Greenhouse effect: “How a cold atmosphere can warm the Earth’s surface”


Dr. Roy Spencer writes on Facebook:

Wayne Rowley has asked me to explain how a cold atmosphere can warm the Earth’s surface (which is what happens in global warming theory), a question I’ve been asked many times in the last 20+ years.

First of all, the temperature of anything depends upon the rates of energy GAIN and energy LOSS. When those 2 are equal, temperature remains the same; if they are unequal, the temperature changes.

Everyone knows that increasing the rate of energy gain increases temperature: e.g. turn up the heat under a pot of water on the stove, or turn up the thermostat in your house in winter.

But you can also increase temperature by reducing the rate of energy LOSS: put a lid on the pot of water while keeping the flame under it constant, adding insulation to the walls of a heated house while keeping the rate of furnace heating the same.

Now, note that in these examples, the lid is *cooler* than the heated water, and the walls (in winter) are cooler than the heated home interior, yet they can make the warmer object even warmer still. Your clothes in winter (or summer) keep you warmer than if you had no clothes on, even though the clothes are cooler than your body temperature. The examples are literally endless.

So, for the atmosphere, the net flow of infrared radiation from the surface to the “cold” depths of outer space is greatly reduced by the atmosphere (the so-called “greenhouse effect”), keeping the surface warmer than if the atmosphere was not there, absorbing and emitting its own infrared radiation. (An interesting side effect is that while the greenhouse effect keeps the surface and lower layers of the atmosphere warmer, the upper atmosphere is actually made colder. The same happens if you add more and more insulation to the walls of a heated house.)

How does this apply to global warming? Adding CO2 to the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning slightly enhances the atmosphere’s ability to keep the surface warmer by reducing the rate of energy loss by the surface. The question is, by how much? The *direct* effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is small, only about 1 deg. C. But indirect changes in the atmosphere resulting from that direct warming (“feedbacks”) can either amplify it or reduce it. I believe those feedbacks will limit the warming to considerably less that what we are being told by climate modelers.

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Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 4:21 am

Sorry, don’t get the analogy. All of the heating in the examples is independent of the insulation.
My question is; without internal heating would an insulated house be warmer than an uninsulated house?

Roy Spencer
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 5:01 am

The insulation does not heat the house, just as the atmosphere does not heat the surface. Instead, the insulation (and atmosphere) reduce the rate at which the heated interior (and surface) loses energy. This is an example of how imprecise wording (e.g. the atmosphere “heating” the surface) leads to confusion. It’s the relevant physical processes as quantified with the physical equations that matter… not imprecise explanations with words.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 7:37 am

Dr. Spencer –> Yet the drawing shows “back radiation” heating the surface. Insulation doesn’t radiate heat back into the house. As you say it works as a resistance. The only way to heat the atmosphere further is for CO2 near the earth to not only absorb IR from below but also from above. How hot then would a CO2 molecule have to be to raise the entire atmosphere by 10° during the day?

MarkW
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 8:23 am

“Insulation doesn’t radiate heat back into the house. ”

Yes it does.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 10:50 am

No it doesn’t

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 11:05 am

Everything above absolute zero radiates. Unless you are arguing that the insulation is at absolute zero, then it too radiates. Basic, first year, thermodynamics.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 11:30 am

Heat flows from hot to cold. That would make insulation hotter than the house in winter. Only if you’re talking about summer, would heat flow from the insulation to the house.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 12:30 pm

Radiation doesn’t give a crap about what the temperature of the two objects is.
Cold objects radiate, if the object that is receiving the radiation is warmer, so what?

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 7:28 pm

Mark W

Your 2-object example is only accurate for an instant.

Your 2-objects will each exchange photons until equilibrium is reached (even then, the objects radiate but stay in equilibrium). Warmer object will always radiate many more & higher energy photons per unit of time that your cooler object.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics is not absolute; as your theoretical 2-object system points out, it does not prohibit a photon flowing from the cooler object to the warmer one. However, the 2nd law is statistical and applies over all domains. On average at all points (let’s stipulate above the quantum level), heat always flows from warmer to cooler objects.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 8:39 am

Yes, in the situation where there is no source of incoming energy, a temperature equilibrium will eventually be reached.
However that is not the case for the climate, there is a source of energy, the sun. The sun continuously heats the ground. This prevents equilibrium from being reached.

The claim is that a cold atmosphere can’t warm a warmer surface. My 2 object example shows that this claim is completely false. That’s all it was ever intended to do.

Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2020 5:14 am

No it does not.

Heat is the net flow of energy. The radiation leaving the house will always be such that the house is cooling. Heat is flowing out of it. That comes from the very definition of heat in physics.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 8:56 am

Jim – You say: “Insulation doesn’t radiate heat back into the house.”

Actually it does, and if you are careful, you can detect it without instrumentation. I first noticed this many years ago when I was studying thermodynamics. On winter weekends, we would rent cheap ski cabins. Unfortunately, “cheap” meant poorly insulated.

In those cabins, you could actually feel the difference in radiating energy between the warm internal walls and the cold external walls in the same room (with well mixed air).

If you are in a nicely temperature-controlled room, the surfaces of the room are radiating about 400 W/m2 toward you. You are so used to this that it feels like nothing. But remember that your body is radiating about 500 W/m2 toward the room, so the NET of the radiative exchange is still from hot to cold.

Peter Anderson
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 23, 2020 7:18 pm

Insulation, Ed, keeps warmed air within the house and away from contact with cooler/warmer. Curtains (thick) over windows helps also. The internal walls would be in contact with the warmed air inside, the outside walls not. You overplay ‘back radiation’ with ‘heaters’ attempting to use that concept/radiation disappearing rapidly from the market due to poor real-world performance.

Roy Spencer
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 9:30 am

Again, it depends upon how you interpret the word “heating”… does it mean that the atmosphere generates its own energy and transfers it to the surface? No. Instead, the atmosphere which has received most all of its thermal energy from the solar-heated surface (and somewhat less from direct solar absorption by water vapor) emits some of that energy downward toward the surface in the infrared. That’s the big downward-pointing arrow in the energy budget diagram, and it is only one component of the IR flow.

Robertvd
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 2:01 pm

If in winter I go to my house in the mountains that has thick stone walls I first have to use an enormous amount of energy to warm the walls and the floor. As long as the walls are cold it will not be cosy inside. Of course the warmer the walls get the more energy will be radiated out at the outer layer of the wall. So if I have more CO2 molecules eventually more energy will be radiated out.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 2:26 pm

“But you can also increase temperature by reducing the rate of energy LOSS: put a lid on the pot of water while keeping the flame under it constant, adding insulation to the walls of a heated house while keeping the rate of furnace heating the same.”

This sentence is not quite accurate. You can increase the RATE of temperature rise by reducing the rate of energy loss. But it is the rate of energy input that actually causes the temperature to go up.

richard verney
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 23, 2020 4:48 am

What about Venus, that does not have a solar heated surface? If I recall correctly the Russian landers found that there was less than 7 w/m^2 of solar irradiance reaching the surface?

What about mars that has on a numerical molecular basis more molecules of GHGs in its atmosphere than Earth has in Earth’s atmosphere, and yet within 2 vertical metres, the temperature can go from circa 20degC plus at the surface, to freezing at 2m above the surface? There are plenty of photos emitted from the Martian surface at 20degC, and plent of GHG molecules to interecept these and re-radiate them, but they appear unable to maintain any heat even over a distance of less than 2 metres.

Why can’t you cook a steak say 30cm below a BBQ, when you can cook it to a burnt crisp 30cm above a BBQ? There are plenty of photons radiating downwards from the hot coals/charcoal, but they will not raise the temperature of the steak sufficient to cook the steak.

Why, given that the Earth is never in radiative balance, what stops the runaway GHE? Don’t forget that we have seen conditions where the temperature of the planet was say 30degC so emitting plenty of photons from the surface, the atmosphere was 7,000 ppm of CO2 and the oceans also having a surface temperature of 30degC so plenty of GHGs, both CO2 and water vapour. So under these conditions why aren’t the oceans getting hotter and hotter thus releasing more and more CO2 and more and more water vapour, leading to more and more GHGs thereby increasing the temperature of the surface and the oceans, leading to yet more CO2 and water vapour etc. What ends that cycle?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 23, 2020 7:45 am

Richard, try Uranus, 30 time further from the Sun than Earth.
It has storms at 1500C – 2000C in its atmosphere as identified by the Geck telescope.
The base of the troposphere on Uranus is 320K at 100 bars pressure, despite the planet only receiving 3.71 W/m2 energy from the Sun.

MarkW
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 23, 2020 8:41 am

It’s not the photons that cook your meat, it’s the hot air rising from the coals. The photons help, but they are not the main agent of heat exchange.

Trick
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 23, 2020 10:14 am

In a convection oven, convection cooks the meat. In a MW oven, photons cook the meat.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 24, 2020 6:55 pm

Trick, in a convection oven ‘heat’ is conducted to the meat and warms it directly. The air in thee convection oven is heated and comes into contact with the meat which then tries to meet an equilibrium temperature.
A microwave oven projects photons of a suitable property to interact and be absorbed by water molecules present in the meat. The molecules kinetically react and this effort to move warms the surrounding materials.
The photons do not cook anything directly, the photon is ‘cold’ energy.

Trick
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 24, 2020 7:53 pm

Peter, I did not use the word “directly” which would imply the photons have a thermometer temperature but they do not. Referring to photons as ‘cold’ has no physical meaning.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 24, 2020 11:12 pm

Trick “Referring to photons as ‘cold’ has no physical meaning.” …is incorrect for indeed a photon’s energy has itself no (kinetic) temperature. What you struggle to realize is the photon is not analogous to ‘heat’ (a property of matter) and thermodynamics is invalidly used in ‘climate science’. You (and others) are still attempting the same arguments seem for the previous 30 years whilst the environment has shown you all to be wrong. The ‘energy budget’ concept dates from the time of Jules Verne.

Ragnaar
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 6:13 pm

“Insulation doesn’t radiate heat back into the house. ”

Yes it does. This is simple stuff. Heat your oven to 300 F. Open the door and stand in front of it. Your body radiates heat into the oven. Your body radiates IR in all directions all the time. Placing it next to an open oven doesn’t stop that.

As your body gets warm from the oven, it now raidiates more IR into the oven. You are insulation.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 22, 2020 7:57 pm

Ragnaar

You are correct that opening & standing in front of a 300 degree oven will heat your body, which, in turn, causes your body to radiate more IR back to the oven. This will continue until the bodies reach thermal equilibrium (actually, once at equilibrium, the bodies continue to radiate, staying in equilibrium).

However, assuming you body is the “insulation” in this example, the re-radiation is de minimus compared to a 300-degree oven. Unlike insulation, your body continues to produce net-new heat from biological processes, also effecting the IR radiation.

Insulation is passive, continually losing heat to the cooler environment in an attempt to reach equilibrium. Insulation adds no new energy – it simply impedes heat loss.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 5:42 am

Two bodies with an emissivity of 1, one at 2° and one at 3°.
Body 1 –> 2^4 = 8
Body 2 –> 3^4 = 81

If 8 w/m^2 hits the hot body let’s say it raises 1° to 5. It now radiates at 5^4 = 625. IOW, it reflects the incoming IR.

In order for Body 2 to actually absorb the heat, the incoming IR would need to find molecules at 2°. But then Body 2 wouldn’t be at 3° would it?

Ragnaar
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 4:33 pm

Jim Gorman:

“If 8 w/m^2 hits the hot body let’s say it raises 1° to 5. It now radiates at 5^4 = 625. IOW, it reflects the incoming IR.”

But the reflection is it’s temp. Temp equals emission. It was warmed. This applies to IR.

Ocean skin surface morass seems to be the same argument. Emission at the skin layer is temperature. It’s warmer as demonstrated by the increased emission.

Peter Anderson
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 7:49 pm

…a photon is not ‘heat’ regardless of the portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum it’s properties place it in. ‘Infrared’ photons are not ‘heat’ and do not obey thermodynamic principles. Do any of you even notice how improperly these discussions substitute concepts of ‘heat’ with ‘IR’?

Trick
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 9:06 pm

I notice Peter 7:49pm, thx. The misuse of the heat term as you point out continues to spread unchecked. Attempts at reducing the misuse has been a theme of mine over the years. Photons (EMR) are absorbed and radiated (emitted), not heat.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 24, 2020 6:50 pm

Then understand also Trick that the discussion above has little to do with an actual (kinetic) temperature. The energy of those photons in the atmosphere remains separate to the materials of the atmosphere and does not behave in terms of thermodynamics.

Trick
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 24, 2020 8:00 pm

PKA: Little? Subthread started with “Heat your oven to 300 F” kinetic temperature and continued with that theme.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 24, 2020 11:16 pm

Trick, did you ever use a magnifying glass to etch wood?

Trick
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 25, 2020 7:37 am

Not that I recall, but I understand the process ought to work.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 10:06 am

To Roy Spencer:

We had a similar discussion with more than 500 comments on March 12, 2020:https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/12/comments-on-dr-ollilas-claims-that-greenhouse-effect-calculations-violate-energy-conservation/

In this blog, Dr. Spencer judged my GH effect to be wrong and he obviously accepted the definition of the IPCC but I could find only a few comments supporting his claims.

The key point is now if the atmosphere can add energy or reradiate LW radiation to the surface. In this blog, Dr. Spencer writes that “the atmosphere does not heat the surface”. In the blog on March 12th, he wrote like this: “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.”

The last sentence is almost the same as what I have concluded to be the magnitude of the GH effect and it is LW absorption 155, latent heating 91 and sensible heating 24, totally 270 W/m2. According to the IPPC, the LW absorption 155 W/m2 is the magnitude of the GH effect. It is a huge difference. The result is that the contribution of CO2 is only 7.5 % in the GH effect and not 19 % as calculated by Schmidt et al.

Why it is 270 W/m2? The Earth receives net solar energy 240 W/m2. But then it comes the GH effect into the picture: the surface receives direct solar energy 165 W/m2 and 345 W/m2 LW radiation, totally 510 W/m2 as the energy balance figures show. This difference is 270 W/m2. The reradiation or LW radiation downwards is 270 +75 (=solar energy) = 345 W/m2.

Dr. Spencer writes that the atmosphere does not add more energy to the surface. If it does not add more energy to the surface, how on the Earth Dr. Spencer can explain that the surface radiates about 395 W/m2 corresponding the temperature about 15.8 C according to Planck’s law, because the direct solar insolation to the surface is only 165 W/m2. This difference of 395 – 165 = 230 W/m2 is energy. That is a fact. The energy cannot be created from the void. It looks like Dr. Spencer thinks that it can be done. In the same way, the IPCC says that the LW absorption energy of 155 W/m2 can create the reradiation flux 345 W/m2.

I do admit that the atmosphere returns back the energy it absorbed from the surface in the form of latent and sensible heating and LW absorption. But it is a mere fact that the atmosphere emits this energy in the form of radiation. It seems to be too difficult for some people to admit that this radiation really adds energy to the surface.

Nick Werner
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 11:27 am

Something I find missing from models and analogies is an answer to the simple question of whether “overnight” is long enough for a day’s arriving solar energy to escape. The incoming and outgoing mechanisms are not symmetrical.
An unimpeded photon will carry IR energy from earth’s surface to top-of-atmosphere in microseconds. If the probability of the photon careening into an extra molecule of CO2 increases by a little bit… all but a few microseconds of the night remains available for that photon’s energy to somehow escape into space.
Extending Dr. Spencer’s pot on the stove analogy, suppose we have two identical pots that we heat up. Just as the sun sets we turn off the heat, and lay a tea-towel over one of them.
I would not dispute that their temperatures will decay at slightly different rates because of the added insulation surrounding one pot. However, I expect to see very little difference between their temperatures when the sun rises the following morning.
Isn’t that what actually matters… whether the added insulating effect is capable of making a noticeable difference to heat retention over the duration of the process being studied?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Nick Werner
June 22, 2020 12:44 pm

Compared to H2O it obviously does not, you only have to compare Tropics to High Arid Desert to see what the diurnal swing is like.
However that same H2O also cools during the day a lot more than it can hold the heat at night.
Hence the anti-correlation between cloud cover and temperatures from the 1970s to the 1990s.
H2O + Solar rule.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Werner
June 22, 2020 2:35 pm

Your comment makes sense. Consider this as well – if the atmosphere gains energy from the earth and radiates part of it back then why doesn’t the earth itself re-radiate it back toward the atmosphere again? When that re-radiation happens from the earth then part of the re-radiation would escape to space and a part would go back toward the earth. And on and on and ….. What you have is a damped sinusoid that ultimately goes to zero when the last little bit of re-radiated heat escapes to space.

If the atmosphere adds enough “insulation” that the nighttime damped sinusoid gets cut off by sunrise before it reaches zero then you might wind up with some heat remaining in the earth. But it certainly won’t be entire amount of that first bit of heat that gets re-radiated from the atmosphere to the earth.

Ragnaar
Reply to  Nick Werner
June 23, 2020 3:58 am

“…of whether “overnight” is long enough for a day’s arriving solar energy to escape.”

Ground temp is 15 C. How did it get to that in the first place? The GH effect. A million years the ground temp was 15 C, because of the GH effect. In the beginning, it was cold. The bottom temp rose because of the GH effect and stayed higher than normal. It is getting back to the risen temp each night.

When there are clouds during the night, it’s warmer. The speed of light of photons isn’t some useful answer. Delayed slightly is a near sky dragon argument. There isn’t some however or aha on that path.

CO2 and water vapor are GHGs. If it doesn’t work for CO2, it doesn’t work for water vapor.

Uzurbrain
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 8:14 am

But how much of the GH effect is nothing more than an air space? The effect of an air space is clearly shown in heat transfer from heated water pipes and a space.

AJN
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 23, 2020 5:00 pm

Thank you Ragnaar
– this is along my line of thought. What is in my eyes omitted in the discussion here is that there is not only the long term average balance of radiation – which has to be balanced every moment, but also the effect of the energy stored in the, hm, earth system over night or for a longer time, that affects that balance for every moment.
I tried to elaborate my thoughts in a comment further below. I guess it may be a little off topic when I look at all these comments discussing the radiations, etc, when I tried to ask a simple question. I would be happy if you can give me a feedback on it (just look for AJN)

Nick Werner
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 24, 2020 9:35 pm

I can’t put much weight in explanations based on ground temp being 15 C a million years ago and also a few hours ago. There’s an entire continent–Antarctica–and vast ocean expanses where the “ground temp” is almost never as high as 15 C. Only 12,000 years ago the planet was in an ice age. Substantial departures from 15C is unexplained.
“If it doesn’t work for CO2, it doesn’t work for water vapor”…Atmospheric CO2 and atmospheric water are entirely different creatures. Water changes phase at the droplet of a hat (or a change of a degree) and CO2 strongly resists leaving its vapour state. As you point out when there are clouds during the night, it’s warmer. Putting that another way, the ability of atmospheric water in its non-vapour state–clouds–to retain heat at night swamps its vapour-state GHG ability to retain heat. And at nominally 1% concentration, water as vapour will swamp CO2’s ability to retain heat.
My thinking is that the diurnal swings that AC Osborne mentions–if measured in clear desert (cloud-free) areas free from any UHI effects, should be gradually diminishing if accumulating CO2 is having a measurable GH effect. If those diurnal swings are not diminishing, then the GHG theory is pretty but dumb. If those diurnal swings are diminishing rapidly enough to explain a substantial portion of observed post-1950 warming, then perhaps we have cause for concern.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 25, 2020 4:40 am

Nick, here are the high/low temperatures in Degrees F for a station in the Nevada Desert for the 25th of January, I had to use 1959 & 1961 as 1960 it was obvious the Thermometer was not working properly.
The same for 2010, I had to use 2011, 2009 had the coldest temperature at 12 noon, so they go wrong quite a bit.
Year High Low & diff
1950 4 30 26
1959 30 47 17
1961 0 52 52
1970 28 50 22
1980 25 55 30
1990 21 55 34
2000 23 45 22
2011 27 57 30
2020 34 60 26
Note 1961 had a drop down from 25F to zero at 10am in the morning hence the large swing.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 26, 2020 8:03 am

Well, can anyone see a reduction in diurnal swing in winter temperature in the last 70 years?

Out of interest I looked at 1997 & 1998 el nino years and 2015 & 2016 el nino years
1997 low 32 high 50 diff 28
1998 low 43 high 65 diff 22
2015 low 29 high 63 diff 34
2016 low 30 high 50 diff 20

Interestingly the Summer swing is higher than the winter swing ie
July 25th
1950 low 55 high 95 diff 40
1960 low 58 high 100 diff 42
1970 low 49 high 92 diff 43
1980 low 57 high 102 diff 45
1990 low 52 high 82 diff 30
1994 low 57 high 95 diff 38
1995 low 55 high 92 diff 37
1996 low 57 high 95 diff 38
1997 low 59 high 85 diff 26
1998 low 64 high 92 diff 27
2000 low 55 high 95 diff 40
2010 low 68 high 93 diff 25
2015 low 57 high 87 diff 30
2016 low 58 high 95 diff 37
2019 low 68 high 95 diff 27

Which does show a reduction in swing, particularly after the 1997/8 el nino.
The problem is that not only is the low temp higher, but the High temp is lower.
The 100 degree temps have disappeared.
Well that is weather for you.

Nick Werner
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 26, 2020 7:04 pm

As temperatures increase, the ratio of water vapour to CO2 molecules–both GHG’s–increases for a given relative humidity. The potentially most legitimate observations are likely occur where there’s dry air during cold temperatures. So I would put more weight on the winter in Nevada example than the summer example.
Dry (clear) and cold Antarctic conditions where CO2 molecules are not as vastly outnumbered by water vapour would likely be most favourable for analyzing diurnal swings.

colin
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 1:10 pm

Dr. Spencer: I think the more interesting question is about the reflected energy from the sun. If the atmosphere reflects back to Earth, won’t it also reflect more back to the Sun?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  colin
June 22, 2020 5:39 pm

The Sunshine consists of mostly short wavelengths that CO2 is transparent to, whereas the ground emits mostly longer wavelengths, some of which are absorbed readily by CO2.

Reply to  colin
June 23, 2020 5:27 am

Sorry I am not Roy but YES, as the NASA diagram and others show. Reflection is the dominant control of insolation that maintains our narrow range of temperature in Space, and water vapour how it is varied.

Perhaps he should have said “I’m glad you asked me that”.

The variability of this reflection by ocean evaporation and hence clouds is the primary control of climate, by varying reflection of the incoming solar radiation. The weather on land is primarily a modified function of this oceanic activity, the oceans where most of the stored surface heat is, 1,000 times that of the atmosphere, in the volatile medium of water – which can change state and can exist naturally in all three states on Earth. Simples!

comment image?dl=0

In W/m^2 insolation average the incoming is 340, of which 77 are reflected by atmosphere and clouds, roughly 50 of that 77 by clouds, and , finally another 23 are reflected by the surface oceans and land.

Another 77 is absorbed by the atmosphere on the way, warming it directly, so only 163 gets absorbed by the surface to be re radiated.

The strong natural control of temperature is the 50W/m^2 reflection, plus the transport of heat from the oceans into space via the smart lagging that is the atmosphere, which increases as the oceans are warmed, evaporate and hence cool the majority of the Earth’s surface, while also forming clouds as the vapour condenses and leaves its latent heat in the cooler atmosphere above on its way to space.

nb: It’s worth pointing out that the heat stored in the atmosphere and oceans is massive compared to the variation resulting from a Watt per square metre or two. The planet has warmed over a considerable period.

The clouds reflect increasing solar energy until the energy balance is restored and SST’s returned to whatever equilibrium level balances the system. That level is the long term temperature record. This powerful negative feedback centred mainly on the tropics has kept the current equilibrium stable since there were oceans.

This is a massive control that maintains the thermal equilibrium against all comers, asteroids, Super Volcanoes, through extinctions of many organic life forms, etc. At roughly 150W/m^2 currently.

I recall Roy Spencer has put its sensitivity at 2.6Watts/m^2 per degree SST change, per John Christy’s paper on the failure of IPCC models to predict reality. I have asked him to confirm a few times but got no answer… yet.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5aw6rkcfgwpcprj/JohnChristy-Parliament.pdf?dl=0

POINT: This dominant oceanic control of solar insolation reflection from clouds formed by the transport of heat to space by evaporation and condensation of oceanic water vapour is a far more powerful effect than any tiny human effect, and increases exponentially as it gets hotter as does evaporation, whereas any tiny CO2 effect is decreasing logarithmically with concentration. There is no chance of runaway warming when we are well within the limits of this natural control, in the coldest warm maximum this interglacial, itself 4 degrees cooler than the last, which also went as normal under the combined control of the three MIlankovitch cycles.

nb: not just the 100Ka, which is why the cycles are only nominally100Ka duration and vary in scale and profile.

Play with this tool if unfamiliar. It’s a fun and very instructive visualisation

https://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxfest/Milankovitch/earthorbit.html

All this is why nothing unusual is happening to the climate due to humans in fact. Our puny effects are dwarfed by the natural effects and controls. It’s all under natural control, and the short term variations humans see a part of one cycle of are very similar multiple cycles up and down 2 deg every 1,000 years in the record of the last 10,000 years.

Before that these short cycles may also be happening, but we are into the larger scale but slower rate of change of the ice age interglacial warming event. This is even more interesting as regards the reflective control.

Again, the water vapour control driven by SST also ends the relentless 7,000 year 8 degree average warming at the end of each ice age, almost flat lining it once the Tropical evaporative engine really kicks off.

comment image?dl=0

More details on how interglacials probably happen here, but off topic http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379

Once Tropical ocean temperatures reach the level of around 30 deg SST the atmosphere becomes so saturated with water vapour the seasons are defined by rainfall with only a few degrees change annually, rather than the large seasonal temperature ranges that occur elsewhere on the planet. So getting much hotter is really hard, and effectively moves tropical climate towards the poles to increase the size of the evaporation engine. All to increase , planetary sweating, and the resulting solar reflection required to maintain equilibrium.

Hope that helps. I will post separately on the reality of the smart lagging that is a planetary atmosphere, across the solar system. Even more interesting, on reflection 😉

A C Osborn
Reply to  Brian R Catt
June 23, 2020 7:53 am

One minor detail, you said “The planet has warmed over a considerable period.”, but it has cooled for even longer.

Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 5:06 pm

This question seems to come up every year since I began reading about climate science
IN 1997.

That must mean the explanation is never clear.

The atmosphere causes the surface to be
warmer by disrupting earths ability to cool itself from the incoming solar energy absorbed uring the day.

When that gets blank stares, I resort to a simple story.

Think of a room with lots of windows that is cold for people near the windows.

If you hang thick curtains over the windows less heat escapes.

Think of that as 100 ppm CO2.

Think of four curtains over each window as 400 ppm CO2.

Do you think five curtains over each window would keep the room much warmer than four curtains over each window?

Climate alarmists say 500 ppm CO2 (five cutains over each window) would be a crisis.

That’s scaremongering, not science.

Note: If the listener is a leftist, I then smack him upside the head with a rolled up Sunday New York Times.

Reply to  Richard Greene
June 22, 2020 8:18 pm

“That must mean the explanation is never clear.”

err no.

First time it was explained to me by an engineer at Northop I got it.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
June 23, 2020 4:08 am

Masher:
Thank you for assuring us
that you were so brilliant
… a long time ago
… we had no idea !
… what happened since then ?
heh heh

My own climate science blog
Stay away Masher,
I just cleaned up there !
http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Richard Greene
June 23, 2020 5:59 am

Actually what you are describing is a change in the rate of heat loss. Insulation acts as as a resistance to heat flow. The more resistance you put in the path of heat flow the smaller the rate of heat flow, but ultimately the same amount heat will flow.

steveta_uk
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 23, 2020 6:26 am

“but ultimately the same amount heat will flow” – indeed, but to get that same flow, the temperature differential has to increase, i.e. it gets warmer inside (or on the surface).

A C Osborn
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 23, 2020 7:57 am

No, it doesn’t get warmer, it just cools less quickly.
Otherwise during the periods of very high (5000ppm+) CO2 values and denser atmosphere there really would have been a runaway greenhouse effect.
But there wasn’t, so it doesn’t.

MarkW
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 23, 2020 8:44 am

CO2 doesn’t have a linear response, it’s a more or less logarithmic one.
Most of the energy that CO2 is capable of capturing is captured by the time you reach 500ppm. Increases beyond that are just fighting over the remaining scraps.
5000ppm will only capture a few percent more energy than 500ppm does.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Richard Greene
June 24, 2020 11:23 pm

Richard, a photon is not ‘heat’ and CO2 is not stopping the surface cooling, the surface has already cooled to release the photon that interacts with CO2. The confusion is that the question is invalidly describing what is a non-existing situation. The surface warms the atmosphere by direct contact and conduction, again the surface cools to warm the atmosphere’s mass. Again the question is invalidly presenting and of a non-existing situation. There is no ‘greenhouse’ effect, the ‘greenhouse’ hypothesis cannot produce consistent affect on temperature.

Bernard Lodge
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 8:43 pm

Roy Spencer says …

‘It’s the relevant physical processes as quantified with the physical equations that matter… not imprecise explanations with words.’

Then why did you include all the examples of lids on pots of water and house insulation etc? … ‘The examples are literally endless’

The examples you give are all misleading. A colder object can never INCREASE the temperature of a warmer object, it can only slow its cooling. If you wrap a 100 degree steel ball in a coat, its temperature does not increase one bit. Yet, if a human wears that coat, the temperature of the human WILL increase … because the human has an internal source of new heat that the steel ball does not have.

If you want to get to the bottom of this tiresome debate, is the earth a steel ball or a human with regard to the coat?

Ragnaar
Reply to  Bernard Lodge
June 23, 2020 10:00 am

The Earth is a human. It receives shortwave radiation as its primary source of heat.

lifeisthermal
Reply to  Roy Spencer
June 22, 2020 11:32 pm

Insulation prevents absorption in surroundings. GHGs enhance it. Learn the basics Roy.

“Thermal insulation provides a region of insulation in which thermal conduction is reduced or thermal radiation is reflected rather than absorbed by the lower-temperature body.”

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

Insulation does the opposite of what the atmosphere does.

Also, read up on Prevosts principle. You say:

“First of all, the temperature of anything depends upon the rates of energy GAIN and energy LOSS. ”

According to Planck you´re wrong. The question of surface temperature is really about surface emission. Emission depends on the internal state of the emitter, ONLY!

Page 8, The theory of heat radiation, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40030/40030-pdf.pdf

“But the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes
place inside of this element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle).”

This means that surface emission cannot depend on the atmosphere.

Ragnaar
Reply to  lifeisthermal
June 23, 2020 3:24 pm

“This means that surface emission cannot depend on the atmosphere.”
Net surface emission is impacted by the atmosphere on the Earth. In Minnesota the vertical frost line sinks and rises with the seasons. It is not strictly solar dependent. It is the atmosphere’s temp along with shortwave solar (not in a permanent shadow) working together.

There is no grand mistake. It’s boring and simple.

Hans Erren
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 5:01 am

In winter an unheated insulated house will be warmer, in summer an unheated insulated house will be cooler.

hiskorr
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 22, 2020 7:18 am

More accurate to say that inside temperatures lag changes in outside temperatures. A constant-temperature “soak” would reach equilibrium. As real-life temperatures are always changing, your statement is good enough.

meiggs
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 22, 2020 4:03 pm

House = closed system.

Atm = open system.

There is a difference.

This is one of the mo’ stupid threads I’ve seen on this site.

Javert Chip
Reply to  meiggs
June 22, 2020 8:11 pm

Meiggs

Nope, house is not a closed system, just a slow-moving one.

Left alone long enough, it will indeed reach equilibrium with the atmosphere.

Anybody want to bet on this? My 2nd law of thermodynamics against your $100 (we’ll send the winnings to Anthony’s tip jar).

commieBob
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 5:15 am

Does the house have windows? Can the sun shine on the walls and roof? Can air leak in and out?

If you have a well sealed, insulated box protected from the sun, and filled with some kind of thermal mass, like bricks for instance, it will be warmer than outside about half the time and cooler than outside about half the time.

Since the 1970s, people have been able to build houses that need no extra heat. They can be heated by the occupants and their activities. Besides the cost though, there are other considerations.

MJB
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 5:18 am

General answer: No. The insulated and un-insulated houses would be the same temperature if there was no internal heat source.

Nuanced answer: The above assumes a constant outside temperature with which the inside of the houses would eventually reach equilibrium. Given that temperature varies between night and day (most of the time, most places), the un-insulated house would have a shorter lag time in response to outside temperature change, and greater daily temperature swings, than the insulated house.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  MJB
June 22, 2020 7:21 am

MJB,

It doesn’t need to be an internal heat source, in the case of the earth, the sun is the external heat source that heats the surface during the day. Assuming that it gives a (rather) constant energy input to the surface, the absence or presence of greenhouse gases makes a lot of difference in heat loss and thus in average surface temperature…

MJB
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
June 22, 2020 9:05 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

I agree completely, I was merely addressing the specifics of the question posted by Boff Doff that referenced “internal heating”.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
June 23, 2020 3:43 am

“Assuming that it gives a (rather) constant energy input to the surface”
But it doesn’t does it? It gives a rather constant energy at TOA, but no where else.
Because the various temperature ranges are +50C/-50C that doesn’t sound rather constant to me.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 23, 2020 9:06 am

A C Osborn,

I was assuming a rather overall constant heat input to the surface, averaged over all the surface and over a full year…
Even that is of course variable from year to year – which gives a few tenths of global warming or cooling from year to year – but that is not the point of discussion. The point is if GHGs make a difference in temperature of the surface for a given input of solar energy on that surface…

Nylo
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 6:08 am

Boff, to all efects, Earth works like a house WITH internal heating, because the source of the heat, although external, passes through the atmosphere without (almost) any interaction with it, directly to the Earth surface. So it doesn’t matter that the source is external, if it heats the “inside” without heating the “cover”.
If you want a closer example, take a microwave oven that heats the water in a glass of water, without heating the glass. If the glass has a cover at the top, once the microwave stops heating (like earth at night), it will cool slower than without it. 5 minutes after the microwave stopped, a glass with a cover will contain hotter water than a glass without it. But it was not the cover that heated the glass, and the cover will be colder than the water. It only prevented the water from cooling faster.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 7:10 am

This description ignores the fact that the “greenhouse” model they claim is in effect is centered around the upper tropical troposphere, which is supposed to be hotter than the surface (never observed to date) and thus heats the surface by IR radiation.

They have to show that their model works before we can adopt it. Sure, having at atmosphere keeps Earth’s surface warmer than it would be at night, decreasing the rate of energy loss, but during the day, the atmosphere serves to carry energy, by conduction and convection, away from the surface, serving to keep the surface cooler than with out atmosphere.

The atmosphere mediates the extremes of temperature we would otherwise experience.

MarkW
Reply to  Charles Higley
June 22, 2020 8:25 am

The models assume strong positive feedbacks. That’s where the so called hotspot comes from.
The fact that the models are wrong does not discredit the claim that the greenhouse affect exists.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Charles Higley
June 22, 2020 8:43 am

Charles — You misunderstand the issues around the “tropical hot spot”. Many models predict that the CHANGE in temperature of the upper tropical troposphere with increasing CO2 will be slightly greater than the CHANGE at the surface. ALL of them predict that the temperature LEVEL of the upper troposphere will remain substantially lower than that of the surface.

The issue in play in this argument is the transition between the dry adiabatic lapse rate and the moist (condensing) adiabatic lapse rate and how that might change. That is a much subtler issue.

angech
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 7:11 am

Boff Doff
“Sorry, don’t get the analogy.”
Yet you can ask questions about insulation?
“All of the heating in the examples is independent of the insulation.”
Not true.
Two examples Roy gave.
“But you can also increase temperature by reducing the rate of energy LOSS: put a lid on the pot of water while keeping the flame under it constant, adding insulation to the walls of a heated house while keeping the rate of furnace heating the same.”
Here the insulation is the lid [extra insulation].
The heating is constant.
More insulation.
More heat in the pot and water.
Got it?

angech
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 7:28 am

“My question is; without internal heating would an insulated house be warmer than an uninsulated house?”
Do you mean inside or outside, night or day.
Habited or not habited?
A house by definition is habited.
If no one ever lives in it, ever, it is just a building.
If someone is living in it, the purpose for building it in the first place, and it is insulated, to make it “warmer” then that house by definition, will always be warmer than an uninsulated house under the exact same conditions.
* Note the heat of the person living in it draining out less slowly is the reason the insulated house will always be warmer.
I would presume guilelessly that a person should not constitute of themselves internal heating even though they do produce heat.

LdB
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 7:35 am

How does a microwave heat water .. it isn’t hot?

Reply to  LdB
June 22, 2020 11:13 am

Right. Neither is LWIR “hot”. The difference is microwaves are amplified to ~1000W over a 1/4 sq meter =~4000 W/m²! And the water molecules in food are good absorbers of microwaves. Thats what heats the food…. but not the cup or glass.

MarkW
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 7:42 am

The earth is heated. By the sun. So it doesn’t matter what happens to an unheated house.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 8:23 am

Your question seems beside the point, the earth has the sun heating its surface, and so there is an internal heat source.

Mark.R
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 12:08 pm

The way i understand it insulated house would be warmer at night but cooler in the day.
So overall avg out the same.
As long as you don’t use internal heating.

Matt_S
Reply to  Boff Doff
June 22, 2020 12:16 pm

Temperature gradient. Putting a warm atmosphere between a hot surfacer and a cold space reduces the temperature gradient. Reduces the rate of heat loss.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Matt_S
June 23, 2020 6:24 am

It’s more than that since that would still be a constant heat loss. The GHG theory says that CO2 and H2O will add more energy to the surface resulting in a temperature increase. In essence saying that a cold object (atmosphere) can raise the temperature of a hot object (surface).

If that works, we should all be filling our houses with 1000 – 2000 ppm of CO2 in the winter.

Matt_S
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 23, 2020 11:52 pm

No, it isnt more than that at all. GH gasses insulate a hot body. They reduce the rate of heat loss, there by making it hotter.

Leonard Weinstein
June 22, 2020 4:26 am

If the Earth is staying at a nearly constant average surface temperature, even if it warmer than a previous time, the input solar energy would still have to be in balance with output radiation, your argument would not be valid. However if the average temperature is continually increasing enough, what you stated is true. Since the average temperature has been nearly constant for the last 18 years (with some small increase), this does not seem to be a fast enough change to result in the claimed cooling. The effect of the ocean sink in removing the increases energy associated with a higher but still slowly changing average surface temperature, may be the cause of the lower high altitude temperature.

Paul
June 22, 2020 4:30 am

Clear and simple analogies Roy. Nicely phrased and understandable.

kwinterkorn
Reply to  Paul
June 22, 2020 11:58 am

Agreed.

Here’s another: Try sleeping outside without a blanket. Then try with a blanket. You will be warmer.

Evenso, the blanket does not direct net energy into you; the blanket merely slows your body’s loss of heat. The laws of thermodynamics are preserved.

Sometimes at WUWT, some writers seem to confuse net energy flows and absolute energy flows.

The Thermodynamic Law is that NET energy flow is always from higher temperature to lower temperature. Within any complex system, however, there may be absolute flow in multiple directions. A colder body yet emits some IR radiation which may be absorbed by a warmer body. At the same time, however, there is a greater flux from the warmer body to the colder body. There is “absolute” flow in both directions. The “net” flow is still from warmer to colder.

The complex system of the land, oceans, and atmosphere of the Earth is like this: a complex set of energy flows, but always net from warmer to colder.

And more complex yet because of secondary, or feedback, effects, especially related to the water cycle: cooling by evaporation, convection by updrafts, deposition of heat high in the atmosphere with condensation, cloud cover as a mixed screen blocking sunlight but also retaining heat (cooler cloudy days, but warmer cloudy nights), and so on.

Is it any wonder that climate models fail so regularly? The science on each of these effects is far from certain or settled. The unknown remains far in excess of the known

Meanwhile, the climate has been warming mildly for 200 years and the Earth recently greening. Rather nice.

Reply to  kwinterkorn
June 22, 2020 1:25 pm

Good explanation net vs absolute energy exchange. Q for you:

The e-balance chart shows a mere +0.6 W/m² net imbalance. Exactly what amount of CO2 ppm reduction from 415 would allow this paltry 0.6 to reach 0.0 so we could all stop fretting about GHG every damn day? All the way back to pre-industrial ~320 ppm would seem oer-kill imo.

EdB
Reply to  UV Meter
June 22, 2020 2:50 pm

Who cares about such a tiny imbalance. The “brightening” of the earth during the 80s and 90s produced much more warming. Now.. please tell me why, as I cannot explain it:

Source: Ramanathan et al., 1989, Wielicki et al., 2002

Satellite observations of decadal-scale cloud cover changes indicate that between the 1980s and 2000s about 3 to 6-7 Wm-2 of direct short wave forcing was additionally absorbed by the Earth’s oceans. This may account for the warming trend in recent decades.

A C Osborn
Reply to  EdB
June 23, 2020 4:48 am

+100000000000000000000000000000000000

Tim Gorman
Reply to  kwinterkorn
June 22, 2020 2:47 pm

Nice explanation. One little nitpick – “The science on each of these effects is far from certain or settled. ”

The science of the effects are certain and settled. What isn’t settled is the amount of each effect integrated over time and location. It’s kind of like the internal combustion engine. The science of how it works is pretty well settled, it’s impact in a Porsche and and Geo Metro are quite different however.

Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 4:35 am

Again not a trace of an explanation why our deep oceans are so hot (~275K)
Their temperature is some 20K above what the sun is supposedly able to provide (the (in)famous 255K).
So how did the atmosphere increase the temperature of our ~4000m deep oceans by reducing their energy loss to space???

Robert
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 4:57 am

First thought is undersea geological processes?

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Robert
June 22, 2020 7:49 am

Robert June 22, 2020 at 4:57 am
yes, just as continental crust is hot due to Earths hot interior, the oceans are hot because they “sit” on a hot oceanic crust. This in spite of the fluxes being low (65-100 mW/m^2)

Once one realizes that the heat content (~temperature) of the deep oceans is 100% from geothermal origin, it becomes possible for the ~50% of solar energy that actually reaches the surface to slightly increase the temperature of the upper 100-200 m of our oceans to the observed surface temperatures.
NOW the role of the atmosphere is to reduce the energy loss to space, the Insulation Effect.
The entire atmosphere is involved in this process, not just some greenhouse gasses.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 11:09 am

“Once one realizes that the heat content (~temperature) of the deep oceans is 100% from geothermal origin”

This is not true. The deep oceans are also heated by water that has been warmed by the sun and then carried to the ocean deeps.

Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 6:02 pm

There is no storage of solar energy by non chemical processes.

Sun makes surface (to -200m) water molecules dance in real time. The sun goes down, they stop dancing. There is no storage of dancing for later. Assuming average year.

You don’t get to slow cook your turkey for 12 hours, turn it off for 12 hours, and repeat this ad infinitum and expect your turkey to be hotter each subsequent time.

Thermal action is in the here and now.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 8:15 pm

Zoe, so you are actually claiming that as soon as the sun goes down, everything goes to absolute zero?

That’s the only time molecules “stop dancing”, to use your phrase.

Zoe, I’m still waiting to find anything that you believe, that is actually true.

BTW, read up on the concept of thermal mass, and how it has been used in construction for thousands of years.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 11:17 am

There are so many problems with your claims, that it’s hard to know where to start.

First off, the surface of the earth is warmer than it would be if there was no atmosphere. So your claims regarding what the sun alone is capable is utterly meaningless and can only serve as a point of confusion.
Secondly the ocean deeps are well below the average temperature of the surface.

This completely refutes your belief that the oceans can only be heated by geo-thermal heat.

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 8:29 pm

Mark W

Ever been in a South African diamond mine – MUY CALIENTE! Ever watched a volcano (say, Mt St Helens) destroy thousands of sq miles in a matter of minutes?

All that heat comes from earth’s molten core and continental plates sliding around. Thermodynamics says all that heat will eventually radiate away thru earth’s cooler oceans & mantle. May take a couple billion years, but it’ll happen.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 8:47 am

Javert, you need to learn the difference between temperature and heat flow.

Pedro Oliveira
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:05 am

Earth’s internal heat.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Pedro Oliveira
June 22, 2020 7:50 am

Obvious to you and me. see above.

MarkW
Reply to  Pedro Oliveira
June 22, 2020 8:26 am

Tiny compared to the energy from the sun.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 11:06 am

MarkW June 22, 2020 at 8:26 am

Tiny compared to the energy from the sun.

Geothermal flux through continental is ~65 mW/m^2.
Are you saying that the increasing temperature with increasing depth (~25K/km) s from solar energy?????

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 12:37 pm

And TSI is about 1361 W/m^2. 200 times greater. As I said, tiny compared to the energy from the sun.

“Are you saying that the increasing temperature with increasing depth”

Are you going out of your way to appear stupid?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 1:49 pm

But TSI does not go in to the water does it?
Add in the thermal capacity of the water and your 163 w/m squared aren’t going to achieve very much.
There are 1.4 × 10^21 kg of water in the oceans and it takes 419kj to raise 1 kg 1 degree C.
As there are 3.6kj per watt hour that would be 11 watt hours per kg.
So that looks like 1.4 x 10^21 x 11 watt hours + losses to evaporation etc. extra above and beyond what we have now to raise the temperature 1 degree C.
Please fell free to correct the numbers if they are wrong.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 2:16 pm

Why do you believe that TSI doesn’t go into water?
The vast majority of the energy in TSI is in short wave energy, that penetrates water down to over a hundred feet.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 1:23 am

Really?
Dr Spencer’s diagram shows just 163 W/m2 getting to the surface, not yor 1361 at TSI.

Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 6:38 am

The vast majority of the energy in TSI is in short wave energy, that penetrates water down to over a hundred feet.

comment image

The open ocean down to 600 feet absorbs more solar spectral energy from blue-green wavelengths and responds the most to daily peak insolation, not the average.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 8:48 am

Oops, forgot about the mW, the sun’s energy is actually 200,000 times greater than the heat flow from the interior.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 8:50 am

AC, even if true, 163W is still almost 25,000 times greater than 65mW.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 3:07 pm

MarkW June 22, 2020 at 12:37 pm

And TSI is about 1361 W/m^2. 200 times greater. As I said, tiny compared to the energy from the sun.

And yet the sun only warms the upper 10-20 m of the continental crust, the rest is heated by the tiny ~65 mW/m^2 geothermal flux.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 3:11 pm

A C Osborn June 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm

Add in the thermal capacity of the water and your 163 w/m squared aren’t going to achieve very much.

Better use the energy the sun delivers during a 24 hr period, in the tropics 20-30 MJ/m^2 maximum. This is just enough energy to warm the upper 5-10m 1K. Is lost again during the night.

Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 9:07 am

Mark, you can’t compare energy to a heat flux. Heat flux is based on a differential of two energies.

All these profiles have same heat flux:

http://phzoe.com/2020/04/29/the-irrelevance-of-geothermal-heat-flux/

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
June 23, 2020 4:51 pm

Heat flux carries energy.

Reply to  Zoe Phin
June 24, 2020 3:33 pm

Heat flux carries additional energy from greater energy to lesser energy.

SB Law of emission is based on energy available at the surface (Tcold), not the difference between Thot and Tcold.

Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:10 am

There are ocean circulations, the water doesn’t stay at it’s place over time. Don’t forget the thermohaline circulations…

rbabcock
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:15 am

?? We have heat transport from the surface to the deep ocean via ocean currents and lots of heating from below from the Earth’s interior. Then throw in the time it takes for energy to flow through a 4000m column of water and why wouldn’t you expect to have hot and cold spots?

Latitude
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:27 am

the question is always….why are the oceans heating

…it’s never why are the oceans not cooling off as much

Reply to  Latitude
June 22, 2020 6:37 am

Sun is heating surface water, nothing else, with different wavelenghts and in differen dephths.

commieBob
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:33 am

Why is it so hot in a deep mine?

It amuses me that the ocean deeps are so cold.

Alex
Reply to  commieBob
June 22, 2020 6:29 am

Do you know the adiabate? The troposphere temperature follows the (wet) adiabate: the higher (uphill) you go, the cooler it is, and the deeper (down to the mine) you go, the warmer it is. About 1 deg C per 100 meter hight.
You go down a mine 1000 meters deep, you get 10 deg C warmer.

The water is nearly incomressible.
There is no “adiabate” in the ocean.
Water has its own equation of state and it leads to a very constant temperature of -2..+4 deg C at high pressures (deeper than 1500 meters).

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Alex
June 22, 2020 8:01 am

Alex June 22, 2020 at 6:29 am

The troposphere temperature follows the (wet) adiabate

Not really. The Dry and Wet Adiabatic Lapse Rates are ONLY valid for the temperature change vs altitude of rising or sinking air.
The temperature profile of the atmosphere itself is NOT set by the DALR or WALR.

There is no “adiabate” in the ocean.

Actually there is one, although pretty small.

commieBob
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 8:24 am

In the atmosphere, convection is complicated by humidity. In the oceans, convection is complicated by salinity. link

Alex
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 10:15 am

“The temperature profile of the atmosphere itself is NOT set by the DALR or WALR”

It IS.
That is why our part of the atmosphere is called “troposphere”: the air here is continuously mixing, establishing the adiabate on average.

The word troposphere is derived from the Greek tropos (meaning “turn, turn toward, change”) and sphere (as in the Earth), reflecting the fact that rotational turbulent mixing plays an important role in the troposphere’s structure and behaviour.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 11:17 am

Alex June 22, 2020 at 10:15 am

It IS.

Sorry, but you’re wrong.
Best explanation I’m aware of:

Alex
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 12:11 pm

So what? Of course, I am right.
Just watch your video and UNDERSTAND it: it is the adiabate from land to tropopause.
ON AVERAGE.
Does not have to be locally.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 23, 2020 2:57 pm

commieBob June 22, 2020 at 8:24 am

In the atmosphere, convection is complicated by humidity.

Humidity (water vapor) is driving convection by the release of latent heat when the wv condenses. Without it convection wouldn’t reach very high.

Willem69
Reply to  Alex
June 22, 2020 1:50 pm

‘ You go down a mine 1000 meters deep, you get 10 deg C warmer.’

Euhh, NO!
You have obviously never been down a mine, or inside a wine cellar/basement etc.
The average geothermal gradient is about 25 deg. C per 1000 meters, and can be a lot higher if the surrounding rock is a ‘good’ conductor or the earth’s crust is thinner.

And once you’re a couple of meters down into planet earth what happens on the surface is completely irrelevant.
That is why deep cellars are such good places to store things, due to the extremely stable temperature.

Stay sane,
Willem

Reply to  Willem69
June 23, 2020 4:43 am

Maybe you have not been down a deep mine. you are wrong. The same lapse rate applies underground. I have been more than 1000m down at the Mt Isa mine Australia. Air conditioning was require to give a healthy working temperature. With surface temperature about 35-40 C it could get 45-50C at the draw point of stopes. Air conditioning in maintenance areas was kept 25 to 30C. I was down a deep mine in Canada. Outside there was a blizzard with temperatures -30 to-35C. At the top of the mine over the main shaft it was close to zero. Some 2000m down it was around 15 to 20C in areas with still air but 0 to 10C in areas with ventilation because ventilation was drawn direct from the surface. air temperatures underground have little to do with rock temperature but everything to do with depth and ventilation.

Roger Clague
Reply to  Alex
June 23, 2020 10:33 pm

How does CO2 back radiation warm air
underground?

Alex
Reply to  commieBob
June 22, 2020 6:54 am

The water has its highest density at 4 deg C.
That is why it is at the ocean bottom.
Anything warmer or cooler would buyout.

Just Jenn
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:40 am

@Ben Wouters:
“Again not a trace of an explanation why our deep oceans are so hot”

What are you talking about? Do you mean the areas of thermovents? Cuz just a surprising short distance from the vents the water is freaking cold (about 4 degrees C on average). Actually, the temperature change in some places is quite dramatic and can be seen on video of samples taken at the vents. If the entire floor was that hot, how would we manage to get submarines down there for studies?

The ocean is a dynamic place, we don’t know much about all the midwater currents (most we know nothing about, but we can see effects of them), the deep water currents are also speculated, nobody has actually ridden them and mapped them to find out…they most likely move around a bit like the surface currents do…or they could have some other mechanism of movement we know absolutely nothing about. We know more about space than we do about the ocean.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  Just Jenn
June 22, 2020 8:07 am

Just Jenn June 22, 2020 at 5:40 am

What are you talking about?

I’m talking about the deep oceans being ~20K ABOVE the 255K the sun is supposedly providing. Anyone claiming that the atmosphere warms (“further heats” Lacis ea 2010) the surface (and ignores geothermal energy) is implicitly also claiming that the atmosphere warms our ~4000m deep oceans.

ggm
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 5:52 am

30 years they thought there was only a few undersea volcanoes and hydrothermal vents. Then 10 years later, hundreds. 10 years later thousands, 10 years later millions. Think about the amount of heat several million undersea volcanoes and hydrothermal vents are releasing. In November 2018, there was a large seismic “hum” heard around the world (you may remember the story). They eventually found out it was huge volcano that erupted off the coast of Africa. In six months of eruptions it rose 800 metres up and 5km wide. If that had happened on the surface, we would call it a supervolcano. And volcanoes this large probably erupt pretty regularly on ocean floor.
https://www.livescience.com/65545-largest-underwater-volcano-seismic-hum.html

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 7:44 am

The sun has been warming the earth for 4.5 billion years (or there abouts). That’s plenty of time for the sun’s heat to have made it’s way to the ocean depths.

A C Osborn
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 10:36 am

The centre of the earth has been losing heat to the crust for 4.5 billion years, plenty of time to heat the water.
And the centre is still at 6000 degrees C.

There corrected it for you.

MarkW
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 11:12 am

I have never denied that there is heat coming from the center of the earth. The only problem is that it is 3 to 4 orders of magnitude less than that coming from the sun.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 8:51 am

Actually it’s over 5 orders of magnitude less.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 11:27 am

MarkW June 22, 2020 at 7:44 am

The sun has been warming the earth for 4.5 billion years (or there abouts). That’s plenty of time for the sun’s heat to have made it’s way to the ocean depths.

Solar penetrates the oceans ~100m, direct warming only for the upper 5-10m.
Solar seasonal influence is noticeable down to max. ~500m.
On the planet I live on (rel.) warm water rises, (rel.) cold water sinks. How do you propose for solar heated water to reach the ocean floor? (and no, salinity does NOT do the trick)

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 2:17 pm

Actually, salinity does do the trick.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 2:18 pm

In addition to salinity, there is also pure, old fashioned conduction.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 3:28 pm

MarkW June 22, 2020 at 2:18 pm

In addition to salinity, there is also pure, old fashioned conduction.

Well, the highest salinity in the oceans is NOT found near the ocean floor but near the surface.
comment image

Conduction works during spring and summer down to ~200m max. In autumn and winter that warmer water rises again to the now colder surface and loses its energy again to the atmosphere /space.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 4:53 pm

Yup, and those high salinities cause the surface waters to sink, mixing as they go.

That surface waters in the arctic sink all the way to the ocean floor has been known for decades. These waters then flow towards the equator where they once again rise to the surface.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 5:12 am

MarkW June 23, 2020 at 4:53 pm

That surface waters in the arctic sink all the way to the ocean floor has been known for decades.

They even have a name: AntArctic Bottom Water (AABW), the coldest, saltiest water in our oceans. That water became so cold because it released lots of energy to the atmosphere (is called COOLING).

These waters then flow towards the equator where they once again rise to the surface.

Perhaps you can explain how cold water at the ocean floor can move upward and penetrate a very warm surface layer near the equator.
This surely is an entirely new branch of physics

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 8:41 pm

…and all you need to do to make your point is provide some non-trivial process for such massive heat transfer that isn’t laughably in conflict with 2nd law thermodynamics.

Hint: “Sun shining on oceans for 4.5 billion years” probably isn’t it. “Friction from 4.5 billion years of swimming fish” won’t work either.

MarkW
Reply to  Javert Chip
June 23, 2020 8:52 am

Ocean over turning and salinity changes don’t violate the second law.

Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 2:28 pm

If it helps, 1.1×10^22 Joules pa enter the oceans from submarine volcanoes, 0.7W/m^2. They have 10 times greater average output than land based volcanoes and there are a lot more of them. Still small compared to the Solar input at 100W/m^2 reaching the ocean surface on average. And it takes 6×10^24 Joules to raise the entire ocean mass by 1degK

The magmatic heat is roughly 8 times the conducted internal hear of 1.5×10^21 Jpa or 0.09W/m^2.

Or 390TW of magma heat on top of the 50TW of conduction currently allowed for as a steady level of geothermal heat entering the oceans. Incorrectly. It’s much more and it also varies a lot from time to time, with Milankovitch cycles.

Far more magma enters the oceans than anyone allows for, because they use old consensual data that is wrong, of a few cubic kilometres pa when the true number is closer to 3,000 cubic kilometres pa than3 or 4. All easy to estimate and validate from the most recent observations of the last 20 years, also the science shows peak emissive events occurring at 100Ka, $41Ka and 23Ka, probably from gravitational forcings at the Milankovitch maximum, not the insolation effect the consensus is obsessed with, but it can’t be.

It’s underneath you!

http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Ben Wouters
June 22, 2020 2:54 pm

Ben,
That is a strange thought. Our deep oceans are a couple of degrees above freezing, just a little warmer than the icemelt that supplies the water. Eventually getting warmed up to average surface temp of 15 C in about 500 to 1000 years time it takes to circulate (maybe) to the surface.

EdB
June 22, 2020 4:41 am

“The question is, by how much? ”

And: The question is benefits(plants/trees), versus costs(?)

I see no negatives in the data, just positives. If I am missing something, please post them.

Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 4:52 am

If the climate sensitivity to CO2 is about 1.25 °C (fairly likely), there is a point at which the negative effects of the warming will outweigh the positive effects. Where is that point? I have no idea.

There is also the effect of CO2 on marine geochemistry (misleadingly called “ocean acidification”). Increasing the atmospheric content of CO2 will reduce the saturation state of calcite and aragonite in seawater. There is a point at which this could become a problem. That point is most likely above 1,000 ppm.

While the notion of a “climate crisis” and the need for rapid “decarbonization” are utter horst schist, there potentially is a long term problem that can be addressed over many decades in an economically sustainable manner.

tsk tsk
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 6:22 am

At some point direct utilization of nuclear power will be more cost effective than the inefficient (but cheap) biologically/geologically stored indirect nuclear energy from the sun.

That point will come long before we need to worry about the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere, or else we’ll have entered a new literal Dark Age.

Reply to  tsk tsk
June 22, 2020 9:21 am

Most likely.

Richard M
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 6:24 am

Climate sensitivity at current levels of CO2 is based primarily on something called pressure broadening. Skeptics have pretty much accepted the value of ~1 C for CO2 alone because it does not create any problems. However, I question whether this number is valid. What is the pressure increase of adding a few gig-tons of carbon to an atmosphere that weighs 5.5 quadrillion tons? It is less than .01%.

I think the estimate is based on assuming CO2 is the only gas present. Once you add in water vapor and factor in the other gases it should change this number.

Has anyone ever seen a detailed analysis of how this works on our actual atmosphere? I haven’t and I really do wonder if it is valid.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard M
June 22, 2020 7:48 am

Pressure broadening occurs regardless of what the other molecules in the atmosphere are.

Vuk
Reply to  Richard M
June 22, 2020 8:19 am

Evaporation & precipitation keep temperature within a narrow band
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PNFb.htm

EdB
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 6:35 am

“Increasing the atmospheric content of CO2 will reduce the saturation state of calcite and aragonite in seawater. There is a point at which this could become a problem”

Already debunked. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/05/the-total-myth-of-ocean-acidification/

“there is a point at which the negative effects of the warming will outweigh the positive effects”

History says otherwise. Civilizations flourished in warmer times during the last 8000 years, and declined during the colder times.

So..where is the actual concrete evidence of harm in the current data, and historical and long term records?

MarkW
Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 7:50 am

If the world were to warm up by 100C, that would not be a positive outcome.

Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 7:52 am

3 to 7 °C would be problematic.

A C Osborn
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 12:52 pm

Going to move the Earth a few million miles closer to the sun?
100C, try calculating the energy needed to do so.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 2:19 pm

Where did I say anything about expecting 100C of rise? The claim was that warming is always good. I gave an example of warming that wouldn’t be good.

A C Osborn
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 1:25 am

Yes a stupidly impossible amount of warming.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 8:53 am

AC, what is it about being proven wrong that makes you so cranky?

A C Osborn
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 12:06 pm

I was not proven wrong by you in any way.
You made a stupid remark, obviously thinking you were being clever and I called you on it.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 4:55 pm

What’s stupid about an extreme counter example?
What’s stupid is your fixation on trying to disagree with me whenever and where ever you can. I hope you don’t start charging rent for the space I’m occupying in your mind.

Nylo
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2020 5:16 am

MarkW, “The claim was that warming is always good. I gave an example of warming that wouldn’t be good”.
And what has been requested, if anything, is an example of warming that WASN’T good. Not an imaginary example of something that would be or would not be. Real world data, not imagination.

Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 7:51 am

I wrote that post. It absolutely doesn’t debunk basic marine geochemistry. The sequel to that post explains, in detail, the relationship between CO2 and CaCO3 saturation state.

However, The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification, basically explains the relationship between CO2 and CaCO3 saturation state.

These two images are from my 1978 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation textbook:


When the pH of seawater decreases, calcium carbonate dissolves.  In warm, shallow seas, at a pH of about 8.3, dissolution of aragonite and calcite particles by inorganic processes is almost nonexistent.  However, since the classical studies of the Challenger expedition, it has been known that the proportion of calcium-carbonate particles in seafloor sediments decreases as depth of water increases (Table 5-1).  Such decrease is particularly rapid at depths between 4000 and 6000 m.  Although the reasons for this decrease have been debated, the evidence suggests that calcium carbonate dissolves because the COconcentration increases with depth.  The control on COappears to be part biological; it results from biological oxidation of organic-carbon compounds.  Also, the water masses at greater depth were derived from the polar region; their temperature is lower and the water contains more dissolved CO2. Increased concentration of CO2 is in turn reflected by lower pH, which leads to calcium carbonate dissolution.  However, the increase of pressure with depth may also be involved; such increase affects the dissociation of carbonic acid (Eqs. 5-11 and 5-12).  The depth at which the calcium-carbonate decreases most rapidly is known as the carbonate-compensation depth, defined as the depth at which the rate of dissolution of solid calcium carbonate equals the rate of supply.

Friedman and Sanders, 1978, pages 133-134

This nomogram relates CO2 and other variables to CaCO3 saturation state:

This shows how the seas have changed over the Phanerozoic Eon:

Many modern marine calcifiers have evolved in aragonite-saturated seas. If CO2 rises above the aragonite threshold, these species would have difficulty adapting, particularly if the rise occurred over a short time period.

History doesn’t say jack schist about how a 3-7 °C rise in average surface temperature would affect civilization. Civilization has thrived (more or less) in a band of about 2 °C total change in average temperature.


https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/09/a-holocene-temperature-reconstruction-part-4-the-global-reconstruction/

The Paleogene was up to 7-8 °C warmer than it is today.

A doubling of the pre-industrial Late Holocene CO2 concentration from ~280 to 560 ppm is no big deal. It won’t take us out of the range of Late Quaternary interglacial temperatures.

A tripling or quadrupling… Could cause some serious problems.

The odds are we won’t burn enough fossil fuels to support much more than a doubling.

EdB
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 11:28 am

You still have not presented negatives. Hypothetical negatives don’t count.

Actual negative effects of our added CO2 must be visible.. We were warned about 350 ppm and now we have over 400 ppm.

What are the negatives, and can anyone help me find them?

Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 11:58 am

Hypothetical negatives are all that count when you are looking at conditions that haven’t happened yet… Or haven’t happened in 100’s of thousands to millions of years.

A 1.5 ºC rise in temperature from the coldest part of the Holocene (The Little Ice Age) clearly was a good thing. To the extent AGW exists, so far it has only made it a little warmer than the 1970’s global cooling panic. An additional 0.5 to 1 ºC will probably not be a net negative.

3 ºC of warming (~1,120 ppm) would likely melt much of the Greenland Ice Sheet and West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Ten feet of sea level rise would be a negative.

The alarmists do have a huge “Boy Who Cried Wolf” problem. But that doesn’t mean wolves don’t exist.

EdB
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 1:16 pm

“3 ºC of warming (~1,120 ppm) would likely melt much of the Greenland Ice Sheet and West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Ten feet of sea level rise would be a negative.”

Given that it will take a few thousand years to do that melting, and that our oil/coal/ng supplies will have been largely replaced by nuclear…

Finally, the earth is cooling slowly, and we will be in the next ice age before your ten feet of rise happens.

Where is the realistic quantification of your hypothetical wolf?

Can anyone help find these GW negatives? Anyone? All I see are CO2 fertilization positives. Should we not see the Vikings back in Greenland, growing grain by now? Are the alarmists BSing me?

Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 2:26 pm

The potential negatives are out beyond 1,000 ppm. The odds are that we will never burn enough fossil fuels to get there. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do things that are economically viable to avoid getting there… Like:

1) More nuclear power.
2) More natural gas.
3) Employing carbon capture and utilization on large coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants where the captured CO2 can be used for enhanced oil recovery or other economic purposes.

Yes. the alarmists are BS’ing you.

A C Osborn
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 1:32 pm

How much energy does it take to convert 684,000 cubic miles of Ice in to water?

Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 2:37 pm

It lost 30-50% of its ice mass, relative to its current mass, during the Eemian interglacial, when global average temperatures were only about 2-3 °C (5-8 °C in Central Greenland) warmer than it is today.

A C Osborn
Reply to  David Middleton
June 23, 2020 2:59 am

Over how many millions of years?

Reply to  A C Osborn
June 23, 2020 9:26 am

At the current to rate, CO2 could rise above 1,000 ppm in 400 years.

A C Osborn
Reply to  David Middleton
June 23, 2020 3:51 am

David MiddletonJune 22, 2020 at 2:26 pm

3) Employing carbon capture and utilization on large coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants where the captured CO2 can be used for enhanced oil recovery or other economic purposes.

Why do you wan to make nergy more expensive, we need energy to be as cheap as possible, especially for the 3rd world.

Reply to  A C Osborn
June 23, 2020 9:20 am

It doesn’t make it more expensive when it leads to the recovery of otherwise unrecoverable oil in existing oil fields.

Furthermore, coal will be regulated out of existence in the US without carbon capture. President Trump has delayed this process (a good thing), but it’s only a temporary delay. The death of coal will make energy far more expensive than CCUS.

No one expects the Third or even Second World to do these sorts of things. Coal, along with local resources, will power these nations for decades to come.

MarkW
Reply to  EdB
June 22, 2020 7:47 am

The article was about whether it is possible for a cold atmosphere to heat a warm surface.
The question of costs isn’t relevant to this discussion.

Pablo
June 22, 2020 4:49 am

But by 33ºC ?

Richard M
Reply to  Pablo
June 22, 2020 6:07 am

I believe Roy stated in an old article that the number is closer to 58 C. The reason it is only 33 C is that the water cycle cools the planet by transporting much of that warmth to high altitudes where it is easily radiated to space.

I think this is the biggest part of the problem with climate models. We appear to already have this massive negative feedback going on. Why would any increased warming not be countered in the same way? The fact the models do not handle clouds and convection is a major problem.

In addition, besides the formation of clouds and heat transport to higher elevations, another negative feedback occurs due to a reduction in high altitude water vapor.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Pablo
June 22, 2020 6:22 am

I would say definitely not. Roy didn’t mention anything about the gravito-thermal effect, which as far as I can tell is the main reason the surface is 33ºC warmer on average than the planet’s S-B temperature. IR radiation scattering may account for a few degrees, but I haven’t seen a good analysis of exactly how much.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 6:44 am

Steve, “gravito-thermal effect”….that’s a very fancy and new name for “lapse rate”….

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 7:36 am

DMacKenzie, no, gravito-thermal effect and “lapse rate” are not the same thing. One is a consequence of the other, and it’s important to realize which is which. In particular, the “radiationists” (people who don’t believe there is such a thing as a gravito-thermal effect) seem to be claiming that the lapse rate is solely a consequence of radiative energy transfer, which is false.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 8:30 am

Pressure doesn’t heat anything. It can’t. Changes in pressure can cause changes in temperature. However in a stable atmosphere, there are no changes in pressure.
Just because you have invented a mythical form of energy does not create a need for anyone else to believe in it.

Ron
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 10:23 am

@MarkW
You forget entropy. Entropy constantly forces gas molecules to try to escape earth’s gravity into space. The equilibrium between gravity and entropy sets the gravito-thermal effect through pressure.

A sealed environment cannot replicate this cause entropy is limited where for a planet it is not.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 11:18 am

Sorry Steve, your perception is incorrect, atmospheric adiabatic dry lapse rate of -9.8 C per thousand meters (notice thar number is the same as “g”), has nothing to do with radiation, all to do with parcels of gas rising and falling in a gravitational field, totally a thermodynamic energy conservation effect.The actual lapse rate as measured by weather balloons is about -6C per thousand meters due to water condensation, radiation to outer space, greenhouse effect, and so on….

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 11:23 am

Ron, 100% wrong.
Entropy doesn’t force anything. It’s not a source of energy.

Ron
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 2:14 pm
MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 5:36 pm

Ron, no it isn’t.

Ron
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 7:22 pm

@MarkW
You confuse force and energy. These are related but not interchangeable.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 8:17 pm

No Ron, you do.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 24, 2020 5:35 pm

MarkW, you said “Pressure doesn’t heat anything. It can’t”

That is true. However, the gravito-thermal effect is not the result of work being done on the atmosphere, like a bicycle pump. It is simply a sorting of molecules in motion by their kinetic and potential energies, which does not require work to be done. The result is a temperature gradient (but not an energy gradient). Of course the atmosphere has to be heated by some other source (e.g. the sun) to a gaseous state. But once it’s in that state, under the influence of nothing more than gravity, it will settle into a thermal gradient. It’s a simple enough experiment to try, although you’ll need a pretty tall insulated column of nitrogen to be able to measure the effect. People have done that, and verified it. So I’m not sure why you’re continuing to argue against it.

I am not the one inventing mythical forms of energy. You are the one arguing from apparently total ignorance of thermodynamics, gravity, and potential and kinetic energy.

EdB
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 8:01 am

Yes.. but some people think the lapse rate has something to do with radiative gas theory, so to make it easy to understand, the term gravity and thermal is added. Its basic thermodynamics, no green house gases are needed.

Ed Bo
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 10:08 am

The belief that gravity ALONE will create a negative lapse rate (what Steve and others call the “gravito-thermal effect”) quickly runs into the brick wall of violations of both the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

James Clerk Maxwell realized this about 150 years ago. Over 50 years ago, Feynman showed a very basic proof in hist famed Lectures on Physics:

https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_40.html

Because the earth’s atmosphere is more transparent to shortwave solar radiation than it is to longwave terrestrial radiation, the atmosphere generally gains thermal energy (“is heated”) at lower altitudes that it loses thermal energy (“cools”). This causes a temperatuare gradient in the atmosphere (“lapse rate”).

If the gradient is steep enough, it creates a lapse rate greater than adiabatic. This is known as an “unstable lapse rate”, and upward convection starts to drive the lapse rate back toward adiabatic. This is very common in the earth’s atmosphere.

But it is vital to understand that the negative lapse rate is CAUSED by the radiative properties of the atmosphere.

MarkW
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 22, 2020 11:24 am

Another way to think about this is, what would happen to the atmosphere if the sun were to go away.
If the “gravito-thermal effect” were to be real, then there would be no change, since the source of heat isn’t the sun.

EdB
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 22, 2020 11:54 am

So you think there is no lapse rate in a planet with an atmosphere with 100% non radiative gases? I hardly think so. (eg, no H2O, etc)

That would violate the first law of thermodynamics.

The source of heat is sensible heat on the surface. Energized molecules transfer energy by collisions, all the way up. The lapse rate is then a direct function of the atmospheric density.

Reply to  Ed Bo
June 22, 2020 3:53 pm

Yeah… both sensible and latent heat are of major importance. In fact if you look at just the pink boxes on this e-bal chart… without the SW solar or LWIR factored in… you get the same 0.6 W/m² imbalance!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EaMGjKRX0AA3ztc?format=jpg&name=small

Ed Bo
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 25, 2020 11:48 am

EdB:

I missed your comment. You ask: “So you think there is no lapse rate in a planet with an atmosphere with 100% non radiative gases?”

A two stage answer:

First the steady-state case. (Yes, I know it’s imaginary, but it’s an important first step in analysis). Yes, there would be no lapse rate in such an atmosphere. Let’s take a thermal conduction example to illustrate the point.

You have a long metal rod with one end in boiling water and the other end in ice water, very well insulated along the length. Thermal energy is input to the rod at the boiling water end, and output from the rod at the ice water end.

In this case, there will be a temperature gradient in the rod from 100C to 0C.

Now remove the cold end from the ice water and insulate it very well so the only heat transfer is from the boiling water. What happens? There is no output of energy from the second end of the rod, and the entire rod reaches a temperature of 100C.

So going back to the atmosphere, you can only have a steady-state lapse rate if the upper end of the atmosphere can output energy. This requires radiative gases.

Now onto a rotating planet with a totally transparent atmosphere. When the day starts in an area, the surface gets hotter and a negative lapse rate is established. But when night starts, the surface gets colder because it can radiate energy directly to space, and the atmosphere cannot. So a positive lapse rate (temperature inversion) is established.

On such a planet, positive lapse rates would be as common as negative lapse rates. On earth, with its radiating gases outputting energy to space from high in the atmosphere, negative lapse rates are far more common than positive.

Reply to  Ed Bo
June 26, 2020 4:10 am

I don’t agree : the Lapse Rate is due to convection : the lapse rate stops where convection stops (e.g. tropopause on Earth).
So, the question is : can there be convection in an atmosphere which does not contain any GHG ?
From my point of view, yes : of course, the bottom atmosphere will not be heated by radiation, but it will be by conduction at the contact between ground surface and atmosphere.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 26, 2020 7:48 am

Jacques:

No, the physics is very clear. Lapse rates cause convection.

More specifically, if a negative lapse rate becomes larger than the adiabatic lapse rate, convection starts. For this reason, it is called an “unstable lapse rate”. Convection acts to drive the lapse rate back towards adiabatic.

Reply to  Ed Bo
June 26, 2020 8:31 am

Sure of what you say ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate :
“The temperature profile of the atmosphere is primarily a result of an interaction between thermal radiation, and natural convection.”

Ed Bo
Reply to  Ed Bo
June 26, 2020 9:23 am

Yes, I’m sure! Thermal radiation creates the lapse rate, convection can moderate a large negative lapse rate.

The Wikipedia page you cite agrees with my argument.

BTW, the reason the sign of the lapse rate changes at the tropopause is due the the fact that the troposphere is gaining energy higher up from UV radiation.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keppel-Jones
June 22, 2020 7:52 am

The lapse rate only regulates how fast temperature changes with altitude. It has no impact on the temperature at the bottom of the column of air.

As proof of this, we have the same atmosphere over an antarctic winter as we do over an Amazonian summer.

A C Osborn
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 1:53 pm

No it is not, I suggest you do some research before making such statements.
Unless you are saying 6kmat the poles = 20Km at the equator?

MarkW
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 2:21 pm

Your statement makes no sense. Are you trying to claim that the atmosphere is thicker at the equator?

EdB
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 2:43 pm

Are you saying that the lapse rate is different between the poles and the equator? (aside from humidity driven changes in rate).

So I agree with Mark.

Rich Davis
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 5:33 pm

The atmosphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles.

I guess that it is the consequence of temperature. From PV=nRT
=> V = nRT/P,
nR/P is the same at pole and equator, thus V = k T, volume must vary proportional to temperature. V = Ah, you can’t change area, that means you must change height. In other words h is proportional to T. Height of the atmosphere is proportional to temperature. Since the average temperature of the atmosphere over the poles is lower than the average temperature of the atmosphere over the equator, the height of the atmosphere must be smaller at the poles and greater at the equator.

Ben Wouters
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 3:22 pm

MarkW June 22, 2020 at 7:52 am

The lapse rate only regulates how fast temperature changes with altitude.

The lapse rate doesn’t regulate anything, it is just a measurement of temperatures at different heights.

As proof of this, we have the same atmosphere over an antarctic winter as we do over an Amazonian summer.

Apparently you’re blissfully unaware of the hydrostatic equlibrium against gravity our atmosphere is in.

Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 5:57 am

Seem to be some rather poorly considered statements here that are simply made up and wrong, but easy to check first. Unscientific and hurried belief, so pointless.

I’m not commenting on the lapse rate here, which is a separate matter, but basic science says the atmosphere is obviously different between those locations, 20km at the equator and 6km at the poles. AND the atmospheric composition as regards so called greenhouse gasses is quite different.

At the equator there is proportionately much less CO2 due to the basic gas law density effect and much more water vapour because the atmospheric vapour pressure of water increases exponentially with temperature. Here is a better. more detail explanation from Doug Lightfoot :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ut92jtugjh4tv9c/A%20new%20look%20at%20current%20climate%20science%20Two%20page%20summary%20Sept%2014%202019.pdf?dl=0

KEY POINT: As elsewhere and above it seems to me as an engineer that most of the arguments above are off the point and spurious as they relates to actual climate change, SST change on a 30 year average which controls land temperatures. which is overtly on its natural track controlled by multiple natural cycles.

Because the dominant natural control of perturbations is from the massive , direct and NEGATIVE feedback effect of water vapour evaporation from the oceans in response to SST change, that regulates SST by both evaporative cooling and the resulting cloud albedo modifying solar insolation by many 10’s of W/m^2, that is wholly dominant over GHE, super volcanoes and asteroids. This oceanic evaporative response is what has kept the planet in a narrow range of equilibrium since there were oceans. The other effects such as GHE/lapse rate change are small and easily contained by this dominant feedback. How can it be otherwise?

So I don’t see why any of this GHE change matters, because the dominant control will adjust the actual effect of SST to compensate for whatever GHE/lapse rate does.

The dominant climate system control is negative feedback of evaporative cooling and cloud formation by water vapour, not CO2 or GHE. This control is driven by the primary reference of the SST that we care about, dominates planetary climate, and maintains the equilibrium at the surface within a few degrees, whatever small variation might happen due to CO2 or water vapour’s effect on GHE and hence the lapse rates in the troposphere to make it all balance out, etc..

WHY MAKE THIS HARDER THAN IT IS? To divert the argument?

Mainly to confuse the argument with pointless detail no one can really prove, and actually doesn’t matter, to distract the discussion from the obvious dominant control of surface temperatures. Water vapour controls the climate by cooling the oceans and forming clouds to reflect the sun. Which is why we only observe natural change, not what models predict by blaming CO2 in virtual reality.

If CO2 modifies the lapse rate a little that is automatically cancelled out at the surface by the dominant control of negative feedback from water vapour. What is wrong with this self evident truth?

PS I will address lapse rates separately, as it seems to me the gas composition is not in fact controlling, its mainly the pressure of whateveritis. I will watch Feynman’s talk first, but he didn’t have the planetary information we now have. James Clerk Maxwell also debunked the GHE ideas, for similar reasons of the heat transport by massive convective (= adiabatic temperature change?) air currents as I understand it. Coming soon.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Pablo
June 22, 2020 6:22 am

Pablo, 33C, often stated, is total radiative gas effect, including water vapor and CO2, assuming “Albedo” of planet Earth is 0.3. At ground level, water vapor is many times the CO2 concentration, on the other hand, at top of troposphere, CO2 is a few times the water vapor concentration.

The amount of heat being radiated from one surface to another is
q/a= [k/(1/ehot+1/ecold-1] x (Thot^4-Tcold^4).
The ground is at Thot due to being warmed by sunshine,
If the atmosphere was only N2 and O2, it would be completelely transparent to Infrared. The “surface” the ground would radiate to is outer space at -270 C.

But CO2 and H2O readily absorb and reradiate IR. Because the H2O and CO2 are the same temperature in the atmosphere as the N2 and O2, the “surface” the ground radiates to is “the sky”, and the “sky” is much warmer than outer space. You can take an IR thermometer and typically read the temperature of clouds at about freezing and blue sky down to -80 (but $40 IR guns do not have proper emissivity settings for this job).

Anyway my point is that the ground temp will get warmer, if you do the calculation, in order to radiate the same amount of heat it receives from the sun, when there are radiating gases between the ground and outer space. This can also be interpreted as the surface receiving more IR photons from “the sky” as CO2 or H2O levels increase.

Yes, it is foolish to assume a constant Albedo of .3 to come up with the often stated 33 C number, when incoming radiation is so dependant on Albedo, which in turn is dependent on clouds and clouds are made of water, but people who make this generalization are only trying to show how the radiative gas effect works.

A C Osborn
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 10:42 am

Yes, N2 and O2 are at the same temperature as CO2 at a particular height.
But which is the only one that can radiate that heat to space?
So which is Greenhouse and which is Refrigerant gas?

MarkW
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 11:26 am

They all can, though at different frequencies.
Even CO2 can only radiate to space at the highest levels of the atmosphere. Everywhere else is just radiates to other molecules.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 22, 2020 11:59 am

A C Osborn…. CO2 and H2O reradiate IR photons in all directions, while N2 and O2 are transparent and let them pass unhindered.

At top of troposphere, water vapor is less than 100 ppm, while CO2 is 400 ppm, so increasing CO2 from 280 to 400 ppm should have increased IR to outer space over the last century, right ? And in fact, IT HAS and the stratosphere is cooling.

Down here at ground level, the extra 120ppm of CO2 that both absorbs and reradiates, is trivial compared to IR absorption and re-radiation from the 16,800 ppm of water vapor (times whatever % the relative humidity at ground level is). The additional CO2 at ground level sends a relatively minor amount of additional IR photons back to the surface causing a minor temperature increase. How “minor” isn’t part of “settled science” yet. Somewhere between 1.2 C and 4.5 C per doubling of CO2, assuming convection remains the same and cloud cover remains constant….oh, so very unsettled…

A C Osborn
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 12:40 pm

DM, my point is that something warms the O2 & N2 up to the same temperature as the CO2 at any level and it must be kinetic.
Can you explain how 0.04% of the atmosphere can kinetically warm up 99% of the adjacent atmosphere and at the same time re-radiate photons to warm the earth.
But once heated it cannot radiate anything like CO2 as MarkW well knows, so therefore the only way that the atmosphere can lose energy at 10km+ is via CO2.
Otherwise the atmosphere would cool very quickly with 99% of it radiating the heat away.
And wouldn’t it also radiate towards the surface.

Sorry, I do not believe in the 1C to 4C of CO2 warming, as you say the water does all the heavy lifting.

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 12:44 pm

Down here at ground level, a CO2 molecule that absorbs an IR photon, will collide with another molecule before it has a chance to re-radiate that photon.

In the upper atmosphere the opposite occurs, because of low density of molecules, energy that is gained from a photon will re-radiate before the CO2 molecule has a chance to collide with some other molecule. Likewise, energy gained from a collision with another molecule will be radiated away as IR before it can be transferred to another molecule through a collision.

That is how CO2 molecules warm in the lower atmsophere, while cooling in the upper atmosphere.

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 2:24 pm

A C, I’ve already explained to you how one CO2 molecule can warm 10’s of thousands of non-CO2 molecules.
The CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, then transfers that energy to another molecule. It is capable of doing this millions of times per second.

As to your claims to being able to know what I know, until you can prove your psychic abilities, do try to rein in the ego.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 3:24 pm

Mark,
Learn heat capacity. You’re an embarassment.

CO2 would need to be radiated to ~1600K to raise the rest of the air molecules by 1K.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 5:15 pm

A C Osborn “How can .04 % ……”
At say, 25 C ocean surface temperature somewhere in the tropics, the air above the water is over 3% water vapour. Radiatively, the water vapour and minor CO2 heat the air above by a few watts per square meter, convection by about 20 to 25 watts/ sq., evaporating water cools the ocean by nearly 100 watts/ sq.m. which is released in the atmosphere as heat when it condenses to rain. I don’t know if that answers your question, but those are the radiative and kinetic processes you are seeking.
Yes they also radiate half downwards…to the surface….yes water is predominant at the surface, CO2 in the upper troposphere…..if convection increases a little bit due to warmer surface temperature, or a cooler upper troposphere produces more SW reflective clouds, the whole 1.2 to 4.5 C per doubling would calculate out to a lower number. I got 1.4 from putting what I thought were realistic numbers into ModTran, which is pretty good for calculating the radiative effect of variable water concentration at different altitudes, but very parameterized for convective or cloud effects, so still “unsettled”….

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 5:39 pm

Zoe, Zoe, Zoe. Did you go to school to learn how to be so stupid?

You seem to suffering from the delusion that CO2 only acts once. It acts over and over and over again, thousands upon thousands of times a second.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 6:50 pm

Mark,
The molecules CO2 hits with its EM vibratory motion do not perpetually keep that energy. They dissipate it. The hit made a motion. The neighbor moved. Done.

You can start a thousand camp fires, and … ?

You need CO2 radiated to ~1600K to ALWAYS have its neighbors be 1K higher.

You don’t have that kind of energy.

Motion does not accumulate.

Learn heat capacity, idiot.

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 8:18 pm

I don’t know which orifice you’ve been pulling those numbers out of, but none of them bear any resemblance to reality.

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 8:22 pm

Speaking of acting like an idiot there you go again. I specifically said that the energy absorbed by the CO2 molecule is either radiated away or transferred via collision. Those are the ONLY two methods by which a molecule can lose energy. In the lower atmosphere, a collision will occur long before the molecule has a chance to radiate.

Heat capacity doesn’t matter in the slightest.
The reason is almost as simple as you are, because the CO2 atom does it over and over and over again. Heat capacity would only matter if the CO2 atom was only able to absorb and thermalize one photon.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 2:25 pm

288 K w – 255 K w/o = 33 C cooler is 100% trash.

The 288 K is pulled out of WMO’s butt. The K-T diagram uses 289 K, 16 C. UCLA Diviner uses 294 K, 23 C.

255 K is for 240 W/m^2 which assumes the naked earth keeps its .3 albedo.

This assumption is scientific if not criminal malfeasance.

The naked earth would be much like the moon, albedo 0.1, and with 20% more kJ/h, hotter not colder.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
June 22, 2020 3:10 pm

Nick, my reply to Pablo further up sums up why 33 C is the simplified “answer” often given. Criminal malfeasance is a little harsh…maybe overly PollyAnna….If the Earth was the Moon (no GHG) your numbers are right.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 3:38 pm

“in order to radiate the same amount of heat it receives from the sun”

Hot doesn’t get hotter in order to maintain a balance of heat flow.

There is no such thing as the conservation of heat flow.

Balancing math equations creates energy for the balance that doesn’t exist. Math is not physics.

Using enough GHG layers you can amplify 0.0000000000000001 W/m^2 into 390 W/m^2. Just another reason GH effect is junk science. Just add layers and claim they are real.

GH effect junk science can’t predict surface temperatures. It can only in a post-hoc way tell you the number of layers it takes to amplify sun-induced BB temperature into surface temperatures.

A theory that can postdict observations is a useless theory.

BTW: Using the knowledge that CO2 is ~1/2400th of the air, the main atmosphere is 11,000 meters tall, and the pigeonhole principle, there are is:

a complete layer every 180 meters.

there is 61 layers!

Too much. Better stick to 1 to make your funny math work. Oh, and use absorption parameters that haven’t been observed, but make your math work.

It’s lunacy.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
June 22, 2020 5:40 pm

“Hot doesn’t get hotter in order to maintain a balance of heat flow.”

If the amount coming in exceeds the amount going out, the object will get hotter in order to balance the heat flow.
Basic first year physics.

Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 6:52 pm

Source!

No climate “physics” allowed. Show another context.

Heat flow is not balanced. Q tends to 0. No such thing as conservation of heat flow.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 8:23 pm

Try any entry level physics book.

Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 9:20 am

So you claim. It’s not in the book, that’s why you can’t quote from it.

Pathological lying is your game.

Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 11:43 am

>>
Heat flow is not balanced. Q tends to 0. No such thing as conservation of heat flow.
<<

There are several forms for the first law. The differential version using the Clausius standard is:

\displaystyle dU=\delta Q-\delta W

This is an energy conservation equation, where U is internal energy, Q is heat and W is work. U is a system state variable. The squiggle d’s for Q and W are to remind us that they are path variable. The minus sign in front of the work term is due to this being the Clausius standard. Therefore, heat added TO a system is positive heat transfer; heat removed FROM a system is negative heat transfer; work done BY a system is positive work; and work done ON a system is negative work.

There’s another little restriction–this equation is only valid for closed and isolated systems.

Jim

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 6:57 am

Ugh, Jim, you name Clausius then misuse his definition of heat. Q is a rate, as you write can be both positive and negative, thus cannot be Clausius’ heat which is always a positive quantity.

Q and W are methods of thermodynamic internal energy transfer between massive objects. Q is the method involving temperature differences. Temperature is an average. This distinction is usually well understood, but around here it is important in the discussion of atmosphere energy balances in order to not further confuse the sky dragons and Zoe.

When Q is written as heat, inconsistent with Clausius defn. of heat, then sky dragons argue Q can thus only transfer hot to cold which is incorrect as temperature is an average.

Zoe is sort of right, Clausius’ heat is not conserved quantity as it can increase and decrease in a massive object, energy is conserved quantity, energy can only be transformed.

Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 11:19 am

Ugh, Trick. I don’t know which is more full of nonsensical statements–your comment or one of Zoe Phin’s.

>>
you name Clausius then misuse his definition of heat.
<<

The definition of heat: energy the crosses a system boundary due to a temperature difference. They often add from warmer to colder, although that is restrictive–what do you call an energy transfer from a colder to warmer region?

Notice, that a system does not contain “heat.” Heat is a transitory phenomenon–it only appears at system boundaries. Work is also a boundary phenomenon.

>>
Q is a rate . . . .
<<

No, it’s an energy. The classical units for heat were BTU’s and calories. The modern SI unit for heat is the joule. We can convert BTU’s and calories to joules (and vice-versa): 1 BTU = 1055.05585 joules; 1 calorie = 4.184 joules.

The first law (using the Clausius standard):

\displaystyle dU=\delta Q-\delta W

This is not a rate equation. However, you can make it a rate equation by taking the time derivative:

\displaystyle d\dot{U}=\delta \dot{Q}-\delta \dot{W}

The units change from energy units to power units; such as watts.

Another standard is:

\displaystyle dU=\delta Q+\delta W

where there’s a plus sign (not the Clausius standard). In this case, positive heat is heat added to the system and negative heat is heat removed from the system still. But the work terms reverse, id est, positive work is work done on the system and negative work is work done by the system.

>>
. . . as you write can be both positive and negative, thus cannot be Clausius’ heat which is always a positive quantity.
<<

Raspberries!

>>
Temperature is an average.
<<

Absolutely not! Temperature is an intensive thermodynamic property. You cannot average intensive properties, id est, temperatures, period! Even though Mr. Mosher tries to confuse the issue with some nonsense about averaging colors.

>>
When Q is written as heat, inconsistent with Clausius defn. of heat, then sky dragons argue Q can thus only transfer hot to cold which is incorrect as temperature is an average.
<<

Huh?

>>
Zoe is sort of right . . . .
<<

That’ll be the day.

>>
. . . Clausius’ heat is not conserved quantity as it can increase and decrease in a massive object, energy is conserved quantity, energy can only be transformed.
<<

More raspberries. Heat is energy. I can’t even decide what you’re talking about. Have you ever taken a thermodynamics course? If so, then you need to take another.

Jim

Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 12:34 pm

Ugh, typos. The statement:

“The definition of heat: energy the crosses a system boundary due to a temperature difference. ”

should read:

“The definition of heat: energy that crosses a system boundary due to a temperature difference.”

Jim

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 1:33 pm

Jim, thanks for thinking this through.

”The definition of heat: energy the crosses a system boundary due to a temperature difference.”

No, strictly that is defn. of a method with symbol Q per unit time; takes unit time for thermodynamic internal energy to cross a boundary due to temperature, all processes occur over time. Clausius defn. of heat is the total KE of the constituent particles in a massive object. Compare all others to that gold standard, many have drifted.

You have written the first law exactly the same with and without dots, if you do dot a rate you get an acceleration.

”negative heat is heat removed from the system”

In modern day, no system contains heat to be removed from the system; per Clausius heat is just a sum of the KE of the particles and thus is always positive – number of raspberries in the bowl is always positive or zero.

Temperature is defined as the local avg. of KE of the constituent particles in a massive object. This does make temperature intensive as local KE of the constituent particles does not depend on the size of the object. Energies are extensive; energies can be added as the total energy in a system depends on system size.

For my thermodynamics course(s), the Prof. wrote the book; here is what he wrote verbatim concerning the def. of heat: “…a body never contains heat.” Just like a body never contains work. A massive body contains KE of particles summing to a total KE: heat, which is always positive.

Sky dragons is a term given to a group of people that write the atm. cannot heat the surface as the sky is normally colder than the surface. Around here, one has to use the correct gold standard terminology to convey proper meaning in thermodynamics or the sky dragons (the ones not banned, that still disagree with Dr. Spencer fairly vehemently) will appear as you can already see whenever a top post atm. energy balance diagram is discussed.

Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 3:22 pm

I’m simply amazed at how wrong you can be I see it’s a waste of time trying to correct your misconceptions. It’s obvious you’ve never balanced an energy equation. If heat can’t be removed from a system, then how does anything cool down? Gee, I wonder how my AC cools the house–where does that heat go?

Jim

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 4:28 pm

According to modern texts & my thermo. Prof. a body never contains heat. Something that does not exist in an object cannot be removed from it.

Your A/C expanded and then compressed a fluid causing your house thermodynamic internal energy to reduce at the expense of some electricity & warming the local OAT. And maybe one of Anthony’s surveilled USHCN thermometer stations causing a ruckus in the global warming community.

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 5:48 pm

Jim, I’ll try this to maybe spur discussion about Clausius’ thoughts on the nature of heat. This is from my HS 11th grade physics teacher, one Mr. Reddy. On a cold, grey December day, starting a chapter on thermodynamics, Mr. Reddy drew a lab glass of hot tap water. He held it up so the class could get a good view. He then pointed out the window to a frozen over nearby huge lake & asked: “Is there more heat in this glass of hot water or out in that lake?”

I realized my immediate guess was wrong, as I thought more about it. Boom, right then & there I learned temperature is not heat though I wouldn’t really gut level understand why, as good as Mr. Reddy was, until college and I met the guy that wrote the thermo. book.

Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 6:29 pm

One of the problems I have when I deal with nonsense, is that I get very sloppy with my terminology. So let me rephrase.

It’s possible for a system to perform work. Work, like heat, is a boundary phenomenon, that is, a system doesn’t contain work. So when a system performs work, and it doesn’t contain work, where does that work come from? One source is the internal energy of the system. Likewise, when work is being performed on a system, where does that energy go? One place is the internal energy of system.

Then there’s heat. Systems do not contain heat. When heat is added to a system, where does that energy go? Again, one place is the internal energy of the system. Likewise, when heat is removed from a system, where does that heat come from. One place is from the internal energy of the system. Heat, like work, can be positive or negative.

I also should look things up instead of using my memory. The previous rate equation for the first law wasn’t correct. I’ll not derive it, but the correct rate equation is:

\displaystyle \dot{Q}=\frac{dU}{dt}+\dot{W}

And no, it’s not an acceleration.

Jim

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 24, 2020 7:45 pm

Jim, thanks for sticking with the conversation.

dQ/dt = dU/dt + dW/dt is fine 1LOT. If you put a dot on one of those it’s an unintended acceleration. You could replace all the d/dt with a dot too.

Jim wrote earlier 11:19am: “Heat is energy.” If so, then substitution of energy for heat term & vice versa ought to work in Jim’s 6:29pm resulting in a conclusion hmmmm… heat is not exactly just energy:

Work, like energy, is a boundary phenomenon
One source is the internal heat of the system.
Then there’s energy. Systems do not contain energy.
Energy, like work, can be positive or negative.

I am sure Jim can rewrite his 6:29pm more appropriately without using the heat term. Start with dropping heat from first paragraph, start 2nd with: “Then there’s energy transfer by virtue of a temperature difference.” Go from there.

So what exactly IS heat? Clausius’ gold standard defn. of heat is: “total KE of the constituents of a massive object”.

Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2020 10:11 am

This is from the Research & Education Association (REA) Problem Solvers for Thermodynamics, Chapter 4: Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Problem 4-8 page 160

“A 34 kg steel casting at a temperature of 427°C is quenched in 136 kg of oil initially at 21°C. Assuming no heat losses and the steel casting and oil to have constant specific heats of 0.5024 and 2.5121 kJ/kg-K respectively, determine the change in entropy for a system consisting of the oil and casting.”

I’m not going to go over the entire solution in detail, but the first thing stated is:

\displaystyle {{Q}_{CAST}}={{Q}_{OIL}}

and that total energy is zero. That means that one of the heat terms is negative.

The final temperature is 40.3 °C. The heat term is not calculated directly, but that would be easy enough. The change in entropy of the oil is 21.72 kJ/K. The change in entropy of the casting is -13.73 kJ/K. It’s another indication that the heat term is negative.

The total change in entropy then = 21.72 + (-13.73) = 7.99 kJ/K.

Jim

Trick
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2020 11:43 am

REA: “a body does not store heat” so they concur with modern day texts. Also REA writes 1LOT as

DeltaU = Q – W

so Q and W are (no dot) rates over the time for deltaU to process.

REA* defines “Heat is energy in transit” so they are one of the many that have drifted from the gold standard def. of heat and allowed confusion & paranormal activity into their thermo. writing. They acknowledge a body does not store heat yet although a 34 kg steel casting at 427C has no heat stored in it, its transiting thermodynamic internal energy flashes into heat at the boundary to the 136kg of oil, then that heat flashes back out of existence to be not stored IN the oil. This all strikes me as paranormal heat activity, not physics.

Anyway, your writing “that total energy is zero” stops me from trying to understand your 10:11 am problem, with a headache. Perhaps a link to the problem might help.

*Ref.:
https://www.amazon.com/Thermodynamics-Problem-Solver-Editors-REA-ebook/dp/B00B2S5CAC

Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2020 12:13 pm

>>
Anyway, your writing “that total energy is zero” stops me from trying to understand your 10:11 am problem, with a headache.
<<

I’m not a bit surprised. I was REA’s term–not mine.

Jim

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Zoe Phin
June 22, 2020 6:03 pm

Zoe, “Hot doesn’t get hotter to maintain a heat flow”….
Think about what you are saying….if there is an energy source within the object, the surface will certainly get hotter to radiate the additional heat away….Proved in engineering student heat transfer labs every semester…

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 22, 2020 6:13 pm

Sorry Mark, you beat me to Zoe’s nonsense.
I enjoyed my day today, fighting heat transfer ignorance from my CoVid quarantine. I think Dr. Roy only puts these RGHE posts out there to crank up the cranks….and maybe educate a few interested folks…

MJB
June 22, 2020 5:20 am

Great post, very clear, will be referring a few people, thanks Roy.

Ian W
June 22, 2020 5:28 am

It is disappointing to see the muddling of ‘heat’ , as in radiation. and hot as in temperature.
Unlike the cartoon picture, 70% or more of the Earth’s surface is water. Low level infrared radiation in the CO2 bands has not been shown to raise the temperature of a body of water. If water does get warmer its evaporation rate increases and heat is taken from the surface as latent heat. Humid air is lighter than dry air so will rise and cool adiabatically and eventually the water vapor condenses releasing the latent heat of condensation at height. The amount of energy involved in this huge and yet the cartoon shows ‘evapotranspiration’ as the smallest loss of heat from the surface: this seems to be making up numbers to get the right result rather than anything based on observation.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Ian W
June 22, 2020 6:46 am

Exactly. Same with thermals.

MarkW
Reply to  Ian W
June 22, 2020 7:55 am

IR doesn’t warm water, and nobody has claimed that it does.
What warms the water is long wave radiation.
The atmosphere helps to regulate how fast the energy put in by the sun, escapes.

Ian W
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 10:05 am

MarkW – I believe you meant ‘short wave radition’

But IR is what is the ‘back radiation’ from the CO2 that is supposedly keeping the surface warmer but as you say it doesn’t as 70% (probably more) of the surface is water and then you have to add transpiring plants which use the evaporation to stay cool. The latent heat extracted from the surface and the plants is carried upward until it is released when the water condenses. What we visibly see is clouds forming as the latent heat is released higher in the atmosphere and these clouds increase the albedo reflecting the short wave radiation that would otherwise warm the water.
The formation of clouds continues at night of course and the rising Sun has to evaporate the clouds before its heat will reach the surface. The latent heat of evaporation is then carried higher and released when the water condenses as higher cloud.

But this is difficult to model so all that is shown is dry land and arrows — clouds?

John Shotsky
June 22, 2020 5:34 am

Hogwash. CO2 does not ‘heat’ the earth. But IF it did, the warmer earth would radiate at a higher rate (4X) and virtually instantly remove that ‘additional’ heat. It happens every single day.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  John Shotsky
June 22, 2020 6:57 am

I’ve had that same argument with folks about a cold object “heating” a hot object via radiation. Can a cold atmosphere really heat a hot surface? An object radiates proportional to T^4 (not 4X). The net is always more than what the cold object can supply. In essence you would need “cold” molecules in the hot object to do this. The laws of thermodynamics hold.

LdB
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 7:39 am

Your microwave oven heats and it isn’t hot?
Lasers can cool things.

What can we say layman think heat is one dimensional and they understand it and they don’t.

mkelly
Reply to  LdB
June 22, 2020 3:25 pm

So you would hold the operating magnetron in your bare hands?

LdB
Reply to  mkelly
June 22, 2020 6:37 pm

What you have made clear is you really don’t understand how it works.

Lest show you a datasheet for a very common 500W unit at the centre of many domestic microwaves.
https://www.ampleon.com/documents/data-sheet/BLC2425M10LS500P.PDF
See Section 5 … Typically it runs at 75degree C while outputting 500W

Okay probably a bit warm to hold it as such but use a pair of welding gloves and you would be fine.

So now explain how the 75degree will boil water which requires 100 degree in case you don’t know?

mkelly
Reply to  mkelly
June 23, 2020 10:05 am

LdB so you admit what I said was correct you would not want to hold one in your hand. And by extension what you said about not being hot was not valid.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 7:53 am

Jim Gorman,

The laws of thermodynamics hold, as long as you don’t have an internal (filament) or external (the sun) supply of energy. With an extra source of energy, that energy must be distributed via any means and radiation is one of them.

In the case of all gases, the wavelengths follow Wien’s law with a peak length and distribution directly related to the absolute temperature. That are wavelengths related to the whole molecule vibration.

For greenhouse gases, the wavelengths are very specific for the excitation of the internal structure of some molecules, which gets bending or stretching, completely independent of the whole molecule’s vibration. When going back to the ground state, a photon with exact the same wavelength (and thus energy) is emitted, no matter the vibration (“temperature”) of the whole molecule, whether that is 173 K of 373 K…
See: http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page12.htm

Take the case of a CO2 laser. Maximum temperature 100ºC (cooled), gives a beam of around 10 μm, that is the “peak radiation” for a cold object at -40ºC or so (I haven’t calculated it…). Despite the “undercooled” energy beam, it can melt steel at over 1000ºC…
https://sciencing.com/co-lasers-work-4899566.html

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
June 22, 2020 8:01 am

+42×1042

Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2020 4:37 pm

Just like “cold” microwaves from an oven amplified to 1000W per 1/4 sq meter (4000 W/m²) can melt ice cream… cold LWIR if a similar intensity could heat the earth surface. But at a mere 333 W/m² back radiation intensity it can’t even warm up the black hood of your car.

Solar SW (UV+Visible+Near-IR) at over 1000 W/m² daytime certainly can however. Enuf to fry an egg.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
June 23, 2020 12:51 am

UV meter,

Agreed, the point is that the cooling of the earth at night would be a lot faster without these 333 W/m2 back radiation with the same incoming solar energy during the day, thus less average temperature…

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  David Middleton
June 23, 2020 10:11 pm

…realize that the ~333W/m2 of ‘back radiation’ is energy that has already left the surface, the surface has already cooled. The photons within the atmosphere cannot slow continued cooling by the planet’s surface by production of further energy into released photons.
The continued cooling is independent of ‘back radiation’ which can only, at best, re-warm partially and inconsistently as a warmer surface will shed energy faster and the warming will depend on the surface material involved.
The effort to skirt detail ‘hypothetically’ has ‘climate science’, and its models, fabricating an alternate reality where ‘crisis’ looms perpetually whilst the Environment persists little change… ( https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/23/climate-change-temperature-hits-100-degrees-above-arctic-circle-just-like-100-years-ago/ ) …and so perhaps it needs to be more directly questioned if thermodynamics is even validly applicable as it is.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
June 24, 2020 1:34 am

Peter KEITH Anderson,

The amount of energy emitted by the surface is independent of back radiation and only depends of its temperature and emissivity. The absorbed energy from back radiation is independent of the temperature of the surface, only depends of its absorbance, which is equal to emissivity for the same IR frequencies.
That makes that without the back radiation the energy loss would be much higher than with back radiation and thus the surface would cool much faster.
The back radiation is not new energy, indeed it is recycled energy and just like in a thermos flask, the energy is simply kept within the surface-atmosphere system by constraining the loss to the surroundings (space in this case).

Reply to  David Middleton
June 24, 2020 1:59 am

Peter Keith,

The claim is that if you don’t allow photons to exit for several seconds, those photons will perpetually make the system warmer.

I developed a computer program to view their mental illness, here:

http://phzoe.com/2020/03/04/dumbest-math-theory-ever/

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
June 24, 2020 4:52 am

Zoe,

“The claim is that if you don’t allow photons to exit for several seconds, those photons will perpetually make the system warmer.”

Nice try, but I don’t know of anybody who makes such a claim, except you and even if it was the case, without emission of a photon there is no change in energy of a molecule…

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  David Middleton
June 24, 2020 7:44 pm

Ferdinand, you seem to struggle to avoid noticing that the surface, as I mention, has already COOLED in releasing those photons. The ‘greenhouse’ hypothesis, and its ‘back radiation’, cannot stop the COOLING with a small ‘hypothetical’ rewarming by the very energy already released.

The ‘greenhouse’ effect is nonsense trying to be scientific. Then is ‘the science’ confusing a ‘vibrational’ shape change with a kinetic motion. The incident photon’s cold energy interacts with the internal bonding of the CO2 molecule. The atomic centres (+) are moved as the internal bonds flex.
This is not a kinetic movement of the molecular unit, it is not a temperature alteration.

Also, as velocity is a vectored unit and altering direction is an acceleration, such interactions have a greater chance of presenting a lower overall kinetic velocity i.e. excitation has a great chance of leaving the CO2 molecule COOLER.

Thus, in terms of seeking of a thermal equilibrium, CO2 will remain cooler than the surrounding atmosphere but upon being warmed is more likely to release a photon. Thus, CO2 will persistently cool by photonic release and persistently scavenge kinetic velocities (temperature) away.

Increase of atmospheric CO2 is, in this way, a cooling process leading to a ‘spectral’ brightness within the atmosphere as kinetic velocities are converted into photons.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
June 25, 2020 8:09 am

Peter Anderson,

Take the hot coffee in a thermos flask.
According to your reasoning, that already cooled by radiating energy to the outside mirrors, which is true, before a lot of that energy is re-radiated by the mirrors and absorbed by the coffee again. The net effect is that there is a lot less loss of energy from the coffee to the surroundings and the coffee stays longer hot.
Take the earth without any GHGs (thus no water, no clouds,…). During the day a hothouse, except for some heat distribution by wind from hotter to cooler places. During the night a deep freezing world. Average temperature = S-B equation.
Add some GHG to the atmosphere that only recycles 1% of the outgoing LW energy back to the surface. That will increase the incoming SW + LW energy with 1% and decrease the outgoing LW energy with 1%. Thus an energetic unbalance as well as on the surface as on TOA. That will increase the temperature of the surface, until the balance is restored at some 2% extra back radiation and thus a higher average temperature, especially at night…

The incident photon’s cold energy interacts with the internal bonding of the CO2 molecule.

The energy of a photon is not cold or hot and a photon of exactly the same wavelength, thus energy content, may have an origin in the general temperature of any object or from the internal vibration of a CO2 molecule. There is no difference at all. The same for the capturing of specific wavelengths by CO2: the photon captured and emitted a fraction of a second later has exactly the same energy. Thus energy gain and loss of the CO2 molecule by photons are near the same.
Only at near zero K there seems some tricks to get even lower temperatures by repeatedly bombarding molecules with specific wavelengths that gives a small energy loss of the whole molecule for each repeated gain/loss of a photon. But that is about milliK changes…
What happens in the atmosphere is that collisions between excited CO2 and other (inert) molecules like O2 and N2 transfers the internal vibration energy to total molecule vibration of both molecules, without emitting a photon. That rises the temperature of both. What gets first, emission or collision is a matter of gas density.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
June 23, 2020 3:26 am

What you fail to mention is that when the laser photon frequency is below the frequency of the Atom it hits the Atom gets cooler not hotter.
Which is how laser super cooling works.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 23, 2020 10:53 am

A C Osborn,

Have found a peak wave calculator for Wiens Law. A CO2 laser emits at 10.6 μm. If that was the peak wavelength of a black body, that would be just around freezing (273 K).
So for steel at ambient temperature about half the iron atoms are “warmer”, half are “colder” than the IR beam at the start of the heating. As the iron gets hotter and hotter, melting at about 1700 K (peak wavelength at 1.6 μm, part of the spectrum in visible light), maybe 20% still “colder” than the CO2 laser beam.
Despite that, the speed of heating and melting remains practically the same, as the emissivity (and thus the absorbance) of steel may start low (0.07 polished to 0.69 rusted), but molten metal has an about 100% absorbance…

MarkW
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 7:57 am

The atmosphere is a lot warmer than space.
The atmosphere doesn’t technically “warm” the surface, what it does do is slow down the rate at which energy leaves the warm surface. The end result being a warmer surface.

Using Dr. Spencer’s example. Insulation is colder than the inside of a house, but it results in a warmer house.

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2020 8:58 pm

Mark W

Insulation is entirely passive. It can only impede to flow of energy from warm to cold, but it certainly cannot stop the flow, or more ridiculously, warm the room.

MarkW
Reply to  Javert Chip
June 23, 2020 8:56 am

Nobody has ever claimed that insulation creates heat, IE makes things warmer.
The claim has always been that insulation reduces the rate of heat flow, resulting in the insulated object being warmer than it otherwise would have been.

If you have to lie about the other sides arguments in order to support your case, then you might as well admit that even know you can’t win on the facts.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 6:36 am

It’s more than that since that would still be a constant heat loss. The GHG theory says that CO2 and H2O will add more energy to the surface resulting in a temperature increase. In essence saying that a cold object (atmosphere) can raise the temperature of a hot object (surface).

If that works, we should all be filling our houses with 1000 – 2000 ppm of CO2 in the winter.

Now, don’t get me wrong GHG’s could radiate toward the earth and warm it AT NIGHT when the surface loses its heat source. Two things though. One, that would mean the length if time that GHG’s “trap” heat would be fairly long. Two, night time temps would rise which is a good thing.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Jim Gorman,

Two things:
1. There a a constant loss at night, as good as there is a constant gain during the day.
2. The amount of energy within the back radiation is simply recycled energy from what the earth’s surface is sending out. That is at very specific wavelengths for each type of GHG. That is completely independent of the “temperature” (rotation) of the individual molecule that re-emits that radiation or of the average temperature of the surrounding atmosphere. Nothing to do with the physics of “cold” or “hot” objects…
3. If there is less heat loss to space, night temperatures remain higher
4. In wet areas the clear sky night temperatures are a lot higher than in dry deserts…

Jim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 6:42 am

But that doesn’t make the surface warmer. It still loses heat just at a slower rate. If you were including time, it would radiate at 10 W/sec rather than 11 W/ sec.

GHG theory treats “back radiation” as new, additional radiation that can increase temperature.

Peter Anderson
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2020 7:49 am

A photon in the atmosphere can slow the surface’s release of further photons how?

MarkW
Reply to  Peter Anderson
June 23, 2020 8:58 am

Where did you get that nonsense from?

Once again, if you can’t understand someone else’s argument, ask questions. Don’t go around making stuff up, it just makes you look stupid.

Peter KEITH Anderson
Reply to  Peter Anderson
June 23, 2020 9:25 pm

…MarkW, did you notice the ‘?’ …no, you try to ignore that a question was asked and if you do not have a polite answer please ‘sod off’. The fact is that a photon in the atmosphere cannot prevent the surface further cooling by release of further energy as photons and it seems this point you avoid. Otherwise rising CO2 seems to have done little… ( https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/23/climate-change-temperature-hits-100-degrees-above-arctic-circle-just-like-100-years-ago/ ) …and perhaps, after 30 years of ‘hypothesis’, it needs to be more directly questioned if thermodynamics is even validly applicable.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Peter Anderson
June 24, 2020 12:33 am

Peter Anderson,

A photon is energy, no matter if it is absorbed or emitted by some object.

In the case of the earth’s surface, the outgoing photon energy is in direct relationship to its temperature, no matter how much photons are coming in from the sky.
On the other side, (near) all photons in the IR range which come in from the sky (recycled photons from the outgoing LW energy) are absorbed by the surface, whatever its temperature or the amount of emitted photons. That is completely independent of each other.
That means that the net energy balance gives less loss over time than without the incoming extra energy besides solar. Thus the earth’s surface remains warmer (cools less fast) than without GHGs…

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Jim Gorman
June 22, 2020 12:54 pm

Jim Gorman,
The colder object emits IR photons back at the warmer object. The hotter object absorbs those photons (assuming it is a black body). The hotter object emits a lot more photons at any given temperature/wavelength than the the colder body.

But the hotter body only emits a certain number of photons at any given temperature/wavelength. As far as the hotter body is concerned photons received from the colder object do not change the amount of photons it emits at any given temperature/wavelength.

But if an energy source is supplying energy to the hotter object, that source can reduce the amount of energy it needs to supply by the amount of energy in the photons that the hotter object received from the colder object. If the energy source that produces the IR photons in the hotter object continues to force energy into the hotter object, the hotter object’s temperature will increase. Like the Sun heating the ground.

I’m really sorry if this explanation is confusing, but its the best I can come up with for a blog reply comment, and ignores that a black body absorbs all photons that strike it to start with, and jumps to a BB with an internal heat source too quickly.

It is often a good mental construct that IR consists of photons, and EM radiation isn’t “heat” until it is absorbed by matter. Like a microwave oven.

Brett Keane