The atmosphere, why the dispute over what causes what is?

Posted: July 30, 2015 by tchannon in atmosphere, Gravity, radiative theory, Thermodynamics

A few days ago Hockey Schtick brought up Feynman deriving the basic atmospheric gas and temperature profile without mentioning radiation and showing that classical physics fails, quantum mechanics is required.

Image

From Fenyman lectures VOL 1, Chapter 40, showing the contradiction between classic physics and reality, annotated by author. This is one and the same as the ultra-violet catastrophe matter, both needing a quantum physics jump.

Two explanations for one thing might be the food of cats or thought experiments but is not valid in the real world, one planet, although sometimes looking at the state of people I wonder.

The Caltech site holding these lectures uses javascript, navigation is not right for use here so I have provided a table with direct links

The Talkshop thanks Calctech et al

This blog has an enduring interest in atmospheric matters with many articles directly or by discussion deviation producing much hot air on what is really going on, including original work.

Any theories on why, perverseness aside, there is disagreement?

h/t Hockey Schtick

Post by Tim

Comments
  1. Roger Clague says:

    tchannon says:

    This is one and the same as the ultra-violet catastrophe matter, both needing a quantum physics jump.

    Anomalous specific heats of gasses and UV measurements are not one and the same.
    They are both deviations from classical physics.
    Statistical mechanics was first used on gasses and later applied to radiation.
    Statistical mechanics of molecular matter,gasses, is called Kinetic theory
    Statistical mechanics of sub atomic matter is called quantum mechanics

  2. I almost submitted a comment to the Hockeyschtick post yesterday, but decided who was I to keep others from stumbling their own way to the truth, when all I had was definitive evidence against the consensus theories and somewhat better physical insight than just about anybody with a “climate theory” (and much better than anybody, or any government, with a “climate policy”). Perhaps I was wrong to refrain as I did (but the audiences on these blogs are small, and there’s the rub).

    I read the referenced Feynman lecture, or the parts that were at all interesting or relevant to the climate science debates. To put it bluntly, Feynman was a poor physics instructor, overall; while his lectures were filled with golden nuggets of solid information, he wandered all over the map to get where he was going, or to get not much of anywhere at all. (I see now he was a hippie in his teaching, and his popularity probably was responsible for all those later “Physics For Poets (and other non-scientists)” courses that were offered to non-physics majors (at least in the ’70s, when I taught one).

    There is not the slightest evidence, in the above graph or in Feynman’s lecture, that quantum mechanics is responsible, or in any way needed, for the “anomalous specific heats” (as Roger Clague calls them above — I don’t remember what words Feynman used in the lecture to describe them). Note particularly, the graph does not present the quantum mechanical prediction for the specific heats, it presents “reality” vs. the supposed “classic” (“classical”?) physics predictions. Feynman highlighted TWO “classic physics” predictions, however, for the same diatomic ideal gas — 1.4 and 1.286. He did this by counting the number of degrees of freedom in two different ways, and applying what is known as the equipartition theorem that says each degree of freedom provides 1/2 kT in energy to the molecule. What he failed to say, or even hint at, is that you don’t have to bring in quantum mechanics to do that (nor did he show that evoking the name “quantum mechanics”, as he did, provided for any, much less all, of the actual points on the “reality” curves in the graph — or as I wrote above, the graph does not present any quantum mechanical predictions). His appeal to quantum mechanics was gratuitous and fact-free, purely speculative, and I’m sure he regrets it now, as he can look down and see how you all have glommed onto it as if it were sacred writ.

    Strangely, I addressed the subject, of the specific heat of the atmosphere, in my most recent blog post, “Convection Is Instability, and Does Not Rule”, and it is almost like hockeyschtick ignored me (that’s a joke, alright? everyone ignores me–and everybody else with different ideas–as much as they can) when I hinted at the real problem in the climate science debates: “Why is the effective specific heat of the tropospheric atmosphere so precisely just 1.5 times that of a diatomic ideal gas?” (I disagree that it is due to the accidental concentration of any “greenhouse gas”, particularly either carbon dioxide or water vapor, or to convection, or “convective cooling”, and I reject, for now, the very idea of a “wet” versus “dry”, so-called “adiabatic lapse rate” (because, again, the difference would depend upon the amount of “wet” involved, wouldn’t it, and that would vary with altitude, and thus give an unreal, non-constant lapse rate, wouldn’t it?); it is the hydrostatic lapse rate, period, and the only question is why, in the formula for it (-g/c), is the specific heat c exactly 50% higher than that for a diatomic ideal gas? (Or equivalently, why is the lapse rate -6.5 K/km instead of -9.8 K/km?)

    I, for one, don’t believe the answer is to be found in quantum mechanics (any more than I am prepared to accept the “wet adiabatic” theory). I expect it is to be found in the proper enumeration of the degrees of freedom actually involved, in the molecules of the atmosphere, and I do not think I am making only a formal distinction with quantum mechanics–or the “wet adiabatic” crowd, for that matter–when I say that. Only time will tell.

  3. Disagreements are rife because these are difficult concepts to express both mathematically and verbally such that different interpretations of what is meant can easily be set against one another.

    We all have our own idiosyncratic ways of looking at the world so that the same set of figures or of phrases can mean very different things to different people.

    My continuing disagreement with Kristian and wayne over the correct description of an adiabatic process within an atmosphere constrained by a gravity field is a good example.

    I find myself in agreement with Kristian’s general overview but cannot accept that particular aspect for reasons which I have set out many times.

    As for Feynman’s work, his approach to the role of mass and gravity seems to fit well with mine.

  4. It all depends on the assumptions one makes and the limits one works in. If one assumes no limits and infinity it can not account for the actual physical limits people experience. With no limits you can make up all sorts of scenarios which my or not be real if restricted to observable limits. I have doubts about quantum mechanics and string theories. Maybe there are more than 4 dimensions but how is one to prove that 10 dimensions supposedly calculated in string theory by Shing-Tau Yau and others has any meaning.
    Have a look at this http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/modern-physics-meaningless-sacrifice-of.html Prof. Johnson has put a good case that Classical Physics has a place. Also, note his post http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/new-theory-of-flight-accepted-for.html where he and colleagues have disproved the work of Prandtl

  5. I agree with Harry Huffman that the Feynman material goes unnecessarily beyond the basic simplicity of mass and gravity setting up a hydrostatic balance which creates the lapse rate via decreasing pressure and density with height.

    I see mass and gravity as setting the basic structure of the atmosphere which, at equilibrium, balances energy in from space with energy out to space.

    Convection inevitably follows on from uneven surface heating and also serves to negate all thermal imbalances including those caused by radiative characteristics of constituent atmospheric molecules or aerosols so that hydrostatic balance can be maintained for as long as insolation continues.

    I don’t agree with everything Harry says but he is right to point out that 1.5 ratio and the other ratio he previously pointed out here:

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

    of 1.176

  6. ren says:

    “The reason for the difference is that an iodine atom is very heavy, compared with hydrogen, and although the forces may be comparable in iodine and hydrogen, the iodine molecule is so heavy that the natural frequency of vibration is very low compared with the natural frequency of
    hydrogen.”
    http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_40.html#Ch40-S6

  7. dscott says:

    Why the difference? I should think that is rather obvious, we don’t know all the variables and some people are simply too egotistical to admit to that possible oversight on their part.

    Chaos is not the absence of order, chaos is the absence of mind to see the order. We believe that weather is chaotic because we don’t have the knowledge nor the computing power currently to calculate it. Yet, innately, we perceive an elusive order that is just beyond our grasp and then explain our ignorance away as anthropomorphizing a random pattern. Is it really random? Is it really a pattern? You know the Mayans produced a wonderfully accurate calendar, were meticulous observers of the night sky and yet understood little of what we know today. I wonder in a 100 years, if that future generation will see us a enlightened yet ignorant as the Mayans?

  8. dscott says:

    I do notice one thing which brings to mind something that is done in calculus equations, shape fitting using derivatives to simulate a slope for a given value to form the projected curve. The accuracy of a summation is based on the number of summations, e.g. x -> 10 vs x -> 5. Is the disagreement between reality and calculation an artifact of the modelers assumptions? Or creating a complex formula that always produces a hockey stick?

  9. dscott says:

    Just to add some context, here is some observed pressure temperature profiles of Venus:

    http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/vel/1918vpt.htm

  10. Roger Clague says:

    The real specific heat of gasses catastrophe is this:

    Gas Molar mass g Specific heat J/gK
    H 2 15
    He 4 5
    H2O 18 2
    N2 28 1
    Cl2 71 0.5

    According to classical thermodynamics more mass needs more heat energy to change temperature
    Heat energy = mcT
    For gasses the specific heat is proportional to 1/molar mass.

    Only the counter- intuitive mole concept can explain this.
    gas heat energy = NRT R = gas constant
    = m/MRT m = mass M = molar mass
    = m x R/M x T
    M x R/M x T = mcT
    c = R/M
    That is specific heat proportional to 1/M

  11. I agree 100% with Dr. Spencer, and it has been proven through observation and experimentation.

  12. Salvatore Del Prete says: July 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    “I agree 100% with Dr. Spencer, and it has been proven through observation and experimentation.”

    SDP, The Sophistry expressed by PhD Meteorologists Is never a proof. It is but an untested conjecture that describes some observation and measurement. Never has been proposed an experiment whose results would falsify such conjecture. Never by meteorologists, now called atmospheric physicists, or anyone interested in such falsification, Never any attempted experiment!🙂

  13. Salvatore,

    I disagree with Roy Spencer because he thinks a non radiative atmosphere would become isothermal.

    It could not do so due to uneven surface heating causing density variations in the horizontal plane which would inevitably result in convective overturning due to the decline in pressure and density with height.

    There is no observation of a planet with an isothermal atmosphere and the degree of radiative capability of the atmospheric constituents has not been observed to have any effect on the decline in density and pressure with height.

    According to Roy a less radiative atmosphere would tend more towards being isothermal than a more radiative atmosphere but that has never been observed.

    Logically, if a more radiative atmosphere reduces the trend towards an isothermal structure then it could only be because radiative gases have a cooling effect from within the atmosphere but that is the opposite of what is contended.

    A very curious logical conundrum.

  14. It makes sense to me and I am in complete agreement with Dr. Spencer on this particular item although I disagree with him on other matters.

  15. Quantum mechanics is required for understanding at an atomic level. Quantum electrodynamics is required for understanding the EMR effects of the electron cloud in the vicinity of a nucleus of an atom. None of this is required for understanding of how atmospheric macroscopic elements (mass motion, energy transfer) operate! What has been lacking is: 1) Verifiable challenge to conjecture from stupidity, or political goal. 2) How the measured gas parameters. Pressure, temperature, density, velocity, viscosity, Reynolds number, Hydrogen bond, all interact. In this semi-compressible fluid, not a gas, but
    a composite of all kinds of atomic mass, in all phases, within a gravitational field. (including aircraft).
    If anyone can demonstrate understanding, I want some of what you been smokin!🙂 -will-

  16. Stephen Wilde says: July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    “Salvatore, I disagree with Roy Spencer because he thinks a non radiative atmosphere would become isothermal.”

    In a non radiative atmosphere in a gravitational field this atmosphere would be thermodynamically both isothermal, and isobaric, because the thermal potential difference and the pressure potential difference is opposed by gravitational potential difference. This cancels all spontaneous heat conduction, and all spontaneous air mass movement in a direction of lower pressure. This is per Drs Maxwell/Boltzmann. This atmospheric does have a “thermostatic” temperature and pressure gradients as per Dr J. Loschmidt. Roger Clague please read the Loschmidt stuff for understanding.🙂

  17. Konrad says:

    Sadly Hockey Schtick’s misrepresentation of Feynman made it to the “Andrew Bolt”, the most read political blog in Australian. I make no apology for the use of the GAU-8 and 1600 rounds of party mix –

    Fulcrum,
    I would suggest you re-read your links. Richard Feynman is not personally supporting the supposed 33K “greenhouse effect”, rather he is simply showing that the observed lapse rate / temperature distribution in the atmosphere is dependant on vertical circulation of gas across the gravity induced pressure gradient in the atmosphere, and is not the result of radiative forcing.

    Hockeystick is misrepresenting Feynman in using his work to find an alternate explanation for surface temperatures being 33K higher than a blackbody illuminated with 240 w/m2 of solar radiation. This is an exercise in futility as there is no 33K greenhouse effect to explain .

    The mistake made by all climastrologists and sadly many sceptics is accepting 255K as a figure for “surface without radiative atmosphere”. This incorrect figure is derived by using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to determine the temperature of an opaque body with absorptivity and emissivity near unity, illuminated with a constant 240 w/m2 of solar radiation.

    71% of the surface of our planet is not opaque to solar radiation and does not have hemispherical LWIR emissivity and SW absorptivity near unity. It is not constantly illuminated and is free to convect. The S-B equation cannot be used in these circumstances. A more accurate figure for “surface without radiative atmosphere” is 312K, in line with empirical experiment. Given our current average is 288K this shows the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere on surface temperatures – cooling.

    I may be attacking sceptics here, but this is about science, not sides.

  18. Konrad says:

    Stephen Wilde says: July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm
    ”I disagree with Roy Spencer because he thinks a non radiative atmosphere would become isothermal.”

    Stephen,
    in his 2009 post Dr. Spencer was correct. Without radiative subsidence, strong vertical circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells would stall and the atmosphere would trend isothermal.

    However there were two critical things he got wrong in that post. First the mistake of thinking that 255K was a reasonable “surface without radiative atmosphere” figure. Second forgetting gravity and believing the surface had equal ability to conductively heat and cool the atmosphere. Wrong and wrong.

    Stephan, for you to progress you need to go back to what was covered in my 2011 experiments –

    Altering the height of energy entry and exit in a gas column has dramatic results. On the left, energy entry at low altitude and exit at higher altitude just like our atmosphere. On the right energy entry and exit at surface level just like a non-radiative atmosphere. This is why there are no planets or moons in our solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere without radiative gases. Radiative gases cool atmospheres.

  19. Konrad says: July 31, 2015 at 12:18 am
    “Sadly Hockey Schtick’s misrepresentation of Feynman made it to the “Andrew Bolt”, the most read political blog in Australian. I make no apology for the use of the GAU-8 and 1600 rounds of party mix –
    Fulcrum,”

    Konrad, the neuvo science interpretation misses the whole point of the carefully expressed (S-B) equation which is “what is the minimum temperature” I have to be, to radiate “this” amount of power, or flux (not energy) to a lower temperature environment. That surface temperature must be way higher for any decrease in the emissivity of self or the environment. Us dweebs have been thoroughly scammed by the AlGorestas!

  20. Salvatore, Konrad, Will I have been critical of Dr Spencer although I think his UAH work is useful see my short post here https://cementafriend.wordpress.com/2014/04/ . This information comes from Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook which has been around since 1932 in updated versions and used and reviewed maybe by hundreds of thousands of engineers and scientists. It also concurs with my measurements and experience. Heat transfer by radiation only occurs on its own in a vacuum. In an atmosphere other methods of heat transfer occur at the same time. In the case of evaporation (eg at the ocean surface) there is mass transfer as well as heat transfer. However, it is not always clear which dominates in rate or time delay. With refrigeration radiation can almost be ignored compared to the evaporation and condensation of the refrigerant fluid. It may not be known to non-engineers that there are analogies between heat, mass and momentum transfer
    It is nonsense to make calculations about something that does not exist. The earth has an atmosphere and close to 70% of the earths surface is covered by water containing minerals.

    I find Prof Johnson’s explanations about Classical Physics and his mathematical explanations interesting- see my comments above. I have put comments on his blog and it appears that unlike many egotistical scientists he listens to clarify his thinking.

  21. David A says:

    Tallbloke, or anyone who knows, I learned from this site that the SSTs are on average warmer then the air T above them. This new study featured on WUWT postulates that the models are better then we think because the air T over the oceans is warmer, or at least has warmed more then the SSTs.

    Is there any evidence that the difference between the air T and the SST has changed?

    Also, where in the world would they get an accurate multi-decadal 2m mean air T over the oceans?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/30/new-study-narrows-the-gap-between-climate-models-and-reality/

    Thanks in advance

  22. David A says:

    BTW, is the Konrad here the same Konrad who has posted experiment’s regarding water absorption of SWR vs. LWIR? If so do you have a link to those?

  23. Konrad,

    I don’t believe your diagram on the right to be realistic.

    In reality, you still get cooling with height even in a non radiative atmosphere due to the conversion of KE to PE as less dense air from surface warming rises against gravity and expands into regions of lower pressure and density.

  24. Konrad,

    The reason why your experiment does not work is the presence of vertical sides to the column. It doesn’t allow for the increase in volume with height that one gets around a sphere.

    It is that increase in volume with height that allows decreasing density and the necessary expansion with height to convert KE to PE.

  25. Konrad says:

    David A says: July 31, 2015 at 2:38 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Yes, the same Konrad.
    There are three experiments I have run in that series (the fourth being too expensive).

    The first shows that “backradiation” cannot be raising ocean temperatures by 33K –

    To run –
    fill both containers under the strong and weak LWIR sources with 40C water and observe their cooling rate. Both water samples cool at the same rate.
    Next, repeat but put a couple of drops of baby oil on the surface of each sample to block evaporative cooling. Now the sample under the strong LWIR source cools slower. You should find at least 5C difference in 30 min.

    Water does absorb incident LWIR, but it does so within the first 100 microns, well within the skin evaporation layer. While LWIR can add energy to slower water molecules, it can trip faster molecules into evaporation faster than they otherwise would. This means incident LWIR has little effect on water free to evaporatively cool.

    This raises the question – If DWLWIR is not raising ocean temperatures above theoretical blackbody temperature of 255K for an average of 240 w/m2 solar irradiation, then what is? The answer is simply that the oceans are nowhere near a near black body.

  26. Konrad says:

    David A says: July 31, 2015 at 2:38 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    As to what makes water so different to a near black body, there are two factors.

    The first is that hemispherical LWIR emissivity is lower than SW absorptivity. This alone would allow an average of 240 w/m2 of solar SW to drive the oceans to 276K. (Still below the current 288K average).

    The second and far more important factor is that water is SW translucent and LWIR opaque. The S-B equation simply cannot be used to determine temperature response to SW illumination of such a material. The reason is the S-B equation essentially treats all materials as opaque. The following two experiments show why –

    The first is the most dramatic. Both block have equal ability to absorb SW and emit LWIR. The only difference is that block A absorbs SW at depth and block B absorbs SW near the surface. To run –
    First illuminate both block for around 3 hours with 1000 w/m2 of LWIR,. Both blocks heat to around 80C with the same internal temperature profile.

    Next re-run the experiment with 1000 w/m2 of SW. Block B will heat as before, however Block A will now run around 20C hotter. The reason is that SW is absorbed at the surface of block B and some energy radiates away before it conducts into the block. For Block A, all SW is absorbed within the block, and must slowly conduct back to the surface before it can be shed as LWIR. This allows greater energy accumulation and higher temperature.

    The is a radiative greenhouse effect raising surface temperatures, but it is in the oceans, not the atmosphere.

    It is from experiments like these that you can derive five rules for SW heating of SW translucent / LWIR opaque materials –

    This basic physics is entirely missing from the “basic physics” of the “settled science”. Everyone using that 255K figure for “surface without radiative atmosphere” has gotten it horribly wrong. Sadly this includes Lindzen and Spencer and most at WUWT.

  27. Konrad says:

    Stephen Wilde says: July 31, 2015 at 4:09 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Stephen, again you are invoking “immaculate convection”. This is just what the climastrologists do in parametrising vertical circulation in their GCMs. They try to write radiative subsidence out of meteorology.

    ”I don’t believe your diagram on the right to be realistic.”
    It’s not a diagram. That is a CFD (computational fluid dynamics run). Temperature, expansion and buoyancy changes are all being calculated. The results match empirical experiment.

    ”In reality, you still get cooling with height even in a non radiative atmosphere due to the conversion of KE to PE as less dense air from surface warming rises against gravity and expands into regions of lower pressure and density.”
    For air masses, this is matched by adiabatic heating on decent. This “cooling” is buoyancy neutral and doesn’t provide a motive force for vertical circulation in the troposphere.

    ”The reason why your experiment does not work is the presence of vertical sides to the column. It doesn’t allow for the increase in volume with height that one gets around a sphere.”
    For the troposphere only 15 km high wrapped around a sphere 12742 km in diameter this is negligible.

    ”It is that increase in volume with height that allows decreasing density and the necessary expansion with height to convert KE to PE.”
    In invoking PE, you are forgetting buoyancy and entrainment. Think of a siphon tube running from one water tub, rising 10m then descending to a water tub 0.1 m lower than the first. After the siphon is primed, the water keeps rising 10m and falling 10.1m with only a 100mm potential hight difference. Work to lift each gram of water 10m is not really being done after initial priming.

    Stephen, in your modelling you are trying to show a 33K atmospheric GHE that does not exist. The net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere is surface cooling not warming.

  28. AlecM says:

    Lapse rate is determined by a virtual work argument: constant sum (in the troposphere) of potential plus internal energy.

    There is no need for any more analysis than this.

  29. Eric Barnes says:

    @ Stephen Wilde says:
    July 31, 2015 at 4:33 am
    It is that increase in volume with height that allows decreasing density and the necessary expansion with height to convert KE to PE.

    Have to agree with Stephen. If the cylinder was sufficiently tall , The KE would be distributed through the entire height of the column with a huffman hydrostatic lapse rate and IR would occur at the surface if there is no IR active gas in the cylinder or from the surface through the top of the column with an IR active gas.

    Is Konrad really claiming that the temperature at height 1 foot would really be the same as the temperature at 10 miles or 100 miles from the heat source?

  30. Kristian says:

    harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says, July 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm:

    ““Why is the effective specific heat of the tropospheric atmosphere so precisely just 1.5 times that of a diatomic ideal gas?” (I disagree that it is due to the accidental concentration of any “greenhouse gas”, particularly either carbon dioxide or water vapor, or to convection, or “convective cooling”, and I reject, for now, the very idea of a “wet” versus “dry”, so-called “adiabatic lapse rate” (because, again, the difference would depend upon the amount of “wet” involved, wouldn’t it, and that would vary with altitude, and thus give an unreal, non-constant lapse rate, wouldn’t it?); it is the hydrostatic lapse rate, period, and the only question is why, in the formula for it (-g/c), is the specific heat c exactly 50% higher than that for a diatomic ideal gas? (Or equivalently, why is the lapse rate -6.5 K/km instead of -9.8 K/km?)”

    The DALR: dT/dz = g/c_p
    The SALR: dT/dz = g/c_p – (L_v * dq_vs)/(c_p * dz)

    The “(L_v dq_vs)/(c_p dz)” term is simply describing the release of latent heat of vaporisation inside the rising – and thus adiabatically expanding – air parcel, reducing the temperature falloff rate with altitude.

    As you point out, Harry, there is no way we can be certain how large the global average of this variable would be, because it’s impossible to tell exactly how “wet” (condensing, really) the global troposphere actually is on average. We can make estimates, of course. The 6.5 K/km ‘average’ value is just such an estimate, really no more than an educated guess. It is simply agreed upon as the global average, although it is originally stated as the US standard average. In other words, it has become 6.5 K/km by convention. Methods have been used to calculate the global average providing lower estimates than this standard value, 6.1-6.2 K/km, and the value varies greatly both vertically in the troposphere and from the equator to the poles. There is nothing absolute about the 1.5 ratio.
    http://ifaran.ru/old/ltk/Persona/Mokhov_pub/LapseRate-FAO06-IACP430.pdf




    What is evident from these maps and graphs is how the tropospheric temperature gradient depends significantly on the amount of vertical mixing of the air, that is, on surface heating and evaporation plus subsequent condensation in the tropospheric column.

    The average annual tropospheric temperature gradient in the extratropics and especially near the poles actually tends towards the isothermal condition (it will never get there as long as there is some kind of heating and cooling going on diurnally/annually), because there is a lot less surface heating and a lot less surface evaporation, and so convection is a much rarer and more intermittent phenomenon than closer to the equator, and so a lot more of the thermal radiation escapes to space directly from the surface and/or from much lower in the air column, which tends to level out the upward temperature gradient because of higher cooling rates down low. (Not enough low heating during the day, effective low cooling during the night.)

    Bear in mind, the maps/graphs above and I are speaking in annual averages.

    So you have two global patterns manifesting themselves: 1) “wet” areas (and/or tropospheric levels) generally (annual avg) have gentler gradients than “dry” areas, because of SALR vs. DALR; 2) tropical/subtropical areas generally (annual avg) have steeper gradients than higher latitudes, because of more consistent vertical mixing of the tropospheric column.

    There is no natural, inherent “hydrostatic equilibrium” temperature gradient in the troposphere as some people seem to assume. If so, it would’ve been say 6.5 K/km at all tropospheric heights and especially at high latitudes where convective mixing is limited mostly to passing fronts, orographic lifting/sinking, ocean evaporation and summer heating events. You need dynamical vertical mixing to keep a tropospheric gradient, because the air actually needs to rise in order to cool (from adiabatic expansion). The air just sitting there, in hydrostatic equilibrium, only higher up, being less dense than air further down, doesn’t in itself make it cooler than the lower air. Such a situation will gradually move towards isothermal conditions through internal conduction (the average molecular velocity (and hence, air temperature) would end up the same at all levels, regardless of the density of the air).

  31. tchannon says:

    “I may be attacking sceptics here, but this is about science, not sides.”

    You are saying what you think without calling names. The article title includes “what is”, awkward but ultimately all any of us care about.

    I keep getting tempted to do minder pieces quoting old words from primarily Fisher. Today he is still attacked over views he held but in doing so the lack of understanding shows, often a subtle context matter. Fisher did not describe himself as a statistician, called by others the greatest 20th century statistician. He was correct, experimentalist, statistics is just a wrote bunch of things anyone can do. The very hard part is the thinking, not getting caught, not using pears or oranges, not fooling yourself. He even rather nicely describes the forms of those attacking sceptics! Nothing changes, nothing unique to climate.

  32. KONRAD SAYS

    However there were two critical things he got wrong in that post. First the mistake of thinking that 255K was a reasonable “surface without radiative atmosphere” figure. Second forgetting gravity and believing the surface had equal ability to conductively heat and cool the atmosphere. Wrong and wrong.

    In your view what is a reasonable surface temperature without a radiative atmosphere?

    Could you explain how you see the role of gravity in regards to the lapse rate the atmosphere displays? I do not see it. Are you saying if the gravity were to change the lapse rate would change all other items being equal?

  33. Kristian says:

    Strangely, I find myself in agreement with Stephen.

    Konrad, you can’t prevent the air in your columns from lifting (expanding thermally and convectively) up and beyond the top of the container, and from expanding adiabatically (thus cooling) as it does so when heating it from below and expect to have a realistic model of what happens in the troposphere. It is no such thing. You have ‘proven’ nothing.

    But Stephen, drop the stupid KE>PE>KE conversion nonsense. It has got nothing to do with the “adiabatic process”. Also, I have shown it mathematically/physically not to work out and you have so far just waved your hands frantically in response, no substance.

  34. AlecM says: July 31, 2015 at 7:47 am

    “Lapse rate is determined by a virtual work argument: constant sum (in the troposphere) of potential plus internal energy. There is no need for any more analysis than this.”

    Lapse rate is automatic with no work at all. Atmospheric temperature must be considered, not a heat energy, but instead as heat energy density. The distinction is unnecessary for constant volume or constant pressure. In this troposphere, Pressure/rho = Rs x temperature. Try that analysis.🙂

  35. Eric Barnes says: July 31, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    “Is Konrad really claiming that the temperature at height 1 foot would really be the same as the temperature at 10 miles or 100 miles from the heat source?”

    The only heat source is the Sun, not Earth’s surface which contributes little to EMR exitance from the atmosphere.

  36. Konrad says:

    Salvatore Del Prete says: July 31, 2015 at 3:59 pm
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    ”In your view what is a reasonable surface temperature without a radiative atmosphere?”

    I use a conservative figure of 312K. This is 335K for the oceans (71%) and the old 255K for land (29%). Why I don’t change the figure for land is that I have only conducted or studied experiments with SW illumination of water, not properties of land surfaces. That said, the results from the Diviner lunar radiometer experiments suggest there are likely to be large deviations from theoretical blackbody for land as well. However as the error for the oceans is so huge (around 80K) the more complicated question of “surface without radiative atmosphere” for land is somewhat mute.

    ”Could you explain how you see the role of gravity in regards to the lapse rate the atmosphere displays? I do not see it. Are you saying if the gravity were to change the lapse rate would change all other items being equal?”

    Two things are critical to generating the observed lapse rate. Gravity to create a vertical atmospheric pressure gradient and strong vertical circulation across that gradient. H2O then plays a significant role in altering the produced lapse rate. If gravity were reduced, the lapse rate would reduce as pressure gradient would be reduced, ie: vertical circulation across the gradient would produce less dramatic adiabatic heating and cooling.

    Lapse rate experiments are fraught with problems, from Wilson in 1911 onward, typically via diabatic energy loss from the gas sample. Some more foolish climastrologists have tried to claim that radiation and LWIR opacity sets the lapse rate, however a simple (but costly) experiment disproves this – make an insulated closed air bag of metalised bubble wrap. At ground level inflate to 1/3 capacity. Place in the back of a high power skydiving light plane and fly it to 12,000 feet and back to the ground as quickly as possible (minimising conductive losses/gains), while recording temperatures inside and outside the bag. The temperatures inside the gas bag as the air expands on ascent and re-compresses on decent will closely match the temperature outside the bag.

    Dr. Spencer was correct in pointing out that without radiative subsidence of air masses from altitude, strong vertical circulation in the troposphere would stall and the lapse rate would reduce with the atmosphere trending isothermal.

  37. Salvatore Del Prete says: July 31, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    “In your view what is a reasonable surface temperature without a radiative atmosphere?”

    Temperature strictly depends on the ratio of Earth’s absorptivity of Insolation to emissivity at a much lower temperature to space. There are no black-bodies. This holds with or without an atmosphere.

    “Could you explain how you see the role of gravity in regards to the lapse rate the atmosphere displays? I do not see it. Are you saying if the gravity were to change the lapse rate would change all other items being equal?”

    If you consider that atmospheric temperature is proportional to heat (internal)energy density, not heat (internal) energy itself, the correct tropospheric lapse rate is automatic from analysis of altitude. Heat energy density includes the potential energy of pressure!

  38. Konrad says:

    Kristian says:
    July 31, 2015 at 4:12 pm
    //////////////////////////////////////
    Kristian,
    I don’t claim that CFD run is an accurate model of the troposphere. The scale is only 10m high, which is why you don’t see adiabatic cooling of air on ascent matched by adiabatic heating on descent. All the model is demonstrating is the primary conditions for Rayleigh – Bernard circulation in gases / fluids in a gravity field. That is for a fluid that is both gaining and losing energy (and thereby altering buoyancy) energy gain must be at a lower altitude than energy exit for strong vertical circulation to be established. Stephen is trying to model strong vertical circulation with no energy loss at altitude.

    I show the application of this physics to an atmosphere with a significant pressure gradient here –

    In the left panel, a dry radiative atmosphere over land. In the second panel, the changes just after all radiative properties of that atmosphere are removed. Full vertical circulation is stalling and the atmosphere is heating. However as you point out, our atmosphere is not vertically constrained. What happens after panel 2 is difficult to predict. The atmosphere would likely expand greatly with super-heating of stalled gases at altitude much like the thermosphere.

  39. AlecM says:

    @Will: in a virtual work calculation, no work is done. In the atmosphere, you swap two parcels at different altitudes. The lapse rate is the temperature gradient that makes that swap energy free.

    The Wikipedia page on Lapse rate shows exactly this calculation via the AMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

  40. Thanks for the answers.

  41. Two things are critical to generating the observed lapse rate. Gravity to create a vertical atmospheric pressure gradient and strong vertical circulation across that gradient. H2O then plays a significant role in altering the produced lapse rate. If gravity were reduced, the lapse rate would reduce as pressure gradient would be reduced, ie: vertical circulation across the gradient would produce less dramatic adiabatic heating and cooling.

    My reply

    I think this explanation is quite good.

  42. linneamogren says:

    “greenhouse effect” is solely a consequence of gravity, atmospheric mass, pressure, density, and heat capacities, and is not due to “trapped radiation” from IR-active or ‘greenhouse’ gas concentrations.”

    I’ve made this argument before here in regards to Venus and the error of the “runaway greenhouse effect ” which simply does not exist at the Venusian surface.

    Again, if we look at Venus the radiative thermal equilibrium is exactly what it should be regardless of the atmosphere being almost 99% C02. You could replace C02 with Nitrogen for example and the surface temps really don’t change.

    The atmospheric mass of Venus is 92X as dense than Earth. This produces massive pressure at the surface making Venus one hell of a pressure cooker. If you look at temps in the Venusian atmosphere ( around 50 kilometers ) they are similar to Earths surface temps. Now, when we look below 50 kilometers temps increase dramatically on the Venusian surface due to compression and adiabatic heating. The composition of the Venusian atmosphere is different yes, but the adiabatic lapse rate is very similar to Earth at or around 9K/km. There are even parts of the Venusian atmosphere which are colder than our own.

  43. linneamogren says:

    ” The only heat source is the Sun, not Earth’s surface which contributes little to EMR exitance from the atmosphere.”

    @ Will

    Hate to admit it but well said *wink*

  44. Konrad says: July 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm
    “Two things are critical to generating the observed lapse rate. Gravity to create a vertical atmospheric pressure gradient and strong vertical circulation across that gradient.”

    Why is vertical circulation critical or even necessary for an observation?

    “H2O then plays a significant role in altering the produced lapse rate.”

    I agree but if the evaporation from airborne condensate and condensation from WV to airborne water condensate would produce the same changes with no circulation.

    “If gravity were reduced, the lapse rate would reduce as pressure gradient would be reduced,”

    Humm! lower gravitational force would lower both pressure and density. Would that necessarily lower the pressure/density ratio with altitude? Lapse rate may be determined by constraints on gas molecular DOF only.

    ” ie: vertical circulation across the gradient would produce less dramatic adiabatic heating and cooling.”

    The lapse rate itself can be considered adiabatic as both mass and heat conduction are inhibited by the P, rho, gradients. What constrains the spontaneous delusion of any circulation with the continuum? What is adiabatic heating and cooling? Is a spontaneous temperature change necessarily an energy change in some airmass? Does airmass motion require work?
    I am not claiming anything but my untested conjecture. Why is some meteorological untested conjecture better? The only difference is that I am not trying to protect a tenure. I am challenging the meteorologists religious Sophistry. After CAGW, why accept one word, without proof?

  45. linneamogren says: July 31, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    (” The only heat source is the Sun, not Earth’s surface which contributes little to EMR exitance from the atmosphere.”)

    “@ Will Hate to admit it but well said *wink*’

    Thank you!
    BTW this image is superior to the pouty one.🙂

  46. wayne says:

    linneamogren says: July 31, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    “greenhouse effect” is solely a consequence of gravity, atmospheric mass, pressure, density, and heat capacities, and is not due to “trapped radiation” from IR-active or ‘greenhouse’ gas concentrations.”

    I’ve made this argument before here in regards to Venus and the error of the “runaway greenhouse effect ” which simply does not exist at the Venusian surface.

    Again, if we look at Venus the radiative thermal equilibrium is exactly what it should be regardless of the atmosphere being almost 99% C02. You could replace C02 with Nitrogen for example and the surface temps really don’t change.

    I for one am listening and feel your statements are correct as far as I can see by my recent research. But like myself, you probably won’t get much response on that thought here… even though it is apparently correct and profound. Been there, tried that… mostly silence or what might be called instantly hufmanized, which is definitely not the same as the topic of my research.

    btw: if you come across a good site with an open mind and science savvy readers, please clue me in! What you are saying needs to be thoroughly investigated.

    One thing I happened upon recently was a ‘co2 state diagram’ that mainly chemists pay attention to, but did you know that when you home in on co2’s triple point you will notice that on Venus, from about 73 atm downward all of the way to the surface, … it is then a supercritical fluid and no longer strictly a gas. Thought that was interesting, much like it is close enough to being called Venus’ ‘ocean’.

  47. Eric Barnes says:

    I suppose you win the pedantic BS award Will.
    Where on Konrad’s diagram does it say “Energy In”.
    Care to make any comments that matter? Or are you just happy display bad manners?
    Will Janoschka says:
    July 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm
    Eric Barnes says: July 31, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    “Is Konrad really claiming that the temperature at height 1 foot would really be the same as the temperature at 10 miles or 100 miles from the heat source?”

    The only heat source is the Sun, not Earth’s surface which contributes little to EMR exitance from the atmosphere.

  48. Kristian says:

    Konrad says, July 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm:

    “Kristian,
    I don’t claim that CFD run is an accurate model of the troposphere.”

    Then what is the point with it? You claim after all that tropospheric circulation would stall without radiative cooling aloft. And you use a closed, rigid cylinder to ‘prove’ it? You trap the heated air. It is prevented from lifting away from the heating end (out of the cylinder). It is prevented from expanding thermally and adiabatically. There is absolutely no similarity as far as I can see.

  49. Kristian says: August 1, 2015 at 12:11 am
    Konrad says, July 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm:

    (“Kristian, I don’t claim that CFD run is an accurate model of the troposphere.”)

    “Then what is the point with it? You claim after all that tropospheric circulation would stall without radiative cooling aloft. And you use a closed, rigid cylinder to ‘prove’ it? You trap the heated air. It is prevented from lifting away from the heating end (out of the cylinder). It is prevented from expanding thermally and adiabatically. There is absolutely no similarity as far as I can see.”

    Kristian,
    It appears that you are still being scammed by the meteorologists! They claim that the 320 Pa centrifugal radial pressure within the 101.3 kPa surface pressure is insignificant. Imagine a 320 Pa lateral continuous pressure difference at a surface distance of 20 km. What would be the airmass velocity toward the lower pressure at the centre of that 20 km distance? What is the airmass flown rate (kg/second) at that location? The airmass laterally has no resistance to motion, it only has resistance to acceleration from its own mass inertia.
    That 320 Pa is only an accelerating force over the 20 km distance. High force at the high pressure end. No accelerating force at the low pressure end. Where does the moving airmass go at the low end of the differential pressure? It can only be deflected radially outward along the whole 20 km path. Because all airmass remains self-buoyant radially. There is no work done except a momentum vector change from lateral to tangential.
    The rotational inertia of the Earth’s mass can easily do this while the whole earth momentum remains at zero because the same change is happening in opposition on the other side of the planet. It is the centrifugal pressure from the rotating airmass not the mass of the planet. The atmosphere is not connected to the surface by gravitationaklThe continual neutral buoyancy of each part of the airmass, allows and encourages airmass motion in any direction. The butterfly in Asia slowly moving its wings can indeed result in a tornado in Oklahoma.

  50. wayne says:
    July 31, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    “One thing I happened upon recently was a ‘co2 state diagram’ that mainly chemists pay attention to, but did you know that when you home in on co2’s triple point you will notice that on Venus, from about 73 atm downward all of the way to the surface, … it is then a supercritical fluid and no longer strictly a gas. Thought that was interesting, much like it is close enough to being called Venus’ ‘ocean’.”

    Wayne,
    You may be interested in the measurements of supercritical CO2 from folk at Linde and Air Products. Nothing is peer reviewed, just some guy reporting what they tried to measure. Then not knowing whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. CO2 may be more weird than H2O!
    Near the critical point, specific heat, depends on the direction of approach to the critical point. Even gravity matters, up is different and down is different from the more repeatable sideways.

  51. David A says:

    Konrad, thank you for your experiments. Regarding the ability, or lack thereof, of LWIR to heat the oceans, either directly or via a reduction in the rate of cooling, have you quantified this?

    Assuming, for ease of numbers, an increase in DLWIR, of 10 watts per sq. M…
    1. How much of that energy is lost in evaporation and acceleration of the hydrologic cycle?
    2. Does this increase in evaporation increase cloud cover and OR W/V even in clear sky conditions?
    3. Does the increase in W/V clear sky AND cloud cover reduce ocean and surface insolation?

    Quantify the above. (Keep in mind the atmosphere absorbs about 25% or more of incoming solar radiation. For clear sky, water vapor accounts for 70% of this (according to KT97).

    Super Bonus question, What is the difference between the residence time of the energy lost to the surface via this increase in evaporation vs. the residence time of the energy if it had reached the surface, land and ocean?

    So far none have attempted to address this. Assume initial insolation at any latitude you choose.

    Thanks again.

  52. Konrad says:

    Kristian says: August 1, 2015 at 12:11 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    The point of the 2D CFD run was to demonstrate the critical conditions for Rayleigh-Bénard convection (RBC) – the buoyancy-driven flow of a fluid in a gravity field heated from below and cooled from above. The CFD run is computing the thermal expansion and contraction of the gas and resultant buoyancy changes. Here’s a more spectacular 3D version –

    Energy gain near the surface and energy loss at altitude drives exactly the same type of vertical circulation in the troposphere –
    http://idaholyoaks3.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/understanding-climate-change-part-4.html
    – it is LWIR emitted to space that is providing the “cooling from above”. The point of the the 2D simulation was to show that you cannot drive the same strong vertical circulation by input and output of energy at disparate surface locations.

    (note- a second driver of vertical circulation is the evaporation/precipitation cycle, however this achieves the necessary buoyancy changes via physical alteration of the gas mixture. Precipitation removes water vapour from air, leaving it less buoyant.)

    Rayleigh-Bénard convection occurs in our atmosphere and oceans, neither of which have a lid. All that is required is energy gain a lower altitude than energy loss. Take away the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability and energy loss at altitude can no longer occur.

  53. wayne says:

    Will, located the Linde Air site but couldn’t find the report on the characteristics that you mentioned. How did you search out that page? Found a lot of other info on the sc.f. state that I had forgotten long ago, like compressibility, density becomes nearly constant and I need to re-run some numbers letting that difference to occur past 73 bar. Definitely something to consider.

    But here goes wiki again in its often misleading statements! Says Venus long ago might have had a co2 supercritical fluid ‘ocean’ when pressures were about 100 atm (between the lines: as if that is not now the case) but the chemical state diagrams set the criticality prressure at 73 bar best I can find… go figure… or that is you can’t trust that site if any topic is even remotely related to the AGW storyline.

  54. markstoval says:

    To all my friends here,

    Thanks for the discussions above. It is great to see most of the usual suspects that I read all commenting in one place on one thread on my favorite topic (well, outside of political philosophy that is) and I hope to see some more comments in the near future.

    As a side note, Kristian has promised an “executive summary” of his last two posts on his view of why it is the mass of the atmosphere and not radiation that drives climate. I hope that will be re-posted here and all the usual suspects will offer an opinion. (and I hope he gets to that task before I die!)

  55. Konrad says:

    David A says: August 1, 2015 at 6:05 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    David,
    I have read your comment and will respond more fully to your questions, but it is 1 am on my side of the planet, so there may be a slight delay.

    For the moment, remember –“if you need statistics to interpret the results of your experiment, you should have designed a better experiment.”. I would add that if you can’t describe the maths in terms of reasonable physical process, then the maths is worth little. There is no point seeking numbers for a physical process you don’t understand. Physics first, maths second.

    The mistake climastrologists made regarding the critical “surface without radiative atmosphere” is huge. This is not to say their base calculation approach was not absolutely correct. This was indeed the critical figure to calculate. (they just made a little 80K stuff up). Atmospheric processes are still too complex to fully model , but a realistic calculation of “surface without radiative atmosphere” when compared to current observed surface temperatures, can answer whether the net effect of all atmospheric processes, including LWIR absorption and emission, is surface warming or cooling.

  56. wayne says: August 1, 2015 at 6:57 am

    “Will, located the Linde Air site but couldn’t find the report on the characteristics that you mentioned. How did you search out that page?”

    Wayne,
    I have on old friend that is now a manager at Linde, long lost emails. I think I was searching for Critical point of CO2. There was a piece from someone at Air Products describing the apparatus used to try to measure specific heat in different directions. The closer you got to criticality the more it was like rolling dice. Wish I had that link. Last I heard the measured Venus surface pressure some-place was 90 atmospheres.

  57. linneamogren says:

    @ Will

    ” BTW this image is superior to the pouty one.”

    Ha! Well, the pouty one I use if I don’t get my way and the low cut one to avoid any opposition to my hypothesis lol

  58. linneamogren says:

    @ Wayne

    Hi Wayne thank you for your reply! I agree, it’s something that needs much deeper investigation because I believe Venus holds the answers in closing much of the debate regarding greenhouse effects and atmospheric mass.

    Carl Sagan was brilliant, but he was not always correct. For example his hypothesis of the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus was very flawed. It was based on the assumption Venus had or has a large volume of water. Well we know for certain now there’s no water on Venus and it’s pure conjecture to claim there was once vast oceans of H20.

    I understand the hydrogen / deuterium ratio is 100 times that of Earth. But that is not very powerful evidence as to oceans once flowing over the planet since most intergalactic vapor has a high H/D ratio. Especially ice which does form in the Venusian atmosphere where temps allow for C02 to freeze out as ice. This is also a very important point overlooked since that small Venusian vapor count could very well be from C02 freezing out as ice and not evidence of what’s left of oceanic vapor still escaping the thick atmosphere. At 125 kilometers above the Venusian surface one finds temps at – 175 degrees Celsius which very well can account for the 0.002% – 0.001% vapor count.

    Also, just because we find deuterium in hydrogen on Venus does not point to an oceanic past. For example one in 10,000 hydrogen atoms are deuterium. Hydrogen escapes faster from Venus which leaves us with the high ratio. The escape velocity is 10.4 km/sec. One other point, the hydrogen escaping Venus may not be native to the planet. Mercury has hydrogen being blow out of its atmosphere yet there’s no water. Mercury’s hydrogen is infused into his atmosphere by the Sun. Those hydrogen atoms are blasted off the planet at 2×10^24 every second. Now, being Venus is very close to the Sun, we can also assume any hydrogen levels may also be infused into the Venusian atmosphere from the Sun as Mercury. This is also overlooked.

    With all that said, we can easily disprove the runaway greenhouse effect of Venus by placing the Venusian atmosphere on Earth. Temperatures on Earth increase by about 80C going from 20 to 100 kPa, …….. so at 9,000 kP 20C + ln(9000/(100-20)) *80C = 400C That’s really close to the Venusian surface temp…..Now move the Earths orbit to that of Venus! I would have to bang some numbers, but if someone has a little time we would find surface temps at or just about 462 degrees Celsius give or take.

  59. linneamogren says: August 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    @ Will ” BTW this image is superior to the pouty one.” /@

    “Ha! Well, the pouty one I use if I don’t get my way and the low cut one to avoid any opposition to my hypothesis lol”

    I have no opposition to your hypothesis, -appears quite fetching.😉
    To stay on subject: “the-atmosphere-why-the-dispute-over-what-causes-what-is”
    7,200,000,000 Opinions, each better than all the rest, just ask!

  60. linneamogren says:

    @ Will,

    That’s lots of opinions!

    I think we agree the surface temps are not reacting to long wave radiation or “trapped ” energy but rather atmospheric mass, pressure and density and so on……..Just like our ice ages, C02 on Venus is a reaction to the high temps not a cause.

  61. linneamogren says: August 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    “I think we agree the surface temps are not reacting to long wave radiation or “trapped ” energy but rather atmospheric mass, pressure and density and so on……..Just like our ice ages, C02 on Venus is a reaction to the high temps not a cause.”

    For a long time I thought the ClimAstrologists and meteorologists were just clueless about how EMR works with an atmosphere. Now I am convinced they are just clueless about how works the atmosphere itself. They have their religion offering only Sophistry! For a hoot visit:
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/atmospheric-convection-what-does-it-mean/comment-page-3

  62. David A says:

    Konrad, I agree with the premise. My questions may be more cogent then you think and I would still like your thoughts. I am not asking for statistics of any flavor, but engineering style numbers that, IMV are a prerequisite to knowing how much energy is gained or lost through the discussed affects.
    I base my questions on the following assertion…

    “Only two things can change the energy content of a system in a radiative balance; either a change in input, or a change in residence time of some aspect of the energy within the system.”

    Now in our case we are defining the earth, including land, oceans and atmosphere as our “system”.

    In this sense I maintain not all watts are equal. The residence time depends on both the materials encountered, and the WL of the watt under consideration.

    In an older WUWT post Willis asserted that the LWIR re-striking the surface, via back radiation, was equal to the SW striking the surface, sans the clouds presence. I maintained that while the watts may be equal, the SW created a greater overall energy within the “system” due to it longer residence time striking and penetrating the tropical SH ocean, up to 800 feet deep. ( the epipelagic Zone ) and some even deeper to 3000′
    (Mesopelagic Zone)

    During my conversation with an astute PHD WUWT poster I led him through a discussion of the seasons. We agreed that the earth in the SH summer, receives about 7 percent more insolation, (a massive increase in input) yet the atmosphere cooled, Is the earth gaining or losing energy in the SH summer?

    In the SH summer we have, as always, the same WL insolation in both hemispheres, with reduced residence time in the NH, due to increased albedo, and increased residence time (in our total system, earth, atmosphere, oceans) in the SH, due to S/W ocean penetration. In either case Both cause the atmosphere to cool; in the SH because more sunlight is lost to the atmosphere for a time as it is penetrating the ocean, and in the NH it is reflecting and leaving more quickly, due to higher snow and ice albedo. We both estimated that the earth is gaining energy, despite the cooler atmosphere, but have no quantitative numbers on that.

    At any rate I would love your thoughts and any wag quantitative answers to my questions.

  63. Roger Clague says:

    Disputes over physics. It is good there is a debate, here at least.

    For me the problem is NASA, Feynman, Wikipedia and more say pressure is caused by the weight of air.
    I ask how to weigh air. Not calculate from pressure x area. No gas has ever been weighed.

    The reply is air must have weight because solids and liquids have weight and are molecules. Therefore gas has weight.

    In a gas the distance between collisions is 100 x molecular diameters. There are 10^23 per.
    Gases do not behave like solids and liquids.

  64. oldbrew says:

    ‘How much does air weigh?’
    http://www.weatherquestions.com/How_much_does_air_weigh.htm

    Extract from link:
    ‘Some people think air does not have weight since a parcel of air (say, air in a thin, lightweight balloon) just ‘floats’ around. This is because the parcel of air is embedded in surrounding air that has the same density (mass per unit volume).

    But imagine that we remove that parcel of air from the atmosphere…the atmosphere would then weigh very slightly less.’

  65. oldbrew says: August 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    ‘How much does air weigh?’
    http://www.weatherquestions.com/How_much_does_air_weigh.htm

    Extract from link:
    ‘Some people think air does not have weight since a parcel of air (say, air in a thin, lightweight balloon) just ‘floats’ around. This is because the parcel of air is embedded in surrounding air that has the same density (mass per unit volume).

    But imagine that we remove that parcel of air from the atmosphere…the atmosphere would then weigh very slightly less.’If we could precisely measure the barometric pressure everywhere on the surface of the Earth, we would see a very tiny decrease in the weight of the atmosphere (the barometric pressure).
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    So these fools are saying that pressure (a scalar) means the same thing as weight (a vector)
    Must be something to do with meteorology with parcels and all! The atmosphere has no vector weight. remove 1 kg air by bottling it, and measure increase in bottle weight. Observe 2.2 pound increase an this now is a gas, no longer part of the atmosphere. No part of this atmosphere has any weight so there is no geopotenial in any part of the atmosphere itself.

    noun
    noun: weight
    1.
    a body’s relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.
    Physics
    the force exerted on the mass of a body by a gravitational field.
    the quality of being heavy.

  66. oldbrew says:

    ‘remove 1 kg air by bottling it, and measure increase in bottle weight.’

    What was in the bottle before this action?

  67. *
    oldbrew says: August 4, 2/*/015 at 9:41 am

    (‘remove 1 kg air by bottling it, and measure increase in bottle weight.’)

    “What was in the bottle before this action?”

    Either a vacuum, or “atmosphere” at any same altitude as the measurement. Makes no difference as Archimedes carefully demonstrated. Atmosphere itself has no weight anywhere, even in the stratosphere where all molecules must be in elliptical orbit, still weightless.

  68. Roger Clague says:

    oldbrew says:
    August 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    ‘How much does air weigh?’
    http://www.weatherquestions.com/How_much_does_air_weigh.htm

    This entertaining and shows the impossibility of defending the idea of the weight of air.

    1.“Anything with mass has weight”
    People in the ISS have mass, are in a gravity is 90% of the Earth surface and they float around.

    2.“You don’t notice this weight, however, because you are used to it.”
    This made me laugh. I weigh 1000N. Air pressure is 100 00N/m^2. I would notice 20 men standing on me.

    3. “Some people think air does not have weight since a parcel of air (say, air in a thin, lightweight balloon) just ‘floats’ around.”
    Indeed I think air just floats around.

    4. “This is because the parcel of air is embedded in surrounding air that has the samedensity (mass per unit volume).”
    Why does a He balloon rise? Archimedes said because of buoyancy, upthrust. But there is no explanation for buoyancy. It’s an unexplained ( by pressure = weight theory ) law, like Newtons law of gravitation.

    5 Finally his experiment: he says something would happen if we did something which we can’t do.
    He can’t refer to any measurement of weight of a gas. There is none. It is an assumption, not based on facts.

    Pumping up a car tyre or a football does not increase the weight.
    Sucking air out of a flask does not reduce the weight.

  69. Trick says:

    Roger 7:12pm – Does the earth have weight? Does a water skier floating across water have weight? A parachutist? Does the ISS itself have weight? Did we get ISS up there without any fuel expense moving against gravity, how much did it weigh at max. accel.? Do occupants on a submarine have weight? Aircraft carrier?

    1. The ISS occupants are falling. Occupants on a submarine are not.
    2. I notice you weigh 1000N, now inflate yourself & float, where did your weight go?
    3. Admits balloons have weight, are lightweight.
    4. An He balloon rises on Archimedes principle.
    5. Pump up a football? Ask Tom Brady.

  70. wayne says:

    @Roger Clague August 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I like this scuba diver’s hint best:

    Take a filled scuba tank, and put it on a good scale. Open the valve a crack, let the air out slowly, and watch the weight drop. If it’s say a 3 L tank filled to about 200 atm, you will see roughly a 1 kg drop, which will be easy to measure even if the tank weighs 10 kg or more.

    Can you explain such RogerC? Is that not “weighing air”?

  71. AlecM says: July 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    “@Will: in a virtual work calculation, no work is done. In the atmosphere, you swap two parcels at different altitudes. The lapse rate is the temperature gradient that makes that swap energy free.”

    That is true. But why that particular temperature gradient?

    “The Wikipedia page on Lapse rate shows exactly this calculation via the AMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

    The AMS in their Sophisty claim that gravitational lapse rate, dT/dz is -g/cp “only” because that happens to work in this atmosphere.
    If g decreased (somehow) from 9.8 m/s^2 to 9.3 m/s^2 would dT/dz change to -9.3 o/km?
    AMS says yes. Fenyman above says no. Has anyone checked “any” of the nonsense of the AMS?

  72. Brett Keane says:

    So, Will, what is the explanation for the vacuum downstroke of an early steam engine, caused by comdensing the uplifting steam with a cold water spray?

  73. Brett Keane says: August 5, 2015 at 2:56 am

    “So, Will, what is the explanation for the vacuum downstroke of an early steam engine, caused by condensing the uplifting steam with a cold water spray?”

    That mine pump? Lousy efficiency Putting that thing on rail tracks for power no way.

  74. Brett Keane says:

    Will, is it weight of air working the pump downstroke, or what is it? I suspect it is like much of physics – dependent on context and conditions?

  75. Roger Clague says:

    wayne says:
    August 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Take a filled scuba tank, and put it on a good scale. Open the valve a crack, let the air out slowly, and watch the weight drop.
    That is weighing liquid. It is not weighing gas.

    Weight is a force caused by gravity (an acceleration not a force).
    To weigh is to measure a force caused by a mass. This can be done with
    1. a balance comparing two weights
    2. Force meter such as a spring (in my electronic scales there is a device that deforms according to force and changes resistance in an electric circuit).
    I want an experiment showing that more air causes more weight using a force meter.
    Such as
    1. Weigh a ball at low pressure. Pump in air until higher pressure.
    Weigh again
    2 Weigh a flask , suck out the air and weigh again.

    Please refer me such an experiment.Am i being an idiot? I could be wasting everyone’s time with silly ideas that people much cleverer than me have dismissed long ago.

  76. Roger Clague says:

    Brett Keane says:
    August 5, 2015 at 2:56 am

    So, Will, what is the explanation for the vacuum downstroke of an early steam engine, caused by comdensing the uplifting steam with a cold water spray? and later
    Will, is it weight of air working the pump downstroke, or what is it?

    Condensation caused reduced pressure, a vacuum.
    The air pressure pushes down the piston
    The force is caused by difference in pressure
    Air has no weight and therefore weight is not the cause of anything in the steam engine.

  77. oldbrew says:

    Roger C says: ‘Please refer me such an experiment’

    The Galileo method…

  78. wayne says:

    wayne says: August 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Take a filled scuba tank, and put it on a good scale. Open the valve a crack, let the air out slowly, and watch the weight drop.

    Roger Clague says: August 5, 2015 at 11:04 am

    That is weighing liquid. It is not weighing gas.

    Oh my, you are having a problem knowing this subject. A scuba tank is just a large, usually steel, tank and has nothing to do by itself with a liquid, like when in a room with a scale to measure its weight, like in the scuba shop, it is full of very highly compressed air, a gas. So you are measuring a gas, not a liquid in that example, opposite of what you are visualizing evidently.

    Was it the word “scuba” that caused you to jump your mind to a liquid? Or, do you have no idea what a scuba tank is and how one works?

    The word “weight” has multiple definitions and you have to know, even by reading between the lines of another person using the word, to know which definitions that person is speaking of.

    One is mathematical and ignores any and all forces around the piece of matter you are addressing. It simply says the weight of some mass on any planetary body is W = m·g. The ‘g’ would change depending on the mass of the planetary body itself, the ‘g’ is the local gravitational acceleration.

    A deviant of definition one is when speaking of commercial “weight” of good to sell. It is close to that of definition one but the ‘g’ is standardized so all scales measure the same respective “weight’ no matter where on this world the piece of matter is being measured because the exact ‘g’ does change location to location. A standardized “weight”.

    Another definition has to do with the machine (a scale) that is being used to measure the “weight” (N) or “mass” (kg) of some piece of matter placed on that scale. All scales are off to some degree except in very special environments, most are not perfectly precise because you are in air and the reason they are not perfectly precise is the matter you are weighing has volume and displaces some of the air (buoyancy) so you are then measuring the m·g minus the air’s weight (the air’s weight is using the first definition). Certain scale are analytical balance scale to counter that very deviance due the buoyancy of what you are measuring. You can use weights approximating the same density of that which you are measuring on the other balance plate and then you have counter balanced the buoyancy force out of consideration… much more accurate. And the ultimate analytical balance scale is one placed in a chamber that can be evacuated to a vacuum, so no air is present to cause buoyancy, so no error from that at all.

    Now with that knowledge, read:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight

    It speaks of some of the various types (definitions) of “weight”. One that I don’t see them stating is when I said that you can measure newtons (force, N) or kilogams (mass, kg). A very delicate analytical balance scale (was able have use of one long ago) has two plates or pans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Balance_scale_IMGP9755.jpg). On one you place what you want to measure and on the other you place enough physical weights stamped with their exact “mass” in kilograms and you place enough on that plate enough to exacly balance what you are measuring. Seem in that case you are really measuring mass, not “weight” (force).

    Darn…. just found this saying much of what I have already written…. oh well.
    Read this too:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weighing_scale

    In on definition air always has “weight”. In another defintion it matters what environment you are within while “weighing air” for example.

    I really don’t know how to make this any clearer to you Roger but can this sub-topic be called thoroughly fleshed yet? I’m like suricat, this is getting very old arguing over what seems to be the lack of the ability for many to understand or their insistance to never understand.

  79. Roger Clague says:

    wayne says:
    August 6, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Was it the word “scuba” that caused you to jump your mind to a liquid? Or, do you have no idea what a scuba tank is and how one works?

    My mistake, I was thinking of liquid low temperature gas, not compressed air
    I have tried this with a basketball pumped to 14 lb/in^2 and then opened the valve. The weight reduced, by 10g

    I say the scale is measuring change in pressure not weight.

    I want to see weighing without change of pressure.

    The word “weight” has multiple definitions and you have to know, even by reading between the lines of another person using the word, to know which definitions that person is speaking of.
    ,i>In on definition air always has “weight”. In another defintion it matters what environment you are within while “weighing air” for example.

    So much for settled science. Weight is an obsolete concept we should not now be using.
    Certainly not the basis for an understanding of air pressure.

  80. Roger Clague says:

    oldbrew says:
    August 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Roger C says: ‘Please refer me such an experiment’
    The Galileo method…
    For weighing air.
    I repeated the experiment with a basketball and got a increase of about 10g.
    The extra weight is caused by extra mass and hence pressure
    More mv not more mg
    I want weighing without increase of pressure.
    Good try by Galileo

  81. Kristian says:

    wayne says, August 6, 2015 at 6:34 am:

    “I’m like suricat, this is getting very old arguing over what seems to be the lack of the ability for many to understand or their insistance to never understand.”

    Like with the “adiabatic process”. They insist on not even reading about it. What the physical and chemical sciences are actually saying. Our dear, old pigheaded Professor Stephen and his wild (! pun perhaps intended) ideas have now seemingly attracted a fanboy (or should we say ‘acolyte’?) going by the name “lgl”. Is lgl simply a “Wilde-ling”?

  82. wayne says:

    RogerC: “Weight is an obsolete concept we should not now be using.”

    LOL! What change the world just because you, RogerC, seem to refuse to learn how to properly understand and apply the various meaning of “weight” in different instances? So with what are you going to replace the words “weight” and “weigh” with? (don’t forget to include the buoyancy that is always present in real world examples) Describe how your new system might work and/or the definitions of your new words replacing “weight” and “weigh”.

    This should be interesting.

  83. oldbrew says:

    If compressed air has weight, so does all air. Compression itself couldn’t create weight out of nothing.

  84. oldbrew says: August 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    “If compressed air has weight, so does all air. Compression itself couldn’t create weight out of nothing.”

    Weight is the “illusionary” vector force of gravitational field force. A rock sitting on a post exhibits no acceleration toward the centre of mass of this Earth! What precisely means weight? What precisely means temperature? Sophistry abounds! Intent to confuse all others!

  85. Roger Clague says:

    oldbrew says:
    August 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm
    If compressed air has weight, so does all air. Compression itself couldn’t create weight out of nothing

    What is your evidence that compressed air has weight? As the word suggests compressed air has pressure.

    Extra mass causes extra total momentum of molecules = extra pressure. Extra pressure causes extra downward force.

    wayne says:
    August 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm
    RogerC, seem to refuse to learn how to properly understand and apply the various meaning of “weight” in different instances

    A concept cannot have various meaning. That weight does have different meanings indicates it is defective concept.
    The term weight was first used to mean mass (quantity of matter) and the effects of mass (force). It was not known there is a difference until Newton. He showed you can have mass without it exerting force.
    Instead of weight, say gravitational force.

    How do you explain buoyancy?

  86. oldbrew says:

    ‘What is your evidence that compressed air has weight?’

    Galileo’s experiment showed it – the scales registered a change.

  87. Roger Clague says:

    oldbrew says:
    August 7, 2015 at 10:38 am
    RogC‘What is your evidence that compressed air has weight?’

    Oldbrew: Galileo’s experiment showed it – the scales registered a change.

    I say that the change is caused by pressure not weight.
    We need to design an experiment for which we make different prediction of the outcome.

    I suggest weighing a beach ball in a mild vacuum.
    By my theory it will not change.
    Your theory: the buoyancy has gone; no air is being displaced so the air inside will have weight. The reading should be higher by about 10g.

  88. Roger Clague says:

    Oldbrew, Wayne.

    Can I have your definition of weight? It is a moving target at the moment.
    Like heat and greenhouse effect.
    It is definitely not a measure of quantity of matter. That is mass(kg) or number of particles (mol)

  89. Roger Clague says:

    Weighing Air, a history

    The Ancients

    1. Aristotle 350B.C. Athens, Greece.
    He believed air has weight, because of his theory of the elements. He was not a great believer in experiments.
    http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/heavens.4.iv.html
    Book 4 part 4.
    “In its own place each of these bodies[ earth, water, air and fire] has weight except fire, even air. Of this we have evidence in the fact that a bladder when inflated weighs more than when empty.”
    2. Archimedes 250BC.
    His principle of upthrust equal to weight of fluid displaced predicts air is weightless.
    3. Ptolomy of Alexandria, 150AD found air to be weightless ( reported by Simplicius 550AD)

    4. Simplicius 550AD, Cilicia, now Turkey, Alexandria, and Persia
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Yvz_AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA80&dq=simplicius+weigh+air+ptolemy&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAGoVChMI7_fsntmmxwIVwloaCh2rowbZ#v=onepage&q=simplicius%20weigh%20air%20ptolemy&f=false
    He was the last great philosopher in the Greek tradition.
    He says:
    1. He found no difference in weight of inflated skin bag over flat skin.
    2. His friend found no increase
    3. His explanation for Aristotle’s experiment is: “The air which fills the skin is humid, coming generally from the human mouth, and it adds some little weigh in the continuous process of inflation.”
    The temperature of breath is 37C and Greek air say 25C. The difference in H2O (g) is 25g/1000g. A skin is 20 litres = 20g of air.
    Out of this 20g of air will condense 25x 20/1000 = 0.5g. of H2O(l)
    Simplicius probably used bellows to inflate his skin.
    Modern
    Galileo, 1638, Florence, Italy
    1. Galileo believed air was weightless
    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/galileo/dialogues/complete.html#chapter1

    Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences

    “The air in this bladder when surrounded by air will weigh little or nothing”
    2. He also commented on Aristotle
    Simplico: “But can you doubt that air has weight when you have the clear testimony of Aristotle affirming that all the elements have weight including air, and excepting only fire? As evidence of this he cites the fact that a leather bottle weighs more when inflated than when collapsed.”
    This is a sarcastic remark. Galileo was a critic of Aristotle’s theories and his lack of experiments.
    He finds that air is 1/400 the density of water. He does this by experimenting with compressed air.
    He also says:
    “ Hence for this experiment it becomes necessary to select a place where air as well as sand can gravitate; because, as has been often remarked, the medium diminishes the weight of any substance immersed in it by an amount equal to the weight of the displaced medium; so that air in air loses all its weight. If therefore this experiment is to be made with accuracy it should be performed in a vacuum where every heavy body exhibits its momentum without the slightest diminution. If then, Simplicio, we were to weigh a portion of air in a vacuum would you then be satisfied and assured of the fact?”
    Weighing an inflated ball in a vacuum would be an interesting experiment.
    Torricelli 1640 Central Italy
    Torricelli invented the mercury barometer. He says air pressure is caused by weight of air. He says that pressure =weight.

    The apparatus measures only the downward component of the air pressure on a liquid surface. This not weight.
    Pascal, 1648, France
    He wrote a Treatise on the weight of a mass of air.
    He cemented the idea that air pressure =weight of air. He calculated total weight of atmosphere = air pressure x surface area. But this cannot be tested so is not science.
    Modern attempts to weigh air
    http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/weighing-sample-air-rough-estimate
    The experiment, as is usual involves pressure, not weight.
    “The suggestion of weighing a balloon empty, then blowing it up full of air and weighing it again may arise. This is a fallacy quoted by Galileo. A bladder full of air gives the same reading on the balance as it does when squashed flat, because the buoyancy of the surrounding air just compensates for the weight of the air inside in the first case. A rubber balloon does weigh a little more when inflated, because the air inside is at slighter greater pressure, but that is not sufficient for use here.”
    I appreciate the honesty here. However to call Galileo’s opinion that air is weightless a fallacy is unjust. Galileo himself gave the Archimedes upthrust buoyancy explanation.
    He also suggested the solution
    “If then, Simplicio, we were to weigh a portion of air in a vacuum would you then be satisfied and assured of the fact?”
    The portion of air does not change pressure so I like this experiment.
    If displaced weight is balancing the weight of air in the flask then removing the air from around it will remove the upthrust. The weight will increase at 1g/litre
    It should be easy to do with modern equipment. That such an experiment is not on the internet suggests to me that it has been done and the result is no change.

    Recent attempts to weigh air:
    http://nova.stanford.edu/projects/mod-x/ad-balballoon.html
    Everyone wants to balance balloons because it gets the answer they expect.
    They don’t want to not weight them on a scale because it doesn’t get the answer they want.

    !50ib over 100 sq in is 1.5lb/sq in. It Is because of suction not weight. Air pressure is 14 lb/sq in.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/clips/zhbygk7
    Weighing gas dissolved in water is not weighing gas. Good try.

    This is more about pressure and suction.
    My favourite “air has weight” fail:

    A big problem is mass, weight and pressure are seen as the same thing

    I’m with Simplicius and Simplico. I have not yet seen air being weighed.

  90. oldbrew says:

    RC: ‘Can I have your definition of weight? ‘

    No, but whichever way the scales lean has the higher weight🙂

  91. Oldbrew says:
    August 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    “RC: ‘Can I have your definition of weight? ‘
    No, but whichever way the scales lean has the higher weight🙂 ”

    Generally, but not necessarily, depends on the type of scale and to what such scale is sensitive.
    Roger seems not to distinguish air (the gas) from atmosphere (the fluid compressed by the force of gravity). This is where the heaviness of mass under the attractive force of a gravity field is completely replaced by the pressure of that atmosphere at that location. Any atmospheric mass expresses pressure but no heaviness (force in the “direction” of the center of the mass that creates gravity). No weight.

  92. oldbrew says:

    RC says: ‘A big problem is mass, weight and pressure are seen as the same thing’

    Another problem is trying to weigh something in a medium that consists of…itself.