Knobs

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Andrew Lacis and the good folks at GISS have a new paper, Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature, Andrew A. Lacis, Gavin A. Schmidt, David Rind, Reto A. Ruedy 15 OCTOBER 2010 VOL 330 SCIENCE [hereinafter "Lacis10"]. Although most commenters have dismissed their work as being derivative and not containing anything new, I find that they have actually made a couple of unique and novel errors. I have two main difficulties with their paper. I have a problem with one of their theoretical claims, and I also have large issues with their model results. First, the theoretical claim. Lacis10 says:

Because the solar-thermal energy balance of Earth [at the top of the atmosphere (TOA)] is maintained by radiative processes only, and because all the global net advective energy transports must equal zero, it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation. This then is the basic underlying physics that explains the close coupling that exists between TOA radiative fluxes, the greenhouse effect, and the global mean surface temperature.

Figure 1. Global Energy Budget from Trenberth et al.

Let me examine this claim one piece at a time.

They start by saying:

Because the solar-thermal energy balance of Earth [at the top of the atmosphere (TOA)] is maintained by radiative processes only …

This is not clear. What does “maintained” mean? I think they mean that on average outgoing radiation must perforce equal incoming solar radiation, which is true. As seen in Fig. 1, 341 W/m2 of incoming solar is balanced by the 102 W/m2 of reflected solar plus 239 W/m2 of outgoing longwave.

Next they say:

… and because all the global net advective energy transports must equal zero, …

“Advection” is defined by the American Meteorological Society as  “the process of transport of an atmospheric property solely by the mass motion (velocity field) of the atmosphere;”

Since advection merely moves energy around, you’d think that advection wouldn’t change the average global temperature. However, while energy is conserved, temperature is not conserved. Suppose we take two equal areas, say the part of the planet from 30N to 30S (average 25°C) and the rest of the planet including the poles (average 4°C).

Advection (also called “atmospheric transport”) moves about 20 W/m2 from within the tropical and subtropical area of 30°N/S to the temperate and polar area outside of 30°N/S http://www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~arnaud/PAPER/Czaja_Marshall_jas06.pdf. Using blackbody calculations for simplicity, from the 20 W/m2 energy transfer the equatorial area cools by three degrees, while the same area at the poles warms by five degrees. And as a result, the average temperature of the two areas warms by a full degree, simply from advection.

So while the authors are entirely correct to say that the net advective energy transports equals zero, the same can not be said about the effect of net advective energy transport on temperature.

However, let’s ignore that. Let’s say that both of those statements are true for the purposes of this analysis. Given those statements, they then say:

… it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.

Here’s where we really part company, on two points. First, surface temperature is not determined in full by the radiative fluxes”. There are also sensible heat fluxes from the surface to and through the atmosphere (conduction/convection, called “Thermals” in Fig. 1) as well as latent heat fluxes (evaporation and transpiration, or “Evapo-transpiration in Fig. 1). Both of these cool the surface without changing the TOA “solar-thermal energy balance of the earth.” Either I don’t understand their conclusion, or I disagree with it. What am I missing?

Second, there is no logical “it follows” path to get from the two statements

“solar in = solar + longwave out”

and

“net advective energy transport = 0″

to their conclusion

“global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes”.

I cannot think of, and they do not provide, any logical chain of reasoning that connects the third statement to the first two.

So that’s the theoretical problem with the paper. They claim that the surface temperature of the planet is “determined in full by the radiative fluxes”. I say no.

Next, the model problem. They base all of their claims on making very large changes in the variables of the GISSE global climate model. The model problem is that like many other climate models, GISSE has the cloud feedback backwards. The GISSE model says that clouds are a positive feedback. There’s a good study of the question by De-Zheng Sun et al., 2009, Tropical Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks in Climate Models: A Further Assessment Using Coupled Simulations, Journal of Climate, 22, 1287–1304 [hereinafter Sun09].

Among other things, Sun09 says:

A more serious concern raised by the study of Sun et al. (2006) is the finding of a common bias in the simulation of the cloud albedo feedback in the leading climate models: with the exception of the GFDL model, all the models they analyzed in that study underestimate the response of cloud albedo to the surface warming.

This finding from Sun 2006 were reconfirmed in Sun09. Here’s an illustration of the problem:

Figure 2. Solar (albedo) cloud feedback (blue bars), cloud longwave (yellow bars), and net cloud feedback (red bars) in models and observations of the equatorial Pacific (5°S-5°N, 150°E-250°E). Net feedback is the sum of the longwave and albedo feedbacks. Period of study 1983-2004. DATA SOURCE Sun09 Table II. See Sun09 notes for Table I and Table II for details on the data.

Note the errors in the modelled albedo feedback (blue bars). In the tropics, solar albedo feedback works as follows. Increasing warmth means increasing clouds. Increasing clouds means more sunlight is reflected into space. This cools the earth, and is a negative feedback.

While most of the of the models at least get the sign of the cloud albedo (solar reflection) feedback correct (more clouds means less sunshine hitting the earth, a negative feedback), the UKMO Hadgem1 and the GISS EH models don’t even get the sign of the albedo feedback correct. The rest of the models underestimate the size of the albedo feedback, with values as low as 16% of the observed cloud albedo feedback.

There are also a very wide range of values for the longwave, some of which are very small compared to the actual observations.

In addition to the albedo and longwave problems, a larger issue is the net cloud feedback (red bars). All but one of the models show positive net cloud feedback. The observations and one model show negative feedback.

Now, the Lacis10 authors are using their model to determine (among other things) what happens in the deep Pacific tropics when the non-condensing GHGs are removed from the atmosphere.

Obviously, the first thing that would happen if GHGs were removed is that the planet would start to cool. The immediate response in the tropics would be that daytime cumulus would decrease. This would allow more sunshine to heat the earth, which would be a negative feedback on the cooling from the lack of GHGs.

In addition, the number of tropical thunderstorms would decrease. This would slow the Equator-to Poles atmospheric transport. Once again, this would warm the earth, and would also be a strong negative feedback on the cooling.

The GISS model, on the other hand, says the opposite. It says that as the Earth cools from the lack of GHGs, the change in clouds would make it cooler yet … and unsurprisingly, it says that the net result would be that the planet would spiral into a permanent snowball. Fig. 3 is a figure from the Lacis10 paper, showing how they think it would evolve:

Figure 3. Lacis10 description (their Fig. 2) of the evolution of GISSE model when non-condensing GHGs (everything but water vapor) is removed.

I find this graph quite odd. Immediately after the GHGs are removed, surface temperature starts to drop. That makes sense. But concurrently, there is a steep increase in clouds, from 59% coverage to 69% coverage in one year. This doesn’t make sense. A warmer world is a wetter world. A warmer world is a world with more moisture in the air, and a world with more rainfall and more clouds. Conversely, a cooler world is a dryer world, with less clouds. What would cause the modelled clouds to increase in coverage as the earth cooled? This may be related to the reversed sign of the GISS albedo feedbacks shown in Fig. 2.

(In addition, the GISS Model E normally shows about 10% less cloud coverage than the real Earth. See Present-Day Atmospheric Simulations Using GISS ModelE, (PDF 2.2 Mb), page 169.)

Finally, Fig. 4 shows the atmospheric transport feedback and the total atmospheric feedback, again from Sun09. This is the net cloud feedback shown in Fig. 2, plus the water vapor feedback and the atmospheric transport feedback. (Water vapor feedback is similar in observations and models, and is not shown.)

Figure 4. As in Fig. 2, for atmospheric transport feedback (blue bars) and total atmospheric feedback (red bars). Total atmospheric feedback is the sum of the feedbacks of water vapor, cloud longwave, cloud shortwave, and atmospheric transport. Fewer models are shown than in Fig. 2, because of lack of data for the remainder. See Sun09 for details.

As with the net cloud and the cloud albedo feedbacks, the atmospheric transport feedback is also underestimated by many models. Atmospheric transport is the movement of energy out of the Equatorial area of the study. This transport of energy out of the area increases as the temperature goes up, so it is a negative feedback. It reduces the size of an expected increase.

And as a result of all of the model underestimations, the net feedback for the observations is much larger than any of the models. And indeed, some of the models go so far as to claim positive feedback in the deep tropics area studied.

So that’s my second problem with the Lacis10 paper. Given the huge variation in the feedbacks of the different models, and given that all but one of them show positive cloud feedback in the tropics, there is absolutely no reason to place the slightest credence in the GISS ModelE results reported in Lacis10. Let me close with this quote from James Hansen, pp 2-3 (bulleting mine):

2.4 Principal Model Deficiencies [of the GISS ModelE climate model]

Model shortcomings include

• ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2

• deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2

• sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics

• ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin

• ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5C excessive summer warmth in these regions.

I mean, how could you not trust a model with specs like that?

w.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Carbon dioxide and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

148 Responses to Knobs

  1. Juraj V. says:

    So if those four molecules of CO2 out of 10,000 other molecules are removed, world wold cool to -20°C??? This is worse than one would thought. This beats even those mythical 33K effect, allegedly caused by hundreds of water vapor molecules + those four poor CO2 molecules.
    Sahara region has minimum humidity and its overall “greenhouse effect” is much reduced. It is missing not just four molecules of CO2, but dozens to hundreds of molecules of H2O. And its night temps are not any close to -20°C.
    Maybe those guys are mixing foots, meters, pounds, Fahrenheits and Celsius altogether. At the end, Gavin is British. There is no other reasonable explanation.

  2. Gina says:

    If you look at the upper atmosphere as a system, the flux is determined by the temperatures at both its boundaries, and the temperature of its lower boundary is affected by the atmosphere below it. So, yes, the lower atmosphere’s heat transfer activity definitely affect the upper atmosphere’s flux.

  3. Baa Humbug says:

    Thankyou Willis

    The claim that the planet would spiral into an ice ball if (NC)GHGs were removed from the atmosphere interests me because I was told this very same thing in a discussion at Judith Currys weblog by Chris Colose. He cited the Lacis paper.

    To keep a long story short, here is the relevant part of his answer cut n pasted

    “In simulations of a greenhouse free atmosphere by Lacis (as well as other papers), the albedo of the planet actually increases substantially. This is, in part, due to the prospect of a runaway icehouse planet, with most or all of the oceans freezing over. This increases the total planetary albedo to over 30%, resulting in temperature even colder than the 255 K value above.”

    So their train of thought as I understand it is Cooler T’s = More Ice = Higher Albedo = Cooler Ts etc. that seems to make sense.

    But as you say, cooler Ts =reduced cloud cover = more sunshine hours = more warming.
    How would we crunch these numbers?

  4. Ed P says:

    I’m puzzled by these models. Why does the rotation of the earth and the seasonal variations (which move the peak incoming energy from tropic to tropic through the year and therefore alters the energy received by the cloud bands) not feature? There’s also the energy input from magnetic fields, solar winds of ionised particles and gravity. How can a climate theory be robust without consideration of all inputs?

  5. EthicallyCivil says:

    Wait — *why* do advective transfers net zero? I’m thinking about a thermal (dry air convection) here. If I’m convectively lifting warm energetic mass to altitude were it then radiates and thus further cools below the adiabatic expansion temperature, it then has less energy when it descends.

    Maybe I’m missing something.

  6. Anthony Watts says:

    Willis, thanks so much for this essay. Don’t forget to title it. The title was blank so I added a generic title of “knobs”. – Anthony

  7. Vince Causey says:

    “So that’s the theoretical problem with the paper. They claim that the surface temperature of the planet is “determined in full by the radiative fluxes”. I say no.”

    Just guessing here, but I imagine they are taking a blackbody approach. If they assume a radiative flux controls temperature, then they may well conclude that
    T^4 = radiative flux / sigma.

  8. Baa Humbug says:

    ??????? Eyeballing the Lacis Fig2 (Willis Fig3) temperature drops fairly uniformly by ~30DegC in 10 years, Column WV drops ~75% in those 10 years but cloud cover not only jumps ~10% in the first year as Willis indicated, but it keeps rising very slightly for another ~10yrs. Whats Up With That?

  9. Baa Humbug says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Willis, thanks so much for this essay. Don’t forget to title it. The title was blank so I added a generic title of “knobs”. – Anthony

    Ahaha haha haha I spilt my morning coffee. Chest Hair Warming.

  10. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    Noticed the lagging title. Mr. Watts, an apt header and I encourage Mr. Eschenbach to adopt it. I always enjoy fine wordsmithing, and this is a fine double entendre.

  11. Scott Covert says:

    If I’m not mistaken, a cursory look at their theory would mandate an eternal ice age on our planet…

    Wait, their assumption doesn’t work with water being present on the earth’s surface.

    They have left out the whole water cycle. Not all of the sun’s energy stays in our atmosphere as thermal energy. Enthalpy and latent heat of vaporization trap the sun’s energy keeping is stored like a battery.

    Watching cars come and go on the highway doesn’t tell you how many cars are in the city. Slowing the cars that are leaving adds more cars but the total is still unknown.

  12. Owen says:

    There is one elephant in the room that I’ve never seen answered – It is so obvious (to me) that I am amazed that this isn’t discussed:

    At any point in the atmosphere, scattered IR radiation goes in all directions. It matters not HOW MANY layers there are, ALWAYS over half the scattering is outward. Due to the geometry of the Earth, the MAXIMUM greenhouse effect is slightly less than half the outgoing IR. There can be no argument here, it is simply impossible for even half the energy to be scattered Earthwards.

    In the diagram in the post, we have 333/(333+356) =48.33%. This is surely close to the absolute maximum Greenhouse effect possible.

    Using the energy balance from NASA, it works out at 46%. Either way, increasing greenhouse gases cannot possibly return anymore IR energy to the Earth.

    I am surely wrong. It can’t be this simple to invalidate the whole AGW fraud?
    Can some of the Active Scientists here please invalidate my argument?

  13. Gary Hladik says:

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the energy balance of the whole earth system (land, ocean, atmosphere) is determined by the TOA radiative balance? And that the radiative balance is determined by factors such as CO2, water vapor, clouds, ice cover, atmospheric advection, etc?

  14. jorgekafkazar says:

    “solar in = solar + longwave out” and “net advective energy transport = 0″

    It sounds to me like they’re looking at an imaginary sphere corresponding to the “boundary” of the upper atmosphere. No energy crosses that boundary except radiative energy. The advective flow across that boundary is zero. Getting to their next sweeping statement is not clear to me:

    “global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes”.

    That neglects the polar – equatorial convective flux, as you point out, and also neglects the fact that it’s not just the surface that is radiating, but the entire atmosphere. And the thermosphere, but that’s a subject for another day…

  15. JamesS says:

    I’m not a climate researcher, nor am I currently a scientist at all; but my degree is in geology (BS) and one thing I do know is that at different times in the Earth’s history there were much greater concentrations of atmospheric CO2 than there are today, and the climate did not “tip” over into a runaway greenhouse effect.

    Stripped of all the spin, this can only mean that (1) CO2 is NOT the driver for global temperatures, and (2) that there are mechanisms in existence that can strip out large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it.

    This up-and-down CO2 cycle is a fact that current climate models do not handle. Until they can, it seems to me we can do no other than realize that there are mechanisms in play of which we have not yet the slightest understanding. We’re akin to prehistoric man wondering why the Sun was warm and having no clue about electromagnetic radation.

  16. Baa Humbug says:

    Scott Covert says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Watching cars come and go on the highway doesn’t tell you how many cars are in the city. Slowing the cars that are leaving adds more cars but the total is still unknown.

    Love it. Would you mind if I Plagi…Plage…Plagy…copy it?

  17. anna v says:

    We just had 45 days of weather in Greece that have little to do with radiation and all to do with convection. Southern winds kept temperature minima at 15C with maxima often 22C, wind coming from Africa. Fortunately southern winds brought clouds, that’s why temperatures did not become 30C as they practically were in Crete.
    The next 24 hours the temperatures will drop 15C because the winds will be coming from Russia and Siberia. What radiation? It is the same sun shining all the time.

    The basic flaw in this paper, in my opinion, is that it thinks that nature can separate green house gasses, that the photons know if the greenhouse gases are CO2 or H2O.
    Hand waving “H2O is variable while CO2 is cumulative” does not make a scientific argument and is indicative of scientific cognitive dissonance. In order for their model to have clouds, it means that moisture is not 0 so there exist green house gases which will be something like 5% less on average than if the CO2 were there. That is all. A small drop in temperature but no negative feedback.

  18. Dave Wendt says:

    Evans and Puckrin 2006, a study which used spectral analysis to quantify the separate contributions of the various atmospheric component gases to total downwelling long wave radiation at the surface

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    found that in the presence of DLR from H2O of more than 200W/m2 the DLR attributable to CO2 was dramatically suppressed, from being a 1/4 to 1/3 of 105- 125 W/m2 total DLR in cold dry winter conditions to being only 4% of 250+W/m2 hot moist summer conditions. The observational work for this study was done in Canada, since total DLR at Tropical and subTropical latitudes is usually in the range of 350 to 400+W/m2 this would suggest that, at latitudes where TSI is most additive the global energy budget, CO2 is a very minor contributor to the “greenhouse effect”.
    Given the dramatic decline in surface temps their model shows with the removal of nonH2O GHGs, it would appear that the model doesn’t take this factor into consideration.
    Admittedly they are talking about TOA rather than surface measurements, but since radiative activity is theoretically mostly symmetrical, that wouldn’t seem to cancel the effect.
    I would point out that the observed effect was not only present in the observations, but that it was almost exactly predicted by the model E & P used to predict past levels of surface DLR (see Table 3b), a model which appears to be more accurate than most.

  19. Moritz Petersen says:

    Thank You Willis,

    your last two posts and the discussion in the comments were very interesting. Before I read these, I just swallowed the notion that weather != climate, and that climate models could do something, that weather models can not: long term forecasts. Being an aerospace engineer, I know that applying anything close to the pure Navier Stokes Equation in a system with any lifelike complexity is impossible with current technology. I’m just thinking about the immense effort of simulating a two-phase-fluid in a single channel between two blades of a turbine. So I assumed that they used statistical methods. Hearing in your last post, that they don’t, was an eye opener: These models can not possibly work. That they further more, don’t exhibit the statistical properties of reality proves that they are BS. The whole excuse that their models calculate a climate (a statistic) and not weather is BS.

    The next look at the model results reveals, that the graphs shown in the media are the “anomalies”, while the real results are usually several tenths of a degree off, with the 95% area of the measured data and the simulated data rarely overlapping. This alone would mean in any other field of study, that the models are false.
    Comparing the anomalies means effectively adding the difference between average observed measured data and average simulated data and thereby correcting the model.
    I also work with models that have a semi-predictable error, so I know that some programs produce overly optimistic or pessimistic results, but do this consistently. Sometimes I can calculate an error-constant if the shapes of the curves are similar with an nearly constant offset. But I can only interpolate such offsets between measurements and simulations within the measured field of data, but never extrapolate (And continue to call myself an engineer).
    None of these climate models do not produce a constant offset, furthermore the situation in the next century is (allegedly) significantly different than in the last century, so one would have to do invalid extrapolations.

    Then there is the holy grail of Global Warming: The feedbacks. The larger standard deviation of the simulated data and its derivatives of your last post made me suspicious, because it looked like a oscillation with too much amplitude which would mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with the feedbacks, dampening or delays/momenta. This post confirms this suspicion by showing that the feedbacks are apparently not based on empiric data (what ARE these models based on?)

    Greetings
    Moritz

    PS: please excuse my spelling and grammar errors. I am German, and English is my second language.

  20. HankHenry says:

    Are they arguing that a car radiator works just as well when the water pump stops advecting?

  21. kwik says:

    You know, that computer they use……… Format C: comes to mind….

  22. tallbloke says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm (Edit)
    Willis, thanks so much for this essay. Don’t forget to title it. The title was blank so I added a generic title of “knobs”. – Anthony

    Willis, don’t you dare change it. We brit’s fully appreciate Anthony’s unintended double entendre

  23. James Chamberlain says:

    “Knobs” Best title for an article about CAGW researchers. Ever.

  24. old construction worker says:

    Thanks Willis. Nice job, even an old book keeper can follow.

  25. Scott Covert says:

    Baa Humbug says:
    December 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    Scott Covert says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Watching cars …{snip}…is still unknown.

    Love it. Would you mind if I Plagi…Plage…Plagy…copy it?

    Absolut.. abs.. um …. Yea, go ahead.

  26. 1DandyTroll says:

    Why do I get the feeling that they’re trying to fit reality into their hypothetical modeling.

  27. Brent Hargreaves says:

    It occurred to me a while back that heat from the Earth’s mantle must pass through the crust at a certain specific power. It seems that this effect is trivial – 0.2 W/m2 – compared to solar, and doesn’t merit being included in the equations.

    The IPCC claim that “black carbon on snow” contributes just 0.1 W/m2, but this figure is not absolute: it is a relative change compared to its pre-industrial value, and therefore not comparable to the 0.2.

    Might it be that the moon’s tidal effect might oscillate, contributing a few tenths of a Watt of variation on a decade/century timescale? No? Ah, well, I’ll get me coat.

  28. Mac the Knife says:

    ‘Knobs’ indeed….. Perfect!

    Thanks for the post and analyses, Willis!

  29. DCC says:

    Strikes me as something that the peer reviewers should have offered before publication. If they did, what was the result? In any case, now that the paper has been publicly peer-reviewed, what are the chances the lead author will respond, preferably here?

    This also tells us something is seriously wrong with the existing peer review system.

  30. Smokey says:

    Knobs were discovered by the previous Administration.

  31. Jeremy says:
    “global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes”.

    I cannot think of, and they do not provide, any logical chain of reasoning that connects the third statement to the first two.

    Neither can I Willis. That statement makes no sense physically, and wouldn’t pass muster in a physics paper. First, heat does move around on the surface and can in fact redistribute itself in the ocean, or through rivers and lakes into the ocean. In short, energy contained locally on the planets surface and oceans can change outside of radiative flux. This means the temperature can change due to something other than radiation.

    I also do not believe the upper atmosphere is wholly protected from escaping earth’s gravity from the pull of vacuum/solar wind. It is entirely plausible to my mind (and I thought there was literature backing me up but I cannot quote it) that gases/ions actually do escape earths gravity well much as gasses bleed off of comets who venture too close to the sun. I recall a paper demonstrating a picture of earth’s gas “tail” as it were. This is a form of heat transfer to space and it is not radiative. My understanding is that Earths atmosphere is not a perfect bubble, but a leaky bubble that is replenished with vulcanism. Without volcanoes, we would slowly lose net CO2 in the air, which would kill the plants, which would then kill us. This makes me very thankful for Krakatoa. I’m hoping there’s a geologist/space-science person on this thread who can back me up, but I’m fairly certain this is the case and it undercuts the idea that the only heat transfer to space is radiative.

  32. berniel says:

    “Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature” This title is a gift. It’s astonishing that a paper using this metaphor by these scientists is appear so late in the day. We really do have thermostatic control over global temperature! The scientists (still!) say so.

    We can determine our destiny, avoid catastrophe, if we only mend our ways, if youse all do what we say. While there were no control knobs in the 15th century, still its shades of Savonarola versus the Florentine Renaissance, demanding the Bonfire of the Vanities and all that.

  33. Doug Badgero says:

    Their logic is full of holes. As EthicallyCivil pointed out net advective energy transport does not equal zero. This method dominates in the lower troposphere but both are always occurring at every altitude. Mass flows at low altitudes will lose more energy to radiative fluxes at higher altitudes. Some energy picked up at low altitudes via advective flows will be lost to radiative fluxes at higher altitudes. This seems obvious, what am I missing?

    The temperature v energy issue is important too. The specific heat capacity of water is about 4 times that of air. Now consider the specific volume differences and you realize that you can heat many cubic meters of air using the energy contained in very little water and cool the water much less than the air is heated. Assuming of course that the temperature difference exists to transfer the energy. And I haven’t even begun to discuss latent heat.

  34. Willis Eschenbach says:

    EthicallyCivil says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Wait — *why* do advective transfers net zero? I’m thinking about a thermal (dry air convection) here. If I’m convectively lifting warm energetic mass to altitude were it then radiates and thus further cools below the adiabatic expansion temperature, it then has less energy when it descends.

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    Because energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So all you are doing with advective transfers is moving it around, and what one place gains, another loses. Net zero.

  35. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Willis, thanks so much for this essay. Don’t forget to title it. The title was blank so I added a generic title of “knobs”. – Anthony

    Thanks, Anthony. I finished the essay at about 3:30 AM last night, then posted it in a hurry this morning …

    And while I’m here, thanks also for:

    Having the best and freest science blog on the web. The moderation is generally very light (although repeat offenders may get banned after repeated warnings). The tone is good and is improving, hopefully even mine. And the science is always welcome, whether it is agreed or disagreed with.

    Allowing me to post here under my own by-line without any pre-screening or editorial changes. Much appreciated. People should know that Anthony and I don’t always agree about the science. However, he gives me free rein to make my own inimitable mistakes and curiously probable claims, without interference or hindrance. He is clear that I do not speak for him, nor he for me.

    So my thanks for all of your efforts, my friend.

    w.

  36. Dave Worley says:

    IR radiated at higher altitudes, above the majority of greenhouse gases is less likely to be absorbed by the thinner atmosphere on the outward vector than the denser inward vector. For air carried aloft, the net flow of radiated energy is outward.

    The premise that convecion/advection does not contribute is false.

  37. DocMartyn says:

    it is a spinning ball for Gods sake; the temperature goes up and down during the day and night cycle, the system is never in a equilibrium state. What absolute crap this paper is.

  38. Dave Worley says:

    “Because energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So all you are doing with advective transfers is moving it around, and what one place gains, another loses. Net zero.”

    Not net zero….energy radiating into space is not destroyed, it simply does not return to the atmosphere. A net loss.

  39. Doug Badgero says:

    Willis,

    But can’t energy be transferred into a fluid via conduction and convection and transferred out via radiation? Or am I misinterpreting what is meant by advective flows?

  40. Bob_FJ says:

    According to the simplistic Trenberth diagram displayed by Willis, the proportions of various HEAT sources leaving the surface are:

    Evapo-transpiration = 49.7%
    NET Radiative, absorbed in troposphere = 35.2%…. Direct to space = 3.5%
    Thermals = 10.6%
    Net absorbed by the surface = 0.9% (what a travesty!)

    Thus, by far the greatest HEAT loss contribution (which is 99.1 % of the total HEAT in), is given as from evapo-transpiration (E-T).
    There is much debate about feedbacks from clouds arising from cloud cover changes. There is also positive feedback argued for increased water vapour in a warming world. These two parameters would appear to be related to E-T, so it seems to me that a necessary small % change in E-T would have a greater cooling effect than the radiative effects of clouds and water vapour

    I’ve asked Roy Spencer about this, and he agrees that it is important, but without suggesting how much so. He has not responded to my latest Email but the message I seem to get so far is that everyone is too busy arguing the radiative effects to even think about what would seem to be a larger negative feedback in E-T (evaporative cooling + latent heat)

    Regardless of what happens at TOA, the measure of global warming over the past 150 years IS ONLY given by the near surface temperature. That temperature is affected by what happens at the surface and in the troposphere, but not so much at TOA.

    Thoughts anyone?

  41. Bulldust says:

    “knobs” … misleading title… I thought it was going to be an article about bumbling UN politicians, who people of British descent would rightfully describe as knobs.

  42. JFD says:

    Thanks, Willis, I always enjoy trying to follow the thoughts in your articles. I have three points that I would like to make about atmosphere temperature control knobs. I found chart at NOAA showing that humidity in the upper Troposphere has been decreasing continuously since 1958. Studying the chart, I concluded that increasing CO2 would result in displacing H2O vapor into outer space due to simple partial pressure equilibrium. This would act as an atmosphere temperature relief valve.

    My second point is the amount of ground water from slow to recharge (fossil) aquifers grew continuously from about 1945 to about 2000 or so. The large bulk of this water is used for crop and forage irrigation. The aquifer levels have started dropping, especially in US, China and parts of India who are the big players in irrigation. The levels have dropped to the point that production rate has been to slowly drop as well. The amount of produced water that does not recharge back into the earth is about 800 cubic kilometers per year. This amount of water raises the ocean levels about 2.6 mm per year. The evapotranspiration of the produced water on the surface changes the potential energy of the water into kinetic energy at constant temperature due to latent heat. The water vapor rises until it is reaches condensation temperature where the kinetic energy releases specific heat into the atmosphere as it changes back into potential energy. Thus, the condensation increases the temperature of the atmosphere more than enough to account for the observed global warming.

    My third point is the number of continuously operating evaporative cooling towers also began to increase about 1945. These towers force or induce air into contact with water falling down the tower. The evaporation of water into vapor causes the water to cool for recycling. The air expelled from the top of the cooling tower is essentially 100% hot saturated air and aerosols, which rise to form clouds.

    These are real operational activities at work day in and day out. Hansen et al seem to me to be missing real contributors to changes in the climate.

  43. JT says:

    “Using blackbody calculations for simplicity, from the 20 W/m2 energy transfer the equatorial area cools by three degrees, while the same area at the poles warms by five degrees.”
    Willis, this touches on a problem I have with climate models generally. Trenberth was quoted, at Lucia’s I think but possibly at Judith Curry’s, as saying that the climate models run at a range of absolute temperatures; and as I recall, most run hotter than the actual world. However, the argument is made that it is the anomalies of these models which are predictive of climate change. But, thermodynamically speaking, as your quote above demonstrates, the amount of temperature change from a given amount of energy input depends on the temperature at which the input occurs. Thus your tropical zone decreased in temperature by 3 degrees while the much colder polar regions increase in temperature by 5 degrees, from the same change in energy. So, how can models running at different temperatures from the real world and each other have the same trend from the same increase in CO2 forcing? Surely the hotter models should have a lower trend and the colder models a higher trend?

  44. Brian H says:

    TOA for the “atmospheric window” is the surface. Every molecule emitting in that range will cool without limit. It will “steal” heat from adjacent molecules, and keep pumping it out the window. Thus the window becomes the “preferred” radiative exit for energy from the surface, since none of the photons at those energies is bounced or “back-radiated”.

  45. Dr. Phil says:

    Willis,

    Thanks for the informative post. One small comment, you started by saying “I think they mean that on average outgoing radiation must perforce equal incoming solar radiation, which is true.” This is not necessarily true at all, it would strictly be true only if the earth and sun were in equilibrium with each other, which of course they are not (sun 6000K, earth 300K!) . If the sun were to disappear tomorrow, there would be no incoming radiation, but the earth would still radiate out. I guess it’s observed that there is roughly an incoming/outgoing balance in practice, since the earths mean temp is roughly constant, but there is no a priori reason for this to be true.

  46. Brian H says:

    Jeremy;
    Aside from solar wind knocking molecules out, out, and away, there is always going to be some loss from thermal evaporation (individual molecules achieving escape velocity due to chaotic Brownian motion effects.) Probably electromagnetic acceleration of ions gets involved, too.

    I.e., there’s more than one “leak” in the balloon.

  47. tallbloke says:

    Slightly OT but maybe Willis can clarify:

    The energy budget diagram shows 78W/m^2 of incoming solar energy being absorbed directly by the atmosphere. Is half of this then included in the outgoing and half included in ‘back radiation’?

    Doesn’t this bugger up the theoretical amount of radiation trapped by the atmosphere from outgoing LW from the surface?

  48. A. S. Jensen says:

    The analysis of Willis Eschenbach is correct and shows one of the essential errors done by many climate scientists, in that respect that they believe that the mean temperature of the Earth is a proxy of the global warming. Though it sounds paradoxical, the earth can be warming/cooling despite that mean temperature of the Earth is falling/rising.

    The first statement of Lacis et al, that global spatial average of advective energy (convective power flux) is true and zero per definition. But as Willis has pointed out the next part of the statement is not correct:

    ….it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.

    The mean global temperature is computed as a spatial and temporal averaging of the local measured temperatures, which locally is determined by the in/out going radiation and the convective power flux. Averaging this does not remove the convective power flux (the advective energy). The reason for this is that in a local radiation balance the temperature dependence is a complicated function. The dependence goes approximately as the fourth power of the temperature (Bolzmann). So an averaging of the radiation balance will give the mean value of the forth power of the temperature and this will be independent of the convective power flux. But this does not give the mean temperature of the Earth. However it would be a good proxy of the global warming/cooling issue i.e. computing the spatial and temporal averaging of the fourth power of the temperature and expressed it as an equivalent temperature i.e. as the cubic root of the measurement. I would expect that a global curve of these equivalent temperatures would appear to be much less fluctuating than the present representation of global temperature.

    The (local) climate and the temperature are determined by the convection in the atmosphere and the oceans. So only if there is a coupling between the convection patterns and (minor) changes in the radiative power flux due to greenhouse gasses, the climate will change of this reason. But this has to my knowledge never been proved.

  49. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dave Wendt says:
    December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Evans and Puckrin 2006, a study which used spectral analysis to quantify the separate contributions of the various atmospheric component gases to total downwelling long wave radiation at the surface

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    found that in the presence of DLR from H2O of more than 200W/m2 the DLR attributable to CO2 was dramatically suppressed

    Thank you for that fascinating study by Evans, Dave. Lacis (above) claims that

    In round numbers, water vapor accounts for
    about 50% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, with
    clouds contributing 25%, CO2 20%, and the minor
    GHGs and aerosols accounting for the remaining
    5%. Because CO2, O3, N2O, CH4, and
    chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) do not condense and
    precipitate, noncondensing GHGs constitute the
    key 25% of the radiative forcing that supports
    and sustains the entire terrestrial greenhouse effect …

    In the Evans clear-sky observations (no clouds) CO2 was measured at 11% of the total downwelling radiation from water vapor, CO2, and minor GHGs.

    In the Lacis10 study CO2 was 27% of the total of water vapor, CO2, and minor GHGs. In other words, the Lacis10 computer results show about two and a half times more radiation from CO2 (and minor GHGs) than Evans’ observations.

    Alternatively, we could approximate the clouds. In Lacis10 clouds have half the forcing of water vapor. We can apply this same percentage to the Evans observations, and assume that the clouds are half of the water vapor forcing. This increases the total forcing by that amount.

    This (naturally) reduces CO2 forcing as a percent of the now-larger total. In this case, which is comparable to the Lacis formulation above, CO2 is 8% of the total, with the minor GHGs at 2%.

    Once again, the Lacis10 results are about two and a half times larger than the Evans observations.

    The other finding of Evans was that more water vapor in the air means less CO2 absorption in both absolute and relative terms. In the winter it was measured at 105 W/m water vapor versus 35 W/m for carbon dioxide (33%). In summer CO2 radiation goes down to 10 W/m2 versus 255 W/m2 for water vapor (4%), due to increased absorption by water vapor.

    This means that CO2 will make less difference in the tropics, with its uniformly high humidity, than in the extratropics where the Evans observations were taken.

    So no, I don’t find the Lacis10 invocation of the GISS ModelE death spiral into terminal Arcticatastrophe at all suasive …

  50. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I don’t understand. Why are all the models that disagree with observation, at least in quality, if not quantity, not thrown away as innacurate or just plain wrong.

  51. old construction worker says:

    ‘I seem to get so far is that everyone is too busy arguing the radiative effects to even think about what would seem to be a larger negative feedback in E-T (evaporative cooling + latent heat)’

    If we put would put 4 walls , a roof and a floor around the world, we would be living in a swamp cooling system.

  52. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Willis, wouldn’t a reduction in water vapor reinforce the cooling (more than the reduction in clouds would make up for)?

    Has anyone run MODTRAN with and without CO2? I am curious as to the amount of forcing lost with a cloud free column. I wonder if there is an estimate for the positive feedbacks (warming) of fewer thunderstorms and fewer clouds. Comparing those two, it seems likely that the energy lost by missing CO2 entirely will not be gained (or even close to gained) by the lack of clouds and other weather. Thus the earth will cool as suggested and loss of water vapor will cool it further.

  53. John from CA says:

    Willis, the graph is 2D — its flawed and thus the logic is; 101 problem in climate science.

  54. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Juraj V. December 9, 2010 at 11:52 am
    Maybe those guys are mixing foots, meters, pounds, Fahrenheits and Celsius altogether. At the end, Gavin is British. There is no other reasonable explanation.

    As an Englishman, I should take offence at this … you … you …Swede :-)

    But I cannot deny your argument :-)

  55. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Gavin cooks the books, which probably explains why they are cooked so bad, given English cooking :-)

  56. Kforestcat says:

    Mr. Eschenbach

    I fully agree with you observation that the author’s claim that surface temperatures of the plants is “determined in full by the radiative fluxes” is dubious.

    Indeed this was a primary reason I became a skeptic. When I started to look at the “energy balance” equations used by climate scientist it immediately became clear the equations were dead wrong – precisely because their equations failed to account for heat transfer due to conduction, convection, evaporation, and condensation.

    In short, in AGW theory, there is a near complete reliance on radiative transfer as a the “only” means of energy transfer within the atmosphere. Consequently It became crystal clear “climate science” required a “simplifying” assumption that the mechanisms of conduction and convection in air were negligible. This reality “lapse” is particularly evident when I looked at purely vertical GHG models (where horizontal air movement is ignored).

    As a chemical engineer I knew full well this was an absurd set of assumptions. It was also clear that this assumption leads to a second absurd simplifying assumption. Specifically that atmospheric radiative transfer is a reversible adiabatic process (i.e., involves no addition of heat). The “adiabatic” assumption is absurd; because radiative transfer to a body with mass, is and always has been, a subset of thermal heat transfer (symbolically represented as Q). At the molecular level both thermal and radiative transfer are the result of photon exchange – real photons (light) for radiative transfer and virtual photons for heat or thermal exchange.

    Simply put, one cannot have an adiabatic process (where Q is equal to zero) and simultaneously have radiative heat transfer (where Q is a fixed value). A fundamental tenet of any thermodynamic analysis of radiative transfer is that the transfer can be described by the formula Q = hr*A*(Ts1 – Ts2); where Q = the heat transferred, hr is the radiative heat transfer coefficient (a function of temperature that can be derived from the Stefan-Boltzmann equation), A is the area, and Ts1 & Ts2 are the respective temperatures of given bodies. (See the text “Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer”; by Bennet and Myers, McGraw-Hill, 1974, 2nd edition; pages 309 & 435).

    The absurd “adiabatic” assumption leads to a non-physical situation where one has no energy exchange between molecules “heated” by radiative transfer. In other words, in AGW climate science, a heated CO2 molecule is not expected to hit a nearby colder molecule – resulting in a transfer of energy. Clearly we don’t live in a thermodynamic world where an isolated volume of gas at temperature (T) consists of many molecules all at different temperatures. Nor do we live in a world where a heated molecule will not move kinetically without hitting an adjacent molecule. In short, the entire concept violates the statistical basis upon which the 2nd law of thermodynamics is based (from the perspective of two molecules in close proximity [in a gas] existing at different temperatures and not exchanging “heat” thru kinetic impact). Not to mention the impact on the ideal gas law. PV = nRT any one?

    I also observed a complete lack of understanding of or of use reaction kinetics for assessing the conversion of radiative energy to thermal energy when light (photons) hit matter. My former physical chemistry professor is likely rolling in his grave. This was all the more disturbing given that both Einstein and Neils Bohr provide a fairly sound basis for evaluating the predicted behavior of photons and atoms. (For a good entry level description I recommend Chapter 12 of the text book “Fundaments of Phononics” by Bahaa E. Saleh and Malvin Teich; John Wiley & Sons, 1991 edition). I have read two papers that used the Bohr/Einstein approach both of which call into question AGW theory due to AGW failure to fully account for thermal transfer due to light/mass interaction (i.e. the saturation effect).

    While the above simplifying “science” assumptions are useful in metrological prediction (where one has measured temperatures as a starting point for weather prediction); it is not at all surprising that this “simplified” approach starts to break down in a matter of days. Nor is it surprising that AWG “climate scientist” cannot accurately predict the tropical temperature profile with altitude. Simply put, from my view, their highly “simplified” non-physical thermodynamic model quickly falls apart with time – as the impacts of conduction, convection, evaporation, condensation and other effects overwhelm the simplified model.

    As a side note. If one is to be fully and scientifically accurate, there can be no “radiative” balance at the outer atmosphere unless you assume that no energy stroage. In other words you assume 1) atmospheric reactions are not occurring, 2) no photosynthesis is occurring, and 3) there are no other geological mechanisms for “storing” radiative energy. I would submit, we have enough fossil fuels and plant life to demonstrate that radiative energy is being stored. Hence, In = Out + Stored + Reactions. Not, as assumed, In = Out.

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  57. Surfer Dave says:

    Ed P says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Yes, and there’s also the missing outward flow of thermal energy from the Earth’s volcanism. The diagram shows net flow inwards yet we know that the Earth is inherently exothermic due to radioactivity, remnant formation heat and friction from gravitational effects. I understand that the net flow outwards is only small, tenths of a Wm-2, but I also know that it is poorly understood and I don’t even know how it has been “measured”.

    Similarly, we are always given longwave radiation as the form of energy transfer away from the earth to free space, the “balancing” flow to provide the stasis. I guess this is because longwave (ie infra-red) is in the middle of the power spectral band of a blackbody of the Earth’s average temperature, but I have never seen a Power Spectral Density diagram showing the actual power vs frequency of the outgoing radiation. Does one exist? Is the earth a perfect blackbody? What is the true emmisivity function of the planet?

    Naive issues perhaps. Just curious.

  58. Paul Nevins says:

    I love the way they call computer generated fantasy “research”. Get off your duff and do an experiment already, or collect some honest data.

    Computer models of systems you don’t understand are not science no matter how many “peers” review it.

  59. Eric (skeptic) says:

    Ah, I see my question was at least partly answered before I asked it. Even if CO2 is just 10% of the GH effect, that is a significant chunk of the 79 W shown for clouds in the Trenberth diagram. Even with no clouds, it seems to me that the loss of the water vapor feedback at that point would lead to significant cooling. If CO2 is closer to 25%, then cooling is a certainty, the lack of CO2 plus the reduced water vapor would easily exceed the gain from having no clouds.

  60. Pamela Gray says:

    I JUST got through posting about the cold weather in Cancun when I saw this title!!!! KNOBS! Now I have a mess to clean up on my computer.

  61. Bill Illis says:

    Nice article Willis.

    This is about as clear as it can get.

    They really did increase the cloud cover numbers in their simulation when CO2/GHGs are removed. I mean really. [I didn't read the actual paper when it came out but now that I have, they really did this].

    I mean pull out the CO2/GHGs and water vapour falls by 90%. Yet, cloudiness increases 15 percentage points or so. There is almost no water vapour yet cloudiness increases to levels probably never seen before on the planet. It is completely ridiculous.

    All these climate scientist simulations are “tuned” to get the result they want. But magically, it gets published.

  62. J.Hansford says:

    It’s the water vapor…. No matter how you cut this climate pie, CO2 is always gonna be just the crumbs.

  63. Dave Wendt says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    December 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm
    Dave Wendt says:
    December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Evans and Puckrin 2006, a study which used spectral analysis to quantify the separate contributions of the various atmospheric component gases to total downwelling long wave radiation at the surface

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    found that in the presence of DLR from H2O of more than 200W/m2 the DLR attributable to CO2 was dramatically suppressed

    Thank you for that fascinating study by Evans, Dave.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been intrigued by it since I first came across it several years ago. The logical implications I offered were of course my own and not those of the authors, who seemed to have missed the most compelling point in the data they collected, although they did devote a short sentence to the suppressive effect in their conclusion.

    What has, to me, been most interesting thing about this work is that almost no one has expanded on this technique in the more than a decade that has passed since E&P did their experimental work. I’ve made a number of serious Google dumpster dives in the years since and have only come across one study that also utilized the spectral analysis technique. It was done at the South Pole with predictable results. I had actually expected a gold rush of studies, because the technique seems to provide the first real opportunity to develop a data set with empirically quantified numbers for the contributions of the various components the atmosphere to the GHE. The fact that no one is trying to expand on this data has always been puzzling. If I were of a more conspiratorial mindset, I would almost suspect that the people doling out grant money really don’t want here the answers it could provide.

  64. Dave Springer says:

    The “control knob” is albedo. Trenberth shows a net absorption (imbalance) at the surface of (rounded up) 1 w/m2. To negate that imbalance requires an albedo increase of just 0.33% from say 35.00% to 35.33% then BOOYAH all anthropogenic greenhouse net forcing is eliminated.

    The only sensitivity our climate has at the moment is the tendency to cover half the northern hemisphere land mass with a glacier and that happens not from any radical change in greenhouse gases or solar variability but rather a couple of degrees of axial tilt which does absolutely nothing to change the amount of energy the earth receives or radiates it simply changes the distribution of it triggering runaway cooling from the higher albedo of glacial ice. Fortunately the so-called greenhouse gases put a floor on how far the runaway cooling can go just as the water cycle puts a cap on how far runaway warming can go.

  65. John Day says:

    @Eric (the Skeptic)
    > Has anyone run MODTRAN with and without CO2? I am curious as to
    > the amount of forcing lost with a cloud free column

    Here, try it yourself:
    http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/Projects/modtran.orig.html

    The page should default to CO2=377 ppm. Just hit the ‘Submit’ button and it will compute outgoing radiation of 287.844 w/m2. Then zero out CO2 and submit again. Will show 318.396 w/m2. About 31 watts difference.

  66. Alec Rawls says:

    “I think they mean that on average outgoing radiation must perforce equal incoming solar radiation, which is true.”

    Well, that is still not precise. You need to specify here that you mean average OVER TIME.

    At any particular time, ingoing and outgoing can be different, as the planet cools or warms. They are only the same when planetary temperature is stable.

  67. John Kehr says:

    Bah!! Humbug!!!!

    Everyone continues to miss the point….. The Trenberth paper is mis-direction.

    Radiative flux is not a transfer of energy. Radiative Heat Transfer is the flow of energy from a warm object to a cooler object. In the case of the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere the net energy transfer is 63 W/m2. 40 W/m2 of which freely escapes the atmosphere. That leaves only 23 W/m2 to be absorbed by the atmosphere!

    That leaves CO2 with a paltry 3% of the total energy balance.

    The Earth’s Energy Balance

    John Kehr
    The Inconvenient Skeptic

  68. AJB says:

    Kforestcat says December 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm:

    Nor do we live in a world where a heated molecule will not move kinetically without hitting an adjacent molecule. In short, the entire concept violates the statistical basis upon which the 2nd law of thermodynamics is based (from the perspective of two molecules in close proximity [in a gas] existing at different temperatures and not exchanging “heat” thru kinetic impact).

    Yep, energy in hotter CO2 molecules surely gets quickly sucked up, moved and dumped elsewhere by water – which has double the thermal capacity, never mind the relative concentration of the two. So where does that leave so-called ‘back-radiation’? Can we actually measure it in a normal atmospheric mixture or is it a myth born of pure gas observation and theory?

    Water has a huge 2257 kJ latent heat payload compared to its couple of kJ/kgK thermal capacity. How many state changes are going on all the time and where – is this not what clouds are really all about?

    If you think this is wrong or too simplistic please explain why.

  69. Ken Finney says:

    If I’m not mistaken, about 100 tons or more of “space dust” and rocks and such enter our atmosphere every day. At the very least, there is kinetic energy transfer into the Earth’s system asthey burn up in the atmosphere.

    Has anyone calculated the energy input of “space dust” to our climate?

  70. anna v says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    December 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm


    Because energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So all you are doing with advective transfers is moving it around, and what one place gains, another loses. Net zero.

    Energy can be stored, and as you showed in your discussion, temperature is not energy.
    If there were no winds from the Sahara, our seas would radiate down to winter temperatures (~14C). At the moment, they are a comfortable 18C because the warm nights with the winds from the Sahara , 16-18C keep them so even with the cloud cover. It takes long averages to average out to “net zero” the heat stored in the oceans, what PDO etc show us. See the SST anomaly in our region.

  71. Jim D says:

    The first effect of cooling an ocean surface would be to create a fog layer which explains the increased cloud albedo. I think Willis’s reasoning on cloud feedback falls apart when fog is considered.

    He also seems surprised by the inference that the net radiative energy loss due to removing CO2 leads to a cooler average surface. I don’t follow why that is a surprise. It seems quite obvious.

  72. Ron Cram says:

    Willis,
    Nice job. I hope you publish a rebuttal to this paper in a high impact journal. There is one bit I think you have wrong. You say a warmer world is a wetter world. I’ve heard it before but I just don’t buy it. In the 1930s, the US was very warm. It was the Dust Bowl years. No rain. Howard Hughes was frustrated in the filming of one of his movies because they went for months without any clouds in the sky he needed for an air combat scene. In the 1990s, it was warm again and again we had droughts and falling water levels in lakes and reservoirs.

    Atmospheric humidity and cloud formation are not the same thing. I do not pretend to understand the processes involved, I just know the observations are undeniable. A warmer world is a drier world. Let’s stay away from the theories and the models and trust our eyes.

    Best wishes to you!

  73. michael hammer says:

    Willis PLEASE READ;
    Quite apart from the issues you raise, there is a very fundamental error in the global energy budget from Trenberth et al, the diagram you start your article with. It claims surface emission from Earth 40 watts/sqM, cloud top emission 30 watts/sqM and atmospheric emission 169 watts/sqM. Now the atmosphere can only emit at the ghg wavelengths, its emissivity is essentially zero at other wavelengths. Further more, it is only the top of the atmosphere that can radiate to space, radiation from lower down in the atmosphere is reabsorbed by the ghg’s higher up and the amount of emission depends only on the emissivity (which will be 1 at the ghg wavelengths and zero at other wavelengths) and the temperature of the emitting gas. In fact the emission altitude is approximately that of the tropopause confirmed by the emission profile as seen from space (from the IRIS experiment on the Nimbus satellite). (The emission altitude is also confirmed by the fact that the tropopause is colder than the atmosphere both below and above- consider how such a situtation can come about all over the planet in view of the second law of thermodynamics!). The tropopause is at a temperature of 220K and a black body at 220K would emit 132 watts/sqM. Since the atmosphere only emits at the ghg wavelengths which occupy far less than the complete spectrum the atmosphere must be emitting far less than 132 watts/sqM.

    All this is again confirmed by a simple look at the Nimbus data. The overlayed black body plank curves show where the emission is coming from. In the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 microns the emission temperature is that of the surface. The only emitter that hot is the surface itself so that must be where the radiation is coming from. The total area under the curve represents the total emission to space and simply by inspection the area under that portion of the curve between 8 and 14 microns is at least 70% of the total area ie: the surface (and cloud tops) are emitting at least 170 watts/sqM.

    What this means is that Trenberth is grossly overestimating atmospheric emission and grossly underestimating surface emission. In effect, Trenberth is grossly overestimating the degree to which ghg’s are incrementally affecting radiation to space.

    Since this global energy budget is a fundamental basis of most of the global circulation models it means the models are at best seriously flawed and cannot be relied on.

    I can explain this is considerably more detail if necessary but I suspect such a lengthy explanation would be inappropriate in a comment.

  74. jorgekafkazar says:

    anna v says: “The basic flaw in this paper, in my opinion, is that it thinks that nature can separate green house gasses, that the photons know if the greenhouse gases are CO2 or H2O. Hand waving “H2O is variable while CO2 is cumulative” does not make a scientific argument and is indicative of scientific cognitive dissonance. ”

    Doesn’t part of the CO2 get washed down into the ocean by rain?

  75. Mike says:

    I also remember a story about Ernest Rutherford giving a lecture with Lord Kelvin in the audience…..

  76. anna v says:

    Dave Wendt says:
    December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Evans and Puckrin 2006, a study which used spectral analysis to quantify the separate contributions of the various atmospheric component gases to total downwelling long wave radiation at the surface

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    Interesting reference.

    As you observed in a later post you have put your own interpretation rather than the authors’ . The authors’ conclusions are pro AGW so why is not not published or followed? I think it is because when doing the AGW calculations they assumed that the H2O was the same as present at pre-industrial times, whereas it rises with temperature. Maybe when they put H2O correctly in the pro AGW turned into anti AGW conclusion.

    I have often said that the problem with the so called “climate science” is that they mix up systems of physics.
    Thermodynamics is a self contained system and works extremely well from small heat engines to star observations.
    Quantum mechanics also works very well for systems of dimensions hbar , for coherent systems ( superconductivity, superfluidity, lazers) .
    Spectroscopy is a measuring devise that validates quantum mechanical descriptions, i.e. that the world in sizes of hbar works according to quantum mechanics .

    The atmosphere is not a system that can display coherence ( except maybe in the ionoshere) and is par excellence to be described by thermodynamics. In thermodynamic black body radiation there is no meaning of spectral lines, it integrates over them. As much meaning as to say that in order to study turbulence one has to look at the bonds of individual molecules in the fluid . Yes, H2O maxima of absorption and emission are in different wavelengths than CO2 or methane or .. . Thermodynamic quantities could not care less, since there is overlap anyway of the spectra, and it is only the characteristic lines that stand out. Thermodynamically the atmosphere is blind to whether it is CO2 or H2O that is contributing to the so called “greenhouse” effect, and temperatures etc are all thermodynamic quantities.

  77. harry says:

    “Has anyone calculated the energy input of “space dust” to our climate?”

    Sure, Zero.

    Earth 6e24kg
    Objects 1e5kg
    Let’s make them another factor of 1000, for “kinetic energy transfer”
    So that makes it roughly 1e-19, or Zero for the first 18 places after the decimal point.

  78. Julian Braggins says:

    No one has mentioned lapse rate as a mitigation against Earth snowball effect.
    The heat pump effect of daily rotation is even offered by NASA as an explanation of the unexpected warmer temperature of Neptune at its poles,( daily rotation about 16 hours) by means of equator/ polar circulation.

  79. steven mosher says:

    Dave wendt

    Very nice study

    “This experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming.”

  80. Ulf says:

    Hmm, this statement strikes me as extremely simplistic, and I only have to set fire to my dining room table and observe the temperature change in the room (without having added any energy) to deduce that energy and temperature are not the same thing.

    But it also got my mind going in a different direction. While trying to figure out why it is so desperately hard to get updates about the ARGO measurements, I came across arguments that the data from ARGO cannot be reconciled with the observed energy flux balance (or something like that). Given that water is a fabulous heat sink, and quite a lot of the earth is covered by oceans, wouldn’t it be good to also take oceans into account here? And not just the surface, but the entire energy content of the oceans.

    …which brings me to my last concern: What timescales are we talking about? Surely on some infinite time scale, it’s reasonably correct that the energy flowing from the sun largely determines the temperature of the earth (oh, wait, that wasn’t their point). What’s to say that the earth can’t absorb heat for a time (say, a century or so), and later release a corresponding amount? How quickly must the energy fluxes balance out?

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Eric (skeptic) says:
    December 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Willis, wouldn’t a reduction in water vapor reinforce the cooling (more than the reduction in clouds would make up for)?

    Eric, the feedback from water vapor is definitely positive. The Lacis10 models get values not far from the Evans observations.

    Has anyone run MODTRAN with and without CO2? I am curious as to the amount of forcing lost with a cloud free column. I wonder if there is an estimate for the positive feedbacks (warming) of fewer thunderstorms and fewer clouds. Comparing those two, it seems likely that the energy lost by missing CO2 entirely will not be gained (or even close to gained) by the lack of clouds and other weather. Thus the earth will cool as suggested and loss of water vapor will cool it further.

    MODTRAN is a model used to estimate line-by-line radiative transference. It is online here. You need to bear in mind that MODTRAN does not include solar radiation.

    In a cloud-free column in the tropics with no GHGs of any kind, surface radiation (sensor at 0 km elevation, looking up) is about 48 W/m2. Adding only water vapor to the atmosphere adds about 291 W/m2 to the downwelling. Adding only the GHGnc (CO2 and the minor gases) adds about 78 W/m2. Adding both adds about 300 W/m2.

    And therein lies the problem. The sum of the two individual changes (H2O 291 W/m2 + GHGnc 78 W/m2) gives us 368 W/m2. Which is more than we get when we have both. This is because of the overlap. Both H2O and GHGnc absorb in some of the same frequencies. And MODTRAN can’t distinguish between the two sources in the combined 300 W/m2.

    The Evans paper is important in this regard. It says that when relative humidity is high (most of the time in the tropics) most of the radiation is from water vapor.

    In the Evans paper, GHGnc were the source of 6% of the summer clear-sky radiation (with high humidity). If that were the case here, the clear-sky radiation is 300 W/m2, so the split would be 282 W/m2 from H2O, and 18 W/m2 from GHGnc. This is physically quite possible, since H2O alone adds 291 W/m2.

    Even using the straight MODTRAN calculations, however, shows that the Lacis10 claim is unlikely. The loss of the GHGnc gases gives only a 9 W/m2 change in downwelling radiation, according to MODTRAN. While this is a significant change, it is far from enough to send the planet spiraling into a snowball.

    The surface is currently at 390 W/m2. For radiation balance, MODTRAN says the surface would cool by about 3°C (including water vapor feedback, but without cloud or other feedbacks).

    Doesn’t sound like a snowball to me.

  82. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Baa Humbug says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm (Edit)

    Thankyou Willis

    The claim that the planet would spiral into an ice ball if (NC)GHGs were removed from the atmosphere interests me because I was told this very same thing in a discussion at Judith Currys weblog by Chris Colose. He cited the Lacis paper.

    To keep a long story short, here is the relevant part of his answer cut n pasted

    “In simulations of a greenhouse free atmosphere by Lacis (as well as other papers), the albedo of the planet actually increases substantially. This is, in part, due to the prospect of a runaway icehouse planet, with most or all of the oceans freezing over. This increases the total planetary albedo to over 30%, resulting in temperature even colder than the 255 K value above.”

    So their train of thought as I understand it is Cooler T’s = More Ice = Higher Albedo = Cooler Ts etc. that seems to make sense.

    But as you say, cooler Ts =reduced cloud cover = more sunshine hours = more warming.
    How would we crunch these numbers?

    There’s a couple fundamental differences between ice/snow albedo feedback and cloud feedback. These are timing and location.

    Timing. Cloud feedback is much faster than ice feedback. It acts in minutes, not months and years. We can watch cloud feedback at work on warm, moist summer days. When it gets warm, fluffy white cumulus clouds pop into existence, cutting down solar input. Snow/ice feedback, on the other hand, is much slower.

    Location. Cloud feedback occurs around the planet. One of the most important types occurs in and around the tropics. This is the cumulus/cumulonimbus cloud feedback. It is a strong negative feedback. The majority of solar energy enters the planet in the tropics, where the sun is the strongest. Little solar energy enters the planet near the poles. As a result, any feedback occurring in the tropics will have a large effect on the climate.

    Ice and snow, on the other hand, occurs where the sun is weakest and the natural albedo is the highest. Much of the snow and ice only sees a weak winter sun for a few hours a day. As a result, changes in snow and ice coverage have much less effect on the climate.

    My opinion is that if the GHGs were suddenly removed, the cloud-based governing system of the tropics would immediately start changing. Clouds would form later in the day and fewer thunderstorms would form. As a result, more solar energy would be added every day to the system and less energy would be lost through transportation to the poles. This would re-establish something near the previous temperature fairly quickly, and ice/snow albedo feedback would be a minor factor.

  83. hr says:

    Willis,
    Another stimulating piece of work from you. I look foward to seeing it published in one of those peer-reviewed journals. They don’t all exclude good critical work on mainstream climate science, as shown by the acceptance of the new O’Donnell et al paper by J of C.

  84. anna v says:

    steven mosher says:
    December 10, 2010 at 12:34 am
    about the linked paper
    Dave wendt

    Very nice study

    “This experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming.”

    If you believe the assumptions and the model used:

    from the extended abstract:
    flux since the preindustrial
    period. Simulations using
    FASCOD3 were performed to estimate the
    greenhouse flux from the various gases using
    their respective tropospheric concentrations
    from two centuries ago (IPCC, 1995;
    Dickinson and Cicerone, 1986). Most of these
    simulated fluxes have been verified with the
    experimental measurements in Table 4, so
    that there is some confidence that these
    modelled flux increases are representative of
    northern middle latitudes. In these
    calculations, the amount of atmospheric
    water vapour has been assumed to be
    invariant.
    ,
    bold mine.

    Water vapor cannot be invariant from the little ice age to now. It goes up with temperature.

    In addition to all the assumptions about emissions two centuries ago.

    As I said, maybe that is why it never made it to a publication in a journal.

  85. Roger Longstaff says:

    “… it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.”

    So how does this work on Venus?

  86. 3x2 says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Willis, thanks so much for this essay. Don’t forget to title it. The title was blank so I added a generic title of “knobs”. – Anthony

    With that title I took it as another report from Mexico.

  87. 3x2 says:

    Dave Wendt says:
    December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Evans and Puckrin 2006, a study which used spectral analysis to quantify the separate contributions of the various atmospheric component gases to total downwelling long wave radiation at the surface

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm
    [....]

    That was the first paper that came to mind reading this post. I may have misunderstood the paper but it seemed to answer the question of why many scientists think CO2 is so important especially during ice ages/snowball earth periods. During such times there would be little in the way of WV and the measurements would tend more toward the winter scenario of the paper with CO2 dominant. But in the current interglacial the summer (increased WV) scenario dominates and the effect of CO2 is much reduced.

    The authors seemed to skip quickly over the summer measurements in their haste to prove their point and missed the potential importance of the summer/winter difference. Having said that I only have access to the “extended abstract” so perhaps they explore this further in the full paper.

  88. Andreas says:

    I wasn’t aware that the people at NASA GISS knew what a thermometer was and to let them play around with radiation “data”, that cannot end well at all. As my teacher in meteorology always says; “Albedo always gets ignored and plays a much bigger part than expected” we who live up here in the far north near the arctic circle where its damned dark and cold about now notice stuff like that!

  89. anna v says:

    Roger Longstaff says:
    Having said that I only have access to the “extended abstract” so perhaps they explore this further in the full paper.

    I could not find a reference to a full paper. That’s why I posted the above.

    Maybe I am wrong and somebody has a reference to the full published paper?

  90. Tim Folkerts says:

    If I’m not mistaken, about 100 tons or more of “space dust” and rocks and such enter our atmosphere every day. At the very least, there is kinetic energy transfer into the Earth’s system asthey burn up in the atmosphere.

    Has anyone calculated the energy input of “space dust” to our climate?

    An interesting little question. Here’s a quick answer …

    m = 100 tons = 1E5 kg (your number)
    v = 20 km/s = 2E4 m/s (found on internet)
    A = 5E14 m^2 (for earth)
    t = 86,400 s ~ 1E5 in one day
    KE = 1/2 m v^2 ~ 0.5 * 1E5 * (2E4)^2 ~ 2E13 J per day

    P ~ 2e13J/1e5s = 2E8 W

    P/A ~ 2E8W/5E14 m^25 ~ 4E-7 W/m^2 ~ 0.0000004 W/m^2

    I think we can safely ignore this contribution :-)

  91. PaulM says:

    Willis, Ethically Civil, Doug Badgero:

    The Lacis et al argument “global net advective energy transports must equal zero…” is indeed bogus.

    What I think they are trying to say (“global”) is that at the earth’s surface the air velocity is zero and therefore the advective heat flux is zero. This is true, but what happens in fact is that there is a very thin ‘boundary layer’ where heat is trasferred by conduction, before convection/advection takes over.

    Consider a closed metal container completely full of water, sitting on a stove. By the Lacis et al argument, heat could never get from the bottom boundary to the top! In reality it does, of course, by convection.

  92. LaMaisonDieu says:

    To my opinion the “Global Energy Budget” is just a Kindergarten Model, which ran out of control…

    … it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.

    The main flaw is to equal a theoretical “radiation surface temperature” (zero height, pure radiation temperature) with a real-world measured “surface air temperature” (measured in 2 meters height in Stevenson screens in “absence of radiation” next to various heat sources).

    Therefore this model is just a cartoon without impact on the real world.
    And without the need to reach a surface radiation balance of 16°C, there is no need for “Back Radiation”, which makes the so called “Greenhouse Effect” pretty useless…

  93. pyromancer76 says:

    Willis, nice tribute to Anthony; great paper; provides lots of discussion from many different fields. WUWT is establishing THE model for peer (really serious, knowledgeable and experienced peers, not pansies) review in full view on the internet — to discuss, evaluate, correct, and add to current knowledge and research. I can’t express my feelings in words as I read a paper like yours and comments (the whole shebang) — something like pure joy.

    Ron Cram (12/9 10:29 pm) brings up my question as I read through your post:
    “Willis,
    Nice job. I hope you publish a rebuttal to this paper in a high impact journal. There is one bit I think you have wrong. You say a warmer world is a wetter world. I’ve heard it before but I just don’t buy it.” He gives an example from the U.S. I have always wondered about the warm-wet, cold-dry “constant”, especially as I don’t think those glaciers can grow to continent size without lots of wet. I think of the extended drought in at least the western U.S. during the middle Holocene during one of the warm cycles.
    Does the formula always work with strong regional variations, or is there some other “principle” at work that causes wet times and dry times regardless of temperature?

  94. Tim Clark says:

    It says that as the Earth cools from the lack of GHGs, the change in clouds would make it cooler yet … and unsurprisingly, it says that the net result would be that the planet would spiral into a permanent snowball.

    Eeeeeyahh. That’s the tipping point to which the precautionary principle should be applied.

  95. Spen says:

    ULF says ‘But it also got my mind going in a different direction. While trying to figure out why it is so desperately hard to get updates about the ARGO measurements, I came across arguments that the data from ARGO cannot be reconciled with the observed energy flux balance (or something like that).’

    This lack of ARGO data is bugging me also. Could the ocean heat measurements be decreasing.? That would be awkward. Does anyone have an update on ARGO?

  96. Lars Silen says:

    Ken Finney says:
    December 9, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, about 100 tons or more of “space dust” and rocks and such enter our atmosphere every day. At the very least, there is kinetic energy transfer into the Earth’s system asthey burn up in the atmosphere.

    Has anyone calculated the energy input of “space dust” to our climate?
    —-
    Assuming a speed difference between the earth and the in falling space “dust” to be 30 km/s and assuming the estimate 100 tons/day to be correct it is very easy to calculate the kinetic energy of the dust E=1/2 mv² . The mean heating power (when spread over 24 h) generated is then roughly 500 MW (one small nuclear power plant) which sounds much but it isn’t. The solar energy falling on one square km of the earth is of the same order of magnitude (but bigger). Harry is thus correct in that the warming from the dust is totally insignificant compared to the input from the sun.

  97. Enneagram says:

    Because the solar-thermal energy balance of Earth [at the top of the atmosphere (TOA)] is maintained by radiative processes only
    Are you absolutely sure?, what about, all the endothermic/exothermic chemical reactions; electromagnetic/gravity processes, what about all the spectrum?
    Has some God or Prophet up there issued a decree separating each wavelength/frequency in a water tight compartment?. What if two tectonic plates move one against the other, is it not anything else but a “massage”?, etc.,etc.

  98. theBuckWheat says:

    “So while the authors are entirely correct to say that the net advective energy transports equals zero, the same can not be said about the effect of net advective energy transport on temperature.”

    The first thing that comes to mind is that the temporal context is an essential element. The present IPCC fixation is on the most recent 100 years or so, yet in that time we have not had massive energy storage dynamics. I mean, these folks will scold the rest of us about Greenland melting away in our lifetimes, yet not seem to care a whit about the massive energy dynamic that phase change would produce.

    Then there are the repeating cycle of ice age entombment of millions of square miles of land and lakes. I haven’t seen any estimates of the energy flow there.

    Sure it must net to zero, but hey if the solar flux changed by just 1% during a glacial cycle, what is that energy delta?

  99. Eric (skeptic) says:

    65. John Day, thanks that was exactly what I was looking for.

    Willis, the overlap seems to be the biggest problem in determining the result. My gut feel from the 30 watts indicated by John is that the cloud loss and reduction in latent heat transfer would balance that loss and the tropics would stay nicely thawed. Further north I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t just dismiss the albedo from more snow and ice. At any rate, this is an experiment that I would be very reluctant to perform on the planet, unlike the opposite experiment wherein the water vapor and cloud feedback would cap the temperature increase from NC GHG.

  100. mkelly says:

    If the incoming photons have the energy associated the frequency range for light that is E=h v of some J s. example: 540×10^12 times 6.626 x 10^-34 = 3.58×10^19 J s.

    The out going photons are of the energy associated with IR and have much lesser energy. 2×10^13 times 6.626 x 10^-34 = 1.32 x 10^-20 J s.

    Just on a photon to photon basis many more IR photons must leave to make up for the decrepency in energy levels. But where did the extra ones (photons) come from?

    I am not convinced that a W/m2 basis is valid given the energy levels of the incoming and out going frequencies. It is the frequency that carries the energy that gives the associated temeperature that comes from it. (Wein’s Law)

  101. anna v says:

    mkelly says:
    December 10, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Just on a photon to photon basis many more IR photons must leave to make up for the decrepency in energy levels. But where did the extra ones (photons) come from?

    Lets be clear, photons are bosons, i.e. they have integer spin (1). There is no conservation of bosons law, there can be as many as needed to obey the energy conservation law.

  102. Dave Springer says:

    @willis

    “The loss of the GHGnc gases gives only a 9 W/m2 change in downwelling radiation, according to MODTRAN. While this is a significant change, it is far from enough to send the planet spiraling into a snowball.”

    Yet a mere 2 degree change in axial tilt creates or melts a continent size glacier that buries everything north of Washington DC under a mile of ice.

    Don’t make claims you can’t back up.

  103. Dave Springer says:

    Ron Cram says:
    December 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    “A warmer world is a drier world.”

    That’s as wrong as wrong gets. The driest place on the planet by far is Antarctica.

  104. Ben of Houston says:

    Owen, you are making the faulty assumption that radiation can only be absorbed once on the trip from surface to the stars. In reality, it can be (and almost certainly is) absorbed and re-emitted multiple times (like a distillation tower), thus while each stage has a 50% chance of emitting up or down, the “50% maximum” that you mention doesn’t exist.

  105. steven mosher says:

    anna V.

    I’m refering to the approach of measuring they used in that paper. Not the specific conclusions they draw or assumptions they make.

  106. Brian H says:

    The hand that twirls the Knob that sets the dial on the Magic Thermostat rules the world! Cradles-rocking is merely second-best.

  107. Brian H says:

    Ben of H;
    Since the proportion of energy that gets re-emitted by ‘fingerprint’ radiation (as opposed to lost through thermal conduction, etc.) is very low, the log decline at each stage means the final total % is likely very close to 50.

  108. Brian H says:

    Roger Longstaff says:
    December 10, 2010 at 2:23 am

    “… it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.”

    So how does this work on Venus?

    It doesn’t. Venus emits quite a bit more energy than it gets from the Sun (almost none of which makes it past the upper cloud decks anyhow, thereby eliminating, by definition, any GH effects). There is evidently a considerable heat engine or pool still at work in Venus’ interior.

  109. Vanguard says:

    Something about the advection statement just doesn’t make sense. Yes, if you consider ONLY advection in the sense that mass is advected back and forth but the net mean atmospheric air density is unmodified, then that’s correct. But as the author pointed out, IF you are talking about HEAT, it is an entirely different matter. If I draw a line at the 30-degree North latitude and ask whether there is a net advection of heat across that line then I would certainly say that there must be. Warm air moves north and cold air moves south and there is a net loss of heat from the equatorial region. Certainly Lacis et al. know this. Then why are they making this baseless claim?

    By moving warmer air north the air temperatures in the north must increase by some delta-T while those to the south decrease by an equal amount, since Temperature is a quantity proportional to the mean kinetic energy present, it is a direct measure of energy content. But by increasing the temperature of cold air, the net increase in the outgoing longwave energy is not linear in dT. Rather, due to the T-to-the-4th power in the radiation equation, a dT temperature change produces (roughly) a 4-dT/T effect.

    The Lacis et al. static analysis thus discounts the very mechanism that would modulate the environment. The warmer air moving north over colder seas causes increased evaporation and greater cloud cover. On the flip side, if for some reason the Earth were to start cooling, there would be a removal of energy and thereby a reduction in the energy transport mechanism. The result would be to reduce cloudcover, as indicated, but also maintain an island of heat near the equator. The increased gradient would thereby keep the Earth from further cooling, limiting the impact of any ice-age.

  110. Brian H says:

    Kforestcat says:
    December 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Mr. Eschenbach

    I fully agree with you[r] observation that the author’s claim that surface temperatures of the plants is “determined in full by the radiative fluxes” is dubious.

    Thanks muchly for that post. I’ve been keeping an eye open for a comprehensive themodynamic summary statement like that.

  111. Roger Longstaff says:

    Brian H – I agree with you.

    Therefore, the original premise is nonsense.

    QED ?

  112. mkelly says:

    anna v says:
    December 10, 2010 at 8:10 am
    Lets be clear, photons are bosons, i.e. they have integer spin (1). There is no conservation of bosons law, there can be as many as needed to obey the energy conservation law.

    I guess I should have put a smiley face after the question. My point is the energy coming in is based on frequency of light from the sun. The frequency of IR per example gives energy 20 times less.

    1 mole = 22.4 liters
    1 m3 = 44.6 mole
    1 mole = 6.022 x 10^23
    44.6 x 6.022 x 10^23 = 2.7 x 10^25

    2.7 x 10^25 x 3.58 x 10^-19 = 9666000 J s per m^3 sun light in
    2.7 x 10^25 x 1.32 x 10^-20 = 356400 J s per m^3 IR out

    I am not convinced that W/m2 is the best way to show the energy balance.

    Yes I know there is no real mole of photons it is an example only to show a differnce in energy.

  113. Brian H says:

    michael hammer says:
    December 9, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    All this is again confirmed by a simple look at the Nimbus data. The overlayed black body plank curves show where the emission is coming from. In the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 microns the emission temperature is that of the surface. The only emitter that hot is the surface itself so that must be where the radiation is coming from. The total area under the curve represents the total emission to space and simply by inspection the area under that portion of the curve between 8 and 14 microns is at least 70% of the total area ie: the surface (and cloud tops) are emitting at least 170 watts/sqM.

    mh;
    yes, the analogy I’ve come to is that of a pressure vessel, with one leak or outlet. As material (energy) is forced through the gap, it is rapidly replaced and followed by more from the rest of the volume. The outflow thru that gap is thus far higher than if there were multiple simultaneous outlets.
    Am I misconstruing the situation?

  114. John Day says:

    Brian H says:
    December 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Roger Longstaff says:
    December 10, 2010 at 2:23 am

    “… it follows that the global average surface temperature must be determined in full by the radiative fluxes arising from the patterns of temperature and absorption of radiation.”

    So how does this work on Venus?

    It doesn’t. Venus emits quite a bit more energy than it gets from the Sun (almost none of which makes it past the upper cloud decks anyhow, thereby eliminating, by definition, any GH effects). There is evidently a considerable heat engine or pool still at work in Venus’ interior.

    Mars is a better place than Venus to see that CO2 doesn’t really contribute much in a radiative way to the so-called “greenhouse effect” (which was even noted by Lacis et al. in this current paper we’re discussing).

    Mars’ atmosphere is 95% CO2, so in spite of the low air pressure (1% of Earth’s) there is about 30 times more CO2 per unit surface area on Mars than on Earth. Yet the mean surface temperature is the same as the black body temperature, ~210 K, according to NASA’s “Mars Fact Sheet”:
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html


    Black-body temperature: Mars 210.1 K Earth 255 K
    Average temperature: Mars ~210 K Earth 288 K

    Other sources sources might quote slightly higher mean Mars temps, but only a few degrees warmer at most. I use NASA's Fact Sheet figure, because they computed it before the AGW era, from the old Mariner mission spectrometry analysis, and probably contains less bias than any modern "calculations" they might have produced since then. [Yes, I don't trust them now.]

    Lacis et al. don't offer any detailed explanation of this deficiency, but suggest it might be due to "pressure broadening" of the CO2 absorption lines. I've seen that claim by other AGW apologists, but have not found any substantive explanation of how line broadening (in Earth's high pressure atmosphere) 'enables' the CO2 GH effect on Earth but not on Earth. I'm skeptical, sounds like hand-waving to me. (But please correct me if this is a well-understood mechanism.)

    So what does account for the 33K "comfort blanket" that we enjoy on Earth? I think we all know the answer: it's the water, in all of its physical states, that captures and regulates this additional warmth that has made life possible on Earth.

  115. John from CA says:

    I should have been more pointed about why I dislike the 2D Global Budget chart.

    Energy doesn’t translate to temperature. Altitude is a good example — same amount of energy but decreasing temperature. Space would be another reasonable example. Night is another – no solar input yet only a marginal drop in temperature.

    The budget chart implies a static global effect that isn’t static or global.

    Isn’t the surface temperature trend in Antarctica another good example of the Not Global aspect of the Greenhouse effect?

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=6502

  116. stephen richards says:

    anna v says:
    December 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Massless!

  117. Bob_FJ says:

    John Kehr points out above that the Trenberth diagram illustrated by Willis can be misleading. It crudely attempts to show the greenhouse effect giving large numbers for surface radiation and back radiation. However, this radiation, or more properly Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) is not HEAT. Furthermore, HEAT transfer via EMR is determined by the difference between opposing EMR, and in the case of the Earth, here is another NASA diagram that only shows net HEAT transfers. EMR also radiates in all directions, so that most of it is tending to be lateral rather than straight up and down as illustrated by Trenberth. Yet, in any typical homogenous layer of air, obviously, there is no lateral HEAT transfer, no matter how intense the lateral radiation is

    This NASA diagram has slightly different net values and descriptions to Trenberth’s latest version, but it illustrates the point about net heat loss from the surface:

    Evapo-transpiration (E-T) = 45.1%
    Net EMR absorbed by atmosphere = 29.4% And directly to space = 11.7%
    Convection = 13.7%

    Thus, the greatest proportion of heat loss from the surface is via E-T, which presumably is the driver for water vapour and clouds, which are widely debated for their radiative effects in feedbacks. However, there seems to be no interest in the significant negative feedback which should arise from a small proportional increase in E-T.

  118. kwik says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    December 10, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Willis, I have been working with control loops for 35 years now. What often is observed is that many people are fooled by cause and effect ; They often draw the opposite conlusion of what is going on in such a loop.

    The warmers have got it the wrong way around. You got it right.

    Slowly this will be discovered. I think the warmers already know it in their hearts. But it is hard to accept.

  119. Alex Heyworth says:

    Andy and pals got the title of their paper wrong. It should have been Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Giss Model E’s “Temperature”.

  120. Bernd Felsche says:

    “Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature”

    I could tell you who that control knob would be, but he doesn’t govern the Earth’s temperature.

  121. 3x2 says:

    pyromancer76 says:
    December 10, 2010 at 6:06 am

    [...] There is one bit I think you have wrong. You say a warmer world is a wetter world. I’ve heard it before but I just don’t buy it.”[...]

    As a “thought experiment” move the Earth closer to the Sun. At some point most of the Ocean would become atmosphere (give or take a bit of supercritical nonsense) . I have no idea what the atmospheric pressure of 1.4 billion cubic km of water equates to, but it could just be crushingly “wetter”

    As an additional “thought experiment” move the Earth away from the the Sun…. Oceans of Nitrogen and no atmosphere to speak of.

    Miskolczi, Ferenc – molecules defying gravity must get their gravity defying energy from somewhere. If energy into the system is constant then …

  122. Tsk Tsk says:

    So how far towards the equator do glaciers have to go to get runaway cooling in the models? How do they extract themselves from ice ages?

  123. Willis Eschenbach says:

    PaulM says:
    December 10, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Willis, Ethically Civil, Doug Badgero:

    The Lacis et al argument “global net advective energy transports must equal zero…” is indeed bogus.

    I think you and others misunderstand what Lacis10 said. Advective energy transports indeed must equal zero. If you are moving energy from one place to another, what one loses the other gains. Net zero. As I pointed out, while energy is conserved, temperature is not.

  124. Baa Humbug says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    December 10, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Baa Humbug says:
    December 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Thankyou for the reply. I allus learn somfin from ya

  125. Doug Badgero says:

    Willis,

    I don’t think anyone is confused on conservation of energy. That is not the question. Every reference to advection I can find speaks of a mass flow. Radiation heat transfer must be included when considering conservation of energy. Mass flow is not required for heat transfer via radiation. Some of the references I have seen regarding advection appear to me to be talking about what I have traditionally referred to as forced convection. Such as energy transfer due to mass flow of the wind.

  126. Bob_FJ says:

    Kwik wrote above:

    “…The warmers have got it the wrong way around. You [Willis] got it right.
    Slowly this will be discovered. I think the warmers already know it in their hearts. But it is hard to accept.”

    Just like they paid heed that the ice cores show that there is a lag of several hundred years before CO2 responds to temperature change?

  127. Bob_FJ says:

    Willis wrote above:
    …“I think you and others misunderstand what Lacis10 said. Advective energy transports indeed must equal zero. If you are moving energy from one place to another, what one loses the other gains. Net zero. As I pointed out, while energy is conserved, temperature is not.”

    But, if say the upper troposphere is warmed by convection, cellular advection, evapo-transpiration, and mechanical work, does that not result in greater escape of HEAT via radiation (EMR) to space? That happens as a consequence of air temperature, (related to HEAT), proportionally to T to the fourth power, so the greater the temperature increase, the greater the rate of change to EMR. The advective energy is thus converted to HEAT, and then to EMR which are different forms of energy. That means that a portion of the original advective energy no longer exists. So, unless an equal amount of advective energy is created via a reverse of this process, (which I can’t conceive), then the net of all advective energies cannot be zero.
    This consideration does not contradict “conservation of energy”

    Consider the “advective energy” of water flow into a hydro-power station. On the out side, the “advective energy” is much reduced. (In + out does not = zero). Where did it go?

  128. Bob_FJ says:

    Sorry, I meant in minus out does not = zero

  129. Brian H says:

    Bob_FJ;
    You got it wired!

    What do I win?
    ;)

  130. Brian H says:

    Bob_FJ;
    There’s also the wee matter of “work”. Relocation of mass requires work. Work absorbs/’extinguishes’ energy. The theory of entropy increase says it will eventually degrade to heat, but that may be delayed by eons.

  131. John Day says:

    @Bob_FJ
    > Consider the “advective energy” of water flow into a hydro-power station.
    > On the out side, the “advective energy” is much reduced.
    > (In + out does not = zero). Where did it go?

    Energy and momentum are always conserved. It’s the law.

    So where does all of that ‘motion’ (Latin=’momentum’) in the Niagara Falls go when it hits the bottom?

    The Earth’s rotational and translational momentum is perturbed a wee bit by all of that commotion. How much? Just enough to conserve kinetic energy and momentum. (Up to the kinetic energy converted to heat, sound and electricity).

  132. Brian H says:

    JD;
    Energy can be stored, and when it does work becomes a kind of potential energy, pending unwinding of the work done. Energy is not “conserved” strictly speaking, as it may be transformed in various ways. The heat and pressure that produce coal and diamonds has done work which “traps” energy in ways that may or may not be released prior to the heat death of the universe, e.g. Crumpling of the crust raises mountains which will persist for millions of years before their stored potential energy is released. And so on.

    So it is invalid to demand that every calorie of heat be tracked to its new lair when the wind blows. You’d need to know the work function of every displaced atom and molecule to balance that budget.

  133. John Day says:

    Brian H says:
    December 12, 2010 at 8:13 am
    JD;
    Energy can be stored, and when it does work becomes a kind of potential energy, pending unwinding of the work done. Energy is not “conserved” strictly speaking, as it may be transformed in various ways. The heat and pressure that produce coal and diamonds has done work which “traps” energy in ways that may or may not be released prior to the heat death of the universe, e.g. Crumpling of the crust raises mountains which will persist for millions of years before their stored potential energy is released. And so on.

    So it is invalid to demand that every calorie of heat be tracked to its new lair when the wind blows. You’d need to know the work function of every displaced atom and molecule to balance that budget.

    > Energy is not “conserved” strictly speaking…
    That’s not correct. For physicists, who always speak strictly, energy is always conserved, in one form or another (as I pointed out). Up to quantum uncertainty, of course, so there may be nano-scopic delays in conservation, which can’t be observed at the macro level.

    The point I was making was the apparent loss of motion (‘momentum’) can be explained by the huge mass of the Earth, which absorbs the momentum of falling water and moving air masses without any noticeable reaction.

    Momentum is always conserved, and can’t be converted to other forms. Once motion is created it can never be destroyed.

  134. Bob_FJ says:

    John Day wrote:

    “…Momentum is always conserved, and can’t be converted to other forms. Once motion is created it can never be destroyed.”

    In the example I gave of the hydro-power station, the kinetic energy of the inflowing water is reduced, mostly by driving the turbines to generate electricity. Or, in your words, the ‘momentum’ is converted mostly to electricity. There is also some conversion to heat, because of losses. (inefficiencies)

    In your example of Niagara falls, there is not much to slow the flow, but some work is done, with consequent conversion to heat.

  135. John Day says:

    @Bob_FJ
    Momentum and energy are different concepts. Momentum is a vector quantity, energy is a positive scalar. Both are conserved, but in different ways.

    The momentum of the water flowing through a turbine is transferred, indirectly, into the Earth, which causes a very tiny, virtually undetectable change in the Earth’s momentum, conserving the total vector sum of momenta before and after impact. Generation of heat is an energy issue and has nothing to do directly with the concept of momentum.

    Thought experiment: imagine the turbines floating out in space, where there’s no Earth anchoring them firmly to one spot. Then the millions of tons of flowing, water hits the blades. Does the motion disappear? No. Even though the water will be ‘weightless’, it still has mass and will drag the turbines along with the flow.

  136. Bob_FJ says:

    John Day wrote in part:
    “Momentum and energy are different concepts. Momentum is a vector quantity, energy is a positive scalar. Both are conserved, but in different ways.,,

    Well that could become an interesting discussion but it is off-topic, so I‘ll desist.

    I take it that you agree that my analogy of hydraulic kinetic energy, (equivalent to Lacis 10’s “advective energy”), being converted largely to electrical energy in a turbine-generator, is correct.

    Thus, “advective energy” can cease to exist in complex ways, by virtue of conversion to different forms of energy. Thus the assertion that on earth, the atmospheric (?) “advective energies” net to zero, is faulty.

  137. R. Craigen says:

    “Although most commenters have dismissed their work as being derivative and not containing anything new, I find that they have actually made a couple of unique and novel errors.”

    I’m glad I wasn’t drinking hot coffee when I read this, Willis, or I’d be checking the prices for a new laptop screen. Wow! What a nice cut. If you don’t mind, I’m saving that one for the next time I’m refereeing and looking for just the right weight of a comment to recommend rejection while sounding nice. I’m not sure whether this constitutes damning with faint praise or patting on the head with faint damnation, but it’s just the right comment for certain types of papers. Thanks for making my day.

    Just out of curiosity: Have you or someone taken the time to discuss the implications of Figure 2 for the discussions about modelling over on Dr. Curry’s blog? It seems this gels down to a very simple and graphic demonstration of a key problem with models. I would go so far as to say that, until this problem is addressed, there really isn’t much else worth talking about over there. Well, there’s also the verification/validation issue, but they’ve been talking it to death, I infer from my last few visits, and the tropical hot spot issue, which is talked to death elsewhere already.

  138. Brian H says:

    John Day;
    I assumed, over-generously, that you’d understand the implicit “within the relevant frame” in my energy conservation comment. We are not solving for the energy budget of the multiverse; only for a rather limited and finite time and space block. There is no requirement that energy remain balance or persist in relevant or recognizable form within that block; it may “retire” as something as simple as change of position of mass, or a chemical transformation, or escape into distant frames, etc., and conversely enter the frame from others.

    So as Bob points out, it is inadmissible to demand or expect netting of advective flows to zero in any practicably measurable sense. There are many bolt-holes and escape hatches, plus side stage doors for new actors to join in.

  139. Brian H says:

    mod: typo “remain balanced”

  140. Bob_FJ says:

    WILLIS,
    Further to my comment above, It also occurs to me that if that were not enough, there is a further problem with the assertion that the net of “advective energies” on Earth are zero.

    If we consider the troposphere, these advections vary randomly in speed etc, from modest to high velocities. (such as; jet streams, near surface westerlies, and Hadley cells). Additionally there are seasonal, diurnal, and hemispheric variations. Thus, any consideration of how all this stuff might add up to zero requires a time-frame to be defined for a complete cycle, but unfortunately, different time-frames apply for different bits of it. Thus, quite apart from the previously mentioned problem of conversion of advective to different energy forms, it is not viable to assert a global net result, because a sensible time-frame for it to be defined within is not possible.

    But, it gets worse:
    There are also marine advections such as the thermohaline circulation, (Ocean conveyor belt), which takes very many years I seem to remember, and the ENSO (El Nino/La Nina), of quite short random oscillations, and so-on. And, the various energies in the troposphere and the oceans feed one into the other with great complexity.

  141. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bob_FJ says:
    December 12, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Willis wrote above:

    …“I think you and others misunderstand what Lacis10 said. Advective energy transports indeed must equal zero. If you are moving energy from one place to another, what one loses the other gains. Net zero. As I pointed out, while energy is conserved, temperature is not.”

    But, if say the upper troposphere is warmed by convection, cellular advection, evapo-transpiration, and mechanical work, does that not result in greater escape of HEAT via radiation (EMR) to space? …

    Remember what the Lacis10 authors actually said. They said:

    … all the global net advective energy transports must equal zero …

    Nothing that you have described in your post negates that. They said nothing about radiation, nor about temperature. Yes, advective transport can move energy to where it is more easily radiated to space. And that radiation will result in the system having less energy. But that is radiative transport, not advective transport.

    Advective transport simply means moving energy. You can’t advectively transport energy from A to B and somehow magically end up with more energy when you get there. With advective transport, whatever one location gains, another location loses. And the net is zero.

  142. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Brian H says:
    December 12, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Bob_FJ;
    There’s also the wee matter of “work”. Relocation of mass requires work. Work absorbs/’extinguishes’ energy. The theory of entropy increase says it will eventually degrade to heat, but that may be delayed by eons.

    The mechanical work done by the sun is mostly a) the driving the Hadley circulation of atmosphere and ocean from the equator to the poles, and b) the refrigerative cooling of the surface through the evaporation/condensation of water. That work is completely converted to heat, on a short timescale, by the solid parts of the earth acting as a fluid brake on the global circulation. Think about it the other way around. If the forces driving the atmospheric and oceanic circulation suddenly ceased, the global circulation would come to a stop in days or weeks, rather than centuries or eons.

    There’s a good discussion of this in Thermodynamic optimization of global circulation and climate
    , Adrian Bejan and A. Heitor Reis (PDF).

  143. Bob_FJ says:

    WILLIS Concerning your comment above, it seems to me that you did not understand what I was saying. Let me add that I’m on your side, and I admire your enthusiasm in these things, but sometimes you do get things wrong. I also notice that your post crossed mine which expanded on another aspect of the issue. Rather than plough through what you have apparently misunderstood so far, perhaps you could consider my more recent comment.

  144. Phil. says:

    John Day says:
    December 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    Lacis et al. don’t offer any detailed explanation of this deficiency, but suggest it might be due to “pressure broadening” of the CO2 absorption lines. I’ve seen that claim by other AGW apologists, but have not found any substantive explanation of how line broadening (in Earth’s high pressure atmosphere) ‘enables’ the CO2 GH effect on Earth but not on Earth. I’m skeptical, sounds like hand-waving to me. (But please correct me if this is a well-understood mechanism.)

    Here’s a comparison at the surface conditions of Mars and Earth to illustrate the pressure broadening effect:

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Mars-Earth.gif

  145. Bob_FJ says:

    Phil,
    Reur photobucket image of CO2 absorption bands.
    I’m very interested. Do you have a reference as to its source and method of derivation etc?

  146. George E. Smith says:

    Well if you take Trenberth’s Energy Balance cartoon as Gospel Truth (and I do, because he’s a Kiwi); and I haven’t seen any competing alternatives of great rpute; that still leaves you absolutely nowhere; except you have some numbers to mess with.

    It’s quite impossible to deduce the Temperature of the earth from Trenberth’s energy budget; because unfortunately; the earth (Mother Gaia) dosen’t pay ANY attention to Trenberth; or his energy budget. She follows the laws of Physics, and follows the principles of experimental science, in that she pays attention to what is actually happening in real time.

    And the first thing she notes is that the TSI is 1366 W/m^2 (+/- 0.1% or so), which is a far cry from Trenberth’s 341 number.

    As a result, the Temperature on the sunlit portion of the earth (mostly ocean) goes way higher, than is possible with a steady 341 all over the planet. At 341, the Temperature is shooting for about zero C

    At 1366, the Temperature goal is 394 K, not 288 or 273. Ok lets step back a bit to say 1000 W/m^2; the target is still 364 K.

    The point is that these much higher actual input flux levels are STORED in the deep ocean; and they DO NOT DECAY IN 24 HOURS to any AVERAGE temperature, because the earth is NOT INFINITE THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY !

    That’s why Trenberth’s budget is total BS, when it comes to explaining the Temperature; and also why the water vapor feedback GH effect can completely self start even with zero other GHGs in the atmosphere including no CO2. I leave O3 in there since it is simply a byproduct of the stardard atmosphere gas O2.

    There’s lots of places on earth below 255 K despite the unprecedented high CO2 levels; which seems completely incapable of catching fire; yet there is plenty of H2O vapor; even though there isn’t supposed to be any without CO2.

    The point is if you use a sill modle that doesn’t fit ANY known planet; then you expect to get silly results.

    This one roatates; and it responds in real time to what is actually happening; not to some dumbed down average .

  147. Bob_FJ says:

    George E. Smith
    Re Trenberth’s cartoon.
    Yep!
    There’s that naughty business of T to the fourth power.
    I find his simplistic illustration of up and down radiation a tad irritating too. (magnitude & distribution)

    I’m not too sure that the higher actual levels of solar radiation are stored in the deep oceans though. It’s only blue light that gets down 100 m maybe, and ~40% of near infra-red is absorbed in the skin. Surely, the ocean is thermally stratified, convective, and wave action can‘t mix down too far? Turn-over currents, e.g. ENSO, are confined to smallish areas?

    It’s a bit of a travesty really, and he got it wrong about hurricanes too

  148. Bob_FJ says:

    SORRY,
    Where I said : and ~40% of near infra-red is absorbed in the skin.
    I meant: and ~40% of sunlight is in the near infra-red, which is absorbed in the skin of the water

Comments are closed.