GM, all easily measured and well known, and the mass of an atmosphere (harder and not so accurate), you now can know the surface temperature if this equation does show to be generally universal in atmospheric gases. Not quite N-K’s track but very close and related. This may have just solved their equation too by getting away from pressure for that ties to gravity, a complexity. See, I am trying to dig down to the very core, getting rid of all of the unnecessary variables if possible that just make everything appear so incredibly and infuriatingly complex.

    OTOH, if surface pressure is known more accurately (rarely), by radius and area you can enter that way to get the columnar mass. With time I’ll pull back up the work on N-K and see if this simplifies their two powers of pressure. Hope this relation holds on the other planet-moon’s with atmospheres. Time will tell.

    My longstanding forestay in gravity, astronomy and astrophysics just may be paying off finally (and with the help of some ten or twelve courses I sat through this last summer for a refresher, to make sure I knew what I thought I knew, including c.p.×2, e/m.p., c., m.v.c., l.a., s.m., td, s.td, s.r., g.r., qm×2 … did find the nomenclature/notation there and mine were at least a mile apart, but that is okay, I tend to have my own way of thinking and writing and lack “communication skills”! I’ll will thank David there for kindly pointing that out, maybe that is a course I should have taken instead. ;) (just kidding David)).

    Okay, enough said for now on that subject. Think on that. Hope that clarified some areas about what I was doing as you suggested I put in numbers.

    This “throughput” aspect does deeply interest me but I’m a bit slow on the draw dredging through all of this topic mathematically as we go.

  122. Max™ says:

    Instead of power you could use surface temperature and convert to the radiative power. I am super surprised that Earth’s water vapor and heat capacities seems to have no influence at all looking strictly at the mass, really surprised, but there it is.” ~wayne

    No, you are not the only one going !!! at that working out so well, interesting stuff, and for a bit of translation: wayne’s calcs suggest that kinetic energy and atmospheric mass matter more than composition, to put it lightly.

  123. Stephen Wilde says:

    wayne

    Thanks for that expansion on your findings.

    As regards expressing it all in words accessible to the lay reader noww might be a good time to review this old article of mine:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1562&linkbox=true&position=8

    “Greenhouse Confusion Resolved”

    from July 2008.

    I think it is holding up pretty well in light of developments here.

    Note that at that time I was using the term density as synonymous with mass as in the usage that the Venusian atmosphere is much denser than that of Earth.

    It was updated here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9085

    in February 2012 to include a reference to the N & Z findings.

  124. Bart says:

    I really hate word games. As I stated here, “That’s the problem with debating in words. Words are imprecise. Words can mask specious reasoning. Math is absolute.”

    I would appreciate others looking at the link to my WUWT comment above and the foregoing comments I made. The result of the math suggests that, while the GHE is real, adding CO2 (which we’re not doing anyway, but that’s an entirely different debate) might actually tend incrementally to decrease surface temperatures.

  125. Kristian says:

    David,

    May I ask what empirical evidence (what direct, physical measurements) you are referring to concerning downwelling longwave radiation from the atmosphere to Earth’s surface …? I was under the impression that what we’re always ‘seeing’ in these cases is the NET flow to or from the measuring device, which is then internally converted into a component flux readout value, or an interferogram. I agree to the concept of the up and down components of the net flux. But I’m not sure I agree to the notion that these component fluxes are ‘real’ in the same way as the net flux is.

  126. It is wonderful to find a blog where observations are respected more than rhetoric. David Socrates is right to say that the average temperature of the Moon is 206K. However he is referring to “Gridded” data measured at latitude zero +/-5 degrees.
    http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml

    If you look at the data for latitude 89 degrees, the average is ~100K. When you average over the entire surface of the Moon the temperature is 154.3K, using equation (2) here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/

  127. Wayne,
    I will keep this short because it is “Off Topic”. My aim is to promote the elimination of the top down structure of public education. My vision is a future with every public school controlled by its own board (just as most private schools are). Some links:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/online-non-government-school/#comment-46409

  128. wayne says:

    OT: gallopingcamel, got your note. Good. Will read it tomorrow & catch you at E.M.’s.

  129. J Martin says:

    Moved

  130. Kristian says:

    Moved

  131. tallbloke says:

    Galloping camel:
    It is wonderful to find a blog where observations are respected more than rhetoric. David Socrates is right to say that the average temperature of the Moon is 206K. However he is referring to “Gridded” data measured at latitude zero +/-5 degrees.
    http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml

    If you look at the data for latitude 89 degrees, the average is ~100K. When you average over the entire surface of the Moon the temperature is 154.3K, using equation (2) here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/

    [Reply] 2) The Unified Theory of Climate was published here first, not at WUWT
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/
    2) Its authors Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller developed the correct method for integrating insolation over a hemisphere and worked together with Ashwin Vavasada the P.I. of the Diviner experiment to determine an average surface temperature of 197K, later revised slightly upwards to somewhere near the figure David Cosserat quoted.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/ned-nikolov-implications-of-diviner-results-for-the-s-b-standard-equation/

  132. Roger Clague says:

    David Cosserat’s proposed starting point for discussion are diagrams containing energy fluxes in watts/m2. As in Trenberth’s diagram.

    There is no law of conservation of power. Averaging over time when earth is in light and in the dark is misleading. No good supping with the devil on this occasion.

    The Law of Conservation of Energy can only be applied to a system in equilibrium. Such as column of of air. The temperature profile of the troposphere is stable from day to night.

    Applying the Law of Conservation of Energy to changes of KE and PE gives
    a correct result for the Adiabatic Lapse Rate.
    Adiabatic means energy is conserved.

    Diagrams using Watt/m2 are non-adiabatic.
    Assuming power in = power out at earth’s surface or TOA has no justification. It is wrong.

    Discussion based on such diagrams are not helpful.

  133. Richard M says:

    The comment by paulinuk at February 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm is extremely important. If this comment is true it eliminates any future warming by the GHE.

    Essentially, it states that all the surface radiation is already absorbed by the atmosphere. There is no way for the surface to warm any more since there is no more radiation to absorb. The GHE is maxed out.

    The claim that increased CO2 will warm the planet is based on the atmosphere absorbing radiation in the so-called atmospheric window. If this window doesn’t exist at the surface there can be no additional warming of the surface.

    So, is there any evidence this claim is true for our atmosphere? Any empirical measurements?

  134. tchannon says:

    Moved

  135. Kristian says:

    Moved

  136. Roger Clague says, February 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm: David Cosserat’s proposed starting point for discussion are diagrams containing energy fluxes in watts/m2. As in Trenberth’s diagram. There is no law of conservation of power. Averaging over time when earth is in light and in the dark is misleading. No good supping with the devil on this occasion.

    Roger,

    I am breathless with amazement. Are you denying that, at temperature equilibrium, the rate of flow of energy into the earth from the Sun must be balanced by an equal rate of outflow of energy to space, both quantities of course being (i) averaged over the earth’s whole surface area; and (ii) averaged over a sufficiently long period of time to even out diurnal and seasonal fluctuations?

    The ‘rate of flow of energy’ is ‘power’.

    So, at equilibrium, power in = power out.

    What exact difficulty do you have with that identity?

  137. Kristian says, February 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm: I agree to the concept of the up and down components of the net flux. But I’m not sure I agree to the notion that these component fluxes are ‘real’ in the same way as the net flux is.

    Kristian,

    Then you have learned nothing at all from the thought experiment in Fig.2 of my article above!

    In the case of the real atmosphere (Fig. 3), of course the upward flux (356Wm-2) and the downward flux (333Wm-2) components are real. And of course the net 23Wm-2 flux is real.

    In the Fig.3 diagram, you also need to note an important subtlety:

    (1) The upward radiative flux of 356Wm-2 from surface to atmosphere (the brown flow line) is first thermalised as 356Wm-2 of KE (the blue flow line).

    (2) Then 333Wm-2 of this 356Wm-2 KE is converted back to downward radiation.

    (3) The remaining 23Wm-2 of KE continues on up through the atmospheric column towards space.

    This shows that one must always look very carefully at the physics of what is going on in the KE-radiation-KE transitions. Yes, the arithmetic all balances. It has to. But it is the physical realities that are most vitally important to understand.

    And yes of course the up and down radiative fluxes can really be measured using instrumentation at the earth’s surface. The difficulty is not in taking individual accurate measurements but in averaging them over the whole of the earth’s surface. Unlike measuring the earth’s temperature using many thousands of thermometers, the instrumentation to measure radiation acccurately is very expensive. Consequently Trenberth’s world mean figures of 333Wm-2 and 356Wm-2 are subject to large uncertainties. But that limitation doesn’t affect the principles we are discussing here at all.

  138. Bryan says:

    David Socrates says

    ” Consequently Trenberth’s world mean figures of 333Wm-2 and 356Wm-2 are subject to large uncertainties.”

    The are not just inaccurate because of a smaller sample of measurements.

    The instrument that takes each measurement is inaccurate.

    Read

    http://www.arm.gov/publications/proceedings/conf16/extended_abs/stoffel_t.pdf

    Imagine using a set of thermometers placed in a bowl of boiling water and the range of readings were 95C to 83C.

    That’s how accurate pyrgeometers are.

    Yet Trenberth quotes figures like 333W/m2 i.e. accurate to 3 significant figures.

    Any attempt to use numbers like this in an analysis is bound to fail

  139. Kristian says:

    David, you say: “And yes of course the up and down radiative fluxes can really be measured using instrumentation at the earth’s surface. The difficulty is not in taking individual accurate measurements but in averaging them over the whole of the earth’s surface. Unlike measuring the earth’s temperature using many thousands of thermometers, the instrumentation to measure radiation acccurately is very expensive. Consequently Trenberth’s world mean figures of 333Wm-2 and 356Wm-2 are subject to large uncertainties. But that limitation doesn’t affect the principles we are discussing here at all.”

    Now you sound like Science of Doom. Simply asserting that “Yes, of course they’re real!” doesn’t really show that they are, does it? This is not even an argument: “In the case of the real atmosphere (Fig. 3), of course the upward flux (356Wm-2) and the downward flux (333Wm-2) components are real.” OK? What do I do with that piece of ‘information’?

    I specifically asked you what empirical evidence you were referring to when stating for instance the following: “After all the numbers are verified by the empirical data in the above energy diagram: 333Wm-2 down and 356Wm-2 up.” What is empirical about these data? Are they physically measured/detected directly? Or are they ‘empirically’ derived values?

  140. suricat says:

    David.

    Your attempt to further Trenberth et al is commendable. Just don’t let anyone separate your graphic from the dialogue. :)

    I do think you’ll also need to add attractors that ‘consume’ energy from the dynamic which add/subtract to the “FUND” of the “BULK OF THE ATMOSPHERE”. Let me expound on this.

    Evapotranspiration adds to the ‘bulk’ of the atmosphere at the surface, but ‘precipitated water’ also ‘improves’ the ‘bulk’ of the atmosphere where precipitation occurs. As rain falls, it also evaporates!

    This leads me into the realisation that the ‘best case “surface” precipitation’ of global data OMITS ‘precipitation that evaporates before contact with the surface’ (this is important). IMHO, this is a ‘hole’ in the data for ‘latency’ because energy is transformed (by way of ‘latency’) ‘WITHIN’ the atmosphere. :(

    The latency ‘exchanger/attractor’ exists everywhere where its influence is seen.

    Looking at ‘latency’ per se. RH is presumed to be ‘constant’ at near surface altitudes, but this includes ‘replenishment’ from precipitation at higher altitudes. Thus, ‘Higher Altitudes’ may well indicate the ‘source’ of ‘temp./climate’ changes.

    TB may also have an interest here.

    Best regards, Ray.

  141. tchannon says:

    This seems a fair place to put a minder.

    I’ve been trawling through Koutsoyiannis’s work and came across a paper which looks related to some of the arguments which have raged on the Talkshop but is beyond me.
    http://itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/1184/

    About vapour pressure and entropy.

    Ignore unless it actually has a bearing on things.

  142. suricat says, February 11, 2013 at 1:33 am:

    Your attempt to further Trenberth et al is commendable. Just don’t let anyone separate your graphic from the dialogue.

    I don’t intend to, but thanks anyway for the encouragement. Just bear in mind that I am a seeker after the truth and that I do not in any way endorse Trenberth’s personal adherence to the CAGW position which I think is misplaced. However that does not means his energy flow numbers are useless, as some fellow skeptics have implied. Some people here have gone on and on about the supposed inaccuracies in his figures, but then seem most reluctant when challenged to suggest alternative values. Our discussion here doesn’t depend on 3 digit accuracy. The figures are put there there as placemarkers to aid discourse.

    This leads me into the realisation that the ‘best case “surface” precipitation’ of global data OMITS ‘precipitation that evaporates before contact with the surface’ (this is important). IMHO, this is a ‘hole’ in the data for ‘latency’ because energy is transformed (by way of ‘latency’) ‘WITHIN’ the atmosphere.

    Interesting point and I did wonder what practical difference that would make to the energy flows. But until somebody comes up with some credible figures I would, again, be reluctant to change the values I have used, or to embellish the diagram.

  143. Kristian, Bryan and all….

    Thanks for your further comments on the subject of the applicability, reliability, and accuracy (or otherwise) of instrumentation used to measure upward and downward IR fluxes at the earth’s surface.

    Much to my relief, Tim Channon has had the brilliant notion of starting a parallel thread to deal with this issue. This is an example of the excellent way that the Talkshop deals with things head on rather than sweeping them under the carpet. I shall await the outcome of that investigation with great interest.

    All I would say in conclusion on the issue of whether upwelling (356Wm-2) and downwelling (333Wm-2) surface-air radiation figures are, or are not, physically meaningful is that those who believe they are NOT can always use the net upward figure of 23Wm-2. They will struggle, though, as the conversation proceeds because we will here be assuming that the surface and lower atmosphere do radiate in accordance with the S-B law. We cannot let their protests get in the way of our investigation here any further.

    Sorry but we have to draw the line somewhere, or we will never make any progress. :-)

  144. Tim Folkerts says:

    To me the talk about the “reality” of up and down radiation ultimately falls back to your understanding of the universe. At some level, all of our understanding is simply a human attempt to bring meaning to the world we observe around us.

    That said, the photon model for EM energy is highly successful at explain what we observe. In this model, individual packets of energy (photons) are emitted and absorbed by quantum interactions with individual electrons/atoms/molecules. Between emission and absorption, these photons fly thru space. Photons are flying up from my desk to the ceiling as I write this; other photons are flying across from one wall to another; other photons are flying down from the ceiling to the floor; others are emitted by the air molecules, flying off in all directions. These photons fly past each other in all these directions. To say that there are no photons heading downward from the atmosphere to the ground is saying you don’t believe the photon model of light.

    And switching to the wave model of light fares no better — wave can travel through each other just fine. To deny energy moving from the sky to the ground would require a NEW model of EM energy, because neither of the two standard models are consistent with such a view.

  145. Stephen Wilde says:

    “To say that there are no photons heading downward from the atmosphere to the ground is saying you don’t believe the photon model of light. ”

    Does anyone say that ?

    My position is that the temperature and the net flow of photons up and down (and even laterally) at any given height is controlled by pressure and insolation so that the photons present at any given height are a consequence of the temperature set by pressure and insolation rather than a cause of anything.

  146. Bryan says:

    Tim Folkerts says

    “To me the talk about the “reality” of up and down radiation ultimately falls back to your understanding of the universe. At some level, all of our understanding is simply a human attempt to bring meaning to the world we observe around us.”

    I agree and in a hundred years perhaps the photon model may well be replaced with something even nearer to reality.

    That said for wavelengths > 3 um the classical theory of Maxwell as illustrated through the Raleigh – Jeans equation gives the same answers as the Planck equation.

    Classical thermodynamics has a one way energy transfer represented by the Poynting Vector.

    Only for wavelengths < 3um is the quantum mechanical approach essential

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mod6.html#c4

    So for most problems dealing with thermal radiation either approuch gives the correct answers.

  147. Tim Folkerts says:

    David says”
    “Does anyone say that ? [That photons only travel one way]“
    Probably not in so many words, but plenty of people say things to the effect that only net flow is physical, or that photons going one way will be absorbed, but that photons going the other way mysteriously don’t get absorbed/get bounced back/have no effect.

    “My position is that the temperature and the net flow of photons up and down (and even laterally) at any given height is controlled by pressure and insolation so that the photons present at any given height are a consequence of the temperature set by pressure and insolation rather than a cause of anything.”
    But what specifically does it mean for something to cause something else? In this case, the energy in the atmosphere “causes” photons to be created and to carry energy elsewhere. But it is just as true that photons carrying energy into the atmosphere “cause” energy to be deposited, which affects the temperature.

    I don’t see how you could hold one position without the other.

  148. Roger Clague says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    “Roger,

    I am breathless with amazement. Are you denying that, at temperature equilibrium, the rate of flow of energy into the earth from the Sun must be balanced by an equal rate of outflow of energy to space, both quantities of course being (i) averaged over the earth’s whole surface area; and (ii) averaged over a sufficiently long period of time to even out diurnal and seasonal fluctuations?

    The ‘rate of flow of energy’ is ‘power’.

    So, at equilibrium, power in = power out.

    What exact difficulty do you have with that identity?”

    I accept the observation that the earth has a ‘temperature equilibrium’. I accept that the energy content of the atmosphere can be assumed to be constant. Therefore the rate of input and output of energy are the same at TOA. This is a deduction from an observation , not the result of applying a law of physics.

    Clouds and the earth’s surface do not have ‘temperature equilibrium’. So we cannot assume power in = power out within the earth/ atmosphere system, in parts of the system, or anywhere except at TOA.. There is no general law of conservation of power.

    We can only correctly and hence usefully apply the Law of Conservation of Energy to the KE and PE in a vertical column of the atmosphere. This is gives us lapse rate =g/c. Warmists hate this result. It works. And it undermines their theory. They hide it or avoid it.
    To discuss Trenberth’s energy budgets is to play their game, a distraction they love. Nit-picking over flexible figures in a sea of photons. Tim will have great fun.

  149. Tim Folkerts says:

    Roger says: “Warmists hate this result [the lapse rate].”
    No, we don’t.
    We accept it as an important property of the atmosphere that has important implications for climate and global warming. Sure, there are poorly informed people who “believe in global warming” but don’t understand the importance of the lapse rate. Just like there are poorly informed skeptics who think that photons from the “cold sky” can’t help keep the “hot surface” warm.

    But any “serious” student of the greenhouse effect knows and accepts the lapse rate. The lapse rate IN NO WAY undermines the theory of warming due to IR active gases (and is indeed an integral part of the theory).

    ” I accept that the energy content of the atmosphere can be assumed to be constant. Therefore the rate of input and output of energy are the same at TOA. This is a deduction from an observation , not the result of applying a law of physics.
    Actually, that is pretty much the definition of “applying conservation of energy”!
    If the energy content is assumed to be constant, then it is precisely the Law of Conservation of Energy that allows us to conclude “therefore the rate of input and output of energy are the same”. More broadly, “deductions from observations” is pretty much the definition of “laws of physics”.

    * “I observe an object is not accelerating. Therefore I deduce from the laws of physics that the net force is zero.” (without ever measuring the forces involved)
    * “I observe that a rubber rod has become negatively charged after rubbing it with fur. Therefore I deduce from the laws of physics that the fur will be positively charged.” (without ever measuring the charge of the fur)

    ‘We can only correctly and hence usefully apply the Law of Conservation of Energy to the KE and PE in a vertical column of the atmosphere.
    1) Conservation of energy must be applied to ALL types of energy — you can’t simply separate out KE & PE.
    2) Assuming that you can apply the Law of Conservation of energy to a column of air, then you can apply it to ALL columns of air. And therefore you can apply it to the atmosphere as a whole. :-)

  150. wayne says:

    TimF: “To me the talk about the “reality” of up and down radiation ultimately falls back to your understanding of the universe. At some level, all of our understanding is simply a human attempt to bring meaning to the world we observe around us.

    That said, the photon model for EM energy is highly successful at explain what we observe. In this model, individual packets of energy (photons) are emitted and absorbed by quantum interactions with individual electrons/atoms/molecules.”

    How so conveniently you always just leave out the photon-photon interaction aspect again, the wave-wave interaction. The duality is a fundamental property of the universe, didn’t you know that? So why do you always leave out the wave aspect? Does it not fit with your “understanding of the universe”?

  151. tchannon says:

    “can’t help keep the “hot surface” warm.”

    Wording like that troubles me.

    Time is involved. Anything returning left earlier, a decaying process.

    There is no keeping warm. There is no heating.

    There is attenuation of energy flow. A consequence across an impedance is a temperature difference.

    It’s all just words, how hard I have to work decoding varies.

  152. suricat says:

    David Socrates says: February 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    “Interesting point and I did wonder what practical difference that would make to the energy flows.”

    Latent energy flow can only be measured by the ‘mass of water evaporated’, or the ‘mass of ‘WV’ (water vapour) condensed’.

    To base the measure of energy transport solely on surface precipitation ignores any WV regeneration within the ‘drop zone’ of the precipitation. Similarly, ‘wet pan’ evaporation rates at the surface can only tell part of the story, but for the opposite reason.

    Surface precipitation is, meteorologically, measured in mm/metre^2 and WV in %’RH’ (relative humidity), or %’SH’ (specific humidity).

    When it rains in a metre^2 column, not only the surface RH increases (due to the temperature drop caused by the injection of a cool fluid), but SH increases as well (due to the abundance of water evaporating and removing local heat in the evaporation process).

    In industry we have a process that is similar, but injects hot water, at height, over ‘slats’ that form a column from which the hot water falls to the ground. We call it a ‘cooling tower’ and it really does remove a lot of heat from the water by the evaporation process, but that’s an aside.

    When it rains in a metre^2 column, surface ‘wet pan’ evaporation rates are suppressed due to the elevated RH component injected into the column by the local precipitation. This means that the ‘wet pan’ measurement has been suppressed by the action of precipitation from within the atmosphere. Do you begin to see the link? :)

    An ‘extreme’ example of this would be a ‘cloud chamber’, but that’s another aside.

    The ‘thermodynamic properties’ of the ‘atmospheric hydrological cycle’ CAN’T be determined from data which relates to ‘surface observations’ alone. Thus, IMHO, surface precipitation ‘isn’t’ representative of ‘latency’ in these energy assumptions.

    I’d like to be able to offer an alternative, but I can’t see one. Though, the 300mb WV propensity may help to depict the global temperature average, after the effect of CO2 is filtered out.

    Here’s a site that’s a ‘little gem’ for pulling together data from different aspects of ‘climate’:

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    Hope this helps. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  153. tjfolkerts says:

    Wayne says: “How so conveniently you always just leave out the photon-photon interaction aspect again, the wave-wave interaction.

    Even more conveniently you throw out concepts as if they mattered, leaving out any real discussion of what you think they mean or why they should be important.

    Two-photon physics, also called gamma-gamma physics, is a branch of particle physics for the interactions between two photons. If the energy in the center of mass system of the two photons is large enough, matter can be created…

    From quantum electrodynamics it can be found that photons cannot couple directly to each other, since they carry no charge, but they can interact through higher-order processes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics

    And then there is superposition principle, whish says there is no interaction between waves unles there is a non-linear medium.

    Nonlinear optics (NLO) is the branch of optics that describes the behavior of light in nonlinear media, that is, media in which the dielectric polarization P responds nonlinearly to the electric field E of the light. This nonlinearity is typically only observed at very high light intensities (values of the electric field comparable to interatomic electric fields, typically 10^8 V/m) such as those provided by pulsed lasers.

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

    ” Does it not fit with your “understanding of the universe”?
    I “just leave out” two-photon interactions and non-linear optics because they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with low energy, low intensity thermal IR photons in the atmosphere. So yes you are right, these do not fit with my “understanding of the universe” as applies to the case at hand.

    If you disagree, by all means calculate the effect of non-linear optics and IR photon-photon interactions and report back to us.

  154. Stephen Wilde says:

    Tim Folkerts said:

    “But what specifically does it mean for something to cause something else? In this case, the energy in the atmosphere “causes” photons to be created and to carry energy elsewhere. But it is just as true that photons carrying energy into the atmosphere “cause” energy to be deposited, which affects the temperature.

    I don’t see how you could hold one position without the other.”

    In this case it means that without mass and gravity there would be no photons buzzing about. Instead they would go straight in and out with no buzzing about.

    All that buzzing about and the temperature that results from it with the associated decline with height are a consequence of mass, gravity and insolation interacting.

    The photons cause nothing apart from the initial surface heating. Everything else that happens after that within an atmosphere is a result only of mass and gravity.

    The photons buzzing about in any direction other than vertically are a consequence only of mass and gravity.

    It is that diversion of the photon tracks away from vertically in and out which generates heat within an atmosphere by retaining the photons within the atmosphere just a little bit longer and the longer the hotter.

    But in the end energy in must balance energy out or there would be no atmosphere.

    The only issue for AGW theory is whether radiative characteristics of molecules have any net effect but since the whole phenomenon is related only to mass and gravity subjected to insolation they cannot.

    Instead, they just induce a miniscule circulation adjustment. It is miniscule because the entire atmospheric mass is involved and GHGs are a miniscule proportion of total mass.

  155. Stephen Wilde says:

    That miniscule circulation adjustment has the net effect of returning the photon tracks a little more back towards the vertical so as to negate any effects of GHGs in sending their tracks a little further away from the vertical.

  156. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen says: “The photons buzzing about in any direction other than vertically are a consequence only of mass and gravity.”
    … AND the presence of IR active materials in that atmosphere.

    No one is denying that you need to have an atmosphere (mass). No one is denying that you need gravity to hold on to that atmosphere and to set up pressure and temperature gradients.

    But you can have as much gravity and as much mass as you want — without clouds and GHGs you will not have any of those IR photons buzzing in random directions.

    It’s kind of like arguing if your car moves because of the engine or because of the tires. Both are needed and neither will function without the other.

  157. Roger Clague says:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    February 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    “it is precisely the Law of Conservation of Energy that allows us to conclude “therefore the rate of input and output of energy are the same”

    No. It is the Kirchoff’s Law of Thermal Radiation ( KLTR). That is, in a system at thermal equilibrium, a body that absorbs radiation with a certain efficiency, emits radiation with that same efficiency.

    Trenberth’s power in = power out diagram and calculations are based on KLTR.

    The temperature at TOA does not change much from day to night or by season or latitude. The temperature of the earth’s surface does change a lot from day to night, by season and latitude.

    KLTR can be applied at TOA, but cannot be applied at the earth’s surface.

    By the way, how can I use italics, or even bold italics in my comment?

  158. suricat says, February 12, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Suricat,

    Your knowledge on the non-surface precipitation-vaporisation cycle is so way far ahead of mine that I am sure you will have no difficulty at all answering the following question:

    By how much does the effect you describe alter any of the Trenberth figures for energy flowing in the various modes from the surface to the atmosphere?

    If you cannot answer that question, I cannot judge whether it is worth changing any of the figures in my diagram.

  159. Tim Folkerts says:

    Roger C,

    There are “html tags” to format text. Try this link: http://cms.about.com/od/maintain-your-cms-website/a/Write-In-Html-Bold-Italic-And-Links.htm

    And yes, Kirchhoff’s Laws for thermal radiation are also important — but they are more directly tied to the 2nd law. in this case, there is not thermal equilibrium between the interacting “regions” (sun, space, surface, & atmosphere).

  160. wayne says:

    Tim, didn’t think you prescribed much emphasis to the e/m aspect as being the primary aspect in classical environments except in some of the more exotic qm effects as you provided and that helps me see why you speak the way you do. Thanks.

    I read and learn such things, for credible sources it seems:

    “IR, Visible, UV and Higher Frequencies
    These frequencies are so great that the bounded electrons are not able to immediately respond to the fluctuating EM fields. This causes a delay in the reradiation that is more due to the delayed electron acceleration than the angle effects described above. The higher the frequency, the more delayed (relative to the wavelength) the electron acceleration becomes. Therefore in these frequency ranges, the index of refraction is a function of frequency. Higher frequencies are slowed down more and have a higher index of refraction. Therefore, higher frequencies are more affected by index of refraction variations and refract (bend) more than lower frequencies in these ranges. These frequencies are also too great for electrons to shift the orientation of a bipolar molecules, therefore water vapor does not increase the index of refraction. The reradiation and refraction still does depend on the number of bounded electrons and atoms in the air, therefore air density essentially is what controls refraction. This means temperature gradients can create conditions where IR, visible etc. rays will bend. But unlike VHF, UHF and EHF, the bending depends on frequency.”
    and then I listen to what you are saying and the contrast is a bit confusing to say the least. Just wondering why you always to leave out such wave energy transfers aspects in your great knowledge in physics. But then again, the Navy probably doesn’t have good physicists like you.

  161. Stephen Wilde says:

    Tim Folkerts said:

    “But you can have as much gravity and as much mass as you want — without clouds and GHGs you will not have any of those IR photons buzzing in random directions.”

    Without clouds and GHGs all radiation would be to and from the surface or to and from aerosols (of which there would be many).

    Uneven surfaces with changing angles of insolation would send many photons buzzing about laterally even in a non radiative atmosphere.

    In any event conduction between surface and non GHGs and between one non GHG and another is sufficient to store energy in the atmosphere for a period of time dependent on mass and gravity and the total system energy content will be the ame regardless of radiative characteristics.

  162. Roger Clague says:

    Tim,

    Thanks for the information about HTML tags

    However you have not responded to my criticism of Trenberth’s energy budget.

    In this post it is proposed that a discussion on the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) be based on a diagram similar to Trenberth’s.

    Trenberth treats parts of the system, the surface, the atmosphere and TOA as black bodies. Then he applies Kerchoff’s Law of Thermal Radiation ( KLTR) to each. That is power in = power out for each body.

    I say KLTR is OK for the TOA/space interaction. It is in thermal equilibrium. It is not OK for the surface or the atmosphere, which are not in thermal equilibrium. So the Trenberth diagram is not a useful basis for discussing GHE.

  163. tchannon says:

    Talkshop has a top menu where there is a Help page.

  164. Tim Folkerts says:

    Roger C says:
    “Trenberth treats parts of the system, the surface, the atmosphere and TOA as black bodies.”
    No, i am pretty sure that he doesn’t. The oceans are close to being a black body surface. The clouds are also close to a black body surface. The land is less like a black body. The atmosphere is even less like a black body.

    The surface is often approximated as a black body, but for exactly work the actual emissivities would often be used. The atmosphere would never be approximated as a black body.

    “Then he applies Kerchoff’s Law of Thermal Radiation ( KLTR) to each. That is power in = power out for each body.”
    No, not quite. Kirchhoff’s Law says that the emissivity is equal to the absorptivity. This law requires that if a surface absorbs 80% of the incoming radiation at a specific frequency, then that surface will also emit 80% as much thermal radiation at that frequency as a black body would. It does NOT require that a surface that is absorbing 400 W/m^2 also emit 400 W/m^2.

    P_in = P_out only for the special case where the surface in question is the same temperature as the surroundings. This would be sort of true within the atmosphere (where temperatures above and below are close to the same temperature, but it would NOT be true at the TOA, where the ~ 220 K atmosphere and the 2.7 K outer space are radiating to each other. .

  165. Why waste time ascribing motives to Trenberth’s derivation of his figures? Why not be constructive and just look as the numbers he has supplied dispassionately? If anyone has a rational objection to any particular value, just say what you think it ought to be.

    In my opinon this is all getting a bit silly. The purpose of an energy flux model is to have platform from which one can move forward. Seems sometimes that people get their kicks here by blocking progress for the sake of it rather than trying to be constructive and creative.

    Same over on the new ‘pyrgeometer’ site. They are mostly spending time there just saying that pyrgeometers are ‘inaccurate’ rather than concentrating on HOW inaccurate they are and whether the inaccuracies are large enough to matter for our purposes. It seems it is all done in a desparate attempt to refute ‘back radiation’, so scared are they by this simple concept.

    As for wasting time over Trenberth’s 3 sig figs. – well I am lost for words. Read Trenberth’s 2009 paper and you will find out that he is not claiming great accuracy. They have simply done a re-analysis of each variable from multiple sources and those numbers were the results.

    These are bad days for climate science if this is really the best we can do with our time.

  166. dlb says:

    No problems with the ground clearing. Most interested to see what you plant in the next post.

  167. suricat says:

    David Socrates says: February 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    “Suricat,

    Your knowledge on the non-surface precipitation-vaporisation cycle is so way far ahead of mine that I am sure you will have no difficulty at all answering the following question:”

    I doubt that that’s true, but I’ll try. It’s one case to understand a principle, but another case to pass on the understanding of that principle to someone else. :)

    “By how much does the effect you describe alter any of the Trenberth figures for energy flowing in the various modes from the surface to the atmosphere?”

    Needless to say, if you don’t realise this, it can’t be as obvious as I thought it was. I’ll try to put something together.

    “If you cannot answer that question, I cannot judge whether it is worth changing any of the figures in my diagram.”

    I don’t ask you to ‘change any of the figures in your diagram’ David. Only to ‘understand’ my POV of ‘the truth’. I’m an engineer, universal millwright +, that has an interest in climate per se. There is no reason why my conjecture should have weight in any debate on climate, other than the fact that my interjection is from a different reference frame.

    I’ll get back to you on the ‘figures’. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  168. Bryan says:

    David S says

    “Why waste time ascribing motives to Trenberth’s derivation of his figures? ”

    Are you for real?

    David

    Have you heard of Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick ?

    The Climate-gate e-mails ?

    etc,etc.etc…….

  169. Roger Clague says:

    David Cosserat says

    what is important from the point of view of producing a coherent steady state model is that the input and output energy flows should balance exactly

    The earth surface and the atmosphere are not in a steady state

    The 1st law of thermodynamics insists that, at steady state, the energy entering the system must be exactly equal to the energy leaving the system. As an extension of that requirement, all internal flows in and out of subsystems within the system… must of course balance as well.

    Subsystems do not have to balance. They balance in KT97 and your diagram to gain a false credibility.

  170. suricat says, February 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

    suricat,

    Thanks for your constructive and positive response. I await quantification of your concerns with the Trenberth figures with genuine interest. It is important that you and everyone else understands that I have no shares in ‘Trenberth Inc’. He is reputedly an arch-warmist. I am an arch-skeptic. As soon as someone comes up with more credible numbers I will be happy to consider using them instead of Trenberth’s. If the numbers turn out to be extraordinarily different, I am also open to the fact that they might modify my views. I am merely a seeker after truth.

    You say: There is no reason why my conjecture should have weight in any debate on climate, other than the fact that my interjection is from a different reference frame.

    On the contrary, there is every reason why your conjecture should have weight. The difficult task is always to quantify that weight. That goes just as much for my conjectures too. We all have points of view based on our experience, prejudices and hunches. Science proceeds by reasoned dialogue, of a kind that has been rather rare lately, both in this thread and in the spin-off ‘pyrgeometer’ thread.

  171. Max™ says:

    But you can have as much gravity and as much mass as you want — without clouds and GHGs you will not have any of those IR photons buzzing in random directions. ” ~Tim F.

    Hmmm.

  172. Bryan says, February 13, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Fine, so you think Trenberth has falsified the energy flux figures because he is an arch-warmist. But people who think that have to prove it. It’s just not good enough to have a suspicion. If you had put forward significantly different figures from other sources, then I could take your comments seriously and investigate them. But you have not provided anything beyond ‘hand waving’.

    In any case, the main thrust of this blog article does not depend particularly on the accuracy of any of the Trenberth figures as long as the overall flows of energy are not radically different. Coming up in Part II you will find me arguing that the figures matter even less. So gird you loins for many more exciting opportunities for criticism. :-)

  173. Roger Clague says, February 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm: The earth surface and the atmosphere are not in a steady state…Subsystems do not have to balance. They balance in KT97 and your diagram to gain a false credibility.

    Roger, it’s a model. It is defined as being in a steady state in the sense that all short term temporal and spatial variations are averaged out. You have to start with a model that is in balance in that sense and then ask questions like: “What would happen to the surface temperature T1 if we doubled CO2?”. That would take the same model from state S1 to a new steady state S2, would it not? The question being whether the corresponding T2 would be significantly greater than T1.

    Isn’t that what the climate debate all about – finding the answer to questions like that? Or have I missed something along the way these past 10 years of fruitless toil?

  174. dlb says, February 13, 2013 at 2:43 am: No problems with the ground clearing. Most interested to see what you plant in the next post.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Its nice to get some occasionally. :-)

    Part II is coming very soon.

  175. Roger Clague says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    it’s a model. It is defined as being in a steady state in the sense that all short term temporal and spatial variations are averaged out.

    I think its a unhelpful model. You average out many important variations so you can focus on CO2.

    You want me not to criticize it because of your 10 years of toil. That is an argument from authority, which I don’t respect.

    A useful model is the small vertical column. It proves that CO2 is not significant.

  176. Roger Clague says:

    Roger Clague says:
    February 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I think it [KT97] is an unhelpful model.

    It is worse than that, it is propaganda. The energy budget diagram contains 14 labels for radiation and only 2 for mass.
    It explains nothing, predicts nothing and leads nowhere.

    A vertical column model correctly calculates ( predicts) the value of the the biggest and most stable temperature profile on earth, the lapse rate using well known concepts, 1st Law of Thermodynamics,gravity, heat capacity and water vapor content.

  177. oldbrew says:

    Let’s remember that Venus with 95% CO2 has essentially the same lapse rate as Earth with 0.04% CO2. The stats were posted earlier [Feb 5].

  178. Max™ says:

    Not to toot my own horn, but… *brrn-brn-br-brrrnnn*, I contend that is every bit as useful a starting point as the 24 hour averaged one is.

    If anything I would say they are both more useful together than in isolation.

    Looking at second by second energy flows provides a different insight compared to 24 hour averaged energy flows.

  179. Roger Clague says, February 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    You say: I think its a unhelpful model. You average out many important variations so you can focus on CO2.

    Yup, spot on. We have to nail this CO2 hydra. All else can follow.

    You say: You want me not to criticize it because of your 10 years of toil. That is an argument from authority, which I don’t respect.

    Nope, way off. What I actually did was ask you a question: “Isn’t that what the climate debate all about – finding the answer to questions like that? Or have I missed something along the way these past 10 years of fruitless toil?” No reasonable interpretation of what I said should have led you to make the comment you made.

    You say: A useful model is the small vertical column. It proves that CO2 is not significant.

    Agreed. I am beginning to think you might even enjoy Part II. :-)

  180. tjfolkerts says:

    Roger says :“A vertical column model correctly calculates ( predicts) the value of the the biggest and most stable temperature profile on earth, the lapse rate using well known concepts, 1st Law of Thermodynamics,gravity, heat capacity and water vapor content.

    But there is one major item missing here — the lapse rate tells you only the rate! You need the temperature for at least one altitude before you can then get the temperatures at other altitudes. And to get the one initial point you have to invoke EM radiation (since only EM radiation arrives and at leave the earth as a whole).

    There are lots of other factors involved in finding that starting point (clouds, thermal mass, rotation, tilt … ), but one of the factors *is* thermal radiation!

  181. Well, Tim F, that should make an interesting opener for upcoming Part II.

    Let’s just say for now that I agree with your point about needing one absolute temperature to set the absolute profile of temperatures up the atmospheric column; and I agree that GHGs in the atmosphere are essential to transform the Sun’s incoming radiation into KE, and to transform the outgoing KE to outgoing radiation to space. But I profundly disagree that the temperature profile is affected by the quantity of GHGs in the atmosphere (above a minimum needed to do their transformational job).

    In other words, whilst you believe in Output Throttling, I believe in Throughput Throttling just like Roger Clague does.

    See you in Part II, no doubt. :-)

  182. Tim Folkerts says:

    David,

    I agree that the most dramatic effect is due to the first bits of GHG — going from 0 ppm to 10 ppm has MUCH more effect than going from 390 ppm to 400 ppm. But then everyone seems to agree on that (the effect is often modeled as logarithmic). Where we seem to disagree is that I can still see how the next 10 ppm will have some small but real impact on the balance.

    You agree that GHG’s are “essential” in the , but also think that more GHG’s at this point are inconsequential. Let me ask a question that will hopefully make you think a little bit — at what point does it switch from “essential” to “inconsequential”? Can you articulate a reason why it should change over at some particular level? I say that more GHGs have a diminishing return, but that adding more will continue to have SOME effect (and I can articulate why I think that way). Many agree with me, in that a logarithmic function of

    In other words, whilst you believe only in Throughput Throttling, I (and mainstream science http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing and posts at WUWT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/) believe in BOTH Throughput Throttling and Output Throttling. :-)

  183. Stephen Wilde says:

    I belive in Output Throttling being ‘throttled’ by equal and opposite Throughput Throttling.

  184. Roger Clague says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

    You need the temperature for at least one altitude before you can then get the temperatures at other altitudes. And to get the one initial point you have to invoke EM radiation (since only EM radiation arrives and at leave the earth as a whole).

    I agree. I invoke radiation, that is apply Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation ( KLR) at TOA only . Then below that its all thermodynamics.

    KT97 uses KLR for atmosphere and at surface. That is wrong and not necessary.

    Thus, given the height and value of the emission temperature, we can get a simple estimate for the surface temperature: 255K + 5.5km * 6K/km = 288K (=15oC; close to the global mean estimated from observations given by NCDC of ~14oC).

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/a-simple-recipe-for-ghe

    Even though I am not a fan of realclimate

    You might reply that CO2 raises the emission height, but how ? It does follow from KT97.

  185. Roger Clague says:

    I meant, it does not follow from KT97.

  186. donald penman says:

    I find it interesting that mass prefers increased density(gravity) and that increased density allows mass to retain more energy while emitting electric magnetic radiation in all directions.We capture light that has travelled up to 13 and a half billion year without being absorbed by anything, How empty must space be that it can travel this far through all the virtual particles that are filling the void and stars,dust and planets etc.and arrive here on earth without being absorbed.

  187. tjfolkerts says:

    Roger says: “I invoke radiation, that is apply Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation ( KLR) at TOA only .

    But where do you say the TOA is located??? The truth is that the “top of atmosphere” for radiation depends on the wavelength — the “TOA” is the effective height from which the photons come. For the 15 um IR band for CO2, this is near the top of the troposphere. For IR in water’s IR bands, it would be a little lower in the troposphere (since water condenses out, but CO2 doesn;t). For IR outside the bands of any of hte GHGs, the “top of atmosphere” would be the top of clouds or (when there are no clouds), the TOA would be the ground level!

  188. suricat says:

    David Socrates

    I’ve a problem with data.

    Most sources I’ve searched offer ~’1 tonne’ (one cubic metre) of precipitation (par annum) for an average on a global scale, but this is, after all, ‘precipitation’ to the surface.

    There’s an anomaly to this at the ‘WMO’ website for the education of our ‘kids’:

    http://www.wmo.int/youth/didyouknowaboutwater.html

    “Every minute of the day, the Earth receives about 900 million tonnes of rainfall.”

    Is this accurate?

    Best regards, Ray.

  189. Clivebest says:

    TimF wrote : ” For the 15 um IR band for CO2, this is near the top of the troposphere. ”

    Actually this is more complicated than it seems. The CO2 band consists of hundreds of individual quantum lines. The emission height for the central line lies way up in the stratosphere. So any increase in emission height for this line will actually increase radiation loss. It is mainly the lines at the side of the 15u band whose “emission heights” lie lower down from 2-6km up.

  190. Roger Clague says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    But where do you say the TOA is located

    By TOA I mean top of the troposphere. The top of the troposphere is where the lapse rate stops.

    Warmists say that the surface is hotter that TOA because more heat is absorbed there.
    But heat is absorbed at the surface because the air is denser there.

    It is the lapse rate that cause heat to be absorbed near the surface.
    It is not the heat being absorbed at the surface that causes the lapse rate

  191. Tim Folkerts says, February 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Tim,

    You say: You agree that GHG’s are “essential” [to transform the Sun’s incoming radiation into KE, and to transform the outgoing KE to outgoing radiation to space]…, but also think that more GHG’s at this point are inconsequential. Let me ask a question that will hopefully make you think a little bit — at what point does it switch from “essential” to “inconsequential”? Can you articulate a reason why it should change over at some particular level?

    I am not a radiation physicist so I can only give you the following argument based on logical reasoning (perhaps others can help here?):

    1. It is self evident that the current level of CO2 is good enough to achieve the transformation processes from radiation to KE and from KE to radiation. This is simply because we are where we are with respect to the current Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement level of 288K.

    2. CO2 is rising monotonically, so asking how much less atmospheric CO2 there could be without restricting the input or output transformational processes is for me a purely academic question (but an interesting one nevertheless). But it is surely very unlikely that the current CO2 level is anywhere near the minimum needed for the energy transformational processes to work as ‘open conduits’. The CO2 concentration has risen by a whopping ~27% since 1850 with only a very gentle change in mean surface temperature of about 0.7degC (HadCRUT3 figures) so we are hardly likely to be close to the knee of a sharp non-linearity!

    3. On the other hand, if Throughput Throttling is the correct mechanism, adding more CO2 than is currently in the atmosphere will by definition not affect the through-flow because this is controlled only by the mechanical process of convection which is not sensitive to the level of CO2.

  192. Tim F: A bit somehow got missed off the end of my last post:

    So if you want to justify the alternative Output Throttling mechanism you have to justify it on its own merits and not muddle it up with the transformational roles that GHGs undoubtedly have and which are indeed an essential part of the ATE mechanism.

  193. Stephen Wilde says:

    “adding more CO2 than is currently in the atmosphere will by definition not affect the through-flow because this is controlled only by the mechanical process of convection which is not sensitive to the level of CO2.”

    Convection would respond according to whatever the net thermal effect of CO2 might be.

    If it is warming then convection runs faster, if cooling it runs slower, if net zero then no effect on convection.

    I currently think CO2 gives net cooling because it creates an additional radiative window to space.

  194. Tim Folkerts says:

    In a nutshell, here is the Output Throttling argument.

    1) CO2 radiates poorly to space in the 14-16 um band, because it is radiating from near the top of the troposphere where it is very cold. (this is the “top of atmosphere” for 14-16 um photons)

    2) Higher up in the troposphere, it is even colder.

    3) Adding more CO2 will raise the TOA for the 14-16 um photons, reducing the energy loss from earth to space because these photons leaving the earth will be coming from an even colder location.

    4) SOMETHING else must get warmer until the balance is restored and the output from earth once again equals the input from the sun.

    ——————————————————————————-

    As a very rough conceptual description (with numbers added purely for illustrative purposes) …

    Suppose the surface is 288 K, and the ToA for 14-16 um photons is at 223 K at 10 km altitude (a 6.5 K/km lapse rate) with some amount of CO2 on a hypothetical (but sort of earth-like) planet. Assume that this creates thermal balance on our planet — no global warming or cooling.

    Now suddenly add enough CO2 to raise the ToA by 1 km. The ToA is now 6.5 K colder (216.5 K) for those 14-16 um photons. This is unbalanced and our world must warm up. The lapse rate ties all these together so everything warms, from top to bottom.
    * the 11 km ToA might warm from 216.5 to 217 K.
    * the former ToA at 10 km would in turn warm from 223 to 223.5 K.
    * the surface would warm from 228 to 228.5 K.

    ——————————————————————————-

    There are a few significant weaknesses. The chief ones I see are …
    1) the temperature reaches a minimum near the tropopause, so adding more CO2 might not move us to a region with colder temperatures.
    2) There could be OTHER changes that ALSO occur to try to restore balance (for example more clouds to reduce the incoming sunlight). But the question of such feedback is, of course, one of the big debates in climate science.

  195. wayne says:

    A nutshell for the great debate, can’t wait tjfolkerts.

    You mention “… raise the ToA by 1 km”, do bring your data and equations with you, you know, how much CO2 mass does it take to raise the ToA per CO2 lines by one kilometer, that then raises the surface temperature by 0.5 °C. Since we have already burned supposedly one-half of the carbon based fuels I deduce from your words you are then saying we have already raised the ToA for CO2 lines by one kilometer from some time in the near past? Do I read you right, what you are saying about your Output Throttling theory?

    A lapse rate does not itself create energy so where is the additional energy at the surface to raise it’s temperature coming from. You seem to infer that the solar influx remains the constant. Is this too coming from an increase in CO2′s “back-radiation”?

    One thing that could explain your thoughts is a “trapping of energy” without an likewise sizeable increase in overall mass. I do see that could cause some deviance in the surface temperature if that “trapping” were to occur and be sizeable, like an increase in the thermal impedance across distance. Hmm… logical, but it seems CO2 decreases thermal impedance, it’s a great mover of energy across space and distance, and fast being radiation, and that also might be a problem you need to address in your theory.

  196. Stephen Wilde says:

    “these photons leaving the earth will be coming from an even colder location.”

    Why so?

    The entire atmosphere expands so the photons leave at the same temperature as before but at a higher location.

    Leave the surface temperature the same but raise the heights a little with a corresponding change in the lapse rate slope.

    In the real world a multitude of factors can influence the lapse rate slope in a given layer but overall it gets negated by changes in the circulation elsewhere or in other layers so that overall on average the lapse rate slope set by mass and gravity is met.

  197. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen, you keep claiming “The entire atmosphere expands so the photons leave at the same temperature as before but at a higher location.” but I see no reason to believe this. You seem to be saying “it does;t matter how much energy you pump into the atmosphere, it will jsut stay the same temperature.” Other than phase changes, there are no processes I know that work like this!

    “Leave the surface temperature the same but raise the heights a little …”
    Do the calculations. Add say 100 J of energy to 1 m^3 of air near the surface. What is the new temperature of the gas? What is the new volume? This is easy.

  198. tchannon says:

    “This is easy.”

    The 100J will distribute throughout the entire atmosphere and ground.

    The atmosphere will expand into a greater volume

    The mass of the atmosphere lifts against gravity

    I don;’t know what to make of something so easy.

  199. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The mass of the atmosphere lifts against gravity”

    And in doing so, more of the available energy converts to PE which does not register on sensors so that is where the entire 100J goes.

    Note that it is not new energy being pumped in because the incoming energy supply stays the same. New energy only comes from an increase in incoming energy or more mass or stronger gravity.None of those apply as regards the radiative characteristics of GHGs.

    The net consequence is that both surface temperature stays much the same AND radiation out at top of atmosphere continues to match radiation in.

    I believe that because at one time I understood it to be the settled sciernce whereby only mass, gravity and energy supply determine the temperature of a surface beneath an atmosphere and furthermore it complies with the Ideal Gas Law and fits the vertical temperature and pressure observations on both Earth and Venus.

    Why would anyone not believe it ?

    Who had the daft concept of radiation from a colder location as if the atmosphere did not expand or contract at all ?

    Mind you I’m not convinced that CO2 does cause an expansion. A contraction is more likely.

  200. tjfolkerts says:

    You missed my point, Stephen. When you add energy to a gas, some of the energy does work expanding the gas, and some of the energy goes into raising the temperature. You simply cannot add energy and ONLY expand the gas without also raising the temperature.

  201. tchannon says:

    I suspect Stephen the lift is a red herring.

    The whole atmospheric problem has the echos of the strange and sometimes counter-intuitive features of say dehumidifiers, figure out system temperature and pressure.

    So a pack of energy is added and this expands the atmosphere which all eventually settles down to a new quiescent state. The only thing which has not changed is mass, the rest is less clear.

    However we are dealing with a lossy transmission system so here the extension of the idea is by magic a loss increase of 100J within a fixed mass of gas at the surface, or a variable joulage within a fixed volume. Figuring out where and how this stabilises is in my view beyond calculation, we don’t have the sums.
    This must though be caused by an increase in input, with increase in temperature, otherwise we may as well simply compute the stabilisation point.
    Alternatively this is using a perturbation as a means to compute stability, will settle.

    In my view we can’t so walk away.

  202. tchannon says:

    TJF

    Seems simple enough. Has anyone derived the modified simple law when applied to gas under gravitational compression for the whole mass?

    I think there are several conflicting non-linearies.

  203. Stephen Wilde says:

    “You simply cannot add energy and ONLY expand the gas without also raising the temperature.”

    You can if:

    Incoming energy stays the same

    Mass stays the same

    Gravity stays the same.

    Pressure must also stay the same if mass and gravity do not change.

    The only two variables left are volume and temperature so if equilibrium is to be maintained they must vary oppositely to each other.

    If they fail to vary oppositely then equilibrium cannot be regained and the atmosphere will either become so hot as to be driven off into space or so cold that it will congeal on the surface.

    Thus the thermal effect of anything else that tries to change the temperature will be negated by the expansion or contraction in volume.

  204. Konrad says:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    February 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    “In a nutshell, here is the Output Throttling argument.
    1) CO2 radiates poorly to space in the 14-16 um band, because it is radiating from near the top of the troposphere where it is very cold. (this is the “top of atmosphere” for 14-16 um photons)
    2) Higher up in the troposphere, it is even colder.
    3) Adding more CO2 will raise the TOA for the 14-16 um photons, reducing the energy loss from earth to space because these photons leaving the earth will be coming from an even colder location.
    4) SOMETHING else must get warmer until the balance is restored and the output from earth once again equals the input from the sun.”
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Tim,
    The AGW hypothesis is dead. The “Effective radiating level” game will not bring it back to life.
    The “basic physics” of the “settled science” contains a fundamental flaw. The calculations never addressed the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation in the troposphere.

    Where do almost all the radiative gases exist in our atmosphere? Below the tropopause.
    Where does almost all the vertical convective circulation occur in our atmosphere? Below the tropopause.

    If convective circulation in the troposphere stalls our atmosphere heats. Radiative gases therefore act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.

    The output throttling / effective radiating level argument cannot bring the AGW hoax back to life.

    1. First off the ERL game only works in a static atmosphere. In the real atmosphere we see cloud tops radiating a temperatures far hotter than the air at their altitude. Game over.

    2. In the real atmosphere increased CO2 intercepts more outgoing surface IR. It will also increase outgoing IR from the upper troposphere, and that upper troposphere IR is from energy the atmosphere acquired from latent heat and surface conduction not just intercepted surface IR. Game over again.

    3. The increased buoyancy imbalance resulting from point 2 will result in slightly increased convective circulation speeds and increased surface cooling. Game over for the third time.

    The AGW pseudo scientists never modelled the role of radiative gases in our moving atmosphere correctly. In fact they never modelled a moving atmosphere. The fact that they did not can never be erased from the Internet. They claimed the near surface temperatures were 33C warmer than they would be without radiative gases and that claim is locked in. When you model the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation in the troposphere correctly you find that that 33C claim is entirely incorrect.

    It is very simple. Radiative gases are critical to continued convective circulation below the tropopause. Without continued convective circulation, our atmosphere would heat dramatically. Radiative gases therefore act as coolants at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

  205. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen,

    PV = nRT.

    If P is constant and n is constant, then
    V = (nR/P) * T = (constant) * T
    V & T are DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL!
    An increase in T must be associated with a proportional increase in V.

    Increasing energy in the atmosphere will increase both V & T in equal proportions.

  206. tjfolkerts says:

    Konrad says:

    1. First off the ERL game only works in a static atmosphere. In the real atmosphere we see cloud tops radiating a temperatures far hotter than the air at their altitude. Game over.

    I doubt this. What is your source?

    2. In the real atmosphere increased CO2 intercepts more outgoing surface IR. It will also increase outgoing IR from the upper troposphere, and that upper troposphere IR is from energy the atmosphere acquired from latent heat and surface conduction not just intercepted surface IR. Game over again.

    Increased CO2 will NOT increase the outgoing IR from the troposphere. As you say, it intercepts more of the outgoing surface IR (ie the ‘bright’ IR from the warm surface’). In its place is ‘dim IR’ from the cold upper atmosphere. Adding more CO2 means the outgoing IR comes from EVEN HIGHER in the atmosphere where it is even colder.

    This means everything has to warm up to restore balance.

    Given that (1) and (2) were wrong, (3) will also be wrong. So we still have a very active game on. Feedbacks may serve to limit the effectiveness of warming by CO2, but no one (who seriously understands the physics) disputes that CO2 & other GHGs warm the surface.

  207. Konrad (& Tim & others…)

    Part II is coming really soon next week. I suggest you hold your fire on these really substantive issues until then . :-)

  208. tallbloke says:

    Tim F and Stephen. To resolve this Tim F needs to define where his extra 100J came from. If from the Sun then for this incomplete model V&T both increase, because it is from outside the Earth system.

    Fact of the matter is that while the Sun was stronger than long term average over the latter C20th, surface temp did indeed increase, and atmospheric volume increased.
    Co2 increased too, but co2 theorists haven’t explained:
    1) What caused the 1910-1940 similar T increase before co2 ramped up.
    2) Why co2 has failed to warm the surface significantly since 1995 despite a 15% increase.

  209. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Increasing energy in the atmosphere will increase both V & T in equal proportions.”

    Only if extra incoming energy is provided.

    If it is not provided then a rise in V prevents a rise in T.

    The extra energy that would otherwise have caused T to rise just goes to more PE in the expanded atmosphere.

    The reason is that pressure does not change and it is pressure that determines the density and temperature relationship.

    It is different for a parcel of air floating withi an atmosphere because the pressure within the parcel can change hence PR = nRT

    For a spherical body in space the surface pressure cannot change however much the atmosphere expands or contracts so one needs a variation on the Ideal Gas Law for that scenario.

    I suggested one previously:

    VT = nRE (where E = KE + PE)

    So any change in T or V goes straight to a change in the relative amounts of KE and PE.

    The radiative physics crowd are ignoring the implications of a fixed surface pressure in the context of the Ideal Gas Law.

    Any other outcome will permanently destabilise top of atmosphere energy balance at all available temperatures.

  210. tchannon says:

    “tjfolkerts says:

    “PV = nRT.

    If P is constant and n is constant, then”

    I had pointed out just before P is not constant.

    It is modified via non-linear law. This is not my field but apparently it is yours so what is the modified law?

    Reasonably all of PVRT change.

    Worse still, n changes, dealing here with wet gas.

    Go back some months and you will find Pot Lid which points at density change and entropy law leading to log-log and log-log is the same as Hurst, all pointing to the same vague end game.

  211. oldbrew says:

    If pressure is fixed at the surface what are weather forecasters talking about? Should it be ‘mean surface pressure’?

  212. tjfolkerts says:

    Let’s put aside the fact that the ideal gas law cannot be applied to the atmosphere as a whole (there is no single “pressure” of the atmosphere). Let’s put aside that the ideal gas law is only approximately correct.

    The ideal gas law is still a very good approximation for a specific bit of the atmosphere. And you can’t just completely change the Ideal gas Law from “V &T are proportional” to “V & T are inversely proportional”!

    “The radiative physics crowd are ignoring …
    No,.Stephen, it is you who are ignoring basic facts. If you want to propose a new equation, then derive it. And derive an equation where, at a minimum, the units agree!

    VT ≠ nRE
    [m^3] [K] ≠ [mol] [ J/mol*K] [J]
    [m^3 K] ≠ [ J^2 / K]

    There is no way that an equation with different fundamental units on the two sides can be correct!

    “The radiative physics crowd are ignoring the implications of a fixed surface pressure in the context of the Ideal Gas Law.”
    I seriously doubt many people forget that the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 1 Atm (give or take small variations due to weather). But please, tells us a specific time when a specific climate model has ignored the proper implications.

    Tallbloke enters the fray:
    “1) What caused the 1910-1940 similar T increase before co2 ramped up.
    2) Why co2 has failed to warm the surface significantly since 1995 despite a 15% increase.

    Those are excellent questions. But neither of these supports Stephen’s proposed equations, nor contradicts that IR plays an important role in climate. They simply highlight that IR is not the only factor involved.

    And now I think I will wait for Part II. Unlike the Queen of Wonderland, I do find it difficult to believe impossible things and I have spent enough time on impossible things lately.

  213. Stephen Wilde says:

    “There is no way that an equation with different fundamental units on the two sides can be correct!”

    That depends on how one uses it.

    If one is simply discussing relationships rather than absolute quantities then different fundamental units doesn’t matter.

    The fact is that if volume increases whilst pressure remains the same then temperature will fall and vice versa.

    Either way, the energy required for a specific combination of volume and temperature will equal the total energy (E) contained by the atmospher which is itself determined by mass (n) and the gravitational constant (R).

    Both sides of the equation being set by the same factor, namely the amount of energy being supplied at any given moment. After all, if there is no energy being supplied there will be no gaseous atmosphere in the first place.

  214. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If pressure is fixed at the surface what are weather forecasters talking about? Should it be ‘mean surface pressure’?”

    Yes. Mean surface pressure stays the same despite expansion or contraction of an atmosphere.

    Weather is a separate issue save that a change in the volume of the atmosphere will also affect the size of the deviations from the mean by affecting circulation patterns.

  215. Konrad says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 17, 2013 at 6:43 am
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Tim,
    whenever convection occurs the rising air parcel is warmer and more buoyant than the surrounding air. It is therefore radiating at a higher temperature than the surrounding air.

    Moist convection is particularly important in transporting vast amounts of latent heat via the physical movement of gas and releasing this heat as IR high above the level of maximum atmospheric IR opacity.

    “but no one (who seriously understands the physics) disputes that CO2 & other GHGs warm the surface.”

    The “basic physics” of the “settled science” only works on paper for static atmosphere treated as a single body or mathematical layer. The critical role of radiative gases in continued vertical convective circulation in the troposphere was not modelled correctly.

    For future reference here is a quick check list of the “Do nots” of atmospheric modelling -

    1. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    2. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    3. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    4. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    5. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    6. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity
    7. Do not model the surface as a combined land/ocean “thingy”

    How many “do nots” do you have to commit to get to “CO2 & other GHGs warm the surface”?

  216. Konrad says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 17, 2013 at 9:24 am
    ———————————————————————————————–
    David,
    I am looking forward to part II. I am hoping that transport of energy by the physical movement of gases gets the attention it never got in the “basic physics” of the “settled science” ;)

  217. tjfolkerts says:

    Konrad asks: “How many “do nots” do you have to commit to get to “CO2 & other GHGs warm the surface”?
    None. :-)

    The “beginner’s” introduction to the “greenhouse effect” makes many of the simplifying assumptions you list. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that everyone stops with such a simple model.

    It’s kind of like a physics class ignoring air resistance or friction or the mass of a pulley. These are simplifications to teach particular concepts and particular mathematical skills (and for many cases, these simplifications are good enough). If you stop after one year of physics, you might (if you are not particularly sharp) think that such simplifications are the “best” that physicists can do. They are not. Gravity is not a constant 9.8 m/s^ and there is air resistance, but these corrections do not change the fact that things near the surface of the earth feel a force of gravity.

    Similarly, it might be tempting to think that models that make the simplifications you list are the best available. They are not. These simplifications show that the greenhouse effect does indeed exist. The exact magnitude of the effect requires MUCH more detail, but that doesn’t negate the basic warming mechanism.

    [Reply] What mechanism? I see an assertion that the ‘Emission height’ ‘must’ be raised, and another that this means the surface ‘must’ warm. I don’t see any explanation for how this supposed surface warming is actually going to be caused though. Where’s the beef? TB.

  218. Roger,
    “The Unified Theory of Climate was published here first, not at WUWT
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/

    Please accept my apologies for failing to point that out. I agree that N&K used the right equations when calculating the Moon’s average temperature. I wrote about this a few weeks ago but delayed posting it while waiting for comments from Ned Nikolov, Robert Brown and Nicola Scafetta.
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/unified-theory-of-climate-revisited/

    It is simple to prove that under ideal conditions (with no competition from other GHGs) CO2 cannot be responsible for more than 3 K of warming. It is not reasonable to suppose I am the only physicist who realises this. My conclusion is that there are too many scientists who will say whatever it takes to get a piece of the $2 billion that the USA spent on “Climate Studies” last year.

    Lysenko must be smiling in whatever dark place he now resides.

  219. Konrad says:

    Tim,
    I am not fooling myself and nor are you. It is not a matter of where AGW calculations stop, but where they started. The AGW pseudo scientists never correctly modelled the critical role radiative gases play in tropospheric convective circulation. This fundamental error has been used to hide the fact that radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0 ppm. This fundamental error can never be erased from the Internet.

    If you actually have evidence of the correct modelling of radiative gases role in convective circulation from the date that Hansen was making his claims to Congress, I would like to see it. Trying to cast aspersions about my scientific skill or making appeals to authority just won’t wash.

  220. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The fact is that if volume increases whilst pressure remains the same then temperature will fall and vice versa”

    That means surface pressure beneath an atmosphere of course.

    If one adds energy whilst keeping surface pressure the same then the only way the atmosphere can respond is by expanding which is then a cooling process which cancels the warming that would otherwise have occurred.

    To get a net warming response to the added energy one has to increase surface pressure but that cannot happen for a gaseous atmosphere around a sphere unless one also increases mass and /or gravity.

  221. tjfolkerts says:

    Konrad says: “The AGW pseudo scientists never correctly modelled the critical role radiative gases play in tropospheric convective circulation. This fundamental error has been used to hide the fact that radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0 ppm.

    1) That’s a very effective strawman argument … defining “AGW pseudo scientists” as those who think the way you imagine them to think.

    2) Yes, GHGs cool the top of the atmosphere. And therefore must warm the bottom of the atmosphere and the surface. Since no one really cares about the top of the atmosphere much, this set of facts is often shorted to “GHGs warm the atmosphere”.

  222. tallbloke says:

    Tim F says:
    “Similarly, it might be tempting to think that models that make the simplifications you list are the best available. They are not. These simplifications show that the greenhouse effect does indeed exist. The exact magnitude of the effect requires MUCH more detail, but that doesn’t negate the basic warming mechanism.”

    What mechanism? I see an assertion that the ‘Emission height’ ‘must’ be raised, and another that this means the surface ‘must’ warm. I don’t see any explanation for how this supposed surface warming is actually going to be caused though. Where’s the beef? TB.

  223. oldbrew says:

    TB says: ‘Where’s the beef?’ – topical humour…is it really horse****?

    Additional ‘greenhouse’ gases had no observable effect on global temperature from 1940-1975 or from 2000 (or so) to date. Can a theory be based around a nil effect?

  224. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen says: “If one adds energy whilst keeping surface pressure the same then the only way the atmosphere can respond is by expanding which is then a cooling process …”
    Pretty good so far. But I would say “… then one way” rather than “… then the only way”.

    ” … which cancels the warming that would otherwise have occurred.
    No. It simply REDUCES the warming. Find a good thermo textbook and read up on adiabatic expansion and C_p (heat capacity at constant pressure) and C_v (heat capacity at constant volume.)

  225. Stephen Wilde says:

    “No. It simply REDUCES the warming.”

    Depends where any warming effect occurs. That is assuming GHGs do have a warming effect in the first place which I don’t accept. I think their net effect is zero because changes occur elsewhere in the system to compensate and so retain top of atmosphere thermal balance.

    Any warming or cooling from radiative gases would happen in the air and not at the surface so the result is a change in the lapse rate slope for a higher or lower atmosphere and the same surface temperature.

    You are relying on DWIR warming the surface but you shouldn’t because the surface temperature is set by mass, gravity and incoming solar and is not affected by DWIR.

    The net effect of radiative activity at the surface is effectively zero since the radiation buzzing about is a consequence of the pressure and density induced temperature profile and not a cause of it.

    Part 2 should be interesting.

  226. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Find a good thermo textbook and read up on adiabatic expansion and C_p (heat capacity at constant pressure) and C_v (heat capacity at constant volume.)”

    They all rely on adding extra energy such as from more insolation. Not applicable where insolation stays the same.

    GHGs do not add any extra energy to the system They simply redistribute it and then other processes cancel out the effect.

  227. Konrad says, February 18, 2013 at 11:42 am: I am not fooling myself and nor are you. It is not a matter of where AGW calculations stop, but where they started. The AGW pseudo scientists never correctly modelled the critical role radiative gases play in tropospheric convective circulation. This fundamental error has been used to hide the fact that radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0 ppm. This fundamental error can never be erased from the Internet. If you actually have evidence of the correct modelling of radiative gases role in convective circulation from the date that Hansen was making his claims to Congress, I would like to see it. Trying to cast aspersions about my scientific skill or making appeals to authority just won’t wash.

    Konrad,

    All good banter and, since I am closely in agreement with the general thrust of your argument, I am particularly looking forward to your contributions in Part II.

    Could I just suggest that you are not going to win your argument (strong though I personally think it is) by just making assertions such as:

    “… radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0 ppm.”

    It is a great and memorable line that may well echo down the years one day, indeed maybe at your Nobel Prize ceremony :-) , but you have to understand that most people:

    (i) are aching to hear your properly reasoned rationale for making that assertion

    (ii) are not physicists and therefore are unused to some of the terminology you would naturally use when speaking to another physicist

    Hopefully Part II (now “in press”!!) will provide you with an appropriate platform for gently educating us all.

  228. tjfolkerts says:

    Stephen says”They all rely on adding extra energy such as from more insolation.

    No, they all use any sort of heat whatsoever that adds to the U (internal energy) of the gas. This is a general result in ~ Chapter 2 of any thermo textbook.

    Also, to a first approximation, the lapse rate should stay the same = g/c_p. So warming at any altitude should propagate up and down through the whole atmosphere. Now, changes in humidity could change the lapse rate a bit, but now we are getting into the details of feedback, which are complicated indeed.

    Basically, you seem to be proposing that the feedback is negative in EXACTLY the right amount that ANY change to the inputs results in NO change to the temperature, but only causes expansion. In other words, NOTHING can warm or cool the surface! While I agree that there are negative feedbacks (and positive feedbacks), I can’t swallow that the climate is ummutable.

  229. Stephen Wilde says:

    “I can’t swallow that the climate is ummutable”.

    You don’t need to.

    You Just need to accept that the climate zones move around so as to ensure that over time there is energy balance at top of atmosphere.

    If the surface gets hotter than is necessary for top of atmosphere balance then it will lose energy to space faster until it cools back to the right temperature. Expansion of the atmosphere achieves that adjustment.

    If the surface gets too cool for top of atmosphere energy balance then it will gain energy until it warms back to the correct temperature. Contraction achieves that adjustment.

    It isn’t necessary for there to be a permanent change in surface temperature. Indeed such a permanent change would introduce a permanent imbalance at top of atmosphere with an inevitable positive feedack capable of destroying the atmosphere altogether.

    The negative feedback processes always move the system back towards the initial state.

    A higher equilibrium temperature is not possible because the surface would be forever too warm for top of atmosphere balance given that the amount of energy that mass and gravity allows the atmosphere to hold is fixed.

    Radiative characteristics do not enable an atmosphere to hold more energy than mass and gravity allow.

  230. Konrad says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    2) Yes, GHGs cool the top of the atmosphere. And therefore must warm the bottom of the atmosphere and the surface. Since no one really cares about the top of the atmosphere much, this set of facts is often shorted to “GHGs warm the atmosphere”.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Tim,
    for a gas column in a gravity field, what happens when we warm the base of the column and cool the top? The answer is of course convective circulation. This has not been modelled in the basic AGW calculations. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere simply speeds up convective circulation and convective cooling of the surface. If there was no vertical convective circulation below the tropopause the atmosphere would heat and go isothermal. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.

    It is important to remember that most of the net energy that radiative gases are releasing to space was not acquired from the interception of outgoing surface IR, but rather from surface conduction and the release of latent heat.

  231. Konrad says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    “Could I just suggest that you are not going to win your argument [..] by just making assertions such as: … radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0 ppm.”

    “aching to hear your properly reasoned rationale for making that assertion”
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    David,
    I am making the assertions on the basis of simple empirical experiments. I will be happy to cover these in more detail in “part II”. Empirical experiments are the best tool for countering AGW bafflegab. They are like Kryptonite for warmists ;)

  232. wayne says:

    It is important to remember that most of the net energy that radiative gases are releasing to space was not acquired from the interception of outgoing surface IR, but rather from surface conduction and the release of latent heat.

    All I can say and add to that Konrad is… ditto… and nothing. Important point there.

  233. tjfolkerts says:

    Konrad says: “Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. [mod closed italic here]

    MODTRAN says otherwise (as do many other sources).
    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html
    Run the calculations. Then run the calculations again keeping everything constant except the CO2 level. As you increase the CO2, the radiation to space decreases.

    “Empirical experiments are the best tool for countering AGW bafflegab.”
    Only when those experiments actually demonstrate the key issues. Most “simple” experiments I have seen (both pro and con) are too simple to really show the effects that lead to warming. Most often what is missing is the “cold outer space”.

    “It is important to remember that most of the net energy that radiative gases are releasing to space was not acquired from the interception of outgoing surface IR, but rather from surface conduction and the release of latent heat.
    But this is not really that important — thermal energy in the atmosphere is thermal energy, no matter where it might have come from. The key issue is where the energy GOES.

    The outgoing IR to space comes partly from GHGs and partly from clouds and partly from the surface. THe GHGs do intercept outgoing IR from the surface, replacing it with less intense IR (from cold GHGs at the ToA). Changing the outgoing IR from the ToA (by changing the concentration of GHGs near the ToA) will necessarily change the entire system below.

  234. Konrad says:

    tjfolkerts says:
    February 19, 2013 at 1:07 am
    ————————————————————–
    Tim,
    sorry, there is no salvation in radiation only game of MODTRAN. Simply using direct linear flux equations will not work for an atmosphere in which heat is transported by the PHYSICAL MOVEMENT of gases. The critical role of radiative gases in driving convective circulation below the tropopause has not been modelled correctly in the “basic physics” of AGW.

    The basic methods of heat transfer are -
    1. Convection
    2. Conduction
    3. Radiation

    The basic AGW calculations make fundamental errors in the calculation of both 1 and 2. These errors are recorded on the Internet for all time. They cannot be erased and they cannot be dismissed. AGW calculations only work for a static atmosphere. Our atmospheric gases move. When this is properly calculated it is very clear that AGW due to the addition of radiative gases to the atmosphere is a physical impossibility.

    Are you actually claiming that the “basic physics” of the “settled science” included correct calculation of the critical role radiative gases play in tropospheric vertical convective circulation?

  235. Konrad says, February 19, 2013 at 3:58 am: The basic AGW calculations make fundamental errors in the calculation of both 1 and 2. … AGW calculations only work for a static atmosphere. Our atmospheric gases move. When this is properly calculated it is very clear that AGW due to the addition of radiative gases to the atmosphere is a physical impossibility.

    Looking forward very much to you backing up these assertions with chapter & verse in Part II, as you have promised to do. :-)

  236. Konrad,

    By the way if I seem a little over-critical on the issue of your “assertions only” discussions, I should add that clear, crisp assertions followed by clear, crisp justifications and explanations make the very best combination.

    Your assertions are always up to that standard, for example…

    The basic methods of heat transfer are -
    1. Convection
    2. Conduction
    3. Radiation

    The basic AGW calculations make fundamental errors in the calculation of both 1 and 2….etc

    …and should therefore be easier for us all to debate (on way or the other) without wandering off topic, as so many of these threads do when people make woolly or impenetrable assertions.

  237. Clivebest says:

    tjfolkerts writes :
    ” Then run the calculations again keeping everything constant except the CO2 level. As you increase the CO2, the radiation to space decreases.”

    Tim, this is correct – but only if the lapse rate doesn’t change. If the lapse rate decreases in response to extra CO2 this would offset any decrease in radiation loss. In the extreme case that the (average) environmental lapse rate reduces so that the temperature at the new (higher) effective emission height for CO2 is the same as before, radiation to space doesn’t change.

    Other negative feedbacks that may play a role are:
    - more low clouds
    - less water vapour in the upper troposphere. NVAP data provides some evidence this is happening

    Even the “consensus” agrees that there is still much uncertainty about water (or thermodynamic) feedbacks. However, the most convincing argument for me that water feedbacks cannot be positive is the “anthropic principal principle”.

    If the net effect of water on Earth is to amplify any changes in radiative forcing whether by the sun or by CO2, then there would be no life on Earth to even ponder such issues.

  238. Bryan says:

    Clivebest says

    “Tim, this is correct – but only if the lapse rate doesn’t change. If the lapse rate decreases in response to extra CO2 this would offset any decrease in radiation loss.”

    DALR =-g/Cp

    Cp for CO2 increases sharply with temperature.
    While Cp for the bulk of the atmosphere stays almost constant.

    In fact when the fraction of CO2 increases then Cp of atmosphere increases.

    So DALR would decrease as Clive predicts.

  239. Konrad says:

    David Socrates says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:14 am
    —————————————————————————————
    See you at “Climate Part II – the revenge of the engineers” ;)

  240. wayne says:

    The basic methods of heat transfer are -
    1. Convection
    2. Conduction
    3. Radiation

    Konrad, you seem to be leaving out the biggest of all:
    1b. State-change of matter at different vertical levels carried out by (1).

    Between those levels, that energy transfer is invisible to the system.
    A stealth energy transfer so to speak. ;)

  241. suricat says:

    suricat says: February 15, 2013 at 5:00 am

    “I’ve a problem with data.”

    Well, nobody came back to me from that one, so here’s my concern. :(

    From the WMO:

    Global rainfall = 900,000,000 tonnes/minute = 15,000,000 tonnes/second.
    But, global surface area = ~510,100,000 km^2 = ~510,100,000,000,000 m^2.
    Thus, rainfall/second = ~15,000,000 tonnes / ~510,100,000,000,000 m^2

    = ~0.0294 g/m^2/second.

    Whereas, taking an ‘average online estimation’ for a ‘global precipitation’ of ~1 tonne/m^2/year gives, ~0.0317 g/m^2/second, or about 12% more.

    Latent Heat for evaporation/condensation of water = 2260 J/g.

    Thus, heat lost towards TOA (?) by precipitation = ~66.4 J/second for the WMO precipitation estimate and ~71.6 J/second for the ‘average online estimation’.

    By equivalence: The watt second is a unit of energy, equal to the joule. Thus, J/second (seen above) can be read as an ‘energy flux’ in W/second. Thus, 66 – 71 W/m^2 in whole numbers.

    My problem is that these figures reflect ONLY a ‘phase change flux’ for surface evaporation of ‘WV’ (water vapour) some ‘~14 days’ (?) previous from another region ((?) what is an acceptable ‘average lifetime’ for WV’s existence in the atmosphere). Yet these figures fall only just short of the 80 W/m^2 in the diagram, but from ‘online sources’ a ‘cherry pick’ would likely offer an equivalent value.

    This ‘surface flux’ is really one of ‘temperature suppression of the surface’ which inhibits the ‘radiative flux’ from the surface by lowering the surface temperature where there is adequate water.

    There is no assumption of acceleration to convection forced by the buoyancy of WV in these calculations here, nor is any account taken for sensible heat change encountered (generating a downdraught) as precipitation falls from the altitude where it coalesced in the atmosphere, or any evaporation that occurs on the way down.

    Best regards, Ray.

  242. suricat says:

    David Socrates says: February 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    David, you’ve posted this message in the wrong thread. :)

    To continue the anomaly of your (Trenberth’s) ‘latency’ value (what a time to get a ‘page break’ :( ).

    The ‘anomaly’ of using data on precipitation for the latency value of H2O in the atmosphere is that the ‘data’ only shows the degree to which the ‘diurnal’ temperature extremes ‘supersaturate’ the atmosphere with WV!

    A ‘constant’ RH forces WV into the atmosphere as temperatures ‘rise’ and when temperatures ‘fall’ again a ‘constant’ RH forces WV out of the atmosphere. The result is ‘rain’! Thus, ‘Annual Global Precipitation’ is an indicator to the ‘diurnally forced supersaturation’ value for Earth’s atmosphere and NOT the expected ‘latency’ value of H2O in Earth’s atmosphere.

    The expected ‘latency’ value of H2O in Earth’s atmosphere is much greater and gives an enormous boost to ‘Cp’ (thermal capacity at ~constant pressure) at the expense of losses to ‘Cv’ (thermal capacity at ~constant volume). Though, you may need to be a HV&AC engineer to realise this. :)

    Sorry for any delay with my responses, I’ve been visiting family. I try to do this monthly, but bad weather recently prevented this so my last ’round’ was protracted. :(

    Best regards, Ray.

  243. suricat says:

    David Socrates/Cosserat.

    I’m beginning to feel a bit ‘isolated’ here. You say that you still ‘monitor’ this thread, but how about a comment or two on my musings.

    The ‘latency’ product that you quote is incorrect. It doesn’t include the latency property displayed by atmospheric reactions and, as such, is incomplete.

    How can I instil the importance of an understanding of the full ‘atmospheric hydrological cycle’ to you when you ignore the ‘mass : volume changes’ involved with PV=nRT in Earth like scenarios.

    Please read up on the ‘Makarieva’ effect:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/makarieva-et-al-finally-get-their-groundbreaking-paper-on-atmospheric-thermodynamics-published/

    This ‘paper’ may be a ‘hard read’, but it points to ‘latency’ and its place in Earth’s ‘super-dynamic equilibrium’. :)

    If you want to ‘go down the road’ of data to realise this, we’ll need to find data that observes both water and WV at sunrise and again at sunset.

    If you don’t understand what I just said, just ask me ‘why?’ :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  244. suricat says:

    David.

    I need a response of some sort or another. If I don’t get one soon I’m ‘out of here’!

    Ray.