# Climate as a heat engine

Guest essay by Jan Kjetil Andersen

As Willis describes in his article on December 21, the atmosphere can be seen as a gigantic heat engine, i.e. a machine which convert thermal energy, namely temperature, into mechanical energy, namely wind.

It may seem a bit strange to view the weather system as a kind of machine and compare it with engineered constructs like an automobile engine, but it is sound physics because all such systems are bound by the same fundamental physical laws and they utilizes the same basic phenomena to create movement from heat.

A heat engine cannot convert heat directly to mechanical energy since that would break the second law of thermodynamics. What are needed are temperature differences. The greater temperature difference the greater effect of the machine.  The amount of the energy in the temperature difference that is converted to mechanical energy is called the machines efficiency.

And here we have a very interesting, but less known fact of heat engines; the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures. This is interesting because it negates the conventional wisdom and often cited myth that a warmer climate leads to

more storminess, like the claim in the Guardian “a warmer planet has more energy to power stronger storms”, see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/27/climate-change-extreme-weather-2010.

Let us therefore take a look at the theoretical foundation of this effect.  This is described by Carnot’s theorem.

Carnot’s Theorem says that the maximum efficiency drawn from a heat engine is the temperature difference between the warmest element and the coldest element divided by the temperature of the highest element.

Expressed as a formula it says: Emax = (Th-Tc)/Th.

Emax is the maximum efficiency

Th is the high temperature element measured in Kelvin

Tc is the cold temperature element measured in Kelvin.

The Carnot cycle is an ideal reversible cyclic process involving the expansion and compression of an ideal gas, which enables us to evaluate the efficiency of an engine utilizing this cycle.

Each of the four distinct processes are reversible.  Using the fact that no heat enters or leaves in adiabatic processes we can show that the work done in one cycle, W = Q1 – Q3 where Q1 is the heat entering at temperature TH  in the isothermal process A -> B and  Q3 is the heat leaving at temperature TC in the isothermal process C -> D.

For an interactive demonstration of the Carnot heat engine cycle, courtesy of the University of Virginia, click on the image:

Three important effects can be seen from Carnot’s theorem.  The first is that a temperature difference is a necessary condition for converting heat energy to mechanical energy such as wind.

The second effect is that even if we had a perfect heat engine with zero internal friction; it would not achieve anything close to 100% efficiency.  The maximum theoretical efficiency for a heat engine operating between 300 K and 600K is for example 50%. The efficiency of a real machine would of cause be considerably lower.

This is why our car engines only operate at about 25% efficiency. The warm element for a car engine is the exploding fuel inside the cylinders and the cold element is the air intake.

The best coal fired power plants have about 40% efficiency and the best gas powered about 55%. The cold elements for those plants are the coolant water, and those with highest efficiency utilize cold seawater as coolant.

Warming gives less efficiency

The third effect is as mentioned above, that, for a given temperature difference between the warm element and the cold element, the efficiency will decrease if both elements heat equally much.   On cold days one can see a discernible effect of this in car engines; because the air intake is colder, the engine gives somewhat more power and higher efficiency.

This is also why some turbo charged engines have intercoolers. The turbo gives higher effect, but a non-intentional side effect is that it also increases the temperature in the air intake which will reduce the efficiency. The intercooler reduces the temperature increase introduced by the turbo.

The same effect applies to the wind formations in the atmosphere. Consider the summer temperature in the northern hemisphere; the cold element is the Arctic with a temperature of approximately 0 Celsius and the warm element is in the tropics with approximately 35 Celsius.

The Carnot theorem gives a maximum efficiency in this temperature range of 11.36%.  If the temperature increased with 1 Celsius all over the globe, i.e. the difference changed to 1 Celsius in the Arctic and 36 Celsius in the tropic, the maximum efficiency would sink to 11.32%.

This is a minuscule difference, but the point is that it is a decrease, not an increase as the conventional wisdom will have it.

Less temperature differences on the surface

In addition to the effect of higher overall temperatures, the temperature differences will also be smaller. It is quite uncontroversial that the largest effect of global warming is on the cold polar winters and the smallest on the hot tropical summers.

This means that both the overall heating and the reduced temperature differences should contribute to less storminess.

However, to be fair, this is not all there is to this. Some climate models tell that the temperature differences in the upper troposphere will increase and this may have larger effect than both the reduced differences on the surface and the higher temperatures.

No settled science there.

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Richard Sharpe
December 28, 2013 8:26 am

Some climate models tell that the temperature differences in the upper troposphere will increase and this may have larger effect than both the reduced differences on the surface and the higher temperatures.
Models are not science until they have real measured data to base them on. After that, they need to compare the output of their models to what is really happening.
Have they done all this?

December 28, 2013 8:30 am

More models…..the climate is a convection system with a million variables including local thermodynamics. This complexity is immune to modeling. It would be refreshing to hear from quackitists and quackademics that we really dont have a clue about climate or weather and that most likely a trace chemical necessary for life mostly emitted by gaia has not much to do with anything….

MJPenny
December 28, 2013 8:33 am

As an engineer with some training in meteorology, the claim of increased strength and number of storms caused by global warming with more warming at the poles has always bothered me. Thank you for a well written article explaining thi issue.

tonyb
Editor
December 28, 2013 8:33 am

Interesting article, thank you. You said;
‘And here we have a very interesting, but less known fact of heat engines; the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures. This is interesting because it negates the conventional wisdom and often cited myth that a warmer climate leads to more storminess, like the claim in the Guardian “a warmer planet has more energy to power stronger storms”
As one of the few who seems to be still carrying out primary historical climate research at such places as the Met office archives, I can confirm from reading tens of thousands of weather observations back to the 11th century that the most violent extremes occur during the periods of greatest cold during the intermittent Little Ice age. Whilst snow and ice feature, so do violent storms and especially very long periods of calamitous flooding brought about by prodigious amounts of rainfall.
The temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics is surely greatest during cold periods so more energy will be generated than when the temperatures are more equal, as during the current benign period and also during the MWP which appears to have experienced mostly settled weather.
tonyb

norah4you
December 28, 2013 8:34 am

Don’t count on it. Why should they be willing to use measured data? Measured data can and will prove them wrong!

Leonard Weinstein
December 28, 2013 8:34 am

While the points of this post are correct, they left out one feature: The evaporation and condensation of water. Warmer air is capable of holding more water vapor, and the transport of energy by phase change is potentially capable of changing the energy driven dynamics of just pressure driven flow (wind). However, in fact the increase in moisture has not followed the expected level due to the temperature increase (it has not maintained average relative humidity as temperature increased, especially at higher altitudes), so the net result is even more unclear.

David, UK
December 28, 2013 8:49 am

Some climate models tell that the temperature differences in the upper troposphere will increase…
Indeed, as evidenced by the infamous hotspot that was observed back in… oh wait.

Doug Huffman
December 28, 2013 8:52 am

Actual heat engines, to which Carnot’s physics apply, are artificial man-made technological systems that can be isolated and all input-connection-outputs be known; not so for a natural system in a reality that Mandelbrot called fractally complex. The essay is an interesting but microscopic examination of an open/un-isolable system.

Marc77
December 28, 2013 8:53 am

The upper atmosphere might be cold, but it cannot be used to drive a convection cell. If you fill a balloon of air in the upper atmosphere and bring it down to ground level, the air in it will be warmer than the air at ground level. The increase in pressure would cause the warming.
Also, warmer air might be able to hold more moisture, but it is also unlikely to hold less. The portion of water vapor that does not condensate can be considered as a non-condensing gas. You need cold air to condensate water vapor, so water vapor might act less like a condensing gas on a planet with warmer poles.

noaaprogrammer
December 28, 2013 9:02 am

What drives the jet streams? Are there any data collections on the velocity of jet streams over time?

December 28, 2013 9:02 am

Have they done all this?
I don’t think so. It would lead to inconvenient truths.

December 28, 2013 9:04 am

Let’s don’t forget another heat exchange engine operated by the oceans’ thermohaline circulation.

Richard Sharpe
December 28, 2013 9:07 am

And here we have a very interesting, but less known fact of heat engines; the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures.
It does not seem to me that the efficiency is all that important compared with the amount of energy in the atmosphere?
Is it that the reduced efficiency simply results in more turbulent flows, thus diffusing that energy out more?

December 28, 2013 9:07 am

“If you fill a balloon of air in the upper atmosphere and bring it down to ground level, the air in it will be warmer than the air at ground level”
Assuming you mean the upper troposphere that would be because the air was originally humid and cooled during uplift at the moist lapse rate.
If you then capture dried out air and bring it down then it warms at the dry lapse rate which is faster and so it ends up warmer than the surface air.
I have argued elsewhere that the mechanical warming on the descent phase of the convective cycle is what warms the surface above the S-B prediction and not DWIR (Downward Infrared Radiation)

December 28, 2013 9:28 am

My understanding was that a car’s engine produces more power with a colder intake air because colder, denser air contains more oxygen and allows more gasoline to be completely burned during the cylinder explosion. Of course, it would make sense that thinner, warmer air cannot expand as much, thus produces less power.

TB
December 28, 2013 9:35 am

Jan:
I know what you’re getting at.
But I feel the comparison of the Earth’s climate system with a Carnot engine is inappropriate.
A Carnot engine is a closed system – that is, it deals with an energy differential between two sources, these closed off from the outside. It acts by transferring energy from a warm region to a cool region of space and, in the process, converting some of that energy to mechanical work.
The Earth’s climate is an open system – with a constant input of energy from the Sun and a constant emission of that energy to space after conversion into terrestrial IR. Therefore the efficiency of the conversion does not matter.
To say that the earth will become “stormier” in a warmer world is (Meteorologically) correct. (supposing an unchanging LR). But there are exceptions.
A warmer world will have more evaporated water to release LH and therefore convective cells will have more power available to push up through the atmosphere to counter that LR.
In subtropical zones where Coriolis force can act on systems of thunderstorms, and in combination with westerly travelling waves in the upper air will make Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones more powerful, as they derive their energy from SST’s, which will be higher in a warmer world.
The argument is applicable to tornadoes as well with, in the US, more moisture drawn up from the Gulf being overridden by dry Arctic sourced air – then the CAPE (convectively available energy) available will be greater. The spin will still be sourced from a backing/increasing wind with height over the top/through the Cumulonimbus cloud.
It is true though that if we accept that a warming world will not warm uniformly, and that the Arctic would warm more, then this would reduce the thermal contrast between Equator and Pole and so make less energy available to Earth’s “heat engine” via a weakening of the Polar jet-stream. However though this would serve to weaken the central pressure and hence wind gradients of mid-latitude Lows, due to the increased “waviness” of the jet then we will be more prone to “stuck” weather patterns giving regionally disparate flood/cooler and drought/hotter weather. These regional zones would shift around but would make rainfall patterns much less predictable.
Likewise Monsoon rains are likely to be disrupted via differences in ocean heating via current flow and they will contain more rain when they arrive.

Paul Vaughan
December 28, 2013 9:35 am

• Concise overview of heat engines = p.433 [pdf p.10] here:
Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.
• Elaboration on heat engines = section 8.7 (begins on p.175 [pdf p.189]) here:
Sidorenkov, N.S. (2009). The Interaction Between Earth’s Rotation and Geophysical Processes. Wiley.
http://imageshack.us/a/img850/876/f0z.gif (credit: JRA-25 Atlas)

Larry Ledwick
December 28, 2013 9:39 am

Stephen Wilde says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:07 am
“If you fill a balloon of air in the upper atmosphere and bring it down to ground level, the air in it will be warmer than the air at ground level”
Assuming you mean the upper troposphere that would be because the air was originally humid and cooled during uplift at the moist lapse rate.
If you then capture dried out air and bring it down then it warms at the dry lapse rate which is faster and so it ends up warmer than the surface air.
I have argued elsewhere that the mechanical warming on the descent phase of the convective cycle is what warms the surface above the S-B prediction and not DWIR (Downward Infrared Radiation)

Your example leaves out one important element — the latent heat of the water vapor that “disappears” as the air dried out, is actually simply moving heat energy to a new location.
A practical example of this case is the issue with down slope winds like the chinook winds we have here in Colorado which can cause “local” warming on the front range. In the winter time these winds doming out of the west fall several thousand feet (about 7,000 – 8,000 ft) after crossing the continental divide dropping into the Denver basin, and can warm 20-30 degrees causing 40-50 degree days in the front range corridor while just 30-40 miles east of Denver temps are in the 20’s and 30’s.
From the local perspective the air has “warmed” but you are forgetting the cold side of the equation. The reason these winds warm on the down slope is that they had a significant moisture content as the were upslope winds on the western side of the continental divide and during that orographic lifting the moisture dropped out as snow. This released a lot of latent heat of freezing as the ice crystals formed and that is the heat that shows up on compression as dry air.
If the wind has low humidity or the temperatures on the western slope are not cold enough to cause rain or snow the winds in the lee of the mountains are bone chilling cold bora winds not warm Chinook winds. The warming is local there is an equal and opposite cooling captured in the snow pack on the western slope that will not be released back into the atmosphere until spring when the snows melt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orographic_lift
If that latent heat of condensation and freezing is radiated away from the cloud tops to deep space at the top of the convection column, and has left the the system and the down drafts will be much cooler than the air that went up. This happens every day in thunderstorms. You have 80+ deg F moist air rising int he updraft, and cold rain and hail falls out as the air is lifted, but much of that latent heat is released at high altitude as IR radiation to space. The resulting cold down drafts will be in the 50 deg F range and the combined result of the cool down draft and the chilling effect of the cold rain and melting hail is cooler (has less total heat content) than the original warm moist air that entered the storm in the updraft phase.
You have to consider the entire cycle and due to specific circumstances sometimes a drop in elevation can result in heating of the air and at other times a net cooling. It all comes back to the water cycle and where and under what conditions the moisture gains or loses energy as latent heat.

December 28, 2013 9:50 am

Interesting article for discussion, though I too think the car analogies are dubious. Combustion in the chamber is not really what Carnot cycle is about.
Also, efficiency dropping does not mean energy available is dropping. It could be less efficient while still producing more energy.
The equator / polar difference is probably dropping sufficiently to establish less energy available but that is not established by arguments shown here.

TimC
December 28, 2013 9:55 am

Warming gives less efficiency: doesn’t this classically describe a (temperature) negative feedback process?

December 28, 2013 10:00 am

Reduced efficiency would mean the working fluid has to circulate faster to achieve the same heat transport.
Probably a significant error in this simplistic analysis is that Hadley cell is not the only heat path to consider. Much of the heat transported from tropical surface to tropopause leaves the system by radiation.
Also strong negative feedbacks in the tropics cut down the heat entering the lower climate system.
considering the ‘heat engine’ aspects in isolation may not be informative, at least without further discussion.

December 28, 2013 10:07 am

Is it that the reduced efficiency simply results in more turbulent flows, thus diffusing that energy out more?
Turbulence requires energy. It is a part of the work done in the climate system. Less energy for work (Carnot) = less turbulence In a regular heat engine (turbine, diesel etc.) turbulence is counted as a loss from Carnot efficiency. In the case of the atmosphere it is counted as “useful” work.

December 28, 2013 10:09 am

When will the study of climate change ever yield results? We’ve spent hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars over decades studying climate change. The failure of scientists to prove any conclusive results pertaining to climate change science shows we should stop throwing good money after bad. The only objective conclusion that can be drawn is; We should stop giving quack and incompetent scientists our taxpayer money to study climate change.

Tsk Tsk
December 28, 2013 10:11 am

” the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures. ”
This is a misleading statement. You get the math correct a paragraph or two later, but I can think of cases where your statement is wrong. Depending on the starting temperature differential, if Th is increasing at a higher rate then Tc, then efficiency can still go up. Ex. Th increasing at 3 times the rate of Tc: Th=100, Tc=50 e=50%, Th=400, Tc=150 e=62.5%.
I think what you meant to say is that if temperatures are increasing equally, then efficiency goes down. And for any case where Tc is increasing faster than Th efficiency goes down along with a fair number of cases where Th is increasing faster but not fast enough than Tc.
Efficiency also doesn’t tell the whole story. You should also state explicitly that the mechanical work is a function of the efficiency and the amount of heat transferred. But since the source for all of our heat is the sun and that is “constant” then a lower efficiency will result in less mechanical work done.
Finally, the cold sink in your car example is the air at the exhaust (and ambient air around the engine) and not the intake. They happen to come from the same pool but in principle they don’t have to. I could have a tank of hot air that I inject into the cylinders, expand, and exhaust and still get work from the system. Turbo’s have intercoolers because colder air is denser air, and Turbo’s are all about recovering some of the waste heat to better aspirate the engines.
p.s. You also have an “of cause” buried in there.

NZ Willy
December 28, 2013 10:14 am

Don’t overlook the Coriolis force as a primary driver of large-scale wind. These rotational forces are huge and the energy put into driving the winds and ocean currents slow down the Earth’s rotation over time — the day was just 21-22 hours long in the time of the dinosaurs.

December 28, 2013 10:28 am

[snip – chemtrail garbage – policy violation -mod]

mikethemachinist
December 28, 2013 10:32 am

your car has a mass air flow sensor that measures the mass of air flowing through the intake system. with cooler denser air the computer increases the length of time the injectors stay open allowing more fuel to the cylinders. the turbo pushes more air in than atmospheric pressure alone but still benefits from cooling the compressed air to increase density. more air =more fuel=more power

DonV
December 28, 2013 10:42 am

I grew up on the southern edge of the Sahara and one memory I have of my weekly chores was refilling the kerosene tank at the bottom of our refrigerator, and cleaning the long glass mantle of its weekly accumulation of black soot. Later in life I learned that this refrigerator was an absorption unit and that the “working fluids” were anhydrous ammonia, hydrogen gas, and water. The entire working fluid system was sealed and had no moving parts, yet it continuously provided ice in the freezer section and cold air in the refrigerator section off of heat generated by burning a miniscule amount of kerosene (about a quart/day). This type of “engine” achieves its remarkable cooling by both phase change and multiple Carnot cycle expansion/contraction/pressure changes of the working fluids. At the heart of the engine is the “expansion” and boiling of liquid ammonia/hydrogen gas mixture inside the freezer coils that created the chilled freezer surfaces. This gas mixture is condensed and separated by mixing with water. Since ammonia is highly soluble in water but hydrogen is not, the ammonia dissolve (absorbs) into the water but the hydrogen does not and collects above it as purer hydrogen gas. The water/ammonia mixture is then collected at the bottom of the refrigerator and percolation “boiled” using the heat of a kerosene fired flame to boil the ammonia out of the water. The “hot” ammonia gas is cooled at the top of the refrigerator by passing it through a heat exchanger, and the liquid ammonia is mixed with hydrogen gas again, collected and piped back into the freezer compartment where it begins the cycle again. The mixing and “asborption” of this type of “heat engine” is capable of extractng heat from one location (freezer coils) and moving it to another (ammonia condensing heat exchanger) using even greater heat as the energy source that drives all the cycles. My point in telling this story is that, just as Leonard Weinstein has stated, the addition of just a single phase change, where the volume and density of the working fluid changes significantly, signficanty increases the efficiency of the engine. In the case of the climate system the primare working fluid is not the air – rather it is water! The addition of two phase changes (from vapor all the way to solid), describes a thunderstorm and accounts for astoundingly high energy transfer!

December 28, 2013 10:47 am

Richard Sharpe says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

It does not seem to me that the efficiency is all that important compared with the amount of energy in the atmosphere?
Is it that the reduced efficiency simply results in more turbulent flows, thus diffusing that energy out more?

Richard
The total amount of energy is not of any use since energy cannot be converted directly to mechanical energy. What matters are the temperature differences, or said in another way, the excess energy in the parts of the atmosphere that are higher than the lowest temperature on the planet.
Since turbulence is also a form of mechanical energy, the turbulence will also be lower. The effect of higher overall temperature is that the warm parts simply warm up the colder parts without creating as much movements in the air as in colder conditions.

December 28, 2013 10:49 am

Correction:
Automobiles MAY have had better “efficiency” on cold days in the era of carboraters …because the mixture was more proper.. BUT, since your engine coolent is controlled by a thermostat, the “sink” temp for an Otto Cycle, Auto Engine is almost completely constant the year around. (Whereas for a power plant, cooled with river water, for example…when the river goes to 35 F, the sink DOES allow a greated Delta T and the efficiency is up!)
Now, for the reality of the Otto cycle, the ambient temperature ALSO influences the amount of energy needed to go from AMBIENT to the combustion temp. THE GREATER ENERGY USED HEATING THE air up as it comes into the combustion cycle, causes a NET ENERGY LOSS (it takes away from the heat conversion to mechanical. Therefore, Otto cycle engines would tend to LOSE a little efficiency during colder weather.
DON’T LOOK FOR IT, as you are idling, warming up, stoping and starting MORE and your net mileage is going to go down, no matter!

chris y
December 28, 2013 10:54 am

TB says-
“…will make Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones more powerful, as they derive their energy from SST’s, which will be higher in a warmer world.”
Kerry Emanuel of MIT described cyclones using a Carnot cycle model in the August 2006 issue of Physics Today. The SST at 300K is the hot end, the troposphere (15 km) at 200K the cold end. The cyclone wind speed v can be estimated with this model and other assumptions, giving
v = sqrt((Ts – To)E/To)
where Ts=300K, To=200K and E is a variable related to coupling efficiency of energy between the ocean surface and the atmosphere.
There are at least 3 interesting conclusions one can take from this simple model.
1. If the sea surface temperature warms by 1K, then Ts=301K, To=200K, and the wind velocity is predicted to increase by 0.5%. There is no way to discern this tiny change.
2. If the climate models are to be believed, then the tropical troposphere should warm more than the surface. For example, if the sea surface warms 1C, the troposphere hot spot should warm 1.5C. That is, Ts=301K and To=201.5K. Then, the cyclonic wind velocity is predicted to DECREASE by 0.6%. Go figure…
3. Because we know that sea surface temperature changes of 5C (eg from 25 C to 30 C) can have a huge impact on cyclonic wind speeds (provided other conditions like wind shear are also just right), the Carnot model is useless for predicting wind speeds.
So, the Carnot model for cyclones predicts that a warmer world will have stronger cyclones, weaker cyclones or ‘this model is for entertainment purposes only.’

Ed_B
December 28, 2013 11:21 am

Chris Y says:
“So, the Carnot model for cyclones predicts that a warmer world will have stronger cyclones, weaker cyclones or ‘this model is for entertainment purposes only.’”
Well said. The Carnot model is for a closed system. Any application beyond that is just funnin it.

Mac the Knife
December 28, 2013 11:24 am

Jan,
Excellent graphics accompanying clear discussion! Thanks for a useful and interesting primer on heat engine ‘basics’ and how they relate to our planetary weather and climate. Many here will niggle and quibble about various aspects of your treatise but I truly hope they do not lose sight of its usefulness as an education tool for the physics-impaired layman we all know that seek greater understanding of what drives our weather and climates.
Well Done!
MtK

Eric Eikenberry
December 28, 2013 11:38 am

It’s not the cooler air which improves a gas engine’s efficiency, it’s the density. Colder air is more dense, which means it can be mixed with more fuel, increasing the rotational torque generated by the piston’s downward movement. Likewise, turbochargers increase the density of the air in the cylinder, even though they heat the air during compression. This is why an intercooler is used, to reduce the temperature of the pressurized air back down to the ambient intake. Drag and drift guys have been known to even spray Nitrous Oxide over the outside of the intercoolers, because as it evaporates it can carry away dramatic amounts of heat, increasing the intercoolers’ efficiency.
Carbureted engines did not adjust well for air density in colder climates, other than the natural increase in venturi effect efficiency as density improved, so they typically were set to run rich, and just leaned out as the air got colder, increasing power slightly for the air they could ingest. Up to a point, leaning out the air/fuel ratio can increase power slightly, but can increase the chance of “knock” (pre-detonation of the mix in the cylinder before the piston is close to top dead center). Modern fuel injected motors run much leaner right from the start, and the sensors keep the motor on the ragged edge for both fuel efficiency and power. When the air temps go down, power does increase slightly, but within a range of only 3-5%. Hardly enough to be felt by the seat of your pants for most drivers. Modern fuel systems can adjust up to a 7-8% range within their pre-programmed parameters, which generally covers all situations outside of a really bad tank of gas.

donald penman
December 28, 2013 11:47 am

If the earth has to be seen as a heat engine then it has to be seen as two heat engines the northern hemisphere heat engine and the southern hemisphere heat engine.The range of seasonal solar forcing change is greater at higher latitudes for each hemisphere than at the equater as the earth tilts toward the sun and away from the sun,this range would not increase or decrease in a uniformly warming world it would just shift upwards (summer and winter).The important question here is if the world is warming or not and if it is then the range will shift upwards in both hemispheres and that is what we should see the atmospheres in both hemispheres should hold more water vapour season by season if the earth is warming.

phlogiston
December 28, 2013 11:50 am

Word search:
Chaos: 0 / 0
Dissipative: 0 / 0
Nonlinear: 0 / 0
(Far from) equilibrium: 0 / 0
Turbulence: 0 / 0
Null points

Jean Parisot
December 28, 2013 12:05 pm

I think DonV has an important point: ” In the case of the climate system the primare working fluid is not the air – rather it is water!.” It’s not CO2 it’s the sun and water.

phlogiston
December 28, 2013 12:07 pm

Stephen Wilde on December 28, 2013 at 9:07 am
“If you fill a balloon of air in the upper atmosphere and bring it down to ground level, the air in it will be warmer than the air at ground level”
An air filled balloon in the upper atmosphere, if brought down to ground level would become shrivelled and almost empty of air, the tiny amount of air present at ground atmospheric pressure would quickly equilibrate with the rubber walls of the balloon, destroying any heat information. Suggest revision of experimental design.

phlogiston
December 28, 2013 12:08 pm

🙂

Matt G
December 28, 2013 12:30 pm

oaaprogrammer says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:02 am
What drives the jet streams? Are there any data collections on the velocity of jet streams over time?
The jet streams are caused by polar air clashing with sub-tropical air, so the bigger difference between the two, the stronger the winds.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/global/images/jetstream3.jpg
There are data collections.
http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.html

Bill H
December 28, 2013 12:34 pm

As many have pointed out the Temperature Differential is the key component to our storminess and severity of storms. During the last 30 years we have had a basically stable temperature differential as slight warming was occurring in the short term trend. This warming affected the polar regions and REDUCED the temperature differential. The last 17 years with a flat gradient in temperature changes proved out to continually calm (storm intensity) in both our tropical storms and our over land tornadoes as well.
The last three years has created great turbulence in the polar regions as massive amounts of cooling are occurring. The oceanic heat reserve has blunted the last three years even though Antarctica set 200+ low temp records and increased ice mass to +2 standard deviations. Our temperature differential is growing but the ocean heat reserves have blunted the effects. The Arctic usually follows the antarctic by about two years. Given the number of record lows already we are well on our way to ice rebound.
As the ocean buffer equalizes at the new lower temp, watch for the storms to increase in severity world wide. Add to that the ENSO, ADO, PDO, among other oscillations being cold or neutral this process will become quite fast..
Solar input into our system is low. The energy stream introduced into our heat engine has slowed. While this will not generally affect the tropical zones the polar regions are greatly affected causing our global temperature differential to rise. The mechanical (convection) systems which allow the heat to move from the equatorial regions out to the poles will become more streamlined (less chaotic then they are today) as the Ocean temps re-balance to the new lower energy input. When that happens I expect our storm tracks will again return to the mid latitudes and be a little more predictable.
While the thermodynamics of a steam engine are somewhat comparable and the physics applies in most respects its not a good fit in my opinion.

Robert Austin
December 28, 2013 12:35 pm

NZ Willy says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:14 am

Don’t overlook the Coriolis force as a primary driver of large-scale wind. These rotational forces are huge and the energy put into driving the winds and ocean currents slow down the Earth’s rotation over time — the day was just 21-22 hours long in the time of the dinosaurs.

The so called Coriolis “force” is simply the direction that objects (and air) must follow in moving across the surface of the earth if angular momentum is to be conserved. Thus it would actually require an external force and thus energy to divert objects from following the trajectories across the Earth’s surface that are a manifestation of the Coriolis effect. Would you claim that a figure skater performing a spin requires additional external rotational force when increasing rotational velocity by tucking her extended arms to her torso?

Bill H
December 28, 2013 12:53 pm

Jan,
Your graph on Hadley cells is rather useful in this debate as the “norm” for polar Jet intrusion is about the 40th parallel During the last three years that intrusion has dropped to the 25th parallel. This is a good indicator of the pressure differential created by the temperature differential in the polar regions.
This compresses those median Hadley cells limiting major hurricane formation to a narrow corridor and allows cold front disruption over land limiting tornado formation while increasing the areas where they can form. This should sound very familiar as this is exactly how the last three years (or better) have played out.
Rather an interesting way to show just how it is temperature differential which is.driving the climatic engine. Just one more cylinder in a very complex climactic engine.

kalsel3294
December 28, 2013 12:56 pm

re Jean Parisot says:
December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm
I think DonV has an important point: ” In the case of the climate system the primare working fluid is not the air – rather it is water!.” It’s not CO2 it’s the sun and water.
I agree, and believe it is point of phase changes of water that ultimately give us the climate we know.
If the climate was determined by the phase changes of CO2 the climate would be very different.

WeatherOrNot
December 28, 2013 12:57 pm

This article could be turned into a hypothesis for an actual study or experiment to support or disprove the theory. I’m sure all the data needed is already out there or could be gathered for free for an experiment. Design it in a repeatable manner and it could provide the basis for some good science over a few years.

December 28, 2013 12:59 pm

Jean Parisot says:
December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm
I think DonV has an important point: ” In the case of the climate system the primare working fluid is not the air – rather it is water!.” It’s not CO2 it’s the sun and water.
**********************************************************************************************************************
No the primary working fluid is the air. The oceans are a moderator not a driver. For example take the oceans out of the equation. You will find that the poles will be colder and the equator will be hotter. This will give a greater temperature difference and much stronger winds. You can see this at the moment where the South Pole is colder than the North Pole since there is no water anywhere near the SP to moderate the temps there. You will probably find that Central Siberia is colder than the NP for the same reasons.

TB
December 28, 2013 1:01 pm

Matt G says:
December 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm
oaaprogrammer says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:02 am
What drives the jet streams? Are there any data collections on the velocity of jet streams over time?
The jet streams are caused by polar air clashing with sub-tropical air, so the bigger difference between the two, the stronger the winds.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/global/images/jetstream3.jpg
There are data collections.
http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Matt:
To be more complete with your explanation.
Jet streams are driven by thermal contrast.
Northern latitudes are cold (NH) and as we come south the Sun’s elevation causes higher temps. There is a point where this temp contrast manifests itself as a maximum. This is the Polar jet-stream.
Cold air is more dense. Therefore as one rises through it, the level at which, say 300mb (~30000ft) is indicated on your barometer/altimeter will come sooner than if you rise upward through a warm air-mass.
Look at a chart showing 300mb contours. They will depict a tight gradient. Where closest together lies the strongest winds (analogous to a surface pressure gradient).
Now to a parcel of air within the warm air (to south of the gradient usually) will have more air above it that a parcel of air to the north in the colder air-mass. Ie it is at a higher pressure. So what does it do? It moves toward low pressure (usually N but always towards cold air). Now we have something called Coriolis force that ensures that air moving over the Earth’s surface carries the momentum of the Earth beneath it. So for air moving north (in a W’ly jet) it will be moving (relatively) E>W at a greater rate than the land surface blow it. Similarly air moving N>S will be moving slower than the earth’s surface beneath it. In both cases it turns to the right relative to the earth’s surface.
As the SH is a mirror image, air there turns left on moving from warm to cold aloft. These are thermal winds and although moved by pressure differentials they owe their origin to thermal differential of adjoining air masses.
A strong jet will have a large thermal contrast and vice versa.

Editor
December 28, 2013 1:09 pm

Klotzbach and Gray link global cooling to increased Atlantic storminess.
http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2008/dec2008/dec2008.pdf
See diagram on page 35.

TB
December 28, 2013 1:17 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:07 am
“If you fill a balloon of air in the upper atmosphere and bring it down to ground level, the air in it will be warmer than the air at ground level”
Assuming you mean the upper troposphere that would be because the air was originally humid and cooled during uplift at the moist lapse rate.
If you then capture dried out air and bring it down then it warms at the dry lapse rate which is faster and so it ends up warmer than the surface air.
I have argued elsewhere that the mechanical warming on the descent phase of the convective cycle is what warms the surface above the S-B prediction and not DWIR (Downward Infrared Radiation)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Stephen:
I have a problem with that.
And that is that free air in the Earth’s atmosphere is constrained by buoyancy.
It cannot penetrate too far downwards because of this. Just as trying to hold a hot-air balloon down is fruitless because it wants to go up!
In the case of Foehn winds and their counterparts around the world (Chinook etc). They are constrained by stable air and wave motion over higher ground (capping inversion layer) – having risen on the windward side up an SALR, lost water content, and spilled down the leeward side under descending wave motion along a DALR. Hence the arrival of air at a much higher temp.
This is (relatively) large mass air movement that has mechanical means and constraining temp profile to cause it. Those means are not available in the wider atmosphere, at least when not equally balanced by air returning upward again to redress the balance.
And no I do not agree with you hypothesis that it explains the warming at the surface to deny a GHE.

Bill H
December 28, 2013 1:19 pm

Mike Jonas says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm
What they fail to realize is that storm increase is due to Polar Jet intrusion, as it is today.. They miss the very basic concept of what is driving the air mass changes. Go figure..

December 28, 2013 1:20 pm

Larry Ledwick says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
I agree that the water cycle has an effect but the fact remains that descending air warms at the dry lapse rate.
I think that the latent heat released on condensation mostly if not all gets radiated out to space from the condensate rather than moved to a new location.
I see the water cycle as a lubricant for the process which means that circulation changes can be less violent than would otherwise be necessary when internal system forcing elements arise such as changes in the proportion of GHGs.
phlogiston says:
December 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm
I was commenting on another poster’s ‘design’ and assumed the pressure injected at the high level would be enough to provide enough remaining inflation to give heat information at the surface.
However one designs the experiment it is correct that descending dry air warms at the dry lapse rate whilst the initial parcel would have cooled at the lesser moist rate.

December 28, 2013 1:24 pm

TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm
The details that you refer to don’t matter in the scheme of things because at any given moment 50% of the atmosphere is rising and 50% is descending.
What goes up must come down.
It doesn’t deny the greenhouse effect, it IS the greenhouse effect.
The GHE is the consequence of mechanical processes and not radiative processes.

December 28, 2013 1:32 pm

TB said:
“This is (relatively) large mass air movement that has mechanical means and constraining temp profile to cause it. Those means are not available in the wider atmosphere, at least when not equally balanced by air returning upward again to redress the balance.”
Why are those means not available in the wider atmosphere?
All air ascending anywhere is matched by air descending somewhere else.
The constraining temperature profile is provided by the gravity induced lapse rate which underpins the actual observed lapse rates which vary according to atmospheric composition in different layers
However in the end the sum of all observed lapse rates must net out to the gravity induced lapse rate if the atmosphere is to be retained.
That is why the Earth’s lapse rate is like a sideways ‘W’ due to composition variations as one goes up. That ‘W’ shape is a consequence of the circulatory contortions necessary to net out to the ‘ideal’ gravity induced lapse rate.

Hoser
December 28, 2013 1:33 pm

This heat engine model does make me wonder about the weather 15,000 years ago. Were the storms stronger then? Were the tropics colder? Were there three Hadley cells in the Northern Hemisphere, or only one? If only one, there would be quite a collision of warm and cold air masses. I have no way to evaluate it, but perhaps such a change could drive ice formation over the northern continents.
As a crude idea, let’s say a very strong cold air mass diving west from North America toward the equator could drive a mass of warm moist air into the North Pacific. The angular momentum of the equatorial air would drive it eastward over the continent, where the moisture would be deposited as snow. Perhaps a similar flow of cold air from Europe drove moist air from the Atlantic back north and over the continent.
I am just wondering if a radical change or complete breakdown of the Hadley cell structure in the north might be a feature of ice ages, and how that hypothesis might be tested. Perhaps the Younger Dryas was a temporary return of the ice age air flow. Are there any obvious triggers for such a change?
Using our heat engine model, it seems a possible explanation is the temperature difference between an icy mid-continent and equator would be much greater and the northern tropical Hadley cell energy would increase, while the others would decrease. Consequently, it seems to me the tropical cell would grow to cover a greater span of latitudes. Even if the three-cell structure remained, the northern polar and subtropical cells would be anemic compared to a very energetic north tropical cell.
Does this scenario make any sense at all?
http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/10-11/biomathstat/Langford_W.pdf
Not sure they have the right conclusions, but the idea of a single Hadley cell is supported. Unfortunately, it seems they think a reduced temperature difference between the equator and poles drives it. Well, if the cold goes farther south, then perhaps the conditions are met just the same.

Bill H
December 28, 2013 1:59 pm

” Hoser says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm ”
A single Hadley cell is very much a reality if snow and ice reach 35-40 degrees latitude.. If the pressure becomes so great at the poles that a cell is crushed into oblivion it might take thousands of years to regain it or it might never come back. The big question is what drives the change… I think its the sun despite what some around here think. We are missing a link to our sun or we are simply ignoring one that does not seem relevant right now.

December 28, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks to Willis Eschenbach and Jan Kjetil Andersen, especially, for bring us such an interesting investigation into the Earth as a heat engine and for insights into the efficiency and effects of all heat engines. Top rate stuff here!

TB
December 28, 2013 2:13 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm
TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm
The details that you refer to don’t matter in the scheme of things because at any given moment 50% of the atmosphere is rising and 50% is descending.
What goes up must come down.
It doesn’t deny the greenhouse effect, it IS the greenhouse effect.
The GHE is the consequence of mechanical processes and not radiative processes.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“What goes up must come down.”
Correct – which is why your hypothesis wont work.
And No, I disagree – the GHE is a consequence of radiative effects.

December 28, 2013 2:14 pm

When watching weather patterns I’ve always been struck by the sheer size and power of winter storm systems. Comparing the cold weather low systems against the so called cyclonic warm water storms, there isn’t really a comparison. The warm water systems are small, contained storms that can only ramp up power over clear seas without storm destroying upper winds or dry air sneaking in.
The Carnot engine concept goes a long way towards describing these systems on a macro scale. Right up to Polar storms with hurricane force winds over land or ice.
There are many naysayers above but none have yet to offer a correction, just negatives.

December 28, 2013 2:22 pm

What are they ‘spraying’ in the skies!!!!???
What is really in those contrails!!!???
Is it really a hazard to humans to be breathing these materials!!???
And HAARP!!! More atmosphereic experiments!!???
BTW, Anthony and mods, the video left by michaelwiseguy in the comment above:
. . . http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/28/climate-as-a-heat-engine/#comment-1515681
contains ALL THAT plus more … here is the same vid again:

PS Can’t you just boot this guy once and for all?
PPS No one will notice he is gone …
[fixed thanks -mod]
.

Bill H
December 28, 2013 2:23 pm

It seems everyone want to go back to GHG’s rather than look at the functions of the heat transfer due to temperature imbalance/air mass movement. The more I look at this comparison to a Carnot Engine the GHG has little or no effect on the system when looked at from this point of view.
Given the recent studies and papers out showing that GHG’s have been massively overstated in their cumulative effects I’m inclined to look more closely at this point of view.

December 28, 2013 2:25 pm

Oops
Anthony and mods – the vid I was referring to:

charles nelson
December 28, 2013 2:46 pm

The wind then performs ‘work’ moving waves, trees, ice, dust etc.

cd
December 28, 2013 2:46 pm

Jan
I think the problem here is not with most of what you say but rather the approach; the same approach taken by climate modellers. Your approach assumes that reductionism works for something as complex as the climate. Yes, they may rely on fundamental principles and can be built up from these elementary components, but it all falls apart firstly because of imperfect implementations, and secondly, limited computational power. It’s a fool’s errand.

cd
December 28, 2013 2:48 pm

On a general point, what is wrong with accepting we’re crap at modelling nature. It’d save us a lot of money: USGS, MetOffice, EPA…etc.

TB
December 28, 2013 2:51 pm

> Stephen Wilde says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm
TB said:
“This is (relatively) large mass air movement that has mechanical means and constraining temp profile to cause it. Those means are not available in the wider atmosphere, at least when not equally balanced by air returning upward again to redress the balance.”
Why are those means not available in the wider atmosphere?”
Because there are a limited number of mountains on the Earth’s surface. For a start ~70% of it is ocean.
“All air ascending anywhere is matched by air descending somewhere else.”
Correct?
“The constraining temperature profile is provided by the gravity induced lapse rate which underpins the actual observed lapse rates which vary according to atmospheric composition in different layers”
?? You’ll have to pass that by me again, I’m sorry.
“However in the end the sum of all observed lapse rates must net out to the gravity induced lapse rate if the atmosphere is to be retained.”
No, there is another influence you overlook and that is buoyancy. Gravity will induce a LR, yes, however there is another LR that modifies that and that is the natural LR induced by ascending/descending air. Where the loss/gain of internal energy of an air parcel allows the temp of that parcel to alter at a specific adiabatic rate. I maintain that this is not the same as a gravity induced LR.
“That is why the Earth’s lapse rate is like a sideways ‘W’ due to composition variations as one goes up. That ‘W’ shape is a consequence of the circulatory contortions necessary to net out to the ‘ideal’ gravity induced lapse rate.”
No, part is due to gravity + the up/down buoyancy induced lapse, the other is due to composition – ie the Stat absorbs UV and therefor has a rising temp due presence of O3. The Meso is in collision with Solar particles and is even warmer due collision.
The BDC (Brewer Dobson circ) has an influence in it’s formation as well as PV on isentropic surfaces.
But the causation of the Tropopause is complicated…..
http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/SPARC/SPARCImplementationPlan/3_Processes.html

CarolinaCowboy
December 28, 2013 2:57 pm

While not near so elegantly I recently wrote about how the thermal energy in the oceans was transformed into kinetic energy when thermal differentials created the currents in the seas.
http://carolinacowboy.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/speaking-of-heat/

Matt G
December 28, 2013 3:03 pm

TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm
“Now we have something called Coriolis force that ensures that air moving over the Earth’s surface carries the momentum of the Earth beneath it. So for air moving north (in a W’ly jet) it will be moving (relatively) E>W at a greater rate than the land surface blow it.”
In the NH the jet is W>E even when moving N or S of course.
The polar jet with the thermal gradient between polar air and sub-tropical air has the biggest difference with the strongest winds. I didn’t mention the sub-tropics jet which is usually the difference in temperature between the tropics and sub-tropics and has a much lower thermal gradient with much weaker winds. The tropics can also have a easterly based jet stream and this is dependent on dry air clashing with high moisture air at higher attitudes only, very little thermal related. The reason why I didn’t like to call the jet stream caused by thermal gradients because it isn’t necessarily so. Although it is highly thermal gradient related and it is strongly a combination of the planets rotation on its axis (Coriolis) and atmospheric heating by solar radiation.
The polar jet can be absent in places when polar air and sub-tropical air fail to meet, so not only a thermal gradient like mentioned before in the tropics. That’s why there can be gaps in jet stream (polar jet) in Winter and especially during Summer.
http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1307/13070406_jetstream_atl_anal.gif
Better link for the person before, not just wanting to look at data collection.
http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.html

DonV
December 28, 2013 3:04 pm

Steve B says
“No the primary working fluid is the air. The oceans are a moderator not a driver.”
I’m sorry but I disagree. I chose my ‘ammonia refrigerator’ example for a reason. In this refrigerator the energy source is heat from a kerosene flame. There are three molecules trapped in the system – Water, Anhydrous Ammonia, and Hydrogen. The water never boils, and the hydrogen never condenses. Only the ammonia CHANGES PHASE. So the working fluid is ammonia, not water and not hydrogen (although both are needed to make the system work efficiently). It is the ammonia that does the heavy lifting, that stores and then releases the vast majority of the heat transferred in this system.
In our climate system WATER is the working fluid. No other atmospheric gas changes phase and in so doing takes on immense amounts of energy for transport vertically AND laterally. Air cannot even come close to handling the same amount of energy because except for water vapor none of the gases that make up air change phase! The only way they can store and transport energy is through their heat capacity. Even the molar heat capacities of water are greater than those of air:
Air (room temp. and press.) 29.9 (J/mol·K)
Water 74.5 (J/mol·K)
But the energy that is transferred to water during phase change and that is subsequently transported by wind is typically reported in kilo Joules/mole – thats thousands of joules! So the value of the latent heat of vaporization and latent heat of fusion are:
Water 40,680 (J/mol)
Ice 6,000 (J/mol)
Since neither CO2 nor N2 nor O2 ever change phase they don’t participate in this massive heat transfer process. Sure they carry the water and participate in the expansion and contraction of the gases as they rise and fall, but they only carry a very small amount of the energy that water does.
No, I’m sorry but I disagree with you, Steve B. Water is definately the working fluid in our climate system. But I do agree with your statement that water is a “moderator”. Without water as the working fluid “moderating” (or in Willis’ words “governing”) the climate system our planet would be a much more extreme place to live in.

kalsel3294
December 28, 2013 3:28 pm

re charles nelson says:
December 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm
“The wind then performs ‘work’ moving waves, trees, ice, dust etc.”
Whilst the movement of waves, trees, dust and the like provides a visual impression of “work” being done, what is not so evident is the transfer of heat and moisture between the air and the surfaces it comes into contact with that is the real “work”.

jorgekafkazar
December 28, 2013 4:02 pm

chris y says: “The cyclone wind speed v can be estimated with this model and other assumptions, giving
v = sqrt((Ts – To)E/To)
where Ts=300K, To=200K and E is a variable related to coupling efficiency of energy between the ocean surface and the atmosphere.”

There’s the problem with your analysis. E, the coupling efficiency, is a temperature-related variable, and could reduce the velocity or even send it the other direction.

jorgekafkazar
December 28, 2013 4:09 pm

Many commenters are missing (perhaps deliberately) the point that to the extent that the atmosphere doesn’t resemble the Carnot cycle, it will have correspondingly lower efficiency. The Carnot cycle gives a measure of the highest achievable conversion of temperature differentials to mechanical energy, e.g., wind. Non-Carnot cycles will perform at a much lower level. Lower efficiency = lower conversion to energy = lower energy storms.

December 28, 2013 4:11 pm

Marc77 says:
December 28, 2013 at 8:53 am
“The upper atmosphere might be cold, but it cannot be used to drive a convection cell”
————————————————————————
Marc,
No, it is energy loss to space from radiative gases that allow buoyancy loss and subsidence in air masses driving convective circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar tropospheric convection cells.
Without radiative gases, tropospheric convective circulation in our atmosphere would stall and the atmosphere would trend isothermal through gas conduction. Such an atmosphere would be far hotter than our current atmosphere, as it’s temperature would be driven by surface Tmax.
Climate pseudo scientists have relied for years on the confusion most people encounter though the difference between adiabatic heating and cooling of air masses undergoing vertical circulation, and diabatic processes such as energy gained through surface conduction, release of latent heat and intercepted LWIR and energy lost via LWIR to space.
It is diabatic processes that drive buoyancy changes. It is diabatic processes that drive convective circulation.
When radiative and non-radiative energy transports in our atmosphere are solved for simultaneously it is clear that the NET effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is atmospheric cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

TB
December 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Matt G says:
December 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm
TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm
“Now we have something called Coriolis force that ensures that air moving over the Earth’s surface carries the momentum of the Earth beneath it. So for air moving north (in a W’ly jet) it will be moving (relatively) E>W at a greater rate than the land surface blow it.”
In the NH the jet is W>E even when moving N or S of course.
No, not always, in jet disruption processes the jet can move E>W under a warm High in an Omega-block as deep cold air is advected west beneath. This is a common cause of the UK’s coldest winter events.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The polar jet with the thermal gradient between polar air and sub-tropical air has the biggest difference with the strongest winds.
Not necessarily, polar air converging with air in the mid-latitudes is the most common jet-formation, however sub-tropical air on occasion is advected north to further accentuate the thermal gradient. Behind an amplifying Rossby wave FI as it moves along the N’ward cycle, but also on the bottom of the S’ward cycle.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I didn’t mention the sub-tropics jet which is usually the difference in temperature between the tropics and sub-tropics and has a much lower thermal gradient with much weaker winds. The tropics can also have a easterly based jet stream and this is dependent on dry air clashing with high moisture air at higher attitudes only, very little thermal related. The reason why I didn’t like to call the jet stream caused by thermal gradients because it isn’t necessarily so. Although it is highly thermal gradient related and it is strongly a combination of the planets rotation on its axis (Coriolis) and atmospheric heating by solar radiation.
Correct.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The polar jet can be absent in places when polar air and sub-tropical air fail to meet, so not only a thermal gradient like mentioned before in the tropics. That’s why there can be gaps in jet stream (polar jet) in Winter and especially during Summer.
Well yes, there needs to convergence of air-masses to cause a tight thermal gradient (jet-stream).
You don’t need subtropical air necessarily – if the polar air is intensely cold ~510/492dm thick (1000-500mb) then in contrast to mid-latitude air of 540/546dm air there is enough contrast (given convergence) to create a strong jet.

December 28, 2013 4:30 pm

NZ Willy says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:14 am
“Don’t overlook the Coriolis force as a primary driver of large-scale wind.”
—————————————————————————————–
I have noted a number of folk making this mistake recently.
Coriolis forces are not a driver of atmospheric circulation. Coriolis forces have no influence on air masses at rest within a rotating reference frame. Air masses must be put in motion before Coriolis forces affect their movement.
It is radiative and non-radiative heating of air masses at low altitude and radiative cooling of air masses at high altitude that drive atmospheric circulation. Coriolis forces then influence the pattern.
One of the most notable effects of rotational forces is the division of tropospheric convective circulation into three main cells north and south of the equator. If the planet rotated slower there would only be two giant Hadley cells.

TomRude
December 28, 2013 4:34 pm

http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf
1993… and at least the description of circulation was correct.

Matt G
December 28, 2013 4:55 pm

TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm
“No, not always, in jet disruption processes the jet can move E>W under a warm High in an Omega-block as deep cold air is advected west beneath. This is a common cause of the UK’s coldest winter events.”
I agree that some of time little jets may wander E>W, but virtually always W>E.normally.
Even during one of the most severe cold spells in the UK for decades at the time of year..
http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/archive/ra/2010/Rrea00120101201.gif
The jet hardly moved E>W.
http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1012/10120106_jetstream_atl_anal.gif
The key component along with thermal gradient causing the jet stream, is cold very dry air meeting warm moist air.
The link before gave an example of this especially moisture related, when the cool dry polar air reached the moisture of the Atlantic ocean, but itself not warmer than the land masses to the West or East of it. that didn’t have a jet, but had relatively dry air.
http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1307/13070406_jetstream_atl_anal.gif

noaaprogrammer
December 28, 2013 5:00 pm

Now that gravity has been introduced into this discussion, what effect does any atmospheric tides due to the moon have?

December 28, 2013 5:06 pm

Bill H says:
December 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm
“It seems everyone want to go back to GHG’s rather than look at the functions of the heat transfer due to temperature imbalance/air mass movement. The more I look at this comparison to a Carnot Engine the GHG has little or no effect on the system when looked at from this point of view.”
—————————————————————————————————–
Not quite everyone..;-)
However, radiative gases* have a huge effect on atmospheric circulation. Without these gases, the atmosphere has no effective cooling mechanism. It is radiative energy loss at altitude that allows buoyancy loss, subsidence of air masses and continued tropospheric convective circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells. The result of this circulation is the pneumatically generated lapse rate cause by vertical circulation across the pressure gradient of the atmosphere. Just this factor alone makes our atmosphere far cooler on average than an atmosphere without radiative gases.
Some have claimed that the surface temperature differential between the equator and the poles could drive circulation powerful enough to generate the observed lapse rate in the absence of radiative energy loss at altitude. However the physics of gas conduction dis-allows this. The surface is far better at conductively heating a moving gas atmosphere in a gravity field than it is a conductively cooling it. The pole to equator surface temperature differential would not be realised in the gas atmosphere above. Further, surface friction and gas conduction within the atmosphere would would resist such circulation.
*the use of the term “greenhouse gases” as opposed to radiative gases is non-scientific. Use of that term is a wholly political effort to control the language to control the “narrative”. It implies that the radiative greenhouse effect is a valid hypothesis. In the case of both anthropogenic global warming and the radiative greenhouse effect, the hull hypothesis still stands.

Gino
December 28, 2013 5:16 pm

I’ve enjoyed the two ‘heat engine’ articles. They are moving in the right direction, however, a better physical model for the earth system is what’s called a ‘Thermosiphon’ with a working fluid of water/’air’ mixture. In this case the primary working fluid is water because across the total delta T of the system (earth atmosphere) water is a three phase element.

Larry Ledwick
December 28, 2013 5:21 pm

@TB:
That is why the Earth’s lapse rate is like a sideways ‘W’ due to composition variations as one goes up. That ‘W’ shape is a consequence of the circulatory contortions necessary to net out to the ‘ideal’ gravity induced lapse rate.

It is also due to how those layers with different composition absorb energy directly from the sun.
The reversal of lapse rate in the stratosphere is primarily due to heating of that layer directly by absorption of UV ( UVB and UVC) by ozone. At the top of the stratosphere temperatures are only slightly below the freezing point of water. Above the stratosphere, the lapse rate again resumes but slightly steeper than in the troposphere due to the very low moisture content. The very top layers of the atmosphere are warmer again due to being actively heated by the sun through several mechanisms, direct energy absorption in the UV and x ray bands, heating due to effects of the solar wind, and electrical currents and dissipation of waves (like breaking waves at a beach) that develop in the very top layers of the atmosphere, and probably direct heat absorption from in falling dust and micrometeors into the upper layer of the atmosphere.
This is one of the problems with “simplified models” we often use to make sense of the mechanics of how heating in the atmosphere results in ground temperatures warmer than prevailing theory says the should be according to SB and why N&Z proposal about gravitational potential energy and how it defines the total warming not some trace gas in the atmosphere is so controversial.
Every time we try to simplify the situation too much to help get our head around the processes we simultaneously introduce false realities that sometimes become the focus of debate. People forget that in specialize thought experiments and analogies we sometimes set traps for ourselves and get sucked into debating some quirk of the “mental model” just like we do with “computer models” and lose site of the forest for the trees.
I can’t explain the exact physics of the gravitational heating hypothesis in the context of the real world, but I also cannot find any escape clause that would allow the conservation of energy considerations to be ignored.
I think we are in a position much like when scientists first began to realize that Newtonian physics did not work well in certain realms (the very small and the near light speed domains for example) and they first began to embrace quantum and relativistic considerations.
It is my expectation that once sufficiently open minded researchers start looking for and gathering the appropriate data instead of just presuming GHG’s are the cause of heating we might finally dig out the exact mechanics. You obviously cannot prove or disprove a concept you refuse to even investigate, or you presume is so well grounded that it need not be examined in light of new information.
Just like we complain that the AGW advocates are only looking for confirmation and not falsification, we need to be careful not to look only for confirmation of a gravity based lapse rate but also those tests which would specifically prove it could not be true. This does not include just declaring it must be nonsense but actively defining what must be true if it is valid and what test would prove that it fails. To do that we first need legitimate methodical unbiased experiments that examine if it might exist and making reliable repeatable tests of various explanations for what N&Z pointed out in their papers.
Waving your hands and saying it cannot be true is no more valid than waving a computer print out and saying “the models say so”.

chris y
December 28, 2013 5:40 pm

jorgekafkazar says:
December 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm
chris y says: “The cyclone wind speed v can be estimated with this model and other assumptions, giving
v = sqrt((Ts – To)E/To)
where Ts=300K, To=200K and E is a variable related to coupling efficiency of energy between the ocean surface and the atmosphere.”
There’s the problem with your analysis. E, the coupling efficiency, is a temperature-related variable, and could reduce the velocity or even send it the other direction.
****************
For the record, this is Kerry Emanuel’s analysis, not mine.
I agree that E is likely temperature dependent. However, at least some of the temperature dependence of the energy coupling between ocean and air has already been accounted for in the model.
There are other problems with using the Carnot model for cyclones, like energy transport with water vapor.

tobyw
December 28, 2013 5:48 pm

Glad to see we are finally getting some examination of the atmospheric-heat engine aspect of the earth, but how about the rotation of Earth in the Sun’s magnetic and gravitic fields? The rotating field of Earth should act like a both generator and motor one would think, and the tides rise and fall several feet, which must involve quite a lot of heat energy moving all that water. Are there tides in the core as well? Piers Corbyn’s solar powered weather forecasts also shows a correllation between solar activity and earthquakes. Is there electromagnetic and gravitic heating in our planet?

December 28, 2013 6:11 pm

DonV says:
December 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm
Steve B says
“No the primary working fluid is the air. The oceans are a moderator not a driver.”
I’m sorry but I disagree. I chose my ‘ammonia refrigerator’ example for a reason. In this refrigerator the energy source is heat from a kerosene flame. There are three molecules trapped in the system – Water, Anhydrous Ammonia, and Hydrogen. The water never boils, and the hydrogen never condenses. Only the ammonia CHANGES PHASE. So the working fluid is ammonia, not water and not hydrogen (although both are needed to make the system work efficiently). It is the ammonia that does the heavy lifting, that stores and then releases the vast majority of the heat transferred in this system.
********************************************************************************************************************
Well you may disagree but our atmosphere is not a refrigerator. The process is the movement of hot air and cold air which I believe we call wind. Wind is created when there is a differential between hot and cold air not hot and cold water.

jorgekafkazar
December 28, 2013 6:43 pm

chris y says: “The cyclone wind speed v can be estimated with this model and other assumptions, giving v = sqrt((Ts – To)E/To), where Ts=300K, To=200K and E is a variable related to coupling efficiency of energy between the ocean surface and the atmosphere.”
jorgekafkazar says: There’s the problem with your analysis. E, the coupling efficiency, is a temperature-related variable, and could reduce the velocity or even send it the other direction.
chris y says: For the record, this is Kerry Emanuel’s analysis, not mine.
jorgekafkazar says: Noted. This was only one of your three points, and it originated with Emanuel’s paper, as you stated.
chris y says: I agree that E is likely temperature dependent. However, at least some of the temperature dependence of the energy coupling between ocean and air has already been accounted for in the model.
jorgekafkazar says: The quantification remains moot, models being only models.
chris y says: There are other problems with using the Carnot model for cyclones, like energy transport with water vapor.
jorgekafkazar says: ” Agreed, but I’m unconvinced that the inclusion of a water vapor cycle will result in increasing efficiency, rather than decreasing. I strongly suspect that more evaporated water vapor will not produce more available energy for wind velocity. Most of the extra energy will be (1) lost through vertical convection or (2) expended as latent heat converted to potential energy, which is ultimately lost in rain impacting the oceans’ surface.

December 28, 2013 6:47 pm

Larry Ledwick says:
December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm
—————————————————–
The N&Z hypothesis does appear to work, however Willis was correct to point out flaws in their maths. There was a quite heated “discussion” here at WUWT about Equation 8 in a series of threads that would probably be best referred to as “the past unpleasantness”.
The N&Z hypothesis will only hold true for atmospheres exhibiting strong vertical circulation allowing non-radiative energy transport to exceed the speed of gas conduction and a lapse rate to develop.
The good news is that all planets and moons in our solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere have sufficient radiative gases to allow the radiative cooling necessary to drive this circulation.

Gino
December 28, 2013 6:47 pm

DonV, excellent observation Re the 2 phase working fluid. The third phase (ice) is simply reserve or stored heat capacity in the system.

norah4you
December 28, 2013 7:13 pm

The data in the bloggarticle above is only one out of many where incorrect data is used to prove (sometimes disaprove) thesis drawn from incomplete datamodels.
Btw. Since 1964 (Nineteen sixtyfour !) true readings of all discussed in the blogg article been made. Where? Esrange, Sweden.
Further more: Wouldn’t it had been a good thing to use at least one of the best Dissertations in the field as a background check?
For example:
Nikulin Grigory, Impact of Rossby waves on ozone distribution and dynamics of the stratosphere and troposphere , Dissertation Umeå University 2005 ISBN 91-7305-946-3
IRF scientific report, 0284-1703 ; 285

Mario Lento
December 28, 2013 7:19 pm

Very nice article, which simplifies the understanding of delta T which is responsible for “weather”.
I’m just nit picking. The statement: “The warm element for a car engine is the exploding fuel inside the cylinders and the cold element is the air intake” Is correct in what point is being made –except, car nuts don’t like to call the burning an explosion. It is really a controlled burn. The flame front is well controlled so that the energy can effectively convert heat into mechanical motion when it is needed, and then expelled. Sparks are timed to detonate before the piston reaches top dead center due to the latency of pressure wave. Explosions in the cylinders are very bad and screw up the timing required for engine performance.
The other point in support of this need for delta T for more weather energy is that warmer air at the poles is less dense, so there are fewer molecules of colder air to react with the warmer equatorial air.
Thank you for the article!

David L. Hagen
December 28, 2013 8:52 pm

There are numerous papers on climate as a heat engine. e.g. see Google scholar: “carnot heat engine climate warming temperature difference wind”
e.g., Alex Kleidon finds:

In summary, the total free energy generation for current conditions yield about Pgeo,a≈6070TW of power by physical processes within the atmosphere from the exchange fluxes at the Earth–space boundary, aboutPbio≈215TW of chemical free energy by photosynthesis, and about Pgeo,b≈40TW driven by the depletion of initial conditions in the interior. Hence, the total power generation by the planet is aboutPplanet=Pgeo,a+Pgeo,b+Pbio≈6325TW.

Axel Kleidon How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet? Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2012 March 13; 370(1962): 1012–1040. doi:  10.1098/rsta.2011.0316 PMCID: PMC3261436
Mazzarella et al. show CO2(temperature) variations are associated with variations in the earth’s Length Of Day (LOD) i.e., by changing the differential temperature which changes the wind /ocean current speeds.
Mazzarella A., A. Giuliacci and N. Scafetta, 2013. Quantifying the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) coupling to CO2 concentration and to the length of day variations. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 111, 601-607. DOI: 10.1007/s00704-012-0696-9. PDF

December 28, 2013 9:01 pm

“The good news is that all planets and moons in our solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere have sufficient radiative gases to allow the radiative cooling necessary to drive this circulation.”
In fact, the necessary convective overturning is induced by uneven surface heating causing air parcel density differentials plus the gravity induced decline in temperature with height which allows the uplift of less dense parcels.
Radiative cooling within the atmosphere is not needed.
If the atmosphere is radiatively inert then the effective radiating height stays at the surface and convective overturning settles at a speed which delivers kinetic energy back to the surface via adiabatic warming on descent sufficient to supply the energy needed by the surface to radiate as much to space as is received from space.
Fantasies about isothermal atmospheres are not realistic.

gymnosperm
December 28, 2013 9:08 pm

A heat engine model is just another model, one containing a kernel of truth, but fraught with oversimplifications just as the GCM’s. The delta T between the equator and poles is modulated by the fence effect of circumpolar vortices. When these vortices are strong, they limit the Rossby wave amplitude we perceive as extreme weather.
As Willis has suggested many times there seems to be a system limit to tropical atmospheric warming that would affect the meridional delta T. Such a limit would flatten the gradient in a warming environment, pretty much what we are seeing with hot polar atmospheric anomalies.
The ocean is another story…

December 28, 2013 9:09 pm

Larry Ledwick says:
December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm
I said:
“That is why the Earth’s lapse rate is like a sideways ‘W’ due to composition variations as one goes up. That ‘W’ shape is a consequence of the circulatory contortions necessary to net out to the ‘ideal’ gravity induced lapse rate.”
Larry said:
“It is also due to how those layers with different composition absorb energy directly from the sun.”
Yes, I agree.
But the distortions in the gravity induced lapse rate created by direct absorption from the sun are also ‘corrected’ by circulation changes.
Even the stratosphere has a circulation albeit very slow due to low air density and I suspect similar movements in the higher layers too but they would be so weak that they have never been measured.
Suffice it to point out that if internal system parameters could cause a long term net divergence from the ‘ideal’ lapse rate then the atmosphere could not be retained.

December 28, 2013 9:19 pm

“The surface is far better at conductively heating a moving gas atmosphere in a gravity field than it is at conductively cooling it”
Due to the density differentials between surface and air one would think that but bear in mind that the surface can only cool to space radiatively so an adiabatically warmed descending column of air only needs to deliver enough kinetic energy back to the surface to at least partially offset energy radiated upward. Even a partial offset will increase average global surface temperature.
In the middle latitudes we all know of clear winter nights when it is windy and the air movement prevents a frost from developing by inhibiting net radiative loss from the surface.
Direct conductive energy transfer from air to surface is not needed. Just offsetting radiative loss is sufficient to warm the surface higher than S-B would predict in the absence of an atmosphere.

December 28, 2013 9:28 pm

I must say that I am very pleased to see this article. I find it validating of many of the things I have been trying to say for a very long time. It is not heat that causes storms, it is a DIFFERENCE in temperature and that difference can be created by either cooling one side or heating the other. It is my opinion that glacial periods would be extremely and freakishly stormy in the central US. This is because solar insolation at lower latitudes remains relatively constant, it is high latitude isolation that changes most greatly. During glacial periods, the Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic is still receiving about the same amount of energy it does in the interglacial periods but imaging you have a warm gulf of Mexico and severe cold in the upper plains and very cold air in summer coming down off the ice into the central plains. We SHOULD see absolutely terrific storms. We would likely have fronts spawning tornadoes nothing like what we see today.
I would not want to live in places like Oklahoma during the glacial periods for I fear massive tornadoes would be much more common then than today considering a great ice sheet would be nearly as far away as the Gulf of Mexico.

phlogiston
December 28, 2013 10:23 pm

The idea that radiative (or any other) cooling is needed to drive air down in Hadley circulation nakes no sense. It makes even less sense to consider the uoward and downward “parts” of convection separately. When any fluid is heated from below turbulent conveection will begin at a certain temperature gradient. Think of Rayleigh-Benault convection, or Libchaber’s experiments with liquid helium, or just water in a saucepan over a gas flame. Rolling cells represent the early bifurcations in the onset of, turbulence. This is what Hadley cells are. The asymmetric heat input exists at the outset of the turbulence as the causative factor it does not need asymmetric cooling to sustain it.
This is reductionism gone mad. Chaotic turbulence is not a clockwork machine – “machine” is a very bad analogy.

December 28, 2013 10:37 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm
——————————————————
“In fact, the necessary convective overturning is induced by uneven surface heating causing air parcel density differentials plus the gravity induced decline in temperature with height which allows the uplift of less dense parcels.
Radiative cooling within the atmosphere is not needed.”
Stephen,
you keep insisting that uneven surface heating can drive vertical circulation across 10 to 15 Km of the troposphere. This is contradicted by empirical experiment. In tall gas columns, Rayleigh Bernard circulation requires energy loss at a higher point than energy input. Heating and cooling at disparate locations at the base of the column simply causes weak horizontal circulation, resisted by surface friction, with layers above this rising to toward surface Tmax. While the atmosphere may appear shallow, the pressure gradient creates a far greater virtual height in terms of Rayleigh Bernard circulation.
There is no “gravity induced decline in temperature with height”. There is a gravity induced pressure gradient. It is vertical circulation across this gradient that pneumatically generates the observed lapse rate. Without vertical circulation fast enough to overcome the speed of gas conduction, the lapse rate would disappear and the atmosphere would trend toward isothermal.
In arguing for strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation in the absence of radiative cooling at altitude, you have aligned yourself with Joel shore, Nick Stokes and sadly Kevin E. Trenberth.
Not even Dr. Pierrehumbert wanted to go that far. In 1995 he tried the far more subtle – “Well of course initially radiative gases start vertical tropospheric circulation and cause atmospheric cooling, but, uum, err, after a certain point the unicorn to rainbow ratio goes negative and radiative gases then cause atmospheric warming and anyway, err, uum, just shut up!” (Delivery of these claims does require hand-waving at near humming bird speeds).
The power of radiative cooling at altitude is huge. Radiative gases are radiating as LWIR to space more than TWICE the net flux radiative flux into the atmosphere from surface and directly intercepted solar combined. They are also radiating to space all the energy entering the atmosphere through surface conduction and the release of latent heat.
You are claiming that atmospheric conduction back to the surface could match this and generate vertical circulation fast and high enough to generate the currently observed lapse rate. The physics of gases in a gravity field say no way, no how. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is a conductively cooling it. During the day, gravity moves colder gas to the surface maximising conductive flux into the atmosphere. During the night, gravity moves colder gas to the surface minimising conductive flux out of the atmosphere.
If your atmospheric model requires strong vertical tropospheric circulation to continue and the observed tropospheric lapse rate to exist in the absence of radiative gases, then your model has failed for the same reasons as the AGW and RGE hypotheses fail.

gbaikie
December 28, 2013 10:50 pm

“The second effect is that even if we had a perfect heat engine with zero internal friction; it would not achieve anything close to 100% efficiency. The maximum theoretical efficiency for a heat engine operating between 300 K and 600K is for example 50%. The efficiency of a real machine would of cause be considerably lower.”
Ah, I wonder if this would apply to what I call a pipelauncher.
I would say this thing I call a pipelauncher as very efficient heat engine.
Converting heat into vertical velocity. And heat engine which could operate
between 300 K and 600K. Or perhaps between 200 K and 500K. But
could work as efficiently between 300 K and 400 K.
Details of it are a large pipe with one end capped.
Which place in the water, so floats vertical.
That is the engine.
Fuel can be anything. And it needs air and oxidizer for fuel.
Purpose of this pipelauncher is to be a launch pad and to lift
a rocket vertically. So it will lift hundred to tons relatively fast.
Or with acceleration of 1/2 gee or 1 gee. Or can do much higher
acceleration if rocket can withstand such gee loads.
In order to accelerate a rocket to any speed- 50 to 300 mph.
One needs the pipe to be quite long- so longer than 500 feet in length.
And to remain vertical and support rocket so it’s vertical, it needs
lengths longer than rocket is tall. So both reasons: 500 feet or longer
in length.
And to lift and accelerate a rocket weighing more than say 100 tons
the pipelauncher needs a large diameter.
So a large diameter pipe which is long and has one end capped.
Capped end is at the top. Rocket place on the top of cap.
And rocket needs some kind launch tower, which should weigh
less than 100 tons.
The pipe itself might weigh about 500 tons or more. Depends
what size of rocket will launched from it. And more tonnage of
course increases the overall. The cost per ton could \$1000 to
say \$3000 per ton. Cost of metal and fabrication into a large
pipe. One could use steel. Aluminum costs more but due lower
mass has less use- more efficient energy usage per launch.
But one may only do 50 to 100 launches in over many years
it could less money saved.
Other just energy use, aluminum can give higher performance-
heavier or faster launch speeds.
So anyhow regarding efficiency. So this machine works by
buoyancy, hence why I think it would be very efficient heat engine.
So this is like balloon, but instead air, one is using denser water
as weight which is displaced. Or It’s like ocean ship which goes
vertically.
So say it’s 20 feet in diameter and 600 feet long.
With one end capped.
You put in water, and open end will fill with water and
cause the capped end to float vertically.
If were to pump out the water in the pipe, the capped
end would rise, and eventual flop over. fill up and again
and flip vertical again.
In terms the operation involved with a launch rocket, you don’t
want it to flop over. You can tow it a location by temporary capping
the other end and towing it horizontally to some location in the ocean.
One would probably want to tow it to location at equator, which
is best location to launch rockets.
As engine it works this way. When vertical in ocean, the air inside
the pipe will push the water inside the pipe below the sea level.
How deep the water is pushed under the water, determines it’s
displacement or it’s buoyancy.
So as example the 600 foot long pipe which 20 in diameter may
be pushing the water 33 feet under sea level. Since 33 feet
under seal level is a atm of pressure, the air in pipe will be 14.7 psig
So pipe might weigh 500 tons. If add 500 ton of rocket, then
air pressure will be 2 atm [29.4 psi]. If double pressure inside, so
56.8 psi, and you keep the air pressure at 56.8 psi, the pipelauncher
and rocket accelerates at 1 gee [9.8 m/s/s].
So what you need is a lot of air. So you use liquid air. If you dump
1 ton of liquid air into 1 ton of sea water you get gaseous air, once
warm water is instantly cooled, shouldn’t get so cold as to make ice.
So, generally you pour say 20 tons of liquid air into water inside
the pipe, and pour over say period of 5 seconds. You also want to
heat the air created. So say you burn kerosene or natural gas and
have peak temperature be say 400 K. And that about how much
you need to have pipelauncher and rocket on top it accelerate
vertical at 1 gee for 5 seconds.
So pressure range of air would be in range of 10 to maybe 80 psi.
And one can contract the exisingt air in pipe by misting liquid air.
So it’s operational air temperature could at extreme ranges of
150 K to 500 K. And one is only trying to warm or cold the air
and the time involved would be somewhere around 20 seconds
though actual launch time would less than 10 seconds.
So walls of pipe do not have enough time to be heated or cooled
much by the air.
Which means no heat radiated from pipelauncher and pipelauncher
environment.
So in terms heat efficiency related mechanical motion, it seems like
this would be quite efficient.

Editor
December 28, 2013 11:40 pm

Bill H – Dec 28 1:19 pm – “They miss the very basic concept of what is driving the air mass changes :. Maybe they don’t know what causes storms, but the chart I referred to is of observed storm tracks, and there are a lot more of them during the global cooling period than during the global warming period.

December 29, 2013 12:03 am

Tsk Tsk says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

” the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures. ”
I think what you meant to say is that if temperatures are increasing equally, then efficiency goes down. And for any case where Tc is increasing faster than Th efficiency goes down along with a fair number of cases where Th is increasing faster but not fast enough than Tc.

Correct, Tsk, this is as I explain a bit further down in the sentence

The third effect is as mentioned above, that, for a given temperature difference between the warm element and the cold element, the efficiency will decrease if both elements heat equally much

“For a given temperature difference” means the same as “increasing equally”.
Finally, the cold sink in your car example is the air at the exhaust (and ambient air around the engine) and not the intake. They happen to come from the same pool but in principle they don’t have to. I could have a tank of hot air that I inject into the cylinders, expand, and exhaust and still get work from the system.
No, the work comes from the pressure created by the temperature increase caused by burning fuel in the cylinder. It is therefore the intake air temperature that counts.
If your claim was correct you could stop an engine by making some arrangements from the exhaust pipe to lengthen it into a bonfire. But, do you really think that would have any effect?
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 12:10 am

Doug Huffman says:
December 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

Actual heat engines, to which Carnot’s physics apply,

Carnots physics apply to all arrangements creating mechanical energy from thermal energy. The point is that you cannot get around it independent of how complex or simple the system is.
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 12:16 am

phlogiston says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm
“The idea that radiative (or any other) cooling is needed to drive air down in Hadley circulation makes no sense.”
——————————————————————————————-
Actually, prior to the inanity of the failed global warming hypothesis, it used to be rather standard meteorology –
“Air convected to the top of the troposphere in the ITCZ has a very high potential temperature, due to latent heat release during ascent in hot towers. Air spreading out at higher levels also tends to have low relative humidity, because of moisture losses by precipitation. As this dry upper air drifts polewards, its potential temperature gradually falls due to longwave radiative losses to space (this is a diabatic process, involving exchanges of energy between the air mass and its environment). Decreasing potential temperature leads to an increase in density, upsetting the hydrostatic balance and initiating subsidence.”
A huge political effort was put into keeping the findings of the first IPCC report ambiguous. After 1990 a great amount of work was put into saving global warming. This included inventing “strongly positive water vapour feed back”, erasing the MWP that disproved it and cooking up radiative-convective circulation models that negated the role of radiative gases in driving vertical tropospheric circulation.
Phlogiston, instead of siding with Kevin E. Trenberth and claiming no role for radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation, perhaps you should be asking why climate “scientists” were so desperate to trash working meteorology theory.

December 29, 2013 12:57 am

Mario Lento says:
December 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I’m just nit picking. The statement: “The warm element for a car engine is the exploding fuel inside the cylinders and the cold element is the air intake” Is correct in what point is being made –except, car nuts don’t like to call the burning an explosion. It is really a controlled burn. The flame front is well controlled so that the energy can effectively convert heat into mechanical motion when it is needed, and then expelled.

Thank you for the correction and good explanation Mario.
/ Jan

TB
December 29, 2013 1:16 am

Matt G says:
December 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm
TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm
“No, not always, in jet disruption processes the jet can move E>W under a warm High in an Omega-block as deep cold air is advected west beneath. This is a common cause of the UK’s coldest winter events.”
I agree that some of time little jets may wander E>W, but virtually always W>E.normally.
Even during one of the most severe cold spells in the UK for decades at the time of year..
http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/archive/ra/2010/Rrea00120101201.gif
The jet hardly moved E>W.
http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1012/10120106_jetstream_atl_anal.gif
The key component along with thermal gradient causing the jet stream, is cold very dry air meeting warm moist air.
The link before gave an example of this especially moisture related, when the cool dry polar air reached the moisture of the Atlantic ocean, but itself not warmer than the land masses to the West or East of it. that didn’t have a jet, but had relatively dry air.
http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1307/13070406_jetstream_atl_anal.gif
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Matt:
We are nitpicking here, but the example you link is not a very good one as the High has become filled with colder air – there needs to be more “orange” over Scandinavia A warmer core. And I never said it would be as strong as a 200KT Atlantic jet. I also said a jet forms when air flows from warm to cold aloft. Therefore in any contortion in the flow (cut-off cold air low, say) there will be accentuated flow around the “contortion”.
You talk of another factor when you mention cold dry/very moist. That is warm advection overgliding the cold and releasing LH. It is part of the Omega equation and is a prime drive of development for baroclinic waves.

TB
December 29, 2013 1:29 am

December 29, 2013 at 12:16 am
phlogiston says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm
“The idea that radiative (or any other) cooling is needed to drive air down in Hadley circulation makes no sense.”
——————————————————————————————-
Actually, prior to the inanity of the failed global warming hypothesis, it used to be rather standard meteorology –
“Air convected to the top of the troposphere in the ITCZ has a very high potential temperature, due to latent heat release during ascent in hot towers. Air spreading out at higher levels also tends to have low relative humidity, because of moisture losses by precipitation. As this dry upper air drifts polewards, its potential temperature gradually falls due to longwave radiative losses to space (this is a diabatic process, involving exchanges of energy between the air mass and its environment). Decreasing potential temperature leads to an increase in density, upsetting the hydrostatic balance and initiating subsidence.”
A huge political effort was put into keeping the findings of the first IPCC report ambiguous. After 1990 a great amount of work was put into saving global warming. This included inventing “strongly positive water vapour feed back”, erasing the MWP that disproved it and cooking up radiative-convective circulation models that negated the role of radiative gases in driving vertical tropospheric circulation.
Phlogiston, instead of siding with Kevin E. Trenberth and claiming no role for radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation, perhaps you should be asking why climate “scientists” were so desperate to trash working meteorology theory.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I have discussed this with you on another thread I believe.
It seems you still do not appreciate the effect of mass air convergence aloft a Hadley Cell.
As air moving N will converge to a westerly Sub-tropical jet and sink as a result. (Err has too!)
Radiative cooling is NOT needed. It happens but that is not the driver.
The radiative cooling will be offset by subsidence warming anyway.
And this: “Actually, prior to the inanity of the failed global warming hypothesis, it used to be rather standard meteorology”
Did not get a mention in my professional training my friend.
As I’ve told you before and provided links to the mathematics of it.

Patrick
December 29, 2013 2:26 am

This reminds me of the BBC’s orbit documentary (Which, in later episodes which I did not see, apparently attributes this to AGW). This “engine” does not seem to be driven by CO2.
As for the engine comments, yes cold, denser air makes them run better (volumetric efficiency – nonturbo). That’s why, on a cold, damp morning, a nice twin carb’d 6cyl engine in say a Triumph GT6 runs and sounds GREAT!

December 29, 2013 2:28 am

norah4you says:
December 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm

The data in the bloggarticle above is only one out of many where incorrect data is used to prove (sometimes disaprove) thesis drawn from incomplete datamodels.

Which data? I have only presented a model and some examples.
There are no climate data in my article.
/ Jan

Crispin in Waterloo
December 29, 2013 2:52 am

TB’s first comment was quite sciency but contains numerous conceptually errors and I was pleased several people took them on. I don’t have time to address them all but I will note that “storminess’ is not increased by raising the average temperature of the system. The simplest demonstration of this is the terrible and powerful storms that occur on very cold planets within our solar system.
I will take issue in more detail with the version of the Carnot Cycle as a model for the heat engine that is the atmosphere. As I see it, the explanation of an ideal cycle is fine but misleading enough to lead many into blind alleys. There is no point debating how ideal dry gases behave when the atmosphere is full of evaporable and condensible water. Rising currents of damp air harvest moisture out of the air parcels into which they rise and cool. It doesn’t have to be at any particular altitude or temperature.
The speed of rising is determined by the relative temperature of the rising parcel and the stationary air medium. Increasing the system temperature increases the enthalpy but does not increase “the power of the storm” as claimed by the Guardian. People’s homes are not blown flat by enthalpy. The silliness of the Guardian’s position is enduring testimony to the fact their science writers can’t read. Their African version is called “The Mail and Guardian”. It is advertised as ‘Africa’s best read’. Well, it is not Africa’s best write. Given the litany of insults they have hurled against scientists who actually know what they are talking about they are richly deserving of the exposure given them here.
From a physical point of view the Earth is a closed system, for all intents. From an energy point of view it is an open system. The whole planet can cool and die and sometimes it nearly does. As for its upper temperature it is strongly self-regulating with the aforementioned water vapour as the principal factor, as well as ozone and to lesser extents GCR’s and CO2. These control mechanisms easily reach 40 or 50 watts per square metre. A sustained drop of 20 watts reaching the surface initiates an ice age.
Self-regulating heat pumps or heat engines, if you will, occur throughout nature and according to their size they behave in characteristic ways. The speed at which they operate is always optimal meaning at maximum efficiency balanced on the edge of turbulent flow. I think Prof Adrian Bejan, author of dozens of articles and textbooks on convective heat transfer, would be surprised to hear that the efficiency with which the Earth dispenses with heat drops as the temperature rises. The temperature of the cold side is constant. Why all these red herrings?
Wiliis has ably demonstrated the tropical albedo and thunderstorm cooling effects that Bejan pointed to when he stooped to comment on the trivial matter of how the atmospheric heat engine works. It is indeed a Carnot Cycle with un-ideal gases and some chaotic wind thrown in. Doubling the CO2 concentration, which could happen naturally, will not measurably change a thing. At least not with the network of instruments we have now.

December 29, 2013 3:02 am

TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

But I feel the comparison of the Earth’s climate system with a Carnot engine is inappropriate.
A Carnot engine is a closed system – that is, it deals with an energy differential between two sources, these closed off from the outside. It acts by transferring energy from a warm region to a cool region of space and, in the process, converting some of that energy to mechanical work.

I am not saying that the climate is a Carnot engine. No such engine exists because the Carnot engine is only a concept for an ideal heat engine. But the point is that all such mechanisms which convert differences in heat into mechanical energy have to obey the same fundamental physical laws. The Carnot theorem is fundamental because it is a direct consequence of the second law of thermodynamics.
Whether it is two or more sources and sinks does not matter, if it helps one can also imagine that the climate system is modeled by a zillion microscopic heat engines, the concept is the same.
By showing that a Carnot engine has less efficiency when all temperatures are risen equally much, then I will argue that one can assume that a real heat engine working on the same temperature ranges should also have less efficiency if all other data is considered to be unchanged.
You may say that the last assumption will be wrong, and yes, as I have written above, they will not be unchanged; we can assume that the cold areas of the planet will heat more than the warm areas, but that will only reduce the efficiency of the heat engine further.
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 3:27 am

TB says:
December 29, 2013 at 1:29 am
“Konrad: I have discussed this with you on another thread I believe.”
—————————————————————————————-
Yes TB, I believe you have…
You claimed that vertical tropospheric circulation strong enough to generate the observed lapse rate would exist in the absence of radiative cooling at altitude because –
“A natural lapse rate will develop regardless of atmospheric radiative responses. Due differential latitudinal heating > frictional turbulence > convection > overturning > geopotential height gradient > Coriolis > adiabatic cooling/heating – creating a heat pump and warming the lower layers/cooling aloft. Radiation is NOT needed. Models know this.”
I stand by my response –
“I would suggest that you have left out wizards, unicorns and climate “scientists” frantically waving their hands trying to drive megatonnes of gas in a giant flow from surface to 15Km altitude and back.”
“Out of your depth on a wet pavement” doesn’t really cover it. How about “so far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses”?
Might I suggest that “pwned” would be an elegant sufficiency…?

December 29, 2013 3:31 am

chris y says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

There are at least 3 interesting conclusions one can take from this simple model.
1. If the sea surface temperature warms by 1K, then Ts=301K, To=200K, and the wind velocity is predicted to increase by 0.5%. There is no way to discern this tiny change.

Here you only rise the temperature for the warm element and let the cold temperatures remain unchanged. Of cause the wind will increase then, you need no model to understand that, but no one believe that only the warm parts of the planet will heat up.

2. If the climate models are to be believed, then the tropical troposphere should warm more than the surface. For example, if the sea surface warms 1C, the troposphere hot spot should warm 1.5C. That is, Ts=301K and To=201.5K. Then, the cyclonic wind velocity is predicted to DECREASE by 0.6%. Go figure…

This is a more realistic scenario which confirms what the article says.

3. Because we know that sea surface temperature changes of 5C (eg from 25 C to 30 C) can have a huge impact on cyclonic wind speeds (provided other conditions like wind shear are also just right), the Carnot model is useless for predicting wind speeds.

No, because the Carnot theorem is a fundamental principle, it will always apply when heat differences are converted to mechanical energy. How can you claim that it apply if you change the temperature by 1 C as in your point 1 and 2 above, but not when you change it with 5 C?
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 3:42 am

You can get an isothermal structure in a tall glass column if vertical circulation is constrained.
You cannot get it for a rough surfaced rotating sphere illuminated from a point source.
It is not necessary for the conduction air to a colder surface to achieve net warming of that surface
All that is necessary is:
i) A surplus of incoming radiation over outgoing radiation where illumination is full on. The disparity being caused by conduction to the air.
ii) A reduction in the rate of outgoing radiation elsewhere to a level lower than would have been the case for a surface with no atmosphere. The disparity being caused by the insulating effect of adiabaically warmed descending air.
The energy engaged does not have to be large because the bulk of energy passing through is undisturbed.
All that is necessary is that there be SOME diversion of energy throughput via conduction to the convective overturning and whatever the amount of that diversion the average global surface temperature will rise proportionately.
On Earth that is about 33 C.
That proportion is determined by mass and not radiative capability.

December 29, 2013 3:52 am

gbaikie says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Ah, I wonder if this would apply to what I call a pipelauncher.

This was a really original and funny idea gbaikie, I enjoyed reading it.
Much of what you say is correct, but unfortunately it will not work. However, I think this is an excellent problem for physics or math students, let them try to figure out why this will not work.
Well, the answer is that you will have to accelerate not only the rocket but also the column of water inside the cylinder below the rocket. The mass of that water column will increase with the length of the pipe and will limit the launching speed of the rocket considerably. I have not done the math, but I will guess it will be less than 100 mph.
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 4:21 am

Col Mosby says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

My understanding was that a car’s engine produces more power with a colder intake air because colder, denser air contains more oxygen and allows more gasoline to be completely burned during the cylinder explosion. Of course, it would make sense that thinner, warmer air cannot expand as much, thus produces less power.

Col, you are right, more dense air is also an effect of colder air and this will also give higher effect . But the principles of the Carnot theorem also apply. The source of the work comes from the increased pressure inside the cylinder. The pressure builds up because the temperature increases, and most of the temperature increases is caused by burning fuel inside the cylinder.
You can see from the ideal gas laws that if the temperature starts at a higher level you get lower increase in the pressure for a given increase in the temperature.
Thank you for the comment
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 4:22 am

Stephen Wilde says:
December 29, 2013 at 3:42 am
“…you can get an isothermal structure in a tall glass column if vertical circulation is constrained”
Glass?!
While I may use silica micro spheres vacuum packed in vacuum metallised mylar in the original experiments, due to inhalation risk I only provide instruction for replication using EPS foam.
AGW believers may be trying to build these things!
Everybody take out a circle of paper and a safety crayon….

December 29, 2013 4:46 am

Sorry, a typo. Don’t know where it came from.

December 29, 2013 4:49 am

Konrad, this is what you said and I mistyped.
“In tall gas columns,”

December 29, 2013 4:59 am

tobyw says:
December 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Is there electromagnetic and gravitic heating in our planet?

Toby, there are tidal energy heating our planet, but it is negligible compared to the solar heating.
The source of the tidal energy is the earth rotation. Because the earth is not perfectly elastic, some of the gravitational stretching from the moon and sun is converted to heat. This slows the earth rotation.
Since we know that the earth rotation slows very gradually, the tidal energy released each year has to be very small compared to the rotational energy of the earth.
/ Jan

NZ Willy
December 29, 2013 5:56 am

Konrad says: “Coriolis forces are not a driver of atmospheric circulation. Coriolis forces have no influence on air masses at rest within a rotating reference frame.”
Oh, bad call. You would be right if the atmosphere was perfectly homogeneous, but of course it’s full of local variations like changes in pressure, clouds, etc. These inhomogeneities want to travel in great circles over the Earth (what we surface-dwellers would call “straight lines”), but the Earth’s rotation follows a great circle only at the equator — elsewhere, the rotation is seen as having a lateral shear as it follows a small circle. A high-density air mass is pushed to the left in the Northern Hemisphere (to higher-latitude, slower-rotating places), so travel leftwards around the low-pressure cores of hurricanes — so counter-clockwise in the NH. So the Coriolis force is a terrific driver of winds as it “grabs” all the inhomogeneities in the air and forces them into motion.

Genghis
December 29, 2013 7:13 am

The atmosphere, absent external energy sources, would become isothermal (the same temperature from top to bottom) despite the density gradient imposed by gravity.
The dry lapse rate of 9.8 C/km is largely created by the thermalization of IR radiation by the greenhouse gases. Increasing the concentration of GHG’s increases the rate at which the 9.8 C/km is arrived at.
The environmental lapse rate of 6.5 C/km is caused by convection (and water vapors phase change) resulting in a warmer atmosphere than one with GHG’s alone (absent water of course ).
The question I have is what temperature would a pure nitrogen (no GHG’s or H2O) atmosphere be, given the ocean surface temperature of 22 C?

December 29, 2013 7:59 am

noaaprogrammer says:
December 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Now that gravity has been introduced into this discussion, what effect does any atmospheric tides due to the moon have?

noaaprogrammer
Good question.
Atmospheric tides are regular oscillations in the atmosphere which can result in mechanical energy such as wind.
These tides are a phenomenon with very different sources. Some of the tides are generated by the periodic heating of the atmosphere by the Sun. The atmosphere is heated during the day and not heated at night. This effect is similar to a heat engine as discussed in this article.
However, atmospheric tides are also powered by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun similar to ordinary tides. This is a source for mechanical energy that is not powered by a heat engine. The source is the rotational energy of the earth.
This means that some of the mechanical energy in the weather system is not created by a heat engine, but it is a very small part.
/ Jan

chris y
December 29, 2013 8:33 am

Jan- you say:
“No, because the Carnot theorem is a fundamental principle, it will always apply when heat differences are converted to mechanical energy.”
Agreed 100%.
Jan again- “How can you claim that it apply if you change the temperature by 1 C as in your point 1 and 2 above, but not when you change it with 5 C?”
My third point is that real world cyclones can have 100’s of percent increases in wind speed in response to a sea surface temperature increase (5C for example) that the Carnot model predicts should only give a few percent increase in wind speed. Yet the cyclone expert at MIT uses the Carnot cycle to model a cyclone, even though the results of the analysis are basically worthless.
The Carnot cycle is not a useful model when used to estimate cyclone wind speeds and/or the effects of global warming on cyclone wind speed.

gbaikie
December 29, 2013 8:41 am

own-gbaikie says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Ah, I wonder if this would apply to what I call a pipelauncher.
This was a really original and funny idea gbaikie, I enjoyed reading it.-
I am glad you found it amusing.
*Much of what you say is correct, but unfortunately it will not work. However, I think this is an excellent problem for physics or math students, let them try to figure out why this will not work.*
Such results I would find extremely interesting.
“Well, the answer is that you will have to accelerate not only the rocket but also the column of water inside the cylinder below the rocket.”
It’s like the scotty quote from star trek.
No the water doesn’t move [assuming acceleration is constant].
So water after one starts some accelerate [say 1 gee] then after this water inside pipe doesn’t move-the pipe moves pass it.
-The mass of that water column will increase with the length of the pipe and will limit the launching speed of the rocket considerably. I have not done the math, but I will guess it will be less than 100 mph.-
It seems it would have limit due to nature of water- things have problems going over speed of sound in water. So near terms I tend to think max speed would be around 300 mph.
As first type of it’s kind probably realistic to shoot for max of about 200 mph.
But I it could over time be developed so one was getting up to speed of sound. But don’t expect
supersonic speeds without running across unexpected problem. And it gets progressive
harder to do such speeds- particularly if gee have to be 1 or less gees of acceleration.
And if going to go as fast as 200 mph, this pipelauncher would leap a distance out of the water, unless one adds some sort of braking featues.
But one think if not in windy conditions, one have bottom of pipe leave the water by somewhere
around say 100 feet or so.
Also if column water pushed down is say 50, as soon bottom of pipe was 50 feet from the surface
one can’t accellerate, so one could decrease acceleration near the top so you not pushing water down to 50- say lower acceleration so it was instead 20 feet [or something like that.
If want to be fancy, you make that water leap up into the air after the rocket. Or you make to column of water accelerate, somewhat Such a “move” could used to help brake the rocket by some amount- [but too much vacuum] and it could crush the pipe- which would be bad.
Many people have said that 100 or 300 mph isn’t not significant for rocket which ulitimately travels 17,000 mph. But there are reason why couple hundred miles hour would significantly improve a rockets proformance. So like add, say 20% to it’s payload.

TB
December 29, 2013 8:46 am

Crispin in Waterloo says:
December 29, 2013 at 2:52 am
“TB’s first comment was quite sciency but contains numerous conceptually errors and I was pleased several people took them on. I don’t have time to address them all but I will note that “storminess’ is not increased by raising the average temperature of the system. The simplest demonstration of this is the terrible and powerful storms that occur on very cold planets within our solar system.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>That, I believe, is because they generate internal heat, as well as having much different chemistry (and density/pressure boundaries as a result) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter
“Jupiter still radiates more heat than it receives from the Sun; the amount of heat produced inside the planet is similar to the total solar radiation it receives. This additional heat radiation is generated by the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism through contraction. This process results in the planet shrinking by about 2 cm each year.”
“The water clouds can form thunderstorms driven by the heat rising from the interior.”
“The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“The speed of rising is determined by the relative temperature of the rising parcel and the stationary air medium. Increasing the system temperature increases the enthalpy but does not increase “the power of the storm” as claimed by the Guardian. People’s homes are not blown flat by enthalpy. The silliness of the Guardian’s position is enduring testimony to the fact their science writers can’t read. Their African version is called “The Mail and Guardian”. It is advertised as ‘Africa’s best read’. Well, it is not Africa’s best write. Given the litany of insults they have hurled against scientists who actually know what they are talking about they are richly deserving of the exposure given them here.”
It does increase the power of the storm in the way that I described – but will do so again. You talk of moist air, well the strength of rising thermals has another driver – LH. This is where the extra energy will come from. Warmer air simply allows greater evaporation and can physically hold more WV molecules – hence more LH of condensation released aloft in cloud to fuel it’s growth/uplift (or Typhoon/hurricane development ) – all other things equal.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“From a physical point of view the Earth is a closed system, for all intents. From an energy point of view it is an open system. The whole planet can cool and die and sometimes it nearly does. As for its upper temperature it is strongly self-regulating with the aforementioned water vapour as the principal factor, as well as ozone and to lesser extents GCR’s and CO2. These control mechanisms easily reach 40 or 50 watts per square metre. A sustained drop of 20 watts reaching the surface initiates an ice age.”
GCR’s can’t, that I’m aware of, as they do not in any large number pass into the Trop, they are largely stopped by O3 in the Strat. A paper would be appreciated. Yes, an IA will be initiated via feed-back loop as the Earth’s NH progressively received less summer insolation and snow fields can survive through until the next winter. This increases albedo, lowers absorbed SW and allows CO2 to sink into cooling oceans. WV content additionally lowers with temp to give a triple whammy.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“Wiliis has ably demonstrated the tropical albedo and thunderstorm cooling effects that Bejan pointed to when he stooped to comment on the trivial matter of how the atmospheric heat engine works. It is indeed a Carnot Cycle with un-ideal gases and some chaotic wind thrown in. Doubling the CO2 concentration, which could happen naturally, will not measurably change a thing. At least not with the network of instruments we have now.”
I beg to differ that Willis demonstrated anything that wasn’t known already and the region he speaks of, though receiving max insolation, isn’t anywhere near large enough to regulate the Earth’s temp. Or he hasn’t quantified it as yet to my knowledge to prove such a case. I have posted links to papers that have concluded that SW reflected is near balanced by IR back-radiated over much of the tropical equator.
CO2 doubling’s effect has been known of via laboratory and empirical demonstration + mathematical theory for ~150 years. And there are spectrometer readings taken from ground-based instruments that indeed do measure it’s effect. As well as satellite measurement showing the radiative imbalance at TOA. More is coming in than leaving.

December 29, 2013 8:53 am

Max Hugoson says:
December 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

Automobiles MAY have had better “efficiency” on cold days in the era of carboraters …because the mixture was more proper.. BUT, since your engine coolent is controlled by a thermostat, the “sink” temp for an Otto Cycle, Auto Engine is almost completely constant the year around.

Max, take a look at what happens inside the cylinder if we use the laws of an ideal gas
PH = (TH/TL)*PL
PH = high pressure after the fuel has burnt
PL = pressure before the burning
TH = Temperature in the cylinder after the fuel has burnt
TL=Temperature in the cylinder before the fuel has burnt
Let’s assume that the burning will rise the temperature by 500K
Let’s assume a cold day is TL = 300 K and a warm day it is 350K
On a cold day you then have PH= 800/300*PL = 2.67*PL
On a warm day you have PH = 850/350 * PL = 2.44*PL
That means you get a higher pressure, which gives more effect a cold day. The energy used is the same, in both cases it rise the temperature with 500K, but you get more effect out of it when you start with a colder gas.
/ Jan

Box of Rocks
December 29, 2013 9:01 am

A couple of ;nitpicks here…
Though I do like the article from a Mech E point of view…
The first one…
Climate as a heat engine
Posted on December 28, 2013 by Anthony Watts
Guest essay by Jan Kjetil Andersen
As Willis describes in his article on December 21, the atmosphere can be seen as a gigantic heat engine, i.e. a machine which convert thermal energy, namely temperature, into mechanical energy, namely wind.
I will disagree. You are forgetting about water. There is a huge amount energy released into space from the transport of warm water pole ward.
Also –
TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:35 am
Jan:
I know what you’re getting at.
But I feel the comparison of the Earth’s climate system with a Carnot engine is inappropriate.
….
To say that the earth will become “stormier” in a warmer world is (Meteorologically) correct. (supposing an unchanging LR). But there are exceptions.
A warmer world will have more evaporated water to release LH and therefore convective cells will have more power available to push up through the atmosphere to counter that LR. ..
The High Plains’ most violent weather occurs when delta t is greatest in the spring. As the atmosphere warms through the summer the severity of the storms decrease. Hence in late August through early October violent storms nearly die out and are replaced by long gentle rains until the atmosphere cools.
Look at a graph of storm intensity v time for a given year – it is two humped.
Also plotting some of the Carnot cycle on a T-S diagram might help some people.

gbaikie
December 29, 2013 9:04 am

In regards this:
However, I think this is an excellent problem for physics or math students, let them try to figure out why this will not work.*
This is bunch of notes about generally tending to make them on *small side*
40 feet in diameter.
20 squared is 400, times pi is 1256 sq ft.
1 psi is 144 lbs per square foot. 1256 sq ft
is 180,864 lb force.
1″ walls: working pressure: 100 psi. Burst 200 psi
1/2″ ??: 50 working and 100 burst
http://www.texaspipe.com/barlows_formula.html
40,000 psi .5″ is 83.3 psi
.25 is 52 psi
40 foot diameter is 125.6 feet circumference.
100 foot length is 12560 square feet
1000 foot is 125600 square feet.
cubic feet of steel 40 dia and 1000 feet long which is 1/4 thick walls:
125600 divided by 48 is 2616.6 cubic feet
Cubic foot of steel weighs 489 pounds
1,279,550 lbs [640 tons]. creates 7 psi by it’s weight
30 feet in diameter.
15 square is 225, times pi is 706.5 sq ft.
1 psi is 101736 lbs of force.
1/4″ wall at 40000 is 69 psi
Circumference: 94.2 feet
1000 foot lenght is 94200 square feet
94200 divided by 48 is 1962.6 cubic feet of steel
Weighs 959,662.5 lbs [480 tons]
Creates 9.4 psi from it’s own weight.
30 feet diameter 2000 feet long
959,662.5 lbs x 2 is 1,919,325 lb [960 tons]
It’s mass creates 18.87 psi
To accelerate 1 gee, requires 37.7 psi
2000 ft long pipelauncher accelerating Falcon 9:
Gross weight of Falcon 9:
“Falcon 9 v1.1 performance was still 13.15 tonnes LEO or 4.85 tonnes GTO, but gross
liftoff mass had risen to as much as 505.846 tonnes. Liftoff thrust was 600.109 tonnes
for v1.1 and 1,800.327 tonnes for Heavy.”
http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9v1-1.html
So 600.109 tonnes [661.5 tons]
Say total including tower: 760 tons
1520000 + 1,919,325 lb is 3,439,325 [1720 tons]
To float requires 33.8 psi
To accelerate 1 gees require 67.6 psi
To accelerate for 10 seconds at 1 gee the distance traveled vertically is
10 second squared times 1/2 of 9.8 m/s/s [or 100 times 16 feet].
Resulting in the 2000 foot tall pipelauncher having it’s top [capped end]
1600 feet above waterline and 400 feet below the waterline.
And traveling at speed of 98 m/s [352.8 kpm- 219.2 mph]
98 m/s is about 320 feet per second
General conditions at 10 second mark: Air in pipe will be about 68 psi.
The air temperature in pipe will be around 100 C [200 F]. One will be spraying
liquid air and with burner burning Kerosene during the 10 seconds. One can also use
water [which at these pressure will boil above 100 C- but surfaces might exceed
the air temperature- and air will be very dry- so it will evaporate due partial pressure
of water vapor]. At or before the 10 second mark, the buring of kerosene is stopped.
And the continuation of spraying liquid air without heat added would reduce air pressure.
And upward continuation of velocity will also lower the air pressure.
So at 10 second mark air pressure is about 68 psi, if air pressure drops to 34 psi such air
pressure would still cause aceleration [33.8 psi causes it to float- 34 psi would cause it
to rise slowly.
68 psi is 4.6 atm. 1 Atm would press water 33 feet below waterline. So at 68 psi water
in pipe is depressed 152.65 feet waterline inside the pipe. And a decrease in pressure in
the pipe will cause the water to rise. Having 68 psi keep water at that level. Increasing
pressure to 68 psi pushes it down to 152.65 feet. It’s isn’t the forcing of water out the
pipe which is the cause of acceleration- it’s not “jet powered” but it’s also not an
insignificant factor in beginning and ending of acceleration.
So at 10 second mark, the pipe is 400 feet under water and has 400 – 152.65 feet of water
inside the pipe: 247.35 feet coulumn of water.
Due to momentum and not considering forces slowing such momentum, the pipelauncher travel at
320 feet per second, it will at 11 second mark have pipe will only be 80 feet under the water.
And since was 152.65 feet fill with air, 152.65 – 80 feet. Or 72.65 foot column of air would
be pushed out the bottom of the pipe. It also mean that at air pressure at 80 feet below
water line is 36.3 psi. So at 10 second mark there was 68 psi, at the 11 second mark the
pressure inside pipe would drop to about 36 psi.
Now one could make a design modification. Simple or more complicated. Simple would be
having big holes in the pipe, starting at 250 feet from the bottom of the pipe. Which means
the 250 feet of pipe would used to slow down the pipelauncher. So at 10 second mark air would
start “venting” out sides of pipe, and as the holes became closer to surface [within the 1
second] more air would pushed out to holes. Or you have doors at near or at top pipe which
open at 10 second mark.
Now if you do no modifications, and do nothing at the 11 second mark, you will have about
about 36 psi air in pipe, and within a fraction of second, the 36 psi will go to zero- same
pressure as atmosphere.
Or with no modifications but the continuation dumping in liquid air one can rapid cool
the air, causing the pressure to drop.
One can do lots of stuff. This is the art of driving a pipelauncher.
For instance for first 8 to 9 seconds of acceleration you could keep the air temperature
around 100 C or cooler, and in last second or two rapidly increase air temperature-
burn more kerosense and/or stop adding liquid air. And a fraction of second before 10 second
mark stop all kerosene burning, and dump liquid air.
If you have 500 K air and lower temprature to 250 K, you get 1/2 the pressure, 68 psi
becomes 34 psi, which stops acceleration and causes water to rise in the pipe.
Aluminum: 2.72
Steel: 7.82
PVC 1.36
Small diameter and long:
20 feet in diameter 2000 feet long [or longer].
200 feet length Marine Aluminum- fire box and ice box.
1600 feet of PVC
200 feet of steel
In water PVC has little weight. Steel has higher density and will function as keel.
PVC has Yield tensile strength 6500 psi or about 1/6th of 40 K aluminium alloy or steel.
1 inch wall 20 feet [240″] diameter can withstand 54 psi. 1.5″: 81.25 psi
Will use 1 1/2″ wall thickness will PVC and 1/2″ wall thickness with aluminium. And 1/4″ pipe
wall thickness with steel.
200 feet 20 foot diameter 1/4″ steel pipe weighs:
circumference: 62.8 feet. Times 200 is 12560 square feet.
12560 divided by 48 is 261.6 cubic feet of steel.
cubic feet of steel: weighs 489 pounds. Times 261.6 is
127,955 lbs [69.9 tons]. In water it weighs less than 8/7th this weigh [56 tons].
But as accelerated mass it’s about 70 tons.
Distilled water is about 62 lb per cubic foot [62.428]
So, Aluminum: 2.72 is about 170 lb per cubic foot and PVC is about 85 lbs
So Aluminum 20 diameter and 200 feet long is 12560 divided by 24 which is:
523.3 cubic feet. Weighs: 88966.6 lbs [44.5 tons].
PVC 20 ft diameter and 1600 ft is 12560 times 8: 100,480 square feet.
100,480 divided by 8 is 25,120 cubic feet. Which weighs:
2,135,200 lbs [1067.6 tons]. But in water it weighs about 22 lb per cubic foot [276 tons].
20 diameter circle has 314 square feet. At 1 psi it’s 144 lb of force.
314 times 144 is 45,216 lbs of force per 1 psi.
To float 200 feet above waterline: it weighs: 56 + 44.5 + 276 tons: 376.5 tons. Or about:
753000 lb. Divide by 45,216, means it needs 16.6 psi of air pressure inside pipe.
If rocket plus everything else weighs 376.5 tons, then need 33.3 psi.
Which is 2.65 atm and depressing water, 74.77 feet below the waterline.
To determine the air pressure with 1 gee acceleration one has to use mass rather than
weight. And 791.6 and 14 tons- 805.6 tons- 1,611,200 lb. So: 1,611,200 + 753000 lb x 2 is:
3,117,200 lbs. Divide by 45,216 is 68.9 psi. So it’s 68.9 plus 33.3 psi and that is
102.2 psi. Which exceeds the 81.25 psi strenght of PVC. But 1/2″ wall Aluminum can withstand
166.6 psi.
So the 102.2 psi is 6.95 atm or depresses water 229.5 feet below waterline.
acceleration.
Hmm. Let try 2 seconds at 1 gee. Make aluminium pipe 300 feet long. The aluminium is lighter
out of water and PVC is only a bit lighter than alumium in the water, but PVC would probably be
be cheaper. So half a gee is 68.9 / 2 = 34.45 psi. Plus 33.3 ps is 67.75 psi. So one more than
1/2 gee of acceleration.
Lets say part of launch tower is a tube, which is water resistent. Say this tube is 30 feet
tall, and allow pipelauncher to start it’s acceleration -20 feet below waterline.
In terms of pressure if PVC pipe is below 33 feet it would be overpressurize by 14.7 psi.
And 81.25 plus 14.7 is 95.95 psi and 66 feet is 110.5 psi. So with 1 gee acceleration
PVC must below 60 feet under water.
And PVC starts 320 feet under water. So within 4 seconds at 1 gee acceleration it moves up
256 feet. So at 4 second mark moving at 128 ft per second [39.2 m/s {87.5 mph}].
If 128 ft per second velocity were not to accelerate but kept constant speed, you run out pipe
lenght in 13 seconds- total being 13 plus the 4 seconds at 1 gee.
And roughly want the time to be about 10 seconds or more in total.
So try 8 seconds + 4 seconds. and 8 second at 24 ft per second per second, which distance of
768 feet. Plus 8 second at 128 ft per second which is 1024 feet. Which doesn’t work.
So 7 seconds: 24 ft per second per second, distance is 588 ft plus 896 ft plus the 256 ft.
Is 1740 feet. Minus 20 ft leaving 280 feet of pipe in water after 11 seconds of acceleration.
With velocity of 128 ft + 168 feet per second [296 ft/s [ 84.9 m/s or 189.5 mph].
All aluminum:
“Aluminum 20 diameter and 200 feet long is 12560 divided by 24 which is:
523.3 cubic feet. Weighs: 88966.6 lbs [44.5 tons].”
Times 10 to equal 2000 ft long: 88966.6 lbs [44.5 tons] * 10 = 889666 lbs [445 tons].
“20 diameter circle has 314 square feet. At 1 psi it’s 144 lb of force.
314 times 144 is 45,216 lbs of force per 1 psi.”
So, 19.6 psi to float.
Have rocket and tower plus everything else 445 tons times 2 = 890 tons
To float: 19.6 psi + 19.6 times 2 = 39.35. Total 58.95 to float.
1 gee is 117.9 psi. 20 feet diameter Aluminium 1/2″ wall can operate as high as 166.6 psi.
Could accelerate slightly faster than 1 gee or add more length.
Say add 22.1 psi of added pipe giving pressure of 140 psi.
Adding 1000 feet [3000″ in total] adds 9.83 to float and 19.6 psi with 1 gee.
So 10 second of 1 gee is 490 meters or about 1600 feet. 1600 feet out of water and 1400 feet
under water. And 117.9 + 19.6 psi is 137.5 psi [9.35 atm] so water pressed 308.67 feet under
water. So at 10 second aceleration one has 1091.33 feet of pipe with water in it and 1908.67
feet with air at 137.5 psi.
If pressure can rapidly halved to 68.75 psi, the this pressure floats payload and pipe.
Pipelauncher and rocket with continue to accelerate but be decreasing in acceleration- ceasing to
accelerate once pressure reaches 68.75 psi.
So at 10 second mark, after accelerating 10 seconds 32 feet per sec/sec, it’s going at
320 feet per second. So at 11 second mark it will traveled additional 320 plus it’s decaying
acceleration rate [called it DAR]. So volume of air in pipe will increase by 1908.67 feet
plus 320 feet plus DAR. And ignoring DAR it’s 1908.67 + 320 = 2228.67 feet.
A 20% increase of 1908.67 is 2290.4 feet.
A 100% increase would half the pressure- lose 68.75 psi. So at 20% one loses a 1/5th of this
so 13.75 psi. And lose 1/5 acceleration: 6.4 ft per sec from 32 feet per second.
So in one second one goes from 32 ft per sec/sec to 25.6. And the acceleration average during
the second is 28.8 feet per second.
So going back and adding DAR is 1908.67 + 320 + 28.8 = 2257.47 feet.
But decrease of 13.75 of psi will causes the water inside pipe to rise about 30 feet- this is
not instantaneous [it accelerate from zero to 6.4 ft per sec/sec during the 1 sec.]
So at 12 second mark the pipe travels up 2 times 320′ [plus 2 seconds of DAR].
Again roughly, pressure reduces by another 1/5th.
So in two seconds, pressure at 137.5 drops by 13.75 + 13.75 psi- falls to about 110 psi.
And roughly, [320′ times 2] + [28.8 times 2] equals 697.6
One had 1091.33 feet of pipe with water minus 697.6 feet, leaves 393.73 water in pipe, but
water also increasing as water accelerate up pipe [a minor amount so far].
And with water still in pipe, one gets another second of acceleration- 1 second +.
So DAR has decreased from 32 ft per sec/sec to 25.6 and second two 25.6 to 19.2 feet per second
per second. Add to 320 feet per second 44.8 per second [248 mph]. And after second 3:
12.8 ft persec/sec [1/2 to 1/3 gee]. And pressure drop by about another 13.75 psi [end of 13
seconds pressure inside pipe will be about 96 psi [ 6.5 atm and pushes water 216 feet below sea
level. The 137.5 psi [9.35 atm] pushing it 308.67 feet under water. Accelerationg of
water was 6.4, 12.8, finally 19.2 feet per sec per sec. And water rising 3.2, 12.8, 22.4 =
38.4 feet. after 3 seconds [and “wants” to be about 60 feet higher- and sort of like water
falling from 60 feet up- it’s rushing like a waterfall upwards].
But we can add 38.4 feet to the 393.73 feet: 432 feet.
The distance traveled in 12 to 13 second is 320 + 28.8 + 22.4 + 16 = 387.2 feet.
So 48.8 feet of water left in pipe.
In terms pipe in water. [320 * 3] + 28.8 + 22.4 + 16. Had 1400 feet minus 1027.2 feet =
372.8 feet.
All kinds of excitement occurs in the 13 second to 14 second mark. Pipe will at around 14 second
mark, be leaving the water, water once in pipe will be chasing after it, and lacking water
pressure to prevent air pressure from leaving pipe. One not have a second of acceleration
after the 14 second mark.
“30 feet in diameter.
15 square is 225, times pi is 706.5 sq ft.
1 psi is 101736 lbs of force.
Circumference: 94.2 feet
1/4″ steel wall at 40000 is 69 psi
1000 foot lenght is 94200 square feet
94200 divided by 48 is 1962.6 cubic feet of steel
Weighs 959,662.5 lbs [480 tons]”
Aluminum: 2.72
Steel: 7.82
1/2″ 360″ diameter, Aluminum alloy with 40,000 psi strength burst pressure: 111 psi
Aluminum:
1/2″ rather than 1/4″
“Cubic foot of aluminum will weigh 171 pounds”
Instead of 94200 divided by 48 it’s divided by 24:
3925 cubic feet of Aluminum. Which weighs 671,175 lbs.
Cap: 706.5 sq ft 1/2 thick: 29.4 cubic feer: 5034 lbs
Total weight 676,209 lbs.
Rocket weight: 2 million lbs
Rough total weight is 2.8 million lbs
And 2.8 million divided by 101736 lbs per 1 psi is
27.522 psi or 1.87 atm.
In terms of total amount of air it’s 1 atm plus 1.87 atm.
Mass of air 1000 feet length and 30 foot diameter:
706.5 sq ft time 1000 is 706,500 cubic feet of air
“According to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the density of dry air at
20 degrees C at 760 mm of mercury (one atmosphere of pressure) is 1.204 milligrams per
cubic centimeter.
1 cubic foot = 28,316.8467 cubic centimeters.
So, dry air weighs 34,093.48 mg per cu.ft.
Which is about 1.2 ounces per cu.ft. ”
So 1 atm at 20 C, 706,500 cubic feet of air is 847,870 oz.
And 2.87 atm at 20 C is 2,433,186 oz. Or 152,074 lbs
Or 76 tons.
Assume have this pipelauncher [gross weight: 400 tons] with 1000 ton rocket is floating with top
of pipelauncher 20 feet above the water. It has 27.522 psi of air in it. 14.7 psi of air will push
to water 33 feet below sea level- or about 2.25 feet per psi. So 27.522 psi of air will push water
61.78 feet under water. And with 20 feet above water, one has about 81 feet of air at
1.87 atm + 1 atm. One starting with about 1/12th of total 76 tons of air- about 6 tons.
So if one adds 70 tonnes of air, fills the entire pipe length of 1000 feet with 1.87 + 1 atm
quantity of air.
So if added 70 tons of liquid air and the liquid air was warmed to 20 C- [pouring it into warm
ocean water would more or less do this. Considering area of 30 diameter pipe is 706.5 sq ft and
one foot depth of water is 706.5 cubic ft. Is 22 tons of water. And dumping a ton or more
liquid air it will mix with the water several feet under the surface of the water.
Plus turning the water into ice requires a lot energy in terms of heat loss. Making it improbable
that liquid air dumped into warm sea water would be cooler than 0 C, and more mixed with water
the higher temperature of the air.
So roughly air should limited roughly between range of 0 and 20 C without adding additional
heat [which will be done]. The air in the pipe will be heated over 100 C, but first
starting with assumption of air heated to 20 C.]
So if put 70 tons of air at 20 C in pipe and it’s 1/2 full of air- 500 feet of length has air
in it, the air pressure will be 2 times 2.87 atm Or doubling the volume will 1/2 the pressure/density
if same temperature.
If add 70 tons of air at 20 C over long time period- anything over couple minutes is long period,
the pipelauncher and rocket payload will rise until bottom of pipe is 62 feet under water and top of
pipe is 938 feet. And it’s unstable in this position- it flip over it not balanced. But it floats
vertically if prevented from flopping over.
If instead of slowly adding 70 tons of air, one were to very rapidly add the 70 tons- say in less
than 1 second, one have too much pressure in the pipe. If make the pipe strong enough to
withstand such pressures, one gets the pipelauncher going up quickly and the water being pushed
down quickly.
Instead of slowly adding air and very quickly adding air, one want to do is increase the pressure
to certain amount and keep the pressure at this level.
So with gross weight of 2.8 million lb it requires 27.522 psi pushing up on top of pipe and
pushing down on water inside pipe. Top of pipe has area of 706.5 sq ft or 101,736 square inches.
If pressure is doubled [55.04 psi] then water pushed down twice as far and one gets 1 gee of
acceleration for long as there is 55.04 psi. And water stays at level of twice depth.
And at 55.04 psi and with 500 feet of air in pipe. And air is at 20 C that requires 70 tons of added
air.
And if double the temperature in K, it doubles pressure. 20 C is 293 K. So increase to 313 C it’s
twice pressure. And increase temperature by 50% [+146.5 C] or to 166.5 C it increase pressure by 50%.
It also means if decrease air temperature by 50% from 20 C that is -126.5 C, it halves pressure.
Liquid Nitrogen boils at -195.8°C in 1 atm. So spray liquid nitrogen in say 20 C air, it could cool the
air down to -126.5 [as -126.5 C air is still warm enough to boil nitrogen droplets of liquid].
So if you had 100 feet of air in pipe at 20 C, and misted liquid nitrogen into air and cooled air to
-126.5 C to column of air at same pressure would shrink by 50%. Go from 100′ to 50′. And if air warmed
back up to 20 C it expands back to 100′ and if heated to 166.5 C, expands to 150′.
So with 20 C air and 20 feet above water, we column of air being about 82. If instead it was 40 feet
above water, one have 102 feet column of air, and cooled air to -126.5 C, the top of pipe go below the
sea level [10 feet below]. If doubled the 82 feet so had 164 feet of air at the start, and cooled to
-126.5 C then it drops down to 20 feet above water. And instead starting with 6 tons of air in pipe,
So at start of launch sequence, the top of pipe is about 100 feet [10 stories] above to water, you cool
the air and pipelauncher drops and once stops falling, use kerosene or methane burners to heat the air
and dump liquid nitrogen [or liquid air] into the water- turning it into somewhat cool air.
So since increased the starting tonnage of air by 6 ton, the 70 tons is 64 tons.
So with 64 tonnes of air added and temperature of 20 C, and half pipe full this gives 1 gee of acceleration.
Or by the correct amount in, we get 1 gee acceleration up point where 500 feet of air at 20 C is
in the pipe. At 32 feet per sec per sec that is 5.59 seconds of 1 gee, and speed of 178.88 feet per second
[54.5 m/s- or about 128 mph].
Increasing air temperature from 20 C to 166.5 C increases the 500 feet to 750 feet.
And at 32 feet per sec per sec at 1 gee up to point of 750 feet is 6.84 seconds of acceleration, and
speed of 219 feet per sec [66.79 m/s- 132.5 mph].
So with 750 feet of pipe out of water, one is left with 250 feet under the water at the point of 6.84
seconds of acceleration. And the water is pushed under water 61.78 feet times 2 [123.56 feet under the
water] and one is traveling up at 219 feet per sec. So at this point the total column of air is 750
plus 123.56 feet. Which is 873.56 feet of air at 55.04 psi and air temperature of 166.5 C.
If stop adding any more air or heat, one still have +50 psi and air temperature of +160 C for the next
1/2 of second, so you have slightly less than 1 gee of acceleration for 1/2. And in 1/2 second you
travel 219 + 8 feet per second divided 2, or about 113.5 feet upwards. Or add 113.5 to 873.56 feet-
which is 987.06 feet- leaving only 12.94 feet of pipe still in the water. And within the 1/2 second
the air in pipe will be expelled out into the water.
A conclusion one could reach is if one going to heat air to 166.5 C, then one add less than 64 ton of
liquid air. So say less than 60 tons of air added.
And instead acceleration at 1 gee for 6.84 seconds, it could be for 6 second. And addition 1 second of
acceleration at slightly less than 1 gee.
So 6 seconds is 576 feet upward, rather than 750 feet. And 7 second at almost 1 gee 784 feet.
And less than velocity of 224 feet per sec [68 m/s- 152 mph].
In all cases once bottom of pipe leaves water, one gets no more acceleration.
And this last “refinement” at 7 second point, the pressure in pipe is dropping and water isn’t pushed
down as much and is rising. Both these factors are occuring after 6 seconds, but by 7 seconds they
are amounting to something. So at/after 7 second air pressure would be less than 50 psi and water
pushed down less than 113 feet. So 784 + less than 113 feet is less than 897 feet. So more than
100 feet of water in pipe. And more than 216 pipe in the water after 7 second of accleration.
Which means one have about in additional + 3/4 of second of acceleration and + 3/4 of gee.
So one further reduce acelleration of 6 second gee, to say 5 3/4 of second and get about 2 seconds
of about average of .8 gee. And need to use less tonnage of air. And get slightly more than 150 mph.
And one can do better than 150, if one uses more than 1 gee for say first 4-5 seconds of acceleration.
Such increase in acceleration doesn’t require more tonnage of air, just quicker use of air, and bit
more kerosene/methane use [and one using a small amount fuel- roughly one heating 76 ton of air by
+ 140 C.
To heat 1 kg of air by 1 C: 1.0 kJ/kg.K
So say 70,000 kg times 150 K equals 10.5 million kilojoules.
Kerosene 46,200k kJ/kg
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-higher-calorific-values-d_169.html
So 227 kg of kerosene.
Tiny pipelauncher:
5 to 30 ton gross mass rocket:
30 ton: 1 gee acceleration.
8 feet diameter
250 feet long
8 feet diameter. Area 50.24 square feet
50.24 sq ft is 7234.56 square inches
1 foot length is 50.24 cubic feet. 1 cubic foot water weighs about 62 lbs:
1 foot length displaces 50.24 time 62 is 3114.88 lbs.
100 foot lenght: 311,488 lb
To push water 100 ft requires about 1 atm per 33 ft depth. So about 3 atm [14.7 * 3 is 44.1 psi]
1/8″ thick wall pipe 96″ diameter can easily withstand 45 psi.
Circumference of 8′ diameter pipe 25.12 feet.
1 foot length of pipe is 25.12 feet by 1 foot. 25.12 square feet.
1/8th inch thickness of 1 foot square requires 96 square feet to equal one cubic foot.
Or 25.12 square feet at 1/8″ is .261666 cubic feet of material
Cubic foot of aluminum Weighs= 168.5 lbs
“1 cubic foot of aluminum weighs 169.344 Lbs”
“Aluminum is about 171 pounds per cubic foot.”
Assume it’s 171 lbs. Times by .261666 is 44.75 lbs
And 250 feet weighs 44.75 times 250: 11,185.25 lbs
Cap is 50.24 square feet so 1/8″ is 44.75 lbs. 1/4 is 89.5 lb
So 1/8 wall and 1/4″ cap and 8′ diameter and 250 lenght mass is
11,185.25 + 89.5 lb. 11,274.75 lbs. [5 1/2 tons]
Without any additional mass pipelauncher floats with 3.61 feet of air in pipe and
at air pressure of 1.558 psi.
{A human with pressure of breath raise the level it floats above the water. And
would not cause it to sink by much if stood on it.}
“The density of seawater varies between 1.02 and 1.03 SGU, so a cubic foot of seawater
weighs between 63.6 and 64.3 pounds at 40 degrees F.”
“1 cubic foot of water weighs approximately 62.46 pounds.”
“density of fresh water at 20C = 0.998 g/cm³ = 998 kg/m³ = 8.33 lb/gal = 62.1 lb/ft³
density of seawater = 1.025 g/cm³ = 1025 kg/m³ = 8.55 lb/gal = 63.8 lb/ft³
1 foot length: 50.24 cubic feet times salt water at 63.6 is 3195.2 lbs
30 ton payload: 60,000 lbs + pipelauncher 11,274.75 lbs is 71,274.75 lb
71,274.75 lbs. 1 foot length: 3195 lb. 71,274 lbs divided by 3195 is 22.3 feet
71,274 divided by 7234.5 square inches is 9.85 psi
1 gee acceleration:
9.85 psi times 2 is 19.7 psi. And water depressed 44.6 feet under sea level.
9.8 m/s/s 19.7
19.6 m/s/s is 29.5 psi. and water depth of 66.9 feet.

TB
December 29, 2013 9:44 am

December 29, 2013 at 3:27 am
TB says:
December 29, 2013 at 1:29 am
“Konrad: I have discussed this with you on another thread I believe.”
—————————————————————————————-
Yes TB, I believe you have…
You claimed that vertical tropospheric circulation strong enough to generate the observed lapse rate would exist in the absence of radiative cooling at altitude because –
“A natural lapse rate will develop regardless of atmospheric radiative responses. Due differential latitudinal heating > frictional turbulence > convection > overturning > geopotential height gradient > Coriolis > adiabatic cooling/heating – creating a heat pump and warming the lower layers/cooling aloft. Radiation is NOT needed. Models know this.”
“I stand by my response –“
Fair enough;
I stand by my knowledge/training/text books and global models that do not incorporate it as a driver.
Sorry if that is an “appeal to authority”.
“I would suggest that you have left out wizards, unicorns and climate “scientists” frantically waving their hands trying to drive megatonnes of gas in a giant flow from surface to 15Km altitude and back.”
No, it’s just basic meteorology my friend, not magic.
“Out of your depth on a wet pavement” doesn’t really cover it. How about “so far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses”?
Now, no need to get snarky.
Radiative cooling is a factor affecting the temp profile of the Trop to a small degree, but nowhere is it a driver. Convergence/divergence aloft is the principle “top end” physics process in the troposphere.
Sinking air inherently warms under compression anyway, as does the air below this sinking air, so no sig temp differential would exist to provide a sinking motion other than air converging aloft.
Hadley Cells’ prime driver is convection/LH release.
Have you seen the vids of rotating fluids cooled at the centre and warmed at the edges?
They mimic the Earth’s hemispheric flow well enough, without radiative effects having an effect.
Might I suggest that “pwned” would be an elegant sufficiency…?
??

Doug Proctor
December 29, 2013 10:02 am

Would there be a perspective gain in seeing the world not as a gigantic heat engine but a gigantic heat REDISTRIBUTION engine?
The difference I see is that as a redistribution engine (or system) regional heating or cooling is not a sign of additional or less energy per se, i.e. an unbalanced energy budget, nor a system in flux adapting to a change in initial parameters, but a system operating in THIS way at THIS moment.
As a heat engine, we see the world as deterministic. As a heat redistribution engine, we could see the world as probabilistic. Regionalism is not a problem with redistribution but it is with an engine, unless we decide that the engine is either not working “properly” or has had the accelerator push/pulled.
Trenberth wants the deep ocean to be warming (even though he can’t see it) to solve his problem. What if the prior heating is a deep ocean heat RELEASE issue: we know the thermal characteristics of water are so much greater than air that a small, unnoticed heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere would kick the air temps up a great deal.
The climate debate is a who-dun-it where the police have decided that the neighbour did it, and spend all their resources to prove that hypothesis, while ignoring the crack-addicted thug on the corner of the block.

December 29, 2013 11:33 am

Box of Rocks says:
December 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

A couple of ;nitpicks here…
I will disagree. You are forgetting about water. There is a huge amount energy released into space from the transport of warm water pole ward.

No, I am not forgetting about it, but it is not relevant in this context.
We know that we have an uneven distribution of heat around the globe. Some of this is distributed by water and some by air, but I don’t go into that problem. I take the situation as it is, that we have different temperatures around the globe, as a starting point. And from this starting point we know from the physical laws that this different temperatures will stir up some movements in the air and in the water.
These movements are mechanical energy in the form of wind and ocean currents. I am only discussing the winds in this article, and my point is that the potential for creating mechanical energy in the form of wind decreases when all temperatures increases uniformly. When the lower temperatures on the planet increase more than the higher temperatures, as the models predict, the potential for mechanical energy will decrease further.
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 12:15 pm

How the atmosphere processes heat is pretty simple.
There has never: not ever: been anything about the atmosphere that stopped mankind from filling lightweight airframes with human life – as in “we’ll sue you out of existence if there’s anything major you don’t know about this and it causes a problem,” – and landing those human beings anywhere they saw fit.
Just because the people alive today can’t remember doesn’t mean the entire applied research aerospace field didn’t have a very,
very good idea, of the fundamentals of atmospheric action.
It’s a pot of fluid compounds, one of them boils off at the bottom, rises until it emits that heat, condenses and falls again. The others move around in it’s wake, along with earth’s spin imparting it’s motion.
It’s just, not nearly as complicated conceptually, as the entire Magic Gas preaching world, tried to pretend.
Then again pretense is all they had to work with.
And when you make your living
pretending refrigerants and coolant compounds bearing them: water’s the refrigerant, the cold nitrogen and oxygen are the coolant compounds bearing it to the surface of the heated target object –
are all part of “a giant heater,” because you ‘did the math’ and “it shows you that immersing a hot rock into cold, refrigerated nitrogen, made the rock get hotter than when you heated it up in vacuum” – the claim made by warm atmosphere religionists –
it’s no wonder they can’t tell which way a thermometer will go.
And that everything looks impenetrably complicated.

December 29, 2013 12:31 pm

The problem is you self owned.
The whole reason for convective overturn being what it is,
is the radiative gas water: which magnifies the atmosphere’s activity.
So while telling someone ‘pwnd’ is ALWAYS elegant and sufficient,
self-pwnd is even better: and you did because he tried to tell you: the radiative gas class drives the entire thing much harder than if there were no water, being fundamentally responsible for each, individuall Hadley circulation. Each Hadley circulation’s nothing more than a “heat pipe” which is a phase change refrigerator.
Which means the atmosphere’s nothing but a series of refrigerating Hadley cells, or in other words a series of
phase change
refrigeration cells.
This isn’t complicated it’s been known for years, a group of unethical people called ‘Green House Gas Effect” believers hijacked atmospheric science and destroyed an entire current generation’s understanding of gas energy science.
So I’ll call “pwnt”
and consider that I helped by reminding everyone that it’s been known for years,
the Hadley cells are mini refrigeration cycles
the refrigerant being water.
==============
TB says:
December 29, 2013 at 9:44 am
December 29, 2013 at 3:27 am
TB says:
December 29, 2013 at 1:29 am
“Konrad: I have discussed this with you on another thread I believe.”
—————————————————————————————-
Yes TB, I believe you have…
You claimed that vertical tropospheric circulation strong enough to generate the observed lapse rate would exist in the absence of radiative cooling at altitude because –
“A natural lapse rate will develop regardless of atmospheric radiative responses. Due differential latitudinal heating > frictional turbulence > convection > overturning > geopotential height gradient > Coriolis > adiabatic cooling/heating – creating a heat pump and warming the lower layers/cooling aloft. Radiation is NOT needed. Models know this.”
“I stand by my response –“
Fair enough;
I stand by my knowledge/training/text books and global models that do not incorporate it as a driver.
Sorry if that is an “appeal to authority”.
“I would suggest that you have left out wizards, unicorns and climate “scientists” frantically waving their hands trying to drive megatonnes of gas in a giant flow from surface to 15Km altitude and back.”
No, it’s just basic meteorology my friend, not magic.
“Out of your depth on a wet pavement” doesn’t really cover it. How about “so far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses”?
Now, no need to get snarky.
Radiative cooling is a factor affecting the temp profile of the Trop to a small degree, but nowhere is it a driver. Convergence/divergence aloft is the principle “top end” physics process in the troposphere.
Sinking air inherently warms under compression anyway, as does the air below this sinking air, so no sig temp differential would exist to provide a sinking motion other than air converging aloft.
Hadley Cells’ prime driver is convection/LH release.
Have you seen the vids of rotating fluids cooled at the centre and warmed at the edges?
They mimic the Earth’s hemispheric flow well enough, without radiative effects having an effect.
Might I suggest that “pwned” would be an elegant sufficiency…?
??

Dinostratus
December 29, 2013 2:03 pm

Well this post went chest up.
“the maximum theoretical efficiency decreases with increasing temperatures”
Um. No. Not really. Sort of? Hmmm…. No. Not really. The “maximum theoretical efficiency” decreases as the cycle becomes less square on a T-s diagram. The solution to increasing differences between Th and Tc is to increase the range of Va to Vc thus making it more square in the, again, T-s space. These sorts of problems are better worked out in T-s space or at least P-T space since dP drives V.
I didn’t have the heart to read the rest of the argument but the increasing temperature difference leads to more storm energy is a basic NS energy balance argument. Lindzen gave the best rebuttal which was to show that GWT predicts increasing polar temperatures and even tropical temperatures thus lessening the temperature difference that drives storms.

TB
December 29, 2013 4:02 pm

[Snip. Duplicate post. ~ mod]

TB
December 29, 2013 4:11 pm

December 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm
The problem is you self owned.
The whole reason for convective overturn being what it is,
is the radiative gas water: which magnifies the atmosphere’s activity.
So while telling someone ‘pwnd’ is ALWAYS elegant and sufficient,
self-pwnd is even better: and you did because he tried to tell you: the radiative gas class drives the entire thing much harder than if there were no water, being fundamentally responsible for each, individuall Hadley circulation. Each Hadley circulation’s nothing more than a “heat pipe” which is a phase change refrigerator.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No he didn’t actually. He (Konrad) claims a HC is driven by radiative cooling aloft causing descent. It is not. Full stop. The reasons are as I state, and are incorporated in the equations that go into NWP models. By his reasoning they’d go berserk.
I also said the prime driver is convection and LH release. You have just said the same thing in another way.
“Which means the atmosphere’s nothing but a series of refrigerating Hadley cells, or in other words a series of
phase change
refrigeration cells.”
It’s far, far more than that my friend.
Get a text book on Meteorology and start at page 1.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“This isn’t complicated it’s been known for years, a group of unethical people called ‘Green House Gas Effect” believers hijacked atmospheric science and destroyed an entire current generation’s understanding of gas energy science.”
I’m afraid it is complicate my friend, and efforts to simplify it defy belief.
Known for years? Well my professional meteorological knowledge goes back to 1974. You?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“So I’ll call “pwnt””
If it makes you happy
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“and consider that I helped by reminding everyone that it’s been known for years,
the Hadley cells are mini refrigeration cycles
the refrigerant being water.”
Correct in a simplistic way – but that’s not what Konrad was arguing.
I suggest after page 1 you skip to Coriolis and divergence/convergence zone entrance/exits in jet streams (vital understanding regarding the upper branch of a HC) and also the vast majority of mid/upper latitude meteorology.

TB
December 29, 2013 4:12 pm

[Snip. Duplicate post. ~mod.]

December 29, 2013 4:13 pm

I see I wrote “Hadley cells” when I shoulda written “Hadley-like cells” or “refrigeration circulation cells” but I don’t typically place a lot of importance on an occasional grammatical slip.
Those who want to get the point always do, those who desperately wish it wasn’t there, never do.

TB
December 29, 2013 4:15 pm

[Snip. Duplicate post. ~ mod]

TB
December 29, 2013 4:17 pm

Cont
“This isn’t complicated it’s been known for years, a group of unethical people called ‘Green House Gas Effect” believers hijacked atmospheric science and destroyed an entire current generation’s understanding of gas energy science.”
I’m afraid it is complicate my friend, and efforts to simplify it defy belief.
Known for years? Well my professional meteorological knowledge goes back to 1974. You?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“So I’ll call “pwnt””
If it makes you happy
Cont

TB
December 29, 2013 4:18 pm

[Snip. Duplicate post. AGAIN. Best to lay off the hooch when commenting, TB. ~ mod]

December 29, 2013 4:18 pm

Such as TB here with his flailing.
You can’t help willful disbelief of what’s in front of someone’s eyes. Everyone who’s ever seen a heat pipe in action knows it’s a form of phase change refrigeration,
and everyone who’s ever overviewed atmospheric circulation knows it’s a series of refrigeration cells,
and every that the Hadley, Ferrel, and Polar cells, are driven primarily by the phase change effect of water making possible circulation otherwise impossible.

TB
December 29, 2013 4:20 pm

“and consider that I helped by reminding everyone that it’s been known for years,
the Hadley cells are mini refrigeration cycles
the refrigerant being water.”
Correct in a simplistic way – but that’s not what Konrad was arguing.
I suggest after page 1 you skip to Coriolis and divergence/convergence zone entrance/exits in jet streams (vital understanding regarding the upper branch of a HC)

TB
December 29, 2013 4:51 pm

December 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm
Such as TB here with his flailing.
You can’t help willful disbelief of what’s in front of someone’s eyes. Everyone who’s ever seen a heat pipe in action knows it’s a form of phase change refrigeration,
and everyone who’s ever overviewed atmospheric circulation knows it’s a series of refrigeration cells,
and every that the Hadley, Ferrel, and Polar cells, are driven primarily by the phase change effect of water making possible circulation otherwise impossible.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
As I said Bill, whatever makes you happy then believe it, why not. Some people believe in fairies. It’s generally harmless.
Can I ask you what you do/did for a living?
Was it a profession. A scientific one perhaps? I have the same profession as Anthony – our host here.
Would you like to contact him directly and tell him you know more about it than him … because that’s what you have just done by inference.
Anyway whatever you do/did do. Well I know more than you. So there. Start flailing.
Like I said Meteorology is far more complicated than that. Just as a start you overlook a basic. The Earth spins my friend. And that adds a vital dynamic to things.
This will be instructive for you….
http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/~bms/lecture_atmphys/AtmosphericPhysics_04_05_dyn.pdf

TB
December 29, 2013 4:55 pm

TB says:
December 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm
[Snip. Duplicate post. AGAIN. Best to lay off the hooch when commenting, TB. ~ mod]
Sorry mod – I’m sober honest.
I simply thought it’d got lost in the ether!

December 29, 2013 5:00 pm

The Ferrel cells are included as part of that. Their motion’s responsible for picking up moisture that later falls out as polar and ferrel cells encounter each other and mixing causes that moisture to fall out in the snow bands around the world, where polar cell circulation and ferrel cell circulations collide.
It doesn’t take an entire book to know how the atmosphere works. It’s fluid compound of nitrogen and oxygen that are quite cold. Mixed with them is some water vapor gas which acts as phase change refrigerant.
The motion and action isn’t difficult to perceive in fact you have to be willfully trying not to. It’s a freezing cold fluid bath for a rock whose surface temperature’s a lot warmer than it is.
It’s always cooling the planet even when the sun goes down just like when you close your refrigerator, and the light that was warming it because they were close, goes off, the heat the light put into your soda is being washed off by the same cold, atmospheric mix, that washes the entire rest of the world cooler.
You don’t have the sun go down and tell yourself “Thank goodness it got dark, the dropping temperature of the nighttime air can help me stay warmer, longer.”
No matter how many Green House Gassers told you when the light goes off in your refrigerator the cold air washing over it is “helping it stay warm until the light comes back on.”
That’s not real science.
That’s Greenhouse Gas Effect believer pseudo-science.

December 29, 2013 5:55 pm

No, it’s not unbelievably complicated, TB.
It’s a cold bath of thermally conductive coolant compound, nitrogen, and oxygen.
It’s been shot with some phase change refrigerant to augment the circulation, which is water.
That’s how complicated it gets. I was born in 1961 and had that much locked down by the time I was 13 or so,
so yeah I’ll go ahead and claim my general grasp of what makes the atmosphere function like it does has been fully realized since then.
You denied it did and said models and texts do, too.
Regardless of who admits it the loss of the heat by the water
causes it to change phase.
This augments upward convective process considerably.
So yeah: your claim that because you don’t recall it “in texts and models” means it’s not important as a driver’s just wrong.
It is a significant contribution to the overall circulatory contribution by water.
Feel free to act like there’s some way for you around that if ya want to I’m not gonna go around and around about it, everybody can see who’s been saying what.

December 29, 2013 6:00 pm

My posts and other peoples’ aren’t appearing in sequence that’s why the conversation’s not fluid just so you, those reading, know.

December 29, 2013 6:09 pm

Matter of fact one of TB’s got lost hence the one above for me, so then I made one responding to the one he made, etc… so conversations get confused looking. Hey – bear up – you could be watching all this go on somehow
via snail mail.
Woah.

dp
December 29, 2013 8:23 pm

A real heat engine does work external to the engine. The so called “heat engine” that is the earth climate system does not. I think therefore it is a miscalculation to call the earth’s climate system a heat engine. All the solar energy that makes it work has to leave the system so the system doesn’t heat up. Any earthly heat engine scenario is, ultimately, latency in that heat removal process meaning the earth heats up. That is the alarmist position. The earth’s climate system is certainly dynamic and moves energy around but I think it falls well short of a classic heat engine/Carnot cycle model.

December 29, 2013 8:50 pm

TB my post from some time back got lost and I see you’re very concerned about being viewed as competent to understand a hot rock,
in a stream of cold nitrogen and oxygen.
You’ve already expressed surprise anyone else knows the atmosphere’s a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath refrigerated by sets of global convection cells exploiting phase change refrigerating action of water.
How in the world you can claim you’ve been around atmospheric energy since 1974 and not have heard that I find that not unusual: I find it just plain bizarre.
I’m not in the field of meteorology.
The reputation of my field is fully intact and unruined by scandalous revelation even the top professionals can’t read a thermometer.
I’m an Electronic Engineer. Specifically the area called Radiation Communications and Controls.
Whenever someone identifies themselves me as part of the field
whose foundations have been rocked by revelations many so called professionals and ‘scientists’
believe in glaringly unreal impossibilities,
I think you should know the fact you admit you’re a meteorologist and yet seem to be so perplexed leads me to think I should just ask you straight out, if you believe in the tenets of Green House Gas Effect ‘warm atmosphere’ pseudo-science.
If you don’t fine but if you do, then you’re going to have to tell others your stories about the magic heater because I’m not going to listen to it.
(1)As a professional claiming understanding of the science of atmospheric energy do you believe possible the illumination of a sphere, spinning in vacuum until it’s temp is stable, being immersed into a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath, causing every heat sensor on the sphere surface showing temperature increase?
Because in the real world: in real science like I practice – that’s impossible and no other field even claims it to be anything but prepostrous. Nevertheless many in climatology/meteorology have been seen saying,
they believe in a magical frigid nitrogen oxygen bath, which makes objects hotter than if they weren’t placed into a frigid bath at all, and hotter even than if they were kept heated, in vacuum.
If you answer yes to this critical question you need to know, your answers had better sound good because you’re immediately in the perpetuum mobim realm.
(2)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend reflective media (H2O/CO2) between sphere and illumination source, reflecting away 20% energy in, causing sensors on the sphere surface to show more energy to them,
than when there was more energy to them?
Again: an answer of yes immediately marks you as one whose conversation will not make sense if you try to refer to such magical glitterings.
(3)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend more reflective media
(H2O/CO2) than before such that 25% energy in is reflected away,
raising outputs of energy sensors yet again, so they show more energy in at 75%
than when there was more energy in at 80%?
This one’s an extension of the second but if you believe possible one you believe the other.
=======
In real scientific fields like mine no one believes in this junk; in fact just one “Yes I do!” answer immediately marks you as unable to fully comprehend the chain of events that occur when someone places a rock heated in vacuum, into a stream of cold nitrogen/oxygen compound.
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion you believe in all the above. If that’s not true then by all means let me know but I’ve got a feeling you’re going to be just changing the subject to anything but what I want to talk about.
Whether or not you really grasp what the atmosphere operates as.

December 29, 2013 9:15 pm

If you assure me and everyone reading you don’t believe in magically, algebraically reversed cooling/heating functions then I’ll believe you.
But understanding the shape the fields of climate and meteorology, it’s incumbent on anyone coming into contact with any one of you who says you’re part of the field,
to do an assessment of just how likely you are, to be able to determine which way a thermometer would go if someone epoxies it to a sphere, illuminates it in vacuum,
the plunges into cold nitrogen/oxygen compound, bath.
If your answers are ‘No that’s impossible’ three times, you’re cleared as not having been overcome by magical wishing instead of factual thinking.

Mario Lento
December 29, 2013 9:53 pm

dp says:
December 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm
A real heat engine does work external to the engine. The so called “heat engine” that is the earth climate system does not. I think therefore it is a miscalculation to call the earth’s climate system a heat engine. All the solar energy that makes it work has to leave the system so the system doesn’t heat up. Any earthly heat engine scenario is, ultimately, latency in that heat removal process meaning the earth heats up. That is the alarmist position. The earth’s climate system is certainly dynamic and moves energy around but I think it falls well short of a classic heat engine/Carnot cycle model.
++++++++++++++
The point of the article, I think, is that weather extremes or work done by a hotter planet would tend to have a less efficient environment by which to do work because the delta T decreases associated with a warmer planet earth. No where in the article did I read that this had anything to do with driving global climate temperatures. So, while I am not disagreeing with what you believe, I think your implication is unfounded with regard to this article.

December 29, 2013 10:53 pm

One of the early criticisms/premises originally brought up was reduced Carnot efficiency and the general murmur among the Magic Gas/Light crowd was the slowing of the conveyor, would allow heat to build up all along the way, as well as creating “super storms” in warm areas.

December 29, 2013 11:32 pm

dp says:
December 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

A real heat engine does work external to the engine.

Dp, can you show me any reference in support for this definition?
Because I think it is misleading. A heat engine use heat to create mechanical energy. I-e- movements, that is all there is to it.
You may look it up in the classical textbook by James Senft. You find it in the first sentence in the free preview on Amazon:
/ Jan

December 29, 2013 11:41 pm

My link above came out like an adverisement for this book with “buy it” button, that was not my intention.
/Jan

December 30, 2013 4:20 am

I see in haste of blogging I said a couple of things not true as written, one of them being that water is the main driver of the circulation cells, when I meant to say water’s radiation to space at the altitude it does, is a main agent controlling size, therefore rates, of energy handling, of the circulation cells.
The circulation system’s different than if the water didn’t radiate where it does, and the circulation system’s different than it would be if the water didn’t change phase as well.
Water’s energy/pressure characteristics in fact shape the lower troposphere a lot, and your claim of course was that it’s energy release altitude’s effect, is negligible.
It’s a refrigerant flowing amid some other coolants.
If it didn’t boil off, amid the other coolants, radiate & return how it does,
the entire area it’s activity impacts,
would handle energy differently.
There was something else I said – about whether actually Konrad was saying the radiation of the water “drove the system harder” as in “more volume.”
I said,
he had said, that’s the case- but I didn’t see him say that.
I inferred then projected my take rather than what I’d seen him say.
cold atmosphere proponent. I don’t think he believes in warm atmosphere religion where the algebraic polarity of an icy bath simply reverses because some scammer wished it did.
=======
The reason I interjected is specifically tailored around having seen people say
the energy handling/release characteristics of water
aren’t important regarding it’s actions as refrigerant, in lower troposphere energy handling.
What? Yeah.
Everything about the realm in which the refrigeration cycle operates
is important,
except the energy handling/release characteristics of the refrigerant. Maybe.
Maybe not. So I realize I “blogged in haste.”
However not so much haste
I tried to tell people in a region where refrigerant
is an important handler of energy
handling of energy, in that same region,
has little at all to do with the energy handling and release characteristics
of the refrigerant.
That’s just not possible on it’s face.
The size of the space you refrigerate with the water
is directly dependent on where the water releases energy.

December 30, 2013 8:21 am

TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

The Earth’s climate is an open system – with a constant input of energy from the Sun and a constant emission of that energy to space after conversion into terrestrial IR. Therefore the efficiency of the conversion does not matter.

Yes it does TB, and I think your argument is beside the point.
My point is to show that the potential for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy is reduced when both the cold element and the warm element heat equally much.
If there were no temperature differences on the Earth’s surface, and no heating, there would not be much wind either. But when temperature differences and solar heating exist, the atmosphere will start to move. A fundamental cause is that heating of a gas makes the volume to increase and therefore start a fluctuation.
But for a given temperature increase, say 10 C, the volume will increase more if you start with a low temperature than a high one.
An increase from 0 C to 10 C make the volume increase by 3.66%,
an increase from 10C to 20C make the volume increase by 3.53%
The higher the temperature is, the lower the increase in volume will be.
This reduces the potential for wind when all temperatures increase equally much. When the lowest temperatures increase more than the higher, as will be the case for the Earth’s surface, the potential will be further reduced.
/ Jan

TB
December 30, 2013 8:46 am

December 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm
No, it’s not unbelievably complicated, TB.
“It’s a cold bath of thermally conductive coolant compound, nitrogen, and oxygen.”
No, it’s a system on incoming SW radiation stirred by a spinning Earth on a complex surface of water, mountain, snow etc, after which is emitted to space as LW.There are feedbacks and drivers, chicken and egg. Not to mention (on the weather scale) enormous chaos.
“It’s been shot with some phase change refrigerant to augment the circulation, which is water.
That’s how complicated it gets. I was born in 1961 and had that much locked down by the time I was 13 or so,”
Did you scan through that link (you’d do well to understand that at 13) – forget the curly d’s there should be enough one-syllable words and pretty pictures for the average man to realise it’s NOT that simple.
“so yeah I’ll go ahead and claim my general grasp of what makes the atmosphere function like it does has been fully realized since then.”
You’d be wrong. And I’m waiting for you to flail about in me denying you know nothing about you profession while I ignorantly argue I do, cos I’d had it figured out by 13.
So what, he’s wrong. If he was right then Global NWP models wouldn’t work …. Hang on maybe you/he have it right. They didn’t do well the the Atlantic Hurricane season, did they?
“You denied it did and said models and texts do, too.”
Correct because it is not a Driver.
Bill, I’ll try one more time..
I take it you agree that the Earth’s spin causes moving air in the NH to turn right. Yes?
So imagine you are coming out of your local football terraces and merge into a stream of people in a narrow belt moving at right angles. Are you not forced to slow as people around you merge into that stream?
That’s called convergence Bill, and as the air can’t go up (capped by the tropopause) … it SINKS, to for the belt of sub-tropical highs around 30 deg N/S.
It just one half of just about the most important mechanism driving our atmosphere – the other is divergence. It is these two things that (acting in the region of jet-streams especially) greatly affect the atmosphere/weather below. Convergence aloft causes divergence below (HP). Divergence aloft causes convergence below (LP). It is this sucking/blowing effect that drives the atmosphere – ALONG with convective uplift. Radiative cooling aloft is NOT a driver. It happens but air would move the same way without it.
“Regardless of who admits it the loss of the heat by the water
causes it to change phase.”
I don’t/haven’t argued against that for one second. But it is only one side of the equation.
“This augments upward convective process considerably.”
Correct – but once the air is up there it moves (in the HC) as I’ve described.
“So yeah: your claim that because you don’t recall it “in texts and models” means it’s not important as a driver’s just wrong.”
You’d better tell that to the rest of World’s Meteorologists the, not just me – a Nobel’s in the offing.
“It is a significant contribution to the overall circulatory contribution by water.”
It is Bill, but only a part.
“Feel free to act like there’s some way for you around that if ya want to I’m not gonna go around and around about it, everybody can see who’s been saying what.”
Of course “I feel free to act like there’s no way round it”. Because I’m right.
I’m sorry, but you don’t gain anything like a complete understanding of the Earth’s climate system without being taught/learning in the job. And to turn up at your Doc’s and argue black is white that your heart isn’t the blood’s pump, your bladder is – against him, is staggering. In order to learn you need to be receptive to being taught and to do that we do indeed need to “appeal to authority” – as that is what students do at college/university, and that scientists do – because they don’t invent science on a whim. It comes from scientists/thinkers before them.
Newton said “If I have seen so far. It is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.
It was good enough for him Bill.
Why not you?
PS ( I’m in no way a giant BTW – just trying to get across basic Meteorology).

December 30, 2013 8:56 am

Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
December 30, 2013 at 8:21 am
You are getting very close.
For a planet with no atmosphere both the height at which the S-B equation is satisfied and the effective radiating height are together at the surface.
Consider that conduction raises off the surface the height at which the S-B equation is satisfied.
In contrast, the radiative capability of the atmosphere raises off the surface the so-called effective radiating height.
Note that the two heights are then different.
Wind is then required to ensure that the energy at the S-B height is moved to the effective radiating height so as to maintain radiative equilibrium for the system as a whole.
You may be regarding winds as horizontal movements but in fact those horizontal movements actually enable vertical movements of energy so that gravitational potential energy (PE) at the S-B height can be shifted down to the effective radiating height and converted to kinetic energy (KE) at the effective radiating height for radiation to space.
That is what s going on.
Neat or not ?

December 30, 2013 9:36 am

Jan said:
“My point is to show that the potential for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy is reduced when both the cold element and the warm element heat equally much”
The S-B height is the warm element.
The effective radiating height is the cold element.
The closer together they are the less wind (circulation) there will be and the further apart they are the more wind there will be. That confirms your point.
When they are together at the surface there is no atmosphere and no wind.
For a non radiative atmosphere they would be at maximum width apart with lots of wind.
For an atmosphere with radiative capability they will be closer together with less wind.
The water cycle acts as a ‘lubricant’ so, whatever the distance apart, less wind will be required than would otherwise be the case.
Now, we need to figure out what makes the two heights vary relative to one another and I say it is the sun from above affecting atmospheric chemistry and the oceans from below affecting atmospheric latent heat content both of which are magnitudes greater than changes in radiative capability.
In any event if one only changes the atmosphere’s radiative capability with all else remaining the same then all that will happen is a change in the relative heights for the S-B level and the effective radiating level that will change the amount of wind with a minimal, if any, change in surface temperature.

TB
December 30, 2013 10:22 am

Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
December 30, 2013 at 8:21 am
TB says:
December 28, 2013 at 9:35 am
The Earth’s climate is an open system – with a constant input of energy from the Sun and a constant emission of that energy to space after conversion into terrestrial IR. Therefore the efficiency of the conversion does not matter.
Yes it does TB, and I think your argument is beside the point.
It’s all the point Jan.
When comparing the Earth’s climate to anything – we recognise, say, that it is an orange. That being the case, we compare it to another orange, or at least a tangerine. Certainly not a banana.
What matters is that that is what comes as energy in must go out.
If it doesn’t we heat up.
The efficiency of the climate system matters not a jot (in how it uses that energy to cause weather).
As it is merely the mediator in the exchange of Solar absorbed > LWIR emitted to space.
All the inefficiencies/vagaries/cycles within weather (~30 years) do not alter the basics of Energy in must equal energy out…. Or we’re in trouble.
Weather, or your “Carnot engine” is just the internal chaos of the system, when measured at the fill up/exhaust bit of Earth (TOA) the chaos disappears. Like water boiling in a pan on a stove. Put a known amount of heat into it and it will reach boiling in a known amount of time (with known starting conditions). That is, it does not matter how the water churns around in the pan (weather) as that’s internal chaos and the end result, say 100C in 99 sec, is predictable.

December 30, 2013 10:34 am

TB said:
“Like water boiling in a pan on a stove. Put a known amount of heat into it and it will reach boiling in a known amount of time (with known starting conditions). That is, it does not matter how the water churns around in the pan (weather) as that’s internal chaos and the end result, say 100C in 99 sec, is predictable.”
And that 100C is set by atmospheric pressure on the surface.
I contend that, similarly, atmospheric pressure determines the energy cost of evaporation and so in turn determines the energy that the oceans can hold in the long term subject to shorter term internal ocean variations.
The ultimate factor that determines the amount of energy that the earth system can hold on to from any given level of solar input is set by the density of the mass of the atmosphere.
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earths-equilibrium-temperature/

December 30, 2013 12:14 pm

TB says:
December 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

Weather, or your “Carnot engine” is just the internal chaos of the system, when measured at the fill up/exhaust bit of Earth (TOA) the chaos disappears. Like water boiling in a pan on a stove. Put a known amount of heat into it and it will reach boiling in a known amount of time (with known starting conditions). That is, it does not matter how the water churns around in the pan (weather) as that’s internal chaos and the end result, say 100C in 99 sec, is predictable

TB, when we discuss whether the Carnot theorem matters or not, it is crucial that we agree on what it may matter for. I was discussing the weather, or more specifically the wind, in this article, but you say here that the weather doesn’t matter.
As in your example above, I’m not interested in the “end result” as you call it above. It is, to use your example again, how the water churns around in the pan (weather), that I am discussing.
/ Jan

TB
December 30, 2013 12:30 pm

Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
December 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm
“As in your example above, I’m not interested in the “end result” as you call it above. It is, to use your example again, how the water churns around in the pan (weather), that I am discussing.”
Fair enough Jan – but the title to this thread is “Climate as a heat engine”.
I take climate to mean, as in long term (>~30 years). Such that we eliminate weather cycles and reveal long term heating/cooling trends.
Returning to my OP is enough to appreciate the meteorological argument (and not with regards reduced jet strength) for extra energy being supplied to the atmosphere via LH release due increased absolute humidity.

December 30, 2013 1:19 pm

TB says:
December 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Fair enough Jan – but the title to this thread is “Climate as a heat engine”.
I take climate to mean, as in long term (>~30 years). Such that we eliminate weather cycles and reveal long term heating/cooling trends.

Yes, of course climate is the theme, but I am discussing the consequences for the weather in the long run when some underlying factors are changed.
A storm is a weather phenomenon, and what I am discussing is that the forces which create the storm will weaken when the temperatures increase and the differences are getting smaller. The eventual temperature increase is of cause a long time climate phenomenon.
/ Jan

December 30, 2013 1:42 pm

TB says:
“I take climate to mean, as in long term (>~30 years). Such that we eliminate weather cycles and reveal long term heating/cooling trends.”
OK then, let’s look a the real long term trend.
NO acceleration whatever in global temperatures. Therefore, the rise in CO2 over the past century and a half has had NO effect at all. QED
TB just can NOT admit that the empirical evidence falsifies his world view, can he?

TB
December 30, 2013 2:47 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
December 30, 2013 at 10:34 am
TB said:
“Like water boiling in a pan on a stove. Put a known amount of heat into it and it will reach boiling in a known amount of time (with known starting conditions). That is, it does not matter how the water churns around in the pan (weather) as that’s internal chaos and the end result, say 100C in 99 sec, is predictable.”
And that 100C is set by atmospheric pressure on the surface.
I contend that, similarly, atmospheric pressure determines the energy cost of evaporation and so in turn determines the energy that the oceans can hold in the long term subject to shorter term internal ocean variations.
The ultimate factor that determines the amount of energy that the earth system can hold on to from any given level of solar input is set by the density of the mass of the atmosphere.
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earths-equilibrium-temperature/
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Stephen, I’ve had a scan through your paper. I don’t think you’ll be surprised that I don’t agree with it.
Quotes from same…
“That is the point at which the oceans reach an equilibrium temperature and it is that ocean
temperature which then controls the temperature of the air above and NOT the Greenhouse
Effect. The real arbiter of the Earth’s equilibrium temperature is instead what I have termed
The Hot Water Bottle Effect.”
SST’s and heat stored in the oceans certainly do affect atmospheric temperature. That is largely why we have the current “pause” – 8 years BTW – as there has been a preponderance of La Ninas.
Don’t agree with the (lack of) GHE – that is adding heat to the oceans (see below).
“Water boils away at 100 degrees C so in other words the process of evaporation removes
from the local environment (in the form of latent heat) over five times the amount of energy
required to induce that evaporation.”
No, the LH of evaporation comes from the local environment – has too. It isn’t magicked from the ether. Evaporation will extract the LH requirement from the water or air below/above, most from the warmer. So it takes away the LH from the surface and deposits it via condensation aloft. Result zero net gain/loss from the climate system.
“However over the Earth as a whole the water is
nearly always warmer than the air (due to solar input) so inevitably the average global energy
flow is from oceans to air via that latent heat of evaporation into the air and the energy
needed is taken from the water. This leads to a thin (1mm deep) layer of cooler water over the
oceans worldwide and below the evaporative region that is some 0.3C cooler than the ocean
bulk below. The evaporative process extracts energy faster from the oceans than it can be
drawn up from below and added from above otherwise that cool layer could not be present.
That 1mm deep 0.3 cooler layer is a critical diagnostic indicator but as far as I can tell it has
never been recognised as such. It is disturbed by diurnal and seasonal variations and by
changes in wind speed but on average over time it is a permanent fixed feature of our ocean
surfaces.”
You are thinking entirely radiatively here Stephen. You mention conduction (not quoted) in passing, but it plays a much larger part than you give it credit for. Yes, there is surface evaporation but as the surface skin is cooled via LH evap then so the temp differential between ocean skin and air is reduced. (as you say by ~0.3C). Ergo the conductive part of the equation is reduced. So letting less heat through from the more turbulent mixed layers below to heat the atmosphere in contact with the ocean. In effect a small warming blanket is created by the evaporating skin to the water below
http://www.realclimate.org/images/Minnett_2.gif
Stephen, across the 71% of the Earth’s surface that is ocean/water the surface pressure will average the same at any given moment or at least over the course of a short period of time. Therefore any atmospheric effect on evaporation will cancel out, and anyway an insulation effect will take over.
Also ARGO float data show ocean temps rising at many (even abyssal) levels – so where is the rise coming from if you theory is correct?
“Many are pointing out that the feedback from more energy in the air seems to be negative
(more convection, rainfall and clouds in particular) rather than positive and the observed
climate shifts over the past ten years (more atmospheric ‘blocking’ events causing the surface
pressure systems to shift around more and producing more meridional/equatorward jet
streams) seem to be confirming that view since the temperature trend is increasingly
diverging from that expected from more CO2 emissions.”
I’m sorry, I don’t agree that –ve feedbacks dominate over +ve.
Lets look at it logically…
Earth varies between nice and comfortable temps inter-glacially to ice age conditions (via changes in orbital characteristics).
If feed-backs where largely –ve how would we ever get out of an IA?
You are saying that rising temps lead to falling temps or at least a regulation of them.
So in an IA what will amplify ocean then air temps if the feed-backs weren’t mainly +ve. We know they have flipped quickly and CO2 has tracked them mirror-like. You do accept CO2 is a GHG? Therefore amplifying temp rise. Descent into an IA is explainable even with -ve feed-backs – just via increased albedo, but how do we get out of an IA with –ve ones? At least as quickly as evidence shows?
Yes, I agree that we are seeing more meridional flow, but why should that alter temperature trends since if cold air flows away from the Arctic (say) then the Arctic must warm relative to when it kept that cold air. Similarly a meridional flow induces warm air north to balance the equation in a hemispheric sense.
Also why would it give more cloud? Colder air is drier, so as that moves south over warmer temps in winter its convective cloud infill will be minimal/zero over land giving a net cooling anomaly. Over sea broken convective infill, therefore net warming anomaly. Warm air moving N in winter will produce low cloud via cooling/condensing, hence net warming anomaly over both land/ocean. In summer cold air moving S will be highly convective over sea (net cooling anomaly) but dry with limited convective infill still over land giving a net warming anomaly. Warm air moving north in summer tending to cool/condense over ocean giving net surface cooling, balanced by net warming over land. So I see no net feedback either way. (NB in all of the above I speak as of radiative balance NOT temp levels).

December 30, 2013 2:55 pm

I see in haste of blogging I said a couple of things not true as written, one of them being that water is the main driver of the circulation cells, when I meant to say water’s radiation to space at the altitude it does, is a main agent controlling size, therefore rates, of energy handling, of the circulation cells.
The circulation system’s different than if the water didn’t radiate where it does, and the circulation system’s different than it would be if the water didn’t change phase as well.
Water’s energy/pressure characteristics in fact shape the lower troposphere a lot, and your claim of course was that it’s energy release altitude is nominally negligible.
It’s a refrigerant flowing amid some other coolants.
If it didn’t boil off, amid the other coolants, radiate & return how it does,
the entire area it’s activity impacts,
would handle energy differently.
There was something else I said – about whether actually Konrad was saying the radiation of the water “drove the system harder” as in “more volume.”
I said,
that’s the case-
-but I didn’t see him say that.
I inferred then projected my take rather than what I’d seen him say.
cold atmosphere proponent. I don’t think he believes in warm atmosphere religion
where the algebraic polarity of an icy bath
simply reverses because some scammer wished it did.
=======
The reason I interjected is specifically tailored around having seen people say
“the energy handling/release characteristics of water
aren’t important regarding it’s actions as refrigerant,
and convection boundary assignment, in lower troposphere energy handling.
What?
Yeah.
Everything about the realm in which the refrigeration cycle operates
is important,
except
the energy handling/release characteristics of the refrigerant. Maybe.
Maybe not.
So I realize I “blogged in haste.”
However not so much haste
I tried to tell people in a region where refrigerant
is an important handler of energy
handling of energy, in that region,
has little at all to do
with the energy handling and release characteristics
of the refrigerant.
That’s just not possible on it’s face.
The size of the space refrigerated by water
is directly dependent on where the water releases energy.

December 30, 2013 3:10 pm

TB,
I am grateful to you for the time you spent reading my article and I note your comments.
I could deal with each point in detail but do not wish to derail this thread.
I think you would have an uphill struggle convincing anyone that the system response to a change in internal forcing elements is not negative.

December 30, 2013 3:14 pm

I’d be interested to hear Jan’s take on my posts at 8.56 am and 9.36 am which appear to support his thesis but place it in a broader context.

December 30, 2013 3:21 pm

TB has apparently failed to see what I asked him so I’m re-posting it so everyone can be sure TB has had the opportunity to defend his religion. I knew as soon as I saw him trying to deny the effect of water on shaping global circulation he was going to be saying crazy things so I went over to another thread that’s current now and sure enough, he’s denying science: denying it hasn’t warmed for 17 years, when everybody else on earth but apparently him, Trenberth and Mike Mann don’t know that.
Here’s the re-post:
TB my post from some time back got lost and I see you’re very concerned about being viewed as competent to understand a hot rock,
in a stream of cold nitrogen and oxygen.
You’ve already expressed surprise anyone else knows the atmosphere’s a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath refrigerated by sets of global convection cells exploiting phase change refrigerating action of water.
How in the world you can claim you’ve been around atmospheric energy since 1974 and not have heard that I find that not unusual: I find it just plain bizarre.
I’m not in the field of meteorology.
The reputation of my field is fully intact and unruined by scandalous revelation even the top professionals can’t read a thermometer.
I’m an Electronic Engineer. Specifically the area called Radiation Communications and Controls.
Whenever someone identifies themselves me as part of the field
whose foundations have been rocked by revelations many so called professionals and ‘scientists’
believe in glaringly unreal impossibilities,
I think you should know the fact you admit you’re a meteorologist and yet seem to be so perplexed leads me to think I should just ask you straight out, if you believe in the tenets of Green House Gas Effect ‘warm atmosphere’ pseudo-science.
If you don’t fine but if you do, then you’re going to have to tell others your stories about the magic heater because I’m not going to listen to it.
(1)As a professional claiming understanding of the science of atmospheric energy do you believe possible the illumination of a sphere, spinning in vacuum until it’s temp is stable, being immersed into a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath, causing every heat sensor on the sphere surface showing temperature increase?
Because in the real world: in real science like I practice – that’s impossible and no other field even claims it to be anything but prepostrous. Nevertheless many in climatology/meteorology have been seen saying,
they believe in a magical frigid nitrogen oxygen bath, which makes objects hotter than if they weren’t placed into a frigid bath at all, and hotter even than if they were kept heated, in vacuum.
If you answer yes to this critical question you need to know, your answers had better sound good because you’re immediately in the perpetuum mobim realm.
(2)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend reflective media (H2O/CO2) between sphere and illumination source, reflecting away 20% energy in, causing sensors on the sphere surface to show more energy to them,
than when there was more energy to them?
Again: an answer of yes immediately marks you as one whose conversation will not make sense if you try to refer to such magical glitterings.
(3)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend more reflective media
(H2O/CO2) than before such that 25% energy in is reflected away,
raising outputs of energy sensors yet again, so they show more energy in at 75%
than when there was more energy in at 80%?
This one’s an extension of the second but if you believe possible one you believe the other.
=======
In real scientific fields like mine no one believes in this junk; in fact just one “Yes I do!” answer immediately marks you as unable to fully comprehend the chain of events that occur when someone places a rock heated in vacuum, into a stream of cold nitrogen/oxygen compound.
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion you believe in all the above. If that’s not true then by all means let me know but I’ve got a feeling you’re going to be just changing the subject to anything but what I want to talk about.
Whether or not you really grasp what the atmosphere operates as.

December 30, 2013 3:25 pm

You feel free to go get whoever you think you have to have near you so you feel safe TB.

December 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
December 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I’d be interested to hear Jan’s take on my posts at 8.56 am and 9.36 am which appear to support his thesis but place it in a broader context.

I have read through both your postings and your paper Stephen. You take up big questions here, and many of your explanations are good and logical, but I am sorry to say that I have many objections to it.
But since it is such a big discussion to go into, I think I will leave here. Perhaps we can take it up in another thread.
Regards
/ Jan

TB
December 30, 2013 4:11 pm

December 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm
TB has apparently failed to see what I asked him so I’m re-posting it so everyone can be sure TB has had the opportunity to defend his religion. I knew as soon as I saw him trying to deny the effect of water on shaping global circulation he was going to be saying crazy things so I went over to another thread that’s current now and sure enough, he’s denying science: denying it hasn’t warmed for 17 years, when everybody else on earth but apparently him, Trenberth and Mike Mann don’t know that.
Here’s the re-post:
TB my post from some time back got lost and I see you’re very concerned about being viewed as competent to understand a hot rock,
in a stream of cold nitrogen and oxygen.
You’ve already expressed surprise anyone else knows the atmosphere’s a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath refrigerated by sets of global convection cells exploiting phase change refrigerating action of water.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Nothing surprises me with regard to what the D-K syndrome can effect Bill.
“How in the world you can claim you’ve been around atmospheric energy since 1974 and not have heard that I find that not unusual: I find it just plain bizarre.|”
I’ll trump you on that cos I’m the expert, sorry.
“I’m not in the field of meteorology.”
Exactly.
“The reputation of my field is fully intact and unruined by scandalous revelation even the top professionals can’t read a thermometer.”
You are fortunate my friend as your profession has not been politicised and hence skewed out of all proportion via ideology.
“I’m an Electronic Engineer. Specifically the area called Radiation Communications and Controls.”
Very good – I’ll give you due respect for that and refrain from asserting that you are flailing when I’m asserting that I figured out radio propagation at age 13.
“Whenever someone identifies themselves me as part of the field
whose foundations have been rocked by revelations many so called professionals and ‘scientists’
believe in glaringly unreal impossibilities, I think you should know the fact you admit you’re a meteorologist and yet seem to be so perplexed leads me to think I should just ask you straight out, if you believe in the tenets of Green House Gas Effect ‘warm atmosphere’ pseudo-science.
Me perplexed. Incredible. I’m the expert. Not you. Like you’re the expert on Radio communication here not me!
Like I said, you need to investigate to learn – not take it as read that you cracked it at age 13.
Give me some published papers that agree with you. I can give you any number from my side.
“If you don’t fine but if you do, then you’re going to have to tell others your stories about the magic heater because I’m not going to listen to it.”
Not magic – just empirical meteorology. What is you don’t/can’t understand about Coriolis/convergence aloft INEVITABLY causing divergence below. That all the world’s Met organisations incorporate into NWP models?
“(1)As a professional claiming understanding of the science of atmospheric energy do you believe possible the illumination of a sphere, spinning in vacuum until it’s temp is stable, being immersed into a cold nitrogen/oxygen bath, causing every heat sensor on the sphere surface showing temperature increase?
Because in the real world: in real science like I practice – that’s impossible and no other field even claims it to be anything but prepostrous. Nevertheless many in climatology/meteorology have been seen saying,
they believe in a magical frigid nitrogen oxygen bath, which makes objects hotter than if they weren’t placed into a frigid bath at all, and hotter even than if they were kept heated, in vacuum.”
You are being preposterous, and arrogant to boot in assuming you know more than a retired professional of 32 years. Why, in a sane world would that be probable?
“If you answer yes to this critical question you need to know, your answers had better sound good because you’re immediately in the perpetuum mobim realm.”
It’s not a matter of belief my friend – it just is. And I don’t give jot whether my answers “sound good” to you because your psychological make-up makes that impossible for me to achieve. Nor do I aim to.
“(2)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend reflective media (H2O/CO2) between sphere and illumination source, reflecting away 20% energy in, causing sensors on the sphere surface to show more energy to them,
than when there was more energy to them?”
Incorrect appreciation of the GHE. GHG’s absorb IR from the Earth’s surface then re-emit it, some of it making it back to the surface again – thus SLOWING the rate of cooling and NOT heating it. Have you not noticed ice/frost melting when cloud cover appears of a winters night? Same thing that CO2 does (to a tiny but sig degree) as well (triatomic molecule – look it up). It even happens with thin cloud at 6 miles up – seen it countless times professionally (actually a complete pain in the a*** as a lot of work was generated as a result in alerting ice management companies re ice/not ice). It just does, it’s a basic of the Universe.
“Again: an answer of yes immediately marks you as one whose conversation will not make sense if you try to refer to such magical glitterings.”
Again that comment marks you as one with a stunning D-K syndrome who refuses to address the science nor (typically) has any respect for someone who has knowledge of same.
Why don’t you ask Anthony if Convergence drives the descent arm of a HC? He’s a Meteorologist like me. He may disagree on the “degree” but I’m pretty sure he accepts a GHE.
“(3)Do you believe it possible to heat a sphere in vacuum then suspend more reflective media
(H2O/CO2) than before such that 25% energy in is reflected away,
raising outputs of energy sensors yet again, so they show more energy in at 75%
than when there was more energy in at 80%?”
No GHG’s don’t reflect – they absorb/emit LWIR and not reflect solar SW.
More GHG’s in the atmosphere increase the “insulation” effect.
“This one’s an extension of the second but if you believe possible one you believe the other.
=======
In real scientific fields like mine no one believes in this junk; in fact just one “Yes I do!” answer immediately marks you as unable to fully comprehend the chain of events that occur when someone places a rock heated in vacuum, into a stream of cold nitrogen/oxygen compound.”
Arrogance again – refer that comment to Anthony will you, I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know his profession is not really scientific. BTW, I studied Control engineering for 3 years before training in the UKMO. Hence my respect for that profession which is spectacularly countered by your contempt.
“I’ve got a sneaking suspicion you believe in all the above. If that’s not true then by all means let me know but I’ve got a feeling you’re going to be just changing the subject to anything but what I want to talk about.”
I’ve answered all of the above and you will find all my answers repeated in text books – you know, like the text books that you learned radio communication from, those equations are like those in meteorology (empirically proven to be true ) and are not up for contention. Sorry.
“Whether or not you really grasp what the atmosphere operates as.”
Whether you grasp your extreme arrogance and ignorance + insults to your host.

TB
December 30, 2013 4:14 pm

December 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm
You feel free to go get whoever you think you have to have near you so you feel safe TB.
Excuse me??

December 30, 2013 4:26 pm

[snip – OK that’s it – this is just another slayer rant complete with insults. You’re done here – Anthony]

December 30, 2013 4:31 pm

TB says: “What is you don’t/can’t understand about Coriolis/convergence aloft INEVITABLY causing divergence below. That all the world’s Met organisations incorporate into NWP models?”
Changing the subject from me catching you claiming the geometries, velocities, volumes of air handling in the lower troposphere aren’t associated with the energy handling and release of water isn’t going to make time go back and you be right.

Mario Lento
December 30, 2013 4:35 pm

Looks like Bill from Nev’ slipped one more in before he was done. It was getting tiring sifting through his creative sarcasm and negative slams.

December 30, 2013 4:36 pm

Claiming putting insulation between the heat of an illumination source and a rock, makes more heat come out of the rock, is what you’ve been seen trying to do, and it’s absurdity on it’s face.
The fact is you’re here to declare to the world you know of an insulation that reduces energy in, yet makes the object it sits blocking energy to, act as if more energy arrived on it.
That’s just impossible no matter how many climatologists said they did it, and it’s why the pseudo science called warm atmosphere doesn’t stand up to even the most cursory inspection.
“Incorrect appreciation of the GHE. GHG’s absorb IR from the Earth’s surface then re-emit it, some of it making it back to the surface again – thus SLOWING the rate of cooling and NOT heating it.”

December 30, 2013 7:22 pm

TB,
I see you are still arguing that radiative gases do not play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation by allowing energy loss, buoyancy loss and subsidence of air masses.
I urge you to look again at an energy budget diagram for the atmosphere. Discounting the energy reflected from the land, ocean and atmosphere, around 90% of all energy absorbed is emitted to space from radiative gases the atmosphere.
90%!
And this energy is being emitted at a higher altitude than energy entering the atmosphere. Yet you are claiming that this plays no role in driving Rayleigh Bernard circulation below the tropopause?
To defend the AGW hypothesis you are claiming that for a non-radiative atmosphere, differential conductive heating and cooling of the atmosphere by the surface would produce vertical circulation across 10 to 15 Km of the troposphere strong enough to produce the observed lapse rate.
You claim 30 years of meteorology experience. Did none of this cover the mechanisms of night inversion layers? The physics of this hold true for any surface/gas interface in a gravity field. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.
The evidence from the actual atmosphere stand s against your claims, in particular the tropopause. Below this level strong vertical Rayleigh Bernard circulation is exhibited. Above the tropopause atmospheric circulation is so weak that the lapse rate reverses and stagnant gases are subject to radiative super heating. So what’s so special about the tropopause? That’s where the atmosphere runs out of the most important radiative gas on our planet, H2O.
If your claim that radiative cooling played no part in tropospheric convective circulation were true, we should observe powerful convective circulation extending well above this height. However, there is nothing climate “scientists” can do to get rid of the “punitive” tropopause.
And of course there is nothing climate “scientists” can do to remove the most damning evidence, the history of their claims recorded on the Internet. This history records that the first claims that adding radiative gases would reduce it’s radiative cooling ability were made on the basis of two shell radiation only static atmosphere models. After 1990 came the band-aid radiative-convective models. Just this sequence of events alone is enough to damn all of the AGW fellow travellers.
You may be encouraged that many embarrassed sceptics also want what most AGW propagandists are praying for, a “warming, but far less than we thought” soft landing for the global warming inanity. But this is not how it is going to go down. You will be up against the general public. They have no interest in defending those who claim that radiative gases reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. The corpse of global warming cannot be re-animated nor can it be hidden.

December 31, 2013 8:12 am

“So what’s so special about the tropopause? That’s where the atmosphere runs out of the most important radiative gas on our planet, H2O.”
It runs out of H2O because at that height the vapour has all condensed out but that isn’t why there is a reversal of the lapse rate.
The warming from tropopause upwards is due to the presence of ozone interacting directly with incoming solar radiation.
One could argue that the ozone layer is the most important radiative gas on our planet.
The observed lapse rate is a distortion of the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity but if an atmosphere is to be retained then all the varied observed lapse rates have to net out to the ideal lapse rate between surface and space.
I find it strange to be arguing with fellow sceptics that radiative gases are not needed for a fully convective atmosphere.
The advantage of such a position is that if one can involve the entire atmospheric mass in the warming of the surface above the S-B prediction then radiative considerations become too small to matter.
Radiative characteristics do not create the lapse rate. They simply distort the lapse rate away from the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity. Then that effect has to be negated elsewhere in the system and that is achieved by circulation changes.
Radiative gases simply raise the effective radiating height off the ground. In their absence the ground is the effective radiating height.
The more radiative the atmosphere the higher the effective radiating height goes and if the atmosphere were 100% radiative then the effective radiating level would simply be at the top of the atmosphere but if that could happen the atmosphere would just collapse back to the ground again because no energy would be left over for conduction.
Conduction raises the S-B height.
When the two are at different levels then stability is maintained by convection shifting energy from the S-B level to the effective radiating level.to maintain overall radiative balance.

TB
December 31, 2013 9:26 am

December 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm
TB,
I see you are still arguing that radiative gases do not play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation by allowing energy loss, buoyancy loss and subsidence of air masses.
I urge you to look again at an energy budget diagram for the atmosphere. Discounting the energy reflected from the land, ocean and atmosphere, around 90% of all energy absorbed is emitted to space from radiative gases the atmosphere.
90%!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/ceres_brochure.php?page=2
Konrad, ~168 W/m^2 of SW are absorbed at the surface out of ~235 net. And ~67 SW absorbed by the atmosphere. Now of that ~102 goes back as conv/LH and must be added to the ~67, making ~169.
~66 is back-radiated as IR from the surf making a total absorbed there 169+66=235.
So, well and good, all absorbed via SW ends up in the atm. But once all there a further 89 is re-emitted back to the surface. This then gets emitted via TOA totalling ~235.
Yes it is Konrad, but you overlook the fact that it’s been down to the surface before finally going to space. The 89W/m^2 figure above is as a result of repeated “bouncings” of IR photons between the atm and surface “walls” and that leaves the surface/atm more interactions to warm.
“And this energy is being emitted at a higher altitude than energy entering the atmosphere. Yet you are claiming that this plays no role in driving Rayleigh Bernard circulation below the tropopause?”
As stated above, all solar radiation (and consequently terrestrial LWIR) that is absorbed warms the atm and surface (almost –not counting obvious albedo/latitudinal differences) equally. And has no sig effect on the LR.
“To defend the AGW hypothesis you are claiming that for a non-radiative atmosphere, differential conductive heating and cooling of the atmosphere by the surface would produce vertical circulation across 10 to 15 Km of the troposphere strong enough to produce the observed lapse rate.”
No, I am saying that for a non-radiative atm around a spinning planet, the HEATING of the surface (differentially) will initiate atm motion, including all processes we see on Earth. There will be a LR generated via conduction initially (ignoring mass generated compressive heating – which is a one time only process) then mixed through the whole depth of the atm via those processes. Note, in a non-radiative atm, there will be no Tropopause due lack of O3.
The adiabatic LR will eventually naturally be assumed via compression/rarefaction of lifted/descended air and as there is no water on this planet (radiative gas) then will observe a DALR throughout.
The atmosphere will act as a “heat-pump” and transport heat down the LR.
When you add water, WV will cause LH transport, cooling the surface but heating the atm and so cause the LR to assume a profile midway between the DALR and the SALR eg the ELR.
Radiative process will have basically neutral effect on the LR, though the tropopause will be created, and so a lid to “weather”.
“You claim 30 years of meteorology experience. Did none of this cover the mechanisms of night inversion layers? The physics of this hold true for any surface/gas interface in a gravity field. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.”
I do, well 32 actually, 20 spent as an on-the-bench forecaster with the UKMO with both the RAF at airfields and in the commercial field. Sorry, I can’t prove it other than scanning in my old Met college pics – but that could be faked eh?
Konrad, my training covered all the knowledge available at the time. I specifically trained with the UKMO as a forecaster 1985-87 and received further updates after.
Of course I was taught about radiative cooling and night inversions. Try forecasting for night-flying exercises at RAF bases without that knowledge.
Surface cooling has little convective/LH response and none that transports aloft. There are some interactions, specifically at fog tops and via turbulence lifting the mixing layer. Of course condensation will slow cooling (transfers it to the fog top) … due radiative slowing of heat flux up from the subsurface.
I’m not claiming there is any EXTRA radiative cooling of the surface at all. I’ve said, and repeat above that radiation has a neutral effect on the LR. What it does do however is elevate it by warming equally throughout the depth of the atm, such that the surface BB (ok grey) temp of 255K is moved to ~7km and the tropopause elevated equally.
My “discussion” here has simply been about radiative cooling NOT being required and NOT causing the descent arm driving of the HC. Full stop.
“The evidence from the actual atmosphere stand s against your claims, in particular the tropopause. Below this level strong vertical Rayleigh Bernard circulation is exhibited. Above the tropopause atmospheric circulation is so weak that the lapse rate reverses and stagnant gases are subject to radiative super heating. So what’s so special about the tropopause? That’s where the atmosphere runs out of the most important radiative gas on our planet, H2O.”
The tropopause (if get I your drift correctly) I mentioned re sinking of converged air at the sub-tropical jet. It is simply that it is an inversion, a density/pressure barrier and as such, air below needs a strong “uplift” to get by it (a punch in fact). Supercell convection pushes through and this can be gauged by reference to a Tephigram or SkewT via the CAPE (convectively available potential energy). It is a nature barrier to mass air transport. Thus when faced with this barrier converged air is forced to sink.
From: http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/~bms/lecture_atmphys/AtmosphericPhysics_04_05_dyn.pdf
“• thermal wind
• convection / convergence leads to rising air
over the tropics (ITCZ)
• movement to higher latitudes
• deflection by Coriolis force
• formation of subtropical jet stream (STJ)
• ACCUMULATION THROUGH TRANSPORT LEADS TO
SINKING AIR AT 30°
• formation of subtropical high
• most air moves back to equator close to the
surface to close the cell
• again: deflection by Coriolis force => trade
winds”
“If your claim that radiative cooling played no part in tropospheric convective circulation were true, we should observe powerful convective circulation extending well above this height. However, there is nothing climate “scientists” can do to get rid of the “punitive” tropopause.”
The radiative affect you refer to is a compositional one – O3 production/destruction via UV within the Strat. That is what makes the trop, essentially (without getting into Isentropic PV surfaces). The Tropopause height responds to the average temp of the air below it. Ie it’s thickness.
“And of course there is nothing climate “scientists” can do to remove the most damning evidence, the history of their claims recorded on the Internet. This history records that the first claims that adding radiative gases would reduce it’s radiative cooling ability were made on the basis of two shell radiation only static atmosphere models. After 1990 came the band-aid radiative-convective models. Just this sequence of events alone is enough to damn all of the AGW fellow travellers.”
Konrad: the lab experiments, empirical mathematics and direct radiative/spectroscopic observation of the atmosphere via both ground based and orbital instruments over the course of the last ~150 yrs, trumps “the Internet” I’m afraid.
“You may be encouraged that many embarrassed sceptics also want what most AGW propagandists are praying for, a “warming, but far less than we thought” soft landing for the global warming inanity. But this is not how it is going to go down. You will be up against the general public. They have no interest in defending those who claim that radiative gases reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. The corpse of global warming cannot be re-animated nor can it be hidden.”
Yes, you are right Konrad, unfortunately most people are (naturally) ignorant of climate science and are equally naturally influenced by media reports. It is easy to say things like “it’s the Sun” or “it’s the clouds” or “CO2 is plant food” or “it’s happened before” etc. And many will buy it because they are easy sound bites and we perceive it will cost us “tax dollars” or Pounds in my case. Fully understanding the science is NOT easy without taking scientist’s at their word, and well, we see the result.

December 31, 2013 10:17 am

TB says:
“It is easy to say things like ‘it’s the Sun’ or ‘it’s the clouds’ or ‘CO2 is plant food’ or ‘it’s happened before’ etc. And many will buy it because…”
Many will “buy it because” to a greater or lesser degree, all those things are true.
What is completely unproven, though, is the conjecture claiming that there is a ‘human fingerprint’ in the current climate. If there is, please identify the fingerprint here.
What, you can’t find it? Well, no one else can find it, either. There could be two reasons for that:
1) Any such ‘fingerprint’ is much too small to measure, or
2) The CO2=AGW conjecture is simply wrong
(I personally think that there was some minuscule warming from CO2, but that most of the effect was seen in the first 20 ppmv, and at current CO2 concentrations the warming effect is so small that it cannot be measured.)
In either case, not one more \$ / £ / € should be wasted on the frivolous CO2=AGW conjecture; AKA: the “carbon” scare.
Because if something cannot be measured, then it isn’t science. More correctly, it begins and ends at the Conjecture stage of the Scientific Method (Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory, Law). A conjecture might be right, or it might be wrong. But only a measurable, testable hypothesis can verify it. (Any hypothesis must be measurable and testable. And any theory must be capable of making repeated, accurate predictions. AGW can do neither.)
All the rest of the discussion amounts to endless nit-picking. The central issue of the debate has been answered: for all practical purposes, the “carbon” argument is so negligible that it can and should be completely disregarded. At this point, those promoting the scare are engaging in a self-serving scam for money and fame.
If anything I posted here is wrong, please indicate where.
Otherwise, silence is concurrence.

gbaikie
December 31, 2013 4:21 pm

-TB,
I see you are still arguing that radiative gases do not play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation by allowing energy loss, buoyancy loss and subsidence of air masses.-
So main radiative gases are H20 gas and C02 gas and these are a very small percntage of the atmosphere. In terms amount of energy these gases have, H2O gas if condenses into liquid has a lot latent heat energy. The other gas CO2, does not condense into a liquid or solid so energy from the possible latent heat of CO2 in terms of in Earth atmosphere can be ignored.
And if disgard the latent heat of H2O, then we can say in terms of amount energy of the gases
of CO2 and H2O in Earth’s atmosphere, this small portion of the atmospheric gases do not have
much energy in comparison to other gases.
And convective of heat of gases is transfer of energy of the molecules of gas or it’s the energy of gas molecules which is being transferred, whereas one would not call re-radiating of energy thru
a gas as convection of heat.
Radiant heat passing thru or being transmitted thru atmosphere would not be convection of heat.
And unless this radiant heat is heating something, it can be affecting the convection of heat
of an atmosphere.
One have nitrogen gas molecule which transparent to radiant heat- acting like any transparent
material, it can reflect, disfuse/scatter the light, but it does not absob the energy of this light and re-radiant the energy. And then in comparion there are “greenhouse gases” which absorb and re-radiate this same wavelength, but like all gases [Ie, iron as a gas] are also transparent. Gases are transparent in the sense bcause they are not close together. Or even thin enough iron solid is transparent. So if our atmosphere was hot enough, and it had iron gas as impurity similar to greenhouse gas, the iron gas would also be transparent.
[Btw, it should noted that in Earth long history [billions of years ago] it has had atmosphere hot enough where iron has been a gas and which may have exceeded 400 ppm- trillions of tonnes of it. So if the Moon actually did form via an Earth impactor, that would example of such a period. But even without such an event there would been other times in Earth formative period. Even
the impact event which cause extination of dinosaur may have a significant amout iron or compounds iron gas in earth’s atmosphere. And as would super volcanic events.]
-I urge you to look again at an energy budget diagram for the atmosphere. Discounting the energy reflected from the land, ocean and atmosphere, around 90% of all energy absorbed is emitted to space from radiative gases the atmosphere.
90%!-
The troposphere has 80% of Earth amosphere and 99% of H20 greenhouse gas. And if halved the height of troposphere, more half of this 80% is below this elevation.
This alone should indicate a problem with this idea.

January 1, 2014 12:00 am

Stephen Wilde says:
December 31, 2013 at 8:12 am
———————————————
The most important thing I should say here is –
Never apply SB equations in isolation to a moving gas atmosphere over a liquid ocean. Never.
For fluid columns in a gravity field the height of energy entry and exit is critical to determining the average temperature of the fluid. This is the science of conduction and fluid dynamics. This is what is missing from the “basic physics” of the “settled science”. This is what SB equations can’t deliver.
Both the atmosphere and oceans are fluid columns in a gravity field. If any of your modelling is based on trying to simplify the land/ocean/atmosphere system to a single SB radiating level, then it will fail because you have not modelled non-radiative transports correctly.
The planet can be in radiative equilibrium, yet can have very different atmospheric temperatures depending on both the radiative and non-radiative transports within the land/ocean/atmosphere system.
And now onto the to lapse rate below the tropopause.
The observed lapse rate below the tropopause is not the product of mass and gravity alone. Atmospheric mass and gravity simply generate the atmospheric pressure gradient. It requires continued vertical circulation across this pressure gradient to generate the observed tropospheric lapse rate. And this vertical circulation must be strong enough to overcome the speed of gas conduction.
Without this vertical circulation, gas conduction would send the bulk of the atmosphere isothermal. That alone would mean that the bulk of the atmosphere would be far hotter than present.
For an atmosphere maintaining a reasonably stable temperature, yet exhibiting strong vertical convective circulation, energy must be exiting the atmosphere at a higher altitude than it is entering the atmosphere. Energy enters our atmosphere at low altitude via surface conduction, release of latent heat and intercepted radiation. There is only one way it exits at high altitude, radiative gases emitting IR to space.
Claiming that surface conduction could match the cooling power of radiative gases simply won’t work. Empirical experiment shows that the surface is virtually powerless at conductively cooling the atmosphere. The whole pole-wise energy flow being the sole driver of circulation thing won’t work. It is resisted by surface friction and gas conduction. The currently observed pole-wise energy flow is only made possible by the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells being maintained by radiative cooling at altitude.
You state –
“I find it strange to be arguing with fellow sceptics that radiative gases are not needed for a fully convective atmosphere.”
And I find it most strange that you would be insisting that radiative energy loss and buoyancy loss at altitude does not have a critical role in Rayleigh Bernard circulation below the tropopause.
You can ignore the evidence that strong vertical circulation is only exhibited in the strongly radiative region of our atmosphere.
You cannot ignore the evidence that after 1990, climate pseudo scientists suddenly swapped from radiative only two shell models to radiative-convective models and attempted to write radiative cooling and subsidence out of atmospheric circulation.
They had to do this. Any critical role for radiative gases in governing the speed of tropospheric vertical circulation utterly invalidates not just AGW, but its very foundation, the radiative greenhouse effect hypothesis itself.
The good news is that the Internet remembers all. The climate “scientists” can never erase their crimes against science, reason, freedom and democracy. They have left a trail of “climate science” behind them that would fertilise the Simpson Desert.
Stephen, examine that trail. (Don’t attempt anything without the gloves). Sceptics now know that any attempt to generate a “hockey stick” from proxy data will be BS. Karoly and Gergis lasted only a few hours on the Net before implosion, withdrawal of the paper and a lifetime of burning shame (three years and \$300,000 of taxpayer dollars vaporised in an instant). After McIntyre vs. Mann you know where to look. The same is true of radiative-convective modelling. If you know they are lying, you know where to look. You will find as I have done, it wasn’t a “mistake”, they knew they were lying.

January 1, 2014 2:07 am

TB says:
December 31, 2013 at 9:26 am
——————————————–
“Konrad: the lab experiments, empirical mathematics and direct radiative/spectroscopic observation of the atmosphere via both ground based and orbital instruments over the course of the last ~150 yrs, trumps “the Internet” I’m afraid”
No, nothing you try will trump the Internet. I have used the Internet to demonstrate through repeatable experiment that incident LWIR cannot heat nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
CAGW depends on DWLWIR slowing the cooling of the oceans. I have proved that to be physically impossible.
But that’s not how the internet works.
I challenged you to produce just one simple lab experiment, that other readers could replicate, that shows incident LWIR heating or slowing the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
Just one experiment.
You can’t do it.
Current and future readers can see you can’t do it.
You fail. Now and forever.
That’s how the Internet works.

TB
January 1, 2014 3:34 am

January 1, 2014 at 2:07 am
TB says:
December 31, 2013 at 9:26 am
——————————————–
“Konrad: the lab experiments, empirical mathematics and direct radiative/spectroscopic observation of the atmosphere via both ground based and orbital instruments over the course of the last ~150 yrs, trumps “the Internet” I’m afraid”
No, nothing you try will trump the Internet. I have used the Internet to demonstrate through repeatable experiment that incident LWIR cannot heat nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Look I realise of course that you are not for moving – no matter.
So, we have a history of study/experiment/mathematical modelling – restudy – remodelling. Then into the satellite era we have more observation from space. We have spectroscopic analysis from ground based instruments etc etc. That show CO2’s effect as a GHG.
BUT the internet trumps it. I suggest it depends on which bit of the internet you are reading. Do you use Google Scholar?
“CAGW depends on DWLWIR slowing the cooling of the oceans. I have proved that to be physically impossible.”
Did you not understand the concept of the ocean being a body of water? That is merely covered with a cooler skin that is evaporating. So then, at what point is it not possible to heat water via IR radiation – given that it is heat energy? Would you not think that this evaporation cooling effect would reach an optimum? That no more skin cooling could occur? Surely you are not suggesting that any amount of IR impinging on the surface will only result in cooling of the entire body. Are you saying that only SW heats water?
Sorry that is scientifically not so.
Also, are you not aware that the transport of heat from ocean and air passes through that skin via conduction/convection too? Do you not know that this is optimum when the hot surface is hottest? And that this skin cooling will go against that? Thereby REDUCING thermal contrast and keeping the turbulent waters below the skin WARMER than otherwise.
No it is entirely possible. In fact it happens, has to.
“I challenged you to produce just one simple lab experiment, that other readers could replicate, that shows incident LWIR heating or slowing the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.”
Your lab experiment does model the Earth and nor does it trump thousands of other experiments done over the last 150 yrs.
“Just one experiment.”
This is the same misconceived concept some have of the GHE. Ie some think you can’t warm an object with a colder one. Of course that’s NOT how the GHE works. It’s like a storage tank whereby there is an outflow and an inflow. The inflow (back-IR) is small and the outflow is large (given radiative cooling dominating). Now the outflow will still occur, but the pressure built in the tank will build and the outflow pressure increase. Ie there is a flux of heat stored in the tank (ground) that always wants to get out – sometimes it’s mostly in (inflow exceeds outflow) sometimes it’s out (outflow more than inflow). But the outflow can be slowed, by a small inflow. On land this in/out point manifests this reduced outflow by a temp rise.
Same with evaporative cooling – only in reverse. At some point the evaporation is at a maximum, yes? Must be, otherwise it would keep cooling forever (given the vast source of water available). So, obviously not. Then what happens to the energy in excess of that needed to evaporate that water?
We cannot have a steady state, something must happen. Logically the surface skin would cool so far and then, if it cannot maintain that cooling via LH uptake – it will warm, and eventually boil. Before it boils it will warm the water beneath by conduction.
Now of course this DOES NOT happen (in the oceans). But do you see the logic? It’s the same illogic that is applied by some who say there can be no GHE because you can’t warm an object by a colder one. That is not what happens. At what point does this drip, drip of back-radiated IR photons go over that optimum point and the cooling tips to warming. IR energy must heat water. It cannot always cool it. It’s a matter of the evaporative process balancing against the radiative sensible heating effect via conduction from below. The IR back radiating occurs during the day as well, when evaporation will be at a max.
The primary way that evaporation WARMS a body of water (when the air is colder than the water) is by the reduction of the thermal gradient at the ocean/air interface. Cooler skin means less conducted, and hence the body of water below the skin has a “warming blanket” over it, analogous to the GHE “blanket”. It’s about relative flows of energy.
“Current and future readers can see you can’t do it.”
I know you’re right in that in the main, I realise I’m in the minority on this forum – however it is fundamentally about debate. And some may take what I say on-board and go off and investigate “whatever” more deeply. That’s all I try to do. I have professional knowledge gained via man’s sum total of Meteorological investigation (not good on the curly d’s and Dels though) and further, I’ve spent many a long, lonely shift (day & night) observing weather and passing on information/forecasts to, eg, aircrew and operations for road ice management. I know as well as anyone can how it works. Sorry it’s just the way things work. Now, Anthony may have had a different career path than me, I don’t know, but I’m sure the physical processes at play in the atmosphere are well known to him. He disagrees on the degree of warming attributable to the GHE, which is fine. But he does not disagree with the fundamental processes and laws of thermodynamics.
“You fail. Now and forever.”
If you want to think that – it is of no matter.
“That’s how the Internet works.”
The Internet is a fantastic resource of knowledge – the greatest in the history of mankind. But one has to use it correctly. There is always 2 sides to the argument. Look for the other-side occasionally – that’s what I’m doing here in fact (It may surprise you to know that I’ve learned some stuff by doing so). This by arguments raising questions in my mind and me (being who I am) going off and investigating/learning from that question. You see it all depends how you use it.
Regards anyway Konrad and a Happy new year.

TB
January 1, 2014 4:52 am

-gbaikie says:
December 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm
-TB,
I see you are still arguing that radiative gases do not play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation by allowing energy loss, buoyancy loss and subsidence of air masses.-
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Correct.
“-I urge you to look again at an energy budget diagram for the atmosphere. Discounting the energy reflected from the land, ocean and atmosphere, around 90% of all energy absorbed is emitted to space from radiative gases the atmosphere.
90%!-“
I have, please see my post to Konrad. In short, it is but only because the atm is between the Surface and space. It reaches the surface either directly (bar reflected) as SW or by back-radiation of LWIR – then goes to atm – then goes to space.
“So main radiative gases are H20 gas and C02 gas and these are a very small percentage of the atmosphere. In terms amount of energy these gases have, H2O gas if condenses into liquid has a lot latent heat energy. The other gas CO2, does not condense into a liquid or solid so energy from the possible latent heat of CO2 in terms of in Earth atmosphere can be ignored.”
No, it cant be ignored as it’s a tri-atomic molecule and taking away N2 ~78% and O2 ~21% (= ~99 non-radiative) makes it very much a player in the atmosphere radiatively.
LH uptake/release is an adiabatic process and not a radiative one, and H20 is the dominant tri-atomic gas in the atm – however the hydrological cycle ensures it’s transport from liquid on ground > gas in air > liquid in air > liquid on ground again, cycles at around ~10 days.
So, with turbulent mixing/convection, the relative humidity stays steady over long time scales (globally averaged) – however warmer air means a higher absolute humidity (more molecules) – and hence greater GHE.
H2O is vital to the atmosphere, as you say, as it cools the surface via LH uptake and heats the atmosphere via release. It modifies what would otherwise be a dry LR into one between a dry and a wet one. With of course large variations – mainly less steep, due inversions because of either cooling from below (moving over cold surface or radiative cooling from ground) – or warming from above (subsidence or warm advection – eg approaching warm front) such that we can have unstable air in places and stable air in others.
“The troposphere has 80% of Earth atmosphere and 99% of H20 greenhouse gas. And if halved the height of troposphere, more half of this 80% is below this elevation.
This alone should indicate a problem with this idea.”
? Sorry I don’t understand this.
BTW; There is an exception in where radiative effects help drive the depth of convection – which is why thunderstorms often have their peak overnight.
A lifting air parcel – a Cumulonimbus cloud in this respect – is rising because of the contrast between it and it’s environment (bar divergence aloft of it anyway – which is another complication).
Now, we know that day-time heating causes the ground to let-go thermals which rise via buoyancy to the condensation level. The release of LH then warms the up-draught (or rather it slows it’s cooling by rarefaction) and it rises still more. In an unstable atm this will often allow it to reach the tropopause, and there, like smoke rising against a ceiling it stops and spreads out horizontally. (usually – as with enough energy it will punch through and may well reach up to 60,000ft ~12ml).
I digress a bit – anyway, overnight you would think that the ground would cool and the convection stop. It does, normally, but there are circumstances where it keeps going, even intensifies. This is when the storm, having enough water content, can become more unstable because the top of the cloud cools to space radiatively. This makes it less buoyant relative to the surrounding environment BUT crucially it creates a more unstable cloud (colder top rel to warm bottom > rises/overturns more).
Radiative imbalance in the atm affects it’s LR, cloud top cooling via increased albedo say, but otherwise it has little effect. The LH and sensible heat processes dominate in (surface) convection.

Mario Lento
January 1, 2014 2:07 pm

TB says:
“So then, at what point is it not possible to heat water via IR radiation – given that it is heat energy?”
++++++++
I think part of the confusion here is ambiguity. The quoted statement needs to be specific. I posit that IR radiation is a very specific type of heat energy. It is not conductive and it is not convective.

January 1, 2014 7:26 pm

TB says:
January 1, 2014 at 3:34 am
———————————————————————–
“Did you not understand the concept of the ocean being a body of water? That is merely covered with a cooler skin that is evaporating. So then, at what point is it not possible to heat water via IR radiation – given that it is heat energy? Would you not think that this evaporation cooling effect would reach an optimum? That no more skin cooling could occur? Surely you are not suggesting that any amount of IR impinging on the surface will only result in cooling of the entire body. Are you saying that only SW heats water?
Sorry that is scientifically not so.
Also, are you not aware that the transport of heat from ocean and air passes through that skin via conduction/convection too? Do you not know that this is optimum when the hot surface is hottest? And that this skin cooling will go against that? Thereby REDUCING thermal contrast and keeping the turbulent waters below the skin WARMER than otherwise.
No it is entirely possible. In fact it happens, has to.”
Some have gone as far as to claim that increased DWLWIR would increase evaporative cooling of the oceans. I do not make this claim as far more complicated experiments would be required to test this. What I do claim is that incident LWIR cannot heat nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. It is only UV and SW that heats our oceans.
Anyone can check my claim by building this simple experiment –
http://i42.tinypic.com/2h6rsoz.jpg
– the results are, as they say in climate science, “robust”. Start with 40C water in each test chamber and monitor the cooling rate under both the strong and weak LWIR source. Both water samples cool at the same rate. Now repeat the experiment with a square of LDPE cling wrap floated onto the surface of each sample. This allows conductive and radiative cooling but restricts evaporation. Now both samples cool slower, but at different rates.
The reason incident LWIR cannot heat water that is free to evaporatively cool is that the IR photons are absorbed in the first few microns of the skin evaporation layer. This simply trips some water molecules into evaporating slightly sooner than they otherwise would. The cooling effect of these molecules undergoing phase change offsets any heating effect of the LWIR. There is no effect on the cooling rate of the liquid below the skin evaporation layer.
All AGW two shell radiative models show LWIR having the same effect over the oceans as it does over land. Some climate scientists even try to claim that the oceans would freeze without DWLWIR. This is provably false.
You are claiming “In fact it happens, has to.”, yet have no empirical evidence that LWIR can slow the cooling rate of the oceans.
You claim “your lab experiment does model the Earth and nor does it trump thousands of other experiments done over the last 150 yrs.”. Yet you do not provide a single one of these “thousands” of experiments.
You state –
“We have spectroscopic analysis from ground based instruments etc etc. That show CO2’s effect as a GHG.”
But this is also incorrect. We have satellite and ground based measurements that show that CO2 both adsorbs and emits LWIR. CO2 is a radiative gas. The term “GHE” ignores that in the case of the radiative GHE hypothesis, the null hypothesis still stands.
“This is the same misconceived concept some have of the GHE. Ie some think you can’t warm an object with a colder one.”
I am clearly not disputing basic radiative physics. I have previously provided build diagrams for a simple two shell radiative model that others can build –
http://i44.tinypic.com/2n0q72w.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/33dwg2g.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/2wrlris.jpg
– the extra foil layer in chamber 1 back radiating the target plate will be cooler than the target plate, yet it still slows the cooling of the target plate.
But that experiment only shows that the maths behind radiative two shell models works. However I have also provided experiments showing how critical non radiative energy transports are to atmospheric temperatures. The permanent Internet history of global warming shows that these transports, and most importantly the role of radiative gases in driving them, were not correctly modelled when the foundation claims of radiative gases causing atmospheric warming were made.
I am claiming that the NET effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is atmospheric cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. The basis of these claims is known fluid dynamics, empirical experiment and observation, none of which violates any “fundamental processes and laws of thermodynamics.”
I would suggest that it is those claiming LWIR can slow the cooling of the oceans or that circulation would continue in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells in the absence of radiative cooling at altitude, are the ones violating “fundamental processes and laws of thermodynamics.”

gbaikie
January 1, 2014 8:59 pm

-The other gas CO2, does not condense into a liquid or solid so energy from the possible latent heat of CO2 in terms of in Earth atmosphere can be ignored.”
No, it cant be ignored as it’s a tri-atomic molecule and taking away N2 ~78% and O2 ~21% (= ~99 non-radiative) makes it very much a player in the atmosphere radiatively.-
I was saying what is obvious, CO2 doesn’t have phase change/ transition:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_transition
Or CO2 doesn’t change from gas to liquid or solid in Earth atmosphere, as does H20.
H20 can transport it’s latent heat, CO2 doesn’t do this in Earth atmosphere [though CO2 does
do this on the much colder planet Mars].
And btw, this transportation of latent heat of H2O is a significant conveyor of heat to upper atmosphere on Earth. But I saying this is separate issue or it’s not radiant transfer of energy or Heat.
So what was saying, that since taliking about radiant transfer, the latent heat of of H2O
is excluded and CO2 does transfer heat via latent heat in Earth’s atmosphere.
So yes I can be excluding or ignoring the latent heat of H2O and the non-existent latent heat of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere- because the topic is radiant transfer.

gbaikie
January 1, 2014 9:16 pm

-LH uptake/release is an adiabatic process and not a radiative one, and H20 is the dominant tri-atomic gas in the atm – however the hydrological cycle ensures it’s transport from liquid on ground > gas in air > liquid in air > liquid on ground again, cycles at around ~10 days.
So, with turbulent mixing/convection, the relative humidity stays steady over long time scales (globally averaged) – however warmer air means a higher absolute humidity (more molecules) – and hence greater GHE.-
I am not disputing that water droplets which are associated clouds radiate heat into space.
Or clouds are a grouping of water droplets in enough quantity that they are clearly visible as clouds- on the other hand, they are in addition droplets of water not so densely pack or large in average size which are not easily and clearly visible as clouds.

gbaikie
January 1, 2014 9:37 pm

-“The troposphere has 80% of Earth atmosphere and 99% of H20 greenhouse gas. And if halved the height of troposphere, more half of this 80% is below this elevation.
This alone should indicate a problem with this idea.”
? Sorry I don’t understand this.-
I mean in terms greenhouse gases- CO2 and H20, most of it is below 1/2 the height of troposphere. So including water droplets, and all which one can consider that radiates in the atmosphere, most must occur below 1/2 of the height of troposphere.
And above the troposphere you exclude water in all it’s forms as being quantitatively significant in terms total it could radiate. And CO2 above the troposphere is limited to 20% or whatever total amount it can radiate. Or 80% of possible amount CO2 can radiates must be below the top of the troposphere. Plus most of total amount energy energy “available” by any means possible, must also radiate below the top of the troposphere.
It doesn’t matter what what theory you wish to believe. These facts must be allowed for in any idea involving the concept that the atmosphere radiate any significant amount of energy.