NASA revises Earth’s Radiation Budget, diminishing some of Trenberth’s claims in the process

From the “settled science” department comes this new revision of Earth’s entire radiation budget. Many WUWT readers can recall seeing this radiation budget graphic from Kenneth Trenberth in 2009:

erb[1]

The Earth’s annual radiation budget. The numbers are all in W/m2 (Watts per square meter), a measure of energy. Of the incoming radiation, 49% (168÷342) is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. That heat is returned to the atmosphere in a variety of forms (evaporation processes and thermal radiation, for example). Most of this back-scattered heat is absorbed by the atmosphere, which then re-emits it both up and down. Some is lost to space, and some stays in the Earth’s climate system. This is what drives the Greenhouse Effect [Figure from Trenberth et al. 2009].

Source: Trenberth et al. 2009 http://echorock.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Staff/Fasullo/my_pubs/Trenberth2009etalBAMS.pdf

That figure in a slightly different form also appeared in the 2007 IPCC AR4 WG1 report with different numbers: 

faq-1-1-figure-1-l[1]

Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/faq-1-1-figure-1-l.png

Note that in Trenberth’s 2009 paper, the energy from “back radiation” (from GHG action) value went up from 324 w/square meter cited by the IPCC in 2007 to 333 w/square meter. The net effect of that is increased energy back to Earth’s surface, making it warmer.

It seems odd that would increase so much, so quickly in two years. Even more surprising, is that now, the value has been revised even higher, to 340.3 w/square meter, while at the same time, the “Net Absorbed” value, that extra bit of energy that we get to keep from the sun on Earth, thanks to increased GHG action, has gone DOWN.

I know, it doesn’t make much sense, read on.

Alan Siddons writes in an email:

Reviewing NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) program this week, I noticed a graphic depiction I hadn’t seen before, at

http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/energy_budget/pdf/Energy_Budget_Litho_10year.pdf .

NASA_new_energy_budget

It was drafted with the assistance of Kevin Trenberth and contains some notable differences from the last effort of his that I’d seen, so I’ve inserted NASA’s new values over it.NASA _Rad_budget old-new

Cooler sun than before but a warmer surface. Less albedo and air absorption. Non-radiative cooling is higher than before but surface emission is higher too. “Net absorbed” refers to radiant energy going in but not yet being radiated – a ticking time bomb.

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

Note that somehow, between 2009 and the present, it was decided (presumably based on CERES measurements) that the Net Absorbed value (which is the extra energy absorbed that would result from increased GHG’s) would go DOWN from 0.9 w/square meter to 0.6w/square meter – an decrease of one third of the 2009 value.

This isn’t a typo, since many of the other numbers have changed as well.

With all the talk of the “settled science” that is certain about increases in Greenhouse gases, it seems that with such a revision, there’s still some very unsettled revisionist work afoot to get a handle on what the “real” energy budget of the Earth is. Perhaps the recent published works on climate sensitivity, coupled with observations of “the pause” have had some affect on these numbers as well. Meanwhile, according to the Mauna Loa data, CO2 concentration has risen from 388.16ppm in November 2009 when we had the big Copenhagen COP15 meeting that was supposed to change everything, to 397.31ppm in November 2013.

So with GHG’s on the increase, their effect has been reduced by a third in the NASA planetary energy budget. That’s quite remarkable.

So was Trenberth’s 2009 energy budget wrong, running too hot? It sure seems so. This is what NASA writes about that diagram:

The energy budget diagram on the front shows our best understanding of energy flows into and away from the Earth. It is based on the work of many scientists over more than 100 years, with the most recent measurements from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES; http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov) satellite instrument providing high accuracy data of the radiation components (reflected solar and emitted infrared radiation fluxes).

This energy balance determines the climate of the Earth. Our understanding of these energy flows will continue to evolve as scientists obtain a longer and longer record using new and better instruments (http://clarreo.larc.nasa.gov).

Source: http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/energy_budget/

It seems to be a clear case of observations trumping Trenberth.

So with the retained energy (the net absorbed figure) resulting from GHG’s like CO2 dropping by one third since 2009, can we now call off some of the most alarming aspects of global warming theory?

Related posts:

CERES Satellite Data and Climate Sensitivity

CO2 and CERES

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

UPDATE:

Alan Siddons writes in with some further research. Commenter John West also noted this in comments. Siddons writes:

Well, let me tell you what I found while tracking down that IPCC illustration. I did find it on an IPCC document, Regional Changes of Climate and some basic concepts , but it looked shabby there too, so I surmised that it was a careless copy-paste of somebody else’s work, not a product of the IPCC itself. On that basis I searched for “radiation budget” or “energy budget” and added the illustration’s particular figures to my search demand.

Bingo. The illustration actually came from a May 2013 American Institute of Physics paper, A new diagram of the global energy balance , by Martin Wild, et al.

Here’s a small version for your records.

Wild_etal_radiation_Budget

Other notes by Wild, Decadal changes in surface radiative fluxes – overview and update , yield some insight into his perspective  — for instance, this panel,

wild_brighten-dimming

which seems to indicate that less sunlight creates more compensatory back-radiation but a weaker terrestrial emission, while more sunlight “unmasks” the greenhouse effect. Wild’s conclusions are also notable.

  • Still considerable uncertainties in global mean radiation budget at the surface.
  • Models still tend to overestimate downward solar and underestimate downward thermal radiation
  • Strong decadal changes observed in both surface solar and thermal fluxes.

This last point seems to imply that changes to the Radiation Budget are not merely a result of improved measurements but reflect rather sudden changes in our thermal environment.

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

This leads me to wonder, why did NASA choose the values from Wild et al as opposed to Trenberth from the National Center For Atmosphereic Research?

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211 thoughts on “NASA revises Earth’s Radiation Budget, diminishing some of Trenberth’s claims in the process

  1. This is not surprising given the tiny fraction of the “imbalance” relative to the total incoming energy.

    It would be remarkable if reliable measurements could be made to this level of accuracy given all the variables involved.

    Expect to see this number changed again and again.

  2. Winding down the theoretical effect of so called GHG’s is patently obvious to be a staged cop-out in order to correlate with the latest accurate readings…

  3. Models and model outputs. Fools and politicians taken in by climate court jesters. Anyone that has worked with very complex models (physical or economic) knows such models as kith and kin of astrology. It is fun to play with, but don’t stake your 401k, IRA on their predictions. Instead it is best to bet the world economy on them (sarc). What would be useful would be believable Holocene exit predictions, but that will be forthcoming only with 20-20 hindsight models.

  4. How accurate are those measurements?
    The result is 0.2% of the measurements.
    If each had a 0.1% accuracy, the error could be up to 0.7 w/m2

  5. But to be serious, reading between the lines, there is clearly considerable back pedalling going on. Another few years of temperatures going no place or even falling, and it will all be over at an academic level. The politics will take a lot longer, and activism longer still because it will have to find another object.

    Professor Curry’s latest testimony to Congress is excellent by the way – balanced, judicious, reasonable, evidence based, and above all, skeptical.

  6. From the “It’s worse than we thought” department the imbalance has been tweaked up from a christmas light to a small torch bulb.

    It’s funny, I don’t see the kinetic and potential energies of gigatonnes of water being raised to 3Km, nor the energy extracted via photosynthesis, wind, lightning (EM, Sound), waves, weathering, rain, sound (from expansion/contraction), endothermic bio chemical processes, melting of ice, entropic processes or at least a dozen other processes that convert heat to other energy forms. Just this climate near perpetual motion machine, they are claiming has as an efficiency of 99.9%. (a Loss 0.9 watts in a thousand)

    There’s no science in that chart.

  7. Those are not really measurements, bug guesstimations of the global values based on a statistic of local measurements. The error bar is probably huge, way bigger than the assumed imbalance.

    Anyway, even when real measurements are involved, with no proper controls one can really get into troubles. Just look for the history of the electron charge. Millikan claimed 0.2% uncertainty. The reported value was 1.592*10^-19 coulombs. The current value is 1.602*10^-19.

    The evolution of the value is interesting. Feynman described it nicely.

  8. I have seen that Trenberth agreed in an email to Dr Noor Van Andel that the radiation window was actually 66 W/m2. If one adds to that 86 by evaporation and 18 by convection (likely to be wrong and much higher) that accounts for all (within a margin of error) the energy absorbed by the surface through radiation from the sun. All the rest is nonsense. There is no missing heat. The diagram and Trenberth’s original diagram are cartoons (to be laughed at) made by people who do not understand heat and mass transfer or thermodynamics (which are both engineering subjects).
    I bet Trenberth does not know what a Schmidt number is similar to Gavin Schmidt. On the otherhand, I bet some of those NASA engineers with real experience from the space program who signed a letter about NASA losing its way understand Reynolds, Prandtl and Nusselt numbers. Fourier as long ago as 1841 said an atmosphere changes simple concept of radiation due to convection.

  9. Yes, and you would have thought by now that they would have realised that recycled radiation (back radiation) cannot add heat to the surface from which it originated in the first place.

  10. bobl says: @ January 17, 2014 at 1:31 am

    ………….There’s no science in that chart.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    John Kehr, a Chemical Engineer by schooling and Research and Development Process Engineer by profession, has a few interesting thing to say about Trenberth’s cartoon. (Chem. Engineers are the guys who take all the thermo courses in college and then are expected to make all those formulas work in real life as Process Engineers.)

    The Earth’s Energy Balance: Simple Overview
    The idea behind an energy balance is the conservation of energy. All the energy that enters a system (the Earth for instance) must go somewhere. In the case of the Earth, most of the energy is leaving the Earth. The small amount of energy that does not leave is used (absorbed)….

    The overall summary of the energy balance is presented in a single graphic that shows the different energy transfers for the different parts of the Earth. I will use the 2008 version….

    This is reasonably accurate, but it is also entirely misleading. The two large energy flows named Surface Radiation and Back Radiation are different from all the others. They are not measures of energy transfers, but of radiative flux (also called forcing). As I have described before, there is a difference between energy transfers and radiative flux. Two objects at the same temperature have zero net energy transfer and as a result, will not change temperature….

    If the overall energy balance for the surface of the Earth is performed using only NET energy transfers, then the result would be as follows:

    Ein = Eout + Eabsorbed

    Solar Absorbed = Thermals + Evaporation + Radiative + Net Absorbed

    161 W/m2 = 17 W/m2 + 80 W/m2 + 23 W/m2 + 40 W/m2 + 1 W/m2

    This does properly balance in with the other portions of the overall energy balance. The difference that this makes is it changes the apparent value of radiative transfer to the atmosphere…..

    His other essays in the Energy Balance category are HERE.

  11. Peter Ward says:
    January 17, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Precision to 4 significant figures for numbers which cannot be measured. How do they do that?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Probably the same way they “KNOW” the global temperature to 4 significant figures.

  12. Anthony wrote: “Note that somehow, between 2009 and the present, it was decided (presumably based on CERES measurements) that the Net Absorbed value (which is the extra energy absorbed that would result from increased GHG’s) would go DOWN from 0.9 w/square meter to 0.6w/square meter – an decrease of one third of the 2009 value.”

    Since most of net absorbed heat ends up warming the ocean (supposedly 93%), the Net Absorbed Energy is probably calculated from the amount of warming of the ocean. Increasing amount of ARGO data has allowed a more accurate calculation for Net Absorbed Energy.

    Net Absorbed Energy can not be calculated from the other values shown in these diagrams because the uncertainty in these values is far too high to say whether the net is positive (warming temperature) or negative (cooling temperature). DLR and latent heat have changed by 7 and 6 W/m2 – a changes that are 10-fold the net absorbed energy.

    SWR, reflected SWR, and escaping LWR are measured from space reasonably well (+/1 W/m2?).
    Downward LWR is being measure at some locations, but we don’t have reliable planet-wide coverage. The value shown probably comes from re-analyses made with climate models forced to fit observations, not direct observation. Latent heat can be easily calculated from precipitation (rain and snow). We have more data on precipitation from satellites which probably accounts for the 8% increase in latent heat. There is relatively little information about the amount of energy leaving the surface via thermals. In his 2009 paper, Trenberth chose this number so that there would be a net +0.9 W/m2 imbalance at the surface. He probably did the same thing here.

  13. phillipbratby,

    It can’t add heat to the source, but it can slow down it’s cooling, back radiation is simply describing reflective insulation, or in the case of CO2 more diffusive insulation. Thus back radiation (reflected energy)IS able to make things warmer than they would be without the insulation everywhere between the reflective material and the source because the temperature is dependent on the relative rates of heating and cooling, it’s an equilibrium.

  14. JM VanWinkle says: @ January 17, 2014 at 12:50 am

    …. What would be useful would be believable Holocene exit predictions, but that will be forthcoming only with 20-20 hindsight models.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A hindsight model of the Holocene exit prediction in 2020! YIKES!

  15. bobl: Of course, all three heat transfer mechanisms affect the way a surface cools. It is exceedingly complex. But that is not what the “greenhouse effect” is all about. The proponents of the “greenhouse effect” claim it is back radiation that heats the surface, not the effect on the heat transfer process (slowing down cooling as you put it).

  16. There is no ‘back radiation’, defined as a real energy flux. It is the atmospheric Radiation Field, the potential energy flux of that emitter to a body at absolute zero.

    Furthermore, RFs add vectorially yet the ‘Energy budget’ makes them add as scalars. This is junk science. By wrongly assuming Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at ToA, they offset the vastly exaggerated IR warming to make the GHG absorption of surface IR about 7x reality. This with the 3x exaggerated GHE gives the imaginary positive feedback.

    Because temperature rise is exaggerated, it is offset in hind-casting by using twice real low level cloud optical depth, about 25% increase in albedo. All in all, this is execrable pseudo-science not even worth describing as unprofessional. It must be consigned to the dustbin of History along with the Earth-centric Universe of the holy Roman Catholic Church in Galileo’s time, and Piltdown man.

  17. bobl says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:22 am

    ….It can’t add heat to the source, but it can slow down it’s cooling….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A much more accurate way of putting it. Now add in TIME, that is the rate of cooling or better yet rate of energy transfer and how much it has been slowed down and the difference in day vs night. This then explains why the humid tropics are cooler than a desert during the day and warmer than a desert during the night.

    The warmists always leave out TIME (nanoseconds) and day and night. As another commenter said they live on a flat earth with the sun always shining at 1/4 energy. They should be careful not to fall of the edge.

  18. Total rubbish AGAIN.
    So NASA believes in a NON rotating planet, seems funny given their experience in space, and insolation at a level that would not drive the water cycle. TOTAL NON-REALITY which means a model that assumes an impossible process, the GHE, and no process to actually start that impossible process or any feedback to control it at the levels claimed.
    See me after school Kevin.

  19. @Gail Combs: as well as the above, which shows surface IR has been exaggerated about 7x, the next biggest mistake in Climate Alchemy is to fail to understand that there can be no gas phase thermalisation of GHG-absorbed IR. This is simple statistical thermodynamics, the Law of Equipartition of Energy.

    So, there can be no ‘back radiation’ and no ‘slowing down’ of cooling. Most heat transfer in the lower atmosphere is convective. The ludicrous radiation physics set up by the IPCC crew is of no consequence. In reality, CO2 as a working fluid controls atmospheric temperatures within a narrow range.

  20. Gail Combs January 17, 2014 at 2:15 am: The correct graphic at the end of the overview by John Kehr at the article you linked says all you need to know about the fallacy of the “greenhouse effect” portrayed by Trenberth and the IPCC.

  21. phillipbratby says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:47 am

    .. The correct graphic at the end of the overview by John Kehr at the article you linked says all you need to know about the fallacy of the “greenhouse effect” portrayed by Trenberth and the IPCC.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes and he explains it in simple enough terms to make it understandable for non engineers/physicists.

    I put a link to that essay up on another thread a month or two ago and the warmist I was answering went completely ballistic and left in a huff. Can’t think of a better endorsement for the essay.

  22. I wonder how long they had to play with the figures to end up with an energy balance that wasn’t negative?

  23. phillipbratby at 2.30 am…..

    From my occassional reading reading over at SKS, the alarmists postulate that down welling radiation from GHGs actually acts as an insulant on ocean surfaces by altering the temperature gradient in the thin film surface layer, thus reducing conductive heat loss through that layer. The only empirical evidence for this that they cite is from a set of measurements of down welling radiation from clouds taken by a NZ research vessel in the Pacific some years ago. Quite how this retained heat then gets into the deep oceans, as claimed, is explained by hand waving.

  24. Anth0ny:

    It seems that Trenberth’s so-called ‘climate science’ is coming apart because it is crashing against reality.

    Yesterday, we had Nature GeoScience reporting Trenberth is now claiming the PDO provides effects reported by Tisdale but which Trenberth now claims credit for noticing.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/16/the-journal-nature-embraces-the-pause-and-ocean-cycles-as-the-cause-trenberth-still-betting-his-heat-will-show-up/

    Today we have a revision of Trenberth’s energy budget cartoon. That, too, has been repeatedly disputed including on WUWT. For example, earlier this week I wrote

    Quantifying all these changes requires assumptions because adequate measured data do not exist. Different people use different assumptions (hypotheses) so obtain estimates. I gave you Trenberth’s cartoon and said I did not agree with its numbers. Here it is again

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Topics/energybudgets.html

    For comparison here is the similar cartoon with numbers estimated by Willis Eschenbach

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/13/co2-and-ceres/#comment-1535782

    Others, including me, have made different estimates. Each estimate represents the effects of the assumptions used by the estimator.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/12/global-warming-is-real-but-not-a-big-deal-2/#comment-1536392

    Trenberth’s science?
    There is room in the rubbish bin of history which will soon be filled.

    Richard

  25. This old news but in the IPCC AR5 WGI final draft, chapter 2, p. 26,

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter02.pdf

    it was acknowledged that:
    ” Loeb et al. (2012b) compared interannual variations in CERES net radiation with OHRs
    derived from three independent ocean heat content anomaly analyses and included an error analysis of both CERES and the OHRs. They conclude that the apparent decline in OHR is not statistically robust and that differences between interannual variations in OHR and satellite net TOA flux are within the uncertainty of the measurements (Figure 2.12). They further note that between January 2001 and December 2012, Earth has been steadily accumulating energy at a rate of 0.50 ± 0.43 W/m 2 (90% CI).”

    That is a reduction of 44 % of the accumulated energy compared to the number in the 2009 version of Trenberth’s energy budget.

  26. I meant to add that amazingly, regardless of this acknowledgment (particularly of the error bar almost as large as the estimated rate), the IPCC is more confident than ever that their theory of AGW holds water.

  27. AlecM says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:46 am
    ….So, there can be no ‘back radiation’ and no ‘slowing down’ of cooling….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    First. Can a CO2 molecule absorb a packet of energy at a certain wavelength? – Yes.

    Does it re-emit that packet of energy? – yes.

    Can that packet of energy come from the sun?- YES! This is a bad illustration but it gets the point across. link I much prefer this graph since it gives a better picture of relative ‘strength’ of the energies at different wavelengths.

    How long before that absorbed energy packet gets transfered via collision or re-emission? – nanoseconds? (This is the point, the rate, that is always glossed over. )

    Last the earth’s surface is over 70% water. What does energy at the wavelength absorbed by CO2 do to water? It can not penetrate beyond the surface skin as much more energetic solar energy can. graph

    I will give them their ‘back radiation’ but it is about as effective as the warming from a babies bottom compared to a blow-torch. (The sun)

    The real fraud is claiming the effects of water as FEEDBACK of CO2. This is the heart of the BIG LIE because they swap cause and effect.

    Here is the ‘BIG LIE’ straight from NASA:

    Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change Page Last Updated: November 18, 2008
    Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change. [In other words water is what has a big effect on earth's climate not CO2. Note how they skim over ALL the different effects of water like the evaporation condensation cycle.]

    Andrew Dessler and colleagues from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed that the heat-amplifying effect of water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere….

    “Everyone agrees that if you add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then warming will result,” Dessler said. “So the real question is, how much warming?”

    The answer can be found by estimating the magnitude of water vapor feedback. Increasing water vapor leads to warmer temperatures, which causes more water vapor to be absorbed into the air. [There is the twisting of cause and effect used to make CO2 increases catastrophic.] Warming and water absorption increase in a spiraling cycle. [Adding in the fear component just in case you need to be hit by a hammer and completely neglecting the fact that the temperature on earth has upper bounds as seen in the geological record.]

    Water vapor feedback can also amplify the warming effect of other greenhouse gases, such that the warming brought about by increased carbon dioxide allows more water vapor to enter the atmosphere.

    “The difference in an atmosphere with a strong water vapor feedback and one with a weak feedback is enormous,” Dessler said. [Well at least he has that part correct.]

    Climate models have estimated the strength of water vapor feedback, but until now the record of water vapor data was not sophisticated enough to provide a comprehensive view of at how water vapor responds to changes in Earth’s surface temperature. That’s because instruments on the ground and previous space-based could not measure water vapor at all altitudes in Earth’s troposphere — the layer of the atmosphere that extends from Earth’s surface to about 10 miles in altitude…. [Note the swap from CO2 to surface temperature with is a function of the amount of energy from the sun.]

  28. Back radiation: 333 W/m^2
    Absorbed by surface: 333 W/m^2

    Quite interesting surface, I must say. absorption/emissivity of 1? Now, it might be close to that value (typical value for IR I think are 0.98, 0.96, depending on the surface), but definitively it’s not a black body, and using a real value for it will get quite a different value for the net absorbed.

  29. Maybe it’s just me but these graphics appear to made of ‘wishful thinking’, it’s nice to see their thinking sketched out in that format but the rest (the science part) leaves me with the impression that they are stabbing in the dark. Too many variables are treated as constants and also, the incoming energy is a fuzzy composite of IR, UV and visible spectrum, all of which vary and have different absorption and reflection properties. Too much averaging going on for me.

  30. Old’un says: @ January 17, 2014 at 3:07 am
    …From my occassional reading reading over at SKS, the alarmists postulate that down welling radiation from GHGs actually acts as an insulant on ocean surfaces by altering the temperature gradient in the thin film surface layer, thus reducing conductive heat loss through that layer. …
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And completely glossing over EVAPORATION. Sheesh!

    You add heat to a kettle of water it evaporates. Heck you put a bowl of water out and it evaporates at room temperature or even at 45F/7C which is where I keep the general house thermostat in winter. Evaporation even happens at cold temperatures if the humidity is low enough. They even have a name for it, sublimation.

    They really must think we are mushrooms.

  31. Pethefin says: @ January 17, 2014 at 3:18 am

    ……the IPCC is more confident than ever that their theory of AGW holds water.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It hold water it’s CO2 they have lost.

  32. It was a cartoon when it was first drawn and it just as much a cartoon now.

    It relies on;

    1. The Earth being flat
    2. No day/night cycle
    3. Reducing the actual energy to TOA by a factor of 4.

    No science required, just the ability to draw. I think the most important equipment for these people are crayons.

  33. @ Gail

    Nicely put, yes in many ways the so-called scientists get this wrong – in particular they use scalar models, and they treat feedback as a simple multiplier – any engineer knows that feedbacks have a time dimension and are added vectorially as complex numbers because feedbacks have a time lag, Scalar models are hopelessly inadequate to describe a system that has lagged feedback – It is analogous to just doing a DC analysis of an amplifier ignoring its AC behaviour.

    @ AlecM

    I don’t see how that matches the facts, the earths emission spectrum shows significant dips at many wavelengths – the energies emitted at those wavelengths must go somewhere. If they are not thermalised then what happens to them?

  34. Image all the numbers on the chart are money.

    Image that you are earning $340.40c a week, and when you do all the sums to try and balance the books, you find you have 6c left at the end of the week.

    OK, with absolute numbers like money, this is possible – my wife would certainly expect to get the numbers right.

    I on the other hand would tend to only roughly record the exact in and out amounts, and not bother to check my change every time, so if I balanced within $1.00 I’d be happy.

    So are the ‘experts’ really certain that everyone one of those interactions in the picture is accurate to within 0.1 ? There a 14 numbers in the picture, so if each one is +/- 0.1, then the result isn’t 0.6, but somewhere between -0.8 and +2.0, which proves nothing.

  35. Top post: “It seems odd that would increase so much, so quickly in two years.”

    The difference in observation periods isn’t 2 years, it is ~2 decades.

    ******
    Time periods top post charts:

    1st Chart in top post CERES TFK2009: March 2000 to May 2004

    2nd Chart ERBE KT1997: 5 yr.s mid-1980s

    3rd Chart NASA: Included 1st chart data combined somehow with March – Feb. 2005 Loeb 2008 (not 2009 as noted) et. al. data (not 10 years of data as the chart notes). That might be including Stephens et. al. 2012 ten years of data, dunno.

    ******

    “So was Trenberth’s 2009 energy budget wrong, running too hot? It sure seems so.”

    Assessing correctness includes an amalgam of many time period observations of a chaotic system, whoa. The Stephens et. al. 2012 paper covering 2000-2010: ” For the decade considered, the average imbalance is 0.6 = 340.2 − 239.7 − 99.9 Wm–2 when these TOA fluxes are con­strained to the best estimate ocean heat content (OHC) observations since 2005 (refs 13,14).”

    So the 0.6 imbalance is from observing ocean energy content 0-700m deep 1993-2008 from the famous chart:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/trenberth.papers/NatureNV10.pdf

    Conclusion: Be sure to cite a ref. and time period in discussion of earth energy budgets. Things change naturally, by instrument, by author, by time period. And check the orig. papers even NASA charts get things wrong.

  36. The assumption that the energy flux is *the* determining factor for climate is interesting. It should be explored more.

  37. It is a travesty that this change is not stated in the proper scientific unit of measurement – What is that change in Hiroshimas per second?

  38. The 0.6 W/m2/year net absorbed comes from the Argo floats which are measuring about 0.55 W/m2/year being absorbed in the oceans and an estimated 0.03 W/m2/year being absorbed in the land surface/atmosphere/warming glacial ice.

    Together 0.58 W/m2/year. The theory really estimates that this should be between 1.2 W/m2/year and 1.4 W/m2/year but they don’t talk about that anymore. Hansen revised it down to 0.9 several years ago but that was not based on any calculations just knowing that the numbers were nowhere close to the climate models. Now we know from Argo that it is even smaller than that made-up revision.

    In temp C/year, these numbers are in the range of 0.002C/year.

  39. @bobl: you’ve got it the wrong way round. Well mixed GHGs have a spectral temperature high in the atmosphere, e.g. -50 deg C for CO2 15 micron band plus a bit from the higher temperature stratosphere. Poorly mixed gases, e.g. H2O, have a spectral temperature from much lower down therefore higher temperature. The rest is the atmospheric window from the surface and cloud tops.

    The Earth’s temperature and the three main IR emission zones equilibrate so SW thermalised = LW to Space. We live at that null point. There is no surface GHG band IR absorption for self-absorbed GHG bands so the apparent absorption of CO2-15 micron IR is simply low emission temperature.

  40. At the current rate, Trenberth will soon be unable to state if there is any AGW at all.
    EPA administrator Gina McCarthy seems to have reached that position on global warming without actually stating it but refusing to confirm Obama’s “worse than ever” predictions. Not very clever.

    “Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked McCarthy to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.

    McCarthy couldn’t answer the question, saying that she only repeats what the climate scientists tell her. Sessions was not satisfied with her response.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/16/epa-chief-unable-to-say-if-the-world-has-gotten-warmer/

    Clearly she did not want to go on record as contradicting the 15-17 year “pause”.
    I think this was the same hearing as that where Professor Judith Curry delivered a superb presentation and written submission. My respect for Judith Curry is increasing all the time. She is clearly not afraid of losing her job for being “off message”.

  41. I believe that something can only be missing if you can prove beyond doubt that it ever existed.

    I’m yet to be convinced.

  42. Given that some of these graphics show accuracy to 1 decimal and given that the “net” is less than 1, I wonder where the heat from the hot mantle is? A quick back of the envelope calculation follows. The energy flow in watts/square meter is about 0.2, (give or take 0.1 or so). The following assumes no other mechanism for heat transfer other than conduction (i.e. volcanism is ignored).

    800 K temperature at bottom of crust
    275 K temperature at bottom of ocean
    525 K delta T
    5000 m distance
    1.7 W/(m.K) Thermal conductivity of basalt
    0.1785 W/m² Rate of addition of heat to the ocean
    0.2 W/m² Maximum Precision of value given the inputs.
    deltaT/distance X thermal conductivity
    Cheers
    JE

  43. AlecM 2:46am: There is no ‘back radiation’, defined as a real energy flux. It is the atmospheric Radiation Field, the potential energy flux of that emitter to a body at absolute zero.

    I have never been able to square up your terse assertion with 5.15 * 10^18 kg of atm. mass > 0K not radiating at all. Surely that amount atm. mass must be radiating a measurable real energy flux bath not a potential energy flux looking up from surface and down from satellite. Which can then be globally avg.d.

    The science debate is over the time period, the instrument, and the author to put a value on that real atm. flux toward earth and toward space which cannot physically be zero as you state. The science debate isn’t that this atm. energy flux exists. Well, maybe a debate over what to call it exists also.

    Your qdot can be near zero and called zero for practical purposes, but energy flux components in and out of your –Div Fv are not zero, they compute out to a balance to within 0.6 W/m^2 best est. from ocean energy content 1993-2008 (from argo and previous) and compute same as the thermometer surface Tmean ~288K from 1st Law with measured input data.

  44. AlecM
    I’d have to look at the spectrum again, but if I recall correctly, there are emission dips at all the common molecular absorbance wavelengths, both in IR and visible spectra. What you assert implies that emission spectra would be independent of gas concentration, if that was true then you wouldn’t be able to do IR imaging of clouds. I don’t tnink the evidence supports your position as you’ve described it. Having said that I will also say, I haven’t looked at what you’ve suggested in any depth or checked the theoretical emission temperature against the spectra, so I could well be wrong about this.

  45. Gail Combs says:
    January 17, 2014 at 3:44 am

    And completely glossing over EVAPORATION. Sheesh!

    You add heat to a kettle of water it evaporates. Heck you put a bowl of water out and it evaporates at room temperature or even at 45F/7C which is where I keep the general house thermostat in winter. Evaporation even happens at cold temperatures if the humidity is low enough. They even have a name for it, sublimation.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    If it’s liquid, then it’s evaporation. Sublimation is solid to vapor, for example, camphor (moth balls).

    Great link to the John Kehr site. I notice he uses energy “balance” instead of “budget”. The only energy budgets I ran into before learning that climate science had the earth down to multiple decimal places was in cost accounting.

  46. When I use my infra red thermometer to measure the temperature presumably I am measuring back radiation when I point it upwards away from the sun. (from a shaded position)?

    How do I relate my temperature readings to watts? E.g. -40°C and 6°C.

  47. So the figures are exact and there is no error range? I recall a similar set of work on the radiation budget that indicated the .6 figure but the range was +- 17 W/m^2, making the measurement completely useless.

  48. bobl says: @ January 17, 2014 at 4:06 am

    …. any engineer knows that feedbacks have a time dimension….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    I am a lowly chemist and even I can understand the time dimension. You don’t slap a steak on the grill and expect it to be instantly cooked now do you?

    As I said leaving out time is one of the big lies in Climastrology.

  49. Bob Greene says: @ January 17, 2014 at 5:09 am
    ….If it’s liquid, then it’s evaporation….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry when I said cold temperature I was thinking -20F and snow in New England. I should have been more clear.

  50. hunter says: @ January 17, 2014 at 4:28 am

    The assumption that the energy flux is *the* determining factor for climate is interesting. It should be explored more.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Except it is not. Think of the rearrangement of the continents that gave the earth this temperature profile. Not to mention the Milankovitch cycles.

    It is how the energy gets circulated that matters.

  51. You do a disservice to this w/ the snarky tone in the article.

    While I think Trenberth overstated his case previously, there are good reasons for these numbers to change from one 10 year period to another: Change in cloud cover, change in surface conditions, change in solar output (both intensity and the compositional spectrum).

    The good news is that some people out there are still willing to do the science.

  52. Bill Marsh 5:14am: “So the figures are exact and there is no error range?”

    The Stephens et. al. 2012 energy balance cartoon for decadal 10 years 2000-2010 does a good job at showing the error ranges if you ask me, the orig. paper:

    http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf

    The 0.64 W/m^2 imbalance (from ocean energy increase assessments in joules) error ranges are in the link I posted above also, repeated for convenience:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/trenberth.papers/NatureNV10.pdf

    It is possible the 17 W/m^2 you recall could be from individual radiometers which have improved with the recent calibration efforts thru about 2005 to about +/- 2-4 W/m^2 but those are beasts wrangle with, really need to be an expert in that field to understand the calib. process validity when riding one out.

    Remember thermometers are likewise calibrated but everyday use shows we’ve mastered that art so well few doubt even inexpensive individual thermometer accuracy any more.

  53. @Trick: we live at the null point of the atmospheric controls system that maintains SW In = LW Out.

    238.5 SW thermalised in the atmosphere convects and radiates to ToA. Because the 160 W/m^2 SW that thermalises at the surface all leaves the surface, there’s no net average surface heating.

    Of 63 W/m^2 surface IR, 23 W/m^2 is absorbed by non self-absorbed H2O IR bands thereby increasing its path length to Space. It does not increase gas temperature but part of it will increase cloud temperature. The other 40 W/m^2 goes directly to Space by the Atmospheric Window. The higher the surface temperature, the lower the non self-absorbed H2O IR absorption.

    The O2 and N2 play a role in convection, but not in radiation. This is because they can only radiate and absorb in the SW via electron orbital processes, high energy.

    There is no such beast in IR or any other radiative physics as ‘back radiation’. The really important parameter in the climate system is clouds and latent heat. The former control SW thermalised at the surface, also surface IR in the AW. A cloud reduces it by about 85%. The Meteorologists imagine the clouds heat the surface, but in reality, they reduce its IR cooling rate! Latent heat causes time delays in the convection.

    The game that Trenberth et al have played is to pretend there is an extra 157.5 – 23 = 134.5 W.m^2 surface IR heating the first ~ 30 m of atmosphere (at present, less in the past because it’s a T^4 Law). If true, this would lead to the Catastrophe, defined as heating the lower atmosphere above its condensation temperature thereby near doubling lapse rate near the surface. That temperature rise would soon boil the seas and make us another Venus.

    However, this cannot happen because there is no ‘back radiation’, no ‘positive feedback': the system is stabilised by extreme negative feedback processes which mean CO2 climate sensitivity is, in my view, <0.1 K.

  54. timspence10 says: @ January 17, 2014 at 3:38 am

    …. also, the incoming energy is a fuzzy composite of IR, UV and visible spectrum…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes that is another BIG LIE. We keep hearing the Total Solar Insolation (TSI) does not vary link but the fact is the mix of wavelengths does link and the effects of those changes gets swept under the rug.

    Different wavelengths have different effects from Ozone link at the Top of the Atmosphere to Deep in the sea

  55. DrTorch says: @ January 17, 2014 at 5:33 am

    You do a disservice to this w/ the snarky tone in the article.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I suggest you read John Kehr (Chem. Engineer) essay to see why the snarky tone from the engineers. Trenberth doesn’t have the scientific background to do the ‘Cartoon” correctly and it is glaringly obvious to the engineering educated.

    Please note John gave a presentation on October 2nd, 2012 to the Right Climate Stuff group “which is largely composed of a group of NASA engineers and scientists. One of the things that they were interested in me doing was going to Houston to give then a presentation about my book… There was a mix of current and retired NASA scientists and engineers plus a mix of others that were there.”

  56. Trick says: @ January 17, 2014 at 5:35 am

    …Remember thermometers are likewise calibrated but everyday use shows we’ve mastered that art so well few doubt even inexpensive individual thermometer accuracy any more.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not in my old labs. You would be surprised at how badly out of wack “scientific’ thermometers can be straight from the manufacturer!

  57. AlecM 5:39am: “The O2 and N2 play a role in convection, but not in radiation. This is because they can only radiate and absorb in the SW via electron orbital processes, high energy.”

    SWin – LWout = 0 null point (your -div Fv components) is the balance at TOA control volume (cv).

    SWin – (LWout-LWin) = 0 null point (your -div Fv) is the balance at surface control volume thermometer AGL.

    Whatever you want to call the LWin term, -LWin into surface cv exists, is measurable and is from the planet’s 5.15 * 10^18 kg of atm. mass > 0K radiating into the surface control volume –Div Fv radiation bath setting surface Tmean. There is no pretending in this science, all measurable.

    Check Bohren 2006 text and you will find experiment showing N2 and O2 radiate and scatter over the entire spectrum meaning they contribute (miniscule but non-zero) to the absorption in surface cv bath balance in earth atm. near surface (the -LWin). Basically all gas as matter will attenuate a photon beam thru the gas the size of a planet atm. Tyndall missed that in his small tube b/c his instrumentation calibration couldn’t detect absorption in pure air by scattering. These days we can do better job.

    “…thereby near doubling lapse rate near the surface.”

    Don’t worry about that physically, it will not be a catastrophe since on a sunny clear day around Noon in Phoenix the lapse on asphalt from your feet to breathe level is about 500x normal in every day life and so far no catastrophe. Your lungs would hurt as much as your bare feet if the surface lapse therein was normal.

  58. AlecM says:
    January 17, 2014 at 2:46 am
    @Gail Combs: as well as the above, which shows surface IR has been exaggerated about 7x, the next biggest mistake in Climate Alchemy is to fail to understand that there can be no gas phase thermalisation of GHG-absorbed IR. This is simple statistical thermodynamics, the Law of Equipartition of Energy.

    You have this backwards, the Law of Equipartition of Energy requires that there be gas phase thermalization of GHG-absorbed IR. Also equipartition in gases at room temperature only strictly applies to the translational and rotational modes not the vibrational modes which are where the IR is absorbed.

  59. Gail 6:00am: “You would be surprised at how badly out of wack “scientific’ thermometers can be straight from the manufacturer!”

    How bad? Surprise me. I look at couple indoor/outdoor & my car thermometers and find they compare with news accounts and thermostats, rounded to integers.

  60. @Trick: Rayleigh scattering is lossless. the whole atmosphere is awash with IR and visible EM energy but none can be thermalised in the gas phase. However, it will thermalise at aerosols and there is experimental evidence of this in Asia. However, it is a second order effect.

    My key thinking is three-fold. Firstly Tyndall’s experiment has been misunderstood. Secondly, the two stream approximation works in the atmosphere but cannot apply at an optical heterogeneity; the Earth’s surface and clouds. Thirdly, ‘back radiation’ is a failure to understand the difference between a Radiation Field and the net flux between two emitters set by the difference between the two or more RFs.

  61. The error bars on all the graphs are significant. Other peer reviewed papers conclude that the enegy imbalance is about 0.7+\- 15 w/m^2. In other words, statistically indistinguishable from zero. Which is an alternative explanation for Trenberth’s missing heat—there isn’t any missing.

  62. Trick says: @ January 17, 2014 at 6:14 am

    How bad? Surprise me….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    In a one case a couple of degrees.

    It was enough to royally screw-up the extrusion plastometers so the batches read within spec on one machine and way out of spec on another. I went nuts trying to get three different machines to match. One in production, one in the QC lab and one in R&D. Whole thing cause a really big stink politically too.

    I never trusted a thermometer without calibration since.

  63. AlecM 6:23am: “Rayleigh scattering is lossless..”

    Maybe so but only because the sky is blue as seen within the atm., this is not what I mean by scattering though. The mass of an atom or molecule will scatter or annihilate a photon of any wavelength during an encounter – this entropy increasing process doesn’t happen to the extent measurable in Tyndall style sized exp. and instrument.

    This mass scattering process IS measurable in any atm. gas composition even pure air, no photon beam of any wavelength makes it thru the whole distance horizon to horizon lossless due to mass scattering; the photon beam WILL be attenuated. This makes exoplanet atm. measurement possible. Makes atm. EM radar, remote sensing signals fight through tough conditions, not lossless.

    ”Tyndall’s experiment has been misunderstood.”

    Discussion in a science based blog/text/paper agrees with understanding basics of Tyndall by scientific method, if you don’t, you are welcome to your own science opinion but not your own science facts. To help parse your posts efficiently, best to announce where you disagree with Tyndall and why rather than confuse facts known to science.

    ”..the two stream approximation works in the atmosphere..the net flux between two emitters..”

    This is ok with science of Tyndall, once you agree emitters have non-zero flux, since you call them emitters, as they radiate since all matter >0K does.

    …but cannot apply at an optical heterogeneity…

    Makes no sense to me. Please explain, with cites if interested in follow-up discussion.

  64. timspence10:

    re your post at January 17, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Maybe it’s just me but these graphics appear to made of ‘wishful thinking’, it’s nice to see their thinking sketched out in that format but the rest (the science part) leaves me with the impression that they are stabbing in the dark. Too many variables are treated as constants and also, the incoming energy is a fuzzy composite of IR, UV and visible spectrum, all of which vary and have different absorption and reflection properties. Too much averaging going on for me.

    I agree.

    My earlier post about Trenberth’s “science” has at last come out of moderation so you may have missed it. This link jumps to it.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/nasa-revises-earths-radiation-budget-diminishing-some-of-trenberths-claims-in-the-process/#comment-1538857

    Richard

  65. Trick says: @ January 17, 2014 at 7:05 am

    .. LOL, ok I can buy that. Stinks do happen in real life.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes nothing like a Million dollar ‘Stink” and irate customers to make the bean counters readjust their thinking about QC as a money sink. The thermometer was bad enough but caught quick. It is the bad or worse wrong incoming chemicals that really bites the bum. The trichloroethane switched for trichloroethylene was another memorable one. Made the bean counters really rethink ISO and Just – in – Time.

  66. That’s notg the first time Trenberth’s chart was fiddled with:

    Trenbeth’s “Global Energy Budget” was updated March 2009 to show an imbalance of 0.9w/M² I wonder how that came about, might have gone something like this:

    Once upon a time on a bright sunny morning a few years back, Dr. James Hansen was looking at Kevin Trenberth’s iconic “World Energy Budget”
    World Energy Budge

    when he choked on his morning coffee because he realized that the darn thing balanced. That’s right, energy in equaled energy out. You see, he’s been saying for some time now that heat energy is slowly building up in Earth’s climate system and that’s not going to happen if the energy budget is balanced.

    So he did some fast calculations, snatched up his cell phone and punched in Trenberth’s number.

    “Hi Kev, Hansen here, how’s it goin’ with you? Got a minute?”

    “Sure Doc, what’s up?”

    “Glad you asked. I’ve been looking at your energy budget and it balances, can you fix that?”

    “What do you mean fix it, it’s supposed to balance?”

    “Kev, listen carefully now, if it balances, heat will never build up in the system do you see where I’m going?”

    “Uh I’m not sure, can you tell me a little more?”

    “Come on Kev don’t you get it? I need heat to build up in the system. My papers say that heat is in the pipeline, there’s a slow feedback, there’s an imbalance between radiation in and radiation out. Your Energy Budget diagram says it balances. Do you understand now?”

    “Gotcha Doc, I’ll get right on it” [starts to hang up the phone]

    “WAIT! I need an imbalance of point nine Watts per square meter [0.9 Wm²] for everything to work out right.”

    “Uh Doc, what if it doesn’t come out to that?”

    “Jeez Kev! Just stick it in there. Run up some of the numbers for back-radiation so it looks like an update, glitz up the graphics a little and come up with some gobbledygook of why you re-did the chart you know how to do that sort of thing don’t you?”

    “Sure do Doc, consider it done” [click]

    And here’s the new chart

    I’ve run the numbers, and 0.9 Wm² will warm the ocean 600 meters deep about 1/2°C in a little over 40 years. Truly amazing stuff. The noon-day sun puts out nearly 1370 wm² and these guys are claiming they’ve added up all the chaotic movements of heat over the entire planet and have determined an imbalance of 0.9 Wm². That’s an accuracy to five places. No plus or minus error bars or anything.

    What it means is, all of the components

    Reflected by clouds
    Reflected by aerosols
    Reflected by atmospheric gases
    Reflected by surface
    Absorbed by the surface
    Absorbed by the atmosphere
    Thermals
    Evaporation
    Transpiration
    Latent heat
    Emitted by clouds
    Emitted by atmosphere
    Atmospheric Window
    AND
    Back radiation

    need to have an accuracy to those five places or better for the 0.9 Wm² to be true.

    Perhaps Hansen didn’t ring up Trenberth and bully him into changing his chart but, Trenberth did change it to show an imbalance and I bet he did so because he realized that if it balanced like his 1997 version, heat wouldn’t build up.

    And we all are supposed to sit still for this sort of thing.

    The basic difference between the two versions is the addition of an imbalance of 0.9w/M² between energy in and energy out.

    The noon-day sun puts out nearly 1370 wm² and Trenberth is claiming satellites can measure not only that but the energy emitted from the Earth as well to an accuracy of 0.1 w/M² in order to determine an imbalance of 0.9 Wm². That’s claiming an accuracy to five places. No plus or minus error bars or anything. I spent my working career in quality control and inspection as it applies to metal working and I can tell you that 5 place accuracy is very hard to come by.

    In my opinion, the new diagram was reverse engineered to include the needed 0.9w/M² so that Dr. James Hansen and others could make the claim that the energy is in the pipeline

  67. There is no way that using global averages is a meaningful way to look at the energy balance issue.
    The axial tilt, the resulting seasonal shifts in sun light angle of incidence are huge. The diurnal cycle, the surface differences of water/ocean vs. land, and then what the land is covered with, all make huge differences in how energy is received and moves around within the Earth system.

  68. I’m very suspicious of a problem that starts with a 3D rotating spherical object with an eccentric orbit and small wobble that is then reduced to a 2D rectangle.

  69. I am still curious as to why the energy balance diagram does not show photosynthesis? Is the net absorbed heat go to global warming or to support plant growth? If 186W/m2 of sunlight reaches the surface, say for example if 20% of the surface is involved in photosynthesis (including stuff that grows in the water/ocean) with a conversion of 3-6%, that would work out to 1-2W/m2. Does the global warming model assume no plant growth?

  70. lurker, passing through laughing; That’s why the average is considered only in long-term trends, like 30 years and longer, to make sure we’re not being deceived by the noise you’ve mentioned.

  71. Gail Coombs, I too am a chemical engineer – albeit a biochemical engineer. So I too had to take and then apply all those extremely difficult thermodynamics courses (you know, the ones that included concepts like “fugacity” and partial pressures of different compounds in a mixture in a distillation column). My biggest objection to these “simplified” diagrams is that they HAVE to be averaging energy transfers over a time period from a “signal” that has more noise than a pressure guage right on the output of a pump with no snubber! (It’s bouncing around so much you can’t even see the needle!) The problem I have is they never state what that time period is! A day? A month? A year? A decade? Averages don’t mean a thing if the daily processes that are at work are active processes that involve phase change heat transfer processes and temperature swings much much greater than what you are trying to measure (ie. no snubber). Especially if those active processes have become optimized over eons to actively net out to zero over the time period of days to weeks. Very few “climate scientologists” EVER get full credit on the “significant digits” quiz/lab report. (In this case if the daily “noise” can be ~ +/-300 W/m^2 over the whole planet, measured with instruments that only report best case +/2 W/m^2 (watt meters staring at the sun) and more typically +/-30 W/m^2 (LWR meters at night?), then reporting a value with 6 significant digits, as Wild does, gets you an F on that test/report!)
    see for reference (ftp://ftp1.esrl.noaa.gov/users/tuttal/Instruments/BSRN/i1520-0477-79-10-2115%5B1%5D.pdf)

    (Wise advice I once received from a senior engineer when I was just starting in industry, “If the weather outside today doesn’t happen to match the optimal temperature for your cooling tower, wait a couple of days and it will. Some days it will be optimally efficient, some days it will be a little low and some a little high. Trust your data, you oversized it correctly so it will ALWAYS have sufficient capacity to handle the peak heat load even on 110 degree days.”) With the amount of water covering the surface, this planet has a GROSSLY oversized heat regulating capacity.

    The “missing” energy is what drives LIFE on this planet. It isn’t missing at all. Look at all the blue green algae in the oceans. HUGE vast areas of our planet absorbing right at the peak center wavelength of the incident radiation.

    What would be a lot more believable is if these energy “budgets” were instead presented as energy transfer “snapshots” at various times and various locations, AND if the numbers presented were ACTUAL measured values, vs estimated values based on models, faulty long term averages, or just order of magnitude guesses. The least believable values on these charts are the low numbers for the non-radiative energy transfers – evaporation, condensation, etc.

    Look very carefully at the numbers and you will see that the radiation coming off the surface of the planet is greater than the radiation entering from the sun in every single one of these models! I’m sorry, but that is pure BS! When I go outside I NEVER feel radiant heat coming off my lawn, greater than the radiant heat from the sun, (the top of my head is always hotter than the bottom of my chin, even when my lawn is covered in a foot of white reflective snow). Even in the middle of the night! On a REALLY hot day I might feel the radiant heat coming of a black parking lot, but even then the sun feels a lot hotter radiatively (now conductively or convectively, that’s a different matter!) Thats why I am sure these numbers have to be based on averages, and faulty assumptions about conductive and convective transfers which have to be higher and are always more efficient. Except for engineering for heat transfer in space or in a vacuum chamber, I would NEVER think to design for radiative heat transfer first – conduction first, then convection with a good working fluid like WATER.

  72. Joe Chang says: @ January 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I am still curious as to why the energy balance diagram does not show photosynthesis? Is the net absorbed heat go to global warming or to support plant growth? If 186W/m2 of sunlight reaches the surface, say for example if 20% of the surface is involved in photosynthesis (including stuff that grows in the water/ocean) with a conversion of 3-6%, that would work out to 1-2W/m2. Does the global warming model assume no plant growth?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No, the assumption is made that all that greenry either get eaten or rots and the energy is released as heat. They assume there is zero increase in the amount of plant or animal matter so no energy is sequestered.

  73. Gail Combs says:
    January 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Trick says: @ January 17, 2014 at 5:35 am

    …Remember thermometers are likewise calibrated but everyday use shows we’ve mastered that art so well few doubt even inexpensive individual thermometer accuracy any more.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not in my old labs. You would be surprised at how badly out of wack “scientific’ thermometers can be straight from the manufacturer!
    ___________________________________________________________________
    25% or more off >0.5C, some we kept as Mercury filled stirring rods, 1°C ones got marked and given to the local schools. >1°C went to the mercury collection jar.
    I’m more than just a little skeptical with these temperatures to 2-3 decimal places.

  74. “Back Radiation!”

    This is a figment of the imagination. The atmosphere does not heat the Earth’s surface, as the atmosphere is cooler than the Earth’s surface virtually everywhere and always. And, more importantly, the atmosphere does not heat itself.

    A Pyrgeometer is a very dangerous instrument in the hands of a “Climate Scientist.” Point it at the sky, read some Watts/M2, and conclude that the atmosphere heats the Earth’s surface because you are measuring a flux. Apparently Trenberth and his ilk are ignorant of the Second Law. How they got themselves these jobs, not knowing that, is a failure of our society.

    CO2 does absorb and thermalize IR in the 15-micron band. This is not strictly speaking Heat Transfer, but an electrical effect, same way a microwave oven works. The entire atmosphere absorbs and radiates heat, as does all matter above absolute Zero.

    I hope everyone on here understands all this, not just one or two of you which is what seems to be a fair assumption after reading these comments…

  75. Gail Combs said at 8:46 am

    No, the assumption is made that all that greenry either get eaten or rots and the energy is released as heat. They assume there is zero increase in the amount of plant or animal matter so no energy is sequestered.

    So how did coal, oil, natural gas and peat form?

  76. richardscourtney says:
    January 17, 2014 at 3:07 am

    “Today we have a revision of Trenberth’s energy budget cartoon. That, too, has been repeatedly disputed including on WUWT. For example, earlier this week I wrote

    Quantifying all these changes requires assumptions because adequate measured data do not exist. Different people use different assumptions (hypotheses) so obtain estimates.”

    You give them too much credit. Not one of them knows the difference between assumption and hypothesis.

  77. .DonV says: @ January 17, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Gail Coombs, I too am a chemical engineer…

    Very few “climate scientologists” EVER get full credit on the “significant digits” quiz/lab report. (In this case if the daily “noise” can be ~ +/-300 W/m^2 over the whole planet, measured with instruments that only report best case +/2 W/m^2 (watt meters staring at the sun) and more typically +/-30 W/m^2 (LWR meters at night?), then reporting a value with 6 significant digits, as Wild does, gets you an F on that test/report!)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is a really good description.

    I am just a lowly chemist who worked with Chem engineers and took a bit of thermo. The CAGW scientologists get away with their malarkey because there are too few engineers and geologists to call them on the crap and when they do they don’t have “Weight” because they are not “climate scientologists”

    This is a classic rebuttal:

    John Kehr: A couple of months ago I posted about my increasing involvement with The Right Climate Stuff group which is largely composed of a group of NASA engineers and scientists.

    Cedric Katesby?: You mean “retired” NASA engineers and scientists, right?
    How many of them were climatologists?

    John Kehr: Each and every person there had a strong scientific background and lots of experience in the real world applying their education.

    Cedric Katesby?:Within their speciality, I’m sure they are qualifed to give their opinion….within their speciality. Outside of their speciality, not so much. Science is a very broad heading.
    People specialize their education and training for very important reasons.
    Same thing with doctors….

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2012/10/my-presentation-to-the-right-climate-stuff-group/

    Great example of appeal to authority while denying the ability to apply engineering/physics principles to other fields.

  78. Who came up with this: “No, the assumption is made that all that greenry either get eaten or rots and the energy is released as heat. They assume there is zero increase in the amount of plant or animal matter so no energy is sequestered.”
    Someone who has never been on a farm and seen how much gets plowed back into the soil? Have they every seen trees cut down and used to build houses? (that do not eventually burn down). Also, rotting/decomposing does not release all of the energy, per steve: oil, coal, gas and peat.

  79. So when you are out on a sunny day and get burned, never mind the Sun. It is the “backradiation” that hits you. Twice as hard as the radiation from the Sun.

  80. Steve Case says:
    January 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

    “In my opinion, the new diagram was reverse engineered to include the needed 0.9w/M² so that Dr. James Hansen and others could make the claim that the energy is in the pipeline.”

    The best evidence that it was reverse engineered is that the information presented in it is the very minimum needed to make the claim that the energy is in the pipeline. In fact, the diagram is nothing more than a graphical presentation of the claim “The energy is in the pipeline.” The graph opens all possible questions and directly addresses no particulars. As such, it is more similar to a Socratic dialogue than a scientific result. We should encourage the people who produce such graphs to give up on the philosophy and start doing science.

  81. I like how this guy makes an argument (doesn’t matter how wrong the argument is) using figures from reputable sources, and most of the commenters simply doubt the credibility of those figures. Do you realize that doubting the credibility of those figures also invalidates the argument laid out here? You can’t pick a side and then cast suspicion on the numbers your own side is using just because you’re afraid of science.

  82. I do not think the back radiation is a good way to convey the main point. When a photon is absorbed and re-radiated, it can go in any direction. The more important point is that the longwave energy radiated into space is emitted from the top of the atmosphere because the mean scattering distance of lw IR is short relative to the height of the atmosphere. Of energy from the sun deposited on the surface has to be transported to the top of the atmosphere, there must be a thermal gradient. In the diagram, this is represented by the difference between the upwell and back radiation. The only point is what is necessary to support heat transport.

  83. How can CERES improve our understanding of energy balance, when the fluxes from CERES are 5 W/m^2 out of balance? CERES obviously doesn’t measure the absolute value of the energy flow accurately enough (although it has high precision) to determine the energy imbalance.

  84. Any pot grower should be able to tell you that only the leaf is burned, the fiber is used for rope and stuff, i.e. energy is sequestered. This means the pot grower is a better source of whole picture information than the pot smoker.

  85. Michael Moon says: @ January 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

    “Back Radiation!”

    This is a figment of the imagination….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That depends on whether you are talking on the molecular level or macro level. Net there is no “Back Radiation” because it violates the 2nd Law. However thanks to the 400 ppm of CO2 you can get a retarding in the time it takes for the radiation to exit TOA…. nanoseconds?

    As I said I am a chemist so do not have the maths to figure it out but that photon of the correct wavelength to interact with the very scarce amount of CO2 is not going to be hanging around very long while on its way out even if it does manage to find a CO2 molecule to interrupt it in its journey.

    I have never seen the amount of outgoing energy for the CO2 bands which is why I like this graph Outgoing seems to be down around tenths. Digging around just now I found this graph Which if I am reading it correctly says the energy is down in the 0.08 Wm2 or less range. So yes in the tenths or less.

    This is why I said that TIME is what is being hidden.

  86. Broken down to its basics the heat budget is simple:
    Sun ==> Surface ==> Atmosphere ==> Back out to space
    There isn’t any Surface => Atmosphere => Surface loop.

  87. Joe Chang says:
    January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Who came up with this: “No, the assumption is made that all that greenry either get eaten or rots and the energy is released as heat. They assume there is zero increase in the amount of plant or animal matter so no energy is sequestered.”
    Someone who has never been on a farm…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Joe, I never said the assumption was correct….

  88. Theo Goodwin says: @ January 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    …..Special kudos to Gail Combs.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It just means Anthony and the commenters here are good teachers…. and I like to read. :>)

  89. DonV: “Look very carefully at the numbers and you will see that the radiation coming off the surface of the planet is greater than the radiation entering from the sun in every single one of these models! I’m sorry, but that is pure BS! When I go outside I NEVER feel radiant heat coming off my lawn, greater than the radiant heat from the sun, (the top of my head is always hotter than the bottom of my chin, even when my lawn is covered in a foot of white reflective snow).”

    Completely forgetting that snow is cold? And that not everywhere on the surface of the planet is as cool as your grassy lawn? You seem to be really focusing in on one number and not looking at where it leads and what happens to it after that. This large surface radiation number you’re talking about goes into the atmosphere and gets split up there, either remaining in the stored heat of the planet or radiating up and out. The reason the top of your head feels hotter than your chin is because this stored heat, the back radiation, is stacking on top of what’s coming from the sun, which results in a much greater number than what is coming off of the surface.

  90. Trick says:
    January 17, 2014 at 7:00 am
    AlecM 6:23am: “Rayleigh scattering is lossless..”

    Maybe so but only because the sky is blue as seen within the atm., this is not what I mean by scattering though. The mass of an atom or molecule will scatter or annihilate a photon of any wavelength during an encounter – this entropy increasing process doesn’t happen to the extent measurable in Tyndall style sized exp. and instrument.

    This mass scattering process IS measurable in any atm. gas composition even pure air, no photon beam of any wavelength makes it thru the whole distance horizon to horizon lossless due to mass scattering; the photon beam WILL be attenuated. This makes exoplanet atm. measurement possible. Makes atm. EM radar, remote sensing signals fight through tough conditions, not lossless.

    —-

    I’ll be Trick, you and I seem to agree on this point. Maybe “Phil.” and Willis, and many others, may expand their understanding a bit on this topic of all thick planet atmospheres for they both seem to believes in near 100% transparency of lines outside GHGs (that by the mass of O2, N2, Argon) through our atmosphere, when really all frequencies are attenuated by about 15-20%. On the scale of a lab of a meter you can say this for it is immeasurable but at many kilometer scale what they say is not true.

    I sat through a quantum statistic mechanics class and as I watched as so many terms in the partition equations being crossed out due to their rather insignificance and I thought, not at a planetary scale can’t just ignore those effects! It leaves you to believing that N2 and O2 have no role in e/m passing through atmospheres, that is 100% transparency, so I do seem to see where Willis and Phil. get their beliefs.

    All matter (even gases) above 0K absorb, emit, scatter, attenuate e/m passing through such huge amounts of mass at planetary scales. Translational modes are not quantitized as rotational, vibrational and electron energy levels but they do have and existence in the insignificant and usually tossed out terms. That’s what I took away from that class although i was homing onto what the professor was tossing out on the blackboard!

  91. “Broken down to its basics the heat budget is simple:
    Sun ==> Surface ==> Atmosphere ==> Back out to space
    There isn’t any Surface => Atmosphere => Surface loop.”

    An assertion defeated instantly by the existence of weather.

  92. Adding to my previous post. These “energy budgets” completely ignore the change in entropy on the planet. Question: Is the planet increasing or decreasing in entropy? It would seem that: Since the planet’s human population is increasing; Since the human food-animal populations have to be increasing to support the human population’s consumption; Since the human food-plant coverage and productivity has had to increase to support human population growth and food consumption; Since villages, towns, cities and megacities have all grown and converted vast amounts of raw materials into buildings, and cars and appliances etc.; and Since the planet has been measured to be “greening” . . . . . Surely this means that the net entropy is decreasing, ie. we are gradually progressing to a state of greater order. But maybe not? . . . .

    So where on this energy budget is there accounting for the energy from the sun that has gone into decreasing (or increasing?) the global net entropy?

  93. NASA’s latest diagram http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif correctly shows no re-radiation down to the Earth from Greenhouse gases. After CO2 is excited by a photon in its absorption spectrum, it immediately transfers that energy as heat into the well-mixed gases before it has time to re-radiate. Thus energy absorption by the GHGs is just another way, like convection and conduction and latent heat, for land heat to become air heat.

  94. Climate science likes it cartoons. Even CO2 absorbing a photon is cartooned up.

    Cartoons are for laughing at; not for changing the entire world energy generation system on.

    There’s no trends in cartoons. There is no time. There is no speed of light. There is no quantum mechanics. There is no daytime, nighttime. etc.

  95. Michael Moon 8:48am: “The atmosphere does not heat the Earth’s surface, as the atmosphere is cooler than the Earth’s surface virtually everywhere and always. And, more importantly, the atmosphere does not heat itself.”

    Right Michael – as the atm. uses up no energy reservoir as does the sun. Close inspection of the cartoons in top post and reading their source papers from Trenberth 1997, 2009, Loeb 2008, Stephens 2012 you will notice each of the authors also agree with you. Atm. radiative energy amount transfer to the surface control volume (cv) is shown in each and every cartoon less than surface radiative transfer amount into the cv.

    Meaning the atm. radiation is emitted from cooler object on avg. than the surface as you point out and the science agrees. The discussion provides this meaning and supports the cartoons .

    “Apparently Trenberth and his ilk are ignorant of the Second Law.”

    Not as demonstrated in their papers, where they, obviously by inspection, observe 2nd law as shown in their cartoons and discussion which all agree with 2nd law in that the atm. radiation is always shown less than Earth surface radiation. T lapse starts at surface Tmean and declines with z increase as shown in the relevant Poisson eqn. at least up to where convection ceases b/c the fluid becomes heated from above at the tropopause.

  96. They forgot to add an arrow for flow into the ‘deep oceans’.

    Those pics look like the sort of thing one would expect to find in a school textbook, not in a cutting-edge research paper.

  97. Joe Chang 8:35am: “…curious as to why the energy balance diagram does not show photosynthesis?”

    If you look at the top post top cartoon note the 80 evapo-transpiration. The amount transpiration is in part from flora (plants), as fauna (animals) and humans also have transpiration processes this is a more general term. Discussed in the papers if you want to look up the details.

    Note the NASA diagram uses LH (change of state), an even more general term.

  98. I did not want to read through the Trenberth paper, but a word search for “photosynthesis” is negative, nor is there anything in the references that would appear to indicate such a topic. So is a key assumption in the “Missing Heat” theory that there is no photosynthesis sequestration? Is there actually evidence for this? or are the “peer-reviewed” research also missing?

  99. @ Steve Case

    That religoious dogma, rather the very jewel in the crown of climate denial, for which a certain Joseph Postma has made himself very fameous, can be quite easily falsified in a very simple expereiment.

    Take, and mount a common incandescent lamp to a precise, stab power giving the nominal voltage for the lamp and measure the current by a quite precise instrument.

    Then pack and cower the lamp with aluminium foil.

    The current will slightly drop.

    Then give us the true and very simple explaination for why the current does drop a bit, and it will kill your very argument, your religious postulate from your scriptures.

    The experiment was carried out and shown under the famous article “Slaying the slayers 2″ on WUWT last spring, where you will find it.

    ===============00

    It does warm you to take on a pullover and an anurak in the cold, you see.

    But there are blind believers to the scriptures here, who even deny that, due to a very fameous religious dogma in the denial scriptures from recent years.

    But truth is that if you take on a pullover and an anurak in cold weather, you do not have to run so fast and / or lift so much iron or heavy stones and burn so many caloroies to keep warm, you see. Your grand aunt was probably right on that point.

    And this is true experience for many many people. Simply because that pullover does warm you and that Anurac protects it from being cooled by the winds.

    But what warms up that pullover? There is no elecrical heat in it.

  100. Michael D 10:38am: The genesis of the diagram you link AFAIK was for a 2002 on-line class NASA put together for high school students in which, after explaining the Trenberth 1997 stuff, they asked the students in a pop quiz: “What is missing from this diagram?” I have lost the cite, have to research it (google et. al.) on your own.

    The NASA answer back then was the radiation from the atmospheric gas is not shown only the net is shown. That particular diagram has been picked up and used for way more than its apparent original construction.

  101. Gail Combs says, January 17, 2014 at 3:36 am:

    “AlecM says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:46 am
    ….So, there can be no ‘back radiation’ and no ‘slowing down’ of cooling….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    First. Can a CO2 molecule absorb a packet of energy at a certain wavelength? – Yes.

    Does it re-emit that packet of energy? – yes.

    Can that packet of energy come from the sun?- YES! This is a bad illustration but it gets the point across. link I much prefer this graph since it gives a better picture of relative ‘strength’ of the energies at different wavelengths.”

    There is a definite point in considering the frequency of incoming radiation rather than its intensity when determining its effect. All ‘back radiation’ proponents seem to ignore the former and focus only on the latter. 300 W/m^2 of atmospheric flux is just as intense as 300 W/m^2 of solar flux. So in their Stefan-Boltzmann world, these two fluxes must be regarded as equals. Hence, they can freely be added together as one.

    But the radiation (electromagnetic energy) making up the 300 W/m^2 of solar flux has a much, much higher mean frequency than the 300 W/m^2 of atmospheric flux. It is capable of ‘doing things’ that the atmospheric radiation cannot. Their effect on the surface they hit will be vastly different.

    The GHE proponents invariably appeal to the ‘principle of energy conservation’ (T1). They claim that 300 W/m^2 down from the atmosphere to the surface of the Earth can’t just disappear. It must go somewhere. It must somehow heat the surface. Adding to its internal energy. What else would it do? Where would it go?

    But this is a statement on the ‘effect’ of the energy being conserved, not on its conservation itself.

    The ‘principle of energy conservation’ does not make ANY claims whatsoever on what ‘effect’ the energy conserved must have or on what ‘form’ it must take. Only the ‘back radiation’ defenders do that.

    The second law of thermodynamics (T2) clearly and unequivocally states that there can be no energy transfer from cold to hot making the hot hotter. Because an energy transfer making the absorber hotter (an ‘effect’) is per definition HEAT (or work).

    T1 cannot and does not dispute this.

    Here’s an excerpt describing the difference between ‘intensity’ and ‘frequency’ and why it matters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon#Historical_development):

    “In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell’s prediction that light was an electromagnetic wave — which was confirmed experimentally in 1888 by Heinrich Hertz’s detection of radio waves — seemed to be the final blow to particle models of light.

    The Maxwell wave theory, however, does not account for all properties of light. The Maxwell theory predicts that the energy of a light wave depends only on its intensity, not on its frequency; nevertheless, several independent types of experiments show that the energy imparted by light to atoms depends only on the light’s frequency, not on its intensity. For example, some chemical reactions are provoked only by light of frequency higher than a certain threshold; light of frequency lower than the threshold, no matter how intense, does not initiate the reaction. Similarly, electrons can be ejected from a metal plate by shining light of sufficiently high frequency on it (the photoelectric effect); the energy of the ejected electron is related only to the light’s frequency, not to its intensity.

    (My emphasis)

  102. Joe Chang 11:02am: “I did not want to read through the Trenberth paper, but a word search for “photosynthesis” is negative, nor is there anything in the references that would appear to indicate such a topic.”

    A quick read of TFK09 shows the transpiration data in the cartoon relies in part on research published J. of Hydrometeor. by Qian et. al. 2006. I cannot do all your reading work, you really do need to read the research and cites to find your answers. I’m able give a hint or two.

  103. nomad,
    If only our CO2 obsessed bretheren actually practiced what you mention. Instead, they chase weather events and declare each one, no matter heat or cold, wet or dry, calm or storm, as *proof* of the holy grail of climate. But to your main point: It is not simply averaging out the so-called noise. I would subm it that cie pack, desert, open grass, forest, open ocean and other surface conditions that influence how sunlight interacts with Gaia is not “noise”.

  104. “So with the retained energy (the net absorbed figure) resulting from GHG’s like CO2 dropping by one third since 2009, can we now call off some of the most alarming aspects of global warming theory?”

    No because the global warming scam was always about stealing money, never science, and there’s too much stolen money at stake for the recipients to quit.

  105. Looks like serious Tren[d]be[a]rth[ing] with ‘Wild’ fudging of numbers beyond all hope of sanity.

    Another bad day for Tren[d]. Ha ha

  106. “Note that in Trenberth’s 2009 paper, the energy from “back radiation” (from GHG action) value went up from 324 w/square meter cited by the IPCC in 2007 to 333 w/square meter. The net effect of that is increased energy back to Earth’s surface, making it warmer.”

    “Trick,”

    I thought I was quite clear why this could not happen? Which part confused you?

  107. Carbomontanus says, January 17, 2014 at 11:03 am:

    “But what warms up that pullover? There is no elecrical heat in it.”

    Ever heard of temperature gradients, Carbomantanus? Of convective heat transfer?

  108. E. A. Bartholomew says at 9:54:
    “Completely forgetting that snow is cold? And that not everywhere on the surface of the planet is as cool as your grassy lawn? You seem to be really focusing in on one number and not looking at where it leads and what happens to it after that. This large surface radiation number you’re talking about goes into the atmosphere and gets split up there, either remaining in the stored heat of the planet or radiating up and out.”

    Wrong. I was forgetting no such thing.

    My first point had to do with the fact that this “budget” focused on “radiative transfer” only as though that was the predominant (exclusive?) method by which energy transfer occurs in the atmosphere. So, I was trying to imagine what “radiative” surface on land would present the very best, and very worst surfaces to radiatively transfer or reflect solar insolation at its peak and at its valley. The highest “reflective surface” I could imagine, other than a solar array of mirrors, was very white reflective snow ie the highest albedo. The highest radiating “hot surface” I could imagine was the one I experience in college working on a tarmac paving crew, or as a kid on the hot sandy Sahara desert. During the day the peak solar insolation is 3 to 4 times the “average” shown in the chart, and during the night the radiative transfer drops to zero from the sun. On none of those occasions, even at night, have I felt heat excessively “radiating” from those surfaces – I have felt the warm air convect off of those surfaces; I have seen water evaporate and felt the humidity convect off of those surfaces; and I have stepped on and felt the conductive burn from those surfaces . . . . my point was, within the first 10 m from the surface of almost all naturally occurring out-in-the-open materials on earth, any “radiated” energy is very quickly absorbed by a “working” atmospheric fluid. I’m sure that if I had an imaging IR camera, I could “see” the heat radiating off of a high emissivity building or paved surface just as long as I was only looking through the “transparent IR window”, but from about 100 meters away I suspect the image would be so smeared, if I were looking through water’s IR bands, as to be indestinguishable from the air around me. IMHO, in order of importance the working fluids in our atmosphere are (based on concentration, broad band extinction coefficient, heat capacity and emissivity) water vapor (radiative and conduction by contact), nitrogen (conduction by contact), oxygen (conduction by contact), water liquid (conduction contact if on surface, radiative), and at a very narrow wavelength around 15 um CO2 (conduction by contact and radiative) . CO2’s contribution is significantly reduce (I have seen some estimates of up to 80 X less) because of its significantly lower concentration, and the fact that it’s radiative only contribution is pretty much already maxed out at the only wavelenth it participates in.

    My second point emphasized the “averaging” issue and TIME problem. This graphic attempts to create an overall “black box” scenario for the various energies going into and out of various other collective “black boxes” on the earth. The problem as I see it is that there is a variable that is orthoganal to this graphic (TIME) that, if you were to visualize the same graphic instantaneously, and follow it like a movie, you would see a completely different picture than what this graphic is trying to paint. You would see an absolutely HUGE daily oscillation that nearly always balanced to zero on any given day. You would see even bigger annual oscillations, and decadal and century. You would see widely different oscillations based on WHERE on the earth you drew your black box to attemtp to do your energy budget graphic. And if you were truely honest about the resolution and certainty of the numbers you were entering into the “movie” you would realize that mathematically “averaging” the noisy data gives you a statistical mirage of what is actually there. You have to include the uncertainty +/- error to show that the new “average” value holds no meaning. Adding up errors increases the uncertainty by the square root of the sum of the squares of each contributing measurements errors. At least that is what I have always been taught.

  109. This energy diagram will always be wrong while it doesn’t take into account the different wave frequencies affect on matter. It is 340.3 W/m2 of nothing if the matter in contact with it is not penetrated..

  110. Michael Moon 11:43am: ”…up from 324… to 333…I thought I was quite clear why this could not happen? Which part confused you?”

    The part where Michael Moon moved from 5 yr.s in mid-80’s ERBE data 324 to March 2000 to May 2004 CERES data 333. 1st law and measured data means surface control volume Tmean got very slightly increased temperature from sun using up H over the two decades period in balanced steady state response from atm. composition emissivity changes, natural chaos and observed data in part from better instrumental data and improved science very well discussed in the papers if Michael would only read them. I know the pre-req.s to effectively read them are difficult but gotta’ achieve them or rely on others.

    I remain astonished so many interested will not bother doing their required homework. There can’t be that many dogs and cats to eat it all.

  111. There is a very similar figure 2.11 IPCC WG1 ch,2 with an imbalance 0,6 W/m2 and error estimates of absorbed solar 161 +/- 5 W/m2 “Back Radiation” as 342 -4/+6 W/m2.

    Imbalance less than 10% of error.

  112. Matt G 11:48am: “This energy diagram will always be wrong while it doesn’t take into account the different wave frequencies affect on matter.”

    The SW and LW joule totals as shown for 1sec. in the cartoons are as integrated over the spectrum, this is so well observed in the field the integration explanation gets dropped all too often.

  113. Carbomontanus at 11:03 am

    It’s the electrical current in the filament, not the some combination of foil & glass, that heats the system in the experiment you referenced:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/28/slaying-the-slayers-with-watts-part-2/

    There are seven combinations of bulb, foil, glass and black anodized foil in the experiment and none of them measure how long it takes the bulb to cool off after the current is shut off. Did I miss it?

    If you time how long it takes to cool off with and without the foil after reaching equilibrium, you will find that the foil slows down the cooling process. That’s all it does. It doesn’t warm things up. It’s not a heat source.

    Your body’s metabolism warms you up, not the pullover.

    The sun warms the surface, not the atmosphere.

    This may seem like a silly point, but claiming that the air does the warming is a misnomer that leads to wrong assumptions. Back radiation from the atmosphere cancels out some of the radiation from the surface and so it cools off more slowly, but if it weren’t for the sun, the surface would never warm up.

    Want proof? On a warm muggy overcast night, it may stay that way nearly all night long, but it won’t get any warmer. However, in the morning when the sun comes up …

  114. With reference to uncertainty and measurement:

    From a comment I made here:

    …a significant and consistent pyrgeometer measurement bias of about -12 Wm-2 ± 5 Wm-2 under clear-sky conditions

    …departures from nominal longwave radiation of up to 30 Wm-2

    In the past

    NREL method achieves uncertainty of < 3 W/m2 for all sky conditions

    only in 2010

    The uncertainty in 2010 (~3Wm-2) is still about an order of magnitude greater than the net absorption (0.6Wm-2), so how can this be distinguished from zero?

    Thanks to DonV for the reference.

  115. I don’t see how the math withstands close inspection.

    Just considering the atmosphere, we have heat flows into the atmosphere (NASA’s new values) adding up to (77.1 + 18.4 + 86.4 + 358.2) = 540.1 w/m2, and heat flows out of the atmosphere adding up to (169.9 + 340.3) = 510.2 w/m2. This means the atmosphere itself should be warming from a net flux of about 30 w/m2. Unobserved.

    The Earth surface is a different story. Heat flows in add up to (163.3 – 18.4 – 86.4 – 398.2 + 340.3) = 0.60 w/m2. Now, maybe this is consistent with Global Warming, but I would point out that it represents 0.6% of the energy lost from reflection (clouds and surface). Is anyone going to seriously claim that we know the Earth’s albedo to that level of accuracy? Basically, we have no basis for concluding that the Earth’s surface temperature is doing anything at all.

    But I have a more basic problem with maths that claim the Earth receives twice as much radiant heat from atmospheric backscatter than it does from the sun. Backscatter should only amount to a small adjustment on the incoming radiant power, due to the T (4th power) dependency.

    And I’ll betcha I know why they adjusted the reflected radiance from 101.9 to 99.9 w/m2. Because if they hadn’t, the total outbound radiance would be 341.8 w/m2, which is larger than the insolation value (and the Earth would be cooling). So, we know our albedo within 2% error? And it has no natural variation?

    It all comes down to the ratio of absorption coefficient to emission coefficient. Depending on that ratio, the temperature of the Earth could be nearly anything, from freezing to boiling. A 10% variation in that ratio amounts to a 7-kelvin (13 deg F) variation in the resulting equilibrium surface temperature.

  116. Steve Case:

    Thankyou for providing one of the clearest demonstrations of the radiative greenhouse effect I have read.

    In your post at January 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm you say

    Want proof? On a warm muggy overcast night, it may stay that way nearly all night long, but it won’t get any warmer. However, in the morning when the sun comes up …

    I ignore that scientists seek falsification (pseudoscientists seek proof), and take your comment as example.

    As you say
    On a warm muggy overcast night, it may stay that way nearly all night long, but it won’t get any warmer.

    You do not add that
    on a clear night the temperature drops often rapidly.

    And, of course, the difference is that radiation from the surface can reach space more easily on a night which is not overcast.

    And when the Sun comes up the surface is also heated from the Sun but the effect you report does not cease.

    So, you have provided an excellent example of the radiative greenhouse effect and how it can vary at a locality. Thankyou.

    Richard

  117. Phil no dot 12:31pm: “The uncertainty in 2010 (~3Wm-2) is still about an order of magnitude greater than the net absorption (0.6Wm-2), so how can this be distinguished from zero?”

    Because the 0.6 is derived from Argo and previous thermometers (quality controlled ones) hung in the ocean 0-700m converted to joules and not from radiometers. See the link I posted couple times above.

    ******

    Steve 12:39pm – I liked that inference also. LOL. Now it’s the missing arrows.

  118. Rob Long: It would be remarkable if reliable measurements could be made to this level of accuracy given all the variables involved.

    Expect to see this number changed again and again.

    Agreed.

    These are spatio-temporal averages of diverse kinds of instrumentation not ideally located for the purposes. I am glad that the people doing the work are as careful as they can be, but the small changes are not really of much importance. To pick on one: the change from 78 to 77.1 in the amount absorbed by the atmosphere is not worth thinking about; an important consideration is what would happen to that absorbed radiation (ca 20 – 25% of incoming) if the CO2 concentration in that region of the atmosphere were to double, ,a consideration that I think is ignored in the climate change warnings.

  119. Steve Case: If you time how long it takes to cool off with and without the foil after reaching equilibrium, you will find that the foil slows down the cooling process. That’s all it does. It doesn’t warm things up. It’s not a heat source.

    Very good, ditto with the cloudy night (and RSC’s complementary clear night.) It is remarkable how many people do not understand that if you slow the rate of surface cooling the net result is a warmer surface mean, as long as there is a warming agent with constant (or sinusoidally varying) input.

    For a lot of reasons an increase in CO2 might not produce a warmer Earth, starting from where the Earth is today, but this basic mechanism of heat retention by GHGs and hence higher net surface mean temp is hardly a spiritual mystery. The basic mechanism has been well-studied in the lab and the hypothesized heat flows through the atmosphere have been measured. Our problem is that we don’t have sufficiently complete knowledge of all mechanisms in all times and places, and none of our measurements is sufficiently accurate to support accurate forecasts.

  120. @AlecM

    The Meteorologists imagine the clouds heat the surface, but in reality, they reduce its IR cooling rate!

    Yes, this is how I look at it, however you can look at the radiation flows and describe the reduced radiation loss and subsequent warming as an (Incoming + Reflected) Component less the outgoing ( Climate science view) or Incoming – (Outgoing – Reflected) traditional view. The Argument being that in warming the surface and then re-emitting the total energy emitted in the CO2 stopband is increased. Provided one understands that the total can only redistribute the energy between wavelengths. For example turn Shortwave radiation into longwave radiation. On the other hand, the warmists seem to conveniently forget that reflected IR is also broadbanded as it thermalises at the surface, and any increase in surface temperature results in huge losses (as shown in the diagram).

    Positive Feedback posits that these losses will decrease as the temperature differences increase, I say the overall losses will increase, certainly emission via the atmospheric window, convection and latent heat losses MUST increase with surface temperature. Heat engines become more efficient as temperature difference increases, not LESS as the IPCC implies

    One of the big problems though that is not really addressed properly, is that anything that increases reflection lets say water vapour also tends to reduce the shortwave Incoming.

    Anyway – ultimately there is no imbalance, net energy must be zero, the argument is only in just what happens to the 0.6W that is “retained” by the earth and does it cause warming (one of) my arguments is that Climate science has not properly considered all the ways energy is extracted by the system and stored in the biosphere mostly via endothermic chemical reactions (Gail – Chip in here since you are the chemist) the sunlight absorbed by organisms photosynthesizing is huge. We consider that photosynthesis has increased some 6% due to CO2 fertilisation – How much extra sunlight does that also take? There is much energy in winds, which is also turned into waves both of which are so large they can even be harvested, and in part these energies are heat driven. The Energy for such things has to come from somewhere, not all kinetic energy becomes heat again in the end, much of it gets expended in opposing gravity and inertia of the planetary gravitational systems. Rain/wind/waves hitting the planet try to move the planet or stop its rotation (or speed it up) by infinitesimally small amounts. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If that 0.6W does not go into warming, then there can be no warming .

    In any case, its unthinkable that just 0.6W will do anything given the degrees of freedom in the climate to dissipate it – it’s just insane to think otherwise. So I tend to agree, a small fraction of the imbalance goes to warming and the feedback is heavily negative – Even the warmist view that we”l get bigger storms – storms use energy, energy that once used by the storm, is no longer heat – you can’t have Armageddon by storm and Atmospheric heating at the same time.

    A Recent paper said precipitation would increase 20% but upon analysis 0.6W per square meter is only enough energy to increase precipitation by 2% and then of course because the energy is used up in the hydrological cycle there can be no energy for warming, either rain increases by 2% or warming increases by 0.6W but you cant have both at the same time. These climate papers regularly violate energy conservation this way.

    Sorry Alex long post…
    Bob

  121. The ocean is warming, isn’t it? by Kevin E. Trenberth (linked by Trick)

    In spite of all the difficulties, Lyman et al. are able to demonstrate a robust warming of the global upper ocean from 1993 to 2008, depicted by the red line in Figure 1, which averages 0.64 ± 0.29 watts per square metre (95% confidence interval)

    Stephens et al. 2012 (also linked by Trick):

    From the second column of page 1:

    The average annual excess of net TOA radiation constrained by OHC is 0.6±0.4 Wm–2 (90% confidence) since 2005 when Argo data (14) became available, before which the OHC data are much more uncertain (14).

    From figure B1:

    This uncertainty is almost an order of magnitude larger than the imbalance of 0.58 ±0.4 Wm–2 inferred from OHC information(13,14).

    (Converted to a 95% CI, the uncertainty is 0.6/0.58 ±0.48 Wm-2.)

    Yet, when I look at the sources, I find this:

    13. Lyman, J. M. et al. Robust warming of the global upper ocean. Nature
    465, 334–337 (2010).

    From the abstract:

    Accounting for multiple sources of uncertainty, a composite of several OHCA curves using different XBT bias corrections still yields a statistically significant linear warming trend for 1993–2008 of 0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area), with a 90-per-cent confidence interval of 0.53–0.75 W m-2.

    (Converted to a 95% CI, the uncertainty is 0.64 W m-2 ±0.63 to 0.89 W m-2 or no significant linear warming.)

    14. Willis, J. K., Lyman, J. M., Johnson, G. C. & Gilson, J. In situ data biases and recent ocean heat content variability. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.
    26, 846–852 (2009).

    From the abstract:

    With biased profiles discarded, no significant warming or cooling is observed in upper-ocean heat content between 2003 and 2006.

    Please help me. I am having trouble understanding this.

    To summarize:

    Ocean Warming Tenberth: 0.64 ± 0.29 Wm-2 citing Lyman et al 2010.
    Stephens et al 2012: 0.6/0.58 ±0.48 Wm-2 citing Lyman et al 2010 and Willis et al 2009. (converted to 95% CI)
    Lyman et al 2010: 0.64 ±0.63 to 0.89 Wm-2 (converted to 95% CI)
    Wilis et al 2009: 0 significant warming or cooling 2003-2006.

    I’m lost!!!

  122. As Somebody said:

    The error bar is probably huge, way bigger than the assumed imbalance.

    Makes one wonder why Trenberth called it a “travesty” that “we are not close to balancing the energy budget.” How much more balanced did he expect to the estimated energy flows to get? The estimated imbalance is small even compared to the changes in the central estimates of the energy flows so it has to be tiny compared to the error bars. (Note that the sub-numbers on Wild’s graphic can’t be error bars or the range on the imbalance would have to be much larger. The sub-numbers must be estimates of the high and low magnitudes of these flows.)

    Perhaps the travesty that Trenberth was referring to was the large size of the errors. The estimates leave plenty of room to fudge numbers so that they balance (fudging in an estimate of global warming as well, the supposed “imbalance”) but this isn’t actually balancing anything. It isn’t actually knowing where the energy is going. It is just fudging the numbers. This interpretation is backed by Trenberth’s response to Wigley’s objection:

    “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    Trenberth had already classified reduction in human GHG emissions as “geoengineering” (See Daniel Compton’s 2009 analysis of Trenberth’s emails.) Trenberth was admitting here that they didn’t have any idea what was actually happening and so they shouldn’t be pushing for GHG reductions. I’m sure he looks back on that as a moment of weakness, allowing scientific integrity to briefly overwhelm his religious convictions.

  123. I have never seen that atmospheric gases are source of energy to some warmer. Nor gases can’t be blankets, in free flowing enviroment. They could be blankets only when they don’t move…between glasses. How long this totally crap can continue!

  124. Gail Combs says:
    January 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Gail, I don’t think your understanding is quite right. Incoming energy heats the surface, the surface raises to a temperature and radiates that heat away as IR, the photon leaves the surface and interacts with a CO2 molecule raising it’s excitation state, nanoseconds later the photon is re-emitted as emission but there is an almost 50% chance that photon will be aimed toward the ground, when that photon strikes the ground it can add to the incident energy and make the ground warmer. That thermalisation can be then retained. CO2 doesn’t lag the emission, it’s the fact that the reflected energy keeps the temperature of the surface higher for longer due to this insulating effect, that is it’s the earth’s surface that lags it (as heat not EM energy). Think of a thermos flask, does it keep your coffee warmer for longer?

    Climate science tries to follow energy flows, they see this effect as being equivalent to an extra energy input that adds to the incident energy so the surface reaches a given temperature, while that’s an equivalent description mathematically for the system internally, it’s wrong conceptually, the system is warming because of a restriction in it’s losses – the surface is NOT an energy source it’s temperature is dependent on Nett input – Nett losses and nothing else. The only real input source is the external input IE the sun. (well if we neglect the small amount from the earths core it is)

    Traditional thermodynamics doesn’t deal with these “Internal flows” it just deals with (Nett in – Nett out) and models the internal recycling as a reduction in the nett emission (loss) of the system because, thats what you see in practise. All this juggling with internal flows is pointless.

    Alec, did I get that right?

    Gail, I would love to work with you to come up with an estimate for energy loss through chemical reactions though!

  125. Steve Case says: @ January 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    …Want proof? On a warm muggy overcast night, it may stay that way nearly all night long, but it won’t get any warmer. However, in the morning when the sun comes up.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually I have seen it get warmer over night but that is from hot air moving into the area from the southwest.

    You might like to see this graph: temp of sand and air over time during a solar eclipse.

  126. Michael Moon 2:22pm: ”H?” “Control volume?”

    H from chemistry 101 is the symbol for Hydrogen. The sun fuses H to He (look that up) using H up to warm the surface and atm. of the Earth and sundry other planets and moons in the process.

    Control Volume from Thermo. 101, this is useful to control for energy in and out volume of interest setting surface Tmean. You can see it in the cartoons, also called their border. This is why they call it a balance.

    Thx for asking Michael but you could have looked ‘em up on your own. Really. Here for practice: Put H into google.com, see the top link. Put ‘control volume’ into google.com, see the top link. Pretty easy. You can learn a lot that way but check the wiki cites for the really good & right stuff.

  127. [Gail Combs January 17, 2014 at 3:36 am
    AlecM says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:46 am
    ….So, there can be no ‘back radiation’ and no ‘slowing down’ of cooling….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    First. Can a CO2 molecule absorb a packet of energy at a certain wavelength? – Yes.
    Does it re-emit that packet of energy? – yes.
    ...
    How long before that absorbed energy packet gets transfered via collision or re-emission? – nanoseconds? (This is the point, the rate, that is always glossed over. )
    ]

    The half-life for re-radiation from a CO2 molecule is about 1 millisecond.
    The mean time between collisions in an ideal gas at tropospheric temperatures and pressures is about 10^-9 sec. [http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/frecol.html#c1]. This time increases at higher altitudes due to lower temperature and pressure.

    So in the lower atmosphere effectively all of the CO2 molecules pass on as heat, the energy absorbed from photons. However that energy, now mostly stored in the Nitrogen and Oxygen, is re-radiated at a rate determined by the emissivity of Nitrogen and Oxygen, which is of course very low. Thus the light is almost entirely converted to heat, and remains heat.

    Things change around the tropopause, where the pressure is so low that the CO2 re-radiates the photon faster than the mean collision rate. Thus in the tropopause about half the photons emitted by the CO2 head out to space.

    I presume that a similar story can be told about water vapour, though it is not well-mixed.

    In summary: radiant heat from the earth is absorbed by the atmosphere, conducted and convected up to the tropopause, and then radiated to space.

  128. bobl says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    I understand that the photon can head towards the earth and therefore retard the speed of cooling. That is why I mentioned on a micro level vs on a macro level. However you are still talking about rather short time spans as that graph I just linked to showed.

    The data is from the desert so H2O is not as much of a factor, leaving atmosphere and CO2. When the sun starts to be obscured the temperature of the air responds within in a minute or two and the temperature of the sand within fifteen minutes. The air temperature drop is over 10C while the sand retains the heat better (more mass) and only drops about five degrees. The air responds much more quickly to the increase in sunlight and the sand lags again by about 10 to fifteen minutes.

    I am sure if this was repeated in clearing in a humid tropical area the response would be completely different because of water.

    CO2 might be retarding the cooling by a small amount but it is a bit player compared to water.

    Sleepalot @ July 21, 2012 at 4:53 am pointed out the actual effects of the GHG water vapor on the temperature by comparing high vs low humidity.

    ….monthly min 20C, monthly max 33C, monthly average 26C
    Average humidity 90%

    …..monthly min 9C monthly max 44C, monthly average 30C
    Average humidity around 0%

    #2 The effect of the addition of water vapor (~ 4%) is not to raise the temperature but to even the temperature out. The monthly high is 10C lower and the monthly low is ~ 10C higher when the GHG H2O is added to the atmosphere in this example. The average temperature is about 4C lower in Brazil despite the fact that Algeria is further north above the tropic of Cancer. Some of the difference is from the effect of clouds/albedo but the dramatic effect on the temperature extremes is also from the humidity.

    I took a rough look at the data from Brazil. Twelve days were sunny. I had to toss the data for two days because it was bogus. The average humidity was 80% for those ten days. The high was 32 with a range of 1.7C and the low was 22.7C with a range of 2.8C. Given the small range in values over the month the data is probably a pretty good estimate for the effects of humidity only. You still get the day-night variation of ~ 10C with a high humidity vs a day-night variation of 35C without and the average temp is STILL going to be lower when the humidity is high.

    This data would indicate GHGs have two effects. One is to even out the temperature and the second is to act as a “coolant” at least if the GHG is H2O.

    The latent heat of evaporation could be why the average is 4C lower when in Brazil vs Algeria. As one of the commenters here at WUWT mentioned using temperature without humidity to estimate the global heat content is bad physics.

    More details:
    The data is from May which is midway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice and therefore the sun would be midway between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° North) so the solar insolation at both locations would be roughly equal with a bit more expected in Barcelos, Brazil.

    ALTITUDE:
    Barcelos, Brazil elevation ~ 30 meters (100 ft)
    Adrar, Algeria ~ Elevation: 280 metres (920 feet)

    One would expect a drop in temperature of ~ 4C due to altitude for Adrar, Algeria so the difference between locations, taking into account altitude is ~ 8C higher in Adrar which is further north but with much lower humidity.

    You will have no problem convincing me that water is a major player in our climate however CO2 is a flea on the rump of an elephant in comparison. It’s only use is as a hammer to beat more money out of the general population.

  129. Michael D says: @ January 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thank you for supplying the missing pieces.

    Re-radiation is often talked about as if the atmosphere was 100% CO2 and nitrogen and oxygen did not exist.

  130. Carbomontanus says:
    January 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    About that light globe,

    1 The light globe is an energy source, the earths surface is not, having said that

    2. The temperature of the globe (filament) it dependent only on the energy in Vs the energy out, if you retard the energy out then the reduction in radiation losses will make the heating process more efficient which allows the filament to heat more – the filament has a negative temperature coefficient – viz current falls. Noone here is denying that insulation works, however the total energy in that system never exceeds the volts x amps x time that you put in, your aluminium insulated lamp in this experiment has strictly LESS energy in it than the uninsulated lamp does. Temperature is NOT energy.

  131. The only part of the energy budget that is influenced by CO2 is the atmospheric window. yes/no? That means the vast majority of the energy budget has nothing to do with CO2. Does this mean anything?

  132. Phil no dot 2:21pm: “Please help me. I am having trouble understanding this.”

    Not a unique experience. Nice work actually looking up the source papers. You don’t clip out the numbers in Joules just W/m^2. My guess the temperature & joule info. and data from the upper ocean would have more confidence i.e. smaller +/- ranges. This after all is why they didn’t do it with CERES data W/m^2, see couple earlier CERES posts about W/m^2 confidence – accuracy vs. precision discussion by Willis (CO2 and CERES thread).

    Try doing the same work with the energy content joules data, don’t convert W/m^2, see if that helps. Talking about the joule ranges shown in Trenberth 2010 Nature Fig. 1, seem to get visually smaller as the Argo data comes in (2003 or so).

  133. Gail Combs says:
    January 17, 2014 at 9:47 am
    Michael Moon says: @ January 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

    “Back Radiation!”

    This is a figment of the imagination….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That depends on whether you are talking on the molecular level or macro level. Net there is no “Back Radiation” because it violates the 2nd Law. However thanks to the 400 ppm of CO2 you can get a retarding in the time it takes for the radiation to exit TOA…. nanoseconds?

    As I said I am a chemist so do not have the maths to figure it out but that photon of the correct wavelength to interact with the very scarce amount of CO2 is not going to be hanging around very long while on its way out even if it does manage to find a CO2 molecule to interrupt it in its journey.

    I have never seen the amount of outgoing energy for the CO2 bands which is why I like this graph Outgoing seems to be down around tenths. Digging around just now I found this graph Which if I am reading it correctly says the energy is down in the 0.08 Wm2 or less range. So yes in the tenths or less.

    I’m afraid you’re not reading it correctly Gail. The units are W/(m^2.sr.cm-1) so if considering emission from a surface you’d first have to multiply by 2pi (~6) then the width of the band in wave numbers (say ~100). So approximately in the 15micron band, 50W/m^2.

  134. bobl 2:03pm: “@AlecM The Meteorologists imagine the clouds heat the surface, but in reality, they reduce its IR cooling rate! …Yes, this is how I look at it, however you can look at the radiation flows and describe the reduced radiation loss…reflected IR is also broadbanded as it thermalises at the surface…”

    ******

    Be very careful discussing clouds. Pretty sure true meteorologists don’t think clouds “heat” the surface since they are at a cooler height; the sun alone increases surface T. Clouds do increase the entropy and enthalpy of the solid and liquid surface, clouds don’t have energy source to use up so do not increase the surface temperature even by reflection.

    All else being equal, less radiation is emitted from a clear sky than from a cloudy sky, not, as has been stated hundreds of times until it has become an immutable truth, because clouds reflect ground radiation but because emission by clouds is greater than by air at the same temperature. ~Bohren 1998 p. 358.

    Also, you got tripped up here 2:41pm: “..50% chance that photon will be aimed toward the ground, when that photon strikes the ground it can add to the incident energy and make the ground warmer.”

    Again, the sun uses up an energy source and increases ground temperature. Drill that in. Since the 50% chance photon aimed toward the ground comes from a cooler level than the surface on avg., the photon on avg. can’t increase the temperature of the ground. That photon will increase the entropy and the enthalpy of the solid and liquid ground when it gets annihilated.

    If not careful with these statements, whole websites spring up, books get written and threads go to 1,000 posts pointing out the resultant issues.

  135. Has anybody thought about this? Possibly CO2 helps cooling instead of warming:

    So, what would happen, if we had no Greenhouse Gases?

    Remember, Greenhouse Gases can absorb longwave IR radiation and get heated up. They can also be heated up though contact with the O and N molecules of the air, which are first heated up by the surface, convection and incoming sunrays. The hotter they are, the more they are radiating and as there nothing comes back from the outer space, they will cool the atmosphere.

    In the contrary, O and N molecules cannot absorb nor radiate heat. But they can collect heat from other molecules and the earth surface through contact. This is why the air is a such a good insulator. Bu the heat, once trapped, cannot radiate, and the molecules stay hot. To cool down, they need the help from greenhouse gases.

    Now we look at our Earth Surface, heated up with 160 w/m² (as you see in the graphic). About 80 we get into the atmosphere trough radiation, 20 through thermal convection. No greenhouse gases in the air, except water vapour. 40 will vanish through the Atmospheric window, and 20 don’t go into the atmosphere but straight into space, not disturbed by GG.

    Now we have a problem: There are remaining 100 w/m² in the atmosphere, and they can’t escape. No help from the GG. So the air temperature will climb up to the hottest tempeartures on Earth, about 60°. The poles will melt, and we will be boiled. Thank God, we have the greenhouse gases! They don’t heat up, they mostly cool.

    Okay, there is something wrong with my model, as water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, and it can help in cooling a bit. But it will not help with all the 100w/m². Even some Watts are dangerous. Why? look at the graphic: There is mentioned a 0.6 or 0.9 w/m² net absorbed energy, which is’t released from the surface. Which means even this small amount is considered as dangerous as it will remain in the atmosphere and heat it up. But we have to handle 100 w/m²!

  136. Steve Case
    Not sure why you would get banned?

    your point is valid but some of the gases does hold heat such as water vapor. All data they have to show how much heat actually is held is all done with models.

    There is a very easy peasy experiment. The experiment will give empirical evidence to show how much heat is held by the atmosphere. I don’t have the equipment myself to do it but it can be done.

    Check the drop in temperature of the moon vs the earth per hour after the initial inversion layer drops. There are some locations on the earth that has similar temperature drops of the inversion layer. The difference with a few minor differences between the earth and the moon that can be calculated will give you how much the Earths atmosphere holds heat.

    I would like to know why this experiment hasn’t been done yet.

    Thank you.

  137. Something to add to my previous Post on cooling CO2:

    One supporter of the Turney Journey (Shock-al-sky, you remember?) was (possibly, now some supporters are denying) the University of Exeter , which startet now a online course on Climate Change and Solutions, which I joined this week. As the have recommended to start a blog, I did it. No tmuch to write there in, as the course is low-level. So I use it to write further ideas about Global Warming, The text above is just a small part of the whole, so I invite you to get there further enlightment about CO2 and the comming doom.

    http://klimawandler.blogspot.de/

  138. How much of the Sun’s energy is expended in rotating the earth? Willis appears to looking for missing energy and I understand the earth heats as the day progresses. Is it possible that earth operates like a version of Crooke’s Radiometer with the evening side warmer than the morning side?

  139. J.Herbst 4:45: “..O and N molecules cannot absorb nor radiate…”

    Yes. They can. All matter > 0K radiates and absorbs; N and O are matter in gaseous state at earth temp.s.

    Now we have a problem: There are remaining 100 w/m² in the atmosphere, and they can’t escape.

    Neither can the 100 W/m^2 ever get in to need an escape because if earth atm gas can’t radiate in your model then neither can the gas in the sun radiate. No energy arrives then from the sun (or stars) thru outer space.

  140. bulsit says:
    January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    “I have never seen that atmospheric gases are source of energy to some warmer. Nor gases can’t be blankets, in free flowing environment. They could be blankets only when they don’t move…between glasses. How long this totally crap can continue!”……….

    I agree. They keep talking about a gas as if it was a solid, just laying there like a piece of insulation.
    Insulation in my attic slows down heat tranfer; CO2 is a blanket; your sweater keeps you warm.. Yes they are solids that slow down heat transfer.
    Guess what… I took the insulation out of my attic and poured in dry ice [solid CO2]
    Wow, I thought, 100% CO2 should really give me lots of back-radiation, and my furnace would hardly ever be on.

    The CO2 sublimated and rose up through my roof vents. My heating bill rose drastically. ;^)
    Why is it that no one ever mentions that CO2, being a gas, expands, and rises, when heated?
    If it expands and rises when heated then the temperature does not go up, does it?

  141. All matter will radiate, and absorb/scatter photons, however when the photon energy is equal to the band gap, a substance can absorb. It is wrong to say that diatomic gasses can’t affect received radiation, they do, but its not much. Greenhouse gasses can radiate much more.

    Also the way I see it, absent of energy transport the total energy of the gas must be the same throughout the atmosphere. Thus the Ke + Pe of a gas must be a constant, and as the potential energy rises the kinetic energy (temperature must fall). Absent any inputs there must be a gradient from warm to cold, dependent only on the depth of atmosphere and gravity. Without this gradient convection doesn’t work. So those that suggest that the entire difference between the blackbody description (-18C) and the situation with atmosphere (15C) are due to GHGs miss an important point.

  142. richardscourtney says, January 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm:

    “As you say
    On a warm muggy overcast night, it may stay that way nearly all night long, but it won’t get any warmer.
    You do not add that
    on a clear night the temperature drops often rapidly.
    And, of course, the difference is that radiation from the surface can reach space more easily on a night which is not overcast.
    And when the Sun comes up the surface is also heated from the Sun but the effect you report does not cease.
    So, you have provided an excellent example of the radiative greenhouse effect and how it can vary at a locality. Thankyou.”

    Richard, if the clouds are still there when the Sun rises, they cause the surface temperature to rise more slowly than if they weren’t there. Opposite effect.

    It is indeed true, when the surface cools (is no longer heated by the sun), then a cloud cover (and/or humid air) would reduce its cooling rate compared to no cloud cover (and/or dry air). But when the day breaks and the sunbeams come in from above, then that cloud cover and high atmospheric humidity will have the opposite effect. And at least in the tropics, where most of the energy from the Sun is absorbed by the Earth system, this cooling effect is distinctly stronger than the nightly warming effect.

    So if that’s your GHE, then it would be hard to call it a ‘warming’ effect.

  143. Notice how all the arrows in the diagrams above represent ‘heat’ flows, EXCEPT the two thick IR ones moving up from and down to the surface. And yet everyone seems to take for granted that the energy flows they represent is somehow equal to all the other ones. They expect them to ‘work’ like the others, to give the same results or effects as the others. AS IF they were ‘heat’ flows.

    That’s where the deception lies hidden. Because no one tells us about this. No one notifies us about it.

    If anything, the real radiative heat flux between surface and atmosphere is the UP-arrow minus the DOWN-arrow. Only that can heat anything. Because it’s … heat.

  144. bobl saaid at 2:41 pm

    Incoming energy heats the surface, the surface raises to a temperature and radiates that heat away as IR, the photon leaves the surface and interacts with a CO2 molecule raising it’s excitation state, nanoseconds later the photon is re-emitted as emission but there is an almost 50% chance that photon will be aimed toward the ground, when that photon strikes the ground it can add to the incident energy and make the ground warmer.

    No it won’t make the ground warmer. For one thing it’s the same photon that just left.

    Gail Combs said 2:41 pm

    Actually I have seen it get warmer over night but that is from hot air moving into the area from the southwest.

    I knew someone would say that, I dithered on putting in a caveat stipulating a CALM muggy & overcast night, but I din’t want to make it messy.

    I’m just surprised that you took that bait, and didn’t use a smiley face (-:

    Ox AO said at 5:13 pm

    Not sure why you would get banned?

    Because the “Waiting for Moderation” sign popped up on my post (-:

  145. Alberta Slim says:
    January 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    The CO2 sublimated and rose up through my roof vents. My heating bill rose drastically. ;^)
    Why is it that no one ever mentions that CO2, being a gas, expands, and rises, when heated?
    If it expands and rises when heated then the temperature does not go up, does it?

    AGW gases don’t expand when heated nor condense when cooled. Climate scientists are not meteorologists..

  146. Puts me most in mind of “Hidden Variable Fraud”, assigning all loose scraps of unattributed causality to one’s preferred “forcing”.

  147. btw – all figures in all Trenberths plots. No emissivity. Power and amount emitted / received are all wrong. AND, power of grey body emission is not amount of grey body emission. If it were, it would be a black body, and we all know nothing is a black body. All of all of the plots is in black body, because there is no emissivity. We live in (complex) grey body reality.

    Mind you we all know P/4 does not apply at earth’s surface either, as shown by day and night at earth’s surface. Yet all the plots start with P/4. The earth is not flat.

    AND, no one has observed atmospheric “back radiation” warming earth’s surface.

    Alan Siddons used the term “greenhouse land physics” many years back, and above are the requirements for such an imaginary “landscape”, “paradigm”, or rather failed pseudo science.

  148. This new graphic contains the the same fundamental problem as the old graphic; it is the “global mean” of these various readings. Producing a “global average” of downwelling IR radiation obscures the reality that hotter, drier climates have a lower level of downwelling IR radiation than do cooler, more humid climates that lie along the same latitude.
    .
    In 2011, for example the average 24/7/52 downwelling IR radiation measured at the SURFRAD site at Desert Rock, Nevada was 299 W/m^2, while at Goodwin Creek, Mississippi it was measured to be 350 W/m^2. This extra 51 W/m^2 of downwelling IR radiation in Mississippi was due to the fact that the absolute humidity in Mississippi was 250% higher than in Nevada, which increased the emissivity of the ground level air. Never the less the yearly mean ground level air temperature at the Mississippi site was cooler than the Nevada site. To put a fine point on it, even though a 250% increase in humidity caused a 51 W/m^2 increase in downwelling IR radiation at the Mississippi site no “heat-amplifying” affect was observed.
    .
    As mentioned in a previous post “Andrew Dessler and colleagues from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed that the heat-amplifying effect of water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere….”
    .
    What “heat-amplifying effect”? The “heat-amplifying effect” of which they speak does not exist within the actual atmosphere and it can only exists in theory if one obscures physical reality by working with global averages instead of regional comparisons. It is an easily observable phenomenon that wetter climates along the same latitude are the cooler climates; take Saudi Arabia vs. Bangladesh for example or Phoenix, Arizona vs. Dallas, Texas or the Congo vs. Nairobi.
    .
    You see, if one takes the above mentioned readings and says that the average 24/7/52 downwelling IR radiation was 324.5 W/m^2, the average temperature was 17.2C and the average absolute humidity was 6.65 g/kg, the fact that the higher humidity in Mississippi caused a drop in its temperature is completely obscured and one can assert that the 6.65 g/km of water vapor raised the temperature up to 17.2 C from whatever imaginary number that you claim it might have been had the water vapor been absent. The “greenhouse effect” hypothesis asserts that without “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere the global mean temperature would be 33 C cooler; yet when nature takes the “most powerful greenhouse gas” out of the air such as in a desert or during a drought the temperature goes up and heat-waves ensue.

    Carl

  149. Kristian:

    Thankyou for your reply (at January 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm) to my post (at January 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm).

    It seems there is a confusion.
    The reality of the radiative greenhouse effect is a different issue from the validity of global energy budgets.

    My post you have answered refuted a mistaken assertion that radiative effects don’t increase global average surface temperature (GAST). It pointed out that the person making the assertion had provided an example which demonstrated the opposite of his assertion. And what I said is true. You have replied by attempting to discuss irrelevant details related to that example, and I am not willing to engage in such an ‘Angels On A Pin’ discussion.

    Importantly, it seems you think I accept energy budget determinations because you confuse that issue with what I said about the example. I do NOT agree any such determinations of average energy flows in and through the climate system because they only represent the assumptions of their compilers: this is stated in my above post at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/nasa-revises-earths-radiation-budget-diminishing-some-of-trenberths-claims-in-the-process/#comment-1538857

    Richard

  150. 1. Why is radiation from a cold Earth claimed to be over 4 times as great as losses from convection and latent heat losses ? Wind chill seems more common than radiation chill and Willis’ tropical thunderclouds would appear to have a huge influence on climate.
    2. If clouds cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, why is it claimed they only reflect 25% of solar radiation ?

  151. @Anthony Watts January 18, 2014 at 2:47 am
    Thank You.
    May I tell that WUWT is quite high ranked also in Finland. Even professor of climate/environment change Korhola tell that he likes.

  152. Steve Case says:
    January 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    No it won’t make the ground warmer. For one thing it’s the same photon that just left.

    Without the reflected energy

    Over an interval – during heating (IE As the surface is warming) 100 Photons come in – 50 Photons leave (50 photons cause warming) , with insulation 100 Photons come in, 50 leave, 25 return 75 photons cause warming.

    Now traditionally we would set a boundary at the limits of the system and Say without our reflective insulation, 100 photons in – 50 photons out, 50 photons worth (units) of warming, vs with insulation 100 photons in, 25 photons out, 75 units of warming. The Temperature of an object depends on the Nett rate of energy in vs the Nett rate of energy out. These two descriptions are equivalent.

    The Greenhouse effect works only because there is a frequency change between inbound and outbound energy, so our outbound longwave energy can be reduced by CO2 while the inbound shortwave is not, this is logical.

    Note here I am NOT saying that we get 125 Photons in and 25 photons out, the 25 photons returning are part of the initial 100 photons that entered, I have not created any photons, But I have retained a larger portion of the incident energy by insulating the object – I have lowered its losses and thus I increase the objects temperature relative to the uninsulated state. However, there’s a catch.

    If my object was perfectly black, and absorbed all the energy incident, no amount of insulation would make it any warmer.

    In the example given, the insulated object warms until the losses equal the input, IE 100 photons in Vs 100 Photons out.

  153. These kind of diagrams are yet another example of the pseudo-science that infests climatology, they are meaningless garbage. GHGs have little effect on the global climate, and this is easy to demonstrate.

    Take a hot dry area, say the Sahara Desert. The daily temperature can vary by up to 40C – baking hot in the day and freezing overnight! All one can say about GHGs is that they may make the hottest part of the day slightly hotter, but the effect will soon disappear once the sun is lower in the sky.

    Now take a hot place with a lot of water – say the Brazilian rain forest. Here the daily temperature range is 2C to 5C, with an average temperature of 25C. The effect of water has a dramatic effect on the climate. Note that the water causes cooling during the day and warming during the night. By definition this means it is not a GHG. It acts more like an insulator – call it ‘the Thermos Effect’!

    The amount of GHGs will be similar in both areas so this demonstrates that water, which is not a GHG, has a massive effect compared to any possible effect of CO2. The effect of GHGs can only be seen in dry regions as water masks them elsewhere.

    This is further demonstrated by looking at the annual change in temperature. The rain forest varies by only 2C over the year but the Sahara goes from daily maximums of 40C to 15C, further showing the lack of effect of GHGs.

    Another issue I have with GHGs is that their effect will be consistent – they only vary slowly. So if any area is suddenly hotter/colder/wetter/drier it can not be due to GHGs as this would mean the effect would be the same day after day, year after year. It is something else.

    The only climate science that is consistent revolves round the idea that the Sun [in various ways] interacts with water [in all its' forms] to create the climate. For example the 60 year cycle of warming and cooling caused by interaction between the solar cycle and the oceans forecast that the global temperature rise would drop off around the year 2000, which it did.

    Under normal conditions this would mean the ‘pause’ will last to around 2030. Unfortunately the Sun is currently behaving much like it did during the ‘little ice age’ so the cooling could last much longer and become quite severe. All the warming we have had since 1800 could be reversed – possibly quite quickly. This could cause many of the calamities claimed by CAGW, such as reduced crops and climate refugees.

    I would say that the Sun and water on Earth controls almost all the climate and global temperatures of Earth. There may be some other minor effects, but with negligible impact.

    See these 71 papers showing the Sun controls climate and not CO2 :

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/71-new-papers-reported-in-2013.html

  154. In this post and commentary, there is an extraordinary amount of common sense on display. I’m really proud of most of you, in particular, Gail, Carl Brehmer, Alan Siddons, Derek Alker and others, you know who you are. If you want to solve a thermodynamic problem, turn to the engineers and chemists. For the love of God, don’t seek thermodynamic wisdom from a climatologist or bureaucrat.

  155. On latent heat.
    In the cartoons this evolved from 78 W/m2 (IPCC 2007) to 80 W/m2 (Mr. T 2009) to 86.4 W/m2 (Wild 2013). Meanwhile global average precipitation doesn’t seem to change much around 2.6 mm/day:

    Evaporative heat can be calculated straight forward from the precipitation:
    2.6 mm/day = 2.6 liters (kg) per m2 per day = 2.6 / (24*3600) kg/s per m2 = 3*10^-5 kg/(s*m2)
    Specific evaporative heat of water amounts 2.26*10^6 J/kg
    3*10^-5 * 2.26*10^6 = 68 W/m2

    I can’t explain the big difference with the cartoons. Sublimation and return of relatively cold precipitation will account for more heat extraction from the surface, however this must largely be guesswork. The same goes for heat transfer by conduction. It seems impossible do all this with an accuracy to justify an imbalance of 0.6 or 0.9 W/m2.

  156. Frans Franken says:
    January 18, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Remember also that these gigatonnes of water need to be raised to about 3 km before that Potential energy is converted to kinetic in the rain, the additional factor is small but significant compared to the 0.6W imbalance. You also need to account for latent heat of solidification when snow and ice melt and the specific heat of water since the average temp is 15 deg C not zero (Ie 4.2 x 1000 x 15) or 63kJ per kg

  157. Trick, you got no manners. Do you happen to know the mass defect of the fusion reaction in the Sun? I do, I have posted on it here. Try to be kind, we are all friends…

  158. bobl says:
    January 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Only processes that exchange heat between the surface and the atmosphere must be considered on this interface. Convection, temperature/phase change of water and other processes taking place within the atmosphere don’t exchange heat with the surface (radiation excluded). Most heat is exchanged when water changes phase while leaving c.q. returning to the surface: evaporation (liquid to vapor), sublimation (ice to vapor) resp. snow or hail falling in water and melting, or rain falling on ice and freezing. Only the latter process transports heat from the precipitation to the surface; the first three go in the other direction, extracting heat from the surface. My guess is snow or hail melting in surface water is the most significant process after evaporation. This however would happen to only a fraction of total precipitation, and the specific heat of ice(/snow) melting amounts only 15% of evaporation specific heat. As such this cannot account for the gap between the calculation based on evaporation only (68 W/m2) and the cartoons (78 – 86.4 W/m2).

    It looks to me like “the team” is using these unknowns as closing variables which follow from predetermination of the desired imbalance value of 0.6 (/0.9) W/m2.
    Note that the gap between the fairly certain evaporation heat flow and the values in the cartoons has varied as much as 84% (from 78 – 68 = 10 w/m2 to 86.4 – 68 = 18.4 W/m2). Similarly the value of the thermal/sensible heat has varied from up 41% to down again 23% (17-24-18.4 W/m2). They can’t have a clue what’s going on in this area, yet still they want to claim some degree of certainly about an imbalance between surface and atmosphere of less than one percent.

  159. richardscourtney says, January 18, 2014 at 2:36 am:

    “My post you have answered refuted a mistaken assertion that radiative effects don’t increase global average surface temperature (GAST). It pointed out that the person making the assertion had provided an example which demonstrated the opposite of his assertion. And what I said is true. You have replied by attempting to discuss irrelevant details related to that example, and I am not willing to engage in such an ‘Angels On A Pin’ discussion.”

    And my post you have answered refuted a mistaken assertion that radiative effects do increase global average surface temperature (GAST). It seems you haven’t taken in what I pointed out to you.

    “Importantly, it seems you think I accept energy budget determinations because you confuse that issue with what I said about the example. I do NOT agree any such determinations of average energy flows in and through the climate system because they only represent the assumptions of their compilers: this is stated in my above post at (…)”

    Huh?! There is nothing at all in my reply to you that deals with the energy budget diagram considerations of this post. I specifically directed my answer at what you claimed to be a perfect example of how the radiative GHE works, when a cloud cover during the night makes the cooling of the surface slow down. That is very true. But during the day, the opposite is true. The cloud cover makes the warming of the surface slow down. So the net of these ‘radiative’ effects is not warming of the surface.

    In what way is this irrelevant to your implication that such radiative effects would in the end increase GAST?

    But it is interesting discussing why and how clouds (and water vapour) reduce surface cooling … when it’s actually cooling.

  160. “Note that the water causes cooling during the day and warming during the night.”

    The fact that the presence of water in a climate system both acutely decreases the diurnal temperature swing, while slightly lowering the mean ground level air temperature is a ubiquitous observation and we know that the climate scare is not about there will be a catastrophic narrowing of the diurnal temperature swing. It is therefore a mystery as to why many scientists continue to assert that water vapor is a powerful GHG that raises the mean temperature.

    ” . . . water vapor is the largest contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. On average, it probably accounts for about 60% of the warming effect. [20C]” American Chemical Society

    “Increasing water vapor leads to warmer temperatures, which causes more water vapor to be absorbed into the air. Warming and water absorption increase in a spiraling cycle.” NASA

    “As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere.” NOAA

    “More water vapor – which is itself a greenhouse gas – amplifies the warming effect of increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. This is what scientists call a ‘positive feedback.’” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    “The additional water vapor, acting as a greenhouse gas, absorbs energy that would otherwise escape to space and so causes further warming.” American Geophysical Union

    Perhaps someday theory will yield to that which is observed to happen in the actual atmosphere? Only time will tell.

    Carl

  161. Carl
    Yes, a point I make constantly, we know for a fact that increasing temp leads to increasing RH, which reduces the diurnal range, the average rises but the extremes reduce. Higher temp makes things more tropical. It’s why I say before the climate scientists can call catastrophe, they need to show…

    How much it will warm
    Where it will warm ( frankly I dont care if the middle of the antarctic goes from -50 to -48)
    When it will warm ( if it warms minimums, or mainly in winter it is probably a good thing)
    and That it is harmful

    Untill all these things are known the billions should be spent on useful pursuits, like curing cancer, after all at least we know there’s a problem, which can’t be said for CAGW.

  162. Frans,

    Any process that extracts heat is relevant, so for example wind which drives waves which splash against the shore causing minute drags on the plannets rotation, extract heat and contribute to the imbalance. I was being a bit broader, however many of the things I mentioned are very revevant to thermal energy expended in the hydrological cycle more broadly.

  163. Carl 12:52am: “Producing a “global average” of downwelling IR radiation obscures the reality that hotter, drier climates have a lower level of downwelling IR radiation than do cooler, more humid climates that lie along the same latitude.”

    Carl – I observe a lot can be un-obscured by global avg.s in top post cartoons & cited papers even though no one place is exactly avg.

    Producing the global avg. doesn’t obscure local readings, I’m not ever sure what you mean. The locals are what they are, measured by instruments. The global avg.s are what they are, measured by instruments. Give or take.

    Reason is you obscure DWIR conclusions by mixing metaphors: for sure hotter, humid areas expect more DWIR vs. colder, dryer areas. Then you mix hot, dry with cooler, humid. How does that not obscure resultant DWIR comparisons? Here’s why your work obscures DWIR conclusions based on some other local numbers I dug out.

    ******

    Near your mentioned sites, the avg. 50th percentile precipitable water (i.e. humidity) 0-300mb above Las Vegas is shown ~0.4 median and above Jackson, MS for June is about 1.25 a factor of 3x yet the annual rainfall for Las Vegas is 4.2in and for Jackson is 54inches nearly 13x.

    I’ve mentioned before, deserts have low precipitation, not only because of humidity but because they are also regions of descending air. Owens Valley lee side of Sierras, Atacama Desert lee side of Andes. Look at some local numbers, see what you think.

    I’ll compare Alouef in the Sahara 27N 100x less rainfall (0.3) than Madison, Wisc. 43N. The lowest avg. rel. humidity at 0700 recorded at Alouef is 29% in June, avg. min. Temp is 81F. Water vapor partial pressure computes to 10.7mb. In Madison, rel. humidity at 0700 May can be 74% , avg. min. temp is 49F. Partial pressure wv 8.4mb.

    Convert the vapor pressures to densities, find concentration of wv in Madison is 20% less than in Alouef. AND the Alouef air temperature is higher. Combination of higher temperature AND computed wv density means that radiation from the atm. above Alouef is probably greater than in Madison many times. You are more likely to find “desert conditions” in Madison than Alouef. ~Bohren 1998 p.366.

    Conclusion: willing to bet that atm. radiation on a clear night often is lower in Madison than in the middle of the Sahara. Once one actually computes the hot, dry vs. cool, humid numbers. Dig thru NOAA maybe that is recorded, dunno.

    I dunno the world record for lowest DWIR either maybe NOAA crew does. For sure, I would look at values in cold, dry places – regions of low precipitation not necessarily high temperatures (invoking sand dunes in cloudless sky), better to invoke the arctic winter ~130 W/m^2 min. than Sahara.

  164. Steve Case says: @ January 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Gail Combs said 2:41 pm

    Actually I have seen it get warmer over night but that is from hot air moving into the area from the southwest.

    I knew someone would say that, I dithered on putting in a caveat stipulating a CALM muggy & overcast night, but I din’t want to make it messy.

    I’m just surprised that you took that bait, and didn’t use a smiley face (-:
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually I was thinking more of a tongue in cheek but didn’t have a drawing.

    Don’t worry about the “Moderation” I get it all the time. It seems to be completely random too.
    If it takes more than an hour I ask the Moderator to go fishing.

    [And the moderators always wake up, rise up and take the bait. 8<) Mod]

  165. I just took another look at that updated cartoon. Did anyone else notice
    SOLAR at TOA = 340.4 Wm2
    Solar at surface = 163.3 + 22.9 = 186.2 Wm2

    BACK RADIATION = 340.3Wm2
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How on God’s little green earth can BACK RADIATION = SOLAR at TOA and almost TWICE the amount of solar energy at the surface?

    Am I nuts or does that make zero sense?

  166. Gail 4:32pm notices NASA avg. DWIR greater than Net solar. “… does that make zero sense?”

    This is where the thermo. discipline of control volumes (cv) helps. One term cv is balanced at TOA the other term cv is balanced at surface. Solar a function of sun & distance, DWIR functions of atm. temp. and emissivity.

    I can’t think of a reason the solar needs to be more or less than DWIR. Science apparently knows the solar value closer than the DWIR as shown in the Stephen’s et. al. 2012 cartoon.

    Top post was updated with Wild. et. al. If you don’t like NASA you won’t like Wild even less. With that posting, I have come to see the plethora of these cartoons being sprung on the world. Geez. Only one world but many time periods, instruments, guesses, residuals, et. al.

    Kind of have to pick your flavor, the one I prefer is Stephens et. al. 2012 covering 2000-2010 due the +/- shown; 2nd best for me is TFK2009 March 2000 to May 2004 (top post 1st cartoon). Their guesses are well discussed and can ~observe natural changes. Loeb has no cartoon, you really need to read it.

    I prefer Wild the least since the time period is cited as “…climate conditions at the turn of the millennium”. And “..(EBAF) data set for the period 2001–2010.” So the time period(s) seem very muddled in that report; same as they are muddled in the NASA report.

  167. Kristian:

    I am replying to your post at January 18, 2014 at 10:44 am which begins by saying

    richardscourtney says, January 18, 2014 at 2:36 am:

    “My post you have answered refuted a mistaken assertion that radiative effects don’t increase global average surface temperature (GAST). It pointed out that the person making the assertion had provided an example which demonstrated the opposite of his assertion. And what I said is true. You have replied by attempting to discuss irrelevant details related to that example, and I am not willing to engage in such an ‘Angels On A Pin’ discussion.”

    And my post you have answered refuted a mistaken assertion that radiative effects do increase global average surface temperature (GAST). It seems you haven’t taken in what I pointed out to you.

    Nonsense!
    Your post I am answering attempts to change the claim to being NET radiative effects do not raise temperature.
    That is NOT what was claimed, NOT what it was asserted the illustration showed, and NOT what I refuted.
    The assertion I addressed is and was wrong.

    Take your sophistry elsewhere.
    I said, “I am not willing to engage in such an ‘Angels On A Pin’ discussion”, and I am still not willing to engage in such nonsense.

    The GAST of the Earth would be lower without radiative effects. That does not – of itself – indicate that small increase to those radiative effects from their present levels would increase GAST. Live with it

    Richard

  168. Gail Combs says:
    January 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    I just took another look at that updated cartoon. Did anyone else notice
    SOLAR at TOA = 340.4 Wm2
    Solar at surface = 163.3 + 22.9 = 186.2 Wm2

    BACK RADIATION = 340.3Wm2
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How on God’s little green earth can BACK RADIATION = SOLAR at TOA and almost TWICE the amount of solar energy at the surface?

    Am I nuts or does that make zero sense?

    It makes perfect sense unless you think that the atmosphere is perfectly transparent to IR!

  169. Back radiation is total, aphysical crap. The climate physicists’ total emissivity for CO2 minus the ‘secular’ emissivity at 10 u yields a negative remainder. Small wonder airbrushing required.

  170. Reading the various contributions, I think that my studies since 2012 will be of interest to many people following this thread.

    I have developed a model for the one-way heat propagation by radiation in the atmosphere.
    In a paper of December 2012 I have validated the model with the results of K&T type diagrams.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

    In a paper of April 2013 I have given the same model for one-way for heat propagation by radiation, with a finite element formulation.

    http://www.principia-scientific.org/publications/PROM/PROM_REYNEN_Finite_Element.pdf

    These models without the back-radiation and thereby huge absorption give coherent results.
    In a paper of December 2013 the one-way model is compared to the two-way model of Schwarzschild from back in 1905.
    Similar equations result, but the two-way FEM model is to be preferred since there is no back-radiation and thereby huge absorption.
    A MATLAB listing is included.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/Planckabsorption.pdf

    It turns out that the heat evacuation from the surface to outerspace is mainly due to convection from the lower layers of the atmosphere.
    The evacuation from the higher levels to outer space is of course by radiation.

    • Dr. JWR

      your statement

      “…. since there is no back radiation…”

      allready disqualifies your results.

      You seem to ignore like many others, and you seem to be fanatically religiously immune to critical experimental and empirical evidence, and thus hardly worthy of being taken serious.

      Being rather aquainted to science and to quite simple operational and instrumental reality for critical control, I could easily show that principle of “back ratiation” yesterday in my workshop, by an incandescant lamp, a precise digital amperemeter, a piece of aluminium foil, and a stabilized power supply.

      Beat that!

      And we have it further in our old stove of cast iron, where we have to insulate and keep it in order inside with fireproof and somewhat porous clay, in order to keep the right heat and glow and “back radiation” inside the stove in the combustion- chamber,……..

      ……… for proper efficient combustion of firewood, with clear hot air over the chimney

      =Practical science and physics you see,…

      You find the same principle of “back radiation” or reactions going both ways when they seemingly go only one way, in a waste lot of very common systems, where there is thermo- molecular diffusion and / or electromagnetic radiation of heat, light , electricity involved…..

      ….and in common chemical reactions on atomic and molecular level.

      So,with that typical kind of argument, you do attack and fight reality on a further broad scale that you are probably not aware of for strange reasons.

      I do hate fanatic political and religious propaganda against such basic technological knowledge and insight in the lab and elsewhere in the workshops and in common and everyday life. Probably driven and paid for / expecting payment from that very ugly fanatic “republican war on science”.

      Your argument was first found at a certain “Dipl Ing.” Heinz Thieme “Technischer Assesor”, (probably then with fraud Diploma from the Party) , Upstairs at the Railways in old Leipzig.

      That kind of a job under that regime was rather impossible unless they were cleared and planted by the fameous “STASI”, having learnt also how to state falseness (for instance about the true causes of the railway accidents) on paper in a trustful way.

      “Dipl.Ing.” Thieme has carried out the same argument, and it can be found also in English translation. He accuses that very fameous priest daughter Angela Merkel for being “Religious perhaps?” for her engagement in the Berlin Climate Initiative.

      Merkel herself is Dr. Philos of Physical Chemistery from the Planc institute in the same Leipzig, and has not got her Diplomæ from the STASI.

      On this side of the atlantic we are quite sceptic to high professionals at the railways of old Leipzig, and further to the chief engineer, radiologist and Master plumber of old Cernobyl.

      The adiabatic convection theory of the lapse- rate is falsified by any realities like the stability of hot air balloons and of aiplanes with large wings.

  171. Phil. says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Gail Combs says: @ January 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    ………..It makes perfect sense unless you think that the atmosphere is perfectly transparent to IR!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No it does not. The are say DWIR is TWICE the amount of energy from the sun at ground level. That violates the 2nd law since they are saying GHG are some how making extra energy.

    If this drawing is true then you have 15 to 30% thermal radiation transmitted. That does not include the thermal energy that get shot to the tropopause by storms, transported via winds or ocean currents to the poles….

    Also most of the atmospheric IR window is obsured by H2O. That means the areas that are dry do not obscure the atmospheric IR window except in the minor CO2 bands.

    Here are satelite images of water vapor link
    at 500 mb (approximately 14,000 feet in altitude)
    movie

    They are full of B.S.

    • To all and everyone exept Gail Combs

      Here we have the fanatic religious dogma about the 2nd law and of GHG not being able to create energy again Cfr:

      “…That violates the 2nd law since they are saying GHG are some how making extra energy..”

      That person Gail Combs seems not even to be aware that creating extra energy is violating the 1st law. Being obviously true to the scriptures, those blind believers to the dogmas of the scriptures state “2nd law” regardless. And their Übermensch and Master Führer probably GURU J. Postma has known how to bluff and to cheat them..

      But ladies and Gentlemen, I was very clever yesterday, (how often shall I repeat it?) I do expect you all to admire me now.

      I have done a tiny bit of critical experimental science for control.

      I have a small 12V 10 Watt quarz- Halogen lamp on variable power supply standing on for decoration in my LABORATORIVM all the time an for several reasons. For allways to remind me of the punctual light source and of the glow- temperatures and colours for instance. And to see how long that lamp will last if I run it on a bit lower temperature and voltage.

      And mounted a very precise digital Ampere- meter into the lamp lead, and could read 1.54 Ampere on the 10 A scale.

      One better takes another lamp so that you have full scale and near 9 in the 1st digit , giving 1/1000 accuracy at least. Or maybe make a wheatstone bridge arrangement.

      But from the curves of Tungsten filament incandescent lamps I see that you have the best Delta R/ Delta T response at about nominal voltage of the lamps.

      Remember the principle of the Pirani manometer and metallic lead thermometers.

      Then I made a very fine “hat” of aluminium foil and put it over the lamp. The current slowly dropped to 1.52 Ampere.

      Beat that!

      And took away the hat again, It went slowly back to 1.54 on the scale, quite obediently.

      Thus, when the voltage was constant and the current did drop 2 /150. Less energy was drained from the power supply, but how on earth could that aluminium foil make the resistance of that tungsten metal filament increase a little bit?

      Isn`t there glass in between and no physical contact?

      That resistance increases when the metal becomes hotter, but what on earth can that mysterious “psi-” energy be, that heated up that filament despite of less current drain from the same Power supply voltage, and even goes on heating for eternity like a perpetuum mobile?

      Because, have quite obviously invented Perpetuum Mobile Class One here and shown the very fameous Psi- energy or the “free” energy, that will cost you nothing on the electricity bill and even reduce your electricity bill if you just buy and invest in my extreemly clever principle.

      I actually manage don`t I , and i do it better than Nicola Tesla now,….

      or……..???????

      Shall we turn the very cruxive and critical question around and demand from Gail Combs & al that they declare their “Psi-” and / or “Free” energy obviously violating the 1st law of thermodynamics, that obviously can make the earth and sea surface hotter and make that lamp shine hotter and brighter despite of the fact that sunshine gets weaker and the electricity is turned down?

  172. Trick says:
    January 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm
    J.Herbst 4:45: “..O and N molecules cannot absorb nor radiate…”

    Yes. They can. All matter > 0K radiates and absorbs; N and O are matter in gaseous state at earth temp.s.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Your statement is not correct. I checked it at several places in the web. E.g. here:

    http://gerhard.stehlik-online.de/index.html

    “Heating by radiation is only possible if the radiation is absorbed and not just passed through as in case of transparent materials like glass or water. Also, the main constituents of the atmosphere, nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), let almost all of the downward solar radiation[8] pass through to the surface of the Earth and let all the upward thermal radiation from the surface pass through into space. They are neither heated by solar radiation nor by heat radiation, because they cannot absorb it. Emission and absorption of any radiation are movements (vibration, rotation) of one distinct chemical bond getting faster (and warmer) by absorption or getting slower (and colder) by emission. In general, N2 and O2 cannot absorb or emit radiation. ”

    yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
    Now we have a problem: There are remaining 100 w/m² in the atmosphere, and they can’t escape.

    Neither can the 100 W/m^2 ever get in to need an escape because if earth atm gas can’t radiate in your model then neither can the gas in the sun radiate. No energy arrives then from the sun (or stars) thru outer space.
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Here I don’t get you. I said nothing about the sun or the gas in the sun. BTW which gas?

    I just said: If there would no Greenhouse Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, no heat radiation from the atmosphere is possible. Which means:

    Sunlight and UV from the sun can pass through the Atmosphere of O2 and N2

    Heat radiation from the earth’s surface is possible, because the IR rays can pass atmosphere.

    But the atmosphere, consisting of N2 and O2, heated up by surface contact, would not able to radiate heat to the space, which means overheating.

  173. J. Herbst 5:04pm: “(Trick’s) statement “All matter > 0K radiates and absorbs” is not correct. I checked it. then clips: “.. nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), let almost all of the downward solar radiation[8] pass through…”

    Pray my tags work.

    Right there in your own clip, O2 and N2 absorb ! – that is the meaning of “almost all”. You just have to read carefully. All matter (in any state solid, liquid, gas, plasma) absorbs and emits integrated across the spectrum; all matter scatters a photon beam but not very much, takes a body the size of the atm. to register scattering. This is why Tyndall missed scattering in his small tube, it happens.

    Your clip continues: “.. (O2, N2) are neither heated by solar radiation nor by heat radiation…”

    This obviously suffers accuracy in modern science in that the calorific heat rays are no longer with us, having been discarded in the dust bin of history. It also suffers from having just written “almost all” radiation pass through; since some solar radiation didn’t pass thru it must have been absorbed and since the source was higher T, then solar radiation raised the temperature of the O2, N2 doing the absorbing along with the enthalpy and the entropy of the gas.

    Here if you want to read the science, hanging out with me means getting the basic papers out, Smith & Newnham 2000:

    “Near-infrared absorption cross sections and integrated absorption intensities of gas phase oxygen and nitrogen mixtures have been determined from laboratory measurements using a coolable multipass gas cell and Fourier transform spectroscopy. Spectra were recorded at instrument resolutions of 0.5 and 0.05 cm−1, between 2200–12,500 cm−1 (between 4.5 and 0.8 μm).”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/1999JD901171/abstract

    Then see the “drawing” Gail posted 2:43pm to get a sense why O2,N2 are important between 4.5 and 0.8 μm wavelength. O2 is shown absorbing in the terrestrial radiation bands also but N2 still emits and absorbs, scatters (attenuates a photon beam) non-zero all across the spectrum. Cite Bohren 2006 mostly and, in passing, Bohren 1998 for that modern science. Dr. Bohren is a great writer, disdains integral and differential calculus and tells a straight story before being forced into using them.

  174. Trick says:
    January 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm
    J. Herbst 5:04pm: “(Trick’s) statement “All matter > 0K radiates and absorbs” is not correct. I checked it. then clips: “.. nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), let almost all of the downward solar radiation[8] pass through…”

    Right there in your own clip, O2 and N2 absorb !

    Also: http://www.sat.ltu.se/members/mmilz/publications/hoepfner12_natural_grl.pdf

    “The natural greenhouse effect of atmospheric oxygen (O2)
    and nitrogen (N2)
    M. Höpfner,1 M. Milz,2 S. Buehler,2 J. Orphal,1 and G. Stiller1
    Received 20 February 2012; revised 23 April 2012; accepted 23 April 2012; published 24 May 2012.

    [3] Due to their symmetry, homonuclear diatomic molecules like N2 and O2 do not exhibit a static electric dipole moment, such as H2O, nor is there the possibility to induce vibrationally a dipole moment, as in the case of CO2. Thus, there are no strong infrared absorption bands due to dipole transitions as in the case of the major greenhouse gases. However, as discovered by Crawford et al. [1949], collision induced absorption leads to weak absorption features of N2 and O2 in the infrared [e.g., Hartmann et al., 2008].
    [4] Due to the atmospheric concentration of atmospheric N2 (O2) that is about 2000 (550) times higher than that of CO2 and about 4.4  105 (1.2  105) times more abundant than CH4, even the weak infrared absorption of N2 (O2) can become radiatively important.”

  175. J. Herbst 5:04pm continues: “Here I don’t get you. I said nothing about the sun or the gas in the sun. BTW which gas?”

    Well, here’s your clip at 4:45pm: “No greenhouse gases in the air…”

    If your thought example removes the radiative energy transfer mechanism we enjoy from all earth’s air gases, then it is also removed from all the sun’s gases too. If you want to have location inconsistent physics, then any thought experiment fails as a result. Far as we know & have observed, physics appears naturally consistent at all locations in the universe.

  176. Myrrh 6:21pm: Thanks for that, I had been looking for just such a paper w/o success. Downloaded, interesting find.

  177. Gail 2:43pm: “The are say DWIR is TWICE the amount of energy from the sun at ground level. That violates the 2nd law since they are saying GHG are some how making extra energy.”

    Earth solid and water surface on avg. a little greater than ~288K since the thermometers hang about 1.5m AGL. Their combined emissivity measured ~0.98 so rounded to 1.0. So you have the computed and measured ~390 W/m^2 outgoing terrestrial, don’t see how you get around that. The atm. is on avg. about 250K in the dense parts so that’s 238 plus atm. absorbs 17 + 80 in those dense parts, that’s 335 right there. Give or take I do not see it is possible to call that “..full of BS” and needing GHG to create energy from nothing.

    Each of the cartoons is careful to have DWIR from the cooler atm. source LESS than surface UWIR so 2nd law is observed in all of them.

    Note your July precipitable water is from this link and shows the most over the Sahara and 2nd most over drought plagued Calif. Go figure. Well, I did above at 3:58pm. Similar conclusion. Also shows least precipitable water at poles.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10242

  178. Gail Combs says:
    January 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    Phil. says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Gail Combs says: @ January 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    ………..It makes perfect sense unless you think that the atmosphere is perfectly transparent to IR!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No it does not. The are say DWIR is TWICE the amount of energy from the sun at ground level. That violates the 2nd law since they are saying GHG are some how making extra energy.

    That certainly isn’t the 2nd Law I guess you meant the first law? But it doesn’t violate that either!
    Try telling some of your Chem Eng friends that recycling through a chemical reactor can’t possibly increase the throughput above the incoming flow because that would violate conservation of mass.

    If this drawing is true then you have 15 to 30% thermal radiation transmitted. That does not include the thermal energy that get shot to the tropopause by storms, transported via winds or ocean currents to the poles….

    That’s a low resolution cartoon which gives a misleading picture of the spectra.

    Also most of the atmospheric IR window is obsured by H2O. That means the areas that are dry do not obscure the atmospheric IR window except in the minor CO2 bands.

    That’s not true you’re greatly exaggerating the effect of water. the CO2 band is certainly not a minor band either.

    Here are satelite images of water vapor link
    at 500 mb (approximately 14,000 feet in altitude)
    movie

    They are full of B.S.

    We know there’s water vapor in the troposphere, those images don’t tell us anything about how much the IR is obscured

  179. Gail Combs says:
    January 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    Phil. says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Gail Combs says: @ January 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    ………..It makes perfect sense unless you think that the atmosphere is perfectly transparent to IR!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No it does not. The are say DWIR is TWICE the amount of energy from the sun at ground level. That violates the 2nd law since they are saying GHG are some how making extra energy.

    But…, that is their claim Gail, that ‘backradiation’ keeps bouncing heat back from colder to hotter until the Earth’s surface heats up oh so much more from a few ppm more of a trace gas and we get runaway global warming.

    Here is where the “trick” is, they have real world measurements of downwelling longwave infrared heat and real world measurements of upwelling longwave infrared heat, however, what they don’t tell you is the downwelling longwave infrared heat being measured comes from the Sun and the upwelling heat comes from the Sun’s real heat heating the surface.

    AGW claims we get no longwave infrared heat from the Sun..

    To hide what they have done they [have to] claim that mainly visible light from the Sun heats matter in order to pretend the real downwelling longwave infrared heat from the Sun is all from “backradiation” by their “ir imbibing greenhouse gases”, and in particular their supermolecule carbon dioxide. They have distorted the real science of properties and processes of heat and light from the Sun which, still, in traditional physics are distinctly different from each other – light from the Sun does not heat matter, what we feel as heat from the Sun is longwave infrared, we cannot feel shortwaves as heat.

    AGW has by sleight of hand changed this and claims it is light from the Sun which heats matter in its memespeak “shortwave in longwave out”, which they call “Solar” as in the Trenberth cartoons.

    They have taken out the real heat from the Sun which is longwave infrared – this is where Trenberth should be looking for his missing heat..

    “Wikipedia:
    “…The total amount of energy received at ground level from the sun at the zenith is 1004 watts per square meter, which is composed of 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation.”

    Since AGW claims only “shortwave in” and says of that its shortwave infrared is only an insignificant 1% – what has it, AGW/CERES/Trenberth done with the rest of the infrared from the Sun? It pretends it comes from ‘backradiation’ …

    Traditional teaching on the subject is still coming direct from NASA, contradicting the AGW/Trenberth/NASA memespeak that we get no direct heat from the Sun.

    Here is traditional teaching from direct NASA pages: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

    “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared. The temperature-sensitive nerve endings in our skin can detect the difference between inside body temperature and outside skin temperature

    “Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control. ”

    This is standard elementary science which we have known since Herschel’s great work, his discovery that the great heat we feel from the Sun is the invisible infrared, and we have refined it further with better measurements than his crude moving of a glass prism by hand at the edge of a table. We know now that shortwave infrared is not hot, that it is not heat, so we do not call it thermal infrared – that is reserved for the longer waves of infrared which are the real heat energy, thermal means ‘of heat’.

    AGW memespeak again tries to confuse here, it claims thermal means it comes from a hot source so it can pretend by association that “visible light is thermal therefore hot therefore able to heat matter”, because it needs to back up its “shortwave in” in order to use real world measurements of the direct thermal longwave infrared from the Sun and its heating effects for AGW’s “backradiation”.

    That’s how they get the nonsense of 161 absorbed by the surface and 396 upwelling heat from it.. (more if evapotranspiration and thermals haven’t been included in that upwelling figure).

    • To all and everyone exept Gail Comb

      We can take another example, where we shall see that Gail Comb & al simply has got a mental iron plate ahead of his possible elementary grasping of severely common reality in daily life and anywhere else in the universe. And never will resign on that armor plate.

      Thus, We take an iron- rod of the common concrete reinforcement steel- type, about 10″ long and 5/16″ thick will do. With the ends A and B, and the middle M. and we start at room temperature Tr.

      Then we take a good Bunsen burner and heat it up to red hot under A, and wait till eqvilibrium of all temperatures along the rod, who will all be different from Tr now.

      Would you now dare to take the end B in your hands?

      (iron is a remarkably poor conductor of heat, you can keep it in hand for a while red hot at the opposite end, but then you need a wet towel)

      But are you really able to practically swear that temperature B is still damned equal to Tr as it was before you started heating up at A?

      I hope not, but we will see that some people among us really are. Namely the “Psi-” energy people.

      What about Tm in the middle? the iron is still quite dark there.

      Healthy understanding will grasp quite spontaneously that Ta> Tm > Tb > Tr.

      Then take another bunsen burner quite equal to the first one and heat it up to red hot also under the end B.

      And discuss whether that new red hot Tb will be a bit higher than the former Ta. Yes it will of course, because end B was allready heated quite a bit up from room temperature by thermal conduction through the rod,, by falling temperature from A through M and onto B.

      But what has happened at the end A now, after we have waited till eqvilibrium?. Shall we damn and put the very situation and any true description of it on INDEX LIBRORVM PROHIBITORVM like they did with Gallileis scriptures ?

      Or shall we scream: “Evreka!-Psi-Halleluja- Amen” ?

      Because again it seems that we have scored higher even than Nicola Tesla. We have produced the Free- and the Psi- energy at the end A, that did heat up that end a bit more than the bunsen burner right under it was able to manage. And the situation is stable and sustainable. We can actually drain that Psi- energy from that end A and sell it. Because SCRIPTVM EST that it cannot have crept up, uphill from M that has got a lower temperature, and heated up the allready red hot end A still higher a bit. Again we quite obviously have a Perpetuum Mobile Class A Cfr the scriptures and Doggggggmæ

      What do you all think exept Gail Comb & al?

      (because he is not able to for principal reasons)

      Shall we rather simply disqualify those scriptures?
      ================0
      In old Prussia they said about typpical upper and uniformed brass pedantery in charge at the railroads and elsewhere, that:

      “Also schloss er messerscharf dass, Nichts sein kann, was nicht sein darf!”

      (= seemingly arrogant Confusion of Normative and descriptive mode, or rather absence of the latter because of political prohibition.)

      There has been political votum in PLENVM behind closed doors on this you see, , and those fellows follow the scriptures dogggmae instructions from that rather litterally,…..

      ….and quite Regardless even of red hot irons.

  180. Phil. says: @ January 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    …Try telling some of your Chem Eng friends that recycling through a chemical reactor can’t possibly increase the throughput above the incoming flow because that would violate conservation of mass….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And they would tell you the increase is because of reducing the pipe diameter. If you restrict the pipe diameter too much you go from laminar flow to turbulent flow. So instead of laminar flow you get violent agitation and in the process, work is done at the expense of the fluids’s kinetic energy. The result is a force that slows the motion.

    And all that has nothing to do with the problems in the above cartoon.

    If I go to my ‘Chem Eng. Buddy’ I get an explanation of why the diagram looks bogus.

    The Earth’s Energy Balance: Simple Overview

    …the Earth as a whole the energy balance looks like this.

    Ein = Eout + Eabsorbed

    …The two large energy flows named Surface Radiation and Back Radiation are different from all the others. They are not measures of energy transfers, but of radiative flux (also called forcing). As I have described before, there is a difference between energy transfers and radiative flux. Two objects at the same temperature have zero net energy transfer and as a result, will not change temperature….

    In other words they started talking apples (energy transfers ) and tossed in a half a goat (half a radiative flux) to confuse people, and that is why I smelled dead goat.

    To continue with The Difference between “Forcing” and Heat Transfer
    He hase an example that ordinary people can understand.

    …The temperature is 10 °C (50 °F)… that temperature means that the air has a “forcing,” or radiative flux of 364 W/m2. As a normal human your surface temperature is 35 °C and your “forcing” level is 511 W/m2…

    What is happening? Based on previous discussions your are losing energy to the air around you. Depending on the person, it could be a little chilly. Fortunately it is a partly cloudy day. When the sun is out, it feels much warmer.

    Interestingly enough, the suns energy is much less than the “forcing” from the air around you. For a cool autumn day the sun is likely providing 100 W/m2 of energy. The difference is the sun is transferring energy to the objects that it reaches. Warming can only happen when energy is transferred. So the sun can warm you up, even though the energy value for the sun is less than the “forcing” of the air around you.

    That is the difference between energy transfer and “forcing.” One is simple and direct. Energy is flowing and the temperature of something is changing. The other is the potential for heat transfer. If a person were placed in space, that potential heat transfer would become an actual heat transfer of 511 W/m2. That would cool a person down very quickly.

    That is why the 364 W/m2 of potential heat transfer from air that is 10 °C will not warm you up, but the actual heat transfer of 100 W/m2 from the sun will. The effect from the forcing is that without it you would lose heat even faster. It does not warm you, but it limits the amount of energy that you lose….

    And HERE is the BIG LIE.

    According to the energy balance of the IPCC (by way of Kiehle and Trenberth) the atmosphere provides the surface of the Earth with 324 W/m2, but that value is a “forcing” and not an energy transfer.

    The cartoon is written with an ARROW indicating the atmosphere is TRANSFERRING 324 W/m2 OF ENERGY to the earth’s surface. That is Kiehle and Trenberth are calling a blanket a blow torch. There is the half goat carcass that I smelled stinking up the place.

    For those interested Heat Transfer and the Earth’s Surface goes into the ratio of convective and radiative heat transfer at the Earth’s surface using mathematics….

    Warning: this article contains significant engineering language and terminology.

  181. Gail 8:13am: “…TRANSFERRING 324 W/m2 OF ENERGY to the earth’s surface. That is Kiehle and Trenberth are calling a blanket a blow torch.”

    324 which is the radiative flux from the emissivity of a nearby blanket of dripping ice cream cones at 35F not nearby blanket of blow torches.

    Note at the equator clear day at noon, the ice creams cones are an inertial sink, in the arctic winter an inertial source. Radiation conveys inertia between the emitting and absorbing bodies. Inertia ~energy ~mass. Well, if you are Maxwellian and have read a certain 1905 paper.

  182. All these florid handles, noms de guerre, cannot make sense in a paragraph, so they multiply their words hoping to blind someone, anyone, with their rambling bullsh*t. Effing morons the lot.

  183. Well, nice to see how these numbers change from year to year in the settled science which knows with the decimal precision the absorbed values and the hundreds of degrees the warmth of the oceans…

    Also interesting to note that:
    – the atmosphere is mainly directly warmed by the sun = 77.1 W/m2 (actually about 1/3 of all absorbed heat!)
    based on this direct warming and the law of gases the atmosphere would automatically be warmer closer to the ground and colder up – there is no “greenhouse” theory needed to explain this
    – additional warming of the atmosphere comes from the ground = 18.4 W/m2 thermals
    – and radiation = 17.9 W/m2
    CO2 is influencing only the radiation part in a minimal way

    – 163.3 W/m2 absorbed by surface – but mostly by the oceans! Oceans being 3/4 of the surface and having a different albedo then surface.
    – also water is transporting 86.4 W/m2 to the upper levels of the atmosphere from the surface

    The 33°C greenhouse effect is nonsense – as it does not take care of the direct warming from the sun – and puts it in the budget for greenhouse effect, and calculating a part of it to CO2

    • To all and everyone exept Lars P

      Here we have the settled science, namely the faculty of dia- lectic materialism again, teaching us about geophysics and progressive chosmology.

      “Also schloss er messerscharf dass nichts sein kann, was nicht sein darf!”

      Thus they ignore, and fail to take notice and care of a waste lot of quite elementary things and circumstances in everyday life. And cheating and bluffing the very characteristic and higly militant doctrinary way with formulas such as “the laws of Nature, The Gas- Laws, The Atmospheric effect..” and all that, and a lot of %-ages of proof.

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