Sense and sensitivity

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Reed Coray’s post here on Boxing Day, commenting on my post of 6 December, questions whether the IPCC and science textbooks are right that without any greenhouse gases the Earth’s surface temperature would be 33 Kelvin cooler than today’s 288 K. He says the temperature might be only 9 K cooler.

The textbook surface temperature of 255 K in the absence of any greenhouse effect is subject to three admittedly artificial assumptions: that solar output remains constant at about 1362 Watts per square meter, taking no account of the early-faint-Sun paradox; that the Earth’s emissivity is unity, though it is actually a little less; and that today’s Earth’s albedo or reflectance of 0.3 would remain unchanged, even in the absence of the clouds that are its chief cause.

These three assumptions are justifiable provided that the objective is solely to determine the warming effect of the presence as opposed to absence of greenhouse gases. They would not be justifiable if the objective were to determine the true surface temperature of the naked lithosphere at the dawn of the Earth. My post of 6 December addressed only the first objective. The second objective was irrelevant to my purpose, which was to determine a value for the system climate sensitivity – the amount of warming in response to the entire existing greenhouse effect.

Since Mr. Coray makes rather heavy weather of a simple calculation, here is how it is done. According to recent satellite measurements, 1362 Watts per square meter of total solar irradiance arrives at the top of the atmosphere. Since the Earth presents a disk to this insolation but is actually a sphere, this value is divided by 4 (the ratio of the surface area of a disk to that of a sphere), giving 340.5 Watts per square meter, and is also reduced by 30% to allow for the fraction harmlessly reflected to space, giving a characteristic-emission flux of 238.4 Watts per square meter.

The fundamental equation of radiative transfer, one of the few proven results in climatological physics, states that the radiative flux absorbed by (and accordingly emitted by) the characteristic-emission surface of an astronomical body is equal to the product of three parameters: the emissivity of that surface (here, as usual, taken as unity), the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (0.0000000567), and the fourth power of temperature. Accordingly, under  the three assumptions stated earlier, the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature is 254.6 K, or about 33.4 K cooler than today’s 288 K. It’s as simple as that.

The “characteristic-emission” surface of an astronomical body is defined as that surface at which the incoming and outgoing fluxes of solar radiation are identical. In the absence of greenhouse gases, the actual rocky surface of the Earth would be its characteristic-emission surface. As greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere and cause warming, the altitude of the characteristic-emission surface rises.

The characteristic-emission surface is now approximately 5 km above the Earth’s surface, its altitude varying inversely with latitude: but its temperature, by definition, remains 254.6 K or thereby. At least over the next few centuries, the atmospheric temperature lapse-rate (its decline with altitude) will remain near-constant at about 6.5 K per km, so that the temperature of the Earth’s surface will rise as greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere, even though the temperature of the characteristic-emission surface will remain invariant.

It is for this reason that Kiehl & Trenberth, in their iconic papers of 1997 and 2008 on the Earth’s radiation budget, are wrong to assume that (subject only to the effects of thermal convection and evapo-transpiration) there is a strict Stefan-Boltzmann relation between temperature and incident irradiance at the Earth’s surface. If they were right in this assumption, climate sensitivity would be little more than one-fifth of what they would like us to believe it is.

So, how do we determine the system sensitivity from the 33.4 K of “global warming” caused by the presence (as opposed to the total absence) of all the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? We go to Table 3 of Kiehl & Trenberth (1997), which tells us that the total radiative forcing from the top five greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O and stratospheric O3) is 101[86, 125] Watts per square meter. Divide 33.4 K by this interval of forcings. The resultant system sensitivity parameter, after just about all temperature feedbacks since the dawn of the Earth have acted, is 0.33[0.27, 0.39] Kelvin per Watt per square meter.

Multiply this system sensitivity parameter by 3.7 Watts per square meter, which is the IPCC’s value for the radiative forcing from a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (obtained not by measurement but by inter-comparison between three radiative-transfer models: see Myhre et al., 1998). The system sensitivity emerges. It is just 1.2[1.0, 1.4] K per CO2 doubling, not the 3.3[2.0, 4.5] K imagined by the IPCC.
Observe that this result is near-identical to the textbook sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration where temperature feedbacks are absent or sum to zero. From this circumstance, it is legitimate to deduce that temperature feedbacks may well in fact sum to zero or thereby, as measurements by Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2011) and Spencer & Braswell (2010. 2011) have compellingly demonstrated.

Therefore, the IPCC’s assumption that strongly net-positive feedbacks approximately triple the pre-feedback climate sensitivity appears to be incorrect. And, if Mr. Coray were right to say that the warming caused by all of the greenhouse gases is just 9 K rather than 33 K, then the system sensitivity would of course be still lower than the 1.2 K we have determined above.

This simple method of determining the system climate sensitivity is quite robust. It depends upon just three parameters: the textbook value of 33.4 K for the “global warming” that arises from the presence as opposed to the absence of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; Kiehl & Trenberth’s value of around 101 Watts per square meter for the total radiative forcing from the top five greenhouse gases (taking all other greenhouse gases into account would actually lower the system sensitivity still further); and the IPCC’s own current value of 3.7 Watts per square meter for the radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

However, it is necessary also to demonstrate that the climate sensitivity of the industrial era since 1750 is similar to the system sensitivity – i.e., that there exist no special conditions today that constitute a significant departure from the happily low system sensitivity that has prevailed, on average, since the first wisps of the Earth’s atmosphere formed.

Thanks to the recent bombshell result of the Carbon Dioxide Information and Analysis Center in the US (Blasing, 2011), the industrial-era sensitivity may now be as simply and as robustly demonstrated as the system sensitivity. Dr. Blasing has estimated that manmade forcings from all greenhouse gases since 1750 are as much as 3.1 Watts per square meter, from which we must deduct 1.1 Watts per square meter to allow for manmade negative radiative forcings, notably including the soot and other particulate aerosols that act as little parasols sheltering us from the Sun.

The net manmade forcing since 1750, therefore, is about 2 Watts per square meter. According to Hansen (1984), there had been 0.5 K of “global warming” since 1750, and there has been another 0.3 K of warming since 1984, making 0.8 K in all. We can check this by calculating the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Central England Temperature Record since 1750, which shows 0.9 K of warming. So 0.8 K warming since 1750 is in the right ballpark.

The IPCC says that we caused between half and all of the warming since 1750 – i.e. 0.6[0.4, 0.8] K. Divide this interval by the net industrial-era anthropogenic forcing of 2 Watts per square meter, and multiply by 3.7 Watts per square meter as before, and the industrial-era sensitivity is 1.1[0.7, 1.5] K, which neatly and remarkably embraces the system sensitivity of 1.2[1.0, 1.4] K. So the industrial-era sensitivity is near-identical to the low and harmless system sensitivity.

Will the IPCC take any notice of fundamental results such as these that are at odds with its core assumption of a climate sensitivity thrice what we have here shown it to be? I have seen the first draft of the chapter on climate sensitivity and, as in previous reports, the IPCC either sneeringly dismisses or altogether ignores the growing body of data, results and papers pointing to low sensitivity. It confines its analysis only to those results that confirm its prejudice in favor of very high sensitivity.

In Durban I had the chance to discuss the indications of low climate sensitivity with influential delegates from the US and other key nations. I asked one senior US delegate whether his officials had told him – for instance – that sea level has been rising over the past eight years at a rate equivalent to just 2 inches per century. He had not been told, and was furious that he had been misled into thinking that sea level was rising at a dangerous rate.

Having gained his attention, I outlined the grounds for suspecting low climate sensitivity and asked him whether he had been told that there was a growing body of credible and robust evidence that climate sensitivity is small, harmless, and even beneficial. He had not been told that either. Now he and other delegates are beginning to ask the right questions. If the IPCC adheres to its present draft and fails to deal with arguments such as that which I have sketched here, the nations of the world will no longer heed it. It must fairly consider both sides of the sensitivity question, or die.

About these ads

139 thoughts on “Sense and sensitivity

  1. If they choose ego over reason, then, like all bad science before them, they certainly do need to die… However, if science history teaches us anything, it is that bad ideas do NOT go gentle into that good night…

  2. So many people are just so misinformed about climate change or global warming. Because of this lack of information, people would make wrong conclusions.

  3. Do these theories take into account the earth emits heat ? We know that only a few 10s of Kms down, the earth gets very hot, and it get hotter the deeper you go. At the mantle boundary, the temperature is upto 400C. The deepest mine in the world – TauTona gold mine, which is 3.4km deep, is at 55 degrees C. So if the earth gets hotter the deeper you go, obviously, the earth MUST be radiating some heat at the surface. Even in Antarctica, you only need to go down a few hundred metres to get to a constant warm +ve temperature. So it seems pretty obvious that even before the atmosphere starts it`s GH effect, there earth iteself has residual heat. Also, this heat will add to the warming from the GH effect.

  4. Subtle in detection, “climate sensitivity” indeed seems subject to rudimentary mathematical derivation. Kudos to Lord Monckton, whose syllogistic chain seems irrefutable. Bleating and squeaking, AGW catastrophists confront physical science principles that dismiss their central tenets root-and-branch.

  5. You are making a difference. Even of just one or two people at a time – eventually the knowledge of the truth will spread exponentially. It sounds as if you met some open-minded delegates in Durban.nvcvvr Thank you, sir.

  6. Excellent post, Lord Monckton. I only wish I could present this to people deluded by the warmist lie and not have them dismiss your piece out of hand with ad hom attacks against you. We need to get you a pseudonym, methinks, LOL.

  7. Great work Lord Monckton.
    I am surprised at the response you received from the US delegate to Durban. I am under the impression that most people there know it is a scam and are happy to go with it for a number of reasons. If this guy was genuinely surprised, genuinely angry and genuine in his desire to get to the truth then there is a glimmer of hope.
    I would not expect such a reaction from any Australian delegates and definitely not from any delegates from third world countries.

  8. A Marital Drama

    The Players

    Wife …….. climate skeptics
    Husband … IPCC

    The Scene

    Husband painting the guest room floor (AR5). Wife tries to caution husband to be careful. Husband dismisses wife’s concerns (what does she know anyway?). So intent on proving he’s right that he paints himself into the far corner, clear across the room from the door.

    Were it but that innocent …

  9. Interesting presentation. However, I shudder when I see this notion of a characteristic altitude for emissions. Note, I first saw this in one of hansen’s early rantings. Under clear skies, one has the surface radiating a continuum and an atmosphere that absorbs some of the power, and reradiates a portion of that absorbed spectrum based upon the temperature(s) where the absorption / emission took place. Under cloudy skies with significant cloud cover, one essentially has the characteristic black body continuum emission coming from the cloud tops and emitting at the temperature of the cloud top.
    Stefan’s law relates to black body continuum emissions as it is the integration over all wavelengths and in all directions outward from a surface at a particular temperature. Atmospheric gases will absorb and radiate in characteristic line spectrums of the various components. This is where the simplest useful information really has to come from radiative transfer details and there really isn’t such a thing as a charateristic altitude for emissions because we no longer are dealing with a blackbody continuum at a single temperature for a small area.
    Without considering that cloud cover can vary in both extent and in the reflectivity of those clouds, one is missing the boat. When it comes to Hansen and friends, their high sensitivity comes from their very dubious assumptions that (like lower atmospheric temperatures) having higher atmospheric temperatures will reduce the amount of cloud cover and hence a lower albedo. That means that we’ve got about 62% cloud cover and that must be the maximum we could possibly have based upon temperature variations (a relative maximum).
    As for the various estimates of sensitivity, I think even those are a little bit high.

  10. Since this whole mess has very little to do with science, either good or bad, and much to do with a whole host of political agendas. I hold out no hope for a rational resolution. The best we can hope for is the rejection of this foolishness likely for the wrong reasons.

  11. This needs to be called in to Hawaii, we did not send enough envoys there for fear of the carbon footprint.

  12. bohol says:
    December 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    So many people are just so misinformed about climate change or global warming. Because of this lack of information, people would make wrong conclusions.

    The it is not random misinformation. It is a planned and targeted one with ulterior economic and political motives. Economic with all those CO2 and alternative energy bubbles, and political pushing for a global government/control.

  13. This little essay is a simple and clear account of how the magnitude of the Greenhouse Effect is calculated and it includes Lord Monckton’s reasons for believing that climate sensitivity has the low value of 1.2 K. This essay should clarify these matters for many people who have not had the time or interest to slog through longer articles. Thank you, Lord Monckton.

  14. A nice post that generates a couple of thoughts

    1. The earth rotates and on average receives no radiation for 12 hours per day.
    2. Assuming albedo is not really science.
    3. The radiation can be measured. A simple experiment, measure the surface temp at noon on a clear day, mid summer, in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere and the equator. This can be expanded and then plotted. Here in the tropics at noon you almost cannot walk on the sand at noon but mid summer in the uk you can.

  15. OK OK I have a problem with this entire discussion, m’lord :-)

    Before we discuss the effect of a “GHG” in the atmosphere, how about answering the question: “What is the surface atmospheric temperature of an Earth with an atmospheric mass of ‘1’, composed of Nitrogen”?

  16. The faint sun paradox assumes an atmospheric pressure of 1 bar over the course of the life of Earth’s atmosphere. That probably isn’t true. Some background:

    http://levenspiel.com/octave/dinosaurs.htm

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/ci/30/i12/html/12learn.html

    Then we have such things as the Azolla event that pulled Earth’s CO2 from over 3000ppm to around 650ppm in about 1 million years.

    We know that all of the limestone, chalk, marble, alabaster, coal, and shale is carbon removed from Earth’s atmosphere. If all of the CO2 locked up in those materials just in the land deposits (not counting the sea deposits) we would have an atmosphere of about 35 bar. Earth’s surface would be much warmer. Oh, and then there’s this:

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/unified_theory_of_climate_poster_nikolov_zeller.pdf

    No, I don’t think the IPCC has it right. The point of the IPCC results is to create fear of CO2 that enables UNFCCC policy recommendations. That is it’s one and only purpose in this world. It was designed to justify actions under the Rio Declaration. It is a group designed from the outset to reach a certain conclusion. That conclusion is that “it is plausible that a rise in CO2 emissions could result in a change in climate (scientific uncertainty surrounding the AMOUNT of change notwithstanding) and that it is plausible that this climate change COULD be harmful to the environment (again, uncertainty surrounding the extent of the harm notwithstanding)”. That, coupled with the “Precautionary Principle”, which reverses the logic of the burden of proof forces anyone wishing to block UNFCCC action to “prove” that CO2 *can’t* change climate and that the change *can’t* damage the environment. It is impossible to prove a negative. The Precautionary Principle is a perversion of logic. You can not prove that something can’t happen, you can, at best, only prove that you have found no evidence OF it happening.

    The entire thing is a masterpiece of Orwellian logic.

  17. Should some one be able to confront the “Team” and the IPCC authors and work groups with these conclusions, plus the fact that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, what will be their response? — ‘You are wrong’ – no reason given? ‘Statistics say otherwise’ – when statistics are not involved?
    It would be interesting to see. Not to mention the stupid attempt to re-write climate history of the MWP and the LIA.

  18. Given the evidence of past actions of the IPCC, I do not for a moment think they will go quietly into the night. Should they be forced by the science to acknowledge a sensitivity as low as Lord Monckton suggests, I expect they will find a way to make that look scary like they have the “accelerated” sea level rise, or the “acidification” of seawater.

  19. Whenever people talk about the average temperature that Earth would have with or without GHGs or clouds, it always suprises me that, no matter what temperature they think it would be, they never include in their calculations the FACT that the Earth rotates, and that different parts of the Earth have different resistance to temperature change (it takes a different ammount of Jules for that part of the surface to increase its temperature by 1 degree). Although it seems irrelevant, it is not. I will explain.

    With the same Sun and the same Earth composition, the average temperature would be higher if the Earth rotated faster. Why? Because a faster rotation would mean shorter days and nights, and that would mean lower temperature differences between day and night. Even if the average temperature was momentarily the same, the Earth’s radiation to space would be not. An Earth with an average temperature T in which there are little variations of temperature from place to place, emits less radiation to space than an Earth with the same average temperature T but with big variations of temperature from place to place. This is because emissivity is a factor of T^4. So, because in this scenario the Earth would emit less radiation to space, there would be a radiative imbalance, and the Earth would warm up, ending up with a higher average T.

    The average temperature of the Moon is so low, not just because of not having GHGs and having a high albedo, but also because its days and nights last 14 terrestrial days, and there is no water, and both things lead to huge differences of temperature between the day side and the night side, which means that it radiates far more than it would if its temperature was uniform, and if it radiates a lot more, it is a lot colder in average for a radiative imbalance of 0. So if Earth had no GHGs, you can be sure that its average temperature would be quite higher than the Moon’s, just because of the water in the surface and a higher rotation speed causing smaller temperature differences from place to place.

    So, when you want to calculate what is a Stable Earth’s Average Surface Temperature, (that is, without any radiative imbalances as a whole), with or without GHGs, IT DOES MATTER how the Earth’s surface temperature is distributed. You need to account for it or the number you arrive to will be meaningless. For the same Earth’s average surface temperature, emisivity varies with different temperature distributions in the surface, while the sun’s input is rather stable.

  20. Reed Coray’s post demonstrates yet another approach to the question of cloud feedback, and the growing body of evidence that it is negative. As the earth heats up, clouds increase to cool the climate. As the earth cools, clouds decrease to warm the climate.

    As a result we have an exceptionally stable climate, that varies less that 1 part in 300 K per century. In contrast, daily and seasonal temperatures vary more than 10 parts in 300 K or more over much of the earth. In other words, climate is so stable that daily and seasonal fluctuations are more than ten times greater than century long fluctuations.

  21. The current GHG AGW argument assumes that an earth with zero atmosphere would have the same average temperature with a pure N2 atmosphere at 1 bar, and would have the same surface temperature as an earth with a pure N2 atmosphere and 10,000 bar of surface pressure.

    Rubbish. It is utter nonsense.

    An earth with a 100 bar atmosphere would emit the same radiation at the top of atmosphere as an earth with a 1 bar atmosphere. The amount is exactly equal to the incoming radiation, which is provided by the sun.

    Thus the top of the atmosphere will be the same temperature in all cases, regardless of how thick the atmosphere is. On an earth with no atmosphere, the surface it the top of atmosphere.

    However, except on an earth with no atmosphere, the bottom of the atmosphere would not be the same temperate as the top, because the atmosphere is gravitationally and thermally bound to the planet, according to the lapse rate.

    The earth with the thicker N2 atmosphere will be warmer (on average) at the surface than the earth with the thinner atmosphere, which will be warmer still at the surface than the earth with no atmosphere.

    If this was not true, then the lapse rate for an atmosphere without GHG would have to be zero.

  22. crosspatch;
    Beat me to it!
    Christopher, study that paper. Here’s a crucial quote: “only a sizable increase of total atmospheric mass can bring about a significant and sustained warming. However, human-induced gaseous emissions are extremely unlikely to produce such a mass increase. Hence, there is no anthropogenic forcing to global climate.” (my emphasis).

    And about that 33K figure:
    “According to Eq. (2), our atmosphere boosts Earth’s surface temperature not by 18K—33K as currently assumed, but by 133K!”

    Paradigm smasher.

  23. Lord Monckton,

    During my training in university I had the occasion to do many calculations in heat transfer so I am reasonably familiar with your manipulations. My job and the needs of my family prevent me from digging in on your work but I must say that your work in sensitivity is what attracts my interest, that and the whole signal to noise ratio issue.

    Part of my career caused me to participate in the modeling of an enclosed building (a nuclear reactor containment building) for its thermal and physical properties of the gases within. We needed to demonstrate the leak rate of gases as the building went through a pressurization cycle. The Nuclear regulation body required us to meet specific leak rate restrictions and demonstrate them as met.

    The problem of modeling the containment building required the installation of several humidity sensors, pressure gauges, thermometers, strain gauges, flow meters etc and to perform accurate gas sampling for constituents.

    This was just one building with top-of-the-line sensors.

    We passed. But I recall the difficulty involved in ensuring the gauges and meters were all calibrated and then calculating the expected error in the leak rate. We could measure the inflow of gas but had to calculate the outflow based on the internal physical properties of the building. The out flow was calculated. it was tough.

    Based on that experience I know that it is impossible to determine with any confidence the planetary values for the thermodynamic variables. I know that you know this. I am curious about your calculated error estimates. (how much noise is in that signal you need to see?)

    Also, I am interested in your model. I imagine the earth as a series of concentric spheres (more or less) constituted by gaseous layers, thermally variant based on latitudinal boundaries.
    with an earth or water minimum sphere. I see a possibility of big errors based on my assumptions. Just thinking.

  24. I’m rather surprised that the concept of a characteristic or average emission temperature of any rotating planet or moon, either with or without an atmosphere, let alone oceans, is still debated. There are so many things that are non-linear and troublesome about it that it in my view it is all nonsense to declare an average (linear) temperature!

    Here follow just three issues, keeping it short:

    1) The incoming radiation from the sun treated conceptually as received over a disc, should NOT then be linearly averaged over the ~spherical surface area. There is a huge variation in the global power per unit surface area involved. For instance at 45 degrees latitude, at high zenith, (for a year average), it is ~41% less than at the equator, and it diminishes with great rapidity at higher latitudes assuming no change in reflectance. However, reflectivity tends to increase also, per Lambert’s cosine law*. (Oh, and BTW, very much more so over water, which is not mentioned by the alarmist’s Arctic melting feedback scary stuff) Keep in mind also that the surface absorptive/emissive power is proportional to the fourth power of temperature of the surface, (per Stefan-Boltzmann & Kirchhoff’s law), and also linearly to albedo/reflectance. Also, at low latitudes the ratio of surface area presentation to high zenith insolation is very much higher than at higher latitudes. Thus the bulk of the Earth’s energy absorbed from the sun is somewhat near the equator, although with advective atmospheric and ocean circulations on Earth, it is spread around, unlike on otherwise similar airless bodies. Thus, regardless of any greenhouse effect, the surface temperatures on Earth would be expected to be more uniform than on say the moon, which is precisely what is observed, simply because of fluid circulations.

    2) An important factor in surface temperatures and their distributions on any lifeless planet or moon, especially if airless, is its rotation speed and the characteristics of its regolith, (soil and stuff), which include its regional thermal conductivities, specific heats, albedos, and presence or absence of evaporative content.

    3) The earth rotates once every 24 hours, and receives at any moment of time over that rotation interval of 180 degrees, insolation from the Sun spread over that momentary hemisphere. However, at that time, there is a powerful hotspot just under the high zenith that will result in great local warming, particularly into the tropical seas, but only momentarily. Also momentarily there will also be higher than average heat loss from that hotspot. Meanwhile, the Earth is an oblate spheroid, and emits radiation not only from the illuminated side, but also from the dark side.

    There is other stuff, but will that do for now?

    * Here is an easy to follow description of Lambert’s Cosine Law as considered in optics. (Some physicists like to make it seem more complicated):

    http://escience.anu.edu.au/lecture/cg/Illumination/lambertCosineLaw.en.html

  25. BTW, Christopher, good work with your button-holing and piercing of the wall of disinformation around the US delegates. Hell hath no Fury like a Believer who discovers he’s been suckered.

  26. Anyone know where the 288K number comes from? Is it measured with special instruments or is it just a statistical estimate based on worldwide air temperature data?

  27. When 6,000 ppm of CO2 on Mars will start exhibit a single degree of warming above the black body 310K, wake me up.
    Nobody_never_dared _to_assume, that ALL the warming since 1750 has been caused by additional CO2. Even the exaggerated and artificial-positive-feedback driven climate models show reasonable warming since 1960 only.
    Seriously, where exactly is the winter warming in polar regions, which should warm by far most?

    Arctic is exactly as “warm” as in 1940s. Sensitivity = zero.
    These are three autumn months in my region. It has not warm a bit. Has CO2 took a months off? Sensitivity = zero.

    At the very end

    Until we can physically explain every single up and down in there reconstruction, all debates about sensitivity are useless, since we do not know much about the underlying natural variability.

  28. The characteristic-emission surface is a new concept to me. If it is at 5km, that makes about 75,000 more square miles of disk to receive sunlight, and 300,000 more sq miles of radiative surface. Does that have any effect on the calculations?

  29. Bob F-J;
    For non-stop evidence of the factors you depict, examine the ‘Diurnal Bulge’, the travelling wave of atmospheric expansion that ‘tracks’ the sun around the tropics at about the 2 pm position.

  30. ggm says:
    December 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    “Do these theories take into account the earth emits heat ?”

    That is a strange question. Pour boiling water into a Thermos flask, screw on the lid and place on a table. Is the outer surface of the flask hot?

    The soil under your feet acts a a very effective layer of insulation and prevents the internal heat escaping. Sit on sand in a desert at night and you’ll soon freeze. That’s how night stills for collecting moisture work.

    Volcanoes are the route by which the internal heat reaches the surface. Did you study any Sciences at school or elsewhere?

    Frank Lee MeiDere says:
    December 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    “but can’t we figure the Earth’s temperature minus greenhouse gasses (sic) by looking at the Moon?”

    The moon has no atmosphere at all. In the absence of Carbon Dioxide, there would still be a blanket of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Water Vapour and other trace gases surrounding Earth. As life on this planet is Carbon based, absence of Carbon Dioxide would mean absence of life.

    • Frank Lee MeiDere says: December 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm “but can’t we figure the Earth’s temperature minus greenhouse gasses (sic) by looking at the Moon?” The moon has no atmosphere at all. In the absence of Carbon Dioxide, there would still be a blanket of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Water Vapour and other trace gases surrounding Earth. As life on this planet is Carbon based, absence of Carbon Dioxide would mean absence of life.

      Yes, I’d heard rumours that the Moon was somewhat lacking in atmosphere. I was under the impression we were talking about the effect of ALL greenhouse gasses, not just CO2. I also thought we were talking strictly about temperature, not whether or not life could exist. So if we remove CO2 from the equation, but there is still an effect upon temperature by the remaining gasses, that would mean they were, in turn, greenhouse gasses. So then we remove another greenhouse gas, and another. If any gas is left that does NOT affect the temperature, then it can remain in the equation, since it is effectively zero. It struck me that a short form of doing this is to look at a body that is within our orbit, and which has no gasses to complicate the matter.

      As I said, it may be a naive question, but your answer doesn’t even come close to answering it.

      And while we’re at it, I don’t see anything all that silly about ggm’s question regarding the internal heat of the Earth, either. If you fill a Thermos with boiling water, the outside may not be hot to the touch, but that heat is going somewhere. If we place the Thermos in a refrigerator, a tiny person living on the surface of it might well freeze to death, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t heat coming off it.

      When questions are asked, you have the choice of either responding to them, which means giving the best answer you can, or ignoring them. Trying to prove your supposed superiority with comments such as, “Did you study any Sciences at school or elsewhere?” is juvenile, and frankly, I’m sick of seeing such childish displays to honest enquiries.

  31. The pressure of atmospheric gases are more important than the composition of the mix of atmospheric gases, the hypothetical temperature differences between these gases are small, if there was the same amount of CO2 as water vapor in the atmosphere and CO2 behaved as clouds do, keeping the planet warm at night and cool during the day then where’s the problem?

    If we had two equal glasses of water with a temperature of 1°C in each glass and poured both into an empty jug, what would the temperature of the water in the jug be? the answer is 1°C, Not 2°C.
    So 1°C + 1°C = 1°C See how that works!

    If CO2 in the atmosphere had a hypothetical temperature of X°C and we doubled the quantity by an equal amount, what would the hypothetical temperature of X°C be? Um… well.. er.. Feed backs, um… sensitivity… localized… um.. the climate… think of the polar bears!

    :)

  32. Brian H says:
    December 29, 2011 at 12:11 am

    crosspatch;
    Beat me to it!

    Thanks for posting it again, I think it’s pretty important. Paradigm smasher, indeed. I thought it might get lost in the noise. The papers about the atmospheric pressure is important, too, in my opinion. People assume for some reason that we have had a constant atmospheric pressure since the beginning of time when we have direct physical evidence that this can’t be true. Earth probably started out with an atmosphere much like Venus’ and we can see enough carbon stored in various carbonates that has been removed from the atmosphere to see that this was probably true at some point. The atmosphere during the time of the dinosaurs was probably 4 to 5 times today’s atmospheric pressure.

  33. Reed Coray’s post was quite correct to point out the load of rubbish that must be swallowed if you are expected to believe in the IPCC presented greenhouse theory.
    How often have we read that in the absence of the ‘greenhouse gases’ the Earth surface temperature would be 33K lower?

    It would, if these impossible things happened!

    1. No extra radiation whatsoever got to the Earth surface
    2. The Earth surface albedo jumped from 0.12 to 0.3
    3. The albedo of the extra surface bound radiation infra red radiation instead of being almost zero also becomes 0.3.

    Reed Coray uses IPCC accepted values to show that the greenhouse theory as presented has no internal logic
    Unfortunately the original Monckton presentation did not point out how absurd these “impossible conditions are”.
    Some sceptics want to appear more “reasonable” and so unfortunately accept nonsense as a condition.

    Its a good job that IPCC science does not want us to accept that ;

    1. Water can flow uphill
    2. An exploding grenade can spontaneously reassemble
    3. Gravity is a repulsive forge
    4. Heat can flow spontaneously from a colder to a hotter surface

  34. I am grateful for the many interesting comments on the simple derivation of low system and industrial-era climate sensitivities, and should like to reply to a few correspondents.

    Brian H cites the work of Dr. Nikolov’s team, posted above mine. In correspondence with Dr. Nikolov I have said that zonal calculations of temperature, when adjusted for the surface area of each zone and the sun’s azimuth angle and then summed, seem to yield a mean global temperature near-identical to that which a single application of the fundamental equation of radiative transfer determines. In short, the Holder inequality is in this instance very small. Dr. Nikolov has replied that one should also perform longitudinal calculations to allow for the time of day or night: however, these calculations would not change the result significantly. Therefore, I have suggested to him that he may like to get his very low value for the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature peer-reviewed and accepted by the scientific community before he proceeds further with his theory. For the time being, my conclusion is that the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature is 255 K, not the 155 K he finds, and that accordingly the warming caused by the presence as opposed to absence of all greenhouse gases is 33 K, not 133 K.

    CBA suggests one should take the temperature of the cloud tops into account when determining the characteristic-emission temperature. However, the characteristic-emission altitude is well above nearly all cloud tops, whose significant influence on the Earth’s albedo must nevertheless be taken into account.

    Grey Lensman says the Earth receives no radiation at night; the radiation can be measured; and the albedo should not be assumed to be 0.3. However, as my post explained, the division of satellite-measured total solar irradiation by 4 allows for the nightside; the characteristic-emission radiation is, therefore, simply one-fourth of the measured top-of-atmosphere total solar irradiation, reduced by 30% to allow for albedo; and the albedo is not an assumption but is measured by a large number of authorities.

    Robert of Ottawa asks what the surface temperature of the Earth with an all-nitrogen atmosphere would be. In the absence of any greenhouse gases, the answer is 255 K or thereby.

    Frank Lee MeiDere asks whether we can gauge the Earth’s temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases by studying the Moon. However, the objective is to obtain a characteristic-emission temperature for the Earth after allowing for the three assumptions mentioned in my posting (which do not apply to the Moon), so as to determine how much warmer the Earth is in response to the presence as opposed to absence of all greenhouse gases. Looking at the Moon is of little help, since it has no atmosphere at all. Also, its albedo is somewhat less than that of the naked terrestrial (or Martian) lithospheres.

    Paul Westhaver asks about uncertainty in measurement, and Hank Henry asks how today’s mean surface temperature of 288 K is derived. Surface temperature is measured continuously by two generally reliable separate satellite systems and also by surface temperature stations of variable quality. The results are similar, and 288 K is probably within a degree or two of the true mean surface temperature. The characteristic-emission radiative flux is simply one-fourth of the satellite-measured total top-of-atmosphere solar irradiance, with an uncertainty of perhaps a couple of Watts per square meter. The CO2 radiative forcing is probably an exaggeration, according to the mathematician who did much of the initial spectral-line-by-spectral-line radiative-transfer calculations: however, if it is indeed exaggerated then climate sensitivity is still lower than the 1.2 K I have determined.

    Finally, Bob Fernley-Jones asks whether there is really such a thing as a characteristic-emission temperature. As my post explained, this is a matter of definition. Corresponding to every point on the Earth’s surface there is some altitude directly above it at which the incoming and outgoing radiative fluxes are identical. Connecting these altitudes generates a rather imperfectly spherical characteristic-emission surface, but the departure from true sphericality is insufficient to alter the calculations significantly. The name “characteristic-emission level” is attributable to the formidable Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, to whom I am most grateful for his patient answers to my many questions about this and other subjects. Without brave men like him, who have had the courage to stick to the science where many climatologists were profiting by perverting science in the service of extremist politics, the truth that is now emerging would still be hidden. And that truth, as my post demonstrates, is that climate sensitivity is low enough to be harmless.

  35. I entirely agree with you Mr Frank Lee MeiDere . That kind of childish response by Perry to honest questions is what we expect from Romm and his ilk. This is why we come to WUWT to be informed and perhaps to disseminate some truth to the world outside the blogosphere.

  36. I agree with Nylo – this is a point I have occasionally raised before, but never seen anyone pick up on it, does anyone; IPCC/computer models, warmers, sceptics, Monckton, take this into account? I am not an expert, but as Nylo points out, because radiation depends on T to power 4, then it is not sensible to use average temperature, a heat distributing atmosphere (with or without ghg’s), ocean and faster spin rate will distribute heat, reduce the temperature range and cause an increase in the average temperature.

    For example, if we had a disc not spinning in relation to a Sun, the hot side, facing the Sun, all at say 300K, the cold side in shadow all at 100K we would say the average temperature is 200K it will be emitting radiation proportional to 300^4 plus 100^4 = 8200E6. Now let’s make it a perfect conductor so both sides are the same temperature, at equilibrium each side now emitting half of the above value so it’s temperature is 253K, i.e. on average it is now 53K warmer.

    So when we say 33K warming due to ghg’s, presumably some of that increase in the average temperature is actually down to the spin rate of the Earth, the oceans and the atmosphere distributing heat around and reducing the temperature range. I’d like to know roughly how much this amounts to; 0.1K? 10K? 30K? I have not had the patience or necessary data to calculate it out, e.g. a representative grid of all the temperatures at a representative instant in time, but then it gets more complicated if you have to use different emissivities for each point too e.g. for snow, forest, sea, rock, desert, etc.

  37. Maybe a look at black body radiation to see how climate scientists estimate earth temperatures will help those having problems with the cooling of the earth. The article derives the temperature of a planet using some assumptions to be:

    −18.8 °C.

    This is the temperature of the Earth if it radiated as a perfect black body in the infrared, ignoring greenhouse effects , and assuming an unchanging albedo.

    the 15C ( 288K) comes from the complicated averaging of measurements over the last decades and getting an average earth temperature. The difference is attributed to the existence of the atmosphere and the green house effect.

    BTW I think that the very concept of “average earth temperature” as others have also commented, is questionable since energy loss through black body radiation is not linear but goes as T^4 and the earth both in time and space is completely variable.

  38. That is a good synopsis as far as the atmosphere is concerned.

    Could it be extended to include the oceanic response to more GHGs?

    As I see it the response of that 70% of the surface that is water covered could actually make the system response negative so as to remove all or most of the theoretical warming effect from a CO2 doubling.

    The surface air pressure distribution might shift an unmeasurable fraction but we would never notice it.

  39. Frank Lee MeiDere says:
    December 29, 2011 at 1:31 am
    I do sympathise with your remarks about how some commentators answer (or not) questions.
    “When questions are asked, you have the choice of either responding to them, which means giving the best answer you can, or ignoring them. Trying to prove your supposed superiority with comments such as, “Did you study any Sciences at school or elsewhere?” is juvenile, and frankly, I’m sick of seeing such childish displays to honest enquiries.”

    So let me answer ggm’s very pertinent question.
    ggm says:
    December 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm
    “Do these theories take into account the earth emits heat ?”

    Geothermal heating, averaged over the surface of the Earth, amounts to about 0.08 Watt/m2 This is very small compared to the solar radiation absorbed into the Earth’s climate system ( 240 Watt/m2 ). In terms of climate therefore, geothermal heating can be considered to be insignificant.

  40. The whole argument is garbage. Firstly, we have day and night with very different incident solar radiation. If you calculate even just two separate temperatures for day and night (using SBL) and average the temperatures (rather than averaging the radiation) you obviously get a very different much lower result from 255 deg.K because the average of the fourth roots is very different from the fourth root of the average.

    But, even if we work with the 255 deg.K figure it must be considered to be a value for the whole Earth plus atmosphere system as seen from space. That is the only (approximate) blackbody involved. The surface/atmosphere interface is merely an internal interface. If you were to apply SBL at the surface, then you would need to deduct a similar calculation for radiation from the atmosphere back to teh surface. (This is standard physics which the IPCC ignores.)

    In fact diffusion (conduction) ensures very close thermal equilibrium between the surface and the first 1mm of the air (see Wikipedia “Heat Transfer”) and so the net radiation is in fact very close to zero and oscillates in direction (up or down) depending upon which is temporarily the warmer.

    So, in fact the 255 deg.K would be a weighted mean of the Earth+atmosphere system, perhaps at about 5 km altitude. If so, the lapse rate (say 6.5 deg/km) would explain 32.5 degrees difference. There is absolutely nothing caused by any back radiation warming because, as Prof Claes Johnson has now proved, radiation with frequencies below a cut-off frequency = kT/h (k=Boltzmann’s const, H=Planck’s const T=absolute temperature of surface) is not converted to thermal energy at all.

    In fact I believe the figure should be much lower than 255 deg.K and the weighted mean altitude somewhat higher. But the whole real world situation is far more complex because of storage of thermal energy (in the land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere) from day to night. Even the surface plus atmosphere is not a true blackbody because of this storage of thermal energy which seeps out the back “trap door” and thence underground. A proper model should integrate over the 24 hour cycle and also take into account rates of conduction/convection in the land surfaces and oceans.

    But the whole exercise of modelling is pointless now that we know back radiation does no warming. Monckton needs to catch up with this critical fact. Maybe he could read http://www.climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html

  41. Frank Lee MeiDere says: December 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm “but can’t we figure the Earth’s temperature minus greenhouse gasses (sic) by looking at the Moon?” Frank, I think that part of the problem is that the lack of a moderating effect from an atmosphere means that the moon’s surface temperature fluctuates wildly between day and night and at different latitudes. There is considerable relief on the moon’s surface, so some regions are mostly in shade and remain colder than those which receive full sunlight. All this makes it harder to come up with a close estimate of the moon’s mean surface T than it is on earth, which has a much smaller range.
    According to Nikolov and Zeller (see Table 1 in their paper via links above) the moon’s ‘mean’ surface temperature is 154.3K, but it’s not clear where they got this figure from or how meaningful it is.

  42. Something semi-related, but something I don’t think you would have seen before – How the 33C Greenhouse Effect (using the questionable assumptions) works out according to Latitude.

    At the North Pole, the Greenhouse Effect (including temperature distribution from the equator to the poles) is actually 80C. At the equator, it is as low as 22C. The area-weighted average is still 33C but higher latitudes have a bigger impact.

    In terms of Watts/m2, there is less differential by latitude (and a lower value at the South Pole than might be expected, perhaps related to the average 2 km high altitude).

  43. Hopefully you were able to fold in the proper geometry of the emission-absorption area as I tried to comment over at JoNova’s blog. The absorption surface is no a disk the diameter of the Earth, but a hemisphere (more area to absorb) with an absorption function that is highest where the Sun’s rays hit full on, and then drops as you move to the day-night terminator.

    The emission surface is the entire 4pi surface. So the absorption area is a fraction of the emission area. I find it interesting that the equations I have seen do not address this difference in radiative and absorbing surface area, and the net solar flux as a function of angle of incidence.

    Off topic now, I found what appears to be actual CRUTEM1 temperature computations by CRU generated in 2007. The data are in regional data sets in order to calibrate tree rings. When plotted they show no significant modern warming, even though the represent much of the Northern Hemisphere. How the regions were combined seems a bid dodgy, and some of the regions seem to have been slightly warmed over the period of the temp record (which is strange, since the data is supposedly regional anomalies against a regional norm???).

    Anyway, it is mildly interesting for folks who might be interested. Data is from the Climategate 1 dump.

  44. Frank Lee MeiDere says:
    December 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

    ….
    Yes, I’d heard rumours that the Moon was somewhat lacking in atmosphere. I was under the impression we were talking about the effect of ALL greenhouse gasses, not just CO2. … and frankly, I’m sick of seeing such childish displays to honest enquiries.

    ========

    Well, yes. I thought that answer was a bit inappropriate myself. However, someone did answer your question in a less juvenile fashion. Because the moon rotates much more slowly than the Earth, the areas exposed to sunlight get very hot. And because emission varies with the fourth power of temperature, the very hot areas return more heat to space compared to a more rapidly rotating planet where the temperatures are more moderate. Since energy in has to equal energy out, the moon will, on average, be a bit colder than the more rapidly rotating Earth

    Plausible? For sure. Correct? Quite possibly

  45. In the above post I should have made clear the fact that the lapse rate can be fully explained for an atmosphere free of GHG molecules using thermodynamics rather than radiation. Euler equations are required and Prof Claes Johnson documents the proof in “Climate Thermodynamics.” Section 5: http://www.nada.kth.se/~cgjoh/atmothermo.pdf

    Because of this, I repeat that absolutely no component of the lapse rate needs to be attributed to any greenhouse gas.

    A further point which I shall be including in my book relates to the thermal “momentum” of the whole Earth beneath the surface, including the core and all energy generated in the core, mantle and crust. I am fully aware that there is only a very minute net flow of thermal energy from beneath the surface and I am not saying this causes any warming. The fact that it is an outward flow is actually a good thing, because it means thermal energy from the Sun is not flowing back into the crust at this stage in history.

    The thermal energy we are talking about in the core etc obviously totally eclipses all that in the oceans, land surfaces and atmosphere. I maintain that it thus provides a stabilising effect for long-term climate. The reason goes like this: if the surface were to somehow rise by, say, five degrees in the next 200 years or so, then it would be necessary for the whole (near linear) plot of temperatures from the core to the surface to be raised by 5 degrees at the surface end. The existing levels have come about over millions, perhaps billions of years and they would take some significant “shaking” to alter that underground temperature gradient. Clearly a huge inward flow of thermal energy would be required to fill in the gap under the new (raised) temperature plot. This energy would far eclipse the energy required just to raise the oceans etc by five degrees. Hence, that energy would not in fact raise the oceans by anywhere near five degrees, because the vast majority of it would be needed to raise the underground temperatures.

    Whatever happened would happen far, far more slowly and permanent variations of the order of five degrees would take perhaps many thousands of years. Now I know there have been variations of the order of 2 to 3 degrees over a few hundred years, but I suggest such variations are probably about the limit of what can be stored by way of extra thermal energy mainly in the oceans. If we are approaching that limit now (after warming since the Little ice Age) then, unless we see thermal energy starting to flow back into the crust, we probably have nothing to worry about because there would already be a significant propensity to start long term cooling – if not quite yet, then probably within 50 years or so based on historic apparent long-term cycles of the order of 900 to 1000 years.

    But let me stress, in conclusion, that I am talking about totally natural cycles beyond the control of mankind. Carbon dioxide has absolutely no warming effect because any back radiation does not have the required energy to cause any warming.

  46. The IPCC thought experiment used to establish the 33 K fiction is as follows:

    Remove the atmosphere in which case the present -18°C in the upper atmosphere for radiative equilibrium with space of the 240 W/m^2 iR from the Earth’s surface coincides with the surface. +15 – (-18) =33 K!

    Unfortunately, it’s wrong. because no clouds and no ice reduces albedo from 0.3 to 0.07. Redo the radiation calculation and you get 0°C. That implies GHG warming of 15 K. However, you still have aerosols in the atmosphere and convection. A modelled estimate is ~9 K.

    Note this is a different derivation to the one which the author refers to.

  47. Mydogsgotnonose says:
    December 29, 2011 at 5:22 am
    The IPCC thought experiment used to establish the 33 K fiction is as follows:

    Remove the atmosphere in which case the present -18°C in the upper atmosphere for radiative equilibrium with space of the 240 W/m^2 iR from the Earth’s surface coincides with the surface. +15 – (-18) =33 K!

    Unfortunately, it’s wrong. because no clouds and no ice reduces albedo from 0.3 to 0.07. Redo the radiation calculation and you get 0°C. That implies GHG warming of 15 K. However, you still have aerosols in the atmosphere and convection. A modelled estimate is ~9 K.

    ===================

    What the AGWScience Fiction propaganda has done is to misuse basic figures to give the appearance that ‘greenhouse gases’ raise the temperature of the Earth from -18%deg;C to 15°C to promote this ‘meme’ that ‘greenhouse gases raise the Earth’s temp’

    What they don’t tell you is the -18°C is the figure, standard in this, of the Earth without any atmosphere at all, that is, without the whole of the real greenhouse around Earth of the gaseous atmosphere which is predominantly nitrogen, oxygen and water.

    Nitrogen and Oxgen are therefore real greenhouse gases warming the Earth and so part of the reason why the Earth is 15°C and not 33°C colder.

    However, if one takes the Water Cycle out of that mass of fluid gaseous ocean above us, weighing down on us at a ton/square ft, that’s how much is on your shoulders.., the temperature would be 67°C.

    In other words, the water cycle reduces the temperature of the Earth by 52°C to bring it down to the 15°C.

  48. I know from experience the desert goes from very hot during the day to damn cold at night. So I may be overly simplistic here, but doesn’t the large day/night temperature swing (high temperature during the day, low temperature at night) that occurs in the arid desert give some measurable indication of the contribution GHG’s, especially gaseous H2O, make to the planet’s temperature?

  49. Frank Lee MeiDere says:
    December 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm
    ////////////////////////////////////
    Unfortunately NO because:

    1. The moon does not have a 1 bar atmosphere devoid of green house gases:
    2. The moon does not have or does not have the equivalent of the large thermal reservoirs which we have on Earth, ie., it surface is not 75% composed of water.
    3. It rotates only once every ~27.5 days, not once every 24 hours.

    These differences make comparison impossible.

  50. Perry says:
    December 29, 2011 at 1:04 am
    /////////////////////////////////
    A pity then that your childish answer did not answer his question!

    I believe that he was seeking clarification as to how the 288K figure has been assessed and inherent in this is whether there is such a thing as a global average temperature and if so, how do you assess it?

    I would envisage that if I had an IR thermometer and went around my garden pointing it at the surface there would be a 100 (or more) different temperature readings. My garden is only a small area, now consider the changes over a mountain range from valley floor to highest peak, in the confines and open spaces of a town even by the beach where there are significant changes between the sea line and a few hundred metres inshore. We would have no idea as to the average surface temperature of the globe even if we were to increase the number of thermometers used for its assessment a million times.

    We say that the average temperature of the Earth is about 15 degC but this could easily be out by several degrees in either direction.

    This is one reason why the satellite data is to be preferred at least there is a constant height at which measurements are taken.

  51. Jay Davis says:
    December 29, 2011 at 7:02 am
    I know from experience the desert goes from very hot during the day to damn cold at night. So I may be overly simplistic here, but doesn’t the large day/night temperature swing (high temperature during the day, low temperature at night) that occurs in the arid desert give some measurable indication of the contribution GHG’s, especially gaseous H2O, make to the planet’s temperature?
    /////////////////////////////////////////////
    If one is trying to assess the effect of back radiation it is not that simple. Water vapour is a so called GHG, Water vapour also has the ability to store far more latent heat. In dry arid air the latent heat capacity is reduced and the air contains (on a per temp basis) less energy and therefore dissipates its heat far quicker than would be the case with moist air irrespective of the action of any back radiation.

  52. The Viscount is altogether too generous to the IPCC. How in all honesty can any organisation which has filched billions of dollars peddling false science be allowed to retain control of influence of policy makers by just saying: ‘Oh dear, we were wrong, now we’ll agree to the testimony of more skeptical scientists,so everything’s OK now, isn’t it’?

    They have been wrong, have been bullies and should be disbanded.

    There is a price for failure and the failure has been catastrophic.

    If the weasel politicians are too weak: call in Donald Trump. He has no problems saying: ‘You’re fired!’

  53. BASICS

    Text: “Since the Earth presents a disk to this insolation but is actually a sphere, this value is divided by 4 (the ratio of the surface area of a disk to that of a sphere), giving 340.5 Watts per square meter”

    My comment: Area of a sphere is (4 pi r^2); area of a disc is (pi r^2). But this is for only ONE SIDE of the disc. Should the area factor not be 2 instead of 4? And the insolation 681 W/m^2 instead of 340.5?

    IanM

  54. The Earth itself is a warm body, resulting from a combination of radioactive decay, tidal flexing and magnetic field interactions. Annual temperature variations disappear only a few meters below the surface (in most areas) and then the temperature rises with depth. Western Canada has a sedimentary cover that is probably representative of such cover elsewhere, and increases by 1 – 3 C/100 m. The bottom of the oceans is said to be about 4*C, but the geothermal gradient is much higher in the thinner oceanic crust; a huge amount of heat must be lost to the oceans on a constant basis. The “bank” of energy in the top few hundred meters of crustal rock has to be equal to a multiple of that of equivalent volumes of water, given the greater thermal capacity of rock compared to water.

    Without surface cooling, the surface of Western Canada would be somewhere in the 18*C/291K range, I estimate, clearly higher than the present average planetary temperature of 14.5*C. None of the 3 assumptions include this background of Earth-heating of the atmosphere. I don’t see this energy flux in any of the Trenberth’s oceanic energy balancing acts, either.

    Any comment as to why this aspect of atmospheric heating is not in the discussion?

  55. Thanks to Monckton for the clarity of his argument. The question that still occurs to me is: exactly what is meant by “surface” when we talk of a surface temperature of 288K ? The other questions I am angling toward by this question is: How do we account for the extremely large pool of cold temperatures in the deep ocean when we speak of surface temperature of the earth? Shouldn’t oceans be integrated into what we call surface temperature? I believe it has been reasoned the the cold of the ocean depths derive from the *surface* of polar seas, therefore it seems reasonable to consider them a part of the *surface* temperature of the earth. Presumably the cold of the poles and thus the ocean deeps is still a result of radiative transfer of heat to space from the earth’s polar regions. It should be taken into account. Because the cold of the ocean is so extensive, if it is taken into account as part of surface temperature it lowers sensitivity even more and in a substantial way.

  56. Joel Shore; it seems you are assuming 100% thermalisation of the absorbed IR. It can’t happen in my view [Law of Equipartition of Energy].

    The absorption must be by second phases, mostly cloud droplets with dissolved CO2 [mainly molecular].

    Climate science made a number of serious wrong turnings a long time age. No climate model can predict climate – much of the the physics is completely wrong!

  57. One thing puzzles me about this. It is stated that in the absence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the Earth’s surface temperature should be 255K. I have read an estimate that the atmosphere weighs about five quadrillion tons. We can appreciate this from the fact that air at the surface has a pressure of about 15 pounds per square inch. Boyles Law outlines the relationship between the volume, temperature and pressure of a gas, and indeed, as we ascend above the surface of the Earth, air pressure decreases, as does air temperature. Lord Monckton says that the characteristic emission surface of the atmosphere is at an elevation of 5 kms, and here the temperature is about 255K. Oddly enough, this is the elevation of the center of mass of the atmosphere. How much of the 33K warming at the surface is caused by the greenhouse effect, and how much by pressure?

  58. @Disko Troop

    It was precisely that kind of consistent response from the warmists that first set off warning bells for me that something just might be wrong with global warming. I, and many others like me, are not experts in any of these fields, and WUWT is one place we can come to find hard data and open debate. Being able to ask questions is integral to understanding the issues. (Mind you, I do understand a certain exasperation towards those who ask something like, “Who is Phil Jones?” when they could just have easily typed the same words into Google and received an instant and quite understandable response. That, however, wasn’t an issue in this case.)

  59. Doug Proctor says:
    December 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Any comment as to why this aspect of atmospheric heating is not in the discussion?

    A while ago I chased the numbers and was convinced that they were too small to make a difference in the argument, 0.08watts/m^2 or so .

  60. HankHenry says:
    December 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

    The 288.2k is an average value temperature over the Earth required to emit the same amount of power as is being absorbed into the Earth system from the Sun. Note that while Stefan’s formula is T^4, when one deals with very small fractional changes in T it behaves approximately in a linear fashion and one can assume that the power is proportional to the T over that small range of variation.

    “Mike McMillan says:
    December 29, 2011 at 12:52 am
    The characteristic-emission surface is a new concept to me. If it is at 5km, that makes about 75,000 more square miles of disk to receive sunlight, and 300,000 more sq miles of radiative surface. Does that have any effect on the calculations?”

    If there actually were a ‘surface’ there that emits a continuum then it would have some small effect. This characteristic emission surface and altitude has no physical meaning or relationship to anything in the realm of reality. Stefan’s law is based on Planck’s law based on black body continuum emissions. Earth’s surface (on average or at a single place) will emit this continuum as will an optically thick cloud top. A gas will emit/absorb based upon a spectrum of lines unless it becomes optically thick at all wavelengths, even between the spectral lines which is not relevent for our atmosphere.

    What happens in our system is that for some point on Earth, either the surface or a cloud top of an optically thick cloud, there is emission of black body continuum. The atmosphere above it then absorbs and re-emits spectral lines based on its own temperature and on the gas components. If the atmosphere is cooler than the surface, the re-emission will be less than the absorption. If the atmosphere is warmer than the surface, the re-emission will be greater than what was absorbed and there will be spectral emission lines visible above the blackbody continuum.

    Since the temperature of the atmosphere (the lapse rate) is nothing but conservation of energy and the flow of energy by conduction, convection, and radiation, it is not an unchanging constant and will change as the nature of the atmosphere changes. Since space is much colder than Earth’s surface and there is heat transfer to space, the atmosphere will have a lapse rate so there will always be line absorption rather than line emissions. However, this modifies our black body continuum to a complicated mess which is no longer the characteristic radiation curve of a black body. Rather it is a composite of line absorption spectrums and a continuum. Stefan’s law isn’t suitable for working with this at all.

    In Stefan’s law, the emissivity factor is an engineering kludge number or fudge factor. By returning to Planck’s law and applying an emissivity factor based on the spectral absorption at each wavelength (or frequency), one can then get an emission curve of a gas for a particular temperature. Note that Kirchoff’s law regarding the equality of emission and absorption power only works when dealing with emissions at the same temperature as the spectrum being absorbed. Obviously, sunlight is coming in with a substantial contribution of visible light and a good deal of that is being absorbed by the Earth yet at roughly 300k (instead of 6000k like the Sun) Earth is emitting no power in the visible light range.

  61. I find myself in an uncomfortable position. I am on the same side of the AGW/CAGW debate as Lord Monckton, and I believe he is one of our more eloquent spokespersons. However, questionable arguments are not limited to proponents of AGC/CAGW. When I come across an argument that I perceive lacks internal consistency, I sometimes document my concerns, and every once in a while submit that documentation for public scrutiny. Such was the case when I read Lord Monckton’s reasoning that greenhouse gases are responsible for an Earth surface temperature difference of 33 K.

    Note: I neither agree nor disagree with Lord Monckton’s calculation of the Earth’s “climate sensitivity to CO2” (hereafter refered to simply as climate sensitivity), which I believe is defined as “the change in average Earth surface temperature for a doubling (relative to a specified initial amount of atmospheric CO2) of the amount of atmospheric CO2.” I haven’t given the climate sensitivity problem enough thought to either agree or disagree with Lord Monckton’s analysis. However, regarding climate sensitivity, I want to make three comments. First, if the calculation of climate sensitivity depends on a literal definition of the change in Earth surface temperature in the presence/absence of greenhouse gases, and if the climate sensitivity would be appreciably different for a change of a few degrees K in the value of that temperature difference, then I guess I have to question Lord Monckton’s climate sensitivity values.

    Second, I believe a definition of “sensitivity” based on “a doubling” of the independent variable is uncommon. Most definitions of sensitivity use a “derivative” approach—i.e., are expressed in terms of “a change in a dependent variable per change in an independent variable in the limit as the change in the independent variable approaches zero.”

    Third, since for whatever reasons the climate science community has elected to use “doubling” in its definition of climate sensitivity, then the numerical value of climate sensitivity is a function of two values of the independent variable (CO2 level) not one value as would be the case for the “derivative”definition of “sensitivity”. It’s true that knowledge of one of the two independent variable values is sufficient to compute the other value of the independent variable; but given the apparent highly non-linear nature of Earth surface temperature as a function of CO2, I believe it is imperative when discussing climate sensitivity to specify one of the two independent variable values.

    In his justification for an Earth surface temperature difference with and without greenhouse gases, Lord Monckton wrote {note: text in square brackets [ ] are my thoughts for the purposes of discussing Lord Monckton’s algorithm}: “ According to recent satellite measurements, 1362 Watts per square meter of total solar irradiance arrives at the top of the atmosphere [seems reasonable]. Since the Earth presents a disk to this insolation but is actually a sphere, this value is divided by 4 (the ratio of the surface area of a disk to that of a sphere), giving 340.5 Watts per square meter [seems reasonable], and is also reduced by 30% to allow for the fraction harmlessly reflected to space [seems reasonable], , giving a characteristic-emission [I believe that should be characteristic-absorption] flux of 238.4 Watts per square meter.

    The fundamental equation of radiative transfer, one of the few proven results in climatological physics, states that the radiative flux absorbed by (and accordingly emitted by) the characteristic-emission surface of an astronomical body is equal to the product of three parameters: the emissivity of that surface (here, as usual, taken as unity), the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (0.0000000567), and the fourth power of temperature. [Although I have a few issues with this definition of the characteristic-emission surface which I plan to note in subsequent comments to Lord Monckton’s guest post, for the purposes of this discussion I’ll use Lord Monckton’s definition.] Accordingly, under the three assumptions stated earlier, the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature is 254.6 K, or about 33.4 K cooler than today’s 288 K [seems reasonable]. It’s as simple as that.

    My question to Lord Monckton is: “What part or parts of the above algorithm is (are) related to greenhouse gases?” The Stefan-Boltzmann constant isn’t. The assumed emissivity of unity isn’t. The temperature to the fourth power rule isn’t. The total solar irradiance of 1362 Watts per square meter isn’t. The divisor of 4 isn’t. This leaves two values that may be dependent on greenhouse gases: (1) the “30%” reflectivity, and (2) the measured Earth surface temperature of 288 K. If both of these values are unrelated to to greenhouse gases, then greenhouse gases become irrelevant to Lord Monckton’s analysis of the 33 K temperature difference; and with equal justification one could claim the temperature difference of 33 K corresponds to the Earth (a) with/without an atmosphere, (b) with/without oxygen, (c) with/without nitrogen, (d) with/without argon, etc.

    It is reasonable to assume that the measured temperature of 288 K is dependent on greenhouse gases. However, to varying degrees it is also reasonable to assume that the measured temperature of 288 K is dependent on (a) the total Earth atmosphere, (b) the amount of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere, (c) the amount of nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere, and (d) the amount of argon in the Earth’s atmosphere, etc. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the measured temperature of 288 K is not solely dependent on the presence of greenhouse gases—other phenomena may have affect.

    This leaves us with the 30% reflectivity value. If the 30% reflectivity value were valid for an Earth without greenhouse gases (i.e., the albedo of the Earth in the absence of all greenhouse gases was 0.3), then I believe there would be merit in assigning a 33 K temperature difference to greenhouse gases. However, the 30% reflectivity value is highly dependent on clouds which are formed from water vapor which is a greenhouse gas. As I wrote in my previous guest post, to base a temperature difference on two values each of which is related to and depends upon the presence of greenhouse gases and then claim that such a temperature difference represents conditions with and without greenhouse gases is illogical.

    Bottom line, the temperature difference of 33 K may be relevant to an analysis of climate sensitivity, and by chance may be the actual difference between the Earth’s surface temperature with and without greenhouse gases; but the temperature difference as computed using Lord Monckton’s algorithm does not represent the Earth surface temperature difference with and without greenhouse gases.

  62. Couple of things here.

    First, the Earth’s albedo is not 0.3, it is 0.37 as has been measured multiple times by NASA. However, this is a planetary average as is Chris’s measurement of the average watts/m2.

    http://www.asterism.org/tutorials/tut26-1.htm

    It still bothers me, trying these simplistic assumptions about what the temperature of the Earth on average would be without any GHG’s. These assumptions are not really any more accurate than a Phil Jones, James Hansen, or Mike Mann calculation.

    Unstated assumptions of the model here are that the Earth is a uniform sphere, that the short wave absorption spectra have little effect (it has a much larger effect than most people realize), and that winds distribute temperature evenly.

    How about we do something in the physical sciences to measure the differences today in the atmosphere and the measurements that were taken half a century ago by the USAF in their upper atmospheric research program?

    It is in the physical sciences where the answers to the effect of a modest increase in CO2 can be quantified, everything else is just arm waving. Chris is going to get trapped into fighting a battle on the enemy’s chosen field of battle, not where it should be fought, with measurements, with data, and with an understanding of the underlying physics involved.

  63. “Monckton of Brenchley says:
    December 29, 2011 at 2:50 am
    CBA suggests one should take the temperature of the cloud tops into account when determining the characteristic-emission temperature. However, the characteristic-emission altitude is well above nearly all cloud tops, whose significant influence on the Earth’s albedo must nevertheless be taken into account”

    Simply put, “characteristic-emission altitude” is nonphysical and is a meaningless concept. Cloud top emission of continuum along with surface continuum emission combined with some sort of measure of overall atmospheric absorption is about as simple as one can get before losing all concepts of the physics involved.

  64. “Reed Coray says:
    December 29, 2011 at 11:02 am”

    Ghgs enter into the realm of things because 288k results in around 390 W/m^2 emission from the Earth’s surface. Since only about 239W/m^2 is absorbed from the Sun on average by the Earth system, there would be a serious imbalance if the Earth system radiated out 390W/m^2. That means there is 390-239 = 150 W/m^2 emitted by the surface that doesn’t make it out of the atmosphere. Calculations indicate that about 100 W/m^2 of this is due to GHGs like co2 and h2o vapor while the balance must be due to clouds and other non gas materials in the air.

  65. A few further answers, particularly directed at those who seem to be trying needlessly to complicate a simple argument.

    First, the characteristic-emission altitude is – by definition – that altitude, varying inversely with latitude, at which incoming and outgoing radiative fluxes balance. It is, therefore, a reality with a physical meaning, and asserting that it is not, as CBA tries to do, will not change the definition, or the reality.

    Secondly, in Kiehl & Trenberth’s table 3, the 86-125 Watts per square meter that I have used in the calculations is stated to be the radiative forcing from the top five greenhouse gases – not, as Joel Shore ingeniously but disingenuously persists in trying to maintain, the forcing together with any consequent feedbacks. The warming of 33 K arises after nearly all feedbacks triggered by the base forcing of 86-125 Watts per square meter have operated, but is from the base forcing, not the forcing plus feedbacks, that the climate-sensitivity parameter and hence the climate sensitivity to the base forcing are determined.

    Thirdly, Reed Coray wonders where the influence of greenhouse gases is to be found in the calculations that determine the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature of about 255 K. Since the characteristic-emission temperature is invariant, it should be obvious that it does not change as greenhouse-gas concentration changes. The characteristic-emission altitude changes, but the characteristic-emission temperature does not, which is – of course – why there is no contribution of greenhouse forcings to its determination. The influence of 86-125 Watts per square meter of greenhouse gases is manifest in the 33 K difference between the characteristic-emission temperature of 255 K and today’s mean global surface temperature of 288 K.

    Fourthly, I really should not have to repeat what I have plainly and often stated before: the characteristic-emission temperature is not – and is consciously not intended to be – a representation of what the actual surface temperature of the Earth would be in the absence of greenhouse gases. I have explained the basis and purpose of the three assumptions which lead to the value 255 K, and I have stated that that value is not, and is not intended to be, the actual surface temperature of the naked lithosphere in the absence of greenhouse gases.

    Fifthly, the Earth’s bond or spherical albedo has been measured by numerous authorities, and is generally agreed to be 0.3, not 0.37 as one correspondent has tried to suggest.

    Sixthly, the system-sensitivity calculation implicitly takes account of the fact that over the billions of years since the atmosphere first formed most temperature feedbacks will have operated. For powerful reasons, these feedbacks are far more likely to be net-zero or even net-negative than they are to be as strongly net-positive as the IPCC imagines. My calculations suggest that feedbacks are indeed net-zero or very close thereto. One should certainly not assume, as one correspondent has done, that merely because the water-vapor feedback is thought to be positive it actually is as strongly positive as the IPCC would have us believe, still less that because one feedback is positive the sum of all feedbacks must be net-positive.

    To all correspondents who want to wander off into various byways, however engaging, I say “respicite finem”. Remember the purpose of these calculations, which is to gain some idea of the system sensitivity and the industrial-era sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on the well-established scientific concepts and data that the IPCC itself and its supporters rely upon. It is easier to convince delegates at climate conferences that climate sensitivity may be low if one adopts as many as possible of the methods and parameter values that the IPCC uses. Whether those values are right or wrong, they are the values that the debate centers on, and if even with those values the climate sensitivity is low one does not need to complicate matters by arguing that climate sensitivity ought really to be still lower.

    As best I can make it out, climate sensitivity is about one-third of the IPCC’s central estimate. The few trolls who are still trying to maintain that my argument is in some measure dishonest should understand that I have made every detail of the calculation plain, and whatever is plain – however disagreeable and inconvenient the trolls may find it – is likely to be honest.

    Most of the correspondents who have thought they were questioning my calculations have in fact questioned the long-established climatological physics that I have used. In almost every instance, if they were right the climate sensitivity would be well below the already very low values I have demonstrated. And it is that low sensitivity – now increasingly supported by measurements published in the peer-reviewed literature – that is the main point. If I am right, it is unlikely that 21st-century warming will even reach the IPCC’s minimum projection of 2 K. Progress in the first one-ninth of this century: zero warming.

  66. cba says: December 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm wrote:
    Calculations indicate that about 100 W/m^2 of this is due to GHGs like co2 and h2o vapor while the balance must be due to clouds and other non gas materials in the air.

    Calculations may indeed show what you claim, but Lord Monckton’s algorithm doesn’t. As I have said from the outset, greenhouse gases may in fact introduce a 33 K temperature difference, but Lord Monckton’s algorithm, which I believe is commonly used to justify the 33 K temperature difference, fails to make the case.

  67. Monckton of Brenchley says:

    Secondly, in Kiehl & Trenberth’s table 3, the 86-125 Watts per square meter that I have used in the calculations is stated to be the radiative forcing from the top five greenhouse gases – not, as Joel Shore ingeniously but disingenuously persists in trying to maintain, the forcing together with any consequent feedbacks. The warming of 33 K arises after nearly all feedbacks triggered by the base forcing of 86-125 Watts per square meter have operated, but is from the base forcing, not the forcing plus feedbacks, that the climate-sensitivity parameter and hence the climate sensitivity to the base forcing are determined.

    The point is that the 86-125 W/m^2 that you quote includes the forcing due to water vapor. However, if water vapor is a feedback rather than a forcing, then it is not correct to account for its contribution the forcing. You have created the perfect circular argument: If one consider everything to be a feedback rather than a forcing, then the climate sensitivity that you derive will necessarily be the no-feedback sensitivity. I have explained it well with the analogy to the Bill Gates feedback. I suggest you read that and understand it rather than continuing to fool yourself and others here.

  68. This divide it by four stuff for solar insolation is absolute rubbish. There is empirical evidence it is rubbish – the day temperature on the moon is not ~ 278 K or ~5 degrees C as predicted by this nonsense – it is over 381 K or 107 degrees C.

    Why does everyone talk all this greenhouse nonsense ?

    Doesn’t the majority of the atmosphere, Nitrogen and Oxygen, become heated by convection and contact with the warm surface of the Earth ? And like everything else they emit IR because their temperature is within the range where IR is the characteristic radiation ?

    Doesn’t the temperature of the atmosphere explain downwelling longwave radiation ? If not – why not ?

    If they do the radiation from IR absorbing gases – especially CO2 – is reduced to trace amounts. Even the concentrations of water vapour are trace.

    Besides every gram of water vapour has absorbed enough energy – latent heat – to heat a gram of CO2 to ridiculous temperatures if the Engineering Toolbox tables of specific heat are right.

    If the IR absorbing gases will heat the atmosphere theory is correct then I ask how ? They say Nitrogen and Oxygen are transparent to radiation so I guess they’re saying they don’t get hot.

    Obviously 99% of the atmosphere becomes heated during the day and cools at night – what matters is the rate of cooling because as the temperature drops the Earth spins and the energy begins to flood in to your location next sunrise.

    I’ve seen dissertations which claim a reverse greenhouse effect – higher concentrations of IR absorbing/emitting gases provides more heat transport mechanisms to release energy to space hence reduced warming.

    I personally don’t think radiation has that much to do with energy transport in our atmosphere compared to convection.

    I also find no anomaly in the “effective” temperature of the Earth at 254 K several kilometres in the air.

    This is simply a construct of the geometry of the initial “radiative balance” equations – to balance incoming solar radiation of ~936 W/sq m over a disk 234 W/sq m is all that is needed to radiate over the surface of a sphere.

    In fact the fact that Earth radiates 234 W/sq m over a sphere proves beyond doubt the incoming solar radiation over the disk CANNOT be a quarter of the solar constant unless there is another energy source somewhere. The Earth’s surface must acquire the energy from somewhere because it provides the energy that heats the atmosphere – anything else is “perpetual motion” type nonsense.

  69. Lord Monkton, whilst I am not seeking to question one of my climate heroes, can you also apply your mathematics so eloquently expressed above to the case of, say, Venus ?

  70. Lord Monkton, when I said “can you”, I of course meant “I would be grateful if you would”.

    For it seems that there is now some fundamental difference in approach and theory about how an atmosphere insulates.

    In the course of just 12 months I have moved from being an ignoramus tree hugger, to lukewarmer, to thinking that the effect of co2 upon Earth’s temperature is a big fat zero.

  71. There are other things I find puzzling is the reinforcing effect claimed for the greenhouse effect.

    The Earth’s surface is heated to the point where it emits some 390 W/sq m – more than the 168 W/sqm provided by solar power. This radiation presumably provides the bulk of the heating effect on the atmosphere which in turn provides 324 W/sq m “back radiation”. And everything nicely adds up.

    If an object emits radiation does it not cool and enter a less energetic state ?

    Surely this applies to both the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere. Each quantum of energy absorbed is lost in emission so the is no net energy increase in absorbing and emitting a quanta of energy unless you believe in perpetual energy.

    I will continue to believe the Sun is the principal source of energy at the Earth’s surface and that climate “science” theories and scientists understate its effects by this factor of four nonsense.

    If it is true – the factor of four thingie – it fails to explain daytime temperatures on the moon – or nightime ones as well.

    If it is true – the factor of four thingie – why do the IPCC use this statement in AR4 –

    “Between 1902 and 1957, Charles Abbot and a number of other scientists around the globe made thousands of measurements of TSI from mountain sites. Values ranged from 1,322 to 1,465 W m–2, which encompasses the current estimate of 1,365 W m–2.”

    Shouldn’t they have measured something like 341 W/sq m ?

    If the sun can heat the Earth’s surfaces and atmosphere to more than the minus 18 degrees C implied by the factor of four reduction in solar insolation there is no anomaly – the Earth heats up during the day, cools at night and because the rotation is a 24 hour cycle the heating beginas again.

    As summer starts from a cool base day by day the heating increases until the onset of fall and winter again.

    Our Sun is called a variable star so it can easily be responsible for slowly increasing temperatures over a couple of hundred years. What we need to fear is a reduction of incoming energy which history suggests will occur again.

  72. Don’t forget that the Earth is a rather large heat source, too.
    Internal temperatures increase with respect to increasing depth into the Earth’s interior. Away from tectonic plate boundaries, it is 22.1°C per km of depth (1°F per 70 feet of depth) in most of the world.

  73. Rosco says:

    This divide it by four stuff for solar insolation is absolute rubbish. There is empirical evidence it is rubbish – the day temperature on the moon is not ~ 278 K or ~5 degrees C as predicted by this nonsense – it is over 381 K or 107 degrees C.

    We are not talking about daytime temperatures. We are talking about average temperatures. That is the relevant quantity for which one can apply total energy balance arguments. (Or, to be more accurate, what is constrained is the average of T^4 over the surface.)

    To determine the full range of temperatures on a planet (or moon), one needs to work a lot harder, by considering various other means of transport and storage of thermal energy on the planet.

  74. Monckton, this seems to be basically an expansion on your 2006 Daily Telegraph article: the main point being, that by THEIR OWN maths, IPCC’s sensitivity postulates are wrong.

    Discovery of this article, Gavin Schmidt’s response to it (amplified by Monbiot), Monckton’s response to Schmidt, and Schmidt’s unmentioned but significant non-response to Monckton’s response, was a key find for me, proving (a) IPCC’s mendacity (yes, fraud); (b) Real Climate’s mendacity by omission; (c) the non-case for alarmism actually proved by the maths at the heart of the IPCC cyclone – if one knew how to look.

  75. “Monckton of Brenchley
    First, the characteristic-emission altitude is – by definition – that altitude, varying inversely with latitude, at which incoming and outgoing radiative fluxes balance. It is, therefore, a reality with a physical meaning, and asserting that it is not, as CBA tries to do, will not change the definition, or the reality.”
    This is a variant to the Hansen 1993 National Geo. Research and Exploration paper where Hansen tries to make something of the altitude where the temperature is what is required for a blackbody continuum to match what is absorbed by the Earth system. He too assumes that the lapse rate will remain unchanged with added CO2.
    The lapse rate exists because of conservation of energy and the transfer of energy in and out of each layer from all methods of heat transfer in and out define it. Changing the composition of the atmosphere with CO2 will affect the absorption rates, emission rates, convection rates, and conduction rates, and the mass of the layer. That would suggest that the lapse rate will change as the atmospheric composition changes.

    While the definition may be solid, I don’t see this concept as meaningful – NOR necesssary to determine the warming due to the atmosphere’s presence with ghgs as being an average of 33 deg C above what the balance would be without an atmosphere. I also see Hansen’s effort as being just a red herring. Note that some of this warming is due to the presence of clouds, most is due to water vapor and a tiny fraction will be due to a co2 increase and a relatively small amount is due to the current level of co2.

  76. @Bomber_the_Cat

    “Geothermal heating, averaged over the surface of the Earth, amounts to about 0.08 Watt/m2 This is very small compared to the solar radiation absorbed into the Earth’s climate system ( 240 Watt/m2 ). In terms of climate therefore, geothermal heating can be considered to be insignificant.”

    What I do not understand is how this tiny figure was determined (0.08Wm-2) and how on earth (no pun intended!) that can result in the high temperatures we see in bore holes and mine shafts. The most interesting question, and the one I think should be the starting point, is what would the surface temperature be as a result of only the earth’s internally generated heat in the absence of the incoming solar and the absence of the “blanket” of the atmosphere. Why is it hot in mine shafts and why is that real and sizeable heat ignored in all these clever thought experiments?

    In my limited google survey I found that the guesses of the amount of heat and even what causes the heat are very immature. The raw value of the heat flux across the surface boundary ranges quite a bit with that 0.08Wm-2 being in the lower range. Some say the internal heat is residual heat from planetary formation, plus ongoing radiactive decay, plus losses in the earth’s electrical dynamo and then some even say that the ongoing gravitational effects of the moon and sun (and to a far lesser extent the gas giants) cause the hard inner core to wobble around in the viscous inner mantle generating significant frictional heat.

    All of these effects are almost completely unquantified and I have failed to find a reasonable explanation of how the “average” flux of 0.08Wm-2 was determined. Anyone point me in the right direction please?

  77. In addition to what has already been written about the differences between the earth and the moon, while the moon takes 27.32 days to rotate once, it is only 1/4 as large as the earth. So while the equator on earth moves at 1669 km/h, the equator on the moon moves at 16.7 km/h, or about 100 times slower. In physics, it is often very helpful to think of an extreme case to see what effect something may have on the surface temperatures. In this case, compare a moon spinning once per minute and a moon with one side permanently facing the sun. It is then obvious that the slower something rotates, the more extreme the temperature difference. And due to the T^4 rule, the more extreme the temperature difference, the more meaningless is an arithmetic average.

  78. In addition to what has already been written about the differences between the earth and the moon, while the moon takes 27.32 days to rotate once, it is only 1/4 as large as the earth. So while the equator on earth moves at 1669 km/h, the equator on the moon moves at 16.7 km/h, or about 100 times slower. In physics, it is often very helpful to think of an extreme case to see what effect something may have on the surface temperatures. In this case, compare a moon spinning once per minute and a moon with one side permanently facing the sun. It is then obvious that the slower something rotates, the more extreme the temperature difference. And due to the T^4 rule, the more extreme the temperature difference, the more meaningless is an arithmetic average.

    This is incorrect. The Apollo 15 and 17 temperature data tracks very well with the cosine angle with a preciptious drop at the terminator. The only thing that the slow rotational effect influences is the release of heat from the Moon that was gathered during the day.

  79. We are not talking about daytime temperatures. We are talking about average temperatures. That is the relevant quantity for which one can apply total energy balance arguments. (Or, to be more accurate, what is constrained is the average of T^4 over the surface.)

    This is what I don’t like about these kinds of calculations. For example CO2 has a temperature dependency to its absorption spectrum and this kind of calculation ignores variables like that.

    I hate simplistic assumptions when we have the technology to obtain the real data.

  80. To: Monckton of Brenchley
    Christopher, following my remarks above at: December 29, 2011 at 12:20 am I wish to make an apology for previously not comprehending where you were coming from, and I think that others here are also mistaken and have wandered off-topic, interesting though much of it has been!

    Put in a few words, it now seems to me that you have used a simple argument to show that the “consensus” treatment of global average temperatures and feedbacks and whatnot, do not really add-up to a good sensitivity assessment etc. I strongly think that it does not necessarily mean that you agree with say the Trenberth/IPCC stuff, and that you were trying to keep it simple in order to reveal issues within the current dogma. If you were to throw-in the complexities that have been raised here, (some of them I think to be valid in reality), your simple message may have become too complicated to follow for an “average audience”.

    Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!

    Someone up above critiqued you for implying that lapse rate is unaffected by GHG’s, but without giving any substantiation. Well, I support you in that lapse rate must exist, with or without GHG’s, and it becomes speculative as to the importance of GHG’s as far as I’m aware. If we are to believe the latest Trenberth depiction, the relevant heat transfers (net thermal energy loss) from the Earth’s surface in W/m^2 are:

    Thermals = 17, Evapotranspiration = 80, Surface radiation directly to space = 40, Surface radiation absorbed by atmosphere = 23.

    Thus, the radiative heat transfer from the surface involving absorption by GHG’s is only about 14% of the total, according to Trenberth, whilst ignoring the mystery 0.9% of “missing heat”. Thus, it would seem to be difficult to demonstrate that GHG’s have a substantial effect on the lapse rate.

  81. I believe the non-greenhouse, 255 degree K equivalent temperature that Lord Monckton mentioned is just a simplified artificial construct. The problem I see here is that too many people are taking this to be a supposedly accurate prediction of the absolute temperature of the Earth. It is no such thing. As radiant energy flow is proportional to the fourth power of the *absolute* temperature, this value is, in effect, a very special average: It is equivalent to the fourth root of the global average of the fourth powers of absolute surface temperatures over the entire surface of the Earth. I believe this also assumes a constant global surface albedo, but that does not need to be the case.

  82. Christopher;
    You say, “Robert of Ottawa asks what the surface temperature of the Earth with an all-nitrogen atmosphere would be. In the absence of any greenhouse gases, the answer is 255 K or thereby.”
    I think here we have a crux issue to test (or examine) the ‘Unified Theory’ hypothesis, because as I understand it, only the mass of the atmospheric overburden matters, so assuming the same mass, their answer would be 288 (surface, where the weight and pressure are at maximum, not at TOA, or even “characteristic emission level” necessarily). Only mass changes affect temps in their system.

  83. Rosco,

    The factor of 4 nonsense is geometry, not science. The amount of solar power hitting Earth amounts to the equivalent of a disk with Earth’s radius. That is spread over a hemisphere (half a sphere) since the Earth is essentially a sphere. The other half of the sphere at any one time is in total darkness. However, for the emission of power radiating from the Earth, it is happening all of the time over all of the Earth. Surface area of a disk = Pi* R^2. Surface area of a sphere = 4 * Pi * R^2. Since one is trying to compare what is radiated out from the Earth to the total incoming solar power, it is necessary to use averages for solar power since it varies from the 1362 W/m^2 at high noon to effectively nothing at midnight (assuming we’re talking about the equator and not the arctic circle region). Note that even this 1362 W/m^2 is an averaged value because Earth’s orbit is not a circle but is an ellipse which places us nearer and further away from the Sun at different times of year. Right now, we’re about as close as we get to the Sun and the incoming power is going to be more like 1400 W/m^2 at present. Around July, we’ll be furtherest away from the Sun in Earth’s orbit and the solar power there will be around 1320 W/m^2. As a quick reminder, seasons are due to Earth’s tilt, not orbital distance to the Sun and despite the Earth receiving more power in our winter and less power in our summer in the northern hemisphere, it tends to get hotter and colder here than in the southern hemisphere – and that is substantially due to the Pacific ocean covering a substantial portion of the southern hemisphere while most of the land mass is located in the northern.

  84. Oh well, lets see if Monckton can work this up to a full paper, and if a reputable journal will publish it. Somehow I doubt it.

  85. Talking about warming caused by industrial era CO2, and warming since 1750, is incorrect (of the IPCC). The industrial era, when mankind may have made more CO2 started in 1950, not 1750. Therefore, only the warming from 1950 to today need be taken into account. Otherwise, one must show that in the 200 years from 1750 to 1950, mankind made a lot of CO2, can this be shown? If not, than the warming is said to only be 0.3C from industial era man made CO2, according to the IPCC, hence, the sensitivitie is even lower, about half of what they claim. We know that it warmed some 2C or so since 1750, and that most of this warming happned prior to 1950 (actually, prior to 1850), thus we see that a LOT of warming happened prior to any industrial era CO2.if we subtract the warming from 1750 to 1950, how much warming is left over? Answer, at least 1.7C, which dwarfs the paltry 0.3 the IPCC claims. The natrual warming is thus seen to be greater than 5 times the industrial era warming, which puts things in perspective.

    Second, it definatly warmed from 1750 to about 1850, what caused that warming? Since it was not industrial CO2, it must be natural. If we do not know what it was, then we cannot be said to understand the climate well enough to seperate out the natural warming from the anthropogenic. Also, we know that warming includes the ocean, and that a warming ocean outgasses CO2, so how do we know how much increase in CO2 is caused by a warmer ocean as compared to industry?

    Once again, I realise that you arwe simply showing that even the IPCC’s own figures show them wrong, yet I hope I have shown that it can easily be shown that even these figures can easily be shown to be, frankly, impossible. If they continute to use the 1750 date, they prove by that date that they cannot be right, simply by including that date. Keep bringing up the contrat between the dates 1750 and 1950, when industry really got rolling, and you can show that the IPCC is not being honest in their use of 1750. Basically, you want anyone who believes in the IPCC to wince whenever they hear the date 1750.

  86. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970110.html

    Here’s a nice IR photo of the moon during a lunar eclipse that shows that without atmosphere the moon’s surface does not heat uniformly – nor I suppose hold heat uniformly. I am guessing that both variable albedo and variable emissivity of surface rock are at play in making the moon look like a speckled, imperfect blackbody radiator.

    Respice Finem? I think “Bring knowledge to life” is a better motto for any blog.

  87. Surfer Dave wrote about heat escaping from inside the earth (December 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm): “What I do not understand is how this tiny figure was determined (0.08Wm-2) and how on earth (no pun intended!) that can result in the high temperatures we see in bore holes and mine shafts. The most interesting question, and the one I think should be the starting point, is what would the surface temperature be as a result of only the earth’s internally generated heat in the absence of the incoming solar and the absence of the “blanket” of the atmosphere. Why is it hot in mine shafts and why is that real and sizeable heat ignored in all these clever thought experiments?”

    I would add my observation / question that if the amount of heat escaping through the surface were appreciable, why does it not melt snow that falls onto it with monotonous regularity every northern winter?

    My instinctive feeling is that heat from within the earth is negligible relative to the amount of energy coming from the sun.

    IanM

  88. MORE BASICS

    I have been looking for comments on my posting:
    Ian L. McQueen says:
    December 29, 2011 at 9:11 am
    regarding the use of the area of a complete sphere but only one side of an equivalent disc. So far, none. Now at:
    cba says:
    December 30, 2011 at 5:20 am
    I see a repetition in the form:
    “Surface area of a disk = Pi* R^2. Surface area of a sphere = 4 * Pi * R^2.”
    In making these calculations, should one not be using only half the surface area of a sphere to compare with only one side of a disc? Or alternatively, should one not use double the area of the disc to account for both the side facing the sun and the side facing away?

    This subject is getting old and I fear that few people will read and comment on my comment / question.

    IanM

  89. Dear Chris,

    If the sensitivity of the climate is low, as you say, what reduction in insolation would be required to create an ice age?

    I still have a difficulty with an ice-sheet covering London and Amasterdam, and surviving the long hot summer (well, on the continent, at least). So how much lower would the average insolation have to be to allow the ice-sheet to survive a continental summer?

    Thanks.

  90. A simple question: if we have 239 Watt/m2 at the top of the atmosphere, and 0.08 Watt/m2 coming from the earth itself, why and how do we get 343 Watt/m2 from the lower troposphere?

    If we are to ignore the contribution from the earths surface, how can 239 W *CREATE* an additional 343 W.

    If the sun is the only prime driver around and energy can neither be created or destroyed where does this *EXTRA* 343 W come from?

    Figure 4 from Nikolov2011 shows 343 W appearing from no where.

  91. Steve Richards says:

    A simple question: if we have 239 Watt/m2 at the top of the atmosphere, and 0.08 Watt/m2 coming from the earth itself, why and how do we get 343 Watt/m2 from the lower troposphere?

    Perhaps an analogy would help you to understand: Suppose that in the future, we achieve such high rates of aluminum recycling that in a given year, we are getting 90% of our aluminum supply from post-consumer waste and the remaining 10% from virgin bauxite ore. Now, the Steve Richards in that universe might say, “How is it possible for consumers to be contributing 9 times more to our aluminum supplies than the virgin bauxite? After all, consumers can’t be making aluminum…We know all the aluminum originally comes from bauxite. Hence, this situation is impossible.” That person would be confused for the same reason that you are here.

    In fact, if we looked at Venus instead of Earth, we would find that the ratio of “recycled energy” from the atmosphere to energy being received directly from the sun would be a lot higher than the factor of less than 1.5 that we see for Earth.

  92. Ralph says:
    December 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Dear Chris,

    If the sensitivity of the climate is low, as you say, what reduction in insolation would be required to create an ice age?

    I still have a difficulty with an ice-sheet covering London and Amasterdam, and surviving the long hot summer (well, on the continent, at least). So how much lower would the average insolation have to be to allow the ice-sheet to survive a continental summer?

    Thanks.

    “Sensitivity” is being used here in the usual current context, shorthand for “sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels”. Sensitivity to changes in insolation or other factors is not what he is referring to.

  93. RE: Ian L. McQueen says: (December 30, 2011 at 9:08 am)
    “Surface area of a disk = Pi* R^2. Surface area of a sphere = 4 * Pi * R^2.”
    In making these calculations, should one not be using only half the surface area of a sphere to compare with only one side of a disc? Or alternatively, should one not use double the area of the disc to account for both the side facing the sun and the side facing away?

    That would only be true if another sun were shining on the backside of the earth with the same solar constant. The disk area is the area of the hole that the Earth makes in radiation coming from the sun. Given an albedo of 30 percent, the Earth must absorb energy from the area of this hole at 70 percent of the nominal solar constant, 1368 W/m² or 958 W/m². If one measures the radius, R, of the Earth in meters, then the total energy being received by the Earth is pi*R^2-*(958 W/m²). For the Earth to be in thermal equilibrium it must be returning all this energy to outer space. The average energy per square meter of the Earth’s surface is thus:

    pi*(R^2)*(958 W/m²)/(4*pi*(R^2)) or about 239 W/m².

    Note that this is the average radiant energy flow per square meter, not the average temperature. Also note power measured in watts is a measure of energy flow; joules per second. A 60-watt incandescent light bulb requires a continuous energy flow of 60 joules per second to remain properly lighted.

    This average energy flow of 239 W/m² has a characteristic temperature of about 255 degrees K. That is calculated by dividing the energy flow by the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (5.67E-8) and then taking the fourth root. Note that no albedo effect is being assumed for this out-going radiation.

  94. Joel Shore says:
    December 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    Steve Richards says:

    A simple question: if we have 239 Watt/m2 at the top of the atmosphere, and 0.08 Watt/m2 coming from the earth itself, why and how do we get 343 Watt/m2 from the lower troposphere?

    Perhaps an analogy would help you to understand: Suppose that in the future, we achieve such high rates of aluminum recycling that in a given year, we are getting 90% of our aluminum supply from post-consumer waste and the remaining 10% from virgin bauxite ore. Now, the Steve Richards in that universe might say, “How is it possible for consumers to be contributing 9 times more to our aluminum supplies than the virgin bauxite? After all, consumers can’t be making aluminum…We know all the aluminum originally comes from bauxite. Hence, this situation is impossible.” That person would be confused for the same reason that you are here.

    In fact, if we looked at Venus instead of Earth, we would find that the ratio of “recycled energy” from the atmosphere to energy being received directly from the sun would be a lot higher than the factor of less than 1.5 that we see for Earth.

    Thanks for the reply Joel.

    Are we talking real watts or virtual watts?

    If the earth and it’s atmosphere were taken to be a closed system, then the only energy input id 239 Watt/m2. The 343 Watt/m2 is created/converted from what?

    If each of these 239 Watt/m2 were to be uniquely from 1 to 239, would any of them be required to be ‘reused’ to be part of the 343 Watt/m2?

    If so, are we not ‘double accounting’?

    regards

    S

  95. Paul in UK says:
    December 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

    I agree with Nylo […], the oceans and the atmosphere distributing heat around and reducing the temperature range. I’d like to know roughly how much this amounts to; 0.1K? 10K? 30K? I have not had the patience or necessary data to calculate it out, e.g. a representative grid of all the temperatures at a representative instant in time, but then it gets more complicated if you have to use different emissivities for each point too e.g. for snow, forest, sea, rock, desert, etc.

    I have now done a very rough estimation, considering that the effect of these differences of temperatures could be perhaps equivalent to having one half of the planet 70K hotter than the other half, which is vastly exagerated, but I wanted to get an idea of an upper limit to this effect. The resulting Earth Average Temperature would drop 7K compared to that of an Earth with a perfectly distributed and equal temperature. So the real case will probably be smaller, perhaps 3-4K are due to these temperature differences. Not too relevant, and considering how difficult (I mean, impossible) it would be to calculate it (integrate the T^4 of the whole surface of the Earth over time for a year…), probably it is better to just consider it not a perfect black body. We are talking about an uncertainty of aprox 6% of the emisivity, and we probably have even greater uncertainties about the albedo alone…

  96. Joel,

    Just before you answer the above consider this thought exercise:

    I have a tube, 1 m2 cross sectional area, length 100 miles, vertically mounted, containing a standard atmosphere. (low pressure at the top, approx 1 bar at the lower end)

    I have an energy source at the top end, emitting 239 Watts/m2.

    I have a series of thermocouple sensors at 1 mile intervals along the tube.

    The tube is insulated from its surroundings.

    The only energy source is the 239 watt emitter.

    There is no other external disturbance.

    The temperature gradient indicated by the temperature sensors could show one of 3 curves:

    1) Temperature is constant,

    2) Temperature falls with distance from the source,

    3) Temperature rises with distance from the source.

    Option 1) does not make sense.

    Option 2) makes sense, the further you are away from a heat source the less heat energy you experience.

    However, this tube is 10 miles long, there is a pressure/density gradient, with a near vacuum at the top and 1 bar at the bottom. One could imagine denser gases reacting more vigorously to the energy source than less dense gases, so the temperature could rise.

    So due to the stratification of the atmosphere, temperature rises as we get closer to the earths surface.

    But, nowhere have we discussed any additional energy source.

    In the system described above we are injecting into this system 239 Watts/m2.

    I would expect that this 239 Watts/m2 to ‘dissipate’ / ‘convert’ to a temperature rise.

    In the lower 10% of the tube where the temperature has risen somewhat, I could imagine that some of the atoms of gas have got more excited and may ‘re-radiate’ however, they can not create more NET energy than that which exists in this system (239 Watts/m2).

    (For the purpose of discussion lets assume the tube has uniform insulation of such an amount that after 24 hours the temperature at the bottom of the tube stabilises at 15C).

    S.

  97. Critique of your publications editor
    I gave a comment on your article in Serbian with a request to translate it using Google, you unfortunately are not close enough cultural or interested in learning something new for easier and more natural understanding of the overall interaction of all factors in the solar system.
    What we are discussing and you think that are the causes of warming , is criticly irrelevant compared to the true causes which you and science do not want know.This which I translate from Serbian to omnipotent English is the undisputedly much more accurately than any previous scientific considerations and your discusions.I apologize for harsh condemnation, but your ignorance of my comment is surpassed all level inculture.You which decide about it can image yourself that you picked up all the knowledge and power of the word, but my conviction should awaken in you the knowledge that there are other who may know more than you, but they do not have conditions lake you.A pity you’re not read that from my article.
    Thank you for your understanding of what Google will announce.

  98. Steve Richards says:

    If the earth and it’s atmosphere were taken to be a closed system, then the only energy input id 239 Watt/m2. The 343 Watt/m2 is created/converted from what?

    I don’t know how else to explain this to you other than by the analogy that I made: The energy is originally from the sun but it is being recycled in the same way that the aluminum is being recycled.

    The idea that you can have a higher power coming from the atmosphere than you have coming from the sun seems to violate your intuition. So, I am trying to explain how your intuition in this case is not serving you well. Ultimately, what rules are the Laws of Physics not people’s imperfect intuition.

  99. RE: Steve Richards: (December 31, 2011 at 2:23 am)
    “If the earth and it’s atmosphere were taken to be a closed system, then the only energy input id 239 Watt/m2. The 343 Watt/m2 is created/converted from what?”

    An *average* energy flow of 343 W/m² radiant energy outflow would only be required if the Earth absorbed 100 percent of the available solar radiant energy. Reflected solar energy does not contribute to heating the Earth, so it is not accounted as part of the ‘closed system.’

    A nominal average reflection coefficient of 30 percent (which might be contested) results in an absorption rate of 958 W/m² for incoming solar radiation energy over the area that is intercepted by the Earth. A conversion from circular interception area to spherical surface area yields the average 239 W/m² surface energy flow that must be emitted by the closed system. Surface temperatures must rise until that *average* energy outflow is achieved.

    The 255 deg K reference temperature is the Stefan-Boltzmann law equivalent temperature for this required energy flow. As it is described as a ‘characteristic temperature,’ this is not a prediction of any actual temperature anywhere on the Earth. It might be described as the fourth-root of the mean fourth-powers average temperature of the Earth because the unobstructed radiant energy flow from each point is proportional to the fourth power of the *absolute* temperature.

  100. Steve Richards says:
    December 31, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Make up your mind. 100 miles long, or 10? ;)

    It’s going to be squirting 239 watts/m^2 out the top end not long after you install it.

  101. Joel says:

    The idea that you can have a higher power coming from the atmosphere than you have coming from the sun seems to violate your intuition. So, I am trying to explain how your intuition in this case is not serving you well. Ultimately, what rules are the Laws of Physics not people’s imperfect intuition.

    Indeed it does violate my intuition and the laws of physics:

    Conservation of energy: Energy can not be created of destroyed, it can be converted from one form to another.

    I can see that I will not be able to get a sensible answer here to the question of “Where does the ADDITIONAL 343 Watts / m2 come from” If we are to accept the laws of physics.

    My answer is double counting but I would like it to be effectively explained.

    Spector/Brian H:
    We do have a closed system, the sun shining on the earth. We know how much energy is input to the system: 239 W, how do people genuinely increase this figure and still observe the conservation of energy law?

  102. Steve Richards: You can’t just wave your hands and say that there is a violation of conservation of energy. There is none. In all models of the greenhouse effect, there is energy balance at every level (as can be seen, for example, in the diagram by Kiehl and Trenberth). The 343 W/m^2 does not have to balance the 240 W/m^2 because they are different things. It is an apples-to-oranges comparison. (In particular, they both represent energy flows TO the earth, one from the sun and one from the atmosphere…Actually, the 240 W/m^2 represents energy flow from the sun to the earth’s surface + atmosphere.)

    I have explained with an analogy why your intuition is wrong. You are not allowed to invent what you think conservation of energy should say…You have to work out what it actually says.

  103. By collision of magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth are created eddies and turbulences of magnetic field lines. When they pass through the proton-neutron core of the Earth (all are on the move ), creating a swirling electric currents in the mass on the principe of the electric furnace and continuously further warming the Earth and the Sun(the planets involved)
    This is the main cause of climate change on our planet.
    Everything else is irrelevant.

  104. Mydogsgotnonose says:
    December 29, 2011 at 9:45 am
    Myrrh: you are confusing lapse rate warming with GHG warming.

    Nope. I’m saying that GHG warming as presented is a sleight of hand. The lapse rate is only part of the picture here, what is missed out further and critically is the greenhouse cooling from the water cycle, this reduces the temperature of the Earth by 52°C from what it would be with an atmosphere but without water – 67°C.

    The difference then between -18°C without any atmosphere and 15°C with our whole atmosphere, is via the dynamic water cycle, from which we get our weather. It’s not a ‘global warming of 33°C by greenhouse gases’, that’s just the end product which is achieved mainly by greenhouse gas, water, cooling.

    Parcels of air may well heat as they come down, and some winds are particularly good at showing this, but the main driver of global cooling is the water cycle as it takes heat away from the Earth’s surface and up into colder regions two things happen – firstly colder air from above displaces the rising hot wet air and this is easily seen around every coastline as the land warms more quickly than the ocean and the parcel of air above it heats and rises, colder air from above and around displaces it, yer cool sea breezes, and, as the heated water vapour rises, water four times the heat capacity of air, it’s taking a lot of heat up and away to the colder regions where it releases it as it condenses back into liquid water or ice, to come down as snow or cooling rain. The lapse rate is not as powerful as this.

    I live on the side of a large hill/small mountain and this summer taking the dog for a walk up the hill I had a dramatic experience of this. The day had been hot and this was now later afternoon, there was a sound I couldn’t place at first, sounded like it was a very big lorry somewhere up the hill which doesn’t have roads for such a thing, and it got louder for a few minutes until it reached me with a long blast of cold wind spotting with rain, the sun was still shining. Maybe the air had heated on the way down in some lapse rate – but it was a darn sight colder than what I had been in before it arrived..

  105. @ crosspatch: December 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm
    Thanks crosspatch for that link forward addressing the UTC, people here pay attention to your words and it may take a while for all to realize just what that tiny link within your comment really meant to our future.

  106. Tim Folkerts @ December 30, 8:00 am
    Hi Tim, it’s good to see a real physicist join in here, but please let me ask a few questions upon your assertions, in which you start with:

    I tend to agree with Ira & Willis. Let me propose a few scenarios that get to the core issues and see what conclusions people reach …

    AND then in part:

    2) Earth with a pure N2 atmosphere with a surface pressure of 1 atm (and consequently no clouds), somehow “painted” so that the albedo is 0.3 (emissivity = 0.7 for incoming solar radiation). I conclude the “average surface temperature” would STILL be ~ 255 K (as required by Stephan-Boltzmann calculations, since radiation at the surface is unchanged from Scenario 1), with the N2 above the surface cooling off at a rate of ~ 10 C/km (the dry adiabatic lapse rate).

    A) You assert that if all GHG’s, [and by implication all surface water?], are removed from the atmosphere, the surface temperature would be 255K. However, when I do an S-B calculation for outgoing radiation at 255K, I get about 240 W/m^2, and of course, this must ALL escape directly to space in a transparent atmosphere. (the alleged net radiative heat transfer from the surface is 240 W/m^2.) BUT; according to Trenberth et al, this greatly exceeds the incoming surface absorbed energy from the Sun, given as ~161 W/m^2. Would you please answer on what seems to be a major paradox?
    B) So you agree that there is a lapse rate, regardless of GHG’s?

  107. RE: Steve Richards: (December 31, 2011 at 8:42 am)
    “We do have a closed system, the sun shining on the earth. We know how much energy is input to the system: 239 W, how do people genuinely increase this figure and still observe the conservation of energy law?”

    We do have a closed system. The energy input to the system is first defined by what is known as the solar ‘constant’ but actually varies as a function of solar activity and the Earth’s distance from the sun. A nominal value for this solar constant is 1368 W/m². This is a measure of energy flow (power) per square meter. When this energy strikes the Earth, about thirty percent is reflected back out without entering the closed system. The remaining 958 W/m² is intercepted by the Earth.

    The nominal radius of the Earth is 6,371,000 meters or 6.371e6 meters. Thus the nominal area of the interception disk is 1.275e14 square meters. So solar energy is flowing *into* the Earth’s closed system at a rate of about 1.222e17 watts. If this is divided by the spherical surface area of the Earth, 5.100e14 square meters, we obtain a value of about 239.5 W/m² for the average surface energy per square meter that must be flowing out of the earth’s closed system to balance the solar energy coming in.

    Temperatures all over the Earth will rise (or fall) until the net energy flowing out is also 1.222e7 watts or about 239.5 W/m² on average. The Stefan-Boltzmann law characteristic temperature for this particular energy flow per square meter is about 255 degrees K. (Technically, power in watts is a measure of energy flow in joules per second.)

    This surface flow may be forced to increase if there are a wavelength selective blocking agents in the atmosphere that only allow a fraction of the full surface energy flow to escape to outer space but do not interfere with most of the solar energy coming in. The blocked surface radiation energy is returned to the closed system.

  108. RE:Bob Fernley-Jones: (December 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm)
    “A) You assert that if all GHG’s, [and by implication all surface water?], are removed from the atmosphere, the surface temperature would be 255K. However, when I do an S-B calculation for outgoing radiation at 255K, I get about 240 W/m^2, and of course, this must ALL escape directly to space in a transparent atmosphere. (the alleged net radiative heat transfer from the surface is 240 W/m^2.) BUT; according to Trenberth et al, this greatly exceeds the incoming surface absorbed energy from the Sun, given as ~161 W/m^2. Would you please answer on what seems to be a major paradox?”

    You have to add the 78 W/m² shown in that diagram being *absorbed* by the atmosphere. Under the hypothetical assumption stated for this calculation, a perfectly transparent atmosphere cannot absorb (or emit) any radiant energy.

  109. Speculation: Atmosphere Retention by Carbon Dioxide
    It is interesting to note that an atmosphere that could only absorb or emit short-wave optical band radiation might just continue to heat and expand as it heats until it all escapes to outer space.

    One of the coldest regions of the atmosphere, just above the stratosphere, is known as the mesosphere. It is generally accepted that this region is strongly cooled by radiation from carbon dioxide, which is finally thin enough so that it can emit long-wave IR photons having a reasonable chance to escape to outer space without being reabsorbed.

    The carbon dioxide cooled mesosphere might be acting as a lid that helps to keep our atmosphere in place by radiating excess heat absorbed by the lower atmosphere.

  110. aggh – bad typing, looks like minus 67 when it isn’t

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/28/sense-and-sensitivity-2/#comment-848981

    “I’m saying that GHG warming as presented is a sleight of hand. The lapse rate is only part of the picture here, what is missed out further and critically is the greenhouse cooling from the water cycle, this reduces the temperature of the Earth by 52°C from what it would be with an atmosphere but without water – 67°C.”

    Should be: this reduces the temperature of the Earth by 52°C from what it would be with an atmosphere but without water, 67%deg;C

    Monckton – Anyway, arguing about the nuances of an imaginary world might well be enjoyable for many including you, but it’s costing us, the duped by this scam, basic quality of life. Carbon dioxide is part and parcel of the cooling by the water cycle, whatever carbon dioxide is in the air with water vapour will spontaneously join with the water vapour to form carbonic acid, and come down in rain, dew, fog, all pure clean rain is carbonic acid. Carbon dioxide does not defy gravity to ‘accumulate for hundreds and thousands of years’ – except in this fantasy world you’re arguing about created by the IPCC minders to deliberately destroy our well-being. You don’t have to worry about the rising cost of fuel in Britain engineered by this scam, so you can indulge yourself in arguing about an imaginary world you helped create with Maggie..

    Our real Earth is a dynamic system. That’s how we get our weather. Greenhouse gases cool the atmosphere.

  111. Spector @ January 1, 12:35 am

    You [Re; Bob-FJ’s item A] have to add the 78 W/m² shown in that diagram being *absorbed* by the atmosphere. Under the hypothetical assumption stated for this calculation, a perfectly transparent atmosphere cannot absorb (or emit) any radiant energy.

    Yes, right, according to Trenberth et al! Sorry, but I posted this comment on the wrong thread. It was addressed to Tim Folkerts and was intended to grab his attention after many earlier “exchanges” on the Trenberth thingy. I also wanted to seek Tim’s expertise as an outspoken physicist, on Item B, concerning his claim that with a transparent atmosphere of N2, the lapse rate would be ~10C/Km.

    Oh well, since it is a topic touched on here by Christopher Monckton, let’s open it:

    1) So the lapse rate would be higher than the generally accepted ~6.5 C/Km in the real atmosphere.
    2) If all surface radiation at 255K escapes directly to space, and the N2 loses heat, (thermal energy) with altitude, what is the mechanism by which that heat is lost?
    I’d appreciate some advice.

  112. Spector says:
    “Temperatures all over the Earth will rise (or fall) until the net energy flowing out is also 1.222e7 watts or about 239.5 W/m² on average. The Stefan-Boltzmann law characteristic temperature for this particular energy flow per square meter is about 255 degrees K. (Technically, power in watts is a measure of energy flow in joules per second.)

    This surface flow may be forced to increase if there are a wavelength selective blocking agents in the atmosphere that only allow a fraction of the full surface energy flow to escape to outer space but do not interfere with most of the solar energy coming in. The blocked surface radiation energy is returned to the closed system.”

    I agree with your answer but for the final sentence.

    However, I do not understand where Trenberth et al think that 390 watts is emitted from the earths surface.

    I do not think that black body theory allows for a black body to receive 239 watts and emit 390 watts.

    With respect to the final sentence, heat energy travels from hot to cold, increased insulation, (CO2 maybe) reduces the rate of transmission, (energy flow rate).

    If the amount of energy leaving the earth is reduced by increased insulation, the surface temperature will rise.

    This increased temperature increases the temperature gradient between the surface and space, increasing the heat energy flow rate, which is dependent only upon temperature gradient and insulation value, lets call it thermal conductivity.

    Thermal conductivity increases with increasing temperature.

    This would give ‘elasticity’ to the system, reducing sensitivity to changes atmospheric properties.

    I do not know if any of the climate models model the variability of thermal conductivity of atmospheric gases.

  113. “Steve Richards says:
    January 2, 2012 at 1:45 am

    For 288k, emissions are in the infrared. There, the emissivity of the Earth’s surface is pretty close to 1.0 (over 0.95). An object with emissivity of about 1 will radiate about 390 W from every square meter of its surface if the surface temperature is at 288k. Stefan’s law is about emission, not absorption. While it was originally determined by observation, it is actually the integrated result over direction and wavelength (or frequency) of Planck’s law.
    Planck’s law too is about emission, not absorption. The 239W/m^2 from the Sun is radiation emitted from an object at 6000k which peaks in the visible light spectrum. If it were closer, we’d receive far more power than that. The emissivity of the Earth at visible light wavelengths is much less than 1. Since the Earth is not at 6000k (at least on the surface), this does not come into play.
    The clear sky atmosphere close to the ground tends to be close to the 288k value. However, it is a gas, not a liquid or solid so it emits and absorbs in a spectrum characteristic of the constituents where a solid or liquid will offer a continuum. The Planck blackbody spectra is actually an indication of the energy states that are filled at a given temperature. The spectrum emitted by gas is this spectrum times the blackbody continuum where the spectrum is the liklihood of an interaction (abosrption) at a given energy (given wavelength/frequency) – call it the emissivity as a function of wavelength (or frequency) if you like. The blackbody continuum is indicative of the liklihood or amount of material that actually has that much energy available to be emitted. The product of the two is the emission spectra for a gas.
    If you have a low lying optically thick cloud, then those tiny water droplets will provide a continuum radiating downward like a black body at the temperature of the cloud base.
    Things get even more fun as both the concentration of a particular gas and the total atmospheric pressure will affect the spectrum of a gas. At extremely low pressure, one gets a very narrow and very strong spectral line. As pressures rise, the line gets wider but not as tall. If there is a continuum going through, the low pressure situation will absorb a very narrow portion of the total power (assuming the temperature is low enough so that there is little emission going on at this very narrow line. As pressure goes up, the line broadens and there is more continuum radiation that can be absorbed by the molecules present even though there is less chance of absorbing any particular wavelength photon in a given distance of travel. Of course if the gas is at the same temperature as the black body emitter (surface), the re-emission will occur at the same rate as the absorption and there will neither be an absorption line nor an emission line.

  114. Steve Richards says:

    However, I do not understand where Trenberth et al think that 390 watts is emitted from the earths surface.

    This number can be derived from both direct empirical data and from the average temperature of the Earth plus the fact that the emissivity of most terrestrial surfaces in the mid and far infrared is very close to 1.

    I do not think that black body theory allows for a black body to receive 239 watts and emit 390 watts.

    You are wrong. The relationship you might be thinking about is that emissivity at a given wavelength has to equal absorptivity at a given wavelength. The amount a blackbody receives depends not only on it but on what radiation is incident on it from elsewhere.

    Or, perhaps you think there should be energy balance for the system to neither cool nor heat. There you are correct…but the energy balance has to include all energy flows and has to be restricted to one particular object or system. (Hence, for example, all energy flows at the surface of the Earth balance…and likewise, it is true, that the rate of energy being absorbed by the Earth-atmosphere system has to balance the rate energy is emitted by the system if it is neither cooling nor heating.)

    This increased temperature increases the temperature gradient between the surface and space, increasing the heat energy flow rate, which is dependent only upon temperature gradient and insulation value, lets call it thermal conductivity.

    Thermal conductivity increases with increasing temperature.

    This would give ‘elasticity’ to the system, reducing sensitivity to changes atmospheric properties.

    I do not know if any of the climate models model the variability of thermal conductivity of atmospheric gases.

    Your statements are a little confused here because we are not talking about conduction. The only significant communication of energy between the Earth and space is via radiation.

    However, in the larger picture, you are correct that if you raise the temperature of the surface of the Earth, more radiation will be emitted to space. And, yes, of course this is included in all the climate models; it defines the whole question that they set out to answer, which is: “If we increase the amount of greenhouse gases by a certain amount so that the Earth is now emitting back out into space less than it is absorbing from the sun, how much does the surface temperature have to increase in order for the emission to increase back to the point where energy balance is restored?”

  115. RE: Steve Richards: (January 2, 2012 at 1:45 am)
    REF: [‘. . . This surface flow may be forced to increase if there are a wavelength selective blocking agents in the atmosphere that only allow a fraction of the full surface energy flow to escape to outer space but do not interfere with most of the solar energy coming in. The blocked surface radiation energy is returned to the closed system.’]

    “I agree with your answer but for the final sentence.

    “However, I do not understand where Trenberth et al think that 390 watts is emitted from the earths surface.

    “I do not think that black body theory allows for a black body to receive 239 watts and emit 390 watts.”

    Perhaps the word ‘retained’ would have been better than ‘returned’—the atmosphere is part of that closed system. The 239 W/m² is the average power that must be radiated out at the top of the atmosphere. (A minor complication: This is not relative to the actual area at the top of the atmosphere but the equivalent area projected from sea level.) Note that he shows 396 W/m² going up and 333 W/m² radiation coming right back down as seen at sea-level. This indicates that only 63 W/m² is actually leaving the surface. The remaining 176 W/m² headed out is progressively emitted from higher levels of the atmosphere.

    That is a good thing. It means the atmosphere has a method of cooling itself so that rising warm air can eventually return to the surface. When I look at the out-going radiation spectrum predicted by MODTRAN, I see a reduced flow around the characteristic bands for CO2 and ozone but not for water vapor. As water molecules are not symmetric, they have magnet-like electric fields and would be solid or liquid in the atmosphere if they were not being knocked apart by other molecules. The strong attraction of these molecules in collisions must allow the emission of odd-wavelength photons that, unlike those produced by CO2 or ozone, are not almost always those exact wavelengths that are most likely to be absorbed by similar molecules in the atmosphere. The atmosphere does not ‘create’ the 176 W/m² flow, rather it is carried up by convection and evaporation or created by solar absorption.

  116. Spector says: January 11, 2012 at 4:19 am
    Joel Shore says: January 2, 2012 at 8:27 am.

    I still have a sneaky suspicion that there is double accounting on the energy budget.

    I am happy with black bodies, thermal opaqueness and the conservation of energy.

    What I am not happy with is the concept of back radiation and its use in double accounting

    We have a ‘total’ energy input to earth of say 341 W/m-2 (Kiel et al 2007 Fig 1). That is our total energy input to the system (earth surface & atmosphere).

    Then, current consensus ‘informs’ us that this energy is transformed into 396 W/m-2 leaving the earths surface.

    How, using any scientific or engineering terminology, is this possible.

    I am happy converting one energy form into another, I am happy measuring and calculating in joules/watts/amps/volts etc.

    I am happy with spectral bands and power loss, absorption, convection and conduction etc.

    But, how does a total input of 341 W/m-2 transform into 396 W/m-2.

    If Fig 1 is true, I would be able to use a wideband width power meter, sensitive to all of the relevant frequencies and measure 341 W/m-2 from the moon’s surface if aimed at the sun.

    Conversely I would be able to spot check the radiation say, leaving the earths surface from a 1000 or more random locations using the same measuring device, mounted a 100m above the surface pointing down and it would read on average 396 W/m-2!

    I do not think so.

    Can anyone explain how I am wrong please?

    I have ignored the remaining alleged earth outputs of 23 + 17 + 80 W/m-2 from fig 1.

  117. The AGW Theory does not refine itself with time. It just becomes dumber and dumber, wilder and wilder. We can now stand by for a raft of ‘ad hominem’ attacks against Lord Monckton from the usual suspects.

  118. RE: Steve Richards says: (January 11, 2012 at 11:28 am)

    “. . . But, how does a total input of 341 W/m-2 transform into 396 W/m-2″

    First, these are not ‘total’ values, they are average energy flow rates for the whole surface of the Earth. The 341 W/m² comes from the solar constant divided by four because the nominal flat surface area of the Earth is four times the area of the disk of solar radiation that it intercepts. At this point a 30 percent reflection factor is usually applied to reduce the net average outgoing thermal radiant energy to 239 (or 240) W/m² required by conservation of energy.

    The 396 W/m² comes from the Trenberth diagram as the assumed average thermal energy that is being radiated from the surface of the Earth. This number is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann formula for radiant energy as a function of the fourth power of temperature and it is an average *energy* value, not an average temperature value.

    In order to have temperatures warm enough to radiate that much energy, the atmosphere must be continuously extracting an average of 157 (156) W/m² from that surface radiant energy flow so that the total energy radiated to outer space does not exceed the avreage 239 W/m² energy flow that the Earth is capturing from the sun. That is the greenhouse effect. Note that power in ‘watts’ is energy flow in joules/sec.

  119. Spector says:
    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

    the atmosphere must be continuously extracting an average of 157 (156) W/m²

    Extracting! how? to do what?

Comments are closed.