CO2 and CERES

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the bureaucratic agency which appropriated the role of arbiter of things climatic, has advanced a theory for the lack of warming since the turn of the century, viz:

The observed reduction in warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced trend in radiative forcing (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing this reduced warming trend.

So I thought I’d look at the CERES dataset, and see what it has to say. I started with the surface temperature question. CERES contains a calculated surface dataset that covers twelve years. But in the process, I got surprised by the results of a calculation that for some reason I’d never done before. You know how the IPCC says that if the CO2 doubles, the earth will warm up by 3°C? Here was the question that somehow I’d never asked myself … how many watts/m2 will the surface downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) have to increase by, if the surface temperature rises by 3°C?

Now, you’d think that you could just use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to figure out how many more upwelling watts would be represented by a global surface temperature rise of 3°C. Even that number was a surprise to me … 16.8 watts per square metre.

Figure 1. Blue line shows the anomaly in total downwelling surface radiation, longwave plus shortwave, in the CERES dataset, March 2000 to September 2012. Red line shows the trend in the downwelling radiation, which is 0.01 W/m2 per decade. Gray area shows the 95% confidence interval of the trend. Black line shows the expected effect of the increase in CO2 over the period, calculated at 21 W/m2 per doubling. CO2 data are from NOAA. Trend of the expected CO2 change in total downwelling surface radiation is 1.6 W/m2 per decade. CO2 data from NOAA

But as they say on TV, wait, there’s more. The problem is, the surface loses energy in three ways—as radiation, as sensible heat, and as the latent heat of evapotranspiration. The energy loss from the surface by radiation (per CERES) is ~ 400 watts per square metre (W/m2), and the loss by sensible and latent heat is ~ 100 W/m2, or a quarter of the radiation loss.

Now, the sensible and latent heat loss is a parasitic loss, which means a loss in a heat engine that costs efficiency. And as any engineer can testify, parasitic losses are proportional to temperature, and as the operating temperatures rise, parasitic losses rise faster and faster. In addition, the 100 W/m2 is the global average, but these losses are disproportionately centered at the hot end of the system. At that end, they are rising as some power factor of the increasing temperature.

But let’s be real generous, and ignore all that. For the purpose of this analysis, we’ll swallow the whopper that a 3° temperature rise wouldn’t drive evaporation through the roof, and we’ll assume that the parasitic sensible and latent heat losses from the surface stay at a quarter of the radiation losses.

This means, of course, that instead of the increase of 16.8 W/m2 in downwelling radiation that we calculated above, we need 25% more downwelling radiation to account for the parasitic losses from the surface. (As I said, the true percentage of parasitic losses would be more than that, likely much more, but we’ll use a quarter for purposes of conservative estimation.)

And what that means is that if the IPCC claim of three degrees of global warming per doubling of CO2 is true, when the top-of-atmosphere radiation goes up by a doubling of CO2, an additional TOA 3.7 watts per metre squared, the surface downwelling radiation needs to go up by no less than 21 W/m2 per doubling. And although I was surprised by the size of the number, to me was very good news, because it meant that if it were there, it should be large enough to be quite visible in the CERES data. So I took a look … and Figure 1 above shows what I found.

The red line shows the trend over the ~ 13 years of the record  which is 0.01 W/m2 per decade, statistically no different from zero.

The black line, on the other hand, is the change in downwelling radiation expected from the change in CO2 from 2000 to 2012, calculated at 21 W/m2 per doubling of CO2. As you might imagine because of its steady increase, there is little difference between the CO2 data and the CO2 trendline, so I’ve left it off. For the same reason, there is virtually no error in the trend in downwelling radiation expected from CO2. The result is an expected increase in downwelling surface radiation of no less than 1.6 ± 0.007 W/m2 per decade. Over the period of the CERES data, it totals almost 2 W/m2, which in terms of the precision of the individual CERES datasets should certainly be visible.

So … does Figure 1 falsify the CO2 hypothesis? Not yet, we’ve got a ways to go, but it is an interesting finding. First, we need to look at the two explanations postulated by the good folks at the IPCC that I quoted at the head of the post—volcanoes and solar variations. And the amount that we are looking to explain is a missing increase of 1.6 W/m2 per decade.

Their first explanation was solar. Since the downwelling surface radiation has not increased as expected, perhaps there’s been a decrease in the incoming TOA solar radiation. This would offset a warming from CO2. Here’s that data:

Figure 2. Trend in TOA Solar Radiation, 2000-2012. Red line shows trend, a decrease of – 0.15 W/m2 per decade.

So the IPCC is right about the solar. And from having to explain 1.6 W/m2, we’ve explained 0.15 W/m2 of it which leaves 1.45 W/m2 of missing warming.

Next, volcanoes. The IPCC says that the effect of volcanoes over the period was to cut down the amount of sunshine hitting the surface, reducing the total downwelling radiation.

The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions …

Here are the anomalies in that regard:

Figure 3. Action of volcanoes in reducing surface solar radiation. This measures the anomaly in downwelling solar at the surface minus the anomaly in downwelling solar at the TOA. The trend in the transmission is a warming of +0.34 W/m2 per decade.

Bad news for the IPCC hypothesis. Rather than volcanoes counteracting the expected warming and decreasing the atmospheric transmission of sunshine over the period of record, we had a trend of increasing amounts of sunlight making it to the surface. The trend of this increase was 0.34 W/m2 per decade. Kinda blows holes in their theory about volcanoes, but all we can do is follow the data …

And as a result, instead of having to explain a missing warming of 1.6 – 0.15 = 1.45 W/m2 per decade, we now have to add the 0.34 W/m2 to the missing warming, and that gets us up to 1.8 W/m2 in missing warming. So rather than explaining things, overall the IPCC explanation just makes things worse …

Anyhow, that’s how it goes to date. If the IPCC theory about 3°C surface warming from a doubling of CO2 is true, we need to either a) come up with something else in the CERES data to explain the missing CO2 warming of 1.6 W/m2 per decade, b) back off on the IPCC climate sensitivity by a factor of about ten … or my perennial favorite, toss out the idea of “climate sensitivity” entirely and recognize that at equilibrium, temperature isn’t a simple function of TOA forcings because the climate system has emergent phenomena which respond and react to counteract the TOA changes.

The big problem that I see for the hypothesis that GHGs rule the temperature is that over the period of the CERES data, we should have seen a shift of almost two watts in the downwelling total radiation … but I find no such thing in the dataset. So I throw this question out to the climate science community at large.

Where in the CERES data is the missing warming? There is no trend (0.01 W/m2 per decade) in the surface downwelling radiation. The IPCC says that over the period, CO2 should have increased the downwelling surface radiation by ~ 2 W/m2. SO … if the IPCC hypothesis is correct, what is countering the expected increase of ~ 2 W/m2 in the downwelling surface radiation due to the increase in CO2 over the 2000-2012 time period?

Solar explains perhaps 10% of it, but the volcanoes push it the other way … so why can’t I find the two watts per square metre of expected CO2 warming in the CERES dataset?

w.

NOTES

USUAL REQUEST: If you disagree with something that I or someone else said, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU DISAGREE WITH. Then, and only then, let us know what you disagree with. I can defend my own words. I cannot defend your interpretation of my words.

DATA AND CODE: I’ve put the data and code used to produce the graphs and calculations online. There are three code files: CERES Setup.R, CERES Functions.R, and the code for this post, CO2 and CERES.R. In addition, there are two datafiles, one for the CERES TOA files, and the other for the CERES surface files, entitled CERES 13 year  (230 Mbytes), and CERES 13 year surface (112 Mbytes). I think that the data is turnkey, just pull up the CO

All of them need to be in the same folder, because the CO2 and CERES.R file calls the setup file, which loads the data files and the function file. If you’ve downloaded the CERES 13 year file, it is unchanged, no need to reload. Open the CERES Setup.R file to see the names of all of the datafiles loaded, and open the CERES Functions.R file for functions and constants.

And as Steven Mosher recommended to me, use RStudio as your portal into R, much the best I’ve found.

CERES Data: The top-of atmosphere CERES data is measured by the satellites. On the other hand, the CERES surface data is calculated from the TOA CERES data, plus data from the MODIS and GOES satellites. The calculated surface data is energy balanced, meaning that the surface flows sum up to the TOA flows.

I’ve run my own version of ground truthing on the CERES surface data by comparing it to the surface temperature data I was using previously. Differences were small overall, and both sets shows the same small details and fluctuations.

Is this how I’d like to do the analysis? Not at all. I’d rather that everything were measured … but this is the best we have, and the various climate scientists involved have used all of the available observational data from a variety of satellites to determine the various values, and have ground truthed the surface data in a variety of ways. So until we have better data, the CERES datasets are the closest we have to actual measurements … and as near as I can tell they show no sign of the claimed 2 W/m2 increase in downwelling radiation that we are assured is going on over the period of record.

199 thoughts on “CO2 and CERES”

1. Patrick says:

“The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle.”
Were we not told in recent years volcanos and the sun have no effect on warming/cooling and therefore climate?

2. The main problem for the IPCC and their supported models is that for them 1 W/m2 more or less CO2 absorbance or 1 W/m2 more or less solar or volcanic or human aerosols all have the same effect on temperature/climate. Which doesn’t fit reality.
1 W/m2 extra downwelling from CO2 has its largest effect in the troposphere and in the upper fraction of a mm at the sea surface, causing higher skin temperature / more evaporation.
1 W/m2 extra insolation has a double effect: more ozone formation in the lower troposphere, thanks to extra UV from an active sun, more warming of that layer in the tropics and thus more temperature difference between the equator and the poles, pushing the jet streams polewards. That includes changing cloud/rain patterns as can be seen in the Mississippi and Mediteranean rivers. And as visible light gets deeper in the oceans, extra warming of the whole mixed layer. See e.g.:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL023787/abstract
http://ks.water.usgs.gov/pubs/reports/paclim99.html
A similar finding was in South Africa rivers in the SH…
That the effect of change in solar strength is underestimated was even known by climate modellers: if they run the models with 10x solar changes, they could calculate the probable extra effect from “weak” signals in the HadCM3 model. Which gives that the effect of solar variability may be 2x the effect of a change in CO2 downwelling radiation. That all within the constraints of the model (like a fixed influence of human aerosols – also questionable):
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

3. Ken Calvert says:

Heh Ian Plimer! Is it now time for you to come in out from the cold?

4. Doug Jones says:

On the other hand, the CERES surface data is calculated from the TOA CERES data, plus data from .

I thin you may have lost some text there. What is the second data set?
Aside from this quibble, I think you’ve driven a stake through the heart of the IPCC vampire. If CO2 allegedly causes warming via forcing, and we can measure the forcing, and the postulated forcing Just Ain’t There, the warmists have to come up with a whole new form of handwaving. Epicycles, I’m sure.
[Thanks, fixed. The other data sets are MODIS and GOES satellite data. -w.]

5. AlecM says:

The concept of ‘Forcing’ in climate alchemy is unscientific because it presupposes that the Kiehl-Trenberth Energy Budget, with ‘back (‘downwelling’) radiation’ is valid when this is the biggest mistake in instrumental analysis in history.
Radiative Physics 101 states that the net IR flux is the vector sum of the Radiation Fields at a plane. A pyrgeometer calculates the RF for the measured temperature (and the instrument does that badly), so the net flux from the surface is just 160 W/m^2 = SW thermalised.
Of the net flux, 63 is IR of which 40 goes directly to Space and 23 is absorbed in the non self-absorbed water vapour bands. The rest is convected or lost as latent heat.
What happens when ‘Forcing’ increases is that net surface IR decreases, so in the absence of other factors, surface temperature increases thus increasing convection and evapo-transpiration.The atmosphere uses CO2 in the heat engine that keeps surface temperature constant independently of pCO2 and also compensates partially for net thermalised SW change.

6. “CERES surface data is calculated from the TOA CERES data, plus data from . The calculated surface data is energy balanced, meaning that the surface flows sum up to the TOA flows.”
Is there something missing at the end of the first sentence? “plus data from…” what and where?
Thanks.

7. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 14, 2014 at 12:58 am

“CERES surface data is calculated from the TOA CERES data, plus data from . The calculated surface data is energy balanced, meaning that the surface flows sum up to the TOA flows.”
Is there something missing at the end of the first sentence? “plus data from…” what and where?
Thanks.

Thanks to you, Rog. The other datasets are from the MODIS and GOES satellites.
W.

8. Peter Miller says:

Wow!
SS Global Warming holed below the waterline.
In comparison, over on that font of all knowledge Real Climate, Gavin and Mike are trying to talk up climate sensitivity to rising CO2 levels. I am unable to follow the logic of their arguments which seem to be mostly based on faith in the models (plus the overall effects of clouds are temperature neutral), as opposed to any hard facts.
About once a month, I make the effort to see what the black hatted guys are saying. Most of its tedious stuff, based on the concept of “Trust me” and trying to ramp up the credibility of climate models.

9. Good post Willis. I have argued that the volcanic aerosol loading has decreased not increased since Pinatubo. Dr Richard Keen estimates having a 0.2F warming effect. Eruptions have been high latitude and shorter lived in recent years. The total solar is more that radiative forcing. you have amplifiers like the UV components heat production through ozone chemistry in low to mid latitudes and cosmic ray low cloud effects. The very low solar in recent years’ (most notably 2004-2010) reduction would be greater than just the radiative. Then there is the ocean influence – the PDO turned cool in 1998 and after a bounce around 2005. The AMO is still positive but may have peaked.

10. Steven Devijver says:

how many watts/m2 will the surface downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) have to increase by, if the surface temperature rises by 3°C

It depends. If you start from 0°C and want to rise to 3°C you will need less energy than if you want to rise from 14°C to 17°C. What’s your starting point, it’s not clear from the article?

Awww, come on Willis. I already called it.
The oceans without a radiatively cooled atmosphere above (if they didn’t boil off into space) would reach around 80C.
Therefore the atmosphere cools the oceans and radiative gases cool the atmosphere.
The oceans will not freeze without DWLWIR. The “Snow Line” in the solar system is 3 AU.
Come to the dark side, we have cookies!
well, that should be “I” instead of “we”..
..and it’s a packet of time expired Tim-Tams. (the cat stole the last Oreo.)
But that’s more than non-existent “dark money” or “big oil cheques”!

12. AlecM says:

@Konrad: do a radiative equilibrium calculation for 341 W/m^2 and it’s a mean surface temperature of 4 to 5 deg C. This means (1) the real HGE is presently ~11 K (33/11 = 3 is the fake positive feedback) and (2) that part of the oceans unfrozen is by the atmosphere advectng heat to the poles.

13. Willis Eschenbach says:

Steven Devijver says:
January 14, 2014 at 1:17 am

how many watts/m2 will the surface downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) have to increase by, if the surface temperature rises by 3°C

It depends. If you start from 0°C and want to rise to 3°C you will need less energy than if you want to rise from 14°C to 17°C. What’s your starting point, it’s not clear from the article?

Sorry for the lack of clarity, Steven. I started from the CERES estimate of the average temperature, which is 16.8°C (400 W/m2 radiation).
w.

14. Edim says:

In the big picture, the sun heats the ocean by radiation, the ocean heats the atmosphere by evaporation and the atmosphere cools by radiation to space.

15. Willis Eschenbach says:

January 14, 2014 at 1:26 am

Awww, come on Willis. I already called it.

No, you didn’t do any such thing, Konrad. This is a brand new analysis that you never did, and that you never called. Now you want to ride on the back of my post and pretend you’ve done this analysis before?
Go away. You contribute nothing but dissension and execrable “science”
w.

16. Barry Cullen says:

How nice that Mosher was able to make a real contribution to this work.
Keep going Willis! You’re close to the very last nail.

17. TimTheToolMan says:

They can claim ocean warming claims about 0.4W from Levitus.

18. AP says:

The time periods the IPCC select cause me to be suspicious (aside from the fact that if they move their lips they’re lying), since they are comparing one time period (1951-2012) to another time period (1998-2012) which is a subset of the original time period. Now, I’d have thought that from a statistical point of view, that’s a “no-no”?

AlecM says:
January 14, 2014 at 1:31 am
“… do a radiative equilibrium calculation”
—————————————————–
Still not getting it?
Never, ever apply SB equations to moving fluid bodies in a gravity field.
That would include not just the atmosphere but also the oceans.

20. DEEBEE says:

I find it fascinating how the shenanigans of statistics have pervaded our thinking on all sides. The graphs talk about trends and confidence limits of 95%, while most of the data lies outside of the limits. Puts climatology in the same league as taking fMRI images of the brain flashes and formulating theories. It is a great job, if you can make someone shell out money for it.
Let me hasten to add I find your articles always fascinating to read but could not shake this notion as soon as I saw the first graph.

21. David L says:

” Kinda blows holes in their theory about volcanoes, but all we can do is follow the data …”
Therein lies the problem of global warming research. I’ve noticed over my career that a large number of scientists and probably the entire field of science operates in this way: that you learn basic fundamental principles and then postulate your way to fame. Theories are not to be disproven but rather proven. There’s no ego in being wrong but rather in being right. So in general I’ve observed from the scientific fields that the modus operandi is to think hard about the problem and solve it by “first principles” and then later gather the data that proved your theory correct and also proved how smart you are.
I see in Willis and in the rare breed of scientist what I call “explorers”; those that use data as the primary means to guide them in seeking the truth. In other words, people willing to follow the data. Being a scientist I can sadly say this trait is rare. People don’t want to follow the data but rather follow their thought-up explanations based on principles.

22. A C Osborn says:

Willis Eschenbach says: January 14, 2014 at 1:35 am
Willis, you are correct that Konrad has not done the same work as you have here, which is very good and is so important it needs confirming.
But Konrad arrived at the same basic results as you by experimentation, so please do not knock what he did over the last few years.

23. richard verney says:

Willis
I am very pleased to see this latest article. In one of your previous articles on CERES, I suggested that you provide something similar to put matters in perspective. This latest article of yours has provided somewhat more information (and hence perspective) than I was suggesting. Well done.
Konrad, myself (and indeed others) have for sometime been suggesting to you that the oceans would not freeze even without DWLWIR. As regards myself, I have restricted this to the equitorial and tropical oceans. I have repeatedly suggested that there is excess solar energy going into these oceans such that they would not freeze even without DWLWIR and this excess solar energy is transprted poleward thereby higher latitude oceans ice free, or ice free for some parts of the year. The problem with climate science is that it always looks at averages, and one needs to look at the real world, not some artifiicial average construct.
Of course, it may be the case that without DWLWIR the eqitorial and tropical oceans would be somewhat cooler, but if so they would radiate less energy so in this scenario there would be less radiative loss, but they would not freeze. I accept that there may be some debate as to temperature, but not as to whether they would freeze.
The importance of this is that the water cycle would always be open and in operation, and any effect of CO2 at current levels is lost in the water cycle. This is why the signal from CO2 cannot be measured (there is no first order correlation between CO2 and temperature) in any thermometer temperature record or satellite data set).
It may be that CO2 played some role when it was 100ppm, or 20ppm, or 40ppm or even80ppm, but at today’s level, it would appear to be nothing more than a bit player.
I would suggest that a proper interpretation of all the data sets is strongly suggesting this to be the case.r .

Edim says:
January 14, 2014 at 1:34 am
——————————————-
You got it.

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 14, 2014 at 1:35 am
————————————-
Oh for goodness sake Willis!
The internet record shows you being presented with this simple experiment
this is the somewhat expensive experiment that can disprove not just AGW but also the idea of a NET radiative greenhouse effect-
http://i42.tinypic.com/315nbdl.jpg
This experiment simulates what would happen to the oceans if the planet did not have an atmosphere (and the oceans could be prevented from boiling into space). The experiment heats a water sample with an intermittent SW source at depth. The sample can cool only by IR emitted from the surface. Conductive and evaporative cooling is restricted. There is also virtually no LWIR incident on the surface of the water. Initial temperature of the water 15C
1. How hot will can the water get?
2, Will it freeze due to the lack of LWIR incident on the surface?
3. Or will it rise toward 80C?
4. What effect will the cycle frequency of the SW source have on the final temperature?
If the oceans can reach 80C in the absence of an atmosphere (assuming they didn’t boil into space) that would prove that the net effect of the atmosphere on the oceans is cooling. There is only one effective means of cooling the atmosphere. Radiative gases. This would mean that not just AGW but the hypothesis of a net radiative greenhouse effect is disproved.
Willis, you chose to avoid answering those four simple questions.
NASA has already done the empirical proof Willis. The “Snow Line” in the solar system is 3 AU.
Am I really being so unpleasant?*
I have given you so many free clues since 2011. Exactly who did you think I wanted to “call it” Willis?
*maybe in some measure, I am. The problem you may have is believing there are good and bad people in the world. There are only ever and always the bad people, it’s just that some of them are on different sides. An unending sea of evil, shallow in most places, but deeper, oh so much deeper in others. (with apologies to T. Prachett)
Am I a bad person? Are you a bad person Willis? Shall we ask Rog at talkshop?
When I say the cat got to the last Oreo, there was only some slight nibbling….and licking. Bit of a scrape and it should still be good…

26. CharlieUK says:

Could I ask a simple but related question?
In the past, the earth’s atmosphere contained over 5000 to 7000 ppm of CO2, and its concentration has dropped over the last 500 million years to the current low level. I’ve assumed that the earth did not boil at the previous high levels because once all the reflected heat that can be trapped and reradiated by CO2 had occurred then adding more CO2 would make no difference.
I’ve read that the effect of CO2 falls off logarithmically (ie 100 ppm – 78%, 200 ppm – 88%, 300 ppm – 92%), and that at the moment at 400 ppm, CO2 is exerting around 95% of its maximum possible effect. And this will rise to virtually 100% at 800 ppm.
Thus my question is – if the logarithmic tapering off is true, and the extent of tapering is true – how can the IPCC state that if the CO2 doubles, the earth will warm by 3oC?
This would mean that the earth would be 12oC warmer at 6400 ppm and 3oC cooler at 200 ppm – whereas, if tapering was, indeed, correct, then 6400 ppm would have no real warming effect but going down to 200 ppm certainly would.
Any clarification appreciated.

27. John Marshall says:

What is ”sensible heat”? No such animal when I did physics or thermodynamics. Perhaps you mean convection which is the major cause of surface heat loss closely followed by latent heat of evapouration. Radiation comes a poor third.
According to the GHE theory as greenhouse gasses increase TOA heat loss will decrease due to the heat ”storage” of the GHG’s.(stupid idea and a further violation of the laws of thermodynamics). TOA average heat loss is steady at 240W/m2 ish which means that overall heat transfer has not changed despite increases in atmospheric CO2.

Wonderful how a bureaucracy can invent volcanic eruptions of significance, when there aren’t any of significance. These people need to get out more.

29. richard verney says:

Willis
I do not intend to get involved in any dispute that you may have with Konrad. My personal view, is as expressed by AC Osborn.
If i recall correctly, much of this arose in your article on radiating the oceans. Last year (probably in ome of your ARGO posts), I suggested that you should rewrite your article on radiating the oceans. This suggestion was not meant in any nasty manner, but merely because I consider that you have so much more to give, and that your article on radiating the oceans was too superfisial (personal view, others may not share my personal view).
In my view understanding the oceans is the key to understanding the climate. It is the oceans that are the huge heat resoir and which drive the climate system. This is where the key debate should be, and people will inevitably have differing views. These differing views will be legitimate because of lack of data, and lack of experimentation.
There is an issue of principle, namely where a body wishes to give up energy (say because it is hotter than its environs), and can give up this energy in a variety of ways (Eg., two or more of conduction, convection, evaporation/latent phase change, radiation) does it do it by the path of least resistence, and does the fact that it is giving up energy say by convection and evaporation limit how much energy it can give up say by radiation. This strikes at whether energy is net flows or gross.
As you are aware, many take the view that the oceans are in balance because one only looks at net flows. In my opinion, this can only be satifactorily answered by experimentation.

30. Robbo says:

“you’d think that you could just use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to figure out how many more upwelling watts would be represented by a global surface temperature rise of 3°C. Even that number was a surprise to me … 16.8 watts per square metre”
Hi Willis,
Could you please spell out how you used Stefan-Boltzmann to get this number ?

31. izen says:

Unfortunately there is a fundamental error in the initial assumption made at the begining of this article that invalidates all the subsequent claims. It is this :-
@-” Here was the question that somehow I’d never asked myself … how many watts/m2 will the surface downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) have to increase by, if the surface temperature rises by 3°C?
Now, you’d think that you could just use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to figure out how many more upwelling watts would be represented by a global surface temperature rise of 3°C. Even that number was a surprise to me … 16.8 watts per square metre.
This is nonsense. To understand why consider the big rise in temperature around 12,000 years ago from the glacial period to the present interglacial. That was a global rise double the predicted 3degC you examine here, the consensus is that there was a rise of around SIX degrees C. On your simplistic calculation that would require far more than a 16.8W/m2 increase in upwelling LW.
And yet the solar input was the same, just altered in where and when it was received, and albedo fell, CO2 rose a bit.
So the transition from glacial to present warm conditions was much greater than the present projected climate change without the massive increase in LW your uninformed assumptions imply. Back to the literature I suggest, or the science of doom site if you find the peer reviewed studies too hard to follow.

32. Bill Illis says:

Regarding the 16.8 W/m2 of additional forcing required to raise temperatures by 3.0C, the majority of this comes from the feedbacks (and more accurately, the feedbacks on the feedbacks on the feedbacks).
Doubling CO2 (and including the forcing from other GHG increases like methane which are predicted to occur as CO2 gets up to double) produces about +4.2 W/m2 of initial forcing.
Then water vapor increases and low clouds decline and there is adjustment in the lapse rate and in the stratosphere which produces a first round of feedbacks. This raises temperatures further and another round of feedbacks occurs.
After about 11 rounds of feedbacks on the previous feedbacks/initial forcing, you get up to +16.8 W/m2 and each additional round of temperature change/feedback forcing transitions to close to zero / ie. no further change.
This requires extreme fine-tuning in the feedback assumptions to get the numbers to work and 11 rounds of feedbacks. Change low clouds to zero or make it a negative and the whole feedback on feedback amplification falls apart.
Since we don’t really know what water vapor, or clouds or even the initial CO2 forcing is really going to do, and the theory depends on these numbers being so exact, we should just measure what really happens rather than just continue repeating the same assumptions over and over again. As Willis has done here.

33. Jim, too. says:

Willis,
You claim in your first graph a 0.01 trend in downwelling radiation. Should that be 0.10 or are the units on the y-axis wrong? Sorry if I am incorrect in my interpretation.

34. AlecM says:

@Konrad: you can easily do a S-B equilibrium for an hypothetical O2 – N2 atmosphere with no clouds or ice and get 4 to 5 deg C mean surface temperature.
The issue with 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf is that they assume a -18 deg C emitter in the upper atmosphere, and establish the lapse rate temperature difference, when there is no such emitter.
This led to 40 years of crap science so has to be stopped.

35. Quondam says:

“The energy loss from the surface by radiation (per CERES) is ~ 400 watts per square metre (W/m2), and the loss by sensible and latent heat is ~ 100 W/m2, or a quarter of the radiation loss.”
Willis, I believe the 100 W/m2 is a net flux due to mass transport, the difference between rising and ascending flows, e.g. 500-400. This energy is found in the degrees of freedom contributing to heat capacity. Trenberth’s cartoon is misleading in comparing the net mass energy flux with resolved radiative energy fluxes. That the net radiative flux density doubles on rising through the troposphere suggests that, at the surface, radiative and convective fluxes are similar (MODTRAN). ‘Consensus’ modeling does not include convective compensation (lapse rate change) for increased radiative flux impedance by CO2.

36. Leo Smith says:

“b) back off on the IPCC climate sensitivity by a factor of about ten”
Indeed. If you remove the fiddle factor lambda, that is about the climate sensitivity you get. 0.25C per doubling.
Why is lambda there, and what does it mean in real terms?
lambda is there to fit the general equation of dT= lambda.log(dCO2) …(+- other known knowns) to a short period of twenty years of late 20th century global warming.
It is a multiplier, which implies positive feedback between rising temperatures and…rising temperatures, via. an unknown and never properly explained mechanism.
The equation could equally have been chosen as
dT=d. log(dCO2) + lambda …(+- other known knowns)
Where instead of the parametrised unknown lambda being a multiplier, it was simply an additional unknown driver of climate change.
The equation has as many unknowns, and still fits the data.
It has however, one important characteristic. It provides no support for global warming being man made and supports no government policy of intervention in climate research or energy production whatsoever. Ergo it is a pretty useless equation if those are in fact your aims….
I rest my case.

37. Steve Keohane says:

Thanks Willis.

38. cd says:

All your points seem perfectly plausible.
If the oceans can reach 80C in the absence of an atmosphere (assuming they didn’t boil into space) that would prove that the net effect of the atmosphere on the oceans is cooling.
What you’re suggesting is that the atmosphere acts as a conduit for energy transfer via evaporation and conduction, in short energy is transferred from the ocean to atmosphere where it does additional work. In other words, the effect of the atmosphere is as much as anything to do with increasing the amount of work for the energy to do in the system; more than it would otherwise have if there were just an ocean.
But this doesn’t refute the AGW theory. Increasing AGW effectively, and temporarily, reduces the rate of transfer of energy back into space – that is all. In the end the “energy’s residence time” in the atmosphere is the only thing that has changed afterwards.

39. Jim Clarke says:

There are only two possibilities: The IPCC is wrong or the data is wrong. The scientific method clearly indicates that the IPCC is wrong, but the mainstream climate community has a well established history of changing the data to fit the IPCC hypothesis and conclusions. I imagine there will be papers coming out detailing why the CERES data needs to be corrected, or at least highlighting the potential errors in CERES data.
In the meantime, some mainstream climate scientists will quietly abandon their sinking ship. Some of them will rework this post, add a lot of technical words, Greek symbols and much more complicated graphs and claim that they may have discovered a serious flaw with the AGW hypothesis, just needing more grant money to confirm it. The name ‘Willis Eschenbach’ will not appear in their paper, but we will know.

40. u says:

Do these guys just take a science word and a verb, slam them together, and send it off to the media for publication? Because it sure seems like they do.

41. Alberta Slim says:

richard verney says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:52 am
“Willis
I do not intend to get involved in any dispute that you may have with Konrad. My personal view, is as expressed by AC Osborn…………………………………”
I totally agree. Well Said.
I feel that many “luke warmers” of the GHE are giving up on the GHE altogether.

42. Mike M says:

I’d swear there was an article a while back concerning CERES and a solar event that briefly blasted us with an increase of radiation and that the sensors detected more LR being emitted back out to space from the TOA than was modeled/expected. I think the idea of CO2 at TOA was suspected of basically doing the same thing to LR upstairs as what it does down here but in reverse?

43. Were we not told in recent years volcanos and the sun have no effect on warming/cooling and therefore climate?
Not at all. We were told that volcanic ash and aerosols were responsible for global cooling events in the past and that the variability of the sun in all dimensions has a very small effect on the climate. Since there has been comparatively little overt/catastrophic vulcanism post Mount Pinatubo — a few eruptions, to be sure, but nothing particularly “global” in its reach — we could rewrite your statement as “we were told that volcanoes and the sun have had little effect on the climate in recent years” which is not QUITE the same thing.
It is precisely the lack of vulcanism that is responsible for a good chunk of the failure of climate models. The integrated effect of aerosols is a big question mark, but as Willis has pointed out many times before, actually, one cannot really pin the lack of warming on volcanic aerosols in an era when we can observe the entire globe from space and hence know for a fact that there hasn’t been anything like an anomalous release of volcanic aerosols at a scale capable of explaining the supposed temperature deficit. Models predict that with aerosols roughly constant and CO_2 increasing, it should warm. But it isn’t warming. At least the IPCC acknowledges the problem tacitly by noting that they cannot really make any statements about the precise way all this works out with any confidence at all because the models that are supposed to do this are not working!
There are other areas where there are extraordinary unexplained changes. One of the most interesting ones is the dramatic and rapid reduction in stratospheric water vapor that occurred over precisely the interval in question. Stratospheric water vapor is a key component of the greenhouse effect. If I recall the NASA paper announcing this fact correctly, it was estimated that the observed reduction alone was sufficient to drop GASTA by order of 0.5C, that is, by roughly the amount of all of the warming attributed to CO_2 increases to date. But even this is a very rough estimate.
The cause of this reduction is, as far as I know, yet another in the many mysteries of the climate system. It is coincident with the equally dramatic reduction in mean solar activity, so one is tempted to commit the sin of post hoc ergo propter hoc and associate the two as cause and effect, but as far as I know there are no credible models for how variation of either total insolation (not quite negligible, but surely very small, as repeatedly noted) or the more complicated variation of heliogeomagnetism and incident radiation could be responsible for it. One could speculate — it might well be the case that cosmic radiation penetrating to the troposphere, while capable of small modulations in cloud particle nucleation rates, is a negligible perturbation of direct particulate and aerosol nucleation but that in the stratosphere it becomes a dominant contributor either directly or indirectly by affecting things like ozone concentrations. Or the modulation could come from something else entirely — a natural variation that simply increases the cloud fraction well below the tropopause so that less moisture survives to be transported into the stratosphere. Or both, either independently or nonlinearly augmented. Or there could be three- or four-way causes.
This suggests another interesting chore for Willis, if there exist any data sets to support it. CERES gives one TOA upwelling data. Soundings, one hopes, gives one data from the tropopause itself. The difference between upwelling SW and LW radiation and the tropopause and upwelling SW and LW radiation at the TOA is the integrated effect of all atmospheric layers above the tropopause. If there has been in fact a substantial variation in the atmospheric radiative effect of the (mostly) stratosphere, it should be immediately visible in the differences as a pronouced negative trend. This actually is capable of explaining at least part of the so-called missing heat — if the stratosphere “suddenly” became substantially more transparent to outgoing LWIR in the water vapor bands, it would substantially affect the optical depth of the upper troposphere where the atmosphere radiatively cools, precisely in those bands responsible for the cooling that precipitates clouds. This in turn could modulate albedo, a substantial nonlinear cooling effect in the tropics and weak warming effect in the polar regions (and nearly neutral in between). Since there is a hell of a lot more area in the tropics than in the poles, this sort of thing could easily cause anything from cancellation of expected warming to actual cooling.
Actual cooling because modulation of the Earth’s net albedo is an extremely powerful factor in even single slab models. The Earthlight project reported that in rough consonance with the alteration of the solar cycle, the Earth’s average albedo substantially increased — order of 3-7% — from e.g the mid 80s when the sun was highly active compared to today. IIRC it was CERES data that people tried to use to argue that there was no such increase, but of course it doesn’t go back far enough and I’m not sure that I believe strongly one way or another. The time constants of any possible variation are also unknown — it might take decades of lower solar activity for the stratosphere and troposphere to move to a new quasi-equilibrium state — if such a thing even exists, if the sun is in any measure responsible for modulating either stratospheric or tropospheric atmospheric radiation, if, if, if.
But if or no if, examining CERES vs sounding at the top of the troposphere would surely be interesting, especially if anything like a meaningful trend emerges in the difference.
rgb

44. izen says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:26 am
So the transition from glacial to present warm conditions was much greater than the present projected climate change without the massive increase in LW your uninformed assumptions imply.
======
there are many problems with the radiation/insolation theory of glaciation. the 100k problem for example.
largely overlooked by climate science is the effects of the ocean tides, which move massive amounts of water. Due to orbital mechanics the tides are not static. Their magnitude increases and decreases in phase with the cycle of ice ages.
Perhaps the ice ages are not governed by radiation. Rather by volume of water transported from the equator to the poles. Increase the flow rate, you get an interglacial. Decrease the flow rate, the poles ice over.

45. The problem with the isolation theory of glaciation is that isolation varies as the earth’s orbit, while the tides vary as the earth’s and the moon’s orbit, and the magnitude of change in glaciation appears to better match the combined earth and lunar orbit, than it does the earth’s orbit alone.

u says:
January 14, 2014 at 6:23 am

Do these guys just take a science word and a verb, slam them together, and send it off to the media for publication? Because it sure seems like they do.

Good point, “u”.
Wouldn’t surprise me if they used “Pixie Dust” next for their explanation, which uses two nouns and is about as nonsensical.
The IPCC is goin’ down! They resort to magic, not science.

A most enjoyable and enlightening read, Willis! The IPCC certainly has some explaining to do!

48. Rud Istvan says:

Willis, another nice climate post. Your vulcanism conclusion from Ceres data is strongly supported by MLO LIDAR data on atmospheric apparent transmission available from NOAA/ESRL. The reason over the period you study is simple. To have a climate effect, volcanic aerosols have to reach at least the upper troposphere where they will mix into the stratosphere and survive for a while (1-3 years max). This requires a VEI of 4 or greater for the eruption plume to reach those altitudes. There have been no such eruptions over the time period, ( and just one in 2009 that affected stratospheric opacity at all measured by MLO LIDAR, Sarychev in the Kurile Islands). So the stratosphere has been naturally ‘clearing’ slightly, resulting in the negative result contradicting the IPCC explanation you show via independent means. Using volcanos to explain the pause when there have been no eruptions of the minimum required magnitude was transparent IPCC voodoo.

49. Mike M says:

richard verney says:
(1) “…In my view understanding the oceans is the key to understanding the climate. It is the oceans that are the huge heat resoir and which drive the climate system. … ”
I doubt that anyone disagrees with that.
(2) “..This is where the key debate should be, …”
But that is non sequitor to (1) because just understanding more about the climate does not necessarily equate to understanding it completely enough to sway opinion when the affects from that which remains unknown/vague/fuzzy/poorly measured/etc. will provide plenty of wiggle room to the CAGW faithful well into the future.
The ‘key’ debate should be the one which provides the most obvious and provable means to drive a stake through the CAGW hoax. Your very explanation of the complexity of ocean currents and mentioning various heat transport mechanisms in itself exemplifies my assertion. In contrast, the energy budget analysis has only one variable in and out of a black box – heat radiation. It doesn’t matter to ‘the debate’ how complex the ocean is in regard to the climate if it can be proven that more heat can nonetheless be emitted back out to space than what went in despite an increased atmospheric concentration of CO2. Such in my opinion is THE “Sword of Damocles” to AGW theory itself and the one I most want to see dropped on the on the heads of the ‘consensus’.

50. scarletmacaw says:

izen says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:26 am
This is nonsense. To understand why consider the big rise in temperature around 12,000 years ago from the glacial period to the present interglacial. That was a global rise double the predicted 3degC you examine here, the consensus is that there was a rise of around SIX degrees C. On your simplistic calculation that would require far more than a 16.8W/m2 increase in upwelling LW.
And yet the solar input was the same, just altered in where and when it was received, and albedo fell, CO2 rose a bit.
So the transition from glacial to present warm conditions was much greater than the present projected climate change without the massive increase in LW your uninformed assumptions imply. Back to the literature I suggest, or the science of doom site if you find the peer reviewed studies too hard to follow.

Are you saying there was NOT a massive increase in upwelling LW in the interglacial compared to the glacial? When there was a massive decrease in reflected SW after the glaciers receded, there had to be a corresponding increase in LW.

51. Ian L. McQueen says:

@ John Marshall, who said: “What is ”sensible heat”? No such animal when I did physics or thermodynamics.”
Funny, when I took physics in high school and chemical engineering at university, there were “sensible heat” and “latent heat” with clear definitions. Google “latent heat” and you will find lots of information.
IanM

52. I believe that many of you are mistaken about Galileo.
His offense (and it was truly offensive) was his using Italian rather than Latin in the writing of his Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, and his use of the arguments of the Pope set forth as the responses of Simplicio (one of the members of the dialogue).
Galileo’s challenge to authority was simple: he challenged a slavishly literal reading of the book of Joshua with what he thought was evidence. Willis has done much the same, challenging the prevailing orthodoxy with data.
Are we simply to accept what is written, or can we challenge Authority? Galileo had already conclusively demonstraed that Aristotle was wrong about the paths of objects through the air. He even made money with his trajectory tables.
Unfortunately for Galileo, he lacked evidence which was immediately accessible, that evidence being the Foucault Pendulum (230 years too late). I leave out the aberration of light, which is not directly visible to human senses (you need a telescope and setting circles). And Galileo had an abrasive temperament, which led him to provide gratuitous digs at his former friend, the Pope.
At least Willis has evidence on his side.

53. Mike M says:

scarletmacaw says: “When there was a massive decrease in reflected SW after the glaciers receded, there had to be a corresponding increase in LW.”
There was also a corresponding increase of photosynthesis spreading across the globe with SW energy going into the sequester of carbon and production of free oxygen.

54. Thanks Willis. Interesting article, please keep up the good work.
Where in the CERES data is the missing warming?
Nowhere. I don’t think CERES can measure the imaginary.

55. You can play with the reanalysis data at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl. and come to similar conclusions. As you and others have discussed, it is the processes that are occuring in tropical thunderclouds that is controlling the rate of energy loss to space. I think those processes are controlling the atmospheric concentration and distribution of CO2 as well.

56. Robert W Turner says:

The answer is obviously variability in our star’s magnetic field. It’s so obvious it hurts. I’d wager the Warmist’s tunes will change with the first major tropical volcanic eruption to reach the stratosphere during this waning of the magnetic field. We just came close, http://www.volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=261080
And here is an excellent read for those that have not seen it:
NATURAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY DURING THE HOLOCENE
V A Dergachev1 • O M Raspopov2 • F Damblon3 • H Jungner4 • G I Zaitseva5

57. Willis Eschenbach says:

January 14, 2014 at 2:40 am

AlecM says:
January 14, 2014 at 1:31 am

“… do a radiative equilibrium calculation”

—————————————————–
Still not getting it?
Never, ever apply SB equations to moving fluid bodies in a gravity field.
That would include not just the atmosphere but also the oceans.

Citation? I see no one but you claiming that for some reason, S-B equations become invalid when applied to a moving fluid in a gravity field. What are you basing your claim on?
w.

58. Willis Eschenbach says:

A C Osborn says:
January 14, 2014 at 2:49 am

Willis Eschenbach says: January 14, 2014 at 1:35 am
Willis, you are correct that Konrad has not done the same work as you have here, which is very good and is so important it needs confirming.
But Konrad arrived at the same basic results as you by experimentation, so please do not knock what he did over the last few years.

Absolute nonsense. As far as I know, this analysis is quite unlike Konrad has ever done, and it is in no way derivable from his experiment. And in fact, Konrad holds that the entire CERES dataset is worthless because according to the great Konrad, you can’t use Stefan-Boltzmann equation on air or water … and that’s exactly what the CERES calculations do.
So how on earth are my results even vaguely related to Konrad’s nonsense? He actually believes that the ocean is kept from freezing solely by the ~ 160 W/m2 of downwelling solar, while it is losing ~ 400 W/m2 through radiation and sensible/latent heat loss … and that’s industrial strength foolishness.
Sorry, but Konrad’ ideas about the world of radiation are not accepted by any serious scientist that I know of.
w.

59. AlecM says:

@Ian L McQueen: you solve the problem by introducing enthalpy, including the systems internal energy and thermodynamic potential. The latter, a state function, is set by gravity etc and if that does not change can be ignored in terms of the capability of the system to do thermodynamic work.

60. lgl says:

Willis
The 3 deg C rise is at equillibrium which is not reached in a decade so your 2 W/m2 rise in fig.1 is too high. Guessing 2/3 would be close.

61. A C Osborn says:

Willis Eschenbach says: January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am
Willis, you either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood what I was trying to say, “the same basic results” ie that warming by CO2 as described by the IPCC either, is not currently taking place or if it is, that the loss of that warming has not been explained by the Climate Scientists.
I have already said Quote “Willis, you are correct that Konrad has not done the same work as you have here, which is very good and is so important it needs confirming.”
ie your work needs confirming because it is new.

62. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:21 am

Willis
I am very pleased to see this latest article. In one of your previous articles on CERES, I suggested that you provide something similar to put matters in perspective. This latest article of yours has provided somewhat more information (and hence perspective) than I was suggesting. Well done.
Konrad, myself (and indeed others) have for sometime been suggesting to you that the oceans would not freeze even without DWLWIR. As regards myself, I have restricted this to the equitorial and tropical oceans. I have repeatedly suggested that there is excess solar energy going into these oceans such that they would not freeze even without DWLWIR and this excess solar energy is transprted poleward thereby higher latitude oceans ice free, or ice free for some parts of the year

Jeez, not you too. RUN THE DANG NUMBERS, Richard. If longwave can’t provide energy to the ocean as you and Konrad and others claim, there is nowhere near enough solar energy, even in the tropics, to keep the ocean from freezing. Heck, I’ll run the numbers for you. Here is the surface radiation balance without longwave radiation.

Notice that the tropical ocean, far from having the excess that you imagine is being exported to the poles, actually has a deficit of about -60 W/m2 if LW can’t heat the ocean. So your theory runs aground on the reef of facts.
I can’t say this enough, folks. If you have some theory about how the climate is working, RUN THE NUMBERS! Do the math, even if it is just a back-of-the-envelope calculation, to see if your ideas hold water before releasing them on the poor unsuspecting webizens.
w.

63. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Marshall says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:26 am

What is ”sensible heat”? No such animal when I did physics or thermodynamics.

GIYF …

sensible heat noun
Definition of SENSIBLE HEAT
: thermal energy whose transfer to or from a substance results in a change of temperature — compare latent heat
First Known Use of SENSIBLE HEAT
1839

So unless you went to school before 1839 …
w.

64. Willis Eschenbach says:

Robbo says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:24 am

“you’d think that you could just use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to figure out how many more upwelling watts would be represented by a global surface temperature rise of 3°C. Even that number was a surprise to me … 16.8 watts per square metre”

Hi Willis,
Could you please spell out how you used Stefan-Boltzmann to get this number ?

Sure. The S-B equation relates the temperature of a body and the thermal infrared (longwave) that it radiates. The equation is:
Radiation (watts/m2) = 5.67e-8 * emissivity * Temperature (kelvin)4
Now, emissivity is on the order of 1.0 for the surface of the planet. So it is usually taken as 1 for these kinds of analyses. As Geiger says in his incomparable tome “The Climate Near The Ground”,

The [Earth’s] surface will be treated as a blackbody throughout the remainder of this book since, for the range of natural surface emissivities, the departure of Tr [measured radiation] from Ts [theoretical radiation] is small.

This lets us convert one direction or the other, through the equations
and
Temperature = ( Radiation / 5.67e-8 ) 1/4
The CERES surface upwelling longwave radiation dataset has a global (area-weighted) average of 400 W/m2. The formula says that this is equivalent to 16.6°C.
I then applied that same formula to the individual gridcell radiation values to give me gridcell temperature. Then I added 3° to this surface temperature dataset everywhere, and used the inverse formula to convert back to watts/m2.
Finally, I averaged the resulting warmer surface upwelling longwave, and that gave me 416.8 W/m2 for my warmer surface.
w.

65. A C Osborn says:

Willis Eschenbach says: January 14, 2014 at 9:09 am “RUN THE NUMBERS! Do the math”
Whose Theory of how the Atmosphere works would that be exactly?
With or Without the heat generated by Atmospheric Pressure?

66. Willis Eschenbach says:

izen says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:26 am

Unfortunately there is a fundamental error in the initial assumption made at the begining of this article that invalidates all the subsequent claims. It is this :-

@-” Here was the question that somehow I’d never asked myself … how many watts/m2 will the surface downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) have to increase by, if the surface temperature rises by 3°C?
Now, you’d think that you could just use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to figure out how many more upwelling watts would be represented by a global surface temperature rise of 3°C. Even that number was a surprise to me … 16.8 watts per square metre.

This is nonsense. To understand why consider the big rise in temperature around 12,000 years ago from the glacial period to the present interglacial.

If you want to argue with Stefan-Boltzmann, I fear I can’t help you … I know that Konrad also thinks that S-B equations can’t be applied to the atmosphere and surface of the planet.
But the great Geiger and every other serious climate scientist I know of uses the S-B equations regularly for exactly this type of calculations. So you’ll have to do much better than wave your hand at the ice ages to negate such an S-B based calculation of the change in radiation that occurs from a given change in temperature … this is not complex stuff, izen, these are everyday, well-investigated climate calculations.
w.

67. Willis Eschenbach says:

Bill Illis says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:33 am

Regarding the 16.8 W/m2 of additional forcing required to raise temperatures by 3.0C, the majority of this comes from the feedbacks (and more accurately, the feedbacks on the feedbacks on the feedbacks).

You seem to be missing the point. I looked for the “additional forcing required to raise temperatures by 3.0C” in the CERES dataset and I couldn’t find it.
So the question is not where the majority of this imaginary forcing might come from. We have not yet established that it is even happening, so speculations on its origins are way premature.
w.

68. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:52 am

Willis
I do not intend to get involved in any dispute that you may have with Konrad. My personal view, is as expressed by AC Osborn.
If i recall correctly, much of this arose in your article on radiating the oceans. Last year (probably in ome of your ARGO posts), I suggested that you should rewrite your article on radiating the oceans. This suggestion was not meant in any nasty manner, but merely because I consider that you have so much more to give, and that your article on radiating the oceans was too superfisial (personal view, others may not share my personal view).

My article called Radiating The Ocean is here. I stand by every word of it. Neither you, Konrad, nor anyone else has stood up and answered the four challenges I made there. The reader can decide who is right.
Truly, guys, this is not rocket science. It is well-established that a) there is downwelling longwave radiation from the atmosphere, measured all around the world, and b) that radiation contains energy, and c) when that radiation hits an object, it is absorbed by that object. In the world of science, none of those statements are in the least controversial.
You and Konrad and AC Osborn and the others arguing against those well-known facts just make people point and laugh. Unfortunately, you also always want to disrupt any discussion by your single-interest fanaticism. Look, why don’t you guys go start a blog called “Thermal Radiation Is Imaginary”, where you can all agree with each other?
Because you’ll never get any traction here, instead, you just infest every thread with your endless whining on the subject.
You lost. Stefan-Boltzmann won. Get over it.
w.

69. A C Osborn says:

Willis, you have a very slight problem, you seem to be unable to see that your own latest great piece of work strongly points to the fact that there is something wrong with the current theory that you yourself are using to base the work on.
It has shown that the Earth is not warming according to that current theory and also that the IPCC and Climate Scientists have offered reasons for the Pause that you have just totally disproved.
So is the theory correct, if so why has the temperature paused?
You are so good at explaining your workings, so that even I understood it, please explain why there is no warming despite the rise in CO2.

70. The warmest molecules of air are just at or just above he surface.
They can both radiate to or conduct to the surface but lets ignore conduction for the moment.
If the warmest molecules are radiating to the surface at their ambient temperature then how can cooler molecules above them also radiate to the surface so as to add to the radiation already reaching the surface from the warmest molecules ?
Isn’t it obvious that ALL the radiation reaching the surface is from those warmest molecules and the colder molecules above them have no additional radiative/ thermal effect whatever. ?

71. Willis said:
“the tropical ocean, far from having the excess that you imagine is being exported to the poles, actually has a deficit of about -60 W/m2 if LW can’t heat the ocean”
The mass of warm air above the tropical oceans keeps those oceans warm and not DWIR.
It does so via the convective overturning observed in Willis’s very own thermostat hypothesis.
Uplift into thunderheads takes energy away from the surface and converts it into gravitational potential energy
BUT
Descent around thunderheads returns energy to the surface by reconverting gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy again.
That is what cancels the imaginary radiation deficit.
The water cycle is a separate energy transport system superimposed on the basic convective circulation.
And so the cycle goes for as long as there is an atmosphere whether radiative or not and all because of uneven surface heating causing density differentials at the surface which allows movement involving work done first against gravity (uplift /cooling) and then with gravity ( descent / warming).
LW fuels the water cycle, is therefore an accelerant for the system (water vapour being lighter than air) and improves system efficiency so that less convective overturning is required than would be necessary without the water cycle.
.

72. A C Osborn says:

Willis, you seem to have doubts also, otherwise why did you say this “So … does Figure 1 falsify the CO2 hypothesis? Not yet, we’ve got a ways to go, but it is an interesting finding.”?
So is Climate Sensitivity less than proposed by the IPCC?

73. Truly, guys, this is not rocket science. It is well-established that a) there is downwelling longwave radiation from the atmosphere, measured all around the world, and b) that radiation contains energy, and c) when that radiation hits an object, it is absorbed by that object. In the world of science, none of those statements are in the least controversial..

Quite correct Willis! And the problem with MANY of the analyses by the “educated” (I say that lightly, and regard you as a GIANT compared to many of them with those fancy pieces of paper)…is that they hark back to Elsasser’s Pivotal 1942 Paper on the Radiation Heat Balance of the Atmosphere. In that assesment, the model is an INFINITE FLAT PLANE. Which removes the IR losses (as you climb upward) OUT of the 4pi steradians and into outer space, which can OCCUR BELOW THE PLANE, because the Earth curves.
This is so SIGNIFICANT that it REALLY knocks down the effect of the CO2, and in the calcs by one researcher, brings the “beginning to rise” point to over 3000 PPM (that is no mistake, essentially 10 X’s the blessed 280 PPM starting point.)
Your work with the CEREs is BRILLIANT, and I thank you for it.

74. Willis Eschenbach says:

Robert Brown says:
January 14, 2014 at 6:59 am

… There are other areas where there are extraordinary unexplained changes. One of the most interesting ones is the dramatic and rapid reduction in stratospheric water vapor that occurred over precisely the interval in question. Stratospheric water vapor is a key component of the greenhouse effect. If I recall the NASA paper announcing this fact correctly, it was estimated that the observed reduction alone was sufficient to drop GASTA by order of 0.5C, that is, by roughly the amount of all of the warming attributed to CO_2 increases to date. But even this is a very rough estimate.
The cause of this reduction is, as far as I know, yet another in the many mysteries of the climate system. It is coincident with the equally dramatic reduction in mean solar activity, so one is tempted to commit the sin of post hoc ergo propter hoc and associate the two as cause and effect, but as far as I know there are no credible models for how variation of either total insolation (not quite negligible, but surely very small, as repeatedly noted) or the more complicated variation of heliogeomagnetism and incident radiation could be responsible for it. One could speculate — it might well be the case that cosmic radiation penetrating to the troposphere, while capable of small modulations in cloud particle nucleation rates, is a negligible perturbation of direct particulate and aerosol nucleation but that in the stratosphere it becomes a dominant contributor either directly or indirectly by affecting things like ozone concentrations. Or the modulation could come from something else entirely — a natural variation that simply increases the cloud fraction well below the tropopause so that less moisture survives to be transported into the stratosphere. Or both, either independently or nonlinearly augmented. Or there could be three- or four-way causes.
This suggests another interesting chore for Willis, if there exist any data sets to support it.

A while ago I built a simple radiation-convection model of the climate system in Excel, available here. It is a model of this two-atmospheric-layer system.

It has two atmospheric layers, unlike most simplified models of the climate, because I realized early on that a single-layer atmosphere doesn’t provide enough energy to match the earth’s surface temperature plus parasitic losses (latent and sensible heat). This means that my model is the simplest radiative-convective model possible, which is good, I like what I call “tinker-toy” models, vastly oversimplified and and yet extremely valuable for probing the dynamics of the system.
Anyhow, I bring this up because if you play with the model you’ll find that it is quite sensitive to the absorptivity of the stratosphere … just sayin …
As regards your question, I’ve been thinking about the same thing about the stratosphere, and I think I can use the RSS dataset to do some of what you are talking about … but first, I want to refine this current analysis by developing an equation for the parasitic losses (sensible plus latent heat losses, surface to atmosphere) as a function of temperature.
I can then use that relationship to develop a more accurate estimate of the effect of parasitic losses on the system. In general, when a system is running “as fast as it can”, as all natural heat engines do, the parasitic losses are high, particularly at the hot end of the heat engine.
And finally, understanding the parasitic losses will allow me to determine the true increase in downwelling total radiation necessary to heat the surface by 3°C … I’ve currently estimated it at 21 W/m2 but the final number will be more, perhaps much more.
Best regards, and my thanks as always,
w.
PS—One other thing I want to look at is Ramanathans metric for the greenhouse system. Ramanathan measured what he called the greenhouse effect as being the amount of upwelling surface energy absorbed by the atmosphere on its way out. It makes sense, it directly measures the changes in how much upwelling radiation from the surface is absorbed.
It would reveal (in a blunt-force manner) any atmospheric changes. Hang on, the way I’m set up now, it’s an easy task, viz:

GHEresid=removeseasons(surf_lw_up_all - toa_lw_all)
GHEmon=getmonths(GHEresid)
df2 <- data.frame(yis=as.vector(co2watts),xis=as.vector((time(CO2resid))))
surftot=anomaly(as.vector(GHEmon))
aes(y = Surface_Radiation, x = Time))
p1 + geom_line(color="dark blue") + geom_smooth(method = "lm", se = TRUE, color="red") +
#     addlinetoplot(df2, varx = "xis", vary = "yis") +
geom_line(data=df2, aes(x=xis, y=yis),color="black",size=1.5) +
labs(title = expression("Trend in Greenhouse Effect, and Expected CO2 Effect")) +
ylab("Upwelling, Surface minus TOA (W/m2)") +
theme(axis.text=element_text(size=16,face="bold"),
axis.title=element_text(size=16,face="bold"),
title=element_text(size=17,face="bold"))


with the result

Dang, that’s interesting. Looks like I should have started with that one. At least it’s showing something. But there are still a couple of problems. One is that the expected increase in W/m2 from CO2 to make a 3°C rise per doubling is likely larger than the black line above shows, as noted above.
The larger question is this. We would expect an increase in the greenhouse effect from increasing CO2, that part is basic physics. And we do find that in the CERES data. It looks like the effect of CO2 has been greatly overestimated, but the effect is there.
The odd part is, given that we are seeing the predicted increase in the greenhouse effect in the CERES data (albeit in a much attenuated form) … then why is there no corresponding change in the total downwelling radiation at the surface?
The eternal chase for meaning and understanding goes on … I’ll report back my findings.

75. Steven Mosher says:

Since they used 1365 for the solar constant to calculate the CERES data you might ask leif what he thinks of that.
you might also want to check the validation documents. some interesting tidbits in there about the large biases. ( double digit watts)
also beware of the surface temperature product.
Before you use satillite data you want to check the real surface measures.
what DLW was actually measured.
start here
http://www.arm.gov/measurements

76. more soylent green! says:

This just in: Global cooling is now a reduced warming trend. Don’t say cooling, say a reduction in the warming trend!
Thank you, that is all.

“why is there no corresponding change in the total downwelling radiation at the surface?”
Maybe because the temperature of the warmest molecules at or just above the surface doesn’t change (globally averaged) due to a compensating change in the speed or size of the convective circulation ?

78. Resourceguy says:

So it depends on your VIP ranking as to the use of solar cycles in your climate predictions. How convenient.

79. Jim, too. says: January 14, 2014 at 4:40 am:

Willis,
You claim in your first graph a 0.01 trend in downwelling radiation. Should that be 0.10 or are the units on the y-axis wrong?

The caption to Figure 1 has a decimal error. It says “Red line shows the trend in the downwelling radiation, which is 0.01 W/m2 per decade.” The red line in fact shows 0.10 W/m2 per decade. The typo is repeated in the 6th paragraph after the figure. The typo has no effect on the conclusions of the post.

80. Curt says:

A C Osborn says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:33 am

“With or Without the heat generated by Atmospheric Pressure?”
Without. Atmospheric pressure cannot generate heat. Force (pressure times area) cannot generate any kind of power, including heat, without acting over a distance.
Force x velocity is power. Force x distance is work (energy). Hydroelectric power is generated by the force of the mass of water in the earth’s gravitational field falling in that field. But the atmosphere has already fallen to the earth’s surface, and can no more generate power than water just sitting behind a dam could. (Globally, for all the downdrafts in the atmosphere, there must be corresponding updrafts.)

81. Gary Pearse says:

Keep this up Willis and these satellites are going to meet with some major adjustments (over and above what is already done to them). There seems to be few if any new launchings of climate satellites contemplated these days. Hand waving/weird weather seems to be the safest fall back position.
I suppose the most obvious question is: “Why isn’t this type of analysis being done by climate scientists? or: What type of analysis are they doing to arrive at their reckoning of sensitivity and the effects solar, volcanic aerosols, etc? One has to believe that this data has been examined and rejected, perhaps found so shocking and non supportive of the theory that they’ve moved back to more speculative stuff.
Any explanations as to why volcanic emissions would warm rather than cool? That would certainly be a target of thoughtful critics.

82. Kristian says:

Konrad says, January 14, 2014 at 1:26 am:
“The oceans without a radiatively cooled atmosphere above (if they didn’t boil off into space) would reach around 80C.
Therefore the atmosphere cools the oceans and radiative gases cool the atmosphere.”

Well, true per se. But your claim that the presence of a radiatively active atmosphere on top of an ocean acts to make that ocean cooler tells only half the truth in leaving out the very fundamental and opposite effect of atmospheric weight. The atmosphere’s weight on the ocean surface effectively keeps it in place, acting to keep it relatively warm by suppressing free evaporation. Specifically, the heavier the atmosphere, the warmer the ocean, given equal solar input.

83. Curt said:
“Globally, for all the downdrafts in the atmosphere, there must be corresponding updrafts”
Exactly.
So speed up or slow down the updrafts and downdrafts (convection) to provide a negative system response for any forcing element.
There, is the ‘thermostat’.
It operates by converting energy to and fro between kinetic energy (heat) and gravitational potential energy (not heat) at varying rates to ensure that on average the right amount of kinetic energy is delivered to the radiating height so as to match energy in with energy out.
Of course, there are variations either side of the mean all the time which is why we see changes in atmospheric circulation such as changes in the zonality / meridionality of the jet streams and the drifting northward or southward of the ITCZ.
It is a mechanical process not a radiative process but that mechanical process can feed energy into or deny energy to the radiative budget as necessary to maintain long term equilibrium.
That non radiative negative system response is missing from AGW theory.

84. Kristian said:
“The atmosphere’s weight on the ocean surface effectively keeps it in place, acting to keep it relatively warm by suppressing free evaporation. Specifically, the heavier the atmosphere, the warmer the ocean, given equal solar input.”
Exactly.
The heavier the atmosphere the more energy is needed to initiate the phase change from water to vapour so the oceans must get warmer given equal solar input.
At 1 bar pressure the latent heat of vaporisation is about 5 to 1. At higher pressure it will be more than that, at lower pressure it will be less than that and the ocean temperature would change accordingly.
At zero pressure the water turns to vapour instantly for zero addition of energy and would immediately boil off to space.
The thermal effects of the need to supply energy to keep the weight of atmospheric mass off the surface are missing from AGW theory.
Energy used to hold the atmosphere off the surface is not available for radiation to space.
There is of course a radiative flux up and down within the atmosphere but its thermal effect nets out to zero as a result of conduction between surface and atmosphere.
If it did not net out to zero the atmosphere would either be lost to space or congeal on the surface.
The balance between radiation (balancing the energy budget with space) and conduction (balancing the surface / atmosphere energy budget) is met by varying the speed of convection.
Willis’s thermostat hypothesis cannot work otherwise.

85. Merrick says:

When pressure increases in a local area it means work is being done on that area. When pressure decreases in an area it means that area is doing work on a nearby, connected area. Work is energy, a change in energy over time is…

86. Matthew R Marler says:

Good post and commentary. Thank you.
What did you think of Steven Mosher’s caveats, such as this? you might also want to check the validation documents. some interesting tidbits in there about the large biases. ( double digit watts)

87. Willis Eschenbach says:

lgl says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

Willis
The 3 deg C rise is at equillibrium which is not reached in a decade so your 2 W/m2 rise in fig.1 is too high. Guessing 2/3 would be close.

Thanks, lgl. I think you are mixing units. The 3°C rise would require a corresponding rise of 21 W/m2 in downwelling radiation. In a decade we’ve seen about a tenth of that.
w.

88. Merrick said:
“When pressure increases in a local area it means work is being done on that area. When pressure decreases in an area it means that area is doing work on a nearby, connected area. Work is energy, a change in energy over time is…”
Almost right.
Work is actually being done in both locations.
Increasing pressure involves descending air which works with gravity to convert gravitational potential energy (not heat) to kinetic energy (heat).
Decreasing pressure involves ascending air which works against gravity to convert kinetic energy (heat) to gravitational potential energy (not heat).
Both balance out to zero over time as Curt pointed out and I think Willis accepted that at one point (apologies for not being able to quote him at present).
The net effect is to store a fixed amount of energy in an atmosphere of given mass but switching that energy between heat (kinetic energy) and not heat (gravitational potential energy) when the convective cycle changes speed or size provides the negative system response to forcing elements that Willis’s Thermostat Hypothesis and observations require.
The critical issue for a thermostatic mechanism is being able to deliver the right amount of kinetic energy to the radiating height to balance radiation in with radiation out.
Convection achieves just that.

89. Willis Eschenbach says:

Steven Mosher says:
January 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

Since they used 1365 for the solar constant to calculate the CERES data you might ask leif what he thinks of that.

Thanks, Mosh. I’m not clear what you mean by that. The monthly solar data from CERES has a mean of 1360.918, and looks like this:

Where is the mystery “1365” you are referring to?

you might also want to check the validation documents. some interesting tidbits in there about the large biases. ( double digit watts)

Been there, read at least some of that. Links to documents illustrating your concerns would go a long way. I do understand the underlying problem, which is that the raw data says the planet is out of balance by about 6 W/m2, and that’s not possible.
However, that doesn’t begin to invalidate the use of the dataset. The good news is, the error appears to be uniform over the length of the data. That is to say, the imbalance doesn’t change much over the period.It just means that you can’t depend on the absolute values when you subtract one dataset from another. And if you notice up above … I’m not doing that. The measurements are not all that accurate, but they are amazingly precise. So trends in the dataset do contain valuable information.

also beware of the surface temperature product.

As I said, I checked it against the prior dataset that I was using and found little difference. If you could give a reference for your concern that would make your comment useful. I acknowledged in the head post that it is a calculated dataset, with all that that means …

Before you use satillite data you want to check the real surface measures.
what DLW was actually measured.
start here
http://www.arm.gov/measurements

OK, I started there. It lists hundreds of things. Am I supposed to intuit which of those you find relevant? I don’t go on a snipe hunt for any man.
If you think there is a better dataset, bring it on. If you think there are problems I haven’t considered, don’t wave your hands and say “beware the surface temperature product”. That is useless to me. What should I beware of, who said so, and where did they say it?
Your content-free Cassandra-like dirges are getting old. Handwaving and warning of unknown dangers doesn’t cut it. You’re a smart man. If you think there is a real issue with my analysis, then either point me to the real paragraphs in the real documents that discuss the real problems, or go away.
I hate to be so blunt, but truly, you are a smart guy, and you know better than to parade this farrago of vague, judgement-laden, uncited claims of doom, disaster, and hidden error. Look, I freely admit that you may be onto something. You may actually see some hidden error … but if so, then point it out exactly and precisely and cite and explain your claims. Your saying “Beware the Ides of March” tells me nothing.
w.

90. Kristian says:

Willis Eschenbach says, January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am:
“And in fact, Konrad holds that the entire CERES dataset is worthless because according to the great Konrad, you can’t use Stefan-Boltzmann equation on air or water … and that’s exactly what the CERES calculations do.”
Willis, please consider this: You have an atmospheric layer made up 100% of nitrogen, oxygen and argon. It holds a physical temperature of 255K. Apply the S-B equation to derive the radiative flux emitted by this layer. Then add some water vapour and carbon dioxide so that the air layer now contains ~99.5% N, O and Ar and ~0.5% H2O and CO2. The layer is still at 255K. Now apply the S-B equation to derive the radiative flux. Is the layer in the former condition able to emit a perfect BB flux based solely on its physical temperature? Is the layer in the latter condition able to emit a perfect BB flux based solely on its physical temperature?
Does the emissivity of an air layer going from 100% N, O and Ar to 99.5% N, O and Ar + 0.5% H2O and CO2 go from 0 to 1?
– – –
“He [Konrad] actually believes that the ocean is kept from freezing solely by the ~ 160 W/m2 of downwelling solar, while it is losing ~ 400 W/m2 through radiation and sensible/latent heat loss … and that’s industrial strength foolishness.”
I don’t know what Konrad is actually proposing, Willis, because you haven’t quoted him here. You’re rather making a claim about what he’s saying, you’re giving us your interpretation of his words. Sounds familiar? I at least know of someone that doesn’t like it at all when people do that to his words.
From above, the ocean only ever receives energy from the Sun, Willis. The energy from the Sun is all that the ocean has at its disposal. At any time. You seem completely oblivious to the simple everyday process of heating an object with a thermal mass.
How does an object heat? It heats by storing up internal energy. It warms as long as its internal energy increases. It does so as long as more heat is coming in per unit of time than is going out. The surface of the Earth on average receives ~165 W/m^2 worth of radiative heat from the Sun. That’s all the heat it gets in from above. The warmer the surface gets, the more heat it naturally gives off. At a certain point, so much of the energy absorbed from the Sun has been stored up that a certain temperature level has been reached. At this temperature level, the surface finally manages to shed as much heat as it receives. It stops warming. It has reached balance with the incoming heat flux (energy IN per unit of time). 165 W/m^2 IN, 165 W/m^2 OUT. That’s it. Balance. The final steady-state surface temperature has got nothing to do with the original 165 flux value. This flux is simply what feeds the thermal mass with energy at a certain rate. The final steady-state temperature is determined by the amount of energy stored up thusly at/beneath the surface at the time of balance IN/OUT.
The S-B equation doesn’t decide at what temperature the surface of the Earth is ‘warm enough’. Because the S-B equation deals with instantaneous radiative fluxes only. Not with thermal mass. But thermal mass is what actually allows real objects to heat.

91. Veyres says:

Many thanks for your brilliant series of posts on the Ceres data !
“The problem is, the surface loses energy in three ways—as radiation, as sensible heat, and as the latent heat of evapotranspiration. The energy loss from the surface by radiation (per CERES) is ~ 400 watts per square metre (W/m2), and the loss by sensible and latent heat is ~ 100 W/m2, or a quarter of the radiation loss.”
For two bodies A and B exchanging radiation, the transfer of heat from A to B is the net balance of the radiation of A absorbed by B minus the radiation of B absorbed by A. Between your two hand closely held parallel at a skin temperature of say 33°C the net balance is 500 W/m²- 500 W/m² =0. Between surface and air Miskolczi has, from clear sky observed data (TIGRE, Tiros Initial Guess Retrieval), shown that the upward surface flux absorbed by the air is within some W/m² of the down-welling flux radiated by the air to the surface; S Costa et al. say about 20 W/m² for the “all sky” average global transmission from the surface to the cosmos in the water vapor window (about 800 cm-1 to 1150 cm-1 where 1 cm-1 = 29.9792 GHz); as in this water vapor window the bulk of the down welling radiation originate from higher levels (one or some kilometers instead of some tens or hundreds of meters at optical frequencies where the water vapor is opaque) there is indeed a slight imbalance: the radiation from the surface absorbed by the air is a few W/m² greater than the down welling radiation from the air absorbed by the surface.
During the night the temperature of the surface falls below that of the first few tens and hundreds meters of the air (the so-called temperature inversion at the end of the night is between 1°C or 2°C in the water vapor saturated Singapore and up to 40°C in dry desert areas like parts of Sahara): the down welling radiation may, at the end of the night, be higher that the absorbed radiation from the surface.
Hence the “energy loss from the surface by radiation” (“heat” could be more appropriate than “energy”) is about 20 W/m² (all sky, including cloudy ones) to the cosmos and a few W/m² for the net balance of radiation between surface and air. The rest of the say 150 W/m² (24 hour global average) of solar light received by the surface is lost by evaporation and convection.
The evaporated water vapor, when and where it condenses 10 km or 5000 km away, compensates for about half (1 K/day) of the heat lost by the “upper layer” (of optical thickness one) of the water vapor which loses energy by radiating to the cosmos (about 2K/day). The other half is from the infrared solar absorbed- during day-light- by the water vapor and by the liquid water in the clouds.
As discussed in great detail by the professors Gerlich and Tscheuschner and by Kramm and Dlugi many textbooks and papers and reports assume wrongly that “the air heats the surface”. This is not the case: the average temperatures T in the air of the troposphere is T/Tpellicle = ( P/Ppellicle)0,19 which is exactly equivalent to the -6.5°C/km lapse rate standardized by the civil aviation. This relation between pressure and temperature with Tpellicle about 255 K and Ppellicle 0.4 atmosphere in the equatorial chimney and near the ground in cold polar areas, and average 0,53 atmosphere (see books of O.G. Sorokhtin for more details) is due to the diabatic heating of the air by the sun and by the condensation, from above because both the sun and the clouds are in the sky.
“Now, the sensible and latent heat loss is a parasitic loss, which means a loss in a heat engine that costs efficiency”
The latent heat loss by the surface is the main engine not a “parasitic loss”. Indeed the evaporation is like the product of the wind velocity by the difference between the saturated water vapor pressure and the effective vapor pressure near the surface: both of those are increasing by some 6% /°C that is 6 W/m² if the latent heat surface cooling is 100 W/m² and two or three times that in the tropical zone. Any increase of the absorption of the surface radiation by the air (say more water vapor or more CO2) is roughly compensated by an equal down welling radiation which near 15 µm (666 cm-1) is absorbed by some microns of liquid water which is evaporated; the say 6 to 18 W/m²/°C evaporated near the tropics are feeding an equal amount of heat radiated to the cosmos 10 km or 5000 km away. Hence the global outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) is not changed by an increased optical thickness of the air (see also the additional note below).
This is what you have brilliantly shown in your magnificent heat engine post.
“we’ll swallow the whopper that a 3° temperature rise wouldn’t drive evaporation through the roof ”
Indeed 3°C x( +6%/°C )= +18% for the water vapor not so far from the “mid latitude summer” profile line by line computation of Collins (2006) of a 11 W/m² increase of the down welling radiation for +20% on the water vapor, with an equivalent cooling by evaporation and an equivalent radiation to the cosmos 10 km or 5000 km away.
The effect of CO2 doubling itself is only about 0.8 W/m² additional absorption (between 740 and 800 cm-1) and a similar additional down welling radiation.
“instead of the increase of 16.8 W/m2 in downwelling radiation that we calculated above, we need 25% more downwelling radiation”.. “… a quarter for purposes of conservative estimation”
Indeed (5/4) 16.8 = 21. From the above it could be as well 16.8 + 11 + 0.8 = 28.6: your estimation is indeed “conservative”. And (21./ ln2 ) ln(390/369.5)= 1.6 W/m².
Additional note: Another supposed effect of the CO2 doubling is the “higher and cooler” over some cm-1 near 600 cm-1 and near 720 cm-1 where the CO2 radiates to the cosmos from the troposphere and “above” the water vapour. For instance it means that after 2xCO2 the 500 mbar layer is cooling less over those small optical frequency bands and that the 250 mbar layer is cooling more; hence this is equivalent to heating below (at 500 mbar) and cooling more above (at 250 mbar). Surely hot air rises and cooler air subsides. This occurs in the upper troposphere every night (the 2K/day cooling of the “pellicle” is only half compensated by the condensation) and every day (the solar heating of the water vapor or liquid in the clouds overcompensates the radiative cooling of the “pellicle”).
But the CO2 doubling is not as said “instantaneous” it would take about 200 years at +1.9 ppm/yr or about 73 000 times 24 hours.
The computation of a “radiative forcing” at the tropopause is according to IPCC-2001 to be made with unchanged temperatures of the troposphere; hence hot air does not rise and cooler air does not subside.
Without this trick (instantaneous doubling and fixed temperatures) there would be no “radiative forcing”: 73 000 nights and 73 000 days suppress day after day the supposed “forcing” of 27 µW/m²/24 hours.
An additional compensation mechanism is the reduction of the water vapor content (12%/°C near the tropopause) in the upper (“250 mbar”) layer that is cooling more: hence water vapor radiates to the cosmos from a slightly “lower and warmer” level, but on a much wider optical frequency range than the some cm-1 of the CO2 near 600 cm-1 and 720 cm-1.
Many thanks and best regards.
Camille

92. Brett Keane says:

Can anyone tell us why the fact that more energy is needed to move from say 16degC to 19degC, than from 0degC to 3degC, does not wipe out the GHG atmospheric warming hypothesis like a bad stain? Brett from NZ

93. Willis Eschenbach says:

A C Osborn says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:07 am

Willis Eschenbach says: January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am
Willis, you either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood what I was trying to say, “the same basic results” ie that warming by CO2 as described by the IPCC either, is not currently taking place or if it is, that the loss of that warming has not been explained by the Climate Scientists.

When a man accuses me of intentionally misunderstanding him, that’s the end of my part of the conversation. I don’t play those games. If you truly think that of me, I have no interest in discussing anything with you.
Goodbye, A C Osborne.
w.

94. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kristian says:
January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Willis Eschenbach says, January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am:

“He [Konrad] actually believes that the ocean is kept from freezing solely by the ~ 160 W/m2 of downwelling solar, while it is losing ~ 400 W/m2 through radiation and sensible/latent heat loss … and that’s industrial strength foolishness.”

I don’t know what Konrad is actually proposing, Willis, because you haven’t quoted him here. You’re rather making a claim about what he’s saying, you’re giving us your interpretation of his words. Sounds familiar? I at least know of someone that doesn’t like it at all when people do that to his words.

If Konrad thinks I’ve misrepresented his ideas, he is free to tell us so. In fact, because I have quoted Konrad’s nonsense far more times than I’d wish to, I say that is a correct assessment of his beliefs. I’m sick of quoting Konrad, I’ve repeated his idiocies in print enough times now.
In any case, why are you out here making his complaints for him? Seems rather servile to me. Were you appointed to be his spokesman, and I didn’t get the memo?
w.

95. Willis Eschenbach says:

Brett Keane says:
January 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Can anyone tell us why the fact that more energy is needed to move from say 16degC to 19degC, than from 0degC to 3degC, does not wipe out the GHG atmospheric warming hypothesis like a bad stain? Brett from NZ

I don’t understand your objection. While it is true that radiation goes up as the fourth power of temperature, why should that wipe out the fact that the atmosphere absorbs energy and radiates part of it back to the surface?
w.

96. Kristian said:
“thermal mass is what actually allows real objects to heat.”
Or just mass.
Which applies to atmospheres too.

Willis,
You have a point about hijacking of your thread. People, including yourself, have raised a number of issues with my claims and the experiments they are based on. I would like to respond briefly to some of the comments however this will attract a herd of “snowstormers” and “SIF”. You should be aware by now that this will always happen on climate blogs when discussion threatens the foundation of AGW, the radiative GHE. Some of those ”snowstormers” and “SIF” are not sceptics.
“Keep calm and carry on” does the trick.
As many other readers will be aware I am not a “single issue fanatic”. My empirical experiments clearly cover a range of issues –
– Does your steel greenhouse work? (yes)
– Does CO2 both absorb and radiate LWIR?
– Does LWIR slow the cooling rate of water that is free to evaporatively cool?
– Does the relative height of energy entry and exit in a fluid column effect the average temperature?
– Does gravity create a bias in conductive flux between surface and atmosphere?
– How hot would our oceans get without atmospheric cooling?
In showing these experiments in the past you will note that I am showing build instructions. Science is about repeatable experiments and observations. An ancient proverb –
“Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me I’ll understand. Let me do it and I will know.”
The problem with the Internet is that type is cheap. Not enough sceptics are prepared to conduct empirical experiments. But as you will recall from the defeat of the “S—-rs” they can be very powerful.

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 14, 2014 at 8:48 am
“Citation? I see no one but you claiming that for some reason, S-B equations become invalid when applied to a moving fluid in a gravity field. What are you basing your claim on?”
——————————————————
My claim was based on a very simple empirical experiment –
http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg
The use of nine thermocouples per column will allow you to see something like this –
http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6
It is possible to achieve an equilibrium state with equal amounts of energy entering and exiting each gas column, but with very different average gas temperatures.
A relevant citation is Sir George Simpson’s 1938 criticism of Callendar’s global warming claims –
“..but he would like to mention a few points which Mr. Callendar might wish to reconsider. In the first place he thought it was not sufficiently realised by non-meteorologists who came for the first time to help the Society in its study, that it was impossible to solve the problem of the temperature distribution in the atmosphere by working out the radiation. The atmosphere was not in a state of radiative equilibrium, and it also received heat by transfer from one part to another. In the second place, one had to remember that the temperature distribution in the atmosphere was determined almost entirely by the movement of the air up and down. This forced the atmosphere into a temperature distribution which was quite out of balance with the radiation. One could not, therefore, calculate the effect of changing any one factor in the atmosphere..”
Sir George Simpson was pointing out the complexity of non-radiative energy transport within the atmosphere. I am pointing out that SB equations, with non-radiative transports simply parametrised doesn’t get the right result. An important point here is that just like gas column 1, radiative cooling at altitude will play a role in convective circulation and reduce average atmospheric temperature. This is in line with Dr. Spencers claims about the role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation.

99. Curt says:

Kristian: You say that the sun provides the oceans with ~165 W/m2 power flux density on average. So far so good. But the same type of measurements that allow us to say that also show that the oceans are radiating away almost 400 W/m2 on average. They also are losing about another 100 W/m2 to sensible and latent heat transfers to the atmosphere. Even if you regard those measurements as only good to +/-10%, there is still a huge gap to close, on the order of 300 W/m2.
The arguments about what the ocean power imbalance really is are all between 0 and 1 W/m2. How do you make up the 300 W/m2 difference?

Mike M says:
January 14, 2014 at 7:43 am
————————————-
Mike you ask for a “Sword of Damocles”. Willis might all this an “elevator speech”
Here it is –
“Our oceans could be as hot as 80C if they were not cooled by the atmosphere. The only effective cooling method for the atmosphere is radiative gases. Radiative gases therefore cool our planet. Global warming is physically impossible.”
The proof?
The “Snow Line” in the solar system is 3AU

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:09 am
“RUN THE DANG NUMBERS, Richard. If longwave can’t provide energy to the ocean as you and Konrad and others claim, there is nowhere near enough solar energy, even in the tropics, to keep the ocean from freezing.”
————————————–
You say run the […] numbers, but I say run the experiment.
The question of whether incident LWIR can heat or slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool received a lot of discussion in 2011
You used the accepted maths, I ran the experiment –
http://i47.tinypic.com/694203.jpg
The 2011 version has been refined to –
http://i42.tinypic.com/2h6rsoz.jpg
(if you object to the fans the experiment can be conducted with thin heating wires in place of the LWIR reflector (2011) or the LWIR source water blocks (2013) )
The experiment is simple. It’s just the LWIR version of the old trick –
Q – how do you heat a plastic tub of water with a hair dryer?
A – you point the hair dryer at the side of the tub, not at the surface of the water.
LWIR cannot heat nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. The reason the oceans are not frozen lies elsewhere. It relates to the difference between fluids and transparent bodies as opposed to theoretical radiative shells.

102. Kristian says:

Curt says, January 14, 2014 at 3:41 pm:
“Kristian: You say that the sun provides the oceans with ~165 W/m2 power flux density on average. So far so good. But the same type of measurements that allow us to say that also show that the oceans are radiating away almost 400 W/m2 on average.”
Sigh, this ridiculous talking point again? No, Curt. The S-B equation claims it does. No sensors detect 400 W/m^2 of ‘outgoing radiative flux’ from the surface. The sensors only ever detect the heat flux going out. The instruments utilize the S-B equation to calculate a value for an hypothesized one-way outgoing radiative flux. That’s very different.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/pyrgeometers-untangled/
The Earth’s surface gets on average 165 W/m^2 worth of heat IN (all in the form of radiation from the Sun) and ejects 165 W/m^2 worth of heat OUT (~53 W/m^2 in the form of terrestrial thermal radiation and ~112 W/m^2 in the form of conduction/convection and evaporation). Balance. And that’s it. The surface temperature isn’t derived from any instantaneous radiative fluxes absorbed or emitted by it, Curt. It has a thermal mass. It stores up energy. Until its temperature is such that as much heat goes out as comes in per unit of time.

103. Bill Illis says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:46 am
Bill Illis says:
January 14, 2014 at 4:33 am
You seem to be missing the point. I looked for the “additional forcing required to raise temperatures by 3.0C” in the CERES dataset and I couldn’t find it.
So the question is not where the majority of this imaginary forcing might come from. We have not yet established that it is even happening, so speculations on its origins are way premature.
——————–
No, no, I understood what you were saying.
There is hardly anything occurring, let alone something putting us on track for plus 16.8 W/m2.
I said we should be measuring what really happens rather than relying on the assumptions. In fact, this has been my position since I got into this debate.

Kristian says:
January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm
“Because the S-B equation deals with instantaneous radiative fluxes only. Not with thermal mass. But thermal mass is what actually allows real objects to heat.”
—————————————————————————–
Bingo!
When dealing with non-radiative energy transport within a body TIME becomes a critical factor. Instantaneous equilibrium calcs don’t work.
This is where empirical experiment or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) need to be used.

105. 1sky1 says:

Camille Veyres:
You’re one of the few here who understands the crucial difference between radiative intensity and heat transfer. Keep all those engrossed in misguided directional algebras from straying too far from thermodynamic reality.

106. Curt says:

Kristian: I’m not talking about kitchen infrared thermometers that work like the one you linked. More sophisticated sensors evaluate the electromagnetic radiation received in each very small frequency band, giving us the spectrum information as well as the total radiative power density (integrated under the frequency curve).
Point one of those sensors down at liquid water at about 15C and you get a very nice spectrum curve with a peak right about where the Wien displacement law says it should be according to the SB equations and the whole curve about 95% as high as a theoretical blackbody would be for that temperature. In other words, a gray body with an emissivity of about 0.95, with a radiative flux density of almost 400 W/m2.
The pyrgeometers you cite generally assume properties like this, which is why they work well on most substances (but not polished metal of course), and they are far cheaper.

107. Kristian says:

Curt says, January 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm:
“Kristian: I’m not talking about kitchen infrared thermometers that work like the one you linked. More sophisticated sensors evaluate the electromagnetic radiation received in each very small frequency band, giving us the spectrum information as well as the total radiative power density (integrated under the frequency curve).”
Same thing happens, Curt. Sensors only ever detect heat. Because heat is all there is. That’s the actual physical transfer of energy between two objects at different temperatures. The two one-way and oppositely directed radiative fluxes between the objects allegedly making up the ‘radiative heat flow’ between them are merely conceptual entities. Even if each of them were real physical entities, they could never be separately detected, because they would simply make up the specific radiative field continuum that constitutes the ‘net’ flux from warmer to cooler. The ‘net’ is the only physically real ‘thing’. Everything else has to be inferred and calculated based on these inferences.
There would be no need to cool sensors to the extreme if they could simply detect directly the radiation from a colder source,

108. Myrrh says:

Andres Valencia says:
January 14, 2014 at 8:28 am
Thanks Willis. Interesting article, please keep up the good work.
Where in the CERES data is the missing warming?
Nowhere. I don’t think CERES can measure the imaginary.
============
Ceres and Willis exclude the real – by pretending that we get no direct beam longwave infrared heat from the Sun. But, all the standard measurements done on downwelling longwave are from the Sun, and as in this example following, warnings are given about cloud cover with the suggestion that they use data from another solar measuring station:
Confidence Level/Accuracy Judgment:
“On days with variable cloud conditions the data should be used with caution. The AMS incoming solar radiation data at the site or nearby site should be consulted. On clear days the measurements fall within the errors that were discussed in previous sections.”
Incoming means incoming direct from the Sun. This is called beam heat, also known as radiant heat – it is direct heat from the Sun travelling to us in thermal infrared radiation at the speed of light in straight lines. It is powerful heat from the Sun actually capable of heating land and water and us. We feel it as heat.
The use of the AGW memespeak “downwelling from the atmosphere” is to maintain their pretence that these measurements “come from backradiation”. This is science eff ar ay you dee..
What does it take to get this through to people here? We have known from Herschel’s great work that the great heat we feel from the Sun is invisible infrared- we feel it here on the Earth’s surface.
AGW says only 1% of its “shortwave in” is invisible infrared – but we cannot feel this as heat.. Neither can we feel visible from the Sun as heat.
ALL THE HEAT WE FEEL FROM THE SUN IS LONGWAVE INFRARED
That is how we know it is longwave infrared!
This is still traditional science as taught direct from NASA here, it is such elementary science knowledge that it was written for children…
Here is traditional teaching from direct NASA pages: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html
“Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared. The temperature-sensitive nerve endings in our skin can detect the difference between inside body temperature and outside skin temperature
“Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control. ”
Are you really not able to grasp this? At the very least the fact that this comes from NASA demands that that you take notice of it. If you consider yourselves scientists..

Willis Eschenbach says, January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am:
“He [Konrad] actually believes that the ocean is kept from freezing solely by the ~ 160 W/m2 of downwelling solar, while it is losing ~ 400 W/m2 through radiation and sensible/latent heat loss … and that’s industrial strength foolishness.”
———————————————————
Willis,
we know the oceans won’t freeze in the absence of DWLWIR because there is a “Snow Line” in the solar system at 3 AU. Even accounting for the planets diurnal cycle earth is well inside this line.
I have shown you the experiment* that can demonstrate why –
http://i42.tinypic.com/315nbdl.jpg
This experiment simulates what would happen to the oceans if the planet did not have an atmosphere (and the oceans could be prevented from boiling into space). The experiment heats a water sample with an intermittent SW source at depth. The sample can cool only by IR emitted from the surface. Conductive and evaporative cooling is restricted. There is also virtually no LWIR incident on the surface of the water. Initial temperature of the water 15C
I posed four questions –
1. How hot will can the water get?
2. Will it freeze due to the lack of LWIR incident on the surface?
3. Or will it rise toward 80C?
4. What effect will the cycle frequency of the SW source have on the final temperature?
The water will not freeze. It will heat. As empirical observation of the solar system shows, you can even start the experiment with ice instead of water. (not this version, the contraction would tear the LDPE film)
The reason the water will not freeze is primarily TIME. The water is being illuminated with an intermittent 1000 W SW source. But this does not mean that the effective heating power is only 500 W. The water is being heated below the surface. Because of the slow speed of conduction and convection, energy is not instantaneously lost. Even though the SW source is intermittent, the slow speed of energy transport within the water makes the ability of the intermittent 1000 W source closer to the power of a continuous 1000 W continuous source.
When the experiment is started it will not be in radiative equilibrium. This will take time.
If our oceans without an atmosphere (assuming no boil off into space) could heat toward 80C then the SB solution of -18C is a critical error. This would mean the NET effect of the atmosphere (and every radiative and non-radiative energy transport within it) over the oceans is cooling. And the atmosphere has only one effective cooling mechanism. Radiative gases.

110. Just a fundamental confusion in their presentation:

The observed reduction in warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced trend in radiative forcing (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing this reduced warming trend.

Huh? Is it “medium confidence” or “low confidence” in radiative forcing???
I can’t see this talking about two different things, because a “trend” is the same thing as “the role of changes” – which indicates that the second passage is a redundancy, a repeat of the first, with the exception that in one the confidence level is “medium” and in the other it is “low.”
Is this written by an idiot or am I the idiot for not being able to distinguish the differences in the two assertions?
This basically comes across as gobbledegook bomfoggery.
If anyone can clarify this contradiction, I am all ears.
It is also b.s. to INCLUDE one of the trends being compared within the other trend. They need to be over two separate and non-inclusive intervals. The inclusion of the flatter, shorter one in with the longer interval makes the differences less severe, by flattening the longer. This can only be being done with full consciousness and intent in the full meaning of Mark Twain’s observation that “There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Doing it the way they did is like titling a presentation “A Comparison of Horses and Burros” and then actually discussing horses and mules, and not mentioning burros at all in the text.

111. Curt says:

The snow line you mention is the point at which there starts to be significant sublimation (coming toward the sun). This occurs at a temperature far, far below 0C (273K).
An experiment with average input of 500 W/m2 (or is it 1000 W/m2? The description is ambiguous) is of course going to end up with temperatures far above those found on earth, where the input is much lower.

112. Crispin in Waterloo says:

@Stephen Wilde
“Isn’t it obvious that ALL the radiation reaching the surface is from those warmest molecules and the colder molecules above them have no additional radiative/ thermal effect whatever. ?”
You are confusing radiation of energy with conduction of heat. Heat energy cannot flow from a cooler to a warmer body, but it certainly can radiate from any one body to another regardless of the temperature save at absolute zero. Consider how lasers are used to create ultra-low temperatures. They induce radiation of photons from an ultra-cold sample into a warmer environment, continuously, resulting in an even lower sample temperature. A photon doesn’t care what the temperature of the object it strikes is. It just transfers some energy to it. Cold things don’t emit as much, that’s all.

113. Gino says:

Stephen Wilde says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm
Kristian said:
“thermal mass is what actually allows real objects to heat.”
Or just mass.
————————————————————————————–
No. Thermal mass relates to the heat capacity of the mass. A Kg of aluminum is less thermal mass than a Kg of iron.

Curt says:
January 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm
—————————————-
“The snow line you mention is the point at which there starts to be significant sublimation (coming toward the sun). This occurs at a temperature far, far below 0C (273K).”
It is correct to say ice will subliminate in vacuum below 0C, however below -20C not so much.
At 1 AU ice will absorb sunlight, and this energy will be absorbed not just at the surface but internally. Because of low conductivity, this energy will take time to make it back to the surface to be radiated as IR. This allows sunlight calculated (by SB) as too weak to melt ice able to actually melt it.
“An experiment with average input of 500 W/m2 (or is it 1000 W/m2? The description is ambiguous) is of course going to end up with temperatures far above those found on earth, where the input is much lower.”
The experiment diagram shows a 1000 W SW source switched intermittently in a 50% cycle. Using averages for energy input is one of the many mistakes made in climate “science” that results from trying to use SB equations on fluid bodies. The experiment demonstrates why not using averages is important.
Some good news –
The experiment shown is very expensive and difficult to run but I have thought of a simple and effective way to run it on the cheap. All that is needed is to fly a set up like this on a long duration radiosonde balloon –
http://i40.tinypic.com/27xhuzr.jpg
This image shows an insulated water container double glazed at the top with IR transparent LDPE film, the bottom layer of which is in contact with the water surface. If this bottom layer of film is replace with higher strength IR transparent silicone it could be flown on a balloon. (warm water will boil at altitude and this must be prevented). Also for checking a full 24 hour cycle a bigger sample size will be needed with convective flow restrictors in the fluid.
This will eliminate virtually all downwelling LWIR on the water sample. The sample will now be only able to be heated by SW and cooled by outgoing LWIR from the surface (and small conductive losses)
According to SB calculations it should freeze.
If it doesn’t freeze the the hypothesis of a net radiative GHE is disproved.

115. Alex says:

pyrgeometer- what a piece of junk ‘scientific’ instrumentation. It uses thermocouples in series. From KippZonen literature:
Observing the earth from outer space, a blackbody is seen
in a range of 8 to 14 μm with a temperature of 14°C and
outside this wavelength range a blackbody of -60°C.
Under clear sky conditions in a reverse direction, outer
space can be observed in the same spectral range.
What the hell does that mean?

116. Alex says:

How does an IR transparent lid eliminate LWIR? It’s also my understanding that the sun emits more energy in LW rather than SW.
My guess is that the water will freeze at that high altitude. Much as urine from a plane. I’m not sure your experiment will prove anything except that in a cold environment water freezes. I kinda [knew] that already.

117. Alex says:

Knew

Alex says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:45 pm
————————————-
The sun does emit SWIR but very little LWIR. This is why climate scientists consider any increased direct atmospheric interception of solar IR by increased radiative gases to be minimal.
Downwelling LWIR will decrease significantly with altitude. (one reason astronomers like their telescopes on the top of mountains) That is all that is needed for the experiment to work.
As to freezing due to air temperature, the SW & LWIR transparent double glazing design can minimise this.
Lock at the thermometer in the photo. That’s reading 76.4C and that container is poorly insulated.
Do you believe a reduction in incident LWIR will reduce that?

119. “Thermal mass relates to the heat capacity of the mass. A Kg of aluminum is less thermal mass than a Kg of iron.”
Noted, thank you.

120. Crispin said:
“Heat energy cannot flow from a cooler to a warmer body, but it certainly can radiate from any one body to another regardless of the temperature save at absolute zero.”
Yes, that is right but I was trying to say that the radiation from the colder molecules above the surface would not heat the surface to a temperature higher than the ambient temperature of the warmer molecules at the surface.
I’ll rethink the wording for future use.

121. Curt says:

Kristian says:
January 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm
“Sensors only ever detect heat. Because heat is all there is. That’s the actual physical transfer of energy between two objects at different temperatures. The two one-way and oppositely directed radiative fluxes between the objects allegedly making up the ‘radiative heat flow’ between them are merely conceptual entities.”
Wow, once again a Slayer says that all of 20th century physics is wrong. Century-old laboratory sciences such as spectroscopy are completely bogus. Why are you wasting your time here? There’s a Nobel prize to be had if you can really make your case.
Lots of radiation sensors do not detect heat. I’ve designed some myself. Many solid-state sensors convert received electromagnetic radiation into electric current. We understand how this works down to the photon level. Oops, those are “merely conceptual entities”.
The caloric theory of heat flow that you espouse was formulated by people who had no way of knowing the underlying mechanisms. You should know, but you are willfully ignorant.

122. Alex says:

From Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight
The total amount of energy received at ground level from the sun at the zenith is 1004 watts per square meter, which is composed of 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation. At the top of the atmosphere sunlight is about 30% more intense, with more than three times the fraction of ultraviolet (UV), with most of the extra UV consisting of biologically-damaging shortwave ultraviolet.[3][4][5]
Telescopes are on mountains to reduce ‘light pollution’ from urban areas and because the air is thinner and ‘cleaner’, therefore better resolution of optics.
I know wikipedia is not a great source but it will suffice in this case.

123. Kristian says:

Curt says, January 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm:
“Wow, once again a Slayer says that all of 20th century physics is wrong. Century-old laboratory sciences such as spectroscopy are completely bogus. Why are you wasting your time here? There’s a Nobel prize to be had if you can really make your case.”
Hahaha! Of course, the ‘Nobel prize’ argument once again. How predictable is that?
Curt, all of 20th century physics is not wrong. The climate science interpretation of the physics is what’s wrong. Your asserted 400 W/m^2 from the Earth’s surface has to come from somewhere. It is only made possible with 340-350 W/m^2 first added to the surface from the cooler atmosphere to increase the internal energy of the surface, raising its temperature beyond what the Sun allegedly can. A transfer of energy between thermodynamic systems with such a direct result is defined as ‘heat transfer’, Curt (if we count out ‘work’). Radiation also has to obey the laws of thermodynamics, even if we do (as you boldly claim) ‘understand how this works down to the photon level.’ So where in regular physics is such a process discussed, where energy is transferred from a cooler to a warmer system to create a direct warming of the already warmer system (especially with the warmer system being the source of the energy coming back from the cooler system warming the warmer some more, after having first warmed the cooler system)? Where else than in the warped world of ‘climate physics’ is this ever hinted at as a possible outcome of ‘energy exchange’? Flagrantly breaking both the 1st and the 2nd law of thermodynamics in one go.
“Lots of radiation sensors do not detect heat. I’ve designed some myself. Many solid-state sensors convert received electromagnetic radiation into electric current.”
Why do you feel the need to redirect, Curt? We’re talking about energy spontaneously moving between two objects in thermal contact because of the temperature difference between them. Read about how interferometers work. They don’t work by sensors detecting directly radiation from sources colder than them. Again, why do we supercool the sensors if they can detect radiation directly from any source no matter at what temperature anyway …?
“We understand how this works down to the photon level. Oops, those are “merely conceptual entities”.”
Strange, because even professional quantum physicists wouldn’t claim to understand this anywhere near down to the photon level. Quantum physics is all about ‘concepts’, Curt. Even ‘the photon’ itself is a concept. But I guess you know better than us ‘wilfully ignorant’.
Do I smell ‘Nobel prizes’ for Curt in the future?

Alex says:
January 14, 2014 at 11:47 pm
—————————————
“The total amount of energy received at ground level from the sun at the zenith is 1004 watts per square meter, which is composed of 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation.”
That’s SWIR the sun is emitting, very close to the visible spectrum. We are interested in reducing incident LWIR on the experiment. This is being emitted around the 10 micron band from the atmosphere. The use of a balloon will get above 90% of the atmospheric LWIR.
“At the top of the atmosphere sunlight is about 30% more intense, with more than three times the fraction of ultraviolet (UV), with most of the extra UV consisting of biologically-damaging shortwave ultraviolet.”
The increase in shorter wavelength radiation at altitude was considered. A 30% increase compared to the unbelievably awesome power of LWIR?! However this minor detail can be easily coped with by attaching a slightly conical tube above the transparent window on the experiment reducing the the area of incoming SW by 30%. By vacuum metallising the interior of the conical tube outgoing LWIR will not change. The outer surface of the tube will need to be sun shielded and air cooled to -50C.
“Telescopes are on mountains to reduce ‘light pollution’ from urban areas and because the air is thinner and ‘cleaner’, therefore better resolution of optics.”
As I said “one of the reasons”. IR astronomy is undertaken from high altitude balloons and aircraft, however space telescopes are far preferred.
Alex, the experiment is not perfect but it is far cheaper than this –
http://i42.tinypic.com/315nbdl.jpg
Empirical experiment can show that the oceans will not freeze in the absence of down welling LWIR. There is nothing radiative GHE believers can do to stop it happening.

125. Brian H says:

I agree with the whole post. Does that mean I have to quote it all?
>;p

126. richard verney says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 14, 2014 at 9:56 am
richard verney says:
January 14, 2014 at 3:52 am
///////////////////
Willis
I do not intend to revert in detail since the discussions with the oceans is side tracking your latest article (which is very interesting), and we have been there, done that before.
Your position (and arguments) in your article in radiating the oceans was circuitous, and therefore proved nothing. But if you wish to argue that the oceans receive substantial DWLWIR and this keeps them from freezing, then you need to explain how DWLWIR effectively gets into the oceans and the problem presented by the optical absorption characteristics of LWIR in water.
LWIR is almost fully absorbed within 10 microns, with about 50% of all LWIR within just 3 microns. The problem is that in the first/top 20 micron layer of the ocean, the energy flux is upwards, and LWIR cannot be conducted or swim against that flow. It is the first few microns that are the power source for the surface evaporation and thus, it appears that, any DWLWIR absorbed in that very narrow layer is being carried upwards, and not down to a depth where the ocean can heat.
Then there is a question mark as to how much DWLWIR actually reaches the oceans in the first place. The oceans are often viewed as calm as a mill pond, however, that is not reality. I hate averages, but conditions over the oceans average BF4+. At this wind force, there is already a divorced layer of windswept spray and spume. Of course, frequently, there are very strong hurricanes and cyclones etc. such that conditions of BF7 to 9 are not at all unusual, and conditions of BF11 & 12 are seen regularly somewhere over the great ocean expanses. Some of these can be the size of a continent. In these conditions, how much DWLWIR actually gets to the surface of the oceans? Given the absorption characteristics of water where LWIR is nearly fully absorbed within just 10 microns, very little if any DWLWIR in these stormy conditions could penetrate the divorced water droplet atmosphere raging above the ocean below. In these stormy conditions, DWLWIR would stay in the atmosphere and not even get to the ocean surface below. In the real world conditions of the oceans and the stormy atmosphere that prevails above the oceans for much of the time, I would suggest that less than the average DWLWIR figures that you claim to be relevant actually reaches the surface of the oceans.
As such your balanced equation (which uses gross figures), is not in balance since less DWLWIR actually reaches the ocean surface (and that LWIR that does can’t easily make its way downwards because the net energy flux is upwards in the first 20 microns).
These are real problems that (in my opinion) your article on radiating the ocean needs to address, should you wish to argue that DWLWIR plays a role in preventing the oceans from freezing.
In the summer, my swimming pool in Southern Spain reaches about 37degC, in the Middle East the pool was over 40deg. If one looks at salt lakes in tropical/equatorial areas these can be more in the region of 50degC. As your article on ARGO shows, the main oceans rarely exceed much over 30 degC. This is not because of lack of solar energy, there is enough to heat the equatorial/tropical oceans to about 50degC (Konrad suggests 80degC, I haven’t seen his figures), but is does not achieve these temperatures because the heat is carried away (some downwards to depth, some polewards by ocean currents) before it gets to these high temperatures. Quite simply, there is so much excess solar energy in the equatorial and tropical oceans that they would not freeze. Think about it.
There appears to be a problem with the GHE theory since all but none of the data supports it. Usually, there are issues with the data, and this prevents the claim of a killer blow. But the other side of ever reducing figures for climate sensitivity, is that it is possible that the entire theory on which climate sensitivity is based is fundamentally flawed.
Willis, as you pick more and more holes in the data and/or conclusions drawn therefrom, there may come a time when you conclude that there are fundamental flaws in the application of principles upon which the theory is based. We will see how the years develop.

richard verney says:
January 15, 2014 at 4:11 am
“Konrad suggests 80degC, I haven’t seen his figures”
————————————————-
http://i40.tinypic.com/27xhuzr.jpg
Now you have 😉
That little experiment just shows how hot water can get when conductive and evaporative cooling is prevented. However it is still exposed to downwelling LWIR, so it doesn’t tell us what we want to know.
I showed an expensive version up thread which would eliminate DWLWIR. Sadly it would require “dark money” or actual “big oil cheques”.
But I have worked out that the simple version just needs to be adapted for high altitude flight on a radiosonde balloon to get above 90% of DWLWIR in the atmosphere. Far better insulation and far stronger film on the water surface would be required.
The radiative GHE hypothesis could be utterly destroyed for under $5000 😉 REPLY: Right, so why haven’t all those fools over at “Principia Scientific” been able to do it yet? Between all of them, I’m sure they could come up with$5000. Maybe because nobody believes their own ridiculous claims in the first place, enough to put money behind it? I’m growing rather weary of this thread being polluted by “Konrad”, so you can continue over there. – Anthony

128. Robbo says:

Thanks for the S-B details, Willis
The point I want to make is that temperatures everywhere are continuously changing. In my grid square the difference between daily minimum and daily maximum is now 5 to 10 C, and over the year the difference between the lowest low and the highest high is about 40 C. Since S-B involves the fourth power of temperature, using the average gives incorrect results (the fourth power of the average is not the average of the fourth powers). Calculating radiative output from an average temperature will understate the radiation. Calculating the average temperature from the average radiation will overstate the temperature. My estimate of the effect in my grid square is c 3% Of course this effect diminishes as you get nearer the tropics, and of course the temperature data sets are neither precise nor based on arithmetic means, but I still think it should be taken into account.

129. lgl says:

Willis
I think you are mixing units.
No. If the forcing jumped 3,7 W/m2 in 2000 we wouldn’t have seen a 3 C rise by 2012. It takes centuries. We would only have seen the transient response, ~2/3.

130. rgbatduke says:

imarilyAs many other readers will be aware I am not a “single issue fanatic”. My empirical experiments clearly cover a range of issues –
– Does LWIR slow the cooling rate of water that is free to evaporatively cool?
– Does the relative height of energy entry and exit in a fluid column effect the average temperature?
– Does gravity create a bias in conductive flux between surface and atmosphere?
– How hot would our oceans get without atmospheric cooling?

– Does your steel greenhouse work?
The “steel greenhouse” is also known as the “simplest single layer climate model” and is described in (even more) detail in Petty’s book on atmospheric radiation. In his book it has multiple parameters for e.g. the absorptivity of the atmosphere in (only) two generic decompositions of the spectrum — “SW” (UV through short wavelength IR, but mostly visible) and “LW” (IR in the BB band roughly centered on the Earth’s average blackbody emission peak). In the limit that the system has zero albedo, unit emissivity, zero SW absorptivity and unit LW absorptivity, you get the steel greenhouse, with its well-known solution $T_{gh} = (2)^{1/4} T_{gb}$ — a greenhouse amplification of the greybody temperature of roughly 1.19. Give a greybody temperature of (IIRC, I’m not recomputing it or looking it up) of 255K if the Earth were a steel greenhouse — perfect SW absorber with 100% of the LWIR from the surface blocked and symmetrically re-emitted — the mean temperature would be around 303K. This also gives us the opportunity to compute the “efficiency” of the total atmospheric effect relative to the steel greenhouse — the Earth’s atmosphere has a net heat trapping effect of 68% of the theoretical limit (using 288 K as its mean temperature, although this number like so many is highly uncertain).
However, this toy model is just that — a TOY model. It treats a single slab atmosphere, where I suspect that the atmosphere needs at least five layers to get APPROXIMATELY, CRUDELY correct — a surface layer, a layer corresponding to “low” tropospheric clouds (low enough that the atmosphere above them is essentially opaque in H_2O and CO_2 absorption), another for “high” tropospheric clouds where the layer ABOVE them is diffusively transparent, the diffusively transparent layer (in depth) at the top of the troposphere where the atmosphere primarily radiatively cools, and the stratosphere. It might even need a sixth layer outside of the stratosphere as a lot of complex stuff happens there that has the potential to affect the jet stream.
The single layer toy model has no lateral transport, no vertical transport, no latent heat transport, no surface inhomogeneity, no ocean, no variation of insolation, and if it has an albedo it has a single one for the whole uniform sphere. Petty’s single layer model isn’t a heat engine at all — it is a passive differential system that approaches an analytically determinable equilibrium. The best that can be said of it is that one can crudely match the parameters to approximately measured or estimated numbers to see what non-unique span of values of AVERAGE LW/SW absorption, albedo etc correspond to the observed 68% and then to further muse on how this might change if one e.g. changes $\alpha_{sw}$. That’s not a criticism of Willis’s model or anyone else who has “invented” it and used it in an argument with crazies who wish to “deny” that the GHE exists at all (PSI, anyone?) — including me and Dick Lindzen. It’s just that come on, guys, do you really think that climate scientists don’t understand this? What exactly do you think General Circulation Models are?
– Does CO2 both absorb and radiate LWIR?
Are you being serious? The answer is a laughable, obvious, yes. Which you would know if you ever took anything vaguely resembling a physics course. Not only does it absorb and emit LWIR, but the absorption and emission cross-sections are pretty much the same. This is known as Kirchoff’s Law. That’s why we don’t have two different numbers, one for the absorptivity of CO_2 and a second one for the emissivity. However, the reason for it really is that molecules absorb and emit radiation via transitions between (primarily) dipole-coupled quantum levels and the same interaction term governs absorption and emission, per level. CO_2 is complex enough that it doesn’t just radiate from disparate sharp levels — there are so many that given various forms of line broadening at work they form bands. The bands are clearly visible in absorption/emission spectra. By all means, learn to do spectroscopy — it’s a better hobby than many — but don’t expect to “discover” that physicists are idiots and CO_2 doesn’t absorb and emit LWIR.
– Does LWIR slow the cooling rate of water that is free to evaporatively cool?
Again, are you serious? Sigh, I suppose you are. Look, most of us believe in this Law of Nature known variously as The Law of Conservation of Energy or The First Law of Thermodynamics. You are welcome, of course, to empirically test it — undergrads test it all the time in intro physics labs as that is one way to learn — but try not to hold your breath until you “discover” a violation that isn’t just you doing a sloppy experiment. With that in mind, let’s see what the first law tells us, if you arrange two identical containers of water that are adiabatic on the container sides (basically a thermos, no or limited cooling through the container sides) and place an infrared heat lamp over one of the two open water surfaces, directed down. You have to decide what temperature you are going to maintain the air above the water at, and whether or not you are going to regulate its humidity as well, because the water in both containers will approach a temperature that is in quasi-equilibrium with the air — quasi because it will be cooler than the air because the air will generally speaking be slowly evaporating the water, using energy absorbed from the air primarily from conduction but also via radiation.
Now imagine that you turn the heat lamp over one container on. Ooo, now there is another source of energy entering the surface! True, most of the energy will be absorbed in a very thin layer AT the surface, but this surface layer will become hotter! Some of the heat will be transformed into latent heat, increasing the evaporation rate, but since that rate depends on the temperature, an increased rate that balances the new rate of energy flux into the water will only be sustained with a higher surface temperature. Since the upper surface of the water is in thermal contact with the water below, its temperature will (slowly) rise to be in quasi-equilibrium.
Remember, you have a knob on your thermal lamp. You can turn up the intensity of LWIR to where it boils the container of water away in a matter of minutes. If LWIR can actively heat the water, do you seriously think that it won’t “slow the cooling” of water in the even that the water is disequilibrated at the start on the warm side? For some specific intensity, the warmer water won’t BE disequilibrated, and the “cooling time” will be “infinity” (as long as it takes to evaporate all of the water).
This is the basic physics that answers your question. What actually happens in the ocean is of course vastly more complex, but not because “LWIR doesn’t slow the rate of cooling” or whatever you want to postulate. The water has to obey the law of conservation of energy. LWIR is a source of strongly coupled energy. Of course it will.
Again, you can fantasize that climate scientists are ignorant of all of this, or you could be more concrete, look at the source and parameterization of GCMs that include an ocean slab, and see how they handle it. They might handle it incorrectly, to be sure. But desktop experiments are not going to correct it — the ocean surface is complex with constantly varying wind, sunlight, humidity, cloud cover, rainfall, with surface waves, varying salinity and temperature, upwelling and downwelling and sidewelling water currents carrying water with different salinity/temperature/density, mixing, silt content, surface ice or a lack thereof, and even varying surface pressure. Still, shallow water responds to “forcing” completely differently from deep water driven to whitecaps by a 30 knot wind.
If you want to try to measure some span of this, play through. You’ll need a fleet of ocean vessels (to make measurements all over the world), and some SERIOUS measurement apparatus. Or you’ll need a very expensive and well-equipped laboratory, e.g. one that contains a pool hundreds of meters across and at least 100s of meters deep, with wind machines, machines that can create and regulate “currents”, and ever so much more. I think the boats would be cheaper, and they’re still too expensive and their measurements still probably too inexact to be of much use. Hence the tendency to simplify, to parameterize, to approximate even if they do get it somewhat wrong.
– Does the relative height of energy entry and exit in a fluid column effect the average temperature?
Goodness, any cook knows the answer to that one. We heat pans at the bottom, not the top. We do this because if we do, convective instability distributes the heat, causing substantially improved mixing. If you heat at the top, the fluid stratifies, and since fluids are usually indifferent conductors of heat, it takes a long time to heat the fluid at the bottom by conduction.
One can heat a fluid at the top and stir it, of course, and end up heating it just as fast as you would heating it at the bottom and stirring it.
Does this affect the “average temperature”? Again, dumb question. The answer is obviously yes. But not because of “gravity” per se; because anything that alters the thermal boundary conditions of a material system is going to (in general) alter the average temperature. The only question is, how much, and what are the important mechanisms for heat transport inside the boundary and how do they change as you do. As I said, any decent cook knows about the top to bottom turbulent instability, and sure, that is going to dramatically alter the average temperature within a wide range of reasonable conditions.
– Does gravity create a bias in conductive flux between surface and atmosphere?
If you mean is heat more easily conducted vertically downward across a boundary than upward, the answer is no. I realize that you will not understand this answer and will want to doubt it, but bear in mind that any other answer constitutes a “Maxwell Demon” at the surface — the little invisible dude that lets faster molecules through going one way and slower molecules through the other way — and will lead to a direct violation of the second law of thermodynamics and the ability to create perpetual motion machines of the second kind. It violates detailed balance at the surface.
You can, I’m sure, come up with lots of arguments to try to convince yourself otherwise — the downward directed molecules should be “speeding up” etc — but trust me — they are false arguments when you consider detailed balance at the surface. They only hold when the density of the fluid in the parcels above and below the surface is varying (e.g. the fluid is compressing), not in equilibrium.
– How hot would our oceans get without atmospheric cooling?
That one I won’t answer, as the answer is too complex. Do you mean without an atmosphere at all? They’d boil away until they froze, then sublimate away until they were gone. Do you mean with an atmosphere but no GHGs? They’d freeze all the way to the bottom and never thaw anywhere but in small surface layers (perhaps) in tropical summer or around geothermal heat sources at the bottom of the ice. In between those limits, there aren’t any sane answers because there is no such thing as “atmospheric cooling” as a single channel you can turn on and off. Thermoregulation of the oceans involves radiation, conduction, convection, and latent heat in an actively driven constantly varying environment. Show me a “single switch”…
Hope that helps. Basically, I have to agree with Willis. It’s nice to have a hobby, but you are really wasting your own and everybody else’s time if you think that you are going to discover some answer to these questions that reveals that there is no GHE, or that gravity is important in some way OTHER than its already enormous importance as the co-driver of nearly all transport processes in the ocean and air. Which is really quite enough, and more than complex enough that desktop experiments are going to reveal nothing either unknown or likely to come as a revelation that changes everything in climate science.
In particular, they have almost nothing to do with Willis’s work above. You’re basically saying “Look guys, you might have all of the physics wrong and I’m doing experiments that will prove it to the world”. Except that no, the general physics you are looking at is well known and has been for decades to over a century in many cases, and it is doubtful that you understand physics itself well enough to understand why you are looking for things as elusive as perpetual motion machines.
rgb

131. beng says:

***
rgbatduke says:
January 15, 2014 at 8:18 am
Now imagine that you turn the heat lamp over one container on. Ooo, now there is another source of energy entering the surface! True, most of the energy will be absorbed in a very thin layer AT the surface, but this surface layer will become hotter! Some of the heat will be transformed into latent heat, increasing the evaporation rate, but since that rate depends on the temperature, an increased rate that balances the new rate of energy flux into the water will only be sustained with a higher surface temperature. Since the upper surface of the water is in thermal contact with the water below, its temperature will (slowly) rise to be in quasi-equilibrium.
***
Well stated & a straightforward application of the 1st Law. I wish that would stop the nonsense, but…

132. wayne says:

“Do you mean with an atmosphere but no GHGs? They’d freeze all the way to the bottom and never thaw anywhere but in small surface layers (perhaps) in tropical summer or around geothermal heat sources at the bottom of the ice. ”
Dr. Brown, very nice summary of the physics involved in these various areas and I only end up with one question where your view and my view seem to diverge so greatly. On your other points I agree point for point, even adding further factors like the ellipsoiod flattening of our planet, the graviational acceleration constant varying from the equator to the poles, the axial tilt, and many more factors that are real and in a perfect analysis you can never ignore and besides there are many more.
You say with no GHGs in our atmosphere the oceans would all freeze over even after assuming that with no GHGs there are also no clouds either, so the albedo is hugely also reduces leaving the tropics (here assiming 30N to 30S being one half of the area and more than half of the radiation absorbed daily) receiving some ≈500 W/m2 which is more than is now received. With albedo assumed about 0.10 the noon zenith under the sun would receive about 1200 W/m2 at that instance.
How do you then evision all of the oceans freezing in this zone for that I don’t understand how you see this occurring even if all land is under snow and ice with high albedo. You must see some other physical factors that I am leaving out. Or, I do realize my view is trying to take a more realistic and not of an radiation averaged, evenly illuminated and flat disk Earth with no diuranal cycle from the rotation and maybe you were taking more this general climate science viewpoint, for that seems to answer the differences between our views but maybe I am mistaken here.

133. Kristian says:

rgbatduke says, January 15, 2014 at 8:18 am:
<em"Look, most of us believe in this Law of Nature known variously as The Law of Conservation of Energy or The First Law of Thermodynamics."
Yeah, that is a good one. Welcome to the fantastic world of ‘climate physics’, where instantaneous fluxes are simply added together to make larger fluxes and thus directly create higher temperatures. How is the Earth’s surface warmed beyond the level that the mean solar flux according to the S-B equation can manage to maintain? We just add an extra flux down, a much larger one than the solar one at that, and voilà, we have a larger ‘total’ flux coming in and thus get a higher temperature. The instantaneous radiative flux coming from the Sun is on average about 165 W/m^2. This corresponds to a BB source temperature of -41 C. The alleged instantaneous radiative flux coming down from the atmosphere is on average about 345 W/m^2. This corresponds to a BB source temperature of +6 C. Still, put together, these two sources manage to heat the receiving surface to beyond the potential temperature of both. How is that possible? In the magical world of ‘climate physics’ you just add instantaneous fluxes together to create a larger one: (165+345=) 510 W/m^2 >> +35 C, woops, too high, but no problem, we simply subtract the convective losses before all the radiation from above is absorbed: (510-112=) 398 W/m^2 >> +16 C.
How neat isn’t this? Stefan-Boltzmann all the way. No storage of energy needed. Only instantaneous fluxes.
But where is the energy behind the 345 W/m^2 flux down from the atmosphere coming from? The input energy to the system is from the solar flux only. And this is never in the instantaneous flux scenario being restricted from freely leaving the surface again as soon as it’s absorbed to give a Stefan-Boltzmann surface BB emission temperature.
Note, this is NOT a matter of storing energy (thermal mass). This is simply all about sending instantaneous fluxes back and forth, adding them together to make them larger.

134. Kristian says:

Roger Brown,
According to your logic, it’s OK for one and the same batch of energy to be shed from the surface as energy loss based on a certain temperature, to then go into warming the cooler atmosphere upon absorption to a slightly lower temperature and then next being sent back down again from this temperature to do some more warming of the already warmer surface, the very source that ejected it as thermal loss in the first place.
I would call that ‘super-conservation of energy’ …
It’s the second round of heating for one packet of energy that violates the laws of thermodynamics.

135. Willis Eschenbach says:

Robbo says:
January 15, 2014 at 5:09 am

Thanks for the S-B details, Willis
The point I want to make is that temperatures everywhere are continuously changing. In my grid square the difference between daily minimum and daily maximum is now 5 to 10 C, and over the year the difference between the lowest low and the highest high is about 40 C. Since S-B involves the fourth power of temperature, using the average gives incorrect results (the fourth power of the average is not the average of the fourth powers). Calculating radiative output from an average temperature will understate the radiation. Calculating the average temperature from the average radiation will overstate the temperature. My estimate of the effect in my grid square is c 3% Of course this effect diminishes as you get nearer the tropics, and of course the temperature data sets are neither precise nor based on arithmetic means, but I still think it should be taken into account.

Thanks to the same Dr. Robert Brown whose thorough fisking of Konrad’s claims appears above, we have an equation for the relationship between the temperature variation and the radiation. We know that if dT is the size of the swing in temperature above and below the average, and T is the temperature of the center of the swing, the radiation varies by 1 + 6 * (dT/T)^2.
This is why I much prefer to stay away from temperatures and deal with radiation—because energy is conserved, but temperature isn’t. That’s why we have an “energy budget” for the planet, but there is no such thing as a “temperature budget”.
I discuss some of these issues in my post The Moon Is A Cold Mistress, you might enjoy a read of that.
Since I am generally dealing with the energy budget of the planet, my practice is, never average temperatures unless I have to, always average radiation.
Having said that, however, let’s try an example. This morning it was about 40°F (4°C, 337 W/m2) at my house, and it will likely get up to 70°F today (21°C, 425 W/m2). That would make the temperature average 55°F.
On the other hand, using the average of the thermal radiation, 381 W/m2, and converting back to temperature gives us a temperature average of 55.65°F, or a difference of 0.65°F (0.36°C) between the two methods of averaging.
So in most cases, we’re not talking about a large difference. Since the average temperature around here is about 290K or so, a difference of 0.36K is about a tenth of a percent, certainly nothing like the 3% you mention.
Best regards,
w.

136. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kristian says:
January 15, 2014 at 11:27 am

rgbatduke says, January 15, 2014 at 8:18 am:

“Look, most of us believe in this Law of Nature known variously as The Law of Conservation of Energy or The First Law of Thermodynamics.”

Yeah, that is a good one. Welcome to the fantastic world of ‘climate physics’, where instantaneous fluxes are simply added together to make larger fluxes and thus directly create higher temperatures.

Kristian, your lack of knowledge is large … but your arrogance in the face of that impressive lacuna is stunning.
Dr. Brown is right, and this is not “climate physics”—it’s called “physics”. There are sections on this very subject (warming by radiation) in any detailed college physics textbooks. All of them use the same procedure. You SUM THE INCOMING FLUXES to get the total incoming flux.
Simple example. You have a brick at thermal equilibrium which is being heated by an infrared lamp that is delivering 1,000 watts/m2 to the surface of the brick.
You add another infrared lamp, this one delivering 500 W/m2 to the brick. A couple of questions:
1) Will the addition of the second lamp heat the brick above what the first lamp could achieve by itself?
2) What is the instantaneous incoming flux at the surface of the brick?
The answers are, Question 1) Duh … and Question 2) 1,500 W/m2. You sum the fluxes. It’s not some novel idea dreamed up as “climate physics”. It’s bog-standard thermodynamics as understood and followed by everyone … well, everyone but you and a few others, I guess.
And your claim that it doesn’t work like all the standard physics textbooks say it works? Well, yes, that claim might be true … but for you to establish that two centuries of thermodynamics are wrong, you’ll need to be more than some anonymous internet popup without an equation to your name …
w.

137. Willis Eschenbach says:

A C Osborn says:
January 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Now I realise just how silly Willis is looking for a change of 2 W/m2, guess what the Accuracy of CERES data is,
you got it +/-2 W/m2.
So he is looking for a signal less than the NOISE, really great Science.

A C, you’re not following the bouncing ball. Please look up the difference between precision and accuracy. A place to start might be my discussion of this very question in my post Accuracy, Precision, Accracy, and One Watt Per Square Metre.
For most folks, it’s easy to understand the difference between accuracy and precision if you consider someone shooting a rifle at a bullseye. Let’s say they shoot ten shots. Precision is how tightly the shots are grouped.
Accuracy, on the other hand, is how close the group of ten shots is to the center of the bullseye.
Note that a marksman could be very, very precise (tight grouping) and not be anywhere near the bullseye, so not accurate at all.
In fact, A C, I discussed this very distinction in this thread, had you been paying attention. I said:

Been there, read at least some of that. Links to documents illustrating your concerns would go a long way. I do understand the underlying problem, which is that the raw data says the planet is out of balance by about 6 W/m2, and that’s not possible.
However, that doesn’t begin to invalidate the use of the dataset. The good news is, the error appears to be uniform over the length of the data. That is to say, the imbalance doesn’t change much over the period. It just means that you can’t depend on the absolute values when you subtract one dataset from another. And if you notice up above … I’m not doing that. The measurements are not all that accurate, but they are amazingly precise. So trends in the dataset do contain valuable information.

In other words, your claim is 100% wrong. Since I am looking for trends in a precise dataset, the accuracy is not an issue, AS I DISCUSSED ABOVE.
I note in passing that your postings are becoming more aggro and more off-the-wall, and that you’re not reading the thread. I also note that you have not apologized for calling me a liar … your anger is not serving you well.
w.

138. Dan says:

Willis,
A number of points:
“Figure 1. Blue line shows the anomaly in total downwelling surface radiation, longwave plus shortwave, in the CERES dataset, March 2003 to September 2012.”
It seems that the start point of your data is not in 2003, but 2000?
“Gray area shows the 95% confidence interval of the trend.”
This is not the case, unless you have the source data and trends on separate scales.
“Black line shows the expected effect of the increase in CO2 over the period, calculated at 21 W/m2 per doubling.”
Something has gone amiss in your calculations here, but not sure what. Using the S-B equation is probably the reason.
“Trend of the expected CO2 change in total downwelling surface radiation is 1.6 W/m2 per decade.”
Given that the IPCC have quoted that the “estimated” change from 1750 to present is of the order of 1.6 W/m2, where did you get your reference from? If you consider that over a decade this is 1.6 W/m2, then you could be considered to be alarmist.
“Figure 2. Trend in TOA Solar Radiation, 2000-2012. Red line shows trend, a decrease of – 0.15 W/m2 per decade.”
No, this is a cyclical emission, it would be unwise to attribute a linear trend, but rather take an average over the time period you are considering, especially given that he cycle is approximately 11 years and you are considering a 10 year period.
Finally the CERES data that you are using. This attempts to measure the energy budget from the TOA. The surface downwelling surface radiation is computed from the atmospheric conditions. Now I may be wrong and would welcome any input to the contrary, but this is the incoming Solar flux only, and no account of greenhouse gases are taken into account.
The purpose of the data is therefore to provide inputs to models to compute the resulting effects of greenhouse gases. Therefore looking for a change in the signal of the CERES data is somewhat futile, unless there is any significant change in the solar, cloud, albedo, aerosol, etc, effects.

139. Kristian says:

Willis Eschenbach says, January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm:
“Kristian, your lack of knowledge is large … but your arrogance in the face of that impressive lacuna is stunning.”
Oh my,
Here’s someone calling other people arrogant ignorants …
Your utter lack of understanding on this subject shines through in your last posting, Willis.
“Dr. Brown is right, and this is not “climate physics”—it’s called “physics”. There are sections on this very subject (warming by radiation) in any detailed college physics textbooks. All of them use the same procedure. You SUM THE INCOMING FLUXES to get the total incoming flux.”
Dear me.
Willis, a larger incoming total flux from added, separate objects HOTTER than the originally receiving object (like from the Sun to the surface of the Earth, not from the atmosphere to the surface, meaning positive ‘heat transfer’), but no hotter than the original source, will heat the receiving object FASTER, but could never create a higher end temperature. You really think that if you put one 100 C heater in front of a brick wall, the highest temp the brick wall could potentially reach is 100 C, while if you put two 100 C heaters in front of it, its final high temp could reach 170 C, warmer than each of the heaters, its energy sources, based purely on the doubled radiative flux it gets in?
You clearly don’t have the slightest clue about the difference between instantaneous flux and build-up of internal energy towards an equilibrium (steady-state) temperature.
Real objects with a thermal mass heat up through storing incoming heat (or work) from its surroundings. That’s what physics is telling us and always has been. You cannot determine the final temperature of real objects by using instantaneous fluxes, Willis. That only works with black bodies without thermal mass, where all energy exchange IN/OUT occurs instantly.
– – –
And, Willis, you conveniently ignored the rest of my last reply to you except the part where you bizarrely imply me being a servant of Konrad when simply pointing out that you used the exact same tactic on him as you accuse other people of doing to you, making claims about his words. My comment contained a lot more than that, Willis, pointed directly to your claims and assertions. I quoted you. Please read it again in full and consider what I’m saying. One gets the distinct sense that you’re evading, playing the la-la-la game like that.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/13/co2-and-ceres/#comment-1535984

140. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dan says:
January 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Willis,
A number of points:
“Figure 1. Blue line shows the anomaly in total downwelling surface radiation, longwave plus shortwave, in the CERES dataset, March 2003 to September 2012.”
It seems that the start point of your data is not in 2003, but 2000?

Dan, thanks for your thoughtful post. I’ve fixed that typo.

“Gray area shows the 95% confidence interval of the trend.”

This is not the case, unless you have the source data and trends on separate scales.

The code is posted, and that’s the result the computer gave me. Not sure what your objection is, you’ll need to be more specific.

“Black line shows the expected effect of the increase in CO2 over the period, calculated at 21 W/m2 per doubling.”

Something has gone amiss in your calculations here, but not sure what. Using the S-B equation is probably the reason.

I fear that is not a useful objection, that something is wrong but you don’t know what …

“Trend of the expected CO2 change in total downwelling surface radiation is 1.6 W/m2 per decade.”

Given that the IPCC have quoted that the “estimated” change from 1750 to present is of the order of 1.6 W/m2, where did you get your reference from? If you consider that over a decade this is 1.6 W/m2, then you could be considered to be alarmist.

The IPCC is referring to the change in downwelling TOA radiation from CO2, while I’m talking about the change in downwelling surface radiation. As the numbers indicate, they are very different things.

“Figure 2. Trend in TOA Solar Radiation, 2000-2012. Red line shows trend, a decrease of – 0.15 W/m2 per decade.”

No, this is a cyclical emission, it would be unwise to attribute a linear trend, but rather take an average over the time period you are considering, especially given that he cycle is approximately 11 years and you are considering a 10 year period.

What do you think the IPCC is doing when they attribute the “pause” to a decrease in insolation over the period? I’m just measuring the same thing they are measuring, the post-2000 decrease in solar energy due to the variation in the sun’s cycle, to compare it to their claims.

Finally the CERES data that you are using. This attempts to measure the energy budget from the TOA. The surface downwelling surface radiation is computed from the atmospheric conditions. Now I may be wrong and would welcome any input to the contrary, but this is the incoming Solar flux only, and no account of greenhouse gases are taken into account.

You are indeed wrong. The CERES surface data contains upwelling and downwelling longwave and shortwave as four separate datasets.

The purpose of the data is therefore to provide inputs to models to compute the resulting effects of greenhouse gases. Therefore looking for a change in the signal of the CERES data is somewhat futile, unless there is any significant change in the solar, cloud, albedo, aerosol, etc, effects.

I don’t understand that. You say that looking for a change is futile unless there is a change … that seems circular in itself, but in any case those values are changing all the time. In particular, the CO2 forcing is slowly increasing. To produce a 3° temperature rise the downwelling surface radiation must increase by 21 W/m2 or more … and that change should be visible in the CERES data, but it isn’t.
All the best to you,
w.

141. A C Osborn says:

Willis, I like the analogy of a marksman to show the difference between Accuracy and Precision as I happen to have been one and a Shooting Instructor. I also happen to have been a Quality Engineer who specialised in Statistical Process Control.
I am sure you know before you can use Gauges for process control and trend analysis you have to do Repeatability and Reproducibility studies to show that the equipment is suitable for making the measurements before you can do any kind of Trend analysis.
The actual Readings from the CERES equipment is only Accurate to +/- 2 W/m2 plus a 0.5 W/m2 variation from year to year values. You say that you only need Precision to look for changes in Trend, however you cannot tell the precision of the the CERES values without recourse to a Master value.
Here is an example why
So let’s take some values for year 1 when the equipment is running with a bias of + 1.5 W/m2, the system it is measuring changes 3 W/m2 during year 2, but the measurement bias also changes to a -1.0 W/m2 + the 0.5 W/m2 possible annual error. The trend you get has not changed, but the system has. The values appear to be giving you Precision because the values are tightly grouped.
Yet you are looking for a change of only 2 W/m2.
As to my “Anger” it is in fact determination, Humour plus a need to understand.

142. Curt says:

Kristian says: January 15, 2014 at 12:52 am
Kristian: Wow, where to begin? You just keep digging yourself deeper.
You said in a previous post, “Sensors only ever detect heat.” I replied directly that this assertion was wrong, that many sensors detect radiation by converting it directly into electric current (not thermalizing it), and mentioned that I had even designed sensors like this. You accused me of redirection. Huh?
I work with optoelectronic devices on a daily basis. I used to design them. Photodiodes, phototransistors, and photovoltaic cells turn absorbed radiation directly into electric current. All of them can be, and are, used to measure the intensity of received radiation. The people who design these sensors all use in their analysis the quantum physics of how photons interact with the atoms in the receptor.
In the analysis, there is never any consideration given to whether the photon was generated due to thermal (Planck) effects or from other reasons, and if thermal, what the temperature of the radiating body is. All that matters is the associated frequency/wavelength/energy level (e = h * v) of the photon (and occasionally the polarity).
You ask, “why do we supercool the sensors if they can detect radiation directly from any source no matter at what temperature anyway …?” Not for the reasons you think. The receivers in the radio telescopes that detected the (thermally generated) cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation of about 3K were at earth ambient temperatures of about 300K. We know that the CMB is a virtually perfect blackbody spectrum at a temperature of 2.725K +/-0.001K, and yet its radiation can be absorbed by bodies far warmer than it. (The supercooling is typically for reduction of electric noise and/or to enable superconductive effects.)
You say, “Read about how interferometers work.” I work with interferometers regularly as well. (I am presently taking a break from working on a circuit to process interferometer feedback.) You obviously have no concept of what an interferometer is or does, because they are completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
You say, “Your asserted 400 W/m^2 from the Earth’s surface has to come from somewhere. It is only made possible with 340-350 W/m^2 first added to the surface from the cooler atmosphere to increase the internal energy of the surface, raising its temperature beyond what the Sun allegedly can. A transfer of energy between thermodynamic systems with such a direct result is defined as ‘heat transfer’, ” Wait, are you agreeing that there is power transfer from the (generally) cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface?
Even if you are being sarcastic here, you have hit on the nub of the matter. The thing is, the 400 W/m^2 is well measured, not just asserted, and needs to be explained. It cannot simply be explained by the power input from the sun.
Every physics, thermodynamics, or heat transfer text I have ever seen on the topic discusses “radiative exchange” between bodies. They talk about bodies with temperatures T1 and T2, or Ta and Tb, never Thot and Tcold. (The only distinction in these analyses between the hotter bodies and the colder bodies is that the hotter bodies have higher numerical values of temperature.) They usually start with idealized blackbodies, because that makes the analysis easier. Here they all state that all of the radiation from Body 1 at T1 falling on Body 2 at T2 is absorbed by Body 2, and that all of the radiation from Body 2 falling on Body 1 at T1 is absorbed by Body 1.
Note carefully the implications of this. T1 and T2 can be different, so one body can be colder than the other. Regardless, its radiant energy can be absorbed by the other body, which is hotter. But doesn’t this violate the 2nd Law? No, because the radiant power from the body with the higher temperature to the body with the lower temperature is always greater than that in the other direction, so the resultant “heat transfer” is always from the hotter body to the colder body.
Even if you prefer to think of the process in terms of the 19th century “caloric” heat flux, still a useful fiction just as “magnetic flux” is a useful fiction, if there is a reduced difference in temperatures between the two bodies, the heat flux from the warmer body to the cooler body is reduced. If the warmer body has a separate constant power input, its reduced heat flux output creates a power imbalance that causes it to increase in temperature until its balance is restored. This is fundamental physics and thermodynamics, in conformity with the 1st and 2nd Laws. It is used every day in engineering practical systems.
You say, “even professional quantum physicists wouldn’t claim to understand this anywhere near down to the photon level.” Hogwash! Physicists understand plenty about what happens at the photon level. For generations, we have had the ability to detect the action of individual photons. We know very precisely what the size of the quanta is, and how they relate to all sorts of interactions. Most of solid-state physics would not be possible if we did not understand this. (This is not a claim that we understand absolutely everything at this level, but we do understand a lot.)
If photons are “just a concept”, then so are electrons and atoms. For that matter, so is Kristian…

143. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kristian says:
January 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm (Edit)

Willis Eschenbach says, January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm:

“Dr. Brown is right, and this is not “climate physics”—it’s called “physics”. There are sections on this very subject (warming by radiation) in any detailed college physics textbooks. All of them use the same procedure. You SUM THE INCOMING FLUXES to get the total incoming flux.”

Dear me.
Willis, a larger incoming total flux from added, separate objects HOTTER than the originally receiving object (like from the Sun to the surface of the Earth, not from the atmosphere to the surface, meaning positive ‘heat transfer’), but no hotter than the original source, will heat the receiving object FASTER, but could never create a higher end temperature. You really think that if you put one 100 C heater in front of a brick wall, the highest temp the brick wall could potentially reach is 100 C, while if you put two 100 C heaters in front of it, its final high temp could reach 170 C, warmer than each of the heaters, its energy sources, based purely on the doubled radiative flux it gets in?

Ah, I see the problem, Kristian. You’ve misunderstood the claim that is made about the atmosphere and the surface.
You are correct that the GHGS in the atmosphere cannot make the surface warmer than the atmosphere. That would be a violation of the Second Law … but neither Dr. Brown nor I are making that claim.
Instead, what we are saying is that the GHGs in the atmosphere make the surface warmer than it would be without such an atmosphere, which is a very different thing. You think we’re making the first claim, the impossible claim. We’re not.
How much warmer is the surface because of the GHGs? Well, the surface will be warmer by the difference between the back radiation from the atmosphere (about 345 W/m2 as a global average), and the back radiation from space (about zero W/m2) that the surface would receive without the GHGs. That 345 W/m2 of radiation is absorbed by the surface, and as a result, the surface ends up warmer than it would be without that radiation.
The way you calculate the amount of warming (or avoided cooling, if you prefer, they are the same) is just the way that you deride so heavily and foolishly—you sum up all of the radiation that is hitting the object. For example, if I light a candle (during the daytime), the sun gets warmer. Strange but true.
How much heat is the sun receiving from my candle? Well, 1 candlepower over the square of the distance, a miniscule amount to be sure … but the sun still gets warmer when I light a candle. It has to, because the light from the candle is absorbed the sun, and its energy (however small) is added to all the other radiation impinging on the surface of the sun from stars and wherever else.
It’s a curious universe …
My best to you,
w.

Anthony,
I fully accept the criticism of Willis, Robert and yourself about thread pollution. I had my nose out of joint after Willis described an experiment design as “asinine tripe” on a previous thread. I was wrong to challenge Willis here.
I greatly respect your work in creating this site, especially the empirical work with surface stations and in combating P.S.I. and Al Gores greenhouse in a bottle. I will therefore respect your request not to post further comment at WUWT.
My apologies and goodbye.
Regards,

• Anthony Watts says:

Thank you. Apology accepted, just keep it cool it the future OK?
You are welcome to continue to post.
Anthony

145. Willis Eschenbach says:

A C Osborn says:
January 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm

… blah, blah blah …

You gonna apologize for calling me a liar, A C, so we can move forwards?
I responded to your last comment just so others don’t get misled … but it’s not a discussion.
w.

146. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kristian says:
January 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm

… And, Willis, you conveniently ignored the rest of my last reply to you …

Yes, and I would do it again. I read a comment until someone makes an egregious error, and I stop there. No point in discussing further until we clear that part up.
In your case, until you understand the basics of thermodynamics, which obviously you don’t, I’m not interested in getting involved in whatever further fantasies flow from your misunderstandings. Once you see the basic, fundamental, introductory textbook errors you’re making, then we’ll get to your further ideas.
Read Curt’s post above, note that he works in the field. Read Dr. Brown’s post above. Note that he teaches in the field. Read my post above, or read a college thermo textbook, I don’t care what you do to break through your lack of knowledge … but until you pull your head out of your fundamental orifice regarding basic thermo concepts, all of your claims will come out sounding muffled and will not smell right, and (as you point out above), folks like me will ignore them.
w.

147. rgbatduke says:

sWillis, a larger incoming total flux from added, separate objects HOTTER than the originally receiving object (like from the Sun to the surface of the Earth, not from the atmosphere to the surface, meaning positive ‘heat transfer’), but no hotter than the original source, will heat the receiving object FASTER, but could never create a higher end temperature. You really think that if you put one 100 C heater in front of a brick wall, the highest temp the brick wall could potentially reach is 100 C, while if you put two 100 C heaters in front of it, its final high temp could reach 170 C, warmer than each of the heaters, its energy sources, based purely on the doubled radiative flux it gets in?
Dear me indeed. First of all, we are talking about Mr. Sun, are we not? IIRC its surface temperature is roughly 6000K. I think I can safely say that this is not an issue. On the other hand, if you take an ordinary magnifying glass and use it to increase the incoming solar flux at a point, say, on the surface of your hand, I think you will rapidly agree that there is plenty of room in between the temperature of the sun and the temperature of your skin for your skin to warm. Or even burn right up. Similar considerations hold for things like the filaments of infra-red heat lamps, by the way. We’re not talking about water that is already superheated to 1200 K or whatever the filament temperature is. We’re talking about liquid water, a before condition that is at ambient temperatures and an after condition with a substantial downward radiative flux coming from a much hotter source.
Second, you aren’t even getting the physics right for the two 100 C heaters. Let’s imagine you have just one such heater, and instead of specifying the temperature of the heater, as that is rarely what is constant, let’s specify the power being delivered to the heater — say, 100 Watts. The heater will then heat to a temperature such that incoming power being delivered as joule heating, $V^2/R$ for some resistive filament with a constant voltage delivered across it is precisely balanced by power lost through all channels. If we imagine that the heater is isolated and in a vacuum and a perfect blackbody emitter (all of which can easily be made approximately true by taking an ordinary 100W bulb, painting it black, and putting it in a vacuum chamber suspended by a thin conducting wire delivering the voltage) we can even predict the temperature of the bulb if it has a simple geometry.
Now imagine that you put a second 100 Watt heater right next to the first one. All of the power radiated into the mutual solid angle subtended by the two bulbs is absorbed by the other bulb. The bulbs, in fact, do not lose any net energy at all in that direction. In order to continue to lose power at the rate of 100 W in the remaining non-occluded solid angle, both bulb temperatures increase. Precisely the same thing happens for a passive absorber heated by the power source — as it heats, it radiates back along the direction it is being heated from, and the source temperature increases, although (usually) not by very much.
You sound like you’ve been hanging out with dragonslayers too much. You also need to think about how stupid a lot of your remarks sound, as many of them are contradicted by ordinary experience or common sense. I assure you that if you put your hand ten centimeters away from a 100 Watt light bulb, your hand will warm up. If you turn on a second bulb next to the first one, your hand will warm up more. If you turn on a five 100 watt bulbs and manage to crowd them together so that you have 100 watts ten centimeters away from your hand, you will not leave your hand there for long.
When describing the Earth, we aren’t talking about passive heat transfer between constant temperature reservoirs. We are talking about an open system. A complex open system. No, it cannot be trivially reduced to silly conclusions associated with non-sequitor statements about passive systems.
rgb

148. I reproduced the graph of figure 1 and got an exact match. The best fit line has a slope of 0.139 C/decade.
My comment of January 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm said the caption to figure 1, which says “Red line shows the trend in the downwelling radiation, which is 0.01 W/m2 per decade” suggests it should be 0.10 W/m2/decade, but it actually is 0.14 W/m2/decade.
Willis has compared the downward radiation trend (0.14 W/m2/decade) to an estimated downward radiation trend that would give a 3 C temperature rise per double CO2, but that is not the appropriate comparison. The IPCC’s estimate of 3 C/ 2X CO2 is the equilibrium climate sensitivity, which means you double the CO2 then wait a thousand years for the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium. But the graph shows only the transient response, so the appropriate comparison is to the climate model’s transient response. The AR5 table 9.5 shows the transient climate response is 1.8 C for double CO2 as shown:
http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/CanESM/Table9.5_AR5.jpg
Willis correctly says a 3 Celsius temperature increase requires an increase in upward surface radiation of 16.8 W/m2, then makes a rough estimate that this would require an increase of downward radiation of at least 21 W/m2. While this is a very rough estimate, I agree the data does not agree with the model forecasts.
The CERES group also makes a estimate of upward longwave radiation from the surface, which we can convert to surface temperatures and compare to HadCRUT. The satellite only measures TOA radiation. Upward radiation is computed from “radiative transfer code’ and humidity data, so it might not be very accurate. See that comparison:
The surface temperature trends for March 2000 to September 2012 are:
A better comparison is to show the trends in the actual greenhouse effect, which is the temperature difference between the surface temperatures and the CERES top-of-atmosphere effective radiating temperatures calculated directly from CERES OLR data. Most natural climate change, and non GHG human caused climate change will not affect this calculation.
I calculated transient climate response based on CERES and HadCRUT data in my article “CERES Satellite and Climate Sensitivity” here:
http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=483
The abstract is

Climate sensitivity is calculated using the CERES satellite outgoing longwave radiation measurements and HadCRUT surface temperatures. This analysis by FoS Director Ken Gregory suggests that the temperature change from June 2013 to January 2100 due to increasing CO2 would be 0.24 C (from HadCRUT3) or 0.46 C (from HadCRUT4), assuming the CO2 continues to increase along the recent linear trend. The transient climate response to doubled CO2 is 0.45 C using hadCRUT3, and 0.87 C using hadCRTU4 data. These values are much less than the multi-model mean estimate of 1.8 C for TCR given in the IPCC 5th assessment report.

149. Oops, wrong unit in the second sentence in my last comment. Should be “The best fit line has a slope of 0.139 W/m2/decade.

Willis, and Robert,
Anthony has politely suggested that I could continue to post at WUWT if I keep things cool.
In the interest of that, this should be my last comment on this thread.
Robert,
I feel that much of your response to my experiments was due in part to the fact that I had not provided the context in which they were conducted. As I have indicated to Anthony, I have nothing to do with P.S.I or “Slayers”. Some of my experiments, just like his and Dr. Spencers, were designed specifically to combat their claims on blogs. The physical confirmation of Willis “steel greenhouse” is a case in point.
This was also what the two gas columns with differing heights of cooling was about. It was simply a physical demonstration of what Dr. Spencer says about the role of radiative cooling at altitude in atmospheric circulation. But it also demonstrates that for a non-radiative atmosphere, heating and cooling at disparate locations at the surface may not result in the bulk of the atmosphere being at surface Tav.
The “Maxwells” demon thing? My fault again for lack of context. It’s just two tubes with one uninsulated end with a circulation fan across it. One tube with this surface up, the other down. One is tilted 5 degrees to reduce the Rayleigh number for the internal gas. You stick them in a fridge, and the cooling rates differ greatly. It’s just a “night inversion layer” in a box, not Maxwells demon 😉
I’d best skip the whole LWIR over water thing, except to say no heat lamps. Too much SWIR.
As to the last experiment design (not conducted), I got it wrong. I was obsessing about getting a dark LWIR free sky over the sample. Expensive balloons or liquid nitrogen are not needed. I just need to cool a SW transparent LWIR opaque glass panel over the sun portal. I’m snowed under with work, but I will get back to you when I have had time to run it.
I will leave this thread to the discussion of CERES data for which it was intended.

151. 1sky1 says:

What renders the all-too-facile radiative algebra that permeates much of
“climate science” grossly unrealistic is the failure to recognize that
there is no such thing as mass-less, timeless real-world thermodynamics!
The spatio-temporal average intensity of back-radiation fails to tell us
what the energy content of the atmosphere is at any time. Just like
temperature, it is an intensive, non-conservative, local metric, whose value
depends strongly on the altitude of observation. And with altitude comes
strong decrease in mass-density due to atmospheric pressure. Thus there is
an adiabatic decrease in temperature for a given mass of air with constant
energy content as it expands when convected aloft.
The supply of solar energy, of course, is governed by the diurnal insolation
cycle. At its noon peak in the tropics, the intensity is well in excess of
1000 W/m^2 at the surface. Heating of the near-surface air typically begins
at sunrise and, with a time lag of a few hours, the near-surface air
temperature follows. From the afternoon peak, temperature typically drops
until dawn; the back-radiation, however, remains nearly constant! This
tells us that a) back-radiation does not simply reflect surface temperature
and b)late afternoon cooling is due mostly to the efficacy of moist
convection. Despite the constancy of back-radiation, which indeed reduces
radiative losses, complete thermodynamic equilibrium of the complex
system is never achieved.
It has been long recognized in bona fide meteorology that the atmosphere is
not simply a gray body governed by the S-B equation. Nor can that
relationship between temperature and power density, which applies strictly
to blackbody cavity radiation, be applied blindly to a surface that
greenhouse paradigm is incapable of realistically accounting for the
variations of earthly temperatures.

152. Myrrh says:

rgbatduke says:
January 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm
“Dear me indeed. First of all, we are talking about Mr. Sun, are we not? IIRC its surface temperature is roughly 6000K.”
Is it? Is the Sun’s surface really no hotter than the inside of our planet Earth?
“…if you put your hand ten centimeters away from a 100 Watt light bulb, your hand will warm up. If you turn on a second bulb next to the first one, your hand will warm up more. If you turn on a five 100 watt bulbs and manage to crowd them together so that you have 100 watts ten centimeters away from your hand, you will not leave your hand there for long.”
And if you switch them all off you will still feel heat radiating out from them – an incandescent lightbulb produces around 5% visible light and 95% heat which is the invisible longwave infrared.
Please see my NASA quote, we cannot feel near infrared as heat – no matter how many remote controls we direct on our hands..
Visible light and near infrared are not thermal energies, thermal means “of heat” and contrary to AGW memespeak which claims this refers to the ‘source’, i.e. the Sun, so that it can pretend that ‘visible and other shortwave are thermal’, in traditional science, see my NASA quote, it refers to the longwave invisible infrared, usually simply called heat. It is called thermal to differentiate between it and shortwave infrared which is not thermal, which is classed as Reflective not Thermal. We’ve come a long way since Herschel’s first crude measurements..
..though it seems AGW is determined to destroy that through general education.
That is why you will still see references to “heat and light from the Sun” because these are different categories and one is not the other in empirically extremely well understood traditional science, but now AGW claims visible light from the Sun is heat and that we get no heat from the Sun..
http://tes.asu.edu/MARS_SURVEYOR/MGSTES/TIR_description.html
“What is Thermal Infrared Energy?
“Light and Heat
“Thermal IR energy is more commonly known as “heat”. Everyone is familiar with heat because of our sense of touch. But what exactly is heat? Heat is a form of light invisible to our eyes, but detectable with our skin. Visible light is part of a large spectrum of energy that includes other familiar electromagnetic energy regions: microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet, and X-rays all are forms of light that we can not see. The colors of a rainbow form a continuous spectrum of light in the visible wavelength region as does the “light” in the other regions. Infrared light occurs at wavelengths just below red light, hence the name, infra- (below) red. Near-infrared is the “color” of the heating coil on an electric stove just before it glows red. The thermal (or mid-) infrared colors are found at even longer wavelengths.”

153. Willis Eschenbach says:

January 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Willis, and Robert,
Anthony has politely suggested that I could continue to post at WUWT if I keep things cool.
In the interest of that, this should be my last comment on this thread.

Thanks, Konrad, I take off my hat to you. Yours is the action of a gentleman, and I say that in all seriousness.
Best regards, and please continue with your experiments. Real world data is always valuable, whether I might understand it at the time or not.
w.

154. Kristian says:

rgbatduke says, January 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm:
“Dear me indeed. First of all, we are talking about Mr. Sun, are we not? IIRC its surface temperature is roughly 6000K. I think I can safely say that this is not an issue. On the other hand, if you take an ordinary magnifying glass and use it to increase the incoming solar flux at a point, say, on the surface of your hand, I think you will rapidly agree that there is plenty of room in between the temperature of the sun and the temperature of your skin for your skin to warm. Or even burn right up. Similar considerations hold for things like the filaments of infra-red heat lamps, by the way. We’re not talking about water that is already superheated to 1200 K or whatever the filament temperature is. We’re talking about liquid water, a before condition that is at ambient temperatures and an after condition with a substantial downward radiative flux coming from a much hotter source.”
I wonder, why are you replying to my comment to Willis and not my comment to you? Might it be because by going directly to my follow-up it’s easier to ignore the original context?
Here’s what I said: “Welcome to the fantastic world of ‘climate physics’, where instantaneous fluxes are simply added together to make larger fluxes and thus directly create higher temperatures. How is the Earth’s surface warmed beyond the level that the mean solar flux according to the S-B equation can manage to maintain? We just add an extra flux down, a much larger one than the solar one at that, and voilà, we have a larger ‘total’ flux coming in and thus get a higher temperature. The instantaneous radiative flux coming from the Sun is on average about 165 W/m^2. This corresponds to a BB source temperature of -41 C. The alleged instantaneous radiative flux coming down from the atmosphere is on average about 345 W/m^2. This corresponds to a BB source temperature of +6 C. Still, put together, these two sources manage to heat the receiving surface to beyond the potential temperature of both. How is that possible? In the magical world of ‘climate physics’ you just add instantaneous fluxes together to create a larger one: (165+345=) 510 W/m^2 >> +35 C, woops, too high, but no problem, we simply subtract the convective losses before all the radiation from above is absorbed: (510-112=) 398 W/m^2 >> +16 C.
How neat isn’t this? Stefan-Boltzmann all the way. No storage of energy needed. Only instantaneous fluxes.
But where is the energy behind the 345 W/m^2 flux down from the atmosphere coming from? The input energy to the system is from the solar flux only. And this is never in the instantaneous flux scenario being restricted from freely leaving the surface again as soon as it’s absorbed to give a Stefan-Boltzmann surface BB emission temperature.
Note, this is NOT a matter of storing energy (thermal mass). This is simply all about sending instantaneous fluxes back and forth, adding them together to make them larger.”
The solar flux does not represent 6000 degrees at the surface of the Earth, Roger. And you know that. The very hypothesis of the radiative GHE is based on the premise that it isn’t. It’s allegedly too cold to heat the Earth’s surface to 288K by itself.
So apparently it’s hot when you need it to be and cold when you don’t.
A flux of 165 W/m^2 would represent a BB at 232K (-41 C). A flux of 345 W/m^2 would represent a BB at 279K (+6 C). Still, you put those two instantaneous fluxes together, subtract the convective losses and expect the surface to end up at a temperature exactly corresponding to the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, higher than both its effective radiative sources.
In the following comment I also said: “According to your [Roger Brown’s] logic, it’s OK for one and the same batch of energy to be shed from the surface as energy loss based on a certain temperature, to then go into warming the cooler atmosphere upon absorption to a slightly lower temperature and then next being sent back down again from this temperature to do some more warming of the already warmer surface, the very source that ejected it as thermal loss in the first place.
I would call that ‘super-conservation of energy’ …
It’s the second round of heating for one packet of energy that violates the laws of thermodynamics.”
“Second, you aren’t even getting the physics right for the two 100 C heaters. Let’s imagine you have just one such heater, and instead of specifying the temperature of the heater, as that is rarely what is constant, let’s specify the power being delivered to the heater — say, 100 Watts. The heater will then heat to a temperature such that incoming power being delivered as joule heating, V^2/R for some resistive filament with a constant voltage delivered across it is precisely balanced by power lost through all channels. If we imagine that the heater is isolated and in a vacuum and a perfect blackbody emitter (all of which can easily be made approximately true by taking an ordinary 100W bulb, painting it black, and putting it in a vacuum chamber suspended by a thin conducting wire delivering the voltage) we can even predict the temperature of the bulb if it has a simple geometry.”
And so on and so forth. Blah-blah. Dr. Brown, you’re completely circumventing the issue here. This is all about an object absorbing two smaller fluxes and as a result end up giving off a flux larger than any of them. Why not then just surround a warm object with a million cool objects and watch the warmer one literally melt from the immense ‘total’ flux it receives? Because that would be ridiculous. The solar and the atmospheric flux are coming from the same area of the sky. That’s the only reason you feel you could add them. But the problem is, the sun is the energy source of the surface and the surface in turn is the energy source of the atmosphere. Energy is transferred only from the sun to the earth’s surface. Between the surface and the atmosphere, the energy transfer is up. There is no point adding something that cannot heat the surface. Your downward radiative flux isn’t a heat flux, like the solar flux. The radiative (and convective) heat flux between surface and atmosphere goes … up. There is nothing to add.
“Precisely the same thing happens for a passive absorber heated by the power source — as it heats, it radiates back along the direction it is being heated from, and the source temperature increases, (…)”
So the energy being radiated back from the passive absorber to its power source makes the source hotter directly by increasing its internal energy. Wow! Just, wow! Such an energy transfer with such a direct result is called a ‘heat transfer’. Radiation also has to follow the thermodynamic laws. Energy from a cooler object can never make a warmer object even warmer. You do not restrict cooling, Roger. You’re increasing the heating directly by adding back energy that’s already spent warming the passive absorber. The energy going out from the source is never restricted. It radiates out freely. So that’s not how it gets hotter. The only way it’s getting hotter is from absorbing the ‘back radiated’ energy coming from a cooler object already made warmer by that same energy. You seriously do not see how you blatantly violate both the 1st and the 2nd laws of thermodynamics here?
“(…) although (usually) not by very much.”
Why do you think that is, Dr. Brown? According to theory (your logic and arithmetic) their temperature should increase a lot. Because you misinterpret the small heating you get as ‘back radiation’ heating when it is in fact caused by convective suppression (reduced temp gradients).
“You also need to think about how stupid a lot of your remarks sound, as many of them are contradicted by ordinary experience or common sense.”
Ditto, buddy.
“When describing the Earth, we aren’t talking about passive heat transfer between constant temperature reservoirs. We are talking about an open system. A complex open system. No, it cannot be trivially reduced to silly conclusions associated with non-sequitor statements about passive systems.”
Yes, Roger. The Sun is the only energy source from above. You want to reduce the exchange to instantaneous fluxes and set the temperatures by those, completely ignoring how real objects actually do heat, through their thermal mass.

155. Kristian says:

Curt says:
January 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm, Kristian says: January 15, 2014 at 12:52 am:
“You said in a previous post, “Sensors only ever detect heat.” I replied directly that this assertion was wrong, that many sensors detect radiation by converting it directly into electric current (not thermalizing it), and mentioned that I had even designed sensors like this. You accused me of redirection. Huh?”
Curt, I’m not going to continue engaging with someone who debates at this level. You know full well that we discussed radiative energy transfer between objects at different temperatures – heat transfer. What I said was that all instrument sensors specifically trying to measure such radiation only detect the heat, not the two individual conceptual opposite fluxes making up the ‘net’. The instruments has to calculate those from the detected heat and the sensor temperature (pyrgeometers). If the sensor is supercooled (like in interferometers), then it will of course detect directly the radiation from the atmosphere … as heat. From this you go: ‘HAHA! Look, there are sensors that do not detect heat!’ That is nothing but a meaningless and irrelevant diversion from the subject.
The claimed 398 W/m^2 up from the surface and the 345 W/m^2 down from the atmosphere isn’t measured in the sense ‘detected’, Curt. That’s all I’m saying. They are calculated. Inferred. Assumed. Based on a misapplication of the S-B law. That also goes for the CERES instruments. They have the same formulas baked in. All we know from direct physical detection is the mean global radiative heat flux up from the surface at about 50-60 W/m^2 and the average surface temperature, 288-289K.
There is nothing wrong with physics. The problem lies in the way ‘climate science’ has misapplied it to create its version of reality.

156. Kristian says:

With this I also withdraw from this thread. The hostility here is palpable. You do all realise that you act exactly as sectarian on this subject as the alarmists when challenged on their ingrained (C)AGW beliefs? It’s really sad to see …

157. Kristian says:

Willis Eschenbach says, January 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm:
“Kristian says:
January 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm
… And, Willis, you conveniently ignored the rest of my last reply to you …
Yes, and I would do it again. I read a comment until someone makes an egregious error, and I stop there. No point in discussing further until we clear that part up.
In your case, until you understand the basics of thermodynamics, which obviously you don’t, I’m not interested in getting involved in whatever further fantasies flow from your misunderstandings. Once you see the basic, fundamental, introductory textbook errors you’re making, then we’ll get to your further ideas.
Read Curt’s post above, note that he works in the field. Read Dr. Brown’s post above. Note that he teaches in the field. Read my post above, or read a college thermo textbook, I don’t care what you do to break through your lack of knowledge … but until you pull your head out of your fundamental orifice regarding basic thermo concepts, all of your claims will come out sounding muffled and will not smell right, and (as you point out above), folks like me will ignore them.”

Just this one.
Willis, and with that you managed to still avoid addressing any of what I’m pointing at. Just conveniently dismissing it by vague claims of ‘egregious errors’ and ‘you don’t understand anything’ so you don’t have to relate to it. But my comments are still there. And people can read them. And think for themselves. And see that you do not answer them. I know you have your own little playground here with your own little following and feel like a king because of it. Don’t let it go to your head (woops, too late for that).
Your last ‘reply’, Willis, is pure sectarian, authoritarian, concensual BS. Without any substance other than ‘Look, we know more than you, so shut up!’ Just like the alarmists who want to dismiss your ‘further fantasies’ by acting the exact same way: ‘You’re just wrong because you don’t understand anything. Now go away.’
You’re fundamentally wrong Willis. It’s as simple as that. There definitely is an atmospheric warming effect on the earth’s surface. It just isn’t a radiative one …
And again, read up on how real objects actually heat up. You cannot use instantaneous fluxes for the earth’s surface, add them together and put them into the S-B equation to obtain the surface temperature when it has a thermal mass to store absorbed energy in. That’s just fundamentally stupid.

158. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kristian says:
January 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm

… Willis, and with that you managed to still avoid addressing any of what I’m pointing at. Just conveniently dismissing it by vague claims of ‘egregious errors’ and ‘you don’t understand anything’ so you don’t have to relate to it. But my comments are still there. And people can read them. And think for themselves.

Indeed, and I encourage them to do so, to read and judge for themselves. I said before I ignored all of your further points. I just went back and read them to see what I’d missed … nothing. I’d still ignore it … and I suspect others would as well.

You’re fundamentally wrong Willis. It’s as simple as that.

And here I thought that climate was complex …
You also say:

With this I also withdraw from this thread.

That’s outstanding news.

The hostility here is palpable. You do all realise that you act exactly as sectarian on this subject as the alarmists when challenged on their ingrained (C)AGW beliefs? It’s really sad to see …

Naw, if this were an alarmist site, you’d have been censored and silenced long ago. On this site, you just get laughed at. You see, here on WUWT we’re law-abiding folks … and as a result, we don’t pay much attention to guys like you who claim that the climate violates the Law of Thermodynamics.
And yes, we laugh when you say things like that radiometers don’t measure outgoing radiation from a surface but instead they detect the “heat flux” and then they “utilize the S-B equation to calculate a value for an hypothesized one-way outgoing radiative flux”. Dude, that knee-slapper proves beyond doubt that you don’t have a clue about how radiation is measured. Don’t believe me? Ask Curt, he does this for a living … but noooo, instead of learning from him, you abuse him …
And then when you act like we’re the bad guys, just because we don’t buy into your BS, yes, we do get hostile. Sorry, but that’s what happens when you act like that, you get it back in spades. People think karma is some slow-moving force. Actually, it’s more like hitting a golf ball in a tiled bathroom …
However, there’s plenty of sites out there where people will agree with you, and I wish you well wherever you end up. As long as it’s not here.
w.

159. Dr. Strangelove says:

“The IPCC’s estimate of 3 C/ 2X CO2 is the equilibrium climate sensitivity, which means you double the CO2 then wait a thousand years for the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium… The AR5 table 9.5 shows the transient climate response is 1.8 C for double CO2”
Ken Gregory
I agree with you on using TCR instead of ECS. However, IPCC does not claim 1,000 years to reach equilibrium. If your claim is true, no need to panic if we only get 1.8 C by 2100. We’re already halfway there. IPCC is claiming 3 C isn’t it?

160. Dr. Strangelove says:

“if the IPCC hypothesis is correct, what is countering the expected increase of ~ 2 W/m2 in the downwelling surface radiation due to the increase in CO2 over the 2000-2012 time period?”
Willis
Trenberth says the missing heat is in deep ocean. Plausible but hard to prove empirically. A 1.8 W/m2 forcing can easily disappear in the ocean without a trace. The change in temperature is too small and too deep to measure. If the ocean can sequester heat from the surface, can it also release it in the near future? Warmists call it “heat in the pipeline.”

161. Dr. Strangelove says:

Anthony
I suggest you ban the Dragon Slayers. Don’t tolerate pseudoscience. Repeating ridiculous claims over and over is counterproductive and a waste of time. If they have a valid point, they should publish it in a peer-review science journal. If accepted, invite them to post their full paper here.

162. “There definitely is an atmospheric warming effect on the earth’s surface. It just isn’t a radiative one”
Correct.
It is atmospheric mass allowing conduction leading to convection.
Willis’s own thermostat hypothesis points out the importance of convection and notes the stabilising effect of varying the amount of convection.
Since all convection results from conduction rather than radiation Willis cannot reconcile his observations with his current view as to the effects of radiation.

163. Dr. Strangelove says:

“There definitely is an atmospheric warming effect on the earth’s surface. It just isn’t a radiative one”
Wrong. Increase in air temperature will increase radiative heat transfer according to S-B equation. Except for latent heat where no change in temperature. However, condensation releases latent heat. Or are you saying all that heat went to melting the polar ice?

164. zyz says:

Thanks for the reply and the ‘Robert Brown’ formula, Willis.
I agree with your 0.36 K for the bias induced by the averaging method not accounting for the daily variation in local temperature at your location.
I’m not sure this is really negligible since this would represent c 30 years of ‘IPCC warming’ at 0.13 C per decade.
However, I was thinking of the annual variation in local temperature. At my location this is approximately 257 K to 297 which, according to the developed S-B based formula for radiation / temperature relationship gives a bias of 2.14 K (= difference between a) temperature corresponding to the average radiation and b)average temperature), and a ‘Robert Brown’ value of 1.031 This surely is worth taking into account.
I guess it is about an IT background which tells me “It is all binary, either known to be wrong or, not (yet) known to be wrong. You can only use what you don’t know to be wrong”
But if local temperature is inhomogeneous with respect to time, it is also inhomogeneous with respect to space. Right outside my door I have three strikingly different types of surface: asphalt roadway and parking spaces, grass, and a river. The surface temps of these three are often quite different, and measuring air temp at 1m above ground does not really capture any of them very well. Nevertheless, they are the radiating bodies, so it is to them that we should be applying S-B. I think this inhomogeneity also needs to be handled with an estimated Robert Brown correction factor. Maybe 1.005 ?
PS I follow your posts quite closely. I especially enjoyed the stories from the South Pacific

165. “Increase in air temperature will increase radiative heat transfer according to S-B equation”
If the air rises against gravity the air temperature will not increase. Parcels of air must rise against gravity if there is any unevenness in surface heating at all because density variations will inevitably arise at the surface if heating is uneven.
Rising against gravity reduces temperature because the work done against gravity converts kinetic energy (heat) to potential energy (not heat) for a reduction in temperature.
S-B doesn’t apply where mass results in conduction and convection to ‘interfere’ with the radiative flux.
Such ‘interference’ arises from mass, conduction and convection diverting energy away from the radiative exchange for a period of time. Gravitational potential energy does not participate in the radiative flux since it does not manifest itself as heat.
All mass lifting off a surface converts kinetic energy to gravitational potential energy which is then denied to the radiation budget.
The thermostatic mechanism, then, is variations in the power of the convective circulation altering the amount of gravitational potential energy at any given moment so as to keep the radiative exchange in balance.

166. A C Osborn says:

Willis wrote
January 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm
A C Osborn says:
January 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm
… blah, blah blah …
You gonna apologize for calling me a liar, A C.
Well, I have gone back over our exchange that offended you and caused you to respond with “When a man accuses me of intentionally misunderstanding him, that’s the end of my part of the conversation. I don’t play those games. If you truly think that of me, I have no interest in discussing anything with you.”
I refuse to Apologise , because now I do believe you intentionally misunderstood what I wrote.
It is clear from the tone of your first reply that you had allowed the very Anger that you later accused me of, to cloud your reading ability, so that you did not read what I wrote.
I quote your angry sounding response” Absolute nonsense. As far as I know, this analysis is quite unlike Konrad has ever done, and it is in no way derivable from his experiment” and ” how on earth are my results even vaguely related to Konrad’s nonsense?”
I assume you were angry because I compared what you had done to what Konrad had done, but the whole point is I did not do that.
I was not comparing the “WORK”, I was comparing the “RESULT” which is that the IPCC Climate Sensitivity and the temperature increase from a doubling of CO2 appears to wrong .
You two are not the only ones to bring the Climate Sensitivity in to question and all by different methods, in no way am I comparing your WORK to theirs either. The work that Ken Gregory has just done, which is based on yours, appears to confirm your findings.
So if you want to construe that as being called a “liar” then touche, because you have accused me of saying something I didn’t, which is one of the things you find most annoying in others.
So End of Discussion with you.
I write this for other readers of the Post, the more I have read about CERES the more I am convinced that you cannot use the values for the kind of fine changes that are required to find a couple of W/m2 change in trend and here is why.
1. They use multiple (4) Satellites of varying ages for the Radiation part of the Calculations, note calculations, not measurements, because there are all sorts of compensations and algorithms used to arrive at the average for the Earths Surface and TOA values. As well as other measurement systems, cloud & albedo, on those satellites they also use measurements from five geostationary satellites readings to obtain those values.
2. The Measurements are not Validated against a “Master”, they are validated against another Satellite’s readings which are also based on Algorithms.
3. The satellites are having to be continually adjusted for Orbit, which must affect the value of the readings the instruments get.
4. I have not found anything on compensating for expansion and contraction of the atmosphere which must also affect the value of the reading obtained.
5. Surface radiation cannot be accurately measured and must be calculated using 2 different Algorithms for different weather conditions.
This all sounds a bit too much like the problems that Roy Spencer and John Christie had with their Satellite values a few years back and also too much like Climate Models to be looking for parts of 2 W/m2.

167. Willis Eschenbach says:

A C Osborn says:
January 16, 2014 at 11:59 am

Willis wrote
January 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm

A C Osborn says:
January 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm

… blah, blah blah …

You gonna apologize for calling me a liar, A C?

Well, I have gone back over our exchange that offended you and caused you to respond with “When a man accuses me of intentionally misunderstanding him, that’s the end of my part of the conversation. I don’t play those games. If you truly think that of me, I have no interest in discussing anything with you.”
I refuse to Apologise , because now I do believe you intentionally misunderstood what I wrote.

A C, I will tell you again in the hope you might get it this time. Perhaps the people you hang out with engage in intentionally misunderstanding each other.
I don’t play games like that, nor do my friends. I don’t pretend to misunderstand someone. It’s not in my lexicon.
If you think I misunderstood you, fine. A simple question would have settled that without any difficulties.
But without having a scrap of information, you’ve accused me of doing it deliberately. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about my motives or my actions. You’ve never met me, you haven’t a clue about my mental processes.
But despite that, you’ve made an accusation that I’m lying to you about what I understand.

It is clear from the tone of your first reply that you had allowed the very Anger that you later accused me of, to cloud your reading ability, so that you did not read what I wrote.

If you think I didn’t read what you wrote, A C … then how can you accuse me of “intentionally misunderstanding” something you believe I’ve never read? That’s a trick even Houdini would have trouble with.
Next, am I angry? As much as this might surprise you, when you falsely accuse an honest man of lying to you without any evidence at all … he just might get angry.
I’m an old-school kind of guy. I’ve lived my life doing my best to follow some of my great-grandfathers sayings that I was raised on. Everyone, including his children, called him “the Captain”. Haven’t always been successful living up to his code, that’s for sure … but what the family called the “Captain’s Code” were a large part of what shaped me. One of the Captain’s sayings was

If there is a man who can call you a liar, kill him. If you are one, kill yourself. There is no room for either of you.

Now, he was born in 1848, a much rougher time … so despite my grandmother inculcating all of the Captain’s saying in us kid’s heads, and despite her treating lying as a mortal sin, I’ve never killed a man who called me a liar.
But as you might imagine, I think that people who accuse others of lying without firm, concrete evidence in hand are … well, undesirable, and not fit companions.
And when a slimy little man like you does it and then refuses to apologize, despite not having a scrap of evidence to back his nasty claim?
As you might imagine … I don’t want to have any truck with someone like that at all. Why should I discuss things with a man who publicly calls me a liar without evidence, and then refuses to apologize?
So let me ask you as politely as I can to wriggle off to some other thread, A C. You are certainly not welcome on mine. Slither away and go hang out with people who pretend to misunderstand each other. They won’t find your accusations surprising.
w.

168. Willis Eschenbach says:

Stephen Wilde says:
January 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

“There definitely is an atmospheric warming effect on the earth’s surface. It just isn’t a radiative one”

Correct.
It is atmospheric mass allowing conduction leading to convection.
Willis’s own thermostat hypothesis points out the importance of convection and notes the stabilising effect of varying the amount of convection.
Since all convection results from conduction rather than radiation Willis cannot reconcile his observations with his current view as to the effects of radiation.

Whaaaaa? Climate is what is called a “radiative-convective” system. I just discussed and linked to my Excel model of said radiation AND convection.
Exactly what is it you think I “cannot reconcile” between the two?
w.

169. Willis Eschenbach says:

zyz says:
January 16, 2014 at 1:29 am

Thanks for the reply and the ‘Robert Brown’ formula, Willis.

You are most welcome.

I agree with your 0.36 K for the bias induced by the averaging method not accounting for the daily variation in local temperature at your location.
I’m not sure this is really negligible since this would represent c 30 years of ‘IPCC warming’ at 0.13 C per decade.
However, I was thinking of the annual variation in local temperature. At my location this is approximately 257 K to 297 which, according to the developed S-B based formula for radiation / temperature relationship gives a bias of 2.14 K (= difference between a) temperature corresponding to the average radiation and b)average temperature), and a ‘Robert Brown’ value of 1.031 This surely is worth taking into account.
I guess it is about an IT background which tells me “It is all binary, either known to be wrong or, not (yet) known to be wrong. You can only use what you don’t know to be wrong”

As I said, that is exactly why I prefer to average radiation, rather than averaging temperature. For example, to figure the global temperature average from the CERES data, I first area-average the radiation, and then convert that to temperature. Result, 16.4°C
Going at it the other way, converting the radiation dataset gridcell-by-gridcell to temperatures, and then averaging the temperatures, gives us 15.1°C. In part this difference is from the summer/winter swings you refer to, and in part, it is from the difference equator to poles.
Now, you are right that that is a significantly large difference. But for many things, it doesn’t make much difference. In part this is because the numbers generally discussed are temperature anomalies, rather than absolute temperatures.

But if local temperature is inhomogeneous with respect to time, it is also inhomogeneous with respect to space. Right outside my door I have three strikingly different types of surface: asphalt roadway and parking spaces, grass, and a river. The surface temps of these three are often quite different, and measuring air temp at 1m above ground does not really capture any of them very well. Nevertheless, they are the radiating bodies, so it is to them that we should be applying S-B. I think this inhomogeneity also needs to be handled with an estimated Robert Brown correction factor. Maybe 1.005 ?

You are correct … and again, this is one of the reasons that people use anomalies rather than absolute temperates. The absolute temperatures you mention are different. But if you set out thermometers you’d see that the anomalies are very similar—when it is a hot day on the highway, it’s a hot day on the grass and a hot day on the river.

PS I follow your posts quite closely. I especially enjoyed the stories from the South Pacific

Much appreciated, I’ll publish some more autobiographical stuff along the way.
w.

170. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dr. Strangelove says:
January 16, 2014 at 12:05 am

“if the IPCC hypothesis is correct, what is countering the expected increase of ~ 2 W/m2 in the downwelling surface radiation due to the increase in CO2 over the 2000-2012 time period?”

Willis
Trenberth says the missing heat is in deep ocean. Plausible but hard to prove empirically. A 1.8 W/m2 forcing can easily disappear in the ocean without a trace. The change in temperature is too small and too deep to measure. If the ocean can sequester heat from the surface, can it also release it in the near future? Warmists call it “heat in the pipeline.”

Thanks, Doc, good issue. I’ve shown here that the claimed forcing over the period is only on the order of half a W/m2 …

And I’ve also shown here that the Levitus ocean data is suspect because the quarterly swings in claimed OHC is not visible anywhere in the CERES data. (I and others had argued for some time that such large swings were unphysical, but the CERES data shows that there is no energy available to explain such swings.
As a result, the idea that the “missing heat” is in the ocean is not supported by even the poor ocean data that we have.
Finally, if the heat is actually in the ocean, the warming down to 2000 metres averages less than a tenth of a degree … and the thing is, heat coming out of storage and heat going into storage are very different beasts. Consider a place warmed by a fire … once that fire’s heat is absorbed by the room, it warms the objects in the room up to “room temperature”, call it 70°F (21°C).
Now, suppose the fire goes out. The room is at a lower energy state than the fire was. So no matter how much heat comes out of the wood and other materials that make up the room, it will never reconstitute the heat of the fire. It can not do what the fire did, heat the room itself. The heat in the objects in the room can only warm things that are cooler than the room.
My understanding, however, is that the heat in the ocean is not the claimed heat “in the pipeline” referred to by the AGW folks. I think that they are referring to the fact that once the oceans warm up, they will no longer be absorbing that energy, and so it will go into warming the surface.
Which sounds theoretically possible, but me, I say that assumes that the climate doesn’t respond to changed conditions … but that’s just me.
Regards,
w.

171. Myrrh says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm
Stephen Wilde says:
January 16, 2014 at 12:39 am
Exactly what is it you think I “cannot reconcile” between the two?
Gravity?

172. Dr. Strangelove says:

“Rising against gravity reduces temperature because the work done against gravity converts kinetic energy (heat) to potential energy (not heat) for a reduction in temperature.”
Before a parcel of air rises, its temperature must be higher than surrounding air. Hence larger volume per unit mass (or lower density) based on Charles’ law. The density difference causes the parcel of air to rise based on Archimedes principle (law of buoyancy). An increase in temperature will already cause the air to radiate more energy based on S-B equation. Note radiation travels at the speed of light while hot air rises slowly (see a hot-air balloon). You have radiative heat transfer before any significant change in potential energy.

173. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dr. Strangelove says:
January 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Note radiation travels at the speed of light while hot air rises slowly (see a hot-air balloon). You have radiative heat transfer before any significant change in potential energy.

Thanks, Doc. You are right … but only some of the time. Actually, at times hot air can move very fast (see a hot air balloon that’s been sucked up into a thunderstorm).
In addition, the heat moving from the surface up to where it enters the thunderstorm is mostly in the form of latent heat … and that is not subject to radiation.
Next, while the rising column of air is inside the thunderstorm tower, it is isolated completely and not free to radiate.
As a result of all of these, heat is able to move by means of hot air from the surface to the top of the troposphere and lose almost no energy to radiation.
Best regards,
w.

174. cba says:

Gino says:
January 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm
Willis says:
“Now, emissivity is on the order of 1.0 for the surface of the planet.”
I’m not sure why this is valid given the emissivities of common materials:
http://www.omega.com/literature/transactions/volume1/emissivityb.html
Water : .67
Soil (surface): .38
Granite: .45
snow: .89
Sand: .76

http://www.infrared-thermography.com/material-1.htm
shows water at 0.98. omega is a catalog sales company. At surface temperatures, one finds practically everything having an emissivity of very close to 1.

175. Dr. Strangelove says:

“As a result of all of these, heat is able to move by means of hot air from the surface to the top of the troposphere and lose almost no energy to radiation.”
Willis, air above absolute zero temperature is radiating energy all the time even as it cools. My point was if you heat air, you will detect a change in radiation flux following S-B law. In response to the claim that you can heat air and detect no change in radiation flux because heat is directly converted to potential energy.

176. “Before a parcel of air rises, its temperature must be higher than surrounding air. ”
Not quite right.
The additional energy received by an individual air parcel via conduction both reduces the surface temperature below it and reduces the density of the air parcel. Reduction in density is also a cooling effect. Any ‘extra heat’ disappears into the reduction of density and subsequent uplift.
Furthermore, since the amount of incoming energy is fixed any extra warming in one location is offset by a correspondingly reduced warming in another location which is why it is the unevenness of surface heating which is critical.
No net gain or loss of total energy, just uneven distribution of energy is sufficient to cause the density differentials that lead to convection. GHGs not needed.
It is the reduction in density that allows the parcel to rise and not an increase in temperature.

177. Willis said:
“Whaaaaa? Climate is what is called a “radiative-convective” system. I just discussed and linked to my Excel model of said radiation AND convection.
Exactly what is it you think I “cannot reconcile” between the two ?”
Convection results from conduction and temporarily removes energy from the radiation budget by converting it to gravitational potential energy.
For your thermostat hypothesis to work you need some way of adjusting the radiation budget to counter any forcing elements.

178. zyz says:

Hello again, Willis
“Now, you are right that that is a significantly large difference. But for many things, it doesn’t make much difference.”
That is true, but if the issues are to be addressed properly, we need to understand which things it makes a difference for and which it doesn’t, before we rely on methods and approximations that we know a priori to be inexact. And then the question arises, if we have done the two calculations to show that the difference between using an exact and an inexact method is small, why not just stick with the exact method ? After all computer cycles are cheap, and it would save others from making erroneous deductions from our results when they don’t read the caveats in the small print.
…when it is a hot day on the highway, it’s a hot day on the grass and a hot day on the river.
Hmm…. When it is a hot day, the river is distinctly below air temperature. It has a lot of ‘thermal mass’ to move and mixing keeps bringing cooler water to the surface while evaporation recools the surface itself. The asphalt, however, does not mix and has poor thermal conductivity, so that in sunshine it can get a lot hotter than air temperature. The grass is somewhere between the two, moderated by transpiration, some evaporation and some conduction but not by mixing.
When it is a cold day, the river surface can be considerably warmer than air temperature, due to thermal mass and mixing, whereas the grass and asphalt are much closer to air temperature.
On average the anomaly on the asphalt is higher than the anomaly on the grass which is higher than the anomaly on the river. When we use a spatially average anomaly it will works fine with effects which are linear functions of temperature, but quartics, like S-B and quadratics like the ‘Robert Brown’ correction are another matter. Both will be understated.
OT, this discussion make me wonder if the Urban Heat Island effect has been understated by averaging before making S-B calculations, because urban areas will have larger diurnal and annual variation than nearby farmland / woodland / jungle.

179. beng says:

***
Ken Gregory says:
January 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm
Willis has compared the downward radiation trend (0.14 W/m2/decade) to an estimated downward radiation trend that would give a 3 C temperature rise per double CO2, but that is not the appropriate comparison. The IPCC’s estimate of 3 C/ 2X CO2 is the equilibrium climate sensitivity, which means you double the CO2 then wait a thousand years for the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium.
***
IMO the IPCC & others are wrong on this. There’s no significant time-lag for CO2 warming — a yr or two would be a stretch. Unlike solar SW forcing, CO2 IR doesn’t penetrate surfaces to any extent, so warming (less cooling to be accurate) from that is essentially immediate — a combination of surface warming and added water vapor. Yeah, there’d be alittle mixing at the water surfaces, but almost nothing would be “stored”.

180. An important point is that that any surface warming from any cause will be uneven on a rough surfaced rotating sphere illuminated by a point source of energy.
As soon as any unevenness is introduced the densities at the surface vary and a convective circulation begins as the less dense parcels rise above the more dense parcels.
If GHGs produce more DWIR the effect on the surface will be uneven and density differentials in the horizontal plane just above the surface will become greater.
Such greater density differentials in the horizontal plane must accelerate the rate of overturning which would have the capability of negating the effect of GHGs by increasing atmospheric heights due to the increased upward force of the reduced local densities at the surface.
That way one can have the increased DWIR beloved of AGW proponents yet still have the thermal effect negated by the conductive / convective response.

181. rgbatduke says:

Is it? Is the Sun’s surface really no hotter than the inside of our planet Earth?
Is this a serious question? I will pretend that it is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosphere
although you should obviously read the entire article on the Sun if you have to ask the question. The temperature is determined by its spectrum:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EffectiveTemperature_300dpi_e.png
At the moment it is a crap shoot as to whether this temperature is a bit hotter or colder than the temperature at the Earth’s core:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_core
Until recently, the Sun would have narrowly won over the best estimates, but new estimates have bumped the Earth’s core temperature up substantially. It might well be hotter than the surface of the sun.
Bear in mind that the core temperature of the Sun is much, much hotter. The sun seriously traps radiation — even though the power density of the Sun’s core is comparatively tiny, it takes tens of thousands of years for core photons to make it out of the Sun.
The Sun and stars in general are actually very, very interesting.
But the point is that the Earth is an open system. In order to make all of the tired old arguments about “cold heating hot” — which is not at all what happens — step one is to ignore the fact that Sun is not, actually, cold on its surface and it is the Sun’s surface that produces and delivers well over 99% of the energy that maintains the temperature distribution of the Earth as it is transiently absorbed, retained for a time, and eventually lost en route to 3 K background “space”. The atmosphere differentially passes this energy through the system — energy “in” via SW radiation emitted by a very hot source through a mostly transparent atmosphere; energy “out” via LWIR emitted by the much cooler Earth surface and atmosphere in a complex and variable spectral pattern generated by the three substantial absorber/emitters of LWIR in the atmosphere: H2O, CO2 and O3 (in that order of importance).
These are the greenhouse gases, and this is the greenhouse effect.
rgb

182. rgb,
I recall reading somewhere [maybe here] that on average, any part of the sun puts out about the same amount of heat as a similar-sized compost pile. It is the enormous mass of the sun, versus its surface area, which makes it so bright.
Is that true? Or is that one of those factoids that just sound good on the internet?

183. rgbatduke says:

And so on and so forth. Blah-blah. Dr. Brown, you’re completely circumventing the issue here. This is all about an object absorbing two smaller fluxes and as a result end up giving off a flux larger than any of them. Why not then just surround a warm object with a million cool objects and watch the warmer one literally melt from the immense ‘total’ flux it receives? Because that would be ridiculous. The solar and the atmospheric flux are coming from the same area of the sky. That’s the only reason you feel you could add them. But the problem is, the sun is the energy source of the surface and the surface in turn is the energy source of the atmosphere. Energy is transferred only from the sun to the earth’s surface. Between the surface and the atmosphere, the energy transfer is up. There is no point adding something that cannot heat the surface. Your downward radiative flux isn’t a heat flux, like the solar flux. The radiative (and convective) heat flux between surface and atmosphere goes … up. There is nothing to add.
So what part of the Steel Greenhouse — which you stated that you agreed with, curiously — do you not get? Look, do yourself a favor. Buy a copy of Petty’s book A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation”. I did. And I actually already understand all of the physics that is in it on a standalone basis. It is often really useful to see how the physics all fits together.
Go Read section 6.4.3. That’s the “single layer nonreflecting atmosphere model”. One limit of its very, very simple parameters is the steel greenhouse — which you agree with. Study the equations for detailed balance until you understand them. Study equation 6.37 — the limit that becomes the steel greenhouse for $\alpha_{sw} = 0$ and $\alpha_{lw} = 1$. It doesn’t say a word about ice cubes heating anything at all — the sun provides all of the heat — but the LW-absorptive atmosphere absorbs part of the heat radiated from the surface and re-radiates part of it back down at the surface. It is the condition for detailed balance and the requirement that net heat can only flow from warmer things to cooler ones that causes the surface to warm. It is really no different from any insulator. The power pumped in has to equal the power that comes out. Putting anything in between the continually heated reservoir and the cold reservoir it must continually lose heat to will cause that reservoir to get warmer. Slow conduction? It will get warmer. Slow radiation? It will get warmer. Slow convection? It will get warmer. Reduce latent heat transfer? It will get warmer. That’s because all of the different heat flow equations are driven by a monotonic temperature difference — to make the second law happy.
This really is very simple to understand if you don’t have an agenda and simply try to understand the science and mathematics itself. You’ve asserted that you aren’t a dragonslayer. Prove it. Actually pick up a textbook on this and read it before continuing to make absurd statements that are literally irrelevant to the actual primary processes that are going on in radiative energy transfer in the atmosphere.
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184. rgbatduke says:

Damn you, closing ! Grrrr.
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185. rgbatduke says:

Closing left bracket slash b right bracket! Arrgh!

186. Willis Eschenbach says:

zyz says:
January 17, 2014 at 6:04 am

Hello again, Willis

“Now, you are right that that is a significantly large difference. But for many things, it doesn’t make much difference.”

That is true, but if the issues are to be addressed properly, we need to understand which things it makes a difference for and which it doesn’t, before we rely on methods and approximations that we know a priori to be inexact. And then the question arises, if we have done the two calculations to show that the difference between using an exact and an inexact method is small, why not just stick with the exact method ? After all computer cycles are cheap, and it would save others from making erroneous deductions from our results when they don’t read the caveats in the small print.

Thanks, zyz. I, along with virtually all serious researchers in the field, utilize and average radiation whenever possible. However, you are overestimating the problem. Let me illustrate with another example. Suppose we average the planet’s temperature. Then, everywhere on the planet warms by half a degree, much like the 20th century. How much does our average of the temperature warm up? Well … half a degree, 0.5°C.
Now, suppose we do it the other way. Start by averaging the radiation rather than the temperature. Then add the equivalent of half a degree in the form of radiation to each gridcell. Re-average the radiation and convert to temperature … and we find the difference is 0.498°C.
Now, that’s a difference of two thousandths of a degree, a meaninglessly small error … like I said, most of the time, your issue is a difference that doesn’t make any difference.
Finally, you are correct when you say it should be done the right way, by averaging radiation … but overwhelmingly, climate scientists already do that wherever it makes a difference. As I said, that’s why Trenberth’s global energy budget is in W/m2, not in degrees C …
w.

187. Myrrh says:

gbatduke says:
January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm
Is it? Is the Sun’s surface really no hotter than the inside of our planet Earth?
Is this a serious question? I will pretend that it is:
…..although you should obviously read the entire article on the Sun if you have to ask the question. The temperature is determined by its spectrum: light.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EffectiveTemperature_300dpi_e.png
The Sun and stars in general are actually very, very interesting.

Of course it is a serious question, I also find them very, very interesting. I find estimating the temperature by the photosphere to have problems..
The photosphere, although often referred to as the surface, is but a 300 mile wide band of visible light being bounced around by some calcium, if I recall, much like visible light is bounced around our atmosphere by the electrons of nitrogen and oxygen, it is not the surface of the Sun, but its first layer of atmosphere – the surface of the Sun is the convection zone below that being cooked by the heat streaming off from the millions of degrees core by the radiative zone. It seems to me absurd that this tiny band of visible light is somehow stopping the millions of degrees heat from the Sun to give itself a temperature of 6,000°C, and then, somehow, and no one knows how, the further millions of miles atmospheres of the Sun are again millions of degrees hot.
It does not compute. What it says, to me, is that the estimate by planckian colour coding is not accurate, because millions of degrees heat are still streaming away from the Sun through the insignificant scant three hundred mile wide ring of visible light .
At the moment it is a crap shoot as to whether this temperature is a bit hotter or colder than the temperature at the Earth’s core:..Until recently, the Sun would have narrowly won over the best estimates, but new estimates have bumped the Earth’s core temperature up substantially. It might well be hotter than the surface of the sun.
And that’s the other problem, what appears to me to a complete absence of any sense of scale..
The heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared, longwave infrared, – it takes around 8 minutes to travel some 93 millions miles to reach us – do you really think that the heat from something let’s call it fire, of 6,000°C could be felt by us 93million miles away?
But the point is that the Earth is an open system. In order to make all of the tired old arguments about “cold heating hot” — which is not at all what happens — step one is to ignore the fact that Sun is not, actually, cold on its surface and it is the Sun’s surface that produces and delivers well over 99% of the energy that maintains the temperature distribution of the Earth as it is transiently absorbed, retained for a time, and eventually lost en route to 3 K background “space”. The atmosphere differentially passes this energy through the system — energy “in” via SW radiation emitted by a very hot source through a mostly transparent atmosphere; energy “out” via LWIR emitted by the much cooler Earth surface and atmosphere in a complex and variable spectral pattern generated by the three substantial absorber/emitters of LWIR in the atmosphere: H2O, CO2 and O3 (in that order of importance).
These are the greenhouse gases, and this is the greenhouse effect.

But, you have given the Sun a cold surface, 6000°C is not very hot..
Traditional science disagrees with your “Shortwave In” scenario, please, seriously, read the NASA quote I have given. The Sun produces both heat and light and they are not the same thing. We feel the invisible heat from the Sun and that is Longwave wave infrared – we cannot feel shortwaves as heat.
This is important, we cannot physically feel shortwaves from the Sun. They are not the great heat you feel from the Sun.
I really do not understand this, I have given a direct quote from NASA which you are all, apparently, completely ignoring..
Trenberth et al’s energy budget is complete crock, just like the ‘temperature’ records and hockey stick…
And, my other example of an incandescent lightbulb which radiatiates out 5% visible and 95% longwave infrared heat – why is the Sun any different to that? The visible part of the Sun’s total spectrum is very tiny, most of the Sun’s radiant energy is invisible.
Of that energy reaching the Earth’s surface the division between Visible UV and Infrared is:
Wikipedia:
“…The total amount of energy received at ground level from the sun at the zenith is 1004 watts per square meter, which is composed of 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation.”
Since AGW claims only “shortwave in” and says of that its shortwave infrared is only an insignificant 1% – what has it, AGW/CERES/Trenberth done with the rest of the infrared from the Sun? It pretends it comes from ‘backradiation’ …
On the NASA revises Earth’s radiation budget thread, a different radiation budget from NASA has just been posted – it does not show ‘backradiation’ as does the NASA/Trenberth one…

188. Curt says:

dbstealey says: January 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm
I recall reading somewhere [maybe here] that on average, any part of the sun puts out about the same amount of heat as a similar-sized compost pile. It is the enormous mass of the sun, versus its surface area, which makes it so bright.
Is that true? Or is that one of those factoids that just sound good on the internet?
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It’s just one of those factoids that sound good on the internet. The sun’s radiation is very close to that of a blackbody at 5778K. At the sun’s surface, the flux density can be calculated as:
q = sigma * T^4 = 5.67 x 10^-8 * (5778)^4 = 63.2 million W/m^2
This compares to the approximately 400 W/m^2 from the earth’s surface. (The sun’s surface temperature is about 20 times higher than the earth’s surface temperature, so its radiation flux density is about 20*20*20*20=160,000 times greater.)
But that is the density at the sun’s surface. Of course, it spreads out a lot by the time it gets to the earth’s orbital radius. The sun’s radius is about 700,000 km. The earth’s orbital radius is about 150,000,000 km. By the inverse square law, the density at the earth’s orbital radius is about:
q = 6.32 x 10^7 * (7 x 10^5)^2 / (1.5 x 10^8)^2 = 1376 W/m^2
Even with these very simple calculations, we are very close to the “solar constant” value commonly cited.

189. Willis Eschenbach says:

beng says:
January 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

Ken Gregory says:
January 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Willis has compared the downward radiation trend (0.14 W/m2/decade) to an estimated downward radiation trend that would give a 3 C temperature rise per double CO2, but that is not the appropriate comparison. The IPCC’s estimate of 3 C/ 2X CO2 is the equilibrium climate sensitivity, which means you double the CO2 then wait a thousand years for the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium.

IMO the IPCC & others are wrong on this. There’s no significant time-lag for CO2 warming — a yr or two would be a stretch. Unlike solar SW forcing, CO2 IR doesn’t penetrate surfaces to any extent, so warming (less cooling to be accurate) from that is essentially immediate — a combination of surface warming and added water vapor. Yeah, there’d be alittle mixing at the water surfaces, but almost nothing would be “stored”.

I agree with beng on this question. The tail of the exponential decay may be long, but we’re not looking at a single long exponential decay. Instead, there seems to be both a short time constant on the order of a couple of years, and a longer time constant on the order of a number of decades.
And as with any exponential decay, you get the largest change in the first time period, second largest in the second time period, and so on … which is why you get most of the change in the first few years.
However, I disagree on the logic. Both long- and short-wave radiation affect only the instant—the sun doesn’t shine tomorrow, only right now. In addition, energy in many respects is fungible—whether you are adding 1 w/m2 of shortwave deeper in the ocean, or slowing the loss of energy at the surface by 1 W/m2 by adding longwave at the surface, the total energy content of the ocean is changed by the same amount.
As a result, the time constant is a factor of the thermal mass, and not of the method of heating.
w.

190. Willis said:
“As a result, the time constant is a factor of the thermal mass, and not of the method of heating.”
The time constant is what gives rise to the temperature rise by slowing transmission of solar energy through the system.
If the time constant is a factor of thermal mass does that not relegate any effect from radiative characteristics to insignificance ?

191. Curt says:

Stephen:
In systems analysis, the time constant is the product of the resistance to the “flow” and the capacitance of the thing into which (or out of which) the flow occurs. Electrical engineers speak all the time of the “RC time constant” of a circuit.
The same concept applies to thermal systems. The time constant will be increased by either and increase in the thermal resistance to power flow or the increased thermal capacitance of the system. (Note that in natural thermal systems like the earth, things are not mathematically linear and we can really only talk about these things in a qualitative sense, but these concepts are still important to understand what is going on.)
On another topic, in above comments, you seem to assert that if a radiatively active gas like H20 or CO2 is convecting, it won’t be radiating. Is that really your claim, or am I misunderstanding you?

192. ” if a radiatively active gas like H20 or CO2 is convecting, it won’t be radiating. Is that really your claim,”
No it is not.
I’m saying that the mass of the atmosphere (including radiative gases) is absorbing kinetic energy by conduction, converting it to gravitational potential energy via convection then returning it to the surface or near surface as kinetic energy a while later thus forming a closed loop which warms the surface above S-B without destabilising the radiative exchange between surface and space.
The radiative characteristics of CO2 or H2O continue throughout but only affect the size or speed of the convective cycle which alters to negate their potential thermal effects on the surface.
Convection always changes so as to ensure that the correct amount of kinetic energy is returned to the effective radiating height thereby keeping the radiative exchange with space stable.
So, the radiative characteristics might increase the time constant for solar energy flow through the system but if it does then the conduction / convection exchange will change so as to decrease the time constant in an equal and opposite reaction.
The very concept of a thermostat hypothesis requires something along those lines.

193. Michael Limburg says:

Lieber Herr Frey, Futter für die nächste Woche.
Ich danke und verbleibe mit freundlichen Grüßen Ihr Michael Limburg Vizepräsident EIKE (Europäisches Institut für Klima und Energie) Tel: +49-(0)33201-31132 http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/

194. Curt,
Thanks for that explanation.

195. rgbatduke says:

The photosphere, although often referred to as the surface, is but a 300 mile wide band of visible light being bounced around by some calcium, if I recall, much like visible light is bounced around our atmosphere by the electrons of nitrogen and oxygen, it is not the surface of the Sun, but its first layer of atmosphere – the surface of the Sun is the convection zone below that being cooked by the heat streaming off from the millions of degrees core by the radiative zone. It seems to me absurd that this tiny band of visible light is somehow stopping the millions of degrees heat from the Sun to give itself a temperature of 6,000°C, and then, somehow, and no one knows how, the further millions of miles atmospheres of the Sun are again millions of degrees hot.
Dude, if you find the Sun interesting, you might start by learning how big it is. That way you won’t be tempted to make statements about “further millions of miles” of atmosphere that reveal your ignorance at the “kids in elementary school” level and hence unqualified to pretend that you are actually contributing to a discussion of the science. You also won’t be tempted to state that “no one knows how” the core of the sun is millions of degrees hotter than the outside. Actually, lots and lots of people know. What you mean to say is that you have no idea how it could be hotter, which is manifestly a true statement but again no more relevant than the statement that a four year old kid doesn’t know either.
The heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared, longwave infrared, – it takes around 8 minutes to travel some 93 millions miles to reach us – do you really think that the heat from something let’s call it fire, of 6,000°C could be felt by us 93 million miles away?
Well, let’s see. I walk outside into the sun. My skin warms from the sunlight falling on it. Gee, I guess that the answer is yes. Except that the heat we feel is not all, or primarily LWIR.
I think that you want to imply that this makes no sense. I assure you that if you take the time to learn the physics and mathematics needed to understand it, it makes complete sense and is in fact amazingly consistent. It makes no sense to you, but that is because you cannot do the mathematics, do not understand the physics, and are reduced to making statements that make you sound wise and knowledgeable but that in fact have the opposite effect.
Good luck with that.
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