Emissivity puzzle: energy exchange in non-vacuums

Posted: December 14, 2012 by tallbloke in atmosphere, climate, Energy, general circulation, wind

I haven’t had time to delve into this, but there seems to be a general interest in emissivity through several lines of investigation on the talkshop recently. Physics makes definitions of things in ideal conditions. Emissivity is defined as the radiation a body will emit at a specific temperature. This quantity is crucial to our understanding of the way Earth balances its energy budget of incoming solar energy with emission from various parts of the system. However, emissivity at different wavelengths forms a curve, it isn’t the same at all wavelengths for a specific material. Moreover, in a non-vacuum, radiation isn’t the only means by which energy can leave a body. Conduction, latent heat of vaporisation (evaporation) and convection also play a role, and dominate over radiation in the Earth’s troposphere.

The most important material to consider so far as Earthj’s energy balance is concerned is seawater, since it covers 70% of the planet.

Contributor ‘Max’ turned up some interesting plots for the emissivity of seawater (and land) the other day, which seem to contradict each other. Here are two of them:

MODIS satellite image showing emissivity of around 0.7 at 0.83um for the ocean

ICESS seawater emissivity curve showing 0.983 emissivity at 8.3um

Why the difference?

Wayne Jackson recently posted an alternative energy budget which  finds that the ‘effective’ or ‘operational’ emissivity of the surface is around 0.67.

This seems to show that we need to subtract the energy involved in the latent heat and conduction from the figure given by the (in)famous Trenberth and Keihl energy budget diagram for the long wave radiation going up from the surface. But it is claimed that their figure of 356W/m^2 is measured by radiometers. Many people dispute the accuracy and calibration of these devices, but assuming it is a true average of measurements, how can we reconcile the difference?

Could it be that the long wave radiation being exchanged in the air is simply a transient expression of the energy being moved by convection and latent heat? This would make the long wave energy flux within the troposphere more a ‘symptom’ of its energy content than a cause of its temperature or the lapse rate, since it is constantly cancelling out at each altitude level, apart from the relatively small component of the upward radiation which escapes to space through the ‘atmospheric window’.

Several people commenting on their own and each others investigations in this area have been spread across several threads recently. I’m posting this one to get them all together in one place to discuss these issues. I suggest we make a conscious effort not to get sidetracked by anyone, mentioning no names Tim Folkerts, who tries to obfuscate the issue with energy budget calculations which assume a perfect emissivity of 1 or an arbitrary figure such as 0.9 for any part of the system.

Have at it! 🙂

Comments
  1. tallbloke says:

    Right, I have to continue packing. Play nice!

  2. michael hart says:

    Only yesterday, don’t know why, I also was wondering about the emissivity of seawater, and how it is measured.

    Looking at the first diagram it appears that solid water (ice) has very high emissivity, as does much of the land surface. [Also, I think a decimal place has been shifted in the legend. Should it be 8.3um not 0.83um?]. And why 8.3um? Is this because it is an SB/BB figure for an “average” world temp?

    However, the land surfaces of the Sahara and other desserts have a much lower emissivity. Closer to the lower emissivity of liquid seawater Why might this be? What temperature(s), humidity, etc was this data collected at?

    From the second diagram I note that the emissivity of seawater drops dramatically to the RHS as the wavelength approaches the ~15um band (not shown) which is considered significant by some in the context of the CO2 IR spectrum. Questions. Questions.

  3. Max™‮‮ says:

    OH! You meant that plot, now I see what you meant. I was confused why you said ICESS and MODIS disagreed.

    It’s possible that the seawater sample was taken in particular lab conditions, while the satellite views a different set of conditions.

  4. Max™‮‮ says:

    It’s also possible they had the sensor tuned to the wrong values for the plot with the water at .7, and michael is right, the top one is 8.3 microns (I don’t like saying micrometer, can’t help it, micron sounds cooler!) but it seems like a silly error if they didn’t meant for the sea water value to be read as .7 since they have it labeled with black.

    I’m also not certain the effect of depth for the sample actually, I can’t find where the MODIS plot lists the size of the sample, but I seem to recall water not being terribly transparent to a few IR bands.

  5. Clivebest says:

    In my opinion a much better energy balance diagram is given by NOAA here. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/yos/resource/JetStream/atmos/energy_balance.htm

    This shows that about 2/3 of the surface heat is carried directly to atmosphere by convection and latent heat. Only 1/3 is radiated upwards from the surface and less than half of that is actually absorbed by the atmosphere. Most radiation to space mostly occurs thermally from cloud level upwards. So effective emissivity from the surface is 15/43 or just 0.33 !

  6. Bryan says:

    This is an interesting thread and I hope the discussion will fill out some gaps in what must be the most significant fraction of the Earths energy budget.

    Solar Radiation splits roughly into 50% IR and 50% light and UV.

    Most agree that the IR is absorbed in the top few mm of the surface.
    This implies that a large fraction of this energy causes significant evaporation of water at the surface.
    This energy is stored as Latent Heat.

    For the 50% light and UV fraction there is a large hole in the energy budget.
    Pure water is almost perfectly transparent to light.
    So the emissivity of this fraction must be near zero
    Any absorption of light energy must be down to particulates in the water rather than the water itself.
    This is largely organic material so photosynthesis and photochemistry are the major participants.

    The point is that very significant amounts of energy are stored and released slowly by widely different processes at varying rates.
    This links quite well into the recent post by Joseph Postma

    This is in contrast to the IPCC picture of Solar Energy being instantly 100% thermalised on entering our Oceans.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Clive. So would you agree the 356W/m^2 in the Trenberth-Keihl diagram is misleading and that they are effectivley ‘double counting’ the energy of conduction and latent heat twice, As Wayne seems to be saying?

  8. Tim Folkerts says:

    In a comment that apparently got lost and/or overlooked in another thread, I already “explained” that MODIS graph.

    If you go to their webpage (http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/iremis/) you will immediately find the following:

    Global Infrared Land Surface Emissivity:
    UW-Madison Baseline Fit Emissivity Database

    This global database of infrared land surface emissivity is derived using input from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) operational land surface emissivity product (MOD11). …

    The oceans are black not because they have a low emissivity, but simply because this study is only looking at land! The oceans are “blank”, not “low emissivity”

    This should be obvious if you consider ice surfaces. Greenland and Antarctica are red (emissivity 0.95+) but the seas around them, which would be covered with ice as well, are black.

  9. Tim Folkerts says:

    Regarding Wayne’s “better” energy balance diagram …

    Consider an analogy. If your business takes in $100,000 in a month and your expenses are $80,000 that month, what was your income? Depending on how you look at it,either “$100,000” (gross income) or “$20,000” (net income) are legitimate answers.

    Similarly, you can look at the “gross” IR from from the surface to the atmosphere (~ 356 W/m^2) or the “net” IR from the surface to the atmosphere (~ 23 W/m^2).

    Note that emissivity is calculated from the GROSS IR (or other wavelengths, but mostly 3um – 100 um IR for “room temperature” objects) flow to ANYWHERE: P/A = εσT^4. This depends only on the temperature of the surface and the material. It does not depend on the temperature or material of anything else around.

    So either diagram is “correct” in its own context. (In a similar way, that diagram only shows sensible heat transfer upward, but clearly the the downward half of a convection cycle can and does sometimes transfer energy back TO the surface. So instead of “7%” upward, we could draw something like “8% upward” and “1% downward. In some circumstance, that might be informative, but in this setting people almost always look only at “net” flow.)

    The two diagrams are “different” but neither is “better”.

  10. wayne says:

    In that spreadsheet, here’s some clarifications:
    1) the E15 cell should read “[14] / 2”
    2) the [11] & [12] are the balancing figures, the solver filled in these two values to “balance the books”.

    I don’t own an infrared thermometer, but if anyone owns one, maybe you could try this the answer the question.

    Take a bathtub of water. Measure the temperature (radiation at an emissivity, some have a fixed emissivity, on some you can adjust it). Turn on a fan for a few seconds blowing across the water’s surface, the radiation (brightness temperature) should immediately drop. Turn the fan off, the radiation should pop right back. A thermometer just under the surface, 1mm, should not record any ‘real’ surface temperature difference during those few second of ‘wind’. During the wind you could adjust the emissivity to maintain the same brightness temperature, or, you can just say the skin’s few nanometers actual temperature went down. Aren’t they basically the same when dealing with brightness temperatures? You could say the emissivity went down due to “other” energy leaving the surface besides just radiation even though the bulk temperature is maintained.

    Well, but that is just how I see it and have no experimental proof.

    Being more sophisticated, I guess you could have a stirrer and a small stream of warm water running to maintain a constant temperature and then lengthen the measurement times. Maybe an infrared camera might show if that effect occurs or you could also do this using moist soil with the sun supplying the heat.

    That effect is what I keep calling “the effective emissivity” and it may be somewhat a misnomer.

  11. tallbloke says:

    OK, let me repeat my question, which isn’t about net upwelling minus downwelling as Tim F is veering onto..

    Once again:
    This seems to show that we need to subtract the energy involved in the latent heat and conduction from the figure given by the (in)famous Trenberth and Keihl energy budget diagram for the long wave radiation going up from the surface. But it is claimed that their figure of 356W/m^2 is measured by radiometers. Many people dispute the accuracy and calibration of these devices, but assuming it is a true average of measurements, how can we reconcile the difference?

    Could it be that the long wave radiation being exchanged in the air is simply a transient expression of the energy being moved by convection and latent heat (implying that the 17W/m^2’sensible heat and the 80W/m^2 latent heat need subtracting from the Trenberth 356W/m^2 Upwelling IR to get a true power figure for upward transmission of energy by all three modes) ?

    Wayne now seems to be saying that the IR drops when evaporation strengthens, which is true I’m sure, but would be an effect *in addition* to what I’m asking.

  12. Clivebest says:

    So would you agree the 356W/m^2 in the Trenberth-Keihl diagram is misleading?

    Yes I think back radiation is a meaningless concept. Consider a Badger asleep in its den. Is it being bombarded with 360 watts/m2 of back radiation from the soil above it? No of course it isn’t it is simply at the same temperature as the surrounding soil. Exactly the same situation applies for the surface layer of the atmosphere, which is also in approximate thermal equilibrium.

    What actually matters is the net IR radiation upwards and that is less than half the amount carried upwards by convection and latent heat. Only the IR window and the lapse rate enable a net IR flux upwards

  13. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Clive, I agree with that. It’s the UP/Down dichotomy which is confusing. The LW flux is buzzing around at all angles, getting re-absorbed within short distances. As you say, only the upward progress of the radiation which escapes through the window is of interest. The rest of the energy is being shifted by convection/latent heat.

  14. Richard111 says:

    I’m surprised any emission is recorded at 0.83 microns. Wein’s Law shows this is approaching 3,500K! From sea water!? Guess I’m reading something wrong again.

  15. Tim Folkerts says:

    tallbloke says: “This seems to show that we need to subtract the energy involved in the latent heat and conduction from the figure given by the (in)famous Trenberth and Keihl energy budget diagram … “

    Why do you think this?

    The K&T diagram balances (within round off error) …
    * the total power in to the earth and the total power leaving the earth
    341 = 102 + 239 = 341 W/m^2

    * the total power absorbed by the surface and the total power leaving the surface
    161 + 333 = 17 + 80 + 396 = 493.5 W/m^2 (give or take 0.5)

    * the total power absorbed by the atmosphere and the total power leaving the atmosphere
    78 + 17 + 80 + 356 = 169 + 30 + 333 = 531.5 W/m^2 (give or take 0.5)

    If you subtract any part of this, you will THROW OFF the balance, not RESTORE the balance! Any change would result in massive warming or cooling of some part of the system!

  16. Clivebest says:

    “But it is claimed that their figure of 356W/m^2 is measured by radiometers.”

    All they are doing is just measuring the temperature of the surface. The average surface temperature is 288K . If you lie in the bath with the hot tap running your feet get warmer
    than your shoulders. If you now switch the tap off a couple of minutes later the bath is a nice even temperature. Convection has moved the heat around.

    These radiation figures are anyway changing hour by hour at any location on the Earth, and all they do is reflect the surface temperature and the changing lapse rate. In general it is usually colder higher up – but not always.

    So giving separate large UP and BACK radiation figures is designed only to make it appear that greenhouse gases somehow dominate climate. However they don’t dominate heat loss from the surface – convection and latent heat do. Radiation is less than half the heat loss from the surface.

    Therefore I find Trenberth’s energy balance diagram deliberately misleading. The one from NOAA makes far more sense.

  17. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive! You disappoint me!

    Consider a Badger asleep in its den. Is it being bombarded with 360 watts/m2 of back radiation from the soil above it?

    Of course it is being bombarded by radiation from all the surfaces around it! You can take pictures of this thermal radiation with cameras! The badger is also EMITTING its own thermal radiation, which you can ALSO take pictures of.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=thermal+infrared+images

    When the ground is fairly warm, then the NET exchange is fairly low, and the badger doesn’t need to use much energy to keep warm. If the ground is fairly cool, then the badger need to use more energy to keep warm (independent of the difference in conduction that might also be occurring).

  18. P.G. Sharrow says:

    After examination of the top picture, it appears to me we are looking at energy reflected by the surface rather then actual emission from the surface. Satellite sensors are like computers. The intelligence is not in the machine, it only tells you exactly what it sees. You have to interpret what the output means. Water does not reflect, desert surface does not reflect very well. The wave length or frequency is very important as to the interpretation of the data. pg

  19. Clivebest says:

    correction: should have read “Radiation is less than one third of the heat loss from the surface…….

    So radiation transfer from the surface is ~ 30% of upward heat. However, of this only 4% radiation is then “absorbed” by CO2 molecules representing just 1% of the total !

  20. wayne says:

    Another thing to keep in mind of that seawater emissivity plot, it just goes to 14 microns and over half of all IR radation falls to the right of 14 and longer wavelengths at 288K. Just what are we ignoring over in the mid to far infrared? Does the emissivity just keep on tailing off in those bands?

  21. Max™‮‮ says:

    Was that so hard to do?

    Ambiguity is rarely so easy to eliminate, but changing the color value of a few pixels manages to get across the exact same information with no confusion whatsoever… fascinating.

  22. wayne says:

    “Thanks Clive, I agree with that. It’s the UP/Down dichotomy which is confusing. The LW flux is buzzing around at all angles, getting re-absorbed within short distances. As you say, only the upward progress of the radiation which escapes through the window is of interest. The rest of the energy is being shifted by convection/latent heat.”

    Right on! And the thermals carrying the sensible and latent energy straight upward is strictly in the ‘z’ dimension whereas radiation is isotropic and any horizontal component does basically nothing due to the horizontal symmetry. Horizontally the temperatures are approx. equal in any band to radiation and THAT net transfer is zero even though there is still the present the power to transfer (raw SB). It does transfer fractionally laterally, but you can always find an equal and opposite transfer that exactly cancels both horizontal components. Now we are talking some real science in a real 3d world.

    That “which escapes through the window” you mention is Miskolczi’s tau, the IR optical depth of the entire atmosphere. Changing the tau=1.87 to a fractional transmittance is e^-1.87 or 15.41%. Now take 15.41% of the 264 wm-2 upward flux and you have the 40.7 w/m2 of window radiation. Since that fraction has not budged for over sixty years we should be able to relax that CO2 has ~ZERO effect, and that is via a slew of measured empirical data, no smoke and radiative mirrors necessary. 😉

  23. JWR says:

    Let us finish with back-radiation and the huge amount of absorption of outgoing radiation which is claimed by those classical K&T diagrams. It is a violation of the second law.
    In the link here under, a K&T diagram is given based on the one-way heat-propagation formulation.
    The resulting K&T type of diagram gives 100 Watt/m^2 as convection of sensible and latent heat,
    The remaining 68 Watt/m^2 is the LW surface flux, of which 52 through the window and 16 Watt/m^2 LW radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere, emitted immediately towards higher colder levels and eventually absorbed again and re-emitted.
    The evacuation of heat from the surface is predominantly by convection: 100/168.

    Click to access IR-absorption_updated.pdf

  24. Tim Folkerts says:

    JWR states: It is a violation of the second law.

    No. It is not.

    No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of higher temperature.

    The “process” is IR radiation.
    The result of this process is always the transfer of heat (net thermal energy flow) from the warm surface to the cooler atmosphere.

    If you could somehow increase the “back-radiation” (or decrease the “forward-radiation) until the back-radiation was greater than the “forward-radiation”, THAT would violate the 2nd Law.

  25. Clivebest says:

    Tim,

    “The badger is also EMITTING its own thermal radiation, which you can ALSO take pictures of.”

    Yes you are right that was not a good example! The badger is himself actually warming up the planet ! Just like us !

    My hand though is a pretty good IR radiation detector. At night in the Italian summer it usually feels hotter near the ground. However sometimes when the faun wind blows it gets hotter from above as air descends from the Alps.

  26. Curious George says:

    Oh my.. I see something else than anybody else. The first picture, labeled “MODIS satellite image showing emissivity of around 0.7 at 0.83um for the ocean” shows (on my display) all oceans black, be it tropical or arctic. Apparently, no data there for oceans.
    And yes, radiative transfer models seem to always assume that the surface of the Earth emits IR radiation as a black body. A dose of reality would help.

  27. Clivebest says:

    Wayne,

    I agree. Yes fortunately for life, the Earth has a fixed IR window allowing ~40 watts/m2 to radiate directly out to space from the surface, and this is not going to change anytime soon. Long term energy balance then depends on a still poorly understood fine tuned balance between sensible heat, latent heat and radiative heat transfer. My gut feeling is that the Earth’s real thermostat that has succeeded to maintain stable temperatures for the last 4 billion years must be the Oceans.

    If the climate gets too hot they start to sweat and form clouds to shade the planet from solar radiation. If it gets too cold then they dry the atmosphere, reduce cloud cover thereby increasing insolation. The oceans always stabilise any short term variations through hysteresis.

    Tim is also right that there will be a small increase in the radiation energy balance caused by a doubling of CO2, mainly because it acts to decrease very slightly the optical depth of the atmosphere – perhaps 3 watts/m2. I cannot prove it, but I suspect this “forcing” will be offset by slightly increased convection and evaporation to counteract any such change.

    The bottom line is many times in its long history the Earth has experienced CO2 levels well over 1000 ppm, massive meteor impacts, super volcanoes and God know what else, but the somehow the Oceans never boiled away and life continued.

    I actually think also that a 1 degree rise in temperatures if it were to happen would bring massive benefits to Mankind. Fossil fuels will run out and CO2 levels will return to normal within 500 year. The rest is in our hands.

  28. wayne says:

    Clive, good read. That really highlights a good question, the “it must be the Oceans”, or its must be the Atmosphere, or both. I’ve always had the view that both the water in the oceans and the soil both keep the daily influx of energy right near the surface but from two different reasons. Warm water always rise being liquid and soil being much warmer below, and I have had a hard time differencing these two aspects (except the very important evaporation and latent heat).

    If the world was all land with 70% of the area covered by moderately deep lakes I often wonder if it really would be that much different and if so, how? No Gulf Stream effect on Europe seems evident, but then there would be no UK as we know it. That’s an interesting question about “oceans” and what would other worlds without oceans be compared to Earth’s climate system.

  29. Max™‮‮ says:

    Don’t mind the odd “furry” sort of stuff at the bottom, it doesn’t change what is a pretty well thought out exploration of the globe if you swapped ocean for sea: http://www.worlddreambank.org/I/INV.HTM

    “Let’s think this out. We can’t just swap dirt and water–the world’s three-dimensional. What of lakes above sea level, what of seamounts and reefs? So here’s my recipe for Inversia:

    1. Mark the sealevel carefully.
    2. Remove all the water. Store safely. We’ll need some of it soon.
    3. Now mark the altitude of every point on Earth and… turn it inside out. Make every depth a height, and every height a depth.
    4. Now pour seawater into the continental basins until they fill to the old coastline. Since the continents are much smaller (and shallower) than Earth’s seas, you’ll have water left over. Hang onto it.
    5. For smaller islands and seamounts and undersea ridges, now deep pits and long valleys, use your judgment (and the likely local climate) to decide how deep to fill them: in dry zones, basins with small, salty seas at the bottom make sense; but in rainy zones, make them lakes–fill them to the brim! You’ll be shocked how big some of these “lakes” are–seas, really, far bigger than the Mediterranean. Be patient–there are thousands of seamounts, invisible to Earth dwellers, that suddenly become deep lake-filled valleys on Inversia. They’re vital to the climate, and ecology, and our hopes for intelligent life on these vast raised ocean-beds.
    6. Pour your leftover water on Venus or Mars. They both need it more than you do. “

    Neat little peek into the way geographical changes could wind up… until you get to the “therefore animals will become anthropomorphic and intelligent” stuff… >.>

  30. tallbloke says:

    Clivebest says:
    December 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm
    Wayne,

    I agree. Yes fortunately for life, the Earth has a fixed IR window allowing ~40 watts/m2 to radiate directly out to space from the surface, and this is not going to change anytime soon. Long term energy balance then depends on a still poorly understood fine tuned balance between sensible heat, latent heat and radiative heat transfer. My gut feeling is that the Earth’s real thermostat that has succeeded to maintain stable temperatures for the last 4 billion years must be the Oceans.

    wayne says:
    December 15, 2012 at 1:25 am
    Clive, good read. That really highlights a good question, the “it must be the Oceans”, or its must be the Atmosphere, or both.

    The ocean for long term stability and wind for mopping up day to day local imbalances.

    Tim F
    If you subtract any part of this, you will THROW OFF the balance, not RESTORE the balance!

    Where is the imbalance in Wayne’s alternative budget?

    If the emission temp of 288K at 0.908 emissivity is equivalent to 356W/m^2 but 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat and 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, then how can 356W/m^2 be leaving as LW?

    Trenberth is violating conservation of energy! 😉

  31. Max™‮‮ says:

    Pay no attention to the climatologist behind the curtain!

  32. tallbloke says:

    Yeah, I think the in next thread thread we’ll open curtains and let sunlight in before we start. Climatologists who break conservation of energy and their acolytes will be ushered out so we can get down to the real business at hand.

    That is: working towards parameterising and theoretically underpinning a new climate model, free of the old radiative errors.

  33. Tim Folkerts says:

    Tallbloke asks: ?Where is the imbalance in Wayne’s alternative budget?”

    Oh, It appears to balance. That is a good start.

    But that is only a start. As I said before, this model emits the same amount up from the TOA as down from the BOA. That is not accurate, so the rest of the model is not going to be accurate either (such as the estimate of the emissivity). Or to put it the other way around, to compensate for this incorrect assumption, he introduces an incorrect emissivity.

    And none of that affects the fact that K&T is ALSO balanced! changing the numbers will throw off the balance (unless you change two things in a balanced way, like replacing 356 up and 333 down with a net 23 up (and 0 down)).

  34. tallbloke says:

    Tim: Please answer part two of my comment.

  35. Tim Folkerts says:

    Tallbloke says:” Yeah, I think the in next thread thread we’ll open curtains and let sunlight in before we start. Climatologists who break conservation of energy and their acolytes will be ushered out so we can get down to the real business at hand.

    If you and I are both brave enough, I could provide my own contribution to “letting the sunlight in before we start” and “conservation of energy”, showing how (without GHGs) there is no way that sunlight and any amount of pure N2 in the atmosphere could warm the surface to current temperatures (and couldn’t even warm the equator above freezing on average).

  36. Bryan says:

    Tim Folkers

    It is not necessary to provide a fully fleshed out alternative climate model to the so called greenhouse effect.
    All that is required is to falsify the principles underlying the GH theory to render it as a meritless conjecture.
    This was the approach of Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner who flat out stated they had no intention of providing their own model

    Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner; International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) pages 275-364.
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf.

    That being said Joseph Postma has gone some way to providing one such model.

    No doubt your own contribution to “letting the sunlight in before we start” would include fictitious numbers such as

    161 + 333 = 17 + 80 + 396 = 493.5 W/m^2 (give or take 0.5)

    Remember that the experimental basis of these numbers is the pyrgeometer
    which fully set up ‘on a good day’ is only capable of reading to + or – 12W/m2

    So your give or take 0.5 should be give or take 12W/m2 on several of the individual numbers.

    If I handed in a lab report like your fictitious calculation my lab supervisor would have a fit.

    Is your memory of handling ‘errors of observation’ gone blank or did you ever hand in a lab report?

  37. donald penman says:

    Is it possible that evaporation determines the amount of radiation emited by the Earths surface and the amount emited by the atmosphere rather than co2? evaporation will change during the year as the Earth goes from winter to summer .I remember thinking a few years back when the temperature dropped to -20deg c that this is what it is supposed to be like if there were no GHG,in other words the GHG are not there when you need them in winter but only in summer.

  38. Tim Folkerts says:

    Bryan suggests: ” No doubt your own contribution to “letting the sunlight in before we start” would include fictitious numbers such as

    161 + 333 = 17 + 80 + 396 = 493.5 W/m^2 (give or take 0.5)

    Nope.

    My contribution would start with insolation of ~ 1370 W/m^2, albedo of ~ 0.3, emissivity of ~ 1.0. I’d throw in some ice water as a thermal reservoir — maybe a little N2 in the atmosphere (but N2 would end up being superfluous). I’d use Stefan-Boltzmann Law for radiation. That’s it. Of course, there is some adjustability in those numbers, but none of them are “ficticious”.

    That is plenty to show that the sun by itself would not warm even the equator to an average of 0 C.

  39. bwdave says:

    I have never been able to accept, or take seriously, the “Climate Science” as put forth by people calling themselves “Climate Scientists”; mainly because they make so many ignorant presumptions.

    To most people, I think, it is obvious that water affects the climate.

    But only by inference from demonstrations of CO2 absorbing infrared radiation, a triatomic similarity with water, and a false model of how a greenhouse warms; do they believe CO2 affects weather.

    But, as I delved further into their work, I have also found that this seems to matter not to them, and when they are faced with evidence that suggests their presumptions were in error (or even proves they are false); they just offer more complicated or convoluted explanations, but still based on the same presumptions.

    The “Climate Scientists” are from colleges of Arts and Sciences (liberal arts), not the typical venue of physical scientists and engineers. That a “Climate Scientists” or anyone with a PhD could publish stuff that a well versed student of thermodynamics can see is so obviously stupid; went completely unnoticed by the peers in their degree granting institutions.

    The insidious part is that they never had any meaningful discourse on their “science” with practicing scientists and engineers, and in more than one instance, seem to have stifled attempts to call them out, while they instead kept their faults behind pay walls, and steadily indoctrinated the general public, from grade school on; with their malarkey.

    A greenhouse doesn’t work by trapping IR, and the warmth one senses under clouds at night isn’t “back radiation”, it’s latent heat that is being released as water condenses!

  40. Max™‮‮ says:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ak0Y0G6qgw-XdHFJZmpuejJQWVg3WGpMcExwZjRsSHc#gid=2

    1361 W/m^2 peak insolation, 0.3 Albedo, 1 Emissivity, right?


    That’s after a month.

    The three runs there are 340/340 (average of 254 K), 680/0 (average of 254 K), sinusoidal insolation max of 1361 (average of 269 K).

    With .9 emissivity the sinusoidal run gives an average temperature of 277 K
    With .85 emissivity the sinusoidal run gives an average temperature of 281 K
    WIth .8 emissivity the sinusoidal run gives an average temperature of 285 K
    With .75 emissivity the sinusoidal run gives an average temperature of 290 K

    Looks like .77 emissivity gives an average of 288 K.

  41. Steven Mosher says:

    Who ever did the Modis plot should check their work as well as the description of the SDS in the emissivity product. Looks like they are using myd11c3 and it looks like they screwed it up.
    Interested people can see my tutorials on Modis products. Myd11C3 is a monthly product in CMG format which is derived from the higher resolution daily product ( like MOD11A2) durrrrrr. its a land only product. So, they’ve screwed up.

  42. Tim Folkerts says:

    That’s a pretty good spreadsheet, Max. Intuitive and easy to follow. 🙂

    —————————————————————

    But there is one significant math problem in the sinusoidal calculation. Your calculation is for a point on the equator only. This should be clear when you consider that the noon insolation is the full ~ 953 W/m^2. For a location at 45N or 45 S, the max insolation would only be
    1361 * (1-alpha) * 0.707
    which is about 674 W/m^2 at noon, instead of 953.

    So your conclusion that emissivity = 0.77 would get your world to 288 K is true only for the equator. If you average in the rest of the world…
    EITHER
    1) your average temperature will be less than 288 K (and indeed will be even colder than either of the other two models)
    OR
    2) you have to adjust the emissivity even LOWER, so the equator will be above 288 K so the average can come out to 288K. (and then the other two models will get correspondingly warmer too.

    ——————————————————-

    So what does this emissivity of 0.77 (or whatever the correct slightly higher number) mean?

    We know from the MODIS graph you posted that the actual emissivity of the land is greater than 0.9 for nearly the whole world except the Sahara region. You also posted data (corroborated by numerous other sources) that water has an emissivity of ~ 0.98. No matter how you look at it, the “real” emissivity of the surface is well above 0.9.

    So how can a surface with emissivity > 0.9 (measured just above ground level) act like the emissivity is < 0.8 (when measured from above the top of the atmosphere? Something BETWEEN the surface and the top of the atmosphere must be absorbing some of the IR so that less gets away.

    Hmmmm … what do we know of that absorbs IR and exists between the surface and the TOA?

    —————————————–

    A minor suggestion: tie all the energies to the 1361 W/m^2 in cell E1, so all are on an exactly even footing. So instead of
    =340*(1-$M$2) for the energy in the first scenario, use
    =$E$1/4*(1-$M$2)

    and use
    =$E$1/2*(1-$M$2) for the seconds scenario.

  43. Clive Best I go along with much of what you say. However, I note that you say the radiation window is 40 W/m2 (which is in Trenberth’s paper) but it is actually 66 W/m2 as measured by satellites and Trenberth has put in writing that this is correct see this http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/KNMI_voordracht_VanAndel.pdf slide 26.. You maybe interested in the rest of the presentation which was a revelation to KNMI. Dr Noor Van Andel was a highly respected Chemical Engineer with patents for heat exchangers (that is why they listened to him at KNMI) He unfortunately died last year of cancer. He was one of the few who understood Miskcolczi. He wrote a peer reviewed paper explaining the theory. -slides 27 to 31 give some idea.
    Slide 36 gives a summary of Dr Van Andel’s thoughts which should also interest TB as might slide 35

    {co-mod: FLAG FOR ROG to look —Tim]

  44. Max™‮‮ says:

    I didn’t write the spreadsheet, I just made a copy so I could change the values, easy enough to do the same if you’d like.

    I didn’t say it would give the total average, I specifically think that the only case where the model could be effective is in the case where the sun is at a fixed angle, and then in that situation you adjust it for that location accordingly.

    You would not expect the 45 N/S locations to average the same temperature as the equator.

    The only location for which your suggested 1361 W/m^2 value would work are those where the sun is directly overhead, other points receive radiation at a less direct angle of course.

    The value for emissivity of land only within certain wavelengths is what you call “the correct higher value” for some reason.

    The land does not emit directly to space, in fact most of the energy leaving the surface is through non-radiative processes, so the effective value is quite a bit lower, probably around the .6 range suggested by various methods of calculating what it should be.

    I will flat out state though, it is not possible for 400 millionths of the atmosphere to contribute enough of an effect to reduce the emissivity by around a quarter or so.

    Even if you include the far more abundant H2O, there is still no way you can justify such a claim.

    If you pretended H2O and CO2 molecules were perfect mirrors evenly distributed in a sheet across the surface, they would not block enough of the surface to account for the reduced emissivity alone.

    Contribute to it? Certainly, H2O is involved in transferring energy to the atmosphere through evaporation -> condensation, and both H2O and CO2 take part in the transfer of energy to the atmosphere through radiative absorption -> heating of nearby molecules.

    The tiny fraction of radiation emitted downward is inconsequential, the real effect is the transfer of heat to the atmosphere from the surface radiation -> IR absorption -> jostling other molecules route.

    That is where your “bite” goes, it is not blocked, it is not returned to the surface, it is distributed to the less IR active gases in the atmosphere, spreading the same amount of energy through a larger volume, cooling the surface.

  45. Max™‮‮ says:

    The land does not only emit directly to space, missed a word which changes what I meant.

  46. Steven Mosher says:

    Tim and others.

    The Modis plot you have is going to mislead you terribily.

    1. For the product used for that plot, the emmissivity for the ocean should be MISSING. Its a land only product.

    2. its a MONTHLY product. In any given month you will have “bad” pixels. That is the garbage
    you see over the sahara.

    3. You need to check the quality bits in every file, otherwise you will display junk data.

    If you havent worked with Modis data you really need to read the entire documentation or you end up with nonsense.

  47. Tim Folkerts says:

    Max, read more about my thoughts on the spreadsheet here:
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/tim-folkerts-simple-argument-supporting-a-radiative-greenhouse-effect/#comment-38386
    It addresses many of your concerns.

    “The value for emissivity of land only within certain wavelengths is what you call “the correct higher value” for some reason.
    Yes … within the “certain wavelengths” where thermal IR is emitted by the land. The tables I have cited are generally the “weighted average” of the emissivities at each wavelength at some specific temperature like 300 K. These are “practical” tables used with actual IR thermometers.
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html
    http://www.optotherm.com/emiss-table.htm
    You yourself showed data for water giving the emissivity of 0.965 – 0.995 over most of the band of interest.

    You keep grasping at this same straw for some reason, even though it has been repeated refuted.

    “I will flat out state though, it is not possible for 400 millionths of the atmosphere to contribute enough of an effect to reduce the emissivity by around a quarter or so.
    That is probably the most anti-scientific thing I have heard you say. You are admitting that your mind is made up and that evidence would have no affect on your conclusion!

    “If you pretended H2O and CO2 molecules were perfect mirrors evenly distributed in a sheet across the surface, they would not block enough of the surface to account for the reduced emissivity alone.
    Where do you get these factoids?

    As a rough estimate …

    10000 kg/m^2 total atmosphere
    10000000 g/m^2
    357000 moles/m^2 (at 28 g/mole)
    143 moles of CO2/m^2 (at 400 PPM) (confirmed by an independent method)
    8.6 E25 molecules of CO2 per square meter (all the way to the top)

    1.16 E-10 m C-O distance in CO2 molecule
    4.2E-020 m^2 (assuming a sphere)

    3,600,000 m^2 Total “area” covered by CO2
    = 4.2E-20 m^2/molecule * 8.6E25 molecules.

    I could have made a huge mistake somewhere — please check the numbers. Assuming no mistakes, the biggest uncertainty is the “area” of a CO2 molecule using the C-O distance as a radius. It is not a sphere — and it will be quite a bit smaller “end on” so this number is probably a bit large. Even if the area was 3.6 times too large, there are still enough CO2 molecules in the air to form about ONE MILLION layers completely covering each square meter.

    1,000,000 is definitely not less than 1!

    Besides, it is well known that IR in the CO2 bands gets absorbed within a few hundred meters, so experimentally we know there is indeed plenty of CO2 to do the trick.

  48. Max™‮‮ says:

    Uh…

    10,000 kg/m^2?

    What the heck?

    The density of the atmosphere at the surface is 1 kg/m^3 or so.

    The total mass of the atmosphere is 5×10^18 kg.

    The surface area is 5.1×10^11 m^2

    From what I recall elsewhere about what would happen if you froze the atmosphere, you’d wind up with a layer around 11 m deep: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070321103917AASlH8N

    Just naively approximating that by proportion would suggest a solid CO2 layer would be between 10 and 1000 microns thick if it was sitting on the surface.

    If it was higher up by even a few meters it would rapidly thin to less than a micron, which would make my “perfectly reflective” claim invalid, but nonetheless absorption by a layer thinner than the “wavelengths of interest” would not be particularly impressive, nor would reflection I don’t think.

  49. Max™‮‮ says:

    Thanks for clarifying that, btw, Steve.

    That’s why I liked the spectralcalc page, I get the absorption physics more naturally than the rather more hairy problem of emissivity, particularly for a surface with varied properties and a dense atmosphere.

  50. Steven Mosher says:

    Yes, The Emissitivity from Modis is not directly sensed.
    remember that the IR from the surface has to pass thru the atmosphere.
    Well, thats a problem since c02 and other GHGs are relatively opaque to IR.
    That means you have to run a radiative transfer model to go from sensor values
    to the values at the surface. Most that physics you guys deny.
    In addition to running a model to get the data the code also does a look up into
    a materials database, and the landclass type. All that said the emiss is then used to calc
    the temperature.. which is good to within 1K, validated.

  51. wayne says:

    TimF: “But that is only a start. As I said before, this model emits the same amount up from the TOA as down from the BOA. That is not accurate, so the rest of the model is not going to be accurate either (such as the estimate of the emissivity). Or to put it the other way around, to compensate for this incorrect assumption, he introduces an incorrect emissivity.”

    That ‘model’ is close.

    The “effective emissivity” is not wrong. It may not be exact but it is close.

    That is no true either Tim. No where did that say “TOA” or “BOA”. You make things up in your never-ending effort to make it seem that you prove everything incorrect unless it comes from yourself. Man, have you no class? Why not ask a question before you start shredding?

    That 264 and 41 and 223.31 wm-2 are the radiation passing a mathematical shell membrane at some altitude near the center of the troposphere, some upward, some downward, read the notes and equations. I didn’t calculate it’s altitude on this spreadsheet and I guess you can call it something like the “effective energy balance altitude”.

    At a resident internal energy flux of 264 wm-2 seems it would reside near 4000 m level and at that level, half goes upward, half goes downward, and it does balance. That gives 25.5 wm-2 being the NET radiation upward from the surface besides the window radiation. A bit more than TFK2009 figure but that is how the solver computed it to balance.

    If you notice I only supplied seven values (blue). The rest of that ‘model’ was calculated by the machine.

  52. wayne says:

    BIG NEWS! HUGE NEWS! To me anyway.

    For those that just skimmed over cementafriend’s comment to Clive (December 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm), Trenberth finally admitted the window radiation to be more like 66 W/m^2 (power), not 40 power. How about 63 wm-2 for Trenberth’s correction (for ease, not accuracy).

    Don’t know about anyone else but that changes the picture in a big meaningful way. Just accepting Trenberth’s emissivity = 1, the 356 power becomes 333. That basically says ALL radiation from the surface exits as window radiation and there is now ZERO net back-radiation, zero temperature change due to radiation. Gee, that’s basically Miskolczi’s viewpoint, whatever energy that enters the atmosphere escapes eventually, period. Got rid of that 23 power (356-333) that he had recursively cycling in the LW side of his graphic. Good riddance!

    What goes to space is now 78 absorbed by atmosphere + 17 sensible + 80 latent + the 66 window radiation equals the 238 wm-2 outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). The LW is balanced at the very surface with 333 up and down in the lowest meters… that is, radiative balance like is present in your room.

    Now we still should not agree with the 396 LW power, it’s not real by far, but you can just lower it and both 333 values by the same quantity to get to something much more solid. Numerically you can just set the 396 to 63, the 356 to zero, the back radiation to zero, and the window radiation to 63 and the graphic stills adds up correctly. Call that a ‘NET energy transport view’.

    Some of his numbers are still skewed a bit by a few watts that should be here instead of there but still it’s now much better.

    That changes much of my climate “science” deciphering documents and most are going to need to be updated now, but it’s now worth it! Good news, thanks for the tip cementafriend.

  53. Clivebest says:

    cementafriend,

    “I note that you say the radiation window is 40 W/m2 (which is in Trenberth’s paper) but it is actually 66 W/m2 as measured by satellites and Trenberth has put in writing that this is correct”

    Thanks for the link to the presentation of Dr Noor Van Andel ” one of the few who understood Miskcolczi” !. I now realise that the radiation window is of fundamental importance for the Earth’s climate control ! It acts like a safety valve on a pressure cooker or perhaps a better analogy is like a large puncture in bicycle tyre. The harder you pump air into the tyre the faster it escapes through the puncture! So the analogy is that no matter how much extra “forcing” results from additional CO2 added to the atmosphere, the more radiation will escape through the window to counter act it. Any additional reduction in water vapor in the upper troposphere or any increase in low cloudiness would completely offset the extra CO2 forcing.

    This is true also on Mars where the greenhouse effect is tiny despite the atmosphere being 95% CO2. Venus however is different and there is no radiation window. It is blocked with SO2, H2SO4, H2O etc.

  54. Tim Folkerts says:

    uhhh … Max,

    1) Use pressure …
    P = F/A = mg/A = 101,000 N/m^2 = surface pressure
    m/A = P/g = 101,300 N/m^2 / 9.8m/s^2 = 10,300 kg/m^2

    or

    2) use Density & Scale height
    ρ = m/V = 1.3 kg/m^3
    m/A = m*h/V = ρ*h = 1.3 kg/m^3 * 8500 m = 11,000 kg

    Either way, it is about 10,000 kg.

    Max says: “Just naively approximating that by proportion would suggest a solid CO2 layer would be between 10 and 1000 microns thick if it was sitting on the surface.

    Ya gotta wonder …

    Just naively approximating, molecules are 10^-10 m tall. So just naively approximating from your number, that would be a solid between
    (10^-5m) / (10^-10m/molecule) = 10^5 molecules
    (10^-3m) / (10^-10m/molecule) = 10^7 molecules.

    Once again, that is a solid with somewhere between 100,000 and 10,000,000 layers! If each layer were acting like a mirror (as you postulate), we now have roughly 1,000,000 reflecting layers. Completely in line with what I said.

  55. Stephen Wilde says:

    “So the analogy is that no matter how much extra “forcing” results from additional CO2 added to the atmosphere, the more radiation will escape through the window to counter act it. ”

    Exactly as I proposed in my recent thread (and lots of places previously) but I went on to describe the mechanics of the process.

    An analogy I used in the past was a very loose cloth bag whereby more water inside readily parted the threads more to allow more water out.

    Input stays the same, any compositional effects are swiftly neutralised and output continues to match input.

  56. Stephen Wilde says:

    clivebest said:

    “If the climate gets too hot they (the oceans) start to sweat and form clouds to shade the planet from solar radiation. If it gets too cold then they dry the atmosphere, reduce cloud cover thereby increasing insolation. The oceans always stabilise any short term variations through hysteresis”

    Almost right but I found a need to adjust that very concept because in practice warmer spells are accompanied by wider equatorial climate zones and reduced cloudiness as the circulation pattern and jets move poleward.

    Some of my earlier articles try to address that conundrum in some detail.

    Basically it all works out by reconfiguring the global circulation so that it all stays balanced.

    Less clouds during a warming spell also let more sun into the oceans but the clearer skies also allow more radiation out from the surface and the speeded up hydro cycle does the rest.

    But in the end it all comes down to the proportions of KE relative to PE at different heights.

    Those changing proportions alter air parcel densities relative to one another thereby causing movement so that the circulation can reconfigure itself appropriately.

    Usually the net result is latitudinal climate zone shifting and changes in jet stream tracks.

  57. Stephen Wilde says:

    “What goes to space is now 78 absorbed by atmosphere + 17 sensible + 80 latent + the 66 window radiation equals the 238 wm-2 outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). The LW is balanced at the very surface with 333 up and down in the lowest meters… that is, radiative balance like is present in your room.”

    Getting rather close to this:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=10704

    Apply the general principle rather than the actual numbers because there is much debate about what the numbers ‘should’ be.

  58. Max™‮‮ says:

    As I said Tim, the thickness of said solid layer would be around the same wavelengths as it was supposed to be reflecting.

    See a problem there?

  59. Clive Best says, December 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm: In my opinion a much better energy balance diagram is given by NOAA here. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/yos/resource/JetStream/atmos/energy_balance.htm

    This shows that about 2/3 of the surface heat is carried directly to atmosphere by convection and latent heat. Only 1/3 is radiated upwards from the surface and less than half of that is actually absorbed by the atmosphere. Most radiation to space mostly occurs thermally from cloud level upwards. So effective emissivity from the surface is 15/43 or just 0.33

    I don’t disagree with those rough figures or the general approach, but I think I can improve on them.

    I am uncomfortable about the provenance of the particular diagram Clive has chosen. There are several such diagrams floating around on the internet, all with differing energy values. The problem is that most are not attributed to specific authors. For example, on TB’s Tim Folkerts’ blog thread (“Tim Folkerts: Simple argument supporting a radiative greenhouse effect”) I have recently been using a very nice looking but equally unattributable diagram from NASA:

    So I now consider that probably the safest data to use is from the 2009 Trenberth et. al. diagram. Their 2009 paper is obtainable from:

    Click to access EarthsGlobalEnergyBudget.pdf

    My reason for suggesting that this is the best reference standard is that it was published as a formal article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and so is traceable directly to Trenberth et. al. Another really good reason is that warmists will find it much harder to brush aside any analysis based on the Trenberth figures purely on the grounds that the data is unattributable.

    Using the Trenberth 2009 data, I get the following percentage proportions for the various energy flows through the bulk of the atmosphere:

    (1) 17% IR radiation from surface NOT absorbed by the atmosphere (atmospheric window)
    (2) 10% KE from absorbed net IR radiation from the surface
    (3) 33% KE from absorbed IR radiation direct from the Sun
    (4) 7% KE conducted from the surface
    (5) 33% KE released from the latent heat of vaporisation of water
    ____
    100%

    [NOTE 1: The percentages shown above are proportions of 238Wm-2, the total net energy flow into the atmosphere, both directly from the Sun and from the earth’s warmed surface – i.e. after subtracting reflections back to space.]

    [NOTE 2: In doing these calculations I carefully sidestep Trenberth’s controversial ‘back radiation’ figure because I use the net radiation from the earth’s surface which is simply the difference between the upwelling figure of 396Wm-2 and the downwelling figure of 333Wm-2, namely 63Wm-2. Of this, 40Wm-2 escapes straight to space through the “atmospheric window”; and only 23Wm-2 is absorbed by the atmosphere.]

    Using the above figures, only 17% of the incoming IR radiation to the atmosphere (Item 1 in my list) fails to take part in heating the atmosphere. The remaining 83% is all KE (heat).

    So using the same rationale as Clive did for his calculation, that would make the atmosphere’s ’emissivity’ just 0.17 would it not? That, from a skeptical viewpoint, is an even more dramatic result than Clive’s figure of 0.33%. Practically zero, in fact.

    WHY IS IT (ALMOST) ALL KINETIC ENERGY?
    How can I justify expressing four of the above five listed energy flows as Kinetic Energy (KE) when the second and third energy flows are from radiative sources? It is because, with the exception of the first item in the list, the radiation incoming into the atmosphere is immediately converted to KE by the GHGs and then remains as KE for all the comparatively long time it takes for the air stream to convect upwards.

    Whilst this convection process is taking place throughout the vast dense bulk of the atmosphere, where the gas molecules are comparatively close together, the GHGs have no radiative role to play at all in the atmospheric energy budget (although, of course, they continue to perform their normal KE role just like any other molecule). This is because, whenever a GHG molecule gains enough KE to be able to emit a photon, the photon is almost certain to be quickly absorbed by another GHG molecule, thus keeping the overall energy budget balanced.

    It is only when the air parcel rises close to the top of the atmosphere (where the density is much less) that the GHGs (H2O, CO2, etc.) can increasingly convert their KE to radiation which then escapes unimpeded to space. And as they lose their KE to radiation, they continually gain KE from all other colliding molecules. So the process of radiation to space is a continual one, progressively draining the KE from the upper atmosphere and radiating the corresponding energy to space.

    It is because of the comparatively slow process of upward convection of air that we can validly say that the 83% of the net incoming IR radiation to the atmosphere that is converted to KE (heat!) dictates the level of atmospheric warming. This is not cheating. Nor is it special pleading. It is arithmetically and physically the correct way to analyse Trenberth’s own energy flow figures. It is exactly where the stored atmospheric energy resides.

    As I said in a recent comment on the other thread, the radiating gases (mainly H2O and CO2) only have two functions. At the bottom and middle of the atmosphere they almost immediately convert incoming IR radiation (items 2 and 3 respectively in the list above) to KE. Towards the top of the atmosphere they convert KE to outgoing radiation to space. In between, they have no role at all in maintaining the energy profile (and hence the temperature profile) of the atmospheric column, which is essentially heated thermally and not at all as a consequence of radiative gases.

  60. Clivebest says:

    @David Socrates,

    I agree with you that it would be better to use a published energy balance paper, and why not use the most widely quoted one by Trenberth et al. You write

    Using the Trenberth 2009 data, I get the following percentage proportions for the various energy flows through the bulk of the atmosphere:

    (1) 17% IR radiation from surface NOT absorbed by the atmosphere (atmospheric window)
    (2) 10% KE from absorbed net IR radiation from the surface
    (3) 33% KE from absorbed IR radiation direct from the Sun
    (4) 7% KE conducted from the surface
    (5) 33% KE released from the latent heat of vaporisation of water
    ____
    100%

    The atmospheric window should really be relative to Tim’s outgoing surface radiation at 288K, since it passes straight through the atmosphere from the surface. The 17% value then would then give 66 watts/m2 (or 63 watts/m2 if emissivity=0.95) which agrees with cementafriend’s value, as used by Dr Noor Van Andel. Instead of this Trenberth uses 17% of the net 238 watts/m2 which only gives 40 watts/m2. As a consequence everyone since then just quotes 40 watts/m2 from Trenberth’s energy diagram. Which one is right ? I decided to try and calculate it directly.

    I have used the Planck spectrum for 288K (emissivity=1) and Wien’s law to calculate the transmitted fraction of the total flux through the IR window. The IR window I have used is based on the transmission values taken from this graph [ http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Atmosfaerisk_spredning.gif ]. The only part of the spectrum which really matters for Earth temperature spectra is that between 8 – 13 microns. The rest all together give < 1%

    I therefore divided the spectrum into 4 main zones and calculated for each one the fraction of 390 watts passing through the window.

    lambda(um)     Transmission    Fraction
    8.5 - 10.5        75%           0.0945
    10.6 - 11.6       65%           0.0403
    11.7 - 12.5       50%           0.025
    12.6 - 13.5       30%           0.015
    
    Total = 17.5%   of 390 watts/m2 = 68 watts/m2
    

    This is consistent with the 17% figure quoted above, but of course now it is 17% of 390 watts/m2.

    Now lets suppose that the IPCC are correct and that AGW has resulted in about a 1 degree rise in temperatures since 1750. So I now run the calculation again for 289 degrees. I get an increase of 0.1% in the total transmission through the IR window which is about 0.4 watts/m2. Using the standard IPCC formula for CO2 forcing – DS = 5.3 ln(C/C0) where C=390 ppm and C0 = 289 ppm predicts a forcing of 1.6 watts.m2. This means that the IR window counteracts CO2 forcing by about 25% for a 1 degree rise in temperature !

    Conclusion:

    1. The IR window is larger than displayed on the Trenberth energy balance diagram. It should be 63 watts/m2 (17% and emissivity of 0.95).

    2. The IR window effectively results in a negative climate feedback of -0.25 watts/m2/deg.C to any change in radiative forcing.

  61. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Socrates said:

    “the radiation incoming into the atmosphere is immediately converted to KE by the GHGs and then remains as KE for all the comparatively long time it takes for the air stream to convect upwards.”

    Don’t the molecules cool as they rise with conversion of KE to PE ?

    And PE plays no part in the radiative process.

  62. Clivebest says:

    Correction: It should of course be

    2. The IR window effectively results in a negative climate feedback of -0.4 watts/m2/deg.C to any change in radiative forcing.

  63. Max™‮‮ says:

    Conclusion:

    1. The IR window is larger than displayed on the Trenberth energy balance diagram. It should be 63 watts/m2 (17% and emissivity of 0.95).

    2. The IR window effectively results in a negative climate feedback of -0.4 watts/m^2/deg.C to any change in radiative forcing.” ~Clivebest

    Oh dear, that will never do… quickly, I need 40 cc’s of pseudoscience stat! We’ve got a bleeding hole here, I need sutures people, let’s go!

  64. Steven,

    You say: Don’t the molecules cool as they rise with conversion of KE to PE ? And PE plays no part in the radiative process.

    Correct and correct.

    Yes the molecules lose some of their KE to PE as they rise up through the atmosphere but certainly not all of it. Otherwise they would be at absolute zero temperature! Here’s a rough calculation:

    The KE content of a mass m[kg] of a substance of specific heat Cp[J/kg/K] at a temperature T[K] is given by: m Cp.T

    The increase in PE when you raise a mass m[kg] of a substance through a height h[m] subject to a gravitational constant g[m/s/s] is: m.g.h

    For air, Cp is 1000[J/kg/K].
    For earth, g=9.81[m/s/s]
    Assume effective (i.e. average) OLR emission height = 5km

    Then we get:

    1kg of air at ground level (at 288K) has a KE content of 288,000[J]
    1kg of air raised up 5km, gains PE of 49,050J (so loses 49,050J of KE)

    On this reckoning the air loses roughly one sixth of its KE to PE (but of course this 1/6 KE is recovered on the way back down).

  65. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive:

    1) I get a little larger number for the energy through the “atmospheric window” from that plot of transmittance — closer to 90 or 95 W/m^2 (~ 23 %) than your 68 W/m^2 (17%). I think you may be rounding down a bit much (although I might have rounded up a bit much).

    2) The transmittance graph is presumably for CLEAR skies (and unknown humidity), but the “atmospheric window” would be (I am pretty sure) for ALL skies. Since clouds are basically 0% transmittance, then the net transmission through the window will be reduced by the % cloud cover. The cloud cover could easily reduce 17% (or 23%) to 10%.

  66. wayne says:

    Then we get:

    1kg of air at ground level (at 288K) has a KE content of 288,000[J]
    1kg of air raised up 5km, gains PE of 49,050J (so loses 49,050J of KE)

    David, nice line of thought, but from that you can compute how much energy is transferred upward.

    Notice that 288000 – 49000 is 239000 or 239K, that’s a problem for at 5000m it is about 255K so that packet would never get that high before equilibrium. So, let’s say the sun has heated that 1kg to 304K and it moves to 5000m. Now 304kJ – 49kJ is 255kJ or equivalent 255K and everything’s ok.

    This is where the area difference between the air rising (hot thermal core) and the area of the sinking air plays in. Let’s say it rose at 500 m/min and it reaches that 5000m level in 10 minutes. Not much energy loss there in such short time.

    BUT, coming down the area covered is 50 times greater so the sink rate is just 10 m/min. It will take 8 hr 20 minutes to reach the ground again and it is radiating energy away all or the way down. In fact the radiative loss causes the sink for it was in equilibrium anyway at 5000m. On the way down that 304kJ – 288kJ = 16 kJ/kg of excess energy is that which was radiated above on the way down. That leaves 49kJ that is gained back and when all of that 1 kg of air is at the surface again it is at 288K where it started in the first place.

    You exampled helped me put that into words what I had such a hard time explaining to Stephen earlier (I think on another thread). The respective area of the small hot thermal cores and the very much larger area between thermals are very important in this process of thermal energy transfer. (think sailplanes, this is their engines and that IS what happens when it is dry)

  67. wayne says:

    Just if your intereseted:

    Now let’s add latent heat. That ratio of the rise area to sink area has to do with the spacing between the now visible cumulus clouds. I did it this last summer. Guesstimate how many cloud diameters there are between the clouds. If it is four, you have a 5 x 5 grid with one cell being the cloud and the rise rate is 24 times the sink.

    If you notice you never have tight cloud spacing if there is not a lot of latent heat involved. Try making the rise to sink ratio one in that last example with dry air, it will never happen. Sinks too fast to lose the heat and the heat pipe effect stalls.

    But you can have such a ratio, like 3:1, a 2 x 2 cloud grid, if its hot and wet. There it is heating the surface to 304K and you have a lot of evaporation that going to rise with the thermal. Let’s say 10 g of water vapor in that 1 kg of air. That is and additional hidden 25 kJ of excess plus the 16 kJ. The 25 kJ is mostly released during the rise keeping the core hot but instead of going to 5000m it can go to 11000m if conditions are correct but usually the cloud base will be much lower forcing the immediate condensation all in one place… at the cloud.

    Also in that case part of that 16 kJ will not all get ejected high for the descent rate is now rather fast of about 133 m/min. In sailplanes on such days that is about what you will experience, that is about 400 ft/min plus the plane’s normal 200 ft/min sink. A sink of 600 ft/min is unwelcomed but can be handled but I have once experienced about 1500 ft/min sink on a real wet and hot day, nearly had to land in a farmers field that day.

  68. TB: I haven’t being giving nearly enough attention to this thread, having had my time cut out over on the “Tim Folkerts” thread! Here’s a catchup:

    You say: Could it be that the long wave radiation being exchanged in the air is simply a transient expression of the energy being moved by convection and latent heat? This would make the long wave energy flux within the troposphere more a ‘symptom’ of its energy content than a cause of its temperature or the lapse rate, since it is constantly cancelling out at each altitude level, apart from the relatively small component of the upward radiation which escapes to space through the ‘atmospheric window’.

    Right on, TB!

    This is exactly what I have been trying to spell out to Tim over on the other thread. Yes, the GHGs in the bulk of the atmosphere are spitting out photons in all directions but they are also absorbing them at the same rate. A GHG molecule loses some KE when it emits a photon, but another GHG gains some KE when it absorbs a photon. Statistically, therefore, spread over the whole range of Planck energies, it is a zero sum game. So GHGs can play no additional role in warming the atmosphere over and above what they already do as simple carriers of KE (just like their friends, all the non-GHG molecules).

    As you say, only towards the top of the atmosphere is the air thin enough for increasing proportions of the emitted photons from GHG molecules to be lost to space. This permanently reduces the KE budget but the GHG molecules are immediately replenished through normal KE collisions, and so the process repeats, thus leading to a continual drain of KE out of all molecules near the TOA and a continual flow of radiation to space.

    The opposite happens where incoming photons from the Sun (either directly or after thermalisation in, and re-emission from, the surface) are absorbed by GHGs. Consequently the atmospheric KE budget rises.

    So the atmosphere should be viewed largely as a region of KE, not of radiative energy – which we all knew anyway because that is what gives us its temperature!

    If the photons in the bulk of the atmosphere don’t heat it, where else can we find a greenhouse effect? The only other place is in the interface between ground and atmosphere where, due to downwelling radiation, radiation is (apparently) whizzing round in a circle between earth-atmosphere-earth providing (in some magical way) extra energy which is then thermalised in the atmosphere as extra KE (heat)…resulting in enhanced atmospheric temperature.

    Personally I don’t have any problem with downwelling radiation – all bodies radiate towards all other bodies all the time so I think it would be quite surprising if the atmosphere did not radiate towards the ground at about the same rate as the surface radiates towards the atmosphere. But this doesn’t lead to the (magical) generation of extra energy – it just nets off. (And this is true, whether you subscribe to the Provost Exchange theory of 1791 or the Claes Johnson school of 2010!)

    I have chased Tim Folkerts all around this issue on the other thread. I have lifted all the stones I can find. But he has been unable to provide me with any convincing explanation of exactly where this surplus radiative energy is coming from that helpfully converts to additional KE, thus raising the temperature of the atmosphere above that due to normal school-grade thermodynamics.

  69. clivebest says:

    Tim,

    2) The transmittance graph is presumably for CLEAR skies (and unknown humidity), but the “atmospheric window” would be (I am pretty sure) for ALL skies. Since clouds are basically 0% transmittance, then the net transmission through the window will be reduced by the % cloud cover. The cloud cover could easily reduce 17% (or 23%) to 10%.

    The IR window is largely unaffected by water vapour and CO2. I am not sure just how much clouds absorb the IR window. However even if they do absorb most of it then IR from the tops of clouds would still pass through the rest of the atmosphere.

    The window radiation is fundamentally different to all the rest. David and Stephen are correct that the rest of the IR spectrum is thermalized locally by thermodynamics to the lapse rate temperature . In this sense GHGs plays no role in determining the temperature of the atmosphere. The fundamental role of greenhouse gases is to radiate heat to space from the top of the troposphere to enable the atmospheric heat pump to function.

  70. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive says: “I am not sure just how much clouds absorb the IR window. However even if they do absorb most of it then IR from the tops of clouds would still pass through the rest of the atmosphere.

    Some of the radiation leaving the atmosphere originates near the earth’s surface and is transmitted relatively unimpeded through the atmosphere; this is the radiation from areas where is no cloud and that is present in the part of the spectrum known as the atmospheric window, taken here to be the wavelengths 8–12 mm (Fig. 7). The estimate of the amount leaving via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc. In the clear sky case, the radiation in the window amounts to 99 W m-2, while in the cloudy case the amount decreases to 80 W m-2, showing that there is considerable absorption and re-emission at wavelengths in the so-called window by clouds. The value assigned in Fig. 7 of 40 W m-2 is simply 38% of the clear sky case, corresponding to the observed cloudiness of about 62%.
    Earth’s Annual Global Mean
    Energy Budget
    J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth, 1997

    So their interpretation seems to match mine, including the clear-sky value around 95 W/m^2 and the net value after clouds of ~ 40 W/m^2.

    “In this sense GHGs plays no role in determining the temperature of the atmosphere.
    I would agree that GHGs play no (or at least “little”) role in determining the temperature GRADIENT of the atmosphere. The gradient would be ~ 10 K/km (with no water, or ~ 6.5 K/km with water) independent of the GHGs within the atmosphere (as long as there is at least some GHG or other cooling mechanism to provide the cooling at the top).

  71. Tim Folkerts says:

    David says: “Right on, TB!
    This is exactly what I have been trying to spell out to Tim over on the other thread.

    Funny, I thought this is what I was trying to explain to you! 🙂

    Or perhaps, we are each concentrating on one side of a coin. I know “your side of the coin” (the importance of the lapse rate) is there and have no problems with it, so I was not even worrying about that. I am trying to see if you recognize the “other side of the coin” and the importance of GHGs and IR

    TB said: “This would make the long wave energy flux within the troposphere more a ‘symptom’ …. ” which is quite accurate. WITHIN the troposphere, the radiation is not really that important. Convection can speed up or slow down, keeping the lapse rate nearly constant for any net upward energy flow.

    But at the TOP of the tropopause, convection does NOTHING to transfer energy upwards. All that energy can only escape from the atmosphere via IR radiation from the GHGs. So we can’t ignore GHGs.

    Hmmm … maybe THIS is the way to say it!

    1) Currently, the CO2 at the TOA radiates very poorly because it is waaaay high up where it is very cold. Because it it radiating poorly, there is little heat leaving the TOA and consequently little heat flowing up thru the atmosphere by convection. This means convection is removing little heat from the surface, so the surface can stay fairly warm.

    2) Suppose I suddenly remove 3/4 of the CO2. That is still plenty of CO2 to absorb and emit in the 15 um band, so 15 um IR does not get a “free pass” from the surface out to space. But now the “TOA” will be much lower, where it is much warmer, so the CO2 will emit MORE energy to space in that 15 um band than it did in Case 1 above. This means there will be MORE convection induced to carry that extra heat upward. The more heat that gets carried away from the surface, the cooler the surface will be!

  72. Bryan says:

    Tim Folkerts says:

    “I would agree that GHGs play no (or at least “little”) role in determining the temperature GRADIENT of the atmosphere. The gradient would be ~ 10 K/km (with no water, or ~ 6.5 K/km with water) independent of the GHGs within the atmosphere (as long as there is at least some GHG or other cooling mechanism to provide the cooling at the top).”

    Now this seems strange to non-believing sceptics!

    The DALR condition also known as the neutral atmosphere is not unusual at night with clear skies and little horizontal wind.

    Yet CO2 and H2O are still radiating away as usual!
    (There is still high amounts of H2O in gaseous form, the ‘dry’ simply means there is no precipitation ).

    This night time neutral atmosphere is also the simplest condition to analyse.

    Perhaps some GHE believers like Tim or Trick would take this simple condition and show how the Radiative Transfer Equation solves energy transfer in the troposphere of a neutral atmosphere.

  73. clivebest says:

    Tim,

    I also get over 100 watts/m2 if assuming the transmission 100%. However applying the absorption as read from the graph it reduces it to 68 watts. All this depends on the values of course quoted as being accurate.

    It is interesting to see how Trenberth arrives at his figure of 40 watts/m2. He is essentially saying that the IR window is completely shut over 66% of the surface due to clouds. However that isn’t really quite true since the transmission rate will depend on cloud height. Note also that it is exactly those same cloudy areas which also reflect more direct solar radiation. During the night however, clouds do indeed reduce IR cooling to space.

    This is especially true in the tropics. The heat builds up during the day – convection clouds then form giving thunderstorms and rain in the evening, followed by clear skies at night. All this seems “designed” to shade the surface during maximum solar radiation, and give maximum cooling at night. So clouds are the masters of climate control.

    Now for the greenhouse effect: You seem to be nearly converging with David Socrates !

    1. CO2 molecules absorbs and emits IR between 13-17 microns. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere a surface at 288K would emit ~80 watts/m2 within this band assuming emissivity=1.
    2. 99% of direct photons emitted within this band by the surface are absorbed within the first 8 km of the surface. However the energy contained within them can still diffuse upwards but only because of the lapse rate. This process is called radiative transfer.
    3. It is thermodynamics which determines the rate of CO2 radiative transfer. Each level in the atmosphere is roughly at a fixed (lapse rate) temperature and in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). CO2 molecules in any given layer obey Kirchoff’s law, absorbing and emitting equal amounts of IR in random directions. It is only because all the layers above are colder than all the layers below that there can be a net flux of IR photons upwards.
    4. On Earth a far more effective heat transfer mechanisms than radiation are available due to convection and evaporation/condensation. These both transfer heat (kinetic energy) directly upwards but at the cost of doing work against gravity. The atmosphere loses heat and cools from convection, but latent heat of condensation piggybacks on top to release heat back to the atmosphere. The environmental lapse rate represents the balance between these two mechanisms. But without radiative loss to space mainly by H2O and to a somewhat lesser extent CO2 the lapse rate would collapse.
    5. Focussing just on CO2 radiative transfer and assuming nothing else changes you can calculate how much of the initial 80 watts/m2 reaches outer space. Currently about 40 watts/m2 is radiated by CO2 molecules. This is about 16% of the total IR radiated to space today. All the rest is due mainly to water vapour and clouds. Crucially though clouds and H2O content vary on an hourly basis whereas CO2 only changes on a long term basis even with evil human intervention.
    6. I think it is misleading to think of one effective emission level in the atmosphere. Even photons emitted by CO2 molecules to space escape over at least a 1 km range of heights. Water and clouds introduce far more variability than that – they are the Earth’s thermostat.
    7. If CO2 levels were to double to 600ppm and nothing else changed this would lead to about a 5 watts/m2 decrease in radiation within the 13-17 micron band. Hence the ~1.2 deg.C predicted temperature rise.

    Note: It is impossible that the 70% surface coverage of water on Earth could result in a net positive climate feedback, mainly due to the anthropic principle. Otherwise we would not even be here at all to discuss such matters !

  74. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive says: “I also get over 100 watts/m2 if assuming the transmission 100%. However applying the absorption as read from the graph it reduces it to 68 watts. “

    No. I was using the same diagram you were. I just think you made your window a little too narrow and a little too low. And I threw in a few watts for 4.5 – 5 um, 7.8 – 8.5 um, and 13.5 – 14 um. That got me up over 90 W/m^2.

    “ll this seems “designed” to shade the surface during maximum solar radiation, and give maximum cooling at night. So clouds are the masters of climate control.

    Yes, that is quite true. That could well be one of the reason that the sensitivity to CO2 seems to be smaller then many people calculate.

    But that does not negate the hypothesis that GHGs help warm the planet. It simple says that OTHER things might help cool the planet in response.

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

    Now for the greenhouse effect: Y̶o̶u̶ David Socrates seems to be nearly converging with D̶a̶v̶i̶d̶ ̶S̶o̶c̶r̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ you! 🙂

    If you look at your (1) and (7), and then look at my top post (https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/tim-folkerts-simple-argument-supporting-a-radiative-greenhouse-effect/), you should realize that is exactly the argument I was proposing. I was actually making the slightly simpler reverse argument — that (everything else being equal) removing all the CO2 (or similar GHG) would INCREASE the radiation and DECREASE the surface temperature.

    I intentionally left out (2) – (6) precisely because I knew it could (and did!) lead to hundreds of comments worrying about all the details about what happens in between! I summarized all of this in the requirement “The “top of the atmosphere” (TOA) (as related to IR emissions) is cooler than the surface.” Yes, the details about what happens in between are fascinating if you are into those details — if not the only requirement is that there is indeed some lapse rate due to some cause. (There are a few little things in your (2) – (6) that I would have said a little differently, but at this point I am not going to quibble over those things).

    Could it be that you, me, and David actually agree now? 🙂

  75. Bryan says:

    As I suspected the believers in the Greenhouse Theory cannot present the evidence to support their conjecture.

    By failing to analyse even the simplest climate condition as I said above;

    “This night time neutral atmosphere is also the simplest condition to analyse.

    Perhaps some GHE believers like Tim or Trick would take this simple condition and show how the Radiative Transfer Equation solves energy transfer in the troposphere of a neutral atmosphere.

    Little or no convection would imply radiative transfer would be very significant yet it appears we can ignore it.
    What is left to Tim and Trick is to play around with someone else’s figures like the Trenberth 2009 data.

    Adding or subtracting the odd W/m2 from already dodgy figures.

    This seems to be more like a religious feeling.

    Even though they don’t understand it they still adhere to the conjecture.

    [co-mod: please don’t escalate toward a bun fight –Tim]

  76. Clive,

    You say: 99% of direct photons emitted within this band by the surface are absorbed within the first 8 km of the surface. However the energy contained within them can still diffuse upwards but only because of the lapse rate. This process is called radiative transfer.

    Not sure at all what you are saying here. If 99% of [direct??] photons emitted in the band are absorbed, that means they no longer exist. They have been anihilated and the KE energy budget has been increased accordingly. Thereafter, those molecules in the region of the atmosphere that shares out that KE (most of which are non-GHGs in the ratio 2000:1) certainly will ‘diffuse’ upwards by convection. But that process is definitely not called radiative transfer!

  77. Clive,

    You say:
    1. CO2 molecules absorb and emit IR between 13-17 microns. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere a surface at 288K would emit ~80 watts/m2 within this band assuming emissivity=1.

    7. If CO2 levels were to double to 600ppm and nothing else changed this would lead to about a 5 watts/m2 decrease in radiation within the 13-17 micron band. Hence the ~1.2 deg.C predicted temperature rise.

    In your step 7 you have made an assertion but without any explanation. And what you have asserted seems to me to be in direct contradiction to the analysis in my earlier comment (20 Dec at 9:52 am), where I suggested by logical argument (not assertion!) that CO2 molecules in the bulk of the atmosphere have two roles. The first role is exactly the same as that of the non-CO2 molecules, namely to act as carriers of KE. The second role is to (i) spontaneously emit photons, losing KE in the process; and (ii) to absorb (anihilate) photons, gaining KE in the process. Since in any particular local region of the atmosphere these two activities occur with exactly the same frequency, no overall gain or loss of KE occurs in that region so the ‘photon fog’ caused by the presence of CO2 molecules has no effect on that region’s temperature.

    Please elucidate the contradiction between my analysis and your assertion.

  78. Clive,

    You say:
    3. It is thermodynamics which determines the rate of CO2 radiative transfer. Each level in the atmosphere is roughly at a fixed (lapse rate) temperature and in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). CO2 molecules in any given layer obey Kirchoff’s law, absorbing and emitting equal amounts of IR in random directions. It is only because all the layers above are colder than all the layers below that there can be a net flux of IR photons upwards.

    My same question as previously. The differing temperatures between different layers of the atmosphere are macro statistical properties. At the individual molecular level, surely the up and down changes in KE, as the photons pass down and up respectively, cancel in the aggregate.

    If I am right, this would leave conduction/convection (as discussed in your point 4) as the only energy transfer mechanism.

  79. wayne says:

    It seems sometimes I am not explaining myself very clearly; maybe a quick and simple picture might get across my mental view of certain aspect of general atmospheres. I talk of “mean path length” or “absorption length” or “attenuation length” and no one engages and I scratch my head, why? Mean path length is usually speaking of the length between molecular collisions but in radiative transfers, the concept is the same. Maybe see wiki.

    Take a look at this, it seems important to me:

    I could be wrong but if you had to bet on either [1] the surface or [2] the tropopause as to which a photon on a random walk in the middle of the atmosphere would cross first, well, seems to me you better bet on the tropopause each and every time, are the odds not heavily stacked onto your side?

  80. clivebest says:

    David,

    Let me try and answer your points.

    You say: 99% of direct photons emitted within this band by the surface are absorbed within the first 8 km of the surface. However the energy contained within them can still diffuse upwards but only because of the lapse rate. This process is called radiative transfer.

    Sorry – you are right – this is not quite what happens. Photons from the surface passing through the atmosphere get absorbed by CO2 molecules according to Beer-Lambert’s law. For 13-17 microns the fraction of photons left after a distance ‘a’ is exp(-1.48*P*a), where P is the partial pressure of CO2 in Atmospheres (0.004*P). So 45% of them are absorbed in the first 100m above the surface. This supplies ~35 watts of energy to the first 100 m3 air column and is immediately thermalized. CO2 molecules throughout the atmosphere emit and absorb photons at the local temperature, and the direct photons from the surface are unimportant. The local temperature is defined by the lapse rate. The lapse rate is a thermodynamic property of atmospheres in a gravitational field as follows. Radiative transfer is dominated by thermal CO2 emissions.

    My favorite 1 line derivation of the lapse rate is : Take any parcel of air of mass m. Now lift it up a height dh. The P.E. increases by m.g.dh at the expense of internal heat dQ = – Cp.m.dT therefore dT/dh = -Cp/g therefore dT/dh = -g/Cp

    Since in any particular local region of the atmosphere these two activities occur with exactly the same frequency, no overall gain or loss of KE occurs in that region so the ‘photon fog’ caused by the presence of CO2 molecules has no effect on that region’s temperature.

    What you write here is correct for any particular local region. Each individual local region in the atmosphere is in local thermal equilibrium (LTE). Now divide the atmosphere up into 150 levels each of 100m depth then your assertion is also correct for each individual level. Kirchoff’s law says an equal number of photons are emitted as absorbed in each level

    At any level ‘n’ the number of photons going upwards is equal to all the photons from lower levels which make it through to level ‘n’ plus about half those from the current level. Likewise the number of photons going down is the sum of all those that make it through from those levels above ‘n’ plus half those emitted inside level ‘n’. Diagram here

    There are two subtle effects which depend on height. Firstly the pressure falls exponentially so according to Beers Lamberts law photons pass through far larger distances at high levels than they do at low levels – less are absorbed at high levels. The second effect is that the temperature falls linearly with the lapse rate so the number of photons emitted also falls as T^4.

    I wrote a simple program in PERL to calculate this. result here. There is also a spreadsheet written by Ken Gregory which does more or less the same calculation is available here. This is also where the figures I quoted in 1) and 7) come from.

    There is a net loss of heat through radiation by CO2 on Earth from all levels. Venus however is totally different because no CO2 radiation can pass through the atmosphere at all. It is 100% absorbed within 1 cm at the surface. So convection dominates heat flow through the atmosphere. So in this sense the radiative transfer of energy through the lower atmosphere may be a red herring. What matter most is the radiation loss from the top of the atmosphere

    So does the greenhouse effect exist ?
    Yes – but I think it should be called something else. Eventually the lapse rate stops decreasing
    because radiation losses to space eventually drain away the energy needed to keep convection going. This is the tropopause and its height depends both on the total barometric pressure and the presence of GHGs : CO2, H2O etc. The temperature of the tropopause is determined by energy balance with incoming solar radiation. The surface temperature is then fixed by the height of the tropopause.

    Increasing CO2 should raise slightly the tropopause if nothing else changes. However we already know that H2O reacts rapidly to any change in solar “forcing” so why should this be any different?.
    – More water content may reduce the lapse rate
    – Water content may reduce slightly in the upper troposphere lowering the tropopause .
    – Any tiny increase in clouds during the day or a small increase in clouds at night is also a game changer.

    The lack of any warming for the last 17 years is very significant and cannot just be brushed aside by the Met Office or anyone else. As far as the UK goes there has been zero change in temperatures since 1940. See this average of all UK and Ireland stations in Hadcrut4. Notice how 2011 was the coldest winter since 1947 !

  81. wayne says:

    Clive and David, both of you sounding pretty parallel to my views. You both are a rarity and this this type of explanation needs to be refined, simplified and “out there” if possible, so the masses can visualize why the IPCC is so wrong… that should finally clinch it.

  82. Stephen Wilde says:

    I agree with wayne, Clive and David.

    Just a matter of refining the narrative.

    I’ve had a go at doing so on my thread but I’m not yet fully satisfied. It may well be that the work done here will help bridge the gap between my verbal attempts and the maths.

  83. oldbrew says:

    wayne says: ‘so the masses can visualize why the IPCC is so wrong’

    Perhaps this would help.

  84. Bryan says:

    [co-mod: please don’t escalate toward a bun fight –Tim]

    I did not mean to be polemical.
    I have a genuine interest in finding out how the radiative transfer equations apply in the night time neutral atmosphere.
    It is the simplest case to study climatic effects.
    No solar radiation
    No convection
    Yet CO2 and H2O are radiating away as usual.
    Tim and Trick seem to be quite familiar with handling equations.
    I would be surprised if they did not examine the fundamental equations underlying radiative transfer.
    It could be quite educational for us all.

  85. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive says: “My favorite 1 line derivation of the lapse rate is : Take any parcel of air of mass m. Now lift it up a height dh. The P.E. increases by m.g.dh at the expense of internal heat dQ = – Cp.m.dT”

    I have seen this slightly mistaken conclusion different places by different people throughout this thread. Converting (PE) (thermal energy) is not QUITE what is happening. For one thing, Cp is the heat capacity at constant pressure, and the atmosphere is definitely NOT at constant pressure when you change altitude. (Nor is it at constant volume.)

    Lifting a parcel of air does basically ZERO net work on it, because the buoyant force equals the gravitational force when the atmosphere is in hydrostatic equilibrium..

    Instead, the parcel loses energy because it expands, doing PdV work on the air around it. By doing work, it will have less internal energy and will therefore cool.

    This means that Δ (thermal KE) = -Δ(mgh) is the wrong approximation.

    If my quick calculations are right, it should be
    Δ (thermal KE) = - (1/γ) Δ(mgh).
    which will lower various calculations by a factor of ~ 1/1.4.

    You all are welcome to confirm that.

  86. clivebest says:

    Tim,

    I know I shouldn’t have put in that one liner for the lapse rate ! Let’s try it again another way round. At the DALR no external work is needed to move a mass m of air up or down adiabatically so the total internal energy cannot change. So moving it up dh (an infinitesimally small pressure change).

    m g dh + m Cp dT = 0 (heat change DQ + potential energy change m g dh = 0)
    dT/dh = -g/Cp

    I think it is fine !
    Nick Stokes proposed this originally I think.

  87. Clive,

    Thanks for your detailed response.

    With respect to upward radiation emanating from the earth’s surface in the 13-17micron band, I have no problem with the idea that some of this radiation, facilitated by the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere, flows all the way up and is lost to space. Nor do I have a n issue with the fact that the proportion that reaches space is dependent on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. And nor do I have reason to dispute your calculations or those of Ken Gregory as to the actual fractional values involved.

    But I would hardly call this process ‘radiative transfer’, at least in the sense that warmists appear to use the term to mean a process that boosts the atmospheric temperature above what it would otherwise be. The process you describe does nothing of the sort. In fact any radiation that escapes that way to space is in effect bypassing the conduction/convection energy flow process, so is tending to reduce/i> the thermodynamic warming of the atmosphere.

    On the other hand, if it is really true that Trenberth and Kiehl have both agreed that the radiation that escapes through the earth’s “atmospheric window” should be around 63Wm-2, rather than their original figure of 40Wm-2, the consequence would be that their upwelling LR figure would be reduced from 356Wm-2 to 333Wm-2, thus exactly offsetting their downwelling figure. In such circumstances we would be able to say that the bulk of the atmosphere is entirely opaque to LW radiation from the surface, leaving only the KE route (conduction/convection and latent heat of vaporisation) to achieve energy balance for the earth system as a whole.

  88. Tim,

    On 20 Dec at 3:36 pm you say:
    But at the TOP of the tropopause, convection does NOTHING to transfer energy upwards. All that energy can only escape from the atmosphere via IR radiation from the GHGs. So we can’t ignore GHGs.

    Have I ever suggested we ignore GHGs? Have I not repeatedly said that they are essential at the TOA, where they act as a cooling agent, converting KE to radiation that is then lost to space?

    Likewise, they have a vital role in converting the Sun’s incoming photons that enter the atmosphere either directly, or indirectly via IR re-emission from the surface (if there does indeed turn out to be any net emission in the latter case!), to KE.

    You say:
    2) Suppose I suddenly remove 3/4 of the CO2 … now the “TOA” will be much lower, where it is much warmer, so the CO2 will emit MORE energy to space … This means there will be MORE convection induced to carry that extra heat upward. The more heat that gets carried away from the surface, the cooler the surface will be!

    It is true that, as you reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, it will be increasingly more likely that CO2 molecules will succeed in launching photons to space from lower levels than before. But it is a huge step from there to conclude that that this will result overall in a statistically significant additional rate of convection up the atmospheric column (and therefore a significantly lower surface temperature) commensurate with the percentage reduction in CO2 concentration. Can you justify this assertion in quantitative terms?

    Clue: there must be something wrong with your logic because, in the limit, if you go on and on reducing the concentration of atmospheric CO2, on your analysis you would go on iand on ncreasing the flow to space, until the flow becomes a maximum when you reach zero concentration of CO2, excatly the opposite of what we know to be the case!

    But I agree you have raised an interesting conundrum which is worthy of further consideration from all of us.

  89. wayne says:

    oldbrew, LOL, yes, that’s always a good one! A particle physicist turned me on to that a few years ago but it was my not-so-scientific-minded granddaughter that got the biggest laugh out of that one, she saw right through what it was saying in the rough. Not to bad for a ten year old to grasp that thought.

    An object’s own quantity of energy that is causing it to have a precise temperature cannot leave and return and affect that object’s own precise temperature by reflection of that same energy of any form or by any method (that is by radiation or by conduction).

    Such a refection of energy back onto itself by matter however can and will have a lowering of that surfaces “effective global emissivity” from afar for the reflecting matter does occupy space and area blocking from all directions so the surface can “see” less area to release energy out of and less of the surface will be visible from another point behind that reflecting matter in relation to the surface blocking and possible input from behind the reflecting matter. The two-sided-sword of physics. In radiation’s case this two-sided “visibility” is on a line-by-line basis.

    In the ovens case the reflecting matter is 100% reflective and covers all areas visible. Nothing in, nothing out, and an object cannot affect its own temperature.

    Sorry oldbrew, had to stop and add all of these words if I ever need them again! Great thread to stick them in. 😉

  90. Bryan says:

    Chandrasekhar developed the Radiative transfer equations for Stars and they are physically well founded.
    Ramanathan developed these equation to deal with planets.

    Are Stars and Planets similar?
    I can think of umpteen reasons why they are not.

    Gerlich&T think this is invalid and Joseph Postma agrees.
    Since G&T are theoretical Physicists and Postmas training is in Astrophysics they surely know what they are talking about.

    This is why an analysis of their use in the simplest of climate situations (the neutral atmosphere) should be quite educational.

  91. Tim Folkerts says:

    Clive, I suspect that “m g dh + m Cp dT = 0” has two idea that are each *almost* right that give the right answer in the end. In any case, it is hardly worth arguing about — we know the right answer is -g/Cp.

  92. Tim Folkerts says:

    wayne says: December 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm “oldbrew, LOL, yes, that’s always a good one!” [referring to the chicken in the “IPCC Oven”]

    Yes, that is good for a laugh. That image could be the subject of its own thread, since SO MANY people misunderstand it and how it applies to GHG’s. Maybe that should be a top post, and we could stop some of the abuse of radiative physics when people mis-apply that image to climate science.

  93. Tim Folkerts says:

    David says: ” Clue: there must be something wrong with your logic because, in the limit, if you go on and on reducing the concentration of atmospheric CO2, on your analysis you would go on iand on ncreasing the flow to space, until the flow becomes a maximum when you reach zero concentration of CO2, excatly the opposite of what we know to be the case!

    David, you almost got it ! But then you flipped something around in your head and come to the wrong conclusion!

    You say. “It is true that, as you reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, it will be increasingly more likely that CO2 molecules will succeed in launching photons to space from lower levels than before.

    Good. We agree!

    So if I magically remove 3/4 of the CO2, the flow of energy to space from the atmosphere increases. The immediate effect is to cause the atmosphere to cool. Instead of being 250 K @ 5 km up, it might be 240 K @ 5 km up (about the same # of photons are heading up, but fewer are coming down from above). But now we have increased the lapse rate! Among other things this increased lapse rate will make the atmosphere less stable and induce more convection, carrying more energy up from the surface to the atmosphere 5 km up to try to re-establish the normal lapse rate. This will cool the surface!

    Of course, EVENTUALLY a new equilibrium would be established. If the lapse rate stayed the same, then (with my completely hypothetical numbers), the surface would ALSO cool by 10 K, from ~ 288 K to ~ 278 K.

    * Radiation in the 15 um band to space has INCREASED
    ** The atmosphere has cooled overall

    * The ground has cooled overall
    ** The radiation OUTSIDE the 15 um band to space has DECREASED

    This is another seeming paradox that people struggle with. Removing CO2 INCREASES radiation in the 15 um band, but DECREASES radiation in other bands.

    In the limit of no CO2, the same is STILL true!
    * radiation INSIDE the 15 um band will increase to a maximum, until the “TOA” is also the “BOA” and both are at the ground level (which is sort of what you said).
    radiation OUTSIDE the 15 um bad will decrease to a minimum (in response to maintain equilibrium).

    The “cold TOA” and the “Warm ground” will converge to some intermediate value as CO2 (or other GHGs) are removed!

    [Of course. all sorts of OTHER feedbacks and changes might ALSO occur to modify the exact numbers, but the principle stand.]

  94. wayne says:

    TimF: Δ (thermal KE) = – (1/γ) Δ(mgh).

    Very close but I fear not quite right for an averaged Earth atmosphere. If you are going to stay in and idealistic adiabatic world it’s would be quite right.

    On Earth you must correct it, right at 0.67, but not a 0.67 correction to 1/γ but a 0.67 correction to 1-1/γ and then do the complement to get back. Sums to be 1-0.67(1-1/γ), simplifies to: 0.33+.67/γ — that will match what you see in nature, averaged that is.

    Instead of .71 it gives a .81 correction.

    ( just noticed I’ve used lambda instead of a preferred gamma all along for months never paying attention to the darn symbol, embarrassing. Now where did I pick that one up? Well, at least I’m consistent. 🙂 )

  95. TimF I would have thought that you know that around 14.8 micron wavelength that there is overlap with water vapor. Everything I have read indicates that wavelength is not used for the detection of CO2 on other planets but rather a wavelength at 4.2 micron which is very narrow and distinctive for CO2 (ie practically no overlap with other gases) see this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png (which is also on many other web sites and I believe came from NASA) this one maybe useful also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MODIS_ATM_solar_irradiance.png
    AS others have said any changes to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has an insignificant (unmeasurable) effect..

  96. Arfur Bryant says:

    Tim.

    [“So if I magically remove 3/4 of the CO2, the flow of energy to space from the atmosphere increases. The immediate effect is to cause the atmosphere to cool. Instead of being 250 K @ 5 km up, it might be 240 K @ 5 km up (about the same # of photons are heading up, but fewer are coming down from above). But now we have increased the lapse rate! Among other things this increased lapse rate will make the atmosphere less stable and induce more convection, carrying more energy up from the surface to the atmosphere 5 km up to try to re-establish the normal lapse rate. This will cool the surface!
    Of course, EVENTUALLY a new equilibrium would be established. If the lapse rate stayed the same, then (with my completely hypothetical numbers), the surface would ALSO cool by 10 K, from ~ 288 K to ~ 278 K.”]

    I know you are working with hypothetical numbers, but you seem to be imbuing those numbers with a significance not matched in the real world.

    According to you, reducing the CO2 from 400ppm to 100ppm would reduce the surface temperature by 10C. So, a concentration of 280ppm would give a surface temperature reduction of appx 4C lower than today (assumes linear relationship, but I’d be happy for you to work out a non-linear figure). So, in 1850, the global temperature at 280ppm would have been 3.1C lower than it actually was.

    Hence cementafriend is right to point out what lots of posts have been saying… There is no significant effect from CO2, which means that there is no significant ‘radiative’ effect to the GHE/AHE.

    This goes back to my very first question to you (what is the contribution of CO2 to the GHE?).

    The key – IMHO – to this whole debate lies with the comparison between what was occurring in 1850 (date chosen to reflect ‘accurate’ observed data) and what is occurring today. Esoteric discussions re emissivity and K&T are academically fascinating and enlightening (to me, anyway), and I am very grateful to David Socrates and Clive Best and others for them, but they don’t change the reality:

    The increase in nGHGs has NOT caused any significant change in ‘global temperature’ (as far as can be measured).

  97. With great respect Arfur there is no evidence that the CO2 level was at or near 280ppm in 1850. This level which is supposed to be a pre-industrial constant was a fiddled value by G S Callendar who left out any actual measured CO2 results (nearly all higher) which were not within 10% of his predetermined (guessed) value.
    I suggest that a more representative value in 1850 (from measured values by prominent chemists) is 330ppm as here http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/realCO2-1.htm (check the papers, presentations and references on other pages) I have actually measured CO2 with various instruments and in various situations. I can appreciate the thinking and data in the papers and presentations. I have checked many of the references including a number which are in German.

    AGW is a wide scam based on many false assumptions or even deliberate misrepresentation of data & theory (eg Mann’s Hockey stick graph, another is the Polar bear myth) Some of these false assumptions have been accepted by sceptics such as Lindzen giving them some measure of creditability.

  98. oldbrew says:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    “That image could be the subject of its own thread, since SO MANY people misunderstand it and how it applies to GHG’s.”

    Such a post already exists.

    http://climateofsophistry.com/2012/12/15/the-fraud-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect-part-6-the-stupidity-of-backradiation/

  99. Max™‮‮ says:

    So yeah, collecting my pictures and setting things up, but basically with this setup:

    2 styrafoam boxes, black trashbags for lining, two plastic bins, one with water, one without, two thermometers shielded from direct illumination (stuck to the lids which are leaned against the side so the thermometer doesn’t touch) like so: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0002_zps60ba4c21.jpg

    Illuminated like so (4x 60 Watt bulbs) for 30 minutes on/30 minutes off: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0027_zpse46af232.jpg

    Plus runs illiminated like so (2x 60 Watt bulbs) for 60 minutes on: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0026_zpsa29f6241.jpg

    Both had windows the same size covered with clear plastic of the same type: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0016_zps01dd2404.jpg

    One lid had vents for convection: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0015_zpscf898b32.jpg

    Both boxes had a freezer bag with a bottle of coke inside, one just fluffed out by hand and sealed with air in it, the other had the air sucked out with a straw, was shaken up, then allowed to inflate the bag with CO2: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0018_zps3624bb63.jpg

    I set the bags in so they shielded the plastic tray but did not block the top completely: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0011_zps7a672a13.jpg

    Closed them up and ran data collection, swapping boxes/thermometers/order to account for instrument error, thermometers were reset before each test to 72 degrees: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/HNI_0007_zpsf6e2fe74.jpg

    Wound up with these particularly interesting results:

    240 W runs, 30 mins on, 30 off:
    GHE on – GHE off
    –72——–72–
    –80——–84–
    –76——–79–

    120 W runs, 60 mins on:
    GHE on — GHE off
    –72———-72–
    –77———-79–
    –78———-80–

    Yes I did runs with mixed variables, convection+air+water, convection+CO2+dry, no convection+CO2+water, etc, etc. The hottest runs were no convection+water+air, CO2 by itself had run cool by a degree or so in several runs, but I could never nail the effect down conclusively, but the largest disparity in all the runs was that 240 W run with the 4 degree difference after 30 minutes, and 3 degrees after cooling.

    I had to run that with all the equipment reversed to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, same outcome.

  100. Arfur,

    I’m 100% behind what you are saying re. the ‘real world’ position on the influence of CO2 increase on world mean temperature (obviously negligible). It is astonishing that climate alarmism continues in the face of such glaring realities.

    On the other hand, to be fair to Tim Folkerts, he is engaging with us here in a narrower technical debate, always good humouredly and patiently. Whilst this may sometimes seem rather esoteric, is in my opinion hugely important for the following reasons.

    When Harry Huffman, Nikolov & Zeller and other skeptical scientists burst upon the scene with the first real challenging empirical evidence that CO2 was not a problem, even in principle, the loudest clamour of dissent came from people we have now come to describe as ‘luke warmists’ to distinguish them from hardline skeptics.

    If it can be established beyond reasonable doubt that CO2 does indeed cause warming in principle, but that this is more-or-less completely offset by negative feedbacks in practice, that will cut out a lot of wasted debate and will align all skeptics behind those ‘luke warmist’ professionals like Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer who are steadfastly battling away on evidential grounds.

    On the other hand, if the opposite happens, and we are able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of technically competent people (perhaps even including Tim Folkerts) that GHGs are not warming agents in the atmosphere, even in principle, then this could actually be much the fastest way to end the alarmist nonsense.

    Either way, it seems to me, it is win-win for mainstream climate skepticism. It’s just that one route might prove to be quicker than the other.

    That’s why we must plough on…

  101. oldbrew says:

    Max™‮‮ says:
    December 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    In the tests, what was the temperature of the water?

  102. Max™‮‮ says:

    It was room temperature, had been sitting out all night from previous tests with both tubs filled, then I emptied one.

    I didn’t always have water in so I didn’t check it directly, though I did do some tests with the thermometer almost submerged in a bag full of water and didn’t find too much variation. Was mostly looking at the temperature of the air inside of the boxes in this case.

    Would love to have some way to get a vacuum to compare the same general setup against.

  103. Stephen Wilde says:

    David,

    I remain of the the view that :

    i) IF,in principle GHGs have a net warming effect then negative system responses would deal with it for a net zero effect because temperature is controlled not by radiative characteristics but by mass, gravity and insolation

    ii) In fact I think that in principle GHGs have a net cooling effect because they make radiation to space easier and faster than with a non GHG atmosphere

    iii) But, either way GHGs are an irrelevance because they form such a small portion of atmospheric mass and it is mass which determines temperature and not composition.

    iv) Human emissions are such a tiny proportion of GHGs that they could never have a measurable effect anyway in the face of natural variability from sun and oceans interacting within the atmosphere.

    I think all those points should be pursued together and the ‘Slayer’ group should clearly come out with confirmation that there is a greenhouse effect but that it is due to mass and gravity subjected to insolation and nothing to do with so called greenhouse gases.

    Unfortunately the Slayer group or ‘hardline sceptics’ as you call them wrongfooted themselves early on by pronouncing against any greenhouse effect at all of any nature and that is what put them outside the mainstream and caused them to start using the pejorative term of ‘lukewarmists’ for those of us who accepted the long standing settled science that atmospheres do warm planets one way or another.

  104. oldbrew says, 22 Dec at 12:09 pm:

    Tim Folkerts says:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    “That image could be the subject of its own thread, since SO MANY people misunderstand it and how it applies to GHG’s.”

    Such a post already exists.

    http://climateofsophistry.com/2012/12/15/the-fraud-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect-part-6-the-stupidity-of-backradiation/

    In a sense I agree with Tim. Just because a lot of ignorant people have been stupid enough to claim that back radiation is the cause rather than the legitimate consequence of warming does not in itself prove that, once that idea had been debunked, CO2 is thereby not the cause of any warming. To assert that is lazy thinking. We have to look elesewhere for proof one way or the other, as we have been trying to do here and also on the other ‘Tim Folkerts’ thread.

    However out of curiosity I clicked on oldbrew’s link which turns out to point to one of Joe Postma’s many excellent articles. I found there the following paragraph which I think is highly relevant to the discussion with Tim (on the other thread) concerning the reason for the bite out of the absorption spectrum due to the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere:

    Many “believers” refer to the absorption spectrum of the Earth as observed from outer space: it has a “bite” out of it where CO2 scatters a portion of the outward energy. Let’s be very clear about this with a short physics lesson: an absorption spectrum is created when radiation from a warmer source is shone through a gas of colder temperature. Do you get that? Warmer radiation, from a warmer source, through a colder gas. Nowhere, in all of physics, in all of astronomy, in all of chemistry, is this colder gas said to be the cause of the higher temperature of the warmer radiation shining through it! This is only a pseudoscientific idea created by and for the pseudoscience of climate hyper-reality. Can radiative absorption in a gas increase the gases’ temperature? Why yes, of course! Is that absorption the cause of the radiation coming into it in the first place? Why no, of course not.

    Postma says there what several of us have been trying to say here: when you look at a dip in an absorption spectrum you are looking at the consequences of molecules of gas (CO2) absorbing photons and, subsequently, re-emitting photons in all directions, not just upwards. That bite in the spectrum tells you nothing, zero, zilch about whether or not the presence of CO2 molecules in an atmosphere is reponsible for elevating that atmosphere’s temperature.

  105. Bryan says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    “I think all those points should be pursued together and the ‘Slayer’ group should clearly come out with confirmation that there is a greenhouse effect but that it is due to mass and gravity subjected to insolation and nothing to do with so called greenhouse gases.”

    This is yet another version of confusion!

    A greenhouse effect which has nothing to do with greenhouse gases!

    We might as well have a phlogiston effect without the phlogiston.

    Or a Flat Earth Theory for spherical planets.

  106. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bryan.

    Is it your position that mass and gravity subjected to insolation do not cause the surface temperature of a planet with an atmosphere to rise above the temperature predicted by the S-B equation?

    Didn’t N & Z find just such an effect and call it the ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement’ ?

    And is that not why the surface of Venus is hotter than the surfaces of Earth or Mars ?

    I have been in contact with members of the Slayer group and they do now seem to accept the existence of a non radiative greenhouse effect.

    A simple announcement could bring them back within the mainstream.

  107. Bryan says:

    Stephen Wilde

    My ‘position’ is the Sun heats the Earth.
    A lapse rate is determined by density(gravity) and atmospheric gases
    The Earth surface heats the atmosphere and radiates to space.
    CO2 and H2O are IR active gases whose radiative effect can slow down heat loss from the Earth surface.
    But other heat transfer mechanisms are working in parallel so the actual radiative effects of CO2 are negligible.
    I do not think that CO2 drives the climate system and in conjunction with produces a 33K heating effect.
    I see no point whatsoever in getting everyone on the planet to agree that there is a greenhouse effect.
    The effect then is so loosely defined that it means nothing.

  108. Steven Wilde says 22 Dec at 3:18 pm: I think … the ‘Slayer’ group should clearly come out with confirmation that there is a greenhouse effect but that it is due to mass and gravity subjected to insolation and nothing to do with so called greenhouse gases.

    Steven, My recollection when I read the Slayers book is that it strongly argued that the atmosphere’s elevated temperature was wholly a consequence of mass and gravity subject to insolation and nothing else. Where did you get any other impression? [To expect them to rename it a ‘greenhouse effect’ is, however a bridge too far. What’s wrong with Nikolov & Zeller’s term ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement’ effect (ATE)?]

    You then say: Unfortunately the Slayer group or ‘hardline sceptics’ as you call them wrongfooted themselves early on by pronouncing against any greenhouse effect at all of any nature and that is what put them outside the mainstream and caused them to start using the pejorative term of ‘lukewarmists’ for those of us who accepted the long standing settled science that atmospheres do warm planets one way or another.

    This seems like a contradiction on your first suggestion above. If they didn’t claim the thermal enhancement of the atmosphere was a consequence solely of mass and gravity, and they didn’t claim it was due to CO2, then what do you think they did claim it was due to?

    Incidentally, my definition of a ‘luke warmist’ is different from yours. I would say it applies to a person who believes that the atmospheric thermal enhancement is indeed due to CO2 but that its effect is largely or completely offset by negative feedbacks (e.g. clouds, water vapour, etc.) that render it harmless. That as I understand it is the position of at least three eminent atmospheric scientists, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. I think that is a perfectly respectable skeptical position to take and is one that I personally would certainly be comfortable adhering to – except that I have yet to any proof of the CO2 effect that convinces me.

    So in the meanwhile, I adopt the position that GHGs cause no warming effect at all and that it is all down to ‘mass and gravity subject to insolation’. Tim Folkerts is doing his level best to try to persuade me otherwise. I am enjoying the debate.

  109. oldbrew says:

    Max™‮‮ says:
    December 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    ===

    Suppose there were 2 similar tests, one with water at 10C and the other at 25C. The amount of water vapour in the air should then be different, which might have an effect on the results? After all most of the so-called greenhouse effect is said to be due to water vapour not trace gases.

  110. Max™‮‮ says:

    Hell, the experiment I just posted about shows the difference between a “greenhouse” effect, and an actual greenhouse.

    The no-convection box is a little greenhouse, while the other box has the same properties regarding radiation in and out of the top, but it can also exchange air with the outside, because greenhouses block convection they get warmer than the outside air.

    Putting water and CO2 into the convecting box should have led it to track closer to the non-convecting box, if the presence of water vapor and CO2 in any way resemble a greenhouse… shouldn’t they?

    I suppose I forgot to include the reason why those temperatures were so interesting to me.

    Prior to the CO2+Water+Convection tests I had a set where I just had the boxes open and ran it, then added the lids and ran it.

    240 W runs, 30 mins on, 30 off:
    GHE on – GHE off
    –72——–72–
    –80——–84– <– 4 degree difference
    –76——–79–

    240 W runs, 30 mins on, 30 off:
    Conv on – Conv off
    –72——–72–
    –84——–85– <– 1 degree difference
    –78——–79–

    Without lids both boxes peaked at 85 after 30 minutes and both dropped to 77 at the end.

    _________________________________
    120 W runs, 60 mins on:
    GHE on — GHE off
    –72———-72–
    –77———-79– <– 3 degree difference
    –78———-80–

    120 W runs, 60 mins on:
    Conv on — Conv off
    –72———-72–
    –80———-80– 120 and 120 > 240, the bag had quite a bit higher CO2 than the room air, as it was filled exclusively by releasing pressure inside of a fresh and fizzy soda, not sure what value exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was higher than 400 ppm by a good amount.

    Water by itself had a more difficult to pin down effect, a degree or two at best, but less consistent, most likely because I didn’t control for the temperature of the water properly.

    Still, hard to figure out how that result says anything other than for this setup, CO2 seemed to cool the box it was in.

    Still sorting through the notebook I recorded data in, but yeah, I wasn’t quite expecting that much of an effect at all.

  111. Max™‮‮ says:

    Bottom got cut off.

    240 W runs, 30 mins on, 30 off:
    GHE on – GHE off
    –72——–72–
    –80——–84– <– 4 degree difference
    –76——–79–

    240 W runs, 30 mins on, 30 off:
    Conv on – Conv off
    –72——–72–
    –84——–85– <– 1 degree difference
    –78——–79–

    Without lids both boxes peaked at 85 after 30 minutes and both dropped to 77 at the end.

    _________________________________
    120 W runs, 60 mins on:
    GHE on — GHE off
    –72———-72–
    –77———-79– <– 3 degree difference
    –78———-80–

    120 W runs, 60 mins on:
    Conv on — Conv off
    –72———-72–
    –80———-80– 120 and 120 > 240, the bag had quite a bit higher CO2 than the room air, as it was filled exclusively by releasing pressure inside of a fresh and fizzy soda, not sure what value exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was higher than 400 ppm by a good amount.
    ——————————————————————————————————

    Oldbrew, I can set it up later and try the water at different temperatures, still got the boxes in the hall, had to clear them out of the bathroom, the woman didn’t like not having access for hours on end while I was gathering data.

  112. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bryan and David.

    I accept those clarifications.

    The only reservation I still have is that I’m sure that the phenomenon we all agree to be due to mass. gravity and insolation was known as the greenhouse effect prior to the modern usage which applies to greenhouse gases.

    You see, there is a large gap in my involvement between the 1960s when I pursued my interest in weather and climate freely and about 2008 when I re-entered the fray.

    During the interim I was preoccupied with raising a family and pursuing my legal career although I continued to watch. observe and think but I did not participate in, nor was I aware of, the developing theories involving radiatively active gases.

    So I have the clear recollection that at one time the greenhouse effect was generally known to be a consequence of mass. gravity and insolation. That was the settled science pre 1970 or thereabouts.

    I am as puzzled by the Slayer group’s non awareness of that as I am by the modern preoccupation with CO2.

    By virtue of that, the main claim to novelty in my work is to link the observed changes in climate to the competing effects of sun and oceans on the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere so as to produce climate zone and jet stream shifting.

    As far as I am concerned the reinstatement of mass, gravity and insolation as the only factors involved in setting the equilibrium temperature of planetary atmospheres is simply akin to a re-invention of the wheel.

    Doesn’t anyone have any old textbooks ?

    The internet seems to have been completely overrun by the later radiative theories, probably because it developed after those (incorrect) theories gained dominance.

  113. oldbrew says:

    Max

    Good effort, if you are able to try different amounts of water vapour, that might be interesting -either to show a difference, or no difference.

  114. oldbrew says:

    Re the definition of a greenhouse effect, the Wikipedia (= IPCC probably) version says:

    ‘The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface and the lower atmosphere, it results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases.’

    So that’s clearly a radiative greenhouse effect, as opposed to an atmospheric one. If the Slayers (for example) said they don’t believe in a ‘radiative greenhouse effect’ – or that even if there is one it nets to zero (day/night, high/low temps, etc.) – that might clear things up?

  115. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If the Slayers (for example) said they don’t believe in a ‘radiative greenhouse effect’ ”

    Yes that would be sufficient.

    I have had an exchange with Doug Cotton to that effect.

    The trouble is that very few (including me) have the time to read all the Slayer output just to discern the basic point so when they say there is no greenhouse effect or that the greenhouse effect is a fraud then they invite misunderstanding.

    They should always have stated explicitly that only the radiative GHE does not exist or is a fraud.

    The definition in Wikipaedia does not allow for the definition that I understood prior to the radiative theory becoming dominant.

  116. Bryan says:

    Stephen

    If you have grown up with the idea that the greenhouse effect is just a general term for the Earth being at a comfortable temperature I can understand your point of view.

    I grew up with the idea that it was entirely a radiative effect.

    The slayers are a mixed group.
    Some think that radiation cannot go from colder to hotter objects.
    Some have a conventional radiative exchange viewpoint.
    So they don’t even agree with themselves.

    What they have in common is a belief that CO2 does not drive the climate.

  117. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If you have grown up with the idea that the greenhouse effect is just a general term for the Earth being at a comfortable temperature I can understand your point of view.”

    Thanks.

    It was also a general term for describing why the denser atmosphere of Venus made the surface warmer than on Earth and why the thinner atmosphere of Mars made the surface colder than on Earth and why the giant gas planets generated more heat than they received from the sun.

    There was nothing complicated about it. Just a function of mass, gravity and distance from the sun.

    At least one, and possibly two, generations have been told something different and it is now embedded everywhere as a result of reliance on the internet, the destruction of old textbooks and the silence of old scientists (but there weren’t many back then).

    What we all had then and many of us have now is the knowledge that radiative characteristics of gas molecules have no effect on planetary temperatures.

    However, I take the view that composition can affect circulation changes that would have an effect on climate zone positioning and jet stream tracks but that is a negative system response that applies to all forcings that attempt to change the temperature including those from sun and oceans against which human emissions count for nothing.

    So I do take a small step beyond everyone else apparently.

  118. Stephen Wilde says:

    Here is a source that still gives due emphasis to pressure and atmospheric ‘thickness’ (which means mass rather than radiative characteristics)

    http://www.universetoday.com/35664/temperature-of-the-planets/

    It is due to pressure that the cores of large gas giants can get hotter than the surface of the sun. Radiation at top of atmosphere still matches solar input due to the top of the atmosphere being so cold but the core itself deep within the atmosphere radiates out to the rest of the atmosphere more energy than the top of the atmosphere receives from the sun.

    Eventually, gas balls out in space with hardly any solar input can grow to such a size with such a high core temperature that fusion processes begin which results in the birth of a sun.

    None of that is anything to do with radiative characteristics.Just mass and gravity.

    The same principles apply within the atmospheres of planets with even the thinnest atmospheres such as Mars.

    On planets with a solid surface beneath the atmosphere the temperature is set by mass, gravity and insolation alone with any deviations caused by radiative characteristics negated by circulation adjustments.

    This is all old science from pre 1980 but it appears not to have been taught in the basic science curricula.

  119. Arfur Bryant says:

    David,

    In reply to your:

    David Socrates says:
    December 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I agree with you! I have said several times here that Tim Folkerts has been a pleasure to debate with. It makes a very refreshing change and it is one of the reasons I find this blog (kudos tallbloke) one of the more comfortable arenas for discussion.

    Whilst I agree with what you say, I would also like to add that I have found your posts educating and rational. Thanks for that, and thanks to al those others who have made this thread so interesting. I am also nonplussed that many pro-cAGW commenters seem unable to face reality.

    As you say, plough on… 🙂

  120. wayne says:

    Stephen (12th 11:18 pm)

    Thanks for that link to that universetoday article Stephen, that was my point made earlier on the post with my name. Everyone homes in on the surface temperature and maybe, for good reasons, we should instead concentrate on the tropopause temperature and look downward, not bottom up. From that point downward, at that pressure downward, it is more evident that both the lapse rate and the pressure delta temperature profiles are more set by the gases components than any radiation effects, you can’t even explain the Venus/Earth huge differences at the surface by radiation but it is simple and near exact in thermodynamics. Now, do you have to modify that given rate away from the DALR, yes, on each planet, but they all seem to possibly have a common compensation factor, that is the common 2/3rd I stumbled upon. If that does have a dimensional tie, two axises horizontal, blocked by huge optical thicknesses laterally, one vertical toward space, optically clearer, then that 0.6667 seems so logical and may end up physically correct.

    If that one point is true, dimension effects, then this is one excellent way to measure any planet’s overall heat capacity ratio of the mixture of gases within their respective atmospheres. From there you can get the Cp, Cv and the effective degrees of freedom of the gas mixture. From an atmospheric astrophysics standpoint, that could be quite a leap.

  121. David S, Prof Richard Lindzen is highly respected and I give him credit for replying to emails (which basically said that he did not know the answer to my question about methane). I went on to ask him if he had ever had discussions with professors of the chemical engineering department at his university (MIT) where Prof Hoyt Hottel did such great work on radiation heat transfer. I mentioned Prof Janos Beer (http://www.eoearth.org/profile/Janos.beer), who I believe I had met in Holland years before and have his book (Combustion Aerodynamics written with the eminent Dr Norman Chigier-now Prof at Carnagie-Mellon Uni) on my bookshelf. He did not reply to that email. I just have the feeling that Prof Lindzen is not on top of the complexities of heat transfer (which is a chemical and mechanical engineering subject)

  122. Stephen Wilde says:

    “blocked by huge optical thicknesses laterally, one vertical toward space, optically clearer, then that 0.6667 seems so logical and may end up physically correct.”

    Sounds good to me 🙂

  123. oldbrew says:

    Wood’s 1909 greenhouse experiment: Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse

    http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html

    Connolley disagrees with one of Wood’s conclusions from the experiment, which is:

    ‘It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.’

    The details of the test are quite interesting.

  124. Tim,

    You said on 20 Dec at 3:36pm: Suppose I suddenly remove 3/4 of the CO2 … now the “TOA” will be much lower, where it is much warmer, so the CO2 will emit MORE energy to space … This means there will be MORE convection induced to carry that extra heat upward. The more heat that gets carried away from the surface, the cooler the surface will be!

    I replied on 21 Dec at 7:26pm: It is true that, as you reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, it will be increasingly more likely that CO2 molecules will succeed in launching photons to space from lower levels than before. But it is a huge step from there to conclude that that this will result overall in a statistically significant additional rate of convection up the atmospheric column (and therefore a significantly lower surface temperature) commensurate with the percentage reduction in CO2 concentration. Can you justify this assertion in quantitative terms?

    I haven’t hear back from you on that challenge for some quantitative data so here goes with my analysis…

    The concept you raise (less atmospheric CO2 causes a greater flow of energy to space) is counter-intuitive and, I suggest, plain wrong. You are making the assumption that because quanta of radiation lower in the atmosphere are on average larger (due to the higher temperature there) in some way this is going to increase the aggregate energy flow rate making for an easier passage to space. Actually the energy flow rate to space isn’t controlled by the top of the atmosphere but by the rate at which KE, flowing up the atmospheric column, becomes available for conversion to radiation. And that rate is fixed by the rate at which energy flows into the atmospheric system from the Sun.

    So for any given fixed KE flow rate up the atmospheric column, the upper atmosphere simply adapts to it, passing it on as radiation to space. Whether it does this using a smaller number of higher-energy photons emanating from slightly lower in the atmosphere, or a larger number of lower-energy photons emanating from slightly higher in the atmosphere, the energy flow rate will be the same – exactly what is required to clear the upwelling energy.

    In short, this is an input-driven system, dictated by the Sun’s constant rate of supply of radiant energy – not a system whose flow rate is regulated (throttled) by the output mechanism that converts the KE to radiation near the TOA.

    To use an electrical engineering analogy, I would say that the upper tropospheric conversion mechanism presents near-zero impedance to an up-flowing constant current source.

  125. Oldbrew says 23 Dec at 1:09 pm.

    Well I think Wood was absolutely correct and Connolley is wrong. As this thread and others has uncovered, the atmospheric window is almost certainly somewhat larger than Trenberth’s original 40Wm-2 figure and that brings the upwelling and downwelling radiation figures neatly into balance. So it’s very likely that there’s no net upward radiation at all into the bulk of the atmosphere (in the bands captured by GHGs).

    It looks increasingly likely that the whole energy flow up the atmosphere is kinetic as Wood discovered and that radiation indeed has little or no effect on the atmospheric temperature profile.

  126. Max™‮‮ says:

    Haven’t had a chance to reset the experiment, Oldbrew, but I did get the paper covering the experiment done and turned in all set up for grading: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/view.php?id=5332990&da=y

  127. clivebest says:

    Just heard yet again on Radio 4 how we must invest many billions more to upgrading existing flood defenses in order to adapt to future climate change !

    This is nonsense – the UK climate has not changed in 360 years ! – see Any AGW signal in UK temperature data ? – Nope !

    We just need to stop building houses in flood planes, and plan for past flood levels – not future ones ! I even have 2 in of water in my cellar !

    Happy Christmas !

  128. wayne says:

    Clive, just noticed something you said at December 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm:

    “At the DALR no external work is needed to move a mass m of air up or down adiabatically …”

    Doesn’t that also mean that at the ELR (6.5), ‘x’ additional energy, above the 9.8 K/km, must be present at the surface before ‘no external work is needed to move a mass m of air up or down’? The ‘external work’ usually coming from solar surface heating? I’m still looking for why it is 9.8 – 6.5 or 3.3 K/km for Earth and which equation would convert this to joules or watts/m2 at the surface necessary to kick off positive convection.

    Probably it’s just still too early in the morning! 🙂

    Maybe go through the heat capacity of air at the surface, the bottom cubic meter? Trying to compute a close estimate to Trenberth’s 17 wm-2 thermals figure, they must be related in some manner for if you do not have enough energy present convection will never occur in a stable atmosphere and ours is definitely not (averaged, long term) and there is an amount of window radiation cooling that this must also overcome.

    Maybe there is an easier way to approach this.

  129. Arfur Bryant says:

    wayne and clive…

    For what its worth, and I may be just jumping in mid-chat, but the DALR (or SALR in the case of saturated air) has no external energy transfer implications whilst the air is rising or falling, but there needs to be a ‘trigger’ to start the movement in the first place. This trigger can be mechanical, as in wind forcing a parcel of air over a mountain range, thermal (air over a hotter-than-surrounding surface rising convectively), or air-mass changes. The adiabatic LR only comes into play for a discrete parcel of disturbed air.

    That’s my take anyway… 🙂

    Season’s greetings to all on this site.

    Arfur

  130. Max™‮‮ says:

    Sorry Oldbrew, didn’t have the link set to share.

  131. oldbrew says:

    Max – note your link says CO2 appeared to cause a slight cooling, opposite of what was expected. After all they do use a form of CO2 in fire extinguishers 🙂

  132. Tim Folkerts says:

    David suggests: “Actually the energy flow rate to space isn’t controlled by the top of the atmosphere but by the rate at which KE, flowing up the atmospheric column, becomes available for conversion to radiation. And that rate is fixed by the rate at which energy flows into the atmospheric system from the Sun.

    You are still missing an important concept here. There are TWO way for the energy to leave the earth:
    1) P(atm) = power flowing out of the atmospheric system = power flowing into the atmospheric system = “the rate at which KE is flowing up the atmospheric column”. [And again, I think “KE” is a little restrictive, since the upward flow includes latent heat & thermal radiation, but that is a minor semantic point.]
    2) P(surface) = power flowing directly from the surface to space without ever getting converted to “KE” in the atmosphere = thermal IR created by the surface that flows through the ‘atmospheric window’.

    You seem to be implying that
    P(sun) = P(atm),
    but in fact
    P(sun) = P(atm) + P(surface).

    So it is the SUM of these two that must adjust, not one or the other!

    “Whether it does this using a smaller number of higher-energy photons emanating from slightly lower in the atmosphere, or a larger number of lower-energy photons emanating from slightly higher in the atmosphere, the energy flow rate will be the same – exactly what is required to clear the upwelling energy. “
    Thermal radiation doesn’t work this way. Warmer CO2 will emit MORE photons in the 15 um band (and in any other bands as well) compared to cooler CO2. Thermal radiation is not going to adjust the way your are hypothesizing. (Lest I be accused of “2 dimensional thinking”, yes the surface area will be slightly larger when emitting from higher altitudes, but this will not counterbalance the T^4 factor as the temperature changes.)

    So what will happen is that the warmer CO2 (located lower in the atmosphere if we remove much of the CO2) will indeed emit more power than the cooler CO2 (located higher in the atmosphere with our current higher levels of CO2), so P(atm) increases. If P(sun) is constant, then in order to maintain

    P(sun) = P(atm) + P(surface)

    we must have P(surface) decrease. Perhaps the most obvious and intuitive way for the power from the surface to decrease is for the temperature to decrease so the atmosphere will emit less thermal IR.

    Everything else being equal, less CO2 in earth’s atmosphere = cooler surface.

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

    At this point the discussion of feedbacks can begin …

  133. clivebest says:

    Wayne wrote:
    “Doesn’t that also mean that at the ELR (6.5), ‘x’ additional energy, above the 9.8 K/km, must be present at the surface before ‘no external work is needed to move a mass m of air up or down’? The ‘external work’ usually coming from solar surface heating? I’m still looking for why it is 9.8 – 6.5 or 3.3 K/km for Earth and which equation would convert this to joules or watts/m2 at the surface necessary to kick off positive convection.”

    As I understand it the moist adiabatic lapse rate is caused by the condensation of water as the temperature of rising damp air at some height temperature falls below the dew point. This releases latent heat into the surrounding air and reduces the lapse rate. The ELR is some globally averaged value covering high humid areas as well as deserts. The lapse rate at any given place is changing dynamically on an hourly basis. As the sun warms the surface in the morning this increases the lapse rate and convection starts. Evaporation and cloud formation will kink the lapse rate and when it becomes unstable, such that rising moist air finds warmer air above then thunderstorms ensue.

    The DALR represents a perfectly stable atmosphere but it can’t last long. The atmosphere loses heat to space by GHGs and heated from the ground both acting to steepen the lapse rate. Convection then acts to restore it. Convection carries water vapour upwards releasing heat as it condenses above the dew point. So the real ELR is an ever changing dynamic which reflects the complexity of everyday weather.

  134. Max™‮‮ says:

    Max – note your link says CO2 appeared to cause a slight cooling, opposite of what was expected. After all they do use a form of CO2 in fire extinguishers 🙂” ~oldbrew

    Well, the link was written by me, and yeah, I didn’t expect it to be 3 to 4 degrees difference, though CO2 puts out fires because it’s heavy and displaces oxygen, smothering the flames.

  135. Bryan says:

    clivebest says:

    “The DALR represents a perfectly stable atmosphere but it can’t last long. ”

    It can last a bit longer than you think.

    Read page 31 about the residual layer.

    This is a near neutral or DALR atmosphere and is quite common at night

    Click to access ch2_brasseurjacob_Jan11.pdf

  136. oldbrew says:

    Max – CO2 leaves the empty(ing) canister so cold you can get frostbite by touching it.

    http://www.ehow.com/about_6387577_carbon-dioxide-used-fire-extinguishers_.html

  137. Max™‮‮ says:

    Yeah, but you can just pour CO2 onto a fire without pressurizing it if you have enough, it’ll smother a flame pretty well just by displacing the oxygen needed to keep burning. The cans deliver it quickly and in large quantities, that it is cold is just a bonus, it would still work about the same even if it wasn’t as cold.

  138. Tim,

    You say: Thermal radiation doesn’t work this way. Warmer CO2 will emit MORE photons in the 15 um band (and in any other bands as well) compared to cooler CO2. Thermal radiation is not going to adjust the way your are hypothesizing.

    Mmmm… all you have done is to repeat your original assertion without justifying it. That doesn’t get us very much further does it? If you believe that “Thermal radiation doesn’t work this way” how about explaining the physics behind it in terms that will demonstrate that I am wrong in my assumption that it behaves like blotting paper, converting to radiation whatever KE is delivered to it up the atmospheric column. I would be really interested.

  139. wayne says:

    David Socrates: “… converting to radiation whatever KE is delivered to it up the atmospheric column. I would be really interested.”

    I agree. Really interesting. That’s what’s going through my mind the last couple of days. Since it seems radiation due to short absorption paths, that is the optical thickness much greater than one for GHG lines, just how is the surface energy transferred upward at an acceptable rate? The PV in PV=nRT is the KE, energy units, always keeping V as one cubic metre, it’s 101325 J/m3 at surface, 22700 J/m3 at 11 km so we know the energy density gradient also. So what’s the tie? Can’t seem to grasp it yet. If the top (> 11 km) 33 cubic meters of each column can radiate to space a net 7 to 8 W/m3 or some smooth combo that is a sufficient rate, but that needs some verification of its ability at that density. Might need to be closer to 66 m^3 radiating about 3.5 W/m3 net to space or even further into the stratosphere.

    We might just look for something close to begin with but still real.

    ( The equation used to get the resident energy density is KE/m^3 = PV = nRT or for surface:
    288.15*‹R›*(1.225/0.0289644) = 101325 J/m^3, in other words it is parallel with the pressure of one cubic meter )

  140. Tim Folkerts says:

    David asks: “If you believe that “Thermal radiation doesn’t work this way” how about explaining the physics behind it in terms that will demonstrate that I am wrong in my assumption that it behaves like blotting paper, converting to radiation whatever KE is delivered to it up the atmospheric column.

    I’m not sure just where to start with this .. so let me give a couple short answers and we could go from there.

    * The maximum power that can be radiated at any wavelength is limited by Planck’s Law, which is highly temperature dependent. The BB radiation at any wavelength is greater for a warm object than for a cooler object.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_law

    * Objects’ ability to emit thermal IR is the same as their ability to absorb IR.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchhoff%27s_law_of_thermal_radiation

    * For a deep enough column of CO2 (a few 100 m perhaps), the radiation within the 15 um band is pretty close to “black” — ie all 14-16 um photons get absorbed. This means that the gas must also emit in that band as a black body.

    Taken together, these say that the power emitted by CO2 in the 15 um band is larger for warmer CO2 than for cooler CO2.

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

    At this point the question becomes “does the KE being carried up determine the TOA radiation or does the TOA radiation determine the KE being carried up?”

    If the first is true (which you seem to support), then the “TOA” will always be the same temperature in order to radiate the same power — with the surface is remaining the same temperature to keep the same KE moving up through the atmosphere. But since the TOA would be lower (after removing much of the CO2), then the lapse rate would have to be much larger!

    I would suggest that this is not physically reasonable. Convection would increase to try to return the lapse rate back to the original value. This will carry more energy upward, warming the TOA and cooling the surface.

  141. Tim Folkerts says:

    Max Wayne Says: “The PV in PV=nRT is the KE, energy units …
    No, the KE for an idea gas monatomic gas is 3/2 nRT, so PV = 2/3 KE.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_theory#Temperature_and_kinetic_energy

    For molecules, there would also be thermal energy in the vibrations and rotations, so those energy stores would also have to be considered.

  142. Tim Folkerts says:

    Oops .. I mis-attributed that last comment.

    It was WAYNE who said “The PV in PV=nRT is the KE, energy units … “

  143. Arfur Bryant says:

    Lapse Rates.

    ELR = Environmental Lapse Rate
    DALR = Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate (3 deg C per 1000ft)
    SALR = Saturated Adiabatic lapse Rate (1.5 deg C per 1000 ft in lower atmosphere)

    The ELR is local, not global. It can change over a few miles or it can be widespread if there is a large homogenous air mass (such as an anticyclone). The ELR can be viewed from the results of a radiosonde balloon being released. It IS the actual lapse rate of the atmosphere (environment) at that location.

    The DALR/SALR are, essentially, global lapse rates. They only apply to discrete parcels of air which have been displaced vertically from their original location. Once they have been displaced, the parcels of air cool or warm at the DALR or SALR. The difference between S and D is that, when the air is saturated, any adiabatic cooling (rising air) is offset within the parcel of air by latent heat of condensation. There is NO energy transfer to the surrounding air outside the parcel.
    The reason why the SALR is 1.5 deg C/1000ft at lower levels is that the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere reduces at higher levels, so the SALR gradually becomes the DALR.

    The effect of D/SALR versus the ELR gives rise to the stability of the local atmosphere. The stability dictates whether or not the displaced parcel will continue its vertical motion or will return to its original starting point. The crossover between the D and SALR is dictated by the local Relative Humidity – ie, when the air becomes saturated. At that point, cloud will form (cloudbase).

    I hope this clarifies

  144. wayne says:

    TimF, I stand corrected. PV = 2/3 KE or KE = 3/2 PV = nR(3/2)T. Seems I should have said proportional to instead of equal.

    Hmm… 2/3.

    Thanks.

    So since it is the KE that actually supports an atmosphere against gravity, in one sense, it requires 3/2 the temperature, but that is what you see when comparing a planet such as Earth with no atmosphere at 192.1 K (Nikoloz & Zeller) correct mean surface temperatures.

    So with an atmosphere you absolutely need 3/2 boost to the temperature or 3/2 × 192.1 K = 288.15 K so the actual KE is there to support the column’s mass.

    I think I see what you are saying Tim, so, if you want to know the actual temperature gradient in relation to the dP (Δ pressure) you must reduce the exponent by 2/3 to get the natural pressure to temperature Poisson relationship.

    And when related to one planet’s gravitational field, you get the natural environmental lapse rate (ELR).

    The KE macroscopically is set by the component molecule’s mass and the degrees of freedoms (heat capacity ratio).

    Just to think, it may have been Tim Folkerts that pointed the way without even realizing it.

    (now to check all of the interconnecting derivations)

  145. wayne says:

    That does also bring to mind why that relation applies so perfect for a planet if it has a surface pressure of 1 atm. and not for Venus with a surface pressure of 92 atm.

    However, if you take that 191.1 K and adjust it for Venus’s closer orbit you get 192.1 K × 1.173 or 225.3 K. Now apply the 3/2 and you have 338 K for an equivalent Earth’s atmosphere if at Venus’s orbit and that is what Harry Dale Huffman pointed out. Apply the exponent to the 2/3 of Poisson and you end up right back at the 735 K surface temperature. Interesting.

    Seems by a little of backward dimensional analysis these SI units are as if they had been invented by some humans on Earth. 😉

  146. tallbloke says:

    Sounds good Wayne. Might we have a new post coming up for this?

  147. wayne says:

    tallbloke, very possibly. I would like to trace this entire line through the derivations of quite a few relationships to make sure there is not a catch somewhere. I’m still a bit foggy on this myself.

    Some other comments would be great whether anyone else can really see this curious circle of inter-relations or even part of it. It seems so far few even have followed it which causes me to pause, rightfully so, I like to test the limb before I crawl out onto it. (seems always easier to just refute yourself first)

    This is a new branch of logic so give me a moment to explore it.

  148. suricat says:

    wayne says: December 30, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Good response wayne. I thought I’d dropped a post somewhere here in this thread, but it seems I’ve not participated here until now.

    Give a thought to the KE EM ‘energy interface’ at TOA (at whatever altitude).

    On a/n ‘LBL’ (line by line) basis, a bright spectrum of KE (from inside of Earth’s system) indicates an energy ‘frequency’ (wavelength) that finds it difficult to pass through the interface. Thus, this energy frequency is ‘reflected’ back into the KE ‘melting pot’ and not/negligibly to ‘space’.

    On the other side of the coin. An EM frequency observed to be ‘bright’ (from outside of Earth’s system), by LBL basics, indicates that a ‘window’ for energy from KE to pass energy through the ‘KE EM energy interface’ to the EM energy field, and to space, exists.

    F Miskolczi is the first name I come up with for a 2/3 relationship with regard to ‘tau’. I can mail him with your enquiry if you want this. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  149. suricat says:

    To all who read my posts here.

    suricat says: December 30, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Isn’t what I ‘posted’! 🙂

    The ‘format’ and ‘inclusions’ have been ‘altered’ from the ‘paste’ I made from an “Open Office 3” ‘Text Document’!

    Although the ‘basic content’ is only marginally compromised, this makes me question the extent of my participation here TB!

    Ray.

  150. wayne says:

    Absolutely suricat. Whatever Dr. Miskolczi would have to say on that subject would be very enlightening. In his paper (2007, I’m pretty sure) where he mentions the 1/3 greenhouse factor he also refs Ramanathan’s paper from CERES (or maybe AIRS) that contains the same 1/3 factor and I could never quite grasp it’s framing. It’s a wild guess that this has a tie to the meaning of the 2/3 that keeps popping up, like 1-1/3.

    BTW, before you suspect this site maybe first suspect WordPress, they do some strange things to particular formatting that doesn’t fit in their framework. My pet peeve is at some point about a year ago they all of a sudden dropped support for the ‘sub’ and ‘sup’ tags and many ‘pre’ areas no longer use a mono-spaced font which makes them basically useless. I use Word and any special formatting gets totally dropped when posted, frustrating.

  151. RACookPE1978 says:

    Bookmarked.

    Slightly off(the newly-tangential-but-very-interesting) topic of total planet emissivity and radiation into space, but I will bring it up anyway. 8<)

    I am trying to compare the total energy balances of 1 meter square ice-covered Arctic water and open-ocean Arctic water at various latitudes for various days-of-the-year, considering the actual solar elevation angle for hour of the day each day of the year at each latitude. I am confident of the input energy through the atmosphere, atmospheric losses (air mass calc's), and direct radiation calc's. Indirect are a bit more difficult, but are apparen;t manageable.

    The net result is that losing a square meter of ice in the Arctic from today's ice edge extents in September cools the planet, but gaining a square meter of ice in the Antarctic at the same time also cools the planet. Not exactly the Arctic amplification we keep hearing about is it?

    Last part is figuring the heat losses from each square meter of surface: As I see it, that would require calculating the 24 hour heat loss by radiation (into space or some "average" clouds value), conduction into the air, and evaporation, right?

    Emissivity for ice is usually reported as 0.966 for smooth ice, 0.985 for rough ice.
    For "water" (salt water is apparently assumed the same as laboratory "pure water" = 0.950

    Thus, it appears:

    Radiation losses. Thus, with the emissivity values of ice and water so nearly the same, are not both radiating equally into the actual absolute temperature of clouds or "black" space each day and each night? Thus, would not the heat losses for an ice-covered surface from radiation would be the same as from a square meter of open water over the same 24 hour period?

    Evaporation losses. In contrast, a square meter of open water would lose 107 watts/meter/hour into the atmosphere by evaporation, but that energy is retained in the water if ice covers the water.

    Conduction losses. If the air speed and air temperature each "day" is assumed the same, then conduction losses from open water at +2 C to air at near-freezing (between +3 and -3 C) would be nearly equal to conduction losses from ice at that same temperature into air, right? or should the hypothetical 1 meter of ice be assumed cooling down to air temperature, but the water under that 1 meter be "about constant" at +2 C ? Or does it matter at all?

  152. Suricat says: Give a thought to the KE EM ‘energy interface’ at TOA (at whatever altitude). On a/n ‘LBL’ (line by line) basis, a bright spectrum of KE (from inside of Earth’s system) indicates an energy ‘frequency’ (wavelength) that finds it difficult to pass through the interface. Thus, this energy frequency is ‘reflected’ back into the KE ‘melting pot’ and not/negligibly to ‘space’. On the other side of the coin. An EM frequency observed to be ‘bright’ (from outside of Earth’s system), by LBL basics, indicates that a ‘window’ for energy from KE to pass energy through the ‘KE EM energy interface’ to the EM energy field, and to space, exists.

    Suricat, I am not sure I understand any of that! I too am currently giving much thought to the “KE-EM” interface at the ToA. You may have seen my dialogue with Tim Folkerts on whether that interface behaves like blotting paper, soaking up whatever KE emerges by convection up the atmospheric column (my proposition); or whether it acts as a throttle, controlling the rate of energy flow to space (Tim’s proposition).

    Either way, though, my ‘model’ of what goes on at the KE-EM interface is as follows.

    1 The non-GHGs continuously share their KE with the GHGs at the ToA by normal kinetic diffusion.

    2. As the GHGs continually radiate to space, losing KE in the process, they are continually replenished with KE from the non-GHGs.

    Simple, straightforward, and easy for everybody to understand.

    So what’s all this about “energy frequencies” that find it difficult to escape and are therefore “reflected back into the melting pot”? As for your last sentence…sorry no compute at all!

    If different from what I have described, I would be grateful for a plain language translation of what you think the mechanism is.

    Thanks!

  153. Max™‮‮ says:

    Suricat is saying that there is what you could think of as a potential barrier for the interchange between kinetic energy and EM radiation, when you look up from the ground what you see coming back towards you are wavelengths where the potential barrier is too high for emission to space.

    When you look down from space the wavelengths you see are those where the potential barrier for emission was not too high, and the gaps in the spectrum are where energy was instead redistributed among other lines and other modes of vibration.

  154. RACookPE1978 says:

    I don’t really like Wikipedia as a source because of its internalized bias, but this is from that website:

    Within this layer, temperature increases as altitude increases (see temperature inversion); the top of the stratosphere has a temperature of about 270 K (−3°C or 29.6°F), just slightly below the freezing point of water.[2] The stratosphere is layered in temperature because ozone (O3) here absorbs high energy UVB and UVC energy waves from the Sun and is broken down into atomic oxygen (O) and diatomic oxygen (O2). Atomic oxygen is found prevalent in the upper stratosphere due to the bombardment of UV light and the destruction of both ozone and diatomic oxygen. The mid stratosphere has less UV light passing through it, O and O2 are able to combine, and is where the majority of natural ozone is produced. It is when these two forms of oxygen recombine to form ozone that they release the heat found in the stratosphere. The lower stratosphere receives very low amounts of UVC, thus atomic oxygen is not found here and ozone is not formed (with heat as the byproduct)[verification needed]. This vertical stratification, with warmer layers above and cooler layers below, makes the stratosphere dynamically stable: there is no regular convection and associated turbulence in this part of the atmosphere. The top of the stratosphere is called the stratopause, above which the temperature decreases with height.

    ……

    Therefore, if temperature IS changing with radiation levels, radiation type, radiation energy, radiation bandwidth, and radiation absorption INSIDE the stratosphere with respect to height and absorptive gas concentration (UV-A, CO2, IR, UV-B, ozone, etc.) then ….

    Isn’t all radiation effects on the earth – and from the earth – interacting within the stratosphere?

    That is, should not ALL radiation energy exchanges between the earth’s surface and space be studied as a function of a four-way energy exchange between:
    the sun and the stratosphere,
    the stratosphere and the “top-of-ground-and-sea”,

    …. (heating effects and absorption and re-radiation occurs here) ….

    the “top-of-ground-and-sea” and the stratosphere, and then
    the stratosphere and “deep space” ?

    —-

    By the way, what happens to that 35% of the inbound solar radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere before hitting the ground, but which Trenberth conveniently ignores thereafter?

    Is it eaten by trolls? Disappear into a black hole? 8<)

  155. suricat says:

    wayne.

    I’ve sent a mail to Ferenc with the title of “’Inverse’ of ‘g’ derivation by SI Units?”. This is the mail content:-

    “Hi Ferenc,
    I’ve been following a thread on Tallbloke’s Web Site and seen something that may be of interest to you. See Here;

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/#comment-39496

    and #comment-39499

    Thinking that you may have some interest in the subject of an ‘inverse’ ‘g’ factor, I offered to mail you with the ‘poster’s’ (wayne’s) enquiry. This follows:

    “Whatever Dr. Miskolczi would have to say on that subject would be very enlightening. In his paper (2007, I’m pretty sure) where he mentions the 1/3 greenhouse factor he also refs Ramanathan’s paper from CERES (or maybe AIRS) that contains the same 1/3 factor and I could never quite grasp it’s framing. It’s a wild guess that this has a tie to the meaning of the 2/3 that keeps popping up, like 1-1/3.”

    Whilst your discussion within the thread would be, I’m sure, greatly appreciated by all. I feel quite able to relay any message that you may have for the poster if you feel unable to participate there.

    Kindest regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).”

    I’m sceptical that the link I made to the site will be active to the point of wayne.

    I’ve sent a mail to Ferenc with the title of “’Inverse’ of ‘g’ derivation by SI Units?”. This is the mail content:-

    “Hi Ferenc,
    I’ve been following a thread on Tallbloke’s Web Site and seen something that may be of interest to you. See Here;

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/#comment-39496

    and #comment-39499

    Thinking that you may have some interest in the subject of an ‘inverse’ ‘g’ factor, I offered to mail you with the ‘poster’s’ (wayne’s) enquiry. This follows:

    “Whatever Dr. Miskolczi would have to say on that subject would be very enlightening. In his paper (2007, I’m pretty sure) where he mentions the 1/3 greenhouse factor he also refs Ramanathan’s paper from CERES (or maybe AIRS) that contains the same 1/3 factor and I could never quite grasp it’s framing. It’s a wild guess that this has a tie to the meaning of the 2/3 that keeps popping up, like 1-1/3.”

    Whilst your discussion within the thread would be, I’m sure, greatly appreciated by all. I feel quite able to relay any message that you may have for the poster if you feel unable to participate there.

    Kindest regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).”

    I’m sceptical that the link I made to the site will be active to the definition of your actual ‘post’, but I’m sure Ferenc will be able to navigate to this thread and read ‘what’s here’ (in ‘wayne’s name’) at least.

    “BTW, before you suspect this site maybe first suspect WordPress, they do some strange things to particular formatting that doesn’t fit in their framework.”

    Yes, I’m sure this is what happened. Though it doesn’t bode well for one’s confidence on a realistic outlet for ‘true speech’ (that’s a good one, it’s really ‘true script’). 🙂

    Thanks for your link tchannon. Did I really write those posts there? Don’t answer that! Life has its ‘learning curve’, no matter what part of the ‘curve’ you look at. 😉

    Max.

    “Suricat is saying that there is what you could think of as a potential barrier for the interchange between kinetic energy and EM radiation”

    Thanks for your interpretation Max. I seem to need to brush up on my communication skills for ‘windows’. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  156. suricat says:

    Well!!!!!!

    That post was absolutely ‘CRAP’ !!! It was pasted directly from Microsoft’s ‘Note Pad’!

    TB! Get a ‘grip’ on your ‘site provider’. Sheesh. How can I inhabit this place! Don’t get me wrong, I do want to.

  157. Max™‮‮ says:

    Windows… you mean that virus which comes on PC’s sometimes?

    >.>

    Why would you mess with that? My main system has been pure linux for a couple of years, I think I had a nasty windows 7 starter infection on the netbook I gave to the gf, but I killed it and put Peppermint OS on it, well, I put Pinguy Netbook on first, later tried JoliOS, and had some success with Bodhi as well, I would recommend Bodhi and Peppermint for lower power systems, and Pinguy is a great “my first linux”, but I’ve been using Ubuntu 12.10 and see no reason to stop.

  158. wayne says:

    suricat, not so sure if you are aware of the related thread https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/wayne-jackson-new-identity-linking-meteorological-phenomena/ . My comment of the 1-1/3 or 2/3 ties directly into that curiousity I found by mistake. If you haven’t read the comments there you might skim those, especially when we tried to extend that modified potential temperature equation to Jupiter via the Galileo probes data.

  159. RACookPE1978 says: By the way, what happens to that 35% of the inbound solar radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere before hitting the ground, but which Trenberth conveniently ignores thereafter? Is it eaten by trolls? Disappear into a black hole?

    If you are looking at the latest Trenberth 2009 diagram, the energy flows (in Wm-2) through the atmosphere balance within a couple of watts. Yes, there is a 1Wm-2 arithmetical error in the atmospheric in-out balance. And yes, there is a 0.9Wm-2 discrepancy in the surface balance, which he attributes to “net absorbed”.

    There’s nothing wrong with Trenberth’s flow rate work, it’s the best published information available.

    Try checking your maths again!

  160. Max says: Suricat is saying that there is what you could think of as a potential barrier for the interchange between kinetic energy and EM radiation, when you look up from the ground what you see coming back towards you are wavelengths where the potential barrier is too high for emission to space.

    When you look down from space the wavelengths you see are those where the potential barrier for emission was not too high, and the gaps in the spectrum are where energy was instead redistributed among other lines and other modes of vibration.

    Max, thanks for the translation! However, now I understand what Suricat was saying I am still a bit puzzled.

    When I look up from the ground I see radiant SW energy from the Sun that has not been absorbed by the atmosphere plus radiant LW energy emitted by thermally excited GHGs.

    When I look down from space I see radiant LW energy from the ground that has not been absorbed by the atmosphere plus radiant LW energy emitted by thermally excited GHGs.

    Would that not be a simpler way of saying the same thing? Or am I missing some subtle nuance here?

  161. wayne says:

    Don’t think suricat was including the SW at all, just an IR spectrum. You both are speaking of the same thing, though suricat placed some “visualization” of “reflection” that is not really true, looking upward; it is just the normal downward emissions from low GHGs near the ground.

    I’m like Dr. Robert Brown, the atmosphere is hugely opaque in the GHGs lines except in rare instances so you never could see more than a hundred meters if that if your eyes were tuned to those frequencies and the blacker gaps are the window frequencies. Those GHG lines are what cause the bright lines when looking upward that suricat mentioned, but it’s coming from directly in front of the instrument! 😉

    Also Dr. Brown sees the opaqueness the same as I do. Ok, it’s a very thick fog so if you add more co2 what in the world is that going to matter until you near the tropopause? At the tropopause there are now more molecules to convert collision KE to radiation toward space though at 1/2 efficiently. Now how is that going to cause any warming? Some days it’s dry and some moist but with 20-80 times more h2o molecules than co2, have you ever noticed the temperature moving up and down with just that factor? I don’t see it. Every plus seems to have an equal and opposite minus if you don’t just ignore one or the other.

  162. Wayne,

    We are so very much on the same wavelength 🙂

    You say: …looking upward; it is just the normal downward emissions from low GHGs near the ground…I’m like Dr. Robert Brown, the atmosphere is hugely opaque in the GHGs lines except in rare instances so you never could see more than a hundred meters if … your eyes were tuned to those frequencies

    Precisely.

    The atmosphere and the ground are at ~288K and consequently they radiate towards one another at the rate of ~333Wm-2. (By the way, subsequent empirical measurements indicate that Trenberth’s 356Wm-2 should be revised downwards to ~333Wm-2). The atmosphere at ground level is so darned thick with GHGs that the first few hundred metres absorbs almost all the upward 333Wm-2. And then (by Kirchoff’s law) the atmosphere re-radiates all of it back downwards. And one should also reassure back-radiation phobes that there is no violation of the 1st Law of thermodynamics – just conformance with Prevost’s theory of exchanges (1790) between two radiating bodies that are in thermal equilibrium. So NONE of that radiation is available for any other purpose, and certainly not to heat up the bulk of the atmosphere.

    You say: At the tropopause there are now more molecules to convert collision KE to radiation toward space though at 1/2 efficiently. Now how is that going to cause any warming?

    Exactly.

    More and more GHG molecules towards the ToA are able to radiate to space because the air is much less dense up there – so the GHG molecules are further and further apart from one another and the likelehood of absorption gets lower and lower. But I am not sure 1/2 efficiency is correct. I think the situation is an exact mirror image of what happens at the BoA. Yes you are correct that 50% of the emissions from GHGs will be going in the “wrong” direction but they are mopped up very rapidly by the increasing density of GHGs along the paths they are travelling. So the net result is that practically all the radiant energy eventually goes upwards to space (just as it all eventually goes downwards to the surface at the BoA).

  163. RACookPE1978 says:

    David Socrates:

    Thank you for your feedback – Let me please amplify the gist of my question though.

    As light energy enters the atmosphere, it is (mostly) transmitted through the gasses, but a percentage is absorbed, and a percentage is scattered. (Cloud reflection also occurs, but that is a separate phenomenon.)

    Ideally, as an ideal gas mixture of oxygen and nitrogen measured over short distances, air is considered transparent – and it should be. Measured through thousands of kilometers in the real world – as in the Arctic when even the maximum sun angles are below 8 degrees, more than 95 percent of the inbound energy is absorbed. (NOAA air masses at the equinox above 80 north latitude are above 10 and 15, compared to the equator’s 1.0 or the typical 1.5 for mid-latitudes.)

    Now, this energy cannot be “lost”, and it must be re-radiated from the gasses and dust and aerosols that blocked it from the surface, but where (how and from what matter and at what altitude) is that energy re-radiated into space? Trenberth seems to focus on the energy available to be absorbed (and then re-radiated at lower wavelengths) from ground-level surfaces only.

    Should not his “atmosphere” re-radiate all of the input energy measured at TOA?

  164. wayne says:

    Your right David, even though only ½ is down pointing per emission the down portion is just the energy that keeps the temperature per the gradient warm (~216K@11km). If it was radiating all upward you would have a big hook in radiosonde readouts and the lapse wouldn’t suddenly turn vertical, it would be a smooth transition from ~9-10km upward.

    I look at the radiosondes here regularly and on the average you never see this occurring. ( just went to the ESRL Radiosonde Database to show one from today but their servers down, that’s rare for NOAA ) Oh well, how about verbally.

    What I see any day any time is a more or less vertical temperature track from the surface where there are usually large deviations between the surface and the 800 mb where clouds and weather are having their influence but from the ~800-900 level upward it’s a straight upward line to about 37,000 feet then it takes an sharp angle to the right which is the isothermal portion in the stratosphere. These plots are a skew-T plots and the twist in those plots are skewed at about 6.25 K/km (I guess that is okla’s local rate instead of 6.5). Straight up on the plot is where the temperatures are precisely following the ELR up to the tropopause.

    And on the 396, 333 at the surface per Trenberth, I have no problem with that personally. I know that is a bottom-100-metre view of the IR mixed with the sensible and latent superimposed, nothing more. It’s just when someone like Trick does on the other thread and elevates this surface view to five or six kilometers high, calls it an effective radiation balance and then above all starts calculating and trying to justify that sets off my alarms…. Quick, Stop, Bad thoughts just ahead! Pull the emergency cord for we’re about to have another Trenberth thread crash ahead! 🙄

    I think you and I are thinking parallel and that’s rare. During the first two years of trying to acclimate to atmospheric physics I was just as lost as most. That graphic screws so many people up, even people with firm and proper science backgrounds and that was my attempt by doing that machine balanced energy balance at the top of this post hoping most could see that if you do promote the right IR portion upward to some high altitude balance point, all of the IR figures must change or you will be lost in the AGW fog again.

  165. wayne says:

    “Should not his “atmosphere” re-radiate all of the input energy measured at TOA?” ~RACookPE1978

    Can I inject? I would say yes, but you seem to be speaking of only the radiative input there, but much of the energy flowing into the Arctic is physically from the low latitudes or it would be `very` cold there indeed. Wouldn’t you think that the Arctic must not only radiate away all of the TOA input but must also radiate the sensible and latent (and currents) that is also flowing in if the temperature is more or less constant over a short period. However the ice formation and melting up there does complicate that simplistic snapshot.

  166. Max™‮‮ says:

    “When I look up from the ground I see radiant SW energy from the Sun that has not been absorbed by the atmosphere plus radiant LW energy emitted by thermally excited GHGs. “ ~David

    Uh, GHG’s aren’t the only sources of emissions in the atmosphere, the entire atmosphere emits, as does any substance with a nonzero temperature.

    GHG’s are only unique in that they have strong absorption lines in longer wavelengths than N2 and O2, which have most of their lines in UV/Visible/plus near or far infrared. CO2 and H2O have stronger lines in mid to far infrared.

    As for Prevost, finally found a source to read on it: http://archive.org/stream/lawsofradiationa00bracrich#page/1/mode/2up

  167. RACookPE1978 says:

    Rather, in this case, I’m trying to look at the differences between two different cases in the Arctic:

    For each day of the year between the summer solstice and utter darkness, at each different latitude between 60 north (or south!) and the pole, what is the difference in energy over a 24 hour day between an “open water” Arctic (or Antarctic) Ocean, and an ice-covered ocean?

    My calc’s so far prove that – for each additional square meter of Antarctic ice pack over its “normal range” about about 64 south latitude at the time of maximum southern sea ice, more energy is reflected from the globe, less is absorbed by the ocean waters, and additional global cooling occurs.

    For each square meter of Arctic Ocean ice pack that melts in September – at the time of the Arctic sea ice minimum at 81 to 82 north latitudes – more energy is lost by evaporation than can be gained by solar absorption into the newly exposed Arctic Ocean, and thus Arctic Ocean cooling increases. (Dr Judith Curry has already expressed in her recent papers that such additional evaporation is the key to increasing winter snow increases in the surrounding land areas of north Europe, Russia, Canada and Siberia.)

    If these calc’s stand up to review and criticism, obviously the much-hyped “arctic sea ice loss” is indeed a “catastrophe” because we will then face a probable imminent slide into the next Ice Age BECAUSE of the Arctic sea ice melt, not into the CACA dogma’s global warming.

    Now, near mid-summer, the reverse is expected to be true in the Arctic – a loss of sea ice near mid-summer will increase absorption of solar energy into the exposed arctic waters, and will increase arctic ocean temperatures locally. But, at what time of which day does this net open water heating stop, and the net open water cooling begin?

    Heat input available each hour to each square meter at each latitude is known, and matches measured solar heat at several measured latitudes. Heat loss (into space through radiation, to the air above the ice or water, and to the water below) needs to be verified.

  168. wayne says:

    RAC, look at this plot I made a few months ago.

    I think it has to do with your topic. In 2012 there was actually a little less open seawater-area-days than in 2011. How can that be? The extent was so far up in the early spring it overpowered the sudden drop in August. But, the JAXA dataset says that was so.

    My guess is that in 2013 (can say this year, it’s still a couple of hours away :)) the next point on that graph will be at the 100,000 level. Look how mathematical those points are! That is a plot they would rather most don’t know it even exists.

    If you are saying there is nothing wrong or bad with what is occurring in the Arctic the last couple of summers, I totally agree. If you are saying it has actually been losing heat, not gaining heat and lowering the ocean water’s temperature and radiating it away, I also agree.

    Have a good New Year!

  169. RACookPE1978 says:

    Yes, but only with a few specific caveats ….

    In the Arctic,
    at the time of minimum sea Arctic ice extents (mid-September, in the weeks prior to the equinox), at the sea ice “boundary” between 80 north and 82 north (80.5 north if sea ice extents are 4 million km^2, right at 82 north latitude if minimum sea ice extents are 3.5 million km square),
    over the entire day,
    each newly exposed meter of ocean water loses more heat by radiation and evaporation that it gains from the sun that day,
    and so cools the Arctic Ocean and increases nearby snowfall on land and what remains of the ice,
    and so increases net reflection of energy from the Arctic region.

    In the Antarctic,
    at the time of sea ice maximum (mid-September, in the weeks around the equinox),
    at the Antarctic sea ice “boundary” at approximately 62 south latitude,
    over the entire day,
    each newly frozen square meter of sea ice REFLECTS more energy from the earth’s surface (energy that used to be absorbed by the ocean from the sun) than what used to be lost by evaporation from the open water,
    and so cools the Antarctic Ocean.

    My values for open ocean albedo at low solar elevation angles do account for waves,
    do account for indirect (wide area) sky radiation,
    have been “calibrated” against measurements of direct and indirect solar radiation at the latitudes discussed,
    do use the NOAA solar elevation calculator for solar zenith angle each hour,
    but do assume that the albedo of ice (J Curry’s 0.56) and indirect radiation albedo for open water (0.07) are constant with respect to solar angles.

  170. RACookPE1978 says:

    By the way, if – as satellite average global temperatures show by measurement – the world is NOT getting warmer over the 16 years ….. Why are Arctic sea ice extents getting smaller each year?

    (Winter sea ice maximum extents are actually near-inverse to summer sea ice minimum extents …)

    IF global temperatures are increasing,
    and IF the increased Arctic sea ice extents are a “proof” of “global warming” …
    Why are sea ice extents reducing while (melt season) temperatures remain constant?
    (DMI summer temperatures at 80 north latitude (where the sea ice actually is present, not further south in the mid-Canada tundras at latitude 65 north!) have been steady at 3 degrees C since 1959. Actually, the recent mid-summer temperatures have actually begun decreasing, but let’s not ask about that inconvenient measurement either.)

    But, one might as well ask,
    Why did global temperatures hold near-constant for 16 years while CO2 levels steadily increase?

  171. Tim Folkerts says:

    Wayne says: “Hmm… 2/3. “

    Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that this is NOT the “2/3” you are looking for.
    * The “2/3” for earth can be explained by the presence of condensing H2O
    * The “2/3” for Venus is explained by an incorrect value of gamma that you used.

    There is no need for “2/3” with correct physics applied to these two planets with respect to the lapse rate.

  172. Tim Folkerts says:

    RACooke wonders: “By the way, what happens to that 35% of the inbound solar radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere before hitting the ground, but which Trenberth conveniently ignores thereafter?

    The same thing that happens to the 80 W/m^2 of latent heat and the 17 W/m^2 of convection and the 356 W/m^2 of upward IR … they are all thermalized by the atmosphere. This net power into the atmosphere then leaves the atmosphere as radiation up (199 W/m^2) and down (333 W/m^2).

    Nothing is “ignored”.

  173. Tim Folkerts says:

    David says: “The atmosphere at ground level is so darned thick with GHGs that the first few hundred metres absorbs almost all the upward 333Wm-2.

    First, I still think the upward would be more like 356 W/m^2 … in any case, it SHOULD be more than the downward IR, for two reasons.

    1) Yes, most of the IR within the absorption bands will be absorbed within a few 100 meters — but a few hundred meters is a few K cooler, and hence less will be heading down than up).

    2) The more important difference between up and down is the “gaps” between the bands. When there are no clouds, this escapes through the “atmospheric window”. But when there are clouds, then these gaps are blocked (liquid water is very good at absorbing thermal IR). The clouds — possibly 1,000’s of meters up, will be MUCH cooler then the ground. This will lead to a significant imbalance between upward IR from the warm ground to the clouds vs. the downward IR from the cool clouds to the ground.

  174. suricat says:

    Max says: December 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for the ‘commiserations’, but that’s a fine thing coming from a poster that can’t have their ‘user name’ copied and pasted without errors. 🙂

    FYI, I used to run a network of PCs at home using ‘various’ O/Ss (mostly ‘open’ O/Ss), but, due to my Mother’s senile dementia, I’ve operated solely from a laptop (old Acer) for several years.

    Recently Mum entered a care home (a ‘good’ one, I may add) and I’ve made a change of address. Realising that the ‘old Acer’ wasn’t up to the task of my address change, I bought a new laptop for the ‘transition’.

    I chose an HP Pavillion g7 Notebook PC because it uses a 64-bit Windoze7 O/S, an i3-2330M CPU @ 2.20GHz (which is a ‘quad core’ processor) and is packed with 6.00 GB of RAM (not a lot for a 64-bit O/S, but acceptable). It’s great for Movies. I just plug in the the HDMI cable between the laptop and my ‘cinimascope’ TV, make a few alterations in ‘device manager’, then ‘pass the popcorn’. The resident 750GB HD makes it easy to hold plenty of film footage as well.

    However, it seems to lack the ability to make coherent posts. I can only imagine that this must result from ‘other information’ being transmitted during an ‘upload’ (I’m amazed at the amount of ‘software’ that HP embeds into a ‘Windows install’), but this could also be due to (the dread definition of) ‘operator error’. If I’ve implemented a procedure that the manufacturers didn’t think of, I want to claim a ‘finder’s fee’ for the scenario because it isn’t supposed to be possible!

    Whatever. ‘This Box’ isn’t doing much for me with respect to the use that I wanted it for. That’s between the £500 that I paid for it and the various manufacturers that generated its existence and the service providers that buggered it up? This is a ‘lost cause’. 😦

    I really do need to get my old PC network ‘up and running’ now that I’m more settled. If I re-write the HD of my current ‘box’ I’ll ‘invalidate’ the ‘guarantee’ for the ‘device’ that I bought ~6 months ago which has a 12 month guarantee. That’s not to say that I’ll not do this at some time in the future (when the guarantee lapses). 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  175. Tim Folkerts says:

    RACooke asks: “By the way, if – as satellite average global temperatures show by measurement – the world is NOT getting warmer over the 16 years ….. Why are Arctic sea ice extents getting smaller each year?

    Several explanations pop to mind.
    1) Even if it is not getting even warmer, it is still holding at unusually warm levels (compared to the last several 100 years). So continued decrease is not unusual or unexpected.
    2) Even if it is not getting even warmer, there is often “thermal lag” in such systems. (For example, the coldest day is not Dec 21, and the warmest hour is not noon). The ice may be still “catching up” with warming from a decade ago.
    2) The Arctic IS getting warmer. I have data from 70-90 North (a bit larger area than the 80-90 North from your source, but still mostly water). The temperatures have been trending upward every month of the year. This trend still hold even over just the last 15 years.

    “DMI summer temperatures at 80 north latitude have been steady at 3 degrees C since 1959.
    Why restrict your thinking to only a small area and a small time? Arctic sea ice melts at many times and many locations.
    1) Of COURSE summer temperatures 80-90 N are pretty steady — that whole area is pretty well ice covered even in the summer, so temperature will never get much above freezing over the ice.
    2) Ice starts melting in MARCH, so the temperature farther south earlier in the year make a large difference in how the ice starts melting.
    3) Temperatures the OTHER 9 months matter even at 80-90N. Warmer winners will lead to thinner ice, which will melt faster in the summer.
    4) Ice ALSO melts from below by contact with warm ocean currents. The temperature of the water below matters too, not just the temperature above!

  176. wayne says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s as if the Earth has had a little cooling party over the last decade, to shed the excess heat. We all know the sun was on a somewhat rampage starting in the 80’s on into the 90’s. This might be a good lesson on HOW the physics of the Earth climate system arranges itself to shed that excess energy received from the sun mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics years before.

    The ice in the Arctic is teetering just below the melting point and it doesn’t take much energy to melt off that thickness centimeter by centimeter, each year a little thinner. Since the 80’s PIOMAS’s thickness show a pretty constant loss of about 4 cm/year. That is all that has happened in the Arctic. By looking at extent instead of thickness everyone just magnifies this small change.

    If the top layer temperatures (~100m) of the oceans have risen by 0.3C just how many years of Arctic melting would it take to cool all of the oceans back down to “normal”? I guess decades but surface radiation worldwide is also bringing that temperature in line or at least maintaining it as a constant, not all cooling is from the summer melting of polar ice and currents.

  177. Max™‮‮ says:

    If you’re getting errors from copying my name, it’s on your end.

    Max™<~see, no errors. *evil grin*

    I'm not a fan of pre-built computers, pulled the guts out of an old HP media center I nicknamed Funkenstein (since the gf's netbook is named The Funk, Mighty Boosh joke, "I've got the funk!"… 'yeah, I know you're very funky'… "no, I've got The Funk, it's right here in this box!") slapped a G540 celeron on a $50 mobo and I had hooked an old 160 GB drive to it. Just recently added a $20 refurbished GT430 and bumped it up to 2+4 GB of ram with an unopened OEM 7200 RPM 160 GB drive, copied my Ubuntu 12.10 install with gparted, edited grub to boot the correct drive. Updated to the right nvidia drivers and hooked it up to my old vga 1280×1024 17 inch plus my shiny new dvi 1920×1080 22 inch, right now I'm in geekery heaven with all this room to work and post and surf! 😀

    I wanted to swap out the cpu in the netbook but it's soldered onto the mobo, but putting a lighter distro helped speed it up a lot.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    As for the ice effects, I think you're in the right regarding the roughly balanced change from more or less ice with regards to solar energy.

    The main difference I would expect is from the energy transported by the water and atmosphere, less ice means the warm currents are able to travel further north and cool more before sinking, while the energy transported by the atmosphere is a bit more complex.

    Up north it's easier to think about than down south, if just because Antarctica is so damn tall which has more difficult to model effects on the transport of energy by air and sea.

  178. clivebest says:

    I have been looking in detail at the “effective emission height” for CO2. At exactly what height in the atmosphere does CO2 thermal radiation escape to space ? It turns out that there is a broad spectrum of heights which currently peak around 4000m – i.e. just below the top of Mont Blanc.

    There are two effects working against each other which determine how much each height contributes. The lower levels are warmer, contain more net CO2 molecules and therefore emit (and absorb) higher fluxes of 13-15 micron photons. The higher levels are thiner and more photons from below are transmitted through it. However they are cooler and emit less photons even though there is a higher probability they reach space. By calculating the flux of radiation to space from each level we can visualize the “effective height of emission” for different CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The result is shown in Figure 2 at http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=4475 .

    Thanks to a comment, I then came across what I now consider to be the Ace argument negating exaggerated IPCC claims for high climate sensitivity. This also relates closely to the long discussions on the role of thermodynamics versus radiation both in this post and the one before by Tim Folkerts. The argument is by Claes Johnson who is Professor of Applied Maths at ETH, Stockholm and is as follows.

    – Earth surface temperature: + 15 C
    – top of the atmosphere TOA temperature: – 18 C at 5 km altitude
    – lapse rate: 6.5 C/km
    – dry adiabatic lapse rate: 10 C/km
    – transported from surface to TOA by thermodynamics: 120 W/m2
    – transported from surface to TOA by radiation: 60 W/m2.

    Assuming that thermodynamics reduces the lapse rate from 10 to 6.5 C/km, thermodynamics would thus have the effect of decreasing the temperature increase from TOA to Earth surface by 5 x 3.5 = 18 C, thus with a relative decrease of 18/120 = 0.15 Cm^2/W.

    The corresponding number for radiation would be an increase of 33/60 = 0.5 Cm^2/W.

    The combined effect would thus be with a partition of 2/3 thermodynamics and 1/3 radiation:
    1/3 x 0.5 – 2/3 x 0.15 = 1/6 – 1/10 = 5/30 – 3/30 = 2/30 = 1/15 Cm^2/W.
    An assumed radiative forcing of 4 W/m2 would thus lead to a warming of 4/15 C, which is less than 0.3 C, thus a factor 10 smaller than IPCC’s most likely value of 3 C.

    Do you say that the above argument is simplistic? Yes, it is, but it may well be more realistic than the IPCC argument leading to a climate sensitivity probably inflated by a factor 10.

    ref1: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/basic-physics-shows-how-ipcc.html
    ref2: http://claesjohnson.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/non-positive-climate-sensitivity.html

    Notice the approximately 2/3 : 1/3 ratio for thermodynamics to radiation, mainly due to the IR window !

    I think this is a neat argument and has the advantage of actually agreeing with most recent (42 years) of temperature data – unlike the IPCC values. AR5 states: Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 2°C–4.5°C, and very likely above 1.5°C. The most likely value is near 3°C.

  179. clivebest says:

    To clarify on my previous comment.

    If there was no water on the Earth the lapse rate would by 10C/km. For a TOA temperature of 255K at 5 km altitude. This then gives a surface temperature of 305K. The same argument applies on Venus where the TOA is at 40 km altitude with Teff=260K. This gives a surface temperature of ~ 660K

    The observed surface temperature on Earth however is currently 288K. This is because convection and evaporation of water from the surface transferring latent heat to the atmosphere has reduced the lapse rate from 10 to 6.5C/km. This reduction has always been the case on Earth because it has remained 70% covered by water. This will also be true in the future.

    Therefore any extra “radiative forcing” whether it be by the sun or by CO2 must similarly be offset by a similar proportion due to thermodynamics.

  180. Max, you say: Uh, GHG’s aren’t the only sources of emissions in the atmosphere, the entire atmosphere emits, as does any substance with a nonzero temperature.

    Well yes of course you are technically right. But the context in which I said “When I look up from the ground I see radiant SW energy from the Sun that has not been absorbed by the atmosphere plus radiant LW energy emitted by thermally excited GHGs.” was that I was focussing on much coarser energy flow discrepancies.

    The power density emitted by Oxygen and Nitrogen in the atmosphere is, as you know, orders of magnitude lower than that of the so-called GHGs. You are in danger of sinking into sophistry, a.k.a. not being able to see the wood for the trees!

  181. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The observed surface temperature on Earth however is currently 288K. This is because convection and evaporation of water from the surface transferring latent heat to the atmosphere has reduced the lapse rate from 10 to 6.5C/km. This reduction has always been the case on Earth because it has remained 70% covered by water. This will also be true in the future.

    Therefore any extra “radiative forcing” whether it be by the sun or by CO2 must similarly be offset by a similar proportion due to thermodynamics.”

    Yes that is where Claes makes a good point.

    He is saying that even if a greenhouse gas effect does exist then the calculated climate sensitivity should be moderated by applying proportionately the same system response as already observed.

    I would go a step further and suggest that climate sensitivity could be reduced to zero by averaging the lapse rates in the entire atmospheric column which must always net out to the ideal lapse rate set by gravity if top of atmosphere balance is to be maintained long term.

    The 5km deep slice is barely half the troposphere though I do concede it contains most of the atmosphere which is probably why he can get it down to such a low sensitivity in such a shallow slice.

    Getting rid of the rest in the remainder of the vertical column should be an easy task for the atmospheric circulation above 5km.

    In the troposphere GHGs merely reduce the lapse rate from 10 to 6.5. In the stratosphere GHGs actually reverse the lapse rate.

    The entire atmospheric circulation must reconfigure to restore the net average lapse rate to 10C overall.

  182. Tim says January 1, 2013 at 4:52 am : David says: “The atmosphere at ground level is so darned thick with GHGs that the first few hundred metres absorbs almost all the upward 333Wm-2.” First, I still think the upward would be more like 356 W/m^2 … in any case, it SHOULD be more than the downward IR, for two reasons…

    Tim, my understanding is that Kiehl & Trenberth accepted in correspondence with Christopher Game in 2010 that their figure for the Atmospheric Window of 40Wm-2 in the K&T 2009 paper should be raised to 66Wm-2. See Christopher Games’s blog response on July 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm in http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/

    “…private emails to Kiehl have led to them saying that this figure St = 40 was open to adjustment, considering that it was found as a residual. After consultation with NASA, they proposed the adjusted value of St = 66”

    This adjustment requires a compensating revision to the surface-to-atmosphere radiation value from 356Wm-2 to 330Wm-2. This revised value (within a reasonable margin of error) is essentially equal to their atmosphere-to-surface figure of 333Wm-2.

    It should be easy to check with K&T whether they really did agree to this adjustment. If they confirm they did, where would that leave your “two reasons” why the figure should remain at 356Wm-2?

  183. wayne says:

    David, which one of the 73 ‘Christopher Game’ comments? 😉

  184. wayne says:

    July 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm of course! Eyes just skipped right over that.

  185. wayne says:

    Deeper in that SoD link:

    “Colin Davidson also writes “In other words the planet cools by Evaporation of Water and Conduction and Direct Radiation to Space only, the NET Surface Radiation to Atmosphere being an insignificant term.” This is the right description of the cooling of the land-sea surface of the planet.”

    I never realized others had come to the same conclusion that I have and quite a while ago. Thanks for that link, it is important. That is the very same conclusion that you get from my spreadsheet at the top of this post when you change the 40 wm-2 to 66 wm-2 and let the machine rebalance all figures, this is, zero net DLR.

  186. Wayne,

    Many people have followed their own path to the same conclusion that radiation has zero effect on the atmospheric temperature profile. Another major discoverer is Ferenc Miskolczi – see Miklos Zagoni’s article at http://pathstoknowledge.net/2010/01/13/ferenc-miskolczi%E2%80%99s-saturated-greenhouse-effect-theory-c02-cannot-cause-any-more-global-warming/ where he states:

    Miskolczi discovered that the proportion of the surface upward longwave radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere is equal to the downward longwave atmospheric radiation. This relation (within the usual error margins) was there in the Kiehl-Trenberth 1997 distribution implicitly. However, Miskolczi stated it exactly and explicitly.

    The truth is at last dawning. We should welcome all enquiring minds to the club!

  187. Stephen Wilde says:

    “the NET Surface Radiation to Atmosphere being an insignificant term”

    Agreed.

    But that is simply a restatement of the principle that the mass of all atmospheric molecules is involved in the so called greenhouse effect and therefore the contribution from GHGs is insignificant.

    Notwithstanding that it is still the case that in theory GHGs do have some effect although insignificant.

    So to kill the AGW theory completey we still need some process whereby that residual insignificant effect can be countered.

    Which is what I have proposed with regard to the reduction in KE returning to the surface when GHGs cause an expansion of the atmosphere. But note that they will only cause an expansion if they would otherwise have a net warming effect and I remain unconvinced of that at present.

  188. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Miskolczi discovered that the proportion of the surface upward longwave radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere is equal to the downward longwave atmospheric radiation”

    Wouldn’t that still permit surface warming because more GHGs would insert more energy into the surface / atmosphere exchange ?

    I think he might have countered that by suggesting that since the optical depth remained the same there was no net increase in either upward or downward IR when more CO2 was added. His idea was that more CO2 resulted in less water vapour.

    Instead one could say that the proportion of the upward longwave radiation that is absorbed and returned to the surface is equal to the reduction in returning KE which results from expansion of the atmosphere.

  189. clivebest says, 1 Jan 2013 at 2:42 pm: I then came across what I now consider to be the Ace argument negating exaggerated IPCC claims for high climate sensitivity

    Clive,

    You refer to Claes Johnsons’s blog where he suggests a value for climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 that is a factor of 10 smaller than IPCC’s “most likely” value of 3degC.

    His result is an excellent one but one word of caution: his starting figures are somewhat dubious:

    – transported from surface to TOA by thermodynamics: 120 W/m2
    – transported from surface to TOA by radiation: 60 W/m2

    As I have stated just above to Wayne, and earlier to Tim, the strong probability is that radiation takes no part in influencing the atmospheric temperature profile (other than in the mundane sense that all energy arrives from the Sun by radiation and all energy is lost to space by radiation!)

    We have to remember that the temperature profile of the atmosphere is defined by the profile of the Kinetic Energy contained within it.

    The actual figures for KE flow using Trenberth’s latest 2009 work, modified as discussed with Tim and Wayne above, are as follows:

    – KE transported to ToA from Sun’s incident SW radiation: 97Wm-2 (warming contribution 55%)
    – KE transported to ToA from surface LW radiation: 78Wm-2 (warming contribution 45%)
    – Radiation transported to ToA without being absorbed: 66Wm-2 (warming contribution: nil)

  190. clivebest says:

    David,

    As Tim pointed out the IR atmospheric window under clear skies is ~ 99 watts/m2. For cloudy skies this reduces to 80 watts/m2. Because on average cloudiness is ~ 60% so roughly 10 watts/m2 is absorbed by the clouds and nearly 90 watts/m2 reaches space – half of it from cloud tops. All other radiation losses are essentially thermal and governed by the lapse rate. CO2 concentrations are known whereas H2O concentrations vary on an hourly basis. For CO2 levels of 400 ppm, a surface temperature of 288K and the measured lapse rate of 6.5C/km you can calculate how much radiation reaches space – 37.4 watts/m2.

    This radiation doesn’t all come from some mythical “effective emission height”. It actually spans a wide range of different levels, but it peaks around 4000 m.

    Most importantly – If you now vary CO2 concentrations to study radiation losses, you discover something for me amazing. For conditions on Earth today with T=288K, lapse=6.5C/km, the maximum radiation loss through the atmosphere by CO2 corresponds to 300 ppm. It cannot be a coincidence that these coincide with the measured levels. In other words CO2 levels are what they are because they maximize cooling of the planet to space by radiation ! The second law of thermodynamics determines CO2 levels and by inference regulates the carbon cycle on Earth !

    The same argument also applies to H2O content in the atmosphere, cloud formation and the lapse rate. The Earth has a self-regulating climate system with 3 basic atmospheric climate controls – H2O, CO2 and the IR window. Interfere slightly with one radiation path for cooling to space (say CO2) and the others will react to counteract it. This has been rue over the last 4 billion years.

  191. Arfur Bryant says:

    Stephen Wilde,

    You say:

    [“Notwithstanding that it is still the case that in theory GHGs do have some effect although insignificant.

    So to kill the AGW theory completey we still need some process whereby that residual insignificant effect can be countered.”]

    I agree with your logic but is it really necessary for any residual effect, if insignificant, to be countered?

    If any CO2 effect an be shown to be, for example, 0.3C (climate sensitivity), that effectively negates any ‘catastrophic’ effect but still allows for a theoretical-leading-to-actual effect. I suspect countering AGW is likely to be more difficult than countering cAGW. There may be an AGW effect – however insignificant – and it may not even be due to CO2! I think it may be better to argue against specific targets and, when an argument is valid against that specific target, then that tactical battle will be won. To engage in battle against a vague ‘AGW’ strategic target is likely to be easily countered by manipulation of what AGW actually means.

    To me, the main argument should be against the hype surrounding the ‘catastrophic’ or ‘dangerous’ aspect of anthropogenic factors. This would be more easily countered by proper scientific evidence and/or argument.

    Regards,

  192. Max™‮‮ says:

    Wait, David, you cautioned me about “sinking into sophistry”, while effectively arguing that GHG’s are the only significant sources of IR detected with an IR sensitive device?

    Impressive.

  193. Clive, you say:

    As Tim pointed out the IR atmospheric window under clear skies is ~ 99 watts/m2. For cloudy skies this reduces to 80 watts/m2. Because on average cloudiness is ~ 60% so roughly 10 watts/m2 is absorbed by the clouds and nearly 90 watts/m2 reaches space – half of it from cloud tops. All other radiation losses are essentially thermal and governed by the lapse rate.

    Not quite sure about the math there. How does 60% cloudiness cause only a 10% reduction?

    But in any case I personally think it is confusing to discuss the ‘atmospheric window’ as being the gross figure of 99Wm-2 excluding cloud effects and then reduce it down to take account of cloud absorption. K&T have already done that in their definition of the atmospheric window and that, I believe is the definition we should stick with.

    If we look at the Trenberth 2009 figure for the atmospheric window (40Wm-2), or the modified figure of 66Wm-2 that K&T appear to have subsequently agreed to – see my posting above at January 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm, either of those figures defines the atmospheric window net of cloud effects, which is exactly how I think it should be defined. In the Trenberth diagram, a separate channel of 30Wm-2 is shown as going up into the clouds and this would indeed closely match your/Tim’s figures arithmetically if we accept the modified atmospheric window value of 66Wm-2.

  194. Clive,

    Further to the above, assuming for the sake of argument that the modified Trenberth atmospheric window value of 66Wm-2 is the correct one to use, that 66Wm-2 would be the only radiation to space whose energy originates from surface LW radiation.

    The remaining 30Wm-2 shown in the Trenberth diagram as being transferred to clouds must come from KE rising through the atmosphere as a result of convection/diffusion or via latent heat of vaporisation. Why? It is because, in the modified figures, the upwelling radiation from surface-to-atmosphere has been compensatingly reduced to 330Wm-2 which almost exactly balances (within error margins) the down welling radiation from atmosphere-to-surface of 333Wm-2. So, due to Prevost’s theory of exchanges (1790), there is no spare upwelling radiation left to do the job!

  195. Clive,

    And further still…

    You say Most importantly – If you now vary CO2 concentrations to study radiation losses, you discover something for me amazing. For conditions on Earth today with T=288K, lapse=6.5C/km, the maximum radiation loss through the atmosphere by CO2 corresponds to 300 ppm. It cannot be a coincidence that these coincide with the measured levels. In other words CO2 levels are what they are because they maximize cooling of the planet to space by radiation ! The second law of thermodynamics determines CO2 levels and by inference regulates the carbon cycle on Earth !

    Wow, an astonishing new theory for 2013. Please spell out the details of how you arrive at this conclusion. Because if proven, we can all cease our current petty skirmishing on the sidelines 🙂

    Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me all that much. In this infernal game, nothing would surprise me now.

  196. Max says: Wait, David, you cautioned me about “sinking into sophistry”, while effectively arguing that GHG’s are the only significant sources of IR detected with an IR sensitive device? Impressive.

    Yes, I guess I missed out liquid water droplets and aerosols. But that wasn’t sophistry. That was just a mistake.

    Are there any other sources of LW radiation that you think are significant?

  197. Stephen Wilde says:

    Arfur.

    I agree completely.

    The CAGW meme is destroyed by reducing the impact of CO2 emissions to insignificance which is achieved well enough by involving the entire atmospheric mass in the so called greenhouse warming effect.

    I believe that has already been achieved by reference to the established science as relating to planetary gas giants and the Gas Laws plus comments concerning observations of the planetary lapse rates as per N & Z, Harry Dale Huffman and others.

    Hasn’t got into the mainstream though has it?

    I only pursue the remainder out of intellectual curiosity and to deliver a blow that would enter the mainstream more quickly.

  198. clivebest says:

    David,

    you write : “Not quite sure about the math there. How does 60% cloudiness cause only a 10% reduction?

    Radiation leaves the surface at T=288K. The fraction within the IR window is 99 watts/m2 (Trenberth’s own figure). In clear skies this passes directly through the atmosphere to space. In cloudy skies it travels to the base of clouds and is absorbed. The tops of clouds radiate at say T= 270K. The fraction of this radiation in the IR window is 80 watts/m2 (Trenberth’s own figure). This passes straight through the rest of the atmosphere to space. Therefore we have for a fractional global cloudiness of C

    IRW = (1-C)*99 + C*80 watts/m2

    For C= 0.6 we get 40 watts/m2 direct and 48 watts/m2 indirect

    Clouds are droplets of liquid water. This radiation is not involved with thermodynamics of the rest of the atmosphere, since it passes straight through it.

  199. Clive,

    Thanks for the feedback on the math.

    I don’t want to labour the point but I don’t see a figure of 99Wm-2 anywhere on the Trenberth et. al. 2009 diagram: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/EarthsGlobalEnergyBudget.pdf

    As I said above, best to stick with Trenberth et. al. 40Wm-2 (or, preferably, with their apparently-agreed subsequent modification to 66Wm-2) for the atmospheric window; and their separate figure of 30Wm-2 for LW radiation from clouds, which, as I say, can’t originate from upwelling surface LW radiation if you accept the modified Trenberth figures.

  200. clivebest says:

    David,

    “Wow, an astonishing new theory for 2013. Please spell out the details of how you arrive at this conclusion. Because if proven, we can all cease our current petty skirmishing on the sidelines ”

    Lets just concentrate on CO2 IR emissions in the atmosphere within the main 13-17 micron band.

    There are two effects determining how much radiation from any given level will pass through the the atmosphere above it to reach space. These two effects work against each other.

    1)The lower levels are warmer, contain more net CO2 molecules and therefore emit (and absorb) higher fluxes of 13-15 micron photons.

    2)The higher levels are less dense and more photons from below are transmitted through them. These levels themselves are also colder and so emit far fewer 13-15 micron photons.

    The emission spectrum from the atmosphere depends on CO2 concentration. If we fix the surface temperature at 288K and the lapse rate at 6.5K/km the radiation spectrum with height looks like this.

    Although the spectrum changes shape with height the integrated radiation reaching space varies less. As the CO2 level reduces there comes a turnover point when the CO2 radiation starts to reduce because there are fewer molecules available.

    I then varied the CO2 concentrations to see where that turnover point occurs. The result is shown here

    Incredibly the maximum atmospheric radiation cooling occurs at ~300 ppm ! Why is the natural atmospheric concentration of CO2 exactly this value ? I have never seen any explanation justifying such low value of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Therefore my proposition is that the level is exactly 300 ppm because that way the planet can maximize the radiative cooling by the atmosphere.

    This is a bit similar to Miskowsi’s proposal that the normalized greenhouse effect is 1/3 because it maximizes radiative cooling. So if mankind by adding CO2 to the atmosphere nudges the CO2 radiation channel a little off its optimal value of 300 ppm, in the short term the H2O radiation channel will increase to compensate. Eventually thermodynamics intervenes to reset CO2 levels back to their optimum level of 300 ppm.

    During Ice Ages the H2O channel gets reduced and global temperatures fall. CO2 levels are then reset lower because for T = 283 K maximum cooling is around 240 ppm.

  201. Stephen Wilde says:

    I can see that CO2 levels would link to temperature because of the fact that temperature affects the amount of CO2 that the oceans, water in clouds and soil moisture on land can hold.

    I can also envisage that if maximum cooling occurs at 300ppm then cold periods might see CO2 around 200 ppm and warm periods around 400ppm.

    It is also possible that ice core records are too coarse and do not reflect full variability.

    And that the work of Callendar showing higher levels of CO2 than recorded at Mauna Loa might have been unjustifiably discounted.

    What we need next is some plausible reason why maximum cooling should occur at 300ppm.

    Does the concentration at which maximum cooling occurs vary with temperature at all?

  202. Clivebest says:

    @David,

    you write: ” don’t want to labour the point but I don’t see a figure of 99Wm-2 anywhere on the Trenberth et. al. 2009 diagram:”

    His 1997 paper with Kiehl states :

    “The estimate of the amount leaving via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc. In the clear sky case, the radiation in the window amounts to 99 W m-2, while in the cloudy case the amount decreases to 80 W m-2, showing that there is considerable absorption and re-emission at wavelengths in the so-called window by clouds. The value assigned in Fig. 7 of 40 W m-2 is simply 38% of the clear sky case, corresponding to the observed cloudiness of about 62%.”

    The 2009 paper uses 40 watts/m2 for IR window and 30 watts/m2 from cloud tops. Using his reasoning from 1997 I get ~50 watts/m2 from cloud tops ( 20 watts/m2 less). However to keep it simple we can also take his figure of 30 watts/m2 because I don’t think it changes much.

    Note however that this 30 watts/m2 from cloud tops is NOT thermal radiation it is direct radiatio through the atmospheric window. Clouds are liquid water – like the oceans and will emit across all wavelengths. The 30 watts/m2 is that component of BB radiation in the IR window. H2O in atmospheric water vapour however only emits only in H2O bands that are outside the IR window. So his 169 watts/m2 is thermal radiation emitted mainly from H2O and CO2 in the atmosphere

  203. Clivebest says:

    @ Stephen

    “What we need next is some plausible reason why maximum cooling should occur at 300ppm.
    Does the concentration at which maximum cooling occurs vary with temperature at all?”

    The concentration for maximum cooling does change slightly with temperature but more strongly with the lapse rate. So for T =280K and a lapse rate of 9K/km the optimum is about 260ppm and for current conditions T=288K, lapse=6.5 it is about 340 ppm.

    Note: My model is probably over simplified and assumes a constant CO2% with height. However it does appear that there is an optimum CO2 concentration for an atmosphere with a lapse rate in LTE to cool radiatively. I will be looking more into this over the next few days.

    Why should this be the case on Earth but not say on Mars ?

    I don’t really know but one difference is that the Earth has water and life. Oxygen and to some extent CO2 levels seem to be controlled by life. So maybe Gaia theory is correct !

  204. Arfur Bryant says:

    Stephen,

    Thank you for your reply. I agree that the mainstream has not yet embraced the scientific and logical arguments against cAGW so, therefore, carry on with your strategy! 🙂

  205. wayne says:

    David Socrates: (from a question on Tim Folkert’s thread)

    Maybe a simple hand drawn graphic might let you see what I am speaking of. Three years ago, over at WUWT with a particle physicist involved, this was briefly touched on within the comments of a thread and all present, including myself, ended up marginalized the QM aspects and all though we could just simply ignore all quantum effects. Surely our atmosphere is not a laser! And of course, it is not, radiation in an atmosphere is in every direction and with every polarization, right? Well, not quite, there are more photons leaving the surface than will ever be emitted from the gas molecules and the surface radiation is upward, no downward component.

    Well, now three years later after some deeper learning I’m not sure that is true, it turns out that stimulated emissions are the dominant type and by billions to one in infrared’s case.

    Do atmospheres that have no walls or a top as in any lab experiment know, by proper physics, how to multiply? That sure would answer one pot-lot of seemingly contradiction aspects of how radiation moves through the gases upward.

    Also, that graphic is not even close to Earth’s atmosphere but is closer to what would be found on a super-thin atmosphere as on Mars. In Earth’s case you would need to draw so many arrows in all directions but yet there would be an underlying statistic of there being many more upward photons than downward and that would be how the energy moved by thermals and evaporation into upward radiation.

    That brings to mind one more thing, if the 66 wm-2 is correct that now makes perfect sense in physics, in a thick atmosphere (tau much grater than one) only exactly 1/6th should leave the surface upward, it is a dimensional fact, the downward and the four lateral directions are all blocked and absorption is guaranteed in those 5/6th directions.

    So how do you get 235-240 wm-2 leaving the cold tropopause upward? Good question. I can’t see it without some multiplying effect within the atmosphere itself and by stimulated emissions that has a directional aspect it seems to answer that question.

    I also look at lab tests that always have containers with wall that also emit gray body thermal radiation and I place a great question mark on such tests for an atmosphere has no walls, it’s size is hugely greater that the mean absorption path length of the frequencies that are even trying to measure. Something seems misapplied in this area of atmospheric physics. Maybe I am just seeing the AGW slant that distorts reality.

    I think everyone wants some answers having to do with real atmosphers and real physics.

  206. Max™‮‮ says:

    Hmmm, I got a more significant cooling effect in my experiments when I had a bag filled with almost pure CO2 vs the bag with normal concentrations of air.

  207. wayne says:

    “Hmmm, I got a more significant cooling effect in my experiments when I had a bag filled with almost pure CO2 vs the bag with normal concentrations of air.”

    Interesting result. Max, what is your general physical setup on that experiment? For example: bag in box, black on bottom, foil on inner walls and irradiated from the top… or what?

  208. tchannon says:

    This thread is very long so I am disinclined to inline more images, not everyone has fast links or large machines. If necessary a spill page will be created. Anyone struggling with page length please say.
    Der moderator

  209. suricat says:

    wayne says: January 3, 2013 at 12:50 am

    “Well, now three years later after some deeper learning I’m not sure that is true, it turns out that stimulated emissions are the dominant type and by billions to one in infrared’s case.”

    At last something sensible. This is what I was trying to get to when I tried to introduce ‘the KE=EM interface’, but got ‘hung up’ with my ‘demon 😦 grr box’ of a work book (I’m going to start the resurrection of my old PC network tomorrow, I’m not confident of this box).

    If you look at the ‘bright’ spectra from a ‘radiatively active gas’, like CO2, you are looking at something similar to ‘stimulated emission’, but it isn’t ‘stimulated’ in the LASER sense. The molecule’s activity migrates an ‘electron’ to a higher ‘electron shell’ (in one scenario) by kinetic collision, but, unlike a LASER, there is no inverted population level stimulated to enable the quick return of an electron to its original orbit (with the associated photon release).

    In a normal atmosphere, where a population inversion ‘doesn’t’ exist, the electron takes an appreciable time to ‘relax’ into its former orbit with the associated ‘transit energy’ released as a ‘photon’ (measured parcel of energy released to the EM field).

    This is what I tried to introduce before. There are ‘two’ UWIR models here. Those which pass through the TOA ‘interface’ with a ‘waveform’ related to the EM field’s ‘Planck weighted’ temp profile of the general molecular KE that gets through the ‘interface’ (almost BB radiation), and the ‘discreet’ ‘Plank weighted’ ‘photon’ contribution that gets through the ‘interface’ from ‘radiatively active gasses’.

    I’ll leave you to digest this and just hope this post is made without ‘other’ complications. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  210. suricat says:

    🙂

    Best regards, Ray

  211. Max™‮‮ says:

    Two styrafoam boxes lined with black trashbags, windows cut in the lids, clear plastic over the lids with two vented sides in each, a tray with about an inch of water in each box, water temperature was at 72 f (was going to do it cooler but I forgot on the first run so I kept it at 72 for the rest of the runs) and thermometers were set to 68 before starting. Did it in various orders so I started with both warm and cool boxes.

    Took a freezer bag and hand fluffed it with air, took another and sucked the air out with a straw after sealing it around a bottle of soda, mountain dew I think, then I shook up the soda and inflated the bag, took the bag into a still room with no cross currents and very carefully removed the bottle of soda while opening the bag as little as I could manage. I was counting on CO2 being heavier than air to preserve a high concentration here. I tried to use vinegar and baking soda but it just complicated the matter more as I didn’t want to have to add it to the other bag and cleaning residue out after getting the CO2 reaction would be untenable.

    Ran both boxes under 4×60 Watt bulbs roughly 2 feet above them, in the bathroom, no cross flows or whatnot, set the water and thermometers to 72 and 68 respectively, recorded temperatures after 30 minutes.

    I then did runs with this methodology:

    xx:00 [No bag] _ [No bag]
    xx:30 Temp 1___Temp 2
    xx:35 [Air bag] _ [CO2 bag]
    xx:05 Temp 3___Temp 4

    Then let the room cool off, and do this:

    xx:00 [Air bag _ [CO2 bag]
    xx:30 Temp 1___Temp 2
    xx:35 [No bag] _ [No bag]
    xx:05 Temp 3___Temp 4

    Each time I compare the temperatures from the bagless vs bagged runs and compare the air vs CO2 runs.

    The box with a bag of CO2 winds up 2 to 4 degrees cooler than the box with the bag of normal air in it does.

  212. Max™‮‮ says:

    Oh, I had the bags set where there could be air flow around the sides of the bags, they weren’t directly touching the water or thermometer, and the light reaching the bottom of the box/water was passing through the bags, while the thermometer was not directly illuminated so it only warmed up from the rise in air temperature inside of the box.

  213. suricat says:

    Max.

    Whilst I’ve a ‘host’ of questions on your lab procedure, it looks like ‘evaporative cooling’ to me.

    CO2 is the ‘first’ gas to be absorbed by pure water. Thus, I assume, the two compounds are ‘mutually attractive’.

    IMHO, your bag with CO2 was filled from a ‘pop bottle’ that excluded air. Thus, the RH was at 100% saturation, but the bag filled with ‘air’ was at the RH of the ‘room’ that you filled it in.

    I can immediately see a difference between the ‘hydrological cycles’ of these two atmospheres. Did you notice the degree of ‘bag inflation’ between the two experiments? I envisage the ‘CO2’ bag as more ‘deflated’ than the bag containing the ‘normal atmosphere’. Why? Because the ‘CO2’ bag is a better ‘evaporative chamber’ (heat pump) than the ‘normal atmosphere’ bag with inert atmospheric inclusions.

    Best regards, Ray.

  214. suricat says:

    This ‘box’ is ‘smokin’ tonight, but I’m still activating my ‘bastardised’ network! 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  215. wayne says:

    Ray:

    You absolutely correct that is not about lasers but it is speaking of the same qm effect that lets you make a laser but only with very special apparatus and constraints. But don’t get too far out of line, this is not speaking of electrons being elevated to an electronically excited state as in visual lasers or randomly in the visual spectrum, you can do that to co2 but that is a very high energy level jump. Here I am speaking of vibrational energy level jumps but the same process and effect applies. Way down the energy level tree this same effect is used to create masers (microwave lasers). Radio astronomers are looking right now for this same subtle effect in partially excited gas masses when strobed by pulsars or other directional radiation of matching frequencies to force the stimulation of the gases molecules to drop to ground state but this time in microwaves. Since the incoming waves would be parallel they expect a subtle maser effect we might detect here on Earth.

    But in the atmosphere’s case this is only speaking on a single molecule basis, it depends on the incoming waves direction that forces the excited molecule to drop to ground state, both ‘photons’ continuing together in exactly the same direction and polarization.

    The key is that the vast majority of 15 µm radiation in our atmosphere is from the gray body surface and it is all upward to some upward angel. Spontaneous emissions do also occur but a billion times less than the stimulated case.

    Look at that graphic, the ‘B’ type interaction, spontaneous, is when there has been an emission and its direction is random. If it happens to be pointed downward the same multiplication occurs. But, there is always more upward than downward photons so this multiplication effect is always in the upward directions favor. This is NOT Stefan-Boltzmann governed and is not temperature or molecular collision dependent. Get the difference?

    Glad to see you are seeing this effect and it has surprised me that this has never been raised before.

    Of course in a truly homogenous environment this factor means nothing for all of its effects are equal in all directions and they all cancel, like in a lab environment, its impossible to mimic the pressure and temperature gradient that exists in an atmosphere in a lab with one side the energy source and the other void. See, that is the directionality that makes the stimulated emissions to be manifested.

    The best explanation from a university professor is like this: stimulated emission is the interaction of the electromagnetic field with the molecule’s electrons (not the electrons energy level, it can be vibrational or rotational too). That type of emission magnifies the wave’s intensity (ie: ejects two identical photons). Spontaneous emission has no interaction with the surrounding e/m field at all and is time dependent and random in direction.

  216. wayne says:

    Ray, also, take this with a grain of salt. I’m still learning here and may be speaking over my head. Here’s one link that takes you through the math (deep) and some great summary statements on this subject:

    Click to access part07.pdf


    Change the partXX in the URL for other chapters.

    The some radio astronomy sites have good pages on general radiation characteristics also. We speak of thermal radation so much but much seems to be glossed over… I blame the IPCC for this travialization and over-simplified examples that leave the wrong impressions.

  217. Max™‮‮ says:

    “I can immediately see a difference between the ‘hydrological cycles’ of these two atmospheres. Did you notice the degree of ‘bag inflation’ between the two experiments? I envisage the ‘CO2′ bag as more ‘deflated’ than the bag containing the ‘normal atmosphere’. Why? Because the ‘CO2′ bag is a better ‘evaporative chamber’ (heat pump) than the ‘normal atmosphere’ bag with inert atmospheric inclusions.” ~suricat

    I had both bags inflated so they were the same size when cool and warm.

    The bags were both sealed.

    There was no condensation on the inside of either bag at any point in the experiment.

  218. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Do atmospheres that have no walls or a top as in any lab experiment know, by proper physics, how to multiply?”

    Perhaps they could do it by following a pressure gradient and three dimensional geometry allowing more space for expansion as one moves away from the spherical surface ?

  219. Wayne,

    You say: Ray, also, take this with a grain of salt. I’m still learning here and may be speaking over my head.

    Wayne, I’m really sorry to say this but you are not just speaking over your head – you are way out there in la-la land. I have never heard such nonsense – and from you of all people, who has been so level-headed on the other threads 🙂

    You say: Spontaneous emissions do also occur but a billion times less than the stimulated case..

    If you really mean to say that the atmosphere is emitting billions of times more stimulated radiation than spontaneous radiation, then I think you will have a tough time persuading anybody of that, warmist or skeptic.

    You suggest that the radiation coming back to the surface is much less than that going up from the surface. But that appears to defy the observational evidence which indicates that a very thin layer at the BoA (perhaps a few tens of metres) is responsible for absorbing the upwelling radiation and re-emitting it back down, leaving the bulk of the atmosphere competely undisturbed.

    The fact is that it looks increasingly likely that the (modified) Trenberth energy balance is correct: the downwelling radiation from atmosphere to surface (333Wm-2) is more-or-less equal to the upwelling radiation from surface to atmosphere (330Wm-2).

    What you and some others seem to find very difficult to grasp is that radiation (and hence temperature) in the atmosphere is a consequence of Kinetic Energy, not its cause. But once you make this intellectual flip, everything falls into place:

    (1) The thin bottom layer of the atmosphere is at essentially the same temperature as the surface. That is, it contains a sufficient quantity of KE to maintain a temperature of around 288K. So naturally both ‘bodies’ will radiate the same amount of radiant energy towards one another as a consequence, as all ‘bodies’ at any given temperature above absolute zero must do. The radiation goes nowhere and is certainly not responsible for heating anything. The downward radiation is offset by the upward radiation and vice-versa (Prevost’s theory of exchanges, 1790).

    (2) In the vast bulk of the atmosphere, the energy stored there is largely in the form of Kinetic Energy. Because of the reducing pressure profile up the atmospheric column, the KE is distributed unevenly, with more towards the bottom and less towards the top. This is what gives the atmosphere its reducing temperature profile with height (temperature is simply a measure of KE, right?).

    And yes there is also lots of radiation buzzing about in the bulk of the atmosphere as a result of spontaneous emission from all those kinetically energised GHG molecules. But this radiation is a consequence of the atmosphere’s KE content and not the cause of it. The photons rush about in all directions and get re-absorbed as fast as they are emitted. So the flux of photons is constant in all directions and is not consumed. In other words it balances out and doesn’t steal KE. And it is certainly not responsible for heating anything.

    (3) Towards the ToA, the KE (shared equally, at any given height, between non-GHGs and GHGs alike) is increasingly lost to space via the GHGs which convert it to radiation that escapes to space. So radiation in the upper atmosphere is certainly not responsible for heating anything. In fact quite the opposite: it is a vital part of the earth’s cooling mechanism.

    So to summarise:

    The KE in the surface and in a thin BoA layer causes radiation. The radiation goes nowhere and does nothing. It is simply a manifestation, and certainly not a cause, of the temperature there, of around 288K.

    The KE in the bulk of the atmosphere causes radiation. The radiation goes nowhere and does nothing. It is simply a manifestation, and certainly not a cause, of the temperature profile there.

    KE towards the ToA is via GHGs radiating to space. So the radiation certainly does nothing up there to heat the atmosphere.

    I have tried many times here to articulate the obvious. KE rules the whole show, not radiation. I really can’t say it any plainer than that.

  220. wayne says:

    “you are way out there in la-la land. I have never heard such nonsense – and from you of all people, who has been so level-headed on the other threads”

    Hmm… that “la-la land” and “nonsense” is in every high-level radiative transfer course’s text you dare to open. Not many universities even offer such courses but the ones that do and on the web say the same and that is what I’ve been speaking of. Well, maybe better to leave everyone here to climate science 101 and adiabatic loop energy transfers to piece together what occurs in atmospheres.

    Too bad, it seems you never even searched out the links I left and you are the one I thought might have the capability to help look deeper into this area. That these aspects are never raised… I’m not surprised, it makes piecemeal of much of what climate “science” has been teaching the world of GHGs their radiation and “backward radiation” (DLR).

    This all stems from your statement you wanted to know more of what happens at the TOA, how enough KE could convert to radiation upward. I wanted to know why the ground surface is so much warmer than air an inch or foot above the surface during nighttime inversions. Directionality is prime important in both of these cases and I was elated to seem to find it buried deep in radiative transfer texts. But, you are right, in the midst, in the center portion of a large and thick atmosphere as Earth’s, all radiation gets randomizes, both types of emissions, and the frequencies are in the GHG’s admissible frequency lines or continuum.

    Well, sorry, this might be a bit too deep to even mention here and could be why Anthony keeps putting this site as in “la-la” land I just thought any proper science was accepted here, deep or not.

  221. suricat says:

    wayne.

    A few ‘ground rules’ are needed for ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ definition.

    I was reluctant to post on this subject in this thread. That’s because the thread title of “Emissivity puzzle: energy exchange in non-vacuums” strongly suggests a ‘macroscopic’ ‘POV’ (Point Of View). However, the ‘microscopic’ detail under QM presents a ‘vacuum’ containing an ‘EM field’ just about everywhere. Heck, even the Earth’s ‘crust’ has a greater volume of ‘vacuum’ than ‘mass’ in its make-up. We need to be clear about the discipline of which we write, ‘macroscopic’, or ‘microscopic’. The two are incompatible during a constructive dialogue and need to be ‘tagged’ for correct factual reference.

    Having said all that, I’m probably the world’s ‘worst’ (greatest?) violator of that principle. 🙂

    wayne says: January 3, 2013 at 6:22 am

    “But don’t get too far out of line, this is not speaking of electrons being elevated to an electronically excited state as in visual lasers or randomly in the visual spectrum, you can do that to co2 but that is a very high energy level jump”

    Why not? “visual lasers or randomly in the visual spectrum”???

    I proposed a microscopic interaction possible in the upper atmosphere as;
    “The molecule’s activity migrates an ‘electron’ to a higher ‘electron shell’ (in one scenario) by kinetic collision, but, unlike a LASER, there is no inverted population level stimulated to enable the quick return of an electron to its original orbit (with the associated photon release).” (if this is what you refer to).
    Cosmic ‘ray’ (‘cosmic rays’ is a confusing term as many cosmic ‘rays’ include particle bombardments of high velocity particulates, as well as extremely ‘short wave’ EM energy bursts) particles, mostly, do more than this where/when they penetrate the atmosphere (most readers will probably need to re-read this bit twice).

    I had intended to say more, but, since reading your dialogue with David Socrates, I’ve deleted it from this post. I really do need to get my old coms systems up and running before fully entering into this discussion. “Word Pro” seems to work better with ‘postings’ for me.

    Best regards, Ray.

  222. wayne says:

    Ray: “Why not? “visual lasers or randomly in the visual spectrum”???

    I proposed a microscopic interaction possible in the upper atmosphere as; …”

    Ok Ray, I see what you mean now, you are looking from the incoming SW radiation viewpoint and I was speaking only of outgoing LW radiation from the surface up. Well yes, follow that thought, all I’ve said so far applies to it too, all e/m radiation is… well, e/m radiation and all e/m radiation follow certain rules and equations with certain effects.

    David too:

    You know, I have read nowhere that said this applies to visual light and microwave light but somehow Einstein never said it explicitly but if he did say it he would have stated: Never, ever apply these equations and effect to infrared light, these don’t apply there. 😉 No, I’ve never come across such a statement. Since I’ve never read that it seems the Einstein coefficients do apply here in the radiation we spend thousands of post arguing about why current climate science is off, way off, everyone can sense it is wrong but no one can put their finger explicitly on the *why* it is wrong, why can GHG radiation not be “trapped”.

    That’s how I got interested in this area. So why not infrared lasers? Well first off, you must have an environment where there is no radiation to stimulate emissions occurring at the frequency you are trying to laze yet there is infrared light coming from all matter (your device) in all directions and polarizations and usually in a gray body manner at all infrared frequencies, just won’t work easily. They might have already created such a device but it seems it would be very, very hard to do so, like cooling the entire device so cold all radiation present is in the microwave area. So no, I’m not speaking of a laser in our atmosphere.

    But my mind then jumped to our atmosphere. According to everything I’ve read in these courses, it is the same effect and is occurring anytime you have e/m radiation in gases so how does that apply here? The word “directional emission” stuck especially after finding it is the normal type of emission from gases by a large factor, the slower spontaneous isotropic ½-up ½-down type is the rarity at infrared frequencies and I’m still following that line of thought to see where it leads. Sorry some seem to think this is nonsense, how about it might not apply for this reason or that reason or in this area with some links so I can stop considering it. 🙂

  223. clivebest says:

    Scienceofdoom has just published an article “Visualizing Radiation – Part 1) which is worth a read. It contains this statement regarding stimulated emission.

    “Scattering is insignificant for longwave radiation (4μm and up). Stimulated emission is insignificant for intensities seen in the atmosphere.”

    He doesn’t justify the second statement.

  224. wayne says:

    “Scattering is insignificant for longwave radiation (4μm and up). Stimulated emission is insignificant for intensities seen in the atmosphere.”

    He doesn’t justify the second statement.”

    Clive, he would be right if he speaks of the entire atmosphere but I have only been speaking of isolated areas, [1] right near the surface and [2] at and above the troposphere. Let’s see if he ever addresses those areas where radiation has undeniable directionality component (upward) and what he has to say.

  225. wayne says:

    Oops, change to tropopause.

  226. Max™‮‮ says:

    Huh, that second graphic he uses looked familiar: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/guest975820037.png

    Though, this is what it looks like when you scale it to the atmospheric concentrations: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/guest1444135196.png

  227. tjfolkerts says:

    Clive, you have done some interesting work.

    Could you explain how you go the curves here:

    I am amazed how much energy you get coming from so low in the atmosphere. I picture the 15 um band as much more “opaque” than that, with most of the energy coming from a alternatively narrow band of altitude (rather than from basically the whole atmosphere). I suppose if we are including the edges of the bands where the CO2 absorbs and emits poorly, then your results seem more plausible.

    (BTW, do you assume the same surface temperature for all of those?)

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

    Independent of those concerns, I have a much bigger conceptual concern with you other image:

    Rather than “radiation from CO2” what you really want to look at is “radiation in the 13-17 um wavelength range”. (Or 13-15um or 14-16 um or what ever band you are integrating over).

    The cooling effect is from ALL radiation in the band, not just the CO2. As the CO2 drops below 300 ppm in your model, then more radiation from the ground directly will escape. As CO2 goes to zero, the radiation to space CONTINUES TO INCREASE. Your curve should keep swooping up as CO2 drops if you include the radiation from the ground in that range.

    I get ~ 42 W/m^2 for the 13-15 um band from the ground itself. So with no CO2, there would be the whole 43 W/m^2 escaping. This is about exactly in line with an extrapolation of your curve if the upward swoop is continued.

    So maximum cooling is with ZERO CO2!

  228. tjfolkerts says:

    Let’s see if I can say this right.

    The probability of an photon stimulating the emission from an electron in an excited state (moving that electron back to the ground state) …

    is equal to

    the probability of an photon getting absorbed by an electron in the ground state (moving that electron to an excited state).

    But the number of electrons in the excited state will be less than the number of atoms in the excited state (unless you create very unusual circumstances as needed in a laser). So there is be an attenuation of a beam in normal circumstances.

    So for example, if 30% of the atoms are in the excited state and 70% are in the ground state, then if you shine 100 IR photons thru the gas, in some distance 7 would get absorbed and 3 would be created by stimulated emission. This drops the number by 4. Go a little farther, and 4 more will get absorbed. The only possible outcome is for a beam of photons to get attenuated — eventually down to zero.

  229. clivebest says:

    Tim ,

    I want to reply shortly now and then properly tomorrow as it is past midnight here !

    One quick reply on figure 3. Yes you are right with zero CO2 radiation in the 13-15 u band will escape directly to Earth.

    The plot that includes direct ground radiation is this one here

    My thoughts are congealing that the balance between convection, radiation and the lapse rate (+evaporation) push the atmosphere to maximize its radiation loss – for CO2 that is 300ppm.

    Clive

  230. Max™‮‮ says:

    Interesting data plots.

  231. suricat says:

    wayne says: January 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

    “Ok Ray, I see what you mean now, you are looking from the incoming SW radiation viewpoint and I was speaking only of outgoing LW radiation from the surface up. Well yes, follow that thought, all I’ve said so far applies to it too, all e/m radiation is… well, e/m radiation and all e/m radiation follow certain rules and equations with certain effects.”

    Er..? No!!

    The point being that OLR ‘doesn’t’ just originate from a ‘surface altitude’ (I tried to emphasise this with my ‘cosmic ray’ scenario)! A ‘cloud base’ altitude gives the ‘latent heat’ emission from the surface (as a ‘BB’ thermal ‘input’ at that altitude), but this isn’t the ‘surface’, is it? Likewise, BB radiation is only a ‘type’ of emission and can’t be fully contributed to a ‘surface emission’, can it?

    If so, I’d like to know how. 🙂

    On a ‘microscopic’ scale, there are ‘many’ surfaces to Earth’s atmosphere, but on a ‘macroscopic’ scale, there can only be one. 😉

    Best regards, Ray.

  232. Stephen Wilde says:

    It occurs to me that the slope of the actual lapse in so far as it diverges from the ideal lapse rate set by gravity in one layer would not need to be compensated for by an equal and opposite distortion in the other direction in another layer if the affected layer expands instead.

    So if the actual lapse rate in the troposphere is reduced to 6.5C instead of 10C by the presence of water vapour then the thermal effect would be offset by the tropopause height being higher than it otherwise would have been.

    The reason being that it is density that affects the throughput of energy and an expanded atmosphere is a less dense atmosphere which lets energy flow through faster.

    So if water vapour reduces the troposphere lapse rate from 10C to 6.5C that slowing down of energy throughput results in a higher, less dense troposphere than would otherwise have been the case and the less dense troposphere then allows energy through faster to offset the thermal effect of the water vapour.

    So, my original contention was correct in principle in that the system has to compensate for divergences from the ideal lapse rate if an atmosphere is to be retained but the appropriate adjustment is made by altering the density of the affected layer through expansion rather than by having an adjustment in another layer.

    The Ideal Gas Law controls the rsate of energy throughput and not radiative physics.

    The less dense layer would also allow a freer convective circulation because it would be less viscous than a denser atmosphere and would also increase the speed and efficiency of our water cycle.

  233. The emissivity of the ocean has been thoroughly studied and theory matches experiment.

    See The Emissivity of the Ocean.

    Of course, many people do tedious experiments and write them up in dull papers. But why bother reading them? Remember just a few weeks of writing blog articles can save minutes of research time.

    What is the source of the first graph? The one with the footnote that doesn’t match the title?

    For anyone with a passing interest in actual science the fact that contributor ‘Max’ has found a graph with a totally different value from decades of study by hundreds of experienced researchers would be worth checking.

    The emissivity value is used by all the satellites to calculate sea surface temperature (SST). Strangely, many people believe the SST measurements from satellites which in turn rely on ocean emissivity. You have to wonder why they spend so much money on putting those satellites up in the first place.

  234. I’m intrigued by the spreadsheet by Wayne Jackson. It is great to see someone finally put pen to paper, as it were, with their alternative components of heat transfer.

    1. Pyrgeometers are wrong but pyranometers are right?

    2. Pyrgeometers in space are right but pyrgeometers at the surface are wrong?

    I look forward with great interest to the explanation on these two points.

    3. What’s “Total LW resident in atm“? According to the spreadsheet this row value = total energy absorbed by the atmosphere per second. There is no such thing as resident longwave radiation.

    4. According to my adding up from the spreadsheet:

    Energy per second into atmosphere = solar absorbed + LW upward absorbed + sensible + latent = 78+223+17+80= 398 W/m^2.

    Energy per second out of atmosphere = LW emitted upward + LW emitted downward = 197+?
    This LW emitted downward is not specified.
    To balance energy it must be 201 W/m^2.

    What is the spreadsheet cell description ‘LW Half up – Half dn “back rad” ‘?

    A person with a spreadsheet can write any value they want for thermal emission of radiation from the surface and then balance it with a downward component from the atmosphere.

    What has Wayne Jackson demonstrated? That if you type an invented value of upward emission in and then divide it by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation it gives you an invented value of emissivity.

    Well, as the blog owner has explained “some people” doubt the measured values of radiation. That’s pretty convincing evidence.

    Alternatively, you can read what well-calibrated pyrgeometers actually measure over a long period of time in The Amazing Case of “Back Radiation”.

    And you can even see experiments from the Energy Balance Experiment, EBEX 2000, where upward and downward radiation at the surface are measured in The Amazing Case of “Back Radiation” – Part Three”.

  235. Stephen Wilde says:

    Another ‘ding’ moment.

    The rate of cooling that an atmosphere needs to achieve in order to match energy in with energy out at top of atmosphere is not tied to the DALR either. The ideal lapse rate is different again to that.

    It is clear that radiative characteristics do affect the actual lapse rate so it must follow that ANY radiative ability will distort the actual lapse rate away from the ideal one.

    That even applies to Oxygen, Nitrogen and Hydrogen, miniscule though the distorion would be.

    So removing ALL radiative ability gives us the true ideal lapse rate set by mass, gravity and insolation alone. Has that ever been quantified ?

    That ideal lapse rate is never seen in reality because all mass has some radiative ability.

    Therefore the height of the atmosphere up through the vertical column is not just dependent on the energy coming in from sources external to the atmosphere such as solar and geothermal but is also dependent on radiative characteristics.

    It is established science that it is atmospheric density that controls the surface temperature needed to arrange that energy in equals energy out.

    It is an obvious fact that the total number of molecules (or amount of mass) does not change when an atmosphere expands.

    Thus expansion reduces density which increases the ease with which energy can move up the column by whatever means.

    The decrease in resistance from the lower density is all very well but in the end the energy still has to get past the same amount of mass so overall the surface temperature must stay the same.

    The reduction in density is local to each height but there is then more height for the energy to traverse and so the net thermal result of of those density reductions within the vertical column (caused by radiative characteristics) at top of atmosphere and at the surface is zero. The only change is within the atmsphere itself.

    Only the slope of the actual lapse rate changes as a result of adding radiative characteristics to an atmosphere that has no radiative ability at all.

    Nothing else.

    The thermal effect of the change in the slope is completely offset by the change in total atmospheric depth. The slope changes but so does the distance that it has to traverse.

    The error to date has been that no one has ever considered the concept of an adiabatic lapse rate as it would be in the complete absence of any radiative ability for the constituent molecules. It has not been considered because no such molecules exist.

    Until now that concept has never been needed for any specific purpose but it should have popped into the mind of whoever it was that first proposed a net thermal effect from more GHGs and all his or her scientifically qualified successors.

    They never stopped to think how radiative characteristics could have a net thermal effect for an atmosphere around a rocky planet when they never did for gas clouds in space, sun formation and planetary gas giants.

  236. oldbrew says:

    New post from Joe Postma discussing back radiation, photons and the laws of thermodynamics – amongst other things.

    http://climateofsophistry.com/2013/01/04/the-fraud-of-the-aghe-part-10-what-else-is-the-ghe-the-patent-office-and-the-2nd-law/

  237. Wayne,

    You say: Hmm… that “la-la land” and “nonsense” is in every high-level radiative transfer course’s text you dare to open.

    I would be grateful for references to any sources that address stimulated emission in the context of the earth’s atmosphere at temperatures between 288K and 200K.

    You say: Too bad, it seems you never even searched out the links I left and you are the one I thought might have the capability to help look deeper into this area.

    The only link I can find that you left, either here or on the Tim Folkerts thread, is this one:

    Click to access part07.pdf

    This contains fifty seven pages packed only with mathematical equations. 🙂

    Am I really likely to be motivated to “look deeper” into this document (although I could if encouraged) without some kind of background scoping information that gives me some justification for spending the several days it would take to do so.

    If you have been researching this subject for some time, how about giving us all a single coherent summary plus the relevant references that you haven’t yet supplied (as far as I can tell).

  238. oldbrew says:

    scienceofdoom says: ‘Strangely, many people believe the SST measurements from satellites which in turn rely on ocean emissivity.’

    There are known problems with SST satellite measurements.

    Click to access bar-sever.pdf

    One example from the report:
    ‘TRF accuracy and stability currently limited by inter-technique ties, and GNSS antenna phase center uncertainties’

    TRF: The Terrestrial Reference Frame is the Foundation for all Metric Observations of the Earth

  239. Following up on my comment of January 5, 2013 at 8:24 am:

    The header for your first graph states the product type MYD11C3.

    Here is a list of MODIS products. MYD11C3 says “Land Surface Temperature & Emissivity”

    This is a “land” product. The data sets for this product are all related to land – MODIS/Aqua Land Surface Temperature/Emissivity Monthly L3 Global 0.05Deg CMG.

    It seem that your commenter Max added the footer that stated it was ocean emissivity. Well, up to him or the blog owner to provide his source.

    “The MODIS/Aqua V4 LST/E 8-Day L3 Global CMG product (Short name: MYD11C3) is a monthly composited average, derived from the MYD11C1 daily global product, and stored as clear-sky LST values during a month’s period in a 0.05º (5600 meters) geographic CMG. MYD11C3, therefore, inherits all the structural features of its MYD11C1 parent except for the temporal configuration. Please refer to the MYD11C1 product documentation for all algorithm-related details.

    The V4 MYD11C3 product comprises the following Science Data Set (SDS) layers for daytime and nighttime observations: LSTs, quality control assessments, observation times, view zenith angles, clear sky coverages, and emissivities for bands 20, 22, 23, 29, 31, and 32.

    The V4 Aqua/MODIS LST/E products, including MYD11C3, are validated to Stage-1 with well-defined uncertainties over a range of representative conditions. Further details regarding MODIS land product validation for the LST/E products is available from the following URL: http://landval.gsfc.nasa.gov/ProductStatus.php?ProductID=MYD11

    The “parent” – the C1 product – has a table of data that shows all the products are related to land.

    Check out the User Guide.

  240. oldbrew says on January 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm:

    “..There are known problems with SST satellite measurements..”

    Are you just word matching? There are known problems with every measurement system in the world.

    Does this mean that ocean emissivity is possibly 0.7 instead of 0.98-0.99 at the infrared wavelengths where SST is retrieved?

    Why not look up a few papers on Google Scholar referencing SST measurements from satellite and read them. Validation of every measurement system is commonplace.

    Please comment on the actual retrieval accuracy of SST via satellite. Is it always off by 25%? And no one noticed?

    That’s why they wrote that article about location and time accuracy that had nothing to do with SST retrievals?

  241. Max™‮‮ says:

    No, I didn’t add the note about it being for the ocean, I asked why the ocean was the same color as one of the values on the graph when it could have been presented like this: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/MYD11C3A2006091_emisA_wavelen83_fixed_zpsf06a539c.png

    A few minutes of research can save lots of time posting, eh SoD? 😀

  242. oldbrew says:

    Quoting from the NASA document referenced earlier…

    Evidence of a problem:
    •? High post-fit residuals for GPS43

    •? Bias in Topex GPS antenna position
    •? Drift in Jason GPS antenna position
    •? Drift in GPS realization of TRF Scale
    ***
    Impact of TRF on GMSL Record from Tide Gauges: competing approaches for TRF
    realization yield estimates for sea-level rise ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 mm/yr.3

    Desired accuracy for measuring global mean sea level (GMSL) rise is 0.1 mm/yr.
    ***
    Total error (root-sum-squared) 0.6mm/yr
    ***
    The GRASP mission concept is designed to address the following problems:
    [etc]
    ***

    There’s more but that gives a flavour of it.

  243. clivebest says:

    Tim,
    “Could you explain how you go the curves here:

    I am amazed how much energy you get coming from so low in the atmosphere. I picture the 15 um band as much more “opaque” than that”

    I am using http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Saturation.html as a source for Beer Lambert absorption parameters in CO2 bands. The main 13-17 micron absorption then gives (99%) opacity at around 7 km ! If this measurement is wrong then clearly my results need adjusting. However the net outgoing radiation calculated (37 watts/m2) is about half that emitted by the surface and this more or less agrees with IR spectra from satellites. On Venus the other bands become important and the atmosphere is fully opaque to IR photons in CO2 bands being 99% absorbed within 1cm. However on Earth (unless the reference above is wrong) with 300 ppm IR photons pass many meters before being absorbed even at the surface.

    Independent of those concerns, I have a much bigger conceptual concern with you other image:

    The cooling effect is from ALL radiation in the band, not just the CO2. As the CO2 drops below 300 ppm in your model, then more radiation from the ground directly will escape. So maximum cooling is with ZERO CO2!”

    Yes this is true, but not the whole story. I have updated the figure to include surface radiation and for atmospheric radiation, escaping to space at low CO2 concentrations.

    With zero CO2 there is an IR window 13-15 microns – allowing about 70 watts/m2 to radiate directly to space . As CO2 increases an increasing proportion of that radiation is then absorbed by the atmosphere, and around . It gradually becomes more effective for the surface then to lose heat through convection and evaporation directly to the atmosphere. The lapse rate profile is optimised until a balance is met whereby the radiation loss through CO2 radiation in the atmosphere is maximised.

    The flow of heat from the ground to space is always maximised. Between 70-90 watts/m2 escapes directly from the surface (IR window). Between 140 – 160 watts/m2 is radiated by the atmosphere to space via GHGs. However thermodynamics (convection and latent heat) transports nearly all of that heat from the surface to the atmosphere. Maximum cooling in the atmosphere is maintained with 300 ppm CO2, and a relative humidity optimised for maximum radiation losses to space.

  244. Following on from my comment at January 5, 2013 at 8:24 am and at 12:24 pm, I received an email from Jaime Nickeson, one of the contacts from the MODIS page who confirmed:

    “That is a MODIS land product, masked and processed only over land surfaces.
    In the image you display below the only emissivities in the range of 0.7 are in the Sahara region.”

    So, just in case anyone is unclear what the above words mean, the first graph in the article is not a measurement of ocean emissivity, it is a measurement of land emissivity.

    Remember, just a few weeks of writing blog articles can save many minutes of research time!

    [Reply] Welcome back to the talkshop S.o.D. We did work this out pretty quickly, as I already knew open ocean emissivity s around 0.983. There’s so much more to water than its surface emissivity though.

  245. Max™‮‮ says:

    Yes SoD, I see you missed where I pointed out that the image could have been presented like this, displayed the same information, and had no ambiguity: http://i341.photobucket.com/albums/o396/maxarutaru/science/MYD11C3A2006091_emisA_wavelen83_fixed_zpsf06a539c.png

  246. Max,

    No I got it.

    You weren’t happy with MODIS data presentation formats, didn’t read the data description and so added an incorrect description as a footer to a MODIS graph which this blog owner turned into an article about how ocean emissivity might be 0.7 after all. Well, in conjunction with a made-up spreadsheet from someone else.

    I’d be upset too if someone didn’t present information the way I wanted it and made me spend minutes having to find something out.

    I think you’ve been very restrained.

  247. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: January 5, 2013 at 4:33 am

    “It occurs to me that the slope of the actual lapse in so far as it diverges from the ideal lapse rate set by gravity in one layer would not need to be compensated for by an equal and opposite distortion in the other direction in another layer if the affected layer expands instead.

    So if the actual lapse rate in the troposphere is reduced to 6.5C instead of 10C by the presence of water vapour then the thermal effect would be offset by the tropopause height being higher than it otherwise would have been.

    The reason being that it is density that affects the throughput of energy and an expanded atmosphere is a less dense atmosphere which lets energy flow through faster.

    So if water vapour reduces the troposphere lapse rate from 10C to 6.5C that slowing down of energy throughput results in a higher, less dense troposphere than would otherwise have been the case and the less dense troposphere then allows energy through faster to offset the thermal effect of the water vapour.”

    Oh, come on Stephen. You’re getting into one of my bad habits of posting in the middle of the night. 🙂

    ‘WV’ (Water Vapour) ‘reduces’ the temp change with altitude increase only when it ‘condenses’. Being ‘lighter than air’, its presence reduces the ‘SG’ (Specific Gravity) of an ‘air parcel’ and causes it to ‘rise’ until the local temp/pressure causes the WV gas to change phase into a liquid/solid (that’s ignoring the forced advection from Earth’s Climate Cell system). The ‘phase change’ doesn’t affect the density (SG) of the air parcel that much though because the ‘mass’ included within the ‘air parcel’ is ~the same, but the pressure has changed greatly (the equivalent volume of water is several magnitudes of volume less than that for WV). This causes a ‘turbulence’ effect that ‘mixes’ the parcel with neighbouring regions (the parcel becomes the centre of a ‘low pressure’ anomaly [we’re into weather forecasts now]). Needless to say, ‘turbulence’ is the ‘chaotic’ factor here.

    Where you see an anticyclone in the NH you can bet on the fact that it’s raining there and you can also bet on the fact that the ‘lapse rate’ had something to do with it. 😉

    “So, my original contention was correct in principle in that the system has to compensate for divergences from the ideal lapse rate if an atmosphere is to be retained but the appropriate adjustment is made by altering the density of the affected layer through expansion rather than by having an adjustment in another layer.”

    No Stephen. Atmospheric ‘detrainment’ exists when the gravity exhibited by a body can’t ‘retain’ the ‘lighter molecules’ that exist in the body’s atmosphere. In Earth’s scenario (ignoring Earth’s magnetosphere), the property of water is such that it generates a turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere that constrains water to one of Earth’s ‘inherent’ properties. If H2O gets too high in Earth’s atmosphere, it changes phase to a more dense form and alters local atmospheric pressure as well. From here we get to weather again. 🙂

    Think ‘atmospheric heat pump’ and you’ll be close to the (metaphoric) region that you posted on.

    Best regards, Ray.

  248. tallbloke says:

    S.o.D’s sarcasm looks like an attempt to cover for the MODIS team’s poor data representation, and to distract attention from the glaring errors in the Trenberth-Keihl energy budget.

  249. Max™‮‮ says:

    “You weren’t happy with MODIS data presentation formats, didn’t read the data description and so added an incorrect description as a footer to a MODIS graph which this blog owner turned into an article about how ocean emissivity might be 0.7 after all.” ~SoD

    I did not post the article, I was looking for datasets on emissivity for the surface and was understandably baffled at that one showing the ocean as uniformly black while the colored legend indicated black was for < .7 emissivity.

    I posted it as an "huh, why does this say the ocean has that emissivity?" not "AH HAH, PROOF THAT THE OCEAN EMISSIVITY IS .7!", I did not add the footer to the graph, I did nothing but pick it up during a google search for "global emissivity" as I recall.

    *checks*
    https://www.google.com/search?num=30&hl=en&authuser=0&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=857&q=global+emissivity&oq=global+emissivity&gs_l=img.3…2688.4570.0.4785.17.10.0.7.4.0.168.966.7j3.10.0…0.0…1ac.1.hpTxYdV50WQ

    Yup, first result.

    Later on I fixed the ambiguity in GIMP, if you're still being sarcastic, I'm not good at detecting it, so I'm still operating in "oh, you've made a mistake in attributing certain things to me, allow me to help" mode.

  250. It’s true, it is painful when people write hurtful comments. Especially when the scientific points in the comments can’t be argued with. And they conflict with the astrology article written by the blog owner. That must hurt more.

    Obviously I must be covering for something. My main objective must have been to distract people from the subject of the glaring errors in basic energy balance from Kiehl & Trenberth.

    So back to the subject you didn’t write about.. what are the glaring errors?

    The ones you presented in the spreadsheet?

    – Surface emissivity might be 0.7? No wait, you knew it wasn’t all along but just presented the article without mentioning that..
    – The calculation of “Total LW resident in atm“ whatever that might be?
    – The mysterious value of “‘LW Half up – Half dn “back rad”
    – The pyrgeometer & pyranometer readings from the atmosphere that are ok but the surface pyrgeometer readings are not?

    What “glaring” science on climate energy balance have you presented that needs discussion in this article on emissivity puzzles?

    What do you claim that science actually reveals on this subject.

    [Reply] The glaring issue with The K-T budget is this:
    If the emission temp of 288K at ~0.9 emissivity is equivalent to 356W/m^2 but 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat and 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, then how can 356W/m^2 be leaving as LW?
    I am certain that a published reply from you will consist of a well reasoned and succinct answer to that question, rather than further snark.

  251. Max™‮‮ says:

    I will add that I’ve mentioned the emissivity needed to get 239 W/m^2 out from a 288 K surface is right around .7, and that is the main reason I went “uhhh, why is the water black here?”

    I am also curious about your thoughts on what tallbloke posted though.

  252. Tallbloke says:

    “The glaring issue with The K-T budget is this:
    If the emission temp of 288K at 0.908 emissivity is equivalent to 356W/m^2 but 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat and 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, then how can 356W/m^2 be leaving as LW?”

    Is there a thermodynamic basis to your question?

    I assume there is some pre-supposed data you are working on.

    You ask “How?”. The answer is easy. If surface globally annually averaged energy in per second = 453 W/m^2 then that is how 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat, 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, and 356W/m^2 is leaving as LW.

    [By the way, I don’t claim your emissivity values are the correct numbers because the ocean covers over 70% of the earth’s surface and its emissivity is about 0.96, but I’ll work with your emissivity and, consequently, emission of thermal radiation value for now].

  253. tallbloke says:

    S.o.D, thanks for your reply. Since 30% of the globe is covered by landmass with an emissivity varying as the Modis plot indicates, I think an overall emissivity of around 0.9 is a reasonable starting point.

    The difference between the surface temperature for bodies at that emissivity emitting 453 and 356W/m^2 respectively would be an indication of the extent to which the surface is cooled by evaporation. Given that we know the enthalpy involved in that and have a rough idea of annual global precip, we should be able to get a rough idea of whether the figures stack up. To your knowledge, has anyone tried to figure that out in order to get a sanity check on the budget?

  254. Stephen Wilde says:

    Suricat.

    Water vapour is less dense than air and thus lighter. Less dense means less mass in a given volume.

    The lapse rate in the troposphere is 6.5C as against the DALR of 10C

    That reduced lapse rate is a result of water vapour expanding the troposphere thus smearing the available energy across a greater vertical distance and a separate issue from the condensation process that you then go on to describe. The release of energy at the top when condensation does occur increases radiation to space thereby maintaining the vigour of uplift from the surface and the reduced lapse rate.

    Therefore the troposphere does expand significantly due to the presence of water vapour and since the mass stays the same the density must be less than it otherwise would have been with a DALR of 10C.

    That greater height from expansion converts more of the available KE to PE which means less KE at the surface exactly offsetting any extra KE caused by more GHGs.

  255. You said (in your reply appended to my comment of January 6, 2013 at 11:07 am):

    The glaring issue with The K-T budget is this:
    If the emission temp of 288K at ~0.9 emissivity is equivalent to 356W/m^2 but 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat and 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, then how can 356W/m^2 be leaving as LW?

    That’s not a glaring issue as I commented at January 6, 2013 at 11:48 am.

    Then you said at 12:06 pm:

    ..The difference between the surface temperature for bodies at that emissivity emitting 453 and 356W/m^2 respectively would be an indication of the extent to which the surface is cooled by evaporation. Given that we know the enthalpy involved in that and have a rough idea of annual global precip, we should be able to get a rough idea of whether the figures stack up. To your knowledge, has anyone tried to figure that out in order to get a sanity check on the budget?”

    I’m confused. A glaring issue? What is the “how can..” in the first question referring to?

    You asked in the most recent comment: “..To your knowledge, has anyone tried to figure that out ..” – Yes, it’s in the KT paper and in the many attempts over the previous 100 years of global annual surface and planetary energy budgets.

    What is the glaring issue you claim is in the K-T budget?

  256. Tallbloke says, January 6, 2013 at 9:44 am: …glaring errors in the Trenberth-Keihl energy budget.

    Roger,

    Having carefully read the Trenberth, Fasullo, and Kiehl article in the March 2009 edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (copy obtainable at: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/EarthsGlobalEnergyBudget.pdf ) I made a comment on this thread on December 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm suggesting that their 2009 figures were probably the best to use because they were at least published in a Journal and so the authors were, in principle, challengable – unlike the case with many of the alternative unattributable energy diagrams that are floating about on the internet.

    Then on this thread on January 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm I pointed out that the small inbalance in the Trenberth figures between downwelling and upwelling radiation at the earth’s surface (396Wm-2 up less 333Wm-2 down) was now considered to be probably an error. This was a consequence of the fact that Trenberth & Fasullo had apparently accepted in private correspondence with Christopher Game in 2010 that their figure for the Atmospheric Window of 40Wm-2 should be increased to 66Wm-2. If so, an increase of 26Wm-2 through the atmospheric window necessitates a balancing reduction of 26Wm-2 in the upwelling radiation from surface to the atmosphere, which then becomes 330Wm-2. This then almost exactly matches the downwelling value of 333Wm-2.

    If correct, this has profound implications. It would mean that upwelling and downwelling radiation definitely cancel out, leaving conduction/diffusion (17Wm-2) and latent heat of water vaporisation (80Wm-2) as the ONLY methods by which the atmosphere receives Kinetic Energy from the surface (in the case of latent heat, the transition to KE being delayed until the latent heat is converted to KE during precipitation).

    To this must be added 78Wm-2 that is received directly into the atmosphere from the Sun’s incident IR radiation, and which is absorbed immediately as KE.

    So using the (modified) Trenberth figures, we appear to have a model here that is consistent with the idea that, while radiation is the essential facilitator of the conversion of (almost half of) the radiant energy entering the atmosphere to KE, and while it is the essential facilitator of all the energy leaving the atmosphere, it appears to play NO PART WHATSOVER in maintaining the FUND of KE in the bulk of the atmosphere, this being exactly cancelled at the earth-atmosphere interface (Prevost’s theory of exchanges, 1790).

    And it is that FUND of KE (maintained by the Kinetic Energy energy through-flow) that dictates the earth’s temperature profile.

    But for this argument to be correct, the Trenberth figures (modified or unmodified) have themselves to be broadly correct. To me they look like the best show in town. With what aspect of them do you disagree?

  257. Mod: Sorry, meant the opening italic!

    [Reply] David: Resubmit the entire comment, I don’t know where you wanted the tags.

  258. Mod: No, it’s exactly right now. We “crossed in the post”. Thanks…

  259. Stephen Wilde says:

    “And it is that FUND of KE (maintained by the Kinetic Energy energy through-flow) that dictates the earth’s temperature profile.”

    I think that must be so.

    And if any imbalance occurs at TOA (however defined) the atmospheric volume changes (expanding or contracting) to draw on the PE energy store and convert it to or from KE as necessary to regain equilibrium.

    The outcome being changes in global air circulation and the rate and height of convection and on Earth the speed of the water cycle.

  260. Max™‮‮ says:

    “At the surface, the outgoing radiation was computed for blackbody
    emission at 15°C using the Stefan–Boltzmann law
    R=εσT⁴,
    where the emissivity ε was set to 1.” ~TFK2009

    “There is widespread agreement among the other
    estimates that the global mean surface upward LW
    radiation is about 6 W m−2 higher than the values
    in KT97 owing to the rectification effects described
    in the “Spatial and temporal sampling” sidebar. We
    adopt a value of 396 W m−2, which is within 2.1 W m−2
    of all estimates but is dependent on the skin tem-
    perature and surface emissivity (Zhang et al. 2006)
    and can not be pinned down more accurately. To
    compute the land and ocean contributions, we use
    the ISCCP-FD ratios.” ~TFK2009

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    1. TFK2009 starts with a surface at 288 K.
    2. A black body at 288 K will emit 396 W/m^2.
    3. Last time I checked, a black body is not a surface which loses energy to convection and evaporation.
    4. Evaporation and convection in the amounts TFK2009 work with adds up to 97 W/m^2.
    5. That energy has to come from somewhere, if the surface temperature we’re starting with is 288 K, and there is 97 W/m^2 lost from convection and evaporation, then there isn’t 396 W/m^2 left to radiate, is there?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Let’s try to add it up using the values on the diagram from the TFK2009 paper!

    If the evaporative and convective energy is subtracted from the initial 396 it leaves 299, of which 40 pass directly to space leaving 259, of which 223 is needed to account for the atmospheric and cloud radiation to space, so we have 36 left over which adds to the 161 from insolation giving 197, and then we can tally the 199 down from the atmosphere to get the 396 back at the surface again.

    239 in-239 out=0 ~Space balanced

    199+40 total lost to space, 199 up needs 199 down
    97+78+223=398 ~Atmosphere balanced

    288 K surface with unity emissivity has 396 available
    396-97-40-223=36 remaining, 36+161+199=396 ~Surface balanced

    The only way to make sense of the 333 DWIR value is to propose that the surface emits like a black body at 288 K at full power and has energy available for evaporation and convection… which is a neat trick.

  261. Stephen Wilde says:

    Would KE returning to the surface from the adiabatic loop help to balance the figures ?

  262. Max from January 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm,

    You have some basic misconceptions about heat transfer.

    1. TFK2009 starts with a surface at 288 K.
    2. A black body at 288 K will emit 396 W/m^2.
    3. Last time I checked, a black body is not a surface which loses energy to convection and evaporation.
    4. Evaporation and convection in the amounts TFK2009 work with adds up to 97 W/m^2.
    5. That energy has to come from somewhere, if the surface temperature we’re starting with is 288 K, and there is 97 W/m^2 lost from convection and evaporation, then there isn’t 396 W/m^2 left to radiate, is there?

    A surface with an emissivity of 1.0 and a temperature of 288K emits 390 W/m^2. (You were thinking of a body at 289K).

    It doesn’t matter how much heat is being transferred by conduction and convection. While the temperature is at 288K the thermal emission of radiation is 396 W/m^2.

    This is radiation 101. If you have a different theory of radiation you should find a textbook. They all teach the same well-known fact.

    You make a curious statement: “ Last time I checked, a black body is not a surface which loses energy to convection and evaporation.

    There are lots of strange ideas floating around the web, unknown to all the people who wrote heat transfer textbooks. Perhaps you can explain which textbook you got this from.

    How about if the surface has an emissivity = 0.9999. That’s not strictly speaking, a black body. Just very very close. Can this lose energy to convection and evaporation? If so, shall we work with that one instead? Let’s work to round numbers on flux, so the emission of thermal radiation from a surface of 288K with an emissivity of 0.9999 = 390.0 W/m^2, and at 289 = 395.5 W/m^2.

    Your final statement has no basis in any theory of heat transfer:

    5. That energy has to come from somewhere, if the surface temperature we’re starting with is 288 K, and there is 97 W/m^2 lost from convection and evaporation, then there isn’t 396 W/m^2 left to radiate, is there?

    In steady state energy in = energy out.

    So if the surface is emitting 396 W/m^2 and losing 97 W/m^2 to convection then either:
    a) energy absorbed = 396 + 97 = 493 W/m^2
    b) energy absorbed is higher/lower and the surface is warming/cooling.

    I recommend this free excellent quality online heat transfer textbook: A Heat Transfer Textbook. Third Edition by. John H. Lienhard IV and. John H. Lienhard V. Phlogiston. Press..

  263. tallbloke says:

    Max, An atmosphere in radiative balance with a planetary surface doesn’t have ‘zero emissivity’. It is emitting to space at the top. There is a varying flux down from there to the surface. The surface is also radiating into the atmosphere. Emissivity relates to the rate at which surfaces emit radiation, not whether or not there is a net transfer of energy between those surfaces and others.

  264. Max™‮‮ says:

    I am aware of that TB, not sure if that was supposed to be directed to me actually.

    I was arguing that zero emissivity is not a useful sidetrack, hypothetical or not.

    Emissivity is an intensive property, it’s not going to disappear last time I checked.

    SoD, I was just going with the numbers TFK2009 provided, perhaps they were using a surface temperature of 15.85 Celsius (which gives 396 W/m^2 at unity emissivity) and rounding it to 15 Celsius before converting it to 288 Kelvin…. for some reason.

    I usually pop the numbers into this beforehand to check them: http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php but I got a bit sloppy, error fixed, no need to go disparaging my grasp of thermodynamics on that account.

    ____________________

    Now, look at that situation we’re discussing, 289 K or whatnot and if it were a black body it would be radiating 396 W/m^2.

    More accurately we can say “if a surface is radiating 396 W/m^2, then the minimum temperature of that surface is 289 K”, right?

    So let’s set up these two surfaces, both at 289 K, both have unity emissivity.

    Surface A: has an atmosphere and water which allows it to undergo evaporative and convective processes which carry a total of 97 W/m^2 away from the surface into the atmosphere.

    Surface B: is exposed to a vacuum and can not undergo evaporative or convective processes, and does not have the above transfer of 97 W/m^2 to an atmosphere.

    …everything seem ok so far?

    Great!

    Ok, we know Surface B is only going to cool through radiative processes, and we expect it should be emitting 396 W/m^2 of radiation, a quick check confirms that yep, it is.

    We expect Surface A to emit 396 W/m^2 of radiation as well, so we check and confirm that yep, it is as well.

    …hmmm, but that means Surface A has 396+97 W/m^2 available while Surface B at the same temperature only has 396 W/m^2 available… that seems odd.

    ___________________________________________

    You mention that some of my ideas seem odd, like that silly bit about black bodies not having convection and such occur, I can’t find a direct statement either way on this actually, but I did dig this up: http://www.nat.vu.nl/environmentalphysics/REAL%20Experiments/Heat%20radiation/Radiation_Theory.html

    The total power of the heat removed from a hot object at T₁, enclosed by a black body under normal atmospheric conditions is given by the sum of the total amounts of heat removed per unit time through both radiation and convection as given in eq. (2.7) and (2.9):

    Note that the heat loss due to radiation is driven by the temperature difference between the hot object and the black body and the heat loss due to convection is driven by the temperature difference between the hot object and the air.

    This as well: http://www.nat.vu.nl/environmentalphysics/REAL%20Experiments/Heat%20radiation/Radiation.html

    Introduction

    Heat transfer is always caused by local temperature differences. Three mechanisms can be distinguished: conduction, convection and radiation. In this experiment the heat flux q” by means of radiation and both radiation and convection will be investigated.

    On the basis of the Stefan – Boltzmann law combined with Kirchhoff’s law the thermal emissivity e can be determined from temperature measurements of a heated metal rod at constant temperature T₁ in a vacuum environment located within some enclosure with a surface temperature T₂ . Under steady state conditions, the net radiation emitted per unit surface by the enclosed body is proportional to the emissivity e, the Stefan – Boltzmann constant s and depends on the temperature of the body T₁ and the enclosure T₂ respectively:

    As soon as the thermal emissivity is known air may be allowed into the vacuum chamber so that convection also contributes to the heat loss of the rod. Convection may be described by Newton’s law of cooling, stating that the net loss of heat per unit surface is proportional to the difference between the temperature of the surface of the cooling body T₁ and the temperature of the surrounding convective medium T₂ :

  265. tjfolkerts says:

    Max Says: “3. Last time I checked, a black body is not a surface which loses energy to convection and evaporation.

    Then it is time to check again. Any object can loose energy by convection and radiation simultaneously and independently.

    An object that is a black body that is at 288 K will emit 390 W/m^2 (not 396 W/m^2 if my calculations are correct). Period.

    If it is in a vacuum, then there will be no conduction or convection and you would need a heater that can provide 390W/m^2 to maintain the 288K temperature. If there is gas around it, then it will possibly lose some EXTRA energy. And you would need a heater providing MORE than 390W/m^2 to maintain a 288 K temperature.

    You seem to be thinking backwards — that the 390 W/m^2 heater would remain the same, but that convection would reduce the 390 W/m^2 from the BB surface while still keeping the temperature at 288 K. That is not going to happen.

    Max suggests: “5. That energy has to come from somewhere, if the surface temperature we’re starting with is 288 K, and there is 97 W/m^2 lost from convection and evaporation, then there isn’t 396 W/m^2 left to radiate, is there?
    Yes, Max, there WOULD still be 390 W/m^2 of BB radiation. And there IS “extra energy available: about 330 W/m^2 of DWIR + 160 W/m^2 of sunlight is WAAAAAY more than 390 W/m^2.

    In fact, the 330 DWIR + 160 sunlight is (completely NOT coincidentally) precisely the 390 W/m^2 PLUS the “missing” 97 W/m^2 that you are trying to understand.

  266. Stephen Wilde says:

    SOD said:

    “So if the surface is emitting 396 W/m^2 and losing 97 W/m^2 to convection then either:
    a) energy absorbed = 396 + 97 = 493 W/m^2
    b) energy absorbed is higher/lower and the surface is warming/cooling.”

    What about:

    c) Energy absorbed by surface from incoming solar energy plus returning KE from adiabatic compression of descending air = 396 + 97 = 493 whilst at the same time energy released from the surface = 493 – 97 of KE lost to adiabatic decompression of ascending air = 396.

    That would give temperature stasis at surface and continuing balance at top of atmosphere.

    If GHGs then increase we get maybe an increase from say 97 to 100 for the energy locked into the surface / atmosphere exchange but the extra 3 goes to more PE because the atmosphere expands leaving us still with 97 coming back to and leaving from the surface so still no change in temperature of surface nor any imbalance at TOA.

    There is however a slight change in lapse rate slope and a slight change in global circulation instead of a temperature rise.

    We know that GHGs change the actual lapse rate slope from the slope set by gravity and AGW theory proposes a global circulation change so shouldn’t be anything contentious there.

    The error in AGW theory is that because the height of the atmoshere changes (increasing volume and decreasing density at any given height) you cannot get the same lapse rate slope as before AND an increased surface temperature unless one increases total system energy content and that would require more atmospheric mass, a stronger gravitational field or more solar energy arriving at the TOA.

    As long as the atmosphere can expand or contract freely there will only ever be 97 leaving and returning in the adiabatic loop because the expansion or contraction simply reapportions the available KE and PE in the vertical column to maintain balance unless one also increases mass, gravity or insolation at TOA.

  267. Max™‮‮ says:

    It’s odd that you put it as 333+160 and 396+97.

    If you were going to add up two parts of the same net flux, wouldn’t it be 396-333=63 up, subtracting that from 160 down leaves us with 97, is that a coincidence?

  268. Max,

    The quotes you provide support standard heat transfer theory.

    The example with the vacuum is nice one.

    First of all the experimenter used a vacuum to isolate radiative transfer as the only heat transfer process. This is to determine an unknown value – the material property called emissivity.
    One way to do this is to start off the experiment with fixed temperatures and no heat source and watch how the temperature of the metal rod decreases with time. From the mass of the rod and its specific heat capacity the temperature change allows the experimenter to calculate the loss of energy in Joules.
    An alternative way to do this is to have a temperature controller to maintain the rod at a fixed temperature and measure the heat flow in (e.g. electrical heating) to keep the rod at this temperature.

    Plug in the number for energy loss per unit area per unit time into the equation for radiative heat exchange and the emissivity of the rod can be calculated.

    Once he has established the emissivity he can move to a more complicated experiment (allows air back into the chamber) where all 3 heat transfer mechanisms are operating.

    ——-
    Let’s look at your worked example:

    So let’s set up these two surfaces, both at 289 K, both have unity emissivity.

    Surface A: has an atmosphere and water which allows it to undergo evaporative and convective processes which carry a total of 97 W/m^2 away from the surface into the atmosphere.

    Surface B: is exposed to a vacuum and can not undergo evaporative or convective processes, and does not have the above transfer of 97 W/m^2 to an atmosphere.

    …everything seem ok so far?

    Great!

    Ok, we know Surface B is only going to cool through radiative processes, and we expect it should be emitting 396 W/m^2 of radiation, a quick check confirms that yep, it is.

    We expect Surface A to emit 396 W/m^2 of radiation as well, so we check and confirm that yep, it is as well.

    …hmmm, but that means Surface A has 396+97 W/m^2 available while Surface B at the same temperature only has 396 W/m^2 available… that seems odd.

    Here is the fundamental misconception – your use of the word “available”.

    Surface A’s available heat is its internal energy, measured via temperature. (See note below). Same for Surface B.

    1. Let’s take the case where both A and B have no external energy sources.
    Start the clock – both A and B cool down. A cools down faster than B. (The cooling rate depends on the heat capacity of both, so I have assumed that A & B have the same heat capacity)

    2. Now put a constant energy source into both A & B of 396 W/m^2 – surface B stays at the same temperature, surface A cools down.

    Does this make sense?

    Temperature difference between a body and its surroundings determine the heat transfer. The equations are different for radiation, convection and conduction.
    Change in temperature = (energy in – energy out)/heat capacity.
    Change in temperature = (energy rate in – energy rate out) x time / heat capacity.

    Note: And if we are talking about a material which can change phase, e.g. water, additional energy can be released via changing phase if it is at the right temperature and pressure.

  269. wayne says:

    Are we not just saying that the 289 K surface can only lose each second 161 J for that is all it is received from the sun each and every second on the average by that TFK paper?

    If it did ever exceed that amount the surface would cool without limits. Now of that 161 J, 97 J exits and diffuses upward from the surface physically, mostly latent heat, and 66 W/m2 is window radiation exiting directly to space so here’s you challenge:

    Show me one single and simple differential or integrated equation that at every single vertical point it respects Kirchhoff’s law and respects that radiation is always isotropic and begins at the surface 396 w/m2 up and 333 down and has any difference in the upward and the downward radiation to vanish by the time the TOA altitude is reached which must also hold true and you might have something to be proud of.

    TimF and SoD, you guys never cease to amaze me. If you’re smart you will not spend much time trying to meet that challenge for the simple fact that at whichever level from which that 333 “back radiation” comes from it must also be radiating upward from that point at the same 333 w/m2 upward and that breaks numeric logic without even leaving the gate.

    However, there are numbers, 264 W/m2 up and 197.8 downward (40.7 window), that do meet every one of those constraints and limits and it is in the spreadsheet with which you are arguing. There could possibly be other equivalent solutions. If instead of the 40 W/m2, you use 66 W/m2 for the window radiation, then that necessary surface radiation and DLR is 238.5 W/m2 up and 172.5 downward.

    Yes, I think you are looking too myopic at this question viewing from pyrometers from the decks of ships measuring the oceans.

    Just because a pyrometer at a meters-scale says the emission is 396 at an emissivity one does not mean that at the many-kilometer-scale such measurement is sorely wrong. Grow up a bit until you are five or six kilometers tall and then retake your pyrometer measurements! You might just find then you agree with the numbers that the atmosphere is saying is correct. ( a feeling might be going through you mind but please don’t then step on me ) 😉

  270. tjfolkerts says:

    Wayne say: “TimF and SoD, you guys never cease to amaze me.
    Science IS pretty amazing, isn’t it? 🙂

    ” … at whichever level from which that 333 “back radiation” comes from it must also be radiating upward from that point at the same 333 w/m2 … “
    No. There is no single level from which 333 W/m^2 comes. It is the cumulative effect of the CO2 (and H2O gas and clouds) at all sorts of different levels. And since the atmosphere is NOT a single level at a single temperature, there is no reason that the radiation up from the top must be the same as the radiation down from the bottom. There is not even any reason that the radiation up at any point is the same as the radiation down at that same point.

    Your model seems to work (in a strained sort of way) for a single layer atmosphere. But that is way too simple of a model to do anything but show the GHE exists. At a bare minimum, you need two layers to get anywhere close to a working model for the atmosphere.

  271. Max™‮‮ says:

    “Now put a constant energy source into both A & B of 396 W/m^2 – surface B stays at the same temperature, surface A cools down.” ~SoD

    Ok, so both receive 396 W/m^2, each square meter of surface A starts out losing 396+97 Joules per second, and each square meter of surface B starts out losing 396 Joules per second.

    So… the surface with an atmosphere winds up at a lower temperature than the one exposed to a vacuum?

  272. Max said “So… the surface with an atmosphere winds up at a lower temperature than the one exposed to a vacuum?

    Correct.

  273. Wayne said on January 7, 2013 at 3:39 am:

    ..Show me one single and simple differential or integrated equation that at every single vertical point it respects Kirchhoff’s law and respects that radiation is always isotropic and begins at the surface 396 w/m2 up and 333 down and has any difference in the upward and the downward radiation to vanish by the time the TOA altitude is reached which must also hold true and you might have something to be proud of..

    I don’t understand your question/point.

    TimF and SoD, you guys never cease to amaze me. If you’re smart you will not spend much time trying to meet that challenge for the simple fact that at whichever level from which that 333 “back radiation” comes from it must also be radiating upward from that point at the same 333 w/m2 upward and that breaks numeric logic without even leaving the gate..

    What numeric logic are you talking about?

    The total downward longwave flux received at the surface (DLR) is the sum of all of the (transmitted) downward longwave flux through the atmosphere.

    You can see a graph using reasonably realistic absorption characteristics of the atmosphere in figure 6 of Visualizing Atmospheric Radiation – Part Two.

    These are calculated using the Schwarzschild equation which you can review in Understanding Atmospheric Radiation and the “Greenhouse” Effect – Part Six – The Equations. Equation 16 is the one to head for. The preceding equations are the derivation.

    The fact that one thin layer of atmosphere will by necessity radiate the same flux up and down (because the source function is isotropic) does NOT mean that upward and downward flux at any point are the same.

    At the top of atmosphere the downward longwave flux is zero. By the time we reach the surface this is – on average – around 340 W/m^2. This is the sum of all the transmitted components of all layers.

    At the surface the upward long flux is around 390 W/m^2. By the time we reach the top of atmosphere this is about 240 W/m^2.

    Both of these changes (the sign not the magnitude) are the inevitable result of basic laws of absorption and emission of radiation in an atmosphere with radiatively-active gases.

    The divergence of the upward flux plus the divergence of the downward flux at any point must be zero or balanced by convected heat if the atmospheric temperature is stable. This is – if you like – just expressing the first law of thermodynamics.

    Kirchhoff’s law is not relevant for an atmosphere because it is not in Thermodynamic Equilibrium.

    Which part of the above don’t you agree with or understand?

    If you can explain in simpler terms, or mathematical terms, what exactly you are stating in your paragraphs I cited above then maybe we can make some progress.

  274. Hoping the moderator can close off my italics after the end of the second cited paragraph – “..leaving the gate.”

    [Reply] No problem – fixed. TB

  275. suricat says:

    scienceofdoom says: January 7, 2013 at 1:23 am

    “Note: And if we are talking about a material which can change phase, e.g. water, additional energy can be released via changing phase if it is at the right temperature and pressure.”

    Thank you SoD! 🙂

    When/where Global surface temps are suppressed by the energy locked into the ‘phase change’ of water to ‘WV’ (Water Vapour), the initial radiation from the Earth’s surface is ‘reduced/subdued’ by the energy tied up in ‘evapotranspiration/evaporative transport’ (the hydrological cycle). Thus, the SB estimate for these regions is ‘inadequate’ to represent the energy received by these regions. A ‘dry’ estimation would need to be used to support the ‘true energy’ influx.

    Likewise, the eventual release of this energy, at a greater altitude, needs to be accommodated for within the OLR side of any budget.

    I think you understand these implications SoD.

    Best regards, Ray.

  276. Max™‮‮ says:

    To expand a bit on my response to SoD: is there any way both surfaces could be receiving 396 W/m^2 and remain around 289 K?

    What if surface A loses 97 W/m^2 from evaporation/convection and 299 W/m^2 from radiation, while surface B loses 396 W/m^2 to the vacuum, would surface A still wind up cooler than surface B?

  277. Max on January 7, 2013 at 7:35 am,

    To expand a bit on my response to SoD: is there any way both surfaces could be receiving 396 W/m^2 and remain around 289 K?

    No.

    What if surface A loses 97 W/m^2 from evaporation/convection and 299 W/m^2 from radiation, while surface B loses 396 W/m^2 to the vacuum..

    This is not possible. Both surfaces at the same temperature (and of course assuming they have the same emissivity) will emit the same value of radiation.

    Without understanding this principle you cannot solve any heat transfer problems.

    ..would surface A still wind up cooler than surface B?

    You’ve defined a magic world so the answer is unclear.

  278. Stephen Wilde says:

    “the initial radiation from the Earth’s surface is ‘reduced/subdued’ by the energy tied up in ‘evapotranspiration/evaporative transport’ (the hydrological cycle). ”

    And as PE which increases with height relative to KE and which can vary with expansion and contraction.

  279. suricat says: I think you understand these implications SoD. Best regards, Ray.

    Well suricat/Ray, I don’t. Perhaps you would care to enlighten me, and possibly the rest of us, on what you think those implications are? 🙂

    As far as I can see, both SoD and Tim Folkerts have patiently tried to explain a simple reality to you, Max, and Wayne about the surface of any body that has reached a particular steady-state temperature. It emits a radiative flux according to the S-B law and irrespective of what other non-radiative fluxes (conduction/diffusion and/or latent heat) are also passing out of that surface.

    Also, to also satisfy the First Law, the rate of input energy being supplied to that body (whether originating externally from the Sun’s radiation, or an electrical power source, or internally from a nuclear reaction, or a chemical reaction, or a little man rubbing two sticks together, or some combination of any or all of these possibilities!) must equal the sum of all the output energy flow rates.

    They are correct. Get over it!

    Point is, the Trenberth et. al. diagram does all of this balancing act (to within one or two Wm-2!) so you really cannot criticise their arithmetic or their approach on the grounds that it violates either S-B or the First Law.

    As I asked Roger above (January 6, 2013 at 1:31):

    “…the Trenberth figures (modified or unmodified) … look like the best show in town. With what aspect of them do you disagree?”

  280. tallbloke says:

    David: the atmospheric window figure, which is actually more like 65 than 40. Which happens to equal the net upward flux from the surface of the ocean…

  281. tallbloke says, January 7, 2013 at 10:57 am : David: the atmospheric window figure, which is actually more like 65 than 40. Which happens to equal the net upward flux from the surface of the ocean…

    Roger, I assume you mean a net upward radiative flux in addition to the 17 Thermals and 80 Evapo-transpiration figures given in the Trenberth diagram?

    Where does this figure of 65 come from? Is it empirical or theoretical?

  282. tallbloke said on January 6, 2013 at 9:44 am:

    S.o.D’s sarcasm looks like an attempt to cover for the MODIS team’s poor data representation, and to distract attention from the glaring errors in the Trenberth-Keihl energy budget.

    I asked what the glaring errors were and you replied:

    The glaring issue with The K-T budget is this:
    If the emission temp of 288K at ~0.9 emissivity is equivalent to 356W/m^2 but 80W/m^2 is leaving as latent heat and 17W/m^2 is leaving as thermal conduction becoming convected heat, then how can 356W/m^2 be leaving as LW?

    – which is not a glaring issue with the K-T budget as I explained on January 6, 2013 at 11:48 am.

    Do you still have a glaring issue? Can you state your revised position?

  283. tallbloke says:

    David, the ‘window figure’ must surely be theoretical but seems to be in line with the statement of underestimate above. The 65W/m^2 net upward flux over the ocean I picked up from reading oceanologist Walter Munk.

    S.o.D. I’m continually revising my position in the light of new (to me) evidence, so it’s not often I find time to make statements of it in the comments section. They usually take the form of blog-posts put up for discussion and criticism. At the moment I’m digesting yours and David’s statements concerning the radiative flux from a surface which is also being energetically affected by other processes.

    I’m also trying to find Trenberth’s calculation of latent heat from global precip, which you seemed to be implying was contained in his papers.

  284. Bryan says:

    The most interesting point raised here is the wide range of values for the radiation window.

    Is it 40W/m2 or 65W/m2 .

    Some of the posters imply that Trenberth now accepts the 65W/m2figure.
    The evidence that Trenberth accepts this is however vague.
    The only link given points is a post by Christopher Game on SoD’s site.
    Christopher is very careful with his links otherwise I would ignore the comment .

    What does SoD think?

  285. tjfolkerts says:

    Tallbloke says: “I’m also trying to find Trenberth’s calculation of latent heat from global precip …

    As a rough estimate (working from Trenberths number backward to precip) …
    80 W/m^2 * 60*60*24*365 = 2.5E9 J/m^2 each year

    The heat of vaporization for water (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_vaporization) is about 45,000 J/mol

    (2.5E9 J/m^2) / (45,000 J/mol) = 56,000 mole/m^2

    Water is 18 g/mole, so
    (56,000 mole/m^2) * (18 g/mole) / (1000 g/kg) = 1000 kg/m^2

    Water has a density of 1000 kg/m^3, so that would be

    (1000 kg/m^2) / (1000 kg/m^3) = 1 meter of evaporation = 1 meter of rainfall.

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

    That is certainly in the right ballpark –> 100 cm = 40″ of rainfall on average around the world. clearly the number is not 10 cm, nor 10 m.

  286. tallbloke on January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am:

    ..I’m also trying to find Trenberth’s calculation of latent heat from global precip, which you seemed to be implying was contained in his papers..

    The easiest paper to read is their 1997 paper.

    Section 4 of their 1997 paper: “Turbulent surface fluxes”

    p9 of the pdf/p205 of the paper,

    ..The most comprehensive estimates in recent times are from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project, and we have computed monthly mean global mean precipitation rates for July 1987–December 1988 from the preliminary dataset. Values vary from 2.46 mm day-1 for December 1987 to 2.90 mm day-1 for July 1987 with an overall mean for the 18 months of 2.69 mm day-1 (984 mm yr-1), implying the 78 W m-2 latent heat flux used in our energy budget estimate. The latter is very close to 1 m yr-1, which is a widely accepted approximation for the observed rate..

    ..The remaining heat flux into the atmosphere from sensible heat is deduced as a residual from the condition of the global energy balance at the surface,

    SW – LW – LH – SH = 0.

    Employing the surface budget values described above of a net shortwave flux of 168 W m-2, a net longwave flux of 66 W m-2, and a latent heat flux of 78 W m-2 implies a sensible heat flux of 24 W m-2..”

  287. tallbloke says:

    Tim F: Thank you, neat work.

    S.o.D Thank you too, for the reference to the 1997 paper. Another part of the budget I think there may be some problems with is cloud albedo. Experiments done by the USAF taking simultaneous measurements flying above and below the cloud deck found the clouds were absorbing 40W/m^2 more energy from the Sun than was expected from the ‘basic physics’. It is thought this may be due to some difficulties around ‘Mie Scattering’ calculations.

    Click to access cess.pdf


    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/alistairmcd-aerosols-cause-warming/

  288. Bryan says:

    tjfolkerts

    I suspect that Trenberth worked back from 40 inches of rainfall to get the 80W/m2 number.

  289. tallbloke says:

    Bryan, that 40″ does indeed seem to be the generally accepted estimate of global average annual rainfall.

  290. Bryan says:

    Tallbloke

    Agreed, the only point I was making was that you can work back from 40inches of rainfall to get 80W/m2 of radiative heating.

  291. tallbloke says:

    Bryan, I think the more important point is that the 80W/m^2 is latent heat being removed from the ocean, and dumped into the top of the atmosphere as the latent heat of condensation by the cooling water vapour. This energy bypasses most of the troposphere and is in effect an addition to the radiative energy escaping through the ‘atmospheric window’ so far as the lower troposphere is concerned.

  292. Bryan says:

    tallbloke

    Once again agreed.

    Latent Heat of Vapourisation of Water is a real energy storage system.
    Photosynthesis is a real energy storage system and so on.

    On the other hand IR active gases or the so called Greenhouse Effect works as an insulating effect.

    The time scale for these processes are quite different.

  293. tchannon says:

    Water has _two_ phase changes active in the atmosphere. Want to do a rain calc, well there is often solid at various levels too, another very high transition energy.

    Nearly saved a fun situation recently not far from here (same weather as here), was watching dew then frost forming via instruments, could see the transition flats.

  294. wayne says:

    Ok TimF and SoD, could both or you please tell us from what altitude that 333 W/m2 of DLR from the TFK graphic is measured, roughly? I say at most a few meters, right above the surface, but maybe you each envision something totally different. Could you tell, please? It only needs a few words.

    I’m also surprised you don’t believe that a volume of gas radiates in an isotropic manner and also that somehow Kirchhoff law doesn’t apply to atmospheric gases according to your above comment. We all are aware there is a also a simultaneous upward flux of LW flowing through each small volume but that is a separate issue and would not apply to my comment.

  295. Wayne,

    I’m also surprised you don’t believe that a volume of gas radiates in an isotropic manner.. “

    And yet I said (January 7, 2013 at 6:25 am): “The fact that one thin layer of atmosphere will by necessity radiate the same flux up and down (because the source function is isotropic) does NOT mean that upward and downward flux at any point are the same.

    This means I believe the atmosphere radiates isotropically.
    This does not mean that total upward flux is equal to total downward flux at any given altitude. It cannot mean it because:

    – the upward flux is made up of the locally emitted radiation (isotropic up and down) plus the transmitted radiation from warmer temperatures below
    – the downward flux is made up of the locally emitted radiation (isotropic up and down) plus the transmitted radiation from colder temperatures above.

    .. and also that somehow Kirchhoff law doesn’t apply to atmospheric gases according to your above comment..

    Do you believe that the atmosphere is in Thermodynamic_equilibrium (TE)?

    Citing Wikipedia which seems reasonably correct here but I can find a weighty text if you would like:

    In a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there are no net flows of matter or of energy, no phase changes, and no unbalanced potentials (or driving forces), within the system. A system that is in thermodynamic equilibrium experiences no changes when it is isolated from its surroundings.
    In non-equilibrium systems there are net flows of matter or energy, or phase changes are occurring

    Or do you believe that Kirhhoff’s law applies to an atmosphere not in TE?

    You added:
    ..We all are aware there is a also a simultaneous upward flux of LW flowing through each small volume but that is a separate issue and would not apply to my comment.

    The problem is that I didn’t understand your comment. It was cryptic. From your style of writing it seems you believe it’s trivial to prove whatever it is you believe and you struggle to understand how I can believe what it is you think I believe.

    But it’s not clear what these points are. So can you state them more clearly and precisely. For example, your 3rd paragraph from January 7, 2013 at 3:39 am (I have attempted to address what the paragraph might be about).

    Perhaps you can at a minimum state:
    1. What you believe upward flux is at the surface and at all (or some) altitudes through the atmosphere
    2. Likewise for downward flux. I have given you a figure to reference for what I believe it is (under one set of atmospheric conditions).
    3. Please comment on the subject of TE as summarized above.
    4. What equation governs radiative transfer in the atmosphere – or – what is wrong with the Schwazrschild equation I have referenced.

  296. Wayne asked:

    ..could both or you please tell us from what altitude that 333 W/m2 of DLR from the TFK graphic is measured, roughly? I say at most a few meters, right above the surface..

    I expect a few meters from the surface but am not sure. I checked Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN/WCRP): New Precision Radiometry for Climate Research by Ohmura et al 1998 but couldn’t see any figure stated. However, it is a surface station so..

  297. tjfolkerts says:

    tchannon,

    You make an interesting point about ice in the atmosphere and the related phase change, but (for two reasons) I don’t think it is really major issue.

    1) the latent heat of vaporization is much larger than the latent heat of fusion for H2O .
    2) waaaay more H2O leaves/returns to the ground as liquid than solid (and waaay more leaves via evaporation than via sublimation).

    So snow/hail/sleet/sublimation will be a relatively minor correction when dealing with the latent heat flow from the surface to the atmosphere.

  298. Just adding to my comment from January 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm with reference to Wayne’s question about Kirchhoff’s law:

    Were you perhaps referring to the result of Kirchhoff’s law that emissivity = absorptivity for a given wavelength? This is determined from consideration of TE but experimental evidence shows that the material properties of emissivity and absorptivity do not change under different conditions – more at Planck, Stefan-Boltzmann, Kirchhoff and LTE.

    This fact is true and relevant for the atmosphere under non-TE conditions.

    From the context surrounding the original point (unclear as already noted) it seemed you were referring to equality of radiative exchange. Look forward to your clarification.