## Nasif Nahle nails the radiative physics of co2

Posted: July 27, 2010 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics
Over on WUWT

Dear all…

I’d like to contribute a little on this issue.

First of all, AGW is based on false conceptions and incomplete information about the physics of heat transfer.

I don’t understand why AGW proponents take the carbon dioxide as the cause of a climate change invoking its absorptive-emissive power because, through experimentation and observation of natureal phenomena, it has been demonstrated the gas is physically incompetent for causing a warming of the atmosphere.

A brief and simple calculation of the emissive power of the carbon dioxide at its current mass fraction, taking into account the results of many experiments done by reputable scientists and engineers like Hottel, Leckner, Sarofim and many others, the total emissivity and absorptiviy of the carbon dioxide is quite insignificant.

The following formula is for calculating the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide:

ΔE = [[ζ / (10.7 + 101 ζ)] – 0.0089 ζ ^10.4] (log10 [(pH2O + pCO2) L] / (pabsL) 0) ^2.76

Considering the data obtained by many researchers on this matter, the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide is low. It is 0.0017.

This value is very important for calculating the amount of energy that the carbon dioxide absorbs and emits each second. Given the specific heat capacity of the carbon dioxide at its current density and temperature, which is of the order of ~871 J/Kg K, the carbon dioxide is not the cause of any change of the Earth’s climate.

The formula for obtaining the amount of energy transferred by radiation between two thermodynamic systems is as follows:

Φq/s = e σ (A) [(Ts^4 – Tg^4)]

For example, at an atmosphere temperature of 310.4K (27 °C), the usual temperature in Summer at my location, and a surface temperature of 340.65 K (67.5 °C) the energy emitted by the carbon dioxide is 0.403 W*s.

On the contrary, the water vapor emitts 102 W*s.

It is clear what is the main protagonist in the warming of the Earth.

Besides, the oceans, the land and the subsurface materials are the fundamental thermodynamic systems of the Earth that store energy for longer periods than the atmosphere, which, in any case, acts like a conveyor of thermal energy.

On the other hand, the main thermal energy exchange at the boundary layer surface-atmosphere is not by radiation, but by conduction. The energy absorbed by the layer of air above the surface is convected away by the air. The latter happens also with the radiation absorbed by the atmosphere.

=====================================

Executive summary for policy makers by tallbloke:

For those who boggle at equations, here’s my equivalent qualitative analysis:

The sun heats the ocean, the ocean heats the atmosphere, and the atmosphere loses heat to space while the convection of evaporated ocean water regulates the speed at which the ocean cools. That’s the big picture. Any co2 in excess of around 120 parts per million is pretty much along for the ride, because the window of opportunity it has to do anything exciting is pretty small compared to what water vapour does. Within that bigger picture, what should we estimate the scale of the radiative forcing involving the 0.039% of the atmosphere which is co2, compared to the energy flows outlined above to be?

My ‘back of an envelope’ engineering estimate is that it is somewhere between a fart in the wind and a storm in a teacup.

1. Well said dear Nasif!
it is somewhere between a fart in the wind and a storm in a teacup.

2. P.G. Sharrow says:

Nice clean explaination on CO2 effects in the atmosphere. The AGW crowd is just a bunch of religious nuts. No facts can get in the way of their dogma. At least on this blog I can follow the train of thought.

K.I.S.S. is the best way to impart knowlage and understanding. pg

3. P.G. Sharrow says:

OH yeh; defination ; K.I.S.S. is Keep, It, Simple, Stupid.

Very old engineering philosophy 🙂 pg

4. tallbloke says:

July 27, 2010 at 12:59 am

Well said dear Nasif!
it is somewhere between a fart in the wind and a storm in a teacup.

That bit is part of the tallbloke executive summary for policy makers.
Nasif would never say anything so uncouth. 🙂

5. tallbloke says:
July 27, 2010 at 6:07 am
The way physicists say those things is through a most sophisticated manner: by equations like this: #%!! 🙂

6. Tenuc says:

Thanks from me to both Nasif and TB for the reminder that at best CO2 can only have a minute effect on climate which is easily swamped by natural quasi-cycles. According to the notorious Dr. Jones at the CRU, there has been no statistically significant warming for the last 15y. However, CO2 has continued to rise during this period so CO2 is at best a weak climate driver and thus the CAGW hypothesis has been falsified.

I am not sure that the physics of how the suns energy reaches earth through the atmosphere is fully understood as most of the ‘laws’ refer to an ideal elastic gas operating in standardised condition, and the real world behaves differently to this. There is also the paradox that light can be treated as a wave form or, as is now more fashionable, as a particle.

Perhaps it is not too easy to work out how much energy is dissipated by our atmosphere as the light from the sun collides and bounces around in different directions on its way to the ground. The blue colour of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue. Perhaps a better understanding about what happens in the mesosphere would help identify how solar wavelength changes effect heating of the sea?

7. tallbloke says:

Hi Tenuc. Most of the energy is at the longer redder end of the visible light spectrum, but the scattered blue end may have more subtle effects than the bulk heating of the ocean which may be very important anyway. UV has an effect on ozone, which is itself a greenhouse gas of course, and the UV as you know, has recently been discovered to have a lot more variability as a component of TSI than the longer wavelengths.

See Erl Happs blog for enough ideas on ozone and other atmospheric matters to keep you going for a lifetime.

8. Tenuc says:

Interesting paper by Ferenc Miskolczi ‘Greenhouse Effect in Semi-Transparent Planetary Atmospheres’, is available here:-

Click to access IDOJARAS_vol111_No1_01.pdf

The link below gives you an idea of what Ferenc’s paper is about:-

http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/The_Saturated_Greenhouse_Effect.htm

Both well worth the time taken to read them!

9. tallbloke says:

I put up a post about Miskolczi and his colleague Miklos Zagoni in January:
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/why-the-sun-is-so-important-to-climate/
That’s why Ferencs boss at NASA is in the hall of shame…

10. DirkH says:

Climate science does not deserve to be called a science for as long as they ignore Ferenc Miskolczi’s work.

11. P.G. Sharrow says:

Actually I believe all light frequencies carry simular energies. The different test results is due to test devices being unable to receive all frequencies equally. Blue has more of it’s energy in angular momentum then red. EMF has twist as well as hight, width and density.
Remember a wave that looks like a partical. A volume that travels. pg

12. tallbloke says:

Hi PG. That’s an interesting perspective. Maybe even if the energies are similar, the differing wavelengths interact with various constituents of the Earth’s Atmosphere/ocean in different ways. For example, shorter wavelengths penetrate further into the ocean, and affect ozone production more, but a higher percntage of it gets stopped higher in the atmosphere.

13. John Eggert says:

Interesting summary.

I’ve used Hottel’s curves (Leckner’s are a refinement). The author has massively understated CO2 total emissivity. The premise (these curves show that CO2 effects max out) is, in my opinion, correct, but there are errors in the method.

I posted some questions at Scienceofdoom about this very thing a while back. To summarize the counter-argument: Leckner’s curves that are used in the path length approximation are not applicable because they only go to 0 C. I asked “Are you suggesting that for any and all concentrations of CO2, up to the point of forming dry ice, the logarithmic relation would hold?” The reply was “I think so”.

I have used Leckner’s curves to generate a “forcing curve”. This curve is colinear with the Ramanathan / Hansen approximation of deltaF=5.35ln[CO2/CO2o] up to somewhere around 100 ppm CO2. After that there is a divergence, with my curve flattening out. There is still an increase from 400 to 800 ppm, approximately equal to the forcing from 280 ppm to 400 ppm.

I must disagree with the value of CO2 emissivity given. My calculations show it to be about 0.14. At 1 bar (about atmospheric pressure at sea level), 50 meters (5,000 cm) of atmosphere at 200 ppm (200 / 10^6 bar) will have a CO2 path length just slightly less than 1 bar.cm which, at 0C, has a total emissivity of about 0.02. (Curves can be found by searching google books for “Heat Transfer Handbook, Bejan and Kraus” page 618. The impact of water on total CO2 emissivity is relatively small and can be ignored in most calculations. In developing an argument against CO2 caused AGW, water is a distraction. It is not relevant.

If you are interested, I have written 3 papers on this. An executive summary, a summary for laymen and a detailed description of methods. Never tried to get them published. They are rough, poorly referenced and still require peer review. Also, I graphically determined emissivity from the curves rather than calculating them.

Cheers

JE

14. P.G. Sharrow says:

Short wave lengths, high frequencies, fast spin, high angular momentum. These would have less energy transfer due to bounce or reflection.

Long wave lengths, low frequencies, slower spin, lower angular momentum. These would have better coupling or energy transfer and less reflection.

15. Semi says:

Hello.

There is a very interesting article by Peter L. Ward, named “Sulfur dioxide initiates global climate change in four ways” http://www.tetontectonics.org/Climate/Ward2009SulfurDioxide.pdf , which describes, how actually the volcanic (and only recently also human-produced) SO2 causes changes in atmosphere to produce either heating or cooling (depending on the “mode” – whether the atmosphere has enough opportunity to cleanse between eruptions – mentioned as the “oxidizing capacity”), and demonstrates this on many-milion-year-BP charts, comparing volcanic activity and temperature changes, well explaining various periods of glaciation and warmings… It is very convincing…

Beside other ideas in that paper is, that CO2 increase is rather a “consequence” of the warming, because the solubility of CO2 in ocean water depends on temperature…

16. tallbloke says:

Hi Semi, nice to see you here again, and thanks for this interesting paper. I’ll do a feature on it soon, as it is very relevant to our interests. Please would you look at Gray Stevens’ work and let us have your thoughts.
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/gray-stevens-planetary-effects-on-solar-activity/

Thanks

17. tallbloke says:

John Eggert says:
July 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

Thanks for your input John, watch for incoming email. I would like to add your work to this post and I will contact Nasif to see if we can get a dialogue going.

Thanks

Rog

18. DirkH says:

BTW, Kirk Myers mentioned Proh. Nasif Nahle here:
“Recently, the so-called “greenhouse effect” has itself come under increasing attack by a phalanx of scientific experts, including Dr. Gerhard Gerlich and Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner,
professor Nasif Nahle, applied mathematician Claes Johnson, former radio-chemist Alan Siddons, analytical chemist Hans Schreuder, combustion research scientist Martin Hertzberg, and engineer Heinz Thieme”
http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m7d22-Global-warming-alarmists-in-full-retreat-lash-out-at-skeptics

19. Nasif Nahle says:

Dear John Eggert,

Your concern is valid. However, for calculating the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide at its current mass fraction in the atmosphere I applied the following formula:

ECO2 = 1-[(a-1 * 1-PE / a + b – (1 + PE)) * e [-c (Log10 (paL) m / paL)^2]] * (ECO2)0

Which was taken from Modest book on radiative heat transfer.

The correction factor (ECO2) was taken from tables on total emissivity of the carbon dioxide by Hottel, Lecknder and other authors. From those charts, I read that the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide at a pCO2 of 0.05, a pabs of 1 bar cm, and a T of 300 K the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide is 0.008, although it was the outcome of experimentation. So I calculated the emissivity of the CO2 at the same physical conditions and found the ciphers given by those authors were correct.

But we are not talking about the actual current pCO2 in the atmosphere, but a pCO2 (0.05 bar cm) which is ~132 times higher than the actual pCO2 in the atmosphere.

Therefore, I applied the following formula for knowing the correction factor (ECO2) by which I had to multiply the observed total emissivity of the carbon dioxide:

ECO2 = [e ((|√ Log10 (290 K * T∞)| / (- c * 1 K)] * [pCO2 * 100 / 5 (pabs)]

which gave a magnitude for the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide of 0.0017.

This figure must be multiplied by the correction factor obtained from the first side of the formula, that is, by 1-[(a-1 * 1-PE / a + b – (1 + PE)) * e [-c (Log10 (paL) m / paL)^2]] , which is 0.999948. Therefore, the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide at its current mass fraction in the atmosphere is 0.999948 * 0.0017 = 0.001699. or 0.0017 by rounding up the cipher.

The formula you suscribe in your post, delta F=5.35 * ln[CO2/CO2o] is incomplete because the figure 5.35 has units W/m^2, so the magnitude F would have units W/m^2. Nevertheless, the concept F must have units °C / W m^-2 if F is referring to Tsens of the carbon dioxide.

The same problem appears in the formula ΔT = 5.35 W/m^2 * LN [CO2/CO2] because the outcome would be in W/m^2, not in K or in °C.

20. Brian H says:

Numerous lines of evidence and computation are apparently converging on this conclusion from the G&T paper:

” Never forget that climatology is not even a field, much less a science:
“Rather, the atmospheric greenhouse mechanism is a conjecture [= preliminary guess without evidence, which may lead to a hypothesis with pass-fail proposals, which may eventually qualify as a theory], which may be proved or disproved already [= previously] in concrete engineering thermodynamics [95{97]. Exactly this was done well many years ago by an expert in this field, namely Alfred Schack, who wrote a classical text-book on this subject [95]. [In] 1972 he showed that the radiative component of heat transfer of CO2, though relevant at the temperatures in combustion chambers, can be neglected at atmospheric temperatures. The influence of carbonic acid on the Earth’s climates is definitively unmeasurable [98].”

Falsification of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame of Physics,” International Journal of Modern Physics B, v23, n03, January 6, 2009, pp. 275-364. Free download at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

(My emphasis. )

21. John Eggert says:

Nasif:

First, the formula F=5.35ln[CO2] is from Hansen, not me and I will not justify it. I will say that it comes pretty close as an approximation of heat flux in watts per square meter.

Second, I’m not sure where you are coming up with these path length calculations. Path length in bar centimeters is the partial pressure of the relevant gas multiplied by the physical distance. For an atmosphere at 1 bar or 100 kPa, with a concentration of 200 ppm or 0.02%, the partial pressure of CO2 is .02 kPa. or .0002 bar (This is known a pa). Over a distance of 50 meters or 5000 cm (this is known as L), we get a path length of 0.0002 bar *5000 cm or 1 bar cm (this is paL). Seeing as the atmosphere is about 42,000 meters, we can see that the path length will be far in excess of 1 bar cm.

This is the correct method for the path length calculation. Could you provide the name of the particular book by Modest you are referring to? Is it Radiative Heat Transfer, 2nd edition, Modest, MF (2003), Academic Press, New York? If so, you are misinterpreting the correct method for calculation of path length. Go to page 340 and examine closely equation 10.142.

Best

JE

22. tallbloke says:

John, thanks for your further reply, I have let Nasif know you have responded.
Brian, the G&T paper has taken quite a beating. It will be interesting to see how they respond to their critics.

23. Brian H says:

The beating is mostly piss and wind, CAGWers talking to themselves. G&T continue to debunk ( http://www.worldscinet.com/ijmpb/24/2410/S0217979210055573.html ):

“14 examples of common pseudo-derivations of fictitious greenhouse effects that are all based on simplistic pictures of radiative transfer and their obscure relation to thermodynamics, including but not limited to those descriptions (a) that define a “Perpetuum Mobile Of The 2nd Kind”, (b) that rely on incorrectly calculated averages of global temperatures, (c) that refer to incorrectly normalized spectra of electromagnetic radiation.”

I have never seen their reference to Schack challenged, though of course there is far more written than I have examined. The data on conduction, in any case, seems to me to indicate that the minute amounts of heat absorbed by the sparse CO2 molecules is “stripped” by contact with other molecules in the vast majority of cases before any “re/back-radiation” can occur, a kind of minor adjunct to direct heating at the surface/atmosphere interface. It’s all the same limited quantity of heat energy delivered to the surface, just taking different routes on its way back into space.

24. Nasif Nahle says:

Thanks, tallbloke for making me know about the answer from John Eggert.

John,

Some months ago, I got tired of hearing the same song “you’re not applying the formula correctly”. So I went to three universities, to three faculties of physics, and talked with eight colleagues about the formula. The formula is correct and it is the only algorithm you could use for obtaining the total emissivity of the carbon dioxide:

The formula is correctly applied. See what happens by including the path lenght at 700000 cm altitude:

ECO2 = 1-[(a-1 * 1-PE / a + b – (1 + PE)) * e [-c (Log10 (paL) m / paL)^2]] * (ECO2)0

Introducing magnitudes:

ECO2 = 1- [(1.45-1 * 1-1.0001 bar / (1.45 + 0.23) – (1 + 1.0001 bar)) * e [-1.47 (Log10 (157500 bar cm /23,800 bar cm))^2]] * 0.0017

ECO2 = 1 – [(0.00014 * 0.2993)] * 0.0017 = (0.999958) (0.0017) = 0.001699

The result is the same at 1 cm than at 700000 cm, i.e. 0.0017

The left side of the formula is for obtaining the correction factor, the right side is the total emissivity obtained from experimentation by Hottel and Sarofim in 1967, Leckner in 1972, Leckner and Ludwig in 1971, etc.

The formula is well explained in Manrique book on heat transfer.

If you find a bit difficult to find the value (ECO2)o, or the books of Hottel and Sarofim and the articles of Leckner, you can use the next formula:

ECO2 = [e ((√ |Log10 (290 K * T∞)|) / (- c * 1 K))] * (pCO2 * 100 / 5 (pabs))

It is not a redundant formula and it is useful for calculating (ECO)o at the atmospheric pressures and temperatures.

25. tallbloke says:

Hi Nasif, sorry for ‘making you know’ 🙂

I’ve posted John’s papers here:

https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/john-eggart-laymans-guide-to-the-greenhouse-effect/

So we can let his work speak for itself. Between the two of you, I think we have it nailed.

26. tallbloke says:

Brian,
I agree, but in all honesty I don’t understand radiative physics well enough to be able to argue it all from first priciples myself. It’s great to get a couple of experts in here to discuss it though, we can learn and ask.

27. Nasif Nahle says:

😀 Sorry for that making.

28. Reed Coray says:

Tallbloke, Nasif Nahle, and others. I enjoy reading and learn from your comments–especially those at WUWT because I spend most of my blog time there. If I may, I’d like to clear up some contradictions (at least in my mind) and learn more.

Nasif, you said:
“The formula for obtaining the amount of energy transferred by radiation between two thermodynamic systems is as follows:

Φq/s = e σ (A) [(Ts^4 – Tg^4)]”

I have a couple of questions. First I believe the term “(A)” in the above equation is the surface area of the “system” at temperature “Ts”, and the equation applies when the “system” whose temperature is “Ts” is surrounded by an enclosure whose temperature is everywhere “Tg”. If this is the case, then the above equation doesn’t apply to two “general systems” (for example, two spherical objects separated by the vacuum of space), but only to one system completely surrounded by another system. OK, if we treat the surface of the Earth as one system, and the atmosphere surrounding the Earth as the second system, then one system is completely surrounded by the other system and the above equation may be applicable. In that case, I assume the term “(A)” is the area of the surface of the Earth. However, the atmosphere (the system surrounding the Earth) is not at a constant temperature–i.e., as I understand it, up to a certain altitude the temperature decreases with altitude at which point the trend reverses and the temperature increases with altitude. My question then is: “In the above formula, what temperature does one use for “Tg”?

Second, my understanding of Stephan’s Law (the energy per unit time radiated from the surface of a black body at temperature T is proportional to the product of the surface area and the fourth power of T expressed in Kelvins) applies (a) theoretically to a small “opening of area (A)” in a cavity whose interior temperature is everywhere T, (b) approximately to many solid and liquid surfaces, but (c) NOT to gases. In his book University Physics, Third Edition, Part I, page 388, Sears and Zemansky state: “We shall be concerned in this chapter only with the radiant energy emitted by solids and liquids. The radiation from a gas, where the molecules are so far apart that they do not affect one another, obeys very different laws.” If true, isn’t the application of the Stefan Law of radiation to gases surrounded by an atmosphere suspect? I believe the answer is yes, in part because so much effort has been spent measuring the absorptive/emissive properties of gases.

I’m sure your answers to these questions will provoke additional questions on my part; and you’re under no obligation to respond. If you could take the time, it would be greatly appreciated.

Again, thank you for your contributions to the SCIENCE (not the politics) of the measurable effects, if any, of CO2 on our weather/climate.

29. Reed Coray says:

Nasif, another unresolved issue (in my mind) regarding the Stefan Law applied to gases involves the “directionality” nature of the amount of radiation–specifically, relative to the normal to the radiating surface, the direction of the solid angle into which the radiation is propagating. A regular surface (let the mathematicians fight over what defines a regular surface, I’ll just use the common man’s idea of a surface) can be characterized by a direction–the normal to the surface. The amount of radiation radiated by a surface into a solid angle is proportional to the COSINE of the angle between (a) the normal to the surface, and (b) the direction of the solid angle. I struggle with identifying such a “surface” for a gas. To me a gas doesn’t have a surface which means it doesn’t have a normal to a “surface?” which means the concept of black-body radiation expressed using Stefan’s Law doesn’t apply to a gas. Where am I wrong?

30. Brian H says:

Reed;
Just model each molecule as a wee (randomly spinning and bouncing) cube, and then integrate it all with a google-flop computer. See? Easy! 😉

31. Suibhne says:

tallbloke says:
July 29, 2010 at 6:04 am

…..”Brian, the G&T paper has taken quite a beating. It will be interesting to see how they respond to their critics.”……….

G&T have replied to their critics but its behind a pay wall.

The critics have been very quite about the whole affair since they made a massive boo boo.

The main criticism of the Halpern Gang of Six was that they thought G&T had said that the atmosphere did not radiate at all.

What G&T said in fact was……

“the radiative component of heat transfer of CO2, though relevant at the temperatures in combustion chambers, can be neglected at atmospheric temperatures.”

Notice that G&T are speaking here about CO2 and not about H2O.

Apparently the main point of the G&T reply was to ask the Halpern group to point out the page in the G&T paper they were referring to!

Since they cant they have been very quiet about the episode.
It probably is the biggest case of mutual self delusion in the science record.

32. tallbloke says:

Suibhne, welcome, and thanks for that. It will be interesting to see how this one develops.

33. Brian H says:

Subne;
I have noted that in several places. They are actually citing the words of a thermodynamics engineer, Schack. Here is the context, with my English usage clarifications in brackets []:

“Never forget that climatology is not even a field, much less a science:
“Rather, the atmospheric greenhouse mechanism is a conjecture [= preliminary guess without evidence, which may lead to a hypothesis with pass-fail proposals, which may eventually qualify as a theory], which may be proved or disproved already [= previously] in concrete engineering thermodynamics [95{97]. Exactly this was done well many years ago by an expert in this field, namely Alfred Schack, who wrote a classical text-book on this subject [95]. [In] 1972 he showed that the radiative component of heat transfer of CO2, though relevant at the temperatures in combustion chambers, can be neglected at atmospheric temperatures. The influence of carbonic acid on the Earth’s climates is definitively unmeasurable [98].”

“Falsification of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame of Physics,” International Journal of Modern Physics B, v23, n03, January 6, 2009, pp. 275-364. Free download at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf.”

34. Brian H says:

Sorry, misspelled your name: Subhne. I dropped the ‘aitch. 😉

35. erschroedinger says:

[snip]