Putting It Into Reverse

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

We have an experiential understanding of the effect of radiation on objects. Oh, not nuclear radiation, that’s something different. I’m talking about things like solar radiation, aka sunshine. In the world of climate science, sunshine aka solar radiation is also known as “shortwave radiation”.

This is to distinguish it from thermal “longwave” infrared radiation. Longwave thermal radiation is being given off all the time by everything around us, including the atmosphere. It’s what makes night-vision glasses work. They “see” the longwave radiation. Longwave radiation is also why we can feel the heat from a hot cast-iron stove clear across the room—we can sense the heat on our bodies from the longwave radiation.

Radiation in climate science is distinguished by direction, being either upwelling (headed to space) or downwelling (headed to the earth’s surface).

These types are often referred to by abbreviations. So downwelling shortwave radiation (sunshine) is DSR. Upwelling shortwave radiation (sunshine reflected from the surface and clouds) is USR. Similarly, upwelling longwave radiation (that part of the thermal longwave infrared radiation constantly emitted by the surface and atmosphere that is headed to space) is ULR, and downwelling longwave radiation (that part of the longwave radiation emitted by the atmosphere that’s headed toward the earth’s surface) is DLR.

With that as prologue, as I opened by saying, we have an experiential understanding of the effect of radiation on objects. Our experiential understanding of the effect of solar radiation is quite simple.

The more radiation absorbed by some object, the hotter it gets.

Our experiential understanding of longwave radiation is also simple, exemplified by feeling the heat from a cast-iron firewood stove from across the room. That understanding is:

The hotter an object gets, the more longwave radiation it emits.

We experience both of these quite often. Indeed, we have a number of scientific equations that allow us to calculate exactly how much hotter something gets from absorbing a given amount of radiation, and also how much radiation is given off by an object at a certain temperature.

And indeed, our experiential understanding of sunshine is what underlies the fundamental paradigm of climate science:

The more radiation absorbed by the planetary surface, the hotter it gets.

Now, that seems unassailably true, based on both our experiential understanding, as well as the equations that can actually calculate the amount of heating for a given amount of radiation. I mean, we can see every day how the sun comes up and the earth gets warmer … simple physics, right?

So … is it always true that if more radiation is absorbed by some object, it gets warmer?

Well … consider what happens when you walk outdoors during the day. Immediately you are absorbing hundreds and hundreds of watts of additional energy from the sun.

But despite absorbing a large amount of solar radiation, your overall average temperature is unchanged … more radiation has not made you hotter.

Ah, folks will say, but that’s because the human body has systems that regulate our temperatures. We have systems that increase heat loss when absorbed radiation increases, that move the absorbed energy to where it can be lost to the air … and, folks say, that’s very different from the climate.

Hmmm …

Keeping that in mind, let me take a slight detour. There’s a mathematical measure called “correlation”. It measure the similarity of two datasets, and for any pair of datasets, it has a value somewhere between minus one and one. “Correlation” measures whether two sets of data, say temperature and absorbed radiation, move in the same direction. A correlation of 1.0 means the two datasets always move in the same direction—if, for example, when absorbed radiation increases, temperature always goes up.

A negative correlation means the two datasets are generally moving in opposite directions. A correlation of -1.0 means the two datasets always move in opposite directions—when one goes up the other always goes down.

And a correlation of zero means that there is no relationship between the changes in one dataset and the changes in the other.

With that as a prologue, let’s look at the correlation between the earth’s surface temperature and how much radiation the surface is receiving. Per our experiential understanding, the correlation should be strongly positive, meaning that the more radiation that is absorbed by the planetary surface, the hotter it should get, and the less radiation absorbed, the cooler it should get.

Here, using the CERES satellite data, is a gridcell by gridcell display of that correlation. Each gridcell is 1° latitude by 1° longitude.

Figure 1. Gridcell by gridcell correlation of surface absorbed radiation (shortwave + longwave) and surface temperature. Gridcells are 1° latitude by 1° longitude.

Now, this is a most interesting result. Everywhere over the land, with no exceptions, the correlation is just what we’d expect—not only positive, but in general strongly positive. Overall correlation over the land is 0.91, a strong positive correlation, which supports our experiential understanding of absorbed radiation and temperature. Over the land, when absorbed radiation increases, temperatures do in fact go up, and vice versa. Positive correlation. Simple physics.

But over large areas of the tropical ocean, shockingly, there is negative correlation. Contrary to our experiential understanding, contrary to the central paradigm of climate science, contrary to “simple physics”, in those areas more absorbed radiation is NOT making the planetary surface warmer. It’s making the surface cooler … which isn’t possible if absorbed radiation is determining the temperature.

From that, we can only conclude that in those areas, the causation is going in reverse. Instead of total absorbed radiation determining temperature, the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.

A primary mechanism that explains this apparent impossibility is the temperature-controlled emergence of cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These increase with increasing temperature, and they greatly reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the surface. And so the temperature is regulating the amount of absorbed solar radiation, via clouds and thunderstorms.

And this is a very strong regulation. Here’s a scatterplot of the net effect of clouds on the downwelling radiation versus the surface temperature.

Figure 2. Scatterplot, ocean temperature versus total downwelling radiation change due to clouds (cloud radiative effect, “CRE”).

Note that at the warmest temperatures, the clouds are reducing total downwelling radiation (shortwave + longwave) by up to 60 W/m2 … by comparison, a doubling of CO2 is said to increase radiation by 3.7 W/m2.

Next, I need to show that the phenomenon of reversed causation/negative correlation is in fact temperature-related. I mean, it could just be some peculiarity of the tropical ocean that isn’t particularly related to the temperature.

The first way I investigated that question was by making a scatterplot of the relationship between temperature and the correlation shown in Figure 1. Here is that result.

Figure 3. Scatterplot. Horizontal axis shows the temperature of each 1° x 1° gridcell. Vertical axis is the correlation of absorption and temperature in that gridcell. The box at bottom right encompasses all of the gridcells which have a negative correlation between the absorbed radiation and the temperature.

A couple of things are clear here. First, the reversal of cause and effect leading to the negative correlation of absorption and temperature only occurs at ocean temperatures over ~ 23°C.

And second, in that area in the lower right showing all gridcells with negative correlation, the warmer the temperature, the greater the maximum observed negative correlation.

So this is evidence strongly supporting the idea that the emergence of negative correlation is indeed temperature-based.

However, while this shows the conditions on average over the period of the satellite record, this is only a long-term calculation. We still need to investigate what happens in the gridcells as temperatures warm and cool over time.

Now, my hypothesis is that the surface temperature is regulated by emergent phenomena including tropical cumulus fields and thunderstorms. If that is the case, then as the temperature increases, the strength of this negative correlation should wax and wane.

More specifically, a corollary of my hypothesis is that the area of the ocean surface where the correlation is negative should be larger in the summer when the ocean is warmer, and the area of negative correlation should be smaller in the winter when the ocean is cooler. So I did the calculations and graphed it up. Of course, to do this I had to split the data into northern and southern hemisphere gridcells, since the seasons are reversed in the two hemispheres.

Figure 4. Monthly variations in the area of the ocean surface where the temperature and the absorbed radiation are negatively correlated.

As would be expected if my hypothesis is correct, in the northern hemisphere (red line) the area of negative correlation is largest in the summer. In fact, it peaks out at about 50% larger in summer than the winter minimum.

And at the same time, the area in the southern hemisphere (blue line) is at a minimum, because it is the southern hemisphere winter. It is an even larger swing in the southern hemisphere, with the maximum area of negative correlation being almost twice the minimum area.

So both of these methods show that indeed, the negative correlation is a function of temperature.

Summary: When the ocean temperature gets high enough, the normal everyday “simple physics” positive correlation between absorbed radiation and a resulting temperature increase breaks down, and the correlation between radiation and temperature goes negative. This acts to reduce the ocean surface temperature. It is another of the many emergent phenomena which act in concert to thermoregulate the planet.

How good is this planetary thermal regulation? Well, although we inhabit a world that is balanced at a temperature on the order of 50°C warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases, a world regulated by clouds, winds, and waves, a world where the land temperature varies by up to ± 30°C (± 10%) from summer to winter, and the ocean varies by up to ± 8°C (± 3%) from summer to winter … despite being in the midst of all of that daily and monthly fluctuation, the global average temperature only varied by ± 0.4°C (± 0.1%) over the entire 20th century …

To me, this is the big unanswered question in climate science—not why the temperature varies, but why it varies so little. And the existence of the negative correlation discussed above is a testament to how “simple physics” is completely inadequate to explain the unbelievably complex, chaotic climate system.

My best regards to all,

w.

The Usual: When you comment please quote the exact words you are discussing. I can defend my own words. I cannot defend your restatement of my words.

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Richard M
August 7, 2022 10:29 am

The feedback also occurs at the micro level. Due to the low energy levels of some DLR the energy never makes it past the surface skin. As a result, this energy is exposed to the constant pounding from atmospheric gases. What happens is called thermal equilibrium.

If the surface is at all warmer than the atmosphere the energy is almost immediately conducted back into the atmosphere. Since the energy came from the atmosphere the result is equivalent to no change.

Even if the surface is cooler, it means much of the other energy that would be conducted to the surface stays in the atmosphere.

This is what happens to most of the 3.7 w/m2 of DLR from CO2. It gets lost in thermal equilibrium processes.

Richard M
Reply to  Richard M
August 8, 2022 6:28 am

Interesting that this comment received no responses. I essentially explained why the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 is close to zero. Seems like I should have seen explanations on either how I got it wrong or how do we get this information into the mainstream.

Basically, this process means there will be no need for any emergent feedbacks to warming as the warming will not happen. The important feedback occurs within nanoseconds and attenuates almost all the enhanced greenhouse effect from DLR.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Richard M
August 8, 2022 9:35 am

What 3.7w-m2?. f greenhouse gases are emitting 107wm2 DLR and non-greenhouse gases emitting 216w-m2 then conduction and convection includes 17w-m2(total 340wm2). Where is 3.7wm2? It’s made up by the IPCC.
5.35 x In(560/280)=3.7wm2.
280ppm Industrial period. Humans increasing earth’s energy imbalance by 0.013w-m2 for every part per million. The other 999,440 get heated by 560 (super) hot CO2 molecules.
Why do people believe such nonsense.

Richard M
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
August 8, 2022 10:27 am

Thanks for the response. At 280 ppm the base GHE of CO2 is saturated already. My understanding is the 3.7 w/m2 comes from CO2 molecules getting energized via collisions and occasionally radiating energy towards the surface. This is part of what is called the enhanced GHE. The kinetic energy in the atmosphere could have come from any source.

My comment applies to this energy. It is real and can be measured. Feldman 2015 shows it is slowly increasing. However, as I stated, it cannot produce any warming because almost all of the DLR is generated within the boundary layer which exists in thermal equilibrium with the surface. Two entities in thermal equilibrium cannot warm each other.

JoshC
Reply to  Richard M
August 11, 2022 1:11 pm

IIRC there was 2 ways that it was calculated:

One is doubling of CO2 resulting in 1.1m^2 of increased warming PLUS a modifier for increased water moisture, for additional warming of 3.7 to 4.4wm^2. Originally it was 3x for water vapor, I think it was reduced to 2.5x after a paper. One of the Otto el all if memory serves, with Santer and Mann signing on.

And another calculation looking at changes over time and retention of heat, then looking at CO2 changes and related heat. This resulted in 3.7wm^2 for a doubling, so it is a more ’empirical’ result.

But these are some dusty memories, I am glad to be updated.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Richard M
August 8, 2022 9:58 am

DLR s combined solar heating of gases above 70hpa 107w-m2. And 1.4 x 1.29kg x 334 m/2 squared / heat capacity of air 932 = 216w-m2 323w-m2.
1.29kg (78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen)

Devils Tower
August 7, 2022 10:34 am

One big factor that needs to be added to discusion is what happens when the sea level rises. This will be short but should be obvious.

Starting from the glacial minimum sea level two basic things happen..

1. The sea surface area increased by 30%

2. The atmospheric pressure at sea level has decreased as the sea level has risen.

Both of these significantly increases the overall ocean evaporation which cools the ocean.

My opinion, these effects are the dominant feed backs that limit warming on the high side and cooling on the low side.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Devils Tower
August 7, 2022 4:50 pm

I am not sure that we can deduce that atmospheric pressure at sea level changed very much as the sea level rose. Atmospheric pressure is a function of the weight of the atmosphere above the observer. If we lower the sea level, the atmosphere just moves in a little. You would still have the same amount of air above you so the pressure would be the same. It is not quite that simple since 29% of the earth is covered by land, which will not move with the ocean level. Therefore, the pressure will increase but not as much as calculated by the current altitude versus pressure correlation.

Devils Tower
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
August 7, 2022 5:34 pm

Do not forget about the mass of the oceans shifting.

The gravitational constant changes as the inverse of the radius squared.

There is also the issue of what controls the absorption of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen into the ocean. I know of no satisfactory answer to this question to predict the atmospheric volume/pressure over time. I do know that evaporation increases as pressure drops which will increase the water cycle and how much latent heat is pumped into the atmosphere cooling the oceans.

In the end, not knowing the atmospheric pressure dynamics, means you really know nothing about climate parameters.

Do not forget the 30% increase in ocean surface area since last glacial max.

One interesting exercise is to compare the evaporation rate of the dead sea vs the oceans

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
August 7, 2022 6:00 pm

LCW,
Correct. Geoff S

KAT
Reply to  Devils Tower
August 8, 2022 3:09 am

Agreed.
Land based ice masses will have served as “ridges” that displaced the atmospheric air into the sea level “valleys”.
Sea level was over 100 metres lower during the glacial maximum.
Assuming that the volume/mass of air has remained relatively constant – then air pressure at sea level would have been considerably greater than it is presently.
This would have the effect of raising the air temperature at sea level.

KAT
Reply to  Devils Tower
August 8, 2022 3:35 am

Agreed.
During the previous glacial maximum – land based ice masses would have acted as ‘ridges’ serving to displace the atmosphere into the sea level “valleys”.
Sea level was over 100 metres lower than at present.
Assuming that the mass/volume of the atmosphere has remained relatively constant then it is apparent that the sea level air pressure would be considerably greater than it is at present.
The lower elevation would have resulted in comparatively higher air temperatures at sea level.

Rud Istvan
August 7, 2022 10:40 am

Nice post, WE.

IMO there are three separate but related underlying mechanisms for the tropical ocean negative correlation effect you prove yet again by different means.

  1. Tropical Cumulus and then cumulonimbus clouds directly increase local albedo, thereby increasing USR and decreasing DSR.
  2. Cumulonimbus directly convect humid air’s latent heat of evaporation to high cold altitudes, where it’s release via condensation into rain enables more cooling ULR (escapes to space) at altitudes where the GHE is significantly less because drier.
  3. Linzen’s adaptive iris hypothesis says more and larger Tstorms reduce high cirrus. High cirrus warms by reflecting ULR, turning it into DLR. (Note. High cirrus comprises tiny ice crystals. These are transparent to DSR but opaque to ULR.) Judith and I did back to back posts on this years ago at Climate Etc. She interviewed Lindzen on the history of how ‘climate scientists’ treated his anno 2000 paper, while I explained his hypothesis using his original paper, followed by a then new paper incorporating it into a climate model that resulted in significantly reduced model ECS.
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 1:31 pm

All good points about which I had not thought. Lots of moving parts, none of which are in the IPCC climate models, even as parameters.

I’ll offer a related speculation. All the CMIP4, 5, and 6 models (except for INM, where I previously posted this fact as comment to a post. INM 4.8 and 5.0–both in CMIP6–which I checked via an INM paper—do not have the tropical troposphere hotspot) have a tropical troposphere hot spot which does not in fact exist. This is because they underestimate the humidity washout from your emergent tropical properties by about half, which we now know observationally from the ARGO upper ocean salinity measurements. Ocean ‘freshwater storage’ was one of the three original ARGO design intents, as explained in my years ago guest post here on ARGO—fit for purpose?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 2:37 pm

All of these are white, increasing the albedo of the sea surface.

This speaks to the issue of apparent reflectivity (albedo) and actual total reflectivity, or the sum of specular and diffuse reflectivity. For low sun angles (high angle of incidence) the waves and foam may actually decrease the total reflectivity. It it too complex to just dismiss. Nadir views from satellites provide a distorted optical picture of all the interactions.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 10:52 am

Willis,
Yes, the outgoing light flux is a product of the reflectivity and intensity of the incoming light, and the light intensity decreases with low sun angles. However, your graph speaks to albedo, not light intensity.

There is an issue with your graphic. It doesn’t specify the latitude, the time of year, or the viewing geometry.
Are the measurements a nadir view at different times, or are they looking towards the sun at the proper angle to capture specular reflectance? The shape of the curves suggest off-nadir measurements, although,
the blue line only somewhat resembles my graph:

comment image
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/12/why-albedo-is-the-wrong-measure-of-reflectivity-for-modeling-climate/

It isn’t surprising that the red line peaks near a nadir view, because the apparent roughness of a specular reflector declines with increasing angles of incidence. One can readily observe high reflectance off the clods and stubble of a harvested corn field if viewed looking into the sun on the horizon. Thus, much of the light at low sun angles is probably being lost to space and not recorded if the photometer isn’t in the correct position.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2022 9:23 pm

Clyde, your graph shows flat water Fresnel reflectance.
Waves reduce the reflectance significantly at high angles, which can be observed by the horizon being a dark gray line instead of a highly reflective mirror line…see fig 10 from
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018JC014444

FF5C8333-98D6-4B4F-A168-32324D128149.jpeg
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 7:36 pm

Willis,

Excellent article.

When the rain falls, it moves the air vertically downwards with it. This air is cooled by the omnipresent evaporation of raindrops as they fall.”

When rain falls from high altitude the rain itself can be very cold. Often rain drops start as hail, and melt on their way down. Cold rain/ice can dry the air through condensation, and cool it by conduction. This means that it is not unusual for ground level absolute humidity to fall during a rain storm. Indoor relative humidity can fall, if the temperature is held constant by climate control equipment.

Randy Bork
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 9, 2022 6:07 am

Do any of the climate models have this negative correlation in the equatorial ocean in their model output?

John Tillman
August 7, 2022 10:55 am

The hotter an object gets, the shorter the peak wavelength of the energy it emits gets.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wien%27s_displacement_law

Also, the sun produces nuclear radiation, ie energetic particles and very short wavelength gamma rays, as well as progressively longer X-ray, UV, visible and IR light, microwave and radio EM radiation. Among the energetic particles are neutrons and the protons, alpha and beta particles of the solar wind. Electrons can be considered particles in the context of solar wind as well.

But sunshine at Earth’s surface I guess could be distinguished from total solar output.

Meab
Reply to  John Tillman
August 7, 2022 1:22 pm

Atmospheric neutrons come from cosmic rays interacting with elements in the atmosphere. We know this because the half life of a free neutron is so short few could make it from the sun to the
earth.

John Tillman
Reply to  Meab
August 7, 2022 2:26 pm

The half life of a free neutron is about 10.5 minutes. Light takes 8.3 minutes to reach Earth at its mean distance from the sun. I don’t know average solar neutron speed, so can’t compute what share should have decayed en route.

Solar neutrons do however reach the atmosphere but are attenuated while propagating through it, so don’t make it to Earth’s surface.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1384107614001936

https://www.isee.nagoya-u.ac.jp/CR/en/research/neutrons/

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 9, 2022 10:10 am

Don’t forget the neutrinos….those little guys are numerous but ptobably have no effect on climate. Also, the solar system orbits around the center of the Milky Way and encounters at least one area of higher cosmic rays….but that is a very long cycle that may affect clouds and climate.

H. D. Hoese
August 7, 2022 10:56 am

I have long been interested in weird currents, upwellings, not always reaching the surface, going sideways, etc. The nutrient poor Amazon causes nutrient rich upwelling, small examples in the nutrient rich Mississippi delta. Gulf coastal temperatures sometimes show this, right now S Texas at the border is several degrees lower than the northern ones I checked. This can be explained by Ekman effects, but such happens to the north, not always reaching the surface.

This study (Open Access) was done by floats, float all over the place, maybe not a complete enough sampling. Weatherly, G., N. et al., 2003. Temperature inversions in the open Gulf of Mexico. Journal Geophysical Research. 108(C6):1-8. There are a few others.
https://doi.org/10.1029/2002JC001680
“What is unusual is how often they were seen and how wide spread they were. About half of the 1482 temperature profiles obtained seaward of the shelf break had one or more temperature inversions, a total of 867 inversions were seen, and inversions were seen throughout the Gulf of Mexico.” Surely some of this has atmospheric effects.

Last edited 1 month ago by Willis Eschenbach
Bob
August 7, 2022 11:09 am

Excellent.

JCM
August 7, 2022 11:18 am

Climate communicators commonly avoid the feedback parameter lambda in discussion, and focus exclusively on forcing. The idea is humanity has control over forcing, and no control over feedback.

Very little is known about the factors of lambda, or the feedback response in the thermodynamic system.

  • P: Planck feedback
  • WV: Water vapor feedback
  • LR: Lapse rate feedback
  • WV+LR: combined water vapor plus lapse rate feedback
  • C: cloud feedback
  • A: surface albedo feedback

We are to conceptualize the system as remaining idle and static in response to a forcing.

Considering the bulk of OLR that is observed originates from the continuous IR spectra of liquid and solid water phases in the atmosphere, it is troubling so little attention is paid to hydroclimate variables.

Evapotranspiration, convection, and moisture convergence: these are immensely powerful dynamic processes.

People tend to accept conclusions, be they scientific or otherwise, that support themes, ideologies, and narratives that are a preexisting component of their worldview. It just so happens that the themes, ideologies, and narratives associated with human-caused global warming mechanisms and its proposed solutions align well with archetypal worldviews of the Left.

There are several aspects of the contemporary human-caused global warming narrative that align well with a collectivist worldview. This makes the issue gratifying to the sensibilities of the Left.

Global warming’s long term nature calls for the embracement of collectivism across generations. This natural alignment of the global warming problem with collectivist themes makes the issue extremely palatable to left leaning ideology. These types of collectivist action almost necessarily call for top-down government intervention and thus they are inevitably associated with collectivism at the expense of individualism. This theme is very appealing to youth, investors, and the intelligencia-at-large.

Mainstream climate communicators, and those who claim to be disinterested scientists, have a substantial blind spot when it comes to the recognition of their own biases on the issue. which they proudly put on display at any opportunity.

Mr.
Reply to  JCM
August 7, 2022 12:00 pm

So to summarize, climates behaviors are now, always have been, and always will be products of dominant natural variations.

AGW is a political construct by ideologies whose objectives are well served by weaponizing it.

No arguments from me on either point.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  JCM
August 7, 2022 3:50 pm

“We are to conceptualize the system as remaining idle and static in response to a forcing.”

Ive commented at length on the Le Châtelier Principle ((LCP), well known by chemists and chemical engineers, which states that with any applied change to one or more components (e.g. say T ) of a multi-component interactive system, all the other components react in such a way as to resist the perturbing change. An obvious simple one is, if you heat an unbounded atmosphere, its volume increases which causes cooling! There are many more components all working for the ‘resistance’.

There are no ‘ceteris paribus’ – all other things remain the same- set up in nature or even human created systems. This is why ocean acidification is a phoney worry. This why the warming anomaly forecasts made in 1988-90 turned out to be 300% too high in the 1st decade of the new millennium. If we granted “The Physics was sound, then we could argue that to complete the calculation, we must mult6it with an LCP coefficient of 0.33.

JCM
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 7, 2022 7:01 pm

Thanks. This is similar to thermodynamic hypothesis of maximum entropy production.

Where change in entropy S = dQ / temperature. S will be maximized with a change in heat transfer Q (i.e. temperature will be minimized).

Questions remain about the limits. The system will exploit every possible mechanism to maximize S. But like water flowing downhill, the system will take the easiest path. It then becomes an optimization question about limits and the mechanisms of system response.

Last edited 1 month ago by JCM
JCM
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 7, 2022 7:26 pm

I see no reason to suspect the rate of entropy production to change much based on a minor forcing. Historically we observe 3.3 W m-2 / K, as you point out with your coefficient.

Therefore for each Wm-2 forcing we should expect about 0.3K temperature change on average.

With an assumption of 4 Wm-2 doubling of CO2, I see no reason to suspect an equilibrium climate sensitivity higher than 1.2K. That is an upper bound.

This is 4 W m-2 / 3.3 W m-2 K-1 = 1.2K

Gary Pearse
Reply to  JCM
August 9, 2022 9:41 pm

I agree on the effect on temperature. But also, there are many more different components to the system each making other adjustments in response to the attempt to raise the temperature. Willis Eschenbach’s many articles on the the climate ‘governor’ – heat on the ocean surface driving evaporative cooling, as heat is added the rising moist air increases and clouds form creating a reflective surface that intercepts incoming sun’s Ray’s and bounces them back out. With more intensive heat as the day progresses, thunderstorms will form with more powerful resistance to further heating …

Even the simplistic climate science GHG effect of CO2 emissions is resisted directly by half of the human additions being dissolved from the atmosphere into the oceans, and also sequestered by plants, plankton, etc. To complicate it more, photosynthesis is an endothermic process, sequestering ‘heat’ from the atmosphere equal to more than the heat available if you burn vegetation (think the carbon content of a tree contains more heat energy by weight than anthracite!). This essay could continue for hours.

David A
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 8, 2022 7:09 am

Would it be fair to say that in physical systems negative feedback dominates, and not by a little?

JCM
Reply to  David A
August 8, 2022 8:29 am

“We must attribute to heat the great movements that we observe all about us on the Earth. Heat is the cause of currents in the atmosphere, of the rising motion of clouds, of the falling of rain and of other atmospheric phenomena” – Carnot (1824) 

When we sum up all the changes of interacting turbulent subsystems from forcing, the total entropy change must be nonnegative. This is a statement of the second law of thermodynamics.

The second law of thermodynamics requires that the total change of entropy in the whole system by the multi-scale conversion processes of heat in non-linear fluid systems must be larger than zero.

One cannot increase forcing without also increasing entropy S. This minimizes temperature increase.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  David A
August 9, 2022 9:46 pm

Aggregate feedback is always negative in natural interactive systems. We wouldnt exist today if this wasn’t true!

Reply to  JCM
August 7, 2022 7:59 pm

“These types of collectivist action almost necessarily call for top-down government intervention and thus they are inevitably associated with collectivism fascism at the expense of individualism.”

Fixed it for you.

Chris Nisbet
August 7, 2022 11:20 am

Doesn’t this negative correlation contradict this claim by the IPCC?…

“In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report (AR5) concluded (pdf) that the “net cloud feedback” is likely positive. “

Mr.
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
August 7, 2022 12:04 pm

Do we know what coin they flipped to arrive at that conclusion?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mr.
August 7, 2022 2:40 pm

The two-headed one.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
August 7, 2022 12:30 pm

IPCC is global, not only tropical oceans. But still wrong.
In 2010 Dessler used Ceres all sky/clear sky to show it is observationally about zero (or as McIntyre redid Dessler, slightly negative).
This can be shown differently using Lindzen’s Bode feedback curve. Observational energy budget methods ECS is about 1.7C. IPCC said WVF about doubles zero feedback ECS. That is Bode feedback 0.5, which by itself gives Bode ECS about 1.7. So observationally there is no ‘room’ for positive cloud feedback. Only in otherwise provably wrong IPCC climate models.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 7, 2022 1:00 pm

Net cloud feedback is presently about 5 degrees C of cooling. If more water enters the air when the planet warms, then this cooling effect should increase.

http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap09/rossow.html

It’s quite possible that all net feedbacks are negative, so ECS would be less than the no feedback figure of 1.1 C.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
Bob Wentworth
Reply to  John Tillman
August 7, 2022 3:35 pm

“If more water enters the air when the planet warms, then this cooling effect should increase.”

Maybe. Low, thick clouds have a net cooling effect, and high thin clouds have a net warming effect. So, it depends on what type of clouds appear where.

And water vapor itself has a warming effect, which tends to amplify any warming due to other factors.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Bob Wentworth
August 8, 2022 5:41 am

cloud formation is mechanistic. They form to stabilise the temp. Otherwise thermal runaway…

David A
Reply to  Bob Wentworth
August 8, 2022 6:13 am

Yet I am not certain WV is purely positive feedback. Even in clear skies it reduces the amount of insolation reaching the surface where residence time would increase, and the increased atmospheric energy from absorbed incoming insolation accelerates convection and heat transport to upper pole-ward atmospheric locations where the earth’s GHGs release atmospheric heat to space, (that NHG would not) and CO2 has no GHE at low elevation where conduction dominates.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 7, 2022 4:16 pm

Clouds cause warming at night time, cooling at day time. I assume that the totals in this post are 24 hour totals, not a daytime only.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 7, 2022 4:37 pm

“IPCC is global, not only tropical oceans.”

And away from the tropics and the Arctic Ocean, low cloud cover is reduced by warmer sea surfaces. But the warmer AMO itself is a negative feedback to weaker solar wind states since 1995, self amplified by the decline in low cloud cover which it drives.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 4:12 pm

The IPCC error is considering it a “feedback”. It’s nothing of the sort. It is a variety of temperature-threshold emergent phenomena like thunderstorms coming into existence as and where there is excess surface heat, to remove that heat and cool the surface in a host of ways.”

This is an excellent point, Willis. The “forcing” and “feedback” framing of the climate issue diverts attention away from the readily observed phenomena. The atmosphere is the compressible working fluid of its own heat engine operation(s). The resulting emergent phenomena represent energy transformation and heat transport intensities (expressed in W/m^2) thousands of times more powerful than the single-digit incremental static radiative warming effect of slowly increasing concentrations of non-condensing GHGs. The end climate result is the composite of a huge number of amazingly powerful events and conditions.

So instead of “forcing”, we may refer to an incremental increase in the radiative coupling of the atmosphere to the surface. And instead of “feedback” we may emphasize the high-performance heat engine response.

I greatly appreciate this latest WUWT post in your long record of analyses based on observed data.

David A
Reply to  David Dibbell
August 8, 2022 6:35 am

The atmosphere is the compressible working fluid of its own heat engine operation(s).”

Sp would it be fair to say that some of any increased atmospheric energy would go into work, versus a T increase? How much energy is required to accelerate the hydro-logic cycle?

David Dibbell
Reply to  David A
August 8, 2022 8:23 am

It’s already happening. Non-condensing GHGs add no energy to the land-ocean-atmosphere system. Absorbed solar radiation is all there is being added. The heat engine response involves locally intense transformation of stored energy in the atmosphere, not just the real-time addition of absorbed solar energy. For example, a one-inch-per-hour rate of rainfall in a thunderstorm cell implies a 17,600 W/m^2 conversion of latent heat into motion and into sensible heat radiated outward from the cloud into the surrounding atmosphere.

Increased concentrations of GHGs also incrementally improve the effectiveness of the upper atmosphere as a longwave emitter out to space. So as I see it, there need be no perceptible acceleration of the hydrologic cycle to manage the energy involved in the slightly improved radiative coupling of the atmosphere to the surface as non-condensing GHG concentrations rise.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 9, 2022 10:33 am

If the IPCC “knows” that man made CO2 is warming the climate then they must “know” everything about the climate and can explain the past cycles thoroughly and a recent period from 1940 to 1980 when CO2 went up 15% and the avg. temp went down slightly.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
August 7, 2022 4:13 pm

There are 2 conditions in which a parameter can appear to have zero feedback. One is when the output varies randomly as the parameter varies so there is zero correlation, and the other where varying the parameter causes zero output change. This could mean that the measured parameter is equally offset by some other parameter. Cloud reflection of SW from cloud tops over 35% of the planet during daytime and emission of LW back to the surface over 65% of the planet at night time might be such offsetting parameters, for example…to oversimplify…

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Mark BLR
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
August 8, 2022 6:15 am

this claim by the IPCC …

… is a bit dated.

AR6 (WG-I) has an entire section on “Cloud Feedbacks” (7.4.2.4, starting on page 971 of the “Final” version released just 3 months ago).

The various factors examined, and how they have changed since AR5 (way back in 2013), are listed in Table 7.9 (on page 975, copied below).

The (new for AR6 !) “Tropical high-cloud amount feedback” section (on pages 972 and 973) includes :

A thermodynamic mechanism referred to as the ‘stability iris effect’ has been proposed to explain that the anvil cloud amount decreases with surface warming (Bony et al., 2016).

Consistently, the net high-cloud feedback in the tropical convective regime, including a part of the altitude feedback, is estimated to have the global contribution of –0.13 ± 0.06 W m–2 °C–1 (one standard deviation; Williams and Pierrehumbert, 2017).

Therefore, the tropical high-cloud amount feedback is assessed as negative but with low confidence given the lack of modelling evidence. Taking observational estimates altogether and methodological uncertainty into account, the global contribution of the high-cloud amount feedback is assessed to be –0.15 ± 0.2 W m–2 °C–1 (one standard deviation).

Note that both the “tropical” and “global” numbers for the assessed “net high-cloud feedback” above are negative.

Note also that I personally am in the “(computer) models don’t produce ‘evidence’ (or ‘data’), they produce ‘conjectures’ and/or ‘hypotheses’ instead” camp.

The IPCC is considerably more nuanced that what appears in [ media articles about ] the SPM.

AR6-WGI_Table-7-9_Cloud-feedback-factors.png
Jim Gorman
August 7, 2022 11:24 am

Excellent post. It is refreshing to see some actual science using observations to illuminate one aspect of this complicated planet.

So disappointed that over 40 years no well known climate scientist, or even not well known, has had the temerity to even postulate a reason for this.

The concentration on statistical trending of temperature, while fascinating, simply does nothing to advance any recognition of causal effects. The simple quantity of different models of temperature is a stark reminder that lemmings follow each other over a cliff.

Your initial observation here is a good start for a hypothesis of a deterministic system describing how it works.

Congratulations.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 7, 2022 2:06 pm

In the past 40 years no well known climate scientist (except Lindzen) would work on WE’s emergent thermoregulation hypothesis. Because if they had, there would be no worrisome AGW and the research grant gravy train would have stopped long ago.

RickWill
Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 7, 2022 3:26 pm

So disappointed that over 40 years no well known climate scientist, or even not well known, has had the temerity to even postulate a reason for this.

There have been a number of published papers that have identified the 30C ocean surface temperature limit. Ramanathan possibly the most referenced. A GISS paper around 2000 discussed the 30C OST limit and postulated reasons.

From what I can determine, anyone working on the 30C limit has been seconded to promoting the output of climate models rather than understand why there is a 30C limit.

DMacKenzie
August 7, 2022 11:27 am

Seldom mentioned is that daytime warming versus nighttime cooling affects the altitude and time of day that clouds will exist or the duration of their persistence. Over the entire globe, integration of these local cloud covers cause the planet albedo to average 0.3 and average cloud cover to be .65…..

dk_
August 7, 2022 11:36 am

move the absorbed energy to where it can be lost to the air

Rather that in the human body, surface moisture can evaporate from the skin, carrying heat away,

Evaporative cooling continues to work in the absence of sunlight, so long as the cooling surface is exposed to air.

How might it work for the planet, over large bodies of water, in darkness vs light rather than winter vs summer? How does the process work for overnight lows vs daily average or day time high temperature?

Personal observation: “lake effect” snow also cools the ground level air temp on the lee side of the body of water (and the water surface), even in air temperatures below freezing, as long as the body of water surface is not completely frozen. If verified, would this support or contradict the hypothesis?

Pablo
August 7, 2022 11:45 am

“Well, although we inhabit a world that is balanced at a temperature on the order of 50°C warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases,”

“The Greenhouse Effect on Earth

Experience suggests that a reasonable model consists of two layers, with the top layer centered at a height of about 3km and the bottom layer centered at a height of about 0.5km….if we remember that water vapour is the principal absorbing gas in the Earth’s atmosphere…The temperature of the top layer is equal to the effective temperature.For Earth this is -20ºC.

…For the bottom layer, the fourth power of the temperature is equal to twice the fourth power of the effective temperature because the bottom layer is the second from the top. We find that the temperature of the bottom layer is the second layer is 24ºC.

Since these two data are not enough to draw a profile, we will compute one further point, namely, the lower limit to the temperature at very great heights. ….(called the skin layer).
If this layer is in radiative equilibrium…we find the skin temperature is -60ºC.

Our theoretical model will be complete once we have calculated the ground temperature.
The fourth power of the ground temperature is equal to the fourth power of the effective temperature added to th fourth power of the the temperature of the bottom layer of atmosphere. We find a value for the ground temperature of 60ºC.

We can now compare the theoretical temperatures we have just calculated with average temperatures measured in the real atmosphere. …We see that the theoretical model is quite successful at altitudes above 10km but that there are substantial deviations throughout the troposphere.

Our theory is inadequate because radiation is not the only process that carries heat upward from the ground and from the lower levels of the troposphere.”

“Atmospheres” by R.M. Goody

“Even most meteorologists don’t realize this, but the existence of our weather depends on the greenhouse effect. .. (to steepen the lapse rate for convectional instability to occur)

The combination of solar and infrared radiation together “tries” to make the Earth’s surface extremely hot. But long before that temperature state is reached, the atmosphere becomes “convectively unstable”,….

(Without convection and evaporation) The average surface of the Earth would be around 60ºC, and the altitude at which jets fly would be so cold that their fuel would gel.”

“Climate Confusion” Roy W. Spencer

So it seems that greenhouse effect actually cools the average surface temperature by 45ºC

Javier
Reply to  Pablo
August 7, 2022 12:05 pm

Not only that, but when considering the temperature of the Earth without GHGs to calculate the value of the GHE one thing is conveniently forgotten. Without GHGs there are no clouds (water vapor is a GHG). Without clouds the Earth would receive 30% more energy from the Sun, making the surface hotter, not colder. Nobody includes the no clouds scenario when calculating the GHE. Not to forget that without GHGs no ocean, and no evaporation. The surface would be unbereably hot during the day.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Javier
August 7, 2022 4:18 pm

Javier: “Without clouds the Earth would receive 30% more energy from the Sun”

WR; good point. To be added: without GHG water vapor, there is hardly any absorption of solar by the atmosphere, actually totaling 78 W/m2. To be added to surface solar absorption in case of no GHG’s.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Javier
August 7, 2022 4:42 pm

“Without clouds the Earth would receive 30% more energy from the Sun, making the surface hotter, not colder.”

On the land daytime yes, and without the oceans too, Earth’s mean surface temperature would be as cold as the Moon, around -70°C.

Javier
Reply to  Ulric Lyons
August 7, 2022 4:57 pm

Earth’s mean surface temperature would be as cold as the Moon, around -70°C.

That is not correct. The Earth does have an atmosphere that would warm by conduction and convection. Nitrogen and oxygen absorbe and emit in the IR despite not being considered GHGs, and since they are so abundant their effect is not negligible. The Earth would still have a GHE without GHGs, unlike the Moon, so it would have a temperature much higher than the Moon.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Javier
August 8, 2022 12:18 pm

Atmospheric oxygen would reduce solar irradiance at the surface by about 6% due to scattering. Surely the conduction from the surface would cool it? How well would nitrogen and oxygen warm the night side surface?

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Javier
August 11, 2022 1:24 pm

The thing is, the Moon has a much hotter sunlit side than Earth does, at any given time. It is the much warmer dark side temperature of Earth which makes its global mean temperature much warmer than the Lunar global mean. And that is more to do with the oceans than the atmosphere. Earth’s sunlit side, at any given time, is colder because of the atmosphere, particularly because of water vapor absorbing solar near infrared.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2022 10:17 am

This the main problem:

According to the way climate scientists calculate Earth’s mean surface temperature, it is 5.45°C without clouds, and -18.3°C with clouds. They attribute the difference between the -18.3°C and the measured temperature of around 15°C, to an atmospheric greenhouse effect of around +33­­°C in total.

And they have violated the physics twice, firstly by discounting night time and modeling the Earth as being heated from all directions all of the time, which results an equivalent black body planetary temperature 113°C too warm. And secondly by neglecting the massive heat capacity of the oceans, which keep Earth’s surface so warm during the night.

According to their method, the Lunar global mean surface temperature, including 11% surface albedo, would be close to -3°C, but it is actually between -77 and -66°C.

The sunlit Lunar surface at any given time is much warmer than on Earth, but the global mean temperature of Earth is far higher, primarily due to the oceans which barely cool at the surface at night because convection sets in and sinking colder water is replaced by warmer water from below. The largest greenhouse gas, water vapour, keeps Earth’s daytime maximum surface temperatures lower, as it absorbs considerable amounts of solar near infrared, it only keeps Earth’s night time surface warmer, like low clouds do.

The orthodox method, solar irradiance is spread over the whole spheroid, which is called the divide ‘by four method’:

394K x 0.25^0.25 = 278.6K (Kelvin)

minus the 30% albedo from cloud reflection:

278.6K x 0.7^0.25 = 254.833K or -18.3°C

The correct ‘divide by two’ method for the actual heated hemisphere, applied to the Moon:
394K x 0.5^0.25 = 331.313K

minus 11% surface albedo:

331.313K x 0.89^0.25 = 321.8K

and averaged with a lunar dark side mean temperature which is dependent on the heat capacity of the Lunar regolith,, of 90K:

(321.8 + 90) / 2 = 205.9K or -67.25°C.

Anders Rasmusson
Reply to  Javier
August 9, 2022 10:49 am

Having only oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere, then all of the sunshine, 340 W/m2, will reach the surface and the surface temperature will, at highest, be 7 °C, calculated from :
(340÷(0,98×5,67×10^−8))^0,25 = 280 K

Kind regards
Anders Rasmusson

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Pablo
August 7, 2022 3:49 pm

Pablo,
The “layer” concept isn’t the way it really works. As viewed from outer space in the IR band, the planet is a patchwork mosaic of warm ground temperature and cold cloud top temperatures, with some noise from CO2, water vapor, and thin cirrus cloud thrown in. Since clouds cover about 65% of the planet at any given time, and reflect away incoming solar SW, it is actually clouds that control the temperature of the planet…and cloud cover is controlled by the rate of evaporation off the sea and wet land surface.

https://slideplayer.com/slide/13414587/

1BA641E0-CAD7-4831-A865-A3FCCF853B5E.jpeg
lgl
August 7, 2022 12:07 pm

I find this misleading. The negative correlation is just ENSO, an oscillation, a temporary thing. I checked a small area of the warm pool, 175-180 E, 4-5 S. Absorbed SW anti-correlates with ENSO, and totally dominates the LW variation (which of course correlates with temperature, and ENSO). Over the full CERES period total absorbed is rising.

n.n
Reply to  lgl
August 7, 2022 1:00 pm

Cause and effect at different strata. The same attribution issue accompanies temperature anomalies observed, forecast, or predicted in the wild.

Alexander
August 7, 2022 12:09 pm

This is brilliant. Adult non-condescending baby-talk for people with some-but-still-rudimentary science chops. Starting with coherent basics, and leading gradually into more sophisticated recognition of complexity, while maintaining sensible real-world context for people to relate-to (and relate their personal experience to).

If we had an approach like this for every sub-domain of climate science, allowed those to accumulate in people’s awareness, and then combined them into an interim all-encompassing overview, with minimal abstractions and no absolutes (and no fright-wig panic-porn), we could evolve more climate-comprehension in the general public, erode its
reliance on “scientific authority,” and liberate its caring energies for important matters.

Thanks, Willis.

And of course the commentariat delves deep and wide from this base. Yay, Team!

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Alexander
August 8, 2022 3:34 am

Well said, Alexander. This layman always appreciates Willis’ ability to explain things in clear, cogent prose that isn’t jargon-laden or condescending. Like you, I wish we could get it out t more people

Tom Abbott
August 7, 2022 12:09 pm

Good article. Good science.

I’ll bet Willis is smiling. 🙂

Peta of Newark
August 7, 2022 1:06 pm

How’s about ‘Putting it to sleep’
wtf you say, what’s this one on now?

Melatonin – aka The Sleep Hormone

The theory here, with correlations, is that Melatonin is good for you.
In 2 especial ways:
It transpires that Near Infra Red Radiation (NIR), as emitted by El Sol in bucketfuls, is absorbed by the human body to quite significant depths – about 8cm
NIR= Wavelengths between 1,000nm and 2,000nm

1/ When that happens it affects the Mitochondria – makes them extremely happy. They become much more efficient at their work which, because most of now eat a shit diet revolving around sugar, is very significant. It helps us burn sugar and hopefully avoid the perils of fatness, chronic depression and diabetes.

2/ A major way in which the NIR does that is by making Melatonin, actually inside our cells right where the Mitochondria is/are.
And Melatonin is an epic anti-oxidant (like Vitamin C) – it mops up and clears away the blizzards of hideously damaging free-radicals that come out of ‘sugar burning‘ and lets the Mitochondria get on with their work that much more cleanly and efficiently.

When that happens, instead of you coming over ‘all sleepy’ with that extra Melatonin, you actually wake up – it releases you from the (sugar induced) depression and you have ‘more energy’, more vigour, vim and life about you.

As a consequence, you yourself feel happier, brighter, more self confident, greater physical/mental stamina, improved short-term memory and much more likely to concentrate harder at whatever work you are doing at the time.

What would happen if you just so happened to be A Climate Scientist?
Or a politician, teacher, policeman or, heaven forbid, Andrew Dessler?

And the figure for folks in the US is that they now spend less than 6% of their waking hours outside. It doesn’t even have to be sunny. This NIR stuff gets past clouds and bounces around like a really bouncy thing.
You cannot escape it, except of course by hiding indoors while fiddling around in your variously super or unsuper computer.
But even then you don’t escape completely, it gets through glass, it’s how conventional greenhouses work after all.

Except, super genius intelligences that we are, we’ve now invented glass that blocks exactly that NIR – so as to keep the cost of running air-cons as low as possible.
Could You Make It Up? Could you just.
The Almighty Dollar wins yet again.

Hello hello, do we see a correlation with the desperately low levels of Vitamin D in most of the western world’s population, ‘cept Vit D needs UVB radiations to work.
Folks don’t get outside enough.

And then, when it goes dark, some of that daytime Melatonin finds its way inside your head and you’ll have a much better night’s sleep than you might otherwise have done, especially if during the daytime you were that much more active, again, both physically and mentally.

How might that affect your work the next day? We all do see a Positive Feedback Loop that might genuinly be = Good

And how many times do we all wonder just what sort of mental insanity Climate Change is?

How’s about that for a way to fix the climate?
And myriad other (health) benefits.
Just by persuading folks to spend more time out-of-doors.
And let The Radiations do all the work.

(How long before the ‘melatonin deficient’ puritans and fingerwaggers come along and find either fault with that, and or a way to tax it?)

Yes, Climate Is Complex.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 7, 2022 1:52 pm

“Yes, Climate Is Complex.”

Not if you are a leftist.
Repeat after me:
The climate will get worse.
Caused by humans.
That’s all you need to “know”.

Climate Howlers will look at Willie E.’s article and declare it to be claptrap. They don’t need any science. They’ve got government bureaucrat scientists. With really big computers. And always wrong (for 50 years so far) predictions of a coming climate crisis. It’s still on the way, because scientists say so, that’s why. According to my research. the climate crisis got lost somewhere
in New Jersey, which I have done several times myself, when I lived in New York.

Ian Cooper
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 7, 2022 4:11 pm

In New Zealand the skin cancer folk hold sway. You are not supposed to be outside, uncovered in the areas where sunlight on the body will do the best, at the times when the sun is high enough to benefit us around noon, from late August to early May, in our austral temperate zone for fear of melanoma! There is little to no talk about the benefit of strong sunlight on people with a variety of skin colours. From science we do know that people who evolved in the tropics need to spend twice as long in the sun to get the best amount of vitamin D, but even this is discouraged by omission by health authorities here.

August 7, 2022 1:39 pm

 ,,, “The global average temperature only varied by ± 0.4°C (± 0.1%) over the entire 20th century …”

I think saying there was an increase of +0.8 degrees C. would be a better less biased description, followed by the caveat that average temperature numbers for early in the twentieth century were very rough estimates, with few Southern Hemisphere measurements, and far too much infilling.

We know a warmer troposphere will hold more water vapor, which would be a positive feedback from more greenhouse gases. But we also know there was never runaway warming in the past. So something limits the positive feedback. More clouds as a result of more water vapor in the troposphere seems like a good guess.

One chart mentioned 20 years of CERES data.
That’s not a long term trend.
Could there be random variations of a complex system over 20 years that appear to be meaningful long term correlations?

Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System – Wikipedia

dodgy geezer
August 7, 2022 1:41 pm

I’ll bet Alfred Wegener had similar levels of evidence for his Continental Drift theory as Willis has for his Thunderstorm Thermostat theory. And I’ll bet that the establishment will treat them both the same….

Rud Istvan
Reply to  dodgy geezer
August 7, 2022 3:12 pm

Having published books on both, there is a difference. Wegener had multiple lines of circumstantial evidences, but no underlying mechanism. (Now known as plate tectonics.) WE has both multiple lines of circumstantial evidence, AND an underlying mechanism that is easy to observe.
But Wegener did not have the massive financial intertia of climate change spending to overcome. So his theory ‘only’ took about 70 years to prevail. Since WE has nailed the underlying mechanisms, let’s hope less than 70 years.

Javier
Reply to  dodgy geezer
August 7, 2022 4:07 pm

The problem with Willis hypothesis is that everything in it has been known for decades, and is incorporated into models. For example, a 1993 article by Nicholas Graham:

Waliser, D.E. and Graham, N.E., 1993. Convective cloud systems and warm‐pool sea surface temperatures: Coupled interactions and self‐regulationJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres98(D7), pp.12881-12893.

Questions regarding the upper limits on tropical sea surface temperatures and the processes determining those limits have recently come under renewed interest and debate. We present results from an analysis of the relationship between observed sea surface temperature (SST) and organized deep convection in the tropics that has produced new and important findings relevant to this issue. First, the analysis reveals that the highest observed tropical SSTs are generally associated with diminished convection. Second, the maximum convective activity occurs, on average, at an SST of about 29.5°C. Third, at SSTs of about 29°C and greater, intense deep convection is associated with ocean surface cooling of approximately 0.1°C per month, while suppressed deep convection is associated with a similar degree of ocean surface warming. These three findings, together with results from simplified model analyses, emphasize the importance of the cooling mechanisms associated with deep convection in determining the observed upper limits on tropical SST. Implications of the observed relationship between deep convection and SST on the temporal correlations between these fields is discussed, as is the convective cloud system’s relative influence on the solar and evaporative heat flux components of the surface energy budget.

So there’s nothing new except for those not well versed in climate change. The inverse relationship between temperature and outgoing longwave radiation in the deep tropics is also very well known.

RickWill
Reply to  Javier
August 7, 2022 5:37 pm

and is incorporated into models.

Definitely NOT in a meaningful manner. I am yet to find a climate model limiting open ocean temperature to 30C.

I am yet to find a climate model that shows no warming in the Nino34 region.

I am yet to find a climate model that shows cooling in the Southern Ocean.

Climate models do not incorporate deep convection in any physically relevant way.

NCEP_Three_Trends.png
Javier
Reply to  RickWill
August 8, 2022 12:32 am

Definitely NOT in a meaningful manner. I am yet to find a climate model limiting open ocean temperature to 30C.

It is in models, yet it is done by parameterization, as it is difficult to simulate. There is a new set of models called “Convection-permitting models (CPMs).”

Another different question is that alarmist scientists believe the threshold for deep convection is rising with global warming.

Johnson, N.C. and Xie, S.P., 2010. Changes in the sea surface temperature threshold for tropical convectionNature Geoscience3(12), pp.842-845.

We detect significant covariability between tropical mean sea surface temperatures and the convective threshold on interannual and longer timescales. In addition, we find a parallel upward trend of approximately 0.1 °C/decade over the past 30 years in both the convective threshold and tropical mean sea surface temperatures.

That would be a reason for not capping the deep convection threshold in models.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Javier
August 8, 2022 6:19 am

Let me post a short excerpt from Confessions of a climate scientist by Mototaka Nakamura. (available for free on Amazon)

“In those models, only the net effects of this important part of the oceanic flows are estimated by parametric representations that derive the net effects from the large-scale state of the ocean that can be explicitly calculated by the models. I really hate to say this, because I know well how much of serious efforts have been put into improving these parametric representations (I spent many hundreds of hours in vain myself), but all of these parametric representations, even the best of them, are Mickey Mouse mockeries when compared with the reality.

(bold by me.)

If you read the book, you will see his attitude towards GCM’s is pretty much what Dr. Pat Frank illustrated with his uncertainty calculations. They are totally unfit for the purpose of projecting or predicting what future climate has in store.

Javier
Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 8, 2022 7:17 am

We totally agree that climate models are totally unfit for purpose, and at best can be looked as learning tools.

It was not my intention to defend models, just to say that what Willis sees as a new climate change mechanism ignored by mainstream climatology it is neither new, nor ignored. It is accepted as a negative feedback to warming in the deep tropics, but it does not explain climate change, due to its limited effect.

The solution to the climate riddle has to be looked in the poles, where it resides. This is what Jim Steele is doing in his superb series of climate articles hera at WUWT and at his site. Now that is a climate researcher that does know his scientific bibliography.

RickWill
Reply to  Javier
August 8, 2022 5:21 pm

We detect significant covariability between tropical mean sea surface temperatures and the convective threshold on interannual and longer timescales. In addition, we find a parallel upward trend of approximately 0.1 °C/decade over the past 30 years in both the convective threshold and tropical mean sea surface temperatures.

This has nothing to do with a 30C hard limit. The limit cannot change unless the atmospheric mass changes.

Why would you be looking at ‘mean” surface temperature when defining a hard limit.

They will not be able to properly model deep convection without much higher vertical resolution. If they manage that, then they will understand why there is a 30C hard limit on open water surface temperature.

bill
Reply to  Javier
August 7, 2022 9:38 pm

so why the ridiculous projections in Nino 3.4

Javier
Reply to  bill
August 8, 2022 12:14 am

If they don’t accept the solar effect on ENSO they cannot project it correctly.

Javier
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 12:13 am

You say:

in those areas more absorbed radiation is NOT making the planetary surface warmer. It’s making the surface cooler

Nick Graham said 30 years ago:

intense deep convection is associated with ocean surface cooling of approximately 0.1°C per month

That more radiation and higher temperatures trigger deep convection and ocean cooling has been known for decades. That is a fact. I’ve read papers about it from the 1970s. Clearly you haven’t or you wouldn’t pretend to have discovered something new.

Don’t get paranoid and make yourself the victim of a persecution. I couldn’t care less about your lack of knowledge of the relevant scientific bibliography. You comment in my articles and I comment in yours. And that only happens at two climate sites, WUWT and Climate Etc.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 6:26 am

‘My post is about the total amount of energy actually absorbed by the surface (SW + LW) compared to the temperature, on a gridcell by gridcell basis.’

As is well shown in your Figure 1, above. However, as DSR and DLR are different animals, I’d be curious what the temperature correlations to each of these individually look like on the same basis.

bill
Reply to  dodgy geezer
August 7, 2022 9:34 pm

I think the density of evidence that Willis has is greater than what is presented as validation of the climate models.
This is a great post again from Willis and having read most of his writing on this thought process it’s developing before our eyes.
Each new post is a little more succinct, brilliant.

Clyde Spencer
August 7, 2022 2:29 pm

… the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.

No, I believe what you want to say is that the temperature is determining net absorbed radiation, measured as a temperature change.

You don’t make it clear whether CERES is actually measuring absorbed radiation, which requires at least an average reflectivity for the different terrestrial covers, or simply measuring radiation arriving at the surface, or radiation arriving at the top of the clouds.

Something that was missing from all the comments to Jim Steel’s recent article, and I don’t see addressed here either, is how evaporation varies with air temperature, relative humidity (RH), and wind speed. That is important because evaporation is probably more important than up-welling radiation in causing surface cooling.

The tropics are interesting because they typically have high RH, which depresses evaporation rates; clouds for at least part of the day, which reduces down-welling surface radiation and up-welling radiation; and winds, which increase evaporation rates. There is also the issue of the abundant rain cooling the surface waters. I don’t see how one can tease out the confounding effects of all these variable from CERES radiation measurements alone. I think that one would need in situ measurements at micron-resolution of vertical gradients for actual temperatures, particularly at the air water interface. One would also need measurements of wind at the surface, not 20 feet above. How does CERES determine the water surface temperatures when clouds prevent CERES from seeing the water?

RickWill
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 7, 2022 3:53 pm

The tropics are interesting because they typically have high RH, which depresses evaporation rates; clouds for at least part of the day, 

The only region of the oceans where the entire column is saturated for days at a time is cooler than 15C.

The question to ponder is why are tropical oceans not permanently saturated? Why does the column RH over a 30C warm pool swing from about 75% to 95% RH on a regular basis?

The ocean atmospheric circulations have thousands of kilometers and months to pick up water to reach equilibrium with the surface over a 14km high column in the tropics but they never reach a steady equilibrium – why? (and it has nothing to do with night and day because the surface temperature has negligible daily change)

Then the big question – what would happen if all ocean atmospheric columns reached stable saturation as observed when cooler than 15C.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  RickWill
August 8, 2022 11:02 am

The question to ponder is why are tropical oceans not permanently saturated?

I suspect that the answer is that the moist air convects upwards, and is dispersed laterally by winds. It is a dynamic system where evaporation is favored more at some times than others.

RickWill
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2022 5:52 pm

The answer is deep convection. Deep convection is the only reason there is clear sky at any time over oceans. You never find a fully saturated column over an ocean in surface equilibrium when the temperature is above 15C. Full saturation is fleeting and only occurs during the column instability – the onset of cloudburst.

It is the ability of the atmosphere to form separate zones of free convection below the LFC and a dehumidifying zone above that enables clear sky before the resulting convective instability. Once the surface temperature exceeds 15C, the column can be convectively unstable

If the column did not partition, it would reach a stable equilibrium resulting in permanent cloud formation that would permanently block the surface sun and the water below would just cool until the surface was solid ice. The clouds would meet the surface and then cease to be clouds.

Ruleo
August 7, 2022 2:29 pm

“temperature on the order of 50°C warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases”

Yet no one can explain how walking into shade drops the temp 20F instantaneously if GHG “trapped” heat by any regards.

Walk barefoot on dirt or walk on grass then walk a pavement… then tell be solar irradiation of the surface is NOT the driver of heat.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ruleo
mkelly
Reply to  Ruleo
August 8, 2022 8:49 am

The power of GHG.

18147549-80F3-4238-9CC6-1508B80E0C34.jpeg
August 7, 2022 2:30 pm

Willis: Please can you clarify NearIR to MidIR to FarIR breakpoints vs SWIR to LWIR breakpoints. There is no uniformity in µm wavelengths. This one seems average:

comment image

None overlay SW to LW ranges.

Whatever wavelengths a hot cast-iron stove emits I consider to be SWIR because it can be “sensed”… as can urban heat island cement emissions. LWIR earth grey body upwelling emissions can’t be sensed by people. Maybe they can warm dry ice… but not the atmosphere imo.

Reply to  UV Meter
August 8, 2022 4:06 pm

How do I update my email address? Can’t find a profile link.

August 7, 2022 2:38 pm

Given the fixed points at which water changes state, whislt the total amount of water on the planet remains constant, is it possible for the temperature of the planet to move outside the ranges we are aware of, or conversely is it possible for man to contain it within a specific range?

RickWill
Reply to  Kalsel3294
August 7, 2022 4:12 pm

The water can be shifted from ocean to land. When that happens, the surface elevates and becomes much cooler. This is presently observed in Antarctica and Greenland.

Earth is currently 500 years into the current cycle of glaciation for the Northern Hemisphere. The current phase of the cycle will last another 9,500 years. So far only NH autumn sunlight intensity is reducing but the winters will gradually get lower sunlight intensity and that will mean more precipitation as snow and it will begin to accumulate again.

Although the NH summer sunlight intensity is increasing, it will not be enough to melt the snow from year-to-year over an increasing area of the land. So it accumulates.

Open ocean water can never be warmer than 30C over an annual cycle with the present atmospheric mass or cooler than -1.8C where sea ice forms.

Last edited 1 month ago by RickWill
Gary Pearse
August 7, 2022 2:53 pm

As always, a very compelling read written to be understood by all.

In the figure 3 there’s an interesting delicate ‘spinal column’ structure to the data plot. Such structure by its regular spacing suggests an atmospheric wave phenomenon of some sort. An artifact of the data, ir something else?

Bob Wentworth
August 7, 2022 3:16 pm

Hi Willis, I’ve been away from the site for quite a while, and it’s interesting to see what you’re up to now.

“let’s look at the correlation between the earth’s surface temperature and how much radiation the surface is receiving”

I could use some clarification about what you are correlating. In principle, you could be talking about a correlation relative to variation over space (i.e., over location), or a correlation relative to variation over time. However, given that you are showing a correlation value at each point in space, I infer that you must be correlating relative to a time series of data (e.g., over a year?) for that point on the Earth’s surface. Is that right? But wait, I see that you’re also showing what area of ocean (in a given hemisphere) is negatively correlated with absorbed radiation as a function of time. That means you can’t be correlating over time, unless you are correlating using a much shorter time series?

Bottom line: It’s not clear to me what domains you are using to calculate your correlations. Are you correlating over space or time, and if the latter, over what period?

* * *

“But over large areas of the tropical ocean, shockingly, there is negative correlation… A primary mechanism that explains this apparent impossibility is the temperature-controlled emergence of cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These increase with increasing temperature, and they greatly reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the surface.”

Yes. You may or may not remember, but my “Thunderstorm World” model based on this idea predicted places where increased downwelling radiation (I called it “surface irradiance”) would lead to lower temperatures. (See Figure 6 in Thunderstorm World: A Model to Explore Ideas from Willis Eschenbach)

“the causation is going in reverse. Instead of total absorbed radiation determining temperature, the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.”

I don’t think that’s a fair characterization.

If temperature determined total absorbed radiation, then for a given temperature, there would be a specific total absorbed radiation. But, in my Figure 6, if you swap the X and Y axes of the figure, it would show total absorbed radiation to be a multi-valued “function of temperature.” That’s not what one would expect if temperature were “determining” absorbed radiation.

What’s going on here is that “temperature” and “total absorbed radiation” are not simply determined locally. What happens in one grid cell is also affected by what is going on in nearby grid cells. It is precisely when I added such non-local phenomena to my “Thunderstorm World” model that the odd features present in Figure 6 emerged.

* * *

“Contrary to our experiential understanding, contrary to the central paradigm of climate science, contrary to “simple physics”, in those areas more absorbed radiation is NOT making the planetary surface warmer.”

Respectfully, I believe you’re “pulling a fast one” (though I doubt this is intentional) when you suggest that what you’re seeing is “contrary to the central paradigm of climate science” or “contrary to ‘simple physics'”.

It’s only contrary to your characterization of everyday experience.

There is nothing in your results that is contrary to simple physics — my “Thunderstorm World” model is based on simple physics, and that model predicts behavior similar what you’ve noticed.

Also, what you’re seeing is not contrary to any paradigm of climate science.

You’ve asserted that “the fundamental paradigm of climate science” is “The more radiation absorbed by some object, the hotter it gets.”

That’s not a fundamental physical principle, and it’s not an accurate characterization of anything that climate science assumes.

A more accurate statement of a physical principle would be “The equilibrium temperature of an object is determined by what value of temperature leads to power (energy/time) inflows and outflows being equal.”

Under many common conditions, this leads to “The more radiation absorbed by some object, the hotter it gets” being correct, but this behavior is not a universally valid principle, nor does anyone rely on it being one.

In the situations you are looking at, what happens is that in portions of the ocean where there are very high levels of downwelling radiation, this stimulates enough convective cooling of the surface to lower surface temperatures despite increased downwelling radiation.

That is sort of phenomenon is understood by climate science and is in no way contrary to its principles.

* * *

On a slightly different topic, you may or not recall that, in the past, you were suggesting that tropical thunderstorms set a maximum absolute temperature for ocean surfaces — while I suggested that this maximum temperature was not absolute, but instead was relative to the temperature of the tropopause (which could potentially be warmed by global warming).

My “Thunderstorm World” model encoded simple physics and it led to such a “tropopause-relative” maximum surface water temperature. (One could argue that my model is too simple, and that would be true — but it at least demonstrates that simple physics could lead to a relative temperature threshold. In contrast, I’m not aware of any modeled mechanism rooted in physics that predicts an absolute threshold.)

I had meant to tell you that I located a research paper that comes to a similar conclusion to the one that I reached, i.e., it identifies a relative rather than absolute threshold temperature. See “Global warming, convective threshold and false thermostats” (from GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36).

Regards,
Bob

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob Wentworth
Bob Wentworth
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 8:31 pm

Allow me first to respond, over a decade belatedly, to your post The Cold Equations.

I’ve examined the paper “Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of Earth’s climate system” by Stephen E. Schwartz, which you were responding to.

Scwartz offers a “single-compartment model” for the Earth’s climate, which has a number of parameters including:

  • Effective global heat capacity, C
  • Effective planetary longwave emissivity, ɛ
  • e-folding time, 𝜏
  • Equilibrium climate sensitivity, 1/𝝀
  • Mean planetary coalbedo, 𝛾
  • Feedback factor, f

These parameters aren’t all independent, as they are related by equation (7), 𝜏 = C/𝝀. Additionally, equations (9) and (10) describe how the feedback factor, f, leads to other parameters changing.

This is an extremely over-simplified model of climate.

The first thing to say about this model is that it is obviously not intended to be used for making detailed climate predictions. It’s way too crude for that. It’s more suited to reporting, or offering a rather crude summary of, what is revealed by more detailed climate models. It’s a tool for qualitatively thinking about what’s going on, at a very high level only.

It’s the climate equivalent of saying, “We’re going to model this complicated wiggly curve by a straight line.” That straight line (y = M⋅x + B) will be characterized by a slope, M, and an intercept, B.

You can use this to crudely compare more serious models: Model 1 yields best-fit values (M1, B1), while Model 2 yields best-fit values (M2, B2). A variety of models yield values clustered roughly around (M0, B0). So, if we increase x by an amount V, we can expect that y will change by something roughly in the neighborhood of M0⋅V.

That’s the kind of use this model is suitable for. It’s not suitable for detailed reasoning about how climate works. I’m certain that’s obvious to the scientists involved. (Or to the vast majority of them; there are a few clueless folks in any field.)

This interpretation of the model as primarily a reporting tool is consistent with what I’ve seen in climate-science reporting.

The real climate models are the General Circulation Models (GCMs), which are almost infinitely more complex than Schwartz’s reference “single-compartment” model. The parameters of Schwartz’s model are used as a very crude tool for characterizing the predictions of the GCMs.

But, the single-compartment model itself should not be taken very seriously as anything any scientist would expect to accurately match the real world at more than a very crude level.
 
* * *

Regarding your conclusion that elements of Schwartz’s model are “either mathematically wrong or meaninglessly true”, yes, that’s true. Mostly it’s “meaninglessly true” (insofar as the model parameters are defined to be whatever values more or less make the model work), and also somewhat “mathematically wrong”, insofar as the form of the predictions of the model just isn’t complex enough to reproduce the way the real world works (any more than a straight line can accurately model a complex curve).

However, this conclusion isn’t quite the indictment of climate science that you might think it is.

This model is just a reporting tool, meant for crudely characterizing how things work in more sophisticated models or in the real world. It’s not meant as a tool for examining details or addressing anything with great accuracy.

So, your demonstrations (in the Appendix of The Cold Equations) that Schwartz’s model yields kind of a crappy fit to aspects of real world data is likely correct. But, it’s not at all surprising to me, and shouldn’t surprise most climate scientists.

Limitations of the model don’t invalidate mainstream climate science, so long as the single-compartment model is only used for reporting and superficial analysis, with the GCMs doing all the heavy lifting.

Bob Wentworth
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 7, 2022 9:30 pm

The central paradigm of climate science is that on average, changes in global temperature are a function of changes in “radiative forcing”, meaning downwelling radiation.

Specifically, the claim is made that

ΔT = λ ΔF

See my other comment discussing your post The Cold Equations.

What I think you’ve missed is that this is a central paradigm for reporting the results of climate science, NOT a paradigm that is used in actually doing climate science.

The central paradigm of climate science is that on average, changes in global temperature are a function of changes in “radiative forcing”, meaning downwelling radiation.

See above. And, hmmm. I need to think it through, but I have doubts about whether it’s correct to assume that “radiative forcing” means “downwelling radiation” in general.

My understanding is that “radiative forcing” refers to change in net energy balance due to an extrinsic change — prior to any “feedback” changes that occur in response to the extrinsic change. Given that definition, I don’t think I would expect “radiative forcing” to equal the “downwelling radiation” that occurs after the system has come to equilibrium (as is the case for all measured values of “downwelling radiation”).

As to whether it is a physical principle that radiation warms the object that absorbs it, consider the concept of “specific heat”. Its units are joules/gram/°C. So the relationship between absorbed radiation (joules) and heat (°C) is most assuredly a physical principle.

You can’t deduce the correct equation simply by doing dimensional analysis like that. That doesn’t lead to a unique result.

A correct equation would be something like ∆T = ∆H/C where ∆H = RadiantEnergyAborbed – RadiantEnergyEmitted + NetConductiveAndConvectiveHeatEnergyTransferred

(This assumes we’ve somehow accounted for the number of grams involved, perhaps by folding that information into C.)

So, the physical principle is definitely NOT simply about “absorbed radiation.” It’s about all the types of heat transfer that are present.

* * *

Wasn’t the equation ΔT = λ ΔF actually ΔT = ΔF/λ in Schwartz, with 1/λ being the climate sensitivity?

Regardless of how it is written, this equation is intended to be applied only globally, and not for individual grid-cells, as I think I remember you doing in some of your prior work (and as you might be implicitly thinking about in your current post above).

And, per what I’ve said about Schwartz, this equation really should never be used to do any detailed analysis — the model isn’t intended for or suitable for that.

* * *

I imagine it’s frustrating to be told that some of your interpretations of the science are off. But, I also trust that you ultimately really want to get it right.

In light of that, I hope what I’ve offered is helpful.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob Wentworth
Bob Wentworth
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 4:31 pm

The IPCC’s words place the emphasis differently, but seem to me to be basically consistent with what I’ve been saying. I wrote “It’s more suited to reporting, or offering a rather crude summary of, what is revealed by more detailed climate models. It’s a tool for qualitatively thinking about what’s going on, at a very high level only.”

The IPCC’s words that you quoted emphasize the usage of crudely “thinking about what’s going on, at a very high level.”

The IPCC is saying that the paradigm of “forcing” and “climate sensitivity” offers a crude tool for comparing the impact of different inputs to the climate system.

The climate sensitivity values continue to be estimated using GCMs. That’s where the real analysis of climate happens.

The bulk of climate science work isn’t done using the forcing/sensitivity paradigm. Putting something into that paradigm is something that mostly gets tacked on at the end stage, after more sophisticated analysis has occurred. In that sense, I do think the paradigm is fulfilling a “reporting” role.

* * *

The phrase “estimate, to a first order” is aligned with what I’ve said—it more or less means, “estimate by pretending there is a straight line, even though we know in reality it’s more complicated.”

This is all being done in the context of “perturbation theory“, in which it’s found for many different types of systems that using straight line estimates often provides a decent rough description of what happens when small changes are present.

* * *

One nuance I’ve thought of is that the whole “forcing” and “climate sensitivity” paradigm is not inherently tied to Schwartz’s “single-chamber” climate model.

The “forcing” and “sensitivity” model arises from applying perturbation theory. It could also be derived from applying perturbation theory to a variety of more complex multi-chamber climate models.

However, the “forcing” and “sensitivity” paradigm could not be rigorously derived from a full, realistic model of the climate system. It just “sort of fits it, much of the time.” The IPCC acknowledges that the “forcing” and “climate sensitivity” model doesn’t always fit the real world, insofar as, contrary to what the model suggests, climate sensitivities for different forcings are sometimes different (as revealed when one runs the full GCM models).

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Bob Wentworth
August 9, 2022 5:40 am

correct equation would be something like ∆T = ∆H/C where ∆H = RadiantEnergyAborbed – RadiantEnergyEmitted + NetConductiveAndConvectiveHeatEnergyTransferred”

Sorry to be so late in responding. I’m glad to see your equation in this form. Far too many use Planck/S-B without including the conductive/convective forms of heat transfer. Planck/S-B can’t give the total heat transfer (i.e. radiation amount) unless the object is in equilibrium with itself and its surroundings, i.e. no conduction or convection.

mkelly
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 9:24 am

WE says:”So the relationship between absorbed radiation (joules) and heat (°C) is most assuredly a physical principle.”

The equation is q = Cp * m * dT.

Climate science says in their forcing input that if you double the CO2 you get an increase in temperature put the energy side stays the same. By adding CO2 to the atmosphere we have changed the Cp and increased the mass, but expect an increase in temperature.

The relationship you noted holds only if we keep mass the same and that is not happening.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 10, 2022 11:21 am

“Absorbed radiation” is not the same as “joules”, Willis. Each can occur independently of the other. Heat is also not the same as °C. You will need to be a lot more precise in your statements if you want people to think that you have any idea what you are talking about.

Here are some definitions to keep in mind: Joules are a measure of energy. Heat is energy flow, not quite the same. °C is a measure of temperature, i.e. average molecular kinetic energy. (So °C is closer to “joules” than to “heat”.) Radiation can transfer energy (flow) as in heat, and thereby change temperature (or phase), or, not at all, if at equilibrium.

Perhaps you meant to say “absorbed radiation (heat) and joules (°C)”, and your fingers slipped? Even that statement would have problems, though, and relies on quite a few assumptions.

So then, anyway, once you have grasped these basics, which may require reviewing your Physics 101 textbook, you can correct your earlier statement that “the more radiation absorbed by some object, the hotter it gets”. That is only true if the radiation you are referring to is coming from a hotter object (e.g. the sun), and that nothing else is removing energy faster than it is coming in. That is a consequence of the definition of heat and the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 12, 2022 4:48 am

Well Willis, if your new claim is that “of course DWLWIR comes from the sun, everyone knows that I would never claim DWLWIR comes from anywhere else, obviously”, then I will not bother you any further. And I’m sure I won’t see you posting any more atmospheric energy budget diagrams with DWLWIR arrows originating in the atmosphere, or claims that SURFRAD stations are measuring positive amounts of DWLWIR at night. Glad we got that cleared up!

RickWill
Reply to  Bob Wentworth
August 7, 2022 5:50 pm

 I’ve been away from the site for quite a while

I posted this a while back and it goes into detail on deep convection:
Ocean Atmosphere Response to Solar EMR at Top of the Atmosphere – Watts Up With That?

My new understanding with this was that Earth would be a snowball without deep convection.

When ocean temperature is less than 15C, the atmospheric column can become fully saturated. Above 15C, where an LFC can form, the atmosphere only fully saturates at the time of cloudburst. Deep convection actually prevents saturated column over oceans and permits clear sky. Without deep convection, there would be permanent cloud over oceans and they would just cool to ice everywhere.

Bob Wentworth
Reply to  RickWill
August 7, 2022 10:07 pm

Thanks, I’ll likely be unable to look at this anytime soon. If I respond (here or there) later, will you be notified?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bob Wentworth
August 8, 2022 11:18 am

Instead of total absorbed radiation determining temperature, the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.

Correlation does not establish causation. As I pointed out to Willis in a comment he hasn’t responded to, there are many variables that affect the relationship. There needs to be a physical model that explains the correlation. It seems to be missing.

Bob Wentworth
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2022 4:36 pm

There needs to be a physical model that explains the correlation. It seems to be missing.

As I pointed out to Willis, the model I described in my post Thunderstorm World: A Model to Explore Ideas from Willis Eschenbach offers one physical model that explains the correlation.

August 7, 2022 3:42 pm

Great insight.
You’re not wrong.

R Taylor
August 7, 2022 4:41 pm

Thunderstorms cool with every electrical discharge by another well-know mechanism (https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/lightning-waves.html). It might be insignificant, but I don’t see anyone in a big hurry to quantify it. A starting point would be for NASA to read up on sferic attenuation below 10 kHz.

eyesonu
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 3:27 pm

Willis, I’ve been scratching around with regards to R Taylor and your comment re the “Schumann resonance” (wiki had a good explanation if correct) and it’s fascinating! I need to read some more as phase change of H2O in clouds and lightening is my primary focus. This may be leading to what I’ve been looking for for several years.

eyesonu
Reply to  R Taylor
August 8, 2022 6:43 am

R T, interesting results from search “sferic attenuation below 10 kHz.” I’ve been wrapped up in resulting info since your posting but with a focus on a different perspective/aspect than yours. If you are aware of a bit of a condensed version along the lines of Willis’ writing style it would be appreciated if you can share a link or two.

Last edited 1 month ago by eyesonu
Greg Bacon
August 7, 2022 4:43 pm

The hotter an object gets, the more longwave radiation it emits.”
.
This is technically not true. An iron poker in a fire will glow red. Heat it to a higher temperature and the red turns to white. In fact stellar temperatures are determined by color spectrum, not by intensity. Rigel is a HOT blue giant, while Betelgeuse is a cooler RED giant. Spectra determines temperature not intensity.

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg Bacon
Greg Bacon
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 2:41 am

You are confusing total power (SB law) with a specific frequency (long wave.) See Wien’s displacement law to correct your error.

Greg Bacon
Reply to  Greg Bacon
August 8, 2022 3:01 am

You cannot use Stefan-Boltzmann’s law to make an assertion about long wave radiation.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Greg Bacon
August 9, 2022 4:58 am

I think you are trying to say that I can have a radio station put out 1KW of power at 1Mhz and one that puts out 1KW of power at 3Mhz. Both put out the same power but that doesn’t determine the frequency at which the power is transmitted.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 10:21 am

If you use Planck’s Law you’ll see that Willis’s comment is correct, as temperature increases then the more long wave radiation is emitted.
300px-Wiens_law.png

Greg Bacon
Reply to  Phil.
August 8, 2022 11:27 am

Your diagram does not cover LWIR which is 8,000 to 14,000nm in wavelength. It stops at 2000. Also note the name of your picture… “WEINS LAW” which I alluded to in my previous post.

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg Bacon
Reply to  Greg Bacon
August 8, 2022 3:58 pm

I thought that it was apparent that the whole curve moves higher as temperature increases as Planck’s Law states.

comment image

The graph illustrates both Planck’s Law and Wien’s Law (the latter only refers to the position of the maximum). Here’s a plot which covers the wavelengths you are interested in (T 200-300K)
goody-1989-clear-sky-spectrum2.png

Captain climate
August 7, 2022 5:36 pm

Do climate models mimic any of this? My assumption is no.

Tim Gorman
August 7, 2022 5:45 pm

I’m surprised no one has asked about the very low correlation factors in central Africa and northern South America compared to the land area in the northern hemisphere.

Is water vapor over land that poorly distributed in the southern hemisphere compared to the northern hemisphere?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 7, 2022 8:28 pm

‘I’m surprised no one has asked about the very low correlation factors in central Africa and northern South America compared to the land area in the northern hemisphere.’

Good observation, Tim. Also notable from WE’s Figure 1. is that it’s showing the correlation of surface temperature to BOTH DSR and DLW radiation. Assuming DSR invariably heats both land and ocean surfaces, I would think that ‘backing out’ DSR from the graph would show that DLR has even less correlation, i.e., impact, on ocean temperatures, which would lend credence to Jim Steele’s recent posting that DLR does not warm the oceans.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 8, 2022 10:07 am

Curious. Why are the tropics so wet? Does WV not get well-mixed as CO2 supposedly does?

Some parts of North America are wet although not as warm as in the tropics. Why don’t these ares show up (think Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, etc.) with a lower correlation as well? The average rainfall in Columbia is about 30in while in Louisiana it is closer to 50 inches.

I’m not questioning your research, I think it is unique. I am really questioning whether the data itself is suitable for the purpose.

Geoff Sherrington
August 7, 2022 5:57 pm

Nicely argued, Willis.
Fair to deduce that “The Earth sweats”?
There are a couple of recent papers that add to understanding.
……….
First, two linked papers, May 2022, by Demetris Koutsoyianis et al
Revisiting causality using stochastics: 1. Theory | Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (royalsocietypublishing.org)
Revisiting causality using stochastics: 2. Applications | Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (royalsocietypublishing.org)

In summary, using detailed concepts of causality, they propose that globally, change of CO2 in the air is driven by temperature change. This is the reverse of the IPCC CO2 control knob conjecture.
……….
Second, as you know, the paper by van Wijngaarden and Happer on the saturation of absorbance of IR by CO2, so that further increases in atmospheric CO2 levels can have little effect on air temperatures. (This also is my short summary. The papers have caveats that need to be understood.)
2006.03098.pdf   Dependence (arxiv.org)
……..
Third, again as you know, the IR-heat physiucs depends in part on the wavelengths of the IR. Not all absorbers behave the same. As a practical example, here is a sentence from an abstract “The results showed that plates coated with paints containing IR-reflecting pigments displayed lower air temperature on the opposite side as compared to conventional coatings, indicating that they can be effective to reflect NIR and decrease the temperature of buildings when used in roofs and walls.”
SciELO – Brazil – Development of paints with infrared radiation reflective properties Development of paints with infrared radiation reflective properties
………………..
Colleague Rick Willoughby has often blogged on matters like you describe. Putting it all together, there is about enough material to discredit the importance of CO2 as a significant influence on current global temperatures, even enough to claim that measures to save the World from fossil fuels are futile, also horribly costly..Geoff S

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 7, 2022 8:38 pm

‘Putting it all together, there is about enough material to discredit the importance of CO2 as a significant influence on current global temperatures…’

I would also include WE’s masterful analysis of Westerhold et al’s CENOGRID dataset, here:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/15/cooling-the-hothouse/

Basically, if CO2 wasn’t the ‘control knob’ during the previous 65+ my, it sure in heck isn’t going to be problem going forward.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 8, 2022 12:50 am

Frank,
The people pushing CO2 control often said if it is not CO2, what causes temperature change? Thanks to people like Willis and Rick, plus earlier researchers, we are seeing before us an emergent phenomenon, a viable process alternative to CO2.
Interesting times. The scatterplots by Willis, like figure 3 above, are a fascinating way to display very large numbers of observations in a way that allows clear interpretation. Kudos. Geoff S

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 8, 2022 9:53 am

‘The people pushing CO2 control often said if it is not CO2, what causes temperature change?’

Geoff,

They do say that, and as you and I both know, that’s a logical fallacy, i.e., an argument from ignorance. I do like WE’s work on emergent phenomena, but am concerned that if we have to wait until everyone agrees on a complete analysis of how our chaotic non-linear climate system works, we’re simply going to have ‘net zero’, and whatever else the Left has in store for us, crammed down our throats.

That’s why I mentioned WE’s CENOGRID analysis – by plotting temperature vs log CO2 and introducing the element of geological time, it becomes clear that CO2 has never been the ‘control knob’, especially after others subsequently pointed out how temperature changes actually corresponded with continental drift. That’s also why I appreciate Pat Frank’s work on GCM error propagation – again, not an attempt at developing a ‘universal’ climate theory, but rather clear evidence that the GCM temperature projections based on CO2 forcing are meaningless in scope compared to the much larger cloud errors inherent to the models.

Geoff Sherrington
August 7, 2022 6:23 pm

Please do not let this detract from your study of Willis arguments. It is a personal philosophical point.
At 17 years of age I was starting to fly military aircraft, typically with an approach to the airfield of 1000 feet above ground level. That measure of 1000 feet is also roughly where clear sky is below and cloudy sky is above. There are exceptions of course. But, if you go to your window now to look out, you will possibly see, as is common, that the cloud base is a distinct layer (though mountains interrupt the pattern).
Since those early years, i have tried to discover the scientific explanation of the existence and height of the cloud base, feeling now that it is tied in with the observations that Willis shows.
Does anyone have a link to this? Please tell me to save an old man from his misery? GeoffS

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 8, 2022 11:41 am

The first time I soloed in a single-engine light aircraft, I was busy after takeoff checking instruments and adjusting the flaps. When I looked out after a few seconds, I discovered to my horror that I had flown into the cloud deck at about 1,500′ in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California. I gently pushed the nose down, and came back into clear air after about 5 seconds. I obviously survived the serious mistake.

Dr. Deanster
August 7, 2022 8:06 pm

Willis … love reading your stuff. I was hoping you could help me understand something, as you are a lot smarter on this than me, so, I have a question. Wien’s Law says the peak wavelength of radiation for a given body at any temperature can be calculated in an inverse correlation, with the hotter the temp, the shorter the wavelength. The earth radiates at about 10 um peak. CO2 primarily radiates at 15 um, 15 um as a peak for an object gives a temp of -80C. The earth is radiating on average at a temp of 15C. I know it’s all a matter of Wm2, but how can a theoretically colder wavelength warm a body radiating at a stronger wave length?

Reply to  Dr. Deanster
August 8, 2022 10:32 am

Wien’s law applies to black bodies, CO2 is not a blackbody emitter it emits at specific wavelengths corresponding to quantum mechanical motions of the atoms in the molecule. The mention of -80ºC in connection with CO2 emission is a fallacy. The hotter the CO2 the more 15µm radiation it will emit.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Phil.
August 8, 2022 11:51 pm

Phil,
Do you have any numbers on the energy that a CO2 can gain through molecular capture of a photon? Are you aware of any theoretical limits to the maximum energy by which it can be raised? Links? Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 9, 2022 6:40 am

Here’s the energy diagram of the various vibrational modes of the CO2 molecule.
How_Carbon_Dioxide_Absorbs_Earths_IR_Radiation_4.jpg
The bending mode is the one that’s the one that’s of interest in our atmosphere.
So by absorbing a single photon the CO2 molecule gains ~0.082 eV which it can then either lose by radiation or collision with surrounding molecules.

The asymmetric stretch is also IR active but is not in a particularly active part of the spectrum (high for solar, low for Black body).

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Phil.
August 11, 2022 5:02 pm

Thanks, Phil.
Just what I was looking for. Now I shall multiply that single molecule energy by the number of CO2 molecules around the globe and have a ponder. Geoff S

Reply to  Phil.
August 9, 2022 7:05 am

Sorry, meant to say “the hotter the blackbody is the more 15µm radiation it will emit”. Photons have wavelengths, not temperatures, when a surface is struck by a photon it absorbs it (or not) based on its wavelength, a 15µm photon is treated the same whether it was emitted by a source at -80ºC or 40ºC.

August 7, 2022 8:28 pm

“And the existence of the negative correlation discussed above is a testament to how “simple physics” is completely inadequate to explain the unbelievably complex, chaotic climate system”

Absolutely true – if one fails to understand simple physics. However..

  1. Water temperatures are extremely lazy. They only move by 1-2K between daily max/min – if the sky is clear. So of course there is little correlation there.
  2. Inner tropical water temperature hardly moves at all throughout the year.
  3. We see similar patterns in tropical rain forrests (south america, africa, indonesia..), where again temperatures are very stable.
  4. It is wrong to assess the climate role of clouds based on their SFR (single factor removal, or “net) forcings. In fact their radiative effects are warming, not cooling.
  5. Beyond that, clouds provide something that actually cools the surface. It is called rain.
  6. Evaporation, cloud formation and eventually rain is a function of direct insolation. SW sun light “tickles” H2O out of the water, if you will.
  7. So sun light not only increases evaporation, which is cooling the water, but also provides rain, which cools even more.
  8. What actually determines surface temperature, in the context of the GHE, is the temperature of the emission layer, its altitude and the lapse rate. Incidentally the lapse rate gets influenced by latent heat, or the evaporation rate respectively. The more evaporation, the smaller the lapse rate, the smaller the GHE.
  9. For this reason vapor does not really act as a GHG, but rather is moderating surface temperatures.
  10. Maybe it is a bit complicated after all. But if one considers all of which, maybe the observational data are less hard to understand.
Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  E. Schaffer
August 8, 2022 11:53 pm

Also, I suspect that the abundance of marine biota might have a fairly large effect on heating the ocean by sunlight via its effect on optical density. Geoff S

Ian Bryce
August 7, 2022 10:07 pm

Willis, I would be interested in your comments on the Nino 3.4 region, which has an average annual temp of 27.02C and a std dev of only 0.59C, and the regression line is absolutey flat from 1982 to the present.
However, the Nino 1.2 region’s temp is only 23.25C, and the std dev is 0.79 which is greater. The regression line shows about 2oC of cooling over this period.

Hasbeen
August 7, 2022 10:25 pm

Slightly off topic, can someone please explain why even in still air a cloud would form around the summit of a tropical mountain at sun rise.

I spent some time in Rabaul, 4d 14m south. A group of people with the grandiose title of the Rabaul Mountaineering Society wanted to photograph Rabaul from the summit of Mother volcano, 2250+ft. We would climb the thing in the early morning reaching the summit before sun rise. We could see Rabaul layed out below us in a blue hazy light, which did not support photography.

As the sun appeared above the 7000ft New Ireland the cloud would start to form around us, cooling the air. We would be in moderate cloud before the sunlight started to illuminate Rabaul. This happend every time we chose, about 15 times in a year.

There were some days that mother was clear, but never one we tried. This was in still air, so not the usual island trade wind cloud. Any answers?

Sparko
August 8, 2022 2:19 am

There is also a concept in statistics called autocorrelation. Cause and effect are auto correlated.

D Boss
August 8, 2022 4:23 am

I love your hypothesis about the emergent temperature regulation mechanism! It rings true in the best tradition of the scientific method, and of common sense.

There is only one thing that bugs me about so many dissertations on “the climate” – which is that solar radiation reaching the ground is composed only of “shortwave” (visible and UV) frequencies! This is not correct. Solar spectral intensity at earth’s surface is composed of 49% IR, and visible is 42% and UV only about 8%, as per this site as reference:

https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/weather/photosynthetically-active-radiation/

This chart
comment image
Shows the frequency vs radiant energy flux in W/m². You can clearly see the visible area under the curve is less than the IR area under the curve – verifying the above percentages at earth’s surface.

One of the primary heat or IR sensing organs are in the palms of our hands. Or shall I say some of the most sensitive IR sensing receptors are in the palms of hands (all our skin has IR sensing capability). We can sense the IR from a cast iron stove, a campfire, or the sun. So yes, your opening preamble is correct, we have an experiential reference to radiant energy (IR). Not only can we sense hot solid or liquid objects, we can sense the immense amount of IR from clear sunshine.

This rant does not detract from your excellent essay, I am just bugged by how so many, even learned folks ignore or dismiss the sun’s ground level IR component. (I assume you were simplifying your argument, nor ignoring solar IR)

Greg
August 8, 2022 4:48 am

From that, we can only conclude that in those areas, the causation is going in reverse. Instead of total absorbed radiation determining temperature, the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.

No, that is not the only conclusion. Remember correlation is not causation, in either direction. There could be another parameter affecting both variables in different ways.
Secondly, even if the causation was reversed you would still have a positive corr. coeff. That is not what a negative c.c. means.

c.c. of 0.2 to 0.5 is not that high.

I’m actually sure that Willis knows all this, I’m just surprised that he states it so badly.

I should also add that I’m a great fan of his work on negative climate feedbacks , it’s just a shame he presented it badly because there are so many out to dismiss anything other than CO2 control knob that you don’t want to make it easy for them to pick holes and dismiss it.

David A
August 8, 2022 5:22 am

Willis says… “Now, this is a most interesting result. Everywhere over the land, with no exceptions, the correlation is just what we’d expect—not only positive, but in general strongly positive…Over the land, when absorbed radiation increases, temperatures do in fact go up, and vice versa. Positive correlation. Simple physics.”
“But over large areas of the tropical ocean, shockingly, there is negative correlation…
From that, we can only conclude that in those areas, the causation is going in reverse. Instead of total absorbed radiation determining temperature, the temperature is determining total absorbed radiation.”
“A primary mechanism that explains this apparent impossibility is the temperature-controlled emergence of cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These increase with increasing temperature, and they greatly reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the surface. And so the temperature is regulating the amount of absorbed solar radiation, via clouds and thunderstorms.”

Excellent and illustrative. As energy is never lost I find looking at ALL weather phenomena in the context of incoming energy “residence time”, and assert, “Only two things can affect the total energy of a system (Earth atmosphere, and Oceans) in a radiative balance; either a change in input, (solar variance) or a change in residence time of said input within the system.” The residence time within the system is determined by the materials encountered, and varies from nano seconds, (cloud albedo) to millennium (deep ocean residence time)
Conclusion – increase residence time and you increase total energy, decrease residence time and you decrease total energy.

Given that universal fact, allows me to alter the last paragraph quoted without changing the meaning…
“A primary mechanism that explains this apparent impossibility is the temperature-controlled emergence of cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These increase with increasing temperature, and they greatly reduce residence time of TSI absorbed by the area. And so the materials said insolation encounters are regulating and reducing the residence time of absorbed solar radiation, via clouds and thunderstorms.”

It would be interesting to see the same graphics from this excellent article on a seasonal basis where, in the SH summer “shockingly” there is a negative correlation to atmospheric T, which cools, despite an increase of 90 watts per sq m due to the earth being closer to the Sun. NH albedo increases with snow, decreasing insolation residence time, and perhaps the oceans absorb more insolation, temporairly reducing that insolation from warming the atmosphere, and or perhaps total SH cloud cover increases, also reducing insolation residence time, and or ? Does the earth (land oceans and atmosphere combined), gain or lose energy during the SH summer? We know the atmosphere reduces energy and T

GHG warming can also be said to work via increasing the residence time of ULWR, but that increase on a Watts per sqM basis is tiny compared to other materials encountered changes in residence time. And it is also true that at high elevation GHG can shorten the residence time of some energy within the system, via radiating said energy to space, that non GHG would NOT do.

Yet every single factor (plus solar changes) mentioned in climate can be looked at by its effect on residence time of said insolation.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
August 8, 2022 7:06 am

Willis your predicted correlation math’s is incorrect. You ignore sun distance and effect on energy received. That doesn’t correlate. Jan 1.48 billion km (1407w-m2) vs July 1.52 billion km (1316w-m2).
Land is majority northern hemisphere. January has millions of km2 of snow cover due earth’s tilt. Northern hemisphere cooled to -1.68°C (in thermal energy that’s 307w-m2 1228w-m2) Jan 26th when sun power was 1407w-m2. Northern hemisphere peaked 16.91°C when sun was 1315.79w-m2. There is no correlation between solar downwelling and surface upwelling. You have seemed to have made up a correlation. Below is a way to correlate them. Which has worked for me. Positives above the average thermal energy is added up. Averaged over 26 weeks and comes to 886.6w-m2. Doubled equals 1773.1w-m2. This includes kinetic energy in joules/watt x2 (412.7w-m2) subtract 1773 = 1360.4 – (solar heat that stops cooling (x4)) 428.0 equals 932w-m2 divided by 4 = 233.10w-m2. 233.1+107=340.1wm2.

Globalenergy2022.png
August 8, 2022 7:10 am

A recent study by Bartlett and Bullock 2016 in the context of “Artificial Life” showed that a complex heat engine containing multiple dissipative fluid systems could exhibit emergent thermal homeostasis, restricting temperature to a narrow range:

https://direct.mit.edu/isal/proceedings/alif2016/608/99454

https://ptolemy2.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/emergent-thermal-homeostasis-a-new-paradigm-for-ex-pluribus-unum-climate-stability/

Specifically they propose that:

We demonstrate the emergence of spontaneous temperature regulation by the combined action of two sets of dissipative structures…

[The system] shows striking resilience to imposed temperature variations. Not only does the system maintain its emergent patterns, but it is seen to effectively regulate its internal temperature, no matter whether the boundary temperature is warmer or cooler than optimal growth conditions. This thermal homeostasis is a completely emergent feature.

There is little doubt that Willis is correct that climate exhibits emergent thermal homeostasis. All that remains is for the climate research community to educate itself regarding such systems and the theory behind them.

Last edited 1 month ago by Phil Salmon
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
August 8, 2022 8:52 am

I had to laugh at this line. Now if greenhouses gases don’t include nitrogen and oxygen then we have a serious problem. The molecules in these gas’s velocity (1.2 million km per hour).
Carbon dioxide velocity is 1 million km per hour. Carbon dioxide velocity has to be equal or higher than nitrogen and oxygen to be able to heat them up and give 1.2 million km speed. Not be slower.
Solar energy heats gases above an average 11km altitude. Around where cooling stops. The gases average around -48°C. These gases are methane, carbon dioxide and ozone. Any moisture removes heat so lowers the average temperature to -64°C. That’s 107wm2. Kinetic energy in joules heats the air (plus solar heated emitted radiation 17wm2) at the surface 216wm2 (107+216+17=340)
1.4 x 1.29g x 334 meters per second squared divided by 932 = 216wm2.
Willis: greenhouse gases CO2 0.6g and 5g of water vapor have 50C of heat (255 w-m2). I don’t think so.
“we inhabit a world that is balanced at a temperature on the order of 50°C warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases”

Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
August 8, 2022 12:35 pm

Something of a misunderstanding here, firstly all the molecules of each gas travel at different speeds. Here’s a graph:
MaxDn.png
An excited CO2 molecule will vibrate and if it collides with a O2/N2 molecule can transfer energy and accelerate the collisional molecule. The CO2 molecule loses its excess vibrational/rotational energy which is transferred to the kinetic energy of the collisional molecule.

Alasdair
August 8, 2022 9:49 am

Thanks Willis, Very interesting but not a surprise for me; with the statistics merely confirming the sort of thing that could well happen when you look at the thermodynamics of the Evaporation Process (EP) in detail.

For what it’s worth:
First EP takes place at CONSTANT TEMPERATURE which appears odd ; but well confirmed by the Water Phase diagram. Next we have the Solar Enthalpy absorbed by water at the Ocean Surface being converted into Volume rather than Temperature. (Note here that Volume is inversely proportional to Temperature in the GasLaws). Next we have this Volume making the Vapor generated becoming buoyant wrt. dry air; hence forcing the Enthalpy involved (Denoted as Latent Heat) to rise UP through the atmosphere for dissipation in the Clouds with some to Space. (This being an intrinsic part of the Hydrological Cycle, working here as a Rankine Cycle.)
It seems here that the clouds are the result of the above not the cause which you appear to contemplate. Meanwhile it looks as if these clouds have pinched all the energy which should have warmed the oceans!!

Delving deeper: From the Engineering Toolbox Site the empirical equation :
EP rate = QA(Vp- Pp) where A is area, Vp isVapour pressure and Pp is Partial pressure.
Q is a coefficient as (25+19v) with v being the Wind velocity. This EP Rate thus is a function of the difference between the prevailing Vapour and Partial pressures involved.

Now the Vapour pressure depends on the temperature; but the Partial pressure is determined by the absolute humidity prevailing. The maximum Partial pressure occurring at the 4.2 % humidity. Which appears to be the stable value in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Between circa 22 and 30 degC the Vapour pressure rapidly rises and takes off like a rocket after about 30degC; but the Partial pressure remains fixed.
Hence; above circa 30degC the Evaporation Rate swamps any incoming radiation thus preventing any further rise in temperature.

Supporting the above is the FACT that the Oceans never get much above this 30degC figure, in spite of millions of years of relentless Solar Radiation.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Alasdair
August 8, 2022 11:58 am

First EP takes place at CONSTANT TEMPERATURE which appears odd ;

Boiling water maintains a constant temperature, if stirred. However, evaporation takes place from a container of water before it reaches the boiling point. The amount of water vapor above the surface controls the rate of evaporation through its partial pressure. If wind removes some or all of the water vapor, the rate of evaporation increases at any temperature below the boiling point. The process is the same for ice, except that we call it sublimation instead of evaporation.

Julian Flood
August 8, 2022 11:02 am

Willis, you know what I’m going to suggest…

You have, I believe, demonstrated that the world regulates at a reasonable temperature. However, what happens when we try to break the mechanism?

The Sea of Marmara shows what happens when pollution breaks the process.

JF

angech
Reply to  Julian Flood
August 9, 2022 6:26 am

So … is it always true that if more radiation is absorbed by some object, it gets warmer?

Yes

Well … consider what happens when you walk outdoors during the day. Immediately you are absorbing hundreds and hundreds of watts of additional energy from the sun.
But despite absorbing a large amount of solar radiation, your overall average temperature is unchanged … more radiation has not made you hotter.

Piffle.

angech
Reply to  angech
August 9, 2022 6:37 am

“consider what happens when you walk outdoors during the day. Immediately you are absorbing hundreds and hundreds of watts of additional energy from the sun.
But despite absorbing a large amount of solar radiation, your overall average temperature is unchanged … more radiation has not made you hotter.”

Saying something does not make it true.
In fact if you put most objects outdoors during the day euthanasia the sun shining they will absorb energy, then emit it as IR.

Thin aluminium foil, large surface area to mass and good conductivity will become hotter quickly.

A swimming pool on any tropical island where Willis has been like Bali will heat up slowly.

A cowboy staked out in the desert will slowly develop and possibly die from his hyperthermia.

A human body has adaptive mechanisms that lead to evaporation that can help regulate heat exchange for a while

angech
Reply to  angech
August 9, 2022 6:48 am

With that as a prologue, let’s look at the correlation between the earth’s surface temperature and how much radiation the surface is receiving.

Fine .

The data does not show negative correlation.
It cannot.
What it shows is that different surfaces react differently to the same energy input.
the graph is not one of negative correlation but simply one of temperature response of different surfaces.

Proof?
Consider a planet or object made out of a more uniform surface.
Like the moon.
Instantly all irradiated surfaces at the same distance from the Sun take on the same temperature.

What Willis is showing is a temperature response graph of surfaces.

All the surfaces would increase in temperature with extra energy input but land and sea just do so at different rates.

angech
Reply to  angech
August 9, 2022 6:57 am

Hence
A primary mechanism that explains this apparent impossibility is the temperature-controlled emergence of cumulus fields and thunderstorms. These increase with increasing temperature, and they greatly reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the surface.”

What?
The amount of energy reaching the surface is….less?
Who would have thunk that clouds would block off and reduce the solar energy reaching the ground.

Ceres obviously sees no problems.
The graph is not comparing temperature to solar radiation but variable received solar radiation depending on how many clouds are in the way lowering the temperature.

JonasW
August 9, 2022 1:08 pm

My view is that you say something very important, and I do agree with your statements. To me it is obvious that something regulates earth’s temperature. The temperature stability is astounding. I do find the “cumulus”-hypothesis very plausible. Temperature controls the incoming radiation, not the other way around.

However, one question – how can we understand the historical temperature changes if this regulation mechanism exist. To be clear – I am not questioning the concept, just trying to fit the concept into the natural climate variations that do exist.

lgl
August 10, 2022 7:52 am

“And so the temperature is regulating the amount of absorbed solar radiation, via clouds and thunderstorms.”

I doubt it’s that simple. There is around 200 W/m^2 of latent heat transported into much of the warm pool, and latent heat is the main driver of the convection creating clouds and thunderstorms.

lgl
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 10, 2022 10:34 am

If that graph was following a straight line or some other simple function there could have been a clear and close connection between the two, but it is in fact showing a very strange connection, with a break-point, and for sure is not proving a causation. CRE being a function of temperature that is.

lgl
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 11, 2022 2:43 am

Thanks, that’s right to my point. That rain did not evaporate from the same place it fell. In parts of Norway there is also 3 meters of yearly rainfall. Needless to say that is not because the north sea is above 27 C. (yes, there are mountains, so not directly comparable)

In the pacific the large area of negative correlation (fig.1) does not fully overlap the warm pool. It’s shifted far eastwards. In the similar figure from you a year ago (wonder why they are so different) the negative area matches the area of negative OLR anomali of a central pacific El-Nino. I take that as evidence of the negative correlation being more a result of ENSO moving moist and thereby deep convection around, than a pure response to temperature. There is much more than temperature involved in ENSO.

Imo it’s more correct to state the temperature will not go above 28 C unless there is deep convection, with exceptions of course. The solar input is simply far from enough.

https://virakkraft.com/Radiation-temp-corr_OLR.pdf

charles wilson
August 10, 2022 11:01 pm

Willis, I tried this message on your website’s open thread but it didn’t show up, so I will try here.
I see you are interested in atmospheric energy transfers by vortex processes.
A paper on “Powerful atmospheric vortices at low and high latitudes” may interest you.
the author is S. N. Artekha at the Space Research Institute: Moscow.He publishes in English and Russian, seems to be a generalist by his record which is here orcid.org/0000-0002-4714-4277

charles wilson
August 10, 2022 11:12 pm

Willis, Sorry, my reference was in English but I see the original is in Russian
Here is the DOI 10.25791/infizik.02.2019.482

Lit
August 15, 2022 6:19 am

The more radiation absorbed by some object, the hotter it gets.”

You can also say, the colder an object is, the more heat it absorbs. The hotter an object gets, the less heat it absorbs.

So, if co2 increases heat absorption, it means that co2 cools. Which is why co2 is an industrial coolant, because it absorbs so much heat.

Lit
August 15, 2022 6:25 am

“The more radiation absorbed by the planetary surface, the hotter it gets.”

And the hotter it gets, the less heat it absorbs. Self regulation. Since heat supply from the source(sun) is limited and constant, the system self regulates. This manifests as, for example, increased cloud cover from more evaporation, which reduces absorbed heat from the sun, and also carries more heat away from the surface and dumps it at altitude, and then cold rain falls on the surface cooling it even more.

Lit
August 15, 2022 6:27 am

But despite absorbing a large amount of solar radiation, your overall average temperature is unchanged … more radiation has not made you hotter.”

This is not true.

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