Solar Cycles and the Equatorial Trough: An Alternate Conceptual Model

by Michael Wallace, Hydrologist

I have offered to write this guest essay to reflect recent talks I’ve presented to water resource professionals on hydroclimatology and Solar cycles. As an academic and hydrologic forecaster, I have followed an energy centric, reproducible data path to quantify correlations between solar cycles and atmospheric moisture patterns. I have anchored my study areas upon subdivisions of the hydrosphere, including the Equatorial Trough (ET) and its relative, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). I have exploited the lags to high correlations that I found to produce what appear to be some of the most accurate climate forecasts known.

In focusing on those objectives, I developed a body of work which initially relied upon linear regression between candidate parameters. As I continued to study that information along with other physical phenomena, I developed a more routine capacity to exercise and test my results to the global energy budget foundation sources in peer reviewed literature. In that testing, I found that I could not reconcile the actual data based magnitude of latent heat identified over our planet with the magnitude attributed to GHGs in the widely relied upon foundational sources. I ultimately developed a concern that the foundational energy budget by Trenberth et. al [1] does not appear to properly account for the magnitude of the latent heat component.

It may also be that the omitted latent energy can account for any or all of the global energy budget assigned currently to greenhouse gases. My academic research also indicates on many levels, including empiricism, linear regression, and physical equations of state, that Solar forcing is the driver of changes in latent heat concentration. Accordingly it appears that there is no need to invoke the GHG theory to explain any of the heat in the global atmosphere.

Origins of a new conceptual model for solar cycle forcing of the hydrosphere

Through advancing my Ph.D. studies, I have been researching the high lagged correlations between solar cycles, the equatorial trough and hydrologic moisture patterns in high altitude middle latitude catchments. As captured by some of my posts at WUWT over the past several years, and by other reports I have authored, my relevant work also branched out into topics of atmospheric ozone, ocean pH, radiant heat transfer, and cyclonic energy.

I have applied this work towards a number of projection and/or forecasting exercises for moisture and temperature at different domains of the atmosphere and hydrosphere. Many of these have shown better accuracy than prevailing models. Those prevailing models include the charts illustrated by Figure 1. That example from the West Wide Climate Assessment utilizes modern day emissions-based global circulation modeling (GCMs) ensembles with downscaling. Those were applied to a series of predictions of long term behaviors of several streamflow gages in the western US. In this example the Upper Rio Grande Watershed (URGW) is represented by flows through the Otowi Gage near Santa Fe.[2]

Figure 1. a. Western Climate Assessment projections for annual volume past Otowi Gage of the Upper Rio Grande in acre ft. Blue line added by Wallace as an annotation of the observations. source: US Bureau of Reclamation USBR Technical Memorandum No. 86-68210-2016-01 West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments: Hydroclimate Projections. Figure 33

b. The higher and sharper the error curve (red dots), the less accurate is the overall performance of the forecast exercise.

I’ve provided the blue observation overlay, which is the actual historical record for that gage in that figure because the authors did not. Their models could not “bear to compare” against observations. I found it helpful to independently produce an estimate of their errors through the scatterplot in red within that figure. Notably some of their results displayed relative errors over 1,000%. A figure at the end of this post features some of my forecasts for a nearby stream so that the reader can compare the relative skill. For those not familiar with this field of hydrology, those WWCA results are extremely poor by most standards. For example, as crude as they can be, the default auto correlation methods are much more accurate, as I explore in a paper in peer review.

Also the WWCA results are unacceptably opaque, by not disclosing poor accuracy. I was pursuing a possibly better set of ideas by early 2014 myself. My ideas revolved around higher transparency and better accuracy as two intertwined goals. By that time I was engaging in systematic time series analyses of streams of the Southwestern US (SWUS). I was the one of the first researchers to develop explicit quantitative correlation metrics between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and streams such as the Upper Rio Grande Watershed (URGW) in northern New Mexico [3]. This reference was never published in a peer reviewed journal, but it was cited by a Federal agency for some endangered species assessments[4].

Figures 2 through 4 are examples from work I produced and/or presented that year. Figure 2. demonstrates a strong graphically obvious correlation for a four year moving average between the PDO and the Upper Rio Grande in the southern Rocky Mountains of the SWUS. In those reports I cited prior relevant work as well.

Figure 2. Otowi Gage and PDO Index time series comparisons, 4 year trailing averages. Sources [5] and [6]

Figure 3. Correlations of Candidate Causal Parameters to Otowi Stream Flow Gage Record. Covering 3 different moving averages and 4 separate climate indexes PDO, AMO, ENSO, and GHG (Mauna Loa CO2 atmospheric concentration). Derived from sources [6], [5], [7], [8], and [9]

Figure 4. Southwestern US climate – ocean correlations, examined for 2014 study area a. Relative topography and observation locations b. Correlations of AMO (red dotted line) and PDO (green banded contours) to flows of the Otowi Gage in the URGW. All comparisons for 10 year trailing averages. Derived from sources [6], [5], and [7]

 

Figure 3 was developed as an example of the types of correlation patterns seen between the URGW Otowi Gage record I examined and major well known climate indexes, such as the PDO, the AMO, and ENSO. I also reported that the GHG forcing candidate had the lowest correlations of all [3]. A collaborator on a subset of reports appeared to develop similar independent estimates to some extent but that work as most of the others was not accepted for publication.

In any case, for the purposes of parsimony in my research, the comparisons approach of Figure 3 had triggered a flag for the low performing GHG candidate. From the remaining candidates, the URGW was found to lie at an intersection of high correlations to the PDO for moisture and to the AMO for temperature. Figure 4 describes these as an integrated correlation map. Since that time coverage has been expanded and resolution enhanced.

The Links between Solar Cycles, the Western Equatorial Pacific, and Middle Latitude High Altitude River Catchments

I followed up over the next several years working through so-called Auto Regression Moving Average (ARMA), and normal (sometimes multiple or sequential) linear regression styled lagged data time series explorations. I targeted continental moisture and temperature and related those at selected locations around the planet. I worked from an assumption that the optimal places to look for Solar hydrologic connections were high altitude streamflow gages in middle latitudes of each hemisphere. My focus converged again around my resident region of the SWUS, along with its proposed teleconnection to the greatest concentration of atmospheric moisture on the planet hovering over the Western Equatorial Pacific (WEP) within the already widely recognized Equatorial Trough (ET).

For the production of Figure 5 I developed a MATLAB application to work with European satellite reanalysis data (ERAI) for the full atmosphere. I concentrated on a few signatures, Z (the weight of the full atmosphere), Temperature, Atmospheric Moisture, as proxied by Evaporation minus Precipitation (EP) , Zonal (Latitudinal) and Meridional (Longitudinal) fluxes of the sensible and latent energies, including moisture flux, and its Divergence of Latent Energy (LEDIV).

Figure 5. Current Study Regime for Dissertation, Including Circulation and Contours of Geopotential Height Z

The example of Figure 5 includes contours for Geopotential Height Z, as developed for the full atmospheric thickness. As noted, Z is basically the weight of the atmosphere. This content is for the full 432 months of data from 1979 through 2014. The vast light oval patches surrounding the equator are gyres. Vertically, they somewhat extend into the atmosphere and into the oceans. Magenta streamlines show the flows are directed from E to W. The opposite prevails elsewhere for the most part as shown by blue streamlines.

The figure includes other annotations that relate to my presentation and study focus. The rectangular blue boundary outlines the greatest co-concentration of both ocean temperature and atmospheric moisture on the planet. In addition to other acronyms used over the years, that footprint has been termed the Western Equatorial Pacific (WEP). That was the location where I began to compare the Sun’s 11 year cycle in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) to changes there and along the adjacent gyres.

I searched through greater numbers of streamflow gages from around the Earth. I documented some results which also suggested that upper altitude catchment streams of the middle latitudes oscillate together, so long as they are in the same hemisphere. Figure 6 illustrates preliminary confirmation within the Northern Hemisphere. The chart includes three streams from the Southern Rocky Mountains in black, one from north of that cluster in Green and one from a Himalayan catchment in red.

Figure 6. Selected Flows in Elevated Catchments such as the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas sources in a document in peer review

The solar cycle signature expresses high multiyear correlations with multiple parameters associated with the WEP. Figure 7 indicates the convection from the surface (as represented inversely by a trade wind inverse proxy the TWWP), the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the top of the atmosphere (TOA), and the latent heat (LEDIV) across the ET with some consistency.

Figure 7. Comparison of a Solar Cycle Time Series to components of the Hot Tower overlying the WEP. All are Standardized Five Year Trailing Averages.

Also the well known ENSO parameter, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (as opposed to the ONI parameter(s)) is in partial synchrony with these other time series. Moreover from its bottom to its TOA, the WEP expresses a lagged synchrony to the TSI, at least for this 5 year trailing average.

In other words, for the Equatorial Trough, across the WEP, it is found that the OLR, the TWWP and the Latent Heat signatures appear to directly register a synchronous lagged solar correlation. It also happens that the WEP is roughly synonymous with the Atmospheric Wet Pool, AWP, which is attributed as the world’s greatest concentration of atmospheric moisture[10]. In my reports I noted that moisture and latent heat patterns are closely linked through the exponential Clausius Clapeyron relation. It is commonly understood that EP patterns may show some consistency with latent heat patterns, in the context of circulation. It is also notable that many of these WEP parameters are included within the ENSO pantheon, even though the ONI index is the commonly cited.

Figure 8 shows that the correspondence between the LEDIV and OLR signatures across the WEP footprint are strong even at a monthly resolution. This again raises an obvious question of whether most of the radiant heat leaving the Earth’s atmosphere can be accounted for by latent heat alone. In that perspective it is noted that the right axis demonstrates that the LEDIV energy reaches higher absolute values than attributed by Trenberth et. al. [1]

Figue 8. LEDIV and OLR monthly signatures associated with the WEP footprint source [11].

Through images such as Figure 9., I could further see that the LEDIV signature shared a textured contour pattern to the atmospheric moisture wave patterns I had featured in past WUWT posts. In this representation of the 5 year trailing average of LEDIV for the span covering 2009 through 2014 the approach is inverted from a convention. Here the deeper the color of green and the deeper that surface, the more negative the magnitude of the LEDIV value. And the deeper the color of red and the higher that surface, the more positive is the magnitude of the LEDIV value. Most LEDIV data values range from -250 W/m2 to +250 W/m2. That happens to roughly compare with the Trenberth value for OLR [1] but not with their values for latent heat.

Figure 9. LEDIV surface (W/m2) 5 year trailing average at end of 2014 source [11]

Figure 9 may premier an alternate and more exuberant topography of heat transport across our planet. In any case, being data-based and mapped, it can be compared against the various competing models for what is driving our climate. For whatever it is worth, I have embraced a forced damped harmonic energy budgeting approach to explore the causalities of this data. I think that approach is compatible in principal with these ubiquitous wave patterns.

Figure 10 is adapted from an associated work of mine in peer review at this time and features a solar cycle dominated forcing notion. This is the concept of regionalized raising and lowering of the WEP atmospheric surfaces (both a moisture proxy and a full atmosphere pressure) along the Equatorial Trough across the West Pacific in a damped, lagged response (via circulation paths) to a rising and lowering of an exclusive solar forcing agent, the TSI. As the figure suggests, changes in TSI transform the atmospheric signature in part through the well known linear relation exemplified by the Geopotential Height Z kg/m via the Hypsometric Equation, and also through the well known Clausius Clapeyron relation of significant fluctuations in the moisture due to changes in Temperature regionalized over the WEP footprint.

Figure 10. Concept of Solar Driven Climate Forcings and Outcomes over the Western Equatorial Pacific

In my reports I have related these WEP signature changes in OLR, EP, and LEDIV, to the so called atmospheric Hot Tower [12] tropical features which can rise and fall over time (see inset photo of Figure 10). As the upper portion of such cloud formations expand into the stratosphere, they accordingly block more and more OLR. As the cloud convection processes amplify, so does the relative magnitude of a vertical atmospheric mass and energy flux. That energy is represented by the latent heat of condensation, captured by the LEDIV parameter. As that vertical flux amplifies, the horizontal flux components of the trade wind air above the WEP drop in magnitude. These processes repeat continuously across this footprint according to cycles which are significantly correlated to sunspot number cycles.

 

Reproducible and practical simplifications for energy budgeting within the hydrosphere are goals and explain why I have favored devoting attention to the WEP, which lies within the Equatorial Trough, as the likely strongest signature for energy on the planet. I have reported some of the interesting correlations between the atmospheric moisture and the geopotential height patterns shown my web site here and here which draw from ERAI data.

In comparison to energy budgeted by Trenberth et al (2009) and featured in Figure 11, the actual LEDIV values identified in Figure 8 indicate much higher relative portions of the energy budget. Accordingly these observations pose a challenge to the Trenberth energy budget. In that reference, only 80 W/m2 are allocated for condensation or evaporation. Now it seems that the latent energies of the hydrosphere can account for much more than the tiny boxes assigned by Trenberth et al. and annotated by the green outline in Figure 11. Given the actual dominance featured here of the LEDIV energy allocation, perhaps the entire right third of the Trenberth budget figure, namely the tan arrows, could be simply discarded. If that were done, and the latent energy features were re-assigned from ERAI data, then all would balance and simplify.

Figure 11. Global Energy Flow Budget adapted from TrenberthFig. 1. “The global annual mean Earth’s energy budget for the Mar 2000 to May 2004 period (W m–2). The broad arrows indicate the schematic flow of energy in proportion to their importance. ” Green box outline added.

As noted in Figure 11, the Trenberth energy budget reports only 80 W/m2 for any type of latent energy. Other data sources, including the NASA page featured in Figure 12, along with the ERAI sources I use, report much higher latent heat energy values reaching sometimes above a relative value of 250 W/m2. The NASA page is interesting also in its depiction of the relative component of radiant energy that is presumably impacted by GHGs. The net thermal radiation from this resource is only 17%. which is the limiting fraction of the global energy budget which IR active atmospheric molecules (GHGs) can apply.

Figure 12. Global Energy Flow Budget adapted from NASA resource Source [16]

 

I continue to explore the Solar connections as well as other related mechanisms of these patterns. Some are believed to be a result of prevailing upper and lower atmosphere moisture transport patterns according to Hadley and Walker circulation processes. In general, the Hadley circulation is a primarily meridional, nearly global circulation pattern where upper atmospheric air and moisture migrate from the equator towards upper latitudes, approaching each pole and then subside into the lower atmosphere. The relative energy transport of the Hadley meridional circulation is balanced by additional geostrophic momentum and heat signatures. Those include the climatological scaled angular momentums of the subtropical gyres of the ocean and of the atmosphere. Gyres can exert a dominant impact in their respective regions over such scales, as suggested by focused studies. For example, Rhines and Young explore the significant momentum, dimensions, profiles, and solute and energy transports within paired major atmospheric and ocean gyres [13], while authors including Zhang and Chen [10] and Qui and Chen [14] describe in equivalent scope but independently, the interwoven masses of the Atmospheric Warm Pool (AWP) and ocean parcels.

There is clearly still much for almost any to learn about these circulatory mechanisms and I feel that I have only begun to scratch that surface. As part of the stochastic investigations, I’ve developed Figures 13 and 14, which explore two 5 year trailing averages of global LEDIV for the full atmosphere from the ERAI data source, with a focus over the WEP. Those frames were selected for their relation to drought patterns I review in the southwestern US (SWUS). Again among other things, it appears that the LEDIV dominates the Earth’s emission signature. These energy magnitude contours are also consistent with other independent sources [15]

Figure 13. LEDIV 5 year trailing average W/m^2 1980 through 1985

Left with legend, Right augmented color for contrast with streamlines for full atmosphere. Source UCAR ERAI Source: [11]

 

Figure 14. LEDIV 5 year trailing average W/m^2 2009 through 2014

Left with legend, Right augmented color for contrast with streamlines for full atmosphere. Source UCAR ERAI Source: [11]

I have also included Figure 15 and Animation 1 as an example of a WEP lag based forecast for a stream close to the URGW. The chart compares my three year advance forecasts to observations. It also includes some projections of mine based on anticipated sunspot numbers which extends the forecast to the year 2022. This may be the first successful multi year streamflow forecast exercise to date by any. In any case because of the transparency of this forecast, the projections can continue to be scored for fidelity to resulting observations until that time.

Figure 15 and Animation 1. Observations versus Forecasts for the Pecos River near Pecos, New Mexico

As this narrative indicates, in simply trying to advance my research and methodology, I’ve found it necessary to produce data based content which challenges established notions of GHG contributions to the global energy budget. It may be a detour to state but I continue to learn in related fields, and I expect that greenhouse gases follow fundamental thermodynamic constraints for IR active atmospheric molecules. Accordingly the gaps in the Earth’s IR emission spectra may be simply a common “extinction” pattern indicated by the Beer Lambert Law. Accordingly the re-emission of photons from greenhouse gases is likely to occur at ever longer wavelengths, thereby unimpeded by the overlying atmosphere. I’ll keep reading, but all from my view still needs to be reconciled with this latent heat quantile as well as the moisture related signatures I have profiled.

In Summary, I have followed a data and energy centric path to quantify new correlations between solar cycles and atmospheric moisture patterns. I have exploited the lags to produce linear regression based projections which can be scored with time. In focusing on those objectives, I became more familiar with the global energy budget publications that relate to latent and sensible heat. I have developed a concern that the widely relied upon, foundational energy budget by Trenberth et. al [1] does not appear to properly account for the magnitude of the latent heat component. It may also be that latent energy, as a primary variable, can account for any or all of the global energy budget assigned currently to greenhouse gases. The data I have explored continues to challenge some other greenhouse gas causality notions, including their poor correlations to droughts of the SWUS, and common knowledge about IR active gases. My preliminary successes with linear regression, Solar cycle based multi year streamflow forecasts points to a productive area of future research and applications.


REFERENCES and NOTES

[1] Trenberth, K.E., J.T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009, “EARTH’S GLOBAL ENERGY BUDGET”, ARTICLES, American Meteorological Society March 2009

[2] US Bureau of Reclamation USBR Technical Memorandum No. 86-68210-2016-01 West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments: Hydroclimate Projections. Figure 33

[3] Wallace, M. G. 2014. The relative impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation upon the hydrology of the Upper Rio Grande and adjacent watersheds in the southwestern United States. Michael Wallace & Associates White Paper, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://www.academia.edu/9071357/The_Relative_Impact_of_the_Pacific_Decadal_Osci llation_Upon_the_Hydrology_of_the_Upper_Rio_Grande_and_Adjacent_Watersheds_in _the_Southwestern_United_States._3_4_5.

[4] Accessed November 18, 2016 by US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service for their publication: “Final Biological and Conference Opinion for Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Non-Federal Water Management and Maintenance Activities on the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico”  Fish and Wildlife Service https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/newmexico/  at file https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/newmexico/documents/BO/2013-0033_MRG_BiOp_Final.pdf

[5] (PDO ARCHIVE): http://research.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest

[6] USGS 2014 08313000, Rio Grande At Otowi Bridge, NM accessed online at http://www.usgs.gov/water/

[7](AMO ARCHIVE): NOAA/ESRL/PSD1 2014, http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/amon.us.long.data and Zhang, Y., J.M. Wallace, D.S. Battisti, 1997

[8] (ENSO ARCHIVE): http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei.ext/table.ext.htm. also http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

[9](GHG ARCHIVE): NOAA-ESRL Mauna Loa CO2 Data. 2014, http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/noaa-mauna-loa-co2-data.html

[10] Zhang, C. and Chen, G. 2008. The atmospheric wet pool: Definition and comparison with the oceanic warm pool. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 26, 440–449.

[11] ERAI ARCHIVE at http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/newbudgets/index.html#ERBEFs files ‘ERAI.Z.1979-2014.nc, ‘ERAI.EP.1979-2014.nc ‘, ‘ERAI.LEDIV.1979-2014.nc ‘ see Dee, D. P., Uppala, S. M., Simmons, A. J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M. A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold, P., Beljaars, A. C. M., van de Berg, L., Bidlot, J., Bormann, N., Delsol, C., Dragani, R., Fuentes, M., Geer, A. J., Haimberger, L., Healy, S. B., Hersbach, H., Hólm, E. V., Isaksen, L., Kållberg, P., Köhler, M., Matricardi, M., McNally, A. P., Monge-Sanz, B. M., Morcrette, J.-J., Park, B.-K., Peubey, C., de Rosnay, P., Tavolato, C., Thépaut, J.-N. and Vitart, F. (2011), The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 137: 553–597. doi: 10.1002/qj.828

[12] Houze, R. A. 2003. From hot towers to TRMM: Joanne Simpson and advances in tropical convection research. Meteorological Monographs, 29, 37–37

Brown, P. and K. Caldiera, 2017 “Greater future global warming inferred from Earth’s recent energy budget” NATURE 552, 45-50

[13] Rhines, P.B. and W.R. Young, 1982. A theory of wind-driven circulation. I. Mid-ocean gyres. Journal of Marine Research 40 Supplement. 559-596.

[14] Qui, B. and S. Chen, 2012. Multidecadal sea level and gyre circulation variability in the Northwestern Tropical Pacific Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 42, 193-206.

[15] OAFlux Project Technical Report (OA-2008-01) example at Multidecade Global Flux Datasets from the Objectively Analyzed Air-sea Fluxes (OAFlux) Project: Latent and Sensible Heat Fluxes, Ocean Evaporation, and Related Surface Meteorological Variables

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ftp://ftp.iap.ac.cn/ftp/ds134_OAFLUX-v3-radiation_1_1month_netcdf/OAFlux_TechReport_3rd_release.pdf

[16] https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page5.php

[17] USGS 2014 08378500 Pecos River near Peco, NM accessed online at http://www.usgs.gov/water/


ACRONYMS

a work in progress please see first instance and perhaps comments

SWUS SouthWest US
WEP Western Equatorial Pacific
PDO Pacific Decadal Oscillation
ENSO El Niño Southern Oscillation
AMO Atlantic Mulidecadal Oscillation
SOI Southern Oscillation Index
ET Equatorial Trough
Z Geopotential Height
LEDIV Latent Energy Divergence
OLR Outgoing Longwave Radiation
ERAI European Reanalysis of Satellite Data
EP Evaporation minus Precipitation
TSI Total Solar Irradiance
TWWP Trade Winds of the Western equatorial Pacific
ONI ENSO parameter of temperature at a specific footprint of eastern equatorial Pacific
AWP Atmospheric Wet Pool
ITCZ Inter Tropical Convergence Zone
URGW Upper Rio Grande Watershed
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180 thoughts on “Solar Cycles and the Equatorial Trough: An Alternate Conceptual Model

    • Yet I read that you can point an instrument down, then up, and confirm these numbers, when subtracted equals 23 Watts/square meter. Is this not true? Presumably you can do this simple reading up the atmospheric column. Is this not true? If the mean travel distance of a photon is small, say in tens of meters, then should not there be a 23 watts per square meter difference going vertically until the cloud layer?

      • sailboarder:

        Ignore the “pink unicorn” brigade (to use Prof. Brown’s memorable tag). They try to be pedantic, but don’t have the knowledge base to do it right.

        ALL measurements are indirect. By their logic, a mercury thermometer does not measure temperature; it measures the height of mercury in a column.

        By their logic, a mercury barometer does not measure atmospheric pressure; it measures the height of mercury in a column. (Hey, how can columns of mercury be used both ways???)

        By their logic, a tire pressure gauge does not measure the pressure inside the tire, it measures the displacement of a diaphragm. And because the displacement is related to the difference between the tire pressure and atmospheric pressure, their logic says that it is useless to use it in determining the absolute pressure inside the tire.

      • Couple points, IR thermometers read the IR in the 8u-14u optical window, it looks the measurement up in a table, and reports a BB temp based on the energy it gets in that window.
        Here is looking down and looking up. https://i1.wp.com/micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/sept15th-air-and-ir.png
        But this does not detect co2 or most the water bands, it does pickup the 10u water lines. This is why they can be calibrated to TPW.
        But as you can see there is almost 100F difference between ground/air temp and sky temp.
        You can turn these temps into a flux, so you can convert to a flux, do your subtraction, and there’s a big huge gap.
        Also,
        if you expand to wide spectrum IR thermometer, and measure both way, you can get net radiation, shown here.

      • Micro, I have already been through that argument with Ed.
        To him a photon is a photon, regardless of where it comes from, what temp it comes from or what energy it has.
        To him they are all energy and MUST be absorbed and thermalised.

      • AC:

        The energy carried by a photon is a function ONLY of its frequency/wavelength:

        e = h * v

        where e is the energy, h is Planck’s constant, and v (actually “nu”) is the frequency.

        It does not matter what the source of a photon is. A photon of 15-micron wavelength carries this much energy whether it came from a “cold” source (e.g. 255K), a “warm” source (e.g. 300K), or a non-thermal source (e.g. an IR laser). The photon carries absolutely NO information about its source

        The probability that an object will absorb this photon is dependent only on the properties of that object. Most earth surface objects have about a 95% probability of absorbing a 15-micron photon, whether it was thermally generated by a colder source, a warmer source, or not thermally generated.

        This is basic, introductory physics (with no reference to climate science), but it is completely beyond you. Did you sleep through class.

        You and other members of the pink unicorn brigade think that these photons are like internet packets, carrying detailed information about their source. Where on earth did you get that idea???

    • No. Trenberth’s tan arrows of 356 and 333 back radiation are correct values and they show that the net upward terrestrial infrared radiation is 23 W/m2. Comparing this value with the 80 W/m2 evaporation and 17 W/m2 thermals shows how negligible effect greenhouse gases can have on the climate system.

  1. “I have developed a concern that the widely relied upon, foundational energy budget by Trenberth et. al [1] does not appear to properly account for the magnitude of the latent heat component.”
    Trenberth’s calculation is very simple. It just multiplies the world’s average rainfall (about 900 mm/yr) by the latent heat of evaporation. Do you think the basis is wrong? Or the rainfall is underestimated?

    • yesterday it was the whole day cloudy and misty… but no rain, today just the same weather. Not all clouds end up in rain, so to answer with a simple logical observation: yes it’s flawed, not all of the clouds end up in rain.

      and it forgets a very important step: Some of the clouds do a second latent heat step by changing from water droplets to ice crystals. or from ice crystals to water droplets. Then there are instantly evaporating rainclouds where the rain doesn’t even reach the ground.

      Trendberth’s equations “forget these parts” which consume a lot of energy… i see in this piece more attempts to count these factors then in any other work.

      • Additionally, rainfall actually cools the air by mechanically forced evaporation of water from the droplets just like ultrasonic room humidifiers. In a thermal-only equation system when you introduce a common mechanical forcing of temperature it can only screw up accuracy even worse.

      • “Some of the clouds do a second latent heat step by changing from water droplets to ice crystals. or from ice crystals to water droplets. Then there are instantly evaporating rainclouds where the rain doesn’t even reach the ground.”
        None of that changes the issue of energy transport at the surface. The point is that the flux of water leaving the surface has to be equal to precipitation. The latent heat conveyed is LH of evaporation times flux.

        If raindrops form and evaporate or whatever, that still doesn’t change the basic mass balance. Total water flux up equals precipitation.

      • The fundamental flaw in this logic is that the world’s average rainfall represents the total amount of water evaporated and then precipitated. A large sum of energy is lost before the rain even hits the ground and much of the rain never reaches the ground. In essence, there is much more precipitation falling from the clouds than is measured at the ground.

      • “A large sum of energy is lost before the rain even hits the ground”
        It isn’t an energy calculation. It’s a conservation of mass calculation. Water that leaves the surface by evaporation carries a certain amount of heat per kg. That is the LH flux, determined by the mass flux.

        And loss of water to space is truly negligible in the context of heat flux. Evaporation is about 1 m/year. If the earth was losing even 1 mm/yr to space, there wouldn’t be much left after a million years.

      • And you’re trying to find the amount of water mass evaporated from the surface, unknown x, by saying it is equal to the amount of water that falls to the surface as rain, known y. x= y? That is logically flawed. Not all of the precipitated water is measured on the surface. Like I said, much of it evaporates or sublimes before it can be measured on the surface, though it is still transferring heat from lower in the troposphere to higher in the troposphere.

      • And you’re trying to find the amount of water mass evaporated from the surface, unknown x, by saying it is equal to the amount of water that falls to the surface as rain, known y. x= y? That is logically flawed. Not all of the precipitated water is measured on the surface. Like I said, much of it evaporates or sublimes before it can be measured on the surface, though it is still transferring heat from lower in the troposphere to higher in the troposphere.

        This is the average value of all of our surface stations.
        This is the average difference between min Temp and dew point, and it is my hypothesis is this difference is from the suppression of dew point to maintain Min Temp on a global annual basis.

        Since it’s clear WV is used to maintain temps during the night (see graph below), this represents the contribution of atm energy in supporting temps that comes from evaporated water on an annual basis. If you have estimates of tropospheric water vapor amounts, it’s about 2 degrees of dew point reduction.

      • Ah the name for this feedback is ‘virga’, precipitation that re-evaporates or sublimes before reaching the ground. It is a significant phenomenon, unlike water vapor escape. It’s not just the precipitation you can see that isn’t reaching the ground, it is all the moisture that evaporates before reaching the ground, even present in hurricanes. There is a lot of energy acting on the surface of a raindrop as it falls through the air that causes this, otherwise raindrops would fall fast enough to damage your skin.

        http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07055900.2011.608343

      • Ah the name for this feedback is ‘virga’, precipitation that re-evaporates or sublimes before reaching the ground. It is a significant phenomenon, unlike water vapor escape. It’s not just the precipitation you can see that isn’t reaching the ground, it is all the moisture that evaporates before reaching the ground, even present in hurricanes.

        The IR from this condensing process is what regulates surface temps, as since it’s tied to RH (I suspect the # of molecules cooling at once goes way up with rh), once cooling slows, it doesn’t condense as much water.
        It’s why I included this, because we can see this.

      • Virga is far more common than observed. It represents a large reduction of insulative nature of the troposphere.

        Virga is also a factor in buoyancy of some clouds.

      • Virga is not relevant to the basic issue of conservation of mass. The net flux of water from the surface has to average to zero. And precipitation is a good measure of the flux down.

        Virga does imply some degree of extra transport. If rain falls and evaporates, and wv rises again and condenses, that does also transfer heat upward. But not from the surface. There isn’t much point in fussing about that extra, because the destination of LH transport itself is ill-defined. It is wherever the water condenses.

      • Water that leaves the surface by evaporation carries a certain amount of heat per kg. That is the LH flux, determined by the mass flux.

        Virga is not relevant to the basic issue of conservation of mass. The net flux of water from the surface has to average to zero. And precipitation is a good measure of the flux down.

        Are you talking about mass conservation, or the energy cycle, because the energy cycle is way way bigger than the energy just used to evaporate that mass. It also doesn’t account for the physical transport of billions and billions of gallons of water around the world.

        If you only count the energy in LW once, well that’s a big flaming flaw in your logic.

      • ==>Nick Stokes. Actually, the water vapor flux from the surface is not equal to the precipitation. Just as with carbon dioxide, some plants (epiphytes, to be precise) obtain their water from the air. Water vapor also reacts with natural anhydrous minerals, and becomes locked in stone. It is also adsorbed in natural zeolites.

        Your contention is that the water vapor flux up equals the precipitation down, and thus it doesn’t matter what that flux is or if anyone measures it or not. That would be correct if there were no other sinks than precipitation. The two are not equal, however. And until someone can measure the rate at which water is taken out of the atmosphere by other means, we won’t have any idea what the net effect might be.

      • ” Just as with carbon dioxide, some plants (epiphytes, to be precise) obtain their water from the air. Water vapor also reacts with natural anhydrous minerals, and becomes locked in stone. It is also adsorbed in natural zeolites.”
        Average rainfall is about 0.9m/yr, averaged over land and sea. Epiphytes aren’t going to make a dent in that. And zeolites can only absorb so much. Not a sink century after century.

      • Nick, with all due respect, I don’t think you understand your own argument. If the flux of evaporation from the surface always equals the precipitation, it doesn’t matter what the values are. They could be 1 gram per millennium, or 10^20 kg per second. You don’t have to cite a global average precipitation, because it doesn’t matter. What you do have to do is show that other sinks than precipitation are negligible compared to total precipitation. And assertions are not enough.

        Plus, I doubt if your 900 millimeters per year is withing +/-1000% of the true value. 70% of the earth’s surface has no rain gauges. I doubt if we really have enough data to nail down the precipitation on land to any degree of certainty.

      • Michael,
        “If the flux of evaporation from the surface always equals the precipitation, it doesn’t matter what the values are.”
        The upward flux of water carries the latent heat. You can calculate it as SH*rain(kg/yr/m2)/(sec/yr)=2.26*1000/31.5 = 71.7 W/m2.
        Trenberth’s figure is a little higher – presumably he allows for snow etc.

        The down flux is rain, and carries very little heat.

      • “The down flux is rain, and carries very little heat.”

        It may not carry much, but that is not the whole story, is it?

        It starts at altitude with a certain amount of potential energy: PE = M x H x G .

        In a vacuum it would build up speed according to velocity V and all the PE would convert to Kinetic Energy; KE = 1/2 M x V^2 .

        However, in the atmosphere drag limits the velocity to a relatively low value, so instead of V increasing, the majority of the PE is dissipated as frictional heating.

        So the potential energy of that rain heats the atmosphere throughout the entire track of the fall of the raindrop.

    • Nick Stokes makes a very good point For latent heat to be transported from the surface to some higher level of the atmosphere, there has to be evaporation at the surface and condensation at the higher level. That means that eventually ithe H2O involved must all come back down as rain (or snow or hail). Or am I missing something?

      • Yes, the evaporating water heats the surrounding air and the air and water rise together, and together they lose heat. Even the thickest clouds are still mostly air.

      • “evaporating water heats the surrounding air”

        Do you mean “adds heat to the surrounding air”.(heat of evaporation) This can be done at constant temperature, so the evaporation effectively cools the air below what it otherwise would be.

    • Nick,
      “It just multiplies the world’s average rainfall (about 900 mm/yr) by the latent heat of evaporation. Do you think the basis is wrong? Or the rainfall is underestimated?”

      In the tropics, especially on land but also on the ocean, water condenses and settles to the surface, without rain. I live at 30 deg N and see this almost every morning. This “dew” never registers on my rain gauge. The heat released from this condensation has to go somewhere and it does warm the night.

      • “In the tropics, especially on land but also on the ocean, water condenses and settles to the surface, without rain.”

        But that is by air close to the surface. It’s not convected aloft to cool the surface. And it’s a zero sum process whereby what is given up by condensation is taken back again soon after by evaporation.

      • What toneb said. LH transport happens by water being evaporated at surface and condensing at altitude. If it condenses at surface, heat wasn’t transported anywhere.

      • But even 1 metre above the Surface is not the Surface is it?
        Water coming down as rain also cools the surface further as it is much colder than the surface.
        Where does that heat go, into waming the rain water?

    • Thanks Nick,
      Trenberth’s papers often appear to be based on satellite data. The LEDIV I profile is from satellite data. II guess you are indicating that in the case of latent heat, he discarded the data in favor of an equation. My answer then is that the rainfall and evaporation rates are likely under and overestimated across the majority of the planet by Trenberth, at least within his diagram. Figures 13 and 14 of this post prove it..

      • “My answer then is that the rainfall and evaporation rates are likely under and overestimated across the majority of the planet by Trenberth”
        Evaporation is not estimated; only rainfall. And that is a simple ground-based observation, widely performed. Why do you think Trenberth has it wrong?

        Or to put it another way, how do you balance your supposed larger latent heat flux, which implies a larger upward water flux, with the actual observation of water coming down?

    • Do you think the basis is wrong?

      Yes. It assumes a one-time latent heat transfer. A single evaporation/condensation cycle is clearly not the case in any cloud formation and billowing behaviour.

      • Of course it is.
        A Cumulus/Cumulonimbus cloud is merely the condensation onto hygroscpic nucei of WV. Which has evaporated from the surface.
        It went up. It condensed out. It returned to the surface.
        The average lifetime being ~ 10 days.
        Rinse and repeat for 1 year and you have the annual rainfall. Add up over the planets surface and that mass of H2O releases a certain a,ount of LH.

      • Of course it is.
        A Cumulus/Cumulonimbus cloud is merely the condensation onto hygroscpic nucei of WV. Which has evaporated from the surface.
        It went up. It condensed out. It returned to the surface.

        The whole lower atm cools significantly every night.

        And in doing so, releasing significant latent heat, but only enough to stop air temps from dropping below dew point if there is enough atm WV to do so.

      • “It went up. It condensed out. It returned to the surface.”

        Nope, some of it re-evaporates before it hits the ground. Multiple times.

      • some of it re-evaporates before it hits the ground. Multiple times.

        I think it’s actually a continuous process, but like you describe. and for a volume other than the boundary of that volume, any ir released is reabsorbed in that volume.
        Now, I do not know how big it has to be, what the free path length of that photon is at the surface. But I do know it’s shorter the higher the absolute humidity is, and that there is a significant change in cooling rates as air temps near dew point.
        IR heating from condensing WV fits from a physical basis, and it would because it’s nonlinear action be able to have gain, in this can it uses a small temp difference to make a large change in net radiation.

    • Nick,

      Latent heat, thermals and other non radiant transports are irrelevant to the AVERAGE radiant balance once the average temperature is known. If you think otherwise, what effect are these having on the average temperature resulting in the emissions of 396 W/m^2 per Trenberth other then the effect they are already having on that temperature and its subsequent black body emissions per the SB Law?

      It’s pretty clear that latent heat, thermals and any other non radiative transports of heat have a net zero sum influence on the 396 W/m^2 of AVERAGE radiant emissions and both these non radiative transports and their return the surface can be omitted from the ‘balance’.

      He also fails to account for the fact that clouds are tightly coupled to the oceans by evaporation and rain, thus the solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere (which is almost completely absorbed by clouds) is equivalent to solar energy absorbed by the ocean, at least relative to yearly averages.

      It’s also pretty clear that about 97 W/m^2 of what Trenberth calls ‘back radiation’ is not really radiation at all, but the return of energy transported into the atmosphere by matter and subsequently returned to the surface, mostly by non radiative means including the weather. Some of the rest is connecting solar energy absorbed by clouds to the energy absorbed by the surface.

      Trenberth’s misrepresented energy balance is the source of so much confusion among those on both sides of the issue. It just another case of excess complexity found so often when alarmists try to justify their inane arguments.

      • Yup, when you believe in gravity and potential energy, the net loss from convection is closer to zero than the numbers given.

      • The net loss or gain from ongoing convection is zero but you still have a net gain in system energy content acquired during the very first convective overturning cycle.

      • “you still have a net gain in system energy content acquired during the very first convective overturning cycle.”

        That’s right. The best way to illustrate this would be to leave the latent and thermal flux in but actually include the gravitational potential energy feedback.

      • Exactly, when one does that the system is in balance without any thermal effect from DWIR as I suggested in my old article here and in relation to which I was mocked.
        Good to see the issue being taken more seriously these days.

      • Crickets from Nick.
        My only conclusion is that he has no answer for how latent heat, thermals and the return of that energy back to the surface can further effect the average temperature, its BB emissions and the energy balance other than the effect they are already having on the average temperature and its corresponding emissions. BTW, Trenberth has no answer for this either …

    • Nick Stokes “Trenberth’s calculation is very simple. It just multiplies the world’s average rainfall (about 900 mm/yr) by the latent heat of evaporation. Do you think the basis is wrong? Or the rainfall is underestimated?”

      Yes that basis is wrong. It is the difference in temperature between the latent heat of evaporation and the precipitate.

      • “Yes that basis is wrong. It is the difference in temperature between the latent heat of evaporation and the precipitate.”

        No.
        We are talking saturated air convecting aloft in clouds.
        The temp of the saturated air holds some absolute quantity of WV at that temp and that WV releases 2,260KJ/Kg.

      • “And the key here, is that it is kinetic energy that delivers the water vapour to the atmosphere and not the latent heat of evaporation”
        It’s all evaporation. And it all takes heat from the surface and transports it (as LH) to higher altitude.

      • jingus,
        Yes and the difference in energy between the temperature of the water evaporating and that falling back to the ground as rain is the source of the energy that drives weather. What many fail to grasp is that latent heat becomes incorporated into the net heat of the liquid water upon which vapor condenses. Trenberth considers the return of latent heat by precipitation as part of his mislabelled and misleading ‘back radiation’ term.

    • => Nick Stokes January 11, 2018 at 1:31 am

      “Trenberth’s calculation is very simple. It just multiplies the world’s average rainfall (about 900 mm/yr) by the latent heat of evaporation. Do you think the basis is wrong? Or the rainfall is underestimated”

      The calculation may be simple but the issue clearly isn’t! Just the thought of the “Pan Evaporation Paradox” and the countless papers attending to it, make it clear that the issue is far from simple; but isn’t that the heart of the criticism of it here!

      It is not very hard to see, that “the basis is wrong” and that “rainfall is underestimated”!

      As for the basis, you are making the argument – for Trenberth – that evaporation is the only way to get H2O (In any or all its phases) into the atmosphere, are you not.

      Now I’m immediately thinking how it can** and to quote the poet – “Let me count the ways”! ;-)

      Speaking of numbers, there are approximately a “gazillion” ;-) papers that have been peer reviewed and published in the last century on what is arguably the single most important “way”.

      Known to the layman as sea spray it is technically called “entrainment”. And this contribution from the ocean atmospheric boundary layer under windy conditions is well known and understood to be huge!

      Huge enough, that it “is necessary to take into account storm-caused enhancement of the energy and mass transfer through the ocean surface when constructing climate models and models of general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and also when devising methods of long-term weather forecasting.” (Dubov), (Marchuk).

      So, we have according to a vast body of literature* that via this mechanism: “even during a brief stormy period, the ocean is able to deliver to the atmosphere enormous amounts of extra heat and moisture, which can alter substantially the state of the atmosphere over vast regions.” (R.S. Bortkovskii)

      And the key here, is that it is kinetic energy that delivers the water vapour to the atmosphere and not the latent heat of evaporation (The temperature of the boundaries determines how much heat is also exchanged but vaporisation is not dependant on the relative temperatures). Additionally, regarding this heat flux:

      “When the air temperature is quite low (in high latitudes, for example) the spray sensible heat flux can be roughly as large as the spray latent heat flux. In temperate and tropical latitudes, however, the spray latent heat flux virtually always dominates the sensible heat flux. The magnitude of this flux can be quite large. In a 20-m/s wind, in low latitudes, a typical magnitude for the spray latent heat flux is 150 W/m(squared), which is the same order of magnitude as the interfacial latent heat flux.

      Now on a personal note and at the risk of sounding Willis-like, I came across one of the “other ways” while in Zermatt Switzerland! Last year, in the European Alps, I observed and photographed a well known phenomenon, powder snow blowing off the high peaks and forming cirrus clouds:

      Later, in the Dolomites of Italy at altitude again, I met a meteorologist measuring ice core temperatures and we discussed my observation. It wasn’t at all new to him that water vapour in the atmosphere could find its way there independently of the latent heat of evaporation!

      There is much more to this but it it is now very late in a very long day!

      *See Edgar L Andreas, 1992, Sea Spray and Turbulent Air-Sea Heat Fluxes

      **Wind! Think, the Southern Ocean and The Roaring Forties. It’s as good or better than insolation or LWIR!
      Every turbulent stream rapid or waterfall on earth that did or didn’t cast a rainbow.
      Geothermal (Think, magma meets water/ocean… since time began!)
      Storms, cyclones and tornadoes of course and waterspouts at sea – observed much in my youth – that suck up ocean water and anything in it. (My good friend’s ship got hit by one and it disgorged a tonnage of water. And here in Australia, in my lifetime there have been two occasions when fish fell from the sky – along with precipitation – many miles inland!;-)

      • It’s all evaporation. And it all takes heat from the surface and transports it (as LH) to higher altitude.

        No Nick, even Trenberth admits that the points I’ve raised are worthy of ongoing study. Latent heat is not the only and singular path for water vapour in the atmosphere! And for what it’s worth, I have read his infamous paper!

  2. This is another study which seems to show that the Trenberth energy diagram is nonsense. The same conclusion has and will be reached coming at this in other directions (i.e. other scientific studies). This is because the energy diagram is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the treatment of radiative flux.

    The KT diagram treats radiative flux intensity as if it is a conserved quantity and that simple arithmetic addition (with sign + / – depending on up/down direction) can be used with sources from different temperature and via the SB equation the sink temperature can be calculated. This is scientific nonsense.

    The simplest thought experiment or indeed simple actual experiment will show that you cannot “add” radiative flux like that. I believe that part of the problem/confusion arises due to considering radiation to be a stream of little ping pong balls carrying individual bits of energy , they call them “photons”. A better understanding of the reality of the physical processes taking place in the atmosphere will be gained by avoiding the photon analogy in its entirety and only explaining the physics using the electro-magnetic WAVE concept.

    • “This is another study which seems to show that the Trenberth energy diagram is nonsense. ”

      Seems to is not actually doing so however.
      As Nick says the estimation of LH release in the atmosphere is a trivial calculation based on average global rainfall.

      “This is scientific nonsense.”
      No, it is empirical science.
      As in observably correct.
      So what is you Sky-dragon slaying version of the physics?

      • Look Toneb with the Slayers slur again.
        Yet he is NOT prepared to discuss his own version of the physics he pushes.

      • “Yet he is NOT prepared to discuss his own version of the physics he pushes.”

        Like I’ve said to you.
        It is not my “own version” of the physiscs.
        It is the empirical version that you will find in tne text books
        Go read them then get back to me.

      • Like I have said to you before, why do you think I haven’t read them?
        Because I have, which is the reason I want to see if you really understand them.

      • “Like I have said to you before, why do you think I haven’t read them?
        Because I have, which is the reason I want to see if you really understand them.”

        I do.
        And if you do, why do you join in the echoes here?

      • Because unlike you having read it I do not believe it.
        There are too many problems with the “Science”..

      • Nick is wrong on this point. The crude expression of latent heat by any who deploy Trenberth styled papers is brought into sharper focus with this paper. The latent heat appears to account for the majority of any outgoing radiation from the TOA. It is perhaps a capacitor type of process with regard to the solar oscillations.
        But it also maps well. How does any alternative conceptual model map out in comparison by any standard?

      • The latent heat appears to account for the majority of any outgoing radiation from the TOA. It is perhaps a capacitor type of process with regard to the solar oscillations.
        But it also maps well. How does any alternative conceptual model map out in comparison by any standard?

        It’s a capacitor for daily solar.
        That is bled out at night to reduce temp loss from the surface.
        Again refer to graph. That inflection point in the cooling rate is this going from off, to on.

      • Mike
        ” The crude expression of latent heat by any who deploy Trenberth styled papers”
        The point is, it’s a hard constraint. You can’t transport more LH from the surface than the corresponding mass of water represents. And you can’t transport more mass than you observe in precipitation. You still haven’t explained how you reconcile your claim with that.

      • The point is, it’s a hard constraint. You can’t transport more LH from the surface than the corresponding mass of water represents.

        It’s radiated, it doesn’t have to be transported.

        And there is always an optical window under clear skies radiating from the surface. It’s what’s going on in the other spectrums that’s really interesting.

      • “It’s radiated, it doesn’t have to be transported.”
        There is plenty of radiation in the Trenberth budget. But the specific issue here is LH transport. That is where water evaporates in one place, is advected, and condenses in another.

      • Toneb, ““Ah, Average global rainfall? Rainfall over the oceans included?”

        I said “Global”
        So yes.”

        However did they get the data for all that ocean rainfall?

    • The Reverend Badger says: “A better understanding of the reality of the physical processes taking place in the atmosphere will be gained by avoiding the photon analogy in its entirety and only explaining the physics using the electro-magnetic WAVE concept.”

      Bears repeating!

      • What is the mean distance of a photon of EM energy to hit a GHG molecule? What % of those molecules transfer their energy via collision, and via EM emission? When the transfer is to O2 or N2 or H2O, how do those molecules emit? What % is lost through collision? At what frequency is the EM radiation? Is that frequency outside the capture range of CO2? Is the atmosphere then transparent to that re-radiated EM heat? What is the mean time to emission at TOA of EM heat? Is that near immediate? How is it measured?

        After years of reading here, I still do not understand the mechanics of EM heat transfer. The thermal transfer is easier.

      • sailboarder, the questions that you ask are exactly the right ones and the ones that I want to discuss with Toneb, be he does not wish to.
        Because the answers among quite a few others are the reason that CO2 can’t do what they all say it does.
        The other questions involve
        the actual energy involved in Sunlight compared to LWIR as measured in Electron Volts.
        the actual number of CO2 molecules at the height that H2O is no longer present, which is the only area that counts for CO2.
        The “balance” of H2O and CO2 in terms of warming the Atmosphere compared to cooling the surface and seas and Atmosphere.

      • sb, I have similar unanswered questions. As I understand it, CO2 only absorbs about 8% of the total LWIR emitted by the earth; 100% of 15 micron IR within 10m, and 100% of 14 and 16 micron IR within 1km. How does it consequently emit IR? As a “black body” radiation (spectrum), or at more specific wavelengths?

      • ” Quantum energy of IR photons (0.001-1.7 eV) matches the ranges of energies separating quantum states of molecular vibrations” For example, the important band for CO2 is around 15 microns, so each photon has the energy of about 0.0827 eV.

        “Each of these processes is quantized” referring to molecular vibration induced by infrared absorption
        “• Translational kinetic energy of molecules is unquantized” ironically the absorption of infrared radiation by gases does not directly contribute to the temperature of the gas, only the conversion of the vibrational energy into translational kinetic energy upon collisions through a quantum effect contributes to the thermal structure of the gas.

        How much molecular bond vibrational energy is transferred to kinetic energy upon collisions? That’s something I’d like to know exactly, but the conversion of quantized energy into kinetic is evidenced by the broadening of the absorption frequency into an absorption band, so the answer has to be fractions of the total vibrational energy, and since the broadening occurs in both directions, that suggests that kinetic energy is also converted to quantized energy by this effect. This effect is also dependent on pressure, the lower the pressure the narrower the absorption band will be until it is back to it’s small peak frequencies, so CO2 in the upper atmosphere is more transparent than at the surface and it has higher emissivity than the bulk gas. Is there a net positive thermalization of gas in our atmosphere from the effect at all? If there is, it is very small.

        http://pages.mtu.edu/~scarn/teaching/GE4250/absorption_lecture.pdf

      • If there is, it is very small.

        If there is any, cooling just takes longer to get to dew point, and if you look at the cooling rate under clear calm skies, there is a high cooling rate before it’s cooled.

        So it just cools at the higher rate long enough to remove the approximate extra energy, then it’d slow.

      • icisil, I doubt if it is even as high as 8%.
        For every 1 molecule of CO2 there are 62 of H2O covering the same frequencies, there is only a very small area next to the Atmospheric Window where there is CO2 and not H2O and it is not within the first 10K from the Surface.

      • Interesting. More empiricism that refutes the GHG dogma. And here’s that effect on the large scale:

      • Thanks for the information. Can anyone point to a test chamber result that tested for how the earths IR gets absorbed/scattered/transmitted in a real word atmosphere, with varying humidity, CO2, temperature/pressure?

    • The Ternberth is designed to provide pseudoscience that the average joe can understand to make them feel they’re “knowledge invested” in the whole warming scam.

    • Badger:

      The KT diagram treats radiative flux intensity as if it is a conserved quantity and that simple arithmetic addition (with sign + / – depending on up/down direction) can be used with sources from different temperature and via the SB equation the sink temperature can be calculated. This is scientific nonsense.

      Let’s break it down step by step.

      1. Energy is a conserved quantity.

      2. For any conserved quantity, you can add and subtract transfers, just as you do when you balance your checkbook. (Money is a conserved quantity in your accounting.) So for any object over a period of time:

      DeltaEnergy = Sum(EnergyIn) – Sum(EnergyOut) [Joules]

      3. This holds true for even an infinitesimally small period of time, so we can take the derivative of the above equation:

      dEnergy/dTime = Sum(PowerIn) – Sum(PowerOut) [Watts]

      In steady-state conditions, dEnergy/dTime = 0, so Sum(PowerIn) = Sum(PowerOut)

      4. To get the total power transfer over an area, you integrate the transfer power flux density over that area. For example:

      Sum(PowerIn [Watts]) = SurfaceIntegralOverArea(LocalPowerFluxDensity [W/m2])

      5. Since the area of the earth is huge (510 trillion square meters), it is convenient to express the total integrated flux as an average instead of a total. So when the KT diagram shows 333 W/m2 DWLWIR flux density, they are really claiming that:

      DWLWIR [Watts] = 333 W/m2 * 5.1×10^14 m2 = 1.7×10^17 Watts

      Basic science, not nonsense.

      • AC:

        Immediately, its from the thermal energy of molecules like H2O and CO2. But remember that these molecules are also absorbing radiative energy from the earth.

        Ultimately, its (virtually) all from the sun (geothermal is so small it can be ignored in most analyses.

        Back to the financial analogy: Ultimately, all your money may come from your job’s salary. But the change you get back from purchases does add to your wealth compared to “keep the change”. (And this even though the change is always less than you hand the cashier.)

      • So you are saying it is from the Atmosphere itself and no heat source is involved?
        Therefore we are back to the Cold Atmosphere warming the warmer Surface again.
        Do you remember pointing me to a book about Radiation flux & transfers.
        Did you realise that that book had a major error in it which you actually quoted as proof?

      • AC:

        I took pains to distinguish the “immediate” source of the LWIR energy — the thermal energy of molecules like H2O and CO2 — from the “ultimate” source of the energy, which is the sun’s output.

        This distinction is not a difficult concept, but apparently it is completely beyond your comprehension.

        The LWIR power flux density from the sun is negligible at the distance of the earth, so if you really want to understand how this is generated, you need to understand all the steps, down to H2O and CO2 molecules throwing off LWIR photons. Of course, the energy they give up to these photons must come from somewhere, and here it ultimately comes from the sun.

        I was explicit about this, but you erroneously state that I claimed “no heat source is involved”. Mind boggling!

        Therefore we are back to the Cold Atmosphere warming the warmer Surface again.

        Clausius, “Father of the Second Law”, explicitly called this the “ascending transmission of heat” (ascending in the temperature sense), in a long note that anticipated confusions like yours. He took pains to emphasize that this transmission was “compensated” by a greater “descending transmission of heat”.

        But the energy transmission from colder to warmer is real, and if there is another energy source for the warmer body (such as the sun), it results in the warmer body having a higher temperature than it would without this radiative power.

        It is easy to confuse yourself with the imprecise term “warming”, which can be interpreted in different ways. You should stick to more precise terminology when you try to argue a point.

        Do you remember pointing me to a book about Radiation flux & transfers.
        Did you realise that that book had a major error in it which you actually quoted as proof?

        Pray tell, what was the book, and what was the “major error”?

      • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/24/can-a-cold-object-warm-a-hot-object/
        in this comment Ed Bo December 8, 2017 at 6:14 pm where he quoted MIT engineering professor Lienhard’s heat transfer textbook:
        Ed said “Thus, the net heat transferred from object 1 to object 2, Qnet, is the difference between Q(1 to 2) = A1 eb(T1) and Q(2 to 1) = A1 eb(T2)…””.
        He also provided the link to the book itself http://web.mit.edu/lienhard/www/ahttv211.pdf.
        The book shows that Ed had quoted it correctly.
        This equation did not fit in with Heat Transfer Equation given by Mr Eschenbach and used in the Calculator he linked to. So I looked for and found another version of the Book and it has the same Error.
        The Equation should be Q(1 to 2) = A1 eb(T1)^4 and Q(2 to 1) = A2 eb(T2)^4,.

        Like I said before Radiation from a cold object DOES NOT warm a warmer object regardless of whether the warm object is heated or cooling.
        If you think the Slayers Bulb in a box proves it does then I feel really sad for you.

      • AC:

        I’m afraid you are so far out of your depth here, it’s not even funny.

        In the Lienhard text, when the general transfer equation uses “eb(T1)”, it is referring to the emission as a function of T1. This is NOT a multiplication here — it should be obvious from context.

        The immediately following example shows the specific case of a blackbody for this function as sigma * T1^4.

        So the function eb(T1) = sigma * T1^4 for a blackbody.

        No error, only your lack of comprehension.

        Radiation from a cold object DOES NOT warm a warmer object regardless of whether the warm object is heated or cooling.

        So how does the receiving object know the temperature of the emitting object? What is the physical mechanism? What happens to the energy in the photon that cannot be absorbed?

      • Ed, your theory is brilliant, except it doesn’t actually work.
        Have you ever even tried it for yourself?
        I have, many times now and in no case has the colder object ever warmed a warmer object by LWIR by even 0.1C.
        Not even two objects of the same temperature raise the temperature of each other.
        Even though there are quite a few Watt/M2 involved, no increase in temperature.

        So you tell me where the photons went, because they did not go into raising any temperatures.

      • AC, they keep each warm. With your 2 equal temp objects side by side, now put a 3rd cold obj beside one of the 2, now the warm obj between them warms the cold object, and shields the warm object.

        When you do this, heat from the middle obj is radiated some to the cold, some to the warm.

        If they did not radiate, you would not be able to measure them in ir.

      • micro, I am not saying that they do not “radiate”, what the do not do is make a warmer object or an object of the same temperature hotter than it starts at.
        In fact when I conducted the experiment to establish how much slower 2 identical objects cool compared to being on their own, the answer was very little, ie barely measurable.
        What does get hotter if no circulation is provided is the Air between the objects, which is what a lot of people mistake for “back radiation”, but is in fact how “insulation” works.

        They also do not end up warmer, they equilbriate with the surrounding ambient temperature.

      • First they are insulators, because they are poor conductors of heat.
        If you had added a 3rd one on either end, the one in the middle would cool slower, and be warmer than either end.

      • micro, the question is with around 5W/m2 from each object, where does that energy go, where do all those photons go that Ed Bo talks about.
        My results are completely in line with Radiation based heat flux Transfer equations.

        So what happens to those photons that Ed & co insist MUST be absorbed and MUST increase the temperature of the absorbing object, as they are in reality not thermalised by the other object?

        This is the part I just cannot undestand.

      • They are, but just go to reduce the cooling rates. That’s why classical thermodynamics is always warm to cold, to equalized. But it’s all done by everything radiating what it’s temp is, and that blends together.

        It’s why ppl go to banking analogies, it’s all various ways to represent the same book keeping.

      • A C:

        Ed, your theory is brilliant, except it doesn’t actually work. Have you ever even tried it for yourself?

        Yes, I have — it’s not that difficult if you know what you are doing. Take some electrical resistance appliance, such as an iron. With it on, cover it with a transparent (glass) cover and measure its temperature after a while. Next, cover it with an absorbent cover (e.g. painted metal), let it adapt to the new situation. The appliance will have a significantly higher temperature from the “back radiation” of the second cover.

        I have, many times now and in no case has the colder object ever warmed a warmer object by LWIR by even 0.1C.

        I regularly melt steel with LWIR. A LWIR (10.6 um) laser at room temperature can raise the temperature of steel by many hundreds of degrees. It can also boil water. The steel and the water have knowing the source of these LWIR photons.

        Now, I know you are talking about normal thermal, not “stimulated”, emissions, but I repeat that the receiving object has no way of distinguishing the source of radiation of a given wavelength.

        What you are missing in your analysis and your experiments is the separate source of power input — the sun in the case of the earth, your metabolism in case of your body, electrical power for many experiments. Without this separate source, radiative power from a cooler source will only decrease the rate of temperature drop in an even colder ambient.

        So after sunset on earth, the surface below a high-humidity atmosphere will decrease in temperature more slowly than the surface below a low-humidity atmosphere (e.g. desert). The lower rate of decrease is due to the returned “back radiation” from the water vapor in the atmosphere. But the temperature of the surface is decreasing in both cases, because the warmer surface is emitting more than it receives from the cooler atmosphere.

        But consider the case where there is a separate energy supply. Energy is a conserved quantity, so you can (must!) add and subtract ALL of the transfers to do a proper energy balance. This is just as you must include all transfers in your personal financial accounting to track you bank balance. This includes change you get back from purchases, even if that change is always less than what you give the store for that purchase.

        For the same input from this other supply (sun, metabolism, electrical power), radiative energy from other objects nearby adds to this input, even if it is less than the object’s radiative energy to those objects. The object in question much reach a higher temperature to achieve steady-state energy balance with the “back radiation” than without. Basic accounting.

        Now you can argue the semantics. “It’s the sun that’s warming the earth, not the atmosphere.” That’ s why I warned against the imprecision of common English in this regard. The fact remains that the object (with a separate supply) has a higher temperature with the energy it absorbs from a colder object than it would without it — that is than it would if it were in an ambient of lower temperature (and the earth is in an ambient of 3K).

        Not even two objects of the same temperature raise the temperature of each other.

        Here’s a simple (and fun!) experiment to test that claim. Lie in bed by yourself with a covering that keeps you nice and warm, but not uncomfortably so. Your rest metabolism is about 100 watts, and you must reject that 100 watts from your body at 37C to the room ambient at ~20C.

        Now have someone else — hopefully someone you like — get in bed under the covers with you and cuddle with you, maximizing the contact you have with each other. This person is also at 37C, so your claim is that this will not make you any hotter.

        Of course, you will quickly start to get hotter, and in response your body’s cooling mechanisms, such as sweating, will kick in. How can this be so???

        Of course, if the bodies did not have a separate power source (e.g. corpses), they would not increase each other’s temperature. But that is not what is relevant here.

        So you tell me where the photons went, because they did not go into raising any temperatures.

        I have already told you. The energy in the photons, when absorbed by the body (even if hotter than the emitting body), increased the energy of the absorbing body. Otherwise the 1st Law is violated.

      • Ed, there you go making assumptions again, I have done many experiments with heated objects.

        Your example of the Electric Iron is the same as the Slaying the Dragons Light Bulb Experiment.
        It provides the right result for showing what you believe is happening,ie the hotter object gets hotter.
        But it has nothing to do with Heating by DIRECT Back Radiation.

        Where you and the Light bulb experimenter went wrong is you do not measure the temperature of the Air in the Glass box, especially above the Iron (bulb).
        If you had, as I did you would know that it is the relatively cooler air that is being heated by the Glass & radiation from the outer coating and not the iron being heated directly.
        The first clue is adding the Glass Box, which cannot add any Radiant Energy to the iron (bulb) as it is at ambient room temperature and yet it raises the temperature a great deal, purely down to reducing the VOLUME of Air being heated, in the actual case of the bulb in a box it is an approximately 17000:1 reduction compared to the room.
        Try doing the maths on what that change in Volume represents in terms of actual “Heating” ability ie W/Cubic Metre of Air Space.
        I did so for the Actual Bulb in the box experiment, it increases the heating ability of the 40W bulb, to 15kW per cubic metre of Air, the equivelent of heating a small room with 680Kw of heating.

        If you measure the temperature of the Air, Iron , glass and metalbox every 30 seconds you will see that the Air Temperature rises FIRST it transfers the heat to the iron (or bulb), the Glass & the extra layer by direct Conduction due to the lack of Ventilation, this provides an element of feedback to them all, further increasing the Air temperature.

        So to test your actual case what was the temperature of the Iron, Glass box and Metal outer Box?
        We can then see just how much energy is available from the glass and the Metal to heat the Iron.
        I assume that you have done so?

        In the case of the Bulb in box the heat available from the glass and metal box to “Back Radiate” are not sufficient to raise the temperature of the Iron (bulb) using the heat transfer equations but they are to raise the tempearure of the very small Volume of Air.

        How anyone who has any engineering background cannot see that preventing the Air from expanding and circulating is the real cause is very odd.

        To do the experiment properly do NOT use a Box and provide enforced circulation to ensure that the air between the two objects does NOT provide any heating to the heated object.
        This is the Experiments that I conducted and there is absolutele ZERO heating from back radiation, even using Aluminium Foil.
        What you are doing is advanced Insulation, not demonstrating DIRECT Back Radiation

      • “I have already told you. The energy in the photons, when absorbed by the body (even if hotter than the emitting body), increased the energy of the absorbing body. Otherwise the 1st Law is violated.”

        And I keep telling you it DOES NOT HAPPEN.

        What do you not understand about that.
        Place a cold object next to a warm object, the warm object at no time warms up, instead it cools even quicker than before the object was placed there. But as per the transfer laws the colder object does get warmer.
        Place two objects of the same temperature next to each other and neither of them gets warmer, (only the Air between them warms), both of them cool back to ambient.
        So I don’t care what you say about photons, until the temperature goes UP they are not doing anything at all.

      • AC:

        That’s your analysis? Seriously???

        The relevant comparison in these experiments is between the glass shell and the absorbent metal shell.

        Let’s use the light bulb results, since they are “published”.

        Both the glass shell and the anodized aluminum shell completely inhibit direct convection to the room as a whole. They do so identically by completely blocking the upward movement of air heated by the bulb.

        So as far as conductive/convective heat transfer is concerned, we have the surface of the bulb heating the air under the shell, which conducts to the shell. Heat must be conducted through the shell to the outside surface, where it can be transferred to the room atmosphere.

        Glass has a material thermal conductivity of about 0.78 W/m/K, and the shell looks to be about 5mm thick.

        Aluminum has a material thermal conductivity of about 200 W/m/K, and that shell looks to be about 1mm thick.

        So the metal shell conductivity is over 1000 times that of the glass shell. (Another way of stating this is that the conductive thermal resistance of the glass shell is over 1000 times greater than that of the metal shell.)

        So, if other things were equal, the thermal resistance of the glass shell system would be MUCH higher than that of the metal shell system. This would mean that the bulb would need to be much hotter to transfer the same amount of power through the shell to the room ambient.

        But we see the opposite! The steady-state bulb temperature under the glass shell is 105C. The steady-state bulb temperature under the much more conductive metal shell is 129C. (Note that this 24C difference is much greater than the 10C difference between no shell and the glass shell inhibiting convection that you are focused on.)

        Since conductive/convective heat transfer cannot even explain the sign of this difference, it MUST be due to difference in radiative heat transfer. The metal shell temperature is only 10C hotter than the glass shell, less than the 24C hotter bulb temperature. The glass shell lets the vast majority of the thermal radiation from the bulb through directly to the room. The metal shell absorbs it all and radiates half of it back (even as it is conducting more energy through itself to the room.)

        And if you wanted to improve on that experiment to isolate the radiative effects more completely, you would do it in a vacuum. The forced convection you advocate is ridiculous in this case — it would overwhelm any radiative differences. Did you ever do real heat transfer work???

      • AC:

        it DOES NOT HAPPEN.

        Several questions:

        1. What do you believe happens to the e=h*v energy of the photon?

        2. Is your answer consistent with the 1st Law or do you believe you have found an exception?

        3. What is the mechanism by which a receiving body can discern whether the photon (or just radiation collectively) of a given wavelength is from a higher temperature body and should be absorbed, or from a lower temperature body, and should be made to (I don’t know what — disappear to an alternate dimension…)?

        4. Can you cite a single physics or engineering textbook that describes such a distinction? Not a single one I have ever seen, and I have looked at many, describes such a distinction.

        5. Do you think a century’s worth of scientists and engineers (I’m not talking about climate science) have been taught completely improperly?

      • Ed, just do it for yourself.
        Heated object at Equilibrium, with constant air supply, add your cooler object and watch the temperature of the heated object.
        The temperature does not increase.
        I have done the experiment numerous times, it is not my fault the increase in temperature is too small to measure, ie below 0.1C
        As to what happens in your photons, why don’t you try putting the data in to the Heat transfer equations to see what happens.
        The Energy Transfer is Negative, it is even more negative than the Positive transfer the other way.
        Perhaps your photons are not photons but waves (duality) and perhaps those waves are overwhelmed by the waves coming the other way, perhaps they are not absorbed perhaps they go straight through the object, I have no idea, I only know what actually happens.
        You keep quoting years of science, so ask yourself this, why in The SCIENCE of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, is there ZERO heat transfer between 2 objects of the same Temperature, the Watts/m2 and the Photons are all whizzing between the two objects being absorbed by both.
        But the SCIENCE says NO INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE.
        Which is exactly what I and everybody else who has done the test have found, otherwise the heat transfer equatons would have been overturned years ago.
        So what happens to your “e=h*v energy of the photon”, not just of one object but BOTH objects, ie twice as much energy?
        Are you arguing that one part of the SCIENCE is right and the other part is wrong?

      • AC, if you calculate the SB emissions from both objects, they are both radiating at each other, if they are the same temp they both radiate at the exact same flux.
        Here, consider this experiment.
        Heat 3 blocks set 2 beside each other, and one by itself, and then measure how fast the pair cool as compared to a side block cooling.
        The pair will cool slower, as they share some of their energy, the single one will cool faster.

      • Micro, I know that, but reduced cooling rate is NOT warming, but according to Ed and the others any photon from anywhere RAISES the Energy and therefore the TEMPERATURE of the absorbing object.
        So, why do the 2 blocks not get measurably hotter than when they are alone?

        Why can’t you measure the Increase in Energy that both are receiving?

        Even worse they say that photons from a block of Ice will also make the Hot Block even hotter, but it is immeasurable.
        This is the whole crux of photons from Tropospheric CO2 getting all the way to the Earth’s Surface and making it hotter.
        The IR photon has a mean path of approximately 25 metres, therefore every 25 metres the amount of energy directed towards the Surface is halved (half down and half up).
        So how many 25 metres does it take to reduce 333W/M2 to virtually Zero, that is assuming you believe in the 333W/m2 in the first place.
        If any did survive how can you possibly measure their effect on the surface?

      • Hi AC I’m interested in your discussion with Micro. Since energy must always be conserved, and in light of the excellent analogy one can find from the related scientific work of flourescence, it doesn’t make sense how any emitted photon from an IR active molecule can have only a mean free path in lower atmosphere of 25 m.
        That would imply that the wavelength of the emitted photon is the same as the wavelength of the received photon.
        That seems like the crux of the fraud of the ghg theory. Just as the undeniable case for flourescence, the emitted photon’s wavelength will be much longer than the received length of ~15 microns. The new photon will become part of the many photons streaming out through the planet’s “atmospheric window”, warming nothing for all practical purposes. The idea that emitted photons continue to bounce around at the same wavelength at which they were received is equivalent to claiming that the photons are “reflected” and not “emitted”. If they were to be characterized as reflections, then that is nothing more than “scattering”. And scattering is already a fairly well known component of the atmospheric energy budget. Hence, the games with photons constitute an accounting discrepancy.

      • Ed, let me be clear, I believe the Atmosphere controls the Rate of Cooling of the Earth’s Surface.
        I also believe that it controls the Rate of Warming as well.
        The evidence is clear and it is H2O that does it 65 times as much as CO2 and the rest of the Atmosphere contributes as well. You only have to compare the Diurnal and Annual swing of Temperatures in the Tropics to those of the Dry Deserts to understand what is happening.
        It is the Climate Scientist’s mechanics of how it does it that I do not go along with.
        Merely because I can’t replicate what they say happens, whereas I can replicate what the Heat Transfer laws say.
        The logic of CO2 being the “Control Knob” is totally wrong, as is their proposed back radiation from a less dense, colder area of the Atmosphere travelling many Kilometres through a much denser and hotter area of the Atmosphere to get to the Surface and then warm it up.

      • That’s exactly what this shows AC, it’s just not 3W from co2, it’s a 30 or 40W adjustable swing in back radiation from water vapor. Look at net rad.

      • AC, I don’t think you can blow air between them, they are being heated by the very same IR you are trying to measure.
        Not I do understand why you want to do that, I just know you can’t do it that way.

        Has to be done in a vacuum. And then it’ll work. But it is really working, it’s why you can measure it’s temp in IR. That is energy, doesn’t matter what intercepts it(air), real tangible energy. It will not make it absolutely hotter in temp, only hotter than it would be. it still obeys classical thermodynamics, but we know classical does not really give insight to the process involved, QED does.

      • Micro your 3 object experiment is difficult for me to achieve because the 2 objects together MUST have airflow to prevent the Air between them warming and thereby keeping them warmer, ie insulation.
        My problem is how to regulate the low level Air flow over all 3 without transferring heat from any one to the other. But I may give it a try.
        I have already conducted one with 2 objects with one being added and then removed and replaced to make the comparison. I can tell you now there is very little difference in cooling rate with them either together or apart.

      • micro, reduced cooling is not warming, it is insulation from ambient.
        I am conducting the experiment with 3 ceramic plates warmed in the oven to an average of 45C, ambient is 18.8C.
        By the time I had added the 2 probes to the plates the two which I had mistakenly kept in contact were warmer that the one on it’s own. The temperature difference was 4C at 4:55pm
        At 4:58pm the difference was 1.2C
        at 5:03pm it was 0.3C
        This is not going to plan, the two plates that are 1.25″ apart are cooling quicker than the single plate!
        At 5:06pm it was 0.4C
        At 5:10pm it was 0.3C
        At 5:15pm it was 0.3C
        At 5:20pm it was 0.2C
        At 5:25pm it was 0.0C
        At 5:30pm it was -0.1C
        OK, there is obviously a slight problem with the air flow even though the battery powered fan is on it’s lowest setting and 4 feet away from the plates because this did not go as expected and the single plate is nearer the fan than the the double plates.
        The two plates should have cooled much slower according to you, but instead they actually cooled quicker at first and then maintained roughly the same cooling rate 20 minutes.
        That should not be possible, but it just happened, even with slightly uneven air flow there should have been a noticable difference in cooling rates but there wasn’t.

        So I give up for now.

      • Should have been 3 plates 1.25 apart.
        Middle plate should cool faster than the ends.
        If the 2 plates really cool faster at first, I woukd think it would have to be a result of surface area being 2x.

      • AC:

        As to what happens in your photons, why don’t you try putting the data in to the Heat transfer equations to see what happens.

        OK, let’s do that! Let’s take a small spherical spacecraft with 1 m2 surface area (think Sputnik). It has an internal power supply of 240 Watts. It has an infrared absorptivity/emissivity very close to 1.0.

        It’s out in deep space and shielded from the sun. In steady state conditions it must radiate 240 W to deep space, which has an (effective) blackbody temperature of 3K (this is well known from measurements). So the radiative heat transfer equation is:

        Q = 240 W = Area * sigma * (T^4 – Tamb^4)

        With the SB constant sigma at 5.67×10^-8 W/m2/K^4, and Tamb at 3K, we solve for T and get 255K.

        Now, with the sphere still at 255K, we put the sphere (still in a vacuum) in a blackbody ambient of 240K (still lower than the sphere!). Solving for the (net) radiative heat transfer, we get:

        Q = 1.0 * 5.67×10^-8 * (255^4 – 240^4) = 51.6 W

        But we still have 240 W into the sphere, and with only 51.6 W out, the internal energy (and with it the temperature) of the sphere increases at a rate of 188.4 Joules per second. The 1st Law DEMANDS this!

        The SCIENCE says (YES) INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE!!!

        But your analysis say that because the ambient is colder than the sphere, it cannot add energy to the sphere or act to increase its temperature. You must think this equation, that scientists and engineers have been using since the 19th Century, is fundamentally wrong!

        It is YOUR analysis that would require “overturning” the heat transfer equations. But in actuality, you just do not understand them.

        So in moving from an ambient of 3K to an ambient of 240K, where does the extra power (188.4W) come from that increases the energy and temperature of the sphere? It is from the radiation from ambient absorbed by the sphere. (It is still less than the 240W radiated from the sphere at 255K.)

        I bring up the example of a spacecraft, because the space agencies do the experiment that you request. All of these agencies test their craft before launch to simulate the conditions they will meet in space.

        So they have giant vacuum chambers that they put the craft in. But the interesting part is that they have supercooled “shrouds” along the walls. They commonly use liquid nitrogen (boiling temp of 70K) to bring the wall temperatures — the ambient for the craft — below 100K.

        The electronics for the Webb Infrared Space Telescope have just gone through months of testing in one of these chambers. And in this testing, they used an inner second set of shrouds with supercooled helium to bring the wall (ambient) temperature down below 30K. They do this because they want the craft operating at temperatures of about 30K so it does not generate any significant spurious infrared to the sensors.

        They spend many millions of dollars on this supercooling, and by your analysis, they are wasting their (i.e. your tax) money to do so. Have you written any letters complaining about this?

        I use this example because it is a good analog for the earth. The earth is surrounded by an ambient near total vacuum that behaves exactly like a blackbody at 3K (-270C). By the way, we know this from sensors at over 270K that absorb the photons generated at 3K. (How is that possible???)

        Using the heat transfer equations you say you do not want to overturn, the earth’s surface would have to be much colder than it is if it radiated directly to space. But because it is overwhelmingly in radiative exchange with the atmosphere, and even though the atmosphere is generally colder than the surface, the present surface temperatures can be explained.

      • Ed, There are 2 things wrong with your demonstration, the first is what is the Surface area of the Black Body at 240K.
        Second how can the Black Body maintain a temperature of 240K when exposed to the vacuum of space at 3K, does it use magic?
        It must be losing more than 51.6W/m2 and will immediately cool to 3K.
        Unless you are adding extra Energy to the Black Body of course, in which case you have changed the System Dynamics completely, you no longer only have one energy input.

        Your demonstration in no way represents the Earth & it’s atmosphere because for half the time the Earth is in and unpowered cooling state ie nighttime.
        Please do not give me the rubbish about “Averages”, the Earth is in a perpetual state of non equilibrium.
        When the cooling takes place there is no “extra Input Energy” to shed, the Sun is effectively “switched off”.

      • AC:

        Please learn to read more carefully. You completely miscontrue and misrepresent my arguments.

        First, I was very explicitly NOT talking about a steady-state condition. I was obviously talking about a dynamic condition due to a change in situtation, calculating the power imbalance due to the change. It should not need to be stated to a competent audience that when there is a power imbalance, it is NOT steady state.

        Second, I was not talking about a shell around the sphere — I was talking about a change in ambient conditions. In thermodynamics (and you should know this if you really studied thermodynamics), the “ambient” environment is so large compared to the object that the object’s properties do not affect it.

        But let’s look at the system you erroneously thought I was talking about — adding a shell around a powered sphere in a very cold ambient with vacuum conditions. Atmospheric scientists call this the “single shell” model; it is commonly called the “steel greenhouse”.

        Let’s say the shell has a 1% (1.01x) greater radius than the sphere. (This is a much larger ratio than the earth’s atmosphere has compared to the the earth’s surface. The shell’s surface area is 1.021x that of the sphere.

        For the sphere+shell system to be in steady-state, it must be transferring 240 W to ambient. So we have:

        Q = 240 W = 1.021 * 5.67×10^-8 * (Tshell^4 – 3^4)

        Tshell = 253.7K

        The shell temperature is just slightly below that of the uncovered sphere.

        Considering the sphere itself, it must also reject 240 W to be in steady state, so we have:

        Q = 240 W = 1.000 * 5.67×10^-8 * (Tsphere^4 – 253.7^4)

        Tsphere = 302.5K

        So the steady-state sphere temperature is substantially higher with the “back radiation” of the colder shell than without.

        And if the initial temperature of the shell when placed around the sphere is 240K when the sphere is 255K, the calculations provided before do correctly show the instantaneous power transfer from sphere to shell. Eventually, the shell will reach the 253.7K calculated just above.

        And until you can get these simple steady-state calculations correct (you aren’t even close yet), don’t even try the calculations for the dynamic case of the diurnal cycle.

      • micro you wrote “Heat 3 blocks set 2 beside each other, and one by itself, and then measure how fast the pair cool as compared to a side block cooling.”
        at January 14, 2018 at 6:16 am

      • Fair enough.
        I just don’t think you can use a fan, and get accurate data, as that is heated in part by what you’re measuring.
        I think the high loss rate was from the two plates heat adding, and therefore they cooled faster at first.

        But not an ideal setup.

      • Thanks AC, I will read some of those further with interest. I took a quick look at one https://geosciencebigpicture.com/2017/02/19/emissivity-of-co2/

        The authors stated that “.. can therefore assume that transmission, emission, and back radiation are all equal”.

        I am still learning, but in my collective experience with the hydrologic and other, emission is usually somewhat less than absorption That is the case for emissions from fluorescent solutions. Those occur at much more energetic locations along the wavelength spectrum. The fluorescent modes of emission actually involve reversals of excited electron orbitals to ground states. And in this case, the fluorescent emission is significantly lower than its absorption
        In IR land, it would be a stretch to compare. I recommend any take a look at examples of fluorescent solution emissions There are many great videos as well.
        I expect the same for 15 micron band but more so.

      • Ed Bo January 14, 2018 at 11:18 pm
        First of all thank you for taking the time & effort to explain the way that heat transfer theory and the equations work.
        I have a couple of small issues with your explanation however, they are only minor details but to an ex Quality Engineer they do bug me a bit.
        The first one is the area of the shell, a 1% increase in radius appears to increase the radius from 0.282094792m to 0.28491574m. Putting that in the sphere area equations gives 1.201m2, not the 1.21m2 you quoted. I know it is only a very small difference but I do like to get these things right.

        The second item is regarding the equation to establish the Temperature of the Shell compared to the background of 3K. When I went to school to obtain the watts/m2 you had to divide the Energy by the Area, ie watts per metre squared. Well the Shell is actually 1.201 metre squared. So the energy available for transfer must be 240/1.201, which where I come from is 235.2710519W/m2 and not 240W/m2 that you used. Again I know it is only a very small difference but I need to ensure I get this right to understand what you have written.

        Now lets put that in to the Equation to calculate the Temperature of the shell, we get
        T1 =( 235.2710519 /(1.201*0.0000000567)+3^4)^0.25 = 252.5431971K
        Here we see again a slight difference in your result to mine, but nothing drastic, so I am getting there.

        Now I thought that the energy from the sphere would be all used up trying to maintain the temperature of the shell against the 3K of space, but as you point out there is sufficient Back Radiation to raise the temperature of the Sphere to 302.5K.

        So I will now look at the formula to calculate the 302.5K, which in my version should be very slightly different due to our different approaches.

        So we have
        T1 = ( 240 /(1*0.0000000567)+252.5431971^4)^0.25 = 301.8390025
        That is close enough.

        So now I have to agree with you and Mr Eschenback that under these conditions the warmer shell raises the Temperature of the Sphere, the part that I was missing was to re-introduce the 240W/m2 after Equilibrium..

      • A C:

        We both made slight (but different) arithmetic errors in our analyses.

        If the radius of the shell is 1% larger (1.01x) that of the sphere, the surface area is 1.0201 times as large (1.01 * 1.01 = 1.0201), not 1.021 as I had it, or 1.201 as you had it.

        So with 240 W out of the blackbody shell of area 1.0201 m2 to an ambient at 3K, we have:

        Q = 240 W = 1.0201 * 5.67×10^-8 * (Tshell^4 – 3^4)

        Tshell = 253.80K

        And with 240W out of the blackbody sphere surrounded by the shell at 253.8K, we have:

        Q = 240 W = 1.0000 * 5.67×10^-8 * (Tsphere^4 – 253.8^4)

        Tsphere = 302.58K

        As you say, the differences are not significant compared to the overall effect.

    • Thanks, that’s because I’m writing not in an academic style but rather in the style of an affidivat. In my experiences as a practicing expert witness in hydrology, these are written in the first person. They have the added benefit of utility in court cases. So if Exxon or others need the expertise that I bring to the table in addressing scientific frauds associated with climate change science, this piece might be a helpful component.

      • OK – but be aware that to someone with a scientific background this style of writing comes across as someone on an ego trip and casts doubt on the objectivity of the analysis. If one of my students wrote like this in a thesis I’d ask them to rewrite it.

  3. “Michael Wallace, Hydrologist” … I have been waiting to come across a hydrologists to scream this at them:

    Hydrology is not a science!

    As my wife put it “Froude” sounds like a character from children’s TV. Energy lines resemble nothing but lay lines and the riffle pool sequence is a load of &^%$£!!

      • A graceful and humorous response to a strange comment. Did I somehow miss SS’s /sarc, or is it just not there?

    • Scottish Sceptic
       
      January 11, 2018 at 2:19 am

      Hydrology is not a science!
      As my wife put it “Froude” sounds like a character from children’s TV. Energy lines resemble nothing but lay lines and the riffle pool sequence is a load of &^%$£!!

      Not convinced . The exclamation marks are a give away.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Froude

      He was the first to formulate reliable laws for the resistance that water offers to ships (such as the hull speed equation) and for predicting their stability.

      Sounds like science to me.

      https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-hydraulic-grade-line-d_613.html

      EL = H = p / γ + v2 / 2 g + h = constant along a streamline   

      What is unscientific here?

      Hydrology is the physical chemistry of H2O in the atmosphere?

      Latent heat of water is important in atmosphere.

  4. A while ago I noticed with these simple 1D energy budget calculations is that the radiation calculation is done as if we are in a vacuum and then a simplistic correction is carried out to account for the fact we actually have an atmosphere. In reactor heat transfer though you can’t separate them out or you get wild inaccuracies because in air the feedbacks between them are of crucial importance. So to obtain accurate results in the real world you need an iterative 3D model with both acting together. Inadequate assumptions required to simplify the calculation often lead to erroneous conclusions.

    • JasG – “radiation calculation is done as if we are in a vacuum and then a simplistic correction is carried out to account for the fact we actually have an atmosphere”

      Precisely! Consider that in a vacuum, when mass is added to an object its weight goes up. From this we might conclude that adding mass always increases weight. Yet in Earth’s atmosphere, when we add mass to a balloon by inflating it with helium its weight goes down.

      • Glenn Thompson: “Nah — it gets heaver[sic] and bigger and displaces the heavier gas — AIR….”

        The balloon would be heavier in a vacuum, but in Earth’s atmosphere it weighs less. The displacement of Earth’s atmosphere by the balloon is the whole point of my analogy. The behavior of adding mass to an object differs if the object is in a vacuum or Earth’s atmosphere.

      • So what you’re saying is that adding heat to the Earth displaces the mass from the ground towards space and causes the day to lengthen?

      • prjindigo – “So what you’re saying is that adding heat to the Earth displaces the mass from the ground towards space and causes the day to lengthen?”

        I had not considered that interpretation. I am trying to make the point that describing how theoretical photons behave in a vacuum does not necessarily translate to how energy actually behaves in Earth’s atmosphere.

  5. All of the high points on the Otowi Gage graph line up with El Nino ENSO conditions. I would guess that the next spike would be in late 2015 to early 2016. Then the gauge should be dropping nowover the last 18 months or so as the solar minimum approaches.

  6. Latent heat is often given as the reason for an increase in Potential Temperature of 3.3ºC/km and the reduction of the lapse rate to 6.5ºC/km without consideration for the shrinkage of the thermal gradient by radiative exchange in the presence of water vapour.
    “Since exchange of heat by radiation between two like objects results in a net loss by the warmer and gain by the cooler, it follows that this process tends always to decrease the average temperature lapse rate in the free air. That is to bring the air of different levels to the same temperature.”
    ftp://ftp.library.noaa.gov/docs.lib/htdocs/rescue/mwr/061/mwr-061-03-0061.pdf

  7. I find it absurdly hilarious that NONE of the mathematical systems used to claim the Earth is getting hotter actually define the specific heat of a given volume of atmosphere. Small changes in pressure (density) can result in huge changes of specific heat with NO CHANGE IN TEMPERATURE.

    It is the very basis of how convection occurs and introduces an error into the system an order of magnitude larger than the results the warmists claim to be able to produce.

    If the error is larger than your “answer” in statistics, then you’re wrong no matter what you do.

  8. This fits well with my old post on this site which picked up a similar point about the Trenberth diagram.

    I indicated that there was no consideration of the kinetic energy released from potential energy as air descended down the lapse rate slope and that if that were included then the ‘need’ for a thermal effect at the surface from DWIR disappears.

    Michael is approaching the same issue from the hydrological point of view whereas I proposed that one needed to consider both the hydrological cycle AND the component attributable to adiabatic uplift and descent.

    Both the latent heat of evaporation AND the potential energy created during adiabatic uplift need to be taken together.

    • Thanks! Yes we appear to have convergent perspectives. It seems there is much useful information that could be applied from these common features of interest. I’m happy to collaborate sometime. I feel that I am still on a very steep learning curve.

    • Change in potential energy from change in elevation is due to gravity. It is already accounted for because the buoyant force of rising warm air and air pressure are also due to gravity. Air pressure is the weight of the air above a reference elevation. A change in elevation will change air pressure and also temperature (Gay-Lussac’s law). As for buoyant force, it is counter intuitive as it is in the opposite direction of gravity. But pressure acts in all directions including up. A warm parcel of air has lower density (and weight per unit volume) than surrounding air, thus creating a vertical force imbalance. This is the buoyant force.

      • As I understand it there is no potential temperature increase with height in a stable dry atmosphere ie. constant PT with height. That is to say the lapse rate in dry air is the gravitational lapse rate of 9.8ºC/km and if colder air from above if moved down adiabatically it will warm to the same temperature as its surroundings and vice versa, ie. every height is at the right temperature for its height and is in thermal equilibrium in a gravitational field.
        The radiative properties of water vapour shrink the thermal gradient up to the tropopause in a stable atmosphere which is always returned via turbulent mixing to the dry/gravitational lapse rate.
        So as latent heating of air above is a consequence of surface cooling by evaporation, the radiative warming of cooler air above is the result of radiative cooling from below. Both processes act to reduce the lapse rate which on mixing is returned to gravitational far away from the original surplus of solar energy.

      • Pablo, that seems right on for some part. However there is a moist adiabat as well. Also I’m not sure but you may have meant what I’m about to say. In any case, Without the need to invoke the greenhouse gas notion (not a theory in my view) turbulence and latent heat of condensation and evaporation can explain the convective process at a standard and practical level.

        It seems that the latent heat of condensation (from water vapor to cloud droplet) and the latent heat of fusion (from liquid cloud droplets to ice particles) (and also the latent head of sublimation) explain the LEDIV signals I feature in this post. Along vertical profiles, heat loss from water state changes occurs most intensively at the tropopause. That is identified widely by a shift in the dry adiabat (no moist adiabat because the air is now dehydrated) to the right, from decreasing temperature with height to no decrease, or even to an increase with height. Some attribute this inversion to ozone and leave out the latent heat. In fact, many do. I have written informally about that at an ozone related post which might be of interest at: http://www.abeqas.com/condensation-of-water-vapor-at-the-tropopause-and-effects-upon-temperature-and-ozone/

    • A simpler example is a hot air balloon. You heat the air inside and air density decreases. Air outside the balloon is denser and buoyant force pushes it up. You don’t need extra energy over and above the energy to heat the air to make the balloon go up. The heat energy supplied balances the increase in potential energy when the balloon goes up. When the energy balances, it stops rising. Energy is conserved.

  9. Figure 7 SSN curve looks amiss. With the real cycle maximum date for SC23 of around 2001, the WEP appears to have changed phase with respect to sunspot cycles since the 1990’s.

      • The solar wind strength changes phase with sunspot cycles because the solar toroidal and poloidal fields change phase. So it would indicate that the climatic response follows solar wind variability rather than sunspot number.

  10. I agree with your conclusion of Trenberth’s worthless energy diagram :)

    While I strongly favor a detailed look at the happenings during a 24 hr cycle.

    I have created some charts showing the effectivity of insolation, by Lat band, for the extratropics, it’s the slope in the changing rate of warming, and cooling based on day 2 day change in temp, plot it out by year.

    I think you would find it’s view over time interesting.
    https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/measuring-surface-climate-sensitivity/

      • If so would that not mean a trend to more humidity?

        Not in my estimation, it’s just the effects of asymmetrical water distribution over asymmetrical land masses.

        The same reason there’s a increase in temps from an El Nino, stored up warm water moves where all the evaporated water goes someplace else, and it fact looks to be a big warm belch, that is lost to space as it warms thing up.

        The ocean cycles IMO drives what Michael is discussing.

        And I’m not the only one.
        https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/daff/5e2b1ab9ad514bbf24bd57e310b51a63657b.pdf
        My bit applies to his mention of the evap/condense cycle, what I suggest is it compensates for excess warming with it’s thermo-regulation.

  11. I kept looking and looking for a cross-correlation analysis, or an R^2 value, or a p-value, or … well … any kind of a statistical analysis.

    Instead, all I found was a lot of waffle about things like a “strong graphically obvious correlation” and the “high correlations to the PDO for moisture and to the AMO for temperature” and about how things “appear to directly register a synchronous lagged solar correlation” … sorry, Michael (Wallace), but this is not impressive in the slightest. We invented statistics for a reason—to avoid your type of ‘but they look alike’ claims.

    Nor did I find anything about the effects of autocorrelation on statistical analysis … but then given that there’s no statistical analysis, I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising.

    w.

    • Will, I have left all of that out of this post for interests of focus, but if you will be patient, as I have been, the meal will eventually arrive in the form of a peer reviewed publication and my dissertation, both hopefully sooner rather than later.

      • Mike Wallace January 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        Will, I have left all of that out of this post for interests of focus, but if you will be patient, as I have been, the meal will eventually arrive in the form of a peer reviewed publication and my dissertation, both hopefully sooner rather than later.

        Ah, thanks … well, hopefully sooner.

        w.

    • The latent heat pulses throughout the planet in an apparently most primary way as the figures 13 and 14 show. It appears to represent more than enough energy to cover whatever can be plausibly imagined for Earth’s energy balance, regardless of how that is approached or sliced. But I’m still learning.

  12. Accordingly these observations pose a challenge to the Trenberth energy budget. In that reference, only 80 W/m2 are allocated for condensation or evaporation. Now it seems that the latent energies of the hydrosphere can account for much more than the tiny boxes assigned by Trenberth et al. and annotated by the green outline in Figure 11. Given the actual dominance featured here of the LEDIV energy allocation, perhaps the entire right third of the Trenberth budget figure, namely the tan arrows, could be simply discarded.

    For years, I’ve been pointing out on analytic grounds that the radiative exchange (depicted by opposed tan arrows in Figure 11) is misleading, since it is NET heat transfer that matters thermodynamically. This leaves moist convection of latent heat as the principal mechanism of heat transfer between surface and atmosphere. The presentation here provides additional empirical confirmation of that situation.

    • Thanks Pablo, that is interesting and seems very much in line. It seems again by yet another source that the global atmospheric energy accounting could be much more straightforward if the greenhouse gas notion were abandoned. I’m not an atmospheric physicist but I came to the parallel conclusion simply by working that accounting through the hydrologic data that I do practice. I added the handy fact that one can get better long term forecasts this way. Isn’t that what everyone really wants? Or do most prefer the “money laundering” approach to atmospheric energy accounting as blueprinted by Trenberth.

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