## Back to basics: History of the gas laws

Posted: January 27, 2012 by tallbloke in atmosphere, general circulation, methodology

Richard M

Where have we claimed that we replace the greenhouse effect with gravity?

What we state is that the GH effect, when measured as a dimensionless number (Ts/Tgb), i.e. the relative thermal enhancement, is completely explainable by pressure. Is pressure a gravity? No! Pressure is a FORCE resulting from the atmospheric mass per unit area AND gravity! What is the kinetic energy of a gas that determines its temperature? It is a product of Pressure and Gas Volume (PV), i.e. FORCE x Distance = Joules. In other words, you cannot have kinetic energy and temperature of a gas without a FORCE. On a planetary scale the force of pressure is INDEPENDENT of solar heating, atmospheric volume, or temperature, because we have on average an isobaric thermodynamic process at the surface. So, changing the mass of the atmosphere will change the FORCE generated by gravity at the surface, therefore, changing the temperature. Our non-dimensional NTE factor (the relative thermal enhancement) is a manifestation of that physical characteristic of pressure called FORCE … How is that for a physical explanation? We elaborate more on this in our Reply Part 2 …

The key to grasping our theory is understanding the actual physical meaning of different parameters such as pressure, irradiance, temperature, and energy and the best way to do that is to properly deciphering the units …

Let’s see if we can help Ned get the message across in terms everyone can understand. We’ll start with a potted history of the gas laws in this post.

The Science of Pressure

An investigation that was resolved over centuries.

Archimedes of Syracuse Approximately 287-212 BCE

Archimedes was a creative engineer, physicist and mathematician whose seminal contributions to the sciences provided points of entry for the development of Geometry, Calculus, Physics and engineering. Archimedes experiments with buoyancy and density contributed to our understanding of the basic properties of matter.

Galileo Galilei 1564-1642

Remembered as an astronomer and the scientist who developed fundamental concepts about falling bodies. He was in fact a physicist and an ardent practitioner of the Scientific Method. In one experiment Galileo demonstrated that air had weight (and thus, mass). Gallileo also built devices that demonstrated the the change in density relative to the change in temperature of a fluid. Through the process of inquiry and experimentation, Gallileo opened the door for the slow development of the kinetic theory of gases.

Evangelista Torricelli 1608-1647

A student of Galileo, who is remembered for developing the Mercury Barometer. More important, Torricelli reasoned from his experiments that we are “Surrounded by an ocean of air”(The earth’s atmosphere) and that this ocean of air can impart a force (weight).

Blaise Pascal 1623-1662

Blaise Pascal died young, but in one brief period of scientific creativity he authored a book on Geometry, invented a calculating machine that was a precursor to the computer, laid the foundation for probability theory and laid the conceptual framework for the independent discoveries of Archimedes (buoyancy) , Galileo ( weight of air) and Torricelli the weight of the ocean of air in which we live)

His observations led to the conclusion:

Pressure in a confined fluid (and gas) is transmitted equally and undiminished in all directions.

In a single statement he defined a new term, pressure, and he expressed it as a simple mathematical relationship.
Pressure (P) = Force(F) per unit Area(A)

P = F/A

conversely

F = PxA

Understanding this simple algebraic expression will allow us to mathematically model and predict the performance of the pneumatic systems we design. This simple algebraic expression explains how it is possible to dramatically multiply forces within cylinders and transmit them significant distances through tubes and circuits within a pneumatic system.

Robert Boyle 1627-1691

While he is popularly regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Boyle made many significant contributions to the field of physics. Not least of which is a physical law that bears his name. Boyle realized that the product of the pressure and the volume within a closed system was constant (PV=k). He also noted that within a closed system, the pressure of a gas varies inversely with respect to volume. Increase the volume,and the pressure drops. Conversely if the volume is decreased, the pressure rises.

The algebra could not be simpler. A more useful expression comparing the effects of pressure and volume on a fixed amount of gas would look like this.
(see Figure 2.3.1)

What Robert Boyle gave us was more than just an observation. He gave us the one of the essential tools of pneumatic engineering. Boyle provided us with a tool that could be used to mathematically predict the behavior of a system.

Let’s look at the implication of what Pascal observed and what Boyle quantified.

Pascal noted that pressure was a force acting equally throughout a fluid or a gas. Boyle explained that if we reduce the volume of a given amount of gas by 1/2 then we double the pressure. The pressure is then doubled and acts equally on all surfaces of the contained gas!

The development of a universal gas law was nearing completion.

Jacques Charles 1746-1823

Jacques Charles enjoyed experimenting, and he was a daring inventor. In 1783 he heard news that the Montgolfier brothers had flown in a gas balloon. It is not certain that he knew they had used hot air to create the necessary bouyancy.He began to ponder how they may have accomplished this feat. He reasond they had filled the necessary volume with hydrogen, a recently discovered gas that was more than 10 times lighter than air. After several experiments Jaques Charles accomplished his solo flight in a hydrogen filled balloon!

Jacques Charles provided some key components necessary to formulate the ideal gas law.

He performed experiments that that allowed him to conclude that Pressure was proportional to temperature.

Pressure = Temperature x K (An constant) The algebra looks like this: P = Tk

Jacques Charles quantitatively measured the relationship between Temperature and pressure in a fixed amount of gas, and found the two quantities to have a proportional relationship. That is to say that a graph of changes in temperature with changes in volume forms a straight line.

The algebraic statement that expresses the relatinship between Volume and Temperature in gasses with fixed pressures looks like this: (see Figure 2.3.2)

Jacques however used a Celsius scale. In this case the proportionality was not a direct proportion. The line of a graph plotting the change in Celsius temperature plotted against a change in volume did not pass through the origin of is temperature and pressure graph (0 degrees Celsius/0 cm3). It was not until Lord Kelvin discovered that if he added 273 to every degree Celsius, that the proportionality of volume and temperature in a fixed amount of gas became a direct proportion! The concept of absolute temperature was another step towards defining the ideal gas law.

If temperature affected the volume or pressure of a gas, the implication was clear. Gases, at their fundamental molecular levels, are mechanical in nature, and the laws of kinematics could help predict the behavior of gases.

This algebraic tool allows us to predict the effects of changes in temperature, volume and pressure within a closed pneumatic system.

While temperature is certainly a factor in controlling pressure, this fact will not be considered in the problems that follow. Students are not expected to have temperature controls on their pneumatic systems. Never attempt to increase pressure by heating pressurized gas reservoirs.

Amedeo Avogadro was, like many great scientists of his era, both a physicist and a chemist. He is credited with having coined the word molecule, and establishing the formula for water, H2O. Avagadros contribution to pneumatics lies in his most remembered work, the establishment of a law that bears his name, as well as a fundamentally important concept, Avagadros number.

Avogadro\’s law states that equal volumes of different gases at the same temperature and pressure contain equal number of molecules!

Avogadros Number 6.02 * 10^23 This number refers to the number of molecules of a gas at standard temperature and pressure.

The volume occupied by one mole of any gas at Standard Temperature and Pressure is called its molar volume. This volume is the same for all gases. This volume is equal to 22.4 liters (a little more than 3/4 of a cubic foot).

The gram weight of the molar volume of any gas molecule can be found by adding the atomic weights of the atoms that combine to make the gas molecule.

A molar volume is always 22.4 liters. With this information we can compute the grams per liter of any gas as well as the weight of any quantity of any gas whose molecular formula is known.  [NIST historical definition of Mole, see appendix –Tim]

Avagadros research contributed to the development of the Ideal Gas Equation. The Ideal Gas Equation describes the relationship between pressure, temperature and volume, and provides engineers with the tools they need to mathematically predict the behavior of gases under a variety of conditions.
Emil Clapeyron 1799-1864

Emil Claperyon is credited with having formulated the ideal gas law in 1834. Take a minute to look at the algebra that describes the relationship between Pressure, Volume, Temperature and the quantity of gas in a system. This simple statement represents the culmination of the work of dozens of scientists over hundreds of years and it includes the discoveries of the scientists recognized in this lesson.

The Ideal Gas Equation

PV = nRT

Where:

P = pressure in atmospheres

V = volume in liters

n = moles

R = Ideal gas constant = 0.0821 liter* atmospheres/mole* Kelvin

T = Temperature in degrees Kelvin

The understanding exhibited by this simple equation is used by men and women who design and manufacture safe reliable pneumatic systems. The fundamental laws that govern gas behavior were discoverd sequentially by men and women who made incremental contribitions to development of our understanding of the behavior of gasses. Each in turn, contributed to this growing body of knowledge. This is a story of pneumatic science, and it is representative of the story of science in general.

Appendix

NIST historical definition of the unit mole

1. The mole is the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0.012 kilogram of carbon 12; its symbol is “mol.”

2. When the mole is used, the elementary entities must be specified and may be atoms, molecules, ions, electrons, other particles, or specified groups of such particles.

The atomic weight (sum of the weight/mass of all 6 protons + 6 neutrons + 6 electrons) of a carbon-12 isotope atom is set at 12, as basis for comparison of all other atoms. 12 grams (0.012 kg) of carbon contains Avogadro’s number of atoms.

1. steveta_uk says:

None of what you’ve written up seems to address the problems raised by numerous commenters, in that the effects of gravity on a column of gas doesn’t come up anywhere.

In fact, what you’ve presented specifically states that pressure will be uniform throughout any given container, which directly contradicts Ned’s points.

I know this isn’t the case – but so far at least you’ve not added to the argument that I can see ;(

2. tallbloke says:

Steve: I’m beginning at the start. Have patience, it can’t all be done in a single post.

3. Erinome says:

So then how does this RTE theory apply to Venus? In Venus’s lower atmosphere the ideal gas law does *not* apply — the CO2 van der Waals constant “a” is intermediate between air and water, and “b” is greater than for either of these. And CO2 is well above its triple point near the surface of Venus, where P = 92 atm and T = 460 C….

4. davidmhoffer says:

steveta_uk;
In fact, what you’ve presented specifically states that pressure will be uniform throughout any given container>>>>

The atmosphere doesn’t exist in a container 😉
Tallbloke is showing you the thought process and formulas that resulted from experimenting on gas that IS in a container. Understanding that is part of understanding the larger picture.

5. donald penman says:

I wonder why there are no recent laws ,is it because the laws have all been found or is it because laws have gone out of fashion.

6. tallbloke says:

Donald: I hesitate to use the phrase “settled science” but…

7. davidmhoffer says:

PV=nRT

Through all of the N&Z discussions I didn’t think this part through in a lot of detail, I was far more focused on the misapplication of SB Law that they had pointed out, and the fact that they arrived at a two variable equation that nailed the temperature profile of 8 celestial bodies was good enough for me. But now that I’m not distracted by the huffery and puffery over WUWT, I’m having another look, and I remain gob smacked at how much N&Z have packed into their theory.

What tends to throw us off in the use of PV=nRT in relation to the atmosphere is that PV=nRT is predicated upon a gas in a container that is at uniform pressure. But the atmosphere isn’t in a container, and pressure isn’t uniform, it drops with altitude. As it should!

Pressure at any given altitude is going to be a combination of the mass and gravity. Pressure being a force, the equation for force between any two objects is F=(G*M1*M2)/R^2 where:

F=force
G is a constant
M1 is the mass of one object
M2 is the mass of the other object
R is the distance between the centres of gravity of the two objects

So…pressure SHOULD decline with altitude, if for no other reason than any given moleculs of gas is further from the centre of gravity of the earth. I’m guessing there may be other factors, but let’s just role with the fact that pressure declines with altitude, but PV=nRT would otherwise apply. Now,let’s double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. What happens to PV=nRT?

P is a function of the mass of the atmosphere, and gravity. Gravity doesn’t change. Does mass of the atmosphere? Well, to generate CO2, we’re taking a molecule of O2 out of the atmosphere and replacing it with a molecule of CO2, so the mass would increase by the mass of the additional C atoms. Let’s see… 280ppm increases to 560ppm… yes the mass increases. Is it significant? Not a chance.

So, P doesn’t change by any significant amount.

Let’s skip V for now and look at n, the number of moles. Has that changed? No. Slightly less O2 and slightly more CO2, but the total number of moles of all gasses combined is…. the same.

R… well, R is a constant, so no change there.

Which leaves T & V.

And that’s where PV=nRT fails us when applied to the atmopshere. V and T can both change. If the atmosphere was bounded by a container, V would be fixed, and anything that caused an incease in T would have to cause an increase in P. But in this case, we have the opposite situation in that since, as discussed above, P CANNOT change, any change in T must be reflected in a change in V!

Let’s now swing back to GHE and we see how elegantly N&Z have eviscerated AGW theory. The incoming insolation received by earth is wrongly calculated as an “average”, but for purposes of this specific discussion, we can use the number, of 240 w/m2. Doubling of CO2 changs the outgoing radiance of earth by (at equilibrium) zero. If we’re getting 240 w/m2 in, then we’re getting 240 w/m2 out. If not, then by defination we aren’t at equilibrium. All CO2 does in theory is recycle some w/mw that would otherwise have escaped straight to space back down to earth surface. The result is a warmer than “average” earth surface and a cooler than “average” high altitude, hence the GHE.

But wait… that means that the “average” T of the system didn’t actually change! Yes, the bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than it otherwise would have been, but the higher atmosphere is colder, the average is still 240 w/m2 escaping to space. The temperature curve from surface to TOA is different, but not the average T! If T was different “on average” the laws of themodynamics would be null and void.

So… P cannot change, n doesn’t change, R doesn’t change, and…T doesn’t change!

Which leaves V.

And since the earth’s atmosphere is NOT bounded by a container…

V is the only thing that can change. That being the case:

My conclusion is that N&Z are correct, mean surface pressure governs T. Any changes in the atmosphere can change the volume, V, but not T. N&Z, it seems to me, are not violating the laws of thermodynamics, they are just correctly applying them, just as they correctly applied SB Law.

Gob smacking!

8. Stephen Wilde says:

davidmhoffer said:

“V is the only thing that can change”

“mean surface pressure governs T. Any changes in the atmosphere can change the volume, V, but not T”

Which is why the atmospheric heights rise and fall and the permanent climate zones slide poleward and equatorward.

This is a refinement of a post I submitted on another thread and which I sent to Rog for comment:

“With all this confusion around the issue of the lapse rate I’ve been thinking how to cut through it all to reach a plausible overall concept.

i) The slope of the dry adiabatic lapse rate is set solely by the gravitational field acting on the mass of the atmosphere whatever that may be. With no atmosphere there could be no lapse rate just a point on the ground where radiation comes straight in and goes straight out. When one introduces an atmosphere there is then a lapse rate and the slope would depend solely on the strength of the gravitational field. The weaker that field the closer the lapse rate on a graph would be to horizontal (a rapid decline with height) and the stronger the field the further away from the horizontal it would become (a slower decline with height). If one had a gravitational field that let nothing out of the atmosphere it would be vertical ( no decline with height).

ii) The height of the atmosphere of a given atmospheric mass which the lapse rate then has to traverse is set by the level of solar input. No sun and the atmosphere would lie frozen on the ground. The atmosphere thus develops a height commensurate with the level of solar input but however high the atmosphere gets the slope of the lapse rate stays the same.

iii) The level of solar input affects the absolute height of the atmosphere because that is the limiting factor for the total amount of energy available.

iv) The combination of atmospheric height and the slope of the lapse rate then determines the surface temperature via the Gas Laws.

v) Any variations other than solar changes will only affect the relative heights within the atmosphere because they don’t change the amount of energy available, they merely redistribute it.

vi) The consequence is that anything other than solar input or a change in atmospheric mass will only affect the rate at which energy flows from surface to space and not the equilibrium temperature of the planet.

vII) Thus the volume of the atmosphere will change with changes in the atmospheric heights and the permanent climate zones will shift as a result of compositional changes but average global surface temperature stays the same unless there is a change in atmospheric mass or solar input to the top of the atmosphere.

I think that that translates the N & Z proposals and all that is said by others in this thread into a workable and plausible climate theory by extending the logic to the entire climate system.

@davidmhoffer says:
January 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm
I remember reading a post, in WUWT if I am not wrong, that in the last few years the altitude of the atmosphere has decreased, how would it affect the energy budget?, and if temperatures have been kept almost the same what would it mean?, Has the GMF any role as a “lid”?

10. donald penman says:

They were all found then ,the gas laws,I think that N&Z might be correct at least it is an interesting theory.

11. tchannon says:

I’m not happy with the use of the word force both because it is wrong and because force appears correctly elsewhere.

I suspect the most problematic term for the general reader is mole. (hence I’ve edited molested the article to include a clarification)

12. P.G. Sharrow says:

I’m happy that the science is settled 😎 at least the non condensing gasses part. Now to work on the busiest atmospheric gas, H2O, and leave the inconsequential gasses such as CO2 to much later, Say after organic organisms and dust. pg

13. Anything is possible says:

Stephen & David : I think between the two of you, you’ve pretty much nailed it – making perfect sense to me.

If you have time, please take a moment to check out my posts at 4:05am and 6:29am on Jan 26th. on the “HJ alternative derivation of the dry adiabatic lapse rate thread” :

It looks like the tropopause (at the 226mb level on both Venus and Earth) marks the critical spot. Temperatures there can be explained by solar radiation alone, once an NTE factor of close to 1.4 is applied to the grey-body temperature. From there on down just apply the lapse rate down to the surface to obtain observed surface temperatures…..

In short, the different methods espoused by N & Z and Harry Dale Huffman actually compliment (cross-check, if you like), each other, and come up with the same answer. Very compelling……

14. colliemum says:

Thank you, Tallbloke, for this post. Hugely interesting from a historical point of view, and hugely instructive to those of us who ‘gave up’ on physics these many decades ago.
This is the way to learn and re-learn!

Thank you, davidmhoffer, for your excellent explanation. I could follow it because of Tallbloke’s groundwork, so there’s hope for me yet …

A disgruntled thank you, Stephen Wilde, because you took the observation on the change in atmospheric height out of my fingers-on-keyboard 😉 !
You were faster on the draw – but thanks anyway, because it was nice for me to see that my brain is still working, getting to the same point you make.

Ok – when’s the next lesson?

15. Stephen Wilde says:

Colliemum,

It wouldn’t have helped you by being quicker on the draw since I’ve said the same thing in lots of places many times before 🙂

N & Z provide a marvellous platform for all that I’ve been saying for years now. Davidmhoffer simplified the equations to arrive at exactly the right point about volume which is that in the absence of more mass or more sunshine only a redistribution of surface pressure is possible so that the rate of flow from surface to space changes to negate anything else that tries to disturb the sun/pressure equilibrium.

Having resolved that the next ‘lesson’ is to ascertain the relative climate effects of the various factors that can shift the permanent climate zones and I have lots of material on just that issue.

Start here and hopefully you will find it interesting:

http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=8723

“CO2 or Sun?”

In summary the solar effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere have a top down effect and ocean cycles have a bottom up effect with a near zero effect for GHG quantities.

16. Stephen Wilde says:

“in the last few years the altitude of the atmosphere has decreased, how would it affect the energy budget?,”

That is where it gets messy.

Ocean cycles from belowand solar effects on atmospheric chemistry from above the tropopause ‘fight’ each other for dominance sometimes supplementing and sometimes offsetting one another for very irregular outcomes on all timescales.

However I suggest that one can diagnose the current state of play by noting the behaviour of the mid latitude jets.

If we have poleward jets and a raised troposphere above the tropics (from warm ocean cycles) then surface temperatures rise and energy flows faster across the surface on its way to space.

If we have more equatorward jets and a lowered tropopause at the poles (from a quiet sun warming the stratophere and mesosphere – you will have to trust me on that since it is not yet proved) then surface temperatures fall and energy flows more slowly across the surface on its way to space.

Furthermore there are cloudiness and albedo implications from latitudinally shifting jets which complicates it further.

I’ve done lots of work on the way it all inter relates but that is beyond the scope of this thread.

17. Graeme M says:

I have to admit that my unschooled mind struggles with the notion that atmospheric pressure derives from the weight of the atmosphere.

Here’s a thought experiment. I have a very strong safe which I fill with air at sea level, it will contain air at one atmosphere of pressure (what is that, about 1000mb?). If my safe is completely airtight and I close it, it will still contain that pressure. There can be no weight acting upon the air in that safe from the air outside the safe, can there? What if I could instantly transport my safe to a point in space where there is little to no gravity. Would the air pressure in my safe be lower, higher, or the same? It’s a thought experiment so I permit no other effects to intrude. I have simply absented atmosphere and gravity external to my safe.

Put another way, what would a barometer fixed to the internal wall of my safe read in both situations?

From the above, I assume that the pressure will remain the same, at least in the first moment. I would assume that in time energy would dissipate and both temperature and pressure would drop. Is it the argument that it is gravity that confers the energy for the molecules to exhibit the state we call ‘pressure’? If so, how does that work for my safe at sea level? After all, the gravity can only act upon the small parcel enclosed in my safe. How small can my safe become before the air pressure inside changes? Or will it always remain at the same pressure?

18. Stephen Wilde says:

“Is it the argument that it is gravity that confers the energy for the molecules to exhibit the state we call ‘pressure’?”

No, there has to be a separate source of energy added to produce kinetic energy and then the denser the molecules the greater the pressure.

If there were no solar irradiation to the surface of the Earth the atmosphere would freeze on the surface.

The more energy is added the higher the gases will be ‘lifted’ and the greater the height of the atmosphere but the slope of the lapse rate remains the same because that is linked to the strength of the gravitational field.

Your safe in space would cool to the temperature of space and the kinetic energy of the gas molecules inside would be lost to space via conduction to space. The gas molecules would form a frozen layer on the inner sides of the safe.

No external source of energy, no kinetic energy in the molecules and no pressure.

19. tallbloke says:

Hi Graeme M: Your safe full of gas will stay at 1000mb in space, provided you keep it at the same temperature it was at sea level (Charles Law P=Tk). Gravity confers no energy. The force which increases the pressure of the air at sea level is the gravitational force which acts on all the mass of the atmosphere above it, giving it ‘weight’. This ‘weight’ presses down on the air at sea level, and increases the pressure it is subjected to by sqeezing it into a smaller volume than it would occupy if gravity wasn’t in effect. Pressure itself is not a ‘state’ it is an expression of the force exerted by a volume of gas on whatever surrounds it.

In the case of your safe, it is exerting 1000mb on the safe walls.

20. Stephen Wilde says:

tallbloke said:

“provided you keep it at the same temperature it was at sea level. Gravity confers no energy”

I agree, one has to maintain the external source of energy to maintain the pressure within the safe.

Meanwhile here is an extract from one of my articles that makes much the same point:

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the rate of energy transfer varies all the time between ocean and air, air and space and between different layers in the oceans and air. The troposphere can best be regarded as a sandwich filling between the oceans below and the stratosphere above. The temperature of the troposphere is constantly being affected by variations in the rate of energy flow from the oceans driven by internal ocean variability, possibly caused by temperature fluctuations along the horizontal route of the thermohaline circulation and by variations in energy flow from the sun THAT AFFECT THE SIZE OF THE ATMOSPHERE and the rate of energy loss to space.

The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

From here:

April 6th 2010.

in which I also said this:

“Unless more CO2 could increase total atmospheric density it could not have a significant effect on global tropospheric temperature. Instead the speed of the hydrological cycle changes to a minuscule and unmeasurable extent in order to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. As I have explained previously a change limited to the air alone short of an increase in total atmospheric density and pressure is incapable of altering that underlying equilibrium.”

which is much the same contention as that now from N & Z.

21. Vuk says:

[ Post removed to new solar flare article by moderator –Tim]

22. Hans says:

tallbloke says:
January 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm
Hi Graeme M: Your safe full of gas will stay at 1000mb in space, provided you keep it at the same temperature it was at sea level. Gravity confers no energy. The force which increases the pressure of the air at sea level is the gravitational force which acts on all the mass of the atmosphere above it, giving it ‘weight’. This ‘weight’ presses down on the air at sea level, and increases the pressure it is subjected to. Pressure itself is not a ‘state’ it is an expression of the force exerted by a volume of gas on whatever surrounds it.”
In the case of your safe, it is exerting 1000mb on the safe walls.”‘

Graeme,
The answer to the question above is of little value. The gas in the atmosphere does exist since there is a steady energetic state condition meaning that the absorbed solar irradiation power is equal to emitted IR radiation power from earth. When you close the door to the save the pressure inside the safe is decided by that fact. When you inclose the air in the safe this important boundary condition is not valid any longer. TB tells that you have to heat it to keep the pressure up by adding energy to heat the air inside the safe which is true since it is cold out in space far away from any stars.
What is learnt from this example?

Just transport it to the place you suggested far away from the sun and wait. You will have close to a vacuum in your safe when all the gases have condensed or become solid. 1% of the atmosphere which is argon might still be in a a gaseous condition.

This example is really comparing apples with oranges and it is unclear what can be learnt from it.

23. tallbloke says:

Hi Hans, I thought it might be of value to Graeme’s understanding to see the two sides of the same coin, which is why I held temperature constant in my example. It should be clear as you say that to keep the temperature constant you would have to add energy to the system.

24. Genghis says:

I just had a thought on how to verify the theory. If the theory is correct the atmospheric pressure at sea level should be less at the poles and higher at the equator.

A quick google search brought this up,

“An issue related to temperature variation is the presence of an equatorial bulge in atmospheric pressure as one ascends to high altitude (Ward, et al. 2000: 26-28;West 1996). In low latitude areas, barometric pressure at a given altitude is correspondingly higher than is pressure at that altitude in mid and high latitude areas of the world.”

I can verify the next statement from my experience climbing Denali,

“Models of variance in barometric pressure with latitude at a given altitude based on data derived primarily from weather balloons explain why there is greater available oxygen at 5000m in low latitude areas than in high latitude areas. The differences in pressure are particularly notable during high latitude winters.”

I would say that we now have more evidence supporting the UTC theory.

25. Wayne Job says:

For decades climate science has been evolving into a more and more complex construct, the likes of which Heath Robinson would be proud of.

It is the nature of the entire universe that all functions use the minimum quantity of complication, this gives a self regulating robustness in all things. Who could have imagined a century ago that the entire creation of all carbon based life could be done with four bits of information.

It will also be found that the rules governing planetary climate will be simple and self regulating, these discussions taking place are our first step in the direction of simplification.

Understanding climate will not help us understand the weather, as it is a result of our world trying to maintain itself within basic parameters. Those studying the weather to understand climate will always be up to their armpits in chaotic crocodiles.Thus complications.

Thanks Tallbloke these latest articles are excellent.

@Wayne Job says:
January 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

We share the love of hunting crocodiles 🙂

27. P.G. Sharrow says:

Ignore the crocodiles and trolls, drain the swamp! pg

28. Brian H says:

Edit!!
“Avogadros Number 6.02 * 1023 This number refers to the number of molecules of {–} a gas at standard temperature and pressure.”

Say what?? Please insert words where you see {–}. [ not sure on what to change –Tim]
(E.g., a gram of, the average belch-volume of, or a mole-ion of, or SLT)

“The volume occupied by one mole of any gas at Standard Temperature and Pressure is called its molar volume.”
How many moles make a rabbit? How many fleas on a mole? What is a Holey Moley?

29. Brian H says:

“Avogadros Number 6.02 * 1023 ” → Avogadro’s Number = 6.02*10^23. [done –Tim]

Pasting from WP or PDF text loses some formatting and various special symbols. Beware!!

30. Brian H says:

OK, a few sentences further, you refer to the “appendix”, which gives a definition of “mole”. No explanation of why “0.012 kilograms of carbon” is the reference point, however.
Missing info:
The atomic weight (sum of the weight/mass of all 6 protons + 6 neutrons + 6 electrons) of a carbon-12 isotope atom is set at 12, as basis for comparison of all other atoms. 12 grams (0.012 kg) of carbon contains Avogadro’s number of atoms.

[done, thanks, –Tim]

31. davidmhoffer says:

Genghis says:
January 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm
I just had a thought on how to verify the theory. If the theory is correct the atmospheric pressure at sea level should be less at the poles and higher at the equator.>>>

That thought occurred to me once and then I got distracted by something… food or something shiny or something curvy…something….

So thanks for bringing it up! And thanks for finding the info!
I continue to be absolutely gob smacked at how all the pieces of N&Z fit together. I originally dismissed their treatment of pressure as being a proxy for something else, but when I look at it in detail…they nailed it. Similarly, I originaly dismissed their calculation of ATE being 100+ degrees K, but when I took a close look…they nailed it.

Willis can cry foul over his four free parameters all he wants, the fact is they nailed the misaplication of SB Law and they nailed the correct interpretation of the Ideal Gas Law. And, the fact remains, like it or not, free parameters or not, there is in fact a curve, the temps of those planets when plotted against pressure are not random at all.

Sadly, I just glanced at WUWT and N&Z don’t seem to be on the first page at all, and Willis has moved on to torturing Kevin Trenberth instead. The answer to cancer is right there in front of us and what used to be the leading light of the skeptic side is instead talking about the common cold.

Graeme M says:
January 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm
… Would the air pressure in my safe be lower, higher, or the same?”

Graeme, it comes down to scale. Gravity always affects pressure, but at a certain level it doesn’t matter because the effect is immeasurable.

From Newton, we know that the force of gravity between two objects can be defined by:

m1 * m2 / d^2 (mass1 times mass2 divided by d squared, where d is the distance between the center of mass of the two objects)

The mean radius of the Earth is about 6371 km. The Earth’s mass is about 5.9742 × 10^24 kilograms.

Say your safe is about 1 meter tall. Since we’re talking about a gas, how much do you want to consider as the smallest unit your barometer can act on? For argument’s sake, let’s settle on one mole which would be about 29 grams.

Therefore, the difference in absolute air pressure between the bottom of the safe (sitting on the ground) and the top would be about the difference between:

(5.9742 × 10^24) * 0.029 / 6371^2 (bottom of safe)

and (5.9742 × 10^24) * 0.029 / 6371.001^2 (top of safe)

or roughly a factor of 1.000000157 (i.e. 1 millibar at the bottom vs 0.99999983 millibar at the top)

The result is that your thinking is completely valid, but the practical effect on the gas laws is nil since we don’t have instruments that can measure this precisely. Whether the scientists mentioned in this article had their apparatus on the floor or on a table would have made no difference to anything other than their posture.

At the scale where we are looking at planetary atmospheres, the pressure is more usefully visualized by how much atmosphere sits above the elevation under consideration. In your example when you consider a volume of gas not under the influence of gravity, pressure will of course be the same anywhere in the area under consideration.

Just my take,
Dan

33. mpf says:

Is it, the force of pressure on mass in the mesosphere, from changes to height of the tropopause, that acts as a natural regulator for the thermostat of mesospause, that determines joules of radiation, and therefor, heat?

The heat stratification of the earths surface is uniform, regardless of its composition, as are, the oceans and atmosphere. Isn’t that, what Baron Fourier said?

34. Stephen Wilde says:

It is clear that Ned Nikolov, Karl Zeller and Hans Jelbring and all others who realised that the so called greenhouse effect is a product of atmospheric pressure and solar input acting on ALL the gases of the atmosphere and not just on GHGs are correct.

That is what the scientific consensus view was before the AGW theory involving the radiative properties of so called Greenhouse Gases became dominant and N & Z have taken a major step forward in validating, quantifying and creating a formula to describe, the earlier understanding.

That, in itself, is not a climate theory. It simply sets the scene.

A climate theory must deal with the issue of change over time and the way such changes impact on the climate or climates observed at the surface.

Hans Jelbring made good progress on that aspect with his work ‘Wind Controlled Climate’ but unless I missed something within that work Hans did not nail down how and why the winds changed when climate changes occurred.

Many others have perceived the importance of individual components of the climate such as Marcel Leroux with his concept of the ‘mobile polar high’.

Then I supplied the concept of changing atmospheric heights combining with the latitudinal shifting of the climate zones as a global regulatory mechanism to achieve system temperature (or rather energy content) equilibrium despite all disruptive events that might seek to change it.
That concept was implicit in my ‘New Climate Model’ as published and discussed at WUWT but that was only an early attempt at a consolidated theory and there are parts that I could now refine (some aspects have been refined in subsequent articles) but overall it appears to be correct.

Note that such shifting of the climate zones beyond normal seasonal variation maintains equilibrium whether solar input and/or planetary mass change the baseline energy content for the entire system or whether other events or processes (such as changes in GHG quantities) simply cause a redistribution of energy within the system.

Whatever the lapse rate dictated by planetary mass and the height of the atmosphere set by solar input the atmospheric circulation will reconfigure so as to maintain system stability and if that involves the loss of otherwise permanent climate zones or the creation of new ones then so be it.

That brings me to the earlier post on this site concerning the possibility of substantial past changes in atmospheric density leading to the ability of huge flying creatures to remain in the air at a time when the climate zones were very different from today. Indeed it seems that the cold polar air masses of today were absent back then and on the basis of my climate model I would say that those cold climate zones disappeared because the sun/pressure induced lapse rate was set at a level where the entire planetary surface could be well above the freezing point of water, unlike today and the atmospheric circulation configured itself accordingly.

Climate zone shifting also deals with the faint sun paradox whereby despite the sun having become much more powerful over the past several billion years the surface temperature seems to have changed relatively little. Simply reconfiguring the climate zones to maintain the lapse rate set by pressure and solar input clearly does whatever is necessary by adjusting the rate of energy flow through the system without any large changes in the average system temperature set by solar input and pressure.

So we can see from the long term paleological and astronomical records that even significant changes in solar input and in atmospheric mass can be easily accommodated by a reconfiguration of the atmospheric circulation and the climate zones.

In the short term, variations in the rate of energy release from ocean to air and solar effects on atmospheric chemistry especially involving ozone are dealt with in exactly the same way.

To assess the significance of minor changes in the quantities of GHGs would be a matter of calculating the distance that the increase in quantities would shift the climate zones.

Given the observed climate zone shifting of around 1000 miles or so latitudinally from MWP to LIA to date I would be surprised if it were to be more than a mile or so from all our GHG emissions to date. Possibly even near to zero.

Even the ice ages can be accommodated within such a scenario. All it would need for ice caps to move down across the northern continents would be a subtle change in solar effects on the chemistry of the upper atmosphere to change the vertical heights and cause the polar air masses to flow more frequently and more deeply across the northern continents. Whether that can be achieved simply by changes in Total Solar Irradiance or more subtle solar effects remains to be seen.

Anyway, I think that to create a truly Unified Climate Theory one really does need to graft the concept of changing atmospheric heights and latitudinally shifting climate zones on to the concept of the Atmospheric Thermal Effect (previously known as the Greenhouse Effect before that term was hijacked by the proponents of radiative physics).

35. Graeme M says:

Thanks for the comments re my question and I realise this isn’t the best place to raise it, but it does seem somewhat related to the topic and I’ve long pondered this one.

I understand generally the concept of the atmosphere behaving somewhat like a fluid and the weight of the atmosphere due to gravity pressing the air causing what we measure as pressure.

But pressure as I understand it is the effect of molecular collision against a surface such as that of our measuring device. If I close my safe at sea level and the temperature in that safe remains as it is outside, the pressure inside will remain the same, eg our 1000mb. I will assume that as long as the air in my safe is at that temperature it will have the same pressure. But there is no column of air above it to ‘weigh’ on it. The weight is being expressed on the external wall of the safe. The pressure in that safe must only be that conferred by the energetic collision of molecules.

In effect, in terms of the body of air in that safe, it may as well be in the vacuum of space as there is no connection between it and the external atmosphere. The effect of gravity can only be upon the packet of air in my safe. And as was pointed out above, that is quite small for that number of molecules. Thus ‘pressure’ must be purely an effect of the temperature of that gas and the inherent properties of those molecules (ie their ‘elasticity’).

If I cool my safe slowly to the freezing point of my gas, will the pressure likewise reduce or remain the same until it disapperas at the phase change of the gas?

36. Stephen Wilde says:

“Is it, the force of pressure on mass in the mesosphere, from changes to height of the tropopause, that acts as a natural regulator for the thermostat of mesospause, that determines joules of radiation, and therefor, heat?”

Interesting that you mention the mesopause because I think that is the location where the balance is set between bottom up oceanic efects on the atmospheric heights and top down solar effects.

Also the recent findings by Joanna Haigh and others indicate that the effect on ozone quantities from solar variations reverses at around 45 km which is approximately the height of the mesopause.

Apparently ozone quantities INCREASE above 45km when the sun is less active which is the opposite of expectations and suggests a solar induced WARMING of mesosphere and stratosphere when the sun is less active.

That would tend to lower the tropopause near the poles and force polar air equatorward across the mid latitudes which is exactly what we see.

Any Unified Climate Theory has to include such matters since it affects the sizes positions and intensities of the climate zones.

In the end though, whatever the atmosphere does it is all just a consequence of the lapse rate set bysolar input and pressure. The atmosphere will be forced to do whatever it takes to maintain it.

37. tallbloke says:

Hi again Graeme:
But pressure as I understand it is the effect of molecular collision against a surface such as that of our measuring device. If I close my safe at sea level and the temperature in that safe remains as it is outside, the pressure inside will remain the same, eg our 1000mb. I will assume that as long as the air in my safe is at that temperature it will have the same pressure.

Correct. Charles Law AKA the Gay Lussac Law says pressure is proportional to temperature. Pressure=Temperature times the constant for the particular gas. Note that temperature is the expression of the energy state of the molecules.

But there is no column of air above it to ‘weigh’ on it. The weight is being expressed on the external wall of the safe. The pressure in that safe must only be that conferred by the energetic collision of molecules.

Yes, the collision of the molecules with the container which bounds it.

In effect, in terms of the body of air in that safe, it may as well be in the vacuum of space as there is no connection between it and the external atmosphere. The effect of gravity can only be upon the packet of air in my safe. And as was pointed out above, that is quite small for that number of molecules.

By enclosing the gas in the safe, it is no longer being constrained by the rest of the mass of the atmosphere pressing down (caused by gravity), but by the safe. So although the gas in the safe is itself still affected by gravity, gravity is no longer providing the constraining ‘container’ through its action on the rest of the mass of the atmosphere you have isolated the gas from. (This is why Robert Brown’s ‘jars agument’ on WUWT doesn’t prove what he thinks it does).

Thus ‘pressure’ must be purely an effect of the temperature of that gas and the inherent properties of those molecules (ie their ‘elasticity’).

Pressure isn’t ‘an effect’. It is a shorthand description of the energy state of the molecules or atoms in the body of the gas.i.e the amount of energetic force they collectively exert on the container or measuring device. Once you’ve separated your packet of gas from the rest of the atmosphere by putting it in the safe, it retains the pressure which was determined by the rest of the atmosphere around it at that altitude when you shut the door.

If I cool my safe slowly to the freezing point of my gas, will the pressure likewise reduce or remain the same until it disapperas at the phase change of the gas?

The former. Pressure is proportional to the temperature, so it reduces as the temperature reduces.

38. Hans says:

Graeme M says:
January 28, 2012 at 5:46 am

“But pressure as I understand it is the effect of molecular collision against a surface such as that of our measuring device. If I close my safe at sea level and the temperature in that safe remains as it is outside, the pressure inside will remain the same, eg our 1000mb. I will assume that as long as the air in my safe is at that temperature it will have the same pressure. But there is no column of air above it to ‘weigh’ on it. The weight is being expressed on the external wall of the safe. The pressure in that safe must only be that conferred by the energetic collision of molecules.

In effect, in terms of the body of air in that safe, it may as well be in the vacuum of space as there is no connection between it and the external atmosphere. The effect of gravity can only be upon the packet of air in my safe. And as was pointed out above, that is quite small for that number of molecules. Thus ‘pressure’ must be purely an effect of the temperature of that gas and the inherent properties of those molecules (ie their ‘elasticity’).

If I cool my safe slowly to the freezing point of my gas, will the pressure likewise reduce or remain the same until it disapperas at the phase change of the gas?”

Your inquiring mind is hitting the essence of what “temperature” and pressure actually represent seen from a micro and a macro perspective.

Let us consider 2 physical situations:
A. You have inclosed air in your safe at sea level and it was 1000 mbar when you did so. The temperature is +15C. (288K)
B. You are sitting in your garden and the air temperature is +15C. 288K is the approximate average temperature of earth´s atmosphere today.

Now we are performing a thought experiment on these 2 systems and start cooling them to 100K (at that temperature oxygen and nitrogen are still gases. What we are most interested in is measuring the pressure in both cases at 100K. (Dress warmly)

We dont need the exact figures here to make the point.
In case B the pressure will not change at all since the atmosphereic mass/m^2 at the surface will remain the same during the cooling process.
P(surface) = Ma g (where Ma is atmospheric mass/m^2 (kg/m^2) and g is gravity (m/s^2))
(1)
In case A the pressure will sink considerably as is told in the head ”
“Pressure = Temperature x K (An constant) The algebra looks like this: P = T K”

Case A is a laboratory experiment including certain restrictions such as shutting of gravity as the pressure producing agent.
Case B is nature where the laws of nature are fully applied.

Equation (1) makes it possible to caclulate the average atmosphereic mass per m^2.
It is simply 101300 (Pascal) / 9.81 m/s^2 = 10326 kg/m^2.

There is 10.3 ton of air above your head per m^2 regardless of the temperature of the atmosphere as long as it is in a gaseous form and there hasn´t been any phase shifts.

39. tallbloke says:

Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it? 😉

40. mpf says:

“Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it? ;)”

[Reply] That’s because of all the pressure I’ve been feeling. Maybe it’ll explode, Joe Romm style. 😉

41. wayne says:

Graeme M & Hans:

I keep my eyes on the density. In case one inside the safe, the density didn’t budge. But in the open atmosphere, the density rose markedly as the atmosphere contracted. This is also how a lapse rate actually looks in data other than temperature; both the pressure and the density diverge as the altitude increases. Since P/rho*k is temperature, you can calculate the temperature at any altitude simply and precisely from that P/rho ratio.

[Note] Wayne is using the ideal gas Law.
The density of dry air can be calculated using the ideal gas law, expressed as a function of temperature and pressure:

where ρ (rho) is the air density, p is absolute pressure, Rspecific is the specific gas constant for dry air, and T is absolute temperature.

The specific gas constant for dry air is 287.058 J/(kg·K) in SI units.

It gets more complex for humid air. Details here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_of_air

42. Hans says:

tallbloke says:
January 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

“Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it?”

Because you didn´t put 10.3 ton of plywood with a base area of 1m^2 on your head! Try it and you will believe me for a short time.

43. tallbloke says:

Heh. 🙂

There is much fun to be had around this question. See Miles Mathis article for a good laugh.

http://milesmathis.com/atmo.html

I always enjoy Miles’ articles, and even when I think he is wrong, he makes me think hard about why I think he is wrong.

A sample:

“If a column of air weighing 11 tons can be completely levitated by air pressure, why not a 170 pound man? The experts might say it is a matter of density, but neither Newton’s nor Einstein’s equations have a density variable in them. The force of gravity is supposed to be a function of mass, not density. If it is a matter of density, how does the field know I am denser than the column of air? Mr. Gravity is looking up at me and the column from underneath: how does he know I have more density than the column of air?”

44. Stephen Wilde says:

Just considering the two scenarios I mentioned above:

i) The Carboniferous Period when greater atmospheric mass did raise the surface temperaure and

ii) The period since the so called ‘faint sun’ over which period the sun became a lot stronger but global temperatures do NOT seem to have risen much.

Could it be that increased solar input simply raises the height of the atmosphere which in turn reduces density at the surface so that increased solar input fails to raise surface temperature ?

That would leave gravity,atmospheric mass and the resultant pressure in absolute control of surface temperatures wouldn’t it ?

But that would seem counter to the observed relationship between distance from the sun and surface temperature. Could someone resolve that issue ?

There would be limiting factors such as requiring enough solar input to raise the atmosphere off the ground in the first place and too much solar input could blow the atmosphere off into space but in between does the level of solar input make much difference?

[Note] Stephen, please repost this on the ‘Greenhouse gases cool planets’ thread. It doesn’t belong here and will be removed later. Thanks.

45. Hans says:

wayne says:

January 28, 2012 at 9:05 am
Graeme M & Hans:
“I keep my eyes on the density. In case one inside the safe, the density didn’t budge. But in the open atmosphere, the density rose markedly as the atmosphere contracted. ”

True but I thught it was more important to point out the constancy of pressure in nature. You pointed at the constancy of density in the laboratory experiment when temperature decreases.

Both facts should be contemplated carefully. By the way, any real atmospheric local temperature profile can be explicitily expressed as a function of only density. In mathematical language that is::

T(z) = T(density(z),z)

Can anybody write this equation down or do I have to write an article about it? You better hurry up or otherwise I will just call the equation Jelbring Planetary Atmosphere Temperature Equation?

46. Stephen Wilde says:

mpf,

In reply to your comments about the mesosphere I meant to refer to the stratopause and not the mesopause. The former of course being the boundary between stratosphere and mesosphere.

47. Joe's World says:

TB,

Motion, nor the velocities were not included.
Yet, you stop the planet and the atmosphere would shear off…pressure and all.

48. This seems like an appropriate time to wheel this out as it is broadly supportive of N&Z
;
Earth-atmosphere in equilibrium and as we know it now. Sun radiation spectrum is complete. Add two carbon dioxide molecules to Earth’s atmosphere homogeneously. Because of their properties of absorption and radiation, each of the following will occur on average 25% of the time;

1. Sun >[~>( 0 )~>]> Space. = Sun radiated photon in. Earth radiated photon out.
2. Sun >[~>(+1)<~] Space. = Sun radiated photon in. Earth radiated photon in.
3. Sun ^[<~( 0 )<~] Space. = Sun radiated photon out. Earth radiated photon in.
4. Sun ^[]> Space.= Sun radiated photon out. Earth radiated photon out.

Key;
> Photon and direction.
~> Absorbing & radiating carbon dioxide molecule.
[Earth-atmosphere system]
(System energy change)

Result: albedo increased, emissivity reduced, system remains in equilibrium, system energy unchanged.

Conclusion: additional carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere of Earth does not change existing energy level as no mechanism for change is introduced by that addition.

QED?

49. Format fail – try again

4. Sun ^[]>

50. Again
4. Sun ^[]>

51. OK, in words then. With both CO2 molecules in the system radiating out, the energy change is -1.

52. donald penman says:

Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it?
Could it be that the gas can increase its density quite easily in response to the weight pressing on it from above but the plywood being more dense cannot therefore if we put both on a scale the plywood will register a weight but the gas will not .Just a thought after reading Miles Matthis.

53. Hans says:

Hans says:

January 28, 2012 at 9:27 am

tallbloke says:
January 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

“Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it?”

“Because you didn´t put 10.3 ton of plywood with a base area of 1m^2 on your head! Try it and you will believe me for a short time.”/HJ

If you had suggested the same to me I would have accepted your suggestion if and only if you accepted a bet on \$10000 if I could do it without getting injured.

I would have gone to read what Archimedes told to be sure I didn´t miss anything. The 10.3 ton of plywood would be placed in a swimming pool. Then I would dive underneath and have the plywood on top of my head for up to a minute before collecting the money.

54. Graeme M says:

Hans is saying that in the open atmosphere, the weight of the atmosphere is what manifests as atmospheric pressure. That pressure is exerted throughout the atmosphere at say sea level in this case and registers as 1000mb let’s say. This means that my plywood is surrounded by gas at a pressure of 1000mb. Thus the force exerted against the underside of my plywood is the same as that on top which therefore cancels the ‘weight’ on top. Thus it weighs nothing according to a scale.

Operationally then, our atmosphere weighs nothing as it cannot be registered on a scale, however gravitationally its weight is as Hans calculates. That said, the weight does generate a measurable quality – atmospheric pressure.

have I got that right?

[ Yes. Equal and opposite forces cancel. Try suckers for carrying a large sheet of glass as an example where cancellation IS taking place. not by atmospheric pressure but by the sheet of glass, hence frictional adhesion between the sucker and glass.

In aeronautics the units of mass/inertia includes the slug appearing in the aerodynamic drag formula, having to move the mass of air out of the way,
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/mass-weight-d_589.html
And the myriad of meanings http://www.thefreedictionary.com/slug
In this context akin to a heavy lump which resists being moved, even air does that –Tim]

55. Joe's World says:

TB,

Almost on the same vane of why a plane does not melt being in the sunshine above the clouds?

But our overall worst offense in science is averaging. Changing an orb into a cylinder for a single calculation. Stating that every point on the planet at the one specific time is exactly the same as it was averaged out. This makes the uniqueness of an orb null and void.

56. Graeme M says:

Which leads me to speculate. If I dig a hole 10km deep, I assume my air pressure at the bottom becomes significantly higher due to the greater column of air above my head. However, if I were to expand my hole until such time as I have effectively peeled 10km from the earth’s overall radius, would my air pressure now be higher, lower, or the same as before I started? I will assume greater as although our atmospheric volume has not increased, the gravitational acceleration at our new surface will be greater. Yes? As insolation has not increased however, average temperature at the new surface will remain as before.

57. Graeme M says:

Although… our new smaller earth will have overall less gravitational attraction…

58. Hans says:

donald penman says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

“Hans, if I put a 1m^2 piece of plywood on my head, why don’t I feel the weight of that 10.3 tonnes of air pressing down on it?
Could it be that the gas can increase its density quite easily in response to the weight pressing on it from above but the plywood being more dense cannot therefore if we put both on a scale the plywood will register a weight but the gas will not .Just a thought after reading Miles Matthis.”

Just another thought how to survive having 10.3 metric ton of plywood on top of my head.
Imagine that the built a perfect metal cylinder with an area of 1 m^2 sealed with a metal bottom. The plywood will fit perfectly so you have an air tight piston. I will be at the bottom of cylinder (about 4 m tall when the piston is moved downward into the cylinder. The pressure will build up and it will stop the cylinder before crashing me.

Ooops! I missed that I will get boiled according to the Ideal Gas Law.

59. Stephen Wilde says:

Just noticed this from Ned’s comments in the intro.

“On a planetary scale the force of pressure is INDEPENDENT of solar heating,”

Which seems to resolve my earlier question about the Carboniferous Period and the Faint Sun paradox.

The Mods might wish to reconsider their proposal to move my post about that in view of that relevance to this thread.

On that basis my post at

Stephen Wilde says:
January 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm

needs correction at point vi) to refer only to a change in atmospheric mass.

However, Ned’s comment above seems to be inconsistent with the need for an external energy source to create the ATE or have I missed something ?

60. wayne says:

“I will assume greater as although our atmospheric volume has not increased, the gravitational acceleration at our new surface will be greater. ”

True, and let’s see, more gravity for the radius dropped but removing the mass add some back but also there is now less surface area when calculation the pressure. Oh boy… not for a head calc! ☺

That brings up an interesting question… since the gravity factor is non-linear power does that also mean a smooth planet would have the smallest possible average pressure compared to an irregular surface as N&Z pointed out in the radiative-mean temperature by SB case? Hmm. Only inversed I think, here you are squared inversed instead of fourth root. Is that right? Come on, no calculators now!

@wayne says:
January 28, 2012 at 9:05 am
How did you do to put your formula?

[ It is a .png image on the server –Tim]

62. davidmhoffer wrote @ January 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

“R… well, R is a constant, so no change there.”

R is only a constant for the same gas at the same temperature and pressure. Real gases are not ideal gases. Helium is the most most common gas that behaves like an ideal one over the range of temperatures and pressures of concern in terrestial atmospheric sciences.

Air is significantly different to an ideal gas, being mostly made up of diatomic molecules. R varies from gas to gas; and somewhat with temperature for the same gas, all other things held constant.

Water, which is subjected to phase changes and is widely dispersed throughout the atmosphere, breaks all the simple gas laws.

Gases are very poor radiators of heat. Compared to liquids (esp. water) and solids. Abysmal, in fact. They do convey heat by convection and subsequent conduction (collision).

If that doesn’t make it complicated enough, then consider the historical delineation between pressure and temperature to describe the kinetic state of the gas; the former being the mechanical force exerted upon an enclosing volume and the latter a poor proxy for the thermal heat (energy) content of the same gas. Why the distinction in physics? I recognize the usefulness of delineation in designing and making machinery.

Pressure and temperature both represent kinetic energy of molecules in the gas. It should be understood that both are about energy; as is the potential energy of a parcel of gas under the influence of gravity. The inability of the gas to perfectly transform pressure to temperature and vice versa should not make a difference.

Analyse the climate system as the interaction between matter and energy, using the total energy within the matter, potential, kinetic and electromagnetic. That’s a lot to ask given that existing practice doesn’t even incorporate enthalpy; a metric of the heat in the system. Temperature is, by itself, a useless measure.

There can only be “global warming” if the total energy in the climate system is increasing.

63. davidmhoffer says:

Stephen Wilde;
The Mods might wish to reconsider their proposal to move my post about that in view of that relevance to this thread.>>>

I second that. Follow up comment from me later today that will nicely tie it all together, this is exactly the right thread because the context is contained in the previous comments.

64. davidmhoffer says:

Bernd Felsche says:
January 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm
davidmhoffer wrote @ January 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

“R… well, R is a constant, so no change there.”

R is only a constant for the same gas at the same temperature and pressure>>>>

True, but in the context of CO2 doubling from 280 ppm to 560 ppm, the constant one would arrive at based on the mix of gases in the atmosphere would not change by a significant amount. Just like the change in mass and the change in surface pressure, the delta is insignificant.

65. Hans says:

Bernd Felsche says:
January 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“There can only be “global warming” if the total energy in the climate system is increasing.”

I am inclined to agree. And how many ways are there to increase the “total energy in the climate system”?

66. wayne says:

“However, Ned’s comment above seems to be inconsistent with the need for an external energy source to create the ATE or have I missed something ?”

Yeah Stephen, it sounds like slightly. Ned and Karl never said the surface temperature solely governs by pressure alone, its pressure and TSI. Pressure governs how the radiation moves through the atmosphere system regardless of albedo, emissivity, or anything else for that matter.

Underneath their theory, I keep getting the feeling Kirchhoff’s law is close to the bottom. In describing how photons interact with matter under quantum electrodynamics Feynman kept pressing that there is no such thing as a reflection that we normally imagine… just an absorption followed by re-emission event and that is where some pretty weird quantum effect do occur. It’s almost like clouds which do reflect x amount of energy if present block from leaving the same x amount from leaving underneath it. Notice, there is no albedo term in their final equations where the TSI term occurs. (eq 8 I believe) Think of it as a two level system on both sides of the cloud and apply Kirchhoff’s to all three surfaces then compare if there is no cloud at all. The top mm of surface would accept more but would also be emitting more.

It’s so easy to speak about one side of a two sided equation without ever considering the flop side or in reverse… after all, it is an equal sign.

Hope they are able to cover some of these aspects with their part II (maybe part III ;-))

67. Stephen Wilde says:

Thanks wayne.

Looking at it again they just say that the FORCE of pressure is independent of solar heating but that leaves it open for the rate of energy flow through the system to be dependent on solar heating which seems to resolve my query.

Still, one does need SOME solar heating to lift the atmosphere off the surface in the first place but that may be a non issue because no planet ever starts from absolute zero (or whatever the temperature of space is) so from the birth of the planet the initial energy for a gaseous atmosphere is already there.

I’m just looking for problems that probably aren’t there. I’ll leave it for Part 2 to explain.

Suits me because everything I’ve ever said about climate is only valid if pressure is at the heart of it all. That has always been my understanding.

68. Hans says:

Graeme M says:
January 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

“Which leads me to speculate. If I dig a hole 10km deep, I assume my air pressure at the bottom becomes significantly higher due to the greater column of air above my head. However, if I were to expand my hole until such time as I have effectively peeled 10km from the earth’s overall radius, would my air pressure now be higher, lower, or the same as before I started? I will assume greater as although our atmospheric volume has not increased, the gravitational acceleration at our new surface will be greater. Yes? As insolation has not increased however, average temperature at the new surface will remain as before.”

This is a great question and there is an answer to it which can be verified.

Case I. Earth has lost 10 km of its surface. The atmospheric mass is equal. Assume density 3600 kg/m^3. dM = 4 pi10000 R^2
dM = 1.83E22 which is equal to about 0.9969 of earths mass
the radius has decresed from 6,37E6 to 6,35E6
The new gravity is 9.81×0.9969/(6.35/6.36)^2 = 1.00004. The same amount of atmospheric mass will put pressure on a smaller surface. The new pressure will be 1013000x(6.36/6,35)^2 = 101619 or
1016,19 mbar. This is not much of a variation. Just now my barometer is at an extreme 1032 mbar in Stockholm, Sweden.

Case II. You are digging a hole 10 km and want to know the temperature in that hole. The easiest way to think is that the temperature will change only because the increase of depth of the atmosphere and that the atmosphere in the whole will be in a static equilibrium. In such a case the temperature increase will be 9.81K/km or 98.1 K. In real life the walls will heat the air in the hole you have dug so the air will get close to the temperature of the walls.

The adiabatic heating in a big “hole” is by far the most important process that governs the temperature increase but that one is affected by the local temperature situation. The whole will gather heavy cold air during a dar[k] winter time which will work in the opposite direction.

However there exists a direct verification in nature which haven´t the disadvantage of a hole which is not wide enount [enough]. The temperature in grand Canyon during a sunny summer will provide you with evidence. The vast plain at 2000 m altitude will provide a surface temperature of about +35C. the Colorad river is about 1700 m below. The adiabatic temperature increase can be expected to be 1.7 times 9.8 centigrad or 16.6C. At the river the temperature would be around 50C. This is close to the observed temperatures. Somebody might be able to get real times series from the river bank at a good spot both during summer and winter season.

It can be so hot that people don´t sweat and can get dried up and start hallucinating before they know what is going on. Many people have died when hiking down and up since they have not understood the need for enough water to drink. 2 gallons a day is what´s needed.

69. davidmhoffer says:

OK, I’m jumping on a plane in a couple of hours so don’t have the time to do this in as much detail as I would like.

My contention is that Stephen Wilde’s comments on the temperate zones moving poleward and on the faint sun hypothesis both tie back very nicely to N&Z via the Ideal Gas Law. As discussed upthread:

PV=nRT

If we start with the assumption that a change in atmospheric composition doesn’t change the amount of energy absorbed from the sun, then T cannot change. Where we get messed up I think is in understanding what “T” actually is and how we measure it.

For the purposes of SB Law, we must think in terms of T(e) which is EFFECTIVE T. Our problem is we don’t measure T(e) we measure T(a) which is the AVERAGE T across the globe in four dimensions (time being the fourth one). The use of T(a) is misleading because, as I have demonstrated on WUWT many times only to be ignored, it is possible to have an increase in T(a) accompanied by a decrease in energy balance (cooling) which is apparant only if one considers T(e).

So, while T(e) cannot be affected by a change in atmospheric composition, T(a) potentially can be. That’s the part I wanted to spend more time on before posting, but the airline refused to delay the flight time for me, selfish ess oh bees.

If CO2 or other GHG’s increase enough to alter, not the T(e) but the distribution of energy about the planet, then they can in fact affect T(a). How would this be exhibited? The only way possible for T(e) to be held constant while T(a) increases is for energy to be transferred from the tropics to higher latitudes, and we know for a fact they do exactly that, check out the ERBE data. That in turn results in exactly what Stephen Wilde has been saying. The temperate zones get pushed poleward, T(a) changes because of Holder’s Inequality, but T(e) remains unchanged. Since no additional energy is being absorbed by the system, T(e) CANNOT change (or else both SB and Ideal Gas Laws are wrong).

Onto faint sun…

PV=nRT was developed for gas in a container, but again, as discussed upthread, it applies to the atmosphere for the most part once one accepts that P is a function of the mass of the atmosphere and the gravity of the planet. What differs from my discussion of PV=nRT and Stephen Wilde’s discussion of the same in the context of faint sun, is that T(e) in fact can change in that scenario becsause the driving factor for T(e) via SB Law is insolation. Since we are fairly certain that insolation did in fact change, and change substantially, to a higher value over that time period, how is it that T(e) in current times is lower?

Understanding the faint sun hypothesis requires that we understand PV=nRT in terms of a T(e) that could, and should, have changed, but in the opposite direction that it did. The only way for this to have occurred is for there to have been a corresponding change in the opposite direction for one or both of P and V, or for a decrease in n, or for some combination thereof. I vote for the combination, because we do in fact have evidence for a higher density atmosphere in the past, which would in turn imply a higher mass, a higher P, and a higher n. Had we the data to quantify those as well as insolation compared to present times, my guess is that we’d find that PV=nRT holds, holds nicely, and substantiates both N&Z as well as Stephen Wilde’s position on poleward movement of the temperate zones.

dmh

70. > What we state is that the GH effect, when measured as a dimensionless number (Ts/Tgb), i.e. the relative thermal enhancement, is completely explainable by pressure.

This is false, provably so.

If you have a planet with a radiatively non-active atmosphere, and make the usual assumption that you can consider it a point and forget about rotation and geometry; then the surface temperature without an atmosphere is such-and-such; and the energy balance at the surface is between incoming SW and outgoing (SW + LW); and if you add a radiatively inactive atmosphere that balance doesn’t change at all, in equilibrium; all that happens is that the atmosphere itself acquires some temperature via conduction (which it can’t shed radiatively, because its inactive. And it can’t shed conductively,because there is nothing in space to conduct to).

If the atmosphere is radiatively inactive (as O2 and N2 nearly are), then whatever its pressure, the atmosphere acquires energy-as-heat by conduction from the surface. In equilibrium (and this is important; it is why all the tyre-pumping-up stuff is irrelevant) it must be in balance with the surface (inevitably, since it is in equilibrium) hence there can be no conductive flux at the surface, hence th surface temperature cannot be affected at all by a radiatively inactive atmosphere (again, assuming a point-planet type of idea).

[Reply] I think you are incorrect for several reasons, but for now I’ll simply point out that none of the celestial bodies examined by N&Z have a radiatively inactive atmosphere, apart from those with no atmosphere at all

71. Stephen Wilde says:

Thanks Dave, very helpful. Have a good flight 🙂

To my mind, grafting my stuff onto N & Z gives a pretty comprehensive climate overview but that will be for others to judge.

72. tchannon says:

If you go to the article I posted 25th December before any of the present copious discussions started I was leading people without saying, got no traction but did trip the N&Z post.

1. you will find a plot of Palestine temperature, below sea level.

2. At the end of the article I ask a question which went unanswered

“Normalising conditions to 1AU has been done by others, showing the planets are the same.

Question: If a 112km deep valley existed on earth, what is the air temperature on the valley floor?”

If you do read this remember it was posted on Christmas day, kind of a back story.
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/palestine-sagan-and-atmospheric-physics/

Why 112km?

73. > I think you are incorrect for several reasons

I’d be interested to hear you expound them.

> none of the celestial bodies examined by N&Z have a radiatively inactive atmosphere

That doesn’t matter, because as the quote I provided says “is completely explainable by pressure” – i.e., not by composition, but by sheer weight of atmosphere. If that statement is true (do you assert it to be true?) then N&Z predict identical sfc temperatures on a planet with a radiatively active, or inactive, atmosphere, provided only that the total atmospheric weight is the same.

[Reply] While we wait to find out whether their statement is incomplete, maybe you should see if you can get the planets surface temps to lie along an equally smooth non-polynomial curve as their non-linear regression produces using radiative theory. That should give them plenty to time to reformulate their statement so that it’s smart-arse proof. 😉

74. Stephen Wilde says:

William M Connolly said:

“And it can’t shed conductively,because there is nothing in space to conduct to.”

Well that is just daft because on a spherical rotating uneven planet with a non GHG atmosphere the winds from day side to night side and from equator to poles will be powerful with lots of turbulence.

That will feed energy from the day side to the rapidly cooling surface on the night side and from the summer hemisphere to the winter hemisphere via conduction back to the surface to replace the energy radiated to space by the surface on the night side/winter hemisphere.

There needs to be a real paradigm shift in the minds of AGW proponents who ignore the practical realities in order to shore up their fantasies.

Setting up unreal parameters as Willis did at WUWT and as Bill has done here so as to exclude real world processes is a disingenuous practice.

[Reply] I can imagine those winds would raise a lot of dust which would radiate heat from the atmosphere too. Right, I’m off out for a celebration dinner with friends now, so Bill might have to await moderation of further replies.

75. Stephen Wilde says:

Interesting that we get a figure as well known as William M. Connolley turning up here to try a rebuttal.

Is that a sign of real concern on the part of the AGW lobby ?

76. davidmhoffer says:

Stephen Wilde says:
January 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm
Interesting that we get a figure as well known as William M. Connolley turning up here to try a rebuttal.

Is that a sign of real concern on the part of the AGW lobby ?
***************************8

I never heard of this William M Connolley before, but if the red herring he raises is all the AGW group has left, then they are toast.

77. Stephen Wilde says:

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

“Connolley was a member of the RealClimate website until 2007”

“Connolley began editing Wikipedia in 2003[17] and served as a Wikipedia administrator from 2006 until 2009.[18] He has been cited and quoted in the media regarding these activities, especially with respect to his editing in the area of climate change”

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/14/willia-connolley-now-climate-topic-banned-at-wikipedia/

78. > on a spherical rotating uneven planet with a non GHG atmosphere the winds from day side to night side and from equator to poles will be powerful with lots of turbulence

Won’t do, I’m afraid: the original statement was very clear, it only depends on the pressure. So you don’t know if the planet is rotating or not – indeed, the original claim is that it doesn’t matter.

> those winds would raise a lot of dust

Again, won’t do. The claim is pressure-only; it therefore applies to a billiard-ball smooth planet with no dust at all.

> Is that a sign of real concern

No.

> willia-connolley-now-climate-topic-banned-at-wikipedia

Out of date I’m afraid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/William_M._Connolley

But please don’t let me monopolise this thread. A simple coherent answer to my point will serve.

79. tallbloke says:

Hoff: It certainly looks like they’re getting a bit desperate when Bill C turns up here making up imaginary planets which are unlike those we see in our solar system. I doubt they can fit the facts well enough to produce a convincing explanation for the varied conditions on the real planets and moons we have data for with their hopelessly confused radiative theory.

80. tallbloke says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm

> on a spherical rotating uneven planet with a non GHG atmosphere the winds from day side to night side and from equator to poles will be powerful with lots of turbulence

Won’t do, I’m afraid: the original statement was very clear, it only depends on the pressure. So you don’t know if the planet is rotating or not – indeed, the original claim is that it doesn’t matter.

A non rotating planet would have an even bigger temperature differential between it’s light and dark hemispheres, thus even stronger winds.

> those winds would raise a lot of dust

Again, won’t do. The claim is pressure-only; it therefore applies to a billiard-ball smooth planet with no dust at all.

There are three things certain in this cosmos. Death, taxes and dust. And in the outer solar system, ice particles in low gravity suspensions.

There’s always plenty of time here to address real concerns.

A simple coherent answer to my point will serve.

Coherent answers to contrived points may be brief however. Seems to me your point is you can get clever with picking apart statements for inconsequential minutiae regarding hypotheticals. In contrast, Nikolov and Zellers theory deals with far reaching and overarching explanation for real solar system wide phenomena. Whenever you’re ready to tackle the substantial aspects of the theory feel free to bring it on.

81. P.G. Sharrow says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

> What we state is that the GH effect, when measured as a dimensionless number (Ts/Tgb), i.e. the relative thermal enhancement, is completely explainable by pressure.

“This is false, provably so; If you have a planet with a radiatively non-active atmosphere, and make the usual assumption, hence th surface temperature cannot be affected at all by a radiatively inactive atmosphere (again, assuming a point-planet type of idea).”

Assumption of non existing conditions to prove a point is not good enough. Use real proofs about real conditions. I am tired of proofs based on assumptions that are used in place of facts. No real facts equals unsubstantiated theory. When I create a device that has to work, it has to work under real conditions and not wishful thinking. pg

82. mpf says:

“”If the atmosphere is radiatively inactive (as O2 and N2 nearly are), then whatever its pressure, the atmosphere acquires energy-as-heat by conduction from the surface. In equilibrium (and this is important; it is why all the tyre-pumping-up stuff is irrelevant) it must be in balance with the surface (inevitably, since it is in equilibrium)””

What energy is necessary to hold the atmosphere of a Gb in place?

83. clipe says:

O/T maybe but does atmospheric pressure follow the same rules whether water or air?

84. Wayne Job says:

I have read about this Connolley bloke in the past and his skullduggery, it would seem that he has not moved with the times. I would like to meet him as I have a small herd of unicorn that is for sale.
Their radiant heat characteristics are special as they radiate four times as much energy as they receive. This would give him certainty in his theories about the radiant qualities of CO2 and as a bonus they are magically clean and dust free at all times. This is once in a life time offer.

85. Q. Daniels says:

William Connolley wrote:
If you have a planet with a radiatively non-active atmosphere, and make the usual assumption that you can consider it a point and forget about rotation and geometry; then the surface temperature without an atmosphere is such-and-such; and the energy balance at the surface is between incoming SW and outgoing (SW + LW); and if you add a radiatively inactive atmosphere that balance doesn’t change at all, in equilibrium; all that happens is that the atmosphere itself acquires some temperature via conduction (which it can’t shed radiatively, because its inactive. And it can’t shed conductively,because there is nothing in space to conduct to).

Wow, I’m … finding myself in agreement with William Connolley, at least within this statement.

I would say that the temperature profile of said atmosphere is the DALR.

I would also note that such an atmosphere could have no stratosphere, as that is the region dominated by radiative equilibrium.

86. suricat says:

TB.

It’s good to see you revert to the ‘basics’ (first principles) TB, but be mindful that the ‘basics’ refer to ‘confined systems’ that don’t ‘directly’ relate to ‘observed atmospheric phenomena’ (the ‘boundary conditions’ alter when a ‘wall’ is replaced by a ‘gravity well’).

I’ll read through the posts here and try to come back with some responses, but (as usual) I’m short on time (this thread is ‘long’).

Best regards, Ray.

87. davidmhoffer says:

Oh, so that’s who William Connolley is. I new the story but not the name attached to it.

So William, welcome to the debate. I’ll be interested to see two things:

1. If you are open minded about the science at all.

2. If not, how well you will do defending your position in a forum where you don’t own the delete key.

Your objection raised upthread doesn’t cut it, the statement you make is not only about an unreal an unreal system that provides no value even as a thought experiment, but the claim you make along with it is so vague as to be near impossible to address. Have another go, will you please?

88. davidmhoffer says:

Stephen Wilde!

Thunder bolts and lightning!

I don’t have the details of the geological record at my instant command, but I think we can tie dinosaur extinction into the big picture. It fits with both N&Z and with the Faint Sun Hypothesis. Consider some things we believe to be true:

o Pterodactyls and other flying creatures of the dinosaur ages could not have flown unless the atmosphere was considerably more dense than it is now.

o The sun was at one time 2/3 the brightness that it is today, yet the earth was warmer, also suggesting that (based on N&Z) the atmosphere was far denser than it is now.

o There was an “extinction event”, widely believed to be a large meteor strike, that altered the climate in a short time period, causing temperatures to drop suddenly and wipe out the dinosaurs.

DISCUSSION

The problem with a single large meteor strike, or even a few smaller ones, is that we should have physical evidence of same, and we do not. Yes there are large meteor craters on earth of the right age, but not big enough. Yes, the impact could have been in the ocean, but that raises a different problem. A meteor big enough to have world wide climate effects would have vapourised a lot of ocean, and the resulting rainfall would have caused catastrophic flooding across the globe at a single instance in time. We have no record of such an event as that either. Further, that much water vapour in the atmosphere would have RAISED temperatures (by GHG theory OR by N&Z, pick your poison!) Plus… here’s the big one… we know from Stephen Wilde’s explanation that the temperate zones would most certainly have retreated from the poles in a cooling scenario, or rushed toward the in a warming scenario, but the tropics would have easily maintained the temperature range the normally have, exactly as they did through several ice ages, that should have allowed the dinosaurs to survive there, if not everywhere else. But they didn’t.

THEORY

The earth loses atmosphere to space as an on going process. The ultimate fate of the earth, millions of years from now, is to be a barren rock, just like the moon. What if we postulate, instead of a few large meteors, many small ones?

Many small meteors would leave no mark on earth surface because they would burn up before getting there. But throw enough of them at the atmosphere at once, over a period of years or even decades, and that is one hot upper and perturbed upper atmosphere with loss of atmospheric mass (I would think) to space heavily accelerated. Consider the chain of events that would follow:

o No more flying creatures. Not just Pterodactyls, but anything, even insects, that had evolved the ability to fly based on a denser atmosphere. All gone in short order.

o Predators dependent upon those species…gone.

o Plants dependent upon those species for pollination…gone.

o Plants dependent upon those species to control pests that would otherwise run rampant… gone.

But here is the doozy. We know that plants thrive in conditions of much higher CO2 than we have today, that’s why greenhouse operators pump it into their greenhouses raising levels to many times “normal”. The plants respond with better growth and need less water and humidity to remain healthy, suggesting they evolved at a time when CO2 levels were much higher than they are now. And, based on the faint sun hypothesis…when PRESSURE was also much higher than it is now. We haven’t tested plant growth at elevated pressures to my knowledge, but it makes sense that in reduced pressure, the ability of plants to capture CO2 from the atmosphere would also be reduced, and likely other effects would occur as well.

o The entire plant kingdom that had evolved to a given atmospheric pressure range, would have also died.

Let’s keep going!

o A sudden drop in pressure would in turn result in a sudden drop in temperature. The temperate zones would have retreated, and retreated big time, from the poles toward the tropics, triggering… if not a full blown ice age, then something like the Little Ice Age. Mass extinctions world wide even in the tropics where temperatures would have held steady. And that would be followed by….

o!o!o!o!

An earth steadily increasing in temperature commensurate with the steadily increasing insolation of the Sun for thousands of years.

Exactly as the geological record since the last ice age shows.

Maybe I am out on a wild goose chase on this one, but if one ties N&Z to Stephen Wilde to Faint Sun to Extinction Event….an awful lot of things start falling into place.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

89. davidmhoffer says:

Oops, meant to clip that last snarky remark before posting. There were several sentences that I did clip that were directed at the specific people I was challenging to come to the table and discuss it, but when I clipped it I left the last sentence in. apologies.

90. Paul-in-UK says:

The earths’ atmosphere is 78% N2, 21% O2, 0.04% CO2 so any thermal radiation from O2 and N2 is 2,500 times any thermal radiation from CO2. William Connely says N2 and O2 don’t radiate thermal energy? As far as I know all matter does. Thermal energy isn’t just infra-red. Thermal radiation from thermal energy does contain infra-red but also includes visible light and ultra violet, the latter 2 also have more energy ;E=hf. In order to claim that O2 and N2 have no effect upon the radiation budget you would have to back up the claim with experimental evidence.

91. Wayne Job says:

David Hoffer,
You say there is no evidence of a large meteor strike in the oceans, I will give you a few snippets of useless information my brain sucked in some decades ago, from many sources.

It would seem that a few hundred feet of forest debris and dead animals makes up part of the foot hills of the Himalayas. That is a big wave.

It was discovered that large crevices high in the Alps of Italy were crammed with the bones of animals, I doubt they climbed the Alps and crawled into the crevices to die.

It would also seem that north of Russia in the ocean is an island that is composed mainly of forest debris and dead animals, this has been mined for ivory, weather permitting for a long time.

From the shape of the continents it would be hard to pin point an impact site that caused a huge circular ripple of that magnitude to do these things, but some where in the southern ocean would be a good guess. An event of this magnitude could explain much of the inexplicable.

92. > Use real proofs about real conditions

There is great virtue to simplifying a problem to see its essentials. I’ve done that, but you don’t like the answer. The true problem (real atmosphere, real diurnal variation) is too complex to be treated accurately outside a GCM.

> the claim you make along with it is so vague

You haven’t read what I’ve written. The claim I make is precise: that for a radiatively inactive atmosphere and a simplified point-planet, the pressure is not the determining factor – it is, by contrast, completely irrelevant.

> The earths’ atmosphere is 78% N2, 21% O2, 0.04% CO2 so any thermal radiation from O2 and N2 is 2,500 times any thermal radiation from CO2. William Connely says N2 and O2 don’t radiate thermal energy? As far as I know all matter does.

Wrong. How radiatively active different molecules are depends on their structure. Its basic QM-type stuff: you need to be able to vibrate in a mode appropriate to the energy to be emitted. Diatomic molecules (O2, N2) don’t have a mode allowing them to emit in the IR. Triatomic (CO2) have a flexing mode that the diatomic don’t have (to give a hand-wavy explanation that can be made more precise, but doesn’t need to be for these purposes).

here. In view of the very real physics issues raised by that comment, continuing to argue about ‘point planets’ demonstrates a desire to obfuscate the actual physics of real planets. In my view your argument is inadequate to the points at issue.

93. Stephen Wilde says:

dmh,

Lots of plausible connections there but a couple of the facts aren’t quite right such as that after the last ice age we had the Holocene maximum of warmth followed by a slow decline in temperatures.

However if one looks at the longer paleo record your summary could be broadly correct.

I’ve always felt that introducing the flexibility of shifting climate zones for the purpose of adjusting the global energy budget is essential to produce a system of sufficient stability to keep the oceans liquid for 4 billion years AND allow sophisticated life to develop.

There really is no other solution and it needs to be built into the models forthwith.

Even if the radiative theory of the GHE were to be correct such latitudinal shifting prevents serious problems arising because the size of the shift required to neutralise the effect of more GHGs from human emissions would be so small as compared to natural shifts caused by sun and oceans.

Whatever the differences between N & Z and those like Connolley the presence of latitudinally shifting climate zones constantly adjusting the energy budget deals very effectively with the need to achieve the observed system stability.It makes no difference whether variations are introduced via pressure changes, solar input, or radiative processes. The system still responds negatively to any process that seeks to disrupt the lapse rate set by pressure alone.

Pressure at the surface certainly sets a baseline lapse rate around which the air circulation is obliged to configure itself. If AGW proponents then want to introduce a confounding factor such as the radiative consequences of more GHGs that can try to alter that baseline lapse rate then fine. The air circulation still reconfigures to restore the adiabatic lapse rate overall and system stability is maintained subject to a slight shift in the climate zones.

Thus my proposition stands either way.

The only question we need to ask is as to exactly how far would the climate zones shift from a tiny increase in GHGs overall (including water vapour) as compared to natural shifts. That is what we need to know.

And note that water vapour amounts do NOT seem to be increasing as expected from more CO2 in the air.

And that the oceans control the air temperatures and NOT GHGs in the air. Those GHGs have to change ocean temperatures first if they are to change air temperatures.

And if the energy in the air COULD get into the oceans despite the barrier presented by faster evaporation then the thermal capacity of the oceans is such that we couldn’t measure any difference for millennia.

To my mind the oceans should be treated as part of the atmosphere for energy retention purposes.

So, even if AGW theory were to be correct in principle the numbers simply do not add up to anything we should be concerned about.

Either the shifting climate zones shove the extra energy faster out to space or the oceans absorb it so effectively that it won’t be a problem until we have achieved sustainability or destroyed ourselves by other means.

So although I strongly support N &Z and although the principle of moveable climate zones is founded on an adiabatic pressure induced lapse rate my ideas also produce the perfect riposte to anyone who says that GHGs do indeed have a thermal effect.

In fact I do accept the thermal characteristics of GHGs. It is just that given the baseline lapse rate set by pressure and the existence of moveable climate zones enabled by variable atmospheric heights it simply doesn’t matter.

Your split of the temperature definition into ‘effective’ Te and ‘average’ Ta is very useful. It explains how one can have a higher temperature in one area but not a higher energy content overall because the rate of flow out of the system is simply ramped up to eliminate rthe extra energy available leaving the system energy content stable. Note the difference between ‘temperature’ and ‘energy content’ in this context.

In essence all that more GHGs achieve is to slow down energy loss to space a little but that results in various non radiative processes especially evaporation speeding it up again for a zero net effect.

The entire atmospheric circulatory system simply reconfigures to return to the pressure induced Adiabatic Lapse Rate / ATE.

94. Stephen Wilde says:

“The claim I make is precise: that for a radiatively inactive atmosphere and a simplified point-planet, the pressure is not the determining factor – it is, by contrast, completely irrelevant.”

A point planet would have no mass and no gravity and so no pressure. No atmosphere for that matter.

All this creation of ‘simple’ scenarios which rule out real world effects by design is silly. Anyone can do that. Willis Eschenbach is a prime example.

Any planetary body with a mass creates a gravitational field. Surround it with a gaseous atmosphere and the pressure of the gas will be highest at the surface and the gas will be densest at the surface.

Add a source of radiation and there will be an Adiabatic Lapse Rate with the highest temperature at the surface.

The Adiabatic Lapse Rate is supported by conduction from the surface and not radiation from above.

Conduction involves ALL molecules whether radiatively inactive or not.

It doesn’t matter that outward radiation from the surface would be the only means of energy exit from a non GHG world. The air circulation from conduction and convection would still return energy back to the inevitable cooling surface areas for radiating back out to space from the surface provided the planet is a sphere because the spherical geometry would cause the necessary temperature differentials to induce circulation within the atmosphere.

Are there any flat planets around ?

If radiative molecules in the atmosphere seek to disturb the Adiabatic Lapse Rate then they will fail because the atmosphere will develop a circulation that will prevent it by altering (increasing) the rate of heat loss upward through the atmosphere.

95. Erl Happ says:

William Connolley wrote:
If you have a planet with a radiatively non-active atmosphere, and make the usual assumption that you can consider it a point and forget about rotation and geometry; then the surface temperature without an atmosphere is such-and-such; and the energy balance at the surface is between incoming SW and outgoing (SW + LW); and if you add a radiatively inactive atmosphere that balance doesn’t change at all, in equilibrium; all that happens is that the atmosphere itself acquires some temperature via conduction (which it can’t shed radiatively, because its inactive. And it can’t shed conductively,because there is nothing in space to conduct to).

“the surface temperature without an atmosphere is such-and-such;”

Erl Happ writes: The temperature at two meters will in fact be the background temperature of space.

Add any sort of atmosphere and the temperature at two meters will be a function of the level of incoming energy and the density of the atmosphere which is in turn a function of the number of molecules in the atmospheric column (pressure).

The density of the atmosphere is the characteristic that determines its capacity to store (and transmit) energy

As to the energy balance in the planet with an atmosphere: It will be much affected by the presence of molecules capable of efficiently transmitting energy to space. Add molecules of that description and the temperature at two meters (and at all other levels) must decline. There is all of a sudden something for the poor radiators in the atmosphere to give their energy to. An intermediate and very accessible sink appears.

At elevation, add a potent absorber like ozone that dramatically increases the amount of radiant energy that is absorbed and the atmosphere warms. But there is absolutely no evidence that the radiation from ozone heats the atmosphere beneath the point where ozone is present. That said, trace amounts of ozone below the tropopause very efficiently heat the atmosphere causing the clouds to disappear. Then the surface will warm.

General background level of temperature at two meters is determined by irradiation and atmospheric density.

Temperature will fluctuate with the level of radiation getting through the clouds, in turn a function of the presence or absence of ozone that very much depends upon the coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes.
Mr Connelly, consider this: No warming since 1998. No correlation of temperature with CO2 content of the atmosphere. Hemispheres warm and cool independently. The warming that has occurred manifests in winter and in the mornings. We can’t explain the fluctuations in surface temperature that manifest on the weekly, monthly or inter-annual scale. Why rule out the factors involved in short temperature change as sources of changeover years, decades, centuries? Can you be certain that you are right?

96. Stephen Wilde says:

Erl, all good points as regards Connolley but one thing has been puzzling me.

I agree that adding GHG s space facilitates outward radiation to spce without having to involve the surface again but would it necessarily hace net cooling effect ?

The process of air circulation reconfiguration that I envisage works both ways.

Wouldn’t the air circulation just change to negate any net cooling from GHGs just as I contend it would as regards warming ?

In other words whatever happens to pull the system away from the basic pressure induced lapse rate the air circulation will just change to restore that basic lapse rate.

97. Erl Happ says:

Stephen,
Not sure what you are getting at but here goes:
There is no doubt in my mind that, given an atmosphere that cools at elevation, convection is a powerful force for energy removal. The issue is, what the lapse rate would be in the ozone free part of the atmosphere in the absence of efficient atmospheric radiators (probably never approached in practice).

However, what goes up must come down and where air descends it is warmed by compression. So, convection is a means of transfer of energy from one place to another. The atmosphere radiates most in the subtropical latitudes of the winter hemisphere where the large high pressure cells form, and more in the southern than the northern hemisphere. If the surface warms in winter due to this effect it’s likely due to cloud loss rather than radiation reaching the surface. Anyway, a little warming in winter is a very good thing, a point that seems to be lost on the likes of Mr Connelly.

98. Paul-in-UK says:

W. Connelly wrote:
“Wrong. How radiatively active different molecules are depends on their structure. Its basic QM-type stuff: you need to be able to vibrate in a mode appropriate to the energy to be emitted. Diatomic molecules (O2, N2) don’t have a mode allowing them to emit in the IR. Triatomic (CO2) have a flexing mode that the diatomic don’t have (to give a hand-wavy explanation that can be made more precise, but doesn’t need to be for these purposes).”

Here’s a nitrogen molecules’ emission spectrum so this must be a different type of nitrogen?

Here’s Oxygen:

If you have better graphics to offer I’d be pleased to see them as can’t find any better.

99. davidmhoffer says:

Stephen Wilde (to Erl Happ);
I agree that adding GHG s space facilitates outward radiation to spce without having to involve the surface again but would it necessarily hace net cooling effect >>>

Are we speaking of T(a) to T(e)?

T(effective) cannot change UNLESS adding GHG’s changes the amount of energy absorbed in the first place. If the amount of energy absorbed doesn’t change, then the only possible outcome is an equilibrium state with outgoing energy that is precisely the same.

What CAN change is how that energy is distributed. GHG’s can in my mind change the altitude at which T(e) occurrs, and they can also change the latitudinal distribution of energy. If GHG’s choke off the path of upward bound photons from surface to space, then that column of space must “Warm” which results in more conduction, more convection, and even more distribution of energy in the horizontal plane by the GHG’s themselves. Since the tropics are by far the warmist part of the planet, choking of the free path of photons from earth surface must be default force a redistribution that results in higher emissions in the higher latitudes. Equilibrium still must be achieved, but some of the watts that would have escaped from the tropics are forced to escape from the higher latitudes instead (which is why Stephen Wilde’s temperate zones in fact move toward the poles in a “warming” phase).

What is confusing is that we don’t measure T(e) we measure T(a) or T (average). This is misleading because it gives the impression of “warming” when all that has happened is a redistribution of energy from the warm parts of earth to the cold parts of earth which increase T(a) despite T(e) being unchanged. The following example based on two data points is illustrative:

data point 1 = 300 w/m2 = 270K
data point 2 = 200 w/m2 = 244K

T(a) = (270+244)/2 = 257K

T(e) however is based on the average w/m2, which is 250 which in turn via SB Law yields:

T(e) = 258K

Now let us presume some GHG’s that cause redistribution of the energy such that:

data point 1 = 260 w/m2 = 260K
data point 2 = 240 w/m2 = 255K

T(a) = (260+255)/2 = 257.5

T(a) has increased by 1/2 degree. What happened to T(e)?

(240+260)/2 = 250

T(e) = 258K

T(e) is unchanged.

T(e) CANNOT change UNLESS the amount of energy absorbed is changed!

Thus, GHG’s do not, and cannot, influence the energy balance of the earth. The only thing they can do is assist in redistributing energy from warm areas to cold areas resulting in a more uniform temperature which in turn manifests itself as an increased T(a) with a change in T(e) of zero.

Last I checked, should the winters warm, growing seasons expand, but peak temps remain about the same, everyone from the polar bears to the starving masses ought to be pretty happy with the result.

100. tallbloke says:

What this thread is demonstrating, despite the fact that as usual, the conversation has been shifted successfully around to radiative concerns, is that by insisting on planetary averages instead of examining energy distribution, and by using inadequate conceptual methods like ‘point planets’, the mainstream climate science practitioners have been deluding themselves, (and millions of others), for many years.

Time to sweep away the nonsense and look at reality.

I hope Mr Connolley is taking this in.

101. davidmhoffer says:

Stephen Wilde;
dmh,
Lots of plausible connections there but a couple of the facts aren’t quite right such as that after the last ice age we had the Holocene maximum of warmth followed by a slow decline in temperatures.>>>

Oh I recognize that the temperature record isn’t a nice smooth fit. All that suggests in my mind is that there are other factors at play.

But an extinction event that was driven primarily by a change in atmospheric density would explain an awfull lot of things, would it not?

102. donald penman says:

I think that non green house gas will make a planet warmer than a planet without an atmosphere because the surface temperature will have to warm the atmosphere until both are in equilibrium,the surface temperature will be a bit cooler and radiate less energy which will cause the temperature of both to rise until the surface is radiating as much as before adding the non gh atmosphere.I cannot see the how the temperature could drop back down and remain in equilibrium at every point on the planets surface.

103. Stephen Wilde says:

“But an extinction event that was driven primarily by a change in atmospheric density would explain an awfull lot of things, would it not?”

Yes indeed, David. And your linking the reduction of atmospheric density, the extinction event AND the failure of the atmosphere to warm significantly despite a more powerful sun was very neat.

I’ll be bearing that in mind to see if other data can firm it up

104. > non green house gas will make a planet warmer than a planet without an atmosphere because the surface temperature will have to warm the atmosphere until both are in equilibrium,the surface temperature will be a bit cooler…

Thank you for engaging with the argument, which no-one else has. Yes, initially the planet loses a little heat to the atmosphere to warm it up (or, conversely, the planet warms up, if the atmosphere we’re added is warmer than it is). But that isn’t at equilibrium. As you note, when the planet cools (let us say) a little, it loses less radiative heat via LW (because it is cooler)but still receives the same SW; so it warms up a little, eventually returning to its original equilibrium.

I should add that I’m assuming that the planet is nicely spherical and of constant albedo and is perfectly thermally conducting, so it has the same temperature everywhere. This simplifies the analysis. If you don’t make those simplifying assumptions, then you need to know rotation rates and planetary dynamics, none of which N&K factor in, so can’t be part of their answer.

> by insisting on planetary averages instead of examining energy distribution

You need to run before you can walk. If you can’t analyse the simple toy planet model, what hope have you got on a more complex model? But come, let us have you commit yourself: do you agree that I am correct for the simple, easy-to-analyse toy planet model: in that case, a non-radiative atmosphere makes no difference at all to the surface temperature, irrespective of its pressure?

105. tallbloke says:

Bill sez:
If you can’t analyse the simple toy planet model

Who says we can’t? But given that such a model is specifically designed by you to exclude the possibility of the N&Z proposal, why would we bother?

“I’m assuming that the planet is … perfectly thermally conducting,”

Yet another unrealistic assumption.

Got anywhere with getting radiative theory to match the performance of N&Z’s theory yet? 🙂

106. davidmhoffer says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm
> non green house gas will make a planet warmer than a planet without an atmosphere because the surface temperature will have to warm the atmosphere until both are in equilibrium,the surface temperature will be a bit cooler…

Thank you for engaging with the argument, which no-one else has.>>>>

REPLY: Actually they have. You constructed a meaningless analogy and several people pointed out that not only was it meaningless, they pointed out why.

William M. Connolley says:
Yes, initially the planet loses a little heat to the atmosphere to warm it up (or, conversely, the planet warms up, if the atmosphere we’re added is warmer than it is).>>>>

REPLY: Converse to your conversely, if we add an atmosphere at the same temperature as the planet, nothing happens.

William M Connolley says:
But that isn’t at equilibrium.>>>>

REPLY: The question sir, is what happens to a system which is at equilibrium, atmosphere and all, for a given change. You cannot on the one hand define what changes in equilibrium there will be to a given system for a given change while on the other hand arguing that equilibrium hasn’t been achieved.

William M Connolley says:
As you note, when the planet cools (let us say) a little, it loses less radiative heat via LW (because it is cooler)but still receives the same SW; so it warms up a little, eventually returning to its original equilibrium.>>>>

REPLY: Good lord man, you’ve run yourself in a circle! You just said that when the planet cools due to extra loss via LW, but receives the same amount of SW, it must warm up again. Uhh…yeah. And so?

William M Connolley says:
I should add that I’m assuming that the planet is nicely spherical and of constant albedo and is perfectly thermally conducting, so it has the same temperature everywhere.>>>>

REPLY: Except that it isn’t, not even close.

William M Connolley says:
This simplifies the analysis.>>>>

REPLY: No, what it does is create a meaningless environment in which the fact that the relationship between the most important variables is not linear and removes that non linear relationship from the analysis, leading to misleading and out right wrong conclusions.

William M Connolley says:
If you don’t make those simplifying assumptions, then you need to know rotation rates and planetary dynamics, none of which N&K factor in, so can’t be part of their answer.>>>>

REPLY: Wrong again. The way YOU are proposing to evaluate effects of GHG’s REQUIRES that you take those things into account, which you have cleverly contrived to avoid doing by assuming a nice round planet of constant temperature. The way N&Z have gone about it is, in fact, a completely different approach and your critcism applies not to their explanation, but to yours!

> by insisting on planetary averages instead of examining energy distribution

You need to run before you can walk. If you can’t analyse the simple toy planet model, what hope have you got on a more complex model? But come, let us have you commit yourself: do you agree that I am correct for the simple, easy-to-analyse toy planet model: in that case, a non-radiative atmosphere makes no difference at all to the surface temperature, irrespective of its pressure?>>>>

More double speak. You have constructed a meaningless planet of uniform temperature which masks the fact that P in w/m2 varies with T raised to the power of four. On a planet of uniform temperature, this fact is meaningless. On an actual planet that is NOT uniform, this fact is of gigantic importance. One to the power of 4 is one. One to the power of 5 is one. One to the power of 10 is one. See the problem here? The case which we want to examine cannot be modeled by your uniform temperature because it makes the most important variable a “one” and hence your model is useless.

107. colliemum says:

“You need to run before you can walk.” – says William M. Connolley on January 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm.

Hm.
Another little snippet of information contrary to everyday human experience …

108. donald penman says:

That is why we come to a different conclusion I use the n&z integration of radiation.The poles say at the moon don’t get any sunlight therefore the can’t emit any radiation ,most of the radiation is exchanged at the equates of the moon and is at its maximum sb value it therefore cannot take back all the heat from the atmosphere and radiate it to space.Heat is not uniform on the moons surface.It is nonsense that a planet without an atmosphere could be at the same temperature as a planet with a non greenhouse gas atmosphere and that is why I believe n&k are right.

109. Archonix says:

Davidmhoffer:

We haven’t tested plant growth at elevated pressures to my knowledge, but it makes sense that in reduced pressure, the ability of plants to capture CO2 from the atmosphere would also be reduced, and likely other effects would occur as well.

Perhaps a simple test could be performed in PET bottles? They seem to be remarkably good for this sort of thing, but I’d be worried about getting enough nutrients to the plants in a way that didn’t alter the pressure within the bottles. I suppose some nice rich mulch would be enough to last for a while, though it would be hard to guarantee the quality.

I’d envision three groups to start with. Elevated CO2 only, elevated pressure only and elevated both (plus the obvious control group). It’d be interesting seeing how that would alter things.

110. wayne says:

N&Z’s theory is making more sense, day by day as I dig into the numbers. Here is a printout I just received where running through their equations in an example of earth as an atmosphere get heavier with more and more pressure at the surface. Notice the huge jumps in the temperature deltas starting with no atmosphere progressing up to today’s values. The largest increases are when the atmospheres is still thin but getting thicker. That seems to be where the huge “enhancement” occurs and they are right. It ends up being mathematics and not energy that pushes the mean over the old black body temperature.

You want a smoking gun? That seems to be it. We’ve been mislead purely by the mathematics of how temperature should be calculated and averaged, fooled all of this time!

```Atm.Mass    Pressure               Temp
(kg)         (Pa)     Nte(P)      (K)
0.0     0.00000    1.0000    154.28
1.00E+09     0.00002    1.1218    173.07
1.00E+10     0.00019    1.1428    176.32
1.00E+11     0.00192    1.1679    180.19
1.00E+12     0.01923    1.1978    184.80
1.00E+13       0.192    1.2338    190.35
1.00E+14       1.923    1.2778    197.14
1.00E+15      19.226    1.3328    205.63
1.00E+16      192.26    1.4047    216.72
1.00E+17     1922.62    1.5062    232.38
1.00E+18    19226.25    1.6682    257.37
2.00E+18    38452.49    1.7389    268.28
3.00E+18    57678.74    1.7875    275.78
4.00E+18    76904.99    1.8260    281.72
5.00E+18    96131.23    1.8585    286.73
5.15E+18    98976.79    1.8629    287.42
5.27E+18   101325.00    1.8665    287.97
```
111. P.G. Sharrow says:

@William M. Connolley says:
January 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm
“You need to run before you can walk. If you can’t analyse the simple toy planet model, what hope have you got on a more complex model? But come, let us have you commit yourself: do you agree that I am correct for the simple, easy-to-analyse toy planet model: in that case, a non-radiative atmosphere makes no difference at all to the surface temperature, irrespective of its pressure?”

I agree with Connolley that his toy planet can have no Temperature / Pressure difference due to gravity or anything else. REAL PLANETS have gravity and if they have an atmosphere, a pressure gradient and a pressure gradient will result in a temperature gradient of some kind based on the constituents of the atmosphere and the energy involved.

We only use real planets and conditions here and leave the toys to those that want to play games. pg

112. > “You need to run before you can walk.”

Oops yes, how embarrassing. Well, that vitiates all my arguments, then.

I sense that the argument here is going round in circles; I can think of no simpler way to explain stuff, so I don’t think I have more to say. I’ll just note the obvious, which is that the “toy planet” model I’m describing is just a nice way to think about things, it isn’t how climate modelling is actually done.

[reply] Your argument is going in ever decreasing circles gravitationally pulled down to the irrelevant toy planet of your choosing. Ours has achieved escape from planet doom velocity and is widening to include many real solar system bodies which all obey the same simple laws of gravitation, atmospheric pressure, insolation and surface temperature. Thanks for playing. Good luck with matching N&Z’s performance using your preferred theory.

113. Erl Happ says:

WM Connolly: What a disappointing fellow. Fails to engage.

Let’s take it piece by piece.

“the surface temperature without an atmosphere is such-and-such;”

Erl Happ writes: The temperature at two meters will in fact be the background temperature of space.

Add any sort of atmosphere and the temperature at two meters will be a function of the level of incoming energy and the density of the atmosphere which is in turn a function of the number of molecules in the atmospheric column (pressure).

And this will be achieved by conduction.

What we have achieved is to surround the point planet with a light transparent medium (??, no ozone, photolysis) that acquires energy according to its molecular density by conduction from a warm surface, and for the sake of the argument we assume that the atmospheric medium has no way of transmitting energy to space.

Now, what we want to decide is whether, by adding more of the same type of atmosphere the temperature at two meters will increase.

114. davidmhoffer says:

William M Connolley;
William M. Connolley says:
January 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm
> “You need to run before you can walk.”

Oops yes, how embarrassing. Well, that vitiates all my arguments, then.>>>>

No, it doesn’t. All the facts and logics presented in response to your toy experiment exposing it for being nothing but a toy vitiate your arguments. You’ve failed to respond to single explanation of why your toy planet is irrelevant at best and completely misleading at worst, and so you use one snarky remark as an excuse to disengage and run away.

You sir, have done more to destroy the credibility of Wikipedia than anyone else I can think of, and your failure to score a single point in a forum in which you do not hold the power of “delete” over your detractors, says much about why. It says also that you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Willis Eschenbach claims to have boycotted this forum, but I suspect his ego is much too large for him to not at least lurk and see what is being said of him. I address this next comment to him:

Willis, look at the company you are keeping on this matter.

115. tallbloke says:

“Willis, look at the company you are keeping on this matter.”

Heh. Well said Hoff. I pointed this out on WUWT too. I didn’t hang about to see the reply, but I bet it wasn’t pretty. 🙂

116. Anything is possible says:

TB , I have just finished reading Harry Dale Huffman’s reply to the comment you left on his blog. THIS nearly made me fall out of my chair :

“I deduced something about the fraction of solar energy absorbed by the atmospheres of both Venus and Earth: They absorb the same fraction, and it is in the infrared. The amount they absorb is different, as the definitive fact is, Venus absorbs 1.91 times as much solar power as the earth (so its atmospheric temperature is 1.176 times that in Earth’s atmosphere, at a given tropospheric pressure), because it is closer to the Sun (and not for any other reason).”

Extending Harry’s statement to its logical conclusion, the temperature of a planet’s atmosphere at the surface – and hence its surface temperature – must surely depend solely on its distance from the Sun (solar radiation) and whatever the atmospheric pressure happens to be at the surface. EXACTLY as N & Z propose in their theory.

Am I missing something, or are Nikolov, Zeller & Huffman actually in violent agreement with each other?

117. tallbloke says:

“Am I missing something, or are Nikolov, Zeller & Huffman actually in violent agreement with each other?”

I don’t know yet. I’m trying to gently and tactfully explore this issue.

118. Anything is possible says:

And the best of British luck to you, Sir.

119. davidmhoffer says:

All,
I went stumbling about the internet trying to find experiments on plant growth in elevated atmospheric pressure. Interestingly, I found a fair number of paper on reduced atmospheric pressure, and they seem to show that below a certain pressure, plants fail to thrive. But none of them seem to have even considered doing experiments ABOVE normal atmospheric pressure.

Except one, and it was actually not exactly that, what they did was show that root growth in maize was improved if the soil (not the atmosphere) was subjected to elevated pressure. Interesting! Given that higher atmospheric pressure would obviously translate into higher soil pressure, there is a connection of some sort. The tree line on the side of any mountain suggests another. Curiouser and curiouser.

120. suricat says:

TB.

This is a far cry from PV = nRT! PV = nRT ‘covers’ SB, just like ‘paper covers rock’.

Why do people here insist on an ‘outgoing IR Model’ for Earth when most of this lives at high altitudes that have little to do with the surface? Why isn’t there a ‘good’ ‘outgoing IR Model’ for the surface (I blame Trenberth [but then, I’d blame him for anything, so nothing new there!])? It’s the PRESSURE (PV = nRT)! 🙂

A molecule needs time to produce a photon when local temperature collisions excite it to ‘that state’, but above a given ‘pressure threshold’ the collisions are so frequent that the molecule doesn’t have time to ’emit the photon’. If it does manage to ’emit’ (becomes able to ’emit’ against adverse conditions), the ‘local soup’ (of molecules) is so thick that the photon is absorbed again before it travels very far. Thus, there’s a ‘twofold’ ‘pressure hysteresis’ for ‘photon emission’ for every molecule (CO2, or N2 [tri-atomic, or diatomic]) that tries to emit within their ‘pressure hysteresis’ region which confuses a ‘radiative analysis’. Hence, the ‘scientific community’ resorts to a ‘statistical analysis’ that’s a ‘mathematical possibility’ and ‘not’ an ‘observation’.

T’ain’t scoience, an t’ain’t engineerin’ noither (‘praper jaab’ [read this with a ‘Cornish’ accent] shu’d be made ‘ere)! 🙂

Best regards, Ray Dart (no, I’m not of ‘Cornish’ extract, other than by Genealogy. However, as an engineer, I do like ‘Scrap-heap Challenge’ [couldn’t resist this]). 🙂

121. Q. Daniels says:

Anything is possible wrote:
Am I missing something, or are Nikolov, Zeller & Huffman actually in violent agreement with each other?

That’s my sense of it. There are modest differences, which probably should be sorted out.

I don’t think anyone has it exactly right, but they’re all more correct than the IPCC.

Take it all together, with Maurizio as well, pick at the flaws in each other’s models, and try to clean them up. The end result should be pretty good.

122. wayne says:

Great description suricat!

Your ‘local soup’ is what I have tried to describe before as fast and ‘long reach’ conduction. If radiation can only travel feet or meters between re-absorptions… that is basically what it becomes, nothing more… but it does quicken any equilization.

123. Chris M says:

Interesting that William Connolley should show up here and on WUWT (*waves* Hiya Bill!), in contrast to the general Totschweigentaktik amongst the warmists in relation to N&Z. Maybe they think Willis and co. will do the job for them, and maybe, just maybe, they’re getting seriously anxious that Arrhenius is about to be blown sky-high – top of troposphere high, in fact!

124. tchannon says:

Perhaps counter intuitively conduction is not pressure sensitive except at extremely low pressures and very high pressures. For the latter no data seems to exist. The former cross checks with remarks you see about needing a surprisingly high vacuum to reduce conduction in flasks. (the practical hands on)

125. Philip Mulholland says:

Physics is not an intuitive science. I remember a school physics lesson at Calday Grange where the soap bubble pressure experiment was demonstrated. This is a very simple experiment designed to show how the pressure of a gas inside a soap bubble varies with the size of the bubble. Intuitively you might guess that the larger soap bubble has the higher internal pressure, or maybe you believe that because the bubbles are surrounded by the same air pressure, then they are also both internally at ambient air pressure? The experiment proves otherwise.

A T shaped glass tube with three valves, one on each limb, was used for this experiment. A soap film was placed over the exit of the left hand side of the T and gas was introduced via the lower limb to create a small soap bubble. The valve was closed isolating this small bubble and a second much larger bubble was blown from the right hand exit of the T tube, this too was isolated by closing the second valve. The third valve in the lower limb was also closed and the air supply removed.

The class was then invited to speculate what would happen when the valves isolating the two soap bubbles were opened and the air inside became free to move between them via the connecting glass tube. Would the larger soap bubble reduce in size and the smaller one grow as air moved between them creating two bubbles of identical size and equal internal pressure? Would there possibly be no change in size at all because both bubbles already have the same internal pressure?

The real result was startling as neither of these two speculations happened. When the two bubbles were connected via the internal tube, the smaller bubble disappeared, collapsing in size to a flat disc while the larger bubble increased in size. The only possible conclusion to this result is that the smaller bubble contained air at a higher internal pressure than the larger bubble. In Physics you have to do experiments, you must not try and guess the answer.

126. tallbloke says:

Tim: According to the Wiki blurb about Neptune, the water there is under such high pressure that the oxygen forms a lattice and the hydrogen ions freely move in it. I can imagine conduction is rapid, though as Philip says, imaginings can be wrong.

127. tallbloke says:

Philip, welcome and thanks for the comment. It’s noticeable that big bubbles deform from spherical more easily than small bubbles in a slight breeze, and that they recover sphericity more slowly. This is unsurprising, since the same amount of water and detergent is used to create both bubbles. Less surface tension per unit area acting on the big bubble. So my guess is the pressure was higher in the small bubble, because more force per unit area pulling the skin together was being generated.

128. Hans says:

wayne says:
January 30, 2012 at 4:39 am

“Great description suricat!
Your ‘local soup’ is what I have tried to describe before as fast and ‘long reach’ conduction. If radiation can only travel feet or meters between re-absorptions… that is basically what it becomes, nothing more… but it does quicken any equilization.”

Jelbring: You are probably making an important observation. The absolute amount of IR power (energy/time unit) that has to escape from any atmosphere is set by the amount of solar irradiation power that is absorbed by the surface of the planet and its atmosphere. There exists a steady-state situation relating to energy flow in and out of any planet (dismissing power flow from the interior of the planet for a while).

The question that should be asked: what agents are needed to send this IR power back to space?
Any observable planet with an atmosphere carry an abundance of such agents. On earth there exist
dust, salt particles, ice chrystals, waterdroplets (nano type), water droplets (suspended in air < 20 micron) rain droplets (that fall to the surface). There also exist greenhouse gases. The latter is just a (minor?) part of solving the emission problem. I tend to believe that greenhouse gases are just an cathalyst promoting the IR energy emission and not deciding the power of emission in the first place.

Physical evidence of IR from different planets shows that the much of IR emission is sent from a very narrow range of atmospheric pressure at the top of the troposphere (not top of TOA). Up to that point the temperature profile is close to DALR showing that en energy equilibration by convection has dominated.

The main question is thus:
Why is this happening?
Isn´t the easiest answer that molecular motion excite any agent that is capable to induce an electric current to produce an IR photon? There are no photons produced involved without accelerated electrons involved. That photon has a limited range which is the reason why it is emitted from the coldest point of the troposphere into space (0.1-0.2bar). The chance to get excited and to go for space is highest just at that part of the atmosphere. Higher up the collision frequency is more limited and solar absorption is dominating the energetic equalization. Furthermore most IR power has already been emitted to space from lower altitudes.

Just think of how ice particles are producing electrons which create lightning. It takes 10 as much energy to free one electron than to send one IR photon!
Lightning does exist in our atmosphere and its proves that simple mechanical interaction between matter and atmospheric gas can excite the atmosphere to much higher energy levels than just emitting an IR photon. Photons will be produced weather there are greenhouse gases or not!

Hans Jelbring

129. Craig says:

Can we just jump ahead and get more complicated to prove this thing already and bust out some ridiculous supercomputer algorithm to resolve PV = znRT (where z is the compressibility factor) across a 4-dimensional (space & time) nodal analysis? [Or can we not handle the computational requirements?]

i.e. have the thing resolve z, P, T etc. by looking up z on a P-T chart, iterating through a few times and coming back to the final result for each node. Problem is likely unbounded and too complicated to do for EVERY atmosphere possible (i.e. different compositions in the atmosphere = different z-charts to look-up). But you could start with a fixed composition, no wind, fixed time and see if it gives you a valid result for a fixed altitude. Then expand from there. This would give you the change in P vs. atmospheric height and resolve some of these questions as z varies with composition and composition varies with height in the atmosphere (i.e. gravity) and therefore mass of the atmosphere varies and therefore temperature varies. i.e. you get your changing cylinder.

130. tallbloke says:

Craig, I hear the MET office has a big computer they’re not doing anything very useful with in climate modeling terms… 🙂

131. Tenuc says:

Looks like the guy next to the super-duper-big-computer is saying “How the hell do I work this thing?”

132. Archonix says:

He’s thinking “That’s great, but can it play Crysis?”

133. wayne says:

Hi Hans. I like you pointing at the particles always present in our atmosphere. Very important I think, especially in clouds. They are matter and matter receives and emits blackbody radiation at their respective emissivities, if not they transmit or reflect. Each absorption has a chance to emit again at a bb frequency-spread that can hit a ‘hole’ or ‘window’ in the spectrum and zip its gone, that is if it has a vertical component. It’s a probability but recursive. Even at a 15% (random, no meaning) chance in five jumps all but 5% of the energy has already exited to space. To me, molecules with lines are primarily the fast conductors.

All of the planets tend to dump by radiation at about 100-500 mb level, the probabilities are so high. That must greatly have to due with any pressure broadening. I can think of no other mechanism except just the low density of molecules in the way. As I was saying of radiation as fast conductors, that only applies if the surface, particles or other gas molecules can absorb that radiation. If the absorption is but the first two it is once again spread over the entire spectrum with the same chance to hit the ‘window’. The later also has a chance depending on it’s z position to do just what the first two cases or pass to a like molecule and act as fast conduction. That is why I have kept harping that you cannot trap radiation in an open ended system, it will get out nope way or the other. Too many see these processes as onesy-twosy or either-or when in reality all of any possible ways are always occurring, and in radiation’s case, at light speed.

I think that is why radiation matters not one bit as N&K’s figure 5 clearly shows. The only driver having to due with radiation is how much solar power hits the planet; from then on, it’s a huge blackbody. Weather goes on inside as the energy strives to equalize but that is just weather. Even reflections are absorptions and re-emissions so toss the albedo and emissivity effects. We humans like to separate all of these little factors like separating albedo from emissivity one, because we can, and two, because at first thought you think it should matter. In many real world case is certainly does as we deal with it day by day. One great question I have not been able to answer is whether temperature of solid particles such as droplets in a cloud affects that particles emissivity. Hope someday someone can show some data proving that relationship.

Some of that is probably need revision or to toss but that’s my current understanding for what it’s worth.

SIDE NOTE: Hans, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/#comment-879862 and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/#comment-879747 , I am going to take a few days (or weeks) and write that simulation to see if columns in gravity sort or not. Just could not resist and I’ll let you know of any progress. I am growing tired of the td books, equations, opinions, and people beating you over the head; I am going to something I personally call a real source. I have written a 16 body solar system ephemeris generator that can stay with a city block of proper position of planets after 500 years so maybe I can also tell what a big handful of molecules tell us. Run that second toy sample Chas gave, neat and slow, but the idea has merit.

134. wayne says:

TB
“Craig, I hear the MET office has a big computer they’re not doing anything … ”

Blimey! Just what I need for a day… got ya’ any pull at the MET ??
Tell them we’ll disprove AGW and they will get some climate heat off of their backs.
How can they pass that up? It’s a win-win and no one can say their computer is doing nothing useful (for a day anyway). 😉

135. david says:

Erl Happ asks, “Now, what we want to decide is whether, by adding more of the same type of atmosphere the temperature at two meters will increase.”

How can it not? Via the second law, all molecules in a non GHG world will have to reach the same T as the surface, as any atmosphere with T must convect. Net flow must ever go to all molecules energized by less energy then the surface, until equilibrium is reached. Of course, once equilibrium is reached, convection is ever going to move in both directions between the surface and the ground, sometimes in some places net flow going either way.

Of course, due to the ever decreasing density of molecules as altitude increases and pressure lessens, the registered T of specific heat decreases as density decreases, even if all molecules are vibrating with the same energy. (lapse rate)

Now the curious part. The atmosphere is a 3d world receiving conducted specific heat from a 2d contact with a 2d surface. Energy is an absolute quality that can manifest in different forms. T is a relative quality that does not measure absolute energy. Raise your arm in a 3d world of moving convecting molecules, each vibrating with the same specific heat as the 2d surface molecules, and your arm, being hit on all sides by a moving 3d medium, may register a higher T then laying it on the surface. Add more MOVING CONVECTING molecules to the same area, after they all reach balance with the surface, you will feel a higher T and your thermometer will register a higher T. We know (recent understanding to me) that an evaporating working fluid filled heat pipe can move heat more effectively than solid metal (which has some of the best heat conduction rates known.). So both the 3d qualities of an atmosphere, and the motion qualities of convection work to create more specific heat per area then a 2d surface.

At what point of mass does the 3d moving atmosphere registers a higher T then the 2d surface? I do not know. I do however think that the more mass you have per m2, the higher the specific heat per m2 will be once the increased heat capacity is filled.

Thoughts welcome and requested.

136. david says:

wayne says:
January 31, 2012 at 3:21 am
—————————————————

Wayne, did you see Tom Vonk’s WUWT post concerning how energy moves in a GHG. His post was above my layman’s pay grade, but I thought it may be related to the speed of light motion of radiating photons and how little the residence time of bouncing radiation changed vs straight line exiting radiation, and maybe about how short of a time period a recieving GHG molecule recieves its proper spectrum of incoming radiation, before it again loses it, and perhaps this can barely register as heat? Quantum mechanics stuff, so if you read it your input is appreciated. I did not grasp his post, but know him to be sharp, honest and well educated.

137. Hans says:

Hi Wayne,

“One great question I have not been able to answer is whether temperature of solid particles such as droplets in a cloud affects that particles emissivity. Hope someday someone can show some data proving that relationship.”

I might be able to give you some clues and advice so you don´t waste your time too much.
I. Emission from solid and gases are different and SB should be seen as an approximation for several reasons-
II Emission from suspended solids (liquids are probably size dependent) meaning the same
matter has different emissivity!
III I have seen measurements from a foggy area developing constant temperature due to emission between particles.
IV If you grind ANY solid and separate particles into categories depending or radii like < 15
micron,
15 < r < 30, 30 < r < 60, 60 < r < 120 and pour them into 4 glasses you will find something very
interesting. They more or less behave like liquids. You get waves on the surface of them just like
in a glass of water. The glass with the smallest particles are filled 30% more for the same weight
of particles. The smaller a particle the more atmospheric molecules are bound to it in relative
sense. I know this for sure this is valid for sand and some more matter.
V This fact is probably why it is so hard too figure out what happens with electromagnetic radiation
VI I suggest that you experiment with light and particle suspended in air ( r < 3 microns) or with
glasses filled with particle sizes described above.

Good luck with your simulations and experiments. You will very probably reach interesting results.

138. david says:

From the post above, by Tom Vonk

“Also nitrogen N-N colliding with another molecule will be deformed and acquire a transient dipolar momentum which will allow it to absorb and emit IR .”

Also related to our discussion; from Tom V
” 1.The Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE)
This concept plays a central part so some words of definition . First what LTE is not . LTE is not Thermodynamic Equilibrium (TE) , it is a much weaker assumption . LTE requires only that the equilibrium exists in some neighborhood of every point . For example the temperature may vary with time and space within a volume so that this volume is not in a Thermodynamic Equilibrium . However if there is an equilibrium within every small subvolume of this volume , we will have LTE .

Intuitively the notion of LTE is linked to the speed with which the particles move and to their density . If the particle stays long enough in a small volume to interact with other particles in this small volume , for example by collisions , then the particle will equilibrate with others . If it doesn’t stay long enough then it can’t equilibrate with others and there is no LTE .

139. erl happ says:

Hi David,
I noticed your comments on WUWT and you made a lot of sense to me. All that you say in that comment (January 31, 2012 at 9:29 am) makes sense to me but i am not a trained physicist.

Re: “At what point of mass does the 3d moving atmosphere registers a higher T then the 2d surface? I do not know. I do however think that the more mass you have per m2, the higher the specific heat per m2 will be once the increased heat capacity is filled.”

I would not think a higher tempererature in the atmosphere than at the surface would be possible unless the gas moves from a warm to a cool surface, in which case its heating capacity increases with density. In a real planet with day/night and latitudional variation the denser atmosphere must raise the general background temperature.

140. david says:

Erl, thanks for the comments. I agree, and of course we know the oceans are, on average, warmer then the atmosphere.

Some of my statements are a bit off because the thoughts were developed in thinking about an atmosphere on a earth like planet and atmospheric mass, but no GHGs. which, according to some, are unable to radiate, and certainly radiate very little. It this is accepted then the atmospheric mass (after it had circulated and warmed all the atmosphere) would have to reach equilibrium with the surface and “backconduct” if you will.

It appears logical that the individual molecules would all reach a similar balance, but the specific heat within a given mass would increase with density, and the more mass,the greater the specific heat. Lets go wild, triple the atmospheric mass, and triple the gravity field strgenth also. Now, after greater time to reach a radiative balance due to a greater heat capacity, it appears certain you would have a higher T. Some molecules at the very top of earth’s atmosphere, receiving all 1350 watts per sq meter, have a very high indivdual T or energised state, but a thermometer would register very little T as the air is so thin.

My thoughts concerning the surface are that the actual energy recieved from the 2d surface to a humans 3d body standing or laying on the surface, vs standing in the air, is that the conducted heat via the air is impacting all surfaces of the body, while the energy coming from the surface of the body is only conducting directly at that contact point. Lay down on an internally heated airless planet , (pretending there is no need to breath) the surface of which is 100 F. Your back would feel quite warm, but you would quickly get very cold. Now stand up in a 100 F atmosphere and you would feel very warm.

141. erl happ says:

david,
That’s a pleasure. I am sure that some of the confusion arises because people fail to differentiate between the planet’s surface and ‘surface temperature’ taken at 2 meters elevation.

In my view Konrads experiment confirmed the phenomenon. Is there room for a new gas law: Energy absorbed by a gas from a conducting surface is a function of gas molecular density. I am sure that the makers of vacuum flasks are already aware of this law.

Just thinking: Another experiment: take a two litre plastic milk bottle and pour in a couple of cups of hot but not boiling water. Screw lad on tight. Shake bottle and watch it expand as the air inside warms up. Be careful. once the gas has warmed and expanded tip out the warm water and put in some cold water. Replace screw top. Shake. Watch the bottle contract as the gas cools.

Now take a solid, non plastic container. Take two. Evacuate the air from one. Heat both equally by immersion in a hot water bath. Which one will show increased internal pressure? Repeat experiment with a temperature probe inside the containers.

142. wayne says:

Hans, that’s some great info… I’ll file it upstairs and take that in consideration. Part of that is common sense as particles approach nano scale. You can see the beginning of this effect by looking at the spectrums of dimers, trimers, and on… each one gaining large numbers of lines filling in the gaps.

As for my simulation, I have canned it for the moment. Over under Brown’s thread “Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates” the toy model that ‘Chas’ poster has gotten me far enough along. Yeah it’s SmallBasic and aimed at kids but with his additions of top and bottom divisions tracking kinetic energy and a differential into a ‘temperature’ ratio of the top and the bottom did the trick. If you are adventurous and download the compiler (~5 meg) and follow his link to the code you can run it. Pretty simple. After running it enough times with largest enough (15-17) and fast enough (x2-4) with 0.1 set for gravity it gave my answer. After five to ten minutes it settles in with the top cooler than the bottom half, ever time. I’m going no further right now.

You see, even that toy model is not just for ideal gases. It takes into account atom size volume and has settings for attraction and possible repulsion… a van der Waals simulator is what it is. I understand it has already been rewrittin into a csharp dll imported into basic to handle the simple graphics. I peered at the c code and lloks just like something I might write so… why reinvent the wheel, he is far along that track. (but you have to install SmallBasic) I’m going to use it for fast and dirty computations and integrations.

143. AusieDan says:

It is important to keep in mind that the Unified Theory is about long term platetary equilibrium.
All else is mere fluctiation, whether it be the day / night cycle, the passing seasons, the El Nono/ La Nino / Enso cycles – 1,000 year cycles giving us the Roman and Medieval warm periods and the cold periods in between.

Once solar irradiation is settled by average distance from the sun and average atmospheric pressure by planet gravity, molecular content and planet surface area;

THEN, all else is detail – fluctiations – cycles going up and down but going nowhere really (chaotic distorted sine waves or perhaps sharpish zig zags).

Once we accept the Unified Theory we can properly research all the detail that interests us in our daily lives. We just need to remember that while all is change, it is change that is not going anywhere.
Knowing that we are researching cyclic rather than directional processes will enable us to get a handle on the climate (and in particular, that part of the world in which we live – the concept of a short term global climate is perhaps rather artifical).