Is this where the missing heat is going?

Posted: August 30, 2013 by tchannon in Carbon cycle, Energy

Co-moderator writes: things are quiet so I’ve copied the following article across from my own blog for comment here; point out what is wrong with the idea.

Put simply, photosynthesis uses high grade radiative flux (ie. light) to do chemistry. This literally removes the flux from inside the earth radiative balance equation, converted into latent energy. What is removed no longer exists and does not have to be radiated away from earth.

The process is less than 100% efficient, so a proportion of the flux is waste heat which is part of the normally described energy balance.

In addition there is fair evidence the biosphere has been expanding.

Keep in mind this only happens dayside. Lot of ocean too.

I think this needs better quantifying, is it really negligible given the supposed energy imbalance is tiny.

Title: Trenberth’s missing variable
Original URL

Trenberth is widely alleged to have written things about missing heat, good headlines but not really what he wrote. He was upset over being unable to explain a divergence between what he expected from models and actual data, complaining the data is inadequate, presumably something which was either not measured or inaccurate. The reader can find the precise words if they want. I hold the opinion the data we have is poor, hence things such as US Standards body questions absolute accuracy of TSI instruments, we increasingly are unsure about what solar factors affect earth and other more technical issues. I put it like this: the calculations involved do not cross check. Trenberth is admitting for all the vast amount of money spent, man lifetimes of effort, the data is still too poor to figure out what is wrong. Since then hiding heat, the missing heat problem has been discussed widely, papers published and still no answer, at least that I have heard about. The assumption is that AGW theory is correct but the earth as a grand calorimeter says no.

Image

Image

Altered slide from a PDF presentation “Tracing the upper ocean’s ‘missing heat’, Caroline Katsman, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh” http://www.agci.org/dB/PPTs/11S1_0630_GOldenborgh.pdf This draws on “Tracing the upper ocean’s ‘missing heat’, C. A. Katsman 1 and G. J. van Oldenborgh 1”, KNMI http://www.knmi.nl/publications/fulltexts/katsman_vanoldenborgh2011.pdf Note: I am not criticising these authors, who were presenting what they believed to be so. The mystery I see no chance I have dreamt this up without many others doing so first, it is far too obvious. That poses questions, if so, why is a variable widely omitted? From FAO…

Image

Experimental data indicates that between 8 and 12 photons are required for fixation of one molecule of CO2. Since the energy equivalent of one photon (700 nm) is approximately 170 kJ/E, and the change in free energy during the fixation of CO2 is approximately 450 U/mol, the energy efficiency of this process for monochromatic light of a wavelength of 700 nm is estimated to be approximately 21-33%. However, owing to the quantum nature of photosynthetic reactions, energy efficiency decreases if light of shorter wavelengths (i.e. higher quantum energy) is used. Additionally, energy losses, energy requirements for plant growth, and the distribution of solar energy wavelengths need to be considered. Plant photosynthesis takes place only in the presence of visible light (400-700 nm). However, solar light contains both visible and infrared components. Since visible light accounts for about 45% of all solar energy, the maximum achievable energy efficiency for CO2 fixation using solar radiation is approximately 13%. [there are additional losses elsewhere] [update: note the qualification to CO2 fixation only but there are other processes with other elements also requiring the energy flux but so far as I know there is no comprehensive nor certain actual figure on conversion efficiency]

A partial backgrounder by Food and Agriculture Organisation (of the United Nations), I suggest read with caution, is “Title: Renewable biological systems for alternative sustainable energy production….” http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7241e/w7241e06.htm#TopOfPage Remember the oceans are involved too. I expect the primary discussion will be about photosynthesis and breaking carbon dioxide bonds. This seems quantatively highly contentious, ie. many will claim the effect is too small. It is a very large number all the same, looks ballpark.

Not mentioned here either


Earlier blog discussions Many on WUWT, best found via Google, use this search string site:wattsupwiththat.com “missing heat” Roy Spencer http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/more-on-trenberths-missing-heat/ Judith Curry http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/29/has-trenberth-found-the-missing-heat/ And hundreds more. Some might discuss what I raise. Here is a Google search term for academic and government, primarily in US, is little mentioned elsewhere “missing heat” ocean heat trenberth ( site:edu | site:ac.uk | site:gov | site:gov.uk)

Comments
  1. kim says:

    I’m sure you know about the cloud forming nuclei released by the action of many parts of the radiant spectrum on phytoplankton, and other regal members of the Plant Kingdom. I’m sure you can’t imagine all of the unknown unknown feedbacks possible in the biosphere.

    We’ll never be disroyals, but we all drive cattle shacks.
    ============================

  2. AlecM says:

    There is no missing heat because there is no significant CO2-AGW.

    This is because there are 13 mistakes in the energy balance and the heat transfer in the climate models ranging back to Sagan’s aerosol optical physics [a second process].

    And I do not include the irreversible thermodynamics completely missed by these dorks but which is being worked on in places like Brookhaven.

    This has been a terrible period for science when rank amateurs can crowd out proper science.

  3. Tim Cullen says:

    AlecM says: August 30, 2013 at 5:07 am
    This has been a terrible period for science when rank amateurs can crowd out proper science.

    I agree that this has been an extended [and terrible] period for “mainstream science”… but this is only to be expected because “mainstream science” has largely abandoned the Scientific Method.

    However, you are being very harsh on “rank amateurs” [of which I am one] because many of these “rank amateurs” have been using the Scientific Method and [unsurprisingly] some of these “rank amateurs” have made a very valuable contribution [as always] to Science because no “formal qualifications” are needed to apply the Scientific Method – just honesty and integrity.

    Unfortunately, the mainstream worship of “formal qualifications” has resulted in these “formal qualifications” just becoming certificates of indoctrination into the modern day “scientific” belief systems.

    Unsurprisingly, the mainstream does not value [or promote] “formal qualifications” in the Scientific Method.

    Unsurprisingly, the mainstream only pays lip service to honesty and integrity.

    Additionally, [for my perspective] it is the “rank amateurs” [especially via the internet] that have openly challenged the disaster that is “mainstream science”… something that most “professionals” [who value their livelihoods] will not do [or will not do until they retire].

    Therefore, I personally think it is far more appropriate to state:

    This is a terrible period for mainstream science which is dominated by charlatans and infested with cowards and evangelists of many dubious persuasions.

    /END OF RANT 🙂

  4. Richard111 says:

    As mentioned above, many mistakes in the sums. A layman’s interpretation for the missing heat. Water and ice are effectively blackbody radiators at recorded and present surface temperatures.. That amounts to well over 80% of the planet’s surface, dense green vegetation is nearly as good. Water vapour in the upper troposphere, above normal cloud level, is an effective retardant of OLR. There are currently many reports of reduced humidity (loss of water vapour) in the upper troposphere. Therefore there must be more radiant energy leaving. There goes the ‘missing heat’.

    Need an explanation for why upper troposphere humidity has reduced. CO2 cooling maybe? It is very effect at high altitude. Can radiate down to -79C. Plenty cold enough.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Can it be taken as a fact that the ‘missing’ heat did arrive in the first place?

  6. Stephen Wilde says:

    Increased cloudiness since the late 90s means that the ‘missing’ heat is adequately explained by its failure to reach the surface from ToA. It was simply reflected back out.

    The biosphere plays a part no doubt but there would likely be other internal system variables operating oppositely to the biosphere effect so I doubt that the net effect of all internal variables other than oceanic oscillations would be significant.

  7. Trick says:

    oldbrew 11:10am: Good question.

    Trenberth’s “travesty” of not being able to explain the decade & a half eyeball pause in forecast surface warming is root cause of “missing heat” IMO. This pause in earth’s system ~289K T equilibrium delta to GCM forecasts is the “missing heat” not yet explained & they are looking for where it might have gone:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/abstract

    I see at least two answers in the face of Mauna Loa monotonic CO2 ppm increase:

    1) Yes to oldbrew, the thermal energy never arrived at surface so ~289K equilibrium unaffected.

    Some other major factor combination in the simple energy balance eqn. makes the pause at ~289K unconnected to CO2: albedo, insolation, emissivity of L&O, mean emissivity of atm. looking up from surface. Gravity & mass have been constant, insolation does not vary in accord with monthly surface anomaly observations. Increased observations of these “feedback” factors will help.

    2) The “missing heat” due to effects of monotonic infrared active gas surface thermal energy increase was drained away (to an unobserved sink) somewhere else – will be found by increased measurement data transferred & stored up somewhere maybe in ocean, maybe in stratosphere.

    Any other answers to oldbrew?

    PS: Still wish they’d drop the “ocean heat content” terminology. Caloric theory is out, there is no heat in the ocean anymore, there is plenty of kinetic energy. Pet peeve.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Thanks Trick.

    Dr Roy Spencer said on his blog in May this year, under the title:
    *** Surface Radiation Budget: Where’s the Proof? ***

    ‘What is MOST interesting to me is the existence of multidecadal changes in sunlight (downwelling shortwave) reaching the surface, as some of the sites have such records extending back to the 1930s. For example, changes at Potsdam, Germany look somewhat like how global temperatures have changed:

    The authors admit this is behavior not seen in the climate models. I suppose scientists like Trenberth or Dessler would claim these changes are positive cloud feedback in response to surface temperature changes. But the continually neglected possibility is that they have causation reversed: that natural changes in cloud cover have caused the temperature changes, and cloud feedbacks are in reality negative rather than positive.

    And this is where I believe we should be spending our research time in the global warming debate.’

  9. crikey says:

    If you combust a plant.. Energy is released. I know that because l had a fire today by burning wood
    The heat released was so intense it cooked my meal, heated water for dishes and continued warming the air
    If you burn fossil fuels you release the stored energy as infra red and visible light into the atmosphere.

    If you grow a plant energy is stored. The energy stored must be somewhat equivalent to the energy that is released during burning.

    I suppose if you cut down lots of vegetation you remove the ability of the earth to absorb the suns radiant energy.

    More plants ….a more temperate climate?

    We probably underestimate the effect of plants in the energy budget….

    Energy missing..

    Newton says that’s impossible..
    quote
    In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form; for instance, chemical energy can be converted to kinetic energy.

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

    I would rather believe the missing energy is locked in increased biomass than hidden deep in oceans

    Because heat rises and cannot stay below the cooler surface water.

    I think you biomass stored energy proposition is more reasonable…

    Grow a plant to lower global temperature.

    The plant takes out the kinetic energy of the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide.
    However it is the extraction of energy and subsequent storage in plant starch that is significant.
    C02 is a building block for plant growth . Not an energy storing molecule

    Interesting proposition Tchannon. Seems feasible?

  10. tchannon says:

    Seems I framed the discussion poorly.

    Post is about an additional energy sink which is omitted from basic claims.

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    It’s a good question Tim. Who can we trust to answer? Certainly not thought-policing political-activist-physicists who are willing to repeatedly assert that 1+1 does not equal 2 (thus burying their credibility)…

  12. Gary says:

    crikey, that makes sense enough to explore the idea. Probably the bulk of biomass sequestered in the deep ocean is CaCO3 (formaminifera and coccolithifora) and SiO2 (diatoms and radiolaria). Sedimentation rates average somewhere around 1cm per 1000 years.

  13. michael hart says:

    Worth mentioning that the energy that is stored from photosynthesis is work, not heat. The coupled biological processes that later consume this energy as it is ultimately returned to the environment as heat are largely very close to 100% efficient (Bio-energetics 101, they have to be, or life would be unable to function).

    If we treat this life as an extremely efficient heat pump, and heat pumps can have efficiencies far in excess of 100% where ΔT is small, my question is “What is the appropriate temperatures that we assign to the source and the sink of this heat pump?”

  14. tjfolkerts says:

    Back of the envelope calculations …

    “A common hardwood, red oak, has an energy content of 14.89 megajoules per kilogram” [wikipedia]
    So every kg of wood that is produced removes about 1.5E7 J of solar energy and turns it into chemical energy rather than into thermal energy. (Presumably the same order of magnitude for other organic material).

    1 W/m^2 would be ~ 3E7 J in 1 year to a given square meter.

    If biomass is sequestering 3E7 J/yr / 1.5E7 J/kg = ~ 2 kg/year over each square meter of earth, then we would see a reduction of 1 W/m^2 from the thermal energy balances.

    That was sounding pretty plausible until I looked into “primary production” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_production

    Graphs like the following show that very few areas are capable of producing a net 2 kg/yr/m^2 of plant matter, let alone being able to sequester than much away.

    I’m no expert on primary production, so perhaps others can add more details. The ‘greening’ of the earth lately might suggest that there are net gains over and above what the ‘primary producton’ numbers suggest.

  15. tchannon says:

    The only figure I have seen puts an old figure on the lower bound of interesting. I suspect the real figure is somewhat higher but is not going to set the world on fire. Stones, turning over.
    A similar estimate put human usage an order lower than production.

    Of human activity it’s lofting of water which I think has more effect generally.

    The W man who’s name I must not mention might have picked this up. I completely agree about the poor state of the space data except I am more scathing. There are far too few satellites and all try to do too much. I’d be surprised if the data manages much better than 1% let alone claims of 0.1% and better. Trying to measure a complex irradiated moving sphere, yeah right. How do they handle say polorization? Mountain of problems.
    It’s high time metrologists were more widely employed, people many don’t much like for the apparent pessimism and scorn. Damn hard to know anything absolutely. (NIST getting involved was a case of stepping in)

  16. Doug Proctor says:

    An interesting question, how much of the TSI becomes fixed organic matter.

    The CERES data, as described by Hansen, has an “implausible” 6.5 W/m2 trapped portion, i.e. 6.5 W/m2 that is neither reflected nor re-radiated as long-wave energy. He uses “instrumentation calibrations”, what the rest of us would call arbitrary fudge factors, to bring the disconnect down to 0.85 W/m2, which Trenberth then says is hiding in the deep oceans. But the biological fixed matter ….

    The world, according to satellite data, has “greened” by some portion, 14% or something. The biological activity increase however means some of it is transferred into mass movement as stored energy – building anthills for example, that doesn’t show up. The other portion is muscle movement or physical movement of organisms, which is released as heat – the long-wave radiation. That shows up.

    The biological component that sinks into the oceans or becomes trapped as carbonates, diatoms (chalk), shells or simply organic carbon, one day to become oil and gas, that is obviously significant.

    You would be shocked to know how much biological material is fixed into our sedimentary rocks. It is everywhere, and most of you have experienced it without realizing it: think of breaking off a piece of rock for your garden, a limestone that is a little bit gray, and the wiff of H2S you get. That is reflecting the TOC – total organic carbon – that was trapped in rock and, in part, eaten by bacteria to become hydrogen sulphide gas.

    TOC is the key to all oil and gas. The Bowland Basin “shales” are said to have about 1.75% TOC, meaning that 1.75% of the rock mass is, today, organic carbon, i.e. precursor to oil or gas. Cuadrilla says it is up to 4.75%, more to get number geeks excited, because you only need a small portion, maybe 0.5%, to convert to hydrocarbons to overwhelm the system. In western Canada, where I am, I see source rocks of more than 7% – which is actually bad, because at 7% the rock is so slick it is ductile and will not fracture, preventing the release of all that nice oil and gas that is trying to escape.

    If you remember the deepsea photos of the Titanic, you will remember the organic “snow”, the noise-like bacterial or other organic content that is constantly drifting down onto the ocean floor. Most of this is eaten by bacteria and small creatures, but in parts of the ocean the bottom floor conditions are anoxic. Except for low levels of anaerobic bacteria, this is a no-life zone. The organic content builds up. In the central portions of places like the Mediterranean, for example, there are also high salinity centers (due to evaporation from the surface being greater than inflow through Gibraltar and river systems). Organics that fall into the brine stay there, as life does not like very high salinities (although there are large brine shrimp populations in oxygenated surface ponds that delight flamingos).

    Or does it stay there? Now think of the clathrates – the ice hydrates that are looking to lurk beneath all the worlds oceans where water depths are >200m and temperatures are close to 0C. Think of the oil seeps all along the continental shelves that are not necessarily from breached oil pools. All of this started out as fixed organic compounds.

    So, how much organic carbon is deposited every day? Good question, only partly answered by looking to our oil and gas deposits and production. Since worldwide extraction efficiencies are actually somewhere around 20%, there is 5X in the ground IN PRODUCIBLE reservoirs than we are looking to consume. And what is the ratio of non-producible to producible? It has got to be >200:1. If it weren’t, exploration success wouldn’t be just 15% (1:7) and every geologist would be a millionaire. The of organic carbon – fixed sunshine, you might say – that is kept out of the system every day must be bizarrely large.

    TOA TSI is 1341.5 W/m2, or 670.75 W/m2 averaged over the sun-side of the Earth. If 0.5% of this energy is fixed in diatomaceous ooze – the Chalk Cliffs of Dover, seashells, coral reefs, and mud, we are looking at 3.4W/m2. Is this a valid number? I don’t know. How about .05%? Still, at 0.34 W/m2, a substantial amount of the “missing” energy.

    What this discussion reveals is that there are other considerations to the Earth’s energy budget that are beyond the ability of our knowledge base or measurement accuracy to nail down. This reality does not support those who, like Trenberth, believe that we can know the Earth’s systems well enough to argue well within the error bars – because the error bars are much greater than even they will admit.

  17. Roger Andrews says:

    I’ve been looking into vegetation and photosynthesis for the last couple of days and have finally come up with two speculative – repeat speculative – conclusions.

    The first conclusion is that each 3 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 causes an increase of about 1% in global vegetation, assuming a linear relationship and all other things being equal. Here’s the evidence:

    I begin with three assumptions: 1 – seasonal changes in CO2 concentrations are caused by the growth and decay of vegetation. 2 – vegetation growth is a measure of the amount of photosynthesis. 3 – seasonal change in CO2 level is therefore a proxy for photosynthesis and vegetation growth.

    First is a plot of mean CO2 at ten stations over the period of common readings between 1985 and 2006. The stations stretch from the Arctic to the South Pole so the mean should be representative of global mean CO2. Seasonal changes are in the +/-5ppm range, representing an annual exchange of about 12 gigatons of CO2:

    Next is a plot of seasonal CO2 changes by year. The amplitude of the seasonal changes increased from about 5.2 to about 5.8 ppm between 1985 and 2006. According to my assumptions this confirms that there was an increase in global photosynthesis and vegetation cover over this period.

    Next is a plot of seasonal CO2 changes against mean annual atmospheric CO2. If we assume that a seasonal CO2 range of zero means zero vegetation then the 35ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1985 and 2006 caused an increase of about 12% in global vegetation – close to the 14% estimate that Doug Proctor cites above and translating roughly into a 1% vegetation increase for each 3ppm increase in CO2:

    The second conclusion is that photosynthesis probably doesn’t explain the “missing heat”. (I assume here that the radiative forcing impacts of atmospheric CO2 introduce more heat than the process of chemically converting photons into matter removes, but if not then this conclusion is invalid.) Anyway, over the last ten years or so we have a radiative imbalance of about 0.2 w/m2 to explain. But according to the graphs above photosynthesis caused by new plant growth will have removed only about 0.15 ppm of CO2 over this period, and removing 0.15 ppm of CO2 at levels of around 380ppm decreases forcing by only 5.35 * ln(380.15/380) = 0.002 w/m2.

  18. tchannon says:

    RA,
    You be thunking. I’d assumed the whole thing was well known if questionable.

    I seem to be disagreeing on several points not that I know the answers.

    As it happens I am preparing what might come as a surprise, joining up dots and things I don’t usually do. This is about CO2 and highly pertinent.

    Unconnected with that, you are aware I have a very precise model of MLO CO2. This includes an accurate annual cycle based on early hourly data. 25 years later it is still accurate so if you had asked if it has changed I would have said no. This might be more or less what you conclude.

    Lets take that at face value. Strange but why so? I think it begs the question of what drives the annual cycle? There is talk and there is handwaving, I don’t think we really know.

    One of the factors might be photo plankton. Digging on this turns up yet another mess where there is no simple answer. There tends to be an annual cycle, by might only be two, or none, or varies, or… get the picture.
    An easy to read paper, remarkable because of when the work was done, 1941/2 in Norway, gives some clues but also reveals an “obvious”, light limitation such as under iced over water.

    Click to access sh_vol09_16_1952.pdf


    Nutrient cycles, predator/prey cycles, etc.

    So I suspect the annual cycle is for a mixture of reasons, big but, there might be a large flow which does not produce a recognisable cycle. Water has a large damping (sic) effect.

  19. Roger Andrews says:

    “(W)hat drives the annual (CO2) cycle? One of the factors might be photo plankton.”

    The annual CO2 cycle is about twenty times as strong in the Northern Hemisphere as it is in the Southern, so if plankton drives it then almost all of the world’s plankton must live in the Northern Hemisphere.

  20. tchannon says:

    Be interesting to know whether uncovering Arctic ocean with 24 hour light brings a sharp rise in activity. Sea floor cores might say.

    I’ll email you a draft of an article.

  21. Kuhnkat says:

    Roger,

    ” One of the factors might be photo plankton.””

    I just knew the Hollywood was in there somewhere…

  22. crikey says:

    Some amazing effort has gone into these posts. As an interested reader l guess l must say . Thanks for the effort..
    ———————————————————————
    Some interesting bits of info’ to add to the thread cache.. …

    Firstly . I like this animated time series of the global vegetative index 2000- current year
    It clearly shows a strong amplitude in the photosynthesis cycle in the NH.
    and the annual / seasonal shift of the seasons from NH to SH
    TIME series animation of vegetative index from 2000 to current year
    http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=MOD13A2_M_NDVI
    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    The estimated biomass production in the world is 146 billion tons a year, consisting of mostly wild plant growth.[5]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass
    ———————————————-
    Not all wavelengths of light can support photosynthesis
    In the light reactions, one molecule of the pigment chlorophyll absorbs one photon and loses one electron
    Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.[29]

    Absorbed light that is unconverted is dissipated primarily as heat, with a small fraction (1-2%) [30] re-emitted as chlorophyll fluorescence at longer (redder) wavelengths
    In the early 20th century, Frederick Blackman and Gabrielle Matthaei investigated the effects of light intensity (irradiance) and temperature on the rate of carbon assimilation
    .
    At constant temperature, the rate of carbon assimilation varies with irradiance, initially increasing as the irradiance increases. However, at higher irradiance, this relationship no longer holds and the rate of carbon assimilation reaches a plateau. At constant irradiance, the rate of carbon assimilation increases as the temperature is increased over a limited range. This effect is seen only at high irradiance levels. At low irradiance, increasing the temperature has little influence on the rate of carbon assimilation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis
    ————————————————————-

    A photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon
    ——————————————————————————

    I did some amateur research recently on the annual C02 cycle which revealed some interesting links to the timing of the annual C02 cycle
    I will wait until TChannon posts first his findings as l think it would relate to his current inquiry..

  23. tchannon says:

    Wikipedia item underestimates, probably because more than the simple oxygen effect seems less widely understood, lot of detail. (not that I am an expert)

    Yes there is more to do with CO2 on the way, articles though are animals, never know what will emerge or how it will behave. Tallbloke will be back online soon so I will fade.

  24. Gras Albert says:

    A ripe maize ear weighs approx 0.5kg and stands 1.5 to 2m high

    Depending on variety and target market 3 to 10 maize plants are planted per sqm (30,000 to 100,000 per hectare)

    Conservatively

    Work done to lift 1 maize ear 1.5m = Work (joules)
    > Force (0.5kg x g [9.81)]) * Distance (1.5m) = 7.36 Joules

    Work done per sqm of Maize = 22.07 Joules

    Work done per hectare of Maize = 220,725 Joules

    There are 158 million hectares of maize under cultivation (FAO 2007) therefore

    Work done for Earth’s maize crop = 34,874,550,000,000 Joules

    And that’s just Maize ears, let alone the rest of the plant, or all the other crops, or all the non agricultural vegetation…

    [i]Any energy budget which excludes vegetative work done is, to paraphrase Goldwyn, not worth the electrons it was computed on[/i}

  25. AlecM says:

    @Tim Cullen.

    Sorry if I appeared to be patronising/insulting. It was not meant to be so. However, I intended to be provocative because of the failure of the Scientific Method in Climate Science.

    The Scientific Method was first formulated by al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham 700 years before Newton. It is ‘When you make a pronouncement in Science you must test and approve all the logical steps used to derive that conclusion’. CS has failed to do this, claiming peer review is adequate.

    I’ll give one example: Tyndall’s 1850s’ experiments DO NOT prove there is a ‘ghe’. This is because the experimental apparatus consisted of the gas plus the brass tube, so the experiment tested that combination. How do I know this? It’s because i’m a metallurgical engineer by background and I once met the person who founded modern gig thermal measurement, Hoyt C Hottel, who used the same form of apparatus. This was replicated in the 1970s by Leckner who corrected Hottel’s work for the presence of ghgs in the measurement chain. Leckner had worked out the real physics just like me.

    The key is statistical thermodynamics, in particular the Law of Equipartition of Energy and Gibbs’ Pardox, q.v., all tied up in the principle of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium, lte.

    Also, there is no such thing as a photon. It only exists at the moment of energy conversion to or from matter to the EM continuum. The basic equation is qdot = – Div. Fv where qdot is the monochromatic rate of heat transfer to matter, Div is the divergence operator and Fv is the local monochromatic radiation flux density -this is from Goody and Yung ‘Atmospheric Physics’. Every scientist I have come across forgets the negative operator. Most forget that only the difference of irradiance can do thermodynamic work – there is no ‘back radiation’, but I digress from the main theme.

    Ghgs in Tyndall’s apparatus do absorb IR energy quanta and these molecules do transfer by dribs and drabs that energy to the gas phase and vice versa. However, there can be no heating of the gas phase from this because at all times the fraction of ghg molecules that is vibrationally excited is an exact function of the thermodynamic temperature of the gas phase. Hence addition of a quantum of energy to the gas phase is countered by the random ejection from the gas phase of the same (on average) quantum, to be thermalised at the inside of the brass tube.

    Only one person has ever tested the effect of the container, Nasif Nahle who showed a PET balloon, 1/12the the thickness of a PET bottle, does not warm showing the thermalisation is at the wall.

    The mechanism of transfer of energy to the wall is repeated absorption and re-emission of already excited molecules so the energy > lte pseudo-diffuses under its potential energy gradient: in the atmosphere it heads to an atmospheric heterogeneity or goes to space to thermalise at distant heterogeneities.

    Why is it thermalised heterogeneously? It’s because unlike the gas phase, where the IR activated density of states is full, at a liquid or solid phase heterogeneity the IR density of states at the surface, which is in LTE with the gas phase, is hybridised into the volume’s kinetic energy, so solids or liquids can always ‘absorb’ or ‘desorb’ ‘photons’. To analyse this theoretically you set up 3 rate equation.

    Proof is that Hottel/Leckner’s experimental emissivity values for CO2 at self-absorption are ~ half that calculated by MODTRAN. The reason is that the tube surface is in let with the gas phase so there is no ’emission depth’ within which self-absorption decreases. You can prove this by adapting the self-absorption correction from analytical spectroscopy.

    Will Happer warned of this IR issue 20 years’ ago when he refused to lie for Gore but it was ignored. It is just one example of the failure of Climate science to think in depth; simply assembling whatever ‘peer reviewed’ science matches the incorrect assumption of 33 K GHE from 1981_Hansen_etal. pdf who ‘forgot’ that by taking out ghgs, SW energy on the surface of the imaginary gig free planet would be 43% higher so real ghe ~ 11 K and there is no ‘positive feedback’.

    I’ll leave the other errors until later, possibly a monograph to bypass the corrupt pal review process, possibly by assembling the sub arguments to peer review in other venues with a final paper that assembles it all.

    PS there is virtually zero CO2-AGW because it’s the working fluid in the atmospheric heat engine which stabilises temperature and in which we grew up as a species. There have been other equlibria in other epochs!

    PPS The ral science comes from irreversible thermodynamics, as studied by a group at Brookhaven – the Earth adapts to minimise radiation entropy production rate so there can be no open-ended CO2-based control system a la Hansenkoism.