Note: This is a contentious subject, and I have often shied away from it because it often erupts in food fights. However, Mr. Gill is making a good-faith effort here, and asks some relevant questions that I consider worth discussing. His original essay was sans graphics, and I’ve added two relevant graphics to aid in the discussion. – Anthony

Do Wien’s Law and Quantum Physics 101 prove CO2 can’t warm anything?

Guest essay by Rod Gill

WUWT has happily demonstrated many ways CO2 fails to produce measurable warming. I’ve thought of another way. It’s so simple I must have missed something, but I simply can’t work out what. It goes like this…

Experts suggest there is a net down welling 2W/m2 of long wave infra-red radiation (LWIR) that is causing global warming. I suggest the quality of that 2W of radiation is crucial to determining whether or not it causes any atmospheric warming at all. First a few key points which I think are facts and not open to dispute.

My understanding of Thermodynamics and Radiation from CO2 is as follows:

• In Thermodynamics, Temperature is the average kinetic energy of the particles in a body (solid or gas).
• The temperature of a volume of air has nothing to do with the amount of radiation (sometimes mislabelled as heat by scientists) passing through it. Unless that radiation is at a frequency that can be absorbed by the air, its temperature is completely unaffected by the radiation (ignoring any convectional heating).For example at the top of Mount Everest, there is a lot of solar energy (long and short wave radiation) there when the sun is out but the temperature is still cold.
• Different gases have different emission spectrums. For example Oxygen and Nitrogen do not absorb or emit Long Wave Infrared Radiation (LWIR) at all, so are not considered to be “Greenhouse” gases.
• The temperature of a body (gas, liquid or solid) directly affects the wavelength of the radiation it emits and absorbs.
• Wien’s Law defines the temperature – wave length relationship. The formula is Temperature (in degrees Kelvin) = 2898 / peak wave length in µm (micro metres). So for the average temperature of the Earth, lets call it 15C (=289 Kelvin), the wave length is 2898 / (15+274) = 2898 ÷ 289 = 10um.

Carbon Dioxide’s absorption spectrum shows it absorbs LWIR at three different narrow wave lengths, sometimes called finger frequencies. Two of those wave lengths happen at temperatures too hot to exist in the atmosphere, the remaining wave length is 15um.

15um equates to 2898 ÷ 15 = 193K = -80C or -122F. In the atmosphere this temperature only occurs about 90-100Km high in the atmosphere.

Carbon Dioxide only emits and absorbs radiation at -80C from a narrow layer of atmosphere 90Km above the Earth’s surface.

So now we need to examine the quality of that 15um radiation and its ability to heat the lower atmosphere. To do this we need to understand basic Quantum Physics as taught in 101 classes to Physics and Engineering students at University. Confession: I’m an Engineer, but trained before Quantum Physics was introduced to University courses so I’m self-taught, hence my need for a sanity check. Which, dear reader, is where you come in.

The key points in basic Quantum Physics, regarding radiative heat transfer, are:

• Molecules have one or more electrons circling them. Their orbital height is not variable, But fixed. The electrons only orbit at set altitudes, the closer to the molecule the lower the kinetic energy of the molecule and so the lower the molecule’s temperature.
• For a molecule to “warm up” (have more kinetic energy) it needs its electrons to move to a higher, more energetic orbit. This can happen in one of two ways, get energy from a more energetic molecule via collision or receive energy via radiation.
• For an electron to move to a higher orbit from radiation it must receive a photon with sufficient energy for an electron to reach that higher orbit.
• Photons with too much energy raise the electron to the higher orbit then the molecule immediately re-radiates surplus energy.
• Photons with not enough energy to raise the orbit of any of the electrons are either scattered or immediately re-radiated (effectively reflecting or scattering them) with no change to the molecule’s kinetic energy, or temperature.
• The Photon must have a frequency that resonates with the molecule, otherwise the Photon is just scattered or reflected immediately with no temperature change to the molecule.

Carbon dioxide can only absorb Long Wave Infrared Radiation (LWIR) energy and radiate it at 15 micro metres, a fraction of the LWR spectrum.

• Electrons orbiting molecules of a liquid or solid need more energy to boost an electron’s orbit than electrons in a gas, so require more energetic photons again to warm them.

Therefore it is my understanding that it is impossible for the LWIR emitted by a cold low energy CO2 molecule to have the energy required to warm any molecule in the atmosphere warmer than -80C and certainly no molecule in a liquid (EG water) or a solid body, as their electrons require even more energy.

• LWIR from CO2 simply bounces around the atmosphere until it escapes into space and it causes no warming of the lower atmosphere at all. The energy level of that 2W of LWIR is too poor to have any affect. It needs to be closer to 10um to be energetic enough to warm anything.

So the idea of CO2 trapping heat in the atmosphere is all wrong. Yes LWIR from CO2 is retained in the atmosphere longer, but it simply bounces around until it escapes into space without causing any warming.

So am I right? I deliberately have not included any references because I want you to confirm or deny my understanding independently. If I gave you my references, which knowing the web may or may not be accurate, you might erroneously come to the same conclusions I have. However I have tried to limit my research to University papers and lecture notes hoping they are more reliable.

If I’ve got this right, CO2 caused global warming isn’t possible. If I haven’t got this right, then exactly how does LWIR radiated from CO2 warm anything?

Many thanks and please limit comments to specifics mentioned above. And if you disagree with the science above, please explain which sentences you disagree with and exactly how, at the Quantum Physics level, photons from a CO2 molecule at -80C can warm anything.

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November 19, 2017 6:38 am

I am not disagreeing with anything (yet). But I would like to make a few comments before all and sundry jump in:

Photon s are NOT real massless particles. The concept of a photon is a human construct from our mind in an attempt to observe the apparent “lumpiness” of certain phenomena with electro-magnetic radiation.
E-M Radiation CANNOT be directly observed, you can only observe the effect on real matter, and we know real matter is “lumpy” (particles). It MAY be the case that e-m radiation is not in any way “quantised” but is purely analogue and only the effects seem to suggest quantisation hence the concept of the photon.

Try, if possible, making your arguments work BOTH for photons (quantised e-m lumps) and also for e-m which is not quantised. You may need 2 completely different arguments. I suggest the results of doing this will (or may be) illuminating (pun intended).

My final comment is that the understanding of this, i.e. RADIATION, as it applies in the real world is THE most important thing we need to grasp in considering CAGW. and if we cannot grasp it correctly and securely by logical argument then let’s have some suggestions from you for REAL WORLD EXPERIMENTS to settle the issue(s).

Thomas Homer
November 19, 2017 8:02 am

The Reverend Badger – ” The concept of a photon is a human construct”

Exactly!

The concept of Photons represent half of a model. The duality model includes the ‘wave’. And when Earth’s release of heat is envisioned as a wave, the entire ‘trapping heat’ theory collapses.

Stephen Richards
November 19, 2017 10:52 am

Please don’t get into wave-particle duality. It’s a minefield. Your language is very engineer like rather than physical but seems to express the theory of the quantum model well. The problem with the AGW radiation theory from non physicists is that they are unable to separate quantum from classical physics. If you think in terms of energy rather than orbitals Neil Bohrs, it actually gets easier to explain what you have explained well here. The absorption energies are derived from the degrees of freedom within the molecule. CO² has two. Hence the 10 and 15µ absorption bands. However, I like your engineers approach. It’s good.

Gerontius
November 19, 2017 2:57 pm

last time I counted it had 4 sym, asym and a degenerate pair of benders

Editor
November 20, 2017 8:23 am

Gerontius – I thought a “degenerate pair of benders” were what we called Friday and Saturday nights at the frat house. This clearly has nothing to do with climate science!

rip

Gabro
November 19, 2017 12:42 pm

IMO photons, like other elementary particles, are objectively real physical phenomena.

We have models of them, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t actually exist.

November 19, 2017 2:58 pm

O..Kay… Lets test your belief a little shall we. These elementary particles you call photons have a frequency (or wavelength) do they not? Can you tell me the frequency range please over which they exist. Do we have
60Hz/50Hz photons emanating from our power lines for example? Is there an upper frequency limit to them?

For further thinking please research the origin of the word/concept.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 3:36 pm

Of course I can tell you the frequency and wavelengths of photons.

The energy E, frequency f, and wavelength λ of a photon are related thus:

E=hf=hc/λ,

where c is the speed of light and h is Planck’s constant. So, given any one term, the other two can readily be calculated.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 3:41 pm

This will give you an idea of the range of possible energies, wavelengths and frequencies of photons:

Gabro
November 19, 2017 3:53 pm

PS: Physics is fascinating and fun. You really ought to study it sometime.

prjindigo
November 19, 2017 11:48 pm

An object that instantly accelerates back to the speed of light when it leaves a variant local spacetime without additional energy *doesn’t exist*. There’s the rub. Its neither a wave NOR a particle. They have an infinite energy to mass ratio that is never reduced but have a quantifiable amount of energy. That means there’s nothing in them, not just “mass-less” but literally nothing. They no more exist than an electron exists outside it’s orbit.

Gabro
November 20, 2017 12:45 pm

Prj,

Massless particles have zero rest mass. Their relativistic mass is simply their relativistic energy, divided by c^2, or mrel = E/c^2. (Can’t make the “rel” a subscript.)

The energy for photons is E = hf, where h is Planck’s constant and f is the photon frequency. This frequency and thus the relativistic energy are frame-dependent, a point I’ve been trying to make with LdB.

If an observer runs away from a photon in the direction the photon travels from a source, and it catches up with the observer, he or see will see it as having less energy than it had at the source. The faster the observer is traveling with regard to the source when the photon catches up, the less energy the photon has. As an observer approaches the speed of light with regard to the source, the photon looks redder and redder, by relativistic Doppler effect, and the energy of a very long-wavelength photon approaches zero. This is because photon is massless—the rest mass of a photon is zero.

But, again, in motion it has relativistic mass.

Richard Bell
November 20, 2017 1:00 pm

In one of the Teaching Company’s Great Courses video series, the presenter talked about being asked the question “How big are photons?” during his thesis defense. He eventually replied that it depended on the wavelength. The proof of this is the pierced plate in the window of the microwave door. Photons of visible light fit through the holes and microwave photons (based on the holes in metal plates that they pass through) are disks within the uncertainty limits of a diameter of ten centimeters.

Gabro
November 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Richard Bell November 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

That’s a neat demonstration. Thanks.

Greg
November 19, 2017 2:21 pm

“E-M Radiation CANNOT be directly observed”

Are you aware what your eyes are for ??

Greg
November 19, 2017 2:47 pm

The electrons only orbit at set altitudes, the closer to the molecule the lower the kinetic energy of the molecule

At this point I started to realise that the self-taught quantum physics was a little shaky. Despite numerous technical errors like “degrees Kelvin” ( the unit is kelvin ) ; writing Km for kilometres which shows a lack of basic understanding of the unit prefices; talking of “the” wavelength of thermally emitted IR when he should be referring to PEAK wavelength. I rather gave up hope on this article having any scientific merit at this point.

No one talks of the “altitude” of an electron orbit, they are not little Spuniks. Neither is the energy involved in photon absorption or emission the “kinetic” energy of the atomic electrons, it is potential energy which is transferred. Hence the idea of energy levels and dropping to a lower energy level producing the energy of the photon. The author also seems to be confusing electron states and the vibrational energy of the atoms within a molecule.

The IR interaction comes from vibrational energy of the three atoms in gages like CO2 and H2O ( a bit like a tuning fork ) . This is why diatomic molecules like O2 and N2 are not GHGs.

IR radiation only travels a few metres at ground level without being absorbed, so lets forget the notion that this only happens at a very narrow range of altitude around 90km.

I did not see much point in finishing the article.

November 19, 2017 2:51 pm

I see where you are going with that… but my eyeballs are real matter…

Gabro
November 19, 2017 3:51 pm

The Reverend Badger November 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Photons exist independently of your organs for detecting them, such as eyes and skin. But those organs wouldn’t have evolved were photons of visible and IR light not real.

Consider the process of pair production. A pair of “matter” particles (fermions) is produced by a pair of photons.

Because of momentum conservation laws, a pair of fermions can’t be created from a single photon. However, these laws permit matter creation when in the presence of another particle (another boson, or even a fermion) which can share the primary photon’s momentum. Thus, matter can be created out of two photons.

Joel O’Bryan
November 19, 2017 4:17 pm

Greg,

I agree. It was almost like a test to see who could recognize garbage fiziks.

Clyde Spencer
November 19, 2017 4:18 pm

Greg,
As a general rule, most EM radiation cannot be observed directly. A limited region, between about 400 and 700 microns wavelength, can be perceived by human eyes and is generally referred to as “Light.”

Gabro
November 19, 2017 4:46 pm

Clyde Spencer November 19, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Our skin feels IR light and burns under UV rays. For higher and lower energy photons, we have instruments to detect them.

Sorry, Rev, but photons and EM radiation are the real deal meal.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 4:58 pm

Or consider the photoelectric effect, which is based upon the observation that EM radiation consists of a series of particles, ie photons. When a photon hits an electron on a metal surface, the electron can be emitted. The emitted electrons are called photoelectrons.

If photons don’t account for the PE, how do you imagine it works?

Gabro
November 19, 2017 5:45 pm

WUWT is an equal opportunity science “d@nial” site, except for “Sl@yers”. Those who d@ny gravity in favor of an imaginary “electric universe” are welcome here, along with those who d@ny EM radiation. Even creationists are permitted to comment, but not those skeptical of the GHE. As are Younger Dryas impact hypothesis proponents.

Full disclosure, IMO the GHE exists, but is negligible for CO2 beyond about 200 ppm. For the health of plants and the planet, 1200 ppm is about optimum. Evolution is a fact, as are gravity and EM radiation, while a YD impact is anti-scientific fantasy.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 5:47 pm

The “expanding earth” is yet more fantastic and more anti-scientific. I’m sorry. Continents move. Get over it.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 7:05 pm

What on your planet makes X ray photographs?

Thanks.

Juice
November 19, 2017 10:12 pm

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:01 am

I have to agree.

Earthling2
November 21, 2017 12:30 am

I concur…My BS meter went off immediately when it it looked like Rod Gill was trying to ‘manufacture’ a reason why there is no warming from CO2 (or presumably H2O for that matter) instead of perhaps hypothesizing how a negative feedback might make any warming a moot point. Why is it so hard for some here to rationalize that yes, there is a tiny weensy bit of warming from GHG’s? Wouldn’t it be better to make the argument that a bit of warming is good, and the additional CO2 is good for the Garden? I fear that arguments like this are very damaging to the skeptic cause, since then the alarmists just point at all of us and say we are very mistaken. We can’t win this battle about the notion that CO2 is a pollutant until we get real about basic atmospheric physics.

Bloke down the pub
November 19, 2017 6:41 am

‘Their orbital height is not variable, But fixed. The electrons only orbit at set altitudes, the closer to the molecule the lower the kinetic energy of the molecule and so the lower the molecule’s temperature.’

The closer to the nucleus?

Philo
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 19, 2017 10:44 am

The behavior of electrons in atoms is still open to debate. But an electron “orbital” is a conflation of the prior molecular orbital theory and quantum dynamics to explain how electrons govern chemical reactions(and other things) in quantum mechanics. I believe the current theory is that orbitals are not a physical difference but an energy level. Atoms that absorb a photon and if it of the right frequency it increases the energy of some of the electrons. The physical size of the atom doesn’t change, but some of the electrons have more energy and the frequency associated with those electrons- E= h * f, the Planck constant times frequency.

Molecules, such as CO2, can also absorb energy as motion of the atoms in the molecule. This occurs at longer times and wavelengths. In CO2 the CO bonds can stretch in and out like a spring, both O atoms can move closer and further from each other(bend) and they wave, or twist the molecule around the plane of the O-C-O bonds along with the whole molecule rotating rather than just moving.

“For a molecule to “warm up” (have more kinetic energy) it needs its electrons to move to a higher, more energetic orbit.” Not really. Temperature is a measure the the kinetic energy in matter. Radiation emittance and absorption is function of the energy within molecules or individual atoms and photons. A CO2 molecule can absorb a photon at any temperature and increase its energy without necessarily moving faster. But it can both absorb and transfer kinetic and internal energy from collisions and absorption to other molecules. The ozone reactions in the stratosphere are a good example. An ozone molecule can absorb a photon and split into an O atom and an O2 molecule. The O atom can end up with enough energy to react with another O2 molecule, rather than simply colliding and bouncing off at a slightly higher temperature.

All this stuff is very complicated and it really can’t be dealt with in words. Rod Gil’s essay is a good attempt to do physics with words and it doesn’t really work. CO2 can absorb and emit infrared photons but how the energy from those photons behaves needs math and physics models. CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere and doesn’t do much. The only major effect it has is through poor models of how the atmosphere reacts to energy from the sun that have a huge increased water vapor bias built into them. They model AN atmosphere, but not the atmosphere we have.

Sheri
November 19, 2017 11:45 am

If we don’t do physics with words, how do we do physics? Math but no verbal component?

November 19, 2017 11:57 am

Exactly. Changing the total energy via having electrons in a higher orbital (a statistic) is not the same thing has having them move faster in 3 dimension translation, or in 3 dimension rotation, or in 3 dimension stretch along an axis, or in 3 dimension stretch perpendicular to an axis.

For light to heat something, the additional energy must be converted to kinetic energy increasing the total (and note, this is only possible to measure in a defined sample). For light to cool something, the loss of energy must result in a decrease in the kinetic energy. Energy that goes into phase changes that don’t change the kinetic energy can’t change the temperature.

Then we must remember that absorbers are emitters and that there is always incoming EM radiation. Even at night, there is still incoming long wave EM radiation. Otherwise, IR, microwave radio and long wave radio astronomy would not be possible. IR active gases (and aerosols) are two way screens. They screen some of the incoming and screen some of the outgoing. They can’t add extra energy. They can only time shift some of the energy.

John Harmsworth
November 19, 2017 12:23 pm

This is actually pretty funny. We debate the supposedly critical problem of global warming and invoke the most fundamental basis of our understanding of particle physics in describing the issue. Nobody really understands the true nature of the underlying universe.
I kind of favour pilot wave theory but hey, that’s just me.
The funny thing is that they say the science is settled. A few years ago all the bright young physicists were in love with string theory. They stalled out and some other genius physicist called it, “not even wrong”. Surely one of the best putdowns ever.
And that’s physics! A whole lot brainier field than the climate swamp. They don’t even know what 90% of the universe is made of!

November 19, 2017 2:53 pm

“They don’t even know what 90% of the universe is made of!”

Den!er! Dark matter is made of carbon dioxide. Human emitted carbon dioxide. Dark energy? That’s made out of human emitted carbon dioxide too. Pulsars, magnetars and quasars are also anthropogenic in origin.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:14 am

String theory is just an idea Alan Guth thought of off of the top of his head one day.
The odds of it turning out to be an actual description of objective reality would be less than guessing the winning numbers in the Mega Millions lottery and the Powerball lottery with only two guesses. Not astronomical odds, but cosmological ones. IMO
And the 90% that is dark matter and dark energy?
These are ad hoc inventions because of some things that do not make sense according to current understanding of the four forces, such as the anomalous rotation rates of galaxies and inconsistencies in the red shift of distant Type A supernovae.
They create more questions than they answer.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:19 am

Correction…Alan Guth…cosmic inflation, not string theory.

November 20, 2017 2:29 pm

>>
. . . inconsistencies in the red shift of distant Type A supernovae.
<<

It’s Type Ia supernovae. If Type ia supernovae are standard candles (like it is believed), then they point to a discrepancy in the expansion rate of the Universe–that is, the Universe expansion rate is speeding up.

Jim

menicholas
November 22, 2017 2:38 am

Yes, I should know better than to comment off the cuff in the middle of the night.
I know the whole story, recall reading the research reports when they were first made public.
Maybe the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and the invention of dark energy is justified.
But to me it hardly seems proven…hardly seems that there could be no other explanation.
In fact more recently, I have read that type 1a’s may not be the standard candle that has been thought.
But even if they are, something else could be going on.

November 23, 2017 12:54 pm

>>
In fact more recently, I have read that type 1a’s may not be the standard candle that has been thought.
<<

Yes, I’ve read that too. It just might throw a monkey wrench into the whole dark energy works.

Jim

Gerontius
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 19, 2017 3:07 pm

as Greg stated earlier infra red comes from molecular vibrations, electronic transitions are for carbon dioxide are of far higher energy beyond that of visible light, Hence it is transparent. Indeed most gases are colourless and so thei electrons are not affected by visible (yes there are coloured gases NO2 is brown)

Greg, you are wrong with diatomic molecules not absorbing infrared light. Oxygen and Nitrogen do not interact because they are not polar. HCl, CO being polar have infrared absorptions.

DR
November 19, 2017 6:41 am

Ah, the upside down greenhouse effect. Things haven’t panned out quite the way it was explained ~30 years ago using basic high school physics as we’re constantly reminded.
http://1clickurl.com/XYwCjxT

November 19, 2017 7:01 am

I have seen articles claiming glacier melting will cause sea level rise but what about the miles-thick layer of salt that underlie continental areas and more? Under most of Germany is a miles-thick salt layer. Under the
Great Lakes lie salt deposits mined in areas like Detroit. The Gulf of Mexico has a salt bed that dissolved could flood all land up to Yellowstone.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:43 am

If the salt at the bottom of the gulf of Mexico was somehow brought to the surface and dissolved into the seawater, the ocean would go down, not up.
Obviously if you took miles of salt from a continent above sea level and dumped it into the ocean, the ocean would rise…but it would rise less than if you dumped an equal volume of insoluble rocks into the ocean.
x volume of NaCl + x volume of H2O is < 2x.

As for raising the oceans to the elevation above sea level of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming…impossible.
There is no where near enough land on all of the continents to raise the ocean that high.
The average height of all of the continents is about 2750', or about 840 meters.
The elevation of the Yellowstone Plateau is about 8000', or about 2,400 meters.
Since the continents are about 29% land and 71% ocean, putting all of the land above sea level into the oceans would raise the oceans less than one half of that 840 meters.
So…nope.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:46 am

‘Scuse me…earth is 29% land and 71% ocean.

higley7
November 19, 2017 2:37 pm

It’s really quite simple. CO2 at altitude is emitting at -80 deg C toward the surface which is 15 deg C. The energy levels of the surface equivalent to -80 dg C are full and the downward IR is reflected upwards. It is simply impossible for a cold body to heat a warmer body. We are done. No effect. Fantasy to think otherwise.

BTW, this is true for any IR absorbing gases in the atmosphere near the surface, as they are always warmer than -80 deg C. Same argument as above.

prjindigo
November 19, 2017 11:53 pm

All this ignores the fact that we live in a pre-charged environment due to the magnetosphere and solar wind induction combined with cosmic rays. MOST reactions occur more readily in an heated beaker.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 4:52 am

PR;
Huh?
Pre-charged?
What do you mean by that?
Reactions?
Absorption is not a reaction.
Not in the conventional meaning of these words.
Reactions refer to chemical processes.
Chemical reactions proceed more quickly in warmer conditions due to the required activation energy.

November 19, 2017 6:44 am

A “good-faith effort” indeed, but, IMHO, Rod Gill misapplies the equations he uses and misinterprets the results. Satellite views of long wave radiation from Earth to Space, looking down, and views of long radiation from Space to Earth, looking up from the surface, show the actual warming effects of water vapor, CO2, and other “greenhouse” gases.

Jeroen B.
November 19, 2017 6:48 am

Would you care to elaborate the equations and results you reference with what you consider the correct results ? Or will you just keep waving hands – I do like the steady flow of cool air that produces though.

george e. smith
November 19, 2017 9:32 am

” Wien’s Law ” is nothing more than a consequence of the ” Planck Radiation Formula. ”

The Planck formula is a theoretical derivation of the radiation properties of a theoretical (and non-existent) material object called a ” Black Body “, hence “Black Body Radiation. ”

Such a body does not, and CAN NOT exist. so BB radiation also does not exist.

BUT ! credible approximations to Black Bodies, and BB radiation do exist.

NO real material object can absorb 100.000….% of even a SINGLE frequency or wavelength of EM radiation, let alone ALL possible frequencies and wavelengths from ZERO frequency to ZERO Wavelength.

The remarkable thing about the Planck radiation formula is that it contains NO arbitrary constants, that need to be determined by experiment.

The Planck Formula : W(lambda) = C1 / (lambda)^5.(exp(C2/lambda.T – 1) where Lambda is the wavelength and T the kelvin temperature.
C1 and C2 are commonly called the first and second radiation constants. BUT !!

C1 has the value …. 2.pi.h.c^2 …. h being Planck’s constant, and c the velocity of light.

C2 has the value …. hc/k where k is Boltzmann’s constant.

Can you believe that !! ??? All that fictional stuff is completely described in terms of some of the most fundamental constants of Physics. It is one of the miracles of modern physics.

NOW ! Hidden in that Planck formula is the often not known fact that W(lambda) is a function of a …. SINGLE VARIABLE …. That single variable is (lambda x T) .

The best presentation of the Planck formula plots W(lambda) / W(lambdamax) versus lambda / lambdamax where lambdamax is the wavelength at which the peak spectral radiant emittance occurs, and W(lambdamax) is the value of the spectral radiant emittance at that peak wavelength.

On a logarithmic scale the useful range for lambda/lambdamax is 0.1 to 10.for a linear vertical scale for W(lambda)/W(lambdamax)
Only 1% of the total is emitted at wavelengths shorter than one half of the peak wavelength, and 25% is emitted at wavelengths below the peak wavelength.
Only 1% of the total remains at wavelengths longer than eight (8) times the peak wavelength.
Plotted on both logarithmic axes, a range of 0.1 to 50 for horizontal , and 1 down to 10^-5 for the vertical.
W(lambda)/W(lambdamax) drops to 10^-5 at values of 0.2 and 40 for Lambda/lambdamax.

So for most practical purposes, BB radiation has 98% of the energy between 0.2 and 8 times the peak wavelength.. Certainly for climate considerations the rest doesn’t matter although the physics of it is of great interest for other reasons.

I agree with the author EM radiation is NOT heat.

I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s thesis; and I don’t have time to critique it in detail.
I believe the sun warms the earth; and if you delay the cooling process, the sun keeps on radiating, so it must tend to get warmer. BUT ! that is if you ignore the fact that clouds will vary and compensate.

And NO, I am not concerned in the least with global warming; or climate change. I can drive ten miles down the road and get climate change.

G
PS for a really good Planck graph, see “Modern Optical Engineering”, by the late Warren J. Smith Page 194 in my 1966 edition.

davidmhoffer
November 19, 2017 10:18 am

Or will you just keep waving hands

I suggest you read these, all authored by Ira, and with the equations and results you seek included:

Jeroen B.
November 19, 2017 11:00 am

, Ira glickstein – I do apologize for my snarky interjection – at first glance it appeared to look like “it’s wrong and finding the proof is left as an exercise to the reader” 🙁

November 19, 2017 11:38 am

davidmhoffer: THANKS for the links and great to hear from you again. For still more context on the scientific and moderate skeptic view, see my https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/12/global-warming-is-real-but-not-a-big-deal-2/ Love, Ira

ATheoK
November 19, 2017 2:54 pm

“george e. smith November 19, 2017 at 9:32 am ”

Excellent comment George!

jorgekafkazar
November 19, 2017 4:01 pm

Ira is pretty solid, so listen up when he waves his hands. He knows whereof he waves.

November 19, 2017 7:13 am

Can you tell us what percent of that warming is from water vapor(?), carbon dioxide(?), other greenhouse gases?

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:18 am

So am I right?

The answer to this question, almost always, is plainly no. If you miraculously end up with blueprints of a perpetuum mobile, it is a mistake. And mistakes are easy to make, difficult to find and fix. Thus the tradition is that the professor has assistants to help students to find their errors. And errors they do, from hour to hour, week to week, year to year.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:19 am

So I agree with Ira G…

William Astley
November 19, 2017 7:27 am

The question is not does an increase in greenhouse gas cause surface warming but rather how much surface warming. Increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere also increases convection cooling which reduces the lapse rate which reduces surface warming.

The infamous without ‘feedbacks’ cult of CAGW’s calculation (this is the so called 1 dimensional calculation that predicted 1.2C to 1.4C surface warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) incorrectly/illogical/irrationally/against the laws of physics held the lapse rate constant to determine (fudge) the estimated surface forcing for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. There is no scientific justification for fixing the lapse rate to calculate the no ‘feedback’ forcing of greenhouse gases.

Convection cooling is a physical fact not a theory and cannot be ignored in the without ‘feedbacks’ calculation. The change in forcing at the surface of the planet is less than the change in forcing higher in the atmosphere due to the increased convection cooling caused by greenhouse gases. We do not need to appeal to crank ‘science’ that there is no greenhouse gas forcing to destroy the cult of CAGW ‘scientific’ argument that there is a global warming crisis problem to solve.

P.S. The IPCC general circulation models (GCM) have more than a 100 free variables that are subjectively set to produce the ‘predicted’ warming.

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.ca/2015/07/collapse-of-agw-theory-of-ipcc-most.html

Collapse of the Anthropogenic Warming Theory of the IPCC

4. Conclusions
In physical reality, the surface climate sensitivity is 0.1~0.2K from the energy budget of the earth and the surface radiative forcing of 1.1W.m2 for 2xCO2. Since there is no positive feedback from water vapor and ice albedo at the surface, the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS (FAH) is also 0.1~0.2K. A 1K warming occurs in responding to the radiative forcing of 3.7W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the effective radiation height of 5km. This gives the slightly reduced lapse rate of 6.3K/km from 6.5K/km as shown in Fig.2.

Transcript of a portion of Weart’s interview with Hansen.

Weart: This was a radiative convective model, so where’s the convective part come in. Again, are you using somebody else’s…

Hansen: That’s trivial. You just put in…

Weart: … a lapse rate…

Hansen: Yes. So it’s a fudge. That’s why you have to have a 3-D model to do it properly. In the 1-D model, it’s just a fudge, and you can choose different lapse rates and you get somewhat different answers (William: Different answers that invalidate CAGW, the 3-D models have more than 100 parameters to play with so any answer is possible. The 1-D model is simple so it possible to see the fudging/shenanigans). So you try to pick something that has some physical justification. But the best justification is probably trying to put in the fundamental equations into a 3-D model.

The modern anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory began from the one dimensional radiative convective equilibrium model (1DRCM) studies with the fixed absolute and relative humidity utilizing the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5K/km (FLRA) for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 [Manabe & Strickler, 1964; Manabe & Wetherald, 1967; Hansen et al., 1981]. Table 1 shows the obtained climate sensitivities for 2xCO2 in these studies, in which the climate sensitivity with the fixed absolute humidity CS (FAH) is 1.2~1.3K [Hansen et al., 1984].

In the 1DRCM studies, the most basic assumption is the fixed lapse rate of 6.5K/km for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2. The lapse rate of 6.5K/km is defined for 1xCO2 in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere (1962) [Ramanathan & Coakley, 1978]. There is no guarantee, however, for the same lapse rate maintained in the perturbed atmosphere with 2xCO2 [Chylek & Kiehl, 1981; Sinha, 1995]. Therefore, the lapse rate for 2xCO2 is a parameter requiring a sensitivity analysis as shown in Fig.1.

The followings are supporting data (William: In peer reviewed papers, published more than 20 years ago that support the assertion that convection cooling increases when there is an increase in greenhouse gases and support the assertion that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will cause surface warming of less than 0.3C) for the Kimoto lapse rate theory above.

(A) Kiehl & Ramanathan (1982) shows the following radiative forcing for 2xCO2.
Radiative forcing at the tropopause: 3.7W/m2.

Radiative forcing at the surface: 0.55~1.56W/m2 (averaged 1.1W/m2).
This denies the FLRA giving the uniform warming throughout the troposphere in the 1DRCM and the 3DGCMs studies.
(B) Newell & Dopplick (1979) obtained a climate sensitivity of 0.24K considering the evaporation cooling from the surface of the ocean.
(C) Ramanathan (1981) shows the surface temperature increase of 0.17K with the direct heating of 1.2W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the surface.

Philip Mulholland
November 22, 2017 2:11 am

William,
Thanks for the link to the work of Kyoji Kimoto. His figure 2 is most interesting in that it shows TOA warming without a change in height, precisely what we would expect if the tropopause is pressure dependent. Here is the abstract of a paper that shows this:-

A minimum atmospheric temperature, or tropopause, occurs at a pressure of around 0.1 bar in the atmospheres of Earth1, Titan2, Jupiter3, Saturn4, Uranus and Neptune4, despite great differences in atmospheric composition, gravity, internal heat and sunlight. In all of these bodies, the tropopause separates a stratosphere with a temperature profile that is controlled by the absorption of short-wave solar radiation, from a region below characterized by convection, weather and clouds5,6. However, it is not obvious why the tropopause occurs at the specific pressure near 0.1 bar. Here we use a simple, physically based model7 to demonstrate that, at atmospheric pressures lower than 0.1 bar, transparency to thermal radiation allows short-wave heating to dominate, creating a stratosphere. At higher pressures, atmospheres become opaque to thermal radiation, causing temperatures to increase with depth and convection to ensue. A common dependence of infrared opacity on pressure, arising from the shared physics of molecular absorption, sets the 0.1 bar tropopause. We reason that a tropopause at a pressure of approximately 0.1 bar is characteristic of many thick atmospheres, including exoplanets and exomoons in our galaxy and beyond. Judicious use of this rule could help constrain the atmospheric structure, and thus the surface environments and habitability, of exoplanets.

Robinson, T.D. & Catling, D.C. (2014) Common 0.1 bar tropopause in thick atmospheres set by pressure-dependent infrared transparency.
Nature Geoscience 7 (1), 12-12.
https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2020

A calculated value for CO2 of 0.02C using the ideal gas equation posted elsewhere by 1000Frolly works for me.

November 19, 2017 7:40 am

Actually what the surface radiation shows is water vapor regulating cooling as air temps nears dew point.
https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/observational-evidence-for-a-nonlinear-night-time-cooling-mechanism/

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:51 am

Indeed I tend to find this out every year when dew freezes over at the driveway, keeping temperature stable but not keeping me stable.

November 19, 2017 11:43 am

You’re still radiating. Month back at 4:00am, it was like -50F, but cooling was almost stopped.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 7:45 am

Ira: In what is your PhD? Art History? Gases warm nothing. They are not a source of energy. They can absorb, they can re-radiate, they can transmit, or they can reflect. But, they cannot warm.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:52 am

Foodfight!

November 19, 2017 8:22 am

Walter, the enthalpy of air at sea level in the tropics is ~73kJ/m^3, hardly nothing.

R. Shearer
November 19, 2017 9:13 am

Whether a gas can warm another mass is simply dependent on temperature, mass and thermal capacities of the masses. Steam is a gas and is used all the time in practice for heating.

davidmhoffer
November 19, 2017 10:16 am

Walter Sobchak November 19, 2017 at 7:45 am
Ira: In what is your PhD? Art History?

He has a PhD in Engineering and has authored some of the most detailed and accurate articles on GHE ever published in WUWT, including observational evidence that underscores the theory. As a hardcore skeptic with a lot of background in physics, I can suggest that rather than making snarky remarks, you could learn a lot from him, including why the author of this post is wrong:

Hugs
November 19, 2017 10:21 am

Shearer, the question on what can ‘warm’ what is a semantic one. Only heat sources like radiators, fire or the Sun warm in meaning one that Sobchak employs above. Meaning two includes anything else that results in higher temperature somewhere.

Argon between my window glazing does not ‘heat’ my house, but it helps keeping it warmer. So does any other insulator by increasing the Km²/W value of the walls. Now my house is not heated with the insulator, but it surely is warmer because of them.

I’m tired of this ‘gas does not warm’, because it is always put forward and never any learning happens.

November 19, 2017 4:55 pm

I’m tired of this ‘gas does not warm’, because it is always put forward and never any learning happens.

The difference in this case is water compensates for at least most of the changes of the other GHGS forcing. Because water’s is triggered by air temp and pressure.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 12:15 pm

If this be the same Dr. Ira Glickstein, he might want to check out the difference between a howitzer and a recoilless rifle:

The good doctor’s blog:

http://visualira.blogspot.com/

Ratings by students:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=530927

IMO, a brief Internet search is generally preferable to casting aspersions. Not that art history is such a despicable discipline. It too requires pictures as well as words.

November 19, 2017 1:28 pm

@Hugs November 19, 2017 at 10:21 am
“Now my house is not heated with the insulator, but it surely is warmer because of them.”

Only because the heat source (furnace) puts out more heat than can escape because of the insulation. The “warmth” of your home is dependent upon the heat source and the air temp outside (heat loss). It’s possible for it to get so cold outside that the insulation cannot keep the heat in with the furnace going full blast. Hence the insulation’s role is to slow the rate of heat loss. It doesnt make your home warmer, it makes it less cold.

Hugs
November 20, 2017 1:48 am

Hence the insulation’s role is to slow the rate of heat loss. It doesnt make your home warmer, it makes it less cold.

OK, let’s call it then global less-colding if it sounds better.

As I said, this is just semantics, and not really a very constructive foodfight.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:17 am

I am with Hugs on this one.
If CO2 retards heat loss through the atmosphere, it results in some amount of less-coldness.
If it is a radiative gas, perhaps it hastens heat loss at night when the sun is not shining…but we do not see greater nighttime coldness…we see less of that, and less winter coldness and less Artic coldness…all good things.
We also see less extreme daytime hotness, at least in the place where we have lots of good measurements over many decades.

A better question than all of this is…why does anyone think that a warmer Earth could possibly be bad?
The answer is never…we never even had a discussion about it…it was merely asserted and for some incredibly strange reason people, even scientists, lapped it up.
Prior to 1988 every historian and everyone who studied Earth history knew that a warmer earth is a better place for life and for people.
All the rest of this is misdirection, stacked up against that undeniable fact.

November 20, 2017 5:38 am

Hugs

“As I said, this is just semantics,”

This is what people say when they are shown how reality is not simple.

No, this is not semantics. In science it is imperative that the proper words are used to be precise and avoid ambiguity. AGW thrives on being vague and ambiguous.

Tell me, is a glass half full or half empty?

In science we would say a glass is half full if it was empty and filled with new water half way. Conversely, it is half empty if the glass was completely full, but half the water removed (what’s left is not new water).

The fact is, at night, for example, having temps under cloud doesnt get so cold is not warmer because getting warmed requires new energy to warm the object. Instead that warmth was already there just not as much of it was lost under cloud cover.

November 20, 2017 9:35 am

The fact is, at night, for example, having temps under cloud doesnt get so cold is not warmer because getting warmed requires new energy to warm the object. Instead that warmth was already there just not as much of it was lost under cloud cover.

I agree.
But to explain this
requires more energy.
Both of these nights were clear all night. And if you measure the sky with a IR thermometer you find it is still 80-100F colder than the ground, and air. And I have to wear a hat.
Another equal situation on the other side of the world, where they measured net radiation at 2m, you can see when the change in temp rate changes, the net flux changed, and it’s a regulatory response by water vapor.

November 20, 2017 9:36 am

Sorry, forgot the second graph

Hugs
November 20, 2017 8:34 am

Wakefield,

I’m sure words matter but you just can’t define warming in some rare technical sense and expect people to talk about something else (what, less-colding?)

even when the dreaded warming is a small less-colding effect like GHE 2xCO2 without feedbacks.

November 19, 2017 8:25 am

Ira. Right so. This is very simple,because there direct measurements showing the basic fluxes.

stinkerp
November 19, 2017 8:26 am

Ira, can you give us a link to satellite measurements of “the actual warming effects of water vapor, CO2, and other greenhouse gases”? All I’ve seen are either radiometric measurements of temperature (not temperature of a particular gas) or measurements of the presence and quantity of greenhouse gases (but not the temperature of their emissions). For example:

Greenhouse gases:
https://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/
https://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/pia18934

Do you have a reference to satellite measurements of temperatures of specific gases?

davidmhoffer
November 19, 2017 10:52 am

Ira, can you give us a link to satellite measurements of “the actual warming effects of water vapor, CO2, and other greenhouse gases”?

Wrong question. The satellites see what is coming UP from the earth. If you want to see what’s coming DOWN from CO2, you have to measure it at earth surface, and that has in fact been done:

https://phys.org/news/2015-02-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-effect.html

Note that they measured less than 0.2 w/m2 over a change of 22 ppm of CO2. In other words, very very small. You may also want to read through these which will explain in a lot more detail how things ACTUALLY work backed up by observational evidence. The argument is NOT about the effects of CO2, but the nature and magnitude of second and third order (feedback) effects, which are greatly exagerated:

November 19, 2017 5:31 pm

Here’s 18°F of warming

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:29 am

Micro is exactly right…when the air reaches the dew point at night, cooling comes to a virtual halt.
And when it is hotter during the day, convection is enhanced.
Where it is hot enough and humid enough, convection causes thunderstorms which result in even greater cooling and transport of energy to the top portions of the troposphere.
If it is hotter, the thunderstorms either start sooner, or last longer, or grow to taller vertical extent.
IOW…more energy means stronger thunderstorms which means greater transport of energy to way up in the sky…where it is very cold, air is very dry, and heat/energy can far more readily escape to space.

Toneb
November 20, 2017 1:56 pm

“Micro is exactly right…when the air reaches the dew point at night, cooling comes to a virtual halt.”

AT the surface but not above it.
I’ve told Micro several times that he is looking at a small part of the system.
Just land FI.
Cooling to condensation point is absent over the majority of the Earth’s surface, due the fact that it is ocean.
Land cools quickly >> cooling of air above >>> condensation if moist/calm enough.
Ocean doesn’t cool (over 24 hours) >> no condenation (in absence of advection cooling).
If an inversion forms (most likely here) then in the drier air above cooling will still occur via radiation to space (given clear skies).
If fog forms then likewise the fog-top will cool (radiation to space).
The atmosphere has depth which micro totally ignores with his nonsense half-baked ideas.

menicholas
November 22, 2017 2:50 am

Baloney Tone B
This is in regard to surface temps, no one ever said different.
For whole atmosphere we have the balloon data and satellites, and the satellite data includes over the oceans.
Funny how warmistas always want to play a game of switcheroo regarding which data is being discussed.
“No one lives in the troposphere”, they say.
OK, the surface stopped warming too, if they stop adjusting the damn data every year.
“If we include properly tortured ocean data, the pause disappears from the surface records”
No one lives in the ocean!
Lets get a straight story for one…which is it we care about Tone B…the surface, or the troposphere?
And what about that hot spot?

Toneb
November 22, 2017 9:36 am

“Baloney Tone B
This is in regard to surface temps, no one ever said different.
For whole atmosphere we have the balloon data and satellites, and the satellite data includes over the oceans.
Funny how warmistas always want to play a game of switcheroo regarding which data is being discussed.

Don’t know what you’re on about my friend.
micro’s theory is that WV controls surface temperatures AT THE SURFACE.
And I’ve discussed it at length with him several times (on other Blogs).
Nothing to do with observational data.
It is simply basic meteorology.
And something I spent 32 years in the UKMO observing.

“And what about that hot spot?”
Oh, if you insist …

That’ll be the Tropical hot-spot – that would appear in ANY sort or warming.
It is merely a function of greater LH release aloft in the tropical high atmosphere via convection.
For one – it is difficult to find because of the nature of the instruments used. Radiosondes are imprecise for the job and have changed over the years, and sat obs are contaminated by Stratospheric cooling – which is a function of GHG theory.

“First, tropical warming is equally strong over both the 1959–2012 and 1979–2012 periods, increasing smoothly and almost moist-adiabatically from the surface (where it is roughly 0.14 K/decade) to 300 hPa (where it is about 0.25 K/decade over both periods), a pattern very close to that in climate model predictions. ”

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/5/054007/meta

Stephen Richards
November 19, 2017 10:55 am

And the instruments used introduce some errors but IRA is not an arm waver.

pbweather
November 20, 2017 7:13 am

That graph posted by micro6500 needs to also state that the rate of cooling remains fairly similar until RH approaches 100%, but at this point dew deposition occurs on ground and plant surfaces which releases latent heat. If further cooling occurs then fog forms with further latent heat release. So this is not just a straight forward water vapour greenhouse gas relationship but should also take into account latent heat release.

Rob
November 19, 2017 6:46 am

I’ve never heard a weather forecast yet that said, it’s going to be a high CO2 night, which is expected to keep temperatures warmer. They always say, lots of cloud cover tonight will help keep temperatures warmer, or the lack of cloud cover tonight will see temperatures plunge. If CO2 makes temperatures warmer, then we here in middle Alberta have been shortchanged for the last three weeks. So I don’t disagree with anything you say.

November 19, 2017 12:59 pm

Cloud cover fluctuates considerably from day to day (or even hour to hour), but CO2 only varies (minutely) on a scale of months. The IPCC is forecasting (projecting?) temperature changes far less than Alberta sees in a typical day, and their forecast is for decades in the future. Including CO2 in a weather forecast would be ludicrous, as I’m sure you know.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:37 am

But in the specific places where we would expect to see the most pronounced effect of CO2 caused warming…we do not see it.
A fact that is for some reason overlooked completely by 100% of warmistas.
Giving them all big giant credibility demerit.
To add to all of the other credibility demerits they have earned.
In fact, everything they assert is another demerit to their credibility.
Which by itself is incredibly unlikely…but there it is.
The big mystery is why anyone still believes anyone who has never been correct in any of their predictions?

Nylo
November 19, 2017 6:53 am

Carbon Dioxide only emits and absorbs radiation at -80C from a narrow layer of atmosphere 90Km above the Earth’s surface.

Why do you say that? Things do not emit radiation ONLY at their peak wavelength. They emit at that wavelength and also at others.

Scott Scarborough
November 19, 2017 7:29 am

IF what you say is true spectrometers would not work. It is not a peak it is a band… like -78 to -82C.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:49 am

Oh this is lovely. Think about the Sun. It emits not only at the peak wavelength. And yes you can measure its surface temperature from the spectrum.

Nylo
November 19, 2017 9:52 am

Pretending that only CO2 at -80C emits in that band is just so wrong. Any CO2 at any temperature above -80C will do so too, and also CO2 colder than that may emit a bit.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:36 am

Yes, this is wrongly said. It is far too much to try to fix it up.

LdB
November 19, 2017 6:29 pm

The problem is he is trying to treat everything as one effect there are two and he hasn’t worked that out.

It’s exactly the same as radio signals you have signals that are resonant to the reciever circuit and signals that are not hence the whole resonance thing. You can’t just use one law for both. Try working out how a radio reciever selectively amplifies one signal without using the proper calcs on the resonant frequencies.

It’s a standard EM wave (AKA a radio wave) stop treating it has heat and treat it like a radio wave at the resonant frequencies and you might get somewhere.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:42 am
DaveKeys
November 19, 2017 6:54 am

Does beg the question how much energy in the wavelength that CO2 absorbs is reflected back towards space. This will tell us the maximum possible amount of heat that CO2 can trap.

It will not stop warmists as CO2 will cause a positive feedback loop that increases H20 in the atmosphere.

But as H2O increases so the energy available to warm CO2 will therefore decrease.

How do I feel that this green house theory is not fully explained.

LdB
November 19, 2017 7:02 pm

You do understand it’s a EM wave?

Can I asked you how much of a microwave TV signal from a satelitte in space beaming to earth do you think a CO2 molecule reflects back to space?

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:46 am

The real problem is not in the explanation but in the implications for the atmosphere.
Simply out, CO2 is not the temperature control knob of the atmosphere…never was, is not now, and never will it be.
Period.
Other factors are far more important…hence we have natural fluctuations at every time scale…it has been warmer, it has been colder.
Warmer has been a sweet deal for all living things, colder…not so much.

Driller43
November 19, 2017 7:02 am

The very first key point is dead wrong. Electron ‘orbit height’ (energy level) does NOT change with temperature. ‘Temperature’ is the molecular level vibration/velocity/Kinetic energy, not subatomic (within the atoms). That’s what I was taught. Google can get this right, https://www.quora.com/By-lowering-temperature-the-atoms-slow-down-So-do-the-electrons-in-the-atom-also-slow-down

Curious George
November 19, 2017 7:18 am

True. Electron configurations of atoms only change at a very high temperature. Configurations of atoms in a molecule (rotation, vibration) may change at atmospheric temperatures – that’s what makes water a “very bad” greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide not so bad.

As the illustration notes, Wien’s law applies to a a hypothetical black body (usually approximated as a hollow sphere with a small hole), an object with an infinite number of degrees of freedom of motion. It does not apply to the atmosphere, consisting of atoms and molecules with only few degrees of freedom.

george e. smith
November 19, 2017 9:43 am

ALL material that are above zero kelvin radiate ” …. Thermal Radiation …. ” as a consequence of the Temperature of that material. The ultimate source is the acceleration of electric charge; as a consequence of Maxwell’s equations of electro-magnetism.
When atoms of molecules collide (Temperature) the electric charge distributions are distorted, so during the collision, perfectly good radiating dipoles exist. There are also other more complex antenna radiators like quadrupoles and even hexadecapoles, that radiate in more complex radiation patterns than a dipole antenna.

But since we don’t have any gases that are totally opaque to any radiation, then gases would not be black bodies; but they DO emit “thermal” radiation. It’s called thermal because it is a consequence of Temperature of the material (even gases) but the radiation may be in the microwave or radio spectrum, and not in the LWIR spectrum.

G

Curious George
November 19, 2017 10:04 am

George, I respectfully disagree. If a gas does not absorb radiation, then it can not emit it.

gbaikie
November 19, 2017 11:43 am

” Curious George
November 19, 2017 at 10:04 am

George, I respectfully disagree. If a gas does not absorb radiation, then it can not emit it.”

A gas molecule can absorb radiation for very short period of time.

A volume of gas has temperature because billions and billions are traveling around the speed of a bullet and colliding [without friction] with each other, This kinetic energy remains indefinitely until
the gas molecules lose their kinetic energy by contacting other gas of lower average velocity [thereby increasing and averaging the combined average velocity. Or the kinetic is conserved.
Or gas can collide liquids or solids, and again transferring the kinetic energy [conserving the kinetic energy] but the solids of liquids can radiate the kinetic energy gained by the warmer gas molecules.
A gas molecule has no temperature, absorbing energy tends to indicate an increase in temperature, and one molecule has no temperature.

george e. smith
November 20, 2017 8:54 am

Well curious George, you are fee to disagree with anything I wrote; with no respect required.

You provide no support for your contention that ” If a gas does not absorb radiation, then it can not emit it..”

Also I don’t see anywhere that I wrote that gases do not or can not absorb EM radiation.

No point in citing the essence of Kirchoff’s law; that law only applies to objects in thermal equilibrium. Nothing in the climate system is ever in thermal equilibrium; the rotation of the earth simply will not allow thermal equilibrium to be achieved.

But if you are going to disagree with what somebody else has posted, please do the readers the courtesy of giving supporting data or evidence for your position.

Despite all the modern love affair with quantum mechanics; the ONLY physical constants which actually have accurate exact values, are fundamental elements of Maxwell’s theory of electro-magnetism which is classical Physics. And it is a direct consequence of that theory and the whole concept of “heat”, that ANY object with a thermo-dynamic Temperature greater than zero kelvin must radiate a thermal spectrum. It is NOT a quantum spectrum of specific lines or bands, but a continuum of frequencies, and is not related to electron energy levels in any quantum mechanical model of atoms or molecules.

We have a two mile long electron linear accelerator pinning the San Andreas fault together near Sand Hill road and Highway 280, that exists only because of the simple fact that accelerated electric charge MUST radiate EM radiation.

G

Clyde Spencer
November 19, 2017 4:07 pm

Driller43,
Yes, you are quite right.

Alan D McIntire
November 19, 2017 7:04 am

Here’s a references to an n layer atmosphere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealized_greenhouse_model

GREENHOUSE WARMING Part I

There IS a greenhouse gas effect. Here’s an example.
Let the flux from the sun to the ground be 4 joules/unit time*unit
area,
and stay constant.

–> SUN
–>
–>
–>
–>

With no greenhouse gases, the earth will either heat up or cool down
until
the outgoing flux from the earth is equal to the incoming flux from
the sun.

Sun –> O O O O <– <– <–O O–> <–

You've now got an unbalanced situation where 5 joules/unit time*unit
area
are hitting the earth, 4 from the sun and half of the 2 from the
atmosphere,
and only 3 joules per second are leaving the earth, the 2 not
absorbed by
the gas, and half of the 2 from the atmosphere. The atmosphere will
warm up until outgoing flux from the atmosphere, plus the fraction of
the flux from the
earth not intercepted by the atmosphere, equals the incoming amount
from the sun.
Since in my example, half of the outgong flux is intercepted by the
atmosphere,
the watts hitting the earth's surface will increase to

1/(1-1/4) = 4/3 of 4 joules/(unit time*unit area) = 5 1/3 joules/(unit
time*unit area).

Remember the atmosphere is intercepting half of this, so 16/6 joules
(unit time*unit area)
is intercepted by the greenhouse gas atmosphere, and another half,
16/6 joules, escapes
directly to space.

The final equilibrium balance is
16/12 Earth
O–>16/12 16/12(from atmosphere)–>Earth

Sun –>4

16/6 to atmosphere <–
Earth
16/6 to space <–
Earth

So yes, a greenhouse gas will warm the earth, the amount of warming
depends on the fraction
of the outgoing (and incoming for that matter) radiation absorbed by
the atmosphere.
………………………………………………..
If the atmosphere was absorbing ALL radiation from the sun , you'd get a final balance of

4 watts/unit area from sun to atmosphere and 4 watts from atmosphere to space- in balance

4 watts from sun to atmosphere, 4 watts from earth's surface to atmosphere
4 watts from atmosphere to space, 4 watts from atmosphere to earth surface- in balance

4 watts from atmosphere to earth surface, 4 watts from earth surface to atmosphere – in balance.

So an atmosphere that absorbed ALL solar radiation would have a net zero greenhouse effect.
……………………………………………………….

When you look at the blackbody radiation curve, you'll notice that the shortwave frequencies, not affected by CO2, increase at a much greater rate with increasing temperature than longer wave radiation, which IS affected by the amount of CO2 in the air. The net result is that increasing absorption of long wave radiation by CO2 is MUCH smaller than increases in surface temperature. In addition, as the atmosphere warms up, a larger fraction of the sun's incoming radiation is absorbed directly by the atmosphere, reducing the overall greenhouse effect.

November 19, 2017 9:41 am

Alan, the only thing that alters that from an atm basis, is water’s actions are not linear over the standard range of pressure and temperatures.

That is what alters Earth from non condensing only atm.
Water does real work daily. And it moves that work around.

John
November 19, 2017 7:06 am

I agree with your findings, but not for the same reasons. Retired now, I used to be a laser engineer, and instrument design engineer, including weather stations, and all manner of energy measuring devices. I created infrared measurement systems and laser energy measurement systems. Thus, I know a little about gas behavior and thermal characteristics.
So, my argument against CO2 ‘warming’ anything goes like this? If it DID increase the surface temperature, the surface would radiate to space at the 4th power of the increase, instantly cooling itself back down. We know that everything radiates and we have laws for quantifying it.
Experiment: Try to heat a stove with a flashlight. There are lots of photons, you can see them. Yet the stove does not warm. Why? Because for each photon that strikes the stove, the stove emits millions, maybe billions of photons itself. Those few photons from the flashlight are simply overwhelmed, and the result is immeasurable. Applying that to CO2, how many surface molecules radiate for every CO2 molecule? There is NO WAY there is sufficient energy in CO2 radiation from the atmosphere to increase surface temperature, because the surface radiates FAR more than the CO2 does. And, again, if the CO2 DID somehow manage to ‘warm’ the surface, it’s millions of molecules per CO2 molecule would simply radiate at a higher rate instantaneously, and ‘cool’ back to equilibrium.
Lastly, consider that if there were CO2 ‘radiation’, it would cast a shadow when blocked – an invisible one, but still a shadow. If you create a filter that can filter out the CO2 spectrum, and place it on the window of an infrared thermometer, with another identical thermometer without the filter, you will find that they both measure the same temperature. That would not be possible, if CO2 was indeed ‘heating’ anything, those two thermometers would have to read differently.

Carbon BIgfoot
November 19, 2017 9:34 am

Leave it to an engineer that understands the science better than the alleged experts. That’s because we operate in reality. A concept foreign to most pseudo theorists.

davidmhoffer
November 19, 2017 10:44 am

Here’s reality for you:

https://phys.org/news/2015-02-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-effect.html

The author of this post has made so many errors that it would take a long time to go through them all. But above is observational evidence that fits with the theory. If you read carefully, and do the math, you’ll come to realize that the author of this post is wrong AND that the observational evidence, while confirming the theory, results in a sensitivity calculation so low as to be immaterial and so falsify the alarm.

The global warming alarm is NOT founded upon a GHE that does not exist. Continued efforts to discredit the first order effects of CO2 are not only futile, it gives the alarmists ammunition to show that we don’t know what we’re talking about. Global warming alarm is founded upon an exaggeration of second and third order effects (feedbacks) that are still not well understood because they cannot be directly observed, but for which there is increasing evidence are low, and decreasing evidence to show that they are high. At day’s end however, CO2 is logarithmic (that fact not only accepted by alarmist scientists, but repeatedly documented by them in their own IPCC reports) and so the more CO2 we have in the atmosphere, the less additional CO2 matters.

tony mcleod
November 19, 2017 11:49 am

“The global warming alarm is NOT founded upon a GHE that does not exist.”

Couldn’t Anthony Watts acknowledged this misunderstanding instead of promoting it?

Bob boder
November 19, 2017 7:56 pm

Tony McLeod

Welching on your bet? You lost our bet and said you would never post here again, I took you as a man of honor sir, was that a mistake?

Mods the bet was made as many here know an should be honored.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 5:57 am

David H.
“CO2 we have in the atmosphere, the less additional CO2 matters.”
Exactly correct, except for plants, trees,… and crops, which are all parts of plants and trees.
IOW, for life. For the biosphere.
For the biosphere, it matters.
It is unambiguously very very good to have more, much more, CO2.

stevefitzpatrick
November 20, 2017 6:15 pm

davidmhopper,
“The global warming alarm is NOT founded upon a GHE that does not exist. Continued efforts to discredit the first order effects of CO2 are not only futile, it gives the alarmists ammunition to show that we don’t know what we’re talking about.”

Exactly right. The post is utter nonsense. Trying to refute physics that has been well understood for a century or more is a waste of time, distracts from far more credible critiques of CAGW, and gives the crazy green left ammunition to attack perfectly reasonable arguments against CAGW. Please stop trying to help so very much. If Anthony never posted another article like this (and unfortunately, there have been many over the years), it would be a good decision.

AndyG55
November 20, 2017 6:29 pm

The first order effect is ENHANCED PLANT GROWTH, who is trying to discredit it ?

The nth-order effect, warming, has never been measured, and only exists in erroneous theory and models..

gbaikie
November 19, 2017 11:54 am

It seems to me that Co2 molecules could only insulate – slow the amount IR radiation leaving the surface- and it’s a very small effect.
CO2 or any greenhouse gas can not increase the surface temperature. The surface is warmed by the sunlight.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 6:01 am

Water can and does warm the surface at night…if it condenses into clouds.
I have had many a freeze and frost averted or reversed by a fortuitous streak of high cirrus streaming in while I was monitoring the temperature.
I have watched the mercury climb by several degrees in a matter of minutes when clouds raced in.
Many many times.

November 19, 2017 1:32 pm

CO2 warming the surface with IR is like pissing against a fast flowing river.

Robert Clemenzi
November 19, 2017 11:25 pm

Not at all. It is more like building a dam across the river. After a small amount of time, the water behind the dam will be deeper (the temperature of the surface will be higher), but the amount of water flowing down stream will be the same as before.

The question is – Where is the CO2 part of the dam added? If it makes the dam higher, do we care?

If water is flowing over the top of the dam, then an extra inch of height makes a big difference. However, if water thru the dam is controlled by sluice gates, the the top of the dam will be dry and adding a couple of extra feet of height will have no effect.

My theory of the GHE is that water vapor (including clouds, rain, dew, etc.) controls the sluice gates.

November 20, 2017 5:42 am

Robert Clemenzi :
“Not at all. It is more like building a dam across the river.”

CO2 at 0.04% is no dam. There are billions more photons leaving the surface for every photon going to the surface from CO2.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 6:05 am

Hmmm, very interesting to see the debate boiled down thusly…is CO2 more like a stream of piss into a fast moving river or an inch of manure on top of a leaking dam with open sluice gates?

Toneb
November 20, 2017 1:46 pm

“CO2 at 0.04% is no dam. There are billions more photons leaving the surface for every photon going to the surface from CO2.”

I suggest you study the Beer-Lambert equation and the importance of path-length.
Clue: the path-length to space is a tad long, enough to make the 0.04% (up 40% due anthro emissions) very much a dam.
I also suggest you consider CO2’s importance where WV is scarce.

Robert Clemenzi
November 20, 2017 11:57 pm

There are billions more photons leaving the surface for every photon going to the surface from CO2.

Please provide a reference supporting that.

My computations indicate that at 15C, the Earth emits about 390 W/m2 and the first kilometer of CO2 would absorb about 54 W/m2 – except that water vapor absorbs about half of that. That is almost 14% of the radiated energy.

MODTRAN indicates that the downward radiation from 400 ppm CO2 is 81 W/m2 using the full atmosphere.
81/390 = 20.8%
When normal water vapor is added, the downward IR energy is 367 W/m2.

November 19, 2017 2:14 pm

John,
Your real-world expertise is valuable in this struggle. You neatly in a few lines devastate the entire pseudo-science of GHG.
And you write clearly and concisely.
You should write a blog yourself.
Or hook up with another engineer who already has a blog destroying the GHG.
The discussions here fall into the trap of debating the scammers, on their own terms.

https://realclimatescience.com/

John Francis
November 19, 2017 3:15 pm

This electronic engineer agrees. The last paragraph is a gem. If this experiment were conducted it would blow the GHE to smithereens

DMacKenzie
November 19, 2017 6:23 pm

“…no way there is sufficient energy in CO2 radiation….” mostly correct John, but take my word as yet another old engineer who once did heat transfer calcs in combustion gases….if you go through these standard radiative calcs from our student days…..
http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html
…….the CO2 does make a difference in the range of 1.2 degrees C per doubling. The real question is water vapour related. Is that 1.2 degrees C that is going to cause positive feedback, or is the extra water vapour going to cause more clouds to reflect incoming solar away ? It is probably the latter or Earth’s oceans would have boiled away long ago.

LdB
November 19, 2017 7:27 pm

If you are a retired laser engineer (which itself is a weird term) then can I ask how you get population inversion on the CO2 gas inside the laser tube? Should be interesting in line with your opinion above.

November 19, 2017 7:08 am

I will not start arguiing about the physical phenomenon in a GH molecule, when a photon with the right wavelenght / frequency hits this molecule. This is a very basic stuff of molecular physics and there is enough evidence in which way it happnes. But I do not agree with the description of Rod Gill.

The GH effect in the atmosphere is a fact and it is caused by GH gases: H2O 81 %, CO2 13 %, O3 4 % CH4 & N2O 1 %, clouds 1 %. Link: http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract/17484

Here is a figure from my web site, which shows the absorption wavelenghts of GH gases. A very bsic thing is that the absorption wavelenghts of other GH gases overlaps with water making them rather weak:

One thing more. The Earth’s surface emits about 395 W/m2 in 15 degrees and the LW radition emitted by the atmosphere to space is about 239 W/m2. The radiation loss is 396 – 239 = 157 W/2. Energy does not disappear but it can change its form. The radiation flux of 157 W/m2 maintains the temperature profile of the atmosphere together with the SW radiation absorpbed by the atmosphere, which is about 71 W/2.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 7:49 am

It would be interesting if the Earth we not covered with water. Your model, does not include the Oceans which have 99.9% of the energy in the system. Go back and try again.

November 19, 2017 8:01 am

Agree X 1 Million.

Editor
November 19, 2017 7:09 am

A nice essay, I don’t fully understand quantum physics, you have a much greater knowledge of this than me. Could I ask though there is a theory, I am not sure it is conclusive, that as CO2 concentration rises in the atmosphere, the increase in temperature is not linear, but logarithmic. If it is true how would this tie in with your theory? I have pasted my source below which is over 8 years old.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/

November 19, 2017 7:39 am

If you look at the figure above, you can see that CO2 can increase the area of its absorption peak in the wavelenght zone from 10 to 14 micrometers. In figure below are the increases of the absorptions for different CO2 concnetrations (hopefully cominf correctly). These curves are results of extensive spectral calculations. The logartimic relationship is the results of curve fitting of these calculation – not a result of a single calculation.

george e. smith
November 19, 2017 3:00 pm

The theory is all hogwash. The claim of logarithmic relationship with CO2 abundance arises from the so called Beer’s Law (or Beer-Lambert law). Beer’s law applies strictly to linear transmission through non-scattering media. The photons are expected to travel in straight uni-axial direction through the medium, unless they get absorbed by some absorbing molecule. Then they are supposed to stay dead and not re-emit at some other wavelength and in an isotropic direction. The photons can’t stay dead. Eventually the absorbing medium must warm from the absorbed energy, so it must eventually emit LWIR photons.

Logarithmic means a change from one CO2 molecules to two CO2 molecules, has the same Temperature change effect as a change from 400 ppmm to 800 ppmm.

And there is no experimental evidence for logarithmic relationship. Sometimes CO2 and Temperature go in opposite directions.

There are no logarithms for negative numbers. and don’t bother me with Gamma functions.

G

November 20, 2017 7:44 am

You are wrong. Beer-Lambert law works only for very small concentrations like CH4 and N2O. CO2 and H2O do not follow the Beer-Lambert law anymore. Basic stuff of radiation physics.

Gerontius
November 19, 2017 3:35 pm

try the Beer Lambert Law

Har-old
November 19, 2017 7:14 am

Whatever the theory, CO2 obviously does not cause actual warming by experiment in the real atmosphere. The increase in CO2 in the ca. one hundred years from near 300PPM to near 400PPM does not correlate with global warming, or some would say, lack thereof.

November 19, 2017 8:31 am

Of course it “lacks”, because in the IPCC’s model, the warming effect is quite excatly 200 % too much. There are cosmic forces which explain the temperature history of the Earth since the Roman warm period. If there were no cosmic forces, the temperature graph would be like that of Mann’s graph: a straight line up to 1750.

joshv
November 19, 2017 7:17 am

You’ve got the physics wrong. Absorption spectra have little to do with electrons, and a lot to do with vibration modes of the CO2 molecule. CO2 is a complex molecule. It can move (translation), rotate, and vibrate. A molecule’s energy is equally partitioned between all of these degrees of freedom. The rotational and translational degrees of freedom cannot absorb IR, but the vibration degree of freedom can. The energy from IR, once absorbed by resonance with a vibrational mode, can then be distributed to the other modes. It does not stay ‘locked up’ in vibration, it can cause the molecule to rotate, and to move faster (heat up).

Think of a bunch of molecules bouncing around off of each other, in a collision, one molecule could easily lose much of it’s vibration or rotation and cause the second molecule to bounce off faster in another direction. Over many collisions, the vibrational energy from IR absorbance will be equally spread into all of the degrees of freedom, including translational, which increases the average kinetic energy of the gas molecules ‘heating’ them up.

Now, the opposite can also occur, translational energy (heat) can be converted into vibrational energy, and then that energy can be emitted as an IR photon.

Scott Scarborough
November 19, 2017 7:41 am

Yes, you are right. The vibration of the atoms of carbon with respect to the oxygen in CO2 is how the energy at 15 microns is absorbed. It is not absorbed by the electrons in the atoms.

November 19, 2017 8:18 am

It is not absorbed by the electrons in the atoms

Photons only interact with charged particles.
A 15u photon might not be changing the energy level of a valance electron, but if it interacts, it is with the molecules electrons.
I’m not sure what the electrons in the bond is doing, while it’s vibrating, maybe it’s just oscillation along the length of that bond.

But there is an interaction of some kind with its electrons.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 7:53 am

CO2 is a complex molecule but it isn’t magic. it is about 0.04% of the atmosphere. And the atmosphere is about 0.1% of the heat capacity of the ocean atmosphere system.

R. Shearer
November 19, 2017 9:23 am

Yes, his second bullet is just plain incorrect, as is the second to last.

george e. smith
November 19, 2017 2:48 pm

The CO2 molecule is linearly symmetrical, so it should have no electric dipole moment.

But it also has an elbow at the carbon atom and can bend in two different modes at right angles. The moment of inertia for such a vibration is quite high so the frequency is low hence the 15 micron wavelength. It’s a degenerate mode because of the two identical frequency oscillations, which I suppose are indistinguishable.
The asymmetrical stretch mode (all three atoms moving relative to the center of mass) radiates at around 4 microns, but the earth doesn’t emit much in the way of 4 micron radiation (the sun does; something less than 1% of solar spectrum)

The symmetrical stretch mode where the carbon is stationary as the center of mass, does not radiate in the infra-red. Well it shouldn’t have dipole radiation, but maybe it looks like two end to end dipoles in opposition so it might have a quadrupole or higher antenna configuration.

G

reallyskeptical
November 19, 2017 7:30 am

” LWIR from CO2 is retained in the atmosphere longer, but it simply bounces around until it escapes into space without causing any warming.”

It’s not one way. Once LWIR is stopped, it (or it’s energy equivalent) has a 50% chance of escaping to space and 50% of escaping back to the surface.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:39 am

Err, I’m always dumbed by this argument. No, the atmosphere is not transparent. No, the wavelength changes. It is far more complicated.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 7:56 am

The atmosphere may not be transparent, but it is pretty darn close. Else, we would starve to death.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 8:00 am

no, itis not transparent enough for lwir to just go away…

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 12:10 pm

And LWIR is what % of the total energy flux?

Hugs
November 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Look at the scary red arrows in the pic below. The net flow up is 64W/m², gross is a bit larger.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 12:43 pm

To make sure you understand: I do know the net 66W/m² or whatever is a small portion of the total and I’m not confident on numbers given without error estimation. What I tried to say is the LWIR is not how energy gets up, it is just part of it, and you can’t put it shortly that half is emitted back down, it is awful.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 1:04 pm

I think I’m too tired to distinguish IR from LWIR. Time to go to bed.

R. Shearer
November 19, 2017 2:39 pm

That’s why the sky is blue. Scattering, especially via Raman effect.

Clyde Spencer
November 19, 2017 4:48 pm

R. Shearer,
You said, “That’s why the sky is blue. Scattering, especially via Raman effect.” You are confusing Raman inelastic scattering, which is volume scattering inside a solid, with elastic Rayleigh scattering, which is wavelength dependent. Thus, blue light is scattered more strongly than the longer wavelengths, and the appearance of a direct observation of the sun shifts from green to yellowish because the blue light has been removed, and reaches the surface through a different path than direct sunlight.

Latitude
November 19, 2017 7:41 am

planet is not flat….

Hugs
November 19, 2017 7:57 am

Flat to first approximation. The atmosphere is dozens of km thick, the planet is thousands of km deep. It is thinner than the peel of an apple.

george e. smith
November 19, 2017 2:33 pm

There are no flats on a sphere. The very smallest surface element has the exact same curvature as any other element.

There also are no spheres anywhere.

G

Hugs
November 20, 2017 1:53 am

There are no flats on a sphere. The very smallest surface element has the exact same curvature as any other element.

Oh gee. I’m sure this is what are looking for.

Look, I’m not pushing flat-earth, just noting that not every calculation requires the second or third term, just simply because they are small compared to the other known errors.

November 19, 2017 8:40 am

” 15um equates to 2898 ÷ 15 = 193K = -80C or -122F. In the atmosphere this temperature only occurs about 90-100Km high in the atmosphere.”

Question: Does CO2, or any molecule, radiate equally in all directions?
If so, at 95Km the earth is only in 25% of the radiation cone of CO2; and most of that at an oblique angle.

reallyskeptical
November 19, 2017 9:03 am

Actually, because the 2 oxygens are on one side of the carbon atom, and oxygen is heavier than carbon, this aligns the CO2 molecules like little arrows all pointing upward. So the radiation goes in that direction. Right?

HotScot
November 19, 2017 9:26 am

pmhinsc

I asked a similar question a few days ago, not nearly as well as you though, but then I’m not qualified in anything. However, it seemed to me that the radiative properties of CO2 are always assumed to be 100% directed back at the planets surface, which, to a layman like me, seems to defy logic.

Your radiation cone description is an easy way for me to visualise what’s happening. Thanks.

R. Shearer
November 19, 2017 9:27 am

reallskeptical are you trying to be funny? The carbon atom in CO2 is in the center of the molecule. Recall that carbon atom forms 4 covalent bonds.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 10:49 am

‘If so, at 95Km the earth is only in 25% of the radiation cone of CO2; and most of that at an oblique angle’

No, it is not 25%.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 11:21 am

That would be nearer to 950 km. I’m too tired at this time to calculate the 95 km value.

November 19, 2017 3:46 pm

Hugs: “No, it is not 25%”

You are correct. Assume an earth radius of 6,378km and the straight line distance to horizon from 95km is 1104.9km (from internet horizon calculator). I calculated a cone of 160.4 degrees or 44.5% of potential 360 degree cone of radiation. Hope you find this number more to your liking.

LdB
November 19, 2017 8:17 pm

I love the crazy stuff classical physics lead people to believe, let me guess the emission is in certain direction because in other directions it is going to bounce or crash into the nucleus 🙂

Editor
November 20, 2017 12:34 am

pmhinsc November 19, 2017 at 8:40 am

Question: Does CO2, or any molecule, radiate equally in all directions?
If so, at 95Km the earth is only in 25% of the radiation cone of CO2; and most of that at an oblique angle.

Far, far from true. The angle of depression of the horizon is arcCos(R/(R+h)), where R is the radius of the earth, 6380 km, and “h” is the height of observation. This gives us arcCos(6380/6475) = 9.8° … where you are claiming that the depression angle is 78.5°.

w.

menicholas
November 20, 2017 6:31 am

Yeah, but the part that goes sideways has an increased chance of hitting another molecule before it leaves the atmosphere, so half is a good approximation…is what the other argument is.

November 21, 2017 7:32 am

Hugs and Willis Eschenbach,

I am a retired EE, not trying to prove anything, just get science right. There are a lot of assumptions taken for granted that the “experts” don’t seem to have the time or inclination to answer or correct. So thanks for the courtesy of your reply to my comments.

My 44% calculation of Nov 19 at 3:46
“Assume an earth radius of 6,378km and the straight line distance to horizon from 95km is 1104.9km (from internet horizon calculator). I calculated a cone of 160.4 degrees or 44.5% of potential 360 degree cone of radiation”

In excel =2*degrees(aCos(1101/(6378+95))) where straight line distance to horizon is 1101.4km, earth radius is 6,378km, and observation height is 95km.
here is where I got straight ine distance to horizon.

don’t see how radiation to earth from 95km can extend beyond horizon.

November 21, 2017 8:04 am

If distance to horizon link doesn’t work try:
http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm

CoRev
November 19, 2017 7:33 am

Joshv, this is the logical issue I am trying to resolve: “Think of a ** bunch of molecules bouncing around off of each** other, in a collision, one molecule could easily **lose much of it’s vibration or rotation** and cause the second molecule to bounce off faster in another direction. Over many collisions, the vibrational energy from IR absorbance will be equally spread into all of the degrees of freedom, including translational, which increases the average kinetic energy of the gas molecules ‘heating’ them up.”

To me that screams that CONDUCTION being the premier cause of atmospheric warming. That then leads to a whole larger series of questions related to radiational warming and COOLING.

tty
November 19, 2017 8:55 am

Conduction is quite insignificant. Gases conduct heat very poorly. However CONVECTION is very important, as a matter of fact more important than radiation for heat transport from the surface. Something that is almost never spoken about since it cannot be modelled realistically by GCM.

Gabro
November 19, 2017 12:17 pm

Evaporative cooling is probably more important than radiative warming, which is why IMO, net feedbacks from water vapor are likely negative.

Jer0me
November 19, 2017 12:49 pm

I agree. Convection trumps radiation every time. Just try holding your hand in front of a ‘radiator’ and then above it, and see where it gets warmer.

It always amazes me how all explanations of CO2 warming ignore convection as though it doesn’t happen or doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s very difficult to measure in the real world, but that’s not a good reason to ignore it!

joshv
November 19, 2017 4:10 pm

It’s merely the mechanism of local equilibrium. Remember, these molecules also emit IR at their absorption spectra, and those photos travel at the speed of light.

Dr. Deanster
November 19, 2017 7:35 am

For the sake of discussion, the CO2 at 100 km in the atmosphere does not have to warm the liquid or solid surface below, it only need heat the gas directly below. Probably why these guys are always talking about a hot spot. …… but as we know, there is no hot spot.

My background is chemical movement in biological systems (pharmacokinetics) so you engineer guys feel free to correct me …. but the reason we don’t see a hot spot, IMO, is because radiation and energy move at the speed of light. From a biological perspective, this would equate to a 1/2 life in gases…. t-1/2, that for all practical purposes is near instantaneous. Thus, the only way for the atmosphere to stay warm is to have a continual supply of heat from solid and liquid surfaces, either directly or from flow (winds) from other places. That all goes back to heat capacity, where the oceans are king. We see this in observation, deserts cool very rapidly, and if not for an inflow of warmer air from surrounding areas, they would freeze every night. In contrast, oceans hold so much heat that they are capable of keeping the air above them warm within a very narrow max min range. …. for oceans it is an equation of energy input, which goes back to solar and clouds, and all that Jazz.

Thus, the atmospheric temp is 100% dependent on a constant inflow of heat. The GHG systems contribution is directly related to its heat capacity, and as you point out in your article, that would only be relevant at -80C, I’ll take your word for it regarding Wiens Law, but probabably also owing to the fact that relative to solids and liquid water, the GHG system has no heat capacity.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 8:05 am

The oceans hold about 99.9% of the heat energy in the system. The mass of the oceans is about 24x the mass of the atmosphere. The heat holding capacity of water is 4.2x dry air. The clue that the oceans are the most important part is the seasonal fluctuation in the number and power of storms.

November 19, 2017 7:38 am

Oldie but goodie and a heck of a lot simpler and clearer.

References:
Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10
This popular balance graphic and assorted variations are based on a power flux, W/m^2. A W is not energy, but energy over time, i.e. 3.4 Btu/eng h or 3.6 kJ/SI h. The 342 W/m^2 ISR is determined by spreading the average discular 1,368 W/m^2 solar irradiance/constant over the spherical ToA surface area. (1,368/4 =342) There is no consideration of the elliptical orbit (perihelion = 1,415 W/m^2 to aphelion = 1,323 W/m^2) or day or night or seasons or tropospheric thickness or energy diffusion due to oblique incidence, etc. This popular balance models the earth as a ball suspended in a hot fluid with heat/energy/power entering evenly over the entire ToA spherical surface. This is not even close to how the real earth energy balance works. Everybody uses it. Everybody should know better.

An example of a real heat balance based on Btu/h is as follows. Basically (Incoming Solar Radiation spread over the earth’s cross sectional area, Btu/h) = (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the lit side perpendicular to the spherical surface ToA, Btu/h) + (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the dark side perpendicular to spherical surface area ToA, Btu/h) The atmosphere is just a simple HVAC/heat flow/balance/insulation problem.

“Technically, there is no absolute dividing line between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, but for scientists studying the balance of incoming and outgoing energy on the Earth, it is conceptually useful to think of the altitude at about 100 kilometers above the Earth as the “top of the atmosphere.”
The top of the atmosphere is the bottom line of Earth’s energy budget, the Grand Central Station of radiation. It is the place where solar energy (mostly visible light) enters the Earth system and where both reflected light and invisible, thermal radiation from the Sun-warmed Earth exit. The balance between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere determines the Earth’s average temperature. The ability of greenhouses gases to change the balance by reducing how much thermal energy exits is what global warming is all about.”

ToA is 100 km or 62 miles. It is 68 miles between Denver and Colorado Springs. That’s not just thin, that’s ludicrous thin. 99% of the atmospheric mass is below 32 km. Above 32 km there are very few molecules. Without molecules, energy, heat, cold, hot concepts get a tad iffy.

The GHE/GHG loop as shown on Trenberth Figure 10 is made up of three main components: upwelling of 396 W/m^2 which has two sub parts: 63 W/m^2 LWIR and 333 W/m^2 and downwelling of 333 W/m^2.
The 396 W/m^2 is calculated by inserting 16 C or 279K in the S-B BB equation, a calculation that does not actually exist in the real world. The result is 55 W/m^2 of power flux more than ISR entering ToA, an obvious violation of conservation of energy, i.e. created out of nothing. That should have been a warning.

ISR of 341 W/m^2 enter ToA, 102 W/m^2 are reflected by the albedo, leaving a net 239 W/m^2 entering ToA. 78 W/m^2 are absorbed by the atmosphere leaving 161 W/m^2 for the surface. To maintain the overall energy balance and a steady temperature (not really a requirement) 160 W/m^2 rises from the surface (0.9 residual in ground) as 17 W/m^2 convection, 80 W/m^2 latent and 63 W/m^2 LWIR (S-B BB 183 K, -90 C or emissivity = .16) = 160 W/m^2. All of the graphic’s power fluxes are now present and accounted for. The remaining and perpetual looping 333 W/m^2 are the spontaneous creation of an inappropriate application of the S-B BB equation violating conservation of energy.

But let’s press on.

The 333 W/m^2 upwelling/downwelling constitutes a 100% efficient perpetual energy loop violating thermodynamics. There is no net energy left at the surface to warm the earth and there is no net energy left in the troposphere to impact radiative balance at ToA.

The 333 W/m^2, 97% of ISR, upwells into the troposphere where it is allegedly absorbed/trapped/blocked by a miniscule 0.04% of the atmosphere. That’s a significant heat load for such a tiny share of atmospheric molecules (aren’t any above 32 km) and they should all be hotter than two dollar pistols.

Except they aren’t.

The troposphere is cold, -40 C at 30,000 ft, 9 km, < -60 C at ToA. Depending on how one models the troposphere, an evenly distributed average or weighted by layers from surface to ToA, the S-B BB equation for the tropospheric temperatures ranges from 150 to 250 W/m^2, a considerable, 45% to 75% of, less than 333. Radiation is a surface phenomenon. There is no “surface.”
(99% of the atmosphere is below 32 km where molecular energy moves by convection/conduction/latent/radiation & where ideal S-B does not apply. Above 32 km the low molecular density does not allow for convection/conduction/latent and energy moves by S-B ideal radiation et. al.)

But wait!

The GHGs reradiate in all directions not just back to the surface. Say a statistical 33% makes it back to the surface that means 50 to 80 W/m^2. An even longer way away from the 333, 15% to 24% of.
But wait!

Because the troposphere is not ideal the S-B equation must consider emissivity. Nasif Nahle suggests CO2 emissivity could be around 0.1 or 5 to 8 W/m^2 re-radiated back to the surface. Light years from 333, 1.5% to 2.4% of.

But wait!

All of the above really doesn’t even matter since there is no net connection or influence between the 333 W/m^2 thermodynamically impossible loop and the radiative balance at 100 km ToA. Just erase this loop from the graphic and nothing else about the balance changes.

BTW 7 of the 8 reanalyzed (i.e. water board the data until it gives up the “right” answer) data sets/models show more power flux leaving OLR than entering ASR ToA or atmospheric cooling. Obviously those seven data sets/models have it completely wrong because there can’t possibly be any flaw in the GHE theory.
The GHE greenhouse analogy/theory not only does not apply to the atmosphere, it doesn’t even apply to warming a real greenhouse. (“The Discovery of Global Warming” Spencer Weart) In a real greenhouse the physical barrier of walls, glass, plastic trap the convective heat, not some kind of handwavium glassy, transparent, multi-layer, radiative thermal diode.

The surface of the earth is warm for the same reason a heated house is warm in the winter: Q = U * A * dT, the energy flow/heat resisting blanket of the insulated walls. Same for the atmospheric blanket. A blanket works by Q = U * A * dT, not S-B BB. The composite thermal conductivity of that paper-thin atmosphere, conduction, convection, latent, LWIR, resists the flow of energy, i.e. heat, from surface to ToA and to make that energy flow (heat) requires a temperature differential, 213 K ToA and 288 K surface = 75 C. The atmosphere is just a basic HVAC system boundary analysis.

Open for rebuttal. If you can explain how this upwelling/downwelling/”back” radiation actually really works be certain to copy Jennifer Marohasy as she has posted a challenge for such an explanation.

Nick Schroeder, BSME, PE

Phillip Bratby
November 19, 2017 8:03 am

Yes, Trenberth’s Earth energy budget diagram is complete nonsense (as are all the other similar version). How it ever got published and is still used is a mystery. Well no, because it is all part of the AGW propaganda..

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 8:14 am

Don’t forget the oceans. Most of the solar radiation that is absorbed by the earth is absorbed by the oceans. Look at a photograph of the sunlit side of the earth from space. The dark spots are the oceans, where the radiation is absorbed and converted into heat. The oceans warm the atmosphere by evaporation and conduction.

tty
November 19, 2017 9:00 am

“The oceans warm the atmosphere by evaporation and conduction.”

Not so much by conduction as by radiation. Water is impermeable to LWIR but this also means that it emits stronly in this band. Evaporation transfers (latent) heat to the atmosphere but does not, strictly speaking, heat it.

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 12:14 pm

“Evaporation transfers (latent) heat to the atmosphere but does not, strictly speaking, heat it.”

Only if the water vapor is not part of the atmosphere.

Joel O’Bryan
November 19, 2017 10:21 am

You identify the fundamental reason why the bulk of GCMs run far too hot when they try to close the radiation budget at the TOA. That is in a nutshell Trenberth’s missing heat problem and his lament that higher than justifiable aerosols were employed to cool historical calibrations of the GCMs.

November 19, 2017 5:13 pm

You identify the fundamental reason why the bulk of GCMs run far too hot

One of them, but I don’t think the main one, they parameterize what % of water molecules that leave the surface, not fall back into the water.

That’s how they got water vapor amplification, they stepped on the physics to make it work to how they thought it worked.
Perfect example of bias.

November 19, 2017 9:45 pm

NickS,
There are very few CO2 molecules above 32km altitude, yet these ad some from lower are supposed to do the heavy lifting to radiate away all of the Earth’s incoming radiation, at equilibrium.
This means these upper molecules must take in, then release,, quite a lot of energy.
Do you have any references to the energy a single CO2 molecule can handle? Or is there no upper limit? If no upper limit, where does the Planck curve come from? Geoff

Nick Stokes
November 20, 2017 1:15 am

Geoff,
I have a black ball way of thinking about radiative gases. Think of them as a set of small black balls, with numbers proportional to gas concentration, and disc area proportional to absorption cross section. They absorb and radiate as black bodies, but are not a black surface, globally. Now imagine looking down with IR vision. You’d see a general black body glow, but diffuse. A bit like looking into a fire. If they are sparse above 32km, there won’t be much glow there. You’ll see the layers beneath. There isn’t an issue of how much they can handle; if they are small balls, they absorb less. And of course, as well as radiating, in your view, they obstruct the balls beneath.

Latitude
November 19, 2017 7:43 am

If global warming theory went the other way……this would be just as feasible as what we are stuck with

November 19, 2017 7:45 am

The central error is here: “15um equates to 2898 ÷ 15 = 193K = -80C or -122F. In the atmosphere this temperature only occurs about 90-100Km high in the atmosphere.
Carbon Dioxide only emits and absorbs radiation at -80C from a narrow layer of atmosphere 90Km above the Earth’s surface.”

CO2 absorbs and reradiates 15μm band radiation at all altitudes and all temperatures, just the same as the antenna on your FM radio works in your living room by absorbing 3m band radiation at room temperature, not close to 0°K.

LdB
November 19, 2017 7:44 pm

Finally someone else realized the main problem with the article.

They seem to miss the point it is a radio wave and it doesn’t bang into every molecule in it’s path, they keep turning it into the solid photon tennis ball. The lies and tricks we use for classical physics comes back to haunt us at times.

November 20, 2017 9:31 am

PRECISELY the reason I suggested everyone try and explain things both with wave e-m as well as tennis ball photons ! It is useful. You try BOTH and see what happens.

Anthony Mills
November 19, 2017 7:46 am

A good understanding of this issue can be obtained from Staley,D.O., and Jurica,G.M., “Effective atmospheric emissivity under clear skies” J.Applied Meteorology,v.11,349-356,March 1972. The physics of radiation transport in gas mixtures was well established many years ago.

jim
November 19, 2017 7:49 am

Don’t disagree with that. However the logical outturn is the same as Rod’s. The translational energy created in turn creates vibrational energy, ie it ‘bounces around’ until it dissipates into space. Unless CO2 truly is ‘magical’ or ‘evil’, its degrees of freedom alternate as you describe, but don’t affect anything else.
GHG’s are a red herring. Radiation doesn’t heat , convection heats. And the Earth doesn’t have a glass roof.

November 19, 2017 8:25 am

sure it does, ever see a laser blast a hole in 8″ steel armor?

Ian W
November 19, 2017 11:05 am

But the laser didn’t heat anything until it reached the target as it was just energy.

November 19, 2017 11:44 am

True, though it does sometimes interacts with stuff, and that causes the air to heat some.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 11:24 am

Good, so sunlight does not heat, until it reaches the Earth where it heats. So radiation heats us after all.

November 19, 2017 11:45 am

When sunlight hits you, you heat. Same for most of the ground.

Brett Keane
November 19, 2017 12:52 pm

Naughty, naughty, I see what you are doing here…..
Stimulated emission reminds us of a certain leisure actuvity, and has no other relevance!

November 19, 2017 4:11 pm

Brett, what do you think lasars laze?
The first initial is Light

LdB
November 19, 2017 8:23 pm

@Hugs

Good, so sunlight does not heat, until it reaches the Earth where it heats. So radiation heats us after all.

Very close to correct, it passes straight thru the atmosphere unless it’s at a very specific frequency to a gas molecule that reacts at that frequency. It works exactly the same for your radio which is tuned to one station on the many that are transmitted thru the air.

At least now you don’t have solid ball photons banging into every molecule in it’s path like the article above 🙂

Martin Mason
November 19, 2017 7:49 am

Thanks for posting this Anthony, it is exactly how I as an engineer see it too. There is no other way that the first and second laws can be satisfied at real world and quantum level. It is the only interpretation of the theory that satisfies what we see happening and what has happened historically. Temperatures in the troposphere can be explained and calculated with no reference to back radiation so the conclusion surely has to be that back radiation doesn’t influence temperature.

Bill Illis
November 19, 2017 7:49 am

“For example Oxygen and Nitrogen do not absorb or emit Long Wave Infrared Radiation (LWIR) at all, so are not considered to be “Greenhouse” gases.”

– They do NOT absorb photons in Long Wave but they absorb energy at the same “levels” through collisional energy exchange and pass on energy to other molecules at the same “levels” through the same collisions.

The most misunderstood aspect of this whole debate. Nitrogen and Oxygen just sit there all inert-like and are not part of the process is simply not correct. 98% of the atmosphere has the temperature/energy level of the “atmosphere”.

(Edited) MOD

Bill Illis
November 19, 2017 7:50 am

– They do NOT absorb photons …

Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 8:34 am

Bill Illis – a reprint of my question below – hope you can assist –

– since Oxygen and Nitrogen are not “greenhouse Gases”
Yet dont they serve some function of retaining heat and maintaining some balance of temp in the atmosphere.

Otherwise, it would seem that the total volume of Greenhouse gases is vastly too small (1%ish not counting water vapor) to retain any quanity of heat

Hard to fathom from a scientific point of view that CO2 or any of the other greenhouses gases are sufficiently powerful to act as the thermostat to the degree which they are credited.

tty
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 9:06 am

As a matter of fact both oxygen and nitrogen are GHG though weak ones. Undisturbed N2 and O2 molecules do not absorb/emit LWIR, but when disturbed by collision or close proximity with other molecules they do so, though weakly.

As a matter of fact this has even been suggested as a solution for the “weak young sun” paradox, though this would require a very dense nitrogen atmosphere in the Archaean era.

Jer0me
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 1:00 pm

Tom, GHG don’t retain any IR. They scatter it. Until, and only if, this IR returns to the surface, it causes no heating.

The CAGW hypothesis relies on that being significant. As I understand it, actual real-world tests show that it’s not very significant.

Don K
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 1:09 pm

“As a matter of fact this has even been suggested as a solution for the “weak young sun” paradox, though this would require a very dense nitrogen atmosphere in the Archaean era.” tty

AFAICS, you can hypothesize just about any remotely sane atmosphere you want in the Archean so long as it doesn’t contain free Oxygen. It’s not like there’s a lot of evidence to contradict whatever you set forth.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 4:35 pm

There is NO scattering, the N2 and O2 molecules are absorbing energy and entering an excited state.

It is just not through photon absorption.

Let’s say you have a N2 molecule 1 mm above a hot rock on the surface which got hot through absorbing solar photons throughout the day. The N2 molecule is moving around so fast, it is hitting other molecules 6 or 7 billion times per second.

So the N2 molecule is going to hit the rock at some point within a second or so since it started just 1 mm away. It is going to absorb 100 photons worth of energy in that collision with the rock molecule(s) and it is going to become extremely excited and become 1000 times “hotter” than the rest of the atmospheric molecules nearby. in a billionth of a second, it is going to collide with 6 or 7 other atmospheric molecules afterward and share that energy around and now a whole bunch of N2 and O2 molecules are hotter and more energetic and so on.

The atmosphere close to the rock is going to absorb up all that extra energy in the rock and become just as warm and energetic. The whole atmosphere, without a single GHG molecule in it, within 1 metre is all going to be the same temperature as the rock. AND, this all going to happen with 1 second. It is as close to,instantaneous as it gets.

Not a single GHG molecule is required to heat up the atmosphere. The atmosphere is going to warm up from collisions with the surface alone. They will then share that energy upwards in the atmosphere until something like a lapse rate develops.

An equilibrium temperature profile will be established since the N2 molecules can become hot enough to re-share that energy back to the rock. The rock can emit photons to space and it can warm up the atmosphere and the atmosphere can warm it, all without a single GHG molecule.

An equilibrium will be reached which is probably very much like the Greenhouse Effect without any greenhouse gases at all.

A person needs to think through this carefully to really get the point. Be an N2 molecule which is colliding with 6 billion other molecules every second and then translate that to 10 days in the atmosphere.

Gabro
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 19, 2017 4:52 pm

Molecules in the air also absorb solar radiation on its way toward the surface, most famously O2 high in the atmosphere which interacts with UVA and UVB photons to make and break O3.

And of course air molecules also scatter sunlight on its way down, which is why the sky looks blue, the color of shorter wavelengths of visible light.

menicholas
Reply to  Tom13 - the non climate scientist
November 22, 2017 3:17 am

Wait a second Bill.
I do not recall disagreeing with you before, but you seem to be saying that anytime a heated surface is in contact with air, within 1 second all of the air within 1 meter of the ground will be the same temp as that surface?
This is clearly not the case.
Whenever the sun is shining on a surface, it is very much hotter than the air more than a inch or a few inches from the ground.
Am I missing something, or did you perhaps misstate that?

R. Shearer
November 19, 2017 2:44 pm

Yes, in addition N2 and O2 scatter light via the Raman effect, which is due to rotational energy levels.

November 20, 2017 1:11 pm

This is IMO the most important rebuttal to the nontestable and nonverified Greenhouse Effect hypothesis (if one can actually call it a hypothesis). While N2 and O2 do not absorb or emit LWIR, they do heat and cool via All 3 energy transfer mediums. They also ,make up 99% of the 5000 Trillion tons of atmosphere with CO2 making up less than 1 trillion and H2O vapor making up around 11 Trillion. So roughly 4,987 Trillion tons of N2 and O2 contain almost all the energy that is absorbed by the atmosphere through whatever means is possible. The N2 and O2 are not without temp and most certainly emit half their radiation towards Earth and half out to space. Who cares if that energy is not LWIR, it is still radiation no matter its wavelength.

That’s 4,987 Trillion tons of matter versus some odd 13 Trillion absorbing and emitting energy.

The end is is near for the AGW scam.

Blair Macdonald
November 22, 2017 2:42 am

Bill, N2 and O2 do radiate; they have to, else there is a contradiction to QM. They have QM predicted modes at 2338 and 1556 respectively, and these are detected only with Raman spectroscopy only.

Leonard Weinstein
November 19, 2017 7:50 am

Walter Sobchak
November 19, 2017 8:22 am

While it is true that CO2 acts as an insulator, it is as much of an insulator as a mesh made out of the lightest silk. I.E., not much. The warmistas write about CO2 as if it were an R30 fiberglass blanket. It isn’t

November 19, 2017 8:28 am
November 19, 2017 8:43 am

Comment to Leonard. I have carried out hundreds of spectral analyses. Majority of people have no idea what happens to the LW radiation as as function of altitude. For example, CO2 is so strong GH gas in its wave band zone (10-22 micrometer) that the absorption by CO2 does not increase after 1 km altitude. Why? Because there is no emission energy available. The GH gases cannot absorb more than the Earth’s surface emits. That is a simple physical fact. See a figure below. About 88 % of energy emitted by the surface is absorbed in the all-sky conditions.

November 19, 2017 9:01 am

See a figure below. About 88 % of energy emitted by the surface is absorbed in the all-sky conditions.

the optical window covers at least 30% of the spectrum, if not closer to 40%.
I don’t see how it can be 88% absorbed.

November 19, 2017 12:08 pm

To micro6500. The cloudeness-% of the average sky is 66 %. In the clody sky conditions, the emitted LW radiation by the surface is fully absorbed. All the climate scientists approve this fact. In clear sky conditions the absorption happens 78 %. Look at the first figure of mine. Optical window is not 30 %, it is much less.

November 19, 2017 6:27 pm

Optical window is not 30 %, it is much less.

It’s clear above the clouds too.

feliksch
November 20, 2017 3:34 am

What then is the GHE-difference between NYC and Mexico City (alt. 2 250 m / 7 375 ft)?

November 19, 2017 1:42 pm

” by itself would increase the surface temperature. ”

Take a large room with a pool. Heat it to 30C. Once at 30C fill the room with 100% CO2. Does the pool’s temp go up? No, impossible. I doubt it even cools slower.

November 20, 2017 9:40 am

An excellent thought experiment and also the basis for a real world experiment at relatively low cost.

Editor
November 20, 2017 9:56 am

The Reverend Badger November 20, 2017 at 9:40 am Edit

An excellent thought experiment and also the basis for a real world experiment at relatively low cost.

Actually, it’s a lousy thought experiment. It’s quite similar to the R. W. Wood experiment. I discuss the problems with your thought experiment here.

w.

November 19, 2017 8:07 am

Therefore it is my understanding that it is impossible for the LWIR emitted by a cold low energy CO2 molecule to have the energy required to warm any molecule in the atmosphere warmer than -80C

If you look at a spectrum, the common form the Y axis is power in Watts, you are right that the energy at 15u per photon is slight, so to make an equal power as shorter wave lengths, there are a lot more photons.
So the flux is higher.

The interactions are photons bypass, they scatter, or they are absorbed.
This results in our experience, things are invisible to that wavelength, ie clear, it becomes reflective, or opaque.

But regardless of how 15u photons interact in the environment, water vapor regulates am temps to not drop much below dew point, at least until it all starts freezing.
When you monitor cooling at night, do you wonder why it’s clear, and yet the temp stops falling in the middle of the night. But most of the year it stops cooling around dew point. But what few realize is that it did not stop radiating to space, in the optical window temps are are nearly 100F cooler than air temps.

What does happen is the sensible heat, IR from condensing water, lights up the sky in all directions in the 14-16u water band, which lights up co2 at 15u. This is strongest at the surface, and it shows up as the rate temps falling while it’s still night out dropping towards zero. A side effect of using WV to regulate temps, it bleeds off atm water every night, this prevents the WV amplification of CS, the key to catastrophic warming. So not only is it not catastrophic, it doesnt even reallt cause any warming, WV will always prevent it.

This is the real GHG effect.

Brett Keane
November 19, 2017 1:09 pm

micro6500
November 19, 2017 at 8:07 am: and possibly what Roy Spencer sees with his skyward pointing pyrgeometer. All real experiments including Hans Geiger’s monumental “The air above the ground”, those in the Australian outback, and Hartmann’s, show how CO2 is no different to any other gas except the one which cheats by phase-changing. Which is why radiators have caps, and we exist.

November 19, 2017 4:13 pm

Well cheating is just a matter of which side you’re on.

pbweather
November 20, 2017 7:26 am

Micro6500
As stated above your assumption that water vapour is the key to cooling stopping is incorrect. It is heat release from latent heat as dew forms on surface of the ground and plants which slow cooling and then eventually fog forms and once it does then temps just flat line….Fog is liquid water…not the gaseous form water vapour and hence a different mechanism for cooling slowing down. Once fog forms…then the top of the fog layer becomes the radiating surface…not the ground, and as this fog layer cools further at the top, dewpoint is reached and the top of the fog layer rises. This is how fog layers deepen overnight.

November 20, 2017 10:30 am

As stated above your assumption that water vapour is the key to cooling stopping is incorrect. It is heat release from latent heat as dew forms on surface of the ground and plants which slow cooling and then eventually fog forms and once it does then temps just flat line….Fog is liquid water…not the gaseous form water vapour and hence a different mechanism for cooling slowing down. Once fog forms…then the top of the fog layer becomes the radiating surface…not the ground, and as this fog layer cools further at the top, dewpoint is reached and the top of the fog layer rises. This is how fog layers deepen overnight.

Dew is only a small part of it. But there’s a 30-40W/m^2 flux out the optical window at the same time the temperature stops falling.

Martin Mason
November 19, 2017 8:07 am

I can see the same circular arguments and the same immovable positions but nobody addressing the central point of the post. Can radiation from such a low temperature source warm surface matter which is at a much higher energy level, that is the only question to be answered surely. Also if back radiation causes warming how is it that surface temperature and tropospheric lapse rate can be calculated with no reference to radiation?

lifeisthermal
November 19, 2017 8:30 am

The sb-equation says no. There is no transfer but the heat, which is the difference in T⁴. Quantum physics is built on thermal physics, so it obeys the sb-law. Quantum is the microscopic details of heat.
The surface transfer 383W/m²-128W/m² to TOA, and TOA transfer nothing back. Neither does the rest of the atmosphere.

reallyskeptical
November 19, 2017 8:32 am
reallyskeptical
November 19, 2017 8:35 am
Martin Mason
November 19, 2017 8:58 am

Sorry RS but that answers none of the questions I raised. It certainly doesn’t explain cold to hot heat transfer. It doesn’t even touch on why all tropospheric temperatures can be explained and calculated with no reference to back radiation. I really think that AGW is in desperate trouble?

Editor
November 19, 2017 8:35 am

The problem seems to exist in the word “warms”. Radiation from a cold object cannot “warm” a warmer object. However, it CAN leave the warm object warmer than it would have been without the cold object.

As an example. When we look up, the apparent temperature of the sky based on the amount of downwelling thermal radiation is on the order of -50°C … how can this radiation “warm” the much warmer earth?

The answer, of course, is that without the atmosphere the apparent temperature of the sky would be about -270°C … and as a result, we are warmer because of the existence of the atmosphere.

Does the radiation from the atmosphere “warm” the surface? No … but it does leave the surface much warmer than it would be without that radiation.

w.

Hugs
November 19, 2017 11:28 am

Thanks I didn’t notice how you said this already so clearly.

Brett Keane
November 19, 2017 1:31 pm

Willis Eschenbach
November 19, 2017 at 8:35 am: By its mass, and the sun. Just as explained by all real experimental Physicists from Maxwell (Theory of Heat) onwards. Not to mention the Mylar balloon expt, and all Nasa atmospheric readings through the solar system. Even Sagan admitted this eventually.

November 19, 2017 1:53 pm

No, we are “warmer” because the oceans absorb a lot of the sun and release that energy slowly, which heats the atmosphere mostly by direct molecular contact with the air. The cooler air cannot warm the surface, only slow the rate of heat loss. It appears to have warmed because the temp number is higher, but that is not “warmer”. Example, day time heated by the sun gets to 30C, during the night it cools, losing that heat. If the lowest it gets on a clear night is 10C, then we have lost 20C worth of energy. But if on a cloudy night it instead goes to 20C, then we have NOT gained 10C in new energy (*warmer”). What has happened is less energy is lost. It’s not “warmer” on the cloudy nights, it’s less cooled. Because the temp is 10C higher numerically, we say it is “warmer”, but in reality it isnt warmer (no new energy added).

Clyde Spencer
November 19, 2017 5:09 pm

Willis,
Expressed well!

Hugs
November 20, 2017 2:00 am

The cooler air cannot warm the surface, only slow the rate of heat loss.

This is the umpteenth time when “to warm” to “to slow the rate of heat loss” are separated, yet, “slowing the rate of heat loss” results in a warmer average, i.e. warming.

Hugs
November 20, 2017 2:01 am

“to warm” AND “to slow the rate of heat loss” are separated

geez my spelling…