Surface Radiation Balance

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Let me invite you to wander with me through some research I’ve been doing. I got to thinking about the surface radiation balance. The earth’s surface absorbs radiation in the form of sunlight plus thermal radiation from the atmosphere. On a global 24/7 basis, the surface absorbs a “downwelling” flow of about half a kilowatt of radiative energy per square meter.

I investigate science in pictures. The raw numbers mean little to me. So I made a global map of variations in the absorption of total energy. Figure 1 shows that result.

Figure 1. Average total radiation absorbed by the surface, shortwave + longwave, on a 1° latitude by 1° latitude gridcell basis.

As you might imagine, the most absorption is in the tropics. The least is up on the Antarctic Plateau. And you can see the light line above the equator in the Pacific. That’s the location of the ITCZ, the “intertropical convergence zone” where the atmospheric circulations of the northern and southern hemisphere meet. It’s an area that gets thunderstorms most days, which reflect lots of sunlight back out to space.

But that’s not what first caught my eye …

I often start researching my way down one road and then I get sidetractored into a different path … in this case I eventually noticed an oddity of that graphic. Most curiously, the total energy absorbed by the the surface in the two hemispheres is exactly the same …

… moments like this are when I’m happy that I’m an independent unfunded researcher, free to follow my monkey mind. So now, as I’m in the process of writing this up, I want to know if this exact equality between the total downwelling surface radiation in the northern and southern hemispheres is a coincidence, or whether it is stable over time. So hang on while I go take the annual averages … OK, Figure 2 shows the annual surface radiation absorption by hemisphere.

Figure 2. Annual total downwelling radiation absorbed by hemisphere, 2000 to 2020.

Now, this is most fascinating … despite the fact that the southern hemisphere has 30% more ocean than the northern, despite different cloud patterns and weather formations, despite one pole being a seasonally frozen ocean and the other a 5,000 foot (1,500 m) ice-covered stony plateau, despite the annual average amount absorbed in different places ranging from 120 to 670 W/m2, despite the hugely changing absorption due to the seasons, despite all of that, every single year the amount of energy absorbed by the surface is split evenly, to within half a percent, between the two hemispheres. Cries out for an explanation …

… my guess is that it’s the result of thermoregulatory emergent phenomena, but that’s a topic for another time. See, this is what my research is like. No straight lines. I prefer to wander side-trails I’ve never trodden. So I’m as surprised as you are that the absorption is almost exactly 50/50 north and south and that that is so stable … but I digress, that’s a topic for another day.

To return to the theme of the post, at the same time that the surface is absorbing half a kilowatt per square meter of downwelling radiation, the earth (like all solid objects and most gases) is also constantly emitting a certain amount of thermal “upwelling” longwave radiation. The amount that gets radiated is a function of temperature. So you can calculate the temperature from the amount of emitted radiation using something called the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. It’s how IR stand-off thermometers work.

The amount of radiation that is emitted is almost always smaller than the amount absorbed, because:

• some energy is lost from the surface as “sensible” (feel-able) energy

• some energy is lost to evaporation as “latent” energy in the form of water vapor, which releases energy when it condenses.

• some energy is “advected”, meaning moved horizontally from one point to another.

Figure 3 shows another global map, this time of upwelling thermal energy emitted from the surface.

Figure 3. Average upwelling thermal longwave radiation from the surface. Legend colors are the same as in Figure 1.

So in rough terms, the surface receives 500 W/m2 of downwelling radiation, and only emits about 80% of that, 400 W/m2, in the form of upwelling radiation. The rest leaves the surface as sensible and latent heat.

From this, an interesting question arises—if the absorbed radiation goes up or down by one W/m2, how much does the emitted radiation change? Naively we might assume that since the amount emitted is 80% of the amount absorbed, for each additional watt per square meter of absorbed radiation, we would expect an increase in emitted radiation of 0.8 W/m2 … but does it work like that?

There are several ways that we can look at this question. Let me start with a gridcell by gridcell time series analysis. Here are the 1° latitude by 1° longitude gridcell short-term (monthly) trends in 21 years of records of upwelling vs. downwelling radiation at the surface. This is looking at monthly changes in both variables after the removal of seasonal variations. Let me call this the “Monthly Analysis”.

Figure 4. Change in emitted surface thermal radiation for a 1 W/m2 change in absorbed surface radiation.

The most unexpected part of Figure 4 is that unlike the rest of the world, in the warmest areas of the ocean, when radiation absorbed at the surface goes up … emitted surface radiation goes down.

This is quite odd. If we take say a block of steel at steady-state, the more radiation it is absorbing, the more radiation it is emitting. And as we would expect, over most of the earth’s surface, and over all of the land, the absorbed radiation controls the emitted radiation. As is true for a block of steel, the more radiative energy that is absorbed, the more energy is radiated away. It’s just “Simple physics”, as mainstream climate scientists like to say.

But in the blue zones in Figure 4, the reverse is true—above a certain threshold, the more radiative energy that is absorbed, the less is radiated. “Complex physics”, as I like to say …

I say that this is because of the combined action of tropical cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These cool and remove energy from the surface in a host of ways, and in their wake leaving lowered temperatures and less energy to be radiated. Here’s a movie about how thunderstorms chase the hot spots.

Cloud top altitude (a proxy for the intensity of thunderstorms) and sea surface temperatures.

Thunderstorms are unique in that they are not simple feedback—particularly over the ocean they are able to drive surface temperatures down to below the thunderstorm initiation temperature. This accounts for the fact that as absorbed surface radiation increases in those tropical areas, the amount of radiation emitted decreases … but again I digress …

The reality is clear from Figure 4. We are looking at a very complex system. There is no one single simple linear relationship between emitted radiation and absorbed radiation. Depending on the location and the nature of the surface (land vs. ocean vs ice vs …), it ranges from an additional 0.8 W/m2 of surface emissions per one additional W/m2 absorbed, down to a decrease of – 0.2 W/m2 of emissions per one W/m2 of additional absorption. Not only are they not of even approximately the same size, they’re not even of the same sign.

As Figure 4 shows, the short-term area-weighted global average trend is only an increase of about a quarter of an additional watt per square meter of emitted radiation for each one W/m2 of additional radiation absorbed.

The various areas do act as we might expect. For example, there’s a greater response in land radiation emitted than in the ocean, due to the ocean’s temperature changing more slowly because of its greater thermal mass. And the tropics show the least change from a one W/m2 change in absorbed radiation.

But Figure 4 only shows short-term, month-by-month changes. And because it take time for earth and ocean to heat up and cool down, these short-term changes will be smaller than the long-term changes. For longer-term changes, we have to look elsewhere.

My insight on this was that we have some 64,800 gridcells in each of the maps above. Over the centuries, they’ve settled into a slow-changing steady state. Each of these has a long-term average absorption of total radiation, and a long-term average emission of thermal radiation. After many, many years, these absorption and radiation levels have incorporated and encompass all feedbacks and delayed responses. We know this because the average of the first half of the CERES data is almost indistinguishable from the average of the full dataset. Figure 1a below shows the same analysis as Figure 1, except for the first half of the data.

Figure 1a. As in Figure 1, but for the first half of the CERES data. As you can see, there’s almost no change from the full dataset. This shows we’re dealing with long-term steady-state analysis. The largest difference is about 0.5% in Antarctica.

So … consider several adjacent gridcells in mid-Pacific or somewhere. Each one has slightly different long-term averages of absorption and emission of radiation. This lets us know what we can expect to happen in that area of the world if the absorption changes by say a watt per square meter. We can know that because in some adjacent gridcell, this is actually happening.

For Figure 5, for every individual gridcell, I looked at a 5° latitude by 5° longitude square area, with the individual gridcell located at the center. Utilizing two of these 5×5 patches of cells, one patch showing emission and one showing absorption, I used standard linear regression to calculate the local change in emission from a one w/m2 increase in absorbed radiation for that small area. Since this is using local data from adjacent gridcells, let me call this the “Local Analysis”.

Figure 5. Local Analysis. Two views (Pacific and Atlantic centered) of a different way to measure the longer-term change in surface upwelling radiation as a function of the absorbed radiation.

There are some interesting things about Figure 5. First, overall, as we’d expect, over the longer term the surface responds more to absorbed radiation than is shown in Figure 4, which is looking at month-to-month variations. In Figure 5 it averages about 0.4 watts emitted per watt absorbed, almost double the value shown in Figure 4.

However, the areas of negative correlation (blue areas) are all in the same location, in the tropical ocean above and below the equator. And the ocean still is changing less than the land, and the tropics is still changing the least.

Moving forwards, there’s a third way and separate way to calculate the long-term response of the surface to absorbed radiation. This depends on a scatterplot of the amount emitted by the surface as a function of the amount absorbed, as shown in Figures 7 to 9.

To begin with, Figure 7 shows the scatterplot for the entire globe. Note that this uses exactly the same data as in the two previous analyses, the “monthly” and “local” analyses. In all cases, I’m using the CERES 21-year gridcell-by-gridcell average values for the surface radiation absorbed and emitted.

Figure 7. Gridcell by gridcell (red dots) scatterplot of radiation absorbed versus radiation emitted. Right-hand scale shows the temperature corresponding to the surface emission on the left-hand scale

Now, the general trend that we’ve been looking at in the two analyses above, the change in emission for a one watt per square meter increase in absorbed radiation, is given by the slope of the yellow line above. And it shows something quite curious …

Most of the data shows a pretty linear relationship between absorption and emission. From ~ 100 W/m2 to ~ 275 W/m2 of absorption, it’s pretty much a straight line. And the same is true, although with a somewhat lesser slope, of absorption from ~ 275 W/m2 to ~ 600 W/m2 of absorption

But once the average absorption (longwave plus shortwave) goes above ~ 600 W/m2, there is no further increase in emission. In other words, all of the additional incoming energy simply is lost as sensible, latent, and advected heat, and the emission doesn’t increase … and of course, “no increase in emission” means no increase in temperature.

Remembering that in the monthly and local analyses above, negative trends almost entirely occurred over the ocean, I split the data into land and ocean gridcells and looked at the two responses. Figure 8 shows the response over the land.

Figure 8. As in Figure 7, but for the land only.

Now, this is much more what one would expect to find. As in the aforementioned steel block, as absorption increases, emission increases. Everywhere we look on the land, when absorption goes up, emission (and thus temperature ) goes up. “Simple physics”.

But this is just the land … what about the ocean?

Figure 9. As in Figures 7 and 8, but for the ocean only.

Here we can see what we saw in Figure 1—there are areas of the ocean where, when the absorbed radiation increases, the emitted radiation decreases … which also means that the temperature is decreasing.

How much does this affect the trend worldwide? We can use the data above to get the trends for each gridcell with a given amount of absorbed radiation. Figure 10 shows that result. Let me call it the “Global Analysis”. Of course, since it is looking at global averages it doesn’t have the fine detail of the other methods.

Figure 10. “Scatterplot Method”, change in surface emission per one W/m2 increase in surface absorption

But it does give the same general pattern, with land emissions all increasing with increased absorption, and with large areas with tropical Pacific emissions moving in the opposite direction from the absorption.

So we have three different estimates of the changes in surface emission resulting from a 1 W/m2 increase in surface absorption. The first one, the “Monthly Analysis”, is short-term so it doesn’t include any feedbacks or slow changes. Thus it gives smaller results than the other two methods.

The other two include all of those slow changes, because they are based on two-decade averages showing the long-term steady-state conditions. Here is a comparison of the three methods.

Figure 11. Comparison of the three analysis methods discussed above.

As you can see, because it’s showing short-term variations, the monthly analysis (blue) gives smaller answers across the board. However, it is closer regarding the land trend, because the land changes temperature faster. The other two methods are long-term and are in reasonable agreement. I would say that the local analysis method is the more accurate of the two longer-term methods. It is location-specific as opposed to absorbed radiation-specific, and so it captures finer detail.

Steady-State

“Steady-state” describes a condition where variables don’t change much. For example, over the entire 20th century the globe warmed by something less than one kelvin. The average temperature of the planet is about 288 kelvin. So over the 20th century, the total change in temperature was about a third of one percent. This is steady-state, where on all levels energy absorbed is generally equal to energy out.

Suppose we took a cold world, dropped it into orbit around a nice warm sun, and watched what happened.

It would warm up … but it won’t warm up forever. The warmer it gets, the more loss from the surface occurs in the form of sensible, latent, and advected heat. Eventually, it will hit a balance point where the surface will neither heat nor cool appreciably.

For the earth, this occurs at the point where on average, for every watt per square meter absorbed by the earth’s surface, about 0.8 watts are emitted.

However, and this is the important point, for excursions around the steady-state, the surface emits much less radiation for every watt per square meter absorbed. After the effect of all short- and long-term losses and feedbacks, the surface only emits an additional ~ 0.4 watt/m2 for every additional watt/m2 absorbed.

Discussion

Why is all of this important? It’s the lowest-level, simplest, and most straightforward part of a larger question. That question relates to the central paradigm of mainstream climate science, which says that the change in temperature (∆T) is a linear function of the change in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) downwelling radiation (“radiative forcing”, ∆F). Mathematically, this is expressed as:

∆T (change in temperature) = lambda (“climate sensitivity” constant) times ∆Ftoa (change in downwelling radiation at top-of-atmosphere), or

∆T = λ ∆Ftoa

Me, I think this equation is fatally flawed, in part for the reason visible in the graphs above—even within just the surface itself, there is no constant lambda “λ” that relates radiation emitted (a measure of temperature) to radiation absorbed. Instead, it varies widely by location and surface type, in both the short- and long-term trends.

In fact, to the exact contrary of the idea of a linear relationship, in large parts of the tropical ocean when absorbed radiation goes up, emitted surface radiation (which is to say surface temperature) goes down … the climate, my friends, she is very complex, and not “simple physics” in the slightest.

More energy is absorbed by an object and in response, it cools down? Say what? “Complex physics” at its very finest.

My best to all,

w.

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September 12, 2021 10:24 am

“That question relates to the central paradigm of mainstream climate science, which says that the change in temperature (∆T) is a linear function of the change in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) downwelling radiation”

No one who understood the GHE would ever say this. Rather downwelling radiation IS a function of temperature!!!

That is next to the question which surface emissivity is assumed in Fig. 3. Sure something close 1, rather than some accurate 0.91..

https://greenhousedefect.com/what-is-the-surface-emissivity-of-earth

Greg
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 12, 2021 12:25 pm

All this “data” is rigged because none of it is actual measured data.

Firstly , how do you measure “surface emissions” from space when you have an entire ficking climate system getting in the way.

I always enjoy Willis’ digging and speculation but when the initial “data” is already a derivative dataset based on a metric tonne of models and assumptions, I don’t see the point of even starting until you have taken apart how the surface data is constructed.

GIGO.

Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2021 12:38 pm

That is the merit of my work. While indeed satellites are pretty useless in this regard, there are other sources we can use. And I think it is embarrassing to say like, cause the satellite does not tell, we are free to guess. It is no legal approach in science.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2021 7:15 pm

The satellite sensors DO only see the energy that falls upon them up there above TOA. So the upwelling and downwelling numbers are back-calculated. The “team” thinks they are accurate to about 0.6 W/m^2….possibly a highly optimistic number, plus they continuously modify the calculated output so that what they think should balance out to zero…is “zeroed”.
https://mdpi-res.com/d_attachment/remotesensing/remotesensing-12-01280/article_deploy/remotesensing-12-01280.pdf

Daniel
Reply to  Greg
September 13, 2021 7:36 am

Well, you may be right but, then the analysis shows, at the very least, that the formula created from that data set is flawed. If you can show that the data as presented and represented by the climate science community does NOT support this: ∆T = λ ∆Ftoa
then you have done something that is a very big deal.

Greg
Reply to  Daniel
September 13, 2021 11:25 pm

Good point Daniel. It’s a shame Willis did not present his argument in that way.

Matty
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 12, 2021 4:21 pm

[spam comment removed- Anthony]

Last edited 16 days ago by Matty
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Matty
September 12, 2021 7:02 pm

Mods
I think that the “Matty” comment should be removed as spam. Lately, SciTechDaily has been dealing with some enterprising idiot that actually appears to be pedaling malicious SW.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Matty
September 12, 2021 7:19 pm

So Matty, does your online pimp job make your Mom proud?

Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 12, 2021 7:28 pm

E. Schaffer, I think you misread “TOA downwelling radiation” as “downwelling longwave IR from gases in the atmosphere.”

“Downwelling radiation” at the surface is composed of incoming solar radiation, radiation emitted from radiatively active gases within the atmosphere, and a bit of reflected radiation (from clouds, dust, etc.). “Downwelling radiation at TOA” is just a funny way of saying solar insolation.

I think what Willis meant to say was that it is assumed by mainstream climate scientists that surface temperature is an approximately linear function of irradiance at the surface, which consists of solar irradiance, downwelling LW IR from radiatively active gases, and radiation emitted & reflected from clouds & dust, and that those latter sources of surface radiation are often specified in terms of the change in TOA solar insolation which would have an equivalent effect on surface temperature.

Is that about right, Willis?

The “approximately linear” aspect is not because Stefan-Boltzmann response / Planck Feedback is linear, but because almost any curve looks approximately linear if you examine a small enough section of it.

The CMIP 5 models mostly assume that an average global temperature increase of 1°C would increase radiant heat loss from the surface of the Earth by 3.1 to 3.3 W/m².

One small complication is that ≈22.6% of incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space, without either reaching the surface or being absorbed in the atmosphere.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 13, 2021 1:46 am

Right, I have to make this concession. “Back radiation” is a function of temperature, not “downwelling radiation” as a whole, including solar radiation. Yet the point I am making is on the common fallacy of assuming “back radiation” could cause any GHE. As it is a function of temperature, it will not explain why a certain temperature / “back radiation” relation does exist in the first place.

“The CMIP 5 models mostly assume that an average global temperature increase of 1°C would increase radiant heat loss from the surface of the Earth by 3.1 to 3.3 W/m².”

Which is another fallacy. If emissions TOA are 240W/m2 and surface temperature is 288K, then (289/288)^4 x 240 – 240 = 3.35, and “Lambda” then is 1/3.35 = 0.3. The problem here is, that “climate science” wants to squeeze out as much warming by any forcing as possible and thus tries to maximize Lambda.

The above approach is obviously wrong, as emissions TOA do not depend on surface temperature, but on the emission temperature. Rather it should be (256/255)^4 x 240 – 240 = 3.79, and Lambda = 0.264. Accordingly a range of 3.1 to 3.3W/m2 for 1K is fudge factor producing some 15-20% more warming in the end. And it is one of many fudge factors.

In reality 2xCO2, allowing for overlaps and real surface emissivity, will only produce a forcing of 2W/m2 (NOT 3.7), translating into 0.53K of warming.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 13, 2021 5:54 am

1. As for the 3.7 to 3.8 vs. 3.1 to 3.3 W/m² figure for radiative emission increase from a 1°C temperature increase, to quote everyone’s favorite Facebook relationship status, “it’s complicated.” Here’s a paper about that:

https://web.mit.edu/~twcronin/www/document/Cronin2020_PlanckQJ.pdf

I don’t have enough confidence in my understanding to rule out either figure, which is why I included both in my  Stefan-Boltzmann response / Planck Feedback discussion.
 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ 

2. It is not a “fallacy” that so-called “back radiation” warms whatever absorbs it. I.e., it has a so-called “greenhouse effect.” (I say “so-called” because that’s not how actual greenhouses work, but it does cause warming.)
 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ 

3. As for how much radiative forcing you get from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, estimates vary quite a bit. I have a couple of web pages about that topic. Here’s the shorter of them (and it also links to the longer):

https://sealevel.info/Radiative_Forcing_synopsis.html

Your estimate of 2 W/m² is possible, but it is near the low end of the confidence intervals for the lowest estimates. Myhre 1998 & the IPCC (TAR & later) estimate 3.7 ±0.4 W/m² per doubling of CO2. AR5 reports that RF estimates for a doubling of CO2 assumed in 23 CMIP5 GCMs varies from 2.6 to 4.3 W/m² per doubling. van Wijngaarden & Happer 2021 (preprint) (see also 2020) report calculated CO2’s ERF at the mesopause (similar to TOA) to be 2.97 W/m² per doubling. Feldman et al 2015 measured downwelling longwave IR “back radiation” from CO2, at ground level, under clear sky conditions, for a decade. They reported that a 22 ppmv (+5.953%) increase in atmospheric CO2 level resulted in a 0.2 ±0.06 W/m² increase in downwelling LW IR from CO2, which is +2.40 ±0.72 W/m² per doubling of CO2. However, ≈22.6% of incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space, without either reaching the surface or being absorbed in the atmosphere, so, adjusting for having measured at the surface, rather than TOA, gives ≈1.29 × (2.40 ±0.72) = 3.10 ±0.93 W/m² per doubling at TOA. (There are also a few more estimates from other sources on that web page.)

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 13, 2021 10:14 am

1. Certainly one can make it complicated, by enhancing the base assumptions. Yet that will not compensate for erroneous base assumptions. Cess et al 1990:

“It then follows that deltaF/deltaTs = 4F/Ts = 3.3Wm2K-1 for conditions typical of Earth (F = 240W/m2 and Ts = 288K), so that in the absnce of interactive feedback mechanisms Lambda = 0.3K/m2W-1″ (sorry for skipping symbols).”

So that would describe the origin, and it is wrong. It is well possible, given the mistake, that some arbitrary “justifications” were introduced later on. But it goes in the wrong direction anyhow. Other than a constant lapse rate, we would expect more latent heat with any warming, reducing the lapse rate (think of the “hot spot”), so that surface temperature would go up less than the emission temperature.

2. No definitely not. Again, “back radiation” as any radiation is a function of temperature, not vice verse. What causes the GHE is an elevated emission altitude combined with the atmospheric lapse rate. “Back radiation” has nothing to do with it. Rather the belief in “back radiation” producing radiative energy without energy input, is the equivalent to the belief in a perpetuum mobile.

3. That is why it is important to understand the circumstances for the respective estimates. I have named it all in the article below, and the table summarizes it nicely.

comment image

https://greenhousedefect.com/the-holy-grail-of-ecs/the-2xco2-forcing-disaster

Ron Long
September 12, 2021 10:37 am

OK, so the down-welling versus radiative energy balance is different for different areas of the earth, due to “complex physics”, or something similar. Now add in ocean and atmospheric currents, Milankovich (and other similar) cycles, set the continents adrift, pop off a few volcanos, and try to model climate change. Not going to happen.

H.R.
Reply to  Ron Long
September 12, 2021 3:07 pm

You dummy. It’s simple physics, Ron. CO2 is the control knob for all climates everywhere, especially the Global Average Climate**.

Ignore all that extraneous detail .Trust The Science. Just ask Greta.



**Me’n Diogenes have been out looking for someone who actually lives in the Global Average Climate. No luck so far, and Biden’s policies are making the search d@mned expensive with the rising price of oil. The search for “that guy” continues. Some average person has to be living in the average climate somewhere somewhere… on average. Maybe we should check out the average location on the Earth next, ya think?

ATheoK
Reply to  H.R.
September 12, 2021 4:49 pm

Maybe you haven’t found the right lamp, the one that illuminates the face of an honest person.

Diogenes of Sinope (l. c. 404-323 BCE) was a Greek Cynic philosopher best known for holding a lantern (or candle) to the faces of the citizens of Athens claiming he was searching for an honest man. He rejected the concept of “manners” as a lie and advocated complete truthfulness at all times and under any circumstance.”

Zeus knows you won’t find that honest face amongst certain government agencies, alarmists and democrats.
That will leave Diogenes bereft of hope that he could find that honest face.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ATheoK
September 12, 2021 7:04 pm

I don’t think that Diogenes was married!

September 12, 2021 10:37 am

It’s clouds! Clouds are one thing that global circulation models do not derive from basic conditions, and have to be parameterized, I.e. made up to fit what the model is tuned to.
It is time to start humming that old Joni Mitchell song.

gringojay
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 11:36 am

Cloud formation is up in the air.

F046201C-D11D-444B-8499-FC70FD0D67A6.jpeg
SxyxS
Reply to  gringojay
September 12, 2021 1:19 pm

I knew cows are responsible for greenhouse gases- but(t) Horses??
3 of those and we can end the drought in the Sahara.

Mr.
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 11:57 am

Now you’ve got me humming “Big Yellow Taxi”.

H.R.
Reply to  Mr.
September 12, 2021 4:25 pm

What?!? I’m not getting that at all. I’m whistling “The Blonde In The Bleachers.”

n.n
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 12:03 pm

It’s not just large scale phenomena. Both observation and inferred parameters are affected by limited events (e.g. blocking, cofluence) on human and geological scales, in local and regional spaces.

H.R.
Reply to  n.n
September 12, 2021 4:51 pm

You bring up an interesting point about human and geological scales, n.n.

On a geological scale, people live on mountains that were once at the bottom of a sea and wear mukluks where alligators used to swim.

In terms of human scale…

My grandfather was born in 1886 and started life in horse and buggy days (my great-grandfather was a wagon and carriage maker). My grandfather bought a 1910, Baker Electric, so was an early EV adopter. As roads improved and travel expanded, he switched to Ford ICEs (Model A), and then a 1953 Chevy, the last car he owned. He watched aviation from its infancy to men landing on the moon His son, my dad, worked on the Engineering of the lunar landing module. I think he may have flown once when a barnstormer came to town and gave rides for a dollar or so. I’m not sure of that. But air travel was fairly cheap ubiquitous at the time he died.

But climate change during his lifetime… the human scale?

Eh… some Winters were bitterly cold and others not so much. Some summers were cool and wet and others were hot and dry and crops were darned poor. he saw the heat of the ’30s and the floods of 1913 and 1939 as well as others.

That’s an important point about the difference in time scales, n.n.

When I was a kid, the snow was near waist high. Now, after a major, severe snowstorm it maybe, maybe comes up near to my knees. Climate change? Perhaps, or perhaps it’s the fact I’m no longer 3’2″, but I still remember trudging through the deep, deep snow back then.

RickWill
Reply to  H.R.
September 12, 2021 6:19 pm

The current period of glaciation began 400 years ago. 1585 was the last time that perihelion occurred before the austral summer solstice. Since then the North Atlantic has been getting more sunlight on average. Boreal summers are getting more sunlight but boreal winters slightly less.

Atmospheric water is peaking later in the year and that will continue for the next 12,000 years as perihelion moves closer to the boreal summer solstice.

The water recently flooding North America and Northern Europe will be peaking later in the year and dropping out faster ahead of cooler winters as snow. The snow will accumulate.

H.R.
Reply to  RickWill
September 12, 2021 8:46 pm

I appreciate where you’re coming from, Rick, but 400 years is longer than human scale and shorter than geological scale.

However conditions 200, 400, 1,000 10,000 and 100,000 thousand years ago can perhaps inform us as to whet we might expect, as best as we can figure out what the local weather and the various regional climate regimes were like at those times.

RickWill
Reply to  H.R.
September 12, 2021 10:55 pm

The point is that climate is changing and orbital mechanics play an important role. The seasons are obvious on an annual time frame and significant.

Orbit also has longer term predictable changes that humans should be aware of and already planning for. Within this millennium humans will be confronted with the next period of glaciation and falling sea levels – it began 400 years ago. That makes most of the exiting port infrastructure across the globe unsuitable. This is not a trivial problem. And unlike CO2, it is real. There may be ways to arrest ice accumulation by large scale dosing to reduce reflectivity but no process developed for that.

Cities at latitudes like Montreal will have much greater levels of snowfall than now being experienced; even New York. Snow clearing will require increasing effort. The Great Lakes could be iced up year round.

The last 4000 years in Earths history have been balmy with very low snowfall over the northern land masses – just 400 years past their lowest average level. That is now changing. There will be more water in the atmosphere over the North Atlantic ahead of cooler winters. Tropical storms WILL occur more frequently in the North Atlantic. Flooding will be more severe. These changes are barely perceptible now but the changes should be getting incorporated into infrastructure planning now.

As a specific example, dam design for high consequence dams are based on the maximum probably flood event with time horizons beyond 10,000 year average return interval. These are statical values based on historical data collected over maybe 200 years. A real consequence could be the failure of the Hoover Dam.

Humans must adapt to climate change. There is little possibility of arresting these certain changes.

Sam Best
Reply to  RickWill
September 13, 2021 4:05 am

If mankind stops emitting ghgs, the ghe stops increasing. Doesn’t that arrest global temperatures rise?

H.R.
Reply to  RickWill
September 15, 2021 5:26 am

Well, the mechanics are interesting, Rick, but I was commenting on n.n.’s point about humans and their perception of scale.

Most people don’t appreciate geological time and operate on human scale, and many operate on even shorter scales, such as what happened last week.

The majority of people who frequent this blog seem to have an appreciation of the various time scales as they relate to climate.

The point of my story about my grandfather is that some things change rapidly on human scale – there are millions who have never seen an 8-track tape – but climate? Not so much.

Greg
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 12:26 pm

… are one of MANY things …..

RickWill
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 5:29 pm

It’s clouds! 

To be precise, it is atmospheric water. A fatal flaw in climate models is treating the phases of water, gas, liquid and solid, as separate entities. Clouds start out as water vapour. They can be formed from both liquid and gas phases. The amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is a function of the surface temperature. All linked to provide surface temperature upper limit over open oceans.

The critical level of atmospheric water is 45mm. Above this level the atmospheric water cools the surface while below this level, the atmospheric water warms the surface.

Sam Best
Reply to  RickWill
September 13, 2021 8:20 am

None of those changes affects heat transfer to space. So it’s irrelevant to earths heat balance

Global Cooling
September 12, 2021 10:38 am

Yes. Climate is a complex system, not just ∆T = λ ∆Ftoa.

Contributing factors overlap with each other. Their relationships are non-linear, need time to occur and have feedback loops. I would not even try to create a computer model that calculates that.

Simple sensitivity model assumes that all difficulties average out. After several decades of work we have got a number from 0 – 7 C, which does not look useful.

M Courtney
Reply to  Global Cooling
September 12, 2021 12:23 pm

I up-ticked.
Then had 2nd thoughts. The problem is… it does look useful.
Sure, it doesn’t look accurate enough to be physically useful.
But science is about getting funding to do science; the physical world is not necessarily involved.

Greg
Reply to  Global Cooling
September 12, 2021 12:29 pm

Hey, the average of 0-7 is 3.5 deg C. You just need to put that in a report with lots of pseudo-scientific fluff and then use it to redesign the world economy !

Don’t you have the first idea how climatology works ?

Reply to  Global Cooling
September 12, 2021 12:41 pm

Overlaps are a huge issue! And believe it or not, the whole “global warming” narrative is based on ignoring them all. Because if you do, CO2 can not do a lot of climate change anymore.

comment image

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Global Cooling
September 12, 2021 7:08 pm

… we have got a number from 0 – 7 C, which does not look useful.

No, until the range of uncertainty is at least an order of magnitude smaller than warming expected to have undesirable effects, we don’t really have any useful information.

DMacKenzie
September 12, 2021 10:43 am

Willis here another aspect of the Northern/Southern hemisphere similarity that is worth consideration ……Albedo reflection of sunlight apparently within 0.2 W/m^2
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014RG000449

Greg
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 12, 2021 1:06 pm

One of the authors is Peter Webster, Judith Curry’s husband.
The paper seems to be basically arguing Willis’ self regulation.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 12, 2021 7:40 pm

More experts that don’t seem to understand the difference between diffuse and specular reflections.

They cite early work done on estimating albedo by measuring Earth-shine on the moon. What none of them apparently realize is that only retroreflectance can be measured with such a geometric configuration, which implies that primarily diffuse reflectance (clouds, vegetation, regolith, and snow) is being measured. Actually, whatever flux is measured from a diffuse reflector, such as clouds, has to be integrated over a hemisphere to get the total reflectance. To do the integration, one has to either assume Lambertian distribution, or have an empirical hemispherical bi-directional reflectance distribution function for the reflector(s).

All specular reflectance (with the exception of the sun’s rays normal to the surface) reflect to the side or away from Earth. Thus, only a very narrow cone of rays can be intercepted from a specular reflector such as water, which is not representative of all the reflected light. Furthermore, it is the rays beyond 60 degrees that represent higher reflectivity, and are sent off into space in the same direction as rays from the sun.

H. D. Hoese
September 12, 2021 11:16 am

Very interesting, we need more “monkeying around.” Bell Laboratories had a funding source and wise management that allowed such. NSF may have started out that way, but evolved into the problem bureaucracy it now is. Excuse was always accountability, suspect that got more money wasted which increased over the years. Science communicators need to exam this before they pontificate. 

As to the physics have long wondered what goes on in the ocean as under the mass of clouds now in the western Gulf of Mexico, quickly called Nicholas. Imagine being Halobates, the surface waterstrider!

Dave Fair
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
September 12, 2021 1:17 pm

Bureaucracy is created to eliminate, or at least minimize, error. It grows until it overwhelms the original purpose of the entity. The Soviet Union’s demise is the finest example of the resultant. The U.S. Federal Deep State is one of the current manifestations. Pick your own local example.

Crisp
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 11:49 pm

Bureaucracy is created to a) avoid risk to any individual in that bureaucracy and b) avoid responsibility falling on any individual in that bureaucracy. They are not concerned with error – otherwise they would all have to close down post haste.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Crisp
September 13, 2021 12:39 am

The largest error one can make in a bureaucracy is to make one’s boss look bad. Bureaucracies designate scapegoats all the time, so individuals truly are singled out. The problem is that it is usually management’s fault but has to be blamed on someone in the lower levels.

Individuals are simply cogs in the great machine and will be punished for unorthodox behavior. Punishment often involves moving the individual to another job (sometimes with more pay) and starting rumors about how bad that individual is.

Rules in a bureaucracy do not resemble the rules one normally assumes in life and commerce. They have no rational standards so one can never assume rational behavior by a bureaucracy. Evidence the current institutionalized racism and wild misspending on “green.”

September 12, 2021 11:25 am

It is just convection.
Clouds and thunderstorms can visually display where upward convection is occurring but don’t display all of it.
Just consider the Polar, Ferrel and Hadley cells.
They change size, intensity and speed of overturning in order to neutralise any radiative imbalances.
The amount of such changes from CO2 variations would be indiscernible from short term natural variability caused by sun and oceans let alone from orbital variatins and/or Milankovitch cycles.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 13, 2021 9:47 am
Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 11:31 am

There is no “extra” downwelling radiation because there is no “extra” upwelling radiation.
IR instruments do not measure power flux directly, they measure comparative/referenced/calibrated temperatures and INFER power flux by ASSUMING emissivity.
And is often the case with assuming, assuming 1.0 surface emissivity is assuming wrong.

No RGHE, No GHG warming, no CAGW.

IPCC AR5.jpg
Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 1:18 pm

Ideation somehow always slips in.

leitmotif
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 2:00 pm

Science isn’t ideation. Ideation is … something like … say …. believing some BS about back radiation being a real forcing without the slightest scrap of evidence to back it up.

I think they call this group lukewarmists. That’s ideation at its most destructive because it gives credibility to climate change alarmists they don’t deserve.

Dave Fair
Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 2:26 pm

“…. believing some BS about back radiation being a real forcing without the slightest scrap of evidence to back it up.” So, the atmosphere, including clouds, doesn’t radiate infrared?

Last edited 16 days ago by Dave Fair
leitmotif
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 2:36 pm

What is it about the word “forcing” that you don’t understand?

Dave Fair
Reply to  leitmotif
September 13, 2021 12:56 am

“Forcing,” according to the UN IPCC CliSciFi material, is an external force applied to the existing climate processes, or some such verbiage.

You seem to confuse “forcing” with the downward IR of the atmosphere. It is no more of a “forcing” than that of the upward IR at TOA.

Regretfully, people have been calling the downward IR of the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface as “back radiation.” Upward and downward IR are simply the results of the energy added to the atmospheric system. It can be envisioned as the radiation from both sides of a flat sheet of material, although the “sides” of the atmosphere (including clouds) radiate at different rates.

LdB
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 13, 2021 1:41 am

I think that is called a u-turn .. read the conversation again

mkelly
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 13, 2021 8:13 am

Knowing the boundaries of the systems everyone is talking about would be nice.

Dave said using IPCC that forcing is “an external force“. External to what. Only thing external to TOA is the sun. Everything is external to the surface of the earth.

Dave Fair
Reply to  mkelly
September 13, 2021 9:53 am

I’m not going to try to explain nor justify UN IPCC CliSciFi practices.

Sam Best
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 16, 2021 5:59 pm

IPCC Science is written by actual scientists. Are you having trouble understand them?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 11:16 pm

Having a scientific and engineering background, I understand them well. It is the unscientific political interference in the preparation and conclusions of the reports that I have “trouble” with. Unbiased scientists have been frozen out of the UN IPCC CliSciFi reports. They read like poorly prepared soviet-era propaganda.

Mark Pawelek
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 14, 2021 7:11 am

Of course the atmosphere radiates infrared; as does the surface. How do you think the earth cools?

Sam Best
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
September 16, 2021 8:07 pm

It only cools if the solar energy entering earths system is less than what is leaving. Since about 1900, its been the reverse

Sam Best
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 17, 2021 5:36 pm

So somehow every climate scientist, every atmospheric physicist, and every scientific institution in the world are wrong.How do you explain that? Could it be that instead you’ve made a fundamental error?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 11:23 pm

I was criticizing the “no back radiation” comment. I support the scientific consensus of GHG effects. I disagree with the clearly-disproven CliSciFi assertion that water vapor and clouds provide for positive feedback of 3-to-whatever times.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 5:41 pm

Nick is completely confused, as usual.

He confuses issues of the emissivity of the sensor and the emissivity of the object being measured.

He thinks that sensors measuring radiative flux density (in W/m2) need to make assumptions about the emissivity of the object being measured. (If you then want to derive the temperature of the object from this flux density, as with your kitchen IR thermometer, this is true, but that’s not what these sensors are doing — rookie mistake!)

He confuses gross and net radiative transfers, and mistakenly thinks emissivity is a function of net transfer.

These are all things that a semi-competent student would understand from their first undergraduate heat transfer course. But it’s very clear that Nick does not belong to that group!

mkelly
Reply to  Ed Bo
September 13, 2021 8:22 am

Ed what emissivity should be used when calculating the the temperature of the CO2 that is radiating all that IR at 15 micro?

Ed Bo
Reply to  mkelly
September 13, 2021 1:48 pm

mkelly: The emissivity of gases is a complicated subject. As Kevin Kilty says below:

The effective emissivity for gasses at one atmosphere total pressure is a function of the path length the gas presents times partial pressure of the IR active gas and the gas temperature.”

I typically use graphs and tables that spring from the engineering work of Hoyt Hottel.

But regardless, the emissivity value used for gases is a factor in calculating the gross radiative output as a function of temperature, regardless of the radiative input.

It’s a simple concept, explained in any introductory heat transfer class. But no matter how many times it’s explained to Nick, he can’t get it!

RickWill
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 7:40 pm

I am surprised that Willis has not condemned this. As his education proceeds, he might begin to appreciate the religious nature of downwelling radiation.

He would find working with top of atmosphere fluxes so much more meaningful using physical reality rather than concepts embedded in the GW religion.

There is zero infrared radiation leaving the surface of a tropical ocean. ALL heat transport from the surface is latent heat with a tiny amount of conduction. There is actually zero infrared released directly to space from the atmosphere below 8,000m. Too much water in all its phases to permit transmission.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
September 13, 2021 1:05 am

There is zero infrared radiation leaving the surface of a tropical ocean.” I didn’t know that the tropical ocean was at zero K. Thanks for the heads-up.

Additionally, thanks for informing me that there is no small “window” in the atmosphere that allows a small portion of Earth’s IR to go directly to space. Everybody seem to have gotten that one wrong.

RickWill
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 13, 2021 5:12 pm

You did not read or understand what I wrote. Specifically no IR goes directly to space over a tropical ocean. The IR from the surface is absorbed before it gets into space.

In locations that have less atmospheric water then the IR is not fully absorbed. Some wavelengths gets directly to space.

This link shows how corrections are made for determining SST from space.
https://www.ssec.wisc.edu/meetings/ciw/Workshop_Presentations/Wednesday_6_20_2012/2_Algorithm_Approaches/3_Wilson_TempAlgorithmOverview.pdf Note the difference between the low and high humidity spectra on the 8th slide. The high humidity spectrum is lower than the low humidity spectrum over the full wavelength.

Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 14, 2021 4:54 am

RickWill: “Specifically no IR goes directly to space over a tropical ocean.”

WR: Do you mean no IR that can be absorbed by H2O or do you mean no IR that leaves the ocean – whatever the wavelength?

I would be interested to know for oceans around the equator how much IR energy (W/m2 and percentage) is able to reach space without being absorbed by whatever GHG molecule, both for clear sky and cloudy sky conditions. And I am also interested in the numbers for the present Arctic and the Antarctic.

RickWill
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 14, 2021 3:57 pm

There is none that goes direct to space over a tropical ocean at any wavelength. But the absorption for different wavelengths varies with the TPW, cloud cover and type of cloud.

In the paper I previously linked to on the other thread and above on this thread, a tropical ocean at 30 to 32C cycles water in the evaporation/precipitation cycle at 7.5mm per day. The IR radiant heat loss above the level of free convection is equivalent to the latent heat to evaporate 7.5mm per day. So the only heat transport from the surface is latent heat.
http://www.bomwatch.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Bomwatch-Willoughby-Main-article-FINAL.pdf
See Table 1 for the surface measured insolation and the column OLR.

The average rate of precipitation is 7.5mm when the system is in temperature limiting mode at 30C. That means the average rate of evaporation is also 7.5mm. Most of the condensate is produced above the level of free convection. That means all OLR exits at high altitude.

Determining the sea surface temperature in the tropics from space is not trivial because there is no wavelength coming direct from the surface or anywhere near it. The NOAA/Reynolds SST data set combines the temperature measurements at the tropical moored buoys interpolated with satellite data to give quite accurate SST over the tropical oceans.

Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 14, 2021 9:54 pm

RickWill: “There is none that goes direct to space over a tropical ocean at any wavelength. But the absorption for different wavelengths varies with the TPW, cloud cover and type of cloud.”

WR:

  • Different greenhouse gases trap radiation at different wavelengths. Some wavelengths are not absorbed by any of the greenhouse gases. They are only absorbed by clouds. The sentence”There is none etc.” suggests all tropical areas are always covered by clouds – which is not*.
  • Most of the time Hadley Cells show a narrow band of rising air / developing clouds, although at some other places rainstorms develop – but less frequent. Most of the surface area of the Hadley cell is characterized by descending air: clouds are thin or develop only later on the day. Less cloudy air is found over colder oceans (where we find cold upwelling water) and/or with high-pressure areas.
  • Most tropical oceans do not have a temperature of 30-32 degrees. Actual situation:comment image

*See for actual cloud cover:
https://climatereanalyzer.org/wx/DailySummary/#prcp-tcld-topo

Eben
September 12, 2021 11:34 am

Go find a different hobby

leitmotif
Reply to  Eben
September 12, 2021 11:46 am

He did. His last one was a unicorn hunter.

Les7
September 12, 2021 11:38 am

Willis, as much as I admire your research, the lucid clarity of your writing on theses subjects is the real tribute to your insight and character.

An old prof once admonished me with the words “true genius is the ability to take the most esoteric idea and lay it out clearly and simply for whoever might seek to understand.

Thankyou

leitmotif
Reply to  Les7
September 12, 2021 11:48 am

Willis says “thanks son”.

leitmotif
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 12, 2021 2:04 pm

Sorry Willis, I only have my maths and physics degree to fall back on. Maybe I should have gone for psychology like you did.

Too late now.

Sam Best
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2021 4:13 am

I thought your speciality was massage therapy, Willis?

Sam Best
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2021 5:04 am

Refutations of your nonsense are everywhere in the scientific literature, Willis.

Editor
Reply to  Sam Best
September 13, 2021 8:05 am

Yet you didn’t address THIS posted article at all, your refutation claims are useless here.

Sam Best
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 13, 2021 8:22 am

Your assertion that peer reviewed science is irrelevant is, of course, irrelevant

Editor
Reply to  Sam Best
September 13, 2021 10:45 am

Now you LIE about what I wrote which was about what YOU wrote in NOT challenging the blog post at all you made vague claims of refutations without a shred of posted evidence offered.

You are running on nothing here.

Sam Best
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 13, 2021 7:32 pm

Willis talks in circles, while missing the fundamental mechanism of planetary warming that dominates today: an increasing GHE which increasingly restricts the flow of infrared thermal radiation attempting to leave earth’s system for space. An education in Message Therapy didn’t prepare him to teach laymen about physics or thermodynamics; he doesn’t understand either.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Best
September 14, 2021 3:44 am

And what, pray tell, is the exact impact of this “restriction’ on radiation to space. Don’t tell me that the Global Average Temperature goes up. Tell me *exactly* what causes the GAT goes up. What happens to maximum temps during the day and to minimum temps at night.

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 16, 2021 4:58 pm

You really don’t know? What do you think happens when thermal infrared radiation trying to leave earth is prevented from doing so and returns to earth? Try doing a heat balance on earths system.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Best
September 16, 2021 5:41 pm

If it returns to earth doesn’t the earth just turn around and re-radiate it back? And a little more is lost to space with each re-radiation?

Nor did you answer my question.

Tell me *exactly* what causes the GAT goes up. What happens to maximum temps during the day and to minimum temps at night.”

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 16, 2021 6:51 pm

First the basics. Do you understand and agree that the solar energy entering earths system must be numerically equal to the energy leaving?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Sam Best
September 15, 2021 9:00 am

Sam Best, you posted:

” . . . the fundamental mechanism of planetary warming that dominates today: an increasing GHE which increasingly restricts the flow of infrared thermal radiation attempting to leave earth’s system for space.”

Hmmm . . . did you ever consider that GHGs have the same average temperature as non-GHGs (mainly N2 and O2) at any given altitude DESPITE the fact that they are absorbing about 90% of all LWIR energy radiated off Earth’s surface?

There is not a “standard atmosphere” temperature profile for CO2 and another for N2.

This reason for this is “thermal equalization” (aka “thermalization”) caused by the extremely rapid, on the order of nanoseconds timescale, collisions occurring between all atmospheric molecules at the typical temperatures and pressures within the 10 km altitude characteristic of the troposphere. Energy is exchanged in these collision such that the energized GHGs warm the relatively lower-energy N2 and O2 molecules, thus driving the ensemble to an average temperature.

The N2 and O2 molecules, being non-GHGs, radiate energy directly to space due to the simple fact that their temperature is above absolute zero. Increasing their temperature in turn increases the amount of thermal radiation they emit directly to space.

Thus, although GHGs block LWIR coming off Earth’s surface from going directly to space, they serve the extremely important function of re-distributing that absorbed LWIR energy to N2 and O2 (comprising 99% of Earth’s atmosphere) that otherwise are incapable of being “warmed” directly by absorbing LWIR.

And the ad hominem attack in your last sentence was uncalled for, besides being just wrong.

Last edited 13 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Sam Best
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 16, 2021 5:02 pm

Some of that radiation is returned to earth warming it. Here: https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2021/02/25/carbon-dioxide-cause-global-warming/

and Willis really does not understand basic thermodynamics or physics.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 7:30 am

“and Willis really does not understand basic thermodynamics or physics.”

So, Sam Best, exactly how many peer-reviewed scientific papers or even just general science-based articles, let alone books, have you had published on the subject of “basic thermodynamics or physics”?

I’ll be laughing out loud until you can cite some verifiable publications of your work.

Sam Best
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 17, 2021 5:38 pm

The question is how many has Willis published? Answer: ZERO.

Sam Best
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 17, 2021 6:28 pm

Sorry, Willis. those are all pay to publish scams. No legit peer reviewed scientific journals. Yo

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Sam Best
September 19, 2021 3:25 pm

Sam Best posted:

“Sorry, Willis. those are all pay to publish scams.”

Sam Best: your ignorance . . . it burns.

You assert that a publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, cited by Willis as one of his publication venues (second from the bottom in his above listing), is a “pay to publish scam”?

ROTFLMAO!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 7:45 pm

You insult was unwarranted! You are not contributing anything but puffing up your own ego.

Editor
Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 8:36 pm

Your empty reply was the best you can do, that is what a child does a lot, but a grown man would have tried to post a real counterpoint to the article, but in the end you came up with education fallacy you must like bragging now……..

You must be from harvad!

Kevin kilty
September 12, 2021 11:45 am

Extremely interesting, Willis. You say at one point…

The first one, the “Monthly Analysis”, is short-term so it doesn’t include any feedbacks or slow changes. 

But there is sort-term feedback here in the form of the Stefan-Boltzmann feedback. For each unit of surface absoprtion there is a very quick increase in outgoing LWIR.

Figure 7 looks just about like a proportional controller with a hard limit at 30C or thereabouts. Two questions: 1) What is the source of the absorbed radiation estimates? 2) is there a way to extend Figure 7 to the left to see a hard limit at very low values of absorption? Polar night, for example?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Kevin kilty
September 12, 2021 4:25 pm

I see in the caption the source of the data, and I have read how nasa obtains surface temperatures from GOES, and so the radiant fluxes are avaiable from views at various angles and over different bands. I also see one of the graphs has a temperature scale and the lowest radiances appear to be from polar night. So, there is apparently not a symmetry to the “limiter” here…

Last edited 16 days ago by Kevin kilty
n.n
September 12, 2021 11:56 am

Certainly, the problem set is complex, and the solution space cannot be reduced to a simple scalar, and can only be estimated with accuracy and reproducibility through stochastic methods in a limited frame of reference.

The climates are changing, which can be completely accounted for with natural, large scale perturbations.

Daniel
Reply to  n.n
September 13, 2021 8:19 am

What scalar were you thinking of? Can the solution space be reduced to a set of scalars? Or through stochastic methods applied to a set of scalars in a limited frame of reference?

Les7
September 12, 2021 11:57 am

On a somewhat related note (to thermo regulatory systems)I was struck while wandering the sandy riverbank by the wave forms left by the flowing water – now receeded – in the sand/silt.

They were identical in size and shape to the wave forms I had seen hiking the snow and icefields of our Pacific NW.

Which would seem to me to indicate that the driving force for snow and ice melt is wind, not albedo. Are there any databases that might help tease out the effect of wind as a thermo regulatory system?

Thanks

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Les7
September 12, 2021 7:47 pm

Generally, the role played by wind with snow and ice is to cause sublimation.

leitmotif
September 12, 2021 12:11 pm

Can the Stefan-Boltzmann equation even be used for gases?

Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 2:02 pm

That’s the basis of modern scientific climatology. Use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation freely for black bodies, gray bodies, green bodies, gases, clouds, water, or a single spectral line 🙂

Last edited 16 days ago by Curious George
Kevin kilty
Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 2:31 pm

Yes. The effective emissivity for gasses at one atmosphere total pressure is a function of the path length the gas presents times partial pressure of the IR active gas and the gas temperature. These engineering correlations are from experimental data and are a fundamental input for estimates of radiative transfer from hot combustion gasses to an enclosure.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  leitmotif
September 12, 2021 7:50 pm

Why are you asking such a question when you have your “maths and physics degree to fall back on?”

Greg
September 12, 2021 12:18 pm

When I see a 50/50 split in such data, my hackles go up. We know that the satellite data show an actual imbalance of about 5W/m^2 which nowhere near credible, so they rig it make it out of balance by what they consider “reasonable”. IOW, they impose their expectations on what they are obliged to admit are flakey data.

My first guess at attribution of this crazy 50/50 split is that someone thought that is what it should be so forced it to be nearly identical. They know they can’t make it exactly equal without giving the game away.

Sam Best
Reply to  Greg
September 16, 2021 8:11 pm

Saying that 5W/m^2 is ‘nowhere near credible’ doesnt cut it, especially when its stated in the peer reviewed science. You have to show why its not credible.

Thomas Gasloli
September 12, 2021 12:26 pm

And all due to that amazing substance called water that “climate science” ignores because CO2.😃

RickWill
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 12, 2021 7:55 pm

And all due to that amazing substance called water that “climate science” ignores 

Not quite true.

Water as a gas is the super “Greenhouse Gas”.

Water as clouds is a parameterised factor.

Surface temperature is a function of an energy imbalance caused by CO2 increasing that creates a positive feedback with water vapour.

Coupled models bring the atmosphere and oceans together but the atmospheric phases of water remain uncoupled.

Models do not even have a mass balance with atmospheric water over an annual cycle. Integrating the precipitation less evaporation over a few years can result in negative atmospheric water. Where would you find such unphysical nonsense anywhere but climate models.

The atmospheric water and cloud formation are unlinked to the surface temperature. Again unphysical absurdities.

Last edited 16 days ago by RickWill
gbaikie
September 12, 2021 12:34 pm

–The earth’s surface absorbs radiation in the form of sunlight plus thermal radiation 
from the atmosphere.–

The surface {ocean and ground surface} does not absorb much energy other than the energy
of the sunlight. Earth is not like your house in which one heats air and the convectional heat
of the air warms the surface. A house is also heated by sunlight passing windows or sunlight
heating sides of house and mostly the roof of house, which also convectional heats the house.
Also if house is well insulation, and open a door, the outside warmed surface air will warm up the house air.
But like a house, thermal radiation [unless it’s fire or electric heating elements {which intense heat source like the sun is]} doesn’t heat surfaces of the your house.

The main thing about Earth is the temperature of entire ocean, which has average temperature of 3.5 C.
And this cold ocean is why we are in an Ice Age.
The reason this is the case, is that most of surface heating of Earth is done in the tropics and
tropics is 40% of surface area of the world. And the other 60% of Earth is more effected by
the 3.5 C average temperature of the Ocean.
So our cold average ocean temperature has near zero effect upon the tropical zone, and is “everything” about the polar region {though tropical ocean heat engine does add some atmospheric warmth to polar region- which more noticeable when ocean is not adding much heating to polar region or in regards to particular part of a polar region- ie the large isolated land mass of Antarctic continent.
So ocean temperature of 3.5 C little effect on tropics, large effect near liquid ocean surface
waters in polar regions and oceans closer to polar regions- Europe, Russia, Canada, and lessor amounts land in south hemisphere nearer to polar region {ie South Africa}.
Though global air temperature is about ocean surface temperature, and there is lots of that in southern hemisphere closer to southern polar region. 
Our Late Cenozoic Ice Age or the 34 million years of icehouse climate has little effect upon the tropical temperature.

Captain climate
September 12, 2021 12:59 pm

I couldn’t invest the time in reading this whole thing. Maybe tomorrow. Anyone want to summarize like “clouds regulate the climate?”

Captain Climate
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2021 9:42 am

I appreciate the effort you made, but it’s terrible writing. Give the punchline. Then explain the thought process after the fact. Very few people want to read a play-by-play of your exploratory data analysis, especially if you came to no actual conclusion or they literally stumble over it.

Here is the gold standard book on how to make an argument readable.
https://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Principle-Logic-Writing-Thinking/dp/0273710516

“in large parts of the tropical ocean when absorbed radiation goes up, emitted surface radiation (which is to say surface temperature) goes down” 

This sentence could literally have been stated up front and then you do your exploratory data analysis piece.

See, this is what my research is like. No straight lines. I prefer to wander side-trails I’ve never trodden. 

It’s okay to go down side trails, but when you’re writing or speaking it’s called perambulation, and it’s not a good thing.

Sam Best
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2021 7:17 pm

Willis, you talk in circles, and often never come to a conclusion, As the Cheshire Cat said, ‘ If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”.

Sam Best
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 17, 2021 6:13 am

As usual, Sam, you reach no conclusion, but wander aimlessly with spontaneous thoughts and lack of purpose.

AndyHce
September 12, 2021 1:00 pm

This is an interesting analysis but where does the data for a 1W/m2 absorbed radiation difference, and the resulting emissions changes, come from?

While numbers are neat and tidy, measurements are much less so. It seems likely that the uncertainty in radiation measurements over the surface of the earth are much larger than these results, rendering any conclusion moot.

gbaikie
September 12, 2021 1:01 pm

–This is quite odd. If we take say a block of steel at steady-state, the more radiation it is absorbing, the more radiation it is emitting. And as we would expect, over most of the earth’s surface, and over all of the land, the absorbed radiation controls the emitted radiation. As is true for a block of steel, the more radiative energy that is absorbed, the more energy is radiated away. It’s just “Simple physics”, as mainstream climate scientists like to say.–

Earth surface is 70% ocean. Ocean water is not vaguely like a block of steel.
Sunlight would heat the surface of block of steel and since steel is not as good as some other metals, it conduct some heat into the block of steel. And also since not a good as other metals, steel block would not conduct as quickly, the heat out the block of steel to it surface to be lost from convectional and radiant heat loss.
If Earth was a block steel, it would be cold Earth.
Ocean water surface absorbs very little of the sunlight, because it’s transparent to sunlight.
More 1/2 of sunlight is Near Infrared {shortwave IR} about 90% of that radiant energy is absorb in the top meter of ocean water. And the more intense sunlight goes much deeper into
the ocean. Also ocean water absorbs indirect sunlight. So at or near zenith with clear skies
on gets 1050 watts per square meter of direct sunlight and 70 watts of indirect sunlight. So, ocean absorbs 1120 watts of sunlight and block of steel absorbs 1050 watts per square meter of sunlight.
[It should kept in mind the tropics gets the most zenith or near zenith sunlight as compared to
anywhere else in the world {same day hours but more intense sunlight reaching the surface}
and why tropics absorbs more 1/2 of energy of the sun, though it’s only 40% of the surface of the planet.]
So within top 1/2 cm of steel, all the sunlight energy is absorbed, and with ocean water, less than 1% is absorb in top 1/2 cm of ocean surface.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 2:37 pm

“So within top 1/2 cm of steel, all the sunlight energy is absorbed . . .”

As an engineer, I am gobsmacked to be informed the sunlight can penetrate 0.5 cm into steel, an electrically conductive material.

Perhaps I need to go back and revisit Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism . . . but wait, no.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 3:09 pm

Well the very thin surface of steel is transparent, and one might add thicker layer of paint to make steel absorb more sunlight. But all that should be within 1/2 cm depth
if talking about steel. And it’s a comparison to water, any kind of deep ocean waters, should absorb less than %1 within .5 cm. A muddy stream could be different.
One might say in terms difference, Steel is more than 99% different than the open ocean seawater.
There other differences I did not mention such as having 20 foot ocean waves, which steel normally fails to do. Nor does the sunlight, which not magnified, at 1 AU distance, cause steel to evaporate.
The main important element of Tropical ocean Heat engine, which warms the entire world is that sea water evaporates and and holds massive amount of heat energy which can dump into the rest world on a constant 24 hour, 365 day basis.
Or why the tropical land is not the world’s heat engine.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 3:32 pm

“The main important element of Tropical ocean Heat engine, which warms the entire world is that sea water evaporates and and holds massive amount of heat energy which can dump into the rest world on a constant 24 hour, 365 day basis.”

The average temperature of the total mass of the world’s oceans is about 3.5 °C.
(ref: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/oceans-average-temperature-is-3-5-degree-celsius/articleshow/62363696.cms?from=mdr )

This can be compared to the average Earth surface temperature (land and sea surfaces) that is reported, variously, to be between 15 and 16 °C.

Thus, since thermal energy cannot flow from cold to hot, overall the Earth’s oceans currently cool the surface . . . since the beginning of the Holocene some 12,000 years ago, the oceans DO NOT “warm the entire world”.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2021 5:17 pm

Willis,

Ok, let’s go there.

If by “ocean surface” you mean the mixed layer that averages to be about the first 150 m depth, it has an average temperature of about 17 °C at mid-latitudes, both NH and SH. However, global average annual sea surface temperatures vary from a low of about -2 °C near both poles to a high of about +30 °C near the equator. (Ref: https://rwu.pressbooks.pub/webboceanography/chapter/6-2-temperature/ )

However that mixed layer of the oceans is included in the calculation of the “the average Earth surface temperature (land and sea surfaces) that is reported, variously, to be between 15 and 16 °C”, as I specifically stated in my previous post. Comparing this to the data in the preceding paragraph, it is very problematic to state, as gbaikie did in his post above, that the “Tropical ocean Heat engine” “warms the entire world” while disregarding the non-Tropical heat sinks that simultaneously “cool the entire world”.

More specific to your last paragraph, I would consider any “ocean surface” temperatures below 15 °C as being relatively “cold” in discussing this matter.

I believe the best one can conclude is that the thermoregulatory effects of ocean water evaporation, followed cloud formation and associated dumping of latent heat directly into Earth’s atmosphere upon water condensation, generally at significant altitude, and NOT directly onto land surfaces, is what keeps ocean and land temperatures in close proximity as latitude varies.

In other words, Earth’s atmosphere is the most important energy control mechanism in the exchange of energy between “ocean surfaces” and land surfaces.

BTW, the presence of a fairly generous gradient in the ocean thermocline, where it can develop freely in deep waters, typically about 15 °C over 500 m depth (see aforementioned reference), shows that the ocean surface is heating the ocean depth, not just fueling water evaporation.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 15, 2021 8:28 pm

— Comparing this to the data in the preceding paragraph, it is very problematic to state, as gbaikie did in his post above, that the “Tropical ocean Heat engine” “warms the entire world” while disregarding the non-Tropical heat sinks that simultaneously “cool the entire world”–
Does non-Tropical heat sinks refer to falling cold water replace by less cold water. Because that like tropical ocean heat engine is also a global engine. And I would call it the refrigerator of our icebox climate. Or the why of why we are here.

But also a warming effect {by consuming oceanic heat] if average ocean temperature is high enough it’s warming effect which prevent polar sea ice forming. Or if ocean average was 5 C rather than 3.5 C there enough oceanic heat to cause an arctic being ice-free of polar sea ice in summer, easily -and maybe also in the winter.
And having liquid ocean rather than frozen ocean is warming effect for land area in arctic circle.
Though the non-Tropical heat sinks, might be referring to arctic cold air going southward, and since air mass must replaced, drawing warmer air into arctic. {which would be reduced if one had less arctic polar sea ice. Or warmer arctic ocean surface waters.}

gbaikie
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2021 4:10 pm

“The same is true of the ocean being cold. Since the ocean surface isn’t cold, it makes little difference.”

It makes little difference to business of claiming Earth will like Venus- it’s not money maker.
But temperature of ocean determines that we in Ice Age- and aren’t going to leave it.
The temperature of ocean if it was 15 C, would mean we in greenhouse climate.
A greenhouse climate doesn’t have a 1/3 of world having deserts and does not have permanent ice caps and has warm ocean, and 15 C ocean is around threshold of a warm ocean.
Or some claim the ocean average volume temp has been as high as +25 C, and there is no climate state warmer than greenhouse {hothouse} climate. And no has bothered to say ocean temperature would be if we were in Snowball global climate {the coldest classification of an Earth climate]
Some people say Earth’s ocean has never been as high as 25 C,
and I say Earth’s never been in snowball climate- instead it seems Earth is currently about as cold as Earth has ever been.

{I am aware there is some evidence of past snowball earth’s- I don’t find any of it as compelling evident. Or such things as glaciers flowing in tropical ocean, means quite little in terms evidence of anything.}

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 7:32 pm

“This can be compared to the average Earth surface temperature (land and sea surfaces) that is reported, variously, to be between 15 and 16 °C.”

The global average land surface air temperature is about 10 C
And global average ocean surface air temperature is about 17
This when averaged gives average global surface air temperature
of about 15 C.

The average air temperature of China is about 8 C
The average air temperature of India is about 24 C
Russia and Canada are two the countries with largest surface area
average around minus 4 C

Northern Hemisphere average land temperature is about 12 C
{largely due to African countries which are in the northern hemisphere- also India, and a lot small countries, and Mexico is about 20 C. And
US is around 12 C. Europe at 9 C- is dragging down average}

And southern Hemisphere land is about 8 C – largely because of Antarctica, and Australia with average 20 C helps a lot bringing the average up towards 8 C, plus the 1/3 of Africa, and the South American countries.

The tropical ocean which is about 80% of tropical zone and and 40% of global average ocean surface is about 26 C {dragging up the global ocean temperature to 17 C} or 60% of the rest of ocean averages around 11 C.
As known, North Atlantic ocean warms Europe by about 10 C. And without such ocean warming Europe average would be about as cold as Canada.
Gulf Stream first noted by Benjamin Franklin: notable politician and amateur scientist, but he had access to the press and his travels to France, his celebrity status in France- and that science was very popular topic.
{Or may have been known long before this- probably anyone navigating between US and Europe would have been aware of it.}

Loydo
Reply to  gbaikie
September 14, 2021 12:49 am

“The global average land surface air temperature is about 10 C
And global average ocean surface air temperature is about 17″

Interesting, So the ocean is a net heat source and the land areas are a net heat sink.

…from above
“Thus, since thermal energy cannot flow from cold to hot, overall the Earth’s oceans currently cool the surface . . . since the beginning of the Holocene some 12,000 years ago, the oceans DO NOT “warm the entire world”.

…so the opposite is true.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 4:01 pm

“Well the very thin surface of steel is transparent . . .”

Hah! In reply there is this:
“Generally, the optical penetration depth is given by the reciprocal value of the (frequency- or wavelength-dependent) absorption coefficient alpha. For instance, this value amounts to 8.35e+5 1/cm for silver at 588 nm (see webpage “refractiveindex.info”), the optical penetration depth is thus 1.2e-6 cm.” — source: https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_formula_used_for_calculating_the_penetration_depth_skin_depth_of_light_in_a_material_How_does_it_related_to_dependent_of_the_frequency ; comment by Christoph Gerhard )

So with the reasonable assumption that silver, an electrically conductive metal, is not that unlike steel in terms of being electrically conductive, I can confidentially assert that the (sunlight) optical penetration depth into steel will be on the order of 1e-4 cm or less.

Indeed, that is a very thin surface layer . . . one not worth further discussion in the context of this comment thread.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 5:33 pm

Not sure why you mention electrically conductive metal.
Metals generally are indeed, more electrically conductive and thermally
conductive.
Wiki:
Heat transfer occurs at a lower rate in materials of low thermal conductivity than in materials of high thermal conductivity. For instance, metals typically have high thermal conductivity and are very efficient at conducting heat, while the opposite is true for insulating materials like Styrofoam. “

Water {fresh or salty] has low thermal conductivity.
Steel has high thermal conductivity. compared to water, lower
compared to silver.
Salt water is more electrically conductive than pure water.
But steel more electrically conductive than saltwater, but less than silver
Or:
“Unlike most electrical insulators, diamond is a good conductor of heat because of the strong covalent bonding and low phonon scattering. Thermal conductivity of natural diamond was measured to be about 2200 W/(m·K), which is five times more than silver, the most thermally conductive metal. “

And silver also conducts electricity better than copper – though copper is cheaper, aluminum is even cheaper and a much lighter material and can be and is used {if used properly] to conduct electricity.
Both water and air are poor conductors of heat, and transfer heat by convection. Or dense air falls, dense water falls or warm water rises and warm air rises. Or atmosphere is well mixed due to convection. The ocean surface down to say 100 meters is well mixed. And could say entire ocean has fairly uniform temperature but has thermal gradient near surface. Atmosphere is fairly uniform if allow for the lapse rate. If ignoring lapse rate it might appear not to be a uniform temperature.
Or because convection heat transfer, both ocean and atmosphere has uniform temperature in terms vertically- if you include the effect of gravity which allows heavier to fall and lighter to rise

Though globally we don’t anything close to uniform air temperature of 15 C. It’s merely an average temperature of extreme ranges of temperatures, which are inflated into higher number due a high more uniform tropical ocean surface air temperature.

Or if we had a more uniform global surface air temperature, we would not be in an Ice Age. {The very cold ocean makes it an Ice Age}

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 8:16 pm

Gordon mentions electrical conductivity because light is an electromagnetic radiation, and highly conductive materials strongly dampen the penetration of EM radiation.

In general, all dielectrics tend to be transparent (or translucent), while conductors tend to be opaque and have much higher reflectance.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 10:27 pm

— September 12, 2021 8:16 pm
Gordon mentions electrical conductivity because light is an electromagnetic radiation, and highly conductive materials strongly dampen the penetration of EM radiation.–

I don’t imagine steel as highly electrically conductive material.
I don’t know enough, to tell you what is highly electrically conductive material. I tend imagine a high pressure state, or maybe, involving plasma, or other stuff, I am not familiar with.

But I don’t need the joke explained.
I still don’t get it.
But I am ok with it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 7:46 am

In contrast to mica or quartz, which are good insulators, all metals are good conductors. One of the defining characteristics of metals is that they have metallic bonding (in contrast to covalent bonding of insulators) which means there are free electrons available to carry a current.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 13, 2021 9:11 am

And in between are the semiconductors, which can be made to be anything from insulating to conducting.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 14, 2021 10:10 am

gbaikie,

There is no “joke” regarding the inability of light to penetrate beyond a few microns into the surface of an electrically-conductive material. Such is established based on the scientific equations comprising Maxwell’s Laws of electromagnetism.

You could have recognized this if you had bothered to access the link I provided above in my post of September 12, 2021 4:01 pm.

I cannot guide you further. Good luck.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 8:09 pm

There is no way that light will pass through a 3/16″ thick piece of steel!

gbaikie
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 12, 2021 10:57 pm

I wanted to use metric.
Are are certain no sunlight goes thru 4mm of steel?

Actually since on topic, I was thinking spacecraft which would use 4 mm thick aluminum, what depth of aluminum, of say 7068 aluminium alloy
would block 1,413 watts per square meter of sunlight.

And if instead if at Venus orbit would be any difference in regard thickness if got 2,647 watts per square meter of sunlight?

AlexBerlin
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 2:30 am

Yes I am certain. The body of my old Leica is of much thinner metal than 4mm (not sure if it’s steel but the type of metal should make no more than a very minor difference), and you can leave a piece of film sensitive enough to sunlight to render a clear picture with an exposure time of a fraction of a second in there for years and it will still be unexposed. Even a piece of household aluminum foil just a few microns thick will reliably keep out enough light to preserve photographic film packed up on it. Anyone who has ever dabbled in photography knows this.

gbaikie
Reply to  AlexBerlin
September 13, 2021 5:41 pm

Ok, I will correct it, the steel block absorbs all the radiant energy of sunlight within .01 mm, but in contrast how much sunlight is absorbed in .01 mm of water depth?
I not sure how much sunlight is absorbed in 50 mm of water,
and I am more uncertain about within .01 mm of water.
I was looking around, and was not getting much.
From some previous reading quite awhile ago, I got the idea that near the surface water, and .01 mm seems quite near, it suppose to be very chaotic- water vapor stating across surface tension of water, water vapor leaping up and down thru the surface.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 14, 2021 11:26 am

Polished steel has a reflectivity of about 50-65% for visible light; that means about 40% is absorbed for a polished block, more for an unpolished surface. That 40+% is absorbed in less than 10 microns.

Water has a reflectivity of about 2% for visible light at normal incidence; that means about 98% is absorbed if the water is at least deep enough that the light is absorbed on a two-way trip, or there is negligible material in suspension. It takes several decameters for water to absorb a similar amount that steel absorbs near the surface.

An extremely thin foil of gold (~0.1 micron) will pass a little green light. In water, most of the red light is absorbed by about 30 meters of depth. With a two way trip from the surface to a light-colored bottom, and back to the surface, the green is also gone. That is why deep, clean water looks blue.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 7:48 am

And because this is an American-hosted website, I wanted to use English units.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 14, 2021 10:44 am

Multi-layer insulation (used on spacecraft to both reflect and block penetration of sunlight) is comprised of layers of very thin (about 6 μm, or 1/4 mil each) plastic film, such as Mylar or Kapton, coated on one or both sides with a thin layer of metal, typically silver or aluminum.

For the most-commonly used aluminum-coated MLI, the typical depth of pure aluminum on a surface ranges from about 400 to 1000 Angstroms, or 4E-6 to 1E-5 cm (refs: https://www.mtm-inc.com/multi-layer-insulation.html and https://www.sheldahl.com/sites/default/files/2017-09/MLI%20Blankets.pdf )

From the first of the above-noted references:
“The vacuum deposited aluminum has an average emissivity of 0.030.” This means that a single 400 Angstrom thick (4E-6 cm thick) layer of aluminum reflects 97% of all incoming radiation across the solar spectrum and absorbs the residual 3%.

Based on this and considering Maxwell’s equations, there is absolute certainty that “no sunlight goes thru 4mm of steel”.

Sam Best
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 5:02 am

No, the sun is the worlds heat engine. Greenhouse gases are its thermostat.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sam Best
September 13, 2021 11:51 am

I see that the only tool you own is a hammer.

Sam Best
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 17, 2021 5:42 pm

Since the Suns output has been flat or in a slight downtrend for the last 50 years while the earth has been warming, it seem obvious that the Suns output is not the earths thermostat.

gbaikie
Reply to  Sam Best
September 13, 2021 12:08 pm

An engine needs a energy source- the sun is that energy source.

Sam Best
Reply to  gbaikie
September 17, 2021 5:22 am

Yes, and CO2 is earths thermostat

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 17, 2021 7:45 am

. . . and a (thermal) engine needs an energy sink. At near-equilibrium conditions, that sink is deep space. Earth’s energy radiation to deep space, averaged over any given year, equals (for all intents and purposes) the amount of solar energy that is absorbed (that excludes the percentage reflected by the atmosphere and sea and land surfaces).

Earth’s land surfaces, whether ocean surface or land surface, are NOT continuous sinks for absorbed solar radiation.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 20, 2021 8:50 am

For clarification, in my last sentence, I should have stated:
“Earth’s land surfaces, whether ocean surface or land surface, are NOT continuous net sinks for absorbed solar radiation due to their continuous LWIR radiation.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 8:02 pm

Just look up Fresnel’s equation for reflectance for substances with a complex refractive index (steel is about n=2.5, k=3.3i). The imaginary component, k, also known as the extinction coefficient, is about mid-range for the possible range of opaque substances, suggesting a penetration of a few microns, at best.

Last edited 16 days ago by Clyde Spencer
Jim Gorman
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 8:21 am

gb –>. “So within top 1/2 cm of steel, all the sunlight energy is absorbed, and with ocean water, less than 1% is absorb in top 1/2 cm of ocean surface.”
Not sure a steel block would absorb all the sun’s energy. Steel is not a black body so has some distinct absorption bands. Heating a steel block with a torch is not done via radiation. Water does absorb a large portion of near IR however.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 13, 2021 12:15 pm

Polished steel has a reflectance in a range of about 50% to 65% for normal incidence with green light, depending on the alloy. The spectral distribution for visible light is essentially flat. Light that does not get reflected will be absorbed, albeit within a few microns. If the surface is not polished, it turns into a diffuse reflector for low (~normal) angles of incidence. The reflectance decreases because of multiple reflections, increasing the opportunity for absorption. However, for high angles the reflectance increases, approaching the behavior of a polished specimen.

eyesonu
Reply to  gbaikie
September 16, 2021 6:28 pm

I’m not exactly sure where to post this comment with regards to sunlight heating a block/plate of steel so here goes. iI i can remember tomorrow I will place a rusty steel plate (~ 3/4 ” thick in the sun) and measure the temp on the top and bottom and report back. Stay tuned about this same time! But keep in mind that soil temperatures are extremely dependent on moisture content (20F+).

eyesonu
Reply to  eyesonu
September 17, 2021 5:35 pm

Time to report back on my rusty steel plate. It was overcast today to the point that there were no shadows visible under the trees until 3:00 pm. Sun came out at about 50% intensity for about 30 minutes. Ambient temp was 80F and light wind. The plate was laid out on the grass and the upper surface was 121.4F but the bottom was 122.6F after only 30 minutes of weak sun. I wasn’t expecting the bottom to be hotter than the top! That plate will be overlaid with another when the sun shines bright as I gotta understand this!

Pablo
September 12, 2021 1:13 pm

Einstein
In this 1917 paper: https://inspirehep.net/files/9e9ac9d1e25878322fe8876fdc8aa08d

“Almost all theories of thermal radiation rest on the considerations of the interaction between radiation and molecules. But, in general, one is satisfied with dealing only with the energy exchange, without taking into account the momentum exchange. One feels justified in this because the momentum transferred by radiation is so small that it always drops out as compared to that from other dynamical processes. But for the theoretical considerations, this small effect is on an equal footing with the energy transferred by radiation because energy and momentum are very intimately related to each other; a theory may therefore be considered correct only if it can be shown that the momentum transferred accordingly from the radiation to the matter leads to the kind of motion
that is demanded by thermodynamics.”

gbaikie
Reply to  Pablo
September 12, 2021 1:48 pm

Einstein is correct.
Earth climate is about momentum exchange.
Or Earth’s climate is all about the Ocean.
But others are also correct:
More than 90 percent of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean.”
Climate Change: Ocean Heat Content | NOAA Climate.gov

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2021 8:20 pm

Most of the heat energy resides in the oceans. However, because of the high specific heat, the oceans have not warmed as much as the land. It is not correct to say that “More than 90 percent of the warming … has occurred in the ocean.”

gbaikie
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 12, 2021 9:55 pm

We have not accurately measured global air or entire ocean temperature, we just have a global air of about 15 C and ocean of about 3.5 C.
It seems it might be easier to measure the ocean better and maybe we will within 10 years.
But I fairly certain that global air has increased by about 1 C over the last 100 years. And I would guess the ocean which is about 3.5 C has likely warmed by about .1 C or more.
If Ocean warms from this point by say, .5 C that’s serious stuff.
It means to me, proof that we have not past the peak temperature of this Holocene.
Which I believe and other have claimed has occurred over 5000 years ago.
And we should in the neighborhood of peak Holocene and peak past interglacial periods temperature
It certainly means ice free arctic polar sea. It seems possible/likely that Sahara desert greens a lot more then we ever seen it green, and given enough time it could green as much as it did over 5000 years ago. Ie, google
search: “when was Sahara desert green?
From around 10,000 BCE to 4,000 BCEthe Sahara was lush, green, and fertile, with a brief period of dryness from around 8,000 to 7,000 BCE. This period in the desert’s history is sometimes known as the “Green Sahara” or “Green Period.”

And Earth’s largest forest will slowly grow back.

BUT we still in Icehouse climate. It needs warm a lot more to get
out of this Ice Age.
That hottest daytime temperature was recorded over 100 years ago,
to me, good or best evidence we have had some global warming.
And plus less extreme weather recorded, is also more evidence.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  gbaikie
September 13, 2021 8:35 am

gb __> “But I fairly certain that global air has increased by about 1 C over the last 100 years.”

The problem is that, that is the surface air, not the global air. And it is different at different surface locations and different heights. Averages don’t tell the whole story as Willis has just pointed out.

gbaikie
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 13, 2021 12:01 pm

I am fairly certain the entire ocean warmed a bit, and the average global surface air warmed by about 1 C.
There could have other factors other than just ocean warmed a bit, such as, increase in global CO2 levels and or other factors.
But it seems the ocean warming a bit, was largest largest factor.

Is there anyone, who questions whether warming the ocean which is about 3.5 C were increase by .5 C not cause an increase in average global surface air- by a lot?
Yes, increasing ocean by .5 C is not something which can happen quickly. And what I was talking is basically increase of an immeasurable amount of about .1 C

Some have claimed that about 1/3rd of the 7″ rise in global sea level over last was due to thermal expansion. And around .1 C
is about the amount that cause such ocean thermal expansion.

Or do want to argue that there has been no ocean thermal expansion over last 100 years, because same thing as about .1 C
increase in ocean temperature.
So, three options, ocean remain the same temperature, it cooled by some amount, or it warmed by some amount.

Sam Best
Reply to  gbaikie
September 17, 2021 5:44 pm

Since convection and conduction cannot, by virtue of their definitions, transfer heat energy to space, that leaves thermal radiation as the only mechanism that can do so. Unless you know about some unicorns at work.

David Blenkinsop
September 12, 2021 1:23 pm

“More energy is absorbed by an object and in response, it cools down? Say what?

This is why the political bigwigs of the world tend to have island estates in the middle of the ocean equatorial zones. The more money they absorb in the name of solving the world’s problems, the worse the problems get!

See, natural air conditioning correlates with fiscal reverse conditioning.

Or something like that.

dodgy geezer
September 12, 2021 1:30 pm

Mr Eschenbach may well be doing good science. But it’s pointless. Climate science is working in a political field, and only ‘science’ which supports alarmist politics is acceptable.

Mr Eschenbach’s work will be cancelled and not listened to. If people do start listening to it, pressure will be applied to stop him continuing what he is doing. I cannot see any future for his ideas beyond endangering himself…

Mr.
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 12, 2021 3:36 pm

Regardless of what “The Team” asserts, climate science is far from “settled”.

Which is why ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVES in this area, such as Willis regularly publishes, are essential for open inquiring minds.

I like to think I am blessed with such an attribute, as are many others who frequent this site.

Keep it coming please Willis.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 13, 2021 6:02 am

I can’t say it better than Willis did, but let me add . . .

I agree the mainstream media, social media providers, intelligentsia and national governments have adopted as gospel the theory of CAGW. With that much power and influence behind them, convincing the public to understand basic facts that undermine CAGW is a daunting task.

You beat that system one coherent, non-defensive explanation at a time, just as Willis does. His posts not only refute the certainty of CAGW, they are expressed in ways that interested laypeople can follow. It gives us further proof we are right and another idea that we can understand and maybe pass on to others.

Keep lighting that candle, Willis.

Prjindigo
September 12, 2021 1:36 pm

Gravity is a constant and regulates the energy per unchanged volume.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 12, 2021 2:41 pm

Almost by definition, a “constant” cannot “regulate” anything.

LdB
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 13, 2021 1:46 am

Tell that to a pressure vessel … I think the cat ate your word salad

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  LdB
September 14, 2021 11:05 am

My cat advises me that there is a distinct difference in meaning between the word “regulate” and words such as “contain” and “withstand”.

A pressure vessel (at an given pressure) is a static device and thus simply cannot be performing active regulation.

So, in a sense, my cat barfed up your post.

Sam Best
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 16, 2021 7:01 pm

Gravity is not constant with altitude, and does not regulate energy inside an unchanged volume.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 7:53 am

Exactly right . . . gravity in the near-Earth environment varies by all of 0.3% going from Earth’s average surface to 10 km altitude above the surface, approximately the top of the troposphere that contains all weather.

I’m impressed! . . . NOT.

Hubert
September 12, 2021 1:37 pm

Simplest model would say : Earth energy = TOA + GHG forcing, where TOA = Sun – albedo
in case of absence of atmosphere, Earth energy (LW) = TOA (SW)
GHG is not depending on TOA ! So Earth is not a simple function of TOA !
390 watts/m2 = 340 -100 + 150 –> 288°K
if we add 3 watts/m2 GHG forcing :
393 watts/m2 –> 288.54 °K. ( .184 °K / watt/m2 )
A simple change of 1 watt from Sun or albedo or GHG will lead to a difference of 0.184 °K on Earth … Problem , the measures still not very accurate (especially GHG) or we don’t know old values of each source ! What were the values 100 hundred years ago , or one thousand years ago !
Satellites exist only for 60 years and Ceres only for 20 … it’s a very short history …
Also , oceanic cycle AMO is moving energy across seas depth which impact temperature on sea surface and globally …
The model still very far from reality …

Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 1:47 pm

Your climate balance is complex only because you have a big gob of hocus-pocus nonsense in the middle of it.
Attached is a graphic depicting how everyday HVAC and heat exchanger mech/chem engineers model energy leaving a heated surface.
Simple, straight forward, verified by millions of performance tests and no hocus-pocus.
The sun heats the surface, the surface heats the atmos – like this.

Heat exchanger equations..jpg
Pat Dolan
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 12, 2021 2:40 pm

Willis, as usual, your presentation is clear, the facts and data fairly presented, and reproducible.

Always fascinating to follow you through the math and the logic.

A lot of scientists missed being the one to discover fission because they noticed that when they left film out while bombarding targets with x-rays, the film fogged, and their answer was eminently practical, they simply put the film inside metal boxes. They never asked WHY film that was behind the emitter was fogging. Only Ernst Rutherford was curious, and asked how it was that such a massive particle was reflected by such a small target… The equivalent for him of a cannonball being deflected by tissue paper.

Obvious in retrospect, perhaps, yet many brilliant scientists missed the implications.

Rutherford had an intense curiosity about everything, and it didn’t miss many details. He spun off experiments like a short order cook serves up fries, and handed them off to mentees left and right… Resulting in the unequalled achievement of mentoring 9 (if I recall correctly) Nobel Laureates in Physics (his own, to his lasting amusement, was in Chemistry).

I think, when it comes to that bump of curiosity, you and Ernst Rutherford are much alike.

Thanks again for a fantastic perspective of the subject of climate…

gbaikie
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 12, 2021 3:40 pm

“PS—Nothing in your “simple, straight-forward” explanation explains the fact that in parts of the ocean, when absorbed radiation increases, the temperature goes down … nice try, though, it looks all so sciency and everything …”

If ocean is cold, it can absorb a lot energy and not emit much energy.
Or cold swimming pool can take a week to warm up and then heat up the the environment “more” than paving around the swimming which heats up quicker cools down a lot before the sun sets.
Pavement may get hot in day, but doesn’t cause global warming.
Global warming is caused by the ocean and the Atmosphere. Not concrete
or steel.
The greenhouse effect theory is pseudo for number of reasons, but major reason
is it’s just about atmosphere and not the Ocean.
Or huge chunk of reality is missing from it.
That there is no author of it, is minor part of why it’s pseudo science.
It’s got so many things dead wrong about it.

leitmotif
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 2:12 pm

The sun heats the surface, the surface heats the atmos”

Perfectly put, Nick. BS free.

Mr.
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 12, 2021 3:39 pm

The sun heats the surface, the surface heats the atmos

Only up to a point.
Which is what Willis is explaining.

gbaikie
Reply to  Mr.
September 13, 2021 1:41 pm

Right, but sun mostly heats the surface, the surface heats atmos.
Sunlight heats clouds and got the Ozone layer and whatever.
Sunlight is directly warming tropical waters creating water vapor, etc.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 14, 2021 3:40 pm

The statement “the sun mostly heats the surface” is not correct.

If one consults the K-T “balance” of averaged power fluxes, running from solar input all the way to Earth’s reflectance of solar plus direct radiation of LWIR, one finds the following values:
— continuous total incoming solar at TOA = 341 W/m^2
— continuously reflected by clouds and atmosphere = 79 W/m^2
— continuously reflected by (Earth’s) surface = 23 W/m^2
temporarily absorbed by (Earth’s) atmosphere = 78 W/m^2
— temporarily absorbed by (Earth’s surface) = 161 W/m^2
— outgoing longwave radiation (from Earth’s surface and atmosphere) = 239 W/m^2 (which includes the temporarily absorbed

Note that 79 + 23 + 78 + 161 = 341 W/m^2, so net “outgoing” is equal to net “incoming” under (assumed) steady state conditions.

Also note that 78 +161 = 239 W/m^2 so the temporarily absorbed power in atmosphere and at Earth surface is really converted, over time, via redistribution of this power by surface-atmosphere interactions, ultimately to being the source of the noted 239 W/m^2 of outgoing LWIR.

From the above one can conclude that the Sun’s direct heating of Earth’s surface amounts to only 161/341 = 47% of its total incident radiation at TOA . . . that is less than half (50%) thus not qualifying for the adverb “mostly”.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 15, 2021 7:22 pm

“The statement “the sun mostly heats the surface” is not correct.”
Of course it’s correct. The statement was not the surface absorbs all the sunlight reaching it’s cross section.
Rather it’s of what the sun heats {in regard to Earth] it is mostly the earth’s surface.
Or saying the sun mostly heats directly the atmosphere is wrong.
In terms of what mostly the atmosphere, it’s mostly the ocean and Land surfaces which have been heated by the sunlight.
And ocean surface covers most of surface, the ocean absorbs more sunlight than the land {even if Earth was 50% land] but the ocean covers 80% of tropical zone and tropical zone has more sunlight reaching it than 60% of the rest of the surface of world.
So of the Earth surfaces, Ocean absorbs about 80% and land surface about 20%.
And because ocean absorbs the most, Earth emits a high amount 240 watt of the total which could be absorb of 340 watts – it would absorb if it was an ideal thermally conductive blackbody.
No other planet comes this close to the ideal thermally conductive blackbody model.
Because other planets lack an ocean. Put earth similar ocean on Mars, and Mars will absorb more sunlight.
So I could correct my statement, the sun mostly heats the Earth’s ocean surface.
Happy?
Oh, my bad,
the sun mostly heats below the Earth’s ocean skin surface.

Or if want to think the ocean is a black body, it’s blackbody below the
ocean skin surface- it’s more like blackbody cavity rather than surface.
But blackbodies are suppose to be vacuum, and we are in atmosphere,
and cavity full water not same as vacuum cavity.
Or bad idea to consider earth as black surface or cavity, but in comparison to something absorb all sunlight reaching it- Earth being planet rather than a model of the impossible, then earth absorbs a lot the sunlight- because it has an ocean.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 16, 2021 3:15 pm

You make me laugh.

In the basic sense of heating, the Sun “mostly heats” deep space, which has an average temperature of 3 K.

The solid angle subtended by the diameter of the Earth at its average distance from the Sun is 5.7E-9 steradians.

Thus, Earth intercepts only about 4.5E-8 percent of the energy emitted by the Sun, and even 30% of that is just reflected away.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 16, 2021 8:42 pm

And in thousand years and human population of 1 trillion, it’s very unlikely we would absorb as much as 1% of the sunlight

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 17, 2021 7:57 am

I was not aware that the human population was a significant absorber of sunlight.

That is something I’ll have to consider.

Ok, done.

gbaikie
Reply to  gbaikie
September 16, 2021 3:28 pm

Ocean is different than land.
If ask climate scientist [cargo cult scientist as that all which
available]
If Earth was made colder than it is now {or it was colder than it was “suppose to” be] Earth warm up until it reached equilibrium temperature. It would absorb more energy than it emits.
And cargo cult imagine they know what the equilibrium temperature is {and they don’t, apparently}.
I would say {and I am NOT climate scientist] that Earth equilibrium temperature is basically, the temperature of the entire ocean- or about 3.5 C. And there isn’t really equilibrium temperature, it’s just whatever the average ocean temperature is,
and Earth ocean’s have be 25 C and 2 C- which is not their idea of what an equilibrium temperature is.
So, I would say Earth’s equilibrium temperature by mere chance,
is close to what an ideal thermal conductive blackbody of 5 C would predict. Or there nothing wrong with ideal thermal conductive blackbody, model as a approximation of objects at around 1 AU from the Sun.
Anyways, with ocean it does not warm up by sunlight in a short period of time. Whereas a land surface may take a few days.
Land a few days, and with an ocean a few thousands years, isn’t
enough. Or an ocean is always absorbing more than it emits, at least it is during an Ice Age.
Or the ocean warms, and land cools.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  gbaikie
September 17, 2021 8:08 am

“Or the ocean warms, and land cools.”


So the explanation for why, near coastlines, there are typically off-ocean winds at daytime but off-shore winds at nighttime is all wrong? (ref: https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/educate/seabreeze_ans.shtml )

You need to inform NOAA immediately of the needed correction.

gbaikie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 17, 2021 12:25 pm

warmest ocean surface is around 30 C and warmest land surface is about 70 C. As I was saying is land heats up quickly and Ocean does not.
If land surface is wet, it also takes longer to heat up, and highest temperature of a ground surface is dry ground surface. Do you imagine a wet ground is not absorbing as sunlight as dry ground surface?
And if morning is cooler, the surface does not get as warm in mid day or if have cool day in summer, it tends to take days to warm up to “normal” summer time highs. Or what control daylight high is how warm the atmosphere “starts with”. So ocean doesn’t get as cold as land does, therefore higher global temperature allows land to warm up, and land warms up quick and the ocean does not warm up quickly, but absorbs more heat and keeps that heat during the night.
Or tropics is warmest region on Earth, it’s warmest because it a high and uniform, day and night temperature. And tropics does not get the hottest day time temperatures.
And are you arguing tropical warmed waters is not warming Europe.
Global warming is all about region which season, summer, fall, winter, and spring and topic is the whole year’s average temperature and night and day temperature- that is the average global surface air temperature.
A hotter land will directly radiate more energy to space than a less hotter land- ocean warms, land cools.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Mr.
September 16, 2021 11:43 am

its the center piece of the emergent phenomena.

Snutebil
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 13, 2021 5:03 am

It should be noted that the entity “T” (incl. T’hot/cold) in the radiation equations does not exist for the earth as such.
That makes these kinds of illustrations difficult (or useless) for energy balance calculations.

Snutebil
Reply to  Snutebil
September 15, 2021 5:48 am

A little elaboration of my statement…

Radiative power from an object is dependent on “T” in fourth order. Which implies using average values of T for the earths surface, will be fundamentally wrong. Calculating radiative power from the earth would have to be done for extremely high numbers of surface areas.

This also implies that “a little” redistribution of temperature over the earths surface easily could balance increased heat input (from CO2 or whatever minor perturbation) by increased emissions, without increasing the earths average temperature (or the other way around, for that matter).

The common (by most people) understanding that increased heat input for the earth must result in increased average temperature, is not correct.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Snutebil
September 15, 2021 8:29 am

Global Average Temperature does *not* tell you what is going on with the Earth. It doesn’t allow you to differentiate between rising minimum temps, rising maximum temps, or a mixture of the two. Without knowing this there is no way to actually tell what is happening with climate.

As Freeman Dyson once noted, climate is a holistic measure, it is not just temperature. Climate scientists telling us they can tell us about climate based solely on some phantom “GAT” is like trying to sell us snake oil out of the back of a horse drawn wagon! Their models don’t do anything with plant growth, food growth, rain, the actual temperature profile at any measurable location, wind, hunidity, etc. All of these factors determine “climate”, not just temperature.

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 16, 2021 6:59 pm

GAT is an excellent indicator of the heat energy changes in earths system When the GAT increases, it tells us that the energy in earths system has increased. and the reverse.

Snutebil
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 1:29 am

Really?
How much would GAT have to change for that statement to be true?

Sam Best
Reply to  Snutebil
September 17, 2021 5:25 am

True for any change in GAT

Snutebil
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 5:53 am

Not at all, and the climate crisis hype is based on lots of such flawed perpections.
Tim Gorman has given you some key words when it comes to air enthalpy. And considering the “earth system” most of the energy is elsewhere.

Sam Best
Reply to  Snutebil
September 17, 2021 6:18 am

So you suffer from the same misuse of the word ‘Enthalpy’ as he does.
H = u + pv. Delta h = delta u + delta (pv). Since delta pv ~ 0, delta H = delta u, and therefore changes in the earths heat content is indicated by changes in GAT.

Snutebil
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 7:01 am

“Indicated by”, is another story, but rather valueless for the required precision here.
For a constantly changing (time and space) mixture of air and water (vapor and liquid) enthalpy is much more complicated than temperature alone.
And GAT is not a sufficiently precise measure of space/time distribution of temperature.

And additionally, considering the “earth system” most of the energy is elsewhere.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Snutebil
September 17, 2021 8:14 am

enthalpy is much more complicated than temperature alone.”

Correct.

For humid air enthalpy is:

H = Cp(T-T0) + wA where w is the absolute humidity. How many places on earth have zero absolute humidity? How does humidity vary among locations on earth? How can you legitimately use temperature alone when humidity is such an integral factor in enthalpy?

Sam Best
Reply to  Snutebil
September 17, 2021 5:48 pm

Nevertheless, GAT is the primary indicator of Earths energy, fo rate humidity angle you describe is interact only for regions, not the overall planet for which GAT and energy content trend together. EG:comment image

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 8:01 am

I think you need to re-read about enthalpy.

dU = delta-Q – delta-W

delta-Q = T ds – p dV.

You cannot make the assumption that p dV is zero when you are speaking of a gas. And since volume is related to absolute humidity it is also an important factor.

Thus using temperature as a proxy for enthalpy gives a poor metric. it ignores the contribution from pressure and volume.

From an engineering standpoint

dH = (C_p)dT where C_p is the heat capacity which can be read from the steam tables.

If you will H = (C_p)(T-T0) + wA where

H = enthalpy
C_p is the specific heat of humid air
w is the absolute humidity
A is the vaporization enthalpy at T0

go look it up!

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 17, 2021 5:50 pm

Your thinking of local regions. dpv for the entire earths system is ~ zero.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 4:07 am

Heat content is measured by the metric known as enthalpy. Temperature is a poor proxy for enthalpy. Enthalpy depends on pressure and humidity as well as temperature. That’s why the enthalpy of a parcel of air in Miami is different than the enthalpy of a parcel of air in Kansas City even if the temperatures are the same.

GAT is a poor, poor indicator of heat content, i.e. heat energy, since it does not include the independent variables of pressure and humidity.

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 17, 2021 5:28 am

Enthalpy = internal energy + pv
Pv doesn’t change. So enthalpy change varies as U, which is a function of Temp. So any change in GAT indicates a change in Enthalpy

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Best
September 17, 2021 8:05 am

Nope. See my other message.

For humid air:

H = Cp(T-T0) + wA

where w is the absolute humidity of air and A is the vaporization enthalpy at T0.

If you leave out Cp, w, and A then T by itself is not a good proxy for the enthalpy of humid air unless w = 0.

Do *you* live where absolute humidity is zero?

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 17, 2021 5:53 pm

Do you think overall humidity for the globe is in flux? Nonsense. The total amount of water vapor in the planets system is almost entirely a function of GAT, per Clausius Clapeyron. Varies mostly by region, not for the planet.

Sam Best
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 17, 2021 6:31 pm

For the earth overall, GAT is one excellent indicator, because those factors you mention dont vary much for the planet’s bulk properties..

Gordon A. Dressler
September 12, 2021 2:22 pm

Willis,

Your segmented “movie” of the variation in cloud tops shows that, excluding the two months of February and March, cloud tops in the Earth’s northern hemisphere are higher than cloud tops in the southern hemisphere. The maximum altitude ratio noted is for September with average values of 4.8 km for NH versus 3.2 km for SH.

It is logical to assume cloud top altitude can be loosely-but-directly correlated to cloud areal extent, isn’t it?

These differences (with resulting differences in Earth’s integrated albedo over the course of full year) tells me that it is impossible—well, actually statistically nearly impossible—that the average total downwelling radiation power flux absorbed by Earth’s surface over two years would balance out to be exactly 508.7 w/m^2 in both NH and SH, as stated in the upper text block of the image you present as Figure 1.

While I readily accept the Earth can, and does, have thermoregulatory emergent phenomena that can stabilize Earth surface temperatures within a rather narrow band, there is no way that I believe such regulation achieves w/m^2 NH-versus-HS average radiation absorption to 1 part in 5,000 or better over a timespan of 2 years.

There is the smell of “data adjustment(s)” in the sources of data that you employed in your article . . . NOT due to anything you did, mind you.

The “adjustment(s)” might be a simple as the ceres.larc.nasa.gov data providers using the well-instrumented/monitored NH data to “fill in” corresponding lat/long grids sections in the SH that have little or no measurement data over specified time period.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 14, 2021 11:46 am

Hi Willis,

Consulting the abstract of “The albedo of Earth” article that you linked to, I find the following exacts words (with my underlining emphasis added):
“Joint analyses of surface solar flux data that are a complicated mix of measurements and model calculations with top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux measurements from current orbiting satellites yield a number of surprising results including (i) the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (NH, SH) reflect the same amount of sunlight within ~ 0.2 W m−2.”

Do you not find that including model calculations in the path to this stated conclusion admits the possibility of “data adjustments”?

Also, do you not find it strange, assuming an incoming TOA solar power flux of 341 w/m^2 (+/-), that Earth’s average albedo over two years would be balanced to the point of only ± 0.1/361 = ± 0.028% variation between NH and SH, especially when considering the NH/SH differences in the component of albedo arising from Earth’s surface due to land-vs-ocean areal percentages between these two hemispheres?

The K-T diagram “accounting” has about 23 w/m^2 (or about 7% of the incoming TOA solar power flux) being reflected off Earth’s averaged land & sea surface area. Just a 2% difference between NH and SH in this 23 w/m^2 reflectance (surface albedo) value would amount to 0.46 w/m^2, more than twice the value stated in the above-reference article’s conclusion.

Sorry, IMHO, this claim just does not pass the smell test for reasonableness, especially considering the inclusion of “model calculations”.

As gentlemen, we can agree to amicably disagree in this matter.

My best, sincere regards to you, and thank you for all of your just-excellent postings,
— Gordon

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 12, 2021 2:23 pm

Solar SW 441 comes from the sun, the 527 longwave also comes from the sun. 32 comes from UV radiation. 90% of 527 w-m² absorbed by the surface. Stored in the oceans and lands in the tropics and transported northwards. Heating the air through convection, latent and sensible heat (84%), 16% radiation escape to space. Antarctic average isn’t 215 (summer) but 175 watts(equinox). And Arctic at around 263 watts. Earth at zenith is 500 watts and receives 1000 watts from the sun of which 750 escapes mostly in the hemisphere where 23° latitude has no sunlight. And 750 watts is absorbed in the hemisphere where sun is 23° more over land with dry air.

Rory Forbes
September 12, 2021 2:46 pm

Now all you need to do is support that conjecture with some evidence.

Of course this site is too dumb to notice something obvious like that.

As far as I can tell, “this site” is not sentient nor does it make observations.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 13, 2021 4:55 pm

but more sentient than some trolls!

stinkerp
September 12, 2021 3:15 pm

Thank you for demonstrating once again the truth of that golden nugget of knowledge buried in the glossary of the IPCC AR5 report from 2013:

Predictability

Because knowledge of the climate system’s past and current states is generally imperfect, as are the models that utilize this knowledge to produce a climate prediction, and because the climate system is inherently nonlinear and chaotic, predictability of the climate system is inherently limited.

Last edited 16 days ago by stinkerp
RickWill
Reply to  stinkerp
September 12, 2021 6:27 pm

 predictability of the climate system is inherently limited.

What can be stated with confidence is that the climate has been remarkably stable over Earth for billions of years. That is despite all the changes in orbital geometry, geothermal, surface and atmospheric transformation due to various life forms and direct physical impacts from foreign objects. Earth still exists in its.

September 12, 2021 3:29 pm

Willis writes “ I get sidetractored “

There is no English word “sidetractored”

Reply to  Ronald Stein
September 12, 2021 3:30 pm

Try using “sidetracked.”

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2021 7:18 pm

lame

Reply to  Ronald Stein
September 13, 2021 7:23 pm

Figures you’d vote for an imaginary character.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
September 14, 2021 9:44 am

For an imaginary ambassador?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 14, 2021 12:12 pm

Thanks, Willis,

Your post gives me the best explanation yet for the meaning of the phrase “climate change”, with a tip of the hat to Lewis Carroll.

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ronald Stein
September 12, 2021 8:26 pm

There is no English word “sidetractored”

Apparently everyone except you understood that!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 13, 2021 7:21 pm

Clyde loves Humpty Dumpty

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ronald Stein
September 14, 2021 11:30 am

While he lacks any good points, he does have a rounded personality. Almost any joke will crack him up.

ATheoK
September 12, 2021 4:34 pm

The most unexpected part of Figure 4 is that unlike the rest of the world, in the warmest areas of the ocean, when radiation absorbed at the surface goes up … emitted surface radiation goes down.”

One can certainly see where the deserts are, like the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Terrific analysis and graphic images, Willis!

Carlo, Monte
September 12, 2021 4:36 pm

Willis, a few random comments:

Figure 1 and similar, when the sun is above the horizon, there are three sources that contribute to the total: 1) IR emitted toward the surface by the atmosphere (wavelengths > 4um), 2) direct solar radiation (wavelengths < 4um), and 3) sky radiation, scattered out of the direct radiation by Rayleigh and aerosol scattering. Obviously, over a year, there are lots of times when the sun is below the horizon so #2 and #3 go to zero.

The surface-absorbed radiation is by necessity quantified as being on a horizontal surface; as such, each ray of the total is reduced by the cosine of the angle of incidence. However, the incidence angle of source #1 is constant, while those of solar radiation are always changing. To a first approximation, the equator-to-pole variation in Fig. 1 is just latitude, i.e. the average solar position in the sky over the course of a year.

(Sky radiation, especially that of aerosol scattering, is too complex to say much about it here.)

Looking at N Amer. and Asia, it is evident there is an altitude effect that reduces the total, this is likely just a reflection of cooler air.

Figures 7-8-9: It might be interesting to see if there is a way to remove the strong latitude dependence from these; maybe a normalization of the Fig. 1 data of some kind? This might require separating sources #2 and #3 from #1, unfortunately.

The delta-T equation: the climatologists made a really bad choice of variables here, to anyone versed in solar radiation (and tons of other physics), lambda means wavelength, which is certainly not how they are using it here.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 13, 2021 12:22 am

Direct solar radiation (visible) < 4um, 527 watts infrared radiation ( > 4um) of sunlight. 32 watts of UV. We feel the sun’s radiation when we are directly under the sun. Sun’s radiation in tropics can heat surface (desert) w/o convection up to 80°C. Convection reduces that by 20% through emitted infrared radiation. Compression of air increases temperature. This can be worked out as every 1591 newton force per degree Celsius. Global average insulation.

RickWill
September 12, 2021 5:16 pm

The linked paper will help you understand the process of convective instability that kicks in when atmospheric water reaches 45mm:
http://www.bomwatch.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Bomwatch-Willoughby-Main-article-FINAL.pdf
As atmospheric water rises above 45mm, the cloud persistency increases; initially cumulus at the onset of instability but then cirrus as the convective potential recharges. That provides a sharp surface temperature cut-off at 32C with present day atmospheric pressure and an annual average maximum of 30C.

The Atmospheric Water Cooling Coefficient can be positive or negative over monthly intervals. Over an annual cycle, it is slightly positive, meaning that atmospheric water provides a net cooling.

Where climate models fail is not recognising that water exists in three phases and they cannot be treated independently as they are in the models. So parameterising clouds and precipitation as being unrelated to the surface temperature is a fatal flaw.

RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
September 12, 2021 8:28 pm

All the ocean regions on your plots marked in blue (-0.4W/sq.m) will have atmospheric water 45mm or higher. That is the TPW where cyclic convective instability kicks in.

The AWCC goes negative, meaning warming, for November, December and January. For all other months the AWCC is positive meaning the atmospheric water is cooling the ocean surface.

There is a 23 day lag between ocean surface temperature and the AWCC. But atmospheric water is a thermal regulator that works both ways. The warming or cooling mode pivots around 45mm TPW.

Charts_AWCC.png
Last edited 15 days ago by RickWill
RickWill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2021 2:55 pm

Do that same analysis month by month rather than the annual combined.

Last edited 15 days ago by RickWill
Peta of Newark
September 12, 2021 6:52 pm

This is all we need..
Quote:”Me, I think this equation is fatally flawed, in part for the reason visible in the graphs above—even within just the surface itself, there is no constant lambda “λ” that relates radiation emitted (a measure of temperature) to radiation absorbed. Instead, it varies widely by location and surface type, in both the short- and long-term trends”

Monkton might call it a ‘Reductio Absurdio”
IOW: radiation does not control climate.
Incoming solar kicks it all into gear, gives it some juice, but thereafter it’s out on its own

Random bits:
How does a Sputnik, whatever hundreds of miles up in the sky, measure the energy flow down onto the surface (without making some truly epic assumptions or sparsely recorded data)

Some sums:
Preamble: For folks messing with photovoltaic panels, it is generally taken that the very max incoming solar power they will ever see is 1,300 Watts. This being at solar noon on the equator under a clear sky.
Because Sol follows a sinusoidal path, the ‘average’ actual power (RMS power) will be the peak power divided by square-root of (2) = 919 Watts
But Sol is only up for half the time so we divide that by 2 to get 460 Watts daily average incoming solar energy under clear Equatorial skies.

But Ceres Sputnik tell us 670 Watts = an extra 210 Watts – coming from where exactly?

Assuming an ‘object’ in the sky with unity emissivity, that gives said object a temperature of minus 26 Celsius

What is this thing – is it an iceberg? (Could be, that’s what clouds are effectively)
Trouble is, anything radiated from something of that temp is not going to be absorbed by anything with a higher temperature.
This is the Carnot Heat Engine at work, which every matter/energy interaction is.
No work can come out of that engine if its exhaust (average Earth temp of 15°C) is warmer than its input temp, minus 26°C in this case.
It gets a bit tricky because the ‘work output’ is measured/observed as temperature but that’s what temperature is, the actual physical motion of the energised particles, atoms molecules.

Last bit: The energy absorbed/radiated conundrum = the ‘what’ moment
Fairly easy really when you’re dealing with water – and here is where some of the huge assumptions that the operators of the Sputnik are making.
(If you search for IR thermometer, they tell you what those assumptions are)

Assumption 1
Shiny things (metals classically) tend to have low emissivity. Thermometers *basically what Ceres is) assume emissivities of greater than 0.9. some have ‘adjustment’ dials.
Ain’t that just dandy?

But water can be very shiny or very black.
At very low angles of incidence, it becomes a perfect mirror = total internal reflection and is how rainbows work
(Wrecks the notion of Polar Amplification also)

At perfectly normal (90°) incidence, it is a near perfect black body
At angles less than 90 but greater than 20 (ish), the absorbance is determined by the polarisation of the light = hence why polarised sunglasses became popular for beach-goers – the glare coming off the water is horizontally polarised light while the water absorbs all the vertically polarised light

What happens when the water is not perfectly still?
Where/how does the polarised light go.
What amount is totally reflected?
How does Sputnik account for glare – does it wear polarised bins?

But then we meet the real killer, the horrible sweeping assumption that radiation controls temperature and climate
What happens with waves on the water?
because the Sputnik is assuming the water it totally flat, totally absorbing and ignores the polarisation when looking at the power and then assuming A Temperature. or vice versa.

But waves massively increase the surface area of the water and that correspondingly increases the convective heat loss from the water – while the Sputnik, viewing radiation from a Flat Land persepective, sees no change.

That is the Reductio Absurdio – thank you Willis for pointing it out – you have demonstrated/elucidated that convection controls the temperature, not radiation and is thus what knocks the legs right out from under the GHGE.

Not just clouds in the sky, waves on the water need to be accounted for.
They haven’t a hope in he11 have they?

It fits nicely with the thunderstorm emergence idea. The Sputnik could be looking at ocean water through a clear sky and assuming zero reflectance, an albedo of near zero and unity emissivity.
While a thunderstorm 10 miles away is kicking up big waves on that piece of water and for reasons I’ve just outlined, completely trashing all the/those assumptions that the Sputnik is operating under

Last edited 16 days ago by Peta of Newark
RickWill
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 12, 2021 7:22 pm

But Ceres Sputnik tell us 670 Watts = an extra 210 Watts – coming from where exactly?

You are making a fundamental error that the sunlight is sinusoidal about the zero value over a 24 hour period.

The peak daily solar insolation over a flat surface on Earth currently occurs at the South Pole during the day of the austral summer solstice. In fact the sun shines the whole of December at the pole. The average for that month for 2020 was 564W/sq.m. It will be a little higher on the day of the solstice.

RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
September 12, 2021 7:27 pm

As an aside, in 2020, the June average for the North Pole was 529W/sq.m.

In 10,000 years from now, the June average will be 533W/sq.m at the North Pole and down to 525W/sq.m at the South Pole in December.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
September 13, 2021 4:54 am

There are two factors here. The sun’s incidence angle and the period of insolation. Both are cosine functions, one based on time and the other on latitude. This makes the whole equation rather complex and I sincerely doubt if the climate models accurately handle this situation.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 13, 2021 9:19 am

Of course they don’t, all the modelers care about are averages.

RickWill
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 13, 2021 5:49 pm

This makes the whole equation rather complex and I sincerely doubt if the climate models accurately handle this situation.

It is not particularly complex and not difficult to model precisely. The input for the orbital mechanics and solar constant are agreed across modelling groups.

Models fail because they treat the phases of atmospheric water as being unlinked and disconnected from the surface temperature.

Water is actually a net cooling agent in the atmosphere. It can warm and cool in a way that regulates the ocean temperature to a very narrow range.

Atmospheric water currently acts as a warming agent during November, December and January but a cooling agent for all other months.

So is atmospheric water the most powerful “Greenhouse Gas” or “Bi-modal Liquid” or “Cooling Solid”?

Climate models do not even worry about mass balance of atmospheric water. If precipitation minus evaporation is integrated over a number of annual cycles it can result in negative atmospheric water. Sort of meaning the atmosphere is able to create vast quantities of water from the hydrogen and oxygen present and do it continually.

Clyde Spencer
September 12, 2021 6:58 pm

Willis, you said:

… every single year the amount of energy absorbed by the surface is split evenly, to within half a percent, between the two hemispheres.

My first reaction is to question the veracity of the CERES data. Something like 96% of the southern hemisphere is dominated by specular reflection off the water and diffuse reflectance from clouds over the water. The northern hemisphere is dominated by diffuse reflectance from vegetation, soil, and clouds, with a minor amount of specular reflection from water. The two hemispheres are very different and the fact that the CERES data gives the same result strongly suggests to me that the absorbed radiation is calculated improperly.

I have previously questioned whether the numbers given for ‘albedo’ are a proper characterization for what happens with water. Once again, I think that the ‘albedo’ for water is a lower bound for the actual reflectivity, which is used to calculate the energy absorbed.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 12, 2021 9:26 pm

Willis performs a broad brush stroke analysis on broad brush stroke data. He is using Ceres data because that is the best available. He doesn’t go into the accuracy of it.
I agree with you about diffuse reflectance and specular reflection. Many people don’t get the idea of radiation hitting the surface and not reacting with it.

Clyde Spencer