Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not?

The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases” on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures

By David Coe

The cries of Climate Emergency are becoming ever more strident. We are bombarded on a daily basis from almost every section of the media with stories of impending doom unless we take immediate and decisive action to prevent a climate catastrophe. This action includes the rapid adoption of a “zero carbon economy”. But what does this actually mean?

Carbon is the atom which, above all others, is the basis of life on this planet. Its unique atomic structure enables it to combine with other atoms to produce the amazing variety of complex molecules necessary for all forms of life.

Of course ,what is meant by “zero carbon” is actually zero carbon dioxide, the molecule which has been “fingered” as the demonic source of global warming, now known as climate change, climate emergency, climate catastrophe or whatever the next superlative tag can be attached to the word climate.

Just how does carbon dioxide come to be the instigator and chief cause of global warming? I say chief cause, because other gases are also in the frame as contributors, namely methane and nitrous oxide, for which the global agricultural sector is shouldering the blame, because of methane liberated by cattle and nitrous oxide from fertilisers. The story goes like this.

The atmosphere contains 400 parts per million (ppm), 0.04%, of carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is known to be a strong “greenhouse gas”. A “greenhouse gas” is one which is transparent to incoming solar radiation, but which is a strong absorber of outgoing infra-red energy radiated by a warming earth. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more outgoing radiation is absorbed and the warmer the planet gets. Simples!

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide just happens to be the vehicle for providing the carbon for the production of the complex organic molecules necessary for life, through the process of photosynthesis in plants which in turn provide the feedstock for all other forms of life. Without CO2 in the atmosphere there will be no life on earth. Photosynthesis extracts huge quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere on a seasonal basis. As a result, atmospheric CO2 concentrations exhibit a significant seasonal variation as shown in Figure 1, with the effect that CO2 levels undergo a rapid reduction in the northern hemisphere in the spring and summer as vegetation awakes from its winter slumbers and bursts into life with massive regrowth from the CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere.

In addition to this seasonal variation there is an underlying persistent increase in CO2 levels, which has been attributed to the release of CO2 into the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels which have powered the industrial economies since the start of the industrial revolution some 200 years ago. Since that time CO2 levels have risen from 280ppm to over 400ppm. It is also worth noting that the seasonal variation itself increases with latitude so that the seasonal variations in the arctic circle are some 10 times greater than the annual increase attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels, underscoring the role that nature plays in the atmospheric presence of CO2.

Figure 1:- annual variations in CO2 concentrations at latitudes up to 82°N

It is this annual increase, however, which is fuelling the concerns over the warming of the planet. At first sight these concerns appear to be well founded and should not be dismissed. Equally, neither should the economic consequences of a “zero carbon economy” be ignored. It was absolutely right therefore for the United Nations to take a lead in determining the exact nature of the causes and implications of  “anthropogenic global warming” by setting up the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”  (IPCC) in 1988. Their mandate was and still is to identify the evidence to support the concept of global warming and seek methods to mitigate its impact.

The IPCC  set about its task with exemplary determination in seeking evidence to support the concept of anthropogenic warming, while, unfortunately, studiously ignoring any and all evidence which might suggest an alternative narrative. There is thus an inbuilt bias in the terms of the IPCC and certainly in the manner in which it operates.

After some thirty years of extensive efforts by thousands of climate scientists around the world and the expenditure of billions of dollars, granted to universities and others for the research work, there is still considerable uncertainty about the impact on global temperatures of the so called “greenhouse effect”. This is summed up neatly by the UK MET office in its website “What is Climate Sensitivity?”,  in referring to Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), which is a parameter invented by the IPCC to represent the increase in average global temperature caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

“As there is no ‘perfect’ way of estimating climate sensitivity, it remains a hotly debated area of science and there remains a wide range of estimates of what the ECS could be.”

In fact, estimates of climate sensitivity throughout the years have varied between 1°C to over 6°C, settling down at this moment in time to a band between 1.5 and 4.5°C, still a factor of three variation. Why is there such uncertainty? Well, the atmosphere, while a relatively thin layer of gas around 50km thick, is an incredibly complex entity, often described as a non-linear chaotic system.

The Greenhouse Effect

The composition of the atmosphere has varied over history, but at this time comprises nitrogen(77%), oxygen(21%), argon(1%), Water vapour 1%, CO2 0.04% (400parts per million) with trace levels of methane (1.8parts per million) and nitrous oxide (0.32parts per million). Of these gases CO2, water vapour, methane and nitrous oxide are considered to be greenhouse gases. That is, they absorb some of the infra-red energy being radiated by the earth into space, while freely transmitting solar energy down to the earth’s surface.

The earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. The radiation emitted by the earth is a function of its temperature. The warmer the earth, the more radiation it emits. When the energy radiated by the earth into space is equal to the solar energy received from the sun, the earth temperature will have reached equilibrium and will be stable. When some of this radiated energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, the energy balance is disturbed, and the earth warms in order to restore the balance. The question is, by how much?

Effective Earth Temperature

The starting point for this question is, what would be the temperature of the earth if no atmosphere existed and the earth’s radiation was emitted through to space without any absorption? From a knowledge of the intensity of solar radiation received by the earth and   the infra-red radiation emissions as a result of the earth’s temperature, it is widely accepted that the average earth temperature would be a chilly -18°C.

Atmospheric Absorption

The current average earth temperature is generally reckoned to be a comfortable +15°C and so the total impact of the atmospheric greenhouse effect is to produce a warming of 33°C. What we need to know is precisely the impact of each of the “greenhouse gases”, particularly that of CO2. How do they each contribute to this warming? The answer to this requires a detailed knowledge of the infra-red absorption characteristics of these gases.

We are, therefore, fortunate to have HITRAN, a free access data base of molecular spectrographic data available to us. HITRAN was first introduced almost 50 years ago and has developed since then, particularly over the past 20 years, into the foremost repository of gaseous molecular spectra. From this dataset we can now calculate with high precision the radiation absorption characteristics of these “greenhouse gases”.

First, however, it is necessary to know the nature of the radiation emitted by the earth. All bodies radiate energy, the hotter the body, the higher the emitted radiation intensity. Figure 2 shows the intensity and wavelength of the radiation emitted by the earth at its current average temperature of 15°C. This radiation spectrum extends from the near infra-red (3micron) to almost microwave (100micron) wavelengths. Micron is a common unit of radiation wavelength equal to one millionth of a metre. Visible light, for example, extends from blue light at 0.4micron to red light at 0.65micron, and is emitted in copious amounts by the sun as a result of its high temperature in excess of 5000°C. The 15°C temperature of the earth results in emitted radiation at much longer wavelengths up to 100micron.

Figure 2

Absorption due to CO2

Figure 3 shows the transmission of the earth’s emitted radiation through the current 400ppm of atmospheric CO2 across the radiation emission spectrum shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3

The small amount of atmospheric CO2 takes a large slice out of the emitted radiation, absorbing some 18.7% of the total radiated energy.

Absorption due to Water Vapour

The most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapour. The concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere, unlike the other greenhouse gases, is determined solely by temperature and pressure, taking it out of the influence of mankind. Figure 4 shows the spectral transmission of the radiated energy to space through the atmospheric water vapour.

Figure 4

Water vapour takes an absolutely huge bite out of the radiated energy, absorbing 67% of that energy, including all energy at wavelengths beyond 20micron. This would imply that the combined absorption due to CO2 plus water would be 18.7% + 67.0% = 85.7%. This would also be wrong!

If you compare Figures 3 and 4 it will be apparent that the absorption bands of the two gases overlap to a large degree. In particular, because the water spectrum dominates, the impact of CO2 is much reduced so that when the two spectra are combined the absorption is as shown in Figure 5. In effect the two gases fight over the common absorption wavelengths, and of course due to its much higher abundance, water vapour wins.

Figure 5

The result is that the total absorption by the combination of CO2 and water vapour is 72.6% and the impact of CO2 on absorption is thus to increase the absorption due to water alone from 67% to 72.6% an increase of just 5.6% not the 18.7% due to CO2 on its own. This has a major bearing on the role of CO2 with respect to its global warming potential.

Absorption due to Methane

The role of methane is important, not simply because it is a “greenhouse” gas, but because it has been identified as a “major contributor” to climate change, to the point that there is now pressure to refrain from eating meat and to adapt to a vegetarian diet. This is on the basis that farm animals, and cattle in particular, are major emitters of methane. It would therefore be quite interesting to determine exactly the contribution made by methane to the atmospheric absorptivity.

Figure 6 shows the transmission of radiation through the 1.8parts per million (ppm) of methane currently in the atmosphere.

Figure 6

It has a much smaller absorption profile than CO2 providing a total absorption of 1.6%. So much for the erroneous claims that methane is 100 times more powerfull a greenhouse gas than CO2. As with CO2, the absorption bands overlap with those of water vapour and also those of CO2, so that the impact of 1.8ppm of methane increases the total absorption from 72.6% to 72.8%, an increase of only 0.2% The inescapable conclusion is that current methane levels have minimal impact upon atmospheric radiation absorption.

Absorption due to Nitrous Oxide

Atmospheric nitrous oxide concentrations at 0.32ppm are the lowest of the four commonly encountered greenhouse gases. Its absorption spectrum is limited to a small region of the  radiation transmission as seen in Figure 7 with an absorption of 1.7%, similar in fact to the absorption of current levels of methane. Its absorption bands, also like methane, are overlapped by those of water vapour and CO2, resulting in a contribution to absorption also of 0.2% bringing the total atmospheric absorption of radiated energy to 73.0%.

Figure 7

Resultant Atmospheric Absorption

The combined total effect of greenhouse gas absorption is put into perspective in the pie chart of Figure 8, demonstrating the dominance of water vapour in the absorption of emitted radiation.

Figure 8

Section 1 blue  –           Absorption by CO2                                                            5.6%

Section 2 orange –       Radiation transmitted  through the atmosphere     27.0%

Section 3 grey –            Absorption by Water Vapour                                        67.0%

Section 4 yellow –        Absorption by Methane + Nitrous Oxide                          0.4%

It is clear from this chart that water vapour is by far and away the most powerful absorber of the earths radiated energy.

Absorbed Radiation – where does it go?

So far the data presented on the absorptivity of greenhouse gases is based upon the well documented gaseous spectral data in the HITRAN database and known atmospheric composition, without any conjecture or assumption.

The issue now is to compute the impact on global temperature of this atmospheric absorption of energy. First, however, we must answer one vitally important question. What happens to the 73% of radiated energy absorbed by the atmosphere?

It is not unreasonable to believe that the atmosphere itself will warm as a result of this  energy input, and if so, will reradiate some of this energy into space, while the remainder will be retained by the earth thereby warming it. The question then is – how much of the absorbed energy is ultimately retained by the earth? Failure to provide an accurate answer to this question has resulted in the wide variation in estimates of the climate sensitivity to CO2 and uncertainty in the predictions of global warming to the present date. Attempts to answer this by computer modelling the complex atmospheric processes, while proving very lucrative for an army of climate scientists and universities over several decades, have been essentially futile.

There is, though, despite the pronouncements of the UK Met Office, a simple method for the determination of retained energy that requires no knowledge of, or assumptions about, the complex atmospheric processes, that will enable us to accurately determine the climate sensitivity of all greenhouse gases.

Current Earth Temperature

We know the solar energy reaching earth. It is the same value as used to calculate the Effective Earth Temperature of -18°C, with no atmosphere. It is also generally agreed that the average earth temperature is 15°C or thereabouts. From that temperature it is possible to calculate the amount of energy radiated by the earth. It is in fact the sum of the energies over the spectral range 3 to 100 micron shown in Figure 2. Now some of that energy will be absorbed and retained by the atmosphere. The rest will be transmitted through to space.  It is a simple calculation, using the energy balance at the “top of the atmosphere” to show that, in order to maintain a temperature of 15°C only 61.5% of the radiated energy will be transmitted to space. Thus, a total of 38.5% of the radiated energy must be absorbed and retained by the atmosphere/earth.

This is not conjecture. It is a simple fact.

However, we have determined that the atmosphere currently directly absorbs 73% of the outgoing energy, therefore it is a further simple calculation to realise that only 52.7% of this absorbed energy is actually retained by the earth and its atmosphere (52.7% of 73% = 38.5%).

This figure of 52.7% of absorbed energy retained does not differentiate between which gases are responsible for the energy absorption. It applies equally to all the absorbed energy no matter which gas is responsible. This enables us to determine how much energy absorption and retention can be attributed to each greenhouse gas. It is simply 52.7% of the absorption values shown in Figure 8.

We can now look at the total radiation transmission and absorption budget in Figure 9

Figure 9

Section 1 blue      – Absorption by CO2                                                      3.0%

Section 2 orange – Absorption by Water                                                35.3%

Section 3 grey      – Total Radiation transmitted through to space   61.5%

Section 4 yellow  – Absorption by methane + nitrous oxide                             0.2%

We see immediately that only 3% of the energy radiated by the earth is actually absorbed and retained by the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Impact on Temperature

The total energy absorbed and retained by the atmosphere (38.5%) produces the warming of 33°C to provide us with the current temperature of 15°C. Because we now know the absorption contribution for each of the greenhouse gases we can allocate their individual contribution to the 33°C warming ( Figure 10 ).

Figure 10

1 Blue      –   Methane + Nitrous Oxide            0.3°C

2 Orange –  CO2                                                      3.3°C

3 Grey      –  Water Vapour                               29.4°C

Some 90% of the current warming, a total of 29.4°C can be directly attributed to water vapour. CO2 contributes just 3.3°C while the combined impact of methane and nitrous oxide is a barely measurable 0.3°C.

Not only can we attribute the present warming to individual greenhouse gases, we now have a method of predicting the warming resulting from increasing levels of individual greenhouse gases from their respective infra-red absorption spectra and the HITRAN database.

Warming due to the  Increase in CO2 from 280 to 420ppm

It is believed that prior to the industrial revolution, atmospheric CO2 levels were typically 280ppm. Since then CO2 levels have increased to 420ppm. From the absorption spectra we can calculate that the absorptivity of the atmosphere will have increased from 72.7% to 73.0% during that period, due to this increase in CO2 levels. The increase in temperature resulting from that increased absorption of energy is 0.24°C. It is generally accepted that over this period the earth has actually warmed by around 1°C. It is therefore completely wrong to attribute this increase totally to anthropogenic global warming. Only 25% of that warming can be attributed to the increase in CO2 levels. More and more evidence is coming to light, that the earth undergoes regular variations (in geological timescales) in temperature, unrelated to atmospheric CO2 levels, possibly linked to the earth’s primary source of energy, the sun.

Warming Due to Future Increases in CO2 Concentrations

The following graph (Figure 11) shows the increase in absorptivity if CO2 concentrations were to increase up to 1600ppm, some 4 times higher than current concentrations. As can be seen from the graph, increasing CO2 concentration has only a small impact on total absorptivity, because of the near complete absorption of the emitted radiation corresponding to the greenhouse gas absorption bands. Adding more and more CO2 to the atmosphere has less and less influence on atmospheric absorption and hence global temperatures. This massive increase in CO2 would increase the atmospheric absorption from 73% to just 74.6% of the earth’s radiated energy.

Figure 11

This would result in an increase in temperature of just 1°C ( Figure 12 ).

Figure 12

Climate Sensitivity to CO2

Climate sensitivity is the measure of the impact of greenhouse gases introduced by the IPCC. It gives a value for the temperature increase caused by a doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations. This value may be deduced for CO2 from the previous graph of earth temperature v CO2 concentration. At current CO2 concentrations the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 concentration from 400 to 800ppm is just 0.45°C implying an average earth temperature of 15.45°C when CO2 levels reach 800ppm, which at the current rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration of approximately 1.5ppm per year (see Figure 13), will not occur for another 250 years. So much for the current climate emergency and hysteria.

Figure 13

Climate Sensitivity to Methane and Nitrous Oxide

The media are full of reports on how climate change can be tackled by restricting meat consumption on the basis that farm livestock, particularly cattle emit methane from their digestion of grasses. It is interesting to note exactly what the climate sensitivity is for methane. This is shown in the graph below (Figure 14).

Figure 14

Doubling the current methane concentration from almost 2ppm to 4ppm will increase global temperatures by 0.06°C. In the face of this, just how many people would be prepared to switch from eating beef to eating insects in order to “save the planet”, particularly when methane increases are limited by the natural oxidation of methane into carbon dioxide and water vapour within the atmosphere.

The climate sensitivity to nitrous oxide is little different

Figure 15

Doubling the current levels of nitrous oxide will increase temperatures by a total of 0.08°C.

These levels of potential temperature increase are so small as to be almost unmeasurable. Yet according to the all-knowing cadre of climate scientists and fawning media they pose an existential threat to the climate and to our future.

Climate Feedback Effects

Of course, when presented with data that suggests that there is no problem, the climate change enthusiasts will enlist the claim that the warming caused by these gases will be amplified by the feedback effects of water vapour. As stated earlier the concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere is dependent uniquely on atmospheric temperature. As temperature increases, the concentration of water vapour will also increase, and that increase will in turn increase atmospheric absorption and hence increase further the temperature in a never-ending cycle. It is easy to argue that this process will ultimately lead to a “tipping point” and runaway temperatures. A real climate emergency!

It is always useful to argue from a basis of fact.

Fact 1   Water vapour concentration exists predominantly in the lower atmosphere because of its relationship to temperature and pressure. Temperature and pressure both reduce with altitude, and so does water vapour. This is clearly seen in the accompanying graph in Figure 16.

Figure 16

Very little water vapour exists above 10km altitude.

Fact 2  The rate at which water vapour concentration (expressed as Saturation Vapour Pressure SVP) increases with temperature also varies with altitude, tailing off to almost zero above 10km. The largest change occurs at sea level and is typically 0.088% concentration per °C of temperature increase (Figure 17).

Figure 17

Fact 3   Water Vapour is a very, very powerful absorber of infra-red radiation. Even if the water vapour were to reduce to a tenth of its current atmospheric level the atmosphere would still absorb over 50% of the earth’s radiation (Figure 18). Paradoxically if water vapour was to increase by 20% from its existing level to a level of total atmospheric saturation the atmospheric absorption would increase only slightly from its current 73.0% to a value of 73.9% resulting in a temperature increase of just 0.5degC. This is because small amounts of water vapour quickly absorb most of the radiation in its absorption bands leaving very little effect for further increases in water concentration and consequently little effect on temperature.

Figure 18

Fact 4  From these known characteristics of water vapour, the water vapour feedback effect would not lead to a runaway temperature but would result in an increase in a temperature  of 1°C being increased by 12% to a temperature of 1.12°C. There is not, and never can be, a climate tipping point. The earth, to a large extent, owes its temperature stability to the characteristics of water vapour over which we have absolutely no control or influence. Large variations in water vapour concentrations have relatively little effect upon atmospheric absorption and hence earth temperatures.  

Conclusions

As a direct consequence of the greenhouse effect the earth is 33°C warmer than it otherwise would be. Without the greenhouse gases to warm the earth we would not be around to fret about the consequences. Of the 33°C warming, 29.4°C is entirely due to the absorptive effects of water vapour. 420ppm of CO2 delivers just 3.3°C of that warming, while methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for a mere 0.3°C combined.

Contrary to the blitz of propaganda, there is no climate emergency or even any significant increase in temperature due to increasing levels of CO2. The climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is 0.45°C which increases to 0.5°C when the feedback of water vapour is taken into account. A four-fold increase in CO2 concentrations to 1600ppm will increase temperatures by 1°C and it would take around 800 hundred years to reach that point at the current rate of CO2 level increases. It would however offer multiple beneficial effects, such as increased crop yields and greening of desert areas. The adoption of a zero-carbon economy, at a cost of not just billions of dollars, but trillions, will have no discernible effect upon the climate whatsoever, even assuming that all nations would adopt such a policy. The IPCC pronouncements, which form the basis for the headlong stampede to “zero carbon” are simply wrong. Their estimates of climate sensitivity are out by a factor of at least three and possibly ten!

The fearmongering over methane emissions from cattle is just that. The climate sensitivity to a doubling of methane is just 0.06°C. And for this we are asked to restrict the consumption of beef and even replace it with insects and mealworms. No thank you!

Variations of earth temperature of many degrees Celsius, over millennia, are known to have occurred caused by entirely natural phenomena, particularly solar radiation intensity variations. The medieval warm period and little ice age are two recent examples. Scientific concern could perhaps be better focussed on the possibility, ne probability, that we are approaching the end of an interglacial period at which point the earth will enter a new ice age. Our impotance to influence the climate will then be clearly and painfully realised.

The data for this article is derived from the paper “The Impact of CO2 and Other Greenhouse Gases on Equilibrium Earth Temperature” published in the International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science.

The link to the paper is http://www.ijaos.org/article/298/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210502.12 .

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Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 10:05 am

near the top- “0.04%, of carbon monoxide (CO2)”
you need to fix that one

(Fixed, thank you) SUNMOD

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
Brad-DXT
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 10:20 am

To the Climate Alarmists, since there is Carbon in it, it is bad. They wouldn’t care to make a distinction between a beneficial trace gas and a poisonous gas.

Scissor
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 26, 2022 12:11 pm

They love crystalline white carbon.

AndyHce
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 26, 2022 4:24 pm

But they don’t particularly complain about poisonous gases.

wadelightly
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 11:55 am

I think most understood that carbon dioxide was the intent. But, still needs the correction.

David Coe
Reply to  wadelightly
February 26, 2022 12:14 pm

Yes. Apologies for that. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you proof read something, there is always an embarrassing niggle that creeps through.

Thomas
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 12:28 pm

Excellent article David! I bookmarked it for future reference.

Thomas
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 12:42 pm

David, this work should be published in the literature.

David Coe
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 12:45 pm

It is published. The link to the paper is http://www.ijaos.org/article/298/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210502.12 .

Thomas
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 12:57 pm

Thanks David. The link didn’t work but I found it here.

http://www.ijaos.org/article/298/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210502.12

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 6:05 pm

Just needed to remove the   at the end.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
February 27, 2022 2:03 am

Yes, thanks. I saw that. Here, too the fig. 4 (in David Coes’ post it is fig 3). is wrong. There is no absorption of CO2 at 10 um. In other words: there is 100% transmission of CO2 at 10 um.
You can see that here:
Carbon dioxide (nist.gov)
Click on um to get to the wavelength in um.
I calculated the energy from Wien’s law bit by bit of the wavelength 0-20 um and got negative results. (Click on my name, see the first 3 rows of columns K, L, and M)

My theory is supported by the observations that the warming of the world is not the same everywhere in the world which is what you would expect due to relevant gas law. That is a bit of an inconvenient truth….

An Inconvenient Truth | Bread on the water

Reply to  HenryP
February 27, 2022 2:08 am

Sorry. My name there was not linked to my excel file.
Here it is:
Summary of analysis CO2 spectrum NIST (1).xlsx – Microsoft Excel Online (live.com)

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  HenryP
February 27, 2022 10:15 am

For your chart.comment image

Reply to  HenryP
February 28, 2022 1:15 am

how do I get this inserted as an image here?

menace
Reply to  HenryP
February 28, 2022 9:36 am

I had wondered about that too. If warming is due to CO2 you’d expect to see the same trend. The fact that there is not means you either have to abandon the theory or else you have to believe (and prove) that there is some massive heat transport from SH to NH that is occurring somehow and that this heat transport magnification is somehow triggered by higher CO2. Has anyone figured out how much heat this would be and compare to say how much heat the gulf stream transports northward for comparison? I don’t think much atmospheric heat transport occurs as I don’t think there is much exchange of air between SH to NH so it seems to me it would have to be oceanic currents if it is plausible at all.

Last edited 2 months ago by menace
menace
Reply to  menace
February 28, 2022 9:47 am

Maybe I can partly answer my own question… There is > 2x more land in NH so the SH additional ocean area is absorbing more heat from the atmosphere. Also I suppose land has less heat absorption capacity than the ocean, so that would have to mean warming trends over land must be much higher than warming trends over oceans, even more so than the NH/SH differences (the w4t chart slopes differ by 3x or more). But I don’t believe this is the case, is it? And if not, then there still must be some massive heat transport occurring for the theory to hold water.

Last edited 2 months ago by menace
Reply to  menace
February 28, 2022 10:12 am

menace
The theory is that the extra CO2 that is coming into the air from the burning of fossil fuels is causing a retardation of heat that is being lost to space. This process supposedly takes place everywhere near to the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The relevant gas law implies that, in that case, due to the diffusion and equal dissipation of the extra CO2 into our atmosphere, the rate of warming of earth must be more or less the same wherever you measure. Unfortunately, as shown, that is not what is being observed. 
I know that there are a host of people who argue that the difference in warming between the hemispheres is due to the difference in land mass between the NH and the SH. That reasoning does not make sense to me if we must believe in the principle of the retardation of radiation to space TOA.

menace
Reply to  HenryP
February 28, 2022 10:34 am

See my new post below. Looks like the difference is mostly in the Land temp trends, NH land warms 2x faster than SH. Probably lack of warming trend in Antarctica is a big factor holding down the SH land trends.

menace
Reply to  HenryP
February 28, 2022 10:25 am

Looks like the main difference in the NH vs SH warming trend is driven by land temps. (NH/SH ocean temp trends are close.)

https://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vsh/from:1979/plot/crutem4vsh/from:1979/trend/plot/crutem4vnh/from:1979/plot/crutem4vnh/from:1979/trend

For some reason in NH land warms twice the rate as in SH and the fact that there is >2x more land in NH makes the overall NH trend track about halfway between the ocean and land trends while the overall SH trend tracks close to the SH ocean temps. Antarctica is a factor lowering the SH land average I suspect, as the polar vortex blocking heat transport seems to keep temps from rising there.

Willem Post
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 2:04 pm

David,

I studied quite a lot of articles on modern physics, but yours is by far the best and clearest. It will be my “go-to” article.

The article should cause major consternation among the “97% of scientists”.

Some of those people who, in fact, are scientists, would have to admit they have been seriously wrong.

The rest of them likely would be too dense to absorb any of the energy of your article, hence their brains will stay cold and stupid.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 27, 2022 5:47 am

Their mandate was and still is to identify the evidence to support the concept of global warming and seek methods to mitigate its impact.” I don’t believe this statement is correct. It was to identify human-caused global warming. You Heartlander’s can probably identify the exact wording as I have seen it in these pages many times.

sycomputing
February 26, 2022 10:09 am

The atmosphere contains 400 parts per million (ppm), 0.04%, of carbon monoxide (CO2) which is known to be a strong “greenhouse gas”.

Streetcred
Reply to  sycomputing
February 26, 2022 5:49 pm

Que !? An error in the article or incomplete knowledge ? I suspect an error in the article. 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Streetcred
sycomputing
Reply to  Streetcred
February 26, 2022 9:32 pm

Ja, it got “fixed”:

The atmosphere contains 400 parts per million (ppm), 0.04%, of carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 10:11 am

“Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not?”
it is according to the entire Ruling Elite here in Massachusetts- all governments, all academics, all environmentalists, all journalists- the idea that there might be some valid skepticism is NOT even suggested by anyone- if you mentioned it at any event it would be as if you just farted

on the cover of the Bah-stin Globe a few days ago

Capture.JPG
Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 10:27 am

The question is what effect does a La Niña, which can last several years, have on the amount of water vapor? comment image
What effect does this have on winter temperatures in North America?

Burl Henry
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 10:45 am

ireneusz palmowski

ALL La Ninas are caused by increased SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, primarily from volcanic eruptions, which are reflective, and which cool the Earth’s surface by dimming the Sun’s rays. Their effect is to decrease average anomalous global temperatures, but changes in the path of the jet stream can lead to colder or warmer periods within the N.H..

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 11:23 am

No, La Niña is formed when the Walker Circulation strengthens and the southern ocean remains cold.comment image

Burl Henry
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 11:53 am

ireneusz Palmowski

No, YOU are mistaken.

The data shows otherwise.

Table 3.jpg
Thomas
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 12:33 pm

Burl, Interesting reference. May I ask where it’s from?

Burl Henry
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 2:43 pm

Thomas:

“Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science, Vol.8, Chapter 5 (2021)”

https://doi.org/10.9734/bpi/ciees/v8/3881F

Thomas
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 5:16 pm

Thanks Burl. Seeing all those volcanos from the 1940s to the 1980s made me think that maybe the recent warming is due to a lack of volcanos—something I have long suspected. Now I see that you have published on that very subject. I downloaded “A Graphical Explanation of Climate Change” from ResearchGate.com. I’ll read it and get back to you there.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 2:16 pm

Need to show every volcanic eruption over that time period, to compare to non La Nina Years. Also wouldn’t all those SO2 particles decrease the atmospheric temperatures all around the world? Why is it just the water temps of the equatorial waters west of Peru?
Your theory would also suggest the years of no volcanic activity produce strong El Ninos.
I believe in one of WE posts, the SL of the ocean was demonstratively lower all along the La Nina waters, as if the warm waters had been pushed off to the north and south.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Matt Kiro
February 26, 2022 3:02 pm

Matt Kiro

Only VEI4 or greater volcanic eruptions will cause a change in average anomalous global temperatures. All of those known for the time period examined have been included in the Table.

Yes, the SO2 particles change temperatures all around the world.

For example, the Central England Instrumental Temperatures data set (1659-present) shows that every temperature decrease coincides with a VE!4 or larger volcanic eruption.

And, Yes, if there are no eruptions for 3-4 years, temperatures increase, and the longer the interval, the stronger the El Nino.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 4:56 pm

While I agree the aerosols will decrease avg global temperatures, why is it so concentrated in the equatorial pacific region? I know that is where most of the solar radiation is absorbed, but why doesn’t it show up everywhere, even if minimally?

What are the volcanoes involved for the current La Nina since your list stops at 2018?

I notice that Mount St Helen’s is not listed and that is rated at VEI 5.

Also, I wish people would stop down voting for reasonable discussion.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Matt Kiro
February 26, 2022 6:30 pm

Matt Kiro:

It DOES show up everywhere, as I pointed out in my earlier post to you..

The last VEI4 eruptions were Raikoke Jun 22, 2019, and Ulawun Jun 26, 2019.

Their SO2 aerosols typically settle out within 18-24 months, so it’s about time for warming to begin, because of the cleaner air. However, if industrial SO2 aerosols are increasing, the warming could be delayed.

“I note that St. Helen’s is not listed, and it is a VEI5”

The Table is a listing of La Ninas. St. Helen’s erupted during an El Nino, and did not provide enough cooling to overcome the El Nino warming and reach La Nina temperatures

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 27, 2022 1:45 am

Winds keep SO2 from concentrating over the equatorial Pacific.
Sulfur Dioxide Surface Mass
amount of sulfur dioxide in the air near the earth’s surface
https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=so2smass/orthographic=-145.29,-2.38,446

meiggs
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 27, 2022 5:01 am

Asian coal burners scrub out all their SO2? I’d have to guess not, hurts profit and off sets the deleterious effects of CO2?

Burl Henry
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 27, 2022 11:57 am

Ireneusz Palmowski:

Your recent Nullschool image gives the impression that winds prevent SO2 from circulating over the Pacific ocean, but since all La Ninas are caused by increased SO2 levels, primarily from volcanic eruptions, at one time they WERE circulating over the Pacific.

There have been no VEI4,or larger, eruptions since June of 2019, time enough for their SO2 to have settled out, leaving the air over the Pacific clearer, and El Nino conditions should soon appear.

See the NASA image of atmospheric SO2 aerosols for an earlier period, June 27,2020, in my post to Zhotel9, below

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 27, 2022 3:45 am

Troll alert.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 27, 2022 12:03 pm

Bruce Cobb:

“Troll alert”

What an Idiot!

Reply to  Burl Henry
February 27, 2022 2:54 pm

Explaining natural oscillations by volcano is desperate, ignorant and wrong 😑
Volcanoes don’t do cycles.

Earth’s climate is driven by internal chaos-related oceanic oscillations and trying to find a specific cause to each wiggle and inflection is laughable.

It’s like looking for a volcano to explain every high and low tide.

Last edited 2 months ago by Phil Salmon
Burl Henry
Reply to  Phil Salmon
February 27, 2022 6:07 pm

Phil Salmon;

“Volcanoes don’t do cycles”

I have never claimed that they do. They occur randomly

What IS laughable is your claim that Earth’s climate is driven by internal chaos -driven oceanic oscillations. What nonsense!.

No, volcanoes don’t explain every high and low tide, but their SO2 aerosols do explain every high and low temperature

Here, educate yourself: https://doi.org/10.9734/bpi/ciees/v8/3881F:

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 2:21 pm

Its not so much the temperature change in NA , but areas of heavy precipitation and drought. La Ninas tend to push the jet stream north , so more rain in the pacific north west and less in the southeast

2hotel9
February 26, 2022 10:32 am

Climate simply is. Period. It changes constantly, humans are not causing it to change and cannot stop it from changing.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  2hotel9
February 26, 2022 2:26 pm

It’s that big yellow thing in the sky.

2hotel9
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
February 26, 2022 2:44 pm

It is a major component, damned sure ain’t us. The hubris is rather staggering, and leftists simply refuse to see that.

Burl Henry
Reply to  2hotel9
February 26, 2022 3:17 pm

Zhotel9

Yes, it changes constantly, because of injections of SO2 aerosols into the stratosphere due to random volcanic eruptions: AND SO2 aerosols from Industrial activity–this is change caused by human activity; As of 2019, industrial SO2 aerosol emissions into the atmosphere totaled 79 Megatons, which had a huge effect. See NASA image of industrial SO2 aerosol emissions.

fluid map june 27.png
2hotel9
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 26, 2022 7:29 pm

Humans ain’t causing it and humans can’t stop it. People need to get over this sick religious obsession and do something productive with their lives.

PCman999
Reply to  2hotel9
February 26, 2022 11:06 pm

It’s not religious, it’s superstitious – there’s a difference that’s lost on atheists, greens or skeptics.

2hotel9
Reply to  PCman999
February 27, 2022 4:04 am

Oh, it is the leftist religion, and its highest sacrament is abortion, number one Commandment, Thou shalt destroy industrialism in all its forms. Their One True God is Socialism. There is no science, only blind faith and absolute obedience. Which is hi-larious, seeing as leftards can’t even obey simple traffic signals or signs saying not to litter.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Burl Henry
February 27, 2022 4:07 am

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

J Mac
February 26, 2022 10:34 am

This paper is a very nice summary of CO2’s know contributions to life on planet Earth and the ‘greenhouse effect’ and refutes the alarmist postions with well documented facts. Thank for posting this, David Coe!

commieBob
February 26, 2022 10:34 am

From a knowledge of the intensity of solar radiation received by the earth and  the infra-red radiation emissions as a result of the earth’s temperature, it is widely accepted that the average earth temperature would be a chilly -18°C.

Hmmm.

That depends on your assumptions. Are they calculating the average temperature based on an orbiting rock with no atmosphere?

Suppose that you have an atmosphere but it magically is transparent to visible and IR radiation. Between the Earth’s rotation and distribution of heat by the atmosphere, The average temperature will vary depending on how well the heat is.

If the heat is perfectly distributed, the average temperature will be 279K, considerably warmer than -18C. The worse distributed the heat, the lower the average temperature will be.

So, since the atmosphere and oceans distribute heat, even without greenhouse gases, the planet is already warmer than a rotating rock.

My hunch is that the greenhouse effect is overstated, at least a bit, and perhaps a lot.

commieBob
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 11:27 am

… the average temperature will vary depending on how well the heat is distributed.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 11:49 am

Err… no. Assuming a perfectly transparent atmosphere is assuming the same as a vacuum. (Well, some very tiny energy transfer from kinetic interactions with the solid ground. An energy transfer that you would need to use scientific notation to represent on your calculator.)

Thomas
Reply to  writing observer
February 26, 2022 12:46 pm

Writing. If one filled a canister with Nitrogen to on atmosphere pressure, then heated it from the outside, the Nitrogen would not get warm? That seems unlikely.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 3:18 pm

If you lowered the volume with a plunger the nitrogen would get warm. This is what you don’t understand. The difference between no pressure on a gas and sea level pressure. At 0.07 bar -56C at 1 bar 14C.If heat outside canister is 14C.

Thomas
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 5:02 pm

But my hypothetical tank for nitrogen was already at one atmosphere pressure (typo in my post “on” should be “one.” Writing Observer seems to be saying that an atmosphere, that is transport to LWIR, would be the same as a vacuum. I don’t think that’s correct. The gas would be in contact with the warm surface and it would warm through conduction.

Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 8:41 pm

Yes – very slightly from kinetic energy transfer. As I noted. The main heat loss from the solid ground is by radiation in the IR spectrum.

Not from water – evaporation is kinetic transfer. But water is a major absorber of IR, which makes your hypothetical atmosphere very much not transparent.

Streetcred
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 5:58 pm

My car tyres are inflated with nitrogen … the reason to prevent pressure differential in the very low sidewall profile. It stays more consistent and fully inflated for longer, much, much longer. 😉

Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 8:37 pm

If you would like to rewrite this as mostly transparent, I’ll let it go. Nitrogen is not transparent to visible/infrared wavelengths – just weakly absorbing.

Heating your container from the outside, how? If by radiation only, the nitrogen will heat – very slowly – from kinetic energy transfer from the container walls (assuming the container is not transparent, but absorbs the radiation).

commieBob
Reply to  writing observer
February 26, 2022 3:54 pm

Have you ever designed a heat sink for an electronic device?

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 8:48 pm

Does a heat sink absorb infrared radiation from the device? Well, yes, it certainly does – or, at least, I have never seen a glass heat sink. Not transparent by any definition.

However, the majority of the heat is removed by conduction – kinetic transfer. Which is transported to the outside of the sink, where it is kinetically transferred to the surrounding atmosphere, or, for a hard-core game system and/or supercomputer, to a water or other fluid cooling jacket. (A small percentage is re-radiated as infrared.)

commieBob
Reply to  writing observer
February 26, 2022 11:57 pm

Exactly. The heat is transferred to the air by conduction.

R Stevenson
Reply to  commieBob
March 1, 2022 3:52 am

I think you mean heat is transferred by natural convection.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  R Stevenson
March 1, 2022 3:58 am

Heat is transferred from the earth’s land surface to the atmosphere by conduction. Then convection carries that heat throughout the atmosphere.

Robert B
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 12:11 pm

I did a rough calculation for the difference in mean temperature of a real blackbody and a rock that is a surface of infinite number of individual black bodies. I got that the former would have almost 3 times (2√2) the mean temperature of the latter. Surely you can’t start from what the Earth would be if just a blackbody in space. Its a ridiculous over estimate.

A hand waving explanation of why. A blackbody would be a constant temperature over it’s entire surface. A massive superconductor. A surface of individual black bodies would have areas in the dark (half its surface) at 0 K. Because of the energy emitted is proportional to T^4, the temperature on the lit side only needs to be 25%, higher, (if constant) and 0.6 of the mean temperature of a true blackbody. Also, the temperature of regions in twilight are near 0 K while the regions at noon at the equator are much hotter than the mean. I don’t have my back of envelope calculations handy, which are still a bit complicated, but I figured around two time the square root of 2 or a little under a factor of 3 difference.

I appreciate that proper modelling takes into consideration a proper calculation of emission from different surfaces. It’s just that the above calculations of the effect of add GHG are almost irrelevant. The storage and transport of heat around the globe is important, along with albedo.

It seems like a stupid place to start and yet this is the basis for Mann having a dig at Koonin or anyone else who wonders why we should take seriously the predictions of people who can’t even get the weather right.

Robert B
Reply to  Robert B
February 26, 2022 12:59 pm

Please excuse the poor proof reading. It was written in a rush with a big thumb and poor eyesight on a smart phone.

Because the energy emitted by surface is proportional to T^4, the temperature on the lit side only needs to be 25%, higher, (if a constant T) and its mean over the whole surface will be 0.6 of the mean temperature of a true blackbody.

RickWill
Reply to  Robert B
February 26, 2022 1:39 pm

The storage and transport of heat around the globe is important, along with albedo.

More accurately – the response of albedo to surface temperature along with the storage and transport of heat around the globe are the basis of Earth’s energy balance and climate.

Thomas
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 12:16 pm

I agree. The effect is probably over-estimated. If there were no atmosphere on a plant like Earth, but without an ocean, the temperature at 2 m above the surface would be close to absolute zero; the temperature of deep space.

If there was an atmosphere on that plant, with the same concentration of N2 & O2 as on Earth, but no greenhouse gases, the temperature near the surface that would approach the temperature of the surface, due to conduction.

It’s probably nonsensical to talk about the temperature on Earth without a greenhouse effect, since a greenhouse effect is a necessary consequence of a plant with a surface composed mostly of liquid water, which evaporates when warmed, and which is a potent greenhouse gas in its vapor form.

It’s like computing the weight of a automobile after removing its engine, chassis, and wheels. One can compute the weight, but the answer would not be not the weight of an automobile, because we removed most of the components that make it an automobile. It’s a poor analogy, but most are.

David Coe
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 1:43 pm

The Effective Earth Temperature, or temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases is derived from the temperature required to radiate exactly the same amount of energy received from the sun. No ifs, no buts. That temperature is easily shown to be 255Kelvin or -18degC. This is one of the few IPCC claims that I actually agree with. For details of that calculation please refer to the published paper, section 1.3.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 3:36 pm

What would Siberia temperature in winter without greenhouse gases be. Siberia gets as low as -50C, This is way below the affective temperature. “Temperature required to radiate exactly the same amount received by the sun. 0 degree latitude 93C(1kw) from the sun is not the same as 27C(0.46kw) being radiated. Effective temperature is misinterpreted.

Thomas
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 5:41 pm

Dave Coe,

Okay, but if the atmosphere were composed of a non-greenhouse gas (say nitrogen), that exerts a pressure of one atmosphere at the surface, the surface and the atmosphere near it would be warmer than -18 °C. Right? The hot surface would warm the atmosphere near the surface.

Does the night side of the plant cool very quickly, so it would be very cold at night, even approaching absolute zero, but the day side gets very warm, thus giving an average of – 18?

David Coe
Reply to  Thomas
February 28, 2022 7:55 am

Assuming that the thermal response of the earth was substantially longer than 1 day, then the rotation of the planet would result in there being no temperature difference between the dark side and the illuminated side. This is one assumption made when dealing with average temperature. Of course there are huge temperature variations across the planet that are the result of complex thermodynamic systems. In our paper we have attempted to determine the impact of CO2 and H2O by postulating a simple earth system. We believe this could be made much more complicated and detailed, with much the same final result. H2O is by far the controlling influence on earth’s temperature.

Dave Fair
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 2:13 pm

Your “hunch” is not science, commieBob. Give us a writeup of the basis of your “hunch.”

Thomas
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 26, 2022 3:12 pm

Science usually starts with a hunch.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 4:29 pm

Yeah, Thomas, but a scientific hunch is usually more than “My hunch is that the greenhouse effect is overstated, at least a bit, and perhaps a lot.” [commieBob]

Rational skepticism is not outright denial of scientific fact. People like commieBob brings CliSciFi skepticism into disrepute. I don’t want to be associated with them. It would be like a science reporter saying that Michael Mann’s Hocky Stick reflects reality.

commieBob
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 26, 2022 4:26 pm

OK. Just to be clear, my hunch is that the fact that the oceans and atmosphere, as well as the planet’s rotation, distribute heat, has a big effect on the average temperature.

The following thought experiment demonstrates that the distribution of heat affects the average temperature. It, in no way, is intended as a model of the actual planet.

We start with a disk orbiting the sun, for ease of calculation. One side always faces the sun.

There are two cases.

In the first case, there is perfect distribution of heat. The heat absorbed from the sun is evenly radiated from both sides. We also assume the disk orbits at a radius such that the temperature on both sides of the disk (because of perfect heat distribution) is 279K.

In the second case, there is no heat distribution. The dark side of the disk is at 0 Kelvin. All the disk’s heat must be radiated from the sunward side. Because of the T^4 relationship to radiated power in Stefan-Boltzmann, the temperature of the sunward side will be 279 * 2^0.25 = 332K. The average temperature will be 166K.

So, in one case the average temperature is 279K and in the other it is 166K.

It seems reasonable for the actual planet, that heat distribution has at least some effect on the average temperature. How much, I don’t know. My hunch is that it’s enough to reduce the apparent greenhouse effect by a significant amount.

Dave Fair
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 5:17 pm

Meh.

BigWaveDave
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 8:03 pm

No one has ever shown or explained how a measurable radiative “greenhouse effect” could even be possible.

Bob Tisdale(@bobtisdale)
Editor
February 26, 2022 10:36 am

“Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not?”

Not!

Regards,
Bob

kim
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
February 26, 2022 11:03 am

Yep.
what man can do to the climate is improving it.
our warming will be net beneficial and our greening would seem miraculous were it not so well understand.
Viva our warming.
It won’t last, alas.
=========

Thomas
Reply to  kim
February 26, 2022 12:18 pm

It’s almost like plants allowed man to evolve, so he would dig up the molecules of their long-lost ancestors and give them life again. ; )

Dave Fair
Reply to  kim
February 26, 2022 2:17 pm

Sure it will last; man can alter the cycle of glacial/interglacial over the past 500,000 years. Sure, bet on it!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
February 28, 2022 4:51 am

“Not!”

I agree…it is a simple question with an even simpler answer!

JCM
February 26, 2022 10:56 am

The heat transfer coefficient of all nonradiation processes is substantially larger than that of radiation processes in the low atmosphere and is strongly dependent on temperature. This suggests little sensitivity to trace greenhouse gases. If the Earth cannot get rid of its heat through radiation from low altitude alone, which is always the case, the adiabat is surpassed and the heat transfer by latent heat and convection high into the atmosphere increases, so that the OLR from a higher altitude radiates surplus heat unimpeded. The greenhouse effect is thus controlled by the adiabatic lapse rate, not the concentration of different gases.

JCM
Reply to  JCM
February 26, 2022 11:20 am

Gas concentration perturbations will only impact the partitioning of heat dissipation between radiation and nonradiation mechanisms in the low atmosphere by slightly obscuring existing dirty surface IR windows, but the net effect is nil integrating to TOA.

Tom.1
Reply to  JCM
February 26, 2022 11:36 am

Are you saying the predominant means of heat transfer from the surface of the earth to the air above it is not by radiation?

JCM
Reply to  Tom.1
February 26, 2022 11:53 am

Boundary layer microclimate texts describe the net energy transfer from surface to air by turbulent diffusion and evaporation (eddy covariance).

JCM
Reply to  Tom.1
February 26, 2022 12:12 pm

This knowledge has been cast aside since the 1980s when it became more convenient for radiation physicists and their exciting new satellites to describe climate by radiation alone with radiative transfer models such as MODTRAN.

DHR
Reply to  Tom.1
February 26, 2022 1:05 pm

A major, or perhaps the major means of heat removal from the earth’s surface is convection – the rising of moist warm air to higher altitudes. Because of the cold at high altitudes the moisture condenses and releases its heat of vaporization as infrared radiation. Roughly half of that radiation goes down and the other half up to outer space. The more the moisture, the more rapidly and to higher altitudes the air rises because moist air is physically lighter than dry air, and the greater the heat rejection to outer space. That’s where clouds come from. There must also be some direct radiation of infrared from the earth’s surface to space but considering the truly enormous heat capacity of water and moist air, it seems to me to be unlikely to surpass convection. Someone smarter than me can probably show that by calculation.

BigWaveDave
Reply to  DHR
February 26, 2022 8:14 pm

Also, a major means of heat removal from Earth’s day side is its physical transport to the night side.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom.1
February 26, 2022 4:31 pm

Wrong question.

Richard M
Reply to  JCM
February 26, 2022 1:18 pm

I would say there is no greenhouse effect. Almost all of the surface radiation is absorbed within 10 meters of the surface by CO2 and H2O. This is within the boundary layer meaning it would warm anyway due to other heat transfer processes that you mentioned elsewhere.

All of this energy is constantly shared back and forth which keeps them in thermal equilibrium. Once this is recognized we can ignore all the back radiation from gases as they simply are part of the equilibrium energy sharing.

The issue is then what happens above 10 meters. Once a person makes that mental breakthrough an entire different picture of the function of the radiative gases comes out.

CO2 radiates energy from the boundary layer towards space. As the energy moves upward some is absorbed by other CO2 molecules. These molecules also emit radiation in all directions. You end up with energy moving in all directions. However, more energy is always moving upward since more CO2 molecules exist at lower altitudes.

We end up with a net flux of energy moving towards space which is reduced the higher we get as energy is absorbed but some energy is lost to space. The flux and the energy loss is almost constant as we rise. CO2 is actually cooling the boundary layer and depositing some energy at every level of the atmosphere. The result is called the adiabatic lapse rate.

The function of CO2 is to continually refresh the energy structure of the atmosphere. It stabilizes the atmosphere.

There is no greenhouse effect. The boundary layer is warmed by all sorts of mechanisms. Energy then flows outward and is absorbed according to the density of the atmosphere. A certain percentage of that energy is lost to space.

Throw away the erroneous climate science view and you get a more realistic view of the function of gases. We need CO2 because water vapor is too variable. It’s purpose is to energize the boundary layer and produce rain. The atmosphere would be extremely unstable without CO2 constantly working to reestablish the lapse rate.

So, what happens when you add more CO2? You get more energy flux upward through this stabilization process which cools the boundary layer. As a result less convective correction occurs and we get a reduction in extreme weather.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 2:19 pm

Nonscience crank.

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 26, 2022 3:58 pm

It appears you didn’t understand my comment well enough to make any serious response. Is it because I said there’s no greenhouse effect and you didn’t feel like spending any time reading my comment?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 4:58 pm

Richard, I read your entire comment before deciding it reflected a crank mentality, although your “no greenhouse effect” was an initial turnoff.

You make a series of factual statements that are not backed up by scientific theory nor empirical measurements. They are simply statements of your beliefs. Without backup, they are simply crank statements.

I’ll just take the first one and allow you to justify its meaning: “Almost all of the surface radiation is absorbed within 10 meters of the surface by CO2 and H2O. This is within the boundary layer meaning it would warm anyway due to other heat transfer processes that you mentioned elsewhere.” What are you trying to prove here?

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 26, 2022 5:49 pm

The 10 meter number was documented by Dr. Heinz Hug through an experiment back in the 1990s. It is also discussed by the IPCC:

Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation in the middle of its 15 mm band to the extent that radiation in the middle of this band cannot escape unimpeded: this absorption is saturated.

Once you accept that number then you have to understand the concept of thermal equilibrium. This is an environment where the energy flows back and forth and keeps the bodies in question at the same temperature.

It has been accepted for years that the surface and the lowest part of the atmosphere, normally called the boundary layer, are in thermal equilibrium. Energy is constantly flowing back and forth.

The 10 meter distance where CO2 absorbs is clearly well within the area of thermal equilibrium. What does this mean? Really very simple. All the energy transfers are irrelevant since they are quickly reversed through the process of maintaining equilibrium.

So it is true that when CO2 absorbs IR from the surface it logically heats the boundary layer. And, if that IR is reradiated back to the surface, it will warm the surface. It just makes no difference.

Just to give you a ballpark figure. There are around 5 million molecular contacts with the surface for every CO2 photon absorption. Each contact carries the potential for kinetic energy transfer.

Even if you object to the idea that it makes no difference, it’s clear the ongoing energy transfers, which are driven by any temperature difference, should significantly attenuate the warming.

Essentially, the greenhouse effect is still operating but only very low in the atmosphere where the warming effect is lost.

I then described what happens above the boundary layer. All is based on very basic physics.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 9:14 pm

I do not argue that the boundary layer is IR-saturated. It is what happens in the atmosphere above that layer that is of contention. Your “There is no greenhouse effect. The boundary layer is warmed by all sorts of mechanisms. Energy then flows outward and is absorbed according to the density of the atmosphere. A certain percentage of that energy is lost to space.” is not supported in physics literature. Read Happer and Wijngaarden for a complete discussion.

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 27, 2022 6:41 am

I agree you won’t find my description in the literature. If it was understood there would be no climate change crisis. But, it is based on simple physics. Basic thermodynamics. You can dismiss it all you want, but the science is rock solid.

The only assumptions are that most of the surface radiation (in the CO2 frequency range) is absorbed very low in the atmosphere and that energy is radiated randomly. The rest just follows from the decreasing density of the atmosphere.

Look at any logical layer of the atmosphere. It will be receiving energy from CO2 molecules in the layer above and the layer below. It also radiates energy to those same layers.

Since the layer below is more dense, it has more CO2 molecules and it will send more energy to the layer above it than it receives in downward radiation. Hence, you have a net energy flow upward.

Now extend this view to the entire atmosphere. There is always more IR sent upward than received from above. It starts at the boundary layer and continues upward into the stratosphere.

What this does is continually establish an energy level for any layer of the atmosphere based only on the density of that layer (which is based on gravity).

The reason CO2 is the main driver is because it is the highest concentration, well mixed, IR active gas. Water vapor densities vary much more significantly.

Let’s say you have a storm pass with large updrafts and downdrafts. After the storm passes the CO2 energy flow structure works to reestablish the “proper” temperature for every layer of the atmosphere. It stabilizes the atmosphere.

Don’t read my “there’s no greenhouse effect” statement to mean there’s no absorption/emission of IR. There is lots of it as I just described. Lots of energy at every level is being absorbed by CO2 molecules. Lots of energy is being reradiated. It’s just that the final effect is not surface warming. If anything, it is cooling.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 11:15 pm

There i no IR reradiation near the surface – Happer: “Yes, it is this extreme slowness of radiative decay rates that allows the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere to have very nearly the same vibration-rotation temperature of the local air molecules” – Energy lost!

Richard M
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
February 27, 2022 6:09 am

So, you’re saying gases do not radiate based on their temperature? Do not absorb IR? Where do you get these claims? Doesn’t agree with any science I have read.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Richard M
March 2, 2022 11:48 am

With a lot of molecules around – no

William Happer says so

BigWaveDave
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 26, 2022 8:17 pm

There is no need for any of your silly back-radiation nonsense to explain surface temperatures.

Dave Fair
Reply to  BigWaveDave
February 26, 2022 9:16 pm

Tell that to real atmospheric physicists. Some of those big waves must have dumped you on your head, Dave.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 4:17 pm

Your confused with Antarctic ice sheet in winter during a very cold spell. What you said doesn’t happen elsewhere. Antarctic ice sheet in winter during a very cold spell has radiation close to CO2 absorption band. People interpret CO2 band as everywhere below 10 meters. Which is wrong.

Richard M
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 5:01 pm

This was tested by Dr. Heinz Hug back in the 1990s. Yes, a real experiment and not all that difficult. He used normal air and at the time CO2 had a 370 ppm. So, it’s actually less than 10 meters now.

The surface radiates as a near black body so it contains IR of all wavelengths. The temperature only controls the amount of radiation. See Figure 3 in the post. It shows the distribution by wavelength. CO2 is at 15 microns.

I was also confused at one time by the reference of the CO2 absorption wavelength to temperature. That’s not relevant here.

JCM
Reply to  Richard M
February 26, 2022 6:05 pm

IR radiation can be transmitted upward through the window, and the remainder is compensated by downward IR flux until TOA.

The proportion of window flux varies with height within the atmosphere.

Net IR radiation flux within the atmosphere at any height is indistinguishable from zero.

HITRAN confirms net IR equilibrium extends to the surface.

The magnitude of upward and downward flux is observable as temperature at any height, or temperature lapse rate.

The observed temperature lapse rate is always steeper than the dry adiabatic one.

Rates considerably greater from 1°C per 100 m, or air in which humidity is changing phase 0.29 °C per 100 m at 320 K, 0.42 °C per 100 m at 300 K, .74 °C per 100m at 250 K results in atmospheric instability, and enhanced flux delivery upwards to a wider window region.

IR radiation equilibrium, the temperature lapse rate, always floats on the adiabat. Water vapor content drives the bulk of instability. IR perturbations are lost in the noise.

Richard M
Reply to  JCM
February 27, 2022 6:54 am

You say “IR radiation can be transmitted upward through the window, and the remainder is compensated by downward IR flux until TOA.

I agree that radiation flows out through atmospheric window but that is not relevant to the discussion. The claim that the remainder is compensated for by downward flux is not quite true. Some of it is, but due to the decreasing atmospheric density the higher you go, there are fewer CO2 molecules to create a downward flux than there are for an upward flux.

You end up with a net upward flux. It is not zero. It can’t be based on both density and temperature. Of course, if you narrow the size of what you are looking at, you might not be able to distinguish a net flux. The width of the layer has be large enough for density differences to have an effect.

I agree water vapor drives instability. CO2 drives stability.

Richard M
Reply to  Richard M
February 27, 2022 7:14 am

Now I see where we are going astray, You also said “The proportion of window flux varies with height within the atmosphere.

My description was keeping the window flux constant. You just moved what I called net upward flux into the window flux. We are actually saying the same thing.

Both descriptions have their benefits. I have to say that some of the upward flux is lost as you go up, but the fact that there’s an upward flow of energy is more obvious.

JCM
Reply to  Richard M
February 27, 2022 10:24 am

There is no net upward IR heat flow other than that which passes unhindered through the IR window. This is true for any height. 

It follows that OLR is constituted by radiation through the window. The integrated effective width of the window is held constant by convective heat transfer. The large term, convection (K), is what balances the climate. 

If you blacken the window, K delivers heat higher or poleward to wider window regions. There are endless nonradiatve mechanisms to optimize heat dissipation. The integrated window width is held constant by variable convective heat delivery.

The standard radiation scheme, based on up and down arrows, as many of us have been fooled into adhering to, do not compare with measurements because they are modified to also be 100% correct radiation budgets as observed from satellite cells. In reality, however, local profiles do not have to be conforming to an energy budget because there is also a large horizontal convective heat transfer…

Inject IR active gases, the steeper the thermal lapse rate, and the sooner nullifying instability. The climate has endless degrees of freedom which it must exhaust before a perturbation to net IR can increase temperature. Thermodynamics requires it. 

This has been completed omitted in standard radiation schemes. The atmosphere is not stagnant and passively sitting with blackened windows heating. It picks up and takes off in a continuous swirling soup that is weather.

The 0.5C finding in the headpost is indistinguishable from zero in the real earth system.

Last edited 2 months ago by JCM
Richard M
Reply to  JCM
February 27, 2022 11:24 am

There is no net upward IR heat flow other than that which passes unhindered through the IR window.

This is only true because you keep adding energy to the IR window. If you look at all the IR, then you will see a net upward flow.

No difference in our views other than where the beans are placed. I like to separate the ongoing lost IR from the initial flow out so the net IR flow becomes obvious.

It is convection that adjusts to the IR flow. If more energy leaves through the IR window there is less energy to drive convection.

You can’t blacken the window by adding CO2 since all the surface IR is already absorbed in the boundary layer. You just make the pipe wider. That is, more upwelling and downwelling IR. The net IR flow (or in your case the amount added to the window) still increases with altitude and is tied to the change in density.

JCM
Reply to  Richard M
February 27, 2022 12:27 pm

At any height

Upward IR = Downward IR + window flux.
Upward IR – window flux = Downward IR.

There is no net IR flow within the atmosphere.

The only IR flow is that which contributes to OLR.

The magnitude of IR at any height within the atmosphere, or Upward IR = Downward IR, is represented by a temperature. It is not a net flow. The same is emitted upwards and downwards at any height within the atmosphere. The only IR flow is that which goes to OLR. Nonradiative flow dominates energy flux within the atmosphere, or latent + sensible heat flux (K).

The magnitude of total convection K is controlled by the magnitude of temperature lapse rate departure from the adiabat.

IR actives gases do indeed obscure the window, so that the temperature lapse rate becomes steep enough to initiate convection. The rate of energy delivery aloft, within the atmosphere, is thus controlled by the difference between temperature lapse rate and the adiabat. A greater difference, more flux delivery aloft.

The greenhouse effect is indeed real, but its physical mechanism should be described by adiabatic process. This leads to the conclusion that the greenhouse effect is stationary. It is constrained by the adiabatic lapse rate which is stable.

The initiation of enhanced total convection with IR gas injection is immediate to deliver surplus energy aloft. No measurable excess energy is trapped.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  JCM
February 27, 2022 12:40 pm

The only piece I would add is that CO2 does not absorb all up going radiation as cooler molecules only absorb part. Otherwise CO2 would be the same temperature all the way up and down the atmosphere.

This corresponds to your OLR part. So in every atmospheric slice less and less is absorbed. Think of a wave moving upward. And since less is absorbed, less is radiated. This is where a gradient of heat energy comes from.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Gorman
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  JCM
February 26, 2022 4:07 pm

When a hot desert cools, it cools to that of the nearest ocean temperature. As ocean constantly emits radiation, An analogy would be, if a car accelerated to 90mph.How long before it slowed to 75mph. For molecules that’s 3 months with no sunlight. Cooling means slowing of molecules when sun weakens. Over oceans temperature changes at seasonal pace at low latitudes.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 5:03 pm

Stephen, the above statement is nonsensical.

Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 11:13 am

Can La Niña make it to the next winter in the northern hemisphere? Two observations indicate that it is possible. First, the subsurface wave from west to east is very weak.
http://www.bom.gov.au/archive/oceanography/ocean_anals/IDYOC007/IDYOC007.202202.gif
Second, there is a gradual increase in solar wind strength, which favors a positive SOI.
https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/soi/

Streetcred
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 6:07 pm

It is having a profound effect here in Australia right now … 7 days straight rain, up to 1000mm in some places, with little sign of moving on in a hurry. This event was the first correct 5-day forecast by BoM in years !

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
February 26, 2022 11:14 am

“As a direct consequence of the greenhouse effect the earth is 33°C warmer than it otherwise would be. Without the greenhouse gases to warm the earth we would not be around to fret about the consequences. Of the 33°C warming, 29.4°C is entirely due to the absorptive effects of water vapour. 420ppm of CO2 delivers just 3.3°C of that warming, while methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for a mere 0.3°C combined.”

Not one mention of the ocean in this article other than sea level.

The radiant theory of GHG-caused atmospheric warming is just backwards. The earth is warm because the ocean absorbs solar radiation, which then warms the air via surface conduction and evaporation, overwhelming any atmospheric absorbed solar radiation!

comment image

David Coe
Reply to  Bob Weber
February 26, 2022 11:53 am

The oceans radiate energy just the same as land mass. There may be differences in emissivity but the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere which solely determines the earth temperature is purely a radiative balance. Trying to analyse the complex thermodynamics of the lower atmosphere gets you absolutely nowhere and has resulted in the vastly overstated values for climate sensitivity.

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 1:21 pm

“…but the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere which solely determines the earth temperature is purely a radiative balance.”

Is utter nonsense. It is the absorbed solar radiation in the ocean that sets the earth’s atmospheric temperature. What happens at the TOA is a result of it.

You have no idea what I showed you do you? When you understand it right, there is no climate sensitivity to CO2, so any value for it isn’t just overstated, but wrong on physical principles.

The troposphere is simply offset from and lags the sea surface temperature, so there are no complex thermodynamics here to understand.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 2:53 am

“The oceans radiate energy just the same as land mass”. Very false statement.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 2:57 am

Global average mean temperature 5.3C 340 watts.
Top of atmosphere temperature -68C 100 watts
Insulation temperature 73.3C 240 watts
Effective temperature misinterpreted

Jim Gorman
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 12:10 pm

The only problem is that the earth doesn’t work with averages. The tropics for example, absorb much more consolation than the poles. And even then, sunlight arrives on a sine wave, not an average. Envision incoming tides getting larger and larger. The radiation increases based on the variation incoming energy. These are all exponential or trigonometric functions where averages just don’t fit properly.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 27, 2022 2:08 pm

consolation  -> insolation, damn spellchecher

Thomas
Reply to  Bob Weber
February 26, 2022 12:23 pm

Bob, I can see how LTT would lag SST but I don’t see how that says anything about radiative effects.

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 2:01 pm

The constant SST-LT offset indicates any radiative effects are very negligible compared to the ocean temperature influence.

The bottom two panels below show the relationship between CO2 outgassing/sinking, Central Pacific Outgoing Longwave Radiation (CP OLR) (inverse cloud proxy), and the MEI (cloud proxy) as functions of Niño34 SST:

comment image

The 12m∆ML CO2 lags the 12m∆ ≥25.6°C SST by 5 months, r=.84, because CO2 is controlled by ocean surface outgassing/sinking according to Henry’s Law of Solubility of Gases:

comment image

CO2 is not retaining heat, not indefinitely heating up the whole atmospheric temperature by itself for decades, nor is it warming anything, especially the ocean, because any radiation CO2 absorbs is re-emitted immediately, whereas the ocean retains heat from solar changes for over a hundred years. Therefore there should be no expectation of an ongoing instantaneous TOA balance wrt solar & OLR.

Climate change as defined by 30y HadSST3 is a function of 109ya SN, lagged 11years, for 120 total years of stored solar energy, r=.95:

comment image

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Bob Weber
February 26, 2022 4:50 pm

This is a hypothesis that doesn’t hold water. Water, the sun and air pressure clearly ignored. Pressure at 0.7 bar -66C(100 watts), pressure at 1 bar 5C (340 watts).
Sun adds 70 watts to the northern hemisphere(winter to summer) due to lands great ability to absorb heat. And 30 watts in the southern hemisphere(winter to summer).
328-400 watts per meter (NH)
328-358 watts per meter (SH)
Based on observations. .

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 27, 2022 6:23 am

I’m not clear on to what you are specifically responding, nor how you arrived at 70 and 30 based on ‘water, sun, and air pressure’, nor what that has to do with the conversation in the first place.

gbaikie
February 26, 2022 11:18 am

–The earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. The radiation emitted by the earth is a function of its temperature. The warmer the earth, the more radiation it emits.–

The earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the average temperature of the oceans of Earth, and it’s average is currently about 3.5 C.
And has been about 3.5 C for last 5000 years.
Earth’s global climate is icehouse. A icehouse global climate has cold ocean and icesheets
in polar regions.
This icehouse global climate is called Late Cenozoic Ice Age [or also called Antarctic Glaciation] and “began 33.9 million years ago at the Eocene-Oligocene Boundary and is ongoing.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Cenozoic_Ice_Age
And coldest period of 34 million years has been the last 2 million years.
And during this latest coolest period the ocean average temperature during the peak temperature of an interglacial period has average ocean temperature of about 4 C.
A change of .5 C of ocean temperature has large effect upon global average surface air
temperatures. And ocean has about 1000 times more heat content than the atmosphere and
require a very long time for the ocean average temperature to change by .5 C or over last
5000 years it’s only varied by couple tenths of degree- which also has large effect.

Or more 90% of all global warming over last 50 year has been increasing the average temperature of ocean, and it’s been about 1 tenth of degree of warming.

David Coe
Reply to  gbaikie
February 26, 2022 12:01 pm

The serious issue we have to face is the demonisation of carbon and CO2. In this paper we have simply attempted to isolate the impact of CO2 on the warming of the earth. The conclusion is that of the current warming trend over the past 150 years or so, CO2 is responsible for no more than 25% of that warming and that it will cause little measurable warming for the foreseeable future. The urge for net zero is not only plain stupid but is arguably criminal.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 12:12 pm

Thank you for the math consistent with observations.

J Mac
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 12:13 pm

+100!

gbaikie
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 1:00 pm

So, the rise of Co2 has caused by .3 C at most. And if CO2 levels were rise by 150 ppm, on might get no more than another .3 C?
That seems to agree with IPCC.
And a town growing into city over such a time might get 5 C of warming from UHI island effects from badly planned city.
I think a doubling of CO2 level might increase global air temperature by .1 to 5 C
with 100 year time period, which roughly agrees IPCC and you.
An increase of ocean by .5 C, is around 4 C to global air temperature- but that can’t happen within such short time period of hundred years.
Such increase in ocean temperature would increase global water vapor, which is much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, but it wouldn’t really be about any greenhouse gas, instead it result in melting Arctic polar sea ice. Or having liquid ocean rather frozen sea ice, is a large polar amplification effect.
Which believe occurred about during Holocene Climate optimum:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

Also during Holocene Climate optimum most Sahara desert was grassland.
And having Green Sahara would itself add to global average temperature.
So, increase global water vapor = Green Sahara and would effect other deserts
also.
Or global cooling is associated with more desert regions and we current have 1/3 of all land being deserts. But Sahara is big, and we know that more 5000 years ago,
it had forests, rivers, etc where there currently is just dry waste lands. And currently
African countries are pumping 2.4 billion tons per year of “fossil water” created during time period.

gbaikie
Reply to  gbaikie
February 26, 2022 2:03 pm

I think a doubling of CO2 level might increase global air temperature by .1 to 5 C
Forgot a .

I think a doubling of CO2 level might increase global air temperature by .1 to .5 C

Carlo, Monte
February 26, 2022 12:11 pm

Although they are supposed to show “radiant energy”, Figs. 2-7 are qualitative in that the y-axes are all blank (much like many economics graphs).

It is quite likely that Fig. 2 is just a plot of the standard blackbody radiation curve for a body at 288K (15C). However, the blackbody expression gives radiance instead of irradiance. The difference one of units: irradiance is Watts per square-meter but radiance is W / m2 / steradian, which is the SI unit for a solid angle. Conversion between radiance and irradiance is not trivial and requires exact knowledge of the geometries involved.

That the gas absorption curves exactly match the radiance curve is simplistic and deceptive. The CO2 absorption bands are considerably weaker than the water vapor bands, but these plots makes them seem to be of similar magnitude.

David Coe
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
February 26, 2022 12:31 pm

The Y axis units are for spectral radiance in W/m3 calculated directly from Planck’ equation. Integrating over the complete range of emitted wavelengths of radiation results in the famous T^4 relationship of Stefan’s law. All the gaseous spectral data is presented in total atmospheric transmissivity integrated over atmospheric altitudes up to 35km. Above that altitude little further IR absorption takes place. The gas transmission curves are totally independent of the spectral radiance, but to obtain figures for the transmission of energy through the atmosphere, you have to multiply transmissivity by the radiated energy.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 9:21 pm

The units of spectral radiance in Planck’s Law are W/m2/steradian, not Watts per cubic meter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-body_radiation#Planck's_law_of_black-body_radiation

The T^4 relation is an indication that assigning a single temperature to the entire planet is a gross over-simplification. Planck’s Law assumes thermal equilibrium, which is not true for the planet.

Also, while CO2 is generally considered to be uniformly mixed, water vapor is certainly not and varies a lot.

These climate energy balance calculations are woefully inadequate—there is no way any of them reflect the reality of what happens in and under the atmosphere.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
February 27, 2022 12:06 am

I was wrong the brain was not working correctly, my apologies.

The formula for BB spectral irradiance is this, with units of W/m2/m (spectral irradiance is the derivative with respect to wavelength of irradiance). No one works with wavelength units in meters and use nm or um instead, so spectral irradiance is typically given as W/m2/nm or W/m2/um.

Labeling graph axes is important.

[The equation is from https://physics.ucf.edu/~ishigami/Teaching/Phys4083L/lab%20descriptions/NETD/blackbody%20theory.pdf, with the lowercase t being temperature]

Screen Shot 2022-02-27 at 12.56.20 AM.jpg
Last edited 2 months ago by Carlo, Monte
mkelly
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
February 28, 2022 6:37 am

I think this is what is graphed in Dunkle graph. Wave length times Temperature.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 3:11 am

Complete opposite absorption of solar energy starts at 33km and nothing below that as cooling is dominant. Only the surface (ocean or land) absorbs sunlight. Atmospheric window 8-14 micrometer wavelengths forbids any atom absorption. This band covers all of earth’s emission of radiation. Warming occurs above 70hpa through solar absorption. Highest at polar regions where sunlight is 24 hours. Your nonsense is programmed in climate models. Reason they are completely wrong.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 12:28 pm

This article is mostly conjecture. It is not all facts. Earth emits between (2898/340K) 8.52 micrometer wavelength and (2898/206K) 14.07 micrometer wavelength. The longwave spectrum is 3 to 100 but earth emits a fraction of that. Earth has a atmospheric window where emitted radiation escapes within this range. Both polar regions has no sunlight for a period of time where earth’s emitted radiation escapes. Each pole never excees 14.86 micrometers wavelength emitted radiation. Record low -78C. Water vapor is a product of water of any mass. Earth surface is 70% covered by oceans(water). 23° latitude north or south surface absorption never exceeds 48% of incoming sunlight. This energy is lost as it is transported to both polar regions where sunlight weakens. Both poles emit less than 240 watts of radiation.(2×240=48% equator radiation loss). Water has four states ice, water, water vapor water droplets. Ice sublimes to water vapor and water evaporates to water vapor and then condenses to water droplets. Water vapor evaporation, velocity and mass depends on heat. Earth isn’t 15°C otherwise earth’s minimum would by 0C (and not -18C effective temperature) and average equator would be 30C.

David Coe
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 12:37 pm

And your point is precisely?

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 2:43 pm

No greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases do not warm sea level air. Greenhouse gases absorb sunlight. Greenhouse gases warm up (from -90°C to -20°C) over polar regions (tropopause) (w/ low sun intensity much more than over tropics w/ high solar intensity) with 24 hour sunlight. Otherwise average -65C.Does the ice sheet on Antarctica melt. Yes but only 0.4%. Land and sea melts most of arctic ice. Solar absorption happens at specific bands > 8 micrometers and emission < 14 micrometer wavelengths. Expanded air at 250hpa average -50C and 5C at compressed 1 bar pressure. Surface heat for first 5km increases this temperature.
Ever flew in darkness at 9km altitude and temperature never changed over the 8 hours (12 hour due to changed time zones). Daytime sunlight over tropical are made no change to temperature 9km up.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
February 26, 2022 5:11 pm

Crank.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 27, 2022 6:33 am

Blinded by fake science that real science, real observations show.

Dave Fair
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 5:10 pm

Thank you, David. These guys are really cranks.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 27, 2022 6:43 am

This is what David wants you to believe. Earth at 15C. Both poles are at freezing point. No sea ice. And 0.4g of carbon dioxide and 15g of water vapor per cubic meter contribute 33C of earth’s temperature. While 1184.6g depends on the 15.4g for heating at the false 15C global mean temperature. Only a crank would accept this as real science.

OfficialGlobalTemperature.png
Dale Mullen
February 26, 2022 12:31 pm

Too many flaws in this article to be of any use.
For example, the atmosphere does not have 0.04% carbon monoxide as stated. The claim that CO2 is a strong absorber of outgoing infrared radiation is also false and the source of many lies about the greenhouse effect, which itself is a misnomer.
The mandate of the IPCC is not now nor was it ever to support the concept of global warming but rather it is/was to assess “information that is relevant in understanding ‘human-induced climate change’…”. In other terms, it concerned/concerns itself solely with the very narrow field of how humans supposedly influence climate change, to the almost complete exclusion of the real causes of our constant and ongoing climate change, which has been happening since the beginning of the earth’s history.
Combine this with the records of NASA and NOAA which have clearly pointed out that there has been no significant warming in this century, and we have another fluff alarmist wannabe article…

David Coe
Reply to  Dale Mullen
February 26, 2022 12:42 pm

 there has been no significant warming in this century, and we have another fluff alarmist wannabe article…

I am going to have to think about this one. It’s the first time I have been accused of writing a fluff alarmist article. I suppose there is always a first for everything.

jono1066
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 4:21 pm

David,
I`d take that as a compliment. DM has taken time to fully read your article, and has taken time to challenge certain aspects of it & write it up, and to cap it all has resorted to name calling / labeling.
good article .
thanks .

Dave Fair
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 5:14 pm

Its interesting that apostates in CliSciFi are treated the same as apostates in no-GHE.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dale Mullen
February 26, 2022 5:12 pm

Not only a crank, but an effing crank!

Steve Case
February 26, 2022 12:32 pm

The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases”
on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures
______________________________________________

Without reading the 4000 words under that headline the “Other Greenhouse Gas” is methane, and methane’s impact on global temperature is essentially zero. The Global Warming Potential numbers published in all of the IPCC assessment reports are a text book example of classic misdirection.

Going forward, the proof of that is almost nowhere will you find any mention of how much methane will actually contribute to global temperatures. When they’re pulling your leg, they don ‘t tell you what the real facts are.

If anyone can show that by 2100 methane is on track to increase global temperatures by more than 0.1°C please paste it up here.

This is important, because regulation is being written based on this bullshit.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Steve Case
February 26, 2022 11:27 pm

I didn’t read the article closely but there’s a claim that getting rid of methane could reduce global temps by 0.5’C.
(Note that I am _not_ claiming that I accept what this study ‘finds’.).

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02287-y

Steve Case
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
February 27, 2022 7:20 am

What constitutes “Getting rid of Methane” I suppose I should look at your link. OK I took a look, and it doesn’t exactly say. No surprise there considering that it’s from nature.com. But (after you do the arithmetic) it says that an increase in methane by a factor of 2.7 yields an increase of as much as 0.5K So getting rid of methane means a reduction back to 700 ppb. Well that’s not going to happen. Some more arithmetic and you get 0.37 K per doubling and maybe as much as 0.1 K by 2100 according to what Nature.com says. And it’s well known that they exaggerate. And in my earlier post I said no more that 0.1°C by 2100.

Oh! Thanks for the link, I book marked it (-:

Gary Pearse
February 26, 2022 12:33 pm

This seems to be an excellent ceteris paribus (‘all other things remain unchanged’) essay on the greenhouse effect. However, as with all such expositions, it ignores the effects of Le Châtelier Principle (LCP) on any imposed changes to one or more of the large number of interacting components making up the atmosphere-ocean-earth system (viz. composition, pressure, temperature, enthalpy, biospheric activity, kinetic components, etc. etc.)

LCP states that any change, such as dT is resisted by the system through changes in all other interacting components to minimize the change. A ceteris paribus change in temperature, results, therefore, in a reduced dT from what was expected from radiation calculations.

An example: an increase in atmospheric CO2 energizes plant growth as one response of the system. New leaves grow with fewer stomata to handle the more abundant CO2, and at the same time restrict evapotranspiration of water from the leaves, making the plants more drought resistant. Finally, the expansion of the biosphere (~40% in 40yrs) is an endothermic reaction – a cooling one! All other components of the system are similarly resisting the imposed dT and dCO2. The overall reductions 25 to 50% (certainly 50% of CO2 emitted goes into the bio on land and in the sea – some of which expands bio in the sea.

The LCP is well known in chemistry but seemingly not known by climate scientists or even most physicists, I would say from, the lack of response to many comments and to obey small article I published on WUWT some years ago (don’t know how to link it)

Steve Case
February 26, 2022 12:35 pm

The atmosphere contains 400 parts per million (ppm), 0.04%, of carbon monoxide (CO2)
__________________________________________________________________

Uh, CO2 is Carbon Dioxide. I’m sure that’s been pointed out alreaddy.

Vuk
February 26, 2022 12:36 pm

Earth temperature is function of Milankovic cycles, Earth’s rate of rotation and continental masses distribution. 
The trade winds pull oceans’ surface water westward creating equatorial currents.
Coriolis effect force (generated by the Earth’s rotation) deflects warm currents to the right forcing them to flow north along continental shelf.
At latitudes of 30-50 N ( /S) the westerlies, force the currents eastwards creating clockwise circulating gyres.
comment image
Since rate of the Earth’s rotation is nearly constant it would be expected that the global long term temperatures would move in a very narrow range.
Milankovic cycles interfere with this benign state of affairs.
However the gyres’ effect due to the oceans’ thermal capacity persists long into the cycles onset slowing down the glaciation.
Alternatively, when the Milankovic cycles start to wane, the gires’ powerful thermal effect bounces the planet quickly into interglacial.
comment image
(from a dummy for the dummies)
 

Last edited 2 months ago by Vuk
Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Vuk
February 26, 2022 1:35 pm

So the speed of Earth’s rotation is related to the global average temperature?

Vuk
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 2:22 pm

No, the other way around.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Vuk
February 26, 2022 10:25 pm

I understand that the Earth’s rotation speed affects the strength of ocean currents and therefore affects the average ocean surface temperature?

Vuk
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 27, 2022 12:19 am

Yes, that is correct way around.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Vuk
March 2, 2022 1:17 pm

Vuk:

Re your CO2 graph::

Each downward trend in temperatures is due to increased volcanism, which spews SO2 aerosols into the stratosphere.

These aerosols block incoming solar/cosmic radiation, so that CO2 proxies APPEAR to show a decrease in CO2 levels. As a result, It is IMPOSSIBLE to find any proxy for anything that is dependent upon radiation changes, if measured below the stratosphere.

Regarding the roughly cyclic temperature changes,SOMETHING is causing periods of increased volcanism. Best guess would be a large interstellar body on an extremely elongated orbit that visits our solar system.

Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 12:51 pm

Figure 13 is wrong, casting all that follows in doubt. About 2010, Judith Curry posted a rigorous no feedbacks derivation of CO2 sensitivity resulting in just over 1.1C. As an alternative, the much later Monckton equation yields 1.16C. Dessler showed in 2010 that the cloud feedback was about zero. McIntyre at the time dis a reanalysis using different data and came to about the same conclusion. AR5 WG1 has the sum of all other feedbacks except water vapor about zero also. As the water vapor feedback must be positive, the Feedbacks ECS must be something greater than 1.16C. My own views, derived four different ways, is something about 1.7C. Still no crisis, but more credible than your conclusion based on a plainly erroneous Fig 13.

David Coe
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 1:17 pm

I suggest that you read the actual paper on which this article is based. The climate sensitivity data in figure 13 results from the calculation of atmospheric IR absorption derived from the HITRAN data base. If that data is wrong then HITRAN is also wrong. Something that I would strongly dispute from having worked on gaseous spectrometry for many years and finding the HITRAN data to be remarkably accurate. If these results do not agree with previous estimates of climate sensitivity, then I am not at all surprised since there has been so many previous attempts. We have attempted to provide a simple but logical methodology for the determination of climate sensitivity and in the paper have described in great detail that methodology. We are very happy to respond to valid criticism of the methodology or to any errors in calculation but to dismiss it simply because it does not chime with your views does you no credit.

Pat Smith
Reply to  David Coe
March 1, 2022 6:54 am

David, does the HITRAN data come from experimental work? A container with CO2 in it at various pressures, detectors showing how much is absorbed? Much of the future absorption of CO2 comes from broadening of spectral lines and I have read papers stating that this cannot happen at low partial pressures – has this been shown in HITRAN?

David Coe
Reply to  Pat Smith
March 2, 2022 5:33 am

Hitran is based on quantum mechanical studies of molecules and their IR spectra.It is of course supported by experimental evidence and users such as myself have never found it to be materially incorrect. The concept of pressure broadening of spectral lines is fully accommodated within Hitran and as you intimate it is a high pressure phenomenon.

Thomas
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 1:20 pm

Rud. What’s wrong with Figure 13? It’s mostly a summation of the earlier calculations, so very little follows it.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 2:55 pm

Simple. People far more expert than I have calculated the ‘no feedbacks’ CO2 ECS. Judith Curry posted one rigorous way back at the beginning of Climate Etc IIRC 2010, slighly greater than 1.1C. Lindzen derived a number and rounded to 1.2C. Monckton’s published “irreducibly simple equation can be used to get 1.16C. I posted that over at Judith’s shortly after Monckton’s paper first appeared, as part of a longer critique of his use of the correct equation incorrectly.
I dunno why or how figure 13 is wrong. Life is too short to sort that out. But I know for sure since many years that it provably is. Anybody who asserts that ECS with feedbacks is less than with no feedbacks is just wrong. Said to to WE a few days ago, to which he took offense. So?

Thomas
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 3:50 pm

Rud. Figure 13 does not assert, “that ECS with feedbacks is less than with no feedbacks.” It shows the opposite.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Thomas
February 26, 2022 5:13 pm

Nope. You need remediation reading.

Thomas
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 6:21 pm

Rud, Figure 13 shows climate sensitivity for CO2 (blue bars) and sensitivity with feedbacks (orange bars). The orange bars are taller. The y-axis is increasing sensitivity, so taller is more sensitive, so ECS with feedbacks is more than without.

It does not show, “ECS with feedbacks is less than with no feedbacks.”

You need manners remediation. : )

James Schrumpf
February 26, 2022 12:54 pm

One question I’ve always had regarding the wavelengths blocked by CO2 and H2O vapor is “How much does it take to completely absorb those wavelengths?” What percentage is blocked at 100 ppm, 200 ppm 300 ppm, etc?

It appears that the “Atmospheric Absorptivity vs. ppm CO2” graph answers my question. Looks to be that at around 50 ppm, CO2 is already at about 43% of its total possible absorption capability, blocking 13% of its wavelengths. At 400 ppm there appears to be only about 17% of its absorption capacity remaining.

I just don’t see how that final 17% stretched out over the next 1200 ppm can be dangerous. Once a window is painted black, it doesn’t matter how many more coats are applied — you can’t block out the light any more.

David Coe
Reply to  James Schrumpf
February 26, 2022 1:26 pm

Once a window is painted black, it doesn’t matter how many more coats are applied — you can’t block out the light any more.

In that one sentence you have neatly summed up the greenhouse effect. The only thing I would add is that it is water vapour that is responsible for most of the saturation. Water vapour is the gas largely responsible for the atmosphere’s incredible long term stability. Lack of short term stability is called weather.

Keith Rowe
February 26, 2022 12:56 pm

I mostly disagree with the premise. That greenhouse gases are causing the warming. The earth is a giant heat pump. Changes in heat in the equator pushed towards the poles has a far larger effect than greenhouse gases.

One can see changes in the oceans for the last 1000 years mimic the temperature of the planet: https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aaa9942

One can see today the Atlantification of the Arctic Ocean: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj2946

Steve Case
February 26, 2022 1:02 pm

There’s this link to Watts Up With That from last December:

“Climate Impacts of Fossil Fuels in Today’s Energy Systems” by Dr. L. Schernikau and Prof. W. H. Smith
Schernikau & Smith say pretty much the same thing as David Coe:

“…while climate sensitivities to CH4 and N2O are almost undetectable at 0.06K and 0.08K respectively.”

Somehow I doubt these values will be picked up by the astute science reporters in the employ of ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR, MSNBC, The New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, or Mother Jones.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Case
Phillip Bratby
February 26, 2022 1:18 pm

An excellent paper.

RickWill
February 26, 2022 1:28 pm

As a direct consequence of the greenhouse effect the earth is 33°C warmer than it otherwise would be. 

If this is how you choose to define the “greenhouse effect” then so be it. What you have not shown is that such effect can alter the surface temperature.

The surface temperature of the oceans have hard limits. -1.8C and 30C. Changes to atmospheric gasses will not alter these limits as they are set by ice forming processes. Sea ice sets the lower limit and dramatically reduces the loss of heat once formed – easily verifiable by analysing the SST in the Arctic Ocean and the variation in radiated heat above over any year.

The 30C upper limit is a function of the persistence of atmospheric ice above 7,000m over tropical oceans; able to reflect 90% of the incoming insolation before it is thermalised to regulate the surface temperature. Convective instability that kicks in at 45mm atmospheric water is easily observed over tropical oceans as monsoon.

The idea of any trace gasses regulating Earth’s energy balance is simply ridiculous. There is 11,000Gt of atmospheric water on average. It range from about 9,000Gt to 12,000Gt over an annual cycle. Some 55,000Gt of water gets transferred from oceans to land every year. Annually 522,000Gt of water cycles through the atmosphere. If your “greenhouse gas” could alter the energy balance and surface temperature then there would be a runaway condition rather than the self-regulating energy balance observed.

Your analysis fails because it separates atmospheric water gas from atmospheric water liquid and atmospheric water solid. The latter is the dominant regulator of Earth’s energy balance. You have failed to cover the water solid component in any of the above fairy tale – just waved away as being constant.

David Coe
Reply to  RickWill
February 26, 2022 1:57 pm

Earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the radiative energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. Period.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 2:58 pm

But what does the avg temperature of the earth tell us? I guess we could infer when we are in a glaciation stage, but we would probably notice without a thermometer too. And if the average temp has gone from 15C to 16C, then that’s not even a 1% changes in absolute values.

gbaikie
Reply to  Matt Kiro
February 26, 2022 7:57 pm

15 C or 59 F is cold air temperature

The warmest US states average about 23 C and
cooler US states average about 8 C and the lower 48 States
average around 12 C
Europe averages about 9 C and India the highest and densest
population of on Earth has average temperature of about 24 C
And 24 C [75.2 F] is moderately warm room temperature.
Few places on Earth have average temperature of 15 C, but I live
in California which has average temperature of about 15 C.
The average land surface air temperature in Northern Hemisphere is about 12 C and average land in southern hemisphere is about 8 C {largely because the land area of Antarctica is very cold and brings down average}.
And average global ocean surface temperature is about 17 C. Anyhow most people in US live where it has a warmer average average. And Canadians mostly live within 200 km of US/Canada border, due to Canada having a very low average temperature- or it’s mostly a frozen wasteland.
And many Canadian seem think 15 C is very high average temperature, but vacation is areas which are much warmer.

RickWill
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 6:00 pm

Earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the radiative energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. Period.

Correct – but “greenhouse gasses” are uninvolved in that balance. The balance is set entirely by water solid either on the surface or in the atmosphere.

Solid water prevents 50% of the incoming insolation over tropical oceans from thermalising. That short wave EMR never enters the climate system. You analysis simply waves that away. The important fact is that the amount of cloud is surface temperature dependent.

Your analysis is considering irrelevant detail. The solid water regulates the energy balance. The upper limit set at 30C by the cyclic formation of persistent cloud and lower limit of -1.8C set by the formation of sea ice to dramatically slow heat loss.

Before you prove yourself incapable of independent thought, look at this paper and faults the analysis:
http://www.bomwatch.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Bomwatch-Willoughby-Main-article-FINAL.pdf

Matt Kiro
Reply to  RickWill
February 26, 2022 2:47 pm

I would say you are both arguing different points. RickW is correct, Water and the energy needed to change in all its forms set hard limits on the temperature of the earth, and also control the daily weather and long term climate.
The average temperature of the earth is definitely right in the middle of these hard limits, and I guess radioactive energy balance will tell you the average temperature of the Earth, so David is right there. But determining what causes the REB to fluctuate is far more important than defining it. Solar radiation changes? Milankovic cycles? Atmospheric composition? Magnetic Pole changes?

Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 1:45 pm

What effect does water vapor have on surface temperature? Just look at the height of the tropopause (negligible temperature gradient) over North America.comment image
During the winter season, water vapor carries heat from the ocean over the continents. Stratospheric intrusions contain negligible amounts of water vapor.
“In satellite imagery, Stratospheric Intrusions are identified by very low moisture levels in the water vapor channels (6.2, 6.5, and 6.9 micron). Along with the dry air, Stratospheric Intrusions bring high amounts of ozone into the tropospheric column and possibly near the surface.”
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/

David Coe
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 2:26 pm

The average earth temperature is determined solely by the radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere. That radiative balance is affected by the IR characteristics of the so called greenhouse gases. At the earth’s surface all manner of things are happening, At any one time the surface temperature extremes of the earth will very from -50degC to +50degC. This results from the complex thermodynamics of the atmosphere of a rotating planet. If we try to determine average temperatures from an analysis of such a complex system we will end up with a huge variation in climate sensitivity predictions. Exactly what we have from the IPCC in fact.

RickWill
Reply to  David Coe
February 26, 2022 5:47 pm

That radiative balance is affected by the IR characteristics of the so called greenhouse gases. 

Wrong – solid water dominates the radiative balance on Earth whether it is on the surface or in the atmosphere. It sets the maximum temperature of tropical ocean to 30C. Solid water can prevent 90% of the the incoming insolation from thermalising as it is highly reflective. All outgoing long wave radiation leaving tropical oceans exists via the atmosphere and predominantly from solid water. On average 50% of the incoming insolation over tropical oceans is never thermalised – just reflected.

Monsoon cloud can turn day into night:
comment image

Talking about “greenhouse gasses” is just nonsense compared to the power of water solid in the atmosphere.

There is a concept of “snowball” Earth where the surface is turned to ice and becomes highly reflective. The fact is, that process occurs in the atmosphere on a daily basis to limit the maximum ocean temperature to 30C. No matter what the “greenhouse gasses” do, they can never alter the energy balance such that open ocean temperature can exceed 30C.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
Ireneusz Palmowski
February 26, 2022 2:18 pm

You have to be careful when talking about the top of the atmosphere. You can clearly see that the lowest temperature occurs at about 100 hPa. The temperature in the stratosphere only shows upward radiation.comment image

Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 26, 2022 2:22 pm

“It was absolutely right therefore for the United Nations to take a lead in determining the exact nature of the causes and implications of “anthropogenic global warming” by setting up the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC) in 1988. ”

I disagree. The intent should never have been to determine “the exact nature of the causes and implications of “anthropogenic global warming””. That presupposes the answer. The IPCC should have been charged with determining:

  1. has the Earth been warming;
  2. how much;
  3. what are the causes?

But given its charter, it was natural to determine that it is anthropogenic glabal warming that is the problem.

David Coe
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 26, 2022 2:40 pm

But given its charter, it was natural to determine that it is anthropogenic glabal warming that is the problem.

And of coarse that was the sole intent. Maurice Strong has a lot to answer for. No wonder he fled to China.

Nelson
Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 8:35 am

David, To understand the history and purpose of the IPCC you need to understand Maurice Strong. The purpose of the IPCC is control, not climate, though it has certainly wrapped itself in the cloak of science. The fact that so many scientific organizations have bought the “Climate Crisis” meme hook, line, and sinker is a very sad tale. It will be interesting when in the coming decades there is no climate crisis to watch them backtrack.

Maurice Strong, The ‘NWO Father’ Of Global Warming And Agenda 21 Is Dead – TheWatchTowers.org

diggs
February 26, 2022 2:29 pm

For me it is a nice summation of a very specific topic area. Even if one does not hold to the general idea of the “Greenhouse Effect”, what this paper does is show that for those that do hold to the “simple” greenhouse effect theory, all else aside, an increase in CO2 from here will have minimal effect, so I think it is a good starting point when discussing these issue with the general public in order to point out some very obvious issues in their thinking.

Having said that, many of the alarmists then shift focus to the issue being the shifting of the height of the TOA and hence a change in the distance/adiabatic lapse rate. It would be good to see a simple step by step argument similar to this one, covering that topic as that seems to be the alarmist two prong approach when one of the theories is challenged.

February 26, 2022 2:34 pm

David, there are parts of the Earth’s surface that are warming two or three times faster than the average over the last thirty years. Do they have an exceptional amount of greenhouse gases confined above them or is some other effect in operation?

Examples, the Black Sea, Lake Superior, Michigan, Lake Tangyanika. Best of all, the Sea of Marmara.

I think I know and I think I can explain ‘Why the blip’, the famous protest from Professor Tom Wigley who had just finished adjusting down the temperature excursion from 1940 to 1945. Thoughts?

JF

David Coe
Reply to  Julian Flood
February 26, 2022 3:07 pm

My answer, I am afraid, is that I simply do not know. I think it is important to separate long term effects such as Equilibrium Earth Temperature, from localised short term events which result from the non linear chaotic system that is the earth’s atmosphere. The alarmists of course make a great issue of the highest or lowest temperature ever, or the wettest, or driest. Need I say more.

Reply to  David Coe
February 27, 2022 8:04 am

David, my take on anomalously high temperatures in various lakes/seas all round the planet is that they have been warmed by a common cause and it can’t be CO2, the well-mixed gas.. My guess (Richard Feynman said that even someone with no qualifications is allowed to guess as science doesn’t start until after the guess.) These outliers aren’t the usual alarmist 0,01 record, they are consistent continuous rates of warming above the average. All over the world, not just halfway up the jet pipe of an Airbus.

Did you look at Marmara?

My take is at wwwdotconservativewomandotcodotuk/cold-comfort

JF

Dave(@daveandrews723)
February 26, 2022 3:26 pm

Every climate alarmist should be forced to read these four sentences in your conclusion. Thanks so much for a great explanation of the realities of the greenhouse effect and why CO2 is not the control knob of the earth’s temperature…

“Of the 33°C warming, 29.4°C is entirely due to the absorptive effects of water vapour. 420ppm of CO2 delivers just 3.3°C of that warming, while methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for a mere 0.3°C combined.
Contrary to the blitz of propaganda, there is no climate emergency or even any significant increase in temperature due to increasing levels of CO2. The climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is 0.45°C which increases to 0.5°C when the feedback of water vapour is taken into account.”…

leitmotif
February 26, 2022 3:39 pm

People who believe in the GHE and the ECS and the significance of the mean global temperature are just plain nuts.

What should we believe in next?

Mean global rainfall?

Mean global heatwave?

Mean global drought?

Mean global snowfall?

Mean global telephone number?

Mean global climate?

Lukewarmists on WUWT just give credibility to warmist alarmists that they don’t deserve. Why do they do that? Are they closet warmists?

It doesn’t matter how many articles WUWT produces that discredit alarmist claims it won’t have any effect whatsoever.

They (you know who I mean by They) own all the cameras, all the microphones, all the media (nearly), all the schools, all the universities, all the civil services (or equivalent), and the vast majority of governments and parliaments and congresses and whatever it is they are called in other world administrations.

If you believe we are winning, send me $10.

YES, WE ARE WINNING!!!

RickWill
Reply to  leitmotif
February 26, 2022 6:13 pm

People who believe in the GHE and the ECS and the significance of the mean global temperature are just plain nuts.

A bit harsh – people are entitled to their beliefs. The failing is consensus science and inability of independent thought.

There are people here who actually believe oceans can be heated radiatively from the surface down – how bizarre is that! Jim Hansen is still looking for his missing heat in the oceans. The climate clowns even believe the increase heat retention in deep oceans over the last 50 years is a sign of oceans gaining heat from the surface – simply ridiculous; beyond any physical reality.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
February 26, 2022 9:34 pm

Another crank.

Dave Fair
Reply to  leitmotif
February 26, 2022 9:33 pm

Crank.

leitmotif
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 27, 2022 5:31 am

As usual, no meaningful answer from Dave Unfair.

He is living proof of my post above.

As they say here in Scotland:

Awa’ ‘n’ boil yer heid, ya numpty!

griff
Reply to  leitmotif
February 27, 2022 10:02 am

But what are you winning, exactly?

(I’ve emailed ‘They’ and They’ve promised to up the surveillance on you)

leitmotif
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:22 pm

But what are you winning, exactly?

Nothing, griff. That was my point.

We have lost to They.

Your side will always win because our side is split between lukewarmists and realists. Lukewarmists are rife on WUWT.

Lukewarmists believe in the GHE and the ECS.

Lukewarmists are idiots.

Dennis G Sandberg
February 26, 2022 3:45 pm

ok, that’s it for CO2/climate change. Now what are we going to chat about? Maybe how unworkable wind and solar are because battery storage for a few days of cloudy and calm costs 10x more than the panels and turbines?

michael hart
February 26, 2022 3:55 pm

And then there are those things called clouds.They can’t accurately model the water system, which has a far greater effect on the Earth’s albedo.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
February 26, 2022 4:07 pm

To which I’ll add, “They couldn’t model their way out of a wet paper bag. I hate wet paper bags”. Thank you Douglas Adams.

RickWill
Reply to  michael hart
February 26, 2022 6:15 pm

And then there are those things called clouds.

And, according to the above analysis and every climate model, are unresponsive to surface temperature! Give me a break.

Dennis G Sandberg
February 26, 2022 4:01 pm

climate sensitivity to methane graph has a minor typo, 2nd column with feedback should be 0.08 or 0.01 less height.

philo
February 26, 2022 5:04 pm

The IPCC, from its founding, has been required “only” to use temperatures caused by human actions. This is directly in its founding documents. Changes caused by “natural” causes are supposed presumably to be ignored. Since most of the changes in the atmosphere that introduce heat seem to be ignored the result is almost all changes in the atmosphere seem to be mandated.

If this requirement is actually being implemented there appears to be no need for research since the change is already mandated.

Is the IPCC actually doing this? Or has it been mandated to do something else. I haven’t been able to deterimine what applies.

[Please fix the missing letter in your email address that is cached in your browser and you will not keep being flagged for moderation–cr]

February 26, 2022 5:50 pm

A “greenhouse gas” is one which is transparent to incoming solar radiation, but which is a strong absorber of outgoing infra-red energy radiated by a warming earth. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more outgoing radiation is absorbed and the warmer the planet gets. Simples!

Hold on! Not so simples!
Do you think gases can only absorb heat via IR? Try conduction and convection (eg winds). Put your hand out. All the air molecules surrounding you are at much the same temperature. (You can invoke the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics if you must.) Therefore, most of the atmosphere’s heat – the Greenhouse Effect – is held by the non-IR gases, nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Water vapour is way back at (an almost constant world-wide) about 1%, with carbon dioxide a tiny .05% – and that’s about its contribution to Earth’s GE.

Bob
February 26, 2022 7:44 pm

Outstanding.

R.T.Dee
February 26, 2022 7:49 pm

An interesting paper, well worth reading, but I recommend reading the original (free web access at end).

Like with many derivative articles (the majority by far on WUWT) I always go to the original source (if given) to avoid any editing bias. WUWT rarely has pieces of any originality, they have become mainly boring repetitions of hackneyed themes.

And while I am on a rant, please get rid of that annoying moving banner at the top that makes the intro. look like a 3rd rate advertisement.

catcracking
February 26, 2022 9:31 pm

It is not unreasonable to believe that the atmosphere itself will warm as a result of this energy input, and if so, will reradiate some of this energy into space, while the remainder will be retained by the earth thereby warming it.”

One question I have, is this not a continuous process and a portion of the heat radiated back to earth is subsequently radiated again outward and back continuously (reducing in magnitude) especially through the night, when the sun is not radiating any new energy into the system. I don’t see that the system is retaining all that energy. It appears that the steady state model often used is simplified
I am not expert on this subject so what am I missing.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  catcracking
February 27, 2022 5:34 am

The fact is that most of the atmosphere is warmed through conduction, either from contact with the surface soil and water or from contact with CO2. According to most studies, CO2 does not reradiate much energy at the surface since it much more likely to collide with an N2/O2/H2O molecule and transfer its energy away. Otherwise surface thermometers would only be reading the temperature of CO2 and not the total atmosphere.

This is what causes convection current upwards where energy is expended moving upwards and eventually transferring whatever energy is left back to a CO2 or H2O molecule for radiating to space.

Intelligent Dasein
February 26, 2022 9:57 pm

I have to take issue with the idea that all 33 degrees of warmth over and above the blackbody TOA temperature are due to a “greenhouse effect” principally involving IR absorption. This is absolute horse-mucking idiocy and anybody who believes this should be feeding pigs for a living, not writing articles about climate change.

The fact is, the warmth of the atmosphere is due to the warmth of the atmosphere, to its thermal mass, not to IR absorption. The air gets warmed all day by conduction from the surface, by convection throughout its depth, and by the release of latent heat from condensing water vapor. This is what produces a comfortable surface temperature.

At night, when the radiative input is eliminated, the atmosphere begins to lose energy logarithmically. At best, IR absorption is just going to shift this curve a few minutes further down the x-axis. It’s not going to increase the surface temperature at all.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
February 26, 2022 10:17 pm

What do satellites above the 60th parallel show? Heating from the surface.comment image

leitmotif
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
February 27, 2022 5:39 am

And those idiots believe that the sun cannot melt ice or form clouds but ghgs can.

Geoff Sherrington
February 26, 2022 10:36 pm

When a CO2 molecule interacts with a photon, it is said in shorthand that it gets hot and by extension makes the atmosphere hotter.
But, this is not so. By interacting, it makes the photon unavailable to interact with other molecules, in effect resulting in a “cooling” of the rest of the atmosphere. Of course, this as a dynamic system and one has to look at the overall rather than the particular and changes over timespans.
The same applies to the “blanket” analogy, which is said to heat the body under the blanket by delay of heat release. But, this trapping under the blanket again means that the atmosphere outside the blanket is now cooler than it might have been.
We are not generating energy and its companion heat. We are redistributing it.
So, it is not alarming that the TOA radiation balance should be zero, unless there is a change in overall energy, such as by changes in the solar output and its path from Sun to Earth.
We still seem to lack publicity about simple experiments where containers of gas are subjected to light of various wavelengths to examine if any heat is produced and how much. One wonders at the confidence of scientists who go far into theory without the customary practical alongside. As with modelling cloud physics. Geoff S

February 26, 2022 10:36 pm

Fig.3 is wrong. There is no absorption of CO2 at 10 um. The net effect of more CO2 is cooling rather than warming.

Go Home
February 27, 2022 12:02 am

Thanks for this great write up.

Now do Mars!

JP Tollenboom
February 27, 2022 3:37 am

I read the referenced article when it was first published. I checked the theoretical foundation. This is a seminal paper. The method proposed is original, correct – in my opinion – and effective.
It places the CO2 debate in the right perspective. Link that to Patick Moore’s book “Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threaths of Doom”, and you will be very well equiped to understand what is really going on.

Sid James
February 27, 2022 5:41 am

There is no consideration on adiabatic induced lapse rate and, therefore, lower atmosphere temperature – the 15 degC mentioned as the average.

Richard M
February 27, 2022 7:50 am

David Coe, your description contains the same fundamental error that is inherent in standard climate views of the atmosphere. It ignores the effects of the boundary layer. Almost all of the warming that comes out of your calculations would occur in the boundary layer. However, since the boundary layer is in thermodynamic equilibrium with the surface the energy is simply returned back into the atmosphere to maintain equilibrium. No real warming occurs.

Once this is recognized, the way to correct it is to examine only the surface radiation that is absorbed above the boundary layer. According to Dr. Heinz Hug and based on experimental studies, CO2 absorbs 99.94% of surface radiation within 10 meters of the surface. There’s really little reason to look at that last .06% as it can only have an insignificant warming effect.

This is probably why the Seim/Olsen 2020 paper couldn’t describe any significant warming in their experiment.

Look at my comments in response to JCM to understand what really happens in the atmosphere.

John Shotsky
February 27, 2022 7:53 am

This report was nicely presented, and it makes sense. But have we really identified the problem? Is it greenhouse gases? I say no, it has nothing to do with greenhouse gases.

When I was trained in six-sigma problem solving, I was taught this:

  1. Define the problem. (not the symptoms)
  2. Identify the root cause of the problem.
  3. Identify ways to eliminate the problem
  4. Implement the best solution to eliminate the problem.

The IPCC has done none of these. It has no problem statement, so it doesn’t know what it is trying to fix. It doesn’t know the root cause of the problem it can’t state, it appears to be trying to solve a symptom, and it has no solution. Why can no one identify the problem the IPCC is supposedly trying to solve? Who knows the real root cause?

Occam’s Razor states: “the simplest solution is almost always the best.” It’s a problem-solving principle arguing that simplicity is better than complexity. Named after 14th-century logician and theologian William of Ockham, this theory has been helping many great thinkers for centuries. 

There is a much simpler answer to why the earth’s temperature is what it is, rather than the calculated so-called ‘black body’ temperature. First, earth isn’t a black body anyway, but that is beside the point.

First, a mind experiment. Under the following conditions. ask yourself whether the earth would be warmer or colder if:

  1. Earth has no atmosphere
  2. Earth has the same atmosphere size as presently, but with no greenhouse gases of any kind.
  3. Earth has the same atmosphere size as presently, but it is ALL CO2.

Under the first instance, we would see hotter days and colder nights, BECAUSE there would be no heat stored in atmosphere. All heat energy would be radiated from the surface directly to space during both the daytime and nighttime. (But there is a special circumstance, mentioned below.)

In the second instance, earth would become warmer, BECAUSE the atmosphere would be heated by the surface, just as it is today, but it would be UNABLE to radiate any of that heat to space, forcing the surface temperature to increase to radiate away ALL OF the day’s heat. That is a process that would be slow because the atmosphere would be forced to return each day’s heat to the surface, by conduction alone. Heated air rises due to convection, and conduction heats the molecules around heated ones, but the reverse is not true. Conduction is the only method by which heat could be returned to earth’s surface.

In the third instance, the earth would become cooler, because all of the day’s heat would be radiated to space both from the surface and from the entire (radiative) atmosphere. The surface, would have to be cooler because it would not be required to radiate ALL of the day’s heat energy as in conditions 1 and 2.

Note that we can make these distinctions because we have taken things to their extremes to validate our reasoning. This should enable us to invalidate the current ‘scare’ over CO2. It can ONLY be helping cool earth, although its effect would be miniscule, as is the percentage of our atmosphere that is CO2.

Finally, the rotisserie effect. We take days and nights and seasons for granted. We think we know how they affect ‘weather’, but make some sort of a silly notion of climate as being something that we can ‘see’ rather than completing the puzzle of how physical things work together.

Another mind experiment: Scale earth down to the size of a ham. Place it in a vertical rotisserie, which is designed to have adjustable end points. In other words, the axis could be parallel or either end could be nearer or farther from the heat source. The rotation speed would also be adjustable. The heat source, instead of being under the ham, would be from one side, and it could be a wideband energy source, such as you might get from white-hot steel, radiating through a completely transparent window’ to heat the ham. Place a surface thermometer on the ham at the ‘equator’. Start the rotisserie, and monitor the surface temperature. Vary the rotation speed. Note that as it spins faster, it won’t become as hot at the surface nor as cold at the surface in one full rotation. (a day) Slow it down. It will get hotter during one rotation and it might not get as cool on the dark side. Why?
Tilt the ends. The readings will change again. Why?

Make the mental jump that earth is that rotisserie and the sun is the heat source. Voila – we have days and nights, and seasons as the axis is adjusted. If day and night are of equal length, the surface temperature adjusts to radiate each day’s heat energy gain within the 24 hours of a day. We see this nearest the equator when our axis is most perpendicular to the sun. Does it ever freeze at the equator at sea level? No. Why? Because the atmosphere contains energy in ALL of its molecules. The surface stabilizes at a temperature that permits the previous day’s energy gain to be lost at night, but that never includes getting to freezing, because it would have to radiate for a LOT longer in order to get that cold. The atmosphere is an insulating blanket that we walk around in.

Switch to either pole. Now, there are periods when heat is supplied by the sun, but much longer periods when there is little or no sun. The conditions now rarely get ABOVE freezing, because the surface temperature needed to offset the day’s heat gain is much lower, resulting in a lower surface temperature at the poles, always.

Finally, realize that most of us live somewhere between the poles and the equator, and therefore share a proportional share of heat gain/loss based on the latitude at which we live, our altitude, and the tilt of the earth at that time. Rotation speed is assumed to be constant.

No CO2 molecules were harmed in these mind experiments. CO2 is as important as oxygen to us – we could not exist without either of them.

The intent here is simply to show that earth’s temperature is not necessarily a result of any specific gases. All gasses follow the same gas laws. And since earth’s average temperature (a measurement that is not actually possible) can be shown to be a result of earth-sun alignments, this simplest explanation is probably the best. Thanks, Ockham!

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  John Shotsky
February 27, 2022 10:43 am

Regardless of the atmosphere, a higher rotational velocity of each planet will decrease the difference in temperature between the illuminated side and the dark side and increase the global minimum temperature.

Reply to  John Shotsky
February 27, 2022 11:29 pm

Good comment, John.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 2, 2022 12:04 pm

2. With atmosphere but no greenhouse gas: Surface heats the air (conduction and convection), but that cools the surface and then there is less IR-radiation from it. Same average temperature as with no atmosphere? – my guess.

John Shotsky
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
March 3, 2022 10:47 am

Not a very good guess. The surface with no greenhouse gases would be far hotter. ALL of the sun’s energy would strike the surface. Yes, atmosphere would be heated, and yes, the surface would cool as a result, but that lack of greenhouse gases would heat the surface far beyond what it does today.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 3, 2022 10:52 pm

Would it? What heats the surface today is the sun and conduction/convection, not different from (2), as there is no downgoing radiation from today’s greenhouse gases. In today’s atmosphere all IR-photones (except those in the ‘window’) are catched within hundred (?) meters from the surface and they are not reemitted – the energy is instead used to heat up N2 and O2 molecules as they collide with the greenhouse gas molecules billions of times per second. They steal all the energy. and atmosphere warms up – convection begins.

Gordon A. Dressler
February 27, 2022 8:10 am

There is a rather serious logic error presented in the above article by David Coe, which otherwise would is a good overall presentation.

That error is revealed in the following statements found in the second paragraph under the subsection titled “The Greenhouse Effect”:
“The earth’s average temperature is determined solely by the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. The radiation emitted by the earth is a function of its temp