A Serious Question

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Apparently I must be a glutton for punishment, because here I am in the arena once again, discussing the results of my research and preparing for the insults and brickbats.

However, there’s no place I’d rather be—I’m a Teddy Roosevelt man. He famously said:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

But I digress …

The earth’s climate is an energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state. At steady-state, the amount of energy absorbed by each part of the system is equal to the amount of energy lost by that part of the system. If this were not true, the affected parts would be continually either warming or cooling.

And this is true of the earth’s surface. It basically loses as much energy as it gains, and as a result, the earth’s surface temperature over the 20th century was stable to within less than one percent.

Let me start this perambulation with the fact that not all of the energy flux absorbed by the surface is converted to surface temperature and lost to thermal radiation. Some of the energy flux is lost as “sensible” heat, heat we can feel, through conduction to the atmosphere and convection away from the surface. And some is lost from the surface as “latent heat”, meaning it is heat removed by evaporation at the surface. After those losses, the energy that remains heats the surface and is lost as longwave upwelling radiation from the surface.

Figure 1 shows the relative amounts of energy absorbed and lost by the surface.

Figure 1. Energy budget of the surface, showing energy gained (longwave and shortwave) and energy lost (as longwave radiation and as latent/sensible heat.) Since the planet is at a steady state, gains and losses are ~ equal.

Now, suppose that we want to raise the surface temperature of the earth by 1°C. How much additional energy flux will be necessary to maintain that new warmer steady-state?

Well, since at steady-state we need gains to equal losses, we need as much flux as the additional amount of energy flux that will be radiated at the new higher temperature. Using what is known as the “Stefan-Boltzmann Equation”, we can calculate that we need a minimum of an additional 5.5 watts per square meter (W/m2) of energy flux to raise a blackbody at the earth’s temperature by one degree Celsius. (It’s a minimum because the percentage of latent/sensible heat loss increases slightly with increasing temperature, but we can ignore that in this analysis.)

However, we also need to note that from Figure 1, only about 78% of the absorbed energy flux is converted to temperature and lost as radiation. So including latent/sensible heat losses we’ll need 5.5 / .78 ≈ 7 W/m2 of additional total energy flux absorbed by the surface to raise the surface temperature one degree.

Now, consider the mainstream IPCC position, that a doubling of CO2 will increase downwelling longwave at the “top-of-atmosphere” (TOA) by 3.7 W/m2. This means that if you instantaneously double the CO2, the amount of longwave escaping the planet at the top of the atmosphere will be reduced by 3.7 W/m2.

And this additional 3.7 W/m2 of downwelling radiation from the CO2 doubling is claimed by the IPCC to increase the surface temperature by 3°C.

Bottom line? According to the IPCC, it only takes ~ 1.2 W/m2 of additional TOA forcing to increase the surface temperature by 1°C.

So here is the serious question I alluded to in the title …

How does a top-of-atmosphere CO2 forcing of 1.2 W/m2 mysteriously turn into the 7 W/m2 of additional surface energy flux that we need to warm the earth by 1°C?

The IPCC folks wave their hands and vaguely allude to “cloud feedback” and “water vapor feedback” increasing the downwelling IR from the top-of-atmosphere to downwelling IR at the surface.

But this would require that the feedback amplify the original signal by a factor of almost six … and my understanding is that a feedback factor greater than one leads to runaway.

So my question remains:

What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C?

All serious answers welcome.

My best to all,

w.

Footnote: The idea that cloud feedback is positive is quite unlikely. First, Le Chatelier’s Principle says that if a dynamic equilibrium (a steady-state condition like the climate) is disturbed by changing the conditions, the position of equilibrium shifts to counteract the change to reestablish an equilibrium.

Next, the claim of a net positive cloud feedback is contradicted by the CERES data. Here’s net cloud radiative effect (CRE) versus temperature on a gridcell by gridcell basis.

Figure 2. Net cloud radiative effect (CRE). This is the change in downwelling radiation in W/m2 when clouds are present. It includes both the longwave and shortwave effects. Below the horizontal line the net effect is cooling.

The slope of the yellow line indicates the direction of the cloud feedback. If it cools more with increasing temperature (negative feeback), the slope goes down to the right. And if the feedback is positive, if it cools less with increasing temperature, the slope goes up to the right.

In the tropics, about 40% of the planet, the feedback is extremely negative, the slope goes almost vertical. And from -15°C to 15°C, another 33% of the planet, the feedback is also negative.

So it doesn’t seem the answer to my question is “cloud feedback”.

Of Note: As with my previous two posts, I am examining the ramifications and the mathematics of the greenhouse effect. If you think the greenhouse effect violates physical laws, read my two posts, People Living In Glass Planets, and The Steel Greenhouse. And if after reading them, you still think the GH effect doesn’t exist, or that downwelling radiation doesn’t exist, or that radiative energy fluxes don’t add, then please, go away. Don’t go away mad, in fact you are welcome to continue to read the comments … but this is NOT the thread to dispute downwelling radiation or the greenhouse effect. Those subjects tend to totally threadjack the thread to an inane endless discussion that settles nothing, and I’m not interested in that. Please take those and related subjects to some other thread.

I’m interested in a serious answer to my question about how it’s supposed to work, how 1.2 W/m2 at the TOA is converted into 7 W/m2 at the surface, and where that extra energy is allegedly coming from.

MATH: The change in radiation from a 1°C temperature change of some object is given by the differential of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation:

dWdTC = function(c,epsilon=1) 2.27 * 10-7 * epsilon * (c + 273.15)3

where c is the temperature in degrees and epsilon is emissivity. In a steady-state condition where average losses are equal to average gains, this is also the amount of additional energy needed to raise the object’s temperature by 1°C. As is customary in this kind of analysis, and because the emissivity of the earth is somewhere above 0.95, for simplicity I’m using epsilon = 1.

My Usual: Please quote the exact words you are discussing in a comment so we can all follow your train of thought.

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viejecita
September 5, 2022 10:09 am

Honour to the Brave !!!

Old Man Winter
Reply to  viejecita
September 5, 2022 11:04 am

Great things happen when Willis dares to be inspired!

genius.jpg
Last edited 24 days ago by Old Man Winter
David Anderson
Reply to  Old Man Winter
September 6, 2022 11:16 am

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% knowing who to hire.

September 5, 2022 10:17 am

Willis, you say this: “The earth’s climate is an energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state. At steady-state, the amount of energy absorbed by each part of the system is equal to the amount of energy lost by that part of the system. If this were not true, the affected parts would be continually either warming or cooling.”

My view is quite different, namely that since weather is chaotic the averages oscillate across a wide range of scales, so never approximate steady state. (This is called “strange statistics” in nonlinear dynamics.) As for the affected parts, at my house it is indeed continually either warming or cooling.

Felix
Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 11:01 am

I think you are quibbling over background noise.

Most people would agree that driving along a flat level road is a steady state as far as altitude goes. They would even accept that as the general rule with short climbs over crossings. They would not accept it for a coast-coast freeway which crosses mountains and the central plains.

Your denial seems to me more on the order of complaining about potholes, the elevation difference when changing lanes, the suspension rattling over reflectors, and even the very slight road roughness which is hidden by rubber tires, the suspension, and seat cushions.

Reply to  Felix
September 5, 2022 11:18 am

It is certainly a matter of scale, but climate data is chaotic on large scales everywhere we look. The UAH temperature record seems to consist entirely of an ongoing aperiodic oscillator plus two natural steps upward, which are likely also chaotic since they are driven by ocean circulation. There is no GHG warming to be observed.

Those are not bumps in the road (a strange metaphor), they are the road. More precisely, this is not minor noise it is the entire behavior of the system — the chaotic climate hypothesis.

Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 12:56 pm

With all the different causes of climate change there can sometimes be a temporary steady state that doesn’t last long.
Climate change is normal.
History shows warming and cooling trends within a fairly narrow range for the past 10000 years. There is no equilibrium. There seems to be a limit on the range of temperatures, perhaps caused by changes in cloudiness. Every trend has ended, and reversed, like a reversion to the mean. No reason to believe ethe current warming trend won’t end — there is already not much warming in the past 7 years.

Mike
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 5, 2022 11:49 pm

Climate change is normal.”

Weather change is normal. When it’s starts raining in the Mediterranean every summer, get back to me.

ScarletMacaw
Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 3:28 pm

Those oscillations are less than 1% of the roughly 300K planet temperature.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ScarletMacaw
September 5, 2022 4:18 pm

Exactly! Who can say that such a small fluctuation over such a long timeframe is not approximately steady state? We know that it is not perfectly so and that it is intractably complex. But so what? It is not significant.

Mike
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 5, 2022 11:53 pm

Who can say that such a small fluctuation over such a long timeframe is not approximately steady state?”
No one.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Mike
September 6, 2022 9:06 am

Sampling at random times and random locations will result in a conclusion that the steady state average of humanity is possession of 1 testicle….
So a big problem with interpretation of averaged but quantized data…

Last edited 23 days ago by DMacKenzie
DMacKenzie
Reply to  ScarletMacaw
September 6, 2022 9:02 am

1% of T is 4% of energy by SB….which should be significant enough to be findable in the data….yet the only thing that varies enough in the system to cause the T swings over a couple of weeks is not CO2, but clouds….remarkably claimed to have about zero feedback while actually having a -30W/m^2 CRE over 75% of the planet according to Willis’s CERES data….have a think on that…

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Felix
September 5, 2022 11:45 am

Noise is apparently quite important in non linear systems that exhibit stochastic resonance, like Earth’s climate.

Robert B
Reply to  Felix
September 5, 2022 2:46 pm

It’s more like after a month of thousands of people driving in the hills, the average change of altitude comes out to a foot.

How the heat is spread out in the atmosphere is chaotic but that change in mean T (a proxy measure of change in Q) is like a steady state. Why that is consistent with a positive feedback is a mystery.

I’m guessing because it’s still plausible, nobody has a better explanation and it wouldn’t get published anyway.

AndyHce
Reply to  Felix
September 5, 2022 5:48 pm

There certainly appear to be cycles such as ENSO, with every 5 to 8 years an El Nino rasing temperatures far and wide, and multi-decadal cycles in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, around 60 to 70 years each, and some indications of 100 year cycles, and definitely evidence of 1000 year cycles, no to mention much longer cycles involving very large ice sheets and the eventual melting of same, that bring the primary assumption

“The earth’s climate is an energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state.”

seriously into doubt. The 20th century may be where most of the human recorded data is from but that hardly makes means it is typical, if indeed temperatures did remain within 1% bounds. Temperature is not that good a measure of energy or the flow thereof. Just considering the zero temperature change of ice to water and water to vapor makes evident that the energy changes are far larger than 1%.

taxed
Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 11:31 am

Chaotic weather is good for the climate, its what keeps the climate fairly stable and avoids it going to extremes.
lts when the weather becomes less chaotic is where their is a risk of the climate becoming more extreme. As more the persistent a weather patterning becomes, the more likely it will tip the climate towards the extreme.

Rich Davis
Reply to  taxed
September 5, 2022 4:21 pm

The discussion is not about weather though, it’s about average temperatures not varying much over long periods.

Barry Malcolm
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 5, 2022 5:44 pm

Temperatures or heat?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 6, 2022 5:53 am

What “average temperatures”?

Growing zones haven’t changed very much in the past 50 years, just a little bit at the boundaries and even that is probably more due to data changes than to climate change. If the growing zones haven’t changed much that tells me the climate hasn’t changed much either.

R. Craigen
Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 12:46 pm

You overlook the operative phrase in Willis’ statement, Dave: “on average is approximately at”.

I don’t think Willis would regard this as a ‘view’. He is simply providing a qualitative description of the behaviour of the system. It is either a correct characterization or an incorrect one.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Wojick
September 5, 2022 4:42 pm

Weather may oscillate across a wide range of scales, climate not so much. We simply do not see huge oscillations in growing zones over time. Some minor boundary changes happen but many times these are due to updated data and not actual climate changes. There is a reason why some places plant spring wheat and some plant winter wheat. There hasn’t been a significant shift of that over the past 100 years.

Mike
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 6, 2022 12:00 am

Weather may oscillate across a wide range of scales, climate not so much. We simply do not see huge oscillations in growing zones over time.

Thank you! The best statement so far.

”Rice has been grown in Vietnam for thousands of years. It is one of the top five largest rice producing countries in the world. The Mekong River Delta (the ‘Rice Bowl’) in southern Vietnam is where most of Vietnam’s rice is grown.”

Ooooh, but climate change!!!

Frank
Reply to  Mike
September 6, 2022 12:52 am

Xi Jinping: Hold my beer. 

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Mike
September 6, 2022 5:54 am

+100!

John Tillman
September 5, 2022 10:24 am

Earth’s present level of cloudiness produces about 5 degrees C of net cooling.

IPCC’s computer gamers parameterize cloud changes in a warming world as a positive rather than negative feedback.

This is not supported by observations.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/05/cloud-feedback-if-there-is-any-is-negative/

Last edited 24 days ago by John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 5, 2022 12:57 pm

Computer gamers can’t scare people with a negative feedback,
so that is not allowed.

Jeroen B.
September 5, 2022 10:30 am

I’m not smart enough to answer the question, but I understand it, and I’m hoping to see (and understand) the answer(s)!

M Courtney
Reply to  Jeroen B.
September 5, 2022 12:36 pm

Your modesty is admirable but I suspect the answer is quite easy to grasp.
The difference is either in the atmosphere (which is very complex) or it’s in the assumptions (which are simple).
If the forcing isn’t amplified to newsworthy levels then all the researchers lose their funding and their status.  Worse, they only started studying this subject because they had made the assumption that it was worth worrying about.  So the assumptions are never challenged.
The gap is in the assumptions.

DaveS
Reply to  M Courtney
September 6, 2022 4:26 am

Nicely put!

Mr.
September 5, 2022 10:34 am

What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C?

Answer: career prospects and resultant income $$$$s.

(and that is my serious answer Willis)

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Mr.
September 5, 2022 11:30 am

You beat me to it.😶

I have an alternate theory too – unicorn farts. (not really serious but climate alarmists believe all sorts of crap)

Duane
September 5, 2022 10:38 am

“The earth’s surface” is not really what matters. And no, not only is the earth not at thermal equilibrium, it is certainly never at equilibrium, but constantly responds to all manner of processes, not just energy inputs but also the storage and flow of thermal energy due to ocean currents and geochemical variations.

After all if earth were at thermal equilibrium then climate could never change, which of course we know has always changed.

The energy balancers always ignore the energy storage process. The earth’s oceans, accounting for 70% of the planet’s surface, is a vast thermal energy sink with vastly greater ability to absorb or give up thermal energy with minimal temperature change as compared to the atmosphere. Or think of the oceans as a massive climate shock absorber.

Firstly, liquid water has four times the specific heat capacity of air as measured on a per unit mass basis. Additionally the mass of the oceans is several orders of magnitude greater than the mass of the atmosphere. Plus water is also subject to phase changes involving a large amount of thermal energy change with zero change in temperature.

Our liquid oceans are massive thermal energy storage batteries that dwarf the energy transferred to or from the atmosphere due to either weather or climate change.

Last edited 24 days ago by Duane
Felix
Reply to  Duane
September 5, 2022 11:05 am

The earth’s climate equilibrium depends on the scale at which you compare it. Measure any point in milliseconds, only volcanoes will show differences. Measure it in minutes, it’s close enough for most instruments. Measure it at different scales, you get different degrees of equilibrium.

To claim no equilibrium is pedantic.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 1:03 pm

+0.5 degrees C. since 1979 (UAH) is not a steady state
About 15.0 degrees C. to about 15.5 degrees C. — a 3.3% increase.
Head for the hills — a 3.3% increase will end all life on Earth!

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 5, 2022 2:02 pm

Try using degrees Kelvin instead, and recompute.  In thermodynamics, it’s all about absolute temperatures.

Lil-Mike
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 5, 2022 2:03 pm

When dealing with gasses, one must use the Kelvin scale. 15 degrees C is 263K.

Davidf
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 5, 2022 2:43 pm

Imagine a truck carrying coal. Add one bucket of coal, to an existing load of one bucket of coal. 100% increase!! By contrast, one bucket of coal to an entire truckload – negligible increase. In the real world, neither example makes any difference at all in the ability of the truck to climb a hill with its existing load. I defy the ability of the driver to notice. In climate and in trucking, the extra amount expressed as an increment are wildly different, and are both totally imperceptible and irrelevant to the living beings involved.

KAT
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 5, 2022 11:26 pm

Try using converting the temperature to Kelvin then repeat the calculation!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 7, 2022 9:28 pm

Richard, I’ll just assume sarcasm on your part.  Good sarcasm is difficult to identify as such.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 1:17 pm

The Earth has a bit of thermal mass to it, it changes temperatures slowly.

KcTaz
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 5, 2022 2:08 pm

The Earth has a bit of thermal mass to it, it changes temperatures slowly.”
Perhaps our definition of slowly differs but there have been very rapid changes in temperature and climate in the past, so that would seem to contradict your statement.
Here is one period of rapid change and there have, of course, been others.
Younger Dryas | Definition, Causes, & Termination
https://bit.ly/3mdUPgx
Younger Dryas, also called Younger Dryas stadial, cool period between roughly 12,900 and 11,600 years ago that disrupted the prevailing warming trend occurring in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (which lasted from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago). The Younger Dryas was characterized by cooler average temperatures that returned parts of Europe and North America to ice age conditions. The onset of the Younger Dryas took less than 100 years, and the period persisted for roughly 1,300 years. After the period ended, an interval of rapid warming followed, and average temperatures increased to near present-day levels…

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 2:16 pm

Willis states that “ the amount going into or out of storage annually is trivially small compared to the energy flows.”

However while this might be true the fact is that it all adds up. The 30ZJ that enters the ocean each year if summed over a long enough time period will cause a large temperature change.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 2:57 pm

Willis you are using the wrong timescales when deciding on what is worth worrying about. When it comes to climate change and the oceans things happen slowly (for humans) with the thermohaline circulation for example taking over 1000 years to complete one circuit. So in that context a 5 degree temperate change in 900 years is rapid. Similarly on a geological timescale the earth has been around for roughly 4.5 billion years while periodic events such as ice-ages happen every 40 to 100 thousand years meaning that a 900 year change in ocean temperatures is actually quite rapid.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 3:53 pm

Willis,
the issue is not about worrying but understanding. Due to the large heat capacity of the oceans the climate takes thousands of years to reach a new steady state if it is perturbed and so any analysis of it must include factors that are significant over that time period.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 4:35 pm

It is irrelevant. First of all, not 5 degrees in 900 years but 1 degree in 1350 years (900-1800). Secondly, you’re extrapolating a trend out many times the length of time that establishes the current trend.

If homeostasis is maintained by emergent processes, the extrapolation will be wildly inaccurate.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 6, 2022 6:07 am

Your use of the word “homeostasis” is quite appropriate. It describes a self-regulating system. That doesn’t mean “never changing”, it just means that changes occur within boundaries. When you are active your body temperature goes up. Yet your homeostatic systems regulate your temperature to bring that back down once the activity is over. If the system didn’t do that you would die.

When Willis used the term “steady state”, to me it didn’t mean never changing. It’s just describing a homeostatic system.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 6, 2022 4:59 am

 Due to the large heat capacity of the oceans the climate takes thousands of years to reach a new steady state”

Yeah and the “Steady State” has been changing since long before man started pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. So by your own admission the changes have to be from something else.

Brent Wilson
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 6, 2022 10:55 am

Izaak (and Loydo),
You guys really need some Deep Time context if you are going to talk about ocean heat content.  The current average temperature for the entire volume of the world’s oceans is only ~+3.9 C, and has been in (geologically) rapid  decline for the past 50 million years since the PETM (Eocene), when it was ~+10 C warmer. Of course during these brief (but meaningful) interglacial periods, the ocean gains a bit more heat, but the long term trend is still down.  In fact, we are at the coldest temps in over 300 million years. The current Ice Age will continue, and there isn’t one damn thing humans can do to change that.  You doomsayers better hope this current interglacial continues for a bit longer, and a bit more warming would be nothing but beneficial.  

Loydo
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 3:10 pm

“Total ocean mass… Years to raise ocean temp by 1°C @ 15-30 E+21 joules/year = 900 to 1800 years”

Thats a pea and shell argument and you know it.

The surface has risen by that much in a few decades.

The energy entering the ocean is almost entirely heating the mixed surface 0 – 50m volume. Not only is that where most of it is adsorbed but that is the volume that affects the atmosphere.

Further – the closer to the surface, the more heat is being stored until at the surface, as far as the atmosphere is concerned, well you can just about ignore the “total ocean mass” altogether. Claiming you need to average that temperature increase down the the ocean abyss is…misguided.

comment image

And Izaak is correct; long term the ocean makes for an excellent heat battery. That will become more obvious during the next El Nino.

Loydo
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 5:43 pm

Using the entire volume of the ocean in a calculation to predict short term astmospheric temperature change is misleading.

So is saying 900 years.

The next couple of El ninos temp spikes, the phase change of a dark blue maritime Arctic, the ensuing weather chaos and suffering it delivers – in your lifetime – will cast your 900 years in a cringeworthy light. 9000 years later and the affects of such an unprecedented, rapid atmosheric disruption are still significant. 90000 years later it might no longer be noticeable – of course apart from the extinctions, Amazon back to a savannah, deserted cities etc,.

This what the scientific consensus indicates is probable and exactly what that energy change graph shows our Titanic is accellerating towards.

Look at the heat ratio; ocean:atmosphere and tell me the atmosphere is not going to follow that curve, that trajectory.

Keep dealing your doubt until the seaice is gone, then slink away and never mention your stasis theory again.

Loydo
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 8:43 pm

So you’re doubling down on this: “An addition of 15 ZJ/year will warm the ocean by about three thousandths of one stinkin’ degree (0.003°C) per year … lost in the noise.”?

There are only two explanation for someone with a climate hypothesis to write this. Neither of them are flattering. The generous one is misaprehension.

Derg
Reply to  Loydo
September 5, 2022 11:00 pm

Lol…the sea has risen at a slow and steady rate…you know that.

Reply to  Derg
September 6, 2022 5:01 am

And since long before CO2 increases made by man

sibeen
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 7:54 pm

Willis, You’ve used the energy value for a 5 degree rise in you calculation for a 1 degree rise.

The energy to raise the mass of the ocean 1 degree is 5.4E+24 and therefore the time taken to raise 1 degree for 30E+21 joules per annum entering the system is 180 years.

Herbert
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 3:59 pm

Izaak,
On the issue of the Ocean sink, please read the annual paper relied on by the IPCC adherents, Friedlingstein et al 2021, with 70 co-authors.
From the Executive summary of the “Global Carbon Budget 2021”-
“The Ocean CO2 sink resumed a more rapid growth in the past decade after low or no growth during the 1991-2002 period.
However the growth of the Ocean CO2 sink in the past decade has an uncertainty of a factor of 3, with estimates based on data products and estimates based on models showing an ocean sink increase of 0.9 and 0.3 GtCyr-1 since 2010 respectively.
The discrepancy in the trend originates from all latitudes but is largest in the Southern Ocean.”
There are an awful lot of ZJ in the world’s oceans and 30 ZJ is not significant.

Neville
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 3:11 pm

Willis can you explain in degrees C why the Earth’s temp hasn’t varied by even 0.5% over the 20th century? I’m just a layman and I would like to know how you calculate your claim? And please make it simple for this very ordinary bloke.

Reply to  Neville
September 5, 2022 3:30 pm

Dear Layman: What is 0.5% of 0 (zero) degrees C? What is 500% of 0 degrees C? When a temperature changes from minus 3 degrees to plus 3 degrees, how many percent is it?

Rick C
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 6, 2022 10:35 am

cause you can’t do thermodynamic calculations in anything but Kelvin. 

Or, if your a really old US engineer, degrees Rankine. 😉

KAT
Reply to  Duane
September 5, 2022 11:16 pm

Exactly.
Cloud feed back over oceans is always negative because it affects solar shortwave penetration of same. Cloud feedback over land areas is neither here nor there! Transient, fleeting…
Shortwave versus longwave effects!

Last edited 24 days ago by KAT
Hans Erren
September 5, 2022 10:41 am

Hi Willis, according to IPCC forcing for CO2 doubling is 3.7 W/m2, using Stefan-Botlzman you can calculate the local ground temperature increase that offsets that forcing, as it is proportional to T^4, warm areas have a lower local sensitivity.

A4BD6D56-DE75-4480-B38C-60C3E1C80CDB.png
Prjindigo
September 5, 2022 10:41 am

Nine Point Eight Meters per Second Squared.
Ninety Six Volts per Meter of Altitude.

The Earth’s atmosphere is not “in energy balance” it is under charge at saturation.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 5, 2022 4:52 pm

Well Prj, why don’t you invent a machine to collect those 96 v/m and sell them into the grid?

At present electricity prices in Europe, you could be rich overnight!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Smart Rock
September 5, 2022 9:16 pm

The average electrostatic voltage differential is approximately what Prjindigo cited, although, it can go much higher under a thunderstorm cloud. The reason the voltage differential can’t be put to any practical use is that air is typically an insulator and the available current is infinitesimally small. Even when the air breaks down and allows a high current flow, creating a plasma during a lightning discharge, the duration is so short that no real usable power is available for doing work, except at a small scale such as flash evaporating the sap under the bark in a tree, or putting a small pit in a metal surface.

pouncer
September 5, 2022 10:47 am

Step two: “Then a miracle happens!”

Eh. What I infer from the discussions is a notion more to do with tipping points than feedback.

The fear of the “arctic death spiral” supposes that if the edges of the icecaps recede j u s t e n o u g h then planet’s albedo shifts so that the previously stable system becomes unstable. Similarly if cold region permafrost releases methane, or the methane clathrates on the ocean floor sublimate, or if the average central location of the tropical storm systems shifts a little bit … It’s fear not analysis. And it’s a fear of rapid drastic change. As the average of weather is called “climate” the average of all these fears-of-change was called global warming until an accidental moment of honesty revealed the real event feared was simply “Change”. The models work over a very limited range of periods and conditions with everything-else in the model held constant. More CO2 causes warmer winter nights, within those limits. If those limits are exceeded, the models break down. And it’s feared the climate itself will break down as well.

MY fear is that the weather and climate exhibit chaotic behaviors. It’s seen in both physical and mathematical models that increasing the forcing inputs in the models increases the outputs — until they don’t. Pump in a faster stream of water and a spinning waterwheel spins faster — until it stops, and reverses direction. Increase the population of predators (wolves?) in a stable prey population (elk in Yellowstone) and the prey number decreases — until both populations explode.
Dam a river and install flood control levees and the river will, at some drastic moment, push through a whole different path to the sea. The system can be pushed, but when it pushes “back” it doesn’t necessarily push STRAIGHT back.

But I don’t see any headlines worried that adding “greenhouse” gasses to the system might result in a return to “icehouse” climates — even though the planet spent more of its existence in the icy state than the green.

Addressing my fears would take policies that make our systems resilient to changes in either direction. Warmer or colder; rising sea levels or falling; more rain or less; more clouds or fewer; more wind or less. So at the very least we should prioritize energy systems that are NOT located near the shorelines, are NOT dependent on sunny weather, or windy nights. We should promote nuclear electricity, and heat with fossil fuels tapped from reserves close to our population centers (as the Marcellus Shale gas formations are close to the cities of New York and Pennsylvania) Desalination works, if the energy prices are low enough. (And with nuclear power, those prices can be low.) And we could do a WHOLE LOT better on reducing our flow of wastewater — much more easily than we can manage the “waste gasses” from our furnaces.

And even so we should expect tipping points. Ice ages, even.

Johne Morton
Reply to  pouncer
September 5, 2022 12:01 pm

But I don’t see any headlines worried that adding “greenhouse” gasses to the system might result in a return to “icehouse” climates — even though the planet spent more of its existence in the icy state than the green.”

As far as we can tell, for most of Earth’s history it’s been warmer than at present. I don’t know if perhaps you meant only since the beginning of the Quaternary (or whatever they call it now, Neogene or something). It’s kind of counterintuitive, given that the relatively recent Pleistocene has been one of the coldest periods ever, despite our sun slowly getting brighter as it moves through the main sequence phase. Maybe someone else with more knowledge about this could confirm or push back about my guess: as Earth’s rotational period has slowly declined, even as the sun has brightened, it gives more time for the night side of the planet to radiate heat away, while the negative effects on the sunlight side have more time to “work”, primarily reflection from clouds and ice, plus convective heat transport in storms.

Just a guess…

Johne Morton
Reply to  Johne Morton
September 5, 2022 12:03 pm

Excuse me, our rotational period has lengthened, not declined.

Johne Morton
Reply to  Johne Morton
September 5, 2022 10:43 pm

I might also add that, as the sun burns, it expells a tremendous amount of mass. Earth’s orbit is slowly growing, meaning that we are getting more distant from the sun. Even though the sun keeps getting technically brighter, we’re moving away and our rotation is slowing.

Roger M
September 5, 2022 10:54 am

I am not as fluent in this subject as I would like to be, but I am trying to expand my understanding. I think there is a typo or mistake in the paragraph that states: “Now, consider the mainstream IPCC position, that a doubling of CO2 will increase downwelling longwave at the “top-of-atmosphere” (TOA) by 3.7°C. This means that if you instantaneously double the CO2, the amount of longwave escaping the planet at the top of the atmosphere will be reduced by 3.7 W/m2.” Is it possible that the units following the first appearance of “3.7” should be W/m2 and NOT degrees Celsius?

Old Man Winter
September 5, 2022 11:02 am

Climate is one tough nut to crack. Maybe this can help you crack it!

toughnut.jpg
Kevin kilty
September 5, 2022 11:03 am

Here we are again, Willis.

Now, suppose that we want to raise the surface temperature of the earth by 1°C. How much additional energy flux will be necessary to create that new warmer steady-state?

By using the term “create” you bring in the unnecessary amount of energy needed to transition from the old steady state to the new one (specific heat) which is separate from the additional amount of energy needed to “maintain” the steady state temperature against the emitted power represented by the S-B equation. We have to prevent confusion of these two ideas. Your point is related to the latter.

I might add that I think the quetion you are asking is the same point that Howard Hayden tries to make in his Heartland presentation. He maintains that of the three items here (stefan-boltzmann, climate sensitivity of 3, and calculations of increased LWIR) one cannot make a consistent picture. Have you perchance read his work?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 5:57 pm

to unconfuse you.

Very droll, Willis.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Kevin kilty
September 5, 2022 1:37 pm

‘I might add that I think the question you are asking is the same point that Howard Hayden tries to make in his Heartland presentation.’

I also like Hayden’s approach – a surface boundary where the S-B equation can be used to estimate upwelling LW radiation (ULWR), a top of atmosphere (TOA) boundary where incoming absorbed SW from the sun has to equal outgoing LW radiation (OLWR), and the difference between ULWR and OLWR, which is the so-called greenhouse effect (GHE). And since both ULWR [f(T_surface)] and OLWR [f(solar intensity, albedo)] are easily quantified, it’s very easy to check the IPCC’s assumptions for GHE / LW ‘forcings’ against their ‘projections’ of increased surface temperature. Short answer is that they don’t tie out, but you can follow the details in a series of very short essays here:

http://sepp.org/science_papers.cfm

Last edited 24 days ago by Frank from NoVA
Macha
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
September 5, 2022 4:40 pm

Beat me to it.
http://sepp.org/science_papers.cfm
Highlights the problem with values used by IPCC.
Hope Willis has seen these.

Last edited 24 days ago by Macha
September 5, 2022 11:09 am

Willis

The answer is simple. Note that I am not saying that the gh effect does not exist. In fact I can feel it. Standing in the cabin 10 minutes after stopping showering, it is still warmer in the cabin then outside.
The problem with the CO2 is that it is innocent. It cools as much as what it warms.
Anyway, I am pretty sure that 100% earth can produce far more heat then a change of 0.01% in the atmosphere….
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/08/02/global-warming-how-and-where/

Last edited 24 days ago by HenryP
September 5, 2022 11:18 am

Mark D. Zelinka et al. (2019) provide a discussion of this as it pertains to climate models’ sensitivity to CO2 doubling.

Determining the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a fundamental goal of climate science. A typical approach for doing so is to consider the planetary energy balance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), represented as ECS = –F/λ   ( where F increased radiation from 2x CO2)

Conceptually, this equation states that the TOA energy imbalance can be expressed as the sum of the radiative forcing and the radiative response of the system to a global surface temperature anomaly. The assumption that the radiative damping can be expressed as a product of a time‐invariant and global mean surface temperature anomaly is useful but imperfect (Armour et al., 2013; Ceppi & Gregory, 2019). Under this assumption, one can estimate the effective climate sensitivity (ECS), the ultimate global surface temperature change that would restore TOA energy balance
.
ECS therefore depends on the magnitude of the CO2 radiative forcing and on how strongly the climate system radiatively damps planetary warming. A climate system that more effectively radiates thermal energy to space or more strongly reflects sunlight back to space as it warms (larger magnitude λ will require less warming to restore planetary energy balance in response to a positive radiative forcing, and vice versa.

Because GCMs attempt to represent all relevant processes governing Earth’s response to CO2, they provide the most direct means of estimating ECS. ECS values diagnosed from CO2 quadrupling experiments performed in fully coupled GCMs as part of the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project ranged from 2.1 to 4.7 K. It is already known that several models taking part in CMIP6 have values of ECS exceeding the upper limit of this range. These include CanESM5.0.3 , CESM2, CNRM‐CM6‐1, E3SMv1, and both HadGEM3‐GC3.1 and UKESM1.

Zelinka et al. (2019) is here: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GL085782

My synopsis is https://rclutz.com/2020/01/26/climate-models-good-bad-and-ugly/

 

mario lento
September 5, 2022 11:18 am

I always have trouble trying to wrap my head around coming to a number in a chaotic system. “How much additional energy flux will be necessary to create that new warmer steady-state?”

What are we measuring (temperature) is chaotic in many dimensions, the most elusive seems to be the state of pesky water… why must it duck and hide “T” by changing form? Just go into stasis for just a minute and stop the chaos I say!

Good brain exercise and precise physics teaching, Willis!

Brad-DXT
Reply to  mario lento
September 5, 2022 11:35 am

Don’t forget that the oceans can channel heat into the depths until it can be brought back up by IPCC researchers governmental hacks.

mario lento
Reply to  Brad-DXT
September 5, 2022 11:46 am

And the pesky heat moves around yet more! Chaos I say!

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Brad-DXT
September 5, 2022 1:25 pm

The oceans are a fluid in motion, transferring heat. Not channeling, currents.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 5, 2022 9:57 pm

I guess you missed the part where the alarmists claimed that heat was sent into the ocean and that’s why there is a pause.

I guess sarcasm doesn’t travel well on the internet.

Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 11:27 am

Willis,
Again you are confusing energy and energy flux. You write for example that
This means that if you instantaneously double the CO2, the amount of longwave escaping the planet at the top of the atmosphere will be reduced by 3.7 W/m2.”

Now while that is true it is only a temporary effect. Once the atmosphere reaches a new steady state then the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere will be zero despite the doubled CO2 and the surface temperature will be warmer because of the increased stored energy in the atmosphere.

Knowing the energy flux both at the surface and the top of the atmosphere does not tell you anything about how much energy is stored within the system. During ice ages the energy flux from the sun was the same as it was today but the temperature was a lot colder. Remove the CO2 from the atmosphere and the temperature would plummet despite the incoming radiation remaining constant.

It is stored energy not energy flux that determines the temperature.

arjan duiker
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 2:00 pm

During ice ages the energy flux from the sun was the same as it was today but the temperature was a lot colder” is too simplistic. Earth’s irradiance could have been the same, dependent on solar activity. But LW absorption is hindered by clouds and we’ve got no idea how much coulds there were, which type and distribution.

KcTaz
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 2:23 pm

You appear to be ignoring the greenhouse gas that is the greatest in our atmosphere by far and which completely dwarfs CO2, water vapor. Are you saying water vapor has zero effect on Earth’s climate and temperatures?

Izaak Walton
Reply to  KcTaz
September 5, 2022 2:59 pm

KcTaz,
While water vapour has a much larger effect than CO2 it is a condensing greenhouse gas so if you remove the CO2 then there will be less heat in the atmosphere resulting in less water vapour which in turn further reduces the temperature etc etc. The net result is that the earth would quickly freeze.

Derg
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 11:04 pm

Lol…if you remove the CO2

Robert B
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 3:07 pm

Makes you wonder why they don’t include the heat capacity of the black body when starting with what the Earth’s temperature would be if no GHE.

Is this the pea under the thimble? Swap from, to and fro, the temperature of emitting surface to temperature from increased Q?

Kevin kilty
September 5, 2022 11:29 am

It seems to me that there are many ambiguities in this whole exercise, and not due to Willis, but due to all involved. For example, what in the world do we mean by “surface temperature”? Very very near the surface the exchange is much more dominated by radiation transfer than it is only a short distance above. So, are we speaking of skin temperature or ssomewhere a bit higher like 2m? Ceres uses some algorithm involving other data sets, I think, in order to retrieve skin temperature.

Now consider this factor of LWIR at what has been termed TOA, but is actually top of troposphere. How well does SB apply? This goes back to a question that David Wojick asked on the previous essay. At some height in the atmosphere there is so little mass that there isn’t much power available. What David should mean to ask is how thick a unit of atmosphere is needed to approximate a black-body adequately in such tenuous materials. Thin gaseous materials containing CO2 and H2O have an effective emissivity far below 1.0

This brings up the point I made in the comments to the last essay about SB not being an appropriate transfer equation. SB would work just fine if we were speaking about two material layers exchanging energy between them as a result of differing temperature as long as no participating medium existed in between. The presence of an IR active atmosphere needs a full equation of transfer to handle the situation.

I can’t say that I plan to work through to determine if there is an inconsistency in the IPCC position or not, but what I do know is that one could not arrive at a consistent explanation of heat transfer and temperature in a furnace without involving the active medium (H2O and CO2) from combustion. SB alone wouldn’t do the job. The same is probably true of the troposhere.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Kevin kilty
September 5, 2022 4:49 pm

You are thinking along the same lines that I am. What is the surface? Is it the soil and bodies of water or is it the air 2m above.

Having grown up in farming there are a lot of things that aren’t covered. Land (surface) does hold heat and doesn’t fall back to some low, low temperature at night. Look up the frost line depth at where water and sewer lines must be buried. Around here, 3 feet is sufficient to never freeze. In spring time, we look for soil temperatures to rise to determine when to plant. The soil stores the sun’s energy and warms, i.e. stores heat.

In round numbers the specific heats of soil is ~1400, air is ~1000, and water ~5000. As you can see soil can hold a goodly amount of heat and it does conduct downward. Consequently, much of the sun’s energy is stored in the soil for a good portion of a year.

Now look at soil moisture. As you move north, there is a lot of water in frozen earth. It takes a lot of energy to raise the temperature of the soil, say at the U.S./Canada border. That is partly why air temps stay colder longer as you travel north. I’m not sure that this lets one assume the S-B equation is entirely accurate since the earth stores heat and releases it slowly.

Lastly, you mention gradients. Those are entirely ignored in this process of climate. I like to look at the surface as a hot body and the atmosphere as an insulator. Adding more CO2 in essence is like adding a higher R value insulation to your house. The cooling gradient of the insulation reduced and it lets the boundary of the insulation heat to a temperature closer to the hot body’s temperature since the conductivity is lowered. But, like insulation in your house, you soon run into the point where additional R value increases have little effect.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 5, 2022 7:16 pm

Agreed. There are many ways to describe bits and pieces of the radiation story, but as R.Scanlan once said to me in the context of flutter in long span bridges, “No matter how carefully you try to explain it, you always fall just a bit short.”

The problem here isn’t too dissimilar to a laser. Within the cavity containing a gain medium there is incredible flux, but not so much leaking out the coupling end where the beam emerges. One would never explain how the contraption works without reference to the gain medium.

Last edited 24 days ago by Kevin kilty
n.n
September 5, 2022 11:34 am

A minority of a minority scheme where efficiency is further lost in translation, compensated through the brown models and Green energy.

davidmhoffer
September 5, 2022 11:44 am

The IPCC obscures the actual results with a variety of subterfuge.
The big one is that:
2 X CO2 = 3.7 w/m^2 = +1.1 degrees

HOWEVER, that 1.1 degrees is NOT cacluated at the earth surface, it is calculated at the effective black body temperature of earth which does not exist at earth surface. It exists somewhere high in the atmosphere (20,000 feet comes to mind but don’t quote me on that). I believe it coincides with the mean radiating layer (don’t quote me on that either).

The point is, that the IPCC admitted in one of the AR reports that this translates to a much LOWER number at earth surface. I forget which AR report, sorry, my head isn’t into this stuff like it was when I was commenting regularly.

As to the amplification, what they did is assume that the amount of water vapour would increase commensurate with the holding capacity of the atmosphere as its temperature increased. As water vapour is a GHG in its own right, they calculated that the increased GHE from this extra water vapour would be 7.4 w/m^2 and that this would simple ADD to the 3.7 w/m^2 of CO2 for a total of 11.1 w/m^2 or 3.3 deg C of warming.

HOWEVER , again, this 3.3 deg C is calcuted against the EFFECTIVE black body temperature of earth which coincides with the EFFECTIVE radiating layer of earth which is way high (20,000 ft?) in the atmosphere and so is a MUCH higher value than what we would experience at earth surface.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 5, 2022 11:48 am

I should add that there are two points to be made about the above:

  1. That the effect at earth surface is much smaller than the effect they talk about they carefully avoid talking about actual surface effects
  2. That water vapour has NOT increased commensurate with temperature, and they very carefully fail to talk about that either
davidmhoffer
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 5, 2022 1:12 pm

The numbers for those who care:

Using SB Law:

Effective Black Body Temperature of Earh = 255 deg K
255 deg = 239.74 w/m2
256 deg = 243.52 w/m2

so + 1 degrees K at effecitve black body temperature of earth = 3.78 w/m2

Surface Temperature of Earth = 288 deg K
288 deg = 390.08 w/m2
288.693 deg = 393.85 w/m2

So + 0.693 deg at SURFACE temperature of earth = 3.77 w/m2

See the subterfuge? It takes 3.78 w/m2 to raise the “temp” of earth by 1 degree, but at earth SURFACE that same w/m2 results in less than 0.7 degrees. So when the IPCC yaps about sensitivity, be it with or without feedbacks, they are NOT talking about the surface temperature increase. They naturally quote the higher number to ensure more alarm rather than quote the number we actually would experience at surface.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 5, 2022 3:02 pm

David,
The point is that the effective black body temperature does not change with changing greenhouse gas temperatures. The 255K black body temperature is set by equating the incoming solar flux with outgoing long wavelength radiation. The surface temperature is set by the stored energy in the system.

Dave Fair
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 7, 2022 10:04 pm

David, radiation entering and leaving at TOA must be equal over time or we cool or warm uncontrollably.  It seem that the effective radiating temperature at TOA must always equal about 255 K to balance the net incoming solar SW.  I assume, therefore, ECS is calculated for the surface.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 5, 2022 1:50 pm

The ERL varies by latitude, lowest at the poles, highest at the equator. Range is from about 8-10km altitude. Altitude is determined from IR ‘temperature’ and the known lapse rate. WE had a post on this back in 2016 looking at temp. Also, ERL means the absolute saturation argument is wrong. As CO2 increases, the ERL rises and has more ‘surface’ but since ‘colder’ is less efficient per unit surface. Results in Callendar’s 1935 logarithmic curve.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 5, 2022 2:52 pm

Agreed, it comes back to me when someone else spells it out again. Thanks Rud,

Edim
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 6, 2022 4:56 am

As CO2 increases, doesn’t atmospheric emissivity increase too?

Richard M
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 6, 2022 6:52 am

That’s the claim but it is wrong. The ERL of any well mixed gas is primarily determined by the changing density of the atmosphere. That water vapor changes the average level is completely irrelevant. You have to look at the specifics for each gas individually and add the effects together. CO2 increases will not change the ERL.

Do you know where the ERL is for CO2? I believe it is 19.2 km.

arjan duiker
September 5, 2022 11:44 am

Simplicity in it’s most beautiful form. “Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.” is applicable exactly here. GCMs go the other route; it’s a dead end.
I think this work of Willis is marvelous, again!

Rud Istvan
September 5, 2022 12:09 pm

Two comments. 
First, there isn’t one. The IPCC ECS of 3 (or more in CMIP5 and CMIP6 is high by about a factor of about two. But they cannot admit it because that would cancel the alarm, stop the research funding flows, and stop the move to ruinables.
Second, on your excellent clouds figure, the almost certain reason clouds warm when the surface is well below freezing is that those clouds are comprised of ice, not water. Ice is opaque to IR, so it is all reflected back down and cannot escape to space. The essence of Lindzen’s adaptive infrared iris cirrus mechanism in the tropics must hold true for all clouds everywhere the surface is well below freezing.

Oldseadog
September 5, 2022 12:12 pm

You aren’t a glutton for punishment, you have an enquiring mind and are in the enviable position  where you can ask questions and answer them honestly without losing your livelyhood.
Just a pity there aren’t more of you in that situation.

September 5, 2022 12:20 pm

But this would require that the feedback amplify the original signal by a factor of almost six … and my understanding is that a feedback factor greater than one leads to runaway.

There’s an ambiguity in that statement; for “feedback factor” you probably meant loop gain, whereas you probably meant that the factor of 6 is the closed-loop gain.

In a simple (equilibrium, scalar, additive, etc.) feedback system the response y equals the product of the open-loop gain g and sum of the stimulus x and the product of the feedback coefficient f and the response y:

y = (x + fy)g,

or

y = gx/(1 – fg),

where in some circles fg is called the “loop gain” (as opposed to the open-loop gain g or the closed-loop gain h = g/(1 – fg) ). It’s the loop gain fg that can’t exceed unity if the system isn’t to blow up.

But system can be stable if the closed-loop gain exceeds unity. If g = 1.5 and f = 0.5, for example the loop gain is 0.75, yielding a stable system, while the closed-loop gain h = 6.

(I’m just addressing the narrow issue of nomenclature, not the ultimate question.)

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  Joe Born
September 6, 2022 3:51 am

Joe, good. I have been scrolling through this whole thread to see if someone would point this out before I did.  I would have used g=1 and f=5/6 to achieve h=6.  So Willis please note that this is not unstable.  But it is still a suspiciously high and implausible value of the feedback coefficient f.
Rich.

R. Craigen
September 5, 2022 12:35 pm

I have never heard a convincing argument that the “Climate Sensitivity Factor” is anything other than 1.

Ignorance of specific causation, and lack of an explanation or complete model, is not proof of a fudge factor, and does itself not comprise a credible argument.

Reply to  R. Craigen
September 5, 2022 1:11 pm

And you never will hear good arguments for more than 1.5 degrees C. ECR if including the water vapor positive feedback. 1.5 or less ECS would not scare people — 3.0 or more ECS will, so that’s what you will hear. Again and again.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  R. Craigen
September 5, 2022 1:30 pm

ECS from CO2 is nonsense to begin with. Heat drives atmospheric CO2, not the other way around. If we were to stop burning fossil fuels, the CO2 would absorb back into the ocean and climate would keep doing what it is doing.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  R. Craigen
September 5, 2022 2:04 pm

Let me give you such an argument. Deliberately nonspecific as the question is 1, or more, or less. Suppose the theoretical no feedbacks CO2 ECS is 1.16 (derived purely mathematically from Monckton’s ‘irreducibly simple’ equation and his input values to it). Willis just showed the cloud feed back is zero or slightly negative. BUT at 1.16 or a bit less for negative clouds, the WVF must still be significantly positive, as warmer air holds more water vapor. So the system ECS must be something appreciably greater than 1.
Numerically, All the observational EBM studies suggest a central ECS estimate something like 1.6-1.7. Guy Callendar’s 1935 logarithmic curve yields 1.68. INM CM5 (in CMIP6, the only model NOT producing a tropical troposphere hot spot artifact) says 1.8. All appreciably greater than 1.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 3:11 pm

Willis,
that is not how the greenhouse effect works. The effective emission temperature at the top of the atmosphere does not change if CO2 levels were to double. It would still be roughly 255K. What changes is the stored energy which then changes the surface temperature.

Imagine that you have a bathtub which has a tap at one end through which water flows at a rate of 100ml/s. At the other end is a hole that lets water out at the same rate. Now in that situation you cannot say what the water level in the bath is, all you can say is that it is not changing.

If you then temporarily restrict the flow out of the bathtub then the water level will rise to as high a level as you want. Then if the outflow attains it previous value the water level will stabilise at the new level.

Similarly the claim that you need 7W/m^2 to heat the earth by one degree is misleading to the point of being wrong. You need X J of energy to raise the surface temperature by one degree (where X is a large number) and you can get that energy over whatever time period you like which means that an arbitrarily small flux could do it if you wait long enough.

Thin Air
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 4:31 pm

Izaak,   You have introduced the bath tub analogy. I trust you do not really believe that holds any value, or offers any insight into the workings of Earth’s climate. If you do it implies Earth could reach any ridiculously high surface temperature and the temperature at the “top of atmosphere” (TOA) would hardly change. The physics I learned in grad school says that is impossible.
And it equally implies the earth could cool by 100 degrees K and the TOA would still hardly change.  
You nicely illustrated the clearly and absolutely illogical nature of climate alarmism. 

KAT
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 6, 2022 12:18 am

If the outflow was restricted then the effective head of the water would rise. Once the outlet is cleared to the previous diameter then the rate of outflow would be greater than normal until the head is back to the previous level which was at equilibrium.

eyesonu
Reply to  KAT
September 6, 2022 10:39 am

I think izaak conveniently left out the point you make with regards to the increase in head pressure increasing out flow.. But then maybe he never even grasped it. So it seems with the alarmists.

Earthling2
September 5, 2022 12:40 pm

The first problem is that we are arguing with a ‘pronouncement’ by the IPCC that this is a probable fact, or perhaps even a proven fact, when in fact it can’t be proven as how would one know that some other mechanism isn’t responsible for some other reason why the surface temps are cooling or warming? Like Zombie Ice, whatever that substance is.

Therefore we are dealing with a religion that makes pronouncements that can’t be proven. End of story, unless one wants to bang head against wall, and that gets boring. Not only can it not be calculated, the entire premise may be completely faulty.

While the basic premise of the so called GH effect is scientifically accurate, (as is downwelling radiation) the feedbacks aren’t and could be argued either way. Which is what the fuss is all about. However, it does seem rather fanciful that you could get 3 degree C of surface warming from such a smidgen of TOA warming from a doubling of CO2 (3.7 W/m2) that would equate to 7 W/m2 of surface warming. And we aren’t even half way to doubling CO2 since a pre-industrialization date of circa 1850 when the LIA ended. Explain natural variation first, and then maybe I could get my head wrapped around an article of faith.

I would say Occam’s Razor should apply first, and that this topic has so many moving parts, that it may never be able to be calculated, especially if at the end of the day, weather is random and chaotic. Although it is subject to long term solar insolation that can be calculated accurately, solar output notwithstanding within a ~% or less. So we will probably be able to accurately predict long term climate over thousands of years, but probably never be able to predict seasonal weather within a decade or two, let alone a century. Just because of random stuff going on, like volcanoes, sunspots, ocean currents we don’t fully understand, and perhaps even things we don’t even fully understand yet like galactic unknowns such as comic rays. Or a diminishing magnetic field, that may or may not have any effect on weather/climate. There is just too much we still don’t understand and how it all may or may not affect everything and is yet to be fully understood.

Occam’s Razor: a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2022 1:13 pm

we will probably be able to accurately predict long term climate over thousands of years,

“The climate will get warmer, unless it gets colder”
R, Greene 1997 prediction
Nobel Prize pending

Steve Richards
September 5, 2022 12:42 pm

Not sure about this part: “And from -15°C to 15°C, another 33% “

Steve Richards
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 6, 2022 12:37 am

Thankyou, my bad.

Editor
September 5, 2022 12:49 pm

What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C”

The initials are “B” and “S.”
The IPCC estimate of SATS (surface air temperature sensitivity to radiative forcing) is usually around 0.5 deg. C per W/m2, your IPCC estimate is 0.8, which is even sillier.  But the IPCC has never seen a need to be consistent.
Sherwood Idso derived 0.173 deg. C/W/m2 using real data, but who needs data? We can use other IPCC sources to get 0.42 deg C/W/m2.
Newell and Dopplick got 0.03 deg. C/W/m2 using real data.
Manabe and Weatherald, in 1975, derived a value of 1 deg. C/W/m2, which is as silly as their model.
Möller, 1963 derived 0.5 deg. C/W/m2
SATS is likely in the range you site, around 0.1 to 0.15. The high IPCC values just shows they aren’t thinking. Good post Willis!
More here:
Climate Sensitivity to CO2, what do we know? Part 2. – Andy May Petrophysicist

mkelly
September 5, 2022 12:51 pm

The incoming solar radiation can do work. You can use a magnifying glass and start a fire using solar radiation. Downwelling IR coming from the atmosphere can do neither. Equating thevtwo seems wrong to me.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  mkelly
September 5, 2022 1:35 pm

Now that would be something to actually test the back radiation hypothesis now wouldn’t it?

Lenses can focus IR just as they can other light. If atmospheric LWR is as great as they say, then surely it would be easy to build a lens to focus this light and prove it.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 5, 2022 2:48 pm

The lens forms an image of the sun, there is no way to focus sky radiation.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 5, 2022 5:10 pm

Very difficult to focus absorption lines. However, if they were actual emission lines then you could focus them.

RickWill
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
September 6, 2022 12:17 am

I have had to come a long way down to see a comment based on physics as opposed to climate phiisics.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 6, 2022 4:50 pm

Why bother with the sun? You should be able to take a lens and focus the downward IR from the clear sky at night. Temperature increase at the focus should tell you the all you need to know about the back radiation hypothesis.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 6, 2022 5:00 pm

So a 1 m2 IR lens on a clear night, supposedly radiating at least 100 W/m2, focusing that light to 1 cm2 on the ground, would result in 10,000,000 W/m2 on the focus.

Forget pyrgeometers and verifying the models with models, why not just do this?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 5, 2022 6:00 pm

Read up on how CO2 lasers work. They focus IR using lenses to reach temperatures that melt steel like a hot knife through margarine. Note, I am not implying that our atmosphere does light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Geoff S

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 6, 2022 9:37 am

I don’t believe lenses are involved

I thought all lasers work in the same way.
A tube with a mirror at each end. One fully reflective the other partally, but still highly reflective. For CO2 laser the tube is filled with the gas, which is energised and as each molecule returns to a normal state iemits a photon of EM radiation. The photon passing activated molecules trigger the release of another photon totally in phase with the one doing the triggering. Eventually all the EM energy is synchronised and being reflected between the two mirrors with a proportion leaving the tube as a parallel beam of synchronised radiation. Shorter wavelengths are harder to producte which is why the first using this technique were in the Microwave wavelengths, MASERs

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 6, 2022 8:47 pm

You need a lens to focus the beam.

KAT
Reply to  mkelly
September 6, 2022 12:21 am

Yes!

tgasloli
September 5, 2022 1:06 pm

“What mysterious force…?”

There isn’t one. The CO2 cause global warming theory is false. And all of the practitioners know it.

RickWill
Reply to  tgasloli
September 6, 2022 12:19 am

And all of the practitioners know it.

Are you really suggesting they know there is no back-radiation?

I would like to see solid proof of that.

Robert W Turner
September 5, 2022 1:08 pm

Happy Labor Day.
But this would require that the feedback amplify the original signal by a factor of almost six … and my understanding is that a feedback factor greater than one leads to runaway.”

Yes, some of us have been saying the mainstream hypothesis-paradigm is a perpetual motion machine of the second kind for years already.

The entire hypothesis seems silly to begin with, like the energy flux of the troposphere hinges on LWR absorption/emission rather than kinetic energy transfer primarily through emergent properties, e.g. convection. Kinetic energy is linearly proportional to temperature in a gas, heat and kinetic energy are almost synonymous when it comes to gases. When a molecule phase changes to a gas from a liquid or solid it inherently locks up that energy as latent heat, but the important emergent property is that the molecule is now in motion.

Gas within an atmosphere isn’t going to radiantly cool itself nearly fast enough to matter, it is conduction-convection driven. Even water vapor condenses around particulates in the atmosphere to nucleate clouds. And if the sun were the instantly shut off, the atmosphere would condense at the surface as it decompresses, not radiantly cool from the top and rain back to the surface.

Sensible heat in ways is as complex as clouds. During the day it cools the surface but at night it warms the surface – or should I say ‘prevents it from cooling off as rapidly’. Evaporation during the day cools the surface but at night condensation on the ground warms it. Surface wind cools the surface during the day while increasing the warming rate of the atmosphere, and then at night wind returns heat to the surface. If there is no wind in the boundary layer at night, then the surface cools faster forming an inversion layer, but the atmosphere as a whole actually retains more heat by not mixing it to the surface where it can be radiated away. If clouds retain LWR and warm the surface at night, then the inversion layer can form above the clouds instead.

So that is the long answer to the question, the entire mainstream hypothesis is pseudoscience.

Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
September 5, 2022 1:11 pm

The TOA temperature is set by the net energy absorbed by the earth, about 241W/m2, and emissivity, 1.0. Nothing else! So adding more CO2 to the atmosphere can have no effect on TOA temperature.

Adding more CO2 to the atmosphere increases the thermal resistance to radiative heat transfer to the TOA, thereby increasing the temperature difference between the earth’s surface and the TOA.

Assuming 163W/m2 absorbed at the earth’s surface means 163W/m2 must be transported to the TOA. Of this about 99W/m2 are transferred by convection and abut 64W/m2 are radiatively transferred. Of the 99W/m2 transferred convectively, most, about 80W/m2, is latent energy transfer.

The convective heat transfer coefficient, H, can be calculated.
99W/m2 = H*32, where 32 is the preindustrial temperature difference, surface temperature 14C or 287K, and a TOA temperature of 255K.
H = 3.094W/m2-K

Assuming a surface emittance of 0.92, the surface emits 353.91W/m2 on average. And with a net transfer of 64W/m2 we can calculate the back radiation of 353.91W/m2 – 64W/m2 = 289.91W/m2.

Doubling CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increases back radiation by 3.7W/m2 so the 2xCO2 back radiation is 293.61W/m2. Because of conservation of energy, this 3.7W/m2 is at the surface and TOA.

Iteratively solving for surface temperature, T, in the energy balance equation
Qsurface = Qconvection + Qradiation or

163 = 3.094(T – 255) + 0.92*sigma(T – 293.61)

T = 287.46
(sigma is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant.)

In other words, doubling CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere would be expected to raise surface temperature by 0.46.

In the Charney report, they assume this is amplified by increased H2O. Relative humidity is assumed constant. This is then further amplified by retreating icecaps at the poles, both of which are unlikely, especially with only a 0.46 unamplified greenhouse effect.

I’m pretty sure this is how this is supposed to be done. I got my PhD in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in the thermal science. I also practiced it for 40 years as a solar thermal R&D engineer, of all things.

If you look at the Charney report, if manages to violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics. They essentially add the increased radiative forcing (they assume 4W/m2) to the net insolation. It is a 1st law violation by creating energy from nothing. And then they add the 4W/m2 at less than 287K to solar flux at around 5700K, a clear cut violation of the 2nd law.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
September 6, 2022 4:33 am

I agree with you completely. Planck used “compensation” to show that when “back” radiation is absorbed (that is, from the cold body) it immediately compensates by including that radiation within what it is already radiating. What happens is the cooling gradient is reduced so that the hot body takes longer to cool. That is why equilibrium is somewhat asymptotic. As you approach equilibrium, there is less and less energy added to the cold body and less and less net energy leaves the hot body.

The other factor that never is taken into account is where “back” radiation is absorbed. If CO2 can absorb IR leaving the surface it can surely absorb what is coming back down also. This should reduce the cooling gradient of the atmosphere in a similar fashion to the surface gradient.

CO2 thermalization also creates a heat reservoir whereby heat is not immediately radiated. During the daytime, insolation causes a sine wave of temperature and at night you see an exponential decay. Someone on another post called the atmosphere a “thermal capacitor”, and that is exactly what it looks like. Using temperature averages to attempt to calculate what is going on is not going to accurately depict what is happening, especially when two different temperature curves are being averaged.

The soil is also a heat reservoir that releases radiation after the sun sets. I’m guessing that trying to find an “average” radiation temperature is going to be difficult with so many different gradients. Throw in the latent heat release of H2O and you have a lot of gradients going on.

September 5, 2022 1:17 pm

“Apparently I must be a glutton for punishment, because here I am in the arena once again, discussing the results of my research and preparing for the insults and brickbats.”

I hope you are wearing a helmet.
You forgot to write anything controversial this time.
What are we supposed to refute?

Art Slartibartfast
September 5, 2022 1:24 pm

One question that comes to mind is, what surfaces are we comparing? The surface at sea level, assuming a perfectly spherical earth is 4 x pi x r^2 where according to Wikipedia, r = 6371 km.

If the top of the atmosphere is 70 km above the earth, it will only make a 2.21 % difference.

To get to a factor of 6 would require the top of atmosphere to be 9235 km above the earth.

So how is the top of atmosphere defined?

Editor
September 5, 2022 1:39 pm

Hi Willis – Maybe the answer to your conundrum is that although the feedbacks cited by the IPCC multiply the supposed temperature effect by a significant multiple, they are not “a feedback factor greater than one”. The driver change is the change in CO2. The feedbacks that supposedly increase the temperature only increase the CO2 concentration by a very small amount. There is therefore only a very small positive feedback. Another way of looking at it is that once the feedbacks have raised the temperature to a new equilibrium, that’s it. Until more CO2 is added.

KcTaz
September 5, 2022 1:46 pm

Willis, thank you so very much for the Teddy Roosevelt quote. As one who is quite fond of quotes, I’m adding that to my collection.

James Rouse
September 5, 2022 1:50 pm

“Feedback greater than 1 leads to runaway.”

You are thinking of self referencing feedback, such as an electronic circuit or sound from a speaker near to a microphone where the output boosts the input signal.

Temperature does not increase CO2 by a factor greater than 1* the CO2 that forced the temperature, so we don’t get runaway feedback.

The phrase ‘feedback’ as used by IPCC or gcms to describe CO2 forced temperature increase leading to increased water vapour leading to greater warming would be called ‘amplification’ by an electronic engineer not feedback, it has to increase CO2 to merit the title feedback.

Jim
September 5, 2022 1:58 pm

Blimey! Its simples, its that water vapour forcing thingy they stuck in their models. Shame its a load of cobblers.

Frank from NoVA
September 5, 2022 2:01 pm

‘However, there’s no place I’d rather be—I’m a Teddy Roosevelt man.’

Willis, unless you’ve kicked-off a couple of invasions recently, or started the US down ‘the road to serfdom’ better known as ‘progressivism’, you’re a far, far better man than TR.  

Greg Bacon
September 5, 2022 2:12 pm

“If this were not true, the affected parts would be continually either warming or cooling.”  

It is not true because:     The Laurentide Ice Sheet.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentide_Ice_Sheet

Greg Bacon
September 5, 2022 2:30 pm

Figure 1 is deceptive.   Your “earth surface” point of view ignores the fact that both latent and sensible heat eventually escapes as long wave IR.    Just because the heat energy moves from the surface into the atmosphere doesn’t mean it just disappears.  The atmosphere itself radiates electromagnetic energy, such as that measured by UAH.

bill
September 5, 2022 2:36 pm

The key point is that the climate of the earth has survived many perturbations, think of the relatively stable Holocene or the 2.6M years of the ice ages and although the temperature has been both much cooler and maybe 3C warmer it has remained within the bands rising and falling.

As such, the emergency is over unless there can be shown some unique property of the CO2 we emit.

Ultimately it’s about the confirmational biases and threat to income that maintain the current equilibrium in thinking.

Yes, self-interest generated corruption.

Dr Mike Edwards
September 5, 2022 2:38 pm

So, I don’t know where the IPCC gets its figures from, as quoted in the article. But the Wijngaarden and Happer 2020 paper calculates a sensitivity of +1.4C for doubling of CO2 at fixed absolute humidity and +2.3C for fixed relative humidity. (I posted this in response to The Multiplier posting). I consider the W&H numbers to be trustworthy – and they are not very different from some other calculations, as referenced in that paper.

So the basic idea is that doubling of CO2 leads to a surface warming, that in turn leads to more H2O in the atmosphere, which provides a feedback that increases the surface temperature more. W&H calculate the extra warming as 0.9C. To what extent the real world behaves with “fixed relative humidity” is open to question and there are indications that the tropics do not behave in this way.

These figures only apply to “clear sky” conditions. What happens in the presence of clouds is not known – and clouds cover about 67% of the Earth’s surface on average.

I note that in Willis’ plot of the CERES net CRE, the areas with surface temperature >0C dominate but are divided roughly into 2 sections: a) the lower temperatures 0C-25C and b) the higher temperatures above 25C. The lower section shows a very shallow response to temperature, while the higher section shows a sharply negative response. What this does not show is what is actually happening to the surface temperatures in those grid cells.

We know that overall surface warming has been less in the tropics than elsewhere. It may be the case that not much change is taking place in the gridcells above 25C, so that the negative response is muted. Meanwhile the other gridcells might be warming more significantly, but the response in those gridcells is near zero overall. However, this would require a lot of detailed analysis to say anything meaningful.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Dr Mike Edwards
September 5, 2022 4:46 pm

Dr. Mike, you are correct on the “clear sky” conditions, which of course is where water vapor will about triple the greenhouse effect of CO2 alone….and if you experiment with UChicago Modtran under many cloud conditions, constant RH, and 70km upwelling IR somewhere on the 230 to 270 range….or spend the time averaging a few scenarios to 240 W/m^2…..gives you about 0.7 degrees warming per doubling of CO2. Much different, much more realistic…and allows much more correctly for cloud albedo….

September 5, 2022 2:46 pm

(It’s a minimum because the percentage of latent/sensible heat loss increases slightly with increasing temperature, but we can ignore that in this analysis.)

I partly agree, but not fully. That’s because as latent heat loss rises cloud cover increases and albedo increases. So the “energy gained” bar gets smaller, thereby multiplying the effect of the water cycle.

The actual size of the latent heat component also may be at issue. It is almost never discussed that the IR spectrum for liquid water is a far larger sink for IR radiation than water vapor or CO2. Since the absorbed photons are constantly being re-emitted* by CO2, water vapor and other GHGs, the photon will eventually find liquid water to be absorbed into. That then raises evaporation by being converted to latent heat. So I suspect the actual component of latent heat is larger proportionally than currently estimated.

(* The emission spectrum is similar to the absorption spectrum – and the absorption and re-emission is fast as the various vibration modes etc flip between different energy levels under influence of Brownian interactions with other air molecules.)

The Dark Lord
September 5, 2022 2:48 pm

You are trying to have a logical debate with deluded fanatics … a waste of time …

David Dibbell
September 5, 2022 2:59 pm

“So my question remains:
What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C?
All serious answers welcome.”

My mostly serious answer is that the resolved quasi-static iterator elements boost the code-derived looping energy flux amplifier outputs by implementing the delirium parameterization routines for clouds and water vapor. The massively parallel convection suppressor function is called by the conformance co-processor at each time-step to constrain the surface response to the expected values. The fact that the physical atmosphere’s response is inferior by a factor of 6 or so is unfortunate but surely only temporary as those non-digital molecules learn more slowly how to do this.
(Only partly /sarc.)

In other words, way too much emphasis on the incomplete and misleading static concept and much too little on the motion.
#Nasa_Knew

Last edited 24 days ago by David Dibbell
Barry Malcolm
Reply to  David Dibbell
September 5, 2022 6:50 pm

ouch, I thought I knew what you were talking about for a moment! Nice comedy!

Moritz Büsing
September 5, 2022 3:02 pm

Dear Willis,

I thought I could answer why the IPCC considers a non-feedback sensitivity of 1.1°C in the other thread.

The 3.7W/m^2 are evaluated at the “top of the atmosphere” which really means tropopause.

Since the convective heat transport (both latent and sensible) happen below the tropopause it is not necessary to devide by 0.78 in this location.

Now this 3.7W/m^2 is evaluated at 255K at the tropopause. After your answer to my comment below the other article I have to rethink this, but this is actually done by the common climate “activist scientists”. See

https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.earth.061008.134734

Here it is treated as additional downwelling which at the top of the atmosphere also means additional upwelling because emitted-radiation is omnidirectional (I know you said it is reduced upwelling which makes more sense).

When taking this at face value, then one has to assume 6W/m^2 at 288K near the ground for the same concentration of CO2.

The solution could be this:
As you said, the upwelling from TOA is REDUCED by 3.7W/m^2.
This means that the part of surface radiation that reaches space directly (without being absorbed by climate gases) has to increase by 3.7W/m^2. This is necessary in order to reach a steady state between earth and space.

I don’t know the ratio between long wave radiation going directly into space to total long wave radiation emitted from the ground. Lets assume the ratio is 60%. Then the total radiation change on the ground is 3.7W/m^2 divided by 0.6 equals 6.1W/m^2. This number is in the right ballpark for 1.1°C warming at the ground surface. Note this is change in radiative emission, latent heat and sensible heat come on top of this.

Barry Malcolm
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 6:55 pm

No measuring instruments at the tropopause? Wow, there is some science to be done. NOT SETTLED AT ALL!

Moritz Büsing
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 9:15 pm

“upwelling surface longwave minus TOA longwave.”

This confirms what I assumed in the last part of my comment ( after “The solution could be this:”).

The “suface longwave” is more than “surface longwave minus TOA longwave”. Therefore the change in “surface longwave” is proportionally larger than 3.7W/m². This explains the 1.1°C warming part per doubling of CO2.

The cause of the further amplification effect, (or as I assume: dampening effect) is still unclear. Of course people claim positive water feedback, albedo feedback and cloud feedback, but each of these don’t show up in empirical measurements. At least not as positive feedbacks.

Ulric Lyons
September 5, 2022 3:34 pm

“And this additional 3.7 W/m2 of downwelling radiation from the CO2 doubling is claimed by the IPCC to increase the surface temperature by 3°C.”

A net 1.2°C warming for doubling CO2 levels, the rest is an assumed positive feedback by water vapour.

Last edited 24 days ago by Ulric Lyons
gbaikie
September 5, 2022 3:44 pm

–So my question remains:
What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C?–

NASA say more than 90% of all global warming warms our cold 3.5 C ocean.
Or the at surface is “lost” to ocean, though it’s not a loss.

I say, the *only way* to warm Earth average temperature is to warm our cold ocean.
Or it’s said, the ocean was 4 C or warmer when we had thousands of years of warmest
interglacial temperature. Or period of peak interglacial you see, after it climbs out of
a glaciation period.
Or we are long past peak Holocene, and our peak Holocene wasn’t as warm [apparently] as other interglacial periods where sea levels rise 4 to 9 meter higher than our current sea level.
Instead our peak only had sea level 1 to 2 meter higher than present sea levels.
Or we had a weird interglacial and one could go so far as to say, it’s not really an interglacial
period. A warming period certainly but was like other interglacial periods.
But we also had very cold glaciation period to climb out of.
And maybe had volcanic or impact event having something to do with it.
But it seems there agreement about it being odd.

Rick C
September 5, 2022 3:45 pm

Willis: I asked this question somewhere around 2 decades ago when I first learned that climate models included a water feedback factor based on the theory that increased water vapor in the atmosphere due to warming from CO2 would amplify the warning as a positive feedback. My question was: Why doesn’t warming of any kind result in runaway warming? If the theory was correct, the warming due water vapor positive feedback should continue until the temperature reaches the boiling point. And it wouldn’t matter whether the initial temperature increase was due to CO2, solar activity, asteroid impacts or any other cause.

I posed the question to a few acquaintances whom I considered good scientists and engineers that were concerned about global warming, but never got a cogent answer. (Most latter professed skepticism.) Mostly it was “the models show it doesn’t happen.” I’ve been seriously skeptical ever since. Your post is an excellent and clear revelation of one of the most glaring flaws of AGW dogma.

Moritz Büsing
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 11:52 pm

See: convergent infinite product.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 6, 2022 7:06 am

” Runaway is NOT an unavoidable result of feedback. It depends entirely on the amount of feedback. ”
” No, because something around 100 W/m2 is lost as latent or sensible heat, leaving only 400 W/m2 to maintain the surface warmth. ”

— Over land we have an average of 38W/m² evaporation / over water 100W/m². During a drought, with the time evaporation tends to zero. A feedback amount of theoretical 38-100W/m²,
… but if that is not enough for you to explain thermal runaway, you can consult the clouds.
Without evaporation –> no clouds keeping an average of ~19W/m²(CRE) away from the surface. –
 
Huge amounts of solar energy are used on the earth’s surface but also within the troposphere for the non-temperature-increasing process of evaporation. Even if this energy is released again through condensation in the atmosphere – it is an energy transport in the right direction to space. The production of clouds during condensation also increases the cooling efficiency by water.

The more intensive this water cycle takes place, the cooler the temperature structure of air and soil will be. In order to prevent rising temperatures over land areas, there is no alternative to an adequate supply of water, because without available water only increasing, sensible heat and LW radiation are available as surface cooling.

A humanity that has drained land areas for thousands of years and thus today continues to have a steadily reducing influence on the evaporation rate on 1/3 of the land area – is surprised today that it has one foot in the desert and is confronted with record temperatures, droughts and crop failures.

HUMANITY AND ESPECIALLY THE IPCC IS AS STUPID AS MY BREAD IN THE KITCHEN CUPBOARD.

The stupidity of the IPCC can now even be proven relatively “watertight”.
In their graphs on cooling & warming causes of climate factors, the cooling factor “land-use reflectance / irrigation” < (~ 0.125°C) appears for the first time in the history of the IPCC in 2020/8.

comment image

Thus, the albedo is assessed over urban areas such as cities (~1.5 million km²) and global agriculture (~48 million km²).
Global irrigation/y is ~2600 km³, with only ~1000 km³ going to evaporation and 1600 km³ are lost due to surface or underground runoff.

If the IPCC now for the first time ascribes a cooling effect to the “additional evaporation” via irrigation, that is correct…but –

WHERE IS THE WARMING EFFECT that people continue to exert through “additional drainage” ???

INNER LOGIC IN THE GRAPH — NOT AVAILABLE !!!

Using the reduced rH (see above) I calculated a lack of evaporation over land accumulated by land use change of ~ 6800 km³ within the last 50-75 years alone. This can explain a warming effect of +3.5W/m² on the land surface during this period – but also the global spreading desertification.

These 3.5W/m² are attributed to CO2 emissions by the IPCC,

AND SO THAT THE STUPIDITY WILL NOT DECREASE…

…continuously rising (record) temperatures have been measured over land for decades and blindly ascribe their increase to global warming caused by climate gases –
but the only thing missing is water & latent flux or intelligent water management.

BTW -With 6800 km³/y of water, plants can absorb about 25-50 Gt CO2 through photosynthesis
(1m³ evapotranspiration = 3.7 – 7.4Kg CO2 absorption).
MORE than mankind produces annually.

There would have been no climate change since 1750 due to the burning of fossil fuels if mankind had not ironed down millions of km² of moors, (rain) forests, wetlands and vegetation so mercilessly stupidly.

https://climateprotectionhardware.wordpress.com/

Clouds TransportOfHeatAndWaterVapour.jpg
gbaikie
Reply to  Rick C
September 5, 2022 5:38 pm

“My question was: Why doesn’t warming of any kind result in runaway warming? If the theory was correct, the warming due water vapor positive feedback should continue until the temperature reaches the boiling point. And it wouldn’t matter whether the initial temperature increase was due to CO2, solar activity, asteroid impacts or any other cause.”

Roughly, ocean warms, land cools.
And as Willis says, the tropical ocean [where more 1/2 sunlight reaches Earth surface] has
a control mechanism. So Tropical ocean engine warms the entire world, and if gets too warm, it dumps heat into space.
Another what I think more important mechanism is liquid polar ocean warms land, and frozen
polar ocean, is more like land [or doesn’t warm land] but a frozen ocean doesn’t cool the ocean, Lots of polar sea ice, warms our cold ocean with average temperature of 3.5 C.
If you imagine the average temperature of ocean controls global temperature, extensive polar sea ice and huge glacial ice sheets, warms the ocean, rather than being a source of global
cooling,
Or in terms of cooling land it’s the sea ice, And ice sheet is not cooling land.
Or ice sheet is a huge amount to water on land, it’s not lowering water vapor, it’s making the world drier and colder. And should absorb more sunlight than a dry ground surface,
Or summer skiing is girls skiing in bikinis,

Robert B
September 5, 2022 4:11 pm

“1.2 W/m2 at the TOA is converted into 7 W/m2 at the surface, and where that extra energy is allegedly coming from”

The energy comes from the Sun. Its like the outside of a blanket has a net flow away but its insulating effect is to radiate some of the heat back to the inside. The heat source for the body remains the same but it loses less heat and warms up until the outside layer warms enough to radiate an equal amount of heat away. You can calculate how much it warms up as how much extra the source of heat is due to the outside layer reflecting back a certain amount of heat. Because the inside is warmer, it is radiating heat backwards at a higher rate, with the net being 0 at equilibrium because is body wrapped up in it is as hot.

The reduction in heat loss is viewed as heat gained. It seems as strange approach when a blanket has a simple relationship with change in T with change in Q.

Yes, I appreciate that I’ve told you nothing new. It’s about how to frame the argument. It’s just the temperature gradient.

Geoff Sherrington
September 5, 2022 4:38 pm

Willis,
Pleased to see you tackling this matter.
On WUWT, 2020/09/11, I listed a dirty dozen questions for climate change aficionados.

They included:

For a 1⁰C change in global temperature –
2 By how many ppm does atmospheric CO₂ change?
5 By how many sq km does the average area of cloud cover change?
8 By how many Watt per square metre does the Top of Atmosphere TOA radiation balance change?
10 By how much does total precipitable rainfall TPW change?

Very few of the dozen questions were able to be answered. Maybe I phrased them poorly, but to me they seemed to encapsulate the big test of the “settled science” type of claim by the Establishment. There is much claimed about the disasters that will arise from a change of global temperature, yet these basic questions are far from settled.
You are, thankfully, making progress. Geoff S

Ulric Lyons
September 5, 2022 4:54 pm

A serious question, surely 508W/m^2 equates to a surface temperature of 310.5K (emissivity 1) or 307.5K (emissivity 0.96)?

https://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 7, 2022 3:24 am

It is not all lost, some returns to the surface as longwave radiation. The biggest error is in averaging the solar shortwave globally, do that for the Moon and its global temperature is nearly 70°C too warm.

September 5, 2022 5:02 pm

” What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C? ”

— From the falling rH, I calculate the quantitative lack of evaporation over land areas that man has caused through land use changes over the millennias.

Another reason for the decreasing rH lies in the vegetation itself, which closes the stomata during drought stress.

1% of declining rH correspond to a lack ~6800 km³/y of evaporation on land areas(10%). 4624PWh/y are converted into sensible heat flux and LW radiation.

a2.png
September 5, 2022 5:25 pm

” What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C? ”

— From the falling rH, I calculate the quantitative lack of evaporation over land areas that man has caused through land use changes over the millennias.

Another reason for the decreasing rH lies in the vegetation itself, which closes the stomata during drought stress.

1% of declining rH correspond to a lack ~6800 km³/y of evaporation on land areas(10%). 4624PWh/y are converted into sensible heat flux and LW radiation. 7W/m² evapotranspiration on land correspond to 12880 km³.

https://climateprotectionhardware.wordpress.com/

a2.png
Barry Malcolm
September 5, 2022 5:32 pm

Okay, no comments please says me, W.E.?

Barry Malcolm
Reply to  Barry Malcolm
September 5, 2022 5:35 pm

The 7x amplication is truly wrong and has been accepted by most posters here as erroneous. Pat yourself on the back.

RickWill
September 5, 2022 5:47 pm

What mysterious force is changing the 1.2 W/m2 of CO2 TOA forcing, the forcing that the IPCC says will raise the surface temperature by 1°C, into the 7 W/m2 of surface absorbed energy flux that is actually necessary to raise the global temperature by 1°C?

A serious answer to a silly question – it is all to do with climate phiisics. This branch of phiisics can do whatever the programmers want it to do. It has no meaning in the observable world.

If you want to really understand what is happening then you need to use observable physics.

If you want to know why the Northern Hemisphere is warming up and the Southern Ocean and Antarctica are cooling then you need look no further than the precession cycle. There is no “global warming” as the attached shows. Some parts of the globe are cooling, some parts of the globe have zero trend and some parts are warming.

The April solar intensity in the Northern Hemisphere has been increasing for 5,000 years and the changes are not insignificant in human scale as this table shows for 30N:
 -1.000   373.489453
   -0.900   373.872773
   -0.800   374.258234
   -0.700   374.645437
   -0.600   375.034002
   -0.500   375.423566
   -0.400   375.813785
   -0.300   376.204330
   -0.200   376.594883
   -0.100   376.985132
    0.000   377.374769
    0.100   377.765110
    0.200   378.154160
    0.300   378.541432
    0.400   378.926421
    0.500   379.308615
    0.600   379.687501
    0.700   380.062572
    0.800   380.433341
    0.900   380.799342
    1.000   381.160145

Outside the tropics, the lag between solar EMR and ocean surface warming is observed to be two months. The atmospheric response over oceans adds another month. The land temperature lags solar EMR by one month. So April and May solar EMR increase will be driving the observed boreal summer temperature. Outside the tropics, the temperature response of most land to EMR is twice that of most ocean. The NH has higher proportion of land than the SH so the gradual shift in solar peak intensity northward due to precession is increasing the intensity over land compared with water so the average surface temperature has to rise.

September solar EMR at 30N is declining, not as much as April is increasing, but that means the northern winters will be getting cooler with presently an overall upward trend.

Earth’s climate system has two powerful mechanisms for retaining heat. The most readily observed is the formation of sea ice that provides an insulating layer on oceans. The other is the loss of convective instability below surface temperature of 15C. Below 15C, the clouds become dull and lifeless but they prevent considerable heat loss from ocean surface cooler than 15C. They are a damping factor on the rate of cooling of oceans.

If you have the opportunity to observe ocean surface around 13 to 15C you will be able to observe this transition from dull and lifeless clouds to fluffy and lively.

NCEP_Three_Trends-3.png
RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
September 5, 2022 6:06 pm

The attached shows the proportion of ocean surface at particular temperature for various months.

The convective transitions are evident in this data. Below 15C the atmosphere can fully saturate. That prevents heat loss by reducing latent heat transport from the ocean surface. Above 15C, the atmosphere can form an LFC resulting in convective instability that causes cycling between clouds and clear sky. Above 22C, the atmosphere can fully saturate the zone above the LFC and so-called deep convection can exist. 24C to 28C are usually strong mid-level divergence zones where most of the energy uptake occurs due to the persistence of clear skies. 30C is the limit where the surface energy flux is in balance in open water (away from the influence of more powerful convective towers over land) due to the increase in cloud persistence over 30C warm pools

Anyone with observational ability can actually see these transitions if they have the opportunity to visit locations covering the range of temperature from about 12C to 30C..

SST_DC_Zones.png
September 5, 2022 6:11 pm

Now, consider the mainstream IPCC position, that a doubling of CO2 will increase downwelling longwave at the “top-of-atmosphere” (TOA) by 3.7°C(sic!). This means that if you instantaneously double the CO2, the amount of longwave escaping the planet at the top of the atmosphere will be reduced by 3.7 W/m2

A doubling of CO2 is (per se) meant to DECREASE OUTGOING radiation TOA by 3.7W/m2. And btw., outgoing radiation is all that matters!

Bottom line? According to the IPCC, it only takes ~ 1.2 W/m2 of additional TOA forcing to increase the surface temperature by 1°C.

What?! Those 3.7W/m2 should mean 1-1.2K in warming (excluding feedbacks)

How does a top-of-atmosphere CO2 forcing of 1.2 W/m2 mysteriously turn into the 7 W/m2 of additional surface energy flux that we need to warm the earth by 1°C?

Again, “back radiation” (BR) is irrelevant. But for those who have issues how the numbers would add up, let me explain this. Per se a doubling of CO2 would decrease emissions TOA by said 3.7W/m2. Including overlaps and other things, it is only 2W/m2. BR would increase by similar magnitudes, although it does not matter. As the atmosphere warms, as less radiation is emitted TOA, a warmer atmosphere will provide more BR (which is a function of temperature), independent of the primary CO2 “BR effect”.

Eventually there will always be enough BR to settle accounts with any given temperature, because BR is a function of temperature, not the opposite.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 5, 2022 9:20 pm

In order to compensate, the “planck feedback” comes into play, meaning the temperature at emission level must increase accordingly.

101 climate science..

Moritz Büsing
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 6, 2022 2:47 am

“A doubling of CO2 is (per se) meant to DECREASE OUTGOING radiation TOA by 3.7W/m2.”

This is correct, but only for the portion of outgoing radiation emitted from the TOA.
The total sum of outgoing radiation stays the same(approx. stationary system) . Therefore, the part of the ground surface radiation that reaches space directly must increase by 3.7W/m^2.

The total amount of radiation from the ground surface a) increases by

b) the part that goes into space directly plus
c) the part that is absorbed/reflected by the atmosphere (greenhouse gases and clouds).

Delta_a = b+c

b = 3.7W/m^2

Delta_a/b = 0.6

Delta_a = b/0.6 = 6.2W/m^2

This means the ground surface emission increses by 6.2W/m^2 if the TOA emission decreases by 3.7W/m^2

Last edited 24 days ago by Moritz Büsing
Reply to  Moritz Büsing
September 6, 2022 7:46 am

No

Izaak Walton
September 5, 2022 6:29 pm

Willis,
Have you read the paper by W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer entitled “Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases”? It is available at
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.03098.pdf
and predicts that a doubling of CO2 levels would lead to an increase in temperature of 2.3K assuming a constant relative humidity. All of the details about the radiative transfer that you are asking about are there. And the IPCC is not involved at all.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 6, 2022 1:29 am

A. There is No Urgency to Act Now and Thus There is No Need for the Proposed Rule Our informed scientific opinion is that doubling CO2 concentrations will cause about 1 C or less of warming. But assuming that doubling CO2 levels from today’s 415 ppm to 830 ppm will raise temperatures by a “dangerous” 2° C (about 4° F), which is unsupported by science, it would take a century or more for that to happen at the levels of CO2 emissions today.  Willima Happer and Richard Lindzen April 11, 2022

Happer-Lindzen-SEC-6-17-22.pdf (co2coalition.org)

Deacon
September 5, 2022 6:59 pm

Willis (and Anthony) and others….Please don’t stop posting and explaining to those of us “uneducated” in the science of climate. Some may point out opposition to your writings, which is also interesting to read, along with the rebuttals…but this forum is fantastic to so many of us, who have education in other fields of engineering/science/social studies. Some if this may not be simplified to our education level, we read and gain more with every posting.
Bring it on!!

eyesonu
Reply to  Deacon
September 6, 2022 2:39 pm

Deacon, hang in there. Probably most of us reading today began as “lookers” as it was called 13 or so years ago. Seems I have now spent half my life since then trying to quench my insatiable quest to learn more!

John Oliver
September 5, 2022 8:06 pm

WUWT=love/hate relationship. Greatly increased understanding of physics vs less sleep pondering the physics and researching same.
Ultimately it still seams to me that night time will transport away any additional small amounts of heat on a daily basis preventing any “run away warming” just using basic thermodynamics combined with a mixing swirling flowing atmosphere.

Hot air up. Hot moves to cold. Heat is gone before it can accumulates. Even with a few additional “magic molecules in the atmosphere. Heat in equals heat out. Too simple ,to intuitive ?

David Blenkinsop
September 5, 2022 8:28 pm

The head posting here asks “I’m interested in a serious answer to my question about how it’s supposed to work, how 1.2 W/m2 at the TOA is converted into 7 W/m2 at the surface, and where that extra energy is allegedly coming from.”

Well, we’ve had all kinds of discussion, both on WUWT and other places, about how tremendous and overwhelming the power of “back radiation” can be, with the atmosphere sometimes even described as being nearly opaque to IR (another way of saying that most of the IR surface emission can come back as back radiation, boosting the IR surface emission that you have to have in the first place).

I’m not saying that I find any of your mentioned numbers on this to be plausible, or that I trust any standard theorists to tell me that this exact numerical effect is quantitatively correct.

It’s just that this powerful ‘back radiating’ property of the atmosphere is the answer they always give?

Last edited 24 days ago by David Blenkinsop
RickWill
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
September 6, 2022 12:42 am

It’s just that this powerful ‘back radiating’ property of the atmosphere is the answer they always give?

And it has proven to be a very good answer for the vast majority of gullible people.

NASA employed the late physicist Michael Mishchenko to come up with a means of determining Earth’s energy balance. On his way to a proposal he had to destroy the notion of back-radiation. I am not sure he achieved that within GISS before he passed but he did propose a solution to measure the energy balance. Set out in this paper:
https://opg.optica.org/viewmedia.cfm?r=1&rwjcode=josaa&uri=josaa-33-6-1126&seq=0&html=true

The imperative to quantify the Earth’s electromagnetic-energy budget with an extremely high accuracy has been widely recognized but has never been formulated in the framework of fundamental physics. In this paper we give a first-principles definition of the planetary electromagnetic-energy budget using the Poynting-vector formalism and discuss how it can, in principle, be measured. Our derivation is based on an absolute minimum of theoretical assumptions, is free of outdated notions of phenomenological radiometry, and naturally leads to the conceptual formulation of an instrument called the double hemispherical cavity radiometer (DHCR). The practical measurement of the planetary energy budget would require flying a constellation of several dozen planet-orbiting satellites hosting identical well-calibrated DHCRs.

My bolding to make the point that any notion of using S-B relationship for anything occurring in Earth’s atmosphere is “outdated notions”. That is a kind way of stating it is BS.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  RickWill
September 6, 2022 2:56 am

Well, alright, more technicalities, physicist Michael Mishchenko appears to have been questioning the measurements, or calibration of measurements, putting in his own suggestion for how to measure infrared radiation correctly.

I’m not sure from your reference whether this really does away with the ‘back radiation’ concept — it looks like more a question mark on whether the amount of any such effect is currently known?

Clyde Spencer
September 5, 2022 8:46 pm

Some of the energy flux is lost as “sensible” heat, …

And, no small part goes into the mass of photosynthetic organisms that provide food for all the rest of life on Earth.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 7, 2022 8:42 pm

Ultimately, everything is recycled. The thermohaline circulation may keep oceanic organic material sequestered for about a thousand years. Permafrost may keep organic matter sequestered for a couple million years. Oil and gas are derived from organic matter sequestered for tens of millions of years. Limestones created from the shells of calcifiers may isolate the products of work done through photosynthesis for hundreds of millions of years.

JonasW
September 5, 2022 9:29 pm

Some years ago I read some articles about the “evolution” of the “water vapour feedback” theory. (Unfortunately I do no have the references now, but I am sure it can be found again).

My understanding:

When IPCC was formed the first task was to estimate how much earth had warmed, and how much of the warming that could be attributed to CO2. A group of scientists came to the conclusion that the CO2 increase could only explain about a third of the warming.

They said something like this : ” IF all the warming should be explained by increased CO2 there must exist some kind of amplification factor around 3″.

This was later transformed to: ” Since there is an amplification factor around 3 all of the warming is due to the increased CO2″.

IPCC logic.

Lit
September 5, 2022 11:29 pm

“How does a top-of-atmosphere CO2 forcing of 1.2 W/m2 mysteriously turn into the 7 W/m2 of additional surface energy flux that we need to warm the earth by 1°C?”

You´re not even ashamed of creating 5.8W/m^2 worth of energy from 1.2W/m^2?

Why do you not have a first law analysis? The first law says ΔU=Q-W, and such an analysis is the first thing you do when analysing a thermodynamic system. But you don´t even include work? The amount of work done by a system is subtracted from the heat flow, and it´s very easy to see how much it is.

TSI/4 would be the emitted energy by a perfect blackbody, no work will be done in that case. But Earth emits Q=σ255^4, so the rate of work being done will be (TSI/4)-σ255^4=101W/m^2. So:

ΔU=TSI

Q=σ255^4

W=(ΔU/4)-Q=101W/m^2

The difference between the perfect blackbody and the effective emission temperature is the work done by the system, 101W/m^2. This energy is “lost”, converted into work, and will not be emitted because work cools a heat engine.

Your whole calculation is invalid because you don´t have a first law analysis.

Last edited 24 days ago by lifeisthermal
kzb
Reply to  Lit
September 6, 2022 3:41 am

But surely that work is turned into heat energy quite quickly?
The exception that I can think of is energy stored as increased mass of plant and animal tissue, due to increased photosynthesis.
But I doubt that is anything like 101W/m^2.
Work done by weather ends up as heat quite quickly i would’ve thought.

Lit
September 5, 2022 11:34 pm

You show ~340W/m^2 from the atmosphere. This is a violation of the laws defining emissive power. The atmosphere is 255K, the maximum emission from a perfect blackbody at that temperature is ~240W/m^2. That is the MAX. You´re breaking the physical laws for heat radiation, it´s impossible to get 340W/m^2 at that temperature.

Moritz Büsing
Reply to  Lit
September 6, 2022 1:55 am

Some of the radiation goes from the surface directly into space. Only a part is transported through the atmosphere

Andrew Chantrill
September 5, 2022 11:53 pm

Dear Willis, thank you again for a stimulating post.

I’m not sure I agree with your comment “It’s a minimum because the percentage of latent/sensible heat loss increases slightly with increasing temperature”. The rate of evaporation of water rises steeply with temperature. By my back of an envelope calculation, if the oceans warm 1°C the rate of evaporation will rise by 10%. If the current latent heat losses are around 72W/m^2 then a 10% increase shouldn’t be ignored.

lgl
September 6, 2022 12:04 am
Geoff Sherrington
September 6, 2022 2:24 am

There is much work involved for example in ocean currents.lacking other sources, the energy input to drive currents is likely to come from the sun. It the ocean currents speed or slow, there is a different balance that affects the assumptions of a near equilibrium state. The effect might be small, but it takes time to happen. This introduces the topic of page. The current argument is largely based on radiative in versus out measured over a decade or so. The measurements are also oner short periods and they have the old problem of the stresses on uncertainty from subtraction of two large numbers to find a difference that is hopefully within the real uncertainty bounds. These various factors combine to introduce doubts that might be summarised by a question like “how can we know that we are looking at a long term, climate-related state of affairs and not a snapshot of a change taking place?”
That said, I do not imply criticism of Willis for presenting this analysis. Without such inquiry of the science, progress is stifled. One has to start somewhere. I am particularly captivated by the Willis scattergrams and the way their pictures are a thousand words. But I am troubled by various uncertainties in this article. Geoff S

kzb
September 6, 2022 3:49 am

consider the mainstream IPCC position, that a doubling of CO2 will increase downwelling longwave at the “top-of-atmosphere” (TOA) by 3.7 W/m2. This means that if you instantaneously double the CO2, the amount of longwave escaping the planet at the top of the atmosphere will be reduced by 3.7 W/m2.
And this additional 3.7 W/m2 of downwelling radiation from the CO2 doubling is claimed by the IPCC to increase the surface temperature by 3°C.
Bottom line? According to the IPCC, it only takes ~ 1.2 W/m2 of additional TOA forcing to increase the surface temperature by 1°C.

You’ve assumed direct proportionality between temperature and CO2 concentration.
Whereas it is a logarithmic relationship.

kzb
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 6, 2022 1:17 pm

Well it looks like it, because you said if 3 degrees corresponds to 3.7 W/m^2 then 1 degree corresponds to 1.2 W/m^2. You are saying downwelling radiation is directly proportional to CO2 concentration or something very close to it.

Reply to  kzb
September 7, 2022 9:15 am

No Willis said that temperature was linearly proportional to ‘downwelling radiation’ and that ‘downwelling radiation’ was proportional to the log of CO2.  So he’s assumed a log dependence of temperature on CO2.

Simon Derricutt
September 6, 2022 5:38 am

Willis – “First, Le Chatelier’s Principle says that if a dynamic equilibrium (a steady-state condition like the climate) is disturbed by changing the conditions, the position of equilibrium shifts to counteract the change to reestablish an equilibrium.”

A nitpick here is that where there are lags in the responses to that disturbance, you’ll likely overshoot the new equilibrium situation and get an oscillation. Depending on the responses, that oscillation may be damped, and given enough different responses to the disturbance (in a complex system) each with a different time-constant and damping-factor, the result of a disturbance might be very complex.

However, the thing that stands out to me about the climate is the stability over time, providing you use an average over 30 years or so. To me, that points to an overall strong negative feedback in the system, since a 1°C variation over a period of 150 years or so is only around 0.3% variation in absolute terms, and that’s if you accept that the averaged temperature measurements 150 years ago are accurate to 0.01°C anyway. That’s despite the actual energy input we get from the Sun varying by at least 3% because of orbital mechanics, and the sunspot cycle varying the spectrum of energy received on around an 11-year cycle.

A while back you put up a post “where’s the climate emergency?” which explored the question over a long timescale, and another looking at CO2 levels versus temperature over the last 67 million years or so, which should have been conclusive that there’s no cause to worry.

Though the change in downwelling LWIR as CO2 changes is measurable, and must have some effect, it looks to me that Le Châtelier’s principle applies here and the net effect on average temperature is reduced from what we calculate it ought to be. For me, looking at the graph of “average world temperature” since 1850 compared to the CO2 concentration, which only really started to rise significantly around 1950, does not show any significant effect of CO2 on temperature, though CO2 increase obviously has an effect on plant growth.

Most of the people I know are however obsessed with “reducing CO2 emissions to save the planet”. Though I’ve pointed them at your posts, they receive daily propaganda about the Climate Catastrophe backed by what appears to be a consensus of distinguished scientists and naturalists (no, no naturists AFAIK).

Since I can’t answer your question of how 1.2W/m² gets translated into the 7W/m² necessary to raise the temperature by the amount the IPCC says, maybe I can ask you a question instead. What’s the best way to persuade people that CO2 emissions are not a danger, and that there’s no Climate Emergency, and that the local weather has always been changing so our best option is simply to adapt as we’ve done in the past? My tactic has been to show them the data, and that the climate changed (and either destroyed a civilisation or made it possible, depending on which way it went) long before the industrial era or SUVs. So far, it hasn’t changed their belief that this time it’s because of our use of fossil fuels. Then again, it’s always hard to change beliefs.

arjan duiker
Reply to  Simon Derricutt
September 6, 2022 12:27 pm

As Mark Twain has said: It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
It’s within the human DNA …

David Coe
September 6, 2022 7:01 am

Your calculations produce a similar result to the paper “The Impact of CO2 and H2O on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures” http://www.ijaos.org/article/298/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210502.12
where the result is derived from the HITRAN IR absorption spectra of atmospheric gases.  

JAK
September 6, 2022 7:37 am

Willis,

You put your finger nicely on the cruxt of the issue: How to measure and model the heat engine that is our biosphere. As we have all seen from the various models on offer, the results are (speaking softy) incomplete. And as Kip Hansen’s recent dust-up shows, quantifing the amount of heat in even a modest slice of the biosphere is a dicey proposition. It’s apparent that the current state of the data is woefully inadequate.

Regarding the use of transfer functions (the bulwark for feedback and sensitivity analysis), they are for the most part impirical. The boundary inputs/outputs are measured and transfer functions derived (ok, curve-fitted to models with some semblance to physical reality). If one studies any of the books on feedback (and even feed-forward) control design, the methods are well established and often useful.

One major deficiency in the current application of the impirical approach is no one has measured the relationship between inputs/outputs under dynamic conditions. Chemical engineers will undertake a step-change to an input and then measure the resulting response in the outputs. They can then derived lead-lag parameters for the various transfer models frequently used. Electrical engineers will interogate their system with a sine wave input and measure the output. Then, they relate the input to the output in a frequency response and produce those nice Bode plots and Nyquist diagrams.

Now, it is apparent that mere mortals can’t vary the heat input to the planet to characerize that dynamic response. It would be incorrect methodology to use CO2 forcing for this purpose. In terms of a transfer function, CO2 is a parameter and not an input to the system. Characterizing any change with CO2 (a time-variant value) is characterizing the first derivative behavior of that parameter and not the dynamic behavior of the overall system. A useful undertaking for the robustness of the transfer function, but that doesn’t correct our first deficiency.

Further, control engineers are under no illusion that the transfer models are complete or widely reliable across the range of operating parameters even for the applications for which they were derived. That is, they’re reliable only over the range of input/output values used to derive them. Yes, one can then extrapolate beyond that range, but the prudent designer take steps to keep the system in control (damped response tuning, limiting controlers, cascaded control loops, etc.). They keep a brightline separation between the control models and reality.

Back to your question: how can the descrepancy be justified? In the ways and methods you have repeatly demonstrated (frankly of any careful worker), it can’t be. If this was a strictly physical, deterministic model, it would be an immediate show-stopper.

However, in the transfer function modeling relam, this is not actually a problem. Transfer fuction modeling is used so that the pesky physics of the system (clouds, wind/water curents with their seasonal/decadal osscilations, etc.) can all be glossed-over and rolled-up into an impirical model. It is merely regretable that the dynamic parameters have not been properly determined. The deficiencies of the input/output data can be swept-aside with some statistical analysis. Since it’s all made-up, your questions falls before this march of poorly considered rationalization.

“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

  • Mark Twain
Michael Fayette
September 6, 2022 10:13 am

Willis – wonderful, thought provoking article, as usual.

I have a question if I may, and perhaps a topic for a future piece…..

If most of the IPCC climate models are claiming that the energy flux increases from 1.2 w/M2 to about 7.0 w/M2 through positive feedback effects, then wouldn’t these same magical feedbacks have been working when CO2 levels were reduced in the past? Is there evidence in the historical record that this has occurred?

And would the same magical feedback effect have been in action when the energy flux changed in the past for reasons OTHER than changes in CO2 levels? Say an asteroid impact? Tectonic actions? Massive volcanoes?

ponysboy
September 6, 2022 11:10 am

“……………… my understanding is that a feedback factor greater than one leads to runaway.”

The problem with your question is the word “feedback”. It’s not actually “feedback” as engineers understand it, it’s “amplification”, whether by clouds, water vapor, or whatever nebulous theory one devises for amplification.
Those of us who studied engineering are stuck on the strict engineering interpretation of the word “feedback”. Physicists aren’t so hung up on vocabularic pedantry.
You’ll have to come up with your own theory of how this amplification doesn’t lead to runaway.
e.g…...higher temp air can hold more water vapor, leading to more absorption of outgoing IR radiation and higher temp…..eventually the water vapor condenses out in an entropic system and what seems like a steady state is reached.

This is not to argue that 3C is the correct value. That number was based on the “Charney” report of 43 years ago, which was influenced by an activist from NASA at the time. Several more recent empirical studies put it closer to 2C (e.g. Curry et al)

My point is that you can’t discredit a theory based on its ambiguous terminology.

kzb
September 6, 2022 1:30 pm

I thought Le Chatelier applied to chemical equilibria. There is no reason to expect it applies to everything. In particular if there is positive amplification of a change, it won’t apply. It only applies when there is negative feedback. Granted you think the feedback is indeed negative but it is not mainstream. The mainstream position is that feedback is positive.

Peter Morris
September 7, 2022 4:08 am

My position, once I started looking into this about 15 years ago or so, and after much reading, was that the Earth’s climate is rather hardy. It has a number of negative feedback mechanisms, rather like the suspension on a car, that allow it to absorb and dissipate “sudden” energy imbalances, rather like potholes.

On this scale, the additional CO2 is barely even noticeable, and its positive effects (the greening of the Earth, slightly reduced temperature gradient between the tropics and poles) far outweigh any negative effects.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
September 7, 2022 7:38 am

Willis

I apologize for being slow to comment but I had to research things to make this point. I think there is a shorting in the list of “major” channels for energy flow. This is your list:

Let me start this perambulation with the fact that not all of the energy flux absorbed by the surface is converted to surface temperature and lost to thermal radiation. Some of the energy flux is lost as “sensible” heat, heat we can feel, through conduction to the atmosphere and convection away from the surface. And some is lost from the surface as “latent heat”, meaning it is heat removed by evaporation at the surface. After those losses, the energy that remains heats the surface and is lost as longwave upwelling radiation from the surface.”

There is a flow of energy into chemical processes, namely the creation of biomass. To get a grip on the scale of energy that is absorbed in a chemical form (biomass) I looked at the energy and energy efficiency involved. This energy is not thermalized, it is literally absorbed by photosynthesis.

The amount of biomass created by incident insolation is about 200 billions tons per year, with a “standing” mass of 550-560 billion tons. One could view this as a store of energy that is approximately released as fast as it forms, i.e. net zero, however this is not the case. Biomass is forming faster than it is being decayed and burned. The rate of gain is debatable, so I concentrated on the energy per sq m on average to find out if the scale involved is meaningful.

Ignoring the productivity of the oceans, the energy converted to biomass is about 31.5 Watts per sq m over the whole earth. If the oceans are as productive then the energy absorbed is 63 Watts/m^2.

This is a lot of energy compared with other factors people are looking at. For example, if the rate of biomass growth increases at a modest 5%/year it completely offsets the OLR it is claimed will increase by 3 W/m^2 from a doubling of the CO2 concentration – and that is with no deliberate effort to do so. At present, biomass is growing at ~30% faster rate than it did in 1980, directly attributable to a CO2 increase. On balance, this energy channel is significant, in the scientific sense, because the magnitude is 10 to 20 times to grand effects claimed for a CO2 doubling.

Stay well…

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 13, 2022 12:02 pm

This is true only so long as the biomass is not increasing, which it is. It is also true to say that on long term average, the oceans to not retain heat, but it is Trenberth’s claim, for example, that heat gain is hiding in the deep oceans. Given that the total weight of biomass is increasing, and that the rate of gain is rising, and that the quantum of energy involved is 20 times that of CO2 doubling, and estimate of “what is happening” that is not compensated for this energy sequestration is going to be undermined. Putting error bars of 60 W/m^2 on, say, ocean heat gain, renders any claim to have been detected moot.

Don
September 7, 2022 12:39 pm

One problem I see in your calculation that may have already been mentioned is that only a fraction, about 0.6, of the IR energy radiated from the surface reaches space. So if the radiation from the TOA is reduced by 3.7 w/m2 it will require the surface to radiate 3.7/0.6 = 6.2 w/m2 additional radiation to again equilibrium.

That should result in the surface warming by a bit over 1 C. Not 3 C.

Anthony Mills
Reply to  Don
September 7, 2022 5:27 pm

Willis: It would help me if you carefully define what you call the “earth’s surface”. In a thermodynamic analysis, surfaces and control volumes are usually defined at the outset.Thanks for an interesting contribution.

angech
Reply to  Anthony Mills
September 7, 2022 9:26 pm

Willis: The earth’s climate is an energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state. At steady-state, the amount of energy absorbed by each part of the system is equal to the amount of energy lost by that part of the system. If this were not true, the affected parts would be continually either warming or cooling.

And this is true of the earth’s surface. It basically loses as much energy as it gains, and as a result, the earth’s surface temperature over the 20th century was stable to within less than one percent.

Anthony Mills
It would help me if you carefully define what you call the “earth’s surface”

The earth’s surface has many different meanings.
Planets with atmospheres do not have a true surface as opposed to those without an atmosphere.
This leads to the concept of a radiative TOA purely for the concept of where the unimpeded radiation out equals the unimpeded radiation in.
There is also extra earth generated energy that is measured , only 40 TW but never seems to be accounted for in the energy budget.

Willis uses an average energy graph for his earth surface Ceres which does not distinguish between ocean and earth as the SW absorbing layer and accounts for night/day changes by the averaging and does not include the constant but small earth heat contribution.
This enable CERES data to state that the “earth’s [average] surface temperature over the 20th century was stable to within less than one percent.
In reality temperatures, also known as climate, vary considerably between night and day, hilltop dale and sea-bottom, and between summer and winter.
“The earth’s energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state.”
Here they do put in the missing word average.
Without the word average the truth is that the affected parts [unaveraged] are continually either warming or cooling.

If energy could be physically stored in a battery by artificial device [not naturally]
Then it would be true that “The earth’s climate is an energy flow system that on average is approximately at steady-state.”
In a mono dimensional averaged non night day world heated only by the sun and only for the atmosphere directly over the disc of the earth.
Since in the real world of physics heat storing capacity to be released at whim does not exist the earth’s surface must release whatever energy comes into it.
If it did not do so it would be unable to be stable as there would be no mechanism for either greater or less heat storage to build up or waste away.

This is a massive point, SB based, that is ignored.
Why should a planet surface equilibrate always at steady state to energy in or out when by activating or deactivating its so called storage methods it could decide to irradiate at twice the incoming flux or warm up by radiating half the incoming flux?
Genuine and unanswerable question.

Don
Reply to  Anthony Mills
September 8, 2022 6:28 am

If I may. I would define two spherical shells, one is that point where you stop falling if you jump out a plane. The other is defined by an optical depth calculated looking down from the TOA. The shell would be located at the point where the optical depth equals one. At that point upwelling radiation leaves the planet.

The optical depth is a function of concentration so doubling the CO2 concentration would raise in altitude the critical OD which would account for the reduced outward radiated energy. Also the OD = 1 is also the mean free path of the photons in the gas.

Peter Ibach
September 8, 2022 1:52 am

The transient climate sensitivity (TCS) is 1.8°C per CO2 doubling, according to IPCC AR5 (AR6 has  increased this estimate to 2°C). That might be the better value to be used here instead of ECS. The ECS refers to the longer term adjustment which might take couple of hundred years.
Then, the SB law should be applied to the effective emission height, not the surface.
I totally agree that it is highly unlikely that any feedback can be >1 as the climate obviously is self stabilizing and not escalating.

Onar Åm
September 8, 2022 6:07 am

But this would require that the feedback amplify the original signal by a factor of almost six … and my understanding is that a feedback factor greater than one leads to runaway.”

This statement is false. Basic feedback has the formula 1 + x + x^2 + x^3 + … = 1/(1-x). What does the feedback factor have to be in order for this to equal 6?

1/(1-x) = 6 => x = 5/6

I.e. If 5/6 of the signal is added to the original signal for every feedback cycle, the signal is amplified by a factor of 6. As an iteration equation this can be written as: Xnext =1+X

Iterated this will yield 1 +X + X^2 +X^3 …

Ulric Lyons
September 10, 2022 5:42 pm

340W/m^2 could warm a night time surface to 8°C LOL

Ulric Lyons
September 10, 2022 6:18 pm

500W/m^2 lost, and over half of it returns as longwave to the surface, how does that work?

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2022 2:28 pm

So the troposphere manages to radiate 321 upwards and 321 downwards, that’s clever.