Ideal Gases

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Over at the Notrickszone, there’s much buzz over a new paper entitled Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity, by Robert Holmes. The Notrickszone article is headlined with the following quotation from the paper:

“In particular, formula 5 (and 6) as presented here, totally rules out any possibility that a 33°C greenhouse effect of the type proposed by the IPCC in their reports can exist in the real atmosphere.”

– Holmes, 2017

And here’s the abstract:

Abstract: It has always been complicated mathematically, to calculate the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with a thick atmosphere. Usually, the Stefan Boltzmann (S-B) black body law is used to provide the effective temperature, then debate arises about the size or relevance of additional factors, including the ‘greenhouse effect’. Presented here is a simple and reliable method of accurately calculating the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies which possess a surface atmospheric pressure of over 10kPa.

This method requires a gas constant and the knowledge of only three gas parameters; the average near-surface atmospheric pressure, the average near surface atmospheric density and the average mean molar mass of the near-surface atmosphere. The formula used is the molar version of the ideal gas law. It is here demonstrated that the information contained in just these three gas parameters alone is an extremely accurate predictor of atmospheric temperatures on planets with atmospheres >10kPa. This indicates that all information on the effective plus the residual near-surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with thick atmospheres, is automatically ‘baked-in’ to the three mentioned gas parameters.

Given this, it is shown that no one gas has an anomalous effect on atmospheric temperatures that is significantly more than any other gas. In short; there can be no 33°C ‘greenhouse effect’ on Earth, or any significant ‘greenhouse effect’ on any other planetary body with an atmosphere of >10kPa.

Instead, it is a postulate of this hypothesis that the residual temperature difference of 33°C between the S-B effective temperature and the measured near-surface temperature is actually caused by adiabatic auto-compression.

Dang … “adiabatic auto-compression” as a permanent energy source. Is it patented yet?

Please forgive my sarcasm, I just get tired of endless claims of endless energy … onwards. Here is a look at the various planetary atmospheres:

Planetary Atmospheres II.png

And finally, here is his math that leads to his mystery formula. From the paper:

Molar Mass Version of Ideal Gas Law Calculates

Planetary Surface Temperatures

The ideal gas law may be used to more accurately determine surface temperatures of planets with thick atmospheres than the S-B black body law [4], if a density term is added; and if kg/m³ is used for density instead of gms/m³, the volume term V may be dropped. This formula then may be known as the molar mass version of the ideal gas law. The ideal gas law is;

P V = n R T (1)

Convert to molar mass;

P V = m/M R T (2)

Convert to density;

PM / RT = m / V = ρ (3)

Drop the volume, find for density;

ρ = P / (R T / M) (4)

Find for temperature;

T = P / (R ρ/M) (5)

[VARIABLES]

V = volume

m = mass

n = number of moles

T = near-surface atmospheric temperature in Kelvin

P = near-surface atmospheric pressure in kPa

R = gas constant (m³, kPa, kelvin⁻¹, mol⁻¹) = 8.314

ρ = near-surface atmospheric density in kg/m³

M = near-surface atmospheric mean molar mass gm/mol⁻¹

Now, I agree with all of that. Well, other than the strange form of the last equation, Equation 5. I’d simplify it to

T =P M / (ρ R) (5)

But that’s just mathematical nitpicking. The underlying math is correct. That’s not the problem. The problem is where it goes from there. The author makes the following claim:

In short, the hypothesis being put forward here, is that in the case of Earth, solar insolation provides the ‘first’ 255 Kelvin – in accordance with the black body law [11]. Then adiabatic auto-compression provides the ‘other’ 33 Kelvin, to arrive at the known and measured average global temperature of 288 Kelvin. The ‘other’ 33 Kelvin cannot be provided by the greenhouse effect, because if it was, the molar mass version of the ideal gas law could not then work to accurately calculate planetary temperatures, as it clearly does here.

I’m sorry, but the author has not demonstrated what he claims.

All that Robert Holmes has shown is that the atmospheres of various planets obey, to a good approximation, the Ideal Gas Law.

… So what?

I mean that quite seriously. So what? In fact, it would be a huge shock if planetary atmospheres did NOT generally obey the Ideal Gas Law. After all, they’re gases, and it’s not just a good idea. It’s a Law …

But that says exactly NOTHING about the trajectory or the inputs that got those planetary atmospheres to their final condition. Whether the planet is warmed by the sun or by internal radioactivity or whether the warming is increased by GHGs is NOT determinable from the fact that the atmospheres obey the Ideal Gas Law. They will ALWAYS generally obey the Ideal Gas Law, no matter how they are heated.

And more to the point, this does NOT show that greenhouse gases don’t do anything, as he incorrectly claims in the above quote.

Look, we could start up ten million nuclear reactors and vent all their heat to the atmosphere. The planet would assuredly get warmer … but the atmosphere wouldn’t stop obeying the Ideal Gas Law. The variables of density and temperature and mean near-surface atmospheric molar mass would simply readjust to the new reality and the Ideal Gas Law would still be satisfied. You could still use his Equation 5 version of the Ideal Gas Law to calculate the temperature from the other variables, regardless of whether or not the atmosphere is heated by nuclear reactors.

So I’m sorry, but the underlying premise of this paper is wrong. Yes, planetary atmospheres generally obey the Ideal Gas Law, duh, why wouldn’t they … and no, that doesn’t mean that you can diagnose or rule out heating processes simply because the atmosphere obeys the Ideal Gas Law. They will always obey the law regardless of how they are heated, so you can’t rule out anything.

Best of another sunny day to everyone,

w.

MY USUAL POLITE REQUEST: When you comment, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT so we can all understand what you have an issue with.

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Another version of a sky dragon argument using the bicycle pump analogy. The ideal gas law PV=nrT does say that if you raise P you will raise T. Which will then cool, and all bicycle and bike pump owners know. But pumping to raise P in the fixed tire V requires work (energy input). “Adiabatic auto-compression” from gravity ‘work’ happened exactly once, as earth formed and contracted out of the solar accretion disk. Earth has had ~4.5 billion years to cool since. The paper conclusion is completely bogus.

peterg

I would have thought that the evaporation and precipitation of water effectively powers an atmospheric cycle in the troposphere which provides the work of auto-compression since the formation of the earth.

Sorry, late back—been quite a day. Phase state changes of water do indeed indirectly power climate. They provide convection and precipitation and regulate the water vapor feedback.
But they have nothing to do with BS “adiabatic autocompression” of the atmosphere by gravity.

michael hammer

Sorry Peterg but I cant quite agree with your comment. The atmosphere is in effect the working fluid of a heat engine converting thermal energy into mechanical work (wind, elevating water to levels above sea level etc). The main feature of a heat engine is that it cannot be 100% efficient (second law of thermodynamics – entropy always increases). This means that in addition to energy injection at the hot junction there must be energy dissipated at the cold junction which in this case is the tropopause or lower stratosphere. No energy loss at the cold junction – no heat engine and no work output which in this case means no wind and no water elevated to higher altitude by evaporation and rainfall. The only way the atmosphere can lose energy at this altitude is by radiation to space but the only components of the atmosphere that can radiate energy at these temperatures (thermal infrared) are the greenhouse gases. That is after all exactly the definition of a greenhouse gas – one which can radiate energy in the thermal infrared range of wavelengths (or if you prefer a gas with an emissivity significantly greater than zero at these wavelengths). Without GHG’s the upper atmosphere could not cool and convection would cease. The atmospheric cycle is driven by energy input at the surface (from sunlight absorbed by Earths surface and from there coupled to the atmosphere) plus energy loss at the tropopause to space by green house gases. Without those nasty GHG’s there would be no weather, no lapse rate, no on going water evaporation, no clouds. Just a clear blue static sky all at uniform temperature. Oh and by the way, without clouds, earth’s albedo would be very low so the surface would not be absorbing 240 watts/sqM but more like 340 watts/sqM which would give it an SB temperature of about +5C (278K)

Philip Mulholland

there must be energy dissipated at the cold junction which in this case is the tropopause or lower stratosphere.

Michael Hammer
I agree, except there is clearly more than one cold junction in the Earth’s planetary atmosphere.
We know from the studies of thermal radiation that there is an atmospheric thermal emission window in the infrared spectrum.
It is this window that allows for the unimpeded thermal emission from the solid ground directly out to space. We see this process working most obviously at night when in winter, on still air cloudless nights, ground frost forms first while the air above remains warmer than 0C and a thermal inversion layer is created.
It is this same process of night time direct cooling of the ground that leads to the formation of the coastal land breeze, the night time flow of radiatively cooled air from the land to the sea.
It is also this process of direct cooling of the ice surface in winter that leads to the flow of radiatively cooled air from polar continental ice caps down to the ocean as the katabatic wind, the cold air drainage from the ice cap of the ultimate land breeze.
While we can discuss whether the radiative cooling to space of air lifted to the tropopause governs the structure of the Hadley Cell, in particular its latitudinal reach (it does not, the latitudinal reach of the Hadley Cell is determined by the rotational speed of a planet) it is the process of direct thermal emission ground surface cooling that determines the structure of the Polar Cell, particularly if the polar cell is built around a high elevation ice cap, such as Antarctica.

Michael H,
I agree with a lot of that. But it isn’t true that without GHGs the atmosphere would be still. As Donald K notes below, and Philip M above too, there are still horizontal temperature gradients that can power a heat engine. And energy from that heat engine also powers the heat pump (described here) that creates and maintains the lapse rate.

Michael Hammer: “Without those nasty GHG’s there would be no weather, no lapse rate, no on going water evaporation, no clouds. Just a clear blue static sky all at uniform temperature.”
Stephen Wilde, 2/7 @ 4:06: “If one starts with a GHG free atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium then the downward force of gravity is on average exactly offset by the upward pressure gradient force caused by surface heating via conduction and convection. That balance must apply at every height for an atmosphere to be retained.”
Earths’s surface pressure =14.7 pounds/ square inch = 2117 pounds/ square foot = about 19,000 pounds/square yard.
It would be impossible for the sky to have uniform temperature without greenhouse gases, as MH says. It simply makes no sense. It would mean that the pressure at each level of the atmosphere makes no difference whatsoever, so that the surface temp under 19,000 pounds/square yard, receiving energy from the sun as well as from the surface heating, would be exactly the same as the temp under 500 pounds/square yard pressure much higher up. Please explain how this can be.

Michael Hammer: Without GHGs, “Just a clear blue static sky all at uniform temperature.”
How does that work? If we have a molecule of, say, O2 at the surface pressure of 14.7 pounds/square inch and it has a temp of 255K (we’ll say for the sake of argument) then when it gets at the top of the atmosphere where the pressure is much, much less (we all agree on the pressure gradient, at least) and it therefore becomes a relatively lonely molecule, by what mechanism does this molecule maintain its 255K within the surrounding space that is much, much colder?

RWturner

The only way the atmosphere can lose energy at this altitude is by radiation to space but the only components of the atmosphere that can radiate energy at these temperatures (thermal infrared) are the greenhouse gases.

It’s time to squanch that ludicrous idea that has somehow started to circulate. All things radiate, including non greenhouse gases. I think the people that so desperately want to dismiss adiabatic auto compression as something that doesn’t exist have done a swell job so far in demonstrating that nature can’t work without it.

michael hammer

Wow its hard to follow the timeline of comments in wordpress. Everything seems to get jumbled up together however to comment on the replies to my comment.
A number of people consider the absence of a lapse rate unacceptable, as far as I can tell because thre ascending air would be expanding and thus cooling. That would be true if the air was ascending but without convection it would not be. It would be static. The pressure gradient would simply be a reflection of the weight of the air column above any point within the atmosphere. Once the air reaches the same temperature as the surface there is no net heat transfer from surface to air so we have a static atmosphere with no heat transfer in or our. No heating of the air near the surface so no increase in temperature driving convection. The lapse rate arises because of convection and cooling from above but if there is no cooling from above and no convection then the lapse rate does not need to occur.
Someone commented that my argument is wrong because all things emit infrared energy. I am sorry your experiences mislead you. Virtually all solids do have a significant emissivity in the infrared but the gases oxygen and nitrogen do not. If you want to argue pedantically that the emissivity is not exactly 0.000 fine, maybe it’s 0.001 but from a practical point of view that might as well be zero. Nitrogen and oxygen neither absorb nor emit thermal infrared energy to any significant extent.
Nick Stokes and at least one other (Sailboard?) comment that the earth’s surface could be both the hot junction and the cold junction either separated temporally (day vs night) or spatially (equator vs poles). Yes that would be possible but there is a practical problem in terms of that driving a heat engine. Cold air is denser than hot air so the cold air would form an insulating layer over the surface (ie: it would form a temperature inversion). Since air is a very poor conductor of heat the amount of cooling of the air above would be minimal and the air above would not descend since by definition it would have to be hotter than the air below if it was to cool – pass energy to the surface). Technically the argument is valid but practically I suspect the impact would be trivial.
Consider the stratosphere, this is a large layer of static atmosphere where there is no convection. The temperature gradient is positive (rising with altitude) simply because it is heated from above due to absorption of UV energy from the sun by oxygen and ozone. In fact that would still occur because oxygen DOES have a significant absorptivity for UV energy. As some have stated in the comments what would happen would the stratosphere would extend down more or less to the surface with a positive temperature gradient all the way (temperature rising with altitude) . There would not be clouds because for clouds to form the water vapour has to condense and this releases large amounts of energy. There is nowhere for that energy to go it would heat the surrounding air which would make it too hot for the water vapour to condense in the first place .

Philip Mulholland

That would be true if the air was ascending but without convection it would not be. It would be static. The pressure gradient would simply be a reflection of the weight of the air column above any point within the atmosphere. Once the air reaches the same temperature as the surface there is no net heat transfer from surface to air so we have a static atmosphere with no heat transfer in or our (?out).

Michael
Atmospheric convection by surface heating is not the only mechanism by which air can be made to move. Surface cooling by direct thermal radiation to space is just as important as this surface radiative cooling also maintains a thermal lapse rate in the atmosphere above.
Have a look at Fig 1. in this paper by Pan, W et al. 2002 The temperature structure of the winter atmosphere at South Pole it demonstrates the presence of a winter tropopause at an elevation of 8km at the South Pole. The vertical temperature profile in May and June clearly shows that, above the surface inversion layer associated with the radiative cooling of the ice surface, there is a fall in temperature as height increases, a standard feature of a troposphere, namely a vertical lapse rate.
Even more interesting are the profiles for deep winter when the fall in temperature with height extends right up through the stratosphere.
Let us suppose we fired a rocket vertically into space from the South Pole. At what height above the icecap would the rocket pass from the night shadow of the Earth and out into sunlight?
This question can be solved using simple Pythagoras right angle triangle geometry:-
Earth’s Polar Radius 6356.752 Km
South Pole Icecap Elevation 2.835 Km
Antarctic Circle Degrees 66°33′47.0″ South
Antarctic Circle (Decimal) 66.563056 South
Sine of Antarctic Circle 0.9175
Sine Angle = Opposite/Hypotenuse
Hypotenuse = Sine Antarctic Circle/Polar Radius = 6928.352 Km
Height of Shadow Zone = Hypotenuse – (Polar Radius + South Pole Elevation) = 568 Km
The answer is that the rocket would have to climb to an elevation of 568 km above Antarctica before it became sunlit. The formal definition for the edge of Earth’s atmosphere is the Kármán line and this is at a vertical height of 100 km, so it is clear that in mid-winter no part of the atmosphere above the South Pole can be lit by the sun. So we can be absolutely certain that the atmosphere at the South Pole in mid-winter is in a state of continuous darkness.
Clearly the idea that the temperature profile in the Earth’s troposphere is maintained by direct solar thermal radiation is in trouble when we look at the temperature profile data for the South Pole in mid-winter as the atmospheric profile has a vertical lapse rate.
So what is going on? Well descending air heats by adiabatic auto-compression and so, as the stratospheric air descends in the polar vortex over the South Pole driven by the surface pressure reduction caused by the mechanism of direct to space ground surface radiative cooling of the ice and the associated lateral down slope advection (export) of this cold air via the density current drainage of the katabatic wind, a vigorous circulating mass transport of surface wind is created across the ice cap of Antarctica, from which wind energy can clearly be extracted.

Philip Mulholland

Opps! Typo here:-
Hypotenuse = Sine Antarctic Circle/Polar Radius
Hypotenuse = Polar Radius/Sine of Antarctic Circle
but the km number I used is correct …
(no wonder I failed A level maths :-0 )

RPT

I am personally extremely thankfull for the Sky Dragon guys!
I read the Nikolov et al paper several years ago, they had me fooled for about 3.7 seconds, then I concluded that it was really true that the “Climate Deniers” were all nuts, but soon, after having mostly been doing economics for a very long time, it led me back to my books from university on heat transfer, fluid mechanics and atmospheric physics to the point that I really appreciated and understood in a broader context my graduate thesis using Navier Stokes to investigate the Zeldovich equation for the reaction kinetics of nitrogen oxide.
And I found sources like Antony Watts’ and Judith Currie’s internet sites that amply proves that critics of the current political truths of global warming are all but nuts!

Grant

Political truth’s. Doesn’t exist.

RWturner

Ever heard of gravity?

RWturner

Ah so once air is convected into the upper atmosphere it has no gravitational potential energy. Interesting version of “physics.”

MarkW

AIr that is moving up cools, air that is falling heats.
Net affect? None.

RWturner

Yeah, if the source of the energy is the air itself. It’s not, the source of the energy IS the sun. Adiabatic auto compression is merely retention of this energy in the atmosphere. What percent of the energy is fed back to the surface from the solar lifted air? That’s probably something being worked on and would probably already be figured out if the GHG fixation weren’t in place.

“AIr that is moving up cools, air that is falling heats.
Net affect? None.”

No. Suppose you move the same air, first up then down. Going up it cools, is denser, and you have to do work to raise it. But in rising and on arrival, it is absorbing heat from the environment.
When it goes down, it warms. That means that you have to do work to force it down. And as it gets there, it gives heat to the environment.
Nett result – a heat pump. You have done work and forced heat downward against a gradient.
That is assuming the temperature gradient is below the DALR. Otherwise, air rising cools, but ambient cools faster. The air accelerates, etc. The pump becomes an engine. That is why the DALR is a stability limit.
And the fact that the heat pump pumps heat downward forces the gradient up toward the DALR limit. That’s why we have a lapse rate.

Tsk Tsk

“Going up it cools, is denser, and you have to do work to raise it. But in rising and on arrival, it is absorbing heat from the environment.

And the fact that the heat pump pumps heat downward forces the gradient up toward the DALR limit. That’s why we have a lapse rate.”
This is funny. Remind me what the ‘A’ stands for in DALR again… Now reconcile that with “…it is absorbing heat from the environment.”
As the packet rises (due to lower density) it performs PV work on the surrounding atmosphere. Since this is an adiabatic process there is no heat transfer, so the only source of energy for that work is the internal energy of the parcel of air. Lowering U lowers its state variable T leading to a cooler packet of air. The opposite happens as the now denser packet falls. PV work is done on the packet increasing it’s internal energy/temperature. And since this whole process is adiabatic the trip itself does nothing to the energy balance of the atmosphere. It’s purely the inputs/outputs that change that and not some mythical heat pump pumping energy from space down to the ground.

“And since this whole process is adiabatic”
It actually isn’t. Adiabatic is a useful approximation for rapid rise. It isn’t an edict about the facts. But there is no way that the air can rise and just stay there at the same temperature. It does come to the temperature of ambient.
It’s actually similar to the reversible/irreversible components of the Carnot engine. That is a thought experiment, and you can separate the phases cleanly. In the real world you can’t, but heat engines still work.

Gerald Machnee

RE Nick
**“And since this whole process is adiabatic”
It actually isn’t. Adiabatic is a useful approximation for rapid rise. It isn’t an edict about the facts. But there is no way that the air can rise and just stay there at the same temperature. It does come to the temperature of ambient.**
A parcel of air does not stay at the same temperature. Only the energy content is the same. That is why the temperature rises as it descends into higher pressure and gets compressed. When the parcel rises it expands in lower pressure and cools but the energy in that parcel remains the same if it is dry. Adiabatic is more than a useful approximation. Other than forced lift air rises and falls due to differences in density. There is no loss or gain in energy in a DRY parcel going up or down. In the real atmosphere mixing with surrounding air causes changes in the parcel. In moist air evaporation and condensation cause changes.

michael hammer

Nick Stokes and other, please see my comment above in reply to PeterG.

Gilgamesh611

I think a perfect example of rising and falling air in the real climate can be felt and witnessed with perfect clarity on the island of Hawaii. High rain fall on the Hilo side from high moisture wind driven air, dry arid windy conditions on the Kona side after the volcanoes help squeeze all the moisture out.
Perhaps my observations are crap…I’ve only visited the island once.

Tsk Tsk

“It’s actually similar to the reversible/irreversible components of the Carnot engine. That is a thought experiment, and you can separate the phases cleanly. In the real world you can’t, but heat engines still work.”
Heat engines do indeed work (and the real world is closer to adiabatic transitions than isentropic as in the ideal Carnot cycle), but your explanation was simply wrong. Somehow you seem to think that something other than buoyancy driven by density changes is driving this process, i.e. the parcel must overshoot its equilibrium location in the column and remain there so it can be colder than the surrounding air and steal heat. I can’t help you with that mistake. Thermal conduction to the surrounding column is poor and the location of the parcel in the column is dictated by its density which in turn is dictated by its temperature just like all of the surrounding air. Adiabatic is a very good approximation. Claiming that it’s not highly non-adiabatic (or a close approximation) while using the name is just bizarre.

Tsk Tsk

Correction: Claiming that it IS highly non-adiabatic while calling it adiabatic is bizarre.

“Claiming that it IS highly non-adiabatic while calling it adiabatic is bizarre.”
Who did that? I didn’t even call it adiabatic. You introduced the term, drawing attention to the A in adiabatic. The fact that there is a theoretical DALR is not a claim that any particular flow is adiabatic.
In fact, it is just a function of time and length scales, as expressed by the Rayleigh number. In a large mass of air rising rapidly, PV work is happening a lot faster than heat can move in or out. When the rate of rise slows, or the air parcel breaks up (reducing the length scale), the balance changes, and any heat gained by compression or expansion is mixed into the environment.
It’s like that bike pump that gets talked about. If you pump vigorously it gets warm, as does the air in the tyre. Adiabatic heating. But it doesn’t stay warm forever.

usurbrain

@Nick Stokes
“Going up it cools, is denser, and you have to do work to raise it. ”
However the column of air starting at one square meter will be significantly greater at 50 KM, 100 KM, 200 KM etc. Fifty years since I got my degree in math and don’t even want to try to figure the difference in the number of molecules of “atmosphere” at each level.

The government maintains a fairly large committee on “the Standard Atmosphere”. The Essenhigh papers confirm the dry atmosphere standard atmosphere model, and extends it to include water vapor. Both use the gas law and molar mass in the equations and confirm that the atmosphere’s temperature, pressure, and density are primarily governed by the basic physics. Essenhigh confirms that the effects of radiative gases, CO2 at 20% of the radiative effects and H2O 80%. CO2 has small effect on the atmospheric temperature, but the model is sufficiently accurate to make calculations of the effects due to additional CO2.
But, as Eschenbach and others have shown, water vapor has huge effects on atmospheric circulation and acts as a regulator of the temperature.

….. and H2O 80%. CO2 has small effect on the atmospheric temperature, but the model is sufficiently accurate to make calculations of the effects due to additional CO2.
But, as Eschenbach and others have shown, water vapor has huge effects on atmospheric circulation and acts as a regulator of the temperature.

What people have a hard time understanding is that 80% is the regulated amount, not the limit of what it is able to regulate. This is how it counters the increase in CO2, the WV curves, are all defined by pressure and air temp of dry air, and the effect that slows cooling only happens after it’s cooled significantly, not before. So what happens when the dry air is a little warmer in the afternoon from co2, it just cools longer before the PV curve for that amount of water vapor has to increase the % of the WV cloud water molecules condense, even if they absorb a photon, and re-evaporate, that photon was lighting up the water vapor cloud in these wavelengths, and over laps co2, like shining a red flashlight on something red in the dark. This energy supplements losses from the surface which are driving lower temperatures, driving WV to condense, it’s just more energy is released that it takes to cool that molecule that same amount if it didn’t have to condense to cool.
The point, you can’t add these together and read a trend.

joelobryan

Philo,
The 80/20 WV/CO2 ratio (4) is off by a factor of about 3. The ratio is more like WV/CO2 at 12-15.

Philip Mulholland

What people have a hard time understanding is that 80% is the regulated amount, not the limit of what it is able to regulate. This is how it counters the increase in CO2,

Isn’t that the point Ferenc Miskolczi was making in his paper when he states that Earth has a controlled greenhouse effect?

Figure 13 shows that the Earth has a controlled greenhouse effect with a stable global average. As long as the F0 + P0 flux term is constant and the system is in radiative balance with a global average radiative equilibrium source function profile, global warming looks impossible. The system is locked to the optical depth because of the energy minimum principle prefers the radiative equilibrium configuration. The problem for example with the highly publicized simple ‘bucket analogy’ of greenhouse effect is the ignorance of the energy minimum principle.

Miskolczi, F. M. 2007 Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres IDŐJÁRÁS Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service Vol. 111, No. 1, January–March 2007, pp. 1–40.

I haven’t read this, but will.
But I have found other suggest such a mechanism simular to what I found.
I in general presume they are likely talking about the same effect.

HotScot

ristvan
In other scientific words, what you’re saying is, on yer bike mate.
Brit term for ‘get stuffed’. 🤣

Yup. You got it. Gives skeptics the abonimable color of deniers.
Regards from the other side of the pond.

9.8m/s²
Not once, 9.8m per second worth of force. Or 9.8Newton per meter each second.
96N/m², or 96Pa

Alan D McIntire

You got that right! I remember years ago reading a paleontology article stating that the x% warmer Carboniferous Period was brought about by an atmosphere 10% more dense than our current atmosphere. I immediately wanted to check what percentage in warming was brought about by a y % increase in atmospheric pressure. I got the PV = nrT formula, and realized that the problem was insoluble because I had one equation with two unknowns.
Years ago, a sky dragon posted on this site- I asked the question in all seriousness, “given an atmospheric density 20% greater than Earth at the distance of Mars- what temperature do you get?” , and naturally didn’t get a straight answer.

gbaikie

–Years ago, a sky dragon posted on this site- I asked the question in all seriousness, “given an atmospheric density 20% greater than Earth at the distance of Mars- what temperature do you get?” , and naturally didn’t get a straight answer.–
Well, Earth at Mars distance, would probably have 20% greater density then Earth at Earth distance from the sun
Or sea level air should be colder, and therefore more dense.
Or air mass of air is about 1.2 kg per cubic meters at about 20 C.
120% of 1.2 is 1.44 kg per cubic meter.
Chart for air density at temperature, hmm. Here:
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html
looks like 1.5 kg per cubic meter is about -50 C
Oh, here:
at 70 F air at 1 atm pressure: 1.199 kg per cubic meter
and at -20 F at 1 atm: 1.445 kg per cubic meters
[-50 F at atm: 1.551 kg per cubic meter and 0 F is 1.382 kg per cubic meter]
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-density-specific-weight-d_600.html
So depending on temperature, here at earth distance from the Sun, we have higher density
when it’s colder, though average air temperature is about 15 C [59 F]. And chart says 60 F
is 1.222 kg per cubic meter – 20% increase of that is 1.4664 kg per cubic meter.
So Earth would have to have an average temperature of about -20 C or less to have average air density 20% greater than Earth at Earth distance from the sun.
Now if Earth was at mars distance, would obviously would be colder than at earth distance.
And it seems to me, it would have average temperature of less than -20 F [-28.89 C].
Roughly I would say the tropics could be fairly warm. Or currently our tropics have average temperature of about 26 C. And at Mars distance, our tropics might be near 0 C in terms of average temperature.
Earth’s average ocean surface temperature is presently at about 17 C. And at Mars distance most of Earth’s oceans would be frozen and have average temperature well below freezing.
We currently have an average land surface air temperature of 10 C, and it’s being warmed by having the higher ocean temperature. At mars distance the Earth’s ocean would not doing much to warm the land surfaces. Nor would fairly cold tropical ocean be doing much to warm the rest of the world. Roughly it seems quite possible that Earth’s polar region might colder than Planet Mars polar region. And seems possible that in addition to freezing water, in polar regions, one could CO2 could freeze out of the atmosphere.
Or if believe CO2 causes warming, one might get less CO2 in the atmosphere, but I don’t think much would freeze out, nor that CO2 causes much warming.

gbaikie

Btw, I think if Earth had 20% more atmosphere, I think Earth would have a more uniform temperature. Earth’s average land surface would be become warmer than 10 C. And though not much warmer, and one would have a higher air density at sea level.

Alan D McIntire

Mars is 1.524 au from the sun. Temperature is inversely proportional to distance ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL- which it isn’t. SQRT of 1.1.524 is 0.81 times earth temperature, but that assumes the same amount of cloud cover as at earth, which wouldn’t happen unless it had the same temperature as an earth 1 au away.
We get an average of 324 watts from the sun now, about 30% of which is reflected away by clouds. Adding in latent heat, our current atmosphere increases that surface wattage by a factor of about 1.51 to 490 watts at the surface. That would give us a temperature of (490/390.7)^0.25 *288 K =304.8 K if it all went into sensible heat. For Mars, multiply by 0.81 to get 246.9 K.
About 30% of the 324 watts we get from the sun is reflected away. Multiply that 246.9 K by (1/.7))^.25 and I get close to 270 K. Our current atmosphere has a net magnifying effect of 490/324 watts =1.51 after factoring that negative cloud feedback. What additional effect would a 1.2 atmosphere have? If it was
1.2 times that current 1.51, we’d get an additional 1.2^0.25 times 270 K= 282 K, warm enough for liquid oceans. Of course, in my comps, no heat was going into evaporation or convection, so the actual planet would be somewhat cooler than that, and have a lot drier climate than earth.

It’s probably higher than 30%, I don’t think enough credit is given to glare off water, water near the terminators lines will be reflectors, and the surface will be radiating to a very cold sky as well.

” “Adiabatic auto-compression” from gravity ‘work’ happened exactly once, as earth formed and contracted out of the solar accretion disk.”
Seriously? One-off gravity? Nah, gravity still works, and is still doing the “work” of accelerating the massive sub atomic particles that make up the molecules in the air towards the center of the earth; thereby compressing them.
Gravity is not you and your bicycle pump. It does not quit to allow the molecules to separate and cool.
Radiative and adiabatic effects are BOTH real, and they are integrated through pressure broadening. Atmospheres follow both the Boltzmann curve AND the ideal gas law. The information is so entangled that you can stand back and say the properties of atmospheres can be accounted for by pressure alone or radiation alone; but you are really just describing the combined effects of both.

@ristvan,
What you describe with your bicycle tire is the heat death of the planet. Entropy complete, equilibrium complete, no further work can be extracted; cold, smooth.
We don’t live on that planet. We are lumpy, warm, work can still be extracted from many disequilibria, and entropy is nowhere near done with us.

angiosperm

“The information is so entangled that you can stand back and say the properties of atmospheres can be accounted for by pressure alone or radiation alone; but you are really just describing the combined effects of both.”
In the sentiment of the never to be forgotten post from a Real Climate groupie many years ago.
gymnosperm, I love you, can I have your babies?

Oh crap, Willis…here it comes.

Latitude

What??….don’t tell me you have a Tesla heading right at your house??

RPT

Rerouted from space!

Bryan A

I thought that was Musks new preferred delivery method

schitzree

Hopefully his landing method for delivery is improving
https://youtu.be/JMOGh4ZZca8

joelobryan

The core Falcon 9 of the FH stack was by far the more expensive piece of hardware than the 2 boosters. Looks like high winds were outside limits and forced the stabilization system beyond controllability limits. Good thing it was a drone ship.

Interesting. The Falcon 9, in spite of the subsequent failure, looked like it might have made a successful landing on a larger landing target. It appeared to have the correct vertical landing attitude. It is hard to judge the downward velocity at platform level but it did seem to hover there a bit. Dunno.

Gordon Dressler

This video dispels a lot of false information previously circulating on the Internet and even “reliable” news sources about the failure of the F9-H center core landing . . . many had stated that the core had a “failure to ignite” of one or more main engines intended to provide deceleration thrust and that the core stage hit the water at 300 mph. Obviously, false.

The video is from 2015. Not of the recent center core Falcon 9 crash.

Thanks for allowing the debate– I presume without censorship of civilized comments that disagree with what here appears to be the consensus view?
Before we start saying how all those people who disagree with Willis don’t understand physics, remember that that is EXACTLY what the alarmists say about the skeptics.

David A Smith

The only remaining option is to take the higher ground and disagree with everyone.

jorgekafkazar

“The only remaining option is to take the higher ground and disagree with everyone.”–David
OK, David, I disagree. 🙂
/sarc

I though the Great Sky Dragon had been banned from these precincts?
In any case, I shall let others take up their shield and their sword to slay it today. Too much to do, too little time to post a basic physics lesson.

Adding a greenhouse gas to an atmosphere raises the tropopause. The height of the tropopause is determined by the radiation equilibrium surface temperature, the radiation equilibrium temperature at the radiation-effective top of the atmosphere, and the lapse rate.
Dr. Roy Spencer, a skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming, says the greenhouse effect exists and causes the lapse rate. Without greenhouse gases, there would be no weather.
Without greenhouse gases, the tropopause would be vanishingly low and the troposphere would be vanishingly thin, and essentially all of the atmosphere would be a stratosphere of uniform temperature.

A. Scott

Without greenhouse gases and the effects thereof … there would not be us … life …

joelobryan

But water vapor in the troposphere is the dominant GHG providing the GHE. Not CO2 at variable trace quantities.
And it is water vapor across the vast majority of the globe that minimizes diurnal temperature swings and moderates the air temps. At the South Pole surface, at an altitude of 10,000 MSL on the very cold icepack, the GHE of pCO2 reverses sign.
How increasing CO2 leads to an increased negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066749/full

What if the greenhouse effect of water vapor is real, and the pressure effect of the atmosphere is also real?

Gabro

Don,
IMO that is the case.
Temperature is basically set by air pressure, but water vapor and clouds can and do retard loss of heat from the surface.

Adding a greenhouse gas to an atmosphere raises the tropopause.

Maybe, but don’t forget only part of the spectrum is even affected, and some of the other parts are clear or have nothing but water lines, so when it’s not real humid those by pass co2 entirely to space.

MarkW

How much exactly does 0.04% of the atmosphere raise the troposphere?

It varies over the world, as ratio of CO2 to H2O varies, as clouds vary, and with latitude and season because incoming radiation varies. I have yet to see a good one-size-fits-all or global average figure for how much of the greenhouse gas effect is from CO2.
For a better answer, I can say how much the tropopause height will increase from a doubling of CO2, with assumption of 3.7 W/m^2 per 2xCO2 (which includes increase both from increase of CO2, and from the altitude range that emits downwelling radiation getting warmer from more CO2 but no other feedbacks), and the climate sensitivity being the zero-feedback (other than the positive one I mentioned) figure of .3 degree C per W/m^2, for 1.1 degrees C of warming. And I will assume the stratosphere’s temperature does not change (It has actually cooled during MSU/AMSU satellite observations). The tropospheric lapse rate generally averages about 6.5 degrees C per kilometer. If my assumptions are good, this means doubling CO2 and the 1.1 degree C surface temperature increase from that will raise the tropopause about 170 meters.

gbaikie

” If my assumptions are good, this means doubling CO2 and the 1.1 degree C surface temperature increase from that will raise the tropopause about 170 meters.”
Hmm, and how much does the 3-4% of water vapor [30.000 to 40,000 ppm] in the tropics raise the tropopause?
And another question does night cause troposphere to fall- or 10 C drop in temperature due to night also cause falling.
I seems that the 10 tons per square meter of sky falling could cause some heat.
Also when water vapor disappears when it condenses into a cloud, it is also similar to the sky falling..

How far does the top of the troposphere drop at night?
At least a few hundred feet.
And what I’m explaining doesn’t have any clouds, I’m doing astrophotography, that’s why I noticed it not cooling while it was still clear, and feels a lot colder than air temp did.
Lot of energy just there.

gbaikie

–How far does the top of the troposphere drop at night?
At least a few hundred feet.–
170 meters could be said to be at least a few hundred feet
And at night, it can cool a few degrees at least
–And what I’m explaining doesn’t have any clouds, I’m doing astrophotography, that’s why I noticed it not cooling while it was still clear, and feels a lot colder than air temp did.–
What? What do you mean, “…not cooling while it was still clear,”
?
It’s clear here [about 48 F] and probably get close to freezing- later on, say maybe around
1 degree lower per hour.
–Lot of energy just there.–
Yes. Even very cold air has lots energy in miles of colder air above it.

You need to measure it, might average 1°/hr, probably not a constant rate.comment image

gbaikie

oh, read your post lower down.
So…
I would say it is due to latent heat [of water vapor].
Or with dry air, one wouldn’t have it as much.

peterg

If the atmosphere was transparent to both shortwave and longwave radiation, and the surface of the earth had the same reflectivity to short-wave radiation as it currently does with clouds and all, then the surface of the earth would be somewhere at the current temperature of the upper troposphere. However even though the atmosphere would be quite stable, its temperature lapse rate would still be the dry adiabatic lapse rate because of the movement of molecules due to temperature causing compression as they wander down and expansion as they wander up.

Air molecules changing temperature as they wander upward or downward into altitudes that have different pressure? Where is a downward-diffusing air molecule going to get its increase of energy from for that temperature increase?
Also, if an object such as a mass of air can become non-uniform in temperature from mere thermal agitation, this means thermal agitation causing a source of usable energy (a temperature difference), and I don’t buy that. And if an air mass of uniform temperature should become non-uniform in temperature without a net gain or loss of kinetic energy of its molecules, then its entropy would decrease. Again, I don’t buy that.

Without greenhouse gases, there would be no weather.”
Thats almost funny, it is so wrong.

gbaikie

If water was not becoming water vapor (then becoming liquid [or ice]) there would less weather,
and no rainy or snowy weather.

Richard M

I agree with your description except for one thing. The atmosphere would not be a uniform temperature. There would still be a lapse rate. Essentially you would have uniform energy which would include potential energy. The kinetic energy would be higher near the surface.

Without convection, heat conduction will make the temperature of the atmosphere uniform more than molecules gaining/losing potential energy as a result of losing/gaining altitude will make the lower atmosphere warmer and the upper atmosphere colder. Consider that the stratosphere, which has about or a little over 25% of the mass of Earth’s atmosphere, has a general lack of a trend of getting colder with increasing altitude.
If molecule motion alone (or in combination with nothing else except gravity) can cause a temperature gradient, then one can make a perpetual motion machine powered by a thermocouple. If this can be built, even on paper, then what would lose energy on a continuous basis from this being built?

tty

Actually there would be some convection even without GHG. Some heat would be transferred from the ground by conduction, and N2 isn’t quite transparent to LWIR. But yes, it would be weak.
But then it is very unlikely that any planet could have an appreciable atmosphere without GHG.

How would the ground transfer heat to the atmosphere if the ground is not warmer than the atmosphere? Without greenhouse gases and convection, the atmosphere’s temperature and the ground’s temperature would be the same.
Actually, I have thought about this, and there is a way for there to be convection and a lapse rate without greenhouse gases, and that’s convection forced by a horizontal temperature gradient. On a planet with a GHG-free atmosphere, its atmosphere will be warmed by the surface at the planet’s equator and cooled by the surface at the planet’s poles. In that situation, I envision a thin troposphere layer flowing equatorward along the surface from the poles to the equator, and above that a stratosphere whose polar regions are cooled by conduction to the surface and which descend while being cooled, and once that air starts going equatorward because it can’t descend any more, it changes from being part of the stratosphere to part of the troposphere. And at the equator, rising tropospheric air is cooled as it rises, but has to get heat by heat conduction from below as it rises, and once it starts going poleward instead of rising more, it becomes stratosphere. I expect a lapse rate in such a troposphere, but I also expect the tropopause on such a GHG-free planet to be low, as well as lower towards the poles than towards the equator. And maybe the tropopause being split in the tropics, between a lower tropopause between the equatorward-moving (lowest) and poleward-moving layers of the atmosphere, and an upper tropopause above where rising air over the equator starts moving poleward, although only a fraction as high above the ground as the Earth has now if Earth were instead a dry rocky planet whose atmosphere lacked GHGs.

Donald L Klipstein said:
” On a planet with a GHG-free atmosphere, its atmosphere will be warmed by the surface at the planet’s equator and cooled by the surface at the planet’s poles. In that situation, I envision a thin troposphere layer flowing equatorward along the surface from the poles to the equator”
Your description is exactly why Dr Spencer as someone quoted above is so wrong. To someone standing on that planet, there would be huge winds, of a varying nature as the planet goes from night to day, and random changes driven by dust clouds. That person would say that there is “weather” on the planet,

Ian W

The ‘tropo’ ‘pause’ is where movement (tropo) caused by convection stops (pause). Convection in the earth’s atmosphere is largely driven by the hydrologic cycle. Water vapor molecules (lighter than Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules) and warm from the water heated by short wave solar energy, evaporates from the Earth’s surface rises convectively removing latent heat of evaporation from the surface and then ‘releasing’ the energy at height on condensation and again on freezing. The cold rain returning to the surface to cool it further [really WIllis should remember this he revisited it not too many posts ago!]. CO2 as a ‘well mixed gas’ will not drive convection, does not carry latent heat and therefore has little or no effect on convective currents (the tropo) in the lower atmosphere – the tropo sphere. Indeed, if it is claimed that CO2 by absorbing infrared photons and then giving the energy to Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules in collisions heats the atmosphere then CO2 will actually reduce convection lowering the tropopause.

Gabro

Correct. At the temperatures of earth’s air, CO2 is not a condensing gas.

joelobryan

The suggestion that the average Convection frequently busts through the Tropopause and into the stratosphere. Cumulonimbus storm cloud tops can routinely exceed 35,000 feet to almost 50’000 in the big ones.
Thus, the tropopuase is not define by convection, but by a temperature profile.

RW

I’m trying to follow you here. Wouldn’t anything that warms air in the troposphere cause that air to rise and isn’t that literally convection and wouldn’t that, therefore, raise the tropopause because any warmer than usual blob of air by definition should climb higher than usual?

Ian W: Greenhouse gases heat the N2 and O2 where greenhouse gases absorb more radiation than they emit (such as in the lower and middle troposphere). Greenhouse gases cool N2 and O2 where greenhouse gases emit more radiation than they absorb (such as around the tropopause). This is true of both CO2 and water vapor, and independent of the fact that one of these greenhouse gases carries latent heat and the other does not.

Ian W

@Joeljoelobryan February 6, 2018 at 8:04 pm
“The suggestion that the average Convection frequently busts through the Tropopause and into the stratosphere. Cumulonimbus storm cloud tops can routinely exceed 35,000 feet to almost 50’000 in the big ones.”
Storms in the ITCZ often reach 70,000ft. You are suffering the mathematicians problem of seeing the tropopause as a totally flat surface, it is not. The large convective storms will by sheer momentum penetrate past the ‘lapse rate’ limit and by carrying warmer air higher they by definition have raised the tropopause. It is like a sea surface and can have waves and disturbances – it is not a mathematically flat plane.
@RW February 6, 2018 at 8:08 pm
I’m trying to follow you here. Wouldn’t anything that warms air in the troposphere cause that air to rise and isn’t that literally convection and wouldn’t that, therefore, raise the tropopause because any warmer than usual blob of air by definition should climb higher than usual?
The convection due to the small (very small) amount of ‘heat’ from an IR photon being ‘absorbed’ then that energy passed as kinetic energy to nitrogen and oxygen molecules is unlikely to cause those larger gas molecules to convect in a way sufficient to measurably ‘raise the tropopause’ in the way that the storms formed by th powerful hydrologic cycle do.

Donald Klipstein says: “Greenhouse gases heat the N2 and O2 where greenhouse gases absorb more radiation than they emit (such as in the lower and middle troposphere). Greenhouse gases cool N2 and O2 where greenhouse gases emit more radiation than they absorb (such as around the tropopause).”
Michael Hammer says, way above: “Nitrogen and oxygen neither absorb nor emit thermal infrared energy to any significant extent.”
So to clarify this, what’s going on? I’m not sure I understand what MH is saying, and it seems to me this contradicts what DK is saying.
I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m trying to sort things out so that maybe we can come to some conclusion about this discussion over pressure and the GHE that makes sense.
Thanks in advance.

So probably the first thing to remember gases, like a pane of glass can be clear for some wavelengths and opaque for others, some astrophotography filters have very sharp edges between clear and blocked.
Gases interact with light wavelength by wavelength, N2 and O2 are clear in visible light, and iirc most IR wavelengths at Earth surface temps.
But air is a good conduction insulator, as long as you limit convection. That why most home insulation is air gaps trapped to limit it.
But it still warms and hold a lot of energy ~28 kJ/m^3 in those deserts for just dry air. And it dropped an average of almost 16kJ/m^3 over night.
Tropics average 73kJ/m^3 max and drop only 11.5kJ/m^3

William Astley

An increase in CO2 reduces the lapse rate which offsets the greenhouse effect.
Planetary temperature for the majority of the paleo record does not correlate to the atmospheric CO2 level.

An increase in CO2 reduces the lapse rate which offsets the greenhouse effect

As far as I know, this could be the proper name for the effect I found, where late at night under clear skies, the cooling rate slows, but as a minimum there is still nearly as large differential as when it’s dropping 3-4F/hr earlier that same evening. But because this effect is a temperature effect, and the energy barrier of all that stored latent heat that has to be radiated to cool.
That’s what this showscomment image

William Astley: Planetary temperature and CO2 do correlate. The usual argument against CO2 change causing temperature change is that CO2 change usually lags temperature change. But, there is a reason why this was what usually happened before the past one or two hundred years: When atmospheric CO2 changed as a result of temperature change, that was because CO2 shifted between the atmosphere and the oceans as a result of temperature change affecting the solubility of CO2 in water, and this reinforced temperature changes that were started by something else. What’s different now: The sum of atmospheric and hydrospheric (and biospheric) CO2 and other carbon-cycle carbon being increased by transfering carbon from the lithosphere to the sum of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.

Micro6500: Regarding your graph: I will find to cite where I hashed this out before. The marked slowdown of temperature drop is not caused by water in vapor form, whose concentration does not increase in the wee hours even though the relative humidity approaches 100%. The cause is an emergent phenomenon releasing latent heat – condensation of water vapor into dew on the ground. Note how net outflow of heat decreases as the night goes on after sunset because the ground is getting cooler, but becomes steadier at a notably slowed rate in the wee hours once formation of dew starts replacing some of the heat being lost by outgoing radiation.

Donald, it slows down hours after there’s dew on the ground, that can’t be it.
But there is a massive column of air full of water most the planet that has to cool and condense more and more of the water in it as it gets cold.
I think you’re wrong on this.
Regardless of our last discussion.

Donald L Klipstein:
:What’s different now::
Nothing is different now. It is just your belief system causing you to thin k that our added CO2 makes a significant change. The ice core records already have proven that high CO2 does not slow the rate of temperature decline. Just look at those slopes downward again. If CO2 was so powerful, the rate of temperature decline would be flatter.
In any case, the author has pointed out that the anthro CO2 warming effect is so tiny that we are obsessing over nothing. We need to forget this religious argument and enjoy the fruits of CO2 greening of the earth.

michael hammer

Yes Donald I completely agree with Dr Roy Spencer. Without GHG’s there would be no wind, no weather, no clouds, no rainfall and no lapse rate. The reason is quite simple and outlined in my comment above in reply to PeterG (second comment from the top at 1:41 pm).

Hilariously wrong. Surface conduction will heat the atmosphere and set up thermals. Wind is the result. Dust gets picked up. As you stand in the sand storm will you still insist on your point?

Larry D

“Without greenhouse gases, the tropopause would be vanishingly low and the troposphere would be vanishingly thin, and essentially all of the atmosphere would be a stratosphere of uniform temperature.”
I believe there are some worlds in the outer solar system whose atmospheres contain no GHGs, due to the cryogenic temperatures of their atmospheres being below the freezing point of GHGs. Do we have enough observations to confirm or refute this hypotheses?

I think we’re still looking for a planet or a not-quite-a-planet that has an atmosphere that lacks GHGs. One issue in the outer solar system is atmospheres tending to have methane, which is a greenhouse gas. And there are other gases whose molecules have three or more atoms that are not all of the same element, and most of those are greenhouse gases. Although now, I see a need to look up whether this is the case with ammonia.

Cassio

Donald L. Klipstein, February 6, 2018 at 1:25 pm:

Dr. Roy Spencer, a skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming, says the greenhouse effect exists and causes the lapse rate. Without greenhouse gases, there would be no weather.

I don’t know whether that is an accurate rendition of what Dr Spencer said, but in any case I don’t think it is correct. As I understand it, there is a basic lapse rate that is caused simply by gravity. This can be modified by various factors, such as convection and the presence water vapour. Greenhouse gases may modify it too, but they cannot and do not cause it.
Gravity causes the basic lapse rate by distributing the energies of the molecules that make up the atmosphere in such a way that the faster-moving molecules will tend to be located towards the bottom and the slower-moving ones will tend to be located towards the top. Since temperature corresponds with average kinetic energy, this implies that a temperature-gradient corresponding with altitude, or a “lapse rate” in other words, is created in the atmosphere. This is created independently of greenhouse gases and other modifying factors and would still exist without them.

Cassio: “Gravity causes the basic lapse rate by distributing the energies of the molecules that make up the atmosphere in such a way that the faster-moving molecules will tend to be located towards the bottom and the slower-moving ones will tend to be located towards the top. ”
Sorry, that makes too much sense.

Robert Holmes

Casio
Yes, I agree.
That statement; “…the greenhouse effect exists and causes the lapse rate. Without greenhouse gases, there would be no weather.”
Whoever made it, is one the oddest claims I have ever heard in the climate debate.
Its no wonder that Judith Curry get out of the field because of what she said was ‘climate craziness’.

joelobryan

“the underlying premise of this paper is wrong.”
Is his math wrong? Are his formulae wrong? Not seeing it.

joelobryan

And showing a Pressure x Temp graph of the various planets and Titan that doesn’t account for received solar energy…. so it is useless to the argument either way without that.

“Is his math wrong?”
His logic is wrong. Willis is absolutely right. Holmes is just putting in the data needed to verify the IGL. It doesn’t show that the IGL is determining temperature. You have to put in both pressure and molar density. Pressure is determined by mass (and g); temperature is determined by heat flux balance, and that then determines the molar density.
The results look surprisingly accurate; that is because it is very likely that the density is simply calculated by someone using the IGL.

RWturner

So you don’t believe in gravity?

schitzree

He’s written a very nice equation that proves the cart is pushing the horse at it’s current velocity.
>¿<

MarkW

All the potential energy was gained when the atmosphere fell from space to the earth billions of years ago.
Since then, every time one molecule moves up, another molecule moves down, so gravitational potential can’t change. If it can’t change there is no energy to be derived from it.

Bryan A

That’s because the horse is on it’s Union contracted coffee break

John harmsworth

I disagree with MarkW, though it greaves me sorely. The gravitational potential of the atmosphere doesn’t change, ON AVERAGE” ( sorry, no italics). That doesn’t mean that smaller pieces of the atmosphere don’t circulate up and down, transporting heat aloft and compressing air at bottom to generate higher temperatures.
The fall in temperature we know as the lapse rate is the decompression effect. The reverse is equally true. The gravitational potential is a constant process of compression and expansion based around the average temperature of the atmosphere.

MarkW

John, didn’t I say that?

Michael S. Kelly

It’s much simpler than that. Ideal or not, it takes only two variables to completely describe the thermodynamic state of a gas. Holmes says that if you know the pressure and molar density, then temperature is accurately “modeled” by the ideal gas law. If you know the pressure and molar density, the temperature is specified whether the gas is ideal or not. At earth conditions, the ideal gas law is a very accurate equation of state. But even if we had some weird atmosphere nearer the critical point of its constituents, another of the many equations of state (Van der Waals, Redlich-Kwong, Peng-Robinson, etc.) would still allow one to calculate the temperature from pressure and density.
Look it up in any first year thermodynamics text. This is freshman material masquerading as advanced science.

RWturner: “So you don’t believe in gravity?”
What is wrong with this RWTurner guy, with this repeated nonsense post throughout? If he thinks someone is posting something that somehow contradicts the existence of gravity, let him say exactly how, otherwise leave the discussion to the adults.

Hugs

He’s written a very nice equation that proves the cart is pushing the horse at it’s current velocity.

That’s prettily described what’s been done. +1

joelobryan

And furthermore, it boils down to an Occam’s Razor argument.

“Occam’s razor is a problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions.”

GHE Theory – with all the complications of absorption bands (and wings) of radiatively active gasses, counting watts and energy fluxes. Trying to define an ERL and how it changes by latitude, by water vapor content, by other GHG content.
Adiabatic autocompression Hypothesis – 3 gas law parameters with the IGL and the S-B equation.
If both can explain all the observed physical behaviors of the system, then the simpler explanation is preferred.
The problem is of course, the Big If.
But that’s Science. And dogma, personal belief, consensus are all part of post-normal science. Not actual science.

MarkW

However when the simpler explanation is demonstrably wrong, it shouldn’t be choosen.

joelobryan

Has that been demonstrated?
It has certainly been asserted.

joelobryan

By the beginning of the 17th Century, there were quite numerous long-term observations of Jupiter with the newly invented telescope. Those observations showed Jupiter clearly had 4 large moons orbiting it. The motions of all the other known planets though could be adequately described by Ptolemaic deferents, epicycles, and an equant. They made reasonably accurate (for the time) predictions of the planets’ motions.
http://i63.tinypic.com/20r226x.png
However the Jupiter moons were a crisis. This was a complete inability for Geo-centric orbital theory of Ptemolomaic mathematicians to describe their motion, and a failure of their underlying model that everything in the heavens revolved around the Earth.
Their Solution: They ignored it the Jupiter moons problem presented.
Along came Kepler with his insights of an ellipse and heliocentrism, then geocentrism proceeded to crumble.
Kepler and heliocentrism won the day based on simplicity and agreement with observation.
There is this observation and GHE theory based explanation described in this paper:
“How increasing CO2 leads to an increased negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica”
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066749/full
The authors’ observations are “explained” by the authors by asserting that at the South Pole surface, at an altitude of 10,000 MSL on the very cold icepack, the GHE of pCO2 reverses sign in this situation.
That should really be a Wow!!! statement for the Consensus to accept for GHE theory. That should be a crisis for GHE theory if one considers the implications that this reversal effect only applies to the high South Polar regions.
So the challenge to Robert Holmes and his Adiabatic auto-compression hypothesis is to explain the South Pole observations without having to invert the basis of your argument as GHE theory apparently must.

joelobryan
The problem people have, including Nick Stokes, is that they think it is a circular argument. I did too, at the start. I decided to derive the maths myself and to try to understand the argument being made. It took a while, then I realized that it was not a circular argument. The initial surface warming is calculated for a no atmosphere planet. The key variables are distance from the sun, etc., as listed. The calculation of the “greenhouse” effect is then done. It is not circular reasoning.

Philip Mulholland

joelobryan

So the challenge to Robert Holmes and his Adiabatic auto-compression hypothesis is to explain the South Pole observations without having to invert the basis of your argument as GHE theory apparently must.

Let me introduce here the concept of concavetion.
There is no upward vertical convection of air in winter over the vast bulk of East Antarctica, there is instead a continuous downward vertical movement of air towards the ice surface, namely the polar vortex.
I assume that you are familiar with the weather phenomena of the daytime Sea Breeze and its night time counterpart the Land Breeze?
The sea breeze arises because of the enhanced rate of daytime heating of the land surface by sunlight compared to the sea. The land breeze arises because of the differential rate of night time cooling of the solid land surface by infrared radiation to space compared to that of the liquid seawater that has a much higher heat capacity and is able to replenish by fluid overturn during surface cooling.
Convection is a process by which air rises vertically upward, specifically for this case air that has been warmed by contact with an illuminated surface that is converting solar energy to heat. Obviously this insolation driven process takes place during the daytime, but what happens at night when the corresponding land breeze forms? In this case air cooled by contact with a solid ground surface that is radiating heat to space, increases in density and flows down slope, off the land and out to sea. This land breeze caused by the differential cooling of the land, is not associated with the vertical upward convection of warmed air, rather it is associated with the down slope lateral advection of cooled air; but what is the name of the night time process that generates this flow of dense air from the land to the sea?
A digression:-
The root convect in convection is derived from the Latin word convectus to carry from one place to another i.e to convey. The word convect is loosely related to the term convex which is used in optics to describe the shape of a bulging lens that is thickest in the middle. Convection in Meteorology can therefore also relate in concept to the upward bulging of the atmosphere that we observe in the formation of cumulus clouds, we see a similar process of upward vertical bulging in a lava lamp. In optics the opposite of convex is concave; a lens that is thinnest in the middle. Cave, cavity & cavitation are all related examples of words used to describe an enclosed space, a hollow, or a gap from which material has been removed.
Consider Antarctica, we have there the world’s largest and most isolated island continent. In winter the central high ice plateau of East Antarctica, south of 80S, experiences a night that lasts for months. As a consequence of the geography of Antarctica the ice surface in winter cools so intensely that the strongest night breeze in the world is created, the katabatic wind. What we observe on the ice plateau of east Antarctica in winter is a vigorous process of thermal cooling of the ice surface by radiative heat loss to space through the transparent infrared atmospheric window. This cooling demonstrates that solid surfaces are the most efficient thermal emitters, because solids can transmit flexural shear waves, whereas fluids and gases cannot. Solid surfaces are therefore more efficient thermal radiators than gases because it is the process of flexure that determines if a gas molecule can intercept and emit infrared radiation, something that only polyatomic molecules can achieve.
The cooling of the air at ground level in East Antarctica creates a dense air mass that is then advected down slope off the ice plateau as a vigorous katabatic wind. Consider a stack of cards from which the lowest card is continuously been removed, the stack will fall into the cavity generated at its base. I want to introduce here a term I have adopted to describe this phenomena of cold dense air being generated by night time radiative cooling of a solid surface, the word is concavetion. Concavetion is the process that permits the vertical descent of air into the “cavity” created both by the radiative cooling at the ground surface and the associated lateral advection that exports the cold dense basal layer to the side as a ground hugging katabatic wind. Concavetion is therefore the opposite of convection and is a process driven by night time ground surface cooling rather than day time ground surface heating.
A few years ago during 2008 there was a live data stream from the automatic weather station (AWS) based on Dome Argus in Antarctica. The AWS located there measured temperature both above and below ground (the ice surface) in a continuous daily record. Three sensors measuring air temperature were placed at elevations of +4 m, +2m & +1m while four more sensors, placed at sub-surface depths of 0.1m, 1 m, 3m & 10m, measured the ice temperature in the ground.
The location of the Dome Argus AWS at latitude: 80 22′ 02″S, longitude: 77 32′ 21″E and with a surface elevation of 4,084m provided a unique insight into the climate of East Antarctica. During the austral winter of 2008 Dome A was in darkness for 24 hours a day from sunset on 16th April 2008 at 0725 UTC until sunrise on 26th August 2008 at 0556 UTC. During this period of 142 days Dome Argus receives no direct sunlight and the air temperature sensors of the AWS recorded the night time cooling and the formation of an intense thermal inversion layer at the ground as the high level ice surface radiated heat to space through the thin dry winter air.
Because of its unique winter location we can be sure of the following features of the weather at Dome Argus.
1. No direct solar heating by sunlight can possibly have occurred at this time during the depths of winter.
2. The crestal elevation of the site means that all advected surface air that reaches here has to climb up the dome to reach the plateau and therefore must be cooled by adiabatic lift.
3. The residual summer heat in the ground ice cannot be heating the descending air above 4m because of the thermal inversion caused by radiative cooling at the surface of the ice prevents direct thermal contact.
4. So the only source of energy that can maintain the higher air temperatures at 4m and above is the heating of descending air from aloft by tropospheric adiabatic auto compression.
Let’s have another look at Fig 1 in Pan, W. et al. 2002. The temperature structure of the winter atmosphere at South Pole this figure records the presence of a winter tropopause at an elevation of 8km at the South Pole. The vertical temperature profile in May and June clearly shows that, above the surface inversion layer associated with the radiative cooling of the ice surface, there is a fall in temperature as height increases, a standard feature of a troposphere, namely a vertical lapse rate.
But there is no insolation at the South Pole in winter and so no radiant energy to heat the ice surface and cause buoyancy driven atmospheric convection. So how is this lapse rate maintained? What we observe on the ice plateau of East Antarctica is the winter night time process of concavetion, which results in the downward vertical motion of air in the polar vortex falling under gravity towards the ice surface. This fall causes the descending upper air to loose potential energy and to thereby gain heat by adiabatic auto compression so maintaining the observed lapse rate in the tropospheric winter air above the South Pole.

Hugs

Ideal gas law does give T out if put among others, density and pressure in. But density is affected by the greenhouse effect as well.

Hugs

No seriously who could think rho M just defines T even when there’s a mathematical dependency binding them together?

ripshin

It’s difficult for me to understand the gravity compression argument in the atmosphere. The displacement of one molcule going up by another molecule coming down (or moving sideways or whatever) means no net work is being done by gravity. Right? Am I missing something here? Have I misunderstood the argument?
rip

beng135

Well, there is compressional heating of falling air-masses like the Chinook winds. But for a fixed-volume atmosphere like Earth it has to be balanced somewhere by an equal mass of air cooling by rising.

Jer0me

This is exactly my thought on this. It seems insane to me to think energy is ‘created’ somehow by gravity. Sure, it can ‘generate’ potential energy for something (in this case air), but that’s only turned into kinetic energy by falling toward it. If energy is then used to get further away, that’s the kinetic energy returned to potential energy, rinse & repeat.

MarkW

And that expansion cools off some of the warming that was otherwise input into the system.
When the heating stops, the atmosphere cools and contracts, and the compresion could heat the system. However once equilibrium is again reached, the system becomes static.

Gabro

When the volume of the atmosphere expands at the height of the solar cycle, satellites in low orbits are threatened by it.

Jer0me you are confusing heat with temperature; heat is energy, temperature is the effect heat has on a mass under specific conditions.

Jer0me

Paul,
I don’t think I am. If the energy remains the same, merely switching from potential to kinetic and back, how can that affect the temperature? The only way is to add more energy (the sun) or retard cooling (theoretically by ghg).

beng135

OK, the MASS of Earth’s atmosphere is fixed. Jeesh.
The misunderstandings about this post are astonishing. Anth*ny above was right to warn about it….

Rob Bradley: “Should the entire atmosphere heat up, it expands, as there is nothing at the top to contain its expansion.” So then as our atmosphere heated up in the geologic past, it would have dissipated to space? Doesn’t gravity constrain/”contain” the expansion?

gbaikie

but rising air cools because as rises it becomes less dense and if that cool air falls, it increases in temperature because becoming more dense. Or Chinook wind could be wind that force up, say 1000 meters, and becomes cooler and then if falls 2000 meters and it gets warmer then where it started because the air fell further than it rose.
But most of convectional heating of air, doesn’t involve air masses rising- the average velocity of air molecules increase, and the kinetic energy rises [rather than the molecules going up]. and also goes the other way when surface cools.

Philip Mulholland

If the energy remains the same, merely switching from potential to kinetic and back, how can that affect the temperature?

Jer0me,
Potential Energy (PE) is the energy of position of a mass in a gravitational field. Its formula is m*g*h (mass times gravity times height).
The potential energy of a mass does not have a temperature, the mass only has energy by virtue of its place (height above a datum).
So if we have two solids of equal mass held at the same height above the surface of the Earth, even if one mass is cold and one mass is hot, they both have the same potential energy. On being released and allowed to fall both solid masses (hot and cold) will achieve the same increase in velocity (kinetics) as their potential energy is converted into motion due to the acceleration of gravity v = a*t (velocity equals acceleration multiplied by the time elapsed) but of course the temperature difference between the two masses will remain the same.
Kinetic energy is energy of motion (velocity). Its formula is 1/2 * m * V^2 (mass times velocity squared all divided by 2).
Any mass rising vertically upwards in a gravitational field is slowed down by the force of gravity, the mass loses kinetics but it gains potential energy as it rises.
Temperature is motion. Potential energy is not motion. If it helps consider this: – a mass at absolute zero resting on the ground still exerts a force on the resisting surface by virtue of its mass. The mass produces a pressure on the ground even though the mass is at absolute zero and has no motion (temperature).
Any mass of air on the ground can only rise if it is lifted by a force, which can be due to buoyancy difference caused by thermal heating of the air by sunlight or the displacement upwards by a colder more dense air mass coming in from the side (the advection of a cold arctic air mass) that forms the katabatic lifting potential of a cold weather front.

Philip Mulholland

Don132 February 7, 2018 at 4:19 am

So then as our atmosphere heated up in the geologic past, it would have dissipated to space? Doesn’t gravity constrain/”contain” the expansion?

Don, The simple answer to your question is No, gravity does not constrain the expansion, indeed the fact that gravity does not stop the escape of gases to space is relevant to our understanding of how some planets retain an atmosphere and what the molecular constituents of that atmosphere are, while other planets do not have an atmosphere with any significant mass.
Planet Earth has an atmosphere containing the gases Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon and Carbon Dioxide, but no Helium; our Moon does not have any significant atmosphere. Because both the Earth and the Moon circle the Sun as a co-orbiting pair of twin planets, both bodies experience the same intensity of sunlight throughout the year. Gravitational strength is the key difference between the Earth and the Moon that allows the Earth to retain an atmosphere at our orbital distance from the Sun. The strength of the surface gravity on the Moon at 1.625 m/s/s is much lower than the Earth’s gravity of 9.81 m/s/s and so the Moon is unable to retain a low molecular weight atmosphere at this distance from the Sun. It is the strength of a planetary body’s gravity that determines the Escape Velocity, from its surface and it is the value of the escape velocity (determined by the planet’s mass) that allows a given planet to retain low molecular weight gases within its atmosphere under a particular intensity of solar heating.
If we start with a mixture of two gases, one of which is light, for example Helium, with a low molecular weight of 4 g/Mole and one which is heavy, such as Carbon Dioxide, with a higher value molecular weight of 44 g/Mole then, even though both gases within the mixture will have the same kinetic energy (1/2 * m * V^2), the average velocity of the particles for each gas in the mixture will be significantly different. The Carbon Dioxide molecules will move much more slowly that the Helium atoms do because their greater mass means that the kinetic energy of motion for the CO2 molecule is carried by a particle with 11 times the mass of the Helium atom. The implication of this difference in particle velocity for the two gas species is profound. For a low mass and therefore low escape velocity planet orbiting close to the heat source of sun, the lighter molecular weight atmospheric gas will more easily achieve escape velocity, even when the heavier atmospheric gas will not and so will be retained. In effect Helium gas escapes from the Earth because the temperatures found in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are too high for the mass of our planet to retain this low molecular weight (and therefore high average velocity) gas.
Some notes on Escape Velocity
Escape velocity is the instantaneous velocity an object needs to achieve in order to completely escape from the gravitational field of a massive body (a planet for example).
Some things to remember: –
1. For these calculations we assume that no energy loss occurs due to friction with the atmosphere.
2. As the body rises away from the surface it will slow down and lose velocity as its distance away from the planet increases and therefore its potential energy increases.
3. The escape velocity has the same value (but opposite direction) to the maximum impact velocity – the velocity an object that was initially stationary with respect to the planet would achieve if it fell onto its surface starting from an infinite distance away and falling solely under the influence of the planet’s gravity.
Escape velocity of Earth = 11.186 km/s
Maximum temperature of the Earth’s Exosphere is 1350 Kelvin
Let us assume that the Moon has an Exosphere with a temperature of 1350 Kelvin (the same as the Earth’s).
Helium μrms @ 1350 Kelvin = 2.9 km/s
The Escape Velocity of the Moon is 2.376 km/s, this value is too low for the Moon to be able to retain any Helium gas.

Philip Mulholland February 15, 2018 at 3:57 am
Quite an explanation!
Thanks.

By George the Dragon Slayer – you’ve got it!

Yep. Sigh…

RWturner

You are completely missing the energy source that started the process. Solar energy provides the energy to lift the air in the first place. The “molecule coming down” didn’t magically get there, it was essentially lifted by solar energy. When that molecule falls, that gravitational potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy.

MarkW

When the molecule rises, it gives up the heat that sun put into the system.
There are no free lunches.

RWturner

” it gives up the heat that sun put into the system”\
Yeah, to potential gravitational energy.

MarkW

When one molecule rises, another falls. The energy given to the one is lost by the second.

RW

Isn’t the potential gravitational energy a function of proximity to the source, especially for the distances being discussed here? Surely there is less gravitational potential energy for molecules in the stratosphere than there is for molecules in the troposphere or at the surface.

Cassio

RW February 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm:

Surely there is less gravitational potential energy for molecules in the stratosphere than there is for molecules in the troposphere or at the surface.

It’s actually the other way around, RW: the higher the molecule is above the planet’s surface, the greater is its gravitational potential energy.
For locations inside a planet’s atmosphere, a molecule’s gravitational potential energy can be calculated as the simple product of the molecule’s mass (m), the acceleration due to gravity (g) and its altitude or “height” (h) above a baseline referent (normally sea level); i.e. mgh.

Okay, one molecule goes up, and one molecule goes down, but all the molecules are still around the planet — none have gone from the planet, and the reason is that gravity is still holding them ALL near the surface in a density gradient that gets bigger, moving from top of atmosphere to bottom. The weight of the entire atmosphere is still mushing the molecules together, isn’t it? Gravity is still doing work on the whole atmosphere, isnt’t it, even with the continuous displacements of molecules between the different densities? It all (the whole atmosphere) still gets worked on, or else those up molecules would be flying off into space, and, eventually, all molecules would fly off into space — with no atmosphere left to argue about.
I am having trouble seeing that gravity does not do any net work, when it is working all the time to hold the ENTIRE mass of air to the globe.
I’m just getting started with my confusion, so forgive me — this might continue for a while, if the mods allow.
I do not see CO2 as an evil dragon, nor do I see the evil-dragon slayers as enemies. I see CO2 as a friendly dragon, and I tend to be drifting towards a friendly dragon/non-CO2-greenhouse-effect-believer.
The pressure route might be rough, but I need to work out how it is so totally wrong, and, as yet, I do not.

Germinio

Robert,
the definition of work is force times distance. Gravity is constantly applying a force but
if the average distance is unchanged then there is no work done and no energy gain or loss. More formally gravity is a conservative force and so you can easily prove that there is no change in energy for any closed loop.
The paper is nonsense for all the reasons that Willis and others have pointed out. And if you don’t believe them think of what would happen if the sun stopped shinning. If this paper was correct then the temperature of the earth would remain at 33K since that is apparently what the ideal gas law would predict. Which is clearly nonsense. The reason being that both the pressure and density of the atmosphere would adjust themselves to give a temperature equal to about 2.7 K (the temperature of the cosmic microwave background).

Gabro

Germinio,
But in that case, there would no longer be an atmosphere. The gases would freeze and condense on the surface of the planet (unless earth’s internal heat produced enough energy to keep them liquid).
The ideal gas law requires gases to work. Thanks to the sun, we have a gaseous atmosphere.

Germinio,
I think that I am not seeing the premise of the paper as you are. I think that the sun IS a consideration, and to think that gravity ALONE is somehow causing the air to heat the planet is ridiculous, of course. I’m thinking that gravity is doing something to the air mass in such a way that the Sun’s energy is used a certain way.
Molecules that are closer together at greater density (density caused by gravitational compression at the surface) can heat up more than molecules higher up in the atmosphere (at less density/less gravitational compression).
If the paper is making the claim you say about gravity alone without the sun, then it’s trash. But I’ll have to go read it in depth, I guess, to assess its claims better.
This, of course, is not a new idea. It’s a rehashing of an idea that has been trashed, reborn, and trashed again, as I see it. There’s some appeal to it, because it resurfaces from time to time to get a fresh look.
I’m actually amazed that Anthony allowed it.

Germinio

Robert,
the paper is nonsense. And has nothing to do with gravity which is another question entirely. The paper would appear to claim that the ideal gas law PV=nrT can be used
to predict the temperature of the atmosphere. Which of course it can but only if you already know the pressure and volume. But equally well you could use the temperature given by the predictions of the standard greenhouse gas theory to predict the pressure
and so use the ideal gas law to “prove” that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. With the ideal gas law there are 3 unknowns, Pressure, Volume (or density) and Temperature and so there
is usually a way to alter one of those to ensure that the ideal gas law is satisfied.

MarkW

Compression only heats while it is being compressed. Once the compression stops increasing, the heating stops.

gbaikie

— Germinio
February 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Robert,
the definition of work is force times distance. Gravity is constantly applying a force but
if the average distance is unchanged then there is no work done and no energy gain or loss. More formally gravity is a conservative force and so you can easily prove that there is no change in energy for any closed loop. —
With air molecule distance traveled is nanometers, and as air warms the distance traveled before colliding and changing direction, is shorten. Or assuming average velocity of air molecules remains the same and if a shorter distance is traveled by average molecules- then the air is warmer.Or if more molecule are in given volume and average velocity is same, they travel shorter distance and the air is warmer.

hanelyp

A molecule rises, trading kinetic energy for gravitational potential.
The molecule collides with other molecules at the higher altitude, exchanging energy.
Molecule falls, trading gravitational potential for kinetic energy.
collision and energy exchange again.
repeat.
Result: potential field driven kinetic energy gradient.

joelobryan

Energy is constantly being pumped into the lowest levels and into the ocean by short-wave solar radiation during the day time. At night water vapor in the boundary layer slows radiative EM energy escape. CO2 is a very minor bit player in that as wv absorption saturates the CO2 absorption bands. The only place CO2 GHG theory can reasonably be invoked are in very dry deserts and similarly arid regions.
Clouds of course alter all that. Clouds and precip are the bugaboo factor the models cannot model, so the modellers enter those clouds and precip-evap effects through parameters. The amount of energy they are tuning can make the climate models do whatever they want. Cargo cult science.

A C Osborn

Joel, you stated “The only place CO2 GHG theory can reasonably be invoked are in very dry deserts and similarly arid regions.”
And what do those regions show, massive diurnal temperature swings, ie CO2 is doing practically nothing, whereasby comparison in the presence of H2O those swings are attenuated.

Paul Maxit

LOL. Has someone been explaining here that if it gets cooler when you climb, it is actually because of less CO2 traces trapping heat ?

RWturner

Maybe Stanley should replace the vacuum with CO2 in there thermoses. Since conduction and emissivity aren’t important at all. /s

Robert of Texas

Well, its a hypothesis first of all, not a theory. So I guess I would expect him to now demonstrate his hypothesis using data (and NOT models).
If I read this correctly, he claims that one can predict, within some range of error (and I didn’t see that), the average near surface temperature without knowing the exact gasses involved, but just their mass. This would seem to me to be an important finding, if he could verify it. It would mean the structure and behavior of the gas molecules is not as important as just their mass. CO2 would have no real relevancy due to its absorption behavior or energy.
“adiabatic auto-compression” – no clue to how this explained something. I think I understood the claim, but not the mechanism in the hypothesis.
Your thought experiment of adding a bunch of nuclear reactors to create heat doesn’t really address the same claim (at least as I understand it) – yes the gases would be hotter, and yes they would adjust to still be a nearly ideal gas, but having greenhouse gases or not would make no difference to the eventual equilibrium.
I am not supporting the idea, just trying to understand it.

schitzree

As I understand the theory and Willis’ argument, the Ideal gas law would be upheld REGARDLESS of whether or not Green House Gas heating is real, because if it is happening the warmer atmosphere expands and rebalances the equation. It doesn’t matter where the extra 33 degrees comes from, GHG, radioactivity, farting unicorns, whatever. The atmosphere will adjust to that temperature by changing it’s volume and density, and the ideal gas law equation will balance.
~¿~

RWturner

Solar radiation warms a solid surface. Gas surrounding this surface collides with the surface and heat is converted into kinetic energy in the gas. This causes convection. Since the planet has gravity, this rising air is merely converting kinetic energy into gravitational potential energy. When the air falls back to the surface, this gravitational potential energy is converted back to kinetic energy. Simple, elegant, and unequivocally true despite the persistent d-nyeal just because they didn’t think of it.

MarkW

Simple, elegant and true, and not having any impact on the temperature of the gas.

RWturner

So you’re saying that if the atmosphere of Earth were only 10% of what it is now it would be just as warm on the surface? SMH

tty

However the heat is mostly transferred from the surface to the gas by radiation (and evaporation for latent heat). Gases are very poor heat conductors so heat transfer by conduction is slight.

RWturner

@tty – That’s not true at all. If most of the heat were transfer within the atmosphere were to take place via radiation and the timescales of heat transfer were too short for conduction to be the primary mechanism for heat distribution, you’d have a clear energy difference between infrared active gases and non active gases. Instead, we have Brownian Motion and the Kinetic Theory of Gases to explain heat transfer in the atmosphere.

John harmsworth

Has anyone taken into account the fact that moist, rising air columns must also entrain CO2 to altitude? There is a fantastic amount of this air. Or does the “magic molecule” refuse to give up its heat until it is close enough to warm a Mann?

gbaikie

“If I read this correctly, he claims that one can predict, within some range of error (and I didn’t see that), the average near surface temperature without knowing the exact gasses involved, but just their mass. This would seem to me to be an important finding, if he could verify it. It would mean the structure and behavior of the gas molecules is not as important as just their mass. CO2 would have no real relevancy due to its absorption behavior or energy.”
I don’t know this theory, but if put some gas in greenhouse on the Moon- if gas is low density- near vacuum like the Moon. The gas will not have a temperature- it won’t warm a thermometer.
But if gas is at 1 atm pressure it will warm up to be over 100 C. And if air is half density at Earth sea level pressure, it will be cooler.
And doesn’t matter what the gas is.

I think this will be a useful discussion. I tend to side with those who believe that pressure causes the greenhouse effect, but at this point I’m open-minded and would like to hear a good, civilized discussion that doesn’t get too much in the weeds with the math.
For starters, exactly why is the bottom of the Grand Canyon warmer than the rim? Because the sun warms the surface and it cools from there? But I’ll bet this is true even on cloudy days. What if there were a week of completely overcast days– would the rim then be warmer than the bottom since cold air sinks? Phantom Ranch, on the bottom, is consistently warmer than the rim. http://www.grandcanyontreks.org/preciptemps.htm

Gabro

There is snow atop Mauna Loa and balmy tropical beaches below the mountain, but air at both locales is believed to have about 400 ppm of CO2. The air is less dense (at lower pressure) at 13,679 feet than at sea level, hence cooler. There are relatively fewer air molecules per unit volume at the volcano-top Keeling Curve observvatory, but allegedly the same ratio of CO2 to other atmospheric gases.
Advocates of an important CO2 greenhouse effect have trouble explaining this fact.

The Reverend Badger

All explanations for the working of the atmosphere on Earth MUST be tested by reference to known observations such as the Grand Canyon. In addition (as explained by Nikolov & Zeller) we expect the physics to be the same on all rocky planets with significant atmospheres. Therefore we should test the explanations against the known data from these other planets as well.
Explanations which fit everything are much much more likely to be nearer the truth of the matter than those which only fit some things or sometimes.
This is so basic and fundamental I wonder why I had to say it here? (Doh!)

tty

“For starters, exactly why is the bottom of the Grand Canyon warmer than the rim? ”
Because it is lower in the atmosphere. Normally the temperature conforms closely to the local lapse rate since this is the equilibrum state. However there are local and temporary deviations, e. g. when there is an inversion in winter.

The theory is that the sun warms the ground and that this heat convects upwards according to the lapse rate, which is ultimately driven by greenhouse gases. However, the problem I see is that I assume that the Grand Canyon is warmer than the rim even on cloudy days, and even while cold air sinks.
So I’m not sure that the Grand Canyon shows anything one way or another. But another conundrum is that mines deep in the earth are typically hotter than the surface. How do we explain that? Are they that much closer to the earth’s core?
https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/1tvick/how_deep_can_a_mine_be_before_the_heat_is_too/
OK, and this: if it really is true that the molten core is heating the mines, then what does that say about how this same core might be affecting surface temperatures?
The pressure of the atmosphere on the earth’s surface is 2117 pounds/ square feet; nothing to sneeze at.
Maybe random thoughts but I suspect the problem is not so simple as: “it’s greenhouse gases, stupid.”

paqyfelyc

@don132
“The theory is that the sun warms the ground and that this heat convects upwards according to the lapse rate, which is ultimately driven by greenhouse gases.”
Lapse rate do NOT depends on GHG, or the sun, or the clouds. It was part of my cursus, as an exercise, to calculate dry lapse rate (just like it appears in wikipedia, just check), and it just depends on gravity and specific heat. Moist lapse rate is somewhat more sophisticated, but still do not depend on GHG.
Dry laps rate is close to 1K/100 m, and the Grand Canyon is up to a mile deep in some place, no wonder it gets hotter down.
“So I’m not sure that the Grand Canyon shows anything one way or another.”
Indeed. It is just the lapse rate all the way down. You are right, won’t show nothing.
“But another conundrum is that mines deep in the earth are typically hotter than the surface. How do we explain that? Are they that much closer to the earth’s core?”
Down when drilling, temperature increase ~4K/100m, and even more where volcanic heat exist. Becasue of Earth’s core heat.
“what does that say about how this same core might be affecting surface temperatures?”
Don’t mistake heat and temperature. Temperature build up down there because heat from the core has hard time leaking away (4 billion years later, and it is still hot deep down … while permafrost exist). Geothermal heat is small at the surface, only a fraction of a W/m², 5 magnitude order lower than the sun.

gbaikie

–“But another conundrum is that mines deep in the earth are typically hotter than the surface. How do we explain that? Are they that much closer to the earth’s core?”
Down when drilling, temperature increase ~4K/100m, and even more where volcanic heat exist. Becasue of Earth’s core heat.
“what does that say about how this same core might be affecting surface temperatures?”
Don’t mistake heat and temperature. Temperature build up down there because heat from the core has hard time leaking away (4 billion years later, and it is still hot deep down … while permafrost exist). Geothermal heat is small at the surface, only a fraction of a W/m², 5 magnitude order lower than the sun.–
Wiki: “Geothermal gradient is the rate of increasing temperature with respect to increasing depth in the Earth’s interior. Away from tectonic plate boundaries, it is about 25–30 °C/km (28–34 °F/mi) of depth near the surface in most of the world.”
So 2.5 to 3 C per 100 meters.
And unless mine placed in vacuum, the air will be denser at lower depth.
With Messinian salinity crisis, the Mediterranean Sea became dry and due to the lower elevation
the air temperature was warmer in bottom of the deep basin- though it’s thought to have been a bit less than lapse rate of 6.5 C per 1000 meters

Robert Holmes

You forgot atmospheric auto-compression, which is +10C per km of depth.

mellyrn

Death Valley is farther from the equator than Mount Everest but is typically significantly warmer nonetheless.
Imagine the hottest afternoon you’ve ever known at home. Imagine hopping a ride on a super weather balloon up to, say, 35000′ — same latitude, same time. A lot colder up there.
I figure the bottom of an atmosphere has a higher temperature than the rest of it because there are more molecules (all of them, being hotter than absolute zero, bounding about with some energy) for my thermometer to interact with, i.e. to experience some energy transfer from.
I further imagine that, all else being equal (planet size, gravity, local sun, &c), the temperature at the bottom of a thicker atmosphere will be higher than that at the bottom of a thinner atmosphere, regardless of the mix.
I’m no authority, though.

Paul Maxit

Total rebuttal of the now famous “33 Kelvin greenhouse effect” is here : https://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161.pdf
Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner
Chapters 3.7.3, 3.7.4 and 3.7.5.

paqyfelyc

This is good for people who understand physics. Won’t help “climate scientists”, and even less warmunist or Gaia cultists.

Astrocyte

As it is std procedure for the “cult” to attack messenger instead of content, better to anticipate…
So what is the crendential of Robert Ian Holmes? It would be prudent to know a little about the guy before parroting his study in all directions. He may simply be a student.

Gabro

I think Holmes is a student, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters in science is whether your conclusions are supported by observations of nature or controlled experiment confirming predictions made thereupon.

Astrocyte

“All that matters in science is whether your conclusions are supported by observations of nature or controlled experiment confirming predictions made thereupon.”
In theory yes, but in practice in the real world science and everything else does not work like that. The very existence of the warming/change meme is proof that science is based on PR/marketting and infested with politics. It all boil down to credibility and trust. For the vast majority of the voting public, first impression is all that matter.

Sunsettommy

Robert Holmes in reply,
“Kenneth,
I address the ‘circular’ argument (i.e. for Titan) in my paper.
Not sure what he is claiming here; is he asserting that the molar mass version of the Ideal Gas Law is wrong?
A law through which one can arrive at the temperature by the measurement of just three gas parameters, pressure, density and molar mass, for diverse places such as Venus, Earth (anywhere in the troposphere). Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, (anywhere in their atmospheres) Titan – and it even works for the center of the Sun?
What I have presented is a hypothesis. So, Sebastian, let’s test the hypothesis; start anywhere on the surface of the Earth and measure these three parameters, calculate the temperature by use of this formula;
T=P/((R x ρ/M))
Still not convinced? Let’s try another planet – anywhere >10kPa in its atmosphere, (which is where the effects of the GHE supposedly are).Even quicker, post here a link to a peer-reviewed published paper which quantifies any warming effect from the CO2 in our atmosphere.
Actually, I think there will be a very long wait for this one.”
http://notrickszone.com/2018/02/05/shock-paper-cites-formula-that-precisely-calculates-planetary-temps-without-greenhouse-effect-co2/#comment-1250805

Gabro

CACA will eventually go the way of eugenics, its early 20th century equivalent. No amount of PR can permanently offset the scientific method.
But lots of highly credentialled, renowned scientists, living and dead, agree with the lad.

Sunsettommy February 6, 2018 at 3:20 pm
Robert Holmes in reply,
“A law through which one can arrive at the temperature by the measurement of just three gas parameters, pressure, density and molar mass, for diverse places such as Venus, Earth (anywhere in the troposphere). Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, (anywhere in their atmospheres) Titan – and it even works for the center of the Sun?
What I have presented is a hypothesis. So, Sebastian, let’s test the hypothesis; start anywhere on the surface of the Earth and measure these three parameters, calculate the temperature by use of this formula;
T=P/((R x ρ/M))
Still not convinced? Let’s try another planet – anywhere >10kPa in its atmosphere, (which is where the effects of the GHE supposedly are)

Ok Venus, it doesn’t work, the CO2 at the surface is supercritical and the Ideal Gas Law equation of state doesn’t apply.

The Reverend Badger

Yes, we know he is a student. Today I was a student under my wife’s supervision of the baking of a delicious cake and that turned out fine (2nd cake baked by me in 62 years!). Anyway if you cannot still remember Richard Feynman talking about “it doesn’t matter who said it” you need to do some basic revision (about the principles of science). So if Robert has a PhD or is simply the toilet cleaner at the local school is IRRELEVANT. What we need to look at is the paper and what it says .
So lets have a look. Looks like the formulae are correct. Some of the conclusions and arguments look logical, but are ALL of them logically robust ? It is very easy to let your preconceived ideas sway you one way or the other. This must be resisted.
I only started looking at this paper yesterday and it is a very novel approach to the subject.To go through it carefully is something that might take a while, I expect Robert himself took weeks working on it. IF I find something SPECIFIC that is wrong I will be sure to let you know (and the author himself).
Finally if there is still some doubt can we apply our minds to devising either a laboratory experiment or a field experiment to test something relevant.

Nigel S

‘In a new peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the journal Earth Sciences last December (2017), a Federation University (Australia) Science and Engineering student named Robert Holmes …’ is how the NoTricksZone post starts.

Astrocyte

Thanks, it clear it up.

George McFly......I'm your density

He has the only qualification required to study science: an open and enquiring mind

Comments from Ned Nikolov via Twitter where there was an earlier discussion:
Yes, I’ve seen the paper by Holmes (2017): http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.earth.20170606.18.pdf
It has a serious methodological flaw. The author uses the Ideal Gas Law to “predict” T of planets assuming that the atmos. density ρ is INDEPENDENTLY measured, which it’s NOT. So, his method is circular!
Holmes (2017) did not realize that the near-surface atmospheric densities of planets reported in the literature have actually been calculated using the Gas Law. So, by using density to “predict” planetary temperatures, he basically gets into what’s called a CIRCULAR ARGUMENT.
So, Holmes’ analysis did not “disprove” the GH theory, because it’s based on an elementary methodological error. I wonder how a paper with such flawed logic had passed peer review? I noted that it was under review for just 10 days before acceptance. Something isn’t right here!

Sunsettommy

Robert Holmes reply to Ned,
“Robert Holmes’ reply:

Ned,
“..air density is a function of pressure & temperature. This is demonstrated by the fact that air density is lower at the equator and higher near the poles for nearly the same surface pressure.”
My paper shows that air density at the South Pole is 1.06kg/m3 in other words, only slightly below the global average – yet the pressure is a very low 68kPa. It’s the low pressure which mainly results in the low average temperature of -49C.
“One cannot use the Gas Law to conclusively prove the lack of a radiative GE.”
I realize that, and I did not even try to do this! The radiative GHE certainly exists in our atmosphere; the forcing from it has even been measured and quantified. However, that does NOT mean that there is any net atmospheric warming arising from it!
On Earth, temperature is determined by the interplay of pressure and density, with some influence from molar mass via;
T=PM/Rρ
Pressure, density and molar mass are mainly determined by insolation and auto-compression.
I think that we are in broad agreement.”
http://notrickszone.com/2018/02/05/shock-paper-cites-formula-that-precisely-calculates-planetary-temps-without-greenhouse-effect-co2/#comment-1250866

Ned Nikolov

Dear Robert,
Please, allow me to clarify a few points:
1. On Earth and any other planet, the average atmospheric pressure at the surface (P, Pa) is determined by the mass of gas above a unit area (Ma/Ap) and gravitational acceleration (g,, m s-2), i.e. P = (Ma/Ap)*g, where Ma is total atmospheric mass (kg) and Ap is planet’s surface area (m^2). This definition implies: (a) the average surface atmospheric pressure is INDEPENDENT of temperature and air density; (b) the thermodynamic processes at the surface are ISOBARIC in nature meaning that they occur under nearly constant pressure for a given elevation.
2. It follows from the above that a differential heating of a planetary surface by the Sun will cause variation in air density due to a differential expansion of the atmosphere. This is clearly observed in the different heights of the tropopause between equatorial and polar regions. At the Equator, the troposphere extends to about 17 km altitude, while at the Poles its depth is only 8-9 km. Yet, the pressure measured at equivalent altitudes is nearly the same between Equator and the Poles. Therefore, on a planetary scale, air density is a DEPENDENT variable governed by pressure & temperature, not a determinant of temperature as assumed in your Eq. 5. Hence, your assertion that “… temperature is determined by the interplay of pressure and density, with some influence from molar mass” is physically INCORRECT. My point is further supported by the fact that your model (which is basically an inverted form of the Gas Law equation) contains NO solar radiation. Where is the solar heating in your equation? In other words, what controls the air density in your model? In the real atmosphere, gas volume (thus density) is controlled by pressure and solar heating.
3. Since, on a planetary scale, pressure only depends on atmospheric mass & gravity, the Gas Law essentially represents a single equation with 2 unknowns – temperature and air density. You need a second independent equation in order to objectively solve for the 2 unknowns. Otherwise, the system is undefined! In the absence of a second equation, you’ve simply decided to use density as a determinant of air temperature in contradiction to observed atmospheric dynamics. This makes your choice arbitrary and devoid of physical meaning. Your model becomes, therefore, circular, because you use air density as a predictor of temperature while, in ISOBARIC systems, density in fact depends on temperature!
3. Please take a look at this paper, which demonstrates, how to properly predict average planetary temperatures using two truly INDEPENDENT drivers – solar radiation and surface atmospheric pressure:
Nikolov N, Zeller K (2017) New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model. Environ. Pollut. Climate Change 1:112. doi:10.4172/2573-458X.1000112
URL: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/New-Insights-on-the-Physical-Nature-of-the-Atmospheric-Greenhouse-Effect-Deduced-from-an-Empirical-Planetary-Temperature-Model.pdf

Philip Mulholland

Holmes (2017) did not realize that the near-surface atmospheric densities of planets reported in the literature have actually been calculated using the Gas Law.

While that may be true for the other planets let us consider which measurements we can make on Earth.
Holmes needs to make following measurements:-
P the near-surface atmospheric pressure in kPa – We can measure that.
M the near-surface atmospheric mean molar mass – We can measure that.
R the gas constant (m³, kPa, kelvin⁻¹, mol⁻¹) – We can measure that.
and finally ρ the near-surface atmospheric density – We can measure that too.
Let me introduce you to the Dasymeter invented in 1650 by Otto von Guericke and used to measure the mass-density of a gas
So for the Earth all 4 elements of the equation can be independently verified and the equation the produces T the near-surface atmospheric temperature in Kelvin.

Ned Nikolov

Phillip,
The question is not about the validity of the Gas Law. Nobody questions that! The issues is about the correct physical causality as I’ve explained in my replay above. On a planetary scale, because of the ISOBARIC nature of near-surface thermodynamic processes, air density is a PRODUCT of pressure & temperature, not a determinant of temperature as assumed by R. Holmes in his Eq. 5!

“and no, that doesn’t mean that you can diagnose or rule out heating processes simply because the atmosphere obeys the Ideal Gas Law.”
CO2 is not a heating process. CO2 acts to help distribute heat, but it does not create heat. It does not matter if water vapor or CO2 splits the heat distribution process 80/20 or 78/22 or 70/30.
At some height in the troposphere heat in = heat out.
From that height, say 10 km, down to the surface, the temperature rises according to the ideal gas law, giving us the “greenhouse effect”.
Changing the CO2 concentration does next to nothing, as the author points out. There simply is a slight shift in how the troposphere moves energy to the poles, to the other side of the world, to heights into the stratosphere, and the exact timing of heat movement every day, maybe by a minute or two.
I agree with the author, we will never measure the CO2 warming effect separate from natural variation.
On earth, water rules, and the trivial addition of CO2 does next to nothing.
The radiative cartoon of Hansen is interesting, but meaningless for earth. It earns him big money though, obsessing over it our added CO2.

MarkW

Nobody has ever claimed that CO2 creates heat. It slows down the rate at which heat that is being added by the sun can escape.

Nigel S

MarkW: Until you open the vents in the greenhouse (to stick with the GHC theme) surely? That’s to say, “what about convection”? Doesn’t that and the effects of water vapour overwhelm any CO2 effect?

Nigil, Water vapor regulates how how cold the surface gets late at night by converting WV to water and using the stored energy to supplement about 35W/m^2 at this site in Aus.comment image
You can see the roll off in net radiation in the middle of clear skies.
What I found looking in the optical window is Zenith temps still have nearly the same delta temps,as when it’s cooling at high speed at sunset, and then it changes speed there’s a 35W/m^2 reduction of outgoing energy, down from 55W/m^2 to about 20W/m^2comment image
When there isn’t a lot of WV, dew point falls faster, and it cools a little more.
But at the surface, sea level enthalpy in the tropics is about 73kJ/m^3, and drop about 9kJ/m^3. US SW Deserts has a average peak of about 36kJ/m^3, and dropped 16kJ/m^3, nearly half.
In the tropics, the water vapor level at the surface has far more stored energy in latent heat of evaporation, than the deserts do, why they cool so much at night, this effect is enabled by air temps nearing dew point, and desert dew points are so low, and then when it gets there there isn’t a lot of wv available to condense, in the tropics, it’s never ending.

The Reverend Badger

Hang on a minute.. I thought the back radiation downwards from the CO2 molecules was trillions of little ping pong ball like photons and that these photons carried energy and when they pinged into the surface of the earth that energy was given up and the molecules of the earth were heated up. THAT was what all the talk about “back radiation” was, transfer of heat energy TO the surface of the EARTH , FROM the CO2 molecules. why I have even seen diagrams with W/m^2 downward radiative flux which ADDS WATTS into the surface. How could I have been so stupid?
Obviously there is no heat from CO2, it’s just slowing down heat going out.
MarkW have you got a link please as to when the IPCC, Trenberth and all the others actually did abandon talk of “BACK RADIATION” please as for the life of me I cannot find it .I checked the IPCC reports and couldn’t find a “correction”, or indeed any kind of “apology” ?

zazove

Better to think of it in terms of photons your grace. Cold things do absorb AND emit them, in all directions including earthward – just fewer. Thickening up the layer of GHGs above, eg adding H2O, means there is just a few more earthward photons. Still many more coming up from below, but because the NET number has diminished slightly the surface temperature increases slightly. Calling them watts just confuses things.

MarkW

Water vapor and convection mitigate the affect of CO2, they don’t eliminate it.
The atmosphere has to warm first before it can rise.
The water has to warm before evaporation can increase.

Ned Nikolov

MarkW,
That’s a physically incorrect notion coming from misinterpretation of lab experiments using containers that hamper convection. An open convective atmosphere cannot “trap” radiant heat as wrongly conceptualized in the 19th Century. See this paper: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/New-Insights-on-the-Physical-Nature-of-the-Atmospheric-Greenhouse-Effect-Deduced-from-an-Empirical-Planetary-Temperature-Model.pdf

paqyfelyc

@zazove
“Thickening up the layer of GHGs above, eg adding H2O, means there is just a few more earthward photons. ”
indeed, but the keyword is FEW
This is no different from multi-layer insulation, which leaks heat in ~1/N (N number of layer), meaning the marginal new layer efficiency is in 1/N².
On Earth, only ~10% of ground emissions get through the GHG insulator to space already. N is huge. The effect of new layer is smaller than noise.

Nigel S

Thank you, an excellent summary of what I took from the NoTricksZone post.

Nigel S

Addressed to ‘sailboarder’, sorry.

RWturner

Real science strikes again! Cue the gravity d-nyers.

MarkW

You must believe that repeating nonsense will render it sensical.

schitzree

Repeat a lie often enough and people will start to believe it. Get enough people shouting it and no one can be heard who can point out it’s a lie.
‘Four legs good. Two legs BETTER! Four legs good. Two legs BETTER!’
~¿~

RWturner
Brett Keane

MW, behave please.

John harmsworth

Why wouldn’t this be testable by experiment? A long, tall box ( dimensions to be determined) with a heat sink maintained on top. An atmosphere in miniature and full solar spectrum light shone down into it. Add, subtract CO2, water, whatever. I don’t see why it can’t be demonstrated in miniature as many other things can. Less compression for sure but an 8 or 10 story tower should provide enough to demonstrate any effect at play. No?

Nigel S

It’s suggested in the paper that the Grand Canyon provides a good example with fixed temperature differences between the north and south sides and the bottom.

The Reverend Badger

Sometimes people dig themselves into a hole. Which is interesting because if they were to literally dig a hole and have a thermometer about their person…..

John harmsworth

Fixing temperatures is the role of governmental authorities! Scram! Here come the Klimate Kops!

D. J. Hawkins

I would suggest that it is possible that the bottom is warmer because reflection from the canyon walls tends to heat the bottom, not necessarily because of any gravity gradient. This might be tested by sampling the temperature along the canyon bottom and noting the local separation of the canyon walls to see if there is a correlation.

DJ Hawkins: “… the bottom is warmer because reflection from the canyon walls tends to heat the bottom, not necessarily because of any gravity gradient.” My suspicion is that in the early morning, when the heat from the canyon walls has dissipated and the sun has not yet risen and cold air has sunk, the bottom is still warmer than the rim.
“In general, temperature [at the Grand Canyon] increases 5.5°F with each 1,000 feet loss in elevation.” https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/nature/weather.htm This corresponds to the lapse rate, which suggests that the heating of canyon walls doesn’t play a significant role in the temperature difference between the rim and the bottom.
So the traditional view of the GHE is that GHGs raise the emissions height, and the distance between the heating of the ground by the sun and the emissions height gives rise to the lapse rate, since the heat convects upward from the warm ground at 5.5F for each 1000 feet. But I fail to see why just nitrogen and oxygen wouldn’t do much the same thing? Deserts can get very hot during the day and even with almost no water vapor there’s still a lapse rate; yes, the ground is continually heating but would not the ground be continually heating even if the atmosphere were pure N2 and O2? Does it make sense to say that without GHGs there would be no lapse rate, and that our planet would be radiating from the surface at 255K even though there are 2117 pounds/square foot of atmospheric pressure (or 19,053 pounds/ square yard) bearing down on N2 and O2 at the surface while these two gases are heated by the sun and by the surface as well? Sorry, but 19,000 pounds/square yard seems like a lot of compression to me. It’s doing nothing to the temperature? It’s not affecting how the volumes of gas closest to the surface can hold heat? It can be discarded while we only consider the radiative effects of the GHGs?
None of this is to say that GHGs don’t affect the lapse rate, but I’m wondering if we can really say that they cause it?

The Reverend Badger

Yes, John. This is exactly the kind of thinking we should be doing. I note that Robert does reference the work of R. Graeff (2007). A scaled up version of Graeff’s apparatus would give, according to the hypothesis, a larger temperature difference. For example a 10m high column of Argon is postulated to produce a 3K top-bottom difference due to gravity. 3K being highly significant and easily measured.
10m is easily manageable for a good laboratory and you can construct 2 identical apparatus sets , one horizonal and the other vertical to look at this. A mere $1 Million will produces masses of useful data here.
Rather a good return if you get a confirmation result as you will have just bought yourself a lottery ticket for the Nobel. And if you get a negative result you can shut all the dragon slayers, Nikolov and Zeller, D**G C****N, etc up for good.
What’s not to like for both the “Catholics” and the “Protestants”. I reckon both sides should get together and crowd fund it. In fact let both sides do their own IDENTICAL EXPERIMENTS. Then if they don’t agree we will (eventually) find out who are the lying B’stards.

hanelyp

The column doesn’t even need to be straight. But it would need to be well insulated to exclude outside influences. There are universities where a 10m tall column could be installed in a stairwell without obstructing the normal flow of traffic.

A C Osborn

It has already been done in Germany a few years ago and confirms what you suggest it should confirm, a Gravity induced gradient.

A C Osborn

Rev, Graeff continued his experiments in to 2012, there are 2 write ups by Lucy Skywalker over at Tallblokes here
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/graeffs-experiments-and-2lod-replication-and-implications/
and here
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/lucy-skywalker-graeffs-second-law-seminar/

Willis: “no process can heat the surface of a planet with a non-GHG atmosphere above the corresponding S-B temperature. ”
I think Stephen WIlde has already given an elegant explanation for why this is wrong: “If one starts with a GHG free atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium then the downward force of gravity is on average exactly offset by the upward pressure gradient force caused by surface heating via conduction and convection. That balance must apply at every height for an atmosphere to be retained.”
It seems to me that if you have a lapse rate, then bingo, you’ve got a temperature gradient at the surface that’s warmer than 255K. At the surface we have the sun heating not only the surface, but also a layer of atmosphere under significant pressure that receives heat from both the surface and the sun.
It seems that the whole problem with greenhouse theory is that it trips up by giving too much emphasis to radiative effects, as if that’s the whole story.

Ben Wouters

Willis Eschenbach February 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm

This is the proof by Dr. Robert Brown of Duke University. It is entitled “Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates”.

It should be clear that the atmosphere does not INCREASE the temperature of the surface by whatever mechanism. It merely reduces the energy loss to space. (so yes, without atmosphere it would be colder)
What is the relevance of Dr. Brown’s text for our atmosphere? The atmosphere is anything but adiabatic.
Simplified: solar energy is thermalized in the surface (mostly water). This warmed surface transfers energy to the atmosphere that releases this energy eventually to space. So energy loss to space is by radiation from the surface (atmospheric window) and the atmosphere.
The atmosphere exists because it is in Hydrostatic Equilibrium (HE) against gravity.
HE is in the end the driving force for all large scale phenomena in the atmosphere like the Global Circulation cells (Hadley, Ferrel and Polar), jet streams etc.etc.

RWturner

All that Robert Holmes has shown is that the atmospheres of various planets obey, to a good approximation, the Ideal Gas Law.
… So what?

So,

Given this, it is shown that no one gas has an anomalous effect on atmospheric temperatures that is significantly more than any other gas.

John harmsworth

Nice condensation! Pretty succinct and I find no flaw in your connection of these two statements or the statements themselves.. I predict those who don’t like it will try to complicate it, not refute your message.

schitzree

Well, let’s try to make an argument that is nice and simple.
The atmospheres of Planets follow the ideal gas law. They will do this if GHG’s have no effect. They will ALSO do this if GHG’s increase global temperature by slowing the rate of energy (heat) release.
The theory doesn’t prove one way or the other whether GHG’s cause warming, because the temperature of the atmosphere sets the volume and density. The Ideal Gas Law is upheld regardless of where the heat comes from.

The Reverend Badger

OK, John harmsworth is on one side and schitzree on the other. Lets have a look.
Consider 2 rocky planets with thick atmospheres orbiting at the same distance from , just for fun,our very own sun. And lets be really silly and have them in earth orbit as well. And even more ridiculously one has an atmosphere identical to the earth. Let this planet be E1.
Spec: E1 in earth orbit, same atmosphere as earth.
Now the other planet is E2 (how did you guess!). surprise surprise this is going to be identical to E1 EXCEPT for the composition of the atmosphere. The atmosphere of E2 will contain NO GHGs. It will be a nice mixture of various gases with exactly the same pressure, density and molar mass as E1. Just NO GHGs.
Clearly the existing greenhouse gas theory for Earth predicts that E1 will have a much higher (33K?) surface temperature than E2 Because of GHGs.
The alternative theory/hypothesis of Robert predicts they will have identical temperatures. But interestingly the figure is the same as the other theory. Coincidence? Maybe.
How would you eliminate the possibility that a simple formulae with no reference to the percentage of GHGs in an atmosphere accurately predicts the temperature of a planet with a very specific (todays) percentage of GHGs.Well have a look at other planets, some with huge GHG percentage (Venus). Obviously a simple formulae with no reference to GHGs would be expected to not fit 8 planets. And yet it does.
The ONLY way that is possible IF the GHG theory is correct is that changes in GHG percentage in an atmosphere must alter the pressure/density/molar mass to make Robert’s formulae fit. But you could change the pressure/density/molar mass in EXACTLY the same way numerically using non GHGs to get the same result.Therefore the GHG theory MUST be incorrect.
Robert knows it is a simple logical argument and he mentions it simply in a couple of sentences in his paper. Unfortunately it’s not immediately obvious or simple to everyone. My work around is a bit long winded but I hope it helps.
It was based on a long discussion I had in one of the Stack Exchange forums with my 2 hypothetical rocky planet examples, even with PhDs over there it was a real struggle to make headway. Those science based forums are one of the least useful places for serious discussion, 50% of the contributors are simply consensus gatekeepers. Thankfully WUWT is much better.
(47.376%)
Just my little joke, Anthony. Seriously good idea to have this posted.Can we do it again next year?

Reverend Badger ( and what exactly is that?) I think what you’ve explained is what I think Connolly and Connolly have found for our atmosphere, namely, that GHGs have no effect on pressure/density/molar mass, which in turn can be converted to temperature. https://globalwarmingsolved.com/2013/11/summary-the-physics-of-the-earths-atmosphere-papers-1-3/

schitzree

RB, me and John are not on opposite sides of the argument. I’m not saying GHG’S effect the temperature. I’m saying it DOESN’T MATTER if they do or not, the equation will still work.
Imagine if a rouge planetoid smashed into Mercury and created a massive dust cloud between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out 20% of the Sun’s light. The Earths temperature would clearly drop to a new lower level. At that temperature the Earths atmosphere would decrease in volume and increase in density. This is basic physics, it’s what matter does. And the Ideal Gas Law equations would still balance out. Because it’s a scientific Law. That’s why we call it a law.
Volume, Density, and Temperature are all linked. If you change one, the others MUST change. It doesn’t matter WHY one of them changed, they will always balance out. So the fact that they balance doesn’t prove one way or the other whether GHG’s can warm a planet.

Toneb

“The ONLY way that is possible IF the GHG theory is correct is that changes in GHG percentage in an atmosphere must alter the pressure/density/molar mass to make Robert’s formulae fit. But you could change the pressure/density/molar mass in EXACTLY the same way numerically using non GHGs to get the same result.Therefore the GHG theory MUST be incorrect.”
No you couldn’t as we know what is coming in via Solar absorbed, and what temperature that should give (255K).
It does – as seen from space.
So the two (as they should do) balance.
The GHE is slowing LWIR to space.
It is energy that has arrived but it is “backed-up” a tad whilst MORE SW energy is absorbed – that is the extra 150 W/m^2 of the GHE.
It is not “free” energy magically created by gravity, as this *theory* proposes.

The GHE is slowing LWIR to space.
It is energy that has arrived but it is “backed-up” a tad whilst MORE SW energy is absorbed – that is the extra 150 W/m^2 of the GHE.
It is not “free” energy magically created by gravity, as this *theory* proposes.

total nonsense tone.
Let me say thus one more time, there’s an optical window that is open to space, that lets energy out with not restrictions. Other side bands being blocked, doesn’t alter this at any time.comment image

Toneb

“Let me say thus one more time, there’s an optical window that is open to space, that lets energy out with not restrictions. Other side bands being blocked, doesn’t alter this at any time.”
No they are not.comment image
Yes yes all physicists are wrong and you are correct.
Stands to reason.
They have also cooked Modtran to show a GHE that doesn’t exist too?

“Let me say thus one more time, there’s an optical window that is open to space, that lets energy out with not restrictions. Other side bands being blocked, doesn’t alter this at any time.”
No they are not.
Yes yes all physicists are wrong and you are correct.
Stands to reason.
They have also cooked Modtran to show a GHE that doesn’t exist too?

BWhahahaha
What that shows is the middle has very little interference from any gases. Low low spot at 10u, means it’s beaming to space from the surface, where the other 2 peaks are radiating from those gases.
That’s the window! You can see through it. Some houses have them where they are clear to visible light, and they are opaque to UV and IR, isn’t that special they can tune materials by wavelength.

eyesonu

Rev Badger, (February 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm)
“Clearly the existing greenhouse gas theory for Earth predicts that E1 will have a much higher (33K?) surface temperature than E2 Because of GHGs.
The alternative theory/hypothesis of Robert predicts they will have identical temperatures. But interestingly the figure is the same as the other theory. Coincidence? Maybe.”
========================
For your hypothetical rocky planets:
Perhaps you should include another option for the temps of E1 and E2; that E1 could be cooler than E2 due to GHG allowing absorbed solar energy to be radiated to space whereas E2 would not have that ability.
What is the (47.376%)?

RWturner

Let me summarize the debate in another way. Imagine a literal greenhouse. How does it work?
If you were to measure the optical window from above the greenhouse, you’d find that the greenhouse roof is opaque to infrared radiation, so you could surmise that the greenhouse is warmer than the outside air because the glass absorbs infrared and then the air inside the greenhouse is warmed by back radiation — the Toneb hypothesis.
Alternatively, you could surmise that solid surfaces inside the greenhouse are warmed by solar radiation, these solid objects warm the air due to molecular collisions (oh boy look gas IS conductive), and this air then rises and is replaced by cooler air. But what happens to the rising warm air, it’s convection is blocked by the roof, much like convection in the troposphere is blocked by gravity. This process retains heat within the greenhouse.
Here’s the kicker, both processes undoubtedly contribute to why the air inside the greenhouse is warmer, but what is their relative importance? Do you really think that the radiation being emitted by the glass is the more of a contributing factor to the warmth inside the greenhouse than the blocked convection? Would replacing the roof with an infrared transparent material cool the greenhouse more than allowing the convected air to escape? This is literally what the adherents to the GHG climate hypothesis are claiming.
Well, that failed hypothesis’ days are numbered and there is a major case of foot in mouth disease going around that I hope will soon be cured.
And what would happen if you were to believe that auto compression is not a real and important phenomenon? You’d be forced to compensate for the additional heat in the atmosphere by conjuring up ridiculous GHG sensitivity hypotheses, you’d create climate models using these hypotheses, and then you’d project temperature projections based on this changing variable. And then what would you do if these models using these hypotheses all grossly overestimated the warming? You could, a) conclude that the hypotheses are wrong and adjust your model, or b) adjust data ex post facto, claim the heat is where you can’t measure it, and claim the heating just hasn’t happened yet for some unknown reason.

RWturner

Lastly, this effect shouldn’t be imagined as a local weather phenomenon like chinooks or pressure at the bottom of the grand canyon. It’s represented on the large scale atmospheric circulation patterns. Regions of the planet where there is a net upward movement of air show lower amounts of outgoing LWIR, regions of the planet where there is a net downward movement of air show higher amounts of outgoing LWIR, especially when looked at as a residual from the trend.comment image

Nigel S

RWturner February 7, 2018 at 8:58 am: Thanks again, everyone knows how to cool a greenhouse or conservatory, open the windows(!) but few seem to make the connection. Polytunnels work but polythene is transparent to IR. Special grades of polythene are available that absorb IR to prevent scorching of delicate plants by incoming IR. A useful piece of trivia for winding up GHG warmistas if one is in the mood.

Robert Holmes

Nigel
Correct.
Open the windows and the ‘greenhouse’ will soon be the same temperature as ‘outside’, – even though SW radiation is still streaming through the glass and hitting objects which then emit LW radiation.
The atmosphere is open.

Nigel S

From a comment on the NoTricksZone post. ‘Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell proposed in his 1871 book “Theory of Heat” that the temperature of a planet depends only on gravity, mass of the atmosphere, and heat capacity of the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases have nothing to do with it. Many publications since, have expounded on Maxwell’s theory and have shown that it applies to all planets in the Solar System.’
Would anybody care to comment on that and prove Maxwell wrong?

John harmsworth

Who is this James Clerk Maxwell that questions the Great Mann?

Nigel S

A Trinity Man! (But so is the Astronomer Royal which spoils that one a bit.)
https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/alumni/famous-trinity-alumni/

hanelyp

James Clerk Maxwell published theories with actual predictive skill.

“Would anybody care to comment on that and prove Maxwell wrong?”
How about quoting what Maxwell actually said?

Nigel S

Yes, sorry, I can’t find anything better than the comment from ‘NoTricksZone’ which is why I asked for help from the ‘grate branes’ of WUWT.

Gabro

Nowhere in “Theory of Heat” is there a passage precisely reproducing that alleged quotation:
https://www3.nd.edu/~powers/ame.20231/maxwell1872.pdf
Nor does Maxwell even use the words “planet” or “planetary”.
He does however mention “atmosphere” 52 times and “gravity” 59.

Nigel S

Gabro: Thanks for the link, looking through it now. Meanwhile thanks to RWturner: February 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm above for this. Physics lessons are in order…
The link starts:
‘Feynman explains how gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy convert to create the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect, without greenhouse gases
Excerpts from The Feynman Lectures, Chapter 40, The Principles of Statistical Mechanics, which prove the Maxwell/Clausius/Carnot gravito-thermal greenhouse effect is correct, and would occur in a pure atmosphere containing only the non-greenhouse gases N2 & O2 (99.94% of our atmosphere)’

Maxwell: “In the convective equilibrium of temperature, the absolute temperature is proportional to the pressure raised to the power (γ-1)/γ, or 0,29.” http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/05/maxwell-established-that-gravity.html

Nigel S

Nick Stokes February 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm: How about quoting what Maxwell actually said?
Too long to post here but page 300 – 302 of the third edition, 1872, seems to cover it.
Maxwell starts by saying (page 300, para. 2) that vertical columns of gas in thermal equlibrium have equal temperature throughout but then states (p 300, para. 5) ‘This result is by no means applicable to the case of our atmosphere. Setting aside the enormous direct effect of the sun’s radiation in disturbing thermal equilibrium, the effect of winds in carrying large masses of air from one height to another tends to produce a distribution of temperature of a quite different kind, …’
I think the original comment at NoTricks Zone was reaching a bit but this seems to be what it was about.

Nigel S,
That’s a good find on p 300. The link is given by Gabro above. I think it is worth reproducing. I’ve merged parts of p 300 and 301, with a bit of coloring. The red shows what he thinks of these gravity theories. The blue relates to what I was describing here. Winds drive air up and down, doing work and driving a heat pump. That is what maintains the lapse rate.comment image

Nigel S,
That’s a good find on p 300. The link is given by Gabro above. I think it is worth reproducing. I’ve merged parts of p 300 and 301, with a bit of coloring. The red shows what he thinks of these gravity theories. The blue relates to what I was describing here. Winds drive air up and down, doing work and driving a heat pump. That is what maintains the lapse rate.comment image

Brett Keane

Nick, I have downloaded the Theory of Heat myself. You could profit from reading it. He links the Poisson Relationship (the Gas Laws) to both experiments and the real atmosphere. A great physicist and a great experimenter. Hartmann and Berthold Klein have reproven his work in modern times.

Nigel S

Nick Stokes: Yes, thank goodness for ‘The extreme slowness of the conduction of heat in air’ otherwise all these layers of clothing I’m wearing would be less effective.

Smart Rock

the temperature of a planet depends ONLY on gravity, mass of the atmosphere, and heat capacity of the atmosphere

(My capitals and bold) What that says is that if our earth was further from the sun, say just outside the orbit of Neptune, that our surface temperatures would be the same as they are here and now. Or even out in intergalactic space. Or beside Mercury even.
OK Nigel, that’s settled then, the sun plays no role in determining our surface temperature right? Of course, that’s why our global temperatures are the same in summer and winter! Now I get it! The thermometer in my window that says -35°C is just an optical illusion!
OK /sarc off
Are you really sure he wasn’t misquoting Maxwell? Who was one of the founders of modern physics, not to mention being a scot.
I think that this whole discussion is moving from the ridiculous to the mindless.
I’m sure Holmes is wrong but I’m too busy lazy to work out the logic. Plus it’s so long since I learned physics, I’d probably get the argument wrong anyway.

Nigel S

“No I’m not saying that at all!” (to quote the learned Prof. Peterson)
I quoted a comment (not mine of course) and asked for comments from the ‘grate branes’ here because despite being a fellow alumnus with Newton and Maxwell I’m not close to the same leauge but some here evidently are.

Nigel S

Spelling being yet another issue …

Brett Keane

SR, the insolation when compared to ours here is usually and necessarily computed by using for instance the decimal fraction of our distance from the sun (AU). That is how we do it for both planets and aired moons. Because of the need for one optical depth minimum for full effectiveness, atmospheres of more than 0.1bar are prefered.
Insolation is a required part of the calculations for obvious reasons but it may have been neglected above.

Dang … “adiabatic auto-compression” as a permanent energy source. Is it patented yet?
Please forgive my sarcasm, I just get tired of endless claims of endless energy … onwards.

This is the problem with using averages for somethings, remember in this case, we get a much larger burst of energy for part of the day, and then it decays. As well as there’s a lot of range in the daily temperature range which redistributes heat from one place to another as air and WV. That graph I keep showing has 18F (~10C) of additional warming from water vapor, as compared to if water didn’t condense.
I’m still agnostic on whether the pressure hypothesis is right or not, but I don’t think it has to conjure energy up to get close, I found about half already.

RWturner

The perpetual energy argument makes absolutely no sense and is only evidence that they are simply dismissing this unequivocal truth out of hand. It’s not perpetual energy, it is energy retention, a positive feedback into the energy budget of all atmospheres. When your energy budget models have a glaring omission of a major positive feedback, you tend to overcompensate others to make up the difference and if that specific variable you’ve over estimated changes (CO2) you might just overestimate the influence that change will have.

Gary Pearse

We must have picked up a lot of atmospheric mass since the Little Ice Age. It does make sense if we consider the Younger Dryas was caused by sorcerers who withdrew air from the atmosphere and froze everyones a55e5 off.
And don’t get me going on the Glacial maximums! In both Greenland and Antarctica, when they hit the pre 15000 ybp layer there was a huge sucking sound as the ice reclaimed its lost atmospheric gases from those frigid days. I tell ya someone could have been killed.

John harmsworth

The atmosphere is a mix of gases and temperatures trending toward lower at altitude and poleward. The adiabatic effect is the concentration of heat (higher temperatures) at lower altitudes. The average temperature of the atmosphere is a function of the heat input (sun) and the speed of heat transport to altitude and escape. His theory just describes the relationship between heat input and surface temperature. He doesn’t say that input never varies. He does say that speed of transport is basically constant regardless of the constituency of the atmosphere.
I am inclined to think he is right. it is important to remember that heat content and temperature are not one and the same. Gases compress and heat. As they heat they re-expand and seek to rise. This process absolutely transports heat to altitude. Condensing gases (water) multiply this transport greatly as they carry far more heat (latent heat).

RWturner

Yes, it’s basically just a model to test whether the composition of the atmosphere determines the temperature at the surface.

ren

Abstract
A minimum atmospheric temperature, or tropopause, occurs at a pressure of around 0.1 bar in the atmospheres of Earth1, Titan2, Jupiter3, Saturn4, Uranus and Neptune4, despite great differences in atmospheric composition, gravity, internal heat and sunlight. In all of these bodies, the tropopause separates a stratosphere with a temperature profile that is controlled by the absorption of short-wave solar radiation, from a region below characterized by convection, weather and clouds5,6. However, it is not obvious why the tropopause occurs at the specific pressure near 0.1 bar. Here we use a simple, physically based model7 to demonstrate that, at atmospheric pressures lower than 0.1 bar, transparency to thermal radiation allows short-wave heating to dominate, creating a stratosphere. At higher pressures, atmospheres become opaque to thermal radiation, causing temperatures to increase with depth and convection to ensue. A common dependence of infrared opacity on pressure, arising from the shared physics of molecular absorption, sets the 0.1 bar tropopause. We reason that a tropopause at a pressure of approximately 0.1 bar is characteristic of many thick atmospheres, including exoplanets and exomoons in our galaxy and beyond. Judicious use of this rule could help constrain the atmospheric structure, and thus the surface environments and habitability, of exoplanets.
https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2020?WT.feed_name=subjects_giant-planets&foxtrotcallback=true

So is a car “radiator” a radiator or a conductor, similarly is the daytime earth surface cooled by radiation or by conduction to whole atmosphere which includes tracss of CO2
Think about it and ramifications.

RWturner

If you were to replace the vacuum tube inside a thermos with three gases (CO2, H2O, N2) which one would cause the thermos to lose heat fastest at temperatures where none of the gases would condense? The non conductive and non infrared active gas or one of the infrared active but conductive gases? My money would be on H2O, the most conductive gas.

Brett Keane

GT, it is both, but mostly a conductor enhanced by forced airflow and speed of travel together. Original engine radiators used zero pressure evaporative cooling. Even done in the massive Schneider Trophy winners of Mitchell, which foreshadowed the Spitfire. Water needed replenishment, easy in stationary engines once used on most farms, or just enough, to save weight, in racing planes

ren

The NCEP GDAS and CPC temperature and height analyses are used to monitor processes in the Stratosphere and Troposphere. In the table below are zonal mean time series of Temperature.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_MEAN_ALL_EQ_2017.png

ren

The basic question is: what determines the vertical temperature gradient in the troposphere on planets with dense atmosphere?

The ease with which conduction can occur between surface and air molecules is what determines the vertical temperature gradient.
Denser air conducts more readily so the temperature can rise higher.
The lapse rate slope follows the density gradient with height so one can regard the lapse rate slope as a product of the rate at which the efficiency of conduction declines with height
Where an atmosphere has radiative capability (as they all do) one can also regard the vertical temperature gradient as representing the changing balance between radiation and conduction as one moves up the vertical density gradient.
Conduction is greatest at the surface relative to radiation and least at top of atmosphere relative to radiation.
Conduction drives the surface temperature above that predicted from radiation alone. The more conduction the greater the divergence. Thus the surface temperature enhancement is a product of conductive capability and not radiative capability.

ren

“The troposphere on Venus contains 99% of the atmosphere by mass. Ninety percent of the atmosphere of Venus is within 28 km of the surface; by comparison, 90% of the atmosphere of Earth is within 10 km of the surface. At a height of 50 km the atmospheric pressure is approximately equal to that at the surface of Earth.[20] On the night side of Venus clouds can still be found at 80 km above the surface.[21]
The altitude of the troposphere most similar to Earth is near the tropopause—the boundary between troposphere and mesosphere. It is located slightly above 50 km.[17] According to measurements by the Magellan and Venus Express probes, the altitude from 52.5 to 54 km has a temperature between 293 K (20 °C) and 310 K (37 °C), and the altitude at 49.5 km above the surface is where the pressure becomes the same as Earth at sea level.[17][22] As manned ships sent to Venus would be able to compensate for differences in temperature to a certain extent, anywhere from about 50 to 54 km or so above the surface would be the easiest altitude in which to base an exploration or colony, where the temperature would be in the crucial “liquid water” range of 273 K (0 °C) to 323 K (50 °C) and the air pressure the same as habitable regions of Earth.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus

John harmsworth

He seems to have nailed 8 out of 8 planets. My only question would be, do the planetary temperatures coincide with their distance from the sun?

Gabro

Roughly, but Uranus and Neptune have temperatures (at altitude where their atmospheres equal Earth’s sea level pressure) nearly equal, despite Neptune’s being about 11 AU farther from the sun (19.2 v. 30.1).
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/681/solar-system-temperatures/

mellyrn

Hmm. Does this maybe imply that Neptune has some internal heat source, as from maybe a radioactive core?

Gabro

Mel,
Neptune does appear to have an internal heat source, like Jupiter and Saturn, but not as yet supported for Uranus.
http://www.solstation.com/stars/neptune.htm
But it is otherwise similar to Uranus.

Brett Keane

jh – yes.

observa

Laws shmaws as there’s only one solution to the greatest threat to mankind ever and that’s lobster thermidor-
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/techandscience/massive-crayfish-that-didnt-exist-25-years-ago-are-capable-of-cloning-themselves-and-its-terrifying-scientists/ar-BBIMqcs
I officially declare CO2 a second order problem unless it’s marbled crayfish exhalations.

JohnWho

OK, gravity pulls the heavier, cool air down and that cooler air displaces the warmer air effectively pushing it up.
The driver here isn’t the Sun, it is the area where the air is being cooled enough to be heavier and pulled down, is it not?
In other words, if up to the Sun, all the air would eventually become the same temperature, but the heat is “lost in space” so down comes the cooler air.
Further, the energy supposedly gained by the falling air is lost as that air pushes the air it displaces up, is it not?
So, ask Schroedinger’s cat: is the system always in equilibrium or never in equilibrium?

Toneb

“OK, gravity pulls the heavier, cool air down and that cooler air displaces the warmer air effectively pushing it up.”
No.
It is buoyancy.
Same as a hot air balloon, it rises because it has less mass/weight than the air it displaces and vicky verky.
It is Archimedes’ Principle, which states that the buoyant force on a submerged object is equal to the weight of the fluid that is displaced by the object.
https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/WindTunnel/Activities/buoy_Archimedes.html
Gravity has done it’s work on the atmisphere and the “heat” that process causes dissipated eons ago.
Work done on the atmosphere is caused by the solar input and by Earth’s rotation.
Air is constantly in motion (thermals, baroclinic uplift, turbulence over ground, subsidence from regions of convergence aloft etc). When air moves up/down other air has to move down/up. It is this (as Nick Stokes says) that produces the “heat pump” that maintains the LR, this modified by LH release and the GHE but always tending towards -g/cp.

Phoenix44

And why does mass matter? Gravity.
Try floating a boat in water on the ISS.

Toneb

“And why does mass matter? Gravity.”
It does matter.
As I said, it sets the LR by virtue of compression.
Greatest compression at the bottom – molecules closer together – more collisions – higher temp.
The atmosphere is then in static balance (in the absence of ALL other effects).
What then moves depends on local temp changes ….. density changes > buoyancy.
Not gravity.
Air moves independent of the gravity field BUT within it.
Against it even.
Whilst it does that an equal volume of air moves down. Zero sum BUT with the maintenance of the LR.
Extrapolating it to space just illustrates your misunderstanding.
As the (hypothetical) balloon on ISS has the same weight whatever it’s temp and it would displace an equal amount of capsule air of the same weight so therefore is a zero sum.

Brett Keane

tonyb, buoyancy only exists in gravity. Hence it is a pseudo-force in physics. Same for gravity, IIRC, though let’s not go there for now (grin).

charles nelson

Rushes to the cupboard, takes out the bottle of compressed CO2 for the soda stream….it’s like at 20 bars or something…it should be like RED HOT!!!!
Measures its temperature……..DAMN!

Jer0me

Exactly.
Anyone who says it heats up wgen you compress it should just be told that it cools when you let it expand, so the net effect is zero, just like a fridge.

But our atmosphere is not exactly like a bottle of compressed gas, is it? So I suspect your analogy is an attempt to simplify something that might be more subtle and complex than many believe.

D. J. Hawkins

More importantly, the gas law relationship really only works for true adiabatic processes when you are talking about compression/expansion cycles. As soon as heat can move out of or into your “system”, all bets are off.

Brett Keane

Jerome, because insolation is integral to the existence of an atmosphere, as opposed to a layer of N-O etc. ice. Keep pumping if you want to copy the real effect.

zazove

Of renowned climate experts there would exist an overwhelming consensus in agreement with Mr Eschenbach, for reasons he and others have expressed. Why is it still a thing? Why doesn’t a pile of books radiate heat?

ren

Another question: why only changes in atmospheric humidity affect changes in the vertical temperature gradient?

Toneb

“Another question: why only changes in atmospheric humidity affect changes in the vertical temperature gradient?”
It doesn’t.
See mine and Nick Stokes’ comments on here.

It doesn’t.
See mine and Nick Stokes’ comments on here.

Lol, all it will take to prove that wrong is to measure zenith temps with an IR thermometer over days with different absolute humidity.
In fact there’s a NASA paper explaining how to calibrate your IR thermometer to measure TPW.

Toneb

micro:
By concentrating on experiments in your back-yard concerning atmospheric humidity and it’s known GHE does not mean that CO2 does not act as a GHG, and your “findings” are neither surprising nor applicable to the planetary atmospheric mass, where CO2 has a more dominant CO2 role.
It’s a massive fail, as I’ve tried patiently to explain to you in several posts over several Blogs.
There is a reason why we call your type a sky-dragon slayer, there are no sky-dragons and they don’t need slaying.
But please do carry on, you are harmless enough.

By concentrating on experiments in your back-yard concerning atmospheric humidity and it’s known GHE does not mean that CO2 does not act as a GHG, and your “findings” are neither surprising nor applicable to the planetary atmospheric mass, where CO2 has a more dominant CO2 role.

Tone, Co2 is as well mixed in my backyard as it is in Australia where I’m getting my net radiation data from (this paper http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL019137/pdf ).
You ever do any kinds of circuit analysis? Clear sky radiative properties as simple enough to figure out. It’s a lot like characterizing antenna on an antenna field, or transmission line characterization of striplines, and circuit boards, it’s just the radiative properties, the dialectic properties, stuff like that. It works the same on that level, it just follows SB statistics instead of Ohm’s law, but even simple transformers are just em wave generators magnetically coupled to an identical receiver. Same as 2 co2 molecules coupling a photon from one to another.
I did this professionally for 20 years, where I had to teach others how to use these tools, as well as being licensed by the FCC at 17 to operate Broadcast stations, big photon generators, designed to send photons to liked sized wavelength specific antennas.

Earthnull is showing that. I took notice of a puzzle recently when looking at the CO2 filter which shows that the colder areas are those with the higher CO2 concentrations. That shows the insignificance of CO2 versus wv.. Wv streams into an area, and temps raise 10s of degrees F. When the wv moves on or snows out, then temps drop once again, and that seems to concentrate CO2 in the colder areas, …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=-258.75,66.32,672/loc=89.997,62.527

The Reverend Badger

One of my neighbours lives in an old converted water mill. The mill wheel still works and he has coupled a small electrical generator to it. Now as I know the stream never stops flowing and the generator output is real energy this looks like free perpetual energy (practically). Where does it come form. Well obviously we know it is the potential energy of the water at the top of the wheel. So gravity drives it. Is gravity the source of the energy?
I say there is more to it. Gravity is the means by which the potential energy can be extracted. You wouldn’t be able to extract anything with gravity unless there was a mass there that could fall. So it’s not perpetual as the mass will fall and be gone. But then there’s more. The stream keeps flowing.
Why does the stream keep flowing and the mass which can fall never run out? Because it is continually replaced. By what? By the mass (water) that has fallen. But to get it back into the stream you have to do work on it. Where does that happen, where does the energy to get the water back up the top come from?
KER- CHING !!
The source of the energy is the SUN. The heat energy from the sun is converted into the potential energy of mass when it goes up, rises by e.g. water molecules in rising air. Gravity provides the means by which energy can be extracted from the higher mass.
So in the case of the water mill we are using gravity to extract energy from, ultimately, the Sun. It’s not that we are extracting energy from gravity.
Now you understand the water mill try extending the argument to the atmosphere and consider how the surface of the earth gets hotter when there is an atmosphere compared to the hypothetical no atmosphere rocky earth2. Remember gravity does nothing without mass but its a one way process (DOWN!). Gravity doesn’t do UP.

zazove

“Remember gravity does nothing without mass but its a one way process (DOWN!). Gravity doesn’t do UP.”
I think this is where you are going wrong with this your grace. Gravity is not a one way process. Seesaws go in both directions. Net energy zero minus friction. Energy in from space versus energy back out, net zero after billions of years of equilibrium. Lots of seesaws but no power.
Rudi

The Reverend Badger

Rudi, thanks so much. I am about half way through writing a book and still had not really come up with a catchy title. Would you mind very much if I used it? I will give you a proper mention in the “thanks” and append your full name and (if applicable) all the letters you have after your name.
“Gravity is not a one way process. Seesaws go in both directions”
$19.95 at Amazon (est)

zazove

You have my blessing.

Yogi Bear

Avogadro says read Charles’s law.

Ian W

I was hoping someone would point this out. They can start by stating what exactly they think they are measuring when they measure the ‘temperature of a volume of gas’.
Then they can describe what happens if you squeeze more molecules to that volume of gas all with the same average kinetic energy because that volume is at sea level rather than above sea level.
The problem with mathematicians is that they don’t really understand the logic of the gas laws. Or the importance of Avogadro’s hypothesis to Charles’s Law.

see what happens when skeptics try to change modes from doubting science to actually doing it?
you get sky dragons
doubt is not enough

JohnWho

Are you saying you agree with the Sky Dragon science?

Jer0me

This is beyond even your usual level of inanity, Mosher.

SkepticGoneWild

Oh the hilarity. English and psychology majors lecturing us on science.

Phoenix44

Yes every real scientist who has ever done real science has always been right.
Are you aware that science constantly proves science wrong and that is the whole point?

Gary Pearse

Steven, get a grip. Are you saying that to be sceptical of a scientific theory shows something crazy about the doubter? I know you don’t believe that – you demonstrated intelligence and insightfulness once but since BEST you have become a security guard protecting virtually any and all turf, yes, event the stuff of your side’s equivalent of skydragons. I’m sure you also know that the dangerous warming proponents have a phalanx of empty-headed supporters, just as there are “non believers” who mindlessly dismiss the AGW propositon out of hand.
You know that there is, however, a highly intelligent group with scientific and mathematical proficiency and specialized knowledge that are the strength of this site. Anthony lets anyone have a say, so, yes there is always chaff which sometimes overwhelms the threads – but less so than in dangerous warming supportive sites which, these days, which put out much more snark than science from the supposedly scientifically “literate” core. I know that inside your mind you recognize that the thoughtful contingent here has had a very large beneficial effect on the actual science (it goes unsung, but thats not why such thinkers come here, anyway)

Doug MacKenzie

A lot of posters here need to study up on tephigrams, versions of which have been used by meteorologists for decades. This would help them understand the ideal and not-so-ideal laws of thermodynamics that control the atmospheric temperature in the convective troposphere up to radiative dominant altitudes, and help them understand where ‘lapse rate’ comes from. And it’s not OK to redefine well understood atmospheric convective thermodynamic effects with pseodo-scientific terms such as ‘auto-compression’….

Ian W

+1

Gabro

“Auto-compression” is a valid scientific term, most often encountered in mine ventilation literature.

Robert Holmes

Correct; ‘Auto-Compression’ is a widely used term in mine ventilation. We ventilation engineers calculate how hot the mine will get for the mine-workers by including this well-known effect in our calculations. Auto-compression starts at the tropopause and extends down to below surface.

Gabro

Robert,
I thought you might be a mining engineer, given your use of that term.

DMacKenzie

My apologies to you mining engineers, it’s a term I have never heard despite decades of compression related engineering work.

Toneb

“Auto-compression starts at the tropopause and extends down to below surface.”
Yes it does, which is why the Earth’s non GHE temp of 255K is fixed at around 8km presently and the -g/Cp relation extends down to the surface to realise 288K.
If you dig a big hole it would extend down that as well.
Why do you find that needs sky-dragon slaying physics to explain?
However the atmosphere doesn’t go extending the depth of the atmosphere whilst containing it’s volume, as we do in a mine shaft. The atmosphere is free to expand and contract, which is why we cannot apply Charles’ Law to it.

Ian W

So “auto-compression” is a synonym for the “lapse rate”?

DMacKenzie

Yes Toneb, conceptually the same. And reviewing tephigrams and the thermo behind them is rewarding for those trying to understand atmospheric phenomenon.

You mean, just as it’s not OK to redefine radiative physics with the pseudo-science that the skeptics use?
It’s easy to lob bombs from our side of our favored paradigm, but maybe that other paradigm has some validity, too. Isn’t that exactly the problem with the alarmists– they stick to their favored paradigm come hell or rapidly-rising seas?
Maybe we should chill on the paradigms and try to understand what the other side is saying. They may be the dense ones, yes, or one the other hand and God forbid, we may be a little dense, too.

Pretty pictures on internet hype DO NOT make it so (ok, a former Army guy quoting a Navy bridge command myth, except the McCain did NOT make it so).

The Reverend Badger

I thought this cute picture of the solar system, with its title, was a joke but now I see it is the ultimate truth of the matter. It’s a shame we have not yet reconstructed the temperature dial on the antikythera though. Quite important for interplanetary travel, I always thought it was odd that on Star Trek they never took an overcoat, hat and scarf with them into the transporter. Obviously they KNEW that if it had a breathable atmosphere at reasonably close to earth pressure it MUST be near earth temperature. Simples!

A comment about Pierre Gosslin’s NoTricksZone. Always an interesting read, but I find one has to be quite careful with the ‘sciency’ stuff. He and Kenneth Richards will post anything that is ‘skeptical’ irrespective of its quality. This post is an example of when that lake of basic climate science QC goes awry.

Since you have not provided any evidence, you are just blowing smoke. I have asked multiple times for you to provide the error in their maths, and you have not done it.

As willis said, there is no error in the math. The error is thinking that the math shows anything other than the ideal gas law appears universal.

Steve Ta

… and it has been pointed out many times that their ‘maths’ is not being questioned – just the conclusions they erroneously draw from it.

Steve Zell

As a chemical engineer, I use the ideal-gas law very frequently, but it alone cannot be used to demonstrate anything about whether gases in the atmosphere can trap heat.
To illustrate this point, let’s compare a point on land on the equator of the Earth during one of the equinoxes with a point on the equator of the Moon. If the weather is clear, the point on the Earth’s equator would receive about the same average radiation power from the sun during one Earth day as the point on the Moon would receive during one lunar day. If the point on Earth is in a desert area, the surface temperature might vary from about 280 K at night to about 320 K at the hottest part of the day. The surface temperature on the Moon varies over a much wider range, with a much lower night-time minimum and a much higher daytime maximum.
The reason for this is that the Moon has no atmosphere, and acts like a Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody, radiating away heat according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, and receiving radiation from the sun with no filtering from the atmosphere.
The Earth’s atmosphere, during daylight hours, absorbs much of the radiation from the sun, particularly in the high-energy ultraviolet part of the spectrum, so that the point on the Earth’s equator does not heat up as much as the point on the Moon’s equator. At night, some of the IR radiation from the Earth is absorbed by the atmosphere (particularly water vapor), but some of the heat is transferred to the atmosphere by conduction and convection, and the atmosphere’s specific heat prevents it from being cooled too much at night.
Also, since the Earth’s surface is about 70% covered by liquid water, there is always some evaporation of water into the atmosphere during sunlit hours (which cools the surface). If some of this water vapor condenses into clouds, this transfers heat to the atmosphere. Even on clear nights, once the temperature of the atmosphere reaches the water dew point, the condensing of water vapor into dew or frost heats the atmosphere, and the surface air temperature cannot decrease below the dew point.
The question that Holmes should consider is WHY do planets have the atmospheres that they do? This depends on the gravitational acceleration on the planet’s surface (which increases with the diameter of the planet) and the amount of radiation received from the sun.
Mercury has a weak gravitational field and receives much more solar radiation than the Earth, so any gas molecules on Mercury quickly reach their escape velocity (due to Brownian motion) and escape into space.
Venus has a gravitational acceleration similar to that of Earth, but receives twice the solar radiation as the Earth. Venus is too hot for water to exist as a liquid, and it would escape Venus’ gravity as a vapor, as would nitrogen and oxygen, but CO2 molecules are heavier and slower, and cannot escape Venus’ gravity despite the high temperature.
The Earth’s distance from the sun enables water to exist as a liquid, while its gravitational pull is strong enough to hold nitrogen and oxygen in its atmosphere. It should be noted that the noble gases helium and neon, which have lower molecular weights than nitrogen, are rare in the Earth’s atmosphere, while argon (whose molecular weight is higher than that of oxygen) is plentiful at about 1%. The presence of liquid water on the Earth’s surface is its main temperature regulator, due to the cooling effect of evaporation during sunlit hours, and condensation as dew or frost during nighttime hours.
The Moon’s gravity is only about 1/6 of that of the Earth, so even though it receives about the same amount of solar radiation as the Earth, any gases quickly escape its gravity, and it has no atmosphere.
The gravity on Mars is much weaker than on Earth, but Mars receives less than half the solar radiation as Earth. Mars is too cold to form liquid water, but its gravity is strong enough to hold a thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere, whose pressure is too low to absorb much IR radiation.
The outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) have much stronger gravity than on Earth, but receive much less solar radiation. They have thick atmospheres of mostly methane (which can remain in the vapor phase at temperatures down to -250 F), but do not receive enough solar radiation for IR absorption to warm their surfaces very much.

joelobryan

And yet after all that, climate scientists are claiming an existential threat from 1 to 2 additional molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules. Ludicrous in the extreme. History will eventually laugh a hearty belly-laugh at the likes of Hansen, Mann, Trenberth, Santer, and all the other CO2 alarmist hucksters.

Toneb

“Ludicrous in the extreme.”
Appeal to incredulity again.
Not a valid scientific argument.
The maxim “they know than you” is true.

“The surface temperature on the Moon varies over a much wider range, with a much lower night-time minimum and a much higher daytime maximum. The reason for this is that the Moon has no atmosphere.”
An dense atmosphere contains more heat, ie, it takes the same energy transfer longer to warm it up. The reverse at night. So of course the temperature swings are higher on the moon.

Ben Wouters

Steve Zell February 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

The reason for this is that the Moon has no atmosphere, and acts like a Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody, radiating away heat according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, and receiving radiation from the sun with no filtering from the atmosphere.

Most of what you write makes sense, but not the above.
Although the atmosphere does play a role, the main reason is the surface material.
The lunar regolith has a low heat capacity and is a very poor conductor, so the surface warms up quickly during daytime. Day temperatures are close to radiative balance temperatures. Night temperatures not so. They are way above radiative balance temperatures. Should be ~3K, actually ~70-100K.
On Earth ~70% of the surface is water with a high heat capacity.
A full day of solar energy in the tropics is just capable of warming 10m water ~0,5K.
This is the main reason for the small difference between day and night temperatures on earth.
What amazes me in the discussion above is that the Hydrostatic Equlibrium our atmosphere is in isn’t mentioned at all afaik.

I have a question for those who can do the math.
We have ocean currents on this planet that distribute heat from the equator to the poles.
My understanding of the black body 255K calculation is that it likely does not take this into account, and that the 255K is the average for the entirety of the earth surface temperature.
If we remove evaporation from the ocean and the atmosphere completely, but we use the information about convection of the oceans from the hot tropics to the cold arctics, what would the average temperature of the Earth be?
My though on this is that radiation follows temperature to the 4th power. If the Tropics cool significantly and the rest of the Earth Warms modestly, wouldn’t the equations come to a different value than the 255K calculation presents?

A, I can do the math. But as AR3 said, doing the math of a nonlinear dynamic climste system (Earth) is a fools errand. I dont like fools.

Brett Keane

rud, now, now, none of that here!

gbaikie

“If we remove evaporation from the ocean and the atmosphere completely, but we use the information about convection of the oceans from the hot tropics to the cold arctics, what would the average temperature of the Earth be?”
Cover the ocean with black plastic and Earth’s average temperature would lower.
Currently ocean average air surface temperature is 17 C and land air surface is 10 C, and tropical ocean warms the rest of world- due to ocean currents and evaporation.
Ocean is warms by sunlight passing thru a transparent ocean and absorbing the energy of sunlight. Black plastic would prevent this and water is poor conductor of heat.
The plastic on tropical ocean would get hot and radiate more energy into space and cause the ocean to absorb less energy. And tropical ocean wouldn’t warm the rest of the world very much.
Currently ocean area warms land area, with plastic it wouldn’t, so land area would have lower average temperature than 10 C.
I would guess the average global temperature would be about 5 C, rather than 15 C.

Mike McMIllan

Sigh. CO2 deals with radiation.
Gravity makes the lapse rate.
Air moving upward against gravity trades kinetic energy (speed) for potential energy. Air moving downward trades potential energy for kinetic energy. No change in overall energy.
Temperature is a measure only of kinetic energy. You change that, you change temperature. That’s the lapse rate. Whatever heat you have, gravity will try to shuffle it downward.

joelobryan

Gravity don’t care about energy. (at least outside blackholes).
Buoyancy in a gravity field is a topic you should explore Mike.

Mike McMIllan

And you were doing so well in some of your other replies.

Yogi Bear

So from temperature dependent qualities of the near surface atmosphere, the near surface temperature can be calculated. Gordon Bennett!

Robert Holmes

Wills
You said;
“And more to the point, this does NOT show that greenhouse gases don’t do anything, as he incorrectly claims in the above quote.”
.
I do not rely entirely on the Ideal Gas Law in coming to this conclusion.
There are ten reasons as to why I state that more CO2 does not cause any measurable net warming in the troposphere; the gas law is only the final nail in the coffin, for example;
1) because every planetary body with a thick atmosphere has a clear thermal gradient, which always starts at 10kPa – regardless of the presence or not of GHG
2) recent papers show that convection dominates over radiative transfers in all atmospheres >10kPa – meaning that on Earth radiative energy transfers take a back seat in the troposphere
3) my knowledge of the physics of star-formation led me to believe that this aspect of gas thermodynamics had been neglected in our atmosphere.
4) growing evidence that the alleged ratio of forcing since 1750 (anthropogenic vs natural) was wrong
5) growing evidence that the climate sensitivity to CO2 after feed-backs was low, or even zero
6) growing evidence that factors other than CO2 drive climate change (clouds, climate cycles).
7) growing evidence that Venus was not hot because of the greenhouse effect of CO2
8) there is no empirical evidence, quantified in a published paper, that more CO2 causes any warming anywhere in the atmosphere
9) my knowledge of auto-compression indicated what the real reason for the residual temperature effect on planetary bodies was
10) Lastly, that a small input change of one gas (i.e. +0.03% of CO2) into the molar mass version of the ideal gas law could not possibly change the three gas parameters enough to increase global temperatures by 3C, as alleged by the IPCC.

joelobryan

11) the majority of GCMs (or most) predict (an emergent phenomenon of their equations and tuning) a troposphere hot spot in the tropic at mid troposphere levels, based on a strong CO2 GHE formulation. None is observed in 37 years of satellite troposphere temperature monitoring while CO2 increased 23% since 1979. (332 to 408ppm).

“None is observed in 37 years of satellite troposphere temperature monitoring while CO2 increased 23% since 1979. (332 to 408ppm).”
How true it is. Yet Willis and Toneb carry on as if their pet hypothesis is true.
At this point in history, truly amazing.
Yet, being clever people, one day the realization will hit and we can all move on to accept that a tiny bit of warming, which we will never be able to measure, is nothing worth spending time and money on.

Toneb

“Yet Willis and Toneb carry on as if their pet hypothesis is true.
At this point in history, truly amazing.
Yet, being clever people, one day the realization will hit and we can all move on to accept that a tiny bit of warming, which we will never be able to measure, is nothing worth spending time and money on.”
It’s not a “pet” hypothesis.
You have obviously not noticed that it is empirical science.
IOW no one has observed the (physics actually) to be wrong.
And by “no one” I mean people who are a damn sight cleverer than you, me and Mr Nikolov.
Shouting up out of your rabbit-hole a denial of it does not make it so.
What is “truly amazing” is the rampant D-K syndrome on display in this thread, all whilst trying vainly to slay non-existent sky-dragons.