Radiative Forcing, Radiative Feedbacks and Radiative Imbalance – The 2013 WG1 IPCC Report Failed to Properly Report on this Issue

sun-earth-imbalanceGuest essay by Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Main Points

1. The difference in ocean heat content at two different time periods provides the global average radiative imbalance over that time [within the uncertainty of the ocean heat measurements]

2. This global average radiative imbalance is equal to the sum of the global average radiative forcings and the global average radiative feedbacks.

3. The global average radiative forcing change since 1750 is presented in the 2013 IPCC WG1 Figure SPM.5 as 2.29 [1.13 -3.33] Watts per meter squared.

4. The global average radiative imbalance is given in the 2013 IPCC report as 0.59 Watts per meter squared for 1971-2010 while for 1993-2010 it is 0.71 Watts per meter squared.

5. Thus, assuming that a large fraction of the global average radiative forcing change since 1750 is still occurring, the global average radiative feedbacks are significantly less than the global average forcings; i.e. a negative feedback.

6. Such a negative feedback is expected (since the surface temperature, and thus the loss of long wave radiation to space would increase).

7. However, the water vapor and cloud radiative feedback must also be part of the feedback. This water vapor feedback is a key claim in terms of amplifying warming due to the addition of CO2 and other human inputs of greenhouse gases. The IPCC claims that the net cloud radiative feedback is also positive.

8. The IPCC failed to report on the global average radiative feedbacks of water vapor and clouds in terms in Watts per meter squared, and how they fit into the magnitude of the diagnosed global average radiative imbalance.

9. The reason is likely that they would to avoid discussing that in recent years; at least, there has been no significant addition of water vapor into the atmosphere. Indeed, this water vapor feedback, along with any other feedbacks must be ALL accommodated within the magnitude of the global average radiative imbalance that is diagnosed from the ocean heating data!

It certainly appears that, even using the 2013 IPCC WG1 assessment estimates, that the vapor amplification of global warming is not, as least yet, occurring.

I explain and elaborate on these issues below.

Introduction

As I wrote above, the 2013 WG1 IPCC assessment of the magnitude of the radiative forcings on the climate system persists in missing discussing a key fundamental issue, namely the estimated magnitudes of

· the global annual average radiative imbalance,

· the global annual average radiative forcing

· the global annual average radiative feedbacks

and how these quantities are related to each other.

Section 1 The Fundamental Budget Equation

The relationship between the annual global average radiative forcings, radiative feedbacks and radiative imbalance can be expressed by this budget equation

Radiative Imbalance = Radiative Forcing + Radiative Feedbacks

where the units are in Joules per time period [and can be expressed as Watts per area].

The fundamental difference with this approach and that presented in papers such as Stephens et al (2012) – see http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/05-figure-1-from-stephens-et-al-2013.png

is that instead of computing the radiative imbalance as a residual as a result of large positive and negative values in the radiative flux budget with its large uncertainty as shown by Stephens et al, this metric is a robust constraint on the analysis of the radiative fluxes.

As Bob Tisdale reports, the Stephens et al value of the global average radiative imbalance [which Stephens et al calls the “surface imbalance”] is 0.70 Watts per meter squared, but with the large uncertainty of 17 Watts per meter squared!

The Stephens et al paper is

Stephens et al, 2012: An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations. Nature Geoscience 5, 691–696 (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo158 http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/abs/ngeo1580.html [as an aside, that paper, unfortunately, makes the typical IPCC type mistake in stating that the

“Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance.”

Changes in the climate system on any time scale is much more than just any changes in the global energy budget as we discuss, for example, in

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/r-354.pdf

Section 2 The Radiative Imbalance

With respect to the Radiative Imbalance, as I proposed in my paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331- 335.

http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-247.pdf

the radiative imbalance can be estimated based on the changes in the ocean heat content. As written in

Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL051106

“The world ocean accounts for approximately 90% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955”

Jim Hansen had provided his value of the heating rate in a communication to me in 2005 http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf%5D

as

The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.”

More recent information, with respect to the Radiative Imbalance is reported in

Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL051106

“The heat content of the world ocean for the 0-2000 m layer increased by 24.0×1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.39 Wm-2 (per unit area of the world ocean)…. This warming rate corresponds to a rate of 0.27 Wm-2 per unit area of earth’s surface.”

The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 [http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter03.pdf]

writes

“It is virtually certain that Earth has gained substantial energy from 1971–2010 — the estimated increase in energy inventory between 1971 and 2010 is 274 [196 to 351] ZJ (1 ZJ = 1021 J), with a rate of 213 TW from a linear fit to the annual values over that time period (Box 3.1, Figure 1). Ocean warming dominates the total energy change inventory, accounting for roughly 93% on average from 1971–2010. Melting ice (including Arctic sea ice, ice sheets, and glaciers) accounts for 3% of the total, and warming of the continents 3%. Warming of the atmosphere makes up the remaining 1%. The 1971–2010 estimated rate of oceanic energy gain is 199 TW from a linear fit to data over that time period, implying a mean heat flux of 0.55 W m–2 across the global ocean surface area. Earth’s net estimated energy increase from 1993–2010 is 163 [127 to 201] ZJ with a trend estimate of 275 TW. The ocean portion of the trend for 1993–2010 is 257 TW, equivalent to a mean heat flux into the ocean of 0.71 W m–2.”

Using the 93% dominance of the ocean in this heating, then from the 2013 IPCC report

· 1971-2010 the total earth surface heating rate is 0.59 Watts per meter squared

· 1993-2010 it is 0.71 Watts per meter squared.

Of course, there is the question as to whether the Levitus et al 2012 calculation below 700 meters before 2005 is even robust. The 2013 IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 report writes [highlight added] – http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter03.pdf

“Below 700 m data coverage is too sparse to produce annual global ocean heat content estimates prior to about 2005, but from 2005–2010 and 0–1500 m the global ocean is warming (von Schuckmann and Le Traon, 2011). Five-year running mean estimates yield a 700–2000 m global ocean heat content trend from 1957 to 2009 (Figure 3.2b) that is about 30% of that for 0–2000 m over the length of the record (Levitus et al., 2012). Ocean heat uptake from 700–2000 m continues unabated since 2003 (Figure 3.2b); as a result, ocean heat content from 0–2000 m shows less slowing after 2003 than does 0–700 m heat content (Levitus et al., 2012). “

Remarkably, the IPCC report persists in making claims regarding deeper ocean heating before 2005. But that is a subject for another time.

Section 3 The Radiative Forcing

Using even the largest value [the 0.85 W/me value for the Radiative Imbalance from Jim Hansen], however, it is still significantly less than the total anthropogenic change in radiative forcing since 1750 reported by the IPCC.

In Figure SPM.5 in the 2013 IPCC WG, they report that the total anthropogenic change in radiative forcing since 1750 is

2.29 [1.13 -3.33] Watts per meter squared.

They write that

“The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750.”

and

“The total anthropogenic RF for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.29 [1.13 to 3.33] W m−2 (see Figure SPM.5), and it has increased more rapidly since 1970 than during prior decades.”

Unfortunately, the IPCC did not provide an estimate of the CURRENT “total anthropogenic RF”.

Some of this forcing would have been accommodated with warming of the climate system since 1750. When I served on the NRC (2005) assessment [http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/], one of my colleagues on the Committee (V. Ramanthan), when I asked him this question, he said that perhaps 20% of the CO2 radiative forcing was already equilibrated to. In any case, the CURRENT forcing must be somewhat less, but not probably by more than 20% or so.

Regardless, unless the IPCC estimates of the Radiative Forcing are too positive, this means that the

Radiative Imbalance < Radiative Forcing.

4. Radiative Feedbacks

However, while the warming of the climate system is a negative radiative feedback, and thus we should expect this part to be a negative feedback [since a surface temperature results in an increase of the outgoing long wave radiation to space], added water vapor, if it is there, would be a positive radiative feedback.

In my book

Cotton, W.R. and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2007: Human impacts on weather and climate, Cambridge University Press, 330 pp

in Section 8.2.8 we reported on an analysis of the water vapor feedback by Norm Woods using column assessments for three selected vertical soundings. Norm showed that the positive significant radiative forcing from even modest (e.g. 5% increase is atmospheric water vapor) is significant. [See also http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/05/05/co2h2o/].

Norm Woods’s further analysis can be read on this posts

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/further-analysis-of-radiatve-forcing-by-norm-woods/

Among the conclusions for the representative soundings Norm used are

with the tropical sounding ….adding 5% more water vapor, results in a 3.88 Watts per meter squared increase in the downwelling longwave flux. In contrast, due to the much lower atmospheric concentrations of water vapor in the subarctic winter sounding, the change from a zero concentration to its current value results in an increase of 116.46 Watts per meter squared, while adding 5% to the current value results in a 0.70 Watts per meter squared increase.”

and

“The effect of even small increases in water vapor content of the atmosphere in the tropics has a much larger effect on the downwelling fluxes, than does a significant increase of the CO2 concentrations.”

However, there appears to be no long trend in atmospheric water vapor! This can be seen in the latest analysis we have;

Vonder Haar, T. H., J. L. Bytheway, and J. M. Forsythe (2012), Weather and climate analyses using improved global water vapor observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L15802, doi:10.1029/2012GL052094. [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052094/abstract]

Although they write in the paper

“at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.”

just the difficulty in showing a positive trend suggests a very muted water vapor feedback at most.

The figure from their paper with respect to this analysis is shown below

clip_image001

The 2013 IPCC WG1 SPM report states with respect to the radiative feedbacks that

“The net feedback from the combined effect of changes in water vapour, and differences between atmospheric and surface warming is extremely likely positive and therefore amplifies changes in climate. The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types combined is likely positive. Uncertainty in the sign and magnitude of the cloud feedback is due primarily to continuing uncertainty in the impact of warming on low clouds.” [http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf]

They also write, in contrast to what is seen in the Vonderhaar et al 2012 paper,

“Anthropogenic influences have contributed to observed increases in atmospheric moisture content in the atmosphere (medium confidence)”

This report also write that

“The rate and magnitude of global climate change is determined by radiative forcing, climate feedbacks and the storage of energy by the climate system.”

Of course the report also fails to distinguish “global climate change” [which is much more than just the global average radiative forcings and feedbacks; a mistake also made in Stephens et al 2012].

The IPCC WG1 report discuss the reduced heating and Radiative Forcing in recent years as follows

“The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols)…”

Nowhere in this discussion, except implicitly in the mention of internal variability, is the role of the radiative feedbacks including the role of water vapor and clouds presented.

5. The IPCC Failure

The IPCC report has failed to report on the implications of the real world radiative imbalance being significantly smaller than the radiative forcing. This means not only that the net radiative feedbacks must be negative, but they failed to document the magnitude in Watts per meter squared of the contributions to positive feedbacks from surface warming, and from atmospheric water vapor and clouds.

These must be smaller than what the IPCC models are producing.

One clear conclusion from their failure is that the climate system has larger variations in the Radiative Imbalance, Forcing and Feedbacks than is predicted by the model and accepted in the 2013 IPCC assessment report. Judy Curry David Douglass, Roy Spencer, Bob Tisdale, Anastasios Tsonis, Marcia Wyatt and others have been pioneers in advocating this perspective, and the failure in the SPM of the 2013 IPCC WG1 report to discuss this issue is a major failing of the assessment.

About these ads
This entry was posted in IPCC, IPCC AR5 Report, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

151 Responses to Radiative Forcing, Radiative Feedbacks and Radiative Imbalance – The 2013 WG1 IPCC Report Failed to Properly Report on this Issue

  1. David L. Hagen says:

    Well summarized Roger
    Your review is supported by the global optical depth of CO2 & H2O as evaluated by Ferenc Miskolczi in his detailed quantitative Planck weighted radiative Line By Line analysis:
    The Stable Stationary Value of Earth’s Global Average Atmospheric Planck-Weighted Greenhouse-gas Optical thickness See especially Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 which report the quantitative results, (independent of Miskolczi’s subsequent models.)

  2. Jim Cripwell says:

    Fair enough. But even if you solve what the imbalance is, there is still no way, using proper physics, to turn the imbalance into a change of surface temperature, or ocean heat content.

  3. Jim – The change in ocean heat content is used to diagnose the radiative imbalance. This is very much physics. Roger Sr.

  4. The changes in ocean heat content appear to be linked to changes in global albedo as per evidence from the Earthshine project:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

    Such albedo changes appear to be linked to solar variations via effects on the global air circulation. Zonal jets less clouds and meridional jets more clouds.

    Given the absence of a water vapour response to forcing the hydrological cycle must be capable of applying a near complete negative feedback to potential temperature variations. The cycle simply speeds up or slows down as necessary.

    So, the global; air circulation changes as necessary to ensure top of atmosphere radiative balance after variable lag times (mostly ocean induced). The efficiency of the water cycle means that the necessary circulation changes need not be as violent as would otherwise be necessary.

    In the background the system can only hold as much energy in kinetic (heat) form as is permitted by gravity, atmospheric mass and top of atmosphere insolation.

    Any temporary surplus or deficit simply goes to an increase or decrease in gravitational potential energy as the atmosphere expands or contracts.

    If there is too much kinetic energy the expansion reduces density which allows energy to pass through faster than it comes in until the correct amount is restored for ToA radiative balance.

    If there is too little kinetic energy then a contraction increases density which slows down the passage of energy through the system until the correct amount is restored for ToA radiative balance.

    Evidence is:

    the absence of any tropospheric hot spot,

    the absence of significant water vapour trends and

    the prompt increase in outgoing longwave radiation whenever there is a short term warming episode and decrease during cooler episodes.

  5. Mike Maguire says:

    Part of the IPCC report are much like the physics student who turns in the homework assignment with all the correct answers which are shown in the back of the book. They do not show work or how they solved the problem……….which proves they understand how to do the problem.

    The IPCC has alot more answers than they do work to show how they got there.

  6. glen martin says:

    “adding 5% more water vapor, results in a 3.88 Watts per meter squared increase in the downwelling longwave flux”

    Does this also have an effect on the upwelling longwave flux from the atmosphere to space?

  7. Rud Istvan says:

    Very clear top down examination of this issue from the AR5 SPM perspective. In the climate chapter of my book published last year, reached the same conclusions from a detailed bottom up examination of evidence AR4 used to reach its water vapor and cloud feedback conclusions. Evident selection bias in the studies that were available to it in 2007. And, examination of AR5 WG1 on these issues thus far shows more of the same. When the same general conclusions can be reached independently from different methods, it tends to make them more robust.
    The bottoms up details suggest water vapor feedback may well be positive, but with an f (in Lindzens amplifier sensitivity “notation”) about half to 2/3 of what GCMs have (f= about 0.5, S ‘double’ Stepan-Boltzmann ‘grey earth’ at S=1.2). That is, specific humidity is observed to be rising in the upper troposphere where it matters most, but less than would maintain roighly constant UTrH (AR4 black box 8.1 and associated discussions).Translation, negative lapse rate feedback most likely due to something like a weak form of Lindzen’s tropical adaptive iris. Supposition is supported by model understatement of tropical rainfall, and the observationally missing troposphere hot spot that both CMIP3 and CMIP5 models produce. Cloud feedback is likely neutral to slightly negative, f about =0. Plug both ‘correct’ value ranges into the amplifier sensitivity equation S=1/(1-f) and S (ECS) is about 1.6 to 1.8.
    Ties a nice bow around everything, since newer (2012-2013) observational ESC estimates are coming in at medians/ modes of about 1.5 to about 1.9.

  8. Jim Cripwell says:

    Roger A. Pielke Sr. says:

    October 21, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Jim – The change in ocean heat content is used to diagnose the radiative imbalance. This is very much physics. Roger Sr.

    I probably did not express myself well. It is generally accepted that adding CO2 to the atmosphere could cause a radiative imbalance, so let us assume that this has happened. What is the physics that shows, quantitatively, how this change in radiative imbalance causes a change in surface temperature, or a change in ocean heat content?

  9. Jim – The change in the ocean heat content does not provide any information on why there is warming or cooling. It just provides a measure of the radiative imbalance in Joules. Of course, added CO2 is a positive radiative forcing, but we cannot tell its fractional contribution just from the radiative imbalance.

  10. Glen – If the downwelling long wave flux is larger, than, of course, the upwelling radiative flux will be less. Roger Sr.

    [Rather, "... larger, then, of course" ? Mod]

  11. Craig says:

    John Cook is searching for his atomic bombs.

  12. It would be as well to differentiate between albedo changes caused by solar variation and albedo changes as a response to water vapour or CO2.

    The former results in a change in the proportion of ToA insolation that gets into the oceans. That can change system temperature because it mimics the effect of changed ToA insolation and so does change surface temperature.

    The latter do not change surface temperature because any downward energy from water vapour or CO2 simply causes the molecules to rise higher up the lapse rate to a colder location rather than warming the surface. Over water surfaces, increased evaporation would be an accelerating factor.

    The increase in average heights then reduces average atmospheric density and allows more energy out to space faster to negate their thermal effects.

    I see a lot of unnecessary confusion from not distinguishing between the two separate processes.

  13. AlecM says:

    Isn’t it amazing. Yet again we have confusion between the increase in the atmospheric radiation field and ‘forcing’, imagining that is a real radiative energy flux. It ain’t. Instead it’s a potential energy flux to a sink at 0 deg K.

    In reality the increase of ghg RF reduces the IR emitted from the Earth’s surface, mostly to Space (set by the vector sum of the up and down RFs). In the absence of any other factor, the surface temperature would rise at 1.2 K/ doubling CO2 (no positive feedback can exist) so convection and evapo-transpiration would increase.

    However, there is another factor, extreme negative feedback, and it reduces CO2 climate sensitivity to <0.1K.

    So what has been the real AGW? It's been the reduction of cloud albedo by Asian aerosols, now saturated. There is no significant CO2-AGW as proved experimentally, 16 years of no atmospheric warming, a bit less of no 0-700 m ocean warming.

  14. bw says:

    Nice summary. Note that the ocean surface has a specific heat capacity about 3200 times the atmosphere. Only a few meters of ocean has more heat energy than the entire atmosphere.

    1. The ocean has stratified layers and mass flows. Exchanges can’t be exactly quantified, but the time required for ocean overturning is on the order of thounsands of years. Since the ocean surface controls the atmosphere, not the reverse, it seems the atmosphere is responding to ocean changes over thousand year plus time lags. The tail can’t wag the dog.
    Ice core records confirm that air temps lag CO2 changes over those time scales.
    2. Antarctica has good temperature stations since 1950s. Recorded temps show no warming.
    Antarctica can not be immune to radiative forcing, so the CO2 over Antarctica is not causing Antarctic to become warmer.
    3. Water vapor versus temp has a very non-linear curve. Resuling cloud formation is therefore very non-linear. Even small children can feel the temperature drop when a cloud passes over. Clouds reflect solar input, so overwhelmingly block energy input to the surface. Clouds have a massive negative feedback on surface temps.

  15. “If the downwelling long wave flux is larger, than, of course, the upwelling radiative flux will be less. Roger Sr.”

    The lower net upward flux appears to cause atmospheric expansion which reduces density and allows more upward energy to compensate.

  16. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Dr. Pielke Sr.
    The point many seem to totally miss is that heat transfer is driven by temperature difference, not energy content. If the average excess net energy flux absorbed by the oceans is 0.7 W/m2 since 1940 (the date frequently accepted as when human greenhouse production started to become important), it would have only raised the 0 to 2,000 m ocean temperature an average of 0.14 C (with the upper surface more than this, and the part below 700 m less than this). If this net flux continued to 2100, the additional increase in average temperature would be only 0.23 C more, with the lower part a smaller amount. This means the added long term effect of return of the deep ocean heat to the surface and increased heat transfer would not be to return the huge amount of energy put into and stored by the ocean, but rather could only have a maximum temperature increase effect of 0.37 C from the deep stored energy, and in fact would be less than that. Since the deeper ocean takes an average of many hundreds to thousands of years to cycle to the surface, the actual long term effect would be even far less than this. Only near surface heating (0 to 700 m or so) significantly matters, and this interchange of energy with the surface is much more rapid. In other words, deep ocean energy storage is not a significant factor in global warming, either on the short or long time scale. The fact that the energy is being accumulated even though it would not affect global temperature means that measuring sea level is not a metric for global warming effects.

  17. AlecM said:

    “Instead it’s a potential energy flux to a sink at 0 deg K”

    A good way to express it though the temperature of space is about 3K if I recall correctly.

    Anyway, GHGs increase the potential energy flux by expanding the heights within the atmosphere which converts kinetic energy to potential energy thereby negating surface warming.

    The energy is there within the system but as potential energy which does not register as heat so the surface temperature does not need to change.

    Everyone has been working on the assumption that to achieve a
    change in atmospheric volume it is first necessary to arrange an increase in
    surface temperature.

    That would be correct on the basis of the Ideal Gas Law.

    However, for non -Ideal Gases the Gas Laws allow an adjustment to the
    universal gas constant to take account of the compositional variations of
    non -Ideal Gases and, in particular, compositional characteristics other than mass which affect the energy flux. Such as absorption and radiative capability.

    For non-Ideal Gases:

    PV = mRspecificT

    Adjusting the gas constant (Rspecific) to suit the individual characteristics of a mixture of non-Ideal Gases on one side of the equation gives direct access to a change in volume on the other side without requiring a change in surface temperature.

    That is essential for the retention of an atmosphere because if the
    universal constant for an Ideal Gas were applicable regardless of gas composition and characteristics then for a non -Ideal Gas the surface temperature would be permanently too high or too low for top of atmosphere radiative balance and the atmosphere would be lost.

    The value of Rspecific sets the atmospheric volume necessary for ToA radiative balance.

    The volume of a pure CO2 atmosphere would be different to the volume of a pure Nitrogen atmosphere at the same temperature and mass due to a difference in the values of their respective Rspecifics.

    That appears to account for Roger’s observations, unlike AGW theory.

    The net radiative flux is a consequence of mechanical processes below the boundary with space, not a cause of anything in itself.

    Once an atmosphere has acquired enough kinetic energy to hold the atmosphere off the surface AND match incoming radiation then any excess or deficit of kinetic energy only affects work done and that work adjusts the height of the atmosphere up or down to ensure long term radiative balance.

  18. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Roger, for the great blog post and the acknowledgement within it.

  19. Michael Moon says:

    “9. The reason is likely that they would to avoid discussing that in recent years; at least, there has been no significant addition of water vapor into the atmosphere.”

    Since all GCM’s require an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere to provide their positive feedbacks, this is the most important sentence ever written on this site!!!

    CO2 is not able to increase atmospheric temperature significantly by itself, so all the models posit that increasing CO2 will put more water vapor into the atmosphere, which by some mysterious means will increase temperatures MORE, something about how high up the increased cloudiness is.

    This is falsified!

    Well done Mr. Pielke.

  20. Dave says:

    Question. Does change in ocean heat content reflect ONLY radiative imbalance between incoming radiative energy and outgoing radiative energy? It seems to this lay person that one cannot comfortably dismiss as deminimus probable fluctuations in geothermal (submarine volcanic eruptions, “black smokers”, etc.) and kinetic energy (submarine earthquakes) input into world oceans.

  21. Leonard Weinstein said:

    “The point many seem to totally miss is that heat transfer is driven by temperature difference, not energy content”.

    Only between objects of a different temperature held within uniform and thermally static surroundings.

    Heat transfer in and out a planetary atmosphere is driven by the rate of incoming energy at ToA plus the energy required to maintain an atmosphere off the surface.

    That is density related and density is a function of mass and gravity. If one has to keep a stable ToA energy exchange then one is limited to Volume as an adjusting factor because mass is constant, surface pressure is constant and T cannot exceed that required to balance energy in.

    Changes in volume affect density so we come full circle to volume changes regulating heat transfer.

  22. Jim Cripwell says:

    Roger A. Pielke Sr. Many thanks..

  23. AlecM says:

    Sorry, but it appears that you consider Hansen’s claim (1981_Hansen_etal.pdf) that the ghe = lapse rate warming as valid, with the Rspecific as the cause. It isn’t. You prove it very simply.

    Imagine removing all the ghgs from the atmosphere. Our children are told that the -18 deg C composite emitter in radiative equilibrium with Space would then coincide with the Earth’s surface hence the ghe = 15 deg C -(-18 deg C) = 33 K.

    However, the -18 deg C zone is an artificial construct, the operational emissivity weighted sum of -1.5 deg CO2 IR from where the water vapour falls significantly, the -50 deg C ‘CO2 OLR bite’ and the +15 deg C atmospheric window emission mostly from the Earth’s surface.**

    In reality, the 43% increase of SW energy from no clouds or ice would give a new radiative equilibrium at an average of 4 – 5 deg C, a real ghe of ~ 11K. The ratio 33 K/11 K = 3 is the imaginary positive feedback.

    **Understanding the OLR requires good irreversible thermodynamics’ knowledge. It came from Essex in 1985 and from the Brookhaven Lab. in 2010. The -50 deg C CO2 part of OLR has the highest radiative entropy production rate so is minimised. The rest of the atmosphere adapts to that end, including all flora and fauna. Since the last glacial maximum, the ghe has risen from 2 K to the present 11 K as a result of the decrease of total atmospheric entropy and increase of enthalpy. It occurred by biofeedback reducing cloud albedo and melting ice; there was no significant CO2 effect because it’s a working fluid in the system and self-compensates!

    For the sake of completeness, the minimum OLR radiation entropy production rate coupled with a decrease in atmospheric entropy is consistent with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which requires an increase of total entropy external to the system! This stuff is fascinating yet completely ignored by the IPCC.

  24. policycritic- please cut and paste below. It work s for me.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf

    In any case, I have reproduced below.

    Contrary to the claim of Pielke and Christy, our simulated ocean heat storage (Hansen etal., 2005) agrees closely with the observational analysis of Willis et al. (2004). All matters raised by Pielke and Christy were considered in our analysis and none of them alters our conclusions.

    The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2, includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.

    Certainly the energy imbalance is less in earlier years, even negative, especially in years following large volcanic eruptions. Our analysis focused on the past decade because: (1) this is the period when it was predicted that, in the absence of a large volcanic eruption, the increasing greenhouse effect would cause the planetary energy imbalance and ocean heat storage to rise above the level of natural variability (Hansen et al., 1997), and (2) improved ocean temperature measurements and precise satellite altimetry yield an uncertainty in the ocean heat storage, ~15% of the observed value, smaller than that of earlier times when unsampled regions of the oceancreated larger uncertainty. We take the (anthropogenic) indirect aerosol forcing as –1 W/m2, with an uncertainty of a factor of two, based on empirical and modeling evidence (Hansen et al., 2005). The value –0.77W/m2 for the interval 1880-2003 follows from the non-linearity of the phenomenon. We note that a larger (smaller) value, combined with smaller (larger) climate sensitivity, could also yield global temperature change consistent with observations, but the agreement that we find with observed ocean heat storage favors a climate sensitivity not too different than that of our model (2.7°C for doubled CO2).

    This inference can be sharpened if ocean heat storage and aerosol changes are both measured accurately in coming years.There is no fundamental disconnect between our conclusions regarding the location of heat storage anomalies and the observational analysis of Willis et al. Large heat storage anomalies penetrate only the upper 200 m of ocean in the tropics in our model, but much deeper at middle to high latitudes, consistent with observations. We note the absence of ENSO variability in our coarse resolution ocean model and Willis et al. note that a 10-year change in the tropics is badly aliased by ENSO variability. Given also the large unforced variability of the distribution of ocean heat storage among our 5 model runs, there is no expectation that simulated geographical patterns of heat storage should match in detail those of observations. Yet the large heat storage at mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, the geographical feature emphasized by Willis et al., is indeed captured in our simulations (Fig. S2 of our paper). By using observed changes of greenhouse gases and empirically determined indirect aerosol effects, among other forcings, we have included all known substantial forcings. Precise analysis of the planetary energy imbalance provides a remarkable tool for “seeing the forest for the trees” with regard to global climate change. As the record lengthens, the energy imbalance will provide an invaluable metric defining the task that humanity faces if it wishes to stabilize global climate.

    References (additional to those of Pielke and Christy)
    J. Hansen et al., J. Geophys. Res. 102, 25679 (1997).
    J. Hansen et al., J. Geophys. Res. in press (2005).

    [Reformatted. -w.]

  25. My patience with Ocean Warming Heat content arguments is at an end. Levitus is <a href=http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/24/reactions-to-the-pause-grasping-at-strawmen-in-hidey-holes/#comment-1370380grasping at straws, using inconsistent year ranges, and drawing conclusions from under-sampled data little better than guesses, using gigantic heat numbers of the order of 3*10 ^22 Joules (30 ZetaJoules) that amount to miniscule 0.01 deg C that is questionably in the level of precision.

    From quote from Chapter 3, just above “Section 3″
    A: Below 700 m data coverage is too sparse to produce annual global ocean heat content estimates prior to about 2005
    I fully agree. See: July 24, 2013, OHC and History of Measurement Systems But it is a fact that they ignore the rest of the paragraph.

    B: but from 2005–2010 and 0–1500 m the global ocean is warming (von Schuckmann and Le Traon, 2011).
    Yes, but warming how much? In KJ? In deg C? Lack of specificity is a big red flag!
    See Chart from 2005 to 2013 We are talking about a mean warming of less than 0.002 deg C per year with an uncertainty at least 0.003 deg C per year. 0.02 deg C over the entire 2005-2013 time frame is more than enough to hide all the heat. Can that be measured with the needed accuracy?

    C: Five-year running mean estimates yield a 700–2000 m global ocean heat content trend from 1957 to 2009 (Figure 3.2b) that is about 30% of that for 0–2000 m over the length of the record (Levitus et al., 2012).
    The entire [C] is junk, invalidated by observation [A]. 30% of an unknown, too sparsely sampled dataset for any reliable estimate, is also an unknown number.

    D: Ocean heat uptake from 700–2000 m continues unabated since 2003 (Figure 3.2b);
    Logically invalidated by [A]. Sloppy if not deliberately deceptive Why go back to 2003 if estimated cannot be trusted prior to 2005? Watch the pea under the thimble. If you measure from 2005, you cannot prove the slope in temperatures is positive.

    E: as a result, ocean heat content from 0–2000 m shows less slowing after 2003 than does 0–700 m heat content (Levitus et al., 2012). “
    Certainly not within uncertainty of measurement. A comparison of the second derivative of Temperature over 7 years? When we can’t even be sure the 1st derivative (warming rate) is positive?

  26. Joe Bastardi says:

    Drops in mid/upper level tropospheric Specific humidity have been observed since 2007 PDO flip and are especially prominent in the tropics. This is opposite the IPCC idea and also may be playing a key role in the collapse of the ACE in recent years.

  27. clivebest says:

    If Vonderhaar et al 2012 results are correct, then water vapor cannot be a “simple” feedback to CO2 forcing. Even more interesting – cloud cover behaves in a similar fashion.

    H2O compared to CO2

  28. AlecM says:
    October 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Not sure if you were addressing me or Roger but here goes anyway :)

    I do not agree with Hansen that Rspecific causes the greenhouse effect. I consider that it prevents the greenhouse gases from adding to the mass and gravity induced greenhouse effect by causing an increase in volume.

    As far as I recall AGW theory ignores expansion and proposes instead an increase in the effective radiating height to a colder location whilst leaving volume unchanged. That colder location is supposed to allow less energy out to space and allow a rise in temperature beneath it.

    I have often asked (and not been answered) whether the truth is that the whole atmosphere expands so that the effective radiating height keeps the same temperature as before but being higher up becomes more effective at radiating out.

    I don’t see how he could do as he did because it would unbalance the Gas Law equation whereby

    PV = mRspecificT

    if he only changes Rspecific and nothing else.

    Allowing volume to rise in tandem with a rise in the energy used to lift the atmosphere against the force of gravity (Rspecific) does keep the equation balanced and avoids the need for a rise in T.

    Did Hansen fail to realise that wherever Rspecific is different to R (the universal constant) then one must also change V to keep the equation in balance ?

  29. bones says:

    The analysis of Levitus et al and others is a little misleading. Within the limitations of their data, one can say what the rate of heating must have been on average to have produced the cumulative increase of stored heat, but it is a mistake to think of that as an imbalance at the surface. The upper few tens of meters of oceans will respond to heating on a time scale of a year or two. To have a continuing buildup of heat content and surface temperatures requires a continuously increasing radiative heating of the surface. That was not occurring between about 1950 and 1965, but ocean surface temperature and ocean heat content 0-700 m increased after that. In Fig. 1 of
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/10/the-sun-does-it-now-go-figure-out-how/ I showed that both could be produced by net ocean surface radiative heating increasing at about 0.31 watt/m^2/decade. That is a little closer to what might be produced by CO2 (3.7 watt/m^2 / 14decades = 0.26 watt/m^2/decade), but if CO2 had been responsible, neither trend would have stopped in the last decade. Further, I the variations of surface temperatures shown over solar cycles shows a much larger solar effect than the IPCC takes into account.

    0.31 watt/m^2/decade, continued for 40 years after 1965 would produce about 1.24 watt/m^2 excess heating rate, for an average of 0.62 watt/m^2, which is in reasonable agreement with the IPCC’s 0.59 watt/m^2 for 1970-2010. But at no time was there ever this amount of imbalance at the ocean surface, nor is there any reason to suppose that CO2 was the cause.

  30. AlecM.

    Perhaps I should mention that the increase in volume converts any ‘excess’ kinetic energy to potential energy and that is why T can remain unaffected.

  31. John Whitman says:

    Roger A. Pielke Sr. wrote,

    {note : all bold emphasis by me – JW}

    The IPCC report has failed to report on the implications of the real world radiative imbalance being significantly smaller than the radiative forcing. This means not only that the net radiative feedbacks must be negative, but they failed to document the magnitude in Watts per meter squared of the contributions to positive feedbacks from surface warming, and from atmospheric water vapor and clouds.

    These must be smaller than what the IPCC models are producing.

    One clear conclusion from their failure is that the climate system has larger variations in the Radiative Imbalance, Forcing and Feedbacks than is predicted by the model and accepted in the 2013 IPCC assessment report. Judy Curry David Douglass, Roy Spencer, Bob Tisdale, Anastasios Tsonis, Marcia Wyatt and others have been pioneers in advocating this perspective, and the failure in the SPM of the 2013 IPCC WG1 report to discuss this issue is a major failing of the assessment.

    – – – – – – – –

    Roger A. Pielke Sr.,

    Thank you for the clear guidance through the AR5 report’s radiance budget maze.

    You describe the IPCC report’s radiation budget issues as failures, when they equally can be viewed also as intentional avoidance of anything in the radiation budget that is significantly contrary to the thesis of significant AGW from burning fossil fuel.

    I think both descriptions of what the IPCC report has done can serve in communication to the public.

    John

  32. lurker, passing through laughing says:

    Dr. Pielke,
    Thank you for yet another accessible, reasonable and thoughtful essay.
    This is probably a well addressed question, so please feel free to chuckle:
    If Pressure stays the same as temperature increases, does this not mean, according to the ideal gas law that the volume must increase? If this is so, how much volume has the atmosphere to increase to accomodate the added warming, or is there a trend in atmospheric pressure that has been addressed elsewhere?

  33. lurker, passing through laughing – Excellent question; thanks!

    Unless there was removal of air from the atmosphere, the global average surface pressure must be invariant over time (ignoring the exceedingly small affect of added gases). Thus, as you correctly noted the atmosphere will increase its volume by expanding aloft. This concept of “thickness” is actually a basic concept in meteorology. Roger Sr,.

  34. John in Oz says:

    A layman’s observation:

    If the (seemingly knowledgeable) people commenting here can be so at variance with each other, how can the IPCC be 95% confident in their conclusions regarding AGW?

    It is extremely likely [95 percent confidence] more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

    And a nit-pick – when was Anthony raised to such illustrious levels that ‘watts per meter squared’ became ‘Watts per meter squared’ (although this is deserved, in my opinion)?

  35. Mike Maguire says:

    As an operational meteorologist of 32 years, my education and understanding of this field continues to grow thanks to work/discussions like this.

    Much appreciated Roger and to Anthony for attracting serious scientists with comprehensive understanding and willingness to share it here.

  36. lurker, passing through laughing says:

    Dr. Pielke,
    Thank you for your clear answer.
    It does raise a question:
    If the atmosphere/climate system is not behaving as predicted regarding temperature, could one of the factors be expansion of the atmosphere? This certainly seems as reasonable a candidate for a ‘fast’ response to additional energy as ocean expansion. In other words, if oceans expand ‘dangerously’ due to the energy imbalances being discussed, why would not the atmosphere also expand? If the ideal gas law is a relevant guide, then atmospheric expansion would act to ‘offset’ additional heating/energization, as well as increase the radiating surface area of the atmosphere…..or would it?

  37. David L. Hagen says:

    Nir Shaviv finds 6X-8X solar amplification by using The oceans as a calorimeter
    Sciencebits.com 2009-04-12 21:48

    . . .the oceans can be used as a “calorimeter” to measure the solar radiative forcing.
    Nevertheless, the beautiful thing is that within the errors in the data sets (and estimate for the systematics), all three sets give consistently the same answer, that a large heat flux periodically enters and leaves the oceans with the solar cycle, and this heat flux is about 6 to 8 times larger than can be expected from changes in the solar irradiance only. This implies that an amplification mechanism necessarily exists. Interestingly, the size is consistent with what would be expected from the observed low altitude cloud cover variations.

    Nir J. Shaviv (2008); Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989. Local Copy.

  38. Jquip says:

    Michael Moon: “This is falsified!”

    Canonical response: The models that work in this manner are not falsified. They are statistical metrics that are, by definition, only loose approximations of things. So they can neither be true or false.

    — This is, strictly, true by the way. There are any numerous variants in this topic, but it’s a presentation of the Pinnochio problem: “It may or may not be the case that this one thing did or did not occur in a way that could or could not be measured.” There are two attendant issues. To falisfy a claim, a claim must be made. When dabbling with real world things, that requires that a claim be made about the real world. The both of which are stating that a testable claim must be in existence.

    The problem here is that the metaphysical postulate is put forth as: “Human exhalation will cause the climate to be warmer than if humans held their breath.” And this is retained as a metaphysical postulate by testing the different: “If clouds or not clouds or ocean heat traps or not ocean heat traps or sun variance or not sun variance or sea volume changes or not sea volume changes, then the climate will be warmer than if humans held their breath.”

    Of course, humans will always exhale, so that’s tautological in its own right. And as ‘warmer’ is a relative metric, then we cannot test double-blind or in alternate possible worlds we don’t have. It’s simply not laboratory testable. As a logical construct, it is impossible for it to be wrong for those reasons only. That the condition is tautological and entails everything anyways is meaningless.

    The idea here is Sophist Whack-a-mole. To tie up and exhaust the insufficiently gullible by having them attack every meaningless construct that pops up. But the central claim metaphysical claim is not touched, and can not be. Not only is everything a vacuous tautology from top to bottom, the tautology tested is never the tautology stated. So if you like Falsificationism, there’s nothing to falsify as there’s nothing tested. And if you like Positivism you can take your pick. Either there’s no affirmation or support, as nothing is testable. Or there’s nothing that isn’t affirmation and support; which is how these things are sold, piece meal, to the public.

    Granted, Logic is threshholded and Sophists will trot out and state: “But we use differential equations, man. But only the rational numbers, we’re not, like, ::Dorito chewing noises:: dumb. We don’t do irrational numbers or anything else.” Which hardly matters at all as you can trivially put threshholds on R^2 conditions, statistical hypothesis testing, where a mark lies on a rule, etc.

    So when you say ‘falsified’ you’re stuck whacking, and appropriately whacking, the particular parameterizations of a particular polynomial equation, with an absurdly large degree, that are used in the one specific model. Every other model, with a different polynomial, is different.

    Not on you generally here. This simply seems to be a vastly overlooked problem that’s more easily stated as: Don’t go after last of a long chain of sophistries; go after the first thing the Sophist introduced.

    It’s not wrong to go after the models and end points directly. But it’s a lot easier to ask the Runecasters and Numerologists to produce, by themselves, a claim that would undeniably show the accuracy of their fortune telling. For if they can, then they also permit falsification. And if they cannot, then they’re writing a horoscope column; having failed to produce anything valid as a scientific theory under either Falsificationism or Positivism.

  39. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Many thanks for an excellent summary introduction to this topic. I did find a few minor typos/omissions:

    9. The reason is likely that they would to avoid discussing that in recent years;

    I think you wanted to say “… they would want to avoid …” or perhaps “… they would prefer to avoid …”.
    The unit specifier “watts per square meter” appeared sometimes as a phrase, sometimes as “W/m2″, sometimes as “W/m-2″ and I believe just once as “W/me”. I assume these last two are typos. I don’t know if it is common usage in the literature, but I also found the phrase “watts per meter squared” less comfortable than “watts per square meter”.

  40. Chris R. says:

    To John in OZ:

    And a nit-pick – when was Anthony raised to such illustrious levels that ‘watts per meter squared’ became ‘Watts per meter squared’ (although this is deserved, in my opinion)?

    Snorted coffee out my nose when reading that. Just as in the case of other units
    named after famous scientists (e.g., Joule, Henry, Fermi, Oersted, and many others),
    the use of capitalization is inconsistent between different posters. Anthony is blessed
    with a last name that is not only closely related to James Watt, but allows the pun
    in the name of this blog to work as well!

  41. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde, “The increase in average heights then reduces average atmospheric density and allows more energy out to space faster to negate their thermal effects. ”

    Actually, the increase in average height (volume) is from the kinetic energy doing work (expanding the atmosphere) and hence causes lower temperatures. Just look at the temperature (and height) of a hurricane. The expanded gas radiates less IR than the condensed gas because it is colder. Also moist air contains more energy than an equivalent volume and temperature of dry air.

  42. Bill Illis says:

    The direct human-made forcing is 2.3 W/m2 in IPCC AR5. On top of that, we should have seen feedbacks of another 1.7 W/m2 according to the theory for a total of 4.0 W/m2.

    But only 0.56 W/m2 is showing up.

    I’ve been showing it in this manner lately.

    http://s17.postimg.org/4ts1blb4v/2013_Missing_Energy.png

    In this case “Missing” is a combination of:

    – the increased radiative transfer to space as it has warmed up as pointed out by Roger Pielke Sr. (but none of the satellites have found this trend, if anything it is mostly flat);
    – less feedbacks occurring than was predicted (but the actual water vapor data and maybe some cloud data shows there should actually be between 25% to 50% of these feedbacks showing up); and then,
    – a huge amount of it must truly be “Missing” since the previous two explanations do not account for the 3.44 W/m2 which is not there. If anything, the previous two explanations still leave about 2.8 W/m2 “Missing”.

    The theory is wrong or it is missing something very important.

  43. Jim G says:

    Genghis says:
    October 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm
    Stephen Wilde, “The increase in average heights then reduces average atmospheric density and allows more energy out to space faster to negate their thermal effects. ”

    “Actually, the increase in average height (volume) is from the kinetic energy doing work (expanding the atmosphere) and hence causes lower temperatures. Just look at the temperature (and height) of a hurricane. The expanded gas radiates less IR than the condensed gas because it is colder. Also moist air contains more energy than an equivalent volume and temperature of dry air.”

    Sounds to me like you are both saying the same thing in a different way. The gas expansion would be exothermic as it cools and the heat energy has to go somewhere.

  44. Genghis says:

    Jim G, “Sounds to me like you are both saying the same thing in a different way. The gas expansion would be exothermic as it cools and the heat energy has to go somewhere.”

    No, the gas expansion is endothermic. The top of a hurricane (or cloud or thunderstorm) is very cold. The energy (heat) goes into expanding the atmosphere, not radiating away. At the bottom of the highest point of a hurricane is the lowest pressure. This is basic meteorology 101 : )

  45. Genghis says:

    I think I said that badly. The temperature goes down, but the total energy stays the same in the air parcel as it expands. The only time heat gets released is when the water vapor condenses, which further contributes to the expansion of the air parcel.

    The lapse rate of moist saturated air is 5˚C/km and the lapse rate of air with no water vapor ( just GHG’s) is 9.8˚C/km. Hence with lapse rates above 5˚C/km water vapor is a negative feedback.

  46. eyesonu says:

    @ Roger A. Pielke Sr.

    Thank you for a very informative post. It has lead to much interesting discussion. I have read through the post and comments twice to grasp all that is offered.

    —————-

    @ Stephen Wilde

    I am following you discussion with regards to the expansion of the atmosphere with great interest. Can you offer a site/forum/discussion where you lay it all out so that it can easily be fully understood by one like myself with a good basic understanding of physics and gas laws. Perhaps even a guest post where it can be vetted here on WUWT. I feel I have the concept fairly well but the discussion in the comments usually hammers things home.

    —–

    Anyway, thanks to all.

  47. wayne says:

    @ lurker, passing through laughing:

    The immediate effect of an expanded atmosphere you will find buried in lost science from the 1500’s or 1600’s known well by sailors and the effect of an increase in radiation lost to space has to do with height. Google “dip of the horizon” for many sites that will give the still valid equations to calculate this purely geometric factor. When they speak of star-light incoming, just turn it around and think of IR outgoing, the same effect applies both ways.

    Sadly, you will never hear of this negative effect in climate “science” ever mentioned. Too simple.

  48. wayne says:

    @ lurker, passing through laughing:
    Oh, get out a ancient trig book, haversines and exsecants involved if I remember correct off the top of my head.

  49. Genghis.

    I think we are saying the same thing.

    Expansion converts kinetic to potential and so cools the air.

    The lower density then allows energy to flow through faster to retain ToA balance.

    What happens is that GHGs slow down the energy throughput, expansion then occurs to reduce density and accelerate energy throughput again by an equal and opposite amount.

    Meanwhile the ‘surplus’ held by the GHGs has gone to potential energy which does not affect temperature.

    It is all made possible because the ‘specific’ part of Rspecific varies according to molecular characteristics other than mass.

    The gravitational field stays constant but the behaviour of a molecule within it is not determined solely by its mass.

    Since Rspecific is on the opposite side of the relevant Gas Law equation to V one can vary both in parallel without affecting balance.

    PV = mRspecificT

    Effectively, one can increase V without increasing T, m or P.

    Climatology has missed that critical point by focusing on radiative physics instead of the mechanical processes involved.

    In radiative physics one MUST increase T in order to increase V.

    The radiative flux is a consequence of the mechanical process, merely a side effect.

    Although I have been making the general point for years it is only now that I have identified the error being made by others.

    The Gas Law equation relating to non Ideal Gases has been incorrectly applied.

    Rspecific is a variable but it has been treated as a constant like R in the Ideal Gas Law.

    We are not dealing with Ideal Gases.

    My proposition fits Roger’s findings does it not ?

    It also allows a cascade of other conclusions which I am now exploring.

  50. wayne says:

    Nice summary Dr. Pielke Sr., nice summary, and we do appreciate your clear thoughts and considerations.

  51. Perhaps I should offer bit more detail on the effect of changes in atmospheric volume and density on energy transmission through an atmosphere.

    Apply a rather absurd example and consider Earth’s current atmosphere expanded out all around the Earth as far as, say, the border of the solar system.

    The thermal effect of the delay between arrival time and departure time for energy coming in at the top of such an atmosphere would be spread across the entire distance with only an infinitesimal portion of the effect observable from any given position so the temperature of the atmosphere at any given point of observation between surface and top of atmosphere will be very low. Hardly above the temperature of space.

    Then consider Earth’s current atmosphere compacted to 1 millimetre above the surface.

    In that case all the thermal effect of the delay between arrival time and departure would be focused within that distance and an observer would see a very hot layer of gas enveloping the planet.

    What determines the difference is the relative distributions of kinetic and potential energy.

    In the first example nearly all the energy in the atmosphere is potential energy.

    In the second example it is nearly all kinetic energy.

    In both cases the atmosphere contains exactly the same amount of total energy.

    It is that ability of an atmosphere to switch between kinetic and potential energy when expanding or contracting that makes it possible for adjustments to be made when molecular characteristics other than mass seek to destabilise the top of atmosphere energy balance.

    That is why the variable nature of the term Rspecific is essential to the formation of atmospheres in the first place and their retention thereafter.

  52. Bill Illis – You have presented an effective figure and summary. We need to make sure the IPCc and other assessments are confronted with this issue. Roger Sr.

  53. lurker, passing through laughing – The expansion from heating of the atmosphere does, of course, occur. However, the heat added in Joules is still present. It is just redistributed.

  54. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 – thanks for catching the typos

    #9 should be

    “9. The LIKELY reason that they avoid discussing IS that in recent years there has been no significant addition of water vapor into the atmosphere.”

    The correct way to express the flux, as you noted is W/m2. or Wm-2

    Thank you for alerting us to these typos.

    Roger Sr.

  55. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde,

    How about a counter example? Not that I think we are disagreeing.

    The effective source of energy is coming from the surface of the earth because the atmosphere is largely transparent to short wave radiation. The average surface temperature of the ocean is 22˚C. The GHG’s are primarily responsible for creating the temperature gradient (or lapse rate) which starts at 15˚C (at head height) and goes down from there at an environmental lapse rate of 6.5˚C/km.

    If you take away all of the greenhouse gases the atmosphere becomes isothermal and 5˚C (and the oceans surface temperature will fall too.) By the way, an atmosphere in equilibrium is isothermal. An atmosphere without water vapor (just GHG’s) will have a higher surface temperature (higher than 22˚C) and a lapse rate of 9.8˚C/km. but if we add water vapor that can lower the lapse rate all the way down to 5˚C/km and lower the surface temperature down to apx. 10˚C.

    But here is the thing, the TOTAL ENERGY in the atmosphere stays the same whether it is isothermal at 5˚C, or if it has a lapse rate of 9.8˚C, or if it has a lapse rate or 5˚C.

    The only thing that changes is the temperature gradient and the volume of the atmosphere. There can’t be a radiative imbalance on average. Of course the system is not in equilibrium and there is a constant net outflow and net inflow of radiation as the earth rotates.

    This is all basic, meteorology 101, that the warmistas never learned.

  56. Genghis.

    You can’t have an isothermal atmosphere because the lapse rate set by the pressure gradient prevents it.

    I covered those points in my article:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/how-the-gas-laws-as-applied-to-non-ideal-gases-prevent-the-radiative-capabilities-of-gases-from-contributing-to-the-greenhouse-effect/

    Total energy in an isothermal atmosphere would be much higher.

    “There is no net loss of energy as one goes up through an atmosphere because a molecule at the surface has the same total energy as a molecule at the top of an atmosphere. At the surface it carries 100% kinetic energy and at the boundary of space it is almost 100% potential energy. The potential energy never quite gets to 100% because space is not at absolute zero.

    That brings up a bizarre proposition from the concept of an isothermal atmosphere. The energy content would be skewed towards the top with the molecules at the boundary of space containing both a full load of kinetic energy AND a similar amount of potential energy whereas those at the bottom would have kinetic energy only.

    That would result in indefinite expansion at the top of such an atmosphere and it would be lost to space. The gravitational field would not be able to constrain such energetic molecules high up.

    So, in fact a radiatively inert atmosphere will still have a convective circulation, there will still be an energy exchange cycling adiabatically between surface and atmosphere, the entire mass of the atmosphere will be involved and the surface will be warmer than the temperature predicted by the S-B equation.

    All that will be achieved without greenhouse gases.”

    As regards the oceans the amount of kinetic energy that they can hold is set by surface atmospheric pressure because that sets the amount of energy required to achieve evaporation. See here:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earths-equilibrium-temperature/

  57. Box of Rocks says:

    Genghis says:
    October 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm
    Stephen Wilde, “The increase in average heights then reduces average atmospheric density and allows more energy out to space faster to negate their thermal effects. ”

    Actually, the increase in average height (volume) is from the kinetic energy doing work (expanding the atmosphere) and hence causes lower temperatures. Just look at the temperature (and height) of a hurricane. The expanded gas radiates less IR than the condensed gas because it is colder. Also moist air contains more energy than an equivalent volume and temperature of dry air.

    —–

    If the height of the atmosphere changes, doesn’t the area that radiates energy into space change also?

    Surface area of a sphere = 4*pi*radius2 i.e. as the r increases the surface area gets larger or the radiator gets bigger and that affects the rate of energy transfer…

  58. beng says:

    ***
    Leonard Weinstein says:
    October 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This means the added long term effect of return of the deep ocean heat to the surface and increased heat transfer would not be to return the huge amount of energy put into and stored by the ocean, but rather could only have a maximum temperature increase effect of 0.37 C from the deep stored energy, and in fact would be less than that. Since the deeper ocean takes an average of many hundreds to thousands of years to cycle to the surface, the actual long term effect would be even far less than this. Only near surface heating (0 to 700 m or so) significantly matters, and this interchange of energy with the surface is much more rapid. In other words, deep ocean energy storage is not a significant factor in global warming, either on the short or long time scale.
    ***

    Exactly. The deep water (below 700m) is a black-hole for heat, given its huge mass, cold temperature, thermal isolation, and constant replenishment by ice-melting.

  59. Gary Pearse says:

    “The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.”

    Some stupid questions:

    a) Presumably re melting ice (or warming of air/earth) you are referring to net differences. The ice melts and refreezes every year.
    2) The vapor pressure of water (at atmospheric pressure) is dependent basically on temperature. First, one couldn’t expect a big change with even + 0.5C change in 60 years. e.g. at 15.0C it is 1.71 kPa and at 15.5 (rough global temp) it is 1.76 kPa.
    3) Can we use this relation above as a proxy measure of the earth’s temperature trends. Vonderhaar et al’s figure “Global Monthly Average TPW Time Series” for water vapor shows, strikingly, the rise in temp through the 1980s to the peak in 1998 and the flattening to 2005 and dropping thereafter. They either disengenuously or obliviously say:

    “at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.”

    not noting the the remarkable fit to temperature trends.

  60. “Vonderhaar et al’s figure “Global Monthly Average TPW Time Series” for water vapor shows, strikingly, the rise in temp through the 1980s to the peak in 1998 and the flattening to 2005 and dropping thereafter”

    Yes, I noticed that but it is a small variation showing how the water cycle speeds up and slows down with a bit of a time lag as the circulation changes catch up with the temperature trend in a negative system response.

    The feature that is conspicuously missing is any sort of correlation with CO2 amounts.

    So I agree that the speed of the water cycle as discerned in that data can be used as a proxy for temperature trends.

    Likewise one can use global reflectivity from the Earthshine project or the average latitudinal position of the ITCZ or the degree of zonality / meridionality of the global jet streams.

  61. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde,

    I read your article and here is where I think you are in error. In an Isothermal atmosphere the
    pressure declines as the volume increases, while the temperature stays the same. The equation can also be written P = nRT/V.

    The temperature gradient (lapse rate) comes from the thermalization of the energy from the GHG’s. Conduction and convection in the atmosphere are adiabatic, i.e. the warm gases don’t warm the surrounding gases as much as they expand and rise.

    I can think of two things to help your visualization, first look at the IR images of a hurricane the top of the hurricane is extremely cold much colder than the surrounding air for the altitude, as much as -120˚C if I recall.

    Second visualize a very tall container filled with air at a constant temperature (a normal situation) the pressure will be higher in the bottom of the container than than at the top of the container. Pressure only increases temperature when a gas is being compressed, after a gas is compressed it radiates the heat away. That is the principle behind refrigeration.

  62. Ghengis.

    You are using the Ideal Gas Law equation where R is a universal constant.

    My article clearly explains why that is not appropriate for a non Ideal Gas atmosphere. One must use Rspecific.

    You have either not read it or not absorbed it.

    How would ‘thermalisation of the energy from GHGs’ cause a lapse rate ?

    An isothermal atmosphere has no lapse rate.

    The lapse rate is caused by the decline of pressure with height and that happens whether GHGs are present or not.

    Pressure is a result of mass and density. Constant irradiation of a greater density produces a higher temperature than constant irradiation of a lower density because there is more mass present per unit of volume to absorb the irradiation.

    The surface temperature is not caused by pressure. It is caused by greater density which happens to be a consequence of greater pressure.

    An atmosphere can only achieve the temperature necessary to keep the gases off the surface AND match energy out with energy in.

    If anything other than more mass, more gravity or more insolation adds ‘extra’ energy over and above what is needed then ALL of it goes to increasing atmospheric height and the extra height creates more PE at the expense of KE so that T does not change.

    I see no way out for AGW theory once one realises that Rspecific is variable for every gas and every mixture of gases.

  63. Genghis says:

    Stephen,

    If you take a metal bar and heat one end with a blow torch, that will create a temperature gradient in the metal bar. It has nothing to do with pressure, It has everything to do with the energy flux through the metal. When the blow torch is turned off the metal bar will equalize in temperature and become isothermal.

    Greenhouse gases create a similar effect in the atmosphere. The GHS’s absorb and thermalize the LW radiation from the surface. That creates the temperature gradient or lapse rate in the atmosphere. An atmosphere without GHG’s has a very limited mechanism for creating the lapse rate because warm rising air is adiabatic it does not warm the surrounding air.

    Here is another thought experiment for you. Take an aerosol can at room temperature, put it in a sealed box at room temperature and release the pressurized gas. Does the temperature of the air in the box change?

    I will answer the question, the temperature of the air in the aerosol container will go down and the temperature of the air in the container will go up, The only thing I know for sure is that the energy content in the box will stay the same. I didn’t provide enough detail in the question to answer the temperature question. Which is kind of the problem with this whole Global change nonsense.

    Let me use your example to specifically answer your question.

    Stephen Wilde, “Pressure is a result of mass and density. Constant irradiation of a greater density produces a higher temperature than constant irradiation of a lower density because there is more mass present per unit of volume to absorb the irradiation.”

    Without GHG’s present in the atmosphere, the atmosphere would be transparent to to the long wave irradiation. This is how GHG’s warm the surface and the atmosphere and create a lapse rate.

  64. Box of Rocks says:

    Genghis says:
    October 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

    “….

    Greenhouse gases create a similar effect in the atmosphere. The GHS’s absorb and thermalize the LW radiation from the surface. That creates the temperature gradient or lapse rate in the atmosphere. An atmosphere without GHG’s has a very limited mechanism for creating the lapse rate because warm rising air is adiabatic it does not warm the surrounding air…..”

    So are you saying that a planet with an atmosphere w/o GHGs would only cool through convection theN?

  65. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks, “So are you saying that a planet with an atmosphere w/o GHGs would only cool through convection theN?”

    No, the atmosphere will cool through long wave radiation. everything radiates.. What I am saying is that the surface would be cooler without greenhouse gases.

  66. Box of Rocks says:

    Genghis –

    Help me with heat transfer.

    There are how many different ways an object cools?

  67. Mike Maguire says:

    I think that the role of increasing evapotranspiration is underestimated in most models and would be interested in comments from others.

    This is based on several items. The vegetative health of our planet has been benefiting greatly from increasing CO2. This has been shown by many studies. Most crops have also benefited and modern technology applications have resulted in crops like corn, being planted in much tighter rows. This means many more plants/acre and a corresponding increase in the amount of evapotranspiration.

    The fact that it is multiplied by many tens of millions of acres in the Midwest Cornbelt over numerous states, creates a micro climate during the growing season that in my experience/opinion has resulted in dew points often 5 degrees higher than they were 30 years ago with most other variables held constant. This is well documented by several studies.

    Along with these higher dew points and all things being equal, the lifting condensation levels are lower which means more clouds and maybe more importantly, more low clouds, which are much more likely to exist after several hours of heating, after which they would clearly be a negative radiative feedback.

    The most obvious example of this is the Midwestern US Cornbelt during the growing season. This area may only represent a small % of the total planet but this observation implies that other countries, like Brazil, Argentina or China, with their expanding and more concentrated crop densities are experiencing similar effects.

    Taking this one step further, on a larger scale but maybe not as powerful locally is the greening of our planets biosphere and likelihood of additional evavapotranspiration contributions that lead to an increase in, especially low clouds that have a negative radiative feedback.

  68. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks, “Help me with heat transfer.

    There are how many different ways an object cools?”

    Basically conduction, convection and radiation, but ultimately the only way the atmosphere can cool is by radiation to space. I don’t think that is your real question though, help me out here : )

    I think your real question is how does the atmosphere warm and the answer to that is primarily via GHG’s thermalizing LW radiation and through convection and release of latent heat of water vapor condensing.

    Temperature is almost a red herring, figure out the energy flux first. Cool moist air contains more energy than warm dry air, even though the temperature is lower.

  69. Genghis says:

    Mike Maguire says:

    “I think that the role of increasing evapotranspiration is underestimated in most models and would be interested in comments from others.”

    Bingo we have a winner! Water vapor from any source lowers the lapse rate which directly lowers the surface temperature.

  70. Box of Rocks says:

    It is not of how or why but of what degree.

    I just can not wrap my brain around the idea that a gas that constitutes less than 0.5% of the atmosphere can absorb and release enough energy to warm the remaining 99.5% of the atmosphere.

    So how does that magical gas work to warm it’s surroundings when in fact it self is cooling along with the surrounding environment?

  71. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks says:

    “It is not of how or why but of what degree.

    So how does that magical gas work to warm it’s surroundings when in fact it self is cooling along with the surrounding environment?”

    Think of a microwave oven. If you put a hollow ceramic sphere in a microwave and turn it on it won’t heat up. Squirt some water into the sphere, seal it up tight, turn on the microwave and run! Hasn’t everyone done this?

    That is how the ‘magical’ gas works. The atmosphere without GHG’s is very hard to heat up.

    The concentration of GHG’s primarily affects the ‘rate’ of heating. A higher concentration of GHG’s will warm the atmosphere faster.

  72. Box of Rocks says:

    Genghis:
    “…
    Think of a microwave oven. If you put a hollow ceramic sphere in a microwave and turn it on it won’t heat up. Squirt some water into the sphere, seal it up tight, turn on the microwave and run! Hasn’t everyone done this?…

    So you are saying that the water after is is vaporized and turned into steam is responsible for warming the ceramic sphere?

    So how can something that is less than 1% of a control volume release enough energy (at the right wavelength) to impart enough energy in the remaining 99% to either maintains it temperature or in fact increase it.

    Remember – Heat capacity, or thermal capacity, is the measurable physical quantity that specifies the amount of heat energy required to change the temperature of an object or body by a given amount. …. the specific heat of water is 1 BTU/(F°·lb).

    So if we have a control volume of 1 foot square … How much energy will it loose to it’s surrounding if it cools one degree F?

    So, Ghengis, what you are saying is that minute amount of CO2 in that 1 square foot can convert enough radiation from one wavelength to another to prevent the CV from cooling, right?

  73. Genghis.

    I’m afraid you don’t have a clue despite my best efforts.

    Just note that Roger’s findings appear to me to support my proposition rather than yours. If not, I invite his comments because if I’m wrong I’d like to know sooner rather than later.

    Here and at my site I have raised the point that Rspecific for a non – Ideal Gas is variable and on the opposite side of the relevant Gas Law equation to Volume (V) so that changes in atmospheric composition can increase V without an increase in Temperature (T).

    If that is not correct let someone say so and show it.

    I have other things to do with my life if I am following a blind alley.

  74. dbstealey says:

    To go along with all the discussion of outgoing longwave radiation, here are some graphs:

    graph1 [past 40 years, OLR]
    graph2 [OLR vs T, from 1979]
    source [click on 'global temperatures' tab]

  75. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “I have other things to do with my life if I am following a blind alley.”

    Your basic circulation model and expansion of the earths atmosphere is correct. Just look at the diagram of the Hadley cells. The fact that air cools as it expands helps your basic theory, which just happens to be good old fashioned Meteorology 101 which the warmists have conveniently neglected.

    Water Vapor lowers the Lapse Rate.

  76. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm
    Here and at my site I have raised the point that Rspecific for a non – Ideal Gas is variable and on the opposite side of the relevant Gas Law equation to Volume (V) so that changes in atmospheric composition can increase V without an increase in Temperature (T).

    What makes you think that air at pressures below 1atm isn’t very well approximated by the Ideal Gas Law?
    In any case the Specific gas constant is not some correction for non-ideality rather it is an alternative value expressed in terms of mass (hence the use of specific, as in specific gravity) rather than molar quantities (J/K.kg vs J/K.mole)

    If that is not correct let someone say so and show it.

    I have other things to do with my life if I am following a blind alley.

    OK!

  77. Genghis.

    Thanks for that but why do you not follow through to the logical implications ?

    If the atmosphere can expand in response to composition changes without affecting T then AGW theory fails because it cuts the ground away completely yet you still seem to accept the role of GHGs and ignore the role of mass within a gravitational field.

    Anyway, I’ve put the issue in play and must await verification or not as the case may be.

  78. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks says:

    “So you are saying that the water after is is vaporized and turned into steam is responsible for warming the ceramic sphere?”

    Yes.

    “So how can something that is less than 1% of a control volume release enough energy (at the right wavelength) to impart enough energy in the remaining 99% to either maintains it temperature or in fact increase it.”

    It doesn’t have anything to do with ‘volume’ it is all about watts/meter^2.

    “Remember – Heat capacity, or thermal capacity, is the measurable physical quantity that specifies the amount of heat energy required to change the temperature of an object or body by a given amount. …. the specific heat of water is 1 BTU/(F°·lb).”

    Sure but heat capacity has very little to do with ‘temperature.”

    “So if we have a control volume of 1 foot square … How much energy will it loose to it’s surrounding if it cools one degree F?”

    Of course it depends on the specific heat. I seem to be missing your point.

    “So, Ghengis, what you are saying is that minute amount of CO2 in that 1 square foot can convert enough radiation from one wavelength to another to prevent the CV from cooling, right?”

    Yes. It is dependent on the watts going in. You seem to be confusing the GHG’s with a heat source. The heat source is the surface of the ocean that is radiating at 430 Watts/M^2. If there is nothing in the atmosphere to thermalize that radiation, there is going to be very little converted to warming the atmosphere.

  79. Michael Moon says:

    JQuip and all,

    Not sure I followed all that, but my point remains. ALL the GCM’s use increased water vapor to amplify the effect of increasing CO2 to produce their large Climate Sensitivities of 2, 3, and even 4 or more degrees C increase from doubled CO2. Right now NASA is sitting on a study called NVAP-M which will show no such increase, hence kicking the legs out from under the GCM’s.

    I think this should be shouted from the rooftops, in fact I am going upstairs right now…

  80. milodonharlani says:

    Michael Moon says:
    October 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Thank God the data are from Langley rather than Goddard, where Gavin would strangle them in their cradle, or so mutilate them that their mother wouldn’t recognize them.

    https://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/news/nvap-m

    But, you’re right. It would require a new administration for the conclusions from the data ever to see the light of day.

  81. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    “If the atmosphere can expand in response to composition changes without affecting T then AGW theory fails because it cuts the ground away completely yet you still seem to accept the role of GHGs and ignore the role of mass within a gravitational field.”

    No, the expanding atmosphere (due to convection) doesn’t affect the ENERGY in the system, that stays the same. What is does is lower the surface temperature, which invalidates the AGW theory.

    The role of mass in the gravitational field provides the limits to the Lapse Rate. The highest the lapse rate can be is 9.8C/km. Where do you think the 9.8 comes from? I will give you a clue “g’ : )
    If there was no water vapor in the atmosphere to lower the lapse rate down to 6.5˚C (the environmental lapse rate) or even less than 5˚C/km in an updraft, the surface temperature would be much, much higher.

    The Global Warming Theory simply got the sign of the water feedback forcing wrong. Increasing levels of GHG’s will increase the ‘RATE’ of warming, but at the same time as it gets warmer increasing levels of Water Vapor will decrease the “Rate’ of warming.

    The biggest problem we have right now is measuring any of these tiny changes, which by itself invalidates the AGW theory : ) And confirms the Meteorology 101 theory.

  82. Box of Rocks says:

    Ghengis – when a CO2 emits radiation that is a specific wavelength that allows that energy to increase the internal energy of another object, then it is fact an “energy source”.

    Heat capacity tell us “how much” energy is required! Then given time, the area under the curve can be calculated….

  83. Box of Rocks says:

    Yes. It is dependent on the watts going in. You seem to be confusing the GHG’s with a heat source. The heat source is the surface of the ocean that is radiating at 430 Watts/M^2. If there is nothing in the atmosphere to thermalize that radiation, there is going to be very little converted to warming the atmosphere.

    Ghengis –

    **IF** I understand you and the whole CO2 is evil AGW, greenhouse gas theory, then it is the CO2 molecule along with the other GHGs that in fact thermailze this primary radiation and produce ‘secondary’ radiation that adds heat and energy back into the system that would otherwise be lost into space – before it is radiated into space.

    The question is now is not *IF*, the question is *HOW MUCH*? Saying that the ocean gives off – 430 Watts/M^2 is fine. Understand that that radiation field is falling of at a high rate on the order of magnitude of the 4th power so say at 10000 ft asl, the same amount of energy is spread out over a much larger area and the ability of the radiation to do “work” is greatly diminished.

    Furthermore, understand that a tiny fraction of the a control volume has to capture the radiation and then re-radiate at a different wavelength leads to the question of how much.

    For that 1% to keep the other 99% warm, requires a lot of work….

  84. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks says:

    “Heat capacity tell us “how much” energy is required! Then given time, the area under the curve can be calculated….”

    Of course, and your point is?

  85. Gary Pearse says:

    Box of Rocks says:
    October 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    “Understand that that radiation field is falling of at a high rate on the order of magnitude of the 4th power so say at 10000 ft asl, the same amount of energy is spread out over a much larger area ”

    The area is not really significantly larger. Even the top of the atmosphere at ~100km or so forms a sphere not significantly greater than the surface area of the earth. Earth radius 6,370km TOA radius 6,470 km. The atmosphere is a remarkably thin skin. Imagine a hen’s egg with a proportional atmosphere. It would be about double the thickness of the eggshell. This fact in it self made me into an environmentalist-leaning person, although I don’t accept the CAGW alarm.

  86. Genghis says:

    Box of Rocks says:

    ” **IF** I understand you and the whole CO2 is evil AGW, greenhouse gas theory, then it is the CO2 molecule along with the other GHGs that in fact thermailze this primary radiation and produce ‘secondary’ radiation that adds heat and energy back into the system that would otherwise be lost into space – before it is radiated into space.”

    No you don’t understand it correctly. Think of the greenhouse gasses as an electric heating coil immersed in a water tank. The electric heater (CO2) warms the water at 430 watts an hour, the temperature of the water will rise until it is radiating exactly the same watts that it is absorbing.

    The temperature of the water can’t be determined, solely by specific heat capacity and the electric heaters wattage. Do you understand why?

    “The question is now is not *IF*, the question is *HOW MUCH*? Saying that the ocean gives off – 430 Watts/M^2 is fine. Understand that that radiation field is falling of at a high rate on the order of magnitude of the 4th power so say at 10000 ft asl, the same amount of energy is spread out over a much larger area and the ability of the radiation to do “work” is greatly diminished.”

    That is THE question isn’t it, and that is what the climate models have tried and failed to answer, because, like you they are solely focused on watts in and specific heat content., Where you differ from the Warmists is that their feedbacks are positive while yours are negative.”

    “Furthermore, understand that a tiny fraction of the a control volume has to capture the radiation and then re-radiate at a different wavelength leads to the question of how much.”

    Curious, you continue to persist with the idea that the size of the heating element determines the amount of heating. it doesn’t. What it does affect is the ‘rate’ of heating. Let me try another example. Lets say there are no radiative gases in the atmosphere and we have a 100 watt radiative only heat source. The atmosphere will never heat up. Now lets introduce just enough radiative gases into the atmosphere to provide a one atom thick layer that is enough to make the atmosphere opaque to the radiation and now the atmosphere will heat up at a rate of 100 watts.

    Now lets double the GHG’s in the atmosphere and guess what? The atmosphere is heating up now at 200 watts, double it again and it goes up to 300 watts, this process continues until the temperature nears equilibrium or a steady state, once it reaches equilibrium we can determine the temperature with the S-B Law. At equilibrium the atmosphere is radiating exactly the same amount of energy it is absorbing. At equilibrium you can add or subtract any amount of GHG’s and the temperature will stay the same.

    There is a little bit of sophistry going on here though. We aren’t adding any energy to the system by adding GHG’s we are just adding layers and measuring each layer (flux) again. Double counting. It is an accounting trick, debits have to equal credits (kind of like how the Fed creates money). But this is how physicists figure out the ‘rate’ of heating, it tells them nothing about the temperature of the system.

    Don’t confuse the “rate’ of heating with the energy content or the temperature. They are entirely different concepts. Just like the ‘temperature’ anomalies have very little (nothing actually) to do with the actual temperature. They are simply indicative of a change in the system.

    I will let you in on a little secret, as the data gathering gets better the temperature anomalies will decrease. The earths total energy budget is static but energy does flow around it and tracking that energy flow is a bugger : )

    For that 1% to keep the other 99% warm, requires a lot of work….

  87. Genghis says:
    October 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    You started by saying ‘No’ but then went on to paraphrase my contentions.

    Water is indeed a negative rather than positive feedback but that isn’t the point I was making.

    My point is that whatever compositional variations occur then if they don’t affect mass the volume of the atmosphere changes to negate the thermal effect that would otherwise have occurred.

    That applies whether there is a water cycle or not. The water cycle just helps it along so that less change in volume is necessary.

    Radiative (AGW) theory always requires a rise in surface temperature to cause any increase in atmospheric volume. That is where they are stuck in a logical impasse.

    The Gas Laws do not require a rise in surface temperature because Rspecific can vary in parallel with V leaving T unchanged.

    That is the complete answer to AGW theory unless someone can confirm that I am wrong in my interpretation of the Gas Laws.

  88. Ghengis.

    You seem to think that GHGs are needed to warm an atmosphere.

    In fact an atmosphere is warmed by conduction at the surface and the energy rises through the column by convection.

    GHGs not needed. Only mass irradiated from an external source.

    If the gas is radiatively inert then it is ALL about conduction and convection.

    If the gas has radiative capability then that supplements conduction and convection by increasing the atmospheric volume that can be achieved.

    You make a lot of sound points but then lose logical coherence because you don’t have all the relevant components in your mind yet.

  89. Gary Pearse said:

    “The area is not really significantly larger”

    It isn’t the area that matters, it is the available extra volume for the molecules to disperse into combined with the strength of the gravitational field which determines how fast density decreases with height.

    Its no good applying the rules relating to solids to gases.

  90. Phil said:

    “In any case the Specific gas constant is not some correction for non-ideality rather it is an alternative value expressed in terms of mass (hence the use of specific, as in specific gravity) rather than molar quantities (J/K.kg vs J/K.mole)”

    That is more to the point of the issue so I need to consider it carefully.

    If the specific gas constant is not a correction for non-ideality please explain why it is only applied for non-Ideal Gases.

    If the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass then why does the equation also contain m ?

    PV = nRT = mRspecificT

    n (molar quantities) has already been replaced by (m) mass so why express R differently as well ?

    In the real world, different molecules with the same mass do behave differently within a gravitational field so how else do the Gas Laws deal with that ?

    It is clear that specific heat is also involved as well as mass:

    “Another important relationship comes from thermodynamics. Mayer’s relation relates the specific gas constant to the specific heats for a calorically perfect gas and a thermally perfect gas.
    Rspecific = cp – cv
    where cp is the specific heat for a constant pressure and cv is the specific heat for a constant volume”

    from here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_constant#Specific_gas_constant

    and of course radiative and absorption capabilities would affect specific heat.

    So it cannot be right that “the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass” since it clearly adjusts for characteristics other than mass, in particular, specific heat.

    The fact is that in so far as the ‘specific’ aspect is concerned it does adjust the gas constant for different specific heats in the same mass which is why one need not change T but instead V changes.

  91. To summarise.

    Rspecific adjusts the gravitational constant R to take account of the differing specific heats of different non-Ideal Gases or different mixtures of non-Ideal Gases.

    That specific heat is set by molecular characteristics other than mass such as the radiative and absorption capabilities of GHGs.

    Specific heat alters pressure and volume in a gas independently of the strength of the gravitational field or the amount of mass in the molecule.

    The adjustment of R to Rspecific to take account of variable specific heats means that different mixtures of non Ideal Gases affect atmospheric Volume and not atmospheric Temperature.

    In the term

    PV = mRspecificT

    P is fixed because whatever the volume of an atmosphere the surface pressure remains the same.

    m is fixed because variations in the amount of GHGs do not significantly affect total atmospheric mass.

    T is limited by the amount of energy coming in because it is not permitted for energy out to differ from energy in without the atmosphere being lost.

    That leaves only Rspecific and Volume as the available variables when the specific heats of non-Ideal Gases vary from those of an Ideal Gas. Since they are on opposite sides of the equation they can change freely relative to one another without affecting the other terms or breaching the Gas Laws.

    Adding GHGs alters Rspecific and V but not T.

  92. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    “In the term

    PV = mRspecificT

    P is fixed because whatever the volume of an atmosphere the surface pressure remains the same.”

    Not true at all. Again look at images of a hurricane, the top of the hurricane rises miles into the stratosphere and the base of the Hurricane has the lowest pressures around. A storm is nothing but a mountain of air and it is always accompanied by the lowest pressures.

    “m is fixed because variations in the amount of GHGs do not significantly affect total atmospheric mass.”

    Water vapor, really screws around with the mass. Humid air is less dense than dry air, but has a higher specific heat.

    “T is limited by the amount of energy coming in because it is not permitted for energy out to differ from energy in without the atmosphere being lost.”

    You are confusing temperature with energy. Temperature only has meaning at equilibrium and the system is decidedly not in equilibrium.

    “That leaves only Rspecific and Volume as the available variables when the specific heats of non-Ideal Gases vary from those of an Ideal Gas. Since they are on opposite sides of the equation they can change freely relative to one another without affecting the other terms or breaching the Gas Laws.”

    Nope, they are all variables. That is why this is such a hard problem. If it was only Rspecific = Volume, that is trivial (and obviously false)

    “Adding GHGs alters Rspecific and V but not T.”

    Adding GHG’s primarily restricts the flow of energy through the atmosphere. Their effect can be most easily seen by changes in temperature.

    Think of temperature as the height of water in a stream. If you place a rock (GHG) in the stream it raises the height (temperature) of the water on the upstream side, while immediately behind the rock the water is lower. If you like you could pile a lot of rocks in the stream and really raise the level of the water. That by the way is the AGW theory in a nutshell : ) If it weren’t for that pesky H2O molecule they would be 100% correct.

  93. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 23, 2013 at 3:18 am
    Phil said:

    “In any case the Specific gas constant is not some correction for non-ideality rather it is an alternative value expressed in terms of mass (hence the use of specific, as in specific gravity) rather than molar quantities (J/K.kg vs J/K.mole)”

    That is more to the point of the issue so I need to consider it carefully.

    If the specific gas constant is not a correction for non-ideality please explain why it is only applied for non-Ideal Gases.

    It isn’t, engineers frequently used the mass based equations for ideal gases.

    If the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass then why does the equation also contain m ?

    PV = nRT = mRspecificT

    n (molar quantities) has already been replaced by (m) mass so why express R differently as well?

    Because the units of the equation must match!
    nRT= mole.(J/K mole).K = J
    mRspecT= kg.(J/K kg).K= J

    Similarly for specific heat which is the heat capacity per unit mass as opposed to the molar heat capacity which is per mole. Chemists tend to use the latter and engineers the former, nothing to do with non-ideality.

    So it cannot be right that “the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass” since it clearly adjusts for characteristics other than mass, in particular, specific heat.

    That is exactly what the qualifier ‘specific’ is used for, to indicate a mass based quantity rather than a molar quantity: E.g. specific enthalpy, specific entropy, etc.

  94. Ghengis.

    Average global surface pressure does not change. Storms are just local or regional disturbances around the average.

    Total atmospheric mass does not change significantly from water vapour variations. Atmospheric humidity is remarkably stable.

    Temperature cannot be higher or lower than that required by the S-B equation after deducting the energy exchange between surface and air which holds the air off the ground. Temperature is kinetic energy. Any kinetic energy not required to match outgoing with incoming AND to hold up the atmosphere goes straight to potential energy to change the volume of the atmosphere.

    P, T and m are fixed.

    Rspecific and V are variable.

    The water analogy doesn’t work because water is not a gas.

    In so far as GHGs slow down the rate of energy flow the Gas Law requires that any additional energy in the system goes to potential energy via expansion which does not change Temperature.

    GHGs cause an atmospheric response that reaches a new equilibrium with Volume and not with Temperature.

    Only changes in Mass, Gravity and Insolation reach a new equilibrium with Temperature.

    The ‘specific’ part of Rspecific only affects Volume. The Gas Law requires it.

    The radiation enthusiasts have treated Rspecific as a universal constant like R instead of as a variable.

    They didn’t realise that the radiation flux is only a by product of mechanical processes.

  95. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    You seem to think that GHGs are needed to warm an atmosphere.
    ———————–

    Yes and No : ) GHG’s create the temperature gradient and may increase the total amount of energy in the atmosphere. Without GHG’s the Atmosphere would be 5˚C and isothermal. With GHG’s the temperature 6 feet above the surface is 15˚C and has a lapse rate. I don’t know if there is less energy or more energy in the atmosphere because of GHG’s, it is probably a wash.

    ————————
    In fact an atmosphere is warmed by conduction at the surface and the energy rises through the column by convection.
    ———————-

    True, but do you understand that the atmosphere in equilibrium would be 5˚C and isothermal?

    ———————
    GHGs not needed. Only mass irradiated from an external source.
    ———————

    Without GHG’s the surface temperature would be very cold.

    ———————
    If the gas is radiatively inert then it is ALL about conduction and convection.
    ———————

    Of course : )

    ——————–
    If the gas has radiative capability then that supplements conduction and convection by increasing the atmospheric volume that can be achieved.
    ———————

    Total volume yes, but not the changes in volume that is one of the things H20 does.

    ——————–
    You make a lot of sound points but then lose logical coherence because you don’t have all the relevant components in your mind yet.
    ——————–

    True and I also suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect. Luckily I enjoy being wrong and learning too : )

  96. “GHG’s create the temperature gradient ”

    The decline in density with height causes the gradient. GHGs can distort it but changes elsewhere negate the effect over the atmosphere as a whole.

    “do you understand that the atmosphere in equilibrium would be 5˚C and isothermal”

    Not possible due to the density gradient with height.

    Your points and my replies are getting repetitive so no point engaging further.

  97. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    Average global surface pressure does not change. Storms are just local or regional disturbances around the average.
    ————————

    Of course the ‘average’ doesn’t change, by definition.

    ————————
    Total atmospheric mass does not change significantly from water vapour variations. Atmospheric humidity is remarkably stable.
    ———————

    Of course the system is remarkably stable. The Sun has been roasting the Earth on a spit for a few billion years.

    ——————
    Temperature cannot be higher or lower than that required by the S-B equation after deducting the energy exchange between surface and air which holds the air off the ground. Temperature is kinetic energy. Any kinetic energy not required to match outgoing with incoming AND to hold up the atmosphere goes straight to potential energy to change the volume of the atmosphere.
    ——————

    Almost total nonsense. Yes temperature is kinetic energy, but the S-B law is a radiation law. Do you understand the difference between radiation and kinetic energy? The S-B Law only applies in equilibrium situations and the atmosphere is decidedly not in equilibrium.

    I used to agree with you about kinetic and potential energy, until I got slapped down by Professor Brown from Duke (thank you). My example was a single atom that was bouncing up and down like a ball with all kinetic energy at the bottom and all potential energy at the top. simple enough right? Yeah, but wrong. In an actual column of air with a bunch of balls all of the balls will quickly have the same kinetic and potential energy, Isothermal in other words. T is the average of Kinetic + Potential.

    —————-
    P, T and m are fixed.
    —————-

    Nope they are decidedly unfixed variables.

    ———————–
    The water analogy doesn’t work because water is not a gas.

    In so far as GHGs slow down the rate of energy flow the Gas Law requires that any additional energy in the system goes to potential energy via expansion which does not change Temperature.
    ————–

    EXPANSION LOWERS THE TEMPERATURE!

    Sorry for shouting and no it doesn’t go into potential energy either. The gases at the top of the atmosphere have the same energy as the gases at the bottom.

    —————
    GHGs cause an atmospheric response that reaches a new equilibrium with Volume and not with Temperature.
    —————-

    You have it exactly backwards. Higher temperatures increase the volume. Volume is totally temperature dependent, g is a constant.

    —————-
    Only changes in Mass, Gravity and Insolation reach a new equilibrium with Temperature.
    —————

    Huh? Mass (except when water vapor is added), Gravity and Insolation don’t change. So how can they equilibrate with a change in temperature?

    ————
    The ‘specific’ part of Rspecific only affects Volume. The Gas Law requires it.

    The radiation enthusiasts have treated Rspecific as a universal constant like R instead of as a variable.

    They didn’t realise that the radiation flux is only a by product of mechanical processes.
    ———–

    Hmm, radiation flux is NOT a direct product of a mechanical process. If you take a hammer and hit an anvil that does not produce an increase in radiation (not much anyway), but if you spin a magnet that does create radiation. Do I need to spell that out better?

  98. Genghis says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    “GHG’s create the temperature gradient ”

    The decline in density with height causes the gradient. GHGs can distort it but changes elsewhere negate the effect over the atmosphere as a whole.
    ————–

    Density and height have nothing to do with temperature. You are obviously confusing the act of expanding a volume of gas which does lower the temperature with energy going into and out of the volume of gas.

  99. Enjoy being wrong :)

  100. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 23, 2013 at 8:44 am
    Enjoy being wrong :)

    It’s you who is wrong about the gas laws and the use of the qualifier ‘specific’ in chemistry.
    Compressibilty factor of air at 300K and 1 bar is 0.9999 and at 5bar is 0.9987. Water is the one component of air at atmospheric conditions that might depart from ideality but its contribution is negligible, based on the T-v diagram for water the error would be less than 1% for temperatures below ~80ºC and subatmospheric pressure.

  101. Phil.

    I pointed out to you that it is specific heat that matters.

    It is clear that specific heat is also involved as well as mass:

    “Another important relationship comes from thermodynamics. Mayer’s relation relates the specific gas constant to the specific heats for a calorically perfect gas and a thermally perfect gas.
    Rspecific = cp – cv
    where cp is the specific heat for a constant pressure and cv is the specific heat for a constant volume”

    from here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_constant#Specific_gas_constant

    and of course radiative and absorption capabilities would affect specific heat.

    So it cannot be right that “the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass” since it clearly adjusts for characteristics other than mass, in particular, specific heat.

  102. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    Phil.

    I pointed out to you that it is specific heat that matters.

    It is clear that specific heat is also involved as well as mass:

    “Another important relationship comes from thermodynamics. Mayer’s relation relates the specific gas constant to the specific heats for a calorically perfect gas and a thermally perfect gas.
    Rspecific = cp – cv
    where cp is the specific heat for a constant pressure and cv is the specific heat for a constant volume”

    from here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_constant#Specific_gas_constant

    and of course radiative and absorption capabilities would affect specific heat.

    No they don’t.

    So it cannot be right that “the use of ‘specific’ is simply an alternative value expressed in terms of mass” since it clearly adjusts for characteristics other than mass, in particular, specific heat.

    Stephen, you’re completely confused, that is exactly what ‘specific’ means.
    Molar heat capacity for a gas can be evaluated in two ways:
    at constant pressure, Cp
    at constant volume, Cv
    For a gas when evaluated at constant volume work is done to raise the pressure so Cv is not equal to Cp.
    using the ideal gas law and the first law of thermodynamics leads to the relationship:
    Cp=Cv +R

    If the specific heats are used then the same equation results:
    cp=cv+Rspec, where all the values are /kg.

    Your initial statement that ‘Rspec’ relates to non-ideal gases is wrong.

    Cp=M*cp, and Cv=M*cv, where M is the molar mass of the gas.

  103. Phil.

    I realise that you may be pointing me to a better understanding of the terms of expression but I feel that the main point is being missed.

    How does one calculate the actual value of Rspecific for a given gas or mixture of gases when, say, the specific heat of that gas or mixture of gases can vary independently from the amount of mass involved ?

    For example, C02 molecules have absorption and radiative characteristics very different from say Argon.

    Other types of molecules vary in their chemical behaviour.

    Therefore the values of Rspecific for CO2 and Argon would differ for the same amount of mass wouldn’t they ?

    Are you saying that the specific heat, specific enthalpy et al are all rigidly tied to mass in exactly the same proportion for every type of molecule and that every type of molecule of a particular mass behaves identically to every other molecule within a gravitational field ?

    If features other than mass affect the behaviour of a molecule within the gravitational field then the actual value of Rspecific must vary accordingly.

    As soon as one varies the value of Rspecific for the same amount of mass then the atmospheric volume can change without changing T.

  104. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    Phil.

    I realise that you may be pointing me to a better understanding of the terms of expression but I feel that the main point is being missed.

    How does one calculate the actual value of Rspecific for a given gas or mixture of gases when, say, the specific heat of that gas or mixture of gases can vary independently from the amount of mass involved ?

    For example, C02 molecules have absorption and radiative characteristics very different from say Argon.

    CO2 and Ar indeed have different heat capacities but it doesn’t depend on their absorptive or radiative characteristics. The heat capacity of a gas depends on the number of degrees of freedom the molecule has to store energy.

    For a monatomic gas like Ar there are only three translational DoF, at constant volume each DoF can store a maximum of R/2 Joules so the heat capacity is 3R/2, for polyatomic gases like CO2 additional DoF corresponding to rotational and vibrational motions must be added (R/2 at a time).
    So polyatomic gases will have higher heat capacities than Ar, in each case though Rspec will be equal to R/M. so for the same mass of gas you will have different Rspec but not different R. This is nothing to do with non-ideality.
    For air at atmospheric conditions the ideal gas law applies almost perfectly as I showed above.

    Other types of molecules vary in their chemical behaviour.

    Therefore the values of Rspecific for CO2 and Argon would differ for the same amount of mass wouldn’t they ?

    Yes by the ratios of their molar masses, nothing to do with specific heat.

    Are you saying that the specific heat, specific enthalpy et al are all rigidly tied to mass in exactly the same proportion for every type of molecule and that every type of molecule of a particular mass behaves identically to every other molecule within a gravitational field ?

    Specific heat, specific enthalpy etc. are all related to the relevant molar quantity by the molar mass of the molecule, nothing to do with ideality.

    In the lower part of our atmosphere (the homosphere, up to 70km) all gases behave as a mixture of constant composition.

    If features other than mass affect the behaviour of a molecule within the gravitational field then the actual value of Rspecific must vary accordingly.

    As soon as one varies the value of Rspecific for the same amount of mass then the atmospheric volume can change without changing T.

    Such a change would require a major change in composition far greater than we observe, say an increase of CO2 to 10% which would change Rspec by about 5% but since the Molar mass of the atmosphere would also have changed there would be no change in the Gas Law unless you also changed the number of moles in the atmosphere. A doubling of CO2 would have no observable effect on Rspec or Specific heat of the air.

    The Rspec argument is a red herring.

  105. I entered this comment at http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/watt-is-up-with-roger-pielke-sr/

    where my post was erroneously reported.

    “Radiative forcing is the change in the net, downward minus upward, irradiance
    (expressed in W m–2) at the tropopause or top of atmosphere due to a change in an external driver of climate change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun.” http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_AnnexIII.pdf

    as you noted in your post. The IPCC further writes

    “The traditional radiative forcing is computed with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values, and after allowing for stratospheric temperatures, if perturbed, to readjust to radiative-dynamical equilibrium. Radiative forcing is called instantaneous if no change in stratospheric temperature is accounted for. The radiative forcing once rapid adjustments are accounted for is termed the effective radiative forcing.”

    Are you actually claiming that the radiative forcing is the same as the radiative imbalance? If so (and this is not my definition), than you still need to explain where the added water vapor and cloud positive radiative contributions fit into the observed changes in ocean heat content.

    Now, why do not you start with the physics definition that I present in my post that

    Radiative Imbalance = Radiative Forcing + Radiative Feedbacks

    and present the magnitudes of each term on the right (since we have a good estimate of the imbalance from the ocean heat content changes.

    Also, it would be courteous to identify yourself (or maybe you have, and I have not seen that).

    Cordially

    Roger A. Pielke Sr.

  106. P.S. It would not let me post on their weblog. Very sad. However, it does tell you something about a weblog where the person does not give their name.

  107. Janice Moore says:

    Just clarifying (to prevent a silent reader’s being misled) the following statement in B. W.’s well-reasoned and essentially accurate post (at 10:26am on Oct. 21):

    Ice core records confirm that air temps lag CO2 changes over those time scales.

    (emphasis mine)

    — Assuming that “those times scales” are > 1,000 years, bw was correct, but, to prevent misunderstanding, I note here that over shorter time scales, CO2 lags temperature.

    In Dr. Murry Salby’s April 18, 2013 Hamburg, Germany lecture he explains this in terms a non-scientist can understand (You Tube video linked below):

    from my Guide to Video:
    [4:25] Proxy evidence of past atmospheric composition
    – Ice cores (air bubbles in column sink under pressure of ice above them)
    – Proxy temperature is inferred from isotopic oxygen

    [6:47] CO2 and atmospheric temperature have strong coherence (.8) throughout the entire proxy record (when longer than 10,000 years); if one changes, so must the other
    – At small (< 1,000 years) positive lag (of CO2 echoing temp.) is maximum coherence
    – Phase of temperature and CO2 hovers near 0 (i.e., cohere nearly in-phase) [8:20]

    [8:50] Observed Modern Changes
    – 50 years of data
    – Max correlation of .5 where CO2 lags temperature by 10 months
    [9:06] (and CO2 lags temperature at significant correlation over wide range of time scales)
    – CO2 is conserved in atmosphere, rate of change in CO2 level must EQUAL net emission from earth’s surface from all sources and sinks.
    [9:45] (formula drCO2/dt = net emission CO2)
    – [10:32] Native (natural) emission of CO2 depends strongly on temperature
    – [10:58] Net CO2 emission has .63 correlation with temperature
    – [11:35] CO2 evolves like the integral of temperature, i.e., it is proportional to the cumulative net emission of CO2 from all sources and sinks
    – [13:52] Temp. and CO2 evolve coherently on all times scales longer than 2 years
    – [14:03] CO2 lags temp. by a quarter cycle (i.e., in quadrature, using cosine and sine, lags by 90 degrees)

    Source:

  108. Phil.

    I think I can see where we differ and how my terms of expression could be improved.

    The issue should be a matter of distinguishing between the universal gas constant and the individual gas constant rather than using the terms Rspecific. and R.

    See here:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/individual-universal-gas-constant-d_588.html

    Here are the values of R for the three gases mentioned in my article.

    Nitrogen is 296.8

    water vapour is 461.5

    Carbon Dioxide is 188.9

    It seems that the values of both R (and Rspecific) vary from gas to gas and for different mixtures of gases.

    R is a universal constant only for an Ideal Gas.

    The lower is the individual gas constant for a gas the less energy is needed to provide the Joules required to lift 1kg to a height where it cools by 1K

    The less energy is needed the higher the gas will rise off the surface at a given temperature and the greater will be the volume of the atmosphere.

    The more energy is needed the less high the gas will rise off the surface at a given temperature and the volume of the atmosphere will be less.

    Nitrogen is relatively inert and comprising most of the atmosphere is close to that of air with Nitrogen at 296.8 and air at 286.9

    Water vapour is light once formed but has required a lot of latent heat to form in the first place so the energy requirement to lift it from the surface is high even though it is a lighter gas. Thus 461.5

    CO2 is heavier than air but acquires energy from absorption capability so the amount of energy required from the surface to lift it is less at 188.9

    So it turns out that whether one refers to R, Rspecific or the individual gas constant the relevant number is indeed a variable and atmospheres of different compositions can have different volumes for the same mass and temperature.

    R is only a constant for an Ideal Gas and in the real world there is no such thing.

    Having established that that number is a variable within the Gas Laws the basic contention in my article is correct in that Volume will change with a change in the composition of the gas mixture without a corresponding change in T.

    I need to revise my article to remove the red herring of Rspecific and make it clear that it is the individual gas constant that provides the system with the necessary flexibility.

    I am grateful to Phil for focusing on the relevant issue so that I could refine the concept.

  109. Eric Barnes says:

    Very interesting!
    Thanks Phil and Stephen.

  110. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 24, 2013 at 1:15 am
    Phil.

    I think I can see where we differ and how my terms of expression could be improved.

    The issue should be a matter of distinguishing between the universal gas constant and the individual gas constant rather than using the terms Rspecific. and R.
    Well the individual and specific gas constants are alternate terms for the same thing, but use whichever works for you.

    See here:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/individual-universal-gas-constant-d_588.html

    Here are the values of R for the three gases mentioned in my article.

    Nitrogen is 296.8

    water vapour is 461.5

    Carbon Dioxide is 188.9

    All given by dividing the universal constant by the molar mass of the gas, multiply the values by the molar mass of each gas and you get 8.31J/K.mole, those are all expressed in J/K.gm.
    This is what you must do if you wish to work in mass units as engineers usually do. Note that CO2 and propane which have the same molar masses have the same value (as do CO and N2).

    It seems that the values of both R (and Rspecific) vary from gas to gas and for different mixtures of gases.
    In mass units yes, but the universal gas constant does not change since it’s a molar unit.

    R is a universal constant only for an Ideal Gas.

    No it’s also true for Real gases. The simplest (and first) equation of state, van der Waals equation is given by:
    RT= (P+a/V^2)(V-b)
    where ‘a’ corrects for attraction between molecules and ‘b’ accounts for the volume of the molecules. R is the universal gas constant. There are other more complicated equations but they all use the same R (since at low pressures such as in our atmosphere they must describe an ideal gas). However as I pointed out above the Ideal gas law is all that is required in our atmosphere, not in Venus though where the lower atmosphere is super-critical!

    The lower is the individual gas constant for a gas the less energy is needed to provide the Joules required to lift 1kg to a height where it cools by 1K

    The less energy is needed the higher the gas will rise off the surface at a given temperature and the greater will be the volume of the atmosphere.

    The more energy is needed the less high the gas will rise off the surface at a given temperature and the volume of the atmosphere will be less.

    Here you go astray because to describe this process you must go to the first law of thermodynamics and adiabatic expansion because as the gas rises it expands and cools and in that case PV^k = constant where k=Cv/Cp which depends on the gas, 1.4 for diatomics like N2 and O2 and ~1.3 for CO2.

    Nitrogen is relatively inert and comprising most of the atmosphere is close to that of air with Nitrogen at 296.8 and air at 286.9

    Water vapour is light once formed but has required a lot of latent heat to form in the first place so the energy requirement to lift it from the surface is high even though it is a lighter gas. Thus 461.5

    CO2 is heavier than air but acquires energy from absorption capability so the amount of energy required from the surface to lift it is less at 188.9

    So it turns out that whether one refers to R, Rspecific or the individual gas constant the relevant number is indeed a variable and atmospheres of different compositions can have different volumes for the same mass and temperature.

    If you work in mass units but not if you work in molar units.

    R is only a constant for an Ideal Gas and in the real world there is no such thing.

    Not true, R is constant for all gases, and our atmosphere in any case can be described as an ideal gas to at least 4 decimal places, i.e. compressibility factor at one bar is 0.9999!

    Having established that that number is a variable within the Gas Laws the basic contention in my article is correct in that Volume will change with a change in the composition of the gas mixture without a corresponding change in T.

    Only if there is a substantial change in the composition of our atmosphere such as the addition of huge quantities of CO2, e.g. raise it to 10% of the atmosphere! Adding a few hundred ppm won’t change anything.
    PV=n*8.3145T and PV^1.4 works very well for the atmosphere in molar units.
    PV=m*286.9T and PV^1.4 works very well for the atmosphere in mass units.

    I need to revise my article to remove the red herring of Rspecific and make it clear that it is the individual gas constant that provides the system with the necessary flexibility.

    I am grateful to Phil for focusing on the relevant issue so that I could refine the concept.

    You need to do rather more than that as shown above.

  111. Hi Phil.

    Whilst I respect your superior technical expertise I think you have missed the point.

    You will get no disagreement from me that for all practical purposes the Ideal Gas Law is good enough to work with.

    Nor that atmospheric compressibility is small.

    It is interesting that you now agree that the individual gas constant and Rspecific are interchangeable so I don’t need to change my article after all.

    Let me try to put the point across another way.

    To raise 1kg of CO2 from the surface to a height where it cools by 1K ‘costs’ 188.9 units of surface energy.

    To raise 1KG of air from the surface to a height where it cools by 1K ‘costs’ 286.9 units of surface energy.

    Air is a mixture of gases including CO2 and the atmosphere as a whole has a volume V determined by both surface temperature T and the energy cost of lifting the constituent molecules of the entire mixed atmosphere off the surface to the observed height.

    If one then adds an additional CO2 molecule the energy cost of that molecule is less than the average for the atmosphere as a whole so it will rise to a higher level than the average height of all the other atmospheric molecules at a given temperature. At that higher level it will be at the same temperature as the other air molecules around it due to the lapse rate.

    I seem to recall reading that at some specific height CO2 molecules outnumber H20 molecules so that would be evidence in support of the proposition that CO2 rises higher than average.

    That higher level increases total atmospheric volume, infinitesimally as you say, but the higher than average height achievable by CO2 at a given temperature means that the extra CO2 molecule has more potential energy than average for the atmosphere as a whole.

    That additional potential energy has then mopped up the kinetic energy difference between the surface energy cost of 188.9 units and the average energy cost for the atmospheric molecules as a whole which is 286.9 units.

    Can you not see that ?

    Logically, CO2 must rise to a height that converts any extra energy that it absorbs to potential energy rather than kinetic energy so it can only increase V and not T.

    Phil, you have agreed that R. Rspecific or the individual gas constant does vary if one works with mass rather than moles.

    If one can vary that term on one side of the equation then one can vary V on the other side without involving T.

    That is sufficient to dispose of any addition to the mass and gravity induced greenhouse effect from CO2 molecules.

    CO2 increases potential energy but not kinetic energy due to it requiring less Joules per kg per degree K than air to raise it above the surface at any given temperature.

    It achieves that quite simply by rising higher than the average atmospheric molecule.

  112. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 24, 2013 at 11:00 am
    Hi Phil.

    Whilst I respect your superior technical expertise I think you have missed the point.

    You will get no disagreement from me that for all practical purposes the Ideal Gas Law is good enough to work with.

    Nor that atmospheric compressibility is small.

    It is interesting that you now agree that the individual gas constant and Rspecific are interchangeable so I don’t need to change my article after all.

    That was never a problem, it was identifying the Rspecific with non-ideality which was wrong.

    Let me try to put the point across another way.

    To raise 1kg of CO2 from the surface to a height where it cools by 1K ‘costs’ 188.9 units of surface energy.

    To do this you need PV^k=constant for an idiabatic expansion not the gas law.

    To raise 1KG of air from the surface to a height where it cools by 1K ‘costs’ 286.9 units of surface energy.

    Air is a mixture of gases including CO2 and the atmosphere as a whole has a volume V determined by both surface temperature T and the energy cost of lifting the constituent molecules of the entire mixed atmosphere off the surface to the observed height.

    OK

    If one then adds an additional CO2 molecule the energy cost of that molecule is less than the average for the atmosphere as a whole so it will rise to a higher level than the average height of all the other atmospheric molecules at a given temperature. At that higher level it will be at the same temperature as the other air molecules around it due to the lapse rate.

    No this is a fundamental mistake, the gases in air do not rise independently they rise together as a mixture, only once the homosphere has been left does composition depend on molecular mass (above 70km+).

    I seem to recall reading that at some specific height CO2 molecules outnumber H20 molecules so that would be evidence in support of the proposition that CO2 rises higher than average.

    That is because water vapor is not a permanent gas in the atmosphere so its concentration drops once it has reached the saturation altitude, the ratio of N2 to CO2 will remain the same up to about 100km.

    That higher level increases total atmospheric volume, infinitesimally as you say, but the higher than average height achievable by CO2 at a given temperature means that the extra CO2 molecule has more potential energy than average for the atmosphere as a whole.

    That additional potential energy has then mopped up the kinetic energy difference between the surface energy cost of 188.9 units and the average energy cost for the atmospheric molecules as a whole which is 286.9 units.

    Doesn’t happen for the reason stated above.

    Can you not see that ?

    Logically, CO2 must rise to a height that converts any extra energy that it absorbs to potential energy rather than kinetic energy so it can only increase V and not T.

    Phil, you have agreed that R. Rspecific or the individual gas constant does vary if one works with mass rather than moles.

    If one can vary that term on one side of the equation then one can vary V on the other side without involving T.

    That is sufficient to dispose of any addition to the mass and gravity induced greenhouse effect from CO2 molecules.

    CO2 increases potential energy but not kinetic energy due to it requiring less Joules per kg per degree K than air to raise it above the surface at any given temperature.

    It achieves that quite simply by rising higher than the average atmospheric molecule.

    It does not do so it rises to the same height as the other molecules in its local parcel of gas. Look up mean free path, at atmospheric pressure it’s about 70 nm.

  113. Thank you Phil. You are making me work and certain aspects are becoming clearer.

    If you still have the patience let me try a slightly different tack.

    I note that R is high for light gases such as Helium but low for heavier gases such as CO2.

    The size of R is therefore proportionate to molecular weight as you pointed out which leaves no room for any influence on R from molecular characteristics other than mass.

    I’ll pull my article pending further thought.

    Furthermore, Joules are a measure of work done so the reason why R is higher for light gases than heavy gases would presumably be that for a light gas more work can be achieved for the same expenditure of surface energy.

    That means that R is not primarily a measure of the energy cost of the work done (though it is that as well) but rather a measure of the work achievable from any given energy cost.

    Is that a reasonable summary so far ?

    Assuming it is then one needs another way of accounting for the extra conversion of kinetic energy to potential energy that would be needed to support any proposal that GHGs do not change surface temperature.

    How about the proposition that radiative and absorption characteristics would allow GHGs to reach a higher temperature than that imparted to them by energy at the surface so that they would rise to a higher location than would be predicted from their weights and their value of R ?

    I note that they do not rise independently because they would conduct some of their extra energy to surrounding non GHGs and the whole parcel would rise higher with kinetic energy being converted to potential energy to a greater extent than for a radiatively inert atmosphere.

    Presumably total V would not be affected because any rising molecule would simply displace another molecule in an enhancement to the speed of the general circulation. So instead of a change in V we see a faster circulation.

    That would be an acceptable alternative to a volume change for the purpose of neutralising an effect on surface T from GHGs.

    Given that CO2 is heavier than air we would expect it to be mostly at the surface but in fact it is a ‘well mixed’ gas in terms of height and there is plenty high up in the atmosphere. Therefore one could suppose that their height and mixing ability is a result of radiative characteristics supplementing the energy they acquire from the surface.

    Any enhancement of the general circulation would deliver energy back to the surface faster on the descent part of the adiabatic cycle and so would be returned to space sooner.

    So, insofar as CO2 molecules acquire more than their fair share of kinetic energy that does not slow down the throughput of solar energy through the system since their rise speeds up the adiabatic cycle and that ‘excess’ energy gets expelled from the surface faster to compensate.

    That would explain the absence of a tropospheric ‘hot spot’ since the energy that was supposed to accumulate higher up would simply have been dragged back to the surface faster in the accelerated descent of the adiabatic cycle for earlier radiation out from the surface.

    In the process of all that, CO2 molecules are simply placed higher in the atmospheric column than can be explained just from their value of R.

    Does that make sense to you ?

  114. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm
    Thank you Phil. You are making me work and certain aspects are becoming clearer.

    If you still have the patience let me try a slightly different tack.

    I note that R is high for light gases such as Helium but low for heavier gases such as CO2.

    The size of R is therefore proportionate to molecular weight as you pointed out which leaves no room for any influence on R from molecular characteristics other than mass.

    I’ll pull my article pending further thought.

    Furthermore, Joules are a measure of work done so the reason why R is higher for light gases than heavy gases would presumably be that for a light gas more work can be achieved for the same expenditure of surface energy.

    That means that R is not primarily a measure of the energy cost of the work done (though it is that as well) but rather a measure of the work achievable from any given energy cost.

    Is that a reasonable summary so far ?

    Assuming it is then one needs another way of accounting for the extra conversion of kinetic energy to potential energy that would be needed to support any proposal that GHGs do not change surface temperature.

    R is a constant for all molecules, it is related to Boltzmann’s constant, k, which relates energy at the molecular level with temperature, R is the product of k and Avagadro’s number. If you want to compare different numbers of molecules then you have to adjust for the differing number, this is what you are doing when you compare equal masses. If you want to get into energy costs of raising parcels of gases you should not be using PV=nRT anyway, as I’ve told you above.

    How about the proposition that radiative and absorption characteristics would allow GHGs to reach a higher temperature than that imparted to them by energy at the surface so that they would rise to a higher location than would be predicted from their weights and their value of R ?

    I note that they do not rise independently because they would conduct some of their extra energy to surrounding non GHGs and the whole parcel would rise higher with kinetic energy being converted to potential energy to a greater extent than for a radiatively inert atmosphere.
    …………….
    Does that make sense to you ?

    No it does not, rather than answer each point I’ll attempt to cover it below.

    Your whole premise seems to be based on the idea that gas molecules can behave differently in a mixture depending on their type, for example:
    “Given that CO2 is heavier than air we would expect it to be mostly at the surface but in fact it is a ‘well mixed’ gas in terms of height and there is plenty high up in the atmosphere. Therefore one could suppose that their height and mixing ability is a result of radiative characteristics supplementing the energy they acquire from the surface.”
    This is a complete misconception about how gases behave. If you have a chamber which is divided into two parts and on one side you have N2 at a pressure of one bar and on the other side CO2 at one bar, remove the separator and the two gases will mix by diffusion and will subsequently behave as a mixture. Even though one gas is 50% denser than the other they will not segregate under the influence of gravity. The reason is that the gas molecules are flying around at velocities of ~500m/s but at atmospheric pressure will travel about 70nm before they hit another molecule and change direction, these collisions occur about 10 time per nanosec.
    Each gas molecule has three translational degrees of freedom which on average adds up to 3RT/2 J/mole. That’s all there is for a monatomic gas like Argon, polyatomic gases like N2, CO2, H2O have in addition internal modes due to rotation and vibration which add potential for additional factors of R/2 for each mode. When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon it gains energy in the rot/vib modes, it has the option to emit that extra energy as light or to pass it on via collisions to other molecules (mostly N2 and CO2). At atmospheric pressure there are so many frequent collisions that most of the energy is shared with the neighboring molecules so the effect is to raise the temperature of the whole mixture. CO2 behaves as a component of the mixture, it does not reach higher altitudes than any other of the gases (at least up to 70km, above that altitude gases do segregate by mass because the collisions are so rare).

    Hope that helps?

  115. Would a pure CO2 atmosphere have a different volume to a pure Nitrogen atmosphere ?

  116. Of the same mass and at the same temperature and pressure, that is.

  117. Phil. says:

    Same mass yes, same # of moles no.
    A pure CO2 atmosphere with the same pressure as ours would be crazy hot!

  118. That’s what I thought.

    The differences in molecular weight require different volumes for the same mass, temperature and pressure.

    Hence the differing individual gas constants.

    Thus we must look elsewhere for the thermal effects of other characteristics such as radiative absorption capability.

    Additional energy absorption capability would affect volume and / or temperature so we need to examine the Gas Laws to see what they can tell us about overall atmospheric behaviour when something which is not a term of the Gas Law tries to force changes.

    My conclusion is that the gas constant determines the atmospheric volume so as to balance surface temperature with the need to maintain energy balance at ToA and hold the atmosphere off the surface.

    If anything else seeks to upset the atmospheric volume and surface temperature balance set by the gas constant then the system can only respond by changing the balance between kinetic and potential energy otherwise the surface would become too hot or too cold and the atmosphere would eventually be lost.

    Too cold a surface would allow a permanent excess of energy in and too warm a surface would allow a permanent excess of energy out.

    The Gas Law should be adapted thus:

    PV = mRspecificE
    Where E represents total system energy content and the value of Rspecific determines how much of E can be in kinetic form as heat and how much in potential form as height.

  119. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 27, 2013 at 4:58 am

    The Gas Law should be adapted thus:

    PV = mRspecificE
    Where E represents total system energy content and the value of Rspecific determines how much of E can be in kinetic form as heat and how much in potential form as height.

    Absolutely not, RT is kinetic energy, the units of your equation don’t balance!
    PV is proportional to the average molecular kinetic energy of the gas (the translational modes not the internal modes)
    Average KE of a molecule=3kbT/2, for a mole of the gas: KE=3RT/2
    Hence PV=nRT

  120. I know RT is kinetic energy and that is all the kinetic energy one can have if mass is the only determinant of how much energy a molecule can hold.

    Why have you switched back to moles ?

    Radiative theory says that GHG molecules have additional ability to absorb energy which is apparently not related to their mass.

    Or do you dispute that ?

    Any such additional energy acquired must place them and other molecules they collide with higher in the atmosphere for an increase in V and total energy (PE + KE).

    How would you propose to deal with that ?

    I suggest that ALL the energy in the atmosphere whether PE or KE determines PV but that the value of R sets the proportion of that energy that needs be in kinetic form to comply with PV = nRT.

    The thing is that PV = nRT only works for a parcel of gas that expands within an atmosphere. Such expansion is equal both up and down so gravitational potential energy stays the same. Intermolecular forces are too small to consider.

    For an atmosphere around a planet the rules have to change because PE is about 50% of the energy in the atmosphere but is not dealt with in the standard equation.

    If molecules can absorb additional energy over and above that needed to support their mass then it all has to go to PE.

    It is the shifting of that additional energy to PE that balances the equation when V increases more than one would expect from the mass alone.

    There might be a better way to formulate a new equation though.

  121. Slight clarification.

    GHGs appear to be able to acquire more energy than is required to support their mass at a given level of irradiation from outside the atmosphere.

  122. It is the level of irradiation from outside working on the available mass which produces
    PV = nRT.

    If some other factor than mass can alter T without more energy coming in from outside which is what radiative theory proposes then it is that which unbalances the equation.

    If T gets altered by a factor other than mass then V must change to regain balance but one cannot raise T again or the equation remains unbalanced.

    The only way one can regain balance is by shifting the excess energy to PE.

  123. Note that T is surface temperature for a planet and not the Temperature of the gases. You seem to be conflating the two.

  124. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 28, 2013 at 7:54 am
    I know RT is kinetic energy and that is all the kinetic energy one can have if mass is the only determinant of how much energy a molecule can hold.

    Why have you switched back to moles ?

    Because it’s the rational way to do it, using mass doesn’t help.

    Radiative theory says that GHG molecules have additional ability to absorb energy which is apparently not related to their mass.

    It’s related to the number of internal modes and their nature (rotational and vibrational), nothing to do with mass.

    Or do you dispute that ?

    Any such additional energy acquired must place them and other molecules they collide with higher in the atmosphere for an increase in V and total energy (PE + KE).

    No, only if the energy is transferred to the translational modes, having more kinetic energy increases the temperature.

    How would you propose to deal with that ?

    I suggest that ALL the energy in the atmosphere whether PE or KE determines PV but that the value of R sets the proportion of that energy that needs be in kinetic form to comply with PV = nRT.

    It doesn’t work like that!

    The thing is that PV = nRT only works for a parcel of gas that expands within an atmosphere. Such expansion is equal both up and down so gravitational potential energy stays the same. Intermolecular forces are too small to consider.

    No, the equation of state works for any parcel of gas that meets the ideal gas conditions

    For an atmosphere around a planet the rules have to change because PE is about 50% of the energy in the atmosphere but is not dealt with in the standard equation.

    Then you should use the hydrostatic equation.

    If molecules can absorb additional energy over and above that needed to support their mass then it all has to go to PE.

    It goes to both kinetic and potential energy of the rotational and vibrational modes, through collisions it can be converted to translational kinetic energy and hence T and V.

    It is the shifting of that additional energy to PE that balances the equation when V increases more than one would expect from the mass alone.

    No, see above and a good text on the Kinetic Theory of gases.

  125. 1) “No, the equation of state works for any parcel of gas that meets the ideal gas conditions”

    It doesn’t work for an entire atmosphere because it isn’t a parcel and doesn’t meet the ideal gas conditions.

    2) “Any such additional energy acquired must place them and other molecules they collide with higher in the atmosphere for an increase in V and total energy (PE + KE).
    No, only if the energy is transferred to the translational modes, having more kinetic energy increases the temperature.”

    Well it can’t affect kinetic energy otherwise the surface temperature becomes permanently too high for ToA radiative balance and the atmosphere will be lost. So it has to go to translational modes.

    3) “Radiative theory says that GHG molecules have additional ability to absorb energy which is apparently not related to their mass.
    t’s related to the number of internal modes and their nature (rotational and vibrational), nothing to do with mass.”

    If it isn’t related to mass then the equation of state doesn’t work which is the problem that you seem not to appreciate. The equation of state deals with gravity working on mass and nothing else.

    4) “Why have you switched back to moles ?
    Because it’s the rational way to do it, using mass doesn’t help.”

    You have to use mass because gravity does work on mass.

    5) Earlier we had this exchange:

    “atmospheres of different compositions can have different volumes for the same mass and temperature.
    If you work in mass units but not if you work in molar units.”

    That being the case we must work in mass units.

    In summary, I don’t think you are seeing the problem that needs to be addressed.

    The fact is that the equation of state deals ONLY with the interaction between gravity and mass. It fails to deal with anything that affects T or V other than mass.

    Furthermore, anything other than mass that affects T upsets the equation of state resulting in a permanent ToA energy imbalance.

    The only way top avoid that imbalance is to change V alone which involves more PE at the expense of KE.

  126. If I follow your logic it seems that the answer is that radiative absorption affects translational modes only and that can result in more V without higher T at the surface.

  127. I think I’ve misread one of your points.

    The translational mode is kinetic energy so my comment at 12.23 is wrong.

    That being the case your contention is that inevitably any extra radiative energy absorbed must go to translational mode / kinetic energy which must then affect both T and V.

    Which again leaves us with a value of T at the surface which produces a permanent energy imbalance at ToA.

    How would you address that problem ?

  128. Phil.

    The problem here is that we have been conflating the thermal behaviour of a discrete parcel of gas suspended above a surface (the Gas Laws apply) with the thermal behaviour of a surface overlain by a volume of gas (The Laws of Thermodynamics apply).

    You have pointed me to the issue of thermodynamics a couple of times so perhaps it is my fault.

    It has always been my contention that the surface temperature stays the same when the gas above it acquires more energy from anywhere other than the surface and that any such additional energy acquired by the gas from elsewhere simply results in more uplift and an increase in PE which mops up what would otherwise have been more KE. That results in a new compromise between the height of the atmosphere and the slope of the lapse rate.

    Surface temperature is determined by insolation plus the weight of the atmosphere (m) resting on the surface (P) and so the surface temperature is ‘locked’ because volume (V) is irrelevant to it.
    The temperature of the gases at any given height above the surface is then determined by the lapse rate which itself is derived from the decline in density with height which in turn is related to the pressure gradient. That involves the Gas Laws.

    If a parcel of gas acquires more energy than is possible just from energy conducting or being lifted by convection up from the surface then it becomes too warm for its position in the atmospheric column and it will rise until it is at the right temperature.

    In the process ALL such additional energy goes to PE.

    So, for a free floating parcel of gas V is indeed tied to T as per the Gas Laws but if extra energy is added then atmospheric thermodynamics changes its position in the vertical column in accordance with Rspecific so that Rspecific does indeed determine the relative proportions of KE and PE.

    Rspecific determines how much KE is needed to lift the parcel’s weight off the surface to the height set by incoming insolation at the surface and any excess energy then acquired goes to PE instead.

    Not because of the Gas Laws (as you pointed out) but by virtue of thermodynamics.
    Meanwhile, thermodynamics also requires that the entire energy content of an atmosphere (both PE and KE) determines the volume of the entire atmosphere (but not surface temperature) because ALL that energy content determines the height to which the atmosphere can rise off the surface.

    The Gas Laws need to be applied differently for a free floating parcel of gas and for an atmosphere around a planet.

    For the latter, one needs to combine the effects of the Gas Laws with basic thermodynamics.
    Is that any form of progress ?

  129. gnomish says:

    stephen-
    energy delivered to the ocean surface causes water to evaporate.
    change of phase from liquid to gas does not change temperature.
    water gas is the lightest gas (of any significance whatsoever) in our atmosphere.

  130. gnomish.

    Not sure what your point is since I accept those facts.

    There is no doubt that those features of water help to maintain stability but that is incorporated into what I said.

  131. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 29, 2013 at 12:17 am
    1) “No, the equation of state works for any parcel of gas that meets the ideal gas conditions”

    It doesn’t work for an entire atmosphere because it isn’t a parcel and doesn’t meet the ideal gas conditions.

    The equation of state applies to any parcel of gas within the atmosphere, our atmosphere if accurately described as an Ideal gas, you need to get that particular ‘bee out of your bonnet’.

    2) “Any such additional energy acquired must place them and other molecules they collide with higher in the atmosphere for an increase in V and total energy (PE + KE).
    No, only if the energy is transferred to the translational modes, having more kinetic energy increases the temperature.”

    Well it can’t affect kinetic energy otherwise the surface temperature becomes permanently too high for ToA radiative balance and the atmosphere will be lost. So it has to go to translational modes.

    3) “Radiative theory says that GHG molecules have additional ability to absorb energy which is apparently not related to their mass.
    t’s related to the number of internal modes and their nature (rotational and vibrational), nothing to do with mass.”

    If it isn’t related to mass then the equation of state doesn’t work which is the problem that you seem not to appreciate. The equation of state deals with gravity working on mass and nothing else.

    You are still confused, the equation of state is a formula describing the interconnection between various macroscopically measurable properties of a system.
    For physical states of matter, this equation usually relates the thermodynamic variables of pressure, temperature, volume and number of molecules to one another.

    The equation you need is the hydrostatic equation:
    P = −g ∫ ρ dh
    where g is gravity and ρ is the density of air.
    Since density varies with height we need to use the Equation of State:
    ρ=MP/(RT)

    4) “Why have you switched back to moles ?
    Because it’s the rational way to do it, using mass doesn’t help.”

    You have to use mass because gravity does work on mass.

    See above.

    5) Earlier we had this exchange:

    “atmospheres of different compositions can have different volumes for the same mass and temperature.
    If you work in mass units but not if you work in molar units.”

    That being the case we must work in mass units.

    In summary, I don’t think you are seeing the problem that needs to be addressed.

    The fact is that the equation of state deals ONLY with the interaction between gravity and mass. It fails to deal with anything that affects T or V other than mass.

    No, the equation of state is as I’ve described it you need the hydrostatic equation which I’ve described above.

    Furthermore, anything other than mass that affects T upsets the equation of state resulting in a permanent ToA energy imbalance.

    The only way top avoid that imbalance is to change V alone which involves more PE at the expense of KE.

    This makes no sense at all.

  132. “The equation you need is the hydrostatic equation:
    P = −g ∫ ρ dh
    where g is gravity and ρ is the density of air.
    Since density varies with height we need to use the Equation of State:
    ρ=MP/(RT)”

    Noted, thank you.

    I was wondering how to get density into the mix of relevant factors.

    Does my post at 3.03 make sense in light of the hydrostatic equation ?

  133. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 29, 2013 at 3:03 am
    Phil.

    The problem here is that we have been conflating the thermal behaviour of a discrete parcel of gas suspended above a surface (the Gas Laws apply) with the thermal behaviour of a surface overlain by a volume of gas (The Laws of Thermodynamics apply).

    You have pointed me to the issue of thermodynamics a couple of times so perhaps it is my fault.

    The Laws of Thermodynamics are applied, you’re trying to misapply them, see the post above concerning the hydrostatic equation.

    It has always been my contention that the surface temperature stays the same when the gas above it acquires more energy from anywhere other than the surface and that any such additional energy acquired by the gas from elsewhere simply results in more uplift and an increase in PE which mops up what would otherwise have been more KE. That results in a new compromise between the height of the atmosphere and the slope of the lapse rate.

    Now you bring in the lapse rate which is given by:

    Lapse rate= g/Cp

    Surface temperature is determined by insolation plus the weight of the atmosphere (m) resting on the surface (P) and so the surface temperature is ‘locked’ because volume (V) is irrelevant to it.
    The temperature of the gases at any given height above the surface is then determined by the lapse rate which itself is derived from the decline in density with height which in turn is related to the pressure gradient. That involves the Gas Laws.

    Surface temperature is determined by the balance between insolation and the heat loss into space. The lapse rate does not involve the Gas Laws!

    Rspecific determines how much KE is needed to lift the parcel’s weight off the surface to the height set by incoming insolation at the surface and any excess energy then acquired goes to PE instead.

    No it does not! For this you would refer to the equation for adiabatic expansion:

    PV^k=constant

    The Gas Laws need to be applied differently for a free floating parcel of gas and for an atmosphere around a planet.

    For the latter, one needs to combine the effects of the Gas Laws with basic thermodynamics.
    Is that any form of progress ?

    That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you but apparently you don’t know the relevant thermodynamics.

    Summary:

    P = −g ∫ ρ dh
    where g is gravity and ρ is the density of air.
    Since density varies with height we need to use the Equation of State:
    ρ=MP/(RT) where both P and T are functions of h.

    Lapse rate= g/Cp

    For a rising/falling parcel of air, PV^k is constant.

    Any energy transferred by absorption to a GHG will first raise the energy of the internal modes (rotation/vibration) which either be converted to translation by collisions (and hence temperature) or will be emitted as radiation. The former is more likely near the surface and the latter near the tropopause.

  134. wayne says:

    stephen,
    I have been following yours and Phil.’s conversation and I so much would like you to get this all sorted out. But I am going to stay on the sideline except this comment for Phil.’s feeding you exactly the same thing I was giving to you a ways back, it’s proper information he is giving you and clearer than I can do such. The only reason I jumped in is to say try picking up a calculator. It’s simple to see the relations if you see it in actual numbers in action, for instance:

    ρ=MP/(RT)

    Density at the surface is:
    ρ = 0.02896 kg/mole * 101325 Pa / (8.314 J/K/mole * 288 K) = 1.225 kg/m³

    You know, that is correct, 1.225 kg/m³ as given by the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere and you just calculated it from two variables, the pressure and the temperature.

    Write down those that do not change (constants) and don’t lose them:
    8.314 J/K/mole is the universal gas constant, it NEVER changes, even on Venus or Jupiter.
    0.028964 kg/mole is air’s molecular mass, on Earth with constant composition it never changes.

    So, that equation with those two constants and the pressure and temperature of any level will give you back the density there.

    Now, watch carefully what Rspecific is, I am going to derive it and rewrite the equation above:

    Rspecific of air = 8.314 J/K/mole / 0.028964 kg/mole = 287.05 J/K/kg instead of J/K/mole.
    See, all that happened is kg took the place of moles and moles disappeared.

    So also you can now say that
    ρ=MP/(RT)
    becomes
    ρ=P/(Rspecific · T)

    Notice no M in the numerator anymore, it merged with R, the universal form or R to be the specific form of R for Earth’s air.
    So:
    ρ = 101325 Pa / (287.05 J/K/kg * 288 K) = 1.225 kg/m³, correct.

    So also write down this constant for Earth’s air:
    287.05 J/K/kg is the specific gas constant for air, and DOES change for Venus and Jupiter for their atmospheric gases are of a different composition. Even better call it Rair instead of Rspecific.

    Try to work through each of the equations until you know each by heart, frontwards and backwards. I did that same in the last few years, I didn’t have them memorized then either, but all I just wrote came not by Googling but out of my head. I bet when you get to that point you should know how all of these confusing variables all effect each of the others. It is not trivial.

    I’ll step back in the background. ;)

  135. Ok chaps.

    I’ll pull back too and apply thought for a while.

    Thank you for giving me your time.

  136. “Any energy transferred by absorption to a GHG will first raise the energy of the internal modes (rotation/vibration) which either be converted to translation by collisions (and hence temperature) or will be emitted as radiation. The former is more likely near the surface and the latter near the tropopause.

    If it rises higher it gains more PE and cools whilst at the same time radiating more effectively to space.

    On that basis would it really lead to a warmer surface ?

  137. Phil. says:

    Translational energy is independent from the internal modes, if the rot-vib energy is converted to translational energy it can no longer be emitted.

  138. But then, in so far as radiative emission to space is insufficient, it would rise converting KE to PE for a cooling effect.

    A molecule too low in the atmospheric column for its energy content radiates too much to the surface.

    A molecule too high in the atmospheric column for its energy content radiates too much to space.

    A molecule at exactly the correct height for its energy content does neither for a zero net effect.

    I admit to not being a scientist which is why I value and accept the opinion of my betters in that discipline.

    Against that, I have a lifetime of experience albeit as an amateur in climate and weather. In that arena I think I have a broader knowledge than most scientists.

    What we have here is a conundrum whereby energy out must equal energy in for the atmosphere as a whole over millions of years but radiative theory simply cannot work because it relies on a permanent imbalance between energy in and energy out.

    Observations show that the real world is not doing what the radiative theory requires.

    The answer must lie in the interaction between the gas laws and thermodynamics.

    I judge that any molecule acquiring additional energy from radiative absorption (whether directly or indirectly through collisions) must rise higher than it otherwise would have done and in the process settles at a height where it becomes cool enough for radiation to space to exactly match radiation back to the ground for a zero net effect on the top of atmosphere radiative balance.

    Instead of an increase in surface temperature the rise in height leads to an increase in radiation out.

    The atmosphere is full of molecules 50% rising and 50% falling so that overall on average the circulation ensures that top of atmosphere energy balance is maintained by having all molecules whether radiative or not at the correct heights for system stability.

    I accept that I do not have the mathematical experience, or the opportunity to acquire it, to provide a formal proof.

  139. I said “the rise in height leads to an increase in radiation out.”

    That appears to be inconsistent with your comment that if rot-vib energy is converted to translational energy it is no longer capable of being emitted so the higher a molecule goes as a result of translational energy the less it will emit.

    But you previously said that the higher the molecule the more likely it is that radiative emission would occur in preference to collisions increasing temperature.

    I think the answer is that it is a matter of balance.

    Taking the atmosphere as a whole the circulation will respond to the introduction of GHGs so as to ensure that the combined effect of rising as a result of increased translational energy and emission as a result of rot-vib will net out so as to affect neither surface temperature nor ToA radiative balance.

  140. wayne says:

    Stephen, you keep speaking of KE and PE and I have a question. Are the two effects you keep referencing located on opposite sides of the Earth? One on the day side rising due to additional solar energy, let’s say 50-100 meters, and the other side falling back during the twelve hours of nighttime? That is the only way I seem to see what you are saying as being a net effect and this is due to the conservation of local mass. This is a big globe and such effects can and do occur but they cannot be of very close proximity to each other, like a cloud and the air around the cloud. I get confused as to what is your references of locations, scales and times.

    I remember us speaking of that months ago so maybe that is still you are speaking of.

  141. wayne

    At any given moment half the molecules in the atmosphere are rising and half falling relative to the surface.

    That incorporates all times and all locations.

    Even a horizontal air flow moves up and down relative to the ground.

    All movements upward convert KE to PE for a cooling effect. All movements downward convert PE to KE for a warming effect.

    Left to themselves all molecules with more KE rise whilst all molecules with less KE fall. In practice the presence of a global circulation makes it more complex.

    If a GHG acquires additional energy over and above that expected from its mass then it will rise higher than it otherwise would have done, more KE than otherwise would go to PE for a cooling effect and the greater height would allow it to radiate more effectively to space.

    Note that it only requires a specific amount of kinetic energy at the surface to raise the weight of each molecule in the atmosphere to a given height at a given level of external irradiation. If GHGs acquire more energy than that basic amount then they rise higher than non GHGs.

    Quite simply, the GHG molecule would rise to a cooler height where radiation to space would match radiation back to the ground for a net zero effect on surface temperature and ToA radiative balance.

    Increased DWIR from increased GHGs becomes a myth.

    It is true that the GHG would involve other molecules in the process via collisional activity but that simply makes it easier for the atmosphere as a whole to rise higher and convert more KE to PE.

  142. Phil. says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    But then, in so far as radiative emission to space is insufficient, it would rise converting KE to PE for a cooling effect.

    A molecule too low in the atmospheric column for its energy content radiates too much to the surface.

    A molecule too high in the atmospheric column for its energy content radiates too much to space.

    A molecule at exactly the correct height for its energy content does neither for a zero net effect.

    I admit to not being a scientist which is why I value and accept the opinion of my betters in that discipline.

    You still don’t get it. A molecule near the surface travels about 70nm before it collides with another molecule, your concept of a molecule travelling up in the atmosphere until it reaches the level appropriate to its KE just doesn’t happen. KE is rapidly exchanged with the neighboring molecules, probably all distributed in a mm.

    What we have here is a conundrum whereby energy out must equal energy in for the atmosphere as a whole over millions of years but radiative theory simply cannot work because it relies on a permanent imbalance between energy in and energy out.

    Where do you get this from? There is no such requirement, quite the contrary.

    The answer must lie in the interaction between the gas laws and thermodynamics.

    As stated earlier it’s all thermo.

    I judge that any molecule acquiring additional energy from radiative absorption (whether directly or indirectly through collisions) must rise higher than it otherwise would have done and in the process settles at a height where it becomes cool enough for radiation to space to exactly match radiation back to the ground for a zero net effect on the top of atmosphere radiative balance.

    No, see above.

    Instead of an increase in surface temperature the rise in height leads to an increase in radiation out.

  143. “You still don’t get it. A molecule near the surface travels about 70nm before it collides with another molecule, your concept of a molecule travelling up in the atmosphere until it reaches the level appropriate to its KE just doesn’t happen. KE is rapidly exchanged with the neighboring molecules, probably all distributed in a mm.”

    It is obvious that bulk activity goes on just as you say but the net outcome of all that bulk activity is to lift the weight of an atmosphere away from the irradiated surface to a height determined by the power of that irradiation.

    KE at a surface lifts an atmosphere off the surface. The more KE at the surface the higher it gets.

    In the process of rising, KE converts to PE and the higher molecules are colder.

    Radiative theory sets out a scenario where a surface can be warmer than the S-B equation predicts simply because of the absorption capabilities of GHGs. That involves less energy going out than coming in on a permanent basis. Not possible, because a surface warmer than S-B predicts must actually radiate more out than is coming in.

    The Gas Laws show that only mass can cause a surface to be sustainably warmer than S-B predicts because the KE at the surface has to hold the weight of the atmosphere off the surface whilst at the same time matching energy in with energy out.

    Once the energy exchange between atmospheric mass and the surface is deducted then the surface is at the temperature predicted by S-B.

    In the case of Earth the difference is 33K.

    If one then proposes additional DWIR from the atmosphere warming the surface further or preventing it from cooling as fast then that is the true breach of the S-B constant.

    AGW radiative theory is illogical.

  144. I’ve spent a couple of days on reflection.

    When I suggested that for an atmosphere around a planet the formulation:

    PV = mRspecificE should apply instead of the normal formulation PV = m RspecificT which applies for a parcel of gas within an atmosphere

    Phil’s response was basically that it doesn’t work like that and in support of that assertion he said:

    “A molecule near the surface travels about 70nm before it collides with another molecule, your concept of a molecule travelling up in the atmosphere until it reaches the level appropriate to its KE just doesn’t happen. KE is rapidly exchanged with the neighbouring molecules, probably all distributed in a mm”

    In other words he does not accept that the introduction of GHGs causes atmospheric expansion.

    I replied:

    “Bulk activity goes on just as you say but the net outcome of all that bulk activity is to lift the weight of an atmosphere away from the irradiated surface to a height determined by the power of that irradiation.
    KE at a surface lifts an atmosphere off the surface. The more KE at the surface the higher it gets.
    In the process of rising, KE converts to PE and the higher molecules are colder.”

    In other words I say that the introduction of GHGs does cause atmospheric expansion, a lifting higher away from the surface than justified by mass alone and creation of more PE at the expense of any excess KE.

    Wayne’s interjection did not address that issue.

    If GHGs cause atmospheric expansion then I am right. If they do not then Phil is right.

    For the moment we must agree to disagree and readers must make up their own minds.

  145. Eric Barnes says:

    Phil. says:
    October 30, 2013 at 6:16 am
    You still don’t get it. A molecule near the surface travels about 70nm before it collides with another molecule, your concept of a molecule travelling up in the atmosphere until it reaches the level appropriate to its KE just doesn’t happen. KE is rapidly exchanged with the neighboring molecules, probably all distributed in a mm.


    At some point you have to begin to doubt Phil’s sincerity in this conversation.

  146. Thanks Eric.

    I didn’t feel it appropriate for me to say that but if another says it I am gratified.

  147. Phil. says:

    Eric Barnes says:
    October 31, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    Phil. says:
    October 30, 2013 at 6:16 am
    You still don’t get it. A molecule near the surface travels about 70nm before it collides with another molecule, your concept of a molecule travelling up in the atmosphere until it reaches the level appropriate to its KE just doesn’t happen. KE is rapidly exchanged with the neighboring molecules, probably all distributed in a mm.


    At some point you have to begin to doubt Phil’s sincerity in this conversation.

    Really, why is that? I’ve spent a lot of time in this thread trying to straighten out Stephen’s misguided physics. Everything I’ve posted here can be verified in texts, countered by a completely content-free post by Eric! Whoop-de-doo!

  148. You cannot be sincere in trying to argue that, taking the atmosphere as a whole, the height achieved does not directly reflect the KE content of the constituent molecules.,

    That simple point subverts your entire contribution to date.

Comments are closed.