What is the adiabatic lapse rate of air?

Posted: July 3, 2015 by oldbrew in atmosphere
Tags: ,

upintheair
That’s the question posed by Scottish Sceptic here.

When explaining the greenhouse warming effect, I’ve avoided going into the cause of the adiabatic temperature change of the atmosphere as we get higher and instead used a hand waving argument that expanding air is cooler which has been enough to explain the necessary temperature gradient up through the atmosphere (link).

However, this isn’t really the mechanism behind the adiabatic lapse rate.


Then I came across a comment on Roy Spencer’s blog to the effect that the adiabatic lapse rate was caused by the greenhouse effect – indeed driven by it. That seemed to be counter to my  understanding. Then another commenter on my blog said it wasn’t due to loss in potential energy as I suggested. So, I decided to think about it more.

First, I should explain that “adiabatic” just means that we are assuming the air does not gain or lose heat to its surroundings (by IR or conduction).

As we know gases are governed by the rule that:
PV = nRT

So, this would suggest that when pressure is reduced, so is temperature. However this is only true of a fixed volume. But when air rises, it expands, so both its pressure goes down and its volume goes up.

Work done

So, another way that is used to attempt to explain why the temperature of the gas goes down, is to suggest that it is due to “work done”: because whilst it is expanding it is doing work, this is why it loses energy and therefore heat. That again sounds superficially attractive, but in actual fact when the parcel of air rises it is also gaining potential energy. And moreover, all the surrounding gas is also “doing work” on the other bits of gas around it. So, not only is the parcel of air we are considering doing work against other parcels, but other parcels are doing work against the parcel we are considering. So where is all this “work” going – it can only go into other parcels of air. There can be no net change in energy!

Adiabatic lapse rate is just loss of potential energy

However, once we start thinking about potential energy we have the solution. Imagine if you will a balloon of gas slightly lighter than air (assume the balloon itself is negligible weight). Because the balloon is lighter, it will rise upward. But the gas within the balloon as a finite mass, so in order to make this rise, there has to be a gain in potential energy. But also as the balloon rises, the pressure drops, the balloon expands and the air within the balloon does work (force x distance = work). This work comes from the thermal pressure of the gas. So,, as the air molecules expand they lose heat. And so this is where the potential energy is coming from. If we assume the balloon is big enough to contain 1kg of air, then the transfer of energy per meter is as follows:

Potential energy = energy lost from air = temperature change x specific heat capacity

mgh = T Cp m

(where m is mass in kg, g is gravitational constant 9.8, h is height m, T is temperature C, Cp is specific heat capacity in Joules Centigrade-1 kg-1)

Simplifying we get:-

T/h = g/Cp

The specific heat capacity of air at -50 to 40C is 1.005 kJ Centigrade-1 kg-1

So lapse rate T/h = 9.8/1005

= 9.75C/km

This is the lapse rate of dry air. (Moist air has a different lapse rate because it condenses out water droplets which effectively makes Cp much larger)

Full post with graphics here: What is the adiabatic lapse rate of air? | Scottish Sceptic.
——–
Skipping to the last part…

Greenhouse gases and adiabatic lapse

From this we can conclude:

1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss of energy to potential energy as a packet of air rises.

2. The adiabatic lapse rate will occur naturally in a transparent atmosphere which has no interaction with IR or visible light.

3. If lower layers of the atmosphere are heated, they tend to rise until they encounter a layer at a lower temperature than the lapse rate. So, this mechanism tends to cause convection from the ground up to where the lapse rate breaks down.

4. The lapse rate breaks down because of IR heat loss (or gain). Far from the lapse rate being a result of IR interactive gases (aka greenhouse gases), as has been suggested, greenhouse gases tend to break down the lapse rate tending to move the thermal gradient away from the lapse rate and toward an isothermal region (within the bulk of the atmosphere), but also IR heat loss to space tends to make the upper layers with more of a “window” to the cold of space, colder.
———
Over to Talkshoppers for discussion.

Comments
  1. nzrobin says:

    MS at Hockeyschtick did a good series on this a few months back.

  2. Roger Clague says:

    I find the logic convincing. That is:

    1. The gas law PV =nRT is not helpful because V is not fixed.
    2. As gas rises and cools where does the energy go?
    3. Work is done against gravity not pressure.
    4. Heat lost = gravitational potential gained
    mcT = mgh
    T/h = g/c
    for dry air 10K/km

    Pressure and mass are the NOT the cause of T/h

    T/h for moist air
    Moist air c = 2J/kgK
    T/h moist air = 10/2 = 5J/kgK , the measured value

    Rising hot air (convection)

    Convection is cause by the lower density of moist air
    Convection is assisted by reduced pressure when VW condenses

    Convection is not caused by expansion of air.
    The term adiabatic and use of packet as concept is wrong.

  3. Kristian says:

    Have mercy!

    No. Just … NO! Scottish Sceptic is just as confused about this topic as Stephen Wilde and Doug Cotton are. And that says a lot …!

  4. Richard111 says:

    Glad to read that there is confusion out there. My layman understanding is that the thermometer is responding to the average kinetic collisions. If the gas expands the collision rate is reduced and thermometer records a drop in temperature. This NOT a drop in energy. Kinetic speed of any particular molecule is lost while the molecule is shunted UP and kinetic speed of a DOWN molecule reduces in proportion to altitude. Thus total energy is not lost up the air column (apart from those other pesky gases radiating energy away). Now think of this; assume a world in pure vacuum, release a molecule from altitude of 100 metres, it will hit the surface with a certain gravity induced speed, now release an identical molecule from 100 kilometres and it will hit the surface very much harder, the second molecule is ‘hotter’ due to extra gravitational energy. Yes more work was done raising the second molecule but no energy was lost until said molecule collided and transferred some kinetic energy.
    My limited layman thinking leads me to believe radiatively active gases warm the atmosphere only in the presence of sunshine otherwise they cool the atmosphere.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Some stats to consider, with links at the end (‘Related Topics’ and ‘Related Documents’) including ‘Dry Air Properties’.
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-altitude-density-volume-d_195.html

  6. JKrob says:

    A few thoughts…if I may,

    1) Don’t confuse the ‘lapse rate’ with the ambient vertical temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate deals with *vertical motion* of a parcel of air…both up & down. You can have layers of air which are warmer or colder than the ‘normal’ & that affects the parcels which are lifted from below…or sink from above.

    2) Vertical motion does not only come from convective instability- there are other forcings; there is orographic lift (mountains, rising land, etc.), kinematic lift (jet stream-oriented divergence lifting air from below *AND* convergence aloft causing air to sink [warm-core high pressure systems]), isentropic lift (warm air forced to flow up-over colder air [warm front]), and surface convergence.

    All of these situations will ‘force’ lower-layer air to rise and the adiabatic lapse rate will affect the parcels of air.

    Roger Clague says: > “Convection is cause by the lower density of moist air”

    No, moisture has nothing to do with convective instability. It is purely an issue of temperature/density. You can have dry thermals (sailplane pilots use them all the time). The condensation of the parcel just makes the convection ‘visible’.

    Now, to address the ‘conclusions’…
    “1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss of energy to potential energy as a packet of air rises.”
    1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss(gain) of energy to(from) potential energy as a packet of air rises(descends). It works both ways…

    “2. The adiabatic lapse rate will occur naturally in a transparent atmosphere which has no interaction with IR or visible light.”
    Ehh??? not sure what you mean by a ‘transparent atmosphere’ but the adiabatic lapse rate is an ever present mechanism in the current atmosphere w/ IR & visible light ‘interacting’ all the time…they have little if anything to do with the process.

    “3. If lower layers of the atmosphere are heated, they tend to rise until they encounter a layer at a lower temperature than the lapse rate….”
    3. If lower layers of the atmosphere are heated, they tend to rise until they encounter a layer at a *higher* temperature than the lapse rate….” (fixed)

    Parcels will rise (convectively) as long as the parcel temperature, being impacted by the dry/moist adiabatic lapse rate, is warmer than it’s surrounding ambient temperature. When it encounters a layer of “warmer” air, the lifting stops *and*, if there is any latent heating going on (condensation), that stops as well & the parcel assumes the temperature of it’s surroundings (usually colder, sometime *much* colder, than when it started) because it has achieved neutral buoyancy.

    4 – (won’t cut/paste the whole thing)
    Remember, don’t confuse the lapse rate of a parcel in vertical motion (up or down) with the ambient vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere at any one place/time. There are other forces involved with the displacement of air (both horizontal & vertical) that impact the temperature of any specific layer…both above & below the tropopause.

    Jeff

  7. Ben Wouters says:

    JKrob says: July 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    “A few thoughts…if I may,

    1) Don’t confuse the ‘lapse rate’ with the ambient vertical temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate deals with *vertical motion* of a parcel of air…both up & down. You can have layers of air which are warmer or colder than the ‘normal’ & that affects the parcels which are lifted from below…or sink from above.”

    Better brace for the comments of ‘real scientists’ that undoubtedly will shortly appear😉

    Obviously you’re fully correct in your statement.

  8. Frederick Colbourne says:

    Richard Lindzen wrote a relevant paper.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/230_TakingGr.pdf

  9. AlecM says:

    Virtual Work Analysis.

    Constant sum of Potential and internal energy so any parcel of air at one altitude can replace another at a different altitude with no energy change.

    The stupids in Climate Alchemy imagine it’s caused by the GHE!

  10. Kristian says:

    JKrob says, July 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm:

    “1) Don’t confuse the ‘lapse rate’ with the ambient vertical temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate deals with *vertical motion* of a parcel of air…both up & down. You can have layers of air which are warmer or colder than the ‘normal’ & that affects the parcels which are lifted from below…or sink from above.”

    This was my first thought also. What is Scottish Sceptic actually discussing? The “adiabatic lapse rate” (ALR), or the “environmental lapse rate” (ELR)?

    “1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss(gain) of energy to(from) potential energy as a packet of air rises(descends). It works both ways…”

    Absolutely not!!!

    The adiabatic lapse rate is an expression of the rate of loss of ‘internal energy’ [U] from a rising volume of air as it expands into and pushing aside surrounding air at progressively higher altitudes and thus lower external pressures. Adiabatic processes are fully covered by the First Law of Thermodynamics.

  11. markstoval says:

    I don’t have time to comment fully on this topic, but will tonight I hope.

    In the mean time, I will point out that now the S.S. wants to repeal the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Oh my goodness.

    Is it time to repeal the second law of thermodynamics? http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/07/03/is-it-time-to-repeal-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

    And he goes for the blanket meme straight off! Damn.

  12. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    “The adiabatic lapse rate is an expression of the rate of loss of ‘internal energy’ [U] from a rising volume of air as it expands into and pushing aside surrounding air at progressively higher altitudes and thus lower external pressures. Adiabatic processes are fully covered by the First Law of Thermodynamics.”
    Now go explain this to WJ, Wayne and others at the ‘other thread’.
    Could have prevented some 1000 unnecessary posts.

  13. Roger Clague says:

    Richard111 says:
    July 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Now think of this; assume a world in pure vacuum, release a molecule from altitude of 100 metres, it will hit the surface with a certain gravity induced speed, now release an identical molecule from 100 kilometres and it will hit the surface very much harder, the second molecule is ‘hotter’ due to extra gravitational energy

    I agree with is approach.
    You link temperature directly with gravity as in T/h = g/c
    That is without reference to pressure and therefore without using gas laws, gas constant and molar mass.

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    You might try this:

    The Adiabatic Lapse Rate of the Atmosphere is a measurement of the Energy Density of the Air. The change of that density in a volume, due to elevation changes, also changes the energy density in the Volume.

    Temperature is a measurement of the energy density or the average of all the molecules thermal content in the local volume. pg

  15. Roger Clague says:

    JKrob says:
    July 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    1) Don’t confuse the ‘lapse rate’ with the ambient vertical temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate deals with *vertical motion* of a parcel of air…both up & down

    The vertical temperature of the atmosphere T/h is called the lapse rate. Where is the confusion?
    It is very stable day, night, hot, cool, dry or wet.

    There are no parcels of air moving up and down. N2, O2 and H20 molecules move in the air by diffusion of molecules. Molecules pass and bounce off each other.

    You can have dry thermals (sailplane pilots use them all the time).
    Please give references for this claim.

  16. JKrob says:

    Kristian says:
    “The adiabatic lapse rate is an expression of the rate of loss of ‘internal energy’ [U] from a rising volume of air…”

    Ummm…air in the atmosphere moves up (low pressure system) *and* down (high pressure system). If the adiabatic lapse rate causes the air parcel to cool @10C°/km (stick with dry adiabatic process), guess what – when that parcel descends (to maintain the hydrostatic balance), it is going to *warm* @10C°/km as well. The adiabatic process works *both ways*.

    Absolutely so!!

    Jeff

  17. JKrob says:

    Roger Clague says:
    “The vertical temperature of the atmosphere T/h is called the lapse rate. Where is the confusion?”

    The vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere is called the Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR) and is dynamic (which is IMPORTANT!) where the a vertical-moving parcel of air is impacted by the Adiabatic Lapse Rate (Moist [@ approx. 5 C°/km] or Dry [@ approx. 10C°/km]) which is fixed.

    “It is very stable day, night, hot, cool, dry or wet….”

    It is no such thing. It is stable when there is warmer air above cooler air & it is unstable when there is cooler air above warmer air. IOW, it is dynamic! If it was “very stable” 24hrs/day, meteorologists would not have to learn about the different types of stability & it’s HUGE impact on daily weather…and the world would be a very dry place.

    “There are no parcels of air moving up and down…”

    (sigh…) SERIOUSLY?!?!? If there are no parcels moving up, how is low pressure created? If there are no parcels moving down, how are high pressure created? Jeezzz, if there are no parcels moving up…what is going on in a thunderstorm??

    (me) “You can have dry thermals (sailplane pilots use them all the time).”
    “Please give references for this claim.”

    You obviously have no clue about meteorology & my Captain Obvious uniform is being washed. Do you SERIOUSLY think convection (which doesn’t exists according to you) starts at the cloud base & the air is doing nothing beneath it??

  18. JKrob says:

    Roger Clague says:
    (me) “You can have dry thermals (sailplane pilots use them all the time).”
    “Please give references for this claim.”

    This took a whole 5 seconds –

    http://www.aviationweather.ws/095_Thermal_Soaring.php

    Lots of info in this link [mod]

  19. Ben Wouters says:

    JKrob says: July 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    ““There are no parcels of air moving up and down…”

    (sigh…) SERIOUSLY?!?!? If there are no parcels moving up, how is low pressure created? If there are no parcels moving down, how are high pressure created? Jeezzz, if there are no parcels moving up…what is going on in a thunderstorm??”

    I told you, wait for the self acclaimed ‘real scientists’ to move in😉
    The level of understanding of even the most basic processes is unbelievable…

  20. wayne says:

    “The vertical temperature of the atmosphere T/h is called the lapse rate. Where is the confusion?”

    The confusion? Fingers in their ears Roger.

    They actually ‘think’ the cp of air is 1006 J/kg/K when really air is NEVER ‘dry’ and the cp is closer to 1519 J/kg/K (25°C, mean 55% R.H.) but they know little of physics and little of math, so just feel sorry for them. (ps: used http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/enthalpy-moist-air-d_683.html ‘s numbers) But they will try to read and understand that page and get all confused, just watch.

    Hey meteo nuts, stick that in your g/cp and see what you come up with for the lapse. In my corner of this planet R.H. is NEVER zero, much higher, so cp is NEVER 1006 J/kg/K, much higher, but I can’t seem to find that corner they live in where their air is dry, I mean 0% R.H.

    Think I will just sit this one out. They never listen. This has all been explained to them many many times before.

    No wonder they don’t understand lapse rates and the atmosphere. Stuck within a hypothetical world.

  21. Kristian says:

    wayne says, July 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm:

    “They actually ‘think’ the cp of air is 1006 J/kg/K when really air is NEVER ‘dry’ and the cp is closer to 1519 J/kg/K (25°C, mean 55% R.H.) but they know little of physics and little of math, so just feel sorry for them.”

    wayne, 55% relative humidity in air does not mean the air is made up of 55% WV. Your own link informs us that: “Moist air is a mixture of dry air and water vapor. In atmospheric air water vapor content varies from 0 to 3% by mass.” So with a say 1% content of WV, the average cp of the air in total would be ~1014 J/kg/K, which gives a dry adiabatic (non-condensing) lapse rate of ~9.675 K/km instead of 9.75.

  22. Kristian says:

    JKrob says, July 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm:

    “If the adiabatic lapse rate causes the air parcel to cool @10C°/km (stick with dry adiabatic process), guess what – when that parcel descends (to maintain the hydrostatic balance), it is going to *warm* @10C°/km as well. The adiabatic process works *both ways*.”

    Of course it does. I realise my quoting you has caused confusion. I should’ve skipped the last sentence. My “Absolutely not!” related to your first line: “The lapse rate is the rate of loss(gain) of energy to(from) potential energy as a packet of air rises(descends).”

    A transformation from KE into PE and back is not part of the adiabatic process. This is completely misunderstood. It’s the very misconception afflicting Scottish Sceptic.

  23. wayne says:

    Kristian, I am not perfect, just trying, and will always leave the leeway that possible I am the one mistaken, will check again now and from a slightly different direction.

    The 55% is 0.55 fraction of the saturated mixing ratio (kg/kg) or specifc humidity I believe is also temed sometimes.

    Once again using:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/enthalpy-moist-air-d_683.html

    See the listing down to “Specific Enthalpy of Water Vapor – Latent Heat” and for moist air 100% staturated there:

    cpw = specific heat of water vapor at constant pressure (kJ/kgoC, kWs/kgK)

    For water vapor the specific heat capacity can be set to: (their words, not mine)

    cpw = 1.84 (kJ/kg/oC)

    of 1840 J/kg/K as the units (straight SI) I will always try to use.

    Now that is saturated which is clearly too high cp since 0% R.H. cpw is 1006 J/kg/K. The differnece is 1840-1006 or 834 and mutiply back by 0.55 for 459.8 + 1006 (dry) to give 1465.8 J/kg/K, a bit lower than my original calc. The atmosphere keeps showing 1508.6 by the SA76 so back calculate and to match that, it need that factor of 60%, exactly, not 55%. Hmm. Is Earth’s mean R.H.? i’ve never seen nor looked for that estimate. Did the SA team use 60%. Don’t know.

    If I am way off base please show me where because the overall lapse of our entire lower atmopshere does show a cp near 1508 J/kg/K, without a doubt unless the SA is trash… which I think anyone would have a problem proving.

    Could it just be possible that it is you that is viewing these relations somewhat wrong?

    —-

    But gifts come from strange places and unexpected, I just found the value that I have pulled my hairs out for about a year and half and could never explain why the value was what the atmosphere shows it to be. I’ll be, through the enthalpy of moist air. Son of a gun. I’ve got to run now and check this to Venus, Jupiter and Titan figures that have the same unknown and unanswered value for each to see if that is consistent also with the enthalpy of the gases in their nearly dry atmospheres.

  24. wayne says:

    Kristian, PS: that relation between those two end points may not be stricktly linear, just had to mention that, that I too realize, and I guessed you would question the same, it may be off a bit at some percentage between. I always have that possibility upstairs and foremost as I view any data values like that off a web page too.

  25. Mike Flynn says:

    I am always tickled by the magical ability of air to remain gaseous, to rise, to fall, without any heat source to enable this.

    Let us start of with a big ball of air at absolute zero. Make it big enough to possess a gravitational field of 1 g, or as big as you like.

    What is the lapse rate? Precisely zero. Let us create an external heat source. The air closer to the heat source will absorb energy. Given enough energy, it will enter a gaseous phase. The lapse rate is of course colder at the surface of the solid ball, (absolute zero), and warmer as we progressively get closer to the heat source. The opposite of what we experience on Earth, and for the same physical reasons.

    Remove the heat source, the gas loses energy by radiation, and returns to absolute zero, regardless of gravity.

    It may be noted that air temperature generally decreases with distance from the white hot heat of the Earth’s core, as does the mantle and crust. Deep water sitting on the crust increases with temperature (within limits, and dependant on other factors) as distance from the core increases, due to the somewhat bizarre properties of water. However, it obeys the laws of physics just as any other matter does.

    Given that the Earth rotates, is inclined to the plane of the ecliptic, is not perfectly spherical or smooth, is mostly covered by water, has an atmosphere which varies in depth, composition, amount of particulate matter held in suspension by Brownian motion or air currents, and a large number of other variable factors, it is not surprising that attempts to model the real atmosphere often fail.

    The real lapse rate between any two points in the atmosphere will vary from moment to moment, depending on conditions. The air may be warmer than the surface, particularly at night, if a low level inversion forms, and the air actually warms with height. A higher level temperature inversion may also be noticed, where warm air is overlaying colder air. During the day, it is likely that the surface will be considerably hotter than the atmosphere, and the differential will increase with height.

    No mysteries. No need for a GHE. It appears the Universe is still unfolding as it should.

  26. wayne says: July 4, 2015 at 2:35 am

    “Kristian, PS: that relation between those two end points may not be strictly linear, just had to mention that, that I too realize, and I guessed you would question the same, it may be off a bit at some percentage between. I always have that possibility upstairs and foremost as I view any data values like that off a web page too.”

    Wayne, Kristain,
    The total BS here is the meteorological intentional scam of the combination of the word “adiabatic” and the phrase “lapse rate” . There is no such possible combination in this atmosphere. The word “adiabatic” means no transfer of mass “energy” to any surrounding environment. As long as any squeezing or expansion of that “mass” has any energy transfer to the squeezing/expanding/radiating process, that is “adiabatic” and isentropic to that mass.
    Lapse rate has nothing to do with “adiabatic”. Lapse rate is but the measured somewhat linear decrease in atmospheric temperature with increasing altitude above this Earth’s solid or liquid surface. It is always different at every position/time. There is no statistical for different places.
    The phrase “adiabatic lapse rate” can have no physical meaning in this atmosphere! It is only the religious meteorological SCAM that supports the fake air packets/parcels, that cannot exist within the continuum mechanics of any compressible fluid

  27. “of that “mass” has any energy transfer” should be ‘of that “mass” has “no” energy transfer’;
    My apologies guys.

  28. gymnosperm says:

    Adiabatic means without the devil. The devil is in the details, as usual.

  29. Ben Wouters says:

    wayne says: July 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    “Hey meteo nuts, stick that in your g/cp and see what you come up with for the lapse. In my corner of this planet R.H. is NEVER zero, much higher, so cp is NEVER 1006 J/kg/K, much higher, but I can’t seem to find that corner they live in where their air is dry, I mean 0% R.H.”
    The DALR only describes the TEMPERATURE change of rising or sinking air vs altitude.
    So meteorologists know to intersect the DALR with the mixing ratio line on a skewT logP diagram to find how high a volume of air must rise before condensation starts and the SALR comes into play.
    As a ‘real scientist’ should know, the dewpoint or RH is NOT constant for rising (expanding) air, so can not be used for this purpose.

  30. ren says:

    A powerful influence on the weather that we experience on the ground can be exerted by the stratosphere. This highly stratified layer of Earth’s atmosphere is found 10 to 50 kilometres above the surface and therefore above the weather systems that develop in the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. The troposphere is dynamically coupled to fluctuations in the speed of the circumpolar westerly jet that forms in the winter stratosphere: a strengthening circumpolar jet causes a poleward shift in the storm tracks and tropospheric jet stream, whereas a weakening jet causes a shift towards the equator. Following a weakening of the stratospheric jet, impacts on the surface weather include a higher likelihood of extremely low temperature over northern Europe and the eastern USA. Eddy feedbacks in the troposphere amplify the surface impacts, but the mechanisms underlying these dynamics are not fully understood. The same dynamical relationships act at very different timescales, ranging from daily variations to longer-term climate trends, suggesting a single unifying mechanism across timescales. Ultimately, an improved understanding of the dynamical links between the stratosphere and troposphere is expected to lead to improved confidence in both long-range weather forecasts and climate change projections.
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v8/n6/full/ngeo2424.html

  31. Roger Clague says:

    JKrob says:
    July 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    The vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere is called the Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR) and is dynamic (which is IMPORTANT!) where the a vertical-moving parcel of air is impacted by the Adiabatic Lapse Rate (Moist [@ approx. 5 C°/km] or Dry [@ approx. 10C°/km]) which is fixed.

    You add environmental for no reason, except so you can then change, again for no reason, to Adiabatic.
    The term adiabatic implies you can apply the gas laws to the atmosphere. I don’t agree that you can.
    You want me you agree to your theory without you needing to defend it.

    RogC “It [ lapse rate ] is very stable day, night, hot, cool, dry or wet….”
    JKrob It is no such thing
    I mean by stable LR does not vary much

    it’s HUGE impact on daily weather
    LR does not impact weather. Weather sometimes impacts LR for a short time

    If there are no parcels moving up, how is low pressure created? If there are no parcels moving down, how are high pressure created?
    That is a good question. How best do we understand pressure in the atmosphere?
    There are 2 opinions
    Weather forecasters use fluid dynamics with a packet concept. A packet is not divided into atoms and molecules.
    Atmospheric scientists use kinetic theory of gases.

    Do you SERIOUSLY think convection (which doesn’t exists according to you) starts at the cloud base & the air is doing nothing beneath it??
    I think convection starts at the surface when evaporation and transpiration causes WV to form. This WV causes the density of the air near the surface to reduce.

    When I Googled dry thermals I got advice on how to dry thermal underwear!
    you refer to
    http://www.aviationweather.ws/095_Thermal_Soaring.php
    Barren sandy or rocky surfaces, plowed fields, stubble fields surrounded by green vegetation, cities, factories, chimneys, etc., are good thermal sources.
    and
    When convective clouds develop, thermal soaring usually is at its best

    Sources of WV except sandy or rocky surfaces.

  32. Kristian says:

    wayne says, July 4, 2015 at 2:15 am:

    “The atmosphere keeps showing 1508.6 by the SA76 (…)”

    Where did you get this idea from? SA76 gives a cp value for regular air of 1508.6 J/kg/K!? I don’t think so, wayne. In fact, I know it doesn’t. Or, can you point it out for me where exactly it says it does?
    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770009539.pdf

    The 1976 Standard Atmosphere uses the commonly agreed upon specific heat ratio for air of 1.4, which is directly arrived at from its cp (~1.01 kJ/kg/K) and its cv (~0.718 kJ/kg/K):
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-capacity-gases-d_159.html

    Your connection with molecular degrees of freedom is to be found in the specific heat ratio, for air (a diatomic gas): γ = cp/cv = 7/5 = 1.4.

    “(…) the overall lapse of our entire lower atmopshere does show a cp near 1508 J/kg/K (…)”

    No, wayne. I’m afraid on this particular point you’re confused.

    The Γ = dT/dh = g/cp expression specifically and only pertains to the DRY adiabatic lapse rate, which is 9.7-9.75 K/km on Earth.

    The DALR is not the saturated (or moist) ALR. And it is definitely not the environmental LR.

    Gravity and atmospheric specific heat alone determine the DALR and no other LR.

    Further, the DALR is not the LR in perfectly dry air (water content 0%). Like you correctly note, air in the lower parts of Earth’s atmosphere always contains some water. It can be pretty close to 0%, like on the Antarctic Plateau. But even there it isn’t quite 0%.

    But it doesn’t matter. Because the “dry” in DALR doesn’t mean the air in question is or needs to be completely dry, as in devoid of water. In fact, there can be lots of water in it. The only requirement is that the air stays above its dew point. There can be no condensation going on.

    In other words, to avoid confusion, the DALR really should’ve been called the “non-condensing LR”.

    So as long as you manage to balance the WV content of air and its temperature in such a way that it always stays above its dew point, the air column temperature profile (the ELR) will have a dry adiabatic lapse rate as its benchmark gradient.

    Above the Sahara desert, for instance, the WV content of the air column is far from negligible, but it is still way too low for it to condense; the air is simply too warm:

    Watch how the Saharan atmosphere follows the dry adiabat all the way from the surface to (at least) 5.5 km of altitude (the 500 mb level) (blue line). There is no condensation (releasing latent heat of vaporisation into the air) going on.

    The red curve (from Northern Ireland) is perhaps even more instructive. Watch how it moves up fairly close to the dry adiabat from the surface to about 1500 m before it abruptly changes its path and starts following the saturated adiabat (the bent dashed line next to it) much more closely instead. The break would normally signify that cloud level has been reached, marking the top of the atmospheric boundary layer. Watch also how the SALR slope gradually approaches that of the DALR the higher up the air column you get. That’s because, even though there is still condensation going on, the total WV content of the air is dropping fast.

    The reason why the SALR is less steep than the DALR isn’t because the air is more humid and thus somehow has 1.5x the specific heat. No, it is simply because WV is condensing, thus releasing latent heat into the air (constituting a substantial diabatic input of energy), naturally modifying (reducing) the rising air’s purely adiabatic temperature falloff rate with altitude.

  33. dscott says:

    I think you are leaving out a significant detail here, that is heat transfer via radiation. As a packet of air moves up in altitude and expands, meaning its volume expands. The greater the surface area of the packet from increasing volume means a greater amount of heat is radiated (think surface of balloon). Remember that in general cold air is denser if all things are equal. The fact that atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases means that the reason for cooler air is not due to a single variable of expansion of volume. In a closed system (think pressure vessel), the increase of volume results in a decrease of temperature. The atmosphere is not a closed system.

    IF heat flows from a higher state of entropy to a lower state, then the bulk of radiative heat flow is toward space. Air packets may move due to convection, but radiation is a significant factor. The air in the upper atmosphere is cooler because of radiation not just some lapse rate.

  34. dscott says:

    Mike Flynn says, “Remove the heat source, the gas loses energy by radiation, and returns to absolute zero, regardless of gravity.”

    While most of what you said in your post is correct, this statement is not. There are at least two examples of the contrary: Venus and Jupiter. While Venus is closer to the sun than the earth, and receives 4 times the insolation, the temperature of the atmosphere is not a simple function of it’s proximity to the sun. Air pressure and specific heat of CO2 are the 2nd and 3rd variables. Most of Venus’ temperature can be attributed to the 92 bar pressure since most of the radiative heat of the sun is reflected back to space. Which brings us to Jupiter, being so far from the sun, any heat transfer by radiation is minimal, therefore what accounts for the high temperature of the planet? There is only one answer since nuclear fusion is NOT happening in Jupiter’s core, the answer is atmospheric pressure. Jupiter is radiating more heat into space than what can be accounted for by radiation from the sun.

  35. wayne says:

    Kristian, come on… you are now doing meteo and arguing with it. I have said may times I am homed in on climate, the long term (10+ years) mean of the meteo weather that now you are bringing up which is temporal and spatial instantaneous moments at some single point on this globe. Widen your view! Get away from the damn meteorology for a moment please.

    If we are talking again about meteorology, the weather today or the weather on 8/21/1996 in the Sahara, I’m out of here.

    If I spend even one more minute formatting all of this, will you stop for a moment, even a few hours, and consider what I have been saying all along? I just did the same for you on the Mars topic. It is going to deal with climate, ergo astrophysics, not meteorology of a certain day or I am wasting my time!

    g/cp = [9.80665 m/s²] / [1508.715 J/kg/K] = 0.0065 K/m = 6.5 K/km = Γ

    Gamma might some holier than thou hijacked symbol in meteorology that insists it is, and only is, the dry (0% R.H.) limit to this rate. The papers and books I deal in use gamma as the lapse rate, that’s all, the dt/dh under question no matter what is being spoken of. I will adhere to the later.

    As i said earlier, many edu sites and papers say the SA76 is just a bit off, the temp at 11,000 m is a bit too warm on the average by a couple or few degrees, closer to -59°C than -56.5°C, and if we accept that, I personally don’t know for sure or care, then of course that 1508.715 is also going to change a bit. I am not speaking of some certain number or other but the underlying relationships that do show what our general atmosphere is like and the relationships it follows. I will use all of the precision available so you can see when something is correct by the relationship or not. But we are talking of a precision of tenths of a dregree to combat this AGW meme so in the end round all to four digits.

    If you answer yes it will take a hour or so to format the answer. Think best I use Latex. Could I ask you not to simply waste my time as has happened in the past?

  36. Roger Clague says:

    Kristian says:
    July 4, 2015 at 12:22 am

    So with a say 1% content of WV, the average cp of the air in total would be ~1014 J/kg/K, which gives a dry adiabatic (non-condensing) lapse rate of ~9.675 K/km instead of 9.75.

    The water vapour does form an average c with the N2 and O2. We ignore the N2 and O2.
    The T/h is caused by the absorption of light from the sun by the atmosphere. Only the water vapour absorbs the light because of its molecular structure. The WV continuously passes on the energy, by collision, to the N2 and O2.
    cH20 =1.9J/gmK
    g/cH20 = 9.8/1.9 =5.2K/km
    That is correct for moist air
    An atmosphere of dry air is impossible. With no IR emitting gasses would get so hot the air would escape into space.

    A transformation from KE into PE and back is not part of the adiabatic process.

    There is no adiabatic process in the atmosphere. There is a theory for the cause of lapse rate observed. A theory that there is cooling by adiabatic expansion, work is done against pressure.
    KE to PE is an alternative theory for the same observation.
    I understand the adiabatic expansion theory. I don’t agree with it. I have an alternative theory. I support my theory with evidence and predictions. I also try to refute your theory by pointing out its flaws, contradictions and failure to predict.
    That how science produces useful knowledge.

  37. Roger Clague says:

    Correction to last post

    The water vapour does NOT form an average c with the N2 and O2.

  38. JKrob says:

    >>The vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere is called the Environmental Lapse Rate >>(ELR) and is dynamic (which is IMPORTANT!) where the a vertical-moving parcel of air is >>impacted by the Adiabatic Lapse Rate (Moist [@ approx. 5 C°/km] or Dry [@ approx. 10C°/km]) >>which is fixed.

    >You add environmental for no reason, except so you can then change, again for no reason, to >Adiabatic. The term adiabatic implies you can apply the gas laws to the atmosphere. I don’t agree >that you can. You want me you agree to your theory without you needing to defend it.

    *I* added “environmental” – HA!! I did no such thing – It is how it is defined. I did not make the definition, I copied it for your understand & education which…I’m beginning to question…

    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf

    >>RogC “It [ lapse rate ] is very stable day, night, hot, cool, dry or wet….”
    >>JKrob It is no such thing
    >I mean by stable LR does not vary much

    References…

    >>it’s HUGE impact on daily weather
    >LR does not impact weather. Weather sometimes impacts LR for a short time

    With all due respect…you don’t have a clue –

    From the NWS/Storm Prediction Center –
    Lapse Rates (C/km)

    A lapse rate is the rate of temperature change with height. The faster the temperature decreases with height, the “steeper” the lapse rate and the more “unstable” the atmosphere becomes. Lapse rates are typically displayed in ranges from 850-500-mb (4,500-18,000-ft above sea level) and 700-500-mb (10,000-18,000-ft above sea level).

    Lapse rates are shown in terms of degrees Celcius change per kilometer in height. Values less than 5.5-6.0 degrees C/km (“moist” adiabatic) represent “stable” conditions, while values near 9.5 degrees C/km (“dry” adiabatic) are considered “absolutely unstable.” In between these two values, lapse rates are considered “conditionally unstable.” Conditional instability means that if enough moisture is present, lifted air parcels could have a negative LI (lifted index) or positive CAPE.

    >>If there are no parcels moving up, how is low pressure created? If there are no parcels moving >>down, how are high pressure created?
    >That is a good question. How best do we understand pressure in the atmosphere?
    >There are 2 opinions
    >Weather forecasters use fluid dynamics with a packet concept. A packet is not divided into atoms >and molecules.
    >Atmospheric scientists use kinetic theory of gases.

    So, in other words, “Weather forecasters” look out the window & observe the real world where “Atmospheric Scientists” look in their research papers and…think? I hate to break it to you but, the real world trumps any research paper if there is disagreement. Also, packets obey the gas laws and if you don’t agree…then, I guess, you don’t understand the gas laws & their applications in the “real world”.

    >>Do you SERIOUSLY think convection (which doesn’t exists according to you) starts at the cloud >>base & the air is doing nothing beneath it??
    >I think convection starts at the surface when evaporation and transpiration causes WV to form. >This WV causes the density of the air near the surface to reduce.

    If you think WV is a *requirement* for instability, please site the reference(s). Yes, moisture reduces the air’s density, it *aids* instability, but it is *not* a requirement.

    >When I Googled dry thermals I got advice on how to dry thermal underwear!
    >you refer to
    >http://www.aviationweather.ws/095_Thermal_Soaring.php
    >Barren sandy or rocky surfaces, plowed fields, stubble fields surrounded by green vegetation, >cities, factories, chimneys, etc., are good thermal sources.
    >and
    >When convective clouds develop, thermal soaring usually is at its best
    >
    >Sources of WV except sandy or rocky surfaces.

    (sigh…again…)Please site in that FAA writeup where WV was important in the generation of the instability. BTW – it doesn’t say it because WV is not a requirement. Lapse rate is mainly a temperature issue (yes, I know – WV does influence density but…)

    ALL – (this is *very* simple) Please Google ‘Lapse Rate lectures’ – Read & heed…

  39. JKrob says:

    JKrob – 1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss(gain) of energy to(from) potential energy as a packet of air rises(descends). It works both ways…

    Krisian – Absolutely not!!!
    The adiabatic lapse rate is an expression of the rate of loss of ‘internal energy’ [U] from a rising volume of air as it expands into and pushing aside surrounding air at progressively higher altitudes and thus lower external pressures.

    JKrob – Absolutely so!!
    …air in the atmosphere moves up (low pressure system) *and* down (high pressure system). If the adiabatic lapse rate causes the air parcel to cool @10C°/km (stick with dry adiabatic process), guess what – when that parcel descends (to maintain the hydrostatic balance), it is going to *warm* @10C°/km as well. The adiabatic process works *both ways*.

    Krisian – A transformation from KE into PE and back is not part of the adiabatic process. This is completely misunderstood. It’s the very misconception afflicting Scottish Sceptic.

    ********************************
    Kristian, if you notice, all of your posts have referred to air *rising* which…is OK…but it is only *half* of the process. Please explain in similar detail what happens (temperature, energy, etc.) when the air *descends*.

    Sorry Kristian but, from your posts above, the professional meteorology education system disagrees with you & if you have a problem with that, you need to bring it up with them… If you have quality references to back up your claim, by all means, post it & we can discuss. Till then, here is my reference to back up my claim (which, BTW, the atmosphere agrees with)

    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf

    Please see p.5

    The whole thing is an educational read. IOW, you can learn alot if you allow yourself to learn…

    Regards,
    Jeff

  40. wayne says:

    On second thought Kristian, best over at your site. Do you have latex in the comments enabled?

  41. rishrac says:

    The premise of the IPCC is that heat that is released is actually retained by co2 causing a positive feedback system. Evidently the gross input of heat exceeds the output. So since co2 levels have continued the 45 deg slope upwards, where is that heat and the run a way green house effect? It’s not whether we understand the law of gasses at work, but whether the heat that is released from water vapor is retained or released, and whether the amount of heat that is incoming/outgoing is correct. That’s the essential question. It’s pretty darn cold at 10 k meters on any day and hard to breathe.

    If they can’t find that heat, (it’s a lot given 18 years) it’s going to look like the numbers for incoming and outgoing are wrong, and have been wrong. And if that’s wrong they are also going to have to revisit the assumption that co2 is retaining the heat in the way they envision it.

  42. JKrob says: July 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm
    JKrob – 1. The lapse rate is the rate of loss(gain) of energy to(from) potential energy as a packet of air rises(descends). It works both ways…

    Krisian – Absolutely not!!

    “!Sorry Kristian but, from your posts above, the professional meteorology education system disagrees with you & if you have a problem with that, you need to bring it up with them… If you have quality references to back up your claim, by all means, post it & we can discuss. Till then, here is my reference to back up my claim (which, BTW, the atmosphere agrees with)
    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf
    Please see p.5The whole thing is an educational read. IOW, you can learn alot if you allow yourself to learn…Regards,Jeff”

    Kristain, makes minor mistakes because he still thinks part of meteorology is correct. The uses no science at all it is all about made up fantasy that sometimes agrees with some measurement! None of what you spout has ever gone through a rigorous demonstration that will show whether Kristain or the disgraced professional meteorology education system, has any validity. The largest error meteorology insists upon is that this atmosphere is a gas and obeys gas laws. This atmosphere is a compressible fluid. is is always a collection of gas and airborne liquid, solids, and aerosol colloids. Even insects birds and airborne aircraft is part of this atmosphere that retains the gravitational gradients independent of local density! The local properties of this atmosphere “replace” all of Kepler’s gravitational potential energy Any concept of “air parcel” violates continuum mechanics that correctly characterises a compressible fluid This atmosphere has no sharp edges or distinct boundaries. The professional meteorology education system has no permission to hijack the meaning of well defined words, like advection, convection, high, low, adiabatic, hydrostatic, or equilibrium!😉

  43. wayne says: July 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    “On second thought Kristian, best over at your site. Do you have latex in the comments enabled?”

    You may wish to reconsider. Over at Okulaer, you have to put up with the likes of Jerry Krause, and Stephen Wilde who never actually read what you write but only re-spout the same drivil!

  44. markstoval says:

    ” Over at Okulaer, you have to put up with the likes of Jerry Krause, and Stephen Wilde who never actually read what you write but only re-spout the same drivil!”

    Be that as it may, there may be a few like me who are reading the back and forth. I would enjoy Wayne and Kristian having a conversation. (not everyone who reads always makes a comment)

  45. Mike Flynn says:

    dscott,

    When I wrote “Remove the heat source, the gas loses energy by radiation, and returns to absolute zero, regardless of gravity.”, I may have confused you. My point is, that a body at absolute zero will remain at absolute zero regardless of its mass. It does not matter how big it is, it will not warm up just because it is subject to a gravitational force.

    The gravity does no work, and there is no heat generated. Paradoxically, even a body moving at high velocity, in a vacuum, will not change its temperature. If it is at absolute zero, it will remain at absolute zero.

    Your examples of Venus and Jupiter may not be relevant. Both have cores well above absolute zero. In the case of Venus, it also receives far more insolation from the Sun.

    As for Jupiter, the composition of the core is unknown, although the following is one surmise –

    “The temperature and pressure increase steadily toward the core. In the region where hydrogen becomes metallic, the temperatures are thought to be up to 10,000 K and the pressure is 200GPa. The temperature at the core boundary is estimated to be 36,000 K and the pressure is believed to be 3,000 to 4,500 Gpa.”

    In any case, the same physics apply. The remnant heat of creation of the planets differs from body to body, depending on surface to volume ratio, initial amounts of radioactive elements, surrounding gaseous atmosphere, distance from the Sun, and so on.

    As far as is know, even the Moon has a molten core, albeit quite small at this time.

    All the planets must, by definition, be cooling, if the core is hotter than the surface, and the laws of thermodynamics are operating.

    I hope you see what I am driving at.

    Thanks.

  46. Mike Flynn says: July 5, 2015 at 12:10 am

    “All the planets must, by definition, be cooling, if the core is hotter than the surface, and the laws of thermodynamics are operating.”

    No mass may spontaneously reduce its temperature below that of it environment which cannot be at 0 Kelvin, an asymptote. No mass “need” spontaneously transfer energy in a direction of higher potential. including gravitational potential. For most all orbiting thingies the maximum density is at the centre of mass so most all mass distances from that COM are at a higher gravitational potential. This is not true for “actual” compressible fluids, like this atmosphere, where pressure, density, and sometimes temperature gradients “replace” that gravitational potential. What-is-the-adiabatic-lapse-rate, but a cheap meteorological trick, always intended to confuse, never edify?🙂

  47. dscott says: July 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    “I think you are leaving out a significant detail here, that is heat transfer via radiation…..
    The air in the upper atmosphere is cooler because of radiation not just some lapse rate.”

    The calculated “radiative” lapse rate for this troposphere is -(14-17)o Celsius/km. the lesser slope is due to gravitational effects and especially the lifting of latent heat. Both effects keep this Earth’s surface temperature much lower than would be, if all were controlled by surface radiation. Radiative greenhouse effect is nothing but a meteorological SCAM, it has no science!🙂

  48. gallopingcamel says:

    Robinson & Catling have a model that agrees with what I was taught in high school in 1956. Precisely the -g/Cp you derive above. However that lapse rate only works for pressures in excess of 0.1 bar. Two bodies in our solar system have surface oceans (Earth and Titan). Oceans reduce the Lapse Rate in the troposphere for reasons explained by folks like Pierrehumbert and Caballero:
    http://iopscience.iop.org/front/978-0-7503-1052-9/bk978-0-7503-1052-9ch0.pdf

    The R&C model is simplistic since it uses one radiation channel in the “Down” direction and two “Up” channels, yet it can explain temperature gradients in the troposphere, the tropopause and the stratosphere with impressive accuracy:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n1/abs/ngeo2020.htmlandCa

    I have checked the R&C model for Titan:
    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/robinson-and-catling-model-closely-matches-data-for-titans-atmosphere/

    When time allows I plan to add cloud layers to the R&C model in the hope of improving its precision still further.

    Side comment for Will Janoshka. Radiative transfer is the dominant process of heat transfer in the stratosphere. Convection is the dominant process in the troposphere. The troposphere is the transition region. The R&C model captures this mathematically.

  49. gallopingcamel says:

    Oooops! The tropopause is the transition region.

    Darn all that Glenfiddich!

  50. gallopingcamel says: July 5, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Oooops! The tropopause is the transition region. Darn all that Glenfiddich!”

    Glenfiddich is the only thing that gives relief from incessant idiots!

  51. gallopingcamel says: July 5, 2015 at 7:07 am

    “Side comment for Will Janoshka. Radiative transfer is the dominant process of heat transfer in the stratosphere. Convection is the dominant process in the troposphere. The troposphere is the transition region. The R&C model captures this mathematically.”

    Correct. That transition is about 5-6 km agl depending on insolation. Convection seems to stop at the local freezing point of airborne water condensate. All that is left is the vigorous EMR exitance to space, all powered by conversion of latent heat to radiative exitance!

  52. Kristian says:

    JKrob says, July 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm:

    “Kristian, if you notice, all of your posts have referred to air *rising* which…is OK…but it is only *half* of the process. Please explain in similar detail what happens (temperature, energy, etc.) when the air *descends*.”

    Are you still on this? YES, IT WORKS BOTH WAYS! Up and down. This is trivial. And is not what I objected to. OK?

    I objected to your confused belief that the change in temperature when air rises (OR falls) in the atmosphere is somehow caused by a conversion of KE to PE and back. It’s not. This is a fundamental misconception that you share with the likes of Stephen Wilde, Doug Cotton and Scottish Sceptic. And, it seems, with a lot of other people as well …

    No, the temperature change observed is caused by adiabatic expansion and contraction/compression (where (practically) no energy is transferred as ‘heat’ [Q]). Since Q=0, the First Law for an adiabatic process is expressed like this: ΔU = -W or dU = -PdV. Energy crosses the “parcel” boundary through the performance of ‘work’ [W]. As the air rises, the external pressure drops and so the rising air expands. Pushing aside the surrounding air. In expanding, the rising air thus does ‘work’ on the surrounding air, losing ‘internal energy’ [U] in the process. When the air subsides again, the external pressure starts increasing and the falling air contracts (or is compressed). The surrounding air does ‘work’ on the falling air, restoring its content of ‘internal energy’ in the process.

    This is what adiabatic cooling and warming is about.

    “Please see p.5”

    Thanks, but you appear to have found the one source that manages to misrepresent reality, in stating: “# Air molecules in the parcel (or the balloon) have to use their kinetic energy to expand the parcel/balloon. # Therefore the molecules lost energy and slow down their motions → The temperature of the air parcel (or balloon) decreases with elevation. The lost energy is used to increase the potential energy of air molecular. # Similarly when the air parcel descends, the potential energy of air molecular is converted back to kinetic energy → Air temperature rises.”

    The internal KE spent in pushing the surrounding air to the side is lost from the rising air. It is not converted into PE. How could it? It is transferred in the form of ‘work’ to the surrounding air. When our volume falls again, this energy returns, because then the surrounding air performs ‘work’ on the falling volume. The opposite process.

    How many sources do you need? It’s everywhere, Jeff. This is common knowledge.

  53. Kristian says:

    wayne says, July 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm:

    “Kristian, come on…”

    No, you come on, wayne. I don’t need this. If you insist on not reading (or on misinterpreting) what I’m trying to explain to you, then there is no point in having this conversation.

    Please go back and read my previous reply to you one more time. Forget about the Sahara thing if you find it so offensive. It was meant to show you conceptually the difference between the DALR and the SALR. It obviously didn’t work. So concentrate rather on all the other things I write. And address them instead.

    “Widen your view!”

    Are you being serious!?

    “g/cp = [9.80665 m/s²] / [1508.715 J/kg/K] = 0.0065 K/m = 6.5 K/km = Γ”

    Wayne, where do you get that 1508.715 J/kg/K from? I asked you to provide me the source and page. I have never seen it. No one uses it. The SA76 uses 1.012 J/kg/K (cp) and specific heat ratio 1.4. What’s the deal? You time the actual cp of air with three and divide it by two? And you somehow get the “real” cp of air?

    “As i said earlier, many edu sites and papers say the SA76 is just a bit off, the temp at 11,000 m is a bit too warm on the average by a couple or few degrees, closer to -59°C than -56.5°C, and if we accept that, I personally don’t know for sure or care, then of course that 1508.715 is also going to change a bit (…)”

    But where do you get that 1508.715 figure from? SA76 isn’t using it. You still don’t get it. The g/cp is reserved for the DALR. The 6.5 K/km is not derived from some modified g/cp expression. That’s where you go wrong. It is the pure DALR falloff value (9.75 K/km) reduced by the release of latent heat from the condensation of WV in the air column. The ‘pure’ SALR is about 5 K/km. The global, annual average of all lapse rate profiles on Earth falls on the continuum between these two extremes (10 and 5). The mean value is 6.5 K/km. Which corresponds directly to the observed/estimated global, annual average ELR.

    “Could I ask you not to simply waste my time as has happened in the past?”

    If you feel I’m wasting your time, wayne, then just go talk to someone else.

  54. Roger Clague says:

    JKJKrob says:
    July 4, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    You refer me to this:

    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf

    I have read it and many like it. I understand the theory. I don’t agree with it.

    The main feature of the theory is the expansion of an “air packet”. What is an air packet?

    http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=9084&pt=2&p=12046

    Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean

    1.2 What is a fluid?
    1.3 The continuum hypothesis
    1.4 The fluid element.

    The diagram on page 3 of your reference illustrates my criticism of the theory.
    The diagram shows expanding circles enclosing points and spaces, representing gas atoms and molecules.
    1. There are no packets in the air. What do the circles represent?
    2. Packets are defined as not being atomic in structure
    3. Packets deform, they do not expand or contract.
    4. Packets are continuous and homogeneous. They do not have points separated by space.
    The diagram shows the difficulty of combining packet dynamics with atomic kinetic theory.

    It cannot be done.

  55. Roger Clague says:

    Kristian says:
    July 5, 2015 at 10:01 am

    The internal KE spent in pushing the surrounding air to the side is lost from the rising air. It is not converted into PE

    The “surrounding air” is also made up of packets that are expanding and pushing to the side.
    All these expanding packets will quickly not be able to expand anymore.
    So where does the lost internal heat energy go to?
    The air is rising against gravity. The air gains gravitational potential energy. mgh.

    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf

    Professor Yu says “increase potential energy of air molecular”
    What kind of energy can the air gain from work done on it rises? Gravitational.

    Professor Yu knows the theory but is too honest to hide this hint of a flaw.

  56. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 5, 2015 at 10:01 am

    “Energy crosses the “parcel” boundary through the performance of ‘work’ [W]. As the air rises, the external pressure drops and so the rising air expands. Pushing aside the surrounding air. In expanding, the rising air thus does ‘work’ on the surrounding air, losing ‘internal energy’ [U] in the process. ”
    To me it seems that the dropping external pressure allows the parcel to expand, without losing energy (adiabatic process). The energy content of the parcel just gets spread over a larger volume, resulting in a lower temperature.

    Kristian says: July 5, 2015 at 10:27 am
    ” It is the pure DALR falloff value (9.75 K/km) reduced by the release of latent heat from the condensation of WV in the air column. ”
    Getting very close now. This process does not take place in the static atmosphere, but only in RISING air, like thermals, cumulonimbus clouds, wind pushing up a mountain range etc.
    Most of the atmosphere is neither moving up or down, but gently (mostly) floating around in hydrostatic equilibrium.

    “The global, annual average of all lapse rate profiles on Earth falls on the continuum between these two extremes (10 and 5).”
    Let go of this nonsense. The temperature profiles on Earth are governed by the requirement of the hydrostatic equilibrium, and modified by all kinds of weather influences.

  57. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm:

    “To me it seems that the dropping external pressure allows the parcel to expand, without losing energy (adiabatic process).”

    I’m sure it does, Ben. You have the same intuitive approach to this subject as Roger Clague, I see.

    Two points, the last one first:

    1) An adiabatic process is NOT one where energy (of any kind) isn’t transferred to/from a system from/to its surroundings. It is one where energy isn’t transferred across the system boundary in the form of ‘heat’ [Q], only – and this is crucial – in the form of ‘work’ [W]. Since the 1st Law of Thermodynamics for a closed system says ΔU = Q – W, then for an adiabatic process (Q=0), it simply says ΔU = -W.

    2) You need to read up on the fundamental physical definition of ‘work’ [W]. In physics it always describes a TRANSFER of energy from one system to another. It is also described at the most basic level as force times distance: W = F*d. Work requires motion. It requires movement covering a certain distance. When two forces (like pressures) meet and balance at, say, a system boundary, there is no movement of the boundary. So there is no work being done in either direction. No transfer of energy. If we then reduce the one force, but not the opposing one, the force that stays the same will push the weakened force back. And in doing so, it covers a certain distance. The system boundary moves. Until a new balance has been attained. As this particular distance is covered, ‘work’ is done. And when work is done, energy is TRANSFERRED from the system doing the work to the one receiving it. The system expanding at the expense of the other thus transfers some of its ‘internal energy’ [U] to it by doing work on it. And if this system is made up of gas (like air), it carries its internal energy as the microscopic KE of its constanty, randomly flying and colliding gas molecules. Draining such a system (volume of gas) of internal energy thus means draining its constituent molecules of KE. And when the molecules lose KE, they slow down (because the KE is mostly translational). And when the gas molecules slow down, the gas cools; its temperature drops. The opposite happens when they speed up. Upon compression of the gas (the opposing force strengthening) …

    “The energy content of the parcel just gets spread over a larger volume, resulting in a lower temperature.”

    You see, Ben, this is not the way to lower the temperature of a gas. So you’re thinking all the gas molecules in thin air move exactly as fast as the ones in thick air, the only difference being they do so in a more spread-out fashion, and therefore the thin air is cooler. Yes, that sounds intuitively right, doesn’t it? Just as it makes no sense that the expanding volume of air should perform any work on the surrounding air, when the surrounding air simply ‘allows’ it to expand.

    “”The global, annual average of all lapse rate profiles on Earth falls on the continuum between these two extremes (10 and 5).”
    Let go of this nonsense. The temperature profiles on Earth are governed by the requirement of the hydrostatic equilibrium, and modified by all kinds of weather influences.”

    Sure, the ELR is. The ALR isn’t. It is only affected by g, cp of the air and the condensation levels in the air column. I’m referring here to the ALR. If you only read the next couple of lines after the one you quote here, you would’ve seen this.

  58. wayne says:

    “But where do you get that 1508.715 figure from? ”

    a lapse rate (dT/dh) = gravitational acceleration / specific heat capacity present

    Γ = g / cp

    specific heat capacity present = gravitational acceleration / a lapse rate (Dt/dh)

    Use some algebra:
    cp = g / Γ

    1508.71 [m²/s² / K] = [9.80665 m/s²] / [0.0065 K/m]

    1508.71 [kg m²/s² / kg / K]

    1508.71 J/kg/K

    Could possibly be two effects overlapped in a troposphere, not a lab container, the normal heat capacity +/- something else that an atmosphere imposed on the heat capacity. Condensation/evaporation? Radiation? Graviational pressurization effects present? This is what I do not know ‘why’ the equation says the operational heat capacity is 1508. I keep searching.

    Like:
    [1006 J/kg/K] + [+502.71 J/kg/K] = 1508.71 J/kg/K

    I did mis-interpret that figure from the engineer page though. That was not stating the cp of water vapor laden (saturated) air but the cp of saturated water vapor and in a round about way that seem what you were pointing out. Thanks. So scratch that as a possibility explaining why it is ~1508. I am just searching for a physical explanation.

    So if you know the lapse and the gravitational acceleration is it impossible to find out what the effective heat capacity must be? Once again, I live right at the latitude that the StdAtm team states the mean of the global lapse should occur. They came up with 6.5 k/km. I have watched radiosondes now for nearly four years daily and invariable the lapse of most of the atmosphere is always right at 6.5 K/km, winter, summer, morning or night EXCEPT the low mixing layer’s lapse which is all over the place any hour of any day (weather).

    To me that number is real, for that is what shows in the radiosonde data day in and day out, for years, any day, any season, any time. I overlaid some twenty readings on a single plot for various days, some summer, some winter, did you miss it? All show straight up on the skewT of about 6.5 K/km. It wiggles a bit due to upper atmosphere cold/warm fronts coming and going but here the average over time is right at 6.5 K/km always. Why insist that the radiosonde data is wrong or that the equation cannot apply except at zero relative humidity? That equation applies on other atmopheres that have little water vapor.

  59. wayne says:

    I said atmosphere one place where I should have said troposphere but I do hope the commenters here are able to correct such slips on the fly without calling the speaker carzy or that they don’t know what they are talking about but sadly that seems to be the normal here.

  60. wayne says: July 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    (“But where do you get that 1508.715 figure from? ”)

    “a lapse rate (dT/dh) = gravitational acceleration / specific heat capacity present. Γ = g / cp”

    So now lapse rate is defined as the meaningless aggregate of laps rate measurements? This is the same kind of crap meteorologists try to pull!

    Kristian says: July 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    “1) An adiabatic process is NOT one where energy (of any kind) isn’t transferred to/from a system from/to its surroundings. It is one where energy isn’t transferred across the system boundary in the form of ‘heat’ [Q], only – and this is crucial – in the form of ‘work’ [W].”

    Why in your post normal BS do you try to redefine the word “adiabatic” to suit your fantasy? An adiabatic barrier must be insulated, rigid, and reflective. No mention of work at all. It must be a barrier for all types of “possible” thermodynamic energy transfer. This is the same kind of crap meteorologists try to pull!

    Ben Wouters says: July 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    “This process does not take place in the static atmosphere, but only in RISING air, like thermals, cumulonimbus clouds, wind pushing up a mountain range etc.”

    So you insist that lapse rate is a process not the state of the local atmosphere. This is the same kind of crap meteorologists try to pull!

    Roger Clague says: July 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

    “The air gains gravitational potential energy. mgh.
    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess124/Lecture.6.stability.all.pdf
    Professor Yu says “increase potential energy of air molecular”
    What kind of energy can the air gain from work done on it rises? Gravitational.’

    The compressible fluid itself in this atmosphere can only have gravitational potential energy if free to be accelerated by such force. The gravity induced atmospheric pressure gradient counters all such accelerative force. You can have it one way or the other, but not both. This is the same kind of crap meteorologists try to pull!

  61. What is the adiabatic lapse rate of air?
    The adiabatic lapse rate of air is “a fictitious construct promoted by meteorologists to fool folk”!!
    The adiabatic lapse rate of air is also the temperature component of a non condensing atmospheric radial pressure, density, temperature profile determined completely by the gravitational force on the mass of the compressible fluid called atmosphere, whatever the density of any atmospheric component.
    The adiabatic lapse rate of air has no thermodynamic meaning whatsoever!
    The pressure lapse rate of air has no thermodynamic meaning whatsoever!
    Both the concepts are but the expression of gravitational PE within its surrounding fluid.
    Both the concepts were invented by meteorologists with the intent to confuse.

  62. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    “Two points, the last one first: ”

    Ok, thanks for the explanation, definitely not my field of expertise.

    If expanding air does work on the surrounding air, and air being compressed has done work on it, it is fine with me.
    As long as it is clear that rising and expanding air does NOT convert kinetic energy into potential energy (maybe by molecules flapping their wings or something ?).

    “Sure, the ELR is. The ALR isn’t. It is only affected by g, cp of the air and the condensation levels in the air column. ”
    What has the air column to do with the ALRs?
    The ALRs are ONLY relevant for the internal temperature of air that MOVES vertically.
    eg a rising thermal does not change anything to the temperature profile of the air it rises through.
    It stops rising when its temperature (= density) is equal to that of the surrounding air.

    “”The global, annual average of all lapse rate profiles on Earth falls on the continuum between these two extremes (10 and 5).”
    What do you mean with the two extremes (10 and 5) if not the DALR and SALR?

  63. Ben Wouters says:

    wayne says: July 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm
    “I said atmosphere one place where I should have said troposphere but I do hope the commenters here are able to correct such slips on the fly without calling the speaker carzy or that they don’t know what they are talking about but sadly that seems to be the normal here.”

    Coming from someone who wrote:
    wayne says: July 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm
    “Hey meteo nuts, stick that in your g/cp and see what you come up with for the lapse. In my corner of this planet R.H. is NEVER zero, much higher, so cp is NEVER 1006 J/kg/K, much higher, but I can’t seem to find that corner they live in where their air is dry, I mean 0% R.H.”

    which clearly shows you are still totally clueless about atmospheric convection and the related DALR and SALR.

  64. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 6, 2015 at 8:21 am:

    “As long as it is clear that rising and expanding air does NOT convert kinetic energy into potential energy (maybe by molecules flapping their wings or something ?).”

    Yes, this is a misunderstanding of the processes at work held by far too many people, even most sceptics commenting here on this blog. Conversion from kinetic to potential energy and back has got absolutely NOTHING to do with the adiabatic process, which is fundamentally a thermodynamic one, governed fully by the 1st Law. It concerns the disordered, microscopic (internal) energy of a system (and hence its temperature), not the ordered, macroscopic energy of the system as a whole, as a bulk unit, which is the domain of Newtonian mechanics (not concerning temperature at all). THIS is where the KE/PE-conversion comes in. When you lift something, anything, a solid object or a volume of air, you charge that something with gravitational potential energy. When dropping the object, or in any way letting it fall back to the ground, this potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, the same amount of kinetic energy (barring the energy lost through friction on the way down) that you used to lift the object (or volume of air) up to the top level. The adiabatic process operating in the atmosphere is NOT found in the rising and falling of air masses. Those are mechanical (macroscopic) processes. The adiabatic process is ONLY caused by the variation in external pressure exerted on the rising and falling volumes of air in the tropospheric column. The two processes (the macroscopic and the microscopic) just happen to occur simultaneously, in combination. The macroscopic process is simply needed for the microscopic one to occur. There is no adiabatic process going on in a state of hydrostatic equilibrium, after all.

    “What has the air column to do with the ALRs?”

    Huh!?

    “The ALRs are ONLY relevant for the internal temperature of air that MOVES vertically.
    eg a rising thermal does not change anything to the temperature profile of the air it rises through.
    It stops rising when its temperature (= density) is equal to that of the surrounding air.”

    You seem utterly incapable of connecting your own dots, Ben. Even with this you still think there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between the ALR and the ELR. Completely disconnected. Totally independent phenomena.

    I find this disconcerting. And a bit sad … I agree with you on most all you’ve been saying on this thread. I have actually been cheering for you in your battle (?) against the other commenters here, who for some odd reason seem all too eager to gang up on you for speaking the truth about and simply trying to explain matters so basic, well-known and uncontroversial that they shouldn’t really need to be debated at all.

    But on this particular point we part. And I find it strange, I must say. But I feel it should be possible to resolve our disagreement somehow. Because I do feel that, when it comes down to it, it’s all a matter of talking past each other.

    I know full well what makes the different LRs, Ben. I know what the DALR is and how it is defined. I know what the SALR is and how it is defined. I know what the ELR is and how it is defined. And I thus know they are all different entities.

    So you can stop trying to teach me anything about them.

    The disagreement lies only in the way the three are connected, or not.

    “What do you mean with the two extremes (10 and 5) if not the DALR and SALR?”

    I do mean the DALR and SALR. That’s what I’m saying!

  65. ferdberple says:

    The Vortex tube provides an interesting insight into the lapse rate. As per Einstein, the circular motion (continual acceleration) of the air particles is equivalent to a high G environment. (acceleration and gravity are indistinguishable to the observer)

    The net result is separation of the gas into a hot and cold stream, aligned with the axis of acceleration/rotation (artificial gravity).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube

  66. Roger Clague says:

    Kristian says:
    July 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

    It [adiabatic process ] concerns the disordered, microscopic (internal) energy of a system (and hence its temperature), not the ordered, macroscopic energy of the system as a whole, as a bulk unit, which is the domain of Newtonian mechanics (not concerning temperature at all)
    You say
    1. Newtonian mechanics can be applied to bulk units not to internal energy and temperature
    2. Adiabatic process (theory) can be applied to internal energy of a system and its temperature

    I say the opposite

    Kinetic theory of gasses explains internal energy and temperature using Newtons Laws.
    http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/kinetic_theory.html
    “Using Newton’s law in the form force = rate of change of momentum”

    Adiabatic process (theory) uses fluid dynamics. This has a bulk unit.
    http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=9084&pt=2&p=12046
    1.2 What is a fluid?
    1.3 The continuum hypothesis
    1.4 The fluid element
    The unit fluid element (parcel) is defined as
    Not atomic, continuous and homogeneous. They deform and do not expand and contract.

    Adiabatic process theory using fluid dynamics does not and cannot explain internal energy and temperature

    Newtonian mechanics does explain temperature

  67. wayne says:

    Thank you RogerC for setting that straight. (and for the links)

    One page says:
    “If the solid is elastic the removal of the force will lead to a restoration of the original situation. For a fluid the same small tangential force will lead to an unbounded displacement. Instead, it is the rate of increase of θ that will be proportional to the force (or
    more precisely, the force per unit area to which it is applied. Hence, for a fluid such
    tangential forces lead to continuous deformations whose rate is proportional to the force.
    Thus a fluid can be defined as a material that can not remain motionless under the action of
    forces [accelerations]
    that leave its volume unchanged but otherwise act to deform it, as in the example
    above.”

    Exactly what I was trying to get across. Earlier I was using “accelerations” but forces are the same if you also include the amount of mass involved (F=ma). This is exactly what I was trying to get across to Ben earlier when I was saying he was being far too simple and unrealistic in the way he views the atmosphere. It doesn’t take much force when over long periods of time to get some pretty impressive velocities.

    And the deformation will never stop without some third opposing force to slow it or even stop it completely (I said friction but other terms might be better). Now look at the Hadley cell circulation in that light.

    They laid it out far better.

  68. Kristian says:

    Roger Clague says, July 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm:

    “You say
    1. Newtonian mechanics can be applied to bulk units not to internal energy and temperature
    2. Adiabatic process (theory) can be applied to internal energy of a system and its temperature”

    No, Roger, I do not say that Newtonian mechanics can not be applied to internal energy and temperature. What I say is that the KE-PE conversion thing concerns the rising and falling of the air, which is a macroscopic mechanical process. It has no effect on the temperature of the air rising and falling. The adiabatic process, however, is a microscopic thermodynamic one, concerning the internal energy (the U) of the air, which means the KE of the air molecules. This DOES have an effect on the temperature of the air.

    Your reply bears witness to your ignorance of the matters discussed.

  69. This is my favourite subject as regard the greenhouse effect and I see that Kristian has been taking my name in vain.

    Kristian and others are incorrect in thinking that adiabatic uplift and descent involves work being done on surrounding molecules. To the extent that some such work does go on it is diabatic (not adiabatic) involving movement of heat between the parcel and the surroundings.

    The thing is that because the density and pressure of a rising or falling parcel changes at the same rate as the density and pressure of the surroundings no work needs to be done by the rising or falling molecules on the surrounding molecules.

    Instead, kinetic energy is transformed to potential energy in ascent and the opposite in descent.

    A rising parcel simply expands into the additional space made available to it by the fall in density and pressure of the surroundings at the higher levels.

    A falling parcel simply contracts into the reduced space made available to it by the rise in density and pressure of the surroundings at the lower levels.

    For a purely adiabatic convective process all the work done is done with or against gravity alone hence the transformation of energy between KE and PE instead of an exchange of heat or energy with the surrounding molecules.

  70. Kristian says:

    wayne says, July 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm:

    “Use some algebra:
    cp = g / Γ

    1508.71 [m²/s² / K] = [9.80665 m/s²] / [0.0065 K/m]

    1508.71 [kg m²/s² / kg / K]

    1508.71 J/kg/K”

    So you admit that the 1508.71 J/kg/K is your own invention. Invented simply to fit with the globally, annually averaged observed ELR.

    wayne, you’re still not reading what I write. You just move forward with your original misconception. I have to agree with Ben who said: “which clearly shows you are still totally clueless about atmospheric convection and the related DALR and SALR.”

    wayne, for the third or fourth time: The g/cp expression is ONLY (!!!!!!!) applicable to the pure adiabatic lapse rate, the non-condensing one, the DALR. It is NOT applicable to the condensing one, the SALR (which isn’t purely adiabatic), nor the environmental (observed) one, the ELR (which is established at the dynamic balance between radiation and convection/advection).

    And no, the RH does NOT have to be 0% for the adiabatic lapse rate to be “dry” (as in ‘non-condensing’).

  71. The environmental lapse rate behaves differently for condensing GHGs and non-condensing GHGs and differently again for a non GHG atmosphere.

    Furthermore the consequent distortions from the mass and gravity induced lapse rate (the DALR) differ as between asdcending air and descending air.

    I have just sent a new article to Rog on this very subject which I hope he will publish here.

  72. Roger Clague says:

    Ben Wouters says:
    July 6, 2015 at 8:21 am

    What do you mean with the two extremes (10 and 5) if not the DALR and SALR?

    ELR, SALR and DALR
    Air is never dry in the atmosphere. DALR does not occur.
    Air always contains enough H2O (g) molecules to absorb and emit the radiation which causes the LR.
    The lowest recorded relative humidity is 1%. That is 0.0003 = 10^-4 by mass of air.
    There are 10^23 molecules in 30g of air and and of them 10^23x 10^-4 = 10^19 are molecules of H2O (g)
    ELR =SALR= g/cH2O(g) = 9.8/1.9 =5.2K/km .

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS0001433806040037#page-1

    The value of γ decreases from 6.5 K/km at low latitudes to 4.5 K/km at polar latitudes.

  73. Trick says:

    Will 3:08am: “The adiabatic lapse rate of air is “a fictitious construct promoted by meteorologists to fool folk”!!”

    I refuse to be fooled by Will’s folklore.

    Let me show why and in the process use modern science to improve the top post. Consider a quantity of air in the troposphere, the atm. mass region generally warmed from below, say the size and shape of Will. This is the air Will displaces while living above ground. (The mass of the air displaced by Will is his buoyancy on the surface – a corollary).

    Top post: “..why the temperature of the gas goes down, is to suggest that it is due to “work done”: because whilst it is expanding it is doing work, this is why it loses energy and therefore heat.”

    This is confused.

    There is no heat existing in nature separate from energy anymore so heat can’t therefore be lost, energy exists so energy can therefore be lost. In the original lapse rate 1890’s derivation by Poisson, his assumption (1) was that the pressure P of my Will quantity of air of interest is equal to its surrounding pressure Ps at any height z. Will isn’t imploding or exploding generally thru the range of z limited to the troposphere.

    Poisson in 1890’s used 1st law on any gas undergoing an adiabatic process, IGL PV=nRT and gamma= Cp/Cv to show a relation P^(1-gamma/gamma)*T = constant (Eqn.1) during that process. Look it up, these foundations should not fool anyone, except maybe Will, are the starting point for Poisson’s DALR in the troposphere where we find, thru a million sounding rockets, hydrostatic equilibrium exists in nature for the most part sans a few hurricane/cyclone regions.

    A lapse rate is a decrease of something over a distance. Here the decrease of temperature with height in the troposphere (you know +77F at the ground and -77F outside a jetliner in cruise. Bail out above about 20,000 ft., your unprotected lips immediately freeze solid.)

    So, Poisson considered the decrease of temperature of the Will sized quantity of air as it ascends (or descends) in such a way that its pressure is always that of the surrounding air. To use his hard won formula for adiabatic process, Poisson then specifies during the ascent the quantity of Will air does not exchange energy with its surroundings by virtue of a temperature difference (hence “adiabatic”) assumption (2), and during the process no water vapor in the Will sized quantity of air is transformed into liquid or ice (hence “dry”) assumption (3).

    Again, Eqn. (1) is Poisson’s relation between pressure and temperature in an adiabatic process undergone by Will’s air quantity. Differentiate Eqn.1 w.r.t. z height agl for T changing under assumption (1) for Will’s air mass find:

    dT/dz + ((1-gamma)/gamma)*T/P*dP/dz = 0 Eqn. (2)

    Take care to note dP/dz is pressure change experienced by Will’s air on ascent w/pressure equal surroundings Ps Poisson’s assumption (1) & w/no energy exchanged to surroundings assumption (2) so T=Ts where Ts is the temperature of the surrounding air . This implies dP/dz = dPs/dz. Hydrostatic equilibrium of the atm. means dPs/dz= -RHOs*g where RHOs is the density of the Will air mass surroundings. Also IGL T/P=1/(RHO*R) so find the lapse rate of Will’s size air quantity is:

    dT/dz = -(gamma-1)/gamma * g/R * T/Ts Eqn.(3)

    For Poisson’s designated temperature profile T=Ts then top post Q: “What is the (dry) adiabatic lapse rate of air?” Poisson’s answer is:

    dT/dz = dTs/dz = -(gamma-1)/gamma * (g/R) = -g/Cp Eqn. (4)

    which is the atm. temperature profile such that Will’s air ascends adiabatically without condensation of its water vapor and T=Ts so T is always at the temperature of its surroundings meaning no energy exchange by T difference (after all, the Poisson adiabatic gas process was the starting Eqn. (1)).

    ——-

    Advanced past top post:

    In general, this lapse rate dT/dz is ideal DALR, is not exactly nature’s lapse rate. A million sounding rocket profiles in our application (troposphere) show that DALR T of Will’s air mass and Ts vary at most by a few degrees K out of say a difference of a hundred or more K so Eqn. (4) is good 1st approximation. Note also where Cp*T = h the unit mass specific enthalpy of Will’s air mass decreases as it rises because of the gravitational work it does. So can write:

    d(h + g*z)/dz = 0 Eqn. (5)

    as the quantity h+g*z (unit mass) is the conserved quantity in the ideal adiabatic process of ascent (or descent) of Will’s air by 1st law, this quantity termed “dry static energy”. All this might be in say Chapt. 3 of intro. course on the top post subject. It is undisputed since the 1890s except of course by Will and his folklore which I refuse to believe.

    ——

    What is this Will’s air mass lapse rate derived from entropy conservation in a reversible adiabatic process? Find by much harder route:

    dT/dz = dTs/dz = -(gamma-1)/gamma * (g/R) = -g/Cp Eqn. (6)

    Note Eqn. (4) = Eqn. (6).

    ——

    As Will’s air continues to rise, there comes a z height where Poisson can no longer assume the wv component does not condense on a micro-particle. At that z, Will’s air becomes a mixture of dry air, water vapor (at saturation) and liquid water droplets.

    Since liquid water is not an ideal gas, the route to Eqn. (4) is not open, hence the route to Eqn. (6) is the only one available. THAT derivation is tedious, try & you will make errors, so look it up. Yours may not even agree with the text, may be similar but different, so blog on it. This will all be in say Chapt. 6 of the intro. text.

  74. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Long day, will respond (much😉 ) later today.

    Just to confirm:
    Kristian says: July 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm
    “the SALR (which isn’t purely adiabatic)”
    You’re referring to the process being pseudo-adiabatic, due to the water droplets leaving the volume?

  75. Stephen Wilde says: July 6, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    The environmental lapse rate behaves differently for condensing GHGs and non-condensing GHGs and differently again for a non GHG atmosphere.

    Furthermore the consequent distortions from the mass and gravity induced lapse rate (the DALR) differ as between asdcending air and descending air.

    Why is the air ever ascending or descending?

    Stepen Wilde keeps spouting his KE conversion to/from PE (gravitational) in this atmosphere, when there are no such gravitational forces acting on this fluid. All has been replaced by the pressure/density gradient in this compressible fluid!
    Steven, point out “any” error in my 6 observations above! I do not accept your lawyerly POV.

  76. wayne says:

    Kristian: “So you admit that the 1508.71 J/kg/K is your own invention. ”

    No, not my invention…. it is what the equation claims. I take it verbatim assuming it is actually an equation and relationship. You seem to say it is not an equation that is Γ = -g/cp so cp = -g/Γ, Γ being dT/dh the temperature gradient or negate if you want to call it a lapse rate it seems. If it is not an equation, what is it, a “static statement” of some kind? I don’t recall even seeing such an thing in physics or thermo.

  77. Wiil,

    For a rough surfaced, rotating sphere illuminated by a point source of light there will forever be uneven surface heating causing density differentials in the horizontal plane.Such density differentials result in ascent and descent.

    Convection is unavoidable and it will organise itself into cells just as on Earth and other planets.

    GHGs not necessary.

    As for your 6 p[oints I suggest you repeat them for ease of access.

  78. Trick says:
    July 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Will 3:08am:
    (“The adiabatic lapse rate of air is “a fictitious construct promoted by meteorologists to fool folk”!!”)

    “I refuse to be fooled by Will’s folklore.”

    That is the first of six observations of remarks made here and at Scottishsceptic site on the same topic!
    My second observation is exactly as you claim Trick.
    Please find error in my 6 observations of these posters comments!

    I do not have a lapse rate, moving or not. A lapse rate is only a measurement of the local atmospheric profile Averages have no meaning whatsoever, only an intent to confuse! 🙂

  79. Stephen Wilde says: July 7, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Wiil,
    “For a rough surfaced, rotating sphere illuminated by a point source of light there will forever be uneven surface heating causing density differentials in the horizontal plane.Such density differentials result in ascent and descent.”

    There no such plane in spherical geometry only radial and tangential directions. because of the rotation there are two radials one gravity from the COM, and another normal to the spin axis. thus two tangentals only aligned at the equator. The Earth’s centrifuge provides the necessary force for all major convection and atmospheric mass motion in any direction. Heating, temperature differences, and density differences are but minor players in this atmosphere. The minors all brought to you from religious meteorological organisations to fool folk into believing that religion.

    “As for your 6 points I suggest you repeat them for ease of access.”

    SURE They are but observations gathered from disparate comments, all with a religion to sell.–
    Will Janoschka says: July 6, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What is the adiabatic lapse rate of air?
    1)The adiabatic lapse rate of air is “a fictitious construct promoted by meteorologists to fool folk”!!
    2)The adiabatic lapse rate of air is also the “temperature” component of a non condensing atmospheric radial pressure, density, temperature profile determined completely by the gravitational force on the mass of the compressible fluid called atmosphere, whatever the density of any atmospheric component.
    3)The adiabatic lapse rate of air has no thermodynamic meaning whatsoever!
    4)The pressure lapse rate of air has no thermodynamic meaning whatsoever!
    5)Both the concepts are but the expression of gravitational PE within its surrounding fluid.
    6)Both the concepts were invented by meteorologists with the intent to confuse.

  80. Trick says:

    Will 12:22am: Stick to second observation Will. Poisson will set you straight.

    “Averages have no meaning whatsoever..”

    A Dr. finds a patient with measured temperature = 103F. What does that tell her Will? No meaning whatsoever IYO? So she just goes on to the next appt.? Nope, so I still refuse to believe Will’s folklore.

  81. wayne says: July 6, 2015 at 11:58 pm
    Kristian: “So you admit that the 1508.71 J/kg/K is your own invention. ”

    “No, not my invention…. it is what the equation claims. I take it verbatim assuming it is actually an equation and relationship. You seem to say it is not an equation that is Γ = -g/cp so cp = -g/Γ, Γ being dT/dh the temperature gradient or negate if you want to call it a lapse rate it seems. If it is not an equation, what is it, a “static statement” of some kind? I don’t recall even seeing such an thing in physics or thermo.”

    Wayne,
    Your polytropic atmosphere is fine and needs much more consideration of how air mixtures interact in a gravitational field. I praise you for your discovery or re-discovery, well done.. Your fictional and arbitrary fractional exponent trying to explain the conversion of latent heat to sensible heat has nothing to do with gravitational force and has no physical meaning except for matching a fictional std lapse rate!

    Kristain OTOH, allows nothing for the obvious, that this atmosphere is not a gas, with its water condensate, insects, birds, and aircraft that obey no gas equation whatsoever. The pressure/density ratio always indicate the specific work done by gravitational force in supporting the compressible atmosphere independent of that weight distribution.

  82. wayne says:

    Will: “… fictional std lapse rate!”

    Not fictional here where I live. that is what it IS by the radiosondes. How would you explain that then?

  83. wayne says: July 7, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Will: “… fictional std lapse rate!”

    “Not fictional here where I live. that is what it IS by the radiosondes. How would you explain that then?”

    The std is a fictional average, a fantasy intended to delude. It definitely does not tell even what to expect at any given location. Fictional and useless! This planet has no std anywhere!

  84. Trick says: July 7, 2015 at 1:21 am

    “Will 12:22am: Stick to second observation Will. Poisson will set you straight”.

    What problem do you have with all six of my observation of comments, made always by folk trying to convert others to their belief/religion!🙂

    (“Averages have no meaning whatsoever..”)

    “A Dr. finds a patient with measured temperature = 103F. What does that tell her Will? No meaning whatsoever IYO? So she just goes on to the next appt.? Nope, so I still refuse to believe Will’s folklore.”

    That measurement is an average of what? It is but an indication of current metabolic process of that patient! The current “expected” temperature of a non-sick, non-dead body is 98.6F. Even if you measure such, you cannot tell if the body is non-sick, or non-dead! Has no meaning!🙂

  85. Trick says:

    Will 2:38am: Later, after ignoring the 103F patient temperature measurement as averages having no meaning whatsoever per Will’s advice, the Dr. again returns to the same patient and re-measures the patient’s temperature at room temperature. What should that tell the Dr. & Will? Nothing whatsoever? Has no meaning IYO? Nope, so I still refuse to believe Will’s folklore.

    Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 have no scientific meaning whatsoever. Will is mostly a science free zone. Amusing Will folklore though.

  86. Trick says: July 7, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Will 2:38am: Later, after ignoring the 103F patient temperature measurement as averages having no meaning whatsoever per Will’s advice, the Dr. again returns to the same patient and re-measures the patient’s temperature at room temperature. What should that tell the Dr. & Will? Nothing whatsoever? Has no meaning IYO? Nope, so I still refuse to believe Will’s folklore.

    If before 103F, very sick! later at 68F, very dead! Average 85.5F no meaning!
    Trick demonstrates no clue as to an average!

    “Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 have no scientific meaning whatsoever. Will is mostly a science free zone. Amusing Will folklore though.”

    Will’s 1..6 observations of posts have no scientific meaning including #2 My observations are that “all posters are only trying for conversion to a personal religion.” Tower of Babel reigns supreme.🙂

  87. Trick says:

    Will 4:02am: “Average 85.5F no meaning!”

    85.5F does have meaning; this correct arithmetic result simply means that Will can add two numbers and divide by two accurately, to one decimal place. And demonstrates I have a clue as to avg. Other than that, there is no science meaning whatsoever, same as Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 observations. Stick with your folklore Will, such amusement.

  88. Trick says: July 7, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Will 4:02am: “Average 85.5F no meaning!”

    85.5F does have meaning; this correct arithmetic result simply means that Will can add two numbers and divide by two accurately, to one decimal place. And demonstrates I have a clue as to avg. Other than that, there is no science meaning whatsoever, same as Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 observations. Stick with your folklore Will, such amusement.

    Not at all What does 85.5F “mean” to the doctor or patient?
    Arithmetic averages have no meaning except with monumental description of the meaning of such arithmetic. Post modern physics dweebs offer no such meaning to arithmetic as they have no clue

  89. Trick says: July 7, 2015 at 4:24 am

    “science meaning whatsoever, same as Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 observations. Stick with your folklore Will, such amusement.

    Please point out your own critique of Will’s 1,3,4,5,6 observations! you avoid #2 as that observation of comments, agrees with your religious affiliations!

  90. Roger Clague says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    July 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm
    The thing is that because the density and pressure of a rising or falling parcel changes at the same rate as the density and pressure of the surroundings no work needs to be done by the rising or falling molecules on the surrounding molecules.
    Instead, kinetic energy is transformed to potential energy in ascent and the opposite in descent.

    I agree that when air is rising work is done against gravity not surrounding molecules
    The subject of the sentence above starts as a parcel and ends as molecules.
    Which is the correct concept to use or can both be used at the same time?
    Not both at the same time and
    Temperature can be explained by molecular kinetic theory of gasses alone with the parcel concept.
    Using the gas laws needs the parcel (with walls) concept and so cannot be applied

  91. A parcel is simply a group of molecules acting together, in bulk.

    I could have used either term throughout.

    I have drifted into using ‘molecules’ from time to time as a response to Kristian’s contention that rising molecules do work on surrounding molecules in order to transfer heat in or out of the parcel via work done.

    He thinks that is what is meant by an adiabatic process whereas I have tried to show him that only the work done with or against gravity is adiabatic.

    Work done between molecules inside and outside the parcel is always diabatic process which moves heat in and out.

    In practice there is always some leakage of that sort since no process is entirely adiabatic but he fails to see the distinction and has become somewhat exciteable on the point.

    Much of what he says is otherwise correct but IMHO he goes wrong on that issue.

  92. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 6, 2015 at 11:25 pm:

    “Just to confirm:
    Kristian says: July 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm
    “the SALR (which isn’t purely adiabatic)”
    You’re referring to the process being pseudo-adiabatic, due to the water droplets leaving the volume?”

    Uhmmm, not really. I was first and foremost referring to the non-adiabatic (“diabatic”) heating of the volume of air from within the volume through the release of ‘latent heat of vaporisation’ from WV condensing.

    BTW, I noticed that the thread where I cheered for you, ‘battling’ the other commenters, was not this one, but rather the convection one …

  93. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

    “I know full well what makes the different LRs, Ben. I know what the DALR is and how it is defined. I know what the SALR is and how it is defined. I know what the ELR is and how it is defined. And I thus know they are all different entities.

    So you can stop trying to teach me anything about them.

    The disagreement lies only in the way the three are connected, or not.”

    Ok, I’ll give my view on this all, and see what you agree or disagree with.

    1) The ELR is the temperature vs altitude of the atmosphere as measured by weather balloons etc.
    (I prefer to call them ‘temperature profiles’) They change continuously in time for every location on earth. Average ELR in the tropopause is ~6,5 K/km.

    2) The DALR and SALR are the rate of change of the temperature vs altitude for volumes (packets) of air that move vertically in the atmosphere, that is assumed to be in hydrostatic equlibrium. The two processes are assumed to be adiabatic, except for the SALR when water droplets ‘drop’ out of the volume (called pseudo-adiabatic then).

    3) For rising air, the DALR gives the temperature change as long as condensation doesn’t take place. Once condensation starts, the SALR gives the temperature change for the rising volume.
    The rising, condensing volume still expands and cools according the DALR, but now an internal heating system has been ‘switched’ on: condensation ‘releasing’ latent heat. This reduces the cooling due to the expansion, as long as wv is available to condense. When out of wv to condense, and the volume still rises, the cooling rate is again (practically) the same as the DALR rate.

    4)Hydrostatic equlibrium for the atmosphere means to me that at every altitude the pressure at that altitude exactly ‘carries’ the weight of the column above that altitude.
    Rising air due to a volume having a lower density, is thus ‘pushed’ upwards, since the pressure from below is higher than the weight of the rising volume PLUS the remaining column above the volume.
    So the energy to climb against gravity for the volume is supplied by the atmosphere below the volume, not by the volume itself.
    Wind flowing up a mountain flank is also ‘pushed’ upwards, now by horizontal pressure differences. The principle remains the same.

  94. Ben Wouters says: July 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    “Ok, I’ll give my view on this all, and see what you agree or disagree with.”

    “Wind flowing up a mountain flank is also ‘pushed’ upwards, now by horizontal pressure differences. The principle remains the same.”

    Just how much work (force x distance) does it take to move (slowly) one kilogram of surface air to an altitude of 5 km? Why? (explain your answer) What is the force? You claim “pushed” why not pulled?

    “The DALR and SALR are the rate of change of the temperature vs altitude for volumes (packets) of air that move vertically in the atmosphere, that is assumed to be in hydrostatic equlibrium.The two processes are assumed to be adiabatic.”

    Just how are your (packets) prevented from exchanging energy with the continuum and space?
    How can this ever be “assumed” to be adiabatic when it is clearly not? The continuum continuously transfers energy to space that has no place in thermodynamics or hydrodynamics, but always a loss of energy that you wish to conserve. Yet you fail to even acknowledge that you do not know! Your religious fantasy makes assumptions of no value about this atmosphere that are intended to confuse folk into thinking you have the knowledge of God!

  95. Stephen Wilde says: July 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    “A parcel is simply a group of molecules acting together, in bulk.
    I could have used either term throughout.”

    Why would any atmospheric group of molecules act together in bulk, rather than diffusing within the continuum? Since the troposphere is stratified by pressure/density, please explain your refusal to accept that low density water vapour must convect at a much higher rate than the more dense molecules? Why does the whole tropospheric column respond quickly (6min) to any change in insolation with no change in lapse rate?

  96. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm:

    “1) The ELR is the temperature vs altitude of the atmosphere as measured by weather balloons etc.
    (I prefer to call them ‘temperature profiles’) They change continuously in time for every location on earth. Average ELR in the tropopause is ~6,5 K/km.”

    Agreed.

    “2) The DALR and SALR are the rate of change of the temperature vs altitude for volumes (packets) of air that move vertically in the atmosphere, that is assumed to be in hydrostatic equlibrium. The two processes are assumed to be adiabatic, except for the SALR when water droplets ‘drop’ out of the volume (called pseudo-adiabatic then).”

    Agreed.

    3) For rising air, the DALR gives the temperature change as long as condensation doesn’t take place. Once condensation starts, the SALR gives the temperature change for the rising volume.
    The rising, condensing volume still expands and cools according the DALR, but now an internal heating system has been ‘switched’ on: condensation ‘releasing’ latent heat. This reduces the cooling due to the expansion, as long as wv is available to condense. When out of wv to condense, and the volume still rises, the cooling rate is again (practically) the same as the DALR rate.”

    Agreed.

    “4) Hydrostatic equlibrium for the atmosphere means to me that at every altitude the pressure at that altitude exactly ‘carries’ the weight of the column above that altitude.
    Rising air due to a volume having a lower density, is thus ‘pushed’ upwards, since the pressure from below is higher than the weight of the rising volume PLUS the remaining column above the volume.
    So the energy to climb against gravity for the volume is supplied by the atmosphere below the volume, not by the volume itself.
    Wind flowing up a mountain flank is also ‘pushed’ upwards, now by horizontal pressure differences. The principle remains the same.”

    Agreed.

  97. Wayne Job says:

    Probes to Venus with an almost CO2 atmosphere have measured the lapse rate. From one Earth atmosphere to the top the lapse rate is the same as Earth. Say’s something about the global warming nonsense.

  98. Trick says:

    Wayne 11:46am: The something it “say’s” is the 1890’s theory I posted 11:24pm is still reasonably supported by test at Venus.

    The only reliable(?) test data below Venus 12km level is from Vega 2 in 1985. Given Venus g ~ 8.9 and atm. Cp ~ 0.85 find Venus DALR -g/Cp (in regions the fluid is warmed from below) from that theory ~10.5 K/km vs. Earth ~ 9.8. Vega 2 reasonably confirmed these numbers – as well as your upper atm. DALR at P 1 atm. where the fluid is once again warmed from below.

    Still unanswered by test is Venus deep atm. temperature profile poleward of 60degrees. There is not much interest to test it as no reason to believe a different theory will be needed. More interesting Venus atm. GHE questions open are: The UV absorber? What is the lower haze?

  99. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 8, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Since you agreed to all 4 points I made, I have no clue what you mean here:

    Kristian says: July 6, 2015 at 11:35 am
    Ben Wouters says, July 6, 2015 at 8:21 am:
    “The ALRs are ONLY relevant for the internal temperature of air that MOVES vertically.
    eg a rising thermal does not change anything to the temperature profile of the air it rises through.
    It stops rising when its temperature (= density) is equal to that of the surrounding air.”

    “You seem utterly incapable of connecting your own dots, Ben. Even with this you still think there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between the ALR and the ELR. Completely disconnected. Totally independent phenomena.”
    How can an ADIABATICALLY rising volume of air change the temperature of the surrounding air??

    Same problem here:
    Kristian says: July 7, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    “Uhmmm, not really. I was first and foremost referring to the non-adiabatic (“diabatic”) heating of the volume of air from within the volume through the release of ‘latent heat of vaporisation’ from WV condensing.”

  100. Roger Clague says:

    StevenW says “A parcel is simply a group of molecules acting together, in bulk.
    WillJ asks Why would any atmospheric group of molecules act together in bulk, rather than diffusing within the continuum?
    I have wondered why my discussions with those who describe the cause of the LR as an adiabatic process produce more heat than light.
    I found this on Adiabatic process

    http://maths.ucd.ie/met/msc/fezzik/Phys-Met/Ch03-Slides-4.pdf

    “That is, mixing is due not to molecular motions, but to eddies of various sizes. Recall Richardson’s rhyme: Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, And little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Fry_Richardson
    I and others think mixing in air is due to molecular motion. That is molecules diffuse vertically at different speeds
    vH2O(g)/vdry air =sqroot 29/18 = 1.3
    The velocity of H2O(g) is 30% greater than N2/O2

    Eddies,whirls and parcels don’t explain temperature gradients.

  101. wayne says:

    Hi Wayne Job, haven’t seen you about lately.

    Wayne Job is correct. The Vega2 data shows the temperature gradient to be right at 0.00773 K/m (7.7 K/km). The Vega2 balloon showed the upper right at 312 K at 55000 geopotential meters and the surface at 737 K.

    The haze is that co2 is a supercritical liquid at lowest altitudes, see any chemical chart on co2 of co2’s triple point noting the section where 737 K at about 9322000 Pa lies – in the supercritical liquid section.

    Trick, the calculated and hypothetical DALR on Venus is irrelevant on Venus just as it is on Earth. Same on Jupiter’s atmosphere by the Galileo data, same on Titan’s lower atmosphere (< 32000 m) by the Huygen’s data. They all follow a quite simple thermodynamic relationship in their lower tropospheres, all of them.

  102. Trick says:

    Roger 4:34pm: “I and others think mixing in air is due to molecular motion.”

    Agree, molecular motion is a component of total mixing, being very different process than mass motion (DALR in air related) & governed by different theory. Molecular diffusion is independent process from Richardson’s whirls which are commonly referred to as mass motion.

    The noticeable macro difference being in the speed of the mixing. Mass motion mixing (DALR wind, drafts, 1834 W. Prout termed convection, 1797 Lord Kelvin discovery) being very, very fast compared to mixing from molecular diffusion (Fick’s 1st law). This speed is a point Stephen Wilde continuously misses using his imaginative PE+KE of a molecule which would take months to propagate 90 feet or so in still air. It’s a good link Stephen should read, study and understand the simple math including the calculus. Improve it by changing “heat” to “energy” on the first slide.

    Example: Test at home. Consider a closed room the size of a classroom, furnace not running, windows/doors closed, near zero mass motion but air molecules in constant motion diffusing. A 1st row student opens a bottle of perfume, the last row student notices about a month later. Fick’s 1st law can be used to show this is the speed of the molecular diffusion. Allow some drafts, furnace running, windows open enabling Lord Kelvin’s, Richardson’s whirls of mass motion and the last row student notices during class time.

  103. Trick says:

    wayne 6:26pm: DALR is relevant since the 1890s as the ideal solution for all planetary atmosphere dry lapse rates, a good starting point as they are off only 10-20% surface to tropopause from the natural moist solution which with wv is much harder to calculate but can be found in text books. The amount of precipitable water in the column at any given time/place is hard to know by theory, need a sounding. For example, if you want to program up the difference for reversible, adiabatic ascent (or descent) for a moist Will sized air mass here is the correction factor difference from DALR:

    dT/dz = –g/Cp – 1/Cp * d(Ws*Lv)/dz

    Ws = saturation mixing ratio
    Lv = enthalpy of vaporization

    For example, mixing ratio of 0.001 (1g/kg) which corresponds to very dry air & Lv=2.5*10^6 J/kg find about 2.5K temperature difference if ALL of Will’s water vapor were to condense in an adiabatic, isobaric process (yes, a fictitious process – a small price to pay for ease of calculation).

    ——

    Supercritical CO2 is an invisible gas so doesn’t cause Venus haze. Misconceptions about CO2 being visible gas do exist from looking at the mist around dry ice which is really condensed wv, same misconception from a CO2 fire extinguisher et. al. Here is an article from 2008 providing some more detail on the interesting Venus haze mystery along with the unknown UV absorber:

    http://www.space.com/5011-mysterious-haze-venus.html

  104. This explains about KE and PE for molecules:

    http://a-levelphysicstutor.com/matter-mol-force-pe.php

    For gases the compressibility is magnitudes greater than for liquids and solids so it is a substantial process as far as KE to PE and back again is concerned.

    There is no delay. As soon as one lifts a gas up within a gravitational field the molecules move apart and KE instantly becomes PE.

    Convection does the lifting and is driven by uneven surface heating causing temperature and thus density differentials in the horizontal plane.

    Bulk movement of gases within a gravitational field immediatelty results in KE / PE conversions at trhe molecular level.

    The conversion process is as fast as is the bulk movement.

    Hence the adiabatic lapse rate.

  105. Trick says:

    Stephen 8:32pm: Stephen’s link actually shows an important point he always misses – the p*V term in total energy (=gas enthalpy) arising from the fact there are forces between molecules: “While the kinetic theory of matter considers the motion of molecules to be free and random, there are forces between molecules.”

    Kinetic theory (no forces between molecules just their KE+PE) which at first worked close to experiment until J.C. Maxwell came along and pointed out in a now famous paper that the p*V term arises due intermolecular forces being compressed & added the unexplained missing energy found in balloon testing c. 1860s. Total balloon internal energy = sum (KE+PE) + p*V. Stephen has to explain changes in p*V as well as KE+PE but he never does because p*V change is so hard to imagine. Have to test and/or employ calculus.

    “Bulk movement of gases within a gravitational field immediatelty results in KE / PE conversions..”

    True, well it is almost immediately, but Stephen here displays his limited imagination by not showing us a calculation. Or even quoting a law, just using his ample imagination which sometimes agrees with natural law/experiment but often does NOT agree. The trick is to know when. The individual molecules exchange KE/PE quickly but takes a month for temperature difference to propagate across a classroom by Fick’s law in still air. Actual classroom (and atmosphere) temperature adjusts quickly by windy mass motion & speed of light radiation not just extremely slow KE/PE diffusion. Or go argue with Fick & Planck/S-B, Stephen.

  106. wayne says:

    “Bulk movement of gases within a gravitational field immediatelty results in KE / PE conversions at trhe molecular level.”

    What are you trying to say here Stephen since you tack on “at the molecular level” and are talking of compressibility? Sounds like you are saying it is due to the separation between molecules and the attraction/repulsion between those individual molecules that is highlighted by those graphics near the top at your link at http://a-levelphysicstutor.com/matter-mol-force-pe.php . Am I gathering that correctly from your words?

  107. During convective uplift against the force of gravity Individual molecules cool as they move apart within a bulk movement of gas.

    The cooling is a consequence of the change in the PV relationship as per the Gas Laws. KE (heat)becomes PE (not heat) but total internal energy remains constant.

    The convective movement is akin to Trick’s windy mass movement across a classroom but in the vertical plane.

    This is basic stuff.

  108. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 8, 2015 at 1:48 pm:

    “Since you agreed to all 4 points I made, I have no clue what you mean here:

    “You seem utterly incapable of connecting your own dots, Ben. Even with this you still think there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between the ALR and the ELR. Completely disconnected. Totally independent phenomena.”

    How can an ADIABATICALLY rising volume of air change the temperature of the surrounding air??”

    It doesn’t. That’s not what I’m talking about at all.

    Let me ask you this, Ben: How is the observed tropospheric temperature gradient generated and established? How is it maintained? What physical relationships drive and constrain it? Why does it cool going up? Why does it average 6.5 K/km globally/annually? Why isn’t it 5 K/km on average? Or 10 K/km on average? Or 1 K/km? Or 20 K/km? And why do we only find it in the troposphere?

    “Same problem here:

    “Uhmmm, not really. I was first and foremost referring to the non-adiabatic (“diabatic”) heating of the volume of air from within the volume through the release of ‘latent heat of vaporisation’ from WV condensing.””

    I don’t see your problem. When latent heat is released into the rising air volume, its temperature falloff rate no longer follows a pure adiabatic gradient. The purely adiabatic gradient is the 9.75 K/km DALR. The SALR gradient is always less than this, because parallel to the adiabatic cooling, there is now also non-adiabatic heating going on within the volume. The SALR still has a significant adiabatic component, but it is not operating alone.

  109. wayne says:

    Stephen, you never answered my question, could you just answer it? Yes or no.

  110. wayne says:

    hockeyschtick’s a shoot’em up at Judith’s site and his logic is exactly as mine on the topic of the Standard Atmosphere. http://judithcurry.com/2015/07/06/new-research-on-atmospheric-radiative-transfer/#comment-716312 that I have portrayed poorly here evidently. A good read. More higher up if you will scroll upward.

  111. wayne says:

    I have rarely wandered over to http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/ but this has a bit from an old retired NOAA scientist with a different emphasis ….

    .
    .
    .
    1. What changes: wind strength is a robust feature of climate change, affecting evaporation, precipitation, cloudiness, sea surface temperature and air temperature.
    2. Variability of wind strength is 34% on century time scales. It is caused by the variability of Deep Tropical Convection which directly forces the Hadley circulation.
    3. Deep Tropical Convection is related to the area of ocean warmer than 29ºC (The Pacific Ocean Warm Pool). These features are well monitored.
    4. Variable size of Warm Pool is mainly forced by variable solar irradiance (0.5-1.6% in a century or 7-13 W/m2).
    .
    .
    .

    Earth temperature controlled by solar irradiance? He would be fired immediately if still employed there today.

  112. Trick says:

    wayne 12:18am, Kristian 11:45pm: “Why does (the observed tropospheric temperature gradient) average 6.5 K/km globally/annually?”

    Because of committee specification and voted “adoption” of a composite atm. designed by that committee, not because it is a column of earth atm. air preserved in a long glass tube in say Boulder, Colorado or anywhere else.

    The committee specified 6.5K/km as the lapse rate 0km to mean tropopause specified 11km altitude of the US NOAA published 1976 (=1964 ICAO) hypothetical middle-latitude year around vertical mean observed conditions over a solar activity range min. to max. sunspot number “accepted” by that committee vote and adopted in 1975. Was updated in 1993.

  113. Kristian says: July 8, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    “Let me ask you this, Ben: How is the observed tropospheric temperature gradient generated and established? How is it maintained? What physical relationships drive and constrain it? Why does it cool going up? Why does it average 6.5 K/km globally/annually? Why isn’t it 5 K/km on average? Or 10 K/km on average? Or 1 K/km? Or 20 K/km? And why do we only find it in the troposphere?”

    Finally, someone asking deliberate questions of those claiming an “adiabatic” lapse rate!
    The nearly linear lapse rate at pressures above 0.1 bar, seem to do, with the increasing constraint of molecular DOF as both pressure and density increase from the gravitational force acting on a compressible fluid. Wayne claims that this linear value varies with the mixture of various gas species with different DOFs. A most intriguing conjecture! Why does the temperature lapse rate reflect the ratio pressure/density which is “specific work” (work/mole) needed to compress of a gas?
    Why does anyone call this adiabatic? Why is this even thermodynamic? Why does this atmosphere have to conserve anything, including itself? What does this have to do with any mass movement within the atmospheric continuum?
    The actual lapse rate is but the measured state that a (gas,liquid,solid) compressible fluid take on when only constrained only by a radial gravitational force. Adjectives need not apply! No one has provided a testable hypothesis as to the physical reasons for this measures state.
    Clearly the claimed SALR is a scam as you point out, as no one would claim that phase change is adiabatic even though all energy remains within the mass of air (gas) and the associated airborne water condensate. No one has demonstrated that any fluid mass moving radially within the continuum ever has the claimed (pressure,density,temperature) profile. Show the measurement! Precipitation further complicates any claim of anything adiabatic. Then there is in this fluid the cyclic increase in energy from insolation and the cyclic dissipation of that energy via EMR flux to space. Why does the approximate linear local tropospheric lapse rate remain constant although the entire tropospheric fluid column rapidly adjusts temperature to variation of insolation.
    Even the so call DALR of -g/Cp is highly suspect of any physical meaning, rather than a convenient ratio approximating the highest T/A slope measured! Just what is the Cp of this non gaseous compressible fluid called Earth’s atmosphere?
    The Climatologists and Meteorologists have much to answer, while demonstrating almost no physical knowledge of this atmosphere!!🙂

  114. wayne says:

    “Because of committee specification and voted “adoption” of a composite atm. designed by that committee, not because it is a column of earth atm. ”

    But it is right at 6.5 K/km here mid-latitude as any other mid-latitude, by the bi-daily radiosondes, all but in the very lowest boundary layer wiggles with temperatures all over the place yet over long enough time also averages to 6.5 K/km so why is it not a mean column? Because 100 top scientists all agreed that this is so or it would be changed? I do understand it varies a bit toward the tropics, bit steeper and markedly at the poles but you talk of averages I guess when you deem them useful to you but discard THAT? I think I see.

    You call this a committee, the air force and the many, many scientists with then no agenda of any kind therfore useless so I guess IPCC which is definitely a committee is trash by the same logic? I see.

  115. wayne says: July 9, 2015 at 12:18 am

    “hockeyschtick’s a shoot’em up at Judith’s site and his logic is exactly as mine on the topic of the Standard Atmosphere.”
    http://judithcurry.com/2015/07/06/new-research-on-atmospheric-radiative-transfer/#comment-716312
    “that I have portrayed poorly here evidently. A good read. More higher up if you will scroll upward.”

    wayne,
    In that whole reply by Turbulent Eddie represents EMR from a thermodynamic, (EMR is heat) POV.
    Whenever this is done it must destroy the whole concept of electromagnetic radiative flux, its generation, transmission, absorption, and what an absorber may do with with that power (flux).
    The shoot’em up about EMR has barely started! Hockeyschtick’s reply that the US std atmosphere does not even consider the actual effects of insolation, and exitance to space. This is evidence that “every” committee aggregation or statistical averaging “always” throws the baby out with the bathwater. Endless statistical BS is never for those that question! There is nowhere in the US that has a std atmosphere!🙂

  116. wayne says:

    “Just what is the Cp of this non gaseous compressible fluid called Earth’s atmosphere?”

    Exactly Will, so exactly, thank you so much for even raising that uncomfortable question. (and for your other words saying that you are at least questioning what I questioned when I stumbled upon that suspect relation across multiple atmospheres)

    Now consider, not the Cp of O2/N2/+ in a bottle in some lab but how many actual, literal joules does it take to raise one kilogram of our atmosphere in situ one degree Celsius with all factors considered, expansion, free convection, condensation, radiation always leaking to layers above or out to space, etc? Why is it so hard for so many to NOT suspect that it may very well be that g / 1508 J/kg/K, not the g / 1006 J/kg/K joules giving some DALR. Are you following me there?

  117. wayne says: July 9, 2015 at 3:12 am

    (“Just what is the Cp of this non gaseous compressible fluid called Earth’s atmosphere?”)

    “Exactly Will, so exactly, thank you so much for even raising that uncomfortable question. (and for your other words saying that you are at least questioning what I questioned when I stumbled upon that suspect relation across multiple atmospheres)”

    “Now consider, not the Cp of O2/N2/+ in a bottle in some lab but how many actual, literal joules does it take to raise one kilogram of our atmosphere in situ one degree Celsius with all factors considered, expansion, free convection, condensation, radiation always leaking to layers above or out to space, etc? Why is it so hard for so many to NOT suspect that it may very well be that g / 1508 J/kg/K, not the g / 1006 J/kg/K joules giving some DALR. Are you following me there?”

    wayne, I think I follow! But in this atmosphere with all the insects, birds, and aircraft, floating about
    Why not -g/ 2.3245 J/(gm x Kelvin) T/A. OTOH it seems not to be -g/0.7625 J/(gm x Kelvin) that would be the radiative lapse rate! wayne, I think we are dealing with folk that cannot get mommy to tie my shoos!🙂 -will-

  118. It is very simple.

    Atmospheric mass around a spherical body, held within that body’s gravity field, subjected to insolation and maintained at hydrostatic equilibrium will always produce a density and pressure gradient with height. Greater density naturally develops with depth towards the centre of a gravitational field.

    Density controls the proportion of insolation passing through which is taken up by conduction so that leads to a temperature gradient from surface to space.

    The ‘ideal’ lapse rate slope (the one that allows an atmosphere to be retained) is set by that process.

    Various other features of an atmosphere seek to upset that ‘ideal’ lapse rate slope by creating radiative imbalances which , in the absence of a correcting mechanism, would cause the atmosphere to be lost since hydrostatic equilibrium could not be maintained.

    Convection is the correcting mechanism and in the process of correction the actual lapse rate gets distorted one way or the other from place to place and from height to height so that everything still averages out to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate slope, hydrostatic equilibrium is maintained and the atmosphere is retained.

    The cell structure of atmospheric overturning is the correcting mechanism in progress and that gives us climate zones, jet streams and weather.

  119. wayne,

    I did answer your question but you don’t seem to understand the answer.

  120. Stephen Wilde says: July 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

    “It is very simple. Atmospheric mass around a spherical body, held within that body’s gravity field, subjected to insolation and maintained at hydrostatic equilibrium will always produce a density and pressure gradient with height. Greater density naturally develops with depth towards the centre of a gravitational field. Density controls the proportion of insolation passing through which is taken up by conduction so that leads to a temperature gradient from surface to space.”

    IS this your bestests Lawyerly presentation to a jury that wishes to eat you for lunch?
    Do you have “any” physical conformation of your lawyerly insane claims?

    – skip much crap –

  121. Wiil,

    It is all established, basic science and as observed.

    I think you are way off beam here.

  122. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 8, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    “Let me ask you this, Ben: How is the observed tropospheric temperature gradient generated and established? How is it maintained? What physical relationships drive and constrain it? Why does it cool going up? Why does it average 6.5 K/km globally/annually? Why isn’t it 5 K/km on average? Or 10 K/km on average? Or 1 K/km? Or 20 K/km? And why do we only find it in the troposphere?”

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/beginners-guide-to-convection-cells/comment-page-1/#comment-101278
    To maintain hydrostatic equilibrium the pressure has to be at a certain value for each altitude to ‘carry’ the weight of the atmosphere above. This pressure is caused by the TEMPERATURE of the air at that altitude. So there MUST be a certain lapse rate.
    Since the troposphere is mostly warmed from the surface, this gives a temperature profile, dictated by the surface temperature, the rate of energy loss THROUGH the atmosphere to space, gravity, and how much the atmosphere expands against gravity (mass, composition).
    Why an average 6,5K/km? The combination of the above factors apparently result in this number. I (and probably no one) don’t have the math and knowledge to exactly calculate this number.
    eg. add some CO2 and the atmosphere loses energy faster to space than before.
    => the atmosphere shrinks a little. Does the ELR change as well? I don’t know.

    This ELR is interrupted in the stratosphere by warming due interaction with of solar UV.

    ” When latent heat is released into the rising air volume, its temperature falloff rate no longer follows a pure adiabatic gradient. The purely adiabatic gradient is the 9.75 K/km DALR. The SALR gradient is always less than this, because parallel to the adiabatic cooling, there is now also non-adiabatic heating going on within the volume. The SALR still has a significant adiabatic component, but it is not operating alone.”
    A rising volume (thermal or whatever) cools according the DALR, When condensation starts it is still the same volume that rises, only now its temperature reduces according the SALR, which is still an ADIABATIC lapse rate. Only when water droplets fall out of the volume, the process isn’t strictly adiabatic anymore.

  123. Stephen Wilde says: July 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm
    This explains about KE and PE for molecules:
    http://a-levelphysicstutor.com/matter-mol-force-pe.php
    For gases the compressibility is magnitudes greater than for liquids and solids so it is a substantial process as far as KE to PE and back again is concerned.

    So your claim is Not gravitational positional PE at increasing distance from the COM but some conjecture that increasing mean free path with decreasing pressure is some sort of potential energy!
    Please show any physical evidence of your fantasy!

  124. Stephen Wilde says: July 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

    “Wiil, It is all established, basic science and as observed.I think you are way off beam here.”

    Please show any physical evidence of what you claim! All fantasy!!

  125. Will,

    PE for gas molecules in an atmosphere is created both by work done in lifting the molecules up vertically against gravity but also by work done in increasing the spaces between molecules against the intermolecular attractive forces as reducing pressure allows them to move apart.

    Both are a consequence of vertical movement within a gravitational field.

    If you want evidence you can ‘google’ it for yourself.

  126. Trick says:

    Ben 10:00am: “When condensation starts it is still the same volume that rises, only now its temperature reduces according the SALR, which is still an ADIABATIC lapse rate. Only when water droplets fall out of the volume, the process isn’t strictly adiabatic anymore.”

    You seem to be confusing ideal and natural LR. The saturated adiabat line at 3:55pm and the DALR are ideal and not possible in nature. The middle-latitude composite standard lapse (commonly termed ELR) at 6.5K/km is not adiabatic as it is naturally slightly diabatic from all the real measured soundings of which it is comprised. Simply b/c no adiabatic, reversible process is allowed in nature by 2LOT. Water droplets condensing out or not isn’t the determining factor between ideal adiabatic and natural diabatic process.

    As Kristian points out “dry” atm. contains wv just not condensing liquid water (moisture) from atm. hitting the dew point. “Dry” means no moisture and does not mean no wv.

    ——

    Stephen 9:31am: “that everything still averages out to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate slope.”

    No, never & not everything, should be averages to only the composite middle-latitude ELR 6.5 not ideal DALR 9.8. You too are here confusing un-natural adiabatic ideal LR (DALR) with real non-ideal natural diabatic but designed, adopted by man ELR.

    11:46am: “Both are a consequence of vertical movement within a gravitational field.”

    Yes, nice progress Stephen, but only in composite ELR, the ideal DALR derivation was enabled by assuming a Will sized mass of air rises & goes thru a process at the same pressure as surroundings (assumption (1) at 11:24pm) so changing intermolecular forces do not come into play for DALR, you could see that in the math and differentials if you had accomplished an understanding of calculus. Meaning ideal Eqn. 2,3 & 4 would then be different more natural differentials including another reduction term resulting as shown at 8:07pm.

  127. Trick says:

    Oops, mod.s could delete 1:16pm if paying attention. With better html tag:

    Ben 10:00am: “When condensation starts it is still the same volume that rises, only now its temperature reduces according the SALR, which is still an ADIABATIC lapse rate. Only when water droplets fall out of the volume, the process isn’t strictly adiabatic anymore.”

    You seem to be confusing ideal and natural LR. The saturated adiabat line at 3:55pm and the DALR are ideal and not possible in nature. The middle-latitude composite standard lapse (sometimes termed ELR) at 6.5K/km is not adiabatic as it is naturally slightly diabatic from all the real measured soundings of which it is comprised. Simply b/c no adiabatic, reversible process is allowed in nature by 2LOT. Water droplets condensing out or not isn’t the determining factor between ideal adiabatic and natural diabatic process.

    As Kristian points out “dry” atm. contains wv just not condensing liquid water (moisture) from atm. hitting the dew point. “Dry” means no moisture and does not mean no wv.

    ——

    Stephen 9:31am: “that everything still averages out to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate slope.”

    No, never & not everything, should be averages to only the composite middle-latitude ELR 6.5 not ideal DALR 9.8. You too are here confusing un-natural adiabatic ideal LR (DALR) with real non-ideal natural diabatic but designed, adopted by man ELR.

    11:46am: “Both are a consequence of vertical movement within a gravitational field.”

    Yes, nice progress Stephen, but only in composite ELR, the ideal DALR derivation was enabled by assuming a Will sized mass of air rises & goes thru a process at the same pressure as surroundings (assumption (1) at 11:24pm) so changing intermolecular forces do not come into play for DALR, you could see that in the math and differentials if you had accomplished an understanding of calculus. Meaning ideal Eqn. 2,3 & 4 would then be different more natural differentials including another reduction term resulting as shown at 8:07pm.

  128. Trick,

    I am not confusing anything. You are.

    There is the Dry ALR and the Moist ALR which relate to the presence or absence of water.

    Then there is the Environmental Lapse Rate or ELR which means any actual lapse rate which might exist at any given time or place which encompasses Dry ALR and Moist ALR but also covers all other lapse rate distortions from factors other than water.

    Behind all those is the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set solely by atmospheric mass and gravity which in practice never actually occurs except locally and temporarily.

    Nonetheless, if an atmosphere is to be retained, all the ELRs everywhere must average out over time to the ideal lapse rate otherwise hydrostatic equilibrium is lost.

  129. Ben Wouters says:

    Trick says: July 9, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    “You seem to be confusing ideal and natural LR. The saturated adiabat line at 3:55pm and the DALR are ideal and not possible in nature. ”
    One of us is confused, and I’m sure it is not me😉
    You’ve fallen in a trap beginners often make: thinking that the DALR and SALR have anything to say about the temperature profile of the troposphere or even higher. THEY DO NOT!
    The DALR describes the rate of change of the temperature INSIDE a vertically moving parcel, that moves in the atmosphere that is supposed to be in hydrostatic equilibrium.
    The SALR does the same, but condensation now takes place INSIDE the parcel.
    This process can be found daily everywhere on this planet.
    A rising thermal, a developing cumulonimbus cloud, wind blowing over a mountain, creating the Fohneffect etc etc.
    If you could attach a thermometer to the rising air under a cumulus cloud, you would find its temperature decreasing ~9,8K/km. Inside the cloud you would measure the SALR which is rather variable but around 5K/km initially. The DALR and SALR are ao used to calculate the cloudbase and cloudtops for convective clouds, and are amazingly accurate in doing that.

    see http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Lapse_rate
    “The term applies ambiguously to the environmental lapse rate and the process lapse rate, and the meaning must often by ascertained from the context.”
    Note the word ‘ambiguously’.

  130. Trick says:

    Stephen 3:15pm: ”There is the Dry ALR and the Moist ALR which relate to the presence or absence of water.”

    The moist ALR cannot be adiabatic Stephen in that wv condenses to water droplet (a cloud) and adds in energy, raising the T over surrounding Ts so it is diabatic (Moist DLR?).
    Repeating the ideal DALR = 9.8K/km, despite what Stephen easily imagines cannot exist in nature as fails 2LOT:

    11:24pm: dT/dz = dTs/dz = -(gamma-1)/gamma * (g/R) = -g/Cp Eqn. (4)

    Repeating the moist LR with a “dry” adiabatic component with T=Ts AND the additional change in T above Ts due ALL the wv condensing into cloud:

    8:07pm: dT/dz = –g/Cp – 1/Cp * d(Ws*Lv)/dz

    A single sounding in troposphere of varying ELR is hugely non-linear (but you could draw a straight line through it for an avg. LR to compare to the composite). This varying ELR includes the moist LR if it is not in clear sky meaning includes clouds, is non-hydrostatic, is diabatic, includes the T effect of intermolecular forces meaning pressure not equal to surroundings. Looking at the single ELR sounding some interpretations about weather might be made but not climate.

    Looking at the composite ELR = 6.5K/km of the Std. Atm. one can begin to make some observations about climate as it is annual, global middle-latitude, one solar cycle made up of huge amount (many thousands) of soundings. The US std. atm. though was developed for other reasons like altimeter calibration.

    ”Behind all those is the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set solely by atmospheric mass and gravity which in practice never actually occurs except locally and temporarily.”

    Confused Stephen, as I just wrote, the DALR cannot exist even locally and temporarily as it violates 2LOT which isn’t ever allowed even locally or temporarily.

    ——

    Ben 3:57pm: ”The DALR describes the rate of change of the temperature INSIDE a vertically moving parcel, that moves in the atmosphere..”

    It is Ben that is confused being imprecise with ambiguous words, try to be more precise with math and I can better point out your confusion. I precisely laid out the DALR (earth ~9.8K/km) at 11:24pm above, no confusion, use the math there to add precision to your posting for less confusion.

    As I just pointed out (AGAIN) to Stephen, DALR cannot exist in a parcel moving in the atm. as it violates 2LOT. The saturated adiabat (SALR) cannot exist in nature either for the same reason. Only diabatic ELRs can exist; a composite of which was adopted by committee equal to 6.5K/km on earth as I precisely laid out 1:33am above, no confusion.

    “If you could attach a thermometer to the rising air under a cumulus cloud, you would find its temperature decreasing ~9,8K/km..Inside the cloud you would measure the SALR.”

    Impossible, violates 2LOT. You could measure the diabatic ELR and it will vary wildly.

    ”DALR and SALR are ao used to calculate the cloudbase and cloudtops for convective clouds, and are amazingly accurate in doing that.”

    Agreed, the atm. Is generally close to adiabatic, and close to hydrostatic, and close to equal pressure locally the size of B787 (they avoid hurricanes). “Amazing” here means can est. T in K at any z to within say 5% to 20% (knowing surface T) up to tropopause using DALR/SALR. An ELR sounding will tell you exact T,barometer at each z to instrument accuracy/calib.

  131. Trick,

    You are thrashing about and spouting rubbish.

    http://kiwi.atmos.colostate.edu/group/dave/pdf/Moist_adiabatic_lapse_rate.pdf

    And the ‘ideal’ lapse rate is NOT the DALR.

    There is no breach of the 2nd Law.

  132. wayne says:

    Will: “Why not -g/ 2.3245 J/(gm x Kelvin) T/A. OTOH it seems not to be -g/0.7625 J/(gm x Kelvin) that would be the radiative lapse rate! ”

    Absolutely. Both of those examples WOULD have a different overall mean lapse (-temperature gradient) in the lower troposphere where thermodynamics rules, not radiation.

    Fourier had radiation wrapped within his equations, but it is always there. Thermodynamics has radiation wrapped within its equations, but it is always there. It is just that the local radiation cannot escape to space yet, just too thick (see Beer’s or Beer-Lambert).

  133. Trick says:

    Stephen 6:22pm: Your google-fu is weak, your link has the same equations I’ve posted; don’t pretend to suddenly be able to read calculus. Try to find a link that at least differs from my postings, you know, to sort out the rubbish. Just compare my equations to the ones in your link – I know this is beyond your ken but try. Even most of the arbitrary symbols are the same, makes it simpler. Go for it. Show me the rubbish.

    I’m not at all surprised you couldn’t see the eqn.s are the same. Especially compare (8) which adds in a term for moist static energy and (23) the moist adiabatic LR corrected from dry (like my 8:07pm). Any process being adiabatic is an approximation as noted, a breach of the 2LOT. There is no perfect insulation.

  134. Ben Wouters says:

    Trick says: July 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    “It is Ben that is confused being imprecise with ambiguous words, try to be more precise with math and I can better point out your confusion”
    Not necessary, you even agree with me (apparently unconsciously).

    Trick says: July 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm
    “So, Poisson considered the decrease of temperature of the Will sized quantity of air as it ascends (or descends) in such a way that its pressure is always that of the surrounding air.”
    Notice the words ascends and descends.

    Your confusion is not in the derivation of g/cp, which looks like the usual method, but where it is applicable.
    see http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Process_lapse_rate
    Especially ‘The process lapse rate is determined by the character of the fluid processes and should be carefully distinguished from the environmental lapse rate, which is determined by the distribution of temperature in space.’
    Notice ‘carefully distinguished’.

    ” “Amazing” here means can est. T in K at any z to within say 5% to 20% (knowing surface T) up to tropopause using DALR/SALR.”
    Total nonsense. Given a temperature profile for a certain place and time, it is possible to predict whether convection will occur, and using the surface temp. and dewpoint it is possible to forecast at which altitude IN the convecting air a cloud will begin to form. This is usually spot on when the initial parameters are accurate. The temperature profile together with the SALR also show to which altitude the cloud will be allowed to rise.
    This is really very basic meteorology.
    Little more advanced:
    it is possible to calculate CAPE, a number that indicates the probability of severe convecting cloud formation like thunderstorms or even supercells.
    see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convective_available_potential_energy

  135. wayne says:

    Ben, I think Trick is asking for the equations that show how the DALR, SALR, CAPE and all of your other etc. have anything to do and/or have effects on climates over, say ten or twenty or thirty years. That has been the thrust of this site until you appeared, climate oriented.

    Even better, how does the above properties (DALR, SALR, CAPE) that you keep dragging into the conversation affect the climates on other neighboring bodies also with thick atmospheres just like ours. Those climates also warmed parallel with Earth’s slight warming in the period ’70s upto the 2000’s,

    I would like that answer from you also. Is it your sole intention to form a derversion? To pull the long-term conversation here at TalkShop on climate off-track into daily weather?

  136. Ben Wouters says:
    July 9, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Trick says: July 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    (” “Amazing” here means can est. T in K at any z to within say 5% to 20% (knowing surface T) up to tropopause using DALR/SALR.”)

    “Total nonsense. Given a temperature profile for a certain place and time, it is possible to predict whether convection will occur, and using the surface temp. and dewpoint it is possible to forecast at which altitude IN the convecting air a cloud will begin to form. This is usually spot on when the initial parameters are accurate. The temperature profile together with the SALR also show to which altitude the cloud will be allowed to rise. This is really very basic meteorology.”

    Total nonsense, indeed Ben, Given a temperature profile for a certain place and time, The actual lapse rate is known and any vertical movement must follow “that” lapse rate Given a location that already has cloud cover and a surface temperature and dewpoint that are the same, at what level will a cloud form, from the “currently convecting” surface? You claim the current must ascend at your illusionary SALR as it is saturated with WV. The lower layers of the continuum can easily have a lapse rate of greater slope than your illusionary SALR! Your claim then is that the ascending column will always have a higher temperature than the continuum. How can this be? 🙂

  137. Trick says:

    Ben 8:29pm: “Notice ‘carefully distinguished’.”

    I did.

    “Total nonsense. Given a temperature profile…”

    Given a temperature profile, Ben HAS the local ELR doesn’t need the earth DALR 9.8, or earth composite ELR 6.5 for estimating T at a z. Instead of purchasing expensive sounding equipment to get the local T profile, they can be used to estimate weather without that dead nuts ELR to get amazingly close to where a cloud will begin to form and allowed to rise. Or just look up at the sky Ben, you know when the remote sensing, rocket or balloon goes & gets your given T profile. This is really very basic meteorology. Intro. text stuff. First few chapters even. Same as 50 years ago.

    I’ll maybe add more on CAPE later, it is interesting weather calculation as wayne notes. I also note Tim C. likes to discuss weather too wayne.

  138. Stephen Wilde says: July 9, 2015 at 11:46 am

    “Will,PE for gas molecules in an atmosphere is created both by work done in lifting the molecules up vertically against gravity but also by work done in increasing the spaces between molecules against the intermolecular attractive forces as reducing pressure allows them to move apart. Both are a consequence of vertical movement within a gravitational field.”

    There is no work done in moving any fluid mass in any direction within this atmosphere, except for some acceleration/deceleration of that mass; all tangential to the rotational axis of this planet. The pressure, density, temperature gradient replaces all gravitational force on the compressible fluid itself. The intermolecular forces are so weak they are only evident/expressible at very low temperatures. You have no claim for KE to PE interchange with altitude of this fluid. Why would someone even try to conserve energy in this atmosphere?
    As molecules rise they loose power to space via EMR. As they descend they gain energy from the continuum. No energy so lofted ever returns to the surface, by any means! The whole purpose of this atmosphere is to discard insolation to space. That it does, more effectively and controllably, that the surface possibly can! 🙂

  139. wayne says:

    “I also note Tim C. likes to discuss weather too wayne.”

    Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong at all discussing weather. We have some real looloos here.

    Trick, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a real weather enthusiast my whole life. Where I live you have to, and be correct! I am the one that warns my family of everything on the horizon, why or why not. Just don’t want people confusing weather and climate and then trying to tell you that you must must be crazy when speaking of climate… that the DALR says this, the SALR says that and such like they cannot even differentiate between the two subjects temporally.

    Probably need a weekly thread on what the weather around the world is going to be like this next weekend. I might join in. Surely there is something scary or unusual happening somewhere in this gigantic planet to give the meteo centrics a place to have at it.😉 That is where the instantaneous temperature gradiaents, the ALRs and CAPE call home.

    I have always been here to talk climate, what is actual long-term, what is about to happen in Paris with all of these greedy, dishonest, politically driven people creating this charade and prove that they are all deranged. A change in the trace co2 is never going to make a measurable difference.

  140. In reply to Will who said:

    “There is no work done in moving any fluid mass in any direction within this atmosphere, except for some acceleration/deceleration of that mass;”

    Convection IS acceleration and deceleration in the vertical plane.

    “The intermolecular forces are so weak they are only evident/expressible at very low temperatures. You have no claim for KE to PE interchange with altitude of this fluid.”

    It is because they are so weak for gases that work done in uplift and descent readily converts KE to PE and back again via expansion and contraction. The stronger forces for liquids and solids do nor permit significant expansion and contraction. For gases, that expansion and contraction is very large relative to the mass involved and so the amount of energy transformation is similarly large. Meteorology recognises that the vertical columns of rising and falling air contain very large amounts of potential energy.

    “The whole purpose of this atmosphere is to discard insolation to space. That it does, more effectively and controllably, that the surface possibly can!”

    The gases of the atmosphere are mostly very poor radiators and so this is simply incorrect.

  141. Trick said:

    “Any process being adiabatic is an approximation as noted, a breach of the 2LOT. There is no perfect insulation.”

    I never said otherwise.

    The process always shows ‘leakage’ but once work has been done with or against gravity that portion of the process is adiabatic because work done with or against gravity cannot simultaneously be used for other work or for another thermal process.

    You problem is not in the equations that you refer to but rather in your interpretation of how those equations play out in a real atmosphere.

    There is no breach of the 2LOT.

  142. Stephen Wilde says: July 10, 2015 at 5:42 am

    In reply to Will who said:

    (“There is no work done in moving any fluid mass in any direction within this atmosphere, except for some acceleration/deceleration of that mass;”)

    “Convection IS acceleration and deceleration in the vertical plane.”

    Convection is but the radial component of the surface induced tangential momentum of the fluid of the boundary layer. No other force is available for acceleration.

    (“The intermolecular forces are so weak they are only evident/expressible at very low temperatures. You have no claim for KE to PE interchange with altitude of this fluid.”)

    “It is because they are so weak for gases that work done in uplift and descent readily converts KE to PE and back again via expansion and contraction. The stronger forces for liquids and solids do nor permit significant expansion and contraction. For gases, that expansion and contraction is very large relative to the mass involved and so the amount of energy transformation is similarly large. Meteorology recognises that the vertical columns of rising and falling air contain very large amounts of potential energy.”

    What complete religious nonsense Show any work being done! Please give any measurement of your fantasy KE to PE to KE conversion? There is no such conversion! Why do you even want such a thing?

    (“The whole purpose of this atmosphere is to discard insolation to space. That it does, more effectively and controllably, that the surface possibly can!”)

    “The gases of the atmosphere are mostly very poor radiators and so this is simply incorrect.”

    The WV content of this fluid atmosphere is a better radiator than the surface! The airborne water condensate can build such large atmospheric structures (clouds), that such can discard to space near twice what the surface can do!🙂

  143. Roger Clague says:

    Trick says:
    July 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    dT/dz = –g/Cp – 1/Cp * d(Ws*Lv)/dz
    Ws = saturation mixing ratio
    Lv = enthalpy of vaporization
    For example, mixing ratio of 0.001 (1g/kg) which corresponds to very dry air & Lv=2.5*10^6 J/kg find about 2.5K temperature difference

    dT/dz = -g/cp -1/cp*d(Ws*Lv)/dz
    1. I don’t see why the d’s are needed
    2. Ws at 300K = 30g/kg = 0.03 , you have used W = 0.001 = 1g/kg
    3. T/z = -g/cp is dimensionally balanced. The Ws*Lv/cp term unbalances the dimensions of the equation.
    4. Why use Cp? The pressure is not constant, it is changing exponentially.
    5. We are not calculating a temperature difference. We are calculating a temperature gradient

    I see things differently

    Air with 1g/kg of H20 (g) is not dry. It is RH =3%. There are 10^19 molecules per litre.
    Air everywhere has enough H2O(g)to cause the T/h

    The H2O (g) molecules are absorbing energy from the sun. It is the cv of H2O (g) that is causing T/h and so should be used in the equation. The H2O (g) quickly transfers energy to the bulk of the air, N2 and O2 take up the temperature set by the H2O (g).
    The N2 and O2 can be ignored when calculating T/h.

    Latent heat does not affect T/h

    T/h = -g/cv H2O (g) = 9.8/1.46 = 6.7K/km, as is observed

  144. Trick says:

    Stephen 5:49am: ” I never said otherwise.”

    Which you should have since DALR is a breach of the 2LOT, it is defined to be perfect “adiabatic” insulation, only an approximation (but a close one) to imperfect insulation in always diabatic nature.

    “..that portion of the process is adiabatic…”

    A breach of the 2LOT. Your problem, Stephen, continues to be using only your imagination and ambiguous words instead of precise math so to draw unnatural conclusions like “that portion of the process is adiabatic.There is no breach of the 2LOT.”

    ——

    Will 7:26am: “No other force is available for acceleration.”

    There is the buoyant force which Stephen is trying to imagine for you w/o eqn.s. Weather balloons make use of this force. May the force be with you – it is: your weight is holding you on the ground.

    ——

    Roger 10:43am: Seems like your #5 answers your #1.

    Yes, you can call Cp a function but doing so complicates the work invested without much return, it is only an intro. course here, wait for Thermo. 401. Cp over the range of earth atm. troposphere pressure and temperature doesn’t change enough for a beginning course. So intro. courses point that out and hold Cp constant to start things off focusing on the important details.

    Air even including wv is dry if no condensed moisture is present. To be wet, need liquid water – moisture – not just wv.

    The units balance, you will need to show your work.

    Latent heat is large part of the correction from adiabatic 9.8 down to your diabatic 6.7K/km. This correction is much larger than holding Cp constant so is part of an intro. course in say Chapt. 5 for those students don’t drop out after the first exam.

  145. Trick says: July 10, 2015 at 1:21 pm
    Will 7:26am: “No other force is available for acceleration.”

    There is the buoyant force which Stephen is trying to imagine for you w/o eqn.s. Weather balloons make use of this force. May the force be with you – it is: your weight is holding you on the ground.

    Indeed: but the weight of the atmosphere does not hold the surface atmosphere there! No work is required to move 1.29 kg of atmosphere to 6 km, but it does get bigger, reducing its energy density!🙂

  146. Roger Clague says:

    Trick says:
    July 10, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Air even including wv is dry if no condensed moisture is present. To be wet, need liquid water – moisture – not just wv.
    The units balance, you will need to show your work.

    1. Dimensional analysis of T/h = g/c
    2. Dry/moist/wet air

    1.Dimension analysis -My favourite
    T/h = K/m
    Remarkably also g/c = K/m
    It is tedious to do here but it works using c=J/kgK, J=Nm, N = kgms^2

    Your term WL/c
    W has no dimension
    L =J/kg, c = J/kg/K
    WL/c =K
    Your latent heat based correction has different dimension to T/h and g/c

    2. dry/moist/wet air
    There is no difference, all have enough H2O(g), WV. to cause T/h
    Observed T/h = 6.5K/km. G = 10m/s^2 so the c we need is 1.5J/KgK.
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-capacity-gases-d_159.html
    The nearest is cv of WV. 1.46J/kgK
    This makes sense. WV is the most abundant IR active molecule (GHG).
    The atmosphere volume is constant.

  147. Trick says:

    Roger 8:54pm: Thanks for showing your work, makes it easily possible to show your error. You correctly write, g/Cp = K/m then WL/C = K but I wrote 8:07pm above for moist air:

    dT/dz = –g/Cp – 1/Cp * d(Ws*Lv)/dz

    so you simply missed the meters (m) in my RHS 2nd term denominator, then find correctly that the second term units are K/m.

    Not sure what you mean by the nearest Cv for water vapor. This formula I just re-wrote is for moist air so the Cp is rightly the specific heat capacity of some liquid water rather than just wv Cp. The correction from wv Cp is small because Ws is small (at 280K order of 0.01). For a rising air mass in which condensation occurs, the saturation mixing ratio Ws decreases with increasing z.

    As a consequence, the lapse rate of my Will sized moist air mass (your 6.5 and 6.7) is less than the DALR 9.8. And another consequence is that the local LR approaches 9.8 with increasing z, gradually returning to DALR from moist LR. An implicit assumption here being any liquid water formed by condensation (on a condensation nuclei at saturation when T and dew point converge) within the air mass is carried with it in its ascent. That restriction can be removed, but it is complicated Ws goes to Wt the total water mixing ratio. This comes in handy discussing cloud liquid water content. For another thread.

  148. Trick says: July 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    “As a consequence, the lapse rate of my Will sized moist air mass (your 6.5 and 6.7) is less than the DALR 9.8. And another consequence is that the local LR approaches 9.8 with increasing z, gradually returning to DALR from moist LR. An implicit assumption here being any liquid water formed by condensation (on a condensation nuclei at saturation when T and dew point converge) within the air mass is carried with it in its ascent. That restriction can be removed, but it is complicated Ws goes to Wt the total water mixing ratio. This comes in handy discussing cloud liquid water content. For another thread.”

    Thank you again for demonstrating that there is no adiabatic lapse rate anywhere in this atmosphere! All atmosphere ‘must’ transfer some energy to its environment (space) via EMR. At increasing z nothing can approach your fictitious DALR as now that airborne water condensate obeys no gas laws or that pressure/density ratio, (work/mole), that determines the lapse rate for any mixture of “gases” in a gravitational field! All you have is fake religion, no science!🙂

  149. Trick says: July 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    “A breach of the 2LOT.”

    Cannot you get your mind away from “temperature” indicates kinetic energy of a mass? In any gas temperature is some function of elastic collisions per nanosecond per unit volume. As the molar volume is decreased (compression) the energy density is increased, with a necessary increase in temperature, but indicating no increase in the energy of that molar mass! All additional energy is in the higher pressure not in the mass.🙂

  150. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 9, 2015 at 10:00 am:

    “To maintain hydrostatic equilibrium the pressure has to be at a certain value for each altitude to ‘carry’ the weight of the atmosphere above. This pressure is caused by the TEMPERATURE of the air at that altitude. So there MUST be a certain lapse rate.”

    But only in the troposphere. Why do you think this is? You need to see the bigger picture, Ben. On this I agree with wayne.

    “Since the troposphere is mostly warmed from the surface, this gives a temperature profile, dictated by the surface temperature, the rate of energy loss THROUGH the atmosphere to space, gravity, and how much the atmosphere expands against gravity (mass, composition).”

    Indeed. And how is the troposphere warmed from the surface? In other words, what process is it that constantly makes sure that the energy/’heat’ from the surface is and stays distributed along a certain (average) gradient in the troposphere?

    “Why an average 6,5K/km? The combination of the above factors apparently result in this number.”

    Ben, please. Try to move just one step further along. These factors apparently result in this number? In the average global troposphere. Where the average global ALR lies on the continuum between 5 and 10 K/km. Why isn’t the average global ELR below 5 K/km? Or above 10 K/km? No lightbulb moment approaching? Absolutely no connection to be seen?

    What determines the stability and/or instability of an air mass? The local ELR vs. the local …?

    “This ELR is interrupted in the stratosphere by warming due interaction with of solar UV.”

    You know this is bullshit, Ben. There is solar radiative warming going on in the troposphere as well. But in the troposphere there is effective vertical circulation of air going on (turnover), overriding the tendency towards temperature stratification. In the stratosphere, there isn’t, and so temperature stratification is free to develop. Static warming of an atmospheric column would lead to stratospheric temperature conditions; dynamic vertical warming from the surface effectively prevents it from being established. But only as far as the surface warming and the atmospheric mass allow it to, that is, to the tropopause. Other massive atmospheres in our solar system also exhibit such an end to/a reversal of the tropospheric lapse rate, even without any ozone in the air layers above it.

    “A rising volume (thermal or whatever) cools according the DALR, When condensation starts it is still the same volume that rises, only now its temperature reduces according the SALR, which is still an ADIABATIC lapse rate. Only when water droplets fall out of the volume, the process isn’t strictly adiabatic anymore.”

    I sort of agree. All I’m saying is, the release of latent heat inside the rising volume introduces a ‘diabatic’ (non-adiabatic) component to the temperature falloff process, and so the temperature falloff rate of the rising volume is no longer determined purely by its adiabatic cooling (which, I agree, is still there to the exact same extent).

  151. Ben Wouters says:

    Kristian says: July 20, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    (Ben Wouters says, July 9, 2015 at 10:00 am:

    “To maintain hydrostatic equilibrium the pressure has to be at a certain value for each altitude to ‘carry’ the weight of the atmosphere above. This pressure is caused by the TEMPERATURE of the air at that altitude. So there MUST be a certain lapse rate.”)

    “But only in the troposphere.”
    Why only in the troposphere? In the mesophere we also see decreasing temperature vs altitude.
    The exception is the stratosphere where almost all solar uv is intercepted and causes an increasing temperature vs altitude. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratosphere

    “And how is the troposphere warmed from the surface? In other words, what process is it that constantly makes sure that the energy/’heat’ from the surface is and stays distributed along a certain (average) gradient in the troposphere?”
    Energy from the surface is relayed to the atmosphere by conduction, radiation and evaporation.
    In the boundary layer turbulence, convection, conduction and radiation distribute this energy.
    Above the boundary layer (max ~3000m) conduction and radiation, together with the occasional cb or larger weather systems (low pressure areas) all play their role.

    “Ben, please. Try to move just one step further along. These factors apparently result in this number? In the average global troposphere. Where the average global ALR lies on the continuum between 5 and 10 K/km. ”
    If I knew the exact reason for the average 6,5 K/km temperature profile I would gladly give it. Just too many variables involved. (effect of cloudcover being the largest unknown)
    The DALR is directly linked to the average ELR, because rising/sinking air moves WITHIN an atmosphere that is supposed to be in hydrostatic equlibrium. The hydrostatic equlibrium for earth apparently requires this average 6,5K/m.

    “What determines the stability and/or instability of an air mass? The local ELR vs. the local …?”
    The local temperature profile determines stability. Comparing it to initially the DALR and mixing ratio line shows whether rising air will continue to rise and if clouds will form.
    If clouds form in the rising air, from then on we compare the local temperature profile against the SALR to see how far these clouds will rise. eg. temperature inversions as in a high pressure area, or as at the tropopause usually stop all convection above their altitude.

    “Static warming of an atmospheric column would lead to stratospheric temperature conditions; dynamic vertical warming from the surface effectively prevents it from being established.”
    Suggest to re-think hydrostatic equlibrium. What you write here is nonsense.

    “All I’m saying is, the release of latent heat inside the rising volume introduces a ‘diabatic’ (non-adiabatic) component to the temperature falloff process, and so the temperature falloff rate of the rising volume is no longer determined purely by its adiabatic cooling”
    As a rising volume starts is ascend, its temperature and wv content are the starting point for the following process. The amount of wv with its related latent heat are part of the energy content of the volume. When latent heat is released, this happens WITHIN the rising volume, and no heat is exchanged with the surrounding air (so still adiabatic)
    Exception is water droplets that leave the volume (rain). The process is now considered pseudo adiabatic, since the expansion still gives the cooling effect, and the release of latent heat still reduce this cooling effect.

  152. Kristian says:

    Ben Wouters says, July 21, 2015 at 9:31 am:

    “Why only in the troposphere? In the mesophere we also see decreasing temperature vs altitude.
    The exception is the stratosphere where almost all solar uv is intercepted and causes an increasing temperature vs altitude. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratosphere

    Did you even read what I wrote, Ben!? There simply is no talking to you, it seems.

    “Energy from the surface is relayed to the atmosphere by conduction, radiation and evaporation.
    In the boundary layer turbulence, convection, conduction and radiation distribute this energy.
    Above the boundary layer (max ~3000m) conduction and radiation, together with the occasional cb or larger weather systems (low pressure areas) all play their role.”

    Still not able to think one step further, I see? Completely locked in tunnel vision mode.

    “If I knew the exact reason for the average 6,5 K/km temperature profile I would gladly give it. Just too many variables involved. (effect of cloudcover being the largest unknown)
    The DALR is directly linked to the average ELR, because rising/sinking air moves WITHIN an atmosphere that is supposed to be in hydrostatic equlibrium. The hydrostatic equlibrium for earth apparently requires this average 6,5K/m.”

    Priceless! Now you’re just pulling my leg, I’m sure.

    Ben, you appear to be of the Doug Cotton school (cult?) who promotes the idea that there would be a temperature gradient in a massive atmosphere simply based on gravity and mass, that this atmosphere could well be completely static and stratified, 100% hydrostatic equilibrium at all times throughout, and still there would be an average 6.5 K/km temp gradient. You are aware that this goes against the entire field of atmospheric physics …?

    “The local temperature profile determines stability. Comparing it to initially the DALR and mixing ratio line shows whether rising air will continue to rise and if clouds will form.
    If clouds form in the rising air, from then on we compare the local temperature profile against the SALR to see how far these clouds will rise. eg. temperature inversions as in a high pressure area, or as at the tropopause usually stop all convection above their altitude.”

    One more step now, Ben. Just one more step. Lift your head, look past the tip of your nose. You’re only evading the actual issue with minutiae.

    ELR is always compared to the ALR (DALR or the SALR) for a reason. It is of course rarely exactly like any of the two at any particular point in time, most of the times it is above or below. But what happens when you average all temperature profiles all across the globe through one entire year (or several years)? The mean global ELR will converge on the mean global ALR. Because the ALR is the ideal (theoretical) benchmark gradient around which the ELR fluctuates, constraining the observed gradient.

    Your unwillingness to see this basic and natural relationship is actually quite baffling, Ben.

    I’m ONLY talking about averages. Annual averages. Global averages.

    “Suggest to re-think hydrostatic equlibrium. What you write here is nonsense.”

    Says the Doug Cotton acolyte.

    “As a rising volume starts is ascend, its temperature and wv content are the starting point for the following process. The amount of wv with its related latent heat are part of the energy content of the volume. When latent heat is released, this happens WITHIN the rising volume, and no heat is exchanged with the surrounding air (so still adiabatic)”

    *Sigh*

    Ben, I’m not talking about the adiabatic process no longer being adiabatic. I’m saying that the SALR is not a purely adiabatic gradient, because it includes also a temperature-changing component that is NON-adiabatic. It makes no difference if this component/process happens within the rising volume or not. This particular process changes the bulk temperature of the rising volume of air in a completely NON-ADIABATIC manner. It is totally and fundamentally unrelated to the adiabatic expansional cooling going on at the same time. And that’s why the SALR gradient is less than the DALR. Because the DALR one contains only the adiabatic cooling component, the SALR one contains the adiabatic cooling component AND the non-adiabatic warming component.

    How hard is this to grasp!?