Claim: Faint Young Sun Paradox solved

From the University of Colorado at Boulder a claim that computer modeling has solved the problem, with an atmosphere that is 20,000 parts per million of  CO2 and 1,000 ppm of methane.

This is an artist’s conception of the Earth during the late Archean, 2.8 billion years ago. Weak solar radiation requires the Earth have increased greenhouse gas amounts to remain warm. CU-Boulder doctoral student Eric Wolf Wolf and CU-Boulder Professor Brian Toon use a three-dimensional climate model to show that the late Archean may have maintained large areas of liquid surface water despite a relatively weak greenhouse. With carbon dioxide levels within constraints deduced from ancient soils, the late Archean may have had large polar ice caps but lower latitudes would have remained temperate and thus hospitable to life. The addition of methane allows the late Archean to warmed to present day mean surface temperatures. Credit: Charlie Meeks

CU study shows how early Earth kept warm enough to support life

Scientists tackle faint young sun paradox with 3-D climate models

Solving the “faint young sun paradox” — explaining how early Earth was warm and habitable for life beginning more than 3 billion years ago even though the sun was 20 percent dimmer than today — may not be as difficult as believed, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

In fact, two CU-Boulder researchers say all that may have been required to sustain liquid water and primitive life on Earth during the Archean eon 2.8 billion years ago were reasonable atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts believed to be present at the time and perhaps a dash of methane. The key to the solution was the use of sophisticated three-dimensional climate models that were run for thousands of hours on CU’s Janus supercomputer, rather than crude, one-dimensional models used by almost all scientists attempting to solve the paradox, said doctoral student Eric Wolf, lead study author.

“It’s really not that hard in a three-dimensional climate model to get average surface temperatures during the Archean that are in fact moderate,” said Wolf, a doctoral student in CU-Boulder’s atmospheric and oceanic sciences department. “Our models indicate the Archean climate may have been similar to our present climate, perhaps a little cooler. Even if Earth was sliding in and out of glacial periods back then, there still would have been a large amount of liquid water in equatorial regions, just like today.”

Evolutionary biologists believe life arose on Earth as simple cells roughly 3.5 billion years ago, about a billion years after the planet is thought to have formed. Scientists have speculated the first life may have evolved in shallow tide pools, freshwater ponds, freshwater or deep-sea hydrothermal vents, or even arrived on objects from space.

A cover article by Wolf and Professor Brian Toon on the topic appears in the July issue of Astrobiology. The study was funded by two NASA grants and by the National Science Foundation, which supports CU-Boulder’s Janus supercomputer used for the study.

Scientists have been trying to solve the faint young sun paradox since 1972, when Cornell University scientist Carl Sagan — Toon’s doctoral adviser at the time — and colleague George Mullen broached the subject. Since then there have been many studies using 1-D climate models to try to solve the faint young sun paradox — with results ranging from a hot, tropical Earth to a “snowball Earth” with runaway glaciation — none of which have conclusively resolved the problem.

“In our opinion, the one-dimensional models of early Earth created by scientists to solve this paradox are too simple — they are essentially taking the early Earth and reducing it to a single column atmospheric profile,” said Toon. “One-dimensional models are simply too crude to give an accurate picture.”

Wolf and Toon used a general circulation model known as the Community Atmospheric Model version 3.0 developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and which contains 3-D atmosphere, ocean, land, cloud and sea ice components. The two researchers also “tuned up” the model with a sophisticated radiative transfer component that allowed for the absorption, emission and scattering of solar energy and an accurate calculation of the greenhouse effect for the unusual atmosphere of early Earth, where there was no oxygen and no ozone, but lots of CO2 and possibly methane.

The simplest solution to the faint sun paradox, which duplicates Earth’s present climate, involves maintaining roughly 20,000 parts per million of the greenhouse gas CO2 and 1,000 ppm of methane in the ancient atmosphere some 2.8 billion years ago, said Wolf. While that may seem like a lot compared to today’s 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, geological studies of ancient soil samples support the idea that CO2 likely could have been that high during that time period. Methane is considered to be at least 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and could have played a significant role in warming the early Earth as well, said the CU researchers.

There are other reasons to believe that CO2 was much higher in the Archean, said Toon, who along with Wolf is associated with CU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The continental area of Earth was smaller back then so there was less weathering of the land and a lower release of minerals to the oceans. As a result there was a smaller conversion of CO2 to limestone in the ocean. Likewise, there were no “rooted” land plants in the Archean, which could have accelerated the weathering of the soils and indirectly lowered the atmospheric abundance of CO2, Toon said.

Another solution to achieving a habitable but slightly cooler climate under the faint sun conditions is for the Archean atmosphere to have contained roughly 15,000 to 20,000 ppm of CO2 and no methane, said Wolf. “Our results indicate that a weak version of the faint young sun paradox, requiring only that some portion of the planet’s surface maintain liquid water, may be resolved with moderate greenhouse gas inventories,” the authors wrote in Astrobiology.

“Even if half of Earth’s surface was below freezing back in the Archean and half was above freezing, it still would have constituted a habitable planet since at least 50 percent of the ocean would have remained open,” said Wolf. “Most scientists have not considered that there might have been a middle ground for the climate of the Archean.

“The leap from one-dimensional to three-dimensional models is an important step,” said Wolf. “Clouds and sea ice are critical factors in determining climate, but the one-dimensional models completely ignore them.”

Has the faint young sun paradox finally been solved? “I don’t want to be presumptuous here,” said Wolf. “But we show that the paradox is definitely not as challenging as was believed over the past 40 years. While we can’t say definitively what the atmosphere looked like back then without more geological evidence, it is certainly not a stretch at all with our model to get a warm early Earth that would have been hospitable to life.”

“The Janus supercomputer has been a tremendous addition to the campus, and this early Earth climate modeling project would have impossible without it,” said Toon. The researchers estimated the project required roughly 6,000 hours of supercomputer computation time, an effort equal to about 10 years on a home computer.

###

h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

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209 thoughts on “Claim: Faint Young Sun Paradox solved

  1. Make the atmosphere thicker due to more volcanic activity and it becomes a lot easier problem to solve. Were they trying to solve the paradox using the atmospheric thickness of today? That might not be correct. Double or triple the amount of atmosphere present and the problem gets a bit more manageable.

  2. The researchers estimated the project required roughly 6,000 hours of supercomputer computation time, an effort equal to about 10 years on a home computer.
    somebody got the numbers wrong here. Janus comprises more than 16,000 compute cores so the comparison is not credible. 6000 hours is 2/3 year, so Janus should only by 15 times as powerful as a ‘home computer’. Off by a factor of 1000.

  3. Data finally confessed. It’s CO2 of course, but “more research is needed”, i.e. better models and faster computers and more money for us.

  4. “Paradox Solved” – no, hardly, as the estimates for the young Earth CO2 levels were considerably less as pointed out by a recent paper in GRL, and this paper is based upon climate models which are unable to replicate even the Holocene, RWP, MWP, LIA, 20th and 21st centuries.

    A recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters finds that the ‘Faint young Sun problem’ has become “more severe” because to solve the problem using conventional greenhouse theory would require CO2 to comprise 0.4 bar or about 40% of the young Earth atmosphere, far greater than CO2 partial pressures today [0.014 bar or 28 times less] or those estimated for the young Earth [0.06 bar]. According to the authors, “Our results suggest that currently favored greenhouse [gas] solutions could be in conflict with constraints emerging for the middle and late Archean [young Earth].” However, if one instead assumes CO2 concentrations had no significant influence on Earth temperature, the faint young Sun problem can be resolved with the basic thermodynamics of the lapse rate.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/faint-young-sun-paradox-resolved-by.html

  5. …just add CO2 and all the problems are solved

    That is until all that stuff evolved to use it…..and used it all up

  6. I wonder how complete the modelling was.

    For example the Moon was a lot closer so the tidal stress on the Earth’s crust and oceans must have generated some heat. I would also think that the massive tidal ranges would break up any ice sheets over water.

    I thought at this time the day was around 4 hours so atmospheric turbulence would have had some interesting effects!

  7. A question. Is there anything to indicate (i.e. “evidence”) that the atmosphere really was as they say other than the assumption it was so their model would work?

  8. “anticlimactic says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm
    I wonder how complete the modelling was.”

    ############

    well more complete than 1D versions.

    If you want to solve the faint sun paradox you have one tool to “prove” that your hypothesis is consistent with known physics and consistent with extant data. That tool is a GCM. of course it leaves things out and gets other things wrong. But if you are a scientist interested in the question, this is all you have.

    Then again it could be unicorns that solve the paradox, they cant be ruled out.

  9. Steve mosher says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Then again it could be unicorns that solve the paradox, they cant be ruled out.

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

    (Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion.)

  10. Unicorns? Why not? After all, the greens are depending on them to generate electricity…

  11. We have no idea what the early atmosphere was. Today, UVC is absorbed by O2 in the stratosphere. Back then, it reached the surface and caused reactions in gases and rocks. It has been shown that UV produces methane from carbon in meteorites (under Mars conditions).

  12. Is this computer model study a genuine attempt to explain the faint sun paradox or just another sorry attempt to promote the idea that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability? Sadly I suspect the latter.

    If solar radiation reaching the earth was indeed 30% lower 3 billion years ago, the faint sun paradox is more reasonably explained by the following factors –
    1. Higher atmospheric pressures.
    2. Reduced albedo.
    3. Higher volcanic activity.
    4. Different planetary rotation speed.

    The empirical experiment for factor 1 is simple to conduct. (note – climate scientists may need Mum or Dad to help with the scissors) The question is what effect would higher gas pressures have on atmospheric temperatures for an atmosphere in conductive contact with a planets surface heated by solar radiation?

    – Build two identical insulated tall pressure chambers
    – in the base of each chamber place water coils of thin aluminium tube with input and output through the walls of the chamber.
    – place temperature sensors (optical preferred) at several heights within each chamber.
    – fill both chambers with dry nitrogen. ( chamber A to 1 bar, chamber B to 2 bar)
    – run cooling water through the water coils of both chambers until gas temperatures are equalised.
    – now run 90C water at equal flow rates through the water coils in both chambers.
    – observe that the gas temperature in chamber B rises fastest.
    – now alternate heating and cooling water flows to simulate diurnal cycle.
    – using the temperature sensor highest in each chamber observe that chamber B maintains the highest gas temperature.

    The authors of this radiative greenhouse effect “study” should immediately relocate it, not to where the sun shines 30% less but to where it does not shine at all.

  13. I suspect the authors did not take into account that the atmospheric pressure about 4 billion yrs ago was likely in the 200 – 250 bar range based on the rate of loss into space today. So 2.8 billion yrs ago it still would have been >>100 bar (I’m too lazy to look up the original work or do my own calcs ’cause I’m falling asleep) and unless this was included in the UCB work the results are pure crap.
    Good night,
    BC

  14. @Latitude July 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm:
    “…just add CO2 and all the problems are solved”

    Yep. The CO2 killed off all the existing life on the planet (like the alarmists say will happen soon to us), and it took millions of years for it to get started again.

  15. Regarding “anticlimactic saying “I wonder how complete the modelling was.”
    Steve mosher says “well more complete than 1D versions.

    Dont be ridiculous Steve. With more complexity comes more assumption not more certainty.

  16. Why are they assuming that life began in upper oceanic levels? There is a lot of life around submarine vents and the temperature around those vents is pretty high. Young sun doesn’t need to come into it. Nor does CO2 or oxygen for that matter.

  17. A question from a non-scientist sitting back here in “the cheap seats”…. I sure would like to know how they are so sure that the paradox is a real one, i.e., how do we know that the sun was 20% (or so) dimmer back then?

    [This is not a sarcastic or argumentative question -- I simply do not know the answer.]

    And, Dr. Svalgaard, PUUUH–leez do not utter some enigmatic oracle like, “That is the long-settled science. You should know that.” #[:)]

  18. I think Leif Svaalgard sent it over to Anthony so we could have a laugh.

    I am with those who doubt that this is solved, due to the current state of climate models’ science that is far from complete science. It will be interesting to see how many fudge factors and assumptions are in it. If they can’t replicate the next 10 years or the recent history worth jack, claim of “solved” sounds pretty ludicrous, like Steve Mosher’s unicorns. They do currently have that “other” Divergence Problem between rising CO2 and global temps, including the utter failure of the models – ANY model – to predict the current stall in global warming. I wonder if they figured in the “stalled warming.”

    Any fudge factor off by 0.0000001% per millennium over millions of millennia and their model is wrong. It’s great that they fudged with such precision as to not get infinity as a result.

    I also wonder how many times they ran that model. Once? Once at 5,000 hours – I am pretty darned sure they didn’t run a second one (or they would have mentioned it).

    One model run and the Faint Young Sun is solved? Bwahahahaha!!! No replication, not even by themselves. Just because they fudged some numbers in, and then got a result they liked doesn’t mean anything is solved. It sounds like they threw darts (the “garbage in”) at a rotating dartboard and got lucky with the “garbage out.”

    I predict this won’t stand.

  19. Janice Moore says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm
    how do we know that the sun was 20% (or so) dimmer back then?
    And, Dr. Svalgaard, PUUUH–leez do not utter some enigmatic oracle like, “That is the long-settled science.

    Unfortunately, it is settled science. We have a very good understanding of stellar evolution. We know that the theory works because we observe millions of stars in all phases of their life: old stars, young stars, stars in middle age [like the sun], etc. so we can readily check that the theory works by simply looking around at many stars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution or http://cosmos.phy.tufts.edu/~zirbel/ast21/handouts/StellarEvolution.PDF

  20. Best guessing on the opacity levels through several spheres and several years is a tough nut to crack:)

  21. Janice Moore says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm
    how do we know that the sun was 20% (or so) dimmer back then?
    “Since its birth 4.5 billion years ago, the Sun’s luminosity has very gently increased by about 30%. This is an inevitable evolution which comes about because, as the billions of years roll by, the Sun is burning up the hydrogen in its core. The helium “ashes” left behind are denser than hydrogen, so the hydrogen/helium mix in the Sun’s core is very slowly becoming denser, thus raising the pressure. This causes the nuclear reactions to run a little hotter. The Sun brightens.”

  22. I skimmed the paper. Under “Methods” I found this:

    “CAM3 is a widely used GCM and has been extensively validated against modern climate. Regional and seasonal biases are present, but global and annual mean climatological statistics agree well with modern climate (Collins et al., 2006; Hurrell et al., 2006).”

    Which I interpreted as meaning CAM3 gets the “right” global parameters but for the “wrong” reasons. Given recent WUWT articles on GCMs, I suspect the “agree well” part is open to interpretation. :-)

    Also under “Methods”:

    “Continental configurations, topography, planetary rotation rate, ocean heat transport, cloud droplet sizes, land-based glacial ice, and surface vegetation are assumed to be those of the present day. Thus here we isolate the effects of reduced solar insolation and increased greenhouse forcing.”

    BTW, the Faint Young Sun Paradox has been “explained” before at WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/07/faint-sun-paradox-explained-by-stanford-greenhouse-effect-not-involved/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/16/a-simple-resolution-to-the-faint-young-sun-paradox/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/19/finding-an-answer-to-the-faint-sun-paradox-carbonyl-sulphide/

    One last thing: The press release says “Methane is considered to be at least 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2…”. I’ve seen this claim before, but I see the IR absorption spectrum of methane partially overlaps water vapor’s spectrum. Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?

  23. I remember when Galileo hit Jupiter’s atmosphere that it was so different from what various past theories assumed it would be that, I seem to recall, that at least one scientist said Jupiter may not have originated from our solar system.

  24. @Janice Moore –
    In re the Sun being less luminous at the beginning compared with the present, it is known that as main-sequence stars (which the Sun is, class G) age, their luminosity gradually increases over time. This has been demonstrated by spectrographic analyses which have been able to correlate luminosity of these stars to their ages. 20 percent is, as I understand it, probably a reasonable value for the increase in the Sun’s luminosity over the 4-1/2 billion years of the Earth’s existence.

    The only 20,000 ppm of CO2 is suspicious, however, and even more so is the assumption that the density of the Earth’s atmosphere has not changed over the lifetime of the Earth. For one thing, the source of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is from photosynthesis by blue-green algae that did not evolve until about 2 billion years ago. This process proceeded on a scale sufficient to convert nearly all of the CO2 into O2 – oxygen, by about 1 billion years ago, and for it to be possible for the atmosphere to be 20 percent O2 today, it originally had to be 20 percent CO2 (not 2 percent which is 20,000 ppm) just for that alone – and was probably even more due to carbonate deposition in coral-type organisms with calcareous skeletons that would have absorbed more CO2. And as for the constant density of the atmosphere, it is known that large asteroid impacts, such as the K-T event, blew off a substantial part of the Earth’s atmosphere – some estimates of as much as a third from K-T alone – which was never recovered.

  25. I am sure they are very grateful for the 184 teraflop cluster featuring 16,416 total cores housed in 342 chassis. And the electrical power. And the cooling system. At least we got an artist’s impression.

  26. Chad Wozniak says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm
    For one thing, the source of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is from photosynthesis by blue-green algae that did not evolve until about 2 billion years ago. This process proceeded on a scale sufficient to convert nearly all of the CO2 into O2 – oxygen, by about 1 billion years ago, and for it to be possible for the atmosphere to be 20 percent O2 today, it originally had to be 20 percent CO2 (not 2 percent which is 20,000 ppm) just for that alone

    Photosynthesis converts H2O into O2 not CO2!

  27. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The researchers estimated the project required roughly 6,000 hours of supercomputer computation time, an effort equal to about 10 years on a home computer.
    somebody got the numbers wrong here. Janus comprises more than 16,000 compute cores so the comparison is not credible. 6000 hours is 2/3 year, so Janus should only by 15 times as powerful as a ‘home computer’. Off by a factor of 1000.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Leif,

    As someone who works in IT for a living, I would read “roughly 6,000 hours of supercomputer computation time” as CPU time, not clock/calendar time. If that is the way it was meant, then the total number of cores in the Janus supercomputer is not relevant to the comparison. This would be saying that each individual core is 15 times faster than a typical home computer.

    I would be very skeptical of any claim that a project like this would be allowed to burn 100% of the CPU time on this kind of computer for 9 months.

  28. Hilarious – what do they plan to do about the normal sun paradox they’ve just created?

    If CO2 levels started at 20,000ppm, and geological absorption of CO2 was weaker than today, then WTF brought down CO2 levels as the sun heated up?

    And why can’t we infer from that that the world has no problem absorbing almost any amount of CO2 we throw into the atmosphere?

    Its a bit like Deep Thought, in Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. Now you have to build an even bigger computer to discover what the question was.

  29. Geologically, the young, Archaean Earth was a less-evolved, less compositionally-differentiated, planet than it is now, with a thinner crust, a higher geothermal gradient and widespread volcanism. It was hotter, with a higher heat flow to the surface, through a thinner crust.

    The majority of the Archaean crustal rocks that you find preserved in the world’s greenstone belts are volcanic rocks, indicating a long Archaean history of widespread eruptive volcanism . This is also why so many of the worlds metalliferous mineral deposits occur in Archaean rocks: the processes that deposit these are driven by high heat flow and volcanic activity.

    The Archaean Earth was a very different planet, within which the radioactive decay processes that generate heat in its interior were many half-lives younger and more energetic than they are now.

    It would be hard quantify the contribution of higher heat flow up through the Archaean crust to atmospheric temperature at the time, but you only have to look at the rocks that were produced to see that the crust was generally thinner and the geothermal gradient significantly higher.

    Then you only have to look at the prevalence of ocean floor eruptive rocks, sulphidic geothermal vent deposits, etc. during the Archaean to realise that the oceans were probably warmed from below as well as well as from above, at numerous localities if not always globally, to provide the temperatures at which life could develop, thrive and evolve.

    Fainter young sun, but warmer young Earth! A rather nice balance, in fact.

  30. CAM3 is an earlier version of the atmospheric model component of the land-ocean NCAR GCM Community Earth System Model (CESM). The newest version is CAM5, which was among the CMIP5 models recently evaluated by Jonathan Jiang, et al.

    The CAM5 makes an annual average (+/-)9.4% error in total annual average cloud fraction, relative the the latest A-Train satellite observed cloud fraction. That’s equivalent to an annual uncertainty of (+/-)3.9 W/m^2 in atmospheric energy flux, under the fairly well-known conditions of the modern terrestrial climate.

    The NCAR ccsm3 model, which includes the CAM3 as part of its internal set of four coupled models, is worse. It makes an average (+/-)12.5% error in total annual cloud fraction, relative to A-Train observations. That’s equivalent to an uncertainty of (+/-)5.2 W/m^2 in modeled atmospheric energy flux.

    The published claim assumes the CAM3 model can accurately model the terrestrial cloud cover of 3 billion years ago, under nearly unknown conditions of climate. However, CAM3 can’t model current cloud cover under well known conditions of climate.

    All they’ve done is model a previous atmosphere under the same set of assumptions of water-vapor-enhanced feedback that govern CAM 3 and CAM5 in calculating the current atmosphere.

    Why, then, is it a surprise that they find several thousand ppm of CO2 will, with a dollop of methane, warm the archaic climate? That conclusion is built into the model as an a priori condition. All they needed to do was find the levels of GHGs they needed to get the answer they want.

    CAM3 is unable to model the present atmosphere. There’s no reason to suppose it can model past atmospheres, super-Janus computer or no. I’m sure they got really pretty graphics of Earth, though, that look just like satellite photographs. Super computers are great for that.

  31. So Janus is looking back hundreds of millennium for us mere mortals, and naturally has powers to look centuries ahead. Perhaps he will be flattered by the impersonation by the academics at CU.

    This supercomputer series illustrates well the point that academics and Progressives have always interpreted all myths, legends, and religions as merely justifications for the power of the elite. It is written into every book on ancient history. And now the gods appear again, uniquely programmed, designed and constructed in a modular data center assembled in one day on campus, ready to justify the growing power of the elite through green ideology. Science, gods, who cares. Whatever comes to hand.

    But Janus was guardian of doors and passageways, and sometimes of marriages and new beginnings. This supercomputer won’t be applied to tracking people and goods, will it Maestro? Because I think this 3D baby talk is not plausible at all for something of that size.

  32. Dear Leif Svalgaard, Dear Chad Wozniak,

    Thank you, so much, for your kindness in answering such a basic science question. Thank you, too, for not mocking my ignorance.

    Gratefully,

    Janice

    P.S. If I am not mistaken, the science about the Sun’s warmth assumes that the Sun is not unique among stars. It just might be! #[:)]

  33. Eric Worrall ,

    The lesson to take from this is that knowing the right question is often more valuable than knowing the right answer.

  34. Gary Hladik says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?
    Roughly speaking the efficiency of a greenhouse gas depends on the number of different ways the molecules can vibrate, stretch, and shake. That is why N2 [with only two atoms] is not a GHG, H2O, O3, and CO2 [with three atoms] are GHGs, and Methane CH4 [with four atoms] is a very strong GHG, because it has many more ways to ‘shake and bake’, stretch and bend, etc.

    MattS says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm
    As someone who works in IT for a living, I would read “roughly 6,000 hours of supercomputer computation time” as CPU time
    It most certainly is of CPU time. If they used only 100 cores all running at full speed, then in 60 hours they will have used 6000 hours of CPU time. But they don’t need a Janus to do that, 25 PCs each with 4 cores could do that as well in 60 hours, not 10 years. They should have told us how many wall-clock hours the calculation to [perhaps 1 hour] and compared that to the 10 years of ordinary PC wall-clock.

  35. Mike McMillan says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm
    Much denser atmosphere. Adiabatic lapse rate rules.
    =========
    Agreed. Any model that assumes the density of the atmosphere has remained unchanged over 3.5 billion years is nonsense. The early atmosphere was denser and the equilibrium point between outgoing and incoming radiation was higher in the atmosphere, raising the surface temperature due to the connection between the equilibrium point and the surface established by the lapse rate.

    Once GHG reaches saturation it cannot raise the surface temperature above that allowed by the lapse rate, no matter how much GHG you add. Any extra back radiation simply increase the circulation. The only way to raise the surface temperature is to increase in the density of the atmosphere, allowing the lapse rate to operate over a greater height.

    For this reason place of low elevation on earth are warmer than places of high elevation, for a given amount of incoming energy. If the atmosphere was thicker, today’s mountain tops would be much warmer, and the valleys warmer still.

  36. “… like Deep Thought, in Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42.” [Eric Worrall 9:25PM 7/9/13]

    LOL.

    That reminded me of, yes, I think this IS on topic (given the vague and dreamlike paper we are discussing)…. I was overwhelmed my first quarter of my freshman year of college. So much more reading than high school. A much quicker pace. To top it all off, my calculus professor, Dr. Stanley Luke, while he was extremely kind and brilliant, had a heavy East Indian accent. One night, I dreamed that I was solving a long, complicated, math problem. I struggled along and struggled along until…. I CAME UP WITH THE ANSWER. In the morning, I remembered it, too! It was…………. WD-40. Oh, man, I am laughing out loud, even now. While I was asleep, it seemed like a VERY IMPORTANT answer.

    Climatologists need to wake up.

  37. Janice Moore says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm
    the science about the Sun’s warmth assumes that the Sun is not unique among stars. It just might be!
    No it might not. We observe many stars just like the Sun, and the theory of stellar evolution explains the Sun just as well as it does those stars.
    Tweedledee: ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’

  38. lsvalgaard says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    Janice Moore says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm
    how do we know that the sun was 20% (or so) dimmer back then?
    And, Dr. Svalgaard, PUUUH–leez do not utter some enigmatic oracle like, “That is the long-settled science.
    Unfortunately, it is settled science. We have a very good understanding of stellar evolution. We know that the theory works because we observe millions of stars in all phases of their life: old stars, young stars, stars in middle age [like the sun], etc. so we can readily check that the theory works by simply looking around at many stars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution or http://cosmos.phy.tufts.edu/~zirbel/ast21/handouts/StellarEvolution.PDF

    Unfortunately, this too is based on models and assumptions. It is quite an assumption that the HR diagram represents evolution. It is equally valid to assume that the HR diagram looks as it does because they are the most stable configurations. Then the only reason we get such a nice diagram is because there are so many stars, all sitting at a different stable configuration. From there, the internal composition of the sun is based on models which are based on the assumption of nuclear reactions.

    There are other explanations, perhaps electrical in nature. From there we can say that the faint young sun paradox might not even be a thing.

  39. Larry Kirk,

    Well said. Moving back even further to the Hadean, how do the Warmists explain the molten surface before the first crustal solidification?

    Maybe the motley collection of self proclaimed “climatologists” should ask somebody with an understanding of something other than calculating averages, say a geophysicist specialising in the Hadean and Archaen, to explain in terms even a “climatologist” can understand, the process by which a molten blob cools to the point where we can live on it.

    The blob is still cooling – slowly but inexorably. No amount of CO2 in the atmosphere can prevent this happening.

    Live well and prosper.

    Mike Flynn.

  40. Given how close the moon was back then, wouldn’t it also have generated appreciable heat in the Archaen earth as it orbited? It has gradually spiraled outward in its orbit since then, reducing this effect as the sun brightened. Not sure just how big this effect was, but I recall seeing ice volcanoes on other planetary moons fed by gravitational interactions with their home world.

  41. Pat Frank says (July 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm): “Why, then, is it a surprise that they find several thousand ppm of CO2 will, with a dollop of methane, warm the archaic climate? That conclusion is built into the model as an a priori condition. All they needed to do was find the levels of GHGs they needed to get the answer they want.”

    Maybe they could have used Willis Eschenbach’s “model” of GCMs instead of CAM3. It would have saved the taxpayers many kilobucks’ worth of computer time. :-)

  42. Jarryd Beck says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm
    It is quite an assumption that the HR diagram represents evolution.
    We can compute the observed shape of the H-R diagram in fine detail from basic physics, that is usually taken as confirmation of the validity of the theory.

    based on the assumption of nuclear reactions.
    From basic physics we can calculate how much energy should be released by those reactions and how many neutrinos should be produced. The calculated quantities match the observations very nicely. You see, models are an encapsulation of our knowledge. When the predictions match the theory we believe the theory.

    There are other explanations, perhaps electrical in nature.
    No, there are no other explanations that predicts numerically what is observed.

  43. Apparently if you work this Janus computer very hard, it requires over 500,000 watts, and they seem very proud of the fact that their simulation took 6,000 hours. Only 3M kwh, it was probably green electricity

  44. lsvalgaard says (July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm): “Roughly speaking the efficiency of a greenhouse gas depends on the number of different ways the molecules can vibrate, stretch, and shake.”

    Thank you!

  45. @Janice Moore –
    Leif’s 30 percent increase in solar luminosity is certainly more nearly correct than the 20 percent in the paper, or my entirely conjectural guess at it.

    You may be interested to know that there are a great many stars in the Milky Way that are cirtually identical to the Sun in size, mass, temperature, age and energy output. However, there are certain to be fewer habitable planets around those stars than the stars themselves, And even if an otherwise Earth-like planet exists in the habitable zone, certain other conditions apply: the presence of the Moon and especially of Jupiter and Saturn has assuredly protected Earth from the sort of continual asteroidal bombardment that would have put a quick end to any advanced life, if not all life, by the gravity of the gas giants shepherding all the larger asteroids into orbits well away from Earth. There was a book out some years ago title “Rare Earth” which examined all the contingencies that had to be met before life could advance; unfortunately I do not recall the authors, but I have the book somewhere and if I find it I will post the info on it. This study drew the conclusion that the odds were that no more than one or two planets in a galaxy the size of tre Milky Way (a conclusion n that I can neither confirm or deny).

    @lsvalgaard – I would offer one caution: stellar evolution, while welll established in the generality and generally agreed on, and certainly more precisely decfined than the evolution of life, like any science is still subject to new discoveries and refinements that might change some of the “:settled” theoretical understanding. “Settled” is, like “consensus,” a term that has no place in scientific discourse

  46. lsvalgaard says:

    “It most certainly is of CPU time. If they used only 100 cores all running at full speed, then in 60 hours they will have used 6000 hours of CPU time. But they don’t need a Janus to do that, 25 PCs each with 4 cores could do that as well in 60 hours, not 10 years.”

    Actually, they probably couldn’t do it in 60 hours with 25 quad core PCs. There are a couple of reasons why.

    With that kind of computing, signal transit times in the wires starts to become a significant factor. Massive core count supercomputers are generally laid out to minimize wire distances between cores to optimize signal lag. With a network of 25 PCs even if they are in the same physical room on the same LAN segment, signal lag will start to become significant vs the supercomputer.

    The other issue is that managing that kind of process across multiple PCs entails more overhead than running a similar process across multiple cores on a single massive core supercomputer. With that much CPU time, the extra overhead starts to add up.

    The difference might not be huge, but you won’t get quite the same performance operating over multiple networked PCs.

  47. @Janice Moore –
    My apologies: I didn’t complete my last sentence – the conclusion of it should be, ” . . . Milky Way that could sustain life long enough for advanced life such as on Earth could evolve; microbial life might develop on some but then soon be wiped out by asteroidal impacts.”. Please forgive the confusion.

  48. The comment about methane in the atmosphere being 20-21 times as powerful as CO2 is nonsense. It shows that those making that comment have no understanding of reaction kinetics and heat & mass transfer (which are engineering subjects). Also, one should add that they have no experience with the design, operation and control of industrial processes where it is necessary to have some understanding of these subjects but then “climate science” is a pseudo-science in involving beliefs and politics.

  49. Chad Wozniak says:
    July 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm
    “Settled” is, like “consensus,” a term that has no place in scientific discourse
    All science is subject to revision, improvement, and refinement. There comes a point, though, where such refinements are of little import for the application of science to real life. E.g. General Relativity is not used in the calculation of parameters for the load on a bridge. Engineers use ‘settled’ science every day. An example from my own work: there has been vigorous debate about the magnitude of the solar magnetic field dragged out into space for times before spacecraft measurements. Different techniques by different groups using different proxies gave very discordant results. These differences have largely been resolved due to diligent research over the last decade and the various groups working on this problem have reached a consensus [and that is the right word here] as to what the values most likely have been for the last hundred years. Consensus here simply means that people no longer disagree on the issue [not that the consensus values necessarily are correct].

  50. MattS says:
    July 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm
    The difference might not be huge, but you won’t get quite the same performance operating over multiple networked PCs.
    That is why we have supercomputers. The ‘flaw’ in the report was to compare 6000 hours [2/3 year] to 10 years as that does not give a real measure of the power of the supercomputer. Probably they did the calculation in a few hours and that is what should be compared to 10 years.

  51. Mike McMillan says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Much denser atmosphere. Adiabatic lapse rate rules.

    Quite agree, now do we know with reasonable certainty the thickness/density/pressure of the atmosphere back then ?

  52. Janus is not that impressive. I have ten four-node machines in one rack with that kind of power. Of course, they each have a GPU card and a Fusion IO card and 512GB of RAM and sit on a 40Gbps backbone…

  53. I’m confused as to why there is a paradox at all?
    Sure if you average insolation and treat it as a constant across the globe you’d get the effective black body temp of earth dropping from today’s 255K to about 234K, which is pretty darn cold. But that’s my objection to averaging such a thing in the first place.

    Take axial tilt and albedo out of it for simplicity. You’ve got a peak at high noon at the equator of 1368 w/m2 declining to 0 w/m2 at the poles. Drop insolation by 30% and you have a peak at high noon at the equator of 958 w/m2 declining to zero at the poles. My point being that the poles don’t change much and 958 w/m2 is still enough to keep the equatorial regions pretty toasty?

  54. Gary, I already had a fine linear model of GCMs back in 2008. See the equation below Figure 2a in my Skeptic 14(1) article, here.

  55. Our hydrogen based sun is similar to other hydrogen stars of the same size and age. Hydrogen fussion stars are going to behave to the same physical laws. Liken it to burning a match. They start the same and they end the same. Based on the billions of stars we see at various ages we conclude our star had a past that matches our observation of those other stars. It’s future can also be presumed. Earth is doomed. Period.

  56. lsvalgaard says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    Gary Hladik says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?

    Roughly speaking the efficiency of a greenhouse gas depends on the number of different ways the molecules can vibrate, stretch, and shake. That is why N2 [with only two atoms] is not a GHG, H2O, O3, and CO2 [with three atoms] are GHGs, and Methane CH4 [with four atoms] is a very strong GHG, because it has many more ways to ‘shake and bake’, stretch and bend, etc.

    This is correct so far as it goes but it doesn’t address the first part of Gary’s comment regarding the overlap of methane’s absorption spectrum with water.

    “Methane is considered to be at least 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2…”. I’ve seen this claim before, but I see the IR absorption spectrum of methane partially overlaps water vapor’s spectrum. Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?”

  57. Yes this study misses the point of the faint sun paradox. Nobody doubts that if you assume a highly sensitive atmosphere with positive feedbacks you can get a viable surface temperature. The problem is that as the sun warms you should get CO2 outgassing from the oceans followed by warmer temperatures today. Also we know there were periods billions of years ago when CO2 was much lower than 20ppt which sends models into icehouse conditions from which they cannot recover.

    In summary: the actual paradox has not been addressed.

  58. 3 billion years ago the Earth was in an orbit closer to the sun. An inner solar system collision separated large chunk called ‘moon’ and under the impact the Earth drifted into more distant orbit.
    If since the solar output increased by 20%, for the near constant insolation, using the power of 3 law, the orbit would have to move only by 6% further away, from 0.94AU to the present 1AU. No need for the CO2 ‘agent’.

  59. So, way back when:

    1. The Earth was much closer to the Sun,

    2. Atmospheric pressure was much greater than today,

    3. The Earth’s crust was much thinner and there was greater volcanic activity,

    4. The Eart’h’s orbit was more, or less, elliptic and its tilt was different,

    5. The earth was regularly being zapped by many more meteorites and asteroids,

    6. The continents were a different shape, and finally

    7. The composition of the Earth’s atmosphere was different.

    Conclusion: this research is a pale, simplistic reflection of reality, just like all of today’s computer climate models.

  60. The assumption made is that the atmosphere had the same extent umpty billion years ago as it has now, that is with a surface pressure of 1kg/cm2. At the current thickness the blanketing is good for 33-34C “greenhouse” warming. If you crank up the opacity by increasing the CO2 content you can increase the blanketing by the few degrees needed to compensate for lower solar luminosity. However, I notice that the modelers do not include convective transport and a CO2 rich atmosphere would be as convective as you can get and throw a spanner in your estimates.

    The alternative is that the atmosphere simply was a bit thicker. At the same composition as now you need only 20% more, that is a surface pressure of 1.2 bar, to get the extra 6-8 degrees blanketing needed. This raises an interesting question about how the planet has lost just the right quantity of atmosphere over time to keep up with the Sun’s changes. Perhaps there is some feedback there that we don’t know anything about, yet.

  61. Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but in my Astrobiology unit a few years ago it was stated that CO2/methane had been discredited due to little evidence found in rocks. More likely reasons were: 1) with little landmass, the much larger oceans would absorb more energy; 2) fewer clouds would exist as most nuclei are formed by plants or animals; 3) neutrino researchers at KamLAND, suggest that radioactive decay may have been sufficient to warm the planet.
    Cheers

  62. Chad Wozniak July 9 10:31:
    The paper says the Sun was 20% dimmer then; Mr Svalgaard says the Sun has brightened by 30%. They are (roughly) the same thing, depending where you start.

    Janice Moore July 9 9:49:
    You were right:WD40 is very important. It’s the answer to most things.

    By the way – anybody – I should have thought that 80% luminosity would be warm enough in the Tropics. Am I missing something?

  63. And the answer is … CO2!
    A computer model which was programmed to find that CO2 warmed the planet, found that CO2 warmed the planet! This is what we call settled science.

    The real conclusion to emerge from the dim sun paradox is something closer to James Lovelock’s Daisyworld hypothesis, a demonstration of the powerful effect of the biosphere to regulate the earth’s climate, and the negative feedbacks causing remarkable stability of climate over earth’s history. Warmth in the very early archaean period was provided by extreme volcanism and transuranic radioactive decay, possibly even natural nuclear reactors (where 235U achieved high enough concentrations, as it did even in much more recent times in Oklo in Africa where a U seam depleted in 235U was found together with evidence of natural fission for several million years).

    Once bacterial life became established, especially photosynthesizing cyanobacteria, then the ingredients were present for climate stabilization by the biosphere itself. Planktonic cyanobacteria could for instance change albedo, as possibly could stromatolites.

  64. But if you are a scientist interested in the question, this is all you have.

    Then please don’t bother. Go find a real job that contributes to the well being of your fellow travelers on this planet. Pathetically stupid. Get a model, ramp up the co² parameters and, there you are, you have proof.

  65. The only thing about this 3D model that in anyway is comparable to reality of the Earth 2.8bya that we can be sure of is that the Earth, is a SPHERE! The rest is pure simulation.

  66. Ed Zuiderwijk says:
    The alternative is that the atmosphere simply was a bit thicker. At the same composition as now you need only 20% more, that is a surface pressure of 1.2 bar, to get the extra 6-8 degrees blanketing needed. This raises an interesting question about how the planet has lost just the right quantity of atmosphere over time to keep up with the Sun’s changes. Perhaps there is some feedback there that we don’t know anything about, yet.

    Smart comment. There is a relationship between the diameter of atmospheres and rotation rates.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/tim-cullen-planetary-rotation-part-3-mars-earth-and-venus/

    And a relationship between rotation rates and orbital distance. We are working on this and hope to complete a paper by next year.

  67. Planet Earth has developed formidable defenses against eradicate solar variations. The planet could care less about human ants infesting the surface of the Earth. There’s nothing humans can do to the planet that will disrupt the life expectancy of the planet and its capacity to nurture life.

  68. This is not really news.
    Hart’s 1977 paper (Icarus, 33, 23-29 (1978)) on the Evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth, the one that puts the continuously habitable zone around the sun from about 0.95AU to 1.01AU, produced this result already. All this seems to do is change the emphasis from the whole sweep of atmospheric evolution on a point-model Earth to guessing an atmosphere for a more complicated temperature model.

  69. It is not possible to use a ‘3-D model’ to model the earth’s atmosphere as there are fundamental errors in the modeling of the atmosphere related to how and why clouds form in the atmosphere. A computer modeling program cannot be written to work around incorrect knowledge of the basic science.

    The 3-D modeling announcement sounds like propaganda rather than science as it has been known for at least 5 years that there are fundamental errors in atmospheric modeling.

    We know there are fundamental errors in the atmospheric modeling as there has been 16 years with no warming which is impossible based on 98% of the climate models. Also we know there are fundamental errors in the modeling programs as the general circulation models predict a hot spot in the tropical troposphere which is theoretically caused by increased water vapour in the atmosphere due to CO2 forcing. There is no observed tropical troposheric warming as the peer reviewed paper linked to below notes.

    The competing solution to the faint sun paradox is that a strong solar wind from the early sun blocked cosmic ray flux (CRF is also called galactic cosmic rays GCR) which is mostly high speed protons. The high speed protons create ions in the earth’s atmosphere which effects the amount and prorperties of low level clouds in the atmosphere.

    Fortunately as there has been an abrupt slowdown in the solar magnetic cycle we will have a chance to resolve by observations how much of the warming in the last 70 years was due to solar cycle modulation of planetary cloud Vs C02. As noted in the paper linked to below it appears that as much as 0.47C of the warming in the last 70 years was caused by solar magnetic cycle changes rather than increases in atmospheric CO2. (The analysis in the paper is independent of the mechanism.)

    A slowdown in the solar magnetic cycle temporary inhibits the GCR mechanism which explains why the planet did not cool when GCR increased in the last 12 years. As there is now the start of cooling it appears the inhibiting of the GCR mechanism is over.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astroph/0306477

    Towards a Solution to the Early Faint Sun Paradox: A Lower Cosmic Ray Flux from a Stronger Solar Wind by Nir J. Shaviv

    Standard solar models predict a solar luminosity that gradually increased by about 30% over the past 4.5 billion years. Under the faint sun, Earth should have been frozen solid for most of its existence. Yet, running water is observed to have been present since very early in Earth’s history. This enigma is known as the faint sun paradox. We show here that it can be partially resolved once we consider the cooling effect that cosmic rays are suspected to have on the global climate and that the younger sun must have had a stronger solar wind, such that it was more effective at stopping cosmic rays from reaching Earth. The paradox can then be completely resolved with the further contribution of modest greenhouse gas warming. When we add the cosmic ray flux modulation by a variable star formation rate in the Milky Way, we recover the long term glacial activity on Earth. As to the future, we find that the average global temperature will increase by typically 10◦K in the coming 2 Gyr.

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Shaviv.pdf

    On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget by Nir J. Shaviv

    We examine the results linking cosmic ray flux (CRF) variations to global climate change. We then proceed to study various periods over which there are estimates for the radiative forcing, temperature change and CRF variations relative to today. These include the Phanerozoic as a whole, the Cretaceous, the Eocene, the Last Glacial Maximum, the 20th century, as well as the 11-yr solar cycle. This enables us to place quantitative limits on climate sensitivity to both changes in the CRF, and the radiative budget, F, under equilibrium. … …. Subject to the above caveats and those described in the text, the CRF/climate link therefore implies that the increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 +/- 0.19 C, while the rest should be mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes. Without any effect of cosmic rays, the increase in solar luminosity would correspond to an increased temperature of 0.16 +/- 0.04C.

    http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/Ice-ages/GSAToday.pdf

    Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?
    We find that at least 66% of the variance in the paleotemperature trend could be attributed to CRF variations likely due to solar system passages through the spiral arms of the galaxy. Assuming that the entire residual variance in temperature is due solely to the CO2 greenhouse effect, we propose a tentative upper limit to the long-term “equilibrium” warming effect of CO2, one which is potentially lower than that based on general circulation models.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf

    A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions
    We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html

    SPIEGEL: Just since the turn of the millennium, humanity has emitted another 400 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, yet temperatures haven’t risen in nearly 15 years. What can explain this?
    Storch: So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. We’re facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 10 years. That hasn’t happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) — a value very close to zero. This is a serious scientific problem that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will have to confront when it presents its next Assessment Report late next year.

  70. Earth’s first atmosphere was 20%+ CO2 later converted by those cyanobacteria to oxygen but the primal atmosphere would have been denser so adiabatic compression would add extra heat.

  71. Gunga Din says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    A question. Is there anything to indicate (i.e. “evidence”) that the atmosphere really was as they say other than the assumption it was so their model would work?
    ====================
    I’m not an expert, but there is SOME stuff. There’s evidence that single celled life has been around for at least 3.5 billion years, possibly a bit longer. That probably rules out very hot (Venus-like) or very cold (Pluto-like) conditions. And there’s evidence that oceans formed early on, that they contained considerable dissolved iron, and that the early atmosphere had essentially no free Oxygen. There are very extensive Banded Iron Formations in very old marine rocks which are thought to have been formed as Oxygen was freed by weathering(?) and/or biological action (photosynthesis presumably) and pretty much immediately combined with the iron to form layers of iron oxide. (There are, surprise, problems with that e.g. some comparatively young BIFs from 750 million years ago that aren’t all that easy to explain).

    But anyway, it’s unlikely that the early Earth atmosphere contained much free Oxygen — or any other gas that would react with dissolved iron to form an insoluble compound. Presumably an Oxygen free atmosphere would allow Methane to last a lot longer than it does today.

    Other than that, I don’t think there’s much evidence. But there’s lots of room for me to be wrong.

  72. tallbloke says: July 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    lsvalgaard says:July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    Gary Hladik says:July 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    “Methane is considered to be at least 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2…”. I’ve seen this claim before, but I see the IR absorption spectrum of methane partially overlaps water vapor’s spectrum. Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?”

    Here’s a computer generated chart on the ghg’s, water in green, co2 in red, and methane CH4 in lighter yellow. Methane is pretty well covered by water, and co2 is too, except at 4 microns. Lower chart is a blow up of part of the IR spectrum.

    Keith Minto says: July 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm
    Mike McMillan says: July 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm
    Much denser atmosphere. Adiabatic lapse rate rules.

    Quite agree, now do we know with reasonable certainty the thickness/density/pressure of the atmosphere back then ?

    Best I have seen elsewhere is comparable to Venus, but given the different insolation, orbital distance, rotation, atmospheric composition, – that’s way out of my league to pin down.

  73. Conjecture from Boulder.

    Steve mosher says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    “If you want to solve the faint sun paradox you have one tool to “prove” that your hypothesis is consistent with known physics and consistent with extant data. That tool is a GCM. of course it leaves things out and gets other things wrong. But if you are a scientist interested in the question, this is all you have.”

    That means it is junk science; as we already know that GCM’s are faulty even for time periods as short as 17 years.

  74. We already know The Great Oxygenation Event (GOE), also called the Oxygen Catastrophe or Oxygen Crisis or Great Oxidation where the Earth literally rusted at about this time, ~3bya.

  75. The simplest solution is that the global air circulation was different with different amounts of cloud as compared to today.

    The differences would have been driven by the effect of the weaker sun on atmospheric temperatures above the tropopause involving ozone quantities..

    As we see today with the solar/climate link that I have proposed the weaker solar effect on ozone amounts and distribution back then would have resulted in a slower throughput of energy through the Earth system such that the temperature then was not a lot different from that of today despite the sun having been weaker.

  76. tallbloke says:
    July 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    “Can anyone explain to me why methane is so much more of a so-called “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide?”
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    Rog,
    of course not, methane and carbon dioxide are not “greenhouse gases”. The only significant “greenhouse gases” in our atmosphere are N2 and O2 due to their poor IR radiative properties. Water vapour, CO2 and methane are radiative gases. Radiative gases both absorb and emit IR radiation. Radiative gases act to cool our moving atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    The most logical explanation for the faint sun paradox is higher atmospheric pressure. The N & Z hypothesis has flaws, but it can be easily adjusted. N & Z failed to understand the role of radiative gases in strong vertical convective circulation and atmospheric cooling. However, because all planets and moons in our solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere have sufficient radiative gases to drive their lower atmospheric lapse rate close to the adiabatic ideal, the N & Z hypothesis works.

  77. Occam’s razor favours negative feedback and climate regulation as the reason for stable life-supporting climate over an earth history with 30% change in TSI.

    Other explanations, whether CO2 (may Allah’s blessings and peace be on this molecule), or atmospheric pressure, or volcanism, or cosmic rays, or any other agent, require the fortuitous and improbable scenario of a level of action declining linearly over all of earths history in such a way as to exactly counter-balance the increasing insolation.

    This is tortuous, improbable and wishful thinking, and contradicts Occam’s razor, which in 99% of cases means its plain wrong.

    So we are left with climate regulation by the biosphere and the Daisyworld scenario.

  78. Think of all the Iron which was around before Oxygen rose and turned it into red rust.

    How hot do metallic surfaces get in the sun versus crystaline rocks.

    How much energy was held in the ocean when it is had all that dissolved Iron in it.

    Okay, just musing. But the first real evidence of wide-spread glaciation occured at 2.4 billion years ago just as the level of Oxygen began accumulating in the atmosphere signaling that Iron and other elements with an affinity for being oxydized were being reduced.

    Otherwise, I don’t think we will ever have solid answer for the Faint Young Sun paradox. It could have been any number of 100 different explanations.

  79. Rhoda R says:
    July 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm
    Why are they assuming that life began in upper oceanic levels? There is a lot of life around submarine vents and the temperature around those vents is pretty high. Young sun doesn’t need to come into it. Nor does CO2 or oxygen for that matter.

    ——-

    Agreed. There were far more tectonic plates back then, thus more spreading ridges, thus more vents. The surface could have been all ice. It’s all speculation at this point.

  80. johnmarshall says:
    July 10, 2013 at 2:16 am
    Earth’s first atmosphere was 20%+ CO2 later converted by those cyanobacteria to oxygen but the primal atmosphere would have been denser so adiabatic compression would add extra heat.

    Photosynthesis converts H2O to O2.

  81. Mike McMillan says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    “Much denser atmosphere. Adiabatic lapse rate rules.”

    +1
    Surface temperature is a function of the mass of the atmosphere and solar flux at earth’s orbit. If the earth has remained in the life zone, then the mass of the atmosphere must have decreased.

  82. “….explaining how early Earth was warm and habitable for life beginning more than 3 billion years ago even though the sun was 20 percent dimmer than today — may not be as difficult as believed, …..”

    This is clearly a left-handed support for the “settled science” of the CO2 (as the only) temperature control knob. A little trip down the hall to the geology department and they would have learned that climate scientists, physicists and astronomers were the only ones who hadn’t yet solved the so-called paradox (indeed in geology there was no paradox). A number of excellent “warm” possibilities have already been discussed above by nimble contributors to WUWT. Two in particular are all that is needed, the rest is gravy. The thinner crust and stage of cooling of the “new” earth are no-brainer explanations of why there was no paradox to start with. A feature of the Archean globally are the presence of a type of basalt lava and intrusive equivalents known as komatiites. Wiki is okay on this one, although some stoat may alter it if it seems to disagree with the Boulder carbon follies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komatiite

    “Magmas of komatiitic compositions have a very high melting point, with calculated eruption temperatures in excess of 1600 °C. Basaltic lavas normally have eruption temperatures of about 1100 to 1250 °C. The higher melting temperatures required to produce komatiite have been attributed to the presumed higher geothermal gradients in the Archean Earth.”

    The higher geothermal gradients were due to thinner crusts and a higher temperature mantle (highly magnesian hot layer that underlies the crust. These lavas were very low viscosity and spread rapidly, some as thin as a centimetre or two. The ponded into lakes and flowed in streams before they solidified. Komatiites do not occur in rocks since the Archean, which coincided nicely with the “paradox”. At this stage of cooling of the earth, it would seem that molten magmas occurred below large areas in the upper mantle. Add considerably more atmosphere that has thinned over time, and let’s not forget negative feedbacks (yeah, I know this isn’t in the scriptures). If a cooler world is still postulated then H2O in the atmosphere was lower, cloulds lower, albedo lower and you have a condition of a higher percentage of whatever sunlight there was reaching the earths surface.

    Ya know, hubris among the apriori thinkers (the kind of thought that an intelligent teenager with no experience uses to argue with his parents) in physics and astronomy is one of the biggest barriers to resolution of climate science problems.

  83. Let me guess … It was CO2. Was it CO2 that done it??

    Leif, as far as cosmic rays, the few papers that have looked at it have
    not found a strong link. But, it is still possible that certain types of clouds
    or even certain energies of cosmic rays may have a bigger effect. It’s still
    a young field. It may turn out to no play a role or only to play a role in a few
    cases or to have only a small effect. The same with CO2 diffusion in ice. I don’t think there have been that many studies done on it and showing something over a few months in a lab or testing it in situ a few times does not prove once and for
    all that CO2 does not diffuse over millions of years. I still think these questions are worth studying in more detail. Of course one should not argue for something when there are a few papers that say this something does not seem to be important, but it is also not definitive, everlasting proof either. Not really arguing with you as much as making a larger point that some things are more “settled” than others.

  84. Phil. says: @ July 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    …..Photosynthesis converts H2O into O2 not CO2!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Is that what they are teaching in school these days?

    I would not be surprised – No teacher, but every textbook, left behind

    The equation for photosynthesis is
    6CO2 + 12H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

    So all of the CO2 and half the H2O is converted into glucose and O2.

  85. Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.468 x 10^9 years. If you believe that this is a fixed decay rate, which is questionable under the wide range of conditions, then 2.8 x 10^9 YBP there was almost twice as much Uranium….and twice as much mantle decay heat.

    “The decay of Uranium, Thorium and Potasium-40 in the Earth’s mantle is thought to be the main source of heat that keeps the outer core liquid and drives mantle convection, which in turn drives plate tectonics….Uranium’s average concentration in the Earth’s crust is (depending on the reference) 2 to 4 parts per million” ~ Wiki/Uranium

    We have recently increased the core temperature estimates from 5000C to 6000C.

    http://bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22297915

    The core is a 900 mile diameter extremely dense Iron cubic crystal that is inherently a solid magnet and is rotating faster than the crust, creating an additional magnetic field. Every proxy is based on approximations that compound errors over time. Everything about this discussion is hypothesis on conditions that we cannot even currently quantify.

  86. Steve mosher says:

    July 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    ////////////////////

    Steve

    What a silly, and may I say childish, response to a couple of very good points raised by anticlimatic.

    I know that you like to defend models and their use, and i don’t doubt that 3D are better than 1D. But the real insight would have been to clarify whether the model actually took account of the 4 hour day (I am not sure whether it was quite that short or whether it had by then extended to nearer 7 hours) and the additional gravitational pull of the moon (and the different orbital distance between Earth and Sun and different axial tilt).

    Don’t forget that if the Earth is spinning not once a day but 6 times a day, there is far less time for land (or water) that has been warmed by the sun during sunlit hours to cool. The speed of rotation is a very material factor.

    One only has to look at Io to see the effect of gravity, and heat generation via gravitational forces. Admittedly, that may be an extreme example because the Earth/Moon relationship is nothing like the Jovian relationship which is particularly stark due to the presence of the other Galilean moons , but nonetheless it gives a visual example of the potential strength of this force.

    Now I do not know precisely what effect the points that anticlimatic raised would have, but one thing that I am certain abouit is that they are material, and the issue is therefore did the 3D model take these factors into account and what assumptions were made with respect to them.? if you could clarify that then you would be adding to the debate and general understanding of the issue.

  87. Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 6:56 am
    So all of the CO2 and half the H2O is converted into glucose and O2.
    What is the glucose eventually converted into?

  88. Stephen Wilde says:
    July 10, 2013 at 4:10 am

    The simplest solution is that the global air circulation was different with different amounts of cloud as compared to today.

    The differences would have been driven by the effect of the weaker sun on atmospheric temperatures above the tropopause involving ozone quantities…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry Stephen you did not have free atmospheric O2 and O3 until after you had photosynthesis.

  89. Like other people have said above, GHGs need a thick atmosphere to operate.

    Also, once the adiabatic lapse rate is reach, the idea is that radiation to space happens at a higher altitude due to GHGs. Since GHGs are colder at a higher altitude, there is a warming. But, this is based on the idea that emissions from GHGs are due to temperature. In reality, when a CO2 molecule absorbs a IR photon, it could re-emit it instantly. Since the CO2 molecules at the top of the atmosphere are receiving a lot of IR photons from the CO2 at a lower altitude, there is a chance that some of the IR emitted by those molecules happen in addition to emissions due to the temperature. So a GHG that can absorb IR and re-emit before its temperature has raised would be that much weaker as a GHG. I wonder if this effect has been calculated correctly.

  90. Some months ago, I saw a BBC programme presented by Professor Brian Cox who is a high energy particle physicist. So this is an area well within his specialist field.

    He briefly mentioned the faint sun. What was interesting was that he said that the solar spectrum was very different back then, and it had a far greater ratio of high energy particles. Is that so, and if so, has this been taken into account by the models?

    No doubt Leif can at least clarify the spectral point.

  91. phlogiston says:
    July 10, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Occam’s razor favours negative feedback and climate regulation as the reason for stable life-supporting climate over an earth history with 30% change in TSI.

    Other explanations, whether CO2 (may Allah’s blessings and peace be on this molecule), or atmospheric pressure, or volcanism, or cosmic rays, or any other agent, require the fortuitous and improbable scenario of a level of action declining linearly over all of earths history in such a way as to exactly counter-balance the increasing insolation…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Loss of atmosphere would be fairly linear and so would the cooling of the earth’s thin crust and volcanism. But I certainly agree with negative feedbacks

  92. ***
    Steve mosher says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    If you want to solve the faint sun paradox you have one tool to “prove” that your hypothesis is consistent with known physics and consistent with extant data. That tool is a GCM.
    ***

    ROFLMFAO! How’s it deal w/a 10X current atmospheric pressure & completely different ocean/air circulation?

  93. Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:49 am
    limestone which is how we know they were there in the first place.
    Limestone is evidence of photosynthesis??

  94. I’m not convinced with this, There is no good argument here at all. Uranus has a thick atmosphere and by scale, it has far more methane than earth ever had, yet Uranus’s atmosphere is unable to warm it’s planetary body.

    This “paradox” is only called a paradox because it is contradictory to present understanding. These issues are incredibly complex and there is a lot more going-on than what a quick model can tell us, increasing or decreasing the earths atmospheric composition of gases in a model does not provide a convincing structure, I’ll point to Uranus again for example, its internal “heat” mechanism has shut down, due to the fact that the planet Jupiter has knocked it of its axis, the main source of radiation it receives is from the Sun, it does not warm internally nor does the sun provide this planet with enough energy to heat its atmosphere, So how could the methane in Uranus’s atmosphere provide warmth? it doesn’t.

  95. There’s more to the earth’s temperature than just heat from the sun. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2011/jul/19/radioactive-decay-accounts-for-half-of-earths-heat

    Were it not for the ongoing decay of radioactive elements (uranium-238, thorium-232, potassium-40) in the earth’s interior, the planet would be much, much cooler today.

    3 billion years ago, the concentrations of all of these elements would have been higher. There would have been ~59% more U-238, ~16% more Th-232, and ~429% more K-40 (based on half lives of 4.47 billion, 14.05 billion and 1.25 billion years respectively), implying ~116% more radioactive heating from within the earth than today.

  96. Gail said:

    “Sorry Stephen you did not have free atmospheric O2 and O3 until after you had photosynthesis”

    Doesn’t matter. The absence of ozone would result in a very different circulation to the present one.

    All that matters is that for whatever reason the rate of energy throughput was slower than it is now such that the temperature was not dissimilar despite the less strong sun.

    The suggestions about different atmospheric densities and volumes are also relevant because they affect the rate of energy throughput too.

  97. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 6:56 am
    So all of the CO2 and half the H2O is converted into glucose and O2.
    What is the glucose eventually converted into?
    Plants! or some other photosynthesizing organism.

  98. Patrick says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:03 am
    ////////////////////////////////////

    It would not surprise me since he is a favoured ‘BBC’ man, and we all know what the BBC is like and how you have to be within its clique to operate.

    However, in his programme which was to do with life, not the evolution of Earth, he made a number of interesting comments. amongst these were:

    1. That in the early days of the solar system although the sun was fainter the spectrum was more energetic; it consisted of a greater ratio of high energy photons. I cannot remember the detail but he gave the impression that the solar spectrum was more injurious to life because of the different high energy profile. Say if ‘you’ had been sunbathing, although the sun was faint, ‘you’ would have got more sun burnt. I think he was suggesting that the spectral difference would increase the risk of damage to cell structure, thereby making this early period rather hostile to life.

    2. That every time that energy is used and recycled, it loses some inherent quality; it degrades. He sat on a beach as the sun set and picked up a handful of warm sand that was radiating energy. He said that during the day the sand receives high ordered, high quality energy, and at night what is radiated is less ordered, low quality energy. Unfortunately, he did not go into detail and did not explain precisely what he meant, still less the implications, but the impression given was that he was talking about entropy and that whilst energy is conserved, it loses some inherent quality which fuels (or results) in the never ending disent into disorder. I am fairly sure that he said that the energy being radiated by the sand was less useful and could do less work because the energy that it was radiating was not as ordered and was of lower quality.

    Of course, he was not discussing the greenhouse effect, or global warming so I may be taking his comments slightly out of context. Nonetheless, they did interest me. May be he holds some inconsistent views, that would not surprise me.

  99. “The key to the solution was the use of sophisticated three-dimensional climate models that were run for thousands of hours on CU’s Janus supercomputer, rather than crude, one-dimensional models used by almost all scientists attempting to solve the paradox, said doctoral student Eric Wolf, lead study author.” and
    ““The Janus supercomputer has been a tremendous addition to the campus, and this early Earth climate modeling project would have impossible without it,” said Toon.”

    Ooh, ahh – sophisticated computer models. Ooh, ahh – Janus supercomputer. I’m impressed (I say this sarcastically). Looks to me someone is trying justify the immense expense of the computer.

  100. Barry Cullen says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 6:56 am
    So all of the CO2 and half the H2O is converted into glucose and O2.
    What is the glucose eventually converted into?
    Plants! or some other photosynthesizing organism.

    That is correct Barry, Plants produce sugars and use them in a wide variety of practical ways, a source of energy and to attract animals and insects that help in the procreation process by way-of pollination and also in the dispersion of the seed itself from the fruits that animals eat.

    It’s actually a perfect and natural way to store solar energy.

  101. lsvalgaard…thanks for the Wiki/Curie_Temperature link…

    however, we suffer from a ‘reference plane’ myopia and often extrapolate beyond our measurement abilities. I question the ‘constant’ decay rate, over conditions that vary beyond or imagination, as well as extrapolation to core conditions of an Iron cubic crystal mass that we cannot replicate. For more on this very dense cubic crystal see, “Researchers Confirm Discovery of Earth’s Inner, Innermost Core” on work by Geologists Xiaodong Song and Xinlei Sun

    http://news.illinois.edu/news/08/0310core.html

    What is the hypothesis de jour for planet and solar magnetism ?

  102. Barry Cullen says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:56 am
    “What is the glucose eventually converted into?”
    Plants! or some other photosynthesizing organism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition :
    “The chemical aspects of plant decomposition always involve the release of carbon dioxide.”
    So eventually glucose becomes the CO2 that went into forming the glucose

  103. richard verney says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Some months ago, I saw a BBC programme presented by Professor Brian Cox who is a high energy particle physicist. So this is an area well within his specialist field.

    He briefly mentioned the faint sun. What was interesting was that he said that the solar spectrum was very different back then, and it had a far greater ratio of high energy particles. Is that so, and if so, has this been taken into account by the models?

    Brian Cox is correct, The suns spectrum was very different back then, but at this point in time that he was discussing there would have been no life on earth, and if there actually was life emerging at this time it would be in the form of extremophiles which would negate a “faint sun paradox” No need for one! simples…

  104. Russ R. says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:44 am
    There’s more to the earth’s temperature than just heat from the sun. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2011/jul/19/radioactive-decay-accounts-for-half-of-earths-heat
    No Ross, your link is about the heat coming from the interior which is about 1000 times smaller than the heat we get from the Sun. The ‘half of Earth’s heat’ referred to is that produced by radioactivity, the other half is simply left over from the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago. Together these two heat sources account for less than a thousandth of what we get from the Sun.

  105. Joseph A Olson says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:13 am
    Iron cubic crystal mass that we cannot replicate
    we can: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-10/new-double-diamond-anvil-device-can-create-pressures-greater-core-earth and more

    For more on this very dense cubic crystal
    The solid inner core was discovered by Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann in 1936

    What is the hypothesis de jour for planet and solar magnetism ?
    for decades both planetary and solar magnetism are thought to be generated by circulation of liquid [planets] or gas [sun] through a magnetic field. this ‘dynamo’ process is self-sustaining: it requires a magnetic field and produces a magnetic field so can go on ‘forever’.

  106. @lsvalgaard

    this is an interesting paper, but I know that Leif’s true motive is ruling out all warming factors besides co2.

    Leif, please tell everyone how there was an ice age on earth during the late Ordovician with atmospheric co2 concentrations upwards of 4400ppm.

    For somebody as intelligent as you are, I am dismayed that you dismiss the geologic record in what seems to be nothing but your own opinion.

  107. dr. lumpus spookytooth, phd. says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:53 am
    I know that Leif’s true motive is ruling out all warming factors besides co2.
    And how do you know that falsehood?

    Leif, please tell everyone how there was an ice age on earth during the late Ordovician with atmospheric co2 concentrations upwards of 4400ppm.
    First off, the Sun was a bit less luminous back then, second the main cause of glaciations are changes of the Earth’s orbit and tilt [mainly brought about by Jupiter] combined with the continent being in such places that there is land at high latitudes. This overwhelms just about every other cause.

  108. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:49 am
    limestone which is how we know they were there in the first place.
    Limestone is evidence of photosynthesis??
    ==============================
    Really, Leif, do you need to be so petty ?

    Let me put it another way. Is COAL, which you conveniently snipped out, NOT evidence of photosynthesis ?? And YES, clearly MOST limestone indicates the presence of photosynthesis because:
    1) most corals are symbiotic with algae
    2) other carbonate shelled creatures feed on photosynthetic organisms and would not exist without food in a roughly 10:1 ratio, if current energetic dynamics were true.

    Since limestones are roughly 10% of all sedimentary deposits, that’s one hell of a lot of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

  109. lsvalgaard,

    <"The ‘half of Earth’s heat’ referred to is that produced by radioactivity, the other half is simply left over from the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago. Together these two heat sources account for less than a thousandth of what we get from the Sun."

    Sorry, I never intended to suggest that “half of earth’s heat” came from the interior… though looking back at what I wrote, I see that it reads that way.

    What I should have written was that in addition to the heat absorbed from the sun, some amount of heat from the young planet’s interior would have contributed to keeping the place warm, and that amount would have been significantly greater 3 billion years ago than it is today.

    The radioactive part was easy to estimate… the primordial heat would take a bit more work, but it could only have been greater than today.

  110. sorry — hit the wrong key — mod please delete 10:28 post
    lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

    So eventually glucose becomes the CO2 that went into forming the glucose
    ================================
    which then becomes plants again….unless it gets sequestered soil or benthic organic deposits (hugh), peat, coals, limestone, oil, natural gas, etc. etc.

    Leif, clearly life is winning here since there is ALWAYS a higher standing stock of CO2 sequestered into plants and animals than exists in the atmosphere. CO2 rarity is one of the limiting factors on plant standing stock.

  111. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:21 am
    Let me put it another way. Is COAL, which you conveniently snipped out, NOT evidence of photosynthesis
    Most plant material when it decays does not end up as coal, but simply as CO2. But most people agree that there was a lot of CO2 back then, so your comment about limestone should really be directed at the people here who deny that. My ‘pettiness’ as you will have it is rooted in the fact that the devil hides in the details so it is important to get the details right. So, you would agree that there was a much higher concentration of CO2 3 billion years ago [when BTW there were no land plants and no COAL [one reason I left out that straw man].

  112. lsvalgaard says,

    Roughly speaking the efficiency of a greenhouse gas depends on the number of different ways the molecules can vibrate, stretch, and shake. That is why N2 [with only two atoms] is not a GHG, H2O, O3, and CO2 [with three atoms] are GHGs, and Methane CH4 [with four atoms] is a very strong GHG, because it has many more ways to ‘shake and bake’, stretch and bend, etc.

    However, a black body at 288K, emits largely between 5 and 25 microns, the peak being at 10.06um.

    The number of spectral lines of CO2 and CH4 (five atoms there Lief, not four), between 5 and 25um is 94,934(CO2) and 75,023(CH4)

    These figures are checkable through,

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/spectral_browser/db_intensity.php

    I would expect that the ‘suggested’ potency of CH4 arises from experiments measuring optical transmission whereby CH4 attenuates higher frequencies (ie >10um whereas CO2’s spectral dominance is below (15um) the peak that defines the temperature(10um). Any radiation above the Wien peak has to be energetically more significant than radiations below.

    However, entropically heat travels as a statistical certainty, inter atmospherically as a result of a thermal gradient that is set and maintained by gravity. Long wave within the atmosphere and at low (ambient) thermal gradients is overwhelmed. Normal engineering heat exchangers confirm this fact.

    The early atmosphere was more dense and existed at much higher surface pressure resulting in an adiabatic increase in temperature. As suggested by other commenters.

    The ‘greenhouse gas theory’ is a popular misconception.

  113. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:21 am
    clearly MOST limestone indicates the presence of photosynthesis because:
    1) most corals are symbiotic with algae
    2) other carbonate shelled creatures

    Except that there were’nt any of those critters around 3 billion years ago, either.

  114. nuwurld commented on Claim: Faint Young Sun Paradox solved.
    CH4 (five atoms there Lief, not four),
    Five it is, indeed, thanks for correcting my mistake, and it is Leif not Lief :-)
    So CH4 is an even more potent GHG then NON-CO2 GREENHOUSE GASES IN THE ATMOSPHERE, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Vol. 24: 645-661, 1999

  115. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:34 am
    so it is important to get the details right. So, you would agree that there was a much higher concentration of CO2 3 billion years ago [when BTW there were no land plants and no COAL [one reason I left out that straw man].
    ===========================================
    yes. the geologic evidence indicates more CO2, but we don’t really know how much more w/o making assumptions. The evidence ALSO indicates much more O2 in the atmosphere (30+%) during some periods, which indicates much more plant production and photosynthesis than present.

    the point is that there has ALWAYS been much more organic material and therefore CO2 sequestered on earth than is present in the atmosphere once life gained more than a tenuous foothold in ALL habitats. Go to the ocean floor and you will find many meters of organic ‘sludge’ in many places that dwarfs the amount of algae in the water column above. The same is true in most of the land surface as well. with many more megatons of carbon present in standing stock or soil horizons than is present in the atmosphere.

    Frankly, the CO2 issue is absurd since life sucks out all the CO2 in the atmosphere it possibly can above the limitations of life. The biosphere controls the current atmospheric gas composition, and humans hardly budge the needle.

  116. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:58 am
    the point is that there has ALWAYS been much more organic material and therefore CO2 sequestered on earth than is present in the atmosphere once life gained more than a tenuous foothold in ALL habitats.
    Except that life hadn’t 3 billion years ago.

  117. Re: Gary Hladik I skimmed the paper. Under “Methods” I found this:

    Continental configurations, topography, planetary rotation rate, ocean heat transport, cloud droplet sizes, land-based glacial ice, and surface vegetation [!!!!] are assumed to be those of the present day. Thus here we isolate the effects of reduced solar insolation and increased greenhouse forcing.”

    Good catch, Gary. Thanks. They didn’t even mention atmospheric pressure. Musta slipped their minds.

    Gospel In, Garbage Out (GIGO) Really!? You are going to spend 6000 (cpu?)-hours on Janus and not even try to get the basic uncontested parameters of the Achaean right? surface vegetation… assumed to be… present day.
    Get at clue, CU!. Talk to a geologist. There was no surface vegetation in the Archean!.

  118. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:45 am
    Except that there were’nt any of those critters around 3 billion years ago, either.
    ==========================
    likely true, and there probably wasn’t much in the way of limestone, either.
    and we don’t know much about the surface temperatures back then except they were quite likely hotter. so the humans back then would have had to wear thicker soles on their shoes /sarc

    if we go back far enough they would have had to swim around in the aggregating dust and debris particles between all the comets and asteroids about to form the planet too…I would think /sarc

    this too shall pass it said on the bathroom stall….

  119. Leif — petty again — read what I said — not what you thought I said…

    “once life gained more than a tenuous foothold in ALL habitats.”

    in any case, that’s the THEORY anyway, and since none of us was around, as usual it’s all ASS-U-ME

  120. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:06 am
    and we don’t know much about the surface temperatures back then except they were quite likely hotter.
    What we know is that they allowed for liquid water, and THAT is the Faint Sun Paradox.
    There have been some discussion here about the distance to the Sun being smaller.
    Here is a recent assessment of that idea: http://www.leif.org/EOS/1306-3166-Faint-Sun.pdf

  121. Relying on greenhouse gases to explain anything is the road to failure. No gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can detectably warm the climate. They simply cannot warm the surface, defying the laws of thermodynamics.

    However, as our Sun is effectively a pulsar and our ice ages due to interactions of 45 and 160 million years fluctuations in energy input, we have not problem with a warm Sun. The fact that we have methane and/or oil anywhere that we drill deep enough indicates that our planet’s core is neutron rich material from an asymmetric supernova explosion and carbon and hydrogen are products of this material.

    The Sun is not the helium burning star we were taught. It is generating energy the same way Earth is, by neutron repulsion energy, which is actually more energetic than helium fusion, and is not that as hot inside as they claim, which is why when sunspots blow back the surface it is not hotter than the surface inside—it should be if it is burning hydrogen. Other processes are at work that heat its surface, however. Have you ever wondered how a solar wind leaves the Sun’s surface at 6000 deg C and reaches over 1 000 000 deg C a million miles out? It should be slowing down not accelerating. What accelerates charged particles? Electrical potential gradients. A hydrogen-burning Sun cannot create such forces.

    The warm young Sun problem is derived from assuming the Sun to be something that it is not.

  122. Leif, my apologies regarding spelling your name. However, are we still ‘guessing’ at what makes the Earth’s surface warmer? Strange that we place so much credence in energies that cannot physically increase the Wien peak.

    The radiation from 288K cannot be focussed or condensed to produce anything above 288K. The solar flux however can be condensed and focussed to reproduce even at Earth’s surface a massive, entropically significant energy source ov many thousands of degrees. This undermines the physical reasoning of back radiation and the ‘greenhouse gas theory’. 168W of temporally averaged solar flux is available for work. The 330W of ‘back radiation’ calculated nonsense is unavailble for work within this thermal gradient. Surely a man of your understanding can appreciate that 168Wsolar is massively more signicant than 330 calculated Watts of long wave?

  123. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:10 am
    Leif — petty again — read what I said — not what you thought I said…
    “once life gained more than a tenuous foothold in ALL habitats.”

    I ASS-ume that ALL habitats include land, in which case my assessment holds, no no pettiness there, just pointing out that your comment was irrelevant.

  124. nuwurld says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:14 am
    168W solar is massively more significant than 330 calculated Watts of long wave?
    And what has that to do with the faint Sun paradox? That 168W would have been something like 110W back then.

  125. First post for me, but I’ve been a reader for years.

    It seems to me that the Earth must have had a much thicker atmosphere back in the day, which others have pointed out. This makes the surface hotter.

    Solar wind has been slowly eroding away the atmosphere over the eons. As the sun gets brighter and releases more energy, the solar wind gets stronger. This erodes the amosphere faster.

    In this way the atmosphere becomes thinner as the sun gets brighter, which helps maintain a stable surface temperature.

  126. higley7 says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:14 am
    The warm young Sun problem is derived from assuming the Sun to be something that it is not.
    No need to hijack the thread by rebutting all that is wrong with you comment. Let me just remark that your comment is high-quality nonsense.

  127. Leif, I appreciate your avoidance of the question. To answer yours, the article ‘relies’ on the ‘greenhouse effect’ and ‘back radiation’. Hence the mention of CO2 concentration.

    Is 168W of solar energy the same as 330W of calculated, but unavailble back radiation? Can you use both for power?

  128. Really, Leif, I will leave the aspects and details of the faint sun paradox, sunspots, sundogs, sun-yat-sen, etc to your own desires & devices.

    But whenever you wish to discuss the role of life on earth,which likely involves the last 2 billion years or so, I will feel free to contribute and point out your ignorance. Just for your info, plant life in the oceans ALONE managed to oxygenate the atmosphere just fine, thank-you-very-much, so the contribution of plants on land was not required.

    As my post of 11:28 indicates, at some point everything is irrelevant, from some point of reference or view.

  129. @lsvalgaard –
    I still think “settled,” with reference to theory per se , is not appropriate. Tried-and-true practice is different, however, as you point out, but again this is experience rather than pure theory at work.

  130. The full title of the book I referred to above concerning the postulated rarity if intelligent life in the universe is “Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe,” the authors are Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee. Essentially they argue that a sequence of too many highly improbable coincidences have to occur for life to advance to the point it has on Earth, for this to happen more than a few times throughout the universe.

  131. The continental area of Earth was smaller back then [in the Archean] so there was less weathering of the land and a lower release of minerals to the oceans

    I don’t know whether this is any truth in this statement at all. I am skeptical on many respects.

    First, 3 billion years ago, plate tectonics was probably in high gear. Higher volcanism, higher collision rates. Some doubt the crust was thick enough to subduct, but I believe the crust was too thin not to hold together. If there were oceans, and the statement implies much more than today, then there was water-cooled thin crust on a more fluid mantle. Overturning is guaranteed. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop.
    Second, there was little free oxygen in the atmosphere, whatever it’s surface pressure. What oxygen that was being created by oceanic algae was consumed in the reduction of solution iron to create the great “banded” beds of iron-ore.
    Third, what rain there was must have been very acidic. Chemical Erosion could have been high, much higher than mechanical. I’d bet money that erosion was higher than today.
    Fourth, where did the oceanic water come from. If it came from comets, then conceivably, there was much more exposed land than today, not less.
    Fifth, the end of the Archean, deep oceanic basins are known to have existed by the presence of banded iron formations, chert beds, chemical sediments and pillow basalts… [Wiki Archean:Paleoenvironment] If you can believe deep ocean basins existed, then tectonics must have been working and by consequence, there must have been continents, too.

    Incidentally, the banded nature of the iron ore beds is proof of repeated global cataclysmic climate changes over a span of nearly a billion years. After all, the conditions to start and stop each band are evidence of changes in ocean composition of ions, gasses, and life.

  132. BioBob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:30 am
    But whenever you wish to discuss the role of life on earth,which likely involves the last 2 billion years or so, I will feel free to contribute
    But then stick to relevant facts, not COAL, not limestone, not corals, ALL habitats, etc.. Every time your brilliance brings up some claim, I have in my ignorance shown it to be irrelevant. That is all.

    Chad Wozniak says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:33 am
    Tried-and-true practice is different, however, as you point out, but again this is experience rather than pure theory at work.
    It only becomes tried-and-true practice once the theory has settled. e.g. Lasers, MRI, and GPS devices were not the result of experience, but of application of settled theory that works.

  133. Stephen Rasey says (July 10, 2013 at 11:06 am): “They didn’t even mention atmospheric pressure. Musta slipped their minds.”

    Oops. I seem to have misled you by selectively quoting the Methods section. Sorry, because later in Methods the authors write:

    “Estimates of the late Archean surface pressure from fossilized raindrop imprints suggest that it was
    probably not much different from today, though the authors leave open the possibility that pN2 could have been as much as twice [present] as an upper limit (Som et al., 2012).”

    Also from Methods:

    “Archean simulations assume a solar constant of 1093.6W [per square meter], which is 80% of the present-day value.”

    I’m wondering if the higher extreme ultraviolet (XUV) level 3 billion years ago should be taken into consideration.

  134. @Chad Wozniak – 11:40 am
    “Rare Earth” is a prized book on my shelf. It’s thesis is profound. That life may be much more common then we previous thought, but complex life much more rare. In the past 30 years, we have found life in hostile environments: dark deep-sea volcanic vents, in ice, in rock, in hydrothermal pools. But complex life requires time and opportunity for evolution to do its magic. I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in science. It is a wonderful assimilation of astronomy, geology, geophysics, biology, physics, genetics, and chemistry. Fertile ground for thinking outside of the box of the present day.

    See: WUWT Feb 28, 2013 Snowball Earth for more thoughts on Rare Earth conditions.

  135. Leif. Still enjoying the lack of response. Is 110W of solar significant with the majority of that energy being entropically available within a 288K environment, as an example. Could 330W of long wave ever be considered similar?

    Remember this is the ‘greenhouse’ energy budget’

  136. DUH – Leif, you brought up the “irrelevance” by asking how limestone indicated photosynthesis. and the ultimate fate of glucose not me. I was just pointing out your inadequacies in that regard. rofl

    In any case, my friend, we will never KNOW what actually occurred on earth 4 billion years ago until we can time-travel back in some manner. I find these speculations little more than “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  137. So, they’re admitting 20,000 ppm in the atmosphere of an EPA declared pollutant is “hospitable to life”.

    LOL

  138. lsvalgaard says (July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am): “…Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Vol. 24: 645-661, 1999″

    Thanks again, Leif. That answered some of the questions I hadn’t even thought of. :-)

  139. nuwurld says:
    July 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    Leif. Still enjoying the lack of response. Is 110W of solar significant with the majority of that energy being entropically available within a 288K environment, as an example. Could 330W of long wave ever be considered similar?
    Your ‘question’ is ill-posed and does not lend itself to an equally ill-defined answer. What are ‘significant’ and ‘similar’ in this regard?

    biobob says:
    July 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    DUH – Leif, you brought up the “irrelevance” by asking how limestone indicated photosynthesis. and the ultimate fate of glucose not me.
    My question was [obviously] concerned with conditions 3 billion years ago. All of your ‘responses’ were irrelevant for that question.

  140. Inre: photosynthesis and limestone

    The Foraminifera (“hole bearers”, or forams for short) are a phylum or class of amoeboid protists. They are characterized both by their thin pseudopodia that form an external net for catching food, and they usually have an external shell, or test, made of various materials and constructed in diverse forms. Most forams are aquatic, primarily marine, and the majority of species live on or within the seafloor sediment (benthos) with a small number of species known to be floaters in the water column at various depths (plankton). A few are known from freshwater or brackish conditions and some soil species have been identified through molecular analysis of small subunit ribosomal DNA.[1][2]

    Foraminifera typically produce a test, or shell, which can have either one or multiple chambers, some becoming quite elaborate in structure.[3] These shells are commonly made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or agglutinated sediment particles. About 275,000 species are recognized, both living and fossil.[citation needed] They are usually less than 1 mm in size, but some are much larger, the largest species reaching up to 20 cm.[4]

    Tests are known as fossils as far back as the Cambrian period,[18] and many marine sediments are composed primarily of them. For instance, the limestone that makes up the pyramids of Egypt is composed almost entirely of nummulitic benthic Foraminifera.[19] Production estimates indicate that reef Foraminifera annually generate approximately 43 million tons of calcium carbonate and thus play an essential role in the production of reef carbonates.[20]” ref: Wik

  141. If the sun would have had the same output as today what should have been the distance to the sun to have the faint young sun paradox effect ? Why are we so sure the Earth always has had the same place in the solar system ?

  142. @lsvalgaard –
    Not to be picky about semantics, but the possibility remains, however remote it may seem, that any “settled” theory may eventually encounter a problem for which it does not work. The items which you describe that succeeded on the first attempt probably benefited from experience which ultimately did go back to tried-and-true at some point, and to existing knowledge of the properties and behavior of materials and components.
    Terms like “settled” and consensus” warrant very careful epistemological analysis and understanding. The only truly settled theory is probably solely within pure mathematics.

  143. Chad Wozniak says:
    July 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    Not to be picky about semantics, but the possibility remains, however remote it may seem, that any “settled” theory may eventually encounter a problem for which it does not work.
    This will happen to every settled science. Just a question of when. But that does not matter. Our theories should be considered as ‘effective theories’, that is: theories that explain what we know at any given time. We can do no more and can demand no more.

  144. Gunga Din says:
    July 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    A question. Is there anything to indicate (i.e. “evidence”) that the atmosphere really was as they say other than the assumption it was so their model would work?

    Exactamundo.

  145. “Janice Moore July 9 9:49:
    You were right: WD40 is very important. It’s the answer to most things.[Dave F]

    LOL, yes, that and duct tape!

  146. @lsvalgaard –
    Agreed, we try to use the best we have in the circumstances, and that which seems to work well – so I think we are actually in agreement as to substance on this point, and thanks for engaging me in this intellectual exercise – never hurts to have thoughts provoked.

    The big kohuna I’m waiting for is how quantum mechanics will be reconciled with relativity – both borne out (so far) experimentally, yet in conflict as to some key points. That will be interesting to see, and it will be a serious test of the sort I’ve been imagining for “settled” theory..

  147. @lsvalgaard –
    P.S. I like your term “effective theories” – a very good way of qualifying the practical.

  148. lsvalgaard says:
    July 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm
    Jarryd Beck says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm
    based on the assumption of nuclear reactions.
    From basic physics we can calculate how much energy should be released by those reactions and how many neutrinos should be produced. The calculated quantities match the observations very nicely. You see, models are an encapsulation of our knowledge. When the predictions match the theory we believe the theory.

    But the neutrinos didn’t match predictions did they. So someone came up with this untestable idea of them changing “flavours” so that the theory all worked again. As with climate science, the basic idea is never questioned, but every experiment that doesn’t match just results in a tiny tweak to keep things good. In other words, it’s unfalsifiable because every experiment that would falsify it can be tweaked into the theory. Maybe it’s time for the whole thing to be thrown out and it should be started from scratch.

  149. As Gary Hladik and Phlogiston pointed out, the explanation for the “faint young sun” paradox was explained previously without hypothesizing large amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When the earth first formed, there would have been no continents. With an earth covered by oceans, and no clouds, the earth would have had a lower albedo than at present. With warming, more water vapor goes into the atmosphere, but you also get more clouds, increasing earth;s albedo, a strong negative feedback.
    Here’s one link:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442%282001%29014%3C2976%3APBOTES%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    And Clive Best addresses the obvious negative water vapor feedback here:

    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=3659

  150. Robertv says:

    July 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    ///////////////////////////////

    We don’t know the orbital details of the planets in the early solar system.

    Recently, I saw a programme which suggested that Jupiter was much closer to the sun. Of course, like most things, this was just speculation, since we were not around to make the required observations..

    The weak sun paradox may also be relevant to free flowing water on Mars (assuming taht the evidence suggests that there was in the distant past free flowing water on Mars). How strong was the sun when water was free flowing on that planet, and what atmosphere did it then have?

  151. In reply to:

    lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 6:32 am
    William Astley says:
    July 10, 2013 at 2:04 am
    The high speed protons create ions in the earth’s atmosphere which effects the amount and properties of low level clouds in the atmosphere.
    This peer-reviewed paper http://www.leif.org/EOS/swsc120049-GCR-Climate.pdf shos that
    “there is no robust evidence of a widespread link between the cosmic ray flux and clouds”
    William:
    The paper you quote and thoughtful keep at your site is a hand waving attempt to counter direct observational evidence that solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary cloud.
    It should be noted that not understanding in detail how solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary cloud cover does not change the reality that solar magnetic cycle changes do modulate planetary cloud cover. As I noted propaganda does not change reality.
    As I note there is now observational evidence – sudden changes in climate (heavy precipitation events) and cooling at high latitudes – that support the assertion that the sudden change to the solar magnetic cycle is causing the planet to cool. The logic point is if there is suddenly the highest amount of precipitation in 200 years at multiple locations at the same latitudes that are most strong effected by cosmic ray flux changes, cosmic ray flux change is the likely cause of what is observed.
    Hand waving does not remove the cyclic warming and cooling from this graph. Hand waving does not change the fact that planet cold during the Maunder minimum and the fact that the cooling cycles in this graph correlate with super Maunder like minimums.
    Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper.

    Hand waving will not convince people that significant cooling of the planet is not due the change in the solar magnetic cycle, as solar cycle 24 sputters along and moves to a peculiar spotless stage. Obviously sunspots are turning into pores and the solar wind is drop at time when NASA predicted the solar cycle should be at a peak.
    The following is a limited response to illustrate the hand waving.
    The Svensmark’s SKY experience – which was verified by Kirby’s independent CERN experiment – shows based on experiments that cosmic ray flux increases the nucleation rate which forms clouds by a factor of 10. The paper you quote states that theoretical modeling indicates increasing nucleation rate by a factor of 10 will make no difference. Is that a joke? Is there experimental data to verify the theoretical modeling?

    The logic issue of course is it possible theoretical modeling is incorrect based on the fact there are cycle of warming and cooling in the paleo record that correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes?

    Marsh and Svensmark’s 2000 paper found that cosmic ray flux and low level cloud cover is high correlated for an 11 period. The paper you quote states that other parameters could have caused CR flux to be highly correlated to low level clouds. The paper you quote fails to point out the very important fact that regions that warmed in the last 70 years experience a significant reduction in cloud cover. The warmists claim any change for their theory. They stated that warming would result in a reduction in cloud cover. They fail however to explain why the reduction in cloud cover is only in the regions of the planet where cloud cover is highly sensitive to cosmic ray flux changes.

    As I noted that there is a step change reduction in cloud cover starting 1995 which is due to solar wind burst modulation of planetary cloud cover and a further reduction in planetary cloud cover after that period which is due to the sudden change in the solar magnetic cycle.
    The paper you quote does not mention the fact there are cycles of warming and cooling periods in the paleo climatic record that are correlated with solar magnetic changes.

    The SKYexperiment provided proof of concept in that they found the formation rate of aerosol increased in the presence of ions generated using a 580 MeV electron beam (Enghoff et al. 2011). The CLOUD experiment investigated the nucleation process in more depth, demonstrating that the presence of a ternary vapour such as ammonia can enhance the nucleation rate more than ions. 100 ppt of ammonia led to a 100–1000-fold increase in the nucleation rate, while ground-level cosmic ray intensities were found to increase the nucleation rate by up to a factor of 10 (Kirkby et al. 2011).

    The findings of a low level restriction to the CR-cloud correlation by Palle´ & Butler (2000) were later confirmed by Marsh & Svensmark (2000), hereafter referred to as MS00. A monthly time-series of globally averaged ISCCP low (>680 mb/<3.2 km) cloud and CR flux anomalies over the period of June 1983 to December 1994 similar to that presented in MS00 is shown in Figure 1a. MS00 also performed an analysis of local scale (individual ISCCP data pixel) correlations: a reproduction of these results is shown in Figure 1b. MS00 claimed that 15.8% of the globe showed a statistically significant positive correlation between low cloud changes and the CR flux, with a probability (p) value of achieving these results by chance of p < .001%.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0312/0312244.pdf

    INFLUENCE OF SOLAR ACTIVITY ON STATE OF WHEAT MARKET IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
    We show that for all 10 time moments of the solar activity minimums the observed prices were higher than prices for the correspondent time moments of maximal solar activity (100% sign correlation, on a significance level < 0.2%). We consider these results as a direct evidence of the causal connection between wheat prices bursts and solar activity.

    William:
    Lastly as I note there is no explanation as to 1) Why there has been no warming in the last 16 years, 2) Why there is latitudinal pattern of warming observed in the last 70 years does not agree with the CO2 forcing mechanism, and 3) Why there has been no observed warming in the tropical troposphere at roughly 8km as predicted by the AGW theory. Each of the three anomalies noted support the assertion the majority of the warming in the last 70 years was due to some other mechanism rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2.

  152. Stephen Rasey says: July 10, 2013 at 11:06 am
    /////////////////////////////

    Extraordinary!

    What was the point of the model run, if so little attempt was made to get the relevant starting/iniating conditions right?

    Of course, given the lack of data, assumptions with respect to various parameters would have to be made, but to assume that so many were as ‘present day’ conditions is just plain stupid. Given that crazy assumption, the results of the model run are meaningless, and do not go towards explaining the faint sun paradox.

  153. higley7 says:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:14 am
    //////////////////////////////
    Controversial, but you are right to point out that there may be other explanations. We do not know for sure how the solar system was created. There are many contenders, each of which have problems. See for example: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-was-the-solar-system-formed.html

    I have often wondered why, if the solar system is the result of some gravitational collapse of a gas cloud, there are so many heavy atoms in the planets (that is the rocky planets as opposed to the gas giants). If there is a gravitational collapse of a gas cloud, one would instinctively presume that the heavier atoms would be forced/attracted to the centre, ie., to the birth place of the sun such that it would contain the vast majority of the heavy atoms which made up the original gas cloud, with relatively few being left over to subsequently coalese in the formation process of the planets.

    That is the beauty of science, to not know but to strive for better knowledge and understanding.

  154. Outrageous Ampersand said, on July 10, 2013 at 11:19 am, “First post for me, … .” GOOD FOR YOU! Keep on posting! #[:)]. BTW, as you may already realize, most of the excellent posts on WUWT are never acknowledged by other commenters. Just assume you were read and rejoice in and treasure the times someone says, “Well said, old chap!” (or something like that).

    *******************************************************

    “What is the glucose eventually converted into?” [Svalgaard at 7:08AM 7/10/13]

    “My question was [obviously] concerned with conditions 3 billion years ago.” [Id. at 1:02PM 7/10/13]

    lol

    **********************************************

    Dear Dr. Svalgaard,

    THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE FINE DISCUSSION ABOVE POSSIBLE. Your willingness to engage in a give-and-take here is commendable. As several comments above show, nevertheless, your coldly terse, dismissive, communication style, is quite frustrating for many of us. Perhaps, you do not do this intentionally, (perhaps, you DO do it intentionally for the disingenuous sport of it) but, your sometimes non-responsive, often needlessly blunt, answers create unnecessary hostility which impedes learning. You’re better than that, Leif Svalgaard.

    We want to LIKE you as a person, not just admire your intellectual ability. You make that so hard!

    Remember, those fine minds (this does not, of course include the troll and the goofball from the “earth is a black body” cult) above are your FRIENDS.

    With hopes (not so high, anymore, [sigh]) that you will soften your tone and honor your colleagues (and yourself) by addressing with precision the questions they ask you,

    Janice

    P.S. No, I do not consider myself to be one of “those fine minds,” much less, a “colleague.”

  155. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 7:49 am
    limestone which is how we know they were there in the first place.
    Limestone is evidence of photosynthesis??
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Limestone is evidence of life. (Some of which ate the glucose produced by photosynthesis)

    What is Limestone?

    Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral calcite. It most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters. It is usually an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation of shell, coral, algal and fecal debris. It can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake or ocean water….
    Geology.com

  156. lsvalgaard says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Barry Cullen says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:56 am
    “What is the glucose eventually converted into?”
    Plants! or some other photosynthesizing organism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition :
    “The chemical aspects of plant decomposition always involve the release of carbon dioxide.”
    So eventually glucose becomes the CO2 that went into forming the glucose
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You forgot via the coal and oil we are now burning….

  157. lsvalgaard, I think we are talking at cross purposes.
    1. Ancient Earth had no life and no free oxygen in the atmosphere.
    2. Life began as 1 celled bacteria without a nucleus in the oceans. (procaryotes)
    3. procaryotes develop photosynthesis.
    4. “…early primitive life (procaryote cells) modified our planet by converting CO2 and H2O to organic matter and releasing oxygen to the environment. As a consequence these organisms moved carbon from the atmosphere to the rocks (Figure 11) and broke down water molecules releasing oxygen to the ocean and eventually to the atmosphere….” – James D. Hays | Professor Emeritus | Columbia University (2004) link

    If you disagree perhaps you should take it up with Dr. Hays, however we do know that thanks to life evolving on earth the amount of free oxygen increased and the amount of carbon dioxide decreased over time or are you suggesting the atmosphere has always been ~ 400ppm CO2, 20% O2, 78% N2, >1% Ar and other gases.

    (For other WUWT readers Dr. Hays is the co-author with Imbrie, and Shackleton of the 1976 paper “Variations in the Earth’s orbit: Pacemaker of the ice ages.” Deep-sea cores, focusing primarily on a group of siliceous microfossils known as Radiolaria, and the history of climate change over the past three million years is his specialty.)

  158. Jarryd Beck says:
    July 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm
    But the neutrinos didn’t match predictions did they. So someone came up with this untestable idea of them changing “flavours” so that the theory all worked again.
    The change of flavors is tested and directly measured by looking at neutrinos from known sources [under the control of the experimenters] on the Earth so the observed flux is actually in good accordance with the theory: e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K2K_experiment

    Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    You forgot via the coal and oil we are now burning….
    None of that was formed 3 billion years ago, which is the time frame of interest.
    as you point out “limestone can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake or ocean water….” so is not produced by corals or shelled animals 3 billion years ago, as there weren’t any.

    William Astley says:
    July 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    “there is no robust evidence of a widespread link between the cosmic ray flux and clouds”
    The paper you quote and thoughtful keep at your site is a hand waving attempt to counter direct observational evidence that solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary cloud.

    The paper examines the so-called evidence and finds it wanting.

    Janice Moore says:
    July 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    As several comments above show, nevertheless, your coldly terse, dismissive, communication style, is quite frustrating for many of us
    I answer questions to the best of my ability, but do not refrain from dismissing some of the sheer nonsense that is sometimes peddled here, and can understand the frustration that causes for the ‘know-it-alls’, but so be it. I know of no other ways to deal with them. Perhaps you could suggest some.

  159. William Astley says:
    July 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    The paper you quote is a hand waving attempt to counter direct observational evidence that solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary cloud.
    From the paper: “At present, two long-term independent global satellite cloud datasets are available (ISCCP and MODIS). Although the differences between them are considerable, neither shows evidence of a solar-cloud link at either long or short timescales. Furthermore, reports of observed correlations between solar activity and cloud over the 1983–1995 period are attributed to the chance agreement between solar changes and artificially induced cloud trends.”
    So there is no credible observational evidence that solar activity [or the lack thereof] modulates cloud cover. Accept it and move on.

  160. Konrad wins the internet for today….

    Konrad says:

    July 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm
    Is this computer model study a genuine attempt to explain the faint sun paradox or just another sorry attempt to promote the idea that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability? Sadly I suspect the latter.

    If solar radiation reaching the earth was indeed 30% lower 3 billion years ago, the faint sun paradox is more reasonably explained by the following factors –
    1. Higher atmospheric pressures.
    2. Reduced albedo.
    3. Higher volcanic activity.
    4. Different planetary rotation speed.

    The empirical experiment for factor 1 is simple to conduct. (note – climate scientists may need Mum or Dad to help with the scissors) The question is what effect would higher gas pressures have on atmospheric temperatures for an atmosphere in conductive contact with a planets surface heated by solar radiation?

    – Build two identical insulated tall pressure chambers
    – in the base of each chamber place water coils of thin aluminium tube with input and output through the walls of the chamber.
    – place temperature sensors (optical preferred) at several heights within each chamber.
    – fill both chambers with dry nitrogen. ( chamber A to 1 bar, chamber B to 2 bar)
    – run cooling water through the water coils of both chambers until gas temperatures are equalised.
    – now run 90C water at equal flow rates through the water coils in both chambers.
    – observe that the gas temperature in chamber B rises fastest.
    – now alternate heating and cooling water flows to simulate diurnal cycle.
    – using the temperature sensor highest in each chamber observe that chamber B maintains the highest gas temperature.

    The authors of this radiative greenhouse effect “study” should immediately relocate it, not to where the sun shines 30% less but to where it does not shine at all.

  161. Pat Sez:
    “Why, then, is it a surprise that they find several thousand ppm of CO2 will, with a dollop of methane, warm the archaic climate? That conclusion is built into the model as an a priori condition. All they needed to do was find the levels of GHGs they needed to get the answer they want.”

    This is the problem with models that include feedbacks: you HAVE to model, a priori, where the turning point is. Such as: with increased solar radiation, you get increased planetary heat but for the responding cloud cover which ameliorates the relation – a negative feedback. If you can fairly accurately posit ONE feedback, you might be OK in the short term.

    Otherwise, you basically are in the boat of the problems with a linear model: first, we know that linear relations of any kind (linear, log, etc.) simply work to explain and predict over a limited range, PLUS, we know if one coefficient is a bit off, which it is certain to be, given measurement theory (X measured = X actual + error, and there is always error since all msmt is inherently a model), your model will have limits beyond which it does not apply/work (outside of tautologies, such as converting degrees F to degrees C), so if one feedback is WRONG by 0.1%, your model is, eventually, running WAY off.

    Add a second feedback: your accuracy problem has just MULTIPLIED.

    The only way a feedback model can be used to explain something as genuinely complicated as the atmosphere is to have some governing “feedback,” or check, ruling over all processes, that by intent or discipline keeps a system running within some bounds, or beyond bounds when approved.

    Is the atmosphere like this naturally? Maybe.

    Can it be modeled? Yes. But you have to have some aspect of the model that governs some aspect or aspects of the model to never let some parameter exceed some level.

    You could model the forces that can govern the acceleration of an automobile. But at some limit, heat or wind resistance or gravity will limit acceleration beyond some point. You can’t ‘model’ bigger cylinders, better alloys, lower friction bearings, and lower drag indefinitely.

    Nature is the limiter.

    We know sports cars pretty well, and this is obvious. However, we don’t know atmospheric modeling well, and so anything is possible. But we have to use common sense: models have limits, and a model of a system as long-standing as our atmosphere will necessarily include some highest-level governor that keeps everything within some range, without running away thus far, anywhere.

    If you take the present as an end-point with a wrong model, the mistakes have to be dedicated to the past to have the past back-cast (vs. forecast) be the prelude to the present.

    This is why I expect to see radical, surprising, and improbable back-casts of the early atmosphere.

    Correspondingly, I don’t have much trust in forecasts of the atmosphere – if they go off-track a little in the short-run, they are sure to be wildly off-track in the long-run. **Unless they include some distinct overall governor bounding all the other parameters.**

    As for me and my house, we know this governor.

  162. “‘As for me and my house’, we know this governor.” [The Last Democrat -- are you STILL one? Why??]

    I do, too. And…. at some level of consciousness, so does nearly everyone…. (well, they know OF that governor, at least)… “For since the [beginning] of the world ["this governor"]‘s invisible qualities — … eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … .” [Romans 1:20]

  163. Dear Dr. Stalgaard,

    With every step of our lives,
    we enter into the middle of some story
    which we are certain to misunderstand.

    [G. K. Chesterton]

    Over your long and distinguished career, I have the feeling that you have been sorely tried by some real “know it alls.” Your patience with such people is, thus, understandably, shot. I may be wrong, but, it may make you (and understandably!) a little extra sensitive to those you perceive to be know-it-alls, here. I guess my only suggestion would be to try to carefully consider whether or not a given commenter is, indeed, a presumptuous “know it all,” or merely someone sincerely but awkwardly trying to get at the truth.

    If you are doing your best, that is all one can ask.

    And, of course, with the REAL know-it-alls (and we get some real winners, here on WUWT, don’t we? LAUGH-OUT-LOUD), give it to ‘em with both barrels!

    And, for my part, I will try to not be extra-sensitive to what I perceive to be rude treatment (something I am, I will admit, over-sensitive to, thanks to some lovely people in my life “story”) by you of others. After all, it is, really, none of my business is it? Thank you for not telling me to mind mine.

    Your impertinent friend in the “cheap seats” (R. Sowell),

    Janice

  164. Lessee; O2 is about 20% of today’s atmosphere. All O2 is still around because it was actively dissociated from CO2 by plants, and any removed by combustion or other reaction has been replaced.. Therefore at least 30% (accounting for the extra atom of Carbon) of the atmosphere by weight must have been CO2. That’s 200,000 ppm.

  165. Sorry, meant to say “nearly 30%” and “that’s almost 300,000 ppm”.

    (Those are a little high, because C is about 3/8 of the weight of CO2, not 50%, but you get the idea.)

  166. Gail Combs says:
    July 10, 2013 at 6:56 am
    Phil. says: @ July 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    …..Photosynthesis converts H2O into O2 not CO2!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Is that what they are teaching in school these days?

    I certainly hope so Gail!
    Photosystem II is the first step in photosynthesis and involves the ‘water splitting’ reaction which produces H+ ions and O2 as a waste product. This ability to use water as a source of electrons is believed to have evolved about 3 billion years ago.

    In modern cyanobacteria CO2 is used to synthesize simple sugars using the energetic molecules produced by the upstream reactions of Photosystems I & II.

    I would not be surprised – No teacher, but every textbook, left behind

    The equation for photosynthesis is
    6CO2 + 12H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

    So all of the CO2 and half the H2O is converted into glucose and O2.

    No the CO2 is involved in the synthesis of sugars and has nothing to do with O2.

  167. Janice Moore says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm
    carefully consider whether or not a given commenter is, indeed, a presumptuous “know it all,”
    That is easy, as we have only about half a dozen of them recurring in just about every thread, as you must have noticed.

  168. There are two genuine ways to accurately test this, and climate models in general.

    1. Build time-travel device. Go back in time, observe.

    2. Construct two identical planets. Place them in counter-orbit, seed with intelligent beings. Allow one to progress naturally, maintain pre-industrial technology on the other. Observe and document conditions.

    Anything other than one of these two is conjecture and to be taken with a grain of salt.

  169. Brian H,
    your conservation of O2 mass is missing teratons of
    CaCO3 – Limestone
    CaMg(CO3)2 – Dolomite
    Al2Si2O5(OH)4 – Kaolinite
    The components of Bauxite: gibbsite Al(OH)3, boehmite γ-AlO(OH), and diaspore α-AlO(OH),
    TiO2 – Anatase
    The dozens of Phosphate minerals, such as
    Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH) – Apatite Group
    Fe2O3 – Hematite
    Fe3O4 – Magnetite
    (By no means is this an exhaustive list of oxygen containing minerals that form as part of a weathering or living process.)
    Oxygen is a highly reactive element. Without plant life constantly replenishing it, almost all of it would be combined with other elements.

    It is probably easier to track the carbon.
    Then all you have to account for is the biomass of the biosphere, the burried total organic carbon in coals, petroleum, natural gas, and organic matter trapped in all shales. Then add in the limestones, dolomites, marbles.

  170. The Archean spans 1.5 or 2.8 billion years (depending on your source), starting at the vague point where the hot Earth cooled enough to allow water to condense into oceans, continents emerged (or were completely submerged), plate tectonics began, and the first chemosynthetic lifeforms appeared (most plausibly at a hydrothermal vent).
    Chemosynthetic archeae feed on either i) hydrogen sulfides + CO2, or ii) hydrocarbons (no CO2). Hydrocarbons are not evidence of archaic “bodies” – hydrocarbons are geochemical:

    Photosynthetic life evolved from chemosynthetic life near the end of the Archean era, at around 3.5 billion years ago. When signs of photosynthetic activity became abundant in the proxy records, we drew a line in the sand and called it a new era.
    So for BioBill and Gail Combs, you cannot point to hydrocarbon or limestone and call it evidence for photosynthesis (chemosynthesis produces limestone too). And for Brian H, you are very unlikely to find 30 percent oxygen during any of the subdivisions of the Archean era, because, as Leif has pointed out repeatedly, the oxygen producers weren’t around at the time in question (at least not in abundance.)

  171. richard verney says:
    July 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    “I have often wondered why, if the solar system is the result of some gravitational collapse of a gas cloud, there are so many heavy atoms in the planets (that is the rocky planets as opposed to the gas giants). ”

    The same proportion of heavy and light atoms were in the inner planet gas clouds as in the outer planetary clouds. The difference was, it was warmer in the inner solar system, most of the gases, especially hydrogen, moved rapidly and escaped the planet in early times. In contrast, it was cooler in the outer system, gases moved more slowly, were held more easily by the planetoid, and the outer planetoids grew more quickly. In addition, the outer planets had the
    escaped gases from the inner system to draw on.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-planets-lose-their-atmospheres

    That process is still going on, and over billions of years our planet would gradually become a barren rock if more drastic effects, like the sun vaporizing the earth did not happen sooner.

  172. Levenspiel, Fitzgerald, and Petit also had a paper on the evolution of planetary atmospheres from a different perspective. Of course, this is the chemical engineering perspective and seems to step on the toes of the geologists and biologists. So it took nearly a decade to get the manuscript published by the ACS:

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

    The genesis of the paper was Levenspiel trying to explain to his grandkids how dinosaurs were able to fly. He has the first part of the paper on his own web site:

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

  173. Hi Leif,

    As always, I find your cogent and annotated scientific replies very informative. As to your “tone” I find that you display deferential patience, and provide information, to the merely ignorant while taking gentle jabs at those that arrogantly flaunt their misinformed opinions. If these characters persist in their misinformation you ramp up the disdain accordingly (and appropriately in my opinion).

    Keep up the good work.

    Lance

  174. Is it not possible that the sun during its journey through the galaxy encounters other celestial bodies, eg a brown dwarf star, that could affect and even alter the position and mass of planets ?

  175. Robertv says:
    July 11, 2013 at 10:31 am
    Is it not possible that the sun during its journey through the galaxy encounters other celestial bodies, eg a brown dwarf star, that could affect and even alter the position and mass of planets ?
    Possible, but extremely unlikely and has not happened the last million years as it would have changed the timing of glaciations

  176. stuart L says:
    The earth is moving away from the sun at 15cm per year is that a factor?

    If we assuming this was liner for billions of years.
    we would be 4.5 x 10^10 km closer to the sun. the sun today is 1.496×10^8 km from the earth.

    In other words it isn’t a liner number.

    Either way you make a good point. We were much closer then we are today.

  177. @Gary Hladik July 10, 12:14 pm

    Archean surface pressure from fossilized raindrop imprints suggest that it was probably not much different from today, though the authors leave open the possibility that pN2 could have been as much as twice [present] as an upper limit (Som et al., 2012).”

    http://faculty.washington.edu/dcatling/Som2012_Raindrop_Imprints_incl_Suppl.pdf (Som-2012 3.5MB)

    Gary, thanks for that reference. That piece of research has preoccupied me for the past 24 hours. I’d like to find holes in it because my bias/belief/working-hypothesis is that we had thicker atmospheres in the geologic past than today. 25 inch dragonfly wingspans beg for higher atmospheric pressure as well as higher O2 partial pressures than today.

    But it seems like a good piece of work on first read. It details three closely spaced fossilized raindrop sites in an ash in southern Africa from 2800 Mya. The best avenue worth exploring is the hailstone alternative they weakly, IMHO, dismiss:

    [Sec S3] Hailstone imprints tend to be deeper, often display internal melt rings40 and bounce and roll marks would be expected.

    Well, hailstone divots would be deeper unless the atmosphere was thicker than anticipated. The reasoning seems a bit circular.

    I’m also at a loss why they focus on rain-fall rates of 100 mm/hr — That’s a lot and if it lasted for any length of time would have destroyed the rain drops. I’ve been in aborted showers where there are big drops going ‘plop’ at my feet, but so few that sidewalk is never covered. This sparce type of shower would seem to be a requirement to preserve raindrop imprints.

    Fig. S4 I think sets up a strawman where by raindrop size distributions and rainfall rates, from modern day atmospheric conditions is being used to limit the uncertainty in the Archean. What would these distributions be under a 10 bar atmosphere? How about CO2 saturated raindrops falling in a 10-bar CO2-CO-CH4 atmosphere? Again, it seems a bit circular to work with distributions that use the atmospheric pressure of present day to investigate the atmospheric pressure of yesteryear.

    Hypothesis: Atmospheric pressures were zero at 4500 Mya after the Moon-forming impact occurred, gradually built up to 1-2 bar in the Archean 4000-2500 Mya, then builds up and range 4-20 bar in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic (600-65 Mya) to support large flying fauna, and drops off to 1 bar today.

    @Greg Smith July 11, at 9:21 am
    I liked the Levenspiel, Fitzgerald, and Petit ACS paper you linked. This spoke to my world-view. To me it seems highly improbable that atmospheric pressure has remained more or less constant at 1 bar for three billion years. But I doubt the 45-90 bar “Venusian” thickness as a possibility, too. The formation of our Moon and its existance, precludes that thick an atmosphere.

  178. lsvalgaard

    Interesting thank you

    Lorenzo Iorio states the earth drift from the sun is measured at 1.5 cm yr but doesn’t seem to follow up on it’s implications. But he has a lot of good points… which leads to more questions.

  179. Ox AO says:
    July 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm
    Lorenzo Iorio states the earth drift from the sun is measured at 1.5 cm yr
    Actually, he does not. He says that the current limit of detectability is 1.5 cm/yr [so the actual change, if any, is smaller than that], not that that is the change, Furthermore a change of 510 cm/yr [dr/rr = 3.4 10(-11)] is required to use the change of distance as the explanation.

  180. @Ox AO
    even 15 cm/yr over a billion years will not amount to much.

    radius Earth Orbit change (very high estimate) = 15 cm/yr
    cm/km = 100000. cm/km
    radius Earth Orbit change = 1.50E-04 km/yr
    times 1 Billion years = 1.00E+09 yr
    radius Earth Orbit change/ billion Years = 150000. km
    Earth mean orbit = 1.50E+08 km
    relative change in orbit/ billion years = 0.001
    which is about 1/16 of the current eccentricity.

  181. @lsvalgaard 2:29 pm
    510 cm/yr is required.
    Required for what?

    510 cm/yr = 5.1 million km/billion yr
    or 15 million km in the Archean (2.8 Gya)
    = 90% of current radius
    (1/.9)^2 = 1.23.
    So 23% more solar radiation to negate an sun at 80% of current output.

  182. Stephen Rasey says:
    July 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    So 23% more solar radiation to negate an sun at 80% of current output.
    Yes, that is the general idea.

  183. And what if stars are not simplistic balls of gravitationally compressed hot gas with a self-sustaining nuclear reaction? Are they not composed of plasma? Plasma is ionized, meaning that one or more electrons have been stripped from the atoms in its substance, so it is electrically charged. Plasma does not behave like a pressurized gas, it behaves according to the tenets of plasma physics.

  184. Robertv says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am
    Plasma is ionized, meaning that one or more electrons have been stripped from the atoms in its substance, so it is electrically charged.
    Actually not as the electrons are still there in the plasma, so the plasma is electrically neutral.

  185. The radiative and particulate loss of mass by the Sun, -9.13*10^-14 Solar masses per year or more…. [Noerdlinger-2008]

    So even in a billion years, the sun looses 1 part in 10,000. I would have guess the solar wind would have amounted to much more than that.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/574/1/412/fulltext/55336.text.html

    The low density of the wind, corresponding to a mass-loss rate of only
    Mdot = 2 × 10-14 Msol /yr (e.g., Feldman et al. 1977),

    “mass loss per unit surface area is correlated with X-ray surface flux (FX). Fitting a power law to this relation yields Mdot proportional to FX^(1.15±0.20). ….. Since activity is known to decrease with age, the above power-law relation for solar-like stars suggests that mass loss decreases with time. We infer a power-law relation of Mdot proportional to t^(-2.00±0.52) This suggests that the solar wind may have been as much as 1000 times more massive in the distant past, ….[ t is stellar age in Gyr ]

    Equation (4) suggests that the solar mass-loss rate was 30 – 330 times larger when the Sun was 1/10 its present age, while equation (6) suggests that the solar wind was 20 – 90 times larger at that time.

    It still doesn’t amount to much. “Twice nothing is still nothing.”

  186. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:45 am

    “the plasma is electrically neutral.”

    So like a fluorescent lamp the moment you put energy in the system it starts to glow. But where does the energy come from?

  187. Robertv says:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:33 am
    “the plasma is electrically neutral.”
    But where does the energy come from?

    The energy derives from the nuclear fusion in the Sun’s core. The fusion process started when the Sun got hot enough due to gravitational contraction as the Sun was born.

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