# Where The Temperature Rules The Sun

I’ve held for a long time that there is a regulatory mechanism in the tropics that keeps the earth’s temperature within very narrow bounds on average (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the 20th Century). This mechanism is the timing and amount of the daily emergence of the cumulus cloud field, and the timing and emergence of thunderstorms.

Now, the current paradigm is that the sun rules the temperature, and our daily experience seems to bear that out. When the amount of sun reaching the surface goes up, the temperature goes up. This has led to the claim that the temperature must perforce follow the forcing in a linear fashion. For those interested in the math, the claim is that changes in temperature are equal to changes in forcing times a constant called the “climate sensitivity”. And much energy has been wasted trying to determine the value of that constant.

Despite hundreds of thousands of hours of both human and computer time dedicated to the quest, here’s the great progress that has been made:

Figure 1. Dr. Nir Shaviv’s comments on the history of estimates of the “climate sensitivity” parameter.

I hold that this stunning lack of progress is undeniable evidence that the underlying paradigm is flawed. As I said above, daily experience shows that the sun rules the temperature … but it turns out that while this is true on land, at sea things are quite different.

To show the difference, I looked at the correlation between sunlight striking the surface, and the temperature. Remember that a positive correlation means that the temperature and the sun are moving in the same direction, as the current paradigm insists. A negative correlation, on the other hand, means that they are going in opposite directions. Here’s a map of the globe showing the correlation between temperature and solar radiation at the surface.

Figure 2. Correlation between the solar radiation at the surface, and the surface temperature. This is calculated on a 1° x 1° gridcell basis.

There are several interesting things about this graph. First, it is easy to see why people have been fooled into thinking that the temperature slavishly follows the forcing. On the land, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the positive correlation is nearly perfect—when the surface sun increases, the temperature goes up, and vice versa. It leads to the obvious but incorrect conclusion that it is a feature of the whole planet.

But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.

We have two choices in assigning causation in these areas. Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely. Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.

I’m gonna go with Choice B …

There is another interesting aspect of this graphic. We know that the reason that the Earth’s surface temperature is well above that predicted by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is the poorly-named “greenhouse effect”. How can that be, if the temperature doesn’t follow the forcing as the climate paradigm states?

The answer is that other than in small isolated patches, this phenomenon doesn’t occur where the temperature is less than about 24°C. Below that, as the forcing goes up the temperature goes up as daily experience leads us to expect. So the greenhouse effect is able to warm up the planet … but only to a certain point. Beyond that, things start going the other direction.

Next, it is important to note the size of the phenomenon. A negative correlation between temperature and sunshine occurs over an area where no less than 17% of the sunlight is striking the earth. This is more than enough to serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism.

Finally, it is important to remember that this is not a static phenomenon. As temperatures increase and decrease these areas, the sun is moving in the opposite direction. This keeps the tropical temperature, and thus the global temperature, from getting either too hot or too cold.

My best regards to all. I’m still in the Solomon Islands, you’re welcome to read about my misadventures on my blog.

w.

My Usual Request: When you are commenting please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all understand just what you are talking about.

The Thermostat Hypothesis 2009-06-14

Abstract: The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at an equilibrium temperature.

The Details Are In The Devil 2010-12-13

I love thought experiments. They allow us to understand complex systems that don’t fit into the laboratory. They have been an invaluable tool in the scientific inventory for centuries. Here’s my thought experiment for today. Imagine a room. In a room dirt collects, as you might imagine. In my household…

Emergent Climate Phenomena 2013-02-07

In a recent post, I described how the El Nino/La Nina alteration operates as a giant pump. Whenever the Pacific Ocean gets too warm across its surface, the Nino/Nina pump kicks in and removes the warm water from the Pacific, pumping it first west and thence poleward. I also wrote…

I’ve mentioned before that a thunderstorm functions as a natural refrigeration system. I’d like to explain in a bit more detail what I mean by that. However, let me start by explaining my credentials as regards my knowledge of refrigeration. The simplest explanation of my refrigeration credentials is that I…

## 434 thoughts on “Where The Temperature Rules The Sun”

1. Earthling2 says:

“Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.”

That of course, sounds totally logical and is probably the correct answer considering that “Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely.” is probably totally wrong. Obviously.

The only other explanation would be that cooler ocean temperatures from below replace the warmer water on the surface, thus reducing temperatures and evaporation but that is also probably unlikely, except in a long term phase like a La Nina.

Unless there is some mechanism that does offer some change to the thermocline by more sunshine causing more warmer water and that causes thermal temperature gradient upheaval, although now I am only thinking out loud. We are all allowed to think out loud…

• Earthling2 says:

Wait..scratch the thermocline gradient upheaval. That don’t make any sense and would take way too long. The thunderstorms probably make more sense. All that water vapour condensing out at high altitude and falling as cool rain, and dragging down a cool breeze from up above. Had it the wrong way around.

• I have made a number of measurements of the surface temperature of the ocean with an IR Gun. What I have noticed is that changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity, much more closely than cloud or Sun changes.

• Clyde Spencer says:

jinghis ,
You said, “…changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity,,,,: Are you suggesting evaporation as the cooling driver?

• Clyde, jinghis ,
You said, “…changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity,,,,: Are you suggesting evaporation as the cooling driver?

Yes, the water temperature immediately below the surface is warmer than the skin temperature, while the air temperature just above the surface is always very close to the surface skin temperature. That means to me that the net radiation between the surface and air is zero. That leaves evaporation as the sole means of cooling.

I can even watch it in real time by measuring below the surface with a thermometer as the sun warms the water and creates a warm level just below the surface. While simultaneously reading the IR of the surface. When clouds appear they halt the warming of the water below the surface, but the surface temperature will stay constant. If the wind picks up however the skin temperature will drop and if the wind stops the surface temperature will rise, regardless of clouds or sun.

• Wim Röst says:

jinghis December 15, 2017 at 8:00 am: “What I have noticed is that changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity”

WR: Wind is the big missing link. Besides the role of wind in oceanic [cold] upwelling and in mixing of the upper oceanic surface layers wind plays a huge role in evaporation. A rise in windspeed of 1.3 gives an extra wind stress of 1.69. The higher wind stress results in an even more enhanced evaporation: waves with a greater surface area develop and enhance evaporation in that way and with even more wind, drops of water in the air enhance the surface area exposed to evaporation enormously. And so evaporation rises exponential. Willis already wrote about this.

Wind is an essential element in the ocean-atmospheric system, the system that in its totality is ruling our climate. Wind is the element that badly is known so far and that doesn’t get the attention and research it deserves. Wind is very variable and adapts to changing circumstances. The total quantity of wind is NOT the same every day, every season, every year and every longer period. Variable wind plays a key role.

Some initial warming by whatever (!) cause changes the ocean/atmospheric system. The warmer, the stronger the evaporative reaction. Owners of a swimming pool know about the evaporative power of ‘heat’ + wind.

My compliments for the research of jinghis.

• Paul Bahlin says:

Under hurricanes you have an elevated surface relative to edges, so there is a slope from center out to edge. You also have circulating surface wind that pushes water at right angle to direction of wind complementing outward flow from slope.

So in theory it acts like a giant pump. That’s what the math would show; outward surface flow replaced by upwelling, cold, nutrient rich deep water.. Whether it actually works as such with all the other things going on at the surface, i don’t know if it has been observed as significant.

I would tbink same thing happens under tstorms too but i don’t know if they last long enough to get it going.

2. joelobryan says:

The incident sun radiation can rapidly change the atmophere’s temps at the surface (skin temp).

A day on the beach can convince you of that. Cloudless, it’s warm sun bathing. Then a cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill, and your wife/girlfriend looks for the blanket to pullover her.

But the ocean’s and their temperatures are the key to Earth’s steady temperature. Not the air temp as measured by so many.

• Leo Smith says:

You sir, bathe at the wrong sort of beaches…

• joelobryan says:

A man’s warmth under the loincloth is deceptive for sure. Empires have collapsed and wars waged for such things.

• AndyG55 says:

The Right Beach… :-)

• menicholas says:

Ok, so the general message is…it is complicated, but life is a beach.

• Steve Ta says:

“cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill” – there’s another aspect to this, since the clouds are not rolling along in a static atmosphere. The air below the cloud is also rolling along, but harder to see. This air has been in shade for some considerable time – so is cold. And that cold air reaches you about the same time as the shade.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

Steve Ta – December 15, 2017 at 6:31 am

“cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill” – there’s another aspect to this, since the clouds are not rolling along in a static atmosphere. The air below the cloud is also rolling along, but harder to see. This air has been in shade for some considerable time – so is cold. And that cold air reaches you about the same time as the shade.

And then, ….. there’s another aspect to this. You can get a sudden chill under full Sunshine iffen a cold wind blows in, ….. regardless of whether or not it precedes any cloud cover over top of you.

But anyway, the upper atmospheric winds that blow the clouds around are not always felt (detected) at the surface, ….. but their “shadow” that extends to the surface can cause a fairly “quick” bodily chill simply because of the “quickness” of the IR energy being both conducted and radiated away from your “warm” body and its surrounding air molecules.

• george e. smith says:

So Steve how do you explain why that sudden chill still happens if you are inside looking up at that cloud rolling in front of the sun through double or triple pane glass ??

It has nothing to do with air movement; it is simply solar radiation in the 0.7 to 1.5 micron region where the water in your skin is a strong absorber.

Long wave EM radiation in the 10-50 micron wavelength region is not detectable by ANY of the human senses. It has NO taste either.

G

• Samuel C Cogar says:

joelobryan – December 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

But the ocean’s and their temperatures are the key to Earth’s steady temperature. Not the air temp as measured by so many.

It should be quite obvious to most all learned individuals that your above two (2) claims, that I “boldfaced”, are unquestionably CORRECT.

Likewise, the ocean’s and their temperatures are also the key to the bi-yearly (seasonal) cycling of atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities. Not the seasonal growth and decomposition of the land-based biomass in the Northern Hemisphere that has been insinuated, guesstimated, estimated and/or “fuzzy math” calculated by so many notoriety seeking and/or “wannabe” recipients of government “grant” monies.

• My instinct tells me that your final paragraph is right on the button as it appears that the temperature of the oceans are slow to change.

• Walter Sobchak says:

The air does not warm the water. The water warms the air.

• Clyde Spencer says:

Walter Sobchak,
Such a universal statement is not warranted. Typically, if either warm air passes over the water, or the water surface receives incoming IR, water vapor will be evaporated from the surface, resulting in it cooling. On the other hand, if the air over the air-water interface is saturated (100% RH) with water vapor, negligible evaporation will take and conduction should allow heat to move to the cooler body. Similarly, if IR impinges on the water surface, it should warm if it isn’t able to remove the heat by evaporation. Again, the complexity of the situation suggests that the science isn’t settled, and that we may not have enough information to model the processes adequately. For example, I would suspect that in the absence of wind, the air immediately above the water surface will quickly become saturated, impeding evaporation.

• Andy Pattullo says:

Joelobryan I agree. The vast majority is heat is stored in the oceans and has a very long time lag or lags depending on the processes that deliver that heat to the oceans. As Willis points out the surface temps of the oceans are closely regulated on short timescales by emergent phenomenon such as cloud formation and precipitation. Over very long time scales there may be very important influences by solar cycles, astronomic cycles such as the Milankovic cycles and possibly others. On land the surface temperature is likely the slave of winds, and heat delivered from the oceans along with incident radiation and the global circulation patterns which moves heat form equator to poles. The greenhouse effect may play a bigger role there, but I suspect even then, that various feedbacks (largely ignored by the concensorati) limit the extent that greenhouse gases can control temps. Thus the observed lack of progress in defining sensitivity.

• thomasjk says:

I think the fact that the albedo of the ice-free portion of the ocean is about .04,and that most of the TSI falls on the tropics, most of the area of the tropical surface is the waters of the oceans and all of the tropical ocean surface is ice free. Solar infra-red that penetrates the atmosphere and reaches the surface is absorbed in the first few millimeters of the oceans where as whatever UV and shorter wavelengths that reach the surface may penetrate a couple of hundred meters before their energy is fully absorbed by the water.

Somewhere in all that there may be an important fact or two.

3. Robert W Turner says:

This is showing how heat is distributed and retained in the atmosphere from the real greenhouse effect — convection currents. You can even see a slight effect where air is rising and removing surface heat at the Ferrell/Polar cells, though obviously not as important as the Hadley Cells.

The heat is just transferred from the surface to higher in the troposphere and to higher latitudes when that air eventually falls back to the surface. When the overall general circulation of the atmosphere is not removing as much of this heat (the dry season), it heats up on the surface.

It’s the heat transfer that leads to a negative correlation in the tropics, not “increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface,” that is a catch 22. The tropical ocean is warmest during the dry season, when the surface is receiving more sun. It’s the solar equator that dictates where the Hadley Cells readily remove heat in the atmosphere, specifically at the ITCZ where the most heat is being removed.

• joelobryan says:

In the SW Arizona summer, it is the clear sky June (max insolation) heating of the desert floor that is essential to providing the surface heat that will ensure that when the moisture laden air arrives it will get destabilized to form massive cumulonimbus towers and dump its water on the desert. Without the summer clear sky pre-heating, the SW monsoons wouldn’t happen. The moisture would just pass on by.

• rbabcock says:

AZ experiences heat lows in the summer which actually drag in the moisture laden air.. a cause and effect situation.

• Andrew Cooke says:

That right there is the truth. I remember when I lived there June heat didn’t go above 110 one year – the monsoon was a no show and August was unbearable with heat in the 115’s. The normal was June heat in the 115-120 range and that meant blessed rain at the end of July and August.

We used to joke that if it didn’t hit at least 118 in the last week of June we wouldn’t see rain again until January.

• bruce says:

Remember even central AZ gets monsoon action. At 5500 feet the temp is 17 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Thus the floor never reaches the base temp you mention. So it’s relative to air density, or something more interesting.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

Now I am sure the following 3 comments are honestly earnest opinions, to wit:

@ joelobryan – December 14, 2017 at 11:49 pm
Without the summer clear sky pre-heating, the SW monsoons wouldn’t happen. The moisture would just pass on by.

@ rbabcock – December 15, 2017 at 6:03 am
AZ experiences heat lows in the summer which actually drag in the moisture laden air..

@ Andrew Cooke – December 15, 2017 at 6:24 am
That right there is the truth. I remember when I lived there June heat didn’t go above 110 one year – the monsoon was a no show …

But I just hafta agree with what the University of Arizona authors have to say about the “SW monsoons”, to wit:

The monsoon is driven by the sun heating up the land and the Pacific Ocean at different rates, with land surfaces warming more quickly than the ocean. The warm land creates low-pressure zones as hot air rises. Once this pattern establishes across the region, the winds shift to fill in the vacuum. With this shift in the winds, the monsoon begins in northern Mexico in May. The moisture-laden monsoon air travels north to Arizona and New Mexico, encouraged by the pressure difference between the hot, parched southwestern air and the cooler Mexican air.

There are no evident trends in annual monsoon strength, making it difficult to predict. This variable tendency has been consistent over the past 100 years when record keeping generally began.

The above excerpted from: http://www.climas.arizona.edu/sw-climate/monsoon

• Robert W Turner December 14, 2017 at 11:20 pm

The tropical ocean is warmest during the dry season, when the surface is receiving more sun.

I’m sorry, but that’s not true. That’s the whole point of this post. That’s the oddity, that when those areas of the tropical ocean are warmest there is less sun, not more sun as you claim …

Thanks,

w.

• That is correct Willis, check the changes in wind velocity, the surface temperature tracks wind velocity better. The reason is because the ocean cools primarily by evaporation not radiation, while it warms entirely via radiation.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

@ jinghis

while it warms entirely via radiation.

Uh, …. is not “conduction” an important player in both the warming and cooling of the surface?

• RWturner says:

Not for Kiribati…

• RWturner says:

The negative correlation is not for solar radiation at the surface, but for solar radiation at ToA. For most latitudes, when the sun is at its highest angle in summer, the surface has a higher temperature. But for the tropical marine environment, it’s the opposite. When the sun is at its lowest angle, the surface has a higher temperature because anticyclones depress cumulus formation. The anticyclones of course being part of the mechanism I described above.

• A C Osborn says:

Er, that link doesn’t seem to show that?

• RWturner says:

Uh, yes it does in general. Here is a more detailed look:

https://en.climate-data.org/location/788677/#temperature-graph

Graph the precipitation and maximum temperature from the table. In general, as precipitation increases, temperature decreases. August to November is the driest and warmest time of year, January to April is the rainiest and coolest time of year, and December is the only month that doesn’t show this general relationship.

• Hugs says:

Interesting, RWturner.

• jinghis December 15, 2017 at 8:15 am Edit

That is correct Willis, check the changes in wind velocity, the surface temperature tracks wind velocity better. The reason is because the ocean cools primarily by evaporation not radiation, while it warms entirely via radiation.

Huh? I fear there’s an error in your calculations, Genghis. Per the CERES data, the ocean radiates on the order of 400 W/m2. Evaporation is more difficult to measure, but is on the order of 80 W/m2, while conduction is on the order of 20 W/m2. The ocean cools primarily by radiation.

w.

• A C Osborn says:

is a straight line compared to the first graph you showed.

• Huh? I fear there’s an error in your calculations, Genghis. Per the CERES data, the ocean radiates on the order of 400 W/m2. Evaporation is more difficult to measure, but is on the order of 80 W/m2, while conduction is on the order of 20 W/m2. The ocean cools primarily by radiation.

w.

I don’t doubt that the ocean is radiating 400 W/m2, my point is the air above the ocean is radiating 400 W/m2 back, for a net zero radiation. It is evaporation that transports the heat from the ocean into the atmosphere where I am certain it then radiates at 400 W/m2.

The surface of the ocean absorbs solar radiation probably close to 1000 to 1200 W/m2 and evaporation is how the energy is released. As the surface temperature rises the evaporation rate dramatically rises, creating a low pressure system, winds etc. You know the story.

• menicholas says:

Our skin has responded over millions of years of evolution to create at least mechanisms that cool our warm skin. Certainly our bodies are radiating, and when overheated, our circulatory system shunts blood from the core of our body to our skin, increasing radiational cooling.
But this transport of additional blood/heat to the skin is enhanced by the other mechanism…excretion of water from the skin, which leads to a huge removal of water via evaporation. The phase change of sweat evaporating sucks a tremendously large amount of thermal energy from our body.
Now consider the effects of wind and humidity on this cooling mechanism.
When it becomes very humid, the cooling effect of sweating is greatly diminished, and I would guess it is close to zero when the air is saturated, i.e. humidity 100%. But any breeze or wind greatly enhances cooling by sweat evaporating, even when it is humid…but likely not much if it is windy and 100% humidity.
(Luckily for us, it is rare that it is 100% humid when the sun is shining)
For people that spend lots of time outdoors engaged in the sort of exertion that requires large amounts of heat be shed, or who spend time outdoors in very hot areas, regardless of physical exertion, personal experience may prove insightful, but inconclusive.
Ditto for experiments involving thermometers and IR sensors on the surface of the ocean, unless this is done under a wide range of conditions and the results carefully recorded and plotted.
Interesting to note…in the hottest locations on earth, many animals have adapted strategies for cooling the body that rely more often on radiation…the huge ears of African elephants, giant fan erectly held ears with copious blood supplies on other animals, such as desert foxes, jackrabbits, some bats, etc.
Interesting discussion, food for thought.
Personally, I agree with Willis’s conclusions regarding tropical thunderstorms, having reached the same conclusion my self many years ago.

• menicholas says:

Sorry…at least two mechanisms…

(I think I need a new keyboard)

• “RWturner December 15, 2017 at 8:43 am
Not for Kiribati…”

You’re claiming warmer temperatures over oceans, by using Kiribati’s 3m surface temperature?

• Robert W Turner says:

A C Osborn December 15, 2017 at 1:18 pm
https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/forecast/modelclimate/buariki-village_kiribati_7576353
is a straight line compared to the first graph you showed.

Not the daily maximum temperature, that suggests it is on average 1 degree cooler at night and that makes sense because of less humidity. And we’re talking about when the sun is shining, so my assertion holds true.

ATheoK December 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm
You’re claiming warmer temperatures over oceans, by using Kiribati’s 3m surface temperature?

Do you know a better location within the negative correlation area on W’s map than this?
Napari, Kiribati
Tomorrows forecast, partly cloudy with a high of 80 F and a low of 77 F, go figure.

Where exactly is it cooler during the day when it is sunny/high pressure? WIth actual surface data. The only way that negative correlation could be made is with nighttime lows being factored in.

• Hugs says:

menicholas

I would guess it is close to zero when the air is saturated, i.e. humidity 100%.

Children in a Finnish sauna will quickly find out if they blow to their little brother’s back, that burns. The humidity is 99% and temp at 80C, so there is no relieve in air circulation, on the contrary. So evaporation turns into condensation, which makes cooling impossible.

• Paul Bahlin says:

True. I suffered heat stroke one morning at dawn in Florida. Temp was 71. Dew point was 71. Sweating profusely while merely raking loose fill around new concrete piers.

My cooling system was inoperable.

• Javier says:

One can certainly see in the figure bands of lower and higher correlation that might correspond to the Hadley and Ferrer cells. Convection is a powerful overlooked factor.

• AJB says:

+1

4. Richard111 says:

As I understand it, visible light can penetrate sea water down to about 100 metres. Infra-red light penetrates hardly or not at all, in fact tends to increase surface cooling by evaporation. Thus any back-radiation from the atmosphere is NOT heating some 70% plus of the planet.

• Richard111 December 14, 2017 at 11:47 pm

As I understand it, visible light can penetrate sea water down to about 100 metres. Infra-red light penetrates hardly or not at all, in fact tends to increase surface cooling by evaporation. Thus any back-radiation from the atmosphere is NOT heating some 70% plus of the planet.

Thanks, Richard. However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid? See my post “Radiating The Ocean” for a full discussion of this question.

Regards,

w.

• AndyG55 says:

UV !!

• Bloke down the pub says:

We have two choices in assigning causation in these areas. Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely. Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.

I’m gonna go with Choice B …

Can’t it be both?

• Stephen Skinner says:

So what would the average temperature of the Earth be? if it was:
(a) All water
(b1) All land – bare Sand
(b2) All land – bare Iron
(b3) All land – bare Soil
(b4) All land – Forest

Our Earth is a jumble of continents in a large body of water and the patterns of ocean and atmospheric currents are seriously perturbed by the various bits of land in the way. While a global average temperature can only be an average of other multiple averages it is also hard to work out what it ‘should’ be considering it is a jumble of land and water with large variations in response to the suns heat.
My maths is not currently up to the task of figuring this out but my guess is the 5 options above would have different averages.

• Stephen Skinner says:

“then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?”
I meant to hazard an answer here.
Water is slower to cool down so that the sun is coming back up before the oceans could reach freezing? Also night time temperatures near or on the ocean can be moderate and dry land away from the oceans or in deserts gets very cold at night? On top of that I think the atmosphere itself must have some warming effect considering it gets below freezing a short way up in the atmosphere. So mountain tops will be covered in snow even though there is less atmosphere to block the sun but the sun ‘feels’ cold even though you can get badly sunburnt.

• Javier says:

why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?

Because ice floats and because heat is coming up from the bottom of the ocean. Otherwise they might be frozen solid from glacial periods and wouldn’t melt during interglacials.

• Gabro says:

Blue and green light penetrate farther than that, as does UV:

• paqyfelyc says:

“So what would the average temperature of the Earth be? if…”
“my guess is the 5 options above would have different average”
Right
1) because of power 4 emission, a smooth temperature has higher average than the very same wattage emitted between between a high summer day and a low winter night. so b2 > b1 just because iron is a better heat conductor than sand and soil
2) water adds to the buffering of temperature, and this way keeps temperature still higher
3) photosynthesis also add to the buffering (eating energy in summer day, releasing it in night and winter); much lower effect, but since you mentioned forest…
4) dry Earth would had no clouds, lower, moon-like, albedo, 20% more power.
Notice that, on the moon, the low buffer effect from the soil and tiny atmosphere accounts for a lower average temperature than Earth, despite a higher solar energy (from lower albedo)

• Lars P. says:

” However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid? See my post “Radiating The Ocean” for a full discussion of this question.”

1) The oceans would be frozen solid in a round sliced world somewhere behind Mars orbit – as it is shown in the averaged irradiation world of climate scientists.

I propose another point of view:
If one changes that and considers half of the world in the sun, half by night – as would be in a more realistic simulation – you suddenly have half of it not frozen solid.
The other side in the dark would be partially frozen.
The heat lost of the whole ocean would be also limited through the ice sheet on the frozen part.
So we have the interesting situation of 55% or more, not frozen, and 45% or less, frozen.
(just guessing the % no calculation behind)

2) In the linked post it states:
“People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land. DLR is absorbed in the first mm of rock or soil. “

There is a fundamental difference:
The oceans have an inverted temperature gradient at the surface. Heat does not go from cold to warm. The surface is colder then the water a couple of centimetres below.
On land the surface is warmer and below the temperature is colder – so heat goes top down.

Due to the heat gradient the oceans warm only from the sun and not from ‘backradiation’.

Does this mean that the surface temperature has no effect?
No. The surface works like a heat valve. If the surface is warmer, the ocean below needs to get warmer to lose heat.

Another interesting point would be: if the surface becomes warmer the ocean will generally lose more heat through evaporation which will result in increased heat transfer.

3) Combining point 1) and 2) I would say that the heat transfer through the atmosphere is giving the relationship between the frozen ocean and the unfrozen part.
I haven’t seen proper calculation of heat transfer through the atmosphere, to my understanding climate scientists get even the lapse rate wrong, so they are far away from a proper calculation.

One essential point I am missing in all climate science is the first part the ocean warming directly from the sun and the value where the climate equilibrium (ice/non ice) would be without the atmosphere as a heat brake. Climate science considers the oceans more or less like solid ground which is wrong.

• gnomish says:

cuz the ocean is a greenhouse liquid, willis. radiant energy penetrates to some depth and it stores heat. it can not reradiate that energy because it’s opaque to IR.
it’s a reservoir of heat while the land surface temp flaps in the breeze

the notion that the air heats the ocean is patently absurd.

• ripshin says:

Willis,

However much I love your writing and appreciate your reasoning ability (indeed, have learned much from it), I fail to be convinced. Or, I fail to be convinced that warming of the ocean due to DLR is more than mere noise. Then, as now, “tallbloke’s” response is a cogent rejoinder, and is a prime example that the devil’s in the details: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/#comment-720229.

rip

• Clyde Spencer says:

Willis,

You asked, ” However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?” I think that the answer to the question is: circulation. When I lived in New England, the locals advised me to let a faucet trickle all night on really cold nights.

I think that what you have presented is extremely important! It is an insight on the complexities of the climate system that has evaded the ‘professionals’ who don’t have an appreciation for, or the ability to model to the appropriate scale, the nuances of climate relationships. When one focuses on global averages, it is expected that the details will be overlooked.

• Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 12:03 am

Richard111 December 14, 2017 at 11:47 pm

As I understand it, visible light can penetrate sea water down to about 100 metres. Infra-red light penetrates hardly or not at all, in fact tends to increase surface cooling by evaporation. Thus any back-radiation from the atmosphere is NOT heating some 70% plus of the planet.

Thanks, Richard. However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?

Guys, you’re missing the point. We know, because we’ve measured it from space, that the oceans radiate about 400W/m2.

We also know, for the same reason, that the oceans absorb about 170 W/m2 from the sun.

Now, IF as many claim the downwelling longwave infrared is NOT absorbed by the ocean, that means that the ocean is constantly losing energy at a rate of about 230 W/m2 … and if that were the case, if the ocean were actually experiencing that massive heat loss, it would have frozen solid long, long ago. Regardless of circulation. Regardless of ice floating. Regardless of the speed of cooling of the water. Regardless of Rog Tallbloke’s handwaving.

Given all of that, I have to ask those who think that downwelling IR is NOT absorbed by the ocean, what source of energy are you proposing that in your theory keeps the oceans from freezing?

Someone said “UV!!”. Sorry, but UV at the surface is only something like 20 – 60 W/m2 depending on location. Not only that, but it’s already included in the 170 W/m2 of energy that we’re getting from the sun, along with the shortwave IR as well.

So … what mysterious energy source are you folks proposing that provides 230 W/m2 of energy to the ocean, if it is NOT the downwelling longwave from the atmosphere?

w

• menicholas says:

Well, I am not a ninth grader anymore, but I can think of an experiment:
1)Tank of water well insulated, like a calorimeter. Air in water above tank at 100% RH, eliminating net evaporation, source of LR above the water, shining down on it. All sealed up.
Graph temp profile of water over time. Same with air temp
2) Same apparatus as above but with air at 50% RH.
3) Same apparatus as #1 but with air at 5% RH.
4) Same Apparatus as #1 but with no source of radiation.
5) Same as #1 but with energy source emitting SH and not LW radiation.
Questions: What happens to each over time?
Increased RH represents energy stored in air, but now measurable with a thermometer. What of this?

• gnomish says:

“So … what mysterious energy source are you folks proposing that provides 230 W/m2 of energy to the ocean, if it is NOT the downwelling longwave from the atmosphere?”
seriously? is this not the argument for CAGW in the raw? cuz you can’t find an explanation for a faulty model?
fact: water is virtually opaque to IR
fact: the ocean is not frozen

• Lars P. says:

Willis Eschenbach says: December 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Guys, you’re missing the point. We know, because we’ve measured it from space, that the oceans radiate about 400W/m2.
We also know, for the same reason, that the oceans absorb about 170 W/m2 from the sun.

Sorry Willis but I see this as GW BS.
Insulation is not equal energy source.
If one would remove completely solar radiation from the equation (the 170 W/m2) the temperature would go to zero. Absolute zero. (now not considering the Earth core as energy source…)
If one would remove completely ‘backradiation’ the temperature would not go to zero.
=> the two ‘sources’ are not equal. There is only one heat source.

One can have all the ‘backradiation’ in the world it would still go to zero. The sun radiation drives the whole process.

In my view for proper calculation one should use net energy transfer. Backradiation will never exceed the source. Backradiation is only one member of a heat transfer process and should not be treated individually.

• A C Osborn says:

Gnomish, I have been conducting Experiments to isolate this so called “Back radiation” based on Mr Eshenbachs last Thread on Energy Flow and trying to confirm all the outlandish claims made like
1. All photons are the same.
2. A Photon is a Photon and doesn’t know where it came from or is going to, it just gets absorbed and it’s energy increases the energy of the struck object and hence it’s Temperature.

As you surmise it can’t & doesn’t do the job of warming the surface or the Oceans
.
It doesn’t matter if it is 2 cooling objects of differing temperatures, 2 cooling objects of the same temperature or if one of the objects is constantly heated and one is cooler.
Colder objects do not make Warmer objects warmer, Period.
If you can’t reproduce it you can’t claim it works, “thought experiments” just don’t cut it..
Unfortunately they closed that thread before I could post my results, but then they ignored the first few anyway.

• The ocean surface and the atmosphere above it reach equilibrium at the speed of light. If you go to modtran and look up and down from one meter, you get a range of upward radiation from 446 W/m2 in the tropics to 287 in subarctic summer. The latter (at 287K surface temp) is a reasonable approximation of high latitude ocean temperatures at a few degrees C.
When you look up from one meter, you get downward radiation ranging from 369 in the tropics to 281 in subarctic summer. The downward radiation is always less, with a difference of 78 in the tropics to 96 in subarctic. Net radiative transfer is nearly always from the ocean to the atmosphere, yet the respective temperatures of the ocean skin and the atmospheric boundary layer are essentially the same.

The atmosphere is far more transparent to IR than the ocean. Extinction at 15u is on the order of the wavelength for the ocean, and about a meter for the atmosphere. This asymmetry helps explain the net radiative transfer from the ocean to the air in spite of the boundary temperature equilibrium.

The ocean surface and the atmosphere up to an altitude of half a kilometer both radiate upwards at the Planck curve . Radiation at the Planck curve indicates equilibrium and saturation.

The ocean absorbs the ~325 (avg 369+281) downward radiation, but it does it in less than the thickness of a human hair. This downward radiation is NOT in equilibrium and wildly divergent from the Planck curve in the water and ozone bands. It is at the Plank curve in the CO2 bands.

5. commieBob says:

This has led to the claim that the temperature must perforce follow the forcing in a linear fashion.

Radiative forcing is measured in watts per square meter. The IPCC does indeed say that the change in temperature is linear with radiative forcing.

On the other hand … the Stefan Boltzmann Law states that the power (watts per square meter) radiated by a body is related to the fourth power of its temperature. If I double the temperature (in Kelvins), the power radiated increases times sixteen. That’s not linear at all, is it.

The linear nature of radiative forcing seems to conflict with standard physics. I wonder how they justify that.

• Hugs says:

The linear nature of radiative forcing seems to conflict with standard physics. I wonder how they justify that.

At averages, it works, because at 288K and say, 292K (an assumed, large four-degree warming due to CO2) the difference between calculation and a linear approximation of it, is small.

(1+x)⁴ = 1 + 4x + 6x² + 4x³ + x⁴. If x is small 0 < x << 1, like 4/288, the difference between linear 1 + 4x and the full polynomial is just 6x² + 4x³ + x⁴ which has the factor x², which makes as small as 0.3‰.

Given the other possible errors, I consider this not very large by itself.

This calculation assumes, however, that the distribution is not changing, just temperature. That is not completely true.

• Hugs says:

“which makes as small as” => “making it as small as”. I should have a secretary.

• commieBob says:

Linear case:
292 / 288 = 1.014
The increase in radiated energy would be 1.4%
Nonlinear case:
(292^4) / (288^4) = 1.057
The increase in radiated energy would be 5.7%

The difference between the two cases is a factor of four.

• paqyfelyc says:

factor 4, as it appears in (correct) Hugs calculation. And still linear. So what’s your problem, commieBob
?

• Hugs says:

I got it wrong. The second term is about one thousandth. But yes, 4x is a linear dependency.

• Hugs says:

Estimating polynomials like (T+dt)^4 with their linear approximations, including error estimation, is freshman-year physics. Some learned it in middle school, since it is a useful trick when computing by hand or even without pen and paper. After taking a cup of coffee to get some sobriety I’m almost capable of explaining that the 4th power polynomial’s linear approx is really ‘steeper’ with its multiplier four, but as a polynomial it is, you can always use a linear approximation. The question is only about how large the error is. Here, the error is small as long as dt/T is small, like 4K/288K in my gedankenexperiment. Then (dt/T)^2 is much smaller. Only caveat here is I’m not doing this stuff for work so you need to forgive me my errors… Try it out, commieBob!

• commieBob December 15, 2017 at 4:09 am
Linear case:
292 / 288 = 1.014
The increase in radiated energy would be 1.4%

No it would be 1+4x= 1.056

Nonlinear case:
(292^4) / (288^4) = 1.057
The increase in radiated energy would be 5.7%

The difference between the two cases is a factor of four.

Yes because you left out the constant, 4.

6. wildeco2014 says:

The weight of the atmosphere bearing down on the ocean surface determines the energy value of the latent heat of evaporation and thus controls the maximum amount of solar energy that the oceans are able to retain.
Once that energy content has been reached the consequent evaporation rate supplements convective overturning since water vapour is lighter than air.
The lapse rate slope adjusts accordingly so as to neutralise any net effects from the water vapour produced so that the Atmosphere remains in the state of hydrostatic equilibrium set by the combination of insolation, atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field.
Willis’s weather observations are simply the adjustment process in action.
Works the same way for all radiatively active material in the atmosphere.

• Roger Clague says:

Lots of good physics especially

insolation, atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field. and water vapor properties

The 4 causes of the the Lapse Rate and surface temperature.
Not IR gases such as CO2

However :
Atmospheric pressure is caused by mass not weight. Gas has no weight.
The atmosphere is a gas in dynamic equilibrium not hydro( liquid water ) static.

• At a surface beneath an atmosphere, pressure is caused by weight which is a product of gravity attracting and compressing mass.

• In the context of an atmosphere the term hydrostatic refers to any fluid, not water.

• AndyG55 says:

“Gas has no weight.”

OOPS !!!!

• Gabro says:

Gas molecules aren’t accelerated by gravitational attraction?

Interesting.

I guess I am just imagining that cylinders filled with gas under pressure weigh more than when empty or filled with air at normal pressure.

• Stevan Reddish says:

“Atmospheric pressure is caused by mass not weight. Gas has no weight.”

Other’s addressed this statement with empirical evidence. My attempt at an explanation of the process:

A satellite in low Earth orbit is well within the Earth’s gravitation field yet produces no weight reading on any weight scale it passes over. At 1st look it appears as though air molecules do the same – whizzing to and fro over a weight scale without interacting with that scale.

But, a brick setting on a scale is mostly doing the same thing. Most of the molecules in the brick never “touch” the scale – each whizzing to and fro for a very short distance without directly interacting with the scale.

If only those molecules actually “touching” the scale were being weighed, a brick would weigh less when stood on end versus laying on its side. Since a brick doesn’t weigh less when standing on end, the molecules within the brick must be transferring their weight to the molecules at the lower surface. They do not do this by laying on the lowest molecules of the brick, as molecules within any material never just lay there, except at absolute zero. Each molecule is vibrating every which way. Every time a molecule bounces off its lower neighbor, it applies its weight against that molecule in the form of a little more energy downward than it transfers upward to the molecule upward. Thus every molecule’s weight is transferred to the molecules actually touching the scale.

The process is the same with molecules in a gas. That the gas molecules have less confinement doesn’t change the process of transferring weight downward. It allows energy to also be transferred laterally, thus pressure.

SR

• menicholas says:

Air does not show up on a scale because there is also air under the scale.
Remove the air under the scale and you have a barometer, which is weighing all of the air in a column all the way to TOA.
Also compare the weight of an object when immersed in a fluid like air or water, it apparent weight is reduced by the weight of the fluid it has displaced…it is buoyant.
In air for a dense object this is negligible for many purposes, like if you are operating a dirigible or a hot air balloon.
In water this buoyancy it is not negligible, hence boats and swimming and fish etc.
Which weighs more, a kilogram of feathers or a kilogram of gold?

• menicholas says:

Do, negligible for many purposes…but NOT if you are operating a dirigible or how air balloon.
Spent the day staring at too many streaming quotes.

• Stevan Reddish says:

menicholas December 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm

“Air does not show up on a scale because there is also air under the scale.
Remove the air under the scale and you have a barometer, which is weighing all of the air in a column all the way to TOA.”

It is my understanding that when a high-pressure air mass moves over a region of the Earth’s surface the atmosphere top rises while the air density decreases. This means that a local barometer’s increased reading is a measurement of increased pressure, but not of increased air weight.

A barometer combines air pressure due to air mass (weight), and air pressure due to air energy (temperature).

SR

• menicholas says:

Not sure I understand that graph.
Why is altitude squared for gravity?

• It is Newton’s formula for gravity’s action at a distance.

• Gordon Dressler says:

Except that the “altitude” used for plotting the gravity curve is incorrect. Gravity variation with distance is calculated from the distance from the CENTER OF MASS of object of concern . . . in this case the Earth. At the average surface of the Earth (realizing it is actually an oblate spheroid shape), the Earth center-of-mass is 6,371 km away. Gravity does vary by an inverse-square relationship to distance from CM, such that at, say, 50 km altitude above Earth’s average surface radius the reduction in gravity would only be a factor of (6371)^2/((6371+50)^2) = 0.984, equivalent to a reduction of 1.6%, which is nowhere near the “diminution” of >95% indicated by your graph.

• Thank you. Here is the revised graphic with gravity=altitude+6.371 and pressure and density scaled.

The important difference seems to be that pressure and density shift to the other side of the gravity curve and do not converge again. The mid troposphere divergence is the same with opposite sign.

7. Doug says:

“…in the Northern Hemisphere, the positive correlation is nearly perfect—when the surface sun increases, the temperature goes up, and vice versa.”

Could this be due to all the blacktop and buildings in the North which I think would hold more heat longer?

8. Peta of Newark says:

the sun rules the temperature … but it turns out that while this is true on land, at sea things are quite different.

The difference being: the amount of water in the landscape?

Hopefully via Wunderground, compare these 2 places for the last 12 months –
one= desert
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KAZBISBE10#history/s20161214/e20171215/myear
High T= 45. Low T= -5.6 Rain= 186mm

two= rainforest.
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=ISANTACR81#history/s20161214/e20171215/myear
High T=36 Low T=23 Rain= 2480mm

See the desert has higher max, lower min and a shed-load less rainfall

So, which came first – the climate then the plants or the plants followed by the rain.
What does cause what in a rain-forest?
Does rain make the forest or does the forest make the rain?

Sadly the room-elephant arrives via the epic over-simplification we all get taught at primary school.
We are all told that:
“Deserts have crap climates and hence plants don’t grow there”

If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.

Expand your thinking to include the possibility that maybe the plants (or lack of) create the landscape and hence the climate……
Just run the ‘thought experiment’ and see where you go.
Unless of course, the Kwashior, an urgent rendezvous with an iced doughnut or a chill-session down-the-pub get in your way.

Also the other horrendous over-simplification, repeated endlessly around here, that CO2 is a plant fertiliser and makes them plants grow (better)
Wrong.
Addition of the (Liebig) limiting nutrient is always the best fertiliser. For plants everywhere that is usually water-soluble nitrogen. As produced in chemical factories in huge amounts since 1945 also via the burning of ANYTHING in an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. Eg petrol, diesel, kerosene, coal or natural gas.

So. We have forest and desert.
Which is more resemblant of the ocean – which has the greater water content?

Also farmland.
Is farmland closer to being a desert or a forest?
On average, is it bare dirt and dark-colored more or less than a forest might be?
I say its closer to being desert

It matters not – what matters is the variation in the extent of it and how how intensive the farming is.
Surely one or both of those things must be changing otherwise we’d not be getting constantly all-ecstatic about ever rising food production.
Especially when growing wheat, corn, rice or potatoes. Such land is only actually green for 2 or 3 months of the year. Effectively desert the rest of the time.
(YMMV whether you class starch and vegetable protein as viable food for the human animal)

The rising starch production says that ‘something’ is happening (being done) to the farmland that was different x number of years ago.
Remember, this is 10% of the entire planet’s surface area

Is it unreasonable to expect that that ‘something’ is having an effect on thermometers planted around that ‘place’?

Similar to Willis and his learning adventures on the ocean, I’ve learned a thing or 2 from my adventures in the dirt.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not ‘anti farmer’ by any means, I spent 58 years being one.

And there, I suspect, is the root cause of this climate panic.
No-one wants to bad-mouth the farmers – for a pretty obvious reason.
Even the brain-rotting effect of eating carbs and refined sugar (and booze) allied to the protein deficiency (Kwashorior) we’ve nearly all got, doesn’t render us dumb enough to ‘bite the hand that feeds’

The chronic sugar-induced depression means we have to pass-the-buck – and so we do.

That all we can come up with to the accept the buck is the hapless CO2 molecule just goes to show how bad things really are becoming

• paqyfelyc says:

“Also the other horrendous over-simplification, repeated endlessly around here, that CO2 is a plant fertiliser and makes them plants grow (better)
Wrong.
Addition of the (Liebig) limiting nutrient is always the best fertiliser. For plants everywhere that is usually water-soluble nitrogen. ”
Wrong.
For plants everywhere that is usually WATER. Only when water is enough, nitrogen becomes (usually) the next limiting nutrient.
And, furthermore, that’s water because they lose much water just to get CO2, through the stomata they open just for that. More CO2 means less water loss.
Notice than water conservative CAM and C4 photosynthesis systems, are actually CO2 management systems.

• RWturner says:

If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.

I read to there and that was enough. We’ve all got a lot to learn, but some of us more than others.

http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap16/geo_clim.html

• menicholas says:

“If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.”
I suggest a class or three in physical geography and climatology if you think this is a serious question in desperate need of an answer.
I do not know who you hang out with to think the whole world is suffering from brain deficiencies due to protein starvation.

There is no mystery there.
I agree with RW Turner.
A compendium of misinformation.

9. mothcatcher says:

Leaving aside for a moment the actual mechanism which is the subject of Willis’ post, it first should be stated that the evidence that there is a water-vapour mediated thermostat, though perhaps circumstantial, seems to be compelling.

Surely the same logic that claims a positive ‘water vapour feedback’ deriving from CO2 warming comes close to being a ‘reductio ad absurdum’, because of the overwhelming preponderance of H2O as the major greenhouse gas. Surely a claim of warming mechanism from the addition of other, less effective, GHGs therefore requires a more complex explanation, which my reading has failed to uncover. This is why I tend to the sceptical position.

CO2 and any other GHG, would therefore be relegated to a bit part, acting perhaps in the drier polar regions only, and I guess might change the GMST, but I still haven’t seen a proper exposition even of this

• menicholas says:

Earth history for the past 600 million years disproves a positive water vapor feedback.
If this was the case, we would not be here to discuss it.

10. SAMURAI says:

Willis-san:

You’ve really done yeoman’s work showing how the equatorial ocean warming/tropical cloud cover/precipitation feedback help maintain equatorial ocean temperatures within a very narrow range.

Your work completely disconfirms CAGW’s “tropical hot spots”, which are erroneously baked into all climate models.

BTW, do you have any comments on Rosenthal et al 2013’s coral proxy data which suggest tropical ocean temperatures during the MWP could have been 2C warmer than now? That seems difficult as your analysis shows a pretty hard ceiling of maximum tropical ocean temps at 34C.

TIA.

• Thanks, sensei. I haven’t seen Rosenthal’s paper. Do you have a link?

Actually maximum open ocean temps hit a hard ceiling at about 30°C. However, what factors might cause slow drift in our thermostabilized climate system is an open question. I speculated about some of them in the first post listed under “Further Reading”

Regards,

w.

• Gabro says:

Ocean temps have often far exceeded 30 degrees C in the past, despite a one percent weaker sun during the mid-Cretaceous.

Paleogene 34 degrees C:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003PA000937/full

Cretaceous 36 degrees C (Sept 2017 paper, but preceded by many similar findings):

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825217303859

Some have even suggested 40 degrees C (hot tub ocean), which has been cited as an explanation for Cretaceous cloudlessness from lack of biological CCNs, leading to the observed heat and equableness (pole to pole) of climate then.

• rbabcock says:

Gabro-

On the Chesapeake Bay, a pretty much enclosed body of water with a pretty high summer Sun, the summer water temps magically hit 30C and stops regardless of many extended heat waves in June to Aug. Off the coast of NC south of Hatteras the water temps magically hits 30C and stops in July.

In both cases these are pretty shallow so you would expect they may actually get warmer than the open ocean.

The limiting ocean temps may have been warmer in the past, but we are talking about now conditions. Looking at the SST maps put out by NOAA (who is always right, right?), it looks like 30C is about as warm as it gets with few exceptions.

• OweninGA says:

Samurai,
I haven’t read the paper, but as most corals form in a shallow reefing structure, are they certain they aren’t seeing the pool temperatures moderating the local coral temperatures rather than a strict open-ocean temperature? (shallow as in I was able to dive down the walls without too much busting of my open-water dive certs – I saw reef structures below me, but they were no way near as dense and active as the first 100 feet.)

Gabro,
Didn’t a great deal of that depend on the continental configuration at the time providing for a very large, shallow ocean right along the equator? That would seem to be a recipe for a very warm ocean, but I wonder about the cloud effects – it still seems counter-intuitive for less cloud to form with a very warm (even if only a couple 100 meters deep) ocean surface for evaporation. I wonder what kind of circulation currents might have appeared in that configuration, as I don’t remember how exposed the shallow seas were to the surrounding deep water.

• Retired Engineer John says:

Not only do open ocean temperatures hit that hard temperature ceiling; fresh water lakes are also are limited to 30 – 31 C. The exceptions are the Persian Gulf, which is highly salty, and ocean areas that are muddy.

• Gabro says:

All,

The high paleo SSTs I cited were from deep ocean sites as well as the Tethys Sea.

Continent arrangement and active submarine volcanism might well have contributed to mid-Cretaceous and Paleogene hot tub oceans.

The hottest parts of Cretaceous seas were inhospitable to biological CCN-producing organisms. Consequent low cloudiness is an hypothesized positive feedback in Cretaceous heat and equable temps.

Even today, in warm years, the Persian Gulf can hit 35 degrees C.

• tty says:

All those very high TEX86 temperatures are dubious for two reasons.

1. Since there are no seawater that warm today the TEX86 values are either extrapolations or based on laboratory cultures of Archaea which are dubiously applicable to conditions in the open sea.

2. The warmest extant sea, the Red Sea, has “aberrant” TEX86 values. Using these yields much lower paleotemperatures, but for some reason they are not used, despite probably being the most relevant values available.

• 3x2 says:

However, what factors might cause slow drift in our thermostabilized climate system is an open question.

‘Slow’ moving fluid, irregular topography?

• Gabro says:

tty,

Paleoclimatologists and oceanographers use forams and other proxies besides archaeans.

The problem with shortage of present day real world comparisons has IMO been overcome by comparison with the few available suitable sites, such as the Persian Gulf and Red Sea (33 degrees C max), and, as you note, lab experiments.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08146-z

IMO the best explanation for mid-Cretaceous heat is the hot tub ocean hypothesis, leading to lower cloudiness.

• tty says:

“The problem with shortage of present day real world comparisons has IMO been overcome by comparison with the few available suitable sites, such as the Persian Gulf and Red Sea (33 degrees C max),”

The trouble is that the TEX86 values from the Red Sea (which go to 0.89) are not used for calibration because they occurr at much lower temperatures (almost 10 degrees) than equal values from the rest of the ocean (which only go to 0.72). There is a similar though smaller discrepancy for Mediterranean values.

And if you are into paleoceanography you must be aware that forams yield systematically lower temperatures than TEX86. This is usually stated to be due to the forams not living near the surface (though there is evidence that this also applies to TEX86, at least in upwelling areas). Furthermore many (most?) older foram temperatures are doubtful due to diagenesis problems.

I agree that the mid Cretaceous oceans were much warmer than today, but if the equatorial waters were anywhere near as hot as is often claimed they would have been devoid of eukaryotic life, which they emphatically weren’t.

• Gabro says:

Tty,

Marine reptiles presumably like it hot, but of course they needed prey which did, too. Naturally, a bit below the surface was probably more temperate,

Fish, shellfish and other marine eukaryotes manage to survive in the 33 to 35 degree C waters of the Persian Gulf and Red Sea today, but maybe sustained Ts in that range were a different matter.

• Retired Engineer John December 15, 2017 at 7:35 am
Not only do open ocean temperatures hit that hard temperature ceiling; fresh water lakes are also are limited to 30 – 31 C. The exceptions are the Persian Gulf, which is highly salty, and ocean areas that are muddy.

Also Dead sea which reaches an average of 37ºC in august. Presumably related to the reduced evaporation rate due to the high salinity (10x normal oceanic values).

• Wim Röst says:

My alarm is ringing when I read about Tex86. Recalibration raised temperatures:

“Recent incubation (14) and core-top (15) studies resulted in a new calibration for TEX86 that is linear up to 40°C, which raises interpreted peak tropical SST by ∼5°C from those originally published using TEX86 (9).

WR: Interpretation of proxy data might differ quite a bit. About the warmest Eocene (different sources):

“Thus, a newer interpretation (see supporting online material) for the warmest Eocene suggests tropical SSTs in the 35° to 40°C range, not the 33° to 28°C range published in 2007 (9), or the 25° to 30°C range as thought a decade ago (3), or the 20° to 25°C range accepted two decades ago (2).”

Source:
A Hotter Greenhouse?
Matthew Huber*
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/321/5887/353

11. I wonder if this effect also occurs over the Himalayas and other high altitude ice fields? There seems to be a yellow blob in roughly the right area.

Although the temperature over alpine ice fields is colder than the 24C threshold, the 24C threshold might only apply at sea level.

If this is a contributing effect, the total impact on temperature in the current climate from alpine ice fields is not likely to be great – but during an ice age this effect if it exists might contribute to keeping the planet locked in a cold climate.

• 3x2 says:

I wonder if this effect also occurs over the Himalayas and other high altitude ice fields? There seems to be a yellow blob in roughly the right area.

Where water vapour drops back out of atmosphere?

12. Nigel S says:

Very interesting, thanks WE. I think that just as Spring makes a young man’s fancy lightly turn to thoughts of love, daily tropical thunderstorms make one think about all that energy being transferred and the awesome power of nature.

13. Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy says:

North coastal belt of Brazil present high turbidity and thus less radiation reaching the earth’s surface over this belt.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

14. Has anyone else realised that the thermostat hypothesis can only work in a scenario where the surface temperature enhancement caused by an atmosphere is a consequence of the adiabatic, mass induced, greenhouse effect and not the radiative version?

• Andrew says:

Stephen, I think your ideas make a lot of physical sense. But you need to explain your thoughts in a less convoluted way. The above is a good example such as when you say “mass induced” as I understand it, you really mean gravity induced…

• EdB says:

I agree the gravity/mass induced warming as the primary temperature set point, with radiative/humidity effects causing imbalances, resulting in turbulence. WE describes the process well. His work is outstanding.

I await the acceptance of his clarity that all our added CO2 does is cause thunderstorms and other vertical heat transport to arrive a few minutes earlier each day. Big deal!(one can retreat to the tropical bar bar a bit earlier as was his wry observation).

Thus the day maximum temperatures do not materially change, but night time cooling is slowed(ratiative effect), resulting in an overall small change in the average temperature.

• paqyfelyc says:

The thermostat hypothesis works in the radiative version (which is actually not a different version, just like the “energy” version of mechanics is no different of its “force” version). I don’t like the radiative version, but it would work just as well if properly done.

• No, imo the thermostat hypothesis is a function of vertical heat transport. The use of radiative physics alone does not describe thunderstorms, cloud cover variations, and surface wind changes, leading to increased evaporation, and thus more vertical transport. To my knowledge, no one has modeled this from fundamentals.. Willis has described it, and with data, demonstrated that it exists.

• paqyfelyc says:

nobody use “radiative physics alone”, that’s why GCMs are used even in alarmists’ fantasy land.

• Stephen Wilde December 15, 2017 at 3:03 am

Has anyone else realised that the thermostat hypothesis can only work in a scenario where the surface temperature enhancement caused by an atmosphere is a consequence of the adiabatic, mass induced, greenhouse effect and not the radiative version?

Oh, please, not this crap again. There are two separate proofs, not claims but proofs, that there is no possible “adiabatic, mass induced, greenhouse effect” as you endlessly claim.

One is from Dr. Brown, who teaches this stuff at Duke. It’s called “Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates“. The other is mine, entitled “A Matter Of Some Gravity“.

The fact that you are either unwilling or unable to understand these proofs does not make you correct. Let me ask everyone to NOT go down this rabbit hole once again. READ THE PROOFS, FOLKS.

This is NOT the thread for your pet idée fixe, Stephen. This is a post about where the temperature rules the sun. Please take your monomania elsewhere, thanks.

w.

PS—before someone jumps up to say “you can’t prove anything in science”, yes, you can. You can’t prove that there are no black swans, for example … but you damn well can prove that there are white swans. READ THE PROOFS. This antiscientific BS that Stephen endlessly peddles has no place on this scientific website.

• Joe Born says:

Although the conclusion of those “proofs” is essentially true, I must once again point out that they are based on faulty assumptions.

Dr. Brown’s proof was a thought experiment involving a silver wire whose ends are thermally coupled at different altitudes to a gas column. The argument was that, if we assume that the lapse rate of a gas at equilibrium is non-zero, we are forced to conclude that the temperature gradient imposed on the wire by the gas column’ s lapse rate would cause heat to flow—and thus enable work to be performed—indefinitely. Since that’s perpetual motion, the argument went, the non-zero-lapse-rate assumption that led to it must be false.

But that argument tacitly made two questionable assumptions. The first was that coupling the wire to the gas column would not affect the gas column’s equilibrium lapse rate. The second was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire.

As can readily be seen by simulating molecules colliding in a gravitational field, neither assumption stands up to scrutiny for a finite number of molecules, no matter how large that finite number is.

Again, the basic conclusion that the equilibrium atmosphere’s lapse rate would not differ detectably from zero is correct. But, since the assumptions on which those arguments were based are invalid, it’s incorrect to call them proofs.

• Neither of those ‘proofs’ deals with the exponential decline in density and pressure with height which gives rise to the real world lapse rate slope.
The column of gas used in Brown’s scenario is constrained laterally and so leads only to a linear decline in density and pressure with height which does not properly reflect the real world scenario.
As for the relevance to this thread I submit that it is critical because one needs a mechanism whereby the water cycle can reach only a set predetermined maximum temperature despite an increase in surface insolation.
The proper scientific reason for such a phenomenon lies with vertical energy transport via non radiative processes which is where the adiabatic element comes in.
In a similar manner we see that water boils at 100C given 1 bar atmospheric pressure no matter how fast one introduces additional energy from an external source.
So it is that surface pressure from air over the oceans sets the maximum temperature that the oceans can achieve before evaporation takes over.
That is the reason why Willis’s observations are important.
Note that throughout history the phenomenon has been noted and remarked upon so it is not unique to Willis.

• Joe Born says:

The column of gas used in Brown’s scenario is constrained laterally and so leads only to a linear decline in density and pressure with height which does not properly reflect the real world scenario.

Actually, no. As Coombes and Laue demonstrated, a uniform temperature is entirely consistent with an exponential pressure reduction.

• Joe Born December 16, 2017 at 5:06 am

Although the conclusion of those “proofs” is essentially true, I must once again point out that they are based on faulty assumptions.

Joe, always good to hear from you. However, I have no idea what “essentially true” means. Either they are true or they are not.

Dr. Brown’s proof was a thought experiment involving a silver wire whose ends are thermally coupled at different altitudes to a gas column. The argument was that, if we assume that the lapse rate of a gas at equilibrium is non-zero, we are forced to conclude that the temperature gradient imposed on the wire by the gas column’ s lapse rate would cause heat to flow—and thus enable work to be performed—indefinitely. Since that’s perpetual motion, the argument went, the non-zero-lapse-rate assumption that led to it must be false.

But that argument tacitly made two questionable assumptions. The first was that coupling the wire to the gas column would not affect the gas column’s equilibrium lapse rate.

Not true. The claim is that the equilibrium lapse rate is established by gravity. This means that it would reassert itself after any kind of disturbance.

The second was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire.

I don’t know what that means. If the top and bottom are at different temperatures as the theory claims, heat would flow in the wire.

As can readily be seen by simulating molecules colliding in a gravitational field, neither assumption stands up to scrutiny for a finite number of molecules, no matter how large that finite number is.

Again, I don’t understand what that means.

Again, the basic conclusion that the equilibrium atmosphere’s lapse rate would not differ detectably from zero is correct. But, since the assumptions on which those arguments were based are invalid, it’s incorrect to call them proofs.

Since you’ve said nothing about my proof, I’m not clear which “proofs” you are referring to. And I disagree that the assumptions are invalid.

Once again I ask, QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING and point out where they are wrong. Waving your hands and saying “The second [incorrect assumption] was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire” is meaningless without referring it to a statement in the proof.

w.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 5:31 am

Neither of those ‘proofs’ deals with the exponential decline in density and pressure with height which gives rise to the real world lapse rate slope.

My proof covers any kind of decline in density or pressure whatsoever.

The column of gas used in Brown’s scenario is constrained laterally and so leads only to a linear decline in density and pressure with height which does not properly reflect the real world scenario.

Again, for Dr. Brown’s proof the exact decline in density and pressure are immaterial.

As for the relevance to this thread I submit that it is critical because one needs a mechanism whereby the water cycle can reach only a set predetermined maximum temperature despite an increase in surface insolation.
The proper scientific reason for such a phenomenon lies with vertical energy transport via non radiative processes which is where the adiabatic element comes in.
In a similar manner we see that water boils at 100C given 1 bar atmospheric pressure no matter how fast one introduces additional energy from an external source.
So it is that surface pressure from air over the oceans sets the maximum temperature that the oceans can achieve before evaporation takes over.
That is the reason why Willis’s observations are important.

I don’t have a clue what any of that means. I’ve shown by proof by contradiction that in a non-GHG atmosphere, no combination of pressure and density can raise the surface temperature beyond the S-B temperature based on the incoming radiation. If it could, the surface would be radiating more than it is receiving.

Note that throughout history the phenomenon has been noted and remarked upon so it is not unique to Willis.

Huh? WHICH phenomenon are you on about? Water boiling? Surface pressure setting the temperature? Vertical energy transport? The adiabatic element?

Again I say, as I said to Joe, QUOTE THE DAMN WORDS OF THE PROOF AND SHOW US EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE WRONG!!! I’m tired of picking spitballs off the wall.

Grrr …

w.

• Joe,

I’m aware of the Coombes and Laue paper but they restrict their analysis to a single vertical column of air which is adiabatically enclosed (in which no heat or mass is transported across its boundaries) and which is in thermal equilibrium. I am sure they are right given those parameters but that does not represent an atmosphere that is convectively overturning around a sphere.
Such an atmosphere might be in thermal equilibrium overall but at any given moment every moving parcel of air within it is out of thermal equilibrium. Furthermore, there is a constant transfer of mass and heat across the boundaries between multiple rising columns and falling columns.
Additionally a planetary atmosphere is constantly receiving new energy from the surface below rising columns and returning it to the surface beneath falling columns so there is a constant flow of new heat into and old energy out of the convective system which cannot therefore be adiabatically enclosed.

So, ignore Coombes and Laue for present purposes.

• Willis, I’d be happy to engage with you on your comments but I do not wish to derail this tread even though the adiabatic process is indeed critical to the convective activity in the tropics that you describe.

I gave you a five point elevator speech previously and you accepted the first three points.

Your issue was with points 4 and 5 only but I see them as following inevitably via simple logic from the first three.

My preferred method of resolving your continued objections would be a new post focusing solely on your objections to points 4 and 5.

In the meantime, if you raise posts to which my contentions are relevant I will continue chipping away at the subject in a polite manner.

• Joe Born says:

I have no idea what “essentially true” means. Either they are true or they are not.

By “essentially true” I meant the following. Contrary to the assertions of the “proofs,” there would be a non-zero gravity-caused gradient in mean molecular kinetic energy: there would be a non-zero lapse rate. But that lapse rate would be too small to measure in a reasonable amount of time: it would differ undetectably from the conclusions at which you and Dr. Brown arrived.

The claim is that the equilibrium lapse rate is established by gravity. This means that it would reassert itself after any kind of disturbance.

You appear to mean that in the fullness of time the gas column’s lapse rate after the silver wire is coupled to it would settle on whatever value it had at equilibrium before that coupling. I say instead that the equilibrium lapse rate it would ultimately settle on would be different, because the gas column would be permitted a wider range of states.

If the top and bottom are at different temperatures as the theory claims, heat would flow in the wire.

I contend in contrast that heat would not flow. I know that’s counterintuitive, but it’s a conclusion at which one should arrive if he observes the behavior of molecules colliding in a gravitational field

Again, I don’t understand what that means.

Well, that’s fair; you’d need to see the simulation. So I’ve submitted one to Mr. Watts as a proposed post, complete with the R script. Unfortunately, except for one post I slipped in while he was on sabbatical, he has declined all mine ever since I failed to exhibit enough deference to Christopher Monckton’s erudition. So in all likelihood that portion of my comment will remain unexplained.

Since you’ve said nothing about my proof, I’m not clear which “proofs” you are referring to.

For my purposes they were the same; he had heat flowing through a wire, while you had a heat engine being driven by heat flow. But the invalid assumptions were the same.

Waving your hands and saying “The second [incorrect assumption] was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire” is meaningless without referring it to a statement in the proof.

As I said, those assumptions were only tacit; they were implied by the logic of the proof. But Dr. Brown did later state that assumption explicitly, although in different words:

The only way to avoid a violation of the second law is for all material objects to come to the same thermal gradient in a gravitational field. I’m hoping you can see why this is not ever going to be the case.

The problem is that derivations of the results everyone remembers from thermodynamics and statistical mechanics rarely include gravitational effects and are mostly based on assuming things like infinite-heat-bath environments. So, strictly speaking, many of their results are true only in the infinite limit: for finite systems they’re off by a skosh. This is fine for practical applications since in practice the number of particles is astronomical. But it’s bad to forget when you get into the “proof” business.

It turns out this is all really quite simple to understand if you go through a particle simulation. Unfortunately, such a simulation doesn’t lend itself to being shown in a comment. But I urge anyone with an open mind to try it.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 7:09 am

In the meantime, if you raise posts to which my contentions are relevant I will continue chipping away at the subject in a polite manner.

Nonsense. You have not been polite enough to follow a simple request to quote the words you object to. When you start doing that I’ll start paying attention to your claims. Until then, talk to the hand.

w.

• Joe Born December 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

I have no idea what “essentially true” means. Either they are true or they are not.

By “essentially true” I meant the following. Contrary to the assertions of the “proofs,” there would be a non-zero gravity-caused gradient in mean molecular kinetic energy: there would be a non-zero lapse rate. But that lapse rate would be too small to measure in a reasonable amount of time: it would differ undetectably from the conclusions at which you and Dr. Brown arrived.

I still don’t understand. How can you claim that something will “differ undetectably” with something else? And how could you show that it “differs undetectably” if you cannot detect the difference?

Sorry, Joe, but that makes no sense to me at all.

The claim is that the equilibrium lapse rate is established by gravity. This means that it would reassert itself after any kind of disturbance.

You appear to mean that in the fullness of time the gas column’s lapse rate after the silver wire is coupled to it would settle on whatever value it had at equilibrium before that coupling. I say instead that the equilibrium lapse rate it would ultimately settle on would be different, because the gas column would be permitted a wider range of states.

Again, you have not quoted what part of the proof you disagree with, so I’m unable to say anything about your claims. But if that bothers you, imagine: you couple the wire. Heat flows. You uncouple the wire. The thermal gradient in the enclosed air is re-established by gravity just as before. Lather, rinse, repeat, as they say.

I leave it to you to figure out why that would break the laws of thermodynamics …

If the top and bottom are at different temperatures as the theory claims, heat would flow in the wire.

I contend in contrast that heat would not flow. I know that’s counterintuitive, but it’s a conclusion at which one should arrive if he observes the behavior of molecules colliding in a gravitational field

Counterintuitive? It’s counter the laws of thermodynamics, not to mention counter our everyday experience.

I give up. I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire. Why on earth not?
What would stop it? Maxwell’s Demon? If two objects at different temperatures are connected thermally, by radiation or by a silver wire or an iron bar, heat will spontaneously flow from the warm object to the cold object until their temperatures equalize.

With respect, until you understand and accept that fact of life, there’s no point in further discussion.

Sorry,

w.

• Joe Born says:

Sorry,

w.

Don’t be. Your post provided a lot of insight, which I appreciate. As to your failing to comprehend the shortcomings of your “proof,” I completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with starting from first principles to re-examine his beliefs; each of us has his respective limitations.

For the benefit of readers with a somewhat broader perspective, though, I’ll explain it thus:

If you simulate a monatomic gas comprising two constituents, one consisting of $N/2$ molecules of mass $m$ and another consisting of $N/2$ molecules of mass $2m$, all randomly traveling in one dimension for the sake of simplicity subject to a gravitational field and among them having total (kinetic + potential) energy $NE_{avg}$, what you find after a long period of “thermalization” is that at altitude $NE_{avg}/2mg$ the first constituent’s average molecular kinetic energy is $\frac{NE_{avg}}{2(3N-2)}$, while the second constituent’s is zero. (By “what you find” I mean what you find after averaging over a long time; variances are so great that over short time periods these averages not repeatably undetectable. I had attempted to get a post published here that would explain this in more detail, but apparently I’ve become persona non grata here since I disputed Christopher Monckton’s bizarre mathematics.)

In any event, those energies translate to respective temperatures at that altitude of $k_B\frac{NE_{avg}}{3N-2}$ and absolute zero for the different constituents, where $k_B$ is Boltzmann’s constant. You will also find that both constituents have the same average temperature, $2k_B\frac{NE_{avg}}{3N-2}$, at altitude zero and that both temperatures change linearly with altitude: both lapse rates are non-zero, but, since the constituents are both at equilibrium there is by definition no average heat flow.

In other words, the equilibrium temperatures at the higher altitude are different for the different constituents, the different constituents have different lapse rates, and these values’ averages over long periods persist even though the constituents are intimately mixed, but despite their temperature differences and their intimate mixing no net heat flows on average between them.

Moreover, you’d find that each constituent by itself would exhibit a lapse rate twice the value it exhibits when the two are mixed.

Now, a silver wire is not the same as a gas, and mixing two gas components together is not the same as coupling a silver wire to a gas column. But adding the second constituent to the first reduces the original first’s lapse rate by removing the constraint that the first constituent’s total energy remain fixed. Since coupling the gas column to the silver wire removes a similar constraint from the gas column, we are entitled to question the silver-wire proof’s assumption that coupling the silver wire to the gas column would leave the latter’s lapse rate unchanged.

Furthermore, since the added constituent adopts a lapse rate different from that of the original constituent—and since that difference persists despite the constituents’ being intimately mixed—it’s not self-evident that thermal coupling would cause the silver wire’s temperature difference to equal the gas column’s. Nor, since the different gas constituents’ lapse rates cause no heat flow down their respective temperature gradients, can we conclude that whatever temperature gradient prevails at equilibrium in the silver wire would necessarily cause heat to flow within it.

In short, although what we think we know about Fourier’s law would seem to dictate that any temperature gradient at all would cause some heat to flow through a heat-conductive medium, we find if we reason from first principles that gravity modifies that conclusion. Before we apply a physical law, that is, it’s important to know the assumptions on which it is based.

• Joe Born December 16, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Sorry,

w.

Don’t be. Your post provided a lot of insight, which I appreciate.

Thanks.

As to your failing to comprehend the shortcomings of your “proof,” I completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with starting from first principles to re-examine his beliefs; each of us has his respective limitations.

WHAT? You pathetic little man, how dare you? To date you have not quoted ONE WORD of my proof! Nor have you raised ONE OBJECTION to any of the words, logic, or thoughts in my proof! Zip. Nada. Nothing.

And now you want to insult me about my understanding of what’s in my proof and make nasty accusations about my supposed “limitations”? Really? To date all we’ve seen are your limitations, you haven’t said diddly-squat about my proof. It may have limitations, but by God you haven’t said one word that shows that they exist.

Your main limitation seems to be, I’ve asked you over and over again to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS OF THE PROOF THAT YOU OBJECT TO AND TELL US WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM.

But noooo … instead of doing that and risking that you might actually be shown wrong, you just tip your head sideways and let the thoughts roll out. They may be great thoughts for all I know but I have NO IDEA what they have to do with my proof, or Robert’s proof, for that matter. No clue. Nor am I interested in trying to guess, that’s a fool’s errand.

Joe, you are better and smarter than this crap that you’re trying to pull. Put on your big boy pants, quote the words from either of the proofs that you think are wrong, and we’ll discuss it. Because waving your hands and typing random words and pretending you are raising cogent objections to the proofs is a sick joke. Wake up and smell the coffee, I know that you are not the person you are currently acting like.

Let me make it simple for you. Here’s a picture:

The graphic is based on How to Disagree by Paul Graham, which is well worth reading.

One thing of extreme importance is that in the linked article the author says (emphasis mine):

DH5. Refutation.

The most convincing form of disagreement is refutation. It’s also the rarest, because it’s the most work. Indeed, the disagreement hierarchy forms a kind of pyramid, in the sense that the higher you go the fewer instances you find.

To refute someone you probably have to quote them. You have to find a “smoking gun,” a passage in whatever you disagree with that you feel is mistaken, and then explain why it’s mistaken. If you can’t find an actual quote to disagree with, you may be arguing with a straw man.

Comprende? If you wish to refute my proof, and clearly you do, you have to quote what you think is wrong and show us why it is wrong. Anything else is just wanking, which is Australian for what we used to call “hitchhiking to Chicago” with the appropriate hand gesture …

w.

PS—And you too, Stephen Wilde. Like I said, I’m sick and tired of picking you guys’ spitballs off the wall.

• Joe Born says:

I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire.

If two objects at different temperatures are connected thermally, by radiation or by a silver wire or an iron bar, heat will spontaneously flow from the warm object to the cold object until their temperatures equalize.

My immediately previous remarks were directed specifically to those contentions. I described a simulation you can run that is the basis for my belief that Fourier’s law is actually only a zero-gravity result, i.e., that with gravity Fourier’s Law is off a skosh, so that subject to gravity the wire could have a small temperature gradient without heat flow.

Specifically, I described simulating an equilibrium composite gas comprising two constituent gases of respective, different molecular weights. If you set those constituents’ molecules in motion in a gravitational field and let them randomly collide as they do in an equilibrium gas, what you’d find is that the constituents not only have respective non-zero (but small) lapse rates at equilibrium but also have different mean molecular kinetic energies at every non-zero altitude.

Since such a simulation would show that in the presence of gravity no net heat flow occurs despite a non-zero gradient within each (thermally conductive) equilibrium-gas constituent and despite a temperature difference between the two constituents at non-zero altitudes, we are entitled at least to speculate that a thermally conductive wire, like the thermally conductive gas, can have a temperature gradient at equilibrium, i.e., without heat flow, when it’s subject to gravity.

I’m open to being shown I’m wrong; my conclusion is clearly unconventional. But your idea of refutation seems to be to call me names and demand that I quote you even though I clearly have been doing so. That isn’t as persuasive as you may imagine.

• Joe Born says:

If anyone is interested is performing that demonstration, here’s the code. But be forewarned: it takes a couple hours to run:

g <- 9.8 # Gravitational acceleration, m/sec^2
k.B <- 1.38064852E-23 # Boltzmann's constant, J/K
amu <- 1.660539040E-27 # Atomic mass unit, kg
T <- 288 # Temperature, K

gas <- function(m, z0, v0, t, collision.prob = 0.5){
N <- length(m)
if(length(z0) != N | length(v0) != N)
stop("m, z0, and v0 must be the same length")
g <- 9.8
z1 <- z0
v1 <- v0
t1 <- t[1]
v <- z <- matrix(nrow = N, ncol = length(t))
repeat{
#  Decide whether (provisionally) to allow collision and, if collision would
#  be allowed, which molecules would collide and when:
tc <- Inf
colliders  1){
for(i in 1:(N - 1)){
for(j in (i + 1):N){
if(collision.prob > runif(1)){
tc.i <- t1 - diff(z1[c(i, j)]) / diff(v1[c(i, j)])
if(tc.i <= t1) next
if(tc.i < tc){
tc <- tc.i
colliders <- matrix(c(i, j), nrow = 1)
}else if(tc.i == tc){
colliders <- rbind(colliders, c(i, j))
}
}
}
}
}

# Determine provisional bounce time and which molecules would bounce
tbs <- numeric(N)
for(i in 1:N) tbs[i] <- max(Re(polyroot(c(z1[i], v1[i], -g / 2))))
tb <- min(tbs)
bouncers <- which(tbs == tb)
tb <- tb + t1

#  End of current interval is earlier of provisional collision and bounce
#  times:
t2 <- min(tc, tb)
interval = t1 & t < t2)

# Current interval's position and and velocity curves
z[, interval] <- z1 + v1 %*% t((t[interval] - t1)) +
rep(-g, N) %*% t((t[interval] - t1) ^ 2 / 2)
v[, interval] <- v1 + rep(-g, N) %*% t((t[interval] - t1))

# for(i in 1:N) lines(t[interval], z[i, interval], col = i, lty = 3, lwd = 3)

# Next interval's initial conditions:
z1 <- z1 + v1 * (t2 - t1) - g * (t2 - t1) ^ 2 / 2
v1 <- v1 - g * (t2 - t1)

#  Implement collisions or bounces, whichever would come first:
if(tc < tb){
vc <- v1
for(i in 1:dim(colliders)[1]){
z1[colliders[i,]] <- rep(mean(z1[colliders[i,]]), 2)
v1[colliders[i, 1]] <-
((-diff(m[colliders[i,]])) * vc[colliders[i, 1]] +
2 * m[colliders[i, 2]] * vc[colliders[i, 2]]) /
sum(m[colliders[i,]])
v1[colliders[i, 2]] <- v1[colliders[i, 1]] - diff(vc[colliders[i,]])
}
}else{
v1[bouncers] <- -v1[bouncers]
}
t1 <- t2
if(t[length(t)] < t1) break
}
list(t = t, z = z, v = v, K = 1/2 * m * v ^ 2)
}

# HERE'S WHAT THE TRAJECTORIES LOOK LIKE
initial.conditions <- function(N, m = NA, T = 288){
if(missing(m)){
m <- seq(24.43433, 48.86866, length.out = N) * amu
}else{
if(length(m) != N) stop("Length of m must be N")
}
E.avg <- 3/2 * k.B * T  # Energy per molecule in one dimension
E <- N * E.avg * (r <- runif(N)) / sum(r)
v0 <- sign(runif(N) - 0.5) * sqrt(2 * (KE <- runif(N) * E) / m)
z0 <- (E - KE) / m / g
list(m = m, z0 = z0, v0 = v0)
}

N <- 4  # Number of molecules
t <- seq(0, 200, 0.1)

inits <- initial.conditions(N)
m <- inits$m z0 <- inits$z0
v0 <- inits$v0 trial <- gas(m, z0, v0, t, 0.75) plot(NA, xlim = range(t), ylim = range(trial$z), xlab = "Time (Seconds)",
ylab = "Altitude (Meters)",
main = paste(N, "-Particle-Gas Motion in One Dimension", sep = ""))
grid()
for(i in 1:N) lines(t, trial$z[i,], col = i, lwd = 2) # TO TAKE STATISTICS, WE GENERATE LONG RECORDS, WITH DIFFERENT NUMBERS OF # MOLECULES t <- 0:1000000 M <- 5 trials <- ab <- list() ab[[1]] <- matrix(c(3/2 * k.B * T, -m[1] * g), nrow = 1) for(N in 2:M){ inits <- initial.conditions(N) m <- inits$m
z0 <- inits$z0 v0 <- inits$v0
trials[[N]] <- gas(m, z0, v0, t, 0.75)
ab[[N]] <- matrix(nrow = N, ncol = 2)
for(i in 1:N) ab[[N]][i,] <-
lm(trials[[N]]$K[i,] ~ trials[[N]]$z[i,])$coefficients } # Plot the lapse rate of the lightest molecule in each trial plot(NA, xlim = range(0, -ab[[M]][1, 1] / ab[[M]][1, 2]), ylim = range(0, ab[[2]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)", ylab = "Temperature (Kelvins)", main = "Temperature vs. Altitude for\nDifferent System Sizes") grid() for(i in 1:M) lines(c(0, -ab[[i]][1, 1] / ab[[i]][1, 2]), c(ab[[i]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B, 0), col = i, lwd = 2) legend("topright", bty = "n", lty = 1, lwd = 2, col = 1:M, legend = paste(1:M, "-Molecule System", sep = "")) # Compute and plot altitude histograms zmax <- dmax <- 0 histo <- list() for(i in 2:M){ histo[[i]] <- hist(trials[[i]]$z[1,], plot = FALSE)
dmax <- max(dmax, histo[[i]]$density) zmax <- max(zmax, histo[[i]]$breaks)
}
plot(NA, xlim = c(0, zmax), ylim = c(0, dmax), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)",
ylab = "Probability Density (/Meter)",
main = "Molecule-Presence Probability\nDensity as Function of Altitude")
grid()
for(i in M:2) lines(histo[[i]]$mids, histo[[i]]$density, col = i, lwd = 2)
legend("topright", col = 2:M, lty = 1, lwd = 2, bty = "n",
legend = paste(2:M, "-Molecule System", sep = ""))

#  Determine ratios of lapse rate to weight
simulation.ratio <- numeric(M)
for(i in 1:M) simulation.ratio[i] <-
-initial.conditions(2)\$m[1] * g / ab[[i]][1, 2]
theoretical.ratio <- 3 * (1:M) - 2
rbind(theoretical.ratio, simulation.ratio)

#  Plot the lapse rate of every molecule in the last trial
plot(NA, xlim = range(0, -ab[[M]][1, 1] / ab[[M]][1, 2]),
ylim = range(0, ab[[M]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)",
ylab = "Temperature (Kelvins)",
main = "Temperature vs. Altitude for\nDifferent Molecule Masses")
grid()
for(i in 1:M) lines(c(0, -ab[[M]][i, 1] / ab[[M]][i, 2]),
c(ab[[M]][i, 1] * 2 / k.B, 0),
col = i, lwd = 2)
legend("topright", bty = "n", lty = 1, lwd = 2, col = 1:M,
legend = paste(round(m / amu), "AMUs"), title = "Particle Mass")

• Philip Mulholland says:

Joe Born,
I would like to understand your ideas more fully. This thread is jumbled so I hope I am stitching into the weave at the correct point ;-)
Starting here “For the benefit of readers with a somewhat broader perspective, though, I’ll explain it thus:
If you simulate a monatomic gas comprising two constituents, one consisting of N/2 molecules of mass m and another consisting of N/2 molecules of mass 2m, all randomly traveling in one dimension for the sake of simplicity subject to a gravitational field and among them having total (kinetic + potential) energy NE_{avg}, what you find after a long period of “thermalization” is that at altitude NE_{avg}/2mg the first constituent’s average molecular kinetic energy is \frac{NE_{avg}}{2(3N-2)}, while the second constituent’s is zero”

I take it that by the second constituent is zero you are referring to the more massive monatomic gas 2m and that its particle velocity will be zero? In essence are you describing the effect on particle kinetics of vertical escape velocity in a gravitational field? Let’s assume for the purpose of the model that the vertical gravity field is constant (not true for real planets) then starting at the surface for a given kinetic energy the massive particle 2m will reach a lower apex point of zero upward velocity than the lighter particle of mass m will because for a given temperature in a mixed gas the low mass particles must necessarily have a higher velocity to share the same momentum as the more massive gas. For a planet with a given gravity field and a given degree of solar heating a low mass, fast moving gas, such as Helium, will be lost to space while a slow moving, high mass gas, such as Argon will be retained.

• Joe Born says:

Philip Mulholland:

Yes, you have it right. The highest theoretical altitude a molecule can have is the total system energy divided by that molecule’s weight: there it’s in the state in which it has all the energy and all other molecules are at rest on the ground. This is an incredibly improbable state, of course, and the probability decreases as the number of molecules in the system. In the case of our atmosphere, moreover, it would be parsecs away, where 1/R^2 has made a mockery of the uniform-gravity assumption.

But the principle is still valid: the zero-average-kinetic-energy altitude is twice as high for the light molecule as it is for the heavy one, yet at zero altitude their average kinetic energies are the same. So the lapse-rate-defining slope line is steeper for the heavy molecule than for the light one.

Remember, now, all this prevails in an equilibrium gas, so by definition no heat flows. Contrary to what we would ordinarily think Fourier’s Law tells us, therefore, there’s no heat flow in the (thermally conductive) gas despite temperature differences between the constituents at all altitudes above zero. (An interesting aside is that, because their populations are different functions of altitude, the constituents share total kinetic energy equally even though the lighter one’s average is greater than the heavier one’s at all altitudes above zero. At first that’s a head-scratcher.)

So my conclusion is that, strictly speaking, Fourier’s Law is actually exact only in the no-gravity limit. When you plug in the numbers, though, you see that the difference is so small as to be reliably detectable, even in principle, only with an impracticably long measurement.

• Philip Mulholland says:

Joe,
Thanks, Now for the next bit about lapse rates:-
“Furthermore, since the added constituent adopts a lapse rate different from that of the original constituent—and since that difference persists despite the constituents’ being intimately mixed”
In the Earth’s mixed Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere dry air has a mixed molecular weight (MW) of 28.9. Water vapour however is a light molecule with a MW of 18. Moist air therefore has a different lapse rate to dry air. In addition to this mass difference, ascending moist air cools more slowly because of the release of latent heat associated with the two phase changes of water that can occur. The first change is from vapour to liquid (water droplet clouds) and the second phase change is from liquid to solid forming ice crystal clouds. All of this would be irrelevant if it were not for the physical separation of the water falling under gravity from the storm clouds in the form of solid crystal snow (or hail) at altitude and/or liquid rain lower down. Once the rain has fallen from the cloud the now dried air remains aloft and can only descend at the dry air adiabatic lapse rate. It is this difference in lapse rates that accounts for the Chinook (snow eater) winds that are the end stage of an advection process that transports the moist air from the Pacific across the Rockies, bringing snow to the mountains, and then as the air descends at the dry adiabatic lapse rate transforms it to reach the Canadian Prairies at surface altitudes of 3000 feet where it arrives with a higher air temperature than that of its initial sea level Pacific air mass origin.

Lapse rates matter on Earth because of water, the condensing fluid and its latent heat and rainfall. Here the lapse rates are not the same for ascending moist air parcels and descending dry air parcels.

• Joe Born says:

Philip Mulholland:

Your comment is interesting, but it’s not something to which I can confidently respond. It deals with the types of lapse rates we actually see in real life: rates that dynamic processes produce.

My comments, on the other hand were more theoretical; the deal, not with those large, readily measurable lapse rates but rather the minuscule, hard-to-measure lapse rates that (I say) would prevail if the atmosphere were ever to reach equilibrium. My comments responded to “proofs” purporting to establish that the lapse rates in that theoretical situation would necessarily be zero. I say that simply observing random particle motion of particles in a gravitational field should convince one otherwise.

• Joe Born says:

It appears that the site’s software sometimes interprets R’s assignment operator as part of an HTML tag or something and eats sections of the script. So, although the original script runs fine, when I post it to this site it gets mangled. I’m trying to get around that by replacing the usual assignment operator with equals signs, but I’ve yet to have it go through unmolested. I’ll post a workable version if I find a workaround.

In the meantime, I apologize to anyone who tried to run it.

• Joe Born says:

While I try to stop this site from chewing up my script, I should mention that his own post to which Mr. Eschenbach linked above is indeed directed to something different from what the linked-to Robert Brown discusses. My comments above focus largely on Dr. Brown’s post, which contained passages like this:

As one can see in figure 2, there can be no question that heat will flow in this silver wire. Its two ends are maintained at different temperatures. It will therefore systematically transfer heat energy from the bottom of the air column to the top via thermal conduction through the silver as long as the temperature difference is maintained.

I say instead that under the influence of gravity a thermal conductor can indeed exhibit a (minute) temperature gradient without heat flow. I show this by simply observing the behavior of a (thermally conductive) gas’s colliding molecules bouncing from a zero-altitude surface. Observed over time periods long enough to pick small mean values out of large variances, the gas exhibits a very slight lapse rate, which decreases as the number of molecules increases.

Dr. Brown based his conclusion on Fourier’s Law, but that law was determined empirically, and the deviation for which I argue is so slight in comparison with statistical variance that its detection would have eluded experiment.

My (as it turns out, faulty) memory was that Mr. Eschenbach had written a proof similar to Dr. Brown’s but using a heat engine instead of a silver wire. I see now that the one he linked to above dealt instead with the effect that a purely transparent atmosphere would have on surface temperature. With that post I have no problem.

Still, my remarks were pertinent to Mr. Eschenbach’s comments of the following nature, to which I previously invited attention above:

I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire. Why on earth not?

To explain “why on earth not” rigorously would take some serious theoretical and statistical mechanics, but the demonstration I perform shows that behavior by “experiment.” Or, actually, it shows that behavior—i.e., that equilibrium non-zero temperature gradient—not in a silver wire but rather in the gas itself. As Dr. Brown said, though,

Nor does one require a silver wire to accomplish this. The gas is perfectly capable of conducting heat from the bottom of the container to the top all by itself!

• Joe Born says:

I again apologize for flubbing the script upload, but I’ve despaired of getting the script to post unmolested.

What you would have seen if you’d been able to run the script is that it simulates a one-dimensional gas in which (for computational purposes, a necessarily small number of) molecules in a gravitational field sometimes collide with and sometimes pass through each other:

If you simulate something like a million seconds each for two-, three-, four-, and five-molecule systems, and if for each system regress one molecule’s kinetic energy (temperature) against its altitude, you get the following illustration that the lapse rate falls as the number of molecules increases.

By extrapolation, that lapse rate would be exceedingly small for the number of molecules in the atmosphere, but it would be some finite non-zero value.

• Joe Born says:

I should also mention that, although the altitude range increases with the number of molecules, the average altitude does not:

Finally, the demonstration would have shown that within a given gas system the different-molecular-mass constituents have different lapse rates. So at an altitude above zero they maintain different temperatures: temperatures of intimately mixed constituents differ without heat flow between them.

This suggests that gravity can cause an equilibrium temperature difference between different materials in thermal communication.

• Joe Born December 18, 2017 at 3:19 am

It appears that the site’s software sometimes interprets R’s assignment operator as part of an HTML tag or something and eats sections of the script. So, although the original script runs fine, when I post it to this site it gets mangled. I’m trying to get around that by replacing the usual assignment operator with equals signs, but I’ve yet to have it go through unmolested. I’ll post a workable version if I find a workaround.

In the meantime, I apologize to anyone who tried to run it.

Thanks, Joe. To avoid that, surround it with the HTML preformatted tags, “pre” and “/pre”. As usual you’ll need to surround the tags with the greater than and lesser than signs, if I type them it will interpret what I wrote as HTML.

w.

• Joe Born says:

My (as it turns out, faulty) memory was that Mr. Eschenbach had written a proof similar to Dr. Brown’s but using a heat engine instead of a silver wire. I see now that the one he linked to above dealt instead with the effect that a purely transparent atmosphere would have on surface temperature. With that post I have no problem.

And despite that, no excuse for attacking my willingness to examine new ideas, viz:

As to your failing to comprehend the shortcomings of your “proof,” I completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with starting from first principles to re-examine his beliefs; each of us has his respective limitations.

Ah, well, I guess that’s too much to ask.

Still, my remarks were pertinent to Mr. Eschenbach’s comments of the following nature, to which I previously invited attention above:

I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire. Why on earth not?

To explain “why on earth not” rigorously would take some serious theoretical and statistical mechanics, but the demonstration I perform shows that behavior by “experiment.” Or, actually, it shows that behavior—i.e., that equilibrium non-zero temperature gradient—not in a silver wire but rather in the gas itself. As Dr. Brown said, though,

Nor does one require a silver wire to accomplish this. The gas is perfectly capable of conducting heat from the bottom of the container to the top all by itself!

Your claim is that if you connect two bodies at different temperatures by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire. I don’t see anything in your “experiment” about a silver wire, just gas molecules. Did I miss something?

Other than that, your only explanation is:

To explain “why on earth not” rigorously would take some serious theoretical and statistical mechanics …

Since your claim is contrary to every thermo book I’ve ever read, all of which say that given a path heat flows spontaneously from a warmer to a colder object until they are at equilibrium, I can see it would take such mechanics … how about you give us the 411 of your claim in an elevator speech? Because I and every thermo book I’ve ever read say that if you thermally connect two objects at different temperatures, heat will flow until they are at the same temperature. Again, what am I missing?

Finally, since you have no problem with my proof, could you explain it to Stephen Wilde? He still claims it’s wrong, but like you he won’t actually QUOTE THE PART where he says the proof is wrong … which, unfortunately, is just like you with Dr. Brown’s proof.

You ever gonna actually QUOTE THE PART where you say Dr. Brown went off the rails, and tell us exactly what’s wrong with it? Because until you do, his proof stands …

Thanks,

w.

• Joe Born says:

As to tags, I did try “pre” tags and, later, “code” tags, and neither seemed to work; I’d run the code fine in my office, copy that exact code between the tags, post it, copy the resultant published code, and get a ton of errors when I ran the code I’d copied. Maybe the size of the script had something to do with it. (I believe I mentioned, though, that I sent it by email to Mr. Watts, if that’s helpful.) Anyway, I have long since exhausted that exercise’s amusement value.

Still, I was able to post the output graphs, which in essence are the elevator pitch, although they omit some nuance.

Now to Dr. Brown’s post.

Okay. Once more, with feeling. I did, as seems to have escaped your attention, quote Dr. Brown above, to the effect that a temperature difference would have to cause heat flow in any situation at all where there’s thermal conductivity. That’s what I dispute. We’ll go through why step by step.

First, Dr. Brown based that contention on Fourier’s Law: Heat flow is proportional to temperature gradient, normal area, and conductivity—or, if you prefer, temperature difference, normal area, and conductivity and inversely proportional to orthogonal distance. So, if there’s any temperature difference at all, no matter how small, Fourier’s Law seems to require that at least some heat will flow occur if there’s any thermal conductivity (as there is in a silver wire—and, due to colliding molecules, there necessarily is in a gas).

Second, Fourier’s Law is not restricted to silver wires; it applies to other things, too, like gases.

Third, an ideal gas is a collection of molecules that collide and, if they’re disposed in a gravitational field, otherwise follow ballistic trajectories.

Fourth, if we model an ideal gas consisting of colliding ballistic molecules and find, as the graphs above illustrate for a monatomic gas restricted to one dimension, that at equilibrium—i.e., at no average heat flow—it has a non-zero kinetic-energy gradient (non-zero lapse rate), then we can conclude, contrary to what we may have thought, that Fourier’s Law actually is only a limit as the number of molecules approaches infinity. For a finite number, that is, the law is off a bit, although for the number of molecules in a macroscopic object it’s so close that as a practical matter we’d never detect the difference—and, even in principle, detecting it would take quite a while.

Fifth, if that’s true of Fourier’s Law as applied to gases, we are entitled to suspect that it may be true for silver wires, too. We therefore cannot assume that what little temperature difference is imposed upon a silver wire by an equilibrium-lapse-rate-caused temperature difference between coupling altitudes will necessarily cause heat to flow through the wire.

But, sixth, the fifth step is actually superfluous, since in the fourth step we already found a non-zero lapse rate in an equilibrium gas, which is what Dr. Brown was trying to refute.

Basically, I have no problem with the conclusion of Dr. Brown’s proof if it’s qualified to mean that the lapse rate is so close to zero that as a practical matter we’d never detect the difference. But he rejected qualification:

[H]eat will flow through the silver for any difference in temperature until there is no difference in temperature. . . .

Look, I know this seems really far out: it seems to be denying Fourier’s Law. But in light of the simulation (and, in truth, some statistical mechanics that I won’t go into here) maybe it’s just interpreting Fourier’s Law more correctly.

• paqyfelyc says:

@Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Nice proofs, but they just prove what should be obvious (I know, some people still believe otherwise …. sigh….): that the definition of equilibrium includes that no thermal gradient will appear out of nowhere. They applies to an non-existent atmosphere.
A ground heated, atmosphere is something else. It is out of equilibrium. It is a heat engine, complete with heat source, cold source, expansion of the fluid moving upward and compression of the same moving downward. Heat engine are funny things. In particular, they CAN move heat from the cold place to the hot one, provided you give them mechanical energy.

Obviously, standard IPCC greenhouse effect DOES include a downward movement of heat: “back-radiation” that is stronger than atmosphere’s radiation to space. And anyone claiming this is unscientific (as “slayers” do) is wrong: this back-radiation can be measured with real instrumentation, it is a fact.
Trouble is, a perfect mirror atmosphere could only send back just as much solar power the ground receive from the sun, plus half of what it itself absorbs from the sun, and fact is, it is ~2x stronger that. So you need something else to account for half of it. Which is?….

PS—
“you can’t prove anything in science” just means science is about theories, and theories do not prove facts, facts disprove theories. You cannot use Newton’s law to “prove” gravity, and you cannot prove Newton’s law with facts (despite it working so well it took centuries to discover flaws, usually irrelevant in everyday life). The existence of white swans is a matter of fact, that science cannot prove, doesn’t need to, and cannot even be invoked to prove. That is why the smartest move against Zeno’s “proof” that movement is impossible, was just to move.

15. Thank you Willis for a very interesting post. I am trying to understand how your conclusions correlate with the following post, which shows that:

The Nino3.4 temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly. [H/T to Bill Illis.]

I am not disputing your hypo, I am trying to understand how this all fits together.

Best, Allan

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/20/from-the-the-stupid-it-burns-department-science-denial-not-limited-to-political-right/comment-page-1/#comment-2616345

NOT A WHOLE LOTTA GLOBAL WARMING GOIN’ ON!

Unlike the deeply flawed computer climate models cited by the IPCC, Bill Illis has created a temperature model that actually works in the short-term (multi-decades). It shows global temperatures correlate primarily with NIno3.4 area temperatures – an area of the Pacific Ocean that is about 1% of global surface area. There are only four input parameters, with Nino3.4 being the most influential. CO2 has almost no influence. So what drives the Nino3.4 temperatures? Short term, the ENSO. Longer term, probably the integral of solar activity – see Dan Pangburn’s work.

Bill’s equation is:
Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

Bill’s graph is here – since 1958, not a whole lotta global warming goin’ on!

My simpler equation using only the Nino3.4 Index Anomaly is:
UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC, ~four months later) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom + 0.15
Data: Nino3.4IndexAnom is at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

It shows that much or all of the apparent warming since ~1982 is a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

Here is the plot of my equation:

I added the Sato Global Mean Optical Depth Index (h/t Bill Illis) to compensate for the cooling impact of major volcanoes, so the equation changes to:
UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom (four months earlier) + 0.15 – 8*SatoGlobalMeanOpticalDepthIndex

The “Sato Index” is factored by about -8 and here is the result – the Orange calculated global temperature line follows the Red actual UAH global LT temperature line reasonably well, with one brief deviation at the time of the Pinatubo eruption.

Here is the plot of my new equation, with the “Sato” index:

I agree with Bill’s conclusion that
THE IMPACT OF INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 ON GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS SO CLOSE TO ZERO AS TO BE MATERIALLY INSIGNIFICANT.

Regards, Allan

• afonzarelli says:

• 3x2 says:

Hourly basis.

• dh-mtl says:

The basic correlations presented in the above post by Allan Macrae are good.
However, if you use an Exponentially Weighted Moving Average on the monthly Nino 3.4 data, and use a factor that weights the latest month equal to 0.01 (i.e. the weighted moving average centers approximately 4 years in the past), you will find that this EWMA is highly correlated with the Global Temperatures, and essentially accounts for the long term drift of global temperatures since the 1980s.

The correlations presented in Macrae’s post above capture the short term effects of El Nino, but do not reveal that there is a secondary, long term effect, of El Nino on global temperatures that is even more important. This EWMA as I describe in the paragraph above also correlates with the AMO.

In addition, if the Sunspot Index is added to the correlations, you will find that it is also significant.

• 3x2 says:

Sorry, hourly basis which translates into, with no changes, a permanent basis.

Were I tasked with designing a planet that would hold its surface temperature within a few 10ths of a degree. Earth would be my finest achievement.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 15, 2017 at 3:23 am

Bill’s equation is:
Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

Sorry but this equation makes no sense, you can’t take the log of a dimensional number, the terms should all have the units of temperature.

• Phil:

There is an obvious reason why Bill used the natural log function.

You can figure it out.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm
Phil:

There is an obvious reason why Bill used the natural log function.

You can figure it out.
He doesn’t understand dimensional analysis?

• Phil – to keep it simple: the units of each factor in Bill’s equation are whatever is needed to make it work.

I understand your point, I just cannot be bothered to go into more detail.

Bill Illis has demonstrated to me that he not only understands the science better than most, he is good at explaining it.

You will note that I did not use CO2 in my simpler equation – that is because increasing atmospheric CO2 has very little impact on global temperature. There is no real global warming crisis – it does not exist in reality.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm
Phil – to keep it simple: the units of each factor in Bill’s equation are whatever is needed to make it work.

I understand your point, I just cannot be bothered to go into more detail.

Very convenient, in science you don’t just make up equations any way you like, all the terms must be balanced dimensionally. Makes one wonder what ‘make it work means’?

Bill Illis has demonstrated to me that he not only understands the science better than most, he is good at explaining it.

You will note that I did not use CO2 in my simpler equation – that is because increasing atmospheric CO2 has very little impact on global temperature. There is no real global warming crisis – it does not exist in reality.

Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.

• Hello Willis,

I think I now have this sorted, but confirmation would be helpful.

https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/index.php

Can you kindly tell me:
1. Which CERES data are you using? Edition? Subset? etc.
2. Which temperature data are you using?

Data Sources would be appreciated.

Thank you.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 17, 2017 at 8:29 am Edit

Hello Willis,

I think I now have this sorted, but confirmation would be helpful.

https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/index.php

Can you kindly tell me:
1. Which CERES data are you using? Edition? Subset? etc.
2. Which temperature data are you using?

Data Sources would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Thanks, Allan. I’m using CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed2.8, although I note that there is a newer version. I’m in the Solomon Islands until Saturday, when I get home I’ll look at the newer dataset. Internet here is slooooow …

For temperature, I’m using a straight conversion of the EBAF surface upwelling longwave flux into temperature by stefan-boltzmann. I’ve checked that against the HADcrut 4.0, and they differ only very slightly, a degree or two at most.

Regards,

w.

======================

Folks, this is how I treat people with honest statements and honest requests. However, for those who try to abuse me and insult me, well, karma is like hitting a golf ball in a tiled bathroom. I hit back five times as hard. I’m not here to be your damn punching bag … if you’re nasty to me, you can bet you’ll get the same in return. Consider it an object lesson in how the world works.

I note that Stephan Wilde and Joe Born and gnomish and plenty of others, despite repeated requests, have not quoted one thing from either my proof or that of Dr. Brown. Lots of huffing and puffing, lots of math, lots of insults and accusations that I’m unwilling to change my mind … but no quotes of what I said. When the FACTS change, I change my mind. I do not do so just because someone makes a random statement and then claims to have refuted my proof.

The process is simple. If you want to refute my proof, not just nibble at the edges or insult me or advance your own hypothesis, then QUOTE WHAT I SAID IN THE PROOF and then SHOW US WHY IT IS WRONG.

Anything else I’ll just ignore, as will anyone who understands science. Me, I’m fed up with people waving their hands and then insulting me when I don’t go along with their brilliant insights into something totally unrelated to my proof.

• Thank you Willis – I believe your hypo is correct. Very well done!

Rob Bradley aka Phil: The ~20-year “Pause” must be more distressing to you. And it is back!

Expect more global cooling in the next months – it is already a near-certainty based on the predictive relationship of the Nino34 anomaly, where the global LT temperature lags the Nino34 anomaly by ~4 months:

Bundle up, and Merry Christmas to all! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Regards, Allan :-)

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

Year Month Nino34 Anom dC
2017 6 0.55
2017 7 0.39
2017 8 -0.15
2017 9 -0.43
2017 10 -0.46
2017 11 -0.86

• Joe Born says:

Folks, this is how I treat people with honest statements and honest requests.

Occasionally it is. Actually, though, Mr. Eschenbach’s responses to me above are more typical of the ill grace with which has for years responded to people who try to throw him a line when he’s in over his head (as, when it comes to math, he often is).

Now, the point I’ve been making above would benefit from actually looking at the simulation the script performs, so it’s perfectly understandable that he didn’t get it. But in the thread that starts here you can see that he exhibited the same lack of emotional maturity when several of us attempted repeatedly to help him out of his following error in basic statistics:

Invert the axes to get boundaries on a slope? One is the slope of X with respect to Y, and the other (reversed axes) is the slope of Y with respect to X. They are very different things, and the slope of one is simply 1/slope(the other). In no way are those two the “bounding extremes” for one of the slopes.

If you follow that thread you will see how (characteristically) rude his persistence in this error was. This has occurred many times over the years.

And in this case his using all caps to demand we quote him doesn’t negate the fact that I repeatedly did quote him verbatim–even thought that shouldn’t have been necessary. The simple truth is that his proof was to the effect that a temperature gradient could never exist in a thermally conductive medium without attendant heat flow, a proposition I showed was wrong by providing a simulation of its existence in a thermally conductive gas subject to a gravitational field. His response to the simulation was, as usual, just bluster.

• Phil – I suggest you have revealed yourself as a troll, which I suspected earlier. Your aggressive and ignorant comments with no material content, and your use of a pseudonym is typical of the troll empire.
You most recently wrote:
“Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.”

BIll Illis’ above graph extends back to 1958, which means he included pre-satellite-era data.

My above graph encompasses ~all the entire satellite era.

Both graphs include a large percentage of the TOTAL fossil fuel consumed by humanity since the dawn of time.

You will note that in my graph, there is NO significant global warming in the Nino3.4 area since ~1980. I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo. Other major papers before and since have reached similar conclusions.

Phil, unless you have something intelligent to say, backed up by some real data and your real name, I suggest you take your covert potshots elsewhere.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 17, 2017 at 11:35 am
Phil – I suggest you have revealed yourself as a troll, which I suspected earlier. Your aggressive and ignorant comments with no material content, and your use of a pseudonym is typical of the troll empire.

‘No material content’, I pointed out that Illis’s equation as shown by you shows inappropriate use of logarithm of a dimensional term, in a proper equation all the terms should have the same units. That’s certainly ‘material content’. By the way I use an abbreviation of my own name not a pseudonym, most posters on here don’t use their actual names, e.g. tty, MattS, BallBounces, 3×2, Hugs to name but a few on this thread, are they all members of the ‘troll empire’?

You most recently wrote:
“Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.”

BIll Illis’ above graph extends back to 1958, which means he included pre-satellite-era data.

My above graph encompasses ~all the entire satellite era.

So what, the terms you use don’t include long term trends they’re just fluctuations hence you’re just fitting noise.

Both graphs include a large percentage of the TOTAL fossil fuel consumed by humanity since the dawn of time.

You will note that in my graph, there is NO significant global warming in the Nino3.4 area since ~1980. I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo. Other major papers before and since have reached similar conclusions.

Well your earlier version showed no systematic trend over time unlike the UAH LT data so you needed to add something to correct that so you added the volcanic term. Regarding your graph since you mentioned it, you should indicate which of your fitted equations refers to which dataset and correct the labelling of the fitted lines on the graph, currently they are both shown as ‘Calc w/o Sato’.

• Phil:

Your critical comments of Bill Illis’ work regarding dimensional analysis are utterly trivial.

So are your other comments to me – they were not intended to be constructive or insightful – they were mere pedantic nonsense, intended to imply that you know a lot more than you do.

I am not interested in interacting with you – you have brought nothing of value to this discussion.
__________________

Suggested reading for others, on the relationship between ocean temperatures, major volcanoes and global temperatures, and the MAXIMUM sensitivity of climate to increasing atmospheric CO2:

Satellite Bulk Tropospheric Temperatures as a Metric for Climate Sensitivity
John R. Christy and Richard T. McNider
Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama, USA
(Manuscript received 9 June 2017; accepted 14 September 2017)
© The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer 2017
Asia-Pac. J. Atmos. Sci., 53(4), 511-518, 2017 pISSN 1976-7633 / eISSN 1976-7951
DOI:10.1007/s13143-017-0070-z

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

[excerpt]
“If the warming rate of +0.096 K dec−1 represents the
net TLT response to increasing greenhouse radiative forcings, this
implies that the TLT tropospheric transient climate response (ΔTLT at
the time CO2 doubles) is +1.10 ± 0.26 K which is about half of the
average of the IPCC AR5 climate models of 2.31 ± 0.20 K. Assuming
that the net remaining unknown internal and external natural forcing
over this period is near zero, the mismatch since 1979 between
observations and CMIP-5 model values suggests that excessive
sensitivity to enhanced radiative forcing in the models can be
appreciable.”

This paper ASSUMES that ALL of the warming observed in the satellite era is due to increased atmospheric CO2, and concludes that “the TLT tropospheric transient climate response (ΔTLT at the time CO2 doubles) is +1.10 ± 0.26 K”.

In short, this means that climate is relatively INsensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 and there is NO real global warming crisis. We published this conclusion in 2002 and still believe it to be true.

Furthermore, it is probable that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is even LESS than the 1.1K assumed in this analysis, since much of the observed warming in this period was due to natural causes, following the Great Pacific Climate Shift that occurred circa 1977.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 18, 2017 at 11:35 am
Phil:

Your critical comments of Bill Illis’ work regarding dimensional analysis are utterly trivial.

Actually they’re fundamental.

So are your other comments to me – they were not intended to be constructive or insightful – they were mere pedantic nonsense, intended to imply that you know a lot more than you do.

Well at least you could thank me for pointing out the errors on your graph.

I am not interested in interacting with you – you have brought nothing of value to this discussion.

Well you’d better get used to it. As I said: “the terms you use don’t include long term trends they’re just fluctuations hence you’re just fitting noise”. This agrees with Foster and Rahmstorf who showed that much of the variability can be related to three known causes of short-term temperature variations: El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic eruptions, and solar variations including the solar cycle. They showed that the influence of ENSO is greater than that of volcanic forcing and much greater than that of solar variation, and that both ENSO and volcanic forcing affect LT temperatures much more strongly than surface temperature. So your results agree with theirs as far as that is concerned. However they also show that these factors have not contributed to an upward trend in temperature data. As a result: “There is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global warming, beyond the variability induced by these known natural factors.” For the UAH-LT data they show a warming rate of 0.14ºC/decade.

“Global temperature evolution 1979–2010”, Foster and Rahmstorf,
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 6, Number 4, 2011.

Incidentally regarding your statement; “Expect more global cooling in the next months – it is already a near-certainty based on the predictive relationship of the Nino34 anomaly, where the global LT temperature lags the Nino34 anomaly by ~4 months”, Spencer and Christy are “a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months, given the cool La Nina currently attempting to form in the Pacific Ocean.” Your graph hasn’t been updated recently enough to see if it shows a similar discrepancy.

• Phil:

Here is what Christy and Spencer really think about the near future, in this recent email from John Christy to me. Since then, UAH LT temperature has dropped sharply, as predicted by the prior drop in Nino34 temperatures.

From: John Christy
Date: November 4, 2017 at 7:28:22 PM GMT+7
To: Allan MacRae
Cc: Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi
Subject: Re: Sorted – atmospheric cooling will resume soon
Allan
Yes. We’ve seen this correlation since our first paper about it in Nature back in 1994. The Pacific gave up a lot of heat between July and October – and some of it is making its way through the atmosphere. We think the anomalies will drop soon too.
John C.
Sent from my iPhone

The correct prediction of near-term and longer-term global temperatures is cutting edge science.

In contrast, your comments to me were utterly trivial, nitpicking nonsense, and have added nothing of value to this discussion.

• A C Osborn says:

Allan, that is Phil’s Modus operandi.
Whatever you do don’t provide Facts that don’t fit his world view, he just twists everything to suit it.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 20, 2017 at 7:23 am
Phil:

Here is what Christy and Spencer really think about the near future, in this recent email from John Christy to me. Since then, UAH LT temperature has dropped sharply, as predicted by the prior drop in Nino34 temperatures.

From: John Christy
Date: November 4, 2017 at 7:28:22 PM GMT+7
To: Allan MacRae
Cc: Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi
Subject: Re: Sorted – atmospheric cooling will resume soon
Allan
Yes. We’ve seen this correlation since our first paper about it in Nature back in 1994. The Pacific gave up a lot of heat between July and October – and some of it is making its way through the atmosphere. We think the anomalies will drop soon too.
John C.

Just two days before that email Spencer posted “John Christy and I are a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months, given the cool La Nina currently attempting to form in the Pacific Ocean.”

The correct prediction of near-term and longer-term global temperatures is cutting edge science.

Yeah Foster and Rahmstorf did a good job back in 2011, they even included the SATO index back then, something you only just came up with.

In contrast, your comments to me were utterly trivial, nitpicking nonsense, and have added nothing of value to this discussion.

On the contrary I showed that you were mistaken in your statement that “I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo”, as Foster and Rahmstorf have shown that when the SATO index is taken into account the remaining global warming is ~0.14ºC/decade. A point you have failed to address so far.
Your prediction is that the anomaly will be about zero in a couple of months, we shall see.

• The atmospheric cooling I predicted (4 months in advance) using the Nino34 anomaly has started to materialize in November 2017 – more to follow. This is weather, not climate (I hope).

Happy Holidays to all!

• Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 wrote in their abstract:
“When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Nino/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.”

In fact, the Nino34 temperature anomaly, which is the most reliable predictor of near-term global temperature, is absolutely flat over the period from 1982 to present – there is only apparent atmospheric warming during this period due to the natural recovery from two major volcanoes.

There probably was some real (natural) global warming just after the Great Pacific Climate Shift circa 1977. It is unlikely that increasing CO2 played a significant role.

• ALLAN MACRAE December 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm
Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 wrote in their abstract:
“When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Nino/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.”

In fact, the Nino34 temperature anomaly, which is the most reliable predictor of near-term global temperature, is absolutely flat over the period from 1982 to present – there is only apparent atmospheric warming during this period due to the natural recovery from two major volcanoes.

I suggest you reread F&R since that is not what they found, the warming is there even when the volcanic influence is accounted for.
As I pointed out before the Nino term is the largest contributor to the noise in the record so it is a good short term predictor, that’s all.

• I suggest that Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 is warmist propaganda – an attempt to attribute to increasing atmospheric CO2 a much greater role in driving atmospheric temperatures than exists in reality. There is NO credible evidence that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the sole or even the primary driver of global warming – there is better evidence that global temperature is primarily driven by natural factors, and atmospheric CO2 plays a minor and relatively insignificant role.

One important piece of supporting evidence is the moderate global cooling that occurred from ~1940 to ~1975, even as fossil fuel consumption and atmospheric CO2 rapidly accelerated.

Some natural global warming probably occurred following the Great Pacific Climate Shift circa 1977.

Furthermore, NO net NINO34 warming since 1982 suggests relatively INsignificant CO2-driven global warming since 1982.

The following points are proven:
1. There are orders of magnitude more heat calories in the oceans than in the atmosphere.
2. Atmospheric temperatures follow ocean temperatures.
3. Next to ocean temperatures, the next greatest influence on atmospheric temperatures is major (century-scale) volcanoes.
4. Attributing all remaining atmospheric temperature changes to increasing CO2 is self-serving warmist nonsense, circular thinking unsupported by evidence or logic.
5. Even attributing ALL remaining warming to increasing atmospheric CO2 only results in a climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 of ~1C/[2xCO2] – see Christy and McNider 1994 and 2017, which is so low that any impact on climate of increasing atmospheric CO2 would be minor, beneficial and not harmful.
6. Global warming alarmists have greatly exaggerated climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 in order to promote false global warming hysteria.
7. There is in reality NO GLOBAL WARMING CRISIS – it is a fiction, fabricated for political and economic gain, and is the greatest fraud in dollar terms in human history.

Runaway global warming as promoted by alarmists is highly improbable. Minor global warming, no significant change, or moderate global cooling are much more probable outcomes, based on the evidence.

16. MattS says:

“So the greenhouse effect is able to warm up the planet … but only to a certain point. Beyond that, things start going the other direction.”

Because water vapour absorbs incoming shortwave. As it increases it is saturated at long wave frequencies, but not yet at short wave. Thus it’s warming effect is maxed out, but it’s cooling effect isnt. So the surface gets colder.

The inverse is the desert. Very cold at night, very hot in the day, an absoloute 1 to 1 correlation with insolaiion. No water vapour.

17. Philip Mulholland says:

Willis,
You say “increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface”
Here is a plot of the average of all available rainfall in mm/dd from 1988 to 2011 as recorded by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM):-

This chart shows that for both the tropical east and central Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean the convective rainfall of the ITCZ is located north of the equator, whereas for the Indian and western most Pacific Ocean the annual rainfall pattern is distributed both north and south of the equator.
Here for comparison are the TRMM charts for January and July that clearly demonstrate the annual monsoonal pattern in the Indian Ocean and the Austral & Asian Seas located around Indonesia and the west Pacific as compared to the northern hemisphere bias of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific:-

There are clear differences between these TRMM rainfall charts and your annual solar radiation at the surface and the surface temperature correlation chart. Comments please.

• tty says:

The rain doesn’t necessarily fall in the same place where the water evaporated. As a matter of fact it usually doesn’t.
The absence of convective rainfall S of the Equator in the Eastern Pacific and South Atlantic is due to the Humboldt and Benguela currents. The water is simply not warm enough. There are no hurricanes in these areas either, for the same reason.

• Thanks, Philip. The difference between rainfall data and sunlight at the surface occurs because most clouds don’t produce rain, but all clouds block the sun.

w.

• Philip Mulholland says:

Willis,
I want to explore your cloud shading idea a bit more. I live in north-west Europe on the eastern margin of a cloudy North Atlantic Ocean. Stratus clouds are the bread and butter weather here, particularly in winter and not just the rain bearing frontal clouds, but also the long weeks of dullness from the pervasive layer cloud that anticyclone gloom brings.
So I have no problem with the idea that clouds can reduce insolation. However I am not convinced that cumulus clouds can have such a regional affect. Many years ago my first visit to Tenerife involved a 4 hour flight south from Gatwick. After 2 hours flying we passed over the Algarve in southern Portugal and then for the next two hours we flew over the ocean, the Canary Islands are a long way south from Europe. The cloud patterns over the ocean showed that the light was reaching the sea and the high sun produced only a small shadow footprint on the waters below. Also the light was different, bright in a way I had rarely experienced at home. I saw a similar change in light quality on my first summer flight to Texas from Chicago; as we flew south down the valley of the Mississippi the reflected light from the walls of the towering cumulus lit the interior of the jet, so reflected side light is significant from bright cumulus clouds, but not so with dull stratus.
Your diagram for the Atlantic Ocean is particularly striking; it shows a double track correlation pattern north and south of the equator, but the TRMM data shows that the rain producing clouds of ICTZ, with their associated shading from anvil ice clouds, is located north of the equator throughout the year. The association of the ICTZ with the warmest surface waters is shown in the following two example NullEarth plots for January and July:-
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2017/01/17/0000Z/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-12.15,0.94,894
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2017/07/17/0000Z/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-12.15,0.94,894
So is there an additional explanation for the correlation band seen south of the equator?
This comment by Bobl posted elsewhere is interesting:

Surface Insolation depends on the air not being filled with condensed water, the typical humidity haze in tropical areas can reduce insolation by 15% even though it is hot and sunny.

So I believe that low level stratal haze in the doldrums could be another weather feature that your analysis is detecting.

18. BallBounces says:

I just read about the money being thrown around in Paris — what kind of money is being directed towards this really interesting, really important hypothesis?

• BallBounces December 15, 2017 at 4:52 am

I just read about the money being thrown around in Paris — what kind of money is being directed towards this really interesting, really important hypothesis?

Ummm … none. If my hypothesis is correct, the climate catastrophe is canceled, and funding dries up … guess how many of the alarmists want that to happen.

w.

• 3x2 says:

:^}

• Philip Mulholland says:

“Exactly how obscene an amount of money are we talking about? Profane or really offensive?”

19. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek says:

Willis

“A negative correlation between temperature and sunshine occurs over an area where no less than 17% of the sunlight is striking the earth. This is more than enough to serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism.”

I agree with this but it really needs quantification. If the 17% has the observed ability to cool the surface by 300 Watts per sq metre, and the positive correlation region is heating with 50 Watts average, then the 17% balances the rest.

Naturally there are manifold complications. The polar regions are net cooling to begin with. That can be deducted from the net warming areas. Even if there is a positive correlation, a net loss is still ‘cooling’.

Suppose there is net heating with a positive correlation from 20-60 degrees N and S. Suppose the Poles 60-90 are balanced, i.e. no net gain or loss on average. The thermoregulation of 20N to 20S only needs to control the positive correlation of 20-60 N and S, not the whole planet.

The area between 20-60 N and S is less that double the area of 20N to 20S. AND it receives less insolation. Let’s suppose the total energy is 1.5 times as much than the tropical region instead of double. It means the tropics with a cooling power of 100 Watts per sq metre (only) can offset 67 Watts per sq m of additional heating in the positive correlation zones. Dang.

The obvious conclusion is that should a great deal of heat be gained by the system, what was not countered by the tropical clouds would be moved to the net loss regions. That should result in warm poles and a relative leveled temperature over the planet, say, tropical at present temps, and poles at temperate climate levels.

Lo and behold, that is what the situation was long ago. Your thesis is genius level citizen science.

20. tjfolkerts says:

Willis, I am curious about the time-scale you were considering for the graph. Is this relating monthly average surface insolation with monthly average temperatures? Daily averages? hourly? Annual?

This would make a big difference in how the graphs are interpreted. For example, if individual sunny days are actually cooler along the equator, that would be pretty amazing to me. If sunny months are are cool, that is not quite so surprising. For one thing, TOA insolation peaks in March and September along the equator, but I could easily imagine water temperatures peaking in Jan or July as warm ocean currents carry warmth from the north or south.

• Hugs says:

Thanks TJ for asking this. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I was already thinking in terms of seasons and different days. Different places act differently, but the big question is to quantify changes in clouds observationally, and build a theory that explains those changes. I’m not buying a AOGCM yet for this purpose. Some cloud data we have, which is promptly assumed worse that expected and caused by humans 110%.

• tjfolkerts December 15, 2017 at 6:10 am

Willis, I am curious about the time-scale you were considering for the graph. Is this relating monthly average surface insolation with monthly average temperatures? Daily averages? hourly? Annual?

Sorry for the lack of clarity, tj, it’s monthly data. The CERES data, as indicated on the graphic, goes from March 2000 to February 2016.

w.

• Also, TJ, back in 2011 I analyzed the 10-minute data from the TAO buoys. Those posts are:

The Tao That Can Be Spoken … 2011-08-14

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve started to look at the data from the TAO/TRITON buoy array in the Pacific Ocean. These are an array of moored buoys which collect hourly information on a variety of environmental variables. The results are quite interesting, because they relate directly to…

TAO/TRITON TAKE TWO 2011-08-25

I wrote before of my investigations into the surface air temperature records of the TAO/TRITON buoys in the Pacific Ocean. To refresh your memory, here are the locations of the TAO/TRITON buoys. Figure 1. Locations of the TAO/TRITON buoys (pink squares). Each buoy is equipped with a sensor array measuring…

This is the third in a series ( Part 1, Part 2 ) of occasional posts regarding my somewhat peripatetic analysis of the data from the TAO moored buoys in the Western Pacific. I’m doing construction work these days, and so in between pounding nails into the frame of a building I continue to…

TAO Buoys Go Hot And Cold 2015-06-16

I got to thinking about how I could gain more understanding of the daily air temperature cycles in the tropics. I decided to look at what happens when the early morning (midnight to 5:00 AM) of a given day is cooler than usual, versus what happens when the early morning…

w.

• 3x2 says:

Is this relating monthly average surface insolation with monthly average temperatures? Daily averages? hourly? Annual?

Not to speak for Willis … instantaneous reaction to ‘circumstances on the ground’.

21. Bob Weber says:

Interesting in 2017 but not unknown in 1997 and 2007.

From “Trends in ISCCP, MISR, and MODIS cloud-top-height and optical-depth histograms”, figure 7, showing the anticorrelation of Nino34 with OD:

“The orange line in Figure 7 shows observed SST anomalies for the Niño 3.4 region (5°N–5°S, 120°–170°W) as compiled at the National Center for Atmospheric Research [Trenberth, 1997], while the blue line shows a 3 month running mean of the MISR high cloud fraction. The correlation between these two quantities is about −0.8, meaning that warm SSTs in the Central Pacific are associated with a reduction in high cloud over the Tropical Warm Pool, while cold SSTs in the Central Pacific are associated with an increase in high cloud cover.”

Fig 7

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/jgrd.50207/asset/image_n/jgrd50207-fig-0007.png?v=1&t=jb6ujohd&s=de48c5543a62d288f5bf73552d7629c234018245

Please define the measurement of ‘the surface sun increases’ ? What is the ‘surface sun’ data?

• Bob Weber says:

Correction – scratch the ‘1997 and 2007’ – the paper I cited was from 2013. More coffee!

• Thank you Bob Weber – good find!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50207/full

Trends in ISCCP, MISR, and MODIS cloud-top-height and optical-depth histograms
Authors Roger Marchand
First published: 27 February 2013
Journal of Geophysical Research Volume 118, Issue 4 27 February 2013 Pages 1941–1949

FIGURE 7 SHOWS THE ANTI-CORRELATION OF NINO34 TEMPERATURES WITH HIGH CLOUD COVER.

Figure 7.
Same as Figure 1, except for clouds with intermediate optical thickness (23 > OD > 3.6) with cloud top heights above 7 km over the tropical warm pool (30°N–30°S, 100°E–160°E). Orange line shows SST anomalies for the El Niño 3.4 region (5°N–5°S, 120°W–170°W). The SST anomalies are strongly anticorrelated with high cloud amount over in the tropical warm pool, most obvious in the 3 month running mean of MISR cloud amount (blue line).

• See my above post for how this all fits together:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/14/where-the-temperature-rules-the-sun/comment-page-1/#comment-2693544

[excerpt}

The Nino3.4 temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly. [H/T to Bill Illis.]

• Thank you again Willis.

Some “food for thought” for your long flight home, on the prediction of atmospheric temperatures:

In the sub-decadal time frame, as I stated previously:
The Nino3.4 sea temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH Lower Troposphere (LT) Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.
Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

I don’t know if science will ever develop a good fundamental predictive methodology for the precise timing of ENSO events and major (century-scale) volcanoes, both significant drivers of sub-decadal global atmospheric temperatures – but then maybe we don’t really need to. These events tend to “average-out” in less than a decade.

At the longer time scale (multi-decadal to multi-century), I am generally supportive of the hypo that the integral of solar activity is the primary driver of global temperature, moderated by major shifts in the PDO such as occurred circa 1976. I still want to confirm similar work by Dan Pangburn and others, but cannot find the time.

These hypos and their time scales all fit together fairly well, and leave little room for any significant influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 on the global temperature equation. I suggest that the IPCC’s hypo that Increasing atmospheric CO2 is THE major driver of global air temperature has been repeatedly falsified, based on abundant evidence.

Earth appears to have a natural regulatory mechanism that holds temperature within narrow bounds, as you have described, and it takes a major external forcing such as a long-term planetary cycle to shift Earth into/out-of a new major Ice Age.

As I wrote in 2002, I do expect some moderate global cooling (similar or more severe than that of ~1940 to ~1975), starting anytime from ~2020 to ~2030, and probably closer to 2020. This prediction is looking more probable as SC24 is the weakest in a century, and SC25 is predicted to be similarly weak.

I hope to be wrong about this prediction of imminent global cooling, especially since Western politicians have compromised our energy systems by spending tens of trillions of dollars on intermittent green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful energy. This has been my primary message since 2002, and I see no reason to change it now.

Best wishes for a safe return, and for the Holidays.

Allan MacRae in Calgary

22. Retired Engineer John says:

Willis, the temperatures that you show – are they average temperatures or maximum temperatures. Christy and Spencer have shown about three land locations where the average temperatures have increased due to the low temperatures going up ; however, the maximum temperatures appeared to be subjected to some sort of limit. A thermostat would act on the maximum temperatures.

• paqyfelyc says:

“A thermostat would act on the maximum temperatures” by limiting them. Which is exactly what you observe

23. My comment is the sun always rules the temperatures of the earth. Many times the effects are obscure because the sun not only does not only vary enough other than when in a prolonged solar minimum ,but it also cycles in an 11 year sunspot cycle which cancels out the solar effects.

• Bob Weber says:

Salvatore I hope you’re doing well.

“Many times the effects are obscure because the sun not only does not only vary enough other than when in a prolonged solar minimum, but it also cycles in an 11 year sunspot cycle which cancels out the solar effects.”

Huh?

1) The sun varies the least during a solar minimum
2) The 11 year cycle creates the solar effects, having both current and time-delayed effects.

Please note we’re getting into this solar minimum very early. The v2 SSN Nov. average was 5.7, the lowest monthly average this early in all the solar cycles 1-24! If this cycle is like the last, we’ll have 24-28 months left to go to the bottom, plenty of time for more zero sunspot number solar cooling!

How the sun rules the temperature and drives clouds & water vapor is the subject of my now over four year research project. My concern is now again too much emphasis is being placed exclusively on clouds as a feedback instead of learning of the cloud generation timing and mechanisms via solar warmed waters, by either high insolation (which is governed by cloud cover feedback) or TSI surges/levels, over time.

• Hi Bob, I am good. Thanks.

I was trying to say when the sun is in it’s regular 11 year sunspot cycle it does not vary enough in magnitude to have a big climatic impact, in my opinion..

Only when it enters or leaves prolonged solar minimum periods does the climatic effect of the sun become more apparent.

• Bob Weber says:

Correction: The November v2 SSN average of 5.7 was the 3rd earliest value that low for all solar cycles #1-24, compared to 4 and 0, in cycles #11 & #2, after 103 and 105 months respectively, compared to this cycle at 108 months.

• 3x2 says:

Salvatore – try to imagine that the Sun (and everything else) is constant but we could ‘tow’ Earth. We tow it closer and the band (equatorial band) increases. We tow it away and it decreases.

Willis proposes that there are ‘mechanisms’ that regulate these changes to within a few tenths of a degree…..

24. prjindigo says:

It’s GRAVITY, stupid. Gravity regulates pressure. Gravity literally regulates the upper bound of temperature at sea level at ALL latitutdes. It’s what determines whether convection or inversion occurs anywhere on Earth.

• Hugs says:

And gravity changes a lot? You have a static model, ‘right twice a day.’

25. paqyfelyc says:

@Willis
There is no doubt that more heat will bring more evaporation and sooner in the day clouds, increasing average albedo.
Now, while physics says that any cause will prompt effects that will contradict the cause, it also says that it will not overrule it. Said otherwise: the feedback can reduce the correlation to zero (or close to), it won’t turn into a negative correlation.
This is a general rule that DOES have exception, but are just that: exceptions. Usually of man design, or in biological systems, rather than natural non living things. I find it hard to believe that tropical cloudiness is such an exception.

• Hugs says:

Good point. But I do believe feedback being close to -1 is pretty logical over equatorial sea. There is a reason why the seasurface does not warm warmer than lukewarm.

• WE is not saying there is no warming, he is a luke warmer after all.

26. Michael Jankowski says:

The constant correlation range across the US seems peculiar. Maybe the graphic or approach is too “broad brush” for finer details, but I would have expected lesser correlations at high elevations.

• Bob Weber says:

The dynamic situation at the equator is not revealed in figure 2. The correlation is time-dependent, a fact that is not explored here.

The ‘cold tongue index’ shows, similar to Nino34, variability at the equator, not a static view, as implied by your figure 2:

27. afonzarelli says:

One thing that may be overlooked here is the effect of walker cell trade winds on tropical SSTs. Walker trades require a pressure differential from east to west along the equator and that doesn’t happen until the sun is high in the sky. Typical trades in Hawaii don’t occur until afternoon. So this always keeps temperatures rather comfortable during the day. (and remember, walker winds are easterly which means the cooler temps in the eastern pacific are drawn westward)…

28. Does it follow that testing this hypothesis would require collecting world-wide data on an impossibly small grid over several centuries or more? If so, case closed. Save some research money and move on to more important problems.

29. Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 12:06 am

Not sure what your graph is showing, but straight temperatures do not show anything unusual to me.
See eg

or

Just realize that the maximum temps outside the tropics lag the highest sun position with 1-2 months due to the very high heat storage capacity of water.

• tty says:

The correlation between the highest SST areas and the “negative correlation areas” looks near perfect to me.

30. Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach March 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm
In one of the linked post you commented:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/air-conditioning-nairobi-refrigerating-the-planet/#comment-1245696

At that point, the released energy powers the vertical motion of the air through the thunderstorm, and thousands of these acting together power the Hadley Cell circulation.

Do you still believe that thunderstorms around the equator are capable of driving the Hadley circulation from the tropics to 30 N/S over thousands of kilometers or have you found the actual mechanism in the mean time?

• Hugs says:

The impolite continuation would be it is the Sun, xx, but I don’t think Willis wrote badly. Of course, there is no need for thunder as the driving force is not electricity but sunshine that the equator gets a lot, moist air increasing the latent heat that is freed in precipitation – not exactly always with thunder I guess. But I couldn’t imagine you need to take every word that literally. I guess Willis has a lot of experience on thunder at tropics, where I have more experience on skating under the ice. All knowledge on nature helps putting things in the right place and scale.

Now you apparently can be snarky to Willis who is supposed to be alarmist, right? – but can you be productive?

• Ben Wouters says:

Hugs December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Thunderstorms is the word Willis used, but Cb’s or cumulonimbi is fine with me, as long as it is clear that they are not the driving force for the Hadley Circulation.

• tty says:

It would be more correct to say that that the thunderstorms and cumulonimbus clouds are an effect of the convection that drives the Hadley circulation.

• Ben Wouters December 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

Do you still believe that thunderstorms around the equator are capable of driving the Hadley circulation from the tropics to 30 N/S over thousands of kilometers or have you found the actual mechanism in the mean time?

Thanks, Ben. Would we get Hadley cells in the absence of thunderstorms? Sure.

But they would be very weak and poorly defined. Thunderstorms take immense amounts of heat from the surface and use it to push air straight up to near the tropopause. Are you saying that they have no effect on the Hadley cells?

Each thunderstorm releases on the order of 10E+15 joules of energy over its lifetime of about an hour or so. This is about the same as one of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. There is a string of thunderstorms all along the ITCZ … do you believe that is NOT enough energy to drive the Hadley cells?

w.

• Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

There is a string of thunderstorms all along the ITCZ … do you believe that is NOT enough energy to drive the Hadley cells?

Cb’s use all that energy to rise to their max altitude, so not much left for horizontal movement, maybe some during the creation of the anvil or near the ground as a microburst.
According Wikipedia the average radius of a Cb is 24 km. The distance between equator and 30N or 30S is 1800nm.
Hadley circulation is a thermal wind phenomenon, similar to the sea breeze, but on a much larger scale and includes the Coriolis effect that balances the horizontal pressure gradient force creating the sub-tropical jet.
http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/sea/crc.rxml
I hope you weren’t seriously proposing that Cb’s near the equator are responsible for the sub-tropical jetstream ;-)
You are aware of the state of hydrostatic equlibrium against gravity the atmosphere is in?

31. Bruce of Newcastle says:

The reason for that most boring graph of climate sensitivity is all to do with psychology.

If they claim 2XCO2 is above 4.5 C no one will believe them.
If 2XCO2 is below 1.5 C then CO2 is mostly harmless and the money gets withdrawn.

In reality 2XCO2 appears to be around the 0.5 C mark from the empirical data, due to negative feedbacks via the water cycle as Willis alludes in his first paragraph. CO2 is therefore completely harmless.

Most of the warming last century was due to the Sun, apparently via cloud cover changes, and also the artificial choice of the IPCC “century” as 1906-2005. The latter added an artefact of about 0.3 C due to the 60 year cycle being at bottom in 1906 and peak in 2005.

• Peter Sable says:

If they claim 2XCO2 is above 4.5 C no one will believe them.
If 2XCO2 is below 1.5 C then CO2 is mostly harmless and the money gets withdrawn.

One might call this the “band of funding”. And since funding appears to be virtually unlimited, of course it’s going to stay within that band.

32. comparing land to ocean shows net water + cloud feedback must be negative. must be. IPCC and mainstream need to see some grad student take this thru peer review.

• compare land ocean fig 2. only plausible reason is water cycle is net negative feedback. as water cycle increases in volume net warming due to solar is decreased and eventually goes negative.

destroys IPCC assumption that water feedback is +3.

• A C Osborn says:

Fred, this has been shown emperically years ago in 2011, there is nothing “new” about it.
Emprical data can be found here.
http://gustofhotair.blogspot.co.uk/
Unfortunately the graphs no longer show up and I am not sure what happened to Jonathan Lowe.

• PS. great work Willis. collaborate and peer review. this throws a lot of consensus science on its heads.

33. 1sky1 says:

Based on the Bowen ratio observed throughout the globe, oceanographers have known for several decades that the transfer of heat from surface to atmosphere is dominated by evaporation, whose effect usually exceeds not only radiation, but all other mechanisms COMBINED. Since evaporation, which is greatest in the tropics, ultimately leads to insolation-reducing condensation into clouds, the negative correlation shown here over the oceans comes as no surprise. The notion of “positive water-vapor feedback” postulated by “climate science” is little more than a piece of misguided imagination.

34. Matt G says:

“But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.”

Choice C) There is negative correlation because of constant mixing of the ocean water is greatest around here for such a large surface area and cool water up-wells to the surface. Greater upwelling occur during La Nina’s similar to conditions like now and less upwelling occurs during El Nino’s. Warm surface ocean water is always flowing towards the western Pacific side. It is natures way of cooling the tropics constantly and warming other ocean currents as it is displaced.

“Current vorticity measures how strongly water swirls around on the surface. Positive (negative) vorticity indicates counterclockwise (clockwise) rotation of water. Vortices in flow indicate turbulence and they are important because it causes mixing of water.”

Therefore it is not either choice A or B, but rather choice B (minor) and C (major).

Why has choice C the most influence?

“Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Niño), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Niña).

CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Niña conditions and a net cooling influence during El Niño.”

During La Nina’s the cold upwelling water cools the region by a few degrees centigrade despite decreased cloud levels over the area.

• Thanks, Matt, but if the answer is “C) El Nino”, why is the exact same phenomenon of negative correlation occurring in the Atlantic, in the Indian Ocean, off the southern coast of Mexico, and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land?

Also, the El Nino-La Nina phenomenon is constrained to a fairly narrow band along the equator, as your graphic clearly shows … but this phenomenon is much, much wider in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and crosses both the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at points.

Next, the water pumped by the El Nino-La Nina pumping action hits the coast/islands of Asia and splits to go north and south … but there is no sign of this in the Figure in the head post.

So no, I do not see how it could be Nino-Nina. Too many discrepancies.

w.

• tty says:

“and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land”

I strongly agree. I happen to have visited both the SW Pacific and the Amazon basin repeatedly, and they have essentially identical climate regimes. Clear mornings, growing cumulonimbus clouds and a late afternoon cloudburst. It is this constant recycling of rainwater that allows the Amazon to have rainforest climate deep in the center of a continent.
However in the absence of a stabilizing ocean there is greater annual change in the Amazon basin. Most parts have at least a somewhat drier season which is probably the reason only parts of the area have a negative correlation.

I haven’t visited the Congo Basin for obvious reasons, but friends who have (on UN peacekeeping duties) describe exactly the same weather pattern there.

• Gabro says:

Not just tropical but subtropical. Florida also has regular PM rain.

• tty says:

Southern Florida is tropical. Am/Aw climate in the Köppen classification.

• Gabro says:

Tty,

The afternoon showers are more typical of central FL, ie Orlando.

• Matt G says:

“but if the answer is “C) El Nino”, why is the exact same phenomenon of negative correlation occurring in the Atlantic, in the Indian Ocean, off the southern coast of Mexico, and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land?”

I am not suggesting C is El Nino or La Nina.

C is referring to the same phenomenon below, but ENSO is just one of the causes in this part of the world. It is changes in ocean circulation allowing constant mixing of water and especially cold upwelling that contribute towards the negative correlation over ocean. I agree over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land are majority B, still have influence from C.

[There is negative correlation because of constant mixing of the ocean water]

The answer is C) Changes in ocean circulation allowing constant mixing of water and especially cold upwelling.

Constant mixing of ocean water brings up cold water to the surface via upwelling.

Cold ocean currents in the Atlantic, Indian, west coast of North America towards southern coast of Mexico are causing most of the negative correlation.

“Also, the El Nino-La Nina phenomenon is constrained to a fairly narrow band along the equator, as your graphic clearly shows … but this phenomenon is much, much wider in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and crosses both the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at points.”

The development of El Nino-La Nina often is much wider than the narrow band matching figure 2.

“Next, the water pumped by the El Nino-La Nina pumping action hits the coast/islands of Asia and splits to go north and south … but there is no sign of this in the Figure in the head post.”

The negative correlation becomes positive correlation after it hits the islands and splits N and S. The positive correlation is because of the warmer ocean being displaced via those directions.

The ENSO is just part of the big picture.

“Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Niño), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Niña).”

I don’t know where you found that but there is nothing special about El Nino-La Nina in that regard. In general outgoing LW increases with increasing temperature. So during El Nino when the ocean surface is warm you get more LW, and less during La Nina.

Tropical correlation of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and outgoing LW is 0.52, p-value = 0.001.

So that doesn’t support your hypothesis either.

Although there is nothing special about it, the significance is when compared with below.

“CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Niña conditions and a net cooling influence during El Niño.”

That shows more clouds during El Nino despite an increase in LW.

Therefore if B was the majority answer, how does a negative correlation occur with El Nino and increased LW?

The ENSO index (MEI) only represent a narrow strip much smaller than the actual size of ENSO surface ocean events so misrepresents it to some extent.

• afonzarelli says:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/01/what-causes-el-nino-warmth/

Matt, here’s a decent link where spencer covers some of the dynamics that you’re talking about. “Vertical mixing” is key here. In the tropics there is mixing during non el nino conditions. During an el nino, walker cell trades cease and along with it the vertical mixing. This strong mixing at the equator keeps SSTs cooler than they otherwise would be (as evidenced by the warmer el nino SSTs). And of course, there is the upwelling of cool water in the east that is blown westward by walker trades and to a lesser extent by hadley trades. Since walker trades are temperature dependent (due to pressure differential), the warmer SSTs are the faster they blow. Hence with greater warmth comes greater vertical mixing and greater eastern pacific upwelling (during non nino conditions)…

• menicholas says:

The entire peninsula gets the often daily rain in the wet season, and it is not always in the afternoon.
The daily rains typically begin in SE and SW Florida in April or May along sea breeze fronts (a lift mechanism that overcomes the stabilizing effect if the prevailing high pressure ridge.
Depending on the wind flow, the sea breeze land breeze interaction will create showers just off the East or West coast overnight, and these will move towards the coast and come inland as the sun rises and heats the land. Westerly winds bring rain in the morning to the West coast and these showers then creates an impulse of moisture and lift that propagates to the other coast, so the East coast gets it in afternoon.
More common east winds will bring showers ashore in the morning on the East coast, and the same thing happens in reverse, with afternoon showers to the Western side and also moving northward into central Florida.
Later In the rainy season, with the ground more saturated, and the air more humid and the sun a more direct angle for heating, they can start to pop up anywhere at any time.
Many factors influence the idealized pattern which is not what we actually see every day.
Ahead of tropical waves are zones of divergence and greater stability, and showers are suppressed, and behind the axis of the wave of low pressure the opposite occurs, and increase lifting, divergence and lifting enhance the chances of showers.
These morning storms along the coast move northward as the water warms all summer, and as the belts of moisture work into Central and Northern Florida. Rainy season in Central Florida usually does not start until June or so, and sometimes several weeks into the month.
On days with no storms or few storms, it stays very warm all evening and most of the night, and so the average temp for that day is higher than if big thunderstorms formed in midafternoon and it rained under the evening hours. While it is raining, we get our coolest temps of summer, and once the rain stops, it is mild and humid until morning, unless the rain dissipates before the sun has reached a low angle.
Days with rain are on therefore on average much cooler than days with no rain.
Storms sometimes sweep across the whole state, or form all at once across a wide area, and within a few minutes of the rain beginning thousands of square miles have transported an entire days worth of thermal energy aloft. It does not come back down.
The rain that falls is colder than the surface water that was evaporated and transpired and sucked up into the clouds, that is for sure.
Minutes to transport all of the heat, in the air, in the surfaces and materials on the skin of buildings, in all of the wood and leaves and branches and soil…everything is cooled down by hours of cold rain falling very hard.
Compared to all night long and it never cools down as much if it does not rain.
Convection is incredibly efficient at transporting energy along, to 45,000-50,000′ or more.
And even before the cumulus get big enough to build to the towering phase and the cumulonimbus phase, they are the visible evidence that convection is transporting heat from the surface to several thousand feet up, and warming the atmosphere at all levels in between.

• Also, Matt, you say:

“Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Niño), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Niña).”

I don’t know where you found that but there is nothing special about El Nino-La Nina in that regard. In general outgoing LW increases with increasing temperature. So during El Nino when the ocean surface is warm you get more LW, and less during La Nina.

Tropical correlation of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and outgoing LW is 0.52, p-value = 0.001.

So that doesn’t support your hypothesis either.

w.

35. Robert W Turner December 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

ATheoK December 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

You’re claiming warmer temperatures over oceans, by using Kiribati’s 3m surface temperature?

Do you know a better location within the negative correlation area on W’s map than this?
Napari, Kiribati
Tomorrows forecast, partly cloudy with a high of 80 F and a low of 77 F, go figure.

Where exactly is it cooler during the day when it is sunny/high pressure? WIth actual surface data. The only way that negative correlation could be made is with nighttime lows being factored in.

Robert, you’re still missing the point. Nobody said that it was “cooler during the day when it was sunny”. That has the causation backwards.

What I showed was a negative correlation between sunshine at the surface and surface temperature. What happens is that when the tropics gets warmer, clouds form earlier in the day, as do thunderstorms, and you get more of both. Both of these cut down the incoming sunlight. Net result is that when the tropics is warmer it gets less sunlight, which is the negative correlation I show in the head post.

You can also see this in the daily (10-minute) data from the TAO buoys that I linked to above. When the clouds form in midmorning, despite the increasing TOA sunshine, the temperatures actually drop. Go figure …

w.

36. pochas94 says:

Willis, you write
“But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.”

That is because sunlight penetrates the surface to a depth of 100 meters, but infrared is radiated from a depth of millimeters. So heat must be transported from where it is absorbed to where it is radiated by fluid convection, a relatively slow process that induces phase lags into the temperature record. The electrical analog would be a high value resistor below the surface but a low value above. Intense thermals caused by direct sunlight will reduce the above-surface resistance still further. Over land, the situation is entirely different.

• pochas94 December 16, 2017 at 5:24 am

Willis, you write

“But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.”

That is because sunlight penetrates the surface to a depth of 100 meters, but infrared is radiated from a depth of millimeters. So heat must be transported from where it is absorbed to where it is radiated by fluid convection, a relatively slow process that induces phase lags into the temperature record.

Thanks pochas. I don’t think that is true for several reasons.

First, fluid convection in the ocean is provided by nightly overturning. The ocean and atmosphere differ in that the atmosphere is heated from the bottom and the ocean is heated from the top. As a result, the atmosphere overturns once every 24 hours, during the day, and the ocean overturns the top layers once every 24 hours, at night. This is not a “slow process” as you say, it occurs daily, so there is little lag.

Next, the ocean radiates as much in 24 hours as it receives from downwelling radiation. If it did not, it would continue to heat.

Finally, if your theory were true, we’d see it at work all over the ocean and not just in the tropics.

Regards,

w.

• Thermohaline circulation.

pochas 94 is correct.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 6:21 am Edit

Thermohaline circulation.

Is that supposed to mean something?

pochas 94 is correct.

Thanks for voting. However, science is not a democracy.

If you want to prove my statements about pochas’s claims wrong, then QUOTE WHAT YOU THINK IS WRONG and tell us why. Saying the magical incantation “thermohaline circulation” does nothing for either the discussion or your reputation.

w.

• tty says:

“Thermohaline circulation.

pochas 94 is correct.”

Nonsense. Thermohaline circulation is something completely different. It is the circulation of cold arctic water through the deep oceans and has a circulation time of about 1000 years.

In past hothouse climates thermohaline circulation also included hot mid-latitude brines, which were salty enough to sink despite being warm, but at the present time this only happens in one single place with a very special configuration: the Mediterranean.

• tty December 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm

“Thermohaline circulation.

pochas 94 is correct.”

Nonsense. Thermohaline circulation is something completely different. It is the circulation of cold arctic water through the deep oceans and has a circulation time of about 1000 years.

In past hothouse climates thermohaline circulation also included hot mid-latitude brines, which were salty enough to sink despite being warm, but at the present time this only happens in one single place with a very special configuration: the Mediterranean.

Thanks, tty. I couldn’t be bothered to pick that particular spitball off the wall.

w.

• A C Osborn says:

Great Circular Reasoning.
In one sentence in response to this “Thus any back-radiation from the atmosphere is NOT heating some 70% plus of the planet.”
You say “However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?”
ie they need 400 W/m2 not to freeze.
And here you say “Next, the ocean radiates as much in 24 hours as it receives from downwelling radiation. If it did not, it would continue to heat.”
ie they have to radiate 400 W/m2 otherwise they would overheat
So if you take away the need for it to radiate the equivelent of the downwelling radiation why would it be frozen solid?
It would be in exactly the same state.

37. gnomish December 16, 2017 at 5:44 am

“So … what mysterious energy source are you folks proposing that provides 230 W/m2 of energy to the ocean, if it is NOT the downwelling longwave from the atmosphere?”

seriously? is this not the argument for CAGW in the raw? cuz you can’t find an explanation for a faulty model?

Nope. It is simple facts. The ocean gets about 170 W/m2 from the sun, measured by CERES satellite. It radiates about 390 W/m2, per Stefan-Boltzmann. What supplies the difference? I (and the scientific world) say downwelling IR, which is measured all over the world. You say … nothing.

fact: water is virtually opaque to IR
fact: the ocean is not frozen

fact: rocks are opaque to IR

SO WHAT? If that’s the best you can do in the way of mustering a cogent logical argument, you’re playing in the wrong arena.

w.

• A C Osborn says:

I (and the scientific world), don’t you mean and the AGW Climate Scientists?
As there are plenty of Scientists that disagree.
Downwelling Radiation or “Back Radiation” from a colder source cannot heat the Warmer Oceans.
In your last thread on heat exchange I was conducting simple Experiments to test all the things being said by yourself, Ed Bo, Paul & Tim. Unfortunately before I had finished the thread was closed.
As you know I showed that
1. 2 cooling objects of the same temperature did not warm each other, only slowed the cooling.
2. A cooler cooling object makes a warmer cooling object cool much faster.
3. A constantly heated object in atmosphere is also cooled by a colder object, not warmed.
4. The so called Slayer slaying Light Bulb test was completely the opposite and just to make sure I repeated it again.
I just couldn’t understand where I was going wrong.
Fortunately Ed & yourself pointed me to the energy transfer equations with worked examples & as Ed so rightly pointed out the equations did not refer to higher or lower temperatures with regard to transferring energy.
So I went through the examples and used the calculator that you pointed to and then reproduced the equations for myself.
Then I realised where I had been going wrong and it was so simple.
I actually thought that you, Ed, Paul & Tim knew what you were talking about.
Because you see there were no worked examples of cold objects sending energy to warmer objects, it just said the energy was absorbed by the hotter object.
In fact when you plug in the Earth Surface warming the CO2 just like the examples it works fine as does the Steel Greenhouse Sphere sending energy to the Shell.
However if you plug in the reverse, ie the energy from CO2 to the Surface or from the shell to the sphere what happens in both the long equation and the short equation? After all as Ed said the Equations don’t care about hotter & cooler do they, it is just energy transfer.
You get massive NEGATIVE ENERGY TRANSFERENCE that’s what.
So no positive warming energy photons.
So there was nothing wrong with my experiments after all, the warmer object absorbed the negative energy and no warming took place, just cooling.

Can you now show where the Energy transfer equations are wrong to make “Back Radiation” and the Steel Greenhouse work?

As I am so obviously still doing something wrong, I have tried Actual Experiments and now Equations and I can’t get any of them to prove colder objects make warmer ones warmer.

• A C Osborn says:

PS, you know the Experiment where I said
“One to test the theory that a mirror will increase the temperature of heated or non heated object.”
and you responded with
“When you decrease the energy loss of an object receiving a steady flow of energy, it will warm up. Put mirrors on all sides of an electric light bulb, for example. Or put a blanket around an electric light bulb. The blanket or the mirrors are COOLER than the light bulb. But if you put them around the light bulb it gets WARMER.

Now, it appears that because the mirrors or the blanket are cooler than the light bulb, your claim is that the light bulb WILL NOT GET WARMER.

Me, I can do that experiment in my head and have 100% certainty about what will happen … the bulb will get warmer. ”

Note how you changed what I said to “A Light BUlb”, did I mention a light bulb, no I said a heated or non heated object.
Guess what a Heated Object at 22.2C with a Glass Mirror placed next does not move even 0.1C.
ie LWIR does not get reflected and absorbed and heat the object

• Pass … as they say, there’s no use wrestling with a pig. The pig likes it and you just get dirty.

I’m done with trying to explain what is better explained by any college thermo textbook. Go buy one and you can argue with the authors instead of me. I’m tired of picking endless spitballs off the wall … I gave you the equations and the online calculator here. Both of them clearly show that your claims are wrong. If you can’t wrap your head around that, you’re far beyond my poor power to add or detract.

Get any college-level beginner’s thermo book, they’ll cover it in there. Here’s an example of a typical illustration, from the University of Sydney.

Note the flow of energy going both directions … the flow that you say doesn’t exist …

Best wishes.

w.

• A C Osborn December 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Guess what a Heated Object at 22.2C with a Glass Mirror placed next does not move even 0.1C.
ie LWIR does not get reflected and absorbed and heat the object

For that experiment to work the mirror would have to be a first surface mirror capable of reflecting IR in excess of 10micron wavelength, I would suggest a polished Aluminum mirror (preferably gold plated). Since it’s unlikely that you used such a mirror you were basically using a window not a mirror!

• A C Osborn says:

For that experiment to work the mirror would have to be a first surface mirror capable of reflecting IR in excess of 10micron wavelength, I would suggest a polished Aluminum mirror (preferably gold plated). Since it’s unlikely that you used such a mirror you were basically using a window not a mirror!

There you go changing the test parameters again.

I already knew that about a glass mirror, which is why I proposed it and good old Mr Eshenbach jumped straight in with both feet as I expected and said a Mirror, but even he had to change the parameters to a white Light bulb where I specifically said a heated object.

You see he doesn’t care what we write, he has these ideas fixed in his head and just repeats the same statements and answers over and over again, whether they actually fit or not, more often than not he repeatedly answer with.

I tried Aluminium foil instead of glass and that didn’t do anything either.

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 10:03 am
For that experiment to work the mirror would have to be a first surface mirror capable of reflecting IR in excess of 10micron wavelength, I would suggest a polished Aluminum mirror (preferably gold plated). Since it’s unlikely that you used such a mirror you were basically using a window not a mirror!

There you go changing the test parameters again.

No, I pointed out what was wrong with your version of the experiment, you didn’t use a mirror!

I already knew that about a glass mirror, which is why I proposed it and good old Mr Eshenbach jumped straight in with both feet as I expected and said a Mirror, but even he had to change the parameters to a white Light bulb where I specifically said a heated object.

Willis defined an experiment he knew would work, a white light emitter and a white light mirror. You on the other hand deliberately chose an experiment that you knew wouldn’t work by choosing a white light mirror which you knew didn’t reflect IR. That’s called dishonesty and cheating.

You see he doesn’t care what we write, he has these ideas fixed in his head and just repeats the same statements and answers over and over again, whether they actually fit or not, more often than not he repeatedly answer with.

No, you consistently try to weasel around to avoid doing an experiment that demonstrates that your position is wrong. A good example is the thermocouple experiment I suggested which was demonstrated to work over 70 years ago, rather than attempt it you did a reductio ad absurdum which you knew couldn’t work.

• A C Osborn says:

Phil.
December 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm
No, you consistently try to weasel around to avoid doing an experiment that demonstrates that your position is wrong. A good example is the thermocouple experiment I suggested which was demonstrated to work over 70 years ago, rather than attempt it you did a reductio ad absurdum which you knew couldn’t work.

Well you obviously didn’t explain the Experiment properly what am I missing, is the Quartz that different to glass?
Is the Quartz Tube a Dome like a glass jar?

• A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 4:40 am
Phil.
December 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm
“No, you consistently try to weasel around to avoid doing an experiment that demonstrates that your position is wrong. A good example is the thermocouple experiment I suggested which was demonstrated to work over 70 years ago, rather than attempt it you did a reductio ad absurdum which you knew couldn’t work.”

Well you obviously didn’t explain the Experiment properly what am I missing,

That it should be done ‘in a flame’, 34ºC doesn’t cut it, clearly stated.

is the Quartz that different to glass?

Yes glass would probably melt!

Is the Quartz Tube a Dome like a glass jar?

No a tube is open at both ends allowing flow through.

Should there be any chance that you’d actually try to do the experiment I’d give you more detailed descriptions if needed. Chances of that slim to none based on your normal behavior.

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 10:03 am
I tried Aluminium foil instead of glass and that didn’t do anything either.

• A C Osborn says:

You are absolutely right I have no intention of doing the experiment as I have none of the necessary equipment.
But I did need to know the parameters, which you have now supplied.
So let me get this right, you are saying the sole affect of the increase in temperature is down to Back Radiation?
is that correct?

• A C Osborn says:

As to foil in front of my face.
I have already established the correct interpretation for that.
It is not heating my face by back radiation to my hotter face.
First of all it is blocking the amount of air my face can radiate to and then It is using it’s own radiation as it heats from my face and Conduction to heat the colder air between it and my face which makes my face feel warmer as the air around it is warmer.
You see I did the Experiment with a heated object and aluminium foil with a sensor measuring both the object and the air, taking reading every minute, plus intermittent measurement of the foil.
The foil warmed first and as it is such a good conductor it immediately started warming the Air.
Later the object started to warm, so yes you could say a colder object warmed a warmer object, but NOT by direct back radiation, it is called INSULATION.
You see I have an enquiring mind and just to prove it I added a fan to the same Experiment to keep the air circulating so that it could not warm above Ambient.
Guess what, absolutely no warming of the heated object, not even 0.1C, in fact due to Foil being a very good conductor shifting the wair to the other side of it, the heated object actually cooled 0.5C.

The same thing applies to the so called Slayer Slaying Light Bulb Experiment, how any Scientist or Engineer could fall for that, for exactly the same reasons, only more so, I just can’t understand.
And Yes I did the Experiment with the added Air Temp Sensor to prove it.
But that Experiment was much worse, let me provide you with an analogy, you take a warehouse of 3000 Cubic ft and provide a heating system (Power Source & Radiators) that can heat it on maximum to 30C.
Now take all those Radiators and pack them in to a room of 30 cubic ft, what Temperature do you think the Room and Radiators will achieve running at max?
Then add extra Insulation (foil around the glass) and you get even higher temperatures.
And so many stupid people fell for it, Direct Back Radiation my foot.

So you now know where I am going with your Heated object and adding a quartz tube, I had to establish that the tube was open and flame still applied.

• A C Osborn says:

Now I have an experiment for you to be clear about what foil does.
Take 2 identical objects, ie same material, same mass and same shape.
Cool them to around 0C.
Place them on tha same base which is at Ambient.
Place a small foil “house” or box over one and leave the other uncovered.
Now Tell me before you do the Experiment, will the foil Warm the object faster than Ambient Air does?

• A C Osborn says:

By the way I will do your Experiment, but probably not with a naked flame, but the Sensor Will be Heated and I will be measuring the air Temperature outside the diameter of the Tube before and after it is applied and probably at the top of the tube as well.
Then I will be able to establish what is going on, except of course for the naked flame part, because you do realise what the tube does to the Airflow to the flame and the fact that you now have a different Oxygen/air flow to it.
You probably did those tests in school where you play about with the air input and gas flow rates to change the heat of the flame, I did it few years before leaving work in our Chem Lab while heat testing materials.

• A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 10:28 am
You probably did those tests in school where you play about with the air input and gas flow rates to change the heat of the flame,

No I did it in the exhaust of a gas turbine combustion chamber.

• Kristian says:

Willis Eschenbach said, December 16, 2017 at 6:35 am:

It is simple facts. The ocean gets about 170 W/m2 from the sun, measured by CERES satellite. It radiates about 390 W/m2, per Stefan-Boltzmann. What supplies the difference?

CERES isn’t measuring the solar heat flux to the surface of the Earth. CERES measures outgoing radiative fluxes at the ToA only – outgoing SW and outgoing LW.

Moreover, the 390 W/m^2 isn’t a measured value. It’s a calculated value. Derived directly from a surface temperature estimate.

On top of this, asking about the difference between an incoming 170 W/m^2 and an outgoing 390 W/m^2 is mixing apples and oranges. The 170 W/m^2 solar flux is a HEAT flux (net SW), the 390 W/m^2 LW_up “hemiflux” is no such thing. It is – mathematically – merely the slightly larger HALF of the surface radiative heat flux (net LW).

So there’s nothing “missing” here, Willis. The radiative flux moving out of the surface (to the atmosphere and space) is MUCH smaller than the radiative flux coming in to the surface (from the Sun). The difference is covered by NON-radiative losses – the conductive and evaporative heat fluxes.

38. Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 6:21 am Edit

Thermohaline circulation.

Is that supposed to mean something?

pochas 94 is correct.

Thanks for voting. However, science is not a democracy.

If you want to prove my statements about pochas’s claims wrong, then QUOTE WHAT YOU THINK IS WRONG and tell us why. Saying the magical incantation “thermohaline circulation” does nothing for either the discussion or your reputation.

w.

• The thermohaline circulation draws subsurface solar heated waters laterally so that diurnal loss rates are disrupted.

That circulation flows around the entire globe and takes up to 1000 years. In the process it produces significant climate variations depending on when and where the energy content is released back to the atmosphere.

It can therefore modify the tropical response to insolation.

I don’t see that as significantly detracting from your tropical observations but it is an underlying factor which could frustrate your expectations from time to time and place to place.

• tty says:

Sorry to have to say this, but you have not the faintest idea what thermohaline circulation is, and how it works. I strongly suggest that you read up on it.

• afonzarelli says:

Willis, according to Spencer, the THC causes vertical mixing in the tropical ocean which he describes as an air conditioner for the atmosphere. It should also be noted that easterly walker cell trade winds follow the sun. When the sun is high in the sky that’s when trade winds kick up. (and presumably you would get your greatest vertical mixing at that point) it would be interesting to see just how much cooling comes from daytime clouds verses daytime vertical mixing…

39. P. Berberich says:

If you repeat your analysis for individual months you will get to different conclusions: Convective transport in the atmosphere and in the oceans is mixing the incoming solar energy.

40. Old Man Winter says:

As a layman, here is a “big picture” idea that combines others’ ideas and knowledge to
roughly describe how the average global temperature has been “set” (like a thermostat) for
the past 600M years, with it varying from 50F to 80F. Lord Monckton opined that the
temperature was very stable and I agree that amount of stability can only come from a
stable system.

During the 600M-year period, the earth got more energy from the sun than it needed to keep
from becoming a snowball. The amount of energy that it got at any particular time in the
last 600M years was determined by the distance to the sun and average solar output at that
point in time. Most of the energy lands in the tropics and then works its way pole ward via
ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. The amount of energy available to be
transported pole ward is mostly determined by the configuration of the land masses and
topography of the ocean floor at that point in time. I refer to the average global
temperature the total configuration of the sun, the earth and the configuration of the land
masses and topography of the ocean floor causes as the earth’s “operating temperature”.
This operating temperature usually changes slowly over time as the total configuration
changes, like an ultra-low frequency output that is essentially DC. There is always the
possibility of glitches having occurred.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/20/oceanic-downwelling-and-our-low-surface-

temperatures/

fluctuations caused by the net effect of changes in earth rotation, earth orbit, solar
output, ENSO, PDO, AMO, volcanoes, land use, flora and fauna, air pollution, GHGs,
earthquakes, etc…. This is similar to an amplifier circuit, with fluctuations around the
DC output. Any temperature changes caused by meteor/comet impacts and/or massive volcanic
activity, like a transient, will eventually die out and the earth will return to its
operating temperature at that point in time plus/minus by the net effect of its other
inputs.

Since the earth gets more energy than it needs, the temperature would rise to a point
where the oceans would boil away. What keeps this from happening is your “thunderstorm
thermostat”, which kicks in when the ocean surface temperature in an area reaches ~24C-
~75F. Below that ocean surface temperature, all of the solar energy is used to keep the
earth from turning into a snowball. Above that point, it is an increasingly massive “brake”
to keep the earth from frying, blowing off the extra heat into outer space before it can
work its way to the poles as well as cause deeper mixing in the ocean to cool the surface
to keep from over-braking. So when the operating temperature was at least in the mid/upper
70sF 55Mya, a FULL 20F warmer than today, there was definitely a whole lotta brakin’ goin’
on!!! If the oceans didn’t boil away then, why would they now!!!

There are at least three major inputs that could overcome the extra solar energy and cause
the earth to become a snowball- a meteor/comet strike, massive volcanic activity, and
ultra-extreme pollution/land use change. Since the last one has been eliminated by the EPA,
etc., that leaves the first two inputs as potential “snowball makers”.

From ~600Mya-800Mya, the earth was a snowball at least once and recovered from that. The
global temperature dropped 450Mya from the upper 70sF to ~50F and yet the earth recovered.
When a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs 65Mya, it was in the upper 70sF and again, it
recovered. Right now the operating temperature is ~54F-56F (uncalibrated Mark IV eyeball or
TLAR- That Looks About Right). So the only REAL danger is becoming a snowball, not a frying
pan, as the earth may not have the extra stored heat and higher operating temperature
continent/ocean configuration as it did in the past to recover, if it can, before all
higher life forms die off if either of these were to happen now!!!

If combining your ideas and knowledge with others’ ideas and knowledge at least points in
the right direction of explaining what determined the average global temperature at any
point in time over the last 600M years and its overall remarkable stability, then the 2C
limit of “we’re all going to die” is too absurd to even be funny! It would have to be the
product of egomaniacs who are turning climate science into political science, or worse yet,
a religious cult, for their own personal gain!!!

I really think your ability to step back to see the “big picture” of climate science and
then getting your hands dirty by breaking down your ideas into “first principles” to find
evidence to support your “thunderstorm thermostat” that explained the stability of the
average global temperature over the last 600M years was sheer genius in action- Edison’s
one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration! With everyone so focused on the details,
your theory is the breakthrough climate science needs to see that the many other details,
except for the land mass/ocean configuration, are only minor fluctuations which cannot
fully explain the remarkable stability that was there over the last 600M years.

Trying to prove a thermostat without a physical one on the wall is probably next to
impossible because our climate is very complex and unpredictable with a lot of unknowns
and little accurate long-term data as it is still a relatively young science. Add to that
the possibility of “one off” events and/or glitches over the last 600M years that affected
the average global temperature that we are unaware of just adds to the difficulty of that
proof. With the politicization of climate science, you must be awful stubborn to enter the
arena of ideas. Good luck on your future endeavors and thanks for all of your
contributions. I have learned a lot. Keep up the good fight!

• Old Man Winter says:

I’m re-posting my comment as my initial “rookie” attempt

As a layman, here is a “big picture” idea that combines others’ ideas and
knowledge to roughly describe how the average global temperature has been
“set” (like a thermostat) for the past 600M years, with it varying from
50F to 80F. Lord Monckton opined that the temperature was very stable and
I agree that amount of stability can only come from a stable system.

During the 600M-year period, the earth got more energy from the sun than
it needed to keep from becoming a snowball. The amount of energy that it
got at any particular time in the last 600M years was determined by the
distance to the sun and average solar output at that point in time. Most
of the energy lands in the tropics and then works its way pole ward via
ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. The amount of energy
available to be transported pole ward is mostly determined by the
configuration of the land masses and topography of the ocean floor at
that point in time. I refer to the average global temperature the total
configuration of the sun, the earth and the configuration of the land
masses and topography of the ocean floor causes as the earth’s
“operating temperature”. This operating temperature usually changes
slowly over time as the total configuration changes, like an ultra-low
frequency output that is essentially DC. There is always the
possibility of glitches having occured.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/20/oceanic-downwelling-and-our-low-surface-temperatures/

3F to 7F, with fluctuations caused by the net effect of changes in earth
rotation, earth orbit, solar output, ENSO, PDO, AMO, volcanoes, land use,
flora and fauna, air pollution, GHGs, earthquakes, etc…. This is
similar to an amplifier circuit, with fluctuations around the DC output.
Any temperature changes caused by meteor/comet impacts and/or massive
volcanic activity, like a transient, will eventually die out and the
earth will return to its operating temperature at that point in time
plus/minus by the net effect of its other inputs.

Since the earth gets more energy than it needs, the temperature would
rise to a point where the oceans would boil away. What keeps this from
happening is your “thunderstorm thermostat”, which kicks in when the
ocean surface temperature in an area reaches ~24C- ~75F. Below that
ocean surface temperature, all of the solar energy is used to keep
the earth from turning into a snowball. Above that point, it is an
increasingly massive “brake” to keep the earth from frying, blowing
off the extra heat into outer space before it can work its way to the
poles as well as cause deeper mixing in the ocean to cool the surface
to keep from over-braking. So when the operating temperature was at
least in the mid/upper 70sF 55Mya, a FULL 20F warmer than today, there
was definitely a whole lotta brakin’ goin’ on!!! If the oceans didn’t
boil away then, why would they now!!!

There are at least three major inputs that could overcome the extra
solar energy and cause the earth to become a snowball- a meteor/comet
strike, massive volcanic activity, and ultra-extreme pollution/land
use change. Since the last one has been eliminated by the EPA, etc.,
that leaves the first two inputs as potential “snowball makers”.

From ~600Mya-800Mya, the earth was a snowball at least once and
recovered from that. The global temperature dropped 450Mya from the
upper 70sF to ~50F and yet the earth recovered. When a meteor wiped
out the dinosaurs 65Mya, it was in the upper 70sF and again, it
recovered. Right now the operating temperature is ~54F-56F
(uncalibrated Mark IV eyeball or TLAR- That Looks About Right). So
the only REAL danger is becoming a snowball, not a frying pan, as the
earth may not have the extra stored heat and higher operating
temperature continent/ocean configuration as it did in the past to
recover, if it can, before all higher life forms die off if either
of these were to happen now!!!

If combining your ideas and knowledge with others’ ideas and
knowledge at least points in the right direction of explaining what
determined the average global temperature at any point in time over
the last 600M years and its overall remarkable stability, then the
2C limit of “we’re all going to die” is too absurd to even be funny!
It would have to be the product of egomaniacs who are turning
climate science into political science, or worse yet, a religious
cult, for their own personal gain!!!

I really think your ability to step back to see the “big picture”
of climate science and then getting your hands dirty by breaking
down your ideas into “first principles” to find evidence to
support your “thunderstorm thermostat” that explained the
stability of the average global temperature over the last 600M
years was sheer genius in action- Edison’s one percent
inspiration, 99 percent perspiration! With everyone so focused
on the details, your theory is the breakthrough climate science
needs to see that the many other details, except for the land
mass/ocean configuration, are only minor fluctuations which
cannot fully explain the remarkable stability that was there
over the last 600M years.

Trying to prove a thermostat without a physical one on the wall
is probably next to impossible because our climate is very
complex and unpredictable with a lot of unknowns and little
accurate long-term data as it is still a relatively young
science. Add to that the possibility of “one off” events
and/or glitches over the last 600M years that affected
the average global temperature that we are unaware of just
adds to the difficulty of that proof. With the politicization
of climate science, you must be awful stubborn to enter the
arena of ideas. Good luck on your future endeavors and thanks
for all of your contributions. I have learned a lot. Keep up
the good fight!

• Old Man Winter says:

Ben, thanks for your replies. I now remember having seen
their affects. By the time I saw them, I had been thinking
of “smaller” geological projects like moving Antarctica
6000 km further north into the open southern Pacific and
reopening the Central America gap whose closure ~3Mya
may have caused a major drop in the global operating
temperature. My SWAG was doing both would raise the
temperature at least 5F-10F (3C-6C). Other projects
included moving Greenland 750 km SE, lopping off 300km
of eastern Siberia & deepening the Bering Strait, and
moving Africa 400 km SW, with each project raising the
global temp.

The geothermal affect on temperature, especially the
it would throw a big monkey wrench into anyone’s
attempt in trying to break down the contributions of
the different inputs to the global temperature over the
past 600M yrs as the quality of our knowledge is not that
great that far back. Even our knowledge today of the
oceans and the land below it is very poor. In any case,
the steady state contribution (DC) would alter the
operating temperature and the eruptions would be part of
the adjustments to it (AC), as it’s a one-time event.

Because of their huge thermal capacity of oceans versus
the atmosphere- ~1000:1- they are the key to global
temperature. It’s been described as a big lake of rivers
and IIRC, it takes ~800 yrs to completely mix the
various temperature and salinity layers (convection).
Heat conduction from below would obviously be much
faster. Since the deep ocean water is so cold, maybe its
major contribution to the surface temperature is not
as a heat source but as a heat sink for the surface
water, to keep it from losing much more heat through
evaporation than it does through conduction. With the
“thunderstorm thermostat” cycle, the last “blow-off
thunderstorm” produces a lot of mixing, thereby greatly
reducing the surface temperature leading to a much
smaller thunderstorm the next day. Without that cooling,
thunderstorms would probably continue to grow, thereby
blowing off even more heat, leaving a lot less to warm
the poles. While this sounds counter-intuitive
(half-bass-ackwards), water’s nonlinear thermal profile
makes having less heat may cause a lot less heat loss!

With everyone focused on the high end with the 2c “we’re
going to fry” hype, maybe an overlooked beauty of water
is on the low end. With less heat, there are less
thunderstorms to blow off heat from evaporation, thereby
slowing the heat loss dramatically to mostly that through
conduction and wind convection.

The shallow areas 55Mya did absorb more solar energy to
produce heavier, saltier warm water that was able to sink
deeper into the ocean, thus changing the ocean temperature
profile. When it was quickly transported to the poles via
the many pathways between the continents, the warming
affect at the poles was much greater than at the tropics.
So maybe a better hot extreme scenario would involve
breaking up some of the continents into smaller
archipelagoes with many shallow areas. Adding mountains
to the windward side of the continents would add a lot
of deserts. This is where topography, not just location,
could make a difference, too.

Thanks again. I learned a lot!

• Ben Wouters says:

Old Man Winter December 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

It’s been described as a big lake of rivers and IIRC, it takes ~800 yrs to completely mix the various temperature and salinity layers (convection). Heat conduction from below would obviously be much
faster.

It’s the Thermohaline Circulation (TC) which takes hundreds (maybe over a 1000) of years to complete one cycle. The TC is driven by cold, dense water dropping to the ocean floor and spreading towards the equator and beyond. While at the bottom this water is slowly warmed by the ocean floor (geothermal flux, ~100 mW/m^2). Without this warming we would have no TC.

All bottom warmed water has to be transported towards Antarctica before it can surface (solar heated surface layer prevents surfacing almost everywhere) and release its energy to the atmosphere and space. So the temperature of the deep oceans is a balance between geothermal heating minus cooling by cold, dense water (eg AntArctic Bottom Water)
Since the Ontong Java event increased the temperature of the deep oceans perhaps 20K, the geothermal flux alone has added 50-60 times the total Ocean Heat Content at the ocean floor. Stil the oceans have been cooling down since then.

Since the deep ocean water is so cold, maybe its major contribution to the surface temperature is not as a heat source but as a heat sink for the surface water,

Deep ocean water is NOT cold. It is around 275K, already 20K above the 255K maximum the sun supposedly generates. Ocean surface temperature is simply the temperature of the deep oceans PLUS what the sun adds to that in the mixed surface layer.

• Old Man Winter December 16, 2017 at 7:38 am

As a layman, here is a “big picture” idea that combines others’ ideas and knowledge to
roughly describe how the average global temperature has been “set” (like a thermostat) for
the past 600M years, with it varying from 50F to 80F. ….

Sorry, amigo, TL;DR. Please boil your essential ideas down into three or four short clear paragraphs. While I certainly appreciate the effort and passion you’ve put into it, you’re stepping on your own toes with the complexity.

My best to you,

w.

• Old Man Winter says:

Hopefully, this is much better. Thanks again!

The average global temperature over the past 600M years has varied from
50F to 80F, which is remarkably stable, considering all the changes in
the variables that affect the earth’s temperature. It was a livable
Goldilocks situation- not too hot, not too cold.

The “operating temperature” I define as being that portion of the
average global temperature at any point in time that is just
determined by the average solar output, the average distance to the
sun, & a third factor, the configuration of the land masses and
ocean topography. This would be like the DC output of an amplifier
circuit.

To the “operating temperature” I make adjustments to account for the
net effect of changes in earth rotation, earth orbit, solar output,
ENSO, PDO, AMO, volcanoes, land use, flora and fauna, air pollution,
GHGs, earthquakes, etc., which varies from plus/minus 3F to 7F. This
is similar to an amplifier circuit, with fluctuations around the DC
output.

The average global temperature was 80F 55Mya vs ~60F now because
the land mass/ocean topography was more conducive to absorbing the
solar energy received in the shallow areas and then quickly
transporting it to the poles because of the many pathways between
the continents, thus causing a much higher average global
temperature than today. The operating temperature was probably
in the upper 70sF-lower 80sF then, whereas it is ~54F-56F now as
we’re in an inter-glacial period, with a net adjustment being
positive to bring it up to the average of ~60F.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/20/oceanic-downwelling-and-our-low-surface-temperatures/

Since the earth gets more energy than it needs, the temperature would
rise to a point where the oceans would boil away. What keeps this from
happening is your “thunderstorm thermostat”, which kicks in when the
ocean surface temperature in an area reaches ~24C- ~75F. Below that
ocean surface temperature, much more of the solar energy is retained
to keep the earth from turning into a snowball. Above that point, it
is an increasingly massive “brake” to keep the earth from frying,
blowing off the extra heat into outer space before it can work its
way to the poles. It also causes deeper mixing in the ocean to cool
the surface to prevent over-braking. So 55Mya, this would have
been needed even more than today to keep the oceans from boiling
away. That limits the high-end temperature, providing stability.

So the only REAL danger remaining is becoming a snowball as it was
for a period of time 600Mya-800Mya. There was also a huge 25+F
temperature drop ~450Mya. Unlike your “thunderstorm thermostat”
braking mechanism at the top end, I don’t know of anything like
that on the bottom end. Since we are in a cold land mass/ocean
topography configuration now, a massive temperature plunge from
here caused by a meteor/comet strike or massive volcanic eruptions
would have a much higher chance of turning the earth into a
snowball.

• Thanks, Winter, indeed that is much, much clearer. My one comment is that despite many claims, our knowledge of the climate is worse and worse the further back in time you go. As a result, I’m always skeptical of climate claims from deep time … not saying that they are false, just that the uncertainties get very high pretty fast.

w.

• Old Man Winter says:

our knowledge of our climate, especially as you go further
back in time. Since I am just a layman and could not/would
not pursue my idea, I do have two questions for you- just
for intellectual curiosity’s sake:

off the top of your head, do you know of anything that
absolutely disproves or makes it highly improbable that the
land mass/ocean topography is not the main driver on earth
for what determined what the average global temperature
would be over the past 600M years? If it wasn’t, then what,
if there is one, probably was? I do think, but cannot prove,
your “thunderstorm thermostat” is not only a huge factor in
affecting it as well as a major stabilizing factor for it.

What I’m looking for is a qualitative opinion about the
idea- whether it could be valid or is total garbage. I
realize the uncertainties in all the different data would
make it at least nearly impossible to prove, but possibly
easier to disprove.

Hope you had/are having fun in the sun! Thanks again!

• Ben Wouters says:

Old Man Winter December 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm

do you know of anything that
absolutely disproves or makes it highly improbable that the
land mass/ocean topography is not the main driver on earth
for what determined what the average global temperature
would be over the past 600M years?

The placing of the ~30% land area on Earth does make a difference imo but to me the main driver is the temperature of the geothermally heated deep oceans. Surface temperature is the temperature of the deep oceans PLUS what the sun adds to the top layer. Deep oceans are ~275K ( already 20K above the infamous 255k), so the sun just increases the temperature of the top layer a bit to our present ~290K.
The oceans have been created (boiling) hot, and since that time they have been cooling down (very) slowly, with an occasional heat impulse from large magma eruptions like the Ontong Java event (100 million km^3).
1 million km^3 magma carries enough energy to warm ALL ocean water ~1K.
see
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/ben-wouters-influence-of-geothermal-heat-on-past-and-present-climate/
The atmosphere merely has to slow the energy loss to space a bit, no surface warming necessary or possible.

• Ben Wouters says:

Old Man Winter December 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Regarding the land/ocean topography:
2 extreme scenarios:
1) all land strung around the equator, with a North and a South Ocean
2) 2 continents centered around the two poles, with one Central Ocean.

ad 1) tropical continent will be very hot and lose a lot of energy via the atmosphere to space again.
The ocean have a lot of area where they can “vent” all geothermal energy added to them at the bottom.
To me this is cold configuration (average planet wide temperature)

ad 2) All solar energy is thermalized in the oceans and released slowly. The deep oceans have (almost) no place to vent the geothermal energy coming in via the ocean floor, so they will be hot for these two reasons => hot configuration

• A C Osborn says:

Ben, Cheifio wrote a post on exactly the same thing a few years back, the input from the sun is trying to slow the cooling rate of the Earth from it’s birth. But Failing, as you say very slowly cooling.

• Old Man Winter says:

Ben Wouters-
OOPS! Rookie mistake- My reply to your
Ben Wouters December 18, 2017 at 8:19 am &
Ben Wouters December 18, 2017 at 8:29 am

posts ended up below my

Old Man Winter December 16, 2017 at 8:56 am

as the

Old Man Winter December 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

post. It’s too long to re-post Thanks again!

41. “The ocean gets about 170 W/m2 from the sun, measured by CERES satellite. It radiates about 390 W/m2, per Stefan-Boltzmann. What supplies the difference? I (and the scientific world) say downwelling IR, which is measured all over the world. You say … nothing.”

The difference is supplied by kinetic energy returning from potential energy as air descends towards the surface along the lapse rate slope. At any given moment half the atmosphere’s mass is in descending mode.

DWIR provides no additional surface heating in itself since any radiative molecule that finds itself warmer than it should be for its height relative to the lapse rate slope will (on average) simply rise higher and cool down.

• Nah, the ocean gets about 1000 W/m2 as measured by my solar panels : )

All of which is then slowly released to the atmosphere via evaporation. Moist Air is less dense than dry air so the air rises and this is the cause of ‘weather’.

It is really just that simple.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 7:42 am Edit

“The ocean gets about 170 W/m2 from the sun, measured by CERES satellite. It radiates about 390 W/m2, per Stefan-Boltzmann. What supplies the difference? I (and the scientific world) say downwelling IR, which is measured all over the world. You say … nothing.”

The difference is supplied by kinetic energy returning from potential energy as air descends towards the surface along the lapse rate slope. At any given moment half the atmosphere’s mass is in descending mode.

Air parcels indeed heat as they descend. However, they also cool as they ascend. The overall atmosphere is in steady-state—for every descending parcel somewhere there is an ascending parcel.

Because of this, the overturning of the atmosphere does NOT generate any net energy, whether kinetic or potential.

DWIR provides no additional surface heating in itself since any radiative molecule that finds itself warmer than it should be for its height relative to the lapse rate slope will (on average) simply rise higher and cool down.

Man, I don’t know where to start. That’s so bad it’s not even wrong. According to your claim there would be no DWIR … but DWIR is routinely measured by scientists all over the world. You don’t get to wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist, that makes no sense.

w.

• The heat from descending air is derived from energy taken from the surface in the preceding convective assent and not the current one. That inherent delay in energy throughput results in surface heating.

There is DWIR but it does not heat the surface since it is a consequence of kinetic energy along the lapse rate slope and not a cause. If any radiative material is too warm for its position along the lapse rate slope then it will distort the lapse rate slope to the warm side and reduce convection. That reduction in convection causes it to take longer to rise to its correct height than it would otherwise have taken so during that extra time at the lower warmer height it radiates more to space than it otherwise would have done. The result is net zero surface warming.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm

The heat from descending air is derived from energy taken from the surface in the preceding convective assent and not the current one. That inherent delay in energy throughput results in surface heating.

So if I take heat from the surface today and return it to the surface tomorrow, that results in surface heating? On what planet, particularly for a constantly occurring phenomenon?

Like I said, READ A THERMO TEXTBOOK. You’re making a fool of yourself, and it is painful to watch.

w.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 7:42 am
DWIR provides no additional surface heating in itself since any radiative molecule that finds itself warmer than it should be for its height relative to the lapse rate slope will (on average) simply rise higher and cool down.

Not true, for the radiative molecule the excess energy is in the vibrational and radiative modes which don’t contribute to the temperature, which is due to the translational modes.

• Trick says:

Stephen, read a little further in your cite 2nd to last bullet, hmmmm what do you make of measurements showing you are incorrect about equipartition, so many mouths (DOFs) to feed energy and not enough energy to go around:

“classical Newtonian physics breaks down: quantum effects prevent 2 vibrational and 1 rotational mode
from being active.”

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm
According to this:

http://www.physics.umd.edu/courses/Phys260/agashe/S08/notes/lecture18.pdf

“statistical physics: thermal energy equally divided among all possible energy modes”.

And as shown in that reference the classical equipartition hypothesis breaks down in the quantum mechanical world, in the last slide it shows that in a diatomic you’d need temperatures exceeding 2,000 to achieve equipartition. Even at such temperatures the Vib/rot modes don’t contribute to the temperature.

• Then I will need to amend my description but please indicate whether that applies to just CO2, all GHGs and/or all radiative material within an atmosphere.
Also I need to know whether the inactive modes can pass energy to non radiative molecules via conduction whereupon the receiving molecules would show a temperature rise.
In the end however any radiative imbalances do all need to net out to a zero effect on surface temperature otherwise hydrostatic equilibrium cannot be maintained for the atmosphere as a whole.
If surface temperature rises above that needed to maintain both radiation to space and support the weight of the atmosphere then the atmosphere rises higher which puts the top layer out of equilibrium between the upward pressure gradient force and the downward force of gravity. That layer then gets lost to space which reduces atmospheric weight so that the same surface temperature can push another layer upwards to replace it and then that layer is lost ad infinitum until there is no atmosphere left.
So, there is good scientific reasoning behind my contention that DWIR cannot be allowed to set a higher surface equilibrium temperature if an atmosphere is to be retained.

• Trick says:

“That layer then gets lost to space…”

To escape, the layer would need an increase in every constituent particle temperature (KE) to greater than escape velocity otherwise the constituents remain grounded. You have not explained the amount nor the source of the energy required to do so. The layer just falls back without the required velocity of its constituent particles.

H2 is light enough constituent to have acquired the temperature (KE) to reach escape velocity at high altitude over time which is why little H2 remains.

• Stephen Wilde December 17, 2017 at 6:54 am
Then I will need to amend my description but please indicate whether that applies to just CO2, all GHGs and/or all radiative material within an atmosphere.

All GHGs, they all have vibrational/rotation modes.

Also I need to know whether the inactive modes can pass energy to non radiative molecules via conduction whereupon the receiving molecules would show a temperature rise.

Excited molecules can transfer energy to collisional partners.

In the end however any radiative imbalances do all need to net out to a zero effect on surface temperature otherwise hydrostatic equilibrium cannot be maintained for the atmosphere as a whole.
If surface temperature rises above that needed to maintain both radiation to space and support the weight of the atmosphere then the atmosphere rises higher which puts the top layer out of equilibrium between the upward pressure gradient force and the downward force of gravity. That layer then gets lost to space which reduces atmospheric weight so that the same surface temperature can push another layer upwards to replace it and then that layer is lost ad infinitum until there is no atmosphere left.

That doesn’t work, as the gas parcel rises it reduces temperature via adiabatic expansion: PV^gamma=constant

No layer gets lost to space, that only occurs when the thermal velocity of the gas molecules exceed the escape velocity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_escape#Thermal_escape_mechanisms

So, there is good scientific reasoning behind my contention that DWIR cannot be allowed to set a higher surface equilibrium temperature if an atmosphere is to be retained.

I’m afraid not. What you describe is not observed for any of the planets in our solar system.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrodynamic_escape

• Phil,

I don’t see that those links help your case at all since they all presuppose an atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium whereby on average the upward pressure gradient force balances the downward gravitational force.

The point I make is that if one raises the surface temperature via DWIR to a level that supplies an excess of kinetic energy at the surface over and above that required to balance radiation in with radiation out AND maintain the upward pressure gradient force at the right level to balance gravity then that rise in surface temperature will permanently destroy hydrostatic equilibrium and the atmosphere will progressively be lost.

The escape velocity for a molecule at the boundary with space is very different to that for a molecule at the surface. Just adding a fraction of additional kinetic energy will tip it out of balance and it will depart to space.

The solar wind has a miniscule pressure but it is capable of tipping the balance for molecules high up even where the atmosphere is in hydrostatic equilibrium.

• Trick says:

”The escape velocity for a molecule at the boundary with space is very different to that for a molecule at the surface. Just adding a fraction of additional kinetic energy will tip it out of balance and it will depart to space.

The solar wind has a miniscule pressure but it is capable of tipping the balance for molecules high up even where the atmosphere is in hydrostatic equilibrium.”

No. No. and No. Calculations show the opposite of what Stephen writes. This is not uncharacteristic. Stephen has very imaginative commenting style. Devoid of any calculations or cite.

Some simple, rough atm. meteorological calculations show avg. molecular speeds (at STP) are several hundred m/sec. whereas escape velocity is more than 10,000 m/sec. For N2, only 1 molecule out of 10^335 has the requisite speed to escape, yet there are fewer than 10^44 N2 molecules of all speeds in the entire atm.

Stephen need not lose sleep over “Just adding a fraction of additional kinetic energy will tip it out of balance and it will depart to space.”

• Stephen Wilde December 18, 2017 at 8:06 am
Phil,

I don’t see that those links help your case at all since they all presuppose an atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium whereby on average the upward pressure gradient force balances the downward gravitational force.

The point I make is that if one raises the surface temperature via DWIR to a level that supplies an excess of kinetic energy at the surface over and above that required to balance radiation in with radiation out AND maintain the upward pressure gradient force at the right level to balance gravity then that rise in surface temperature will permanently destroy hydrostatic equilibrium and the atmosphere will progressively be lost.

Your theory would only apply in that part of the atmosphere where convection occurs, i.e. the troposphere.

The escape velocity for a molecule at the boundary with space is very different to that for a molecule at the surface. Just adding a fraction of additional kinetic energy will tip it out of balance and it will depart to space.

But we’re talking about the tropopause which is of the order of 10km above the surface, and the escape velocity depends on the 1/sort(distance from the center of the earth), which is ~6400 so the difference at the tropopause is negligible. Also the temperature of the molecules up there is ~210K so the kinetic energy is lower so escape velocity is even less likely.

• Phil, there is convective overturning in the stratosphere too via the Brewer Dobson circulation and it has been suggested that it also exists in the mesosphere and thermosphere but too weakly for our current sensors to measure it.
So you don’t receive a get of jail card by asserting that my point only applies within the convecting troposphere.
Wherever there are temperature and density differentials ion the horizontal plane then convection is inevitable from surface to top of atmosphere and such differentials cannot be prevented for a sphere illuminated by a point source of light.

As for your point about CO2 molecules not getting warmer due to their ‘inactive’ modes and so not rising you did then accept that they would pass energy to adjoining molecules so that they would rise and take the CO2 up with them.

That closes off your remaining objections.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 2:11 am
Phil, there is convective overturning in the stratosphere too via the Brewer Dobson circulation and it has been suggested that it also exists in the mesosphere and thermosphere but too weakly for our current sensors to measure it.
So you don’t receive a get of jail card by asserting that my point only applies within the convecting troposphere.

The stratosphere temperature increases with altitude and is therefore stable to convection, your proposed mechanism will not work there. Also you seem to think that a convecting parcel of warm air will continue rising ad infinitum ignoring the fact that it will cool due to adiabatic expansion until it reaches a stable altitude.

Wherever there are temperature and density differentials ion the horizontal plane then convection is inevitable from surface to top of atmosphere and such differentials cannot be prevented for a sphere illuminated by a point source of light.

As for your point about CO2 molecules not getting warmer due to their ‘inactive’ modes and so not rising you did then accept that they would pass energy to adjoining molecules so that they would rise and take the CO2 up with them.

You seem to misunderstand this, you said: “DWIR provides no additional surface heating in itself since any radiative molecule that finds itself warmer than it should be for its height relative to the lapse rate slope will (on average) simply rise higher and cool down”. However any GHR molecule which absorbs a photon of IR will not be hotter because the energy transferred to it is in the ro/vibrational energy levels and so doesn’t change the temperature which only depends on the translational modes. The excited molecule will now need to lose energy and return to the ground state. There are two ways in which it can do this: collision with neighboring molecules (favored in the lower atmosphere because of the high collision frequency and slow radiation lifetime) or emit light. Despite the preference for thermalization some emission still occurs (it’s a Poisson process) resulting in the ~300W/m^2 DWIR observed at the surface.
By the way I have been explaining this on here for years.

42. tty says:

“and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land”

I strongly agree. I happen to have visited both the SW Pacific and the Amazon basin repeatedly, and they have essentially identical climate regimes. Clear mornings, growing cumulonimbus clouds and a late afternoon cloudburst. It is this constant recycling of rainwater that allows the Amazon to have rainforest climate deep in the center of a continent.
However in the absence of a stabilizing ocean there is greater annual change in the Amazon basin. Most parts have at least a somewhat drier season which is probably the reason only parts of the area have a negative correlation.

I haven’t visited the Congo Basin for obvious reasons, but friends who have (on UN peacekeeping duties) describe exactly the same weather pattern there.

43. Lars P. December 16, 2017 at 7:37 am Edit

Willis Eschenbach says: December 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Guys, you’re missing the point. We know, because we’ve measured it from space, that the oceans radiate about 400W/m2.
We also know, for the same reason, that the oceans absorb about 170 W/m2 from the sun.

Sorry Willis but I see this as GW BS.

You’re sorry? I’m sorry, Lars, but those are OBSERVATIONAL MEASUREMENTS. You get your own opinions, but you don’t get your own facts. Clearly you think that the satellite measurements are wrong, and heck, you might be right, although I greatly doubt it.

But waving your hands and calling them “BS” does nothing but destroy your own reputation. If you think they are wrong then start your own blog and destroy them entirely with your genius insights and hitherto unknown facts … me, I’m not interested.

w.

• Lars P. says:

“You’re sorry? I’m sorry, Lars, but those are OBSERVATIONAL MEASUREMENTS. You get your own opinions, but you don’t get your own facts. “

Willis please, you do not answer and do not even try to look into my argument. I understand it is difficult as there are so many people expressing their points of view but please do an effort beyond hand waving.
I do not argue the observational measurement being wrong.

I argue the idea of looking at ‘backradiation’ as a separate source of heat/energy. This is what I call BS.
It may help for better visualise and understand how the energy flow is slowed down by the atmosphere, but ‘backradiation’ exists only when initial radiation exists.

What I argue is to look at the net heat flows and do not take a member out of the equation. In my view taking a member out of the equation is creating ‘your own facts’. It is the tail waging the dog. It is the fallacy in global warming thinking.

44. A C Osborn December 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

Gnomish, I have been conducting Experiments to isolate this so called “Back radiation” based on Mr Eshenbachs last Thread on Energy Flow and trying to confirm all the outlandish claims made like
1. All photons are the same.
2. A Photon is a Photon and doesn’t know where it came from or is going to, it just gets absorbed and it’s energy increases the energy of the struck object and hence it’s Temperature.

As you surmise it can’t & doesn’t do the job of warming the surface or the Oceans
.
It doesn’t matter if it is 2 cooling objects of differing temperatures, 2 cooling objects of the same temperature or if one of the objects is constantly heated and one is cooler.
Colder objects do not make Warmer objects warmer, Period.
If you can’t reproduce it you can’t claim it works, “thought experiments” just don’t cut it..
Unfortunately they closed that thread before I could post my results, but then they ignored the first few anyway.

Sigh. Another person who is unwilling to answer the simple question: if back radiation is NOT heating the ocean as you claim, then what is the energy source that keeps it from freezing? Instead, you want to tell us about some “experiment” or other …

Answer the question or don’t, I don’t care. Just know that if you don’t your reputation with me goes in the oubliette …

w.

• A C Osborn says:

Another person who can’t face the fact that Experiments prove he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Plus those Experiments are backed up by your very own recommended Equations.
Show me the Actual Real Life Experiment that proves a colder object’s Radiation, (NOT INSULATION) warms a Warmer Object so that I can test it.
I have proved the opposite for all the earthlike situations you have put forward.

Then you can explain the Mechanics of how this sparse layer of CO2’s Radiation from a Molecule can get released in any large quantities before the energy is lost in a collision with all those other 999,600 molecules surrounding it.
And then those photons manage to negotiate it’s way through Kms of much Denser Atmosphere, getting Denser the nearer the Surface it gets without being Absorbed or deflected. After all it must be absorbed in a collision according to you.
Then explain how the Energy in LWIR can come even close to matching the Energy in White Light, SWIR & UV.

• A C Osborn says:

Since when in Science do I or anyone else have to propose an alternative theory, we only have to falsify yours.

• A C Osborn December 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm
Another person who can’t face the fact that Experiments prove he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Plus those Experiments are backed up by your very own recommended Equations.
Show me the Actual Real Life Experiment that proves a colder object’s Radiation, (NOT INSULATION) warms a Warmer Object so that I can test it.

OK, take a Bunsen burner or welding torch and put a thermocouple in the flame (in line with the flow) and measure the temperature. Then surround the ThC with a quartz tube about double the diameter of the ThC and measure the temperature again. If you’ve set it up right the temperature registered in the presence of the quartz will be ~100ºC hotter. Such ThC shields have been in use since at least 1949 when NACA produced reports concerning the measurement of temperature in gas turbines using them.

• A C Osborn says:

Phil, you said
OK, take a Bunsen burner or welding torch and put a thermocouple in the flame (in line with the flow) and measure the temperature. Then surround the ThC with a quartz tube about double the diameter of the ThC and measure the temperature again. If you’ve set it up right the temperature registered in the presence of the quartz will be ~100ºC hotter.

So I take a quartz tube and place it over an object and it will get hotter, wow Climate Science in Action.
I will rush out to my kitchen and try it now.
Well I haven’t got a Bunsen Burner or a welding torch or a Quartz Tube, but I expect a hot object and a Glass Jar will do.
The object is at 34C with temperature sensor attached and the Jar is at 12C, I have placed the Jar over the object and.
Oh no 100C increase, in fact the object temperature fell at over 5C a minute.
Obviously doesn’t work for for ordinary obejcts and glass jars.
So I tried it again with the jar at ambient 23.8C, the object at 26.8C, the object cooled at 0.5C/minute
I must be msiising soemthing.

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 11:00 am
Phil, you said
OK, take a Bunsen burner or welding torch and put a thermocouple in the flame (in line with the flow) and measure the temperature. Then surround the ThC with a quartz tube about double the diameter of the ThC and measure the temperature again. If you’ve set it up right the temperature registered in the presence of the quartz will be ~100ºC hotter.

So I take a quartz tube and place it over an object and it will get hotter, wow Climate Science in Action.

No, radiation heat transfer in action. This is a common problem in radiation heat transfer texts.

I will rush out to my kitchen and try it now.
Well I haven’t got a Bunsen Burner or a welding torch or a Quartz Tube, but I expect a hot object and a Glass Jar will do.

No it won’t !

The object is at 34C with temperature sensor attached and the Jar is at 12C, I have placed the Jar over the object and.
Oh no 100C increase, in fact the object temperature fell at over 5C a minute.
Obviously doesn’t work for for ordinary obejcts and glass jars.
So I tried it again with the jar at ambient 23.8C, the object at 26.8C, the object cooled at 0.5C/minute
I must be msiising soemthing.

Just about everything, why am I not surprised.

• Phil. December 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm Edit

A C Osborn December 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Another person who can’t face the fact that Experiments prove he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Plus those Experiments are backed up by your very own recommended Equations.
Show me the Actual Real Life Experiment that proves a colder object’s Radiation, (NOT INSULATION) warms a Warmer Object so that I can test it.

OK, take a Bunsen burner or welding torch and put a thermocouple in the flame (in line with the flow) and measure the temperature. Then surround the ThC with a quartz tube about double the diameter of the ThC and measure the temperature again. If you’ve set it up right the temperature registered in the presence of the quartz will be ~100ºC hotter. Such ThC shields have been in use since at least 1949 when NACA produced reports concerning the measurement of temperature in gas turbines using them.

Thanks, Phil. Note that A C still hasn’t answered my question, he’d rather wave his hands, post ludicrous claims, waffle about his experiments. He appears to be totally impervious to suggestions like yours.

Man, the Dunning-Kruger crowd are out in force on this thread. Not one of them appears to have read even the most elementary thermo text, but they are all experts, every man-jack …

w.

• Thanks, Phil. Note that A C still hasn’t answered my question, he’d rather wave his hands, post ludicrous claims, waffle about his experiments. He appears to be totally impervious to suggestions like yours.

Man, the Dunning-Kruger crowd are out in force on this thread. Not one of them appears to have read even the most elementary thermo text, but they are all experts, every man-jack …

Indeed Willis! My thought about your theory would be that cloud formation starts at a certain evaporation rate and that limits the ultimate surface temperature reached. This would explain the increase of the surface temperature with salinity as the evaporation rate decreases as salinity increases. Seems plausible.

• Kristian says:

Willis, you wrote:

Sigh. Another person who is unwilling to answer the simple question: if back radiation is NOT heating the ocean as you claim, then what is the energy source that keeps it from freezing? Instead, you want to tell us about some “experiment” or other …

Are you seriously suggesting that the cooler atmosphere is HEATING the warmer ocean!?

• A C Osborn says:

Yes, he is, not just the Atmosphere, but by inference CO2 at -50C.

• Paul Bahlin says:

I designed phased array antennas for 10 years. It’s a nasty business, all those side lobes keep screwing with the focus. Had i known that EMR could be manipulated by giving it a temperature, my ljfe would have been so much easier.

We could have steered our antennas with little heaters on the dipoles. I could have been famous and rich.

• A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 4:42 am
Yes, he is, not just the Atmosphere, but by inference CO2 at -50C.

I’ll ask again, where do you get the CO2 at -50ºC from?

• Lars P. says:

Sigh. Another person who is unwilling to answer the simple question: if back radiation is NOT heating the ocean as you claim, then what is the energy source that keeps it from freezing?

Sigh… We are running in circle as:
back radiation is not an energy source
isolation is not a source of energy.

Everything is clear and easy to understand if one calculates the net heat flows.
Isolation does indeed help reduce the heat flow but it is not a source of energy. One can put as much blankets around a cold body it will still be cold unless it has a source of energy. (btw. yes we are happy that the Earth has a source of energy ;) with the sun and enough isolation to keep us warm)

The surface loses heat through various channels.
Heat transfer through radiation in the atmosphere is only part of it. It can also be further divided in various mini-channels.
The window of direct radiation to space is one such channel, the water cycle in the atmosphere is another process of transporting heat from surface to higher altitudes. Convection is another process of transporting heat from lower strata to higher.

CO2 does not radiate back from the top of the atmosphere. How long is the path in the atmosphere for the 14-15 um wave?
If one channel gets more isolation, the surface does not get warmed linearly based on a calculated back-radiation. It is the net heat flow through all channels that matter. With calculated back-radiation heat transfer we get a good approximation for short time period with errors getting accumulated over time.
Yes it is not so easy and comfortable as with ‘back-radiation’ but for 100 years calculations the back-radiation approximation get us all boiled down and the greenes conclude that the sky is falling.

• A C Osborn says:

If I had to hazard a theory I would say that the delay in the Radiation loss to space due to the atmosphere is the equivelent of a certain amount of extra input to the system
However I do not believe the Earth’s miriad surfaces and especially the Oceans are anywhere the grey body Climate Science says it is, or the disvision by 4 of the Solar input is anywhere realistic of what actaully happens.
Or that the system is ever in Eqlibrium.

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

However I do not believe the Earth’s miriad surfaces and especially the Oceans are anywhere the grey body Climate Science says it is,
You do know that this has beenmeasured?

or the disvision by 4 of the Solar input is anywhere realistic of what actaully happens.

Have you ever done calculus?
Try the double integral of cos(lat)cos(long), lat from -pi/2 to +pi/2, long from pi/2 to pi/2.

• Phil. December 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm
Correction, should be:

Try the double integral of cos(lat)cos(long), lat from -pi/2 to +pi/2, long from -pi/2 to +pi/2.

45. A C Osborn says:

Mr Eschenbach, just listen to yourself.
We don’t know what else it can be so it must be CO2 Back Radiation.
Yet you are prepared to ignore the Scientific Method of testing the theory.
I have applied the SM to your theory and not once but in 3 different ways they reject it.
I have even applied the formula that you pointed out for energy transfer and they reject it.
What is the quote from Einstein about just one experiment?

• I do listen to myself. I say we DO know what it is, both from theory and from measurements. It is downwelling radiated energy from the atmosphere.

YOU say the theory and the measurements are wrong, it’s NOT downwelling radiated energy from the atmosphere … so then the question becomes, what is it?

Rather than answer that, near as I can tell, you open up your head and let random words dribble out about how I’m ignoring “the Scientific Method of testing the theory” …

Dude, you’ve been pointed to Anthony’s experiment. You’ve been pointed to the patent for the improved light bulb that uses a process you say doesn’t exist. I gave you the equation that governs back radiation. I gave you a link to an online calculator for back radiation.

There’s nothing that will convince you. I say to you what I said to Stephen Wilde.

BUY A DAMN COLLEGE THERMO TEXTBOOK, DO ALL THE PROBLEMS AT THE END OF THE CHAPTERS, AND DON’T BOTHER ADDRESSING YOUR COMMENTS TO ME UNTIL YOU’VE DONE SO.

Sheesh …

w.

• A C Osborn says:

Right you gave me the Calculator & the Equation.
Let’s plug in the Earth’s Surface and CO2, just consider 1Sq metre of the surface and 1.1Sq metre of the Atmosphere.
The Surface at 288k emissivity at .09 and the CO2 at 223k and emissivity at 1.
The Calculator gives Surface to CO2 225 W/m2
My full Equation gives 224.87 W/m2 – close enough for Government work.
However the Short Equation which does not take into consideration emissivity or area gave
249 W/m2, still not too far out.
Let’s move on to the Sphere in Shell, You didn’t give a temperature of the sphere so let’s assume 1000k and 3.5k for the shell.
The calculator gives Sphere to Shell 567000000 W/m2
My long Equation gives 56700000 W/m2
Short Equation gives 56699999 W/m2

Well that all worked out well.

But as Ed Bo pointed out the heat transfer doesn’t know which direction it is going in, so what happens if we calculate how much energy is going from the colder object to the warmer one using the same values.
Co2 to Surface -274 W/m2
As the shell experiment requires some heating to have taken place for your theory to work let’s use 120k instead of 3.5k
we get
Shell to sphere -113376485.4 W/m2.

My Experiments say NO HEATING
Your Calculator & Equation say NO HEATING

One of the last things you said on your previous thread was and I quote.

“Thanks, A C, but as far as I know neither I nor anyone else has said that cold things can make hot things even hotter by radiation alone.”

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 10:07 am
Right you gave me the Calculator & the Equation.
Let’s plug in the Earth’s Surface and CO2, just consider 1Sq metre of the surface and 1.1Sq metre of the Atmosphere.
The Surface at 288k emissivity at .09 and the CO2 at 223k and emissivity at 1.

Why is the CO2 at 223K?

• Paul Bahlin says:

So you seriously want to blow up a hundred years of successful application of the radiation principles espoused by Willis with an experiment you are doing in your kitchen?

46. A C Osborn says:

Don’t think you can drive me away by your oh so superior attitude, or by browbeating me.
I do not give up.
Show me and all the other posters on here that disagree with you the proof that back radiation from a very very Cold body can warm a much warmer one.

• Trick says:

“Show me and all the other posters on here that disagree with you the proof that back radiation from a very very Cold body can warm a much warmer one.”

That’s not the experiment for which you need to prove the premise A C.

Start there though, minimizing conduction, convection to negligible in ~still air. Record the equilibrium skin temperature of the “much warmer one” with an IR thermometer with the “very very Cold body” in view.

Then replace the “very very Cold body” with just a “cold body” in view of the “much warmer one”. Wait for equilibrium, record the new skin temperature of the “much warmer one” and let us know all temperatures you are working with. And enough detail to replicate.

The T response of the “much warmer one” due the DWIR from a just a cold object replacing the DWIR from a “very very Cold body” is the premise which you are trying to test.

• A C Osborn says:

Sorry that is NOT how it works, how can the Earth’s Surface see any Colder Objects through the much warmer, by comparison, kilometres of Lower Atmosphere which it relates to.
Only the upper atmosphere just below the CO2 that is warmer than space can see the CO2 instead of space.
So it might work for the upper atmosphere but not the surface.

• A C Osborn says:

What will be the result of having a body at 62C in a room at 22C and replacing an object at 22C exposing the original object with another also at 62C.
Does the first object get hotter.
The answer is NO they both cooled, just more slowly
It was the first Experiment that I carried out.
I was told that the only way it works is a la the steel greenhouse. Ie a continuously heated object at Equilibrium.
So what was the result of that experiment?
Exactly the same, the colder the object the more and quicker it cooled the heated object.

• A C Osborn says:

I get the distinct impression you guys supporting the cold makes warm warmer think I am dumb, I may be dumber than a lot of people.
But what I do have is logic, I am a very good chess player, a very well trained problem solver and a programmer who has written process control statistics.
As I said I don’t give up unless the subject is totally beyond me like QM etc

• A C Osborn December 16, 2017 at 3:40 pm
Sorry that is NOT how it works, how can the Earth’s Surface see any Colder Objects through the much warmer, by comparison, kilometres of Lower Atmosphere which it relates to.

Anywhere the atmosphere is transparent to the wavelength concerned, for example, on our planet that’s 10-13 microns.

• Trick says:

“Sorry that is NOT how it works, how can the Earth’s Surface see any Colder Objects through the much warmer, by comparison, kilometres of Lower Atmosphere which it relates to.”

Then you will endlessly do pointless experiments A C. Have fun continuing & commenting on your pointless work.

The DWIR from deep space is your “very very Cold body”, the DWIR from the atm. would be the just cold body replacing space. Once you realize this, your experiments can be developed on point, verifying the correct premise.

• Trick says:

”What will be the result of having a body at 62C in a room at 22C and replacing an object at 22C exposing the original object with another also at 62C.”

The result will be pointless for your intentions of verification A C.

Try an object originally at room temperature next to a “very very Cold body” at equilibrium with the “very very Cold body” blocking most of the room temperature radiation in still air on one side of the warm object. Then replacing the “very very Cold body” with just a cold body in a new equilibrium. Then you will be on point taking data of the room temperature object skin temperature.

• gnomish says:

Phil. December 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm:
Anywhere the atmosphere is transparent to the wavelength concerned, for example, on our planet that’s 10-13 microns.

i invite you to consider a medium that is not transparent to IR as well – like the ocean once you get a rch deep.
or not. not my job to care who gets what

• A C Osborn says:

Phil. December 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Anywhere the atmosphere is transparent to the wavelength concerned, for example, on our planet that’s C

What %age of the Surface outgoing LWIR is actually in the 15 microns band?
What “Energy” does it possess in comparision to White Light?
Answer 0.08 Electron Volts compared to 4 electron volts
How much of the CO2 15 micron Absorption band is actually in the 10-13 microns
And this is supposed to provide more Energy than the Sun.

It still does not overcome the fact that it can only slow the surface cooling, not increase it’s temperature.
If a 62C object replacing a 22C object cannot warm a 62C object how can photons from a -10C, -20C, -50C object warm an object at 15C?
Place any cool object near warm object and it cools it, so the atmospheric window is an Aid to cooling, if it went directly to space it would cool even quicker than going to the CO2 layer at 15 micron layer.

• A C Osborn says:

Trick December 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

“The DWIR from deep space is your “very very Cold body”, the DWIR from the atm. would be the just cold body replacing space. Once you realize this, your experiments can be developed on point, verifying the correct premise.”

How much DWIR from space, just how many photons from Space get through our Atmosphere, how many would the CO2 Photons be replacing exactly?
It doesn’t matter how many ways I do the Experiment a Cold body doesn’t make a warmer body hotter, it can only ever slow the cooling, but very cold bodies like CO2 at 15 microns and -55C are going to cool it faster than the rest of the lower Atmosphere.

Let’s assume that your CO2 photons will have some kind of an effect.
At 10,000 M height the Density of the Atmosphere is less than 1/3rd of that at the surface, at 16,000 M it is only 1/10. So the 400 ppm of CO2 effectively becomes somewhere between 133 and 40 ppm compared to the lower atmosphere where the greater majority of the molecules reside, so how many CO2 molecules are actually there at 10 to 16km?
So at 10000 to 16000 metres we have a lot less CO2 molecules than in the Denser Atmosphere below that height.
The Energy released as photons can only come from those energised CO2 molecules that have not lost their energy due to collisions with the 2500 times as many other molecules in their immediate space, lets call those “survivors”.
Slightly less than half the photons from those Survivors are heading for the surface, the rest to space.
In the next Metre they are going meet and be absorbed by other CO2 molecules and over half of those new Survivor’s photons are also going to be heading for space, in the next metre the same again and so on, when we get to the area of the Atmosphere where we have Water Molecules and CO2 and a lot more of them per Cubic metre than at 10000 to 16000 metres, we will have a much higher attrition rate.
How many of those original CO2 photons at 10 to 16km will actually survive to reach the Surface and what kind of impact can they have?

Those collisions and absorptions going on in the upper Atmosphere are only delaying the energy released to space, they are slowing the cooling rate, not heating the surface.

• Trick says:

”How much DWIR from space, just how many photons from Space get through our Atmosphere, how many would the CO2 Photons be replacing exactly?”

Well we can see the stars from the ground on clear sky nights so enough photons to be above the perception limits of our eyes.

Because the stars twinkle at night we know the atm. constituent particles scatter some of the starlight.
Because IR telescopes move to high places we know some of the starlight is absorbed in the atm. or they wouldn’t bother to move. If there are clouds the starlight photons are scattered and absorbed while the clouds add emitted photons of their own.

”Let’s assume that your CO2 photons will have some kind of an effect.”

A C after this statement you go on to describe the opacity of the current atm. This opacity is well understood and extensively measured. The measurements agree with theory to reasonable accuracy so the theory is reasonably useful to understand increasing and decreasing atm. opacity effects. There are many papers from the early 1990s (built on previous work) & over the next decade as the field was an active research topic.

To answer your question: ”How many of those original CO2 photons at 10 to 16km will actually survive to reach the Surface and what kind of impact can they have?” catchup on the basic papers to understand the methods used and if still interested enough you can use the software developed to answer your question(s).

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 3:16 am
Trick December 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

“The DWIR from deep space is your “very very Cold body”, the DWIR from the atm. would be the just cold body replacing space. Once you realize this, your experiments can be developed on point, verifying the correct premise.”

How much DWIR from space, just how many photons from Space get through our Atmosphere, how many would the CO2 Photons be replacing exactly?

Approximately zero (corresponding to a temperature of 3K) so in the absence of CO2 virtually all the IR emitted from the surface would go to space with virtually none returning so the temperature at the steady state would be much lower. In the presence of CO2 much more of the emitted IR is returned to the surface so temperature increases. In the absence of GHG’s there would be no DWIR, in the presence of GHG’s the measured DWIR is ~300W/m^2

It doesn’t matter how many ways I do the Experiment a Cold body doesn’t make a warmer body hotter, it can only ever slow the cooling, but very cold bodies like CO2 at 15 microns and -55C are going to cool it faster than the rest of the lower Atmosphere.

Perhaps you’re not doing the experiments correctly, any progress on the thermocouple experiment I suggested to you? What does CO2 at -55ºC have to do with anything?

• A C Osborn December 17, 2017 at 1:49 am
Phil. December 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Anywhere the atmosphere is transparent to the wavelength concerned, for example, on our planet that’s C

What %age of the Surface outgoing LWIR is actually in the 15 microns band?

What “Energy” does it possess in comparision to White Light?
Answer 0.08 Electron Volts compared to 4 electron volts

So what, the energy/photon is lower but there are many more photons so the flux is comparable.

How much of the CO2 15 micron Absorption band is actually in the 10-13 microns

Exactly that’s why it’s called the IR ‘window’.

And this is supposed to provide more Energy than the Sun.

Measured DWIR is more than the insolation at the surface. If you put a ‘hot’ mirror (which transmits visible and reflects 2/3 of the IR) above a blackbody at steady state with 170W/m^2 incident visible you’d have 340W/m^2 DWIR. As a result your BB temperature would have to rise to emit 510 W/m^2. (308K vs. 235K)

It still does not overcome the fact that it can only slow the surface cooling, not increase it’s temperature.
If there’s a constant input (like on the earth) then that’s exactly what happens, the temperature increases.

If a 62C object replacing a 22C object cannot warm a 62C object how can photons from a -10C, -20C, -50C object warm an object at 15C?
Flawed experiment, photons at those temperatures will certainly warm an object when replacing ones from -270ºC

Place any cool object near warm object and it cools it, so the atmospheric window is an Aid to cooling, if it went directly to space it would cool even quicker than going to the CO2 layer at 15 micron layer.

Exactly and the presence of CO2 reduces the size of the window.

• A C Osborn says:

So many misdirections I am not sure where to start.
So let’s start with this one “if there is a constant input (like on the earth)”, not just a midirection, it is an outright lie.
There is no constant input over the whole surface, otherwise there would never be a night time cooling phase.
So to make your point you are now prepared lie about how the real world works.
You and others keep talking about averages, the world actually does not work on averages, they are only used to make estimates.
At the moment in the northern hemisphere we get 8 hours of insolation (input) and 16 hours of no input, but the Output that was occurring during the day still continues.
The Earth Surface at night is a bog standard cooling body, any kind of retardation in that cooling is not warming.
The surface may end up warmer or cooler depending on that rate of retardation.
Without H2O it would be very much faster cooling as displayed in deserts.
The real world does not fit your statement at all. It also does not fit that CO2 has a greater impact than solar or H2O.
You also state that replacing a -270C object with a -50C object with a cooling body like the Earth at night will make it
warmer, again no it won’t it will only slow the cooling. The emitter will end up warmer when the process is finished, but the initial temperature of 22C will NOT GO UP, without extra Input.
You do not appear to understand the difference between Heating & Reduced Cooling.
You also keep asking where I get the Temperature for CO2, well let me turn that around, what do think the Temperature is where the 15 micron window is in the Atmosphere, as all the other frequencies that CO2 operates at are saturated by H2O
That will do for starters.

• A C Osborn says:

tty, thanks for that last attempt.
You have described insulation, you have not described Heating, which requires that the initial temperature rises. So you say that Back Radiation provides insulation ie reduced cooling.
So even by your description CO2 does not raise the temperature of the surface it only slows the cooling.
It does Not Input 300 or 400 Watts/m2 and raise the temperature, it delays that amount leaving it.
Which is what I said to Mr Eschenbach, it is Equivalent to but not actual heating.
Quite how you think a cold object at whatever temperature CO2 is has an affect from 10+ km away I am not sure.
Because if I separate my much hotter objects by even a few metres their affect on each other is not even measurable.

• A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 7:27 am
So many misdirections I am not sure where to start.
So let’s start with this one “if there is a constant input (like on the earth)”, not just a midirection, it is an outright lie.
There is no constant input over the whole surface, otherwise there would never be a night time cooling phase.
So to make your point you are now prepared lie about how the real world works.

That was in reference to your experiment, and the input to the earth is constant, that the earth rotates doesn’t change that.

You and others keep talking about averages, the world actually does not work on averages, they are only used to make estimates.
At the moment in the northern hemisphere we get 8 hours of insolation (input) and 16 hours of no input, but the Output that was occurring during the day still continues.

In my part of the northern hemisphere I get 9hrs of daylight, you must be further north.

You also state that replacing a -270C object with a -50C object with a cooling body like the Earth at night will make it warmer, again no it won’t it will only slow the cooling.

I didn’t say that at all, I made no reference at all to “a cooling body like the Earth at night”. what I said was: “photons at those temperatures will certainly warm an object when replacing ones from -270ºC”.

The emitter will end up warmer when the process is finished, but the initial temperature of 22C will NOT GO UP, without extra Input.

If the 22ºC object is at a steady state near an object at -270ºC and then the -50ºC replaces it then the temperature will certainly go up from 22ºC.

You do not appear to understand the difference between Heating & Reduced Cooling.

The misunderstanding is all yours.

You also keep asking where I get the Temperature for CO2, well let me turn that around, what do think the Temperature is where the 15 micron window is in the Atmosphere, as all the other frequencies that CO2 operates at are saturated by H2O

Everything from the surface temperature on upwards. The saturation by H2O is a myth, check out Clough and Iacono, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 100, No. D8, pp 16,519-16,535, August 20, 1995

• A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 7:57 am
So even by your description CO2 does not raise the temperature of the surface it only slows the cooling.
It does Not Input 300 or 400 Watts/m2 and raise the temperature, it delays that amount leaving it.

Actually no, there is a measured Downward IR flux of that magnitude.

Quite how you think a cold object at whatever temperature CO2 is has an affect from 10+ km away I am not sure.
Simple, it isn’t anywhere near 10km away.

• tty says:

To convince me you just have to show me how the warmer body knows that the photon comes for a colder body and it is therefore not permissible to absorb it.

You are confusing heat flow with radiation. They are two different things. Heat cannot flow from a colder place to a warmer (except for very small scale fluctuations, heat is a statistical phenomenon). Radiation most certainly can.

• A C Osborn says:

I did NOT say it was not permissable to absorb it.
What I said was the photons and their energy made no increase in the temperature of the warmer body, it still cooled it.

• tty says:

In that case you are even more ignorant than I realized. A photon that is absorbed by an atom or molecule inevitably raises its energy level. Conservation of energy you know.

• menicholas says:

If it is a very cold night and I dive into my swimming pool, I get cold. If I climb out of the pool into the cold air I get even colder.
If I then climb into the spa, at 90, I warm up quite a bit.
My body is at 98.6 and the water is colder than my body, but I am getting warmer by being in there.

• A C Osborn says:

tty, if I am ignorant, so is my Thermometer, as we did it together.
Do you really believe that an Ice cube makes an object at ambient warmer?
Because I can assure it DOES NOT happen.
In fact tonight I even tried a constantly heated object at 40C and another heated object at 24.9C 3 degrees above ambient.
Absolutely no heating of the Hotter object, in fact it cooled 0.5C.

• menicholas December 17, 2017 at 1:12 am
If it is a very cold night and I dive into my swimming pool, I get cold. If I climb out of the pool into the cold air I get even colder.
If I then climb into the spa, at 90, I warm up quite a bit.
My body is at 98.6 and the water is colder than my body, but I am getting warmer by being in there.

Because conduction heat transfer depends on deltaT and in the spa the deltaT is much lower than in the cold pool. So your heat loss rate is sensed by the nerves in your skin and sends signals to the hypothalamus to regulate your metabolism, your metabolic rate will cause your internal temperature to rise if uncontrolled usually by controlling your heat loss, probably causing you to sweat to prevent thermal runaway (hypothermia). Sweating doesn’t work so well in a pool!

CdT/dt=( heatreleaserate-heatlosscoef(deltaT)) = 0 at steady state

• tty says:

I realize this is probably a hopeless task, but I will try one more time. Heat always moves from warmer to colder, but radiation can move both from a hotter object to a colder and from a colder to a hotter, but the hotter object will be putting out more (and on average more energetic) photons so the net energy flow will be towards the colder object.

However the flow from the colder object will decrease the net flow from the hotter object, and therefore keep it at a higher temperature than it would otherwise be. Incidentally this is how a thermal blanket works. It will keep you warm despite having practically zero insulation and being colder than your body. The “back radiation” from the blanket decreases the heat loss from your body.

47. Willis,

I am now ready to describe the problems with the ‘proofs’ provided by you and Robert Brown.

i) Real world convection requires uneven surface heating but your column has a uniformly heated base so that little or no convection will occur.

ii) Real world convective overturning requires separated rising and falling columns to minimise conduction between them Think in terms of the rising and falling legs of the Hadley cells on Earth. Your model forces them together so that conduction is maximised

iii) Real world convection requires an exponential density gradient with molecules free to move apart in three dimensions which gives maximum conversion of KE to PE and a steep lapse rate slope. Your model allows only moving apart in the vertical plane due to the parallel sides all round which barely gives any density gradient at all.

So, to support your contention that an atmosphere with no GHGs would become isothermal you and Robert have created a model that effectively eliminates the real world features that make an isothermal atmosphere around a planet impossible.

• Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Willis,

I am now ready to describe the problems with the ‘proofs’ provided by you and Robert Brown.

No, you’re clearly not ready. Are you really a dumb guy, or do you just play one on the web? What part of this seems unclear to you?

To everyone at the end of the head post …

My Usual Request: When you are commenting please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all understand just what you are talking about.

and to Joe Born

Once again I ask, QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING and point out where they are wrong.

and to you

Again I say, as I said to Joe, QUOTE THE DAMN WORDS OF THE PROOF AND SHOW US EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE WRONG!!!

and to you again

Stephen Wilde December 16, 2017 at 7:09 am

In the meantime, if you raise posts to which my contentions are relevant I will continue chipping away at the subject in a polite manner.

Nonsense. You have not been polite enough to follow a simple request to quote the words you object to. When you start doing that I’ll start paying attention to your claims. Until then, talk to the hand.

w.

• I have told you clearly how and why your model does not adequately replicate the real world scenario.

• Trick says:

Except, Stephen, your telling does not agree with testing. The same problem puzzled scientists had when their telling of the specific heats of diatomic atm. gas was not in agreement with testing. As your link describes, it took the development of quantum mechanics to explain the test results.

• A separate issue, Trick.

There is no need to consider radiative gases at all in connection with convective overturning. That is why the US standard atmosphere works without any radiative element.

• Trick says:

All the avg.d natural radiative effects, condensation and some convection are already included in the US Standard Atm. because it is made up of 1000s observations in midlatitude tropics.

• Yes, and it all nets out to zero as I keep telling you.

• Trick says:

Close to zero (~1 W/m^2 rounded, out of 240) as no global temperature series is strictly constant.

• In so far as it differs from zero in one place or at one time then there will be an offset in some other place or at some other time otherwise hydrostatic equilibrium cannot be maintained.

• Trick says:

That would mean a constant global T reading in all the series which is not evident. The global temperature varies & trends and the atm. is still retained & mostly hydrostatic.

• Trick says:

“ii) Real world convective overturning requires separated rising and falling columns to minimise conduction between them.”

Once again, simple lab testing of uneven surface warming causing convection in a fluid in a gravity field shows this description is not physical in meteorology Stephen. Testing shows ascending columns (as in thermals for gliders) exist but similar descending columns are only a myth. As Lorentz pointed out in his 1955 foundational paper on the subject.

• As long as you deny that adiabatic descent exists then you are bound to remain misguided. Every high pressure cell in the troposphere is a descending column and there is evidence of a slow convective overturning in the stratosphere too.
I don’t know what you think Lorenz said. Most likely you have misinterpreted him.

• Trick says:

”I don’t know what you think Lorenz said.”

That’s repeatedly obvious. Acquire the paper, it is free on the internet.

“Available Potential Energy and the Maintenance of the General Circulation” E. Lorenz 1954

”As long as you deny that adiabatic descent exists then you are bound to remain misguided.”

Testing denies it, shows every high-pressure cell in the troposphere moves surface fluid laterally in at surface T to replace the low-pressure fluid rising in thermal updraft columns – for that witness glider pilots circling to gain altitude. Stephen will remain misguided by his imagination until he learns from the actual uneven surface warming testing.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 2:02 am
As long as you deny that adiabatic descent exists then you are bound to remain misguided. Every high pressure cell in the troposphere is a descending column and there is evidence of a slow convective overturning in the stratosphere too.
I don’t know what you think Lorenz said. Most likely you have misinterpreted him.

Perhaps you should read it, you might learn something?

http://eaps4.mit.edu/research/Lorenz/Available_Potential_Energy_1955.pdf

• Phil,

I am familiar with that Lorenz article and must have first read it soon after publication in 1955. It is your interpretation of it that I am not familiar with.

Lorenz points out that the bulk of directly observable atmospheric motion is caused by local variations from the general background adiabatic profile and he calls the energy arising from those variations ‘available’ potential energy which is simply a local energy imbalance that creates local weather phenomena such as thermals and storms. Subsequently that separate form of potential energy has been used in the concept of Convectively Available Potential Energy (CAPE)

That does not imply that there is no net adiabatic uplift in rising columns and no net adiabatic descent in falling columns, which, taken together and averaged around the globe as a whole net out to zero and hold the atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium.

You and Trick completely fail to understand the essence of the Lorenz paper.

What goes up must come down so it is puerile to suggest that the air rising in thermals then fails to come down again or to deny that when it does so it warms up at the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 10:51 am
Phil,

I am familiar with that Lorenz article and must have first read it soon after publication in 1955. It is your interpretation of it that I am not familiar with.

I made no interpretation of it I merely gave a link to the paper.

48. gnomish says:

a.c. you tried. there’s a scotoma – a belief that has been accepted as true and which makes any contrary notion unmemorable. typically, these things require a near.death experience to reset.
nice try, tho.

• gnomish December 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

a.c. you tried. there’s a scotoma – a belief that has been accepted as true and which makes any contrary notion unmemorable. typically, these things require a near.death experience to reset.
nice try, tho.

So you are emulating your heroes and refusing to quote what you are talking about. Perhaps you don’t realize that it makes your objection unintelligible.Who has such beliefs, which beliefs are they,why are they wrong, you can’t be bothered with trivia like that. You just want to attack random nameless people and fling poo at people who do understand thermo … not impressive in the slightest.

w.

• gnomish says:

• gnomish December 16, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Still no quotes, still no demonstration that I’ve made any mistakes, just endless deflection away from any actual science … if you want to watch some unconnected movie, go for it.

Me? Pass …

Sigh …

w.

• gnomish says:

” attack random nameless people and fling poo”
” Are you really a dumb guy, or do you just play one on the web?”
“Oh, please, not this crap again.”
“I’m tired of picking spitballs off the wall.”
“Until then, talk to the hand.”
“Saying the magical incantation “thermohaline circulation” does nothing for either the discussion or your reputation.”
“You’re making a fool of yourself, and it is painful to watch.”
” destroy them entirely with your genius insights and hitherto unknown facts ”
” your reputation with me goes in the oubliette …”
” you open up your head and let random words dribble out”
“Man, the Dunning-Kruger crowd are out in force on this thread.”
” I’m not interested in your stupid games.”

trollolol
willis’ compelling arguments have persuaded me, so i have made sure to quote them.
i probably missed a few. i think there was one calling somebody a pig, too…

49. Clyde Spencer December 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Such a universal statement is not warranted. Typically, if either warm air passes over the water, or the water surface receives incoming IR, water vapor will be evaporated from the surface, resulting in it cooling.

In order to cause evaporation the temperature must have increased, the evaporative cooling must be less than the heating and a new higher steady state would be reached. Your answer violates thermodynamics.

• Phil. December 16, 2017 at 5:15 pm Edit

Clyde Spencer December 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Such a universal statement is not warranted. Typically, if either warm air passes over the water, or the water surface receives incoming IR, water vapor will be evaporated from the surface, resulting in it cooling.

In order to cause evaporation the temperature must have increased, the evaporative cooling must be less than the heating and a new higher steady state would be reached. Your answer violates thermodynamics.

Yeah, but perpetuum mobiles are so much fun …

w.

• gnomish says:

phase change occurs with no change in temperature

• gnomish December 17, 2017 at 9:44 am
phase change occurs with no change in temperature

Not according to Clyde. :-)

50. Geoff Sherrington says:

Willis,

What time period for observations, is ocean SST or air temperature just above or water temperature to a selected depth? Is the radiation averaged over a time period or is it for a time of day like noon?
I am wondering how the boundary between positive and negative correlation regions is set. Does it really on assuming a sensitivity factor?
The data are interesting but not quite clear to those like me who have not studied the source material too well. Geoff.

51. Kristian says:

Willis, you state:

(…) daily experience shows that the sun rules the temperature … but it turns out that while this is true on land, at sea things are quite different.

That’s because on land, the surface stays put, while at sea, the surface moves.

Further, you write:

(…) in the tropical ocean (…) we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.

We have two choices in assigning causation in these areas. Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely. Or, (…) increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.

“Choice B” is definitely part of the answer, but is not the full answer. It’s a ‘chicken-and-egg’ kind of situation, an integrated causation loop. Here’s Trenberth et al. (2002) explaining what happens:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/papers/2000JD000298.pdf

“The negative feedback between SST and surface fluxes can be interpreted as showing the importance of the discharge of heat during El Niño events and of the recharge of heat during La Niña events.Relatively clear skies in the central and eastern tropical Pacific allow solar radiation to enter the ocean, apparently offsetting the below normal SSTs, but the heat is carried away by Ekman drift, ocean currents, and adjustments through ocean Rossby and Kelvin waves, and the heat is stored in the western Pacific tropics. This is not simply a rearrangement of the ocean heat, but also a restoration of heat in the ocean. Similarly, during El Niño the loss of heat into the atmosphere, especially through evaporation, is a discharge of the heat content, and both contribute to the life cycle of ENSO.”
(My emphasis.)

52. Willis said:

“So if I take heat from the surface today and return it to the surface tomorrow, that results in surface heating? On what planet, particularly for a constantly occurring phenomenon?”

Of course it will, provided that new insolation from an external source is continuing throughout at the same rate as before.

That is the same principle as that employed in the radiative theory whereby energy is returned to the surface by DWIR for a net delay in energy throughput.

Delaying the speed of energy throughput when energy in is constant causes a rise in temperature whatever the reason for the delay.

“if back radiation is NOT heating the ocean as you claim, then what is the energy source that keeps it from freezing? ”

The weight of an atmosphere on an ocean surface alters the energy required to cause evaporation from the ocean surface.

With no atmosphere at all the ocean waters would be able to evaporate away to space using internal energy alone.

With an atmosphere the waters need to accumulate more insolation from the sun before they can start a water cycle involving evaporation and rainfall.

The heavier the atmosphere the warmer the oceans need to become in order to initiate a water cycle.

So, what heats the oceans is accumulated solar energy the amount of which is related to atmospheric mass and not DWIR at all.

54. Joe Born December 17, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Folks, this is how I treat people with honest statements and honest requests.

Occasionally it is. Actually, though, Mr. Eschenbach’s responses to me above are more typical of the ill grace with which has for years responded to people who try to throw him a line when he’s in over his head (as, when it comes to math, he often is).

Joe, that is a baldfaced lie. Here’s where the discussion went off of the rails. You were the one who decided to resort to a personal attack, viz:

Joe Born December 16, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Sorry,

w.

Don’t be. Your post provided a lot of insight, which I appreciate.

Thanks.

As to your failing to comprehend the shortcomings of your “proof,” I completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with starting from first principles to re-examine his beliefs; each of us has his respective limitations.

WHAT? You pathetic little man, how dare you? To date you have not quoted ONE WORD of my proof! Nor have you raised ONE OBJECTION to any of the words, logic, or thoughts in my proof! Zip. Nada. Nothing.

And now you want to insult me about my understanding of what’s in my proof and make nasty accusations about my supposed “limitations”? Really? To date all we’ve seen are your limitations, you haven’t said diddly-squat about my proof. It may have limitations, but by God you haven’t said one word that shows that they exist.

Your main limitation seems to be, I’ve asked you over and over again to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS OF THE PROOF THAT YOU OBJECT TO AND TELL US WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM.

But noooo … instead of doing that and risking that you might actually be shown wrong, you just tip your head sideways and let the thoughts roll out. They may be great thoughts for all I know but I have NO IDEA what they have to do with my proof, or Robert’s proof, for that matter. No clue. Nor am I interested in trying to guess, that’s a fool’s errand.

I leave it to the reader to see who hit the golf ball in the tiled bathroom.

You attacked me for not being willing to discuss my proof without saying one damn word about my proof. And you STILL haven’t said one word about it, preferring to go off on some rambling monologue that has NOTHING TO DO WITH MY PROOF!

Now, if you want to cut out the attacks, and if you can finally summon the courage to actually QUOTE SOMETHING OF MY PROOF THAT YOU THINK IS WRONG, I’m your man. We’ll set all this aside and have a collegiate discussion of THE PART OF MY PROOF THAT YOU QUOTE and what you think is wrong with it.

But if you just want to bitch and whine about how I treat you, or talk about something other than my proof, talk to the hand.

For those coming in late, the proof that Joe and Stephen and the rest don’t want to quote from is here. I’m happy to discuss it with anyone.

w.

• There is nothing in your ‘proof’ that is wrong given the initial parameters of an adiabatically isolated single column with parallel sides. That is why I have not quoted from it.
I have told you why those initial parameters are inadequate.
Your ‘proof’ (and that of Robert Brown) is simply an irrelevance.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 1:56 am

There is nothing in your ‘proof’ that is wrong given the initial parameters of an adiabatically isolated single column with parallel sides. That is why I have not quoted from it.

Stephen, since my proof says NOTHING about “an adiabatically isolated single column with parallel sides”, not one word along those lines, you obviously either haven’t read my proof, or you’re truly as foolish as you seem. Now you’re just putting up excuses. Pathetic.

And no, you don’t get to just claim that someone’s proof is an “irrelevance” unless you have SHOWN it to be so, and you haven’t shown anything.

Gotta say, coming into this post I thought you were maybe able to learn something. But you’ve destroyed all credibility with me. Please don’t bother answering any of my comments. Not interested. Come back when you summon up the courage to QUOTE SOMETHING and TELL US WHY IT’S WRONG. You have not done that once.

w.

• Well that is the basis of Robert Brown’s model and the Coombes and Lau analysis. What is different about yours?

• Willis says this in his ‘proof’:

“But when the temperature of a perfect blackbody planet rises … the surface radiation of that planet must rise as well.
And because the atmosphere is transparent, this means that the planet is radiating to space more energy than it receives. This is an obvious violation of conservation of energy, so any theories proposing such a warming must be incorrect.”

But previously Willis accepted my comment that there is nothing to stop a planet with a surface at 288K radiating to space at 255k whilst conducting into a developing atmosphere sufficient kinetic energy to account for a surface temperature rise of 33k.

Once the atmosphere is in place with constant convective overturning then there is a constant one cycle delay in the loss of that 33k of kinetic energy to space which must yield a surface temperature rise of 33k

Any delay in the rate of radiative energy throughput, however caused, must result in a higher temperature.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 4:52 am
Willis says this in his ‘proof’:

“But when the temperature of a perfect blackbody planet rises … the surface radiation of that planet must rise as well.
And because the atmosphere is transparent, this means that the planet is radiating to space more energy than it receives. This is an obvious violation of conservation of energy, so any theories proposing such a warming must be incorrect.”

But previously Willis accepted my comment that there is nothing to stop a planet with a surface at 288K radiating to space at 255k whilst conducting into a developing atmosphere sufficient kinetic energy to account for a surface temperature rise of 33k.

Actually there is, if the surface is at 288K it will radiate into space as a 288K object if it has a developing atmosphere it will also conduct to the atmosphere. If the atmosphere doesn’t return the same amount of heat to the surface the surface will either cool down or heat up until a steady state is reached.

• Phil,

Kinetic energy is just molecular motion.

The same unit of kinetic motion cannot both release a photon and be conducted away simultaneously. That would be a breach of the first law.

The atmosphere does indeed return to the surface in adiabatic descent the same amount of energy as was removed from the surface in adiabatic ascent.

• Trick says:

“The same unit of kinetic motion cannot both release a photon and be conducted away simultaneously.”

Sure they can since they are independant processes. Release a photon and bang into another molecule all at same instant.

• Trick says:

Tests show this is not observed in real world convection processes, the high pressure returns laterally to the low pressure areas. This is where surface winds come from Stephen. You really need to observe the tests.

• Trick,

Banging into another molecule and transferring some of its energy will delay the release of a photon. Release of a photon will reduce the energy transferred by collision. You can’t have it both ways without breaching the first law.

Real world convection shows exactly what I say but sure there is a lateral component.
Descending columns of higher pressure air spiral outwards and downwards towards the nearest low pressure.
Rising columns of lower pressure air spiral outwards and upwards towards the nearest high pressure cell.
That is why the wind flow on meteorological synoptic maps actually flows at a slight angle to the line of the isobars.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 8:28 am
Phil,

Kinetic energy is just molecular motion.

The same unit of kinetic motion cannot both release a photon and be conducted away simultaneously. That would be a breach of the first law.

You are confused, when a molecule that is vibrationally excited emits a photon it has no effect on the translational kinetic energy of the molecule, the molecule can also collide with another molecule and lose kinetic energy. There is no breach of the first law.

At the macro scale a slab of rock will emit thermal radiation depending on its temperature while at the same time conducting heat to its surroundings, if the heat lost exceeds the heat input then the rock will cool down until a steady state is reached. It’s a standard heat transfer analysis, you make a control volume and balance all the inputs and outputs.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 10:34 am
Real world convection shows exactly what I say but sure there is a lateral component.
Descending columns of higher pressure air spiral outwards and downwards towards the nearest low pressure.
Rising columns of lower pressure air spiral outwards and upwards towards the nearest high pressure cell.
That is why the wind flow on meteorological synoptic maps actually flows at a slight angle to the line of the isobars.

You’re sure it’s not the interplay of friction and the Coriolis force which causes the angle to be greatest near the surface and reduce as you go further from the surface?

• Phil said:

“when a molecule that is vibrationally excited emits a photon it has no effect on the translational kinetic energy of the molecule, the molecule can also collide with another molecule and lose kinetic energy. There is no breach of the first law.”

So you think that the energy used in the emission of the photon can still be used again in a collisional exchange?

• Stephen Wilde December 20, 2017 at 1:37 am Edit

Phil said:

“when a molecule that is vibrationally excited emits a photon it has no effect on the translational kinetic energy of the molecule, the molecule can also collide with another molecule and lose kinetic energy. There is no breach of the first law.”

So you think that the energy used in the emission of the photon can still be used again in a collisional exchange?

Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t read what Phil said that way at all.

What I think he said is that there are two kinds of energy in a vibrationally excited CO2 molecule—the kinetic energy of it zooming around, and the energy in the vibration. Now when that CO2 molecule emits a photon, the vibrational energy is lost … but the kinetic energy is unchanged. Which to me is quite true.

w.

• Willis Eschenbach December 20, 2017 at 1:51 am
Stephen Wilde December 20, 2017 at 1:37 am Edit

Phil said:

“when a molecule that is vibrationally excited emits a photon it has no effect on the translational kinetic energy of the molecule, the molecule can also collide with another molecule and lose kinetic energy. There is no breach of the first law.”

So you think that the energy used in the emission of the photon can still be used again in a collisional exchange?

Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t read what Phil said that way at all.

What I think he said is that there are two kinds of energy in a vibrationally excited CO2 molecule—the kinetic energy of it zooming around, and the energy in the vibration. Now when that CO2 molecule emits a photon, the vibrational energy is lost … but the kinetic energy is unchanged. Which to me is quite true.

Yes that’s exactly right Willis.

• Of course it is that interplay which combines vertical and lateral transport but that doesn’t falsify the premise that high pressure air descends and low pressure air ascends all around the globe such that at any given moment half is rising and half is falling.

• The total energy of a molecule is comprised of both types of motion. Collisions will transfer BOTH the zooming about type AND the vibrational type.
So, collisions will delay the emission of photons.
Conduction via collisions will thereby reduce radiation to space until convective cycle 1 concludes with the return of KE to the surface in descent.
Radiation from the vibrational mode alone will still reduce conduction via collisions since both modes are utilised to transfer energy via collisions.

• Stephen Wilde December 20, 2017 at 9:28 am
The total energy of a molecule is comprised of both types of motion. Collisions will transfer BOTH the zooming about type AND the vibrational type.
So, collisions will delay the emission of photons.

No, some collisions can remove vibrational energy, they don’t delay the emission of photons.

Conduction via collisions will thereby reduce radiation to space until convective cycle 1 concludes with the return of KE to the surface in descent.

This is a complete non sequitor

Radiation from the vibrational mode alone will still reduce conduction via collisions since both modes are utilised to transfer energy via collisions.

This makes no sense, both emission and conduction take place according to the temperature if the total of the losses exceeds the input the temperature goes down, and vice versa

55. Oh, yeah, Joe, by the way, I went to run your program … no go. the problem is in this line

colliders 1){

I was going to ask you about it until you decided to whine about how I’m a meeean man and I treat you so krool … at this point, I truly don’t care.

w.

56. Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 4:41 am

Well that is the basis of Robert Brown’s model and the Coombes and Lau analysis. What is different about yours?

Truly, are you really that dumb? Or did you just not read my proof at all?

w.

Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 4:52 am

Willis says this in his ‘proof’:

“But when the temperature of a perfect blackbody planet rises … the surface radiation of that planet must rise as well.
And because the atmosphere is transparent, this means that the planet is radiating to space more energy than it receives. This is an obvious violation of conservation of energy, so any theories proposing such a warming must be incorrect.”

But previously Willis accepted my comment that there is nothing to stop a planet with a surface at 288K radiating to space at 255k whilst conducting into a developing atmosphere sufficient kinetic energy to account for a surface temperature rise of 33k.

I have no clue what you think I said. And since despite innumerable requests once again you have not quoted whatever it was you fantasize that I said, I cannot discuss your handwaving. I also don’t know what you mean by I “accepted your comment”.

I give up. Truly. There is no hope for you. Go bother someone else. I’m DONE with you. Go away. Don’t go away mad. Just go away. I have wasted far too much time patiently answering your inane assertions. Go away.

w.

• Stephen Wilde December 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

Willis:

“i) Kinetic energy at the surface can either be conducted away or radiated away. Both cannot occur simultaneously. If one rises the other drops. So, if you have kinetic energy sufficient to produce a temperature of 288k as per the Earth’s measured surface temperature there is no physics that prevents 255k radiating to space and the other 33k being conducted to the atmosphere.”

OK …

• A C Osborn says:

The Hubris of Mr Eshenbach knows no bounds.
I lost count of how many commenters on his so called “Proof” post showed where he was wrong.
In fact the majority of them agreed whole heartedly with the very person he is slagging off here.
But of course Mr Wilde and all those other posters are completely wrong.
When is a “Proof” not a proof, well according to the IPCC, when the majority disagree with the initial assumptions and the assumptions of the proof itself. ie Consensus
Should we do a count of how many Commenters agreed and how many disagreed to see which side had the concensus?

• A C Osborn says:

So based on the Comments on your so called proof which you quote throughout this post the “Peer Review” says failed it.
The Proof should therefore be withdrawn.
But don’t let that stop you quoting it.
Just like the Steel Greenhouse Fantasy and the really pathetic Light Bulb in a Glass post or Phil’s hold a foil to your face comment to demonstrate Direct Back Radiation, it is all happening in your world but not in the real one.
We do not need to disprove your “Proof”, it has already been done on the original post, you just don’t accept it, exactly as you do not accept when posters here disagree with you and point out where you are wrong.

• Hi AC.

Prompted by you I took a look at the responses to Willis’s so called ‘proof’ back in 2012 and found it hilarious that so many back then were telling him much the same as I have tried to tell him here yet his eyes remain tight shut.

Willis, Phil and Trick contend one or more each of the following:

i) That kinetic energy can do work to effect two independent functions simultaneously or be in two places at once thereby breaching the first law.

ii) That delay in radiative energy through a system as a result of conduction and convection cannot cause a rise in system temperature.

iii) That there is no significant adiabatic process going on in an atmosphere.

iv) That air that goes up in thermals never comes down again.

And all those contortions are necessary because they refuse to adapt the radiative energy budget to accommodate non radiative energy transfers.

• Paul Bahlin says:

Stephen says…

“And all those contortions are necessary because they [Willis et al] refuse to adapt the radiative energy budget to accommodate non radiative energy transfers.”

Perhaps because all those non radiative energy transfers are incapable of changing the temperature one iota unless their transport effects the radiation effectiveness of the syestem.

• Paul,

They obviously do adversely affect the radiative effectiveness during the first atmospheric convective cycle until the surface temperature rises far enough above S-B to enable radiation to space to match radiation in from space again whilst retaining enough additional molecular motion at the surface to keep convective overturning running and hold the atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium.

Maybe you should have a look at the responses to Willis’s 2012 post which he claims as a ‘proof’. He has been told what he got wrong repeatedly then and over the years since.

• Stephen Wilde December 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

Willis, Phil and Trick contend one or more each of the following:

i) That kinetic energy can do work to effect two independent functions simultaneously or be in two places at once thereby breaching the first law.

ii) That delay in radiative energy through a system as a result of conduction and convection cannot cause a rise in system temperature.

iii) That there is no significant adiabatic process going on in an atmosphere.

iv) That air that goes up in thermals never comes down again.

To the best of my knowledge I have not ‘contended’ any of these, I’ll make Willis’s request: please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.

And all those contortions are necessary because they refuse to adapt the radiative energy budget to accommodate non radiative energy transfers.

No, it’s necessary to do proper heat transfer analysis, not the way you attempt to do it.

57. A C Osborn December 18, 2017 at 10:09 am
As to foil in front of my face.
I have already established the correct interpretation for that.

It is not heating my face by back radiation to my hotter face.

Really if it’s Al foil it has 95% reflectivity so it will return 95% of the emission from your face and only absorb 5% of it. Your mechanism might work if you used black paper instead, do you see the same warming then?

First of all it is blocking the amount of air my face can radiate to and then It is using it’s own radiation as it heats from my face and Conduction to heat the colder air between it and my face which makes my face feel warmer as the air around it is warmer.

Check out Kirchoff’s Laws.

• A C Osborn says:

This is the last time I am going to bother interacting with you.
I will keep it to words of one syllable so you understand.
It
Does
Not
Work.
I tested it, I made measurements, foil warms the air, which changes the environment of the object.
Use a fan to move the air between the object and the foil to prevent it warming.
NO HEATING OF THE OBJECT, ONLY COOLING.
GOODBYE AND STUFF YOUR KIRCHOFF’S LAW UP YOUR OROFICE as Mr Eschenbach would say.

• Oh
Yes
It
Does

58. Paul Bahlin says:

There are some WUWT topics that get me really twitchy about language. This is one of them. While i agree whole heartedly with the premise here, the comments leave me wanting much more than what squeeks out.

Apart from the off topic diversions, which are many times just indecipherable word salad, there are serious commenters who, innocently, use language which is so imprecise as to just muddy the waters. I would even submit for debate, that this imprecision is often the jumping off point for some of the more raggedy word salad comments.

Here is an example….

Many, many people comment that convection and evaporation cool ‘the surface’ but that is only true if we all have prior agreement on what ‘the surface’ is. We have no such agreement. So for me, i read such a comment and proclaim “no it does not”. Why? Well for me, ‘the surface’ means the entire planet’s surface.

Convection and evaporation are net zero energy exchanges taken over the entire planet.
So it would be much more correct to say that the convection and evaporation of a tropical squall line cools the portion of the surface under it. It’s a perfectly true observation as far as it goes, but it just seems to get out ahead of the rest of the (far more important and difficult) story as people run with it alone.

Now, of course i realize that most people who make the imprecise point are fully aware of that and are doing shorthand. But when you read carefully, the responses to such statements, you come away with the feeling that there are just as many who don’t fully grasp this concept. Especially, some of the world salad commenters who begin to regurtiate the point as complete repudiation of 100 years of known and accepted thermo.

I would even go so far as to say this challenge is what makes many threads drift off into babble.

I would love to see this topic extend into a meaningful discussion of how Willis’ theory DOES lead to cooling of the ENTIRE surface by virtue of the transport mechanism’s (convection, radiation) ability to impact the radiation regime through albedo changes and opportunities for increased outbound (out of the system) radiation. That’s what cools ‘the surface’!

It’s not the wagons that move the freight. It’s the horses!

• Paul Bahlin December 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm

There are some WUWT topics that get me really twitchy about language. This is one of them. While i agree whole heartedly with the premise here, the comments leave me wanting much more than what squeeks out.

Apart from the off topic diversions, which are many times just indecipherable word salad, there are serious commenters who, innocently, use language which is so imprecise as to just muddy the waters. I would even submit for debate, that this imprecision is often the jumping off point for some of the more raggedy word salad comments.

Here is an example….

Many, many people comment that convection and evaporation cool ‘the surface’ but that is only true if we all have prior agreement on what ‘the surface’ is. We have no such agreement. So for me, i read such a comment and proclaim “no it does not”. Why? Well for me, ‘the surface’ means the entire planet’s surface.

Convection and evaporation are net zero energy exchanges taken over the entire planet.

Huh? Both convection and evaporation move net energy from the surface to the troposphere, including the upper troposphere, where it is far easier to radiate to space. The NET heat flow goes:

Surface –> Atmosphere –> Space

I don’t see how that is net zero in any sense … what am I missing here? You seem to think that what goes up must come down … but not when part of it just keeps going up to space …

w.

• Paul, let me add that according to your statements, if there were no evaporation the surface would NOT be warmer than it is now … how would that work? That’s like saying if I stopped sweating I wouldn’t heat up … again, what am I missing here?

w.

• Paul Bahlin says:

First off, you’re reading way more into this than the point of my comment, which is that language gets us into trouble. This exchange is a pretty good example of how easy that is.

My science point is is that transport (convection, rain, evaporation) doesn’t cool anything (at the planetary level) unless it upsets the radiation regime, somehow.

My language point is that the radiation parameters of your hypothesis, while crucial, are barely discussed. Not by you, but by readers who hop on transport mechanics to argue that you don’t need radiation to explain surface temperature.

Go back and read comments that say conduction, or convection, or evaporation cools ‘the surface. I’m not convinced that all those comments are made by people that think there is a second act to those transport/transform mechanisms. I’m also not sure that when they say surface, they are talking about the surface under some weather, or the entire surface.

The distinction is seldom if ever made. It is assumed a lot and i would wager that there are many different assumptions in play.

• Paul Bahlin says:

I probably was guilty of the same imprecise language. My intent was that they are net zero energy exchange absent radiation. When the discussion drifts into GHG atmosphere, for example.

What happens to the radiation regime is precisely the interesting point that gets swept aside while the comments home in on convection and evaporation micro details like the lapse rate of a silver wire, for example.

• Paul Bahlin December 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

I probably was guilty of the same imprecise language. My intent was that they are net zero energy exchange absent radiation. When the discussion drifts into GHG atmosphere, for example.

So to be clear, since the earth is not “absent radiation”, when you said the following both you and the “many, many people” you refer to were NOT talking about the Earth but about some other planet and you omitted that detail? Here’s your quote:

Many, many people comment that convection and evaporation cool ‘the surface’ but that is only true if we all have prior agreement on what ‘the surface’ is. We have no such agreement. So for me, i read such a comment and proclaim “no it does not”. Why? Well for me, ‘the surface’ means the entire planet’s surface.

Convection and evaporation are net zero energy exchanges taken over the entire planet.

Seems strange, because usually when people talk about “the surface” or “the entire planet” in a discussion about climate, they’re not talking about Venus unless they specifically say so …

Thanks for any clarifications …

w.

59. Joe Born, regarding your contention upthread that heat will not necessarily flow between two connected objects, viz “I say instead that under the influence of gravity a thermal conductor can indeed exhibit a (minute) temperature gradient without heat flow”, here’s a thought experiment.

You have a 5kg block of solid silver. You heat one side of it and then leave it alone … ceteris paribus, will the temperature of the two sides ever equalize? Or will that heat imbalance persist until the universe dies? I say yes it will equalize. What say you?

Then you reshape the silver into the world’s most expensive lovely 5 kg dumbbell, and repeat the experiment … same question. Will the temperatures in the two halves of the dumbbell equalize? I say yes. What say you?

Finally, you stretch the separate sides of the dumbbell apart until the “handle” is the thickness of a pencil and the two halves are several metres apart and you heat one sid. Again, will the temperatures equalize? I say yes, what say you?

Now, if you answered that any of them will equalize, say the solid block or the dumbbell, then my final question is … how thin does the wire have to be in order to make it so that even the age of the universe is not enough time for them to equalize? Or is there something other than the thickness of the wire that is responsible for your claimed phenomenon?

Best regards.

• Joe Born says:

Mr. Eschenbach: Okay, I’ll do your thought experiment. It’s really not too relevant to my theory, but I’ll do it if you’ll then do mine. I’ll preface my answer, though, with the observation that what I’m asking readers to consider is whether what they think they know of Fourier’s Law (which, remember, is heat flow down a temperature gradient) is completely consistent with what they know about the ballistic motion of an ideal-gas molecule in a gas column at equilibrium subject to gravity.

Now, your thought experiment. You say, “Ceteris paribus, will the temperature of the two sides ever equalize?” Actually, cetera aren’t paria in the situation in which my theory comes into play. Still, your thought experiment, your conditions.

Yes, I believe the temperatures at the silver bodies’ erstwhile-different-temperature ends will equalize. But—and here’s an interesting point—Fourier’s Law actually says they won’t. Not completely. If you solve the partial differential equation that Fourier inflicts upon you, you conclude that temperature difference will decay ever more slowly as the temperature difference decreases, so the difference never exactly reaches zero.

Yet you and I agree that the temperatures will equalize. Here’s what we don’t mean. Let’s say you precisely bisect the silver barbell at the handle into precisely equal-heat-capacity halves. If you could instantaneously measure heat energy in each half to infinite precision, do we mean that your heat-energy measurements would be exactly the same? No. Not exactly. Even at equilibrium the random energy transfers among molecules would make one of the halves ever so slightly hotter than the other. On the other hand, repeating the measurement might instead find the difference reversed. If you do the measurements repeatedly, you will almost always find differences, but some will be opposite the others.

Still, we say the two ends’ temperatures equalize. What we mean is that zero is the average value approached as the number of measurements gets large. Depending on how close to zero you want to find the average to be, though, the number of measurements you’d need to get there repeatably could be large indeed. If the precision to which you want to find zero is small enough with respect to the standard deviation of those individual-measurement differences, reliably finding an average close enough to zero may take more than a lifetime.

Now, as I said, my theory concerns a case in which cetera aren’t paria: there’s a gravitational field with respect to which temperature measurements occur at different altitudes. But what I’m saying that the tiny equilibrium lapse rate I claim gravity would impose upon an ideal gas would be so small with respect to the random variance that detecting it reliably would similarly be time prohibitive.

Okay, so now I’ve done your experiment. How about you do mine? Mine’s basically Dr. Brown’s without the silver wire, except we’ll make the column’s ceiling altitude exceed the molecules’ altitude limit, which is the ratio that the total gas-column (potential + kinetic) energy bears to the least-massive molecule’s weight.

Here’s the experiment. Take whatever time is required (i.e., presumably forever, but this is a thought experiment, so you can do it) to make a repeatable infinite-precision mean-molecular-kinetic-energy measurement of whatever molecules are found in a narrow altitude range that includes that maximum height we mentioned. (A molecule can reach that maximum only in those insanely unlikely but still possible cases in which all the other molecules sit at rest on the enclosure floor.)

Since we’re talking about equilibrium—saying that heat has stopped flowing—Fourier’s Law seems to say such an average measurement at that altitude would be the same as it would be everywhere else: total system kinetic energy (maybe 3/5 the total system energy for a monatomic ideal gas in three dimensions) divided by the number of molecules.

Given that the system’s entire total energy when a molecule reaches that altitude is soaked up by that molecule’s potential energy, though, wouldn’t your knowledge of ballistic motion tell you the average kinetic-energy value at that altitude would be near zero instead? Doesn’t the above interpretation of Fourier’s Law violate conservation of energy? Who you gonna believe, Joe Fourier or your lying concept of ballistic molecular motion and energy conservation?

Well, I know what I say. I say the measurement at that altitude would be near zero. I also say a measurement at zero altitude would be (just a skosh above) what Fourier says, so the lapse rate would be the Fourier equilibrium temperature divided by the molecules’ altitude limit. The four graphs I supplied upthread illustrate this. And the record length (a simulated week and a half) I needed repeatably to generate the last three graphs illustrates that measuring my claimed lapse rate would take too long as a practical matter.

Okay, your mind is rebelling. It seizes upon the fact that in the case of our atmosphere a molecule’s reaching the altitude limit is too improbable to occur before the universe ends. Or that the gravitational uniformity I’ve assumed isn’t even close on that distance scale. Or that I haven’t taken quantum mechanics into account. All those things are true, as are others.

But do those distinctions really make a fundamental difference? If you’re honest, doesn’t this thought experiment make you open to reconsidering how you look at Fourier’s Law?

• Joe, now that I understand you, you are obviously correct that Fourier’s Law says that heat conduction is proportional to heat difference and thus will never absolutely even out.

But I gotta say … so what? I mean … seriously? That’s your objection to Dr. Brown’s proof? That’s just Zeno’s paradox all over again.

Regarding your thought experiment, I got stopped here:

Since we’re talking about equilibrium—saying that heat has stopped flowing—Fourier’s Law seems to say …

You just argued successfully that Fourier’s Law says that heat NEVER stops flowing, and then you say it does. I’m lost again …

w.

• Joe Born says:

That’s your objection to Dr. Brown’s proof? That’s just Zeno’s paradox all over again.

A silly Zeno’s-paradox statement was precisely the gambit I expected you to adopt if you were interested in a high-school-level debate instead of an adult conversation about the implications of a finite gas’s finite energy content. You seem to have lived down to my expectations.

Still, maybe you honestly don’t comprehend the difference between (1) increasingly small quantities in increasingly short time intervals as in Zeno’s paradox and (2) the increasingly small quantities in same-length time intervals that Fourier’s Law dictates.

Maybe you honestly did confuse my doing your thought experiment with my objection to Dr. Brown’s proof—even though I had said explicitly of your thought experiment that “It’s really not too relevant to my theory,” and even though I set forth my own, different thought experiment to demonstrate my objection. My objection wasn’t that a blind application of Fourier’s Law would prevent equilibrium from ever being reached but that at equilibrium in a gravitational field it would violate energy conservation.

You just argued successfully that Fourier’s Law says that heat NEVER stops flowing, and then you say it does. I’m lost again.

Maybe you honestly didn’t see the distinction, namely, that your thought experiment assumed starting in a non-equilibrium state, whereas mine assumed equilibrium from the beginning. Maybe you honestly did misunderstand me to say—as I did not—that Fourier’s Law requires heat to start flowing in a system that begins at equilibrium. In short, maybe your logic capability really is so feeble that you honestly believe what you write.

I’m not inclined to think so, but maybe my professional experience slants my opinion. Over my legal career I conducted hundreds—maybe over a thousand—in-depth technical discussions, mostly with the principals or smarter employees of high-tech companies. Often large sums of money were at stake, and sometimes the life of a company, so those guys tended to be serious and to want to get it right.

My opinion based on experience with guys like that is that almost anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of physics would have been able to grasp the fact that energy conservation would prevent the mean molecular kinetic energy near the molecular altitude limit from being anywhere near that of the gas column as a whole, which is near what would prevail at altitude zero. And most would see that the ratio borne to the molecular altitude limit by the difference between the resultant near-zero temperature at high-altitude and the higher, altitude-zero temperature is a non-zero (albeit exceedingly small) lapse rate.

That type of experience is what inclines me to think you really do understand my discussion’s implications but dishonestly continue to argue because you’ve based so many comments on Dr. Brown’s proof over the years and were intemperate in defending it upthread. As I say, though, I may be judging you too harshly; my experience is somewhat skewed, and there’s certainly evidence in support of the proposition that your math and logic abilities truly are as limited as this thread makes them appear.

In either case, it’s evident that hope triumphed over experience when I imagined that this time you might finally prove to be a worthy interlocutor. So I see no worthwhile purpose that continuing this discussion would serve.

• Joe Born December 21, 2017 at 6:44 am Edit

That’s your objection to Dr. Brown’s proof? That’s just Zeno’s paradox all over again.

A silly Zeno’s-paradox statement was precisely the gambit I expected you to adopt if you were interested in a high-school-level debate instead of an adult conversation about the implications of a finite gas’s finite energy content. You seem to have lived down to my expectations.

Still, maybe you honestly don’t comprehend the difference between (1) increasingly small quantities in increasingly short time intervals as in Zeno’s paradox and (2) the increasingly small quantities in same-length time intervals that Fourier’s Law dictates.

First, and perhaps unlike you, I don’t “adopt gambits”. Instead, I just do my best to tell the truth as I see it. Calling it a “gambit” is a lawyer’s gambit to try to discredit what you can’t otherwise oppose.

Next, it appears that you don’t understand about Zeno’s paradoxes. The tortoise and the hare was only one of them. The “Dichotomy Paradox” was the one that is the same as Fourier’s Law. Look it up.

Maybe you honestly didn’t see the distinction, namely, that your thought experiment assumed starting in a non-equilibrium state, whereas mine assumed equilibrium from the beginning. Maybe you honestly did misunderstand me to say—as I did not—that Fourier’s Law requires heat to start flowing in a system that begins at equilibrium. In short, maybe your logic capability really is so feeble that you honestly believe what you write.

Say what? I have no clue what you are on about there, except that it’s nasty … and if your experiment “assumed equilibrium from the beginning”, then it appears you are saying that heat will flow between objects at equilibrium. So now I’m totally confused. As I said:

Regarding your thought experiment, I got stopped here:

Since we’re talking about equilibrium—saying that heat has stopped flowing—Fourier’s Law seems to say …

Apply your lawyerly brilliance to that, and deduce whether I read your thought experiment. If you can’t come to an answer, the clue is in the world “stopped” … no so, Joe, I “didn’t see the difference” because I got stopped by your first statement. Having been stopped, I asked a question … and instead of an answer I’m getting insults.

I’m not inclined to think so, but maybe my professional experience slants my opinion. Over my legal career I conducted hundreds—maybe over a thousand—in-depth technical discussions, mostly with the principals or smarter employees of high-tech companies. Often large sums of money were at stake, and sometimes the life of a company, so those guys tended to be serious and to want to get it right,

Great, you’re a big-time lawyer … is that supposed to change my mind about the science?

That type of experience is what inclines me to think you really do understand my discussion’s implications but dishonestly continue to argue because you’ve based so many comments on Dr. Brown’s proof over the years and were intemperate in defending it upthread.

That is a scummy lie. Perhaps you and your friends pretend to not know something. Perhaps it is your habit to “dishonestly continue to argue”. I don’t do that, you damn well know it, and you have nothing but your nasty thoughts to back it up.

Man … I can see why people hate lawyers. You’ve turned a scientific discussion into a personal attack on the witness. I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T READ YOUR THOUGHT EXPERIMENT, and now you want to accuse me of pretending that I didn’t understand it? Get a grip!

Damn, Joe, you know, I used to have a lot of respect for you. But this?

Take your ugly argmentative habits elsewhere. Go tell Dr. Brown how he’s dishonest too, I mean, he just teaches this stuff for a living, what would he know?

But you might as well stop addressing your comments to me. After that underhanded, unethical, and most importantly untrue attack on my honesty, you’ll get nothing from me but contempt.

w.

60. Ben Wouters says:

@Willis Eschenbach
Willis, in this comment:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/24/can-a-cold-object-warm-a-hot-object/#comment-2686091
Still interested in your opinion so I’ll rephrase a bit:
– Effective temperature Earth (albedo 0.30) is ~255K
– Effective temperature moon (albedo 0.11) is ~270K
– Actual average temperature moon according Diviner project ~197K.
Imo realistic radiative balance temperature for a spherical blackbody at our distance from the sun ~167K.

What ‘blackbody’ temperature for the moon do you agree with?
If 270K, then why is the actual average temperature on the moon so much lower?
If ~167K then what causes the average temperature on Earth to be more than 120K higher?

• The slow rotation of the moon causes the local temperatures to be in near equilibrium with the solar flux. Also because of the long night the night temperature is almost constant determined by the heat retention properties of the regolith. This would be a source of differences between the two bodies.

Fig. 8. (a) Zonal mean hourly daytime bolometric temperatures and (b) standard deviation. (c) Zonal mean hourly nighttime bolometric temperatures and (b) standard deviation. Higher nighttime temperatures and standard deviations at latitudes above ±80° in (c-d) result from the occurrence of low-angle illumination of surfaces, especially during polar summers. Nighttime is defined here by local time, not sun elevation.

• Ben Wouters says:

Phil. December 20, 2017 at 8:09 am
Thanks for the plots.
I like the one on this Diviner page:
https://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science
Clearly shows the temperature fluctuations over a whole year. Especially the 89Lat one is interesting.

• A C Osborn says:

Sorry, I chose the wrong reply position.
Ben, that second paper is fascinating, however I do have a couple of questions.
The idea that the Surface Radiation is a reflection of the temperature at the Centre of an Object sounds OK for a homogeneous object, but for something like the Earth it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.
The surface can be at +10C and 10 ft down -10C and a 70 miles further down 1000s of degrees.
The second question is regarding the relevance of comparing the Total Surface of the Moon to just 30% of the Earth and totally ignoring the Water, which in no way has a Surface reperesenting the centre of the Earth or for that matter the solid surface or even the bottom of the Water.
The Science being used seems to defy pure logic.
I understand they are trying to establish what temp the Earth would be without an Atmophere, but they are also assuming without water, which then does not seem to be accounted for in any of the real world calculations.

• Ben Wouters says:

A C Osborn December 21, 2017 at 6:42 am
Not clear to me what your first question is. Pse clarify a bit.

Water is imo indeed the deciding difference between the moon and the earth. On Earth we have no RADIATIVE balance anywhere. We DO have a balanced ENERGY budget (more or less).
I think it is possible to explain the very high average temperature on earth AND have a balanced energy budget.

• A C Osborn December 21, 2017 at 6:42 am
Sorry, I chose the wrong reply position.
Ben, that second paper is fascinating, however I do have a couple of questions.
The idea that the Surface Radiation is a reflection of the temperature at the Centre of an Object sounds OK for a homogeneous object, but for something like the Earth it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.

Where do you find this?

• A C Osborn says:

Ben, it stems from this statement.
“Planck’s The Theory of Heat Radiation, an English translation of the second edition of which (1913) was published by Dover
For example, Planck recognized that ‘the surface of a body never emits rays, but rather it allows parts of the rays coming from the interior to pass through.”

• Ben Wouters says:

A C Osborn December 22, 2017 at 11:14 am

For example, Planck recognized that ‘the surface of a body never emits rays, but rather it allows parts of the rays coming from the interior to pass through.

Don’t know what Planck was thinking about, perhaps neutrinos.
To me the flux through the crust is simple conduction (assuming no heat generation IN the crust).

The flux through the continental crust is ~65 mW/m^2.
Without sun, atmosphere and oceans a temperature of ~40K enables the surface to radiate this amount of energy directly to space and a stable situation can exist.
Switch on the sun and you introduce a second energy source, working against the outward flux.
The crust will warm up from both sides. Since the interior temperature is much higher than the solar generated temperature once the crust is heated up sufficiently the geothermal flux will start to flow again, but now with a must warmer crust.

Temperature around 10m is ~equal to the average surface temperature. Going further down the temperature increases with ~ 25K/km initially.

• Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

As a result, the Earth’s albedo is about 0.30, while the Moon’s albedo is only about 0.11. So the moon should be absorbing more energy than the Earth. And as a result, the surface of the moon should be just below the freezing temperature of water. But it’s not, it’s much colder.

So you’re using ~270K as the starting point for your analysis. This assumes solar radiation is spread evenly around an entire planet. Is not happening in real life. In our solar system with only one sun planets are illuminated on one side only. So a better calculation gives ~331K radiative balance temperature for the dayside and ~3K for the night side resulting in ~167K average surface temperature.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/24/can-a-cold-object-warm-a-hot-object/#comment-2686091

On the actual moon daytime temps are close to radiative balance temperatures. The night time temps are much higher than 3K, most probably due to some geothermal flux plus heat carried over from the day side.
This way the temperatures on the moon are as expected.
Dr Brown agrees with this in his post:

Start with a nonrotating superconducting sphere, zero albedo, unit emissivity, perfect blackbody radiation from each point on the sphere. What’s the mean temperature?

Now make the non-rotating sphere perfectly non-conducting, so that every part of the surface has to be in radiative balance. What’s the average temperature now? This is a better model for the moon than the former, surely, although still not good enough. Let’s improve it.

So for Earth the question is:
why is the average surface temperature at least 90K higher than the moons, or over 120K above a the simple blackbody calculation.

• Ben Wouters December 21, 2017 at 1:08 am

So for Earth the question is:
why is the average surface temperature at least 90K higher than the moons, or over 120K above a the simple blackbody calculation.

Thanks, Ben. As Dr. Brown pointed out, the temperature of the earth in the absence of GHGs is not a simple problem … so I’m not sure where you are getting those numbers, but the answer to your underlying question, why is the earth as warm as we find it, is the poorly-named “greenhouse effect”.

w.

• Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 21, 2017 at 2:15 am

As Dr. Brown pointed out, the temperature of the earth in the absence of GHGs is not a simple problem … so I’m not sure where you are getting those numbers

The 90K is just the difference between the avg earth surface temp (~290K) and the avg lunar surface temp (~197K)
Radiative balance with incoming solar means that a surface has such a temperature that it radiates as much energy as it receives and has stabilized at that temperature. A spherical blackbody at our distance of the sun would have a RADIATIVE balance temperature of ~167K, not the 255K for Earth or the 270K for the moon.

the answer to your underlying question, why is the earth as warm as we find it, is the poorly-named “greenhouse effect

I don’t think our low density, low temperature, low heat storage capacity atmosphere is capable of INCREASING the temperature of the deep oceans, the soil to significant depth etc.
A much more realistic explanation is available. The role of the atmosphere is just to reduce the energy loss to space.
This DOES mean that after removing the atmosphere, the temperatures will drop, but no temperature INCREASING effect.

• A C Osborn says:

Ben, that second paper is fascinating, however I do have a couple of questions.
The idea that the Surface Radiation is a reflection of the temperature at the Centre of an Object sounds OK for a homogeneous object, but for something like the Earth it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.
The surface can be at +10C and 10 ft down -10C and a 70 miles further down 1000s of degrees.
The second question is regarding the relevance of comparing the Total Surface of the Moon to just 30% of the Earth and totally ignoring the Water, which in no way has a Surface reperesenting the centre of the Earth or for that matter the solid surface or even the bottom of the Water.
The Science being used seems to defy pure logic.
I understand they are trying to establish what temp the Earth would be without an Atmophere, but they are also assuming without water, which then does not seem to be accounted for in any of the real world calculations.

61. Ben Wouters says:

@Willis Eschenbach
Willis, in this thread I commented:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/14/where-the-temperature-rules-the-sun/comment-page-1/#comment-2694670
No reaction sofar. It seems you actually believe that CB’s near the equator drive the Hadley circulation.
If so, do they “suck in” the trade winds over hundreds if not thousands of kilometres?
Do they create outflow winds near the tropopause poleward at increasing speeds, eventually creating the Subtropical jetstream?
What causes the band of surface high pressure areas near 30 N/S, that is an integral part of the Hadley circulation?

• Ben Wouters December 16, 2017 at 8:02 am

Cb’s use all that energy to rise to their max altitude, so not much left for horizontal movement, maybe some during the creation of the anvil or near the ground as a microburst.

Thanks, Ben, sorry I missed your question. For the thunderstorm to rise to their max altitude and then pump air from the surface to the upper troposphere, something’s gotta give. The air above them is forced into horizontal movement, displaced by the swiftly rising columns of air inside the Cb towers.

I do think that there would be something resembling Hadley cells on a planet with no thunderstorms. I also think that the Cbs are adding lots and lots of energy to driving them.

There’s a good analysis of this question along constructal lines by Bejan here that might answer some questions.

Regards,

w.

• Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm

For the thunderstorm to rise to their max altitude and then pump air from the surface to the upper troposphere, something’s gotta give. The air above them is forced into horizontal movement, displaced by the swiftly rising columns of air inside the Cb towers.

I can tell from personal experience that outside the anvil the wind around a Cb doesn’t differ from the prevailing wind. A Cb is mostly a self contained system, where rising and falling air stay (mostly0 within its boundaries.
especially page 2.

The mechanism for the Hadley cells and other similar circulations is well known and doesn’t require Cb’s.
The process is very similar to the sea breeze mechanism, so lets start there.
Start in the early morning with equal temperature and pressure over land and sea, so no wind at all.
The sun warms the land faster than the sea, so the air over land expands, while the surface pressure remains the same initially. Due to the expansion the pressure at eg 1 or 2 km becomes higher than the equivalent pressure over sea, so air begins to flow from land to sea AT ALTITUDE.
This creates lower surface pressure over land and higher surface pressure over the sea.
Now the surface wind begins to blow from the sea towards the land.
Over land the air is rising and over sea sinking to complete the cycle.

Same for the Hadley cells. Hot surface near the tropics, cold surface near the poles.
But now the Coriolis effect kicks in turning the pole-ward flow at altitude towards the east and creates the subtropical jet around 30 N/S. Backflow near the surface are the Tradewinds

ps the Bejan link doesn’t work.

• Ben Wouters December 21, 2017 at 1:41 am

The mechanism for the Hadley cells and other similar circulations is well known and doesn’t require Cb’s.

Yes, I just said that, viz:

I do think that there would be something resembling Hadley cells on a planet with no thunderstorms.

However, I find it very hard to believe that the thunderstorms have little to no effect on the Hadley cells, which is what I think you’re saying.

Regards,

w.

PS—You say:

ps the Bejan link doesn’t work.

Grrr … WordPress eats my links sometimes … or at least I’d like to believe that, but it’s more likely pilot error. In any case, it’s fixed now. Thanks for letting me know.

• Ben Wouters says:

Willis Eschenbach December 21, 2017 at 2:23 am

However, I find it very hard to believe that the thunderstorms have little to no effect on the Hadley cells, which is what I think you’re saying.

I’m afraid you’ll have to get used to that idea ;-)
see

The subtropical jet is at the first latitude where the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis effect balance. Polar jet is another example. Nothing a few Cb’s can do to influence this powerful system. Actually the pole ward flowing air sinks slowly and creates the Trade wind inversion that limits or even prevents convection.

62. Paul Bahlin says:

“”Mathematics aren’t wrong, those who mis-apply them get wrong answers.”

And those who don’t use them to propose new science probably need to lay off the Jack.