Comments on Dr. Ollila’s Claims that Greenhouse Effect Calculations Violate Energy Conservation

From Dr. Roy Spencer’s Blog

March 12th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Once again I am being drawn into defending the common explanation of Earth’s so-called “greenhouse effect” as it is portrayed by the IPCC, textbooks, and virtually everyone who works in atmospheric radiation and thermodynamics.

To be clear, I am not defending the IPCC’s predictions of future climate change… just the general explanation of the Earth’s greenhouse effect, which has a profound influence on global temperatures as well as on weather.

As we will see, much confusion arises about the greenhouse effect due to its complexity, and the difficulty in expressing that complexity accurately with words alone. In fact, the IPCC’s greenhouse effect “definition” quoted by Dr. Ollila is incomplete and misleading, as anyone who understands the greenhouse effect should know.

As we will see, in the case of something as complicated as the greenhouse effect, a simplified worded definition should never be the basis for quantitative calculations; instead, complicated calculations are sometimes only poorly described with words.

What is the “Greenhouse Effect”?

Descriptions of the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect are unavoidably incomplete due to its complexity, and even misleading at times due to ambiguous phrasing when trying to express that complexity.

The complexity arises because the greenhouse effect involves every cubic meter of the atmosphere having the ability to both absorb and emit infrared (IR) energy. (And almost never are the rates of absorption and emission the same, contrary to the claims of many skeptics – IR emission is very temperature-dependent, while absorption is not).

While essentially all the energy for this ultimately comes from absorbed sunlight, the infrared absorption and re-radiation by air (and by clouds in the atmosphere) makes the net impact of the greenhouse effect on temperatures somewhat non-intuitive. The emission of this invisible radiation by everything around us is obviously more difficult to describe than the single-source Sun.

The ability of air and clouds to absorb and emit IR radiation has profound impacts on energy flows and temperatures throughout the atmosphere, leading to the multiple infrared energy flow arrows (red) in the energy budget diagram originally popularized by Kiehl & Trenberth (Fig. 1).

K-T-energy-budget-diagram-550x413

Fig. 1. Global- and time-averaged (day+night and through the seasons) primary energy flows between the surface, atmosphere, and space (NASA). If there was no atmosphere, there would be a single yellow arrow reaching the surface, and a single red arrow extending from the surface to outer space, representing equal magnitudes of absorbed solar and emitted infrared energy, respectively.

[As an aside, contrary to the claims of the 2010 book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, this simplified picture of the average energy flows between the Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and space is NOT what is assumed by climate models. Climate models use the relevant physical processes at every point on three-dimensional grid covering the Earth, with day-night and seasonal cycles of solar illumination. The simplified energy budget diagram is instead the best-estimate of the global average energy flows based upon a wide variety of observations, model diagnostics, and the assumption of no natural long-term climate change.]

If the Earth had no atmosphere (like the Moon), the surface temperature at any given location would be governed by the balance between the rate of absorbed solar energy and the loss of thermally-emitted infrared (IR) radiation. The sun would heat the surface to a temperature where the emitted IR radiation balanced the absorbed solar radiation, and then the temperature would stop increasing. This general concept of energy balance between energy gain and energy loss is involved in determining the temperature of virtually anything you can think of.

But the Earth does have an atmosphere, and the atmosphere both absorbs and emits IR radiation in all directions. “Greenhouse gases” (primarily water vapor, but also carbon dioxide) provide most of this function, and any gain or loss of an IR photon by a GHG molecule is almost immediately felt by the non-radiatively active gases (like nitrogen and oxygen) through molecular collisions.

If we were to represent these infrared energy flows in Fig. 1 more completely, there would be a nearly infinite number of red arrows, both upward and downward, connecting every vanishingly-thin layer of atmosphere with every other vanishingly thin layer. Those are the flows that are happening continuously in the atmosphere.

The most important net impact of the greenhouse effect on terrestrial temperatures is this:

The net effect of a greenhouse atmosphere is that it keeps the lower atmospheric layers (and surface) warmer, and the upper atmosphere colder, than if the greenhouse effect did not exist.

I have often called this a “radiative blanket” effect.

Interestingly, without the greenhouse effect, the upper layers of the troposphere would not be able to cool to outer space, and weather as we know it (which depends upon radiative destabilization of the vertical temperature profile) would not exist. This was demonstrated by Manabe & Strickler (1964) who calculated that, without convective overturning, the pure radiative equilibrium temperature profile of the troposphere is very hot at the surface, and very cold in the upper troposphere. Convective overturning in the atmosphere reduces this huge temperature ‘lapse rate’ by about two-thirds to three-quarters, resulting in what we observe in the real atmosphere.

Dr. Ollila’s Claims

The latest installment of what I consider to be bad skeptical science regarding the greenhouse effect comes from emeritus professor of environmental science, Dr. Antero Ollila, who claims that the energy budget diagram somehow violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., conservation of energy, at least in terms of how the greenhouse effect is quantified.

His article is entitled, How The IPCC’s Greenhouse Definition Violates the Physical Law of Conservation of Mass & Energy. He uses a modified version (Fig. 2) of the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram:

Fig. 2. Dr. Ollila’s version of the global energy budget diagram.

It should be noted that these global average energy budget diagrams do indeed conserve energy in their total energy fluxes at the top-of-atmosphere (the climate system as a whole), as well as for the surface and atmosphere, separately. If you add up these energy gain and loss terms you will see they are equal, which must be the case for any system with a stable temperature over time.

But what Dr. Ollila seems to be confused about is what you can physically and quantitatively deduce about the greenhouse effect when you start combining energy fluxes in that diagram. Much of the first part of Dr. Ollila’s article is just fine. His objection to the diagram is introduced with the following statement, which those who hold similar views to his will be triggered by:

The obvious reason for the GH effect seems to be the downward infrared radiation from the atmosphere to the surface and its magnitude is 345 W/m2. Therefore, the surface absorbs totally 165 (solar) + 345 (downward infrared from the atmosphere) = 510 W/m2.

At this point some of my readers (you know who you are) will object to that quote, and say something like, “But the only energy input at the surface is from the sun! How can the atmosphere add more energy to the system, when the sun is the only source of energy?” My reading of Dr. Ollila’s article indicates that that is where he is going as well.

But this is where the problem with ambiguous wording comes in. The atmosphere is not, strictly speaking, adding more energy to the surface. It is merely returning a portion of the atmosphere-absorbed solar, infrared, and convective transport energy back to the surface in the form of infrared energy.

As shown in Fig. 2, the surface is still emitting more IR energy than the atmosphere is returning to the surface, resulting in net surface loss of [395 – 345 =] 50 W/m2 of infrared energy. And, as previously mentioned, all energy fluxes at the surface balance.

And this is what our intuition tells us should be happening: the surface is warmed by sunlight, and cooled by the loss of IR energy (plus moist and dry convective cooling of the surface of 91 and 24 W/m2, respectively.) But the atmosphere’s radiative blanket reduces the rate of IR cooling from the warmer lower layers of the atmosphere to the upper cooler layers. This alteration of average energy flows by greenhouse gases and clouds alters the atmospheric temperature profile.

A related but common misunderstanding is the idea that the rate of energy input determines a system’s temperature. That’s wrong.

Given any rate of energy input into a system, the temperature will continue to increase until temperature-dependent energy loss mechanisms equal the rate of energy input. If you don’t believe it, let’s look at an extreme example.

Believe it or not, the human body generates energy through metabolism at a rate that is 8,000 time greater than what the sun generates, per kg of mass. But the human body has an interior temperature of only 98.6 deg. F, while the sun’s interior temperature is estimated to be around 27,000,000 deg. F. This is a dramatic example that the rate of energy *input* does not determine temperature: it’s the balance between the rates of energy gain and energy loss that determines temperature.

If energy has no efficient way to escape, then even a weak rate of energy input can lead to exceedingly high temperatures, such as occurs in the sun. I have read that it takes thousands of years for energy created in the core of the sun from nuclear fusion to make its way to the sun’s surface.

Since this is meant to be a critique of Dr. Ollila’s specific arguments let’s return to them. I just wanted to first address his central concern by explaining the greenhouse effect in the best terms I can, before I confuse you with his arguments. Here I list the main points of his reasoning, in which I reproduce the first quote from above for completeness:

[begin quote]

The obvious reason for the GH effect seems to be the downward infrared radiation from the atmosphere to the surface and its magnitude is 345 Wm-2. Therefore, the surface absorbs totally 165 + 345 = 510 Wm-2….

The difference between the radiation to the surface and the net solar radiation is 510 – 240 = 270 Wm-2...

The real GH warming effect is right here: it is 270 Wm-2 because it is the extra energy warming the Earth’s surface in addition to the net solar energy.

The final step is that we must find out what is the mechanism creating this infrared radiation from the atmosphere. According to the IPCC’s definition, the GH effect is caused by the GH gases and clouds which absorb infrared radiation of 155 Wm-2 emitted by the surface and which they further radiate to the surface.

As we can see there is a problem – and a very big problem – in the IPCC’s GH effect definition: the absorbed energy of 155 Wm-2 cannot radiate to the surface 345 Wm-2 or even 270 Wm-2. According to the energy conversation law, energy cannot be created from the void. According to the same law, energy does not disappear, but it can change its form.

From Figure (2) it is easy to name the two other energy sources which are needed for causing the GH effect namely latent heating 91 Wm-2 and sensible heating 24 Wm-2, which make 270 Wm-2 with the longwave absorption of 155 Wm-2.

When the solar radiation absorption of 75 Wm-2 by the atmosphere will be added to these three GH effect sources, the sum is 345 Wm2. Everything matches without the violation of physics. No energy disappears or appears from the void. Coincidence? Not so.

Here is the point: the IPCC’s definition means that the LW absorption of 155 Wm-2 could create radiation of 270 Wm-2 which is impossible.

[end quote]

Now, I have spent at least a couple of hours trying to follow his line of reasoning, and I cannot. If Dr. Ollila wanted to claim that the energy budget numbers violate energy conservation, he could have made all of this much simpler by asking the question, How can 240 W/m2 of solar input to the climate system cause 395 W/m2 of IR emission by the surface? Or 345 W/m2 of downward IR emission from the sky to the surface? ALL of these numbers are larger than the available solar flux being absorbed by the climate system, are they not? But, as I have tried to explain from the above, a 1-way flow of IR energy is not very informative, and only makes quantitative sense when it is combined with the IR flow in the opposite direction.

If we don’t do that, we can fool ourselves into thinking there is some mysterious and magical “extra” source of energy, which is not the case at all. All energy flows in these energy budget diagram have solar input as the energy source, and as energy courses through the climate system, they all end up balancing. There is no violation of the laws of thermodynamics.

Is There an Energy Flux Measure of the Greenhouse Effect?

One of the problems with Dr. Ollila’s reasoning is that there really isn’t any of these unidirectional energy fluxes (or combinations of energy fluxes, such as 155, or 270, or 345 W/m2) that can be called a measure of the greenhouse effect. The average unidirectional energy fluxes are what exist after the surface and atmosphere have readjusted their temperature and humidity structures (as well as after the sensible and latent convective heat transports get established).

Even the oft-quoted 33 deg. C of warming isn’t a measure of the greenhouse effect… it’s the resulting surface warming after convective heat transports have cooled the surface. As I recall, the true, pure radiative equilibrium greenhouse effect on surface temperature (without convective heat transports) would double or triple that number.

If the atmospheric radiative energy flows are too abstract for you, let’s use the case of a house heated in the winter. On an average cold winter day, I compute from standard sources that the heating unit in the average house leads to a loss of energy through the walls, ceiling, and floor of about 10 W/m2 (just take the heater input in Watts [around 5,000 Joules/sec] and divide by the surface area of all house exterior surfaces [ around 500 sq. meters]).

But compare that 10 W/m2 of energy flow though the walls, ceiling, and floor to the inward IR emission by the exterior walls, which (it is easy to show) emit an IR flux toward the center of the house that is about 100 W/m2 greater than the outward emission by the outside of the walls. That ~100 W/m2 difference in outward versus inward IR flux is still energetically consistent with the 10 W/m2 of heat flow outward through the walls.

This seeming contradiction is resolved (just as in the case of Earth’s surface energy budget) when we realize that the NET (2-way) infrared flux at the inside surface of the exterior walls is still outward, because that wall surface will be slightly colder than the interior of the house, which is also emitting IR energy toward the outside walls. Talking about the IR flux in only one direction is not very quantitatively useful by itself. There is no magical and law-violating creation of extra energy.

Concluding Comments

If you have managed to wade through the arguments above and understand most of them, congratulations. You now see how complicated the greenhouse effect is compared to, say, just sunlight warming the Earth’s surface. That complexity leads to imprecise, incomplete, and ambiguous descriptions of the greenhouse effect, even in the scientific literature (and the IPCC’s description).

The most accurate representation of the greenhouse effect is made through the relevant equations that describe the radiative (and convective) energy flows between the surface and the atmosphere. To express all of that in words would be nearly impossible, and the more accurate the wording, the more the reader’s eyes would glaze over.

So, we are left with people like me trying to inform the public on issues which I sometimes consider to be a waste of time arguing about. I only waste that time because I would like for my fellow skeptics to be armed with good science, not bad science.

[I still maintain that the simplest backyard demonstration of the greenhouse effect in action is with a handheld IR thermometer pointed at a clear sky at different angles, and seeing the warming of the thermometer’s detector as you scan from the zenith down to an oblique angle. That is the greenhouse effect in action.]

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March 12, 2020 10:28 pm

I don’t agree that back-radiation is the GHE. The heat accumulated in the atmosphere, and this heating it, is proportional to the time taken for it to be transferred to space. If this is instant, then no heating.

B-r just has the affect of slightly raising the effective radiative surface into the lower atmosphere. It’s the surface and lower atmosphere trying for thermal equilibrium, as they must. It’s how fast heat is transferred from there that matters.

Discussed in detail at http://brindabella.id.au front page

I review various definitions. IPCC can’t make up its mind.

Hasbeen
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 3:16 am

What else would you expect.

When your whole effort is to try to prove a false preface, you have to keep trying to get something believable out of hundreds of efforts.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 3:18 am

I will write just one comment for comments like this which will be many, I reckon.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Antero Ollila
March 14, 2020 6:48 am

I read once again the story of Dr. Spencer. Her is a quote, which I want to comment: “The atmosphere is not, strictly speaking, adding more energy to the surface.”

Now, using the phrasing, this statement strictly analyzed means that Dr. Spencer do thinks that the atmosphere does not add more energy to the surface. Adding more energy can be understood in the way that the overall energy to the surface is not more than 240 W/m2. This means that he denies the existence of the GH effect.

In other places, Dr. Spencer writes that there is a GH effect but it is too complicated to describe. I think that the energy balance is so simple that it is univocal in this respect.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Antero Ollila
March 14, 2020 8:52 am

I think you misunderstood what Dr. Spencer says: the atmosphere is not adding more energy to the surface out of itself, it is sending back part of the energy that comes from the surface in first instance. That is what the greenhouse effect does. Still the surface is sending more IR energy out than it receives from the atmosphere and the total balance, including received solar energy, still is kept equal.
You can’t use one sentence of what Dr. Spencer said to “prove” it ambiguous, while not including the context of that sentence…

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 14, 2020 7:26 pm

It is a question, if we do understand, what Dr. Spencer is saying. I think that I have done it very clear that the “GH effect energy”, which is 155+91 +24=270 is recycling between the surface and the atmosphere. This energy flow is much greater than 240 W/m2, which has been denied by those persons who deny the very existence of the GH effect.

Here is the problem with the wording of Dr. Spencer: “The atmosphere is not, strictly speaking, adding more energy to the surface.” This is not a clear wording. The atmosphere adds more energy to the surface and that is why we have the GH effect. It is another issue, from which source this energy originates, and as I wrote, it is originally from the sun. Thi energy has been trapped to recycle forever.

Trick
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 14, 2020 8:16 pm

In Dr. Spencer’s Fig. 1 Antero’s 155+91+24=270 is shown as 158.4+86.4+18.4=263.2 so I don’t see that you two have any major difference in regards multiannual “GH effect energy” recycling between the surface and the atmosphere. The small numerical differences are most likely due to differences in time period, & length thereof, over which the observations were made.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 15, 2020 12:50 am

Dear Dr. Olilla,

After reading several of your comments, I don’t think there is much disagreement between you and Dr. Spencer, only a misunderstanding of what is meant in a few sentences…

Bo problem thus and mostly cleared up by now…

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 15, 2020 1:39 am

My basic message was that the IPCC’s GH effect definition violates the physical laws, not the energy balance description. For example, Trick thinks that it is question about the accuracies of these three energy fluxes which together are in my presentation 270 W/m2. I just wonder how many other readers lost the main point of my study, which is that the measure of the GH effect is 270 W/m2 and not 155 W/m2. It has a huge impact on the warming contribution of CO2.

For me, it looks like Dr. Spencer thinks that both values are incorrect but he does not write, what is the correct value and does not give any idea about the correct value. It is too easy to say that something is wrong without showing, what is the correct value.

Trick
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 15, 2020 8:01 am

Antero, you use the same accuracy in measured data as Dr. Spencer, just different observational periods (270 vs. 263.2). Your “measure of the GH effect” is a definition issue, as along the line of thought Ferdinand is commenting 12:50am, not an observational science issue.

The GH effect is so ambiguous in meaning it can be called the ramafratz effect using the same data and relevant eqn.s. So we readers are left with the Antero effect (observed 270) and the Roy effect (observed 263.2), both using the same data and relevant eqn.s. but different time periods & apparently both reasonably correct but using different names for the same atm. process.

lifeisthermal
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 16, 2020 2:53 am

If you stand outside naked in -18C air you´re mimicking the relationship between the surface and the atmosphere. Do you get warm from the cold air absorbing and emitting your body heat? No?

How come everything ON the surface is cooled by the atmosphere, but the surface itself is warmed by it?

There are NO experiments that show that any GHG has the ability to warm anything. Not a single one.

Trick
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 16, 2020 8:49 am

life 2:53am, in your scenario do you quickly get warm then from putting on colder clothes and colder jacket absorbing and emitting your body EMR and conducting away your body warmth? Yes? That’s same effect as adding an atm., adding grey absorbers to the existing atmosphere, and a clear calm night changing to cloudy. Same as the Antero “measure of the GHE” does shown in his chart top post Fig. 2 & Dr. Roy’s chart Fig. 1.

There are plenty of proper, replicable experiments that show added CO2 and other gaseous grey absorbers warm something. Of course, if you don’t look for these experiments & understand them, made available and popularized starting 1861, then you will remain unaccomplished in atm. thermodynamics.

olav ankjær
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 25, 2020 3:04 pm

Hei Trick- March 16 8:49

You and others (Spencer) must stop using analogies to explain GHE that contains new physical limitations GHE does not have.
If you use comparisons as you suggest by comparing wearing clothes or walls in a house or a real greenhouse, you prevent conduction and convection. GHE has no such restrictions.
If you put on clothes, their insulation properties will determine whether you stay warm or not.
Clothes insulation properties describe how well they prevent convection and delay conduction.
Insulation properties for walls in the house or for that matter, clothing, are determined by how much stagnant air you can create, and how low the conductivity of the substances you use to create this has. Stagnant air has very good insulation capacity. Moving air has no insulating ability, and the lower the temperature it has the faster and more powerful it cools down the object it touches.
If you, or you, do not stop using such analogies,
I want to say that you “will remain unaccomplished in atm. thermodynamics”

Trick
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 25, 2020 3:35 pm

olav, there is added (not “prevent”ed) conduction away from surface when putting on a coat over the air conduction away with lifeisthermal “standing naked” in calm conditions. Similarly, there is added conduction with a 1 bar atm. over no atm. As you write, the balance between jacket conduction and jacket insulation is important in choosing jackets.

I agree analogies are less than perfect but some are useful as in this case. NB: lifeisthermal introduced the analogy not me. Analogies are generally less useful by & for those who “will remain unaccomplished in atm. thermodynamics”. Analogies can be useful, when not pushed too far, by those accomplished in atm. thermodynamics.

olav ankjær
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 26, 2020 12:11 pm

Thanks for a polite answer Trick.

But as this discussion shows, bad analogies provide more discussion and rarely better understanding of a problem.

I mean you are wrong when you think clothing increases conduction and does not decrease it. It prevents conduction to the air that surrounds your naked body. This air will quickly be replaced with new. Thus, convection. Molecules of air will be quickly replaced with new. Thus, increased conduction. With clothing one will have conduction to the same standing molecules. And the air in the clothes will also stand still. Reduced conduction and convection.
Certainly not compatible with GHE.

When two objects touch each other, conduction and convection will be far stronger than radiation in the transfer / loss of heat.
The denser the medium that surrounds your body, the faster the loss. Unless convection is restricted.
How long can one survive naked in 0c air versus 0c (32f) water.
Much much muuuuuuuch longer.

I am not English speaking so try to understand to your best ability.

Trick
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 26, 2020 12:36 pm

”Thus, increased conduction. With clothing one will have conduction to the same standing molecules.”

With a new higher steady state T from the added jacket (or wetsuit) and added atm. Conductive, convective and radiative thermodynamic internal energy transfer all in action to steady state in each example. A useful analogy with the surface GHE. I understand the language issue.

olav ankjær
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
March 26, 2020 2:43 pm

More discussion Trick

No, by this reasoning, you make something more complex than it is.
This is where we talk about how many molecules you release / lose heat to, over time.

You can only lose so or so much heat over time to the same molecule, why, because the molecule you lose heat to is heated. Thus, the next unit of time you will lose less heat.

If put on cold clothing, they will have poor insulating ability before the temperature has risen in (innermost layer) by transferring heat from your body. If you constantly change to new cold clothes, convection of clothes, you will freeze like hell.
Why, because you have emitted / transmitted heat via conduction to many more molecules, just as you would if you are surrounded by a mobile atmosphere. That is why the temperature of a body drops faster in the wind, conduction to more and more molecules as the wind increases.
If you are out sailing, you will be able to see people in t-shirts sailing with the wind, and people in bobble jackets crossing up against the wind.

Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 4:17 am

dai davies re: “I don’t agree that back-radiation is the GHE. ”

PLEASE (dear God) explain to this man how a humid, muggy night COOLS OFF LESS overnight than a dry, low humidity one (BOTH starting off at the SAME ‘surface’ air temperature) …

It must work by MAGIC, dai davies, in your mind IF NOT BY RE-RADIATION AKA “back radiation” by the gases involved (WV in this case).

DO lookup up the subject of IR SPECTROMETRY , dai davies. LOOK at how the WV molecule, in particular, works to absorb THEN re-radiate EM (Electromagnetic energy AKA near and FAR IR).

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, man.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 8:12 am

Thanks. Please check my comments of back radiation during the cold winter nights in Scandinavia. They confirm your observations.

john harmsworth
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 8:32 am

What do you mean by “cooling”? The warm, muggy (I think humid and muggy are pretty close to the same thing)night will most likely lose more total heat than the dry, low humidity night. The temperature may drop more but we are talking about heat loss-not temperature loss. So much of this discussion is lost in imprecision that I seriously doubt that half the geniuses at the IPCC even know what each other is talking about.

Lance Flake
Reply to  john harmsworth
March 13, 2020 9:24 am

The night was hot, wait no, the night, the night was humid. The night was humid, no wait, hot, hot. The night was hot. The night was hot and wet, wet and hot. The night was wet and hot, hot and wet, wet and hot; that’s humid. The night was humid.

Throw Momma From the Train

Reply to  john harmsworth
March 13, 2020 2:03 pm

re: “What do you mean by “cooling”?”

Seriously?

A prereq for this discussion is some familiarity with the diurnal cycle.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 7:28 pm

USCRN data shows that RH and dry bulb trade places between night and day.

RH falls as the day warms and rises as the day/night cools.

Water vapor and dry air passing energy back and forth.

Pierrehumbert says climate models hold RH constant.

Well, that’s incorrect.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 13, 2020 8:14 pm

re: “USCRN data shows that RH and dry bulb … ”

Irrelevant. Irrelevant for the case presented. Clearly, you don’t understand, probably never observed first hand, an observation such as I described.

Can I suggest a couple of meteorological text books you could become a little more familiar with this ‘phenom’? It’s really a very elementary thing, but few people are directly familiar with it, maybe like yourself.

Charles Higley
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 8:53 am

It is important to know whether you humid, muggy night is overcast or not. Overcast, yes it will not cool anywhere as much because the clouds have temperature, creating a temperature different of maybe 100ºC, as opposed to a clear sky when the atmosphere is losing IR to space, which has no temperature, thus creating a ~570ºC gradient. The warm and muggy is usually subjective to people as they do not benefit as well from evaporative skin cooling due to the humidity. The heat density of muggy air is probably also higher because of water’s higher degrees of freedom for storing energy in the molecule.

Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 1:57 pm

re: “It is important to know whether you humid, muggy night is overcast or not.”

Charles, why don’t you repeat the experiment and let us know what you find.

In fact, why don’t you try and control for several different parameters while you are at it; run the tests, make the observations, see for yourself, become ‘convinced’ of your observations, since these observations may run strikingly contrary to initial, mistaken assumptions your ‘mind’ forms often all on its own.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 10:12 am

It’s called heat capacity. It’s not magic and CO2 nor the other inaptly named “greenhouse gases” have magic thermodynamic properties. Water vapor has a relatively high heat capacity and it takes much longer to cool off.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 13, 2020 12:21 pm

If by heat capacity you mean latent heat, that is, the heat released or absorbed in phase change, yes, water vapor has a high heat capacity.

The dew point, which in turns depends on the amount of water vapor per unit of air, is a “buffer” on how cold it gets after the sun sets. If there is something driving the temperature below the dew point, the air precipitates, . . . , dew! This condensation releases the latent heat held in the water vapor in the amount of about 1000 BTU/lb, where 1 BTU is the heat required to warm water by 1 deg-F. If you have a 50 deg swing between day and night, that 50 BTU/lb heat capacity of water pales in comparison to the 1000 BTU/lb released when dew forms.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
March 13, 2020 1:58 pm

No, I meant exactly what I said.

Gas Specific heat capacity at
constant pressure (J kg-1K-1) Specific heat capacity at
constant volume (J kg-1K-1)
Air 993 714
Argon 524 314
Carbon dioxide 834 640
Carbon monoxide 1050 748
Helium 5240 3157
Hydrogen 14300 10142
Nitrogen 1040 741
Oxygen 913 652
Water vapour 2020 –

Cp for bulk air = 990…Cp for water vapor = 2020

Air with 0% RH at 50 degrees has much less energy than air with 99% RH at 50 degrees and will cool off much slower. This is the exact reason why deserts cool off so much at night.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 13, 2020 5:05 pm

Robert, let’s run the numbers. I have a nice spreadsheet showing intermediate calculations but it does not paste into this box with my poor skill. The problem is that even humid air is still mostly air. At 245 K, air can only hold 0.00028 mass fraction of water before you hit the snow (dew) point. Even though water vapor has a much higher heat capacity than air, it is such a small contribution that the heat capacity of the saturated air is 993.3 J/kg-K instead of 993 J/kg-K. At 295 K, air can hold 0.016 mass fraction water before you hit the dew point (relative humidity of 100%). The heat capacity of this mixture is 1009.68 J/kg-K instead of 993 J/kg-K. This is an increase of 1.7%, which is not enough to explain the difference.

The calculation proceeds as follows: the amount of water in air at saturation (100% relative humidity) is very closely approximated by the vapor pressure of water divided by the atmospheric pressure. For an ideal gas, the vapor mole fraction of water is equal to its partial pressure (the vapor pressure in this case) divided by the total pressure. We do a bit of algebra to convert mole fractions to mass fractions, then multiply the mass fraction of water by its heat capacity, the mass fraction of air by its heat capacity, and add them together. This is very close to the truth since air near room temperature and pressure is very close to behaving like an ideal gas.

Roger Clague
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 4:25 am

For liquid and solid heat capacity is proportional to mass
Whereas H, the gas with least mass, has the highest heat capacity.

This because H has more molecules per unit mass and the heat capacity of gas is proportional to number of molecules not not total mass of particles.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 7:25 pm

_Jim,

Consult the psychrometric properties of moist air and consider how a swamp cooler works.

Water evaporates into and cools the dry air mostly because of relative humidity not temperature.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 13, 2020 8:24 pm

re: “Consult the psychrometric properties of moist air and consider how a swamp cooler works.”

Irrelevant.

Obviously, you completely missed the point in the original post too (most likely you did not read the original post for comprehension) . Do I have to repost the original post below, for you to read it again? Do I really need to post applicable text from a meteorological text book?

You can, as I advised the dai davies, perform this sort of observation yourself. This is something every serious meteorological student ought have done at least once in their education.

George Hong
Reply to  _Jim
March 14, 2020 4:10 pm

Did you hear about the ChangE lunar probe? It measured the lunar cooling rate. It is something like 1 Kelvin per hour. The airless moon loses a degree per hour. Better heat retention than the Earth with it’s warming blanket.

Bernard Lodge
Reply to  _Jim
March 14, 2020 7:54 pm

It is not magic, nor is it ‘back radiation’ … it is the latent heat released as the water vapor condenses back into water.. Condensation releases a huge amount of heat that keeps the atmosphere warm … so long as there is more water vapor to condense. Once all the water vapor has condensed, the atmospheric temperature then drops sharply.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Bernard Lodge
March 15, 2020 1:47 am

Thanks Bernard. Somebody keeping comments on the blog issue.

Charles Higley
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 5:52 am

My prob lem with the IPCC’s GHE is that they claim the upper tropical troposphere is warmed by GHGs and them downwelling IR heats the surface. How can any gas at -17ºC put out radiation that can warm the 15ºC surface. The “science” fails right there.

The supposed GHGs are actually properly called “radiative gases” which have no effect at all in daylight as they are saturated but serve to cool the atmosphere at night. If anything, more GHGs cools the climate.

MarkW
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 7:43 am

You are confusing conduction vs radiation.
If you take an object at -17C and physically touch it to an object at 15C, you are 100% correct that the 15C will not warm up.
However, this is not what is happening. You have to shift your mind into the realm of radiation.
An objects temperature will always be the difference between all of the energy inflows, and all of the temperature outflows.

Any object that is above absolute zero in temperature, will radiate. Period.

From the perspective of the 15C object, the -17C object is covering up something (space) which is even colder. (Closer to -270C)
Since the -17C object is warmer than the -270C object the -17C will radiate more. In this case, much more.

As a result, since the -17C object is covering up the -270C object, from the perspective of the 15C object, the 15C object is now receiving more radiation than it used to.

As a result, the 15C object WILL get warmer.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 7:35 pm

Mark W

Handwavium nonsense.

Put these two in a closed system. The energy will flow from hot to cold until they reach equilibrium. The amount of energy in the system does not change.

Unplug that garage refrigerator and see what happens in month.

Q = sigma A (Thot^4 – Tcold^4) is not the “net” radiated energy, it’s the amount of work needed to create and maintain that energy imbalance.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 13, 2020 7:59 pm

re: “The energy will flow from hot to cold”

How does a mirror work?

Take a ‘source’, flashlight (LED) or Tungsten bulb – does the bulb or LED ‘warm’ the mirror?

Another Joe
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 16, 2020 3:02 am

Nick,

exactly right. There is only one correct physics here: thermodynamics.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 2:58 am

MarkW,

Your understanding is wrong.

A cold body cannot warm up a hot body even more through radiation. It does not happen through radiation nor through conduction.

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 16, 2020 9:08 am

Another Joe 2:58am, here’s an experiment I conduct in the NH every night at my summer cottage outside the kitchen window always in the shade of the sun. The well water pump is outside in an insulated cabinet. A 40watt light bulb I can control over the internet kept the inside temperature at 50F when the outside temperature is at 26F as it was last night when I checked it over the internet.

Today, the outside air temperature is at 38F and the cabinet temperature reads 52F. By your reasoning “A cold body cannot warm up a hot body even more through radiation….nor through conduction.” If correct, then will not allow this to happen.

Here I have shown you data that does counter your reasoning as incorrect – a colder body (the atm.) going from 26F to 38F has warmed a warmer body from 50F to 52F with no change in the 40W bulb.

Your reasoning is shown to be faulty by experiment.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 16, 2020 9:07 pm

Trick,

nice name. Did you think this through?

Was it the outside ambient that changed the temperature?

For Earth the outside ambient does not change the same way it did for your experiment.

So given the same input and the same ambient how does a cold body make a warm body warmer? It does not!

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 17, 2020 10:47 am

”Was it the outside ambient that changed the temperature?”
Yes.

”For Earth the outside ambient does not change the same way it did for your experiment.”

The location of the experiment was on Earth using Earth’s natural atm.

”So given the same input and the same ambient how does a cold body make a warm body warmer?”

When the cold body replaces an even colder body such as in my experiment because entropy is produced. You are mistakenly using the 2LOT as some sort of heat law when it is a law about entropy.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 18, 2020 7:24 pm

Trick,

so it gets to another steady state due to a change in the outside condition.

This is not happening on Earth.

BTW, did you leave the window open in the room?

You need to allow for convective cooling, otherwise your model is not valid representation of the atmospheric conditions.

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 18, 2020 7:39 pm

No common windows in my cabinet Joe. There is convection above the light bulb allowing for convective cooling as valid representation of the atmospheric conditions in the troposphere. A change in the outside condition (or inside condition) is continuously happening on Earth – both are measured.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2020 7:32 pm

Trick,

I think you do not understand that you have a circular argument in your reasoning.
If what you say was true then the atmosphere gets warmer and in return the surface gets warmer. But since the surface heats the atmosphere, the atmosphere gets warmer and so must the surface.
Where exactly does this process stop in your opinion?

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 17, 2020 8:57 pm

Any out of balance condition stops warming when steady state temperatures are achieved with my 40 watt bulb. No circular argument. In that condition energy in=energy out.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 19, 2020 6:22 am

Trick,

can you confirm that you understand that the surface is the main heat source for the lower troposphere?
Your light bulb as no way of impact on the outside temperatures.
But if surface temperatures go up so does the temperature of the atmosphere.

Please explain how there is no circular argument when you compare this to your light bulb? Does the light bulb heat the souroundings that much?

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 19, 2020 6:48 am

”Please explain how there is no circular argument when you compare this to your light bulb?”

My premises are independent of my conclusion.

The 40w light bulb maintains a steady state cabinet temperature I monitor over the internet when the atm. conditions are steady state, protecting the pump from freezing & cracking its case. I observe when the cooler atm. temperature goes up after dawn & I observe so does the warmer cabinet temperature.

Sometimes I can even shut the bulb off day or night when outside is above freezing – and the cabinet T heads towards ambient temperature.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 22, 2020 8:48 pm

Your experiment lends nothing to explain the ambient temperature.

Your light bulb is independent from the ambient and you can even switch it off.

Atmosphere depends on surface warming. This is a connected system. Yours is not.

It is not a representation of the atmospheric conditions and the interactions with the surface.

olav ankjær
Reply to  Another Joe
March 25, 2020 10:11 am

Trick doesn’t get that this is very simple physics.
His cabin is in contact with the atmosphere outside. How quickly the cabin releases / loses heat to the surrounding atmosphere depends on two things.
How well the walls are insulated and what temperature it is outside.
The temperature inside the cabin is only controlled by the light bulb (the amount of energy) and the conduction between the cabin’s walls and atmosphere.

Sorry, and of course if there is wind or stagnant air on the outside.

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 25, 2020 3:20 pm

”and what temperature it is outside.”

Yes, olav. That is the point. Another Joe objected that “A cold body cannot warm up a hot body”; his meaning being the atm. temperature outside my cabinet in NH winter “cannot warm up a warmer body”. My experiment demonstrates the temperature outside does matter as you write thus a colder body being replaced by a less colder body CAN warm up a warmer body in this circumstance.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 8:01 am

“How can any gas at -17ºC put out radiation that can warm the 15ºC surface. The “science” fails right there.”

It doesn’t fail, rather it is you that fails to understand the concept.
The surface does not reject its (-17C gas’s) energy just because it is radiating at 27C(say).
There is no violation of the 2nd LoT (that is net energy transfer).
What it does is to slow the surface’s rate of cooling (absent of absorbed SW).
It is GHGs at a higher temp lower down that back-radiate most to the surface.
IOW: it is an integration of all the separate absorption/re-emission/collisions going on between that -17C gas and the surface that is required.

Another Joe
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 16, 2020 3:07 am

Anthony,

you fail to understand the problem at hand. Something cold does not make something warm warmer. This is wrong climate science conjecture.

You could try to warm a spoon on some snow. You can dip the spoon into the snow (Conduction) or hold it just over the snow. If the spoon heats up from your hands you are doing it wrong.

Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 8:05 am

There, you;re mistaken, That -17° C is a lot warmer than the minus 270° C of outer space, and slows down the rate of cooling at Earth’s surface. Using your argument, one wouldn’t wear a jacket in the winter because the temperature of the jacket is much less than temperature of your body, Using your arguent, wearing a jacket in the winter is silly because, How can any (jacket at 15ºC) put out radiation that can warm the (37ºC human body). The “science” fails right there.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 13, 2020 9:06 am

“The “science” fails right there”.
Keep forgetting there are excellent exponents of D-K syndrome here.

Look, the point is that all objects radiate.
But that space does the least.
An object at -17C will radiate more than one at -270C.
Therefore the GHG constituents of the atmosphere will reduce the rate of cooling relative to one without and with terrestrial LWIR going through it transparently to space.

Another Joe
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 16, 2020 3:13 am

Reducing the rate of cooling is not warming.

Try that statement with some logic.

For example try to warm something up from -17 Deg C to Deg by reducing the cooling.

Good luck!

beng135
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 13, 2020 9:13 am

Alan says:
That -17° C is a lot warmer than the minus 270° C of outer space, and slows down the rate of cooling at Earth’s surface.

Exactly — it’s as simple as that. How some cannot comprehend this is — incomprehensible. And the Second Law (as some blather on about cluelessly) is not involved in this AT ALL — First Law energy conservation is all that is required.

Another Joe
Reply to  beng135
March 16, 2020 3:14 am

Reducing the rate of cooling is not warming.

Try that statement with some logic.

For example try to warm something up from -17 Deg C to Deg by reducing the cooling.

Good luck!

leitmotif
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 13, 2020 11:26 am

What a weird concept. The jacket is acting as an insulator to slow down the loss of heat from your body to the cooler atmosphere. It’s nothing to do with the jacket heating your warmer body by radiation.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  leitmotif
March 13, 2020 1:04 pm

BINGO

Antero Ollila
Reply to  leitmotif
March 15, 2020 1:54 am

I copy here my own comment below:

This is for those people who have no idea (or do not approve the fact) on that the energy balance fluxes are based on the observations, I quote a few sentences from the paper of Kato et al. (2018) “Surface Irradiances of Edition 4.0 Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) Data Product”.

Direct quotations from this paper: “TOA and surface irradiances are derived nearly independently. We use surface observations to evaluate EBAF-surface irradiances. The geographical location of surface buoy and land-surface sites used in this study’s validation is shown in Fig. 9. The caption of Fig. 9 is like this: Location of 46 buoys (blue diamond) and 36 land-surface sites (white diamond) where downward irradiances used in validation were taken (after Rutan et al. 2015).”

This is a simple piece of evidence that there is an encompassing network of ground and sea surface measurement stations totaling 81 together, which do measure the downward LW radiation from the atmosphere.

This is the basic reason that ALL ENERGY BALANCE DIAGRAMS have this LW downward flux in their presentations.

Another Joe
Reply to  leitmotif
March 16, 2020 3:15 am

Correct!

Roy W. Spencer
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 13, 2020 3:17 pm

…sigh…

leitmotif
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 13, 2020 4:00 pm

“…sigh…”

Roy W. Spencer, you are a giant but sometimes giants have to come down to the level of mere mortals.

You push this back radiation thing, and even though you do not consider anthropogenic CO2 to be a problem, all you are doing is weaponising climate change alarmists to accuse you of not taking the climate emergency seriously. They probably think you are acting against them by appeasing the role of atmospheric CO2.

Is there one scientific paper in the history of scientific papers that provides evidence of the surface warming effects of atmospheric CO2 and please don’t quote Feldman et al (2015)?

I dont’t hink so.

Reply to  leitmotif
March 13, 2020 5:21 pm

re: “You push this back radiation thing,”

Can you explain how the Yagi-Uda antenna works?

Can you explain how a mirror works?

Can you explain how a lightly-silvered (one-way) mirror works?

Are you at all familiar with IR Spectroscopy?

Can you describe the resonant ‘motion’ between the individual atoms making up the H2O or the CO2 molecules?

Do you further understand these ‘resonances’ correlate with Electro-magnetic spectral absorption and emission ‘lines’?

What do you suppose happens if you place a number of these CO2 or H2O molecules between the earth’s warm LWIR emitting surface and space?

angech
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 13, 2020 4:10 pm

Sigh….
+++
Keep trying.

MarkW
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 13, 2020 5:21 pm

Ah yes, I see you are back with your religious convictions that anyone who believes that CO2 is capable of influencing the climate is as bad as those who claim that CO2 is going to kill.

We spend all our time complaining about how bad the science is on the other side, yet you want us to completely abandon science in order to “avoid giving any benefit” to the other side.

leitmotif
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 13, 2020 6:51 pm

Calm down _Jim.

Just make your point instead of asking irrelevant questions and showing off.

“What do you suppose happens if you place a number of these CO2 or H2O molecules between the earth’s warm LWIR emitting surface and space?”

Does it set the planet on fire?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 14, 2020 9:13 am

leitmotif, there are lots of measurements of back radiation even over longer periods:
https://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/

Most is from water vapor, but it is easy to make a differentiation between water vapor and CO2, as that has its specific wavelengths where water is not active.
That is what Feldman e.a. did.
Any radiant energy that comes in from the sky adds energy to the surface. If the surface warms up or not is a question of balance between what is absorbed and emitted, in this case the balance for IR alone is more loss than gain, but without greenhouse gases there was only loss the IR range, thus lower temperatures of the surface…

leitmotif
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 14, 2020 2:23 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen.

Science of Doom? Really? is that the guy who has been getting his @rse kicked for many years on his own blog?

leitmotif
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 14, 2020 4:59 pm

“We spend all our time complaining about how bad the science is on the other side, yet you want us to completely abandon science in order to “avoid giving any benefit” to the other side.”

MarkW, your understanding of science is consensus; mine is the scientific method. Just become a climate change alarmist and pay homage to anthropogenic CO2 and stop pretending to be a lukewarmer.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 15, 2020 1:03 am

leitmotif,

If you want to be taken serious about using the scientific method, then don’t shoot at the messenger and show the errors in the message…

There are lots of measurements of back radiation. Radiation is energy and with 99% of that energy absorbed in the IR range, that does increase the energy of the surface.
If that “heats” the surface is a matter of balance, but without GHGs the balance is more negative than with GHGs. That is all what matters.

It is not because there is a “consensus” based on faulty climate models that everything that is said by the “consensus” is wrong…

Another Joe
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 16, 2020 3:19 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

what does back radiation have to do with warming? Nothing!

It is merely an aspect of insulation, which prevents cooling but it does not warm.

Since we are looking for a source of warming, we need to look elsewhere.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 16, 2020 10:26 am

Another Joe

I only said that back radiation is energy and when that hits the surface, 99% or so is absorbed and increases the energy of the surface. That is certainly true.

If that “warms” the surface is a matter of balance, in this case the balance gets less negative than without back radiation from GHGs. Thus indeed more or less comparable to a blanket: the loss to space is lower.

Another Joe
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 17, 2020 9:39 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

“I only said that back radiation is energy and when that hits the surface, 99% or so is absorbed and increases the energy of the surface. That is certainly true.”

No it isn’t. You will not learn it, but here it goes. It can only increase the energy content of the surface if the radiation from the atmosphere transfers more energy than the surface loses itself by radiation.

Since the atmosphere has only a small bandwidth to radiate in, the atmosphere can be much warmer and still does not increase the energy content of the surface. It simply cannot do this.

The rest of your talk might convince you, but less cooling is not warming.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 17, 2020 1:25 pm

Another Joe,

Sorry, but I am right:

Back radiation is a matter of photons and photons are packets of energy.
If such a packet hits the surface, then it adds to the energy of the surface. Point.

That is independent of the total radiation energy balance. Indeed, there is no violation of the second law of thermodynamics, as never more energy can be send back to the surface than was emitted by the same surface. But the latter is about the total energy balance, not the energy that is added from the atmosphere to the surface.

Another Joe
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
March 17, 2020 7:54 pm

Mr. Engelbeen,

you are trying semantics to turn a less cooling into a warming.

Adding energy makes a body warmer. The added energy is called heat.

You are claiming that atmospheric radiation ADDS energy to the surface.

This is still wrong as this would amount to a warming.

What is happening is, that the surface in most cases radiates more energy away and the difference to the incoming radiation is the heat loss of the surface.

Your semantics do not help with real physics.

Another Joe
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 16, 2020 3:10 am

Dont you forget what is really warming you?

The Jacket is merely an insulation, but it does not make you warmer.

Try put a block of concrete in a Jacket and see how warm the concrete gets.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Another Joe
March 18, 2020 12:00 am

Thanks Ferdinand. You made this atmospheric LW radiation to be real thing clear enough. If somebody cannot accept or understand that radiation comes in forms of energy packages called photons and when these photons are absorbed this energy cannot disappear, then it is a mission impossible to do anything more. But as we know, after reading the comments of this blog story, there are many of those like “Another Joe”.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 18, 2020 7:50 pm

Antero,

Grasping straws?

You can only try to explain how the atmospheric LW radiation adds to the heat content of the surface. Most of you try and all will fail, because it does not!

The very easy part here is to understand what difference there is of the terms and meaning of heat and energy.

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 18, 2020 8:08 pm

“You can only try to explain how the atmospheric LW radiation adds to the heat content of the surface.”

Fortunately Joe is wrong about this or my outdoor insulated cabinet w/well water pump would have frozen solid this winter and it has not. Still works just fine because like in my cabinet increasing “the atmospheric LW radiation adds to the heat content of the surface.”

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 19, 2020 6:29 am

Trick,

If the atmosphere was warming so much, why did you have to build a cabinet in the first place?
According to your wrong understanding the atmosphere warms, but in fact your pump would freeze! Why?
Can you see the irony in this one?

Is the atmosphere the cabinet I am asking? No its not!

Trick
Reply to  Another Joe
March 19, 2020 7:57 am

Because the atm. warming from 15F to 25F at dawn in NH winter is not good for my well water pump, means I have to use an insulated cabinet with a 40w incandescent bulb. There is no irony. The atm. is not the cabinet in this drama, the atm. plays itself.

Another Joe
Reply to  Another Joe
March 24, 2020 9:21 pm

Fancy that,

Trick admits “The atm. is not the cabinet in this drama, the atm. plays itself.”

So where is the warming effect of the atmosphere if I might ask?
Thanks Trick, no answer needed.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 8:13 am

Please read further comments below. The radiation from the atmosphere is based on the measurements. Measurements.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 10:15 am

It can’t. Those of us that prefer the actual laws of physics are pointing out that their conceptualization is erroneous, not that a body at a lower temperature doesn’t emit LIR to a body at a higher temperature.

leitmotif
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 13, 2020 11:32 am

“How can any gas at -17ºC put out radiation that can warm the 15ºC surface.”

It can’t but many of those who replied to your comment don’t seem to understand the difference between radiation and heat.

See the comment by Rod further down.

MarkW
Reply to  leitmotif
March 13, 2020 1:44 pm

Actually it can and does, as explained over and over again.

Interesting that you have never attempted to explain why the above posters are wrong, you just declare them to be idiots because they don’t worship as you do.

leitmotif
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 3:33 pm

I just did explain why, MarkW. You just happen to be stuck in this misconception that radiation is the same as heat.

Where is your evidence that back radiation is a real forcing that actually transfers heat? I’ll save you the trouble; there isn’t any.

Aren’t you the guy who reckons he can heat his home by filling it with huge blocks of ice? Ice, say at -1C, will be radiating into your 20C home and raising the temperature? Wonder why it has not caught on, my little stalker?

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 5:23 pm

When you have to lie about what others are saying, then you might as well go ahead and admit that you don’t know what you are talking about.

I never said that radiation is the same as heat. I pointed out that they can be and are converted back and forth, from one to the other.

I realize that even you know how indefensible your position is, which is why you have to go all Nick Stokian on us and try to divert attention with side irrelevancies.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 5:26 pm

Beyond that, give up on the analogies, you are so bad at it that if you weren’t an idiot, you would be embarrassed.

I never said that you can heat your house by filling it with ice, that’s your mental aberation.

I’m trying to decide if you are too mentally deficient to actually understand the arguments that I am making, or if you are so desperate to protect your religious convictions that you are willing discard what little self respect you have left.

The analogy that I gave is still up there. Disagree with it if you can. Don’t ignore it and pretend I said something else.

leitmotif
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 7:00 pm

MarkW.

You are beyond hope. I don’t have to go back far in these blogs but I will if I have to but didn’t you say that if it radiates it heats or something like that?

You are just a closet climate change alarmist who hasn’t come out yet.

CO2 DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO SURFACE WARMING. NO EVIDENCE. GET THAT INTO YOUR WARMIST HEAD.

I don’t agree with Nick Stokes but compared to him you are Diane Abbott.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 3:21 am

You are wrong on the accounts of thermodynamics.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 3:25 am

Mark W

You are wrong on the accounts of thermodynamics.

Leitmotif has it right.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 10:53 am

leitmotif,

Isn’t it just a question of definition?

Radiation is energy, which can be measured and quantified.
GHGs send back radiation that they catch from the surface. Thus they add energy to the surface.
If there were no GHGs in the atmosphere, there would be a balance between incoming energy from the sun and outgoing radiation from the surface to the top of the atmosphere and beyond.
With GHGs in the atmosphere, more energy than from the sun alone hits the surface, thus the surface warms up until the point that incoming and outgoing energy are equal again.
Thus CO2 contributes to surface warming…

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2020 9:58 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

repeating of something wrong, does not make it right.

If what you say was right we would experience much higher temperatures than there is.

Temperatures would be feasible on natural surfaces, but they have not been reported.

Simply because there is no addition of energy to the surface by back radiation.

You are still describing a process that slows cooling as warming.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2020 1:43 pm

Another Joe,

If what you say was right we would experience much higher temperatures than there is.

We do experience much higher temperatures than expected from the incoming solar energy, that is measured and is some 33 C higher than should be according to the solar energy alone.

The 345 W/m2 IR is really measured back radiation that adds energy to the surface and causes higher temperatures than expected.
In balance, incoming solar + back radiation equals outgoing IR radiation, thus no thermodynamic law is violated.

If you would start with an atmosphere without GHGs, outgoing IR would equal incoming SW at the surface.
Add some GHGs and in first instance there would be an imbalance at the surface: more energy is coming in (Sw + back radiation) than is going out (LW). Thus there is a real heating up of the surface. Which increases the outgoing LW until SW + BR = LW

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2020 7:59 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

as long as you claim that energy is ADDED to the surface you will be wrong.

The discourse with you will stop here. You seem to be unable to explain the effect of warming by merely a process that slows cooling.
In order for something to cool to a certain temperature it hast to have a higher temperature to begin with.

You fail to explain how the surface would be able to get to a higher temperature as it is now by LESS cooling.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  MarkW
March 18, 2020 12:15 am

Two more observations.

Firstly, Dr, Spencer wrote that Dr. Ollila claims that the energy balance of my figure 2 violates the physical laws. By reading my story anybody can see that I said just opposite that the energy balance is according to the physical laws. What I said also was, that the GHE effect definition of the IPCC is against physical laws because 155 W/m2 absorption energy cannot alone create LW radiation of 345 W/M2 to the surface.

Secondly, those commentators thinking that this LW radiation of 345 W/m2 by the atmosphere does not add energy to the surface has to show one more critical thing. The surface, the atmosphere, and the TOA are in energy balance because otherwise they would cool down or warm up continuously. If the only incoming energy source to the surface would be SW radiation of 165 W/m2, then “how on the Earth” the surface could emit radiation of 395 W/m2 and even release two other energy fluxes namely latent heating 94 W/m2 and sensible heating 24 W/m2? It is not a coincidence that the measured downward LW flux of 345 W/m2 fills this gap perfectly. If you cannot approve the physical explanation of the heating capability of LW flux 345 W/m2, then you really went to the dark side of science.

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
March 18, 2020 6:55 am

Antero 12:15am, the GH effect of the IPCC is illustrated in Fig. 1 of top post. Inspection shows the IPCC does not claim as you write: “155 W/m2 absorption energy “ alone is the GH effect. Fig. 1 clearly shows 340.3 all-sky emission to the surface NOT 155 as you claim.

Your Fig. 2 is the same as Fig. 1 except the time and duration of observation is different as I already detailed for you.

The issue must arise entirely due to your semantics as Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show same atm. thermodynamic physics over different observation times. Or point out a difference in basic atmosphere thermodynamics between Fig 1 and Fig. 2.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2020 2:27 am

To Trick. What is the GH effect definition of the IPCC? You did not read but you looked at the diagram what is NOT what the IPCC says:
“The definition of the GH effect, according to Assessment Report 5 (2013) is: “The longwave radiation (LWR, also referred to as infrared radiation) emitted from the Earth’s surface is largely absorbed by certain atmospheric constituents – (greenhouse gases and clouds) – which themselves emit LWR into all directions. The downward directed component of this LWR adds heat to the lower layers of the atmosphere and to the Earth’s surface (greenhouse effect).

This is simple and clear enough. The GH effect according to the IPCC is the LW radiation only = 155 W/m2. It is not the same as 345 W/m2 or even 270 W/m2 what is my definition. It looks like you have not read the text or you do not believe this cheating. Maybe you are not the only one. I have not notices any comments on this issue. Good or bad, I do not know.

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2020 7:18 am

IPCC: ” “The downward directed component of this LWR adds heat to the lower layers of the atmosphere and to the Earth’s surface (greenhouse effect).”

In Fig. 1 the “The downward directed component of this LWR” is shown as 340.3.

In Fig. 2 the “The downward directed component of this LWR” is shown as 345.
The only difference is the period and length of observation between Fig. 1 & 2.
—–
Antero: “The GH effect according to the IPCC is the LW radiation only = 155 W/m2.” No, Antero uses different words than the IPCC, meaning a semantic difference exists not an atm. thermo. difference. I have read the text and compared the figures.

If you want to go with Antero’s “what is my definition” as I pointed out 8:16pm:

IPCC Fig. 1: 158.4+86.4+18.4=263.2 (263.2=340.3-77.1) defined taking out the sun load on the atm.

Antero Fig. 2: 155+91+24=270 (270=345-75) defined taking out the sun load on the atm.

So after reading the text and examining the Figures, I do find that IPCC and Antero have only minor observation period differences in regards multiannual “GH effect energy” recycling between the surface and the atmosphere. Any major difference I can find is only definition semantics.

A similar semantic situation will exist if compare Dr. Spencer and Antero’s exact words and defn.s, no major atm. thermo. issue will be found there either.

John Tillman
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 6:44 am

Yes, technically how the GHE works is to raise the effective emission height.

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/effective-emission-height/

Snape
Reply to  John Tillman
March 13, 2020 11:52 am

@John Tillman

“Yes, technically how the GHE works is to raise the effective emission height.”

I disagree with that.
Convection muddies the GHE concept. So to isolate the the idea, we could imagine a greenhouse on the moon (glass is mostly transparent to the downwelling solar, and mostly opaque to the upwelling LW infrared…. just like GHG’s).

Whether the the top of the greenhouse is 2 meters high, or 20 meters high, makes no difference. The greenhouse floor warms to the same temperature either way.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Snape
March 13, 2020 1:53 pm

Not only convection. An air mass that appears to us to be motionless is very far from motionless. Air at the temperature and density of our atmosphere has trillions of molecular collisions every second. The biggest misconception from the back radiation hypothesis is that it treats the atmosphere as a motionless solid with zero thermal conductivity.

George Hong
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 4:35 pm

Anyone ever wonder why thermodynamics is phrased in weird formalism and restricted definitions? Maybe to avoid the whole “everything radiates” argument. Three modes of energy transfer right? Convection conduction and radiation. Temperature is an abstraction like energy. Energy is the ability to do work yes? If system A and system B are in thermal contact and there is no observable change the two systems are said to be in thermal equilibrium. By definition they are at the same temperature. The unwritten law is “temperature difference drives energy transfer in a thermodynamic system”. If things are at the same temperature there is no observable change. That is why we don’t worry about radiation from something colder or at the same temperature. It is built into the definition of temperature.

Another Joe
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 16, 2020 3:29 am

Robert,

I agree that the back radiation makes no difference. You will find that you thoughts do line up with the Standard Atmosphere calculations and radiation as seen at the TOA.

JWSC
Reply to  Snape
March 13, 2020 3:04 pm

Now that’s something you can design a test for. Has anyone done it?

Another Joe
Reply to  JWSC
March 16, 2020 3:33 am

Easy done.

Take a house paint the ceiling black so it kind of back radiates all your floor radiation.

Open all the windows in the house and measure the temperatures.

Compare with static temperatures before you opened the windows.

Explain the temperatures

John Tillman
Reply to  Snape
March 15, 2020 6:35 pm

Convection occurs whether GHGs average 25,300 ppm or 25,400 ppm with an extra CO2 molecule per 10,000 dry air molecules. Or maybe a bit more, if the added CO2 molecule does in fact lead to more atmospheric H2O as well.

angech
Reply to  John Tillman
March 13, 2020 4:17 pm

Raising the effective emission height also raises the surface area from which the amount of energy can be radiated. This in turn lowers the amount of energy per square meter radiated as from a larger surface area. Further diminution may occur because of SB.
Not sure why no one can see this .
240 W/m-2 at 100 km out is theoretically 390 at earth surface level.
No loss of energy involved at all. Certainly not 155 W/m-2

Snape
Reply to  angech
March 13, 2020 9:59 pm

@angech

Good idea, but if you do the math you will find the difference in surface areas is negligible.

beng135
Reply to  Snape
March 15, 2020 6:54 am

I’d agree, the difference isn’t significant.

Another Joe
Reply to  Snape
March 16, 2020 3:38 am

You are right on this one!

In comparison to the Earth radius the atmosphere is so thin, that there is almost no impact from this.

ggm
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 8:57 am

Undersea volcanoes. Each few years the number we find grown exponentially. 15 years ago they thought there were dozens, then hundred, then thousands. Now it’s understood there are at least 1 million. That’s a lot of extra heat being put into the system.

Snape
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 9:32 am

dai,

I totally agree with this….

“The heat accumulated in the atmosphere, and thus heating it, is proportional to the time taken for it to be transferred to space. If this is instant, then no heating.”

…. but have reached the opposite conclusion WRT how it applies to the GHE. Here is something I wrote just the other day,

“With no GHGs, radiation travels spaceward in a strait line at the speed of light. If you think of the atmosphere as a box, then these joules leave the box in a fraction of a second.

When thermalized, the same quanta of energy travels at maybe 2 or 3 MPH in the direction of space. Some of the energy travels laterally (advection), and some sinks back towards the surface (subsides) or is returned as rain.
So yes, a huge increase in residence time as a result of thermalization.”

DMacKenzie
Reply to  dai davies
March 13, 2020 6:14 pm

Dai,
Try to think of it this way. The surface temp of 288 C radiates upward 390 W/m^2 by SB radiation equation. O2 an N2 are transparent to IR. The 390 W/m^2 would just radiate to outer space which is 3 C. Since only 240 is warming the surface, the surface would cool down.
However H2O and CO2 gas mixed in with that transparent N2 and O2 (and at the same temperature as the N2 and CO2) emit IR because of their temperature, back down to the surface, which is the radiative greenhouse effect keeping the surface at 288C.

I used to have a prof who said “ calculate the radiative heat transport from a body from Q=K ( Thot^4-Tcold^4) so that you don’t make erroneous calculations that break laws of thermodynamics”.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  dai davies
March 14, 2020 4:23 pm

Exactly, d davies. Bulk atmosphere warming includes that from heatflows in convective transfers of heat to the upper troposhere from the surface that are not significantly contributing to absorptive/ emissive activity of near surface GHG (these lower layers of the atmosphere are being bypassed – thunderstorm development in the tropics for example).

Heated water from the tropics flowing northward in ocean currents is another source of “delayed” exit of sun’s energy back to space. The air of Scandinavia and other northerly parts of Europe are significantly warmed by waters from the Gulf of Mexico.

Essentially any heat flows in the system travelling slower than the speed of light toward outer space has to warm up the atmosphere to the degree that this “old” sun energy still in the system is added to newly arrived sun energy.

Scientists who even understand the warming effect grace of the presence of an atmosphere with, and even without GHGs given dry convective/advective transport (and the often overlooked ocean currents as non GHG atmospheric warmers) get tongue-tied in trying to explain it. Roy Spencer maybe could use some of this simplified explanation in future efforts to convince some of the wrongheaded.

Snape
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 15, 2020 1:12 am

Gary
I’ve been blogging about the idea for several years, with a very luke warm reception. Nice to see I’m not alone.

A really simple example:

There are two little holes in a large box, through which a steady stream of bees are coming and going. Every second one bee flies in and every second one bee flies out. How many bees are in the box?

It depends on how long, on average, each bee stays inside before leaving.

****
You can think of the box as Earth’s atmosphere, and each bee as a joule.

HD Hoese
March 12, 2020 10:31 pm

Has anybody ever put a greenhouse in a greenhouse to measure the flux? I guess that wouldn’t be fair, but working in a greenhouse might.

LdB
Reply to  HD Hoese
March 13, 2020 1:29 am

It’s a stupid argument you can build it in metamaterials we have shown it on the site before.
https://physicsworld.com/a/new-metamaterial-enhances-natural-cooling-without-power-input/

If the physics is wrong explain how the meta-material is cooling?

Another Joe
Reply to  LdB
March 19, 2020 7:28 am

Why would it be a stupid argument?

Did you not find a better way of introducing your finding?

There is nothing new about the concept and its done in the opposite direction with solar collectors, that are good at absorbing light, but pretty bad at emitting infrared.

The temperature of solar collectors can this way even exceed the temperature of 120 Deg C.

There in no concentration or magnifying of solar light necessary to achieve this.

Back to the topic. Can a greenhouse in a greenhouse get hotter than the greenhouse?

Joel O'Bryan
March 12, 2020 10:48 pm

Roy fails to mention both the adiabatic lapse rate of the troposphere in his description and the role of ozone in the stratosphere for warming with altitude. I do not understand those omissions in describing the GHGE through our atmosphere.

Without understanding the variable troposphere’s adiabatic lapse rate (variable with water vapor content), that is that generally T decreases with falling pressure = vertical altitude, one cannot understand the GHGE in the troposphere. And it is ozone, with its strong UV absorption, that drives stratospheric warming with altitude during daylight hours.

And it is because the lapse rate reverses in the stratosphere where there is very little water vapor and increasing ozone, the GHGE also reverses there.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 13, 2020 3:31 am

It is a question of energy fluxes, which makes an energy balance. An energy balance is an average situation of the energy fluxes for a time period in a minimum of a year. Many of them are observation-based and therefore there no sense to argue if they are real or just academic imagination. Incoming SW insolation measured by satellites as well the outgoing LW radiation: 240 W/m2, SW radiation flux on the surface measure by the Earth-wide measurement network 165 W/m2. LW radiation emitted by the surface 395 W/m2 measured in the same way as the downward LW radiation emitted by the atmosphere 345 W/m2. LW absorption by GH gases and clouds is 367-212 = 155 W/m2. SW absorption is the difference of 240-165 = 75 W/m2. Latent ´heating is based on the yearly precipitation of about 1 m. Sensible heating is an assessment value but it can be calculated also by closing the budget.

michael hart
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 13, 2020 6:52 am

An excellent point, Joel, as the upper airs have a profound effect on the weather systems below: How they form, dissipate heat, and expire. A case of the tail truly appearing to wag the dog.

I’ve seen descriptions (which of course I cannot find right now) where people have created turbulent fluid (water covered by gas) systems based on a spinning globe or plate with/without extra thermal fluxes. These will often self-organise into a variety of quasi-stable states of turbulent/convective cells, similar to observed weather systems. A great demonstration of apparently unpredictable order-from-chaos. What struck me as more remarkable was that the pattern of these turbulent cells could be changed completely by substituting a different gas resting atop the moving liquid.

beng135
Reply to  michael hart
March 13, 2020 9:36 am

michael says:
An excellent point, Joel, as the upper airs have a profound effect on the weather systems below: How they form, dissipate heat, and expire. A case of the tail truly appearing to wag the dog.

No. The engine that drives the weather is the heated surface, particularly the tropical oceans. If you recall, the phrase “tail wagging the dog” is meant to point out absurdities.

ferdberple
March 12, 2020 11:08 pm

Convection removes energy from the sunlit side of earths surface. However as the air rises this energy is converted from kinetic energy to potential energy. And potential energy cannot be radiated to space regardless of green house gas. As the earth rotates the earths surface moves into darkness and the previously convected air falls back to the surface. The potential energy is converted to kinetic energy which warms the air which warms the surface.

Thus circulation reduces IR radiation to space by converting KE into PE which cannot be radiated. This reduced IR radiation energy is then available to warm the surface.

Given the volume of air that moved up and down ea h day, the the magnitude of energy converted from KE to PE and back to KE, it would seem that this effect t must also significantly warm the surface.

rbabcock
Reply to  ferdberple
March 13, 2020 6:13 am

Any air rising during the day is offset by an equal amount of air falling at the same time. At night the air generally stabilizes and you have no convection. If you fly a light airplane it is very obvious.. very bumpy during the day with up and downdrafts until you reach the base of the clouds but smooth as silk at night.

On a grander scale, you have large high and low pressure systems where air is net rising or falling. An extreme example is a hurricane where air is rapidly rising in the center where it spreads out and cools into cirrus clouds at high altitudes and the transported heat gets radiated out into space.

I’m not really sure what you are saying here. Any updrafts from day heating has an associated downdraft. The air doesn’t wait until nighttime to return down.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  rbabcock
March 13, 2020 8:22 am

The science has the same and the only explanation for the trade winds. The cause is the so-called sensible heating, which means that the warm air moves upward in the tropical zone to the upper troposphere, where this air moves toward the poles, the air cools down and starts to move back to the tropical zone. Because of the rotation of the Earth, the trade wind directions blow from north-east in the northern hemisphere and from the south-east in the southern hemisphere.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  rbabcock
March 13, 2020 2:34 pm

So how does the air rise in the first place? Does the rising air rise because the falling air is falling or does the falling air fall because the rising air is rising? Perpetual motion everybody!

Or is it all because solar radiation causes air to rise, gravity binds it to Earth, and a portion of that energy is returned as gravitational potential energy is converted back to kinetic energy?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 4:37 pm

Water vapor is lighter than air molecularly and heated air also rises both operate to raise the airmass.

MarkW
Reply to  ferdberple
March 13, 2020 7:46 am

Two problems with your scenario.
1) While adiabatic cooling does reduce the temperature of the gas, the gas is still warmer than the surrounding air and hence radiates more energy.
2) You are ignoring the role of water vapor in the process.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2020 10:00 am

1) will add to the cooling effect the radiation from the gases has
2) explain what the role of water vapor is!

Richard G.
March 12, 2020 11:10 pm

I am interested to note that the new CMIP6 studies will for the first time be including Solar Particle Forcing in their model comparisons. The global energy budget diagrams all ignore this aspect of solar variability. I would be interested in your opinion about this.

https://acd-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/People/Jackman/Matthes_2017.pdf
“This paper describes the recommended solar forcing data set for CMIP6 and highlights changes with respect to CMIP5. The solar forcing is provided for radiative properties, namely total solar irradiance (TSI), solar spectral irradiance (SSI), and the F10.7 index as well as particle forcing, including geomagnetic indices Ap and Kp, and ionization rates to account for effects of solar protons, electrons, and galactic cosmic rays. This is the first time that a recommendation for solar-driven particle forcing has been provided for a CMIP exercise.”

Steven Mosher
March 12, 2020 11:26 pm

Roy
‘So, we are left with people like me trying to inform the public on issues which I sometimes consider to be a waste of time arguing about. I only waste that time because I would like for my fellow skeptics to be armed with good science, not bad science.”

Kudos

Here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slPMD5i5Phg&t=1s

No matter how many times you tell skeptics that GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling, they refuse to get it.

This Video also explains why you need a PLANET SIZED LAB to test it

Requirements
1. warm surface below
2. Cold air at the top ( a negative lapse rate)
3. Vaccum at the top so that the energy loss is via radiation ONLY.

That’s the lab set up boys. Planet sized.

Aksurveyor
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 12:07 am

No matter how many times you tell an english major that the CO2 molecule is not the control knob for global warming, he just never gets it.

stinkerp
Reply to  Aksurveyor
March 13, 2020 9:47 am

So what is the “control knob” for global warming? Or are there, in fact, many factors that contribute to warming or cooling—Milankovitch cycles, CO2, methane, water vapor, cosmic rays seeding cloud formation, volcanic aerosols, cataclysmic asteroid collisions—of which the contribution of CO2, which is accumulating rapidly in the atmosphere, is fairly significant? Logarithmic, but still significant?

The evidence suggests that the rapid buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is a significant cause of warming but the evidence (not the computer models) also indicates that it is nowhere near apocalyptic. As global population peaks (probably) in the next 30 years, and more nations become wealthy and technologically advanced, and energy use becomes more efficient and we (likely) transition to practical, cleaner forms of energy production and storage, it’s possible or even likely that atmospheric CO2 accumulation will stabilize or diminish somewhat. And if the accumulated CO2 manages to slow or postpone the next glacial cycle, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

MarkW
Reply to  stinkerp
March 13, 2020 1:47 pm

Where is this alleged evidence that CO2 is a major factor in the recent warmth.
Remember correlation is not causation.
Beyond that, even with this so called rapid rise of CO2, we still have 3 to 5C to go to back to the average temperature of the last 10,000 years.

Gator
Reply to  Aksurveyor
March 13, 2020 10:59 am

Weird. Right? English majors not understanding simple English, or complex climate science. Seriously though, the scientific knowledge of today’s linguistic graduates is shockingly appalling.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 12:12 am

Radiative loss only, agreed. But only from the ‘top’ of the atmosphere. All methods of cooling apply at the surface and it’s surface temp. we (don’t) worry about.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 12:32 am

No matter how many times you tell skeptics that GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling, they refuse to get it.

I object in the strongest possible terms to you lumping us all into the same basket. That’s bullsh*t and you know it. How many of us have spent hours explaining the physics to the naive and misinformed while all you do is take ignorant pot shots from the effing sidelines?

You are as irresponsible as the looney tunes sky dragon buffoons themselves.

Loydo
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 13, 2020 1:07 am

So go on, explain it to fred250.

MarkW
Reply to  Loydo
March 13, 2020 1:48 pm

I’ll do that once you go and try to explain things to the out of control alarmists.
Oh wait, you are one of the out of control alarmists.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Loydo
March 13, 2020 8:35 pm

Why don’t you? You seem to believe ~3% of ~0.04% of the atmosphere is causing the atmosphere to warm driving a catastrophic change in climate (Climate is made up of an average of 30 years of weather so says the IPCC).

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Loydo
March 13, 2020 8:35 pm

Why don’t you? You seem to believe ~3% of ~0.04% of the atmosphere is causing the atmosphere to warm driving a catastrophic change in climate (Climate is made up of an average of 30 years of weather so says the IPCC).

chaswarnertoo
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 13, 2020 6:27 am

It’s Mosh. That’s his MO.

MarkW
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 13, 2020 7:49 am

Simple minds are reduced to lumping everyone into a few simple categories.
Dealing with the complexity of the real world is beyond them.

Not to different from believing that a hugely over simplified model of the atmosphere is a valid representation of that atmosphere.

Kurt
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 12:46 am

“No matter how many times you tell skeptics that GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling, they refuse to get it.”

That’s a distinction without a difference. GHGs warm the planet by reducing the rate of cooling, just as I can make a cold room warmer by closing a window in the winter and preventing the escape of heat.

And its not just skeptics that say that GHGs warm the planet. That is, after all, the ritualistic mantra coming from the mouths of the “consensus” climate academics.

fonzie
Reply to  Kurt
March 13, 2020 5:12 am

…just as I can make a cold room warmer by closing a window in the winter…

(not if you don’t have a heat source in the room)

davetherealist
Reply to  fonzie
March 13, 2020 1:36 pm

exactly. that is the simple part most miss. You must sustain the incoming energy to make the equations work and show “warming”

If you turn off the heat, the room can NEVER get warmer than it was when you closed the window , ever! Closing the window slowed the rate of cooling in the room.

also missing from all these equations is the Earth is itself adding heat to the budget.

Kurt
Reply to  fonzie
March 13, 2020 3:51 pm

“(not if you don’t have a heat source in the room)”

So? The Earth has a heat source called the sun. By making it more difficult over time for the heat provided by the sun to escape to space, we thereby warm the Earth. Trying to say that GHGs don’t “warm” the earth because they don’t independently produce heat is silly – and I think that’s the point Mosher was making – but I wouldn’t explain it as being that GHGs reduce the rate of cooling “instead of” warming the Earth.

Reed Coray
Reply to  Kurt
March 13, 2020 9:25 pm

Kurt, you wrote “GHGs warm the planet by reducing the rate of cooling, …” I struggle trying to interpret that statement. Isn’t a reduced rate of cooling is still “cooling?” If I ignored all the details of heat sources and heat transfer and simply posted as a stand-alone statement: “The room is cooling at a non-zero rate, and that cooling is warming the room,” wouldn’t your response be “Say What?” The stand-alone statement is self-contradictory because it implies a room is simultaneously “cooling” and “warming.” No physics, just English.

You don’t “make a cold room warmer by closing a window in winter and slowing down the escape of heat.” If there is a non-zero rate of cooling for both an open and a shut window, the room cools in both cases.

fred250
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 12:58 am

“they REDUCE the rate of cooling, “

What a totally unsubstantiated piece of anti-science garbage that statement is. !

Utter and complete BS. !

Antero Ollila
Reply to  fred250
March 13, 2020 8:29 am

Not totally wrong. The GH effect can be compared to the insulation of the Earth even though its mechanism is completely different. In this sense, you can also say that it reduces the rate of cooling as does the insulation of the house. The prerequisite of the GH effect is the atmosphere. Without the atmosphere and the GH effect, our planet would be a very cold place.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Antero Ollila
March 13, 2020 12:42 pm

Is Richard Lindzen one of the benighted skeptics who doesn’t understand the Greenhouse Effect?

First of all, the Earth’s atmosphere is chaotic, so one explanation does not fit all conditions occurring in all times and places on the Earth’s surface and surrounding atmosphere.

With that said, the lower Troposphere is where convection occurs and convection is the preponderant mode of heat transfer along with the temperature profile (lapse rate) of the atmosphere. As you get to certain altitude, the atmospheric gets more transparent to radiation to space, and radiative effects begin to dominate.

It’s not like there is no radiative heat transfer taking place at lower elevations of some magic altitude where heat transfer suddenly flips to radiation. There is an “effective radiative” altitude where the temperature of the air at that level happens to be the same as the temperature of a Stefan-Boltzmann black body accounting for the heat loss to space, but this is the result of describing the system in simplified terms. Much like the Greenhouse Blanket with all of its accounting of forward radiation and backscatter and atmospheric absorption and reradiation is way oversimplified because convection is not even included.

That said, what CO2 does as “greenhouse forcing” is that it raises the altitude-of-atmospheric-transparency to CO2. The temperature at ground level is hence raised through the adiabatic (dry or wet depending on atmospheric water vapor content) temperature lapse rate. The mechanism of the lower tropospheric lapse rate is compression heating of the convecting air parcels, with latent heat effects when water vapor is added.

Quick, what causes a meteor or a supersonic aircraft to heat up? Compression heating, not friction, although friction plays an indirect role in the formation of the shock wave where the compressing takes place. What causes the surface of the Earth to be many degrees warmer than it would be in the absence of an atmosphere. Compression heating of the convecting air parcels, between ground and the effective altitude where the atmosphere is in radiative equilibrium with space.

So forget about all of those arrows singing back and forth carrying heat by radiation. What warms the Earth above vacuum conditions is compression heating, where CO2 produces warming by raising (slightly) the altitude of radiative transparency giving radiative equilibrium to space.

Argument-by-authority: this is what atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen is saying, and if someone here wants to lump him into the kook fringe, well . . .

JWSC
Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
March 13, 2020 3:16 pm

Most cogent argument I’ve read so far. Still reading.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
March 13, 2020 5:28 pm

Compression heating only works during compression. Tires being inflated get hot.
Those same tires several hours later are at room temperature.

Kurt
Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
March 13, 2020 5:43 pm

“What causes the surface of the Earth to be many degrees warmer than it would be in the absence of an atmosphere. Compression heating of the convecting air parcels, between ground and the effective altitude where the atmosphere is in radiative equilibrium with space.”

I don’t believe this is correct. It’s the temporal act of compressing a gas that heats it up, not it’s absolute pressure. Imagine two canisters of propane sitting on a deck, one with twice the pressure of the other, yet the propane in each tank will have the same temperature. Take a can of compressed air and blow it on your computer to dust it off, and while the air inside is rapidly decompressing, it quickly cools but it then warms right back up to the same room temperature as it was before once you stop squeezing the trigger.

I could maybe see an argument that if you could magically raise temperature aloft and hold it there, you reduce upwardly directed convective heat transfer, which is driven by vertical temperature differential, causing the surface temperature to rise until the the temperature difference is what it was before. But I can’t see how compression would have anything to do with it.

paul courtney
Reply to  fred250
March 13, 2020 8:37 am

fred250: “What a totally unsubstantiated piece of anti-science garbage that statement is.”
I must disagree, it is instead a totally pedantic piece of semantic garbage. Mr. Mosher is not “anti-science”, but his language is often anti-english, sorta.

John Tillman
Reply to  paul courtney
March 15, 2020 6:38 pm

SM is anti-scientific, since he believes that the scientific method should be replaced by expert consensus.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  fred250
March 13, 2020 2:30 pm

And that argument of theirs has been squashed many times by simply asking:

Do better insulators have high or low absorptivity?
Do better insulators have high or low emissivity?
What is the absorbtivity and emissivity of CO2 relative to bulk air?

leitmotif
Reply to  fred250
March 13, 2020 4:08 pm

It’s the way you tell ’em, Fred.

Does BS stand for Bernie Sanders?

Ross Handsaker
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 1:12 am

“GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling….”
How well does this work for daytime temperatures at hot deserts which have low levels of water vapour in the atmosphere above them?

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Ross Handsaker
March 13, 2020 3:09 am

That is where the CO2 driven GHE has its greatest effect.
There and higher in the atmosphere + the poles where it is driest.

You need to apply meteorology to the heating part.
Deserts are hot because …..
They absorb solar quickly (sandy soils).
Little wind to stir turbulently.
Have an overlying subsided atmosphere that “caps convection” and confines convection (thus heat) to to a relatively shallow surface layer.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 13, 2020 9:47 am

“Deserts are hot because …..”

Antarctica is the largest desert on Earth. It ain’t hot.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 13, 2020 1:37 pm

“It ain’t hot”

Get away!
Don’t you think that that might have something to do with Antarctica being over the South Pole, having an average height of 8000ft being snow/ice covered and actually having a -ve GHE in winter (temperature actually increasing with height)?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 16, 2020 1:49 pm

“Don’t you think that that might have something to do with Antarctica being over the South Pole, having an average height of 8000ft being snow/ice covered and actually having a -ve GHE in winter (temperature actually increasing with height)?”

You made they blanket statement that “deserts are hot”. I proved that statement false.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 13, 2020 2:36 pm

Deserts in general lose more heat to space than they receive from the sun per years of CERES data.

Van Doren
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 13, 2020 7:58 pm

Sand has low emissivity, therefore it must get quite hot to emit the same energy.

William Ward
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 1:39 am

Steven Mosher,

You said: “That’s the lab set up boys. Planet sized.”

Agreed. Laboratory grade science can’t be performed at a planetary scale.

Why do Climate Alarmist Climate Scientists present their case as if they use laboratory-grade instruments, laboratory-grade processes with laboratory-grade results?

sycomputing
Reply to  William Ward
March 13, 2020 3:29 am

Amen.

chaswarnertoo
Reply to  William Ward
March 13, 2020 6:25 am

The Mosh. shot himself in the foot, there.

Phoenix44
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 2:32 am

Weird then that non-sceptics talk about CO2 warming the planet then.

It should be global less-cooling, not global warming.

Looking forward to you advocating for the change.

LdB
Reply to  Phoenix44
March 13, 2020 5:00 am

From a measurement point of view they look the same, stand at the back of your running fridge or air conditioner and tell us about the cooling.

Hokey Schtick
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 4:06 am

Not even wrong.

Glacierman
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
March 13, 2020 5:54 am

+100

Ragnaar
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 4:56 am

Good comment Mosher.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 5:15 am

No matter how many times we tell the believers that CO2 is NOT the major greenhouse gas, water vapor is, they refuse to believe it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 5:40 am

You forgot to include the clouds.

Snape
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 7:57 am

“No matter how many times you tell skeptics that GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling, they refuse to get it.”

A source of confusion here is that a single word, “cooling”, is used to describe two very different ideas.

1) output of thermal energy
2) getting colder

Using the second definition: if something is getting colder at a reduced rate, it is still getting colder.

MarkW
Reply to  Snape
March 13, 2020 9:13 am

You would think that an English major would know that.

Reply to  Snape
March 13, 2020 11:34 am

In twelve hours, I wonder how much is the “reduced rate of cooling”.

CO2 substantially emits, and yet CO2 is the gas given credit for “reducing the rate of cooling”.

Nitrogen and oxygen do NOT substantially emit, and yet they do not get any credit for “reducing the rate of cooling”.

To review, a highly infrared-emitting gas gets the credit for “reducing rate of cooling”, while a non-infrared-emitting gas gets NO credit for “reducing rate of cooling”.

Seems backwards.

Snape
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
March 13, 2020 1:46 pm

Robert Kernodle

“Nitrogen and oxygen do NOT substantially emit, and yet they do not get any credit for “reducing the rate of cooling””

They get no credit because they deserve no credit.

Another Joe
Reply to  Snape
March 16, 2020 9:35 am

They deserve all the credit, or at least 99% most of the time.

Another Joe
Reply to  Snape
March 16, 2020 9:38 am

Snape March 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm

“N2/02 have no way to raise the surface temperature higher than what the sun would do on its own.”

Same goes for CO2 or any other gas.

Its the sun all along that does the warming. Air is a good insulator. It does not need less cooling due to radiation since it also has less cooling from conduction.

MarkW
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
March 13, 2020 1:54 pm

That’s because it’s not the “emitting” part that matters, it’s the absorbing part that does.
All molecules emit based on their temperature. The emission curve for all molecules is pretty much the same.
infra-red absorbing gasses matter because they convert infra-red photons into heat and transfer that heat to other molecules in the atmosphere.

PS: There are no non-infrared emitting gasses.

Snape
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2020 10:22 am

@ Another Joe

“this is exactly what I said, and it is the reason why the back radiation is irrelevant for the discussion since convection and latent heat do their bits regardless what radiation does.”

The outer wall of the vacuum chamber reflects and infrared back to the inner wall. This happens with or without CO2 being added to the chamber.

Infrared, emitted by the surface or atmosphere, would have a free path to space if not reflected back by clouds or absorbed by GHG’s.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
March 13, 2020 2:39 pm

Oh whatever, I’m about to create a new thermos that has a chamber filled with CO2 instead of a vacuum. Wish me luck.

Sarcasm aside, yes, it is backwards, back radiation hypothesis is standing on its head.

Snape
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 13, 2020 7:09 pm

@Robert Turner

Not backwards at all. N2/02 have no way to raise the surface temperature higher than what the sun would do on its own.

Reed Coray
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 13, 2020 10:55 pm

Robert, I agree 100%–at least I think I do, I’m never sure when people are being sarcastic. Put hot coffee at the same temperature in two thermos bottles (1) a vacuum thermos bottle, and (2) an identical thermos bottle where the vacuum space is filled with CO2 gas. Put both thermos bottles in the same room at a temperature lower than the temperature of the coffee. If greenhouse gases (in this case CO2) possess the property that they reduce the rate of cooling, then the coffee in the vacuum thermos bottle will reach room temperature before the coffee in the CO2 thermos bottle. I don’t think so.

I collaborated with Peter C who performed just such an experiment–admittedly a rudimentary experiment, but an experiment nevertheless. For a description of that experiment see https://www.dropbox.com/s/6b8j73qf34qq3ad/final_peter_reed_paper_to_Joanne_Nova_unthreaded_01_pdf.docx?dl=0

I wish you luck; but I won’t invest in your CO2 thermos bottle company. On second thought maybe I should. It seems that there are a lot of people who think the CO2 thermos bottle will cool at a reduced rate relative to the vacuum thermos bottle, and thus the CO2 thermos bottle will outperform vacuum thermos bottles.

Snape
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 1:34 am

@Reed Coray

CO2 raises the surface temperature by producing back radiation.

A vacuum thermos works mainly by restricting convection. If you replace the vacuum with C02, then:

a) convection is no longer restricted.

b) backradiation is in no way enhanced, because the thermos wall already reflects and emits radiation from the hot interior.

Reed Coray
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 10:56 am

@Snape 1:34 am.

You wrote: “ A vacuum thermos works mainly by restricting convection. If you replace the vacuum with C02, then: (a) convection is no longer restricted.” Even when the vacuum region is filled with a gas, there is very little convection in a thermos bottle at rest in a room—conduction maybe, but little or no convection. In fact, if all components (interior chamber, outer wall, etc.) of the thermos bottle are spherical with a common center, a symmetry argument could be made that convection can’t exist. In particular, for heat loss via convection to occur, CO2 gas must be moving from the chamber to the outer wall. But in a closed volume, like the vacuum region of a thermos bottle, such motion cannot happen forever–at some time and at some point(s) CO2 gas must return to the thermos bottle’s chamber. At what point(s) on the surface of a spherical thermos bottle chamber and at what point(s) on the surface of a spherical outer wall does this “return” take place? By symmetry, all points on the surface of both the outer wall and the chamber are identical.

You wrote: “ A vacuum thermos works mainly by restricting convection. If you replace the vacuum with C02, then: (b) backradiation is in no way enhanced, because the thermos wall already reflects and emits radiation from the hot interior. ” I interpret this to mean that for the vacuum case the thermos wall is providing a certain amount of “backradiation,” and the addition of CO2 gas won’t change the total amount of “backradiation”—i.e., the sum of the “backradiations” from the CO2 gas and the thermos wall won’t change. That’s hard to believe, because if true the CO2 gas must know exactly how much “backradiation” exists from the thermos wall. For example, if the presence of the CO2 gas has no effect on the rate of “backradiation” from the thermos wall to the interior, then the added CO2 gas will contribute no “backradiation.” And if the presence of the CO2 gas has an effect (say a decrease) on the rate of “backradiation” from the thermos wall to the interior, then the added CO2 gas must exactly compensate for that decrease. Since the amount of “backradiation” from the thermos wall to its interior is a function of the thermos bottle geometry, such behavior would mean “backradiation” from CO2 gas in a thermos bottle is also a function of the thermos bottle geometry.

In any event, independent of “how it happens,” the contention is made that greenhouse gases that surround an object will “warm” the object. CO2 in a vacuum thermos bottle surrounds the thermos bottle chamber but acts to cool, not warm, the contents of the chamber. Either abandon/caveat the contention or invalidate any experimental result(s) showing the contrary.

Snape
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 14, 2020 11:05 pm

Reed
Yes, without a vacuum chamber the coffee is cooled by conduction, so I agree that limiting conduction, not convection, is the main idea.

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

Same problem though, because when you replace the vacuum with CO2, you have defeated the purpose.

The above is beside the point WRT your experiment, because as already mentioned the outer wall of the chamber already reflects and reemits radiation very efficiently. No reason I can see for CO2 to enhance this effect.

Another Joe
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 16, 2020 9:47 am

Snape,

hold that thought:

“CO2 raises the surface temperature by producing back radiation.
A vacuum thermos works mainly by restricting convection. If you replace the vacuum with C02, then:
a) convection is no longer restricted.”

EXACTLY! The emitting atmosphere and the surface are the walls from you thermos.

But the thermos is gas filled. There is no restrictions to convection in the atmosphere. For the same reason you think this impacts on the thermos to work it impacts on the GHE.

Simply if the GHE was to work by radiation, convection has to be ignored.

Snape
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 17, 2020 12:07 am

@Another Joe

Adding CO2 to the vacuum chamber defeats the purpose of the vacuum by enabling heat transfer by conduction and convection.

This situation does not parallel the atmosphere because the atmosphere is not a vacuum. It is filled with the gasses O2/N2…… so conduction/convection are already enabled. Adding CO2 changes little in this regard.

****
What the atmosphere DOESN’T have is an outer wall. Without clouds or GHG’s, surface radiation would have a free path to space.

Another Joe
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 17, 2020 8:05 pm

Snape,

this is exactly what I said, and it is the reason why the back radiation is irrelevant for the discussion since convection and latent heat do their bits regardless what radiation does.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 4:30 pm

Steven
One thing you left out of your planet size lab is time. That is geological time. I have yet to see any correlation between CO2 levels and planetary temperature in geological time.

angech
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 13, 2020 4:57 pm

SM
“No matter how many times you tell skeptics that GHGs don’t WARM the planet, they REDUCE the rate of cooling, they refuse to get it.“

“As we will see, much confusion arises about the greenhouse effect due to its complexity, and the difficulty in expressing that complexity accurately with words alone. “

“The most important net impact of the greenhouse effect on terrestrial temperatures is this:
The net effect of a greenhouse atmosphere is that it keeps the lower atmospheric layers (and surface) warmer, and the upper atmosphere colder, than if the greenhouse effect did not exist.”

Oh dear.
There has to be another way to put it more clearly.

The problem, SM, is that the sun warms the planet and the atmosphere.
Not the GHG.
You could make the atmosphere 50% CO2 and by itself with no energy added it would radiate away its energy and turn solid like all the other gasses on a large meteorite.

The problem with GHG is that they form multiple innumerable layers in the atmosphere of increasing amount as they are concentrated nearer the surface. The both receive and radiate the sun’s energy, the IR energy from other GHG around them and from the surface. Plus the kinetic energy of the GHG and other gases.
This leads to them reaching the right temperature to radiate more often closest to the ground.
More energy, more motion, more heat.
An earth atmosphere with GHG has a temperature profile like earth.
GHG do not warm the atmosphere, they are part of the atmosphere.
Their warmth is due to the radiative physics and that part of their radiation that goes backwards as well as that that goes forwards sideways is absorbed and recycles the process less and less as it gets higher til it escapes at TOA

Phew, on second thoughts it is easier to play at semantics

sycomputing
Reply to  angech
March 13, 2020 8:40 pm

The problem, SM, is that the sun warms the planet and the atmosphere.
Not the GHG.

Nice . . .

R2Dtoo
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 14, 2020 12:57 pm

Can someone write an article on how the fact that most warming has occurred at night and during winter fits in with all this discussion? Does cooling in regions where cooling does occur, occur only during the day and summer? Just curious.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 14, 2020 5:07 pm

Steven, it is a small proportion of sceptics that you are referring to. But to round out your thinking, too, anything that moves surface emitted heat to outer space at less than the speed of light causes warming. It isn’t only GHG. Wet convective heatflow in the tropics largely bypasses much of the GHG effect in the lower tropo, but is part of the delay in exiting heat and warm ocean currents heat northerly atmospheres, e.g. Gulf Stream heats northern Europe atmosphere by about 5C and this sun heat is what, a couple of weeks old at destination.

Rod
March 12, 2020 11:33 pm

Heat and temperature are very different and not all Long Wave radiation is good at warming anything much.

As an Engineering student I was taught that temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of a body. Heat or more relevantly here, radiation energy, is not the same as temperature. For example at the top of Mt Everest there is a very large amount of radiative short and long wave radiation, but last time I checked its pretty cool up there.

So a large amount of radiative energy but low temperature. “Trapped heat” does not necessarily mean a higher temperature.

So why is not all long wave radiation the same? In Quantum Physics 101 we learn that electrons orbit molecules in specific bands. If there isn’t enough energy in a photon of light energy to boost an electron to the next higher orbit, that photon is bounced or re-radiated away. It is not adsorbed.

We also know that specific molecules absorb radiation in specific bands of wavelengths. CO2 only absorbs any radiation in three specific finger frequencies. Only one cocurs at a temperature found in the atmosphere.

Wiens law governs the temperature of a body for a given radiated wavelength. Think themometer in ear technology. Using some online calculators and manually evaluating the formula, I get that CO2’s 15um wavelength equates to -80C. Please check or let me know if this is wrong, because it looks like CO2 can only radiate when at -80C. A radiated photon of energy from a molecule at -80C does not have the energy to boost any electron on any molecule that is warmer, gas, liquid or solid.

So there may be a large amount of radiative energy hitting the lower atmosphere and ground but only the more energetic bandwidths will be able to warm the earth and Air.

So the explanation of what’s happening is even more complex than is admirably described above.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 5:10 am

You will get banned here if you keep listing relevant facts!

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Richards
March 13, 2020 7:54 am

Could you name someone who has been banned merely for the sin of listing facts?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 9:49 am

He was thinking of every single alarmist site. Easy mistake. NOT.

paul courtney
Reply to  Steve Richards
March 13, 2020 8:43 am

STeve: Please name one person banned here for that.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Richards
March 13, 2020 1:55 pm

I can only think of a couple people who have been banned. A couple for repeatedly posting under different names, and another who was completely abusive.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 6:00 am

“So the explanation of what’s happening is even more complex than is admirably described above.”

Yes, it is. I have a feeling the comments are going to show us just how “unsettled” the science of CO2 “in the atmosphere” really is.

CO2 does something in the atmosphere, but we’re not really sure exactly what it leads to, especially when it comes to feedbacks such as clouds offsetting any CO2 warming of the atmosphere. Clouds could offset all the warming CO2 might cause.

We don’t know enough about CO2 in the atmosphere to be spending TRILLIONS of dollars on Windmills, or turning our economies and lifestyles upside down in order to reduce some theoretical warming from CO2.

The “science” definitely is not settled. Most of CO2 science is guesswork. Just read the comments.

Macha
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 7:22 am

Rod,
Totally on topic…. Slows cooling when colder than -80C. Hence no impact at surface.

Macha
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 7:27 am

+1000. For Rod.

-80C slows cooling where?.

Richard G.
Reply to  Macha
March 13, 2020 10:01 am

I’ll take Mesosphere for $1,000 Alex.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 8:36 am

Do greenhouses that super saturate CO2 (800 to 1000ppm) have to spend more effort to heat or cool them than those maintained at ambient CO2?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Jean Parisot
March 14, 2020 12:23 pm

Jean Parisot , the effect of CO2 is only interesting over the full height of the atmosphere (up to 70 km)
If your greenhouse was 1 km in height, filling it with 1.000 ppmv CO2 would give an increase of less than 0.1 C (Modtran calculation) at the surface…

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 8:49 am

“Please check or let me know if this is wrong, because it looks like CO2 can only radiate when at -80C. A radiated photon of energy from a molecule at -80C does not have the energy to boost any electron on any molecule that is warmer, gas, liquid or solid.”

OK.
See ….
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-88f8072aa9883b478027d5961f2569b6

The Earth’s peak emission at its grey body temp (255k) is near 15 micron, a major absorption band of CO2, and note, not fully covered by H2O.

Also read the Summary here …..
https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/wea.2072

mkelly
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 8:52 am

There is only about 36 W available from a surface at 288 K in the 14-16 micro range for CO2 absorption. There is an equation in my heat transfer book about calculating energy available per frequency range. Or use a quick calculator at
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

If CO2 did what is claimed then we must have a change in the specific heat of air and CO2. NIST does not mention IR in the table of info about CO2.

If CO2 emitted at 13 or 14 micro we should see it on flir as they go to 15.

Lastly Hoyt Hottel demonstrated that CO2 has an emissivity of almost zero below 33 C.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  mkelly
March 13, 2020 1:47 pm

CO2 has a absorption band at 15 micron.
That is close to the Earth’s peak emission at 255K (the level at which most LWIR escapes to space and thus the temp that anything in space would measure as the Earth’s emission temp).

Please show me otherwise on a CO2 absorption vs Earth emission graph, or via Modtran.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  mkelly
March 13, 2020 2:24 pm

Shhh, specific heat and heat capacity are ignored when discussing this topic. All established science can be tossed out the window when talking climastrology.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Rod
March 13, 2020 2:18 pm

All someone would need to do to clear so much confusion is actually link to a study showing how absorbed and emitted radiation from gases is at all connected to the kinetic energy of a gas.

If the only way a gas can cool down is to radiate a photon (hypothetically), yet the temperature of a gas is almost entirely due to its translational kinetic energy, then there must be some relationship but I have never seen anyone actually point to any study showing it. Furthermore, for a solid or liquid to become a gas, the intermolecular energy must become high enough for that molecule to overcome intramolecular forces. But once that molecule undergoes the phase change, all of a sudden that intermolecular energy becomes translational kinetic energy, but I have never seen any study detailing the process.

The back radiation hypothesis involves a lot of quantum mechanics, but I haven’t seen any quantum physicist talk much about it, support it, study it, or really contribute to the field in any way – almost like they have actual applied science to conduct.

Another Joe
Reply to  Robert W Turner
March 16, 2020 9:57 am
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Rod
March 14, 2020 12:15 pm

Rod,
You are wrong with the -80C, CO2 does absorb and emit 15 um radiation at any temperature.
That is exactly the difference between a non-greenhouse gas and a greenhouse gas.
A non-greenhouse gas or any other liquid or solid material follows Wiens law. Greenhouse gases do that too, but besides that, CO2 does absorb and emit 10.6 um radiation at any temperature, completely independent of Wiens law. Other GHGs do that for their own wavelengths.

Take a CO2 laser: operating temperature around 100C, IR beam at 10.6 um, which melts steel at over 1.000 C:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_laser
Impossible if you were right…

John in Cairns
March 12, 2020 11:38 pm

Just to toss a tiny wrench, we then have variable day length ,which influences temperatures enormously. Real solar absorption time may be as little as six hours or even nothing while heat escape has the rest of the twenty four. Hence the lovely eternal conflict between summer and winter.

angech
March 12, 2020 11:55 pm

I have run into some problems discussing the GHG effect and would appreciate some feedback on my misunderstandings if I can ask sensible questions.

“The complexity arises because the greenhouse effect involves every cubic meter of the atmosphere having the ability to both absorb and emit infrared (IR) energy. (And almost never are the rates of absorption and emission the same, contrary to the claims of many skeptics – IR emission is very temperature-dependent, while absorption is not). The emission of this invisible radiation by everything around us is obviously more difficult to describe than the single-source Sun.
The ability of air and clouds to absorb and emit IR radiation has profound impacts on energy flows and temperatures throughout the atmosphere, leading to the multiple infrared energy flow arrows (red) in the energy budget diagram originally popularized by Kiehl & Trenberth (Fig. 1)..”

My first problem was that of energy in equaling energy out. From the diagram.
There is *239.9 coming in all the time. *approximately averaged from the sun input less variable albedo cloud effects
There is only *239.9 going out, all the time. * approximately, minuscule amount of earth generated heat.

IR emission is very temperature-dependent, while absorption is not. Yes.
almost never are the rates of absorption and emission the same. Yeeess.
This seems to imply though that heat in may temporarily not equal heat out when you have fluid dynamic changes in the surface layers [air, water, ice , clouds earth forests] though it will always return to balance.
This relates though to the different rates of conduction through water earth air clouds etc
Willis may be describing this concept in “The Hot And Cold Of Space” talking about the thermal conductivity of substances.
While there may be lags or lapses in different substances heating up to their thermal emission points the fact that input will equal output suggests that at near equilibrium [Thermal mass concept?] a slow response in one substance is probably balanced by quicker responses in other substances.

Is the time frame for these temperature variations Billionths of a second atomically [is almost immediately felt], minutes with atmospheric convection. Days with ocean heat content, months with ice delay in melting and freezing and centuries with the so called deep ocean currents?
How do we input that into global temperature.

commieBob
March 13, 2020 12:02 am

There is one place where I am sure the alarmist analysis violates energy conservation and that is Dr. Hansen’s feedback analysis. link

By the time Hansen et al wrote the above linked paper, feedback analysis was well understood and taught even at the high school level. When Bode published the book referenced in Hansen et al, he was describing vacuum tubes and wasn’t clear about a couple of things, in particular the reference level. It was usually assumed to be ground (0 volts). (and, yes, I realize there were differential tube amplifiers but I don’t see them in the chapter on feedback. ie. pages 31 – 43 A balanced input AC coupled circuit is not the same thing.) Later, with cheap operational amplifiers, the reference level was always explicitly mentioned.

It has been objected that, if you know the black box gain of the circuit, the reference level doesn’t matter and the output delta is the input delta times that gain. The trouble is that if you’re calculating the gain of the circuit, you have to know the reference level. If you’ve got the reference level wrong, you’ve got the gain wrong. That’s thing one.

In equation 8, Hansen et al state that the overall temperature feedback is the sum of all the temperature feedbacks. That’s a linear assumption. The radiative loss from the planet is based on the fourth power of the temperature, not at all linear. That’s thing two.

The feedback analysis given by Bode assumes an infinite power supply. That certainly isn’t the case with the climate. The energy necessary to increase temperature is limited. When faced with a limited power supply, a feedback system’s output is limited and the system ceases to be linear and the feedback equations no longer work. As far as I can tell, Hansen et al ignored that. That’s thing three.

I have seen the accusation (if I recall correctly) that Hansen assumes a constant relative humidity with his feedback augmented warming. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t account for the energy it would take to evaporate the water necessary to keep the RH constant with rising temperature. Anyway, he posits his positive feedback as the result of extra evaporation due to a small CO2 induced warming.

Hansen et al talks about energy but then uses a feedback analysis that ignores it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 1:16 am

+1000
but way above any regular non-science/engineering person’s ability to grasp why the climate change scam is a scam.

chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 13, 2020 6:32 am

Spot on.

accordionsrule
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 13, 2020 12:41 pm

“But the atmosphere’s radiative blanket reduces the rate of IR cooling from the warmer lower layers of the atmosphere to the upper cooler layers.”
There is no such thing as a “radiative blanket.” IR moves at the speed of light, molecules cannot reduce the rate that IR moves. Convection and conduction do.
After the IR hits a CO2, more CO2 does not make that IR stick around longer. Convection and conduction of all the molecules in the atmosphere do. Actually, more CO2 increases the speed of radiation to outer space. I know, CAGWs say the IR radiates at a higher altitude. Think about it…the IR says there’s lots of co2 molecules nearby, so I’ll violate the laws of physics and stay around until it gets colder?
When you make analogies about blankets, a layman is going to visualize what is virtually a perpetual motion machine, with IR bouncing around for years trapped under the CO2 blanket, making the air warmer and warmer and warmer with each bounce.
When truth be told, IR isn’t even heat.

MarkW
Reply to  accordionsrule
March 13, 2020 2:02 pm

You really need to spend some time to try and understand the arguments of those you disagree with, it will make you look a bit less like a fool.

Nobody ever said that the IR photon slows down, what they have said is that each IR photon gets absorbed and re-admitted. The more times this happens, the longer the path it takes from the ground to space.

I really don’t know where you going with this CO2 makes IR stick around nonsense. Once an IR photon is absorbed by a molecule, it no longer exists, so it can’t “stick around”.

IR doesn’t get trapped by a physical blanket. I’m really at a loss to try and figure out what it is that you are trying to say, other than your over the top efforts to prove that you haven’t the foggiest clue what you are talking about.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 6:07 pm

MarkW.

I really admire your persistent way to teach some basic facts of climate change issues. But as you have noticed, those who disagree, they never come back and say, now I learned something, now I understand. They are stick to their own strange physics.

accordionsrule
Reply to  MarkW
March 14, 2020 12:22 am

At the speed of light, your hypothetical “longer path” makes zero difference. The few billionths of a second a co2 holds a photon makes zero difference. Besides, as you say yourself, the photon doesn’t even take your hypothetical longer path because there is a collision first. And I think you are agreeing, there is no such thing as an IR blanket. It conveys a false image, and I wish the author did not use that word. CO2 is not a blanket. It is not insulation. It is a door. It is the way IR of a specific bandwidth enters the climate system. When that happens, CO2’s work is complete. What “reduces the rate” (which you call nonsense, but those are the author’s words) is the complex motion of the atmosphere. Nothing to do with CO2. Until the TOA, where co2 facilitates radiation to space. That’s CO2, now, not H2O.
I am not disagreeing with anybody, I attached my reply to the wrong post. I object to the blanket analogy. But now I need to also object to your flawed “longer path” hypothesis. Which is saying what, that the farther a photon moves the more warmth it causes? I have a perpetual motion machine I’d like to sell you.

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 10:09 am

MarkW,

for me it seems you have to read correctly what is being said.

Maybe note the quote marks and that accordionsrule argues against the “blanket”.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  MarkW
March 18, 2020 12:41 am

Accordionsrule,

As said already by MarkW, once a photon is catched by CO2 or another GHG, it doesn’t exist anymore and the re-emissions is a matter of mircoseconds, not only enough to slow down the speed of emission to space, but also the re-emissions is in all directions, including back to the surface where the photon is absorbed again, thus adding energy to the surface.

Besides that, the time between absorption and re-emission is long enough to allow the collision with other molecules, mainly O2 and N2, which means that the extra energy from catching the photon is redistributed to other molecules and the whole layer of the atmosphere gets warmer. With the same lapse rate, the surface gets warmer too…

Another Joe
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2020 9:56 pm

Correction,

the process of adding energy is what we call heating.

A photon from the atmosphere does not ADD energy to the surface.

leitmotif
Reply to  accordionsrule
March 13, 2020 8:12 pm

Antero Ollila

If you are praising MarkW then you have just lost the argument. He thinks radiation and heat are the same thing so I assume you do too.

Don’t give up the day job.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  leitmotif
March 14, 2020 1:19 am

On the contrary. Me and MarkT make a difference between the heat transfer by convection and conduction and radiation. Every material in the universe emits radiation according to Planck’s law. That is why energy has been transferred from a cold object to a hot object.

leitmotif
Reply to  leitmotif
March 14, 2020 4:03 am

“On the contrary. Me and MarkT make a difference between the heat transfer by convection and conduction and radiation. Every material in the universe emits radiation according to Planck’s law. That is why energy has been transferred from a cold object to a hot object.”

It’s MarkW. What else have you got wrong?

You still don’t understand the difference between radiation and heat, do you?

Another Joe
Reply to  leitmotif
March 16, 2020 10:13 am

leitmotif

seems that the concept heat and energy are hard to grasp for some.

While it is used most of the time in the same context, the difference is so much more important when talking about heat transfer by radiation.

William Ward
Reply to  accordionsrule
March 14, 2020 1:46 am

As I understand it, the mean decay time for an excited CO2 molecule to emit an IR photon is on the order of 1 second. At low altitudes, the mean time between molecular collisions, through which an excited CO2 molecule can transfer its energy to another gas molecule (N2, O2), is on the order of 1 nanosecond. So, after a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, 99.9999999% of the time, this energy will be transferred to other gas molecules as kinetic energy, not emitted as another photon. If the kinetic energy of a gas increases, the temperature of a gas increases, by definition. So this GHE should be evidenced by increased atmospheric temperature. The claimed value of the energy imbalance driving global warming translates to several degrees of potential atmospheric temperature rise per year. Why don’t we see this?

When CO2 does re-emit a photon, it does so in a random direction in 4π steradians – meaning spherically. Because the CO2 molecule is in the atmosphere above the Earth, the probability of the photon being emitted in a direction that can strike the Earth is < 50% by a small amount. Visualize a CO2 molecule above the Earth and a plane tangent to the Earth bisecting the molecule. A photon emitted in the 2π steradians (hemisphere) above the plane cannot intersect the Earth. Because the molecule is above the Earth, it can also radiate a few fractions of a degree below the plane and not strike the Earth. So the chance it will return to Earth is 95% of the claimed energy imbalance gets into the deep oceans (OHC), according to CliSci?

Can anyone offer any corrections or challenges to this?

William Ward
Reply to  William Ward
March 14, 2020 2:01 am

MODS – any chance to delete or strikeout the above-botched post?

Sorry – This is a repeat post as something went wrong in the original above. Perhaps an erroneous cut and paste clobbered 2 paragraphs. Below is the corrected text.

As I understand it, the mean decay time for an excited CO2 molecule to emit an IR photon is on the order of 1 second. At low altitudes, the mean time between molecular collisions, through which an excited CO2 molecule can transfer its energy to another gas molecule (N2, O2), is on the order of 1 nanosecond. So, after a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, 99.9999999% of the time, this energy will be transferred to other gas molecules as kinetic energy, not emitted as another photon. If the kinetic energy of a gas increases, the temperature of a gas increases, by definition. So this GHE should be evidenced by increased atmospheric temperature. The claimed value of the energy imbalance driving global warming translates to several degrees of potential atmospheric temperature rise per year. Why don’t we see this?

When CO2 does re-emit a photon, it does so in a random direction in 4π steradians – meaning spherically. Because the CO2 molecule is in the atmosphere above the Earth, the probability of the photon being emitted in a direction that can strike the Earth is < 50% by a small amount. Visualize a CO2 molecule above the Earth and a plane tangent to the Earth bisecting the molecule. A photon emitted in the 2π steradians (hemisphere) above the plane cannot intersect the Earth. Because the molecule is above the Earth, it can also radiate a few fractions of a degree below the plane and not strike the Earth. So the chance it will return to Earth is 95% of the claimed energy imbalance gets into the deep oceans (OHC) according to CliSci?

Can anyone offer any corrections or challenges to this?

William Ward
Reply to  William Ward
March 14, 2020 2:28 am

3rd time posting this – a formatting problem is combining paragraphs and deleting text. My sincere apology for the repeated posts. I’m hoping it works this time.

As I understand it, the mean decay time for an excited CO2 molecule to emit an IR photon is on the order of 1 second. At low altitudes, the mean time between molecular collisions, through which an excited CO2 molecule can transfer its energy to another gas molecule (N2, O2), is on the order of 1 nanosecond. So, after a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, 99.9999999% of the time, this energy will be transferred to other gas molecules as kinetic energy, not emitted as another photon. If the kinetic energy of a gas increases, the temperature of a gas increases, by definition. So this GHE should be evidenced by increased atmospheric temperature. The claimed value of the energy imbalance driving global warming translates to several degrees of potential atmospheric temperature rise per year. Why don’t we see this?

When CO2 does re-emit a photon, it does so in a random direction in 4π steradians – meaning spherically. Because the CO2 molecule is in the atmosphere above the Earth, the probability of the photon being emitted in a direction that can strike the Earth is less than 50% by a small amount. Visualize a CO2 molecule above the Earth and a plane tangent to the Earth bisecting the molecule. A photon emitted in the 2π steradians (hemisphere) above the plane cannot intersect the Earth. Because the molecule is above the Earth, it can also radiate a few fractions of a degree below the plane and not strike the Earth. So the chance it will return to Earth is less than 50%, but 50% can be used for general discussion. Any re-emitted photon that strikes the Earth must be re-radiated in the correct direction and not be absorbed by another CO2 or H20 molecule in its path.

Most of the energy captured by CO2 goes to atmospheric temperature increase. A small fraction gets re-emitted as radiation. Less than half of the re-emitted photons are available to warm the surface of the Earth, due to the geometry of radiation. So how is it that greater than 95% of the claimed energy imbalance gets into the deep oceans (OHC) according to CliSci?

Can anyone offer any corrections or challenges to this?

Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 3:31 am

I’ve never bothered with this whole line of argument – seems a waste of time to me. So I’m changing the subject – more about Justin Trudeau and his batsh!t-crazy little gang of Marxists:

The Trudeau Liberals continue to exceed their mandate – they are a minority government that has repeatedly deceived the public – their covert intention is to destroy the Canadian economy and establish a Chinese-style dictatorship. The current economic chaos in Canada, the blockade of rail lines by a tiny group of paid agitators, is part of their plan – that is why the Libs have done nothing about it.

Trudeau’s latest boondoggle is to ban single-use plastic by declaring it toxic. Like the CO2 endangerment finding, this is an utter debacle concocted by imbeciles. It will not end well.

Canada is finished unless Trudeau and his covert Marxists are voted out and soon.

CANADA SET TO DECLARE PLASTIC ‘TOXIC’:
Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Moore calls plan ‘Orwellian & false’ – ‘Plastic is not toxic, it is used to keep our food safe. Wood, concrete & steel are more toxic than plastic’
https://www.climatedepot.com/2020/03/12/canada-set-to-declare-plastic-toxic-greenpeace-co-founder-dr-moore-calls-plan-orwellian-false-plastic-is-not-toxic-it-is-used-to-keep-our-food-safe-wood-concrete-steel-are-more-to/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ottawa-set-to-declare-plastics-as-toxic-substance/

commieBob
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
March 13, 2020 4:39 am

We’re in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic and they want to ban single use plastic. Single use plastic is more hygienic than the alternatives. link I don’t want to die because of Dances-with-Unicorns’ virtue signalling.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 7:58 am

“Dances-with-Unicorns”

Mind if I steal that?

commieBob
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 12:13 pm

I would like to see it spread far and wide.

Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 8:37 am

°Right on the button! As temperatures get warmer, a larger and larger percentage of wattage goes into latent heat rather than sensible heat, Those IPCC climate models have a doubling of CO2, increasing surface wattage flux by an average of 4 watts or so, increasing temperatures roughly 1° C.

That 1° C increase supposedly increases water vapor, and I remember an article by Eschenbach indicating water vapor increases, increasing the flux by about 1.8° Watts/meter², I presume that water vapor increases increase the wattage flux logarithmically, the same as CO2.

From Trenberth’s figures, about 78 watts² goes into the latent heat of evaporation, If a 3% increase in water vapor leads to a that increased wattage figures, it means an additional 3 % of 78 watts would have to go into the latent heat of vaporization for that increase in water vapor and 1,8 additional watt per meter squared feedback . My assumptions lead to an additional .03*78 = 2.34 watts going into the latent heat of vaporization to get an additional 1.8 watts/meter² feedback,
A strong NEGATIVE feedback on temperature. That’s an obvious reason why CO2 always lags temperature in Vostok ice core records, why over the long run of geological history, there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature, and why the IPCC figures on water vapor feedback are wildly exaggerated,

angech
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
March 13, 2020 5:35 pm

Anyone?
Seems important but outside my pay range

Reply to  angech
March 14, 2020 12:57 am

CO2, GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE AND ENERGY
by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., June 15, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/
Excel: https://wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Rev_CO2-Global-Warming-Climate-and-Energy-June2019-FINAL.xlsx

ABSTRACT

Global warming alarmism, which falsely assumes that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes catastrophic global warming, is disproved – essentially, it assumes that the future is causing the past. In reality, atmospheric CO2 changes lag global temperature changes at all measured time scales.

Nino34 Area Sea Surface Temperature changes, then tropical humidity changes, then atmospheric temperature changes, then CO2 changes.

The velocity dCO2/dt changes ~contemporaneously with global temperature changes and CO2 changes occur ~9 months later (MacRae 2008).

The process that causes the ~9-month average lag of CO2 changes after temperature changes is hypothesized and supported by observations.

The ~9-month lag, +/- several months, averages 1/4 of the full-period duration of the variable global temperature cycle, which averages ~3 years.

Based on the above observations, global temperatures drive atmospheric CO2 concentrations much more than CO2 drives temperature.

Climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 must be very low, less than ~1C/(2*CO2) and probably much less.

There will be no catastrophic warming and no significant increase in chaotic weather due to increasing CO2 concentrations.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 clearly causes significantly improved crop yields, and may cause minor, beneficial global warming.

Atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high, it is too low for optimal plant growth and alarmingly low for the survival of carbon-based terrestrial life.

Other factors such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc may also increase atmospheric CO2. The increase of CO2 is clearly beneficial.

“Green energy” schemes are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, primarily because of the fatal flaw of intermittency.

There is no widely-available, cost-effective means of solving the flaw of intermittency in grid-connected wind and solar power generation.

Electric grids have been destabilized, electricity costs have soared and Excess Winter Deaths have increased due to green energy schemes.

Steve Z
Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 1:08 pm

CommieBob makes an excellent point about

“I have seen the accusation (if I recall correctly) that Hansen assumes a constant relative humidity with his feedback augmented warming. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t account for the energy it would take to evaporate the water necessary to keep the RH constant with rising temperature. Anyway, he posits his positive feedback as the result of extra evaporation due to a small CO2 induced warming.”

The energy required to maintain a constant relative humidity with rising temperature would constitute a huge negative feedback.

If we posit 1 m3 of air at 25 C (77 F), 1013 mb pressure, and 80% relative humidity, initially in thermal equilibrium over 1 m2 of tropical ocean at 77 F surface temperature, then suppose that some external influence (such as absorption of IR re-radiation by excess CO2) causes its temperature to be raised to 78 F.

At 77 F, the heat capacity of air (assuming 78 mol% N2, 21 mol% O2, and 1 mol% Ar) is about 6.66 cal/gmol C, and 1 m3 of air at those conditions contains 40.895 gmol (this can be calculated from the ideal-gas law), it would take 40.895 * 6.66 = 272.4 calories to warm the air by 1 C, or 272.4 / 1.8 = 151.3 calories to warm the air from 77 F to 78 F.

Saturation humidity at 77 F is 3.1243 mol% water vapor, so 80% relative humidity is 2.4995 mol% water vapor. At 78 F, saturation humidity is 3.2295 mol% water vapor, or 2.5836 mol% water vapor. In order to maintain the 1 m3 of air at 80% RH, the mole fraction water vapor has to be increased by 0.0841 mol% (841 ppm), requiring the evaporation of 40.895 * 0.000841 * 18.02 = 0.620 grams of water.

The heat of vaporization of water at 25 C is 583.4 cal/g, so that the heat required to vaporize the extra water to maintain 80% relative humidity would be 583.4 * 0.620 = 361.6 calories, or MORE THAN TWICE the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 m3 of air from 77 F to 78 F.

This example, using perfectly reasonable initial conditions for the tropical ocean, shows that the assumption of constant relative humidity ignores a huge negative feedback. In reality, of the heat assumed to be added to the air to raise its temperature, if relative humidity remained constant, about 58% of the heat would be lost in evaporating water, and the actual temperature rise of the air would be about 42% of the theoretical temperature rise assuming constant ABSOLUTE humidity (mole fraction water vapor).

Any climate model that assumes constant relative humidity to have additional water vapor in the air capture more IR radiation needs to also take into account the heat required to vaporize the additional water, which will likely greatly outweigh the warming effect of the additional water vapor in the air. The assumption of constant relative humidity is extremely unrealistic, and needs to be abandoned for a more realistic assumption based on kinetic heat exchange between the atmosphere and ocean.

jmorpuss
March 13, 2020 12:06 am

The reason Earth supports life as we know it, and were not a Barron rock like our neighbouring planets, IS because of the electrical resistance created from within, without this dynamo effect, there would be NO magnetic fields to protect us from the solar wind. When Earth flares like we see on the sun, a low pressure system forms from the surface and creates through electrical resistance clouds and fowl weather.

“The field exists because of an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron that makes up the outer core. Like a spinning conductor in a bicycle dynamo, this moving iron creates electrical currents, which in turn generate our continuously changing magnetic field. ”
http://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/There_s_a_jet_stream_in_our_core

Until so called Climate Scientists step into the now, including the IPCC and recognise the importance of the Global Electric Circuit then we will be NO closer to understanding how the atmosphere works in another 20 years. Maybe they don’t want people to know how the atmosphere works electrically, because of the terrawatts of electricity we pump continually into the atmosphere 24/7 from wireless comm’s and remote sensing . For wireless information to propagate through the atmosphere there has to be a lot of photon action going on. Information is constantly raining down on us day and night and it’s all creating atmospheric heat.

Reply to  jmorpuss
March 13, 2020 4:38 am

re: “IS because of the electrical resistance created from within”

Quite mindless; you have nary a clue, jmorpuss. (“Electrical resistance” is a characteristic exhibited by a conductor, it is not “created”.)

jmorpuss, just curious, what do you do for a living? Noting involving electricity and public safety, I trust?

re: “Maybe they don’t want people to know how the atmosphere works electrically,”

The characteristics of the ‘atmosphere’ are quite well known. Charts and graphs exist for the purpose of understanding and calculating both radio and microwave link “budgets” for nigh onto at least 80 years now (check out the MIT “Rad Lab” series of books for instance) using the atmosphere as “the transmission medium”.

re: “For wireless information to propagate through the atmosphere there has to be a lot of photon action going on. ”

Vacuous; I’m surprised you can ‘draw breath’ unassisted.

jmorpuss, I think I can state this with certainty and confidence: You are one bold, confident idiot, underscoring once again what Dunning and Kruger’s research demonstrated: The D-K effect: cognitive bias in which people assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.

chaswarnertoo
Reply to  _Jim
March 13, 2020 6:34 am

Also spot on. Sadly.

MarkW
Reply to  jmorpuss
March 13, 2020 8:00 am

There is no “Global Electric Circuit”.
Outside localized impacts of lightning, electricity plays no role in the climate.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 9:14 am

Nor does it play a role in geology or vucanism.

commieBob
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 2:20 pm

There is a huge electric current flowing in the Earth’s outer core. It’s responsible for the magnetic field that makes the planet habitable. link As for Svensmark’s hypothesis, I will not comment. 🙂

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
March 13, 2020 5:30 pm

That there is a huge electric current flowing in the Earth’s outer core is true.
That is not evidence that this current plays a role, much less a major role in climate, geology or vulcanism.

jmorpuss
Reply to  MarkW
March 13, 2020 10:07 pm

MarkW
We have created this special top-ten series to highlight the most compelling evidence for the dominant role of electromagnetism at all scales throughout the cosmos. The experimentally proven ability of high energy electrical discharges to produce craters and countless other planetary features offers an entirely new perspective on planetary science and the solar system’s history. In this episode, we explore why the high-energy electrical scarring of bodies in our solar system is the eighth of ten reasons why the Universe is Electric.
https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2018/05/31/top-10-reasons-the-universe-is-electric-8-electrical-planetary-scarring-space-news/

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  jmorpuss
March 13, 2020 1:53 pm

through electrical resistance clouds and fowl weather

Fowl weather? Is that what they mean when they say “nice weather for ducks”?

angech
March 13, 2020 12:09 am

Given that “there would be a nearly infinite number of red arrows, both upward and downward, connecting every vanishingly-thin layer of atmosphere with every other vanishingly thin layer. Those are the flows that are happening continuously in the atmosphere.”
this simplified picture of the average energy flows between the Earth’s surface, atmosphere, is for the whole sphere not just one day side part of it.

Using the concept of thermal mass again , that is the energy a heated object has to contain to radiate energy out at the rate of the energy radiated in.
Is there any need for any extra energy to go to keeping the earth warm enough to radiate as it does, or is the earth quite simply and sufficiently happy to be at the temperature it is? With the energy from the sun merely going in and out keeping it there?

The answer is important.
You have explained one important half of the GHG theory.
The other half relates to the concept of retained heat and heat accumulation and TOA imbalance.

Mike
March 13, 2020 12:23 am

Seems to me (who does not understand these complex ideas) that no one knows what the hell goes on in the atmosphere but some don’t know it in a more complicated way.

Steve Case
Reply to  Mike
March 13, 2020 1:41 am

Mike March … 12:23 am
no one knows what the hell goes on in the atmosphere but some don’t know it in a more complicated way.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

First chuckle of the day.

Kurt
March 13, 2020 12:39 am

Here’s one of my problems with the catastrophic global warming hypothesis. Start with the following factual assertion from the post, which I believe to be accurate and which I think Dr. Spencer presumes to be accurate:

“Therefore, the surface absorbs totally 165 (solar) + 345 (downward infrared from the atmosphere) = 510 W/m2.“

In the GHG hypothesis, their “forcing” occurs at the surface boundary, i.e. “forcing” is expressed as changes in energy flux at the surface, irrespective of the source, whether it is changes in solar radiation, changes in GHG concentrations, changes in aerosol’s etc. And certainly the Earth’s surface has no way of differentiating whether the change in energy comes from the sun or additional molecules of CO2. To the Earth, it’s all just energy.

But the IPCC says that the sum total of all the CO2 added to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels since the dawn of the industrial age is on the order of a mere 1.8 or 1.9 W/m2. That’s means that in over 200 years, the input to the Earth’s surface has only changed a meager 0.3-0.4%. In engineering school, we’re taught that this is a rounding error – something so small it doesn’t even have to appear in your calculations.

The idea that such a pitifully insignificant change in energy flux at the Earth’s surface, gradually applied over 200+ years, is now suddenly going to introduce sudden and sweeping changes to climate patterns is ridiculous.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Kurt
March 13, 2020 3:34 am

“The idea that such a pitifully insignificant change in energy flux at the Earth’s surface, gradually applied over 200+ years, is now suddenly going to introduce sudden and sweeping changes to climate patterns is ridiculous.”

Yet there are some sceptics who maintain that it’s Solar variance of 0.1% that is the cause. It isn’t, because it is cyclical – yet a temperature response can be seen within it.

Why would you think that ~ 2W/m2 is not significant? That the Earth’s balance of water in it’s 3 forms at triple-point is not affected by that change?
The surface temperature reflection of that is a 3x greater warming in the Arctic FI.
We do know(?) that the deltaT between a glacial and an interglacial is of the order of 6C.
Cause and effect.
Feedbacks of atmospheric GHGs and Albedo.
The Earth system is in fine balance.

fonzie
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 13, 2020 5:31 am

Why would you think that ~ 2W/m2 is not significant?

Because changes in ice albedo from glacial to interglacial is 10 times that. That alone would reduce ECS to 1°C. And if there happens to be other causes of warming from glacial max to min, then ECS is even lower than that. (and there are other causes)…