The Cooling Side of Greenhouse Gases

Guest post by Jim Steele

Most people are unaware that the greenhouse gases CO2 and H2O, both warm & cool our planet. When I mention that CO2 has a cooling effect, I’m amazed by the hateful tirades from paranoid people who dismiss scientific truth as “dangerous misinformation”.

However, discussions about temperature inversions have occasionally induced more respectful debate with critical thinkers. Most people have observed “frost fans” erected in orchards and vineyards, so are interested in why they work. Frost fans disrupt freezing layers of surface air that can develop at night during the spring, damaging flowers and fruits. Frost fans simply pull warmer layers of air from above down to the surface raising minimum temperatures. But why does that warmer layer of air exist?

During the day, earth’s surface absorbs both solar radiation and the downward infrared heat emitted from greenhouse gases. Absorbing that energy faster than it can emit infrared back towards space, the surface warms. However sunlight doesn’t heat the lower atmosphere (aka troposphere) directly. Nitrogen, oxygen and argon comprise ~ 99% percent of our atmosphere and is transparent to incoming solar energy. Furthermore, unlike greenhouse gases, those gases neither absorb nor emit infrared energy. The troposphere warms primarily by gaining energy via collisions with a heated earth surface. During the day, the warmest air layer lies closest to the heated surface. Rising warm air causes turbulent mixing and collisions with cooler air above that raises air temperatures there. However because air cools as it rises due to decreasing air pressure, warming is limited.

Without solar heating, earth’s surface cools by emitting more infrared heat than it absorbs from recycled heat emitted by greenhouse gases because greenhouse gases don’t intercept all emitted heat. “Atmospheric windows” allow about 23% of the surface heat to escape directly to space without being recycled. The air layer closest to the surface then cools by transferring heat to the colder surface. However, higher air layers can’t sink and collide with the surface again unless they lose their heat. But nitrogen, oxygen and argon can only shed that energy by colliding with cooler greenhouse gases which will absorb their energy and emit half back toward space.

Because the bulk of our atmosphere only cools by transferring heat to greenhouse gases, a small percentage of greenhouse gasses creates a “cooling chokepoint”. Consequently, the atmosphere sheds energy more slowly than the solid earth that more quickly loses energy via atmospheric windows. This difference in cooling rates  creates a warmer layer of air above the cooler surface air and is called a temperature inversion. Now imagine a world without greenhouse gases. Without greenhouse gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon can’t lose enough heat back to space and the atmosphere would keep warming.

Outside the tropics, inversion layers more readily form in winter and spring. The earth’s surface holds less heat during winter’s reduced solar heating. Where people use fireplaces to stay warm, inversions layer are revealed by rising smoke that suddenly flattens when it encounters the warmer air above. Frost fans work by drawing down warmer air layers to mix with cooler surface layers, and thus protect crops from freezing. Similarly, months of “polar nighttime” cools Antarctica’s interior surfaces to as low as −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), creating a continent‑wide inversion layer. When above average surface temperatures are periodically reported, it’s often the result of high winds that, like a frost fan, disrupted Antarctica’s inversion layer.

In the 1990s, climate scientists determined urban heat effects raised minimum temperatures several degrees but not maximum temperatures. Such areas weren’t warming but getting less cold. That suggests urbanization disrupted local inversion layers. Increasingly covering the land with heat retaining asphalt and concrete, reduces surface cooling. Removal of vegetation or wetness results in hotter surfaces that store more heat. Traffic, tall buildings or frost fans disrupt surface winds bringing warmer air to the surface. All those dynamics raise minimum temperatures, and thus average temperature. Various local disruptions of inversion layers may better explain why some US weather stations show warming trends while 36% show long term cooling.

Our atmosphere also has a global inversion layer. Above the troposphere, is the warmer stratosphere where temperatures increase with altitude due to absorbing solar UV. Because CO2  in a warmer stratosphere emits infrared faster than it absorbs it from the troposphere, more CO2  cools the stratosphere. (For similar reasons CO2  has a cooling effect in Antarctica.) Furthermore storm clouds bring the tremendous amounts of heat stored in water vapor to the stratosphere. Again we can see where the warm inversion begins as clouds stop rising and develop an anvil shape at the stratosphere. Because the stratosphere is nearly devoid of water, the wavelengths of infrared heat released as water vapor condenses to liquid and ice, mostly pass freely to outer space, without recycling it back to earth.

If these dynamics were better understood, people would more likely laugh at climate catastrophe narratives rather than succumb to paranoia.

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May 6, 2021 6:11 pm

Great post Jim. I often bring these issues up during my weather/climate talks down here in The Villages. I often get open-mouthed, silenced stares in response. There’s also hurricanes, which force tremendous amounts of water vapor into high levels for additional cooling … kind of like Mother Nature’s temperature relief values.

David A
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 7, 2021 12:58 am

I agree, great post! ( Mr Steel has a tendency for great posts)
“Now imagine a world without greenhouse gases. Without greenhouse gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon can’t lose enough heat back to space and the atmosphere would keep warming.”

I often say, GHGs are cooling to conducted from the surface energy, and warming to some of the surface emitted LWIR. I only get blank states, or on blogs a non response.

Although atmospheric energy that is conducted from the surface is not as great as LWIR, it’s residence time in the atmosphere INCREASES as, or if, GHGs are reduced! Indeed, in an atmosphere void of GHGs how does atmospheric energy conducted from the surface leave the earth? Back conduction anyone! Energy can not be destroyed.

Residence time of energy is critical, especially with fairly steady state solar insolation.

So, in a world sans GHGs, the residence time of conducted energy would increase dramatically, and the percentage and total amount of conducted energy in the atmosphere would increase!

Would this increase ( over time) make up for the reduced LWIR energy in the atmosphere?
( Deeply appreciate any answers)

I don’t know? Steve McIntyre has long called for an engineering level break down of the GHE. All of this should be quantified yet AFAIK it is not.

Lit
Reply to  David A
May 7, 2021 4:50 am

It doesn´t matter if it´s Xenon or co2, if it´s colder than the heat source(surface) it cools. Back-conduction is not possible, neither is backradiation. A heat source can´t heat itself to higher temperature by recycling already emitted energy. If it could, then your pants would catch on fire when you piss in them, from the feedback loop of reabsorbed heat from the piss.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 5:07 am

However, as evidenced by Mikey Mann, lying, and lying repeatedly does in fact create such a feedback loop in the pants, that said pants do indeed catch fire.

David A
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 6:12 am

Dispite your “piss pour” analogy, it depends on the CURRENT temperature of the PREVIOUSLY emitting object.

That being said, I am looking for an explanation of how a non GHG atmosphere cools.

Last edited 1 month ago by David A
AC Osborn
Reply to  David A
May 7, 2021 1:12 pm

Everything radiates if it is above 0K, therefore non GHG atmospheres must also radiate, just not LWIR.
Mostly it is Microwave.

Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 8:56 am

LIT your arguments about cold regions not being able to heat warm regions is flawed because you conflate conduction of heat ie “Back-conduction” with radiative transfer of heat. A cool object can emit infrared that is added to heat content of a warmer body and reduce its cooling, ie warming

Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 11:31 am

Horse manure

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 13, 2021 11:54 am

Isn’t it hilarious watching people who don’t understand quantum physics trying to explain how they think radiation works? 🙂

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 9:22 am

“…Back-conduction is not possible, neither is backradiation. A heat source can´t heat itself to higher temperature by recycling already emitted energy.”

It is sad to see this error repeated on WUWT after so many corrections. Lit, conduction is totally different from radiation. It is correct that a cooler object cannot warm an object with which it has physical contact to a higher temperature. However radiation from <i>anything</i> will slow the heat loss from something at a higher temperature. That is just how radiated energy works.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
May 13, 2021 10:13 am

Are you sure about that, Crispin, and Jim? It is not actually true to say “everything radiates”. Photons are not that simple. More accurately, everything above absolute 0 *could* radiate. But for an atom to radiate a photon, another atom has to be able to accept it, and that just about always means that the emitting atom has to be “hotter” (more energetic, more excited, lower entropy) than the receiving atom. It is extremely unlikely for entropy to go the other way, although nothing is quite impossible in quantum land. Would you like to rephrase your statement in light of this recent news from the world of quantum physics 100 years ago?

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
May 13, 2021 10:55 am

I should probably clarify slightly that the rate of radiation from a hotter object to a colder one does depend on how much colder the colder object is. But that’s not because the colder object is radiating back toward the hotter object. That’s not how radiated energy works…

Dave Fair
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 10:38 am

Explain inversion layers.

Charles Fairbairn
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 7, 2021 4:39 pm

I think you have it a bit back to front here John. It is the buoyancy of the water vapor/gas carrying with it the Latent Heat which create the hurricanes not the other way round. This buoyancy is very different from convection which requires a temperature differential; but rarely, if ever, gets a mention in the literature.

Ed Bo
May 6, 2021 6:44 pm

In the 1980s I had to interview candidates for thermal design positions for a big Silicon Valley company. I found that a good way to find those people who really understood heat transfer and thermodynamics was to ask them what the purpose of those fans in vineyards was. Some who had good grade point averages couldn’t figure it out even with a lot of prompting.

About a decade ago, I drove from the floor of California’s Central Valley to a ski resort in the high Sierras on a cold, clear, still late December evening. When I left the floor of the valley, it was 0C (32F). As I climbed the west side of the Sierras, the temperature steadily increased until it hit 8C (46F) at the top of the pass to the east side at about 2600m (8500ft) elevation. I had not realized until then that the whole Central Valley could be in inversion.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ed Bo
May 6, 2021 7:40 pm
Tim Crome
Reply to  Ed Bo
May 7, 2021 4:15 am

This is common in the winter in the mountains in Norway. I have skied in Hemsedal when it was -27C in the bottom of the valley, -17C at the mid-station and -7C at the top of the lifts. We only risked frostbite by returning to the bottom at lunchtime and the end of the day!

stewartpid
Reply to  Tim Crome
May 7, 2021 12:06 pm

Tim …. I see inversions fairly regularly through the winter at my ski hill – Fernie BC Canada. Often it is warmer up top by 5 C or so … I would guess every 4 to 6 weeks we see such an inversion. Never of the magnitude u see however.

Kevin kilty
May 6, 2021 6:48 pm

I like your posts, Jim. Yet, there is something problematic with this statement.

 However because air cools as it rises due to decreasing air pressure, warming is limited.

In fact, air cools as it rises because it must do work against the surrounding air in order to expand, and that work has no source of energy except the internal energy of the air itself.

To say that it cools because the pressure declines is part of the misunderstanding that the ideal gas law controls temperature, and the gas law has temperature proportional to pressure. It looks superficially plausible, but it is the first law of thermodynamics which determines temperature, and the tendency of temperature change.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin kilty
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 6, 2021 7:36 pm

Also the air in total does not rise. Some rises and cools, balanced by air that descends and warms.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 6, 2021 10:34 pm

That’s amusing Nick. Where is it claimed the “air in total” rises.Why doesnt the phrase “Rising warm air causes turbulent mixing ” suggest to you there is rising and falling air. Perhaps this pic of a turbulent boundary layer will alleviate your manufactured concern

turbulent Troposphere.jpeg
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 6, 2021 11:02 pm

Your sentence as quoted by Kevin was
“However because air cools as it rises due to decreasing air pressure, warming is limited.”
That clearly conveys that warming is limited by the cooling of rising air.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick Stokes
Lrp
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 7, 2021 12:12 am

Air has to cool because it does work as it rises.

David A
Reply to  Lrp
May 7, 2021 1:05 am

True, yet in a local air mass of X many molecules, all vibrating at a certain energy level, that same air mass at a higher elevation will contain fewer molecules of energy, and thus have lower energy per sq-M.

Last edited 1 month ago by David A
Lrp
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 7, 2021 12:10 am

Winter time cold air sinks and stays in the valley where I live. All the productive orchards are up on the plateau catching the warmer air.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 7, 2021 7:04 am

Yes, true, but the point here was why air cools as it rises. The descending air has work done on it by the surrounding air, and per the fist law of thermodynamics, its internal energy will rise.

I sould point out that over the long term, one also has to cosider that heat may flow in or out of a parcel; but generally heat transfer is slow compared to rising or falling.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 7, 2021 12:04 pm

Only over a large area and an extended period of time.
Pressure at the surface decreases, and aloft it increases, as the Sun warms the surface and convection proceeds to warm the air aloft.
And so the two are not exactly in balance in the short term.
There are also zones of rising air from atmospheric low pressure cells, and of descending air from cells of high pressure.
These form partly from imbalances created during convection.
If one wants to get nit picky about it.

Editor
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 6, 2021 8:53 pm

I suspect that there are other major problems with this article. Are the statements about nitrogen, oxygen and argon correct, for example (I know they aren’t GHGs, but surely they are able to shed energy other than by “colliding with cooler greenhouse gases”)? I suspect that CO2 does not have any net cooling effect, although there would be negative feedback.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 6, 2021 10:26 pm

I suspect Mike you are in a state of denial and fishing for “major problems” as you cannot provide even a small problem

dk_
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 6, 2021 11:41 pm

Mike, how would negative feedback look in a dynamic, complex system? Look up Ideal Gas Law. Look up Joule-Kelvin effect. Look up Carnot, Stirling and Otto Cycles (clue, not two-wheeled vehicles).
The problem with feedback is that to really characterize it, or theorize it in a system, you’ve really got to be able to describe the rest of the system.
Gases Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, CO2, CO, O3, and all known states of H2O are all coolants, under the right NATURAL conditions. Propane, Acetylene, Methane are coolants, too, as are evaporation of gasoline, kerosene, and diesel.
Ethanol is a coolant, else my liver’d be in better shape, as that is what makes distillation possible.
Point here is that there are normal, natural, common circumstances where the cooling does occur and demonstrably affects climate.
Thermodynamics is another good study, but continues to give me a headache years after I gratefully gave it up.

Last edited 1 month ago by dk_
Editor
Reply to  dk_
May 7, 2021 12:12 am

My query addressed the statements about nitrogen, oxygen and argon not being able to shed energy other than by “colliding with cooler greenhouse gases”. I was being very cautious with my wording, because I wasn’t sure of the answer. However, I have now looked it up and In https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/radiation-heat-transfer I find:”All physical substances in solid, liquid, or gaseous states can emit energy via a process of electromagnetic radiation because of vibrational and rotational movement of their molecules and atoms. The intensity of such energy flux depends upon the temperature of the body and the nature of its surface. The radiation occurs at all temperatures, with the rate of emission increasing with the temperature.”. So it appears that raising the issue was reasonable – nitrogen, oxygen and argon can indeed shed energy without involving GHGs. This, to my simple mind, negates one of the arguments in the article.

Moving on to “how would negative feedback look in a dynamic, complex system?” – well there are lots of ways in which negative feedback could occur in a dynamic, complex system, and they would have many different looks, but one answer would be in my https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/05/cloud-feedback-if-there-is-any-is-negative/ – not that it seems all that relevent here, but since you asked …..

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 1:11 am

Please Mike, You were not being cautious, When you say you suspect “major problems” when clearly you are ignorant of the science, comes across more like malicious trolling.

I’ve attached a diagram showing the radiation spectrum from the sun and earth to aid your education. The diagram provides you with an illustration of the important atmospheric gases and the wavelengths where the atmospheric window exists

When you simply quote “radiation occurs at all temperatures” and pretend it supports your bad acting reveals your understanding has “major problems”. Different gas molecules do NOT emit “radiation at all temperatures”. Why would you quote such a misleading over generalization? Simple diatomic atoms like N2 and O2 have little ability to vibrate and rotate the way H2O and CO2 can. Nitrogen only absorbs and emits radiation in the extreme UV range and has no bearing on our climate and the context of this article. Oxygen and ozone react to a wider range of UV, and as I mentioned the stratosphere warms due to that UV absorption. But the issue is again how does tropospheric nitrogen and oxygen shed its energy that is has absorbed by collisions with the earth’s surface. Look it up

shortwave longwave radiation spectrum.png
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 12:48 pm

Jim,
I hesitate to jump in here, but I know what Mike is talking about.
I had the same thought whenever I hear that an atmosphere without triatomic species could not cool itself, because I get to thinking about the cold gas clouds I studied when I was really big into astronomy.
Typically these are studies of ionized gases, but neutral gasses also have emission lines.
I am also familiar with the chart you posted, and have posted it many times myself.
I think that both of you are correct.
Nitrogen is not a significant factor in climate studies of the atmosphere, and nitrogen does have an emissions spectrum:
comment image&ehk=elDCl2wEq2tG%2fu1zmBuWIZWafiFO4VUEAMEhx4kHARA%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

And this:
“In dry air, the color of produced light (e.g. by lightning) is dominated by the emission lines of nitrogen, yielding the spectrum with primarily blue emission lines. The lines of neutral nitrogen (NI), neutral oxygen (OI), singly ionized nitrogen (NII) and singly ionized oxygen (OII) are the most prominent features of a lightning emission spectrum.[14]
Neutral nitrogen radiates primarily at one line in red part of the spectrum. Ionized nitrogen radiates primarily as a set of lines in blue part of the spectrum.[15] The strongest signals are the 443.3, 444.7, and 463.0 nm lines of singly ionized nitrogen.[16]

Capture.PNG
Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 7, 2021 2:19 pm

Nicholas,

All this banter about N2 and O2 radiating heat offers nothing but red herrings. Of course everything above absolute zero is capable of radiating some wavelength. But the point of this article is how does our troposphere cool, and at the wavelengths between 4 and 100 microns with which the earth cools, there is no evidence of nitrogen or oxygen radiating away any significant heat whatsoever within those wavelengths.

Those who try to argue otherwise are either mindlessly trolling or completely ignorant of the dynamics that cool the earth.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 12:57 pm

Maybe this one is better:
Infrared electronic emission spectrum of nitrogen – PubMed (nih.gov)

Again, I do not think it is significant for purposes of climate studies, but just sayin’.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 1:05 pm

And then there is this, which I have no idea what to think about it:
Scientists: Oxygen & Nitrogen ‘Radiatively Important’ Greenhouse Gases With IR Absorption Temps Similar To CO2 (notrickszone.com)

Since there are people who have disagreements about this aspect, it maybe is not exactly fair to Mr. Jonas.

David A
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 1:23 am

So then, non GHGs are in fact GHGs? As mentioned, it must be quantified.

What would the atmospheric residence time of conducted surface energy be, in an atmosphere equally dense to earths, assuming no GHGs?

Now add one GHG molecule. If that GHG molecule encounters surface conducted energy and radiates that energy to space, is it cooling instead of warming?
( Reducing the residence time of energy in the system)

If that single GHG molecule encounters surface radiated LWIR, and it redirects that energy toward the surface, is it now warming? ( Increasing the residence time of energy within the system)

So, if the premise of the article is correct, then, as mentioned, it needs an engineering level answer to quantify.

” Only two things can affect the energy content of a system in a radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of energy within the system.”

“The residence time of energy within the system depends on the spectrum of energy entering it, and the materials encountered.”

Last edited 1 month ago by David A
JamesD
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 9:30 am

At atmospheric temperatures you can neglect the radiation for O2 and N2 as insignificant.. To be precise, at these low temperatures they will emit some photons.

dk_
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 9:50 am

“not that it seems all that relevent here, but since you asked”
But you brought it up. Why, if it wasn’t relevant? I quite agree, which is, by the way, why I asked.
Yes, “colliding with greenhouse gases” is imprecise. Point is that characterizing one or two minor components in a dynamic mixture will not predict the behavior of the mixture. Yes, it was short hand. Yes you did miss the point. Yes, my statement was short hand and probably not precisely what was intended.
No, I do not think that the behavior of any individual component, or non GHGs in concert, negates the argument in the article. We can probably clarify it, but it doesn’t negate the point, at all.
I really think that what you are describing as negative feedback may indeed be the point the author was trying to make, it may be that you are using different language than I would for the same phenomena. So again, why did you bring it up if you didn’t think negative feedback was relevant?

Last edited 1 month ago by dk_
Editor
Reply to  dk_
May 7, 2021 9:54 pm

dk_ – I’m trying to be very cautious while still asking the questions that arise. My suspicion is that CO2 does not generally actually cool, and that where the article claims cooling it is actually finding a negative feedback. This in turn suggests less warming than there might otherwise be, rather than a net cooling. It’s only a suspicion, which is why I ask a question rather than assert.

On the feedback topic: I am very satisfied that there are important negative feedbacks that have been ignored or misconstrued by the IPCC, so I am very open to the idea of negative feedbacks. I was asked what I thought a negative feedback looked like, in what I may have misconstrued as in a somewhat aggressive way, so I thought it best to give an example, but obviously there can be any number of other feedbacks.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 7:09 am

Jim is correct here. If the “wings” of the absorption profiles of N2 and O2 were wide enough there would be some radiative transfer due to doppler and pressure broadening, but I am sure the wings are not nearly wide enough for this.

This topic of width of the wings of the absorption spectra is one of the major uncertainties in the amount of warming to expect for increasing CO2 — this is one of the points that Happer and Wijngaarten are trying to make; that the width of the Vogt profile is too wide to be realistic.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 1:17 pm

Mike,
I found this article that seems to include all of the pertinent details, starting from the observation that all substances emit radiation, and through consideration of each constituent of the atmosphere:

This:
Radiation is energy transmitted by electromagnetic waves. All objects emit radiation.”

But also this:
“More generally, molecules that can acquire a charge asymmetry by stretching or flexing (CO2, H2O, N2O, O3, hydrocarbons…) are greenhouse gases; molecules that cannot acquire charge asymmetry by flexing or stretching (N2, O2, H2) are not greenhouse gases. Atomic gases such as the noble gases have no dipole moment and hence no greenhouse properties. Examining the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Note I also posted an article from No Tricks Zone about this subject.
One can readily find sources of info like this next article, but one also has to consider emission intensity:
Emission spectra from ArXe, ArKr, ArN2, ArCH4, ArCO2 and XeN2 gas scintillation proportional counters – ScienceDirect

CHAPTER 7. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT (harvard.edu)

Editor
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 7, 2021 10:03 pm

Nicholas – Thanks. I’m not trying to claim that N2 etc are GHGs. The part of the article that seemed wrong was “nitrogen, oxygen and argon can only shed that energy by colliding with cooler greenhouse gases”. It seemed to me that nitrogen etc could lose energy without a greenhouse gas being present, and therefore the cooling effect being claimed for greenhouse gases was, in this particular instance, dubious.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 10:32 pm

What is dubious is your sincerity oir intelligence. What needs to be shown to prove “nitrogen, oxygen and argon can only shed that energy by colliding with cooler greenhouse gases” is to show that nitrogen, oxygen and argon emit energy in the 4 to 20 microns which are the wavelength where the earth releases infrared.

Claiming N2 radiates energy at say 0.1 micron is a ridiculous strawman argument with no bearing on the earth’s climate

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 5:11 pm

The question of whether greenhouse warming vs cooling results in net cooling or warming is an important one to evaluate. If you look at the energy budget from Stephens in the illustration here, they estimate there is a net addition of 0.6 W/m2. But if you look at the estimates of sensible and latent heat which is relevant to this article , you see that the uncertainty estimates are +/- 7 and 10 W/m2 which strongly indicates that the question of net warming vs cooling is far from settled

Energy Budget Stephens crop.png
Editor
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 10:19 pm

Jim – I agree that the question of net warming vs cooling is far from settled, and that the IPCC and others have tended to ignore the fact that the error bars are wider than their claimed warming.

My perception is that the ‘raw’ ECS of CO2 is about 1, and that both cloud feedback (as per my WUWT article which I have cited here) and water vapour feedback are quite likely to be negative. This would end up giving an ECS of somewhat less than 1. My understanding also is that negative feedbacks beyond -1 are extremely unusual, and are therefore unlikely in this case. So my expectation was that while ECS could be a lot less than as claimed by the IPCC, and probably below 1, nevertheless it would still be positive. I therefore read your article with great interest, but I felt that your case for a negative ECS (CO2 net cooling) did not feel quite right. As I read it, you are not actually claiming high negative feedback, but that there is cooling from GHGs that outweigh their warming effect. I’m happy to keep an open mind – thank goodness for WUWT and the way it supports open minds – but I am yet to be persuaded.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 7, 2021 10:42 pm

MIke, You misread me saying “As I read it, you are not actually claiming high negative feedback, but that there is cooling from GHGs that outweigh their warming effect.”

All Ive shown is greenhouse gases have a cooling effect. Ive said nothing about the level of negative feedbacks, nor claimed the cooling effects outweigh the warming effects. I only argue that by overlooking the cooling effect, alarmists are misled to believing there aree grave warming dangers, and that it is possible that cooling will offset warming, but that conclusin is definitely unsettled

Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 6, 2021 10:43 pm

Hmmm. Kevin are you overturning the gas laws? That’s impressive since scientific laws become laws after rigorous testing.

Indeed expanding gases do work dependent on internal energy, but that doe not negate the gas law, just describes its effect in different terms.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 7:26 am

I am not negating the gas law, Jim, but only pointing out that you cannot determine temperature from it alone because the specific volume, or the density of the gas is also involved in the ideal gas law. Thus you need one additional law to determine this third variable, and that law usually concerns how heat enters or leaves the gas…if no heat leaves or enters, then the process is called adiabatic and the “other” relationship is PV to the gamma power = constant. Between the two you can now determine temperature.

There is such a thing as isothermal compression. Heat leaves the gas in exactly the amount that work enters it during compression, leaving the temperature unchanged. If the ideal gas law alone were all there is to it, then how could you explain this?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 7:47 am

The point I am trying to make is that there are three variables in the ideal gas law, P, T, V; the gas law is a relationship among them, but you must have at least two relationships to pin all three down. Part of the problem is the law is usually written as an “implicit” function. Since P and T are the only ways we have of influencing the relationship, it would be better to treat them as the independent variables and write it as V=nR(T/P) I suppose, but this is not the tradition.

I taught engineering thermodynamics either as an adjunct or as a professor for 25 years, and the number one misconception among students is that the ideal gas law is the most important concept in thermodynamics, and that one could always use it to find T or P or V. They will even employ it on a liquid system. Most carry this misconception after graduation unless they have to work with fluid/thermal systems.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 9:11 am

Kevin, I understand and agree with the details you present. My statement that the air cools as it rises due to lower pressure was a simplistic statement to address any layperson’s question of why is it colder at higher altitudes. For the point of this article, which I limited to about 800 words for a newspaper, I deliberately avoided going deep into the weeds of the gas laws. It was beside the point being made and would likely overwhelm most laypeople.

Here at WUWT I expect knowledgeable people to add those details and welcome it. But I object to your introduction of those details by saying “there is something problematic with this statement” as if I was misleading the reader, when the statement “air cools as it rises due to lower pressure” remains valid albeit superficial.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 9, 2021 9:47 am

Well, I am sorry that it appeared I was challenging you, because I think your articles are great. Yet there is a lot of misunderstanding of the limitations of PV=nRT here (think about the N&Z paper), and they are the same as I observed teaching thermo. So, I keep trying to find a way of explaining this.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 5:19 am

Kevin, the fact that gasses cool as they expand and warm as they are compressed is an observational fact and went into the development of the laws of thermodynamics. The ideal gas law is used in conjunction with the first law to calculate how much warming and cooling will be observed in an adiabatic system. We could use a real gas law (a more accurate one) to calculate this but the atmosphere is very close to an ideal gas, so PV=nRT works well enough for anything less than launching a rocket. Thermodynamics gives you the integral to evaluate, the gas law you choose gives you the relationship between T, P, and V that goes into the integral. For the ideal gas relationship, from this integral we get a very simple equation PV^gamma = constant where gamma is the ratio of the heat capacity of the gas at constant pressure and the heat capacity of the gas at constant volume. Wikipedia has a very good article explaining the process and setting up the integral, and then solving it for the ideal gas assumption. The authors of various other equations of state usually provide the same in their papers, or leave that to us poor thermo guys to work out.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
May 7, 2021 7:12 am

PV to the gamma = constant power law comes from the ideal gas law plus the assumption of an isentropic process (adiabatic process). You cannot derive it from the ideal gas law, or even the real gas law, alone.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin kilty
Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 4:41 pm

If you read what I said, I stated that. The first law of thermodynamics specifies the process and the differential equation to be solved. The ideal gas law supplies the relationship between P, T, and V.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
May 9, 2021 1:11 pm

Not the first law, but the second, Loren.

tommyboy
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 6:59 am

I live in the mountains. Our potato chip chip bags are swollen pillows due to reduced air pressure. Air cools as it rises because the heat contained in a volume of air doesn’t increase but the area or volume it inhabits does. The same amount of heat in a larger volume of air results in a lower temperature. The opposite happens when air is compressed, that is why air compressors have cooling fins.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  tommyboy
May 7, 2021 7:18 am

I live in the mountains too. In fact yesterday a bunch of gradeschoolers sent a ballon to 100,000 feet. They attached a cheetos bag to the balloon. It swelled so much that the bag exploded and sent Cheetos over a large area below.

The air being compressed by a mechanical compressor becomes warm because the compressor is doing work on the air far faster than heat flow can flow out of the air to lower its the temperature. Thus we put fins on the compressor to conduct heat into the environment faster. This results in less mechanical work needed to reach a target pressure.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 12:19 pm

Wait a second…fins cool the compressor, which results in cooler compressed air.
I think those fins are there to keep the compressor from overheating.
Because if the air being compressed is heated and compressed, it will be under even more pressure.
That compressed air will cool and then be under less pressure as it moves through hoses or pipes away from the compressor, true.
So it is both. You need to keep the machine from melting.
Molecules of air moving faster are exerting more force on the container they are in.
It does matter how the compressor works, and whether the heat will prevent as much air from entering the compressor on each cycle to begin with.
Not all compressor designs have this limitation though.
But even compressors operatizing at relatively low pressures will become extremely hot if there is no way for them to dissipate heat, and mostly machines do not last as long when they become extremely hot.
Most especially electric motors, which many compressors have.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
pigs_in_space
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 8, 2021 12:48 am

My Dad who was a specialist in liquifying helium showed quite clearly how it works.

You first compress the helium, and cool it down (like a fridge does thru a big heat sink) as you put it through the compressor, then you feed it thru a “reverse compressor” so that the pressurised gas does work on the pistons of the compressor.

Hey presto after a good deal of extra work being done by the gas, you drop to nearly absolute zero kelvin and it sloshes around all over the inside of the container.

(superfluidity takes over).

Do work on something you expand it and it gets cooler.
Lots of people just don’t get the connection of doing work with a gas makes it cooler and/or expand.

That is also how force air cooling of F1 car’s exhausts works, which is why they are never taken out of the forced air cooling airstream.
(It delivers more and more power the faster it goes, because the temperature gradient changes)..CQFD

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 12:29 pm

Next time, instead of Cheetos, they should attach a law chair with a department store manakin sitting in it, holding a six pack of beer.
Keep from wasting a whole bag of perfectly good snack food.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2021 11:40 am

“In fact, air cools as it rises because it must do work against the surrounding air…”
When a parcel of air rises, it expands because it moves to an environment with less pressure surrounding it.
It does not really matter how one describes it.
The end result is the same: The parcel that has expanded is now occupying a larger volume, and yet it has the same amount of internal energy. So it will be cooler.
Another way of understanding it is regarding the density. An expanded parcel of air has less molecules per cubic meter, and so if they are all still moving at the same velocities they had before they rose and expanded, the measured temperature will be lower, because
“The temperature in kelvins can be defined as the pressure in pascals of one mole of gas in a container of one cubic meter, divided by the gas constant.”

It is all different ways of saying the same thing.
If one has a gas in a container, there will be more molecules per square inch impinging on the walls of the container if you put more molecules into the container, or if you decrease the size of the container. In either case, one will measure the container as having become hotter. The reverse is also true, obviously.

Whether one takes a thermodynamic approach to the situation, or a kinetic theory approach, one is describing he same thing.
It is not true to say one approach is wrong, because one chooses to look at the situation using the other approach.

In reality, the rising parcel has things going on that complicate the situation greatly. There is water vapor that at some point will condense and release the energy that was absorbed when the gas evaporated, which rather than sensible heat was in the form of latent energy, but becomes sensible heat when it is released.
And because the air is rising through layers that are necessarily colder than the rising parcel (or else it would stop rising! All else being equal of course, such as both the parcel and the environment it is rising into having the same dew point, which is probably not exactly true very often. Moister air is also less dense than dryer air at the same temperature.), it is losing energy to the surrounding air the whole time.
It is losing energy by radiation, and by conduction, and by mixing with surrounding air.

So, even though convection of air parcels is often described as an adiabatic process, it is actually not one, although it can be modelled fairly well by assuming the process to be approximately adiabatic.

But it is the fact that energy is being passed to the surrounding air that lets convection gradually warm the air in the convective zone as the day progresses.
Which is I think what Jim Steele was saying.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Mike Maguire
May 6, 2021 6:50 pm

As always, wonderful authentic science Jim!

The US Cornbelt/Midwest has had cooling Summer temperatures the last couple of decades(especially with lower afternoon temperatures) because of the tightly packed rows of corn, now twice as dense as they were 30 years ago.

This has created a cooler, more humid microclimate over close to a dozen states during the 3 hottest months of the year. Mainly with regards to afternoon temperatures. Besides the cooling affects on the near ground level temperatures form the corn, once it reaches the vegetative state the billions of rapidly growing plants transpire massive amounts of moisture into the air. This can increase dew points by over 5 degrees F in some corn fields. That increasing low level moisture reduces afternoon temperatures and acts a source to increase rainfall substantially.

A positive moisture feedback sets up with the evapotranspiration causing more rains, after they were returned to the atmosphere from the increased evapotranspiration, which happened after they have been absorbed into the top soil/are taken up by the corn plants.

Interesting item to report not related to this affect. For years, I’ve been passing along the article below to people to show them how long the scary predictions of a climate apocalypse have been going on…….well over 3 decades.

Note…………no more title for this article below. They took off the title and date so that it would not show up in searches as easily. I suspect the article itself may soon disappear too. 
I added the original headline and date that was at the top of the original article for decades below that…..the last time that it was on there back in February.

https://apnews.com/article/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0

        Re: Re: Re: 50 years of Climate Forecasts       
                      
        By metmike – Feb. 21, 2021, 11:31 p.m.  
    
U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not CheckedPETER JAMES SPIELMANN June 29, 1989

https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/65828/#65870

Steve Case
Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 6, 2021 10:43 pm

The US Cornbelt/Midwest has had cooling Summer temperatures the last couple of decades(especially with lower afternoon temperatures) because of the tightly packed rows of corn, now twice as dense as they were 30 years ago.

Interesting. That may go a long way to explaining this graphic that I’ve slapped up here at WUWT over the years:
comment image

Here in Milwaukee summer afternoons are obviously cooler. There have been recent years where it never got above 90°F.
comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Case
Mike Maguire
Reply to  Steve Case
May 7, 2021 4:54 am

Steve,
Your graphic/data confirms this wonderful affect and suggests that this micro climate actually changes the air mass enough over a large enough area, so that it’s transport downstream to areas outside of high crop production.

StephenP
Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 7, 2021 12:28 am

IIRC in corn (maize) fields by late afternoon much of the CO2 in the immediate area of the field has been absorbed by the crop.
Would this be significant enough to have an effect on the temperature balance and the observed effect in the late afternoon?

Mike Maguire
Reply to  StephenP
May 7, 2021 5:06 am

Stephan,
i never thought about the affect from lower CO2 because of tens of millions of acres of tightly packed field corn. Good question. Maybe it contributes slightly? Other thoughts please. Not sure what the CO2 would plunge to in the afternoon in a cornfield. With certainty, the moisture dynamic described above is measured and well documted, along with the affects.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  StephenP
May 7, 2021 1:24 pm

I think this effect of using up all the CO2 requires the air be still.
Usually there is wind and convection.

David Blenkinsop
May 6, 2021 7:02 pm

But, it just can’t be! If increasing CO2 had a significant cooling effect on anything in the atmosphere, the conventional followers of Arrhenius’ global greenhouse theory would just have that perfectly well ‘cased’, right? Stratosphere or no stratosphere, any such annoyingly minor cooling effect would be thoroughly worked out, nothing much to see here — or would it?

Well, seriously, this seems to be all of a piece with Willis Eschenbach’s recent non conventional treatment of ground warming effect vs assumed back radiation from any CO2 increase in the troposphere, as such. If, as the head poster says here, storm clouds connect with the troposphere and release heat into outer space from there, with both CO2 and water vapor causing cooling, that’s the same as what Eschenbach was saying in his post “Surface Response to Increased Forcing https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/05/05/surface-response-to-increased-forcing/ ?

We end up globally with a predicted 1/3 of a degree C warming due to any assumed doubling of the CO2, such a small amount that who could ever really confirm it.

philincalifornia
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
May 6, 2021 7:25 pm

…. which is probably why it has never been confirmed.

Editor
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
May 6, 2021 8:40 pm

David Blenkinsop – I think that what you refer to as “both CO2 and water vapor causing cooling” is not a net cooling but just a negative feedback to their warming:

Peter W
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
May 7, 2021 11:19 am

An example of why the effect of the 40% increase in CO2 we have already experienced can not be seen or felt.

Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 7:05 pm

Some numerical values of the Earth’s energy balance are not up to date in this story. I refer to two energy balance representations that have almost identical energy flux numbers, namely Stephens et al. (2018) and to my own balance figures:
http://iacweb.ethz.ch/doc/publications/StephensLiWild_etal_NatureGeoscience.pdf

https://www.climatexam.com/single-post/the-six-definitions-of-the-greenhouse-effect

Quote: “Nitrogen, oxygen and argon comprise ~ 99% percent of our atmosphere and is transparent to incoming solar energy.” This is true but these gases do not absorb the outgoing longwave radiation either. It is a common claim that the atmosphere is transparent to incoming solar radiation, but it is not. The GH gases and clouds absorb 75 W/m2 which is 31% of incoming solar energy.

Quote: “Atmospheric windows” allow about 23% of the surface heat to escape directly to space without being recycled.”. The 23% would mean an LW flux of about 90 W/m2. This figure cannot be found in any energy balance presentation. According to Kiehl & Trenberth, this flux is 40 W/m2 but is an ad hoc number not based on any spectral calculations. The correct number can be found in the two referred studies and it is about 26-28 W/m2 meaning a 7 % portion.

Quote: “Because CO2  in a warmer stratosphere emits infrared faster than it absorbs it from the troposphere, more CO2  cools the stratosphere. (For similar reasons CO2 has a cooling effect in Antarctica.” Firstly, I do not know any research study showing that CO2 has a cooling effect in Antarctica, and therefore a proper reference is needed here. CO2 is a very strong absorber in its wavelength zone from 12 to 18 micrometers. It means that the absorption by CO2 is completed below 1 km altitude. It does not help that the CO2 concentration is almost constant up to 80 kilometers. When the emitted radiation has been absorbed, there is none to be absorbed anymore.

The stratosphere has really been cooling but the cooling has stopped around 2000 and now it is slightly warming, thanks to elevated ozone concentration: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018JD028901

The cooling effect of increased CO2 concentration is mainly due to the fact that CO2 absorption wavelength zone slightly expands leaving less energy to water vapor in the stratosphere and the result is a very insignificant cooling.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 7:21 pm

“The stratosphere has really been cooling but the cooling has stopped around 2000 and now it is slightly warming, thanks to elevated ozone concentration: “

UAH AMSU data does NOT support that statement.
anomalies from Dr Roy Spencer’s UAH data set.

year 2000: TLS -0.054 ºC
year 2020: TLS -1.62 ºC

A full degree cooler in 20 years.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 6, 2021 8:09 pm

I checked tha UAH data from here:  https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

I got the 2020 temperature to be -0.11 C and 2020 to be -0.135 C meaning a slight cooling of 0.025 C.

I read the referred article, which data they have used. They have used a large set of radiosonde data and MSU satellite data. Quote from the study: “We use MSU Channel 4 data from 1979 to 1998 and AMSU Channel
9 data from 1998 to 2015. These channels provide information on the temperature
of the lower stratosphere (TLS). Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit‐A (AMSUA) Channel 10 data from 1998 to 2015 are also used. While some regions also show slight warming trends in satellite TLS data during the period from 2000 to 2015, the satellite observations generally exhibit considerably less warming than the weighted radiosonde measurements.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 8:16 pm

Just an addition. The referred article of Philipona et al. has very convincing graphs that radiosonde data and satellite data show almost exactly the same pattern of temperature trends.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 8:54 pm

Your original statement of “slightly warming” of global stratosphere is not supported… no matter how one analyzes the AMSU data.

I was using the TLS (Temperature of Lower Stratosphere) not the whole stratosphere. The TLS is where the reverse GHGE should be most pronounced if the theory is correct.

Last edited 1 month ago by joelobryan
Antero Ollila
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 7, 2021 1:23 am

It strongly supported by the scientific research article which I referred to.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 7, 2021 3:49 pm

So that means that radiosonde data does *not* show the same pattern as bogus Hockey Stick charts.

So which one is wrong? The radiosonde data, which matches the satellite data, or the Hockey Stick chart data that doesn’t match anything?

philincalifornia
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 7:35 pm

Here you go on one Antarctica publication:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2015GL066749

This was originally published in a Ph.D. thesis a few years earlier, but it didn’t fit the sea level rise narrative, so it was suppressed by the climate liars.

…… but the high mountains of Antarctica are not in the stratosphere. Can someone Jim or Antero educate me on this point please? Also, there should be a parallel situation in the Himalayas, which I’ve never seen mentioned

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  philincalifornia
May 6, 2021 7:43 pm

At the South Pole, the Amundsen Station is at 9,300 feet elevation. Because the tropopause is latitude dependent in height, it is much closer to the surface there at 90S. Hence the reverse GHGE was measurable over time.
Mt Everest in the Himalayas is at 27.9881° N. The tropopause is always far above that point, and no one can stay there very long to do any science unlike Amundsen Station.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 7, 2021 8:12 am

In polar winter nights, the stratosphere can basically come down to the surface. More so in the Antarctic, thanks to higher elevation.

Reply to  philincalifornia
May 7, 2021 8:40 am

Antarctica has extreme cold temperature for a few reasons such the blocking of poleward heat by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as well as its elevation. The cooling by CO2 that I referred to, can be seen in the last graph from a paper Will Happer co-authored and attached here.

The red dashed line indicates the expected emitted infrared radiation for the stated surface temperature. The black “curves” represent emitted IR based back to space based on modeled satellite data. It can be seen that instead of CO2 absorbing and recycling infrared at the wavelengths it normally does in the Sahara or Mediterranean, CO2 helps radiate more heat back to space. This is because in a inversion layer the warmer upper layer emits infrared faster than it absorbs it from the colder surface. That warmth in the upper layer is, at least in part, from heat absorbed further north in the Southern Ocean.

Planck Sahara Antarctica_HApper_2020.png
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 6, 2021 11:00 pm

Antero,

Why are you twisting my statements

You wrote “Quote: “Nitrogen, oxygen and argon comprise ~ 99% percent of our atmosphere and is transparent to incoming solar energy.” This is true but these gases do not absorb the outgoing longwave radiation either. It is a common claim that the atmosphere is transparent to incoming solar radiation, but it is not. The GH gases and clouds absorb 75 W/m2 which is 31% of incoming solar energy.”

My very next sentence states “Furthermore, unlike greenhouse gases, those gases neither absorb nor emit infrared energy.” but you act as if you are making a correction by stating “but these gases do not absorb the outgoing longwave radiation either”

I was stating nitrogen, oxygen and argon are transparent to incoming solar and that 99% of the atmosphere requires collisions to gain energy. Yes water vapor and clouds do absorb incoming solar, but that was beside the poind.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 1:25 am

Jim,

I did not twist anything. I wanted to make it sure that somebody could misunderstand your wording.

David A
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 7, 2021 1:40 am

“Nitrogen, oxygen and argon comprise ~ 99% percent of our atmosphere and is transparent to incoming solar energy.” This is true but these gases do not absorb the outgoing longwave radiation either.”

Not directly, yet they do receive it via collisions with GHGs. Also they receive energy via surface conducted energy, as Mr Steels post articulates.

Last edited 1 month ago by David A
E. Schaffer
Reply to  Antero Ollila
May 7, 2021 12:52 pm

With a surface emissivity ~0.91 both are pretty inaccurate. Surface emissions are neither 398, nor 395, but only about 355W/m2.

bluecat57
May 6, 2021 7:07 pm

Is nitrogen really a bigger factor than co2?

John F Hultquist
Reply to  bluecat57
May 6, 2021 8:01 pm

Your question is not fully formed (I think), but maybe this will help:
From the text:
“Because the bulk of our atmosphere only cools by transferring heat to greenhouse gases, a small percentage of greenhouse gasses creates a “cooling chokepoint”. Consequently, the atmosphere sheds energy more slowly than . . .”

Nitrogen makes up 78.08 percent by volume in dry air, and that makes it the most common gas in the atmosphere. In the context of this post, Nitrogen is important in cooling.
Rightly or wrong, most folks think of CO2 as the warming gas.

JamesD
Reply to  John F Hultquist
May 7, 2021 9:37 am

And more importantly is water vapor. Which when it condenses to clouds has massive surface area and radiates heat to space.

bluecat57
Reply to  John F Hultquist
May 7, 2021 3:53 pm

You are correct that the question is incomplete. I was listening to a podcast that was talking about climate. They noted that a change in co2 affected nitrogen which affected oxygen levels.
I was hoping someone here would just say yes or no so I could file that tidbit away for now and do more research later.
Ask an elf.
How about that? My second Hobbit reference today.

RickWill
May 6, 2021 7:16 pm

Water vapour is a net cooling agent in the atmosphere. Albedo trumps absorption and re-emission. Attached shows how the outgoing energy, both shortwave reflected and long wave, vary with atmospheric water.

Water in the form of ice in the atmosphere has the most profound impact on the energy balance. It absorbs much of the OLR as you point out (all over tropical oceans) and re-emits at temperature from 273K down to about 220K in the very high cloud. The same cloud reflects a goos portion on the incoming insolation.

The attached charts shows the heat loss in 5mm bands of moisture vapour across the oceans for July 2020. The upward slope corresponds to an energy loss with atmospheric water of 4.2W/sq.m/cm.

Charts_July.png
RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
May 6, 2021 7:23 pm

The atmospheric water heats and cools. It has a surface regulating function because it actually warms the ocean surface during the cooler months. The AWCC goes negative for November, December and January when the ocean surface is at its coldest.

There is a lag in the regulating response of the atmosphere to the ocean surface by about 1 month. The surface temperature in the attached chart has been moved forward 1 month to give the alignment.

Over the year Aug 2019 to Jul 2020 the average cooling of atmospheric water was 1.4W/sq.m/cm with peak of 4.2 and minimum of -3.3.

Charts_AWCC.png
Jean Parisot
Reply to  RickWill
May 7, 2021 1:27 am

How does water vapor phase versus various droplet sizes effect these values? Esp. at different altitudes/pressures.

RickWill
Reply to  Jean Parisot
May 7, 2021 3:08 pm

It is ice above freezing that make the greatest difference. Just 1cm of water that is regularly above the level of freezing the forms dense reflective cloud during the cloudburst stage and whisky reflective cloud during the CAPE phase to build the next cloudburst cycle.

Then there is the high level cloud that persists particularly over the southern ocean as all the water catapulted above the freezing level gradually solidifies as the air moves to high latitudes. Air at the tropics holds 6cm of water but is down to just 1cm by the time it reaches the southern ocean. All the solidification is forming reflective cloud that reduces surface insolation.

John F Hultquist
May 6, 2021 7:50 pm

For those not familiar with fans in orchards and vineyards, follow the link, then go to Chinook Wind Machines.
https://www.hfhauff.com/

I’ve no connection to any of this technology, but do pass by the facility on the way to a grocery store.  

Reply to  John F Hultquist
May 6, 2021 9:44 pm

In them olden days, farmers would stack woodpiles in the orchard, and kept lookout on cold nights. The moment conditions for frost arose, they set fire to the piles, which would circulate air through the orchard. The understanding (where I come from) was that frost only occurs in still air, so any mechanism to get the air moving, helped. Of course, the orchard need to be designed for this, otherwise you hurt your trees.
For city folk, frost is not a daily occurrence, so these fires are not lit every night, relax.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 7, 2021 2:24 am

I remember a situation in a city where I once lived where there would be heavy frost on the one side of a line of trees and none on the other side. There are explanations for what is observed. Clearly real observations and measurements indicate that there is far more to climate than the models are able to capture.

May 6, 2021 7:55 pm

 Many thanks to Jim Steele for a very interesting and informative overview of a topic carefully hidden or ignored by the Alarmists. Together with Willis Eschenbach’s work on Emergent phenomena like thunderstorms and on clouds, it paints a very different picture of how the atmosphere works to the ‘Settled Science”..

Pat from kerbob
May 6, 2021 8:04 pm

Once again
Explained so dummies can understand
Like me
Thanks much
Always learning, the day I don’t is the day I fear is my last

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
May 7, 2021 2:58 am

It’s a bad day when you don’t learn something new

lee
May 6, 2021 8:26 pm

You should see the shocked looks when you tell them about R744.

dk_
Reply to  lee
May 6, 2021 9:15 pm

Right! Actually some of the news releases seem to be supressed — 404 on the web. I shouldn’t wonder.

May 6, 2021 8:56 pm

Some very good points but also an error inherited from the alarmists who fail to realise that even for a fully transparent atmosphere there will inevitably be convective overturning leading to cooling with height without any greenhouse gases at all due to the conversion of KE to PE as height is gained.
Such overturning can never be prevented due to uneven surface heating leading to density variations in the horizontal plane.
Furthermore what goes up in one place forces descent in another place and descent leads to warming again which reduces the net amount of radiative cooling of the surface to space beneath descending columns.
There is even a slow large scale overturning in the stratosphere and likely also higher up but the air is so thin in the mesosphere that we have been unable to discern it thus far.

David A
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
May 7, 2021 2:11 am

What error are you referring to?

Reply to  David A
May 8, 2021 5:46 am

The assumption that there can be no cooling with height in the absence of radiative gases i.e. no lapse rate.
If the atmosphere were to remain static it would be behaving like a solid and would indeed become isothermal via conduction alone.
It cannot remain static due to uneven surface heating creating density variations in the horizontal plane and will therefore obey the gas laws instead so a lapse rate will form as a result of convective overturning even with no GHGs at all.

JamesD
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
May 7, 2021 9:41 am

Potential energy in a gas is stored as temperature and pressure. As the air rises, temperature drops and pressure drops. Where’s the potential energy in that?

Reply to  JamesD
May 8, 2021 5:41 am

As air falls, temperature rises and pressure increases so any KE converted to PE in uplift is returned to KE in descent.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 9:08 am

Objects in a gravity field possess what is called gravitational potential energy.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 9:16 am

It may be the case that many people do not commonly think of the buoyancy effect of objects immersed in air.
But air is a fluid, and so all objects in the atmosphere are experiencing the effects of buoyancy all the time.
IOW, the apparent weight of all objects is decreased by the weight of the air they displace.
For objects in water, the same is true but the amount of buoyancy is calculated by the product of the volume of the object and the weight of that volume of water.
Any object submerged in water has it’s weight reduced by the weight of the water it displaces.
Toss a brick into a swimming pool, then reach down and pick it up. It will be much easier to lift than when it was not in the water.
So, if an object is less dense than water, it will float right up to the surface.
Punch a hole in a boat to see the potential energy released that it gained when it floated up to the top.

Charles Higley
May 6, 2021 9:22 pm

CO2 has only three IR absorption/emission bands that are equivalent to temperatures of 800,400, and -80 deg C. As sunlight comes from a sun at 6000 deg C, sunlight can energize CO2, which then emits IR at these temperatures in all directions. Thus, during daytime, CO2 is saturated with incoming energy and actually waylays some incoming energy by emitting it back to space and thus slightly decreases heating of Earth’s surface. The same would be true of water vapor.

It is during night time that CO2 and water vapor, with no energy source other than the surrounding air, actively converts energy in the air into IR and radiates it in all directions. As the surface is always warmer than the air, downwelling IR is reflected and sent off into space. It all ends up in space. This is why the air chills so rapidly after sundown and breezes kick up so quickly in the moving shadows of scudding clouds on a sunny day—that’s how radiative these gases are.

Greenhouse gases do not exist, they are radiative gases. CO2 turns out to be a wonderful, cheap, and nontoxic refrigerant. Left alone, it is radiating IR at -80 deg C and is thus constantly trying to cool its environment.

JamesD
Reply to  Charles Higley
May 7, 2021 9:47 am

Here’s a way to think about it: E = K * (Th^4 – Tc^4). Separate the terms:
E = KTh^4 – KTc^4. The net radiance is reduced with the green house gas. Yes, the radiance of the hot body is not effected by the green house gas, but it does receive thermal photons and the NET overall balance decreases. When the temperatures are the same, the NET radiance is zero. You also have to adjust for optical depth and the fact that the gas only radiates <50% to the surface due to geometry, which is where the Climate Alarmists get into trouble, especially with water vapor/clouds.

dk_
May 6, 2021 9:31 pm

Expanding on lee’s post. In about 2013, German automakers combined to start developing CO2. Classed as a refrigerant, it is designated as R744. BMW was first to market with a system, if I remember correctly, in about 2015 model year.

Weirdly, although a search turns up links to news announcements on the deployment, many seem to be supressed, showing for my search as “Error 404”– meaning they were really there when the search engine indexed them, but are very recently removed. Hmmm.

Having had to use CO2 fire extinquishers, unfortunately several times, and having cooled mechanical devices and tools using compressed CO2, and frost burned unprotected skin in both cases, I’m still amazed at what a pressure-density change can do in a “hothouse” (Saint Svante, not me) gas.

You can do this with compressed air or compressed oxygen, or nitrogen, too. With industrial gasses, a user can easily harm themselves from the cold, as wells as from the high-velocity gas.

It also works with propane tanks. Google “Ideal Gas Law.” Fascinating. Apparently gas interactions over a range of pressures, velocity, and temperatures is very complex.

Okay, yes, I knew. It is elementary physics and covered in many fields of study, including engineering. But still complex.

CO2 is also a coolant, sometimes, and the science is very, very settled on this.

dk_
May 6, 2021 9:42 pm

An expansion on Lee’s great note, above. R744 is CO2 as coolant. German car manufacturers developed it about 8 years ago, and started delivering it in new models about six years ago.

Do a wiki search on “ideal gas law.” Quite complex, fascinating stuff.

Last edited 1 month ago by dk_
dk_
Reply to  dk_
May 6, 2021 11:23 pm

Apologies for sort of dupe entries and repetition, I was interrupted by a browser update, and thought the originals lost. Ah jist keep a hittin this here ‘puter, and stuff keeps ona hapnin.

Reply to  dk_
May 7, 2021 9:39 am

CO2 refrigerant is older than 8 years.
Around 2003 or 2004, the first supermarkets got CO2 cooling in Germany, and under the respective parket places of the markets was the place for the liquifiers.

Linde Cooling, now Carrier, was the leading enterprise.
All valves compressors etc had to be redesigned. There was a longer test phase and a completely different and centralised spare parts distribution for these projects.

Last edited 1 month ago by Krishna Gans
dk_
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 7, 2021 3:48 pm

I didn’t know that. Good info Thanks.
There was an old comedy, set in WWII Pacific, that included a short gag where Bob Hope’s character uses a CO2 fire extinguisher to chill canned beer. I assure you that it works.

Global Cooling
May 6, 2021 9:48 pm

Wonderful post.

dk_
May 6, 2021 9:50 pm

“Similarly, months of “polar nighttime” cools Antarctica’s interior surfaces to as low as −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), creating a continent‑wide inversion layer.”

From wikipedia table properties of CO2
“Sublimation Conditions: −78.5 °C (−109.3 °F); 194.7 K (1 atm (0.10 MPa))”

Paging Tony Heller. You can come in now.

Reply to  dk_
May 6, 2021 10:12 pm

Water has a higher heat capacity, thus water can provide more energy that helps prevent freezing.This has been a common practice but frost fans are becoming more popular

dk_
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 6, 2021 11:27 pm

Yup. Follow the link. It is actually quite good, but I think you summarized it pretty closely.
A Great Uncle (yes he was a great person, and a war hero, but also the Father of the guy who married my Aunt) showed me this in his orange grove in a freezing April (?) in Southern Florida (?) in the 1970s.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 1:34 pm

Oranges will not be damaged unless the temp is below about 28° F for four hours or more.
Using water does several things.
First, water from the ground in Florida is 70-74° F.
And when water freezes, it releases the latent heat of fusion.
But most importantly, as long as the water stays on, it can be recalled from basic physics that a mixture of ice and water will always stay at 32° F, until either all the ice melts, or all the water freezes.
This is why it is so important to keep the water on in the morning when it warms up, until all the ice has melted.
Not just until the temp rises about freezing.
Because if the water is turned off, one thing that occurs is that the melting ice sucks thermal energy from the leaves and wood…the same heat of fusion it released when it froze.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 7, 2021 1:36 pm

Orange trees I should have said will generally not be damaged unless it is below 28 for more than four hours.
There can be some fruit damage, which is why growers pick as much as they can ahead of any freeze.
Also no one is ever sure exactly how cold it will get and for how long.

Pablo
May 6, 2021 11:50 pm

I know this is a touchy subject but here it is again in Roy Clark’s excellent book “The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect and the Climate averaging Paradox”, on the true solar flux.

“The static, average energy balance diagrams of the Earth’s radiation budget such as those published by the IPCC conceal the dynamic aspects of the energy transfer and imply a nonexistent climate state. The sun only heats the surface during the day. To illustrate the time dependent, dynamic nature of the energy transfer, the energy balance has to be separated into an average 12 hour convective cycle and an average 24 hour LWIR emission cycle. The 12 hour averages for the solar flux are just twice the static IPCC averages. The net average solar flux reaching the surface is 336 Wm2 in 12 hours. This heats the surface and drives the daytime moist convection. The convection then heats the two atmospheric thermal reservoirs. The lower reservoir, the first 1 to 2 km layer of the troposphere provides almost all of the downward LWIR flux at the surface. It acts as a ‘thermal blanket’ and is
not strongly coupled to the upper atmospheric thermal reservoir. It is the thermal storage in this layer that provides the ‘greenhouse effect’.

Dnalor50
May 6, 2021 11:51 pm

“Furthermore, unlike greenhouse gases, those gases neither absorb nor emit infrared energy”

Great post Jim but I’ll be a pedant and question the above sentence. Non radiative gases may be transparent to infrared, but they still radiate according to their temperature. A translucent sphere, filled with non radiative gas at room temperature and floating in outer space will radiate energy. If you’re standing next to it it will warm you, but 2 adjacent spheres won’t warm each other.

JamesD
Reply to  Dnalor50
May 7, 2021 9:53 am

Gases are not black bodies and radiate at certain wavelengths. You admitted you were being pendantic, so yes, the sphere you describe will radiate at room temperature in certain bands. I believe the major band is UV, and at room temperature the radiance is minuscule.

Dnalor50
Reply to  JamesD
May 7, 2021 3:51 pm

I disagree James. I think the gas will emit radiation as a black body at room temperature. The kinetic energy of the molecules will decrease as the temperature within the sphere drops.

Reply to  Dnalor50
May 7, 2021 4:13 pm

To argue gases emit radiation as a black body is to deny all observations that unequivocally show each gas species only absorbs and emits specific wavelengths.Changes in temperature only modify the intensity

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Steele
Dnalor50
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 10:12 pm

Wouldn’t containing the gas in the translucent container create a black body?

Phil.
Reply to  Dnalor50
May 10, 2021 9:49 am

Say the gas is Argon, that will not emit at any wavelength when at room temperature. The only way the gas can cool is by contact with the wall of the container, this material will emit as a black (or grey) body and so cool off thus cooling the gas by conduction.

Phil.
Reply to  Dnalor50
May 7, 2021 7:11 pm

<em> I think the gas will emit radiation as a black body at room temperature.</em>
No it will not, to emit radiation at around room temperature, the molecules would have to undergo either vibrational or rotational transitions. In order to do that they need a dipole, since N2 and O2 are linear molecules they don’t have one and therefore don’t emit.

Dnalor50
Reply to  Phil.
May 7, 2021 10:09 pm

Isn’t it a basic law of physics that everything radiates at its measured temperature? Wouldn’t the molecular collisions cause dipole movements ? It seems hard to believe that the gas would maintain it’s measured temperature.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Dnalor50
May 8, 2021 7:47 am

Yes.
All gasses have characteristic emission spectra.
Nitrogen gas, N2, has a strong emission line in the red band of visible light.
All atoms and molecules emit radiation.
The relevant issue for the subject at hand is the relative intensity, and whether or not it is trivial at the relevant temperatures.
Even cold clouds of neutral gas in space have emission/absorption lines.
This is how we know what they are made of, after all.
Note the emission and absorption are at the same wavelengths.

And this is what Jim Steele is talking about in this article.
CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths, and also emits them.
Just as a CO2 molecule that absorbs a IR photon can thermalize this energy by a subsequent collision, prior to reemitting it, and thus warming the surround gas molecules, the reverse process also occurs. CO2 can be excited to a high energy state by collisions. All gasses at any temperature have some molecules moving slower than the average velocity, and some moving faster than the average velocity, all the time.
And so CO2 and other radiative gasses (what I prefer to call the so-called “greenhouse gasses”) can and are excited to a high energy state by collisions and emit IR radiation before the energy can be dissipated by subsequent collisions.

This is one of the ways air cools off at night.
Some other relevant facts are, gas molecules move very fast at Earthly temperatures (about 500 meters/second), there is not much space between them (~3.4 nm at STP)and so collisions are “frequent”(to put it mildly), and photons travel at the speed of light. At the speed of light (which is slower in air than in a vacuum but still very fast, about c – 90km/sec), a photon will travel from the surface of the Earth, to 100 miles up, and back again, about 930 times in one second.comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 8, 2021 8:22 am

BTW,
-500 meters per second is about 1000 miles per hour…twice as fast as a cruising passenger jet.
-100 miles up is an altitude generally regarded as outer space.
62 miles is the conventional altitude taken to be the start of outer space. 76 miles is the altitude NASA considers the “re-entry” altitude, also called the entry interface.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 8, 2021 8:36 am

Now, 930 times in one second means roughly one millisecond, for a photon to go up to 100 miles and turn right around and come back to the surface.
It occurs to me this is a amount of time that most people have no intuitive grasp of, and so it might be helpful to try to think of some familiar process that takes a comparable amount of time.
It is listed that a strobe flash is about a millisecond.
The time for a housefly to flap it’s wings once is about 3 milliseconds, which is not especially helpful.

3.3 milliseconds is the time from initiation to detonation of C4 explosives.

Maybe the most helpful is that a human eye blink is about 150 milliseconds.
So, a photon makes the round trip 150 times in an eye blink.
Which is kind of right back where we started…to fast to fully appreciate.
A strobe flash is so fast, how long we perceive it for, is likely more to do with the limits of perception and thoughts, than the time it takes for the flash.

Here is one that helps: A standard shutter speed for a camera, 125, is 8 milliseconds.

Phil.
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 9:37 am

It takes of the order of a millisecond for a vibrationally excited CO2 molecule to emit a photon and thus lose that energy. At atmospheric pressure that same molecule will have a collision with a neighboring molecule about every 100 picoseconds, so millions of collisions before it can emit a photon.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Phil.
May 11, 2021 8:58 am

Yes, I am familiar with all the usual calculations that have been bandied about.
By atmospheric pressure I take you to be referring to sea level pressure, and of course as the pressure changes, so to does this calculated result. And yet, even at sea level, CO2 does seem to be emitting some IR.
It does not go far, but all these things happen over and over again very fast.
There are so many collisions, and things happening so fast, and so many molecules, that even rare events are occurring with head spinning frequency.
How does it all shake out?
We know it cools off very rapidly at night, when the sky is clear and the air is dry. When it is humid or cloudy, so so fast.
When both humid and cloudy, it hardly cools off at night at all.

Dnalor50
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 9, 2021 11:42 pm

Thanks for that Nicholas, things are becoming a little clearer for me. The translucent sphere will radiate at the temperature of the non radiative gas inside because conduction will raise the temperature of the container which then radiates to space. My mistake was thinking that the gas itself would be radiate directly to space.

commieBob
May 7, 2021 12:00 am

A tiny quibble. You say:

~ 99% percent of our atmosphere and is transparent to incoming solar energy.

“~” means approximately. That’s important because as much as 3% of the local atmosphere could be water depending on the temperature and the availability of water. And water is a greenhouse gas.

Of course, wet air is lighter than dry air. That means it will rise, lose heat in the upper atmosphere, condense and come down as precipitation. So that’s another way a greenhouse gas removes heat from the lower atmosphere.

I just love the way the warmists talk about non-condensing greenhouse gasses. I think it’s because they are trying to ignore the most important greenhouse gas, which is water.

ren
May 7, 2021 12:59 am

Will this be the last wave of Arctic air over the northeastern US?comment image

ren
Reply to  ren
May 7, 2021 11:03 am

Growers will need to take extra precautions for their sensitive plants as the risk of a frost or even a freeze in some locations persists across the eastern U.S. for the next few days.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ren
May 8, 2021 9:31 am

This does not appear to be all that unusual for this time of year.

In other news:
Sea ice remains higher than many recent years, and is close to long term averages.
It certainly is not decreasing.

A region that has produced a CME is now rotating into view, and may be in position to send a Earth directed CME our way soon.

Space Weather by SolarHam

May 7 2021 sea ice volume.PNG
Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Jean Parisot
May 7, 2021 1:10 am

Did the weather station survey collect enough data on the surrounding areas to determine if local wind patterns had been changing?

Stephen Richards
May 7, 2021 3:19 am

The thought experiment I read a while ago was this.

Fill a long tube, transparent at both ends, with 100% CO². Place a heat source at one and a thermometer (kinetic) at the other. If the temperature of the heat source is 50°C what temperature will the thermometer read ?

commieBob
Reply to  Stephen Richards
May 7, 2021 5:13 am

The short answer is probably ambient.

The long answer involves the refractive index of the tubing material at long wave infrared. Presumably you could create something like a waveguide and see some energy transmitted the length of the tube.

Nelson
May 7, 2021 3:37 am

Very interesting arrival. Love your articles Jim. Something that has always bothered me is the interpretation that sunlight (photons) pass thought the atmosphere transparently. I get radiative gases have absorbtion bands, but don’t photons collide with all gas molecules. Is it right to think that incoming solar radiation, which is just photons of a short wave length, strike no N2 or O2 molecules. Doesn’t outgoing longer wave length radiation also strike all molecules as well. Of course only the radiative gases absorb photons setting off vibrations. It bothers my intuition to say without radiative gases that long wave radiation would flow uninterrupted to space.

Nelson
May 7, 2021 3:38 am

I hate posting from phones! Word check has a mind of its own.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nelson
May 8, 2021 9:07 am

FYI…There is a window to edit any comments on this site now.

David Dibbell
May 7, 2021 3:39 am

Thanks for this article. Some good points to consider. The atmosphere is the working fluid of its own heat engine operation. This is powerfully exhibited in storms, weather systems, and the general circulation. Should I be worried about additional CO2? Not if I see it as an incremental improvement both to the radiative coupling to the surface – the hot end of the heat engine – and to the performance of the cold-end emitter at high altitude.

Lit
May 7, 2021 4:45 am

No matter how you try, cold air doesn´t heat the warm surface. The atmosphere is -18C, the surface is 14C. There are no experiments that show that cold air can warm a hot solid, under any circumstances, in any way. It doesn´t matter if it´s 100% co2, cold gas cannot warm a hot solid.

Antero Ollila
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 5:43 am

This is a strawman argument. Scientists do not say that the reradiation of 345 W/m2 from the atmosphere is able to maintain the surface temperature of 15 C and to emit radiation of 396 W/m2. What happens actually.

Just one evidence. The Earth emits LW radiation by the surface about 396 W/m^2. It is according to the Planck’s law (about 16 C degrees) and it has been confirmed by direct measurements. In addition to this, the Earth’s surface is able to release sensible heating 24 W/m^2 and latent heating 91 W/m^2 by evaporating about 1 meter of water each year. Totally the surface is able to produce energy flux of 396+91+24 = 511 W/m^2. Because there is a clear observation that only 165 W/m^2 of solar energy is absorbed by the surface, where is the rest energy of 346 W/m^2 coming from? These people stop commenting just right here. No answers.

JamesD
Reply to  Lit
May 7, 2021 9:58 am

Think of it in terms of resistance. The surface is not “heated” by the atmosphere. It just cools more slowly.

Mike
Reply to  JamesD
May 9, 2021 12:04 am

”The surface is not “heated” by the atmosphere. It just cools more slowly”.

Ok so answer me this. Two radiating heaters facing each other. Turn one on. It heats the other one which is off. Turn on the other heater to half of the first one. Does the first heater stop heating the second one? No? Then a cooler object is heating a hotter one.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike
May 9, 2021 4:15 am

This is a good idea for an actual experiment that anyone can with an IR thermometer.
But I think you may need to explain it more clearly.
Which one is on halfway, and is therefore cooler?

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Mike
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 9, 2021 6:54 pm

*Heater on the left (HL) is off.
*Heater on the right (HR) is turned on to ”1”
*HR warms HL. (to the value of ”X”)
*HL is turned on to ”2” and heats up to the value of ”Y”
Forgetting the back and forth radiations for the moment, is HR still warming HL to ”X” (now +”Y”)? If yes, then a cooler object is warming a hotter object. If no, what is happening?

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike
May 10, 2021 8:25 am

Right there with you.
The people who are making a fuss about this as if something impossible is being asserted, are not being analytical, and are claiming laws of physics that do not exist.
Obviously radiation from cooler objects impinges on warmer objects all the time, everywhere, everyday.

They are not all making the same mental errors, but nor are they taking into account everything.
Laws of thermodynamics and conservative of mass and energy only apply in close systems, not where there are outside inputs.
So in the case of radiation from the upper atmosphere, that place and the surface are all one thing.
The ground will not get warmer while the sky gets colder, because a warm object is radiating more strongly than a cold object.
If a situation arises where the sky is somehow warmer than the ground, the ground will warm up.
In fact this is observed to occur on cold nights when a cirrus deck moves in during a radiational cooling event.
I have observed this occurring many times at my nursery in Florida on cold nights with dry air, clear sky, low dewpoints, and light winds at the surface.
A streak of jet stream cirrus will raise the surface temp several degrees in minutes.
It has recently occurred to me that one way this occurs is by reflection off the ice crystals in the clouds.
The clouds are colder than the ground, but they are reflective, and within the ground surface “seen” by these clouds, is the warm Gulf of Mexico, and other bodies of water, and locations that are warmer than my farm was.
So photons can reflect off the clouds, and I am now becoming more certain that is at least one of the things occurring.

So in the case of CO2 molecules in the sky, they are radiating IR in every direction, and of course some of this is towards the ground.
These do not magically disappear because they are impinging on a warmer surface.
But what is happening is, the ground is simultaneously sending a far higher number of IR photons up to the sky in every direction.
So the incoming ones simply slow the rate of ground cooling by some amount.

The thing is, there are examples from astronomy long known to astrophysicists of stars being warmed by cooler stars.
I documented such below, going back over 100 years.
There is no debate about it, only the details of what happens next and the quantification of the entire process.
And if it happens in one instance, that disproves the notion it is physically impossible.
What I have posted here should give everyone making these claims to re-evaluate their position.
Smart people change their minds when they get new information.

Several years ago, I came upon this debate not having any idea who was right.
But I have educated myself, thought of examples which might prove it one way or the other, then did research to find documentation.
And find it I did…plenty of it.
People Like Michael moon had at best one quick look at some literature and did not read what they were looking at very closely, or something, and then went right along making claims that are unsupported and in fact contradicted by the example he himself gave.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 8:29 am

In the case of the cold night in Florida, one has to consider the ground at my cold farm, the sky with the cirrus clouds, and the surrounding area with warmer places, as one closed system.
The energy that warmed my farm near the ground came from somewhere…someplace warmer than the air at my farm.
Another mistake people seem to make is conflating the ground itself with the air just above the ground, and also seem to think of the sky as if it is one precise place, rather than a continuum with a vast vertical extent.
Another place where people seem to not be very analytical is when considering, or failing to do so, that many events are occurring simultaneously.
Photons redirected towards the ground does not mean those photons were “trapped” by CO2.
Plus, air temp is a measure of the average energy of the molecules in the air, but in any volume of air, there are some molecules with far more energy than average, and some with far lower energy than average.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 8:40 am

None of this means warmistas are correct that CO2 is the thermostat control knob of the atmosphere and hence the planet, but for some people, they seem to have notions of such details being an all or nothing make or break situation, vis a vis the concept of CAGW.
It is not.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 9:13 am

Another thing to consider is, when a CO2 molecule emits an IR photon towards the ground, it does not mean it makes it to the ground.
We know that the effect of CO2 in the air falls off tremendously as the concentration goes up…each new CO2 molecule has less and less of an effect, because there are already a whole bunch of them floating around, doing what they do.
So at the concentrations that exist near the ground, the free path is very short for an IR photon at one of the wavelengths that can be absorbed or emitted by CO2. For one thing, as everyone should know by now, these wavelengths overlap to a large degree with those of water vapor.
So a redirected photon may in fact have very low chance of ever getting anyplace close to the ground, before it is reabsorbed, and then reemitted, and in about half of these instances, it will be going up.
That is why serious people have reached a point in the discussion where what matters is what is occurring in the rarified upper reaches of the atmospheric column.
And because of this limitation on what some more CO2 can do, it opens the door wide open for other factors to completely overwhelm the effect of increasing CO2.
When it is warmer, more radiation flows to space.
More convection carries more air aloft.
More evaporation of water causes more water vapor, and more water vapor causes convention to carry a huge amount of additional latent heat to the upper reaches in convective updrafts.
And more clouds from more water in the air, changes the amount of solar energy reaching the surface.

And on top of all of that, the warmista case hinges on a critical factor rarely brought up…that the heat budget of the Earth is tightly constrained by the rate at which IR can make it up to space.
It is not.
Every night, on nearly every location in the planet, the air cools to near or at the dew point.
At which point cooling stops, to a very substantial degree.
But, and this is the critical point, every night this dew point is reached and cooling stops with several hours to spare!

So if it becomes warmer for any reason, which it does in many places at many times for many meteorological and climatological reasons, there are always plenty of opportunities for this retained heat energy to find it’s way to space.
It is not some situation where any retained heat is forever trapped upon the Earth, or trapped anywhere on or in it, either.
Which is why we see wide swings in temperature on every time scale, in every place, for the entirety of the record we have to examine.

And it is this very record of the past that provides the best evidence that this reasoning I have just laid out is true: We can see that at no time in the past has CO2 every been seen to control the temperature of the Earth or any part of it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 9:30 am

If and when the Earth grows warmer for any reason, the air will over time become increasingly humid.
In fact geologists and students of Earth history, refer to warm periods in the past as more humid periods.
And more humid conditions are more moderate.
This can be seen anyplace one cares to look.
Water is the great moderator.
It does not get as hot by day, or in the Summer, and it does not get as cold at night, or in the Winter, when and where it is more humid.
Which is why in the past during times when the Earth was far warmer than it is now, whether the ancient past such as the Mesozoic hothouse ages, or the more recent past, such as 8,000 years ago during the Holocene Climate Optimum, when the Sahara desert was a lush and verdant savannah crisscrossed with rivers, dotted with lakes, and spotted with forests…at these times in the past when Earth was warmer, which is nearly the entire past with the exception of the recent catastrophic Ice Age we are currently living through…the Earth was a far more temperate, more benign, and more clement place, with teeming habitat from pole to pole in many specific and well documented instances. Likely when ever it was warmer, the Earth was a better place for life, and when colder, it was and is worse, far worse.
There are no examples from the history of our planet when the opposite has been shown to be true.

Which makes the situation we find ourselves in at the present time all the more inane and incredible, and the people worried about global warming about the most idiotic jackasses I can think of to ever assume any of the levers of power.
So idiotic, it is difficult to believe the smart ones believe a word of it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 9:50 am

“The clouds are colder than the ground, but they are reflective, and within the ground surface “seen” by these clouds, is the warm Gulf of Mexico, and other bodies of water, and locations that are warmer than my farm was.
So photons can reflect off the clouds, and I am now becoming more certain that is at least one of the things occurring.”

Another thing which may well be occurring is, that warmth from layers of air at some distance from the surface are warming the surface, either directly, or indirectly by reflection, when these clouds move in.
Obviously warm air is radiating in all directions, so air in the layers above the surface are always radiating downwards, but when the sky is clear the net flow is out to space and the surface cools, rapidly after sunset and more slowly as the temperature approaches the dew point. Once the sky is no longer a transparent window to space, because a layer of clouds has moved in, the net flow is from the warmer layers to the colder layers, which on such nights is the ground the layer just above the ground.
The top of the ground is generally frost covered on such nights, so I tend to think it is not the source of any near ground warming over such a short span of time.
I can think of no way that warmth from under the ground can warm the air above the ground, without melting the frost on top of the ground.
But there are always places with no frost and warmer air just within the confines of the farm…such as under the trees, adjacent to structures, the structures themselves, and any paved surfaces.
Structures and paved surfaces are few, and the spaces under trees small and isolated, so the source for general warming of the air six feet off the ground within a few minutes of clouds moving in would seemingly have to be a larger reservoir.


Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Mike
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 10, 2021 6:12 pm

Thank you Nicholas
I think what you say makes a lot of sense. That basically, as I have said in a simple way many times, the fact that increasing co2 concentrations are known to increase radiation towards the surface (although there still seems to be conjecture as to whether it has actually been measured or not) is absolutely not the simple mechanism leading to the outcome the alarmists would have us believe.
To me the evidence for this is completely overwhelming so find it surprising the amount of push-back I see when I say the radiation from increasing co2 may very well be mathematically understood and even measured, but it’s effect on average global temperatures cannot and probably never will be.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Antero Ollila
May 7, 2021 5:38 am

Quote: “For similar reasons CO2 has a cooling effect in Antarctica”. During the Antarctica wintertime, the temperature may be even -50 C degrees. The emission of this temperature is about 140 W/m2. The CERES data shows that during the coldest period of Antarctica, the longwave (LW) radiation at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) is about 110-120 W/m2. It means that the GH gases and clouds have absorbed about 20-30 W/m2. This causes a small GH effect and the atmosphere and CO2 behave in the same way as it does everywhere else. In the average global conditions, the surface emits 395 W/m2, GH gases and cloud absorb 155, and the rest of 240 W/m2 is radiated into space.

David L. Hagen
May 7, 2021 5:43 am

Great explanations on inversion layers & thunderstorm anvil etc. PS Re “Nitrogen, oxygen and argon…neither absorb nor emit infrared energy.” While not strong N2 & O2 have some greenhouse effect: “The effect of collision-induced absorption by molecular oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2) on the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) of the Earth’s atmosphere has been quantified. We have found that on global average under clear-sky conditions the OLR is reduced due to O2 by 0.11 Wm^2 and due to N2 by 0.17 Wm^2 . Together this amounts to 15% of the OLR-reduction caused by CH4 at present atmospheric concentrations. Over Antarctica the combined effect of O2 and N2 increases on average to about 38% of CH4 with single values reaching up to 80%. This is explained by less interference of H2O spectral bands on the absorption features of O2 and N2 for dry atmospheric conditions” Höpfner, M., M. Milz, S. Buehler, J. Orphal, and G. Stiller (2012), The natural greenhouse effect of atmospheric oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2), Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10706, doi:10.1029/2012GL051409. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2012GL051409

ren
May 7, 2021 6:18 am

CO2 is irrelevant when it comes to the temperature of the lower troposphere.comment image

ren
May 7, 2021 6:34 am

Water vapor raises the height of the tropopause, which slows the escape of infrared radiation into the stratosphere; CO2 cannot do this. The molecular weight of the water vapor molecule H2O is 2+16=18, the CO2 molecule is 12+32=44.comment image

ren
Reply to  ren
May 7, 2021 6:43 am

In the graphic above, you can see a slight decrease in the tropopause, which is the result of a decrease in TSI.comment image

ren
Reply to  ren
May 8, 2021 3:06 am

During the winter, the stratosphere sinks low in high latitudes. You can see the tremendous importance of changes in solar radiation.comment image

Phil.
Reply to  ren
May 10, 2021 9:10 am

What does the molecular weight of water and CO2 have to do with the height of the tropopause?

Nick Schroeder
May 7, 2021 6:51 am

The popular atmospheric heat balances assume the surface radiates as a BB which creates “extra” energy out of a “what if” S-B calculation that violates both the LoT and basic bookkeeping rules.

Percentage Balance.jpg.png
Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 7, 2021 11:58 am

You are saying that measured and scientifically determined radiative transfer values are not valid. Prove it.

Caligula Jones
May 7, 2021 7:16 am

In the 1990s, climate scientists determined urban heat effects raised minimum temperatures several degrees but not maximum temperatures. Such areas weren’t warming but getting less cold

Yep.

Here in Toronto its an established fact that our nighttime low average are regularly higher, which of course drives up the daily average.

Yet people will continue to “remember” how hot the days are…

sfdafsafsd.png
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Caligula Jones
May 9, 2021 4:19 am

Regularly higher than what?

Mark - Helsinki
May 7, 2021 7:51 am

“Without greenhouse gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon can’t lose enough heat back to space and the atmosphere would keep warming.”

This would be equal to saying without hydrology, as water does almost all of the work, if you had all gases but no water as vapor then its a half frozen half baked rock with a very cold atmosphere because that surface IR goes straight to space (no water, no clouds, and CO2 0.04%)

Heat needs something to retain it, an atmosphere with nothing to absorb IR and emit heat, will be very cold even if the surface in direct sunlight is extremely baked.

Venus is only that hot because the atmosphere has a density that can retain that amount of energy (pressure is an effect of this, some think the pressure is the driver, it’s not of course, you cant store energy in nothing (kinetic energy without particles to bang together)

Anything that absorbs and emits IR without itself heating up, may well add a relatively miniscule amount of warming back down on the surface, but with nothing in between to actually heat up between CO2 and rock, means it’s gonna be bloody cold, until you actually heat up by catching IR on your own body (if you magically floated there in the troposphere of this magical planet.

catch enough of that IR and go up like a pagan effigy 😀

Without clouds and water vapor, direct solar energy would heat any oxygen to 100s of degrees, but if theres no water, theres no O2

I am not a fan if using earth without an atmosphere to make a point, because the example is never what earth would actually be like without an atmosphere

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark - Helsinki
May 7, 2021 10:28 am

“During the day, earth’s surface absorbs both solar radiation and the downward infrared heat emitted from greenhouse gases.”

We engineers study heat and radiation, particularly how to warm things up, as there is money involved. This concept that the atmosphere can heat the surface is absurd. The SUN heats the surface!!! The atmosphere is generally cooler than the surface, and cool things just cannot heat warmer things.

I had to go look up what happens when radiation from a cooler body impinges upon a warmer body, as it was never mentioned in my engineering education as it is trivial. What happens is, the radiation from a cooler body is simply reflected.

Something that absorbs energy becomes warmer, every time. The atmosphere radiates all the time, the entire atmosphere, not just “greenhouse gases.” So your statement has two giant errors. All matter above Absolute Zero radiates all the time.

You and your friend Willis are ignorant of the laws of thermodynamics and heat transport. Back to school for both of you….

Reply to  Michael Moon
May 7, 2021 12:00 pm

Moon says, “when radiation from a cooler body impinges upon a warmer body, …the radiation from a cooler body is simply reflected.”

LOL. You give skeptics a bad name, or perhaps that’s your intent. Please link to the science that says a body absorbs wavelengths from warmer object, but reflects the same wavelength from a cooler body??? So bizarre

Michael if you had to look it up and that;s what you came away with you are not only “ignorant of the laws of thermodynamics and heat transport.” but ignorant about what basic science is reliable on the internet. “Back to school for you

Phil.
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 7:37 pm

Michael Moon

 May 7, 2021 10:28 am

“I had to go look up what happens when radiation from a cooler body impinges upon a warmer body, as it was never mentioned in my engineering education as it is trivial. What happens is, the radiation from a cooler body is simply reflected.”

You’re the one who needs to go back to school, preferably not the one that taught you that rubbish. A photon emitted by a gas molecule has has no knowledge of the temperature of the molecule it is emitted from. A 15µm photon is just the same if it is emitted from a molecule at 20ºC or -20ºC, if it subsequently strikes a black body at 15ºC it will be absorbed no matter the temperature of its source.

Reply to  Phil.
May 8, 2021 10:20 am

Jim and Phil,

Let me give you a simple example, easy to research: binary stars in elliptical orbits. When the warmer star approaches close to the cooler star, the cooler star warms up, but the warmer star does not. Go look it up. And then tell me how a cool thing can make a warm thing warmer, despite the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Magical thinking….

Reply to  Michael Moon
May 8, 2021 11:01 am

Michael, You are the one who keeps pushing magical thinking and irrelevant examples.

What applies to the physics of all heat transfer is simple. Given equal heat capacity and quantities, the temperature of all things is a matter of balance between incoming vs outgoing energy. When incoming energy outweighs outgoing things warm. And vice versa.

The problem with climate alarmists’ claims of a warming earth, is that they are really measuring changes in the rate of warming and rates of cooling. Higher urban heat islands form because heat retaining materials cool at a slower rate, thus the minimum temperature will be higher. It most probable that there was no added energy from CO2 or the sun, just a slower cooling rate that causes the warmer temperature.Longer nights allow more cooling before the sun adds heat, so minimum temperatures fall through the winter.

Regards conduction, heat via collisions ALWAYS transfers heat back and forth between BOTH warm and cold bodies. The same principle applies to diffusion of molecules and heat. Molecules move back and forth between high and low concentrations, but there will always be a net change from high to low concentrations. Because warmer bodies have more energy, the preponderance of heat transfer will be from warm to cold objects. So on AVERAGE heat always travels from warm to cold bodies.

Regards radiative heating, instead of collisions transferring energy we have energy waves. First think in terms of blackbodies that absorb and emit all wavelengths of heat energy, The physics is certain that a warmer body will emit more radiative energy than a cooler body. But the magical thinking you and others insist upon that “warm bodies cant absorb more radiation from a cooler body” is nonsense. That has never been what the laws of thermodynamics have ever stated. Your nonsense arguments only give good scientific skeptics a bad name as anti-science or ignorant.

A colder body always emits radiation in all directions without concern for the relative temperature of its surroundings. A warmer black-body will always absorb whatever radiation comes its way, and thus gain energy. Conversely a warm object will still cool, even though its absorbing more radiation as long as the balance between absorption and emission favors a preponderance of cooling emissions. By absorbing energy from its surroundings, the object just cools at a sower rate.

Similarly, a warm body in thermal equilibrium, needs only absorb slightly more energy to warm. That energy can come from any radiating body whether or not that body is cooler or warmer. That is irrefutable thermodynamics!

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Steele
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 8, 2021 11:32 am

Here is a diagram of “Net Diffusion” . It shows molecules moving on BOTH directions. But more going from high to low concentrations. Same for heat waves

net diffusion 2 way.png
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 8, 2021 11:22 pm

For metals, it is well known that as the temp of the metal increases, it’s reflectivity decreases and absorption increases.
This is exactly the opposite of what one might expect if what Michael Moon asserted was true.
In fact, no where in texts on reflectivity does one find mention of the temperature of the source for the EM radiation.
Wavelength matters, but objects at any particular temperature emit and absorb across a wide range of wavelenghts.
Reflectivity is wavelength dependant, but it is most definitely not temperature of the emitting object dependant.
Funny how a simple example can disprove such a notion too: Astronomers analyze light/photons
of all wavelengths using telescopes and sensors and spectroscopes, and many of these sources are colder than the device gathering the photons.
If what Michael said was true, this would be impossible.
And we would not even be able to see anything colder than our eyeballs.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 17, 2021 5:59 am

Nicholas, if you think anything Michael said would prevent you from seeing anything colder than your eyeballs, you need to read more carefully. The reason you can see objects colder than your eyeballs is that the photons you are seeing were emitted by objects much hotter than your eyeballs (like the sun, or a lamp) and were then reflected off colder objects. However, if all of the objects in your environment were colder than your eyeballs, you would indeed not be able to see anything at all. You can try this by going into a closed room at night and turning off the lights. Does that help?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 8, 2021 10:16 pm

Since you have looked it up Michael, perhaps it would not be too much trouble to give a reference for your assertion?
I think you just made that up!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 9, 2021 10:38 am

I have actually studied this issue quite closely yeas ago when I was checking my thought experiment involving two stars, against actual astronomical data and understanding.
There are many references in the literature to what happens when two stars are close binaries.
The effects they have on each other have a name…Proximity Effects.
Discussions of the bolometric or geometric albedo of these stars make it clear that what is being discussed is incident radiation heating the outer layer of each star, and the incident energy being re-radiated.
It is also clear that stars do reflect some light incident upon them, and hot stars tend to reflect more.
But the reflectivity is a consequence of the particulars of the star, not of the temperature of the star than emitted the radiation incident upon it.

Here is a discussion of how, in stars with a convective envelope, each star heats the other on the side facing it’s companion.

The bolometric albedo of a Main Sequence star of about one solar mass and a typical Algol secondary (with mass 1.45, luminosity 8.4, and radius 3.8, in solar units) is estimated to be 0.4 to 0.5 instead of unity for the strict radiative equilibrium”

(link is below, 1969AcA…)

Note that they are speaking specifically about two different temperatures of stars, and do so in the context of radiative equilibrium.
There is simply no support for the notion that warmer objects modify their reflectivity depending on the temperature of the body that is emitting the radiation incident upon them.

Consider two objects that are shining on each other, and one of them is slightly warmer than the other. In the reflectance scenario, the warmer one would have to act as a perfect mirror to the radiation from the other one, but the slightly cooler one would not act as a mirror, since it is slightly cooler.
This makes no sense to start with, since they have widely overlapping emission spectra.
But lets just play out this scenario, and consider what happens as the cooler one warms up to be slightly warmer than the other one.
Now the one that was a mirror suddenly would have to become an absorber, and the one that was an absorber, would have to suddenly become a mirror.

This is plainly ridiculous, and contradicts everything know about reflectivity, experience, and common sense.
Cooler objects shine photons on warmer objects everyday, all the time, everywhere, and they do not just bounce off.

In the case of stars, it is known how to discern reflected light: It is polarized by being reflected.
The amount of light reflected by the stars in a binary system is a few percent, if they are very hot.
Lower if they are not.

Some links:

“The Proximity Effects in Close Binary Systems. II. The Bolometric Reflection Effect for Stars with Deep Convective Envelopes”
1969AcA….19..245R (harvard.edu)

“In a close-orbiting binary pair, a small but significant fraction of the light from each star falls upon the other, and the result has to be carefully modeled to simulate the observed spectrum of the system as it rotates.
One effect is that each star’s radiation will non-uniformly heat the surface of the other star and alter its thermal radiation, but here I’m asking about light from one star being scattered or diffusely reflected by the other.
How is this scattered/reflected light calculated, and roughly what is the spectral reflectance?
Of course each star will be different, so one example or maybe two would be sufficient.”

My bold italics. And one reply, in part:

“You are right that the albedo depends on the type of star (hotter stars having high scattering albedo due to all those free electrons), and many stars do show a lot of scattering from their surfaces. Scattering/reflection elevates the effective temperature above the actual temperature of the layers being looked at, but again, if you stick to effective temperature, it makes no difference if there is scattering or heating of a blackbody, because effective temperature explicitly refers to the outgoing flux with no claims on the actual temperature. It is quite common for this distinction to be swept under the rug, and most stellar temperatures are effective temperatures, not actual temperatures”
star – What is the spectral reflectance of starlight in a close binary? – Astronomy Stack Exchange

“Besides having circular orbits, the stars in the most tightly-bound systems…heat eachother.”
The Astrophysics Spectator: Binary Star Systems

A relevant discussion and many ideas for further reading (and again, my bold)

” On the other hand, a fact of capital importance was pointed out by Hosokawa (1959) who established empirically that the bolometric albedo for late-type stars was different from 1.0, that is, when these stars are irradiated they do not re-emit simultaneously all the incident flux.

2001MNRAS.327..989C (harvard.edu)

“”Our modelling showed that stars are actually quite poor reflectors of light. The Sun, for example, reflects less that 0.1 percent of the light falling on it.
“However, for hotter stars, such as the components of Spica, with temperatures of 20,000 to 25,000 degrees Kelvin, the amount of reflection increases to a few per cent. The total amount of reflected light coming from the Spica system is, however, still very small.””
Scientists prove that binary stars reflect light from one another (phys.org)

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 9, 2021 11:24 am

This next paper may be the best one, and in the very first sentence, we have confirmation of my thought experiment, that two different temperatures of stars heat each other up.

“The Reflection Effect in Eclipsing Binary Systems.” “The mutual heating of the components in the binary systems gives rise to one of the most intricate parts of the theory of EBS…”

Mutual heating.
Right there.

Later on, and I have to take a screen shot of this and post it as a photo due to the format of the linked text, are many discussions on this exact topic and detail. Like one from Eddington, in which it is stated that all of the incident radiation must be either re-emitted or scattered, but that the spectrum of this re-emitted radiation would be altered.

One thing never mentioned, or even hinted at, inferred, implied, or in any other way broached, is any concept relating to the hotter star by necessity not being able to absorb radiation from the cooler one.
In fact, no two stars are the exact same temperature, strictly speaking.
Mostly they are not even close.
And yet all of these discussion refer to mutual heating, absorption and reemission, and scattering and reflectivity.
The reflectivity is a small percentage, as shown by modern studies of the polarization of the reflected radiation.
And it is a consequence of the hot electrons in the star doing the reflecting, and nothing to do with the relative temperatures of the stars in the binary system.
Stars radiate across a wide spectrum, as do many objects, even relatively cool ones.
Photons do not come tagged with the temperature of the emitting substance.
1985Ap&SS.113..349V (harvard.edu)

Illuminated stars.PNG
Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 9, 2021 11:48 am

And then we have this:
The process by which the radiation from one component of a binary system affects the photosphere of its companion is often called the “reflection effect. ” However, for early-type systems with radiative envelopes, this is a misnomer, since most of the incident radiation is absorbed. The resulting temperature rise due to this irradiation is the primary physical diagnostic of this effect, and it is what this brief note attempts to predict analytically. Consider a binary system, with spherical stars (radii R1 and R2, luminosities L1 and L2), their centers separated by a distance D. Let us deal first with the radiation from star 2 incident upon a specified point on star 1, and further only examine the “line-of-centers ” point on star 1 which is closest to star 2. The effect of mutual irradiation will be strongest there. Note, of course, that the stars themselves actually iterate this effect between one another, since, e.g., when star 2 heats up star 1, that in turn affects the illumination back onto star 2, and so on.”

Note the stars are always different temps.
They heat each other.
Note also that “reflection effect” is a misnomer, and all astronomers understand this.
It does not matter if energy is scattered, reflected, or absorbed and re-emitted, except when it does, such as when the incident energy is entrained into convective cells in the receiving star.

CiteSeerX — A Simple Approach to Mutual Irradiation Heating in Close Binary Systems (psu.edu)

Paywalls prevent me from being able to explore many other papers on this topic.

Phil.
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 9, 2021 2:48 pm

Garbage, in any case the relevant law is the Law of Radiational heat transfer

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Phil.
May 10, 2021 10:29 am

I think there are about four that are relevant.
But yes, second law of thermodynamics is not where to look.
The four:
Planck’s law 

Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation

Wien’s displacement law

Stefan–Boltzmann law 

Some others that may apply are:
Sakuma–Hattori equation

Rayleigh–Jeans law

It is not hard to find reference material, that is for sure.
Here is a summary as it applies to weather in one handy page:
The Four Laws of Radiation | Learning Weather at Penn State Meteorology (psu.edu)

Oops, Penn State!
Forget that last one!
Of course, if one considers The Art of War, it becomes a relevant document, perhaps?

Anders Rasmusson
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 7, 2021 12:40 pm

The absorbing/emitting components in the atmosphere act as a shield hindering the surface (land and oceans) from radiating with the full black body spectrum to the space. The hindered part of the spectra is radiated from the surface to the shield although being cold at higher altitude, a lot warmer than the space at -270 °C. Compensating for the temperature difference, shield vs space, the surface temperature has to be higher when shielded than when not shielded, all due to net power radiated from hot to cold as in :

Q = k(Th^4 – Tc^4)

See page 31 – 34 for radiating effects with shields.

heat_4e_chap13-radiation_ht_lecture-pdf.pdf

From page 35 for absorbing and emitting gases (CO2 and H2O) in furnaces and combustion chambers as by Hottel et al based on experimental data.

Kind regards 
Anders Rasmusson

Dave Fair
Reply to  Anders Rasmusson
May 7, 2021 2:22 pm

Anybody reading (and understanding) the paper cannot deny that increases in atmospheric GHGs cause surface warming. How much warming is determined by all of the other dynamic atmospheric processes, especially the effects of H2O phase changes.

Mike
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 7, 2021 9:52 pm

”How much warming is determined by all of the other dynamic atmospheric processes, especially the effects of H2O phase changes.”

So it could very well be zero. Perhaps all that actually happens is that the RATE of processes of heat dissipation you mention just increase with a net zero warming. The separation of the so called down-welling effect from all other factors can only theoretically calculated but never actually measured. The back radiation may be measured but it’s effect cannot. There is ALWAYS something overlooked or misunderstood or unknown. And that’s why climate models don’t work. And that’s why talk of a 1C rise or a 0.3 degree rise due to increased co2 is basically bullshit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 8, 2021 10:30 pm

You seem great at “looking stuff up”.
Better than me for example, because I cannot find any source for any such assertion.
If you could be so kind as to point us to your reference material, we would sure appreciate it.
I say we but I mean me, and figure others would like to see it as well.
Because then, if any of us want to use this factoid ourselves in the future, we can avoid the uncomfortable situation of appearing to have simply made it up in our own head, and claimed it was true.
After all, we all want other people to learn from and use what we have gone to the trouble to research and reason out and then taken the time to share in blog comments, right?
Plus, we all hate it when we are having a discussion with someone who just makes stuff up, don’t we?
I am sure we all hate it enough to do whatever we must, in order to keep anyone from accusing US of just making stuff up.
So unless you just made this up, like that other crap about binary stars in the “what happens to the temperature of each star in a binary system when they approach one another ” reference guide, I am sure you will be anxious to prove it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
eyesonu
May 7, 2021 12:16 pm

Jim, great post!

With regards to the photo of the anvil shaped cloud, I just can’t take my eyes off of it! I could only guess that it may top out at 10-15,000 ft. (WAG), well above the condensation level. Of interest is the heavy/extreme haze that appears to being pulled into it under the anvil. Question in my mind is: Is upwelling LWIR (as well as downwelling SWR having an effect keeping the H2O in a sort of suspended state between vapor and condensate?

eyesonu
Reply to  eyesonu
May 7, 2021 12:56 pm

I would work for no wages to be a part of releasing a neutral buoyancy balloon into that haze to see if it is being cast from that cloud or being drawn in. Of course that will never happen as I would be on someone’s ass to make it happen and would expect to be paid if they were just sitting on their ass.

Last edited 1 month ago by eyesonu
Michael Hammer
May 7, 2021 2:32 pm

Weather on Earth is driven primarily by the Hadley cell convection loop. Air near the surface is warmed by contact with the surface. It rises to the tropopause where it spreads out laterally (at least as far as the rotating spherical Earth will allow) and cools by radiating energy to space. When it has lost enough energy it descends again around latitudes +-30 degrees completing the convective loop. The atmosphere of the troposphere is a classic is heat engine converting thermal energy from the sun into mechanical energy – wind rain etc – and it obeys the laws discovered by Carnot in the 19th century. One of which is that 100% efficiency is impossible. There must be a cold junction where energy is lost to space.

However any gas that can radiate significant energy at these temperatures is by definition a green house gas. Thus without green house gases the tropopause could not cool and that means the heat engine could not function. There would be no convection, no lapse rate, the entire atmospheric column would be isothermal and because of the extremely slow thermal transfer by conduction in a situation of temperature inversion it would equilibrate to very close to the maximum surface temperature. Condensation of water releases energy and in the GHG free scenario there is no way to lose that energy, thus the atmosphere could not cool enough to allow condensation and that means clouds could not form. Instead the entire atmosphere would become saturated with water vapour and evaporation would also cease. In short there would be no rain no wind no clouds no weather on Earth at all. GHG’s may reduce the radiative loss to space from the surface but they also create the surface energy loss mechanisms of convection and evaporation of water which according to NASA’s much publicised diagram of Earth’s energy balance contribute more than 100 watts/sqM or more than 60% of the total surface energy loss.

So what would surface temperatures be without GHG’s. We all know how fast the surface can warm from walking on a beach in summer or on a pavement (time constant well under 1 hour). I clearly remember once walking down a Las Vegas street in summer with the soles of my shoes melting from contact with the pavement. Peak insolation near the equator in summer without clouds would be close to 1300 watts/sqM. From the Stefan Boltzman law that translates to a surface temperature of 116C! At night, unrestricted surface emission would take the temperature to far below freezing. (Basically a similar situation to what exists on the moon). GHG’s act to dramatically reduce maximum temperatures and increase minimum temperatures creating a climate where life can survive. Yet the claim is a tiny increase the GHG’s will reverse that trend? That implies a point of inflection in the temperature versus GHG concentration relationship. Where is it and why would it occur? What possible justification is there for such an unsupported claim?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Hammer
May 8, 2021 9:21 am

The thing is, we do not even have to go through all of that.
We can look back at what we know occurred in the past.
What was the CO2 level as temp varied?
What was the temp as CO2 varied?
What is clear from studying Earth history and human records is that CO2 is not the thermostat control knob of the atmosphere.
Other factors dominate, not matter what can be said or not said about the radiative properties of CO2 or anything else.
Another thing is clear from Earth history…we are too cold now.
It has never been too hot, even when CO2 was many times higher.
And CO2 is the basic building block of the entire biosphere, and it is in dangerously short supply, even with the recent increase.

No one has ever explained how anyone will die or the Earth will become dangerous from some warming.
In fact the opposite is true.
They never explain it, they simply assert it, and somehow people believe it, even though every experience we have shows the opposite is true.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
May 7, 2021 2:58 pm

Why no mention of the “saturation” level of CO2 and the fact that CO2 mostly affects the same IR wavelengths as H2O?

Reply to  Anti-griff
May 7, 2021 5:24 pm

CO2 blocks X amount of IR from the sun during the day and at night CO2 blocks Y amount of IR from the surface…what are the X and Y quantities …watts/sq m?

Butch123
May 7, 2021 4:23 pm

Amazing. The idea of downwelling IR is brought up again. AND AGAIN, and again. ad nauseum.

downwelling IR **FROM CO2** is a joke. Downwelling IR from H2O is real. It has been measured. Downwelling IR from CO2 has not been measured without models being used to make it magically appear. Yet NO ONE differentiates between the two.

IR in the lower troposphere is emitted by the Earth. IT is not emitted by the CO2 in the atmosphere because the CO2 cannot emit while in the quenching atmosphere that is caused by a billion collisions with the CO2 molecule before the molecule can emit.

Einstein calculated the emission times for IR active molecules and there is no doubt about this fact.Since the Early 1800s we have known the time to collision of the atmospheric particles.

There is a factor of approximately a billion to one Time to emission vs. time to collision.

Second reason: If a CO2 molecule were to emit IR in the mesosphere, that photon would represent no net addition to the Earth’s heat budget.

Why? because to excite a CO2 molecule that high the molecule would have to be excited by collisions. Any emission that high would represent a net reduction of kinetic energy from the atmosphere. a cooling effect if it were to be emitted outward….. AND NO EFFECT if it would be emitted downward. WHY? because the emission would represent the same kinetic energy that was removed from the atmosphere by collision. NO CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.

Energy captured by a CO2 molecule in the troposhere is NOT the same as energy captured by a CO2 molecule in the Mesosphere. They come from different energy sources. One from and the other from collisions. This makes a HUGE difference in the way the energy is passed on.

Reply to  Butch123
May 7, 2021 4:58 pm

Butch, I dont understand your argument or see you offer the evidence to support it. So perhaps you could explain why satellites observe a reduced intensity of wavelengths, that are shown to absorb CO2 in controlled laboratory experiments, that are missing from what is expected from the Planck curve as illustrated here

Planck Curve double CO2_Happer_2020.png
Granum Salis
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 6:06 pm

When CO2 intercepts photons of a given wavenumber, that energy does not show up at the sensor that is expecting it and so there is a trough in the chart.
If the CO2 were to consistently re-emit the photons it had arrested, that energy would, indeed, arrive at the sensor and there would be no trough.

Reply to  Granum Salis
May 7, 2021 6:40 pm

Granum, I think your argument is grossly simplistic. Laboratory experiments show that within milliseconds of absorbing infrared wavelengths, they are emitted even though those CO2 wavelengths no longer are detected by satellite sensors. So here is a more robust explanation for the CO2 trough.

Collisions with CO2 handoff absorbed energy to O2 and N2, or radiate it in all directions with about half of which aimed at the earth’s surface. If CO2 back radiation reaches the earth’s surface, the added warmth then induces infrared radiation that is emitted across the surface’s whole black body spectrum. Of which about 23% now escapes back to space unimpeded as wavelengths that escape through the atmospheric windows.

Likewise if the CO2 collision was with O2 and N2, and then transferred to H2O, then that energy is emitted by H2O and its specific frequency. So again the energy that was undetected because CO2 absorbed and emits those frequencies, energy can still escape to space via other wavelengths.

Thus the trough only shows that CO2 has directed certain wavelengths of energy via absorption and emission which then detoured through other pathways

Granum Salis
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 7:55 pm

Jim, I don’t find that explanation satisfying.
You seem to imply that radiated energy absorbed by CO2 is diffused more or less equally per collisions with the bulk of the atmosphere and per emission of photons.
This is at odds with the notion that collisions vastly overwhelm emission other than in dense, hot gases, or conversely rarified gases.
After all, it’s not the temperature of CO2 that we measure; it’s the temperature of the air, which is mostly not CO2 (nor water). Did that N2 get all its warmth from contact with the surface?

Next, I would take issue with your “added warmth” from back-radiation.
Everyone is at great pains to emphasize that no actual increase in temperature occurs when the surface absorbs photons from a cooler atmosphere, but your putative blue shift in emission is predicated on precisely that.
If the surface temperature is not increased, the Planck curve will not be displaced to the left and the same amount of 667 wavenumber energy will go out as before. That should show up at the CCD of the sensor.

Reply to  Granum Salis
May 7, 2021 8:19 pm

Huh????

Granum Salis
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 7, 2021 8:38 pm

Inspired response!

Lost for words?
But you do see yourself as a teacher, right?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Granum Salis
May 9, 2021 12:41 pm

He heard you. He simply could not believe his ears.comment image&ehk=ZyFjUnKNKUzM9SoD9jXq2dTyyq2iErvCaRc21xm3OIA%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

Phil.
Reply to  Granum Salis
May 9, 2021 2:39 pm

The IR emitted from the surface is traveling up, if it is absorbed by the atmosphere and the energy is transferred to the atmosphere by collisions a sensor above the atmosphere will register a trough in the spectrum. If instead the light is emitted it will be emitted in all directions so only about one half of it will be emitted to space so a trough will still be registered.

Mike
Reply to  Butch123
May 7, 2021 9:58 pm

. Downwelling IR from H2O is real. It has been measured. Downwelling IR from CO2 has not been measured without models being used to make it magically appear. Yet NO ONE differentiates between the two.”

As I said above, even if it is measured, it’s effect can’t. Only a lot of mind masturbation exercises.

Charles Fairbairn
May 7, 2021 5:01 pm

Yes a good post here – Thanks.
Water is major coolant in the climate scene. One has only to look at the the Hydro Cycle to see this as it drives the Latent Heat of evaporation UP through the atmosphere and beyond to space for dissipation, before returning to earth as ice, rain, snow etc. depleted of its energy.
For every kilogram of water evaporated some 694 Watthrs of energy is dissipated this way. Never mind pesky CO2 and all that obsession.
Even those wispy cirrus clouds up there nudging the tropopause are dissipating energy to space (what is left of it) as the ice crystals at -50C grow dendritically before being dragged back to earth by gravity.

ATheoK
May 7, 2021 8:26 pm

Frost fans disrupt freezing layers of surface air that can develop at night during the spring, damaging flowers and fruits. Frost fans simply pull warmer layers of air from above down to the surface raising minimum temperatures. But why does that warmer layer of air exist?”

And in connection to the factors you discuss, cold air sinks and stratifies.
Those fans disrupt and mix the pooled cold air with the warmer air.

Mixing in that warmer air pulled from higher levels works very well.

I live on a hill. First and last frosts miss the majority of my property as the cold air seeks lower areas. Where I must worry about frosts are lower areas of my fields which capture the coldest air sinking to the ground.

Even then, the people living further down the hill experience more extensive frost damage. Which means when discussing frost damage with downhill neighbors, I listen and console.

Smudge pots work in reverse to the fans.
Smudge pots disrupt the pools of cold air by causing air circulation with higher levels of warmer air. Individually, smudge pots minimally warm air. It is the air circulation the fires cause that helps prevent crop losses.

Bill Hamm
May 8, 2021 7:47 am

I was looking at the heat balance chart in the comments. I will leave off the Watts per square meter to make it easier for me. The chart shows 104.4 absorbed by the atmosphere, yet gives 49.6 up to space and 97.7 down to earth. What did the difference of 42.9 come from? Further, there is 8.8 emitted by the clouds, but no where does it show where that came from. What am I missing?

Reply to  Bill Hamm
May 8, 2021 11:34 am

Energy balance illustrations are often confusing and one here seemed more so. I prefer energy budgets like Stephen’s although it too requires careful perusal

Energy Budget Stephens crop.png
Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 8, 2021 7:07 pm

On the rare chance you have not seen this before.

398 W/m^2 upwelling from the surface is a theoretical, “What if?”, S-B BB calculation for any surface at 16 C. (395.5 – close enough)
It creates “extra” energy out of thin air violating both standard bookkeeping standards and LoT 1.

A = 165 – 24 – 88 = 53 = B 398 – 345

You can have A OR you can have B.
YOU CANNOT HAVE BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This results in a 345 W/m^2 of “extra” energy in a 100 % efficient, perpetual loop, from cold to hot w/o the addition of work violating BOTH LoT 1 & 2.

This power flux non-balance graphic and all its kith, kin and clones are 100% rubbish.

But why does it even exist?

To provide an explanation for the GHG molecules to absorb and reradiate photon level energy ala Al’s photo-electric effect.

LWIR does not possess the high energy, short wave, work function energy level requisite to make that happen.

Once upon a not so long ago time published, peer reviewed, main stream, scientific consensus included:
phlogiston,
caloric,
luminiferous ether,
spontaneous generation,
water filled Martian canals,
planet Vulcan,
medical humors,
four elements of matter,
cold fusion……..
And they all turned up wrong.
RGHE theory is going to join them. 

electromagnetic wavelengths.jpg
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 8, 2021 8:31 pm

What are you talking about???? Where did you get your equations

“A = 165 – 24 – 88 = 53 = B 398 – 345

You can have A OR you can have B.

YOU CANNOT HAVE BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

After looking at the graph you posted earlier, I assume all the yellow boxes are your additions, and I give you props for translating % to W/m2.
But your comparison of the 2 equations simply shows you dont understand the graph .

Incoming solar seems balanced by outgoing LR +/- less than 1 W/m2. Other energy budgets are similar but with enough differences that all are within the uncertainty estimates.

What publication was your heat balance illustration taken from

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 8, 2021 8:38 pm

Perhaps you missed my response to Michael who seems to be of the same school of thought as you, and who perpetuates the same misunderstanding of thermodynqmics

Michael, You are the one who keeps pushing magical thinking and irrelevant examples.

What applies to the physics of all heat transfer is simple. Given equal heat capacity and quantities, the temperature of all things is a matter of balance between incoming vs outgoing energy. When incoming energy outweighs outgoing things warm. And vice versa.

The problem with climate alarmists’ claims of a warming earth, is that they are really measuring changes in the rate of warming and rates of cooling. Higher urban heat islands form because heat retaining materials cool at a slower rate, thus the minimum temperature will be higher. It most probable that there was no added energy from CO2 or the sun, just a slower cooling rate that causes the warmer temperature.Longer nights allow more cooling before the sun adds heat, so minimum temperatures fall through the winter.

Regards conduction, heat via collisions ALWAYS transfers heat back and forth between BOTH warm and cold bodies. The same principle applies to diffusion of molecules and heat. Molecules move back and forth between high and low concentrations, but there will always be a net change from high to low concentrations. Because warmer bodies have more energy, the preponderance of heat transfer will be from warm to cold objects. So on AVERAGE heat always travels from warm to cold bodies.

Regards radiative heating, instead of collisions transferring energy we have energy waves. First think in terms of blackbodies that absorb and emit all wavelengths of heat energy, The physics is certain that a warmer body will emit more radiative energy than a cooler body. But the magical thinking you and others insist upon that “warm bodies cant absorb more radiation from a cooler body” is nonsense. That has never been what the laws of thermodynamics have ever stated. Your nonsense arguments only give good scientific skeptics a bad name as anti-science or ignorant.

A colder body always emits radiation in all directions without concern for the relative temperature of its surroundings. A warmer black-body will always absorb whatever radiation comes its way, and thus gain energy. Conversely a warm object will still cool, even though its absorbing more radiation as long as the balance between absorption and emission favors a preponderance of cooling emissions. By absorbing energy from its surroundings, the object just cools at a sower rate.

Similarly, a warm body in thermal equilibrium, needs only absorb slightly more energy to warm. That energy can come from any radiating body whether or not that body is cooler or warmer. That is irrefutable thermodynamics!

Here is a diagram of “Net Diffusion” . It shows molecules moving in BOTH directions. But more going from high to low concentrations. Like waves heat waves can flow back and forth between warmer and cooler objects

net diffusion 2 way.png
Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 9, 2021 8:06 am

“A = 165 – 24 – 88 = 53 = B 398 – 345

These are straight off the graphic you posted.
165 net makes it to the surface.
That is the ABSOLUTE max that can leave per LoT 1.
The 53 LWIR can not be used TWICE!
Once with the surface balance and again with the GHG loop.
The 345 is “excess” violating LoT 1.

1 the earth is cooler with atmosphere not warmer.
2 the GHG loop demands “extra” energy
3 it can’t come from the earth radiating as a BB.

So, address these specific points and don’t wander off into the esoteric weeds with a bunch of irrelevant handwavium.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 9, 2021 11:03 am

LOL Nick,

You completely dodge and dismiss the specific points I presented by flipping it into a snarky self‑righteous attack demanding “address these specific points and don’t wander off into the esoteric weeds with a bunch of irrelevant handwavium.” 

I’ll address your 3 points in good faith, hoping the your objections are sincere and that you will scientifically address my points in the post above, without your snarky dismissal.
 
To first clarify, because you failed to indicate what graph you alluded to, I mistakenly thought your last post was referring to the graph you presented earlier. You often make such ambiguous comments and snarkily suggested I missed something. So the numbers seemed odd compared to Stephen’s eneregy budget illustration that I presented. Still overall TOA incoming vs outgoing numbers are similar for both illustrations.
 
Nonetheless, it becomes very clear that you really don’t understand the illustrations or the thermodynamics of heat transfer, despite your incessant “irrelevant handwavium” that anything you fail to understand must be “violating LoT”
 
The illustration I presented is from Stephens (2012) “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations”. I suggest you read the paper carefully. I somewhat trust the overall data they present because they share their uncertainties and discuss the reasons for that uncertainty. However their overall conclusion that heat is being trapped is suspect precisely due to those great uncertainties. The uncertainty of the surface heat imbalance is about 30‑fold relative to their concluded 0.6 W/m2 imbalance.

Your point “The 53 LWIR can not be used TWICE!” and  “That [53] is the ABSOLUTE max that can leave per LoT .” seems odd because neither illustration suggests the “ABSOLUTE max” was ever violated. Of the 165 w/m2 absorbed by the surface – sensible and latent heat can account for  24 + 88 w/m2, but with huge uncertainties. Latent heat is particularly uncertain because it cant be measured directly. Latent heat is estimated via estimates of precipitation, which also suffers from several biases. That leaves 53 W/m2 to leave the surface via net longwave radiation. Of the 398 W/m2 measured that’s leaving the surface, 345 had been recycled while 53 W/m2 escaped to space. Thus after subtracting reflected solar energy, the incoming energy was ~240.2 and outgoing ~239.7. No Laws of Thermodynamics were violated and 53 LWIR was not used twice. Your misinterpretation just applied bad math.

Your point 1: 1 the earth is cooler with atmosphere not warmer: 

Apparently, you missed the whole point of my article. The atmosphere vis a vis GHG BOTH warms and cools the earth. The analysis of incoming and outgoing energy has such great uncertainties that it is possible cooling effects outweigh warming effects. I cant quantitatively prove it one way or the other. I can only argue there is enough of a cooling effect that any alarmist rants about an existential climate crisis and the world burning up is utter nonsense.

Your point 2: the GHG loop demands “extra” energy.

You can only arrive at that conclusion via your bad math. Since you seem not to believe in a greenhouse effect that recycles infrared, consider how precipitation also gets recycled. Although most water vapor evaporated from the ocean falls back as precip to the ocean, about 40 units are transported to the land. Yet precip measurements show that nearly 3 times that amount falls to the surface. Usng your logic and math, you might argue that those numbers are wrong cause it requires “extra water” and it violates the law of conservation of matter. But just like LWIR, water gets recycled and helps carry latent heat to the TOA.
 
Your point 3:   it [“extra” energy] can’t come from the earth radiating as a BB.

See point 2. The estimates of 398 W/m2 LWIR leaving the surface vs absorption of 345 LWIR is a function of greenhouse gas recycling ( redirecting) energy back to the surface. There is no extra energy ever being claimed or implied.

Please understand this science. You and your ilk who haunt this site and vehemently argue there is no greenhouse warming, only provide fodder to the crazed alarmists who try to make legitimate skeptics look anti-science. But then again,  I sometimes worry that maybe that is the intent of your bad science.
 
 
 
 
 

.

Reply to  Jim Steele
May 9, 2021 11:26 am

see global water cycle

global water_cycle.jpg
Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 10, 2021 3:39 pm

From the values used my reference was clearly Stephen’s graphic!!
The curriculum of the BSME degree I was awarded from CU in ’78 was loaded with LoT, heat transfer, physics, chemistry. If I did not understand the LoT my engineering career in power generation would have been 35 weeks not 35 years.
Your understanding of the radiative interplay between hot and cold systems and non-radiative heat transfer processes is just flat wrong.
And I have demonstrated my LoT understanding by experiment, the gold standard of classical science.
https://principia-scientific.org/debunking-the-greenhouse-gas-theory-with-a-boiling-water-pot/

165 enters and no more than 165 may leave. LoT 1
398 is 15% MORE than arrived from gross ISR violating LoT 1
165 – 54 – 88 = 53 used once. All of it net to the surface from the sun.
398 – 345 = 53 used twice and a calculation.
 The albedo cools the lit side.
The thermal resistance warms the dark.
Comparing to water is a false analogy. 
The 398 origin is a BB calculation for LWIR upwelling from the surface. Trenberth even says so in TFK_bams09.
If this recycling which involves energy moving from cold to hot w/o work existed there would be refrigerators w/o power cords.
I have not seen any.
You?

Once upon a not so long ago time published, peer reviewed, main stream, scientific consensus included:
phlogiston,
caloric,
luminiferous ether,
spontaneous generation,
water filled Martian canals,
planet Vulcan,
medical humors,
four elements of matter,
cold fusion……..
And they all turned up wrong.
RGHE theory is going to join them. 

Radiation & Emissivity Explained.jpg
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 10, 2021 4:02 pm

Sigh! You just repeated your same misinformation, and did not address nor refute what I presented. You just rant diffusion and precipitation analogies were “false”, without offering reasons, clearly revealing again you are blind to the physics. And speaking of false analogies “refrigerators w/o power cords” Really? LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Steele
Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 10, 2021 4:41 pm

“energy recycling”
Leaves none behind to warm the atmosphere.
Leaves none behind to warm the surface.
100% efficient
Aka perpetual motion.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Steele
May 10, 2021 4:44 pm

I can explain it to you.
I can’t understand it for you.

Reply to  Jim Steele
May 10, 2021 5:00 pm

Nick,

Here are 2 basic points you ALWAYS fail to address or refute and are the lynch pin of your misguided beliefs.

  1. Planck’s law everything emits radiation whether it is cooler or warmer than an object next to it.
  2. A black body does and will absorb heat energy whether or not it comes from the emissions of a warmer or cooler body. A cooler body can add energy to a warmer body just as a poor person can give $100 to a rich person and increase the rich person’s wealth.

You and you ilk continue to argue for magic as if a warm body can discriminate between an identical heat wave coming from a warm body vs a cooler body.

You incessantly repeat past failed scientific concepts like “phlogiston, caloric, luminiferous ether, spontaneous generation” as if you believe everyone else but you can be wrong. Your narcissism is showing.

I’ll trust your claim that you are an intelligent engineer, which leads me to believe you must then be a malicious troll who cuts and paste the same misinformation across the internet for the purpose of making the public see climate skeptics as utterly stupid and that ignore the science. You are a cancer and I will no longer bother engaging in your dishonest rants!

Nick Schroeder
May 8, 2021 10:25 am

The highlighted closing comment in the following brought a “Wow!” response elsewhere. Thought I’d see how it plays here.

RGHE theory’s assumption that GHG molecules absorb/emit LWIR energy seems to be rooted in Einstein’s photo-electric effect & equation except the Work Function has been dis-platformed.

A minimum level of energy is required, i.e. the WF, to initiate the photo-electric effect heat conversion process: Incident Photon = WF + Emergent Photon.
The efficiency of the conversion is Emergent/Incident and must be less than 100%.

High energy cosmic and X-ray heat radiation particles deliver that minimum.
Low energy IR particles do not.

In his lecture notes of 1913 Planck observed that the linear dimensions of the space considered must be large compared to the wave lengths of the heat radiation. (or wavelengths shorter than target substance)
High energy cosmic and X-ray SHORT wave lengths meet this criterium.
Low energy IR LONG wave lengths do not.

Atmospheric energy moves around on the kinetic level not the molecular level.
There is no incident/emergent heat radiation from GHG molecules.
LWIR does not have the requisite minimum energy.

RGHE theory has this wrong, too.

Reference
“The Theory of Heat Radiation”, Max Planck, translation by Morton Masius, 1914, Dover Publications.

Bob Wentworth
May 9, 2021 9:36 am

It’s true that greenhouse gases (GHG) play a role in cooling the atmosphere.

But, it’s muddled logic to think that that means they have a net cooling effect on the planet.

GHG inhibit cooling of the surface, and increase cooling of the atmosphere (particularly the upper atmosphere). One really needs to analyze the overall net effect, instead of just looking at a piece of the puzzle and thinking that shows the whole picture.

It’s a bit analogous to looking at a refrigerator and concluding that having a refrigerator in your kitchen must cool the kitchen. A refrigerator produces cooling in one place and heating in another place. What’s the net effect? Ultimately, the net effect is that a refrigerator on average warms the kitchen.

(No, I’m not saying that the atmosphere is necessarily a heat pump. Whether it is or isn’t is beside the point, with respect to what I’m saying. I’m saying one needs to look at net effect, not just one aspect of a situation.)

Reply to  Bob Wentworth
May 9, 2021 11:10 am

Totally agree Bob,

The whole purpose of this article is to make people aware that GHGs both warm and cool the earth,.Without understanding the cooling dynamics alarmists get lost in the silly idea the earth is burning up. Energy budget models are trying to look at the overall picture, but the uncertainties of their estimates are nearly 30 fold greater than r the 0.6 W/m2 of estimated “trapped” heat.

Energy Budget Stephens crop.png
Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Steele
David Bunney
May 10, 2021 5:47 am

I very much like and agree with the point you make about why winter minimums are much warmer in urban areas (and one of the reasons why the graphs of changing temperature anomalies are nonsense dressed up as science).

I am still trying to work through the physics in my head about why putting more CO2 or H2O into the upper atmosphere cools it. I suppose it depends on the effective altitude of the mean radiation emitting surface and the energy of the molecules (ie temperature) up there for any given spectral band. Increasing CO2 or H2O at a given altitude will absorb more radiation emitted from a lower altitude, but if the mean temperature of molecules is higher at the higher altitude then it would have a higher propensity to emit more radiation on the given emitting wave-bands than it absorbs. What about the overall impact on total emissions seen from above. Well if at higher altitude the molecular density is lower there must be more gaps allowing radiation through from below. Yes the absolute partial pressure at a given altitude may have increased but what is the total impact on emissions into space. I would think that a lower air density at the higher altitudes must mean that there is a diminishing effect to increasing the specific partial pressure of a GHG at that altitude. I am not however ruling out that there could be a cooling effect from what you are saying. A very valid argument! I am not one to sit down and do the maths very readily (and it is a long time since I was compelled to do so at university) perhaps someone could sit down and do the blackboard math on this. It would be interesting to see it here if they could post it.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Bunney
Steve Z
May 10, 2021 10:12 am

An excellent post about inversion layers.

People who live near mountains are very familiar with temperature inversions, which tend to be strongest during anticyclones (high-pressure areas) with very light winds in late autumn or early winter when days are short and the sun is low in the sky.

I lived for about 6 years in Lyon, France, near the confluence of the Saone and Rhone rivers, but there are hills to the north and west that rise to about 600 meters above the valley floors. If calm weather with little or no wind was over Lyon during November through February, a fog layer would form over the rivers, and spread over the plains to the south and east, but often the hilltops would be above the fog. If this situation persisted for more than about two days, the valley floor would not receive any sunlight all day, and cold air was trapped under the fog, while the hilltops would be in sunshine all day long, and frequently 5 C or more warmer than the valley floor during daylight hours. Strangely enough, all the CO2 emitted by industries in the city and trapped under the inversion didn’t trap enough heat to break the inversion!

This situation sometimes persisted for a week or more, and was only disrupted if a storm approached from the west, with southerly winds bringing warm air from the Mediterranean to mix with the cold air over the valley, with a brief period of mild, sunny weather ahead of the storm.

Inversions did not last long during spring and summer, because the stronger insolation could penetrate the cool air over the rivers within a few hours after sunrise and warm the air in the valley, which would then induce vertical convection and mixing.

May 10, 2021 7:40 pm

[[Because the bulk of our atmosphere only cools by transferring heat to greenhouse gases, a small percentage of greenhouse gasses creates a “cooling chokepoint”. Consequently, the atmosphere sheds energy more slowly than the solid earth that more quickly loses energy via atmospheric windows. This difference in cooling rates creates a warmer layer of air above the cooler surface air and is called a temperature inversion. Now imagine a world without greenhouse gases. Without greenhouse gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon can’t lose enough heat back to space and the atmosphere would keep warming.]]

Zonk! NONE of the atmosphere cools by transferring heat to so-called greenhouse gases, because there’s no such thing as greenhouse gases. The reality is that the atmosphere does just fine removing its daily deposit of solar heat by radiation, convection, and evaporation sans fictional back radiation.

This writer suffers from years of miseducation by the IPCC octopus that is hell-bent on pushing their CO2-driven global warming hoax for political purposes, and is daily closing its grip on trillions, not to change the climate, but to redistribute wealth for their idea of Marxist social-racial justice Robin Hood-style after picking the pockets of millions of useful idiots.

https://www.quora.com/What-does-science-mean-in-the-following-question-Why-do-people-deny-the-science-of-climate-change/answer/TL-Winslow

BTW, Chinook winds have nothing to do with CO2:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinook_wind
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%B6hn_cloud

Readers of this blog of all places need to wake up to my great free online Climate Science 101 course that straightens the whole field out on solid physical principles starting at square one, and kills the CO2 greenhouse gas warming hoax forever. If you don’t dedicate time to studying it your mind will remain stuck at stupid, allowing the IPCC to run all over you.

Click this to open your mind forever: http://www.historyscoper.com/climatescience101.html

Reply to  TL Winslow
May 11, 2021 5:50 am

Another malicious troll spamming “there’s no such thing as greenhouse gases” despite the fact the absorption and emission of infrared waves by water and CO2 are measured. TL gives life to the label “denier”

shortwave longwave spectrum.png
Joz Jonlin
May 11, 2021 5:37 pm

During the day, earth’s surface absorbs both solar radiation and the downward infrared heat emitted from greenhouse gases”

Call me crazy, but in a freely convective environment like our atmosphere, longwave radiation isn’t just emitted downward, but would be emitted in all directions. An actual greenhouse traps heat because the barrier stops free convection. What is the physical means by which CO2 disrupts convection, or is it simply mimicking disruption? I’m asking for a friend.