Restoring The Equilibrium

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In this post, I will both provide additional data for and also correct an error and a claim in my post entitled Where Is The Top Of The Atmosphere. Let me start by recapping the main point, which is the theory of why increasing CO2 must perforce lead to surface warming.


    • The amount of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases (methane, CFCs, etc.) is increasing.

    • This absorbs more upwelling longwave radiation, which leads to unbalanced radiation at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). This is the TOA balance between incoming sunlight (after some of the sunlight is reflected back to space) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the surface and the atmosphere.

    • In order to restore the balance so that incoming solar radiation equals outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), the surface perforce must, has to, is required to warm up until there’s enough additional upwelling longwave to restore the balance.


In my last post, I showed what I believed was the relationship between the CERES surface temperature and the OLR. Here’s that graphic:

Figure 1. Scatterplot, monthly top-of-atmosphere outgoing longwave radiation (TOA LW) versus surface temperature. Seasonal variations have been removed from both datasets

Now, I mentioned above that I wanted to correct an error and a claim in my previous post. The claim was that although the change in OLR at the troposphere from a doubling of CO2 was shown by MODTRAN to be about 3.7 W/m2, the change at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) was much smaller.

However, since then I’ve found a paper entitled “Radiative Forcing of Quadrupling CO2” that says:

Note that the forcing and adjustment in this paper are analyzed using the radiation fluxes at the TOA instead of the tropopause. However, it can be shown that after the stratosphere equilibrates, the stratosphere-adjusted forcing is identical at the two levels.

Unfortunately, they neglect to reference just how or where “it can be shown”. And I see no reason to assume that it is true—why should the upwelling longwave radiation be the same, both somewhere in the upper middle of the atmosphere and also at the top of the atmosphere? That would assume that the stratosphere makes no contribution either way to the OLR … ?? Seems doubtful.

But to take a very conservative position, by which I mean one that increases calculated climate sensitivity, I’ll assume for the sake of this discussion that they are correct and that the top of atmosphere (TOA) OLR is reduced by 3.7 W/m2 from a doubling of CO2, the same as at the tropopause.

So that was the claim … what about the error?

Well, my error was that I used the actual TOA OLR figures to calculate the relationship between surface temperature and OLR. But assuming that the prevailing theory is correct, those OLR values have already been reduced by the effect of the greenhouse gases. So to get the true relationship between temperature and OLR, we need to add back in the amount of the reduction in OLR due to the greenhouse gases.

In order to get a more accurate answer from a longer period of record, this time I’ve used the Berkeley Earth surface temperature data and the NOAA OLR data. This gives us about twice as much data as we have from the CERES satellite observations. Figure 2 shows that result.

Figure 2. Scatterplot, NOAA OLR adjusted for well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHG) versus Berkeley Earth Surface temperature. Seasonal variations have been removed from both datasets

As expected, adjusting the OLR data to include the effect of the WMGHGs has increased the trend of OLR vs surface temperature.

As a check on the Berkeley/NOAA data, I took just the part of that data that overlaps the CERES data and I plotted up both of them. As you can see, the agreement between the two is better than what is generally found between different climate datasets.

Figure 3. Comparison of Berkeley/NOAA values and CERES values. Seasonal variations have been removed from both datasets

So … according to Figure 2, in order to offset a doubling of CO2, which presumably decreases the TOA OLR by 3.7 W/m2, the temperature has to rise by 3.7 ± 0.1 W/m2 divided by 4.2 ± 0.13 W/m2 per °C, which is 0.9 ± 0.04 °C per doubling of CO2.

Is this the long-term “equilibrium climate sensitivity” and not the short-term “transient climate response”? I say yes because it is independent of how long it takes for the temperature to rise. Whether the temperature goes up by 0.9°C in a month, a year, or a decade, the data above shows that it will increase the OLR by 3.7 W/m2.

And that’s all the news I have for you today.

My best regards to everyone,

w.

AS ALWAYS: I can defend and explain my words and I am happy to do so. I cannot defend or explain your interpretation of my words. So when you comment, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS that you are discussing. This avoids endless misunderstandings.

MATH: As discussed in my previous post, Where Is The Top Of The Atmosphere, I’ve used Deming regression instead of Ordinary Least Squares regression because of the presence of significant uncertainty in the x-axis of the graphs.

DATA:

Berkeley Earth

CERES

NOAA OLR

WMGHG

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February 12, 2022 10:23 am

Eishh… You guys still believing that more GH gas makes it warmer on earth?

Nonsense! Look at the spread of the warming.

An Inconvenient Truth | Bread on the water

More CO2 does cause more vegetation and this does trap heat:

Click on my name.

Wake up!

stinkerp
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 2:09 pm

Explain why the surface temperature of Venus, which has a thick atmosphere of CO2 (96.5%), is higher than Mercury, which has no atmosphere, when it orbits the sun farther away (~108 million kilometers vs ~58 million kilometers).

wadesworld
Reply to  stinkerp
February 12, 2022 3:29 pm

Pressure?

Mars has more C02 than Venus. Yes, it’s farther away but it’s also frigid despite all the C02.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  wadesworld
February 12, 2022 9:29 pm

Mars has more CO2 than Earth, not (by a long shot) Venus.

Amend that: Mars has twice the CO2 partial pressure of Earth, but maybe a third of the surface area, so Earth wins.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike McMillan
Reply to  wadesworld
February 13, 2022 9:48 am

Pressure has no relationship with temperature whatsoever. The Gas Laws were written by white males so are cancelled.

Temperature can only be changed by IR radiation.

Reply to  stinkerp
February 13, 2022 3:01 am

stinkerp

The fact that you get so much CO2 in the atmosphere of Venus must give you the hint? Venus is apparently much more volcanic than earth. That produces the (extra) heat.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  HenryP
February 13, 2022 10:41 am

No, not volcanos, the Albedo of Venus is such that the atmosphere is at the planet’s radiative temperature at about 60 km altitude. From there on down it gets hotter with lower altitude at a lapse rate of about 10 C per km, similar to Earth atmosphere’s dry adiabatic lapse rate. Net result is a very hot 700+ Kelvin at surface.

I know this will cause comments regarding gravitational heating, blah-blah, but it is a result of rather routine potential temperature calculations in atmospheric convective stability that are common in meteorological Tephigrams and Skew-T charts.

https://journals.ametsoc.org/downloadpdf/journals/atsc/27/2/1520-0469_1970_027_0219_talrit_2_0_co_2.pdf

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 13, 2022 10:02 pm
Michael Hammer
Reply to  stinkerp
February 13, 2022 1:02 pm

quite simple stinkerp; the thermal energy absorbed by the surface has to escape back out to space. Since it cant radiate directly, the energy is coupled into the atmosphere and radiated away from the top of the CO2 gas column. But that entails a lapse rate, a temperature decrease with altitude enough to allow convection. Lapse rate plus depth of atmosphere determines the temperature difference between the surface and the radiating surface. Since Venus’s atmosphere is about 100 times that of Earth the atmospheric depth is far larger and thus the temperature difference is also larger. Also, as concentration and pressure of a GHG increases the lines broaden and by the time one gets to Venus conditions CO2 is absorbing over the entire spectrum.

Neither of these issues is relevant to Earth. Increasing CO2 concentration has utterly negligible impact on Earth’s atmospheric pressure at sea level and the increases in CO2 concentration being discussed are no where near what would be necessary to make CO2 a broad band absorber.

Richard M
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 2:34 pm

The issue isn’t whether having radiative gases in the atmosphere leads to warming, we know it must. The question is how does it actually work. This is where I believe you end up being correct for the wrong reasons.

I suspect the warming is already mostly in the bank. Adding more gases like CO2 has little effect because all the energy available to it has already been “trapped” (to use the alarmist term).

What caused it to be trapped? The boundary layer. This is the area right next to the surface which shares energy with the surface constantly. As a result, energy at the surface is always in balance with the atmosphere. There is no extra energy available to create additional warming.

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 3:34 pm

Where the warming is greatest, and where greening is greatest have no correlation.

Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2022 11:27 pm

Mark

In my report (click on my name) I gave 6 points of correlation and it included Tandil (ARG) where they chopped the trees. (-15% leaf area); and indeed, we see that minima have dropped in Tandil. In the comments I also show how amazingly much the entrapment is by vegetation. I honestly had not expected it to be that much.

Last edited 3 months ago by HenryP
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 11:30 pm

Obviously, I would agree that more research is needed.

Last edited 3 months ago by HenryP
Robert W Turner
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 3:53 pm

Yeah I see data showing a rough correlation between OLR and surface temperature, nothing to do with so-called GHGs.

The bottom line is that the Earth will return to a glacial period despite our “GHG” emissions.

leitmotif
Reply to  HenryP
February 12, 2022 5:23 pm

Eishh… You guys still believing that more GH gas makes it warmer on earth?

I’m afraid they do, HenryP.

Welcome to the world of sceptical non-science.

They do not believe in catastrophic climate change but they do believe in the GHE and the ECS.

Why? Who knows.

Redge
Reply to  leitmotif
February 12, 2022 11:32 pm

Based on data, it’s perfectly possible to accept certain gases warm the atmosphere, whilst not accepting the unvalidated model claims that the warming will be catastrophic.

michel
Reply to  Redge
February 13, 2022 12:28 am

You have to distinguish between the application of heat, and the result of that application, warming.

It is certain that rising CO2 applies heat. That is just physics.

Whether that results in warming of the planet, and if so how much, is a completely different matter. It depends on how the climate of the planet works as a system.

The alarmists basically argue that the planetary climate responds to heat by increasing water vapor. This would be positive feedback.

The skeptics argue that there are feedbacks, but they are negative and damp down any temporary rises in temperature due to increases in heat from any source.

We have two conceptual models. In one, any applied heat should result in a warming greater than the direct effects of the applied heat. In this model the rise in CO2 will lead to a rise in temperature which will then produce a rise in water vapor, which will then raise temps some more.

In the other model, any rises in temperature will trigger effects that reduce it. Observational studies, and the history of climate in the historical era, suggest that the second model is the correct one. This leads to predictions of fluctuations with regression to the mean.

The first model predicts runaway warming from anything that applies heat.

The second one predicts a very stable climate within narrow limits, but with random fluctuations around the mean.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  michel
February 13, 2022 4:15 am

You seem to forget one thing: the heating effect of a GHG is bound to its IR absorption. This absorption is described with a sigmoid curve. At lower CO2 concentrations, one has a linear region where absorption is proportional to concentration, but for CO2 in the atmosphere this isn’t the case any more. We are in the upper region of the curve where the absorption is close to saturation. So doubling the concentration will have practically no effect. At higher concentrations, every molecule cannot freely absorb IR radiation because it competes with other molecules for the available light (CO2 and Water) depending on wavelength.

John E
Reply to  michel
February 13, 2022 6:54 am

>>rising CO2 applies heat<<

?

leitmotif
Reply to  Redge
February 13, 2022 3:28 pm

Yet you offer no data.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  HenryP
February 13, 2022 1:23 am

Henry, water vapour is the greenhouse gas but radiation is trivial when it comes to knowing, observing or calculation the temperature of the Earth’s surface

Where the whole thing falls flat on its face is, initially, by not understanding what Tyndall actually recorded but also via the trashing of the 2nd Law on a rock-solid altar comprising the 1st Law

Yes, radiant energy is absorbed by water vapour and will cause a temperature rise in that substance.
The energy will not be ‘re-radiated’ and even if it is will have No Effect
The absorbed energy will be shared out amongst the other atmospheric gases and because they have vanishingly low emissivities and thermal conductivity, the heat ‘remains trapped’

As stated, yes the warmed atmosphere will radiate but because it is always colder (Lapse Rate) than the ground (the actual surface) below it, that radiation CAN NOT be absorbed nor have any effect on the temperature of the ground.
Carnot, Entropy, Stefan and the 2nd Law all say so.

Thus the warmed atmosphere can not give the surface an Energy Subsidy – it can not give anything tangible back.

What the newly warmed atmosphere can do though is to give an Energy Credit to the surface.
How that manifests is that the atmosphere ‘says’ to the surface: “Look, you don’t need give me as much energy as before via either Conduction or via Convection”

Conduction is negligible to all intents so only Convection counts.

Main point here is that the entire theory of Climate Change is trashed. Climate Change Science says that a warmed atmospehere will have wilder weather i.e. Convection increases

But El Sol will keep on shining down so then the surface (the actual soil/dirt) must get warmer – the dirt cannot conduct the heat away and the atmosphere says it doesn’t want it convecting either

The Alert Reader will now be salivating like a rabid dog because they see a Positive Feedback.
That patently doesn’t happen as positive feedbacks always run away with themselves – pretty much what happens on Venus?

Thus enter Emergent Feenohomnomeena – as noted by some chap 4 and 5,000 years ago in (ancient?) Greece.

Basically, what or where is the trigger for the wind to start blowing and clouds to form – as happens daily just after sun-rise and then shuts down again just before sun-set?
That has got everything to do with water, liquid water esp and something that everyone’s go-to holiday-destination, Venus, singularly lacks.

Liquid water provides the over-arching Negative Feedback that stops the Energy Credit system from running away
Thus are 2 distinct methods for actually recording the Green House Effect.

  1. Has the Lapse Rate changed in the last few decades
  2. Has that calm and cloud-free spell just after sun-up and just before sun-down altered. IOW is the weather more/less windy and or more/less cloudy?

The CO2 green house effect is thus bebunked because, just like the emissivity of CO2, the signal is so small as to be invisible.
IOOW, temperature and radiation are not the defining elements of Climate

Can we all go home now and let peace break out?

(Do a bit of gardening while you’re there, do something to slow the observed temp rises
i.e. Plant something nice as long as its alive, green and does not allow El Sol to shine onto bare (small e) earth or soil or dirt or whatever you call the ‘A Horizon’)

John E
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 13, 2022 6:49 am

>>that radiation CAN NOT be absorbed<< so because the molecular energy of the gas is lower than the molecular energy of the solid, the solid will somehow ignore or reject impinging photons? What is the mechanism for that?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 13, 2022 7:29 am

Peta

I am with you 100%. But as far as CO2 goes, I did actually calculate from the spectra of CO2 that there is no net warming effect:

Below is an attempt to calculate the actual warming caused by CO2, bit by bit wavelength:
Summary of analysis CO2 spectrum NIST (1).xlsx

The results show a negative result, meaning that the net effect of more CO2 is cooling rather than warming. See columns K and L . For the actual CO2 spectrum: scroll to the right.
(Did I make a mistake? Let me know! Perhaps, together we can solve the puzzle)

Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 10:43 am

Between perihelion and aphelion ISR swings 91 W/m^2.

Because of the tilted axis ToA ISR at 40 latitude swings 700 W/m^2 from summer to winter.

What’s 3.7?
Noise in the data.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 1:11 pm

Only at 65 degrees north.
At the tropics, there is very little variation.
The difference is about 0.04 W/m2 if I remember correctly.

Ralph

RickWill
Reply to  ralph ellis
February 12, 2022 2:19 pm

In 2019 variation at the equator ranged from 417W/sq.m in January down to 390W/sq.m in July. Still significant.

Reply to  RickWill
February 13, 2022 1:06 am

A single year is not climate.

I was talking about orbital eccentricity, which operates over millennia (thousands of millennia), and in that context perihelion and aphelion has almost no effect.

The large effects we see in the Milankovitch cycle are regulated by obliquity and precession’s overlay on eccentricity, not by eccentricity itself.

The global change in insolation due to eccentricity (and climate ‘scientists’ talk in global terms), is almost nil. There are indeed some distinct hemispheric changes in insolation, but if you recognise that, then you will have to ask climate ‘scientists’ why they talk in terms if a global temperature.

For instance, interglacials only ever occur during a northern Great Summer, not a southern Great Summer. So the ice age cycle is hemispheric, not global. So why would the feedback agent be global? Answer – it is not. The feedback agent for interglacials is surface albedo, and all the great albedo changes take place in the northern hemisphere.

Great Summer = Milankovitch Maximum.

R

RickWill
Reply to  ralph ellis
February 13, 2022 5:30 am

The difference between the hemispheres is the amount and distribution of surface water. Water absorbs latent heat to produce atmospheric water than gets deposited on land.

December and January are the high evaporation months irrespective of the orbital cycle because that is the period when the solar view of Earth is water. Water is evaporated and deposited on land.

As aphelion moves toward the boreal winter solstice the northern land masses are cool while ocean evaporation is at its maximum. A large proportion of the precipitation falls as snow. That is when the ice accumulates.

Aphelkion has been getting closer to the boreal winter solstice since 1585 but the the ice will not start accumulation for at least another 1000 years. Peak accumulation will be 9,000 years from now.

Reply to  RickWill
February 13, 2022 7:15 am

No. The difference between the hemispheres is that the great (white) ice sheets were all in the north, and so the albedo changes were in the north.

See my peer review paper on this:
Modulation of Ice Ages by Dust and Albedo
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987116300305

Ralph

RickWill
Reply to  ralph ellis
February 13, 2022 12:49 pm

The difference between the hemispheres is that the great (white) ice sheets were all in the north

Utter nonsense. The great white ice sheet still exists in the Southern Hemisphere. A place called Antarctica.

The reason the Northern ice sheets begin to expand is due to northern winters getting less sunlight as aphelion approaches the boreal winter solstice. That started in 1585.

Dust is a possible reason for the ice sheets melting but that only occurs when the orbit eccentricity is increasing after perihelion moves later than the boreal summer solstice and northern winters begin to get more sunlight again.

Reply to  RickWill
February 13, 2022 2:49 pm

The southern ice sheet does not spread far enough towards the tropics, to effect the ice age cycle. It is ocean-locked.

We know this, because all ice age cycles are governed by northern Great Seasons (Milankovitch Cycles), not souther Great Seasons.

R

Jackie Pratt
Reply to  ralph ellis
February 13, 2022 5:28 pm

you are both making valid technical points and simultaneously talking past each other. The north has greater coverage, but the south must still get much thicker. And thanks for letting me know I’ve got 1,000 more years before my shoreline stops eroding. I’ll pass that on to the great-great-great grandchildren.

john harmsworth
Reply to  RickWill
February 15, 2022 9:16 am

Wouldn’t peak irradiance for the equator be around the equinoxes? January would be peak at the Tropic of Capricorn and June at the Tropic of Cancer.

PCman999
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 1:52 pm

Exactly! What is 2 or even 5°C warming per century, mostly at the frigid poles, compared to the huge temperature swings that people, animals and plants put up with every year?
Insanity.

RickWill
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 2:15 pm

In 2019 the swing was 67W/sq.m. based on monthly averages. Variation ELEVEN times more than the range WE has on OLR.

Last edited 3 months ago by RickWill
RickWill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 13, 2022 5:39 am

No I did not notice that and used that figure. The total annual change is 8W/sq.m so the ratio of solar variation to OLR variation comes back to EIGHT times.

February 12, 2022 10:49 am

I think if you can “correct” for cloud cover, the resulting calculated clear sky CO2 effect would be much smaller..

Nicholas McGinley
February 12, 2022 10:52 am

I am starting to think it may be difficult to change anyone’s mind using logical arguments and such.

Derg
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 12, 2022 11:10 am

Maybe the best we can do is discuss the benefits of CO2 🤔

PCman999
Reply to  Derg
February 12, 2022 2:04 pm

And the benefits of an extra few degrees of warming. The alarmists seem hellbent on believing in that as though God or Hawking had set the prophecy in stone, so might as well turn it around on them.
I live in Southern Ontario Canada, -20 to +35C and I would love to retire in my wife’s homeland of Indonesia, say on the island of Bali, where it’s basically always low 30s in the day mid20s at night. Rough average eyeballed at about 20°C warmer (totally subjective and not timed+averaged at all, and the true figure is definitely higher) – and I can’t think of any alarmist who would disagree with me that the climate of Bali is better. And yet they want to waste billions and trillions of dollars on trying to prevent a good thing, while all the other real problems of disease, malnutrition and ignorance get ignored.

Steve Case
Reply to  PCman999
February 12, 2022 7:47 pm

Yes, the alarmists have convinced the ruling class that a warmer world would be a catastrophic disaster. Really? I just spent the last three weeks in Hawaii, and you know what? Warmer is better.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  PCman999
February 13, 2022 2:29 am

Its a pity about the flora and fauna that cannot simply move with the changes, Birds rely on caterpillars being abundant when eggs hatch. Crops rely on insect being around for pollination plankton – fish. salmon – rivers. farming – planting – change the seasons and there will have to be resynchronization of a few/many years

rbabcock
Reply to  ghalfrunt
February 13, 2022 5:17 am

I’m still waiting for the changes. Based on this winter, the Northern Hemisphere’s changes are colder, not warmer. Certainly much more snow. Crops also rely on a minimal frost free growing season. Let’s see how that goes this Spring here in the NH.

Robert Austin
Reply to  PCman999
February 13, 2022 9:52 am

The original “global warming” was not scary enough and the global average temperature figure might not rise fast enough even with vigourous massaging. Hence the transition to “climate change” where any extreme weather event anywhere on earth would be “evidence” of catastrophic man made climate change. Science has been turned upside down with the onus of proof laid upon skeptics of catastrophic man made climate change. Meanwhile “scientists” of the politically correct persuasion can spout outrageous nonsense with impunity. Prime example, Mark Serreze and his “Arctic is screaming” statement.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  PCman999
February 14, 2022 8:46 am

It is likely that the greatest damage to be done by the “global warming’ thing is that humanity will needlessly spend the wealth of nations to change our societies and then will be left with little ability to adapt to real problems like disease, clean water, poverty, energy production, natural disasters, social unrest …

We should be darn careful, or the present era of politicized “science” will destroy our options to make helpful changes in the future.

michel
Reply to  Derg
February 13, 2022 12:32 am

Probably the best thing is to focus the discussion on policy. The policies proposed by the alarmists are mostly impossible to implement, and if implemented, on their own theories will be totally ineffective. Its the policies that are going to affect human well being, and they are really silly and illogical and harmful no matter whether the alarmists are right or wrong in their theories.

Its like people should advocate standing on our heads to avert a new pandemic. Even if they are right that there is a new pandemic coming, standing on our heads will make no difference.

That’s how it is with all this nonsense of wind and solar and EVs and restricting energy use in a few Western countries.

Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 10:56 am

WE, I think something is subtly wrong with your 0.9C conclusion, as 30 minutes reflection did not come up with any obvious reason. Here is my reasoning on why this is likely so.

We know that the no feedbacks ECS to CO2 doubling is between 1.1 and 1.2C. 1.1 is derivable from AR4. Judith Curry posted another ~1.1 first principles derivation back in 2010 at Climate Etc. 1.2 was estimated by Lindzen in 2011 and used in his Parliament presentation that year. Monckton’s later published equation yields exactly 1.16.

AR5 WG1 puts the sum of all feedbacks except clouds and water vapor at about zero.

Dessler showed in 2010 that observational cloud feedback was about zero, although he erroneously claimed positive. McIntrye redid his analysis using a more internally consistent dataset and also found it about zero.

That leaves water vapor feedback, which Tyndal showed in 1859 was a green house gas. Therefore it’s feedback must be positive, rather than negative as your result requires since 0.9C<1.1-1.2C. (Observational check. A warmer no feedback ECS means the atmosphere can, ceterus paribus, hold more water vapor. Warmer days are more humid, colder days are less humid.)

There are at least four ways to approximate ECS as about half of climate models. The energy budget methods give 1.6-1.7; I prefer the second Lewis and Curry paper, responding to critics of the first. Callendar’s famous 1938 curve yields 1.67. Revamping IPCC using Lindzen’s Bode analysis gives about 1.7. (IPCC ECS 3-3.2 means (using Lindzen 1.2) Bode f is about 0.65. AR4 explicitly put WVF at about 2x zero feedback, so (1.2*2) 2.4 so Bode f 0.5, meaning clouds are 0.15 (0.65-0.5=0.15). Now clouds are observationally about zero, and WVF is about half modeled because ARGO finds about twice as much ocean rainfall (the salinity instrument) as CMIP5 models. So Bode f~0.25 gives (again using Lindzen’s 2011 curve) about 1.7. Finally, Monckton’s equation using ‘correct’ feedback inputs also yields about 1.7. I posted on that math and those observational inputs over at Judith’s at the time his equation first published.
Regards to an intrepid climate warrior.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 1:04 pm

I debated with myself either to put in the various ECS methods. Decided to do it for sake of newcomers here. Gets me again on record about different ways to find the likely ECS ‘zone’.

Main point was different. Your result implies a net negative feedback, which is unlikely given that the water vapor feedback must be positive by some amount while the rest is about zero, clouds being the main uncertainty per IPCC itself. See essay Cloudy Clouds for some details.

I am very familiar with most of the negative net feedback studies Knutti cites. They were all flawed in some basic fashion, including but not limited to Lindzen and Choi 2011. I read them (everything up to late 2014) before writing essay Sensitive Uncertainty in ebook Blowing Smoke which, for example, derives the Callendar estimate from his curve.

Thomas
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 1:57 pm

Rud, I don’t see how clouds could be a negative feedback. They reflect so much intense sunlight during a hot tropical day, but retain so little heat during a cold high-latitude night. If more heat = more water vapor, then more water vapor should mean more clouds, thus a negative feedback.

Also, I’m sure you know this but, it is incorrect to say that hot air can “hold” more water vapor. Air doesn’t “hold” water vapor. It just that when water is hotter, more molecules in the bulk liquid will attain the energy necessary to break the molecular bonds and escape the fluid. When the vapor molecules loose energy, they relax back to the liquid state.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Thomas
February 12, 2022 2:46 pm

I did not say that. WE did. I said that Dessler and, redone by McIntrye, showed a decade ago that statistically the cloud feedback is negligible, about zero. In my ebooks, thatbis also supported by ICOADS over that last 30 years. Essentially no change, so no feedback. See essay Cloudy Clouds for supporting footnotes.
And, using that observation plus ARGO ocean rainfall ~2x CMIP5 modeled, plugged into Lindzens Bode feedback curve based on zero feedback ECS at 1.2C (a tad high, in my opinion) yields about 1.7C. Same as three other methods over more than 3 papers. I like it when ‘independent’ methods triangulate to an approximately similar result.

Thomas
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 4:40 pm

Rud, you wrote, “Now clouds are observationally about zero [feedback].” I still don’t see how that could be. One would expect cloud to increase if the temperature goes up because more water would evaporate. Shading of direct sunlight should be on the order of 1000 W/m2, whereas re-radiating IR from the ground would be several orders of magnitude less.

John Larson
Reply to  Thomas
February 12, 2022 3:54 pm

When the vapor molecules loose energy, they relax back to the liquid state.”

Please excuse my ignorance (a major ask, no doubt ; ) but I wonder about exactly how light is reflected by clouds etc., in terms of individual water droplets.

One suspects that visible light entering a droplet (in or out of what we see as a distinct cloud), is reflected “back” due to the spherical shape of the droplet acting as a (very) convex mirror. And therefore, I suspect that increased water vapor in a given air mass can result in more droplets of an appropriate size to act as minute mirrors, as distinct from the sort of electron level changes associated with how individual molecules typically serve to omnidirectionally “scatter” specific wavelengths of light.

So, one wonders to what extent water droplets might act in this mirroring sense, with regard to various wavelengths of light, and hence result (at times) in a “negative feedback” due to the more reflective nature of the “scattering”.

RickWill
Reply to  John Larson
February 12, 2022 5:01 pm

but I wonder about exactly how light is reflected by clouds etc., in terms of individual water droplets.

Reflective clouds are ice particles. The fact that cloud and snow appear white from the direction of the light means they reflect most of the visible electromagnetic frequencies.

Those same clouds block, mostly reflection but also absorption, up to 90% of the insolation so appear dark from beneath even in daylight.

Thomas
Reply to  John Larson
February 12, 2022 5:29 pm

John, good point. You can Google it to get details, but I think you are correct. Cloud droplets are forward scattering. They reflect light be to the source.

Reply to  John Larson
February 13, 2022 3:56 pm

A droplet that is large with respect to the wavelength of light will scatter double the light that falls on it, some forward scattered and some backscattered.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Thomas
February 12, 2022 6:49 pm

Thomas:

Saying that “hot air can hold more water vapor” is a perfectly fine colloquial expression of the idea that “the saturation partial pressure of water in air increases with temperature”. No confusion and far more concise.

Thomas
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 13, 2022 7:13 am

Yes, it’s very common, but it’s not correct.The saturation pressure of water vapor depends only on the temperature the water vapor, not the air.

Last edited 3 months ago by Thomas
Ed Bo
Reply to  Thomas
February 13, 2022 10:03 am

Thomas:

Attempts at pedantry that stem from ignorance rather than erudition just make you look foolish.

Water vapor in solution in air has the same temperature as the air, at least locally. When you look up in the reference tables for the saturation vapor pressure as a function of temperature, it is this common temperature that is being used.

You seem to be referring to the temperature of the liquid water (not vapor) under the air, which does not necessarily have the same temperature as the air. Other things being equal, as the water temperature increases, the rate of evaporation will increase. But this is a very separate issue.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 2:13 pm

“which is unlikely given that the water vapor feedback must be positive by some amount”

Positve radiative water vapour feedback is related to negative convective latent heat energy transport feedback. We haven’t observed this in ECS conditions yet. Why do you believe that the positive must dominate?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
February 12, 2022 2:52 pm

In simplest system terms, because if negative more CO2 should cause cooling that we do not observe.
Mind you, I also agree with Curry and Asafoku that something like half of warming is natural. AND, on that belief plus the parameterization attribution problem previously posted here several times, CMIP5 ECS should be about halved, which again gives about 1.6C. Another triangulation to a likely ECS zone of 1.6-1.7C.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 3:56 pm

Rud
You mention natural change, as in half of warming being natural. Similarly, many people talk about the natural change of warming after the Little Ice Age. I have long awaited mechanisms for such natural change. FWIW, I tend to favour cloud mechanisms along the lines of Ric Willoughby and the emergent mechanisms of Willis. Until natural changes can be quantified, all comparative math is uncertain.
The existence of a watery Earth and, so far as we can measure, a rather constant ‘global temperature” there must be a fully evolved set point for reference by Nature to attain during variations, be they orbital, seasonal or from a transient puff of CO2.
It seems silly to worry about humans causing temperature change when powerful Nature compensates. We could do with more understanding of natural correction academically and to prevent runaway hysteria and the stupidity of measures for correction like banning fossil fuels. Geoff S

Thomas
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
February 12, 2022 5:01 pm

Even the concept of a global temperature is absurd. The following is partly taken from a post I made a few days ago on a different article.

We consider the plant to be cooling during a La Niña when in fact the ocean/atmosphere system is warming—lots of heat is being pushed deep into the Pacific warm pool. Likewise, we consider the plant to be warming during a El Niño event, when in fact the system is cooling—heat that was stored in the Pacific warm pool is being vented to the atmosphere, and then to space via LW radiation. The heat passes though the atmosphere on its way to space.

To me this is one reason why it is absurd to monitor air temperature and to expect to see the fingerprint of warming caused an enhanced greenhouse effect due to human CO2 emissions. The atmosphere gets cool when the overall system is gaining heat, and hotter when the system is losing heat.

Another reason why monitoring air temperature is absurd is that air temperature isn’t even a measure of the heat content of atmospheric air. Air heat content is measured in units of BTUs per pound of dry air and associated moisture. It’s called enthalpy and it is the measured temperature (called sensible heat) plus the energy that was consumed to evaporate any water vapor that is present (called latent heat). The latent heat will be converted back to sensible heat when the parcel of air is cooled, and the water condenses back to liquid form.

The heat content (enthalpy) of dry air in a desert area at 110 °F (43 °C) can be the same as a humid, tropical climate at 85 °F (29 °C). Temperature alone tells us nothing about total heat content, so a global average temperature has no meaning. If the atmosphere got very slightly drier over the past fifty years, all the measured temperature rise would be meaningless to the question of an enhanced greenhouse effect.

Temperature is, at best, a proxy for atmospheric heat content. One has to assume that water vapor is constant, or changing in lock-step with temperature, for every temperature data point. Given the turbulent nature of the ocean and atmosphere, that is a difficult assumption for me to accept. And it is certainly not true for measurements at a single location. There would be many times in a month or a year when the measured temperature varied by tens of degrees, but the heat content was the same.

Last edited 3 months ago by Thomas
michel
Reply to  Thomas
February 13, 2022 12:45 am

Interesting, logical and informative. Thanks!

Thomas
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 5:09 pm

The way I see it, cloud feedback dampens any temperature rise from CO2, or any other source for that matter. It doesn’t reverse it, it just causes warming to be less than it otherwise would have been.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 5:59 pm

Hey WE, check your math per my comment equation.

PCman999
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 2:18 pm

Water vapour has a negative feedback at the temperatures involved. More vapour, yes can absorb and re-emit IR better than CO2 – but it eventually forms clouds which block the incoming SWR which is the main energy source feeding the whole system.

PCman999
Reply to  PCman999
February 12, 2022 2:19 pm

If water vapour had a positive feedback response the tropics would explode every day.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  PCman999
February 12, 2022 2:55 pm

Wrong. WE’s emergent Tstorm hypothesis explains why on a daily basis. And as previously posted here, the reason that models run hot and produce a non-existant tropical troposphere hotspot is they have WVF high by an ARGO implied 2x.

Thomas
Reply to  PCman999
February 12, 2022 5:10 pm

Or for one day, or a few days, before the oceans boiled away.

Thomas
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 5:17 pm

only 0.8 watt/m2 goes into increasing the temperature. The rest is lost as sensible and latent heat.”

An increase in temperature would be an increase in sensible heat. And a reduction in temperature, due to evaporation of water, does not remove “heat” from the atomosphere, it just converts sensible heat to latent heat. The only way for heat to escape the plant is by radiation to deep space. Which clouds do very effectively.

Thomas
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 13, 2022 7:15 am

Thanks Willis. That makes sense.

JCM
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 2:20 pm

 the water vapor feedback must be positive

this is false and it is perhaps derived from a no-feedback perspective. This would be ironic, of course. Please correct me if I am wrong in this assumption. My argument is as follows:

If we’re having a higher water vapour content at low altitude we are likely having greater sensible heat advection aloft. If we’re increasing advection we are enhancing total convection including trade winds, turbulent diffusion, evaporation, and cloud density + cloud height. The bulk of OLR is now originating from a greater height with less radiation dissipative resistance.

If we’re having more rainfall we’re having more latent heat release at height by condensing rain drops than we otherwise would. If we’re having more condensation at height we are drying the upper troposphere. This cracks the IR window open wider all-the-while more OLR is originating at higher altitude. Additionally, higher trade winds increase the odds of Las Ninas.

If we are finding discrepancies between CO2 ECS hypotheses and observed parameters it is because the transient CO2 forcing is immediately compensated by the aforementioned variables. This results in net zero observable effect. There is no time for these feedback responses such as rainfall intensity or mid-tropospheric hotspot to present themselves in a way that is observable.

JCM

RickWill
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 2:34 pm

You can define ECS however you like but the fundamental issues is that “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity” implies it has some bearing on Earth’s climate. It doesn’t.

The energy balance and climate on Earth are regulated by two temperature limiting processes. At -1.8C, sea ice forms and dramatically reduces heat transfer from ocean water below to space as OLR. When SST reaches about 28C and the atmospheric water reaches 45mm, cyclic convective instability ensues to form persistent cloud that limit ocean heat uptake to achieve energy balance around 30C. It is evident on the chart WE has in the reply above.

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 13, 2022 2:31 am

Rud,

You say “given that the water vapor feedback must be positive by some amount”

How do you arrive at that? It isn’t at all obvious that this must be so.

While in principle warmer air can contain more water vapour, this is not necessarily what happens in the actual atmosphere. There are indications that the dynamics of the tropical atmosphere actually lead to some drying of the bulk atmosphere as surface temperatures rise there.

Complex systems are… complex. They don’t necessarily behave in a straightforward way.

SocietalNorm
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 4:09 pm

Just looking at your data points and I noticed that the observations (blue dots) from 2009 or so to 2020 are on average significantly lower than those from previous years.
This seems odd. Is there something that is different in the atmosphere after 2009? Is there a different method of measuring for the observations after that point? Is there anything useful to be found from this observation?

SocietalNorm
Reply to  SocietalNorm
February 12, 2022 4:12 pm

Didn’t really write my first post correctly. There seems to be a difference starting in 2010 while up to 2009 there is a broad scatter.

Last edited 3 months ago by SocietalNorm
SocietalNorm
Reply to  SocietalNorm
February 12, 2022 4:15 pm

Mean of observations after 2010 appears to be in the range of 2.0.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 13, 2022 9:20 am

Willis,
Your graph “Scatterplot Surface Temp vs Surface Net CRE” in response to Rud, is complete GENIUS. You must write an article developing this further. And it is in agreement with others such as Hartmann.
https://journals.ametsoc.org/downloadpdf/journals/clim/6/11/1520-0442_1993_006_2049_lseotr_2_0_co_2.pdf

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 13, 2022 12:50 pm

Yes , great article….though the genius of Fig. 2 is somewhat lost in the other multicolor global maps of CRF change per degree, which unfortunately are sensory overload for most people. I was thinking of something more along the lines of discussing that along with the following. Which is also a fairly recent graph of yours….plus some cloud Albedo effect on incoming SW thrown in…

9D08D1B5-2A8F-4BB0-AB58-E6A653EB92AA.jpeg
PCman999
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 2:12 pm

Sorry, but your idea doesn’t pass the smell test. Hotter days get more humid, eventually increasing cloud cover which blocks the Sun, thunderstorms happen and so on, limiting the temperature to say 30°C in the waters of tropics, as W.E. has shown. Highest temperatures measured on Earth have been from dry deserts devoid of moisture and vegetation, at points not in the Equatorial region where one would expect the highest temperatures. And that’s because those regions are protected by clouds formed from the evaporation of the oceans and rain forests.

Thomas
Reply to  PCman999
February 12, 2022 5:23 pm

Yes, and dry deserts can cool very quickly when the sun goes down, proving that CO2 alone, at current concentrations, is not a very effective GHG. You need lots of water vapor to have warm nights.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 12, 2022 4:18 pm

Clouds have a net warming effect if you ask me. The deserts generally lose more energy to space than they receive from the sun.
The sun isn’t even distinguishable in the day time sky of Venus it is so cloudy, yet the atmosphere obviously warms the planet.

Waza
February 12, 2022 11:02 am

“So … according to Figure 2, in order to offset a doubling of CO2, which presumably decreases the TOA OLR by 3.7 W/m2, the temperature has to rise by 3.7 W/m2 divided by 4.2 W/m2 per °C, which is 0.9 °C per doubling of CO2.“

Willis, thanks for the article.
Do you have uncertainties +/- for the above?
Thanks in advance.

Bill Treuren
February 12, 2022 11:05 am

The top of troposphere and top of atmosphere question is important I think.
Would you not expect significant absorption of incoming radiation within that band, and does that not alter the results via out and incoming LWR from that band.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 2:18 pm

well conservation of energy seems like a fairly good reason to say that the TOA and troposphere OLR change should be the same. Otherwise the troposphere is going to be either heating up (or cooling down) since all of the energy comes from the sun and that amount doesn’t change with changing CO2 concentrations.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 6:34 pm

Willis,
at the surface there are conductive effects plus evaporation that transport energy. Once you get high enough in the atmosphere that those can be ignored the net flow of energy is dominated by radiation and then conservation of energy says it is going to be roughly constant all the way to the top.

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
February 12, 2022 11:10 am

“I’ll assume for the sake of this discussion that they are correct and that the top of atmosphere (TOA) OLR is reduced by 3.7 W/m2 from a doubling of CO2”

Willis, I think “they” misunderstand what is causing what here.

The reduction in OLR is simply due to clouds that were generated from higher SSTs. The CO2 is simply outgassing before the cloud-producing evaporation occurs, depending on SST, as indicated below by MEI and OLR vs Nino34, wrt to the outgassing threshold of 25.6°C, and going along for the rise, not driving anything but more greening:

comment image

Does MODTRAN distinguish the two in the overlap band?
It’s not hard to understand why they could believe the CO2 is causing the 3.7W/m2 difference, as the CO2 outgassing which precedes evaporation, concurrent wrt SST rise, only looks causal, when in fact both outgassing & evaporation are responding to the SST increasing. CO2 is responding to SST, not driving it. Another source of their confusion is the absorption bands overlap for water & CO2, so with water vapor being 95% more potent a GHG, it overwhelms poor old trace gas CO2. Two strikes and they are out.

Incoming solar radiation is stored in the ocean for about 120 years, the heat equally slowly released into the atmosphere, so fat chance for any instantaneous TOA equilibrium or monthly for that matter, not to mention all the shorter-term solar and ocean variations.

Speaking of equilibrium, they think the climate was in equilibrium back in the late 1800s and that CO2 caused the SST to increase. No, they are wrong, the climate, expressed by the 30y HadSST3, changed in 1935 when the solar modern maximum started, and has progressed as a function of the 109y v2 SN plus 11 years lag, for 120 total years, p<.00001:

comment image

JCM
February 12, 2022 11:47 am

in order to offset a doubling of CO2, which presumably decreases the TOA OLR by 3.7 W/m2, the temperature has to rise by 3.7 W/m2 divided by 4.2 W/m2 per °C, which is 0.9 °C per doubling of CO2

There is no requirement for temperature to rise in response to CO2 increase. Minor CO2 perturbations are easily compensated by nonradiative flux delivery aloft. In reality there has been no observable change to OLR in response to CO2 because the compensating feedbacks are immediate.

Internally generated nonfeedback source of radiative forcing such as circulation-induced changes in cloud cover and nonradiative forcing of temperature change such as tropical intraseasonal oscillations in the rate of heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere has been discussed at length by Spencer https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD013371

Continuing to shine the light squarely on CO2 effects is severely limiting advancement of the science.

JCM
Reply to  JCM
February 12, 2022 12:10 pm

I should add that I appreciate Eschenbach’s essays because they provide impetus for scientific debate on the comments which is sorely lacking in the climate-space. This type of forum is too far and in-between even on WUWT.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  JCM
February 12, 2022 12:22 pm

agree

Derg
Reply to  JCM
February 12, 2022 9:49 pm

“ This type of forum is too far and in-between even on WUWT.”

Is this because academia has nothing to gain and everything to lose in debates?

JCM
Reply to  Derg
February 13, 2022 11:15 am

Generally speaking academic debate occurs indirectly via the published literature. There is a degree of decent debate happening that way but sadly publishers and liberal arts institutions have become increasingly corrupt by politics and there are increasing roadblocks to publishing findings that go against the dogma. Science communication is generally not controlled by the scientists themselves. The other problem is a cultural one where honest scientists face the real risk of being ostracized for sticking their neck out. That is a personal choice each of them makes for themselves. Research scientists tend to be poor communicators and they shy away from politics. This is why we see the same few talking heads on TV over and over again. Altogether this makes for a false representation of what’s really happening in the research community. I do not blame the vast majority of academics for these problems and many are keenly aware of the politicized communication of the findings. Newer researchers in the field having grown up in a politicized science environment may have less ability to perceive these problems and many new post-grads got into the field in the first place because of their passion to defend the dogma. I expect the most meaningful advances in the science to now come from non-english language and foreign journals where up and coming intellectuals are less likely to approach the issues from an activist stance.

JCM
Reply to  JCM
February 13, 2022 12:20 pm

Addendum – foreign scientists likely face their own set of political pressures but it’s clear to see in foreign policy that a different set of conclusions has already been reached on the issue of climate in some parts of the world. Here too different conclusions are being reached and most often from scientists who do not explicitly identify as certifiable climate scientists. The tactic now in the press is to dismiss conclusions from highly qualified researchers whose degree(s) do not guarantee they have accepted the consensus paradigm. These are most often engineers, physicists, geologists, hydrologists, and even meteorologists.

Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 11:51 am

That the terrestrial surface existed in some kind of ISO 9000 thermal equilibrium/stasis until mankind screwed it up with fossil fuels is an article of dogma and faith not science.

Scissor
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 12, 2022 1:07 pm

It’s kind of scary that Agenda 21 is even creeping into ISO and other standard granting agencies.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 14, 2022 9:51 am

A couple thousand years of proxies with Mauna Loa instrument data hockey sticked on to the end.
Scientific malfeasance!!

lgl
February 12, 2022 12:11 pm

Try this thought experiment. There is constantly 10 W/m^2 going into the ocean and same amount into melting ice. How would that alter your estimate?

February 12, 2022 1:09 pm

This 0.9 degrees of warming for a doubling of Co2 equates well with the observational data by Dr John Christy, who runs the UAH satellite and UAH temperature dataset. His estimate is 1.1 degrees c for a doubling of CO2.

See Christie’s easy-read paper ‘Tropical Skies’. As Christy says, 1.1 degrees c is hardly something to worry about.
Tropical Skies, Dr Christy.
https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/GWPF_JohnChristy_Tropical_skies.pdf

Note that measuring the Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR) or measuring the Tropical Tropospheric Temperature (TTT) is a much better way of measuring the greenhouse effect. Surface temperatures can be influenced and altered by other inputs, like surface albedo or the urban heat island effect. However DLR and TTT measured from longwave receivers, radio-sondes, or the UAH and CERES satellites are measuring the greenhouse effect directly, with few influences to interfere with the results.

Measuring surface temperatures is irrelevant – it is DLR and TTT that tell us what greenhouse gasses are doing to the climate.

Ralph

RickWill
Reply to  ralph ellis
February 12, 2022 4:21 pm

Measuring surface temperatures is irrelevant – it is DLR and TTT that tell us what greenhouse gasses are doing to the climate.

So you are implying here that the only factor changing climate is “greenhouse gasses”.

The concept of “greenhouse gasses” have no relevance to the energy balance on earth or Earth’s climate. It is a belief system that is unrelated to any scientific fact.

The fact is the the energy balance on Earth is regulated by two temperature limiting processes; sea ice formation to reduce heat loss and convective instability of tropical oceans that alters the persistency of reflective cloud that limits surface sunlight.

Reply to  RickWill
February 13, 2022 12:51 am

No, that is not my view at all, hence I mentioned albedo and UHI effects. But this IS the view of the establishment, who appear to calculate temperature and climate solely based upon CO2 concentrations.

R

Master of the Obvious
February 12, 2022 2:00 pm

As always, thoughtful and well reasoned. As an aside to interested readers, so called errors are part and parcel of science. Everything in the literature is wrong if only that it is incomplete. We can see so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants. The scientific principal is embodied in this on-going converstion.

In Zhang and Huang (2014) you quoted and then lamented:

However, it can be shown that after the stratosphere equilibrates, the stratosphere-adjusted forcing is identical at the two levels.

Unfortunately, they neglect to reference just how or where “it can be shown”.

The insumountable challenge to fingering that zen paradise of equilibrium is that it cannont exist in the atmophere let alone the biosphere.

In thermodynamics, there are two related but not interchangeable terms: equilibrium and steady-state. As with everything in thermo, the conditions are relative to the system boundaries defined. Example: it’s 20F outside and the steam boiler is perking along keeping your house at 70F (ignore the deadband in the typical home thermostat). While the inside environs are at a consistent temperature, the system (the house) is most definitely not in equilibrum. The boiler is converting some energy source into sensible heat and that heat is inexorably escaping the house boundary to the outside. The air may be pleasently steady at 70F, but there is no equilibrium between it and the 220F steam or the 20F outside.

The atmosphere is not different. Even if it were a pleasant 70F outside, energy as light, wind, temperature gradients, etc. is moving all the time. When one starts trying to formulate an energy balance around an even limited portion of the atmosphere, stupendous energy fluxes are quickly encountered.

Why is this important? Equilibrium means that there are no heat, pressure, etc. gradients and thus there is no net flux of energy over boudaries or between phases (like air/liquid water). Becuase there are no (or negligible) gradients and fluxes, the entropy change is zero. For the beginner student in thermo problems, this is a happy conditon that impells that worker to mind only the energy budget (balance) and completely ignore J.Willard Gibb’s curse of entropy. It’s zero and life’s good!

Now, recognize that the system is instead in steady-state and life has taken a more interesting turn. For, now the diligent worker needs to fuss both the energy balance and the net changes in entropy to insure that the process isn’t trying to postpone the heat death of the universe.

Cosmology aside, the main utility of minding the entropies is to preclude postulating heat engine processes that cannot occur spontaneously. One can’t heat a house to 70F if the radiators have 60F water in them. Energy won’t flow up a gradient, only downwards. The anguish for students of thermodynamics is merely a happy side-effect (for the instructor at least).

The chagrin I experince when I see workers like Zhang us the term incorrectly is that it creates doubt that the thermodynamics have done remotely correctly. The conversation continues!

RickWill
February 12, 2022 2:05 pm

Is this the long-term “equilibrium climate sensitivity” and not the short-term “transient climate response”? 

The question assumes that only OLR matters and is some way altered by CO2 in the atmosphere.

Note that the OLR ranges from 236W/sq.m to 242W/sq.m.. An annual variation of just 6W/sq.m.

The solar input to the Earth system currently ranges from 331W/sq.m in July to 398W/sq.m in January. An annual variation of 67W/sq.m.

The climate system is regulating the solar input to the climate system in order to limit ocean temperature to 30C. It also regulates OLR loss to set the lower limit of ocean temperature to -1.8C. 

The annual variation in solar forcing is 11 times more than the annual OLR variation. And the difference is not explained by thermal inertia in the oceans because ocean temperatures are negatively correlated to their solar input. And they are temperature limited at upper and lower extremes so the annual variation in temperature is small. It is not explained by the variation in water vapour in the atmosphere because that is least when solar input is maximum.

The “equilibrium climate snsitivity” can be whatever you choose it to be but it is not related to the energy balance on Earth or climate on Earth.

Last edited 3 months ago by RickWill
Bob Irvine
Reply to  RickWill
February 12, 2022 5:26 pm

Rickwill
I see it in a similar way to you.
The emission height, by definition, emits as much energy as the sun supplies. I.e. about 240w/m2. The earth system must be in balance over time.

If the surface warms for any reason then the emission height rises until the earth system is in balance again. Willis’s figure 2 shows the OLR reaction to changes only in solar input including any add on effects, cosmic ray – clouds etc.
On the other hand, when GHGs warm the surface, they only cause a rise in emission height as compensation. That emission height rises to the point where OLR once again matches solar input and the earth system is once again in balance over time.

In other words a GHG increase will not effect OLR as it is related only to Solar inputs. The earth system must be in balance over time and GHGs are not an input to the system.

To clarify, GHGs still warm the surface but don’t result in an increase in OLR.

Willis, I would be interested to hear if that is how you see this or alternately where I’m going wrong.

February 12, 2022 2:36 pm

NASA/RSS measurements show that water vapor has been increasing about twice as fast as possible from just feedback. This demonstrates that there is another substantial source of WV. The increasing WV can account for all of humanity’s contribution to planet warming with no significant contribution from CO2 needed. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

TPW meas & UAH thru Dec 2021.jpg
RickWill
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
February 12, 2022 3:04 pm

NASA/RSS measurements show that water vapor has been increasing about twice as fast as possible from just feedback.

I can explain why this is occurring.

Perihelion last occurred before the austral summer solstice in 1585. Perihelion is now occurring around 4th of January. It gets later by around 15 days per millennium.

For the past 400 years, the solar input to the Southern Hemisphere has been reducing. The solar input to the NH has been increasing. The SH is dominated by water. The NH is about equal parts land and water.

On average, land has been getting more sunlight and warming up for the past 400 years. Oceans have been getting LESS sunlight but also WARMING up. The surface temperature of the oceans is limited so the only way it gets warmer is to have more surface at the upper limit of 30C. Ocean temperature change is a function of net evaporation. More net evaporation means lower temperature as cool water in circulation from high latitudes gets drawn up from depth.

So we have land heating because it is getting more sunlight. We have ocean heating because net evaporation is slowing down. Fundamentally there is reducing heat transfer from oceans to land through latent heat of water. That means more water over oceans to form clouds and reduce sunlight to the ocean surface – that limits temperature to 30C.

This trend has only been in play for 400 years. It has another 10,000 years to run. The water transfer from ocean to land will bottom out within 2000 years from now and begin to increase again but more will precipitate as snow on northern land masses as the boreal winters get less sunlight.

The current variation in sunlight by month is 67W/sq.m.; 331W/sq.m in July and 398W/sq.m in January. The precipitable water reaches its maximum in July when the land is warm and oceans are warm and is minimum in December/January when the solar input is at its maximum but more water being transferred to land.

Last edited 3 months ago by RickWill
RickWill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 5:03 pm

Not true at all. The total annual solar input to the two hemispheres is equal, and always has been.



RickWill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 5:54 pm

Not true at all. The total annual solar input to the two hemispheres is equal, and always has been.

I am taking about average POWER intensity not the average energy.

Earth spends an extra 5 days in the cooler part of the orbit (185 days) to gain the same energy as the warmer part (180 days). Ergo the power intensity when the SH is pointed toward the sun is considerably higher than when the NH is pointed to the sun.

steen rasmussen
February 12, 2022 2:55 pm

I believe Happer an Wijngaarden is in the same ballpark. However David Coe et al. (The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases” on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures
David Coe1, *, Walter Fabinski2, Gerhard Wiegleb3) suggest a sensitivity of CO2 to be 0.5C, which I also recall a paper from b.n. Smirnov (but I can’t find it any more??) Also I recall a paper from Finish/Japanes team suggesting ECS approx 0.5??

Wonder why I’m not able to find these papers any more?

kind regards
SteenR

angech
Reply to  steen rasmussen
February 12, 2022 3:08 pm

I love TOA posts.
The topic has been raised by Willis on a number of occasions
and shows that most other people have fixed ideas and not many clues.
[This applies to me as well].

The first point is definition.
Where Is The Top Of The Atmosphere.
Cannot be answered without a definition of what is the TOA.
I note the proviso.
QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS
So just what is the TOA?

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 3:20 pm

Willis includes a definition in his topic today.

(TOA) radiation at the top of the atmosphere . This is the TOA balance between incoming sunlight (after some of the sunlight is reflected back to space) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the surface and the atmosphere.

The definition needs a number of important details added or clarified.
For instance is there a TOA on the dark side?
After all there is no incoming sunlight there.
Is the TOA a mathematical abstraction for the whole of the planet?
It is usually taken this way.
Is the TOA variable over the whole of the planet?
Yes.
The TOA locally is higher when the amount of incident sunlight is higher.
How does one address the fact that there is not an easily definable TOA on the darkside?. Do we take the lit side and average it with the dark side?
Yes.
And No.
The TOA can be considered as an averagefor the whole planet, treating it as a black-body [absorbed radiation] or as a grey body utilising albedo effect on the whole incident radiation.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 3:33 pm

Where Is The Top Of The Atmosphere.
Where is the TOA ?

A lot of different answers which is why I would appreciate an exact definition of which one we are discussing.

One answer is that we consider the amount of sunlight incident on a disc the circumference of the earth at a distance of one solar unit from the sun on a plane parallel to the centre of the earth.
The top of the atmosphere is then defined as the average distance to that spherical surface that energy would radiate from if that surface was at the blackbody temperature fot that energy received by the disc.

Phew..

I doubt anyone can come up with a much better more exact definition although it has flaws.

Any takers?

A key flaw neglected by all is that the earth, having an atmosphere actually receives more energy that hits the atmosphere but missed the disc of the earth as that energy is absorbed by the atmosphere at the periphery but would miss the earth if there was no atmosphere.
The whole absorbing area is a disc of which the earth centre is only a major part.
I hope Willis factors this in.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 3:46 pm

There are two deeply conflicting ideas at play here.

One is the idea that an imbalance must exist because

 • In order to restore the balance so that incoming solar radiation equals outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), the surface perforce must, has to, is required to warm up until there’s enough additional upwelling longwave to restore the balance.

The other that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.

There are time frames involved that suggest this is not so.
Physical observations that suggest this is not so
Leading to this statement that seems to make absolute sense.

  • The amount of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases (methane, CFCs, etc.) is increasing.    • This absorbs more upwelling longwave radiation, which leads to unbalanced radiation at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). This is the TOA balance between incoming sunlight (after some of the sunlight is reflected back to space) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the surface and the atmosphere.

However, boring everyone to tears,
The two ideas as stated are fundamentally incompatible.
Hence we ignore the very physics everything is based on
To go with a concept of plausible imbalance.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 3:54 pm

The two definitely coexist but are incompatible as we view physics on our intuition and observation.
One concept I have toyed with is that what we see on our time scale is not what is actually happening in the true time space continuum.
Just as the sun and the earth are travel ling in straight paths through time space but we see one orbiting around the other.
The explanation for this phenomenon is that distance and time warp.
If the time is the same the distance is different. If the distance is the same the time is different depending on frame of reference.

I could and have argued that what we see as a build up of energy is really just our perception and the reality is that the energy entering and leaving the system actually has to balance.

Crappy argument but the best example I could give for a possible divergence.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 4:06 pm

If not, what are we left with?

The definition of a TOA which is physically real rules out the very accumulation of energy that we see in the atmosphere.

Again physics V observation.

I point out that if a TOA exists, at the TOA , by any definition, the energy in always equals the energy going out.

Must. Should. Could. Does.

If not, do not call it a TOA..

To illustrate.
Shine a light on an object and turn it off and describe to yourself the energy flow.

I defy anybody to show how the energy stays in or on the object.
How after it is shone and turned off the object can legally retain any of that energy.
This is talking pure physics of energy and objects, and not solar batteries or internal energies, nuclear energies etc.

Again any takings arguing physics?

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 4:26 pm

Hence as energy cannot be stored how can we talk about an energy imbalance?
There are three possible states?
Energy coming in.
Energy going out.
Energy going out coming back in and going out again.

At all stages they are equal
At the TOA specifically the actual amount of radiation out is the full amount the earth receives in

I could try to say that energy in equals energy out at all levels,not just at the TOA .
The reason the earth’s surface is hotter than the TOA is that the light and short wave that gets through is converted to IR at the surface [did not touch the atmosphere on the way through] and being back radiated heats the surface up much more than the atmosphere.
The thicker GHG atmosphere at the surface heats up the surface and itself until that outgoing energy reaches the level at which it is not blocked from going out.
No energy imbalance.
Everything is in balance.
Just the radiating surfaces are hotter which they have to be with that degree of radiation passing through
Not absorbed, Not stored.
R Ellison put it beautifully. The delay in that energy getting back out to space is microscopically small.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 4:36 pm

The upshot of this is that there is no
   • In order to restore the balance so that incoming solar radiation equals outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), the surface perforce must, has to, is required to warm up until there’s enough additional upwelling longwave to restore the balance.

The surface appears to warm up with radiation because we measure the temperature by measuring radiation, usually infra red.
What are we measuring?
We are measuring outgoing radiation.
The molecule has cooled down because that radiation has left it.
As we measure that it is it is warm no longer.
When there is back radiation we measure radiation and back radiation leaving those now cooler bodies.

So sure it is hotter when more sun comes in.
When there is more water and CO2 GHG causing more back radiation on the way out from the light that reached the surface unimpeded.
But no storage.
There is no retention.
No imbalance.

angech
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 5:10 pm

As a final comment, sorry Willis, for taking up so much space, consider the so called TOA measurements showing the so called but impossible imbalances.

Firstly they can be positive or negative, always.
Which means they are variations in the ability of the measuring instruments, not real.

There are two types of measurement, counting Earth shine estimations which agree poorly with Ceres particularly the last few years.
Satellites can and should take in most of the radiation from the earth.
Of course this means they would assess a TOA greater than what they claim to measure as they would get the radiation that hits the atmosphere outside of the disc of the earth, but who cares about a 3-10% discrepancy or adjustment due to this.
Does anyone know how this particular adjustment is done or do they even bother?

Roy Spencer has categorically asserted that the satellites make large errors in assessing IR in regions with cloud cover.
Large errors.
Anyone care to corroborate this?
Anyway the Satellites offer the best assessment even though they are 10% or more out.

“TOA fluxes based on ADMs from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) applied to the same CERES radiance measurements show a 10% relative increase with viewing zenith angle in the SW and a 3.5% (9 W/sq m) decrease with viewing zenith angle in the LW.”


To sum up,

Energy imbalance as a concept allows de novo creation of energy in the atmosphere [storage of energy] which then allows GHG propnents to claim extra warming can continue to occur when physically all the energy that comes in [and there is a heck of a lot over 8 minutes from the sun] has gone 8 minutes later
We merelt observe. like with a thermometer how much energy is in our local area.
The world warms up and cools down through 15- 30C range every day.
No batteries store it at night or during the day.

Ed Bo
Reply to  angech
February 12, 2022 6:42 pm

angech: You say: “The other [idea is] that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.”

Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this. You learn very early in your first thermodynamics course that the difference between incoming and outgoing power flows to/from the system you are analyzing is equal to the rate of change of energy in the system.

With respect to climate science, “alarmists” think that this rate of change of the earth/atmosphere’s energy averages close to 1.0 W/m2. Most “skeptics” think this is closer to (but not necessarily equal to) 0.0 W/m2.

angech
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 13, 2022 5:23 am

Ed Bo
angech: You say: “The other [idea is] that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.”
Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this. You learn very early in your first thermodynamics course that the difference between incoming and outgoing power flows to/from the system you are analyzing is equal to the rate of change of energy in the system.

Ed,

you seem prepared to say, presumably knowing some basic thermodynamics,
that
heat flows from cold to hot?
heat is stored in a body until it is needed in the distant future?
force does not equal mass times velocity?

could you clarify your gobbledegook?

The basic principle is that a quantum of energy meets and interacts with a quantum of matter in a happy rest state.
that is the quantum of matter has no interest or desire or ability to put out any energy.
The energy either is able to interact or not.
In the latter case it goes straight through.
In the former despite interacting it again goes straight out.
The quantum of mass has no battery.
If you wish to state that matter on its own can exist in an excited state of rest different to a normal state of rest you would have to state some proof other than a belief

Ed Bo
Reply to  angech
February 13, 2022 9:50 am

angech: WTF? Where do you get the idea that my statements implied any of those things?

I simply expressed the most basic statement of the First Law of Thermodynamics (in differential form). Stated a little more mathematically, it says for a system:

Sum(PowerIn) – Sum(PowerOut) = d(Energy)/dt

So if you have 100 watts of input to a system, and 90 watts of output, the energy of the system is increasing at the rate of 10 watts (10 Joules/sec).

You do believe that you can heat a pot of water on your stove, don’t you? That the power into the pot does not have to equal the power out?

When you have no grasp over the most basic “bulk” thermodynamics, you are only going to confuse yourself (as you clearly have) trying to get into the statistical and quantum aspects of the field. There is a reason universities always teach the “bulk” aspects first, and only later get into the “microscopic” aspects like statistical mechanics and quantum physics later. 

angech
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 13, 2022 10:13 pm

That’s better Ed
At least your are trying.

However

Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this.
So google this as one of many people who do.

M. Bahrami ENSC 388 (F09) 1st Law of Thermodynamics: Closed Systems 1 The First Law of Thermodynamics: Closed Systems
The first law of thermodynamics can be simply stated as follows: during an interaction.between a system and its surroundings, the amount of energy gained by the system must be exactly equal to the amount of energy lost by the surroundings.

Secondly you are aware of one of the definitions of a TOA
Energy in =energy out or are you denying a TOA exists at all?

-Thirdly as I said unless you bother to explain the First law properly
it is gobbledygook.
Like this.
“I simply expressed the most basic statement of the First Law of Thermodynamics (in differential form).”
No. you have taken one small part of the definition and chucked your own notions in.
Hence you have added a component called work which only exists in certain prescribed situations and certainly does not describe the full First Law of Thermodynamics.

Hence “The other [idea is] that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.”
is a truism.
Otherwise physics will not work.

“So if you have 100 watts of input to a system, and 90 watts of output, the energy of the system is increasing at the rate of 10 watts (10 Joules/sec).”

And when, as in reality you have100 watts output?
Explain how the system taking in 100 watts is not compelled to put 100 watts out?

[No batteries or heat storage devices in a bit of rock, remember?
No work engines]
All bodies do and must radiate any heat they do not make themselves.

As for this
“You do believe that you can heat a pot of water on your stove, don’t you? That the power into the pot does not have to equal the power out?”

This is not an argument.
It is not even a good analogy.
Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this.*
That is cheeky of me, I apologise.

Take Earth.
You claim that you can heat the earth with power in.
You do believe the earth does not have to put this power out paraphrasing your pot comment.
You believe the power in does not have to equal the power out.
In an arbitrary way that is the power out is always less than what goes in.
So what do you end up with after a billion years of the sun doing this to the earth?
A planet hotter than the sun.
Note. That is the essence of your logic
.-
Going back to the teapot.
Turn the stove off.
Does the energy stay in the teapot for you?
No.
How did it know how to leave?
The first law perhaps.

Now the 64 million question.
What is keeping the water hot?
Note it is not the heat that went into the teapot as that already left almost as soon as it went in.
Strange but true as Ripley would say.
What is the source of the energy making the teapot and water appear hot, Ed?
And by implication almost everyone else here.
You are not alone in believing the water is hot because of the energy the stove put into it although it has already gone.

Ed Bo
Reply to  angech
February 14, 2022 7:37 pm

angech:

Wow! Your confusions go even deeper than I imagined!

This thread started with your claim: “The other [idea is] that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.”

I said (and I still say) that: “Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this.”

You try to back up your claim with the statement from a Thermo class that: “The first law of thermodynamics can be simply stated as follows: during an interaction.between a system and its surroundings, the amount of energy gained by the system must be exactly equal to the amount of energy lost by the surroundings.”

This is a completely different claim, and you don’t even realize it!

To use this statement in my example, let’s say we have a 100-watt element heating our pot of water (the “system”), and the pot is losing 90 watts to the surrounding air, and this is constant for a second. The pot gains 100 – 90 = 10 Joules, and the surroundings lose 100 – 90 = 10 Joules. That is all that this statement means. It most certainly does NOT mean that the energy input and energy output of the system must be the same.

As for the TOA definition you cite, I have not seen it, and I do not think it is valid. For radiative transfer purposes, the TOA is the height at which going further up does not make any significant difference to the radiative fluxes. Great effort goes into determining the difference between energy in and energy out at this height.

On your third point, I am definitely NOT taking “one samll part of the definition and chuck[ing] [my] own definitions in.” One of my college textbooks states the basic FirstLaw equation as:

Energy input = Energy output + Increase in energy storage

This is exactly equivalent to what I stated. I have NOT added a component called work in this equation — it is valid for pure heat transfer systems with no work done.

YOU are the one who is using an expression “which only exists in certain prescribed situations” (steady state cases with no change in energy storage). My expression captures the “full First Law of Thermodynamics”, not yours!

You say: “No batteries or heat storage devices in a bit of rock, remember?”

Seriously? You think that a rock (or a pot of water) cannot be used for heat storage??? Both rocks and water are commonly used for heat storage! Do you get out much?

Let’s use a mass of 1 kilogram for my pot of water. Water has a specific heat of 4184 Joules per kilogram per Kelvin (or degree C). With a 10-watt imbalance of energy input to energy output, the temperature of the water is increasing at 10/4184 = 0.00239 K per second. To increase the temperature of the water from 20C to 70C, the energy storage of the water must increase by 4184*50 = 209200 Joules = 209.2 kJ.

These are the kind of calculations you have to do at the very beginning of a first thermodynamics course. You have very obviously never taken such a course!

When I say that “the power in does not have to equal the power out”, I am NOT saying that “the power out is always less than what goes in.” It is a major failing of reading comprehension and basic logic for you to think that the first implies the second.

So when the stove for the pot of water is turned off (when the water is hotter than the surroundings), then of course the pot cools off. In this case, the energy out of the system (pot) is less than the energy into the system, so the system’s energy storage, and therefore its temperature decreases. So this still is not an energy-in-equals-energy-out situation.

You are so far out of your depth here, it’s not even funny. Maybe if you spend a couple of years learning the basics, you might then have something to contribute. But right now, you are just making a fool of yourself.

Bindidon
Reply to  steen rasmussen
February 12, 2022 3:27 pm

What you didn’t find probably is this:

Collision and radiative processes in emission of atmospheric carbon dioxide

B M Smirnov (2018)

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6463/aabac6/meta
(Abstract only)

After a comment on Smirnov’s paper

Comment on “Collision and radiative processes in emission of atmospheric carbon dioxide”

M. Lino da Silva and J. Vargas (2019)

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2002.10601

the editor has issued an expression of concern about Smirnov’s paper:

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6463/abf44e

to which, as far as I’m informed, Smirnov didn’t (want to?) reply.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bindidon
DMacKenzie
Reply to  steen rasmussen
February 13, 2022 12:36 pm

Steen,
here’s one for you with ECS .55
http://article.ijaos.org/pdf/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210502.12.pdf

DMacKenzie
February 12, 2022 3:13 pm

Willis,
You can set UChicago Modtran for “11 Km looking down” as opposed to its default 70 Km, to see that the paper referenced is incorrect in this assumption.
Also TOA average is always equal to the Solar input of 240 average, except for planet Albedo changes that might vary over a couple of weeks with the summation of local cloud cover, so on an energy balance basis averaged over a year, nothing is going to change LW TOA.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 12, 2022 3:30 pm

Their 7.2 watts per quadrupling CO2 is 3.6 per doubling…roughly 3.6 x .7 = 2.5 C increase per doubling is not outside of current mainstream guesstimates, and low side by IPCC numbers.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 7:48 pm

All I am saying is that “it can be shown” using Modtran that they are wrong by a few watts if they think TOA And TOT “can be shown to have the same OLR”….. The secondary note was really “even though wrong they managed to get an answer that keeps the Climastrologer department happy”.

angech
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 13, 2022 5:35 am

What a good point, D Mac.
TOA average is always equal to the Solar input of 240 average, except for planet Albedo changes that might vary over a couple of weeks with the summation of local cloud cover.
so on an energy balance basis averaged over a year, nothing is going to change LW TOA.

TOA is an input only definition.

shame no one else can see that.

Imagine the atmosphere somehow sucking all this solar energy up in the atmosphere, dishing it back out to the atmosphere and resucking it back in to store for ever.

not perpetual energy but new extra energy from nothing.
wonder what the stuff going back out into space to make up the balance at TOA comes from.
or if it is not going out why the TOA does not get lower if all that energy is missing.
After all the TOA is where it balances so if it does not balance ther cannot be a TOA.

Glenn
February 12, 2022 10:39 pm

Hi Willis, In point two of your recap you state “This absorbs more upwelling longwave radiation, which leads to unbalanced radiation at the top of the atmosphere…”

Two questions:
Wouldn’t it be more accurate and complete to say “This absorbs and radiates more upwelling longwave radiation…”, with the rates for both increasing equally. Otherwise, its just as valid to state “This radiates more upwelling longwave radiation…”, which would likely lead a reader to a different conclusion, wouldn’t it? That the imbalance is in the other direction?

Secondly, does it automatically and logically follow that it “…leads to unbalanced radiation at the top of the atmosphere…”? You state that as fact. I may be the last ignorant one alive, but you obviously believe that that claim has been substantiated beyond any doubt. So, can you point me to some direct observations or experiments that test the actual physics of that? That try to falsify that hypothesis, and fail? That show the end result must be a permanent exiting radiation balance shift?
I’m not looking for anything indirect, like surface temperature averages or statistical analyses? Nor attempts to identify correlations, with unsubstantiated claims they prove causation. And definitely not computer models or theories, that can’t falsify anything.
I have heard the arguments, but can’t find the physical experiments that test and substantiate them anywhere. So, if you are aware of any, can you direct me to those please. I value your time so there is no need to reply if you too are unaware of any. Thanks.

Glenn
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 16, 2022 4:14 am

Thanks for replying Willis. Its much appreciated.
I will look at CERES, although what I asked was “[could] you point me to some direct observations or experiments that test the actual physics.” At first glace CERES doesn’t appear to be either of those things.

I note they claim a “high level of data fusion” (?), that they “process” the data, with “over 90% combined from two or more instruments”. Not raw data then?

Also, they say its “…all integrated to obtain climate accuracy in radiative fluxes from the top to the bottom of the atmosphere.” (emphasis mine) “From the top TO the bottom” they say. Not the top AND the bottom. How is it physically possible for any imaging instrument, or combination of them, to achieve a three dimensional record (of anything) directly?

Satellites don’t lower chains of probes, they take photos. Creating something three dimensional from two dimensional images requires processing, as CERES freely acknowledge. So, by definition, their “data” is indirect and not primary. Its not “raw data” its “process results”. To be accurate its the CERES “process results” set.

I’m not trying to argue a strawman here. CERES never claim direct measurements. Its just that this is what you offered me in response to my request for direct observations or experiments. Its not, and they acknowledge that its not.

Even if it was raw data it would need to be independently tested and verified, wouldn’t it? Did we just accept the cold fusion claims? And they had data. How cautious should we be when assumptions are made and things “processed”? When there are no independent replications or tests? Do we give CERES “data” a free pass because its NASA and they can get their cameras up a long way? Are they not human?

On my original question, its okay if you can’t point me to any direct observations or experiments.That would make two of us. Its just disappointing. Are there no physical experiments to demonstrate the physics? No direct observations of the physical process? That would be shocking to me, if true.

I want to be wrong about this. I want to see those direct observations or experiments. Yet no one I ask can point me to them. I always get offered untested ideas, or indirect “results of processing”, both of which are unverified mental concepts. So what am I to believe?

I always enjoy your thought provoking articles and comment sections Willis. Thank you.

February 13, 2022 12:36 am

 • In order to restore the balance so that incoming solar radiation equals outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), the surface perforce must, has to, is required to warm up until there’s enough additional upwelling longwave to restore the balance. – Willis Eschenbach

I know that to dispute the fundamentals of the GHG theory is akin to madness but one of its very basic assumptions just doesn’t add up to me!

A foundational problem that never seems to be addressed adequately in energy balance models and equations, is the conduction of energy at the surface by the bulk of the atmosphere; its non-radiative gases.

However, these practical energy balance problems of radiation and conduction were solved long ago with the invention of the light bulb.

It was observed that a vacuum filled lamp is both brighter and cooler to touch. But the same one, filled with non-radiative gases will be dimmer but hotter at the top of the glass envelope. The unintuitive reason, is that energy that would otherwise have been converted into radiative heat (As light) is instead transferred to the gasses by direct conduction. 

Now, unlike the glass at the top of a gas filled lamp in air, the earth’s gasses (Its atmosphere) at TOA can only lose heat to space via radiation. This energy must now come from the direct collision of radiative gasses with the bulk of the atmosphere. As the air thins with altitude, less and less energy is exchanged by collision and more lost to space by radiation; which in fact is the current orthodoxy. 

Yes, surface radiation might be reduced by increased GHG absorption but now, allowing that the surface temperature is also fundamentally reduced by conduction, it seems just as likely to me that an increase in GHGs must perforce lead to increased heat loss – cooling – at both the surface and at TOA.

To be clear, IMHO the roll of GHGs is greatly overstated, simply because the non-radiative gases make up 99 percent; the vast bulk of the atmosphere. And this 99 percent is in direct contact with everything else from top to bottom, surface to space.

Rather than the surface energy being “blanketed” it is instead, raised to the TOA via direct conduction and molecular collision* and in conjunction with GHGs it becomes a composite “surface” to which the S-B equations might probably be more appropriately applied.

*I’m trying not to invoke convection, though it explains the real world dynamics it obscures the fundamentals here.

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott Wilmot Bennett
Glenn
Reply to  Scott Wilmot Bennett
February 16, 2022 3:32 pm

Thanks for this Scott, well presented.

So, an increase in GHGs percentage, especially toward the TOA, means an increase in the total absorbed energy conducted from other gases to GHGs, that’s available to be radiated. Increased IR radiation into space and cooling in other words.

Isn’t this process also acting like a one-way valve? If non GHGs can’t radiate IR they can only conduct their energy away to a GHG, which can both conduct and radiate. Because a GHG can lower its energy both ways, there should develop an average energy disparity. Radiating GHGs, having lowered their energetic state by radiating are more likely to regain it from conduction with a higher energy non RHG.

The GHGs act as a heat pump, converting conducted energy (from non GHGs) into IR, thus removing energy from other gases and sending it into space. So, more like a heat pump than a blanket then? Is this what the makers of double glazing figured out long ago?

Reply to  Glenn
February 18, 2022 4:51 am

Yes, non-radiative* gases must act as a medium of energy storage because they can not gain or lose “heat” on their own. Only by conduction with the surface or collision with radiative gases is it possible to change temperature. This matters because it is then possible that the bulk of the atmosphere might have a temperature that is independent of the irradiance at the surface, TOA or in-between. This decouples the bulk from the typical S-B calculations because the energy exchanges are mechanical. And therefore they also reduce the observed magnitudes moved as IR.

*They are a window transparent to LW and SW.

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott Wilmot Bennett
nobodysknowledge
February 13, 2022 1:39 am

There has been a very long period of cloud thinning. Ground stations found a “regime shift” in 1982, according to Martin Wild and others. So the cloud forcing or feedbacks have resulted in a global warming, perhaps stronger than the GHGs.

Loeb et al has gone through the TOA and surface imbalances, which I have presented at Science of Doom.
https://scienceofdoom.com/2017/12/24/clouds-and-water-vapor-part-eleven-ceppi-et-al-zelinka-et-al/#comment-169541
With a warming of 0,19 degC/decade since 2000, we get the following feedbacks:
Temperature feedback (radiation from warmer surface): -2,68 W/m2/degree
Albedo feedback (Less reflection from atmosphere and surface) 1,00 W/m2/degree
Cloud LW feedback (Less backradiation from decreased clouds) -1,21 W/m2/degree
Cloud SW feedback (Less solar absorption of clouds) 2,31 W/m2/degree
SW water vapor warming feedback/forcing 0,26 W/m2/degree
LW water vapor absorption feedback/forcing 1,74 W/m2/degree
SW trace gas and aerosol warming feedback/forcing 0.01 W/m2/degree
LW trace gas and aerosol absorption feedback/forcing 1,25 W/m2/degree
Methane part of trace gas LW «trapping» «forcing» 0,29 W/m2/degree
CO2 part of trace gas LW «trapping» «forcing» 0,97 W/m2/degree
Sum of all feedbacks and forcings 2,68 W/m2/degree

A very little part of forcings and feedbacks has a warming effect on the atmosphere and earth`s surface (about 2% of total heat uptake, so about 0,01 W/m2/dec). Nearly all the absorbed energy becomes reradiated. But they have some impotant work to do. They have effects on the lapse rate. And shortwave radiation is warming liquid water and ice in clouds, resulting in evaporation and melting, potential heat and cloud dissipation. This may be the greatest contribution to global brightening, and is not a linear function of trace gases. CO2 stands for less than 20% of all positive forcings/feedbacks. So CO2 make only up a minor direct contribution to global warming.

The Dübal and Vahrenholt paper, Radiative Energy Flux Variation from 2001–2020, have got some attention. And for good reason. It is an important discussion. They use the same CERES data as Loeb et al. One of their conclusions are: «Radiative energy flux data, downloaded from CERES, are evaluated with respect to their variations from 2001 to 2020. We found the declining outgoing shortwave radiation to be the most important contributor for a positive TOA (top of the atmosphere) net flux of 0.8 W/m2 in this time frame.»
 According to the CERES data they present (TOA all sky), the trend is LW out 0,28 W/m2/decade (cooling), SW out -0,70 (warming), and solar reduction 0,03 (cooling), wich gives a TOA warming trend of 0,39 W/m2/dec. In good agreement with Loeb et al 2021. EBAF Trends (03/2000-02/2021) 0.37 +- 0.15 Wm-2 per decade.

Martin Mason
February 13, 2022 1:58 am

I’ve tried to give up reading about CO2 and does it doesn’t it, everybody is correct in some ways yet wrong in the big picture, nobody accepts alternative views and nobody changes their mind? In the end I bought J.T Houghton’s (esteemed warmist) The Physics of atmospheres one of the top reference books on the subject. In Fig 2.5 he shows a graph of the radiant equilibrium temperature against the adiabatic lapse rate temp with temperature of both equal at the tropopause as it has to be. Nowhere in the Troposphere does the radiant equilibrium temperature exceed the adiabatic lapse rate temp and never can do no matter how much CO2 is present. In the troposphere the temperature is completely dominated by convection and conduction and that is why it is called the Troposphere. I’m sticking with that until somebody comes up with with why this is wrong. The only way that Tropospheric temp can increase with radiation is if the Temperature at the troposphere increases. Is that happening?

Roald J. Larsen(@roaldjlarsen)
February 13, 2022 2:26 am

So much noise for nothing!

All this is only theoretical, in the real world there’s convection, making all assertions about “greenhouse gases” high flying nonsense you have to be highly incompetent to believe you understand.

Edim
Reply to  Roald J. Larsen
February 13, 2022 6:33 am

Agree, and even the theory is wrong. The right theoretical model would be a combined (convection – including latent heat and radiation) heat transfer.

michael hart
February 13, 2022 4:42 am

” • In order to restore the balance so that incoming solar radiation equals outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), the surface perforce must, has to, is required to warm up until there’s enough additional upwelling longwave to restore the balance.”

Other things remaining equal, which they invariably do not.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
February 13, 2022 4:45 am

By which I mean, the principle may be correct but the actual outcome is dependent on higher order effects.

Tom.1
February 13, 2022 5:55 am

Questions for Willis, or anyone else who may know:
1) In figure 1, what is the source of the surface temperature measurement; is it land based or satellite?
2) If you read about the CERES satellites and instruments here CERES Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (nasa.gov), they explain how they monitor the earth’s energy budget at TOA using instruments that detect the various amounts of upwelling radiation. Do the CERES satellites also measure surface temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere at different elevations?
3) I understand that there are other satellites that are also used to measure surface and atmospheric temperatures and provide data such as the reported here by Roy Spencer. These satellites are measuring temperature by inference by detecting upwelling radiation. How is what surface temperature measuring satellites do different from the CERES satellite instrumentation, if it is, and how are they able to distinguish between the surface temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere by looking at the upwelling radiation?

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom.1
rbabcock
February 13, 2022 6:16 am

I’m not exactly sure why the TOA isn’t based on the density of the gas and nothing else. It varies tremendously at times based on, you guessed it, the Sun.

You are all throwing out basically TSI, but when a CME interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, tremendous amounts of energy gets transferred into the the Earth’s ionosphere, which gets transferred lower. If you don’t think this is true, just ask Elon Musk how many of his StarLink satellites came back to Earth because he launched them into a rapidly heating (expanding) atmosphere.

No where in any of the comments to this article takes into account this energy. As the Sun ramps up and the Earth’s magnetic field wanes, this is going to be a very important contributor to our climate and well being. Additionally the electrical energy intensifies storms which also impacts everything. You can argue whether it’s 1 watt or 4 watt’s difference, but when the Sun get’s active it’s a different ball game.

February 13, 2022 7:10 am

Thanks Willis – for feeding our addiction to infrared pinball!

How does a complex system respond to the change of a single parameter?

If the system is climate, and the parameter is CO2 level, then how may other system parameters do we allow to change?

Well if we’re climate scientists the answer is one parameter only – global temperature is the only parameter that is allowed to change in response to CO2 increase and the resultant infrared pinball antics.

In reality, there are quite a few other parameters that can also change, possibly changing the overall outcome such that climate warming is far from certain.

(leaving aside for the moment the problem that CO2 warming contradicts the principle of least action.)

Some of these other parameters are:

  • CO2-enhanced plant growth over land and sea and resultant climate changes (these are for real)
  • Cloud changes
  • Radiative cooling in the upper atmosphere (e.g. more noctilucent cloud) and downward effects of the same (e.g. stratospheric incursions)
  • Emergent dissipative structures, such as thunderstorms and hurricanes – both which export considerable heat from atmosphere and ocean
  • Changes to other complex emergent phenomena such as atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns
  • CO2 enrichment increases the transport of oxygen to the deep ocean floor enhancing biological activity at all ocean depths
  • CO2-reduction in deserts and aridity reduces the atmospheric transport of dust
  • No doubt many more…
Pinball.jpg
vboring
February 13, 2022 8:19 am

.9C per doubling seems like a good deal to me.

The rational response is to make sensible investments in reforestation and in ocean pasture restoration to fix the damage we’ve done.

And invest in more nuclear energy, so we can export more coal and gas to developing nations that need it. So they can get rich too.

February 13, 2022 9:41 am

Jupiter emits twice the radiation energy that it receives.

Zeus clearly didn’t get the memo that his top of atmosphere radiative budget needs to be in balance.

Economic sanctions on Jupiter anyone?

Reply to  Phil Salmon
February 13, 2022 10:44 pm

Thanks W – I realize it’s from gravity, it wasn’t really a serious comment 🙂

Peter
February 13, 2022 12:32 pm

“This absorbs more upwelling longwave radiation, which leads to unbalanced radiation at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). “

Is “absorb” the correct word? I thought that the heat is absorbed then immediately reradiated in a scattered fashion, so greenhouse gases are just slowing down the return of IR to space.

angech
Reply to  Peter
February 13, 2022 10:15 pm

That’s better Ed
At least your are trying.

However

Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this.
So google this as one of many people who do.

M. Bahrami ENSC 388 (F09) 1st Law of Thermodynamics: Closed Systems 1 The First Law of Thermodynamics: Closed Systems
The first law of thermodynamics can be simply stated as follows: during an interaction.between a system and its surroundings, the amount of energy gained by the system must be exactly equal to the amount of energy lost by the surroundings.

Secondly you are aware of one of the definitions of a TOA
Energy in =energy out or are you denying a TOA exists at all?

-Thirdly as I said unless you bother to explain the First law properly
it is gobbledygook.
Like this.
“I simply expressed the most basic statement of the First Law of Thermodynamics (in differential form).”
No. you have taken one small part of the definition and chucked your own notions in.
Hence you have added a component called work which only exists in certain prescribed situations and certainly does not describe the full First Law of Thermodynamics.

Hence “The other [idea is] that physics absolutely dictates that the outgoing energy must equal the in-going energy.”
is a truism.
Otherwise physics will not work.

“So if you have 100 watts of input to a system, and 90 watts of output, the energy of the system is increasing at the rate of 10 watts (10 Joules/sec).”

And when, as in reality you have100 watts output?
Explain how the system taking in 100 watts is not compelled to put 100 watts out?

[No batteries or heat storage devices in a bit of rock, remember?
No work engines]
All bodies do and must radiate any heat they do not make themselves.

As for this
“You do believe that you can heat a pot of water on your stove, don’t you? That the power into the pot does not have to equal the power out?”

This is not an argument.
It is not even a good analogy.
Nobody remotely knowledgeable about basic thermodynamics would assert this.*
That is cheeky of me, I apologise.

Take Earth.
You claim that you can heat the earth with power in.
You do believe the earth does not have to put this power out paraphrasing your pot comment.
You believe the power in does not have to equal the power out.
In an arbitrary way that is the power out is always less than what goes in.
So what do you end up with after a billion years of the sun doing this to the earth?
A planet hotter than the sun.
Note. That is the essence of your logic
.-
Going back to the teapot.
Turn the stove off.
Does the energy stay in the teapot for you?
No.
How did it know how to leave?
The first law perhaps.

Now the 64 million question.
What is keeping the water hot?
Note it is not the heat that went into the teapot as that already left almost as soon as it went in.
Strange but true as Ripley would say.
What is the source of the energy making the teapot and water appear hot, Ed?
And by implication almost everyone else here.
You are not alone in believing the water is hot because of the energy the stove put into it although it has already gone.

Greytide
February 14, 2022 4:14 am

Willis, can you please clarify something for me.
You say “So … according to Figure 2, in order to offset a doubling of CO2, which presumably decreases the TOA OLR by 3.7 W/m2, the temperature has to rise by 3.7 ± 0.1 W/m2 divided by 4.2 ± 0.13 W/m2 per °C, which is 0.9 ± 0.04 °C per doubling of CO2.”
Is this still true if the CO2 doubles from 2ppm to 4ppm? I know that we are not there now but if the statement that a doubling of CO2 causes a 0.9k rise in temperature, it should hold true for all levels of CO2? I find it hard to get my head around 2 extra molecules per million having that effect.

Many thanks.

Greg
February 15, 2022 12:36 pm

0.9 ± 0.04 °C per doubling of CO2.

So with pre-industrial estimated as approx 280ppmv we have to get to 560ppmv to see less than 1 deg C of AGW.
Climate crisis is cancelled folks, we can all go home again now. Sorry if any of this caused anyone any inconvenience.

Greg Goodman
February 15, 2022 12:52 pm

MATH: As discussed in my previous post, Where Is The Top Of The Atmosphere, I’ve used Deming regression instead of Ordinary Least Squares regression because of the presence of significant uncertainty in the x-axis of the graphs.

I was surprised when I saw the legend on the graph here. Hey, did I just see “Deming regression” ?! Yes I did.

Then I saw the note at the bottom and the link back to the previous article where Willis gracefully credits one “statistics savvy commenter” for bring the misuse of OLS to his attention. I commented that eyeballing a graph was often more accurate than OLS in this sort of situation. Interestingly my eyeball estimation was within 1% of Willis’ later Deming result.

Here, if anyone is interested is the link to my article on the misuse of OLS regression. An error pervasive errors in almost all fields of science.
https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/on-inappropriate-use-of-ols/

It was published on Judith Curry’s site in 2016, a bit of exposure here also will do no harm.
https://judithcurry.com/2016/03/09/on-inappropriate-use-of-least-squares-regression/

One day climate “scientists” may get to the stage where they can fit a straight line to their data before they try to redesign the world economy for us.

Last edited 3 months ago by Greg Goodman
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