Ed Hoskins: The Influence of Carbon Dioxide on Temperature

Posted: October 10, 2013 by tallbloke in Analysis, atmosphere, Carbon cycle, climate, Natural Variation

My thanks to Ed Hoskins, who would like a talkshop discussion concerning his analysis of the diminishing effect of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. His article tries to show that even if CO2 has the warming power the IPCC attributes to it, most of it’s ability to cause warming is already in lay, and that adding more will have little effect. Although this study doesn’t take any account of warming allegedly ‘in the pipeline’, recent assessments by Tim Channon and Roger Andrews indicate the e-folding time of CO2 is considerably less than IPCC estimates.

The influence of Carbon Dioxide CO2 on temperature
Ed Hoskins – Oct 10 2013

The temperature increasing capacity of atmospheric CO2 is known to diminish as concentrations increase.  This diminution effect is probably the reason why there was no runaway greenhouse warming caused by CO2 in earlier eons when CO2 levels were known to be at levels of several thousands ppmv.

Both sceptics and Global Warming advocates agree on this.  IPCC Published reports, (TAR3), acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations.  This information has been in the IPCC reports.  It is well disguised for any lay reader, (Chapter 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: section 6.3.4 Total Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gas Forcing Estimate)[i].

Up to 200 ppmv, the equivalent to about 82% of the temperature increasing effectiveness of CO2, is essential to maintain plant life and thus life on earth.  The current level of ~400 ppmv is already committed and immutable.  At that level it amounts to 93% of the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere .

Thus only about 7% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a warming greenhouse gas now remains.

image1

 

Thus there can only ever be a minor temperature reduction impact of any de-carbonization policy, controlling CO2 emissions.  Whatever political efforts are made to de-carbonize free world economies or to reduce man-made CO2 emissions, (and to be effective at temperature control those efforts would have to be universal and worldwide), those efforts can only now affect at most ~7% of the future warming effect of CO2.

The rapid diminution effect is an inconvenient fact for Global Warming advocates, nonetheless it is well understood within the climate science community but it is certainly not much discussed.

More CO2 in the atmosphere cannot inevitably lead directly to much more warming.  And increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere cannot give rise to any dangerous temperature increase.

Thus de-carbonization policies could never have useful impact to realistically control any rising world temperatures and the future world climate.  As the future temperature effect of increasing CO2 emissions is now so minor, therefore there is no possibility of ever reaching the political target of less than +2.0°C.

Both CO2 sceptics and Global Warming advocates agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does increase temperature:  the question between them is one of degree.  The table below sets out the scale of those differing views.  Sceptics analyse the remaining CO2 impact to be about 0.15°C, whereas Global Warming advocates estimate it at about 1.19°C.

image2

What is clear from this is that there is a large differential between views of the amount of warming that can result from additional CO2 in future.The concomitant effect of that is the amount of residual warming up to the total ~33°C that is attributable the water vapour and clouds in the atmosphere.  The range discussed can be from ~95% (5% for greenhouse gasses[ii]) to ~70% (30% for greenhouse gasses[iii]).It is questionable whether it is plausible that marginal changes to the concentration of a minor trace gas at ~400 parts/million (400/1,000,000) by volume of the atmosphere could affect such radical temperature increases when compared to the greenhouse effect of water vapour in the atmosphere.In addition the Global Warming advocates assume that all increases to CO2 concentration are due solely to man-made additions.  This is not necessarily the case, as the biosphere and slightly warmer oceans will outgas CO2 and the Man-made contribution is only a minor part of that CO2 transport within the biosphere, possibly as small as 3% of the total[iv].

 


Comments
  1. tchannon says:

    It’s a view, not mine based on a very different understanding which I will leave at the door.

    And so

    Readers might find Hans Erren’s notes illuminating on the situation and the history. Some is pertinent.

    http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/

  2. kuhnkat says:

    Could someone tell me how much this pure physics effect is reduced by the overlap of absorption bands between CO2 and Water Vapor?? Any good papers on the amounts of both to cause a saturated effect??

  3. Richard111 says:

    Good question kuhnkat.
    Here is my laymans view of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere. What defines the energy in a molecule? For this we need to look up the basic principles of molecular emission/absorption. That slant is important, a molecule CANNOT emitt AND absorb at the same time. Just one or the other.

    The total energy of a molecule is the sum of rotational energy plus the vibrational energy plus the electronic energy plus the translation energy. The translation energy is aquired by kinetic collisions with other molecules. For a temperature of around 300K this will mean a kinetic speed in the order of 400 plus metres per second. This tells us collisions occur in the order of billions plus per second.

    To quote from the paper I am reading:
    “”Kinetic collisions, by changing the translation energy, influence rotational levels strongly, vibrational levels slightly and electronic levels scarcely at all.””

    Thus the CO2 molecule’s rotational and vibrational levels will respond to the energy from all those collisions appropriate to local temperature that is above 193.2K and emitt 15 micron photons every which way. It IS possible for a CO2 molecule to absorb another 15 micron photon immediately after emission but I have read that this is unlikely. The radiation signature for CO2 defines quite clearly which bands of radiation a CO2 molecule can absorb/emitt and the radiation rules clearly show that a body heated above the peak temperature of a specific band of radiation WILL NOT ABSORB THAT BAND OF RADIATION.

    In summation of all the above it seems to me that CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are free to emitt 15 micron radiation but are generally too warm to absorb 15 micron radiation from any source.

    CO2 gas is an effective cooling agent in the atmosphere. It provides no warming to the surface whatsoever.

  4. clivebest says:

    The radiative forcing of CO2 falls off logarithmically with concentration. The canonical formula is 5.3lnC/C0 w/m2 so if the planck response is 3.4 watts/m2/deg.C this gives a temperature response to CO2 rises as something like DT = 1.6*ln C/C0 deg.C or a temperature rise of 1.1C for each doubling of CO2. So for CO2 rising to 1200 ppm we would expect 2.2C rise in temperatutre.

    Then there are all the feedbacks to fold in. If we simply fit the Hadcrut4 data to a logarithmic dependency you get more like DT = 2.5ln (C/C0) or TCR = 1.7C. This is more or less the same as far more sophisticated analyses ! The recent hiatus is now reducing this figure and I now get a value for ECS of between 2-2.5C . This is not catastrophic at all !

    see: http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=4923

  5. acckkii says:

    In terms of CO2:
    1. CO2 is good for the plants, agree, this of course doesn’t mean anything.
    2. CO2 and its effects, THE MAIN QUESTION IS HOW LARGE IT IS.
    3. That CO2 affects climate is really not in doubt.
    4. To debate the notion that CO2 as a gas traps outgoing infrared radiation, hence leading to a greenhouse effect, is a refutation of basic physics.
    5. The notion of a CO2 influence on earth’s climate, continually tested and proven through nearly a century of primary research.
    6. There are several papers on CO2 being harmful to the marine biosphere the largest source of biomass on the planet via ocean acidification. The potential inhibition of calcifying organisms can in no way, form is characterized as “beneficial to the biosphere”.
    7. Personally, I am incredibly not worried about CO2 in the atmosphere imminently leading to an Armageddon Scenario. But that does not mean we should not research the issue at hand, the better to understand any future potential complications at play.
    8. In practice, sources of carbon dioxide, including that resulting from natural or human factors, they do not produce pure carbon dioxide, for example, forest fires, volcanic activities and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, etc.
    9. CO2 mainly is associated with soot and aerosols.
    However, the formation of soot or Black Carbon (BC) seems to be influential in climate change.
    Black Carbon gives a short-term, but powerful boost to heating the planet. It is a “short-term” Climate Forcer, acting for a few days in the atmosphere and a few months on snow and ice.
    So, reductions in BC have immediate, but not long-term effects on global warming. Each CO2 molecule continues to block heat loss from the Earth for YEARS that it stays in the atmosphere. That is why sometimes CO2 is known as the Biggest Control Knob for the climate.
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a5e507c9970c-pi

  6. Richard111 says:

    “”Each CO2 molecule continues to block heat loss from the Earth for YEARS that it stays in the atmosphere.””
    Well, looking at the nice picture linked above and doing an eyeball average of all the non-IPCC derived persistence times I would say 8 years about does it. Do you really trust the IPCC figure in view of all the other results?
    Can anyone please explain, in simple terms, just how a CO2 molecule traps heat for even 1 second?

  7. mkelly says:

    acckkii says:

    October 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    5. The notion of a CO2 influence on earth’s climate, continually tested and proven through nearly a century of primary research.

    Would you be so kind as to link to 3 or 4 of the tests that so CO2 influences climate. Or the primary research on a non laboratory paper. By non laboratory I mean out in the open where free convection can take place.

  8. Trick says:

    mkelly 2:55pm: “..link to 3 or 4 of the tests that so CO2 influences climate..”

    Bohren’s 1998 and 2006 texts do a great job of listing/discussing the historical tests & measurements along with the source papers at end of each chapter. Plus I recommend his books “Clouds in a Glass of Beer” and “What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks” for more experiments. Dr. Bohren is clearly much more impressed by direct evidence out in the open as you write & household test which is a reason he’s a favorite of mine.

    Links: Search “Craig Bohren” on http://www.amazon.com

    Callendar 1938 surface Tmean predictions have arguably and decently passed the test of time for added CO2 effect on climate out in the open also:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.49706427503/pdf

  9. acckkii says:

    Richard 111 says:
    “Both CO2 sceptics and Global Warming advocates agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does increase temperature”…
    ________________

    7. Personally, I am incredibly not worried about CO2 in the atmosphere imminently leading to an Armageddon Scenario.

    * The IPCC choice of 100 years is on no physical evidence.
    * The chart list shows that max residence time of atmospheric CO2 according to the referred studies can be “max 10 years”.

  10. acckkii says:

    mkelly says:

    “Would you be so kind as to link to 3 or 4 of the tests that so CO2 influences climate….”
    ____________________________________

    Oh my God we have to start from A…

    Kindly read the following links …simple terms.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_house_gases
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

  11. acckkii says:

    Reblogged this on acckkii.

  12. acckkii says:

    mkelly:

    “Would you be so kind as to link to 3 or 4 of the tests that so CO2 influences climate….”
    __________________________________________________________

    If you have still problem you can get help from a florist. Farmers buy CO2 for 2 reasons 1st for feeding the plants 2nd trapping heat inside their covered farms.

  13. Richard111 says:

    acckkii says:

    October 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Richard 111 says:
    “Both CO2 sceptics and Global Warming advocates agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does increase temperature”…

    =================================
    Please give the date, time and place I EVER made such a statement ????

    I say again: I do NOT believe CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’. I firmly believe CO2 is an effective COOLANT of the atmosphere.
    I ask once more; just how does CO2, a trace gas in the atmosphere, trap heat?

  14. mkelly says:

    Trick says:

    October 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    It .is we11 known that temperatures, especially the night
    minimum, are a little higher near the centre of a large town
    than they are in the surrounding country districts ;”

    Trick I found this in the Callender link you supplied. Thanks. If he knew about UHI effect why do so many now say it has little or no effect? Curious.

  15. mkelly says:

    acckkii says:

    October 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Since you did not supply any links for the tests and research I believe you have none. Wiki is so yesterday.

  16. Trick says:

    mkelly 7:43pm: It is interesting as you note that Callendar 1938 writes of UHI effect in context of added atm. CO2 research. Dunno if he thought UHI had any more or less effect than what is thought in modern times. Not really interested to research. Are you curious enough to do so?

    BTW, Richard111 could use Callendar 1938 to provide simple answers to posted questions at 2:25pm, 7:07pm. Callendar 1938 simply explains science basis (including Clive’s 9:03am CO2 radiative forcing logarithmic falloff) for an opposite view to Richard111’s assertion 6:47am: “(Added CO2) provides no warming to the surface whatsoever.”

  17. Bart says:

    “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”
    Reid Bryson, “Father of Climatology”

  18. […] CO2 in earlier eons when CO2 levels were known to be at levels of several thousands ppmv. – Click here to read the full article […]

  19. acckkii says:

    mkelly says:
    October 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    acckkii says:

    October 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Since you did not supply any links for the tests and research I believe you have none. Wiki is so yesterday.
    _______________________________________________
    continued…..Oh my God we have to (RE)start from A…
    WIKI is step A.
    Now could you please give me a LINK presenting what are “those” green house gases? What is the meaning of RESIDENCE TIME OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2? Why CO2 is important to be monitored? And please show me here; what is the the performance of atmospheric CO2? A “coolant”?
    Yes there is DE-COOLANT working hard over the Arctic.
    I said:
    “2. CO2 and its effects, THE MAIN QUESTION IS HOW LARGE IT IS.”
    This is not a fallacy at all. I find it interesting that carbon dioxide is a coolant, Richard111 said.

    Quote
    Richard111 says:
    October 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm
    “I say again: I do NOT believe CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’. I firmly believe CO2 is an effective COOLANT of the atmosphere.”
    Unquote

  20. acckkii says:

    Richard111 says:
    October 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm
    …..”Please give the date, time and place I EVER made such a statement ????”
    ______________________________________________________________

    “Both CO2 sceptics and Global Warming advocates agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does increase temperature”…”

    Richard111,
    You are right. The statement is part of Ed Hoskins post.
    Apology for my mistake.

    ___________________

    I think the statement is correct. But as I said earlier:
    “2. CO2 and its effects, THE MAIN QUESTION IS HOW LARGE IT IS.”
    Ed Hoskins is trying to determine this.

    I prefer to talk about the impact of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. The definition of greenhouse gases and global warming are typically associated.

  21. mkelly says:

    acckkii says: October 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    You have me mistaken for someone else. I never said anything about resident time etc.

  22. Richard111 says:

    I had hoped to start a discussion on ‘heat trapping gases’. All I can do is post my conclusion. I am sure you have all heard about the DRY ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE? This is calculated using the current atmosphere MINUS water vapour, H2O, and uses the effects of gravity, pressure and heat capacity of all the gases to reach a conclusion that temperature up the dry air column decreases at almost 10 degrees C per kilometre. All okay so far? Now think about that atmosphere, especially the TSI at TOA !!! All 1,366 watts per square metre of sunlight! No albedo, no clouds etc. That is going to warm the surface very effectively. That atmosphere is pressing down on that warm surface with a pressure of 10.3 tons per square metre. Now we must note effects like conduction and convection. A goodly portion of that heat energy is entering the bottom of the air column and being distributed upwards by convection. By the way, THAT IS NOT COOLING. No loss of energy there.
    Now the sun has set and that same surface is radiating like billy-oh up through that wonderful clear atmosphere. IT IS TRANSPARENT, remember.
    Another point to remember is long wave radiation does not have as much energy as short wave radiation so total energy lost from the surface at night will not equal the energy in when the sun was up. Also some of that energy went into the air. Thus every day the surface temperature would increase. Now THAT IS HEAT TRAPPING!
    There are nerds out there who claim only ‘greenhouse gases’ can raise the surface temperature! Be afraid, be very afraid.

  23. Trick says:

    Richard111 7:01am: “…that wonderful clear atmosphere. IT IS TRANSPARENT, remember.”

    To your lying eyes maybe but in the IR bands that your eyes can’t see, earth’s atm. is somewhat optically opaque as observed by satellite. The top post discusses the question of degree.

    As for a discussion of ‘heat trapping gases’, have you any comment on Callendar 1938 very thorough discussion of the subject? He even includes counter discussion like a blog that you might support/debate/comment.

  24. clivebest says:

    @Richard111

    Without any water vapour there would be huge temperature swings between night and day – a bit like in the Sahara today. UK summer temperatures reach over 40C and then fall to near freezing at night. So yes Clouds cool the Earth during the day and retain heat at night. Water vapour is 60-70% of the GHE on Earth but also reduces the lapse rate thereby offsetting CO2 greenhouse effect.

    IPCC are convinced that net feedbacks from H2O is positive but they admit large uncertainties about clouds and lapse rate feedbacks. I am convinced clouds are a net negative feedback for two reasons.

    1. Clouds are greatest in the tropics
    2. If cloud feedback was positive the oceans would have boiled away billions of years ago.

    Clouds on Earth perform the same role as the white daisies in Lovelock’s Daisy World

  25. Richard111 says:

    Transparent implies no IR response. Interested to know what the IR signature is for N2, O2 and Ar.
    Anyone who believes those same gases are immune to conduction and convection are fooling themselves.

  26. Richard111 says:

    By the way, I went back to re-read the post and I cannot find any explanation of how CO2 warms the atmosphere by any amount. It always seems to be taken as a given.
    People simply talk about temperatures. Other people then ‘adjust’ the temperatures to explain the observations. That is not science.

  27. clivebest says:

    @Richard111

    My explanation as to why CO2 (slightly) warms the atmosphere is that it acts like a fog for a small band of 15 micron thermal photons radiating from the surface. The fog clears at different heights depending on the wavelength. The lapse rate is the crucial factor because it is colder higher up. The photons that escape thermally from the top of the CO2 fog are from a colder layer and radiate less energy.

    Net result is that the atmosphere is warmed a little bit than without CO2. The little bit is about 4C in total. Feedbacks however are a totally different matter.

  28. Bart says:

    clivebest says:
    October 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    “The photons that escape thermally from the top of the CO2 fog are from a colder layer and radiate less energy.”

    This a common narrative, but it makes no sense at all. It requires a boot strap, in which the CO2 rises to higher altitude because of temperature, and the temperature rises due to CO2 being at a higher altitude. This is a positive feedback loop, and unstable.

    It also makes no sense because greenhouse heating from CO2 requires interception of IR photons emitted by the surface, and subsequent retention of a part of that energy within the Earth system. But, interception of IR photons decreases as the CO2 layer rises to higher altitude, because the layer becomes less dense as the radius squared from the center of the Earth, i.e., very quickly.

  29. Richard111 says:

    @clivebest

    Thanks Clive. This where this layman falls down. Peak radiation for 15 micron from a blackbody is 193.2K or -79.95C. If the temperature increases the 15 micron radiation increases. As far as I understand that blackbody cannot absorb any 15 micron radiation until its temperature starts to drop below 193.2K

    I see a CO2 molecule as a blackbody with very limited radiation signature. A study of the CO2 molecular structure shows why the IR signature is limited. The number of electron shells is the controlling factor. Any change to the molecules internal rotational and vibrational condition is effected by absorption/emission of a 15 micron photon. Now the internal energy level of the molecule is ALSO EFFECTED BY KINETIC COLLISIONS, known as translational energy. That energy is proportional to the LOCAL AIR TEMPERATURE. At say 288K (15C) the average kinetic speed of all local air molecules is in the order of 400 metres per second.

    This tells me the CO2 molecule is TOO WARM to absorb 15 micron radiation from the surface thus there cannot be any warming into the atmosphere or ‘backradiation’ from the CO2.

    In case anyone wants to bring up arguments about ‘bandwidth’ I am well aware that CO2 emissions in the 15 micron band cover some 3,800 frequencies around the centre. Problem is you will only see those emissions if the CO2 is heated to 1,500K. Look up Perry’s.

    I look forward to learning more, especially if my thinking above is wrong.

  30. clivebest says:

    CO2 itself does not rise up in altitude. The assumption is that CO2 is “well mixed” in the atmosphere. The density of air falls off exponentially with height so there is more empty space between all molecules of air including CO2. There is a complicated spectra of quantum lines in the 15 micron band of CO2. Some lines have a very large cross-section for absorbing an IR photon of the correct wavelength. When a photon is absorbed by a CO2 molecule it excites a rotational or vibrational energy level. This energy can be passed to other air molecules or re-radiated as a new 15 micron photon. It is assumed that each level in the atmosphere is in “Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium” (LTE) at the lapse rate temperature, so the probability of emission follows a planck spectrum for that local temperature.

    This process of 15 micron IR photons diffusing upwards continues until the mean free path for absorption is greater than the distance to space. The photons then escape carrying away energy.

    On very interesting fact is that the central line in the 15micron spectrum for CO2 is so strong that the height where these photons escape into space is way up in the stratosphere. Here the temperature actually increases with height. That means that as CO2 levels rise so this line actually increases radiation loss – cooling the planet rather than warming the planet.

    You can see this beautiful effect in an IR spectrum from space . Look at the central line in this nimbus spectrum Right in the centre with wavenumber about 660 cm-1 you can see the sharp spike upwards. This is the central line radiating from the stratosphere. If CO2 doubles then this line will radiate even more at a higher temperature because it moves us again in the stratosphere . The other two down spikes around 610 and 720 are also individual quantum lines in the spectrum.

    Clive

  31. Richard111 says:

    Yep, nice graph. I wonder why no one talks about the ozone spike at 9.7 microns? 🙂 Bigger than the CO2 spike, and product of the same argument with regard to altitude effects.
    I agree with your surmise on LTE and planck spectrum spread.
    Which brings up another interesting point. The energy in a photon is defined as the frequency times the Planck Constant. So the three well defined spikes at 610, 660 and 720 cm-1 together add up to what percentage of the total LWIR emitted from the surface? This still does not address my original claim that CO2 in the lower atmosphere is too warm to absorb anything in the 13 to 17 micron band present in the LWIR emitted from the surface. This does not mean that CO2 is not radiating. The question is how much. At the temperatures found in the bulk of the atmosphere, basically all that is below the tropopause, CO2 is energised to emit photons in the 15 micron band but no where like it emits when heated to 1,500K which is where all the 13 to 17 micron bandwidth shows up.
    Even if every CO2 molecule is able to absorb 610 cm-1 photons and then emit 720 cm-1 photons the total energy change is very small. Compare the two emission peak temperatures.
    Another point, if a CO2 molecule absorbs a 660 cm-1 photon and emits the same there is NO energy change.
    And last but not least, just how can a surface emitting at say an 0.9e blackbody temperature range of 288K absorb radiation from any source that only has the energy capacity to heat it to 193K?

    Radiation science states quite clearly that only higher frequency photons will be absorbed and converted to vibrational heat energy in a body with a temperature below the peak emission of that band of radiation.

    Richard

  32. mkelly says:

    Radiation science states quite clearly that only higher frequency photons will be absorbed and converted to vibrational heat energy in a body with a temperature below the peak emission of that band of radiation.

    Richard111 do you have a link or source for this?

  33. clivebest says:

    Richard,

    The energy in a photon is defined as the frequency times the Planck Constant. So the three well defined spikes at 610, 660 and 720 cm-1 together add up to what percentage of the total LWIR emitted from the surface?

    Very little. I think the picture of CO2 back radiation is a red herring.

    This still does not address my original claim that CO2 in the lower atmosphere is too warm to absorb anything in the 13 to 17 micron band present in the LWIR emitted from the surface. This does not mean that CO2 is not radiating.

    I agree. Anything that CO2 absorbs in the lower atmosphere is re-admitted so the net effect is zero. In fact if the atmosphere was isothermal there would be no greenhouse effect at all. It is convection and energy loss from the top of the atmosphere due to H2O and CO2 which maintains the lapse rate. The lapse rate is essential to understand the greenhouse effect. The atmosphere provides 3 ways to move heat upwards – convection, evaporation (latent heat) and radiative transfer. Radiative transfer is the net flux of photons from all the levels below minus the net flux down from all the levels above. This is positive because of the fall off in density and temperature with height. The net result of all this heat energy flowing upwards is the environmental lapse rate which is always smaller than the Adiabatic lapse rate.

    The heat loss of the planet is then sampled by satellite such as the Nimbus spectrum. This varies with the latitude and the humidity of the region looked at.

  34. Bart says:

    clivebest says:
    October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I have to say, I hate that I keep reading the same rationalizations over and over again when the effect clearly is not working as predicted. It bothers me no end when people do not adjust their thinking when they see that the conclusions of their thought experiments do not match reality. The reality is that there is no evidence of CO2 induced warming at all in the last 50+ years.

  35. Trick says:

    Bart 4:58pm: “…the effect clearly is not working as predicted…there is no evidence of CO2 induced warming at all in the last 50+ years.”

    Clive 4:14pm: “…CO2 absorbs in the lower atmosphere is re-admitted so the net effect is zero.”

    Richard111 7:11am: “..there cannot be any warming into the atmosphere or ‘backradiation’ from the CO2.”

    Yet Callendar 1938 (see 10/11 3:25pm post) explained earth’s added CO2 ppm effect on surface mean atm. temperature based on ref.d experiment, the physical radiative transfer at-large Tmean increase process (including atm. convection and conduction) and the expected anomaly amount he predicted has been reasonably accurately realized some 75 years later.

  36. Bart says:

    “…and the expected anomaly amount he predicted has been reasonably accurately realized some 75 years later.”

    We could go round and round on “reasonably accurately.” But, in any case, this is post hoc ergo propter hoc. Take away the long term trend since the LIA, and the ~60 year natural variation, and there is very little left which CO2 could have produced.

  37. Richard111 says:

    Yes, we could go round and round. Back in 1938 science was still in its infancy. For example; no one believed in plate tectonics, yet this had a profound effect on past climate changes which we still experience today. There is now more land in the NH and more water in the SH. This has a major effect on the annual seasonal climate changes between the two hemispheres. We now have satellites orbiting the earth and recording the average IR emission and found it is in agreement with the -18C claim, just that it originates from 5 kilometres and upwards. Of course this is used as ‘proof’ that ‘greenhouse gases’ warm the lower atmosphere. Fortunately the ‘greenhouse gases’ are COOLING the upper atmosphere by permitting a temperature lapse rate up the air column.
    I challenge anyone to show me the radiation signature of nitrogen gas at temperatures and pressures found in the atmosphere. I am well aware of the many nitrogen compounds used in chemistry and manufacturing but NONE OF THAT APPLIES TO THE ATMOSPHERE. Next, the IR signature of oxygen, don’t bother pointing out the ozone effect because that is in the IR window anyway and if the window is closed by clouds the good ole ozone is way above and happily radiating to space.
    I forget why we have argon in the atmosphere but since it is nearly 1% we need that radiation signature as well.
    That is what is used in the calculation of the DRY adiabatic lapse rate. No water vapour allowed, CO2 is simply ignored. The result, purely a mathematical reference since you CANNOT take water vapour out of the atmosphere, but this tells us THERE WILL BE A DECREASING TEMPERATURE RATE UP THE ATMOSPHERIC COLUMN. The overall temperature will be controlled by the solar radiation warming the surface through that TRANSPARENT ATMOSPHERE. There is no GUNGE in that atmosphere because we are talking about a mathematical concept. Simple heat capacity and heat transfer by conduction and convection will tell you the surface will warm the air column but in that mathematical world the air column can only redistribute the heat energy up through its volume. The amount of cooling by conduction back to the surface is minimal. So eventually temperatures at the surface would be too hot to support life.
    Here is an observation, I have lived in the Namib Desert in South West Africa for three years back in the 70s. I am well aware of the temperature changes that happen in a desert. Deserts occur mostly where dry air returns to the surface. Look up Hadley Cells. The point being deserts are more DRY than the rest of the planet. So day light temperatures under the blazing sun can be VERY hot. At night the temperature drops sharply. Rocks on the surface are cooling by radiation. Problem is energy from inside the rock can’t travel fast enough to the surface of the rock as the temperature drops. Result; inside of the rock is still expanded by heat, surface of rock is contracting as it loses heat by radiation. Bang! Surface of the rock breaks off exposing a new warmer piece of rock to cool down. You can really hear the bangs and cracks if you are out there in the dark. You can also feel the shards of rock hitting your shins if you are too close. Over the centuries this process breaks the rocks down to sand. Never wondered why deserts are sandy? Now you know.
    I say again; ‘greenhouse gases’ can only cool the atmosphere when there is no sun. When the sun is shining ‘greenhouse gases’ can absorb energy and heat the atmosphere but that energy from the sun never reached the surface. This is a cooling effect.

  38. clivebest says:

    I think the whole argument really boils down to the following question. If you removed all greenhouse gases from the earth’s atmosphere would there still be a lapse rate ?

    I don’t think there is a single answer to this.

    – Some people argue that since the atmosphere can no longer radiate to space at cannot cool itself. That means that eventually the temperature becomes isothermal at the same temperature as the surface. There is no convection and there is no lapse rate.

    -Other people argue that the diurnal heating and differential heating in latitude will drive large convection cells moving heat around the planet. This then sets up a lapse rate although it is not clear how high the tropopause would be or if such a concept could exist.

    I think the crucial criteria which determines the surface temperature is the height of the tropopause – or where the lapse rate eventually runs out of steam. On Venus this is about 60 km above the surface whereas on Earth it is just 10 km. As we know the DALR depends only on gravity and specific heat so the height of the tropopause effectively determines the surface temperature because the “effective” temperature is fixed by energy balance with solar radiation.

    After thinking a long time about this I am convinced that you need greenhouse gases to define a tropopause. The height of the tropopause is where heat loss upwards through radiation exceeds that from convection. This is where the convective heat engine runs out of steam. Venus is hot not because it’s atmosphere is 95% CO2 but because it has high clouds of sulphuric acid. These blocks radiation loss from below thereby driving violent convection and polar vortex winds. Only above these clouds can radiation finally escape some 60 km above the surface.

    Clouds are also the key to Earth’s temperature because they act as a radiation block for outgoing IR and as reflect solar radiation. They are the Earth’s thermostat.

    Low clouds like in UK strongly cool the planet. High Cirrus clouds warm the planet. Overall CERRES data shows that clouds cool the earth by -21 W/m2. For comparison the extra forcing from doubling CO2 is about 3.4 W/m2. This means that AGW would be fully offset by an increase in global cloud cover of about 2%. There is evidence that this is starting to happen – hence the hiatus.

    Clouds on Earth perform the same role as the white daisies in James Lovelock’s Daisy World

  39. I’ve covered some of these matters in exhaustive detail previously.

    A radiatively inert atmosphere will NOT be isothermal since, vertically around a sphere, one still has decreasing density and thus decreasing pressure and temperature with height. That is all one needs to get a convective circulation going.

    If the sphere were not rotating then the circulation pattern would be very simple. The sunlit half would be rising air and the unlit half would be descending air with a bit of fuzziness at the boundary.

    The energy heating the surface on the sunlit side is taken away upward and in the process converted to gravitational potential energy which does not register as heat then it is returned to the surface on the other unlit side and in the process reconverted back from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy which does register as heat.so it warms the surface on the unlit side and is radiated out to space from the unlit surface.

    Note that the unlit side is then ONLY heated by the descending air which warms adiabatically as it descends. That is what returns energy back to the surface so that it can then be radiated to space from the unlit surface thereby keeping the system in balance.

    If one then adds rotation then the same rules apply but the circulation pattern is broken up into latitudinal bands which is what we see in Earths permanent climate zones with jet streams running between or around them.

    If one then adds GHGs then that affects the radiative exchange with both surface and space because they absorb energy and then radiate in ALL directions equally.

    If incoming and outgoing energy are to remain in balance then the circulation pattern changes INSTEAD of any change in system energy content or average surface temperature.

    The point being that the entire mass of an atmosphere is involved and the warmth of the system is set by mass with composition changes only affecting circulation.

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-ignoring-of-adiabatic-processes-big-mistake/

  40. clivebest said:

    “After thinking a long time about this I am convinced that you need greenhouse gases to define a tropopause. The height of the tropopause is where heat loss upwards through radiation exceeds that from convection.”

    Absolutely right because radiatively active gases are needed to create the temperature inversion which creates the tropopause.

    “I think the crucial criteria which determines the surface temperature is the height of the tropopause – or where the lapse rate eventually runs out of steam”

    In fact one also has to consider the slope of the actual lapse rate in every discrete layer right up through the atmospheric column all around the planet and compare the combined effect to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set by mass and gravity.

    If the atmosphere is to be retained the circulation pattern must always reconfigure to make the actual match the ideal save for small temporary variations around the ideal.

    Both the slopes and heights in every horizontal layer of the atmosphere are infinitely variable and interact constantly.

    Those slopes and heights always change so as to maintain ToA energy balance whatever goes on inside an atmosphere. The changes are effected by density differentials within the atmospheric column and it is those differentials that drive the convective system.

    There is a circulation within the stratosphere and in due course we may well discern circulations of sorts in every discrete layer.

    It is the speed and scale of adiabatic processes driven by density differentials within the gravitational field which change the lapse rate slopes and the heights of the atmospheric layers around so as to keep ToA energy balance stable within a limited range.

    That is the global thermostat and it encompasses every feature of every circulation system (gaseous or liquid) on every spherical rotating planet that has an atmosphere.

  41. “Clouds are also the key to Earth’s temperature because they act as a radiation block for outgoing IR and as reflect solar radiation. They are the Earth’s thermostat.”

    Nearly right.

    In order to achieve ToA energy balance the optical depth must be kept stable otherwise too much or too little of ToA insolation will reach the surface and over time the atmosphere will be lost.

    On Earth water clouds do the trick.

    On Mars dust clouds carry out the same function.

    On Venus, sulphuric acid clouds.

    Every planet with an atmosphere will have its own means of varying albedo via circulation changes to keep optical depth right to maintain ToA energy balance.

    Clouds are Earth’s primary medium whereby circulation changes keep optical depth stable enough to retain the atmosphere.

  42. mkelly says:

    Radiation science states quite clearly that only higher frequency photons will be absorbed and converted to vibrational heat energy in a body with a temperature below the peak emission of that band of radiation.

    Richard111 do you have a link or source for this?

    I am very interested in having a source for this. I remember my prof in heat transfer saying something very similar. Thanks is advance.

  43. clivebest says:

    Stephen,

    I agree with your description of convection and circulation with an inert atmosphere. The atmosphere develops a convective circulation which transfers heat from daylight equatorial areas to nighttime and polar areas. The atmosphere acts to reduce temperature differences. The moon without an atmosphere sees massive swings of temperature between night and day. An earth with an inert atmosphere would see far less temperature swings because of convective circulation.

    However it is still the case that all radiative heat loss to space can only come from the surface and this has to balance the TOA solar energy. On Earth albedo would be less but Teff would probably still only be around 0C.

    If one then adds GHGs then that affects the radiative exchange with both surface and space because they absorb energy and then radiate in ALL directions equally.

    agreed !

    If incoming and outgoing energy are to remain in balance then the circulation pattern changes INSTEAD of any change in system energy content or average surface temperature. The point being that the entire mass of an atmosphere is involved and the warmth of the system is set by mass with composition changes only affecting circulation.

    The circulation pattern changes because now the atmosphere absorbs radiation from the surface and also radiates heat itself to space at the TOA. Convection increases because there as there is energy flowing through the atmosphere to space and not just reorganizing heat around the planet. So I agree with you 90% but energy in the system is reorganised because the atmosphere is now an active component.

    It is the speed and scale of adiabatic processes driven by density differentials within the gravitational field which change the lapse rate slopes and the heights of the atmospheric layers around so as to keep ToA energy balance stable within a limited range. That is the global thermostat and it encompasses every feature of every circulation system (gaseous or liquid) on every spherical rotating planet that has an atmosphere.

    I agree with that. Although I might instead call it instead a pressure/energy relief valve

    In order to achieve ToA energy balance the optical depth must be kept stable otherwise too much or too little of ToA insolation will reach the surface and over time the atmosphere will be lost. On Earth water clouds do the trick.

    I agree but I would go one step further.
    During the Earth’s long history the sun has increased its output by 30% yet it still maintained its oceans. Clouds are the shades that regulate surface heating. Global cloud cover is around 68% today. Clouds are concentrated in tropical regions where sea surface temperatures are higher. Ocean temperatures are self limiting at a maximum temperature of 30C. C-C equation tells you that evaporation rate >30C rises non linearly triggering clouds and thunderstorms

    IPCC models do not model clouds very well and anyway treat them as a feedback to CO2 forcing. The micro-physics of cloud formation is still poorly understood. As a result models include a small positive feedback – more warming – lower cloud cover. This seemed to be the case up until ~1998. Thereafter clouds have stabilized or if anything increased coinciding with the hiatus.

  44. Trick says:

    Richard 111 9:29am: “Back in 1938 science was still in its infancy.”

    In many ways of course. Yet Callendar 1938 has fully developed the basic physical science of the effect of added atm. CO2 ppm on surface Tmean by 1938.

    “…the calculation of the DRY adiabatic lapse rate. No water vapour allowed, CO2 is simply ignored.”

    In this context, the word “dry” is used only to rule humidity less than 100% in the column, there IS water vapor allowed in DALR derivation just not enough so to rule out considerations of condensation; atm. CO2 is non-condensing.

    Agree, deserts are normally regions of descending air.

    Clive 10:36am: “If you removed all greenhouse gases from the earth’s atmosphere would there still be a lapse rate ?”

    Yes. Steady state ideal exact lapse below tropopause (fluid of interest has higher temperature surface(s) below) would be T(p)/To = (P(z)/Po)^R/Cp. The derivation does not depend on IR active gas presence. Derived from gas enthalpy, adiabatic process, humidity less than 100%, usual eqn. of state, well mixed.

    Above the tropopause the fluid becomes heated from above so convection pauses.

  45. Richard111 says:

    Trick at 2:30 pm

    “”Yet Callendar 1938 has fully developed the basic physical science of the effect of added atm. CO2 ppm on surface Tmean by 1938.””

    Can anyone use that information to explain the current global temperature pause?

    —————–
    I am not a scientist but I have access to scientific concepts of which scientists in the past had no idea. Take for example, ‘gravitational potential energy’, with regard to molecules in the atmosphere, and then Svante Arrhenius did his work before the theory of quantum physics came into use, also any knowledge of the Earth’s radiative spectrum.
    So when I, a pensioner of 15 years good standing, is finding my very limited finances being demanded from me by force, with the aid of my government, to ostensibly reduce production of a gas that is a major ingredient of the very life cycle of this planet, I demand proof that this is a problem and one that can only be solved with the aid of my limited finances!
    In my defence I have studied the behaviour of carbon and oxygen atoms when combined as molecules of CO2 and find these molecules behave according to the current rules of science with regard to response to changes in temperature and radiation levels.

    I still want to know how a CO2 molecule, already heated above the peak radiation of a specific IR band, can absorb those low intensity photons from that specified IR band and gain energy to heat the local atmosphere above the current temperature and then re-radiate those low level photons (without of course cooling in the process), such that those same photons are absorbed by the even warmer surface which is heated even further?????? This whole process denies the very existence of any laws of thermo dynamics.

  46. tallbloke says:

    Richard: So far as I can tell, the theoretical concept is correct for a no convection of latent heat scenario. But the so called radiative-convective models are severely deficient in their ability to emulate reality, because they can’t resolve both a sufficient number of iterations of the Navier-Stokes equations and a sufficiently fine gridscale. The upshot of which is that the models produce stuff that isn’t observed, like the tropical tropospheric hotspot. Without it there’s no way the surface at the tropics is going to be made any warmer by the atmosphere. The increase in temperature near the poles requires far less energy and is of little consequence, since large negative feedbacks operate there anyway.

    I entirely sympathise with your consternation at the government dipping your pensioners pocket and recommend you alert all your friends to the fact that the only party which will put a stop to this knavery is UKIP.

  47. Trick says:

    Richard111 2:50pm: “Can anyone use that information to explain the current global temperature pause?”

    No. Doesn’t detract at all from the experiments & physical science explained in Callendar 1938.

    “..Svante Arrhenius did his work before the theory of quantum physics came into use..”

    The atom quantum was known for this 1896 work on CO2 (atoms had been pretty well reasoned by 1827) but reasoning quantum electrodynamics was still in the future.

    “I am not a scientist….want to know how a CO2 molecule, already heated…can absorb those low intensity photons…”

    Here’s a way to think of this. A single CO2 moving at room temperature would give you the sensation of about 7 degrees Kelvin (-447F and -266C) if you were able to feel it alone hit your skin. Of course, in the ensemble of air the total mass hitting your skin now means you feel room temperature. Does that help?

    More deeply, discard the words heat and heated, use energy & find even more complications.

    Total energy of a polyatomic molecule = Etranslation + Erotation + Evibration + Eelectronic + Enuclear

    It is worse than you thought. Above is the polyatomic Molecular Hamiltonian if you want to follow up read. The term Eelectronic physics deals with the CO2 absorption and emission of a photon.

  48. Richard111 says:

    tallbloke, I’m already committed to UKIP by damn! 🙂

    mkelly, can’t find an actual quote but have a look at these two links:
    http://www.egglescliffe.org.uk/physics/astronomy/blackbody/bbody.html blackbody radiation
    http://profhorn.aos.wisc.edu/wxwise/AckermanKnox/chap2/planck_curve.html
    and you will see quite clearly the relationship between IR frequency and total power radiated and how the high frequency end changes dramatically with temperature.

    Trick, science tells me that on average all CO2 molecules, just like all the other atmospheric molecules in my lounge, which is currently at 20C (293K), are whizzing around at some 500 metres per second. It is statistically possible, due to the shape of the kinetic energy distribution curve, that some CO2 molecules will be quite cool. But of all the molecules at the cool end of the curve, only 0.04% will be CO2 molecules. But seven Kelvin!!! Wow! The mind boggles.

  49. Richard111 says:

    Well, this has been an interesting but frustrating thread for me. Not getting any answers I’d hoped for.
    Often the problem is a badly stated question so will try once more.
    I’m sure you have all heard of the logarithmic CO2 atmospheric heating graph? That graph clearly shows that the first 20 ppm of CO2 does the most heating, and every 20 ppm increase after that shows the logarithmic decrease of the heating effect.
    Can anyone point to the method used to calculate the first 20 ppm rate of heating? Thanks in advance.
    And please, not MODTRAN. If the graph was derived from that then it is no more than a model extension.

  50. Trick says:

    Richard111 2:29pm: “Can anyone point to the method used to calculate the first 20 ppm rate of heating?”

    Callendar 1938 Sec. 5 pp. 230-232: “The relation between sky radiation and temperature.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.49706427503/pdf

    “From the change in sky radiation with carbon dioxide, and from expression (5), the resulting change in surface (mean) temperature can be obtained.” See Fig. 2.

    Then see Table VI predicting the eventual measured Tmean anomaly by future century. 0.75 century in the bag, results pretty good so far given the confidence intervals in all things.

    AFAIK this method is not significantly changed in modern text books. Pick the one you like at your local library, read up from 1st principles.

  51. clivebest says:

    @Richard111 I tried to derive from scratch both the GHE for CO2 and the logarithmic forcing of CO2. The two posts that do it are:

    The CO2 GHE Demystified
    and
    Radiative Forcing of CO2

    If anything I overestimated the effect of CO2. However it behaves exactly as you say. It follows the law of diminishing return – logarithmic warming. The total effect of all the CO2 on the Earth is about a warming of 4C. If it now doubles it gives about another 1.1C

    Incidentally the IPCC have gone mad and published new science which proposes that warming of CO2 is linear with CO2 – see Figure 10 in the Summary for Policy Makers.

    This graph is being presented to the Cabinet ! -see Bishop Hill.

  52. Richard111 says:

    Thank you Clive and Trick for those links. Keep me out of mischief for a while. 🙂
    Had a quick look and see many questions. For example, line doubling, I find it difficult to imagine two CO2 molecules in a cloud of 5,000 molecules getting together very often so it must be ‘foreign doubling’. That MUST be pressure density related.
    All papers seem to accept that CO2 is a perfect absorber over the 13 to 17 microns bands. I find that difficult to understand. I can understand CO2 radiating freely at all altitudes proportional to the local temperature but have doubts on the bandwidth. Quite how H2O radiative bands are extracted from CO2 bands is not clear. Especially from 15 microns on. Above the tropopause CO2 comes into its own, Yes! But 80% of the atmosphere is below that level. And there H2O is king.
    Another niggle! The surface loses energy by conduction as well as radiation. The drop in radiation level from a cooling surface does not seem to be logarithmic. All calculations seem to be long term averages. To simply average day time and night time effects doesn’t strike me as being very scientific. I’ve seen large errors result from max/min temperature readings where day time maximums lasted minutes and night time minimums lasted hours, but BINGO! we have an average radiative energy level for that neighbourhood!!! Phooeey!!!

    I could go on and on. What I would like to see is a simple experiment. Acquire a tube which is radiatively neutral over the temperature range we will use. Cap one end of the tube with a perfect reflector. Cap the other end with a rock salt window. Fill the tube with 100% pure CO2 gas at standard pressure and temperature. Measure the radiation coming through the window. My understanding is it will be in the 13 to 17 micron band (with real line doubling). Raise and lower the temperature of the tube to levels found around the world, say +50C to -50C. Measure the radiation. I say the intensity will go up and down with temperature but the frequency band will NOT change. One small caveat, at higher temperatures, due to kinetic energy distribution, you might just record some emission at 4.3 microns.
    We have now a source of radiation specific to CO2. Direct that radiation onto a precisely known black body. The black body will need to be in a vacuum chamber to eliminate outside temperature effects. Now for the $64,000 question: What will happen to the temperature of the blackbody?

    If the temperature rises I want to know precisely why because that will be definitive proof of the GHE.
    And if the temperature does rise I have completely misunderstood blackbody radiation. (and I promise I’ll shut up)

  53. Richard111 says:

    Oooops… just had one of those ‘deja vu’ moments! I reread my comment about ‘bandwidth’ of CO2 radiation in the atmosphere above and followed through on my thoughts. CO2 has some 3,800 active lines of absorption/radiation centred around the 15 micron band. My claim is that CO2 at a temperature above the peak radiation level for 15 microns WILL be radiating some portion of that band. As the temperature decreases up the atmospheric column so the radiation from the CO2 will become less, the band becomes more narrow.

    Now the problem. The surface is usually warmer than the atmosphere above so the surface will be radiating a WIDER BAND of energy centred on the 15 micron band. Therefore CO2 molecules will be seeing more and more of the surface radiation higher up the air column. To explain this another way; the CO2 up the air column will be seeing more and more of the EDGES OF THE 15 micron BAND with altitude.

    Would this account for the ‘peaks’ on each side of the CO2 15 micron trace as shown by clivebest in his Radiative Forcing of CO2 paper above?

    To try and summarize my thinking; it looks to me like low altitude CO2 will NOT see any radiation from high altitude CO2 but high altitude CO2 WILL SEE SOME OF THE EDGES of the 15 micron radiation from lower altitudes, the majority of which will be from the surface.

    I still cannot see how much energy is transfered to the atmosphere but I now have to admit there must be some. Also it would appear the main energy transfer will occur in the higher altitudes.

    Non of my discussion above supports the concept of ‘backradiation’. As I say above the INTENSITY of the radiation from the surface in the 13 to 17 micron band is much higher than the intensity of the radiation from the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere.

  54. clivebest says:

    “To try and summarize my thinking; it looks to me like low altitude CO2 will NOT see any radiation from high altitude CO2 but high altitude CO2 WILL SEE SOME OF THE EDGES of the 15 micron radiation from lower altitudes, the majority of which will be from the surface.

    Yes that is correct. Some surface photons in the 15 micron band make it up to the high atmosphere. I think the proportion of the 15 micron band escaping directly to space looks like this.

    So even with CO2 at 390ppm there are still 6watts/m2 of photons making it right through to space. Another interesting phenomena is that atmospheric cooling by radiation is most efficient with CO2 levels at 300ppm which just happens to be their natural level. Is that a coincidence or does the carbon/photosynthesis cycle adjust itself to ensure maximum entropy (energy loss) ?

  55. Richard111 says:

    Thanks for the confirmation on my thinking Clive. All new to me and with no math background I tend to think in pictures. Perry’s shows the width of CO2 emissions covering the 13u to 17u band at a temperature of 1,500K. I had first assumed the band narrowed with temperature. Your arguments seem to imply the band is constant width, just the INTENSITY drops with temperature. This again means any radiation from CO2 in the atmosphere reaching the surface will NOT be absorbed. Therefore the claim of ‘backradiation’ from CO2 is non-science. This also means any increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is irrelevant to surface temperature. Anyway, current global conditions seem to support that.

  56. Trick says:

    Richard111: “…any radiation from CO2 in the atmosphere reaching the surface will NOT be absorbed.”

    Where does the radiation go then? Simply destroyed? No.

    “…the claim of ‘backradiation’ from CO2 is non-science.”

    If CO2 gas Tmean >0, then the mass radiates IR. So backradiation exists. NOAA ESRL measures amount of earth backradiation in accord with K&T, you can watch the clouds go by on the instrumentation.

    In Callendar 1938 paper, Richard111 hasn’t absorbed yet, see discussion sec. 5 pages I noted above. Absorb some “sky radiation” experimental evidence and theory. May be a preferred term rather than backradiation which confuses many into thinking IPCC means heat when they mean simply energy.

  57. Richard111 says:

    Trick, do you really believe radiation from a cloud equates to radiation from CO2? Can you quote the range, bands of radiation, from CO2 and the base of clouds? Can you explain with experimental evidence how the surface differentiates between radiation from CO2 and clouds?
    What is heat? How does that heat cause electromagnetic radiation to leave the surface of the body?
    How does that body respond to identical radiation from elsewhere?
    Here is an experiment for you. Obtain a tin can with lid. Fill it full of pure CO2. Seal the lid. CO2 will be at room temperature, rather warmer than the atmosphere outside. Measure the temperature of the can. Is it increasing? You are free to patent the idea and sell it to pensioners to keep warm in winter.

  58. Trick says:

    Richard111: “Trick, do you really believe radiation from a cloud equates to radiation from CO2?”

    Different lines as you write, water polyatomic molecule absorbs/emits in different physical modes and freq.s than polyatomic CO2. A spectrometer sorts them out. For diagrams of the idealized mass/spring vibrational modes I rec. Bohren 1998 and 2006.

    “Can you quote the range, bands of radiation, from CO2 and the base of clouds?”

    Consult the results of experiments shown in text books (I rec. Bohren 2006).

    “What is heat?”

    Formerly a colorless fluid that you could pour into cold iron bars from hot iron bars not vice versa. Today under the kinetic theory, it is just energy. Consult Bohren 1998 for the 1st law energy balance eqn.s.

    “How does that heat cause electromagnetic radiation to leave the surface of the body?”

    It used to just be poured out. Modern science has abandoned heat as a colorless fluid being poured from body to body; I dunno how the fluid was thought to “leave the surface” in the pre-late 1800s. I think it was one of the stumbling blocks. Text books show how this occurs in modern times kinetic theory.

    “How does that body respond to identical radiation from elsewhere?”

    The body absorbs/emits; the physics are well founded, over a century or two.

    “Measure the temperature of the can. Is it increasing?”

    No, you said it was at room temperature. Unless you add/subtract energy, delta T remains DT/dt=0. Add a few more ingredients to your can, get Coca-Cola. Ice it, get some cold Coca-Cola. Drink while reading the short few pages of Callendar 1938 that I recommend.

    After that, welcome Richard111 to modern times plus 75 years.

  59. tallbloke says:

    ” welcome Richard111 to modern times plus 75 years.”

    To a time when the bullshit has been laid on in spadefuls. So far as I can see from the data, it doesn’t matter much what wavebands the ineffectual longwave radiation are emiited and absorbed in, because the number of Watts incolved which make it back to the surface is so small compared to the amount of energy moved around by latent heat and condensing water that it’s a waste of your time calculating it.

  60. Richard111 says:

    Oh, don’t take it too seriously. 🙂 Trick has his favourites and I have mine. For example:

    http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/kinetic_theory.html

    Then there are plenty of university papers on black body theory to help pass the time.
    And an excellent summary of what I keep trying to talk about:

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/stephen-wilde-the-myth-of-backradiation/

    Just curious about Trick’s persistence in trying to convert me?

  61. Trick says:

    “…curious about Trick’s persistence…”

    Well, Richard111 hoped for a discussion “I ask once more; just how does CO2, a trace gas in the atmosphere, trap heat?” and I am a reincarnated crock monitor of the Roman empire.

    A “crock of crap” derives from an ancient Roman custom. It referred literally to a pot into which people would excrete if they were particularly bored by whichever philosopher happened to be talking rubbish at the time. The Roman empire employed crock monitors who were each assigned to a particular philosopher/scientist/mathematician/scholar/tablet blogger, and it was their job to monitor the crock. Should the crock become full, it would be presented to the offender, who was obliged, by law, to announce that it bore a remarkable resemblance to the offender, thus proclaiming he/she was full of crap.

    “I am talking a crock of crap” – Titus Pomponius Atticus, banker, 65 BC after recording this on a tablet causing his crock to become full:

    “It is the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy as air descends through the atmospheric column that heats the surface. Not backradiation.

    So called back radiation is simply the temperature of the molecules at the surface.”

    Wish a crock monitor had been around for that thread.

    I agree Richard111, don’t take it too seriously. The kinetic theory has been remarkably successful over caloric theory in the age old crock monitor profession.

  62. Richard111 says:

    Sigh… I also read WUWT. Good night all.

  63. Isn’t back radiation a crock of crap ?

    The radiation flux is merely a by product of mechanical processes and causative of nothing in itself.

  64. tchannon says:

    Something to think about Richard111

    Gaze at yourself in a mirror, wallow in the mirror back radiation, a mirror showing you several thousands of kelvin yet it is at room temperature.

    Sky is like that as far as the ground is concerned, not a good mirror, get a better look when one of those fluffy things wanders my way.

  65. Trick says:

    Back to dry, humorless cutting edge science from a brief foray into humor that leaks out of me from time to time. Stephen wants to know the answer to “Isn’t back radiation a crock of crap?”

    Merriam-Webster: The (backradiation) word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary.

    Cambridge (British English): We do not have an entry for backradiation.

    Dictionary.com: No results found for backradiation.

    Meteorology Glossary (AMS): Did you mean: back radiation. See counterradiation.

    Counterradiation: The downward flux of longwave radiation across a given surface, usually taken as the earth’s surface. Counterradiation originates in emission by clouds and greenhouse gases at different heights and temperatures, and is modified by subsequent absorption before reaching the surface in question. The long-term global average of counterradiation reaching the earth’s surface is about 330 W m-2, making it one of the largest terms in the surface energy balance.

    ******

    So I find researching cutting edge science that maybe to ordinary users of dictionaries backradiation is a full crock but apparently not according to American Meteorological Society Glossary users where back radiation is counterradiation emitted from things having mass T>0K in earth’s sky, like clouds & gas (hence Callendar 1938 “sky radiation” term).

    http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Counterradiation

    Maybe all this caterwauling* about the term “back radiation” or “backradiation” is just because that term is not in the usual layman dictionary so can make up one’s own defn. and the layman science then is easy to get muddled.

    *Dictionay.com defn. caterwauling 3: to quarrel like cats.

    Possibly I will remember to use AMS counterradiation from now on, after trying my best to use Callendar’s sky radiation.

  66. tallbloke says:

    “The long-term global average of counterradiation reaching the earth’s surface is about 330 W m-2, making it one of the largest terms in the surface energy balance.”

    This 330W/m^2 didn’t come all the way down from the clouds though. Anyone who tells you it did, is misleading you. Nearly all of the ambient LW is the result of the local temperature, not it’s cause.

  67. Trick says:

    tb – Note the differing heights and temperatures statement. And the subsequently modified absorption. The near surface atm. is a bath of radiation; as we’ve discussed before the photons can’t be separated to be made more useful than the local temperature w/o 2nd law violation. I think that’s what Stephen interprets as nothing causative.

  68. wayne says:

    Here we go again I see.

    Trick, you have it backwards. You are the one not speaking “cutting edge science”. The “Back Radiation” concept is for those with a more limited understanding like yourself it seems. “Back Radiation” is stated in most simple dictionaries on the web (yes, even AMS) because a full blown description of the real aspects would take far too many words/pages and and deeper understanding of radiation fields involved… duality and the wave nature of real, actual electromagnetic fields and their interaction between these fields. That is, it is for non-physicists who do go into those deeper and hard to understand aspects.

    ‘Back radiation’ does not exist in reality: it is a failure to understand the difference between a real energy flux set by the vector difference of Radiation Fields and an isolated Radiation Field, the potential energy flux to a sink at absolute zero as AlecM has correctly pointed out.

    The energy flux stated above set by the vector difference of radiation fields = photons. By definition. And photons, by definition, only travel from warmer areas to cooler areas of matter or the empty void of space, spontaneously due to imbalances within the radiative fields present. Fields Trick, not you simplistic view of what photons are.

    Strictly by numbers within this process, it can be more simply stated as ‘photons’ flowing in every direction and at all times and it is easier for the average person to conceptualize and compute differences with this simple view. If you wish to stay simple minded then by all means continue to think of this as “Back Radiation” for your computations and simple explanations. (but don’t think it is the real reality, it is not)

    If you want to learn more, go to a good library and locate four or five books on particle physics (on the work at Fremi, Brookhaven, CERN, Stanford Linear Accelerator) written by physicists more for physicists and not to the general students in other removed branches of science and you will find the difference of real photons (really just a concept) and the photons you seem to have conceptualize within your mind (like in climate “science” and surrounding branches, yes, even meteorology). The older books before “post-modern science” came to be are best, when the truth used be spoken and written.

  69. Trick says:

    Wayne.

    Words are failing you. Write out the physics equations, or cite a ref. page from any one of “..four or five books on particle physics…” supporting your position(s); they may already be on my home bookshelf.

    Wayne: “‘Back radiation’ does not exist in reality.”

    ‘Back radiation’ is not defined with authority anywhere I can reasonably find, can you? Then we can discuss that definition.

    If your position is counterradiation does not exist as defined by AMS, and/or sky radiation does not exist as used by Callendar 1938, then you are faced with explaining or citing “older books before “post-modern science”” that explain how matter at T>0K does not in fact radiate in the IR bands.

  70. wayne says:

    Callendar’s “sky radiation” is the of the same cloth. Bow to your authorities as you see fit Trick, fine with me, I have no problem speaking on your terms of “Back Radiation”, it just I have read many many books in other branches of science that I have tended to follow over the decades in physics, especially particle physics and atomic physics and it seems clear you have never opened your mind that what you are currently thinking is not literally correct. Won’t go much further on this subject with you, it is you that needs to branch out.

  71. tchannon says:

    Is there an instrument, necessarily would be cryogenic which can directly measure photons at very low energies, lets say at lower energy than can be used by photomultipliers etc which is the point at which there is total darkness?

    Do photons even exist at these levels? Always this stuff jumps to bolometers but that is not allowed. I’ve never found anything reported.

    It might be that this involves the particle/wave duality.

    Photons from 4K Helium for example?
    If not then what does it radiate?

  72. Trick says:

    wayne offers nothing of substance, retreats.

    Tim C. – wayne won’t get what you ask but are good questions, here is a synopsis of an endeavor that finally achieved in practice what theory predicted at 20 nanoK in an ideal gas and won a Nobel. The instrumentation used is further described in the source.

    http://physics.nist.gov/News/Update/950724.html

    “Slightly” higher temperatures experiment discussed here, wayne won’t get radiation exists at these temperatures either:

    Click to access bradley_95.pdf

  73. mkelly says:

    Trick here is a link to a picture showing the power of the sky radiation.
    http://climaterealists.com/?action=report&uid=8100&id=9004

    No ability to heat.

  74. tchannon says:

    Trick,
    As best I can deduce from the paper they deduce not detect photons emitted.

    Such a photon has to leave the substance, travel across empty space, enter whatever is the detector where it’s energy is annihilated producing a signal. This has to take place without noticing any other photons.

    Claims of single photon detection are always qualified, for example “a single UV photon”

    A lot of research went into photon flux enhancement by the people in the killing business, reaching the limit of nothingness. Then the method as widely used today is bolometers and so on, heating effect of or the loss of heat as a calorific process. Any photons if they exist are too weak to interact.

    So is there an EM field or particles?

  75. Trick says:

    mkelly – “No ability to heat.”

    Correct, cite 2nd law; AMS counterradiation energy generally comes from a lower temperature source (the sky – hence sky radiation) than the surface temperature.

    Little wind, hi press. system, still air in pix, right? Understanding physics of frost formation, dew formation and the moisture that sometimes forms on the inside of your house windows is a good exercise to think thru to test one understands atm. physics of these natural occurrences that observe 1st & 2nd law of course.

    There are a number of texts that show the solutions, I recommend Dr. Bohren’s partly because he likes to avoid using math differentials if at all possible. Where do clouds in a glass of beer come from or what light thru yonder window breaks? He will show you.

    Author linked: “..the ground directly below the frost is above zero °C and the air was also above zero °C, yet the ice remains.”

    Not surprising, frost in shade happens often enough though the author’s T measurements are obscure in your link. See C. Bohren texts and books for the physical explanation. I would write here, but geez, so easy to go find his stuff on your own, free in a library, on the ‘net, and much more thorough.

    Author linked: “..no heat beaming down to earth..”

    Ok, no heat beaming energy transfer only radiative, convective, and conductive energy transfer. Perfect straw man, well stabbed. Even the caloric theory thought heat fluid beam was more of a pour. Writing that shows the author seriously needs consult a modern text book on frost formation.

  76. Trick says:

    Tim C. – “So is there an EM field or particles?”

    Depends on the test set up of course. Photons are ingenious little devils, very fascinating to study. I especially like the laser beam splitting experiment where if you look at the end of one beam, you know immediately the config. of the photon being observed at the end of the other beam and the beams could end more than a light year apart. Something very strange going on there.

    “As best I can deduce from the paper they deduce not detect photons emitted.”

    And how do they deduce that? Because try as they might, they cannot get the condensate temperature to 0.0K, even though 20nanoK is pretty dang close, there is still radiative, conductive, and maybe convective energy transfer going to the single big atom condensate.