# Radiating the Ocean

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Once again, the crazy idea that downwelling longwave radiation (DLR, also called infra-red or IR, or “greenhouse radiation”) can’t heat the ocean has raised its ugly head on one of my threads.

Figure 1. The question in question.

There are lots of good arguments against the AGW consensus, but this one is just silly. Here are four entirely separate and distinct lines of reasoning showing that DLR does in fact heat the oceans.

Argument 1. People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land. DLR is absorbed in the first mm of rock or soil. Yet the same people who claim that DLR can’t heat the ocean (because it’s absorbed in the first mm) still believe that DLR can heat the land (despite the fact that it’s absorbed in the first mm).

And this is in spite of the fact that the ocean can circulate the heat downwards through turbulence, while there is no such circulation in the land … but still people claim the ocean can’t heat from DLR but the land can. Logical contradiction, no cookies.

Argument 2. If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going? It can’t be heating the air, because the atmosphere has far too little thermal mass. If DLR were heating the air we’d all be on fire.

Nor can it be going to evaporation as many claim, because the numbers are way too large. Evaporation is known to be on the order of 70 w/m2, while average downwelling longwave radiation is more than four times that amount … and some of the evaporation is surely coming from the heating from the visible light.

So if the DLR is not heating the ocean, and we know that a maximum of less than a quarter of the energy of the DLR might be going into evaporation, and the DLR is not heating the air … then where is it going?

Rumor has it that energy can’t be created or destroyed, so where is the energy from the DLR going after it is absorbed by the ocean, and what is it heating?

Argument 3. The claim is often made that warming the top millimetre can’t affect the heat of the bulk ocean. But in addition to the wind-driven turbulence of the topmost layer mixing the DLR energy downwards into lower layers, heating the surface affects the entire upper bulk temperature of the ocean every night when the ocean is overturning. At night the top layer of the ocean naturally overturns, driven by the temperature differences between surface and deeper waters (see the diagrams here). DLR heating of the top mm of the ocean reduces those differences and thus delays the onset of that oceanic overturning by slowing the night-time cooling of the topmost layer, and it also slows the speed of the overturning once it is established. This reduces the heat flow from the body of the upper ocean, and leaves the entire mass warmer than it would have been had the DLR not slowed the overturning.

Argument 4. Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean. The DLR is about two-thirds of the total downwelling radiation (solar plus DLR). Given the known heat losses of the ocean, it would be an ice-cube if it weren’t being warmed by the DLR. We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That’s a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.

But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.

So if the DLR isn’t heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 … then why isn’t the ocean an ice-cube?

Note that each of these arguments against the idea that DLR can’t warm the ocean stands on its own. None of them depends on any of the others to be valid. So if you still think DLR can’t warm the ocean, you have to refute not one, but all four of those arguments.

Look, folks, there’s lot’s of good, valid scientific objections against the AGW claims, but the idea that DLR can’t heat the ocean is nonsense. Go buy an infrared lamp, put it over a pan of water, and see what happens. It only hurts the general skeptical arguments when people believe and espouse impossible things …

w.

## 908 thoughts on “Radiating the Ocean”

1. Bystander says:

So the physical properties of say, rock, and water are identical?

2. jungle says:

Wouldn’t DLR be absorbed deeper than a mm in water due to the difference between a solid and a liquid?

3. Theo Goodwin says:

Great work again, Willis. Would you please take a moment and tell us how Warmista models treat the heat phenomena that you have described as a thermostatic system? With specific regard to infrared radiation, where does your account differ from the Warmista in the way it treats heat and where is there overlap? How do the Warmista models handle what you say about warming from sunlight, if they handle it at all?

4. David says:

I think that the arguement is a question of degree and residence time, not a question of does it heat, but how much? “But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.” I am not certain average is what is moat important here. SWR at the tropics and even subtropics is far greater, and because it penetrates far deeper it likely has a much greater residence time. Thus any change in SWR flux may accumulate far more energy over time then a similar W/M2 change in SWR caused by a GHG. Yet I have seen none of this quantified.

5. gnomish says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_pond
if i had back issues of mother earth news i could show that this has been in the green literature almost as much as how to raise goats in your basement.

6. Bystander said:
“So the physical properties of say, rock, and water are identical?”
And I say . . . Huh? Is there a point to your statement? The physical properties of rock (lets say basalt) and rock (lets say limestone) are not identical, so I would suspect that rock and water do indeed differ. What has that got to do with the article?

7. Doug Jones says:

Bystander, no, but they both absorb longwave IR in the 5-15 micron wavelength range in about a millimeter or less. Strawman argument, no cookie.

8. Gary wilson says:

Although the end result is the same it is incorrect to state that DLR heats the surface. DLR is radiation that has already left the surface and been absorbed and re-radiated. It is the sun that does the heating. All the DLR does is slow down the heat loss from the surface. Without a heat source such as the sun the surface would gradually cool as the surface flux and DLR decline. So saying DLR heats the surface is not strictly accurate.

9. Paul Westhaver says:

In examining surface temperature of night-time compared with day time it can be seen to what portion of the temperature is due to direct IR or remitted IR after absorption.
Imaging if there is a single night with 36 hours rather than 12. The heat loss would be tripled and the temp drop would likely be in the 30 degrees range where I Iive… look at this daily plot:
http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~rjh/halifax/halifax-weather-ll.html
If night to day has such a huge effect on surface temp…..then why are we torturing ourselves about fractions of a degree? Seems to me the earth has quite a huge capacity to loose heat. We see the effect every night.
I doubt that the earth has chronic heat gain…. heat emission is a forth power of temperature.

10. 1DandyTroll says:

So a IR lamp directed at a one square meter tub of water of say one meter in depth to radiate the surface at 170W wouldn’t warm that body of water if it was circulating?
If it only heats the first mm why then are several inches usually warm when going swimming? Or is that an odd question?
170W per square meter, a few billion years . . . it hasn’t done all that much though, except around the equator, has it, I mean the north atlantic, the arctic sea and the antarctic sea is cold as bloody hell year around, but where there’s lots and lots of sun the sea is pretty darn cozy all year around.

11. Theo Goodwin says:

gnomish says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm
Did you get the one where Barry Commoner explained how to heat a 12 story residential building using a V-8 engine in the basement?

12. Climate Weenie says:

Dunno about the rest of the notions, but
Evaporation is known to be on the order of 70 w/m2, while average downwelling longwave radiation is more than four times that amount …
is not apt.
it is not the downwelling LWR that is significant, but the net of LW and SW, (the imbalance) that is either met by another process (convection), or results in a temperature change.
Net longwave and shortwave, in the average, is not more than four times 70 W/m^2.

13. philincalifornia says:

David says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm
I think that the arguement is a question of degree and residence time, not a question of does it heat, but how much? “But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.” I am not certain average is what is moat important here. SWR at the tropics and even subtropics is far greater, and because it penetrates far deeper it likely has a much greater residence time. Thus any change in SWR flux may accumulate far more energy over time then a similar W/M2 change in SWR caused by a GHG. Yet I have seen none of this quantified.
============================
Yeah, I keep trying to get an answer to this question too (I think it’s part of the same question). What is the change in DLR over the tropical water vapor-containing atmosphere with 390 ppm of CO2, versus the tropical water vapor-containing atmosphere with 280 ppm of CO2, including Doppler Shift effects on the water vapor absorption, of course.

14. Merrick says:

And, hate to bring up a long gone painful debate, but if DLR can heat one fluid (water) then it ABSOLUTELY CAN heat another fluid (air) and in EXACTLY the same way. Local thermodynamic equilibrium arguments notwithstanding.

15. Mac the Knife says:

Anybody who swims or snorkels the sun warmed ‘top layer’ in a lake and has felt the distinct thermoclines at colder layers beneath, has already confirmed that the surface water absorbs long wave radiation. After a day or two of moderate to brisk winds, the top layer is cooled, confirming cooling from evaporation and turbulent mixing with even cooler water below the nearest thermocline.
Spouting baseless theories and touting irrational models will never refute the simple and direct confirmation that a few days of open water swimming or near surface water temperature measurements will provide.

16. FerdinandAkin says:

DLR cannot be absorbed by the first mm of water because it is clear therefore it must be absorbed by the second mm of water.
DLR cannot be absorbed by the second mm of water because it is clear therefore it must be absorbed by the third mm of water.
Actually DLR cannot be absorbed by any of the water because it is mm all the way down.
/sarc

17. Glad to see someone else take the flak for this for a change. Thanks, Willis. 😉
-Roy

18. Hi Willis,
Argument one asks what the difference is between rock and water. Warm water molecules rise to the top. Warm rock molecules conduct heat to their neighbours, which can’t go anywhere.
Argument two asks where the energy goes. The answer is:
space.
Argument three is not an argument that DLR can warm the ocean, it’s an argument that it can slow its rate of cooling.
Argument four is a numerical misunderstanding. The ocean surface very efficiently absorbs 95% of DLR, and promptly re-emits half of that (the other 5% being reflected). The other half makes it another couple of molecules deeper and then the molecules it warms become more buoyant than their neighbours and rise to the top, losing another half upwards. Now we’re down to ~72W/m^2. Lets remember the net flux is 66W/m^2 upwards at this point. So your ice cube argument fails. The ocean absorbs and re-emits the long wave radiation coming downwards from the atmosphere, the sums balance. In fact it emits 66W/m^2 more long wave radiation than it absorbs. It always has, and the oceans don’t freeze, because solar shortwave warms them to really significant depths of 100 metres and more as internal tides and currents mix its energy downwards. Some of that solar short wave energy is re-emitted as long wave from the surface along with some of the long wave which came from the atmosphere. The rest causes evaporation and thermals or is conducted upwards. The difference is, the solar derived energy can remain deep in the ocean for a long time, controlling it’s bulk temperature.
The question is, do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant, and because the vortices which mix solar energy so efficiently are below the wave troughs, several thousands of times deeper down than the depth DLR penetrates water to. For experimental evidence on this matter I’ve tried putting small soaked pieces of loo paper just under the surface out in the rolling waves away from the shore where they break. They don’t get sucked downwards. So that’s turbulent convection gone, what’s left? Conduction is a non-starter, because water thermally stratifies and anyway is a relatively poor heat conductor unless the heat source is underneath rather than above.
But this isn’t about absolutes. I’m sure the increased DLR warmed the ocean a little bit, or at least slowed its rate of cooling a little bit. I think the increased insolation due to (empirically measured) reduced cloud cover in the tropics 1980-1998 did a lot more to increase ocean heat content. To turn your question back to you, where else could that energy have gone?
Cheers
TB

19. DirkH says:

Merrick says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm
“And, hate to bring up a long gone painful debate, but if DLR can heat one fluid (water) then it ABSOLUTELY CAN heat another fluid (air) and in EXACTLY the same way. ”
Air is mostly occuring in the gaseous phase.

20. Fred from Canuckistan says:

You would think that the average ninth grade science student could design an experiment to measure what happens when IR hits water in a tank . . . a great Science Fair experiment.
But if a ninth grader could do it, it will be beyond the tall forehead types who walk posts on the IPCC ramparts.

21. jimmi_the_dalek says:

Indeed, the idea that DLR cannot heat the ocean is one of the spurious arguments that should not be used. There are plenty of others. Far too many comments here claim that the Greenhouse Effect cannot be real “because it is not like a real greenhouse”. Or that it contradicts the first or second laws of thermodynamics. Stick to objecting to the infidelities of computer modelling – there is plenty of uncertainty there – the basic physics is much more secure than some people are willing to concede.

22. Paul Westhaver says:

The time lag between local apparent noon and max surface temperature is no more than 4 hours. The time constant for the surface heating an cooling rate is VERY short. If every night the surface on the planet cools 2-5 degrees…or more, then what is the big deal about 0.1 degree of warming…notwithstanding the fact that the thermometer sensitivity (globally) is incapable of reporting that level of precision… as Lord Monckton has frequently said.

23. crosspatch says:

DLR is radiation that has already left the surface and been absorbed and re-radiated. It is the sun that does the heating. All the DLR does is slow down the heat loss from the surface.

And I believe that is one of the most misunderstood things about greenhouse warming. Greenhouse warming doesn’t have its maximum impact when the sun is shining, it is at night. When the dominant heat flow is, at night, from Earth to space, the DLR would reduce the rate of cooling and it would moderate low temperatures. Greenhouse warming shouldn’t increase daytime highs, it should increase nighttime lows. Daytime high temperatures will be moderated by things like evaporation and clouds but the nighttime temperatures are moderated only by the blanket that lies between the surface and space.
In the daytime, the same greenhouse gasses also absorb IR from the sun and radiate half of that back into space. Roughly half the energy of solar radiation is IR. Greenhouse gasses act to moderate the amount of IR reaching the surface during the day and moderate the amount leaving the atmosphere during the night.
It is quite possible that one might get with increasing greenhouse efficiency is lower high temperatures and higher low temperatures for a reduction in diurnal range and possibly no change at all in average in the tropics. The greatest impact should be seen at the poles in winter where any enhanced “insulation” should be most easily observed.

24. Willis Eschenbach says:

Gary wilson says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Although the end result is the same it is incorrect to state that DLR heats the surface. DLR is radiation that has already left the surface and been absorbed and re-radiated. It is the sun that does the heating. All the DLR does is slow down the heat loss from the surface. Without a heat source such as the sun the surface would gradually cool as the surface flux and DLR decline. So saying DLR heats the surface is not strictly accurate.

You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.
Thanks,
w.

25. Robert M says:

Hmmmm,
So far I have to think that Tallbloke gets the cookie! Sigh! It’s not a chocolate chip cookie is it?
One more thing… What idiot proposed that LR does not heat water?
Well, two more things… Somebody give Bystander a penny so he can buy himself a clue. 🙂

26. Crispin in Waterloo says:

The choice of an infrared lamp as a heat is not the best experiment – too much visible light. Put a just-red-hot heating element over the pan of water. The point is to try to heat without visible radiation.
The heater will send out LWR and it will not get nearly as far as 1mm into the water because it is very effective at stopping it penetrating at most IR frequencies. The water will get very much hotter at the surface than a few inches below, unless it is stirred (which of course happens in a real ocean). Water stratifies very well when it is hotter on top. It of course tends to evaporate more even when calm, and when stirred, much more so t here are several considerations.
The 4 arguments seem to mix all frequencies and LWR in together, or shall I say, perhaps do not separate them well enough. Tropical ocean water is definitely heated by the 1 kW/m^2 of incident solar radiation. The question is how much more is it heated by additional LWR (only, not additional sunlight). Well it certainly is not heated deeply by LWR unless there is significant overturning, which in many cases exists, yes?
So, if we are going to live in a real world (and ocean) then we have to consider that there is a great deal of water vapour immediately above the water’s surface absorbing the IR like crazy, remaining heated and not condensing to return, condensed, to the surface. Over a real ocean, the humidity is very high near the surface. How much of the additional LWR reaches the water’s surface, if any? If it does, it will be absorbed in the very top of its surface and promote immediate evaporation in the zone there there is a continuous exchange between the surface and the very bottom of the atmosphere. Any additional LWR that reaches the top of the water will shift the balance to produce slightly more (IR absorbing) water vapour immediately above it. Rapidly too. That thin air-water exchange layer just above the surface is basically in a constant state of saturation or supersaturation and is a really good IR shield.
Please convince me that any of the downwelling IR reaches the surface of the water. I am quite prepared to be convinced and it is essential to the argument that additional downwelling IR can heat the ocean. How much IR hits the water, in Watts? Does this heat flux depend on the local temperature and wind conditions?

27. Willis Eschenbach says:

Roy Spencer says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Glad to see someone else take the flak for this for a change. Thanks, Willis. 😉
-Roy

The struggle for scientific understanding goes on, my thanks to you as well.
w.

28. Willis Eschenbach says:

jimmi_the_dalek says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Indeed, the idea that DLR cannot heat the ocean is one of the spurious arguments that should not be used. There are plenty of others. Far too many comments here claim that the Greenhouse Effect cannot be real “because it is not like a real greenhouse”. Or that it contradicts the first or second laws of thermodynamics. Stick to objecting to the infidelities of computer modelling – there is plenty of uncertainty there – the basic physics is much more secure than some people are willing to concede.

Thanks, Jimmi. For those interested, see my first shot at explaining it, “The Steel Greenhouse“. It shows how a so-called “planetary greenhouse” can be made of steel, and avoids all issues of lapse rates and co2 re-emission and the like.
Still unclear on how a so-called “greenhouse” actually works? I took another stab at explaining it in “People Who Live In Glass Planets“.

29. Steve from Rockwood says:

Is the top part of that 1 mm heated up to the same temperature as the bottom part or is there a temperature gradient over that 1 mm?

30. George says:

Really? There are people that believe that? How do they have time to post because they must spend all their time rewatching Loose Change.
Without DLR heating the water, there would be no point to Bruce Brown’s Endless Summer. Next.

31. david says:

Yes, back in Sweden when I grew up, that first millimeter didn’t absorbed it all summer long, so it was always solide ice year round….. /sarc
In fact with little tidal change ( 1 foot on average), on a good summer (not too many), the first ten feet would be warm. You could see the thermal layer below if you snorkled.
Heat conduction, most likely?
Wave action, not so likely, it would mix out the thin thermal layer?
Heat radiating down that far? I don’t know, can infrared penetrate that far?
Lastly doesn’t heat radiate in all directions? So, that millimeter would radiate up and down right? So the millimeter below would get some heat that way too, and so on?

32. For those who doubt the greenhouse effect, here is a standard thermodynamics question.
If you know how to solve this, you know why Willis is correct.
Here is the problem (mechanical engineering profs should feel free to include this on the next thermodynamics exam).
1: A continuously heated, flat plate at 15 C is on one side, a parallel, continuously cooled plate at -273C is 20 meters away. What energy flux is required to maintain the heated plate at 15C under the following conditions:
The atmosphere in between is 10% CO2, 72% N2, 18% O2, 1 bar pressure.
The atmosphere in between is 20% CO2, 64% N2, 16% O2, 1 bar pressure.
2: Solve again, assuming that the energy input to the plate is constant, and determine the temperature of the plate at the higher level of CO2 if the temperature at the lower level is 15C and the second plate remains at -273C.
Now comes the part that seems to be missed by our friends in the climate field:
3: At what level of CO2 does the increase in CO2 no longer result in an increase in temperature of the first plate.
If you studied heat transfer at the university level, you may have seen a question like this. If you did, you would know that the plate would be warmer in the second instance (I am procrastinating at work right now, so will leave it as a blog post later to fully answer) and the level of CO2 would be 25%.
Cheers
JE

33. Rosco says:

But surely the myth about DLR is that it is the tiny fraction of the atmosphere responsible – the less than 1% of the atmosphere that absorbs infrered is not responsible for more than a fraction of DLR. This is the deception that, like a magician diverting your attention – don’t look at that look at thislook at this -from reality to sell you on their theory
Surely the whole of the atmosphere warms and cools predominantly by conduction and convection ? And surely, like everything else in the Universe, the Nitrogen and Oxygen, being at more than absolute zero, constitute the vast bulk of the DLR – ~98% of it ? It must be impossible to seperately detect the tiny amount from GHGs ?
And surely the latent heat of evaporation of water, being some 2500 times the specific heat capacity of CO2, plays a far more important role in energy distribution on earth than DLR ?
Also surely DLR is a small component of the total radiation in the atmosphere with random emission in any direction but surely mostly upwelling following the rising thermal currents ?
So surely on earth radiation plays a minor role in energy distribution ? Else why do common objects such as a car’s “radiator” really rely on conduction and convection ? Why do they put the fan in the oven if radiation is so effective ?
And why can I sit very close to a radiative heater for long periods (not above it though) but when I touch it I’m immediately off to the emergency room ?
The answer must be that radiation, while it may be the only energy transport mechanism through space, is only a minor player on earth ? Sure it is the only escape but there are well known mechanisms for getting the energy up to the upper levels of the atmosphere and radiation is only a small part of that.

34. As someone else noted it is the term warming. If DWLR doesn’t reverse the direction of net flux it is not warming. There is also the legitimate question of is conductive heat transfer at the surface more significant than radiative heat transfer. Since the radiative situation is liquid water shooting photons at water vapor which shoots back etc., the average 0.8 degree temperature difference between the water and the air seems pretty reliable. With more CO2 that average may become 0.78 degrees.

35. R. Gates says:

Willis,
I’m beginning to see that you are a heretic, and I love it. Yes, this falsehood that DLR can’t heat the oceans has been one of the most absurd things that skeptics have said, this, and the notion that human activity has not been the principal driving cause behind the growth of atmosphere CO2 over the past several centuries.
I realize you are not a “warmist” as I am, though some people insist on lumping all “warmist” thought into the C-AGW category. Regardless, you and I might see eye to eye on more things than might first seem apparent.

36. John Vetterling says:

The problem seems to be a lot of folks who just don’t understand thermodynamics.
Light is energy. If the water absorbs light it absorbs that energy, hence its heat increases. It oes not matter how thick the absorbing layer is.
Radiant heat transfer is not the same as conductive heat transfer. Conduction depends on the ratio of the temperatures. Radiance depends only on the temperature of the radiating body not the temperature of any sink.
Convection in the air is much different than convention in the seas. The lowest layers of air are heated then rise as they expand. In the seas it is the upper layers that heat and expand, but there is nowhere to rise because they are already above cooler denser layers.
An awful lot of Zeno’s paradox going on as well.
The basic physics of GW is relatively sound. The weaknesses lie in the guestimates of sensitivity/forcings.

37. Jeff L says:

Nice post . You would never see the flip side of a post like this on a AGW blog ( being critical of a AGW principle ). The true believers would not put up with it. Good science requires that weak hypotheses be appropriately dissected, which this post does.
Of course, the real question is how that energy is then distributed / mixed into the ocean,

38. Stephen Wilde says:

There is no doubt that some warming takes place somewhere but the issue is whether that warming does in fact get transmitted downwards and/or whether it does in fact slow down the ‘normal’ rate of energy loss from the oceans.
As far as I can tell the DLR warming just affects individual water molecules at the very surface merely microns deep. Other wavelengths get in deeper however.
DLR having warmed those individual molecules there is an increase in all of convection conduction radiation and evaporation. Effectively all that happens is that the moment of evaporation for all the water molecules affected is brought forward by whatever energy is left over after conduction radiation and convection have taken their portions.and of course evaporation is a net cooling process as we all know.
Willis has previously told me that the increase in evaporation alone is not sufficient to deal with ALL the DLR but suppose the increased evaporation only has to mop up what is left over AFTER increased upward radiation convection and conduction. The figures are then much more believable.
Looking for some evidence one way or the other I read about that 1mm deep layer at the top of the oceans that is always (averaged globally) about 0.3C colder than the ocean bulk below.
The thing is that that layer is still there day and night so it isn’t even overcome by the coming and going of sunlight so I don’t see how DLR would make a difference.
That layer represents the net cooling effect of all surface cooling processes.It is on average globally negative.Energy is always leaving the surface layer faster than it is arriving at the surface and is replaced from below by solar shortwave that penetrated deeper. If the energy hitting the surface from DLR were penetrating downward significantly then that layer would become shallower or warmer or dissipate but on average overall it doesn’t.
So to accept what Willis says I need that point addressing. Why does that cooler layer not seem to get warmer, shallower or dissipate (except locally and temporarily) under the influence of more DLR or even under the influence of solar insolation ?
Could it be that it is a permanent feature of the ocean surfaces set by pressure and density differentials such that it provides a buffer between energy arriving in the topmost molecules and that leaving the ocean bulk for a zero effect on both energy into and out of the ocean bulk ?
I like the analogy of a tributary joining a river. The volume of flow downstream of the junction increases but the rate of flow from upstream is not changed. There may be a small area of buffering (akin to that cool layer on the oceans) where there is a slowdown in the rate of flow but nonetheless the rate of flow from higher upsatream is unaffected.
I suspect that that happens at the ocean surface too.

39. Ian W says:

1DandyTroll says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm
So a IR lamp directed at a one square meter tub of water of say one meter in depth to radiate the surface at 170W wouldn’t warm that body of water if it was circulating?
If it only heats the first mm why then are several inches usually warm when going swimming? Or is that an odd question?
170W per square meter, a few billion years . . . it hasn’t done all that much though, except around the equator, has it, I mean the north atlantic, the arctic sea and the antarctic sea is cold as bloody hell year around, but where there’s lots and lots of sun the sea is pretty darn cozy all year around.

Its not an odd question its a rather unthinking question.
the LR in DLR is Longwave Radiation. This does not penetrate far at all into water a millimeter or less. However, you may notice you can see in sunlight. This is because sunlight is largely made up of visible and ultraviolet radiation and this spectrum will penetrate really deeply into the ocean provided that it is at the correct incidence (angle of insolation) and is why the light under water looks greeny blue. If the light is at any angle less than about 40 degrees then most of the light reflects from the surface (see Willis’ last post). This reflection of sunlight at low angles of insolation is another reason that the sunlight on the oceans near the poles does not warm the water much (as you pointed out).
So as you say where there is lots of sun the sea tends to stay warm – but even there – the sea surface water will be considerably cooler by dawn having both radiated and evaporated a lot of the previous day’s heat away.

40. Rosco says:

I have just read your steel greenhouse post.
Surely the myth that the earth receives only 235 W/sq m insolation and thus the earth would only be ~minus 18 or 19 C is the big lie of GHG theory.
To model the earth as a disk illuminated by only one quarter of the solar constant is nonsense and we ought to say so. At noon at the equator the insolation is probably at least double the 235 W/sq m (perhaps nearly triple) so often quoted while at one of the poles it is probably close to zero.
The only thing maintaining the poles at the modest temperaturesthey are at compared to absolute zero is the energy transmission of atmospheric and oceanic currents.
I do not believe that at a place like Death Valley or central Australia DLR is responsible for the increase in energy from 235 W/sq m to the ~617 W/sq m necessary to explain a temperature of 50 C as has been observed or the 544 W/sq m required to explain the 40 C temperatures regularly recorded less than 50 km from where I live.
Clearly that energy comes from the sun so why perpetuate this “average” 235 W/sq m myth that the AGW use to distort truth and science ?

41. Bystander says:

Hey – I’m not the one with the cartoon and those examples that suggest the behavior is identical.

42. Dave Springer says:

@Tallbloke
“The question is, do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant”
BINGO!
Give the man a cigar.

43. Chuckarama says:

Now that I think of it, I have observed sunspots that are shaped much the same as our oceans, like a map cutout, blocking those oceans from being served up as much energy. That would explain why a rock on the beach at the equator is hotter than the ocean waves on that beach, when I touch them. I don’t know how to explain the rabbit and dragon shaped sunspots though…

44. stevo says:

No matter how patiently you explain things to some people, they won’t get it. Some people will, no matter how hard you try, still believe that radiation from the atmosphere somehow doesn’t heat the ocean. And yet the physics has been understood for hundreds of years, and tested so thoroughly that to doubt it is simply unreasonable.
Are these people unable to understand? Or are they unwilling? That’s the next interesting question.

45. MannBitesDog says:

I notice when I microwave my pasta that the outer layer may become overheated before the center gets warm, that’s why I sometimes use a lower power setting. Sometimes with soup too! Crazy huh?
How did we ever get to the moon?
I wonder how long until “you know who” shows up to comment here?!?

Willis,
I note with some interest that none of your four arguments match that of the Team. Their offering is that the backscattered LWIR absorbed in the top 1mm cool skin layer of the oceans reduces the thermal gradient across this 1mm, reducing radiative, conductive and evaporative heat losses. Sadly neither their argument or yours appear to have supporting empirical studies.
To much of the AGW doctrine is based on chalk on blackboards and computer models. One thing that many WUWT readers will be aware of is the paucity of empirical testing of the AGW hypothesis. Your suggestion of putting an infra red source over a pan of water was I believe the most sensible part of your post.
This infra red source would need to be emitting only around the 15 micron frequency. The water would need to be salt water at an initial average ocean temperature. An artificial breeze would also be required across the surface of the tank, using air of the appropriate temperature and humidity. A coastal testing location may be appropriate.
I have yet to read a study based on such a test. If you have a link to such a paper Willis, I would greatly appreciate it.

47. Robin Hewitt says:

What does it matter? It’s been happening for billions of years without problems, no way is it anthropogenic. Isn’t this a complete red herring in the AGW debate?

48. Bystander:
In terms of absorbance of radiant energy, the state property of interest is emissivity. Liquid water has an emissivity of about 0.9. Sandstone is closer to 0.7, Basalt 0.7, granite 0.95. So, some land will absorb more radiant energy, including DLR and some will absorb less. Some will indeed be exactly equivalent to water.

49. Hands – show of hands –
Who HAS swam in Lk Michigan and encountered warm currents on a sunny day?
From whence did they come I wonder?
Anyone – Bueller – Bueller?
.

50. TimTheToolMan says:

Get thee back to school Willis 😛
DLR heats the top 10um and the top millimeter has a negative temperature gradient. The very top of the ocean is colder than it is about 1mm down. Think that through and then rephrase your arguments.
Its true the DLR “heats” the ocean but not in the manner you or most others believe. The “heating” is almost entirely related to a reduced rate of cooling. That makes a big difference to how ocean heating should be viewed.

51. Alexander Duranko says:

DLR doesn’t exist. It’s the artifact of a mathematical mistake by Sir Arthur Milne in 1922 when he used an infinite atmosphere boundary condition to solve the PDE for IR absorption.
‘Climate science’ made another mistake when it believed the radiometer pointed upwards measured DLR. That signal is real, but exactly counterbalanced at equilibrium by IR in the opposite direction.
Grizzled engineers like me know this because it’s the first law of Radiation – Prevost’s theory of Exchanges [1840].
So the question you pose is irrelevant.

52. G. Karst says:

There are a lot of strange and wonderful thing happening in the first mm of water! GK

53. Dave Springer says:

Here’s an experiment. Let me know how it turns out.
At normal room temperature fill two identical styrofoam cups with water at 98.6F. Hold your hand about a foot over the top of one of them. Your hand will be providing extra downwelling radiation to that cup. After a few hours measure the temperature in both cups. Let me know how much warmer the cup is that had the extra downwelling longwave radiation. Thanks in advance for actually performing an experiment instead of bloviating about physics you don’t understand, Willis.
.
.

54. cal says:

Thanks Willis
I have made the point several times before that people who deny the basic physics undermine the efforts of scientists who challenge the AGW theory. If the theory of DLR and its dependence on CO2 was really as flakey as some would suggest the sceptics would have won the argument 20 years ago. The issue is only about the magnitude of the effect not its existence. The trouble is that climate scientists can point to these silly pseudo scientific arguments as justification for ignoring all the sceptics arguments.

55. Dave Springer says:

“Your suggestion of putting an infra red source over a pan of water was I believe the most sensible part of your post.”
Yes, it is. The infrared source should be approximately the same temperature as the water because that’s how it is over the ocean where the air temperature is very near the sea surface temperature. I know what the result will be. Willis is in for a big surprise.

56. Philip Bradley says:

The warming of the surface layer of a lake/ocean isn’t evidence that LWR is absorbed. Solar radiation is clearly the primary source of this heating.
In calm tropical oceans, an hour of cloud versus an hour of sunlight has a noticeable effect on how warm the surface layer of water is.
Otherwise, the important question is,
Does the increase in Downwelling LWR (from increased GHGs) cause ocean warming and if so, by how much?
The answer is almost certainly yes it does, but by (much?) less than the climate models predict (and require for their claim of accurately modeling the climate to stand up).

57. George E. Smith says:

“”””” Look, folks, there’s lot’s of good, valid scientific objections against the AGW claims, but the idea that DLR can’t heat the ocean is nonsense. Go buy an infrared lamp, put it over a pan of water, and see what happens. It only hurts the general skeptical arguments when people believe and espouse impossible things … “””””
Well first off, an “infrared lamp” has a temperature in the range of about 1000 K and is not too bad an imitator of a black body radiator, being incandescent. That said it emits near infra red radiation that peaks at about 1.0 microns wavelength and also at about 4.0 megaWatts per square metre. Compare that to the average atmosphere which has a Temperature around 288 K, and is emitting wavelengths more in the 10 micron range and about 400 W/m^2.
So your heat lamp is 10,000 times the radiance of the atmosphere, and is spectrally peaked where H2O is an extremely good absorber, in fact at 3.0 microns, H2O has its maximum absorption coefficient of around 10^4 cm^-1..
Why not use an ordinary bottle of water at about 15 deg C (288K) as a source to demonstrate how “downwelling” LWIR radiation heats the ocean.
And that 10-15 micron radiation from the atmosphere is absorbed in more like the top 50 microns (99%) of the surface, not the top mm.
On the other hand, the solar energy can go 100s of metres deep in the oceans before full absorption.
So we are being asked to accept that a thermal energy source at a mean Temperature of about 288K (some say it is only 255K) can thermally excite GHG molecules (CO2), causing them to emit LWIR radiation at a wavelength around 15 microns, and that radiation (well maybe half of it) gets absorbed in the ocean which has a much higher specific heat, and will be absorbed in no more than 50 microns of sea water, most of which is already at a much higher temperature than the 255 or even 288 atmospheric source.
Temperature. The Temperature gradient would seem to be in the wrong direction at the surface, to cause much conduction of that surface “heating” into the depths.. I’ve spent enough time out in the deep oceans to believe that most of the time, the deep oceans are rather calm, and deep mixing due to turbulence is far from the norm.
But as to whether “downwelling” LWIR from GHGs can heat the ocean; I don’t know; I’d like to see the results of some actual measurements that demonstrate the phenomenon.

58. DR says:

http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87
Per Doug Hoyt:

In the laboratory, you can point a 10.6 micron laser at a body of water. Its intensity will be millions of times greater than the intensity increase due to a doubling of carbon dioxide. A thermometer placed just a few centimeters deep in the water will not rise in temperature. It is clear that infrared radiation cannot do bulk heating of water with any efficiency.
At best an increased amount of infrared radiation will slow down any cooling that is occurring. It will not cause a bulk heating.

59. steven mosher says:

“You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.”
you know willis I think is one of the major miscommunication problems in radiative physics.
One way to think about it is this.
The shiny surface on a thermos does not warm the coffee inside.
The shiny surface retards the heat loss via radiation.
I sit outside on a freezing winter night with a space blanket.
The blanket doesnt warm me. The blanket slows the heat loss via radiation.
Now go have fun with tallblokes toilet paper experiment

60. LazyTeenager says:

I could not have said it any better myself Willis.
But it won’t go away because the desire to believe is stronger than any rational argument. There are even university professors who should know better pushing this particular piece of nonsense.
And if commenters disagree go do the experiment as Willis says.

61. Stephen Wilde says:

Of course if that extra downward DLR DOES get into the oceans then we have thousands of years before the ocean temperature would change enough for us to notice any climate effect. The same energy cannot be in two places at once and the heat capacity of the oceans is magnitudes greater than that of air.
Willis, what proportion of DLR do you contend gets into the oceans ?
No, the truth is that it does not warm the oceans but it DOES add to the energy content of the system from those affected molecules upwards through the atmosphere to space.
Thus there IS a climate effect but it is manifested by a change in the surface pressure distribution from more radiation convection conduction and evaporation.
The problem for AGW then is that such changes are miniscule compared to the natural forcings of solar and internal oceanic variability.
Full analysis here:
http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/environment/wilde-weather/setting-and-maintaining-of-earth%e2%80%99s-equilibrium-temperature/18931.html
This issue is not comparable to denial of the existence of a greenhouse effect. I am here accepting the warming capability of GHGs but simply advancing the description as to how they influence the system and in doing that it is not possible to have such a tiny effect warming up both vast oceans and the atmosphere to a significant degree simultaneously (or even separately) because all they do is accelerate the energy flow through the system to offset that warming effect.
Radiative processes alone need to warm up an entire system to a higher equilibrium temperature in order to regain balance. That is true and the essence of AGW.
In this case radiative processes are not acting alone. Other processes are speeding up the energy flow out to space which reduces the need (or possibly eliminates the need) for any rise in equilibrium temperature for the system as a whole.

62. DR says:

It should be very easy to test this per Doug Hoyt’s example.
Sorry, I’m not buying that 100 ppm increase in CO2 can have any measurable effect on ocean temperature.
Water has a shiny surface……

63. Dave Springer says:

Swift says:
August 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm
“The Science of Doom has the first of a very good multi post series on DLR and the ocean here http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/06/does-back-radiation-heat-the-ocean-part-one/
Most of the questions that have been asked and will be asked are answered there.”
The science of doom article has a huge glaring flaw in part two. It uses a simple application of the Stephen-Boltzman law on perfect black bodies to show the temperature of the ocean with and without DLR and concludes DLR must heat the ocean because otherwise it would be -15C instead of plus 15C.
The flaws are twofold. First of all, unlike the surface of a black body, the ocean is a greenhouse unto itself. Shortwave radiation easily penetrates to a depth of some 100 meters depending on clarity. This is absorbed and warms the water. Water is just about totally opaque to long wave radiation so none of that solar heated water below the surface can cool radiatively until it is somehow mechanically transported to the surface. These are the exact same properties that CO2 has – transparency to visible light, opacity to infrared. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If CO2 is a greenhouse gas then the ocean is a greenhouse fluid.
The greenhouse properties of liquid water is what raises its temperature far above what it would be if it were a passive black body surface.
The second flaw in the science of doom black body graph is that black bodies don’t give up heat by evaporation. The ocean does. In fact that’s the primary cooling mechanism. 70% of the solar heat in the ocean escapes by evaporation, 20% via radiation, and 10% via conduction. Moreover the ocean retains a lot solar heat absorbed in the summer and releases it in the winter when the air is dryer and evaporation rate is faster. That’s why there’s a much smaller seasonal temperature change in the ocean versus land. The much greater seasonal temperature variation over land is called continentality.
Willis might have learned a lot about the ocean by sailing, surfing, and diving but he evidently needs to learn more about land by doing some driving and digging. The notion that land and water are equivalent in the way they heat and cool is demonstrates utter ignorance of both.

64. Myrrh says:

Firstly, who uses “DLR”? Do you mean downwelling thermal infrared? And what do you mean argument against warmistas that it can’t?? The warmistas claim it can’t!
What an odd distortion. The AGWScience argument is that it is “Solar” energy of Visible Light and the two shortwaves either side of UV and Near Infrared which heat land and oceans. They say that longwave infrared, thermal infrared, doesn’t play any part in heating the land and oceans. That’s the picture they give of the Earth as a ‘greenhouse’, that shortwave visible gets through the ‘glass’ of the atmosphere and heats the ground, land and oceans, and thermal long wave infrared doesn’t get through ‘the glass atmosphere’, but then radiates out from the ground and gets trapped by the ‘glass/atmosphere’.
This is ‘standard’ teaching on it, the AGWScience fiction meme gone viral in the general education system – ‘everyone’ takes it so much for granted because it has been so successfully brainwashed.
“When the outer atmosphere or the ozone layer does not trap short wave radiation from the sun, it penetrates the surface of the Earth. This energy is then re-radiated back as energy of a longer wavelength (infrared). This leads to a warming of the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere.” http://education.gsfc.nasa.gov/ess/Units/Unit2/U2L5A.html
Light waves, the short electromagnetic of Visible, and the two shortwaves either side are not capable of heating land or oceans. The AGWScience meme is junk science. It claims that blue visible light heats water!!
How???
It’s an argument I’ve been having for quite a while with folks here, those ‘educated’ into believing it, I’m so glad you brought it up.
Just to get this straight. The AGWScience fiction claim is that shortwave converts to heat land and oceans and longwave thermal is radiated out – downwelling SHORTWAVE, Light, upwelling LONGWAVE, heat. By “Solar” they mean these shortwaves and not longwave thermal infrared. See the Kiel/Trenberth 1997 for the AGWScience fiction Basic Energy Balance on which all the has been built. They’ve been denying that longwave thermal infrared heats the Earth!
It’s been the same claim for rather a long time, so long in fact, that even ‘skeptics’ think it is real physics. It’s gobbledegook. Here’s an example: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/07/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-light-and-heat
“Solar “light” radiation in = Earth “heat” radiation to Space out! That’s old news to those of us who understand all energy is fungible (may be converted to different forms of energy)”
Forget about the watts in/watts out and all the aguments about ‘backradiation’ – it’s the basic physics that is unadulterated d cr*p here…
This perverse physics which has given thermal ability to light, shortwave, and denied that longwave thermal infrared heats the Earth has been systematically taken out of references whenever it can be. AGWScience fiction plays around with properties and processes. The example I found earlier of a NASA page for children which taught the real physics that thermal infrared is the heat we feel from the Sun has been dropped – and this nonsense that thermal infrared doesn’t even reach the Earth’s surface has been put in its place – here’s the post:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711886
Thanks for trying with the secure connection Anthony, but you go away for the day and it’s back to the same old interference.. It was good while it lasted.

65. Willis, Gary Wilson, crosspatch, Climate Weenie etc …
I am not sure what the main thrust of this post is (or is ssupposed to be).
The existence of IR radiation downwards is not disputed AFAIK. But as already pointed out, the IR-exchange between to bodies depends on mainly their respective temperatures, and for gases also the spectral properties of the radiating molecules.
And since noone disputes that the net heat flux from the earth’s and ocean surfaces is outgoing, everybody is aware of that in- and outgoing IR-radiation mustbe there at the same time. They are counterparts of each other. The net heating of the surface is by sunlight short wave radiation, making it all the way to the surface. (There is also a part of the sun’s IR being absorbed in the atmosphere and there reradiated in all directions, so that part of the ‘downwelling’ IR also originates from the sun, and only the remainder can be attributed to the ‘greenhouse effect’, but thats a minor detail).
The ‘greenhouse effect’ slowers the IR-radiating cooling mechanism (which would be zero if one had a perfect 100% IR-mirror holding it just above the surface). The net received heat must however be cooled away (in steady state) and the other available cooling mechanisms are mechanical transfer of heat through: Thermal convection and transport of phase-transitioned water vapor, both being heat transported uppwards from the surface.
I don’t think you’ve got this wrong, but I object to the notion that there are ~170 W/m2 (SW-sun)) plus ~330 W/m2 (atmospheric DLR), adding upp to a ~500 W/m2 total. Because the the DLR part is an ongoing inner process, which is only ~half of an ongoing exchange, which by necessity has and must have flows in both directions. between two adjacent bodies each with a temperature. The outgoing counterpart being somewhat larger, ~390 W/m2.
There are only a total of ~342 W/m2 of heating available, and all of that is from the sunlight. Inner processes are going on inside the atmosphere, that’s true. But saying that ~500 W/m2 heats the earth’s surfaces is awkward.

66. Mark.R says:

Here in Christchurch N.Z i take ground temperatures at one metre deep.
The ground temp ranges between 8.9c(record, recorded in the last 3 weeks) to a high of 16.8c in summer. What iv noticed when we get a warm sunny day (say 26c) and even if the next 2 days are only 18-20c( cloudy or sunny ) i get a 0.2c increase in the ground temp 3 days after the warm day.The same happens when we get a cold day too 3 days latter a drop in the ground temp of 0.2c.
If we have a prolonged cloudy period say 2weeks temps at one metre underground only change about 0.3c over that period(usually down).If the skys are clearer over the same period the temp can go up or down by up to 1c.
My conclusion is then that DLR even gos deeper into the ground than what most think.

67. In a discussion elsewhere on this topic, I made a mechanical analogy (for the case of perfect IR-radiation insulation, ie 100% greenhouse effect):

Another highschool example: A balancing scale has a weight of its own, say 2kg. Its function depends on that at zero (external) load the 1kg on either side perfectly balance/cancel each other out, ie equilibrium (mechanical here, thermal with a perfect insulator). Adding 40g on the tray alters that, making the scale tip towards one side.
[Warmist troll] now says: a) You cannot account for the tipping without the 1kg already on that side (true), b) the 1kg contributes much more than these tiny 40g, and c) you are ignoring the 1kg already there!
[Jonas replies: a)moot, b) nonsensical and c) wrong]

The analogy is undefirmed mechanical equlibrium, corresponds to thermal equlibrium (all temperatures being equal), and that deformed state, due to external load (or heat source) correspond to thermal steady state, with net deformation and/or net heat flow, determined uniquely by the the external load, and where it is applied.

68. Dave Springer says:

Yet another general misconception is that all the water molecules in any arbitrarily thin layer are at the same temperature. That isn’t how it works. Some of those molecules are boiling hot and some are ice cold. The average of many of them is the temperature. Evaporation occurs because at any one time some water molecules get bumped, literally, over the edge of latent heat of vaporization. If they are surrounded by other water molecules they don’t get to stay vaporized because they are surrounded by cooler molecules which they bump into and give up the heat. However, if they are on the surface, they have a free path to leave as a molecule of water vapor.
Downwelling IR, because it can’t penetrate more than a few microns, is continually bumping surface molecules over the edge of latent heat of fusion and they fly away. For those molecules that don’t get enough of a bump they don’t mix downwards because wave and winds causing mixing well below the surface not actually on the surface and second because warmer water rises above cooler water. At the end of the day downwelling IR does not cause any significant heating (or, for pedants, lowered rate of cooling). All it does is raise the evaporation rate and the energy is carried aloft as latent heat of vaporization and doesn’t get released to the environment as sensible heat until it condenses. The release generally happens at the cloud deck when adiabatic cooling reduces the water vapor temperature below the dewpoint. Downwelling IR warms the cloud deck and has no direct effect on surface temperature. All it does is lowers the temperature gradient of the atmosphere between surface and clouds and raises the temperature gradient between clouds and outer space.

69. Red Jeff says:

For what it’s worth, here is a paper that may add to this discussion ‘Induced Emission and Heat Stored by Air, Water and Dry Clay Soil.’ Nasif Nahle http://www.biocab.org/Induced_Emission.html
“Abstract: In this paper, I have resorted to basic formulas obtained from experimentation and observation by several scientists for calculating the heat stored by any substance and the subsequent change of temperature caused on a determined system. I demonstrate that the climate of Earth is driven by the oceans, the ground surface and the subsurface materials of the ground. I explain also how the photon streams from oceans, ground and subsurface materials of ground overwhelm the emission of photons from the atmosphere to the ground during both daytime and nighttime…. Concluding, atmospheric gases do not cause any warming of the surface given that induced emission prevails over spontaneous emission. During daytime, solar irradiance induces air molecules to emit photons towards the surface; however, the load of Short Wave Radiation (SWR) absorbed by molecules in the atmosphere is exceptionally low, while the load of Long Wave Radiation (LWR) emitted from the surface and absorbed by the atmosphere is high and so leads to an upwelling induced emission of photons which follows the outgoing trajectory of the photon stream, from lower atmospheric layers to higher atmospheric layers, and finally towards outer space. The warming effect (misnamed “the greenhouse effect”) of Earth is due to the oceans, the ground surface and subsurface materials. Atmospheric gases act only as conveyors of heat.”

70. In peril of sounding like a Warmista, which I’m not, what else could possibly heat the oceans but long wave IR? Reminds me of if not CO2 then what else could it be…. Nothing that I can think of. Well, maybe not the oceans but the near shore waters have another possible explanation.
Back in the 80’s I had a boat and often went to Egmont Key, an island on the mouth of Tampa Bay – beautiful pristine clear waters. One time, and against my better judgement, we went out on Labor Day. Along a 1-mile beachfront I found only one spot where I could back up an 8-foot beam boat onto the beach. While there I did some back of the napkin calculations on the amount of beer consumed by the hundreds of people there, and the resulting urine going into the water at 98-degrees or so. Story short, the waters close to the beach were a lot warmer :). And I stayed out of it!
Best,
J.

71. Sun Spot says:

re: Alexander Duranko says: August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Anyone ???, I’m hearing crickets on this item.

72. Anything is possible says:

What is the primary source of DLR over the tropical oceans?
Any chance It would happen to be water vapor?

73. Dave Springer says:

steven mosher says:
August 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

One way to think about it is this.
The shiny surface on a thermos does not warm the coffee inside.
The shiny surface retards the heat loss via radiation.

The reflective surface is not the primary mode of insulation. “Thermos” is a brand name that became attached to all of what were orginally known as “vacuum flasks”. The primary means of insulation is the vacuum between the inner vessel and outer walls which stops almost all conductive heat transfer. Most the remaining heat loss is blocked by the reflective coating. That’s why laying tin foil over non-reflective attic insulation doesn’t help a whole lot but does help some.

74. Addition to the 1:st of my posts just above: The net heat flux (in thermal steady state) in and out from any surface is of cause zero:
I was referring to the net of the IR-radiation. The non-short-wave-radiations from the sun, hitting the earth’s surface of course equals the net heat loss from the very same surface. Due to the three different cooling mechanisms: IR exchange with adjacent bodies, qater evaporation and thermal convections (conduction too, but negligable here)

75. Rosco says:

You lost me when you quoted that insolation is reduced to 170 W/sq m at the surface while DLR is more than 4 times the 70 W/sq m you say is accounted for by evaporation – ie ~280 W/sq m.
I guess reality is dead.
How can DLR exceed insolation ? That is impossible !

76. Bebben says:

“If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going? It can’t be heating the air, because the atmosphere has far too little thermal mass.”
This beats me. The big ocean with its enourmous heat capacity warms the small atmosphere with its little heat capacity and then the big ocean is heated by the small atmosphere with its little heat capacity, again and again. Like if I should be pounding with my own straight lefts on Mike Tyson.
I kinda sniff that something is seriously wrong here…
Or maybe, if you take the radiation approach, you always have to consider radiation in two directions, like Kiehl and Trenberth. Isn’t this correct? Then the net radiation is outgoing (sum of two vectors) and the DLR is negative so it doesn’t heat the ocean.
Simple as that. From a layman’s perspective, that is.

77. Dave Springer says:

Sun Spot says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm
re: Alexander Duranko says: August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm
“Anyone ???, I’m hearing crickets on this item.”
It’s so wrong it’s not worth a response would be my guess. That’s certainly why I didn’t bother. A cheap remote IR thermometer aimed upward on a clear night with air temperature exactly the same with the only difference being humidity will register a higher temperature on the more humid night. A rather expensive gadget costing in the five figure range can measure DLR day or night under any conditions. It’s called a pyrgeometer. Doesn’t every grizzled old engineer have one of those puppies on his bench sitting between his ohmmeter and oscilloscope? /sarc

78. Smokey says:

As we all know, heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation. If the top 50 micrometers of the ocean is warmed by IR, wouldn’t those molecules slough off their extra energy almost instantly via conduction, warming the adjacent molecules? And so on, transferring the heat deeper into the ocean. Am I missing something?

79. Latitude says:

Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm
=============================================
Me too Smokey…..I know I’m missing something
We don’t plant tomatoes until we can dig down a good foot and a half and the soil has warmed up…

80. Rosco says:

I cannot see why it is considered valid to reduce the insolation to Earth by a factor of 3/4 because half the earth is in darkness at any one time and a disk has half the area of a hemisphere.
Almost nowhere on earth therefore receives the 234 W/sq m used to calculate the fictional minus 18/19 C.
Surely the whole of the tropics is subjected to an insolation 2-3 times more than this figure during a significant portion of any day and then it commences cooling at night.
The mean is meaningless and ought not be used. I refuse to believe DLR heats the earth more than the sun – it defies logic.
The real question we ought to consider is given space is ~3 K why is it Earth isn’t even colder ?
Perhaps then we may perform better analyses than being done at present.
Even IPCC documents quote higher insolation figures than the oft quoted 235 W/sq m but they trickily often lead with the Kiehl & Trenberth diagram which defies logic or science.
You can’t argue with someone who is trying to deceive you and using a model which in no way reflects reality is deception.

81. Rosco says:

How do they calculate the work of the earth’s climate system or is radiation the only game in town ?

82. Dave Springer says:

gnomish says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_pond”
Solar ponds are shallow, need a dark bottom, and have to be shielded from turbulence so that saline stratification can occur. The mode of operation is that visible light from the sun is absorbed by the dark bottom and that conductively heats the water from the bottom up. The high salinity of the bottom water changes the temperature/density relationship such that the hot brine can’t rise off the bottom and mix with the low salinity layer on the top.
The ocean is nothing like that. It is effectively bottomless with regard to light from the sun and no signifcant saline stratification occurs in the mixed surface layer which absorbs the solar radiation.
.

83. First, should it not be an extremely simple task (for a scientist) to measure how much DLR there is? That way it can be determined how much it heats. Say for instance, you cover the ground in a substance that can measure the DLR to some precision out in the open air. Then you move a DLR reflective surface on top and ULR absorbing surface on the bottom over top of the measuring substance, and measure it again without most of the atmosphere shooting the DLR downward.
I hear all the thermodynamics arguments of whether radiative energy can warm an item, but is that really the question we are looking for? I just have not seen any evidence that much radiation ever returns to the surface, if it really increases based on the amount of greenhouse gas present, even with the experiment being done in a laboratory where you can limit the number of contributing factors to come out with a realistic starting point.

84. gnomish says:

Dave Springer says:
” Most the remaining heat loss is blocked by the reflective coating. That’s why laying tin foil over non-reflective attic insulation doesn’t help a whole lot but does help some.”
on the floor, where little heat is lost by conduction and absolutely none by convection, a layer of foil, shiny side up, will provide quite excellent insulation – that floor will be the warmest one in the house. next time you tile a floor, try it. it works great.
if you consider co2 functioning as a mirror for IR, then it’s obvious that it is preventing heating from above exactly as much as it is preventing cooling below – except at night, of course.
now, if you could bring that agw ocean.in.a.bottle out of the virtual world inhabited by alarmist witch doctors, the computer models might apply. but not in real life.
no real ocean is anything like that. there is a constant flow of water gas from surface to stratosphere (and back). any co2 gets swept along in a refigeration cycle by the hadley heat pump. it does not sit like a reflective shield over the sea.
you can add all the shiny crap you want to the freon in your air conditioner – it will not alter the efficiency of the refrigeration cycle through radiation physics.
similarly, the heat pump of the hadley cell- IR radiation exchange within the flux has zero effect on the transfer efficiency.
adding heat capacity, however (and co2 is a bit more dense than elemental gasses) improves the efficiency, not the opposite as claimed by the fetishist rent seekers.

85. DocMartyn says:

Phytoplankton are packed with chlorophyll and other chromophores. The IR spectrum of different chlorophylls is well known,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC540707/pdf/plntphys00384-0069.pdf
Plants are only green because we can’t see very far into the red.
The classical way to cool a white light source, for doing photolysis, is to place a round bottomed flask full of water in the beam. This stops sample heating.

86. richard verney says:

Willis
First of all and importantly, we are not talking about mm but rather microns. Due to the wavelength, DWLWIR cannot penetrate more than a few microns into water. The problem is that nearly always these first few microns of the ocean are divorced from the ocean being in reality wind swept spume and spray. These few microns are therefore, in the limit, not connected with the ocean and thus even if there was sme physical process (which no one on the warmist side has yet sought to explain) whereby heat can in effect be conducted downwards, it beggars belief that there can be any transport of the warmer micron layer into the bulk ocean. The most likely scenario is that the DWLWIR absorbed by these first few microns are heated and evaporate thereby causing cooling not warming. As you know, the ocean is constantly evaporating and in your earlier article, you discuss the cloud formation which is the result of this evaporation. The DWLWIR cannot overcome the evaporative and convectional forces that are at play (which forces have principally been driven by solar energy). If you like the DWLWIR cannot swim against the tide.
Your dismissal of the first argument is with respect complete and utter rubbish. The DWLWIR absored by the first few microns of the ocean is burnt off and evaporates thereby preventing any transport of heat into the deeper ocean. There is no equivalent process with respect to the land. Rocks or sand or tarmac or whatever does not get burnt off and evaporate away. Further, I suspect that there is a large number of people who consider that backradiation cannot heat the land. Whilst the warmists struggle to describe the basics of their conjecture, many armist acept that backradiation does not heat but rather it acts in some way akin to a blanket and reduces the rate of heat loss, ie., because of backradiation the land cools slower than would be the case if there were no backradiation.
As regards the second argument. DWLWIR is not heat. We all know that the DWLWIR cannot effectively heat anything and cannot do sensible work. That is why no one is seeking to utilise the alleged 333 mw per sqm of backradiation and use this to cure the world’s energy needs. After all, according to Trenberth, the backradiation is nearly twice the solar energy and if it was truly a source of heat or if it could truly do work, man would exploit this valuable resource.
As regards argument 3, I dealt with that at the outset. We are taliking about the first few microns which is wind swept spume and spray and which if anything is evaporated (eventually giving rise to the clouds in your earlier post) and never mixes with the bulk of the ocean.
As regards argument 4, I believe that I have had that argument with you before. One of the biggest problems in the AGW debate is that climate scientists seek to deal with averages. However, this hides what is going on. The reality is that huge amounts of solar energy are being input into the tropical oceans such that these oceans would never freeze. The heat being absorbed by these oceans is then transported towards the poles with the ocean current conveyor belt acting as a huge heat pump distributing the heat absorbed by the tropical oceans. Of course, by late summer/winter there is not quite enough energy being absorbed by the tropical oceans to offset the reduced solar energy being received by say the Artic ocean such that that ocean begins to freeze over.
I had enjoyed your previous recent articles but this latest one is very light weight and nothing more than conjecture.
If you want to suggest that the oceans would be frozen but for the absorption of backradiation, you need to do 2 things. First, prove that DWLWIR is absorbed to a significnt degree by the oceans. Second, you need to carry out a calculation for each kilometre square of ocean based upoj the amount of solar energy received by the ocean at that point and ignoring DWLWIR and detailing at what point in time that part of the ocean would freeze.
Presently, I am extremely sceptical of the points that you raise and consider that they fall well short of discharging the burden of proof that lies on someone claiming that DWLWIR heats the oceans and prevents them from freezing. .

87. Merrick says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Small issue of heat capacity notwithstanding.

88. Dave Springer says:

1DandyTroll says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm
“So a IR lamp directed at a one square meter tub of water of say one meter in depth to radiate the surface at 170W wouldn’t warm that body of water if it was circulating?”
Not if it’s longwave infrared. An “IR” lamp emits shortwave infrared and a significant amount of visible red light which will penetrate and heat both the water and the walls of the vessel. The infrared coming from the air above the ocean is emitted by a source that’s about the same temperature as the water. DLR cannot possibly warm the water warmer than the air from which the DLR comes from. The argument is over whether it can slow down the rate of cooling. So the experiment to try would be taking two vessels of warm water, say 100F, and suspending a third vessel with water at the same temperature over one of them. The third vessel is your “heat lamp”. If the DLR from the third vessel is capable of slowing down the cooling rate then as all the vessels cool down to room temperature the one without the LWIR “lamp” over it will cool more slowly and you should be able to see this with a therometer in each of the test vessels after some period of time.
Actually duplicating what happens over the ocean makes it sound a lot less likely to the lay person that the “lamp” hung in the air over one of the vessels is going to make any difference in the cooling rate of the vessel beneath it once they realize that the “lamp” is an object the same temperature as the water. Otherwise they imagine the kind of heat lamp commonly used for home heating purposes which has a heated element hot enough to glow cherry red.
“If it only heats the first mm why then are several inches usually warm when going swimming? Or is that an odd question?”
Visible sunlight is heating it far deeper than 1mm with decreasing effectiveness over increasing depth so more heat is added nearer the surface. Without significant turbulence a warm surface layer develops. This discussion isn’t about visible light. It’s about longwave infrared light. There’s very little LWIR in sunlight. Virtually all the LWIR that shines on the surface is LWIR emitted from the surface where a portion of it is reflected back downwards from the atmosphere above it. More or less is reflected back down depending on the exact composition of the gases.

89. George E. Smith says:

“”””” Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Yet another general misconception is that all the water molecules in any arbitrarily thin layer are at the same temperature. That isn’t how it works. Some of those molecules are boiling hot and some are ice cold. The average of many of them is the temperature. “””””
Do you want to take a Mulligan on that one Dave ?
At any given Temperature, the average kinetic energy per molecule has some specific value, but the individual molecules have energies which plot as some Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, which puts the most probable velocity at some value, and tends to cluster the velocities at the low energy side of the peak, giving a long tail on the high energy side; but theoretically having no upper bound on the maximum energy.
For any sample that is at some fixed Temperature, this distribution of velocities (energies) is constant. But any individual molecule can at any time adopt any possible value of energy, as a result of collisions with its neighbors. The thermodynamic Temperature is defined in terms of that distribution and the mean energy per molecule.
I have argued that since the M-B distribution is always fully populated, and any molecule can at any time be anywhere in that distribution, that for any individual molecule, the time averaged distribution of energies , must be the same M-B distribution of the whole population, so one can argue that any individual molecule, has a Temperature that is the same time averaged distribution of kinetic energies as the population as a whole has.
It is not true that near by molecules can have greatly different Temperatures, simply because they have greatly different instantaneous energies.
For example, there is absolutely no tendency for an individual molecule that currently has a high KE (velocity) to seek out and target a neighboring molecule, that has a much lower energy and velocity. The directions of two such molecules are entirely random; and whereas heat would tend to flow in the direction of the highest Temperature gradient; that is only true over time, and nothing would stop the slowest molecule in the bunch from colliding with the fastest; but that is just a random event; not a directed result.

90. Keith Minto says:

I have expressed this before, I consider that at least some of the water vapour released from the ocean skin is condensed well before it drifts magically upwards in a pristine state to condense only at a certain altitude.
If the air at the ocean surface is humid that means it has already condensed and released its heat; there are plenty of nuclei available, salt, DMS, dust particles near land.
This could be a source of DLR.

91. richard verney says:

When considering the point raised by Willis, it is important to bear in mind that due to the wavelength of solar light, solar light can penetrate well to a 10 a depth of metre or even more ( indeed, it can penetrate to a limiyed extent as far as about 100m). If you can see the bottom of the sea bed, you can see how far solar light can penetrate.
However, the DWLWIR being re-radiated by the GHGs is of a wavelength that can penetrate no more than a few microns into water. Crispin in Waterloo (August 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm) gives a good explanation of the physical processes that are going on and details why the DWLWIR does not make its way to any significant extent into the ocean.
Accordingly, when one goes diving or snorkelling one can feel warm layers of water (sometimes due to currents) and one can feel the warmth of the sunlight. It is solar energy that is absorbed and which heats the water.
The so called greenhouse effect works differently over land than over water. There is a significant diurnal temperature range over land, but very little diurnal range over the deep oceans. It may be that over land, DWLWIR helps the keeping of night tme temperatures up, by reducing the rate of heat loss from the land. However, over the oceans, night time temperatures do not drop off because in the limit (by which I mean for the period of darkness), the ocean itself is an all but limitless heat source having the ability to constantly replenished the air temperature above it. Further, over oceans there is high humidity such that the effects of CO2 if any are substantially dwarfed.by the effects of water vapour and the water vapour being evaporated from the ocean beneath it acts so as to impede DWLWIR coming from the atmosphere high above.

92. richard verney says:

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm
“…You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.
///////////////////////////////
It is only in climate science that such a statement could be made!!!
It is akin to a bioligist claiming that he has created life by not killing a laboratory rat. Sure, by not killing the rat, the net effect is that you have a living rat, but not killing something is not the same as giving life to something. Likewise slowing the rate of cooling is not the same as warming. They are quite different processes. No wonder climate science is so off the rails.
One obvious reason why Trenberth cannot find his missing heat in the oceans is that it never made its way into the oceans because DWLWIR does not heat the oceans.

93. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
Point by point flaws:
“Argument 1. People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land.”
No, it isn’t. Land doesn’t evaporate. Neither does land allow sunlight to warm it uniformly down to any significant depth. That’s why the surface of a lake doesn’t get as hot during the day as a blacktop parking lot and why the lake won’t get as cold at night as parking lot. The solar heating of the parking lot is concentrated on the surface. It gets far hotter during the day and gives up the heat far quicker at night.
“Argument 2. If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going? It can’t be heating the air, because the atmosphere has far too little thermal mass. If DLR were heating the air we’d all be on fire.”
The energy is going into latent heat of vaporization. That is the very large amount of energy that water absorbs going from liquid phase to vapor phase with no change in temperature. No change in temperature is why it’s called “latent” heat. The energy needed to turn a pound of water into a pound of water vapor at the same temperature is about 1000 times as much as it takes to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1F. Water vapor of course rises until adiabatic cooling lowers its temperature below the dewpoint but I’m presuming you already knew how clouds form even if you didn’t know how much energy is transported in the form of latent heat from surface to cloud.
“Argument 3. The claim is often made that warming the top millimetre can’t affect the heat of the bulk ocean. But in addition to the wind-driven turbulence of the topmost layer mixing the DLR energy downwards into lower layers, heating the surface affects the entire upper bulk temperature of the ocean every night when the ocean is overturning.”
Wrong and wrong. Wind driven turbulence doesn’t mix down the top 10 micrometers. That’s a film thinner than the wall of a bubble where viscous forces overwhelm other forces. There’s very little diurnal turning in deep bodies of water and again viscosity is the overwhelming force in the top few micrometers preventing it from mixing deeper. Major turning of deep bodies of water is seasonal not diurnal. If you had much experience with deep freshwater lakes year round (I live on the shore of one) you’d know that from experience – you can smell it when it overturns in the springtime. The ocean is no different in that respect which also explains why so much summer heating is retained and released in the winter causing far less seasonal temperature variation than that of land surfaces at the same latitude.
“Argument 4. Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean. ”
Wrong again. Liquid water has the same properties as water vapor when it comes to being transparent to visible light and opaque to infrared. The same properties that make water vapor a greenhouse gas make liquid water a greenhouse fluid. The difference is that liquid water is like water vapor on steroids since there’s more water in the first meter of the ocean than there is water vapor in the column of air above it and sunlight penetrates far beyond the first meter.
You have really failed to think through any of these arguments. You experience sailing and surfing and diving isn’t serving you well at all in understanding the physics of water.

94. Bob_FJ says:

Tallbloke @ August 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm seems to have kicked off the concept that DLR is absorbed in what is a nano-skin of the water from where it is rapidly reemitted.

“…Argument four is a numerical misunderstanding. The ocean surface very efficiently absorbs 95% of DLR, and promptly re-emits half of that (the other 5% being reflected). The other half makes it another couple of molecules deeper and then the molecules it warms become more buoyant than their neighbours and rise to the top, losing another half upwards…”

Others have added supportive arguments, to which I’d like to add a point:
I think an important aspect of this concept is that it is an inconceivably rapid process, so fast that wave action and water turn-over etc is not a consideration. Since it all happens so fast in a very thin skin, those naughty photons and evaporating molecules radiate hemispherically back into the air where their free path lengths are very much longer and things are more complicated.

95. Smokey says:

Dave Springer,
Since the ocean doesn’t glow in the infrared, it seems to me that when a water molecule receives an IR photon, it immediately sloughs off the extra energy through conduction to adjacent water molecules. Some of the energy is probably contributing to vaporization, but the air even right above the ocean surface is usually not 100% R.H., so there’s not a lot of vaporization going on. And of course, something is warming the oceans.

96. Dave Springer says:

Trenberth et al are looking in the wrong direction for the “missing heat”. After making a quick pitstop in the cloud deck the missing heat from the last 50 years is now unformally distributed radiation in a sphere surrounding the earth with a radius of 50 light years. They aren’t going to find the missing heat looking down into the ocean. It just ain’t there.

97. Kevin Kilty says:

Often I find these threads when all others are long since gone, but this one looked like beating up a straw man to me, so I am now glad to have missed it. I have always assumed that when people say “LW does not warm the ocean”, they mean LW does not propagate in the bulk ocean. To have LW warm the bulk ocean requires absorption at the surface and transfer to depth by other means. It does not behave like SW, which I think is the idea most people are trying to convey.
One is not going to illustrate much about heat transfer in a fluid like water using arguments that exclude some modes of heat transfer.

98. Anyone who has a pool knows full well that the top few inches gets warm first. That goes down quite deep, even in a pool where there is little turbulence (ie not being used) by the end of the day.
If the pool is being used, that warm water is spread pretty much all through.
I would imagine the sea would behave in the same way, and my experience when out surfing makes me believe it is.

99. Dave Springer says:

Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm
“Dave Springer,
Since the ocean doesn’t glow in the infrared,”
The ocean certainly does glow in the infrared. All matter with a temperature above absolute zero glows in some portion of the spectrum. Discounting glow from rarified ionized gases the glow is pretty much a continuous blackbody spectrum with a center frequency set by its temperature. The difference between land and ocean is that it glows a lot less than land does because most of the energy leaving travels as latent heat of vaporization. The dearth of infrared energy leaving the ocean is made up for by an increase of infrared energy coming out of the cloud deck where that latent heat is being transported to and released.

100. Dave Springer says:

Keith Minto says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm
“If the air at the ocean surface is humid that means it has already condensed and released its heat;”
Wrong. You can see it if it condenses. If it condenses near the surface we call it fog. If it condenses farther up we call it clouds. In either case you can see it after it condenses. If you can’t see it then it hasn’t condensed.

101. Anonymoose says:

“believe that DLR can heat the land”
If DLR doesn’t heat the land, the borehole temperature measurements don’t make sense. If heat can penetrate ground without convection, it can penetrate water.

102. Dave Springer says:

richard verney says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm
“…You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.
///////////////////////////////
It is only in climate science that such a statement could be made!!!
It is akin to a bioligist claiming that he has created life by not killing a laboratory rat.

I think it’s more like when I told my wife that I earned an extra \$20,000 by purchasing a new Corvette instead of a used Ferrari.
The government pulls that one on the taxpayers all the time. They “reduce spending” by increasing it less than they planned. I don’t know who that’s supposed to fool but it won’t work on me and it certainly didn’t fool my wife when I tried it on her.

103. Dave Springer says:

@George Smith
“For example, there is absolutely no tendency for an individual molecule that currently has a high KE (velocity) to seek out and target a neighboring molecule, that has a much lower energy and velocity.”
Well sure, it’s not going to seek out slower moving molecules, per se. But it has a greater chance of hitting slower moving targets since they bunch together more.

104. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/
Complete with experimental evidence. As Willis notes there are much better skeptical arguments. As long as skeptics remain UNSKEPTICAL of bogus skeptical arguments the perception will be that skeptics would not accept the truth if it hit them in the face.
GHGs warm the planet. They do not cool it.
Man’s activities increase GHGs, they do not lower them.
Some general truths that are fully consistent with a skeptical position about catastrophic warming.
When you accept these two facts, then you get to join the science debate. That debate is about
1. How much do GHGs warm the planet
2. Can we and should we do anything about increased GHGs.
But when you try to toss out or deny those basic two facts, you dont get to join the debate.
pretty simple. You wanna know why Willis gets to join the debate? Why spenser gets to join the debate, Lindzen? heck even Monckton.. Because they accept the first two.
If you believe those first two, do a little experiment next time you are on a warmist blog. Announce that you accept those two facts.

105. Smokey says on August 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm
Dave Springer,
Since the ocean doesn’t glow in the infrared,

Excuse me!? (Smokey or Dave – it’s late an I’m not sure which one wrote the comment)
What do you think you’re seeing on GOES (8–15 µm wavelength) IR satellite image?
I ASSURE YOU lakes/bodies of water *do* show up … and imagery color/shading appears to be proportional to temperature …
Maybe another point is being argued, in which case ‘never mind’ … otherwise take a look for yourselves; pick a region with a body of water for display (like the GREAT LAKES. Remember ground obscured by clouds will read cloud top temperature):
http://weather.rap.ucar.edu/satellite/
.

106. Dave Springer says:

astonerii says:
August 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm
“First, should it not be an extremely simple task (for a scientist) to measure how much DLR there is?”
Absolutely. It’s called pyregeometer. Wanna buy one?
http://www.meteorologyshop.eu/Pyrgeometer/ENG_276_EUR_264_1173__.html
A bargain at a mere 5000 euros but if you want to pinch some pence you can wait for the after-Christmas sale in January when they deeply discount the last year’s models to make shelf space for the newer models. /sarc

107. astonerii . yes there is experimental evidence.
“However, some have insisted that there is a paradox here – how can a forcing driven by longwave absorption and emission impact the ocean below since the infrared radiation does not penetrate more than a few micrometers into the ocean? Resolution of this conundrum is to be found in the recognition that the skin layer temperature gradient not only exists as a result of the ocean-atmosphere temperature difference, but also helps to control the ocean-atmosphere heat flux. (The ‘skin layer‘ is the very thin – up to 1 mm – layer at the top of ocean that is in direct contact with the atmosphere). Reducing the size of the temperature gradient through the skin layer reduces the flux. Thus, if the absorption of the infrared emission from atmospheric greenhouse gases reduces the gradient through the skin layer, the flow of heat from the ocean beneath will be reduced, leaving more of the heat introduced into the bulk of the upper oceanic layer by the absorption of sunlight to remain there to increase water temperature. Experimental evidence for this mechanism can be seen in at-sea measurements of the ocean skin and bulk temperatures.”

108. “Since the ocean doesn’t glow in the infrared, it seems to me that when a water molecule receives an IR photon, it immediately sloughs off the extra energy through conduction to adjacent water molecules. ”
What? How do you think SST is measured?

109. Dave Springer says:

_Jim says:
August 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm
“Dave Springer,
Since the ocean doesn’t glow in the infrared,
Excuse me!? (Smokey or Dave – it’s late an I’m not sure which one wrote the comment)
What do you think you’re seeing on GOES (8–15 µm wavelength) IR satellite image?”
Smokey said it, not me. I quickly corrected him.
What are we seeing on GOES? That depends. You have be looking through some pretty narrow IR windows to see the temperature of the ocean. When viewing a spectrograph from above there are a great many step changes across the spectrum. The tops of each step follow a blackbody curve for a different temperature. The highest steps follow the curve of the ocean temperature. Clear sky only of course. You can’t see through clouds.

110. anna v says:

Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm
The difference between land and ocean is that it glows a lot less than land does because most of the energy leaving travels as latent heat of vaporization.
The ocean starts from a much lower temperature than the land, in sunlight. One can cook eggs on a rock at noon, when the sea is barely 25C in my region of Greece.
The whole package of energy balance as treated by climatology is a mess, in my opinion. They take two meter temperatures when the ground can be up to 60 and 70C and the two meter 36C, the sea 25C. It is not the air that looses energy to space according to T^4. And all this down welling and up welling confusion is like magicians tricks. There is perfectly adequate thermodynamics to describe all thermal situations accurately. The reason they do this sleight of hand is, in my opinion, that if they take the beaten thermodynamic track, the small increase in the heat capacity of the atmosphere due to the anthropogenic CO2 cannot be beaten up into a bogey through bogus feedback arguments that lead to the energy oven .

111. Dave Springer says on August 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Wrong again. Liquid water has the same properties as water vapor when it comes to being transparent to visible light and opaque to infrared.

The gaseous state has some different properties, where molecule resonances/vibration modes are more pronounced in gas state molecules like water vapor vs liquid.
An intro (for some perhaps) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_spectroscopy
Note section on “vibrational modes”; this establishes where WV either absorbs or emits energy in certain bands/wavelengths.
WV atmospheric effects as well as liquid water characteristics on the same webpage:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water#Atmospheric_effects
Of note: “The spectral absorption features of liquid water are shifted to longer wavelengths with respect to the vapor features by approximately 60 nm”
It’s late – maybe I missed something in the discussion prior …
.

112. Ninderthana says:

David Springer,
Finally, a victory for solid scientific argument!
On average, the Earth’s surface (both ocean and land) receives 492 W m^-2, 168 W m^-2 from direct sunlight (mostly visible) and 324 W m^-2 from back radiation (mostly infra-red) from the atmosphere. The problem with Will’s argument is that assumes that soil/rock and vegetation act in a similar manner to sea-water.
Both the land and sea are efficient at absorbing visible light, all be it by different mechanisms, however the land is heated far more efficiently by infra-red light than the ocean surface.
On average the Earth surface (both ocean and land) looses 492 W m^-2, 24 W m^-2 by upward convective transport, 78 W m^-2 by evapo-transportation, and 390 W m^-2 by surface radiation.
Most of the 102 W m^-2 that is lost by upward convective transport and evapo-transportation is lost over the oceans and not the land (even if you allow for their differences in area). Will mistakenly compares this 102 W m^-2 with the 324 W m^-2 atmospheric back radiation, when he
should be comparing it to the net infra-red radiation exchange between the ground and the atmosphere/space i.e. 390 W m^-2 (infra-red radiation from the Earth’s surface) – 324 W m^-2 (infra-red back radiation from the atmosphere) = 66 W m^-2.
It is not hard to see that over the oceans the 102 W m^-2 upward infra-red radiation more than over-powers the net 66 W m^-2 downward infra-red radiation. This is where the energy goes!
Sorry, the infra-red back-radiation may warm the oceans by a small amount but it pales in comparison with the far greater warming that occurs by teh absorption of direct visible radiation
that takes place mostly at the tropics.

113. Some people seem to be under the mistaken impression that the top few microns will be warmer than the bulk water, but in fact that is wrong. The surface, which acts like a black body for IR light will emit IR very efficiently, thereby cooling the surface.
The “DLR” would keep the surface layer from getting quite so cold, but it is mainly limiting the cooling by radiation that would be occurring. This would keep the top microns of water water than before, but still cooler than the without the DLR.
There also seem to be a misconception that since the visible light can penetrate ~ 100 meters, the heating is occurring ~ 100 m down. IN fact, sunlight will heat the top meter the best, the 2nd meter almost as well. By the time we are to the 100th meter, there will be almost no heating. The top meter will be the warmest (ignoring other details like mixing, other materials in the water, etc). .

114. Ninderthana says:

Sorry, the second last paragraph should have read:
It is not hard to see that over the oceans the 102 W m^-2 upward energy loss more than over-powers the net 66 W m^-2 downward infra-red radiation. This is where the energy goes!

115. Dave Springer says:

@_Jim
Further on spectrograph looking from above. Given the tops of the steps follow a curve for a certain blackbody temperature and given we can see through to the ocean surface we can calculate the temperature difference between the ocean surface and any of the lower steps. Given we also know which gases are causing the lowered steps and given we know the adiabatic lapse rate we can determine the effective emission altitude for any of those gases. Pretty neat, huh? I made a comment in another thread where I did the calculation for CO2 and found it has an effective emission altitude at 15um of about 2000 meters above the surface IIRC.

116. “jimmi_the_dalek says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Indeed, the idea that DLR cannot heat the ocean is one of the spurious arguments that should not be used. There are plenty of others. Far too many comments here claim that the Greenhouse Effect cannot be real “because it is not like a real greenhouse”. Or that it contradicts the first or second laws of thermodynamics. Stick to objecting to the infidelities of computer modelling – there is plenty of uncertainty there – the basic physics is much more secure than some people are willing to concede.

——————————————————————————–
I think this is something to argue. Why is it that the computer models never match reality? The only true answer is that they use incorrect physics or some mistake somewhere. If they correctly modeled the physics of our planet, they should theoritically spit out a good synopsis of weather patterns but alas, they do not. They in fact never agree with each other on local conditions, and globally, well the IPCC itself split the difference and stated 1.5-4.5C. Why is it that they require such large fudge factors in the first place?
The true scientist would have figured this out and realized that the physics was wrong. Go back to the drawing board, find the mistake and plug in over again. No, instead they fudged it. This is important. The part of science and physics is important. The part of getting this correct so that in the future we do not make the same mistakes. The same mistakes applies to a political and/or ideological movement that looks to make energy scarse and drive our economies into the ground. This movement is nothing but an inquisition all over again.
But alas, the physics might be right if the Earth was actually a black body. But we are a water planet. Water is our dominant feature from the oceans to the atmosphere. Since this is the case and the models like I said have never matched reality, we KNOW there is at LEAST one mistake in their physics calculations. I don’t think closing the book on any part of the physics is the greatest idea in the world. Keep an open mind and realize that yes, there is at least one mistake, and I would guess more since greater minds have attempted this issue. I would point most people towards the lapse rate in general (type does not matter…just look at the changes in pressure and how this effects the atmosphere.)
DLR might have a mistake in it, but I am willing to bet that if it does, its a small one. Focus on where the physics is likely wrong (where Dr. Sagen and Hansen got it wrong on Venus for instance) and explore from there. That is where the mistakes are going to be found.
Falsify the physics, and you falsify every GCM out there. Sure, the theory is still supposedly possible, but I think that blow would be enough to settle the science the other way.

117. Willis, when did you start taking acid again???
“We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That’s a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.”
A man of your intelligence and learning should NOT be throwing BS like this around. The ocean is NOT losing 390 w/m2. It is losing 390-~320w/m2=~60w/m2 which is far less than the 170w/m2 that it is absorbing. Where that heat comes from for the 30+70 is then quite obvious.
This is the kind of BS that you get involved in when you start ignoring real physics. Now, where is the fabled BACKRADIATION in that equation??
You also mention the air has no thermal mass. The air has enough thermal mass that there would be pretty much no convection if the GHG’s did not transfer their energy to it. It may not hold a candle to water or even the earth, but, it is much more substantial than the thermal mass of the lightweight CO2!!!
So, the answer is equivocal, the LW does NOT heat the ocean, the SW does and the GHG’s spread the heat through the atmosphere or cool the atmosphere depending on the balance at that moment!!! Basically all the DLR goes UP one way or another!!!

118. Willis Eschenbach says:

R. Gates says:
August 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Willis,
I’m beginning to see that you are a heretic, and I love it. Yes, this falsehood that DLR can’t heat the oceans has been one of the most absurd things that skeptics have said, this, and the notion that human activity has not been the principal driving cause behind the growth of atmosphere CO2 over the past several centuries.
I realize you are not a “warmist” as I am, though some people insist on lumping all “warmist” thought into the C-AGW category. Regardless, you and I might see eye to eye on more things than might first seem apparent.

Indeed I am a heretic, or as it is usually called, a scientist. I can tell a hawk from a handsaw if the wind is in the northwest, and I don’t particularly care what the orthodox view might be. I actually think about things and investigate things and make up my own mind based on what seems logical and reasonable.
For example, we’re pretty sure that averaged 24/7 around the surface of the plane, there’s about 175 watts per square metre of solar energy striking the surface. Might be a bit less or more, but not a whole lot.
We also can say that the ocean is radiating (not total heat loss but radiation alone) almost 400 watts per square metre. Might be a bit more or less, but not a whole lot.
Heat from the core of the earth is estimated to be on the order of a hundredth of a watt per square metre. If that estimate is low by two orders of magnitude, highly unlikely, thats still only a few watts per square metre.
So why isn’t the ocean frozen? Relatively stable ocean temperatures mean that losses and gains must be about equal … so if it’s not IR keeping the oceans liquid, what is?
But I digress …
w.

119. Smokey says:

Dave Springer says:
“The ocean certainly does glow in the infrared.”
Yes, of course you’re right. And you’re right that land emits much more IR than the oceans. That was really the comparison I was trying to make. I should not have said the ocean doesn’t emit IR. Most everything does, above absolute zero.

120. Ninderthana says:

Just in case some people misunderstand, I had better clarify an important point.
The argument that I have used above involves averages that include both sea and land.
Of course, both the ocean surface and land surface are exposed to ~ 324 W m^-2 infra-red back radiation. The land surfaces absorb virtually all of the 324 W m^-2 and redistributes a large part
to heat subsurface and atmosphere above. Much of this is then re-radiated back to the atmosphere as infra-red light.
The sea surface also absorbs much of the 324 W m^-2 as well. The difference is that this absorption takes place in the top mm or so which is the part of the ocean that is being actively evaporated and transported back into the atmosphere. So little of this absorbed energy actually goes into heating the deeper ocean.

121. Willis Eschenbach says:

TimTheToolMan says:
August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm (Edit)

Get thee back to school Willis 😛
DLR heats the top 10um and the top millimeter has a negative temperature gradient. The very top of the ocean is colder than it is about 1mm down. Think that through and then rephrase your arguments.
Its true the DLR “heats” the ocean but not in the manner you or most others believe. The “heating” is almost entirely related to a reduced rate of cooling. That makes a big difference to how ocean heating should be viewed.

I thought I had dealt with the “it’s not warming, it’s a reduced rate of cooling”, but let me go over it again.
DLR makes the surface warmer than it would be in the absence of DLR. For that reason, in common parlance we say that DLR “warms” the surface. Yes, it is not exactly in accord with what is happening, which is a reduction in the rate of cooling. But when the surface is warmer with DLR than it is without it, how is the DLR not warming the surface?
I find this whole semantic based argument to be without substance, and an attempt to evade the four arguments I made above. It makes no difference to the analysis whether you term it warming or reduced cooling.
And I still haven’t heard you or anyone else explain why the ocean is liquid, what mysterious energy source you claim keeps the ocean from freezing soltd. Losing 400 w/m2 as upwelling longwave, gaining only 170 w/m2 from the sun, here comes the ice age …
w.

122. Myrrh says:

I don’t know where Willis has got the idea that it is the Warmista’s teaching that longwave infrared, (thermal infrared), heats the oceans.. For the last couple of decades it has been the AGWScience fiction meme that only the shortwave Visible (Light) UV & NR, heat the oceans and Thermal Infrared (Heat) doesn’t get through the atmosphere to heat the Earth, it is being taught in schools. It is so viral now that anyone not knowing the real difference between these energies takes it on trust.
“Basic mechanism
The Earth receives energy from the Sun in the form UV, visible, and near IR radiation, most of which passes through the atmosphere without being absorbed. Of the total amount of energy available at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), about 50% is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. Because it is warm, the surface radiates far IR thermal radiation that consists of wavelengths that are predominantly much longer than the wavelengths that were absorbed.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greenhouse_Effect.svg
THIS is the Warmista’s claim. That “Solar” is only Visible and UV and Nr Infrared (which isn’t thermal) and it is only this which heats the land and oceans.
“Solar” in, Thermal IR out.
Willis is spouting bull, don’t know where he got it from, but: You’re arguing against a strawman set up here…
Wakey, wakey.
It’s the sceptics who point out that this is junk science and that it’s Thermal Infrared (Heat), which heats the Earth’s land and oceans, and us.
Here’s some of the post I linked above, which is when it came to light that NASA is not only making it difficult for real physics to be taught to children, but it is deliberately teaching this AGWScience meme that downwelling thermal infrared doesn’t reach the surface.
“..thankyou for posting that link to the NASA site which shows clearly that it has now stopped teaching traditional well-known and understood differences between Light and Heat energies from the Sun and replacing it with AGWScience fiction memes. This corruption of basic science is deliberate and systematic – dumbing down science education for the masses.
I think this agenda should be brought into the spotlight and a comparison of the NASA pages pre and post corruption is an excellent example as it easily conveys the extent this manipulation has reached. NASA’s reputation is being used to promoted science fiction. I am greatly saddened by it.

I’ll pull a few more quotes into what I posted above, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711614 for a better look at the difference.
NASA original page teaching previously traditional real world physics to children: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

From this NASA page:
“Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.
Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.
Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.
Infrared light is even used to heat food sometimes – special lamps that emit thermal infrared waves are often used in fast food restaurants!

compare with:
NASA page now teaching that thermal infrared doesn’t even reach us!: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html

Electromagnetic radiation from space is unable to reach the surface of the Earth except at a very few wavelengths, such as the visible spectrum, radio frequencies, and some ultraviolet wavelengths. Astronomers can get above enough of the Earth’s atmosphere to observe at some infrared wavelengths from mountain tops or by flying their telescopes in an aircraft.
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images/introduction/emsurface.gif [Graphic showing downwelling infrared from the Sun stopping short of Earth’s surface, not even reaching mountain tops.]
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/dict_ei.html#em_waves [link from em spectrum page]:
infrared
Electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths longer than the red end of visible light and shorter than microwaves (roughly between 1 and 100 microns). Almost none of the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum can reach the surface of the Earth, although some portions can be observed by high-altitude aircraft (such as the Kuiper Observatory) or telescopes on high mountaintops (such as the peak of Mauna Kea in Hawaii).

From teaching real physics that the heat we all feel from the Sun is thermal infrared, to the new science fiction paradigm from NASA that no infrared even reaches the mountain tops.. This is one step further than the AGWScience fiction KT97 claim, which says near infrared, (the shortwave not thermal in real physics, not hot), is included in their “Solar” downwelling reaching Earth’s surface, (Visible with the two shortwave either side of UV and Nr IR).
KT97 = Kiehl/Trenberth 1997

To put into science terms, if a new idea contradicting well known and understood and tried and tested real physics as taught traditionally is being promoted, then the promoters must provide proof that the traditional teaching is wrong and the new idea right. Eliminating the traditional teaching from the education system does not constitute proof…
Thank you Willis for bringing it to greater attention.

123. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

@Tallbloke
“The question is, do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant”

I say again, the ocean overturns nightly. DLR heating of the surface slows that overturning. As a result, the bulk ocean below does not cool as much.
Again we are in the realm of semantics, but the energy flow is clear. Since the slowly overturning ocean is warmer than it would be in the absence of nighttime DLR, we say DLR warms the bulk ocean. How? By preventing the bulk ocean from cooling.
Nor is this some kind of accounting trick. The bulk ocean is actually warmer because of the DLR … but not because the “DLR heated water molecules make it downwards” as Tallbloke suggests. It heats the bulk by slowing the cooling, which has exactly the same effect—the bulk ocean ends up warmer, in either case, than if there were no DLR.
w.

124. Since we have not yet quantified exact change in numbers of all “GH” molecules in time, namely hundreds of water vapor molecules, in the atmosphere, it is nonsense to quarrel how much surface warming is caused by one (bad) molecule of CO2 per 10,000 other molecules, which was added to three (good) molecules of CO2 since 1780. How much has changed the cloud cover? Are there 97 or 103 H2O molecules per the bad CO2 molecule on average? These are much more important questions to be answered before.

125. Willis Eschenbach says:

August 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Willis,
I note with some interest that none of your four arguments match that of the Team. Their offering is that the backscattered LWIR absorbed in the top 1mm cool skin layer of the oceans reduces the thermal gradient across this 1mm, reducing radiative, conductive and evaporative heat losses. Sadly neither their argument or yours appear to have supporting empirical studies.

I have referred to generally accepted estimates of radiative loss from the surface (usually taken as ~ 390 w/m2), evaporative loss (~ 80 w/m2), convective loss (~ 20 w/m2) and sun hitting the surface (usually taken as 170 w/m2). There is an explanation for the derivation of these in the Trenberth study. The ocean surface loses 390+100 = 490 w/m2 on average, and is warmed by 170 w/m2 of sunlight. That’s a net loss of about 320 w/m2 … here comes the ice.
So I ask again: If DLR is not being absorbed by the ocean, what is keeping it liquid?
w.

126. Dave Springer says:

_Jim says:
August 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm
“The gaseous state has some different properties, where molecule resonances/vibration modes are more pronounced in gas state molecules like water vapor vs liquid.”
Yes indeed it does. Most significantly there are a number of LWIR infrared windows in the vapor. There are no LWIR windows in the liquid.
“WV atmospheric effects as well as liquid water characteristics on the same webpage:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water#Atmospheric_effects
One of the poorer technical articles on wickedpedia for sure. Ferinstance:

Water vapor is a greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, responsible for 70% of the known absorption of incoming sunlight, particularly in the infrared region

Say what? First of all most of the energy in sunlight is in the shortwave region and this passes through water vapor pretty much unattenuated just like it passes through pure water pretty much unattenuated. “Particularly in the infrared” is quite the understatement. It’s virtually all in the infrared there’s precious little infrared energy in sunlight to begin with. This sentence was probably one of the nocturnal emissions of William Connolley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Connolley
AGW POV warrior extraordinaire who was finally canned as an editor on wikipedia for bias and disinformation and general obnoxiousness so profound that even the librat powers that be at wikipedia couldn’t tolerate it any longer.
“Of note: “The spectral absorption featu
res of liquid water are shifted to longer wavelengths with respect to the vapor features by approximately 60 nm””
Also of note: a shift of 60nm is a 3 degree fahrenheit change in blackbody temperature
Might be worth considering in some of the finer details but given the context here it doesn’t make a bit of difference since liquid water absorbs fully and continuously across the LWIR spectrum. The only way it would be meaningful is if there were some LWIR windows in liquid water where a change in temperature of 3 degrees might move it into or out of a window. No windows, no effect.

127. Owen says:

Three great articles from Willis in two days. My head is going to explode !!

128. ferd berple says:

Posted on August 15, 2011 by Willis Eschenbach
“So if the DLR isn’t heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 … then why isn’t the ocean an ice-cube?”
Willis, no amount of theory can contradict observations. A more difficult question is this: Why are the poles a block of ice if DLR is so high?
If average DLR is so much higher that average solar radiation, then why is there so much of a temperature difference between the equator and the poles? Why is summer in the polar regions with 24 hours of (very weak) sunlight (angle of incidence) so much warmer than the polar winter with 0 hours of sunlight? If solar energy is such a small part of the total energy, then DLR should keep the poles very much the same temperature year round, regardless of the (very weak) amount of sunlight.
If DLR is so high as compared to solar radiation, then the polar winter should be much closer to the polar summer in temperature. Observation contradicts theory, especially in Antarctica, where the moderating effects of water are minimal..

129. Willis says,
” DLR heating of the surface slows that overturning.”
Umm, exactly where do all those GHG’s get the energy to radiate all night? Do they have their own tiny personal cold fusion generators?? Me thinks this statement is also very misleading!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Lemme see, the ocean has a huge thermal mass and radiates all night providing energy to the GHG’s, if they didn’t the rest of the atmosphere would be driving the GHG’s radiation, although at MUCH reduced levels!!

130. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Here’s an experiment. Let me know how it turns out.
At normal room temperature fill two identical styrofoam cups with water at 98.6F. Hold your hand about a foot over the top of one of them. Your hand will be providing extra downwelling radiation to that cup. After a few hours measure the temperature in both cups. Let me know how much warmer the cup is that had the extra downwelling longwave radiation. Thanks in advance for actually performing an experiment instead of bloviating about physics you don’t understand, Willis.

Dave, I don’t understand your logic. It seems you think that there is something to be learned from the experiment you describe, and perhaps there is. I understand that part. What I don’t understand is why I should perform an experiment because you think there’s something to be learned from it.
Where I come from, we perform our own experiments, and report the results. But let me set that aside.
The first problem with your experimental design is that an unknown amount of energy is being lost through evaporation of the warm liquid. But let’s set that aside as well.
Let us also assume that the hand, the background, and the liquid are blackbodies.
OK, here we go, let’s use math to estimate the results of the experiment … what, you want me to actually perform the experiment before I do an estimate of the result I’d expect? Why would I do that? At that point my results would bias my math. I want a prediction, an estimate, to see if the experiment confirms it.
Now, the main problem with this experiment is that the background temperature (say 72°F) is not far from the temperature of the liquid and your hand. So in one case, you have liquid radiating at 98.6°F (525 w/m2), and receiving the same back from the hand.
In the other, the back radiation is less, say 72°F (432 w/m2). So I would expect the one with the hand to be warmer.
But the real question is, how much warmer? Depends on how much liquid is in the cup. If it’s a litre, it will take 4,186 joules to warm that by one degree. A watt is a joule second. We also need the surface area of the cup, call it a 3 cm radius, pi r squared is maybe 25 sq. cm.
OK, we have a difference of back radiation of 525 minus 432, call it a hundred watts per square metre. But we have only 25/10,000 of a square metre (25 sq cm). So that means that the difference is 100 * 25/ 10,000 = about a quarter of a watt difference in radiation loss from the surface of the liquid between hand and no hand conditions.
Now, you say this continues for “a few hours”, we’ll call it 3 hours. A joule is a watt second. One watt for one hour is 3,600 joules. One quarter of a watt (the difference of hand vs. no hand) for one hour is 600 joules. We need, 4,186 joules to change the water temperature by one degree C. So that means after about seven hours, all things being equal, the two cups would measure one degree apart.
So, my analysis says in three hours you’d see no difference, and after seven hours you might, and I emphasize might, be able to detect it. And that’s in a perfect world with no evaporation. With evaporation, all bets are off with that small a difference in radiation, a quarter of a watt.
Come back and let us know your results, my prediction is no measurable difference after three hours.
w.

131. Noelene says:

Dumb question
How does rivers figure in all this?Rivers are always cold are they not?Is that because of their depth?

132. Brian W says:

Dave Springer, steven mosher, Jim, smokey
Neither clouds, nor water, fellows DO NOT glow in IR. Since IR is by definition non visible radiation, YOU CANNOT SEE IT. Get it. GOES colors its pictures so you can see something which is incapable of exciting vision. So enough of the crap.

133. Martin Clauss says:

Willis,
I look at the semantics of ‘warming’ vs. ‘reducing the rate of cooling’ in this way:
if the ocean is radiating 400 watts/square meter, and there were no CO2 or H2O above radiating back to the ocean (the DLR), it will cool at a certain rate – obviously faster than with CO2/H2O above it, radiating back, say, 300 watts/ square meter. But in both cases, the result is a cooling ocean.
Now if the CO2/H2O were radiating 400 watts/sq meter, then the ocean is neither heating nor cooling, it is staying the same – might one say the two are in equilibrium with each other?
Further, if the CO2/H2O were radiating MORE than 400 watts/sq meter, then that is when I would say the DLR is ‘warming’ the ocean.
That’s just how I look at. One object is warming another when the object doing the warming raises the temperature of the other object ABOVE the temperature state the other object is in.
Now even that could be argued semantically, because if I were out in the cold air, my hands were cold, and I put a pair of gloves on, my hands would become warmer. I might say, ‘my gloves are warming my hands – though I could also say, ” . . my hands are warming AS A RESULT of the gloves” (prevent them from losing heat in the cold air ). . .
So obviously this discussion over ‘warming’ vs’ reduced rate of cooling won’t end, but I still prefer ‘reduced rate of cooling.
I should mention that even with this discussion and my perspective, I agree with your arguments.

134. Willis Eschenbach says:

Sun Spot says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm

re: Alexander Duranko says: August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Anyone ???, I’m hearing crickets on this item.

I couldn’t make any sense out of what he said. Too many posts, too little time, I moved on. You want to engage me, make it brief, clear, and interesting.
Also, put in a link or quote the subject. I had to go find his mystery text, why should I have to?
Sorry,
w.

135. Dave Springer,
“Absolutely. It’s called pyregeometer. Wanna buy one?”
And that is exactly the problem with Climate Science and the way the problem is stated. Stefan Boltzman does not compute 390 w/m2 from the AVERAGE surface of the earth unless it is to a vacum. What would happen to the surface of the ocean if we were able to remove the atmospheric pressure and radiation from above it?? I would love to see a video!!!
These things should be built in pairs to only measure up and down at the same time so Climate Scientists can’t play games!!! Even then we dont’t get the other directions!! 8>)

136. Willis Eschenbach says:

Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

As we all know, heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation. If the top 50 micrometers of the ocean is warmed by IR, wouldn’t those molecules slough off their extra energy almost instantly via conduction, warming the adjacent molecules? And so on, transferring the heat deeper into the ocean. Am I missing something?

The claim seems to be (e.g. Tallbloke)

Warm water molecules rise to the top. Warm rock molecules conduct heat to their neighbours, which can’t go anywhere.

IR heats the top molecule. It passes some reduced amount of that heat to the molecule below. But what tallbloke forgets is that the top molecule can’t make the second molecule warmer than the top molecule, heat doesn’t flow from cooler to warmer.
Since the second molecule is not as warm as the top molecule, in contradiction to tallbloke’s claim, it doesn’t rise to the top. And the same for the layers further down. The heat is transmitted down and down, but each layer can’t heat the lower layer more than itself, heat won’t flow uphill. So the water, though warming, doesn’t “rise to the top” as claimed.
All of this, however, assumes a quiescent ocean, and as a long-time sailor, I can assure you that from the tropics to the Arctic, and I’ve sailed them, a quiescent ocean is the rare exception, not the rule. Generally, there is surface turbulence, the idea of an unchanging sheet of molecules at the top layer is an illusion.
w.

137. Dave Springer says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm
“I have referred to generally accepted estimates of radiative loss from the surface (usually taken as ~ 390 w/m2), evaporative loss (~ 80 w/m2), convective loss (~ 20 w/m2) and sun hitting the surface (usually taken as 170 w/m2). ”
The same people who generally accept a 3C rise in global average temperature per CO2 doubling. Let’s look at an actual study of ocean heat budget (which I’ve posted before and you either ignored or forgot):
http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~carton/pdfs/foltzetal03.pdf

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. C5, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584, 2003
Seasonal mixed layer heat budget of the tropical Atlantic Ocean
Gregory R. Foltz, Semyon A. Grodsky, and James A. Carton
Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Net surface heat flux is a combination of latent and
sensible heat loss, shortwave radiation absorption, and net
longwave emission. Sensible heat loss is insignificant (<10
W m2) due to small air-sea temperature differences, while
net emission of longwave radiation is a relatively constant
50 W m2 [da Silva et al., 1994].

The math ain’t difficult Willis. The tropical Atlantic absorbs about 200Wm from the sun. What goes in must come out. 10Wm it loses by conduction. 50Wm it loses by radiation. The rest, 140Wm, is lost through latent heat of vaporization.
10/200 = 5% lost by conduction
50/200 = 25% lost by radiation
140/200 = 70% lost by evaporation
What part of that do you and Trenberth and the rest of the bandwagon science brigade not understand?

138. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
August 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Willis
First of all and importantly, we are not talking about mm but rather microns. Due to the wavelength, DWLWIR cannot penetrate more than a few microns into water. The problem is that nearly always these first few microns of the ocean are divorced from the ocean being in reality wind swept spume and spray.

Agreed, note that I said “under a mm” because I didn’t want to get into a bunfight about exactly how much. As you point out, it is much less than a mm.
However, as a long time sailor and commercial fisherman, I can assure you that the idea that “nearly always”, “wind swept spume and spray” is common on the world’s oceans in the daytime, let alone at night, doesn’t pass the laugh test.
Spray, and also spume (whitecaps), only occurs in (and is used as an indicator of) higher wind speeds. The Beaufort scale doesn’t even mention spray until 20 knots of wind (10 m/sec), and then it’s only “some spray”.
Finally, on the occasions when they are happening, both spray and foam are only momentarily “divorced” from the ocean, they quickly remarry. Within seconds they will fall from the sky and mix back into the mass … ironically, mixing in the IR they absorbed moments ago, and providing yet another mechanism for that mixing …
The existence of spray and spume only serves to mix the DLR warmed water more forcefully, and in those conditions there will be high surface turbulence in any case, also mixing in the DLR warmed molecules of water.
w.

139. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
Can you or someone please explain to me how an ocean that receives only 200Wm of incoming energy can possibly emit more than that? The figure of 390Wm lost by radiative transfer is physically impossible. That would require it be absorbing at least 390Wm which it absolutely does not do. Have you people never heard of the law of conservation of energy? Maybe it’s the thorium dissolved in the ocean that producing all the extra heat, huh? The sun gets focused into a laser beam by water amplification which heats the thorium which causes it to condense and give off more heat than it absorbs through some mechanism that left unexplained except to say it definitely isn’t fission.
God almighty the pseudoscience nonsense pecked out by pikers around here sure gets frustrating at times. It’s so thick in the OP you can cut it with a knife.

140. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm
“…You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.
///////////////////////////////
It is only in climate science that such a statement could be made!!!
It is akin to a bioligist claiming that he has created life by not killing a laboratory rat. Sure, by not killing the rat, the net effect is that you have a living rat, but not killing something is not the same as giving life to something. Likewise slowing the rate of cooling is not the same as warming. They are quite different processes. No wonder climate science is so off the rails.

Enough with the stupid semantics. When you put on a jacket, you say “Boy, that jacket really warmed me up.” We know a jacket can’t warm you, it just slows the cooling. But that’s what we call it, because I’m warmer with the jacket than without it.
What I don’t understand is what slightest difference this makes. If the ocean is losing 400 w/m2, and it is gaining 170 w/m2, I don’t care in the slightest what you call that. What I want to know is, if DLR isn’t heating the ocean, what makes up the missing energy? Gamma rays? So enough with the semantics, and answer the question—what’s keeping the oceans liquid, call it what you want, if it’s not DLR?
w.

141. John Brookes says:

Good on you, Willis, for trying to do a little education here. You have great patience.

142. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
August 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Willis, when did you start taking acid again???
“We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That’s a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.”
A man of your intelligence and learning should NOT be throwing BS like this around. The ocean is NOT losing 390 w/m2. It is losing 390-~320w/m2=~60w/m2 which is far less than the 170w/m2 that it is absorbing. Where that heat comes from for the 30+70 is then quite obvious. …
This is the kind of BS that you get involved in when you start ignoring real physics.

Please stop the condescending snarkiness, it just makes you look ugly.
I am listing individual energy flows, not net flows. If you want to use net flows that is up to you. But either one is a perfectly valid way to analyze the data, and you look like an idiot for abusing me for using a perfectly valid method.
I can hand you a hundred dollar bill, and at the same time you hand me four twenties. That’s one way to describe the transaction, the way I described it above, listing the individual flows. It is valid and true that I gave you a hundred dollars. It is also valid and true that you gave me eighty dollars.
You can also say that I gave you twenty dollars. That’s also a totally valid description of the exact same situation, measuring the net flows.
What you don’t get to do is abuse me because I don’t use net flows. Go away and think about your unpleasant tone, it’s not appreciated, and on the mathematics, you’re just plain wrong.
w.
PS—you say:

You also mention the air has no thermal mass.

QUOTE MY WORDS, you unpleasant person, I made no such statement, that is a calumnious falsehood.

143. David Falkner says:

What happens to the DLR if the ocean doesn’t absorb it? Does it power Santa’s sled back to the North Pole? Go back to space? Why haven’t satellites definitively proved this? Quit wasting your time on BS folks. Willis, you have better things to do, right? I can understand, by the way, the reason for using gross over net. I wouldn’t say acceptable, I would say preferable.

144. Dave Springer says:

Brian W says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm
“Dave Springer, steven mosher, Jim, smokey
Neither clouds, nor water, fellows DO NOT glow in IR. Since IR is by definition non visible radiation, YOU CANNOT SEE IT. Get it. GOES colors its pictures so you can see something which is incapable of exciting vision. So enough of the crap.”
http://www.amazon.com/Sightmark-Night-Raider-2-5×50-Vision/dp/B003UCC68E
I never leave home without my passive night-vision gun scope which brings everything you survey into glowing contrast. It makes you glow with confidence that nothing will escape your notice in even the darkest of dangerous dark alleys.
Seriously, that’s a pretty lame nit to pick especially since we defined the glow as an infrared glow which by definition cannot be seen by the naked eye.

145. DR says:

No mention of the Coriolis effect?
How does a rain drop freeze? Did someone figure that out yet?
If this is an exercise in determining if ~100 ppm of CO2 can account for the OHC increases seen for the last ~50 years, I beg the question to be asked what is the heat capacity of CO2 that allows for it to warm the oceans more so than the sun itself.
Just wondering.

146. Richard111 says:

Having got used to the idea that temperature varies to the fourth power, and recently learning that photon flux varies to the third power, I was hoping I might learn how this fits in the above discussion.

147. Dave Springer says:

Brian W says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm
“Neither clouds, nor water, fellows DO NOT glow in IR. Since IR is by definition non visible radiation, YOU CANNOT SEE IT.”
Yeah, but some animals can. I hope you aren’t some kind of species bigot who thinks human eyeballs are some kind of universal standard for what glows and what doesn’t?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_sensing_in_snakes

The ability to sense infrared thermal radiation evolved independently in several different families of snakes. Essentially, it allows these animals to “see” radiant heat at wavelengths between 5 and 30 μm to a degree of accuracy such that a blind rattlesnake can target vulnerable body parts of the prey at which it strikes. It was previously thought that the organs evolved primarily as prey detectors, but recent evidence suggests that it may also be used in thermoregulation and predator detection, making it a more general-purpose sensory organ than was supposed.

148. Alexander Duranko says:

Various people above have claimed that DLR is real because you measure it with a radiometer AND it increases when relative humidity increases. Well folks, you really do need a basic course in engineering heat transfer starting with Prevost’s Law then Hoyt C Hottell’s 1954 paper on calculating the emissivity and absorptivity of gases, then moving onto Kirchhoff’s radiation Law, a corollary of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
Prevost’s Law of Exchanges [1840] states that at radiative equilibrium, any body above absolute zero emits radiation and receives exactly the same radiation from the opposite direction. In the case of hot gases, it’s spherical emission and absorption. If there’s an excess in a particular direction, there is no equilibrium. So when you point a radiometer upwards to measure ‘DLR’, you then have to reverse it to measure ‘ULR’ and the difference is what causes heating or cooling.
Hottell showed how you calculate emissivity as a function of pressure and concentration. Increase the concentration of a greenhouse gas and you increase emissivity. So DLR only apparently increases; in reality, the radiative flux in the opposite direction also has to increase.
This is why clouds appear warmer; emissivity tends to unity compared with c. 0.1 for moist air at ambient pressure. This leads onto Kirchhoff’s Law which is that at radiative equilibrium, emissivity = absorptivity.
I find it amazing that any physical scientist should not know these basic scientific facts. Go away until you do know them because this DLR fantasy has to stop.

149. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
“Please stop the condescending snarkiness, it just makes you look ugly.”
Then please stop parroting Trenberth, it just makes you look stupid.

150. TimTheToolMan says:

The fact is Willis that you’re rightly a stickler for precision. Precision in thinking leads to precision in analysis and thinking the DLR warms the ocean is sloppy and going to lead you astray.
Ooh look clouds overhead, the DLR has increased by 100W/m2, thats got to really be heating the ocean now!
DSR warms the ocean. DLR slows the rate of cooling.

151. Willis Eschenbach says:

ferd berple says:
August 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Posted on August 15, 2011 by Willis Eschenbach
“So if the DLR isn’t heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 … then why isn’t the ocean an ice-cube?”
Willis, no amount of theory can contradict observations. A more difficult question is this: Why are the poles a block of ice if DLR is so high?

Because a) DLR is lower at the poles, and b) the ULR plus evaporation is higher than the DLR plus solar input, otherwise the block of ice would be melting, wouldn’t it? … now how about the answer to my question?
w.

152. Dave Springer says:

Hey Willis,
If I sell you a beat up surfboard for \$390 and give you an instant rebate of \$340 what’s your actual cost for the surfboard?
You and Trenberth sure have some interesting methods of accounting. Maybe you should both be in congress. You’d fit right in. You could collect \$390 billion in carbon taxes, refund \$340 billion of it in carbon credits, then add to your stump speech that you increased government revenue by \$390 billion.
I’m sorry for mocking this but some things just plain deserve mockery.

153. steven mosher says:
August 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm
I sit outside on a freezing winter night with a space blanket.
The blanket doesnt warm me. The blanket slows the heat loss via radiation.

Actually Mosh, the silvering on the space blanket does very very little. A piece of clear plastic will be very nearly as effective. This is because nearly all of the effectiveness of a space blanket is in reducing convection, and thus, wind-chill. The radiative component is tiny by comparison. Tests have been done on this in the climbing and backpacking magazines years ago. Maybe you can find the info online too.

154. Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm
As we all know, heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation. If the top 50 micrometers of the ocean is warmed by IR, wouldn’t those molecules slough off their extra energy almost instantly via conduction, warming the adjacent molecules? And so on, transferring the heat deeper into the ocean. Am I missing something?

Yes, you’re missing the fact that warmed water molecules become more buoyant than their neighbors and head upwards. Rock particles don’t do that.
Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm
And of course, something is warming the oceans.

Yep, it’s called the Sun.

155. Willis,
you want serious? OK, dead serious, here is the problem with individual energy flows.
IF there was no atmosphere and no GHG’s above the ocean the instant temperature and energy emissions would have no relation to 390 w/m2. Computing this number is an abortion. My understanding of this from people who understand how to derive the equation is that it simply is not real.
The fact that there IS atmosphere and GHG’s above the ocean means that there has been a relative equilibrium reached where you CAN measure these fluxes, BUT, they are not meaningful without the opposing flux. Saying there is 390 w/m2 is only meaningful if there is ALSO 320 w/m2 down to go back up to create that much energy in the first place. The IR down is the IR up, time shifted by a tiny amount of time, minus the losses that went on out and were transferred to the atmosphere and a few other miscellaneous things. Talking about heating the ocean is poor semantics as the flux is into the ocean with the SW and out of the ocean with IR. IF you wanted to get really picky we would have to include the gravitational energy and electrical energy that disrupts the ocean and atmosphere adding to the wind from the convection. Just like the conduction between dissimilar objects, at a very low level there may be occasional flows against the gradient, but, generally it is all warmer to cooler. I would stick with the SLOWS COOLING and forget the abortion of 390 w/m2 as it only allows people to get confused. If you say 390 you must say 320… (or whatever the correct numbers of the situation are)
“I can hand you a hundred dollar bill, and at the same time you hand me four twenties. That’s one way to describe the transaction, the way I described it above, listing the individual flows. ”
You could also give me a hundred dollar bill without me giving you back anything. The ocean cannot give the atmosphere 390 w/m2 without first getting the 320!!!! At least not with our current set up.
I apologise for misquoting you. Your statment was: “It can’t be heating the air, because the atmosphere has far too little thermal mass.” But some of it is heating the air.
The best idea is to ignore the manner in which Climate Scientists talk about it dividing the fluxes that cannot exist without each other and speak about the net flow. This may make no one happy, but, is most realistic. The surface regime emits about 60 w/m2. The instant fluxes making up this amount are ~390 up and ~320 down. The ocean absorbs plenty of SW to create this balance.
PS: I was addicted to cocaine twice so, if you want to make fun of me for it I deserve it!!! As an absolute and not just because of this. Reading your bio didn’t give me the feeling you had been an addict so I apologize if this was a low blow.

156. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

August 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

“I have referred to generally accepted estimates of radiative loss from the surface (usually taken as ~ 390 w/m2), evaporative loss (~ 80 w/m2), convective loss (~ 20 w/m2) and sun hitting the surface (usually taken as 170 w/m2). ”

The same people who generally accept a 3C rise in global average temperature per CO2 doubling. Let’s look at an actual study of ocean heat budget (which I’ve posted before and you either ignored or forgot):
http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~carton/pdfs/foltzetal03.pdf
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. C5, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584, 2003

Seasonal mixed layer heat budget of the tropical Atlantic Ocean
Gregory R. Foltz, Semyon A. Grodsky, and James A. Carton
Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Net surface heat flux is a combination of latent and
sensible heat loss, shortwave radiation absorption, and net
longwave emission. Sensible heat loss is insignificant (<10
W m2) due to small air-sea temperature differences, while
net emission of longwave radiation is a relatively constant
50 W m2 [da Silva et al., 1994].

The math ain’t difficult Willis. The tropical Atlantic absorbs about 200Wm from the sun. What goes in must come out. 10Wm it loses by conduction. 50Wm it loses by radiation. The rest, 140Wm, is lost through latent heat of vaporization.
10/200 = 5% lost by conduction
50/200 = 25% lost by radiation
140/200 = 70% lost by evaporation
What part of that do you and Trenberth and the rest of the bandwagon science brigade not understand?

Stop acting like I’m an idiot and like Trenberth is making stupid assumptions, Dave, it’s a foolish error in both cases. We know what we’re talking about. Here’s the part that you seem not to understand:
You (and the cited paper) are talking about net radiation flows. Trenberth and I are talking about individual radiation flows.
For some reason you (and Kuhnkat) seem to think that the net flow method is the only valid method. In fact, the description of individual flows actually describes the physical processes. There actually are two separate and distinct radiation flows, one in each direction. Your “net flow” description is the one that has no direct equivalent in the real world, it is a mathematical construct. It’s a real and valid construct, a useful construct to be sure but the individual flow method is just as real and valid, and it also has the huge advantage of being an accurate description of the actual underlying reality.
w.

157. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
August 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Smokey says:
August 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

As we all know, heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation. If the top 50 micrometers of the ocean is warmed by IR, wouldn’t those molecules slough off their extra energy almost instantly via conduction, warming the adjacent molecules? And so on, transferring the heat deeper into the ocean. Am I missing something?

Yes, you’re missing the fact that warmed water molecules become more buoyant than their neighbors and head upwards. Rock particles don’t do that.

That would only be true if the upper water molecules could warm the lower molecules to a higher temperature than the upper molecules … but they can’t do that, heat won’t flow uphill.
So the lower molecules, although warmed by the upper molecules, will be cooler than the upper molecules. As a result, despite the fact that they are warming, they won’t “head upwards” as you claim. I discussed this above.
w.

158. Tallbloke,
I would add the space blanket also retains the moisture which carries the most energy!! My first experience with a space blanket was one that belonged to a friend. I had a cheap bedroll and we were sleeping on the ground outside a Yosemite campground to save a few bucks. There was a drizzle so my friend loaned me his space blanket. I ended up wetter than if I hadn’t used it!!! All my body moisture condensed in the cheap bedroll soaking me. Of course I didn’t get that cold until I got out of it in the morning in wet clothes. DANG!!!

159. Tallbloke,
That reminds me of a Greenhouse test with IR treated and NON-IR treated plastic covers of the same material and thickness to prove IR effectiveness. The actual numbers were close to 5 degrees difference between the IR treated cover and the non-IR cover. I was shocked. I then reread the specs and found the IR treated cover ALSO had a treatment to minimize condensation collecting on it. The reduced moisture condensing on the cover made most of the difference I believe!! None of the other Greenhouse covers treated for IR were that effective with the same thickness and type material!!

160. intrepid_wanders says:

Eschenbach-sensai.
Moderation leads to generosity,
Mercy leads to courage,
Please do not take offense with the deriding tones of various “unpleasantries”. As mentioned before, there are issues with working with the discrete and jumping back to the bulk. I see things discussed here very similar to the counter-intuitive concepts of gravity that Galileo discovered with the balls on a ramp. To some, they may be be clear, but to others, the details cloud the picture.
The two concepts that Mosher-sensai mention are not inconceivable, but the discrete level does cause issues. Unless the atmospheric energy transfer model can be conveyed to why the anticyclonic (Red Spot, and the additional coalition of white spots) event on Jupiter has persisted for possibly hundreds of years, there will be questions.
Thank you for contribution to at least my knowledge.
POST SCRIPT (TO ALL THAT ARE DEBATING DLR):
This issue is NOT the the NET Daytime Radiation. The ISSUE is the NIGHTTIME BLANKET EFFECT. When the SUN is out, it will ALWAYS dominate the “energy budget”. Obviously it is the FIREPLACE that warms our world. When the IR saturated H2O, CO2 and other vibrational molecules fall back to sea level at night, some are not ABSORBING new energy. Nighttime tempertures will be “slightly warmer”, which will allow the oceans to retain more heat from the DLR. Vector algebra still works, only in the dark ;).
I believe a successful model of Jupiter would be a huge step in modelling, that is if there are no solids to screw up the equations 😉

161. Dave Springer says:

Once again, the crazy idea that downwelling longwave radiation (DLR, also called infra-red or IR, or “greenhouse radiation”) can’t heat the ocean has raised its ugly head on one of my threads.
There are lots of good arguments against the AGW consensus, but this one is just silly.
Look, folks, there’s lot’s of good, valid scientific objections against the AGW claims, but the idea that DLR can’t heat the ocean is nonsense. Go buy an infrared lamp, put it over a pan of water, and see what happens. It only hurts the general skeptical arguments when people believe and espouse impossible things …
The craziest, ugliest, silliest, nonsensical impossible thing (you set the tone, Willis, not me) is that an ocean which receives a net input of 200Wm can emit more than that and sustain the loss indefinitely. Conservation of energy is a bitch that isn’t going to budge.
This is ground control to Major Tom.
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you….

162. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
“Stop acting like I’m an idiot and like Trenberth is making stupid assumptions, Dave, it’s a foolish error in both cases. We know what we’re talking about. Here’s the part that you seem not to understand:
You (and the cited paper) are talking about net radiation flows. Trenberth and I are talking about individual radiation flows.”
Glad to oblige. Stop acting like an idiot and I’ll treating you like one. The net flow is all that matters. Get that through your thick skull.

163. @Tallbloke
“The question is, do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant”
Again we are in the realm of semantics, but the energy flow is clear. Since the slowly overturning ocean is warmer than it would be in the absence of nighttime DLR, we say DLR warms the bulk ocean. How? By preventing the bulk ocean from cooling.

I don’t know if Willis is going to respond to my comment directly, so for now I’ll have to pick through the thread to see where he has answered other people by addressing my arguments.
The energy flow is indeed clear. The net effect of long wave radiation at the ocean-air interface is to cool the ocean by some 66W/m^2. Talking about downward flow of long wave radiation without considering upward (and sideways!) flow at the same time doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a flux.
.The bulk ocean is actually warmer because of the DLR … but not because the “DLR heated water molecules make it downwards” as Tallbloke suggests
Willis has this the wrong way round. He said in argument one:
“the ocean can circulate the heat downwards through turbulence”
and I said:
“.do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant, and because the vortices which mix solar energy so efficiently are below the wave troughs, several thousands of times deeper down than the depth DLR penetrates water to.”
But anyway, I’m glad Willis has abandoned argument one.
Willis Eschenbach says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm
The claim seems to be (e.g. Tallbloke)
Warm water molecules rise to the top. Warm rock molecules conduct heat to their neighbours, which can’t go anywhere.
IR heats the top molecule. It passes some reduced amount of that heat to the molecule below. But what tallbloke forgets is that the top molecule can’t make the second molecule warmer than the top molecule, heat doesn’t flow from cooler to warmer.

Radiative transfer is a quantum operation according to theory, a water molecule can’t pass part of a photon. If a water molecule emits a photon to it’s neighbor below and drops to a lower vibrational state it becomes ‘cooler’ that the molecule below, which will rise to displace it. It’s worth noting at this point that the ocean surface is nearly always warmer than the air above it, and cooler than the water below it, so conduction isn’t going to work to get energy downwards either, as the second law of thermodynamics has to be observed. Any conduction taking place will be from the ocean into the air, because as Willis correctly states:
“heat doesn’t flow from cooler to warmer.”
I haven’t had time to read all the comments. so if I’ve missed another of WIllis’ references to my comment then I hope someone will flag it up. I’d be particularly interested to know if he has addressed my concluding point:
“But this isn’t about absolutes. I’m sure the increased DLR warmed the ocean a little bit, or at least slowed its rate of cooling a little bit. I think the increased insolation due to (empirically measured) reduced cloud cover in the tropics 1980-1998 did a lot more to increase ocean heat content. To turn your question back to you, where else could that energy have gone?”

164. cal says:

For those who insist that DLR reduces the cooling and does not warm the surface consider the following analogy. Consider two groups of people are facing each other. A machine throws huge rocks over the heads of group A towards group B. Some of the rocks richochet and are lost the rest break into pieces. The people from group B pick up the pieces and throw them back. Some of these pieces fly past group A but others are picked up by group A who throw them back to group B. Now we know that all the rocks originally came from the machine but how do we describe the bombardment of group B? Do we say that they are bombarded by big and small rocks? Or do we say that they are bombarded by big rocks and the presence of group A reduces the number of small rocks that group B throws? I do not think the latter describes reality. One can say that the presence of group A reduces the rate at which small rocks are lost from around the feet of group B but this is not analogeous to warming or reduced cooling it is analogeous to heat accumulation. To recognise the difference one only has to consider the melting of ice which involves heat accumulation but no warming. It would be like group B collecting rocks in piles and waiting before throwing them back.

165. Dave Springer says:

Another bottom line. Trenberth (and Willis by association) are the ones who can’t find the missing heat from the last 50 years. I told y’all where it is. It’s distributed more or less uniformally in a spherical volume of space 100 light years in diameter surrounding the earth.
Keep spinning your wheels looking downward into the deep ocean if you must. I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make him drink. All I really ask is that you don’t reach into my wallet to cover the cost of your wild goose chase, K?

166. Mark.R says:

This here is a oiece from a paper by NIWA.
Decadal temperature changes in the Tasman Sea(There was a warming of the Tasman Sea deep to 800 mtre.)
Quote
“The first possible forcing mechanism to consideris air-sea flux. This mechanism is unlikely given the depth penetration of the warming signal, as surfacewarming would increase stratification rather than warm the deep ocean. Air-sea flux can also be eliminated as a possibility by examining European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts(ECMWF) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) heat flux data. The ECMWF andNCEP products indicate that the annually-smoothedheat flux varies between c. 10 W/m2 and c. 40 W/m2 with a mean of c. 25 W/m2. However, the heatflux is always from the ocean to the atmosphere, i.e.,the ocean is losing heat to the atmosphere rather than gaining it”.
publications-journals-nzjm-2005-107-lo.pdf (261.68K)
publications-journals-nzjm-2005-107-lo.pdf

167. Mark.R says:
168. TimTheToolMan says:

“Since the second molecule is not as warm as the top molecule, in contradiction to tallbloke’s claim, it doesn’t rise to the top. And the same for the layers further down. The heat is transmitted down and down, but each layer can’t heat the lower layer more than itself, heat won’t flow uphill. So the water, though warming, doesn’t “rise to the top” as claimed.”
Nice thought but you’re ignoring the fact that the ocean is radiating upwards more than the atmosphere radiates towards it. The energy flow is upwards not downwards. Therefore the molecules at the top are on average losing more energy than they are gaining and so there is no downwards movement of heat as you suggest.
Its my view that the energy the DLR imparts on the topmost ocean surface molecules is very quickly re-radiated back up, so you can think of radiation at the surface of the ocean as bouncing between the atmosphere (CO2 and water vapour) and the water itself. Minus that which is used for evaporation. This is a simplistic explanation so dont bother attacking it on lack of detail. A more detailed explanation was made over at the Science of Doom.

169. Hmm Tallbloke. Rather than trust a magazine about how reflective insulation works or does not work I think I trust the stuff I built for DOD. And I’ll use my thermos to keep my coffee from cooling faster than it would. And If I have to go near a wacking hot fire i’ll also wear a reflective suit
here have some fun. there’s plenty more
http://www.insul.net/howto.php
And yes, if you use a space blanket too long you get hoarfrost in the inside.. cause its working. but eventually get to the fire

170. eco-geek says:

testing testing the comments under obesity and AGW are not working

171. You note that nobody (except willis) wants to look at the empirical evidence. I posted it up there boys..
Perhaps the D word should be allowed for this topic

172. Bob_FJ says:

Willis Eschenbach @ August 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

“…And I still haven’t heard you [TimTheToolMan] or anyone else explain why the ocean is liquid, what mysterious energy source you claim keeps the ocean from freezing soltd. Losing 400 w/m2 as upwelling longwave, gaining only 170 w/m2 from the sun, here comes the ice age …”

Willis, I’m shocked! Putting aside just where you get your numbers from, they are somewhat similar to those in the Trenberth et al 2009 cartoon of energy balance. Do you NOT understand that EMR (radiation) IS A DIFFERENT FORM OF ENERGY TO HEAT? Radiation whizzes around in ALL directions but it is not HEAT. The net global average HEAT loss via radiation from the surface according to Trenberth is a mere 66, not 400 W/m^2, and the incoming averaged solar is 181 W/m^2. But, of course the annual global diurnal/ seasonal/ regional averages etc on that cartoon are a nonsense anyway, if you would like to proceed to a more complicated discussion

173. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From tallbloke on August 16, 2011 at 12:38 am:

Radiative transfer is a quantum operation according to theory, a water molecule can’t pass part of a photon. If a water molecule emits a photon to it’s neighbor below and drops to a lower vibrational state it becomes ‘cooler’ that the molecule below, which will rise to displace it.

Dang it, tallbloke, I thought you were smarter than that. Guess you’re just not living up to your billing.
You’re examining two individual molecules. The top one passes a photon to the lower one, making the lower one “warmer.” Then what? Why would the lower one rise higher than the other? They are both affected by the same gravity, they have the same mass. Arguably, by acquiring that photon’s worth of energy and thus that much virtual mass, the lower one is infinitesimally more massive. So why would it rise?
Warmer water rises above cooler water because it’s less dense, there is less mass per unit volume. Density is an aggregate quality, takes more than one identical molecule each for two equal volumes to say one is more dense than another.
And why is warmer water less dense that cooler water (assuming both are above 4°C for fresh water and equal pressure)? Collisions. The warmer water has molecules that are more energetic, knocking the fellow molecules they impact farther away, leading to greater spacing than with cooler water. When thermal energy is transferred by collisions that’s known as heat conduction. The possibilities for conductive transfer of energy far outweigh those for radiative transfer in a liquid medium. If one molecule would gain energy by a radiative transfer, chances are excellent it will soon lose that energy to a cooler molecule by conductive transfer.
You’re looking at an unlikely form of energy transfer that effects a highly temporary energy increase, while arguing a molecule will rise above another identical molecule when acted on by gravity. I think you need some more thought about that mechanism you’ve proposed that “disproves” what Willis has said.

174. Jessie says:

Not quoting any of your words Willis on this post
and visiting the website on buoys data I would suggest speaking with the pilots & or HQ of Mission Aviation Fellowship.
I am sure they would have much experience and comment for your current thesis.
PS the reason for suggesting this is that I flew as a passenger with them over 30 years and they know their industry and environment.

175. Curious Bystander says:

I’m with Bob_FJ.
I must say thogh I don’t ‘get’ the argument that a blanket around a human body simply slows cooling. That would be so if the body was set at an initial temperature and no longer warmed. But the body generates heat which it loses to the environment. A blanket will help prevent that loss true, but the air it traps and the blanket’s interior surface will be heated by the heat of the body. If the external temperature is ‘cold’ then the interior temperature will be warmer. That is warming, not slowing cooling.

176. Kelvin Vaughan says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm
Still unclear on how a so-called “greenhouse” actually works?
The glass stops the hot air rising! Remove a pane from the roof and most of the heat escapes.

177. steven mosher says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:52 am
Hmm Tallbloke. Rather than trust a magazine about how reflective insulation works or does not work I think I trust the stuff I built for DOD. And I’ll use my thermos to keep my coffee from cooling faster than it would. And If I have to go near a wacking hot fire i’ll also wear a reflective suit

Hi Mosh. It’s all about relative scale of effects. Reflectivity becomes useful when the temperature differential between the two surfaces is high, like in the fire situation you mention. In the case of a cragfast climber at 37.5C whose outer layering is radiating at 10C into an ambient temperature of 3C, the benefit the space blanket gives in terms of preventing convective loss is far greater than the benefit of it reflectiing the emitted long wave from a 10C jacket with a 0.7 emissivity back onto the jacket. This is doubly true when the wind is blowing.

178. JJB MKI says:

@mosher,
Thank you for the thermos analogy, I’d always assumed they worked by ‘trapping heat’ ;). Would a more suitable analogy for greenhouse gasses with regard to reflected DLR and the oceans not be a flask covered with a thin layer of soggy toilet paper? Sure, it would slow down heat loss through IR reflection, but to any remotely significant degree? Not making a point, just askin’. It would be nice to see Tallbloke’s points addressed with something other than snark too..

179. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:52 am
From tallbloke on August 16, 2011 at 12:38 am:
Radiative transfer is a quantum operation according to theory, a water molecule can’t pass part of a photon. If a water molecule emits a photon to it’s neighbor below and drops to a lower vibrational state it becomes ‘cooler’ that the molecule below, which will rise to displace it.
You’re examining two individual molecules. The top one passes a photon to the lower one, making the lower one “warmer.” Then what? Why would the lower one rise higher than the other?

It’s true I oversimplified the argument, but in the end I think we agree. Groups of molecules which have warmed each other up by collisions after having radiative energy imparted to them will be less dense per unit volume, and that’s why they are more buoyant against gravity than surrounding groups of cooler molecules and will rise.
The possibilities for conductive transfer of energy far outweigh those for radiative transfer in a liquid medium.
Your conductivity argument shows how ineffective conduction is in heating the ocean bulk, since the ocean surface is cooler than the water below. 2nd law and all that… So if conduction is more likely than radiative transfer, and conduction is limited by the fact that the surface is cooler than the subsurface, I think the general thrust of what I’m saying stands, despite the oversimplification you correctly pointed out.
Thanks for the response.

After reading over 170 comments I am starting to believe that for all the money spent on AGW promotion, no one has actually done the simple experiment required.
A tank of sea water at a known temperature.
Air at a known temperature, humidity and wind speed.
IR source emitting only between 10 and 20 microns with a spectral peek around 15 microns.
A few accurate thermometers.
Who cares about chalk on blackboards? Has no one done this very simple empirical test?
(And no, Mr. Mosher the RC link is no where close to what is required. Scattered data points from a ship at sea. Measured emission not just backscattering of clouds and only looked at ocean skin temperature. And as to isolated testing of the 15 micron frequency totally useless.)

181. Spector says:

Note that radiation and absorption are reciprocal. If it cannot absorb, it cannot cool by emission. If you run your recording backwards, most of the basic laws of physics work exactly the same–emission becomes equivalent to absorption. As the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere near the surface is quite high when compared to that of CO2, I expect that most of the local greenhouse effect near the surface is due to photons emitted from the water vapor in the air. This is often referred to as ‘back-radiation.’ I believe the argument being made is that this radiation is being rejected (perhaps reflected) while the normal LWIR radiation emitted from surface is being allowed to pass. I don’t think nature is that selective.
Yes, something is warming the oceans–sunlight. As far as I could tell; that was not the issue; it was the misconception that LWIR from local greenhouse gas molecules could not return heat to the ocean even though these same molecules had been heated by similar LWIR photons emitted from the surface of the ocean.

182. Richard S Courtney says:

Willis:
I do not dispute your argument, but I write to point out what I think to be a significant omission from your article: i.e. consideration of how the back radiation inhibits loss of heat from depths of the ocean surface layer. However, some of your responses in the thread suggest to me that you are aware of the point.
I write to explicitly state the point.
The backradiation is IR so only heats the upper ~1 mm thickness of the ocean surface layer. Little of this heat can be moved to lower depths because it adds so much heat to so small a volume that most of the absorbed IR energy is removed by increased evapouration from the surface.
However, solar energy in visible wavelengths penetrates to many meters below the ocean surface and is absorbed at those depths. This heat from visible wavelengths can move up and down. That which reaches the surface will increase evapouration from the surface and, thus, not be available to add heat to lower depths of the ocean.
The heating of the surface layer by back radiation inhibits the heat from visible wavelengths reaching the surface and being removed by evapouration.
In effect, the heating of the ~1 mm surface layer by back radiation acts as an insulator which inhibits heat from below that thin layer reaching the surface. And this ‘insulant’ effect results in more heat absorbed from visible wavelengths being available to add to ocean heat content.
I cannot quantify this ‘insulant’ effect, but I suspect it is greater than the direct ocean heating from the back radiation.
Richard

183. Alexander Vissers says:

I cannot really see why this has anything to do with climate change. The top mm of the ocean considering the opacity for short wave radiation is relavant for both absorbtion and emission. The temperature of the atmosphere – of which both the weather and climate are attributes – is determined by the ocean absorbtion, emission and evaporation, so whatever happens to the top layer is what determines weather and climate. .

184. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm
So the lower molecules, although warmed by the upper molecules, will be cooler than the upper molecules. As a result, despite the fact that they are warming, they won’t “head upwards” as you claim.

Hi Willis,
What I’m saying is generally true. It may get a bit more complex in the ‘skin layer’, see my reply to KD Knoebel above.
These basic points stand.
1) The ocean surface is cooler than the water below. So if your heat conducted from the surface where the water can be excited by back radiation leaves the surface warmer, it doesn’t stay that way for long. Moreover, within a very few iterations of your mechanism, representing only a short distance, the amount of energy available for more downward propagation will be negligible anyway.
2) The second law of thermodynamics says that heat won’t flow from cooler to hotter: So conduction is not going to work to heat the ocean bulk. It will work to cool it though, as heat flows from the warmer subsurface to the cooler surface.
3) The overall radiative flux cools the ocean at a rate of ~66W/m^2
The core point you’re claiming seems to be this:
The additional co2 in the atmosphere causes an increase in the downward component of the radiative flux, therefore the ocean will cool slighty slower than before, thus getting warmer because it can’t get rid of solar energy as fast as before.
Please let me know if you feel I’ve mischaracterised this from your point of view.
I haven’t done the calcs yet, but I’d like to know by how much you believe the downward component of the radiative flux will have theoretically increased from when co2 was at 270ppm.
If the ocean surface is 0.5C warmer than when co2 was at 270ppm, then we also need to know how much the upward component of the flux has increased due to the ocean surface radiating at a higher temperature. We can apply the Stefan- Boltzmann Equation to obtain that.
We need to know this because the key figure is the net figure obtained by subtracting the downward component from the upward component of LW radiation.
Once we have this change in net flux, we can compare that to the estimated forcing caused by the reduction in tropical cloud cover allowing greater insolation to the surface of the ocean 1980-1998 to see which is more likely to have caused most of the warming in the late C20th.
Agreed?

185. richard verney says:

Willis
Regarding your comment@Willis Eschenbach says:August 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm
commenting upon my comment richard verney says:August 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm
/////////////////////
I have more than 40 years sailing experience. I am well acquainted with the sea first hand.
I have reviewed many thousands of ships logs covering deep ocean voyages, and leaving aside passages through the doldrums,, I can assure you that the times when a ship on a deep ocean voyage experiences weather conditions of BF4 or less is probably less than 10%. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see just a few days of BF4 or less on a deep ocean voyage. The number of days when a ship experiences BF2 or less is probably 2 or 3% (or even less). Of course, this is just an average and I accept that every voyage will be different, and the same voyage will experience different weather conditions from month to month (depending when the voyage takes place) and even if the same voyage is performed in the same month, there will be differences from year to year according to the then prevailing weather.
You have to bear in mind that we are dealing with microns. Even at BF 2, these few microns are wind swept.
When we see spray (white horses), we are observing visible effects. This is much more than the top few microns of the ocean. We are seeing millimetres if not centimetres of turbulence.
Unfortunately, the human eye does not have the resolution to see microns of turbulence. If it did have that resolution, it would see that the top few microns is wind swept even at BF2.
I do not dispute that what goes up, at some stage goes down. Most of this wind swept spray evaporates and eventually leads to the cloud formation of your earlier post and in turn some of the evaporated water is returned to the ocean or over land as rain. I accept that some part of the wind swept spray may not be fully evaporated and may re-marry the ocean. However, by the time that it has remarried, it has probably already re-radiated the photon received from the DWR such that it is no longer in an excited state.
Even if you get through that ‘barrier’ you still have the problem that the top mm of the ocean is cooler than the layer immediately below it and whilst the turning of the ocean may be effective to mix heat contained in the top 1/2m or metre of the ocean but it is difficult to see how it can effectively turn over the top few microns. To what extent do ‘eddy’ currents overlap the top few microns of the medium and drag those few microns downwards.
I would like to see your scientific explanation of the processes involved on a micron level.

186. Tom in Florida says:

Any warming by DLWR must be extremely miniscule. There are two beaches near my home both with different types of sand. The sand at Nokomis Beach is cool even at midday in summer. I assume the properties of the sand reflect almost all SWR (the sand looks white) so it does not heat up. The sand a few miles away at Manasota Beach is extremely hot at midday in summer. I assume that the properties of the sand absorb most of the SWR (the sand is grey). This sand gets so hot you can actually burn your feet. However, as soon as the Sun gets lower in the sky, the sand cools off rapidly so that you can walk comfortably on it even before sunset. My point is that if DLWR had any effect the sand at Manasota Beach would not cool so fast. Even if there was a small change in the rate of heat loss due to DLWR it has no discernible effect and is overwhelmed by the changes in other radiations.

187. John Eggert says:
August 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm
“1: A continuously heated, flat plate at 15 C is on one side, a parallel, continuously cooled plate at -273C is 20 meters away.”
If you told us the capacitance in farads we could work out the size of the plates, which in turn would give us an idea of the magnitude of the radiation window.

188. Alexander Duranko says:

‘Back radiation’ [‘DLR’] is Prevost Exchange Energy’: it can do no work because at equilibrium, it’s exactly offset by radiation from the opposite direction. That it appears to be higher under clouds is simply the result of higher emissivity. This, the oldest of the Radiation Laws, appears not to have been considered by IPCC researchers, nor have they apparently estimated gas emissivity from Hottel Charts, something I used to do when planning industrial heat treatment processes.
This and other major errors [‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling is really heating for thicker clouds, palaeo-data show warming of the ocean deeps started 2100 years before CO2 rose at the end of the last ice age, no check on thermochemical data for CO2-O2 mixtures which would have shown much lower CO2 ‘climate sensitivity’ ] should also have been picked up.
Miskolczi was forced to leave NASA in 2004 when he showed ‘back radiation’ is the artefact of a 1922 mathematical mistake. After commissioning work to find why ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling wasn’t provable experimentally, NASA published a ‘surface reflection’ justification to claim it’s a small droplet effect. There’s no such physics.
A pattern is emerging. The latest claims, extra heat accumulation in the ocean deeps, double imaginary ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling, appear to me to be a last ditch attempt to protect the high feedback CO2-AGW hypothesis for which there’s absolutely no experimental evidence.
Reportedly the UK Met. Office trying 50% solar, 50% CO2 in its weather forecasting for the UK; a straw in the wind?

189. John W. says:

Two words: heat conduction.
As Willis suggests, leave all the silly stuff to the other side.

190. Dave in Delaware says:

Lets be mindful of our definitions and look carefully at what is happening at different wavelengths of radiant energy. The phrase “Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR)” is often used in the context and implied as ‘backradiation from CO2 as a GHG’. The two are NOT identical.
Hence the opening statement – ‘downwelling longwave radiation (DLR also called infra-red or IR, or ‘greenhouse radiation’) – lumps together things which should be considered separately.
First – Does inbound sunlight warm the ocean? Well of course. And that Inbound solar radiant energy includes a mix of UV (very short), visible, and longer wave IR. Yes, inbound sunshine contains IR, but there is virtually NO overlap of those IR wavelengths with the ‘greenhouse radiation’ wavelengths. You can’t just lump them together, which is why one must be careful of ‘heat lamp’ experiments that could include wavelengths other than GHG ‘backradiation from CO2’.
Next – In their paper, Kiehl and Trenberth 1997, the authors include the famous figure with 390 W m-2 upward Surface Radiation, and 324 Wm-2 Back Radiation. That gives (390 UP minus 324 Down), for a NET of 390 – 324 = 66 W m-2 UPward. Very difficult to heat a surface, either land or ocean, with a net upward loss of heat toward space. (we lose a little on every sale, but we make up for it on volume ::chuckle::)
CLOUDS – How did K&T 1997 get to 324 W m-2 backradiation”? From their abstract – “We find that for the clear sky case the contribution due to water vapor to the total longwave radiative forcing is 75 W·m-2, while for carbon dioxide it is 32 W·m-2. Clouds alter these values, and the effects of clouds on both the longwave and shortwave budget are addressed.” The backradiation from CO2 is only 32 W·m-2, or roughly 10% of the 324 total backradiation cited by K&T. The lion’s share of the 324 backradiation is from liquid H2O in the clouds. Once again we see that “Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR)” is NOT equivalent to ‘backradiation from CO2 as a GHG’. We must be careful of the wavelengths.
Finally, what about some real measurement data? Measured results cited in Evans and Puckring 2005, show CO2 backradiation of 31 to 35 W m-2 for clear sky winter time results (Ontario, Canada), which is a pretty good match for the K&T value. However at that same location, in summer with higher air temperatures and higher humidity, the H2O values went up, but the CO2 backradiation value DROPS to 10.5 W m-2. If the overlap of H2O and CO2 absorption/emission in air caused the CO2 value to drop with summertime humidity in Canada, I can only surmise that the CO2 backradiation over the ocean must be 10 or lower due to the high humidity. Similar backradiation tests in the very low humidity Antarctic showed that CO2 backradiation results there were always 2 to 2 1/2 times LOWER than H2O.
In conclusion – If the H2O as vapor (humidity) in the air is enough to absorb significantly in the CO2 wavelengths, the liquid surface must be an even better absorber, which makes it easy to believe that absorption of the CO2 wavelengths happens in a ‘thin layer’ at the surface.
If the backradiation of CO2 is on the order of 10 W m-2 to the Ocean, it would be difficult to conclude that CO2 as a GHG is doing much to heat the Oceans. And even more difficult to believe that the man-made part of that 10 W m-2 is doing much of anything significant to change the ocean energy balance.
respectfully,
Dave

191. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From tallbloke on August 16, 2011 at 4:33 am:

The core point you’re claiming seems to be this:
The additional co2 in the atmosphere causes an increase in the downward component of the radiative flux, therefore the ocean will cool slighty slower than before, thus getting warmer because it can’t get rid of solar energy as fast as before.
Please let me know if you feel I’ve mischaracterised this from your point of view.

Before Willis gets worked up into an even stronger “quote my words” rage, I’ll point out a glaring one right now. I’ve checked the original post and every reply Willis has made at this post. CO2 is mentioned nowhere by Willis. Why are you tagging him with that? The DLR comes from the greenhouse gases, of which water vapor is overwhelmingly the predominant one, which Willis is well aware of. Why muddle up an otherwise reasonable discussion by attributing a CO2 statement to Willis?
The nighttime overturning is driven by the temperature difference between the surface and lower levels, once the surface undergoes its normal nocturnal cooling resulting in cooler water over warmer water. With more DLR the surface doesn’t cool as much, the difference is less, thus less overturning, thus less warmth from deeper down is circulated to the surface. For that much of what was stated, the source of the DLR doesn’t need mentioning. Adding in the conjecture that increased CO2 causes the increased DLR, especially when Willis has said no such thing here, isn’t called for and isn’t helpful.

192. TimTheToolMan says:

Mosh writes “You note that nobody (except willis) wants to look at the empirical evidence. I posted it up there boys..”
The reference to the Minnett experiment isn’t empirical evidence of anything other than the SST warms relative to the depth of 5cm when the clouds come over. When the DSR induced temperature profile disappears (when the clouds come over) but convection keeps the war water rising for a time what do you think will happen to the SST vs the 5cm depth?
That experiment is far from supporting the argument that temperature gradient determines heat loss and therefore supports ocean warming. AFAIK its not even an actual paper let alone a peer reviewed paper.
Empirical evidence? FAIL.

193. Bystander says:

Willis says “Please stop the condescending snarkiness, it just makes you look ugly.”
Ah – so condescending snarkiness is only OK when attacking real scientists then….

194. richard verney says:

Willis
regarding: @Willis Eschenbach says:August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm commenting on my comment
richard verney says:August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm
////////////////////////////////////////////
I understand why to a layman one may give a superficial explanation which concentrates on the overall effect rather than the minute detail of the processes involved.
However, when discussing scientific principles with an audience of scientists, precision is paramount. This is a scientific blog and at least those posting what purport to be scientific articles or discussion of scientific effects, should strive themselves to be accurate.
You dismiss this as a question of semantics, it is not. It is a matter of fundamental (or first) principle going to one of the root issues at the foundation of the AGW theory/conjecture.
One of the reasons why it is so fundamental is that CO2 is not the dominant (so called) green house gas. It is well accepted that water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas. This is material since over the oceans there is on average much more water vapour in the atmosphere when compared with the atmoshere over land. Any increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere above the oceans is completely dwarfed by the naturally occuring high levels of water vapour immediately above the oceans. This is a significant point which is overlooked and is a significant point which is masked when dealing with average conditions. The warmists tend to concentrate on notional average conditions, and when this is done, one fails to see the proper picture since one is not looking at what ia actually occuring in non average conditions. Materially, at times it is the non average condition which leads the way and is the dominamnt factor which needs to be closely and carefully examined.
It is clear from the above that if DWLWIR does not heat the oceans, the reduction in the rate of cooling is predominatly being controlled by the high levels of water vapour above the oceans not by any increase in concentration of CO2 AND the high levels of water vapour are natural (ie., naturally occuring) being the result of solar energy being received by the oceans, ie the effects of sunlight warming the oceans.
It follows from this that the overwhelming probability as to why the oceans have been warming these lasts 30 or 40 years is due to an increase in solar energy received by the oceans very probably due to a reduction in cloudiness (in passing, it appears that the oceans have not been warming these past 8 years or so).
Whilst I am very sceptical of the entire GHG theory/conjecture, I can envisage that changes in CO2 concentrations may have some modest effect over land, however, over the oceans it has all but no effect, simply because the oceans (unlike the land), as a by product of the solar energy they receive, create their own ‘greenhouse gas’ atmosphere immediately above them (ie. WATER VAPOUR) and this water vapour completely dwarfs the effect that might overwise be observed as the result of a 100ppm rise in CO2 levels.
I will revert seperately on the point you raise in the final paragraph. .

195. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
August 16, 2011 at 5:39 am
Before Willis gets worked up into an even stronger “quote my words” rage, I’ll point out a glaring one right now. I’ve checked the original post and every reply Willis has made at this post. CO2 is mentioned nowhere by Willis. Why are you tagging him with that? The DLR comes from the greenhouse gases, of which water vapor is overwhelmingly the predominant one, which Willis is well aware of. Why muddle up an otherwise reasonable discussion by attributing a CO2 statement to Willis?

It’s true Willis doesn’t say anything about co2, but the implication is pretty obvious IMO. There is no trend in precipitation so far as anyone knows, so a warming ocean seems to be down to the increase in co2 according to the arguments Willis presented.
I think he’s wrong and that the decrease in tropical cloud cover from 1980-1998 has a lot more to do with the increase in ocean heat content (and thus SST) than increased ‘DLR’ from the atmosphere, whether by co2 or by co2 plus a water vapour feedback.
Anyhow, I’ve invited him to set me straight if he feels I’m mischaracterising the core of the argument, and no doubt he will, in his inimitable style.

196. Myrrh says:

Dave in Delaware says:
August 16, 2011 at 5:33 am
Lets be mindful of our definitions and look carefully at what is happening at different wavelengths of radiant energy. The phrase “Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR)” is often used in the context and implied as ‘backradiation from CO2 as a GHG’. The two are NOT identical.
Hence the opening statement – ‘downwelling longwave radiation (DLR also called infra-red or IR, or ‘greenhouse radiation’) – lumps together things which should be considered separately.

Ah thank you – another apparent sleight of hand meme which has confused many here. Downwelling should only refer to thermal infrared direct from the Sun, and uwelling direct from the Earth, seems a move to sidestep the arguments about ‘backradiation’, of which there are many and already proved nonsense.
AGWScience fiction meme now widespread in the education system has always claimed there is no or no signifcant downwell infrared direct from the Sun, as in KT97.
Which NASA is now promoting contrary to its previous real science fact teaching that the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared. Therefore it must be reaching the surface…
As some mention has already been made by others here, Visible light is transmitted through water – it does not heat it. The KT97 is therefore actually saying that the Sun isn’t heating our Earth at all! Visible, Light, can’t and Thermal IR (Heat) they claim doesn’t reach us..
So what’s the energy budget all about?

197. richard verney says:

@Dave in Delaware says:August 16, 2011 at 5:33 am
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
ABSOLUTELY
I had not seen your comment (which was no doubt in the pipe;ine) when I posted my above comment (addrssed to Willis).
The warmists need to carefully examine each area and not some conglomerate average.
It is obvious that over the oceans, the role of CO2 is greatly diminished because of the high concentrations of water vapour which dwarf its effect.
Further, the more solar energy received, the more water vapour produced. Now if this increase in water vapour caused the ocean temperature to rise, one would get even more of an increase in water vapour possibly leading to a run away effect. There therefore needs to be some negative feed back in all of this or otherwise the oceans would have evaporated long ago.

198. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From tallbloke on August 16, 2011 at 6:03 am:

It’s true Willis doesn’t say anything about co2, but the implication is pretty obvious IMO. There is no trend in precipitation so far as anyone knows, so a warming ocean seems to be down to the increase in co2 according to the arguments Willis presented.

Same mistake, different part. On this one, I’m a bit guilty as well. Willis has stuck consistently to how he worded it in Argument 3:

DLR heating of the top mm of the ocean reduces those differences and thus delays the onset of that oceanic overturning by slowing the night-time cooling of the topmost layer, and it also slows the speed of the overturning once it is established. This reduces the heat flow from the body of the upper ocean, and leaves the entire mass warmer than it would have been had the DLR not slowed the overturning.

The DLR effect is discussed as with or without, on or off. Increases are not mentioned. Actually I see nothing mentioning global warming, anthropogenic or otherwise. The closest he’s come to talking about a “warming ocean” is the ocean is warmer with heating from DLR than if there was no heating from DLR.
So no increasing, no “warming ocean,” no call for invoking CO2 increases.

199. Matt G says:

Tom in Florida says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:44 am
Exactly, it is extremely small and shows the same result with a volume of water. It is easy to show that DLR can’t warm a volume of water during a day and relies only on solar energy. DLR occurs all the time during day and night so to distinguish this between solar energy, one only has to place identical volumes of water in the sun and in the shade. The shade volume must be outside exposed to the atmosphere and not in the sun so only the DLR is still reaching it. The result which anyone can easily demonstrate (but some at least choose to ignore this observation) shows the water in the shade during one day doesn’t warm, yet the volume in the sun warms greatly. Therefore this experiment provides the scientific evidence that solar energy warms a volume of water and not DLR. The other experiment that also backs this up are based on solar ponds.
http://www.solarponds.com/
All the DLR is mostly (if not all – look later into why) the emissions from solar energy as they escape the Earth’s atmosphere. Thus the 170w/m2 inward and 390w/m2 outward are not really different entities, but from the same source. Both are values measured from the atmosphere only and therefore can’t be compared with a much higher specific heat capacity of water. The water is warmed differently depending on the source of radiation.
Solar energy at 170w/m2 warms the ocean much greater than DLR despite the observed atmospheric value over 2 times greater because it reaches downwards up to 100m. (the experiments above back this with scientific evidence) The warming caused by this is orders greater than DLR just reaching the skin surface. The reason why the oceans don’t freeze is because despite the atmospsheric observed outflux, the energy in the ocean is orders time greater warmed by the sun. If the solar energy 170w/m2 only reached ths skin surface like DLR, then the oceans would freeze.

200. One difference between Dr. Pratt’s post on Climate Etc. and Wilis’ is that at the surface Dr. Pratt emphasizes the conduction plays a larger role than radiation at the skin layer. The change in conduction is still due to reduction in the net radiation flux, but the mechanism limiting the rate of cooling at the surface is primarily the change in conduction due to the increase in air temperature.
In the tropical ocean some one listed the percentage of heat loss was 5% for conduction, 25% for radiation and 70% for evaporation. In a colder ocean the percentages would be closer to 10% conduction, 25% radiation and 65% evaporation. You could find more accurate numbers, but the radiative heat loss would be fairly constant with conduction and evaporation responding more to the temperature difference than radiation.
So the take away is that an increase in DWLR decreases the radiation flux, increasing the air temperature, reducing conductive heat loss. It makes perfectly good sense, since the CO2 and water vapor respond to the DWLR just as they would to the OLR.
It may seem to be picking nits, but Dr. Pratt’s position is more realistic while not violating any laws of physics. Surface warming is a response to a warming atmosphere caused by a reduction in net radiative cooling flux.

201. TimTheToolMan says:
August 16, 2011 at 5:46 am
Mosh writes “You note that nobody (except willis) wants to look at the empirical evidence. I posted it up there boys..”
The reference to the Minnett experiment isn’t empirical evidence of anything other than the SST warms relative to the depth of 5cm when the clouds come over. When the DSR induced temperature profile disappears (when the clouds come over) but convection keeps the war water rising for a time what do you think will happen to the SST vs the 5cm depth?
That experiment is far from supporting the argument that temperature gradient determines heat loss and therefore supports ocean warming. AFAIK its not even an actual paper let alone a peer reviewed paper.
Empirical evidence? FAIL.

Quite so. It was a symposium presentation which never made it into the peer reviewed litereature.

202. Leonard Weinstein says:

Willis,
I did not read all the comments so this may repeat some of what has been said. The DLR can heat water (or the ground) if the water is cooler than the air, and this sometimes occurs (especially at night or in higher latitudes), however on the average, the air temperature drops with increasing altitude in the atmosphere (the lapse rate), and thus, on the average, the DLR does not heat the water or ground. While energy flows down in the DLR, energy is also flowing up (ULR), and heat only flows from warmer to colder. Thus it is the difference in up and down energy flows that cause heating. The fact that DLR can, under special conditions do some heating is not important on the average and is misleading of the cause of the heating due to greenhouse gases. The increase in ground and water temperature and the DLR are a result, not cause, of the atmospheric greenhouse gas warming effect.
Your argument about where does the extra energy go is bases on misunderstanding the insulation effect. Any type of insulation effect over a heat source raises the temperature of the surface. Consider a blanket over a person (internally heated). It is not the blanket that warms, and if the body were for a dead person, the skin would be cool, even under the blanket. Also consider an insulating layer over an electrically heated resistor. The insulator is not doing the heating, but raises the temperature of the resistor.
In the case of Earth, the source of the net heating is absorbed shorter wave Solar energy (and a small amount of radiation decay heating). However, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are different from passive insulation layers. The air is free to rise from convection so no trapping occurs even though the gases absorb ULR. It is the added feature of the lapse rate that causes the temperature increase, since the temperature at a higher altitude has been raised from the movement up of the location of radiation to space, but the lapse rate is independent of temperature (it only depends on Cp and gravity). The effect of the greenhouse gases is to raise the average altitude of outgoing radiation to space, and it is the lapse rate (due to gravity) that raises the temperature going down from this average location, and thus is the source of the extra heating.
The result is that both the higher surface temperature and significant DLR are the result of, not cause of the surface being warmer.

203. Richard M says:

The main disagreement here appears to be between net energy flow and gross energy flow. Willis points out the gross radiation flows and others point out that is really meaningless.
OK, if gross flows are important than why hasn’t anyone computed the gross energy flows of kinetic energy? There are trillions and trillions of molecular interactions between the surface and the atmosphere where energy is transferred one way or the other. We always see this discussed by looking ONLY at the net energy flow which is not all that high. So, why isn’t what’s good for the goose also good for the gander? Why don’t we discuss the gross energy flows of conduction? Could it be because the gross flow really isn’t important? So, why would anyone think the gross flows are important for the case of radiation? Maybe Willis or someone can explain to me the difference.

204. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
August 16, 2011 at 6:34 am
The closest he’s come to talking about a “warming ocean” is the ocean is warmer with heating from DLR than if there was no heating from DLR. So no increasing, no “warming ocean,” no call for invoking CO2 increases.

Point taken. He’s still wrong though, because the long wave radiative flux cools the ocean rather than warming it, and the DLR component is solar derived energy emitted from the ocean as ULR in the first place. So if there were no DLR, there would be no ULR either, and the ocean would be up in the atmosphere having been boiled by solar shortwave it couldn’t get rid of other than by evaporation.
Warming the ocean is the Sun’s job. Cooling it and losing the heat to space is the atmosphere’s job.

205. Some random thoughts and comments after reading most of the above.
My washing on the line drys much much quicker when there is a breeze; however gentle. No white horses necessary.
Average atmosphere temperature is 14-15DegC. Average ocean temperature is 3DegC.
It’s been well over 10,000 years since the last ice age ended. If the atmosphere could warm the oceans, the oceans should be closer to the 14-15DegC level. 10,000 years not enough?
Regards semantics, if we are saying GHGs “reduce rate of cooling” rather than actually “warming”, then the ocean had to be warmer in the first place for it’s rate of cooling to be reduced. What warmed it in the first place then?
Oceans warm in 3 dimensions but cool in 2 dimensions. So I have my doubts about the figures quoted, i.e. 170Wm2 solar input in 3 dimensions, but 390Wm2 radiant heat loss in 2 dimensions. this doesn’t make sense to me.
According to the AGW theory, the sun warms the surface first, the surface then warms the atmosphere, which in turn further warms the surface.
But if the solar input is only 170Wm2, then that’s the maximum the ocean can radiate back up. The atmosphere cannot ‘back-radiate’ any more than the 170Wm2 it receives from the surface for a total of 340Wm2. Where did the 390Wm2 come from? And I haven’t even allowed for the atmospheric window nor the sunlight that reaches down to about 100 metres, the energy from which doesnt make it back up to the top straight away.
The well mixed portion of the oceans are the top few hundred metres. But the oceans are 4-5 kilometres deep. How does warm water mix “down” thousands of metres? physically impossible I would have thought.
The strongest GHG effect, hence the most DWLWIR happens at the tropics. How come the deep even at the tropics is around 2-3DegC only? Why is the deep much the same temperature at the tropics as it is at the poles?
The “bulk” of the ocean is the deep. The temperature of the tropical deep tells me that GHGs cannot warm the deep.
[Reply] Check your figures, ocean avg surface temp is ~17C, warmer than the atmosphere at sea level. TB-mod

206. Alexander Duranko says:

Some interesting analysis of ocean heating recently.. Regarding CO2 and H2O specific ‘DLR’, you must realise that because Kirchhoff’s Law requires that emissivity and absorptivity are the same at equilibrium, any change in the ratio of the two partial emissivities/absorptivities simply reflects what is happening on the ground [assuming the radiometer is at ground level].
So, if there’s dew, the H20 emission from the ground will increase and this will lead to more ‘DLR’ from the sky in that wavelength interval. Over the ocean, it’s temperature that counts.
So, as ‘DLR’ isn’t real energy, just a sort of standing wave, and the nearly half the solar energy that is IR is absorbed in the atmosphere, what really heats the oceans and how did it change from the ’80s to the early 00s?
The answer is obvious: Asian industrialisation poured increasing aerosols into the atmosphere and this decreased cloud albedo, particularly in the short wavelengths which penetrate deeply into the sea, possibly up to 150 feet. This was probably the main AGW and because it’s self limiting switched off when aerosol concentration became high [the ‘Asian Brown Cloud’]
Of course, I could be wrong, but at least I hope to have dispelled some of the false assumptions that have driven ‘climate science’ in the wrong direction. Those working in it really do need to readup about Hottel, e.g: 203.158.253.140/media/e-Book/Engineer/…/DK2834_13.pdf
PS cloud IR emission is from the water but it has gettered CO2 so is also a strong CO2 IR emitter because the CO2 is concentrated.

207. mkelly says:

From memory the equation for 2 plates (infinite or very large ) radiating at each other.
q/A = (SB(T1^4-T2^4))/ ((1-e1) + (1-e2) -1)
Let T1 be ocean surface and T2 be atmosphere. What emissivity should be used for e2 of a CO2 & H2O atmosphere at 1 atm?

208. @ TB-mod
I beg to differ. Ocean average T is nowhere near that.
oceans

209. Baa Humbug says:
August 16, 2011 at 7:47 am
@ TB-mod
I beg to differ. Ocean average T is nowhere near that.

Baa, you’re right. I was thinking average SST, since that’s where the radiative interface is. I’ll correct my note on your comment.

210. Richard111 says:

Baa Humbug says:
August 16, 2011 at 7:48 am
“hmmm image thingy didn’t work.
Here is the URL
http://www.john-daly.com/deep-sea.gif

Many thanks for that link. Never knew sea bottom could get that cold and how shallow is the warm layer is. Learn something new every day! 🙂

211. DR says:

Thanks Leonard Weinstein.

212. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From tallbloke on August 16, 2011 at 7:16 am:

Point taken. He’s still wrong though, because the long wave radiative flux cools the ocean rather than warming it, and the DLR component is solar derived energy emitted from the ocean as ULR in the first place. (…)

The net effect may be cooling, but he’s still looking at individual energy flows. When it’s all added up without DLR, there’s a deficit that indicates severe cooling. So either the DLR effect is there, or the upwelling LR figure is very wrong. Nothing else but DLR is in the range where it can cover that deficit.

(…) So if there were no DLR, there would be no ULR either, and the ocean would be up in the atmosphere having been boiled by solar shortwave it couldn’t get rid of other than by evaporation.

That part fails the logic test right at the start. There’s a black surface in vacuum. Sunlight falls on it, the surface warms, the surface emits longwave radiation. No atmosphere, no greenhouse effect, none of that emitted LR goes back to the surface. Thus there can be ULR without DLR. Likewise if there is atmosphere but it lacks GHG’s thus is transparent to LR.

213. Costard says:

I think I get Willis’ point. Net flow (~390-~320) only matters if you accept that the two are equal currencies and that downwelling LR warms the ocean as much as upwelling LR cools it. And the mechanism for this is a warming of the skin layer, a more even temperature gradient between this layer and the one below it, and less convective cooling.
But this would also suggest a steeper temperature gradient between the (warmer) ocean surface and air, and more heat loss through evaporation and conduction. In the absence of hard numbers, the question becomes like so many, to what extent is this forcing mitigated by the natural processes of the environment?

“Thus there can be ULR without DLR. Likewise if there is atmosphere but it lacks GHG’s thus is transparent to LR.” That is an interesting thought. With a pure nitrogen atmosphere there would be no absorption of ULR of significance so a nitrogen filled double pane glass window with a 100% reflective coating would be a perfect insulator of conductive, convective and radiant heat transfer. We know that is not true, it is a much better insulator, but not perfect. A vacuum with a reflective surface is better. Nitrogen molecules collide so there is some conductive heat transfer.
Generally speaking, the conductive heat transfer is small and can be neglected. There is a point where it is significant enough that it should be considered. Earth with a pure nitrogen atmosphere would be warmer than an Earth with no atmosphere. Earth with a 99.97% nitrogen and .03% CO2 would be warmer than an Earth with no CO2. So how significant would conduction of surface thermal energy to the atmosphere be with respect to radiative retention of the 0.03% CO2?

I suppose If I write up the experimental notes like the “famous” “Woods” experiment ( with a green house) that explains I have done the exact experiment you describe that you and everyone else here will accept it with the same eagerness that you accept Woods paragraph.
The point is that no amount of theory, physics, experiment, will convince some people because they do not want to be convinced. We have a word for that. It starts with D

216. richard verney says:

Willis
Further to my earlier post, I revert on the comment you make in the final paragraph of your post Willis Eschenbach says: August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm which comments upon my post richard verney says:August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm
Your final paragraphs reads: “What I don’t understand is what slightest difference this makes. If the ocean is losing 400 w/m2, and it is gaining 170 w/m2, I don’t care in the slightest what you call that. What I want to know is, if DLR isn’t heating the ocean, what makes up the missing energy? Gamma rays? So enough with the semantics, and answer the question—what’s keeping the oceans liquid, call it what you want, if it’s not DLR?”
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I have had this debate with you before, and I consider the attitude that you adopt to be somewhat out of character, as a self proclaimed heretic. It is you who make a bald statement that without DLR, the oceans would freeze. I say, I don’t accept this bald statement, and ask you to prove it. Instead of proving it, you seek to reverse the burden of proof and suggest that I must prove that the oceans wouldn’t freeze but for DLR. You have things topsy turvy in the scientific world (albeit this may not be that unusual in climate science where it would appear that climate scientistist do not like dealing with complex issues and seek to parry by passing the akward parcel back to the other side).
I have previously asked you to detail the energy budget for the ocean at 62 N 8 deg 45 E, and at 62N 19 deg 04 42 E. Both of these are at the same latitude (62 deg N) and I envisage that as a consequence, the atmosphere comprises a similar mix of GHGs and they have broadly similar solar and DWLWIR budgets. The ocean at one of these locations freezes each winter, the ocean at the other location does not. I have asked you to explain (with your energy budgets) why that is the case. You have consistently failed/declined to answer. Perhaps this time, ou will not evade/ignore the question and will instead provide the answer.
As I see it, the answer is simple and it lies in the tropics. The fact is that the tropical ocean is a huge heat reservoir. Over the course of a year, the tropical ocean absorbs enormous quanities of solar radiation/energy and in the process it heats up. Some of this heat is distributed/pumped around the globe but not in the same measure in all places. The fact is that the ocean at 62 N 8 deg 45 E receives a greater quantity of the heat absorbed by the tropical ocean and this is sufficient to prevent the ocean at 62 N 8 deg 45 E freezing.
I therefore say to you, that YOU need to do an energy budget for the ocean at the tropics on a daily basis and see whether the ocean at that spot freezes. If it does not (as I am confident is the case), you need to perform successive energy budget calculations (on a daily basis) working your way outwards further north and south until you ascertain the latitude at which the ocean would begin to freeze (based upon the solar/DLR budgets). Once that has been ascertained, you need to introduce the effect of the heat transport/conveyor belt system of the ocean into the equastion. The location where you calculate would first freeze would not in practice freeze due to warm currents being transported by the conveyor belt. Accordingly, you need to carry on with successive energy budget calculations gradually working your way further and further northwards and southwards. You will gradually be working your way to higher latitudes. By the time you get to the Artic you will find that it will freeze over and melt etc with the seasons.
Turning now to your figures, you use Alice in Wonderland figures because you are using those employed in an Alice and Wonderland cartoon (suggested by Trenberth and others). In your comment at 15th August 11:39pm (commenting on a comment by Dave Springer), you state “You (and the cited paper) are talking about net radiation flows. Trenberth and I are talking about individual radiation flows.”
We all know that you can add any figure that you like to both sides of an equation and provided that this is the same figure, it will not alter the result. Hence, if 170 + 60 + 20 is 40 more than 160 + 35 +80 -65, I could add 390 to each of these equations and I would still be left with the result that the first equation is 40 greater than the second. I could subtract 99 from each equation and I would still be left with the fact that the first equation totals 40 more than the second equation. The adding (or the subtraction) of such numbers is of no import since what one is looking at is the net flux between the two equations.
IF WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS TRUE, IT SHOULD FOLLOW THAT THE OCEANS ARE UNAFFECTED BY THE DIFFERENCE IN CALCULATION WHEN PERFORMED UPON A NET RADIATION FLOW BASIS AND ON A GROSS RADIATION FLOW BASIS. This follows from the fact that whatever additional input they receive from DLR, they give up a corresponding equal and opposite output amount. We are therefore really considering the net flux out.
The problem is that the 390 mw per sqm of DWLWIR can only have come into existence because of and as a factor of the 170 mw per sqm of solar ebergy received. Unless one can truly get something for nothing, this is flase. There is a failure of double accounting.
The reason why all of this is wrong is well explained by Alexander Daranko in his comment of 15 August at 11:08pm and by Kuhnkat in his comment at Aug 15th 11:37pm. It may be that you did not have the benefit of reading those comments before you posted your response of 15th August 11:39pm. There is no such thing in life as a free lunch, and we all know that the 390 mw per sqm of so called back radiation exists as a signal only, and has no energy/ability to do real work because it is cancelled out by equal and oppositite radiative flux in the opposite direction.
If the 390 mw per sqm of so called backradiation had the ability to do work or had the ability to heat up an object which is warmer than it, this would end the worlds energy problems. Rather than wasting time and effort in the pursuit of exploiting solar radiation which is only 170 mw per sqm (on your figures), we would be exploiting the 390 mw per sqm of DLR (on your figures) which is a constant 24/7 energy source come rain, cloud or shine. We are not seeking to exploit this since this ‘imagined’ energy is not sensible energy capable of real work. It is one side of account on which those that propogate this conjecture convienently forget to take into account the opposite cancelling out budget.
The oceans are not radiating away about 490 mw per sq m. This figure is an artificail figure and fails to properly address the net flux out of the oceans. When the net fluxes are properly considered, the oceans do not freeze.
Underpinning this problem is an incorrect assumption that the earth can be considered as if it were a blackbody. It is not. Such an approach is completely unacceptable for a water world which has the ability to absorb and store significant quantities of energy and to release that stored energy not instantaneously but rather at a later date and the position is yet further complicated by the phase changes of water itself.
I consider myself to be a sceptic which means that I do not have absolute views either way and I am open to be persuaded as to the correctness of the AGW conjecture. However, save for a few elements, I am unpersuaded by most of the pillars upon which it is based and I consider it has particular problems with the oceans. Given the heat capacity of the oceans, the oceans and how these behave will determine whether there is any milage in the AGW conjecture.
Finally, I point out the obvious, one explanation as to why there may be less sensitivity to CO2 than the IPCC would have one believe may be due to ocean temperature being less effected by DWLWIR than the warmist would have one believe. This would also explain why Trenberth is having so much trouble finding his missing heat.
I look forward to hearing from you with your detailed calculations expalining why the ocean at 62N 19 deg 04 42 E freezes but not at 62 N 8 deg 45 E.

217. Artic vs Tropical and duration (from somewhere above)… The refractive index of ‘water’ is 1.33 yielding a critical angle of 48+ degrees (48.6?) RI = 1/Sin(theta). That assumes that RI of ‘water’ and sea water are equal. With sun angles at lower than 48 degrees, the surface should become, as a sum, reflective. It would bear out if the water temp curve and the air temp curve followed different step functions. The water temp curve would not match the air temp curve increase until the sun angle was above 49 degrees. You could then probably model conductive vs direct heating of the water on the difference using the Critical Angle as the location of the significant phase change.

218. jae says:

I guess it’s time for me to ask the same question I have asked for years and still have not gotten a decent answer:
A greenhouse made of IR-transparent plastic will get no hotter at noon in
Guam than it gets in Phoenix, despite the much greater DWR in Guam.
Why?

219. anna says:

In my opinion I think that semantics is a really big and important issue not to be ignored. Much of the confusion and misunderstandings probably arise because of the various interpretations of warming and people waste time arguing things on which they in fact agree upon just because they interpret words differently. For most people warming probably means increasing the temperature rather than “preventing cooling”. Many of the critics to the claim that GHGs can’t warm the planet probably uses this definition of the word warming. To describe the action of GHGs as warming the planet sounds scary because it gives you the impression that even at night, when the heat source (the Sun) is turned off the GHGs will keep on warming the Earth so that when we wake up in the morning the temp has increased from evening +20C to maybe +25C and then when the Sun is turned on again the temp increase will continue and soon the planet boils. So why not try to be scientific and avoid talking about warming? GHG molecules can not create energy, thus they can’t warm, but they can continuously absorb and reemit energy already present and prevent it from dissipating into outer space as quickly as it would otherwise.

220. Tim Folkerts says:

Matt G says:
August 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

Exactly, it is extremely small and shows the same result with a volume of water. It is easy to show that DLR can’t warm a volume of water during a day and relies only on solar energy. DLR occurs all the time during day and night so to distinguish this between solar energy, one only has to place identical volumes of water in the sun and in the shade. The shade volume must be outside exposed to the atmosphere and not in the sun so only the DLR is still reaching it. The result which anyone can easily demonstrate (but some at least choose to ignore this observation) shows the water in the shade during one day doesn’t warm, yet the volume in the sun warms greatly. Therefore this experiment provides the scientific evidence that solar energy warms a volume of water and not DLR.

Matt, you have missed 1/2 the experiment. Now try allowing ONLY sunlight in, but removing (or at least significantly reducing) the incoming IR. The details would be a bit of a challenge, since you would have to maintain the air temperature over the water, but otherwise have the top of the tank surrounded by something very cold. The surface of the water will still be radiating ~ 400 W/m^2, but the incoming sunlight will only be providing ~ 170 W/m^2. This will ALSO cause the water to cool.
The obvious conclusion is that the SUM of the energy coming in affects the water temperature (along with the sum of the energy out). You can’t logically say that only one source of energy is keeping the water warm.
Come to think of it, a related experiment is performed all the time. On clear nights, the air (and ground and the surface of bodies of water) cool rather effectively. On cloudy nights, every thing stays warmer. The difference is that the clouds are very good emitters of thermal IR across the entire thermal IR spectrum, sending copious amounts of DLR to the surface where it gets absorbed. On clear nights, only GHG’s emit DLR — they only emit in particular bands of the spectrum, so they cannot radiate as much IR downward as the clouds do, so they cannot slow the cooing as effectively.
So the DLR is clearly responsible for slowing the rate of cooling at night. During the day, they ALSO slow the rate of cooling, which is clear if you think about it a little.

221. Bystander,
“Willis says “Please stop the condescending snarkiness, it just makes you look ugly.”
Ah – so condescending snarkiness is only OK when attacking real scientists then….”
In this case Willis was attempting to point a certain a[***]ole to a better way of interacting. Please do not throw this at him.
[Language. Robt]

222. Frank says:

Willis: Thanks for increasing the credibility of the skeptical community by taking on this issue.
Many people instinctively assume that when about 330 W/m2 of DLR is deposited in the top 1 mm of the ocean, that massive amount of energy can’t fit in thin layer of water and must be somehow be returned to the atmosphere (possibly by evaporation). After all, that energy can’t penetrate the ocean by convection or conduction. Unfortunately, some of these people don’t recognize that the upward 390 W/m2 of upward LWR emitted by the ocean originates in exactly the same top 1 mm of the ocean that absorbs DLR. Since most DLR originates at altitudes that are colder than the surface of the ocean, the net flux of long wavelength energy must be from the ocean to the atmosphere. Evaporation also removes about 80 W/m2 of energy from the top 1 mm. Only about 80% of solar radiation (SWR), penetrates the top 1 mm of the ocean. Therefore the top 1 mm of the ocean is running an energy deficit despite the large amount of energy that is deposited there by DLR. And measurements show that the top 1 mm is usually colder than the water immediately below.
In the tropics at noon on a sunny day, solar radiation might reach 500-1000 W/m2. If 20% of that much radiation were absorbed by the top 1 mm, the temperature of the top 1 mm might rise – thereby increasing upward radiation and evaporation without “warming” the bulk of the ocean. However, this situation persists for only a small fraction of each day.
One might say that the bulk of the ocean is warmed by the >80% of SWR that penetrates the top 1 mm of the ocean; not the DLR that is absorbed in the top 1 mm. Neither LWR nor evaporation cool the water below the top 1 mm. The surplus energy from SWR that is deposited below the top 1 mm is eventually returned to the cooler top 1 mm by convection and conduction. From the top 1 mm, that energy is eventually returned to the atmosphere and space.

223. Kadaka, point taken again.
richard verney says:
August 16, 2011 at 9:37 am
[…]

Good comment. The LW radiation comprises a flux which isn’t separable into individual ‘up’ and ‘down’ components in any meaningful way. This is what I was trying to get at with the badly thought out and badly worded comment Kadaka rightly criticised.
By the way Richard, this paper looks like good reading in the context of your ocean freezing question to Willis:
http://www.fisica.edu.uy/~barreiro/papers/BarreiroCherchiMasina2011.pdf
It’s under discussion here:
http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/16/climate-sensitivity-to-ocean-heat-transport/

224. Spector says:

I think a systems approach needs to be taken with respect to the ocean.
From the point of the greenhouse effect it does not matter if a solar photon is absorbed 30ft down and LWIR photons are being absorbed or emitted in the top millimeter. One might say it is the ocean’s business how it arranges its own temperature structure. All that really matters is that heat *energy* is being lost or gained by the ocean as a whole.
Evaporation-condensation is another energy exchange process altogether. At any one moment in time, energy is being exchanged but the temperature is constant. This sort of harkens back to the discussion of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE) some months back.

225. Tim Folkerts says:

“OK, if gross flows are important than why hasn’t anyone computed the gross energy flows of kinetic energy? …. So, why would anyone think the gross flows are important for the case of radiation? Maybe Willis or someone can explain to me the difference.”
Because for radiation, the flow in one direction is due to the object on one side. If I know the temperature and emissivity of one object (such as the surface of the ocean), then I can say how much IR energy it is emitting, INDEPENDENT of the temperature or emissivity or other objects around. So it makes perfect sense to discuss the energy being radiated, not simply the net radiation. (Of course, in the end it is the NET energy that determines the change in temperature, so eventually you need to know about the other objects around).
For conduction you need to know the temperature of BOTH objects and the conditions in between them. This means that knowing the conditions of he ocean surface will not suffice to know the conduction. So in a sense you are already looking at the net flow of energy, and the details about how much goes each direction is not important.
(But such details are indeed considered when looking at microscopic details of the kinetic theory of gas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_theory or details of phonons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonon)

226. Tim Folkerts says:

George says:
August 16, 2011 at 9:40 am

Artic vs Tropical and duration (from somewhere above)… The refractive index of ‘water’ is 1.33 yielding a critical angle of 48+ degrees (48.6?) RI = 1/Sin(theta). That assumes that RI of ‘water’ and sea water are equal. With sun angles at lower than 48 degrees, the surface should become, as a sum, reflective. …

You got that backwards, George. The critical angle would apply to light heading UP to the surface at a 48 degree angle and then reflecting back down into the water.
There is, however, a different effect that does come into play for water, making it more reflective as the light hits at a more glancing angle. Look toward the bottom of this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflectivity

227. BenAW says:

How come everybody is talking about AVERAGE radiation levels resulting in AVERAGE temps using the Stefan-Boltzmann formula when there is a fourth power in this formula?
Earth has ONE sun, that radiates on half the earth. Average radiation on this half is 1364/2 = 682 W/m^2 resulting in an average temp of 303K after deduction for albedo.. Directly under the sun the temps could be much higher. These possible temps aren’t seen because the heat is taken up by the oceans and continents. Taking these high temps to the nightside of our earth makes it possible to start talking about reduced cooling by “greenhouse” gasses.http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=all#comments-form
All we need to do is calculate a temperature budget for earth to see if we’re loosing or gaining 😉
Hasn’t been done afaik

228. George E. Smith says:

“”””” Alexander Duranko says:
August 16, 2011 at 7:32 am
Some interesting analysis of ocean heating recently.. Regarding CO2 and H2O specific ‘DLR’, you must realise that because Kirchhoff’s Law requires that emissivity and absorptivity are the same at equilibrium, ….. “””””
Too bad your statement needs those two words “at equilibrium” in order to be correct.
The Earth’s atmosphere is never in (thermal) equilibrium; not even vaguely, so forget Kirchoff’s Law.
While we are considering the validity of “Eschenbach’s Axiom” (Willis to us); that “Downwelling Long Wave Radiation (DLWR) can’t not heat the deep ocean”; we should not forget that fundamental Axiom of Climatism; “Gases cannot radiate thermal (continuum) EM radiation” so therefore Earth’s atmosphere cannot radiate a thermal (Planckian) EM radiation spectrum. And the reason for this fundamental truth, is simply that gases (well at least mono-atomic and homo-diatomic) gases can’t because they have a zero electric dipole moment; and Maxwell’s equations tell us we can’t radiate EM waves without an antenna, so in order to radiate an EM thermal spectrum, based on Temperature of the radiating substance, the atoms/molecules have to have an electric dipole moment that is not zero.
So the molecules must be assymmetrical like H2O for example; they can’t be symmetrical like CO2 or CH4 for example; neither of which has a non-zero electric dipole moment, at any ordinary Temperature. In particular N2, O2, and Ar, the principle gases of earth’s atmosphere all have zero electric dipole moments, at ordinary Temperatures, so they cannot radiate a thermal continuum EM spectrum.
Well that’s the belief anyhow; just like Eschenbach’s Axiom.

229. richard verney says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 10:33 am
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Thanks for the heads up. When I have a little time, later this week, I shall consider the paper and the post about it on Claimate etc. Looks interesting.

230. Matt G says:

Tim Folkerts says:
August 16, 2011 at 10:22 am
It would be better to complete this using only solar sources and no DLW, but would also have to be done outside to keep the same solar radiation 170w/m2 input sources. Changing the percentage radiation source will also change how much penetrates the water. The variable outside atmospheric day temperatures makes very little difference to the volume of water, so leaving it outside would be more accurate. Don’t know how this would cause it to cool compared with a 20c rise in one day, way above the highest atmospheric temperature that day. Also demonstrated with solar ponds, the water can warm much more via the sun, it is latent heat and convection that keeps the ocean surface stable.
“The obvious conclusion is that the SUM of the energy coming in affects the water temperature (along with the sum of the energy out). You can’t logically say that only one source of energy is keeping the water warm.”
I can when this is only demonstrated to do so, but remember this was only for one day. My main point it that for just one day the difference is huge and for over a period a massive change has to occur for this to be even noticeable from the solar source.
On clear nights the atmospheric temperatures can cool quickly, but the ocean SST’s hardly change at all. Only the top 1mm is shown to be a little cooler at night over the ocean, but it makes no difference to SST’s over one full day. Clouds do have an affect on atmospheric temperatures and warm during night and cool during the day. Simply because the clouds cool during the day shows that the suns affect on atmospheric temperatures is greater than any DLR. (despite the 170 and 390 values shown) I agree the DLR is clearly responsible for slowing energy through the atmosphere, but for ocean the changes are very small or make no difference because it always has a high concentration of water vapour above it’s immediate surface.

231. Willis Eschenbach says:

Folks, and particularly Tallbloke, you are arguing that radiatively heating a liquid from above the surface causes overturning.
Heating a liquid from above the surface causes stratification, not overturning. You can experience this in the ocean or a lake on a calm sunny day. This is because the heating decreases with depth, no matter what the type of radiation is. As a result, the warmest layers are always on top. In that condition, heat is transferred downwards by conduction.
w.

232. Tom Folkert,
“The difference is that the clouds are very good emitters of thermal IR across the entire thermal IR spectrum, sending copious amounts of DLR to the surface where it gets absorbed.”
And where does the energy come from for the clouds to emit energy all night Tom? The amount of thermal mass in them simply is not enough. You have to give up this idea of components of a system functioning the same in isolation.

233. Stanb999 says:

steven mosher says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:52 am
Hmm Tallbloke. Rather than trust a magazine about how reflective insulation works or does not work I think I trust the stuff I built for DOD. And I’ll use my thermos to keep my coffee from cooling faster than it would. And If I have to go near a wacking hot fire i’ll also wear a reflective suit
here have some fun. there’s plenty more
http://www.insul.net/howto.php
And yes, if you use a space blanket too long you get hoarfrost in the inside.. cause its working. but eventually get to the fire
—————————————————————-
Steven,
Does adding more of this highly reflective aluminium increase the thermal reflectivity?
For instance would you prefer to be in an armour suit like in the days of other dreamy notions of how the world worked… Would it’s greater concentration of molecules even tho reflective of IR enable heat transfer. Or is the real key to not transferring a lot of heat the tiny mass of the aluminium actually being heated. So would adding more co2 make the layer more dense and transfer heat faster?
This post has nothing to do with how the world works…

234. Martin Lewitt says:

How did this thread get so long so fast? I haven’t had time to read them all, so hopefully this isn’t repetitive. Willis, do you know what you are talking about? Infrared doesn’t penetrate a whole millimeter, but mere microns. The point is not that it cannot heat the ocean, it can, but the point is it is coupled to the ocean quite differently from solar, while models generally couple them both to the whole mixing layer as if they were equivalent. Solar can penetrate 10s of meters, there has even been Kelp forests at 100 meters depth.
Radiation that penetrates mere microns is more likely to be involved in surface latent heat effects, is more likely to be reradiated quickly and more likely to be less coupled to the ocean by foam or spray or surface biofilms, etc. Your argument amounts to “A watt is a watt”. In a complex nonlinear system a watt isn’t just a watt. It does matter where that watt is. Vertical and horizontal distribution make a difference. The albedo of the ocean is likely to be different in the IR range than in the visible range, just as it is different for snow and other surfaces. You wouldn’t claim a watt absorbed in the desert where it is far more likely to be radiated that night is the same as a watt deposited in a humid climate where it will stick around for longer. What makes you think in a complex nonlinear system you are entitled to the assumption that a watt in the first microns of the ocean surface is the same as one 50 meters down? That is the assumption the modelers are making.

235. Stanb999 says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Folks, and particularly Tallbloke, you are arguing that radiatively heating a liquid from above the surface causes overturning.
Heating a liquid from above the surface causes stratification, not overturning. You can experience this in the ocean or a lake on a calm sunny day. This is because the heating decreases with depth, no matter what the type of radiation is. As a result, the warmest layers are always on top. In that condition, heat is transferred downwards by conduction.
The air doesn’t heat the water. Period. It doesn’t contain enough energy to do so. Period. Never happens. As you said a cold body never warms a warm one… So the atmosphere except the last few hundred meters are colder than the ocean surface. The top 33 feet of the ocean contains the same mass as the entire atmosphere above it. Being that the last few feet are in actual contact. That is all that can affect change.
If your going with the insulation model…
1. You have diminishing returns with every layer added. So adding more co2 only adds a small portion of actual “benefit”. It’s non-linear and dilative.
2. What gives you the idea that adding heat next to the surface wouldn’t cause other mechanisms to operate faster… IE a higher flame boils water faster. Do you suggest water can only evaporate in a static fashion linearly?

236. Tim Folkerts says:

Richard Verney says:

The problem is that the 390 mw per sqm of DWLWIR can only have come into existence because of and as a factor of the 170 mw per sqm of solar ebergy received. Unless one can truly get something for nothing, this is flase. There is a failure of double accounting.

There is no double accounting. If my household receives \$170/day and spends \$170/day, there is absolutely nothing that prevents my wife and me from handing thousands of dollars back and forth each day. This does not violate and “conservation of money” nor does it require any double accounting to make the budget balance. Same for the earth’s energy budget.
I would challenge you to find any part of the system where the energy in is not equal to the energy out.
A better way to think about this is from one day to the next. At the moment, a column of air 1 m^2 from the ground to the top of the atmosphere has a total thermal energy of about
1000 J/kg*K * 10,000 kg * 250 K = 2.5 billion J.
(These are all only a rough estimate, but it makes the point.) This is energy the atmosphere already has — not energy it needs to get every second from the sun or some place else. This column of atmosphere can easily loose ~ 325 J each second to the earth and 200 J each second to outer space for quite some time without cooling too much. During the day, that column of air will absorb ~ 2*70 = 140 J each second from the sun and a little over 350 + 24 + 78 J from the ground (since evaporation and radiation and convection will be greater during the day then during the night) for a net gain of ~ 75 J each second during the day (ie the atmosphere warms up during the day). At night, it will not get any energy from the sun, but it will still get energy from the ground (via radiation convection and conduction), for a net loss of ~ 75 J each second (ie the atmosphere cools at night). Over the course of a day, the net change is ~ 0.
No double accounting. No violation of conservation of energy. No violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
The details of loses and gains at specific locations and specific times and specific seasons obviously would require much more work, but the “back of the envelope” calculation shows everything is in accordance with the laws of physics.

237. Mike Rossander says:

This post is clearly a rebuttal. Less clear is a rebuttal to what?
For those of us who are less well connected to the debate, could we get a little context next time, please? Who believes this and where are they saying it? Then tear into why they’re wrong. Just a little context would go a long way. Thanks.

238. Tim Folkerts says:

August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm
“And where does the energy come from for the clouds to emit energy all night Tom? The amount of thermal mass in them simply is not enough. ”
See the previous post. There is a surprising amount of thermal mass in the atmosphere.
Besides, the clouds are also ABSORBING energy from the ground very effectively, which means that most of the energy is simply going back and forth continuously. One second, a square meter of cloud emits ~ 325 W thermal IR downward that the ground absorbs. That same second, a square meter of ground emits ~ 390 W thermal IR upward that the clouds absorb ( the exact numbers are not important; I am simply taking representative numbers where the clouds are cooler than the surface). The clouds are actually GAINING energy in the exchange, which would tend to warm them (although there are also many other energy exchanges that will affect the overall energy and temperature of the clouds).

239. Willis Eschenbach says:

Mike Rossander says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

This post is clearly a rebuttal. Less clear is a rebuttal to what?
For those of us who are less well connected to the debate, could we get a little context next time, please? Who believes this and where are they saying it? Then tear into why they’re wrong. Just a little context would go a long way. Thanks.

As you can see from the comments there are lots of folks out there who claim that DLR can’t heat the body of the ocean.
The context is that another of my threads was devolving into a discussion of this issue.
As a result I wrote the arguments list above, and tallbloke and the folks who think DLR can’t warm the ocean started answering (although none have explained why, if the DLR isn’t warming the ocean, it hasn’t frozen yet.
w.

240. Mike Rossander says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm
This post is clearly a rebuttal. Less clear is a rebuttal to what?
For those of us who are less well connected to the debate, could we get a little context next time, please? Who believes this and where are they saying it? Then tear into why they’re wrong. Just a little context would go a long way. Thanks.

Hi Mike,
take a look at this post I wrote and Willis’ contributions to it.

241. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm
As a result I wrote the arguments list above, and tallbloke and the folks who think DLR can’t warm the ocean started answering (although none have explained why, if the DLR isn’t warming the ocean, it hasn’t frozen yet.

tallbloke says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Hi Willis,
Argument one asks what the difference is between rock and water. Warm water molecules rise to the top. Warm rock molecules conduct heat to their neighbours, which can’t go anywhere.
Argument two asks where the energy goes. The answer is:
space.
Argument three is not an argument that DLR can warm the ocean, it’s an argument that it can slow its rate of cooling.
Argument four is a numerical misunderstanding. The ocean surface very efficiently absorbs 95% of DLR, and promptly re-emits half of that (the other 5% being reflected). The other half makes it another couple of molecules deeper and then the molecules it warms become more buoyant than their neighbours and rise to the top, losing another half upwards. Now we’re down to ~72W/m^2. Lets remember the net flux is 66W/m^2 upwards at this point. So your ice cube argument fails. The ocean absorbs and re-emits the long wave radiation coming downwards from the atmosphere, the sums balance. In fact it emits 66W/m^2 more long wave radiation than it absorbs. It always has, and the oceans don’t freeze, because solar shortwave warms them to really significant depths of 100 metres and more as internal tides and currents mix its energy downwards. Some of that solar short wave energy is re-emitted as long wave from the surface along with some of the long wave which came from the atmosphere. The rest causes evaporation and thermals or is conducted upwards. The difference is, the solar derived energy can remain deep in the ocean for a long time, controlling it’s bulk temperature.
The question is, do DLR heated water molecules make it downwards far enough for long enough to warm the ocean bulk. I think the answer is no, because warmer water molecules are naturally buoyant, and because the vortices which mix solar energy so efficiently are below the wave troughs, several thousands of times deeper down than the depth DLR penetrates water to. For experimental evidence on this matter I’ve tried putting small soaked pieces of loo paper just under the surface out in the rolling waves away from the shore where they break. They don’t get sucked downwards. So that’s turbulent convection gone, what’s left? Conduction is a non-starter, because water thermally stratifies and anyway is a relatively poor heat conductor unless the heat source is underneath rather than above.
But this isn’t about absolutes. I’m sure the increased DLR warmed the ocean a little bit, or at least slowed its rate of cooling a little bit. I think the increased insolation due to (empirically measured) reduced cloud cover in the tropics 1980-1998 did a lot more to increase ocean heat content. To turn your question back to you, where else could that energy have gone?
Cheers
TB

242. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
August 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

Willis
Further to my earlier post, I revert on the comment you make in the final paragraph of your post Willis Eschenbach says: August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm which comments upon my post richard verney says:August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm
Your final paragraphs reads: “What I don’t understand is what slightest difference this makes. If the ocean is losing 400 w/m2, and it is gaining 170 w/m2, I don’t care in the slightest what you call that. What I want to know is, if DLR isn’t heating the ocean, what makes up the missing energy? Gamma rays? So enough with the semantics, and answer the question—what’s keeping the oceans liquid, call it what you want, if it’s not DLR?”
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I have had this debate with you before, and I consider the attitude that you adopt to be somewhat out of character, as a self proclaimed heretic. It is you who make a bald statement that without DLR, the oceans would freeze. I say, I don’t accept this bald statement, and ask you to prove it.

I did not make a “bald statement”. I said that we know (from Stefan-Boltzmann) that the ocean is radiating about 400 w/m2. We know (see the Trenberth document specified earlier) that the sun hitting the surface is on the order of 170 w/m2. Obviously, if the ocean were losing 400 w/m2 and only receiving 170 w/m2, it would soon be frozen. That is not a “bald statement” as you claim, it is all observation-based. Things that lose energy faster than they gain it cool until they equilibrate, which at only 170 w/m2 warming the ocean (in your scenario) is well below freezing.
I say that the DLR is what makes up the difference, it is the energy source that keeps the ocean from freezing.
You say the ocean doesn’t warm from DLR … so what keeps it from freezing?
You have to understand, richard, that simple questions like this need answers. I have nothing to prove here, I’ve asked a question. You can go through all the gyrations you want, you can try to make it look like I’m the one with something to prove … but all I’m doing is asking a question:
In your explanation, what keeps the ocean from freezing?
You have made no attempt to dispute the facts as I’ve stated them about solar input to the ocean (about 170 w/m2) and S/B radiation losses from the ocean (about 400 w/ms). Given the huge energy imbalance between losses and gains in your explanation of how the world works, not my explanation (which is energetically balanced) but your explanation, what in your theory keeps the oceans from freezing?
w.

243. richard verney says:

Tim Folkerts says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm
///////////////////////////////////////////
If the income that you receive from your employer is \$170 per day, as you say there is nothing preventing you and your wife handling 1000s of dollar notes per day but this does not mean that your income is any more than \$170 per day.
I accept that you can receive \$170 and give your wife \$165 she then gives you back \$164 and you then give her back \$163 and she then gives you back \$162 etc etc but the fact that so much money is passing through your hands does not mean that your daily income is anyting more than \$170 and you could not obatin a mortgage on the basis that you were in receipt of \$1000s per day. You are simply counting the same notes more than once.
The 390 w per sqm is a factor of the 170 w per sqm received from the sun. It is created by the solar energy received by the earth. If the sun had never fired up, the 390 w per sq m would not exist. You cannot create something from nothing and whatever is downwelling from the atmosphere it cannot be more than we have received from the sun.
Going back to Trenberth, of course I could go around adding amounts to both sides of the equation without disturbing the balance. But to do so is false. It is net flux that we need to consider when addressing the issues raised by Willis.

244. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
August 16, 2011 at 7:14 am

The main disagreement here appears to be between net energy flow and gross energy flow. Willis points out the gross radiation flows and others point out that is really meaningless.
OK, if gross flows are important than why hasn’t anyone computed the gross energy flows of kinetic energy? There are trillions and trillions of molecular interactions between the surface and the atmosphere where energy is transferred one way or the other. We always see this discussed by looking ONLY at the net energy flow which is not all that high. So, why isn’t what’s good for the goose also good for the gander? Why don’t we discuss the gross energy flows of conduction? Could it be because the gross flow really isn’t important? So, why would anyone think the gross flows are important for the case of radiation? Maybe Willis or someone can explain to me the difference.

We can analyze the system using either individual flows or net flows. However, in the real world there are no “net flows”. There are only individual flows. The “net” flow is a mathematical construct, a useful one to be sure, but a construct that has no real-world counterpart.
In fact, contrary to your claim, we do discuss the individual flows (what you call the “gross” flows) all the time, they are a major topic of discussion in climate science. See the Trenberth paper cited above for a host of examples, there are many more. The reason we discuss individual flows is that individual flows, because they are accurate representations of reality, can reveal more than looking at the net flows which are not.
Curiously, among other reasons this is true for a mathematical reason – net flows are not invertible to deduce the individual underlying flows. “Not invertible” means if we know the flow is 400 w/m2 out and 380 w/m2 in, we can calculate that the net flow is – 20 w/m2. But we can’t invert the process, because knowing the net flow tells us nothing about the individual flows.
This means that information has been thrown away to get to the “net flow” number, and I prefer not to throw away information when I don’t have to.
w.

245. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm
This means that information has been thrown away to get to the “net flow” number, and I prefer not to throw away information when I don’t have to.

Let’s be super-generous to ourselves and have all the numbers on the table
Downwelling solar absorbed by the ocean ≈ 170 W/m2
Downwelling ‘back radiation’ ≈ 320 W/m^2
Total = 490 W/m^2
Ocean Heat Loss:
Radiation originating from energy very near surface of the ocean ~220 W/m^2
Radiation originating from solar energy in the next 4km depth of ocean ~170 W/m2
Sensible (convection) 30 W/m2
Latent (evaporation) 70 W/m2
Total = 490 W/m^2
Net radiative loss from ocean to atmosphere ~70W/m^2

246. Stilgar says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm
You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.

No, you actually say “it HEATS it”. Which is where it seems most people are getting confused.
Something I have a problem with in any scientific debate is that more often that not, a person arguing a simple idea will use “common parlance” which is actually not as common as as the person assumes.
Stop for a second and think about what you wrote with the non-common parlance in that “it heats it” means that it will increase the temperature above what it currently is (not that is slows cooling but it actually makes it warmer).
If I did not know the common parlance you use, I could refute all of your arguments based on that simple fact alone. Which is what a lot of commenters are trying to do.
If you really want to educate people (instead of generating a mass of comments that simply misunderstand what you are saying), assume they dont know ANY common parlance and acutally say “it slows down the cooling”.

247. Tim Folkerts says:

richard verney says:
“I accept that you can receive \$170 and give your wife \$165 she then gives you back \$164 and you then give her back \$163 and she then gives you back \$162 etc etc …”
Richard, you missed my point, I think. I’m not talking about handing the same bills back and forth, whereby I could only give a maximum of \$170 at a time. Suppose I already have \$1,000 in my wallet and she has \$2,000 in her purse. My boss pays me \$170 and I add it to my wallet. I pay my wife \$400 for cleaning the house. She pays me \$230 for mowing the lawn. Then she goes out and spends \$170. We can hand back and forth large sums of money independent of getting \$170 per day of new money and spending \$170. While the true income is only \$170, that does not stop me from giving my wife more than that each day. At the end of the day we both have what we started with.
Similarly, even though one square meter of surface receives only 170 W/m^2 of “new energy” from the sun, that does prevent the surface from “giving away” 390 W/m^2 of IR energy. Even though the atmosphere only receives ~ 70 W/m^2 of “new energy” from the sun, that does not prevent the atmosphere from emitting 325 toward the ground and 200 toward outer space. Looking at the total energy balance shows that the atmosphere gains as much as it looses. The surface gains as much as it looses. Everything stays in balance.

248. Dave Springer says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm
“Net radiative loss from ocean to atmosphere ~70W/m^2”
Unless that radiative loss is balanced by a gain in energy then the ocean temperature would be falling like a stone. Clearly it isn’t falling like a stone. What do you propose is the source and mechanism of balancing energy?
Sorry Tallbloke, but I’m calling BS on that net radiative loss. I believe it’s demonstrated there’s a net radiative gain which is balanced by a latent loss. For some reason I thought that’s what you had concluded as well.

249. Willis,
Firstly, my congratulations on a very sensible article. I have no substantial disagreement,
Just a comment on the nett flow argument. You’re right that it can be analysed either way. But nett flow does clarify something in the boundary layer. Think of the energy balance of a submicron surface layer where conduction is sufficient to keep the temperature fairly uniform. It radiates up, and receives DLR. The imbalance is what has to be made up by other modes of heat transfer. The “inadequacy” of this is the non-problem you began with.
But looking at nett flow, it isn’t even an issue of downward propagation of thermalized DLR. The IR flows are physically added (with sign) at that surface, and the nett IR flow is up. Any issue would be – how can the surface be kept warm enough to maintain nett upward radiation. The answer is of course, turbulent heat transfer from below (ultimately from absorbed insolation). And observation is that it does seem adequate.

250. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
August 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm

… The best idea is to ignore the manner in which Climate Scientists talk about it dividing the fluxes that cannot exist without each other and speak about the net flow. This may make no one happy, but, is most realistic.

I’m sorry to have to say this again, but the individual flows are the real, actual, measurable, observable flows. The net flow is a mathematical construct, useful, but without a real-world counterpart. In addition we throw away information to use them. Which inter alia is why most folks use individual flows, particularly in multi-body situations.
w.

251. TimTheToolMan says:

Willis wonders “You say the ocean doesn’t warm from DLR … so what keeps it from freezing?”
Boltzmann only requires the ocean to radiate the energy and says nothing about where that energy must come from. As I said in one of my earlier posts, in my view the DLR is absorbed into the top 10um and at about the same rate its absorbed, its re-radiated upwards as part of this requirement. Some is used for evaporation, and there are other factors to be considered but that is the essential process.
At no time does the energy from the DLR make it to the bulk. The ocean isn’t warmed by the DLR, its only ever warmed by DSR. DLR helps keep it warm.
Its not just sematics. Its process. And understanding.

252. Tim Folkerts says:

Actually, Stilgar, in thermodynamics “it heats it” is neither necessary nor sufficient to conclude that “it warms it”.
“heats” = “transfers net thermal energy due to a temperature difference”
“warms” = “raised the temperature of”

These are two different concepts.
* I can heat ice without warming it (eg by melting it at 0C)
* I can warm air without heating it (eg by compressing it with a pump)
With these more specific definitions, I think it is perfectly reasonable to say “DLR warms the oceans” since the temperature is higher than it would be without that IR radiation. On the other hand, it is NOT correct to say “DLR heats the oceans” since the DLR comes from a region of cooler temperature, and the net flow of thermal energy can never be from cooler to warmer.
The true “heating” comes from the sun. With no loss of energy from the earth (ie perfect stopping of radiation from the earth), the surface would be heated until it approached the temperature of the sun. With complete loss (ie blackboady radiation loss from the earth), the temperature would be well below 0 C. With some stopping of IR, the temperature is somewhere in between. The exact value depends on how much the IR is reduced. Stop more IR, and the surface warms; stop less IR and the surface cools.

steven mosher says:
August 16, 2011 at 9:33 am
“The point is that no amount of theory, physics, experiment, will convince some people because they do not want to be convinced. We have a word for that. It starts with D”
I wholly disagree with your statement. Many WUWT readers are from the engineering professions. A well designed and conducted experiment will indeed convince people. You have failed to acknowledge that study you linked to at RC does not provide adequate empirical data for the question being asked. “Can backscattered IR around the 15 micron frequency heat or slow the cooling of Earth’s oceans to any measurable degree?”
The experiment required is simple
-Enclosed controlled environment preferably cold
-Two tanks of sea water at a known temperature.
-Air sources at a known temperature, humidity and wind speed for both tanks.
-IR source emitting only between 10 and 20 microns with a spectral peak around 15 microns, above one tank only.
-A few accurate thermometers.
This thread now has over 250 comments and no one has pointed to such an empirical study. 100 billion spent on global warming research and no one has done this?
“Do you have any cheese at all?”, he asked, expecting the answer “No”…

254. Dave Springer says:

“The 390 w per sqm is a factor of the 170 w per sqm received from the sun. It is created by the solar energy received by the earth. If the sun had never fired up, the 390 w per sq m would not exist. You cannot create something from nothing and whatever is downwelling from the atmosphere it cannot be more than we have received from the sun.”
Evidently the hockey team believes it create something from nothing whenever it’s convenient. They can make ice without water if need be.
Here’s my take. As far as the team goes these instantaneous energy transfers are pure unadulterated obfuscation. When you have two terms on either side of an equation that cancel out you cancel them out. It’s called simplification and is taught in high school mathematics I believe beginning in Algebra 1. If you fail to produce the simplest form of an equation you get dinged for it. Willis evidently has been out of high school too long to remember the basics.
But let’s presume for a moment that Willis could pass a 7th grade algebra test. That raises the question of why on earth he would insist on not following the rules. I don’t think his goal is obfuscation. I think it’s appeasement. Willis is insecure about his position in this debate up against guys with PhD’s so he’s saying to them “Look here, we’re all smart guys and I agree with most of what you say except for clouds”. Willis actually did say to me that he and Trenberth were both smart and understood this. Actually Trenberth is a whole lot smarter than Willis. But that’s not saying much. Trenberth isn’t particularly bright.

255. Tim Folkerts says:

Dave Springer says:
“Sorry Tallbloke, but I’m calling BS on that net radiative loss. ”
I think that he specifically meant “net radiative loss IN THE THERMAL IR PART OF THE SPECTRUM”. There is a net overall radiative gain (when solar radiation is included), which allows for a net evaporative/convective transfer upward.

256. Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm (Edit)
tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm
“Net radiative loss from ocean to atmosphere ~70W/m^2″
Unless that radiative loss is balanced by a gain in energy then the ocean temperature would be falling like a stone. Clearly it isn’t falling like a stone. What do you propose is the source and mechanism of balancing energy?

The incoming solar (170) less the latent and sensible loss (100) equals 70, which equals the net radiative loss.
These are Trenberth’s figures, which are wrong, but they are the one’s Willis likes to use, so for the sake of keeping the debate on an even keel so far as is possible, I’ll use them to demonstrate the falsity of Willis’ ice cube argument.

257. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm
I’m sorry to have to say this again, but the individual flows are the real, actual, measurable, observable flows. The net flow is a mathematical construct, useful, but without a real-world counterpart.

The real world counterpart to the net flow is the fact that the sum effect of the radiative flux is to cool the ocean by ~66-70W/m^2

258. Dave Springer says:

Why does “the team” pursue this obfuscatory complexification of the ocean heat budget one might ask.
The reason is simple. If you toss about all these big numbers about hundreds of watts of LWIR coming out the ocean and hundreds of watts of LWIR flowiing back into the ocean it obscures the fact that primary mechanism of energy loss by the ocean is latent heat, not radiative. The net radiative heat loss at the end of the day is 50Wm, conductive heat loss is 20Wm, latent heat loss weighing in at 140Wm. Energy into the ocean 200Wm which exactly balances out. This accurate correctly simplified equation leaves us arguing over a tiny, hypothetical imbalance on the order 2Wm more input than output. To add insult to injury no one can actually find any sign of the imbalance – it’s all just mathematical creation in a toy computer model with no empirical evidence that it actually exists in nature – hence the infamous “missing heat”.
This would be funny if there weren’t so many imbeciles that believe the output of toy computer models trump reality. It’s sad really and brings to mind something Richard Dawkins said (my modifications for context):
It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution anthropogenic global warming, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).
— Richard Dawkins.

259. Smokey says:

Dave Springer says:
Dave you seem to be a smart guy, but Willis has a real talent for explaining things, and I for one appreciate his articles very much. Why don’t you submit an article, and see what it’s like being on the receiving end of criticism?
You could have left your last papragraph @ 3:53 pm out completely. It was petty and juvenile. How old are you, anyway?

260. Dave Springer says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
“NASA have stopped using the K-T energy budget cartoon on their website which shows the separate LW radiation components and replaced it with this one which only shows the net flow:
http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/energy-budget-new.jpg
Precious. What happened, did Hansen’s high school algebra teacher ring him up on the telly from the nursing home and tell him if he didn’t start following the rules she taught him she’d smack his hand with her ruler?
Pay attention Willis. No more need to appease your foils by agreeing with their errors. You have a new party line to parrot.

261. Spector says:

In nonscientific usage, the difference between warming and heating is a matter of degree. Warming is putting a blanket around yourself or standing near the fire. Heating is what you do to make boiling water. Perhaps warming==gentle heating.

262. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 12:13 am (Edit)
… The craziest, ugliest, silliest, nonsensical impossible thing (you set the tone, Willis, not me) is that an ocean which receives a net input of 200Wm can emit more than that and sustain the loss indefinitely. Conservation of energy is a bitch that isn’t going to budge.
I’m not sure what you’re saying here. I raised four arguments against the idea that the DLR doesn’t warm the ocean.
That doesn’t seem like an answer to any of them.
I’m still waiting for responses that actually address the arguments. For example, we know that the ocean radiates somewhere around 400 w/m2 of Stefan-Boltzmann thermal radiation. You say it receives a net input of 200 w/m2.
I say it gets about 170 w/m2 from the sun, plus about 320 from DLR, for a net input of 490 w/m2. It loses about 390 by radiation, about 80 by evaporation (latent heat transfer) and about 20 w/m2 by conduction (sensible heat transfer). Total loss, about 490 w/m2. Total input, about 490 w/m2 … so it balances, it neither gains nor loses heat so after a hundred years it’s neither freezing nor boiling.
You say the 320 w/m2 DLR is an illusion … OK, so what keeps the ocean from freezing in your scheme?
Here’s the simplest possible model of the global energy budget. A greenhouse works because a shell has two sides, and so it radiates the same amount (in w/m2) upwards as it does downwards. Note that all of the levels are balanced—the amount of energy going in is equal to the amount of energy going out, probably I should post this up in the head post.

w.

263. Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
The net radiative heat loss at the end of the day is 50Wm, conductive heat loss is 20Wm, latent heat loss weighing in at 140Wm. Energy into the ocean 200Wm which exactly balances out.

Dave, where are your figures from please?

264. Dave Springer says:

Smokey says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm
“Dave Springer says:
Dave you seem to be a smart guy, but Willis has a real talent for explaining things, and I for one appreciate his articles very much. Why don’t you submit an article, and see what it’s like being on the receiving end of criticism?
You could have left your last papragraph @ 3:53 pm out completely. It was petty and juvenile. How old are you, anyway?”
I’m 55 and I was writing articles on global warming begining in 2005 and I quit in 2009. Been on the receiving side plenty.
Quite frankly Willis needs the upper hand of being the author and me the commenter to make the playing field a bit more level. This whole damn article was a response to ME for suggesting in a different article of his that LWIR from greenhouse gases doesn’t effect the ocean to any significant degree. I don’t begrudge him the ability to respond to an obscure comment of mine with a headline, large print, pretty pictures, and words directed at me like silly, nonsense, impossible, and ugly. Poor little Willis needs all the advantage like that he can get and at the end of the day he still comes up lacking.

265. Dave Springer says:

@tallbloke
Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm
http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~carton/pdfs/foltzetal03.pdf
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. C5, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584, 2003
Seasonal mixed layer heat budget of the tropical Atlantic Ocean
Gregory R. Foltz, Semyon A. Grodsky, and James A. Carton
Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Net surface heat flux is a combination of latent and
sensible heat loss, shortwave radiation absorption, and net
longwave emission. Sensible heat loss is insignificant (<10
W m2) due to small air-sea temperature differences, while
net emission of longwave radiation is a relatively constant
50 W m2 [da Silva et al., 1994].

266. Bob_FJ says:

Willis Eschenbach @ August 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

“…As a result I wrote the arguments list above, and tallbloke and the folks who think DLR can’t warm the ocean started answering (although none have explained why, if the DLR isn’t warming the ocean, it hasn’t frozen yet.”

Willis, please try to understand that EMR (electromagnetic radiation), regardless of wavelength and power, is a different form of energy to HEAT. Put another way, the 400 w/m^2 that you visualise as leaving the surface even though measured in the same units is not rate of HEAT loss. Repeat, EMR is not HEAT.
In understanding science, things are getting desperate when resorting to analogies, but let us compare EMR with DC ELECTRICITY.
1) Electricity is not heat but can be converted to heat by passing it through a resistance, which you might visualise as being like EMR being absorbed in matter. (the photons are akin to electrons)
2) Consider two DC sources of different voltage connected in opposed series, think about what the combined PD is and compare it with opposing EMR’s. Note also that if the voltages or EMR’s are equal, nothing happens. This can be visualised in a typical elemental layer of air where most of the radiation is horizontally opposed.

267. Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm
http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~carton/pdfs/foltzetal03.pdf
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. C5, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584, 2003

Nice, thanks.
Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
In understanding science, things are getting desperate when resorting to analogies, but let us compare EMR with DC ELECTRICITY.
1) Electricity is not heat but can be converted to heat by passing it through a resistance, which you might visualise as being like EMR being absorbed in matter. (the photons are akin to electrons)
2) Consider two DC sources of different voltage connected in opposed series, think about what the combined PD is and compare it with opposing EMR’s. Note also that if the voltages or EMR’s are equal, nothing happens.

As analogies go, it’s a good one I think.

268. Matt G says:
269. Dave Springer says:

@Tallbloke
The paragraph from the Geophysical Research Paper (actual experimental science not toy computer model output) is a summary of many individual times and locations. There’s a wealth of information in it. Enough budget tables of individual times and places to make your head spin. Inputs and outputs don’t balance in instant cases. For instance the authors measure how much summertime heating of the mixed layer is entrained until winter when the balance goes the other way which of course it must do and is why there’s little seasonal temperature variation compared to land. Where the energy goes in and where it comes out also moves around to some degree due to winds and ocean currents and precipitation patterns. At the end of the day (or year rather) it all balances out. Energy into the ocean equals energy out of the ocean equals constant average ocean temperature. The argument for any imbalance caused by AGHGs is in the margins which is why this debate is unending. The take home lesson is how small those margins are the utter dearth of empirical evidence saying they fall on side of more energy input than ouput.
.

270. Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm
This whole damn article was a response to ME for suggesting in a different article of his that LWIR from greenhouse gases doesn’t effect the ocean to any significant degree. I don’t begrudge him the ability to respond to an obscure comment of mine with a headline, large print, pretty pictures, and words directed at me like silly, nonsense, impossible, and ugly.

There’s a good deal of back history you may not be aware of:

271. Myrrh says:

w.
tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm
Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm
This means that information has been thrown away to get to the “net flow” number, and I prefer not to throw away information when I don’t have to.
Let’s be super-generous to ourselves and have all the numbers on the table
Downwelling solar absorbed by the ocean ≈ 170 W/m2
Downwelling ‘back radiation’ ≈ 320 W/m^2
Total = 490 W/m^2
#######
I think you’ve all lost the plot.
Downwelling Solar 170 W/m^2 is not heating the Earth. Visible Light, UV and Nr IR are not thermal energies – they cannot be heating the land and oceans to raise the temperature by the amount claimed nor can they therefore create that much Infrared upwelling from the Earth.
You’re in gobbledegook land the lot of you, who are arguing as if this is real.
The ‘missing heat’ is Thermal Infrared direct from the Sun…
Perhaps you can’t hear me because the atmosphere you’re in is empty space, and sound doesn’t travel in empty space..
..now where did I put that popcorn..?

272. Thanks Matt and Dave – signing off for sleep.
TB

273. Dave Springer says:

Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
It can become clumsy at times and difficult for the layperson (including me) to follow but ultimately everything in the universe is composed of energy which can be neither created nor destroyed. Matter itself is a form of energy with the equivalence defined by the equation e=mc2. Thus everything can be described in terms of energy flows measured in any arbitrary term you choose – joules, watts, btus, horsepower, whatever. There are equivalancy equations for converting any of them one to another. EMR and heat are both energy. Following it all its forms is a tough row to hoe but at the end of the day that’s what it boils down to – energy flows – and because energy can be neither created nor destroyed if you can balance the energy accounting from start to finish in any process of interest then you probably got it right. If the books don’t balance then you’ve definitely missed something.

274. Dave Springer says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm
“Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm
This whole damn article was a response to ME for suggesting in a different article of his that LWIR from greenhouse gases doesn’t effect the ocean to any significant degree. I don’t begrudge him the ability to respond to an obscure comment of mine with a headline, large print, pretty pictures, and words directed at me like silly, nonsense, impossible, and ugly.
There’s a good deal of back history you may not be aware of:
Yeah but in this particular case the raiser of the silly, impossible, ugly headed nonsense was me. The nerve that I touched was already exposed but it was still me who touched it this time and set Willis off on a rant. Thus I took those harsh words personally and considered them to be fighting words so I fully intend to kick Willis’ sorry intellectual ass for it.

275. Dave Springer says:

Truth be told there’s some residual anger in me for the boorish article Willis penned last week with regard to Native Americans. Even Anthony said he wouldn’t have approved it. So I guess the boor in me, which is admittedly legion, is coming out in response. I don’t really mind lowering myself to that level. It’s kind of fun wrestling with pigs if you don’t mind the mud.

276. Costard says:

This is absurd. Willis’ argument is that if heat is lost when the ocean emits LR – and it is, indisputably – then it must be gained (or not lost) when the ocean receives DLR. If there is some mechanism by which heat in the ocean is transferred to the surface and radiated – and there is, convection – then a decrease in net radiation means (in the absence of other variables) less heat lost, less convection, and less heat sent to the surface. Sorry but it makes no substantive difference whether you call it less cooling or more warming, when either way the effect of DLR is a higher ocean temperature than would otherwise exist.
What is important is the extent to which less heat radiated = more heat conducted and/or converted into evaporation.

277. Myrrh says:

Not all electromagnetic energy heats up organic matter. It’s not simply the case of ‘balancing’ energy in/energy out, this claim is specific to heating land and oceans to raise the temperature.

278. Dave Springer says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm
“Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
The net radiative heat loss at the end of the day is 50Wm, conductive heat loss is 20Wm, latent heat loss weighing in at 140Wm. Energy into the ocean 200Wm which exactly balances out.
Dave, where are your figures from please?”
A typo in there, by the way. Conductive heat loss, per the paper, is 10Wm.

279. wobble says:

Dave Springer says:
This whole damn article was a response to ME for suggesting in a different article of his that LWIR from greenhouse gases doesn’t effect the ocean to any significant degree. I don’t begrudge him the ability to respond to an obscure comment of mine with a headline, large print, pretty pictures, and words directed at me like silly, nonsense, impossible, and ugly.

Dave Springer, I was one of the commenters that asked you about your statement in the last thread.
Personally, I’m happy this issue was raised, and I’ve learned quite a bit reading through this thread. However, I’m still not sure what I believe. Can you clarify your position for me? I’m really just trying to understand, and I’m not trying to trap you.
It seems as if you agree that downward infrared radiation, such as that being caused by green house gases, does retard the cooling of land surfaces. Is this correct?
If so, then it also seems as if you agree that an increase in CO2 might provide some marginal amount (even if such marginal amount is minuscule and undetectable) of increased downward infrared radiation towards the earth. Is this correct?
If so, then it also It seems as if you agree that such marginal amount of increased downward infrared radiation also exists over the oceans. Is this correct?
If so, then it also seems as if there is disagreement regarding the effect that such increased downward infrared radiation has on the oceans. Is this correct?
If so, then it seems as if you assert that increased downward infrared radiation has any effect on ocean temperatures. Is this correct?
If I’m right about everything so far, then please let me know if you believe that: 1) an increased amount of downward infrared radiation is unable to have any effect at all (including theoretical) on ocean temperatures; or 2) an increased amount of downward infrared radiation could theoretically retard ocean cooling, but due to offsetting mechanisms (such as evaporation) ocean cooling isn’t retarded in any measurable amount.
Again, I’m really trying to understand what your specific claims are.

280. Dave Springer says:

Matt G says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm
tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
Excellent. Actual net surface energy from NASA. A clear picture unsullied by obfuscatory unnecessary opposing flows that cancel out.
I culled it down to global means to make a point:
Average net shortwave radiation at the Earth’s surface: January 1984-1991.
Global mean = 162 W/m2
Average net longwave radiation at the Earth’s surface: January 1984-1991.
Global mean = -48 W/m2
Average net radiation at the Earth’s surface: January 1984-1991.
Global mean = 114 W/m2
So we see here in simple terms that at the surface, which is where we live and why I eschew obfuscatory Top of Atmosphere budget, we have at the end of the day (or rather end of the decade) a net radiative flow of 114 W/m2.
This 114 W/m2 is the amount of energy that doesn’t leave the surface radiatively. Compare this to 48 W/m2 which is the amount of energy that does leave the surface radiatively. LWIR emission only accounts for 48/114 or 42% of all radiative heat loss from the surface, land and ocean combined. For the ocean-only the radiative loss is only 25% (see my previous link to ocean heat budget).
What this means is that the lion’s share of heat loss is not via radiation and that’s especially true over the ocean. Where radiative loss is not a large factor neither can greenhouse gases be a large factor because radiation is only mechanism by which GHGs do their GHG thing.
Given the ocean is 70% of the surface, for the combined total radiative heat loss to reach 42% the land masses must be very much dominated by radiative loss. But over the ocean, not much. It’s mostly about latent heat loss over the ocean.
This is just more in the way of empirical evidence (not toy models or thought experiments with heat lamps and pans of water) that the GHG effect is predominantly a land based phenomenon.
QED
Peace. Out.

281. Bob_FJ says:

Myrrh @ August 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

“…Downwelling Solar 170 W/m^2 is not heating the Earth. Visible Light, UV and Nr IR are not thermal energies – they cannot be heating the land and oceans to raise the temperature by the amount claimed nor can they therefore create that much Infrared upwelling from the Earth…”

Sorry Myrrh, but the term “thermal radiation” is sometimes confused and misused. It is really a misnomer for EMR, (electromagnetic radiation) which includes visible light which does indeed heat matter when its photons are absorbed. Try here at Wikipedia:

282. Willis Eschenbach says:

Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Willis Eschenbach @ August 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

“…As a result I wrote the arguments list above, and tallbloke and the folks who think DLR can’t warm the ocean started answering (although none have explained why, if the DLR isn’t warming the ocean, it hasn’t frozen yet.”

Willis, please try to understand that EMR (electromagnetic radiation), regardless of wavelength and power, is a different form of energy to HEAT. Put another way, the 400 w/m^2 that you visualise as leaving the surface even though measured in the same units is not rate of HEAT loss. Repeat, EMR is not HEAT.

I understand that EMR is not heat. It is energy. EMR can heat things that it hits, that’s why we have microwave ovens. Not sure what your point is. You post a quote of mine that doesn’t contain the word “heat” in any form, and claim I don’t understand that EMR is not heat … of course it’s not heat, it’s EMR.
w.

283. Willis, you can say it as many times as you want and it still is only a half truth.
I get about 275K for the average with the 170 in. Of course, this close averages may hide stuff, but, 275k isn’t frozen. Also of course, I may have screwed up trying stuff I barely understand even with the BB Calculator.

284. Willis Eschenbach says:

Myrrh says:
August 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

… I think you’ve all lost the plot.
Downwelling Solar 170 W/m^2 is not heating the Earth. Visible Light, UV and Nr IR are not thermal energies – they cannot be heating the land and oceans to raise the temperature by the amount claimed nor can they therefore create that much Infrared upwelling from the Earth.

Visible light and UV can’t warm things they hit? The sun can’t warm the land? Someone’s lost the plot here, but it’s not us all …
w.

285. Willis,
“This means that information has been thrown away to get to the “net flow” number, and I prefer not to throw away information when I don’t have to.”
Except when you only say 390 you threw away the 324…

286. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

… Yeah but in this particular case the raiser of the silly, impossible, ugly headed nonsense was me. The nerve that I touched was already exposed but it was still me who touched it this time and set Willis off on a rant. Thus I took those harsh words personally and considered them to be fighting words so I fully intend to kick Willis’ sorry intellectual ass for it.

My apologies, Dave, if you took it personally. I didn’t even note who had raised the subject on the previous thread, nor did I care. I’ve heard the story too many times, so I wanted to address it. It had nothing to do with you personally, and my words were not aimed at you or anyone. They were aimed at the foolishness of not doing the accounting. What goes in in terms of energy must be about equal to the energy that goes out.
Now, anyone who believes that there is not something on the order of 300 w/m2 of DLR warming the ocean needs to explain, if it’s not DLR warming the ocean, what is.
Nobody has done so. Why?
Because the belief is silly. It doesn’t pass the laugh test, much less the smell test. The ocean is known, not thought but known, to be radiating about 400 w/m2. It has to be radiating that much, because of its temperature. Since it’s not cooling or warming much, it must be receiving at least that amount. I say (see the diagram above) that the energy to make it balance comes from the DLR. Nor is that the only reason to think the belief doesn’t accord with what we know, I list three other good reasons above, none of which have been refuted.
So in your understanding, Dave, if it’s not DLR, what is providing that energy to keep the ocean liquid?
w.

287. wobble says:

Willis Eschenbach, do you admit that you don’t actually know the amount of warming the “DLR” can cause? Isn’t it possible that the amount of warming that it causes is negligible and even unmeasurable?

288. Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

In understanding science, things are getting desperate when resorting to analogies, but let us compare EMR with DC ELECTRICITY.
1) Electricity is not heat but can be converted to heat by passing it through a resistance, which you might visualise as being like EMR being absorbed in matter. (the photons are akin to electrons)
2) Consider two DC sources of different voltage connected in opposed series, think about what the combined PD is and compare it with opposing EMR’s. Note also that if the voltages or EMR’s are equal, nothing happens. This can be visualised in a typical elemental layer of air where most of the radiation is horizontally opposed.

Tallbloke seems to think this is a good analogy — I think it is a fair to poor analogy. Electrons are not really all that much like photons. Once a photon is created, it travels pretty freely (until it gets in the neighborhood of an atom). There are no competing fields pushing on it as it flies thru space. A photon heading one way will pass right by a photon traveling the other way.
Electrons, on the other hand are pushed and pulled by fields all thru the circuit. Electrons interact and scatter as they pass each other.
A better analogy would be two separate circuits, one sending electrons counterclockwise around one wire while the other circuit sends electrons clockwise around a parallel wire. The “net current” will be one current minus the other, but electrons really would be flowing both directions.

289. Stanb999 says:

In a few years… Maybe decades when the current regime is old and feeble. Well they are already feeble in certain regards.
The true case of how the “green house” works will be proven…
The simple fact is water retains heat very well. The atmosphere due to it’s limited mass dissipates heat very poorly. This is what creates the magic that scientists are trying to prove exists. You don’t need hocus-pocus.
You do all that in the dawn of astronomy it was proven that the earth was in the center of the solar system… Worked perfectly on paper. But it was in fact non-sense.

290. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dave Springer says:
August 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm (Edit)

… Here’s my take. As far as the team goes these instantaneous energy transfers are pure unadulterated obfuscation. When you have two terms on either side of an equation that cancel out you cancel them out. It’s called simplification and is taught in high school mathematics I believe beginning in Algebra 1. If you fail to produce the simplest form of an equation you get dinged for it. Willis evidently has been out of high school too long to remember the basics.

Oh, good, ad hominem attacks. Dave, you still haven’t explained how the ocean can lose 400 w/m2 in radiation, gain 170 w/m2 from the sun, and still stay liquid. My high school is merely an attempt on your part to divert people from asking you, once again, for your explanation. I do know from my high school education that if the ocean is losing some 230 w/m2 it will freeze solid in a short time … so why is it liquid, Dave?
w.

291. Barry Day says:

tallbloke says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
“NASA have stopped using the K-T energy budget cartoon on their website which shows the separate LW radiation components and replaced it with this one which only shows the net flow:”
http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/energy-budget-new.jpg
======================================================
Why is the huge 400 percent INCREASE (of three million+) in submarine volcanic and thermal vent activity LEFT OUT OF THEIR EQUATION???It surely would be greater than a miniscule amount of AWG.
Out of sight out of mind,no doubt.

292. Steve from Rockwood says:

Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Willis Eschenbach @ August 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm
“…As a result I wrote the arguments list above, and tallbloke and the folks who think DLR can’t warm the ocean started answering (although none have explained why, if the DLR isn’t warming the ocean, it hasn’t frozen yet.”
Willis, please try to understand that EMR (electromagnetic radiation), regardless of wavelength and power, is a different form of energy to HEAT. Put another way, the 400 w/m^2 that you visualise as leaving the surface even though measured in the same units is not rate of HEAT loss. Repeat, EMR is not HEAT.
=======================================================
When EMR interacts with a conductor currents are formed and dissipated as heat. So an EM field generated in air would transfer heat to the ocean (which is a conductor).
EMR radiating back out into space will only find resistance, but EMR striking the earth (and the oceans) will generate heat.

293. Here is the simplest argument I can come up with for the “reality” of ~ 390 W/m^2 upward and ~ 320 W/m^2 downward thermal IR, as opposed to the “reality” of ~ 70 W/m upward thermal IR.
Take a 1 m x 1 m sheet of material with an emissivity of 1. Make it thick enough to have a heat capacity of ~ 700 J/K. Create a vacuum around it to eliminate conduction & convection. Cool the sheet close to 0 K and then set it out horizontally someplace above the ground.
CASE 1) If there are indeed two fluxes of 390 W/m^2 up toward the bottom of the sheet and 320 W/m^s down onto the top of the sheet, then the two surfaces will absorb = 710 J/s and warm at rate of ~ 1 K every second.
CASE 2) If there is only a “net flux” of 70 W/m^2 upward, then the top will receive nothing and the bottom will receive 70 W, and the sheet will warm at ~ 0,1 K every second. This is a 10x slower rate and would be easy to measure.
Is there anyone who seriously thinks the object will warm at a rate of 0.1 K/s rather than 1 K/s ???

294. “Why is the huge 400 percent INCREASE (of three million+) in submarine volcanic and thermal vent activity LEFT OUT OF THEIR EQUATION???It surely would be greater than a miniscule amount of AWG.”
Al the estimates I have seen put geothermal energy flux at ~ 0.1 W/m^2. Even if the energy flow did increase by 400 % to 0.4 W/m, this is still a pretty small affect. A forcing of 0.3 W/m^s would be significant, but hardly “huge”.
And that all assumes that there was a true increase, not just an increase in the known activity. If there had been 0.4 W/m^2 all along, then just discovering new volcanoes would not CHANGE the climate.

295. gnomish says:

just a word of support for mr springer.
meritocracy is wonderful; pecking order is not tolerable.
i’m probably not the only one who can distinguish the difference.
i really am fed up with the aroma of domination growing here. willis is now like romm and mosher like gavin. stuff the drama and go back to mama.
i liked it when Anthony ran the place and held to standards which distinguished wuwt from most other sites that quickly become vulgar from ego trippers running down other guests- a clique in quest of a claque. i’m not off topic, either. they make themselves the topic every chance they get.
forum clingers are always a problem that way. they don’t do any of the work to create the venue or get it to become a going concern, they just camp on it and try to take it over and sacrifice it to their flaming vanities.

296. Smokey says:

gnomish,
So you support ad hominem attacks. Got it.

297. Myrrh,
“The ‘missing heat’ is Thermal Infrared direct from the Sun…”
In case no one else has answered, that was one of my issues until I found the data. The earth and sun radiation levels cross in the 4-5 micron range. The near IR from 4 microns down is actually included in the visible absorbed numbers I believe. That is where the sun substantially exceeds the earth. From 5 up it is very small and absorbed in the atmosphere. Of course, if they don’t… I still haven’t had anyone explicitly state what the IPCC uses. Probably will have to read the one section to find out for sure. I don’t really believe they are trying to ignore almost 50% of the sun’s output. That is just a bit more than the DLR.

298. Willis Eschenbach says:

wobble says:
August 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Willis Eschenbach, do you admit that you don’t actually know the amount of warming the “DLR” can cause? Isn’t it possible that the amount of warming that it causes is negligible and even unmeasurable?

Nope, not possible, not unless you have an explanation for what keeps the ocean liquid. We know the ocean is losing 400 w/m2 of energy through radiation. We know it’s only getting about 170 w/m2 from the sun … what makes up the difference?
I say DLR, there’s no other energy source around to do it. So no, it’s not possible that the warming is negligible.
w.

299. Dave Springer says: August 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm
This 114 W/m2 is the amount of energy that doesn’t leave the surface radiatively. Compare this to 48 W/m2 which is the amount of energy that does leave the surface radiatively. LWIR emission only accounts for 48/114 or 42% of all radiative heat loss from the surface, land and ocean combined. For the ocean-only the radiative loss is only 25% (see my previous link to ocean heat budget).
Actually (using your numbers), LWIR accounts for 100% of all radiative heat loss, but 48/162 = 29% of total heat loss.
What this means is that the lion’s share of heat loss is not via radiation and that’s especially true over the ocean. Where radiative loss is not a large factor neither can greenhouse gases be a large factor because radiation is only mechanism by which GHGs do their GHG thing.
Let me give an analogy as to why I disagree with your conclusion. Suppose i have a large balloon. It is leaking ~ 390 l/min thru a square hole, 80 l/min thru a round hole, and 30 l/min thru a triangular hole. That is a net loss of 500 l/min. But there is a second square hole with a blower that adds 320 l/min to the balloon. And there is a rectangular hole with a blower adding another 180 l/min. With all of this, the balloon is neither inflating nor deflating.
It would be silly to say that the 390 l/min leaking thru the square hole is not very important because there is a different square hole that is simultaneous adding most of this added air back. You would say BOTH holes are important. A 10% change in the square hole leak would be much more important than a 10% change in any of the other leaks.
We can split hairs and discuss if the “sizes of the holes” are quite right, but there is no way to avoid the fact that the huge “square holes” (ie upward & downward IR energy fluxes) are important.
To push the analogy a bit farther than I probably should, we could ask what would happen if we turned the blower up from 390 l/min to 400 l/m. The pressure would increase, causing more air to leak from all three holes. the increase would not necessarily have to increase proportionately for the three leaks, but they would all leak more. And more importantly, the pressure would be raise inside the balloon until the new equilibrium is reached.
For the climate, the analogous argument is obviously that an increase in DLR would increase the surface temperature, causing increases in evaporation, convection and IR radiation. Evaporation will only increase if the surface temperature increases (barring changes to winds, etc), which will by necessity also increase radiation and convection.

300. TimTheToolMan says:

Willis, just to remind you I know the DLR plays a role in keeping the oceans warm…but you’re article and understanding at the time of writing were off. I’ll refute your arguments since you keep pleading for someone to do so.
Argument 1. “…”People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land.”
No its not. DLR is NOT absorbed in the first mm of water, its absorbed in the first 10um of the water and the remaining 99990um of that first mm *increase* in temperature with depth. The place where the DLR is absorbed is the coldest place. Conduction cannot happen.
Compare this to land where the top of the earth is the warmest place and conduction can happily warm the earth below.
Argument 2 “If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going?”
As described earlier, it is largely immediately radiated back up. Up and down for basically zero net effect. Except some is lost to space and some to evaporation and the shortfalls are made up from energy from the bulk of the ocean moved to the surface by convection and conduction, supplied in the first place by the sun.
So does this mean DLR heats the ocean? Yes, but not directly. It is the sun that heated the ocean. The DLR ONLY slows that energy from escaping.
Argument 3 “DLR heating of the top mm of the ocean reduces those differences and thus delays the onset of that oceanic overturning by slowing the night-time cooling of the topmost layer”
This is closest you had to correct. However your statement “But in addition to the wind-driven turbulence of the topmost layer mixing the DLR energy downwards into lower layers” betrays the fact you believed the topmost layer to be heated by DLR and warmer than the bulk. The fact is that if the topmost layer were to mix downward, then for the next few mm or so, it would be *cooling* the ocean, not warming it…and its only from 1mm down where the ocean is warmer than below where mixing down warms the ocean below. The important point here is that this warmer water 1mm down wasn’t directly warmed by the DLR. DLR played a role in it being as warm as it is, but not in the sense you meant.
Argument 4 “Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean.”
Is also close to being correct in the sense that DLR plays a role in keeping the ocean warm. Its the specifics that matter here though. Why? Because you’re trying to describe them in your article.

301. Willis Eschenbach says:

In response to those who say that when the skin layer is warmed by EMR the heat won’t propagate downwards, heating a liquid from the top stratifies it. In this situation, the thermal conductivity “k” comes into play. For water, it’s about six-tenths of a watt per square metre per degree C. The relevant formula is
q = k A ∆T / L
where A is the area, ∆T is temperature difference over the distance L.
This means that if the top surface of the ocean is hotter by one degree than it is a metre down, six-tenths of a watt/m2 is moving downwards by thermal conduction. A 5 degree difference from the surface to one metre down, conductance of 0.6 times 5 metres gives us three watts per square metre warming the water a metre down. That’s significant in my book, doubling CO2 is suppose to be 4 watts/m2 or so.
In this regard, water is no different than any other substance, it has a characteristic thermal conductivity, which is the rate at which heat passes through that substance. Ice, curiously, is a much better conductor of heat than is liquid water, which leads to counterintuitive results in the polar regions.
Of course, this is during the day. During the night, convection takes the lead away from thermal conduction as the dominant heat transfer mechanism. This is because the ocean is overturning at night. All night long water is rising to the surface, cooling through radiation and evaporation, moving laterally across the surface and sinking in scattered columns to the depths again. See Figure 5 here. The night-time DLR delays the onset of the overturning, and slows it once it is established. This leaves the bulk of the upper ocean warmer than if there were no DLR.
If there were no DLR absorbed by the ocean, the ocean surface would be losing massive amounts of heat, and would soon cool to a new much colder equilibrium.
w.

302. Stephen Wilde says:

The oceans stay liquid because atmospheric pressure dictates the energy value of the latent heat of evaporation and that sets the rate at which energy can be lost to the air via evaporation by setting the energy cost of the evaporative process.
If atmospheric pressure were reduced to zero the energy cost of the latent heat of evaporation would be so small that not only would the oceans retain no solar energy at all but they would instantly vaporise just as happens to water released to space.
If atmospheric pressure were to be increased then the energy cost of the evaporative process would rise and the oceans would retain more solar energy than they do now for a higher equilibrium temperature.
We all know that water boils at a lower temperature at the top of Everest than at the sea surface.
It is the energy cost of evaporation at a given atmospheric pressure that controls the equilibrium temperature of the ocean bulk and thus the equilibrium temperature of the entire Earth system. In the process it keeps the oceans in a liquid state at current atmospheric pressure.
DLR only affects the rate at which energy is transferred from molecules in the interacting layer in the very top few microns of the sea surface to space via the atmosphere. It does not cool or warm the ocean bulk since it cannot affect the rate at which energy is released by the oceans. That rate is affected only by the energy cost of the evaporative process which is pressure dependent combined with the quantity of solar shortwave input at being retained any given moment.
So more solar input or a rise in atmospheric pressure raises the equilibrium temperature.
Less solar input or a fall in atmospheric pressure reduces the equilibrium temperature.
Differing combinations of such changes alter the equilibrium temperature up or down depending on the relative proportions of changes in those two parameters.
Full explanation here:
http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/environment/wilde-weather/setting-and-maintaining-of-earth%e2%80%99s-equilibrium-temperature/18931.html

303. Crispin in Waterloo says:

Dave Springer says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm
Keith Minto says:
August 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm
“If the air at the ocean surface is humid that means it has already condensed and released its heat;”
Wrong. You can see it if it condenses. If it condenses near the surface we call it fog. If it condenses farther up we call it clouds. In either case you can see it after it condenses. If you can’t see it then it hasn’t condensed.
++++++++++++
Actually you can only see it if it is larger than 0.1 microns (which reflects visible light). Lots of condensed water vapour is invisible. The droplest form on cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are extremely small for some time. Clouds induced in this manner by galactic cosmic rays are particularly small and last longer in the sub-optical state bceause they are slightly charged and avoid each other. This can mislead (a lot) people using visibile light to measure cloud cover by satellite.
Thanks for your many comments above (until you started to get snippy). It was informative and covered many important aspects of the topic.
Willis, I agree with your main argument that the presence of anything above the ocean that impedes direct radiation of LWR to space will slow the cooling, which some are mis-interpreting as ‘warming’. Yes, it may be warmer, but it was not ‘additionally warmed’. This is an extremely important point which all should concede.
There is no doubt that the core of AGW is that the cooling rate will be reduced by additional CO2, and that the interference with the status quo ante will be catastrophic. Obviously the argument is simplistic bceause if any (of many) additional heat loss mechanisms is enhanced or triggered, the heat loss will be pretty much the same or even more. This appears to be the case as natural variation overwhelms significant increases in CO2. End of short story.

304. TimTheToolMan says:

“In response to those who say that when the skin layer is warmed by EMR the heat won’t propagate downwards, heating a liquid from the top stratifies it.”
Specifics Willis. You’re ignoring them. This isn’t a “macro” effect, its one that takes place at the very surface of the ocean. Stratification is certainly an effect and an important one…but not one that is relevent to this discussion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp_fig2.i.jpg

305. Spector says:

I believe many people get led astray when they hear infra-red radiation described as ‘heat radiation.’ This band of electromagnetic energy is the primary heat-transfer radiation band only for objects that are less than red hot. The sun is white hot. Just look at an energy (heat) spectrum of sunlight. The peak energy is around 0.5 microns (500 nm.) The primary CO2 absorption band is at 15 microns, a much longer wavelength.
Sometimes visible light is characterized as ‘cool’ because we are very sensitive to low intensity light levels. “Average indoor lighting ranges from 100 to 1,000 lux, and average outdoor sunlight is about 50,000 lux.”

306. Keith Minto says:

Noelene says:
August 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm
Dumb question
How does rivers figure in all this?Rivers are always cold are they not?Is that because of their depth ?

Interesting question,
Guess there is a connection to higher altitude and thus lower air temperature, lower relative relative humidity and the fact that rivers start high and inland. The more or less linear flow plus channel resistance, would result in ‘churning’ turbulence and warm surface/cold bottom water overturning. Just a thought, and it can be tested.

307. Dixon says:

Wow, too much discussion! Can we go back to basics with maybe a permanent reference page (Anthony have you considered a ‘pillars of climate science’ primer?) – this stuff is pretty critical. How about an energy balance diagram (probably with citations) to show what we “know” (from actual measurements) and what we theorise (from the gaps). It MUST have been done before.
I can see it wouldn’t be trivial though, EMR is quantised so you’d need all the relevant absorption spectra. You’d need to integrate absorption through the atmosphere and then into the ocean. Then of course you need incoming and outgoing radiation and consequent conduction. Add, aerosols, precipitation, latitude, currents, evaporation, wind, sea-spray, clouds and sediment/algal loading and you’d be pretty complex (and not steady state!) in the real world. But some simple lab experiments would be interesting.

308. RJ says:

Willis
You are right. To be accurate, DLR means that the surface is warmer than if the DLR weren’t there. So you are technically correct, but in common parlance we don’t usually say “It slows the cooling so it ends up warmer than it would otherwise”. We just say “it warms it”.
But this statement completely contradicts your initial post
The sun heats the surface. At best DLR slightly slows the rate of cooling. To say it warms the surface is incorrect.
DLR can not heat the ocean or the land

309. I was going to ask a ton of questions, but I read through the comments and figured its not worth it in the end. Enough people were being rather feisty that I thought it might be better to just read and learn. I did not really understand the article completely (as in what was the reasoning for these 4 points….?) until I read the back-story, so those of you still posting might want to go back and read that, it helped me understand the reasoning going on here.
Another thing, I think this article was a little lower quality for only that reason. The explanations made me curious enough to read more, so don’t feel bad about this. Just remember that some of us are unaware of previous discussion on the subject and are coming into this subject with just the background information. It helps a ton if we have the counter-points to work with too up front. Why do people dispute this? I think that angle might have helped as well too.
Personally, I have not formed an opinion yet, its late, its time for bed and I want to read through the material one more time. Physics late at night is asking for nightmares!
———————————-
“Dumb question
How does rivers figure in all this?Rivers are always cold are they not?Is that because of their depth ? ”
——————————————-
What river are you talking about? I live in Missouri obviously and I can tell you some rivers are rather warm and tend to match the air temperature to a large extent, while others stay around the same temperature year round…the physics is not really relevant with rivers as they flow quicky enough and are a small enough body that their temperature is mostly depended on the source of the water. The physics is more important in the ocean interaction since that is such a large portion of our Earth, and although rivers react very similar to the oceans (larger rivers that is) the effect is so miniscule that its not even worth noting inside of an energy budget. You are better off just calculating the oceans and estimating the difference between fresh and salt water then anything else.
The factors in the temperature of rivers include snow melt *percentage of river’s source, spring fed or not, and how much of the river is spring fed and where is the source – distance and time taken make a huge difference in River Temperature, and of course ambient temperature. That is quite a mouthful, but its a rather small part of the energy budget being discussed. Its rather not important for the Earth’s climate as a whole. But for individual eco-systems, the river systems can make quite a difference.

310. RJ says:

Willis
“Nope, not possible, not unless you have an explanation for what keeps the ocean liquid. We know the ocean is losing 400 w/m2 of energy through radiation. We know it’s only getting about 170 w/m2 from the sun … what makes up the difference?”
Maybe your figures are just warmist fiction. LWR radiation does not heat the planet. Its time to move on from this nonsense.

311. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm
We know the ocean is losing 400 w/m2 of energy through radiation. We know it’s only getting about 170 w/m2 from the sun … what makes up the difference?

DLR makes up the difference Willis.
>I say DLR, there’s no other energy source around to do it. So no, it’s not possible that the warming is negligible.
This is known as non-sequiteur. The second part doesn’t logically follow from the first. DLR is absorbed in the first few nm of the ocean surface. Because a large number of Watts of energy get concentrated into such a thin layer, significant evaporation takes place. Evaporation is a process which soaks up energy and leaves the surface of the body it has evaporated from cooler rather than warmer.
Absorbing energy doesn’t necessarily result in things getting warmer. Especially if the thing is a body of water. Rocks are different of course.
In the case of the DLR being absorbed in the ocean surface, we have numbers coming out of Trenberth’s models, and numbers coming out of NASA’s real empirical measurements which show convective processes including evaporation to be more significant than they are in the Trenberth model, as Dave Springer has elucidated.
Normally, I’d expect Willis to go with real numbers derived from real empirical tests. In this case however, he prefers the numbers coming out of Trenberth’s model.
Very strange.

312. RJ says:

Tinthetoolman
So does this mean DLR heats the ocean? Yes, but not directly. It is the sun that heated the ocean. The DLR ONLY slows that energy from escaping.
Not yes. the correct answer is no. LWR does NOT heat either the land or ocean. It may reduce the rate of cooling by a fraction.
The sun and only the sun heats the surface
“Argument 4 “Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean.”
Is also close to being correct in the sense ”
It is not correct. You say the heating is caused by the sun. So if this is correct (and it is) then this statement can not be correct

313. Bob_FJ says:

Willis Eschenbach @ August 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

“…I understand that EMR is not heat. It is energy. EMR can heat things that it hits, that’s why we have microwave ovens. Not sure what your point is. You post a quote of mine that doesn’t contain the word “heat” in any form, and claim I don’t understand that EMR is not heat … of course it’s not heat, it’s EMR.

Willis, the problem is that although you may not have mentioned the word HEAT, you have seemingly generally been treating EMR as if it were HEAT, whereas they are actually two different forms of energy with clearly defined different behaviours. Maybe the confusion arises from them both generally being measured in the same units, (they need not be), and from a good few climate scientists apparently not understanding (or “denying“?) the differences.
When you speak of warming, presumably you mean that the temperature of the affected matter has increased as a consequence of heating. Temperature of matter can only be increased by the (non quantum transient) addition of HEAT. (and of course vice versa for cooling). Whilst it is true that EMR can be converted to HEAT, EMR itself cannot be added to matter. What can happen is that certain molecules in matter can be excited by absorption of the photon stream duality in EMR at some wavelengths. When this happens, EMR is converted to HEAT. (it is no longer EMR). There is also other quantum stuff, such as molecular collisions, and other forms of HEAT transfer, but let’s keep it simple.
ALL types of energy transfer require a Potential Difference, including simple stuff like hydraulic energy, where H1 – H2 gives a PD as the difference in height of the liquid, H2 being the gravitationally lower.
In the case of radiative heat transfer, the PD is generally considered as the difference in power of two opposing sources, OR as proportional to T1^4 – T2^4. (in a naive two-body case)
As I pointed out earlier, it doesn’t matter how much EMR is flying around; unless there is a PD, there is ZERO HEAT transfer. This is nicely demonstrated in any elemental layer of air in a discreet parcel, wherein most of the radiation as a consequence of its temperature is horizontally opposed in all directions. Consequence = nothing.
The 400 W/m^2 that you imply as HEAT leaving the surface, is NOT HEAT, but a different form of energy described as EMR, which does not in itself cool the surface.
Do you have any problems with this NASA Energy Budget Diagram?
http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif

314. Willis Eschenbach says:

TimTheToolMan says:
August 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Willis, just to remind you I know the DLR plays a role in keeping the oceans warm…but you’re article and understanding at the time of writing were off.

I haven’t changed my understanding since then.

I’ll refute your arguments since you keep pleading for someone to do so.

Oh, please, I’m not “pleading” for anything, I don’t do pleading, that’s called “projection” on your part. You make it sound like you’re doing me a favor, rather than trying to establish your own claims.

Argument 1.

“…”People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land.”

No its not. DLR is NOT absorbed in the first mm of water, its absorbed in the first 10um of the water …

I didn’t want to get into an argument about whether it is absorbed in 10 or 50 micrometres, so I just said it is absorbed in the first millimetre, which avoids the discussion and also happens to be true.

… and the remaining 99990um of that first mm *increase* in temperature with depth. The place where the DLR is absorbed is the coldest place. Conduction cannot happen.

OK, so at least we can see what we agree on. We agree that the DLR is getting absorbed by the ocean. Now, when DLR is absorbed in water, however many micro-metres that takes, what form is that energy converted to?
It is converted to thermal energy. So we are getting somewhere. You agree, for starters, that DLR a) is absorbed by the ocean, and that b) when it hits it is converted to thermal energy, leaving the ocean warmer than it would be otherwise. We also agree that the surface is slightly cooler in the top mm.
What I don’t understand why “conduction cannot happen”. Conduction is always happening, both down and upwards in the water column depending on local temperatures. Convection is also always happening.
As you point out, the actual skin surface of the ocean is almost always slightly cooler than the water immediately below. This is because the surface is cooled by evaporation, conduction to the atmosphere, and radiation.
As a result, the skin almost always runs a bit cooler than the water underneath it, with the predictable result—the very surface skin water is always radiating, cooling and sinking a mm or so, then warming from the warm waters below, and rising again. The very surface is constantly being replaced by slightly warmer water from underneath in a very thin skin-based circulation layer. In this way the heat of the ocean makes it to the surface to be evaporated away.
With this constant interchange, with water surfacing, radiating, sinking a mm or so, warming, and rising again to the skin of the ocean, the DLR striking the surface has the same effect it has at night. It slows the thermal circulation, this time the thin vertical circulation at the very surface. Again it slows the motion of the bulk heat to the surface to cool. As a result, the bulk ocean is warmer than it would be without the DLR.
During the day, sunlight striking the ocean is absorbed most at the surface. If the DLR is warming the skin itself, that absorbed solar energy can’t be moved as easily to the skin and radiated/evaporated away. This warms the layer directly below the skin. So again, despite the fact that it is absorbed at the surface it affects the lower layers and the bulk itself.

Compare this to land where the top of the earth is the warmest place and conduction can happily warm the earth below.

I don’t see that. Between the day and the night the top of the earth varies between warmer and colder than the land below it. So at dawn, despite what you would describe as the “top of the earth being the coldest place” the sun still warms the earth surface and thence the earth below.

Argument 2

“If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going?”

As described earlier, it is largely immediately radiated back up. Up and down for basically zero net effect.

I would agree except for the “immediately”, it suggests that it is re-radiated. It is not re-radiated in any sense. It is absorbed. By and large it is turned into heat, although it may turn into the physical energy needed to dislodge a water molecule from the surface.
After the radiation is turned into thermal energy in the ocean, it is radiated back up, indistinguishable from any other thermal radiation from the ocean. That’s what happens when radiation hits the ocean. And I think we’ve already agreed that the radiation hitting the ocean mostly turns into thermal energy. Yes, some of it goes into evaporation, as you go on to point out:

Except some is lost to space and some to evaporation and the shortfalls are made up from energy from the bulk of the ocean moved to the surface by convection and conduction, supplied in the first place by the sun.

You’re making my argument. You agree that the DLR is absorbed by the ocean, that it turns into thermal energy and is added to the thermal radiation (w/m2), or goes into evaporation.

So does this mean DLR heats the ocean? Yes, but not directly. It is the sun that heated the ocean. The DLR ONLY slows that energy from escaping.

Yes, I agree, and I see that as just naming. The ocean is much warmer than it would be if there were no DLR. You can call it what you want, warming, or slowing the cooling, I don’t understand the difference. All I know is that the bulk of the upper ocean with the DLR is warmer than it would be without DLR. I call that DLR warming the bulk of the ocean, but YMMV.

Argument 3

“DLR heating of the top mm of the ocean reduces those differences and thus delays the onset of that oceanic overturning by slowing the night-time cooling of the topmost layer”

This is closest you had to correct. However your statement “But in addition to the wind-driven turbulence of the topmost layer mixing the DLR energy downwards into lower layers” betrays the fact you believed the topmost layer to be heated by DLR and warmer than the bulk.
The fact is that if the topmost layer were to mix downward, then for the next few mm or so, it would be *cooling* the ocean, not warming it…and its only from 1mm down where the ocean is warmer than below where mixing down warms the ocean below. The important point here is that this warmer water 1mm down wasn’t directly warmed by the DLR. DLR played a role in it being as warm as it is, but not in the sense you meant.

First, you are correct. I simplified the situation. Normally, the actual skin itself and down a millimetre or so is slightly cooler than the water below it.
I said that the DLR slows the night-time overturning, and leaves the bulk of the ocean warmer than it would otherwise be … how was that wrong? My intention was to refute the argument that DLR can’t affect the bulk temperature of the ocean. I think I did so.

Argument 4

“Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean.”

Is also close to being correct in the sense that DLR plays a role in keeping the ocean warm. Its the specifics that matter here though. Why? Because you’re trying to describe them in your article.

Interesting. We get to the end, and you agree that without DLR there’s not enough warming to explain the liquid state of the ocean. Your issue is that I haven’t described the specifics of how that works in enough detail, I haven’t talked about the funny little “hook” in the temperature versus depth chart at the last millimetre with the actual skin slightly cooler than below. Guilty as charged, I didn’t discuss it.
I keep returning to the question of known losses from the ocean. These are ~ 390 w/m2 radiation, ~ 80 w/m2 evaporation, ~ 20 w/m2 sensible heat, total ~ 490 w/m2.
Sun hitting the ocean surface is about 170 w/m2. Since the ocean is basically in balance, that means it’s getting about 320 w/m2 from somewhere.
I say that 320 w/m2 comes from DLR. Most of the loss is in the form of thermal radiation, meaning that the DLR has hit the ocean and been converted to thermal energy.
You can call that “warming” or “slowing the cooling”. Either way, most of the DLR has hit the ocean and been converted to thermal energy. And no matter what name you give it, the ocean is much warmer with DLR than it would be without it. The choice of names for that situation is yours.
Thank you for taking the time to actually address my questions, Tim, much appreciated.
w.

315. Ronaldo says:

Perhaps we can just consider this in simple terms – it suits my simple mind!
During the day sunlight warms the sea, which has an enormous capability to store this heat via the specific heat of water and its mass. At night the heating from the sun stops. At this point, the sea will be radiating energy at a rate controlled by its surface temperature and also losing some heat by convection and evaportion. Immediately above its surface is an atmosphere whose vapour content (ie vapour pressure) depends on the temperature of the sea surface and which will be radiating energy towards the sea at a rate determined by its temperature(DLR) and also losing energy by radiation and conduction upwards.
There is no source of heat to provide additional energy, so that the sea will be losing energy at a rate determined by the properties of this atmosphere and will cool. However the sea has a vast store of energy held at a temperature determined by its mass and its specific heat. The cooler water will sink and be replaced by the slightly lower sub-surface temperature in the process, (overturning). In this respect, the DLR from the atmosphere close to the sea surface returns some of the radiated energy and slows the rate of heat loss and thus the rate of sea-surface temperature loss.
Next morning, the sun driven heating starts all over again. The same processes of DLR, evaporation,conduction and convection occur, but in this case the downward HF from the sun dominates theheating process.
This process allows the sea to lose energy at a rate determined by its surface temperature but to maintain a relatively high bulk temperature. It is essentially a “flywheel effect” My slight acquaintance with shallow lakes, where the mass of water is small relative to its surface area suggests that the “flywheel” is much smaller also, i.e. they cool relatively rapidly at night.
In essence the near surface atmosphere is acting to provide the same observable effect as an insulating blanket performs on an initially hot, non heat generating body, after the source of heat has been removed eg a hot water bottle placed in a bed, although the principle method of heat loss from the bottle is by conduction.
If the above explanation is acceptable, it demonstrates, yet again, the remarkable combination of physical properties of H2O, to which we mortals owe a rather large debt of gratitude!

316. Myrrh says:

kuhnkat says:
August 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm
Myrrh,
“The ‘missing heat’ is Thermal Infrared direct from the Sun…”
In case no one else has answered, that was one of my issues until I found the data. The earth and sun radiation levels cross in the 4-5 micron range. The near IR from 4 microns down is actually included in the visible absorbed numbers I believe. That is where the sun substantially exceeds the earth. From 5 up it is very small and absorbed in the atmosphere. Of course, if they don’t… I still haven’t had anyone explicitly state what the IPCC uses. Probably will have to read the one section to find out for sure. I don’t really believe they are trying to ignore almost 50% of the sun’s output. That is just a bit more than the DLR.

You should have stuck with it being an issue – the data you found is obviously from the AGWScience ficition propaganda department.
Bob_FJ says:
August 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm
Myrrh @ August 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm
“…Downwelling Solar 170 W/m^2 is not heating the Earth. Visible Light, UV and Nr IR are not thermal energies – they cannot be heating the land and oceans to raise the temperature by the amount claimed nor can they therefore create that much Infrared upwelling from the Earth…”
Sorry Myrrh, but the term “thermal radiation” is sometimes confused and misused. It is really a misnomer for EMR, (electromagnetic radiation) which includes visible light which does indeed heat matter when its photons are absorbed. Try here at Wikipedia:

Do you know how much thermal infrared is given off by the incandescent bulb it gives as an example in the second parargraph? 95%
The 5% visible light doesn’t heat anything.
The first paragraph is what is screwing with your heads in this. “All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation.”
I don’t put my dinner in the fridge to cook. Near infrared is not thermal radiation.
I don’t know how much clearer I can make this – I’ve given the tradition physics and given a page where NASA used to teach this, to children, that the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared and that near infrared isn’t hot at all, it’s not a thermal energy. This is basic primary school level physics. And, I’ve given a page where they are spouting another variation from the AGWScience fiction propaganda department that infrared doesn’t even reach the Earth!
Visible light and and the two shortwave energies either side of UV and Nr Infrared are not thermal energies, that means they do not heat things, that means they can’t heat land and oceans. That means the ‘energy’ imput from the Sun from these wavelengths has nothing to do with heating the Earth, they have to be taken out of your calculations.
That’s why everything being argued about here is unadulterated gobbledegook! You don’t know how insane you all sound saying Light heats the Earth. You’ve been brainwashed.
The italics should stop end of para 4:
I’ve put the comparison out again in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/#comment-720489
There are countless real world applications in use created out of the knowing there is a difference between Light energies and Heat energies. As the NASA page for children used to teach, thermal infrared is used in cooking food. You can’t cook food by shining Blue Visible Light on it!
From the real world example:

Definition of Infrared Heating
By Jacquelyn Jeanty, eHow Contributor
The sun acts as the earth’s primary source for infrared heat, where energy is transferred from the sun to any material it contacts. Heating methods can vary depending on how heat is transferred to a material and the way it distributes throughout the material. Infrared heating is transferred through thermal energy and uses conduction as its distribution channel.
Infrared Heating
The structure of atoms includes a nucleus an its orbiting electrons. When a force causes these electrons to move faster, energy is generated. According to NASA, infrared heat is made up of energy waves that sit within the far-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves transfer thermal heat upon making contact with a surface, or material. When heat is transferred, individual atoms take on this energy causing electrons to move faster within their orbits. This results in a chain reaction where energy is transferred, or conducted from atom to atom, which is how heat distributes through the material.
Function
The electromagnetic spectrum is made up of different levels of energy that appear in different forms within the physical world, according to Solaire Infrared Grilling Systems. Energy travels in wavelengths that can vary in length and frequency. The slower frequency waves appear as radio wavelengths, while the fastest waves appear as gamma rays. Wavelengths that sit in the center of the spectrum appear as colors. Infrared wavelengths move just a bit slower than the waves that generate colors and appear as radiant heat energy within the physical world.
Heat Absorption
Since infrared heating works through a radiant effect, much of the heat transfer that takes place inside a material relies on how quickly heat energy is transferred from atom to atom, according to the Casso-Solar Corporation. This transfer of heat energy is known as conductio, and is another method used to heat materials. The type of material heated will affect how quickly heat transfers throughout. A material’s density and thickness can also influence how heat energy is distributed.
Heat Transfer
As with any heating method, the rate in which infrared heat transfers through a material can vary if the material is made up of varying layers and textures, according to Casso-Solar Corporation. A material treated with additives may also heat at a different rate than an untreated material. An example of this would be how large pieces of meat may appear cooked throughout except in areas where the meat attaches to bone. The bone constitutes a different texture and layer that slows the rate in which infrared energy transfers throughout.
Effects
Infrared heating makes contact with a material’s surface then works its way inward. As a result, flat materials or objects receive an even exposure of infrared energy; however, a more three-dimensional object may have some areas more exposed than others, according to Thermovation Equipment. In this case, a rotisserie-type device can increase the amount of surface area exposed. The most efficient heating effects are had within an air-tight environment or oven, so a well-constructed oven can produce the best results.
References
Solaire Infrared Grilling Systems: What Is Infrared?
Casso-Solar Corporation: Introduction to Infrared Heating
Thermovation Equipment: Infrared Ovens
National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Infrared Waves
Read more: Definition of Infrared Heating | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6529090_definition-infrared-heating.html#ixzz1VGn9UWfn

And, I’ve given the history of that page from NASA she quotes – at the moment someone has managed to keep it up as a live link. There’s a fight going on over there..
All of you posting here who claim that the Solar of Visible and the two non-thermal either side heat the land and oceans NEED to prove it. This is a science blog. I am getting fed up with asking for proof and being ignored.
If you just continue discussing this as if my post doesn’t matter then you’re just a bunch of dreamers arguing about the fictional worlds you’re creating here. You’re not scientists in any bloody shape or form.
I repeat:
Visible light and and the two shortwave energies either side of UV and Nr Infrared are not thermal energies, that means they do not heat things, that means they can’t heat land and oceans. That means the ‘energy’ imput from the Sun from these wavelengths has nothing to do with heating the Earth, they have to be taken out of your calculations.
If you just continue discussing this as if my post doesn’t matter then you’re just a bunch of dreamers arguing about the fictional worlds you’re creating here. You’re not scientists in any bloody shape or form.

317. Bob_FJ says:

Tim Folkerts @ August 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

“…A better analogy would be two separate circuits, one sending electrons counterclockwise around one wire while the other circuit sends electrons clockwise around a parallel wire. The “net current” will be one current minus the other, but electrons really would be flowing both directions.”

Well as I indicated, I don’t like doing analogies because none can be perfect. I’m not comfortable with your “better analogy”. Please explain more what you mean by a ‘net current’ from two separated electrical circuits.

318. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

Noelene said on August 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm:

Dumb question
How does rivers figure in all this?Rivers are always cold are they not?Is that because of their depth?

Answer 1: Air is moving relative to a liquid-containing surface, evaporation happens, wind chill. It’s the water that’s moving but the cooling is still there, with rushing water getting more cooling than a slow-moving river.
Answer 2: The river will feel cool when you get in it, provided it’s cooler than your body temperature, due to the greater heat transfer rate versus air. Your body loses heat faster in water thus it feels cool. (Note: As I was warned long ago in first aid and swim and assorted science classes, you can get hypothermia in 80°F water, as you’ll be loosing heat, it just takes a long while.)
Answer 2a: When standing in moving water (the water is moving around you) the loss of heat is faster than in still water. In still water the water around you warms up a bit, reducing the temperature difference thus slowing the rate of loss. With moving water you don’t get that, rate of loss is higher, water feels cooler than still water.
Sound good to you?

319. Stephen Wilde says:

Willis said:
“the actual skin surface of the ocean is almost always slightly cooler than the water immediately below. This is because the surface is cooled by evaporation, conduction to the atmosphere, and radiation.
As a result, the skin almost always runs a bit cooler than the water underneath it, with the predictable result—the very surface skin water is always radiating, cooling and sinking a mm or so, then warming from the warm waters below, and rising again. The very surface is constantly being replaced by slightly warmer water from underneath in a very thin skin-based circulation layer. In this way the heat of the ocean makes it to the surface to be evaporated away.
With this constant interchange, with water surfacing, radiating, sinking a mm or so, warming, and rising again to the skin of the ocean, the DLR striking the surface has the same effect it has at night. It slows the thermal circulation, this time the thin vertical circulation at the very surface. Again it slows the motion of the bulk heat to the surface to cool. As a result, the bulk ocean is warmer than it would be without the DLR.”
I don’t agree with that interpretation.
The 1mm deep cooler ocean skin acts as a buffer between the effects of incoming DLR on the topmost molecules and the flow of energy coming up out of the bulk ocean and into the skin from upward convection and conduction (originally from solar input).
All the ‘circulating’ is therefore contained within the skin and does not affect the rate of energy flow from the bulk below and nor does it allow energy to move downward into the bulk. It is an entirely separate process from ‘normal’ ocean mixing.
The interface between the skin and the bulk is therefore the point at which the DLR effect reduces to zero. The depth of that interface and the temperature differential across it is dictated by the flow balance between the layers that is required to negate the DLR effect.
More DLR actually increases the speed of the process within the skin to prevent any effect on the flow rate up from the bulk. The process is self limiting because once all the DLR has been used up there is no more acceleration of the process.
Given that evaporation mops up five times as much energy as is required to provoke it the idea that there is any energy left over to go into the ocean bulk must be wrong.
So DLR does not warm the oceans nor cool the oceans. The energy transfer process from those warmed topmost molecules increases up through the atmosphere to space via more upward radiation convection conduction and evaporation in a self cancelling exercise because of the buffering effect within the ocean skin.
The consequence is a miniscule adjustment in the surface air pressure distribution as the atmosphere adapts to the changed rate of upward energy flow.
GHGs slow down energy loss from atmosphere to space but the whole package of available negative response mechanisms (with the phase change from water to vapour as an essential component) then accelerates it again for a zero or near zero net effect. The ocean bulk remains unaffected.

320. Willis, I’m going to think about it some more but after some thought your steel greenhouse idea is wrong, wrong, wrong. The shell and the surface are at the same temperature in deg K if the difference in radii are small.
BTW we could run this as a lab experiment.
This doesn’t preclude an atmospheric “green house effect” as the effect of infrared absorbing gases is that a layer above the surface will warm and the lapse rate will make the surface warmer as convection occurs.
For those who think the DLR warms water what’s wrong with the incoming short wave to cause the observed surface warming?

321. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 17, 2011 at 12:53 am
You can call it what you want, warming, or slowing the cooling, I don’t understand the difference.

There’s a useful discussion getting underway between Tim and Willis here and I agree with much of what both of them are saying. A lot of confusion has arisen in the past and in this thread because of the conflation of ‘warming’ and ‘slowing the cooling’. Willis thinks that there is no difference and that it’s fine to use ‘common parlance’, I think there is an important difference for the way we conceive of the greenhouse effect, and that ‘common parlance’ should give way to technical definition where it sows confusion otherwise.
The simplest way I can think of to illustrate the difference is to say that ‘warming’ is done by things which are warmer then the things they are warming, whereas ‘slowing the cooling’ is done by things which are cooler than the things they are insulating. In the case of radiative balance we are talking about the surfaces involved rather than the properties of the underlying bulks. The ocean side of the ocean air interface is mostly warmer than the air side.
Earlier in the discussion, Willis attempted to refute my argument that conduction from the surface downwards isn’t effective by saying:
IR heats the top molecule. It passes some reduced amount of that heat to the molecule below. But what tallbloke forgets is that the top molecule can’t make the second molecule warmer than the top molecule, heat doesn’t flow from cooler to warmer.
Since the second molecule is not as warm as the top molecule, in contradiction to tallbloke’s claim, it doesn’t rise to the top. And the same for the layers further down. The heat is transmitted down and down, but each layer can’t heat the lower layer more than itself, heat won’t flow uphill. So the water, though warming, doesn’t “rise to the top” as claimed.

But now Willis says to Tim:
As you point out, the actual skin surface of the ocean is almost always slightly cooler than the water immediately below. This is because the surface is cooled by evaporation, conduction to the atmosphere, and radiation.
As a result, the skin almost always runs a bit cooler than the water underneath it, with the predictable result—the very surface skin water is always radiating, cooling and sinking a mm or so, then warming from the warm waters below, and rising again.

Clearly the discussion is becoming more sophisticated, which is good, because it’s only when we look at the actual physical processes that it becomes clear that while the ocean does indeed absorb the DLR, it doesn’t do much to ‘warm’ the bulk of the ocean. However it does indeed ‘slow the rate of heat loss’ and this means the bulk of the ocean is warmer than it would otherwise be. However, plugging in the empirically derived numbers makes it clear that it doesn’t make it cool a lot slower, and a small increase in DLR relative to ULR caused by increased Co2 wouldn’t make enough difference to account for late C20th warming.
It’s more likely the increased insolation through (empirically measured) reduced tropical low cloud cover which did that.

322. Stephen Wilde says:

“However it does indeed ‘slow the rate of heat loss’ ”
Not so sure of that. See my above post at
Stephen Wilde says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:36 am
“It’s more likely the increased insolation through empirically measured reduced tropical cloud which did that.”
Yes but I’d go further and suggest global cloud cover variations from the shifting of the jets along with all the other air circulation systems which respond both to top down solar variability and bottom up oceanic variability.
Willis’s thermostat effect is correct but needs to be extended globally.

323. Bob_FJ says:

Myrrh @ August 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

Do you [Bob_FJ] know how much thermal infrared is given off by the incandescent bulb it gives as an example in the second parargraph? 95%
The 5% visible light doesn’t heat anything…”

Sorry Myrrh, this is what it actually says, and I‘ve added emphasis to the words ‘visible light‘:

“…Examples of thermal radiation include visible light emitted by an incandescent light bulb, infrared radiation emitted by animals and detectable with an infrared camera, and the cosmic microwave background radiation. Thermal radiation is different from thermal convection and thermal conduction–a person near a raging bonfire feels radiant heating from the fire, even if the surrounding air is very cold…”

You need to go to the original link to access eight embedded links.
Here follows a link to the solar spectrum that falls upon Earth, and which is universally agreed to result in heating of the Earth. You assert a different view. Would you care to draw a vertical line therein that defines each side what does and what does not heat the Earth?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png

324. Alexander Duranko says:

Sorry Willis, but DLR is only half local radiative heat transfer. What matters is ‘DLR-ULR’.
DLR on its own is a measure of IR impedance. If an atmosphere had no greenhouse gases, it would have near zero IR impedance; the optical depth would fall to near zero because there would be no optical scattering [absorption, re-emission by other GHG molecules in local thermodynamic equilibrium – remember there may be no thermalisation of IR energy]. So, you’d need low ground temperature to radiate a given amount of energy to space.
This analogy is quite close to what happens in metals when you alloy them. The difference in the way the solid solution atoms’ d-shell electrons interact with the conduction band causes the electrons to scatter thus increasing path length and resistance/impedance so you need a higher potential difference to pass a given electric current for an alloy than a pure metal.
The reason why clouds have much higher DLR than moist air is because they have very high IR impedance. The droplets have dissolved lots of the local CO2. Water and CO2 band IR energy is strongly absorbed and scattered. Because the absorptivity/emissivity is high [c. 1 compared with c. 0.1 for moist air] you get a lot of localised DLR. Because a higher proportion of the IR energy being emitted by the ground/sea is needed to offset that higher DLR, you lose less heat from the ground until its temperature rises. That’s why at night, the sudden appearance of a cloud causes local warming.
But the DLR doesn’t do any actual work. Less heat is lost from the ground until the sum of radiation and convection from the ground and the conduction in the ground change exponentially to a new local equilibrium.
Here’s another view: you’re on the beach and air temperature is 25°C but because the wind speed is high, lots of heat is lost by convection so the sand is only at say 30°C when without convection it would be c.70°C. So, you put up a wind break, sand temperature rises to 45°C and you get pleasantly warm lying on it.
Because [assuming 0.85 emissivity] radiative heat transfer has increased by 86W/m^2 to give constant convection plus radiation, assuming half that extra IR energy is absorbed/scattered by the atmosphere back to the ground and everyone else has put up windbreaks [imagine the Sahara] DLR will rise by 43W/m^2. But that is just the result of the IR impedance causing higher radiative potential for a given power transfer. There is no new energy input to the ground.
DLR can do no work. DLR is a measure of IR impedance. Assess the problems as coupled convection plus radiation.
Answer to George E Smith. local thermodynamic equilibrium exists everywhere and accepting the exponential transients, most of the time emissivity is approximately equal to absorptivity.

325. TimTheToolMan says:

Willis writes : “Oh, please, I’m not “pleading” for anything”
I could count the number of times you asked people to refute your points. It was more than once…but meh. waste of time.
Willis writes : “You agree, for starters, that DLR a) is absorbed by the ocean”
If by “ocean” you mean the top 10um of ocean’s water molecules, then yes. However you follow up with “What I don’t understand why “conduction cannot happen”.” because you want the conduction to be downward into the bulk and it just doesn’t happen. The location where the DLR is absorbed is colder than the underlying water. It would break the laws of thermodynamics for any “heat” to conduct downwards. Not to mention the fact there is no excess here anyway. It is, as I said, the coldest place.
Willis writes : “As a result, the skin almost always runs a bit cooler than the water underneath it, with the predictable result—the very surface skin water is always radiating, cooling and sinking a mm or so, then warming from the warm waters below, and rising again.”
Get thee back to school Willis 😉
In the skin layer, its conduction not convection that transmits energy.
eg From “Cool-skin simulation by a one-column ocean model – Chia-Ying Tu and Ben-Jei Tsuang”
“Molecular transport is the only mechanism for the vertical diffusion of heat and momentum in the cool skin and viscous layer”
Willis writes : “During the day, sunlight striking the ocean is absorbed most at the surface.”
I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here. There is a temperature profile that DSR creates as its absorbed in water. Most is absorbed not far below the surface and progressively less makes it deeper but its over meters not really “at the surface”. Or at least thats probably not how I’d descibe it in the context of this conversation.
Willis continues : “If the DLR is warming the skin itself, that absorbed solar energy can’t be moved as easily to the skin and radiated/evaporated away.”
Using what physics do you claim this? If there is excess energy being imparted from the sun, the warm water will convect toward the surface and produce/increase the “hook”. The SST increases, Stefan-Boltzmann kicks in and the rate of radiation increases. More is lost to space and to evaporation and the balance is maintained.
Moving along to the second argument (its not worth addressing the warming of the land part. I think you’re just being argumentative)
“I would agree except for the “immediately”, it suggests that it is re-radiated. It is not re-radiated in any sense.”
Re-radiated as a term is wishy washy, I agree. But I think you know what I mean, the DLR is radiated back up pretty much at the same rate its radiated down and I’m not saying anything about individual photons and where they came from or anything like that.
Over at the Science of Doom, SoD calculated that there is about 42J/m2 heat capacity in the topmost 10um layer of the ocean. We know from the Minnett experiment that clouds can increase the DLR by around 100W/m2. We also know from the Minnett experiment that the surface temperature (relative to the 5cm below surface temparature) changed by around 0.5C at most and even though I disagree with their reasoning, it does put an upper limit on any possible “DLR heats the skin” effect.
And using those values that upper limit is reached in a little less than 0.25 seconds to potentially “heat” the surface. If you believe thats what happens then you need to explain where this energy goes after 0.25 seconds and you need to do it within the laws of thermodynamics. Hence its not conducted down. Its not radiated down. Its not convected down (unless you want to try to make proper arguments for any of those) and instead it must be radiated upwards.
Anyway moving right along and this post is already way too long.
Willis writes : “You can call it what you want, warming, or slowing the cooling, I don’t understand the difference.”
I will indeed call it “slowing the cooling” because thats what it is. I think its important to actually understand the processes behind the numbers and I know thats how you feel too. You wouldn’t have bothered with your recent posts on thunderstorms if you’d felt their effect was adequately wrapped up in the coarse averages the AGWers use.

326. As much as I respect and admire you, Willis, I think you’re off base here. No one disputes this: if there was an independently-powered IR heater floating in the air, it would add heat to the water below it. The question is, can water emit heat energy to heat water vapor in the air…then after a time delay, have this energy come back and make the emitting water hotter than it was? You have to be careful not to double-count the energy. If you calculate emission based on a temperature and this temperature already includes the effect of returned energy, then you can’t count it again later…the “when” of emission and reception matters. If I had \$100 yesterday and I still have \$100 today, at no time can I say I have \$200.

327. Stephen Wilde says:
August 17, 2011 at 2:34 am
“However it does indeed ‘slow the rate of heat loss’ ”
Not so sure of that. See my above post at
Stephen Wilde says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

Thanks Stephen. I’m ready to meet for an in depth discussion. I’m away 14th – 25th sept.

328. Martin Lewitt says:

@Willis,
“And I still haven’t heard you or anyone else explain why the ocean is liquid, what mysterious energy source you claim keeps the ocean from freezing solid”
At the earth’s surface albedo of about 0.13, the average temperature of the surface is only about 4 degreesC below zero. At the ocean’s albedo of 0.06 or 0.07 the average temperature of the surface is at or above freezing. So in the simplest case the oceans would be liquid except at high latitudes.
This is the calculation at an albedo of 0.07
http://tinyurl.com/3qjxrg2
So as a starting point, before adding clouds, GHGs, diurnal variations and other complexities, most of the surface of the oceans is above the freezing point of water. It is a common error in the climate community to use the earths planetary albedo of about 0.3, which includes clouds when assessing what is needed from the greenhouse gas effect. But since the surface albedo is lower and the ocean albedo lower still, you don’t need the GHGs until you have the clouds. Even in snowball earth scenerios, there is thought to be open ocean in the tropics.

329. Spector says:

You should all have seen Planck’s law that says the energy of a photon is equal to Planck’s constant times the frequency, usually indicated with the Greek letter nu. This can also be stated as Planck’s constant times the speed of light then divided by the wavelength. This formula indicates the heating potential of a single photon.
It should be obvious that a peak-output, green solar photon with a wavelength of 0.5 microns has 30 times the energy of a 15-micron photon emitted by a CO2 molecule. Anyone can look at a solar radiation spectrum and see that most of the energy is in the visible range. (One micron is equal to 1000 NM or nanometers) That is solar heating power.
The Earth, being so far away from the sun does not have to rise to the same temperature as the sun to reach an equilibrium point. It can export all the heat energy it receives from the sun using the less-energetic, infrared, photons characteristic of normal terrestrial temperatures.

330. David A says:

tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 2:03 am
“Clearly the discussion is becoming more sophisticated, which is good, because it’s only when we look at the actual physical processes that it becomes clear that while the ocean does indeed absorb the DLR, it doesn’t do much to ‘warm’ the bulk of the ocean. However it does indeed ‘slow the rate of heat loss’ and this means the bulk of the ocean is warmer than it would otherwise be. However, plugging in the empirically derived numbers makes it clear that it doesn’t make it cool a lot slower, and a small increase in DLR relative to ULR caused by increased Co2 wouldn’t make enough difference to account for late C20th warming.”
Indeed, as I said in my post here, David says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm, I have seen none of this quantified. I lean to the idea that the residence time of SWR entering the oceans is much greater then the residence time of LWR energy entering the oceans, therfore a small change in the radiative balance via SWR flux, due to either the sun and or cloud cover, would, over time, produce a far greater effect on the earths ocean, atmosphere energy budget then a similar flux in DWLR.

331. Alexander Duranko says:

Martin Lewitt; I’ve done the same calculation. It completely disproves the IPCC claim that present greenhouse gas warming is 33K. That assumes in an IR transparent atmosphere, the -18°C presently in the upper troposphere would move to the earth’s surface.
However, all it does is to estimate the temperature difference between that part of the atmosphere presently in radiative equilibrium with space, a function of emissivity/pressure, and the Earth’s surface; is effect an estimate of lapse rate [5km for -6.5K/km].
In reality, if you took out the greenhouse gases and clouds, the albedo would fall to the no-ice level of 0.07 and the power input would increase. A better estimate would account for aerosols so I believe current net greenhouse warming is c. 10K.
The fact that the IPCC scales to 33K shows how desperately bad is basic physics in climate science. Yet they’ve all got a good education. Mustn’t be too critical though because the DLR argument means the subject is subtle and it takes very good physics to get to the truth.
PS If DLR was an energy source, my beach windbreak argument would mean we could control the temperature of the planet by cutting all vegetation down and by only building underground thereby maximising convective heat transfer from the ground to the air. Oh, sorry, I’ve just invented the reverse UHI effect, make everywhere no tree rural!

332. Matt G says:

Willis,
The 170w w/m2 and 390 w/m2 are like comparing apples with oranges, they both warm the surface differently and therefore can’t be claimed to be equal energy quantities. This is where you have gone wrong and this is shown by the observed NASA radiation buget. The outgoing radiation buget is lower than claimed by observed compared with the model example represented.
Looking at this at a different way, if the two energy values were equal, then it would be expected that DLWR would warm the surface greater than solar energy. Care to show any real life observation where this shows to be true and is reflected generally all over the planet. Real life observations show when the sun is warming during the day the result are the hottest temperatures possible in this air mass. When it clouds over and DLWR increases the atmospheric temperatures drop during daylight. This would not occur if the claimed energy values were comparing apples with apples. I think you need to consider this and reanalyse a mechanism that doesn’t make sense.

333. Alexander Duranko says:
August 17, 2011 at 5:14 am
In reality, if you took out the greenhouse gases and clouds, the albedo would fall to the no-ice level of 0.07 and the power input would increase. A better estimate would account for aerosols so I believe current net greenhouse warming is c. 10K.

There seem to be a number of people heading to this conclusion at the moment. One being astrophysicist Joseph Postma:
http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/16/postma-on-the-greenhouse-effect/
It looks like he’s right that smearing the insolation instantaneously over the day and night side of the globe using the S-B equation is incorrect, unphysical, and leads to a bad result. I’m not sure all his paper is correct, but I agree with him on this bit.

334. Alexander Duranko says:

One comment on the Curry blog is ‘Gradually the lapse rate should almost vanish in absence of all IR absorption and emission’
This serious lack of basic physics’ knowledge** permeates climate science. I’m not a physicist so I have to check thoroughly. Many do not check so it seems they have been badly educated, or perhaps programmed.
**The Wikipedia article on lapse rate is quite good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

335. mkelly says:

Alexander Duranko says:
But the DLR doesn’t do any actual work.
Exactly. This is why I have pointed out a number of times that there are no commerical products that use this “heat producing” phenomena.

336. mkelly says:
August 17, 2011 at 6:16 am
Alexander Duranko says:
But the DLR doesn’t do any actual work.
Exactly. This is why I have pointed out a number of times that there are no commerical products that use this “heat producing” phenomena.

Because it makes no sense to consider DLR separately from the ULR and the sideways LR within the LR flux.
You getting the message yet Willis?

337. Alexander Duranko says:

mkelly: the problem with DLR is that it was predicted by Milne in 1922 from a mathematical mistake so when the poor climate experimentalists measured it with their pyrgeometers, not having good enough physics, they thought is was real.
At the same time Hansen had worked out the amplification of TSI rise at the end of an ice age and concluded it had to be CO2, when there was another possible explanation, reduction of cloud albedo.
35 years’ later, climate science central is still flogging high feedback CO2-AGW and claiming the recent plateau in temperature is because the Chinese have been burning more coal and there’s a magical increase of heat to the ocean deeps. It’s bunkum because DLR isn’t an energy source, simply a signal set by temperature, in turn a function of heat flux, and emissivity.
Lindzen says the IPCC predicts between 2 and 5 times the warming, assuming that came all from CO2-AGW, then uses just enough aerosol cooling, different for every model, so they can calibrate by hind-casting. Kiehl has honestly agreed there’s no proof of any CO2-AGW beyond this uncertainty but hopes that as [CO2] rises, aerosol cooling the same, in time it’ll appear.
We’re dealing with a religious movement, not science. The way to defeat it is to remove all the axioms, one by one. There is no DSL Cloud albedo effect cooling is really heating. That physics’ change means that you have the mechanism explaining the end of an ice age. 33K claimed greenhouse heating is really lapse rate and real greenhouse warming is c. 10K.
The carbon traders are having a last ditch attempt to get their way; Cameron writing to support Gillard, Gore-bull’s day of climate action, but it won’t work. In reality, we face significant global cooling because [1] we’ve just been through a solar grand maximum at one point the highest for 11,000 years and [2] CO2-AGW will be a maximum of 0.2-0.3K by the end of this Century

338. anna v says:

Ken Coffman says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:12 am
If I had \$100 yesterday and I still have \$100 today, at no time can I say I have \$200.
See the back radiation oven for a demonstration.

339. wobble says:

tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 2:03 am
Clearly the discussion is becoming more sophisticated, which is good, because it’s only when we look at the actual physical processes that it becomes clear that while the ocean does indeed absorb the DLR, it doesn’t do much to ‘warm’ the bulk of the ocean. However it does indeed ‘slow the rate of heat loss’ and this means the bulk of the ocean is warmer than it would otherwise be.

OK, so it seems as if you agree that DLR does cause the ocean to be warmer than it would otherwise be without any DLR. I’m not sure if Dave Springer agrees with you or not.

However, plugging in the empirically derived numbers makes it clear that it doesn’t make it cool a lot slower, and a small increase in DLR relative to ULR caused by increased Co2 wouldn’t make enough difference to account for late C20th warming.

This is probably the direction that the debate should go.
tallbloke, I have a question for you.
Many have argued that DLR is absorbed within the first few micrometers of the ocean surface which causes evaporation which cools the surface. This has been offered as the reason that DLR can’t materially slow the cooling of the ocean.
However, in the absence of any DLR, the ocean would still evaporate. What would cause this evaporation? In the absence of DLR the evaporation process would extract heat from the air just above the ocean-air boundary and would extract heat from the water just below the ocean-air boundary. In the absence of DLR the evaporation process would therefore be extracting more heat from the water than otherwise gets extracted by a DLR fueled evaporation process.
So it seems as if, in the absence of DLR, it’s possible for the ocean to cool materially more quickly than it otherwise does (with DLR fueling the evaporation process instead of ocean heat).

340. richard verney says:

Willis,
I note that once again you do not answer my question as to why the ocean at the same latitude (62 degN) freezes at one longitude (19 deg 04 42 E) but not at another longitude (8 deg 45E). Is this because you do not have an answer that fits in with a simple radiative budget?
You quite incorrectly suggest that I have not explained why the oceans do not freeze. I have. The answer lies in the tropics. THE TROPICS IS THE POWER HOUSE OF OUR CLIMATE SYSTEM and understanding what goes on in the tropics is the key to understanding earth’s climate. Fundamental to this, is understanding the ocean in the tropics and the water cycle that takes place there.
You fall into error for a number of reasons such as:
First, you consider only the energy received per square metre. However, what is important is the energy received per metre cube of ocean and this is where the difference in penetrative absorption between solar energy/radiation and DWLWIR is important and comes into play. Solar energy penetrates well to a depth of 1o meteres and heats the ocean to this depth (obviously more heat is absorbed in the first 10s of centimetres and gradually less and less down to 10 metres and relatively trivial amounts below 10 metres). Solar energy can heat a metre cube, in fact it can effectively heat tripple that. This is of utmost importance because it is this volume of water which is being turned over and it is from this volume of water that heat gets transported down into the lower depths of the ocean thereby warming the lower ocean. In constrast, the DWLWIR, at most, is absorbed in the first few microns and boils this off. The energy from the DWLWIR is lost in the evaporation and resulting phase change such that it does not heat the ocean (witness that the very top few micron layer is slightly cooler than the layer below becayse the very top layer has had to give up heat when molecules from it evaporate). The important point is that DWLRIR merely increases the rate of evaporation. Since we know that the very top layer of the surface is slightly cooler than the layer below, even if this very top layer into which the DWLWIR can penetrate could be turned over, there is fact no ‘additional’ heat in this top layer to drag down to lower depths so as to heat the lower depths of the ocean. In fact, I doubt that the top few microns of the ocean could be turned over (but I stand to be corrected on that view).
Second, because as another poster pointed out, a watt is not just a watt. The photonic energy of the 5800k 170 w per sqm is a very different beast to the photonioc energy of the ~250K 390 w per sqm DWLWIR. We know this to be the case since we are able to extract useful work form the former but not from the latter. It is because the 390 w per sq m has no sensible energy in the context of the system in which it is engaged and has no ability to do sensible work that Trenberth and the Team are not multi – billionaires having patented a system to extract energy frrom the DWLWIR thereby solving the world energy problem. It is wrong to consider that Solar radiation and DWLWIR are the same and equally effective, they are not. Further, a watt of energy that has penetrated down to a depth of 2m or 4 or 10m is far more significant in the role of heating the deep oceans than is a watt which never makes it past the first few microns (and which in any event is probably boiled off at that stage). That latter watt does not get to heat the deep oceans.
Third, you consider that because the ocean radiates at the temperature of the surface skin, it is losing a lot of energy. In the overall scheme of things (by which I mean in relation to the total energy contained in the entire volume of the ocean), the amount of energy radiated is trivial and it is important to bear in mind that the so called ~390 – 400 w per sqm being seen as a signal is not heat loss. The ocean is not actually losing a lot of energy (in comparison to that contained in its bulk) and the amount of energy that it loses to the atmosphere is less than it receives from the sun. In this regard, do not forget that unlike land where air temperature and land temperature can be very different, over the deep oceans, ocean temperature and air temperature are very similar.
Fourth, you look at the notional average condition whereas in the context of the workings of the system the dominant condition is that ongoing at the TROPICS. It is here that one has to consider what is going on. As BenAW says:August 16, 2011 at 10:55 am “How come everybody is talking about AVERAGE radiation levels resulting in AVERAGE temps using the Stefan-Boltzmann formula when there is a fourth power in this formula? Earth has ONE sun, that radiates on half the earth. Average radiation on this half is 1364/2 = 682 W/m^2 ….” Ben is quite right (as I have repeatedly been saying to you), you will not understand what is going on if you look only at the notional average condition.
Fifth, the material point (and this follows on from the fourth point), is that at the tropics the ocean is not receiving just 170 w per sqm of solar energy. It is receiving many many times that amount. Even the 682 w per sqm noted by Ben is far less than the ocean is receiving in the tropics, particularly during the 4 hour period between 10 am and 2pm when the sun is near to and/or at its zenith. When one works out how much energy the tropical ocean receives from the sun during the day, it is significantly more than the energy being lost to the atmosphere over a 24 hour period through all ongoing processes (convection, evaporation and radiation) such that the tropical ocean will not freeze. Indeed, not simply will it not freeze, it has surplus energy which energy it is able to distribute around the globe (through the ocean conveyor belts) thereby (for the main part) making up the shortfall of energy which the ocean in higher latitudes receives thereby preventing those oceans from freezing.
Sixth, generally radiative energy yields to and does not overcome convection. This can be seen with a BBQ. The heat given off by the burning embers is radiative heat and is given off in all directions. If you were to point your IR thermoter at the BBQ there would be no difference in the IR temperature reading when looking down at the BBQ or when looking at it from its side. You can cook your food 6 to 12 inches above the charcoal/coals but you cannot cook your food 6 to 12 inces from the side of the BBQ. The reason is that notwithstanding that the source of the heat is radiative, the food is cooked by convection. Convection carries the heat (that was initially radiative heat) upwards towards the food placed above the charcoal/coals. If you place the food say 9 to 12 inches to the side of the BBQ, most of the radiative energy radiating sidewards is carried upawrds by convection such that there is all but no heat energy left 9 to 12 inches from the side of the BBQ. The same process is occuring above the ocean. The DWLWIR is trying its best to get down to the ocean surface and penetrate the water, however water vapour above the ocean impedes its path and the DWLWIR is continually being absorbed by that vapour and then that vapour (which has absorbed the DWLWIR) is being absorbed convected upwards and away from the top layer of the ocean. I envisage that less DWLWIR actually makes its way to the surface of the ocean than is presently assumed.
Seventh, the Trenbeth figures are fantasy. Essentialy they are a fiction of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In the real world the bulk of the energy loss from the oceans is not the radiative loss from the instaneous absoption/emission involved in the receipt of the DWLWIR and its re-radatiation, but rather from vaporation and convection. In practice as I and others have repeatedly observed, it is net flux that is important (but I guess that you are never going to be convinced of that although alarm bells should ring if substantially different results are achived by performing a calculation on so called gross figures and one on net flux figures).
In summary, Willis do your Solar/DLR energy budget calculation for the TROPICAL OCEAN. Whilst I would prefer that you base this on net flux, in practice I do not care whether you use your fantasy figures since even if you do use those figures, you will still find that THE TROPICAL OCEAN DOES NOT FREEZE. Come back to me once you have done that calculation.
PS. I do not understand why so much time in climate science is wasted on peripheral issues. Approximately 70% of the planet is covered by ocean. The ocean contains 99% of the heat capacity of the planet, and it is the oceans that drive the weather. Given that, nearly all study should be directed at studying and understanding the oceans and the water cycle. Of the oceans, it is the tropical ocean that powers everything. Accordingly, the one area to thoroughly understand is the tropical ocean and the water cycle. Study of this would force people away from darn averages that do nothing other than to obscure what is going on. The rest of the globe is of mild interest only, and not of fundamental importance (although as I have mentioned in previous posts I can conceive that DWLWIR may have some relatively modest role to play over land). Enough of that particular gripe.
PPS. Since I last looked in on this article there have nbeen many new posts. I need to do some catch up.

341. wobble says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:02 am
Many have argued that DLR is absorbed within the first few micrometers of the ocean surface which causes evaporation which cools the surface. This has been offered as the reason that DLR can’t materially slow the cooling of the ocean.

No. It’s partly why it can’t directly warm the ocean, along with the inability to conduct heat downwards due to the surface being colder then the subsurface, and the lack of a convective mechanism to do the job, and the fact that the net flux is cooling the ocean anyway.
The reason I provisionally accept the idea that DLR can slow the cooling of the ocean is that if we consider what happens when DLR increases relative to ULR, the net cooling caused by the direction of the 66W/m^2 net flux would be diminished. However, we have yet to see any empirical evidence that the DLR has increased relative to the ULR.
Stephen Wylde seems to be saying that any increasing differential gets automatically compensated for. I’m looking forward to discussing that with him in detail.

342. Alexander Duranko says:

DWLWIR isn’t an energy source. I agree about the short wave energy.
The dominant organism in the World is phytoplankton because it emits c. 10 times the aerosols of man. It has over 100s of millions of years adapted to control its environment by the peculiar chemistry producing dimethyl sulphide on decay, and because that has very low water solubility it goes into the air to be photo-hydrolysed to sulphuric acid aerosol.
This is what is responsible for the classic smell of the oceans. Without these aerosols, low level thick oceanic cloud albedo would be much greater and the oceans and the World would cool rapidly. Asian industrialisation added more sulphuric acid aerosols thereby causing the late 20th Century increase in ocean heat content which stopped in 2003.
It stopped because the warming due to polluted clouds runs out of steam when albedo gets near 0.5. When Asia reduces emissions, the effect will reverse and Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’ will become negative!
CO2-AGW could well be net zero.

343. wobble says:

tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:20 am
we have yet to see any empirical evidence that the DLR has increased relative to the ULR.

Thanks for addressing my comment, and I understand your claim here.
Can you answer this question that I posted?

Many have argued that DLR is absorbed within the first few micrometers of the ocean surface which causes evaporation which cools the surface. This has been offered as the reason that DLR can’t materially slow the cooling of the ocean.
However, in the absence of any DLR, the ocean would still evaporate. What would cause this evaporation? In the absence of DLR the evaporation process would extract heat from the air just above the ocean-air boundary and would extract heat from the water just below the ocean-air boundary. In the absence of DLR the evaporation process would therefore be extracting more heat from the water than otherwise gets extracted by a DLR fueled evaporation process.
So it seems as if, in the absence of DLR, it’s possible for the ocean to cool materially more quickly than it otherwise does (with DLR fueling the evaporation process instead of ocean heat).

Isn’t it possible that the DLR fueled evaporation process displaces a mechanism that would materially cool the ocean more than the ocean is currently cooled?

344. richard verney says:

kuhnkat says:
August 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm
Willis, you can say it as many times as you want and it still is only a half truth.
I get about 275K for the average with the 170 in. Of course, this close averages may hide stuff, but, 275k isn’t frozen. Also of course, I may have screwed up trying stuff I barely understand even with the BB Calculator
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
Kuhnkat
Your result reflects reasonably well the average temperature of the ocean

345. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From Ken Coffman on August 17, 2011 at 4:12 am:

If I had \$100 yesterday and I still have \$100 today, at no time can I say I have \$200.

Sure you can. Just be the sole owner of a bank.
1. Deposit the \$100 in your bank.
2. Give yourself a \$100 no-interest no-fee loan.
3. The loan is an asset on the bank books, so your bank has \$100 from that.
4. You have the \$100 in your wallet.
5. Add what’s in your wallet and your bank assets together, you have \$200.
Alternate 5: \$100 in your wallet, \$100 deposited in the bank, you have \$200.
5 with alternate 5: Actually you have \$300.
You should study governmental accounting methods. For example, the US federal government has generated fantastic sums of money over the years by issuing itself US Treasury notes for Social Security tax surpluses so it can direct that money to the general budget. These notes are then easily repaid by the US Treasury printing itself many pretty pieces of paper, which can cost nothing as it only needs to be done “on paper.”

346. Alexander Duranko, richard verney, et al:
Thanks for pointing out that climate science incorrectly assumes gross radiative transfers from cold to hot and vice versa can be assumed in isolation, rather than the correct calculation using only net FLOW of heat.
This is a point repeatedly made by Claes Johnson, who explains very simply how this error came about here:
http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-fool-world-by-measuring-masive.html
http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-fool-yourself-with-pyrgeometer.html

347. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Willis,
I note that once again you do not answer my question as to why the ocean at the same latitude (62 degN) freezes at one longitude (19 deg 04 42 E) but not at another longitude (8 deg 45E). Is this because you do not have an answer that fits in with a simple radiative budget?

No, I hadn’t seen the question. Nor do I understand it. Is it your clam that the ocean should freeze everywhere at the same latitude? Why would that be?
And having not understood it, I understand even less what it has to do with the subject under discussion. I don’t have time to read every unrelated post. If you start out with something that doesn’t make sense, or that doesn’t catch my interest, I’m likely to just go “Next!” and move on. I said before, to get someone’s attention you need to be brief, clear, and interesting. I have nowhere near enough time to answer every random communication.
Sorry,
w.

348. wobble says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:53 am
tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:20 am
we have yet to see any empirical evidence that the DLR has increased relative to the ULR.
Thanks for addressing my comment, and I understand your claim here.
Can you answer this question that I posted?

I don’t know how much of the evaporation is currently caused by DLR and how much of it is caused by solar derived energy, because there seems to be uncertainty about just exactly what the instruments measuring ULR are measuring, the true emission from the ocean surface, or the upward emission of the radiative soup just above it, or a mixture of both, so I can’t answer your question.
This is what Willis affectionately refers to as my “cockamanie ‘dance of the photons’ theory”. 🙂

349. John Endicott says:

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
5. Add what’s in your wallet and your bank assets together, you have \$200.
===============
You are forgetting that in addition to assests, you have liabilities, namely a \$100 loan that will need to be repaid. You must subtract your liabilities from your assets to come to your actual amount you have, in otherwords \$200assets – \$100liabilities = \$100

350. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:

… I don’t know how much of the evaporation is currently caused by DLR and how much of it is caused by solar derived energy, because there seems to be uncertainty about just exactly what the instruments measuring ULR are measuring, the true emission from the ocean surface, or the upward emission of the radiative soup just above it, or a mixture of both, so I can’t answer your question.
This is what Willis affectionately refers to as my “cockamanie ‘dance of the photons’ theory”. 🙂

What we do know is that however the photons dance, it can’t be driven by more than about a quarter of the DLR. That leaves the rest to warm the top mm of the ocean …
Regarding your “dance of the photons”, you’ve never explained exactly what it is. Somehow your theory (IIRC) had to do with the photons never actually hitting the water surface.
But we know that at least three quarters of the DLR is radiated as thermal radiation. And to be emitted as thermal radiation, first the DLR it has to be converted to thermal energy … making the surface warmer than it would be if there were no DLR>
I don’t see any dancing photons in that. To be radiated as thermal radiation at a different frequency than the incoming energy, the DLR must be first converted to thermal energy, which warms/slows the cooling of the surface.
They can’t just dance above the surface.
w.
PS – Truly, I don’t care what you call it. If a room is cold because a door is open to the frozen outdoors, when you close the door the room gets warmer. You can say closing the door warms the room, you can say closing the door slows the cooling of the room, but my point is simple — both the underlying phenomena and the outcome are the same no matter what we name it, the room ends up warmer.
in the same way we can say that DLR warms the ocean or that it slows the cooling of the ocean, it doesn’t matter. The point is that the ocean is warmer with the DLR than without, much warmer. Our name for it doesn’t change the fact that it’s warmer with DLR.
Nor is it meaningful to say that DLR striking the surface can’t warm the bulk of the ocean. As Tim the Toolman agrees (I think), the bulk of the ocean ends up warmer with DLR than without … so what does “DLR can’t warm the bulk” mean when not just the surface but the bulk ocean undoubtedly ends up warmer with DLR than without DLR?

351. richard verney says:

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Willis,
The problem with the point you make is that the very very top surface skin layer is cooler than the layer below and hence conduction is not carrying heat from the very very top surface layer to the ocean below. The significance of this is since DWLWIR can only penetrate only a matter of a few microns into the very very top layer of the ocean, ALL the DWLWIR which found its way into the oceans cannot on your account of the process find its way into deeper parts of the ocean.
The principle that you describe is important as regards the Solar energy since this heats the top 10 meteres of the ocean and heat from this part of the ocean (metre by metre) can be conducted downwards in accordance with the principle you describe.
In my earlier comment, may be I did not sufficiently explain the Peter and Paul point. As I see matters, one should visualise the ocean as follows:
1. There is a very very top layer comprising a matter of microns (lets be generous and say up to 10 microns although we are really interested in the top 3 to 5 microns). You may like to think of it as akin to a blanket that protects the deep ocean from losing too much heat.
2. The very very top layer can absorb to limited extent such DWLWIR that reaches the ocean surface.
3. The ocean below the very very top layer cannot be penetrated by DWLWIR due to the wavelength of the DWLWIR. It is effectively opaque to it. However this part of the ocean can be penetrated by the vast majoirty of the incoming solar radiation and this incoming solar radiation (some ~170 w per sqm) heats the top 10 metres of this part of the ocean. Due to over turning and/or the conduction process that you describe in your comment, heat in this part of the ocean gradually makes its way downwards and goes to heat the deep bulk ocean.
4. So what is going on in the very very top layer of the ocean. There are three steps/actions to consider.
5. First, water molecules are constantly being evaporated from the very very top layer with the result that the very very top layer is slightly cooler than the layers of ocean immediately below it. This means that there is no ‘additional’ heat to be overturned nor conducted downwards by the process you describe in your post.
6. Second, we come to the Peter Paul point. Some ~320 to 330 w per sq m of DWLWIR make their way to the first few microns of the very very top layer of the ocean. As they do so, in almost instantaneous manner some ~320 to 330 w per sq m are radiated upwards and away from the very very very top layer of the ocean. Accordingly, the DWLWIR is in effect instaneously extinguished and plays no effective role in the heating/warmth of the ocean. If you like this part of the exchange can be seen to cancel itself out so that there is no need to take it into account when considering what keeps the oceans warm
7. Third, the deep ocean gives up some of its heat. It supplies the very very top layer of the ocean (which is very slightly cooler than the ocean immediately below it) with ~170 w per sqm.
8. Fourth, the very very top layer of the ocean having been supplied with this ~ 170 w per sqm of energy from the ocean below now convects ~20 to 30 w per sq m, evaporates some ~70 to 80 w per sqm and radiates some ~70 w per sqm. Lets say 170w per sqm = 20w + 80w + 70w per sqm.
9. The deep ocean is able to provide the very very top layer with some ~170 w per sqm because it receives some ~170 w per sqm of solar energy in accordance with numbered paragraph 3 above.
10. You will note that when looked upon in this manner, the ocean/atmoshere is at equlibrium. In effect, the ocean (ie., that immediately below the top few microns) is receiving some~170 w per sqm of solar energy and is giving up precisely this quantity of energy. Even without the Peter Paul moment, the ocean would never have given up more. We are concerned with net flux, nothing more.
The behaviour of the oceans is extremely complex. We know that the computer models do not model well either the behaviour of oceans nor clouds. I am sure that we do not properly understand what is going on, and I am therefore quite surprised by the bullishness of your stance.
One of the main problems with climate science (and I have commented upon this problem many times and I note some other people have commented on this in the responses to this article) is that there is no attempt to carry out any physical experimental tests employing empirical observation. Many of the fundamental issues could be clarified and arguments laid to rest, if only some proper physical experimentation was conducted.

352. Spector says:

RE: Myrrh: (August 17, 2011 at 1:09 am)
“Do you know how much thermal infrared is given off by the incandescent bulb it gives as an example in the second parargraph? 95%
“The 5% visible light doesn’t heat anything.”

I have seen statements like this before and let them go by without thinking. This *can’t* be true. The tungsten filament must be heated to a temperature that is close to the same temperature as the surface of the sun. Not quite, I see from one reference that the peak radiation from an incandescent is around one micron so that light does have a deeper tail into the infrared region. Still, I would be curious how the 5% figure came about. I note that the energy-saving fluorescents typically require about 24% of the equivalent incandescent power. Note that a proper energy integral comparison must be done in the frequency or wave number domain. All these spectra seem to have adopted the wavelength domain for their plots, perhaps to avoid squeezing out the detail in the longer wavelength bands.
Again, the higher the frequency or the shorter the wavelength, the more energetic the photon–Planck’s Law.

353. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 17, 2011 at 10:46 am
What we do know is that however the photons dance, it can’t be driven by more than about a quarter of the DLR. That leaves the rest to warm the top mm of the ocean …
Regarding your “dance of the photons”, you’ve never explained exactly what it is. Somehow your theory (IIRC) had to do with the photons never actually hitting the water surface.
But we know that at least three quarters of the DLR is radiated as thermal radiation. And to be emitted as thermal radiation, first the DLR it has to be converted to thermal energy … making the surface warmer than it would be if there were no DLR
I don’t see any dancing photons in that. To be radiated as thermal radiation at a different frequency than the incoming energy, the DLR must be first converted to thermal energy, which warms/slows the cooling of the surface.
They can’t just dance above the surface.

Hi Willis. I can see a few different possibilies which would account for your observations here. Evaporated molecules form an invisible mist above the ocean surface. The sub visible droplets formed have a much bigger collective surface area than the ocean surface. These droplets become more highly thermalised by radiation emitted both from above and below. The hotter they get, the more buoyant they become, until they rise high enough to cool enough to condense and become visible clouds or a sea fret just above the water. How cloud condensation nuclei grow is a big unknown that Jasper Kirkby and his colleagues are currently working on. We know the gases emitted by decaying plankton which form sulphuric compounds play a part as well as GCR’s.
PS – Truly, I don’t care what you call it. If a room is cold because a door is open to the frozen outdoors, when you close the door the room gets warmer. You can say closing the door warms the room, you can say closing the door slows the cooling of the room, but my point is simple — both the underlying phenomena and the outcome are the same no matter what we name it, the room ends up warmer.
in the same way we can say that DLR warms the ocean or that it slows the cooling of the ocean, it doesn’t matter. The point is that the ocean is warmer with the DLR than without, much warmer. Our name for it doesn’t change the fact that it’s warmer with DLR.

As I said before, when common parlance conflates distinct processes, only confusion can result. Better to be more careful with words IMO.
Nor is it meaningful to say that DLR striking the surface can’t warm the bulk of the ocean. As Tim the Toolman agrees (I think), the bulk of the ocean ends up warmer with DLR than without … so what does “DLR can’t warm the bulk” mean when not just the surface but the bulk ocean undoubtedly ends up warmer with DLR than without DLR?
Tim agrees, as do I, that the presence of the radiative flux slows down the cooling of the ocean. Stephen Wylde thinks the magnitude of this effect is fixed by surface pressure – I think. I’ll be discussing that in person with him in a few weeks time.
I don’t think DLR striking the surface can heat the bulk of the ocean, and neither does Tim, for all the reasons we’ve rehearsed several times on this thread and many others.
LW Radiation only penetrates a few nm.
Conduction can’t go downwards because the surface is cooler than the subsurface.
Turbulent convection isn’t significant because if the eddies aren’t strong enough to pull down fingernail sized pieces of saturated toilet paper then they’re not strong enough to survive destructive interference beyond a few inches. Take it from someone who has designed centrifugal pumps.
Cheers
TB.

354. Willis, you say:
Argument 4. Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean. The DLR is about two-thirds of the total downwelling radiation (solar plus DLR). Given the known heat losses of the ocean, it would be an ice-cube if it weren’t being warmed by the DLR. We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That’s a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.
But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.
So if the DLR isn’t heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 … then why isn’t the ocean an ice-cube?”
===============================================
I may be in the wrong discussion here, but I thought the point of it all was that CO2 is adding heat to the system.
My argument against that is – that if, – at the top of the atmosphere, energy in equals’ energy out, – then the “Green House Gas circuit” that has been depicted by our friends Kiehl & Trenberth since the year of our Lord 1997 is totally irrelevant. – It only shows “conservation of energy within the Earth system” – In no way does it show that GHGs add energy to the “Earth System” (ES). – And, -as far as I know, – addition of energy (or use of stored energy) is necessary – anywhere – and on all occasions – if a rise of “Work Done” (WD) which leads to the product we call temperature is to be accomplished.
Therefore, all that DLR can achieve is to help preserve the equilibrium. –And the sucker punch is that the amount of CO2 or any other GHG does not matter. – Only the amount that leaves (the surface) can be returned (to the surface) by GHGs! – According to MIT & the people who measure “Energy in/out” it has not changed (apart from natural fluctuations) since measurements began.

355. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

From John Endicott on August 17, 2011 at 10:27 am:

You are forgetting that in addition to assests, you have liabilities, namely a \$100 loan that will need to be repaid. You must subtract your liabilities from your assets to come to your actual amount you have, in otherwords \$200assets – \$100liabilities = \$100

I forgot nothing, and you obviously will never qualify for a career in government finance. The 2010 Social Security Trustees Report shows a “perpetual projected unfunded liability” of \$16.1 trillion. The 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports give a combined figure for unfunded liabilities of nearly \$107 trillion. Yet as seen in the recent budget battle, right about now the US federal debt is only about \$15 trillion.
You have \$200, maybe \$300.

356. Richard Verney.
An excellent post.You said this;
“PS. I do not understand why so much time in climate science is wasted on peripheral issues. Approximately 70% of the planet is covered by ocean. The ocean contains 99% of the heat capacity of the planet, and it is the oceans that drive the weather.”
i agree. Climate science insists on using models that incorporate not only our extremely flawed ‘global’ land temperature calculations
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/little-ice-age-thermometers-%e2%80%93-history-and-reliability-2/
But insist in believing that the temperatures representing 70% of the planet-SST’s- are anything other than nonsensical as any sort of scientific measure prior to 1960;
http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/27/unknown-and-uncertain-sea-surface-temperatures/
(iI am currently in contact with the Met office concerning SST’s)
Modellers seem to believe that the data they use- in all good faith- is of impeccable quality-it isn’t.
tonyb

357. RJ says:

@ Willis
“The point is that the ocean is warmer with the DLR than without, much warmer.”
not correct. DLW at best very slightly slows the cooling rate
If there are 100 balls in a box. 20 are thrown upwards and 2 return. It does not increase the number of balls in the box to 102
So DLW does not warmer the surface. It might very slightly slow the cooling rate. As the 2 balls return and increase the number to 82 before they almost immediately leave again
l

358. Graeme M says:

As an interested layperson following this discussion I must say I am not sure what is being argued. Everyone seems to have a different take. But the thing that stands out to me is this averaging business. Willis uses an average of 170w/m^2 for solar insolation at the earth’s surface and then explains why that is insufficient on its own to keep the oceans liquid. Say again?
The average figure may be useful for ‘energy budgets’ but why would you consider it a physical reality in this discussion? There would be few places indeed on the earth receiving only that amount every moment of every day.
At the equator, it would vary between zero and 1368 w/m^2 depending on atmospheric conditions, while at the pole far less (I don’t know the figures). Thus the tropical surface cops a lot of heat most of the daylight hours, while the poles get very little most of the time.
Observation shows us that the oceans are liquid in the tropics and ice at the poles. What we see is exactly what Willis asks. If there’s loads of energy at the tropics (probably more than 390 w/m^2 much of the time) the water is liquid, at the poles with little energy it’s frozen. Ocean currents and atmospheric circulation transport heat around which does mean additional heating at the poles and so we see less ice than might otherwise be the case. For example what would happen if there were no currents. More or less sea ice?
So my confusion is, why argue about the effects of a figure that is not real?

359. Martin Lewitt says:

@Willis,
“If the DLR isn’t heating the water, where is it going? It can’t be heating the air, because the atmosphere has far too little thermal mass. If DLR were heating the air we’d all be on fire.”
The air had enough thermal mass to emit it. Were we on fire? The downwelling radiation would be coming from a much greater optical depth of air than the few microns of ocean it is directly interacting with. Since a similar flux of radiation is going upwards and the atmosphere is opague over parts of the infrared range, it can be heating the air. Which is heating which, depends on which was warmer.
Water has about 3 times the heat capacity of a similar mass of air. The mass of air over a meter^2 at sea level is over 10,000 kg. A few hundred watts is going to take awhile to reach high temperatures.

360. RJ says:

Graeme M
Significant warming due to DLW is based on flawed science that is so obviously flawed that no one should still believe this nonsense
But many do and not just alarmists

361. richard verney says:

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 17, 2011 at 10:25 am
richard verney says:
August 17, 2011 at 8:04 am
Willis,
I note that once again you do not answer my question as to why the ocean at the same latitude (62 degN) freezes at one longitude (19 deg 04 42 E) but not at another longitude (8 deg 45E). Is this because you do not have an answer that fits in with a simple radiative budget?
No, I hadn’t seen the question. Nor do I understand it. Is it your clam that the ocean should freeze everywhere at the same latitude? Why would that be?
And having not understood it, I understand even less what it has to do with the subject under discussion. I don’t have time to read every unrelated post. If you start out with something that doesn’t make sense, or that doesn’t catch my interest, I’m likely to just go “Next!” and move on. I said before, to get someone’s attention you need to be brief, clear, and interesting. I have nowhere near enough time to answer every random communication.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Willis
I have posted many comments in response to your article; only some of which were addressed to you personally. The comments addressed to you personally are: my comments of 15th August at 6:18 pm & 7:12 pm, of 16th August at 4:36am & 5:58 am & 9:37am, and of 17th August at 8:04 am & 10:56 am.
You have responded to some of these comments. See your comments of 15th August at 10:27pm & 10:33pm, 16th August at 2:25pm, and 17th August at 10:25 am. Generally, I have found your response(s) to be inadequate since these simply side step the issues raised.
You now allege: “NO, I HADN’T SEEN THE QUESTION. Nor do I understand it. Is it your clam that the ocean should freeze everywhere at the same latitude? Why would that be?…” (my emphasis).
Obviously, I cannot comment upon the extent of your understanding, but I can state that your excuse that you had not seen the question is plain wrong! You had seen the question which was set out in my comment of 16th August at 9:37 am since you responded to that comment on 16th August at 2:25 pm. See: “Willis Eschenbach says: August 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm richard verney says: August 16, 2011 at 9:37 am…”
I do not wish to wast time in repeating what I have already said. Please re-read my various comments as detailed above and then please revert with your detailed Solar/DLR budget calculation for:
1. The ocean at 62N 8 deg 45E (say for January)
2 The ocean at 62n 19 deg 04 42E (say for January)
3. The ocean at the tropics (say for January).
Alternatively, if you do not wish to produce actual calculations you can advise whether you:
4. Challenge my assertion that the Solar/DLR energy budget would be broadly similar for the ocean at the same latitude. In this regard, I consider that the incident angle of sunlight, the length of the solar day and the albedo of the ocean will be similar when considering the ocean at the same latitude. Likewise there is no reason why the DLR would be markedly different when considering the ocean at the same latitude given the well mixed nature of greenhouse gases (I am not saying that they would be precisely the same because I can see some reasons which may make modest differences). If the Solar/DLR energy budget is broadly similar at two locations one would IF ONLY considering Solar/DLR energy, expect the oceam to behave in similar manner.
5. Challenge my assertion that the reason why the ocean does not freeze at 62degN 8deg 45 E but does freeze at 62N 19 deg 04 42E is due to the former receiving more of the warm ocean currents eminating from the tropics.
6. Dispute my assertion that the tropical ocean does not freeze when you carry out an energy calculation on a net flux basis.
7. Dispute my assertion that the tropical ocean does not freeze even when you carry out a Solar/DLR energy calculation using your gross figures but ignoring the effects of DWR. If you dispute this, please provide the gross figures which you assert are involved for the tropical ocean (ie., not the average figures that you have used in your article) and the figuiures that you are using for latent heat calculations.
Willis, lets make some progress and actually get to the bottom of this. Please respond constructively and not by side stepping the issues raised.
Ps. I will put my hand up and say that some of my terminology has not been as accurate nor as succint as I would have wished but many of my comments were written at circa 3am to 4am in the early hours of the morning when one is not thinking at their best.

362. Myrrh says:

Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat.
The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

To any here that think thermal infrared does not reach the surface of the Earth, and so does not heat the land and oceans: ALL the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared.
This is what heats the land and oceans to raise the temperature.
I repeat:
Visible light and and the two shortwave energies either side of UV and Nr Infrared are not thermal energies,
That means they do not heat things.
That means they can’t heat land and oceans.
That means the ‘energy’ imput from the Sun from these wavelengths has nothing to do with heating the Earth.
That means they have to be taken out of your calculations.
You are confused between Light and Heat.
Highly energetic does not mean powerful.
Light energies are not powerful enough to create the heat claimed in Your Science Fiction arguments.
It is thermal infrared direct from the Sun which heats the water of the oceans and the land.
Water is a strong absorber of thermal infrared.
In real life applications this is well known.
“The lights use standard HPS and Metal Halide lamps, which are fitted into a water jacket that removes the heat while still allowing all the visible light to reach the plants.”
This is the real world.
You are not in it.
“The project purpose was to develop a mini-farm sufficiently productive to supply food for a manned mission to Mars. It had to be energy efficient, small, light weight, and most importantly, highly productive – all desirable attributes for the home grower as well. The research was done using a high productivity growth chamber (CAAP chamber) fitted with lighting which featured ” ….a recirculating water jacket that absorbs and removes non-photosynthetic energy”. In plain English, they used water cooled lights – the same type of water cooled lights that have been available to home hydroponic growers for several years already.”
http://www.hydroponicsbc.com/watercooledlighting.html
Prove that visible light from the Sun heats water or take it out of your calculations.
You are not scientists if you ignore this challenge.

363. George E. Smith says:

“”””” Answer to George E Smith. local thermodynamic equilibrium exists everywhere and accepting the exponential transients, most of the time emissivity is approximately equal to absorptivity. “””””
Well Alexander (Duranko), assuming that what you say (or at least said here) is true; and I don’t have any idea what it means; or why I should accept exponential transients (of what ?), it is somewhat irrelevent, in that it isn’t Kirchoff’s Law.
Kirchoff’s Law requires exact equality; and moreover at every possible wavelength (or wave number if you prefer).
People should stop citing Kirchoff’s Law in support of their otherwise unsupportable claims; in all cases where the conditions are NOT those set forth as necessary under Kirchoff’s Law; and that is spectral point by point exact equality for a medium in thermal equilibrium with a radiation field.
Otherwise such citation is the equivalent of asserting that Oliver Cromwell’s axe, in the British Museum, has only had two new heads, and five new handles since Oliver last used it.

364. Graeme M says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Sensible assessment Graeme. One minor nitpick. The oceanic transport of heat towards the poles is a lot less significant than atmospheric transport north of 65N (top end of Gulf Stream transport)
Another point which is worth mentioning is that the insolation figure doesn’t just average the solar input over latitude, but also between night and day sides of the planet. This is a serious shortcoming of the models because of the non-linearity of the response of water to thermal input in terms of the microclimate it creates above itself.

365. Graeme M says:

Yes Tallbloke, that’s another aspect I don’t follow. The energy budgets all show 340 off w/m^2 coming in at TOA and I understand how that is calculated. But the actual physical environment receives something rather different than an average. At the equator at midday the TOA gets the full benefit of 1368 w/m^2, not 342. There has to be a real measurable difference for that extra 1000 or so w/m^2. The climate is not an average. Nor are the effects of the sun on the earth.

366. George E. Smith says:

“”””” Sorry Myrrh, but the term “thermal radiation” is sometimes confused and misused. It is really a misnomer for EMR, (electromagnetic radiation) which includes visible light which does indeed heat matter when its photons are absorbed. Try here at Wikipedia: “””””
Well “Thermal Radiation” has a much more restrictive meaning than is inferred from what is said here (By Myrrh and later commenter (sorry lost the name)).
Thermal Radiation is a continuum Electromagnetic Radiation, of unrestricted wavelength or wave number range, that arises SOLELY because of the Temperature of an assemblage of molecules of any material that has a Temperature higher than zero Kelvins. The spectrum of such radiation is bounded as a limit case, , and at any wavelength or wave number, by the spectrum of a Black Body Radiator, at the same Temperature. Many dense solid bodies can approach quite closely to the thermal emission of the limit black body; but all materials, whether solid, liquid or gas, at temperatures higher than zero Kelvins can and do emit thermal Radiation. Even a single atom or molecule, as a member of an assemblage of molecules, emits Thermal Radiation.
The mechanism of emission is spelled out in Maxwell’s equations, where any varying electric current in any path of greater than zero length (antenna) must radiate EM waves. A varying Electric Current of course is the same thing as an accelerated Electric Charge (Q); and every particle Physicist knows that accelerated Electric Charges MUST Radiate EM waves. There’s a monument to that phenomenon in Silicon Valley, California. It’s known as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; a two mile long pin that holds the San Andreas Fault together. It’s purpose is to accelerate electrons (electric charges) to high kinetic energies without suffering the radiation losses that would occur, if they sent the electrons around a race track. But I digress.
Of course, any isolated (neutral) atom or molecule can be in ballistic flight, subject only to the force of gravity. Gravity is so weak, that it for nearly all practical purposes, has a constant velocity. As such, it of course has no Temperature, which is a consequence of collisions occurring within an assemblage of molecules. In free flight, the molecule has neither acceleration, nor in many cases any electric dipole moment, so it does not radiate EM waves.
However, during the time that a molecule is in collision with another, undergoing an elastic scattering process, due to the electrostatic forces between the two molecules, the molecules or atoms are distorted, because the particle momentum is almost entirely contained in the atomic nuclei. The Proton to electron rest mass ratio, is 1837:1, and then the Neutron has a similar mass, so the nuclear momentum is typically about 3675 times that of the electrons; but the electrostatic forces are of the same order. The result is that one charge species has almost 4,000 times the acceleration of the other, so charge neutrality is moot, since only one sign of charge is undergoing significant acceleration, so the other sign doesn’t matter much.
This results in a distortion of the charge distribution, creating a net electric dipole moment, so during the collision interaction time, the atoms/molecules can and do send and receive EM waves. The wavelength range is unbounded; but it is still Thermal Radiation since it arises as a consequence of the Temperature of the assemblage of atoms/molecules.
Whether EM radiation is capable of warming anything, is irrelevant as to whether it is “Thermal Radiation”.

367. Graeme M says:
August 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm
The energy budgets all show 340 off w/m^2 coming in at TOA and I understand how that is calculated. But the actual physical environment receives something rather different than an average. At the equator at midday the TOA gets the full benefit of 1368 w/m^2, not 342. There has to be a real measurable difference for that extra 1000 or so w/m^2. The climate is not an average. Nor are the effects of the sun on the earth.

This is what really surprises me about Willis’ approach in this thread. When he’s putting forward his own theory, he is acutely aware that averages are masking what is really going on. Climate at the local level is non-linear in its responses to energy input.

368. Alexander Duranko says:

George E Smith: I learnt thermodynamics from high temperature physical chemistry and much hard graft in steel and aluminium plants. You are right in that Kirchhoff’s Law of radiation requires exact matching of absorptivity and emissivity of a body at all wavelengths. But this is how radiative equilibrium works: it’s automatic otherwise you wouldn’t get equilibrium..
The problem with climate science is that most people in it haven’t a clue about the way gases behave. This is why I suggested they go back to Hottell’s teaching.
Here’s something to consider: http://www.vermonttiger.com/content/2008/07/nasa-free-energ.html

369. Graeme M says:

That is an interesting PDF Tallbloke. Now here’s where not being a scientist makes it hard. I didn’t quite understand the graphic or some of the text. It *seems* to say that figure is demonstrating average daily insolation at TOA. I suspect I don’t understand what TOA is. In my mind I see TOA as a sort of outer shell which is bounded by some point at which our atmosphere is no longer detectable as such. In effect, to me, the TOA simply represents a sphere. Thus, only the points on that sphere which intercept the sunlight can register an incoming energy.
At the exact pole, I’d assume the angle of incidence is enough to ensure no light or energy at any time. At the equator at the zenith however will receive the full 1370 w/m^2. Yet the text and graphic appear to discuss the effect of a horizon and of the seasons (eg “at the pole , sunlight is absent for exactly half the year”) both of which are effects at the surface, not TOA.
What have I missed?

370. jimmi_the_dalek says:

Looking at all this, I am puzzled by something. There is a lot of discussion of cooling of the ocean surface by evaporation, but where is the opposite vector included? ie. where is condensation? All that evaporated water must eventually condense, exactly reversing the latent heat transfer, fall as rain, and eventually must get back into the ocean – not necessarily the same part of the ocean, but that does not matter. So when people quote a figure of X watts/sq m for the cooling effect, is that net of the condensation? or just the flow in one direction?

371. anna v,
I bought one of those.
How do you turn it on????

372. Graeme M says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm
I’d assume the angle of incidence is enough to ensure no light or energy at any time. At the equator at the zenith however will receive the full 1370 w/m^2. Yet the text and graphic appear to discuss the effect of a horizon and of the seasons (eg “at the pole , sunlight is absent for exactly half the year”) both of which are effects at the surface, not TOA.
What have I missed?

Basically, you missed the tilt of the Earth with respect to the plane of the ecliptic – 23.5 degrees. The arctic circle is bathed in shallow angle but 24 hour a day sunshine for half the year between equinoxes. As you can see from the figures, the TOA illumination adds to more over the 24 hour period at midsummer than the equator gets with its ~12 hour nights and ~4 hours of shallow angles of incidence near dawn and dusk.

373. jimmi_the_dalek says:

Richard Verney
“Prove that visible light from the Sun heats water or take it out of your calculations.”
All electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, from gamma rays, through ultra violet, visible, infrared, to microwave, and long wave radio, is energy. Different materials have different cross sections to electromagnetic radiation, ie they do not all absorb with the same probability, but none has zero cross section. If something absorbs energy it heats. Below a certain depth in water it is dark. The visible light has therefore been absorbed. Therefore the water has heated. Q.E.D

374. Graeme M says:

Oops, forget I spoke. I didn’t take into account the fact that the earth’s axis is tilted from the plane of its orbit…

375. Graeme M says:

Snap! 🙂

376. RACookPE1978 says:

tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

This gives the TOA daily insolation figures throughout the year at all latitudes. Some surprises for those who haven’t thought this through carefully
http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/thermo-txt1.pdf
Valuable asset … but it is purely theoretical. Accurately finds the average thermal (visible) radiation available – but only at the top of the atmosphere. (Still need to correct for the 3.3% change in received radiation as the earth moves closer and further from the sun each year.)
Otherwise, a good beginning for a perfectly clear, dry day at noon at the tropics where the air mass (or atmospheric thickness) is equal = 1.00. No clouds. No haze. No dust.
Atmospheric losses (not cloud losses!) are equal to a^L where a = 0.85 in the Arctic, and L is the air mass at that latitude. And the simple approximation of L/Sin(latitude) is valid only for latitudes up to around 60 north. (Above that, you need to correct for curvature of the earth, etc.)
Now, follow that calculation down through the atmosphere:
At 80 north, air mass at a 10 degree solar angle (at noon) = 6.12, percent transmitted = 0.353
At 80 north, air mass at a 6 degree solar angle = 11.3, percent transmitted = 0.159

377. At some level, we will have to live with the limitations of discussing averages in a forum like this. Economists talk about per capita income; actuaries talk about average life expectancy; baseball fans talk about batting averages. Everyone know that people earn different amounts of money; that people live different amounts of time; that a batter will do better in some games than others.
Averages are the the simplest ways to deal with values that vary. Everyone knows that global averages are just that — a simple summary of a much more complex idea. This is just a rough first approximation. For an introduction to an idea, it is great. For an in-depth analysis, it is lousy.
What perhaps amazes me the most is that some people think that experts don’t understand this concept; that climate scientists simply deal with averages rather than taking further steps to look at values at different times of day and different seasons and different latitudes.
So no, a global average won’t tell you …
* if the ocean will be frozen at 62 N
* when and where clouds will form
* the energy balance at the equator.
* how much it will cool overnight.
* how land behaves compared to ocean.
These sorts of details require more calculations and a deeper understanding of the variables involved. It requires computers that can estimate and process data for 1000’s of points and various times and/or locations.
On the other hand, a global average can tell you
* a rough global average temperature.
* a global comparison of how big various energy flows are compared to each other. For example, upward IR carries away much more energy from the surface than upward evaporation.
* what sort of changes would be expected due to hypothetical changes. For example if albedo increases, more sunlight will be reflected, so less IR needs to escape to maintain a balance, so the global temperature must decrease.

378. Bob_FJ says:

Myrrh @ August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

“…The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.
To any here that think thermal infrared does not reach the surface of the Earth, and so does not heat the land and oceans: ALL the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared.
This is what heats the land and oceans to raise the temperature…”

I see that you are apparently ignoring the issues I raised @ August 17, 2011 at 2:43 am including a Wikipedia article on “thermal radiation” as follows:
If you believe this to be false you could perhaps do a search and be surprised at how many scientists do not support your views.
Meanwhile, here is a thought exercise for you. It is generally agreed that visible light towards the blue end of the spectrum penetrates about 100m in typical seawater. (the visible red and near infrared is “lost” near the surface). Beyond ~100m it gets dark.
Note that a fundamental is that the shorter the wavelength of EMR, the higher the energy level. Also that whilst water is relatively transparent to visible light, it is nevertheless slightly opaque. (in somewhat the same way as GHG’s are partly opaque to IR)
Q: Sunlight is high energy stuff compared with IR. It enters water and then fades away down to ~100m. Where does it go? Energy cannot disappear.
A: It has been converted from EMR (in this case aka as sunlight) to a different form of energy known as HEAT. There is no energy loss. (Re conservation of energy)

379. RACookPE1978 says:

Graeme M says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm
In my mind I see TOA as a sort of outer shell which is bounded by some point at which our atmosphere is no longer detectable as such. In effect, to me, the TOA simply represents a sphere. Thus, only the points on that sphere which intercept the sunlight can register an incoming energy.

You’re right: but remember the actual geometry involved: The earth isn’t a perfect sphere, but conventional wisdom uses a radius of 6371 km. Good enough for all practical purposes.
The atmosphere is a bit more tricky: People debate all day about where the atmosphere ends, and which layer should be counted. It moves up and down with temperature, radiation, tidal pressure from the sun and moon, and the earth’s geode shape as well. I use 51 km, which places the “edge” of the atmosphere right at the top of the stratosphere. Your mileage may vary 8<).
Regardless, the small thickness of the atmosphere (the TOA is "top of atmosphere" in climate terms) compared to the whole radius of the earth's disk, doesn't affect THAT part of the equation. Atmospheric absorption is very, very significant in all other calculations however.

380. RACookPE1978 says:

Graeme M says:
August 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Oops, forget I spoke. I didn’t take into account the fact that the earth’s axis is tilted from the plane of its orbit…

Well, it depends when you are looking at the world: That 23.5 degree effective angle is true ONLY at mid-summer (June 23 some-odd most years). It declines to 0.0 inclination at the equinox on September 22 – which is the time when the sea ice extents are at a minimum, so you’re earlier assumption is correct. But only for that period right around March 22-23 (the spring equinox – when ice is close to its yearly maximum) and Sept 22-23, the summer minimum.
The Arctic ice melt “season” in the north lies between the two, when the sun is highest. That’s the period he refers to above while talking about diffuse radiation. But at sea ice minimum, the sun is low in the sky even at noon, and disappears each evening in the southwest earlier and earlier each day. Rising to the southeast later and later.

381. richard verney says:

jimmi_the_dalek says:
August 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm
/////////////////////////////
I accept that not the entire spectrum of the solar radiation goes to heat the oceans

382. jimmi_the_dalek says:

“I accept that not the entire spectrum of the solar radiation goes to heat the oceans”
Really? Why? Heats to different degrees might be plausible – does not heat at all is not.

383. Myrrh says:

The claim is that Visible light heats the land and oceans. The claim is the Thermal Infrared direct from the Sun doesn’t contribute to this part of the ‘energy budget’.
================================================================================================================
Thermal Infrared is Heat, it is invisible, it is what we feel as heat from the Sun, it warms us up.
Visible light does not warm us up.
It’s that simple.
Incandescent lightbulbs – the general figure is 95% heat to 5% visible light. This page has 90/10% –

From: http://www.ehow.com/info_8461018_infrared-sunlight-photons.html
“The old Easy-Bake Oven was a testament to the inefficiency of the incandescent bulb. Nearly 90 percent of the energy of an incandescent bulb goes into heat: infrared light. By way of comparison, the same 60-watt light bulb that emits 3 billion billion visible light photons emits 400 billion billion infrared photons. Infrared just refers to electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between about 0.7 micrometers (millionths of a meter) and up to as long as 100 micrometers.”

The brighter the light given off the more thermal infrared is being given off – it’s heat creating visible light. Visible light is a product, it is not the source of heat. We cannot feel visible light, it is not thermal energy. It cannot raise the temperature of matter as claimed.
The atmosphere is not transparent to visible light, electrons of the nitrogen and oxygen molecules briefly absorb it and send it on its way, this is called reflection/scattering. Water is transparent to visible light, it is transmitted through without being absorbed. Neither of these two scenarios raise the temperature, that is, visible light does not convert to heat.
To call visible light a ‘thermal’ energy is a misnomer, the traditional physics division into Light and Heat as the difference between these has the advantage of keeping common sense in play.
You’ve (generic) have lost all common sense when you argue that visible light heats land and oceans.
I don’t know why you are all arguing against this, your backgrounds of how you came to this will be varied, but I’ve pointed out the NASA used to teach that the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared and now it’s teaching that infrared doesn’t even reach the surface of the Earth.
I’m asking you to think about what I’m saying here.

“InfraredMain article: Infrared
Infrared (IR) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 0.7 and 300 micrometres, which equates to a frequency range between approximately 1 and 430 THz. IR wavelengths are longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of terahertz radiation microwaves. Bright sunlight provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.[1]”

Do you feel heat from the Sun? Are you ‘at sea level’? So why is NASA now teaching that infrared doesn’t even reach the surface of the Earth and as some here have said, that long wave infrared doesn’t heat the surface?
So, there are two things here. That thermal, longwave, infrared has been expunged from the energy budget from the Sun direct to the Earth and that in its place has been put the absurd claim that visible light heats land and oceans..
Since y’all get too easily distracted from the point whenever thermal or heat is mentioned, I’d like you to concentrate on the second part of this. Prove that visible light heats land and oceans. Because until you do, you cannot use these figures. I’m serious. Because all the standard traditional real world physics says it can’t.
Water is transparent to visible light. This means that water does not absorb visible light, it passes through, which is called transmission.

“Why is water transparent?
Because water absorbs very little energy at the frequency of visible light.” See Graph.

Gamma rays are not the same as radio waves, there is a qualitative difference between them. There is a qualitative difference between visible and infrared, between light and heat. Heat, thermal infrared, longwave, goes to vibrational states of matter, while visible to electronic transitions.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_and_translucency
“If the object is transparent, then the light waves are passed on to neighboring atoms through the bulk of the material and re-emitted on the opposite side of the object. Such frequencies of light waves are said to be transmitted.”
(This is visible light in water, it is transmitted, simply passed on.)
“An object may be not transparent either because it reflects the incoming light or because it absorbs the incoming light.”
(This is what happens to visible light in the atmosphere, it is not transparent to visible light.)
“UV-Vis: Electronic transitions ….
When photons (individual packets of light energy) come in contact with the valence electrons of atom, one of several things can and will occur:
An electron absorbs all of the energy of the photon and re-emits it with different color. This gives rise to luminescence, fluorescence and phosphorescence.
An electron absorbs the energy of the photon and sends it back out the way it came in. This results in reflection or scattering.
An electron cannot absorb the energy of the photon and the photon continues on its path. This results in transmission (provided no other absorption mechanisms are active).
An electron selectively absorbs a portion of the photon, and the remaining frequencies are transmitted in the form of spectral color.”

So, the claim that the atmosphere is a transparent medium to visible light is technically inaccurate, because scattering, the blue sky, is from electrons absorbing visible light and reflecting them the way they came in.
Water is actually transparent to visible, the third of the above, the electron can’t absorb the energy and the visible light continues on its path. Visible light is transmitted through water.
There is no heat created.
Your energy budget is junk science.

384. Alexander Duranko says:
August 17, 2011 at 6:14 am

One comment on the Curry blog is ‘Gradually the lapse rate should almost vanish in absence of all IR absorption and emission’
This serious lack of basic physics’ knowledge** permeates climate science.

Consider this thought experiment. A planet has an atmosphere that is transparent to IR – say pure Argon (no H2O, no CO2). The daytime surface averages 20 C (for 12 hr); the nighttime surface averages 0 C (for 12 hr). The atmosphere is manipulated until it is all at the temperature 10 C (day and night, top to bottom). Then all controls are turned off and the planet is allowed to react.
The night-time atmosphere will cool, but via contact with the surface, since it cannot radiate any appreciable energy to cool directly. The temperature of the first few meters (or even first few km — the scale doesn;t really matter for the sake of this discussion) may cool, but the cooling at the bottom of the atmosphere will not have time to permeate to the top of the atmosphere. The top will still be 10 C.
The daytime side will warm by contact with the surface, Convection will carry this warmed air upward, but only slightly. Once the warmed air (say 20 C) rises ~ 1 kn, it will have cooled to the same temperature as the surrounding 10 C air, so it will stop rising. Once again, vanishingly little energy exchange will occur with the TOA, and the TOA temperarture will remain ~ 10 C.
As the world turns, the air on the warmed side will cool as it goes to night. The air on the cooled side will warm. Changes during the previous 12 hr will be pretty well wiped out.
The question for Alexander Duranko — what physics will ever cause the top of this atmosphere to cool off?
If nothing causes the top to cool, nothing will cause a lapse rate to develop. If nothing causes the top to cool, once the lapse rate disappears, nothing will cause it to come back.
(For those who ask why the lapse rate would disappear to begin with, the answer is conduction, Even though air is a poor conductor, it is indeed a conductor. This will tend to even out the temperatures until they are fairly uniform throughout.)

385. Richard Verney,
In your response to Willis you say:
” Even without the Peter Paul moment, the ocean would never have given up more. We are concerned with net flux, nothing more.”
Why would you say that the ocean would not give up more? Doesn’t that require a regulator? (GHG’s) That is, without the GHG’s the ocean really would radiate at 390 decreasing to what ever the relative equilibrium becomes over time?
Just looked up thermal conductivity and find water, glass, red brick all have about the same whereas air is much lower with ice about 3x water and metals 10x and up.
Does this enter into the issue here or is the thermal conductivity fast enough in this scenario to not be a significant regulator?
The overturning at night sounds like it does enter into the issue.

386. jimmi_the_dalek says:

“Water is actually transparent to visible, the third of the above, the electron can’t absorb the energy and the visible light continues on its path. Visible light is transmitted through water.”
Rubbish.
Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth.

387. Smokey says:

Tim Folkerts,
That sounds just like Venus.

388. Bob_FJ says:

Tim Folkerts @ August 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

“…On the other hand, a global average can tell you
* a rough global average temperature.
* a global comparison of how big various energy flows are compared to each other. For example, upward IR carries away much more energy from the surface than upward evaporation…”

You have become confused over the difference between EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and HEAT. The following NASA energy diagram removes the distracting up and down IR, and shows only the HEAT transfer, which is what affects global temperatures.
Expressed as percentage of TOA sunlight:
* Thermals = 7%
* Evapotranspiration = 23%
* Radiation absorbed by atmosphere = 15%
* Radiation directly to space = 6%
——————–
Total Heat absorbed by surface = 51%
http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif

389. richard verney says:

@Tim Folkerts says at 17th August 5:39pm
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Tim
I partly agree with the tenor of your comment, but at the same time I bawk at averages.
I do not doubt for one moment that climate scientists are alive to the issues being discussed. I also do not dispute that averages can give you an indication of what might be, if certain average variables are altered. I accept that they have a role to play, but (and this is a big but) they must always be viewed with caution since averages have a tendancy to disguise the detail, and often the devil lies in the detail. One reason why stataticians use mode, medium and standard deviation etc is to get away from the problems that averages can create.
Clouds are a good example of the problems caused by averages. Is there such a thing as average cloudiness? or statistically valid average cloudiness? The problem is the variability in clouds and each component part of this variability leads to different effects and resuls. One needs to consider (amongst other matters) the area of cloud cover, its volume, its composition, the height at which it is formed, the latitude and longitude of its formation, the surface including surface medium and surface albedo over which the cloud is formed, the time of day when the cloud is formed, the calendar date/season in which it is formed etc. Given this variability, I do not accept that there is any such thing as statistically valid average cloudiness. One only needs to be slightly out with one or more of these variables and that in itself can fully explain the warming and cooling trends that appear in the temperature data sets for the past century. For this reason alone, one can never rule out natural variations in clouds as being the explanation (or at any rate the bulk explanation) for the temperature changes that we have seen in the temperature data sets during the past 150 years.
Averages give the false impression that everything is uniform, however, Global Warming (if it is occuring) is not a global event still less a global problem. It is a local event which may or may not give rise to local issues. If the global average temperature is rising, some places will become hotter, but some places may not change at all, and some places may even cool. Becoming warmer may be a good thing for some countries, a neutral thing for others, and a problem for some.
Materially, to find out what will occur it is necessary to consider matters on a local level. For example, will growing seasons simply become longer or will there be a migration of the food belts, and if so to where and with what effect. Will we experiece more or less rain, and will the place where the rainfall occurs alter (or is it largely governed by geographical profiles which profiles are essentially static). Will we get more or less snow, and if so where. A lot of these issues lead to management issues which issues can only be addressed locally. I am not going to list everything, you get the idea.
Even sea level rise (if it is occuring to any significant extent), is not a global problem. Many countries have no sea coast line. Even for countries that do have coast lines, rising sea levels may or may not cause significant issues.
It is for political reasons (not scientific reasons) that we are being forced to look at this issue as if it were a global issue when it is not.

390. Keith Minto says:

jimmi_the_dalek says:
August 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm
“Water is actually transparent to visible, the third of the above, the electron can’t absorb the energy and the visible light continues on its path. Visible light is transmitted through water.”
Rubbish.
Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth.

Distilled water is transparent to visible light and has a remarkable diamond like clarity, even compared to tap water.

391. Keith Minto says:
392. Bob_FJ,
1) Myrrh is quite sure of his position and has been for months. Trying to convince him otherwise is futile.
2) I understand your point, but I am not confused about the difference between “heat” and “energy” and “EMR”. I was specifically talking energy flows. Upward IR does indeed carry more energy than evaporation. Downward IR carries quite a bit of energy, too, but in the opposite direction.
Heat is the net flow of energy due to temperature differences. By this definition, there is no reason to only lump the two IR energy flows together, as you are suggesting. ALL the energy transfers due to temperatures differences should be lumped together to calculate the heat. THE heat to the surface would then be + 168 + 324 – 390 – 24 – 78 = 0 (using the old Trenberth numbers).
We could group these in a variety of ways. Your suggestion of grouping by type has much merit — ie combining the +324 – 390 = -66 (presumably the “15% listed above). This highlights types of energy flows.
We could also group them by direction of flow: 492 in and 492 out. This highlights the net balance.
We could subdivide the -390 by where it is going: -350 to the atmosphere and – 40 to space.
My point is that there are many legitimate ways to look at the energy flows. There are many legitimate subsets to look at. Different subsets are interesting and useful in different situations.
PS — I just noticed that the wording in the diagram and your own post use “EMR” and “heat” inconsistently. The third line should be “NET radiation absorbed by atmosphere”. The atmosphere DOES absorb ~ 350 W/m^2 of EMR from the ground, which is a little over 100% of the sun’s rate. The atmosphere does indeed emit large amounts of EMR. It is only the NET EMR (which we could call “EMR heat between ground and atmosphere”) that is ~ 15%.

393. jimmi_the_dalek says:

“Distilled water is transparent to visible light and has a remarkable diamond like clarity, even compared to tap water.”
The transparency of water depends on the thickness of the sample – the thicker it is the more light is absorbed. Obviously.
Here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water_absorption_spectrum.png
is a graph of absorbency versus frequency for pure liquid water. Note that the frequency is given as a log scale. Note the dimensions of the y-axis. The amount of light transmitted falls off exponentially. Thus if the absorption coefficient 1 and the sample is 1 cm thick then the intensity will be reduced by a factor of 1/e where e=2.78 i.e it is reduced to about 36% of its starting intensity. If you look at the values then the absorption coefficient is ~100 in the infra-red. So here it takes a few millimetres to absorb the light. In the visible the coefficient is ~1/1000 to ~1/10000 so it takes a few metres to absorb the light. But the important point is – the coefficient is NEVER zero, and with sufficient depth ALL the light is absorbed, which means ALL the energy is absorbed, and since it is not re-emitted as visible light, ALL that energy is retained as heat (at least until it is emitted as LWIR from the surface)
Now could people please stop talking nonsense and claiming that visible light is not absorbed by water.

394. RACookPE1978 says:

Keith Minto says:
August 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm (Edit)
Responding to an earlier comment:
….
Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth.
Distilled water is transparent to visible light and has a remarkable diamond like clarity, even compared to tap water.

OK. You’ve ID’ed part of the problem being discussed.
The IR is absorbed high – at the very top of the (perfectly calm) water column of 100 meters. Up there, the IR-induced heat increases evaporation, and causes a (partial) loss of the heat energy being shined downed from the sun.
A little lower, the visible light penetrates, and some up it turns into plant energy (by the planton and smaller veggies up there) which gets by larger things which get eaten by larger things and …… and eventually they decay on the bottom of the ocean.
The remainder of the visible light turns into ??? (Heat obviously). The wind-swept currents and upper-surface turmoil mix up that mythical first few microns that do absorb the IR and store that IR heat (top 10 cm’s of water ) 1-3 meters down.
It is this moderate-depth absorbed light energy and the real-world mixing of real-world ocean waves and wind that is not (often) discussed above.
My earnest question to Mr. Mosher (or other knowledge persona’s) is what are the latitude by longitude actual heat radiation values “assumed” by the CGM’s to be received at each longitude and latitude on the earth.
If they (the CAGW propagandists who wish to control the world’s life) begin with nothing more accurate than a average world-wide year-wide basis of 100 km x 100 km squares from the equator to the poles, then they are attempting to re-create the pyramids by assuming grains of sand were found randomly spread across the desert. And then proving that the grains of sand cannot move uphill to form the pyramids.

395. Myrhh,
Your own quote says “” ….a recirculating water jacket that absorbs and removes non-photosynthetic energy”. Seriously, do you have any idea what energy is and how it is converted between radiation, kinetic energy, heat energy, that it is conserved…???
You might also consider that, although the exterior of a spacecraft has no temperature it is also the biggest vacuum thermos possible?? Handling heat has to be an important issue in the design. You don’t radiate extra heat into your environment that has to be removed by the expenditure of more energy. The plants only need certain wavelengths for photosynthesis. Why give them the whole spectrum?? Why use WATER to remove that radiation if it can’t absorb it???
http://www.botany.uwc.ac.za/ecotree/photosynthesis/spectrum.htm
Shows that the Infrared band is not used by photosynthesis. Guess what you are screaming about as the heat band?? Guess what water absorbs really well?? Not that it doesn’t absorb visible light, just not much or it couldn’t penetrate to 100 meters depth. In other words, most of the infrared will be absorbed by that thin layer of water while very little of the desired visible bands will be absorbed. That water is heated so can be circulated past a transparent window or near the surface of the craft to RADIATE away that heat if they don’t use it elsewhere!!
The reason you FEEL infrared is that it excites the molecules of h2o in your skin similar to a microwave!!! It actually carries less energy but more of it is absorbed!!
Oh, and if you don’t think water absorbs visible light, you need to remember that all those plants and debris in water does. Why it gets really black in the deep oceans. Notice in this spectra that water absorption is LOW in the visible, but, it DOES absorb.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water_absorption_spectrum.png

396. Bob_FJ says:

Tim Folkerts @ August 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

“…1) Myrrh is quite sure of his position and has been for months. Trying to convince him otherwise is futile…”

Yes Tim, I’ve now come to that same conclusion too, although I didn’t know that he/she has been making such gobsmacking assertions for months. If Myrrh cannot accept that sunlight fades to nothing from around 100m in seawater and what that means, or the principle of conservation of energy, then he would seem to be beyond salvation.
It reminds me of some Christadelphians I encountered in Adelaide (Oz) that were unmovedly convinced that the Grand Canyon was created just a few thousand years ago in the great Biblical flood, and that dinosaurs like T-Rex existed alongside humans, despite that they are not mentioned in the Bible whereas the frequently mentioned king of beasts; the lion, is. Similar stuff I saw on TV docos, like an interview with a Grand Canyon helicopter tour guide, saying it‘s all in the Bible.
Actually, I prefer an hypothesis that was put to me that the Grand Canyon was created when a Scotsman dropped a penny in the area and then futilely attempted to recover it.
Your other points; and thanks for your interest; I’ll respond to separately, possibly in a combined comment to Willis.

397. Spector says:

IR Heat Radiation Fallacy
As objects become warmer, their peak radiation wavelength becomes ever shorter. We can use the peak radiation energy to measure temperature. Just like the infrared band, light is electromagnetic energy. The equations are the same. As the wavelengths get shorter, we do not get into a new area of behavior until the individual photons become so energetic that they can rip molecules apart. A monochromatic optical laser beam is hot. You can get a nasty burn if you focus an image of the sun on your hand with a large magnifying glass. [Hint: never leave such a glass in a position where it may accidently focus sunlight on paper]
The only reason that you might think of light being cool with respect to infrared is that indoor lighting levels are usually not more than 2 percent of the intensity of natural sunlight. If a stove got white hot, you would not want to be anywhere near; it would be blinding hot–literally.
Yes, infrared light carries heat. Optical light does as well and requires fewer photons for the same amount of heat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body

398. Myrrh says:

Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth
Because energy from the Sun isn’t eternal. Because matter slows down light. Water is matter, the deeper you go the greater the pressure. When you switch off your table lamp, where does the light go?
Get real with your scales, none of you could measure your way out of a paper bag.
You don’t take into consideration the difference in properties. What’s the difference in size between the near infrared and longwave infrared? See the NASA page for children. Short wave works on the scale of electrons. Tiny. Gets bashed about even by the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere – that’s what reflection and scattering is. That’s why we have a blue sky. It’s weak compared with thermal infrared which works on a molecular scale, actually moving molecules to higher energy states, which is what temperature is. But in water, the molecules don’t even let the visible in to their dance. They can’t move the molecules to higher energy states. They do not convert water to heat. They are transmitted through unchanged.
It takes the more powerful heat energy of thermal infrared to move molecules of water to heat. Water is a great absorber of thermal infrared. That’s why the water cooled light to leave only visible which is not hot and which the plants use for photosynthesis which is a chemical change in the use of visible light energy – it does not create heat. It creates sugars which then create heat when they are burned for energy.
Don’t come back with more nitpicking gibberish here. Your energy budget says Visible light raises the temperature of land and oceans to heat. If you can’t appreciate how utterly stupid that concept is, it’s not my fault. You haven’t been paying attention.
Water is transparent to visible light, it is not absorbed, it is transmitted through unchanged. It does not heat water. You have to take the AGWScience fiction claim that you’ve all been brainwashed into believing out of your energy budget. Your arguments are nonsense.
This includes the nonsense that longwave thermal infrared direct from the Sun does not heat the oceans. Either because you’re saying that longwave infrared doesn’t reach the surface of the earth and only back-radiated thermal is in play, or as above, you think visible light is thermal, capable of heating water, and thermal infrared isn’t absorbed by the oceans. You’re in a complete muddle.
Water is a great absorber of thermal infrared, longwave. That’s how your bodies get warmed up internally from the Sun, you’re mostly water. UV light doesn’t make it past the first layer of the epidermis, visible light can penetrate fractionally deeper, then it gets reflected out, that’s why you cast shadows. The shorter near infrared is shorter and so more reflective like visible light, but it penetrates deeper still before being reflected out. That’s how near infrared cameras work in the dark and in getting through clouds to see what is behind them in cosmic photography. This is a different process to thermal imaging which measures the heat radiated from a body. You don’t understand differences in processes because you have zilch understanding of differences in properties. That AGWScience fiction mantra that all electromagnetic energy is the same and all energy creates heat has trapped you in a one dimensional world without scale or volume. You won’t understand what I’ve just written until you step out of it and into the real world this side of the mirror. Until you do, you’re stuck in an impossible world with Alice where you argue among yourselves about your fictional concepts of matter without properties and where you adjust physical laws to suit your make-believe worlds. Water has a great capacity to store heat, it takes longer to warm up and it takes longer to cool down. That’s what’s happening in our oceans. In the real world.
Do not think about the following until you have understood the above.

Heat Capacity and Latent Heat
•If we heat a solid that is at a temperature below its melting point, its temperature will increase until it reaches the melting point. If we continue to add heat, the temperature will not change any further until the solid is melted, and then the temperature will again rise until the liquid has reached its boiling point. If we continue to add heat, the temperature will not change again until all the liquid has become gas, after which adding more heat will again raise its temperature.
•The amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of a substance by 1oC without changing its phase is called its heat capacity. Heat that changes a substance’s temperature without changing its phase is called sensible heat.
•Due to the hydrogen bond, the heat capacity of liquid water (4.2 J·g–1·oC–1) is higher than any other substance except ammonia (one of a very few compounds other than water that has a hydrogen bond, although it’s hydrogen bond is not as strong water’s). The heat capacity of ice and water vapor are also very high, although they are only about half that of liquid water.
•The amount of heat that must be added to convert a solid to a liquid without changing its temperature, and to convert a liquid to a gas without changing its temperature, are called the latent heat of fusion and the latent heat of vaporization.
•The latent heat of fusion of water (334 J·g-1) is higher than that of any other substance except ammonia, and the latent heat of vaporization of water (2,260 J·g-1) is higher than any other known substance.
•When a gas is allowed to cool to become a liquid and eventually a solid, both the sensible heat and the latent heat of vaporization and fusion are released.
Implications of the High Heat Capacity and Latent Heats of Water
•Water’s extremely high heat capacity, latent heat of fusion, and latent heat of vaporization are all important because they allow water to store and transport heat within the ocean–atmosphere system.
•The high heat capacity of water allows the oceans to store large quantities of the sun’s heat energy with only a small change in the water temperature. Similarly, the oceans can release large amounts of heat to the atmosphere with only a very small temperature change. Thus, ocean water temperature changes much more slowly than land temperature with changes in solar heating or cooling, and this allows the oceans to modify coastal land climates to be much milder than locations in the interior of continents.
•The high latent heat of fusion of water allows large amounts of heat to be added to an ice–water mixture without any change of temperature. In high latitudes, this allows heat to be stored by melting ice in summer and returned by freezing water to ice in the winter without any temperature change occurring in the polar ocean water. Thus, polar ocean water is always at or near the freezing point.
•The high latent heat of vaporization of water is also important to the Earth’s climate (see “Evaporation”).
Evaporation
•Liquids, including water, can be converted to the gaseous phase at temperatures below their boiling point by a process called evaporation. Evaporation occurs because the energy levels of individual molecules within a liquid vary, and some molecules may temporarily possess a high-enough energy level to escape the attractive bonds of other molecules and enter the gaseous phase.
•To evaporate a molecule from liquid below its boiling point, the evaporated molecules require more heat than would be needed to evaporate the molecule if the liquid were at its boiling point. Thus, the latent heat of evaporation of water is higher than its latent heat of vaporization.
•Water evaporated from the oceans carries the very large amount of heat associated with its evaporation with it when it enters the atmosphere. This heat is transported with the water vapor in the atmosphere until the water condenses to become rain or snow when the heat is released to the atmosphere.. This mechanism of heat transport is critical to the distribution of the sun’s heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, especially the transport of heat from low latitudes to higher latitudes and the transport of heat from the oceans onto the continents. As a result, this mechanism is a critical factor in controlling climate and is also the source of energy for weather systems.
http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/oceansci/ch/07/welcome.asp

Good bye.

399. kuhnkat says:

Well Myrrh,
since I am so stupid or deluded you still need to explain why the bottom of the oceans are black.

400. kuhnkat says:

Oh Myrrh,
While you are straightening me out, how does UV stopped by the skin damage DNA?
Where does all that solar-far infrared that heats us come from at night??
Why don’t plants use far-infrared to drive photosynthesis which is energy intensive?
How does far-infrared absorbed by the surface of the water heat at depth with no reverse convection?
How does that weak visible light when magnified by a magnifying glass burn paper? (oh, sorry, that’s far-infrared isn’t it)
Are you really saying that science has been corrupted as far back as Stefan-Boltzman, Gustav Kirchoff and all the rest of those old guys who gave us those neat equations to compute stuff?
Myrrh, I gotta admit, you do live in a magical world.

401. jimmi_the_dalek says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Looking at all this, I am puzzled by something. There is a lot of discussion of cooling of the ocean surface by evaporation, but where is the opposite vector included? ie. where is condensation? All that evaporated water must eventually condense, exactly reversing the latent heat transfer, fall as rain, and eventually must get back into the ocean – not necessarily the same part of the ocean, but that does not matter. So when people quote a figure of X watts/sq m for the cooling effect, is that net of the condensation? or just the flow in one direction?

Hi Jimmi,
The ‘opposite vector’ would exist if the raindrops were warmer than the ocean by the time they hit it.
In general, they’re not.
Rainfall further cools the ocean.
The Sun warms the ocean, the ocean warms the air, the air loses energy to space. In the middle of this process, the air radiates some energy gained from the ocean back down to the ocean, plus some energy gained directly from the Sun. These are very much second order effects. Heat rises.

402. kuhnkat says:

Tim Folkerts,
I knew you would have to get around to it. Most of the energy came from the ground which came from the sun.

403. kuhnkat says:

Got another question for you Myrrh, (do you know Frankencense?)
Since heat generates light why does it generate infrared when it is cooler, but can’t generate visible, UV, and shorter wavelengths until it gets a LOT hotter??

404. kuhnkat says:

Myrrh,
I just remembered another gentleman who occasionally posts needs your help. Y’see, he uses a heat gun to try and heat this bucket of water. Seems no matter how long he holds that gun above the surface of the water the bucket just doesn’t warm up. He wants to know why it doesn’t warm up but his pool does in the sun, yeah, he could fry an egg on that heat gun, but, it would be messy.

405. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
August 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

@Willis Eschenbach says: August 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Willis,
The problem with the point you make is that the very very top surface skin layer is cooler than the layer below and hence conduction is not carrying heat from the very very top surface layer to the ocean below. The significance of this is since DWLWIR can only penetrate only a matter of a few microns into the very very top layer of the ocean, ALL the DWLWIR which found its way into the oceans cannot on your account of the process find its way into deeper parts of the ocean.

I have pointed out a number of times how radiation on the top skin layer of the ocean can affect the bulk temperature of the ocean, regardless of the temperature of the skin surface. It does so by slowing the cooling of the ocean, which increases the temperature of the bulk ocean. It also does so without the need for the DLR to heat the whole.
If you have trouble with that concept, consider a room in a cold climate with a stove in it and an open door. Your claim is equivalent to saying “the door only changes the situation at the very outer edge of the room, so closing it can’t affect the bulk temperature of the room.”
But anything that affects the heat loss of a system changes the bulk temperature of the entire system. DLR absorbed within the upper mm of the ocean slows the heat loss from the ocean. As a result, the bulk temperature of the upper layer of the ocean increases throughout, it all becomes warmer than it would have been in the absence of the DLR.
Until you grasp that nettle, I fear that you won’t understand how DLR does affect all of the upper ocean even though it only penetrates less than a millimetre.
w.

406. Tim Folkerts says:

Here’s a little info that might move the discussion forward.
The thermal conductivity of water is ~ 0.6 W / m*K
The top of the ocean is about 0.2 K cooler than it is 1 mm down.
This leads to a flow of about 0.6 W/m*K * 0.2 K / 0.001m = 120 W/m^2 by conduction from the “deeper layer” 1 mm down up to the surface.
Note that this is highly uncertain, since the 1 mm and 0.2 K are fairly rough estimates. If the surface was indeed 0.3 K cooler, the value jumps to ~170 W/m^2. Different wind or humidity would play a big role. Also, since the top is cooler, this would lead to some convection in the top mm, increasing the flow of energy. Bottom line — the energy flow up from the ocean thru the surface could easily be pretty much anywhere in the range of roughly 50 – 300 W/m^2.
Note also that this includes the “typical” solar energy into the surface of 170 W/m^2. This is good because it provides a mechanism to remove the solar energy from the ocean so that it is not continually warming. In fact, you could easily argue that the magnitude of this temperature gradient is “self-tuned” so that the upward thermal energy flux roughly matches the average downward solar energy flux, regulating the temperature of the ocean.
And here is an interesting conjecture. Suppose that DLR increases. This would deposit more energy in skin layer of the ocean, raising the temperature slightly. One effect would be to increase the evaporation rate (warm water evaporates faster), which would moderate the amount the surface temperature increases. A second effect would be to decrease the thermal gradient and hence decrease the thermal conduction up from the lower parts of the ocean. And of course, anything that limits the flow of energy from the ocean will necessarily increase the temperature of the ocean.
The logical conclusion from this conjecture — the more DLR, the warmer the oceans will get.

407. Tim Folkerts says:

Links for my previous comment:
The thermal conductivity of water is ~ 0.6 W / m*K
[http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html]
The top of the ocean is about 0.2 K cooler than it is 1 mm down.

408. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
August 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

What we do know is that however the photons dance, it can’t be driven by more than about a quarter of the DLR. That leaves the rest to warm the top mm of the ocean …
Regarding your “dance of the photons”, you’ve never explained exactly what it is. Somehow your theory (IIRC) had to do with the photons never actually hitting the water surface.
But we know that at least three quarters of the DLR is radiated as thermal radiation. And to be emitted as thermal radiation, first the DLR it has to be converted to thermal energy … making the surface warmer than it would be if there were no DLR
I don’t see any dancing photons in that. To be radiated as thermal radiation at a different frequency than the incoming energy, the DLR must be first converted to thermal energy, which warms/slows the cooling of the surface.
They can’t just dance above the surface.

Hi Willis. I can see a few different possibilies which would account for your observations here. Evaporated molecules form an invisible mist above the ocean surface. The sub visible droplets formed have a much bigger collective surface area than the ocean surface. These droplets become more highly thermalised by radiation emitted both from above and below. The hotter they get, the more buoyant they become, until they rise high enough to cool enough to condense and become visible clouds or a sea fret just above the water. How cloud condensation nuclei grow is a big unknown that Jasper Kirkby and his colleagues are currently working on. We know the gases emitted by decaying plankton which form sulphuric compounds play a part as well as GCR’s.

Tallbloke, that’s a lovely theory. Evaporated water molecules form an “invisible mist” above the surface. I’ve never heard of an “invisible mist” above the surface of the ocean … so surely you have some photos or some observations of this “invisible mist”, or at least a claim that someone has actually detected or measured the “invisible mist” …
Perhaps that works with your friends, Roger, that you wave your hands and say that the dance of the photons is what keeps DLR from warming the ocean, and that the photons are dancing because of an invisible mist above the water … around here we need a bit more than that.

PS – Truly, I don’t care what you call it. If a room is cold because a door is open to the frozen outdoors, when you close the door the room gets warmer. You can say closing the door warms the room, you can say closing the door slows the cooling of the room, but my point is simple — both the underlying phenomena and the outcome are the same no matter what we name it, the room ends up warmer.
in the same way we can say that DLR warms the ocean or that it slows the cooling of the ocean, it doesn’t matter. The point is that the ocean is warmer with the DLR than without, much warmer. Our name for it doesn’t change the fact that it’s warmer with DLR.

As I said before, when common parlance conflates distinct processes, only confusion can result. Better to be more careful with words IMO.

If something is warmer because “X” is happening, we say that “X” is warming the something. You claim that X isn’t warming anything at all … but if so, why is the something warmer?
I don’t see “distinct processes” being conflated. In my example, “X” is sending mysterious rays to an object. When those rays strike the object, it is converted to thermal energy, and the object ends up warmer than it would be if it had not absorbed the mystery rays. We call the rays “thermal radiation”.
What is the second “distinct process” that the DLR is doing that I’m conflating with DLR hitting something and warming it?

Nor is it meaningful to say that DLR striking the surface can’t warm the bulk of the ocean. As Tim the Toolman agrees (I think), the bulk of the ocean ends up warmer with DLR than without … so what does “DLR can’t warm the bulk” mean when not just the surface but the bulk ocean undoubtedly ends up warmer with DLR than without DLR?

Tim agrees, as do I, that the presence of the radiative flux slows down the cooling of the ocean. Stephen Wylde thinks the magnitude of this effect is fixed by surface pressure – I think. I’ll be discussing that in person with him in a few weeks time.
I don’t think DLR striking the surface can heat the bulk of the ocean, and neither does Tim, for all the reasons we’ve rehearsed several times on this thread and many others.

That’s because you refuse to see that when something “slows down the cooling of the ocean”, the bulk of the ocean ends up warmer. We call that “warming the ocean”, and yes, it occurs simply by slowing the cooling.

LW Radiation only penetrates a few nm.
Conduction can’t go downwards because the surface is cooler than the subsurface.

You’re looking at this backwards. In a system in which the surface is maintained at a slightly lower temperature than the bulk … what happens if you forcibly warm the surface? Think it through all the way, Roger. The very surface warms … until it’s slightly warmer than the bulk … which then heats up slightly, until the surface is slightly cooler than the bulk, and the previous condition (cooler surface) is restored.
Unless your claim is that such a system can’t be heated from the top … but I don’t think that’s your claim.

Turbulent convection isn’t significant because if the eddies aren’t strong enough to pull down fingernail sized pieces of saturated toilet paper then they’re not strong enough to survive destructive interference beyond a few inches. Take it from someone who has designed centrifugal pumps.

Have you ever seen the ocean? There’s turbulence there that will pull down a swimmer, much less fingernail sized pieces of paper. Wind plus ocean equals turbulence that sinks ships, so I haven’t a clue what your claim means, or what designing pumps has to do with it.
TB, because the ocean can only lose energy through the top, the top is always slightly cooler than the layer below.
What seems to have escaped you is that this setup, cooler water on top of warmer water, is inherently unstable because the cooler water is denser than the warmer, and it wants to sink, and does so. The cooler surface is kept in existence by water moving to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, rewarming, rising to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, and so on.
So rather than being thermally isolated from the bulk below as you seem to be claiming, the cooler skin surface is constantly exchanging energy and water molecules with the bulk ocean below. And of course, because of that, any radiation absorbed by the skin surface affects the heat loss (and perforce the temperature) of the bulk of the upper ocean.
In other words, the DLR doesn’t need to penetrate to the depths in order to warm the depths.
w.

409. Willis Eschenbach says:

O H Dahlsveen says:
August 17, 2011 at 11:56 am

Willis, you say:

Argument 4. Without the heating from the DLR, there’s not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean. The DLR is about two-thirds of the total downwelling radiation (solar plus DLR). Given the known heat losses of the ocean, it would be an ice-cube if it weren’t being warmed by the DLR. We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That’s a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.
But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.
So if the DLR isn’t heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 … then why isn’t the ocean an ice-cube?”
===============================================

I may be in the wrong discussion here, but I thought the point of it all was that CO2 is adding heat to the system.

If you think the issue is whether CO2 adds heat to the system, you’re definitely in the wrong discussion. CO2 doesn’t add and can’t add heat to the system.
What it can do is slow the rate at which the system cools. This leaves the system warmer than if there were no CO2.
Despite the system being warmer than it would be without CO2, some people object to calling it “warming”. I don’t know why, since the physical end result is identical no matter what we call it—the system is warmer than it otherwise would be.
w.

410. Stephen Wilde says:

Willis said:
“The very surface warms … until it’s slightly warmer than the bulk … which then heats up slightly, until the surface is slightly cooler than the bulk, and the previous condition (cooler surface) is restored.”
I’m not aware of the ocean skin (as opposed to the interacting zone at the very surface) EVER getting warmer than the bulk globally on average. Locally and temporarily maybe but never globally or long term.
A few surface molecules in the interacting zone warm up but then evaporate earlier than they otherwise would have done which uses up any DLR left over after increased evaporation, convection and radiation from the individual molecules have taken their respective slices.
There are 3 layers not two. The molecules in the interactive zone that do warm up until they evaporate. The ocean skin itself up to 1mm deep which appears NOT to warm up and the ocean bulk which shows no sign of warming up either.
The only logical conclusion is that events in the interacting zone are bufferred from the ocean bulk by the cooler ocean skin.

411. jae says:

Still waiting to hear why a IR-transparent greenhouse isn’t any hotter in Atlanta than in Phoenix (same elevation and latitude) on a hot summer day, given that there should be WAY more backradiation in Atlanta (from all the water vapor).

412. Stephen Wilde says:

Further to my previous post we need actual evidence that more DLR actually DECREASES the thermal gradient across the interface between the ocean skin and the ocean bulk below.
I have found no evidence that it actually does so on a global basis. The 1mm deep cooler layer seems to be global and permanent.
I am aware of some efforts being made to design experiments and/or sensors that would resolve the issue but we are not there yet.
The cooling power of evaporation is such that it seems unlikely to me that the thermal gradient would decrease.
In fact one would think that in view of the power of evaporative cooling more DLR should actually deepen that cooler layer and INCREASE the gradient. However I don’t think it can because once the DLR has been used up the process is self limiting.
This entire thread boils down to that simple issue.

413. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 18, 2011 at 10:47 am
Perhaps that works with your friends, Roger, that you wave your hands and say that the dance of the photons is what keeps DLR from warming the ocean, and that the photons are dancing because of an invisible mist above the water … around here we need a bit more than that.

Hi Willis, the tone setting and hand waving you did earlier in this thread seemed to work for you. However I don’t see too many of the back slappers and me-toos left here defending the physically untenable. I’ll come to that.
Perhaps you think sea fogs appear out of thin air?
I think they happen when sub-visible water vapour already present in the air above the sea surface cools and condenses. You can prove this one for yourself in a kitchen experiment. A pan of water which has the heat under it reduced suddenly will get a mist of visible steam suddenly appear on its surface. This isn’t happeneing because more water is evaporated when the heat is reduced WIllis. It’s happeneing because the sub-visible water vapour molecules condense and agglomerate due to the reduction in available energy.
What is the second “distinct process” that the DLR is doing that I’m conflating with DLR hitting something and warming it?
The longwave flux keeps the air warmer than it would otherwise be by thermalising water vapour and co2. This reduces the temperature differential between the sea surface and the air. That slows down the cooling of the ocean. Not by very much, but is is a real physical effect.
TB-“I don’t think DLR striking the surface can heat the bulk of the ocean, and neither does Tim, for all the reasons we’ve rehearsed several times on this thread and many others.”
That’s because you refuse to see that when something “slows down the cooling of the ocean”, the bulk of the ocean ends up warmer. We call that “warming the ocean”, and yes, it occurs simply by slowing the cooling.
That is the effect of the physically distinct process outlined above. Thanks for agreeing that we are talking about ‘slowing the cooling’ rather than ‘heating’.
TB-“LW Radiation only penetrates a few nm.
Conduction can’t go downwards because the surface is cooler than the subsurface.”
You’re looking at this backwards. In a system in which the surface is maintained at a slightly lower temperature than the bulk … what happens if you forcibly warm the surface? Think it through all the way, Roger. The very surface warms … until it’s slightly warmer than the bulk … which then heats up slightly, until the surface is slightly cooler than the bulk, and the previous condition (cooler surface) is restored.
I think this is handwaving for which there is plenty of refuting observational evidence in the literature. It’s more imaginitive than your earlier effort though.
Unless your claim is that such a system can’t be heated from the top … but I don’t think that’s your claim.
On the rare occasions the air is warmer than the water, it can be heated from above to a very limited extent by conduction.
TB-“Turbulent convection isn’t significant because if the eddies aren’t strong enough to pull down fingernail sized pieces of saturated toilet paper then they’re not strong enough to survive destructive interference beyond a few inches. Take it from someone who has designed centrifugal pumps.”
Have you ever seen the ocean? There’s turbulence there that will pull down a swimmer, much less fingernail sized pieces of paper. Wind plus ocean equals turbulence that sinks ships, so I haven’t a clue what your claim means, or what designing pumps has to do with it.
I lived on a sea going boat I restored for seven years. I have done a lot of swimming in it, and I’ve never been sucked under in the open sea. The eddies you are talking about take place in tidal rips and down channels between land masses. There’s a lot more open ocean than coastal places where such mayhem can occur. Ship sinking waves on the open sea do occur, but winds that strong and freak waves are rare. I specified the conditions of my experiment and they hold good for the majority of conditions short of breaking wave tops in the open sea. When designing the involute curve of a centrifugal pump casing, you match the velocity of the water flow to the radius it travels round to minimise cavitation and vorticity which forms eddies. This is because eddies interfere with each other and make the flow turbulent, reducing velocity, promoting wear and requiring more power to shift the fluid. I understand the way water moves under various kinds of impelling forces. Turbulent convection at the ocean surface in open water under non-white-top conditions is negligible in terms of forcing warmer packets of water down into cooler.
TB, because the ocean can only lose energy through the top, the top is always slightly cooler than the layer below.
What seems to have escaped you is that this setup, cooler water on top of warmer water, is inherently unstable because the cooler water is denser than the warmer, and it wants to sink, and does so. The cooler surface is kept in existence by water moving to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, rewarming, rising to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, and so on.
I agree that natural convection is continually taking place. It doesn’t help your contention that heat moves downwards from the surface though, because what you have just described is heat moving upwards.
So rather than being thermally isolated from the bulk below as you seem to be claiming, the cooler skin surface is constantly exchanging energy and water molecules with the bulk ocean below. And of course, because of that, any radiation absorbed by the skin surface affects the heat loss (and perforce the temperature) of the bulk of the upper ocean.
I haven’t claimed anything of the sort. Energy is constantly being exchanged, upwards. You are correct that radiation absorbed by the skin surface affects the heat loss, and in combination with the upward long wave radiation, the flux leads to a cooling of the surface by around 66-70W/m^2. However, there are other factors which also maintain the skin temperature and subsurface gradient which are larger in sum than radiation effects.
In other words, the DLR doesn’t need to penetrate to the depths in order to warm the depths.
It can’t penetrate to the depths and it can’t warm the depths through direct interaction with the ocean any more than negligibly. As part of the long wave flux in the air, a change in the amount of DLR relative to ULR can cause the ocean to cool marginally more slowly, though the size of the effect will be small compared to convective and albedo changing processes.
Cheers
TB

414. Jonathan T Jones says:

[blockquote] Willis Eschenbach says:
August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am
I have pointed out a number of times how radiation on the top skin layer of the ocean can affect the bulk temperature of the ocean, regardless of the temperature of the skin surface. It does so by slowing the cooling of the ocean, which increases the temperature of the bulk ocean.[/blockquote]
Sorry, but “slowing the cooling” is not “increasing the temperature “. The temperature is still going *down*, whereas an increase in temperature is in the opposite direction.

415. Spector says:

RE: Myrrh: (August 18, 2011 at 2:11 am)
“‘Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth’
“Because energy from the Sun isn’t eternal. Because matter slows down light. Water is matter, the deeper you go the greater the pressure. When you switch off your table lamp, where does the light go?”

It appears that you are suggesting that photons after going so far through the water just get tired and wink themselves out of existence. Not quite–conservation of energy applies.
Even though the water is transparent, the chance of photon making it through any given length is always less than 100 percent. Eventually that photon is going to be captured in the water or on the bottom. That will make the capturing molecule warmer by an amount proportional to the frequency of the photon. That ‘lucky’ molecule will then share the energy of its ‘catch’ with all its neighbors.
The only exception to this will be those lucky photons that strike a reflecting surface and make it all the way back up out of the water. In deep water there is very little hope of this.

416. jimmi_the_dalek says:

“Sorry, but “slowing the cooling” is not “increasing the temperature “. The temperature is still going *down*, whereas an increase in temperature is in the opposite direction.”
“slowing the cooling” can lead to a temperature increase in cases where there is a continuous input of energy. To use one of those analogies which plague this area, consider a dam which has a steady inflow of water, but there are several leaks in the dam. Now plug one of the leaks (slowing the leaking), and what happens – the water level rises, increasing the amount stored, until it finds a new leak. In terms of heat/temperature , if you have a continuous input of energy, and you slow the rate of departure a bit, then one of the heat sinks in the system will fill up a bit (warm), until a new equilibrium is reached. So the two ideas, “warming” versus “slowing cooling” are not as disjoint as it appears.

417. richard verney says:

I am pleased to see that there are some who have more persistence than I do and who are still questioning the dogma being put forward by Willis. I would have liked to have carried on participating in this debate, however, given the number of replies on this article, my computer really slows down and will not permit me to cut and paste etc. In fact, I am having difficulty in scrolling up and down to see who is saying what and what issues have been addressed etc.
I found his recent responses less than impressive. Whilst it is a sign of desperation when left to put forward analogies, I found the analogy he posted in response to my points (opening the door on a warm room), to be very poor. This is particularly so, since I had explained to him how the top few microns, which are cooler than the ocean below, essentially act as a barrier protecting the main bulk of the ocean. One can have an open door on a building if one employs an air blanket to create a barrier.
In fact, he seems to fail to appreciate the significance of the observational evidence that the top few micron layer is cooler than the ocean below. In particularly, since it is cooler than the ocean below, if it is over turned, it actually results in a net cooling of the ocean below. There is therefore an argument that DWLWIR leads to a cooling of the oceans.
Of course, however, the top few micron layer is cool because of the evaporation which occurs from that layer. Irrespective of the contribution to this process by DWLWIR, there would be evaporation in any event and thus it would always be expected that the top few micron layer would be cooler than the ocean below,
Whilst I am unaware of any evidence on the subject, given what is taking place at the air/top of ocean boundary, I would not be surprised if there was in fact a ‘dance of photons’. Leaving that to one side, if the ocean is evaporating at this boundary layer, which we know that it is, it follows that there will always be a mist consisting of evaporated water above this layer. It might be because of temperature profiles, one can not visually see it, but obviously it must be present. It is after all, the first/initial stage of the water vapour that rises to form clouds.
It does appear that very slight progress has been made. It does appear that Willis now agrees that DLR does not warm the oceans, and his argument should therefore be founded on the contention that it slows down the cooling of the oceans. This, of course begs the questions what caused the oceans to be warm in the first place.
Of course, the crux of this debate is net energy flow. Does anyone consider that the classical physicists of the 19th century would have thought that the oceans would freeze had they not seen Trenberth’s energy budget? The classical equations do not involve the effects of so called greenhouse gases, nor back-radiation.
They would simply approach the position, on first principle, that a body at X deg C surrounded by air at Y deg C (where Y is less than X) wants to give up a certain amount of its energy to its surroundings. They would work out how much energy the warmer body wants to give up and then they would look at the processes whereby that energy can be given up (eg., conduction, evaporation, radiation etc and the appropriate combination of these processes).
I for one would love to see the results of an experiment on the cooling profiles of a slab of stone say at 20 deg C which is placed in a giant hermetically sealed and insulated warehouse with air initially set at 15 deg C but with CO2 at 50ppm, 100 ppm, 200ppm. 300ppm and 400 ppm. I would be very surprised if the cooling profiles (ie., rate of cooling) was significantly different (but I am open to be convinced).
Unlike the land, the oceans very much influence their own atmosphere. They control its temperature (witness the small diurnal fluctuation) and the humidity. Given this and the fact that water vapour is a far more potent ‘so called GHG’, it is difficult to see what real difference an increase in CO2 levels from say 280 ppm to 380 ppm would achieve. Any role played by CO2 being wholly dwarfed by the presence of water vapour. Of course, I know that Willis’ article was discussing DLR generally and not CO2 induced DLR specifically and some people have side tracked the issue given that the wider debate concerns the role of CO2 in the atmosphere.

418. richard verney says:

I meant to add to my final paragraph:
“If I am right on that, if there has been any warming of the oceans during the last century, it would strongly suggest that this is due to a change in cloudiness, which has allowed more solar radiation to reach and thereby to be absorbed by the oceans.”
That is the fundamental significance of accepting that DWLWIR cannot warm the oceans and at most simply acts so as to reduce the rate of heat loss from the oceans. The additional warmth seen in the oceans must have been created by some other influencing factor. Thus it is important that the significance of Willis’ concession is not overlooked.

419. Myrrh says:

Spector says:
August 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm
RE: Myrrh: (August 18, 2011 at 2:11 am)
“‘Visible light is only PARTIALLY transmitted through water, a fact which is obvious if you ask why is is completely dark below a certain depth’
“Because energy from the Sun isn’t eternal. Because matter slows down light. Water is matter, the deeper you go the greater the pressure. When you switch off your table lamp, where does the light go?”
It appears that you are suggesting that photons after going so far through the water just get tired and wink themselves out of existence. Not quite–conservation of energy applies.
What happens when your car runs out of petrol?
Do planes use more or less or the same amount of fuel flying into the wind or flying in calm conditions?
Even though the water is transparent, the chance of photon making it through any given length is always less than 100 percent. Eventually that photon is going to be captured in the water or on the bottom. That will make the capturing molecule warmer by an amount proportional to the frequency of the photon. That ‘lucky’ molecule will then share the energy of its ‘catch’ with all its neighbors.
The bottom of the ocean is dark, light, that is, visible, doesn’t reach it. Water is transparent to visible, it doesn’t capture it.
The only exception to this will be those lucky photons that strike a reflecting surface and make it all the way back up out of the water. In deep water there is very little hope of this.
Ah, but that lucky photon could exist, it would then be reflected all the way out to where it would again be bounced around the sky by all the nitrogen and oxygen molecules and then oops it gets bounced right back into the ocean where it’s still in its lucky streak and gets reflected back out where it gets bounced around the sky again by all the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen and back into the ocean and so on ad infinitum. Oh gosh, just like carbon dioxide backradiation keeps bouncing it back to earth heating the Earth /not allowing the heat to escape making the Earth hotter every time and the more carbon dioxide we put into the air the faster this process will accelerate and we end with runaway global warming! AGWScience is right! You’ve converted me! The light from every fire that has ever been lit must be accumulating too. /s
Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so rude. I’m leaving it in with an explanation, this post, because one of my gripes is that AGWScience Fiction Inc produces these memes that don’t bear scrutiny in the light of real physics, by mixing properties and processes, by denying properties and processes, by giving experiments to do that ignore the real properties and processes, such as above, the hot air gun supposedly proving that radiant heat energy, thermal longwave infrared, can’t heat water because there’s no difference between convection and radiant energy in the heat transfer of AGWScience’s imaginary worlds where all properties and processes are interchangeable as long as they ‘sound’ scientific enough to catch the unwary..
[See – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_gun – “Some heat guns incorporate a built-in rest, so they can be activated and placed on a workbench, which frees the operator’s hand. Heat guns can have nozzles which deflect their air for various purposes, such as concentrating the heat on one area, or thawing a pipe without heating up the wall behind.
Most have a heating element based on electrical resistance but some produce heat by a gas flame. A fan increases and focuses air flow for convection heating.
Other devices used for similar purposes include focused infrared heaters.”
See – http://www.speedheater.us/ ]
Some of the memes are so well ingrained into the education system from a concerted effort to achieve this result in the last decades and taken as if real physics by constant repetition generally, that even scientists normally logical and rational in their own disciples take these fictions for granted because they have no reason to doubt them. So heavier than air molecules can stay up in the atmosphere for hundreds and even thousands of years accumulating and can cross oceans in a matter of hours by Brownian motion… As I’m finding here, even scientists on such a sceptical science blog can’t get their heads around far enough to break out of these memes. What I can’t understand is their unwillingness to check it out for themselves when I have given sufficient information from pukkha sources to show that there is a definite disjunct. I thought I’d cracked the problem with at least one incontrovertable example of this manipulation, in that I had the NASA pages to show that there was manipulation of the basic science.
Which is all that I have been trying to get across. That there is a concerted and deliberate perversion of real basic physics in the dark heart of this AGW scam.
Water is transparent to visible light, it is transmitted through unchanged, unabsorbed, it does not heat water.
It really is a travesty that Trenberth can’t find the missing heat… He’s taken the real heat from the Sun out of his equations.
As have you all. And since visible does not heat the oceans, you not only have to add back in the thermal infrared, you have to take out the visible.
I hope you can at least see the import of what I’m saying here, even if you can’t yet get your heads out of the AGWScience fiction memes.

420. “I for one would love to see the results of an experiment on the cooling profiles of a slab of stone say at 20 deg C which is placed in a giant hermetically sealed and insulated warehouse with air initially set at 15 deg C but with CO2 at 50ppm, 100 ppm, 200ppm. 300ppm and 400 ppm. I would be very surprised if the cooling profiles (ie., rate of cooling) was significantly different (but I am open to be convinced).”

The factor missing from this experiment is that the walls of said warehouse must be set to 3 K to accurately model the situation, since the earth is surrounded by space @ 3k. (Actually, any temperature WELL below the 15 C would work.) The greenhouse effect works because the CO2 (and other GHGs and clouds for that matter) are much warmer than the background and hence radiate much better than the background.

421. Matt G says:

How much of the 390w/m2 are claimed to warm the ocean here? Based on net observed out going DLWR it is ~48 w/m2 + ~30 w/m2 + ~70 w/m2 = 148 w/m2.
The sun 170w/m2 and DLWR 390w/m2 would leave 560w/m2 warming the ocean, so as it’s not burning us to death then it would be causing the oceans to boil instead. This is due to the input is much larger than the output when you claim an equal loss is equal warming, so you can’t have it both ways.
170w/m2 v 148 w/m2 would still leave to the ocean gaining heat, but removing errors could easily leave it balanced and still much more realistic than the barmy combined sun and DLWR claim of 560 w/m2.
560w/m2 would give enough energy to warm the planet to about 373k, which is 100.3c.
560w/m2 v 100w/m2 still nonsense, or if claiming 390w/m2 warm the ocean, then why not the 30w/m2 and 70w/m2 warm them too? This is just as barmy as the claim with only DLWR warms the land and ocean. This is almost applying the same thing, but not to such an extreme way. My conclusion of this is someone trying to move a energy loss into an energy gain and it is utter nonsense. The ocean would be boiling with little energy escaping the planet surface over many thousands of years. (373.3k)

Over 400 comments now and still no links to empirical evidence showing that backscattered IR radiation around the 15 micron frequency can warm or slow the cooling of oceans. I find It hard to believe that something so central to AGW theory has no supporting empirical data. This affects 71% of the Earth’s surface. Without empirical evidence, the null hypothesis that there is no “Missing heat’ in the oceans because it was never prevented from leaving still stands.
In all probability the surface area of the earth unaffected by backscattered 15 micron IR is greater than this. Plants that are partially cooled by transpiration should be included the list of real Earth surfaces and materials that do not pay attention to black body equations.
Anyhow, due to the hand-waving, analogising and total lack of empirical data on this thread I have been forced to buy two probe type digital thermometers. Fortunately I already have plenty of computer fans, transformers, poly styrene foam, aluminium foil, cling wrap and sea water. I will test this over the weekend.

423. Matt G says:

“a loss is warming”
Sorry, on my last post it should read “a equal loss is equal warming”
Please edit my last post and delete this message.
Thankyou.

424. richard verney says:

Tim
You have not thought your comment through.
I am well aware that space is 3K and accordingly, Earth wishes to radiate away some of its heat.
The temperature of the walls of the warehouse play no role in the experiment and would needlessly complicate matters if the air inside wished to give some of its heat to the walls, and the slab some of its heat to the air and the walls. We only want to look at the rate of heat flow from warm slab to air.
All we are interested in is examining the role of CO2 in air (at one atmosphere pressure) at various concentrations on the rate of cooling of an object which is marginally warmer than the air which surrounds the object (obviously, we would require a fully insulated floor so there is no heat loss to the floor). I have suggested a 5 deg C difference in temperature between slab and air, but may be should be looking at less.
To reflect the position over the oceans, perhaps we should in addition repeat the experiment but this time with air with higher levels of humidity to see whether in this scenario any signal from CO2 is dwarfed by the effects of the high humidity.
You may have noted from my last comments that I consider it likely that any effect caused by a change in CO2 from say 280ppm to 380ppm will be wholly dwarfed by the high water vapour contents over oceans such that if the oceans have warmed, it is not due to an increase in CO2 but must be due to some other factor, the prime candidate for which being changes in cloudiness which has allowed more solar radiation to reach the surface of the oceans thereby leading to a warming.

425. I think it would be instructive to consider three separate parts of the ocean: the TOP 1 mm, the MIDDLE layer from 1 mm to 100 m, and the BOTTOM layer from 100 m on down.
Note: all numbers below are averages and are approximations. I don;t intend to get caught up in those minor details ATM.
MIddle receives ~170 W/m^2 of solar energy. Since Middle is warmer than Bottom, there is basically no energy transfer by convection from Middle to Bottom. And since the temperature gradient is close to zero, there is very little conduction, either. Somehow, Middle needs to release ~ 170 W/m^2 upward to Top, or else Middle would get warmer and warmer.
As estimated in an earlier post in this thread, Middle can transfer this amount of energy by conduction to , as long as a gradient of 0.2 – 0.3 K is maintained across Top. This will keep MIddle in balance.
Of course, Top ALSO needs to keep an energy balance or it will warm. TOP is receiving 170 W/m^2 from MIddle. Top is also receiving ~ 330 W/m^2 of IR energy from GHGs and clouds. Fortunately, it is losing 80 W/m^2 via evaporation, and 30 W/m^2 to convection/conduction, and 390 W/m^2 via upward IR. Give or take a little rounding, we are balanced.
BUT suppose one day I start shining a little extra IR onto the ocean — perhaps some diffuse IR lasers . Top will suddenly be out of balance and start warming! There are a couple of easy solutions to this. A little warming of the surface will increase the evaporation and increase the IR output. Warming the surface by 0.2 C will increase the the IR emissions by a little over 1 W/m^2. A back-of-the-envelope estimate suggests evaporation would also increase by a little over 1 W/m^2.
Whatever the actual numbers are, it appears that only a few extra W/m^2 will erase the temperature gradient across Top. This will erase the 170 W/m^2 of conduction across Top! Middle will start accumulating 170 W/m^2! Of course, MIddle has a large thermal mass and 170 W/m^2 will only slowly change Middle. By the time Middle has warmed 0.2 C, the gradient will have been restored, and Middle will stop warming any further.
SUMMARY — A few extra W/m^2 will lead to a warming of a few tenths of a degree C of the oceans.
NOTE: Yes, these are rough estimates. Yes the details will be horrendous when you start worrying about night/day, latitude, seasons, etc Yes, there are feedbacks (positive and negative) that have been ignored. But overall, the ability of IR to warm the ocean seems inescapable.

426. philincalifornia says:

richard verney says:
August 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm
You may have noted from my last comments that I consider it likely that any effect caused by a change in CO2 from say 280ppm to 380ppm will be wholly dwarfed by the high water vapour contents over oceans such that if the oceans have warmed, it is not due to an increase in CO2 but must be due to some other factor, the prime candidate for which being changes in cloudiness which has allowed more solar radiation to reach the surface of the oceans thereby leading to a warming.
===================
I think I asked this same question about 400 comments ago.
The H2O absorption bands never reach zero, even in controlled laboratory conditions, as far as I can tell from the graphs. So, out in the wild, with all kinds of Doppler shifting of the absorption wavelengths going on for 30,000 ppm of water vapor, what’s the contribution of the last 100 ppm of Beer’s Law, logarithmically reduced CO2, even if we charitably assume that this is all anthropogenic ??
Besides f*****g zero.

427. Sorry, Richard, but if you don’t recognize that the cold surroundings are essential to the experiment, then you don’t understand the greenhouse effect. If the wall and the atmosphere are ~ the same temperature, then the atmosphere will have essentially no effect. The greenhouse effect ONLY works if the surroundings are cooler than the gas. (in fact, of the walls of the room were warmer than 20 C, the CO2 would actually help keep the slab from warming up, rather than helping to keep it from cooling down!

428. jae says:

Willis Eschenbach:
You are one of my favorite reads. You OWE me a response to my comment, or you are no longer one of my favorite reads, but just another arrogant poster.

429. Tim Folkerts says:
August 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm
Whatever the actual numbers are, it appears that only a few extra W/m^2 will erase the temperature gradient across Top. This will erase the 170 W/m^2 of conduction across Top! Middle will start accumulating 170 W/m^2! Of course, MIddle has a large thermal mass and 170 W/m^2 will only slowly change Middle.

Hi Tim, it’s an ingenious argument, but since the Sun also emits IR directly, and the gradient across the top 1mm isn’t erased daily, I think there are many factors other than IR maintaining it which are not so easily displaced by a change in the atmospheric level of a trace gas like co2 from 0.027% of the atmosphere to 0.039%.
Otherwise the world would be a very unstable place indeed.
I did some calcs a while ago which show that a ~2W/m2 solar forcing on the ocean would raise the temperature of the top 700m 0.15C in 10 years. This is in line with the reduction of tropical cloud empirically measured by ISCCP using weather satellites 1980-1998. It also fits the sea level rise caused by thermal expansion of the oceans measured by the satellite altimetry.The timing is right, the magnitude is right, and it’s the most parsimonious explanation for late C20th warming.

430. Bob_FJ says:

Willis,
Jae has asked the following question at least three times of you on this thread:
Jae @ August 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

“Still waiting to hear why a IR-transparent greenhouse isn’t any hotter in Atlanta than in Phoenix (same elevation and latitude) on a hot summer day, given that there should be WAY more backradiation in Atlanta (from all the water vapor).”

Seems a reasonable question to me Willis. Why don’t you respond?
Oh, and is backradiation/DLR generally higher in the tropics than in hot dry deserts due to water vapour being more plentiful in the tropics? If that is so, why are hot dry deserts typically very much hotter in the day than in the tropics? I remember jae asking this elsewhere long ago, and it seems to remain one of those great gobsmacking mysteries that few want to consider.

431. Bob_FJ says:

Whoops;
Further to my support just above for jae, might I add that the albedo for desert sand is quite high, commonly quoted at 0.4. Old snow has also been quoted at 0.4 and above, but the topic is confused at high latitudes partly because of low solar zenith angles resulting in increased reflection. (very much so on water, and an unwillingness for ice-melt-feedback alarmists to accept that reality).

432. tallbloke says: August 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm
>Hi Tim, it’s an ingenious argument, but since the Sun also emits IR directly,
But the sun emits different wavelengths of IR. See http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/slides/climate/absorption.gif for example.
>and the gradient across the top 1mm isn’t erased daily,
The IR from the sun (mostly 0.7- 3 um) penetrates much much better, so it is not stopped in the first few microns like thermal IR is. See http://www.btinternet.com/~martin.chaplin/images/watopt.gif
Thus solar IR doesn’t provide much energy to that top 1 mm. Solar IR would not be effective at heating the top fraction of a mm.
(And even if it was effective at heating the top, that would be part of what set up the current quasi-stable climate conditions. It is only the CHANGES that I am addressing.)
> I think there are many factors other than IR maintaining it which are not so easily
>displaced by a change in the atmospheric level of a trace gas like co2 from
>0.027% of the atmosphere to 0.039%.
Certainly there are many other factors involved. Those will certainly affect the MAGNITUDE of the effect I described. It will not change the SIGN of the effect, however, with some significant factor that I did not include that acts in an OPPOSITE way to increased IR..
The “trace gas” argument doesn’t fly with me, since there MANY things in nature at are very important at low concentrations. Changes in these small concentrations are perfectly capable of creating changes in the forcings. See Willis’ new post about the oddities of MODTRANS, for example, to see estimates about how changes in CO2 affect

433. Tallbloke also says:

I did some calcs a while ago which show that a ~2W/m2 solar forcing on the ocean would raise the temperature of the top 700m 0.15C in 10 years. This is in line with the reduction of tropical cloud empirically measured by ISCCP using weather satellites 1980-1998. It also fits the sea level rise caused by thermal expansion of the oceans measured by the satellite altimetry.The timing is right, the magnitude is right, and it’s the most parsimonious explanation for late C20th warming.

This is interesting and certainly is worth further consideration. The 10 year time frame sounds reasonable (and some quick calculations confirm the magnitude). I don’t know enough about cloud cover to know how much it has changed, so I cannot really confirm nor refute this hypothesis at the moment.
(That is one challenge with climate change — there are so many factors that COULD be important. Sorting it all out takes a LOT of time and knowledge.)

434. Dave Springer says:

August 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm
“Over 400 comments now and still no links to empirical evidence showing that backscattered IR radiation around the 15 micron frequency can warm or slow the cooling of oceans. I find It hard to believe that something so central to AGW theory has no supporting empirical data. This affects 71% of the Earth’s surface. Without empirical evidence, the null hypothesis that there is no “Missing heat’ in the oceans because it was never prevented from leaving still stands.”
Amazing, innit? Next up on the hit parade is why the vaunted GCMs have never been run for an earth lacking an ocean. Ya know why? Because the earth would be as cold as the moon in very short order. It isn’t the greenhouses gases that raise the temperature of the planet 33C above blackbody temperature. It’s a liquid global ocean that does it. Non-condensing greenhouse gases serve as “kindling” to ignite the water cycle. They are important only when the global ocean is largely covered by ice.
The modus operandi of greenhouse gases is that they are transparent to short wave solar radiation and opaque to thermal radiation. This allows sunlight to heat the surface instantly and the absorbed energy, when reemitted as thermal radiation, has more tortuous escape path.
The exact same thing holds true for liquid water. Water is transparent to visible light so sunlight can penetrate instantly to some 100 meters depth until impurities in seawater eventually absorb it all. Because water is quite opaque to thermal radiation the absorbed solar energy has a more tortuous path of escape. Specifically the solar-warmed water at depth must be mechanically transported to a surface skin just a few microns thick where the energy can escape to the atmosphere by conduction, radiation, and evaporation. Conduction accounts for little (5%), radiation accounts for a small fraction (25%) and evaporation accounts for most of it (70%).
So we have two important take-home lessons. GHG’s have little effect over the ocean and the ocean itself (not GHGs above it) accounts for most of the greenhouse warming of the planet.
Once you accept these facts all observations fall neatly in place. Yes, Virginia there is some greenhouse warming of the planet by GHGs but the effect is small and it only happens over land. The ocean is running the show, not the atmosphere. The most important role, by far, the atmsphere plays is simply providing enough surface pressure so that liquid water can exist over a temperature range of 0-100C which makes a liquid global ocean possible in the first place. The atmosphere could be pure nitrogen at 14psi and the earth’s climate would be essentially the same so long as the ocean remained liquid. The caveat is that the earth doesn’t receive quite enough energy from the sun to keep the ocean liquid so without some modest amount of non-condensing greenhouse gases you’d get a runaway freeze (which has happened before) that would last until enough greenhouse gases and albedo-lowering volcanic ash accumulated to begin a melt. Then you’d get a runaway melt until the ocean was liquid again.

435. richard verney says:

Tim
Let me get this straight.
You are saying that CO2 does not in itself have the ability to absorb some of the photons being radiated by the slab and then to re-radiate these in all directions such that some of the re-radiated photons are sent back towards the slab either thereby heating the slab, or alternatively slowing down its cooling? Is that your case? Please revert on clear terms on that point.
Are you saying that where the air is at the same temperature as the surface below, there is no greenhouse effect? Again, please be clear in your response.
If so, if the air above the oceans is the same temperature as the ocean itself (which is commonly the position for the first 50 or 100 or few hundred feet) are you saying that there is no greenhouse effect in the first 50 feet and/or 100 feet and/or few hundred feet?
At what temperature interface does the greenhouse effect suddenly come into existence? Why was it not existing before this, and why and what precisely brought it into existence?
If it depends upon having an interface with colder air above it, to what extent will convection from below overcome in whole or in part the effect of the GHG warming/insulation?
I am quite happy for there to be a further variation in the experiment with the walls of the warehouse cooler than the air inside. In this scenario both the slab and the air will cool and may be a source of uncertainty/error since the temperature of the walls will have to be accurately controlled so that it is the same with all variations of CO2 concentrations. When we are looking for a small change in the profile of cooling iof the slab, it would be unfortunate if slight variations in the control temperature of the walls may mask the results being obtained. In my opinion that will needlessly confuse issues since additionally we will then being having significant convectional forces coming into play.
I look forward to hearing from you.

436. Tim Folkerts says:
August 19, 2011 at 3:10 am
Certainly there are many other factors involved. Those will certainly affect the MAGNITUDE of the effect I described. It will not change the SIGN of the effect, however, with[out] some significant factor that I did not include that acts in an OPPOSITE way to increased IR..

Is there any empirical evidence that the net balance has changed? If we suppose the increase in co2 has increased the DLR by 1.7W/m^2 in the last 100 years, then isn’t that offset largely by the greater upwelling LR coming from a warmer ocean surface? The average SST is thought to be around 17C or so. So how much more LR will that be emitting compared to a surface at 16.3C?

437. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
“What seems to have escaped you is that this setup, cooler water on top of warmer water, is inherently unstable because the cooler water is denser than the warmer, and it wants to sink, and does so. The cooler surface is kept in existence by water moving to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, rewarming, rising to the surface, cooling, sinking a mm or so, and so on.”
What seems to have either escaped you, or you ignored because I already pointed it out to you, is that viscosity is the dominant force in a surface layer only microns deep. It won’t sink if it’s cooler because viscosity holds it on surface. What actually happens is that this exceedingly thin surface layer evaporates continually exposing the surface below it. Think of DLWR as an ablative process like sand blasting or the heat shield on the space shuttle.

438. Dave Springer says:

@Willis
“Tallbloke, that’s a lovely theory. Evaporated water molecules form an “invisible mist” above the surface. I’ve never heard of an “invisible mist” above the surface of the ocean … so surely you have some photos or some observations of this “invisible mist”, or at least a claim that someone has actually detected or measured the “invisible mist” …”
First rule of holes, Willis. When you’ve dug yourself into one, stop digging. Now we have this preposterous utterance of demanding pictures of something that’s invisible. Be a sport an take a picture of the oxygen in the air for me, Willis.
Water vapor is as invisible as oxygen. When you see steam, or fog, what you are seeing is water droplets not water vapor. Your deep ignorance is showing. Again. Stop digging.

439. richard verney says:

Tim
You suggest that the atmosphere because it is much warmer than background space radiates much better. I agree insomuch as background space radiates photons at 3K whereas the atmosphere may be radiating photons at ~250 to 260K.
If I vary my experiment so that I have one slab at say 25deg C and another slab vertically above it at say 10deg C and in between the two I have air. Does the rate of cooling of the warmer slab depend upon the amount of CO2 in the air which separates the two slabs?
If so, why don’t the classical equations detail that, and state that the rate of cooling is dependent upon whether the air has 280ppm of CO2 (which was supposedly the case when the classical equations were formed) or 380ppm of CO2. Indeed, why do modern physic text books not state that the classical equations are no longer valid since the concentration of CO2 in air has increased and this therefore reduces the rate of heat flow from the warmer slab to the cooler slab?
I look forward to your explanations.

440. Dave Springer says:

Tim Folkerts says:
August 18, 2011 at 10:39 am
“And here is an interesting conjecture. Suppose that DLR increases. This would deposit more energy in skin layer of the ocean, raising the temperature slightly. One effect would be to increase the evaporation rate (warm water evaporates faster), which would moderate the amount the surface temperature increases. A second effect would be to decrease the thermal gradient and hence decrease the thermal conduction up from the lower parts of the ocean. And of course, anything that limits the flow of energy from the ocean will necessarily increase the temperature of the ocean.
The logical conclusion from this conjecture — the more DLR, the warmer the oceans will get.”
It isn’t interesting, it’s wrong. As the water in the top few microns evaporates it exposes a new layer beneath it. It’s ablative. The water beneath is not shielded or insulated by the surface skin because the surface skin is constantly leaving he surface as a vapor exposing new skin a little further down. Sort like sanding a piece of wood. It’s an ablative process.
It’s extremely effective. So effective that 70% of the heat of the ocean escapes via this route while only 5% escapes via conduction and 25% via radiation. It’s a different story over dry land because rocks don’t don’t start evaporating until they reach a temperature of thousands and thousands of degrees.
.

441. richard verney says:

I note that some commentators have criticised the argument based upon CO2 being a trace gas. I endorse those criticisms.
The mere fact that CO2 may be nothing more than a trace gas does not in itself prevent it from playing a significant role in events such that where there are changes to the concentration of that trace gas, these changes could lead to significant effect. I for one wish that sceptics would not employ the trace gas argument. It is not scientific.
That said, I have for many years been saying that AGW does not work over the oceans: that changes in CO2 concentrations cannot explain the warming of the oceans. My main reasons for this are:
1. Due to the wavelength of DWLWIR, it cannot penetrate the oceans. It is absorbed in the first few microns where if it does anything at all, it merely increases the rate of evaporation which in turn leads to a cooling of the top few micron layer.
2. If the oceans over turns the top few micron layer, this would lead to a cooling of the oceans, not a warming.
3. The oceans are heated solely by solar radiation and it is the amount of solar radiation received which determines whether the oceans heat up.
4. Unlike land, the oceans very much control the atmosphere above them. They control its temperature thus why there is little diurnal range. Further, they control its humidity/water vapour composition. This is a factor of the warming received by the oceans from the input of solar radiation.
5. CO2 is not the dominant GHG. Water vapour is far more significant and given the very high concentration of water vapour over the oceans, AND the ratio between it and CO2, relatively modest changes in CO2 concentrations (up from 280 ppm to 380 ppm) are unlikely to have had much impact on the DWLWIR characteristics which may be in play over oceans. This is subtly different from the trace gas point. It relies upon the ratio between dominant water vapour and less dominant CO2 being overwhelmingly in favour of the dominant water vapour such that the effects of a change in the concentration of the less dominant CO2 are not significant enough to add sufficiently to the effects brought about by the dominant water vapour.
Once one accepts that DWLWIR does not heat the oceans (which Willis now appears to accept) and can at most merely slow down the cooling, if the changes in concentration of CO2 are not sufficient to add anything of consequence to the effects brought about by the dominant water vapour, the warming of the oceans cannot be explained by changes in CO2 concentrations and must be due to other causes. The most likely one of which is changes in cloudiness.
In other words, warming of the oceans is very probably due to natural variation. If the oceans warm, so too does the land and hence most of any warming seen over land is also predominantly accounted for by the natural induced warming of the oceans. I do however accept that changes in CO2 levels may have had some (in my view relatively modest, if any at all) effect on land temperatures, and that other manmade actions such as changes in land use and urbanisation may also have had some effect. However, given the ratio between the heat capacity of the ocean and that of the atmosphere over land, the oceans will always dominate and we are ‘pissing in the wind’ if we think that we can do anything of any significance to control the temperature over land by reducing CO2 emissions. (Please excuse my language) .

442. TimTheToolMan says:

Willis writes “You’re looking at this backwards. In a system in which the surface is maintained at a slightly lower temperature than the bulk … what happens if you forcibly warm the surface? Think it through all the way, Roger. The very surface warms … until it’s slightly warmer than the bulk … which then heats up slightly, until the surface is slightly cooler than the bulk, and the previous condition (cooler surface) is restored.”
No, you’re still missing it or at the very least describing it poorly. The “very surface” is always cooling, not warming. Adding GHGs doesn’t forcibly do anything with DLR warming the surface. The same relationship always exists with DLR < ULR
It is the 1mm depth and below, the "hook", that warms and it does so because the bulk is warming, not because the "very surface" is warming with the bulk following. When the 1mm depth warms from below by convection, it is the SST that has to come along for the ride.
It is the "hook" which moves around from moment to moment trying to set the SST for equilibrium. Its driven by the incoming DSR. In the case of increased GHGs the equilibrium is still set by the incoming DSR and the "hook" except that the SST needs to be a little higher to account for the additional DLR that is (for want of a better term) re-radiated accounting for more of the Steffan-Boltzmann requirment for the ocean to radiate.
So where does any ocean warming ultimately come from? Increased GHGs have caused the SST to be a little higher and if you think of the ocean as having a top temperature of say 15C and a bottom temperature of say 3C then the GHGs will change the top temperature to say 15.5C and given time, the temperatures all the way down to the bottom will change to match. Not by adding 0.5C all the way down but there will be some related increase.
Wow there is a bunch of assumptions in that last statement isn't there. What if the ocean wasn't in equilibrium to start with?

443. richard verney says:

Dave Springer at August 19 2011 5:16am
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Dave
Very much my take on things.
I have seen you before making your point on model runs without the oceans. I envisage that your predicted result is right. Since a model run in that condition would reveal a lot, it is surprising that such a run has never been made, or is it the case that ‘the Team’ have made such a run but have not published the result.

444. Richard, trace gas point taken. I actually had the prevalence of water vapour in mind when I wrote it, but you are right to pick up on it. Discussions like the one we’ve had are very valuable to help me hone my arguments.
I think we’ve covered some ground here, and hopefully sorted out some of the misunderstandings which lead people to think that the back radiation heating the oceans argument is ‘part of the basic physics’ that sceptics should accept. I’ve been resisting it for years, but it’s amazing how strong this mistaken meme is.

445. mkelly says:

tallbloke says:
August 19, 2011 at 9:28 am
…which lead people to think that the back radiation heating the oceans argument is ‘part of the basic physics’ that sceptics should accept.”
If in fact back radiation could heat something or even slow down the rate of cooling then we should exchange the vacuum in thermos bottles for a mixture of CO2 and H2O. Using IPCC’s 5.35(ln C/Co) going from 1 ppm to 1 million yields almost 74 watts/m^2.
But sadly conduction would win out over a phenomena great enough to heat oceans.

446. Tim Folkerts says:

Richard,
You are still missing at leas one key idea as to how the GH effect works. Let me use your slab analogy and give a few variations. I’ll assume the slab & walls have emissivity = 1 for thermal IR photons. I’ll assume that when warm, they emit 400 W/m^2 of thermal IR (T = ~ 33 C). Let’s also assume that any gas in between is separated from the slab and walls by a thin region of vacuum, so there is no conduction or convection.
CASE 1: Warm Slab; warm walls; vacuum in between.
It should be obvious that the slab will stay the same temperature, receiving and emitting 400 W/m^2, since it is in thermal equilibrium with the walls
NET RADIATION = 0 W/m^2
CASE 2: Warm slab; 0 K walls; vacuum in between.
The slab will cool quickly, since it is radiating 400 W/m and receiving none back.
NET RADIATION = – 400 W/m^2
CASE 3: Warm slab; warm walls; warm CO2 in between. (This is STILL not “the green house effect”)
The CO2 has no net effect. Some of the IR photons leaving the slab get absorbed by the CO2 and some of them will return to the slab. At first glance this might seem to warm the slab, since we have added IR photons to the slab. BUT! we have also blocked some of the IR photons heading from the walls toward the slab. A few photons that should have escaped get returned. A few photons that should have arrived get diverted. The slab will still emit 400 W/m^2. It will still receive 400 W/m^2. The only difference is that the slab receives x W/m^2 from the CO2 (the value of “x” depending on the geometry of the objects involved and the IR spectrum of CO2), and (400-x) W/m^2 from the walls.
NET RADIATION: 0 W/m^2
CASE 4: Warm slab; cold walls; warm CO2 in between. (THIS is “the green house effect”)
The slab loses 400 W/m^2. The CO2 radiates x W/m^2 to the slab (as above). But the walls radiate 0 W/m^2 to the slab because they are at 0 K. So the natural loss from the slab is moderated by the CO2. The slab only looses (400-x) W/m^2, but it gets nothing from the walls. It cools slower than CASE 2.
NET RADIATION – (400-x)
Suppose that x = 100 W/m^2. Then a 300 W/m^2 heater would keep the slab warm with CO2 present (CASE 4), but a 400 W/m^2 heater would be required for CASE 2. The CO2 help “warm” the slab. (For warm walls in CASES 1 & 3, the gas has no effect at all. That is why cold walls are a critical part of the experiment.)

447. David A says:

If DLWR increases evaporation, then would it not also increase cloud cover? If cloud cover (and or humitity) increases, would it not decrease SWR from the Sun? Would this not reduce a more effective per watt source of energy warming the oceans, (SWR) thus cooling the deeper waters, and increasing the gradient between those waters and the surface?

448. mkelly says:

Tim Folkerts says:
August 19, 2011 at 9:57 am
CASE 4: Warm slab; cold walls; warm CO2 in between. (THIS is “the green house effect”)
The slab loses 400 W/m^2. The CO2 radiates x W/m^2 to the slab (as above). But the walls radiate 0 W/m^2 to the slab because they are at 0 K. So the natural loss from the slab is moderated by the CO2. The slab only looses (400-x) W/m^2, but it gets nothing from the walls. It cools slower than CASE 2.
NET RADIATION – (400-x)
Suppose that x = 100 W/m^2. Then a 300 W/m^2 heater would keep the slab warm with CO2 present (CASE 4), but a 400 W/m^2 heater would be required for CASE 2. The CO2 help “warm” the slab. (For warm walls in CASES 1 & 3, the gas has no effect at all. That is why cold walls are a critical part of the experiment.)
How can a 300 W/m^2 heater get the slab to produce 400 W/m^2? Besides you cannot do heat transfer this way. You fail to show a temperature gradient which is required for heat transfer. The only actors in your play that are assigned a T are the slab T=33C and the cold wall of 0 K. So please don’t mix temperature scales and assign a T to the CO2 and so the proper transfer equations. Tell us what will be the emissivity of your CO2 and under what pressure?

449. Tim Folkerts says:

Dave Springer says:

It isn’t interesting, it’s wrong. As the water in the top few microns evaporates it exposes a new layer beneath it. It’s ablative. The water beneath is not shielded or insulated by the surface skin because the surface skin is constantly leaving he surface as a vapor exposing new skin a little further down. Sort like sanding a piece of wood. It’s an ablative process.

This is seems like a pretty sure statement from the man who had been bemoaning the lack of empirical evidence related to theories about the ocean. Without experimental backing, I would never endorse one hypothesis over another this adamantly.
You have an interesting and plausible hypothesis (energy absorbed from IR photons goes directly to evaporating the molecules, not to heating the surface). So do I (energy absorbed by IR photons heats the surface layer, which then fuels an increase in upward IR and evaporation). The truth is most likely somewhere in the middle.
But let me give one more argument as to why I am pretty sure that your description is not 100% correct (or even close to 100 % correct). I think we agree that “DLR” is absorbed in the first few μm. But note that this distance is NOT “the first few nm”. If an IR photon is typically absorbed 1 μm = 1000 nm down, and the typical size of a molecule is 1 nm, then the molecule with the extra energy has several hundred or several thousand molecules above it. It cannot “get knocked loose” directly because it will have to hit 100’s of other molecules “shielding” that energetic molecule from escaping. Long before that particular energetic molecule will “evaporate”, it must collide with 100’s (with 100’s be a very conservative estimate) of other molecules, sharing energy during every collision.
“Colliding with 100’s of molecules and sharing the excess energy among them” is pretty much exactly the definition of “raising the temperature”.

450. Tim,
Willis is talking about why the oceans don’t freeze. Other than the fact that they won’t radiate at 390w/m2 for very long as they cool and evaporation loss will also decrease, it is the bulk and not just a thin surface layer in question. How does this energy make it down against the gradient to warm the bulk. As we do not have measurements of high enough accuracy to know we are left to speculate.
I would suggest that the highly complex surface area we are talking about has not been defined in its entirety and probably won’t be in the near future (disregarding quantum levels even)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/science/28ocea.html
It would seem that these findings would impact the energy flux a bit and the purely mechanical effects also. Would seem to be another reason the surface is distinct from a millimeter down.

451. Tim says:
“Colliding with 100′s of molecules and sharing the excess energy among them” is pretty much exactly the definition of “raising the temperature”.
And yet the skin surface is cooler and the lower 0.9mm warmer, whereas all the DLR is absorbed in the first 0.05mm. So something other than the radiation is controlling temperature at the skin. Since radiative action only represents 25% of ocean heat loss, I would presume that something else is the latent heat of evaporation, which sucks energy from the surrounding molecules as evaporation occurs.
However, this only accounts for about 80W/m^2. Stephen Wilde has some ideas on this I seem to remember.

452. Tallbloke,
I think we are not so far apart. I am not arguing that the skin should be warmer that the layers below. When things are in equilibrium, then the skin is indeed cooler by ~ 0.2 – 0.3 K compared with the layers below. This is a consequence of the entire energy balance, especially the loss of energy from the top via evaporation, convection AND IR. As long as things are quasi-stable, this gradient exists. In this situation, ~ 170 W/m^2 can be conducted upward thru the top layer from the layer below. Thus the bulk of the ocean would not be warming or cooling.
What I am saying is that IF there is some extra energy to the skin (for example from extra downward thermal IR, then the balance will get upset. The temperature gradient will decrease (and not merely increase in evaporation rate as Dave Springer is arguing). Less of a gradient –> less conduction of energy from below –> the temperature of the bulk of the ocean must increase.
This simply illustrates one possible mechanism by which extra downward thermal IR will result in higher temperature of the bulk of the ocean without those IR photons ever actually reaching the bulk of the ocean.

453. Dave Springer says:

@Myrhh
Visible light can travel thousands of meters through very clear water. Ultimately there is no such thing as absolutely pure water because it’s a universal solvent. Obtaining absolutely pure water is like trying to obtain a complete vacuum or a temperature of absolute zero. They can be approached but never obtained in nature. It is the impurities in seawater which limit how far visible light can penetrate. If it were pure unadulterated H2O you could read a newspaper during the day at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

454. Dave Springer says:

tallbloke says:
August 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

And yet the skin surface is cooler and the lower 0.9mm warmer, whereas all the DLR is absorbed in the first 0.05mm. So something other than the radiation is controlling temperature at the skin. Since radiative action only represents 25% of ocean heat loss, I would presume that something else is the latent heat of evaporation, which sucks energy from the surrounding molecules as evaporation occurs.
However, this only accounts for about 80W/m^2. Stephen Wilde has some ideas on this I seem to remember.

Where do you get that 80W/m^2 number for latent heat loss? Actual measurements show 200Wm incoming from solar shortwave, 10Wm outgoing via conduction, 50Wm outgoing via radiation, and 140Wm outgoing in latent heat of vaporization. You’re reducing a measured value for latent heat by almost half with the 80Mw figure.

455. David A says:

Tim Folkerts says:
August 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm
“What I am saying is that IF there is some extra energy to the skin (for example from extra downward thermal IR, then the balance will get upset. The temperature gradient will decrease (and not merely increase in evaporation rate as Dave Springer is arguing). Less of a gradient –> less conduction of energy from below –> the temperature of the bulk of the ocean must increase.”
Tim if there is extra energy to the skin does it not increase the water vapor in the air just above the skin? Would this increase in water vapor not reduce the SWR entering the oceans below the skin, thus possibly maintaining or increasing the gradient over time? Would it not also increase the absorbtion of LWIR just before it reaches the skin? Also, due to the residence time of SWR being far longer in the oceans, a 2W/m^2 reduction in SWR would have a greater cooling effect, again over time, then a 2 W/m^2 reduction in LWIR. Yet nobody has quantifed these numbers.

456. Stephen Wilde says:

“Stephen Wilde has some ideas on this I seem to remember.”
Yes indeed.
I’ve already set out my propositions in this thread and elsewhere but no one seems to have read them because you are all talking around the very same issues without any reference to what I said.

457. Willis Eschenbach says:

Stephen Wilde says:
August 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

“Stephen Wilde has some ideas on this I seem to remember.”

Yes indeed.
I’ve already set out my propositions in this thread and elsewhere but no one seems to have read them because you are all talking around the very same issues without any reference to what I said.

If you gave me a link to what you said that was important, I’d have gone there and read it already.
But I’m not going to go looking for some un-named something you think is important, heck, how would I know it if I saw it?
Link to or quote what you think is important, otherwise I for one am not chasing it. Copy the link contained in the date/time line under your name above your important words, and paste it into your message.
w.

458. Tim Folkerts says:
August 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Tim, I think a small change in the relatively small energy flux at the interface of 66W/m^2 wouldn’t change things because it would be overwhelmed by the other factors maintaining the differential. Not the least being the air temperature itself, which follows the ocean SST fairly closely, about 3 months later on the global average. It is interesting that there seems to be a cycle over ~110 years though.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/roger-andrews-the-solar-sst-relationship-part-ii/

459. Not surprisingly, there HAVE been studies done on the skin temperature
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 95, NO. C8, PP. 13,341-13,356, 1990
doi:10.1029/JC095iC08p13341
On the Bulk-Skin Temperature Difference and Its Impact on Satellite Remote Sensing of Sea Surface Temperature
Peter Schluessel, William J. Emery, Hartmut Grassl, Theodor Mammen
Satellite infrared sensors only observe the temperature of the skin of the ocean rather than the bulk sea surface temperature (SST) traditionally measured from ships and buoys. In order to examine the differences and similarities between skin and bulk temperatures, radiometric measurements of skin temperature were made in the North Atlantic Ocean from a research vessel along with coincident measurements of subsurface bulk temperatures, radiative fluxes, and meteorological variables. Over the entire 6-week data set the bulk-skin temperature differences (ΔT) range between −1.0 and 1.0 K with mean differences of 0.1 to 0.2 K depending on wind and surface heat flux conditions. The bulk-skin temperature difference varied between day and night (mean differences 0.11 and 0.30 K, respectively) as well as with different cloud conditions, which can mask the horizontal variability of SST in regions of weak horizontal temperature gradients. A coherency analysis reveals strong correlations between skin and bulk temperatures at longer length scales in regions with relatively weak horizontal temperature gradients. The skin-bulk temperature difference is parameterized in terms of heat and momentum fluxes (or their related variables) with a resulting accuracy of 0.11 K and 0.17 K for night and daytime. A recommendation is made to calibrate satellite derived SST’s during night with buoy measurements and the additional aid of meteorological variables to properly handle ΔT variations.
Measurement show the skin CAN be warmer than the layer below! Only on average is the skin cooler than the surface. If the skin gets extra energy, it apparently can and does decrease (or even reverse) the temperature gradient,

460. Stephen Wilde says:

Stephen Wilde says:
August 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Stephen Wilde says:
August 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Stephen Wilde says:
August 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Stephen Wilde says:
August 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

461. jae says:

WTF, Willis?
I think I asked, twice, a very important question that goes to the heart of this (nonsense?) about the putative “atmospheric greenhouse effect.” I have asked this question for about 5 years and have never received a decent response. I had hope HERE, but, alas, I have been completely ignored, and frankly, it bugs me that YOU, of all people, would do that. I have asked the same questions at “science-of-doom” and Surreal-Climate and have received either snips or vague nonsense responses (at least I was not ignored!!!). But YOU are one of my heros, and I am now pissed off. I challenged you, and it appears to me that you have have slithered away into the grass on me?? Colorado cowboys don’t differ much from Montana cowboys, fella. Same sense of FAIRNESS.
THE BASIC QUESTION IS: WHY HAS THE “BACKRADIATION/ATMOSPHERIC GREENHOUSE EFFECT” NEVER BEEN DEMONSTRATED EMPIRICALLY? UNTIL IT IS, IT IS MERELY A THEORY/FIGMENT. CONSULT EINSTEIN AND OTHER SCIENTISTS ABOUT THIS, IF YOU DOUBT IT.
When one asks over and over for a response and is consistently ignored, I guess that one can draw only a few conclusions:
1) He/she is just considered irrelevant/stupid or off-topic and is not worth a response.
2) He/she has a point that the “expert” does not how to address.
3) His/her thought could embarrass the “expert,” so he/she must be ignored (extremely not likely here, considering the integrity of the “expert”).
4) He/she is a butt.
5) He/she has no clue
6) Other possibilities.

462. Stephen Wilde says:

“Measurement show the skin CAN be warmer than the layer below! Only on average is the skin cooler than the surface. If the skin gets extra energy, it apparently can and does decrease (or even reverse) the temperature gradient,”
Indeed, but it is the global average that counts as regards the global energy budget.
I suspect that the energy budget between ocean and air is balanced by the average global depth of the interface between skin and bulk and the size of the temperature differential across that interface. That balance is affected by changes in the flow of energy up from the ocean bulk (solar shortwave driven) rather than changes in DLR.
Similarly the energy budget between air and space is balanced at the stratopause which is the point where the balance of ozone destruction/creation changes in response to varying levels of solar activity. The effect of solar variability on ozone quantities apparently reverses at about 45km which is approximately at the stratopause.
The climate zones are controlled by the interaction betwen those two ever shifting points of balance and the visible manifestation of the changing balances is latitudinal shifts in the surface air pressure distribution. Hence climate changes.

463. TimTheToolMan says:

Tim Folkerts writes : “Measurement show the skin CAN be warmer than the layer below!”
The paper is behind a paywall. But “bulk” doesn’t mean 1mm below, it means deeper.
You can see that the SST is both warmer and colder than the bulk where the bulk is measured at some number of cm depth (Minnett used 5cm depth in his experiment)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp_fig2.i.jpg
Having said that there are always exceptions and DSR could be greater than ULR around coastlines for example where warm air comes from the land and onto the water. I’m sure there are other examples. In these cases depending on the rate of evaporation there may be no cool skin.

464. Stephen Wilde says:

“depending on the rate of evaporation there may be no cool skin.”
Exactly. Evaporation mops up whatever DLR is left over after upward radiation, convection and conduction have taken their slices.
When evaporation is constrained the coolness and depth of the skin may decline but they will be local variations only. What matters is the global average.

465. Willis Eschenbach says:

Martin Lewitt says:
August 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

How did this thread get so long so fast? I haven’t had time to read them all, so hopefully this isn’t repetitive. Willis, do you know what you are talking about? Infrared doesn’t penetrate a whole millimeter, but mere microns. The point is not that it cannot heat the ocean, it can …

Martin, you say DLW can warm the ocean. However, tallbloke and a host of others have repeatedly made the claim that the DLW cannot heat the ocean. Which is why I wrote what I wrote. So your claim about what “the point” is misses the point—there are a lot of people out there claiming that DLR can’t heat the ocean, and so that’s what I wrote about.
Do I know what I’m talking about? Do you specialize in unpleasant questions? Heck, that’s what this whole process is designed to find out, isn’t it? I make scientific claims, and people try to overthrow them or show that there’s problems with my logic or my numbers or anything else. Sometimes I’m found wrong, and I admit it … but most of the time, people can’t poke holes in my claims.
So in answer to your question, do I know what I’m talking about, I’d have to say “Yeah, most of the time.”

… but the point is it is coupled to the ocean quite differently from solar, while models generally couple them both to the whole mixing layer as if they were equivalent. Solar can penetrate 10s of meters, there has even been Kelp forests at 100 meters depth.

I doubt that “models generally couple them both to the mixing layer as if they were equivalent”. I’d have to see a citation for that. Possible, but modelers aren’t fools. They’re foolish, to be sure, but not fools, if that makes sense …

Radiation that penetrates mere microns is more likely to be involved in surface latent heat effects, is more likely to be reradiated quickly and more likely to be less coupled to the ocean by foam or spray or surface biofilms, etc. Your argument amounts to “A watt is a watt”.

Dang, another internet mind reader who wants to tell me what my argument is. QUOTE MY WORDS if you disagree with me, don’t bother me with your fantasy of what my argument “amounts to”. I didn’t say anything about how the models handle the two types of energy. I didn’t discuss which was more likely to be re-radiated. I didn’t say which one penetrates further than the other, or discuss what the difference in their effect is. I didn’t say a watt is a watt, or imply it.
In fact, since the radiation at the surface slows the cooling of the ocean, it affects the entire mixed layer. So distinguishing the effects of the two types of radiation is not as simple as it might be, because both affect the entire mixed layer.
And that’s all interesting stuff … but it doesn’t have anything to do with my argument or what you think it “amounts to”. Here’s my argument, listen up so if you object to anything you can quote it:
My argument is that the ocean is warmer, both at the surface and in the bulk of the mixed layer, than it would be if it were not absorbing DLR.
I think that you agree with me. Now go convince tallbloke that the ocean absorbs DLR, and stop faffing around trying to explain to me what my argument “amounts to”.
w.

466. Willis Eschenbach says:

jae says:
August 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm

WTF, Willis?
I think I asked, twice, a very important question that goes to the heart of this (nonsense?) about the putative “atmospheric greenhouse effect.” I have asked this question for about 5 years and have never received a decent response. I had hope HERE, but, alas, I have been completely ignored, and frankly, it bugs me that YOU, of all people, would do that. I have asked the same questions at “science-of-doom” and Surreal-Climate and have received either snips or vague nonsense responses (at least I was not ignored!!!). But YOU are one of my heros, and I am now pissed off. I challenged you, and it appears to me that you have have slithered away into the grass on me?? Colorado cowboys don’t differ much from Montana cowboys, fella. Same sense of FAIRNESS.
THE BASIC QUESTION IS: WHY HAS THE “BACKRADIATION/ATMOSPHERIC GREENHOUSE EFFECT” NEVER BEEN DEMONSTRATED EMPIRICALLY? UNTIL IT IS, IT IS MERELY A THEORY/FIGMENT. CONSULT EINSTEIN AND OTHER SCIENTISTS ABOUT THIS, IF YOU DOUBT IT.

jae, your question doesn’t get answered because it is based on a false assumption. The fallacy is that downwelling longwave radiation can’t be demonstrated empirically.
Not sure how you missed the following items. There’s an entire industry out there making instruments that are specifically designed to measure the DLR. There are scientists who make a living measuring the DLR. There are a host of papers about the measurements of DLR.
So the idea that DLR “can’t be demonstrated empirically” doesn’t even pass the laugh test, much less the smell test. It is a fantasy without a scrap of observational support. Not only that, but you don’t need instruments to know DLR is real. I can feel DLR, it’s warmer when a cloud passes over during a winter night. When the cloud goes away, the clear sky just sucks the warmth out, but when the cloud is over me, I can feel the warmth from the cloud. So I know from my experience that there is DLR, regardless of what EINSTEIN AND OTHER SCIENTISTS might say about it.
And questions that don’t even pass the laugh test generally don’t get answered by me. It just spins off into strangeness, I’ve got no time for that.
w.
PS – Here’s a protip. Entire paragraphs of capitalized text, especially if they mention God, Gandhi, or Einstein, are the hallmarks of the SIF, the “single-issue fanatic”. Basically, putting in a paragraph of that kind is like waving a big sign saying “I AM A NUTTER! IGNORE ME!”
As a result, when I see paragraphs like that, I just skip to the next posting.
Just sayin’ how it looks from this side of the screen …

467. Bob_FJ says:

Dave Springer @ August 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm
And, attention Willis
I think you described that viscosity is important in the nano-skin of the ocean where most DLR is momentarily absorbed at the quantum level.
(I would add; that is before at astonishing rapidity relative to ocean dynamics, it is reemitted or causes higher energy H20 molecules to fly off, {evaporate}, partly via collisions).
Did you mean the ‘surface tension layer’ perchance? The surface tension layer is also maintained in most of the slow earthly dynamics of the ocean, and can surely only result in stability of the upper surface layer.
It seems to me that there are a lot of unknowns about surface tension, apart from the many observed effects such as meniscus. The following two links are interesting, but simply pose more questions to me.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/surface-tension-d_962.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_tension

468. Septic Matthew says:

I see that this thread is still alive, so I’ll add a statistical perspective.
The temperature of a region is proportional to the mean kinetic energy of the molecules in that region. As always, there is a distribution of actual energies, and within a region some molecules are reasonably close to the region mean, some are way above the region mean, and some are way below the region mean. For the topic of the thread, the above average molecules in the air radiate energy down to the earth; in the earth’s top layer (solid or liquid) the radiated energy is absorbed by the molecules with below average energy. The above average molecules in the earth radiate to the air, where the energy is absorbed by the below average molecules. in the regions of high temperature, the distribution of the energies in the molecules is shifted upwards compared to the distribution of the energies in the regions of low temperature.
From region to region, there can be no net transfer of heat from the lower temperature regions to the higher temperature regions, but the back radiation from the higher energy molecules in the air to the lower energy molecules in the earth surface can for sure slow the cooling of the earth surface. There are in addition advective and convective processes, but their existence does not contradict the simple scheme I just described. The first major complication is the transfer of energy from the high energy molecules of the air to the low energy molecules of the air by collision. With a few modifications to the details of the total mechanism, the more GHGs there are in the air, other things being equal (which I doubt they are), the slower should be the cooling of the earth surface temperatures from their daytime maxima, hence a gradual increase of those maxima (seasonally adjusted) across time.
That’s the basic narration of radiative heat transfer. If the effect of the increased surface temperature is to increase cloud cover an thereby to reduce surface insolation, that is a major complication to the narration.

469. Bob_FJ says:

Willis Eschenbach @ August 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(Sorry JAE if you think I interfere but but but Grhhhh!)

Willis: “…When the cloud goes away, the clear sky just sucks the warmth out, but when the cloud is over me, I can feel the warmth from the cloud. So I know from my experience that there is DLR…”

Willis, really! You said; I can feel the warmth from the cloud?
Some years ago there was a learned professor that made a claim in the McGraw-Hill scientific encyclopaedia that the moment that cirrus clouds formed (they comprising ice crystals at great very cold altitude) that they rapidly heated the Earth’s surface. I emailed them and that article was subsequently removed. There were similar bizarre claims in Encyclopaedia Britannica, that were similarly addressed.
Willis, your fertile imagination is often very interesting, promoting good debate, but you should not be so assertive about your hypothesises, and listen to what others say to you.

470. TimTheToolMan says:

“You have an interesting and plausible hypothesis (energy absorbed from IR photons goes directly to evaporating the molecules, not to heating the surface). So do I (energy absorbed by IR photons heats the surface layer, which then fuels an increase in upward IR and evaporation).”
I may as well wade into this discussion with my own view. The energy found at the very surface is made up of energy from the DLR plus energy from the bulk that has conducted through the skin.
I dont believe you can say that the energy used in evaporation exclusively came from the DLR because energy from the bulk is there too. But you cant say its from warmed molecules from the DLR either because on average all the molecules are cooling not warming despite the DLR.
You might be able to look at individual molecules and look at the energy that kicked them into evaporation and I’m sure the DLR will do that often and the energy convected through the skin will also do it.
I do think you can probably say that the energy that makes it to the surface and becomes ULR and subsequently becomes DLR then essentially has two options. Its either going to be radiated again at the surface or its going to be used for evaporation. If its radiated again then its got two options its going to become DLR again or its going to escape to space.
I’m ignoring the exotic options like mixed down by a wave and residence time in the atmosphere…
So in a sense I guess all DLR is used for evaporation or subsequently lost to space.

471. Bob_FJ says:

Willis,
It disturbs me that you still do not acknowledge advice that it does not matter how much EMR* is whizzing around, unless there is a potential difference (PD) between two sources of it. Otherwise, it amounts to nothing in terms of HEAT transfer. Furthermore, unless there is a change in HEAT level in matter, there is by definition NO change in temperature.
The following illustration shows that by far the most intense EMR fields are towards the horizontal because initially from the surface, radiation is hemispherically equal in all directions, yet mostly nothing happens. Secondarily radiation above the surface is spherical in all directions. The vertical PD is relatively trivial.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2522/3837627461_4fc91e7a03_z.jpg?zz=1
There are other implications but let’s see if you can take-in the first step.
* (electromagnetic radiation; including your topical DLR and ULR)

472. Willis Eschenbach says:
August 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm
Now go convince tallbloke that the ocean absorbs DLR

tallbloke says:
August 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Hi Willis,
Argument one asks what the difference is between rock and water. Warm water molecules rise to the top. Warm rock molecules conduct heat to their neighbours, which can’t go anywhere.
Argument two asks where the energy goes. The answer is:
space.
Argument three is not an argument that DLR can warm the ocean, it’s an argument that it can slow its rate of cooling.
Argument four is a numerical misunderstanding. The ocean surface very efficiently absorbs 95% of DLR
Stop trying to misrepresent me and instead engage the substantive arguments.

473. RJ says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm
“When the cloud goes away, the clear sky just sucks the warmth out, but when the cloud is over me, I can feel the warmth from the cloud.”
And also said in the same post
“Basically, putting in a paragraph of that kind is like waving a big sign saying “I AM A NUTTER! IGNORE ME!”
Were you being serious in the first sentence. Or do you want to withdraw this comment?

474. RJ says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm
“There’s an entire industry out there making instruments that are specifically designed to measure the DLR. There are scientists who make a living measuring the DLR. There are a host of papers about the measurements of DLR”
This point has been discussed before on this site. And also on a Dr. Judith Curry thread
http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/102-climate-follies-encore
The most interesting involved the Holy Grail of Warmist worship, the phantom ‘back-radiation’ force. As the aforementioned “20 Milliseconds” explains there are Warmists, Luke Warmists, and Deniers. This phantom is the defining element of this fable and refuses to fit into classical Physics. The following is the actual exchange, playing the part of the English Lord will be Lord Monckton. The Luke Warmist chorus is played by the who’s who on the CC list and the Slayer is played by your narrator and co-author of Slaying the Sky Dragon.
Lord: “Back radiation can be simply demonstrated by pointing a simple infrared detector at the underside of a cloud. Try it.”
Chorus: “My IR detector only cost \$60! Simple! Agreed! Agreed!”
Slayer: “Clouds do not absorb and re-radiate heat back to Earth. Clouds add THERMAL MASS which takes longer to heat and cool. Warmists ‘support’ this false hypothesis with IR thermometer readings, but the IR readings of a hot Barbie is the same from any distance; ENERGY is not. Your \$60 REMOTE thermometer is not measuring the radiant energy you are receiving, it is measuring the resonance of the Barbie.”

475. RJ says:

Jae
“I think I asked, twice, a very important question that goes to the heart of this (nonsense?)”
No need for the question mark

476. gnomish says:

1- anything which absorbs energy easily is a conductor, not an insulator.
2- additional heat capacity improves the efficiency of a cooling system
3- co2 is not an IR mirror.
4- ‘black body’ is an idealization – there is no such thing IRL.
5- assumptions that an IR detector are measuring temperature of a surface through miles of atmosphere are absolutely false.
6- degrees do not measure joules. temperature is not heat energy
7- attribution of motives to a speaker is always done for the purpose of changing the topic.
8- misattribution of motives is a thinly disguised ad hominem argument.
9- third party dippers who do #8 need to let their sycopants out a notch, smokey.
10- if the numbers don’t match the facts, then the numbers are wrong; not the facts.
11- the facts don’t join anybody’s club and don’t require anybody’s approval.
12- claques are for confidence hustlers.
tallbloke- plz don’t change your ways. you’re about the last one i can still admire – not that you should care; but i do.

477. gnomish says:

if the question is to be answered, it won’t be by speculation, now, will it?
why not help design an experiment that can take this discussion out of the realm of opinion and provide indisputable facts?
the experiment would be to show what effect IR radiation has on the temperature of a body of water, right?
suppose i have a 30W CO2 laser… (which i do) so there should be no question about it putting out the pertinent LR wavelengths, agreed?
suppose i have an IR ‘thermometer’… (which i do)
suppose i have a cup or water… (which i do)
suppose i point the laser at the surface from a perpendicular direction…
now, where should i put thermometers and where should i take readings with the IR detector to satisfy the requirements of the experiment? what OTHER variables must be controlled for the results to be meaningful?
or would descent from the lofty realms of ‘what i think’ to the level of ‘what really happens’ make this the most boring blog on earth? (gratuitous dig… i acknowledge it without shame)

478. gnomish says:

btw – when a pyrgeometer is pointed out toward space, it does not show the temperature of space, nor does it show the temperature of the earth when pointed the other way.
and a transparent substance is not in any way properly characterized as a ‘black body’

479. richard verney says:

Willis
What I am about to say is not intended as a personal criticism of you. I should perhaps observe that I usually very much enjoy your articles and find them stimulating and insightful. Frequently, I find myself agreeing with much of what you have to say. However, this present article, falls well below your usual standard.
The article got off to a very bad start by suggesting that the arguments rejecting the contention that DLR does not HEAT the oceans is “just silly”. Given that the contention that DLR can heat (or slow down the cooling of) the oceans is fundamental to the AGW position, any argument contesting this presumption deserves due consideration. Given that the oceans cover approximately 70% of the globe and they account for 99% of the heat capacity of the earth system (ignoring that in the core etc) and given that the climate and weather is driven by the oceans and ocean conveyor belt and air currents that arise consequential thereto, I would suggest that there is no legs in the AGW conjecture if manmade changes to GHGs cannot result in a warming of the oceans. My point is that the issue raised by your Article is really really fundamental and therefore these issues require addressing in detail not by flimsy rebuttal.
Of the 4 arguments you raise against the validity of the contention that DLR does not heat the oceans, the first is patently bad in that it does not take account of the different nature and properties of matter (ie., the differences between solid land and liquid water) and in particular takes no account of evaporation (and the processes involved in that and the energy involved). The third argument, is also plainly wrong in that it confuses heating with a reduction in the rate of cooling. Thus, the entire thrust of your article is off to a shaky start.
Early on, I picked you up on the point that DLR cannot HEAT. You accepted that this was so and sought to justify your sloppy (my wording not yours) use of language on what is understood in common parlance by the expression to heat. I reverted on that saying that in a scientific article, one has to be precise especially when there is a fundamental difference between the concepts and principles involved since to do otherwise only leads to confusion and promotes misunderstandings. At the time you appeared to accept that.
Now look at your latest response with clouds. You suggest that “when the cloud goes away, the clear sky just sucks the warmth out” as if there was some giant vacumn cleaner up in the sky sucking warmth. There is no such process. This is not a scientific response. You state “I can feel the warmth from clouds”. It is extremely rare for clouds to be warmer than the ground still less warmer than the human body. You cannot feel the warmth from clouds. Again, your terminology is incorrect, and this is really very unfortunate since you were picked up on the incorrect use of these principles at an early stage, and you appeared to accept that you had not been scientifically accurate.
Turning now to the DLR measuring equipment. I have lost count of the number of times that I have had arguments with people who claim because there is DLR measuring equipment on the market DLR is real. There is a fundamental difference between signal and energy. For sure, DLR has a signal but that does not mean that it has sensible energy capable of doing sensible work for example capable of heating something.
If I stand on Mercury and point my DLR meter at the bright burning ball in the sky, I see that I am being bombarded with 5800K photons and I think to myself, no wonder I am ‘bloody’ hot. I then get into my space rocket and fly to Pluto. I get out and I feel rather cold. I point my DLR meter at the burning ball in the sky and observe that I am being bombarded with 5800K photons and wonder why it is so cold that it freezes ‘the balls’ off a brass monkey.
A PVR is essentially a DLR meter tuned to the wavelength of solar radiation being received from the sun. It can convert the solar radiation into energy which can be used to power something. By contrast the DLR meter cannot convert the DLR from the atmosphere into energy or electricity capable of doing work. IF it could we would have solved the world’s energy problems. The DLR being radiated has no sensible energy and one should not confuse signal with energy.
For example, I have a problem with my car. It will not start. I measure the battery and the volt meter suggests that everything is fine. It reads 12 volts. I turn on the ignition, a little red light comes on suggesting that the alternator is not yet charging. I turn the ignition further (to energise the starter) the engine does not turn and even the little red warning light goes out. The battery may be producing 12 volts but is has no power. I am not saying that this is a like for like analogy. I am merely using it as an illustration of the principle that although one can detect a signal, it does not in itself mean that there is any energy in that signal.
As far as I am aware, there is not a single sceptic who denies the existence of DLR. However, there are many who challenge precisely what DLR is capable of doing. Your argument that there are DLR measuring devices on the market does not address that issue. Why people raise it, I do not know.
Finally, I would observe that (in the case of this article) you frequently answer a question with another question or in some other way so as to side step the issue. Now I know that this is difficult, and I know human nature adds to this difficulty but it would be better to respond along the lines: ‘I do not know, but I consider that this is a more telling point etc’ Or, ‘the question you raise is not capable of a quick answer and I do not have the time to properly address it,. but I think that this or that is a more significant point/or you fail to appreciate this or that which is also (or more) relevant’ etc. I can see that many commentators have become frustrated by this side stepping and of course, this side stepping has hindered taking this debate further and has hindered getting to the root of the issues raised.
I emphasise that this comment is not meant as a personal criticism. I do not like to see personal criticisms of the authors of articles posted on this site, and I have on a number of occasions commented that this is disrespectful. Those who take the time to post an article deserve the respect of all those who visit this site. In this you have my respect although I find myself very much in disagreement with much of what you have said in this particular article and your subsequent comments. I consider that the issues raised by your article to be extremely complex ones, and of such complexity compounded by the lack of any empirical data and experiments, to be such that most of us are out of our depths. That said, the burden of proof is firmly upon those who contend that DLR heats the oceans, or slows down the cooling or that the oceans would be frozen but for DLR and to date this burden has not been discharged.

480. dr.bill says:

Dave Springer: (if you’re still reading)
I have had this thread open since it started, have gradually read the whole thing (in sequence), and have saved most of your comments to a separate file for further reading and rumination. For what it’s worth, I am impressed by your comprehensive grasp of this entire matter, and find your explanations both lucid and cogent. I’ll be plagiarizing/paraphrasing some of your observations next semester for the atmospherics part of my thermodynamics course.
My thanks and compliments,
/dr.bill

481. Sorry, Willis, I’ve read your exposition, Dr. Curry’s exposition, and ScienceOfDoom’s exposition — which are all basically the same — and I simply can’t buy it. No amount of armwaving about turbulence and waves can overcome the enormous differences in magnitudes here. The best picture we have of the ocean’s surface seems to be:
A couple of microns where IR is actually absorbed (and radiated);
About a millimeter of “skin” where the temperature is perhaps a third of a deg C lower than the next layer down, presumably due to evaporation; and
A couple of meters at the “real” ocean surface temperature.
There is some casual talk above confusing microns and millimeters. Please: that is, quite literally, like confusing millimeters and meters. So the claim amounts to:
Turbulent mixing of the topmost membrane has a thermal effect on the skin layer, which is cooled by evaporation and is ~500 time thicker than the membrane; then
Turbulent mixing of the skin layer has a thermal effect on the “real” layer, which is ~1000 times thicker than the skin layer.
This is nearly impossible to believe. As I said, the differences in magnitudes are just too great, no matter how stormy the sea or impressive the surf, and no amount of armwaving and sailing experience (which I also have) can get around that. My conclusion is that nobody really has the faintest idea of what’s actually going on at the water/air interface.
So perhaps it would be better to stick to something like “slows down the cooling” or the impossibly opaqe and convoluted lapse rate explanation. The direct heating by IR simply makes no sense.