Basic Climate Physics #10

The following was reproduced with kind permission from Howard “Cork” Hayden, Prof. Emeritus of Physics, UConn,

One fact at a time

This short essay is the tenth in a series about basic (meaning all-inclusive) physics that pertains to the subject of climate.

Bear in mind that my purpose is not to engage in details about wind, rain, snow, storms, historical climatology, Milankovitch cycles, or any of the common topics discussed about climate. What I will discuss is some simple physics.

The Absence of Stefan-Boltzmann

The Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law says that the radiation emitted out through a small hole in a cavity, summed up over the entire spectrum, is equal to

 , where is the Kelvin temperature. The equation has been around since 1884, and put on a solid theoretical foundation by Max Planck in 1900. Curiously, it also applies to solids as diverse as stars, hot pokers, the surface of the earth, including the oceans and the background radiation of the universe. It is the principle upon which non-contact thermometers work.

One would therefore expect to see reference to the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law, and the Planck curve in every IPCC report. A search of IPCC Assessment Reports reveals that not a single one had the words Stefan or Boltzmann until AR6, (published in Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute form) in 2021. The number 5.67 appears nowhere except for some table entries that have nothing to do with the Stefan-Boltzmann constant. The name Planck occurs only in reference to the Max-Planck Institute in the first four Assessment Reports. In AR5 (2014), we are introduced to the jargon Planck Response (to be discussed) but nowhere—repeat NOWHERE—is there any mention that the Stefan-Boltzmann law always applies to the surface. Nor, more importantly, is the law actually applied to the model-predicted surface temperatures.


The Planck Response (a.k.a. Planck Feedback)

Look up Planck Response on the internet and you find this line repeated ad nauseum: “The Planck feedback is the most basic and universal climate feedback, and is present in every climate model. It is simply an expression of the fact that a warm planet radiates more to space than a cold planet.” In Lesson #3, we proved that statement false with two examples. (1) The earth with the same albedo but with either the presence or absence of the greenhouse effect (i.e., warmer of colder) emits exactly the same IR to outer space. (2) Venus, with lead-melting surface temperature emits less IR to space than does the earth.

The Planck Response, however, does have some validity. Imagine that somebody sprinkles the
right kind of Pixie Dust all over the earth so that the surface warms up. It will radiate more IR and set up an imbalance so that the heat emitted to space (ca. 60% of the surface radiation) will exceed the absorbed solar heat (Iout > Iin ). The imbalance will continue (and diminish) until the earth cools down to the condition before the Pixie dust was applied. This is indeed a negative feedback mechanism that tends to hold the surface temperature constant, but it most assuredly does not determine what that temperature is. In particular, it is of no use in calculating the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS, the temperature rise due to CO2 doubling when Iout = Iin ).

More Greenhouse Effect!

If the greenhouse effect increases, such as by increasing atmospheric CO2 or H2O, then the IR emission to outer space is decreased. That imbalance ( Iout < Iin ) warms the surface until the equality between incoming solar heat and outgoing heat radiation is re-established. (Climate modelers take note: During this time, the warming planet radiates less IR to space than when it was cooler.) In this realistic case, the increase in the greenhouse effect occurs before the temperature increase, unlike the Pixie-Dust scenario. It is important to remember that the sole source of heat to the earth is sunlight.

Importantly, when the Planetary Heat Balance is restored—that is, when Iout =Iin (Isun /4)(1 – α) − the additional greenhouse effect (“radiative forcing”) must equal the additional surface radiation unless there is a change in either Isun or albedo α. Recall the Climate Constraint Equation from Lesson #4:

If the greenhouse effect increases by (say) 2 W/m2 and sunlight and albedo remain constant, then the surface radiation σT4 must increase by the same 2 W/m2, and that fact tells us exactly what the temperature rise would be: 0.36oC for this numerical example.

Asking the Wrong Question

Suppose we have a warehouse containing all kinds of stuff, and that the warehouse is perfectly insulated. Let us ask how much the temperature of the warehouse would rise if we added a certain amount of heat to it. We could calculate the temperature rise if we knew the masses and heat capacities of everything within the warehouse.

Now ask what the temperature rise of the earth would be if we added a certain heat flux in so-many watts per square meter all over the planet. The heat flux (Iadd) would have entirely different effects on a square meter of ocean, a square meter of desert, a square meter of a puddle, a square meter of rock or a square meter of grass. Presumably with an encyclopedic knowledge of the materials on every square meter of the surface of our planet, we could use a supercomputer to figure it out, but it is fundamentally a fool’s errand.

Solution: Ask an Answerable Question

Turn that unanswerable question around and ask: “If the temperature rises by some amount (∆T), how much more heat flux (∆I) does it radiate? The Stefan-Boltzmann law provides the unambiguous answer, and does so with a slide rule instead of a supercomputer. (N.B.: If you include emissivities, the numbers change a little, but not enough to balance the Climate Constraint Equation in Lesson 4.)

IPCC’s goal (aside from frightening the public) is to determine the ECS, the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, which is the surface temperature rise (∆Tsurf) due to a doubling of CO2 concentration. They are free to speculate, of course, but they are intellectually obligated to see whether their ECS makes sense. All they have to do is to apply the Stefan-Boltzmann law to their predicted temperature rise.

If they do so, they will find out that 16.4 W/m2 (for a 3oC) rise in radiative flux is violently in contradiction to the 3.71 W/m2 of “radiative forcing” that their models say causes that 3oC temperature rise. They are free to come up with an explanation, but they first have to apply the Stefan-Boltzmann law to their ECS. Maybe in a few more decades, IPCC will make this discovery.

Howard “Cork” Hayden, Prof. Emeritus of Physics, UConn,

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Ron Long
March 24, 2022 6:13 pm

Sounds like Physics Professor Hayden sees the heat dynamics in the atmosphere, etc, quite clearly. If my stomach was as settled as the CAGW “settled science” I would be buying futures in Pepto Bismol.

layor nala
March 24, 2022 6:16 pm

And see Physicist Howard Hayden’s one-letter disproof of global warming claims.

Reply to  layor nala
March 24, 2022 10:52 pm

OK, that is two letters

Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 1:21 am

F! = A*B*C*D*E*F

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 2:42 am


Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 7:18 pm

Nick, here’s another 3, E=MC^2

Reply to  layor nala
March 25, 2022 12:50 am

Hayden, in that post, asks the question which haspuzzled me since the first spaghetti graphs appeared.

Why do we still have, and why are we still using, 19 climate models? It really makes no sense we would be doing this, if we had an understanding good enough to guide large public policy decisions. We would be using, as Hayden says, the one we had verified sufficiently to rely on it.

Also, why has the number not decreased with the advance of science over the years?

I asked this question in an earlier thread and was told that you cannot reject the ones which have failed to predict the present, because the ones that do conform to observations have essentially had parameters adjusted to make them. So their present conformity to observations is no grounds for thinking their predictions for the future are any better than ones which don’t conform.

The analogy I was given was of the mutual fund or money manager disclaimer: past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

I didn’t and don’t find this answer satisfactory, since it saved the currently failing models at the cost of making them all unfit for purpose. And why bother to make them fit if it does not improve their validity?

I understand, given this, that people turn back to the so called Precautionary Principle. It looks like the only logical way to save the situation. We have this huge range of outcomes, none more likely than any other. We have a bunch of models which we cannot validate, and which don’t give reliable predictions. So the reasoning is, no matter how unlikely catastrophe from CO2 emissions may be, its possible, and the costs from it are so high, that almost any cost is justified to avert that danger.

At which point the logical fallacy of Pascal’s Wager enters the room.

Willem Post
Reply to  michel
March 25, 2022 5:09 am

Of the 97% of captivated “scientists”, only about 0.000001% are actually ideating on 75 or so squiggly lines, which as proven, make no sense.

Reply to  michel
March 25, 2022 6:10 am

It would put some climate scientists out of work and as long as you can convince someone to fund your work it lives. It’s not unique to climate science there are some science theories that are “dead idea” walking yet still seem to persist.

Reply to  michel
March 25, 2022 6:28 am

19 climate models means 19 teams of academics in comfortable employment, each of which presumably believes they are better than the others and that their grant money should keep rolling in.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DaveS
March 25, 2022 1:24 pm

And the prestige (politics) of the countries in which these teams reside. The UN socialistic solution is to fund them all.

Ali Bertarian
Reply to  michel
March 25, 2022 1:33 pm

I’m tired of CCers scaring us with the Precautionary Principle. An ice age is likely to come. Why not prepare for that, just to be on the safe side?

Reply to  michel
March 26, 2022 11:38 pm

The best answer to the Precautionary Principal I ever read said that since we know (from models ) that some of you have as yet undiagnosed cancers, we should all take chemo every day.

Reply to  layor nala
March 25, 2022 9:24 am

An outstanding letter that, as succinctly as possible, sums up the whole climastrology charade. It should be reprinted and published everywhere.

Dave Yaussy
March 24, 2022 6:39 pm

Where can we get the earlier lessons?

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
March 25, 2022 12:49 am

Professor Hayden has a profile on Research Gate.
Send a request to him that he publishes there.

Richard M
March 24, 2022 7:41 pm

We already know the ECS precisely. It was shown beyond any doubt to be 0.0 by Dr. Miskolczi in his 2010 paper. The paper was attacked because it was actually too complex and some data he used could be argued to be in error. None of that was needed.

“It will be convenient here to define the term radiative exchange equilibrium [REE] between two specified regions of space (or bodies) as meaning that for the two regions (or bodies) A and B, the rate of flow of radiation emitted by A and absorbed by B is equal to the rate of flow the other way, regardless of other forms of transport that may be occurring.”

If you understand this definition you realize it describes exactly how CO2 emission/absorption occurs between any two layers of our atmosphere. Assume a 50 layer atmosphere. Look at any two adjacent layers. The higher kth layer will radiate R(k) downwards and all will be easily absorbed by the warmer denser lower layer as A(j). At the same time the lower jth layer will radiate R(j) upward. However, since the upper layer is colder and thinner it can only absorb A(k). The remaining radiation, R(j)-A(k) continues upward.. We know R(k) must equal A(k) from Kirchhoff’s law. This is exactly the description of Radiation Exchange Equilibrium. We also know R(i) – A(k) = 0 since all the radiation was absorbed.

Hence, we know no net CO2 energy is exchanged between the jth and kth layers. Since these layers could be any two layers we know there is no net energy is exchanged between any of the 50 layers. What does that tell us about downwelling IR?

Well, DWIR should be the sum of the net radiation exchanged and any excess radiation not absorbed when a higher layer radiated to a lower layer. However, as mentioned above we know all the radiation was absorbed. There is no net downwelling CO2 based IR. In fact, if there was it would violate Kirchhoff’s Law.

This is essentially as close to proof as it gets in science. The claims of an enhanced greenhouse effect based on 3.7 W/m2 of net downwelling IR is impossible due to REE. It violates Kirchhoff’s Law.

The key to applying Kirchhoff’s law requires that CO2 be a well mixed gas. This forces the concentrations of CO2 to match the density of the various layers. We all know that CO2 meets this requirement.

Richard M
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 25, 2022 12:41 pm

Sorry, Dr. Spencer was wrong and the others also got it wrong. Miskolczi is correct in the only issue that matters. It is a direct consequence of two facts:

1) Kirchhoff’s Law
2) CO2 is a well mixed gas.

All of the issues revolved around things that were irrelevant. The last reference is a good example:

“Miskolczi, shows that his law implies that the Earth’s atmosphere should have a constant infrared optical thickness”

Totally irrelevant. Miskolczi does get into optical thickness but that has nothing to do with the main point. If CO2 is a well mixed gas then there can be no net downwelling IR. End of discussion. It does not matter whether the Earth has a constant optical thickness or not.

Spencer got into some of the same irrelevant stuff and did not understand the simplicity of the real issue. It is too bad Miskolczi even brought up the constant optical thickness argument. It is completely unnecessary to prove that CO2 cannot produce any warming.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 1:26 pm

Caution! Crank at work.

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 25, 2022 2:05 pm

So far, no one has made any attempt to understand this science. I’m somewhat perplexed by that attitude. This science has the ability to once and for all end the climate charade. Yet, no one is even interested in learning about it.

It isn’t easy to get your hands around at first. However, once you do see what is being claimed, it all makes sense.

Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 2:17 pm

They prefer to quantify a LW radiative imbalance, then claim it’s small. When radiation is all you know, everything looks like radiation, obv.

Reply to  Richard M
March 26, 2022 11:53 pm

Radiative equilibrium occurs for isothermal case. A gas with a temperature gradient transfers energy.

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 12:30 am

Drivel. And that’s being kind.

Richard M
Reply to  Mike Edwards
March 25, 2022 12:42 pm

And yet you can provide nothing to back your assertion. Why is that?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 1:28 pm

The backup is provided by DMacKenzie, above.

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 25, 2022 2:09 pm

No, what I said above is just a subset of Miskolczi’s work. However, it is all that is required to falsify AGW. Miskolczi goes much farther than is necessary and brings in many complexities that are completely irrelevant to the CO2 induced warming claims.

If you actually took the time to examine the issues brought up, it all has to do with clouds, water vapor, and the issue of a constant optical thickness. You didn’t see me mention any of these. It is unnecessary.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 5:23 pm

Thanks, Richard, but I’ll stick with conventional physics and not wander off into the weeds.

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 25, 2022 5:40 pm

This is conventional physics. Kirchhoff’s Law of radiation is at the base of all radiation physics. You want to ignore the exact science that underpins why the enhanced greenhouse effect doesn’t exist. Why are you even here?

Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 10:56 am

the rate of flow of radiation emitted by A and absorbed by B is equal to the rate of flow the other way

Richard M
Reply to  ferdberple
March 25, 2022 12:45 pm

First of all, you are quoting the definition of REE. How can a definition be false? The question is whether our atmosphere adheres to this definition. I showed that it must or be in violation of Kirchhoff’s Law. If you object to my logic then please provide something to back up your reasoning.

Reply to  Richard M
March 25, 2022 1:40 pm

I suggest you run UChicago Modtran at various altitudes, looking up, looking down, leaving all other inputs constant, and keep a running total on REE….

Richard M
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 25, 2022 2:17 pm

Right away you are looking at it wrong. You need to understand why REE exists and that it is a statistical view specifically related to only CO2. I would expect any inspection of local data to give results that are off the mark. To begin with water vapor and clouds will always be messing up the numbers. Did you eliminate them? Maybe this is why people have such a hard time understanding.

Richard M
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 27, 2022 5:47 pm

I think I now understand your problem.

Look at what a program outputs layer by layer as you go down. Start at 20 km and assume no IR coming down from that point (doesn’t matter)

We see from REE that the 20 – 19 flow will produce X amount of energy. Since layer 19 is warmer and denser it absorbs all of X, but what does it radiate down to layer 18? It will radiate based on its own temperature/density which will be X + Z (some additional energy due to its increased temperature/density).

What this looks like is an increased downward flow. Of course, the same thing occurs at every layer which gives the appearance of a downward flux of energy growing larger. But, we know better.

In all cases the energy from the previous layer was absorbed and a new, larger amount of new energy emitted. This occurs all the way to the surface. This is simply REE as expected.

This is exactly what you are seeing with MODTRAN.

Now look at the opposite flow.

You start at the boundary layer 0. It radiates X energy upward to layer 1. Layer 1 absorbs some subset based on its lower temperature/density, call it X1. This means some energy is not absorbed, call it Y1. We know X = X1+Y1.

So what would a program show? It would show X1+Y1 is moving upwards. Well, that’s exactly the same as X so it sees no increase in upward radiation. The same value would appear at every layer. You always have X amount of energy moving up. What you don’t know is some of that energy is already destined to go to space.

The output of this program would be completely deceiving. A person needs to look closer. If they look at the very top layer they will still see X amount of energy flowing upward. That is, all the original energy is lost to space. There can’t be any downward flux as that would violate conservation of energy.

Now you know why people get fooled. Programs like MODTRAN are working correctly. What people aren’t doing is factoring in the changing temperature/density. When you do that, you clearly see REE exists and no additional energy is flowing down. All they are seeing is the increasing energy generated by warmer/denser layers.

March 24, 2022 8:04 pm

It is important to remember that the sole source of heat to the earth is sunlight.
Not true. Heat also rises from within Earth – its core – and this varies with variable seismic activity. Such heat released during the 20th Century corresponds closely with Global Warming during that time, as does seismic activity (tabulated since 1900) ie
0.013 °C pa    Matching Earth’s the so-called Greenhouse Era warming 1950 to 2000.
That rate of temperature rise from the start of, 1950, until 2000 is 0·012°C pa.
The heat from the Sun is near constant over centuries.

Reply to  P Carson
March 24, 2022 8:41 pm

The amount of heat being released from the earth is so much less than the amount of heat being received from the sun that it would have to be several orders of magnitude greater just to get up to rounding error.

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2022 8:24 am

In a recent seminar, I heard that collision induced absorption of O2 in the N2-O2 system has been found to be greater than the literature suggests and is on the same order of magnitude as CO2 IR absorption.

The research being done concerns correcting for spectroscopy errors in remote sensing. It’ll be interesting if this impacts radiative transfer models.

Reply to  P Carson
March 24, 2022 8:47 pm

What unitverse is that ?….average heat from the Sun is about 240 Watts/sqM, while geothermal is about 1/10 Watt/sq.M

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 24, 2022 11:33 pm

Mark W & DMackenzie
The heat from the Sun is indeed orders of magnitude greater than geothermal – BUT it is immediately re-radiated, and at equilibrium, the incoming and outgoing solar energies are exactly balanced; these 2 energies are not random variables but directly related. Yours are common errors.
As I wrote previously, the seismic energy released matches that of Global Warming. You can see my calculations at my site’s Chapter 2 to show you the way.  
Chapters 1b, c and d show that carbon dioxide can have NO effect upon Earth’s heating. 

Reply to  P Carson
March 25, 2022 8:49 am

Once the heat enters the atmosphere, it doesn’t matter if it is coming from the sun or from inside the earth. Heat is heat. All that matters is amount.

If the energy coming from the sun is immediately re-radiated, then so is any heat that is coming from the earth. Once again, the amount of heat coming from the earth is so tiny that it makes no difference, even if this alleged correlation does exist.

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2022 8:50 pm

The difference is the released geothermal heat directly warms Earth’s atmosphere and is not balanced by a heat flow in the other direction, ie into the Earth, whereas incoming solar radiation is immediately balanced by outgoing re-radiation, to form an equilibrium.

Reply to  P Carson
March 26, 2022 6:05 am

r there any volcanoes under water?

Reply to  meiggs
March 26, 2022 4:39 pm

Yep! More than above water.

AC Osborn
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 25, 2022 4:57 am

That is a very glib 1/10Watt/sq.M.
What would the temperature of the earth be without sunlight?
It certainly would not be 4K until the core cooled.
Where is the actual temperature of the earth accounted for in the Climate Calculations before adding sunlight?
Has anyone calculated what it is based on the core temperature and the Conduction of the earth?

Reply to  AC Osborn
March 25, 2022 7:03 am

What would the temperature of the earth be without sunlight?

AC Osborn.
A geothermal flux at the surface of 0.1Watt/sq.M. is equivalent to a S-B temperature of 36.4Kelvin

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 27, 2022 6:57 pm

From measurements, the actual Earth surface temperature without sunlight = 27.6K
[See my site’s Chapter 2A ]

Reply to  P Carson
March 25, 2022 5:17 am

Does this mean that solar minima and maxima, etc. are almost wholly irrelevant?

Reply to  JasonR
March 25, 2022 8:43 pm

See for yourself. Check out the graph, usually supplied by the WMO, Earth’s temperature anomaly since 1850.
(I’ve supplied one, 1850 to 2008 in my site’s Fig 2. Click my name above for its address.)
Good luck with discerning any correlation with solar maxima/minima; it’s too small.
It does match seismic activity – which releases geothermal heat – since 1900 (when the tabulation begins) very well.

March 24, 2022 8:52 pm

“The Good Book says” and anyway, I stand by the 97% consensus. This eliminates all those silly questions about math and physics.

March 24, 2022 8:57 pm

I want to go to bed, so I’ll do this without most of my usual links.

If you do SB to an imaginary body in the same orbit as the Earth, and which distributes heat evenly over its surface, and which has no greenhouse effect, you get a temperature of 279K.

The usual non-greenhouse temperature is produced by invoking a magical albedo which has the effect of reflecting solar energy but which has no other effects.

The predominant cause of albedo is clouds. So, what is the net effect of clouds?

The net effect of clouds on the climate today is to cool the surface by about 5°C (9°F).


That would bring the planet to a temperature of 274K without the greenhouse effect. If we take the actual average temperature of 288K, that means a 14K warming that could be attributed to the greenhouse effect. That’s less than half the usually given figure of 32K.

Treat the net effect of clouds with low confidence. That said, the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is probably overstated by something like a factor of two. That means that everything calculated, based on a greenhouse effect of 32K, is significantly wrong.

Reply to  commieBob
March 24, 2022 9:56 pm

It is interesting to review this study on the likely temperature of a satellite orbiting Earth:
It gets to an estimated peak temperature of 70C – 343K.

It is a somewhat different to Earth because it has an internal heat source that I calculate to be 430W/sq.m and it has quite a large “view” of Earth because the orbiting altitude cannot be regarded as infinite plus it is has high thermal conductivity. However the analysis is interesting because it is operating at the same distance from the sun as Earth.

The 343K corresponds to black body power of 784W/sq.m. Subtract the 430W/sq.m for the internal heat and you arrive at 354W/sq.m. Black body temperature is 281K. So even NASA calculation for a satellite gives very close to Earth’s average temperature.

If you were to place an optical clear film over Earth’s ocean such that there was no atmosphere then the average temperature ends up a bit higher than 288K. The reason is that water EMR absorption is not constant with wavelength. The incoming energy is predominantly visible and shorter waves while the outgoing is all infer-red.

One certainty is that atmospheric water is a cooling agent on average and presently contributes to Earth cooling for 9 months of the year and warming for 3 months. Sea Ice is predominently a warming agent but may delay surface heating by a few days after the sun has a view of the ice.

A question for a GHE proponent is where does sea ice fit in the “greenhouse gas” equation. It is not trivial because sea ice covers something like 17% of the global oceans and just 0.9m of it halves the radiating power of the water below. Sea ice forms once the sun disappears each year so its reflective qualities are not relevant at that point.

Reply to  RickWill
March 24, 2022 10:49 pm

” It is not trivial because sea ice covers something like 17% of the global oceans and just 0.9m of it halves the radiating power of the water below.”

Sea ice is currently 13855+3046=16901 thousand km^2. Area of oceans 361 million km^2. That is 4.7%. And it doesn’t get much higher.

Ice is just another surface, and radiates according to its surface temperature. Of course that is much less than the underlying water.

Reply to  RickWill
March 24, 2022 11:37 pm

Try the Moon.

Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2022 7:02 am

If you want to understand just follow the basics of Radiative Transfer from outside the stupidity of Climate Science in the domain of real science
It’s technical but you should be able to semi follow it and you will see it gets extremely calculation difficult with gray bodies.

To create a Total Radiation Transfer Equation for a gray body you need to take special approaches and you need to do sanity checks to make sure the assumptions you made are valid. Anyone who says they can easily prove the transfer function you can basically know is a nutcase who doesn’t even know the basics.

Their are enough Quantum Satellites to be able to do a reasonable job at resolving how to approach the problem but the Satellites are mainly owned by China and Climate Science is a low priority compared to other military and communication experiments.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  LdB
March 25, 2022 3:18 pm

What exactly is a quantum satellite and what does it have to do with measuring any aspect of the climate?

Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 27, 2022 12:09 am

For gray bodies you need to know interactions. That is only directly measurable by using entangled photons within the optical windows.

Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2022 9:28 am

Good on you for actually calculating, but I don’t get 279K, I get 255K in your no GHE case….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 25, 2022 10:56 am

This guy gets 279 by a different method than I used.

Reply to  commieBob
March 26, 2022 7:04 am

He’s right when he says his formula is approximate.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 26, 2022 9:26 am

Here’s a link to the conventional calculation. Set albedo to 0 and you get 279K.

It’s probably best if you show us your calculation.

Reply to  commieBob
March 27, 2022 7:44 pm

Same as yours, except albedo is .3 we’re oopsed.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 28, 2022 9:46 am

commieBob, my little spreadsheet had a .3 in it that I failed to erase. My humblest apologies for what I muttered about your 274 K number. You have made a good point, although a bare planet base case should probably have an Albedo of something like the moon, instead of O

March 24, 2022 9:04 pm

Right, a 1C average surface temperature rise corresponds to a roughly 4 W m-2 greater LW budget at the surface. 

One, and done?

So, to hit the nail on the head, an appropriate question to ask is what could cause a change of surface temperature…

Reply to  JCM
March 25, 2022 6:06 am

To have any chance to quantify changes to surface temperature parameters, we must elucidate a simple surface energy budget.

Surface energy budget:

Net Solar + Net LW = Qnet = LE + H + G

Most of us appear to be stuck on the left side. Many others have confused the relationship between radiation flux (left side) and heat flux (right side).

Surface heat flux (right side) and total net radiation (left side) are related to total available energy Qnet. All parameters are most sensitive to the hydrological cycle.

Any change to heat flux must influence total net radiation observed.

And, observationally, we know surface LW budget is fixed to Qnet (surface available energy).

So, this leaves only one degree of freedom at the surface: the ratio of Net Solar to Total Heat Flux. That is where to look for your surface temperature change.

And, we estimate that the hydrological cycle drives 95% of these dynamics.

The hydrological cycle impacts everything from convective instability and total turbulent flux (right side), to Net radiation by cloud and IR window dynamics (left side).

The hydrological cycle may include everything from oceanic oscillations, latent heat flux, evapotranspiration, air buoyancy, precipitation, pressure dynamics, and cloud. Hydrology drives heat flux aloft vs Net Solar Input.

Assuming equal pressure, this ratio is the primary determinant of surface temperature variation.

Reply to  JCM
March 26, 2022 7:08 am

LE + H + G, WTF?

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 26, 2022 7:52 am

You’ll have to be more specific if you have questions about introductory surface budget concepts.

Reply to  JCM
March 27, 2022 7:34 pm

OK, WTF are LE,H,G ?

March 24, 2022 10:27 pm

“nowhere—repeat NOWHERE—is there any mention that the Stefan-Boltzmann law always applies to the surface. Nor, more importantly, is the law actually applied to the model-predicted surface temperatures.”

This is a really juvenile post. Hayden has no clue about how GCMs work, and he isn’t going to find out by looking in the IPCC reports. They are a review of the literature, not a theoretical treatise or a GCM manual.

It is easy to find a GCM manual, eg here. There you will find that Planck and Stefan-Boltzmann are indeed fundamental. The radiative models are now absolutely standard. The methods go back to Arrhenius, who was certainly well aware of Stefan-Boltzmann. The classic more recent application was Manabe and Wetherald 1967.

WUWT reviewed a much better paper on the subject by Happer and Wijngaarden. They redid the calculation of Manabe and Wetherald, which is basically how it is done in GCMs, using modern radiative data. They got essentially the same answers, as they recognised. In particular, they got a ECS of 2.2°C/doubling, almost exactly the same as previous similar efforts, and right in the middle of the IPCC range. And of course, they were well aware of Stefan/Boltzmann and Planck.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 12:38 am

Thanks for a clear explanation and the link. For some reason I seem not to be able to upvote.

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 5:47 am

they got a ECS of 2.2°C/doubling”

True, but somewhat misleading.

That figure is for

  • clear sky conditions only
  • fixed relative humidity with pseudoadiabatic lapse rate

“Right in the middle of the IPCC range” is meaningless, since the real world has something like 2/3rds of its area with clouds, to which these calculations don’t apply.

Secondly, the assumption of “fixed relative humidity” – i.e. water vapour feedback – has been shown to not to be the case, at least in tropical areas, as various postings by Dr Roy Spencer show.

The figure for CO2 alone in cloud free conditions is 1.4C.

What the real world does for a doubling of CO2 depends a lot on what happens in the cloudy areas. A very difficult thing to calculate.

One interesting thing that the Wijngaarden & Happer paper does show is that the strong temperature inversion over Antarctica implies that the surface temperature there falls as the CO2 concentration rises, again for cloud-free conditions.

Reply to  Mike Edwards
March 25, 2022 8:43 am

“That figure is for…”
True, the Manabe style calculation preceded the existence of GCMs. It coupled a complete radiative model with very primitive treatment of fluids.

My point is that Happer et al implemented that same radiative model, which Hayden seems to know nothing about, and got the traditional answer.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 8:38 am

Hayden knows why they don’t work.

Many years ago, I saw him demolish Pieter Tans in a debate at a Colorado ACS meeting. Tans ended up babbling about George Bush taking down the Twin Towers.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 9:30 am


Wijngaarden & Happer 2019 got an ECS of 0 °C per doubling because the GHE is already saturated for H20 and CO2.

Fig. 19 with Tables 2 and 4 show that at current concentrations, the forcings from all greenhouse gases are saturated. The saturation of the abundant greenhouse gases H2O and CO2 are so extreme that the per molecule forcing is attenuated by four orders of magnitude with respect to the optical thin values.

Reply to  Thomas
March 25, 2022 2:27 pm

No, that doesn’t say what you say it does. The saturation, in the way they define it, has always been known to exist. Still, from that same paper, here is their Table 5:

comment image

Right in the midrange of earlier results.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 25, 2022 1:45 pm

No, Nick, 2.2 is at the low end of the UN IPCC CliSciFi range. Additionally, CMIP models have been invalidated by comparison to observations.

And figures (Stefan-Boltzmann) don’t lie but liars (UN IPCC CliSciFi modelers) can figure.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 24, 2022 10:50 pm

I see several misconceptions in the comments below.

There is talk of surface temperature, but no weather station reports the surface temperature, they report the air temperature. The air is heated by convection, mostly, not radiation, though there is an element of that. Discussion of the effect of GHG’s on air temperature is nowhere to be found. Yet SB works just as well on air. Surface radiation is not the only point of exit, as it were. Clouds, radiative gases and airborne dust all radiate directly to space. Not much of the surface emission makes it directly to space (50 layers are alla that).

Increasing a GHG, for example water vapour, increases the ability of the atmosphere to cool radiatively while simultaneously shading the surface more. If all the GHG’s were removed from the atmosphere, the energy striking the surface would approximately double. That is a lot of shading. What would that change do to the surface temperature, and what would it do to the air temperature at, say, 2m or 1 kilometer?

The orbiting satellite temperature example is a red herring. Satellites don’t have an atmosphere so it is not a good comparator. The Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere so talking about its surface temperature is another herring. If there is an atmosphere (no GHG’s) the surface temperature would be significantly dropped by convective heat transfer to the air. See Bejan from Duke U (2004, Wiley). Convection doesn’t stop just because there are no radiative gases in the air. Such a surface would not be the temperature claimed (above in the article) for an airless planet.

This is so bleeding obvious, how can it not be part of the discussion? The comparison is continually made between an airless planet’s surface temperature, and the same planet with an atmosphere that has GHG’s, as if the GHG’s operate independently of the other gases and “cause everything” to do with heating. That is Gavin Schmidt’s red herring argument.

The impact on air temperature of a change in the concentration of GHG’s cannot be determined by comparing the surface temperatures of a planet with and without an atmosphere. That has no relevance! One must first work out the temperature of the air (at 2m for example) without any GHG’s at all, then with progressively more GHG’s until some arbitrary high value. That would be informative because it would include convective heating.

With no GHG’s, the surface temperature in the daytime would be higher than it is now, and higher than it is on the moon, (even though it would transfer heat to the air) because the air would be heated by convection in the day time and could not cool during the night (no radiative ability). The only way for air to cool would be by contact with the surface, which would keep it, just before dawn, well above the night time temperature of the moon (if the moon rotated at the same rate).

When the input and output eventually balanced, what would the air temperature with and without GHG’s? Such a simple question, yet nothing in the IPCC reports about that. Just Gavin, Mooning us.

Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 24, 2022 11:46 pm

Genuine question: Has anyone ever calculated the temperature of the Planet with an atmosphere devoid of IR-active gases?

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 25, 2022 12:38 am

Has anyone ever calculated the temperature of the Planet with an atmosphere devoid of IR-active gases?

Yes, this is the fundamental construct of the diabatic form of our Dynamic-Atmosphere Energy-Transport (DAET) climate model. This model version matches the computation of the Vacuum Planet Equation when applied to the surface of a planet with a totally transparent atmosphere.

Figure 3. The Relationship between the Diabatic Climate Model Surface Temperature (Meteorology) and the Vacuum Planet Equation Top of Atmosphere
Radiant Exhaust Temperature (Astronomy).

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 25, 2022 5:34 am

Here’s an example. There are two problems with it.

1 – The calculation assumes that heat is perfectly distributed over the planet’s surface. Because radiation is proportional to T^4, the average temperature changes depending on how well heat is distributed.

2 – It treats albedo as a magic mirror that reflects radiation from the sun and has no other effects. Since albedo is predominantly determined by clouds (which ‘trap’ heat), that assumption is wrong.

Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 25, 2022 12:28 am

There is talk of surface temperature, but no weather station reports the surface temperature, they report the air temperature.

I totally agree. Here is a link to my data record of the air and subsurface temperatures of Dome Argus, Antarctica recorded during the austral winter of 2008. The temperature gradient during periods of air temperature inversion clearly show that the ice surface temperature is lower than the 1m air temperature. This is proved because during periods of air mixing the rate of cooling of the subsurface temperature at the 0.1m sensor slows down.

The Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere so talking about its surface temperature is another herring.

Again I totally agree. That is why the fundamental model that starts all of this greenhouse gas nonsense is called the Vacuum Planet Equation. The name does what it says on the tin (Hint: the Earth is not a vacuum planet).

Convection doesn’t stop just because there are no radiative gases in the air.

Bingo. This is the fundamental conjecture postulated by Stephen Wilde and used by us in the formulation of our Noonworld climate model.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 2:12 am

Oddly, people as well educated as Roy Spencer do think that convection grinds to a halt with no GHGs. They say that an isothermal atmosphere would ensue which is utter nonsense.
When I pointed out that it was impossible to prevent convection due to the inevitable lapse rate slope I was ignored.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 25, 2022 5:13 am

Was yours a single post on his blog? If so, why not email him directly/repeatedly?

Reply to  JasonR
March 25, 2022 5:38 am

If so, why not email him directly/repeatedly?


The history of our battle (both individually and collectively) against the fake nonsense of climate science is long. In my case understanding of this issue goes back to my Environmental Science degree course in the early 1970s. The purpose of the Vacuum Planet equation derived from astronomy is to calulate the average thermal radiant exhaust temperature of a planet or moon. The equation cannot be applied to a surface meteorological assessment of climate because the equation contains the flawed 24-hour averaging of sunlight over the full surface area of the planet. This mathematical sleight-of-hand unequivocally implies that the Sun shines on to the surface of the Earth at night.
Climate Science goes downhill from this point. It is astonishing how much intellectual hubris is invested in this blatantly false analysis of 24-hour continuous surface illumination.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 8:40 am

That’s why solar panels work at night.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 12:13 pm

I have tried to mention that several times in different threads. Using averages and linear algebra is a fools errand in trying to determine what is going on. If you talk about 1 sq. meter of the surface, there is one point in time when the sun is at zenith. Both before and after that time, the radiation received is less and at some point it in a day it goes negative, in other words it basically follows a sine wave. Radiation is based on T^4 and the radiation received. Taking a linear average is just ridiculous. The same for the curvature of the earth. The radiation received follows a trig function also, not an average.

Winds and convection can affect the amount of radiation leaving somewhat, but we are dealing with supposedly well mixed gasses that will control the radiation based on where the radiation is greatest and which is also controlled by where the sun crosses the earth. Simple linear averages won’t defne exponential functions adequately.

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 25, 2022 5:25 am

Convection doesn’t stop just because there are no radiative gases in the air.”

Funnily enough – convection DOES stop if there are no radiative gases. Convection depends on temperature differences – if the gases literally can’t lose heat, then there are no temperature differences. Thus no convection.

Reply to  Mike Edwards
March 25, 2022 6:44 am

if the gases literally can’t lose heat, then there are no temperature differences.

I assume that there is no nighttime in your conceptual model?
Nighttime surface-to-space thermal radiative cooling indisputably generates atmospheric convection.
See my example data from the Dome Argus AWS.
N.B. Convection does not just refer to rising air, falling air is also an integral part of convection overturning.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Mike Edwards
March 25, 2022 11:53 am

So your conclusion is that CO2, H2O, etc. is the only thing that determines the lapse rate? You do realize that adiabatic expansion doesn’t require a parcel of air to be isothermal right? Where does the energy gained via conduction go as a heated molecule proceeds to gain altitude? Does it do work rising against gravity? Why does the lapse rate have a gravty term? Lastly, if there were no radiative gases in the atmosphere, there would be nothing to stop the heat from the earth from leaving via radiation directly to space.

Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 25, 2022 6:00 am

You’d still have convection between the equator and the poles even at night.

John Power
Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2022 11:59 am

No doubt you would, commieBob, but I think that would be advection, not convection, strictly speaking.
Convection is the vertical transfer of heat by the circulation of the medium, whereas advection is the lateral transfer of heat by the circulation of the medium. I suspect Dr Spencer would have been aware of this distinction when he said that all convection would cease in an atmosphere that did not contain any GHGs. (If that is what he really said. Since Stephen Wilde hasn’t given us a link to where he is supposed to have said it, I cannot verify that he did say it.)

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  John Power
March 25, 2022 3:54 pm

To answer your point and similar ones above, when the point of the earth facing the sun at noon is hottest, there will be a convection immediately above it. A transparent atmosphere would have masses of convention all over the globe. And it would break into cells as per Bejan, A.

The interesting part of such an atmosphere is how it would cool. It cannot heat each day forever. At equilibrium, a very hot atmosphere would heat the surface at night by the same energy quantum as it gained during the day. To do that would require that heat convect downwards. The air temperature would be very high and windy.

Thus it is shown that removing all GHG’s would result in an atmosphere much warmer than it is now. Adding GHG’s initially cools it (rapidly) then there is a nadir, followed by a slow rise, and eventually no rise at all.

Thank you all for supporting the notion that a fundamental flaw exists in the IPCC and NASA/GISS explanation of the “greenhouse effect” when they compare the Earth’s air temperature to the surface temperature on the naked Moon. It is silly right out of the gate.

Where are we now on my mooted temperature curve? Near the high effect end? In the trough?

You know, even on this site, there was shown a temperature vs CO2 concentration graph that indicated a -18 C temperature for zero GHG’s, then a 6 degree rise for 20 ppm and so on. This is simply not the case. If there were no GHG’s the air temperature would be at least 75 and probably more than 100. At 3000 ppm it would be no warmer than at 2000. Essentially, in a real atmosphere, the tropics expands north, not that the temperature rises. That is caused by clouds.

Matthew Sykes
March 25, 2022 1:41 am

It is simply an expression of the fact that a warm planet radiates more to space than a cold planet”

Define planet. Is it just the rock, or the rock plus atmosphere?

The later does satisfy the Planck Feedback Law perfectly, and why wouldn’t you include the atmosphere is the definition of ‘planet’?

From wiki, “Venus has an extremely dense atmosphere…” see?

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
March 25, 2022 2:32 am

and why wouldn’t you include the atmosphere is the definition of ‘planet’?

Because this wholly fake science starts with the misapplication of the Vacuum Planet Equation derived from astronomy to the surface of a planet with an atmosphere.

Sagan, C. and Chyba, C., 1997. The Early Faint Sun Paradox: Organic Shielding of Ultraviolet-Labile Greenhouse Gases. Science, 276 (5316), pp. 1217–1221.

The Early Faint Sun Dilemma

The equilibrium temperature of an airless, rapidly rotating planet is T, – [SR^2(1 – A)/4a^2ϵσ]^0.25, where a is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant. ϵ the effective surface emissivity, A the wavelength-integrated Bond albedo, R the planet’s radius, a the planet’s distance from the sun, and S the solar constant at a. For Earth today, T, = 255 K, and the difference AT = 33 K between Tc and the observed mean surface temperature Ts is due to the mainly H2O-CO2 atmospheric greenhouse effect.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 2:14 pm

Said in another way, the effective temperature of the Earth’s surface without GHGs would be the same effective temperature of today’s top-of-the-atmosphere temperature, about 255 K. [Net SW in = net LW out. Apply Stefan-Boltzmann and you get the answer.]

Reply to  Dave Fair
March 25, 2022 2:55 pm

Said in another way, the effective temperature of the Earth’s surface without GHGs would be the same effective temperature of today’s top-of-the-atmosphere temperature,

The problem with your statement is that for it to be true the energy distribution at the lit surface must be a 50%:50% equipartition (diabatic) distribution between direct long wavelength thermal radiant loss to space and thermal energy capture by the air (convection). The issue is that convection in the presence of a gravity field is not a diabatic process, convection causes surface energy loss by mass motion. Climate models assume that the planet’s surface is uniformly illuminated, something that is demonstrably false. The hemisphere illuminated Noonworld model we have designed demonstrates that convection is an energy storage process (it is adiabatic in form) and that fluid convection occurs independently of fluid thermal radiant opacity.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 25, 2022 5:40 pm

Not the issue: S-B shows the surface of the earth radiates energy from an aggregate surface temperature of about 288 K. The TOA radiates energy at an aggregate temperature of about 255 K. The surface of the Earth is effectively hotter than that at the TOA. The difference between the energy fluxes is accounted for by the physical operation of the complex, not fully understood atmospheric processes. It’s called (inaccurately) the greenhouse effect but, like the crooked dice game, its the only game in town.

None of this says anything about CliSciFi’s ability to predict future temperatures, nor their methods to accomplish that. Hell, they can’t even get the past and present temperatures right.

Reply to  Dave Fair
March 26, 2022 12:53 am

Not the issue:

This is the issue. Radiative emission to Space from the TOA is indisputably a diabatic process. The presence of the Tropopause, the vertical limit of convection, and the layered Stratosphere above is the diabatic realm where radiative transfer of energy to Space dominates. The surface boundary however is the primary site of convection initiation, both upward insolation forced mass motion and also downward mass motion due to energy loss caused by direct-to-space surface radiative cooling.

The difference between the energy fluxes is accounted for by the physical operation of the complex, not fully understood atmospheric processes.

This “not fully understood atmospheric process” is called Convection. Convection is an energy storage process. To store energy this process must skew the solar energy partition bias away from diabatic equilibrium at the surface boundary. The temperature difference between the surface and the TOA in our DAET model is a measure of the physical distance to the TOA using the adiabatic lapse rate. The adiabatic lapse rate is defined by gravity (itself a function of planetary mass) and is independent of atmospheric thermal radiant opacity. Climate models based solely on isothermal atmosphere radiative physics when applied to the Troposphere are junk.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 27, 2022 9:51 am

Exactly. The planet HAS to be at radiative balance. The fact is that plane where it is is way up in the atmosphere.

Dr. Jimmy Vigo
March 25, 2022 5:47 am

Of course this is a post harder to understand due to the fact that it involves physics. A good take away is to emphasize that the so-called climate change/global warming is a field that belongs to quantum science. The mere mentioning of Planck and Boltzmann automatically involves quantum mechanics, Planck being the constant value that determines allowable energy values for sub atomic particles such as photons and electrons, and the crystal field theory that explains the overlap of atomic orbitals of atoms making chemical bonds to form molecules. It is worthy to remind that at the quantum level, everything is about statistics, which is the base of the Boltzmann distribution of particles in energy levels responsible for the understanding, in this case, the overall temperature of a system of gases. Due to the natural effect of random motions of particles, repulsion/attractions, anything described at the level of the quantum field is indeterministic, meaning that you cannot predict a future behavior based on knowledge of observable data as you can do with macro objects using the normal Newtonian physics, the deterministic science. This is why the climate belongs to chaos theory, explaining why the weather of a local area can only be weakly predicted inside a window of 2 weeks. The prediction of the future overall climate of a planet is totally impossible for current capabilities of quantum science. This means that the predictions of “10 years left before catastrophes, destructions and extinctions” are mere speculations with no solid science to support it.

JBVigo, PhD

March 25, 2022 5:55 am

Well that is where feedbacks come into play. And as much as “consensus science” got most of the physics wrong, this criticism is pointless.

If we assume ECS was 3K (it is not, but that is another story), then you would get 1.11K from 3.7W/m2 forcing (based on an equally erroneous lambda of 0.3), and a primary feedback of 2.1W/m2. It would then follow 3.7*0.3/(1-2.1*0.3) = 3K. In other words, that is 3.7W/m2 forcing plus another 6.3W/m2 from (total) feedbacks, adding up to 10W/m2 (again 3K/0.3 = 10W/m2).

So that would be 10W/m2 as opposed to 16.5W/m2 (it is 16.5 as (291^4-288^4)*5.67e-8 = 16.5, not 16.4). How comes the difference? The 10W/m2 do apply to the emission temperature, not the surface temperature. If the emission temperature was 255K with emissions of 239.7W/m2, then things almost add up. From 255K to 258K emissions would grow by 11.5W/m2. Again it does not quite match the 10W/m2, but that is because a lambda of 0.3 is wrong, as stated above. And this is indeed a mistake in “consensus science”.

Anyhow, a 3K temperature increase at the emission level will then be passed on to the surface, if the lapse rate remains constant (which it does not, and again “consensus science” has huge troubles with this). The fact that emissions at the surface would increase by 16.5W/m2 (if the surface was a perfect emitter, which it is not!) is irrelevant, as most of this radiation will be absorbed by the atmosphere, and never goes into space.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
March 25, 2022 9:55 am

Using ECS is quite a bit like using $/sq.ft. to establish what a house is worth. There are much more detailed material and labor take-off methods to calculate what a house is worth….but in the end you do a quick check against the $/sq.ft. of previous calculations to see if you made a dumb error somewhere….

Dave Fair
Reply to  E. Schaffer
March 25, 2022 2:21 pm

CliSciFi does not get the physics wrong: CliSciFi gets the assumptions fed into the physics wrong. Figures don’t lie but liars can figure. This is where Nick and the other CliSciFi shills go wrong in harping about “its the science.”

Reply to  Dave Fair
March 28, 2022 2:38 am

CliSciFi gets the assumptions fed into the physics wrong.

I agree with you. It’s not the science it is the model that is wrong.
The radiative theory of climate science is built on a model diabatic equation, the Vacuum Planet Equation. This equation is valid for thermal radiative loss to Space at the TOA but cannot be applied to surface meteorology at the base of the Troposphere.

The critical starting point that proves my contention is the graphical relationship between the diabatic DAET model we created and the Vacuum Planet Equation (VPE) see Figure 3 here proves that the VPE is a Diabatic Equation.  With this fact established it necessarily follows that when applied to the planet’s surface our diabatic DAET model, that does not have any thermal radiant opacity, proves that the greenhouse effect cannot be due to the so-called greenhouse gases because the adiabatic process is ignored.

Adiabatic convection requires thermal disequilibrium between the surface and the air. N.B. This thermal disequilibrium can be either daytime surface heating by insolation or nighttime surface cooling by direct thermal radiative loss to space, both of these processes cause convection. Because convection is an adiabatic process it is not accounted for when the diabatic VPE is applied to the surface. The Troposphere therefore is not an isothermal system. The requirement for mass motion (convection) in the presence of a gravity field means that the atmosphere does mechanical work. Mechanical Work requires a thermal gradient and this thermal gradient is supplied by the adiabatic lapse rate which is established in the Troposphere by gravity and by Mean Atmospheric Molecular Mass and is completely independent of atmospheric thermal radiant opacity.

The greenhouse gas conjecture is hereby now disproved.

March 25, 2022 9:04 am

Why does WUWT keep publishing nonsense from the old school of climate science that pretends to criticize the IPCC CO2-driven global warming hoax but actually protects it with such convoluted gobbledy-gook that nobody can understand what they’re saying?

It’s always been so easy to prove that all greenhouse gas theories are dead wrong because they deny the existence or efficacy of Nature’s ironclad Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy).

  1. All coalesced (liquid, solid) bodies are good Planck black body radiators, which absorb and emit radiation at all wavelengths. In the Earth climate system, the main black bodies are the surfaces of the Sun and Earth. No gas can ever a black body because the gas molecules are forever bouncing around against each other and can only share heat energy via contact and conduction. They never absorb or emit radiation except if they’re polar (have electric dipoles) and then only one photon at a time at certain wavelengths in their electrons depending on their dipole structure. CO2, H2O, and CH4 are polar, and the IPCC claims that they’re “greenhouse gases” and wants us to fear them.
  2. For a black body B to reach a certain temperature T, it has to absorb heat energy sufficient to raise its temperature to T based on its heat capacity of so many degrees C per Joule. The black body A whose radiation is heating B must have a temperature equal to or greater than T, because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that no heat energy can be transferred from body A to B unless the temperature of A is greater than the temperature of B, else there is no energy transfer. That’s why nobody has patented a dry ice-powered microwave oven that can cook a turkey.
  3. All along the way the black body attempts to cool itself by combining its energy modes via the Boltzmann distribution and emitting radiation out of its surfaces along a power-wavelength curve based solely on T and always constrained to increase entropy maximally for the given internal energy. The S-B Law is just the Planck black body radiation law integrated over all wavelengths, showing that the total power rises as T^4, which is what they call color temperature (change in color of an iron rod stuck into a fire). In contrast, the total radiant energy capability of atmospheric gases is trifling compared to black bodies, because photon-by-photon absorption/emission that’s not even dependent on atmospheric temperature can’t touch the T^4 power law for black bodies.
  4. Only radiant energy from the 5500C Sun reaches Earth’s surface and slowly heats it up while it keeps trying to cool via Planck black body radiation, conduction/convection, and evaporation. Usual maximum Earth surface temperatures rarely exceed 50C, so because of entropy the total surface radiation energy is a fraction of the original absorbed solar energy, and gets worse the hotter the surface gets because entropy dispersion loss rises as T^3.
  5. Now what does the IPCC claim? That a tiny fraction of this surface radiation energy if turned back can reheat the surface with its own heat, and even make it reach a higher temperature than the Sun gave it. Here’s where the IPCC liars start their deception play, by claiming that the S-B Law can be inverted, so that the total power from a black body at temperature T can restore that temperature if returned, when it has already experienced irreversible loss due to entropy dispersion.
  6. Greenhouse gases are all a bald-faced lie. Even if they returned 100% of surface energy to the surface, it wouldn’t even begin to return to the original temperature the Sun gave it, and not even stop it from cooling until it reached the ambient temperature, no different than an Obama blanket placed on a warm corpse If the corpse is the whole Earth after the Sun went dead, it would eventually cool to the near-zero temperature of space even if Earth’s atmosphere were 100% CO2. The IPCC wants you to believe that heat grows on trees, and if the evil capitalist pigs who own Big Oil keep emitting CO2, the Earth is headed for runaway global warming, even pretending to scientifically calculate a nonphysical “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) of so many degrees C global temperature rise per doubling of CO2 concentration, always with no calibration for zero CO2 concentration because it’s not physical, only political, kaching! It’s all lies tha are trying to deny Nature’s ironclad Second Law of you know what for political gain. ECS is ZERO for all CO2 concentrations.
  7. All other seemingly learned complications introduced by both sides are moose hockey that can’t get around this fundamental problem that the CO2 dog won’t hunt. Imagine the hordes of useful idiots they’ve manufactured to go for the brass ring.

Instead of publishing rehashes of this old school nonsense that overcomplicates the simple, WUWT should be publishing and constantly promoting my killer disproof of the IPCC’s greenhouse gas warming theories until the public laughs it out of existence. The truth that will set people free is that the emperor has no clothes, it’s not complicated, it’s so simple that even a 5th grader can grasp it.

How many hundred million pageviews does WUWT have? Sometimes I suspect it’s a false flag op owned by the IPCC. It’s sure been doing them yeoman service by pretending to be independent critics who never go in for the kill but seem to be staging an endless diversion play of trying to calculate the number of angels that fit on the head of a pin to keep the big bucks the IPCC demands rolling in.

Here’s my killer disproof, that is begging for a fatcat who can get it into the hands of every educated person (h.s. grad?) in the Western world:

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

Why would anybody want to finance that? To save the world from a preventable disaster. How many times do I have to publicize this demand of the IPCC for not trillions but hundreds of trillions of dollars to save us from their own hoax? Every one of those dollars would be a boondoggle. These are desperate times and require desperate measures.

Consulting firm McKinsey estimates $9 trillion per year cost for climate accords | budbromley

I hereby grant permission to reprint my killer bullet article in full with copyright notice intact. Since it’s an html document filled with hyperlinks and images it can just be linked to with appropriate fanfare and get good results, or rehosted on a server capable of handling higher traffic.

Reply to  TL Winslow
March 25, 2022 9:44 am

I upvote with one caveat–the gratuitous slams on WUWT are unnecessary.

Dave Fair
Reply to  TL Winslow
March 25, 2022 2:33 pm

Please explain the difference between the Earth’s effective surface temperature of about 288 K vs the top-of-the-atmosphere’s effective temperature of about 255 K. If Stefan-Boltzmann is valid, those are the numbers one gets.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 28, 2022 7:03 am

What you have defined is an insulator. The atmosphere is an insulator, no more and no less. Climate science makes the mistake of making temperature from heat radiation additive. It is not.

Temperatures only increase if the net heat absorbed is greater than what is being radiated. In other words a cold body can not increase the temperature of a hot body. The most that can happen is that temperature decrease in the hot body is slowed. That is, a smaller but still positive gradient. This occurs until equilibrium is reached.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  TL Winslow
March 25, 2022 4:21 pm

TL Winslow

Your number two is incorrect. Radiated energy doesn’t give a hoot what the receiver’s temperature is. If earth had 4 suns, one bright and three tiny, distant and cool, the earth would receive radiation from all of them, just as it does from the moon. Even the CMB transfers energy to the Earth at 3K.

March 25, 2022 10:17 am

CO2 is to climate what Interest Rates are to the economy.

In theory interest rates control the economy. In practice interest rates are controlled by the economy.

Look at our current situation. We are told that interest rates must be raised to control inflation. Yet if there was no inflation there would be no call to increase interest rates.

So we have a situation in both climate and the economy where the cause and effect are confused.

March 25, 2022 10:32 am

We are told that lowering interest rates will boost economic activity. Thus, if economic activity falls, the central bank will drop interest rates. Similarly, the reverse is also true.

You should thus be able to model this and predict interest rates and economic activity going forward for the next 50 years as is done with climate models for temperature and GHG.

And while no single model may give the correct answer, we should expect that 20 economic models averaged together will forecast interest rates and economic activity for the next 50 years.

And as a result, like CO2 we can thus adjust interest rates in advance of the economy to prevent market fluctuations and inflation/deflation. The success of current bank policy shows this to be true.

March 27, 2022 7:12 pm

A truly excellent dissection and detailed explanation of what really happens in the atmosphere.

Thank you,  Howard “Cork” Hayden, Prof. Emeritus of Physics, UConn.

For providing definitive proof that University of Connecticut easily surpasses, Harvard, Yale and many other alleged prestigious education facilities.

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