Vacationing on Venus Basic Geology Series Part 1

Vacationing on Venus Basic Geology Series Part 1

Guest post by Steven Goddard

venus surface

Magellan radar imaged Venus – NASA Image

In some ways, Venus is similar to earth.  It is about the same size as the earth, has a nickel-iron core, and has volcanic activity due to radioactive heating in the interior.  But that is where the similarities end.  Venus has some serious problems as a vacation spot – mainly that it is extremely hot and the atmosphere is a thick cloud of sulfuric acid, CO2 and other unpleasant chemicals.

So how did Venus get to be like that, and why is the earth different?

  1. Venus is closer to the sun, which makes it hotter and prevents formation of oceans due to excessive evaporation.
  2. Venus suffered a traumatic collision in it’s early days, which causes it to rotate very slowly and parallel to the ecliptic.  This makes for long afternoons (thousands of hours long) which get extremely hot.
  3. Because of 1 and 2, Venus was never able to sequester CO2 in limestones like the earth.

For the last few billion years, volcanoes on earth have been spewing out the greenhouse gases H2O, CO2 and CH4, as well as, H2SO4, SO2, H2S, HCl and Cl2.  If not for the oceans and limestone sequestration, we would have a very thick, hot acidic atmosphere like Venus which could not support life.  Fortunately, temperatures and other conditions on earth were just right to allow huge volumes of CO2 to move into the oceans and precipitate carbonate rock layers, where the CO2 became sequestered.  This makes earth the pleasant place which we all enjoy.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Marmolada-pan1.JPG?resize=590%2C170

Wikipedia image – carbonate rocks in Italy, uplifted miles above sea level.

One of the oft stated concerns by the IPCC and others is excess CO2 from cement production, which involves heating carbonate rocks and has the side effect of returning CO2 to the atmosphere.  Dr. Hansen and others have also suggested that periods of rapid warming in the past have been due to limestone formations being subducted into hot volcanic regions and losing their CO2 to the atmosphere.

But make no mistake, without the CO2 sequestered in limestone and other carbonate rocks, earth would be hot, toxic and probably unlivable – like Venus.

Some more detailed discussion here and here .

Part 2 will be a discussion of how fossil fuels fit into the picture.

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152 thoughts on “Vacationing on Venus Basic Geology Series Part 1

  1. Please be carefull to NOTE that Venus has some PERCENTAGE of CO2 (like 50%?)
    in it’s Atmosphere. The palentologists have pretty much agreed we’ve ALWAYS had an O2/N2 atmosphere with perhaps a HIGHER O2 concentration in the
    dinosaur eras.

  2. The steel industry has also been a great consumer of limestone but a good bit of that carbon remains sequestered in the steel though much is lost through conversion to CO2 in the process. Same with coke production from coal.
    Entire mountains of limestone were gutted in Pennsylvania. Many in the IT and other industries might be aware of an “offsite storage” company for important records called Iron Mountain. There is a single old limestone mine with about 150 acres of space employing nearly 3000 people inside that mountain. There are several others that were used as Cold War bunkers.
    Subduction of limestone could, indeed, create pulses of CO2 as could things such as a volcano erupting through an oil or coal field. Saudi Arabia and Syria both have large volcanoes that have erupted in recent geological time that are not far from existing huge oil fields. A volcanic eruption through a major oil field (possibly a field not even discovered yet) or the subduction of one, could result in the release of more CO2 in one event than we might release through human activity over a period of decades.

  3. I think that when pondering Venus as a holiday destination there are a few other things worth thinking about.
    First there is the atmospheric pressure at ground level. 90 bar is quite a load to bear. Then there are the 300 mph winds which whip about; caused in part by the slow rotation of the planet. Add to this the sulphuric acid clouds which, while they reflect most of the sun’s energy thus ensuring that the amount of sunlight at ground level is approximately the same as on earth, also keep much of what energy does get through in the atmosphere rarther than allowing it to dissipate into space.
    Still there may be some decent vacation spots. There is a layer in the atmosphere where the pressure is 1 bar and the temperature is pretty earthlike.
    But overall, I prefer Spain for my holidays.

  4. As i understant it, venus also lacks a magnetic field to shield the planet from solar winds and the like… which id imagine would also have a big effect on the climate of that planet… i think im missing the point? What is the point?

  5. But make no mistake, without the CO2 sequestered in limestone and other carbonate rocks, earth would be hot, toxic and probably unlivable
    A huge part of the issue on Venus is not that there is so much CO2, it is that there is so much atmosphere, of any type. With something like 100x the density and naturally much more thickness to a given pressure level, + being so much closer to the sun, it should be no surprise that it gets warm and stays warm. Our planet, fortunately, has a much thinner atmosphere. Mars is thinner still, so it has huge temperature swings since there is so little buffer (and it’s nominally colder due to distance to the sun).

  6. Inaccurate there Mr Hugo, the early Earth’s atmosphere was largely H2O, H2, CO, C02, N2, virtually devoid of O2 until 3 Billion years ago, when photosynthesis kicked off.
    For 10s of millions of years after that, levels grew only slowly, as the high Iron content in the oceans reacted with the O2 to produce the Iron Ore deposits we mine today.
    Venus lacks plate tectonics, due to a stronger, thicker lithosphere than Earth’s,probably due to the lack of water on that planet.
    Venus’s Atmsophere.
    Major components (by volume)
    96.5% carbon dioxide (CO2)
    3.5% nitrogen (N2)
    Minor components (parts per million)
    150 sulfur dioxide (SO2)
    70 argon (Ar)
    20 water vapor (H2O)
    17 carbon monoxide (CO)
    12 helium (He)
    7 neon (Ne)
    http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/V/Venusatmos.html
    During Earth’s Carboniferous Era, evidence suggests O2 levels as high as 35%.

  7. This article is rather… err… random??
    I highly doubt that a little more CO2 would create an earth that “would be hot, toxic and probably unlivable”, more like an overgrown jungle on land and oceanic plankton blooms?!

  8. Carbonate platforms are very plentiful, extensive and often thousands of feet thick. The proportion of these carbon reservoirs being returned to the atmosphere by the cement and steel industries is miniscule.

  9. Venus CO2 percentage is 95%. But, the key point is that Venus atmosphere is 93 times the volume of Earths.
    So, if you took the the daytime temp of Venus @ 867F and divided it by the relative density (93) you get 9.3C, so I guess you need some water vapor. It’s W/m2 is 1.911, so surface temp @ Earth Atmosphere is 17.77C or 64F. Not a bad place to live, if you are a plant.
    Get out the atmopheric pump, we have a lot of cargo to ship to Mars.
    Now get busy, you mangy dogs.

  10. I find CO2 to be very pleasant :P… particularly when the bubbles in a cool Schweppes fizz and tickle the sinuses!

  11. Whoops, I meant 9.3F, and 17.77 F, so I must have shoved poor Venus into an Ice Age.
    Oh, never mind, we’re going to fix up Venus & Mars and start terraforming.
    In a thousand years, we’ll all have a new vacation spot.

  12. This sentence made me stop and think for a moment:
    “Venus suffered a traumatic collision in it’s [sic] early days…”
    As I recall, Venus has the least orbital eccentricity, at < 0.01. I also don’t recall reading anywhere that Venus ever suffered a “traumatic collision” other than in Velikovsky’s writings.
    Is this guy for real, or have I missed some updates in solar system history?

  13. What is going on here, Anthony?
    Alex calls the article RANDOM, I say TOTALLY UNSUBSTANTIATED.
    I see no comment from you.
    Where, exactly, have they attached the crocodile clips?
    CO2 is an INSIGNIFICANT factor in determining planetary atmospheric temperature. You know this.

  14. Alex (13:15:49) :
    This article is rather… err… random??
    I highly doubt that a little more CO2 would create an earth that “would be hot, toxic and probably unlivable”,

    Venus has 300,000 times as much CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth. Hardly ‘a little more’…

  15. Dittos to what Adam G. wrote.
    In the Carboniferous the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 4,000 ppm or more, 10 to 15 times what it is today. Far from unlivable, the planet was lush with life, so much so that organic carbon was also sequestered in coal beds (hence the name of the Period).
    300 million years later, in the Eocene, CO2 was only 1,000 ppm due to carbonate deposition as noted in the post, but temps were 5 to 15 deg C warmer than now. Was that a problem for Creation? Heck no, Life was the most diverse and productive ever in the history of Earth.
    Temps have been falling ever since, despite the higher-than-now CO2 levels of the Tertiary, due to plate tectonics and the drift of Antarctica over the S. Pole. Mass extinctions have resulted as the planet plunged into the Ice Ages.
    Bring back the Eocene!!!

  16. Thanks to Adam Gallon for that breakdown of Venus atmosphere.
    I do have some thoughts; perhaps someone can enlighen us.
    Why do people specify atmospheric components in terms of volumatric percentages.
    It would seem to me that since the discovery of molecules and atoms, it would be more definitive to specify the percentage of the total molecules for each species; or do we just assume that each molecular component of an atmosphere behaves as if it were a perfect gas; in which case presumably 22.4 liters of any component at 760 mm of Hg pressure would be one mole of any species present ??
    But back to Venus, and its 96.5% of CO2 by volume. Notice that its cloud blanket is not CO2 but apparently sulphuric acid.
    It seems clear to me that the principle difference between Venus and Earth; other than all those mentioned, is that venus has virtually no water; and evidently almost none at all in either the liquid or solid phases; whereas Earth has ocenas containind oodles of water, and an atmopshere that contains water in all three phases.
    It is the presence of atmospheric water in all three phases; buffered by a humungous store of liquid water in the oceans, that totally governs earth’s mean temperature. Water in the vapor phase in the atmosphere produces the vast majority of the positive feedback warming of planet earth; and in the liquid and solid phases as clouds; it provides the major component of earth’s albedo; and then by absorbing both incoming solar energy, both in the vapor phase, and in precipitable clouds; produces a balancing negative feedback cooling effect. The amount of and type of cloud cover sets the equilibrium temperature range of planet earth.
    Nobody ever observed surface warming when clouds pass in front of the sun; and the optics of the situation, is high school science. The cloud blocks (some) incoming solar radiation from a near point source (0.5 deg divergence); casting a dark cool shadow, while the reduced outgoing thermal radiation from that cooled shadow zone, is a diffuse radiation that is at least Lambertian (cosine of angle) or more likely nearly isotropic due to emitting surface roughness. So the same cloud can intercept only a fraction of the outgoing thermal radiation from the shadow zone.
    So the lack of ocean water is the root of Venus problem; and there is no possible mechanism by which earth could switch to a Venus condition; well no mechanism that odes no first evaporate entirely, earth’s oceans, (which in itself would drop the surface temperatures dramatically.
    George

  17. As a science history hobbyist this is fascinating.
    There is a fringe astronomy theory that includes electricity called Plasma Cosmology. According to this theory, Venus is the recipient of a large flux of electricity from the Sun and it is this that is driving the temperature.
    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=9aqt6cz5
    The barred spiral features at Venus’ poles are characteristic of incident Birkeland currents, and it is these also that hyper-rotate the atmosphere to 7 days. Apparently all the spacecraft that have landed on Venus and measured the temperature report a smooth increase down to the surface.
    You can take or leave this interpretation but in terms of the science history it is very interesting. Back in 1951 a bestseller came out called ‘Worlds in Collision’. by a guy called Velikovsy. that had the planets careering around the solar system in recent times. He used a version of PC to engineer the orbits to get it to work. Needless to say this had the astronomers spluttering in their tea. The appropriate response should have been to ignore it and it would have gone away. Instead they took him on and he replied with a series of predictions – one of which was the high temp of Venus. As the space age dawned, one by one these predictions proved right – something ‘had to be done!’.
    The 1974 AAAS had a fringe event to deal with this, with Carl Sagan brought in, and it was here that the runaway greenhouse effect was first brought to bear. I assume it is also why panic sets in amongst the astro-community should the CO2RGE prove not to be the case.
    If anyone has an earlier example it would be interesting to hear.

  18. Venus’ atmosphere is 95% CO2 while earth’s is only .054% CO2 by weight. So the concentration of CO2 in Venus’ atmosphere is 1700 times as much as earth. But Venus’ atmosphere is also much denser than earth’s. Our atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch. Think of that as meaning the weight of our atmosphere resting on every square inch of surface is 14.7 pounds. On Venus its 90 times that much, or about 1300 pounds per square inch. When you take both of those factors into account, Venus has over 150,000 times as much CO2 above every square inch of surface as earth does. Even if we doubled or tripled or quadrupled the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere it would be no where near that of Venus.

  19. Sorry, but i don’t buy this story.
    If it was true, then in the early age of earth, life could’nt apeared, too much CO2 then too much heat.
    In fact, on Earth we had probably 100% CO2 with 30 bars pressure. And we had almost immediatly life. The clue is elsewhere.
    Sorry for my english, I am french. Nobody’s perfect.

  20. At greater than about 5,000 PPM (0.5%) CO2 starts having serious health impacts. Cave explorers have to deal with this phenomenon.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide
    Venus has greater than 900,000PPM CO2.
    The point of this article is to provide a basis for discussing geology and the carbon cycle moving forward.

  21. According to Alex Alemi and David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology, their recent study of models of the early solar system shows that it is very likely that, billions of years ago, Venus had at least one moon, created by a huge impact event.[41][42] About 10 million years later, according to Alemi and Stevenson, another impact reversed the planet’s spin direction. The reversed spin direction caused the Venusian moon to gradually spiral inward[43] until it collided and merged with Venus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus

  22. Of course CO2 affects the atmosphere’s temperature. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be extremely cold here.

  23. Curieux (14:09:21) :
    If it was true, then in the early age of earth, life could’nt apeared, too much CO2 then too much heat.
    In fact, on Earth we had probably 100% CO2 with 30 bars pressure. And we had almost immediatly life. The clue is elsewhere.

    The Sun was about 35% less luminous back then.

  24. “Venus rotates very slowly. It takes 243 Earth days to complete one revolution, but only 225 days to orbit the Sun. This means a day on Venus is longer than a year! Venus also has a ‘retrograde’ rotation, meaning it spins in the opposite direction of its orbit around the Sun. On Venus, the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east. ”
    http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/spaceandtime/planetarium/solar-system/venus.aspx
    I’ve wondered why Venus has no magnetic field, could it be long day length and lack of satellite????

  25. James: your
    Is this guy for real, or have I missed some updates in solar system history?
    Its a new theory.
    Click here for New Scientist Article
    The lack of water in the atmosphere can be explained by solar influence or an impact. The supposed lack of water in the crust and revolution of Venus the reverse of the rest of the system; can be explained by an impact.
    Apparently the difference in the Argon content can also be explained by a direct impact, along with the too few impact craters on Venus.
    The author of the theory also suggest a proof; if a surface lander does not find water in the rocks, then its probably due to an impact. If there is water in the rocks, then there probably wasn’t an impact.

  26. I always wondered about the huge difference regarding pressure on earth and venus, given those two planets are nearby matching each other in size and density. Venus is nearer on sun and so much hotter, thus one would expect that sun’s radiation provides more energy, resulting in gently pushing away upper atmospheric molecules. Is there a theoretical upper limit on athmospheric pressure, given a planet’s mass, radius and it’s distance from sun?
    I have read somewhere, that venus is hotter also not exactly due to CO2, but due to it’s high atmospheric density. I would be well interested, if someone had undertaken the effort to simulate the radiation balance of venus or earth, assuming, e.g., N2 would amount to the equivalent of pressure of 90 bar on the surface of such a planet.

  27. Gore gets his Venus baloghney from Hansen who started out at NASA studying Venus. I’ve never seen Hansen discuss the relevant differences between Venus and Earth, many of which have been discussed in the article and comments in this posting.
    When people relate Venus to Earth they always leave out the difference in distance to the sun, Venus’ super rotating sulphuric upper atmosphere, the lack of a magnetic field which allows the solar wind to impact the atmosphere directly, the lack of water, no moon and etc. It’s AGW as usual, tell only a small part of the story while leaving out 70% of the relevant material.

  28. This reminds me of how, despite his noted intelligence, Stephen Hawking engaged in a flight of juvenile science fantasy as he expressed concern that increasing levels of CO2 would result in Earth’s climate turning Venus-like. Why is it that everyone seems to be so fixated on atmospheric composition that all other factors are ignored in such a dismissive manner? Science seems to be intent on traveling down a Hollywood B-film direction with silly notions of horrific climate change being substituted for mutated giant insects. At least, when leaving the movie theater, the rationality of the light of day easily dispelled such silly notions being witnessed on the screen {the need for much higher levels of oxygen to support such creatures, anatomical impossibility in supporting such massive creatures, etc.}. Now we’re on a perpetual science fantasy journey of ten-year tipping points with disaster just around every corner while second-rate failed politicians are listened to with rapt worshipful attention as they spew science nonsense. Along the way we struggle with other equally philosophically weighty concerns, such as how many children should a single mom have or which celebrity is or is not wearing panties today or whose marriage is falling apart. Any species that engages in such acts of gross stupidity deserves the future it will get.

  29. I think the speculation that Venus had a moon and that it suffered a traumatic collision are just that, speculation. I don’t really think it deserves serious mention since there is no way to ever know.

  30. Steven Goddard (14:14:59) :
    At greater than about 5,000 PPM (0.5%) CO2 starts having serious health impacts.

    You get this stuffy feeling and start sweating easier. I had to test for it at the mines I worked for. 5000ppm is still an OSHA and MSHA working limit for 40 hours work week. It used to be far more lenient, so 5000ppm (.5%)isn’t that big of a deal.
    at 1% you just won’t be jogging that far.
    at 2% you’ll know something is up.
    at 4% you are in trouble.
    Your plants will love you, though.

  31. A couple of points to note.
    1) Due to being closer to the sun, and the inverse-square law, Venus sees TSI at the top of its atmosphere 93% higher than earth does at the top of its atmosphere. That has to count for something.
    2) The article http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126942.000-whats-the-point-of-being-warmblooded.html?full=true discusses the evolution of endothermy. It mentions in passing that…
    ==================================
    So what do the fossils say? For the ancestors of birds it appears that the switch to endothermy took place around 140 million years ago, at the start of the Cretaceous. This was the period when nitrogen-rich flowering plants were beginning to take over. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels started to fall, largely because the more developed root systems of flowering plants weather rocks faster, a process that removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Over the Cretaceous, levels of CO2 halved, from about 10 times pre-industrial levels to around 5 times.
    ==================================
    So at the start of the Cretaceous, the CO2 level was 2900 ppm (YES, that extra zero belongs there!). A quick Google search of http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&q=%2Bjurassic+co2+OR+%22carbon+dioxide%22&btnG=Search turns up literally thousands of hits. A list of some of the more interesting ones follows. They indicate that CO levels have been a lot higher in the past. Some of the articles and papers indicate Jurassic CO2 levels as high as 16-18 times pre-industrial levels. That’s right 5,000, yes *FIVE THOUSAND* ppm!!! And guess what…
    – the earth’s temperature was a few degrees warmer than today
    – there were no polar ice caps
    – but the planet didn’t blow up
    – earth didn’t cross some mythical “tipping point” and turn into a hellacious Venus-like death zone
    – not only did plant and animal life survive, it thrived, and earth experienced some of the lushest ecosystems ever in its entire history.
    Depite the fact that flora and fauna thrived at 3,000 or 4,000 ppm of CO2, the war mongers are going berserk as CO2 levels edge up to a mere 400 ppm. Does anybody here have access to IPCC models? Can they run them and get output for scenarios of 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 ppm of CO2? Why hasn’t the IPCC been called to account for their broken models?
    And now, a few URLs of papers and articles for your reading enjoyment…
    http://earth.geology.yale.edu/~ajs/1991/04.1991.03Cerling.pdf
    http://earth.geology.yale.edu/~ajs/1999/10.1999.01Ekart.pdf
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V61-4RBYD3J-6&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e15a66fb18df9aa54e53be31c65644bf
    http://jgs.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/152/1/1
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n1/fig_tab/ngeo.2007.29_F1.html
    http://www.gsajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1130%2F1052-5173(2004)014%3C4:CAAPDO%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1
    http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/SFgate/SFgate?&listenv=table&multiple=1&range=1&directget=1&application=fm06&database=%2Fdata%2Fepubs%2Fwais%2Findexes%2Ffm06%2Ffm06&maxhits=200&=%22PP21B-1675%22
    And one more for good luck…
    ===============================
    Tanganyika temperatures follow Northern Hemisphere insolation and indicate that warming in tropical southeast Africa during the last glacial termination began to increase ~3000 years before atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
    ===============================
    That’s right folks, temperatures strted rising *3,000 YEARS BEFORE CO2 DID*… oops.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1160485

  32. Of course CO2 affects the atmosphere’s temperature. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be extremely cold here.
    There almost isn’t any CO2 to speak of now… How would going to zero really affect the temperature by any measurable amount? .00038 compared to zero seems pretty trivial, and going from .00028 to .00038 (delta .0001) seems nearly as trivial. Using a 3°C delta per doubling of CO2 (hypothetically), what happens in reverse? If we’re at 15C now, it takes 5 halvings of CO2 to get to zero C, or 96 halvings to get to absolute zero temp (!). Try it yourself…
    2^-n where n=number of times to subtract 3°C from 15°C (current temp) for n * halving the CO2 content. Multiply by .00028 or whatever CO2 level you like to see the resulting content. Extremely cold would be right, as you get to absolute zero with 3.5e-33 CO2 proportion… Going below that would presumably take earth’s surface temperature below absolute zero (!).
    Not that I believe the expression holds much truth, even one time much less 96 times. The high feedback idea is pretty much shot full of holes by now, and too many other mechanisms are in play, but an interesting concept just for fun… I would do it in the other direction but I think that idea has been overplayed a bit already and leads to similarly preposterous results…

  33. Venus get almost 2X more energy from the sun than earth does. The heating is mainly due to gas compression of the atmosphere. At the same atmospheric pressure and corrected to the same energy input, the atmosphere of venus is about 20 C hoter… but that is of course due to SO MUCH more CO2 than here on earth.
    The atmosphere of Venus is so think that a probe does not need a parachute to land. They only need a parachute up to about an altitude of 25 km then it is free fall… slow fall! If you could survive the conditions, it would take hours to “fall” to the ground.
    The equivalent pressure at the surface of Venus is like at about 1 km under water here on earth.

  34. AKD (12:12:24) :
    CO2 is an “unpleasant chemical”?
    If it’s 97% of the atmosphere, pretty unpleasant.
    DaveE.

  35. [Steven Goddard (14:26:56) :
    Of course CO2 affects the atmosphere’s temperature. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be extremely cold here.]
    Without using the expressions “of course”, “scientific consensus”, “modelling”, “Wikipedia” or “debate over”, can you substantiate that?
    Bearing in mind, that is, that we are talking about “significant” factors in comparison with things like albedo, convection, water vapour, and SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO THE SUN.

  36. Leon Brozyna (15:07:12) :
    ‘Any species that engages in such acts of gross stupidity deserves the future it will get.’
    Yes, but why take me with it?
    DaveE.

  37. “But make no mistake, without the CO2 sequestered in limestone and other carbonate rocks, earth would be hot, toxic and probably unlivable – like Venus.”
    Doubtful, due to the other major differences between Earth and Venus, particularly that Venus is about 28% closer to the sun.
    Something else may also be contributing an extra warming effect to Venus – an exotic form of C02: http://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=10230.

  38. The CO2 content at 300,000 times that of Earth is only about 20 doublings (or lets say 40C to 80C warmer) so conventional greenhouse theory would not explain the temperatures on Venus.
    (And Hansen’s original climate model in 1972 was trying to explain the temperatures on Venus).
    The sulfuric acid layer in the atmosphere provides more of a greenhouse effect.
    The other explanation is simply “gravitational compression” which heats the lower layers of the atmosphere given its density and weight. This is the force which causes stars to heat up at their cores and finally generate fusion. This is also the force that makes the gas giant planets hot near their cores and as you move down through their atmospheres.
    Jupiter is 10,000K as you get close to the core, yet there is no sunlight and no greenhouse effect there.
    I have not seen any calculations for how much gravitational compression adds to Venus’ surface temperature (or the Earth for that matter which I assume is a non-zero figure).

  39. Dr. Hansen and others have also suggested that periods of rapid warming in the past have been due to limestone formations being subducted into hot volcanic regions and losing their CO2 to the atmosphere.
    This statement also needs to be called into question. Continental crust like limestone is too light to be subducted.

  40. If we are at 97%+ absorbtion of what CO2 can absorb, a whole lot more won’t absorb much more. Mars is almost 100% CO2, and it gets mighty cold. Venus has a heck of a lot more atmosphere. That explains most of it. It also receives twice the energy from the big orange thing. Here we talk about a 1% change in TSI causing all h— to break loose, (sorry Lief, I know that doesn’t really happen) and Venus gets almost 100% more?
    It ain’t so much of what’s there but how much is there. A thick enough atmosphere will act as a blanket. Doesn’t take a big increase in temp to evaporate all the water. With that gone, most of the chemical processes that recycle and regulate stop working. Take away the Earth’s oceans and ice caps, and we’ll have some serious problems. 2600 w/m^2 might do it, but I haven’t heard anyone predicting this.
    Comparing Venus to Earth is like comparing the Detroit Lions to a subway train. Little in common and you don’t learn much from the process.

  41. The reason why the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a big impact on temperature is because there is a spectral SW band which CO2 absorbs that is not absorbed by H2O. The first few tens of PPM CO2 in the atmosphere have a large impact on temperature.
    Matt,
    Your point about limestone not likely to be subducted is well taken. Subduction zones tend to lie below the carbonate compensation depth, and drag heavy oceanic basalts down. Hansen made the claim in this paper
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf
    Solid Earth sources and sinks of CO2 are not, in general, balanced at any given time [30, 47]. CO2 is removed from surface reservoirs by: (1) chemical weathering of rocks with deposition of carbonates on the ocean floor, and (2) burial of organic matter; weathering is the dominant
    process [30]. CO2 returns primarily via metamorphism and volcanic outgassing at locations where carbonate-rich oceanic crust is being subducted beneath moving continental plates.

  42. All of the planets with the exception of Venus rotate perpendicular to the ecliptic and in the same direction as their orbits. The fact that Venus orbits parallel to the ecliptic, slowly and in the wrong direction is pretty solid evidence that it has suffered a severe collision since it’s formation. How else could that have happened?
    It is also believed that the earth’s 23 degree axial tilt may be due to a collision which which also formed the moon.

  43. PaulM (14:03:42) :
    As a science history hobbyist this is fascinating.
    There is a fringe astronomy theory that includes electricity called Plasma Cosmology. According to this theory, Venus is the recipient of a large flux of electricity from the Sun and it is this that is driving the temperature.

    Paul, thank you for supplying this provocative alternative to the “just so” story of how Venus got its heat.
    The history of Sagan’s encounter with Velikovsky is a significant moment in the development of modern astrophysics. With all due respect, I suggest that Velikovsky may have been more correct than Sagan.
    For those with open minds who want to follow the development of the idea that the heat of Venus is significantly an electrical phenomenon, here are some further resources:
    “The Venusian atmosphere is very dry at 30 parts per million of water vapor. And the water decreases in abundance by an order of magnitude near the surface. This implies that the surface of Venus is sucking up water at a rate that would remove it from the atmosphere in a geological instant. This finding was so outrageous that some scientists were prepared to simply disbelieve the data! As Grinspoon remarked: ‘We had gone there, more than once, and demanded an answer, and all we got was a colossal riddle.’….
    ….The Electric Universe model provides a simple way of understanding the differences in atmospheric composition between Earth and Venus. But it applies to Titan as well, where more atmosphere puzzles were recently uncovered. Both Venus and Titan are young planets, related by birth.”
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/061031venusatmosphere.htm
    “Twin footprints of electric currents from space are apparent at Venus’ south pole—counterparts to the footprints earlier discovered at Venus’ north pole….”
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060717doubleeye.htm

  44. Re the issue of CO2 from cement making in the article:
    “One of the oft stated concerns by the IPCC and others is excess CO2 from cement production, which involves heating carbonate rocks and has the side effect of returning CO2 to the atmosphere. Dr. Hansen and others have also suggested that periods of rapid warming in the past have been due to limestone formations being subducted into hot volcanic regions and losing their CO2 to the atmosphere.”
    I would like to draw attention (for two reasons) to the following from concrete specialists in Denmark:
    “Approximately half of the CO2 emissions from cement production stems from the calcination of limestone. Theoretically, hardened concrete binds approximately the same amount of CO2 in the carbonation process. (See
    http://www.dti.dk/18487).
    It seems that after concrete has been poured and hardened, it reacts with CO2 and recovers CO2 lost in the cement manufacturing process. I suspect, too, that CO2 emissions emitted by heating of limestone in a subduction zone in the earth’s crust gets reacted back into the resulting lime in contact with CO2 dissolved in sea water.
    The first reason for citing this is obvious – IPCC’s concerns are misplaced.
    The second reason is that science has gone completely off course and if permitted to continue, we could be in more danger of being wiped out by bad science before we see palm trees in Greenland again. Scientists trained in one area now shamelessly employ a priori reasoning in other disciplines to support their ideas rather than consult practitioners in the other field or at least consult the internet first to obtain a real answer. Perhaps this is why we have a railway engineer and an engineering economist chairing and vice chairing IPCC, who refer to themselves as climate specialists. Incidentally, it may also be significant that the word “climatologist” is underlined in red when typed in”Word” and the Oxford On line dictionary doesn’t have an entry for it at least up to a year ago. This is a very young science indeed although paleoclimatology has been around for a long time.

  45. Steven Goddard (17:48:14) :
    All of the planets with the exception of Venus rotate perpendicular to the ecliptic and in the same direction as their orbits. The fact that Venus orbits parallel to the ecliptic, slowly and in the wrong direction is pretty solid evidence that it has suffered a severe collision since it’s formation. How else could that have happened?
    It is also believed that the earth’s 23 degree axial tilt may be due to a collision which which also formed the moon.

    Ok, Mercury’s axis is perpendicular, Venus’ is 178deg, Mars’ is roughly the same as Earth’s, Jupiter’s is 3deg, Saturn’s is 27deg, Uranus’ is 98deg, Neptune’s is 28deg, Pluto’s is 122deg.
    So what’s “normal”?

  46. Michael D Smith (15:35:07) :

    Of course CO2 affects the atmosphere’s temperature. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be extremely cold here.
    There almost isn’t any CO2 to speak of now… How would going to zero really affect the temperature by any measurable amount? .00038 compared to zero seems pretty trivial, and going from .00028 to .00038 (delta .0001) seems nearly as trivial. Using a 3°C delta per doubling of CO2 (hypothetically), what happens in reverse? If we’re at 15C now, it takes 5 halvings of CO2 to get to zero C, or 96 halvings to get to absolute zero temp (!). Try it yourself…

    The logarithmic response of CO2 concentrations and temperature is a product of curve fitting and doesn’t hold for high or low concentrations. A few halvings and you’re out of range. Of course, that falls out of your analysis readily enough and certainly by the 97th halving. The first few would have a very big impact.

  47. Whether or not Venus had an impact, it is believed that Earth definitely had an impact during its formation. The obvious result of that is our Moon. We can guess that a lot of atmosphere may have been lost then. However, meteorite composition indicates that there were a lot of volatiles in the Earth, so it is not surprising that we have an atmosphere.
    Also, water has dominated Earth’s surface. There was at least one ocean very early in Earth’s history, which implies some upper limits on the effects of the Moon-forming impact. Water is part of the chemistry in the mantle, so there is more of it down there also, some primordial and some subducted.

  48. Gary Pearse,
    Thanks for the link about concrete binding CO2. That is an important point and if true would point to another area of deficient science surrounding AGW.
    Jeff Alberts,
    Most of the planets have had collisions at one point or another. The theory of how the solar system accreted would necessarily have the planets rotate perpendicular to the ecliptic and in the same direction.
    A good discussion here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formation_and_evolution_of_the_Solar_System

  49. Does anyone know why the levels of He and Ne are so high on Venus?
    He can reach escape velocity on Earth and only lasts for about 70 million years before disappearing into space.
    Does the concentration of He on Venus mean that it absorbing He from the solar wind or that the radioactivity on Venus is very much higher than on Earth; about 50 times greater or more.

  50. The Earth’s atmosphere will fairly rapidly (on geological timescales) reach a stable CO2 level resulting from the lower limit of CO2 in plant photosynthesis.
    Since photosynthesis appeared it will have become progressively more efficient at utilizing CO2 and hence the stable level of atmospheric CO2 would have declined, likely in a stepwise manner.
    This explains the much higher CO2 levels in the past, such as the Carboniferous Age.
    It also explains a rather puzzling mystery. How did those very large flying dinosaurs fly, when the largest flying creature today has a wingspan of only 20 feet and a much smaller body.
    The answer is that the atmosphere was denser, with higher levels of CO2.

  51. Steven Goddard (17:39:59) :
    “The reason why the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a big impact on temperature is because there is a spectral SW band which CO2 absorbs that is not absorbed by H2O. The first few tens of PPM CO2 in the atmosphere have a large impact on temperature.”
    All of the solar energy re-radiated by the Earth at frequencies in the CO2 spectral bands is 95% absorbed within about ten meters of the re-radiating surface at the present atmospheric concentration of CO2. Increasing the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere will only mean that the re-radiated energy in those frequency bands will be absorbed sooner, say within eight meters of the surface, not that more energy will be absorbed. Greenhouse-wise, saturation occurred at the CO2 concentration that existed thousands of years ago. Increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is analogous increased glass thickness in a greenhouse; the effect is trivial, if even measurable.

  52. Gary Pearse (18:05:02) :
    Re the issue of CO2 from cement making in the article:
    I would like to draw attention (for two reasons) to the following from concrete specialists in Denmark:
    “Approximately half of the CO2 emissions from cement production stems from the calcination of limestone. Theoretically, hardened concrete binds approximately the same amount of CO2 in the carbonation process. (See
    http://www.dti.dk/18487).
    It seems that after concrete has been poured and hardened, it reacts with CO2 and recovers CO2 lost in the cement manufacturing process. I suspect, too, that CO2 emissions emitted by heating of limestone in a subduction zone in the earth’s crust gets reacted back into the resulting lime in contact with CO2 dissolved in sea water.

    If you read the paper you will have noticed that the recovery process takes the order of a century to complete, part of it after demolition of the structure.

  53. Concerning this electrical phenomenon, it sounds like venus is behaving to a certain extent like a light bulb.
    I also remember hearing that preasure creates friction, and friction creates heat. With the atmospheric pressure being so high on Venus, could this also be the case?

  54. Calculations using the size of flying dinosaur fossils shows the atmosphere was 3 to 5 times denser than the current atmosphere.

  55. AKD (12:12:24) :
    CO2 is an “unpleasant chemical”?

    Alex (13:20:56) :
    I find CO2 to be very pleasant :P… particularly when the bubbles in a cool Schweppes fizz and tickle the sinuses!

    If you take a bottle of cold soda and pour it from altitude into a tall glass, filling the glass halfway up, after the suds settle, the top of the glass should filled with CO2 gas. Stick your nose in the glass and inhale a deep breath of CO2 to see if it’s pleasant.
    Bill Illis (16:59:03) :
    I have not seen any calculations for how much gravitational compression adds to Venus’ surface temperature (or the Earth for that matter which I assume is a non-zero figure).

    You’ll find that on an “adiabatic chart”. We used to use such things when I minored in Atm Sci back in college (pre wx satellite and supercomputers). Here’s a simple one –
    http://san.hufs.ac.kr/~gwlee/session3/adiabatic.html
    It goes only to 1.2 bar, and is for earth’s atmosphere mix. The pressure scale looks logarithmic and the temp scale linear. I’m sure there’s some equation on the web that would allow making a higher pressure chart, at least for air.

  56. Mike McMillan:
    “If you take a bottle of cold soda and pour it from altitude into a tall glass, filling the glass halfway up, after the suds settle, the top of the glass should filled with CO2 gas. Stick your nose in the glass and inhale a deep breath of CO2 to see if it’s pleasant.”
    Can’t handle a little humour there mike?? Obviously with any chemical be it O2 , CO2, Ne etc it would be dangerous to take a deep breath of that.
    So then every single compound/element in existence is effectively “unpleasant”. rather silly if you ask me. How about putting a plant in that CO2 cloud?? Unpleasant? I think not.
    Leif: 300 000 times?? Someone here made reference to 1700 times… make up your mind people…

  57. “One of the oft stated concerns by the IPCC and others is excess CO2 from cement production, which involves heating carbonate rocks and has the side effect of returning CO2 to the atmosphere.
    Just propaganda put out by the asphalt and lumber companies. [sic]

  58. IIRC on earth, half of co2’s warming effect comes from the first 24ppm in the atmosphere. to double that warming, you have to add something like another 240ppm. I’ll try to find the exact figures.

  59. Chazz,
    The earth’s radiative balance is always maintained, so all of the incoming SW is accounted for either as outgoing reflected SW, as emitted LW or as an increase of stored heat in the oceans. Note that there is a band of LW radiation at about 650cm-1 which absorbs IR higher up in the atmosphere.
    http://www.aer.com/scienceResearch/rc/m-proj/lbl_clrt_mls.html
    Because of the requirements equilibrium, it is impossible to trap radiation near the surface – rather the temperature gets raised to maintain incoming/outgoing equilibrium. Adding more CO2 increases the required temperature to maintain equilibrium.

  60. This from VENUS: MAGNETIC FIELD AND MAGNETOSPHERE by J. G. LUHMANN AND C. T. RUSSELL, originally published in Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences:
    “Besides the more obvious atmospheric composition and pressure differences, and the related extreme temperatures at the surface described elsewhere in this volume, events in the history and evolution of the interior of Venus have left that planet with…
    practically no intrinsic magnetic field.
    The consequences for the space environment and atmosphere are numerous, ranging from the presence of an ‘induced’ magnetotail in the wake, to an ionosphere and upper atmosphere that are constantly being scavenged by the passing solar wind. “

  61. Matt (17:08:57) :
    “Dr. Hansen and others have also suggested that periods of rapid warming in the past have been due to limestone formations being subducted into hot volcanic regions and losing their CO2 to the atmosphere.
    This statement also needs to be called into question. Continental crust like limestone is too light to be subducted.”
    Strongly agree – limestones getting uplifted via continental mountain building and then getting weathered would seem a much more reasonable explanation for CO2 liberation in the past. I believe there is some evidence for a lagged correlation in the geologic record between mountain building (Alps, Himalayas, even the early Appaclachians) and subsequent explosions in regional flora and fauna, presumably due to a greening from the CO2 spike and increased sedimentation.
    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.28.1.85

  62. Steve,
    As Jeff Alberts showed, Venus’ rotation axis is not parallel with the orbital plane. The 178 degree number means it is 2 degrees from perpendicular, but rotates backwards. Only Uranus has a rotation axis close to being parallel to its orbital plane. While a collision probably caused this, it was most likely a collision that hit close to Venus’ equator and drove the rotation backwards without affecting the orientation of the axis.
    I too find it fascinating to compare the histories of Venus and Earth.

  63. Phil,
    Cement carbonation “takes the order of a century to complete, part of it after demolition of the structure.”
    More than a century has past and a lot of demolition has taken place since portland cement was invented. Also, I suspect that the the process is more rapid in the early stages and decays over the century. Meanwhile, all the concrete structures in the world are recovering a bit of todays added CO2 so it can at least be said that the IPCC concern is substantially overstated.

  64. Mike: >> “Leif: 300 000 times?? Someone here made reference to 1700 times… make up your mind people…”
    1700 times the concentration, 300,000 times the total amount.

  65. Steven,
    You wrote: “All of the planets with the exception of Venus rotate perpendicular to the ecliptic and in the same direction as their orbits. The fact that Venus orbits parallel to the ecliptic, slowly and in the wrong direction is pretty solid evidence that it has suffered a severe collision since it’s formation. How else could that have happened?”
    In the weekly journal Nature, the article “The four final rotation states of Venus” (Alexandre C.M. Correla & Jacques Laskar, Vol. 411, 14 June 2001) shows that “terrestrial planets with dense atmosphere like Venus can evolve into one of only four possible rotation states”. “Most initial conditions will drive the planet towards the configuration at present seen at Venus”, viz. a very slow rotation in a retrograde direction in 243 Earth days. The rotation of the Earth takes 23 hours and 56 minutes.
    Perhaps this article can give you an answer to your question.

  66. Goddard wrote:
    The fact that Venus orbits parallel to the ecliptic, slowly and in the wrong direction is pretty solid evidence that it has suffered a severe collision since it’s formation. How else could that have happened?
    I remember reading somewhere that the solar tidal drag on Venus’ dense atmosphere would have damped any original angular momentum the planet had and would have resulted in tidal locking after about one billion years. The fact that Venus’ current rotation rate closely matches its orbital period is circumstantial evidence in favor of this hypothesis, but obviously we don’t know for certain. The slight differential in rates, as well as the retrograde nature of Venus’ rotation, could have resulted from minor impacts on the planet and/or tidal acceleration perturbing the planet’s orbital characteristics. This is all speculation at this point, and there may be problems with this account that I have not considered. Does anyone else have an opinion?

  67. That the AGW promters even bring up Venus as something that could possibly happen to Earth due to AGW is evidence of their cynicism and how little regard they have for the public.

  68. Pat (03:57:10) :
    “In Australia, C02 is being blamed for the wildfires. This is sad.”
    They are right, you know. Without CO2 their wouldn’t be any trees to burn down. /sarc
    Of course, their wouldn’t be any humans to make sick jokes either. 😉

  69. Matt
    A tidal effects from Earth determines the rotation rate of Venus. Here’s a (hopefully understandable) description of the Venus-Earth relationship.
    Venus has an orbital period of 224.7 days, and a rotational period of 243.0 days. Because Venus rotates “backwards” the same point faces the sun every 116.7 days, slightly more than half an orbit. This is its synodic period, what an observer on Venus would call the length of its day.
    Every 584 days (roughly) Venus reaches inferior conjunction with the Earth (their closest approach). 116.7 is one fifth of 584, so at each Earth-Venus conjunction there have been an even five Venus days, and the same part of Venus (midnight on Venus) is closest to Earth. I believe if one does the exact values rather than the round-offs, the synodic Venusian day is exactly one fifth of the time between Earth-Venus conjunctions.
    There’s a similar relation between Mercury and Earth.

  70. A compression effect commonly seen here on earth is the chinook winds coming off of the Rockie mountains. A simplistic view is that air above the mountains is cooled by the snow and ice and seeks to drop to a lower elevation. This results in high winds and a build-up of pressure along the lee side of the mountain.
    A couple of Christmasses ago the city of Lethbridge Alberta Canada had temperatures of +25C because of the chinooks while the rest of the province was “basking” in -30C.

  71. In all these discussion I miss the fact that the temperature and pressure of a gas are related. If you increase the pressure you will increase the temperature and vice versa, if you keep the volume and the gas composition constant.
    The formula goes somthing like this:
    pressure * volume = temperature * energy coeffiecient of the gas
    The reason thus Venus is so hot is the enormos pressure (density) of the atmosphere. If one would exchange Venus atmosphere with that of the Earth (i.e mostly Nitrogen and Oxygon, some water vapour and some other trace greanhouse gasses) the temperature would actually be 200 degrees Celsuis hotter, since the air of Earth has a somewhat higher energy coefficient then the CO2 dominated atmosphere of Venus.
    The pressure difference between the top of the atmosphere of Earth and that at the surface can thus also explain the temperature difference (it gets rapidly colder the higher we go up in the troposphere), we do not neccessary need greenhouse gasses to do that.
    Also Venus and Mars have more or less the same percentage of CO2 (+/- 95%). Venus however has a very dense atmosphere (90 times of Earth if I am correct), while Mars atmospheric pressure is even very much lower than that of the Earth. Mars is cold place and Venus a very hot one. The fact that Venus is closer to the Sun does play a role, but greenhouse gasses are supposed to trap the heat from the sun and there would have been enough time over millions of years to accumulate enough of that to make Mars vastly hotter than it is.
    Another food for thought:
    Day and night temperature differences on Earth can be about 30 degrees Celsius in some dry places (5-10 degrees in humid areas), while Mars temperature difference can be about 80 degrees, eventhough the precentage of its greenhouse gasses is vastly higher than on Earth. If greenhouse gasses really trap the heat, Mars would not have lost so much of it over about 12 hours (Mars’s and Earth days are more or less the same 24 hours).

  72. “There is no evidence for plate tectonics, possibly because its crust is too strong to subduct without water to make it less viscous, and some suggest that instead Venus loses its internal heat in periodic massive resurfacing events.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus
    I’d hate to be on vacation there during a resurfacing event. 🙂

  73. The problem with the Earth/Venus comparison is that you have to take all of the differences at once. It could be that we are lucky enough to have a livable planet because our distance from the sun gave us just enough time with liquid water for CO2 to be sequestered and life to form. It’s really all about the water, not the CO2. As stated previously, Mars has a mostly CO2 atmosphere, too.

  74. Alex (02:28:43) :
    Can’t handle a little humour there mike?? Obviously with any chemical be it O2 , CO2, Ne etc it would be dangerous to take a deep breath of that.
    So then every single compound/element in existence is effectively “unpleasant”. rather silly if you ask me. How about putting a plant in that CO2 cloud?? Unpleasant? I think not.

    I will not have my humour questioned, Alex. You tread a dangerous path there.
    Meanwhile, try the soda pop experiment. That shall be your punishment.
    As far as O2, I have spent many hours on 100% O2 flying in the Air Force. The only side effect is long after the flight, when the 100% O2 in the inner ear gets absorbed into the tissue and creates a low pressure area and an earache exactly like you sometimes get when an airliner descends to land.
    A full breath of Neon would be like the balloon Helium that kids breathe to make their voices squeaky. For that matter, it would be like a full breath of Nitrogen. Your body has no sensors for those gasses, but it does have CO2 sensors, and they’ll let you know about it.
    Questioning my humour, indeed.
    Meanwhile, and seriously,
    Bill Illis (16:59:03) :
    I’m working on an adiabatic lapse rate for Venus’ CO2 atmosphere. So far, starting with a 90 bar 480C surface, when we climb to 1 bar, earth’s surface pressure, I get a temperature of 54C, which is 6 degrees less than the earth’s record high. That’s a rough number, since the CO2 heat capacity ratio changes a bit with temperature, and I’m doing this on a hand calculator. For being so close to the sun, I’d have thought the temp would have been much higher. Maybe my math is wrong.

  75. Steven Goddard (17:39:59) :
    “The reason why the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a big impact on temperature is because there is a spectral SW band which CO2 absorbs that is not absorbed by H2O. The first few tens of PPM CO2 in the atmosphere have a large impact on temperature.”
    Another one of these “minute quantities causing massive effects.” It doesn’t add up. And don’t tell me “it’s complex but.”
    “Because of the requirements equilibrium, it is impossible to trap radiation near the surface”
    If you can psychically contact the late Dr. Reid Bryson (the Father of Climatology), perhaps you could argue it out with him, because he said the same thing as Chazz.
    This whole article smells to me like back-door AGW! Especially when the name “Hansen” is attached.
    Regarding the “greenhouse effect,” there was, not a hypothesis by Arrhenius, but an experiment in 1909 by the physicist R.W. Wood (The Philosophical Magazine, 1909, vol 17, pp319-320) which demonstrates that the radiative explanation of a greenhouse is wrong. The greenhouse glazed with rock salt (passing IR in and out) heated quicker than the glass house, because of the sun’s IR output, and the prevention of heat escape by convection. Why does noone want to tell us the sun emits a large proportion in the IR?
    Allan M

  76. OK, the Venus discussion got me thinking about ‘planets did it’ again. So this is somewhat OT, but related. Planets. Magnetic fields. Solar interaction…
    So I’m sitting here trying to piece together a bunch of stuff. Ozone changes, sudden stratospheric warming event coincident with it more or less, sunspots stilll gone, burst of cold here… And I take the time to read some stuff I’d been going to get to Real Soon Now for the last 6 months. And where does this wandering put me?
    Maybe Vukcevic is on to something…
    A large Flux Transfer Event happens (FTE) as in:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm
    This could then lead to a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event? the imagination speculates? And what about Ozone? From:
    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/selectMap?lang=e&type1=de&day1=07&month1=02&year1=2009&howmany1=3&interval1=1&intervalunit1=d&hem1=g&type2=no&day2=08&month2=02&year2=2009&howmany2=1&interval2=1&intervalunit2=d&hem2=n&mapsize=100
    We have an ‘odd’ spike in Ozone at the N. Pole (along with the Finger of God hot spot look). FTE? Why was the rest of the planet looking all green / blue with dropping ozone levels (and the N. Pole had been up to 40% low a few weeks ago) all nicely in synce with what would be expected from lower UV, then suddenly BANG the N.Pole lights up with a +50% O3 hotspot and generally higher O3 all over? The right side of my brain says the pattern is nice, things ‘fit’; go look here it murmers… Maybe this is clue:
    Again from: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm
    “Now that Cluster and THEMIS have directly sampled FTEs, theorists can use those measurements to simulate FTEs in their computers and predict how they might behave. Space physicist Jimmy Raeder of the University of New Hampshire presented one such simulation at the Workshop. He told his colleagues that the cylindrical portals tend to form above Earth’s equator and then roll over Earth’s winter pole. In December, FTEs roll over the north pole; in July they roll over the south pole.”
    Yeah, a simulation; but simulations can inform our ignorance and this one points out that these events can have large polar asymetries to them. Suddenly one pole ‘lighting up’ when the rest of the planet doesn’t has a plausable cause… a magnetic one. (I hate it when someone says magnets are causal. I use it as a ‘quack flag’ for implausable ideas and looney toons physics; yet it makes motors run and TVs work and… so I have to set aside my fire alarm sometimes; but it keeps on clanging even as I ignore it…)
    Maybe it is all numurology, astrology, and magnets…
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm
    Shows that geomagnetic peaks (Inter-hour Variability Index or IHV) happen 6+ years ahead of solar cycle sunspot peaks.
    “Why? Don’t ask why; down that path lies insanity and ruin -emsmith” so exploring why, we find:
    “We don’t know why this works,” says Hathaway. The underlying physics is a mystery. “But it does work.”
    Maybe a beer would help? Asks a small part of my mind…
    Well, I like my causes to precede my effects, so this gnaws at me… Here we have a magnetic preceedent event predictive of sunspot cycles. How can the Earth magnetosphere event (effect) predict the Sun event (implied cause)? Vukcevic connects this with the idea that the magnetoshere interactions of the sun and planets may have a phase difference with the sunspot effects of the solar system via Alfven currents. From
    ihttp://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarcurrent.pdf
    “Contains factor 2 π/3. This is a sequential angular shift within J/S synodic period. For this particular function 2 π period = 19.859 years; or 2 π /3 = 6.62 years. This may be a critical relationship between planetary magnetospheres for their interactions with the heliospheric current and is therefore reflected in the values of the relevant geomagnetic index. “
    “It takes 6 years for the angle of Jupiter-Sun-Saturn configuration to change by 90 degrees. If the mentioned 3-6 months are added then the result is Dr. Hathaway’s “6 plus years”. It is just possible that the 90 degrees change in the Jupiter – Saturn angular displacement will significantly alter the total effectives of the magnetic portals, and in doing so via HS current feedback, affect sunspot cycle. This may be coincidence and pure speculation, but if it is not then “the underlying physics would not be a mystery; and we would know why IHV predictions work”.
    Dang it! Now I’ve got planetary alignments in the mix that seem to be reasonably tied to physics. But he’s connecting it with real physics and with something called Alfven currents (that I wander of to explore, more on that later). So now my “astrology” siren joins my “magnets” clanger and my head starts to suggest a bit of wine might help… but I resist.
    Vukcevik has a nice formula that seems to be fairly predictive of solar state based on the assumption that the planets magentospheres can influence the return “Alfven” current to the sun (which then could impact the solar dynamo which another paper showed could behave like it does if it had a bit of ‘randomness’ tossed in).
    “A current scientific view of Grand Minima:
    Solar Phys. DOI 10.1007/s11207-008-9293-6
    Grand Minima of Solar Activity and the Mean-Field Dynamo
    I.G. Usoskin · D. Sokoloff · D. Moss
    A current scientific view of Grand Minima:
    Abstract We demonstrate that a simple solar dynamo model, in the form of a Parker migratory dynamo with random fluctuations of the dynamo governing parameters and algebraic saturation of dynamo action, can at least qualitatively reproduce all the basic features of solar Grand Minima […] We demonstrate that such ability to reproduce the Grand Minima phenomenology is not a general feature of the dynamo models but requires some specific assumption, such as random fluctuations in dynamo governing parameters.
    So here we have some randomness … but a couple of the numbers in it don’t make sense to me (like the shift from cos to sin in 1810 or so and the 1941 ‘plug number’) but the formula works… So I’ve now got numerology in the mix. BANG BANG BANG goes my numerology drum. But sometimes numbers are just the right numbers, whispers my right brain… Maybe whiskey would be a better choice mutters the left side of my brain…
    But it all seems to fit.
    To preserve my sanity I let go of exploring “why” and wander off to learn about Alfven currents. There I find a Nobel Laureate in physics; this bit at least, is making my left brain happy…
    Sidebar: Yet Another Peer Review Refugee; Alfven:
    In trying to learn what these “Alfven currents” were I stumbled on this in the wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannes_Alfvén
    Begin Wiki quote:
    Alfvén considered himself an electrical engineer foremost. During his scientific career, prior to winning the Nobel Prize, Alfvén was not generally recognized as a leading innovator in the scientific community (though they were using his work). He enjoyed the assertion that he was guilty of a fault or offence by the entry into areas not previously explored in astrophysics leveled by other cosmologists and theoreticians.[citation needed]
    Research, awards, and contributions
    Alfvén’s work was disputed for many years by the senior scientist in space physics, the British-American geophysicist Sydney Chapman. Alfvén’s disagreements with Chapman stemmed in large part from trouble with the peer review system. Alfvén rarely benefited from the acceptance generally afforded senior scientists in scientific journals. He once submitted a paper on the theory of magnetic storms and auroras to the American journal Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity and his paper was rejected on the ground that it did not agree with the theoretical calculations of conventional physics of the time. He was regarded as a person with unorthodox opinions in the field by many physicists,[3] R. H. Stuewer noting that “… he remained an embittered outsider, winning little respect from other scientists even after he received the Nobel Prize…”[4] and was often forced to publish his papers in obscure journals. Alfvén recalled:
    When I describe the [plasma phenomena] according to this formulism most referees do not understand what I say and turn down my papers. With the referee system which rules US science today, this means that my papers are rarely accepted by the leading US journals.[5]
    He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970 for his work with magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). In 1988, Alfvén was awarded the Bowie medal by the American Geophysical Union for his work on comets and plasmas in the solar system.
    Awards
    Alfvén was also awarded:
    • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1967)
    • Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute (1971)
    • Lomonosov Gold Medal of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1971)
    End Wiki quote.
    Yup, you just gotta love that “Settled Science Peer Review” process for how well it identifies world class ideas … they just need to get the sign right, that’s all… And you just gotta love it when an Engineer gets involved in cosmology…
    Now my brain is happy and asking for a bit of coffee please, so I’m off to my expresso maker and a visit to FORTRAN land…

  77. Psi (18:01:24) :“Twin footprints of electric currents from space are apparent at Venus’ south pole—counterparts to the footprints earlier discovered at Venus’ north pole….”
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060717doubleeye.htm

    Could this be related to the recent formation of a ‘split polar vortex;’ here on earth? The ozone maps seems to have two ‘eyes’ in them at the north pole area as well…
    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/Curr_allmap_g.htm
    From the ‘thunderbolts’ link above:
    “Leading Electric Universe proponent Wal Thornhill identified the dipolar configuration of the polar vortex as a cross-sectional view of a cosmic electric current. Within the solar system, as in every observed region of space, electric currents flow over vast distances by means of filaments of plasma that tend to organize themselves into “twisted pairs.” A common name for this “doubleness” in current-conducting plasmas is a “Birkeland current”. ”
    Said Birkeland currents being part of the work realated to Alfven…
    So, OK, does anyone have any idea why we are getting a split vortex just now? (Per a prior thread about one sort of developing…)

  78. [Steven Goddard (05:27:18) :
    “Chazz,
    The earth’s radiative balance is always maintained, so”…………….]
    Steven,
    Without using the expression “scientific consensus”, can you substantiate this?
    Are you absolutely sure that there can be no other significant factor involved in the equilibrium? Or should I ask “what radiative influences are you counting as valid?”
    (ps. Look, I know I’m dim, guys (and gals), but I can’t seem to find the way to format comments into the conventional pattern. Does anyone have the patience to just tip me how the rules to format my text? Sorry to be so noncomplit!)

  79. E.M.Smith (11:44:41) :
    You gave this link:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm
    which predicts a large cycle 24 peaking within a year. Cycle 24 is not playing ball currently. Anyway the proof will be in the pudding in about a year.
    I am very dubious of these magnetic theories as they stand, particularly when planets enter the game. It is intuitive, possibly I cannot envisage magnetic interactions between planets having enough power to affect anything except cosmic rays.
    If I were to speculate, I would put my money on dark matter and the pertinent interactions that are not yet even proven in the laboratory.
    Let me make a science fiction scenario: Dark matter is supposed to be 90% of the universe. String theory, at the moment fashionable, gives plenty of models that could accommodate dark matter. At the same time there will be corresponding forces that will be the carriers of the interactions in these other dimensions. If dark matter is 90% of our space area, this will introduce whole new physics and therefore any correlations seen in the forces we measure and know could very well be the end result of these unknown yet forces, acting in extra dimensions. Such a scenario would satisfy my reasoning much better than all these angles of Jupiter with Saturn etc. correlated to our known forces.(Still science fiction at the moment, these new forces could turn gravity to electomagnetism and vice versa).

  80. Phil. (20:13:10) : If you read the paper you will have noticed that the recovery process takes the order of a century to complete, part of it after demolition of the structure.
    And your point is??…
    Cement usage dates from the Roman era, was rediscovered in the 1800’s. At least here on the Left Cost in California, I see lots of “tilt up fall down” concrete slab walled buildings and parking lots from about 1950 – 1980 being ground up and recycled into new ‘aggregate’ for new buildings. (And we won’t talk about the speed with which residential driveways get recycled… one neighbor is on the 10 year plan… likes it ‘clean and neat’…)
    Looks to me like lots of the CO2 ‘problem’ from cement getting regularly recycled (with maybe a 50 year average lag time, but dating from more than 50 years ago…). So again I say: So?

  81. Steve (of G.Brown.Land) (12:54:31) :
    Formating
    I will use the brackets [ ] but you should use the > and < . If I use them I will not be able to explain,
    [i]italics[/] . I substitute italics
    [b]bold[/b] bold
    the rest available show up over the comments panel.
    Now on the radiative balance. I think it is the classic argument that since the earth can only lose energy to space by radiation the amount that comes in should go out, otherwise we would be cooked to a crisp.

  82. Mike McMillan (11:11:15) : As far as O2, I have spent many hours on 100% O2 flying in the Air Force. The only side effect is long after the flight, when the 100% O2 in the inner ear gets absorbed into the tissue and creates a low pressure area and an earache exactly like you sometimes get when an airliner descends to land.
    Unless you are a premature baby… then it can cause blindness and several other terrible things… Adults are much more resistant to oxygen, but 100% oxygen is still ‘not good’ …
    Also our “CO2 sensors” are just an indirect way to measure O2. You will happily breath pure nitrogen until you die. You don’t know you need the O2 and don’t feel ‘out of breath’. Nature just took a short cut to an O2 indirect measurement so you would know when to breath. I would consider it a hardware bug, since it periodically kills people, but it works 99.9%+ of the time so “Good enough for evolution work”…

  83. Ice and snow on mountains don’t cause chinook type winds.
    Chinooks are caused by dry air having a greater adiabatic lapse rate than moist air. As moist air goes up the west side of the Rockies it loses moisture as precipitation. At the same time it cools as it decompresses. When the now dry air goes down the east side of the Rockies it heats at a faster rate (a bit less than twice as much per 1,000 feet) as it recompresses.
    It’s a result of moist air gaining/loosing more (heat) energy when it compresses/decompresses than dry air.
    Not to be confused with Katabatic winds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katabatic_wind
    Steve, I manually add the HTML tags.

  84. Phillip_B, so the ‘chinook’ winds on the northeast Colorado plains are actually Katabatic since they are from pressure differential, high west of Rockies, low east of Rockies. Misnamed often in the weather reports.

  85. “” Allan M (11:15:19) :
    Steven Goddard (17:39:59) :
    “The reason why the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a big impact on temperature is because there is a spectral SW band which CO2 absorbs that is not absorbed by H2O. The first few tens of PPM CO2 in the atmosphere have a large impact on temperature.”
    Why does noone want to tell us the sun emits a large proportion in the IR? “”
    Maybe because the sun doesn’t emit a large proportion in the IR.
    The roughly 6000 K solar “near blackbody” spectrum peaks at around 0.5 microns. The first significant CO2 absorption band is around 2.5 microns which is five times the peak wavelength. 96.5% of the total spolar spectrum radiation is below 2.5 microns. The next CO2 dip is at 4 microns which is 8 times the solar peak wavelength, and over 99% of all solar radiation occurs below 4.0 microns. The major CO2 absorption line at 14.77 microns, is close to 30 times the solar peak wavelength and the intensity of solar radiation at that wavelength is down to around 3E-5 times the pak.
    So the sun does not radiate much energy in the CO2 bands. Water absorption bands on the other hand start at around 750 nm or 1.5 times the solar peak wavelength, and 50% of all solar radiation is emitted above that wavelenght so water does have a significant absorption of incoming solar energy, but CO2 does not. And water vapor goes from near zero absorption at 9.0 microns to 100% at about 17 microns, being about 50% absorption at 13 microns which is still below the 14.77 micron CO2 band; so water vapor does in fact absorb more than 50% at the same wavelength as the major climate CO2 band. Then Ozone in the upper atmopshere absorbs strongly in the 9-10 micron band. The sum total of all the water absorption bands in the IR spectrum from 0.7 to 20 microns, is that over half that spectrum width is either totally absorbed or totally transmitted by water vapor. So since 50% of the solar energy is above 750 nm, and water absorbs about half, the net atmospheric water vapor absorption is around 25% of incoming solar spectrum, and it is totally opaque beyond about 17 microns in the earth thermal radiation spectrum.
    But I disagree with Steven that there is a significant CO2 absorption band that is not also absorbed by water vapor (where water vapor is present). It is true that the 4 micron CO2 absorption band is a water vapor window. BUT, there is virtually no solar spectrum energy in that band, and since it is 40% of the 10.1 micron peak of the earth thermal radiation spectrum (at +15C), the earth irradiance is about 6% of the peakat 4 microns, and less than 1% of the total earth thermal radiation is emitted below 4 microns. Only 5% of the earth thermal radiation is emitted below about 6.7 microns.
    So I disagree that CO2 energy interception is not overwhelmed by water vapor where water vapor is present.
    George

  86. @anna v.: Thanks, I needed that! 😉
    Sidebar on Venus and CO2 / H2O :
    I’ve sometimes pondered wether it was just initial state that determined things. Earth was cool enough due to solar distance for CO2 to get bound into rocks while Venus was hot enough to keep it ‘cooked out’ like when we make CaO quicklime. Some excess O2 on earth (from CO2 binding in what otherwise would be oxide minerals) reacts with some H+ and we have water. Now whole thing feeds on itself with subduction, oceans, et. al. Poor Venus left hot and dry awaiting a ‘cool enough’ moment to start the process of CO2 / O2 substitution, but in a race with a sun putting out more each epoch…
    (Yes, I know my chem equations don’t balance… attempting to avoid “Chem Wars, Return of the Sith” as broke out under Coral thread 😉
    Hmm… been reading Slavic authors… now not using articles much… 😉

  87. Richard M (13:37:09) :
    E.M.Smith (11:44:41) :
    Thanks a lot. Now my head hurts! 😉 Got an extra beer?

    Sorry… Fresh Out!

  88. E.M.Smith (12:54:19) :
    “So, OK, does anyone have any idea why we are getting a split vortex just now? (Per a prior thread about one sort of developing…)”
    The recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/10mb9065.gif
    During Minor SSWS the polar vortex typically gets pushed to the side and/or weakened. However during Major SSWs (this one was a record since 1979, the start of Satelite data) the polar vortex can be entirelly split in 2. That appears to be the case currently.

  89. E.M.Smith, I didn’t know that about CO2 sensors (lack of).
    Good enough for Evolution work, indeed.

  90. E.M.Smith (11:44:41) :
    Alfvén rarely benefited from the acceptance generally afforded senior scientists in scientific journals. He once submitted a paper on the theory of magnetic storms and auroras to the American journal Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity and his paper was rejected on the ground that it did not agree with the theoretical calculations of conventional physics of the time. He was regarded as a person with unorthodox opinions in the field by many physicists.

    Good job E.M.! The perfect resume.

  91. Steve Keohane, I’d say your NE Colorado winds are Chinook, but I’m not familiar with area. Katabatic winds require a plateau or basin where cold air can accumulate and I don’t see one on the map. What I see is a north/south mountain range ideal for Chinooks.
    Chinook type winds result from air flowing over mountains from high to low pressure systems. Although around the high/low pressure due to the Coriolis Effect.
    Katabatic winds result from cold (and hence denser) air at higher elevations flowing downhill under gravity, often funneled into valleys. As the air flows downhill it is compressed and may arrive as a hot wind. The Santa Ana wind is an example of katabatic wind that starts out cold in the Mohave Desert but arrives in the LA Basin hot.
    The Mistral is an example of a katabatic wind that arrives cold, because the elevation drop from central France to the Riviera is small and hence there is little heating from compression.
    Finally, a hot wind is often just that. Where I live in Western Australia we get very hot winds from the interior. No Katabatic or Chinook type effect. Just a hot desert out there.

  92. Given that Jupiter and Saturn have by far the thickest atmospheres, and both rotate quickly, in the correct direction and perpendicular to the ecliptic, I don’t find the tidal argument very compelling with respect to Venus.
    As far as CO2 warming goes, it is rather basic physics. I don’t know of any scientist on either side of the AGW debate who disputes that a doubling of CO2 will cause warming of at least 1C.

  93. realitycheck (14:30:21) : During Minor SSWS the polar vortex typically gets pushed to the side and/or weakened. However during Major SSWs (this one was a record since 1979, the start of Satelite data) the polar vortex can be entirelly split in 2.
    So we have a correlation but no clear causal mechanism…
    Those polar Birkeland currents and Flux Transfer Events are looking more and more interesting… Unfortunately, since they were only recently shown to exist, there is undoubtedly little historical data available to test correlation with SSW and Ozone maps… Maybe an ozone polar split correlation could be shown, historically.
    While I’m left unsatisfied, it looks like it would make a decent PhD thesis… Wonder if I’m too old to find somewhere to apply…
    FWIW, TWC is reporting expected snow Tuesday clear down into Arizona & New Mexico to near Mexico (‘near’ in the scale of a US map filling the whole screen and maybe 10% of New Mexico near the border not showing white…). Guess it really is winter…
    Then again, the cute presenter was expressing surprise that folks (who had run out of ‘road salt’ ) were able to use table salt to melt snow… The recent purchase of The Weather Channel has resulted in ‘hotter costumes’ on the ladies; but I’m not so sure they’ve been giving enough attention to the technical skills…

  94. “” Steven Goddard (16:56:53) :
    As far as CO2 warming goes, it is rather basic physics. I don’t know of any scientist on either side of the AGW debate who disputes that a doubling of CO2 will cause warming of at least 1C. “”
    I would tend to agree so long as the climate modelers continue to ignore the total effect of water in the atmosphere. Water vapor greatly exceeds CO2 in the atmosphere in any latitude range where significant solar radiation arrives on earth, or when any significant amount of earth thermal radiation tries to leave earth; so doubling CO2 is a small change in total GHG in the atmosphere and they both attack essentially the same thermal radiation spectrum.
    But then water has this nasty habit of existing in the atmosphere in all three phases, and only the vapor phase results in positive feedback warming; the other two, liquid and solid, in the from of clouds, and particularly precipitating clouds produce negative feedback cooling. so when will they put clouds in their models properly to account for the negative feedback cooling.
    More CO2 just leads to more precipitable clouds, and very little net temperature change.
    And a one degree mean surface temperature change results in 7% increase in water total , evaporation, and precipitation, and by inference, in precipitable clouds, and that is a lot of ground level insolation reduction.
    George

  95. George E. Smith (14:08:12)
    Proportion is the the wrong word but in terms of absolute flux the Sun emits more radiation at all wavelengths then does the earth.

  96. Steve: You’ve omitted that the surface of Venus is highly metallic, and consequently the surface emissivity is extremely low… below 0.1. This is really quite stunning.

  97. “What little knowledge of physics I had and a very slight acquaintance with botany argued that trees of such height could not exist, but there must be some special, adaptive forces operating on Venus that permit the seemingly impossible. I have attempted to figure it out in terms of earthly conditions, and I have arrived at some conclusions that suggest possible explanations for the phenomenon. If vertical osmosis is affected by gravity, then the lesser gravity of Venus would favor the growth of taller trees, and the fact that their tops are forever in the clouds would permit them to build up an ample supply of carbohydrates from the abundant water vapor, provided there was the requisite amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus to promote this photosynthetic process.
    I must admit, however, that at the time I was not greatly interested in these intriguing speculations…”
    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300211h.html

  98. As a professional and practising geologist, one test of the runway greenhouse effect would be to examine temperature estimates of Venus over time.
    If the hypothesis is correct, Venus’ temperature has to be increasing.
    Any data on this?
    And I am somewhat bemused with the various geological op-eds here – on what evidence does Venus have an nickel-iron core?
    Who has done age determinations of any rock to work out Venus’ geological age?

  99. George E. Smith:
    “Maybe because the sun doesn’t emit a large proportion in the IR.”
    proportions of solar radiation by band:
    UV (0 to 380nm) 10%
    Visible (380 to 760nm) 44.8%
    IR (760+ nm) 45.2%
    AM

  100. Louis Hissink,
    The solar system condensed from the same cloud of dust and gas. Given the close proximity and similar size of Earth and Venus, it is reasonable to expect that the chemical composition and age are similar.
    There hasn’t been a lot of field work done on Venus because they can’t find any professional geologists willing to work there. The Russians landed a craft on Venus once, but it only lasted a few hours because the heat and sulfuric acid.
    The interior of Venus is probably very similar to that of Earth: an iron core about 3000 km in radius, a molten rocky mantle comprising the majority of the planet. Recent results from the Magellan gravity data indicate that Venus’ crust is stronger and thicker than had previously been assumed. Like Earth, convection in the mantle produces stress on the surface. However on Venus the stress is relieved in many relatively small regions instead of being concentrated at the boundaries of large plates as is the case on Earth. Venus has no magnetic field, perhaps because of its slow rotation.
    http://www.nineplanets.org/venus.html

  101. Steve,
    At one time I asked how atrophysicists knew planetary magnetic fields came from magnetohydrodynamics in liquid metallic cores, I was then offered the fact that Venus does not have a magnetic field because it has no liquid iron core as evidence. When I then asked how they knew Venus did not have a liquid iron core, I was told that they knew Venus had no liquid iron core because it had no magnetic field. 🙂
    One question I’ve never seen answered, where did the nitrogen in the atmospheres (and originally interiors) of Earth, Venus, and Mars come from? Breakdown of ammonia? Carbon-14 decay? Could frozen N2 accrete into the rocky planets?

  102. Tom_R,
    One of the most common techniques abused by scientists is to assume something to be true, and then selectively gather evidence in support of their theory.
    When planets heat up from radioactive decay and start to melt on the interior, the more dense materials like iron and nickel tend to migrate towards the center. There is lots of evidence of this from fragments of broken former planets, which occasionaly strike the earth as nickel-iron meteorites.
    It intuitively makes sense that the low rotation speed of Venus impacts it’s ability to generate a magnetic field, but whatever the state of the interior is, it seems safe to hypothesize that the core is of similar composition to earth.

  103. Louis Hissink says:

    As a professional and practising geologist, one test of the runway greenhouse effect would be to examine temperature estimates of Venus over time.
    If the hypothesis is correct, Venus’ temperature has to be increasing.
    Any data on this?

    I think the prevailing understanding is that the runaway occurred in the past, not that it is still continuing. When you get such a runaway effect, it is not going to go on forever…Eventually something will intervene to stop it. (If nothing else, the laws of thermodynamics won’t allow the temperature of the planet to get hotter than the surface of the sun!) In this case, I think what is believed to have stopped it was once all of the water boiled away from the surface (and then eventually even escaped from the atmosphere).

  104. Current reconstructions are that Earth has had three atmospheres. (This is an area still being researched)
    1. Before the Earth had cooled enough to have a crust, the atmosphere was hydrogen and helium. It is believed that the solar wind dissipated this atmosphere.
    2. Soon after the crust formed, a second atmosphere was generated by vulcanism. This would have been very similar to Venus’s atmosphere, including density.
    3. Water from in falling small comets enabled sequestration of CO2 into rock, thinning the atmosphere greatly, and the occurrence of oxygen producing life eventually created the third atmosphere. BTW, those small comets will not survive much further in past Earths orbit. We are still getting ~20 million tons of water a year from this in fall, just about enough to balance the loss to subduction. cf http://smallcomets.physics.uiowa.edu/

  105. “”” Allan M (03:46:15) :
    George E. Smith:
    “Maybe because the sun doesn’t emit a large proportion in the IR.”
    proportions of solar radiation by band:
    UV (0 to 380nm) 10%
    Visible (380 to 760nm) 44.8%
    IR (760+ nm) 45.2%
    AM “””
    Alan, no dispute with your numbers; which are in complete agreement with mine. I pulled mine right out of the black body radiation graph on page 194 of Warren J Smith’s “Modern Optical Engineering” in the chapter on Radiometry and Photometry.
    I should have used somewhat different terminology; I was specifically referring to the portion of the IR spectrum where at least CO2 has significant absorption bands; and that is not until about 1.9 microns, above which lies only about5-6% of solar spectrum; well that is based on air mass zero spectrum. If you use air mass one or two as a reference, then you lose a lot of the short end to ozone, so the CO2 range IR might get up to 10%, and then it may actually be lower,because water vapor will have already removed a lot of the near IR.
    So I still stand by my statement as far as CO2 is concerned. Water takes out a big chunk of that 760 nm and up solar spectrum. I could go check the tables in the IR Handbook to see what they give for a standard air mass one atmosphere solar spectrum.
    George

  106. Larry D,
    I think the 3 atmosphere concept needs to run past the catasrophic planetoid strike concept that is beleived to have led to our moon, the ocean basins, and our axial tilt.
    In pure sepculaiton, I think it would be interesting to try and see if the strike that resulted in Venus being a such a slow rotation, and Earth’s event, which led to what we are, happened in the same gneral period of time.
    Large infalling planetoids coming in towards a soalr grave could cause a lot of mischief on the way.

  107. “”” Chico (19:16:09) :
    George E. Smith (14:08:12)
    Proportion is the the wrong word but in terms of absolute flux the Sun emits more radiation at all wavelengths then does the earth. “””
    Au contrair; proportion is a perfectly satisfactory word; although maybe not the best choice; and it was Alan M’s choice not mine.
    Steven Goddard was talking about the basic Physics of CO2 absorption; a process that no knowlegeable physicist would deny. It was that discussion that then pegged in my mind that the IR spectrum of interest; would be that portion that was available for CO2 absorption, which is only from about 1.9 microns up; not 760 nm where Alan M pegged his IR spectrum.
    Well optics folks like myself tend to consider 400-800 as the visible spectrum; but I’m not going to quibble over Alan’s 760 nm.
    I’m not aware that I said anything about the relative total radiant flux from sun and earth; so I’m not quite sure what your point is. And Syrius emits far more radiation at all wavelengths than does the sun; but who cares ?
    What matters is what the solar radiation is INCIDENT ON THE EARTH and what the earth radiation is away from the earth.
    Hopefully, the total solar radiation captured by the earth, is about equal to the total thermal radiation emitted from the earth, and since the spectral peaks of those two sources are a factor of 20:1 apart in wavelength, I seriously doubt that the solar radiation at the earth is greater than the earth radiation at all wavelengths; since their integrated totals are about equal.
    The bottom line is that CO2 accounts for very little of the total atmospheric warming due to capture of infrared radiation from either the sun, or from the earth thermal emission. So doubling the CO2 does not double the total GHG species, so the heating impact is minimal. The energy captured by any GHG is rapidly transferred to the normal atmospheric gases of N2, O2, and Ar, by collisions, so the atmosphere could care less which GHG species intercepted the radiant energy form either sun or earth.
    Why the climate models don’t properly account for water in all three phases; is quite beyond my understanding; but that’s whay I believe that “climatology” has about as much scientific basis as astrology. I read just the other day, who it was who invented climatology; I’ll dig out that referrence.
    Maybe starting around 1979 or 80, climatology may have started to take on a scientific mantle; certainly not before the IGY of 1957/58, but the satellite age may improve the situation.

  108. Larry_D,
    RE #3, that theory of the origin of water on Earth is highly debatable. Wouldn’t we see lots of active cratering on the moon if it were true? Wouldn’t the astronauts regularly see at least a few of these thousands-per-day house-sized objects striking the Earth?
    This is not to mention that if CO2 ice was accreted into the inner planets and later released through volcanism, H2O ice would also have been accreted and later released.

  109. It kinda stands to reason that when the solar system was formed Earth, Mars and Venus would have had a similar make up. And if the water from earth has come from meteorites mars and Venus would have been exposed to similiar debris in there formation.
    I personally believe that the lack of a magnetic field, resulting in Venus being blasted by the searing solar winds accounts for the lack of water, it has been vaporized and escaped the planets atmosphere. Which goes a long way too explaining the why with Venus, So the atmosphere has accumulated over time gaining in density, with no mechanism for the co2 to be sequestered… Well it works in my head.

  110. A thread about Venus? Comparative planetology? My favourite part of Environmental Science. 🙂
    Let’s discuss planetary atmospheres and mineral sinks for carbon dioxide gas.
    Venus has an atmosphere in which the predominant gas is carbon dioxide, but there is no water. Earth by contrast, has extensive oceans with water in abundance (albeit salty) and carbon dioxide as a minor component of its atmosphere. Why the difference between these two terrestrial planets? Is this all due to temperature?
    Earth, like Venus, also has carbon dioxide in abundance. The difference is that on Earth the carbon dioxide is stored in the rocks as limestone & dolomite (calcium & magnesium carbonates), while on Venus the carbon dioxide remains in its atmosphere as a gas.
    To compare Earth and Venus we shall first start with some simple assumptions:-
    1. Let us assume that there is no stable mineral store of carbon dioxide in the rocks of Venus, and that all of the carbon dioxide in its atmosphere has out-gassed from the planet during the course of its existence.
    2. That there has been no loss of molecular carbon dioxide to space, because the temperature profile of the Venusian atmosphere means that carbon dioxide’s kinetic velocity does not exceed the escape velocity of Venus.
    3. The molecular weight & chemical stability of carbon dioxide means that this gas is trapped on Venus, in its atmosphere, for the lifetime of the planet.
    4. Let us assume that the total mass of carbon dioxide, now present on Venus, is its planetary lifetime production to date, and that this mass of gas can be used as a proportionate estimate of Earth’s lifetime carbon dioxide gas production.
    Earth’s Limestone store of Carbon Dioxide
    For ease of calculation we will just discuss calcium carbonate, or calcite, the mineral constituent of limestone rock. Calcium carbonate has the chemical formula CaCO3. Elemental calcium has a mass of 40.078 Atomic Mass Units (AMU), elemental oxygen has a mass of 15.995 AMU and elemental carbon has a mass of 12.0107 AMU. Calcite mineral (technically a salt) has an equivalent molecular weight of 100 AMU, so calcite consists of approximately 56% by weight of calcium oxide and 44% by weight of carbon dioxide.
    Mineral calcite has a density of 2.83 tonnes/m3, so a cubic metre block of pure marble limestone (with zero porosity) will have a slab weight of 2.83 tonnes, of which 1.2443 tonnes will be carbon dioxide (43.9676% of the total slab weight). The total thickness of pure calcite which will store 10 tonnes per square metre of carbon dioxide is just over 8 metres.
    The atmosphere of Venus has a surface pressure of 950 tonnes/sq metre and as carbon dioxide forms 96.5% of the Venusian atmosphere, the mass of carbon dioxide gas on each square metre of Venus is 916.8 tonnes. The average surface temperature of Venus is 464 degrees C. Studies of the dissociation temperature of calcite suggest that the mineral will be stable at the surface pressure and temperature of Venus. If we could convert carbon dioxide gas into calcite mineral we could store the total atmosphere of Venus in a planetary carapace of mineral rock 737 metres thick. Is this possible? Well no, but curiously it is conceivable. The following chemical reaction could do the job:-
    Slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) plus carbon dioxide gas produces mineral calcite and water. Ca(OH)2 + CO2 => CaCO3 + H2O
    Comparing Venus and Earth.
    Venus is a terrestrial planet, slightly smaller than Earth, with a carbon dioxide atmosphere of 4.21888E+17 tonnes. The Earth’s planetary mass is 1.227 that of Venus, so if we assume that the same geochemical processes occur on both planets, then the expected mass of Earth’s lifetime planetary carbon dioxide out-gassing will be 1.227 times larger i.e. 5.17661E+17 tonnes. Earth is a physically larger planet and so the putative surface pressure of Earth’s lifetime carbon dioxide atmosphere will be spread out over a larger planetary surface area and be 1015 tonnes/sq metre. This carbon dioxide atmosphere is equivalent to and can be stored on Earth in a planetary calcite carapace 816 metres thick.
    We now need to ask the geologists two questions:-
    1. Does the geological record support the existence of this quantity of calcium (& magnesium) carbonate stored in the sedimentary basins and metamorphic rocks of the Earth, both as limestone & dolomite rock and marble and also as carbonate mineral cements in clastic sedimentary rocks?
    2. Where has all the calcium and magnesium come from to allow the creation and growth of this mineral carbon dioxide sink throughout the geological history of the Earth?
    I hope to address the answer to Question 2 in a subsequent post.
    Links:
    Calcium Atomic Mass
    Oxygen Atomic Mass
    Carbon Atomic Mass
    Calcite Density
    Venus Surface Area & Mass
    Surface Pressure of Venusian Atmosphere
    Earth Surface Area & Mass
    Surface pressure of Earth’s atmosphere

  111. Philip,
    Great stuff, don’t stop.
    Also, the difference in gravitational fields would make the 950 tons per sq. meter on Venus correspond to more CO2 molecules per sq meter than the equivalent pressure on Earth. But you could just consider the two planets of equal mass and size for a ballpark estimate.
    Maybe you know how the nitrogen got here?

  112. Steven Goddard,
    you apparently missed the article quoting data from our nuclear submarine fleet where the CO2 has peaks about 8,000ppm before the scrubbers turn on.
    Here are rather interesting articles on high doses of CO2:
    http://www.kk.org/outofcontrol/ch9-c.html
    http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/carbogen/carbogen_article1.shtml
    You also didn’t mention the high level of vulcanism that appears to be current on Venus providing a possible explanation for the temperature.
    The ASSUMPTION that all the known planets CONDENSED out of a primeval soup is slowly falling apart due to data on the lack of cohesion for the particles supposedly involved. No cohesion, no buildup to the point where gravitation would attract more.
    This also goes to your ASSUMPTION that the nickel iron meteorites are from broken planets. Exactly what FACTS support this hypothesis?? For that matter, they could be left over bits from the collision that is hypothesized to have created the moon!! In other words, they may only tell us what the EARTH and MOON are made of!!
    The FACT that we DON’T KNOW whether the known planets originated here or were captured is also an issue as to whether Venus really has the same make-up as earth..
    As you mentioned in your post, Venus may very well have suffered a catastrophic impact which would explain the vulcanism as that impact would have generated enourmous energy to be RADIATED away at a much later time than the rest of the planets.
    All in all, there are very few hard FACTS supporting a GREENHOUSE caused by CO2 as opposed to CO2 being a result.
    We really need a TRUTH IN SCIENCE group to go around and slap people who continue to propagate hypothesis and theories as FACTS!!! In my opinion dark matter and energy are right up there with Phlogiston!!! Sounded good at the time!!

  113. kuhnkat
    Well the theory i buy for the forming of the solar system is that its the result of an exploding super nova that throws out plasma ted matter, this is where the heavier elements are formed. But any way, the super heated gas/matter is thrown out, with the center o mass remaining center. So it curves the matter into an orbit. With varying amounts of different molecules at different distances from the center. The center is the sun. The matter basically forms in belts around the sun… and over time through random chance/gravity colliding molecules snow ball. Until a planet is formed.
    Now im not going to go hunting for links, but i know that this theory works mathematically…
    As for dark matter, that has been proved through focal lensing, it bends the light from distant stars, as well as the mass of galaxies is not great enough to hold them together, there must be more mass.
    Sorry, im a bit lazy to go hunting for links. But i still see no connection between Earth and Venus. They have more differences than similarities.

  114. http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=9824385&nav=HMO6HMaW
    You have those in Tucson who believe in global warming, and on the flip side, you have your skeptics, like Dr. Ben Herman at the University of Arizona.
    Dr. Herman agrees that carbon dioxide has warmed the atmosphere but not that much. “It’s warmed about 1.5 degrees in the last 100 years or about 1/10th of a degree every 10 years. That’s a very small effect”, says Dr. Herman.
    As far as his solution? “A better road to pursue right now is not to try to stop every bit of carbon dioxide going in the atmosphere, but to start looking for alternate fuels”, says Dr. Herman.
    Yet, among the arguments neither professor disagrees with the fact that the atmosphere is changing, and that something needs to be done. The disagreement lies in the degree of change.

  115. Venus has about 4 times as much nitrogen in it’s atmosphere as Earth. If we assume that Venus and Earth were similarly formed, and being of similar size, that means that Earth lost 3/4 of it’s atmosphere some time in the past. That could be explained by a collision that formed the moon if 3/4 of the outgassing that created the atmospheres of Venus and Earth occurred before the collision.
    This says that Philip only needs to remove 1/4 of the CO2 in his original calculation. This also says that it was unlikely that Venus suffered a major collision after it solidified. I also suspect that a major collision in Venus’ early history would have made it less likely to have the most circular orbit of any planet.
    Also, the amounts of argon on Earth and Venus are similar. Since argon comes from the decay of potassium 40, its addition to the planetary atmospheres would not have been so concentrated at the beginning, and the moon-creation collision would not have been as catastrophic to its current concentration on Earth.

  116. Dr. Herman agrees that carbon dioxide has warmed the atmosphere but not that much. “It’s warmed about 1.5 degrees in the last 100 years or about 1/10th of a degree every 10 years. That’s a very small effect”, says Dr. Herman.
    This is the U. of A.’s idea of a “skeptic”? He still believes C02 is the culprit for the warming. The fact that he’s less alarmed about it is the only difference between the two. Some debate. Give me a break!

  117. Bruce Cobb,
    Dr. Herman is a scientist, not a faith based religious devotee to any particular point of view.

  118. As far as CO2 warming goes, it is rather basic physics. I don’t know of any scientist on either side of the AGW debate who disputes that a doubling of CO2 will cause warming of at least 1C. “
    This statement could not be wronger .
    There is nothing “basic” about radiative transfer and it belongs to the most complex areas of physics .
    That is also why there are so few people who really understand what happens .
    Why isn’t it basic at all ?
    First we are talking about a purely quantum mechanical process .
    In 99% of physics the “classical” view is a reasonable approximation and QM can be safely ignored .
    Radiative transfer belongs to the 1% where ignoring QM only leads to absurd results or unreasonable approximations .
    It is not for nothing that the QM was precisely born from unsolvable difficulties concerning matter/radiation interactions .
    Second is that in the semi-classical view , radiative transfer can be considered as an interaction between a matter gaz and a photon gaz .
    But this photon gaz is a highly exotic and non trivial thing .
    It is relativistic (photons go with velocity c) and doesn’t conserve the number of photons as opposed to the matter gas where the number of molecules is conserved .
    There is also the problem that photons being massless , they have no temperature even if an equivalent concept can be defined .
    Third is that most people use a naive model in which the badly named “greenhouse” effect is explained by saying that CO2 absorbs IR and “heats” the air .
    This is of course completely wrong because CO2 (or H2O or whatever for that matter) not only absorbs IR but is also forced by the QM laws to emit IR .
    And it emits EXACTLY the same amount of IR as it absorbs .
    This is a consequence of the Maxwell Boltzmann distribution of the quantum energy levels at LTE which forces the molecules to maintain a constant population of each energy level .
    Or in simple words if it emits less than what it absorbs for a certain frequency then it emits more than it absorbs for other frequencies .
    Fourth is that even if in LTE the problems are “simpler” , the upper parts of the atmosphere are far from LTE and a complete QM treatment becomes necessary .
    So be all very sure that radiative transfer has nothing “basic” and the quantification of the X°C per doubling even less .
    While there is indeed not much room to dispute the qualitative effect for those who understand the process well , there is a whole world of room to dispute the quantitative treatment .

  119. anna v (13:02:44) :
    Such a scenario would satisfy my reasoning much better than all these angles of Jupiter with Saturn etc. correlated to our known forces.(Still science fiction at the moment, these new forces could turn gravity to electomagnetism and vice versa).
    I wonder if you really understand how “the angles” might influence our Sun. perhaps you could enlighten me?

  120. Steven Goddard (19:57:56) :
    Bruce Cobb,
    Dr. Herman is a scientist, not a faith based religious devotee to any particular point of view.

    What on earth are you talking about, Steven? If anything, it is those who believe, as Dr. Herman apparently does, that manmade C02 is entirely responsible for the warming the past century who are the “Faith based religious devotee”(s), since It certainly isn’t based on science.
    It is also interesting that you play the old AGWer trick of “appealing to authority”.

  121. Michael,
    While there are legitimate questions about Venus’ atmosphere, there’s no way that Venus’ rotation rate synchronized with it’s closest approach to Earth in a mere 10,000 years. Also, it’s very difficult for something dropping in from outside to end up in a highly circular orbit.

  122. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (05:49:11) :
    I had said :
    Such a scenario would satisfy my reasoning much better than all these angles of Jupiter with Saturn etc. correlated to our known forces.(Still science fiction at the moment, these new forces could turn gravity to electomagnetism and vice versa).
    and you ask:
    “I wonder if you really understand how “the angles” might influence our Sun. perhaps you could enlighten me?”
    Are you talking of my science fiction?
    I said previously that I do not understand how magnetic and electric theories could fit the data we know considering the fields we know, so how can I offer any enlightenment?

  123. Eilert (11:03:39) :
    The reason that Venus is so hot is the enormous pressure (density) of the atmosphere. If one would exchange Venus atmosphere with that of the Earth (i.e mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen, some water vapour and some other trace greenhouse gasses) the temperature would actually be 200 degrees Celsius hotter, since the air of Earth has a somewhat higher energy coefficient then the CO2 dominated atmosphere of Venus.

    Sorry I missed this post.
    I did an adiabatic compression of earth’s atmosphere to Venus’ 90 bars, and got 769 °C. Since that was much hotter than Venus’ 480 °C, I thought I’d goofed up. Maybe not.
    That would mean most of Venus’ blast furnace surface is not due to some “runaway” greenhouse CO2 effect, but due to the huge pressure, just as Eilert says.

  124. anna v (08:19:48) :
    Your post is perhaps a little cryptic, but I thought you may have been comparing your science fiction scenario with other theories that use Jupiter and Saturn angles (primarily angular momentum) as a solar driver, and I wondered how much you knew on this topic (angular momentum)

  125. This is of course completely wrong because CO2 (or H2O or whatever for that matter) not only absorbs IR but is also forced by the QM laws to emit IR .
    And it emits EXACTLY the same amount of IR as it absorbs .
    This is a consequence of the Maxwell Boltzmann distribution of the quantum energy levels at LTE which forces the molecules to maintain a constant population of each energy level .
    Or in simple words if it emits less than what it absorbs for a certain frequency then it emits more than it absorbs for other frequencies.

    Not true Vonk as I’ve told you before, I wish it were true it would have made some of my experiments much simpler.

  126. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (14:37:33) :
    Well, I am a physicist with a doctorate so I should know enough.
    I know that coordinate systems do not matter, except by making things simple or complicated. It is the forces that define the best/simplest coordinate system in which to form and solve equations.
    I know that apart from em radiation the only exchanges between planetary bodies and the sun are gravitational, and thus the only influence the planets can have are on tides, and these turn out to be miniscule ( mm or something).
    I have made my position clear in this forum : taking the barycenter as a point of reference is irrelevant to the forces we know, just an extra complication, like the geocentric system with the epicycles.
    That is why I call for a science fiction scenario if I want to correlate planetary motions with solar parameters. Much more energy has to be exchanged than the one that is given by the forces we know.

  127. anna v (21:41:30) :
    Well, I am a physicist with a doctorate so I should know enough.
    Everyone has their strengths, but that doesnt mean they are strong in every dept….and sometimes the most intelligent, miss the easy stuff in front of their eyes, common sense can be elusive.
    I can tell by your response that you may have just skimmed the area of planetary influence and have perhaps ridden on other peoples opinions. My area of science is not about gravity or tides, its about angular momentum which is real and measurable and also correlates very strongly with grand minima of all forms, every 172 years for the last 6000 years at least.
    If you have the time, have a look at my work….always good to have some intelligent feedback.
    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/archives/95

  128. On correlations:
    There is the standard: correlation is not causation, of course.
    But on top of that, when one has chaotic systems that will often produce patterns, sinusoidal like waves or whatever ( viz some cloud patterns) one can always take two unrelated plots and find correlations. It is like the famous ( Von Neuman I think) saying: “give me four parameters and I can fit you anything. With a fifth I fit an elephant.” Expressed in a functional form.
    Take the waves in two different oceans. You can correlate them. There is no causation and the only real commonality will be the strength of the wind with respect to the shore line and bottom line. But they are not even caused by the same wind.
    It is different if there exists a specific physical theory that predicts correlations. It gives a causal path, and it may not even be correct ( viz the geocentric system of the heavenly sphere. It worked very well for navigation, and the fact that a better physical theory overcame it does not make the workings invalid).

  129. anna v (00:16:55) :
    There is the standard: correlation is not causation, of course
    We have causation, angular momentum looks to affect the differential rotation of the Sun.
    I can see it might be hard to get through your protective systems, but I would like to see you explain how you can ignore reduced solar activity every 172 years average…the 11000 year 14C record does not lie?

  130. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (03:51:34) :
    you say:
    We have causation, angular momentum looks to affect the differential rotation of the Sun.
    Angular momentum is a conserved quantity. For the angular momentum of a body to change there must be an interaction, an exchange of forces. The only known available interaction of bodies in space is gravity. I have not done the calculations, but I trust Leif when he says that the tidal effects of the planets ( gravitational exchanges) are of the order of 2 mm. That seems to me not to be enough energy to affect anything, particularly considering the size of the sun.
    That is why I am talking of a science fiction scenario. If the 172 years period is real and not an artifact of the measurements ( we are talking of paleo something here after all) it is either a coincidence, or another force has to be postulated to explain the orders of magnitude extra energy ( over gravitational) that is needed to affect the sun’s output. Maybe it is the second proof of dark matter.
    Science fiction from here on:
    After all, what does dark matter mean ? At the level we know of particle physics it means that all the matter we know has a shadow counterpart in other dimensions and the only common interaction is gravity. So one could assume that in this science fiction model part of the gravitational fields of Saturn and Jupiter are due to excess dark matter which can then interact with the dark matter in the sun with new and unknown yet forces ( depending on the model chosen) transforming gravitational energy to electromagnetic energy and affecting the plasma etc. with 172 year period related to their orbits.
    Or: There could be a dark matter periodic gravitational field in which all the sun system is embedded and which has an 172 year period affecting both the Saturn and Jupiter orbits and the sun. ( after millenia things tune up with each other)
    I said science fiction, did I not?

  131. anna v (05:04:24) :
    Anna, this is not about tidal forces and I recommend sourcing the data yourself, rather than relying on others. Its about angular momentum which is completely different. The tidal affects of Saturn & Neptune & Uranus are near zero, but their contribution to angular momentum are superior.
    It happens every 172 yrs…there is nothing else that can explain it. The planets line up and it happens…end of story.
    But I like your thinking on dark matter…perhaps it might turn out to be gravity itself?

  132. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (23:43:16)
    […] its about angular momentum which is real and measurable and also correlates very strongly with grand minima of all forms, every 172 years for the last 6000 years at least. […]
    Geoff Sharp (06:25:47) :
    […] It happens every 172 yrs…there is nothing else that can explain it. The planets line up and it happens…end of story.

    Nevertheless, angular momentum transfer needs two things: a force and a sufficiently rigid arm. While there is virtually plenty of force, we just don’t see an arm, currently. I recommend to read the 2006 paper by James Shirley (http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Shirley/) on “Axial rotation, orbital revolution and solar spin-orbit coupling” , as it clarifies also this widespread source of confusion. Getting your hands on the paper is challenging, even if you are part of an university network. The abstract reads (bold mine):

    The orbital motion of the Sun has been linked with solar variability, but the underlying physics remains unknown. A coupling of the solar axial rotation and the barycentric orbital revolution might account for the relationships found. Some recent published studies addressing the physics of this problem have made use of equations from rotational physics in order to model particle motions. However, our standard equations for rotational velocity do not accurately describe particle motions due to orbital revolution. The Sun’s orbital motion is a state of free fall; in consequence, aside from very small tidal motions, the associated particle velocities do not vary as a function of position on or within the body of the Sun. In this note, I describe and illustrate the fundamental difference between particle motions in rotation and revolution, in order to dispel some part of the confusion that has arisen in the past and that which may yet arise in the future. This discussion highlights the principal physical difficulty that must be addressed and overcome by future dynamical spin-orbit coupling hypotheses.

    (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006MNRAS.368..280S)

  133. Hugo M (08:05:03) :
    I do not want to engage in a barycenter discussion, and will say this. We have a calculated angular momentum graph that is very accurately produced from JPL data. That graph shows us a disturbance in the wave formation that is centered every 172 years back for 6000 years so far in my research. That same disturbance correlates to a large reduction in solar activity which can vary, and also correlates with Neptune & Uranus in conjunction.
    The exact mechanism will come and is probably closer than the mechanism’s we are waiting on from the random number Dynamo theory…..like how they cant explain the modulation of the solar cycle, the timing of the solar cycle and how and why we have periods of grand minima. Planetary theory is miles ahead in that respect.

  134. Anna said “Well, I am a physicist with a doctorate so I should know enough. ”
    Bad scientist! I do agree with the fact you should know enough. You should know enough to know that kinda attitude NEVER coincides with someone who is brilliant at what they do.
    I cannot say with any amount of certainty which of you is right. I do find it telling that you stay so rigidly within your comfort zone and anything outside of that zone you label “Science Fiction”. You treated someone who is obviously as educated as you claim to be with the same attitude had he said a purple space monster was to blame for it all.
    I do know that the evidence for dark matter/energy, while gaining popularity in the mass media for it’s “exotic” nature, is still mostly conjecture revolving around questions that cannot be answered with the current system. So hey it’s got to be this funky stuff that no one can detect directly.
    Before you start in on all the circumstantial evidence that has been collected let me say this. It is a lot like religion. You can’t see god are know for sure he is even there but every unexplained event is supposed to be proof that he exists. When the answer eludes you make one up then fight tooth and nail to bend everything towards that belief.
    The guy with whom you disagreed sounded like someone who actually gets his hands dirty and is excited about his work. You sounded like you were reading a prepared statement with little or no enthusiasm.
    Dark matter/energy is no more plausible than the theory you so flippantly dismissed. It just happens to be the popular theory of the day and if it proves to be the correct theory it will not validate you in my eyes simply because you chose to run your Doctorate flag up the pole then proceeded to spout off information readily available to anyone who visits space.com.
    I don’t believe in god in the traditional sense but I am smart enough to pray every night just encase. An open mind. It’s the new drug. you should try it.

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