Infrared Forcing by Greenhouse Gases

From the CO2 Coalition,

Infrared Forcing by Greenhouse Gases

W. A. van Wijngaarden¹ and W. Happer ²
¹Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University, Canada
²Department of Physics, Princeton University, USA
June 18, 2019

A shortened version of this important paper has been published on the arXiv preprint server hosted by Cornell University. The full version is provided here for the first time.

Download the full paper here: Infrared Forcing by Greenhouse Gases 2019 Revised 3 7 2022

Abstract

We review how the atmospheric temperatures and the concentrations of Earth’s five most important, naturally-occurring greenhouse gases, H₂O, CO₂, O₃, N₂O and CH₄ control the cloud-free, thermal radiative fluxes from the Earth to outer space. Computations based on the line intensities HITRAN data base alone, with no absorption continuums, are used to evaluate fluxes and intensities for greenhouse-gas concentrations similar to those of the year 2019. Calculated top-of-the atmosphere spectral intensities are in excellent quantitative agreement with satellite measurements at various latitudes. Also calculated are per-molecule forcings in a hypothetical, optically thin atmosphere, where there is negligible saturation of the absorption bands, or interference of one type of greenhouse gas with others. Then the per-molecule forcings are of order 10−²² W for H₂O, CO₂, O₃, N₂O and CH₄. For current atmospheric concentrations, the per-molecule forcings of the abundant greenhouse gases H₂O and CO₂ are suppressed by four orders of magnitude from optically-thin values because of saturation of the strong absorption bands and interference from other greenhouse gases. The forcings of the less abundant greenhouse gases, O₃, N₂O and CH₄, are also suppressed, but much less so. For current concentrations, the per-molecule forcings are two to three orders of magnitude greater for O₃, N₂O and CH₄, than those of H₂O or CO₂. Doubling the current concentrations of CO₂, N₂O or CH₄ only increases the forcings by a few per cent.

Introduction

Greenhouse warming of Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is driven by radiative forcing, F , the difference between the flux of thermal radiant energy from a black surface through a hypothetical, transparent atmosphere, and the flux through an atmosphere with greenhouse gases, particulates and clouds, but with the same surface temperature[1]. Radiative forcing is often specified in units of watts per square meter (W m−²). Forcing depends on the altitude, z, and on how the temperature and greenhouse-gas concentrations vary with altitude. The radiative heating rate, R, of the atmosphere is equal to the rate of change of the forcing with altitude, R = dF/dz, and can be specified in units of W m−² km−¹. Over most of the atmosphere, R < 0, so thermal infrared radiation is a cooling mechanism that transfers absorbed solar energy back to space.

This paper has been written for readers with a strong background in quantitative sciences, who know little about radiation transfer in Earth’s atmosphere. So we include material that is common knowledge to a small number of experts, but little known to the larger scientific community.

Figure 1: The continuous blue curve is the yearly average of incoming short-wave solar flux (net visible, near infrared and ultraviolet) absorbed by the Earth. The dashed red curve is the yearly average of the outgoing thermal flux (net longwave infrared) radiated to space by the Earth. Excess solar energy absorbed in the tropics is transported to the poles by mass flow in the atmosphere and oceans. The data is from satellite observations[2]. Adapted from PhysicalGeography.net [3].Thermal radiation transfer in Earth’s atmosphere has many similarities to that in stars, where methods for modeling radiation transfer were first developed [4]. But there are major differences. Because of the line structure of greenhouse gases, the opacity of Earth’s atmosphere has a much more complicated dependence on frequency than that of stars. Over most of the volume of stars, radiative transfer is dominated by scattering in nearly fully-ionized plasmas, with little absorption. In Earth’s atmosphere, thermal radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases, but scattering is negligible. Greenhouse molecules emit radiation at a temperature-dependent rate, whether they are absorbing radiation or not. Unlike the nearly isotropic heat flow from thermonuclear sources in the cores of stars, solar heating of the Earth is substantially stronger in the tropics than near the poles, as shown in Fig. 1. Meridional heat transport by the atmosphere and oceans, lets the poles emit more thermal energy to space than the solar energy they absorb. Tropical regions emit less than they absorb. Integrated over the surface of the Earth, the incoming shortwave radiation from the Sun is approximately equal to the outgoing longwave thermal radiation. But the surface-integrated fluxes of Fig. 1 are seldom exactly balanced. Changes of the average temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans, due to transient radiation imbalances, are small because of the huge thermal capacity of the oceans.

This paper is focused on the dashed red curve of Fig. 1, the emission of thermal radiation to space. This is the aspect of radiation balance that is most directly affected by changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases. We discuss model atmospheres with average properties similar to that of Earth in the year 2019. We mainly consider “instantaneous” forcing changes that result when the concentration of one or more of the greenhouse gases changes, but all other atmospheric conditions remain fixed. Except for a brief discussion of temperature adjustments of the atmosphere to restore hypothetical radiation equilibrium[5], we do not discuss the many other feedbacks that contribute to the change of atmospheric properties. Important examples are changes in cloud cover and changes in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and oceans. Discussions of these important topics can be found in papers by Schwartz[6, 7], Etminan et al.[8], Trenberth and Fasulo[9], Lindzen et al.[10], Myhre al.,[11, 12], Collins et al.[13], and Harde[14].

The concentrations of the major greenhouse gases are so large in the year 2019, that each gas interferes with its own radiative transfer and that of other greenhouse gases. The relative potencies of greenhouse gases are most clearly defined for a hypothetical, optically-thin limit, discussed in the final sections of this paper, when the radiative forcing of each greenhouse gas is proportional to its column density.

Download the full paper here: Infrared Forcing by Greenhouse Gases 2019 Revised 3 7 2022

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RickWill
March 7, 2022 11:02 pm

Computations based on the line intensities HITRAN data base alone, 

Once I read this I know the rest is nonsense. It demonstrates a lack of understanding of fundamental physics.

Earth’s energy balance is controlled by two temperature limiting processes.

The lower limit of ocean water is -1.8C due to formation of sea ice.

The upper limit of ocean temperature of 30C due to the persistence of cloud ice as a consequence of cyclic convective instability.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
March 7, 2022 11:08 pm

Figure 1 has the required leap of faith – NET short wave in. That is the solar energy thermalised. What happened to the the other 100+W/sq.m of solar EMR that did not get thermalised. Oh yeh, reflected by cloud that is completely unresponsive to surface temperature – give me a break.

These people need to go back to basics ands understand convective instability and why the ocean surface limit to 30C.

I will help them_
http://www.bomwatch.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Bomwatch-Willoughby-Main-article-FINAL.pdf

Reply to  RickWill
March 7, 2022 11:43 pm

Rick, I think you have missed their point. They clearly refer to meridional energy transport as the factor which prevents (or limits) a greenhouse effect from radiative gases.
Such transport moves surplus heat from regions of net gain to regions of net loss so changes in the rate of such transport will maintain stability. That seems consistent with your views on the importance of convection.

RickWill
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 7, 2022 11:57 pm

They miss the entire point on the energy balance by even getting into absorption spectra of gases – how many fairies can dance on pin head; completely irrelevent to a study of Earth’s climate; completely irrelevant to Earth’s energy balance. Like all uncurious people, they accept that the unthermalised portion of solar EMR is completely unaffected by the surface temperature.

Dispute the -1.8C lower limit or the 30C upper limit that regulate Earth’s emnergy balance. but don’y tell me I miss the point when they mention “greenhouse gasses” as something involved in climate.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 4:31 am

If you want to quantify the effects of GHG’s, you have to take their absorption spectra into account. That’s just plain physics, which in the case of gases with mutiple vibrational modes (which result in many spectral lines) quite a complicated thing to do. H&W have shown though that this is possible, and that their results perfectly fit observational results (the satellite emission spectra), both qualitatively and quantitatively. This is science (not faith) applied to an extremely high standard. The argument the alarmists bring of future catastrophic warming due to GHG emissions is dead. I agree with you though, that the people in power will probably ignore it simply because it doesn’t fit their narrative, and they will further tweak their useless models “until a psychiatrist has to come”.
Science will not suffice to stop these people.

Last edited 2 months ago by Eric Vieira
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Eric Vieira
March 8, 2022 4:52 am

Absorption spectra outside the atmospheric window (covering all of earth’s emitted radiation), but for solar and middle atmosphere radiation. CO2 vibrational mode 15 micrometer -80C and 4.3 micrometer 400C at 0.04% is insignificant. CO2 (carbon 13) molecules are heavier than air so stay near the surface. There is less CO2 globally in August than in February due to increased biomass.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
March 9, 2022 4:58 am

If you read the paper, in contrast to the other GHGs, the relative concentration of CO2 is more or less constant at every altitude. I suppose the entropy gains overweigh the difference in molecular weights in mixtures of gases with time. With convection, there’s also quite a lot of mixing going on. But that’s not the point. It’s about knowing whether GHGs (man-made or of natural origin) are the main culprits or not wrt. warming. It is clear that they are not.

Charles Higley(@higley7)
Reply to  Eric Vieira
March 8, 2022 9:17 am

The elephant in the room is that the upper tropical troposphere, which is where the GHE is supposed to be warming the surface, is ALWAYS colder (at -17 C) than the surface, (at 15 C). These gases simply cannot warm a warmer object. No gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm the surface.

David Pentland
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 8, 2022 10:03 am

Are you arguing against the greenhouse effect?
The rate of heat transfer between two bodies is dependant upon the difference in temperature. Correct that a warmer atmosphere doesn’t heat up the earth, but it reduces the overnight rate of heat loss.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Pentland
March 8, 2022 11:40 am

 Correct that a warmer atmosphere doesn’t heat up the earth, but it reduces the overnight rate of heat loss”

Why then doesn’t it impede the daytime and nighttime transmission toward the earth? If it impedes in one direction then it impedes in the other as well.

David Pentland
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 8, 2022 1:47 pm

There is no transmission to the earth at night, only outgoing radiation, cooling the planet.
The atmosphere is essentially transparent to incoming sunlight (5000 degrees) but opaque to outgoing infra red from the surface of the earth.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Pentland
Ruleo
Reply to  David Pentland
March 8, 2022 2:38 pm

ROFL no no no.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  David Pentland
March 9, 2022 5:44 am

Not true. See the attached. About 50% of the sun’s radiation energy is in the near infrared which H2O readily absorbs. Water vapor and precipitated vapor, i.e., clouds, absorb a lot of energy before reaching the soil/water surface of the earth. You ever hear the term “burning off the clouds/fog”?

Of course much of this is latent heat and doesn’t “warm” the atmosphere but it does remove energy that the surface can absorb.

David Pentland
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 9, 2022 6:23 am

I stand corrected.
The take away from this paper is that doubling co2 is of little climatic consequence.
Yet apparent the majority of westerners are ok with destroying our energy system based on this scam.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Pentland
March 9, 2022 5:07 pm

Why then doesn’t it impede the daytime and nighttime transmission toward the earth? “

You didn’t answer the question. There *is* transmission of IR toward the earth at night, just not from the sun.

Why doesn’t CO2 impede the “back radiation” from the atmosphere to the earth at night (btw that back radiation also exists during the day)?

jan van ruth
Reply to  David Pentland
March 10, 2022 1:37 am

spoiler: there is no day or night on earth, only day and night, always….

b.nice
Reply to  David Pentland
March 9, 2022 12:17 am

“The rate of heat transfer between two bodies is dependant upon the difference in temperature.”

And there is absolutely no evidence that CO2 affects the natural temperature gradient.

No, it does not reduce the overnight heat loss. Show us evidence for that conjecture.

David Pentland
Reply to  b.nice
March 9, 2022 3:47 am

Are you saying there is no greenhouse effect?

” there is absolutely no evidence that CO2 affects the natural temperature gradient.”
Read my comment. I didn’t say co2. Increasing CO2 causes negligible warming because the atmosphere is already saturated. But the greenhouse effect most definitely is real.

That’s the conclusion of the Wijngaarden/Happer research.

” The concentrations of the major greenhouse gases are so large in the year 2019, that each gas interferes with its own radiative transfer and that of other greenhouse gases.”

Jim Gorman
Reply to  David Pentland
March 9, 2022 5:50 am

The major greenhouse gas is water vapor, not CO2. Without water vapor we would all encounter temperature drops at night similar to dry deserts everywhere on earth.

David Pentland
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 9, 2022 6:18 am

100%!

RickWill
Reply to  Eric Vieira
March 8, 2022 4:34 pm

If you want to quantify the effects of GHG’s,

Why would anyone want to do that with regard a discussion on Earths energy balance. I can say with complete certainty GHG impact on the energy balance is zero.

Atmospheric ice, a solid NOT A GAS, dominates Earth’s energy balance. It is orders of magnitude more significant than any feeble contribution of gasses. It even dominates the release of OLR over tropical oceans.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 8, 2022 4:14 am

I also think the point was missed. These GHG effects were evaluated for a non-cloud model. In the case of clouds, the effects would be lower, since part of the incoming radiation would be reflected back to space by some of them. What the paper clearly demonstrates: even doubling of any or all of the major known GHGs in our atmosphere would have minimal effects on the Earth’s “mean surface temperature” whatever that is… The whole CO2, methane and NO2 hype is a fallacy. Reducing emissions, or net zero is just green alarmist propaganda and nothing more.

Charles Higley(@higley7)
Reply to  Eric Vieira
March 8, 2022 9:21 am

I love the Venus GHE model that claims the high surface temperature is from the loads of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, the surface temperature of Venus is based on gravitational heating and NOT the composition of the atmosphere. There is not Venusian greenhouse, as Venus had a permanent cloud cover with no direct sunlight hitting the surface.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 9, 2022 12:58 pm

And interestingly, aside from the altitude where the sulfuric acid clouds reside, when you compare the temperature profile of Venus with Earth where the atmospheric density is the same, the only thing you need to differentiate between their temperatures isthe distance from the Sun.

No matter that Venus’ atmosphere is 96% CO2 and Earth’s is 0.04% CO2.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  RickWill
March 9, 2022 8:35 am

RickWill, you posted: “What happened to the the other 100+W/sq.m of solar EMR that did not get thermalised. Oh yeh, reflected by cloud that is completely unresponsive to surface temperature – give me a break.”

That is simply not correct.

It is well known that Earth’s long-term average albedo (reflected solar radiation) is about 78% due to reflectance from atmospheric clouds and about 22% due to reflectance from Earth’s surface (land and water).

Sorry, no break given.

Tom Halla
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 5:18 am

This looks like a post from a Sky Dragon Slayer, who rejects any effect from GHGs, rather than accepting the current models are exaggerated.

leitmotif
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 8, 2022 6:13 am

That’s right, simply just dismiss someone with the Sky Dragon Slayer label as if that is evidence in itself.

Rejecting any effect from ghs might be because there is no effect from ghgs. Where is your evidence?

Lukewarmists are quick to fall on the BS back radiation hypothesis which only gives credibility to alarmists that they don’t deserve.

I suppose you also believe air molecules heat the planet surface by conduction too.

Dave Fair
Reply to  leitmotif
March 8, 2022 11:40 am

I see. In a comment on a paper released by the top physicists in the world, lietmotif asks “Where is your evidence?” And people wonder why I have no respect for the “no GHE” crowd.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 9, 2022 6:31 am

A lot of the problem is incorrect terminology. The “surface” describes a boundary between two different thermodynamic bodies, the soil/water of the earth (I call this the solid earth) versus the lower atmosphere.

The atmosphere being colder and having a very small mass compared to the solid earth can not raise the temperature of the solid earth. However, the atmosphere does act as an insulator warming at the boundary and slowing the NET heat flow from the surface.

Lastly, using averages with a phenomena that is cyclic and exponential (to the ^4) makes little to no sense mathematically.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 11:34 am

RickWill: “It demonstrates a lack of understanding of fundamental physics.”

Arrogant know-nothing crank pontificating to the world’s top physicists. Anybody listening to RickWill comes away dumber.

RickWill
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 8, 2022 1:12 pm

Well argued response Dave Fair.

The surface temperature of Earth is controlled by upper and lower limits of ocean surface temperature. The energy balance has nothing to do with “greenhouse gasses”.

If you had any understanding at all you would aim to debate the fact that there are no temperature control processes. However the evidence on that issues is clear every day of every year for millions of years:
comment image

What controls the massive proportion of solar EMR that is just waved away – more than 100W/sq.m is not thermalised.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 2:07 pm

I have given up trying to argue with one-trick cranks as it is unproductive.

RickWill
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 8, 2022 4:28 pm

Just like all the climate alarmists then. Does not bother to understand the temperature limiting processes and has no useful input.

Tell me that the ocean surface is not limited to 30C and explain why not. If you cannot do that then you are a lost cause from any further education.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 4:44 pm

Given the Earth’s current configuration and climate, the temperature of the open oceans seems limited to about 30 C, as is well known. So what? That is just one factoid among many concerning Earth’s climate.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 9, 2022 1:30 pm

Clearly the upper limit of the tropical oceans is kind of set, WE has shown that, what is not set is the height of the troposphere.
Most of us who have flown around the world can remember a plane flying around tropical storms through the equatorial regions because they are above the 40,000ft ceiling. Not so elsewhere.
If the world were to warm the ceiling will rise I believe. Can we see this?? Because the height defines the energy and flux to the poles of thermal energy. Additionally the higher the energy of the surface heating is deposited the more easily it re radiates back out there into space.
It would be helpful to have empirical evidence of a negative feedback to the GHG process which I frankly have little problem agreeing with.
Its all about materiality.

Bjarne Bisballe
March 7, 2022 11:10 pm

Has that paper been peer reviewed?

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
March 8, 2022 2:20 am

Why negative? – it’s a simple question

leitmotif
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
March 8, 2022 9:03 am

What negative?

They like it.

Brad
March 7, 2022 11:16 pm

I quit reading after this “ naturally-occurring greenhouse gases, H₂O, CO₂, O₃, N₂O and CH₄ control the cloud-free, thermal radiative fluxes from the Earth to outer space.”
“Cloud-free”???

RickWill
Reply to  Brad
March 7, 2022 11:38 pm

No clouds are totally irrelevant because they are assumed constant – that what climate models do. Clouds are unassociated with water “vapour” the most powerful “greenhouse gas”.

The authors are supposed to be physicist. They are beyond education. Just regurgitating this sad tripe about “greenhouse gasses”.

OweninGA
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 5:29 am

YOU HAVE TO START WITH THE SIMPLE AND MOVE ON!!!!

Now that the yelling is done. They have shown that the worst case – the cloud-free world – shows no need for alarm. The work can then be extended to cover the very messy and probably having no solutions in closed form cloud version.

There is this thing in math where if you can define a solvable function that is always above the function you want to solve, you have set an upper bound on the problem. If you can then find a converging function that is always below your function, then the mean value theorem gives you the solution. This concept is how you get at really sticky problems, but usually you have to settle for knowing the upper or lower bounds because you can’t find a converging set. You have still limited the solution set.

In this case they have provided an upper-bound solution. If taken on board by the alarmists, they (the alarmists) would have to admit that the “hair-on-fire” response is unwarranted.

The science you want is one that has no solution (or rather only one solution – the universe around us.) All we can do is approximate it to expand our understanding. While we have all seen great things done in the sciences, all of it is only due to approximations at the theoretical level. Only the universe can give the ultimate answer.

Reply to  OweninGA
March 8, 2022 6:36 pm

Amen!
Excellent comment OweninGA!

Thomas P
Reply to  Brad
March 8, 2022 11:59 am

The authors are amateurs in climate science and largely reproduce results from many decades ago, although using slightly better spectroscopic data. Thus no clouds or other “messy” details where you need specialized knowledge and more complex models.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Thomas P
March 9, 2022 8:42 am

“The authors are amateurs in climate science . . .”

Spoken as if you were better educated, better published, more widely recognized in the scientific field than either of them.

Thank you so much for the laugh-of-the-week.

RickWill
March 7, 2022 11:34 pm

This is the “fake” – just slip it in without justification:

The continuous blue curve is the yearly average of incoming short-wave solar flux (net visible, near infrared and ultraviolet) absorbed by the Earth. 

What this fake fails to point out is that the EMR that arrives at the top of the atmosphere ranges from 170W/sq.m at the North Pole, up to 417W/sq.m at the equator and down to 185W/sq.m at the South Pole.

More than 100W/sq.m just assumed out of existence – totally unresponsive to anything climate related. Just a constant amount reflected rather than thermalised.

So 100W/sq.m can be assumed away as being constant while they fiddle about with fractions of Watt/Sq.m.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  RickWill
March 8, 2022 5:08 am

That’s 600 watts (if 470 watts not 417 watts) less at both poles than the equator plus (2×170) = 940 watts. The tilt means 340 outgoing energy happens when no sunlight hits the earth above 67 degree latitude.

RickWill
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
March 8, 2022 1:18 pm

You cannot do basic maths. Their peak value of thermalised EMR is roughly 300W/sq.m at the equator looking at their chart. The actual EMR at top of atmosphere at the equator is 417W/sq.m. The difference is 100+W/sq.m.

The poles have the roughly the same distance with higher reflection from the South Pole than the North Pole on average.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  RickWill
March 9, 2022 9:54 am

You appear to be very confused.

Average annual solar radiation at Earth’s TOA is known to be about 1361 W/m^2 and it is intercepted over the Sun-facing hemisphere as a flat disk of area pi*R^2, where R is taken to be the radius to Earth TOA. However, the total surface area of Earth to TOA is approximated as a sphere and is calculated as 4*pi*R^2. Therefore, from just simple mathematics the daily average solar energy flux over Earth’s top of atmosphere surface is 1361/4 = 340 W/m^2.

This flux indeed varies by latitude, but it also varies by season which your precise values do not reflect. Beyond that, the major atmospheric circulation cells (Hadley cell, Ferrel cell and Polar cell) in each hemisphere with N-S angularity induced by Coriolis forces largely swamp out your referenced latitudinal variations in TOA solar energy fluxes, leaving relatively small average W/m^2 forcings at ground level to establish the average temperature differences between the equator and the poles.

If your statement More than 100W/sq.m just assumed out of existence – totally unresponsive to anything climate related” is meant to reflect your numbers of 170W/sq.m at the North Pole” (TOA) and “185W/sq.m at the South Pole” (TOA), you simply don’t understand what you are talking about.

The difference in TOA solar insolation between perihelion (Earth’s NH winter) and aphelion (Earth’s SH winter) is about 9% of 1361 W/m^2, or about 122 W/m^2, with the South Pole therefore getting the greater solar flux.

And, yes, the ellipticity of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, combined with its obliquity (spin axis tilt relative to the plane of the ecliptic), directly controls the seasonal climate on Earth since these parameters are relatively unchanging over timespans of at least 30 years. They are the primary reason that Earth has more, and longer lasting, ice in its SH than in its NH.

Nothing is being “assumed away” (other than by you, and in your own words) . . . it’s all explained with a basic knowledge of orbital mechanics and solar insolation as it varies with distance from the Sun.

March 7, 2022 11:35 pm

Seems to fit the work by myself and Philip Mulholland which proposes a Dynamic Atmospheric Energy Transport system which moves the mass of the atmosphere around to neutralise radiative imbalances from any cause.
Such movement is the inevitable mechanical consequence of temperature and density variations caused by such radiative imbalances.
The rate of meridional transport automatically varies to ensure that the surface temperature enhancement caused by the mass of the atmosphere being convected up and down within the gravity field is kept stable.
Otherwise the necessary hydrostatic equilibrium required to retain an atmosphere could not be maintained.

commieBob
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 8, 2022 1:42 am

The red dashed line in Figure 1 is net longwave out. Comparing that with the blue line, net shortwave in, gives an idea of just how effective the circulatory system is at moving heat poleward from the equator.

The planet’s average temperature would change a lot depending on how well heat is distributed over its surface. My back of the envelope calculations give an average temperature of 279K if heat is perfectly distributed and something like 160K where there is no heat distribution. So, as far as I can tell, good heat distribution decreases the apparent greenhouse effect a lot.

If the average surface temperature is 288K, and it would be 279K because of convection and rotation, then the required greenhouse effect would be only 9K. IIRC the usually given figure for the greenhouse effect is 33K. That’s a difference of 24K. Of course, the actual difference depends on how well heat is distributed but, as far as I can tell, the greenhouse effect is significantly overstated.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  commieBob
March 8, 2022 5:14 am

Heat is near perfectly distributed and yes average is 279K not 288K. Every latitude decreases 0.63C.Lower latitudes are lower and higher latitudes higher but average 0.63/latitude.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  commieBob
March 8, 2022 7:00 am

CommieBob, Well said!

commieBob
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 7:59 am

Thanks.

I have a further comment.

The conventional calculation for the planet’s effective radiation temperature can be found here. In that calculation they treat albedo as a magic reflector that has no other effect. They also treat the planet as a black body.

The big problem with albedo is that anything that gives rise to albedo also changes the emissivity of the planet.

Clouds reflect 20% of the total incoming solar radiation, so that’s 2/3 of the albedo. Clouds also prevent heat from radiating directly from the surface to outer space. As far as I can tell, that means they effectively lower the emissivity of the planet.

On the basis of the above, and as far as I can tell, the conventional calculation of the planet’s effective radiation temperature is defective, because it ignores the heat trapping properties of things that give rise to albedo. That means the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is over stated.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  commieBob
March 8, 2022 11:56 am

Need to be careful with the term “heat trapping properties”. There isn’t much in the system that “traps” heat. “Slows down loss” is probably more descriptive but it doesn’t tell the whole story either. As the temp of the atmosphere and the surface get warmer both radiate more, both during the day and at night. This entire radiative process of the system is a time dependent, damped system that isn’t properly analyzed as static flows like in a pipe transport system which is how it is typically explained.

commieBob
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 8, 2022 12:36 pm

Indeed.

It seems obvious to me that the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is over stated. I sure wouldn’t bet the farm on how much though. In that light, it’s probably best that I stick to somewhat ambiguous, non-technical language.

Nelson
Reply to  commieBob
March 8, 2022 3:21 pm

Commie, I suspect you know this, you don’t trap heat. I know people use this terminology but it’s wrong. Heat is a process. Photons that get absorbed by CO2 cause vibration s that lead to bouyancy in the atmosphere, this causes convective processes.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Nelson
March 9, 2022 10:23 am

Heat is a process.”

Although heat is frequently mentioned as being involved in a thermal energy exchange process, your definition is not scientifically correct.

Heat is the internal energy of molecules constituting a solid,liquid or gaseous body. It has the physical characteristic of flowing from a hot body to a cold body.

The S.I. unit of heat is the joule (J), which is convertible to English units of BTU, kilowatt-hours or calories, all units of energy, but not energy/sec.

Heat can flow away from a body, just as electrons can flow from away from a charged body . . . but the definitions of heat and charge and not established by such flow processes.

And you can indeed “trap” heat to a certain degree: vacuum insulated coffee cups do it all the time.

Dave Fair
Reply to  commieBob
March 8, 2022 11:55 am

Who are the people up-voting this obvious mathematical nonsense?

dalyplanet
March 7, 2022 11:41 pm

That was a very nice posting that answered some questions I had. Thank you very much

Willis Eschenbach(@weschenbach)
Editor
March 7, 2022 11:46 pm

This is supposed to be a highly accurate look at longwave and shortwave. I always start by seeing what I can replicate. I could kinda replicate the first figure, but there were some troubling differences.

comment image

Figure 1. Lower panel is the average of 21 years of CERES data, upper panel is from the paper

Hmmm … the rest of the paper may be accurate, but that doesn’t inspire confidence.

w.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 8, 2022 12:16 am

I am guessing that Figure 1 in their paper is not meant to be anything more than a schematic. The reference is to a website for school kids and furthermore the graph does not appear in the actual paper (written for experts). Instead look at their Fig. 22 which shows the actual calculations for specific locations and the agreement is very good. Especially considering that the authors assume that there are no clouds in the sky.

RickWill
Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 8, 2022 12:45 am

 Especially considering that the authors assume that there are no clouds in the sky.

The author’s do not assume there are no clouds. They assume the clouds are constant; completely unresponsive to surface conditions.

The solar EMR available at the top of the atmosphere ranges from averages of 170W/sq.m at the North Pole, up to 417W/sq.m at the equator and down to 185W/sq.m at the South Pole.

So 100W/sq.m assumed away and unresponsive to surface conditions.

Then they get into irrelevancies like “greenhouse gasses”.

Willis Eschenbach(@weschenbach)
Editor
Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 8, 2022 9:46 am

Thanks for the clarification, Izaak.

w.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 8, 2022 7:07 am

Willis, They appear to fit within the CERES accuracy, which, as I recall is +-2-4 W/m^2. Did you use the CERES clear sky EBAF data? W&H is a precise definition of the GHE under clear skies, they meant to show the importance of convection. I like their mathematical treatment because of its precision, the post doesn’t really convey their point very well unfortunately.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 9, 2022 7:53 am

Hmmmm…. Willis Eschenbach vs. Will Happer.

“William (Will) Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics and one of the pioneers in the field of optically polarized atoms, is transferring to emeritus status at the end of this academic year. Will is known for developing rigorous theories to analyze his elegant atomic physics experiments as well as for extensive service to Princeton and the U.S. government. His research has initiated several vibrant fields outside of atomic physics.” [ source ]

“He is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett[3] Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Princeton University,[2] and a long-term member of the JASON advisory group,[1] where he pioneered the development of adaptive optics.” [ source ]

The problem here is that the CO2 Coalition has failed to realize the nature of the forum here. This forum is for persons with an interest in Climate Science, mostly from a skeptical viewpoint. Only one or two readers here have the necessary background to understand even Happer’s dumbed-down version. I am not one of them, but I have attended lectures by Happer intended for science journalists and the general public — he is, all said, absolutely brilliant.

The comments here read like a kindergarten class discussion of Einstein’s special theory of special relativity.

Our job is to make the attempt to understand — not to whisper ignorant and silly nothings to one another.

Note: The Moderators here have been as kind as possible — overly so in my opinion — and as a result have let a pernicious troll, Rick Will, bury all sensible interaction here in his frivolous sophomoric nonsense.

HotScot
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 10, 2022 3:20 am

Thank you Kip, from a layman.

There is a simple concept here.

Less than 10% of the world have a scientific degree. Each of those scientist’s have a single Democratic vote (in democracies of course).

Squabbling amongst scientists is futil. If every scientist in the world were convinced AGW was not worth bothering about that would represent 10% of the Democratic vote.

Alarmists adopted propaganda many years ago which appeals to the other 90% because its simple to understand (97%) and can be twisted to mean anything they want it to mean.

Climate sceptics must get cuter about conveying their message that whilst global warming is a phenomenon, it’s transient, and highly unlikely to be caused by a single, atmospheric trace gas.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
Reply to  HotScot
March 10, 2022 7:09 am

HotScot ==> Yup — spot on.

James Watson
March 7, 2022 11:48 pm

Oops

Last edited 2 months ago by James Watson
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
March 8, 2022 12:26 am

Earth’s imbalance is – 0.08 watts per square meter.
March 5th 2022.

840.72 absorbed heat.
Earth receives 348.49 watts from the sun,
solar heating of 156.8 watts leaves earth
at 335.03 watts (-13.49 watts).

-840.72 335.03 emitted by earth,
156.88 + 349.49 outgoing solar heat.

The cooler the earth the less excess and lost heat the earth transfers.
As earth has internal heat which ceases to emit when long periods of dry snow cover persists,

Imbalance is insignificant if all of earth was measured proportionately. This isn’t the case and this where we are. Economy being destroyed by corrupt scientists.

March5th2022Earthtemperature.png
jimmww
March 8, 2022 1:04 am

It would perhaps be appropriate to focus for the moment on CO2 which is the bete noire of the pearl-clutchers.
  Historically, in 550 million years, there has never been a temperature reversal preceded by a CO2 change. The earth has spent half of the last 550 million years in the vicinity of 22C.
   There has never been a tipping point in the last 550 million years: not at the P-T extinction warming (to at least 28°C), nor, more surprisingly, at the “snowball earth” events when glaciers reached almost to the equator and albedo increased dramatically. And in the last 20,000 years, emergence from the LGM, descent into the Younger Dryas, rapid reversal to the Holocene Optimum, gradual cooling since then punctuated by the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and current Warmings, descent into and emergence from the LIA – all without any preceding CO2 change. We don’t say that CO2 can’t control climate, just that it hasn’t yet.
   In addition to history, there is theory. The exponential decline in the GHG effect of CO2 has been known since Arrhenius, and the numbers are now correct, with 50% of the GHG effect in the first 20ppm. The next doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%, in theory. There are eight other major forcings to consider.
   Some experimentation has been done: During the depression years 1929-1931, when human CO2 production declined 30%, CO2 continued its languid rise, with temperatures continuing to rise till 1941 when they began a slight decline to 1972, again with no change in CO2 rise despite WWII and post-war reconstruction. Thus the “Oncoming Ice Age!” scares in the early 70s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s).     More recently, Randall Cerveny expressed disappointment that “We had had some hopes that, with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel [and] the lack of industry might act as a little bit of a brake. But what we’re seeing is, frankly, it has not.”
   So there is no justification to propose that CO2 at this time, at these levels, is in control of climate change, nor any justification to assume that we are in charge of CO2.
Climate change is a given, not a problem.
CO2 mitigation is a problem, not a solution.

Scissor
Reply to  jimmww
March 8, 2022 5:26 am

Très bien, pardon my French.

TallDave
Reply to  jimmww
March 8, 2022 1:46 pm

Thus the “Oncoming Ice Age!” scares in the early 70s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s)

everyone forgets that those concerns are why we have satellite records starting in the 1970s

if ECS is less than 2 they’ll be back with a vengeance

and don’t worry, the IPCC will switch from warming alarmism to cooling alarmism without missing a beat

also rest assured the solution will still be, for some reason, to stop using fossil fuels or energy generally

just as it was in the 1970s scares

the lyrics change but never the tune

Last edited 2 months ago by TallDave
Peta of Newark
March 8, 2022 1:54 am

It;s the word ‘forcing’ that is all wrong here.

The atmosphere, the greenhouse gases within it, can only ‘force’ things/places/substances that are colder than they are.

Just like how & when you shoot down folks who claim that ‘the ocean is heating’ because of greenhouse gases.
The only thing that can force or heat the ocean is El Sol
Likewise the true surface (soil dirt plants houses roads etc) of the Earth – only El Sol can force those places because only Sol has a higher temperature

Atmosphere can give the surface an ‘energy credit’ but it can not give an ‘energy subsidy’
Cold Things do not ‘force’ Warmer Things – no matter how desperately and firmly you cling to the 1st Law.
It’s OK, don’t worry. The energy is still conserved.

It would certainly be worthwhile for GHGE protagonists to learn some Transmission Line Theory – about characteristic impedances and standing waves

Take an ‘energy power meter’ outside and point it upwards, you will see energy coming down.
If you point it downwards, you will see energy coming up.
But they are = The Same Energy

How. Why.
Remember at school and the girls with the big skipping rope? Big long rope and a girl sat each end swinging it.
Set yourself as the ‘skipper’ in the middle.
If you face one of the girls, you see the rope tracing out a rotating wave coming at you.
Wow you think; Big Energy Flow
Turn 180 degrees to face the other girl and again, you see Big Energy Wave coming towards you.

But the kicker is, no energy is flowing from one girl to the other.
That is The Atmosphere – upwelling radiation and downwelling radiation are The Same Thing

Folks who know about and are clever in the subject of ‘feedback‘ and ‘control theory‘ should also be familiar with transmission line theory – they would have been, after all, taught in adjacent classrooms in the same school

You do understand why light travels a the speed it does, don’t you?

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 8, 2022 7:18 am

Peta,
The solar radiation input between 40S and 40N exceeds the radiation out. This means large amounts of energy have to move from the tropics toward the poles so it can be radiated to space. This meridional transport (MT) and the equator-to-pole temperature gradient determines Earth’s global average temperature. GHGs have a role in the overall process, but all W&H are saying is that it is a very small role.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 12:06 pm

Who said that if you can’t explain something simply you don’t really understand it? You have explained the whole system simply. Congrats. You seem to understand the system pretty well. It’s an explanation of why average temps, average radiation, etc simply don’t convey the system properly. It’s a time dependent energy transport system built from all kinds of heat transport – conduction, convection, radiation, latent heat, laminar flow, etc.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 8, 2022 1:47 pm

Thanks Tim

Devils Tower
March 8, 2022 3:06 am

From the paper 8.0 summary

This is analysis of a radiative cloud free atmosphere…

Types of models

1. Radiative
2. Convective
3. Radiative/Convective
4. Radiative/Convective/Cumulus

From Goody, Yung 1961,89 figure 9-20

Since the 30s it has been know that 1-3 show show runaway warming.Simpson paradox.

Only 4 shows a reasonable result

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  Devils Tower
March 8, 2022 11:19 am

A cloud-free cumulus?

Devils Tower
Reply to  Curious George
March 8, 2022 12:42 pm

That is precisely the point.

Unless a full cumulus model is used, the results mean nothing.

The very first co2 4 watt forcing calculations came from a Radiative only model. Those who pushed that along with Venus (spin period of 240 some days) being an example runaway co2 warming should never be listened to again.

March 8, 2022 3:14 am

So, how much shortwave is returned to space versus longwave to earth by more CO2?
Right. The one cancels the other….

See here3 . (The result is reported in the first 3 rows of the K,L and M columns.) 

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  HenryP
March 8, 2022 8:02 am

As CO2 is 0.0420% of 1.19kg of air (8.73347E+21/20794E+25(kg)) solar heating 7.37E-21 EV/J/K = 206.29K (-63.85C).
207.05K of 344.4K (71.4C) =-65.94C+71.4C = 5.46C global average temperature.
Shortwave 0.76K
Longwave 206.29K

Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
March 8, 2022 9:05 am

Stephen,
and where does your data come from?

March 8, 2022 3:36 am

Greenhouse warming of Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is driven by radiative forcing,

Correction: Greenhouse warming of Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is driven by radiative forcing, convection overturning and advection.

To start a study of the Earth’s atmosphere with a radiative physical model based on stellar physics is bizarre. Just because the external input from, and output to space is radiation does not mean that the internal atmospheric processes are governed by radiation. Particularly when the atmosphere is a thin skin fluid undergoing mass motion in a gravity field and is unevenly heated by diurnal illumination and surface attitude variations.

We also show that the radiative equilibrium is controlled by a special atmospheric transfer function and requires the continuity of the temperature at the ground surface. The long standing misinterpretation of the classic semi-infinite Eddington solution has been resolved. Compared to the semi-infinite model the finite semi-transparent model predicts much smaller ground surface temperature and a larger surface air temperature. The new equation proves that the classic solution significantly overestimates the sensitivity of greenhouse forcing to optical depth perturbations.

Miskolczi, F. M. 2007 Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 8, 2022 7:26 am

Philip,
“internal atmospheric processes are governed by radiation”

W&H are not saying that, quite the opposite. They are saying the GHE is governed by radiation. The GHE plays a very small role in atmospheric processes. That is their main point.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 1:44 pm

“internal atmospheric processes are governed by radiation”

Andy,
You misquote me by truncation, here is what I actually wrote:

does not mean that the internal atmospheric processes are governed by radiation

So your comment

W&H are not saying that, quite the opposite.

Opposite of which?
My original statement including the not or the truncated version without the not?

You then say :

They are saying the GHE is governed by radiation.

Which we dispute, our adiabatic DAET model clearly shows how energy partition at the illuminated ground surface biases the meteorological process of convection in favour of energy storage within the atmospheric fluid. This process of energy partition by convective mass motion in the presence of a gravity field is independent of atmospheric opacity.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 8, 2022 4:45 pm

The issue is very simple. Radiative processes are by their very nature diabatic; they are equipartition distributions of energy. The assumption is made that opacity causes the observed temperature difference between the surface boundary locus of energy collection and the TOA boundary locus of energy loss.
The problem is that the meteorological event of mass motion convection at the base of the atmosphere is an adiabatic process and so it is not an equipartition energy distribution process at the illuminated surface boundary.
Energy capture by the mobile atmosphere generates the adiabatic thermal gradient.
It is not the atmospheric radiative opacity it is instead the physical separation of the two radiative boundaries in the presence of a gravity field that determines the magnitude of the “Greenhouse Effect”.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 8, 2022 11:50 pm

The convection that occurs when a fluid that is gravitationally bound to the surface of a terrestrial planet is heated at its base is independent of radiant opacity.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 9, 2022 12:41 am

There is no Greenhouse Gas Effect in the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Mars, yet convection readily occurs in the Martian atmosphere, notably so during planetary dust storms.
During a dust veil event the thermal radiation emission to space from Mars cannot be taking place from the shrouded solid surface, it can only happen from the suspended dust particles at the TOA.
It is the presence of suspended solid particles that form the primary mechanism by which a terrestrial atmosphere sheds thermal radiant energy to space. Typically these particles are formed from a frozen condensed atmospheric volatile. These are:

  1. Concentrated sulphuric acid for Venus.
  2. Water ice for Earth.
  3. Dry ice, water ice and also silicate dust for Mars.
  4. Frozen Methane and Tholins for Titan.
RLH(@richardlinsleyhood)
March 8, 2022 3:38 am
March 8, 2022 4:44 am

Just to translate the core findings there. With a lambda of 0.3 you would get..

Top of the atmosphere:
3W/m2 2CO2 forcing
0.7W/m2 WV feedback
0.3*3 / (1 – 0.7*0.3) = 1.14K ECS

Top of the troposphere:
5.5W/m2 2CO2 forcing
0.9W/m2 WV feedback
0.3*5.5 / (1 – 0.9*0.3) = 2.26K ECS

Now that is excluding a couple of factors. First of all the top of the troposphere approach is most definitely illicit. Then these figures exclude further feedbacks (surface albedo, cloud fb..), which might enhance ECS, but can be approached as a modular issue.

More importantly however, it does not allow for
a) clouds and overlaps with them (both sharply reduce forcings/feedbacks)
b) lapse rate feedback, which is negative (reducing ECS by ~30%)
c) surface emissivity, which neither the paper nor hitran accurately accounts for
d) assuming a linear 6% increment of VW is way too simple, as it should increase more strongly (>10%) in the upper troposphere

Going full berserk, including all these factors, using an accurate lambda of 0.27, adding 30% of negative lapse rate feedback, you would roughly get..
2W/m2 2CO2 forcing
0.65W/m2 WV feedback
0.27*2 / (1 – 0.65*0.27) * (1 – 0.3)= 0.46K ECS

https://greenhousedefect.com/the-holy-grail-of-ecs/a-total-synthesis-the-ecs-estimate

Tom
March 8, 2022 4:49 am

It appears that this is a “What would the temperature be if we didn’t have clouds” paper. It’s about as useful as a “What would the temperature be if we didn’t have water” paper. The problem here is that it’s cloudy, and the temperature is about 20 F below normal. Brrr.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom
March 8, 2022 10:29 am

No. It’s a “change in surface temperature due to CO2 doubling is estimated taking into account radiative-convective equilibrium of the atmosphere as well as water feedback for the cases of fixed absolute and relative humidities as well as the effect of using a pseudoadiabatic lapse rate to model the troposphere temperature” paper. They show it’s no big deal under the simplest case of ‘clear skies’, which means it’s even less of a problem in the real world with clouds.

The PTB and their MSM allies might not know it yet, but this is the kind of paper that can relegate the junk science of climate alarmism to the ash heap of history, assuming, of course, that we can somehow survive the machinations of the current maladministration and its puppet masters.

Tom.1
March 8, 2022 5:07 am

Apparently, there is a greenhouse effect. I found this statement in the paper:

In the troposphere, convective transport of sensible heat and the latent heat of water vapor, especially near the equator, is as important as radiant heat transfer.

I have been wondering about the relative importance of radiation and convective heat transfer, especially from the earth’s surface to the air above it. This did not quite answer that question, so I’m wondering if anyone here knows the relative contributions of convection, conduction, and radiation from the surface of the earth to the air immediately above it, for both land and ocean.

Tom.1
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 5:25 am

Reading further into their report:

In the troposphere, most of the heat comes from convection of air from the solar-heated surface. Warm air parcels carry heat to higher altitudes, where the p dV work 34 of volume increase dV in the ambient air pressure p adiabatically cools the parcel at the expense of internal energy of the molecules. Thermal radiation removes a relatively small amount of heat and provides diabatic cooling. The relatively large amount of latent heat released when water molecules condense into cloud particulates slows the cooling of rising parcels. As shown in Fig. 1 there is massive meridional transport of heat from equatorial latitudes, where the yearly-averaged solar heating is maximum, to the the poles, where there is much less solar heating. Mass transport of heat is comparable to radiative transport in Earth’s atmosphere. As one can see in Fig.1, near the equator the annual mean absorbed solar power is nearly 320 W m−2 , but the thermal radiation to space is only 250 W m−2 . So some 70 W m−2 of heat must be carried by atmospheric and oceanic circulation toward the both poles. Similarly, near the north pole, the mean solar power is only around 70 W m−2 , while the mean thermal radiation to space is around 185 W m−2 . Zonal details of heat transport are also important, with radiation dominating in the largely cloud-free Sahara and Arabian deserts, and with substantial reflection of sunlight in marine stratocumulus regions off of Peru and Namibia [2].

RickWill
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 1:26 pm

All completely dismisses the 100+W/sq.m of the solar EMR that is not thermalised. This portion is highly responsive to surface temperature. Once ocean surface reaches 32C it goes dark in the day time. The energy balance occurs at SST of 30C and it is regulated by cloud formation as a result of cyclic convective instability, which is a small scale effect that occurs across the majority of tropical oceans.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 7:29 am

Tom,
In round numbers 2/3 is atmospheric transport and 1/3 ocean currents. But, ocean currents are dominant between 30S and 30N.

Tom.1
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:17 am

Thanks, but I’m still unclear about the relative amounts of heat moved from land to air and from sea surface to air. The land is heated by incoming solar. This heat can get to the air either by conduction, radiation, or water evaporation. I’m curious to know the relative amounts. If the soil is dry, then it would all have to be the other two, and I assume that conduction is the lesser. Obviously would depend on other things, such as wind speed.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 8:52 am

Good question, but I don’t know where to get those details, other than analyzing the CERES data. Most ocean energy transport is in the tropics and on the western edge of the major ocean basins in the tropics. Outside the tropics major wind currents transport the energy. Deserts and the poles are major emittors of energy to space, especially the North Pole.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 12:13 pm

Don’t forget evapotranspiration from plants. As the surface of the earth “greens” up evapotranspiration will have an increased cooling effect on the air.

RickWill
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 1:45 pm

but I’m still unclear about the relative amounts of heat moved from land to air and from sea surface to air.

Globally, land masses or specifically the atmosphere above, including sea ice, are net absorbers of radiant energy. Latent heat collected in oceans is constantly being released over land as evidenced by net precipitation and river runoff.

The annual transfer of water from oceans, deposited on land as water or snow, totals some 55,000,000,000,000 tonnes over a year. In December alone, 11,000Gt of water is lifted from oceans through latent heat uptake and then deposited on land. More than the entire atmospheric water column is deposited on land just December.

Very dry regions like the Sahara and Central Australia are most often divergent zones so excess heat collected in those regions is transferred by air flow to the atmosphere over surrounding land and oceans.

Due to the distribution of water on the surface, December and January are always the months of highest rainfall globally. That is when the oceans net heat input is maximum and the land masses are coolest so convergence of moist air to land is at its annual maximum. That remains the case even when perihelion occurs at the boreal summer solstice.

The amount of water that gets lifted from the oceans each years is calculated to be 522,000GT, about 10 times the amount that ends up on land. Most of the water is returned to the oceans.

Last edited 2 months ago by RickWill
JCM
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 9:54 am

Surface energy budget components are still unknown to better than 10-20% over land. Ocean is worse. Generally net flux from surface to air is dominated by turbulent sensible diffusion and latent heat flux. Radiation/satellite people won’t know what you’re talking about. They measure (model) w/m-2 net flux and they figure it’s all radiation. When, in fact it’s mostly all not radiation at the surface, if you will.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10546-020-00541-w
https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.363.3967&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Cabauw.png
Last edited 2 months ago by JCM
JCM
Reply to  JCM
March 8, 2022 10:30 am

The surface energy budget “problem” is well known to boundary layer observers. The unknown is the variable depth of the turbulent mixing layer. Anyone claiming to find or know a few watts net ‘LW radiative forcing’ is foolin themselves.

RickWill
Reply to  JCM
March 8, 2022 1:52 pm

Anyone claiming to find or know a few watts net ‘LW radiative forcing’ is foolin themselves.

Yep – how many fairies can dance on a pin head.

Totally irrelevant to Earth’s energy balance.

The energy balance is regulated by two temperature limiting processes. Ocean water cannot get cooler than -1.8C. It forms a Laye of insulating ice that limits heat loss.

Open ocean surfaces cannot get warmer than 32C and regulate to a maximum of 30C over an annual cycle. The surface goes dark day and night once the temperature reaches 32C.

Earth has two sets of shutters. Tropical clouds regulate heat input to set the upper limit and sea ice regulates heat output to set the lower limit.

Tom.1
Reply to  JCM
March 8, 2022 11:51 am

Thanks for the link. Almost more than I wanted to know:-).

JCM
Reply to  Tom.1
March 9, 2022 12:24 pm

It drives people here nuts if you talk about energy transfer using nonradiative terms, so best of luck to you. They haven’t understood the LW terms are a consequence of heat flux.

mkelly
March 8, 2022 5:50 am

Post says:”Greenhouse molecules emit radiation at a temperature-dependent rate, whether they are absorbing radiation or not.”

This seems to be a direct contradiction of what my heat transfer book says.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  mkelly
March 8, 2022 7:34 am

mkelly,
No contradiction. All matter radiates according to its temperature. But, when a GHG absorbs radiation from the surface, it becomes excited and has more collisions with surrounding molecules, the number of collisions determines the local gas temperature. As temperature goes up, the amount those molecules emit increases, also the frequency changes a bit.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
mkelly
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:58 am

So if a volume of air is at 20 C all the molecules within it will radiation at the same frequency

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  mkelly
March 8, 2022 11:23 am

mkelly,
In a word no, unless it is a perfect blackbody, which doesn’t exist. This is from wikipedia, it is correct as far as I can tell: “The characteristics of thermal radiation depend on various properties of the surface from which it is emanating, including its temperature, its spectral emissivity, as expressed by Kirchhoff’s law.[3] The radiation is not monochromatic, i.e., it does not consist of only a single frequency, but comprises a continuous spectrum of photon energies, its characteristic spectrum. If the radiating body and its surface are in thermodynamic equilibrium and the surface has perfect absorptivity at all wavelengths, it is characterized as a black body. A black body is also a perfect emitter. The radiation of such perfect emitters is called black-body radiation. The ratio of any body’s emission relative to that of a black body is the body’s emissivity, so that a black body has an emissivity of unity (i.e., one).”

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Andy May
March 9, 2022 8:15 am

The part that is missing is that under Kirchoff’s law absorptivity is equal to its emissivity. They are both controlled by temperature. As you take slices of atmosphere, the temperature decreases which means less radiation can be emitted. It also means that to conserve energy, it can only absorb what is emitted. That is, it can absorb less than what the slice below radiated.

I envision like a wave on a beach. Less and less water moves up the beach the further it goes.

OweninGA
Reply to  mkelly
March 8, 2022 1:44 pm

Actually there is a Boltzmann distribution on the temperature frequencies because there is a Boltzmann distribution on the velocities or energies of the individual molecules. Temperature isn’t really a real property. It is a representation of the average kinetic energy of the particles within a system. The specific kinetic energies are in a distribution about that average that looks similar to the normal curve but differs in the way the tails are configured. It was mathematically described by Boltzmann. Each particle in the ensemble emits a frequency based on its kinetic energy, so there is a spread of frequencies related to this spread of energies, that once again follow the Boltzmann curve.

With molecules there is also radiation based on the other degrees of freedom, each of which has a discrete energy quantization levels which is expressed on the absorption/emission lines for that molecule. These are the bond length, bond wiggle and bond twist. Each of these can give up energy and absorb energy in discrete bundles. The confusion comes when it is observed that these too have a Boltzmann distribution with a width related to the temperature of the gas. This is caused by Doppler broadening.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  OweninGA
March 8, 2022 1:54 pm

OweninGa, Thanks, well written and accurate.

Pat Smith
March 8, 2022 6:28 am

The recent paper from David Coe et al, Aug 23, 2021 posted on WUWT in the last few weeks gives different results from this paper; it produces an ECS of 0.5degC. I asked him how his calculations differed from W&H as they start from the same HITRAN database – he did not know as he does not understand the W&H maths. Can anyone explain this?

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Pat Smith
March 8, 2022 7:37 am

Pat, I’ve not seen Coe’s paper, but W&H provide a number that does not include feedbacks and it only applies to cloud free skies. 66% of Earth is covered in clouds. Both numbers might be correct.

kzb
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:24 am

Coe’s paper is for cloud-free skies also. He finds that H2O feedback is small, since H2O already is responsible for the majority of IR absorption and is already almost saturated. Simply multiply the CO2 increase by 1.16 from memory.

Where do W&H give us a number for the ECS ?

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  kzb
March 8, 2022 9:10 am

kzb, They don’t calculate an ECS, as far as I remember. ECS is an artificial model construct and cannot be observed or calculated in the real world. It can only be computed in models. It envisions a doubling of CO2 instantly and then everything stays the same for hundreds of years while the ocean equilibrate with the atmospheric changes caused by the CO2. They do calculate the change in temperature under clear skies though, they get ~1K.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
David Coe
Reply to  kzb
March 9, 2022 3:32 am

Coe’s paper does not attempt to predict the impact of clouds. It simply calculates what the radiated emissions are for the current earth climate, including cloud cover and relating that to the spectral absorption characteristics of the GHGs using the Hitran database. Attempting to understand the complexities of atmospheric thermodynamics is a fools errand. There are countless interacting variables to consider. The only variable that actually matters, the one that is fingered as the “climate control knob”, is CO2. Always remember that the “climate crisis” is not about science. It is politics, pure and simple.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  David Coe
March 9, 2022 6:43 am

Attempting to understand the complexities of atmospheric thermodynamics is a fools errand

No one understands thermodynamics-full stop.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 10:30 am

Bingo!

kzb
March 8, 2022 7:09 am

In the previous version of this paper, they found a climate sensitivity of 2.2K, in line with the IPCC range of 2-4 degrees.

This seems to have been dropped in this version. Table 6 gives us some temperature increases for different regions with 1.3K average. But I am not clear if this is their claim for an ECS, or something else.

Calculating the ECS from physics seems to be an immensely complex task, which is why the IPCC models decline to do so. The other week we had the paper calculating an ECS of 0.5 degrees using HITRAN.

There does seem to be a discrepancy between methods based on physics and the IPCC models, with the physics methods systematically finding lower values than the IPCC.

The real gold is in finding out why, that might reveal a lot of truths.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  kzb
March 9, 2022 7:28 am

kzb, Tables 5&6 are as close to ECS as W&H can get, since they are being very rigorous. ECS is kind of a nonsense number anyway, with little real meaning. The numbers in W&H are for clear skies and vary with location, globally, the change is probably about 1K. Mostly, what ECS and TCR are depends on how cloudiness changes.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
March 8, 2022 7:56 am

Many of the comments here appear to misunderstand what W&H have written. Their post (see above) is not written very well, so this is understandable (sorry Will and William).

Let me explain. W&H do an excellent job of precisely explaining the clear sky GHE. GHE only matters under clear skies, because once clouds come in, they dominate and clouds are very complicated, they can be warming or cooling depending upon altitude, latitude, time of day, and type.

More solar energy is absorbed between 40S and 40N than emitted. This and Earth’s rotation set up meridional transport of energy from the tropics to the poles. Polar temperatures and the efficiency and speed of this meridional transport of thermal energy control the average Earth surface temperature and most climate change in general at most time scales.

The details of all this are very, very complicated. It involves patterns of atmospheric and ocean circulation, etc. But, this is the gist of what I think W&H are saying. Their paper is not meant to explain climate or climate change, only to show how the GHE works and how it is not very important to climate or climate change.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Archer
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:13 am

It does seem a lot of the comments had skimmed the paper and not really paid attention to the conclusions.

Reply to  Archer
March 8, 2022 7:30 pm

It does seem a lot of the comments had skimmed the paper and not really paid attention to the conclusions.”

A number of the more raucous commenters freely state they read a portion and decided the paper was wrong or that they stopped reading when they hit a sentence with which they disagreed.

To the point that there appears to be a willful determination to diminish the authors and to confuse visitors to this site.

kzb
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:16 am

According to the abstract, the paper sets out to calculate the “forcings” of the various GHGs. Meridional transport is not mentioned in the abstract.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  kzb
March 8, 2022 9:20 am

kzb,
They allude to meridional transport in the paper and mention it in the post. Neither really explain what they are saying very well. That was why I wrote the comment above. I’ve been in communication with them. Also I wrote a lot about W&H in my latest book, I refer you to that for more details.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Bill Rocks
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 8:52 am

Agree strongly.

RickWill
Reply to  Andy May
March 8, 2022 2:09 pm

Many of the comments here appear to misunderstand what W&H have written. 

As soon as someone brings “greenhouse gasses” into a story on Earth’s energy balance they are in the wrong place. They are deviod of actually understanding what is going on.

The energy balance is controlled by two temperature limiting processes. End of story on the energy balance. The resulting average temperature is then a function of how that excess heat collected in the oceans is distributed to atmosphere over land and sea ice.

Open oceans have hard temperature limits, they cannot possibly exceed 32C because it becomes dark day and night. They regulate to an upper SST limit of 30C.

Open oceans can never be cooler than -1.8C because sea ice forms and that limits heat loss.

These energy regulating process are dominated by the transition of water from liquid or gas to solid. And then just the conductive and radiative properties of that ice. “Greenhouse gases” and their radiative response are inconsequential to climate and weather.

Earth has the climate it experiences by virtue of the distribution of surface water and the phase transitions of water on the oceans and in the atmosphere and the way the water responds to solar input.

Reply to  Andy May
March 9, 2022 2:26 am

Many of the comments here appear to misunderstand what W&H have written.

Andy,
The history of Geoscience is bedeviled by physicists creating models that are based on false assumptions (e.g. Lord Kelvin and the age of the Earth). The false assumption at the heart of climate science is the reduction in the power of surface insolation by temporal averaging that creates the false model whereby the total surface area of the planet is instantaneously illuminated.
In climate science there is no night or winter and everything goes downhill from this point. Radiative models try to correct for the egregious error of the removal of diurnal heating by either claiming the existence of atmospheric back-radiation as a source of heat, or when that is challenged switch to a reduced cooling “thermal blanket” explanation. All of this in the context of a mobile fluid that cannot support shear wave induced thermal radiative emission due to flexure, which is the fundamental property of particulate solids as any competent physicist would know.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 9, 2022 8:32 am

I do think WH is worthwhile in establishing a limit of what can happen with radiation. However, the assumptions used simply can not be used to come close to what is actually occuring. For a long time I have been arguing that the radiation models using simple averages do not come close to deriving anything. I hope the physics in the models are much more involved. Radiation has a T^4 exponential factor and you simply can’t do an arithmetic average without losing a lot of pertinent information. Not only is temporal info (sin) lost, but the trig function of how much radiation reaches each point on the globe is gone.

Bill Rocks
March 8, 2022 8:50 am

I do not understand the forceful back and forth arguments above.

The H&W study is very detailed, first of its kind? sensitivity study, quantitatively isolating the radiative gas process. They show that it matches the TOA data. They do not disclaim convective transport of energy. Has anyone shown an error in their work? Has anyone done it better?

H&W says nothing about other processes such as the ocean temperature control hypothesis of RickWill. I can understand the validity of both contributing to the total activity of the atmosphere and energy flow.

In my experience, this is often how science is done, isolate a process and see if it “holds water”. It is called a sensitivity analysis. This is far different and should be much more meaningful than the IPCC climate models which mix a bowl of “parameters”, guesses, biases and gridded calculations in such a way that you can extract any answer you want to have.

Did I miss something?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Bill Rocks
March 8, 2022 10:38 am

“Did I miss something?”

No you haven’t. It’s just that there are some here who take offense at any mention that radiative heat transfer has anything to do with earth.

Andy May(@andymay2014)
Editor
Reply to  Bill Rocks
March 8, 2022 2:03 pm

Bill, you have it right. I don’t think there are any errors in W&H. I spent days with it and made a bunch of spreadsheets duplicating their work, I even ask Will Happer for his detailed line-by-line calculations. It is a very solid piece of work.

RickWill
Reply to  Bill Rocks
March 8, 2022 2:20 pm

Did I miss something?

Yes – Mentioning “greenhouse gasses” in the context of Earth’s energy balance is unphysical claptrap.

The energy balance is the result of two temperature limiting processes. Upper limit of 32C but regulated to annual average of 30C and lower limit of -1.8C.

Once the concept of “greenhouse gases” comes into the picture, the absurdity of open oceans exceeding 30C becomes a possibility. So the paper is bringing up unphysical nonsense.

All climate models have parts of open oceans eventually exceeding 30C. That cannot happen on Earth in the present era; all climate models are wrong because they are based on the fairy tale of “greenhouse gasses”.

Some 522,000Gt of water is cycled through the atmosphere on an annual basis. The average residence time is 8 days. And then we are lead to believe that a slight variation in the average of this most powerful “greenhouse gas” is going to cause runaway Global Warming – what utter tripe.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
Reply to  Bill Rocks
March 9, 2022 8:08 am

Billl Rocks ==> Good Heavens! A grown-up here? Welcome.

Journal papers such as W&H have to be written about one somethingand you are absolutely right.

Rick Will is trolling here — pushing his eccentric and personal hobby-horse ill-based opinion about what causes earth climate — a lot of silliness follows as individuals discuss that instead of W&H — which is written in physics journal-ese and far over-the-heads of most reading here. Even Willis seems to think that he can dismiss one of the world’s greatest living physicists with a single dashed-off graphic.

Tom.1
March 8, 2022 9:01 am

One of the things we can learn from observing the climate alarmist camp is that it is possible to think you completely understand something when in reality you don’t know the first thing about it.

W H Smith
March 8, 2022 9:29 am

Many of the negative comments here remind me of four blind-folded persons describing their version of an elephant. The description depends upon where they grabbed the elephant.
Coupled global climate models use line-by-line calculations for molecular spectra as does the van Wijngaarden-Happer paper. Coupled global climate models parameterize clouds and their effects to approximate their effects. This is a gross approximation, and even then requires massive super-computers to carry out the analysis, resulting in models which are totally opaque, but toe the CW narrative closely. That is not a surprise since those models are exceedingly expensive to computer, a $million a pop.
The van Wijngaarden-Happer paper fixes clouds to illustrate specific aspects of the greenhouse, specifically the small forcing changes under line saturated conditions. This is nicely done and hardly a surprise.
In fact, a group of noted climate modelers, Hansen et al. PNAS, 97, 9875 (2000) noted specifically that CFCs alone, ignoring CO2, account for the temperature anomaly since 1960 – the time period in which human activities might affect climate. Subsequently, an Int. J. Modern Physics B, 27 2013 paper showed that the recently confirmed temperature hiatus was also accounted for by the effects of CFC declines, again if CO2 is simply ignored. Apparently, the CO2 GHE anomaly is quite small, according to these authorities, just as the vW-H paper illustrates in a straightforward calculation, NOT however requiring a supercomputer.
The major coupled global models purport to compute temperature anomalies, precipitation rates, etc. for the coming 100 years in the future, FORCED primarily by CO2 increases. This is the justification for ‘decarbonization’ of the globe. These computations exist in the hundreds.
However, EMICs are unable to back-predict the known temperature anomaly over the past 20,000 years (www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1407229111). The model continuously heats up. The data do not. The obvious conclusion to the authors is that the data must be incorrect, however, there are a number of independent data sets showing the cooling since about 8000 years before present. The models and how they “assign” a climate sensitivity to CO2 are the problem. Vw-H nicely illustrate why the sensitivity is lower than the models assume.

RickWill
Reply to  W H Smith
March 8, 2022 2:32 pm

Once you get down to debating line spectra with regard energy balance. you have lost the plot and accept the nonsense that some mystic “greenhouse effect” is controlling the energy balance.

Cyclic convective cloud formation over tropical oceans regulate the heat input to limit ocean surfaces to annual average of 30C with very slight sensitivity to surface pressure and absolutely no relation to line spectra of atmospheric gasses. Cloud ice dominates the OLR release over tropical oceans and it is broad spectrum. The unthermalised SW is reflected by the same cloud ice.

The heat release is regulated at the lower limit by the formation of sea ice at -1.8C.

Prove me wrong! Dispute the evidence that oceans SST is limited to annual maximum of 30C.

Reply to  W H Smith
March 8, 2022 7:47 pm

Excellent summation of the issues.

In particular:

Many of the negative comments here remind me of four blind-folded persons describing their version of an elephant.”

Where some of the blind commenters grabbed the elephant’s butt and go wild at all descriptions that are not butt centric.

March 8, 2022 9:58 am

[[This paper has been written for readers with a strong background in quantitative sciences, who know little about radiation transfer in Earth’s atmosphere. So we include material that is common knowledge to a small number of experts, but little known to the larger scientific community.]]

Whew! Get me some 2x strength Febreze spray!

The lie that never dies rears its ugly head again, this time spread by professional physicists who should have known better and led the fight against it for years.

CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” aren’t real. They’re a fake physics hoax pushed by the global Marxist politician-run U.N. IPCC as part of their long war to destroy capitalism and economic growth and burn down the West so they can build their Marxist utopia on its ashes. It was never about science, but about hijacking science for political gain. Less than a week ago WUWT republished a great article by Lord Monckton exposing the global Communist conspiracy to spread it. Did anybody read it?

It’s sick that so many physicists are so weak at the basics of thermal physics that they had a cakewalk with the older ones who could have stopped them like these two, and after taking over academia, no problem miseducating youngsters who have to learn their catechism to advance academically, like an established Church propagating the geocentric theory from generation to generation.

What a bait and switch that the authors fell for. It’s not about “radiation transfer in Earth’s atmosphere”, it’s about Nature’s ironclad Second Law of Thermodynamics AKA Entropy, which makes it impossible for any gas in Earth’s atmosphere to reheat Earth’s surface with its own heat, which came only from solar radiation.

To say that atmospheric CO2, H2O, or CH4 cause global surface temperatures to rise even one iota is like saying that some woman is a little pregnant. Nature is being mocked by Marxists using science as a mask, and the rest is moose hockey.

I’ve spent years broadcasting from my miserable soapbox on the Web how easy it is to disprove the IPCC’s greenhouse gas warming hoax, but since I spent most of my life studying thermal physics I can’t be sure what’s obvious to others and what isn’t. I already listed the url with my killer bullet disproof here on WUWT in the comments section and got little response. It’s sad that WUWT doesn’t wake up and recognize my article and make it a feature article with a prominent link to it on every page permanently, and help me find a billionaire who can make a copy available to every person in the fossil fuel-using West to stop all the IPCC’s insidious plans to ruin our future before they do real damage.

Since WUWT readers know more thermal physics than most, here’s my most simple concentrated disproof of “greenhouse gas warming”:

  1. The Earth is an almost perfect Planck black body, meaning that it absorbs and emits radiation at all wavelengths, with the absorbed radiation raising its temperature depending on heat capacity, and the emitted radiation having a displaced peak at a far lower temperature than the Sun’s, with a shape constrained by the Second Law of Thermodynamics to maximize entropy dispersion while cooling it back down. The thermal energy lost to entropy dispersion is also called exergy, which a Google search is mentioned in one 5-year-old WUWT article: Exergy and Power Plants – Watts Up With That?
  2. Let’s say the Earth’s atmosphere were the most perfect concentrated thick greenhouse gas imaginable, absorbing and reemitting 100% of Earth surface energy perfectly back to the surface. Guess what?
  3. The temperature achieved via solar radiation couldn’t be raised ONE IOTA, because the emitted surface energy is way less than the original solar energy. In short, no atmosphere can turn the Earth into a perpetual motion machine that can even keep the surface as warm as the Sun made it. Rather, if the Sun went dead it would inevitably cool down to outer space temperature, leaving the Earth another cold rock in space.
  4. So why even waste one iota of your time on greenhouse gas climate physics? It’s as much junk as flat Earth astronomy.

We’re all adults here, so why keep this killer knowledge as an in-joke? We need to find a deep pockets billionaire who will peel off a billion or two to educate the masses regardless of all efforts of the U.N.-Big Teach, er, Big Tech cabal to prevent it. Then hopefully the masses will throw off their yokes and laugh at the emperor’s new clothes and force them to disband and give the money back. Too bad that billionaire Bill Gates dropped out of college before he could even get to senior level courses on physics or else he could have done all this work for me and I could have used the time to solve other big world class problems.

ACTION NEEDED!

Here’s my free Web article explaining my killer disproof of the IPCC global warming hoax. Permission is hereby granted for republication as long as it’s kept whole and intact including my copyright notice. I’m an amateur by choice, not supported by Big Oil, but I can’t be bought and am only worried about my reputation and would welcome a free will donation of a few million with no strings attached so that I can move permanently to Hawaii in my old age. Sorry, less than that would be a nuisance, so don’t try chipping me dimes.

Why Are Greenhouse Gas Theories Dead Wrong?, by T.L. Winslow (TLW), “The Historyscoper”™

I notice that WUWT doesn’t even list my cool blog linking to all the articles on climate pro and con that I read every day, including here, yes, including mine. Subscribe to the free daily email.

The Antarctic Volcanoes Project Blog

Tom.1
Reply to  TL Winslow
March 8, 2022 10:58 am

You wrote this:

When it comes to claims that the atmosphere does anything to heat Earth’s surface, the Second Law blocks their CO2-driven AGW hoax outright, because the Earth’s surface is always warmer than the air above it that carries away its heat, and no colder body include air masses can raise the temperature of a hotter body by any means, whether conduction/convection, evaporation, or radiation.

No colder body can rise to the temperature of a hotter body? Really?

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 12:16 pm

Tom.1,
Per your quote of TL Winslow, he wrote, “no colder body… can RAISE the temperature of a hotter body”. That is very different than what you thought he wrote: “no colder body can RISE TO the temperature of a hotter body”.

Tom.1
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
March 8, 2022 2:23 pm

Quite right. Apologies to Mr. Winslow.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
March 8, 2022 12:26 pm

Net flow *has* to be from hotter to colder. Therefore no colder body can raise the temperature of a hotter one. The hotter body will always give up energy to the colder one and therefore cool.

OweninGA
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 8, 2022 2:18 pm

What???! You mean Maxwells Demon isn’t real. Just can’t trust anyone these days.

(/sarc)

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  TL Winslow
March 8, 2022 11:29 am

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is not about “entropy dispersion”.

TallDave
March 8, 2022 11:23 am

or current atmospheric concentrations, the per-molecule forcings of the abundant greenhouse gases H₂O and CO₂ are suppressed by four orders of magnitude from optically-thin values because of saturation of the strong absorption bands and interference from other greenhouse gases…Doubling the current concentrations of CO₂, N₂O or CH₄ only increases the forcings by a few per cent.

this seems to imply low ECS, as did the recent CERES interpretation that found shortwave budget changes due to cloud cover dominated temperature trends since 2000

between CERES and UAH the satellites are slowly grinding away at the consensus

Dr. JImmy Vigo
March 8, 2022 11:37 am

My immediate thoughts on this:
WOW 😮 HARD TO UNDERSTAND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE 🧪 

I found this profound article today. I got time to keep an eye 👁 on the climate change issue, I’m on the side of scientists begging for a double check of the fundaments of the issue, the foundation which they are standing on to feel free to make all of their doomsday predictions, and deadlines of actions and onset of permanent destruction. We want them to re-study the case of CO2 from the physics/chemistry scientific point of view of data, formulations and calculations to prove that it is true that CO2 can cause what they say it causes. Me as a chemist, don’t see it. 

If I had a chance to teach a class on environmental chemistry at university, I would be covering issues of climate change and the issues of physics and chemistry. Because the science of gases is based on quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. At the level of university, where professors, doctors in sciences, are doing research, they take students to run different projects and do the job. This is how you get a master’s and a PhD degree, by running research, beside taking more classes deeper in sciences. Then you have to publish the info, and later get graduated. You have to work like no less than 5 years of research in a lab as a student to get 1 or 2 things that can help you to graduate. It’s not easy, it’s very demanding, and at points it can be depressing too. The level of discussions of science at the universities is way higher than what people are doing for the climate change .

I need to say how complex is this, so that you can have an idea of how complicated Is this climate change thing. You won’t find this organized like this easy out there; this are just thoughts that come to my mind, spur of the moment, I’m not pre-organizing this, it is spontaneous: 

¥ The atmosphere is a fluid of mixed gases and the foundations of gases interactions are atomic theory and thermodynamics: structure and heat transference.

¥ There’s a very freaking complicated side of thermodynamics applied to chemistry; it is based on statistics. In simple words, molecules have different levels of absorbing heat, like level 1,2,3,… Each level has its own amount of heat that the molecule can retain. Whenever you refer to a volume of gas getting hot, you have to estimate how many molecules are occupying each of the different levels. The combo or sum of all must explain the total heat energy that a thermometer can read. This is how you theoretically predict a value. If you know for a gas like CO2 or N2, O2, CH4, H2O the levels of absorbing amounts of heat, and if you know how many molecules are on each, you can predict the overall temperature of that volume of gas. If the thermometer doesn’t match the predicted value, then something is wrong with your thermometer or with your formulas. This is how quantum science is used to sustain the first law of thermodynamics: energy conservation. 

¥ I personally don’t know what’s the status of this knowledge for CO2, but I’m sure it’s there. When we students take classes on this, the laws are explained to us with small gases, like H2, the simplest of the gases in nature. Once you try bigger molecules like CO2, things get more complicated. 

¥ Like what? Like molecular interactions. Whenever a new form of connections between molecules is present, this issues of heat absorption/exchange also change. Molecules can act like magnets and attract or repel each other and this dramatically changes the properties, like heat absorption/exchange. So that the heat absorption properties of the different gases of the atmosphere are different, and so CO2 absorbs/exchanges didferemt amounts than N2, O2, H20, CH4,… I have a reference that says that the heat absorption capability of CO2 in watts is a range of probabilities, not an exact definite value. And that with the low side the calculations fail to show global warming . They claim that the value in watts used to feed computer models is over estimated.

¥ Another complicated issue is molecular vibrations. CO2 is one molecule that likes infrared light. It is like a drug that gets it high, and when it’s high, it dances more, wiggles faster. Like the levels of heat, there are also levels of vibrations. This complex formulas have heat levels tied to vibrational levels, and the complex web of interchanges, all written in math formulas of calculus, ordered by statistical rules. It’s the Mother of All Chemistry. Only a few brave scientists dive that deep in knowledge.

Now, this is not easy to find explained, but a process of dissipating heat through a medium is called convection. You may have a modern convection oven at home to cook, in which a current of air is heated by an electric devise. The initial light from the sun comes in the form of ultraviolet (UV), several levels too. When it strikes the surface of the earth, it changes to infrared (IR), also divided in levels. I’m not going over the details of how that happens, but I can refer you to videos of me teaching this in college under quantum science. CO2 likes to absorb/get high with some of the levels of IR light/energy to dance faster. And when it does, the kinetic energy increases, and so they bump/make more contact with neighbor molecules, transmitting kinetic energy. This contact/friction increases the temperature, like when you friction your hands to get warmed. This is the method of convection. This is supposed to be the kind of heat exchange that climate change pushers argue is the method CO2 is heating up the whole atmosphere to the impending doomsday. However convection is the most subtle form of heat exchange as compared to advection and irradiation. This is another weak point unclear by the climate change agenda. 

Without a data assessment of what’s called Boltzmann Quantum Thermodynamics in your gases claims, your idea is just a hypothesis, unproven empirically, with actual numbers from real gas dynamics. This is where climate change is being challenged: at the root of the science that is supposed to corroborate it.

JBVigo, PhD

RickWill
Reply to  Dr. JImmy Vigo
March 8, 2022 2:42 pm

The atmosphere is a fluid of mixed gases and the foundations of gases interactions 

This shows a lack of understanding of the atmosphere composition. Solid ice dominates the energy balance on Earth.

The clouds formed from ice prevent some 30% of incoming solar radiation being thermalised.

Almost all of the long wave radiation leaving the atmosphere over tropical oceans warm pools is emitted from ice.

Solid ice in the atmosphere is the least understood element of Earth’s energy balance and is the most important.

Reply to  RickWill
March 9, 2022 1:49 am

Solid ice in the atmosphere is the least understood element of Earth’s energy balance and is the most important.

Rick,
I absolutely agree. The key feature of solids of all types is that they support the propagation of shear waves, fluids and gases do not. It is shear wave flexure that links matter to radiation. The temperature of Earth’s tropopause is controlled by the freezing limit of super-cooled water.

Gordon A. Dressler
March 9, 2022 7:56 am

I am very surprised to see that, per the above Abstract and Introduction of their recently revised 2019 paper, van Wijngaarden and Happer, have apparently glossed over what I considered to be one of the great strengths of their (previous?) explanation for radiation through Earth’s atmosphere, including energy exchange mechanisms.

That key feature, largely originating with Dr. Happer I believe, is the simple fact that at the average pressure and temperature of air within the first 5 km or so of the surface, the rate of molecular collisions among all gases is on the order of 10^6 to 10^9 times faster than the rate of “self relaxation” (i.e., re-emission of a photon of equal or lesser energy) for any GHG molecule that has absorbed the energy of a LWIR photon emitted from Earth’s surface.

This translates to the fact that GHG molecules that are in a relatively high energy state relative to nitrogen and oxygen (the two LWIR-transparent gases comprising 99.1% of Earth’s atmosphere) from having absorbed the energy of a LWIR photon emitted by Earth’s surface—and having stored that energy mostly in molecular vibrational modes and in translational kinetic energy—will overwhelmingly transfer that energy to either nitrogen or oxygen via collisions and NOT via re-radiation.

In turn, this “thermalization” process explains why, for example, the average temperature of CO2 in not appreciably different from that of nitrogen or oxygen at any given altitude over any given geographical location.

Of course, once the LWIR photon energy from Earth’s surface has been thermalized (shared) with atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen, the entire ensemble then radiates as a mixed gas with associated spectral lines equivalent to the average temperature and composition of the ensemble. In reality, this is a continuous, on-going process; not a step function. And consider that most of that radiation (at “equilibrium” temperatures typically near the underlying surface temperature) will now be from the LWIR-transparent gases nitrogen and oxygen.

The issue of whether of not CO2, at its existing concentration within the atmosphere, can become “saturated” in its ability to absorb LWIR from Earth’s surface (and from low altitude nitrogen and oxygen and water vapor thermal radiation bands) is still valid . . . it is a function of the total e-folding path length required for photon absorption at a given absorption coefficient (the Beer-Lambert law): not enough CO2 along the total path length to TOA, then some of the surface-radiated LWIR energy in the absorption bands of CO2 will “leak” directly to space (excluding those bands overlapped by water vapor absorption). However, the Beer-Lambert law must adjusted for the fact that a CO2 molecule that thermalizes its absorbed LWIR photon energy immediately becomes available to absorbed yet another LWIR photon, and so on and so on.

This consideration makes it much more feasible to assert that atmospheric CO2 at its current concentration level has already reached its “saturation” level as a LWIR-absorbing greenhouse gas.

Notwithstanding all of my commentary above and in fairness to the authors, I do need to read the full paper referenced above to see if the above scientific logic was otherwise included, but just not emphasized, in the van Wijngaarden and Happer paper.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 9, 2022 8:27 am

Bingo!!! – See this interesting ‘coversation’ – the basics af greenhouse gas function – it explains everything:
http://www.sealevel.info/Happer_UNC_2014-09-08/Another_question.html

Mark Pawelek
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 10, 2022 1:30 am

Nice, but irrelevant to what the IPCC say, calculate, …, babble on about. Until the IPCC say this, it don’t mean a thing. Happer’s first link, in his paper is to the IPCC AR5 WG1. IPCC do not calculate radiative forcing according to the schema you just described.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
March 10, 2022 7:33 am

What the IPPC says is irrelevant to science . . . and I don’t give a squat as to what their defective models calculate.

R Stevenson
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 11, 2022 3:41 am

This is a brilliant coherent and fluent post . Helps fill in the knowledge gaps in my laboured reasoning. I assume its all true

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 11, 2022 8:11 am

Thank you for this post. This is one of the rare times when someone mentions that N2/O2 end up radiating after receiving energy in a collision with a CO2 molecule. Most people see “transparent to the sun’s energy” and go on to assume they don’t emit at all. The assumption is that N2/O2 must transfer this energy back to a CO2 molecule before it can be radiated. The sad thing is that these same people will turn around and say “everything radiates” based on its temperature.

These people don’t recognize that you can’t have it both ways. I am sure someone will point out that N2/O2 can’t absorb all the energy from a collision, yet at the same time forget that N2/O2 far and away outnumber CO2 molecules.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 11, 2022 5:00 pm

See (30) on page 12 and discussion.

mkelly
March 9, 2022 8:39 am

Post says:”Greenhouse molecules emit radiation at a temperature-dependent rate, whether they are absorbing radiation or not.”

I am still not buying this. If temperature dependent then we should be able to view them on infrared cameras.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  mkelly
March 9, 2022 11:22 am

The statement you quoted is indeed correct . . . it is the combined result of Wein’s law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation with consideration that, unlike solids, gases emit radiation in discrete spectral lines (albeit, there may be thousands of such lines in close proximity, frequency-wise, to each other).

All substances having a temperature above absolute zero emit radiation . . . a physical requirement with basis in quantum theory.

As for viewing thermal radiation from GHGs using an infrared camera, look up the information on commercial IR cameras (like those used for nighttime surveillance) and you’ll find out that they become very limited when there is significant water vapor in the air, such as fog, due to interference of heavy IR radiation emitted by this GHG at relatively low temperatures, in the range of, say, 33 to 50 deg-F. However, most often, the sensitivity of commercial IR cameras is set such that the relatively low radiation flux of GHGs in normal conditions does not interfere with their intended application.

On the other hand IR instruments (including FOV cameras) on scientific, orbiting satellites do indeed easily detect and image GHG emissions. Weather satellites use IR emissions from water vapor to track clouds and weather systems such as hurricanes day and night.

The currently orbiting OCO-2 spacecraft directly images CO2 from space (see https://ocov2.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/ ).

The Carbon Mapper satellite, set for launch in 2023 is specifically designed to provide very high resolution optical imaging of both CO2 and methane.

Mark Pawelek
March 10, 2022 1:20 am

Happer’s paper begins:

Greenhouse warming of Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is driven by radiative forcing, F, the difference between the flux of thermal radiant energy from a black surface through a hypothetical, transparent atmosphere, and the flux through an atmosphere with greenhouse gases, particulates and clouds, but with the same surface temperature[1]

References

[1] Radiative Forcing, IPCC, https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

Following up reference [1] leads to IPCC WG1 AR5 Chapter 8, which leads with:

It is unequivocal that anthropogenic increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHGs) have substantially enhanced the greenhouse effect, and the resulting forcing continues to increase.

The IPCC don’t even bother defining their greenhouse gas effect anymore.

Is this fallacy called: circular proof, mindless repetition, ignoring the counter argument, or just argument from authority!, Or all 4? How is it unequivocal? I don’t accept it, many other scientists do not accept it. I wrote my objections down here[2], and here[3]. Somehow, I’m expected to accept the IPCC model of the atmosphere as ‘settled science’ when they never say what that model is and I know it’s BS. The two links I posted lead to a collection of refutations of the greenhouse gas effect, which WUWT editors are, seemingly, genetically predisposed to ignore!!

Warmists have a bad model of the atmosphere which claims “it is unequivocally agreed”. They never discuss their model. They won’t even write their model or definitions down! Yet the model is easy to refute, and is obviously nonsense. What am I supposed to do? Do WUWT really want me to post the entirety of these articles below the line here? When will the editors at WUWT allow a proper, scientific, discussion on their precious greenhouse gas effect?

[2] https://greenfallacies.blogspot.com/2021/10/greenhouse-gas-effect-is-junk.html

[3] https://greenfallacies.blogspot.com/2020/10/destroying-greenhouse-gas-conjecture.html

Unequivocal definition, not equivocal; unambiguous; clear; having only one possible meaning or interpretation

R Stevenson
March 10, 2022 6:26 am

Excellent article ;similar to the article/paper by David Coe last week

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